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I am now COMPLETELY caught up on TV!

That's right: as of this posting, I have at least 36 glorious hours before anything new rolls across the grid.  Although come to think of it, it might take me that long to recover given that these two physically and emotionally wore me out.  

To begin with...Grey's Anatomy.  4x11, "Lay Your Hands on Me."  How 'bout that one, huh?  Last episode of the year.  I think, in the spirit of not doing this again for a while, we should close our year with a rantview. 

As always, here's hoping the formatting doesn't get screwed up from Word.  Because this is a LOT of text to fix by hand.

  1. I am not listening to the “previously on,” lalalala!  There are too many doom-predicting scenes from events that should have been buried, and I want to remain blissfully ignorant about their recurrence. 
  2. You know, the more I think about it, the more I realize the “previously on” is like one giant, last-minute spoiler.
  3. I hereby nominate Bailey to do all the voiceovers from here to eternity, because even though her voice is sort of grating and much too rushed here, anyone and everyone is better than Meredith. 
  4. *jaw drops* Holy cow, these woods are gorgeous.  Did they shoot this on location?  Because if so, I need to visit Seattle and do some hiking.  I am not even paying attention to the dialogue right now, because I’m too busy fawning over the background.  And this is Derek’s property, I assume?  (My eyes: *gleam*)
  5. I assume correctly.  Or future property, at the very least, and wow, that is a view!!  “From my new house.”  Oh, Lord.  DEREK, MARRY ME THIS INSTANT. 
  6. Or marry Meredith so that I can live vicariously through her, as I am wont and resigned to do.  Oh that’s right, you’re not the one who needs convincing. 
  7. Because the mere mention of “it’s your house too” promptly makes her splatter eggs on the floor while her throat swells up in terror - at the thought of such horrible, horrible domestic commitment.  Bah.  Stupid, skittish woman.  (I keep trying to remind myself that technically, she’s barely known him for a year, but at the rate stuff happens in this universe…)
  8. Aw!  Sleepy Lexie waking up on the sofa, with George in his sleeping bag…LOL at him desperately lunging for her leg to stop her opening the door and letting the smell of bad eggs in.  They are adorable and cute together, and I love them as friends SO MUCH.  You’d think that after Gizzie and Coopet I would have learned my lesson, but no. 
  9. Sidebar: Upon second viewing, I discover that I don’t just love them as friends, I’ve already skipped to the shipping-them bit.  Damn it!  You see what happens when you break up Gizzie, Shonda?  I just can’t let George and his cute hair go to waste…
  10. Bleh.  Let’s shove Alex/Lexie in the vault of THINGS WHICH TOTALLY NEVER HAPPENED, shall we?
  11. Derek seems incredibly bemused by the site of Meredith attempting to cook.  I love him.  And Lexie already has an adorable, very comfortable dynamic with him.
  12. Ooh, Bailey in mommy mode!  …this is less thrilling than I thought it would be.  Silly me, I forgot the rule that babies only exponentially increase the cute factor of male characters. 
  13. And now I’m beginning to get seriously frustrated by the fact that every time we see Miranda, she’s running away and saying she doesn’t have time, and she can’t do this now. HOW DAMN HARD can it possibly be to sit down for a full-length conversation?  To carve out a few solid hours a night to be home with your husband and baby?  CONCESSIONS, MIRANDA.  MAKE THEM.  
  14. Ah, Callie/Hahn.  They’re suitable best friends because I don’t like either of them, although I like Hahn slightly more and do not understand why Callie always has someone to talk to instead of being a friendless pariah.  I didn’t even like her before she married George.
  15. Derek: “Do you ever eat anything that even remotely resembles food?” Ahhh, show, stop making me love Derek/Rose so much!  And by “stop,” I mean “pay no attention to me at all and continue as you see fit.”  Because see, if he were saying that to Meredith, it would be because she was existing on coffee and possibly some sugar-free gum.  Rose just grins cheekily and waves her candy at him.  Rose is so much more awesome than she has a right to be.
  16. “Everybody knows about you and Meredith Grey.”  HAHA, I KNEW IT!  And they also know, like us, that it is anything but epic and no longer – if it ever was – worth respecting as sacred and inviolable.  Much like George and Callie’s marriage.
  17. Hahn, why do you hate Cristina so?
  18. Go away, George’s mom, and take your fugly sweaters with you.
  19. Ooh!  George and Lexie are ridiculously adorable, even when she’s covered in a full-body rash and he literally flings himself against a wall in fear upon seeing her.  Because then he gets over it and gives her the desperately-needed shot, while she cutely-because-she’s-not-trying-to-be gripes about her arm now hurting.
  20. On a side note, it would really suck to be allergic to eggs.  Does that include when they’re baked into desserts and things? 
  21. CALLIE IS AWESOME.  It pains me to say that, but it is true when she storms down on George like a grizzly bear, and gives him a vicious tongue-lashing.  “YOU DIDN’T TELL YOUR MOM WE BROKE UP?”

