The Regularly Scheduled TV Show Blog

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Lost 2.16: WTF is the Captured Dude Thinking?

The captured dude plays a psychotic mediator in Jack’s and Locke’s relationship.

Alright, say you’re captured. Your keepers think that you are trying to attack them and detain you to what essentially can be called a prison. Then the first person who interrogates you decidedly pummels you into a piece of raw meat, bleeding and broken at every turn. It takes the divine intervention of one of the keepers to save you from having your skull turned into a jigsaw puzzle. The next three days are filled with random after random people entering and interrogating you. Until one day, you seemingly crack and draw a map to exonerate yourself. But you’re innocent! What do you do?

I’ll tell you what you DON’T do. On your first time eating outside of your cell, you don’t fucking antagonize your keepers. You don’t play on the worst fears of your keepers. You don’t tell them exactly WHAT THEY EXPECT to come from their enemy. And you definitely don’t have that jolly an attitude if you’re innocent. No, if you’re innocent you fucking cower in fear at all times, you make sure it’s known that you have no malice. And you most certainly do NOT play mind games with your captures. This, remember, is all conditional on you being INNOCENT.

The captured dude, my friends, has GOT to be FAR from innocent. In fact, I would go as far to say he might actually be an Other. But who knows? From the previews of next week’s show, we can see that Snarl and the Expedition find the balloon with the smiley face on it. What does this mean? It means Captured Dude found the balloon and is using it as a plausible alibi. That’s all. From his actions so far, he is not exuding the aura of an innocent man, being beaten unfairly. No, he is exuding the aura of a man who is trained in lying and trained in the art of manipulation. Quite clearly, he is a bad guy.

The rest of the episode was mediocre at best. The story arcs between Sun and Jin have usually been good in the past, but this time it reeked of soap opera-ness. Too much use of the dramatic Lost music with the *gasp!* asking for a pregnancy test! The only interesting tidbit was the fact that Sun says she never cheated on Jin, YET SHE IS PREGNANT. Assuming she is telling the truth, and we have no evidence to sway us against her, who got her pregnant? Is it the island? Or is it the same thing that cured Locke of his immobility? That force that cured Locke has now cured Jin and he is able to copulate again? Interesting indeed. And let’s hope NEXT WEDNESDAY we actually get a new episode, and none of this 2 week intermission bullshit. It looks to be a good one.
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Tuesday, March 21, 2006

24 Day Five, 8-9 PM: A Whole Lot of Something.

Revelations that'll choke you or some people anyway...

This week's episode of 24 is a great chaser to the shot that was the plot of the nerve gas being released at CTU. President Logan decides to go ahead with martial law at the behest of VP Gardner, Wayne Palmer has a mysterious delivery to give to Aaron Pierce, and Homeland Security gobbles the remains of CTU like Pac-Man and a white pixel (seriously what the hell are those things suppose to be). Also did I mention that Jack Bauer catches the bad guy? Sort of.

With Tony Almeida officially dead (they pull a sheet over your face on a TV/movie and you know they're dead) and Henderson escaping CTU (he will so be a revenge kill for Bauer), CTU is left without a lead to follow until about 5 minutes later when Chloe "finally" decrypts a file on Henderson's hard drive about a woman, Colette Bierko, who may have had contact with our Russian terrorist. Bauer and Co. get to the hotel that she is staying in and only find her Euro trash boyfriend, Theo, who turns out to be German Intelligence in undercover. Theo refuses to give up Colette as she is too valuable an asset to German Intelligence, but Bauer does a horse trade and gives him the US list of known terrorists for her. Theo agrees to the deal and sets up Colette to be captured. After her capture Theo attempts to upload the file to his agency but it goes up in smoke Mission: Impossible style. Looks like Jack double crossed the Germans and I could have sworn he was still wanted by the Chinese.

At the President's compound, President Logan makes a statement about imposing martial law despite the objections from his wife and his chief of staff. Aaron Pierce also gets a call from Wayne Palmer asking for a private meeting so that Wayne can give Pierce something the late President Palmer would have wanted him to have. On the way there, Wayne is attacked by what seems to be a hit group, but is able to run away before he is killed. The only other person besides Pierce that knew he was coming was the VP and the VP's assistant. One of whom must have ordered the attack on Wayne Palmer.

