-Numb3rs: 5.12, "Jacked"
Not until I saw Nikki's face in the previews for next week did I realize she'd been absent from the episode. And what a refreshing time without her it was! I watched this one downstairs with Mom, in an attempt to start practicing how to pay attention so that I can understand what the plot is when Spy's not around to tell me, and I actually followed most of it from start to finish.
My only frustration was when I had no idea what was going to happen (except that I was sure the cop was going to get shot, and then when he did, I predicted that since it was a chest rather than head wound, he would be able to hang on gasping for breath until rescue arrived), and Mom knew everything. For example, as soon as Liz told the grieving fiancee that he'd been killed, Mom said "Something's not right here," and next thing you know, Liz is having the cup analyzed for prints.
Me: HOW DO YOU KNOW THESE THINGS?! I watch ten times as much crime drama as you, and I never figure out anything pivotal!
Mom: Because, the camera focused in on her and she had a weird look on her face.
Me: I thought that was just to emphasize her grief so we'd all be surprised when it turned out he was alive at the end!
Mom: Plus they said earlier that the guys had no history of violence...
Me: See, what I remembered was "but there's a first time for everything."
I love that they completely threw us for a loop by having a fake decoy bus, though. That was incredible, and I'm pretty sure there was absolutely no way to see that coming. Excellent writing! And the ending was just sort of hilarious, how the guy kept yelling "Don't move! I will shoot you!" as they all just kept running away. The fact that he repeats himself like ten times and yet obviously has no real threat to stop them, but apparently thinks that "more" and "louder" will do the trick cracks me up. As did catching the outside guards by distracting them with a random $20 bill and sneaking up behind when they bent to pick it up.
On a bad note, however, this episode increased my Alan hatred like tenfold. I don't even understand why he's part of the think tank anyway - I mean, it's full of PhD professors and at least one certifiable math genius, and then there's HIM - but after the manure stunt, now I definitely want to shut him up in a condo offscreen and never see him again. Moron, if your neighbors are complaining about a smell that has all the wind of the outdoors to dissipate it, in what planet is your next logical course of action to bring it inside the house? Then again, I don't know why you would bring that into a suburban neighborhood in the first place, so clearly logical thinking is not your strong suit.
At least Amita and Charlie got to play Mom and Dad, with the former eventually asserting her natural authority as Queen of Geekdom and Unruly Men.
Also, was anyone else terrified that Megan's name was going to come up in the list of reasons Larry was depressed? I was biting my nails to the quick until the moment passed and I could relax in relief. IF IT'S NOT SPELLED OUT FOR ME, THEY DIDN'T BREAK UP.
"Private Practice: 2.12, "Homeward Bound"*
*Side note: please do not give ugly connotations to the title of one of my favorite childhood movies.
My feelings on the elderly-woman storyline can be summed up in my response to a single scene with Sam:
"You think it would have been better if your mother had left your father when you were a kid?" No, I think it would have been better if she didn't CHEAT ON HIM AT ALL. Cheating because it's the only way to be true to your sexuality is not an excuse.
"I feel no connection to that woman because I don't know her at all." *headdesk* Well, Seth, on the other hand... I hate when people find out one bad thing about someone they've known for years and then suddenly act like their memory's been wiped clean and they're being confronted with a stranger. YOU STILL KNOW THEM. It is because you know them that you can feel hateful and furious and disgusted by their past actions and/or desire to wash your hands of them. I wish Seth would latch onto these far more
As for the other story, with the cystic fibrosis family...um, I totally bawled my eyes out at the end. I am such a sucker for father/daughter stories, and it really didn't help that it had to be the cute little camera-wielding blonde girl who was playing with Betsy in a previous episode. I would say her father made the right decision in not letting her die alone, except that I keep second and third guessing myself, so I really have no idea except that it was a good choice and I don't fault him for it. I just wish he hadn't handed over his 2-year-old son while said son was, you know, crying. I'm pretty sure the tot had no idea what was going on, so couldn't they have waited until he was smiling and happily distracted by a shiny toy?
As far as the personal storylines go...
