I know I have no cause to be nervous, but the closer it looms, the more nervous I get, that it isn’t more than 2 weeks before I’ll be down to a single show on my review list and it is, by far, the worst show of the bunch. Truth be told, I should be more nervous about the coming fall season, where my list may well balloon to a dozen or more shows every week. Right now, I can watch everything in a single evening and write all the reviews on an hour or two. If a lot of these shows work out, it might take me every single night of the week to get through them and then, 6-8 hours to write the reviews.
Not sure which I should be more scared of.
Burn Notice #7×11 – “Tipping Point” – With only two more episodes after this one, they have to start tying up loose ends. Sonya tells Michael that they’re traveling to meet James and when she won’t tell him where they’re going, he sleeps with her and then downloads the contents of her phone, which he passes to Strong. They learn that the meeting is in Veracruz, Mexico and Strong says he’s going to use this information to capture James and complete the mission. Michael and Sonya arrive and meet James and while they’re driving into a trap, James becomes suspicious and when the trap is sprung, he, Sonya, Michael and a handful of men manage to escape. Back in Miami, Michael had warned Fiona that his mother and Charlie might become targets and asked her to keep an eye on them. He was right, of course, and two of James’ goons decide to make themselves at home and keep an eye on Madeline and Charlie and Fiona has to wait to see if Michael’s cover has been blown and they need to be extracted. If she does it too early, Michael could be in trouble. If she does it too late, mom and Charlie could be dead. It’s a delicate situation. Michael, Sonya and James split up after realizing that the big helicopter behind them might mean they’re being followed. Sonya and James head one way and send Michael and some goons another, telling him to get a boat and head up-river to a rendezvous. When Michael and his crew get there, he meets Team Alpha, who turns out to be Simon, the crazy guy Michael put away years ago. Apparently, he’s been working for the CIA the whole time and was assigned to the case by Strong because nobody would ever believe they’d work together willingly. Simon is still crazy, however, and starts shooting Michael’s crew, even when he doesn’t have to. Strong, meanwhile, walks right into a trap and has his chopper grounded and Michael manages to call Sonya and James back to his location and into a trap. Michael, after watching Simon in action, kills him, which he should have done a long time ago. Sonya and James arrive and, after seeing how Strong’s CIA tactics operate first hand, decides to help them escape out the back door. They arrive at James’ stronghold and he accuses Sonya of selling him out. She was the only one who knew where the meet was. He’s about to shoot her when Michael admits he’s the traitor. James can’t understand it, he questions Michael and he admits that he’s disgusted with how the CIA is operating. I will say, it’s hard to know which side to hate more, Strong and his CIA tactics or James and his methods. Neither side is really that great. However, there is a lot to admire with James. He never leaves a man behind. He is very loyal to people who are loyal to him. Strong isn’t like that at all. He’s willing to let his people die to complete the mission. He’s willing to use crazy killers if it gets him closer to his goals. He doesn’t care about Michael or Sam or Jesse or Fiona, or anyone for that matter, and he’s not above using threats of violence to get his way. I can see where Michael might tend to side with the much more honorable James over the much less honorable Strong. And you have to remember that we only have Strong’s word that James is an actual bad guy, we haven’t seen many really bad things he’s done (Snyder’s death is the only one and that’s in response to cowardice). Jeffrey Donovan’s performance tonight, especially at the end when he confessed to James, was very powerful, there’s a reason I’ve always loved him as an actor and I hope he finds something great to do after Burn Notice finally ends. Only two more episodes to go. I hope they’re great.