(George: *nearly swallows his tongue* What?)

      “Your mom.  Is making us baby clothes.  Because she thinks we’re trying to get pregnant, because she thinks we’re still married…” And that’s as far as I can quote while still considering Callie awesome.  

  1. And now here we go, again, with Meredith hemming and hawing, playing dumb, and generally thinking talking the talk is akin to walking the walk, so as long as she’s declared her intention to be exclusive with him and that she loves him, what more is there really to do?  Again, I try to chant “one year, one year” under my breath, except that really, this is the equivalent of three years, and after their 600 breakups/make-ups and the drowning thing that made them both come to all sorts of realizations, they shouldn’t still be doing the circle dance.

 Which is why Derek is so completely justified in shutting down, voice flat, the minute he realizes “So nothing’s really changed.”  I have no doubt that people are going to fling “controlling” accusations about the way that he planned the house and such behind her back and then sprang it on her, but that’s not how I see it.  You have to approach her with plans in mind if you want to get anywhere, because otherwise she’d be all too happy to stay casual and largely undefined forever.  So you know what, McDreamy is completely in the right here if she’s not even going to pretend to be receptive to his ideas.  I hereby lift my ban on dating non-Addison/non-soulmate women, and consider you free to go chase Rose.  Go on!  Go!

  1. Seriously, sometimes it’s just depressing that he is so love with this woman who jerks his heart around on a chain.
  2. BAILEY STOP IGNORING YOUR HUSBAND.
  3. “Why don’t you get that I just don’t like you?  That I think you are a crass, predatory, ape of a man who just happens to be a decent surgeon?”  Okay, I have come up with some good, scathing, all-encompassing quotes about why I don’t like Sloan, but that is THE greatest thing to ever actually be spoken on screen.  EVER.
  4. Oh shut up Izzie.  You know, when she’s not being cuddly with Denny or George, or saving deer, I forget how much I really don’t like her.
  5. THERE.  BAILEY.  NOW DO YOU GET IT? 
  6. Apparently not, since she’s busy blaming Tucker for all this.  Which is a valid assumption to make, given that Tuck Jr. was under his care at the time of the accident, and also he started it by insinuating that it was Miranda’s fault for owning heavy textbooks or something, but that comment about how he should have previously bolted the bookshelves to the wall was just stupid and petty.
  7. Speaking of petty, now I hope the baby dies.  That’ll teach Bailey to put her job over her family. 
  8. OK, George’s mom needs to hardcore shut up before I pop her in the mouth.  It is ENTIRELY possible for Catholics to divorce, and not as a desperate last measure either.  Yeah, it’s frowned upon by the Church, but people still do it.   
  9. “This is your soul”?!  SHUT UP, GEORGE’S MOM.  HE MADE NO VOW TO GOD.  He got married in a damn Elvis chapel; I’m pretty sure it’s not the same as a church wedding.  I cannot believe how much I want to stab this woman with sharp implements right now.  I never liked her, but now she’s making me want to throw up with her stereotypical and meaningless rhetoric.
  10. As this odd patient talks about surgery being barbaric and how she heals with light, it occurs to me that she might very well be a witch.  Of the type employed by St. Mungo’s.  Hey, if Shonda can write in deceased spirits, she can do subtle crossovers with Harry Potter.
  11. Whoa, Cristina – “this is why people shouldn’t have kids”?  Um, no.  How about “this is why people shouldn’t work on their own kids.” 
  12. God, everything Tucker says makes so much sense, but the part about Tuck looking for his mother cut to the quick.  Okay Miranda, now do you get it?  Of course not; now she’s twisting his words and getting defensively aggressive again.  Annoyance level…rising…
  13.  Rose to McDreamy: Remember before, when I was unbelievably cool and let you off the hook for making out with me?

