Remember, kids, what do I do when I don't want to tackle a particularly heavy Doctor Who episode? I invent ways to distract myself. Like watching "The Infinite Quest."
*snort-giggle* OK, that just kind of cracked me up. Doctor Who, Saturday-morning-cartoon style! With much more hilariously choppy animation than I remember from most of my Saturday-morning-cartoons. I swear it was only my fascination with that (and maybe a little bit of amusement at Caw the Golden Robot Parrot) that kept me watching long enough to get permanently into the story.
Fortunately, since it's still got David Tennant and Freema Agyeman lending their voices, it serves rather well as a book-on-tape. Only with music instead of description. And really, anything even marginally involving David Tennant is worthwhile. I just wish I'd had the willpower to skip the visuals the first time around, as I'm sure I could have imagined a much better, i.e. non-cartoon, visual to go along with the lovely voices.
Now, where I was I? Ah yes. Thursday night TV.
ER, 15x16, "The Beginning of the End"
Oh, show, why you gotta be in the business of breaking my heart?
My OMG YAY IT'S CARTER squee really didn't last long. As in, I mean it keeled over in like the first two minutes when everybody was bustling about, totally ignoring him and/or clearly humoring the guy they secretly thought might be a bit crazy. To which I may or may not have felt like going "HEY YOU KIDS, IT'S JOHN CARTER, WTF IS WRONG WITH YOU." His comment "It's like Bizarro ER" was shockingly apt, and terribly sad.
Come on, you can't tell me it didn't make you feel at least a little bit hollow in the pit of your stomach to realize that in just four years, the world he knew has so completely shifted. That's what makes it like a real workplace, and that ability to change a little bit at a time without imploding is one of the things I love about the show, but sometimes it's a two-edged sword...not unlike when Haleh showed Abby the wall of nameplates. Technically speaking, I belong in this new generation, since season 13 was the first time I watched new episodes on a regular basis, but seasons 6-11 are still my happy place where I *feel* like I belong. And Carter is a hugely central part of that place.
And it was really, really sad to realize that Morris was the only full-fledged non-surgical ER doctor he could recognize. I mean, of course there's Jerry and then Sam plus a handful of other nurses, but...oh, former cast, I miss you. (that being said, ADORED his meeting with Neela - "Grasshopper!" LOL)
Something else you should know about my past relationship with Carter is that right around the time I first started tuning into this show's summer reruns, he was with Kem, and one of the episodes that's always stood out sharply in memory is the (still)birth of their son. So although Carby was great in its time, and I enjoy those reruns, it's hard for me not to be OMG FLAIL YES PLZ about him and Kem after those amazingly emotional scenes. Ergo, I was ever so pleased with Carter's ultimate exit route.
So, me being me, I noticed that distant look in his eyes, combined with his generally not-quite-optimal appearance and somewhat evasive answers, and my first thought was "Where is Kem? Why is Carter here alone and indefinitely? Oh God, what happened with him and Kem? Show, if you broke them up off screen, I will hurt you. Talk to me about Kem! I need to be reassured right now! Ack! Neeee!" When he mentioned that she was fine and visiting her parents, my response was to heave a great sigh of relief, and then be like so: "Oh, phew! Thank you - wait, that was a terribly vague answer! Maybe he's lying to avoid a messy conversation! Oh God, they totally ruined a happy ending for no reason, didn't they. *bites nails and frets*"
In an unrelated note, the Benson/Carter staredown just made me really uncomfortable. For as much as I liked the reference to Mark Greene and 1994 and all sorts of other wonderful things that could be heavy-handed but instead always make me feel like TPTB are really smart in assuming that the people tuning in now are not the ones who started watching it, I didn't like her sizing him up like he was some unpredictable wild animal. That was part of the Bizarro ER that hurt me, too...it was like visiting your old high school while school is in session, and realizing that it's now populated with new people who consider it theirs just as much as you consider it yours - and they're right.
