Finally, I get another show back into the rotation, which is a good thing because Burn Notice wraps up it’s 7-year run this week and Under the Dome finishes it’s first season next week, but never fear, there’s a whole host of new and returning shows popping up, 9 of them before the end of September and the rest in October, so this list will get back to it’s normally active state in the next couple of weeks and I can start actually rating best and worst shows again!
Burn Notice #7×13 – “Reckoning” – “My name is Michael Westen, I used to be a spy…” And so it ends, the final episode of this often fantastic series comes to a close. We revisit the end of the previous episode, where I surmised that Michael had shot Sonya, saving Fiona and I was right. James sees them from the helicopter and declares war on Mike and his crew. They race off the rooftop and meet up with Sam and Jesse, only to get a call from Stone saying that he’s likewise declaring war on them for failing to take down Kendrick’s operation. Stone plasters their faces on TV with a $50,000 reward for their capture and/or death. While Sam and Jesse are getting supplies at a convenience store, the clerk sees the reward and tries to take them down until Michael drives his car through the front window and rescues them, getting grazed by a bullet in the process. Michael deals with his guilt for all the things he put his friends and family through. He tells them to escape the city while he figures out a way to take James out and clear their names, but they refuse, they’re with him to the end. Michael says he heard James talking about a local satellite expert and if he can find that expert, maybe he can find James as well. Jesse calls in a favor and finds the guy, but it won’t be easy, he’s a security nut and the only way they can capture him is on the road. After realizing that his car is armored and they can’t stop him easily, Michael puts a block of C4 under the car and flips it, getting the information they need. James has set up a secret communications hub in an abandoned warehouse and if they can get inside and steal the hard drives, they’ll have all the information on James’ network they need. Michael makes Jesse promise that he’ll take care of Madeline and Charlie and then Michael, Fiona and Sam get into the warehouse, steal the hard drives and are about to make their escape when James calls the burner cell that Sam and Jesse bought at the convenience store and tells Michael he’s got the place surrounded, he traced all of the cell phones that they bought and not only does he know where Michael is, he knows where Jesse and his mother are. He’s not happy, he’s going to kill them all. Michael asks to call his mother and when he does, she says they’re surrounded, but they have a plan. They have a bomb, but no way to make a remote trigger so she’s going to sacrifice herself to allow Jesse and Charlie to get away. Michael knows it’s the only way and as they say goodbye, he’s re-invigorated to survive and forge a life with Fiona. Madeline dies and Jesse and Charlie get away after taking out Kendrick’s goons. However, Michael and Fiona are not quite as lucky. Sam gets away, but James and his henchmen have them cornered. Some quick thinking takes out the goons and Michael captures James, but he has a dead-man switch, hooked up to tons of explosives throughout the building. He drops it and the building explodes, seemingly killing Michael and Fiona. Later, Stone tells Sam and Jesse that their actions and the hard drives have broken James’ network, it was even more widespread than they thought, they’re heroes and are being released. Michael is even getting his picture up on the wall of heroes at the CIA. They attend Michael and Fiona’s funeral, even though they know they’re not really dead, wondering where in the world they might be. We see them, with Charlie, in a cabin somewhere, talking about how Michael might explain to Charlie all that’s gone on when he grows up. They kiss and we fade to black. Fans were promised a big death in the final episode and it pretty much had to be Madeline. It couldn’t be Michael or Fiona because it was clear they had steered them back together. It couldn’t be Sam or Jesse because of the rumors of a spin-off series starring them. Madeline was the only one left. Still, it was interesting to see both Madeline and James dying in essentially the same way, one as a sacrifice for her sons, the other as a means of revenge. One for hate, one for love. In the end, we did get a lot of the classic lines — “Spies, bunch of bitchy little girls” and the like, we did see the most satisfying ending that was likely, it isn’t like Michael and Fiona were going to go back to work or retire to a nice cul-de-sac somewhere, they had to appear dead so people stopped looking for them and they could go live out their days in peace. Farewell, Michael Westen and crew, you had an amazing run, you deserve your well-deserved rest.
