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Dear Self: The way to fix Wordpad formatting issues is to copy-paste into Word first.  Very simple.  

Lost, 4.4, "Eggtown"
Being in a tailspun tizzy from American Idol's awful results, I managed to convince myself that Lost was on at 9, and that I had an hour's break before I had to switch the channel.  At 8:30, I realized my mistake, headdesked, and ordered myself to wait until morning so I could watch it properly.  That resolve...did not last, and ten minutes later, I was ruining the episode for myself by watching only the tail end.  I did eventually see the whole thing, but I had the ending in mind, which took away some of the suspense.

Well-well-well, a Kate episode.  As mentioned yesterday in my spoiler post, which you may not have read, I have very little use for the female characters on this show except as love interests (I am terrible.  Don't bother pointing it out).  Kate's flashback episodes have been hit-or-miss for me; even the parts I enjoyed were only worth watching once.  I thought maybe it would be more interesting with a flash-forward, but it was worse.  Maybe it's too much Law & Order, but I feel like I have spent way too much time watching courtroom scenes lately, and it was all very boring and predictable.  One thing Law & Order has taught me, however, is that defendants are oftentimes very likable and there are often very good cases to be made for plea bargains.  This is no exception.  I've been saying for a long time now that I have no real qualms with "what Kate did," so I think that ten years' probation and staying in state lines - and oh, child or not, how I suspect that restriction will eventually chafe at her vagabond self - is a perfectly good resolution. 

As for Kate/Sawyer...I was on pins and needles; I read the spoilers for this ep more times than I could count, but all I could remember was "one of the best endings I've ever seen!" and "Kate and Sawyer fans will NOT be happy."  Naturally, I put this together with the "major character death" spoilers and spent the entire episode convinced that it would turn out Kate was pregnant and Sawyer had either died at some point on the island (yet to be seen in show time), or was going to get randomly killed in a flash-forward at the end of the episode.  In the end, I'm so relieved by the fact that that didn't happen that I almost don't care how things actually went down.

I do care a little, though.   I swooned over "I'll keep you safe," as I knew I would, and then laughed myself silly when Sawyer referenced it the next morning.  Still not a big fan of the sexin' - or heavy making out, as it turned out to be - but that was much less bothersome than the part where Kate stalks out.  Again.  Though I'm not entirely sure I blame her - come on, Sawyer, how hard would it have been to say "Yes, I'm glad you're not pregnant...because now you won't DIE!"?!  I mean, wasn't that why we were supposed to be freaked out?  Or do Sawyer et. al. not know about the island conception equaling death thing?  I can't remember. 

Oh, and further proof that spoilers don't stick in my head, I had actually read something about Kate taking care of Aaron in a flash-forward, and yet 3/4 of the way through the episode I was sulking, certain that Sawyer was dead and at episode's end, Kate would be saying hello to baby James.  By the time she said "I know why you don't want to see the baby" to Jack, I was 200% convinced of it.  As the writers intended, I suppose.   

My exact reaction to the episode's end: "Wait...hi Erik?  Hi...*tries to puzzle it out* OH.  AARON.  *pause* OH MY GOD!"  Here I was scratching my head, trying to figure out what was going on and why "the baby" looked so old, and who we might know named Erik/what significance this had, and then everything hit me full force.  "Fine, show.  Do whatever you want.  Kill off Claire.  Have Kate steal the baby.  SEE IF I CARE."  Extreme mind WTFery indeed. 

To paraphrase a TWoP poster, I'm going to be pissed on Charlie's behalf no matter what happens to Claire.  If she ends up dying, that invalidates his vision.  If she's alive on the island but has sent Aaron off alone for some reason - and that's the explanation I'm leaning towards - that invalidates his vision.  Over and over, I'm seeing that Charlie died for nothing, and once again there is no justice until someone hurls a knife into Desmond's back and shuts up his fake prediction-making forever.  

Also, as much of a pain in the ass as Miles is, the way Locke is torturing him with a combination of the physical and the psychological (I'm not positive the grenade is live) is sick.  As far as the grenade goes, obviously Locke has no qualms about murdering people in cold blood, but I think logically it makes more sense for him not to risk killing Miles and doing a whole lot of damage to their best prison cell & surrounding area.  Simple fear tactics accomplish the same purpose.  Very utilitarian, that Mr. Locke (ohmiGod!  Something useful came out of Miserable Class of Death!)

