Also, um, this got long. Sorry?
1. I've decided that the NCIS season premiere didn't count as my 1 starter episode because it was told in excruciatingly boring flashback for, apparently, people who've never seen the show before. I can only assume this was a deliberate lure to aid the people who might have tuned in early because NCIS: LA somehow hooked their attention in ways NCIS did not. Whatever wasn't deadly boring was disgusting and gross - sometimes it was both at once! There were like five minutes in there where I actually sat up and paid attention.
Namely anything involving Abby* - CAFF POW TAKING AN AWESOME STARRING ROLE - and that moment where Ziva first saw Tony + their subsequent brief conversation, where I spent most of it fixated on a look I've never seen in her eyes before: nothing. Just dulled and numb and beyond caring about anything.
And I admit that it warmed my heart twelve times over to see the trio of grimy, haggard men who'd come all this way and done so much in the name of loyalty to their (female) teammate. You know how feel about all-male rescue troops! Especially when the lady in question is normally tough as nails and so having her be in need of rescuing means even more.
* Also, I thought Abby had a giant cross tattoo on her back. Suddenly she has room for a flower?
But next week! Next week stuff might happen. I knew I shouldn't have watched the preview.
CSI: Miami: 8x01, "Out of Time"
Official Summary: As Delko's life hangs in the balance, Horatio flashes back 12 years to reveal how Miami's CSIs first met and became a team.
Hypothesis: Detailed in my spoiler reactions here & here.
Um. The best thing to hit this series since
-Turns out the sight of Eddie Cibrian skeeves me out so much that I have a 0% desire to watch future episodes. That is impressive. Even Natalia didn't turn me off that much.
- Speaking of which, do not appreciate Horatio meeting Miss Boa Vista back in the day. FAIL.
+ I do appreciate that they didn't shoehorn Ryan into the flashbacks, as well as that they made time to show him getting blood drawn, presumably for transfusions.
+ Let's talk about Horatio. Let's talk about how I actually believed he was pre-season-1 Horatio, on account of the fact that he smiled, and didn't squint indoors (or at all, really, past that one scene), and wore a nice light gray suit, and most of all, cut it out with the utterly dead voice and insanely long pauses. I mean, he's always had that particular inflection, but in the flashbacks it makes him sound thoughtful/pondering, rather than suicidally depressed.
Also, his hair was quite fluffy. I'm sorry. It called out to me.
AND they had the decency to at least reference his time on the bomb squad, which was nice. I'll be damned if they didn't give a halfway plausible explanation for Megan, too, rather than ignoring her existence. Nice meta joke on calling Speedle, by the way.
- Now let's talk about Calleigh, and how all of her flashbacks were terrible. I vaguely recall that she's always been an optimist, but this was less like "positive cheer" and more like "vapid blonde airhead." O hay, sexual harassment in the workplace? That's fine, I'm used to it. Oh, big strong St. Caine...the way you look at me makes my eyelashes all fluttery; please, I crave more of your approval (I have Daddy issues - seriously)!
- I still flat-out refuse to believe that Eric started life as a tow-truck driver. Because of course it's completely improbable that a son of Cuban immigrants could go straight to college as opposed to blue-collar labor, right? It's not like he maybe had an aptitude for science and/or could have won some sort of scholarship, possibly based on swimming? I'M SORRY. THIS BACKSTORY DOES NOT JIVE WITH THE MUCH MORE INTERESTING BACKSTORY ORIGINALLY POSTED TO THE ORIGINAL SITE. And I know that "site backstory" translates to "crap we made up as a placeholder until we could figure out what to write," but still.
++++ Eric's nice thick flashback hair. I MISS WHEN IT LOOKED LIKE THAT ALL THE TIME.
+ Ten bucks says Eric & Calleigh make really obvious goo-goo eyes at each other
Shoot, and then they actually pulled that off well. Because Eric was a big
+ I felt like there was ample material for the H/C shippers to work with. Did anyone else get that? It's like in Harry Potter, where sometimes you forget that Harry's in love with Ginny because he spends so much time thinking about Luna Lovegood. The amount of mutual admiration and smiling they were doing was crazy. And that fits quite well with their rapport of early days.
