A. I watched the latter half of American Idol last night. The sight and/or sound of Adam still makes me sick (WHY. IS THERE ALWAYS. SCREAMING.), but then they sang the winner's song, and I just buried my face in my palms as I watched Kris take himself right out of contention. That was terrible. Pretty much identical to the way Blake sleepwalked all over the song 2 years ago and you could actually see him hand the title to Jordin, except that year I was happy about it.
B. Didn't get a chance to finish Glee. Thoughts later. Preliminary reaction: it's a go.
C. Without a Trace: 7x24, "Undertow"
Last episode ever. :( They certainly could have ended on a more interesting case. But they also brought a nice dose of closure, so I can't be too disappointed. Well, maybe a little. But the closure-bringing things outweigh the disappointment...I think.
Example 1: Danny & Elena got married. (Presumably. Nobody felt a need to actually show us this,
Example 2: Come on, show! Screw over your loyal shipper fanbase for me!
My eyes have stars in them right now.
OMG YEEEEEEEEEEE-SS!!! THEY DID IT. THEY ACTUALLY DID IT. THEY BROKE UP JACK/SAM AND IT WAS FREAKING AWESOME, OK? And probably a terrible choice, from a series-finale perspective. But I - it - they - whee! I am in delirious shock right now. To borrow & twist a line fromlaslohollyfeld after last year's Office finale, "The message board at [YTDAW] looks like the bulletin board at a suicide camp."
And I almost feel bad for the carriers of the JSR torch, I do. They got well and truly screwed, slapped in the face for all their years of faith, and in particular a generally positive season on its way up. Then out of nowhere, they get force-fed the wistful "We never got our timing right, did we?" speech of heartache and woe, which I know from firsthand experience sucks hardcore. I also know that you can take and spin that, because it sort of validates their feelings and leaves the door open for that to change in the future - which is something, and better than a bitter ending feud - but at the same time...it's not going to ease the sting of seeing the camp that won canon at the end.
However, that's the camp I'm currently partying in, so let's PARTY ON DOWN!
a) Jack decides he needs to forge a better relationship with his daughter(s), and direct his focus towards being a good father. This is excellent! Bringing Hanna back was the best thing they ever did. And while part of me wants to snark that it should be perfectly possible to do both, I am just happy to hear him apologize for letting them go to Chicago "without a fight." Awww. I needed that.
b) ...I'm sorry; I still speechless with delight over Samantha's sudden reluctance to see him move out (also! how cute were they in the morning! Just think, now this joy will continue forever). And
"I didn't come here to force you into anything."
"I know. And any decisions I make...they're my decisions."
BRIAN/SAMATHA AND VICTORY DANCES FOR THE WIN. I could have stood with seeing a little more of them at the end - really, the episode needed to be like 10 minutes longer - but I'll settle for CANON-ENDORSED JOY.
Example 3: The reverse flipthrough of missing-persons photos from the past season. Oh. Oh, my heart. That's what finally brought a lump to my throat.
-One more round of Jack being a power-abusing scumbag. Yeah, I needed that. Not. Except maybe to remember why I'll be glad to get rid of Jack Malone.
-I didn't really like the flashback to Hanna's birth. Just because Jack's dad will forever be more annoying than even Jack was.
-Did like the last Jack/Vivian moment at the end.
-Even though the case was a bit dull, watching the team work together one last time, I suddenly felt bad about every negative thing I ever said about season 6. Yes, it was justified, and yes, I'd say it all again, but...they work well together. This is a damn fine cast, and it's been a damn fine cast for seven years. Not one person took off that whole time - and I know that's how long CSI's core lasted too, but isn't that saying something? I don't know. Is sad that this cast is so abruptly disbanded and out of work.
Final Thoughts: In retrospect, don't think I'm precisely satisfied. It was decent; I'm happy and it could have been worse - hell, it could have ended on a cliffhanger - but I still think such abrupt cancellation it was a disservice to that many years of performance and top-20 ratings, kicked around the schedule at will or not. That didn't feel like the cap to all the characters' storylines, and neither was it quite like ER, where you felt it was specifically designed to show a longterm future. We were just turned out one day after all those years of following their lives and work. I wanted better.
