My Monday afternoon sucked marginally less, as I found a (full size) Kit Kat bar waiting for me at the other part of my job. Splitting my work between two dorms: unexpectedly beneficial sometimes! It made up for the part where I picked up what I thought was a big leaf that wouldn't suck properly into the vacuum hose, only to drop it in disgust after realizing it was a half-smoked cigar. Honestly. Who even smokes cigars, much less leaves them lying around in the hallway?
And then, because 5-7 PM is still sort of a twilighty time where I don't have to feel guilty about not starting my homework yet, I went ahead and watched my last straggling episode from last week:
CSI, 9x02, "The Happy Place"
What has three plots, only one of which is interesting? THIS SHOW! Someday I'm going to kidnap a CSI writer just to ask how they can have an amazing episode one week and a stultifyingly boring one the next. Is writing a good script just that exhausting that they have to take really long naps and let the interns take over occasionally? --Annie
Having seen that on Recapist's front page when I went to check for something else, in combination with having seen the final scene when the episode aired, I did not exactly have high hopes. But wouldn't you know it, in actuality it's yet another example of this show being awesome when it has no right to be. Stop doing that! By which I mean "please continue surprising me like this forever."
And with the bed scene - did they really pack all the GSR into the promo? What can they possibly have left to surprise us with, and will that backfire in horrible ways I don't anticipate?
"Short answer yes, with an if; long answer no...with a but." (yeah, I don't know where I'm going with that; I just wanted an excuse to quote both myself and The Simpsons.)
We are in definite need of (embellished) running commentary, because some of my notes were just to good to scrap/revise. That's basically what I did with the last episode anyway, just in reflective rather than real-time tone.
1. OH, I see what you did there. Snuck New Girl in behind one of Nicky's shots in the credits. Clever. Also, even though I almost never watch the theme song (tonight was a rare exception), I would like to register my continued approval for keeping the shot with Catherine's gorgeous ivy-pattern white top.
2. (Scene: Bed of GSR) O HAY, ALREADY? OH MY. THE CUDDLING. IT IS UNBEARABLY WONDERFUL. Oh look. Sara's rubbing the fingers of his left hand. Where a wedding band is supposed to be. THINK ABOUT THAT IN YOUR MELANCHOLY (I am...bitter. I shouldn't have watched the ending first.)
Translation: Well, this is going to fuel my daydreams for a while. There are not enough words in the world to describe my joy upon seeing her curled up next to him in bed. Promo-spoiled or no, that's a hug and a bedroom scene of perfection, two things I've always desperately wanted to see and yet had given up hope on ever getting. They fit, they fit, they fit so well. Just having her there while he morosely stares at the ceiling and doesn't have the energy to face work - has that ever happened to him before? The not wanting to go work part, I mean? That's a deep sink in the spirits. And still, she gives only a gentle push before trying to suggest something to ease the burden. People, you need to write me AU post-9x01 vacation trips where Grissom doesn't say this next thing.
"I can't...we're so short." SADDEST. STATEMENT. EVER. And also a commentary on his reluctance to bring in someone new, which he's so far avoided but now has no choice.
"Why don't you stay?"
(flatly) "I can't stay here."
Heartstrings: *snap* GRISSOM. You will have to go to her at some point. I choose to believe this is all part of some grand plan, right? We know he's leaving, so this is the initial setup for him to join her? I am normally the biggest anti-change person in the world, but for once I think I could come to terms with him leaving all this behind, rather than tempting her back. I understand why she can't stay. I didn't before, but now I do.
"Walk in footsteps of Darwin!" asdjfalsk;djfasda *sniffles* She's trying so hard to help him, but he can't do more than passively accept her comfort. Oh GOD they are beautiful. Over the past year I'd kind of been building up this...how you say...resentment? Towards Jorja Fox for that terrible, terrible goodbye kiss, which I'm convinced was only partly the writers and director's fault, and had sort of gotten it into my head that she was bad at intimate scenes. SHE IS FANTASTIC HERE.
Translation: The soft, barely-above-a-whisper voice Sara uses takes my breath away. Between that and nestling her head on his shoulder, and his hand over hers on his chest, I...don't know why I bother translating when it just ends up turning into laksjdflkasjdflkjasdfasdf anyway. Sarah Goldfinger wrote this episode, and while I can't remember my usual feelings towards her, for this scene alone I think we should get married. Grissom & Sara have never been a traditional Cute couple. And yet here they are, rapidly collecting all the most valuable points on the Checklist of Cute. SNUGGLING FOR ALWAYS.
