Firstly, we have to discuss the political meme from a couple days ago, because I got interesting results. It seems I am slightly more moderate than I thought I was.
88% Rudy Giuliani
84% John McCain
69% Mike Huckabee
65% Mitt Romney
61% Bill Richardson
59% Fred Thompson
57% Hillary Clinton
55% Chris Dodd
54% Barack Obama
53% John Edwards
51% Joe Biden
49% Tom Tancredo
41% Mike Gravel
36% Dennis Kucinich
35% Ron Paul
2008 Presidential Candidate Matching Quiz
Of course, what's probably keeping me grounded on the Republican side is that I am very, very pro-tax-cuts and in favor of letting people decide how to spend their own money, recoil in abject horror at the idea of universal health care, and have very little concern about Iraq but think it sounds like speeding out of there post-haste will just lead to a bigger mess, not least because to the other side, it looks like running away.
As for my specific results, see, I knew I loved Giuliani. Republican Party, plz to be picking him in the end, although I like most things about McCain too. Also, at the time I took this quiz I barely knew who Ron Paul was, but now I have seen him on Leno and find him quite dickish, so it doesn't surprise me that he's in last place on my list (ignore the percentage number! Ignore!). Now if you'll excuse me, I have to go verify some things to stop my catatonic rocking over the fact that I matched better with Hilary than Obama.
Right, enough with the messy waters, let's go to TV time. Children! This our very last trip in the Wayback Machine! Are you sad? I'm a little sad. I'll make up for it with long episode reviews, especially the second one.
6.12, Miami Confidential
There were good things and bad things in this episode. The good things were, conveniently, almost all located before the theme song, so let's start with those.
What IS it with Alexx and fire?! Despite having gotten entirely sick of seeing this scene in the preview (I think they played it after every damn CBS show in the week leading up to it), with a month to forget about it I was impressed that it actually ended up being as serious as it looked. I was less impressed with Ryan managing to muck things up YET AGAIN...in retrospect, everyone swears up and down it wasn't his fault, but that looked like a heck of a lot of wires plugged into one small outlet. Really, he's only been back on the job for like a month, and he manages to not only torch a crime scene, but charbroil the body in the process? I think the universe is trying to tell him something.
Also welcome was the music - I cannot remember the last time we opened an episode with any semblance of good music as opposed to screaming rock or some truly irritating Latin style featuring trumpet. And it only got better during the first evidence-processing montage. I was pleased. First and possibly only good teaser of the season? I think so.
In post-teaser things:
-The first CI, who was definitely tap-dancing along the line on the Hot/Crazy scale, made a case for being the biggest piece of work ever seen on this show. This also made her inexplicably awesome; she was my favorite character of the night.
-Snarky Valera FTW! I love Calleigh's mischievous, I'm-so-innocent "please run the DNA on these four cans full of tiny glass shards" request, to which Valera responds "Sure, and while I'm at it I'll find a way to solve global warming and finish up that proof of unified field theory I've been working on."
-HORATIO'S EXPRESSION when Stink Eye FBI Guy came in looking for him. I cannot possibly describe how great it was. It was like "Yes? Who's calling my...oh. You again." There is just the tiniest of eye rolls as his expression goes from interest to thinly veiled annoyance. It is begging to be an animated icon, suitable for such captions as "Ugh" or "Sigh..." or whatever else you can think of. (the rest of that scene, though, was utterly unwatchable. He was not only staring at the floor for the first half of it, but mumbling so quietly that he sounded almost apologetic. Is that a new tactic we're trying to lull the FBI into a false sense of security?)
Natalia cannot even carry a scene by herself, much less an episode, so all my interest keeled over and died as soon as they found the number for a Miami field office on Rachel's bug. Of course it would be Natalia's old office, and of course it would involve her "contact." No surprises there. I don't even feel like detailing all the ways this was a waste of time. Let's just assume that it involved a lot of eye rolling, fast-forwarding, and yawning whenever she and/or Mike appeared on screen (do they not realize that every time they mention "FBI" in connection with her name, I start channeling Austin Powers and am helpless to stop yelling "MOLEY MOLEY MOLEY!" at the screen? I will never, never stop carrying this grudge, no matter what she claimed about only passing "good" information.)