Not that there was probably any way to satisfy me. No matter how much or how little warning I get for cancellation of one of my shows, I always feel like it was too abrupt and then I'm bitter about endings. I'll be better tomorrow.
D. Grey's Anatomy: 2-hour season 5 finale
So it turns out that, because it is impossible to process everything in categories, I have to break out Yon Old Standard Running Commentary format. It is going to get long, my friends. But it's the only way I'm going to remember anything that happened in hour 1. Even though I am not looking forward to watching it all over again to decipher my notes (it's Grey's. I can call it a good season and still not want to see it twice). Split by episode --
Also, I have to confess that because I am a BAD, HORRIBLE, IMPATIENT, CHANNEL-FLIPPING PERSON, I knew how it was going to end. Which is okay, as the internet would probably have spoiled me within 24 hours before I had a chance to watch it, but still. :-/
1. Meredith VO: And the one night stand, who you were determined to forget, becomes the love of your life.
--I DO NOT APPROVE OF THIS STATEMENT. (except on Without a Trace, in which I heartily endorse it for Brian and Samantha in the name of raising their lovechild in a proper family unit)
2. Fine, so they're a tad cute in their living-room-honeymoon suite with all the balloons and flowers and pink pillows. After the comment above, I'm still not ready to go back to endorsing them.
3. BWAH. Izzie's sparkly plastic ring is awesome. I'm having a weird moment of not hating her when she specifies patient vs. doctor friends, and shows off his ass. Hehe.
(4. Holy crap, Allison = Paris!)
5. I'm having a brief moment of not hating Alex-as-her-husband here too. Weird.
6. "I'm planning to see her." "When?" Awww, look at Hunt's poor little puppy dog face. Cristina is very good at cutting right to the heart of issues. I love that she's not in a coddling or an enabling mood. Not good enough yet, sir. Come back when you are.
7. A very large part of me just wants to watch Owen treat past/former soldiers for the rest of the series. I'd even follow him back to Iraq to watch it. Intern 5, who needs the Intern 5? Relatedly, for future reference, anything Owen says or thinks re: medicine, unless it is something I've previously harassed him for, is correct. He could even talk me into getting chemo. His calm self-assurance is very soothing.
8. OK, Richard as Santa Claus for Miranda was HILARIOUS.
9. Shut up, Mark/Lexie. Shut up forever. The both of you are dead to me, do you hear me? Dead! As proof of this, their names will not be mentioned again. Try me and see.
9. OMG DENNY YAY. So I'm just going to ogle the two of them on the beach for a while, kthnxbai. Preferably while talking about kids.
10. I am really, really fond of Solider Boy. Even if he is responsible for George's death, I'm so very fond of the fact that he lays out a calm, reasonable explanation for going back and actually changes George's mind about the merits of it all. Relatedly, this only makes me love George more.
11. I am also really fond of Dr. Swender. She should replace Lexie as a full-time cast member.
12. IZZIE. You're not even brain-damaged yet; how do you confuse schnauzer and scottie? That's like mixng up a beagle and a basset! Aaaand, I can't watch the rest of this because Izzie's scalp is prominently featured.
13. This tussle over Izzie's medicine vs. surgery debate is really fun to watch.
14. This episode is full of awesome guest stars. I love Allison, especially her refusal to have any more surgeries. (Personally, for me, the decision would be based on how many IVs I had to have in the next few weeks)
15. Soldier vs. Callie: I can't even express to you how far apart they are, at polar-opposite ends, of the love/hate scale.
16. Arizona. SHUT THE FUCK UP.
17. Alex: I am your husband, and I say that you are having the surgery!
Wow! Nice to see him resume being a jackass - an abusive, controlling jackass! FEAR IS NOT AN EXCUSE, DUDE. Fear-biter dogs still get put down.
18. HEE. Never stop being snarky, Cristina. Ever. "I'm gonna go now. Unless you want to apologize -- (Derek glares. Cristina wisely flees.)
19. Cristina/Owen: Hah! She's doing it again, that thing where she refuses to accomodate him. "I'm sorry, what am I supposed to say?" "I could use your support." "You don't have it." That's right. Because you don't have any stupid unfinished work in Iraq, and you know it. It's just a convenient place to run and bury yourself (figuratively, and possibly also literally!).
