RS (rainbowstevie) wrote,

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Review Pile 1: in which I post now in order to avoid a 'post too large' later.

Voice: That's funny. Most of these don't LOOK any shorter than your normal reviews. What happened to that 1-2 paragraph idea you had? Do I have permission to slap you now?
RS: No.
V: Well, that's just false advertising then.

OK, so...I'm a couple weeks behind on the show right now, and desperately avoiding spoilers, but this season has ended in a SPECTACULAR way, and I want to jot some thoughts down. I liked these two episodes so much that I'm...seriously watching them for the third time.

Episode 11:
-At first I couldn't understand why Amanda wouldn't grab the guys and try to explain to them that the only chance any of them had was to band together and force a tie. Then I read the TWoP boards and realized that Amanda's chances are best if she goes with the women to final 5. She has a pretty good stab at winning a couple of immunities if she gets that far, and a better chance against the women in the end, as far as likability.

-I would like to say that my Alexis love is staying strong, but that IDIOTIC playing around with Parvati, pretending to be witches stirring a brew, very nearly killed it dead. I think maybe Alexis was one of those well-rounded popular girls, in every activity possible and excessively perky, that I could not stand in high school. Sigh.

-However, I did love James calling Parvati out on her crap. "No, sorry's not what you mean. 'Ha-ha' 's what you mean." And he does it in such a laid-back way; you know he's serious, but he doesn't really hold a grudge, if that makes sense. He's just very no-nonsense about his dismissal. I kind of love James again after this. And I especially loved Parv sulking about how "You wouldn't give me credit for having a plan anyways." Lesson #1: "Anyways" is not a word. Lesson #2: Woman, the way you act, are you honestly surprised that people think you're dumb? (however, note: James specifically says "I said you were selfish, not stupid." And he makes a good point. She's actually rather clever and conniving. She just uses her powers for evil. Other people have bashed James for acting like she shouldn't try to act in her own best interests, but come on. She made an alliance with him in a slightly deeper way than most game alliances, and dropping him out of it IS kind of a low thing to do)

-I love the Survivor Auction; it's one of my favorite parts of the season. Cirie's hot-dog-and-fries win STILL makes me desperately crave French fries (luckily, when I first watched it, I had recently purchased a bag of frozen ones...the first time I'd ever done so. Fortuitous! Alas, all gone now)

-However, my appetite is killed by the sight of the women stuffing their faces with cake. That's INCREDIBLY DISGUSTING, and wasn't helped by Erik sucking on Cirie's fingers. Alexis, now, that would have been a different story.
*slaps self* STOP RP SHIPPING.
But they're pretty! Although I do kind of love how the "no sharing of money or prizes" can be bent and broken whenever it makes for entertaining footage.

-Other stuff: Erik was adorably excited to get the nachos (how can you not love him! how! I mean, unless you watched him with Cirie), and James calmly peeling the skin off the fruit bats was hilarious,

-Oh, and there was a tiny moment where I actually felt sorry for Jason as he begged and pleaded not to be sent to Exile again. Bitchy Natalie, this is not helping me like you! Neither is that offputting "I don't know why he's trippin'" quote.

-God, I already disliked the pinched, bitter expression on Natalie's face, and then this episode happened. She started talking, and her demeanor was nothing short of vile. Some women can be funny when they joke about being snake-like and "evil." The thing with Natalie is that it doesn't sound like a joke (one more utterance of "jugular," I was going to slap her) And calling Jason a bitch 3 times in 5 seconds during her interview seemed just slightly unnecessary.

-So glad Erik won immunity! I love how close that was. Very intense.

-Ozzy looks weird and not nearly as cute clean-shaven. However, I love that he flipped them all off as he walked in. HEE! Ah, Ozzy love. Stronger now than ever. And GO JAMES for sneakily outing Parvati as the Ozzy ouster! *snickers*

-Glad to see Jason out. Was more than tired of him. And thought the second consecutive blindside was brilliant.
Episode 12:
So, I didn't think they could improve upon the last episode. AND THEN THIS ONE BLEW IT OUT OF THE WATER.   My inability to recover after this episode is actually why I'm behind.

-Cirie is slowly winning my love back with her half-apologetic comments about how "I know this is bad because I'm a nurse, but...that's 2 less people I have to fight against!" I forgot how endearing she could be in her season.