Oh! There was also some gagging at the end, with her stupid, self-involved "I feel so GUILTY!" speech. Followed by hysterical laughter at Horatio's advice, as if he is in any way qualified to comfort people about relieving guilt.
In conclusion: Show has not been watchable since the beginning of season 5. Miss Boa Vista became a CSI at the beginning of season 5. COINCIDENCE? Not entirely.
Notes From the Yellow Fever Fashion Show
Alexx: Was quite possibly the best dressed of the day, with a navy pantsuit and what looked like a sheer yellow tank top with splashes of black.
Natalia: Takes second place with her white jacket over a soft, pale yellow shirt and accompanying subtle necklace
Ryan: Gray suit and yellow button-down...gray definitely, but I'm still deciding whether or not yellow is his color
Valera: Yipes! The yellow, it blinds! Still trying to attract Ryan's attention, I see.
Dead woman's stepbrother: Forget Valera, HE was wearing the most obnoxiously bright yellow shirt in the history of the world
Horatio: Someone's been shopping! I'm shocked enough by a predominantly white shirt, but when it's patterned with noticeably blue stripes...quick, catch me before I faint.
CSI: NY, 4.11, "Child's Play"
This, for whatever reason, got pushed to the very back of my to-watch queue, but at least now I can focus all my attention on it. Oh God, where do I even begin? I say that in the best possible tone, because: AMAZING. That was sheer effing brilliance. I thought 4.10 was pretty good for the season, and then BAM! Along came 4.11, which not only blew it out of the water but is quite possibly one of the best episodes ever produced. If you're waffling on whether or not to watch this series, this would be a good example episode. It had (almost) everything.
I don't understand why any church would come up with something as pointless and silly as a bike blessing (blessing of the animals, that's something entirely different), but there was a nice tone to that scene. And the bit immediately following that, with Ruben riding his bike down the street and Danny following behind, warning him not to get too far ahead? *explodes from squee* Glimpses of Future Daddy Danny! Which is amusing, because of all the characters I like to imagine children for (when I'm bored; don't judge me), he's not one who strikes me as the type. But there you go. I had to watch that about six times in a row. Pity it gets so rudely interrupted by morning robbery and gunfire.
Even if I hadn't known beforehand that Ruben was doomed, I still knew the moment Danny yelled "Go straight home!" that it was a bad idea. I would have been more like "get back here and stay put," because I don't think I'd want the kid pedaling along the same streets that a panicked and gun-wielding robber is racing around. Still, the show earns big points for not immediately showing us that disaster, but catching us as off-guard as Danny, later showing his body being wheeled into the morgue. It was a double kicker because I'd actually managed to forget that Ruben was doomed (I lose myself in shows fairly easily...I think it's the sheer volume of spoilers I take in; the specifics on paper temporarily slide from memory once translated to the screen).
His initial reaction, with the slo-mo and all, was a little bit *cough* stupid, but Carmine really sold the rest of the scene, combining disbelief, devastation and anger all in one. (though in retrospect, I think I really prefer the subsequent scene, where he's switched to a state of numbed shock and berating himself under his breath) Let's get my running commentary reaction, shall we? "*sniffles* The realization wasn't the best, but as with Warrick, the subsequent reaction was excellent. . . . Dammit, enough with Mac! WHERE THE HELL IS LINDSAY - oh, there we go. ...oh, and there he literally goes." Translation:
The Mac interaction worked so well in Run Silent,Run Deep that it finally piqued my interest in this show, and I truly do enjoy the mentoring aspect between them, but I'm craving D/L right about now and think the Mac/Danny fans have quite enough to chew on at this point. It's not that I don't love this conversation to bits, understand, it's just that I'm disappointed it's not a prelude.
"He just got his bicycle blessed this morning." That right there - RAW GRIEF. And it's just the tip of the iceberg as far as grief in this episode goes. Immediately after this quote is the bit where Lindsay comes in and raises my hopes for all of two seconds before he disappears in the opposite direction. We will explore this further later; for now let's just pretend I'm content with rewinding that bit a hundred times and loving her tone of voice coupled with her apparent hesitance to enter the room and interrupt their conversation until it looked like he was about to crumble.