Also, just realized that we got through all these home scenes with no sign or even mention of Bruno. FAIL. Like the dog wouldn't be all "SARA SARA SARA I MISSED YOU YAY SARA!" Preference for Grissom or no, he's going to get happy about having someone familiar around. It's a rare dog that isn't delighted by company. And while I've adored my GSR and my Sara/Greg bones, that's a reunion I would have loved to see just as much. I mean, it's William Petersen's dog, isn't it? It's not like he had scheduling conflicts.
3. "Let's find out why Sprig was sprung." *arches eyebrow* Really, Catherine? Really? Y'all workin' overtime to make up for the lack of terrible puns usually supplied by Grissom?
4. Wibble. So much love for that brief but oh-so-significant moment where Catherine gasps and needs a moment upon realizing Warrick's number is still programmed into her phone.
5. *perks up* Rape assualt victim in long-term hospital care, you say? Hey, and don't I recognize that footage --
"I worked the case. Along with Sidle."
I WAS GONNA SAY?! OMG OMG OMG. SHOW. THE CONTINUITY. I LOVE YOU A LOT. (and being unspoiled? Kind of rocking my world right now)
Translation: We are hooking up all the way back to season one, baby, and not just a random connection like Holly this time, but an actual case with a memorable victim that really shook our young Miss Sidle to the core. I think she even shed a tear of helpless frustration in Grissom's office over it. Well do I remember watching that episode for the first time, summer 2005 as I tumbled headlong into fandom, which at the time also included collecting the series on tape an episode at a time. I had my second TV back from college and propped up on printer-paper box for a TV stand. The weekend reruns were playing in season 1 land, which I had watched only sporadically when it first aired, so I'd be lying on the floor, patiently cutting commercials and enduring antenna reception every Saturday night.
6. "I'm sorry for your loss." If this were Grey's Anatomy, Catherine would then launch into a spiel about their own recently lost colleague, what with the convenient parallels. Because this is CBS and she's a professional, she refrains from saying a word. I like it.
7. Oh, you idiot. You IDIOT. *weeps in tears* Dude, why would "mercy-kill" your wife to "protect" her, without even asking the doctors to do it properly? How could this possibly end well for you?
8. "I can't work the case, but...I'll go with you, OK? I won't leave you." *melts* Can we just have Sara here full-time, picking up the slack on all the not-strictly-investigative stuff if she doesn't want to be a CSI anymore? There's plenty for her to do! No?
9. New favorite Grissom quote: "Casino day care, there's the fifth sign of the apocalypse."
10. "This is why I can't do this anymore." :( I feel for her. This is one of those lines that was in the promo, and I was struggling to figure out the context, and turns out she's not really so much bitter or angry as just sad. She's gained all her compassion back and then some, helpless and frustrated when the law doesn't bend to accomodate nobly-intentioned motivations.
11. Y HALO THAR, GRISSOM/SARA OFFICE CONVO. DID NOT EXPECT YOU. (season 1 scene redux, woo!)
Speaking of which, ohhhhh boy. Grissom. Do you remember how this convo went last time? Sara's back in the same state of impassioned emotion. Only now you're a couple, so son't repeat the thing with the condescension of an experienced boss. We all know you're right, but you need to tread the water very, very carefully so as not to further rile her. [a/n: Not listening to me, I see. Fine then.]
[a/n:this is one of those conversations we have to dissect line by line, because I literally paused after every sentence. I color-code them for easier reading.]
"Sooner or later a relationship in stasis withers. You get angry." GRISSOM - FOOT. MOUTH.
"You need more than the safety of knowing that you're not alone." OK. You see the daggers she glares at him there? Totally the moment she decided to leave without saying goodbye. (SERIOUSLY. KNOWING ABOUT THE ENDING HAS HORRIBLY WARPED MY PERCEPTION. I CAN'T STOP SNARKING.)
"Then he should've just walked away." *slaps the pause button again* ARGH. SARA. STOP IT, WITH THE GAUNTLET. Don't bait him. Don't push him and don't try to call his bluff. This has not gone well for you in the past.
"Well maybe he couldn't." By this point in the conversation, I actually started to forget they were technically still talking about the victim and her husband, it was so clearly about THEM.
"Maybe he needed her to leave him." *throws hands up in the air* GRISSOM - DIGGING! OWN! GRAVE! Do you not hear yourself? Are you saying this on purpose? You can't be saying this on purpose because it makes my head explode; I'm just going to choose to pretend that you've forgotten that anything you say about a case that can be taken with double meanings, always is.