-EXCELLENT REWARD CHALLENGE. Not just the meeting of the family members - I love that on its own - but the smashing of the plaster likenesses. I love when they get to exact revenge on one another, but the added element of violence was pretty great. Speaking of family members...

Parvati's mom: don't care (except that Alexis was literally fanning her face like a Miss America contestant at the sight, and OH MY GOD, SWEETHEART, I AM TRYING SO HARD NOT TO HATE YOU)

Erik's brother: HEEEEEEEEEE! This interaction was so great. I'm still giggling at Erik's sheer giddy enthusiasm. "Look at this! I got a beard! Look! That's Jeff Probst, he's just standing there!" Heeheehee, the fanboying is so great.

Natalie's mom: In the spirit of celebrating how evil women can be, as Natalie suggested last week...I find it interesting that her mom appears to have stolen all the body fat from her daughter. Discrepancies like that intrigue me.

Alexis' brother: Yeah, OK, just for the big brother/little sister dynamic, you win my love back. *is melted into puddle of goo*

Amanda's Awesome Sister: Yay, she's back! I love the two of them together. Oh, and she's bringing the funny! "You smell better! ["I do??"] Than last time!" The sincere enthusiasm in their exchange is hilarious.

James' dad: Aww, I think this might be my favorite reunion of all. It's so understated, yet clearly heartfelt.

Cirie's man husband: Aww, I missed him! Most supportive husband ever. And he even brought her a flower! *squees quietly*

Now, the challenge itself - oh, I do so love this game. It's so delightfully mean-spirited, especially when they get to the "who wouldn't you want at dinner?" question. James Senior is PISSED by this, and really, it was all kinds of stupid for Alexis to drive the nail home by eliminating James from the challenge after he was the answer to that question. I can't say I really blame Papa for wanting to run home and trash talk the racist little girl. Oh well. I'm still glad she won (see! she's sweet!), although less pleased about the fact that it meant stupid Natalie going on reward. I pretty much skipped the Jellyfish Lake segment because she was there.

-Noooo, not James! Why are all the awesome people getting themselves knocked out of the game with infected cuts?! It really sucks to be so close to the end, too.

-I spent the whole immunity challenge on the edge of my seat, literally holding my breath, *desperate* for Erik to win. I adore the mop-haired good far too much to let him go just yet. The show would be horribly dull without him! I mean, Amanda had her idol (if she played it well), so if Erik nabbed immunity, not only would 2 of my favorites stay in, but there was a 50% chance of dumping someone I couldn't stand. AND THEN ERIK WON. I *screamed* with joy. Part 1 of The Perfect Plan...complete.

-I was deliriously happy when Amanda found the last clue. But I was much, much happier with how it played out in the end. First, assuring everyone - with proof - that she didn't have it? Genius. I'd forgotten how crafty she could be. Second, aligning with Parvati? Even more genius. As dangerous as she can be, you can also use that to your advantage. And Amanda's smart enough to do so.

-DAMMIT ERIK, even if you're about to kill them, you do not pick up chickens by their neck! That is cruel and unusual! Luckily I was too busy being disgusted by Natalie's evilly enthusiastic bloodlust to really hold it against you. Also I was won over by the explosion of cuteness on my screen when you and Alexis started plotting together.

-No matter how many times I watch it, the idol blindside never stops being AMAZING. Especially the way she pauses for dramatic effect! And she was playing the role of downtrodden victim SO perfectly up to that point, it just made it even better. Eliza continued her glee fit in the jury, and the grin on Ozzy's face was awesome. Proud of her, yes? Boy, if she makes it to final 3, that jury is in her POCKET. ...yeah, I see the giant target on her back too.

-MAN! Loved watching votes bounce off Amanda, but WAS NOT expecting Alexis to go just yet. That was almost a bigger blindside than Amanda playing the idol. As much as I've hated her alliance choices, I also figured hey, at least they were keeping her safe. And then suddenly not! I can't help but be a little amused by her super-steamed look, though. She was happy to be all sympathetic in voting out Amanda, talking about how they liked and respected her, but the minute SHE was the target...oh no, that just won't fly at all!

Still sucks watching two of my favorites get saved from the chopping block only to have the third one go under, though.

I'm going to go watch the rest of the season now, before I accidentally check my Hotmail account and see the winner's name plastered in the headlines or something. 
'Cold Case
5x17, "Slipping"

WOW. That was brilliant. I know this show doesn't dip into the paranormal, but I was hard pressed to remember that when everything *seemed* so ghostly, especially the way the wind artfully blew through the house and scattered all the papers on the floor. And the page appearing in the typewriter?! I would have freaked out and left the house that night.

