2nd: Wayback machine time!
Numb3rs, 5x22, "Greatest Hits"
My hypothesis: "I am clearly not going to give the poor penultimate episode even half as much attention as it deserves."
Results: True for the case. Utterly untrue for the fantastic Charlie/Amita subplot going on.
First, let's get that pesky case out of the way (it's almost like this show doesn't have reruns; I pay so little attention to the whodunit particulars that I can be surprised every time): I actually rather liked it, return of the snarky Fonz and all. I mean
Actually, when Nikki was asking who he was, I realized I couldn't remember anything about his last appearance either, and spent the whole episode trying to remember why everyone hated him. Retrospective analysis proves said episode was too bogged down by that stupid park-destruction subplot for me to care.
I could have stood with less gunfire - shootouts on this show are the bane of my existence, especially because the dialogue before and after them is so quiet - but for the most part, I was perfectly willing to go along with Angsty Colby and get my empathy face on. From what I vaguely recall, although Nikki has a point (I told you she's growing on me), what he did really wasn't bad enough to deserve Don & Co's unending scorn and sneering when balanced against a lifetime of good service. Don's not an angel either. I'm not arguing with Bloom getting fired and losing his pension, but Colby's compassion was a breath of fresh air.
Or I was just distracted by whimpering sympathetically over the story of his dad's probable suicide. Same thing.
And the #1 thing I learned from this case is that ordinary citizens, even when they are full-time consultants for the FBI, shouldn't be able to have police scanners. I mean, to what point and purpose?
...seriously, it was a fun case and I'll definitely be interested the next time I see this on TV.
The Things That Matter (a/k/a "scenes I have watched 500 times and transcribed extensively")
1. The office scene may be one of the best things I have ever seen. In addition to Spy's captioned shot illustrating all the places to hide fangirls in the rubble, the visual sight gag of Amita popping like a participant in Whack-a-Mole (or Whack-a-Kitty!) has made me laugh about a hundred times in a row. And that was before she came bouncing over with a fistful of old letters, and I was like "...GARAGE SALING IN THE OFFICE, WIN!"
Charlie: What are you doing here? I thought you were headed downtown.
Amita: Oh, well, that was a lie. [*snert*]
Amita: So I could surprise you! I wanted to get all your stuff unpacked and put away.
By the way, I've never before been jealous of a non-speaking character before, but I really wouldn't mind being Sharon. Not only would working as Amita's assistant be delightful on its own, it puts you that much closer to Charlie without having to take any of his brain-breaking math classes (*is ignoring the brain-breaking physics classes you'd have to take instead*).
Also, if anyone could identify the mysterious whitish-blue glow that keeps coming through the window on the left edge of the screen, I'd be extremely grateful. It's weirding me out.
Now if you'll excuse me, I need to go glee myself to death, rather in the manner of Amita, over the idea of such an amazing tradition as goal letters left by all previous inhabitants of the office (best. subplot. ever). It's hard to blame her for ignoring the vaguely ill look on his face from the get-go over this assignment, because if I were her, I would be every bit as giddy. Possibly more so. "Old letters! Charlie, you get to write a time capsule letter! Isn't that amazing?? Isn't your brain just bursting with ideas? Have you started writing it yet? WHY AREN'T YOU AS [EXCITED] OR INTERESTED IN THIS AS ME?? Wait - are you backing away from me?" And so on. I'd probably also chase him around with a pen.
A: Why aren't you more excited about these letters? If I were you, I would be thrilled to write one.
C: Tell you what - you can write mine.
C: (laughing) What? Both Knox and Newberry were huge proponents of collaborative work; I'm sure neither of them would roll over in their grave if you did a first draft for me.
A: Why are you so reluctant to do this?
C: I don't know.
Amita is amazing. All the time, end of story. That being said, *pats Charlie & his wee twisty expression*
3. Right about here is where I reach my satiation quota for "sufficient C/A per episode." And yet we're only like halfway through. You know why it's taken me 3 weeks to write about this episode, THIS IS WHY. Starting with Amita and her sneaky ulterior gift-giving motives. "Oh, it's a pen. ...to write the letter." (Alan: "Don't tell me you didn't see that one coming.")
C: Why is this so important to you?
A: For the same reasons it should be important to you.
