And then my Capstone prof killed my soul a little bit by telling us that our research proposal -due Tuesday, about which she has not previously mentioned anything specific - has to be 3-4 pages long. What the hell, woman. Also, ALSO! If you really want us to go see a particular speaker, you don't tell us about it in an e-mail TWO HOURS BEFOREHAND. Procrastination: it is only for students, damn you!
...I may be slightly grumpy still from not having enough time to finish my midterm. I only needed 10 more minutes - and I didn't even waste time thinking; I dove right into that sucker as soon as she handed it out and started pouring out text with scarcely a pause - but she wouldn't give us more than one to finish whatever sentence we were writing. So out of 5 passage explications, one of them was only about 80% done to my satisfaction and the last one is only two sentences. :(
On to reviews!
1. Last week's Private Practice, 2.02, "Equal and Opposite"
Hey, remember when the practice was ostensibly a co-op? Lol. Good times.
I have to say that I am loving this new Sam/Addison dynamic where they try to tag-team their efforts in simultaneous attempts to wrangle Naomi and curtail the practice's impending bankruptcy while keeping their coworkers from complaint. They're doing a really good job of showing those two doing their best to do what has to be done, even when it puts them in the 'bad guy' role, while also making you realize why the other doctors are dissatisfied with them.
For example, I can see why Naomi feels betrayed and won't talk to them except in a professional capacity. She did not have it under control, and I don't think she would have gotten it under control without help. On some level I think she knows this, but she's so convinced herself otherwise that she can't admit it. Not to herself, and certainly not to them.
For another example, Sam's board IS a good idea, theoretically. It's efficient, it's logical, it's the same type of thing that any hospital would use. But you see why Violet feels attacked and calls it the Board of Shame, because they're not a hospital - they're a struggling clinic of six doctors, and in one light, it does show who's not keeping up with appointments. That's not it's intended purpose, but the information shows it.
But you know what I really love about this episode is that it reminds me why I fell in love with those show: loving all the characters. Namely: awwww, PETE! OMG, he really is going through an accelerated Owen-style character redemption. After his oh-so-sweet reaction to Violet's tears, and really earnestly trying to make her feel better (in his humorously clumsy, slightly inappropriate, ass-touching way), I think I might have to admit him to a fourth place position on my totem pole. He's bypassed Naomi and also...Cooper.
Because Coop, I'm sorry, I'm losing love for by the week. Every scene with Charlotte BURNS my EYEBALLS like HYDROCHLORIC ACID. I am reduced to screaming and throwing things at my TV, which inevitably leads to me shutting off my TV in disgust and downloading the episode later so I can skip those parts. They nauseate me; they actually make me physically ill. In fact, the only redeeming thing about the episode was this part:
Charlotte: ...but I will not be treated like I don't matter!
Me: *sweetly* But you don't matter, Charlotte. Have you not realized that yet?
Ugh. UGH. I am just...I am not even going to touch the part where Cooper thinks he MIGHT BE IN LOVE WITH HER, because for fuck's sake - forget his history with Violet here, even - SHE IS MEAN AND SCARES HIM. She's bitchy! She is borderline abusive! They have nothing in common except their sex life! (*bleaches brain*) Did I mention the borderline abuse? This is just so far beyond my capacity to process, I don't know where to begin.
I am sure that Charlotte lovers will rush to defend her, and I am equally sure that before this trainwreck ends, the show will do its best to redeem her by giving her some sob backstory - did they do that already? - that explains why she's so cold and seemingly incapable of love, when really if given the chance she might open up. I wouldn't buy it if they did. I mean, I deliberately would dig in my heels and insist upon hating her, because the explanation for her behavior doesn't change the fact that it EXISTED.
In other words, I enjoyed Violet's response to his blowing her off, and I enjoyed when she ranted at him for lying and stormed off, and pretty much any other overtures of friendship the poor woman tries to enact, and I am glad of their small successes, but only because it makes her happy and she's a sweet little ball of
And really, I have to return to the scene with her pouring her heart out in Pete's office (whilst defatilating, of course...and may I profess my undying love to her for inventing such a classic verb), because she's so sad and vulnerable and all alone. And through her tears, she's still able to proudly (albeit weepily) declare how proud she is of her fantastic ass. HEARTS!
OK, case. The promo essentially hit you over the head with an anvil about why they shouldn't have babies, but just in case you missed that, Addison is kind enough to tell us that they're (half) brother and sister. Which, really? How often does this happen? On TV, people are ALWAYS unwittingly finding and falling in love with their heretofore unknown half-sibling. I can count half a dozen times I've seen it happen. Do they give off some sort of sibling pheromone that attracts them to each other, and which only our societal taboos against incest keep under control in normal families? SERIOUSLY, WHAT'S THE DEAL.