20. Allison: Are you watching birds fly around my head right now? Am I like, totally Cinderella?
HEE. *5 minutes later* Noooooo! You are not killing off Allison! KILL IZZIE.
21. The music seems more annoying than usual this week. I am doing my best to tune it out, particularly when lyrics insist on co-existing with character conversations.
22. Oh show. Still giving me excuses to ship Gizzie. Think I love you a little bit.
23. George - seriously, perhaps the greatest character of all time. You know how Bailey used to be the center, the anchor of everything? George is somehow turning into that. I credit his lack of a love interest. You ever notice how much more compelling the characters on this show are when they're not sleeping with anybody? That's not usually a thing I advocate; I'm usually all "I require a minimum of two ships per show or it's hardly worth watching." But relationships on this show tend to be so meaningless that I'm starting to think the only time characters break free of their silly little molds and patient metaphors is when they're alone*.
(* Cristina is exempt from this rule, as she is unequivocally awesome no matter what.)
24. "So I'm signing a DNR." Oh, stop looking like such a martyr when you say that, Izzie.
25. Although Alex's response is hilarious. "You want me going crazy and cutting LVAD wires?!" And OK, they got me a little bit with the "you don't get to quit on me" exchange, and I may have cooed and whimpered a bit at their last kiss before surgery. WHATEVER. Alex was crying; blame the tears.
26. Incidentally, one of my brain's favorite playgrounds is "imagine Derek when Meredith gets Alzheimer's." (there is no doubt in my mind that she will. The only question is whether or not Derek will still be alive at that point
27. Awww. "I don't want you to die." And there it is! Very simple and controlled. It still made me fly to YouTube and bask in all the old glory of the "don't ever die" bit with Burke.
28. "Will you come with me?" And just when you think she's going to push him into this being something he needs to do on his own, she does. Hi there, happy place. Let's just ignore the unsettling part where Owen's mom is Ellen Burstyn, and her turn as Elliot Stabler's crazy mother pretty much soured me on her forever. *grumbles* I move for a petition to rewrite history and make his & McDreamy's mothers swap actresses.
29. OH GEORGE. Don't do it! YOU HAVE NICE HAIR! Now is not, repeat not, a time when it is okay to buzz it all off! *sobs*
Hour 2 (infinitely better)
1. Fine, all the former-interns look cute scattered around Izzie's bedside, curled up in uncomfortable positions on various chairs, like (sleepy) guard dogs. I'll miss this unit a little when it's inevitably shattered. But I survived the loss of Burke and Addison from the unit of fantastic attendings, so I'm sure I'll get over this.
2. Thanks to my channel-hopping, I also already know that Bailey's marriage is either kaput or more dangerously on the rocks than ever before, so I'm really not interested in her mysterious and evasive ways, kthnxbai. Geeze. Remember when Bailey wasn't an irritating and dead boring drag all the time? I'm not sure I do.
3. Owen's weekly address from the Shakespearian Sonnet Club:
"Yeah, I guess, maybe I hugged him because I slept. And that's because of you. You came with me to see my mom and then I slept. And I slept without nightmares. That is not a small thing, Cristina; that is everything. I can be a better man. I can be a better man for you. And I hope - if you'll let me - I can be a better man with you." It is ridiculous how much I love the two of them.
4. ENH! Playful sneak kiss! And thaaaat, is the first time I have ever even remotely described something he did as "playful." This is adorable. Them getting back together is so not going to be this easy, but I don't care. They had one happy kiss. I'm good.
5. Hey, there's a glimpse of Awesome!Bailey! "YOU DID WHAT?!" (also: George's high, squeaky voice in imitation of what he expects her to say = priceless)
6. Meredith: "We don't hug when we're happy." Hee.
7. Cristina. "Are you better? You said you got well. Are you better, or are you just fake-better?" HEEHEE. And aw, so much love for her scrambling to give her something old/new/borrowed/blue. :) ("Now, see, if we were George and Owen we would hug right now.")
8. Shannon Lucio! I do not even recognize you with such short hair. While we're at it, because I relish every opportunity to talk about The O.C. sine I never really got to blog about it, I resented her character for being so obnoxiously normal (she even played oboe) and intruding on the world of crazy fantasy and idealistic beauty that otherwise permeated Orange County.
