In a related note, I've started randomly listening to my CDs again. They've been largely ignored ever since the Sansa arrived, because I am adamant about only having really good songs on it at all times, as well as having a variety of artists, which bars the idea of uploading full albums. Since I don't put them on my computer either - waste of space to store songs in two places! - that means I just...don't listen to them. :'(
Right now, I very much like the fact that I finally found Disc Three from my [permanently borrowed from Dad] Stevie Nicks "Enchanted" collection, and am busy remembering how I love every single track on it. Disc One not so much, and only a handful from Disc Two, but Disc Three and I are best buddies. Free Fallin', It's Late, Twisted, Sweet Girl, piano version of Rhiannon, Gold, Blue Lamp, Gold and Braid...and, yeah, everything.
If I have one complaint, it's that this Discman is 10 years old and apparently predates the idea of skip protection. And lacks a pause button. But we can't have everything, now, can we?
I have yet to watch anything remotely resembling Monday night's TV. I was pretty blown away by the end of last week, and thus chose to devote my spare time/brainpower to competitive bloodlust & trash-talking, discovering music all over the place, and becoming worrisomely addicted to the Key Quest board game on Neopets instead.
But somewhere in there, I did finally write about last week's TV.
CSI, 9x16, "Turn Turn Turn,"
Let's see. Extremely Nick-centric + excellent young female guest star = epic win of the sort not seen since "Gum Drops."
I was expecting it to be good, but...I never dreamed how good.
Disclaimer: I do have a streak of unfair favoritism already in place for Taylor Swift. Even before I liked any of her music, I always thought she was a beautiful, classy-looking young lady, extremely personable and pleasant. And now, of course, I'm more or less physically incapable of hearing one of her songs without liking it. Plus, her giddy enthusiasm about getting to be on the show was infectious. None of this necessarily translates to her proving herself a decent actress...but I think she was. To the point where I'm actually terrified to look at any other place on the internet in case people disagreed with me, because I'm not sure I could bear having my love tainted like that.
*15 minutes of staring at the screen later*
Look at me, all at a loss for words! I keep tumbling episode events & scenes over in my mind, and I cannot pull any of them out of the big blur of "everything blew me away." I guess this means a non-chronological list of stuff:
1. Firstly, I have yet to hear the original "You're Not Sorry," but even after seeing it on a promo, I forgot there was going to be a special CSI remix. They finally got to that part of the episode and I was all "ooh, cool music! Possible Instant Song Love!" Once they got to the lyrics, I remembered, and then it was all "hey, must have."
It's so darkly gorgeous and haunting...sets the entire tone of the episode, or at least my memory of it. Utterly beautiful. I love the rippling/echoing effect of the opening notes...and how glad am I that it's available for download in a full version?
2. Is it wrong to be utterly gleeful that the team is doing surprise birthday cakes? Of course not, because that's AWESOME. I wonder if this is a longstanding tradition or if Catherine decided to start it up once she became the boss of a patchwork team. Either way, it's adorable the way they crept up on him. It's also probably a little sad that I stared at those candles for about two minutes straight trying to figure out how old he was, before I connected that there were 3 on the top row and 8 on the bottom; 38. Which is actually in keeping with original canon, I believe, so kudos.
3. Haley. Haley, Haley, Haley. So amazing. So coolly enigmatic, a little unsettling, but not in a way that ever truly felt creepy or dangerous. In the first encounter, the way she hangs out in the doorway chatting up Nick does not come off like "Lolita," as the one reviewer I accidentally ran across said...although I don't know how it does. It's just indescribably cool, interaction between a sharp-minded young teen and a worker somewhere between grown-up and a kid at heart.
4. And despite my firm insistence that there's nothing flirtatious right there, I'm intrigued by how they clearly find each other interesting - as professors will converse with students like equals
Oh, all right, fine, maybe there is a little part of my brain that wants to ship them (in AU contexts, obviously) once she's 18 or 19 and admits to having had a crush in the past. And then they'll have had X number of years with this sort of half-friendship to build off of!
. . .or maybe not. Maybe I should just shut up and leave it at "Taylor Swift and George Eads have sparkling on-screen chemistry." Yeah, that's probably all I meant.
5. I actually had to watch this episode twice through, because it's so much more powerful once you have the whole story - like it's filmed through a completely different lens. For example, when her hairstyle changes to match her best friend's and subsequently costs her the friendship? How much more disturbing is that, knowing her mother (presumably) made her dye it blonde & pump it up with curls to look more like how she imagined her deceased daughter?
