Woo! I scored 30 free Coke Rewards points by salvaging boxes from the recycling room this weekend. Yes, I have abdicated my Pepsi throne in favor of the Coke program, because they have more appealing stuff. :P For example, 500 Coke points will get me half a year's subscription to Entertainment Weekly. THIS WOULD BE NICE. I am 25% of the way there already! Which reminds me...
Flist query #1: Do any of you buy Coke products and not care about this program? Because if you're like me in years past, and you just chuck the caps/boxes out without a second thought, you should take five seconds to type up the code and send it to me instead.
Flist query #2: DOES THERE EXIST a recording, anywhere in any form (including random girls singing in their bedrooms! I'm not fussy! As long as their voice is decent), a female vocalist singing "The Eddystone Light"? If you check the first paragraph of the SVU review*, you'll get a few more details and see where this desire comes from. I really really really want it.
'Cold Case: 5.3, "Wednesday's Women"
That is a sweet title, just FYI.
TUPPERWARE PARTIES! "ROSE" FROM TWO AND A HALF MEN! Otherwise, this episode didn't have a lot going for it case-wise. 60's housewives, a mixture of black and white, decide to go on a secret mission trip to Mississippi, under pretense of selling Tupperware, to help fund & support the Freedom Schools. Naturally, one of the white women gets killed for associating with such horrible things.
All I can say is, couldn't they have had those women staying with people friendly to their cause? Instead of random people, one of whom has a racist brother whose object in life is to fit in with the cool kids, here defined as helping the KKK burn down Freedom Schools? I suppose they figured the fewer connections down there, the less suspicion/attention they'd draw, but damn. A little safety-in-numbers would have been useful.
Oh, and the scene where even in their home state, the policeman's response to their plea for help is a sneering reference to "2 colored women and a Jew," was pretty chilling.
But it's OK to have a slumpy case, because there was lots of golden character interaction. I loved hearing about Kat's childhood, even though some of it seemed a little bit random and more like "OK, time for some character development...on your mark, get set, go." And I loved Vera ending up with stacks of Tupperware in his arms, and trying vainly to unload it on his coworkers while they snickered at him. Can't remember anything specific, but I liked it.
I also liked the fact that Eddie might actually be gone now? We did get subtle confirmation that the icky thing took place off screen after all, which was a relief - not relief that it happened, per se, but that I didn't have to see it, and furthermore I told you that once they got that out of the way, the relationship could start to wane, AS IT DID. In fact, it didn't just wane, it sped downhill and exploded in one go. (I mix metaphors when I feel like it) Woo!
I don't care enough about this quasi-relationship to hate it, but I similarly wouldn't mind dropping it. My Lily-shipping heart will forever belong to Joseph and the CATS, with Scotty being the only acceptable alternative, but I accept that neither of those is likely to happen any time soon, and that the writers feel the need to develop something in Lily's love life. And I'm sure other viewers enjoy it, so I won't begrudge them. This never felt very serious to me, anyway. So there's not much to lose.
'Survivor, episode 5, in fifteen minutes flat. (no time for thinking! discuss! ignore whatever you miss, self!)
1. Everyone's been talking about how Horribly Biased Jeff is against Fang, and I have to admit that I haven't really been paying attention. But then tonight, for the first time ever I actively listened to the voiceover recap at the beginning of the episode, and wow. That IS some aggressive hate-on. Hilariously so. Did you know "they acted as if they had a death wish" by voting out Jacquie?
2. I don't care what anyone says, the observation of the elephant was the most awe-inspiring thing I have ever seen. Those people definitely got something worthwhile out of their experience. And I loved that for once, inter-tribe differences sort of fell away and everyone was equally captivated by the animal. Let's ignore the part where a couple of them decided to get closer. Because elephants are never prone to unpredictable behavior or short tempers at all.
3. That was a really cool reward challenge - throwing fruit over a goal post for someone else to catch & put in their basket, while the opposed tribe has someone at the goal to bat it away. Keep what you catch. It was fun to watch and looked even more fun to play. What did not look fun was getting nailed in the face with a pineapple. Those things are heavy and spiky. OUCH. I even feel bad for Ace, just the one time.
4. Immunity challenge, not so much. I hate the blindfolded player/caller combination challenges. They're always so embarassing, because it would be so hard to be blindfolded, and that person always gets upset and angry with the person calling directions, but it's also JUST AS HARD to control someone's movements by voice.
5. Unlike the rest of the internet, I refuse to be charmed by Randy all of a sudden. He's still a jackass, no matter how well he performs at challenges.
