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Damn you, ihasatardis , for being too awesome for me to stay away.   "Heavy spoilers for series 4 episode 1," it said.  IN CAPITAL LETTERS, it said this.  "Oh, I'll just click and bookmark it for when I've actually seen that episode," I said.  "I can shield my eyes and just take a minor peek at the first picture; it can't be too bad," I said. 

OMG WTF DOES THIS PICTURE MEAN AND WHAT IS GOING ON?  I want to knooooooow!   I mean, I don't want to know, and I wish I hadn't seen it, but now that I have it's driving me bonkers.

Must not spoil self!  Will not go looking for context!  *sobs* THIS IS DIFFICULT.

In a related note: There are a lot of un-funny excuses for caption memes there, most notably Terrifying Pertwee and anything involving lyrics, and the mod decides that "You're doing it wrong" is banned?  MOST DISPLEASED.  That's at the top of my list of favorites.
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Here, have some reviews.

'Numb3rs, 4.13, "Black Swan"
Previously on Numb3rs: Megan was angsty, Don was angsty, he and Liz broke up 17 times before she finally quit, and Charlie and Amita routinely proved able to out-cute a whole basket of puppies.

Ah!  Charlie's hair is unexpectedly shorter and reined in now!  I don't know what to do with this.  My feelings on his hair are never positive at first, and then as I get used to the new styles I forget it was ever different, until I start watching Charlie/Amita videos with clips from all over the series, and it's fascinating to observe its many incarnations. So, right now I think it looks sort of sad and boring, but that might well change next week.

In a related note, Alan's facial scruff is frightening and should make a disappearance immediately.

Colby & David on stakeout = greatest thing ever.  Even better than Colby climbing the trellis, all the while muttering "Colby, go down the elevator shaft.  Colby, jump in the bay. Colby, climb the 6th Street Bridge..."  Aw, don't you like being Super!Colby? 
 
Loved Megan's ditz routine.  "Oh my God, this is why you're not  supposed to text and drive!"  Did not love her butting heads with Don all the way, because...*sniffles* Don't quit the team mad, Megan!  Time is precious and limited!  (in a related note: *gasp* Larry!  You traitorous bastard!  So YOU'RE the one planting the firmest seeds of doubt in her head?  Encouraging her to find new work if it'll make her happier?  FIND A DIFFERENT WAY TO BE SUPPORTIVE, SIR!)

And I liked that little moment where Charlie asks Don if he's still seeing a therapist, even though my brain is like a sieve where plotty-type things are concerned, and I can't actually remember Don being markedly different this season as opposed to previous years.  My brain has limited shelf space for all but the most important and major (a word which means "ship worthy") details of episodes.

"Ever since they went back to India..."  Well, I'm glad we cleared up that slight discrepancy with her parents  Charlie: Well, consulting on the national finance board of the second largest population on the planet...
Amita: *death glare*
Charlie: ...but I'm angry if you are.  Within whatever acceptable boundaries won't come back to haunt me later. 

That was such a sweet scene, complete with hand-on-shoulder.  But the best part was Alan coming in with Colby.  Is this a bad time?  Oh, not at all, compared to "Last week I walked in on them and they..."  "THANKS."

LMAO!  You should have seen my jaw drop in half-scandalized, half-delighted disbelief.  I just...wow.  That was so unnecessary, and so hysterically funny because of it.  Charlie's face!  Amita's "oh dear God, I want to die" facepalm!  *giggles madly* I almost wish we'd seen that.  It sounds priceless. 

Also loved him suggesting a trip to Deli, which...okay, actually that was a very awkward suggestion, but its ending completely made up for it.  "I hate seeing you unhappy.  I wanted to do something about it."   "You just did."  I freely admit to just grinning stupidly  between the soft little kiss and the hug. 