- "Junk science." Would that be three years before CSI: Original Flavor premiered, then? Because Vegas seemed to have "junk science" down to a pretty thriving branch of law enforcement by 2000, and I know they're like the cutting edge of non-federal technology, but Miami isn't exactly a small rural town in a conservative state, so "They're calling it 'C.S.I.' " was a tough line to swallow.
+ Despite my many issues with the flashbacks, I have a positive feeling about the storyline as a whole. I mean, I expected it to be a flaming trainwreck, but they came decently close to matching my ideals.
-It fascinates me that the teaser is full of the same overacting and shouty nonsense as usual, but then that falls away and the episode kicks itself into high gear
+ Wow, Khandi is sporting some seriously terrible hair; did she get stuck in a time warp on the way out of a day shooting "News Radio"? Oh well. ALEXX!! Ever fantastic. Um, is it bad of me if I like to imagine her thinking, "BITCHES, STOP COMING IN HERE ON GURNEYS. I DO NOT GIVE ANNUAL SPECIALS."
- "He's young, and he's strong." Except from having been, you know, previously shot in the head. And being in a coma after briefly dying.
+ I'm sorry, I don't usually navel-gaze, but I'm fascinated by how well the themes in the latter 2/3 of "Clockwork Silence" follow through here. I mean, of course it was written for "Man Down," but I can't stop rereading it and thinking, "nailed it."
I need to just very plainly transcribe this in black and white, because otherwise I can't believe it's real.
"I know how hard you're fighting right now. And I know how easy it would be to slip away, and be with Marisol. I think about that too. But I don't want you to do that. I'm not ready. I'm not ready for you to... [breaks off, trying to regain composure] I'm sorry. I'm sorry, it's just that...I - I lost her. And Ray
[**Wow, way to render Yelina & Ray Jr. totally irrelevant, dude. Not to mention Alexx & Calleigh. Oh, and that son of yours you're so fond of calling as such.]
*KEYBOARD SMASH OF UNSPEAKABLE HAPPY* Emotions! Marisol! Speed not being overlooked in favor of Marisol! However, MARISOL. God, I love that they will not let this go. I love that now I have this voice-breaking place of emotion with which to let my brain dance and play. I actually remember why I used to love Horatio. What a weird, long-absent feeling!
After that I feel vaguely uncomfortable by the fact that Horatio hovers over his face for a REALLY LONG TIME, apparently struggling with the best place to kiss him, before settling on some Very Special Cheek Stroking and whispering "I'll be right here." Which for the most part I can use, but it's a little odd, how up close and intimate he gets while Calleigh is nowhere to be found except in the waiting room, sobbing on Alexx's shoulder.
Seriously; I was waiting for payoff in the final scene, but it's denied in favor of Group Love. If I were a real Hip Hugger I might feel sort of pissed/cheated. On the other hand, if I were a slash fan I'm pretty sure I'd be wetting myself with excitement.
Even when he wakes up, his gaze is totally focused on his boss and doesn't even glance over at the woman he supposedly loves. You could also interpret Horatio's glance around the room afterward as a slightly bashful/embarrassed smile. If I'd never seen the show and slash were a mainstream thing on network TV, I would assume they were a couple.
AND NOW BACK TO MY GLEEING OVER HORATIO + THE WOBBLY VOICE OF REMEMBERING MARISOL.
+ Thumbs-up for the flipbook montage(s) from No Man's Land, Man Down, Rampage and One of Our Own
+ The best change from the last time Eric got shot? The ending scene. Where everyone is in the room. For the first time ever, a CSI gets hurt and everyone shows up to the hospital and stays put - even Tripp & Natalia. Natalia! This is a huge day for her, guys. She's been accepted as part of the family in a practically official capacity.
Another thing to take note of: they're not out working the case. I mean, Eric's crazy dad is still out there somewhere, along with whomever and whatever else they were chasing back in May; I don't really remember that far...but they've left it to some other team. Today their only priority is watching and waiting for Eric. It's beautiful and brilliant and rather helps illustrate my point about how he's holding the team together. And in a particularly rare showing, Horatio - who normally has to punctuate his hospital vigils with field work; even for Marisol he was all "vengeance first, sad dying later" - won't leave him alone for a moment.
