Tag Archives: agents of shield

What I Watched – May 16

16 May
© ABC

© ABC

Two weeks in a row of weekly posts! Lots of season finales (or penultimate episodes) to talk about this week!

 

Episode of the Week

Agents of SHIELD – “SOS”
I have not been a fan of much of the second half of this season of Agents of SHIELD. Not that it’s been bad, necessarily, I just haven’t enjoyed a lot of the Inhuman stuff (which feels very much like it’s a breadcrumb trail for later movies and very little like it was considered the best plot idea for this show), and at times the sheer number of characters and different stories to follow has meant nothing got serviced quite the way it should.

But that finale was awesome.

The Bobbi kidnapping stuff was probably the strongest material in the episode (no surprise, as Adrianne Palicki is far and away the best thing about this show right now). Watching her break herself out of Ward’s lockup and nearly take out both him and Agent 33 was VERY satisfying (any time someone punches Ward, I am a happy fan).  But the best of the plotline came when Bobbi was tied up, with a machine gun rig pointed at the door, ready to fire at the first person who arrived to save her – and May and Hunter came looking for her. The tension throughout that sequence was unbelievably effective. The relationship between Bobbi and Hunter has been extremely enjoyable all season (there’s a reason ABC was contemplating a spinoff, folks), and I’m curious to see what happens next year after Bobbi’s near-fatal sacrifice to save Hunter’s life.

In the midst of all that, May tricked Ward into killing Agent 33 (who was using May’s face at the time) – which was an excellent dose of comeuppance for the show’s biggest asshole. Of course, it appears to have turned him back into an active bad guy, and not just a psycho-in-hiding, so in the long run, there could be big trouble for the SHIELD team. Ward is extremely focused on closure and revenge so I’m sure May will be his target in season 3.

While May, Bobbi, and Hunter were off dealing with Ward, everyone else was going to war with the Inhumans after Jiaying killed Gonzalez, claiming he attacked her, in the last episode. Skye initially sides with her mother, angry that SHIELD would attack her new family – and not realizing that Jiaying is basically out to destroy SHIELD and use the terrigen crystals on everyone she encounters in trying to find more Inhumans. Watching Skye take down May with her powers was a really terrific sequence – it was well choreographed and a powerful reminder that Skye is not the same person she was when the team took her in.

Ultimately, Coulson and Cal wound up playing a huge part in stopping Jiaying. She had sent Cal back to SHIELD as something of a Trojan horse, and her plan worked initially – we finally got to see him in full-on monster state, wrecking everything and everyone he comes in contact with. But Coulson, ever the smooth talker and quick-thinker, pinned him with a car and talked him off the ledge into realizing what a terrible thing Jiaying is trying to do, and that if Cal’s main concern really is Skye/Daisy, they were on the same team. In the end, Cal ended up killing Jiaying – sparing Skye the heartache of having to kill her own mother (and saving her life in the process). The two also had a very sweet final exchange before Cal had his mind wiped (thanks TAHITI program!) and was returned to the world with no knowledge of anything that had happened.

You may have noticed I have yet to mention FitzSimmons. THAT’S BECAUSE IT HURTS TOO MUCH. I am an unabashed fan of those two crazy kids, and it’s been painful to watch them not be friends all season. The last few weeks have brought glimmers of hope that they were finally getting back to normal (THE SANDWICH!). Just before Fitz went out in the field to help take down Gordon and retrieve the crystals this week, Simmons decided to broach the subject of Fitz’s underwater confession of his feelings for her last season. At that point, I was 100% convinced Fitz’s was going to die, because I’ve watched Whedon production before, so I was pleasantly surprised when he survived and the end tag was the two of them science-ing it up together. And then Fitz asked her on a date! And it was adorable!

AND THEN SHE GOT EATEN BY A GOD DAMN ALIEN ROCK.

Not okay, show. NOT OKAY.

*deep breath*

In any case, this was a terrific finale – it genuinely felt like a small scale Marvel movie, which is all I can really ask from this show when it comes to its bigger episodes. I think it’s left us in a great place for season three and I am anxiously awaiting the show’s return in the fall.