(George: *promptly reverses direction* [HEE!])

Rose: (blah, blah) Are we going to let one maybe-great kiss get in the way of what up until now has been a great professional relationship even though you didn’t know my name until recently?  No.  We are not.

 And that would be one more thing in a long list of examples of why I love her.  Cheerful, clever, quite resilient, and dare I say it, sassy.  Now that I get a good look at her, in full light and without a surgical mask, I suppose she’s not classically beautiful, but her personality is too appealing for me to care.

  1. Bailey, GTFO of the operating room already.  God, I hate her so much today.  This is not cool; I have never experienced any measure of dislike for my favorite character, and today I just despise her every word.
  2. Cristina volunteering to hold Tuck’s hand = sweetest thing ever. 
  3. SHUT UP, GEORGE’S MOM!! Callie even told you it was an Elvis chapel. God is not everywhere in cases like this.  And Callie, kindly suck it up and stop falling apart; I find you and everything about your shallow sham of a marriage repulsive and the layers of sticky treacle aren’t helping your case at all.  Besides, who would want to be an O’Malley?  What part of the family we saw last Thanksgiving was not revoltingly redneck and blue-collar slob? 
  4. Okay, Bailey just earned a small reprieve for the INCREDIBLE performance there of the panicky, half-crazed babbling and self-flagellation of a mother desperate to put some order to a random act of tragedy.  It is so much easier to sympathize with her when the only person she’s blaming is herself. 
  5. And oh, oh, oh, McDreamy is so living up to his name right here.  In case I have not previously mentioned this, the two of them have this unlikely but occasionally beautiful friendship that makes me instantly melt.  I’m finding it a bit difficult to breathe right now he is just SO AMAZING throughout this whole scene, from the quiet repetitions of “this isn’t helping” to his attempts to convince her that it’s no one’s fault, to finally just enveloping her in a hug to cut off the crazy.  I think he even kisses her hair at one point, which is just icing on the cake and sends me winging off to future scenarios of what a good father he’d make.  Preferably with Addison.  While I’m listing my druthers, in a world where he never moved to Seattle. 
  6. Meanwhile, Meredith observes all this through the window, and what the hell is that expression on her face?  It’s like she’s resentful that he’s such a good person.  Actually, I take back the “like.”  I’m pretty sure she does hate the fact that he’s such a good person – essentially, I mean; he’s made mistakes and has flaws but he is a very good man, all told – because it makes her feel guilty about walking all over him resisting him as she does.
  7. GEORGE.  SHUT.  UP. 
  8. “We.  Will find.  Time.”  Miranda!  You’re back!  Thank you, thank you, THANK YOU; see, this is all I ever wanted.  She’s completely raw and open now, vulnerable, reaching out not only as a mother but to her husband.  She’s finally realized their importance. Look at her face; how could you not be moved by the pleading there?
  9. …apparently, if you’re her husband. Oh, Tucker.  Come on now, no pulling away.  The angry time is over, you silly man. 
  10. “Faith isn’t medicine.  Faith can’t HEAL you,” says Bailey, with some measure of frustration. I agree.  And if this were House, all the patients she “healed” would suddenly backslide as they crashed harder than ever after temporary relief.  I’ve seen it happen.    
  11. Okay, right here Derek and Meredith are having the most amazing, intense conversation about the state of their relationship ever.  I feel a need to deconstruct the hell out of, so this 9-paragraph analysis has been moved to the end of the rantview. 
  12. So, to recap: Mer/Der went around in a great fat circle and got exactly nowhere throughout this whooooole season.  Yup, sounds about right.
  13. Fakest.  Tuck doll.  Ever.
  14. While I’m on the topic of relationships: dude, Miranda and Tucker cannot divorce, cannot cannot cannot AND YET, I feel like they will because I can see that this how couples, even couples with kids, start slipping towards the path to it.  I want to believe that they’re epic and sweeping and permanent, mostly because a) Bailey is awesome and b) after Richard and Adele, Shonda owes me one…and yet I can also see them otherwise.  I can see them functioning as divorced parents with shared custody – hopefully fairly civilly, once the bitterness subsides - very well.
  15. DUDE!  This is Lifehouse singing, isn’t it?  How did it take me that long to recognize Jason Wade’s voice?  Bad me!  Lifehouse has a special place in my heart for being the first all-male contemporary band I ever loved, and to date the only one whose music has been good enough for me to buy CDs.  *looks up song*  It’s called “Broken,” and once I scrub out the mental connection to Grey’s, because I really hate its use here – possibly explaining why I tuned it out – I am going to obtain it and fall in love with it.
  16. SHUT UP, GEORGE’S MOM!!!! 
  17. I sympathize a bit with George not wanting to be “this guy,” but that, frankly, is entirely his fault for dating Callie even once.  He’s got a pattern of accepting any girl who’ll have him.  At least he recognizes that it’s over, and that counseling “is just gonna hurt everyone more.”  So I guess I should be thankful that Mr. & Mrs. O’Malley are every bit as sunk as Gizzie, and in no danger of revival.  One can only hope.
  18. …baby Tuck no die?  *is confused*
  19. …healer lady no die? *is more confused*  I don’t know how to handle an episode without death.  Oh that’s right, we have METAPHORICAL DEATH!  Of marriages and other relationships and such.
  20. OH!  GEORGE AND LEXIE AS ROOMMATES WOULD BE AMAZING!  I told you I loved them as friends.  Shipping tendencies aside, I am already exploding from squee over how much I love this idea. 
  21. Hahn: Here’s the thing --

