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Post & Run: CBS TV II

a.k.a. one short and two long reviews for this week's...

NCIS 14x09, Pay to Play a/k/a/ some recently elected lady is getting death threats: Most enjoyable episode of the season, and though that isn't saying much, I'm pretty sure it was 30% due to the coolness of frozen rat props and 70% due to Clayton's influence. not least because he brought a giant crate of bizarre British "crisps" just for Ellie. I could actually feel the scene brighten when he was on it. The clouds in my heart parted. We could mend this rift...and you're voluntarily talking to Torres. No. Stop that right now. To weave you some Bell Biv DeVoe, ♫ thaaaat duuuude iiiiis poiii-oi-son!

P.S. Is Gibbs still on this show? I feel like he just drifts in and out of the bullpen to demand answers and delegate. He feels less like a part of the team than ever before, like he's put all these newbies together to be NCIS: The Next Generation while he preps for retirement. Or perhaps more to the point, it feels more like just a work team now -- not a family
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Survivor: OKAY, FINE. I am off the Jay hate train. For two reasons, actually. I was already having a good time enjoying the good-natured clash between him and Adam -- getting an absolute kick out of how genial they were about taking each other down, a lot of which I think is on Jay for just laughing in disbelief about how Adam is totally screwing up his game and it's awfsome, respect. They remind me of two buddies who happen to play football for rival schools, determined to best each other yet not making it at all personal.

      Adam: You're gonna have to play your idol.
      Jay: Am I that big of a threat to you that you have to strip me of everything?
      Adam, kinda giggling: Yeah.
      Jay: *rolling eyes but not shoving Adam out of the hammock*
      Adam: That's the only way I beat you.
      Jay: I hate you.**

And then Adam said the sad thing, which set off Jay out of the blue, and suddenly they were crying side by side like two little lost puppies at the thought of losing their mothers (but, you know, manly-like. Avoiding eye contact and clutching pillows/attempting to their face under a Survivor buff and definitely not touching each other), which is just about the sweetest thing I've ever seen. (I'm in ur outdated meme, underminin' your masculinity)

...and there goes Muse, galloping away for the Survivor AU document that's been dormant since 2014, because apparently she's decided to invent fictional backstories and write a variety of stories about a pair of unlikely college buddies / roommates tentatively named Alan and Ray. Meanwhile, apparently my assignment is to go fishing for male-protagonist YA novels again now that I have two new options to cast.

**I love that immediately following the hammock scene, we open on Hannah saying she's thinking of voting Sunday, and Adam immediately groans, "I hate you." So much affectionate hate today! What's that? Oh, it seems Muse is very excited to add Hannah to the list of secondary characters I should seek out in YA. Yeah, she and Adam have pretty awesome friend chemistry. The kind of friend chemistry you would be surprised but not hate to see turn into more! WHAT. IT'S NOT RPS IF YOU JUST WANT TO USE THEIR FACES FOR FICTIONAL CHARACTERS. THAT'S HOLLYWOOD.

[edit: You know what, let's just ship all the things. Per YouTube, here's an unaired scene entitled "Ken and Hannah Bond." I'm well fed enough tonight that I am gonna go ahead and watch Hannah's daydream-turned-reality in all its secondhand embarrassing glory. This is like, crush-on-a-teacher embarrassing. And I can't look away...yes I can. I made it 67 seconds and had to bail. Here is an equally cute scene with David with 100% less embarrassment, though.]

In other news, Adam helping Ken win immunity to keep it out of Jay's hands ("Really, Adam?") was glorious, and I really enjoyed the challenge itself. Solving a (fairly simple) block puzzle -- but only being able to touch it while a ball is rolling its way down a slanted maze behind you, so that you have to be constantly looking over your shoulder to see where it is and running back to catch and restart it, or you have to stop and wait out a time penalty if it drops? AWESOME. So much pressure, yet so little physical or technical difficulty! I think this could catch on and be a family game night kind of thing.