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What I Watched – April 11

11 Apr
© AMC

© AMC

Lots of things happening this week! The April TV-pocalypse is underway!

Episode of the Week

Better Call Saul – “Marco”
It’s getting a little silly at this point how frequently Better Call Saul has landed in this weekly post – but what can I say? It was once again my favorite thing on TV this week.

“I know what stopped me. And you know what, it’s never stopping me again.”

And with that, Jimmy McGill drove off into the sunset, leaving season one exponentially closer to being Saul Goodman than when it started. After everything he’s been through over the past ten episodes, Jimmy finally realized that maybe all the work he’s putting into being a good guy just isn’t worth it, and being some version of “Slippin’ Jimmy” may just be the answer. Do I expect season 2 to open with him at his Saul Goodman-iest? Absolutely not. I think he’s still got a ways to go before he reaches that level of comfort with being a criminal. But his epiphany outside the law firm was an enormous step toward the Saul Goodman we’re familiar with from Breaking Bad.

But I’ve gotten ahead of myself. The ending made me grin like an idiot (I may or may not have actually said “oh man, that is EXCELLENT” out loud to my empty apartment as the episode faded out), but the build up of the finale was also terrific.

It was shocking to me how quickly the show was able to pivot my attitude towards Chuck (and, to an extent, Howard Hamlin). For the bulk of the season, he was the sad, lonely, potentially crazy brother. After last week’s gut punch of a fight with Jimmy, turns out Chuck has always been a jerk letting Howard do his dirty work. In light of that, Jimmy’s encounters with Hamlin in this episode take on an entirely different feel – and I’d be curious to see how earlier episodes play with the knowledge I have now. Similarly, watching Chuck deal with Ernesto the assistant was cringeworthy – I could hardly believe I’d ever felt bad for the man.

Jimmy’s entire life has been spent trying to impress his jerk of a brother, so the events of last week’s episode left him reeling. He tried to go back to his elder law work, helping with bingo games and the like, but snapped pretty quickly and headed back to Chicago – where he returned to his old “Slippin’ Jimmy” ways. The show put together a wonderful montage letting us see bits and pieces of the various cons Jimmy and his old friend Marco ran at their favorite bar (and the money they were pulling in). It was great to finally have a concrete look at this part of Jimmy’s life, and see just how good he was at these sorts of scams. (As an aside, I didn’t catch this when I watched, but there’s a terrific Breaking Bad easter egg buried in Jimmy’s Kevin Costner bit).

Of course, as seems to be the case for most things in Jimmy’s life, something had to go wrong. Marco convinced him to run the back alley Rolex con we saw as a cold open early in the season one more time – and then collapsed and died of a heart attack mid-scam. This is, among other things, the origin of the big ring Jimmy/Saul always wears on his pinky – but also clearly a big factor in the decision Jimmy makes later on not to take the big law firm job.

It would have been easy for Jimmy to step into that big-time law firm partnership gig. It would have been a huge “screw you” to Chuck after the awful things he said in the last episode. It would have been a chance to make money doing something other than flirting with old ladies. It was, conceivably, everything Jimmy has been hoping for since he got his law degree. But something stops him. The fun of being “Slippin’ Jimmy” again, the anger at Chuck, the realization he could have had everything this job offers him without the drama and the work it would take if he was just willing to cheat a little bit.

So he drove away.

I can’t wait to see what this show does next season – what Jimmy is up to when we see him again, whether he and Mike end up working together now that they’re both a bit dirty, and what surprises Vince Gilligan has in store. The first season was so much better than I could have hoped for, and I am excited to sit back and continue to enjoy the ride.

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What I Watched – March 28

28 Mar
© AMC

© AMC

It’s been a while! If you follow me on Twitter, you know I’ve been having some health issues that have kept me from updating and vlog-making. I still haven’t gotten any answers, but I have started feeling better, so I should be back to something vaguely resembling a regular schedule (as regular as it ever is, since I am the worst) going forward!

 

Episode of the Week

Better Call Saul – “RICO”
Another week, another amazing episode of Better Call Saul. Vince Gilligan and friends are just killing it right now, you guys.