And the ending!  Everyone gathered around the Eppes table for the dinner party for the best dinner party ever.  Oh God, that was priceless, not least because of Colby pleading for there to be chicken somewhere ("It's in the waffles"), but mostly because of the last very sweet Charlie/Amita kiss, and lingering handhold on the table.  And just the fact that he created this whole waffle dinner in the first place for her...GOD, I'd forgotten how much I adore them.  They will really just never not be adorable and beautiful. 
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Previously on Without a Trace: The Multi-Season Plot Arc That Would Not Die, the writing staff hated Danny and Elena, and Sam got knocked up by a 1-night stand whose name she couldn't remember, which was actually less gross than her previous relationship with Jack.  Also, Jack HAD HAIR.

6x13, "Hard Reset"
Seriously, Jack has sported some really awful hair in his day (remember when he lost his scissors, and it grew out of control?), but none of them have looked quite as bad as this.  Gross.

"Roughing up witnesses, seizing files without a warrant?  No, that sounds like Jack."  And that is precisely why I hate him.  It did my heart a world of good to see him shot, lying bleeding and groaning, and kicked in the head.  I did a happy dance.  As the episode wore on, I became increasingly more disappointed that contract news is made available to the public, because I really wanted to believe that Jack might die at the end of this.  For God's sakes, they actually thought they were dumping his body. 

At that point, by the way, I was like "WEIGH HIM DOWN WITH STONES!  SHOOT HIM (PREFERABLY IN THE HEAD) BEFORE YOU THROW THE GUN AWAY!  WHY ARE YOU LETTING HIM KEEP HIS FACE ABOVE WATER?!"  That last one really ticked me off.  I don't care how remote your location is; you don't make it that easy for people to see his body.  Plus, you'd think that if he's not quite dead, water might help revive him.  INEPT CRIMINALS, YOU TAX MY PATIENCE.

That being said, Jack is much less irritating when he doesn't speak for half the episode.  Even his dream sequences didn't bother me too much, but then again I was nodding and snickering as he used the last one to detail all the ways he sucked as a human being.  Which were all very true, and should have convinced him to roll over and die immediately. 

"She's hormonal. I wouldn't mess with her."  *chuckles* I wouldn't either.  And that's all I'm going to say about Samantha, because I just refuse to deal her mess of a Jack complex.  The one thing I'll say is that the vending machine conversation was more palatable than most of their dealings have been lately. 

VIVIAN!  I heart Vivian so much.  I love her more when she breaks out the French.  You know that thing where I love Elena speaking Spanish?  Is irrelevant in comparison to how musical French sounds (well, and there's the fact that I can understand it).  Je suis d'un peu partout would make an excellent fic title, I think, if anyone ever wrote Viv fic.

I'll just ignore the part where she went all irritating Renegade-Malone on the suspect.  Mostly because it's going to lead to her finding Malone in time to save his life.

Other Things
-Is the theme song dead?  I think the theme song is dead.  This makes me a sad panda.  Without a Trace had one of the most beautiful theme songs out there.

-Providing abortions for sex slaves seems...less reprehensible than the team made sound.  Would you really want to be pregnant in those conditions?  And I can't imagine how many of them would want to keep a child conceived under those conditions, even if they got rescued in time, anyway.  Some of them, maybe, but I certainly wouldn't.

-Back when I had a tape Dictaphone, everyone in crime drama used the same model I had.  Now that I've got a digital recorder, I can't help but glee when I see the same model used on the interrogation table.

Overall, I still had a few spurts of fast-forwarding, but for the most part, it was actually really solid.  It reminded me of the type of story they used to tell in earlier seasons.  Maybe a more average episode from back then - it didn't make my jaw drop like "At Rest" did last year, or anything - but a much better effort than the entire season to date.
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Survivor, Episode 8
Very little actually happened in this episode, although it started well - Jason pretended to be a crazy jungle warrior and killed a rat, then realized his bounty looked pretty small and unimpressive in his hand.  And he didn't even know about Ami being an actual crazy jungle warrior and spearing like half a dozen giant crabs.  In the DARK.

Ozzy and Amanda are still frustratingly cute when they're curled up together at night.  I like them; however, at this point I definitely like Ozzy more, and think he's the only one out of Couple-y Alliance that I actually want to succeed in any capacity.  Unfortunately, Amanda's brain appears to be slowly reasserting itself, and I'm beginning to worry about how much longer Ozzy will be able to keep swaying her to his side, instead of the other way around.  I like Ozzy's plans.  They are blunt, direct, loyal, and involve Erik.  I do not like Amanda's plans.  They are complicated, calculating, potentially ruthless, and involve girl-bonding, even though all the girls/women except Alexis and Eliza - who are not part of her planned alliance - suck.