"What should I say to him?" "Tell him you're not very good at this kind of thing." Hm, interesting. Is that some insight into Mac? In light of his "Silent Night" speech to Peyton, I can certainly imagine that being how he operated with Claire. It doesn't have to sound like a cop-out, but more like "I don't know what to say, but I'm here." Or maybe Claire was awkward one, and he's speaking from experience that sometimes, it's enough. Hush, let me indulge in my beloved unseen OTP. And Muse, get those damn M/D slash bunnies away from me!
Let's see...Danny going to tell the mother? Her grief seemed kind of stiff and forced, like she was trying too hard to cry, but Danny's? SO. DAMN. REAL. This is better than even the much-rumored Louie storyline would have been, I'm sure of it. No way could he ratchet up this much guilt or look so sickened with himself; it underscores every word and makes it hurt that much more. Ooh, and I'm sure there is something very cinematic and meaningful about the long shot of the narrow hallway, and them sitting in mirrored positions opposite each other, leaning against their respective walls with a small but significant space between them, but film studies was over a year ago. So it's no longer my job to analyze stuff like that. :P
And the final scene in the church was, of course, just one final touch of poignant heartbreak, where there was totally no part of me at all growling "No touching!" when he slid into the pew behind her.
Before I talk about the other case, I have to mention something this episode didn't have - shippy bits. Specifically, one of its only real shortcomings was the sad, sad lack of D/L interaction. I mean, what the hell. Danny. Broken. Emotional. PRIME fodder to work with here, and we get Lindsay copping out with "I'm not very good at this kind of thing"?? Okay, that's not fair. The blame for copping out belongs to the writers, because she did try to make her best attempt at offering comfort first. And I do love that she turned to Mac for advice, because it kind of underscores the theme of family and his role as a father figure, dispensing suggestions to one team member for the welfare of another (and furthermore in the context of said team members' relationship, which he's apparently fine with; small squee!)...
...but then I expected to see follow-up on that scene. Actual comfort, not just the idea of it. This is not how you handle relationships, show! You do not blow everything in a huge and trashy sex scene (if there was a pun in there, not intended) and then decide that you've run out of material to work with. We have had two scenes so far this season, two (the spray-on condom scene does not count), one of which we had to strain our ears and rewind to hear, and the other of which was only banter - adorable banter, but nothing counted on the Checklist of Cute. Even Grissom and Sara, in years prior to their relationship, got more than this.
There. Have I sufficiently expressed my disgust? *pause* No.
It's not like I expected her to be there in the church with him at the end. I respect that there's a certain territorial aspect of the grief in this situation, where it's only appropriate that he should be reaching out to Ruben's mother. But I shouldn't simultaneously be thinking that, if I were a new viewer, right about now I'd be assuming that he and the mother had some kind of thing going on. At this point, I think I'd almost rather have seen Danny push Lindsay away - I mean, more harshly than just brushing off her initial approach - and then I could have told myself that he's just the kind of person who needs space to deal with things, and they would have made up later. This so-hands-off-it's-non-existent approach is really getting on my nerves.
Speaking of things that got on my nerves, ew, eyeball tattoos. EWWWWWWW GROSS GET AWAY FROM THE EYES DAMN IT! Why must every show exploit this squick factor??
Now, let's cycle back to good things and talk about the Laughin' Larry case. Because that took me completely by surprise.
One minute I'm sniffling and tempted to cry my eyes out. A couple of minutes later, Flack is exclaiming "Laughin' Larry? You gotta be kidding me. You have any idea how much of my childhood was cruelly destroyed by this man?" There is hysterical discussion of the misleading joke ads in the back of comic books (but on that note, Flack, please stop disappointing me with your background in uncool nerdiness. There is smart-nerd, and there is lame-nerd, and you are falling into the latter category) . I'm suddenly very glad that I got to experience the joy of ads like that through my brother's Scouting magazines...personally, I always wanted the quail eggs so I could hatch little baby birds - didn't happen, obviously, but my dream sort of came true when we raised them in 10th grade biology. Fuzzy chicks are love! When I could beat back the other 34 members of my class to hold one of the 14 babies, anyway.
End digression. He also slips in a complaint about X-Ray specs to see through girls' clothes - there, that sounds more like the Flack I know, reluctant though I am to admit it - and how the "only thing I ever saw through those was a nun comin' at me with a yardstick." Which, of course, brings to mind amusing images of little Don being a persistent troublemaker in a Catholic school environment.