One of the things the show is doing really well that I think is a terrific storytelling device is the little pre-credits flashbacks every week. They are telling so much story in so little time, and this week’s was no different. Before he was a lawyer, Jimmy worked in the mailroom at Hamlin, Hamlin & McGill – and he went to school at night, without anybody (besides Kim) knowing about it to get his law degree. Once he passed the bar, he went to Chuck to ask if he could join the practice. Chuck deferred to Howard, who turned Jimmy down in a terrifically filmed, dialogue free sequence where the only sound was a copy machine. This small bit of information added so many layers to our ongoing story – it certainly explained even further why Jimmy hates Howard so much, and gives us a sense of how hard Jimmy has worked to get, up to this point, basically nowhere in the law field.

That made it all the more satisfying to see Jimmy hit on an actual case this week. We’ve seen him succeeding with elder law the past few weeks – wandering from nursing home to nursing home to help people with wills and the like. This week, he realized one of his clients was getting way overcharged, did some digging (literally, in a dumpster, which was one of the more entertaining sequences of the episode), and landed on a pretty big fraud case.

To make things even better, Jimmy brought Chuck in on things and we got to see the two brothers working together on the case. For most of the show so far, Chuck has been relegated to the outskirts, hiding at home while Jimmy pops in and out to bring him supplies and what not. We’ve been told he used to be a terrific lawyer, but have never really seen him in action. Once he realized what Jimmy had stumbled into this week, it was like the old Chuck finally woke up. He was digging through paperwork, spitting out case names to investigate, and bantering with Jimmy – it was really fun to watch.

And then, to end the episode, Chuck wandered outside without even thinking about it to get supplies from Jimmy’s car. No space blanket, no shakes and pain – just walked right out the front door, grabbed the keys out of the mailbox, and started shuffling through Jimmy’s trunk. It wasn’t until Jimmy walked outside to see what was going on that Chuck realized, looked shocked, and dropped everything. It will be fascinating to see what his response is next week. Did working the case with Jimmy snap him out of whatever mental issue he’d been having long enough to shake the worst of his electromagnetism fears? Or will that brief lapse cause everything to get worse all over again?

While all of this was going on, there was also a fairly significant, if brief, development in the life of Mike Ehrmantraut. After babysitting for Kaylee and finding out about his daughter-in-law’s money issues, we see him visit the vet from a few weeks back (the one that patched the gun shot wound in his shoulder) – and offer his services. This is an enormous step towards the Mike we know from Breaking Bad.

Only two more episodes to go this season – can’t wait to see where the show is headed before the finale!

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What I Watched – March 14

14 Mar
© AMC

© AMC

Fun week of TV this week!

Episode of the Week

Better Call Saul – “Five-O”
Let’s all just take a moment to appreciate the amazingness that is Jonathan Banks in the role of Mike Erhmantraut. This episode was a tour de force for him and should immediately put him into contention for an Emmy in the fall. It was also arguably the best hour of Better Call Saul yet.

A little more than halfway through its first season, we still hadn’t spent much time with Mike. He’d interacted with Jimmy a bit to argue about parking stickers, but until the end of last week, that had been mostly it. Now, we’ve finally seen what brought him to Albuquerque in the first place – and, in the process, probably his first steps toward being the guy we all know from Breaking Bad. And it was heartbreaking.

As it turns out, Mike had a son named Matt who was also a cop in Philadelphia who was killed (so everyone thought) on the job. Mike, however, knew better – his son’s partners had killed him to cover up for the fact that they were dirty. Mike hung around cop bars in Philly, drinking and listening and making everyone think he was just a sad old drunk (I think there was an element of truth to that, to be honest) until he could get the two guys alone – where he shot them both.

The episode did a beautiful job of presenting this story to us – rather than one long flashback, we picked up details from Mike’s encounters with his daughter-in-law Stacey, his exchanges (and tension around) the cops from Philly investigating the deaths of the two cops, his interactions with Jimmy, and a few brief (and out of chronological order) flashbacks. The show left it up to us to piece everything together – Mike’s bullet wound from the beginning, whether or not he was truly an alcoholic or playing it up for the sake of catching the bastards that killed his son, etc.

