Even so, there's been plenty of slipping and sliding, and her nails have left scratches on icy patches all over the place. We're getting quite a workout just trying to stay upright, and constantly looking over my shoulder to check for cars is getting old. Taking her outside after meals is lots of fun too (not), navigating the iced-over rock path that leads to her chain. So, either prolonged thaw or snowflakes; I'm really not fussy. Just fix this nonsense.
CSI: NY: 5x09, "The Box"
Not having the context at the beginning of this episode really, really ticked me off, but I decided it wasn't worth turning the computer back on to ask the internet, so I gritted my teeth and sat through that irritating nonsense by keeping up a sidebar commentary in the margins. My guesses as to "who the hell is Danny talking to" ran the gamut like so:
-Video camera, as in message to future child?
-Therapist? (underlined twice in triumph, until a second voice cut in)
-Support group? (of some sort, not sure exactly what)
Actual answer: the parents of the murder victim, unsolicited I might add.
Me: WHAT. Lame! How ridiculously unprofessional! Not to mention boring for them; have you heard of condensed versions? *shakes head in continued disbelief at actual answer* That is really dumb. SO dumb.
I like my video-message-to-their-future-child idea better. Or at least a therapist. The point is there are a lot of ways I could have enjoyed this extended confessional without rolling my eyes and feeling a need to ask why Lindsay's pregnancy is immediately All About Danny, but if that's what you're going to give me, then rolling my eyes is exactly what I'm going to do! And you know, I've heard all I care to hear about Danny's poor little wrist injury and his tragically shattered baseball dreams. Why do you persist in being so thorough with that bit of backstory when you can't even make up your minds about whether Stella grew up in an orphanage or not?
OK. Shaking off ingrained bitterness now - really, this was handled surprisingly well. But we're going to take a short break from this line of discussion now to cover the other stuff.
-*shakes through opening scene* Having...Brave Little Toaster flashbacks...so not a movie for small children! The junkyard scene scarred me for life.
-BWAHAHAHA! The guy Mac & Flack brought in for questioning and who cracked his head open on the table in an attempt to prove police brutality...Reggie? Most hilarious ghetto accent ever. If I had a spare 15 minutes I would just sit here and transcribe his whole half of the conversation, it made me giggle so hard. Every time you thought it couldn't get any worse/more stereotypical, it did! For purposes of my own amusement, a tiny taste: "My ass ain't jacked a whip since...back in the day! True dat!"
Extra hilarity for Mac's "You just gave yourself a beatdown for nothing." I do wish criminals would remember that there are like 8,000 ways to prove the difference between third-party and self-inflicted injuries.
-*headdesk* Man! How did I not spot the newborn baby anvil and thus figure out the case early on? This same exact plotline has been used on one of my procedurals before. I guess that memory was overwritten by the SVU episode I watched recently in which the baby was chopped out for a very different reason. Still, I'm very disappointed in myself.
-Early scenes with Flack in a casual shirt, no jacket in sight = *drool*
-Props for using Mazzy Star's "Fade Into You" during Danny's reflective motorcycle ride. I so rarely know any of your music; I love when you feature a song I like for something other than an evidence-processing montage.
OK. A large part of what's been ticking me off about the baby news - besides the fact that Danny's a filthy rotten cheater and I still haven't forgiven him? - is that it comes from nowhere. Little to no interaction between the future parents in the first eight episodes of the season, nothing even moderately romantic, and otherwise appears to be generally the antithesis of how baby plots are supposed to go. I don't know about you, but I find it a little difficult to care about babies between people who might just as easily have broken up months ago (more on that later...)
Which leads me to my second point, which is that these writers clearly took the wrong message away from the "show vs. tell" lesson in school. For some reason, they think it of dire importance to have a minimum of four or five evidence processing montages per episode, even though since I have no idea what's happening until they explain it to me, their primary purposes seems to be more of a music spotlight than anything, whereas we get to learn in a voiceover about all of the following events months after the fact:
-Danny messed up and was with another woman (oh wait, we did get to see that. In excruciating detail.)
-He didn't tell Lindsay (Ass. In principle, I generally advocate not telling, but in this case he did such a poor job of covering his tracks that abject apology and forgiveness-begging would have been a better route to go)
-But she knew. He thinks she knew. (Yeah she did, and GOOD GIRL. God, I'm so proud of her for not being clueless.)
-They broke up (Smartest move ever made)
-A couple of months later, they got back together (I would be more peeved, except I felt my heartstrings being tugged by the phone call on that rainy spring night, and I wasn't even actually in love with the guy)
-But things weren't really the same after that
OK, so, on the one hand this does explain some of their interaction from previous episodes - I know TPTB weren't planning a pregnancy back then, but I'm determined to believe they had at least cooked up the breakup/back-together aspect of backstory, and that while they may have been too stupid to figure out how to share that with the viewing audience, they at least wrote with that canon in mind. I'd have to rewatch some of those to be sure, but flipping through my old reviews, I'm thinking "Like Water for Murder" is a good example of them being broken up.
I'm terribly relieved that Lindsay saw the light, as I was so hoping she had, and that there was a break-up involved. I'm even more relieved to be told that things remained different - I'm going to go with stilted and awkward, personally - after that. Because, yeah. They should. (I'm tempted to meta on this, but I don't have time. I'm sure people will write me legions of fic to explain why they got back together at all, and/or what the relationship was like afterwards, but I do not have time to dig through the mound of crap that is 80% of D/L fic, so I'd be most pleased if someone could point me in the direction of a good missing-scene fic or two.)