I'm normally cool with Airai's uninterrupted streak of challenge wins, because I want Alexis safe at all times, but once she got Exile Island immunity, I was desperate for Malakal to win, because Erik is my second-favorite and I was getting incredibly nervous.  Having seen him body-slam into the box countless times during the previews, it was kind of torturous to watch him keep making those wild leaps, knowing it was eventually going to catch up with him.  It still wasn't any easier to watch.  I'm shocked he didn't crack a rib in there.  Poor thing.  *cuddles*

I really liked the challenge, though I wish the swinging bags would have been more effective.  They knocked Tiny Eliza off ONCE; otherwise they either missed completely or barely broke the person's stride.  I wanted to see a few more people hit the sand.

I missed about 15 minutes in here, which I'm guessing was the feast and/or Exile Island.  Ozzy/Alexis interaction would have been fun to watch, but alas.  Instead I sat through an excruciating series of conversations with Ami and Erik, which the former made extremely unpleasant, especially when she went up to him to simper "Hey, guess what?  Your attempt to save your neck totally failed, and in doing so, you helped solidify our alliance against you!  Isn't that awesome?  Aren't you happy for me?"  Erik's smile could not have looked more sickly.  

Which is why when he bounded over to Ozzy, like the sad lost puppy dog he so adorably is, I sprang up with renewed hope, and reaffirmed my Ozzy love.  I don't know what magic he worked, but he managed to turn at least one of the women against Ami and bounce her sobbing ass out of there.  I am SO HAPPY she's gone, because over the course of the episode her likability took a sharp turn downwards.  I don't know what BS she believes in when she talks about just wanting to fit in, because she switches alliances like a dog chasing a ball, and never follows up on any of the stuff she talks about.  Total wild card.  I was getting sick of that.  SO HAPPY SHE'S GONE.  I want a merge soon, and I want a merge that puts Eliza, Alexis, and Erik in the final 3.  I know this won't happen, but oh - DO WANT.

Very little happened in this episode, but I managed to talk for ages anyway.  *sigh*  Oh, damn, and I'd almost forgotten...but Miss Alli is no longer doing the TWoP recaps.  I think I'm going to lay down and cry, since those were like my second-favorite recaps in the world.  Sara M is taking over, and I love Sara M, but Miss Alli + Survivor was pure magic.  *weeps*

Next week: O hay, is Ozzy talking to Alexis about a possible alliance?!  That would be excellent.
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4x12, "Grissom's Divine Comedy"
Previously on CSI, according to Annie because she put it better than anything I could come up with: "Sara had taken a sabbatical (SHUT UP, she IS coming back), Grissom was alternately mopey and cranky, Catherine was hot, Nicky was also hot, Greg was adorably annoyed with Grissom for letting Sara get away, Brass was awesome and snarky, Hodges was crushing on Wendy, Doc Robbins was hilariously creepy as ever, and Warrick was saddled with the worst personal storyline this show has ever seen." (that last point is debatable, after Tina)  I don't know how I've survived 3 months without Annie's recaps.

CSI is defying the laws of TV drama.  First of all, this makes five pretty good episodes in a row - most shows have a misstep in there somewhere.  Second of all, this makes five pretty good episodes in a row without my beloved character.  How are they doing this?  How?!  I keep waiting for them to crash and burn, and yet I keep coming away from episodes nodding and thinking that I've just seen a solidly quality hour of TV.  It wasn't supposed to be like this!

