Long story short, after months of its horrible aching absence in my life, they saw some 12-packs at the grocery store and bought them for me as soon as I verified that that was the kind I liked. Ohhhh, I need this stuff in my life. Always. Heavenly ambrosia! Thanksgiving miracle! There seem to be a lot of those going around this year, as evidenced by the following episode(s):
Without a Trace: 7x07, "Rewind"
(background/catch up: So I did watch 7x04, which had some amusing Jack snark and me throwing up my hands at the final reveal going "WHY. Why do people continue to argue near stairwells? CHANCES ARE YOU WILL FALL DOWN THEM AND MANAGE TO DIE IN THE PROCESS," but that's really all I can remember. Skipped 7x05 entirely - which damn it, apparently was sort of interesting, but oh well. I deemed all irrelevant, including 7x06, in the magnitude of this one.)
Oh mercy me. I fell into a dead swoon after this teaser and then melted into a puddle of goo. I'm speaking to you now as a pool of liquid. I...I had forgotten what an incredible, ridiculously incredible and devoted and Caring boyfriend Danny was (possibly because I hadn't seen him since MAY 2007). I don't understand what possible rationale they have for bringing it up now when it literally has not been even vaguely alluded to since then...but whatever, I'm still over the moon about it.
Where do I even begin? The fact that wakes her up/says goodbye with a kiss on the temple, or the pleased smile watching her discover the present on the pillow? Perhaps the playful banter, which is just so them and God, I've missed it like whoa --
Elena: Where are you sneaking off to?
Danny: Well, I work at this place, it's called the FBI? I'm a special agent? (displays badge)
Elena: And your name is Elena Delgado?
Danny: Ooh. That would've been bad...
Next comes a great big long stretch of episode, which I was expecting to be boring as sin, but which turned out to be have some surprisingly good elements. For example, legitimate Jack snark and...well, a lot more levity and snark than I remember, actually. Could it be? Do the characters have personalities again?? Nah, must be a trick of the light. Except there were also fantastic things like Danny & Martin arguing over who was going to kick down the door ("I'm wearing new shoes"). Oh my god! Look how easy it is to fix what's broken about this show! Just a few extra seconds of your time to give them funny toss-off lines and thus make the cases worth watching.
* The arguing over their Special Day! "OK, if you know what it is, why do I have to tell you?" "Because you don't know what it is."
*...seriously is Marianne Jean-Baptiste losing her hair, or something? I could swear Viv's wearing a series of increasingly bad wigs.
Skipping our way towards the ending scene, JOY! So many levels of it. From the fact that he's surprised but mostly just amused that she doesn't remember (how great is he), to the final explanation of said day...the story! The beautiful images it produces!!
Danny: OK. One year ago today, you, me and Sophie went to Central Park. Sophie was riding the carousel, and we were sitting on this little bench, and I said "Elena --"
Sophie: Oh my God, yeah, and you said to me "Elena...I love you." And it was the first time.
I'm finally glad this show still exists - I swear, two years of crap were made up for by those two completely random but oh-so-perfect scenes. I think that "I still love you" line could have come off clunky or cheesey from a lot of people, but he nailed it and sent my heart aflutter in the process.
Furthermore, as much as I adore them as a couple I think I am quite possibly even more enchanted by the image of Danny as a quasi-stepfather; they have all this family interaction and it's wonderful. Now, I think it would have been more wonderfully if we had actually seen this scene a year ago, both for seeing it then and so that maybe we could have had a chance to figure it out before Elena did, but...you know, I'm really not going to complain about Danny & Elena & Sophie at the park. Even if the image is only a mental one.
Oh! You know what I think, I think 2 writers made some random bet, and the loser was tasked with "revive a completely dead storyline with no connection to this week's plot and insert it into the next episode." The choice was probably between this and revisiting Jack's daughters; this way just didn't require tracking down extra actresses.
And I almost forgot about the very last bit--
Jack: Am I interrupting something?
Danny & Elena: YES.
Bwah! I love that there's no jumping apart or looking guilty or anything. They're both just completely unapologetic as they stare him down until he leaves. Danny even has the gall to look annoyed. Best episode of the year? I THINK SO.
Survivor: Nothing Tastes Better Than Five Hundred Dollars
Things I Didn't Understand/Didn't Like
Bob? Why...why in the world would you show SUGAR the fake idol? Out of everyone, what possible purpose does that serve? I like to think you are a brilliant man, but if you're discrediting her like everyone else...but the hug and the kiss on the cheek after their first conversation about it was adorable. In my previously mentioned New York AU, I may need to cast Bob as her father. Just maybe.
Bob didn't get to enjoy the auction because stupid Kenny sent him packing to Exile. That's just not nice. :(
Stuff That Was Awesome
-Randy and Corinne being the most perfectly suited-to-one-another pair of evil trolls in the world. Actual dialogue exchange: "I don't like any of these people!" "Oh, I hate them!" They're both so interchangeably nasty - I mean, here's Corinne, going on at length about how stupid and useless Sugar is even after the latter merrily orchestrated the further unraveling of the Onion Alliance last week - that it makes it all the sweeter to watch them go down in flames later on.