6. Or the real story behind the drug addict's "suicide" - yiiiiikes. That's so profoundly sad - especially because, for a time, the motel owner's wife gets away with her murder.
7. I actually kind of liked the geeky stalker-turned-boyfriend. I shouldn't have, as he was dumb on every level and not a little bit creepy (and punk-emo black is lame), but he really came through in his last scene, looking heartbroken and bewildered and pleading that he would have given up his wicked ways drug-dealing and such if she'd asked him to. I always forget how cute besotted high school boys can be.
8. On a related note, it was actually really sad watching Haley turn dark, sullen and angry by act 3. She seemed so relatively cute and carefree that first spring day! And then that evil quasi-mother of hers apparently found a can of Super Crazy Potion in her new digs and set about warping her daughter more than ever before.
9. POOR HEARTBROKEN NICK. She didn't have to die. Well, I say "heartbroken Nick"; I really mean that by act 4, I was trying hard to will the teaser out of existence and was horribly upset myself at seeing her body again. I may have actually shed a tear? Yes. Yes I did. I got really invested in Haley in ways that I don't normally do with 1-note characters outside of Cold Case.
10. I didn't really like the last scene with Langston, though. It felt really weird for Nick to break down crying in front of the newest member of the team. I mean, there's something to be said about a fairly outside presence, as far as letting your guard down, but...
11. Speaking of which, WILLIAM PETERSEN VOICEOVER FOR THE WIN. I may or may not have screamed out loud. "Happy birthday, Nick."
12. Nick set up a college fund for Warrick's kid-whose-name-I-still-can't-remember! Way to just add an extra little tinge of bittersweet in there. *weeps*
13. Back to case 1 for a second - oh, poor SuperDave. Poor Greg. Decomposed body slime dripping on your face/crawling into a crawlspace to fetch the decomposing body. Iiiiiick.
That's it; I give up on trying to be coherent about anything. I'm listening to "You're Not Sorry" on loop and I'm still just full of EXPLOSIVELY FLAILY FEELINGS. If I didn't mention something, chances are high that I adored it. I still haven't conveyed how breathtaking everything
Bottom line: the first episode since Grissom's departure to actually outrank any of the Grissom-inclusive episodes on my personal scorecard. Show, you are good.
Numb3rs, 5x17, "First Law"
Dear Show: if I wouldn't tolerate this kind of "can machines be sentient?" and "how do you truly define life?" nonsense from a Doctor Who novel, what makes you think I'm going to stand for it from you? *twitches* Ugh. Way to put me in a sour mood. Amita's whole stupid speech about life-definition made me, for the first time since I stopped seeing her as Teresa, contemplate stuffing her hair in a blender. It was like, word-for-word exactly the reason I had such a hard time getting through "Shining Darkness."
I can't even explain why it annoys me. It just does. Man, is this what it's like being a Christian confronted with nonbelievers? I should ask them how they find the patience to get through life just being secure in the knowledge that they're right.
Also, seriously, seriously, were those tears in her eyes at the end? I know she was crying, but it seemed SLIGHTLY MELODRAMATIC, A BIT. Get a grip, woman. Oh noez, the non-sentient computer is gone and no more! Skience has not yet created life in a god-like fashion from inanimate objects after all! However shall we soldier on?!
(Snark aside, I fully tolerate this scene for the fact that Charlie has his arm around her while she cuddles up on his shoulder for comfort. Screenshots don't care about context.)
Also, is it just me, or does it feel weirdly like watching a cuddlier version of the Doctor and his companion at the end of an episode, staring at destruction they can't/couldn't stop? I mean, they're even standing up there on a platform, physically removed from it all in the same way the Doctor and (insert companion here) are, in the end, metaphorically removed from whatever timelines and events they briefly touch. Observe how minimally important they are to the final shot as a whole:
...please remember that the concept of Doctor Who/Numb3rs crossover fic is the whole reason I started watching Doctor Who, so all this is not as wild and ludicrous a comparison as it seems.
HOWEVER, OTHER STUFF HAPPENED TO MAKE THIS EPISODE EXCELLENT. Let us focus on some of those things, with further screencaps where
a) Hilarity factor of Larry previously dating Queen Bitch of the DoD: high
b) I continue to not care about Cal Sci's basketball team or who's coaching them, except insofar as that there was a math error - last week it was 20 years since they won a game; this year it's 15; at this rate I wonder if they actually won a game last week that everyone's just temporarily forgotten about. Also, underhand throwing does look stupid, and I still think the solution is just to recruit more smart high school athletes. Mostly, I care about this kiss the director tried to cut away from, until I foiled their plans with my
And this exchange --
Charlie: Want to check out a supercomputer?