Me: *jerks upright, suddenly squee-less and terrified* Erica, no, please, no, please, pleeeease…

  1. FUCK FUCK FUCK!  And don’t take that literally!!  (Translation: Hahn just admitted to being attracted to Sloan.  A lot.  In fact, if they didn’t work together, she would date and/or jump him in a heartbeat)
  2. FUCK!  I am so pissed right now that steam is figuratively shooting out my ears.  Of ALL the – ALSKDJFAL;KSJDFASDF ANGRY RAWR!!!  How many times!  How many times did I beg and plead and cry and beg you not to renege on the awesome fact that she hated Sloan?!  How many times did I praise and thank you for admitting that not every straight woman melts into a mindless, salivating, puddle of lust at the mere sight of his face?  For sending a woman who looked him over and wasn’t impressed?  AND THEN YOU GO AND RUIN HER.  WHY?  I hate you.
  3. I think the worst part of all this is that it just validates Sloan’s disgusting sense of self-importance, and inflates his already grossly bloated ego even more.  Look at him; look at that smirk.  It makes me want to vomit.  Readers, I ASSURE you that unlike your witless blonde heart surgeon here, I truly am repulsed by this character.  Why isn’t anyone else? 
  4. Also, Erica, you have clearly not been working here long enough if you think you have a snowball’s chance in hell of not getting naked with someone you’re attracted to.
  5. “Do you want to go to dinner with me tonight?”  Oh Rose, I know what I said earlier, but don’t be Derek’s rebound girl.  Don’t…damn it.  But that’s okay; she’s also his fangirl.  She knows it’s not going to go anywhere, but she doesn’t care.  He’s the infamous Dr. McDreamy.  Even a little bit is okay.  And there’s always that secret, unacknowledged hope that maybe it will end up being more.
  6. My less analytical response to that is “HELL YES, DATE ROSE AND MAKE MY WAYWARD-SHIPPER DREAMS COME TRUE!”
  7. Aaaand, Tucker’s moving to a hotel room.  Hell.  This upsets me a lot less than it would have five minutes ago, because it pales in comparison to the horror I just witnessed with Erica Hahn and Mark Sloan, but it still stirs up vague rustlings of anger.
  8. Hey, there’s the anger.  Screw you, Shonda.  Screw you.  You have now broken up not only another marriage, but every single relationship you’ve ever introduced, ever, and it’s clear that you are so blinded by your belief in your own brilliance that you can’t see the stupidity in your way.  I mean, most of the broken relationships I can deal with; the marriages on top of them, not so much. Hey guys, could we all start heckling and jeering and sending a flood of letters and e-mails asking her why she hates marriage?  Maybe one of this times it will get through. 
  9. In conclusion, that was actually not the worst way in the world to close the season – I thought it was going to be a cliffhanger, and it’s really not, so that’s one point in its favor.  For all the yelling and grouching and complaining I did, it got me talking (not to mention thinking; I spent the ENTIRE NIGHT slowly going through this episode and writing this), and the ability to pull that kind of reaction out of me is the mark of good TV.     

 Okay – now that that’s over, let’s discuss Point 46 (a continuation of points 7, 22, and 41).  Now with color-coded quotes for ease of following.