1) The hell, Violet, what about Pete is not "comforting"? Was it when he clumsily tried to cheer you up in episode 2, or when he kissed your temple and commiserated about loneliness, or maybe the part where he asked for a real relationship? So far, I'm seeing like 800 reasons to choose Pete and none to choose Sheldon. Not that I ever saw any reason for you sleeping with Sheldon in the first place. Why yes, I did find it hilarious comeuppance when you broke your vagina from too much sex. (there was a better colloquial term for it, but I'm sticking with this one)
Liking Pete more than Violet is not how things should ever be, by the way. Welcome to bizarro land, Self.
2) Naomi, Sam tried to get back together with you. You rejected him. You've kind of lost the right to act jealous and possessive and talk about "what's best for Maya."
3) Addison, kissing counts as cheating. I wish she'd never called Kevin back at all; in retrospect he had a good, noble, relatively organic exit and now he's getting jerked around. And for WYATT. *feels unclean*
4) Stop. Trying. To. Make. Charlotte. Sympa. Thetic. It pisses me off almost (but not quite) as much as the incessant sex, and I'm sick of Cooper being so completely unable to detach himself from her. Not that I'm feeling especially favorable to him either, encouraging Violet that it's normal and good and healthy to have no-strings-attached sex with multiple people at the same time. The longer this goes on, the angrier I get that they didn't at least give Violet/Cooper a good run before they brought on the wicked witch of the south and ruined the notion forevermore.
5) That reminds me, there was like zero visible sex in this one. I'm shocked speechless, unless I just blocked it all out.
6) Ooh, apropos of
-Grey's Anatomy, 5x12, "Sympathy for the Devil"
*sighs* Oh, MamaShep. I had such high hopes. Really, I came in predisposed to like you and everything! And then it was "Three strikes, you're out."
Strike 1: The hair. Short hair is one thing, and not an automatic detraction - especially on an older woman - EXCEPT. She was sporting the "hedgehog" "style," where you slap a bunch of gel in your hair and make it stick up in different directions. Even worse than dreadlocks, it is the ugliest thing one can do to one's hair short of shaving it all off.
Strike 2: Seeking out Lexie and quizzing her on whether or not she is a good girl = good. Unfortunately, instead of then telling Lexie to see that she keeps away from Mark Sloan, she a) tells him he needs higher standards (what? No he does not!! At this point, anything above "hooker" is already too good for him. And not one of those fancy escort hookers, either) and b) encourages him to date Lexie. WHAT. You don't get to say things like that. You obviously have the same blindness as a natural birth mother when it comes to your pseudo-adopted son; you do not get to aid and abet the further corruption of relatively innocent young girls. Lexie drinks from effing juice boxes. She's slept with both McSleazy *and* McSleazy Jr., pre-personality-transplant. The only thing Lexie needs is intensive counseling and/or a less toxic work environment.
STRIKE 3: The ring. The Super Speshul Engagement Ring From Dead!Daddy, which apparently Addison Forbes Montgomery, she of the gorgeous red locks and the gift of snark and world-renowned surgical skills in like ten different departments was not good enough for, but hey, Meredith of the ever-changing personalities and the self-admitted darkness, totally The One! Yes! Obviously! Due to the fact that she feels bad for serial killers, her magical sparkly Specialness just radiates "ONE TRUE LOVE WIFE MATERIAL!" *burns with quiet fury* You know, I realize Addison made nigh-unforgivable mistakes (sleeping with Mark was worse than the actual act of cheating on her husband, I think, and not because he's Derek's best friend but because HE'S MARK), but damn it, that was all post marriage. That ring should have come flying out as soon as MamaShep met Addison. They were Derek and Addison!
No, I will not ever get over my rage on this matter. I will bury it away and generally move past it and awww over Mer/Der snuggling, especially if it's fully clothed, but I will not tolerate these blatant suggestions that Meredith was always his One True Soulmate and Addie was just some devil woman he had the misfortune to be married to. That will always piss me off, and put me down a path of violent anti-Meredith feelings. I put up with Mer as his second chance at happiness because I'm never going to get things back the way they were, but I don't buy into delusion. *is bitter*
In conclusion, MamaShep, run away and never return.