But the real highlight of the episode was the last sequence, when he sits down and tells Stacey everything that happened. She thought Matt might be a dirty cop as well, because of some extra cash she found lying around and a late-night phone call to Mike the night before he was shot and killed. As Mike would explain, Matt called him to ask whether he should turn his partners in. Mike – who had been a dirty cop himself – told him to protect himself and not turn them in. It broke his son’s heart to find out that his father had been a dirty cop and would suggest taking the money and not doing the right thing – and it got him killed anyway. The pain in Mike’s eyes as he explained all of this was apparent – more unbelievable work by Jonathan Banks. After he finished telling Stacey everything, she quietly asked what happened to Matt’s partner’s if it wasn’t some sort of related crime to Matt’s shooting. 

His answer? “You know what happened. The question is, can you live with it?” Heavy, powerful stuff. You can easily see how Mike, in his grief, guilt, and anger, could turn into the man who works with Gus Fring.

This was a terrific hour of television and makes me really excited for the last handful of episodes Better Call Saul has to offer this season.

Moment of the Week

Agents of SHIELD – “Who You Really Are”
This is really silly, but I’ve always gotten a huge kick out of stone-faced Melinda May’s crush on Thor, which came up in a funny moment with Lady Sif this week.

Guest Star(s) of the Week

Alia Shawkat and Kelly Ripa, Broad City
How have I never realized how much Ilana Glazer and Alia Shawkat look alike before now?! Casting Shawkat as a girl Ilana falls for mainly because she looks JUST LIKE HER was a stroke of genius. The two of them were fantastic together and had great chemistry. It was hilarious to see the entire relationship fall apart just because Adele didn’t smoke weed.

And then there was Kelly Ripa, who completely blew me away with how funny she was. Abbi’s quest to find her coat after their chance encounter at the coat check was funny enough, but watching them bond over Bed, Bath & Beyond (what else?) – and Ripa get crazier and crazier as they drank more – was wonderful. I get such a kick out of watching people play completely exaggerated, ridiculous versions of themselves, so this was right up my alley.

Binge-Watch of the Week

Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt
Tina Fey has done it again, you guys. I’ve already watched this entire series twice, and I am COMPLETELY in love with it. From it’s catchy-as-hell theme music to the utter delight of Ellie Kemper, this show is a blast. I cannot fathom how it ever would have worked on NBC and I am forever grateful to Netflix for rescuing it and letting it exist in the world.

There’s so much to love about this show. It’s got the same weirdness to it that 30 Rock did – if anything, it’s weirder – but there’s also a much darker tone to a lot of the comedy. Kimmy has been through some shit – being kidnapped and living in a bunker for 15 years is no joke. But the show does a terrific job of balancing that darkness with really powerful messages of surviving and not letting life or being a victim destroy you, and I really love that. I don’t think it would work with anyone but Kemper in the lead – she has an amazing energy and joy to her that does a great job of making some of the darker humor not feel all that dark.

The supporting cast is also amazing. We all know what Jane Krakowski can do from her turn as the one and only Jenna Maroney on 30 Rock – and there’s a lot of Jenna in Jacqueline Vorhees – but I think Jacqueline has a lot more layers to her. She feels real human emotions, for one thing – I’m not convinced Jenna ever did. Tituss Burgess is absolutely hilarious as Kimmy’s roommate and guide to 2015 existence Titus Andromedon – his put-uponness at having to do basically anything for her (or anyone), while simultaneously sincerely caring about her, was wonderful to watch.

If you haven’t checked it out yet, I highly recommend it. Just listen to the theme song, how can you resist?!

 

 

What was your favorite thing on TV this week?

 

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Top TV Shows of 2014

17 Dec

bestof

It’s time for my entry into the flood of year-end best-of lists!

I had a hell of a time narrowing my list down to just 11 shows (I couldn’t cut it to just 10! And you’ll see a bunch of honorable mentions at the end), there’s just so much terrific TV out there now. These are presented in alphabetical order because trying to rank them would have been damn near impossible.