 Meredith starts off a passive-aggressive, “So, yesterday, you were making out with scrub nurses, and today you’re building our dream house.”  “Yesterday we were dating other people,” he counters smoothly, and not in a smug, those-were-the-rules-and-I-followed-them way, but in a let’s-talk-about-your-hypocritical-ideas-of-commitment way.  “That’s not the point,” she tries.  That IS the point!” McDreamy and I retort together.  Actually, I shout it. 

That is the point.  He loves her.  He has made this painfully obvious, over and over, more times than Sawyer and Jim Halpert put together.  But the more he reaches out, the more Meredith dances away, and maybe yesterday was just one time too many.  Yes, he kissed someone else – mostly out of a vain attempt to show himself that, after having been pushed away one time too many, maybe it was a sign he was meant to be with someone else.  No, he hadn’t planned to tell her about it - because it turns out he was wrong, and what good could come from telling her, really?

“You don’t want to build a life with me.  You want someone.  You want someone who wants the same things that you want.”  Okay, I will grant you that this is the closest Meredith gets to a valid point.  He has, in fact, admitted those exact words.  But as we’ve all clearly seen, he can’t follow through on it because there is no one else.  Except Addison!  Down there in L.A.!  Who wants to get married and have a baby! Is he pushing her?  Yes, I’d have to say he is.  Is he fixated on building that house no matter what?  Yes, that’s true too.  He does have a dream life that he’d like Meredith to fit into. 

But that’s because he believes Meredith would fit.  Yes, he wants that house and the marriage and the kids, but above all he wants her, as a permanent fixture in his life.  His frustration stems, I think, not simply from her reluctance to commit, but her reluctance to consider it as a possibility. And personally, I have decided that Meredith’s age is no longer an excuse for her not being on the same plane of maturity as Derek.  If she can be in a serious relationship with him, she can accept the same timetable.

(sigh) “I knew the minute I showed you those plans that you would find some reason to walk away.”  Careful, Derek, that sounds dangerously like bait…oh, I see, it was intentional.  Okay, well, minus one point for you.  But you’re still going to come out way ahead of Meredith, because… “I can’t trust you.”  “You can’t trust anybody,” Derek and I once again cry in sync. 

And this is why I am I firmly on Team McDreamy at this point: because Meredith recycles past grievances.  Meredith regresses.  For God’s sakes, she actually brought up Addison – and not the early-season-3 incident, either. “I was in love with you; you didn’t tell me you were married!”  Yes, we’re all well aware of that.  How long are you going to hold that over his head?  We’ve established that that was one of the stupidest things he’s ever done.  We worked through it.  We punished ourselves with season 2.  We forgave.  We forgot.  (mostly)

And now Meredith is spinning lame, lame excuses about how the reason she’s not ready to build a house with him because she can’t trust him.  Which is bull.  You weren’t ready to build a house with him this morning, either, and that was before you knew about Rose.  Were you thinking about Addison this morning?  Because that’s the only other past transgression in your I-can’t-trust-you arsenal.  Also, if Derek wanted to be really mean-spirited, he might retort “Well, I can’t trust you not to drown yourself in the bathtub!”  But that would be petty and pointless, wouldn’t it? 

“You’re always going to look for reasons not to trust me,” McDreamy says sadly, in the most spot-on analysis of all.  And it’s too much.  The aimless circles, the frustration of uncertainty, the endless returns to start with all progress erased.  He’s burned out on trying.  He loves her, but he’s burned out and suddenly the only solution that offers any relief is distance.  It’s not really what he wants.  But he’s going to take it.   

And just like that, Derek and Meredith break up for the 463rd time.  I am constantly veering back and forth between loving and hating this couple, but right now I think I feel very ambivalent towards them.  They have broken up so many times that I’ve finally realized they are the most stable relationship on this show.  Not literally, of course; God, they’re so unhealthy for one another…but it’s the one that Shonda will never permanently kill, come what may.  So it’s not so much a “breakup” as a “limited period of time until their next kiss.”

Damn, if I can find a conversation like that to unpack in Shakespeare, I’ll have my first paper sewn up in no time.  