Other Things:
*I will never not love Sawyer & Claire interactions, no matter how brief.  "Morning ladies!"  Hee!  Seriously, they have this magic spark between them that I cannot explain - not romantic or sexual, but very weirdly equal.  Also, how far gone am I that after two seconds of that conversation, ignoring the canon of flash forwards, I wanted Kate to be pregnant so she and Claire could have a little Island Mommies club?  And the five of them could share a house and it would all be very domestic, despite Sawyer's qualms about children, and someone should really write me a fic like this.

*I will also never not love Sawyer & his books.  It amuses me to no end when Hurley's digging around for good movies, and Sawyer's like "Shut up, I'm reading."

*So if what Jack said in the courtroom wasn't true, then in the future, he does still love Kate.  -.-  Okay, well, I always said that if Sawyer were to die some tragic death - and that's the assumption I'm operating under here - then I could see her turning to Jack.  Except you know what important question we're not addressing here?  Where the hell is Juliet in this future?  Why isn't Juliet around to stop him from becoming crazy and bearded/asking Kate out for coffee?!  The implications, they destroy me.  Also, is it 4.06 yet?

*Oh, Jin.  You are so loving and adorable and devoted.  Your hesitant sentences in English melt my heart. 

*Kate's backhanded slap was vicious.  And kinda awesome.

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Survivor, Episode 3
cbs.com, I love that you have done away with the Inner Tube and begun embedding your videos in the site instead - YAY! No more freezing!  No more freaking out and restarting itself if you try to fast-forward or pause!  That aside...

 

Well that sucked - two of my favorite Favorites square off in a death match, and my other favorite gets gunned down in the crossfire.  I kept cringing during Cirie's blustering and diva-posturing, certain she was burning all her bridges at once, and Jonathan's increasingly aggressive, frustrated shouting wasn't any better.  To quote a TWoP poster, "Mommy and Daddy are fighting!  Make it stop!"  How did a season that started so promisingly suddenly turn to such crap?  YAU-MAN!!  So much for my dreams of seeing the three of them rule the game with the iron fist of intelligence, craftiness, and personality. 

Fine, then, I'm throwing my loyalty over to the Fans.  Erik & Alexis are both too adorable for words.  Alexis, in particular, is the cutest thing ever in her messy braids, even while shaking with cold and on the verge of crying from no sleep - at one point Tracey pats her on the head, which is how you know you've been recognized as the figure of sweetness & innocence (I speak from experience), and Chet manages to worm his way into my heart when he wraps his arms around her to warm her up.  And Erik...wears glasses and looks adorable.  Also, has a great moment in the reward challenge.

The face painting that they do every season is gross, and I wish they'd cut it out, even if it did afford me a moment of humor: I just burst out laughing as Joel stands there and tries to look tough and intimidating with...paint on his face like a really super crappy Kiss imitation.  It's just - HEE!  He's all "I'm gonna kill you."  But not in an even remotely scary way.  I also really hate the wrestling challenges and all the violence and pixelation they bring, although at least they held this one in the nice clean water instead of their usual mud fetish.  Small miracles? 

I also burst out laughing as Eliza molests poor Erik by attempting to pull his swim trunks off as he drags her behind him into the end zone...until he finally gets fed up and clobbers her over the head with the bag.  Now THAT was entertainment.  HEEHEE! 

The immunity challenge, aside from its outcome, was way more fun.  Loved watching everybody toss coconuts into the giant receptacles - can I play?? - almost as much as I loved Jonathan yelling commentary on all the tosses from both sides.  I especially love the fact that for Alexis it was an impressed-sounding "You're good, little one!"  My Jonathan/Cirie dreams having been crushed, hope suddenly sparks anew that he might tug Alexis under his wing after the merge.  Make this happen!!

Randomly noted: James has a tongue stud.  Ew.

Also randomly noted:Poor Ozzy just looked pitiful practically begging Cirie to vote for Eliza.  He's almost starting to become cute again.  I think the main reason I want these couples broken up is that I want them to function as independent players again, instead of Ozzmanda and Jarvati.


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Medium, 4x4, "Do You Hear What I Hear?"
What I hear is the sound of my beautiful new-obsession show coming back to me, promising warmth and snuggling and optimism.  And it did not disappoint.