6. The Sugar Shack is still totally adorable. I admit to being completely terrified that she was going to get voted out tonight, though. I hate that you're allowed to go through people's bags to see if they have the idol. Because, I mean, when it's in your bag at least you know it's yours. I always think, if you have to hide it somewhere near camp, what if someone else comes across it? They could just steal it, couldn't they?
7. GC IS GONE. WOOT! Rejoice and sound the bells! Honestly, he was getting on my nerves worse than Fake Accent Ace. Fake Accent Ace is becoming kind of entertaining, actually. More so than, oh I don't know, Randy.
8. That being said, I still want to punch him in his smug fake-English face upon seeing the promo where he gallantly pretends that if Sugar were to give him the idol, all of her own volition, no pressure or anything, he would (modestly, of course) be okay with that. Totally her decision, though. Totally. I HATE people like that.
'ER: Another Thursday At County
I've been hearing the name "Angela Bassett" and "ER" strung together for a while now, but I don't think I ever quite connected the two in my head as meaning "new character." Not even after Pratt's death. I think I even saw it mentioned in a promo, and just assumed she was one of those old early-season characters I can't be bothered to care about coming back. But no, she's the new chief of the ER, and I never thought I would want Pratt back, but yes. I do.
Because New Chief Banfield was set up from the first second to be a bitch - oh look, she's one of those intense women who does pushups. God, I hate exercise-intense women like that. Makes the rest of us look bad - and GOD. Why can't they ever just cast nice new people? NICE PEOPLE USED TO WORK HERE. When did ER adopt the policy of "all new non-intern characters will be introduced with the express purpose of aggravating the other doctors and viewing audience"?
The worst part is that they clearly want to paint her as the woman who has a tough exterior but not a heart of ice, she was a devoted wife/mother, this is her coping mechanism for dealing with loss, etc etc NO. YOU DO NOT GET TO DO THAT. I flatly refuse to be misdirected and emotionally manipulated when you want to pull out the Character Redemption Card. I always hate when people say "Oh, I didn't like him/her at first, but now I'm starting to understand where they're coming from," or "I'm begining to warm up to him/her." No! First impression is always correct and should stay that way! You're allowed to go from liking to hating, but not from hating to liking. It doesn't work like that.
I continue to hate Sam/Gates with more hatred than I have ever directed at a more-than-just-sexual relationship on this show, in ways I did not even know it was possible to feel about a fairly innocuous and inoffensive ship. They just rub me the wrong way, and I feel dead inside where there should be warm fuzzies about their interaction. I just cannot buy their chemistry, even a little bit.
Also, I think it was this episode that the latter brought up Sarah, and invited Sam and Alex over for the evening, and reminded me THAT. That is what's at the root of my hatred for this ship. Their kids. Their kids who are the same age (even though I'm pretty sure Sam is way younger than Tony, which also galls), opposite genders, and it's all just very strange. It's not even that I'm obnoxiously jealous of people stealing Tony's time away from his not-quite-adopted quasi-daughter,
On the bright side, NEW INTERN CROP. Four of them, which is four times as many people as I usually get to pin my interests on, yet not so many that they will quickly scatter to the winds like the Grey's interns. I'm pretty sure I even like them all. Well, the stuck-up blonde I more love to hate, and the guys are more "not especially offensive" than particularly likable yet, but DARIA. (I am not even making that name up) God, she is AWESOME. With her long hair and her glasses and her dark pessimism that's still somehow adorably endearing, she totally lives up to her cartoon namesake. And did I mention she's awesome? She fills me with joy, because she's nervous and awkward and a little bit wallflower-ish, and basically she's me if I had the brains and gumption to go for a medical degree. Please can Daria stick around for the rest of the season? I think she might actually patch the Abby-shaped hole in my heart. Speaking of which:
''The Book of Abby
I sadly did not even realize that Abby was absent from the last episode until I saw the dramatic promos for this week about an hour before the episode aired, at which point I squawked, "WHAT? WHAT DO YOU MEAN, ABBY'S FINAL EPISODE??" Already?!
I mean, I knew she was leaving soon, and I'd been adjusting to this fact for several months - I was coming to terms with it last spring, because no one ever really officially said *when* she was leaving - but then she showed up in the premiere and it all seemed very "well, OK, she's back, that's good" and I pushed it out of mind. And all of a sudden, with practically no warning (hey, kind of like in the episode), it's all over! I'm distressed. I take a look around County General, and except for the nurses I literally see two characters I don't hate: Neela & Gates. And even the latter is getting less palatable since he spends all his time with Sam, whom I now want to stab every time I see her. ABBY LOCKHART IS THE HOSPITAL'S HEART AND SOUL.