-----------------------
Luckily, after that crazy and largely unpleasant mess, we get to slide into Friday's gold.  I spent the 8:00 hour bouncing back and forth between Friday Night Lights and Moonlight, during the small portions of time before and after my brother insisted on watching PBS, where I learned that it's a good thing I only get these shows in small doses because otherwise I would explode from glee over everything I want to talk about (by which I mostly mean Coach!  And Riggins!  And Mick!  Also some story arcs).  Someday we're going to have a talk about the confused new feelings I'm having for these shows.  But not now, because now is Charlie time.

Numb3rs, 4x11, "Breaking Point"
AS;LDFJASLDKFJ FLAIL.
OMG*SQUEEFWAMBLOWSUP*
THIS IS THE GREATEST THING EVER
EPIC WIN

These are all appropriate phrases for how I feel about certain aspects of last night's episode, which was made all the better by the fact that in light of the 4x12 spoilers, I had never actually gotten around to reading about what was supposed to happen in this one.  Being completely surprised and delighted = all of the above.

Setting the stage: my mom, who can usually be counted on to agree that Charlie is terribly adorkable, had disappeared upstairs to computer land.  So I was watching it downstairs with Dad, which meant merely appreciating it as an exciting crime show, and I had put a cap on my fawning and/or squealing.  At two or three points in the episode, THIS WAS EXCEEDINGLY HARD TO DO.  It is killing me to do this in any semblance of chronological order instead of skipping to those bits, but damn it, I am going to.  [Edit: And it got really long, which I should have expected when I went through the episode 3 times in 24 hours, but...]

So let's start with the opening, and how I just had my head buried in my heads, trying to hear Charlie's attempt at caginess suddenly fly out the window as he was lulled into the explanation of theory, for which he naturally needed to include case-specific details as variable.  I hate when people say stupid things and/or things they're going to regret on camera.  This is exactly why I refused to risk watching his TV interview in "Primacy," and now it's snuck up on me anyway.  *pause* Why are you squiggly-red-underlining that, Firefox?

[IMPORTANT DIGRESSION: Oh my God, snuck is not actually a word?  You're telling me it's one of those common grammatical mistakes that I despise seeing??  NO!  *clutches heart*  Sneaked, sneaked, sneaked!  *beats lesson into head*]

Luckily, it was mercifully brief and they got it out of the way early.  Even better, it's impossible not to love the very subdued way Charlie's sitting on the chair, eyes down, while Don yells at him.  Poor Charlie.  He always looks so miserable when he disappoints his brother...and a little bitter, too, with his passive-aggressive parting shot as he leaves for Cal Sci, "to do the work I *didn't* do because I was helping Don."  Man, I really wish I knew how to make screencaps, because I would be all over the Charlie picspam.

I would like to state for the record that the giant high-beam truck is quite possibly the scariest vehicle I have ever seen on the road.  I would not be surprised if it suddenly grew teeth and took on a life of its own.  Also, randomly, I just realized that my neighbor down the street drives the same car Charlie does...it's even the same color.

So NOW we get to the first really good part of the episode, with the Giant Truck of Death slamming into Charlie's car, forcing him off the road and such.  Not having believed that the promo was telling the truth about the severity of the danger Charlie's life would be in, I was actually on the edge of my seat.  Talk about heart-pounding action...the rational part of my mind knew he'd be okay, but that part was rendered inactive for the duration of this scene. Particularly when a bullet hit the window.  Was rather impressed that Charlie had the presence of mind to keep his keys in hand, though, and set off the car alarm to drive the would-be assassin away.

Now, previously I'd been a touch disappointed that Amita hadn't convinced him to let her come with anyway, and I spent the duration of the commercial break concocting a revision of that scenario, with her in the car.  I was really quite pleased with the results, especially since it conformed to previous fantasies of mine, but then I was forced to pitch all those ideas out the window because nothing could possibly have been better than what we got next.

I love emotion-heavy scenes between the brothers.  Love them.  They are second only to Charlie/Amita Scenes of Cute, and when there is injury (however mild) and/or near-death escapes and heaping amounts of concern, the pleasure nodes in my brain start sparking and short-circuiting from overload.  The worry and concern in Don's eyes/voice is a beautiful thing to behold.  Words cannot express my reaction to "Let me see?" and brushing aside the curls to examine it for himself.  There is a appendix to the Checklist of Cute, suitable for use in familial/platonic moments, and that is SO on it.