Oh! But you know what's even greater than this nostalgic reminiscing, or Stella's faintly bemused/blank expression as she absolutely cannot relate at all except with her pathetic-by-comparison sea monkeys?
The fact that tomboy Lindsay jumps right in on Flack's discussion, just as enthusiastic in her memories and mock-indignant at the disappointing quality of the products. They go on with fantastic back-and-forth (Stella's expression: "Just nod and smile..."), i.e. banter, i.e. FLACK/LINDSAY BANTER FTW!! I swear, nobody pulls it off like they do, and there is a reason I secretly ship F/L on the side. He and Danny can be pretty entertaining on the rare occasion they get to joke around these days, but there's this inexplicable snap and spark from him and Lindsay (note: "from" and not necessarily "between," despite my potential predilections) when they get going on the same side. Apparently I am the only one who sees it. Which obviously means that it is pure magic, so I'm not worried.
Finally, they go inside, but the lolz, they do not stop. "Laugh it up, Lar!" an increasingly nettled Flack snaps after some very fake and sarcastic chuckling, and the BLAZING OUTRAGE in his eyes at this point makes me laugh so hard that my sides actually start to hurt. I'm taking "ROTFL" to an almost literal place here. My exact words by this point were "Show, stop being amazing! You can't make me laugh and cry all in the same episode; this is disallowed! Heeheehee hahaha..."
So, we've had tears and we've had lolz. And we may have forgone shippiness, but damned if we're not due for a bit of smokin' hotness. And we're going to get it, in every sense of the phrase. The warehouse full of exploding fireworks, with Flack in his police jacket, with all kinds of yelling and tackling? That'll do nicely for my recommended daily intake of blue-eyed detectives. Hm. I must go icon-hunting.
Oh, I'm sorry, we're not quite done with the tears. As great and wonderful and light as the LL case was, its ending was - unexpectedly - no less sobering than Ruben's story. I have a thing about children drowning in ponds, stemming from a terribly vivid scenario I imagined for my sim character, so this almost more horrible to watch. I mean, the child's logic is understandable - okay, it's cardboard, but it's a submarine; why would they send you a submarine that only works on land? THAT'S illogic - but it's also not the kind of thing that would seem immediately apparent to an adult, and thus probably wouldn't have warranted any disclaimer warning labels (not then, anyway. They would now). I can also see why the guy would grow up blaming Larry, but it's really not the latter's fault. It's just a tragic accident. I'm also sure that a large part of the blame is transference of his own guilt that he not only failed to stop Sam from entering the water, but probably kept mum about what happened. Stuffing down that sort of thing doesn't take very long to start festering.
And poor Larry's face, hearing that bitter tirade! Poor old man. What a blow...I don't think even Flack could maintain his grudge after seeing that expression. It gave me chills.
Damned if I don't love the new credits now. Ugh. But it's all...I love all the shimmery sound at the beginning. Yayness. Considering that I can't stand the themes of the other two at all, this is impressive.
Almost forgot this, but Flack arresting the temporarily-deafened suspect = HEE. Especially when he finally gives up on trying to talk to him and just holds up the cuffs. *snicker*
Also: "How 'bout I 'schtick' you in lockup?"
I'm still deciding on whether or not I thought Sid's itching powder incident was funny or not. I think I might have laughed if I didn't know much about him, but I was watching him scratch with an increasingly real fear that he was going to reveal how he'd gone skinny-dipping on vacation somewhere and contracted swimmer's itch. FYI, that was the tamest of my imagined horror scenarios.
Danny said "Boom" again. That's it; I'm gonna hit him. I don't care if he's bereaved.
Finally, I would like to mention some of the clothes, which I don't often do for this show, but: Stella was looking absolutely beautiful both in her white v-neck sweater and in the dark green shirt with the...ruffled? stitching around the collar. I want them both. I Lindsay wore a truly fugly cropped purple sweater at the beginning of the episode but made up for it with a beautiful soft gray shirt over a black tank later on. Also, her black jacket at the end looked pretty spiffy, even though by that point they'd apparently declared a moratorium on all non-close-up shots and I couldn't really see it.
Final Consensus: I hereby declare this the best episode of the season. It far outstripped anything before it, and will probably exceed whatever little they have left.