She really is. Out of all the doctors in all the years, she has consistently been one of my favorites. And part of that is my Maura Tierny love, which is pretty strong, but a lot of it's just Abby. I'm perfectly willing to overlook her last year of gigantic pitfalls and just remember the good times. Well, and the bad times. She went through a lot of stuff, but it was compelling stuff. All the lows with her family, the fights and the makeups. And there were good times; her connection to patients, her bond with Neela, and her compelling progression from nurse to attending (I will never stop being ridiculously proud of that. Only other person I enjoyed watching grow that much was Carter). Speaking of which, she dated the two best looking doctors in the hospital, and both of them were understandable (Luka round I) and/or right for her in their own times (Carter, Luka round II), and she grew up and formed a beautiful family. *ignores season 14* And now she's leaving. "Hello, Mommy? I'M SAD!"
I need reruns of seasons 6-10 STAT.
That being said, was bored to tears during the actual episode, and nothing really stuck out except a) the return of the kitten lady (yay!) and b) that Abby didn't tell anyone she was leaving - notably, not even Neela. Loved how she brings it up ("You look pretty." "You stoned?"), subdued and not really angry, but decidedly unhappy about it. That is the one thing I really regret about where this storyline has taken her - even more than the HORRIBLE HORRIBLE BLACKOUT THING WHICH NEVER HAPPENED - is that after Abby got back together with Luka, and Neela went upstairs to surgery, their friendship never really got back to the strong place it used to be. It's not that they stopped being friends, by any means, but my mind keeps drifting back to when Neela was staying with her and was job-hunting after leaving the medical program. I loved that time. I miss when they were each other's confidantes. They were like Meredith and Cristina, only about a thousand times more functional.
So I'm sad that they didn't get to have one last time to hang out, or talk, or anything. Just, whoops, Abby's leaving tonight. And you only know this early because someone in HR blabbed. I felt really gypped in that respect. Then again, maybe I missed something better as I stopped watching entirely about halfway through, paying more attention to my computer. I did leave the TV on, though, which is a good thing because at the very end I looked up and HOLY WAHOY, NEARLY MISSED LUKA THERE.
In the back of my mind I was grumpy that it didn't seem like he was going to appear, and why did they even bother bringing her back alone for two silly episodes instead of just letting them settle together on the nice part of last May's finale. But then, out of the darkness, a light! Luka comes to pick her up, with Joe in the backseat, and we get one more kiss for the most beautiful couple ever before they wave goodbye and they
GUESS WHO JUST (FINALLY) GOT THEIR DOUG-AND-CAROL ENDING, BITCHES?! YEAH, THAT'S RIGHT! VICTORY DANCE, VICTORY DANCE!!
*ahem* Just had to get that out of my system. I've kept the faith going for like two years. Is nice to have it finally vindicated. I'd still like to scrub season 14 from memory, but I cannot complain about an ultimately happy ending heading off for a fresh start. :)
Oh, whoops, and I almost forgot - I loved the nameplate scene. Haleh, Haleh, Haleh. Always and forever my favorite nurse (I lied earlier, she's the real heart and soul of the place. Uncontested) - I love her so, so much for having a wall of nameplates to commemorate all the great doctors of the past. And Abby getting to put up both hers and Luka's was just...way too adorable for words. I melted. I awwwed. I even teared up a little, because that was the most emotionally moving part of the whole season so far (forget you, Dead Pratt). I know I didn't even see my first episode of this show until the summer after season 8, and I'm still pretty anti-anything before season 4 or 5, but I get all sentimental and nostalgic about the great days gone by. And seeing all those names brought a lump to my throat. (LUCY KNIGHT! I miss you! Elizabeth Corday, I miss you even more than your late husband!)
Law & Order: SVU: In Which Kathleen Stabler Becomes More of a Black Sheep. YES. AGAIN.
It took me like five rewinds just to get past the first part of the teaser, because the singing was so pretty. I wanted there to exist a recording of this actress singing the whole song - just a capella like that. Maybe even with the shower falling like rain in the background. It was really pretty! And I normally can't stand a capella singing, but her voice was so enchantingly musical that I could not get enough of it. I shall now probably drive myself mad trying to find that song ("The Eddystone Light," I believe), done similarly by a female vocalist.
My next thought about the teaser was "damn it! Gorgeous Singing Woman can't be violently beaten to death by a crazy madman, noooo!" What a sad set-up, I thought, having a crazy (drunk? high?) man stumbling into the wrong apartment and going postal on the innocent inhabitant. I was sure that if she wasn't already dead, she'd fallen like 10 stories out of the window when she went out. Oh, and how did I verify that the man was, if not high, at least insane? He finds a naked woman using his shower, and his first response is to try and kill her. What straight red-blooded male does that?