Everything about Charlie is so meek and cowed right here in ways I have to believe are due in large part to the fact that David Krumholtz connects so fully with this character, as not all actors do.  From the weak attempt at a joke to the hint of frustration about why he didn't tell Don before, it's all just *so* very lovely.  Not that Rob Morrow doesn't bring his nuancing skills.  "Come on Charlie, come on, you can come to me; you can come to me with anything!"  Aaaaand, right about *there* is where I break.  And Charlie's eyes look suspiciously bright by the end of the scene.  No matter how many times I watch it, I cannot get enough of it.  I mean, as much as I wanted Amita to have insisted she go with him, I have no idea how Charlie would have managed to split the difference between his own terror and his fear for her safety.  I suspect it would have made for a less compelling peek into his psyche, so grudgingly, I have to admit that this way was better all around.

Fight with Amita!  Yes!  I firmly believe that if they have occasional but regularly scheduled spats, it will diffuse the pressure that makes all other relationships ticking time bombs and keep them operating smoothly.  I'm not entirely sure if this counts as a fight, but let's pretend it does since there's plenty of tension between them, stemming from the fact that Amita doesn't seem to be picking up on his emotional state, too flippant and overprotective by turns.  I like his visibly growing agitation in the office as she presses him to back off the case.

Charlie: What happened shouldn't change anything.  I'd rather just forget it happened at all.
Sarcastic Amita FTW: Well that's a very rational plan, Charlie. It really works for ostriches.

This is the point where you can sense that Amita is treading some very dangerous water here, even if she can't, and her attempt to actually take the papers from him is one step too far as Charlie boils over, violently yanking them back and snapping at her.  I think it's a very wise move on her part to back away and quietly leave him alone at that point, even if she does so looking incredibly hurt.  I cannot catalogue all the ways I love Charlie's expression here, looking supremely annoyed both with the situation in general and the fact David was in the room to witness it (even if the latter couldn't help it).  And while still a bit steamed, his look also suggests that there will be some apologzing once he cools off.  In fact, he already seems to feel bad about it.    

Charlie's reaction to the girl dropping the book in the hall, like a gunshot, was priceless.  Thank you for slipping that in.  Also priceless:

Larry: It would appear Charles' patience is taxed as well as his aptitude.
Charlie: I'm right here, Lawrence.
Like the previously quoted exchange, you want to go "Oh, [Larry,] NO," but Charlie's deadly quiet response is too perfect.

And then, we get to the other really good part of the episode, the part where all the little things that have been collecting and boiling under the surface throughout the episode, bits of which have slipped out only to be gathered back and bottled up again, culminates in a complete meltdown (or "breaking point," if you will).  I just sort of gazed at the screen in enraptured delight.  And my heart broke several times over for him as the yelling dissipated into helplessness and despair.  (Does David Krumholtz have an Emmy yet?  If not, he deserves one for this)  Oh, Charlie.  You are in need of hugs.  No, wait, that's not quite it...you need a good heart-to-heart talk.  With Colby, apparently.  

When I saw that, I didn't think I was going to be able to connect with the scene at all, but then...wow.  Colby is really, really good at presenting himself as a safe zone and getting Charlie to open up.  The broken bits of my heart divided themselves in two as he slowly started to go through the details, all trembly-voiced and deep breaths.  I particularly like the stammer as he stumbles over but finally forces out the confession "I was scared."

In fact, the only thing I'm disappointed in at all about this storyline is the lack of resolution with Amita.  I kept waiting for just a little nugget, something short but significant, but I guess I was supposed to be satisfied with his nod of acknowledgment at her help after Colby put his brain back in operation.  I would be more disappointed if I didn't have my glorious 4x12 spoilers (none of which were mentioned in the preview, I notice, which appears to be all about Megan.  This part is news to me), but luckily I do. They would seem to be proof enough that they get back in sync between now and next week.

So, the case.  Skeletor/"Richard Taylor" - oh hey, last time I saw you, you were framing Horatio for murder.  As I recall, he gave you a punch across the face for your troubles.  I just love the malevolent way Don glowers at him during their first meeting, and find him getting slammed over the counter for the handcuffs on their last quite fitting.

I was less impressed with Colby getting his Lily Rush on, falling in love with a victim through photographs (or video, as it were).  The manipulative tones of those scenes quickly became annoying, and I just didn't care what or why had prompted these feelings of connection.  I know I probably shouldn't have snickered at how crestfallen he looked when she dashed his plans to be a shiny-armored knight, shaking off his touch...but I did. 