With Colette captured by CTU, she offers the information she does have for immunity. They agree, but the information she does have only involves the person who gave her the schematics that the Russian terrorists wanted. That person works at the DoD and his, rather her, name is Audrey Raines. Duh-nah-nah! Colette obviously has nothing to gain from lying as she has no desire to protect the Russian terrorists and risk her immunity. It doesn't appear like she knew Jack was close with Audrey and the only explanation is either someone who said they were "Audrey Raines" sold her the schematics, or Audrey indeed is a traitor. Next week's episode gets intense as Jack interrogate Audrey and even gives her a little choke action to help facilitate the conversation. Without question, next week's episode will be far and away a top-notch episode as Wayne makes his way to the President's compound to delivery something to Pierce that is worth killing/dying for and Audrey, possibly, takes a beating from Jack.
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The West Wing 7.13 and 7.14: Kisses, Child Payments, and Talk 'Till You Drop.

The campaigns tighten as they prepare for the home stretch.

The return of The West Wing after brief break starts us on the path to the series finale. The first two episodes covers the political fallout (pun not intended) of the nuclear plant situation in California. Vinick, a strong supporter of nuclear power takes a woeful hit in the polls as his lobbying for the construction of the plant remains the biggest news story. Vinick's chief of staff, Sheila (Jill from Home Improvement), decides to fall on the sword for the campaign and bring in a Republican pro to work on bringing in the base of the party. Meanwhile, Santos pulls even with Vinick over the two episode span and the news of the polls brings about the end of one of the shows continuing "what if" situations as ecstatic Donna and Josh finally does something that everyone expected them to eventually do. Luckily, in West Wing fashion the "romantic" story line is light and kept to one episode doses and continues to leave you in the dark of how far things ever really get.

During the campaigns, President Bartlet takes action in Kazakhstan and puts US forces on the ground in between the Chinese and Russian armies to prevent war in the area. This decision creates a meeting between Bartlet and the two candidates that signifies the eventual passing of the torch that will soon occur. Unfortunately for Vinick, this does nothing to push the San Andreo nuclear plant story off the front page and he continues to take a beating from it. Deciding enough is enough, Vinick does a "talk till you drop" press conference right in front of the San Andreo nuclear plant. Bad imagery says the campaign advisors, but Vinick feels strongly about getting the story over and done with. The press conference lasts a good 3 hours and without question Vinick comes off as the old straight shooter that got him his giant lead in the polls in the first place.

In other news, Santos realizes he has lost his briefcase and the person who finds it is none other than Bruno. Bruno proceeds to search the briefcase and finds a checkbook that has only one entry every month. The entry is to a 29 year old single mother who used to work for Santos when he was mayor of Houston. Bruno and Vinick believe it to be either hush money for an affair and bastard child or at the least secret child payments for an illegitimate son. Vinick plays good guy after a successful press conference and return the briefcase to Santos. I wonder how he'd feel about it had the press conference not gone so well.

During the meeting between the two candidates, Santos explains that the payments are for his brother's child and not his own. His deadbeat brother is the father of the child and Santos merely stepped up to do the right thing. Vinick promises that he won't be the one to leak it to the press, but future episodes will be the decider on that. In the final piece of The West Wing information, Toby makes an appearance as he gives advice to Josh about the Santos campaign via phone calls and the name "Bob". This is no doubt the first of many cameos of the previous cast of West Wingers as promos have even shown the return of Sam Seaborn.
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Tuesday, March 14, 2006

24 Day Five, 5-8 PM: CTU Gets Back Handed, Closed Fist.

Three hours of 24 that could have easily been made into a movie.

Okay, so I missed last week's post, but I'm coupling the two hour 24 from last week's with its conclusion from this week's episode of 24. In the first hour, 5-6 PM, nothing much happens except Jack interrogates Christopher Henderson, the man that tried to kill Jack and former CTU mentor. During the interrogation Jack knows he won't be able to break Henderson through pain, so instead he shoots Henderson's wife in the leg. By far the best technique of torture employed by Jack Bauer in the history of 24. Unfortunately, Henderson keeps his mouth shut and Jack takes Henderson in for some medical torture.