The rope in the attic was the most chilling thing, though. Easy enough for someone to put there, but HOW FREAKY WAS THAT. It's just such an ominous sight to come upon. Especially with the store owner insisting he'd seen her buy the rope the day before? I called schizophrenic right there, and only realized later that the show had *wanted* me to think that. So, AMAZING writing for the sheer misdirection, even if the actual reason for her death was sort of of stupid - "My pen was touched by the gods"?! Yeah, wife's not the crazy one in the house.

But the inclusion of Drummond as a mental hospital, and her mother's history? God, what a brilliantly crafted story about the power of suggestion. I was almost disappointed when it turned out to be a murder after all, because I think it would have been much more amazing if it had driven her to suicide after all. At least it would have been *understandable.*

And the way this case got to Scotty. I was having paroxysms of glee for the overt tie-backs to Elisa, epspecially his desperate insistence to the team that Rachel's death wasn't a suicide, while they quietly exchanged looks. SHOW, I REALLY LOVE YOU FOR NOT FORGETTING ABOUT THIS EVEN YEARS LATER. Her death never really stopped gnawing at me, and I'm glad that while he's partly moved past it, it's also apparently something he'll never permanently bury. Which is how it should be. In conclusion: pure win, easily one of the best episodes of the season. Probably should have been the finale. Instead we got...

5x18, "Ghost of My Child" - season finale (cool title. That's all the good I can say about it)
*Furby voice* "Hmmmm...bor-ing!" Honestly. Scotty's issues I can deal with all day long, but Lilly? Nah. You'd think maybe Kat would have something to relate to this situation, about a mother's love for her child and/or the struggles of a single parent going through a tough time? But she was barely in it, because this was all about Lilly's Issues as an abandoned child of an addict. Oh, and her Love Interests Issues as Eddie hung around the edges and waited for her to change her mind about him. (blech. I'm over this storyline and it's barely started) But mostly her Childhood Issues, about which I could not care less.

I figured out in the first ten minutes that Max's body probably wasn't Max's at all, though I hadn't yet figured out why, until the counselor made that VERY HAMFISTED remark halfway through about having a 4-year-old, and it was like "Boom. Baby-snatcher!"

But...seriously, why did that couple not move across the country after they got the kid? How dumb do you have to be to stay in the same town?? I'm surprised they didn't bump into Priscilla earlier. And you know, surely there were easier ways to get their hands on a baby than staging an elaborate body switch and committing arson. If you're going to go for the fast rather than legal route, there must be plenty of desperate teenagers too far along to have an abortion looking to unload their baby. Couldn't have been too hard to convince one of them to hand it over, could it? Maybe even lie and say you would bring it to an adoption agency after it was born?

I still feel weird about stories like this. I mean, on one hand, it's wrong to kidnap kids, no matter how good your intentions. On the other, isn't it equally wrong to rip a child away from the only parents he's ever known? I mean, if you don't find a missing baby after about a year, it's more trouble than it's worth to keep looking. (This is why I could never work in law enforcement. There are too many instances where I think you should just look the other way.)

That being said, the freaking Nickelback song ("Far Away") made me cry. Damn you! I don't even think the song is that great, but ever since I saw the heartwrenching video for it, it's guaranteed to send tears down my cheeks no matter what I'm doing.

Final Niggling Complaint: Um, considering the last two cases...don't these detectives have actual cold *murders* to be solving, rather than investigating mere suspicions of wrongful death?

'Medium: "Being Joey Carmichael"
Marie: "Give 'em BACK!" Seriously, she may be the cutest child ever born. I want one! Only one scene with all the girls together, but it was worth it to see Marie (cutely and politely) demand the return of her glasses from Bridgette. As was the scene with Allison putting on a finger puppet show for her later. Not much to say on the case other than "Hey, it's the boss from Crossing Jordan!" and "aw damn, and I was so counting on split personalities" (didn't the twin scene with the little boys seem completely surreal that way?). That, and it's still weird to me when she actually talks to ghosts. I don't care what this show is called! I was introduced to this show on a steady diet of dreams, and I stand by that as the standard.