(Also, I was confused by how quick David was to announce that the house was empty, until they heard sounds from the basement.
Me: ...you didn't check the BASEMENT?)

In things I really didn't like: RAY.  The first time I saw him, he was borderline tolerable, but soon started to grate on my nerves and I couldn't wait for his time to be over.  Now the sight of him fills me with a desire to do my best impression of a hissing cat with ears pinned flat against its head.  He and Millie could have a showdown for title of "most annoying recurring Cal Sci personnel," actually.

Who talks like this?  Who actually uses the phrase "green things up" in real life? And then Charlie and Amita later on, all "All Ray's doing is trying to make the place a little more efficient!" and "Alan's against that?" (literally, she asks if he's AGAINST THAT.  Like he's twirling a handlebar mustache and gloating about how he's undermining Al Gore by pouring toxins into the air)  I'm not saying people don't make efforts to conserve energy and such, but this clunky exposition was like leftover footage from NBC's Green Week.  And that was just the tip of the iceberg as far as my own personal breaking point went on the subject.

I'm sorry, I know my hatred of change was born the day I, at 6 years old, threw a temper tantrum when my parents bought a new refrigerator...but I too live in an old house.  It's not quite as old as 1909, but major renovations to it would make me angry.  Hell, replacement of the bathroom sink and the door on the front porch nettled me; I can't imagine how mad I'd be if someone suggested ripping off the roof for SOLAR POWER and replacing the walls in order to change the heating system.  I cannot understand why Charlie is not being just a titchy bit more sensitive to his father's sentimental attachment to house - I know he was in his own world through most of the ep, but I really thought that by episode's end, he was going to say sorry Ray, but they weren't quite ready for such drastic changes.

I am disappointed by the fact that instead, Alan seems to have accepted change as inevitable. Alan, NO! Stick to your "That's the roof Donny and I put up after their mother died" and "It's not just walls and roof shingles to me!" convctions!  And I don't think it's unreasonable for Alan to say that, because he might be a former hippie and city planner, but he is also at least in his 60's, and there's a certain mindset that comes with that.  Also, I don't think Ray (or Larry, for that matter) quite grasps that the point is, the original builders DIDN'T have solar panels, and that when you have an historic house, some people would prefer to keep it looking that way. 

Other Things:
-Charlie works through things by talking to himself.  File this for later.

-Exchange of HEE:
Amita: Your driving is...questionable.
Charlie: There's nothing wrong with my driving.  
Larry: So the chorus of car horns that follows in your wake - what is that, a sponatenous phenomenon?
    I think I mostly just love how darkly Charlie defends his driving.  Larry and Amita are joking around, but he's dead serious and rather annoyed by it.  I know he's in a mood over other things, but still.  His pride is clearly wounded.

-I have come to the conclusion that we do not spend enough time in the house's backyard, because it is far more beautiful than I remember.  Gorgeous landscaping, especially the koi pond.  I want a koi pond!  That is, I want it to be late April so it's warm enough for the one at my school to be set up again.  It really is as soothing as it looks, even though ours has considerably less flora in or around it.

So, um, yeah.  Basically, one of the best episodes in already solid season, although it will require careful measurement of the positives and negatives to figure out whether it can catch Primacy or not.
-
Goody, that's done.  Now I get to go do laundry, walk the dog one more time, fetch things scattered throughout the house and stored on the computer, PACK, compile shopping lists, and otherwise force myself to realize I'm going back to school in about twelve hours.  :(

Comments

( 1 comment — Leave a comment )
eleigh
Jan. 13th, 2008 03:31 pm (UTC)
Hey, there’s the anger. Screw you, Shonda. Screw you. You have now broken up not only another marriage, but every single relationship you’ve ever introduced, ever, and it’s clear that you are so blinded by your belief in your own brilliance that you can’t see the stupidity in your way.

God this is so true and one of the things I now hate most about this show. I can totally understand why certain people broke up or why their relationship ended, but this is ridiculous. Break ups =/= drama. Sometimes they just piss your audience off. What's the point of caring about any pairing Shonda comes up with at this point because, like a soap opera, she's just going to break them up.

He got married in a damn Elvis chapel; I’m pretty sure it’s not the same as a church wedding.

In addition to being stereotypical she's being hypocritical. She's pushing for them to keep a marriage together because her church forbids divorce but she's doing so for a marriage that her church doesn't even recognize in the first place.
( 1 comment — Leave a comment )

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