-The auction is always tons of fun to watch. Love it, even though it was a little disappointing that there was nothing gross. (Cookies for the tribe for $20? Come on, what fun is that). Also, I felt like giving Randy copious amounts of alcohol might be sort of a poor idea. He's uninhibited and belligerent even when sober. And it's really weird and disturbing to me that they auction a bath but then provide no privacy, even for changing, which...would you want to strip naked in front of everyone? Yeah, not that great of a reward if you ask me.
On the bright side, I got to watch Sugar simultaneously spite Randy and practically wet herself in joy upon winning chocolate and peanut butter, so that was nice. And I was really glad Matty got the burger/fries/soda, because he deserved something good. (even though it just gave me a huge craving for a similar meal, and I just had to live without it). But I wish it had gone on longer, since Crystal didn't win anything at all. Neither did...crap, was Crystal the only one without a winning bid? Never mind then, that was dumb.
-More actual dialogue, from Matty to Randy: "How you feeling, buddy? Still bitter?" LMAO!!
-I'm sad Bob wasn't clever enough to opt for Comfort this time around, but I loved his individual safari, because he's sweet and adorable like that. For example, his moving speech about "I can see why they call it Eden" was super-cheesy, but I think he's the kind of person who would legitimately believe that. If he keeps this up, I'm moving to Maine and lying about my age so I can enroll in one of his physics classes.
-Honestly, I spent the entire second half of this episode just rolling around and shaking with laughter. Watching Randy DELIBERATELY crash and burn was too incredible for words. Bob going along with Sugar's plan to trick him! Sugar almost literally exploding with anticipated joy! Randy totally believing in the fake idol AND ACTUALLY USING IT! There was no end to the hilarity, especially because every single person was grinning their heads off, smug and secure that they were blindsiding the other alliance.
-By the time Jeff chucked in the fire (aww, I still hate that part), and Corinne and Randy had stopped smiling while everyone else including the jury started cracking up - especially Sugar, who kept herself composed until it was safe to cut loose and then laughed her ass off - I was gasping for breath. Oh, and not to mention Crystal awesomely shouting her vote and vitriol for all to hear, plain as day...that was great. Has that ever happened before?
-AND THEN RANDY WAS FINALLY OFFICIALLY GONE! WOO! And I'm super excited because I think there are only, what, two more episodes before the big Sunday Final 4/Finale/Reunion bonanza? And so if Corinne goes next (here's hoping), then even if Bob goes after that, it's only a matter of days until it's all over. I don't think Bob will wind up at the end, but it doesn't matter because I basically got to watch him all season anyway, which is what I wanted. Him and Sugar, all season! Once again, Survivor has turned itself around. "Blah" season, I think not!
-I may also have spent ungodly amounts of time on the TWoP message boards thanks to this episode. It's the only show whose boards I frequent, but I cannot get enough.
'HIMYM: 4x08, "Wooo!"
I don't understand this vitriol toward woo girls. Hell, I don't even understand why that's a descriptive name for a specific type of women. Am I just too young? Because all my experience says that all females go "woo!" to express excitement, rather frequently, and in fact I'm pretty sure I say it too, on at least a semi-regular basis. Wait...does this mean GIRLS OUTGROW THIS BEHAVIOR?! Because I have to admit that I do not "woo" with quite the same drawn-out length that the women in this episode do, but you can frequently hear such noise arising from the halls. Especially late at night. It's a sound that makes me want to choke a bitch (or five of them), so...
But I'm still baffled as to how "woo girls" not only became their own phenomenon, but one that's big enough to have haters.
A few things I liked:
-How Jillian immediately snapped from party girl to seriously discussing the merits of teaching strategies...and just as immediately snapped back upon hearing a catchy song.
-Lily attempting to mimic the woo girl vernacular for terms of platonic endearment ("dumb whores!") by calling her an "ignorant hussy."
-The expression on Barney's face when he tells Ted he didn't get the building design job. Even then, I was 98% sure it was Barney's doing, but the fact remains that he looks so sincerely apologetic, like he really feels bad and dreads having to break the news, that I just want to hug him.
-REVENGE OF THE PIGEONS.
-"Press it! Press it for glory!" I am pretty sure that all the hilarity of Sven comes from his accent, and I don't even care.
-Ted unexpectedly dancing in with the "woooooo!" at the end made me explode with shrieking laughter. As did Barney sliding off the bull and promptly falling over sideways.
4x09, "The Naked Man"
All right, if the internet's going to explode with love for this episode, then I'm going to have to put my foot down and disapprove. Even if the naked man *was* charming/pathetic/a little bit funny - which he wasn't, although he was shockingly unattractive and apparently without even a semblance of a good personality - that does not translate into "hey, let's have sex. On the first date." No, Barney's girl definitely had the right take: start screaming "What the hell is wrong with you?!" and chase him out of sight, possibly throwing something made of glass at his head in the process.
I also did not need to see that much of Neil Patrick Harris or Josh Radnor. Pelvic bones cross the line of comfort for me.