 

Agents of SHIELD

I don’t think anyone would try to argue Agents of SHIELD was anything but decently entertaining TV in the early parts of 2014. And then, Captain America: The Winter Soldier came out, and it was a whole different ballgame. Since the release of that movie (and the destruction of SHIELD as we knew it), the show has operated on an entirely different level. The stakes are higher, the focus on a serialized story stronger, and the character development better. The new characters added in Season 2 (particularly Adrianne Palicki’s Bobbi Morse) helped give the team some new, interesting layers as well. It drives me crazy that the series doesn’t have a bigger audience because so many people gave up during the early episodes.

Broad City

I spoke about my love of Broad City in one of my vlogs this summer, and it’s one of my most anticipated returning shows in 2015. I love everything about this show. It’s hilarious, quirky, and the perfect showcase for two brilliant young female comedians in Ilana Glazer and Abbi Jacobson. They completely nail what it’s like to be young and living in New York City (in a somewhat heightened way, of course), and their friendship is a delight to watch.

Brooklyn Nine-Nine

I have written and vlogged about Brooklyn Nine-Nine a ton this year, so it’s appearance on this list shouldn’t be a huge surprise. It’s been my favorite comedy on the air for the bulk of the year. The ensemble is terrific – throw any combination of characters together and the show still works and gets laughs (it is very reminiscent of Michael Schur’s other show, Parks and Recreation in that way). Andre Braugher’s deadpan is a thing of beauty (his loud exclamation of HOT DAMN! was one of my favorite moments on TV all year). The show has also handled the Amy/Jake will-they-or-won’t they – which I was initially terrified would be an awful idea – in a really great way. They’re not leaning too heavily on it but are letting it exist in a way that feels right for both characters.

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What I Watched – December 13

13 Dec
© ABC

© ABC

Lots of great things on TV this week!

Episode of the Week

Agents of SHIELD – “What They Become”
I hate using the same show twice in a row for the episode of the week, but when a series rolls out such an IMMENSE episode, it sort of doesn’t leave me much choice!

Quite a lot of things happened in the winter finale of Agents of SHIELD this week. And now we have to wait until March to see what happens next, because TV likes to torture us that way.

Among the highlights: Skye finally meeting her father, Cal. I believe I’ve mentioned it here before, and I know I’ve talked about it on Twitter, but Kyle McLachan is AMAZING. He plays “slightly unhinged” better than just about anyone. You could see just how much he was struggling to connect with Skye, to explain to her what was happening all around her, what all of it meant, and how they ended up here. Then he goes and says something like “Now that he’s [Whitehall] served his purpose, I’m going to kill the man that destroyed my life. Best day ever.” with an utterly chilling amount of calm and composure, and it becomes clear that as much as he might fight it, the man is clearly not stable.

Also involved in all of this was Ward, and I LOVED how Skye handled him. The show has made a big deal of leaning on the “Ward is doing this because he cares about Skye” angle, but they’ve also made it abundantly clear she does not care an ounce for him. After Coulson’s rescue attempt caused things at the Hydra location to get a little crazy and Cal left her alone with Ward, she shot him multiple times to get away as soon as he gave her the opening. I appreciate that the show hasn’t given the characters short memories when it comes to the truly terrible things he did to them and their team.

While all of this was happening, the rest of the SHIELD gang was attempting to blow up the underground alien city after seeing what had happened to Mack down there last week (and finding out Whitehall was going to try to go down there). Trip got to bust out some more of his grandfather’s old Howling Commando equipment to use on the mission, which I always enjoy. He, Simmons, and Fitz were sent down to set a series of bombs (on timers) and then get the hell out of there before it blew.

Nothing ever goes quite that smoothly for this team, though. All the bombs got set, but just as they were about to leave, May contacted them to let them know Skye had gone down to the city – following Raina, who had taken the obelisk down there – and Coulson went in after them both. Trip immediately went back in to try to stop the bombs (it was at this point there was a lot of NO NO NO NO NO beginning to happen in my apartment). Ultimately, he succeeded, and found Skye and Raina just as Raina was activating the obelisk.

This is when things got really crazy and amazing and terrible and sad all at the same time.