Back at CTU in the next hour, 6-7 PM, Jack finally reunites with his daughter Kim (Elisha Cuthbert is such a nice addition to any scene). The reunion goes south as Kim gives her dad the cold shoulder over faking his death. It looks like Kim was left by Chase (you'd know him if you watched previous seasons of 24) and hit rock bottom after her dad's "death". In the end, father and daughter get to spend some quality time together after the Russian's release a canister of nerve gas in CTU. The terrorist got into CTU by using the key card Lynn's sister stole from him. Most of our known characters get safely into a secure room, but at the end of the episode we see Edgar Stiles bite it right in front of everyone. One of the best conclusions to an episode of 24 ever. The end ticker was silent and this technique has only been used once before at the end of the very first season of 24 when Jack holds the dead body of his wife, Terri.

In the final hour of the saga on the attack on CTU, the nerve gas slowly eats away at the room's sealing and a plan must be made. We learn about Kim's new boyfriend as he helps Chloe deal with her shock over seeing Edgar die in front of her. Eventually, Jack forces Chloe to do her job and gives the new boyfriend a choke. Seriously, Jack chokes the guy because he thinks he took advantage of Kim's vulnerability and everyone just watches. They really just sit there and watch. It is quite hilarious. Chloe finds that a program is stopping the air conditioners from venting the nerve gas out of CTU and Jack is forced to play hero once more. Surprisingly, Jack is unable to get the job done and is forced to hand it off to Lynn McGill? Well, I guess they wanted the hobbit to go out on a high note and Lynn is forced to go into the gas and save everyone's lives. Lynn gets the job done and bites the dust, finally.

In the medical ward, Tony finds out that Henderson, the man who killed his wife, is in the same area as him. Tony is about to play executioner when Henderson wakes up from his coma(?) and reverses the roles. Jack shows up in time to hold Tony as he is dying and gives a very unimpressive scene with him crying, or trying at least. With Henderson escaping, we can quickly see what will be in next week's episode and is Tony really dead or just dying?

In the other plot line of this episode, the Vice-President makes his first appearance as he aids President Logan. He suggests that Logan initiate martial law and only allow military personnel on the streets in order to stifle the movements of the terrorists. Novick disagrees, but as well all know a Vice-President always trumps a Chief-of-Staff in the game of war. Novick decides to approach The First Lady, Martha, and get her to trump the Vice-President about initiating martial law. The final issue of this week's episode is that CTU will soon be under the control of Homeland Security in next week's episode and this will inevitably lead to conflict.

Without a doubt, the CTU attack was new to the world of 24 and the reunion between Jack and Kim added a bit of flavor to the show. After the nerve gas is released, Kim and Jack part ways and I wonder if her stint on 24 really restricted to a handful of episodes. I hope not, but I certainly hope they don't decide that she should be kidnapped just to keep her in the show. I cannot take another Kim kidnapping, I swear if they do it I will absolutely, positively do nothing about it because I'm a sucker and will continue to watch anyway.
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Sunday, March 12, 2006

Battlestar Galactica 2.19/2.20: HOLY FRACK!

One of the best shows on TV now closes out it’s second season with one of the best two part season finales EVER! We have a rigged election, a nuclear detonation, a Cylon truce, the rescue of stranded individuals on Old Caprica, a Cylon invasion of sorts, and a million questions! Best season finale ever!

Let me get this out of my system right now. What a great way to end the season and get us wanting for more without doing a melodramatic cliffhanger that all other shows tend to do. Most other shows formulate their suspense for the next season with all of the drama hanging on ONE set piece. Not BSG. OHHH NO. After watching these two episodes, I feel satisfied with what was shown to me but also, definitely drooling at the bit for the next season. Good on you, writers for BSG! Good job!