(Sidebar: Squee for the mention of happy Luka and Abby. Yay!)
But anyway! I was all gleeful thinking of how great it would be to watch Carter picking up shifts. No non-Kem-related reasons for his haggardness ever crossed my mind. And then came the final scene, in which my reaction was like so: "What's this? Who's here? I don't remember any old people needing special treatment. Oh crap. I swear, if you pull back to reveal Carter in one of those beds, I will OMGWTFBBQ!!!!! NO! I REFUSE TO ACCEPT THIS REALITY nooooo!"
I'm of two minds on this, and I don't even know what "this" is. Mom thought it looked like dialysis, I assumed it was chemotherapy, and I don't know which of us I want to be right because I can't decide which sounds less scary. Anyway, on the one hand, it could be some prime emotional material to work with - he's still so relatively young, it's hard to wrap my head around him being hit with something like this. And a large part of me, despite ER's penchant for killing people, thinks it'll be okay, in the end. That he's too iconic to have been brought back just to kill him off. It's the end of the series, they already killed off a recognizable doctor this year, and there's no reason to do anything worse to Carter than make him suffer a while for dramatic purposes.
But on the other hand, there's a little dark voice that whispers "what if everyone's fear is real, and they do some full-circle thing with Carter starting and ending in the same place?" And more to the point, even if he does survive, this is a clear compromise of his health that makes me think he won't exactly be living to the ripe old age of 90. And it feels almost like betrayal to watch him saddled with something so heavy, because for all his addictive tendencies and cold-feet-skedaddling away from proposing to Abby, I've always thought of him as a very strong character. It pains me to see him weakened like that. Also unfair, in the sense of "I like him; nothing bad can happen to him ever."
Insert: Random moment of silence for that heartbreaking moment when Carter stopped and brushed snow off the letters on the "Joshua Carter" sign. So many little things like that just automatically changed the season's trajectory from "treading water" average to "explosively heading in the direction of an A."
*heaves great sigh* And now for the other stuff! I still can't bring myself to care about anything Morris does, unless I'm squealing over formerly-Steve-from-Sex-and-the-City, the guy playing the smarmy detective. Nor can I bring myself to care about anything involving Sam, unless it's Carter adorably noting how that kid grew like a foot taller - especially not her staring forlornly out a window watching Tony shoot baskets with Alex. It's so aggravating to watch her mope like she didn't both cause the breakup and then consistently keep it broken despite his many attempts to crawl back to her.
Can't bring myself to care about Banfield right now either, not when I've got Old School docs to focus on. I will say that at this point, I think there's a clear sign from God to give up on IVF and try adoption. But just in case it wasn't clear enough, we got to watch her have a heart-to-heart with a little girl, which contained some of the most heavy-handed "HEY DON'T WORRY, EVEN IF YOU'RE NOT A KID'S REAL MOM, IT WON'T MATTER BECAUSE YOU'LL HAVE EXACTLY THE SAME KIND OF BOND; IS TRUEFAX FROM AN ADOPTED KID'S MOUTH" writing I've seen since Grey's Anatomy. I would have liked to see her reach that conclusion on her own without having to be practically held by the hand and personally reassured.
Finally, am just vaguely uncomfortable about the whole Simon/Neela/Ray quasi-triangle now. The obvious way in which they are just cooling their heels on the latter until it's closer to the end of the season and they can start resolving it is just becoming painful. So is their insistence on writing Brenner into this giving, lovesick romantic just so they inject a little more drama into what I'm sure will ultimately be Neela's Big Choice. (Because it wouldn't be any fun if they just sent her off with Ray, would it? It would? No, they don't think so. Injected drama it is!)
Incidentally, at this point I'd pretty much put a hundred bucks on her ultimately going off with Ray. It's been too many years in the making. ER is not THAT edgy, and isn't it normally the prerogative of American shows, especially long-running ones, to tie things (namely relationships) up in a relatively neat and happy bow? Besides, think about it. While this show does have a penchant for sending characters off in body bags, it also has a vested interest in happy couples.