When the obelisk connected with the city, Skye and Raina turned to stone (as we’d seen happen to anyone who touched the obelisk earlier in the city). In a panicked attempt to save Skye, Trip tried to break the obelisk – except the shards wound up killing him in the process. As this is happening, Skye (and Raina) are beginning to emerge from the stone – in a sequence that was gorgeously filmed and scored. Skye emerges looking so powerful, and the first thing she sees is her dead friend, turning to dust. It was an extremely emotional moment that I’m sure is going to be a touch point for the character going forward. The caves then began to shake and collapse around her….and then the episode ended because Marvel is trying to kill me.

Now, I don’t have a ton of Marvel comics knowledge, but my understanding is this was HUGE in terms of Marvel universe lore – Inhumans and Daisy Johnson and Quake and all sorts of things. I’m just excited by all the story options this opens up for the show when it returns in the spring! How will Skye handle her new powers? What happened to Raina? Is Mack okay (he appeared to be released from the weird spell the city put him under at the end of the episode)? Who was that weird dude with no face at the end? What does Ward do (with Agent 33 apparently at his side) going forward? Have we seen the last of Cal? SO MANY QUESTIONS!

Thank goodness we have Agent Carter to keep us occupied in the meantime!

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What I Watched – December 6

6 Dec

shield-yewhoenter

Lots of build-up for upcoming mid-season finales this week!

 

Episode of the Week

Agents of SHIELD – “Ye Who Enter Here”
Can we just take a moment to recognize once again how awesome this show has been in season 2? I’m so sad it’s going to be off for a couple of months after next week (even if it is making room for the hopefully amazing Agent Carter).

This week’s episode set up for what I’m sure will be a terrific mid-season finale. It managed to do the usual chess-piece-moving you see in penultimate episodes without being boring (as is often the case). It also continued the terrific character work we’ve seen all season long that has been such a welcome improvement for the show.

We all agree that Adrianne Palicki’s Bobbi Morse has nearly instantly become this show’s MVP, correct? I hope like hell ABC/Marvel get her locked in as a series regular. Bobbi’s conversation with Simmons about Fitz this week was the first chance we’ve gotten to really see/hear Jemma’s feelings on everything that happened while the two of them were trapped underwater. Her conversation with Coulson about how different he was from Fury provided some nice character depth for both of them. And I continue to love her interactions with Hunter (although they were brief this week). She’s just KILLING it right now.

I also loved seeing the Agents Koenig pop up again. Patton Oswalt is perfect in the part, and the show is having so much fun with teasing us about how many of them there are and using their Wonder Twin powers as needed. I imagine if they were around constantly the gag would get old, but the show has used them sparingly enough that it’s a delight when they are around for an episode or two.

I don’t know what the deal is with Raina, or whose side she’s really on, but I find her fascinating to watch. You never quite know what she’s up to, it always seems like she knows just slightly more than she’s letting on, and there’s just the slightest hint of crazy in her eyes at all times. As recurring “baddies” go on this show, she’s been on of my favorites.

Of course, we also got another dose of Evil Grant Ward this week when he showed up to take Raina and kidnap Skye. It would seem he has an agenda that is entirely his own, which should be interesting going forward. I’m not sure how he plans to take on Hydra (which I would think he’s going to have to if he’s blatantly ignoring orders from Whitehall), but it might be fun to watch him try. It was also a lot of fun to watch the Koenigs and May seethe at him while he just smugly did his thing. I’m really enjoying the smug asshole version of Ward a lot more than the cardboard version we had for so much of last season.

The other big mission this week, of course, was finding the alien city. It definitely seemed like the team had found it entirely too easy for their own good, so not big surprise that the first guy down there had something terrible happen to him. I hope Mack isn’t actually dead, I kind of liked what he brought to the team (and especially his dynamic with Fitz) – but it doesn’t look good.

Very curious to see what the show does in the finale next week, and where things leave off heading into the hiatus!

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Vlog Season 2 #4 – Comic Book Shows

21 Nov

I’ve FINALLY got another new video live!

This week, I talked about the various comic book shows on the air right now that I’m enjoying – The Walking Dead, Agents of SHIELD, The Flash, and Gotham.

What’s your favorite comic book show right now?

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What I Watched – November 15

15 Nov
© AMC

© AMC

I have been super-crazy-insane busy lately, hence the lack of posts and new vlogs. I am a terrible blogger. New video coming Friday, and more regular blog content coming starting now!