That being said, in another classic Addison vs. Naomi Showdown o' Phundamental Philosophies (can we get those every week? they're fun), I came down on the former's side, which was refreshing. I was kind of...less squicked out than I normally am? I don't know! You get me really well with best friendship - I think it would be hard to give up someone you've known and loved for what, ten years, just because you find out that you share the same biological father. (whom you've never met! so it's not even like you have Awkward Family Issues to sort out!) I don't think the knowing would just automatically kill all those feelings dead. Admittedly, I feel like if they were full siblings it might, but...half! And besides, as dear Addison points out, it's way creepier when stepsiblings who've been raised as brother and sister do it (BOONE AND SHANNON).
Also, um, I'm usually the first person in line to censor people's sex lives for depravity (because I'm a Puritan!), but even I was like "Hey, Naomi, if they promise not to get pregnant - and have corrective surgery to ensure that - how is it any of your business whether or not they continue to have sex?" Upon writing that, I realize I'm confused as to why they were at the clinic in the first place - does she really need her tubes tied if they're having trouble getting pregnant?
And upon writing that, now I'm confused as to why she decided to get her tubes tied, instead of him getting a much simpler (and technically somewhat reversible!) vasectomy. Couldn't she still have gotten pregnant via a sperm donor? (oh, the levels of potential irony there, I just realized them!) Then the kid would have been half-theirs (MORE IRONY!), and that would have been a way for them to have a baby. Maybe if there were technical legalities, they could have gotten a divorce and she could have gone in as a single woman, and then they could have gotten remarried afterwards. Or something. I just think they rolled over a little too quickly on the no-kids-forever idea.
Oh wait, none of this is relevant because while she claimed it didn't matter and that she still loved him, and Addison correctly slapped down Naomi's protests about how "but she wanted a child!" and pointed out the woman wanted to be with her husband every bit as much as she wanted kids...as soon as she found out that he knew they were related and didn't tell her, the woman had a total freak-out along the lines of "OMG! YOU'RE MY BROTHER! YOU TOOK MY VIRGINITY; YOU'RE LIKE A RAPIST! YOU DISGUST ME, PERVERT! DIVORCE, I WANT IT NOW."
Me: ...the hell? That's what changed your mind - the fact that he didn't tell you? Do you subscribe to the Angela Montenegro school of Dumpable Trust Issues?
My head's just kind of spinny that she was more pissed about not being told the whole truth than she was about actually being related. Like, of all the things! And it wasn't even just that she was mad at him for not telling her, it's like that made her realize that being related was disgusting. What? Why does that suddenly change your perspective? My mind was thoroughly boggled. I'm going to go feel sorry for the poor broken-hearted guy now.
In other news:
-I was really liking the ditzy receptionist until Pete slept with her. Seriously, what was the point of that? Not enough naked flesh in the episode, so they quickly threw some more in at the end to fill their quota?
-And then when that still wasn't enough, they decided to toss in some Sam/Naomi hate sex? (Which I didn't even stick around for. I saw her enter Sam's house and immediately shut it off, going 'hate sex? really?' Was kind of hoping the recap would prove me wrong on that hypothesis, but no. Square on the money. *sighs* What I liked about PP was that it had less inappropriate and/or nauseating sex than its predecessor...)
-Wait, Oceanside has nurses? Since when? I'm quite sure I've never seen a nurse before tonight.
-Loved Addie trying to talk about her date/non-date with the cop, and getting stonewalled every time until she was so desperate she tried to talk to Sam about it. Unfortunately, he sucks at being Naomi, as she informs in in no uncertain terms. (hee!)
-Addison claims she came down here for Naomi and Sam? Well, that's...retconnish. I mean, I think I remember something along those lines, but mostly she stuck around because a) she was offered a job and b) she was fleeing the horrible mess and trail of icky relationships that littered Seattle Grace. She wanted the hell outta Dodge, is why she came down here.
2. NCIS: 6.03, "Capitol Offense"
Awww...Abby's cupcake-thief hunting was adorable. I love how she suspected everyone - including Gibbs, leaning over to inspect his jacket. "Is that a cupcake crumb?" "No!" "We'll see." And I loved that Culprit McGee tried to be sneaky, but failed to be sneaky about being sneaky...leaving fingerprints on the box of latex gloves, lol. Never forget that Abby will be 3 steps ahead at all times! And yes, this was pretty much the best thing about the episode. Other bits:
+ Tony's snark that Ziva was doing better with English expressions before she went back to Israel - "you've regressed."