Now, the episodes at hand. Part I consisted of a lot of foreshadowing for the execution in Part II. So we won’t go into it here since it’s not as interesting as Part II. The first BRAIN FRACK in the episode was when the Priest makes his appearance on both Caprica AND Galactica. Normally, the show is very careful about revealing the identities of Cylons so when it was revealed in this fashion, my brain instantly began questioning if it was real. The writers are so good, they have us trained like this. But after coming to the conclusion that the Priest was indeed a Cylon… the question of WHY he was there arose. It was a good method to introduce the peace offering from the Cylons to the Fleet. If you’ve been reading, I’ve been wondering that.

So we find out that the Cylons are backing off and now the question of rigging the election comes up. And in my mind, I think Adama and Roslin made the correct decision. Sure, Baltar is an idiot who follows his emotions and will probably kill the human race. But once you go totalitarian, you can never go back! And in the end I think Adama wisely convinced Roslin of this. I just love the political and ethical quandaries that are introduced throughout the show. It just makes the show feel that much richer.

And now for the part that really cemented this episode in my mind: the detonation of the nuclear weapon on Cloud 9. The same detonation that, one year later, the Cylons detect a LIGHT YEAR away and come calling. How ingenious. I definitely did not see that coming and I am just thrilled that something happened in a show I love that I had no clue was happening. Absolutely brilliant.

Which brings me to another point: did Baltar really just fuck the human race TWICE now? I mean, fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice… well I think you get where I’m going with this. Does Baltar really have NO CLUE that he is a patsy? It’s pretty evident now that the Cylons have been using him and playing to all of his human deficiencies (emotions). But that is something we can discuss later.

What I want to know is: First, that is definitely the #6 who knew Baltar on Old Caprica… now what is her motive with him? Second, how does the Cylon/Human hybrid baby play into all of this? Are the Cylons still seeking it? If they are, how do they know it still exists? Third, what are Adama and Apollo going to do now? Come back and blow the peace treaty between the Cylons and the Humans and get everyone killed? Fourth, what do the Cylons as a whole want with the Humans? Fifth, is the secret between #6 and Baltar going to come out? And if so, is there going to be a lynching? Sixth, who was that guy looking for Starbuck in her tent? What does he want with her? And lastly, dude, we ALL know Starbuck is going to start some shit… how does this play out with the peace treaty? Oh wait one more, Roslin is still here… what is her role going to be in the resistance? (we all know she is going to resist). Also, if she was truly the prophet to lead the Humans all to Earth… is she still going to do it?

Wow. Yeah. What a good show. I can’t wait til next season! And I don’t even mean the pilot episode which nicely ties up all cliffhangers like in other shows. I mean the WHOLE season, since it’s going to deal with ALL of those questions I listed up there (and more) which, amazingly enough, was brought up with ONE episode. What an amazing show.
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Saturday, March 11, 2006

Battlestar Galactica 2.19/2.20: COMING SOON!

Reviews for the two part season finale for BSG will be coming as soon as I watch the second part! Stay tuned for awesomeness!
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Friday, March 03, 2006

Lost 2.15: That Once Was Lost is Found Again.

The Others are actually not "The Others", but really other Others. If you know what I mean...Yeah, you probably don't.

This week's episode of Lost was another in a line of revealing episodes as Claire's memory of lost time from her kidnapping in season one is returned in flashes. After Claire's child starts a fever, she starts to have flashbacks triggered by the return of Rousseau and the help of the shrink Libby. It's a lady's only adventure as Kate, Rousseau, and Claire backtrack to the place she was taken during her stint with the late Ethan. A great episode that revealed quite a bit, including the tidbit that there are most likely two different groups of "Others" and there is indeed an infection that requires a vaccine.

On their adventures, they find a Dharma medical bunker where Claire was to give over her child to Ethan and his group; this includes the bearded man from the boat. That is until Alex, Rousseau's daughter, chooses to save Claire, despite her objection. The motives of the "Dharma Others" (that's their name now ok?) are unclear as they seem to only focus on the younglings, Walt and Claire's baby, but have very little care for the adults. On the other hand, the other group can now be called the "Infected Others" and seem to be at war with the "Dharma Others". They appear to take everyone and infect them? Well, at least we know now that there are two factions of "Others" and the survivors of Flight 815.