Oh, you know, that's what was so strangely refreshing about their office conversation in the premiere; it was straight admission and no twisty layers of riddle-speak. I had forgotten how frustrating this pair could be.
*narrows eyes* "Who we talkin' about right now?" Well, I guess that clears things up as to whether this conversation was intentional or not. AND THEN HE DOESN'T ANSWER. OH, MY GOD. DID YOU ALL TAKE STUPID PILLS THIS MORNING?
[incidentally: Toy Story! That's where that quote is from! It's been driving me nuts for over a week; I couldn't find it before because I used the wrong pronoun in Google! This makes me happy.]
And no, I can't quite blame him for regressing and pulling away in light of their loss, but sweet Lord this is frustrating as a viewer. And I suspect it always will be, even after my happy-sunset ending (IT'S COMING. SRSLY. I declared that Luka and Abby would get it; and it was so; I HAVE FAITH IN MY TV.) I need to dissect the meaning of this cryptic conversation even further, but it's a major digression for running-commentary, so see me at the end for the continuation.
12. What! The laws changed? That is such a cool example of the sweet things that can do with a long-running series. :D
13. The hand clasp of gratitude as she thanks Greg - OH MY GOD, OH MY GOD, DO YOU *SEE* HOW MANY WONDERFUL THINGS WE CAN DO WITH SARA AROUND?!?! And his smile as she walks off; look look LOOK, he totally still loves her. Yes he does.
Translation: *is ded of the Sara/Greg joy*
Translation of translation: One, I heart Sarah Goldfinger a lot. Two, even if in a very small, not-serious, mostly-just-affectionate way, there's enough wistfulness in his expression to send me into paroxysms of joy. This thing between them, and the fact that he's the one spending more time with her than anyone in her brief return, is terribly sweet. I want to believe that they spent a little additional time together too, maybe coffee or breakfast just to talk. Sara has quite often been the one to reach out to him since he became a CSI; I don't think it's too much of a stretch to say that he more than anyone misses her presence.
14. "Can you not read a situation?! It ain't my real baby, stupid." Dude. This sassy hooker is now my all-time favorite of all the trashy/sassy hookers we've ever seen.
15. I've been avoiding mention of the cases, but I'm really enjoying them so far, and a little bit upset by how sympathetic the hypnosis victim is. She's gorgeous and fit, with a totally devoted fiancee whose biggest struggles seem to be ensuring her that she's already beautiful and she doesn't have to worry about paying for the wedding, and she was making an actual pot roast from scratch for her in-laws, and...people like that shouldn't take headers off balconies for NO REASON AT ALL. *scowls*
Stupid evil hypnotist would have to be likable in spite of all that, too. *scowls harder*
16. "Guess I'm too tough to die." SUBTLE. (on the bright side, I had totally forgotten the name of the earlier episode until he said that)
17. I was going to say that the rape victim's husband was a sympathetic figure in all this too, but SIGH, that is an even sadder and stupider reason to mercy-kill your wife. I'm not blaming you for being exhausted and hopeless and financially exhausted and wanting to take her off life support. I understand that. I kind of don't think the doctors would be that horrible to you after so much time, either. Go through the legal channels! You're making Sara sick with heartbreak.
18.1 IDIOT BOY! IDIOT BOY, WHY YOU?? You were such a sympathetic kid up to this point, with your straight A's and your adoration of your baby sister and --
18.2...he was sleeping with his mother. OH, THAT'S JUST SO WRONG.
18.3. Wait, they're not related? OH, GOD, IT JUST GETS MORE TWISTED!!
18.4. Oh, wait, wahat, WHAT. A TEACHER AND STUDENT?! Guidance counselor and student. OK. According to Annie I should not be squicked and/or shocked by this, AND YET. The whole running-off-to-Vegas and creating a fantasy life and starting over with a kid under weird pretenses is so...and then it's not even true love, she's just totally kinky with a thing for jailbait? Wrong. So wrong. My head hurts.
19. Further on the above scene: "Have you ever loved someone so much that you would kill for them?"
Grissom's like, "Uh no. Your storyline is not the one serving as a metaphor for my relationship this week."
"She promised me everything and then she took it all away!"
Grissom: ...okay, maybe a little.
20. Sad scene is Sad and I refuse to watch it again. Can we all pretend she said goodbye before she left, and just told him she'd be gone? PLEASE? [a/n: AHAHA. So now that I'm at the end of the episode and just about done revising this for posting, I've cued up my music playlist. Guess what song I'm right in the middle of?
