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Week 3, Review Pile 1

I cannot figure out how my long weekend disappeared just as quickly as a regular weekend.  In lieu of thinking about that, more review.  In the order in which I watched them this week, which is close to chronologically perfect, if not precisely there.

'How I Met Your Mother: The Third Wheel (or "Tricycle")
Um, yeah.  Episodes like this are why I can't convince my mother that this show is smartly written/not at all like the dreck and drivel that is Two and a Half Men.  The only bits I really found funny were
 Lily fighting like a dervish for the boots, and Barney & Marshall playing with the Wii, mainly because Marshall's fondness for saying British words in a bad accent is one of those dopey but cute things that makes me love him.  Everything else about the story was just crass, and I'm annoyed that after all that, I am still almost as desperate as Barney to know whether he did or didn't!  For purposes of my own sanity, I will decide that he didn't, and the giggling was due to the girls poking around the room and discovering some of the various cute things that are Lily & Marshall's relationship mementos, having been distracted from their purpose for coming to Ted's apartment entirely.

As for Robin, not only did her unfunny storyline have no connection to anything whatsoever, making it feel like a vast waste of time, I just kept wondering where along the line her psyche got so screwed up that she thinks the only way to prove she likes someone is to sleep with them...on the first date.  Huh.  I also didn't understand what prompted her to steal butter off someone's table in order to shave her legs, as it's not that hard to shave dry.  Although I suppose I should have stopped trying to expect rational behavior after she gave the waitress $50 to buy her an emergency razor in the first place. 
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'CSI: Miami: Inside-Out
Notes from the Fashion Show (or, Misadventures in Color):
-Horatio's back in a blue striped shirt, but not the one from season 5, because I burned that.  This one is similar, but a much lighter shade, and therefore acceptable.  In my hatred of the season 5 shirt, I forgot that blue looks good on him.
-Calleigh's blouse was so yellow it knocked me backwards.  I don't think that color even exists in nature.  However, I loved her black coat and slightly wavy hair, and the light pink lipstick looked beautiful with her skin tone.
-Natalia was showing a ridiculous amount of cleavage, and she was once again in all white, so no points for the loosely-crocheted top thrown over the tank that I might otherwise have liked.
-Ryan's salmon-colored shirt was...a poor choice.
////////
I thought we established in the premiere that Kyle didn't kidnap the woman of his own volition, but was rather forced into it?  Anyway, he neither hurt the woman nor actually endangered her life, and he surrendered pretty quickly when pursued.  In other words, my head spun a little when he was not only tried as an adult and denied bail, but loaded onto a prison bus with a whole pack of the toughest and most dangerous-looking criminals I've ever seen. 

Not as much as it spun when a certain prosecuting attorney strolled up to talk to Horatio, though, at which point my eyes popped out of my head and I was reduced to repetitively squawking, "WHAT?!  REBECCA NEVINS?!  WHAT?!"  She was the only love interest of Horatio's I could never stand, so I wasn't all that enamored of her when she was around, but nowadays I am thankful for any reminder of pre-season-4.  That, and there was all kinds of potential to address her ex-girlfriend status; although this was disappointingly barely alluded to, over the course of the episode Rebecca did do a handy job of proving several times over why she got dumped in the first place.  Of course, she's also nearly as fun a nemesis as Stetler, so I hope she returns for more episodes in the future. 

Stupid editing tricks were at a premium in this episode - every time I think I've mastered the art of tuning them out, the producers come up with an episode like this - but nowhere more obnoxious than during the bus crash, and the attack on Tripp.  This might be more a matter of personal preference, but I hate when people use slow motion to convey the significance of a scene - I feel like someone's yelling "Hey, do you get that this is DRAMATIC and HORRIBLE??" I'd much rather have seen that play out in real time, if only to convey its unexpectedness.  I very much doubted the seriousness of this particular attack - despite the fact that he got hit in the head about 10 times - but it got me thinking that that's another reason I don't like Tripp being in uniform again: detectives are much less likely than patrol guys to get shot, blown up, or otherwise dispatched on the front line.  Anyway.  I suppose the blurry vision and echoing were supposed to communicate what he was seeing, but I just found it all a further annoyance.  (I did appreciate the load of angst involved with thinking he'd shot an innocent young woman.  I wish we'd explored that further, but I guess that would be too much like the guilt trip Brass went through last year.)

After this episode, I have officially stopped hating Ryan.  Admittedly, my initial reaction to him working for the defense was "RYAN, troublesome son!" (title TM Stunt Muppet), but then he said "Being an expert witness pays $300 an hour.  And I'm broke.  And I know you hate it so just let me do my job."  Awwww, poor baby's just trying to survive.  And then when he followed it up with "You think I'd actually do that?" (setting Natalia up - which just for the record, I'd do to her in a heartbeat)...I could swear he's actually been practicing his sad puppy dog eyes.  It's not possible to so much as be annoyed with Ryan anymore; he's too sweet.  He needs hugs.  Not from Natalia, mind (a precautionary warning I feel is necessary due to the sudden resurgence of Ryan/Nat shippers).