On the other hand, it would have made me feel a lot better if I could have actually seen Lindsay dump his lying, cheating ass.
I swear I'm going to mention something positive soon.
Veasey's original conception theory involved the rainy spring night, but not even the most inventive of TV timelines (outside The X-Files) can stretch from May to Lindsay saying in late November that she's known for "a few weeks" that she's pregnant. So I'm guessing it happened on a much more recent and innocuous night. And with that fact settled in my mind, let's talk the reveal:
Aside from that horrible, cringe-inducing moment where Lindsay walks in to the clinic, sees Danny and Stella and very obviously spins on her heel to leave - yeah, he totally didn't recognize you at all there - I was holding my breath in nervous anticipation of how she'd tell him. And, well, maybe even the cringe-inducing moment wasn't bad, because it forced her to stop avoiding the reveal. She knew it'd only buy her a couple of hours and he was going to come after her to demand an explanation...he's very persistent.
Wile the conveniently-timed morning sickness remains my least favorite pregnancy anvil ever, I'm going to draw out, focus on, and intensify for my own purposes the level of concern in his countenance when he repeatedly asks if she's sick, if she's all right. I'm also going to believe that Danny is not actually that thick-headed, and instead that he's guessed the truth, at least as a possibility (notice how he glances down, ostensibly at her stomach, right before she tells him?), but is deliberately picking easier options first. If she's sick, he can do something about that, if only to lend caring and support. It's relatively concrete. A baby, on the other hand...I can't even wrap my head around the idea of them having a baby yet.
"I'm pregnant." Well, OK, better start head-wrapping. Umm...I think mostly what I am is really, really depressed that what should be a happy announcement for any couple is instead delivered with a note of regret (it breaks my heart that the hint of a smile she's fighting is still bittersweet and tinged with rue) and received like a blow, with litle more than a stare. Which is exactly how it needed to happen here, so kudos for that, but that doesn't make it suck any less.
"Whoa, whoa, whoa, you can't just drop this on me and walk away."
"Danny, I know you."
"What is that supposed to mean?!"
"I just mean that I'm not expecting anything!"
This conversation did me a world of good. Frankly, I wouldn't expect anything from Danny either; LET ME TELL YOU WHY! (Hint: it's related to why I am so anti-them-having-a-baby)
Because...they're pretty much teenagers. Danny especially. I mean, let's evaluate the guys here. Mac? Pretty much already the team's dad. Hawkes? Aside from the fact that he has no viable love interests, he's certainly wise and mature enough that I'd call him father material. Flack? I'm probably colored by my favorite originial-character fic in which Danny's current storyline happens to him, but still, especially after seeing him with Samantha, I think he'd be better up to the challenge. Danny? *record scratch* Yeah, I may have said some things about him and fatherhood after "Child's Play," but I clearly did not mean them, because he's generally so impetuous/hot-headed/generally immature.
Where was I going with this paragraph? Oh yes, figuring Danny's good for child support and probably staying somewhat involved with his kid, but not so much with the epic romance and "let me be there for you every step of the way." I would have said that back in season 3, when he was more thoroughly besotted, but right now I see plenty of reasons for her to be mentally preparing to do this on her own. And I'm glad that the writers are thoroughly acknowledging the stilted awkwardness that comes with all of their interactions these days instead of pushing for a Yay, Babiez Solve All! fix.
Though it would have done my heart more good if Lindsay had whacked him on the arm for merrily telling strangers about her pregnancy when their coworkers don't even know yet. She can choose to confide in strangers who are in the same predicament; he doesn't have the same right.
Other D/L Points
-I'd squint at the ultrasound longer if I thought it would make a difference, but I still don't see anything that even vaguely resembles a baby. Ultrasounds are like those Magic Eye Puzzles. I could never figure one of those out, either. However, I will accept it the same way I do developing babies in general; it's proof of an idea, a promise, a hope. It's the sentiment that's important, not the picture itself, except as something tangible to remind yourself what's coming. (in a related note, this is why no one ever needs to show off their ultrasound pictures to friends/coworkers. It has no meaning to me)
-For further proof of how this storyline is being handled surprisingly well, I was cringing at the end and going "NO, NO, NO, NO HANDHOLD, NO HANDHOLD, NO STUPID HANDHOLDING - hey, they held off!" Good job - I was not ready to see them lose their heads in a warm and fuzzy (blech) rush of Feelings over seeing a real live baby. Fortunately, someone on the writing staff still has hold of their head, and they decided to stick with a nice, subtle brush of the knuckles instead - acknowledgement of something without any definite (or schmaltzy) gestures. RS approves this message.
In other news, I spent the evening falling in love with Natalie Merchant's "My Skin," which I probably should not have done right after downing another disc of The Office, season 2, a.k.a. "The One You Thought Was Happy And Fun, But Which Was Actually WAY MORE ANGST-PACKED THAN YOU REMEMBER." *is driven to (re)read fic and cannot stop sniffling* Stupid haunting songs.
On the bright side, watching that season makes me appreciate how how being ticked off at Pam and her art school fiasco is way, way better than watching the pair of them make passive-aggressive swipes out of frustration.