Other revelations include that the vaccine used on Claire's baby while under the "Dharma Others" was seen being used by a previous person. Desmond while escaping the hatch while the counter was going down injected himself with the same vaccine. How he knows about it and the infection is still unknown. Lastly, there seems to be some sort of connection between Oceanic Airlines and the Dharma Company. In the crib of the nursery, there was a mobile of airplanes, airplanes that have the logo of Oceanic Airlines on them.

Next week's episode proves to have some plot significance, as "Snarl", AKA Ana Lucia, decides to track down the air balloon the man in the hatch, Henry, says he came from. Most likely this air balloon was the one Desmond was flying across the Pacific in. Also, a briefcase that may reveal insights into the past of Kate is found. Although next week's episode appears to have some possible plot significance, it won't compare to the many revelations that occurred in this week's episode.
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Thursday, March 02, 2006

24 Day Five, 4-5 PM: The Gamble Doesn't Pay Off.

Man, I hate hobbits. Seriously.

Monday's episode of the 24 finally ends the reign of the hobbit's in power at CTU and makes a reference all the way back to the first season. The lingering story line from the previous episode is the First Lady's decision to make the gamble that her husband would prevent the terrorist attack on the Russian President if she was in the car with him. Bad call, President Logan's brain goes into overload but eventually he does nothing to prevent the attack.

At CTU, the chatter of a possible attack on the Russian motorcade is the reason the reign of Lynn McGill, the hobbit, ends with a whimper. Lynn decides that there isn't enough evidence to take it to the President, in fear of being embarrassed. Audrey decides to get Curtis to relieve Lynn of command for incompetence, or rather being too crazy to be competent. Curtis then informs the President and the Secret Service of the possible attack on the Russian motorcade that the President knows is already going to happen. The Secret Service is able to hold off the attack by the terrorists saving the lives of the First Lady and the Russian President. Unfortunately, the terrorists believe that President Logan betrayed their agreement and will be releasing the nerve gas on U.S. targets.

Jack is still on the lead of his disgraced mentor, Peter Weller, who's now a VP at the company that manufactured the nerve gas for the U.S. Weller was the former head of CTU until Jack was assigned to investigate him. Though no charges were filed, Weller was relieved of his post and disgraced, the reference is found in the first season of 24 when Jack was considered a rat by Tony Almeida. Well it turns out Jack was right about Weller after all when he is stuck in a room with a bomb that's about to go off. Jack goes into Bauer mode and is able to move the bomb far enough away and is able to hide under a floor panel and survives the blast.

Next week there will be a double whammy of 24 with two new episodes back-to-back. The promo has one former cast member making a return, Kim Bauer. Of course, she was by far the most annoying character on 24, mostly in the first season, but it does do wonders to the plot with her being reunited with dear father after she thought he was dead. I just hope they decide to give her a high ratio of camera time to number of lines as possible. Also, Weller being an official bad guy is now on Bauer's bad side and cleaning him up will also tie up a first season plot line. I just hope they don't have Kim being kidnapped for about the 300th time and Jack doing "whatever it takes" to get her back. I got it the first time, Jack loves his daughter.
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Monday, February 27, 2006

Battlestar Galactica 2.18: A Lot of Questions and Answers

We get a sneak peak at the new regime of change within the Cylon camp.

The episode began with an extended flash back that eventually revealed Sharon being downloaded and reborn back at Cylon HQ, presumably on Caprica. Then we’re treated with the same scene with Model #6 which is a near mirror of the previous scene. Only this time we find out that Gaius Baltar is a Cylon!

Well, no he isn’t. It was just a trick of setting and circumstance that the director and writers used to allow us for a second to come to the conclusion that, a-Ha! We were right and that we knew that scoundrel Gaius was a no good, Cylon loving traitor! Only then the writers let us know that he is indeed, NOT a Cylon and in fact is a figment of Model #6’s imagination. Wait a minute. Isn’t SHE using some kind of trick to project herself into Gaius’ subconscious? Well, as it turns out, she wasn’t. And it looks like the same fate has been bestowed upon Model #6. How weird is that? But then, the more you think about how these apparitions are showing up for only these two, you begin to think it must have been something in the nuclear explosion. (thanks Lampy for that one).