+ In a nutsehll: oh, show. Your cast of characters has not made me this happy in a long time. And the best part is, since this was clearly an isolated incident, I feel quite satisfied kicking it out of my life from this point forward
CSI: NY, 6x01, "Epilogue"
Something incredible happened in this episode. You won't even believe it: I liked Danny & Lindsay.
Ahem, let's just review some excerpts from the checklist I wrote for aries11 when she asked what would make me a shipper again.
-Any sort of threat, immediate or sustained, to Lindsay
CHECK. Which, I mean, technically that had already happened with the spray of gunfire, but somehow it didn't really sink in until they were picking themselves up off the floor and he moved his hand from where it had been covering her head. I am pretty much defenseless in the face of protective positioning. Especially if you choose to draw the conclusion that he literally took a bullet for her.
-Remember how that hurt/comfort thing took over season 3? It was very helpful/instrumental in my initial shippy feelings.
CHECK. Technically I was looking for Lindsay tears, and while I knew Danny was getting shot I didn't think it would be sufficient angst since, and I qoute, "I'm ready to shoot him myself." But apparently it does work just as well in the opposite direction, because my shippy little heart swelled up and exploded after she came in to follow up on that little 10 vs. 60 % discrepancy. The things she said! I don't even remember most of them, only the feeling of muted squee in their wake.
-Playful banter. Cute, snarky, semi-flirty playful banter.
CHECK MATE. This was what did it for me right off the bat; everything else was just icing. I may have been reduced to pointing and gaping as she threatened to kick his butt out of the chair, and he mocked her for trying to get tough because she was too cute for that. What is this! What did I, wake up in season 2? Lindsay, God bless her, did not say one clunky or poorly delivered line ALL HOUR. (Well, okay, the hokey line about bringing her umbrella for a 10% chance of rain; I didn't like that, but that's only one sentence out of many heartfelt ones! BRILLIANT.)
Additional, Unexpected Win:
-Kissing the top of his head. Physical affection?? Is that a thing that exists in my universe again?
-"You know what scares me, Danny, is that you think you have to lie to me." This scene! For the last two years, this would have been prime cheese territory. Somehow, now it sounds real! It still really weirds me out that they're supposed to be married, because I continue to not quite feel husband/wife vibes here, but as far as a domestic living situation it works quite well for me. I got a lot more commitment out of this than I did from, say...their wedding.
-Lindsay at home, all dressed down before bed, rocking Lucy. Is that baby finally earning her keep, in the sense of being useful as a relationship-cementing plot device? I believe she is! Do you know, that's the first time I've believed Lindsay as a mom.
I could have done without the hokey scene of Danny being able to move his toes again, though. *wipes a fake tear* Magical Danny! IT'S A MIRACLE. God bless the fact that he won't have to live the tragic life of an unwashed and depressed cripple! ...I don't know; I get that they had to put in some sort of indication towards recovery, since they obviously didn't plan to leave him paralyzed forever or even very long, but that + the rain was overkill.
In other news:
I missed the part before the theme song and as a result, seemed to be thrown into a topsy-turvy upside-down world and was completely confused as the to the timeline and what the hell was going on. Random women are grabbing Flack at the bar! Stella's doing some sort of nauseating striptease for a high school virgin! (oh, my bad, Adam) I MOVE THAT THIS BE STRICKEN FROM CANON AND/OR WRITTEN OFF AS A DREAM SEQUENCE.
Is Overeager Blondie the new detective we heard so much about over the summer, or a 1-note character? Because if she's the new detective, I haven't made up my mind about her yet. My Angell loyalty runs deep and I'm not quite in love with this girl, but neither did I instantly want to punch her in the face, which is always a plus.
P.S. Dear Flack, I'm sorry that I'm following the jerk writers' whims and letting this episode be All About Danny instead of the fallout from your personal tragedy, but...D/L. It's been absent a long time. I'm giddy and I want to bask in it, not torment myself with images of you sadly sitting at home, doing nothing and thinking about Jess.
1. Oh good, I see we're done with those boring clean skeletons. GROSS, GROSS, GROSS, GROSS.
2. Are those some extra-tame feral cats, or what? Human flesh must be really tasty if they can't be bothered to notice a whole swarm of live humans approaching them, even after their comrades start getting picked up and stuffed in cages. I can barely even get my neighbor's cat to let me touch him when he strolls through my yard.