Perception #2×09 – “Wounded” – In part one of a two-part story, Kate brings Daniel in on a case after Kendra Murphy, a decorated Iraqi vet, blows up a convenience store with a grenade. He determines that she’s suffering from a psychological problem brought on by a herpes infection. Her husband tells them that while they were virgins when they got married, ever since she got back from Iraq, she’s been going around picking up guys in bars. Kate convinces Donnie to drop the charges so she can get the treatment she needs, but a week after he does, she’s found over the body of a former squadmate. She said that he called her and when she arrived, he was already dead. They spoke to the wife of Larry, the dead guy, and she said she overheard him on the phone with Anthony, another guy from her unit, saying they had to make something right. They go to find Anthony, only to discover he’s already in jail on drug possession charges. He’s a heroin addict after his time overseas. Kate tries to talk him into telling the truth if she gets the drug charges dropped but he refuses. They then go talk to Kendra’s commander and he tells them that she earned her Silver Star because she went into danger to pull Larry and Anthony out of harm’s way. However, a week later, Kendra had requested a transfer out of the unit, claiming that she’d been raped. He didn’t know who supposedly had done it, but Kendra supplied the name of Blake Rickford, son of a senator, who had flinched in the line of duty in Iraq. Suspecting that Blake had killed Larry to keep him from accusing Blake of rape, Kate goes to see him, but he says he was on his father’s yacht the night of the murder. Besides, he says, he never even had sex with her. She then goes to confirm the story with his father and he accuses her of overreaching and says her career is on the line. She doesn’t buy his story so she and Daniel go to see Anthony, hoping that his heroin use could be useful in getting him to tell the truth, but when they arrive, he’s dead of an apparent overdose and he’s left a suicide note wherein he confessed to killing Larry. Kate suspects it’s a setup and Daniel says that if he can just test Blake’s blood, he can prove that Blake gave her herpes and therefore, he lied to Kate, a federal offense. Meanwhile, Kate follows Blake to a bar and tells the woman he was trying to hit on that he had herpes and that she was going to take him down. This gets her security clearance suspended at work and now, without a badge, she refuses to give up on the case. Meanwhile, a blast from Daniel’s past shows up on campus, his college sweetheart who had gotten a music scholarship to Vienna. When it looked like she might turn down the transfer to stay with him, Daniel had broken up with her for her own good and had always regretted it. We see a lot of flashbacks to young Daniel and young Miranda and young Paul. Now that Miranda is back and looking to settle down, she wants to rekindle the old romance with Daniel and while he seems initially interested, something is holding him back. However, back to the case. Daniel and Donnie are worried about Kate, she’s not answering their calls. They go to Lewicki who uses an app to trace her phone’s GPS signal, but by the time they get there, they see muzzle flashes and rush inside to find Kate standing over Blake’s body, saying she had no choice. To be continued in the season finale. Now I have some concerns here. First off, Kate gets an order for a blood sample from Blake. He refuses and she arrests him. Apparently, they never get the blood sample before he lawyers up. Why not? After all, she already has a court order, I can’t believe they wouldn’t take the sample as soon as they could. When she’s called back in front of a judge, why didn’t she explain that the blood sample would prove whether Blake lied to her about having sex with Kendra? That was never brought up! Further, while I can appreciate the dogged determination of Kate in this episode, it was never adequately explained why she was so determined to fight for Kendra, to the point of almost losing her job and her life. Surely she’s run into similar cases in her career, the idea that this case is the one that she’s going to throw it all away over didn’t ring true. Ah well, just one more episode and Perception has already been picked up for a third season, so we’ll see in a week how it all turns out.