See previous "Amita is amazing" statements. This scene is like a microcosm spanning all the reasons I adore her/why it is absolutely imperative Charlie keep her in his life forever. She is very, very good pushing him through things. Right now she's still in coaxing mode, waiting for him to get his act together with a few kicks in the right direction. Stage II of this mode is usually sufficient; other times, more extreme measures are required. I.e....
4. Can I just be over here in paroxysms of glee about how much I like the "would you still love me if" scene? I totally fell for the sound of the pending proposal the first time around when he started talking about the future + them, but I'm not terribly sore about it. Insecure!Charlie is terribly adorable/one of my favorite Charlies of all, and because I forgot all about my disappointment as soon as Amita gave him those lovely sentiments of reassurance. Sealed with a kiss. And an ever-amusing "Okay you two, knock it off" Alan interruption.
C: When we met, I was that math wunderkind on the rise. And the whole time we've been together, you've pretty much known what you've signed on for. Pretty much, right? [Amita laughs and nods] So I guess this is a...'would you still love me if,' question. If...the ride turned out to be something else entirely, if I didn't fulfill a...destiny.
A: Is that why you haven't really moved into the office? And why you're so stuck on this letter, because you don't think you're worthy? Charlie...you belong in that office. You are every bit as talented as Biderman or Knox or any of them. Trust me.
5. Almost forgot there was a nice scene between the brothers in Charlie's nice, shiny & newly-organized office (dear Don: thank you for taking away the scanner). Yes, I am merely mentioning it in passing. (Although to quote Spy, "I also have a weird alternate version in my head of why Don says "congratulations," to Amita on the way out the door.")
Oh, and because I am a fan of good prop departments when scanning characters' desks, I noticed this one behind Charlie that I would very much like to see closer up:
(I mean, I know the one on the left. It's a publicity shot from when the show first began, the likes of which I have in hard copy in a scrapbook somewhere, when I somehow had the foresight to know I'd love this show enough to clip an article about it. But the one on the right...*grabby hands*)
6. And now for the fun part! The one I dissected in as much detail as I could from the flash-in-the-pan shot I got in the previews, may not have breathed during when it aired, and which I then proceeded to watch for approximately 32 and a half minutes straight after I got the episode in digital form. Not counting how many times I watched it before I could finish writing the rest of this post.
Skipping past the part where I swat the director on the head for a random and lingering shot of the campus while our preferred couple is just to the left of the screen...
A: The other night, we were talking in the garage, about letters in the office, and you asked me a question.
C: (looking sheepish) The would you still love me if --
A: And I went on and on about you doubting yourself and you deserving the office - which, I'm not retracting or anything - but I realize I never answered your question. (She swallows and suddenly her eyes are bright with tears, which - calm it down Amita, i don't think he's been stressing this half as much as you have). Charlie...there is no "if." I love you, no matter what. There aren't any conditions on that.
Firstly, FLAIL. Secondly, FLAIL. Thirdly, my molecules seem to have transformed into liquid.
She appears ready to say more, but Charlie is already hushing her with a kiss. Or a couple of kisses. It's very, very pretty (TAKE NOTES, HUDDY.) When the kiss breaks, I am completely and utterly enchanted by the perfect heart shape their bowed heads make. Look, I
(This is because it is my new dream to have a properly-made-in-Photoshop icon where this heart-shaped section is a shade lighter than the background.)
AND THEN THERE ARE NINJAS.
Well, not really; apparently it's only two women, but it happens so fast that ninjas seems like an appropriate description. (True story, the first seven times I watched this, I would get so caught up in the romance that I'd completely forget what was coming, and jump in my seat every time the crack on the head and screaming started. I also went through it in slo-mo so many times that I was sort of astonished to discover the whole abduction is over in 16 seconds flat.)
As for Amita getting dragged into a car while Charlie lies dazed and bleeding on the ground, weakly reaching out, I refer you to my pre-airing statements of "you think I am making this up. I ASSURE YOU I AM NOT." *is filled with glee*
Up Next: ...I really hope I didn't use up all my energy writing about this, leaving none for the somehow-even-more-amazing finale. It's entirely possible I did. *gets sucked into endless loop of clip-watching again*
3rd: Law & Order: SVU, 10x22, "Zebra"
And suddenly the writers developed an appetite for carnage that could not be appeased with regular victims of the week. Was it like a last hurrah for the Hour 3 timeslot?