(side note: um, did none of her friends notice that Meredith's high ponytail made her look about 7 years old? In case you were not aware of this, 7 < 12. It just makes the age difference *worse*)
Speaking of people I've discovered I don't like, Arizona. After last week I kept my opinion neutral and open for one more episode of observation, but she did not make the cut. She's continuing to nettle Bailey, which is not cool. I realize that Bailey needs a dose of realism, but the way Arizona goes about it just rubs me the wrong way. Her mood swings are worrisome - she babbles nonstop for hours until she snaps, and then it's "I LIVE IN A DISMAL WORLD OF TINY COFFINS, OKAY, IT'S DARK AND SO IF I WANNA TALK ABOUT RAINBOWS, I'M GONNA!" - and unpleasant, and at this point it's becoming a serious contest to see who I want off my screen faster, Arizona or Sadie.
(Sadie was actually less annoying tonight, mostly because I got a satisfying thrill out of seeing Bailey call her "squirrelly" and then chew her up and spit her out, but also because she sat back, shut up, and only spoke up when it was of dire importance, thereby proving herself useful in extremely small doses.)
Speaking of people I already knew I didn't like, I'm incredibly sick of seeing Alex on my screen; Personality Transplant Alex is WAY creepier than Ghost Denny. It's gross and weird and just, make it stop. Make it stop! He's not attractive and people who are both unattractive and have a long history of unattractive behavior have no hope, ever, of me finding them enjoyable or believing they're in love, even if they follow the Checklist of Cute to the letter. Stupid Izzie and her stupid breakup with Dead Denny. I know it's best for her, but in this triangle, Denny is the only one I like unconditionally (HEE on the smirky comments over her shoulder, as always), and so whatever you have to do to make that happen, do it.
(Incidentally, the ABC president burst my bubble the other day by explicitly stating "Denny is not a ghost" and promising that we'd understand all in due time, but I'm choosing to stuff my fingers in my ears and assume his wording can be misconstrued. I live in a dark and dismal world of vaguely pedophilic Mark/Lexie sex, and so if I wanna believe Denny's a real ghost, I'm gonna.)
One thing I did like was the progression of the serial killer arc. I can't figure out why he suddenly wants to help someone live when he took such pleasure in causing people to die, but since he does, I love that Meredith spelled out exactly how brain death might be caused, yet kept her hands rather blood-free while casually strolling out of the room. Especially with the echoed parting shot of "Whatever helps you sleep at night." As much as I'm loving Team Yang/McDreamy, especially when he was raging at Meredith to sign the form for surgery and Cristina finally grabbed it and did it instead, in this case Meredith's making the right call. I understand his desperation not to let the killer feel like he's got the upper hand, but really, wouldn't it save all kinds of money if he just died on his own, no expensive surgeries or longer hospital stays or the cost and time of the lethal injection itself?
(I just realized I've developed a pattern here, so I'm going to keep the parenthetical asides going: which manner of death would you choose? Much as I loathe and despise needles, I'd have to opt for lethal injection, if they put you to sleep first. I'm just not sure I'd trust my neck to break with hanging, and the feeling of suffocation would be horrible.)
Finally, for the good...I still feel abject loathing for "the pig-killer," as Izzie so conveniently brought up just as I was mulling over how to work that into this week's review, but I have to say that I am still just SO GLAD Cristina still has standards. He shows up super-late and drunk, and rather than being even marginally charmed by his pitiful attempt to make it better with flowers, or his explanation that he was just nervous, she just looks disgusted, and kind of tells him as much.
I cracked up when she told him the first thing he needed to do was shower, only to give an exasperated yelp of "Not here!" when he wanders off heedlessly in the opposite direction of the open front door, and laughed some more when she complained about him wearing shoes in her shower (although I do give her points for looking concerned and bolting when he calls, as if he might be hurt. He gets one fraction of a point for having the decency to remain clothed while talking to her).
And, okay, FINE. I grudgingly admit - and only for the sake of Cristina, you understand; it's because I can understand CRISTINA being moved by it; obviously if I were her we wouldn't have gotten as far as agreeing to a first date - that his speech was moving and gave some insight into his actions. This goes back to my approval of Cristina having standards - you see how much it took just to get her to go for a kiss?
Now for the sake of my sanity, let's all just assume that if further undressing was involved, it was in the context of caretaker, and that she handed him a towel, threw his machine-washable clothes in the dryer and then let him sleep it off on the couch. Because I'm pretty sure that even an emotional unburdening like that is not enough to earn my approval for more than kissing at this point. (also, he was drunk! Very, very drunk, right? To the extent that it would have an effect on performance?)