9. Referencing the woman who couldn't remember her husband was dead! Good show. That being said, I hate when characters repeat things on a show. Not just because I hate repetition, but because I think about how many times they have to repeat it in rehearsal anyway, and it just triples the horror.
10. Hell. It kind of sucks already knowing that the practically-skinned body mangled beyond recognition is George. I don't want to watch this! It's horrible!
11. Bailey: WHAT did you do to O'Malley?
Owen: Excuse me?
Bailey: Uh, is somebody ELSE around here likely to convince him to join the Army and be a trauma surgeon in IRAQ?!
Kickass Bailey is back! Relatedly: "I know what goes on this hospital; I know you got messed up from that war, and not in a small way. Get him out of it." Hehehe, I love that he is pissing off all the women today.
12. Will someone please shut Arizona the fuck up? I can't even look at her without swearing.
13. "Some people might call it an intervention, but I'm not sure interventions involve whupping people on the behinds with a belt." I am so on board with Kickass Bailey. Including the BEST LINE EVER, IN THE HISTORY OF THE SHOW:
"Grey is going to coax him back as a loving friend, [Cristina] is going to use reason and logic to point out the idiocy of his ways, Stevens will make sad cancer eyes, and if all of that doesn't work...Karev, you are gonna pull out your 'I was raised out back with the trash cans' roots and just -- beat the crap out of him."
14. Actually, it does kind of help knowing that George at least has the comfort of Meredith being exceptionally sweet. Is she always this compassionate with patients? I don't remember her always being this compassionate. But I am absolutely in love with her "I know this must be scary" voice and how gently she's talking to him. My heart's breaking rather a lot right here [edit: and something I didn't notice on the first go-round - is he trying to trace out "007" right here already, not necessarily asking for pen/paper?. Oh George.]
15. Shannon Lucio's character would be less annoying if she wasn't so convinced he was "her prince." How does she know he doesn't have a girlfriend somewhere? Possibly even a wife? Or maybe he's gay. I'm just saying, there's no guarantee this fairy tale's ending the way you want it to.
16. So Bailey's husband gave her an ultimatum of "general surgery attending, or a divorce." HOW IS THIS EVEN A CHOICE. SCREW PEDS! Given what I have seen of this storyline so far, I have to say that her husband is in no way being unreasonable.
17. GO MER. "I think you all should shut up! Just shut the hell up." Like I needed more reasons to hate Mark and/or Callie...at least McDreamy stood up for George's strength of character and skills. Owen's too, more subtly.
18. I love Alex's Post-It system, I really do. Especially the "your memory sucks" one.
19. But not as much as I love the fact that Cristina is simultaneously being a bulldog in defense of Izzie-her-patient, and supportive and reassuring to Alex-her-friend. "You can handle this. She will get better."
20. Alex: Maybe. Maybe not. It's on me. Her future is on me.
Yeah, well, maybe you should have thought of that before you went around poaching Mer/Der's picture-perfect wedding with no premeditation or thought for the consequences.
21. ...the hell, Meredith. TODAY IS NOT THE DAY FOR MARRIAGE. Jesus H. Christ. I promise you that waiting an extra couple of weeks will not kill you - although I do understand your fear that you might break up before then, as you have so many times before - and again, maybe you should have thought about this before you went around giving away your picture-perfect wedding.
22. That being said, "I think it's important to take the time to tell the people you love how much you love them while they can hear you."
Note to Show: ANVILS ARE OKAY WHERE THEY CONCERN MY COUPLE. Cristina better be beating her butt down to see Owen right quick.
23. Awww. "I love you, Cristina Yang." Complete with awkward girl hugs. Heh.
24. SHUT UP, SHOW. Making Arizona a support-our-troops kind of girl isn't going to work on me. I loathe her.
25. WHEEEEE, STEAM ROOM.
a) Cristina testing out "I love you" like a foreign language, perplexed as to how her tongue can form such strange sounds.
b) Owen's puzzled attempt at "I love you too?" And then just doing what he does best, and waiting for her to take the lead.
c) Aww. AWWW. She is the most frustrating, perplexing, enchanting, charming little creature ever. And I love her. Along with everything about this entire scene as Cristina attempts to confront and come to terms with the fact that in spite of everything she loves him. Which gives him the rare opportunity to push back into the lead.
d) "All you have to do is meet me halfway. All you have to do is say yes." ALSKDJFASDFASDFASD. I don't even know how this kind of perfection came into existence under Shonda's hands.
