Well, not entirely randomly. These all aired on Tuesday night. However, I am currently plowing through the review pile any way I can. My Saturday was amazingly uproductive in any way - seriously, I think the only things I accomplished from sunrise to sunset were reading a book (for fun) and cooking an actual meal for dinner - so I made up for it by skipping sleep to be productive on this site. Homework will be looked at later tonight. Much later. 16 hours from now or so.
NCIS, 5.02, "Family"
I'm actually rather glad that we had the barrage of heavy-handed Jeanne flashbacks this week. Why? Because I'm fairly convinced they were getting it all out of their system, purging the remnants of last season's storyline in one last flood and coming out free on the other side. (side note, I swear this is the last time I'll make mention of it, but: this would have been a GREAT thing to include in a season premiere in order to tie back to the preceding season without leaving a story dangling pointlessly over the summer) And since I'm now 99% confident Jeanne is gone for good, I can finally feel sorry for Tony and his broken heart. For some reason, I can't think of a way to make that sound less facetious, but it's true.
It was just a little bit sniffle-inducing to see one line of impartial text ("I'm not coming back. You need to choose.") on the card, followed by it curling to cinders in the fireplace. Definitely DID NOT need the flashback to bedroom nudity, but the rest of it was good, although I can't remember the last time - if ever? - we closed on a musical montage. Tony choosing the team over Jeanne might have had slightly more impact if said team was not nearly as unstable as his former love life, what with Kate dying and Ziva coming aboard, Gibbs quitting, having Michelle Lee hang around for a few months...but it's touching. I will not even argue the point that in theory, Jeanne could have been a permanent fixture in his life, while the team is doomed to come to an end someday.
Oh, Ziva. So much Caring...I love it. See, Ziva and I are on the same plane of thought. We're perfectly willing to empathize and console and otherwise pick up the pieces now that he really has lost her. We don't actually want Jeanne to come *back*, we just want to sympathize with how upsetting her departure was, and on that front I was very pleased. The Ziva of 2 years ago would not have shown anywhere near this level of concern, and it's very gratifying to see how much she's grown and integrated into the team, to the point where it actively bothers her to be shut out of personal problems (or Tony's, anyway, for reasons we can discuss later). I really loved the bit in the bathroom where she finally grabs him by the shoulder, spins him around, and forces him to listen to what she has to say. I sucked in my breath and winced when he spat out the barb about her falling in love with the "dead man walking", though. OUCH. That is always going to be a very, very raw spot and so you just don't go there, even if you're feeling emotionally backed into a corner and lashing out with any weapons available. Besides, he did eventually apologize. More or less.
And yes, my Tiva ship is proudly bearing its flag off in the distance, but this episode is about as overtly as I ever want to see it addressed onscreen. They are all about the biting banter mixed with only occasional hints of seriousness and/or UST. However, if Ziva offers one more vague and hypothetical suggestion about love, I am going to ship her down to Miami and let her practice her metaphorical speech on Horatio for a while.
The surrogacy storyline had the potential to be interesting. I personally have no problem with surrogacy, paid or not; I really don't see the harm. Unless, of course, it leads to baby-napping and crazy, semi-hysterical parents circumnavigating the police to pay off ransoms and...you know, I kind of tuned this part of the storyline out in boredom as soon we saw the teary-eyed kid standing over the crib. I never did figure out exactly what the point of killing the girl was, and by the end of the episode the connection to the Navy had weakened so much that I found myself wondering why they were even still working it at all. That's okay, though; cases aren't really the selling point of this show, and at any rate, cases are better than La Grenouille, a story arc whose problem I have finally identified - it was just like the mytharc episodes of X-Files. The conspiracy was complicated, poorly explained, and more political than anything, draining the humor of more run-of-the-mill investigations. I am not digressing, I'm concluding.
Random character memos: McGee, I thought I was loving your new longer hair, but that can't happen when it's slicked back pompously like that. Abby, I love you on caffeine; don't ever give it up (spastic jumping jacks, hee). Gibbs, points for giving her a quick little cheek kiss; no matter how many times this happens it is never enough and it never gets old.
Tony, it took me two rewinds to figure out the reason for Ziva's shock!face after you went chasing after Gibbs in the first part of the episode, but eventually I realized this was because in your scrambling haste to shove the file folder into your hands so you could leave, you totally grazed her chest. HEE.
Ziva, I loved your white peasant-y blouse and desire to add it to my wardrobe; also, I promise to pay more attention to your wardrobe next week because it's apparently going to be as covetous this year as last. And Jenny, I understand the whole Grenouille thing was stressful as hell and you probably needed some vacation time, but please be here next week?
Quotes of the Night--
Tony: If I needed to be cheered up, I would have put superglue on McGee's keyboard.
McGee: You put superglue on my keyboard!