Susan Lewis and her husband went off fine and happy. Abby and Luka fought through hell, but as I predicted, they went off fine and happy. Just like Doug and Carol before them. Prior to this week, we assumed Carter was happy and carefree with Kem. Hell, even Kerry Weaver got a pretty solid send-off. Sure, maybe people like Pratt and Corday got shafted, but look at all the happy examples!
Damn, look at how much I had to say. I guess that makes it count as a really good episode, huh?
CSI: 9x14, "Miscarriage of Justice"
Running commentary seemed to work well for this one; I shall leave it in place.
-OMG, nasty bullet-embedded-in-brain-matter. Unnecessary gruesomeness! And it takes a lot to gross me out on this show, during which (to the continued amazement of my mother) I routinely eat dinner.
-Riley's got some very bitchface attitudes towards suicide, doesn't she? Even Greg's like "wow, take a chill pill." Amazingly, I still don't care to find out her motivation for that sentiment.
-Much Greg in this ep. Makes me happy. Especially while not-quite-snarking things like "If you don't let me do my job, I'm gonna have to get a uniform to remove you."
-Shut up, Riley.
-Now, Ray interacting with teenage girls, I like. Even when it's awkward as all get out, it's just so easy and natural that I get little shivers of happiness about how well he fits in.
-And then he's awesome and realizes, from a rash on her arm, that she's being poisoned. Damn, is there anything he can't do? I kind of want to see him and Mac go up against each other in an Expert of Everything contest.
-You know what I think I hate most about Riley? Looking at Nick and Greg right here and dreading the day we find out which of the unlucky bastards has been slated to become her love interest. It could be years down the road, but dollars to donuts it happens.
-Ooh, 8,000 twisty plot twists! Too many suspects to keep track of and then it's a wild card "the jealous wife did it" option. Fun. *pause* OH! And the clue's right there in the title, too! Daaaang. One day, I vow to be smart enough to recognize clues before they're spelled out for me.
-Awww, team out for drinks! Wherein once again, Ray is awesome and Riley's irrelevant. That's fun too. ;D
Bones: 4x15, "Princess and the Pear"
OK. I've been very patient up to this point, hoping she'd disappear quietly on her own, but now I need to register a complaint that I'm getting sick of Agent Prada (I'm pretty sure it's spelled and pronounced a tad differently, but with her Barbie-like appearance, I think this way suits her better). Go away. Please just go away.
On the other hand, I have to admit that I do like Booth's chronic back problems. Which sounds terrible, except that there's this weirdly domestic quality to it and gives me all kinds of future-married-couple glee. Also because Booth on Vicodin is hilarious. House has so completely sucked the fun out of that drug that I forget it can be used to comedic effect. ;)
And maybe a little because I didn't see a need to argue about Booth shuffling to answer the door, in the beginning, sans pants.
Back to bad, another person I'd like to quietly disappear is Depressing Loser Grad Student. While I do admit that the following exchange was funny --
"What about me? My girlfriend and I broke up, and I have to see her at work every day."
"Well, obviously it hasn't *blackened your soul* like it has mine."
"There was some light charring."
"I'm dead inside."
"O-kayyyy, you win. Happy?"
--it's not enough to put up with him. *twitches* Mostly I just like that scene because, in conjunction with the rest of the episode, it showcases Hodgins at a turning point. I rather liked him frustrated with the world and hating everybody, but I also like that he's got light-handed sarcasm and the ability to be amused back again. Relatively good spirits all hour, wasn't he? I especially liked him cracking jokes about looking creepy while wandering along with the metal detector.
I'm just going to ignore the part where he almost extended Angela a friends-with-benefits offer. because no, I still don't want them back together under any circumstances. That ship is dead and burned to ashes. It has blackened my soul until I'm dead inside.
*bounces back to good* I think that might have been my favorite teaser ever, and which I maybe watched twice because the boys so cracked me up --
"Smells like ass in here, yo."