26. Which reminds me, I like how I have 3 or 4 different ways to format quotes, and am not consistent about any of them.
27. "I'm not the one with a carrot for a brain. But I'm married to it. Because of some crock of a wedding we walked into, and only because the two of us thought you'd be dead within a week." HAHAHA. YOU ARE FINALLY FIGURING IT OUT.
28. WTF BAILEY, YOU LEFT HIM?! Because a marriage that resorts to ultimatums isn't a marriage? Funny, because a marriage where you spend 80 hours a week at work doesn't sound like much of one either. This is ridiculous!
29. Relatedly, I never need to watch Bailey sob again. It's even more annoying than when AZ does it. Where'd Kickass Bailey go?
30. So one of Derek's vows is "nobody walks out." Oh, if only you had put that clause into your first marriage!
31. Also, in retrospect: WTF, MER/DER. A POST-IT IS NOT A MARRIAGE LICENSE. When I first watched this, I assumed it was just a placeholder until they had a spare moment to breathe. But no. Apparently they actually consider themselves as good as married now? That is ridiculous. You are not going to spend every waking moment of the rest of your lives embroiled in surgeries and/or with friends on death's door. Sometimes, you will have a day off! And everyone will be healthy! And then you can stroll down to City Hall at your leisure.
32. Awww, I love the moment where Cristina realizes that Izzie's memory is back.
33. C/O: SQUEEEE, CLAIMING KISS. "Yes." And I'm pretty sure I've never seen him look that deliriously happy. Oh my God, they got back together and it was that easy!! After this I don't even think I mind that Ausiello's infamous blind item ended up happening on Desperate Housewives instead of here.
34. In retrospect, I don't know what I'm going to do if they become shiny and happy and in love without the pining. It's entirely possible I will sour on them and get annoyed; also, I'm pretty sure that I will not stand for any further hijinx in bed. They will be damned as soundly as Mer/Der any/every time they try. Kate & Sawyer know how the "one free pass" works.
35. "OH GOD!" That's the only thing I can say about it too. No matter how many times I watch it, Meredith's moment of horrified recognition chills my blood. It is the most horrible, most gut-wrenching moment in series history. Bar none. Oh, George. Oh George. Who ever dreamed "007" would come to mean so much? :(
36. NO FAIR HAVING TWO SIMULTANEOUS DEATHS OF RESIDENTS, SHOW. We need to pretend they happened at least an hour apart; it's not cool to divide the hospital's attention like that.
37. WHAT. Don't you DARE screw the DNR, you idiots! I hate the Chief. Chief, if you are responsible for Izzie living into next season and annoying the hell out of me more than ever, with her stupid lame "marriage" when she's no longer even sick, I WILL HUNT YOU DOWN.
38. Prom dress Izzie! *bounces* See, this is the bit I saw ahead of time. And in between my OMGWTF NOT GEORGE!! feelings (along with my "ick, bad hair, I guess it's okay if you die now" feelings) and my "gosh, Izzie is pretty" feelings, I felt a little thrill of "Hahaha, Gizzie can be canon in the afterlife! Obviously they are soulmates." No, but seriously. I have never loved the two of them more than in soft-focus after-life-y vision.
39. Which is problematic because my consolation to Izzie dying was that she'd get to be with Denny. Sigh. Why couldn't we just keep Gizzie in canon?
40. Internet speculation so far, by the way, seems pretty attached to the idea that George will die and Izzie will live. This is an ass-backwards way to go about things and I choose to live in denial until spoilers force me to believe otherwise. I'd much rather they both die. Or both lived. Or George lived and Izzie died. I have a 75% chance of being satisfied here; how can you not work with that!
41. And now I am going to go think about how badly Cristina fell apart after Izzie went through Denny's death, and imagine how much more intense it will be if she manages to lose two friends in one day. Hey, who else do we know that's experienced the loss of multiple friends at once? That's right. I want this scene and I want it in September. Or now, in fic form.
Final Thoughts: Good cap to season 5. In spite of everything, I am pleased. Show continues to grow better with every passing year.