 

Okay, maybe it disappointed a little at the beginning...Allison's histrionics were somewhat trying, starting with the streaming tears in the doctor's office and really getting under my skin with the random screaming that freaked out her entire family.  I found myself wishing she'd react just a little less dramatically, and perhaps start realizing that when weird stuff happens, it's usually directly related to a new case and not actually cause for utter panic.  Sometimes I'm in awe of Joe's seemingly infinite patience.

I also couldn't figure out why needed to stress like fifteen times how much she loved him, as if they were in a rocky spot and she was afraid he was going to leave her any minute ("I hope you still love me"?  What?  Why wouldn't he?).  I get that she's scared and trapped and uncertain of what to do next, but the desperately suffocating clinginess was overwhelming and unwarranted, given that he'd been nothing but loving and supportive for the duration of the episode.  That being sad, I was duly melted by the teary nighttime phone call as she poured out her heart despite being unable to get a response, and melted further by sad, sad Joe being unable to anything but stand in the empty kitchen and look forlorn, listening to her.

Case-wise, I'm perplexed by Allison's inability to understand sign language, because as limited as the fanfic selection is, I've seen her ability to sign pop up twice in ficland. Maybe it was by the same author, and I guess it was a fanon invention...but I really had it fixed in my head that Allison knew at least a little sign language, even if she wasn't fluent. Now I'm disillusioned! 

And I didn't suspect the stepdad at all, and it was REALLY, REALLY DISTURBING to see him weigh his odds at the end and then decide to drag the screaming girl out to shoot her.  Seriously, that's sick.  Good thing the cavalry was there to stop him in his tracks.  Cynthia Keener rocks my world; I'm not sure I can deal with letting her go when her 6-episode stint is up.  She's so much greater than Devalos or...the detective whose name I keep forgetting because he's so dull, oh yeah, Scanlon.  I love that breezy, cool exterior and enigmatic smirk.  

Random Other Things
*I continue to be enchanted by Marie's little elfin presence.  She was too cute in this episode, asking for people to read a book to her...and Ariel being loving-big-sister and reading with her pretty much broke my brain with cuteness. 

*Fail on casting Dr. Marvin Candle. 

*Love Joe's exasperated "Wait!" while on the phone with the doctor, and the shooing Bridgette back to bed.

*Love even more the the "shut it" motion with his hand while sitting on the edge of the tub, so he could get settled and show off the laptop-as-communication idea.  Actually, the whole tub scene was excellent, especially Joe's pity-me pout accompanying the "Maybe a little lonely" text.  Hee!  Vaguely dirty! 

*Adorable ending, my favorite part of which is Joe & Bridgette curled up on the couch. 

*The random bouts of cutting out the sound were very effective in demonstrating what the sudden and all-consuming silence was like for Allison.


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Cold Case: 5x13, Spider
Oh my God.  I can't even say anything snarky right now.  And believe me, I had snarky stuff planned.  But it's not appropriate at all, because while Cold Case has done a lot to me over the years, there's never been one that completely and abjectly made me sick to the pit of my stomach.  

 

That was masterful.  There's just no other word for it.  I was transfixed with grim horror the whole way through, eyes wide as saucers, having to stop three or four times just to fight down the nausea.  Absolutely everything was chilling, from the horrible home situation, to the adoptive mother (who made the hair on the back of my neck stand up the first time I saw her, even though I didn't know why), to the revelation of his neo-Nazi club, and the killing of Nora was the most wrenching part of everything.  I kept shrinking into myself, eyes filling with tears as much for the brutal manner as for the wool being ripped from my eyes and Spider becoming this monstrous, unrecognizable person - yet somehow still with the gentle caress and the honey tongue.

Okay, I admit it, I fell for his charm immediately.  Once I stopped laughing at the guy's propensity for playing characters with stupid nicknames - I believe we last saw him as "Chili" on the O.C. - I was under his spell.  Even with his ugly buzzcut, I swooned a little - I firmly believed his story of innocence  (and let that be a lesson: short hair is never good).  The way he swept in like the proverbial white knight to rescue her from abuse and carry her away from it all sounded pretty good to me; I would have gone, like her, without question.  Even seeing him in the basement, leading that horrible rally, I found myself fighting against the realization.  Maybe she didn't have to be part of it.  Maybe he'd like her anyway.  Maybe he was still the sweet, gentle person with the kind eyes he'd presented himself as, and these misguided beliefs of his were an issue we could quietly sidestep and largely ignore.  Oh, it never is, but couldn't we hold onto the fantasy just a bit longer?