"'Yo?' Who is this 'Yo' of whom you speak? I know him not."
Even Sweets got in on the funny a little bit
"I'd like to control you, if you're up for it."
"Oh, I assure you I'm not."
I still haven't decided how I feel about Bones fighting off her assailant (Eric from Malcolm in the Middle! Why always playing the bad guy these days, boy?) with an actual, albeit movie prop, sword. I feel like I was supposed to think it was really impressive, but what can I say -- women + swords = meh, unless it's the ACTUAL Xena doing it. On the bright side, I get to round out my B/B squee with his ranting about keeping her safe, and her "Booth gets needlessly protective sometimes. I have no idea why." Awww.
And now I'm just going to go over here, hunch my shoulders up and wince for a while thinking about the Torture Pear in any context. *shudders* Every time I think I've learned the worst method of medieval torture, something new manages to come along to take its place.
Grey's Anatomy, 5x16
Somebody shoot me. I just flailed and went "eeeeh!" over Owen/Cristina. Specifically, something Owen said. Owen Hunt. The pig killer. After everything he's done, he won my heart with one stupid, simple, perfect line. I can't fight it any more. Now give me a bottle of bourbon and a tumbler glass, because I'm going to go join a certain someone on the couch and drink myself into oblivion until I get over it.
*twitches* Show? Did you heal Archer free and clear while killing off the sweet pregnant lady even though she and her adorable husband went through hell? I think you did! Despite the fact that that was what I SPECIFICALLY ASKED YOU NOT TO DO. God! And then you made it worse by having the baby live.
(Yes, worse. If you're going to introduce tragedy, I'd rather you just get it all over with in one fell swoop so that it can be deeply grieved over but then moved on from, not leave a fractured family in its wake.)
*sighs* Never mind, I don't want to think about this anymore. Stupid Addison being a better surgical god than Derek.
The Love Triangle In My Head
It's been a really long time since I hated Derek. So long that I was starting to forget it had ever happened at all. But then this case happened. Pitting him against Addison. And that is a fight he just cannot win. I hate siding with Alex in anything, but the "my guy vs. your guy" argument was a fun place to focus my energy while I busy trying to ward off my fears of an unhappy ending, and thus I was Team Addie/Alex all the way. (even though I wanted the woman to live more than the baby, especially after the husband's pleading "We can make another baby. We can't make another her.")
And then he went and completely mucked up this surgery, and I had to hate him a little bit. Or a lot. Yeah, definitely a lot. Not that this stopped my heart from totally breaking at the end of the fight, when Alex has to lay a hand on Addison and remind her "That's her guy." *sulks* But Addison wants to go to him! And I want Addison to
Speaking of which, even when they're yelling at each other, I swear the air just crackles with chemistry. God, they're excellent together. It's like that what-I-chose-to-take-as-meta statement, "Let's just be good together."
Fight! Fight! Fight!
AHAHAHAHAHA! Derek punching Mark in the face, twice, was literally the greatest thing I have ever seen in my life. I watched it serveral times over. And even though it sucks when Mark retaliates and lands a few of his own, I can take comfort in the fact that overall, I think Derek gets in punches at a ratio of about 2 1. Also, I maybe got a weird little thrill out of Owen breaking up the fight, pulling Mark off. But I'm still not ready to discuss my strange new pro-Owen feelings yet.
So then it's the end of the day, and I think, oooh, maybe this could clear up my anti-Mer/Der feelings? I've got quite a thing for wound-tending. And it almost works, as I feel all whooshy at the sight of McDreamy's tragically cut-up face, wearing an expression of such abject misery and hopelessness that I don't really care who takes care of him at this point; if it has to be Meredith so be it...but then she just sits there quietly, letting him drown his sorrows in booze.