So, I am going to go out on a limb here but the nuclear explosion must have triggered some uber emotional response in both that they now both see each other and carry on coherent (to themselves anyhow) conversations. And now, it looks like these two are definitely more important to the overall storyline of the show that originally thought.

We also got another piece of the puzzle solved. At first, it seemed that all the Cylon models shared a collective consciousness, if you will (sorry, Andrew Smith for borrowing this term from your uber Lost theory). At first, it seemed as if they were in all places at all times, and that after each one died, they went and gathered all their memories and a collective memory was uploaded to a new body. Not so. It seems as though the consciousness of each one is unique and only share a body with one another. This raises an interesting point; since they are NOT a collective consciousness, it validates their claim of being as close to human as possible, sharing the thing which makes human special: a unique consciousness.

And this unique consciousness, with it’s ability to reason and deduct for it’s own self, brings us to the most monumental discovery: Model #6 and ‘Sharon’ decide to refute their hate of humans and decide on a method of peace with the humans. A wild claim, but I have one question: how do they convey their message of peace with the humans if they can’t even get close enough without the Fleet sending missiles their way?

Deep stuff I know. But this show, as I said before raises just as many questions as it answers. Which, as we all know, makes for a great show! Can’t wait for next week!
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Friday, February 24, 2006

Battlestar Galactica 2.17: The Politics of the Fleet.

Political maneuverings and a Cylon trap make a perfect episode for BSG.

Last week's episode of BSG was quite a pivot from the middle filler episodes into the turn to the season finale. The episode had an explosive array of political intrigue and policy and military insubordination and incompetence. The first story arc involves the very volatile issue of abortion in their universe, and ours, and the new world order of a post-apocalyptic battle of the survival of humanity. After a cargo container on the Galactica is searched, a stowaway is found. The stowaway is a pregnant 17-year-old girl named Rya seeking an abortion from Doc Cottle and asylum from the ship she came from, and her parents as well. This issue gets widespread attention in the fleet as the Geminon delegation, the most religious sect of the colonies, demands President Laura Roslin's help in ending the legality of abortion or face losing support from one of her biggest political assets in the upcoming Presidential election.

On the military side of the issue, a pair of Raptors from the Pegasus, know nicknamed "the beast" go missing on a training exercise. The new commander of the Pegasus, a former engine room chief, chooses to chase after a risky lead on his pilots despite the protests of the new XO, Major Lee "Apollo" Adama and Captain Kara "Starbuck" Thrace, and a direct command from Admiral Adama not to pursue the lead. The fear is a Cylon trap, but Commander Garner disobeys the order and jumps to the location of the Raptor's last transmission. As predicted, a Cylon trap is in place and the Pegasus takes major damage and loses the ability to jump away. Commander Garner proves unable to lead in the hectic battle conditions and decides to go back to his engine room to fix the FTL drives; as Major Adama gets the chance at the helm of the Pegasus. Apollo proves to be a successful leader and Garner sacrifices his life to get the FTL drives back online. The Pegasus shows its dominance compared to the Galactica as it is able to survive 3 Cylon Base Stars for quite awhile.

Back at Colonial One, President Roslin announces despite her personal beliefs that a woman has a right to choose, she has decided that the shrinking human population requires that the best interest of the species is to make abortions illegal throughout the fleet. Vice-President Gaius Baltar uses the opportunity to make a grandiose speech about freedom being the difference between humans and Cylons and his bid for the Presidency. The remainder of this season, three episodes left, will certainly have smell of politics in the air as Gaius does political battle with Roslin over issues of freedom, security, and Cylons. Back on the Galactica, Major Adama gets another promotion from Major to Commander as he is now to be at the helm of the Pegasus. Tonight's episode will prove to be a very interesting one, as two reluctant Cylons, Sharon and Number Six, are hailed on Caprica as heroes. The promise of seeing the Cylon life-style and society in action will prove to be a BSG first and certainly a great episode to set-up the two-part season finale.
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