And that's what makes the murder so horrifying, his gentle cajoling and be brave, that's a good girl, there's my good girl. Don't you see?  Doesn't it make sense?  And it's horrible because it almost does.  It almost does, you think, if you put yourself there in that dark night and think about all the abuse you've suffered because someone like that set off a cycle you haven't been able to stop, and everyone's urging you on, and the boy with the kind eyes presses a solution - so easy - into your hands.  Just once.  Just once and you'll right the wrongs, just once and you'll be accepted, and I love you.

And then I snap myself out of that spell and am cringing and whimpering.  Lord knows I'm intolerant as all get out, but even if I did blame illegal immigrants for "stealing jobs," it makes no sense to take out your rage on some random woman.  You would target the specific person who took your job.  At one point Spider spits nonsense about "people like her" being the reason Tamyra's dad lost his job, and I'm hissing "People like her!  NOT HER!"  There's logic that should be at work here, if not morality.  And meanwhile my brain is still having trouble knitting the pieces together, even after Spider punches the woman, kicks her, spits on her...somehow I'm desperate for him to redeem himself, like if Tamyra just pleads hard enough maybe he'll walk away. Such is the power of the honeyed tongue, and such is why I can't blame the girl for staying as long as she does, or for how much she goes along with before finally begging to leave. 

Speaking of chilling things, how horror-movie-creepy was Tamyra's realization that the mother was the same as the son, with her frozen smile, scrubbing bloody shirts in the sink?  Not as creepy as the end.

I knew Elliot was going to be the killer.  For the first time in my life, I pegged the killer straight up as soon as I saw him, no hesitation or wavering.  Lot of subtle clues, I think...the overexcited babbling, the earnestness with which he was trying to distance himself from his past, and most of all the fact that he seemed way too nice to have done it.  I just had no idea why until the end, and that was especially unpleasant given that as soon as Spider finally broke his magic spell over me by calling her a "stupid bitch," Elliot showed up to the scene looking namby and petrified, and I fell for him HARD and started wanting Tamrya to go seek comfort from him - the only two sane people trapped in a house full of crazies.  I was even a touch disappointed that she didn't stop to kiss him before she left via the escape window. And then!  It all became very sick and twisted!  And he beat her to death with a hammer!  And then I curled up in the fetal position and wept for a while over all the insanity and misguided hatred.  
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Ugh.  God, that was upsetting.  I feel a need to deal with it by...recapturing all the snark I didn't use earlier!

*That's right, if you use the phrase "liberal agenda," you're secretly a frothing neo-Nazi.  Beware the conservatives!  They're rabid!  And maybe even lurking in your college economics department!

*I...was going to say something about the first round of banter, because it's like my favorite part of the show, but then for the first time ever, I suddenly got the bad sense that the writers are trying to lay the groundwork for Kat/Vera FLIRTING. And oh.  So wrong.  No-no.  I love the sharp and snappy banter.  Don't take it to the creepy place, please? 

*Lilly and Scotty were not the central focus of this episode at all.  It was insanely refreshing.  I love them, but sometimes they wear on me more than Elliot and Olivia.  Also, assuming that creepy pseudo-flirting is not on the agenda, I think that Kat/Vera is my favorite investigative pairing.

*Kat's ex!!  I waver back and forth between favorite characters, but she has definitely spent a chunk of time in the spotlight, so I love hearing more about her life.  I am intrigued by this sudden spotlighting of the guy, and working to figure out the context.  We're saying she went undercover, took it too far, and got herself pregnant?  Was sex supposed to be part of the job, or something she got in trouble for?  (aside from the obvious definition of 'in trouble')  Did she sleep with him for information, or did she genuinely care about him?  I AM SO FULL OF QUESTIONS!  And Cold Case is only slightly better about answering personal questions than Without a Trace, so...I expect it to be a while before I find out.

*Kat curling up in bed with her daughter at the end: so much love.  She's an awesome mom. 

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