This is the part where I start taking over
Why should I let you decide?
Life is too short, you blink and it's over, so now
You're gonna watch me walk out of your life.
My Windows Media Player has a decidedly twisted sense of irony.]
Or hey, never mind, I'll just take solace in the closing lines of the ever-wonderful Annie's recap:
Don't be sad, Sara. Just like Grissom couldn't save you last year, you can't save him now. He'll eventually get his head out of his ass and make things right with you. I give it, oh, eight episodes.
That bolded line more or less negates my need to further dissect the Grissom/Sara scenes, and she does it so succinctly. I'm jealous. But because I can't let it go, just a little bit of expansion, because I'm still not satisfied as to why Grissom's all of a sudden pushing her away.
Grr, this is right back to that icky early-season-6 place with his "Or maybe she was suffocating him and he couldn't breathe."
I don't know. I'm not really mad at him; I don't think he's purposefully being immature or selfish, but he is very, very lost right now and I guess it's just his built-in coping mechanism to shut down and turn inwards when he gets overwhelmed. Back to that passive-acceptance thing from the bedroom scene, that's as far as he can go right now. *scratches head* Still not really sure how this relates to the "relationship in stasis" thing, though. I'm sure it's there, I'm just not seeing it. In fact, it's probably somewhere on YTDAW, but the threads there are dauntingly huge.
Screw "a little bit" of expansion, I have to take on the Sara scene too. The way people were talking I thought Sara had broken up with him, or at least that it was heavily implied that she'd broken up with him, but that's not the feeling I ended up with. I got over my rage from "Goodbye and Good Luck" (is that right? I always forget its title and call it SGG, for Sara Says Goodbye, in my head), in short order, accepting alternative explanations, and I'm applying the same logic here. She probably did leave without warning, though I'm inclined to believe she left a note until forced to believe otherwise. I think they parted on the same tense and uncertain terms we left them with in the office, but I also think the door is wide open on Sara's end. It's just a couple hundred miles away.
Wow, I'm strangely optimistic about all this. It's almost like I'd forgotten about Lady Heather's pending return...OH WAIT, THAT'S BECAUSE I HAD. Stupid internet, undoing the magical properties of my sieve-like brain...
Aside from that, though, there's a wonderful shivery feeling of realizing how much I truly, truly love this show. How unlike most all my other crime shows (including this one towards the end of last spring), it has not suffered from my waning interest in procedurals (NEW YORK), and that every time I watch it there will be so many things to unpack and pull out that it keeps me absorbed for hours on end with a single installment.
That could all change in a heartbeat, next week in fact if New Girl is even one-tenth as annoying as the last new girl, but for right now? Right now I'm sassy and content.
P.S. SWEET ANOLA GAY, this ended up being over 3000 words. Even with significant amounts of quoted material, that's...probably a very sad testament about where my priorities lie.
In other news, I had two extremely amusing encounters with squirrels today. In the first one, I was walking up to a building when suddenly a big gray shot up out of the trash can, running away with a large chunk of cinnamon roll still half-wrapped in plastic. It was actually bigger than his head, and the plastic flapped along the ground as he bounded into the cover of some nearby bushes. Hilarious.
In the second, a cheeky little red darted into a tree I was standing right next to, and since there weren't any trees close enough for him to escape to, he was stuck as long as I was at the base. But he was extremely curious about my lack of movement, and he kept coming down to the lowest branch (only a foot above my head) and peering down at me before flashing away...only to return, flicking his tail left and right and chattering. He came back 3 or 4 times before he decided to risk sneaking down the opposite side of the trunk and bolting for dear life.
Oh, and I had an encounter with a sparrow, too, during work. I was kneeling down to wipe the radiators running along the glass-walled connective corridor, when I startled myself at the sight of a little bird curled up and tucked into the corner, facing the window with eyes closed. At first I thought he was dead - wouldn't be the first bird to have a lethal encounter with these windows - but when I rapped on the glass, he opened his eyes, and almost groggily woke up and began to respond to my knocks, looking up and peering around with no apparent fear.
I thought this was prety cool until he clambered to his feet. I figured he'd fly off, but instead he just sort of hopped around awkwardly, crumpling on one side every so often like there was something wrong with that leg, and he just moved into a patch of grass and stayed in there until I lost track of him. Now I feel bad scaring him out of his safe spot, and am sad at the thought of him having some terrible injury.
Yipes, that was kind of a downer to end on. What can I say, it's late on Monday night - almost Tuesday - and therefore life is starting to suck again. #(%&#%#)*% homework.