I'm tired of Natalia being painted in such a glowing light of holiness all the time, as it is clearly being done to make the fans change their collective attitude about her, and I hate that this brainwashing works, and people all over the place are saying "You know, Natalia's grown on me" and "I don't mind her so much anymore."  MOLE.  More importantly, SCREENTIME USURPER.  People, pick a conviction and stick with it.  I especially hate that her credibility is being built up at the same time that Ryan's is being torn down, thereby further emphasizing the new gap between their moral compasses - I was rather disappointed when she wouldn't play into Rebecca Nevins' backstabbing game. 

On to the Kyle case!  The random stop for the haircut was quite possibly THE weirdest thing I have ever seen on this show, mostly because of Horatio's insistence on standing RIGHT THERE the whole time, staring and shifting in a manner that must have made the kid (not to mention the poor hairdresser) very uncomfortable.  I figured the cut's purpose was to make him look more mature in court, and they did it then because it was the only time he wasn't locked up in jail, but I still think we could have explained it with an expository line, and moved the "Rules For Surviving Inside" chat to when he's actually taken back into custody.

By far my favorite part of the episode was the interrogation room scene.  I don't even know how long it's been since I last heard Horatio sound truly threatening like that, in that steely, low and dangerous voice.  It's a scary tone.  I love hearing it.  For all that, he still doesn't strike me as physically intimidating, not like Mac or Gibbs would be as far as the threat of pain and/or death.  However, once you add in Eric, you not only have the Brazil Reference of SQUEE, cooperation suddenly looks like a much better option.  The intensity in Eric's expression is more than little scary.  What I really loved about that scene, though, was Eric's use of the phrase "hunted him down," which makes me want to re-explore the fact that Eric initially went after Riaz by himself, without telling Horatio first. 

The rescue scene itself was okay, although Kyle cries like a baby (especially considering he was neither bloody nor bruised, nor in any apparent imminent danger like being locked in an airless box), but it mostly made me miss the days when he was running all over creation to save Ray Jr.  There just isn't enough emotional connection here - biologically related or not, they just met, and it's not even like he's a helpless little child, which would appeal to Horatio's Kid Empathy.  He's just a random teenage boy.  Not to mention that "I'm your father" was quite possibly the worst reveal ever.  I wasn't supposed to burst out laughing, was I?  Because, um, I did.  It was just clunky and forced; I could almost hear the director saying "Okay, be sure to make this a very DRAMATIC MOMENT."  The scene wrapped nicely, though; his hurried "I know you don't believe me and we can't talk about it now, but will" felt much more natural.
 
I still haven't warmed up to Kyle; the actor strikes me as very plain and bland, and it does not at all help that I feel like I'm looking at my brother every time I see him.  That being said, the ending was incredibly freaking DEPRESSING when after all that, the poor kid is still incarcerated and locked up in jail.  Big Convict Ally or no, I was like "...the hell?  Horatio can't fix this?  But - but Horatio is God!  Horatio can always be counted on to make things just!  I AM DISILLUSIONED."  In conclusion, I hate this cruel reality and am stomping back to my happy place where Horatio has no son, because this whole chaotic storyline was apparently invented for the sole purpose of creating EXTRA tragedy that didn't need to exist in the first place.  
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Numb3rs: Velocity
I split my attention between this episode on TV and NCIS on the computer, because the former was so unbelievably boring.  It probably would have been interesting if I didn't have much else to do, but my TV shows are currently forming a pecking order worse than a flock of chickens, and my brainpower is sapped by shows whose characters I am more invested in, so by the time I reach the Friday lineup I don't have much left.  I find it especially hard to care when there's a lot of noise and cars, so I only picked out the following points.
  • The kid who crashed the car, formerly Luke on Joan of Arcadia, is really developing a niche in the crime show circuit, isn't he?  This is at least his 4th appearance on one
  • I got the sense that the mechanical engineering guy was supposed to be a special guest star, but I didn't know who he was.  I didn't like him all that much, either, mostly because when Charlie's running around consulting other people that leaves less time for the regular characters.  Not to mention that I can't think of many things more boring than engineering...I mean, as long as I'm not studying the stuff for a grade, math > lasers & robots.
    • Although I do find it cute that Alan is auditing classes.  Good for him!  The man needs more hobbies.  Hobbies besides making Amita feel self-conscious and uncomfortable.
      • On that note, why did we have to have such a cringe-worthy comment as "When I was your age, I was married and had a kid already"??  Oh, Papa Eppes.  I appreciate that your future grandbabies are on your mind all the time; they're on mine too, but: subtlety!  Learn it!  Love it!  
  • Charlie's going to publish a self-help book!  Even if he did look faintly dismayed that his theoretical work was being put to such common uses, I think that's a neat development.
  • Even though Megan seems to have infinite amounts of patience where Larry is concerned, not to mention her own Issues to deal with, I am beginning to worry about their lack of communication.  I swore not to care about this pair, but unfortunately, I do.  Not nearly as much as Charlie & Amita, but it would make me sad if they drifted apart.
  • I had stopped paying attention entirely by the end, but was it David that got Colby's fishing lure back to him, thereby signaling forgiveness in not so many words?  I hope so.  That's how I interpreted it, anyway, and it filled me with warm fuzzies.  Guys have such silly approaches to apology.
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'NCIS: The Ex-Factor
I'm pretty sure I skipped all the scenes that related to the case this week, which I normally don't do on this show, but on Tuesday night I couldn't help myself and after resisting for an entire half-hour, I couldn't concentrate on studying anymore and I flipped on the TV to watch the second half.  So I knew how everything played out before I was able to watch the episode in full, which resulted in a lot of skipping forward.   Especially since I had so many fun character moments to look forward to.  Well, some were more heartbreaking than fun.  But they were all fascinating.