+ Abby/Ziva friendship makes me happy. And it's kind of funny when they team up to tease Tony with hints of more-than-friendship.
+Ziva always looks nice with her hair all floofy and done up.
+ I was kind of disappointed that when Abby mentioned her horoscope saying she'd have a positive interaction with a coworker, she didn't end up with a cheek kiss from Gibbs.
+ When will people learn that if you're the killer, you never get specific about how they died?? In 90% of cases, it will be an unreleased detail that will pin you as the guilty party. Sheesh.
+ "Director Hate" will be a weekly recurring statement until such time as it is no longer true (hahaha!) or unless he stays out of an episode. Remember Director the First? I didn't see many episodes during his reign, but he wasn't a constant presence, was he? Didn't he mostly stay up in MTAC?
3. NCIS, 6.04, "Heartland"
Well, that was an 800% improvement!! I was really skeptical at first about meeting Gibbs' father, as I tend to intensely dislike all old men cast on this show, and family members on TV too often seem to be introduced for the sake of cheap 1-note drama. Neither of those were applicable in this case, as I found him delightful, and there was no particular drama to be had. Nope. Just a wonderful exploration of Gibbs' past in a small town, and an exploration of his dynamic with family.
*raises hand* Can I say that I loved the idea of Gibbs coming from a small town - literally, I looked it up online and it's got about a thousand people - with an actual Main Street? And Pennsylvania, no less. Pennsylvania's a good place. It's got the Cold Case team and the best branch of Dunder Mifflin, plus Amazing Prof got his doctorate & taught there before he came over to us. (I like how I can just collide real & fictional worlds like that) And I was very fond of the spinny-flashbacks (even though Young Rebel Gibbs was not very cute at all) which we haven't seen in a while, because they say so much without really explaining it.
Greatest thing of all: simultaneous explanation for the rules (can you believe we've managed 4 seasons not knowing?) and the explanation itself. I love that he modeled them after his wife's! All episode, I was trying to figure out who the redheaded girl was - I felt like I should know, but my brain blocked every signal, including the fact that Rebel Gibbs liked a girl with red hair...and then she said "I'm Shannon" and I literally squealed. EEEEEEEEEEEEH! OMIGOD OMIGOD OMIGOD, like, just when you think I can't ship Jethro/Shannon any harder, you find out they're hometown sweethearts! (kinda) THIS IS TOO WONDERFUL FOR WORDS.
Well, this just makes his shop-window flashback even greater. At the time I assumed it was just nostalgia for a teenage romance, the failure of which was maybe one of the things that drove him out of town in the first place. BUT NO. T'was his wife. The only wife in the long series of them that really counted as such.
I maintain that the Shannon/Kelly backstory is the greatest thing this show has ever done, and it is the gift that keeps on giving no matter how many times they return to it. I like how the writers keep bringing up how much of an effect that had on his life's trajectory. And I loved how they addressed it with his dad, how they haven't spoken since the latter showed up to his daughter-in-law/granddaughter's funerals "with a DATE."
Angry!Gibbs makes me happy. Angry!Gibbs who visibly regresses to the role of a son in the presence of his father makes me even happier. Oh, God, the dynamic there was incredible, especially because it changed and progressed over the episode. Like, when his father showed him the fully restored car, I kind of wanted to cry with happiness. AWWWWWW. I can't even remember all the amazing things that happened.
I love the team's reaction too, how McGee & Ziva practically trip over themselves rushing to call Abby and Tony, respectively, to alert them to the existence of Gibbs Sr. And Tony's fascinated awe upon viewing the man for himself, torn between asking a thousand questions and hopping-to in the pursuit of Boss's orders...and Abby calling him out on his terrible flirting, but smiling at him in a way that showed she clearly found him adorable! Oh, this was just so much love. Best episode of season, YES.
Oh, and the case! My only qualm was with the freaking half brother/sister storyline, which, seriously. As I grumbled about in the Private Practice review directly above, HOW OFTEN DOES THIS ACTUALLY HAPPEN IN REAL LIFE? Because it is freaking always happening on TV, and the father of both kids inevitably freaks out and comes up with ridiculously complicated contrivances to keep the lovebirds (or would-be lovebirds) apart, usually in ways that backfire horribly and/or result in one of their deaths, even though it would be so much easier to just come clean. I at least give them credit for making the jealous husband be the killer this time. That's a slight twist, albeit not enough to satisfy me. I was gunning for Evilly Corrupt Sheriff, myself.