THE HELL, TPTB. Tell me you did not just stab lovable, adorable long-suffering CSU tech Ryan O'Halloran in the chest and leave him dead on the floor. This is not how I wanted Dale Stuckey out of my life! *rages*
You know, it was one thing when you took out the defense attorney. I liked her. And it was a whole 'nother thing when I was about to cut a bitch if you followed her up with Judge Donnelly, but killing Ryan is UTTERLY UNACCEPTABLE after month of tormenting the poor man with the most annoying (and apparently mentally unbalanced!) sidekick underling in the world. I just - it - no!
When you said you were killing somebody off, I just naturally assumed it was because you wanted to rub in Wooden Graylek's inherent suckiness a little more by unceremoniously killing her after banishing her off screen for weeks. And then I thought maybe you'd brought Alex back just to kill her off. I had also resigned myself to losing Finn or Munch, and may in fact have sat on the edge of the bed with my heart in my throat, waiting for one of them to get shot at Coney Island. But this! BITCHES, I SAY. THAT IS JUST MEAN.
Seriously, I can't even take comfort in the fact that the twitchy little ferret will finally be off my screen for good. The EW viewing guide claimed "the twist is obvious in the first 15 minutes," but it took twice that long for it to dawn on me, mainly because I couldn't wrap my head around the possibility of such joy. If stupid twitchy Dale was killing everybody in a misguided attempt to frame the crazy guy and cover his mistakes, then surely he'd get caught and packed off to jail. WIN, Y/Y? Actual answer: NOT SO MUCH.
They were right about how the final showdown would have me on the edge of my seat until the credits, though. That was a nailbiter. Couldn't stop wincing watching Olivia repeatedly hit the already-copiously-bleeding Elliot. Which, memo to actors, CUT CONTRACT DEALS. NOW. That is in no way an acceptable final last scene! Prior to this moment, I felt I would be totally fine without them coming back, but now IT IS NOT FINE AT ALL. Get your asses back to the show, pronto! I need some followup here!
*goes back to weeping* I don't follow spoilers closely enough to have had any inkling it was going to be him, so this was a total shock to my system. I did not know I was capable of this much emotional distress. I didn't even know I was that fond of him! But I was, in secret. Of late, he had become my favorite character after Munch, whether or not I explicitly mentioned this fact. In part because he was very, very cute, and this is just such a waste (on second thought, I think it may be related to my recent distress over the similarly-flavored RAMPANT POINTLESS CHARACTER DEATH on Primeval). This sucks and I am cranky and I will *not* stop whining about it!
*temporarily stops whining about it*
In other news, this was a fairly exciting plot, and I was positively delighted by the John/Gwen interaction (slapping included) - never mind the reveal that she's an ex-wife. Is she really? Were we supposed to previously know this? Dear Lord, that is fantastic.
[EDIT: OK, so this explains a lot. And those bits of the episode are now more fantastic than ever before!]
I demand buckets of fic exploring all the thoughts and emotions and stories that were clearly tucked underneath his exterior as he walked out of the room, ignoring the question marks on the faces of all his colleagues. There was obviously so much more there that we didn't have time to focus on due to Elliot's need to rack up at least $100,00 worth of hospital bills per academic year.
Not that I wasn't totally cool with watching Elliot endure some very painful knife slashes across the torso (hello, unlikely injury scenario #15 coming true!), but it's the principle of the thing.
By the way, show, whatever. I will not apologize for hating on Dale Stuckey the whole time he's been here, nor will I retract my encouraging cheers as everybody was extra-specially mean to him this episode. I have learned nothing! He deserved every harsh word, insult, and quasi-assault he got! Incidentally, I always thought Ryan had rather the the patience of a saint where Dale was concerned. He pretty much limited himself to sighing a lot and maybe taking a terse tone. I definitely don't remember any direct insults/mean comments/anything else that warranted him getting STABBED TO DEATH because Stuckey's feelings got hurt. (so the fact that he was probably only killed to cover evidence is even sadder)
Eh, screw it, I'm still too upset to finish being coherent about this episode. It did succeed in overriding my waning interest and kicking this show several notches up on my totem pole o' favorites, but I'm going to credit Judge Donnelly's dry sarcasm for that. Yep. End of story.
This is still the best exchange ever, though--
Elliot: I'm gonna kill him.
Ryan: I'll dump the body.
*wanders off to go whine in some other places*