Which, in all honesty, is probably what he needs, as this is a very personal kind of emotional destruction and there's probably not much else she could say or do, but it still fails to make an impression on me. I resume mentally cropping her out of the picture and thinking about how much more interesting this scenario would have been if it had happened when Derek and Addison were still otherwise happily married, and how that might have changed the shape of things.
In an unrelated note, they're lucky they had their punching match on a medical show, because if it had been a crime drama, I guarantee you one of them would have accidentally gone over the railing and plummeted to their death.
For the record, FAYE DUNAWAY IS FREAKING AWESOME. And a little bit creepy in thise role, even disregarding the cheekbones that seem unsettlingly high and prominent, but not in a way that precludes her from being awesome, despite the fact that I've never seen her in anything except a guest role on CSI and maybe one time when I was forced to watch "Bonnie and Clyde."
Dr. Campbell's also a tad bitchy, but that's to be expected, given the way Cristina seems to attract the crazy/mean ladies to her like a magnet. (Unfortunately, Cristina is also singularly talented in then making instantaneous enemies of such women) But I really liked her - way more than Dr. Dixon, for example, or in fact any of the female surgeons who've been introduced since Addison. Pity that she had to be fired/retire in the same episode in which she was introduced.
But I also really liked the comparisons made between her and Cristina, because they were true, if a bit heavy-handed in that final scene with Campbell ging "What will you have?" like some kind of wise oracle. Clear nonsense - Cristina will always have Meredith, and frankly her prospects for long-term love have always seemed better than...everyone's, with the possible exceptions of Bailey and McDreamy. Quality over bed-hopping quantity, my friends.
Speaking of which --
Further to my opening statement, I think I am shipping them a little bit. Or a lot.
I'm pretty sure it is entirely the fault of that damned romance novel I read last week, but nevertheless. I found myself consistently charmed against my will by their interaction all hour - I loved her sassing and snarking and whining all over the place, while he remained reserved, half bemused and half I-know-you're-wrong-but-I'm-going-let-yo
And then the ending. Damn that ending! He's won himself entrance to the Shakespearian Sonnet club several times over already; I've just refused to acknowledge it. And then he goes and somehow condenses a sweeping speech into one line, and unlocks my cold, cold heart of angry stone:
Owen: You know, you're a lot like her. Stubborn, opinionated ("Huh!")...smart. 40 years from now I'm going to have to pry that scalpel out of your hand too.
Cristina: From my cold, dead hands.
Owen: You're missing the point...I want to be around 40 years from now.
Added to this expression which I suddenly find weirdly charming:
+ my sudden inability to stop thinking about the pressure hug, sleeping in the on-call room, sitting on her front steps, the shower scene, the vents, and everything in the season premiere...
= hell. As in hell, not even the memory of the dead pigs, or even the poor broken-hearted teacher is enough to stop me shipping them at this point. My mind has been reduced to one track and it will not be thwarted! Which, in all fairness, it kind of needs now that Addison's back in L.A., leaving a poisonous anti-Mer/Der streak in her wake.
(I am confused that there wasn't more fallout from that, though, considering Cristina's fiancee left her at the altar. I figured she'd give him the cold shoulder for at least a couple of episodes...but then they're fine? At least she didn't kiss him at any point. *is placated* Just because I kind of ship them now doesn't mean I don't still need this ship to continue moving like molasses. It just means I'm not actively trying to steer it toward rocks anymore.)
P.S. Did I mention I really, really loved their interaction in this episode? To ridiculous amounts, so much so that I can't even articulate it all? (At the patient's beside! During surgery! In the Chief's office! Everywhere else!)
Is it kind of sad that lately I spend all of Izzie's scenes thinking about how much I hate Katherine Heigl and her big mouth and her drama-queen antics and how desperately I don't want her to be rewarded with so much as a nomination for an Emmy this year? This is what happens when I don't have Denny to distract me.
On the other hand, sometimes I have George to distract me, and I swear that one minute where he was crouched down next to her in Dermatology, whispering about what to write in a recommendation letter, made me explode in nostalgic shippy feelings for them. Why are they so adorable together? More to the point, why is George so adorable at all times and yet still so criminally under-used? Even his hair is perfect! His hair has not often been perfect like this!
