'7x07, "Cheating Death"
I almost wrote this one off, but then I decided I was really darn determined to see Lucy Lawless (who, in my humble opinion, was somewhat wasted on a 1-note character). Lucky thing I did, because NO ONE TOLD ME THERE WAS GLEEFUL PRANKING TO BE FOUND!! Well, actually, I think someone did, but I must have forgotten about it in my educational turmoil. Anyway.
PRANKING! I'd have been more terrified of the rising body if I hadn't already seen all manner of seemingly crazy things with a logical explanation happen in that room the past two Halloweens, but I certainly don't blame Tara practically having a heart attack. And I probably would have reacted exactly the same way, with more shouting than is strictly necessary and some heavy "hope it was worth it" sarcasm. It was kind of fun seeing Eric look totally chagrined. Almost as much fun as watching the flashback to the prank in the first place, complete with a musical score tailor-made for crazy shenanigans.
I liked the fallout from the prank as well, not only the callback to Ryan's experience with the severed head (thank you!), but her cold shoulder when she blew past them (Ryan: We'll just be over here solving the case, thanks...), the cute little moment where Calleigh arches an eyebrow about his apology procrastination and sweetly suggesting that girls like flowers (I take what I can get!), and just, a whole host of other things.
It warms my heart to see Eric and Ryan as a partnership instead of mortal enemies, but I think the best part was having Calleigh reach out to Tara and help her with the reconstruction. The most devastating part of Alexx leaving was that, techs aside, it rendered Calleigh alone again in the boys club - HAH, look at that, Natalia is so irrelevant in my head that I temporarily forgot she existed - and it's nice to see her reach out to the new girl.
Aside from that, there were the usual run of too-stupid-to-live suspects, including the bob-haired woman who copped to prostitution even though it would have been just as easy to say that they were having a perfectly innocent, if somewhat kinky, one-night-stand, or the other woman who decided to stab the guy to death because he stole her wedding ring. Which was a lovely ring, to be sure, but seriously - it is possible for people to just randomly lose rings.
I think her other motivation was that her husband was going to leave her if she didn't find it, but I have to say, that is a really stupid reason to leave your wife. See previously mentioned statement about how easy it is to lose rings...there is no way your mind would automatically jump to "OMG SHE MUST HAVE CHEATED ON ME WITH SOME RANDOM DUDE AND LEFT IT AT HIS PLACE, H0R!"
OK, we've already discussed 8 & 9, so let's move on to...
'7x10, The Deluca Motel
This promo was the entire reason I kicked Miami off the watchlist, because I was not ready to deal with Eric's father not being his real father, which any normal person would assume meant he was not, in fact, half-Russian like we've always been told. As his Russian heritage is one of my favorite things about him, I was rather P.O.ed and not ready to have this nice world o' backstory rudely trampled upon, so I denied its existence for as long as possible. ("Although," I said to myself, "If Eric's 100% Cuban while Marisol was half-Russian, that would explain the marked difference in skin tone...")
Turns out his father is actually just some other Russian guy - there's probably something Cold-War-related to explain why there were all these Russians running around Cuba, right? - so at least that part's intact. *insert small sigh of relief* Still, I'm peeved that we had to go muck up his rather sweet backstory in the first place. Did he just not have enough tragedy and problems in his life yet? (Calleigh, be glad you got away with suicidal ex and an alcoholic father, and possibly reconsider any thoughts you might have had about getting any closer to Eric.)
Not that finally seeing (one of) the mythical Delko parents wsn't nice, but I liked the story of how his parents came over on a boat while his mother was pregnant with him, because they wanted a better life for their family. I liked it when it didn't change and turn out that whoops, he's secretly illegitimate, actually born in Cuba (dammit) and his real father is kind of a controlled psycho with terrifying assassin connections!
Ugh. I was looking forward to finding out why he was in the motel in the first place, but this was not the explanation I was looking for. It was better when I believed he had gone broke again trying to help out another family member again. (What? Raymond kept dying. Eric's sisters could keep succumbing to terminal illness.)
But despite the many annoyances raised, I actually felt like this episode was worth my time. First, I love the opening - an absolutely beautiful sunset shot over the water, which I have turned into my desktop background, accompanied by some pretty Spanish guitar notes instead of that horrible rap they usually kick off with.
Second, despite the contrivances, it was really nice to see everyone showing concern for Eric - reserved concern, trying to walk the line between helpful and intrusive, but beautiful concern all the same. I particularly like that Ryan's finally seemed to come from a place of friendship rather than tattling - yes, he went scampering to Horatio, but to be fair that's because Horatio is who Eric is most likely to open up to if it was something serious. And don't think I missed the part where Ryan & Eric had plans outside of work! I never thought I'd see the day.
One thing I didn't get...what was that thing Eric was using on the car, and why? I couldn't even figure out if it was his car or not. I assumed it was, but... It looked like he was breaking in to steal petty change, but maybe he was checking for explosive devices or something.
Thought it was kind of funny that Eric is was all "No! I won't meet you again face-to-face!" but then he has Enrique's number saved in his phone. Way to distance yourself and cover your tracks, Eric.
Ryan: Oh, it's "temporary." So you're looking for a vacancy in a motel where they don't blindfold you and shoot you in the chest?
-Bringing the snark! I enjoy this. I also enjoy the caring --
Eric: This isn't even your lab, Wolfe. What are you doing in here?
Ryan: Oh, just crossing my T's and dotting my I's.
Eric: When did that include meddling in my life?
Ryan: I included meddling in your life when we started working together.
-You know, if you're going to lie to your kid about his birth, how hard is it to make up a consistent story and stick to it? Apparently she was not only happy to talk about it (silence can be golden if you're a bad liar), she changed every detail every time. That is an epically bad attempt at protecting your kid from the truth.
-Still. Easy best episode of the season. Giving center stage to Eric tends to do that in the post-Human Horatio years.
'7x11, "Tipping Point"
Filler! I call filler, spiced up with a rare moment of Natalia being not completely horrible as she smacked a corrupt funeral director into place, Yolanda being a sweet character I'd actually like to see again, and a moment of incredulous rage-inducement that this show likes to include on a regular basis.
30 SECONDS? REALLY? REALLY, SHOW? You're going to give Horatio 30 seconds to run up and get inside a house to pick up a young woman, waste time undoing her bonds only to carry her out anyway, and get back out of the house and far enough away so that neither of you even falls down, much less has a mark on you from the giant fiery explosion? I...I can't decide if this is better or worse than the time the back of the Hummer exploded in a fireball while he calmly stepped out of it. One thing is for sure, his robot armor is definitely fireproof.
You'd think at some point I would just give up and stop caring, because clearly they're acting out with these ludicrous scenes to recieve attention, good or bad, and the only way to defeat them is to ignore them...but I cannot. Once the flames have died out, only two thoughts remain:
1) Poor attempt to recreate the end of "Pirated," but I'll give you points for trying
2) Oh, oh, oh! I was hoping that Hector's reference to the kid in jail was a callback to a previous episode, but I could not for the life of me place the name. But CSI Files informs me it is! From season 4, even! Of course, the fact that I thought "48 Hours to Life" was the worst episode of that year may explain my lack of recognition, but still. CALLBACKS FOR THE WIN. Horatio really was much less jaded and/or robotic back then.
Hah! Now I only have 43 backlogged episodes (across 6 shows) to go!