Now, the real issue - Megan Doyle's antics! I'm a little disappointed we were told rather than shown the aftermath of her clumsy kiss attempt, not least because I don't need to hear phrases like "tried to grope me" (somehow, I doubt we would have seen such a thing). But on the bright side, Angry Joe is hot. "There is no way that I'm going to let your stupidity compromise my marriage." Yes, exactly! Adored that whole confrontation scene. T'was great.

Not so great was Allison being passive-aggressively bitchy the whole episode, biting his head off at every attempt to lighten the mood, and shoving him away when he tried to cuddle. (Ouch! That pained me more than anything else.) On the one hand, I feel like this a fairly realistic depiction of a one-sided marital fight, and I can kind of see why she's reacting this way. On the other, she's been exceptionally fond of histrionics this season, and I'm amazed that Joe continues to put up with it.

Do I think he should have told her about Megan's drunken antics when they first happened? No, I do not. How is saying "Oh hey, my business partner tried to get me to sleep with her, but it's OK because I said no" to a woman prone to histrionics and overreaction POSSIBLY going to end well? Put aside her psychic abilities for a minute, in what world is it not easier to just quietly deal with the problem and never put it on the table at all? That old saying "ignorance is bliss" is a cliche, but that doesn't mean it doesn't have merit.

And the ending! Yeesh! What the crap was that? As cute as he was sitting in the garage looking sad and defeated, as much as his beautiful, romantic, "You are everything to me" speech made me swoon, I still think cutting out of the business right now is a dumb idea. At least wait until you see some profits, man! Did you conveniently forget about the 51% ownership stake she's got?

5x14, "Internal Affairs"

*jaw drop* That was amazing. I'm racking my brain trying to think of a way for that to have been more exciting, and my brain is coming up blank. I hardly even noticed time passing, that's how wrapped up in it I was. Any other show I might have been annoyed by all the flashback clips, but this show I actually needed them, because this stupid storyline has been spread over way too many episodes and my brain is a sieve, and without reference flashes, I would have been lost on a lot of this. And the way they set it up was really good too; it nicely illustrated the characters in interrogation remembering the whole truth and then carefully choosing what to say about it. I really can't stand Fornell most of the time - boring, irritating - but he and his team really had a place this time around.

I am completely confused as to what's going on with La Grenouille, but that's okay, because stuff is happening! It's getting to be like Lost, every answer being met with a dozen new questions, but right now this is more exciting than Lost. I had no idea where they were going with La Grenouille's killer; everything seemed plausible, even Tony (though I loved his reference to "last time we talked..."). Speaking of, I thought I'd hate Jeanne being back too, but she played a good role - combination of furious/grieving daughter and jilted lover.

In fact, the only downer to this episode was the addition of Assistant Director Vance, to whom I've taken an instant dislike. Part of it was the ridiculous introduction - yes, let's focus on his sinister, sinister TOOTHPICK CHEWING, and be vague and mysterious about showing his face! Just to clue you in that he is the Oppressive Force! When he reached up to take the toothpick out of his mouth the first time, I swear to God I thought he was going to twirl his mustache. Everything about him just inspires loathing. Yes, I know I hated "Dear Jenny" when she first appeared, but that was entirely because of the Paris flashbacks. Those went away, and she gradually became one of my favorite characters. Vance is irritating on the same level as the original NCIS director. Times two. Let's forget about him now.

The whole team working out of Gibbs' house, using rudimentary/primitive technology? Pure awesome.

I don't even know what else to say. As others have noted, I desperately want to the Grenouille storyline wrapped this season, because it's been going on 2 years and that's just ridiculous. But this is the most interesting it's ever been, so I'm appreciating the payoff as it comes. This gets into the top tier of season 5 episodes.

5x15: In the Zone
Boring - total 180 from 5x14. After the first couple of scenes in Iraq, I just started skipping through them - quicker and more interesting to read what happened in episode summaries/what other people wrote. Am I supposed to feel sorry for Nikki now because she has a comatose brother? YAWN. I didn't like Michelle, and I'm not going to like Nikki. And I continue to despise AD Vance a LOT.

I did enjoy Ziva's hair with the sideswept bangs, as well as her hyper concern with whether Tony & Nikki were sharing a room. Oh, and the picture of McGee & Canine Jethro was nice. But overall? I'm thinking worst episode of the season.

I love how almost all of those came out in pairs.  I swear it wasn't intentional. 
Tags: cold case, medium, ncis, survivor, tv commentary

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