McGee: All right, I think I know what happened here.
Tony: Twenty bucks says McGee's about to say something nobody understands again!
McGee: The GPS coordinates came bundled in a proprietary packet. Since it was a beta, I thought...
Gibbs: Starting to think you can't help yourself, McGee
House, "The Right Thing"
UM. I guess the song is true, "you don't know what you got til it's gone." I never thought I would say this, but I want the ducklings back.
It's not that I miss the ducklings even one tiny iota, but at least they were familiar, and (usually) did not fill me with MURDEROUS RAGE every time they appeared on screen, as Kal Penn is wont to do. I never even saw "Harold and Kumar go to White Castle," and yet I apparently harbor lingering resentment over how stupid and asinine the previews for it were. That, and I hate his voice. And as whiny and shrill and House-obsessed as Cameron was, at least she didn't constantly look as though there were an unpleasant smell directly beneath her nose. The older blonde woman - I have not even bothered to learn numbers, much less names - already makes me feel twitchy thanks to her huge ego and extreme competitiveness.
The old guy is irritating. He's like Creed from The Office. And the balding, former plastic surgeon annoys me for being dorky, but not in a cute way.
I actually rather liked the Russian woman, and was thinking I could get used to a season of her adorable cautiousness, but then House decided to be a jerk and fire her for it. That sound you heard at the end was one of my heartstrings being tortured, Wilson-style, when she plaintively stated that unlike all the other doctors who got fired that group, she'd done nothing wrong.
Also, I'm still in a state of shock that my favorite sharp-eyed ER doc got dismissed within the first quarter of the episode and was never seen again. Because...I wanted her as a series regular, damn it! If we couldn't have Honey, I wanted her! I'm still holding out hope for the skinny black doctor. He is scrappy and I like him very much, even if he does look about 15.
Speaking of the OLD ducklings...as much as I loved diabolical!Wilson, I am also fond of psychoanalyst!Wilson, who nearly convinces House that he is seeing his former employees because he misses them and subconsciously wants them back. Especially because once I saw Chase up in the observation area, I realized how much *I* wanted him back. Or at least, how much I missed his lovely, shiny, non-balding hair. Speaking of hair, CAMERON, EW. It's not so much just the fact that it's blonde as that it looks like someone poured yellow paint on her head. It doesn't look natural, at any rate.
I can't seem to remember much of anything else. Tuesday dramas fry my brain, even when I don't actually watch or write about all the shows on Tuesday. It all runs together in one giant blur.
Law & Order: SVU - "Avatar"
I'm going to shaft this show as well - can you tell I'm eyeing my bloated list and making decisions about which shows I'm going to permanently drop from my standard review platter? - and say only 6 things of note, not all of which actually pertain to the episode in question.
1. I need to stalk USA and figure out when they're going to rerun the season premiere, because I apparently missed TEN KEGS OF AWESOME between Cynthia Nixon guest-starring and Kathy being held hostage and Munch having lines, and I'm bitter about it.
2. I am not fond of Olivia's haircut. Mariska Hargitay has the rare gift of looking good even with a masculine cut, but all the same, I was always glad that those days were behind us, confined to reruns, because we had since learned better. And now...back to where we started. Sigh.
3. OBVIOUSLY the bookstore owner was the guilty party. The guy was Locke's evil bastard of a dad on Lost; you play bad guy on one show you are almost inevitably guaranteed to play the bad guy on another. In case this was not enough of a hint, the guy's name was Cooper ON BOTH SHOWS. Yeesh.
4. I faintly hate myself for the fact that I am not only not squicked by, but can follow the logic of the college girls choosing to be 14-year-old prostitutes in Another Youniverse as an outlet for their fantasies.
5. Um, until I read the recap for this episode I had no idea that Second Life existed, but I want to join RIGHT THIS VERY INSTANT. I mean, I spent the episode going "Man, virtual sex aside, that game looks like so much fun...I wish it was real..." However, I shall refrain from creating an account due to the fact that I already have a second life in an internet world. It's called "fandom" and I'm participating right now.
6. I saw a rerun of last season's finale the other day, and it reminded me that I failed to take note of the fantastic irony in Munch, upon seeing Lake show up, asking "Should Finn be worried?" Emphasis on FINN. Yes, this is my roundabout and bitter way of complaining about the 100% lack of Munch in this episode. Seriously, does Richard Belzer have a part-time contract?
7. Random Note: this show somehow got added to Television Without Pity (or rather, re-added after a 7 year hiatus). I am not sure how I feel about this. On the one hand, more snarky recaps yay! On the other, I feel like all the recaps have become less funny since TWoP had its ugly glossy makeover, pumped up the number of shows it covers (including rescinding its former position on not covering comedies because it's hard to mock humor - TRUE), and shortened all the individual recaps in the process.