Finally, we got to the part where it was a house, not an apartment, and turns out the woman was the intruder (but at least there was no body lying on the ground outside! Yay!), and Elliot's grousing about why the hell they got called out for a non-sex crime, and Olivia says she called him, "because she's your daughter."
Me: Um because WHAT? WHY?! WHAT?!
Doesn't this seem like the kind of thing you'd get spoilers about? I mean, even in my passive absorption of spoilers when convenient links to batches of them pop up on TV Squad or Ausiello in the course of my normal internet browsing, dont you think someone might have mentioned something about a major storyline centered around Kathleen? All I remember hearing is the casting of Ellen somebody (Burstyn? ) as Elliot's mom (which I'd totally forgotten about until she showed up in this episode), but I don't remember if we got a whole lot of details as to why.
So, yeah, I had no idea this was coming at all - I never turn on NBC except on Thursdays and sometimes Tuesdays, so I didn't even have promos bashing me over the head. I cued up SVU between classes, figuring "Oh, this'll just be a quick watch and then I can move on with my life. SVU's never that compelling." EXCEPT WHEN IT IS.
So, yeah, wow. The thing with her playing on the swingset, wrapped in a shower curtain and reverting to a child-like state of wonder, all drunk and and blissed out on drugs, threw me for a loop. I...don't think I like her any more. By which I mean I do, I do feel so very sad about this whole miserable turn of events, but mostly I'm just so MASSIVELY DISAPPOINTED. I mean, when she was crying and apologizing/begging for forgiveness in her dad's arms, I was just like "Yeah, thing is, you've screwed up before. And been very, very sorry before. AND YET. IT CONTINUES."
In other words, I wasn't especially surprised to find out that her "it was my first time ever!" sob story was completely untrue, and that she's actually been doing uppers and downers for ages. God, her poor roommate. I was totally on Bitter Ex-Best-Friend's side there.
And then Stupid Kathleen runs off and does more drugs, overdosing and passing out with some boy...yeah, I kind of think that was one of those scenes where she and said boy are actually not conveniently wearing underwear in bed. Which just makes it all the more awkward (but mostly profoundly sad) when Elliot finds them and carries her unresponsive body out to get her to the hospital. I could not watch the induced-vomiting scene with the charcoal, though. Gross.
(sidebar: the TWoP recap was especially awesome this week, though, as Daniel keeps interjecting "DAMN IT, I HAVE A DAUGHTER! I DO NOT NEED THIS!" Awww.)
And then the explanation for everything is that she's bipolar. I'm sorry? That's...convenient. *coughCOPOUTcough* And also, really, Elliot? Really? He sticks by her side and supports her through everything and constantly forgives her mistakes - and then he hears that a mental illness is to blame, and that makes him furious and in want of punching things, because he doesn't want to hear that she's "crazy"? OK, one, she's not exactly "crazy," and two, even if she was, how is that not better than her just being a spoiled dumbass?
Ugh, I don't even know how I feel about it. It's not the worst thing in the world, really - I'm far more willing to accept it than a lot of people seem to be, as message boards are coming across universally outraged - and it set up some nice scenes for Kathy (I particularly like the slap and "you bastard!" scene in the courtroom when he has her hauled off to jail...which in and of itself was refreshing for the viewing audience, I think), but it also brought in Elliot's mom.
While she was very effective during his first confrontation with her, when you realize what she's like and where Kathleen gets it from, after that it was just way, way, way too much. By the time they walked outside to the beach, I was sick of her. And it JUST. KEPT. GOING. That last scene, the conversation in the jail cell with Kathleen? It felt like an eternity, and that's because it was five. full. minutes. long. God! Let's never see her again. Too much of a moderately good thing, me thinks.
On the bright side, despite the lack of Munch (and Fin), we only had to put up with about one minute of ADA Wooden Barbie*, and instead we got lots of face time with my favorite snarky defense attorney. Woo! And that is why I can never find it in me to complain about Stabler Family Drama. Didn't even mind the lack of a true case this week.
I feel like I contradicted myself a few times, but overall it was a good episode. The first half was just much better than the second. And I'm glad Kathleen's off to get psychiatric help rather than stewing in jail. Maybe she'll be less sulky and petulant next time we see her? I can hope!
* I really, really miss Casey, even more than I thought I would. I have heard people complain about her, but while I liked Alex well enough, Casey Novak was the SVU lawyer for me, because she was the current one when I started watching the show, and it just feels wrong without her.