-Arizona, take your wheelies and slide in front of a semi, kthnxbai. *still refusing to watch any scenes containing her and/or Callie*
-Also still refusing to watch any scenes containing Mark + Lexie
-BAILEY OMG YOUR HAIR WHUT. Never do that again. Please. Ever. It scares me.
-Cristina FTW. "See, that's what I like about your mom. She wasn't all Alzheimery and still operating!" I'm actually really liking the way the diaries have been integrated into this season, far more than I ever thought they would be. Probably because Cristina's reading and commentating on them.
Dear Shonda: do you really think this going to make me like Charlotte MORE? I don't...I just...what even goes through your head in writing this character? Please tell me; I would love to know. Though I still doubt I would understand it.
Because even after all the idiocy they've been through; even after she cheats on him (with ARCHER, omg ew), then Cooper STILL DOESN'T BREAK UP WITH HER?!?! WHAT THE FUCK IS THIS MADNESS. SERIOUSLY. What the FUCK.
(disclaimer: I skipped most of their scenes, so I'm not entirely clear on whether he knows that or whether he just thought she was trying to make him think that, but since I think his response was the same either way...)
I am so infuriated by this nonsensical nonsense that I can't even articulate my fury anymore, except apparently by swearing a lot. I just, it, ugh, the determination TPTB has to ramrod this relationship into existing as some kind of perfect ideal just utterly blows my mind. It's died like fifteen natural deaths at this point, but they just will not let it go. This ship is unsinkable. Nothing can sink this ship!
(shhhh. I'm trying to go for a "famous last words" angle here.)
In other news, I continue to be bitter and grouchy that Archer couldn't have just gone ahead and died in Seattle, but on the bright side, at least now that his filthy cheating nature has been proven anew (and oh, Addison -- "I hope you used a condom, you whore!" LMAO.), and it least he's finally GONE. That only took like six episodes too long.
Couldn't do it without calling Addison a hypocrite first, though, which - considering I was fresh off my renewed Derek/Addison anguish - may have made me audibly scream. There are a lot of differences between the two situations, but #1 would be that unlike you, she's not proud of it and still feels guilty.
In a related note, 10-year-old Addie had to lie to her mom about getting ice cream with her dad while he screwed secretaries in his office? God, she really does come from the most screwed-up, broken home ever. Derek must have been such a lifeline.
Also, for a brief moment, I maybe started shipping Pete/Addison again. A little. Less so now that I've already seen him play out the "woe-is-me, let us share our mutual grief" scenario with Violet, but if that hadn't happened...
Major-case-wise, no. No. After SVU, I'm not dealing with a baby born with two sets of genitalia. I'm just not. I'm not even going to tell you what I'd do. To the probable relief of everyone involved, I'm just going to stuff this storyline into a tiiiiiny little box and then forget about it entirely. *waves off*
P.S. Guess what?? Driven out of my anti-reading streak by boredom, I went to the library for the first time since I finished school. My first order of business was to request the two Doctor Who novels I wanted (next in line for both, I am), and I was thinking about also ordering the first season DVDs, but then I noticed it was on the shelving cart of the branch I happened to be at.
Not that I've ever actually seen movies on the shelving cart, so I figured it was still a lost cause...but then I happened to glance at the TV category of the movie section as I passed, and there it was, right in front! HOW AWESOME IS THAT, COME ON. (Operation "hooking my parents": clearly has just been signed off on by Fate)
P.P.S. This is totally in no way another invented distraction to avoid the last three episodes of season 4. I swear! Look, I'll prove it to ya - I watched 4x11, 4x12, and the first six minutes of 4x13 on Saturday night before I ripped myself away. I kind of can't process it yet, though - I have no words for my feelings - so we need to wait before we discuss any of that stuff.</div></div>