Haven # 4×01 – “Fallout” – We start the season where last season ended, kind of. Duke is still inside the barn but the place is falling apart, he finds himself falling through the floor and ends up in an aquarium in Boston, 6 months later. It hasn’t been a good six months for the rest of the Haven crew. Nathan, convinced he killed Audrey and Duke, quit the Haven P.D. and took off, closely followed by the Guard who blame him for the troubles not disappearing. Dwight, the human bullet magnet, is the new chief of police, not the best job for him, I’m sure, but he’s managing. He’s trying to cover up all the trouble-related oddness in Haven and Vince and Dave are pretty sick of it. Duke, up in Boston, has been arrested for diving in the aquarium, but is rescued by a troubled girl named Jennifer, who saw visions of Audrey in the barn. Together, they head off to find Nathan, who is letting people hit him for money, after all, he can’t feel it, but after a heartfelt reunion, they all head back to Haven, where they are pulled over by Guardsmen with guns. Nathan says he knows how to end the troubles once and for all, he has to find Audrey and she has to kill her “one true love”, which he’s convinced is him. This cheerful scene is broken up when a massive storm blows up. This cannot be natural! Nathan, Dwight and Duke run off to figure out what’s going on. Meanwhile, Audrey, in her new persona as Lexie Dewitt, is tending bar when a new customer named William walks up. He’s completely fixated on her, but another guy with wild hair and a gun comes in and threatens her. William saves the day and tells her that some people don’t want her to know about her past. Back in town, Nathan remembers Marion Caldwell, who appeared in the series pilot, a woman whose weather-related trouble was seemingly solved when she found true love. However, arriving at her house, it’s clear that something is up and when Nathan, Dwight and Duke try to go inside, it’s freezing and only Nathan can remain because he can’t feel the cold. Marion reveals that her true love had suffered a heart attack and died, thus reactivating her trouble but Nathan calms her down and tells her that it wasn’t her fault and the weird weather fades. Outside, Dwight tells Nathan that he can’t run the town alone and he deputizes Nathan. Jennifer has had it with the weirdness in Haven and Duke tells her to go back to his boat. When she says she’s hungry, he says the Grey Gull is closed, but the food in the freezers should still be good. When he goes to get her though, the place is open and she’s having a drink. It seems that Duke’s brother kept the place open and now it’s a roaring, popular place. It looks like Jennifer will be sticking around after all. So what does all this mean to Haven? After the end of last season, we knew we’d be seeing some fundamental changes, after all, when Nathan shot Agent Howard, the barn exploded and the troubles didn’t reset, we know we’re going to have to get Audrey/Lexie back to Haven in the next episode or two, but will she remember who she really is? Or is Lexie who she really is now? Now that we know Duke and Audrey made it out of the barn, does that mean James is out too? If so, where and when? I ask when because Lexie has apparently been working at the bar for a couple of weeks, Duke popped up 2 days ago, that means that they’re coming out in somewhat different times. Has James re-appeared yet? We just don’t know. Finally, is Nathan really Audrey’s true love? Is he destined to die? After all, we know Audrey has had other loves in other lives, what if her “true love” is someone who is dead? Or is there a different “true love” with each life? We just don’t know.
Under the Dome #1×12 – “Exigent Circumstances” – Every once in a while, there’s an episode of Under the Dome that doesn’t suck in every way possible. That’s faint praise for a show that really isn’t that good, but it’s about the best it gets. We start off where we ended last week, with Big Jim announcing that Barbie is a dangerous fugitive and needs to be caught. He starts out saying he doesn’t want to interfere with anyone’s rights, but after the townspeople demand that he check their houses and invade their privacy, he agrees. The people of Chester’s Mill are idiots. Meanwhile, Joe, Norrie, and Angie are trying to decide if Big Jim needs to die. Norrie’s other mother comes in and finds the egg and immediately decides it needs to be hidden from everyone and the cops are coming to check out the barn. They all try to decide what to do. Big Jim sends Junior to the hospital to guard Julia, just in case she wakes up and starts telling everyone that Barbie didn’t shoot her. Speaking of Barbie, he grabs Angie outside the barn and tells her he needs her help. Big Jim is going to kill Julia to keep her from spilling his secret so they have to liberate her from the hospital and Angie, being a candystriper, has a key to the back door. They head off to the hospital where Angie goes inside to distract Junior and Barbie gets Julia packed into a waiting ambulance. He sends Angie off with Julia, surrendering to the police as a distraction. Meanwhile, Dodee tells Big Jim that she’s heard some stuff on the radio, that the military is looking for Barbie and shows him her snapshot of the egg. He hears the military say they don’t trust him because they saw him kill the reverend. For her troubles, he murders Dodee in cold blood and lights the radio station on fire. Nice guy, Big Jim. Not like it’s a loss, Dodee is a pointless character anyhow. Big Jim shows up at the barn, expecting to find the egg, but it’s empty. The kids have moved it to a friend’s house that’s already been searched. He gets pissed off and has Joe and Norrie arrested and carts them off to jail. After threatening them, and Norrie failing miserably to kill Big Jim, he lets them go, telling Linda to follow them because they’re “up to something”. She follows them back to Ben’s house, where the egg is making a racket. She barges in and finds the kids with the egg. Of course, Barbie’s now in a cell, chained to the wall and Big Jim makes him a deal. If he confesses to all the murders, he promises not to hurt the kids. Barbie reluctantly agrees. Angie has Julia hidden in a storeroom when she wakes up and confirms that Barbie didn’t shoot her. Of course, that makes her a target for Big Jim, who has everything to lose if he’s shown to be the lying, murdering, control-happy scumbag that he really is. Back in the center of town, Big Jim drags Barbie out and tells him to confess to the crimes, but he refuses, saying he’s innocent. One more episode to go in the season, I’m thinking the dome doesn’t come down. While this episode wasn’t awful, just because something actually happened, it certainly wasn’t great. Dodee is dead. She was a worthless character, who cares? The townspeople are all complete idiots. Why they follow Big Jim around like he’s a messianic character, I have no idea, but the shots with him up on the balcony with his arms out were ridiculous. Worse yet, why does Linda believe him, she knows he’s a lying, conniving crook. Even Junior, who gets lied to constantly, who doubts his father, just does what Big Jim says anyhow. Now in the original King novel, the military on the outside appoints Barbie to be in charge of Chester’s Mill so I’m sure that will happen next episode and it will be another season of “Barbie in Charge”. I’m wondering what this season would have been like had they not given it a second season, so much of what we’ve seen has felt ridiculously drawn out because, like so many other bad TV shows, they only had 6 episodes of plot for 13 episodes, now they had to cut 3 episodes of that plot that would have otherwise wrapped up the story. As much as I’d like to say I don’t know where this is going to go, I really do. It’s going to go nowhere. Is anyone surprised?
Other Stuff I Watched: Whose Line is it Anyway? (US) #4×01-4×13, Silent Rage (Rifftrax), Justice League: Doom, Tanked #4×01-4×07