Amita: Ooh. Be still my beating heart.
Alternate caption for second screencap: Dear Charlie, see my left ring finger? Does it look strangely bare to you?
c) We could have gone down a very uncomfortable route with Bailey discussing inappropriate teacher/student relationships, and I was poised to cringe and cover my ears to spare myself, but fortunately it ended up being nothing more than a nice reminder of how no, Amita didn't want to wait - followed by the positive reinforcement of "but I'm glad we did," put there specially to placate people like me.
(incidentally, I'm so glad those awkward days of seasons 1 and 2 are over, aren't you?)
d) My assumptions that Amita would not be in nearly as much danger as the previews claimed...were incorrect! (I love being wrong after I've been pessimistic). That is to say, it wasn't really so much ZOMG EVIL COMPUTER ROBOTS HAVE GONE CRAZY, but there was some legitimate fear about locking mechanisms and oxygen levels.
And how nice was it, for once, to be Amita on the hysterical end of panicky and Charlie having to keep a level head and bring her back to a place where she could think straight? Because that was one calm voice he kept on the phone. (Plus: "I'm not going anywhere. I'm gonna stay on with you.") I was like, "Is this Charlie? Really?"
Incidentally, that was some complex phone juggling going on there. I had to watch it three times just for any SEMBLANCE of figuring out who was talking to who at any given moment. It was like an 8-way conversation on at least three different connections. I'm glad that Amita played a big role in saving herself, though. :) And kept it together until she left the room on the verge of tears, straight to my favorite part about random danger scenarios...
e) Comfort hugs! There is a hug here. I understand it's very difficult to see, what with the fact that all the lights in the room are being used to mocking effect as they cast Charmita in shadow, which is why I combined two shots in the first picture and framed the really murky one in red.
I also really liked this close-up afterward, because with the way their bowed-head silhouettes look against the three lights, the effect is really artistic, even kind of spiritual. I bet it would make for a really pretty fanart base, if anybody in this fandom ever did anything that wasn't slash. Not that I'm bitter or anything.
Yep, that's all I got. Case, what case? Oh yeah, that thing! With bad guys and people getting arrested and stuff! What Don & Co. do!
f) I was quite wrong, sure it was the mousy assistant, but props to my mom for getting it right immediately. She didn't know it at the time, but the very first thing she said about the wife was "offering up too much information about things they haven't asked - warning sign!" I decided that was closer to a correct prediction than Dad or I got.
g) Which reminds me, I love Don & Larry teaming up with crossed arms to be Charlie's unofficial bodyguards, all "you'll have to go through me first." That scene was excellent.
h) Parting shot - how lazy do you have to be to own a "Smart Home" like that, really? You can't turn on your own faucet? Shut a door? I'm amazed that couple hadn't installed moving panels in the floors so they didn't have to waste all that time walking everywhere. I'm sorry, but there's time-saving convenience - i.e. washing machines - and there's irrelevant, frivolous crap.
Cold Case, 6x16, "Jackals"
"Everyone's a criminal. At least the Jackals are up front about it." Well, that's a healthy attitude to have/good reason to ingratiate yourself into the violent motorcyle gang, Sarah. *rolls eyes*
God, that was absolutely terrible to watch. By which I mean it was an amazing episode, way better than anything involving motorcycle gangs should have the right to be unless they're on The Simpsons, but THAT ENDING. I'm being vague on purpose because that ending made me sick to my stomach, wanting to rip out my ears and/or the part of my brain on which the memory was being written. Which I suppose is the mark of a good ep, but still.
And I was way off in my predictions. I pegged the abusive boyfriend, daring to go out on a limb and guess there was a surprise twist that no matter what the summary/hype said, we'd found out her murder was completely unrelated to the gang. Was quite wrong about that. Was wrong about a lot of things.
I mean, I really liked her, stupid as she was, and I'm kind of *facepalm* at the moment because I was encouraging her to go with Darren myself, when we got the flashback that showed her being hesitant and indecisive about whether to trust him or not. THAT TURNED OUT WELL. Why is it always the pretty ones?! Or better question, I was going to ask why is it that girls from the 70's always seem to be universally pretty, and then I realized that in addition to the clothing style, it's because they tended to have long, flowing hair. Works wonders for beauty.
The rest of what I focused on was mostly a great big game of Hey, It's That Guy! In addition to Beth Broderick, I'm pretty sure 2009 Monster was one of the guys in the "Surekill" episode of X-Files, and I know both versions of Shameless, I just don't know where from.