Other important things we learned: Jay has a weirdly close relationship with his sister. So it's confirmed, that only works for me in fiction. Also, Anxiety-Riddled Hannah is literally the ony castaway who manages not to cry. IDK, that kind of makes me like her. I respect people who can stay chill.
Episode highlight (yes, even beyond Adam winning immunity): Zeke being voted out. HAHAHAHA HIS FACE. He was very calm, but also clearly very pissed that Hannah managed to outlast him. How dare those underdogs defeat HIM, Master and Grand Champion of Scheming and Puppetry!! The only thing that would have made it better would have been if David had really needed to play his idol, but obviously they couldn't risk Will not voting with them. It was still glorious to hear all of Hannah's votes bounce off her, though.
Also, it seems I've forgotten to write up Criminal Minds thoughts for a while, which is a shame as it's my 2nd fave show at the moment, so:
12x04, Keeper: This was a while ago so I've mostly forgotten it, but I love stories that have to do with the Appalachian Trail (a trail I am NEVER HIKING ON EVER). This episode was also full of dogs. Roxy got a starring role in interrogation, there were cadavers dogs on the scene (one of which Luke takes charge of, which was great but also...pretty sure they come with handlers, dude), and the whole catalyst for the serial killer of the week was having his puppy taken away as a kid. According to the story, his dad made him abandon the dog in the woods. I'm really glad they decided to go with the less awful option for how he lost the dog, even if narratively that seems like a much less believable reason than...worse ways he could have lost the dog.
And more importantly, Garcia finally decides to stop hating Luke for being a presumed playa and falls in love with him and his dog instead!
The Anti-Terror Squad: Awww, Garcia has decided to continue showering Roxy with gifts from afar. She would be such a good dog mama. (OR STEPMAMA. You think I'm letting this ship go but I am not.)
As for the main plot (school bully victim takes a stand against bullies by killing their whole families instead of them, according to gossip he heard about a politician on Tumblr as the appropriate way to deal with terrorists)...interesting in terms of a method I haven't seen much of before. Lost momentum when the kid lost his cool and reverted to direct murder of the bullies themselves, at which point I drifted off and thought Reid should have been the one to connect with this kid. Unelss he did and I just fell asleep.
The good: The Goonies mashed up with Jacob Wetterling* (at least in terms of the 80s disappearance/unsolved mystery) set the stage for a really cool story. Awesome kid actors. And Gubler-directed -- nice choice to have the "explanation for Hotch's permanent absence" episode handled in-house, so to speak.
*Apparently other people think it was more like "Stranger Things." Whatever, children, with your weird non-traditional TV sources. I am comfortable with my retro references.
The bad: Gubler seems to have gotten carried away and thought he was directing Academy bait with that RIDICULOUS melodramatic music montage of the kids reuniting with their parents. The swelling music was way OTT and I was just embarrassed for everyone involved.
Although honestly, I was already in a poor mood over the Hotch explanation. The team's shocked reaction was hard to watch when like...we all know why he's not there. I frankly don't think it's a very good reason. And since the real life reason for the departure was pretty off the cuff and not the result of long deliberation, I think his canon reason should have been similarly mundane. To have it eat up so much screen time and have everyone act out sorrow about losing a friend in the way they would have paid tribute if the actor had left voluntarily or due to outside circumstances in their life just made me feel embarrassed. I guess I'm not really complaining about the writing, though, as much as I'm annoyed that they had to write it all, because I feel like his firing is completely out of proportion to what he did. And yes, I know that I straight up partied about him being fired, but you know how I'm contrary and like to fight people.
I guess it's better than killing him off screen, and maybe the actors appreciated the chance for on-screen closure -- maybe fans of the character did too -- but the PTB explanation that Hotch would never voluntarily leave the BAU doesn't seem like a good enough reason to me for putting him in witness protection. Morgan left for family. Maybe Aaron could finally get smart and do the same without the threat of murder as incentive.
Mirror Image: The good: Alimi Ballard and the bullet-nails of the tense final trap. The bad: Mr. Scratch is the most boring serial killer this show has ever fallen in love with; catch the bastard and be done with him already. Brainwashing weirdness is incomprehensibly dull.
Finally: NCIS: LA, 8x10, Sirens
From all the sneak peeks they released, which were 100% glorious, I thought it was setting the stage to be one of my favorites of the season. Unfortunately, turns out those sneak peeks contained all the good material.
I can't believe The Moms were only in that opening scene. It was amazing, don't get me wrong -- I love the idea of these women fussing over their daughter / assumed daughter, especially as they've clearly been doing it for a while, since Kensi has clearly used up all her diplomatic and ineffective ways of asking them to stand down and Deeks has straight up fled the scene and abandoned his fiancee to the hens -- but I really wish we'd seen some further explanation for why both moms in one house is "too many moms" for him. The sneak peek ended with Kensi shutting the door on them*, and the outrage when the episode aired and that scene was followed by Kensi opening the door to SULLY'S DUMB FACE may have been audible in my howl.
*also! I LOVE THAT THEY ARE BUDDIES NOW. "I can tell you're a good mom." / "You too." Please spend as many holidays with your children as possible for the rest of time.
It's not...exactly that I'm worried about him being a relationship obstacle, other than this show's terrible track record and my dangerous ability to forget that they haven't always been on a clear soulmate path and that this show jerked its shippers around so many times that it was the #2 reason I rejected it for as many years post-Deeks as I did. It's just really grinding my goat that he's acting exactly like Deeks did in the beginning -- showing up at her house with beer really rubbed salt in that wound -- and she's reacting to hm exactly the way she reacted to Deeks, despite his 100% less charming face, and I don't understand why I am being forced to witness this instead of Deeks himself.
And Nell's interrogation scene was endless and she didn't even get to do anything else. Disappointed.
But on the bright side, Deeks & Beale: BROTP was glorious, from Eric's sweet offer for Deeks to go home and be with Kensi until the case picks up to Deeks making such a general nuisance of himself in Ops out of boredom that Eric gets to use his oy vey face when Deeks finally leaves. (but not before mutual heart-shape gestures! You're good people.) I also liked his protest at Deeks changing the setting on Nell's chair, and his reminder for Deeks to put it back before leaving. We never get to see Eric taking charage in his element. I love it.
Other favorite part:
Deeks: I don't understand...(x)
Eric, very brightly: You don't have to. That's why I have Nell.
I wasn't quite as head over heels for the 3 Bromigos out in the field, but I did get a little chuckle out of Deeks driving Callen nuts and Sam switching to whichever side amused him most.
In non-Eric news, I laughed heartily at Deeks query as to whether Hetty is the one who taught Nell to drive, and basically everything else about that scene. He also has a cute sad puppy face at the end, frowning at the beer bottles. And I am reading absolutely nothing else into that expression because honestly, I have no idea what that scene was supposed to convey. Suspicion? Loneliness? Sadness that he wasn't invited to the party? Confusion as to how Kensi can cook?
Oh, I give up. Let's just read ncisabbylover's perfect post-ep, Sunshine and Gunpowder.
I now realize I forgot to mention that last scene at the range, and I must say it was an excellent punch to the gut to the gut to see how fast Kensi went from confident to crestfallen when called out on her still-weakened left hand.