True, I think Maddie is a really irritating character, and thought so even before the "Either you're the world's biggest enabler, or we're soulmates" line.  Her every moment on screen got under my skin, and I didn't even have any pre-conceived notions going in like I did with Jessalyn Gilsig on NY.  She lost me forever the second she started sarcastically detailing the team's screwups.  I would like very much if she never returned, and in fact kept waiting for her to be guilty in some fashion at the end.  However, the rest of the plot was entertaining, and her presence was made up for by four things in particular:

1. THE ENDING!!  OMG SQUEE FLAIL!  Not just because it was so lovely to see him instantly transformed to "Ugh.  I hate people" to "Oh!  Well, there's always an exception..." and smile and lean back all relaxed as he picked up...but because now my last shreds of worry are gone.  He and Sara are talking.  They're talking enough that phone calls are casual and easy like she never left.  Anyway.   They're going strong, and this makes me indescribably happy.  And the fact that it was subtle means they (probably) weren't just trying to raise the relationship to the forefront of the casual viewer's mind in order to smash it on the rocks in the near future. 

And at first I wasn't even sure it was her.  I was completely confused about who Grissom would so willingly talk to after all the crap he just went through - shamefully, I also admit to assuming Catherine, albeit while wondering why she was suddenly such a welcome ear.  Sara didn't even cross my mind, just because I didn't dare hope for something so expressly optimistic.  When it did, I had trouble convincing my brain that I hadn't made it up.  

I think I like the way they're handling this, but I'm also worried that if they set this standard - how many references have we had since she left? - that they're going to burn out and one day her implied presence will just vanish and never be mentioned again until/unless she's actually about to come back.  I almost wish they'd space them out a little more, and adjust to mentioning her less often, but over a longer period of time.

Though I should probably be glad that, as the kind people of YTDAW have pointed out, Sara's been gone some 4 months and they're still in this state of relative happiness.

2. BRUNO BRUNO BRUNO BRUNO BRUNO!  (wait, he has a different and stupider name, doesn't he?  I can't remember what it is, so let's just continue calling him Bruno)  I thought I'd died and gone to heaven when he was prominently featured in so many scenes.  Especially the last bit of the teaser, lying hopefully on the kitchen floor.  And the one where he was curled up on the sofa next to Grissom at the beginning.  Forget Sara.  Just don't ever let Grissom lose his dog. 

3. SICK GRISSOM!  With the tea and the hot soup and bathrobe and slippers and...you know, I could be depressed that Sara's not there, or I could pretend he got the flu last year, and let my brain slip into a coma of bliss.  That, and someone (or several dozen) someones will surely have a post-ep fic for this at some point.  I am daunted by the prospect of finding a good one, but I will let you know when I do.

4. Actually, the rest of the team..or, well, Nick and Greg...being sick was pretty good too.  Poor sniffly Nick...loved Warrick taking over for him.  And how cute was Greg all wrapped up in his scarf?  

Other Things
-I am really terrible at catching character names (hell, I still don't know half the detectives on Law & Order), but the gang leader in solitary...OMG, IT'S YOU!  YOU KILLED MARISOL!  *rage*

-What was the reading-upside-down thing supposed to convey?  I felt like it was supposed to be significant, but I can't fathom why.

-Everyone keeps raving about Bonnie Bedelia.  I can say with utmost certainty that I have never seen or heard of her before in my life.  

-Loved the explosion.  Any time you throw Warrick over railings, I'm there.

-No really, why is this show not sucking without Sara?  I'm so bewildered it's hard to remind myself that this is a GOOD thing. 

-What's not a good thing: Super Dave, your hair, EW.  I no longer like this invisible wife of yours.

Edit: THIS IS WHY I READ SPOILERS.  Everyone is talking about some scene that got cut, and it's driving me absolutely frigging bonkers to have to scramble after the fact and figure out what this was.  I feel like I'm missing some vital piece of background information when I go into a show without knowing what's going on first.  This holds true for all shows, not just CSI, hence why this is outside the cut. 

And...oh, right.  The townhouse scene (which, if you click the link, you'll find exists on YouTube).  I figured I was just really tired when I watched it, and that was how I ended up missing the picture of Grissom & Sara that was, uh, in the actual previews.  No matter.  Now that I have seen the actual scene, it would definitely make #5 on the list.  Although I am not entirely sure why Catherine felt a need to prowl around the house and peer into closets, I'm quite pleased about getting to see Sara's shirt in there, and I really do love seeing the detail of the interior.  I liked the open Shakespeare book, but the picture on the fridge sells it all.  <3 

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