My Past Self hates me for saying this, but I completely adore Mann now. While I will never abandon my penchant for Gibbs/Jen - especially now that her hair's growing out and looking pretty again! - I am also reasonably sure this will never happen on the show and am willing to content myself with daydreams of the past in Paris.  Mann, on the other hand, is here and he seems reasonably happy with her, and I'm happy if Gibbs is.  I still don't think I like her on her own, so I expect to see her gone for good if ever the pair breaks up, but I find the (for lack of a better word) smug little looks she throws him amusing.  

That's not what changed my mind, though.  Nope, it was the devastated look on her face after prying the truth out of Ducky about Shannon and Kelly, followed by the elevator conversation.  Oh, elevator conversation.  "Why, Jethro?"  Well, that's a good way to break my heart.  She's just so sad and pleading and genuinely hurt... Also, I will never not Kelly's name being brought up before Gibbs, because no matter what he says about putting it behind him, there's always a look of pain there.  

I figured that was enough for one night, but no - there was still MORE heartbreak, and ANOTHER Kelly reference to be had.  Basement scenes are always good, not least because it gets Mann out of that awful army getup and into lovely evening wear with hair in loose curls, but I loved the fact that he was leading her down by the hand.  I officially give up, they're cute together.  But when I heard the simplistic piano chords and a child's giggling voice on the tape, I got tears in my eyes to more than rival Mann's.  And Gibbs coming back while she's listening to it...eep!  I need fic to continue this scene.  I have no idea how to interpret his look at the end there, and now I'm worried that she's crossed some line of privacy and it will be a point of contention between them until he breaks it off.  

Other Favorite Scenes:
  • Ziva bobbing her head along with earbuds, while wearing the cutest decorative blue T-shirt.  It is honestly the cutest thing I have ever seen her wear, and I want it RIGHT NOW.
  • Abby begging McGee to make the lab guy go away was really cute, as were his futile suggestions to "block him out," and it was a great touch to have her doll's bendy arms moved to cover its face. 
  • -Mann dragging Gibbs into Jen's office to address the ex-wife situation, followed by Jen's wide-eyed look and innocent tone while recounting various pertinent facts about Stephanie, his 2nd (3rd) wife, with whom he lived in Frankfurt (Moscow) for 2 (1) years.  I LOVE when she uses that tone.  It's a major factor in why I love the director.  Of course, this is all made better by the fact that Gibbs is in one of his "please, anywhere but here" modes.  It's always fun when the boss gets bossed.
  • -The Elements Song.  HEE.
  • "Trainwreck!  I want to look away, but I can't..."  Ex-wife, ex-girlfriend, current girlfriend, and Gibbs. This a recipe for hilarity.  They don't even have to talk; the visual imagery is priceless.  Gibbs looks kind of like a deer facing a pack of hungry wolves.
  • Abby repeatedly asking Gibbs for permission to hit Fred...followed by her giving him a violent punch in the nose.  I was not expecting THAT...but good for Abbs!  Is it safe to say that the next unfortunate man sent to Abby's lab will be required to be accompanied by an NCIS security guard, and/or possibly attached to a short tether while inside the lab boundaries?
Final notes: by the time I finished writing this review I'd watched the episode in full, so...I can safely say it was the best of the season so far.  Here's hoping this trend continues.    

Comments

poloparadise
Oct. 14th, 2007 07:58 pm (UTC)
I absolutely agree with everything you said about NCIS. Omg, it was the BEST episode, ever. Hahaha. I was waiting for Mann to come back and hoping she wasn't going to fall into the tv-recurring-guest-star-black-hole and I was so relieved to see her back. They are adorable together, as much as I hate to betray my Jen/Jethro shipper heart :).

This episode was a giant comedy fest. Those four together in a room is a recipie for disaster and much funniness.

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