I feel exactly zero feelings about Sunday being voted out except for "how on god's green earth did Hannah end up last woman standing," so I'm finally a little excited as we move toward the end! I am still hoping for Adam or Ken to win (that thing he said last week about wanting to make a better life for him and his daughter? Women across America swooned), Jay would be my back-up choice (what??), Hannah would be a less exciting 4th, David would annoy me but admittedly have earned it, and Brett would be a cliche snore.

Meanwhile, I almost forgot that this was a double boot week. That's how little this show cares about Will's game, he doesn't even get half the airtime for his last episode.

[edit #2: I am so not letting this go, and oh gosh, extended cut of Jay's post-hammock camera interview! I honestly don't know which part of this I love best, but right now I am very partial to the end. "We're like brothers right now. I love that dude. But he drives me absolutely insane. So...it's a love/hate. I want to hug him, but right after I'm gonna punch him in the mouth. *chuckles* Like a real brother. And I never had a brother, just a sister. Who makes fun of me for crying. So..."]

[edit #3: OH LOOK HERE'S NEW INFO FROM LAST WEEK. Apparently Adam did give Jay his advantage?]

[edit #4: So apparently Ken is the kind of guy who has friend-with-benefits one night stands, and that's where his daughter came from. I love that I soundly bashed Taylor for this, but after consideration as to whether I should feel the same way about Ken, concluded "nah." Such is Attractive Dude Privilege.]


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Criminal Minds, 12x08, Scarecrow
Another great one! Classic combo of scary-abductor-of-young-women mixed with zealotry and the effects of being abused by it. I felt bad for the poor actress who had to spend basically the whole episode standing there with her shirt ripped open, but everything else was so great. The gruesome riverbank graveyard? Burlap Bagface? Skeleton Scarecrow? Look at all of these creepy horror movie elements I love! (actually, this is the episode I would have loved for Gubler to direct)

There was even some humor. If I had structured this post more cleverly, the cut text would have been FORNICATOR!!, because I positively howled with laughter when the dad shouted that out. That is totally how I'm insulting every raunchy sex scene participant / generally slutty male character from now on. Seeing it actually written on a cardboard sign hung around the kid's neck later on set me off on a fresh round and totally obscured the somber nature of that cruel and unusual living-scarecrow punishment.

I also liked the way the abductee was able to employ every conversational tactic she needed to make him keep responding to her, keeping herself alive long enough to get her hands on a pair of stabbin' shears to escape. A little lower and she probably could have hit some vital organ and gotten away without the BAU's help) The last minute twist of two agents almost getting suffocated inside a grain-filled silo along with the UnSub was a great bit of suspense, too.

BETTER YET: because Mommy Issues appear to be only remaining way to get to Wounded Reid, I will embrace them, albeit mostly to imagine them in a context where Maeve is still alive. Oh, that hug with JJ was precious, yet still managed to get eclipsed by his later broken "I don't know how to fix this." Sweet cupcake lump muffin who is potentially leaving my screen for a spell, I'm so sorry I abandoned you for the flashy new toy of a team member.

(Although speaking of, Garcia continued to defiantly address Luke as "newbie" and heavens, I can't handle this unabashed flirting. Give me more.)

The one negative is new series regular. I was not happy when I heard this news a few weeks ago, but I was hoping he might pleasantly surprise me once met. His face immediately bores me, so I don't have high hopes. Guys, we just achieved perfect chemistry, this is the highest quality cast combo in series history, and now you wanna upset that by bringing in someone new? Can we at least arrange a swap meet with NCIS and trade him for Clayton Reeves? Rescue the latter from the sinking ship, actually infuse this cast with even more quality, it'd be win/win for me.

Edit: I have once again cursed myself by foolishly looking up spoilers for this show, and now all I want in life is the mid-February episode (over 2 months away!) entitled "Spencer." I know nothing else about it except that a holy trinity behind the scenes is involved (Erica Messer/gal who plays Garcia and whose name I can't spell writing, Virgil Williams directing), and that sounds like the best present since Roxy.


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