I really need to start taking notes on shows again; I can't remember what else I had to say.
-Oh! Gibbs helping out in the store! That was fascinating to me.
-And I vaguely wanted to like the song at the end - it wasn't quite my style, but there were some nice lyrics and it fit so beautifully with the scene of Gibbs nostalgically reminiscing over the old train station that I was almost willing to overlook that - and then I found it was by Michael Buble, at which point all the settings on my memory turned to HATEY HATE BURNING HATE and I will no longer admit to having found it appealing at all.
-OK, I'm done. BEST EPISODE OF THE SEASON.
Also, a meme! Which I am being selfish about and not continuing, because we've all been doing it a lot lately and I don't think it needs forwarding at this particular moment in time. So, behold! Interview meme with answers only!
I think the questions are actually better than my answers, becausestunt_muppet is dangerously talented like that. Seriously, I feel a bit inadequate.
1) Out of all the canonical ships you love on all your shows, only one of them gets to stay canon. (Note that this does not get rid of not-quite-canon or just-never-come-out-and-say-it subtexty stuff for the non-canon couples). Who do you pick?
Oh, I see we're on the TOUGH questions. Nyerrrh...ok, fine then, it's not actually a contest: Jim & Pam, The Office. Au revoir, Mulder and Scully - you've been replaced as the top OTP of all time. This is hard for me to come to terms with, because they've been my safe haven for many many years, but honestly? Yeah. Jim and Pam are even more timeless. And much more adorable. Fewer angst-ridden near-death/actual-death scenes. Which, I mean, are nice in their own way, but so are Sweeping Romantic Kisses in the middle of the office.
2) The TARDIS lands in your backyard, and the Doctor's offering you a ride. If you had a guarantee that you'd get back alive and to your own time in the end, where and when would you go?
This is probably really narrow and limiting, but I'd say the late 19th century or early 20th century in my own little backyard of St. Paul. I'm always fascinated by the background of the city when I read through history books & pamphlets, and I would love to experience all the businesses & buildings that no longer exist. Of course, what I'd really love is to have some excuse to visit one of the manor homes - the ones that are historic museums now - when they were proper *homes*, with children and servants milling about and horses in the stables.
Well, that or a trip out to the Old West in the mid-19th century (it was a cool century, OK?). Real live cattle ranches and the presence of Indians have filled many a thrilling horse story in my life, and I think I'd enjoy that atmosphere. Fewer restrictions on women as the weaker sex out there, too. But I'd probably go with St. Paul if I had to choose.
(in case you ever needed proof of my aversion to travel...even with a TARDIS and my wildest fantasies, my imagination barely considers crossing state lines, never mind leaving the continent.)
3) The one fanfic (in any fandom) that you really, really wish someone would write?
I'm still waiting for my Doctor Who/Numb3rs crossover fic. *Smirk of In-Joking* Charlie Eppes meeting the Doctor would be phenomenal.
No, really, I know I've drummed up several specific scenarios in episode reviews past, but I failed to tag those entries with 'ideas' and so I can't look them up. As my memory is crap, I've been thinking for a week and still can't come up with anything else.
4) When you buy a bag of M&Ms, do you sort them by color before you eat them? Do you sort them in any other way? Any other strange candy habits you want to confess to? XD
I don't, actually. Sometimes if it's a fun-size bag I remember my elementary school days and nostalgically note the percentages, but usually no.
However, my favorite candy bar is of the Three Musketeers/Milky Way/Snickers variety, depending on how many tastes I want to have at my disposal, but when eating the latter two I always have to eat the nougat first. I have to bite it in half sideways and finish the bottom before I can deal with the caramel. I don't know why, but I hate having the two textures combine in my mouth - I never realized how much until I answered this question.
5) Speaking of candy, what's your favorite culinary indulgence/therapy?
Cinnamon rolls. It's weird, because they're nowhere near the top of my favorite desserts and nothing about them makes me want to shout their praises, but I used to be able to buy a half dozen for $3 at the bookstore, baked by the nuns here...it was an excellent price and very convenient, so whenever I was having a really bad day and in need of a sugar buzz, I'd buy those. Stupid bookstore no longer stocks them, so I have to buy pricier imitations from the local grocery story, but I get cravings every so often for the dark swirls in thick, sweet bread and the creamy white icing - it represents familiarity and comfort.