Under the Dome #1×09 – “The Fourth Hand” – Things seem to be getting back to normal, at least as normal as things can be under a giant dome. Julia takes Barbie out to look at the mini-dome and finds out that it’s gone. Where could it be? Julia doesn’t know, but Barbie is called out to a shooting incident and tells her to call if she finds it. It seems that Larry, the local drug addict, has broken into someone’s house and the owner had fired off a couple of warning shots to drive him out, accidentally hitting a neighbor in the arm. After Linda and Barbie apprehend the drugged out Larry, Big Jim decides this is a good time to ask people to turn in their guns, in the interest of town safety of course. And it’s all completely voluntary. Sure it is. Meanwhile, Larry tells Linda and Barbie that the good reverend sold him a new drug called Rapture. They head off to the reverend’s place and find a stash of drugs and drug-making paraphernalia, along with a recipe to make more. One item is propane so Linda heads off to the town’s propane storage depot and, while watching surveillance video, sees now-dead-sheriff Duke meeting with a mysterious woman. Who is she? Ask Big Jim. He comes home and finds her in his living room. Her name is Max and she’s the one Big Jim, Reverend Coggins and Duke had a deal with, she’s the drug kingpin and apparently she’s been trapped in town, unbeknownst to anyone, since the dome came down. While this is all going on, Junior visits Angie at her diner and she has a seizure. He takes her home, after a bit of a misunderstanding, and later, he takes her to his mother’s art studio to show her a painting his dead mother did 9 years earlier of him, standing on a hill, surrounded by falling pink stars. Where are the green diamonds and purple rainbows? And please, his mother really, really sucked as an artist, hopefully she was better as a potter. Big Jim heads over to Ted’s house because he refuses to turn in his guns. His wife and child were killed the day the dome came down and he hasn’t been the same since. Jim tries to talk some sense into him, Barbie sits outside with a scope, his gun trained on the back of Big Jim’s head, just in case. I was hoping he’d pull the trigger. However, it’s crisis averted yet again. Julia asks Dodee to borrow her energy-detecting device so she can locate the mini-dome, but Dodee says it broke right after Joe and Norrie touched the dome. Convenient, huh? Joe and Norrie take Joe’s dog out into the woods, hoping the dog can sniff it out, but that’s a bust too. Big Jim and Barbie get back with Ted’s guns and Max shows up. It seems she and Barbie are real good friends and they all spend time pointing fingers at each other. It seems that since Max has something on both of them, she’s now in charge. I liked Barbie’s idea of putting a bullet in her head. At the end, Joe and Norrie get back to his place after dark and the dog freaks out, pointing to the barn. Inside, Joe, Norrie and Angie find the mini-dome, apparently, at least according to Angie, Joe went out in the middle of the night and brought it back. Now wait a minute, that’s just dumb. First off, when they went out to where the mini-dome used to be, there was a perfect semi-circular hole in the ground. Nothing was dug up and I fail to see how anyone can just pluck something that bit and heavy out of the ground on their own, then carry it all the way back home. That’s stupid. It’s no less stupid when we realize Angie has adopted Joe and Norrie’s habit of not telling anyone about the important things they see. Smack them all. So now, all of the kids put their hands on the mini-dome and another hand-print appears, telling them that there’s someone else in town who they need to bring in on their little secret. Finally, we see Big Jim, down in his fallout shelter, fondling the town’s weapons, while Junior peers in on him secretly through a crack in the door. I can understand where Junior gets his loose screws. But honestly, is Junior really crazy? After all, he told Angie that he was trying to keep her safe after the dome started driving her crazy. Maybe that’s true, in some misguided fashion. I mean, Junior isn’t stable by any means, but perhaps his heart was in the right place, even if his head certainly isn’t. This episode was really horrible as far as absurd reveals were concerned. Max shows up out of the blue with no foreshadowing whatsoever. Joe goes dragging home an alien artifact in the middle of the night and his sister conveniently forgets to mention it. Dodee’s energy-detecting device stops working and she fails to say anything about it to the people she’s supposedly closest to. These “mysteries” are so absurdly artificial, they’re not really mysterious, people just don’t open their mouths and explain things like any normal human being would. What’s worse, I assumed that the town has been under the dome for weeks or months, it turns out it’s been 8 days? Every episode is a day? That means the military tried to blow the crap out of the town after only a few days? That’s stupid. But then, it’s all stupid. This is one of the worst examples of convenient writing I’ve seen in a while, where events are only surprising because the characters conveniently forget to mention them, or people are desperately unobservant. I keep hoping it gets better but I don’t think it will.
Other Stuff I Watched: Whose Line is it Anyway? (UK) #9×01-10×12. Whose Line is it Anyway? (US) #3×01-3×07