And finally, I SUPER DID NOT NEED THOSE IMAGES IN MY HEAD RE: CORRELATION BETWEEN MARSHALL'S FLOSSING HABITS AND PHYSICAL CONDITION. Seriously, ew. And come on, if you can't even say "blow" in a certain context without getting bleeped, how does this pass muster for an 8:00 show?
But, OK, I will grant that there were a lot of good things in spite of that. Such as:
-The goat is still super-super cute, although I worry about the fact that's probably somehow connected to Robin. Don't go the way of her dogs! I don't trust you not to send the goat to a working farm where it gets slaughtered in old age!
-Pablo Neruda. "That book's a turd. It's all in *Mexican*. Pbbbbbt!" I...would totally say things like this if I could get away with it. Where Neruda is concerned, I mean, because I dislike him intensely and reading one overly-sexual-for-my-tastes poem is reason enough for doing so. Besides, Jewel *does* write better poems. THAT'S RIGHT, I SAID IT AND I'M NOT TAKING IT BACK. (My sixth-grade self is eyeing the CD insert of "Pieces of You" and going "Hey, remember this one and how gross it was?" Let's ignore her)
-Marshall (repeatedly) calling Robin a slut, which was AWESOME and so dead-on, followed by his DISAPPROVAL (!) and adamant insistence that only reason to sleep with someone is love, and being defensive but not apologetic about his romantic sentimentality. And getting all upset when Lily ruins various memories for him. Marshall, when your current wife dies, marry me.
-The list of 50 reasons was still kind of funny, though. And though it didn't even occur to me this might be one of the special Internet extras, it is! The full list is up here.
'NICS: 6x09, "Dagger" (Ahahah, I get it. Funny.)
First words out of my mouth: Oh damn, the kid's *real*?!?! (%&#)(%*&#*(%&#*(%%#! There go all my hopes and dreams.
I went back and forth throughout the episode, loving Tony's aggressive suspiciousness and desperately wanting him to be right, but simultaneously sure he was coming down too hard for him to ultimately be right. Even when I as 99% sure she was playing them, I felt like they were being too obvious about making her look like she was playing them. I did go bouncing around the room when they got proof it wasn't her daughter or even a relative, but I just as quickly realized the episode was only half over and it was way too early for a reveal like that to stick. Drat it all!
I'm still pretty much in shock over the ending. When Gibbs shot through her to kill the bad guy, I simply sat there, repeatedly going "ARE YOU KIDDING ME? ARE YOU FUCKING KIDDING ME??" I don't even...that was not necessary. That was just not called for at all. Goodness knows I'm no fan of Lee, in fact I'm the opposite of that, but even I didn't want her killed in a bloody shootout. (and I do mean bloody. Gibbs' bullet-mangled finger, never MIND the vicious cut from the glass right at the corner of his eye, had me squealing and unable to look)
That was cheap and cheating and you know it. Still...I've said it before and I'll say it again, NCIS knows how to tell a story. They know how to spoil without giving away secrets, how to share tidbits and previews to generate interest and yet still pull off massive blindsides. I do wish they'd kept her legitimately evil - because I *still* get chills thinking about her expression during that "do they suspect?" text message - but it never crossed my mind that it would go down like this.
Stuff I Liked:
*Tony and Ziva bickering in the woods, with her bringing up Jeanne (uncalled for! But fantastic)
*The running joke of Ziva as a hunting dog ("Bark once for yes!" "Grrrr." and "Ziva's starting to turn in circles. Either the trail's gone cold or she's about to mark her territory.")
*STEEEEEEEEVE! Or, whatever his name is; the guy's always going to Sex and the City's Steve Brady. Now sporting a lot more gray hair, but looking very distinguished as a result. I approve. Pity he had to go and be completely evil in this episode, though. Lying about your fear for the safety of a wife you've already killed is not cool.
*Enjoyed being blindsided on multiple levels, not just with Lee but with the real/not-real Domino. I honestly couldn't decide whether Gibbs was bluffing or not. I love that he was. Wonderfully entertaining storytelling...I feel like this is everything La Grenouille tried and failed to be. Maybe it was the wrapping it up in 3 installments that did the trick?
*As mad as I was that Lee's story turned out to be true, I was somewhat placated by Gibbs' yelling that she should have come to him right away, you know, like BEFORE YOU KILLED PEOPLE. Me: "OK, she's not really guilty of being a traitor, but Gibbs still hates her for being a dumbass. So I'm cool."
*Tony "pulling the wool off" McGee's eyes. HAH!
*Teary Ziva! And quickly turning away upon noticing Tony watching her**.
**Wearing an expression, by the way, that I'm just going to go over here and savor for a while.
*Why haven't I mentioned Abby yet? What's wrong with me? Did she not do anything particularly awesome? Don't even bring up the Vance scene, because I was busy stuffing my fingers in my ears on account of how Vance was in it. I may have heard it anyway, but I won't admit to as much.
*She was pretty anti-Lee for a while there, though. I did enjoy that.