Episode of the Week

The Walking Dead – “Self-Help”
The Walking Dead has been on a roll in season 5 so far – I really love what the series has done since blowing out of Terminus in the premiere. This week’s episode did an excellent job of providing some much-needed character development for Abraham and Eugene while also pushing the plot forward in a pretty significant way.

Abraham, Eugene, and Rosita joined the show last season, but given all the moving parts and different groups we had to worry about in the journey towards Terminus, we hadn’t spent a lot of time with them. Eugene was the slightly weird nerd who supposedly knew how to end the zombie plague. Abraham was the muscle helping him get where he needed to go. Rosita was Abraham’s girlfriend. That was about it.

This week, we got a little peek into how Abraham ended up here. Shown (very effectively) in short clips throughout the episode, we saw Abraham beat several men to death – right in front of his wife and two children. They were ultimately so afraid of him afterwards, they decided they were better off leaving than staying with him – and were nearly immediately killed by walkers. Overcome with grief, Abraham is just about to blow his own head off when Eugene wanders by, screaming for help. Abraham saves him, and the rest, we assume, is history.

All of this added extra context to Abraham, Eugene, Rosita, Maggie, and Glenn’s struggles while headed for D.C. The gang ran into a series of hurdles – bus crashes, broken-down firetrucks, zombie herds – that would send any rational person back to the relative safety of the church and the rest of the group. Abraham, however, remained hell-bent on his mission. In the context of his story, however, and the fact that Eugene is literally the only reason he’s still alive, his borderline-crazy behavior was much more understandable.

This all led up to Eugene’s revelation that he was not a scientist, but rather just a very good liar who had figured out an excellent way to get people to help him stay alive. I’ve been waiting for that information to come out all season – I’ve read the comics, and didn’t expect them to change that particular bit – and was thrilled with how the show handled the big moment. After Abraham spent the entire hour seemingly losing his grip on his sanity – as we were slowly shown his sad history – to end the episode with him nearly beating Eugene to death and then stumbling away horrified that he’d slipped back into that behavior was a really intense and emotional way for the show to land what was already a great hour of the show.

I’m looking forward to seeing how the show handles Abraham going forward (although it looks like next week we finally get to see what happened on Carol and Daryl’s trip to save Beth!) and how the dynamics of that segment of the group change given everything that happened.
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What I Watched – October 25

25 Oct
© FOX

© FOX

Wrap-up posts two straight weeks?! LOOK AT ME GO!

Episode of the Week

Brooklyn Nine-Nine – “Halloween II”
I have always been a big fan of sitcoms that feature a yearly tradition every season – the Ron and Tammy adventures on Parks and Rec, the Dundies on The Office, etc. So I was thrilled to see Brooklyn Nine-Nine call back to last year’s Halloween bet between Jake and Captain Holt, and set it up as an ongoing thing should the show continue past this season.

This year’s bet involved Jake attempting to steal Captain Holt’s watch off of his arm before a particular time. As with last year, Jake offers extra overtime hours for free if he loses – this time, “five-druple” weeks. It is that rather ridiculous claim that lures Holt in – in the way only Andre Braugher can, he agrees with a hearty “we have an accord!”.

It’s from here that things get really fun. Jake’s plan involves an elaborate distraction from the entire precinct and bringing in a real pickpocket (codename: Fingers, because of course) to swipe the real watch and replace it with a fake while Holt is preoccupied. The plan goes off flawlessly – except the criminal Jake hired runs off with the watch. This sends him and Boyle off on a ridiculous wild goose chase through Brooklyn on Halloween that ends with Jake getting arrested.

After bailing him out, Holt reveals his own elaborate plan, which began the day after last year’s Halloween bet. It involved every member of the precinct and even factored in Fingers the pickpocket. When told by Holt in his victorious, but still no-hint-of-fun deadpan, this was utterly hilarious.

In the midst of the Halloween bet shenanigans, Gina was having drama with her dance team (the wonderfully named Floorgasm) because she was missing rehearsals to go to night school. When Terry found out, he offered to join her for the dance competition, giving us the glorious visual of Gina and Terry dancing together as the episode ended.

All in all, a super fun outing for the show, which remains my favorite comedy on TV right now.

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