3. Past Me: I would give up Clarke and Wendell just to see you settle on one [intern.]
Hahaha, way to call my bluff. DON'T EVER DO THAT AGAIN.
a) I nearly had a heart attack over this episode. On the one hand, I was 56% sure they were going to do a bait-n-switch and keep him at the end after all, but at the same time, it was incredibly nervewracking, wondering if this was one of those times I'd end up being wrong. And if so, I was going to be super-pissed, because the only thing better than having no grad student to kick off the season was following it up with the best grad student, and I would not be okay if it was his last appearance.
b) as it was, dear lord, I love Wendell more than I ever thought possible. EVERYONE LOVES WENDELL. Booth can inspire him with Stanley Cup analogies! Hodgins has a buddy to hang out with after work! Do you think they'd all go around mopey and crying on the inside if Fisher suddenly couldn't work for the lab anymore? Somehow I don't think so. THE CHOICE IS CLEAR.
c) Even when they lay it on really thick by having him talk about how his mom calls his scholarship The Miracle, I can't bring myself to find it cheesy. So heartwarming! He really is that perfect and wholesome!
d) Wendell trying to be stoic & not completely lose it in the face of crushing disappointment = awwwwww.
See also: Wendell trying to be stoic & not completely lose it in the face of overwhelming joy.
4. Booth/Brennan = AWWWWWWWWWW.
For a couple that hasn't even kissed, somehow they can be so emotionally mushy that by the last scene I was waiting for them to break out Seinfeld's "No, you're Schmoopy!" I CAN'T HELP IT, they make me squeal out loud. It's remarkable, my ability to block out all the inconvenient pipes in the way and just stare for a long time at his arm wrapped around her...
=Medium broke my heart. Depressing as hell, and probably not for the reasons you assume. I can handle Allison's
But I cannot handle it on top of Ariel's gorgeous princess hair getting whacked to her ears, leaving it straight and thin rather than thick and wavy. Especially not when you also blast her with the makeup cannon; halfway through high school she suddenly decides to start lathering on the eye shadow and blush? And then you talk to me about Joe maybe getting a more professional haircut next week? I CAN'T HANDLE ALL OF THIS AT ONCE. NO. LEAVE ME ALONE TO NURSE MY BROKEN HEART AND SUDDENLY WISH CBS HAD NOT COME TO THE RESCUE AFTER ALL.
*weeps for personal tragedy*
(it is good to see that Marie is still cute as a bug and Joe still makes me swoon with the depth of his love, though, so I'm glad it'll be waiting for me when I'm ready. BONUS: The San Diego job experiment is over; hallelujah!)
Past Me (paraphrased): I'm going to need a happy answer by 55 minutes past the start of the premiere, or I will be destroyed and cease to exist as a person.
9:55 PM, present day: "We're getting married."
Current Me: Woohoo, I still exist!
So I did get cheated out of seeing her accept, but that is a sacrifice I am verily willing to make as long as she did not, in fact, need time to "weigh" Charlie's proposal** (bloody synopsis) but clearly said yes right away. They've just been stupid-in-love-and-secrecy for the past four days so he could be all traditional, at her request, and ask her father's blessing before they told anyone. AW, YOU TWO. EVEN WHEN YOU SPEND THE WHOLE EPISODE AVOIDING EACH OTHER, YOU'RE STILL CUTE.
(**Was I worried? No, of course not. I was totally sure they were just keeping it a secret, and not in an awkward place due to Amita having rejected his proposal on the grounds of extenuating emotional circumstances. I was not afraid of the latter scenario at all.)
You know who's cuter? LARRY. I never got tired of watching him squeal/flail/cover his ears with hands and run out of the room going "LALALALALA" in order to avoid discussing Charmita's relationship. Best, best I say!
They are such lovable dorks - especially Charlie pouting that his thunder's been stolen and everyone already knows - and after a week of some pretty heavy stuff on the procedural scene, it was such a relief to see smiles and champagne glasses and a happy kiss between a happy couple at the end.
AND DON CALLED HER "SISTER-IN-LAW" AS HE HUGGED HER. HEART. FLIPPY THINGS. YES.
In other news, why can't I ever be satisfied by the haircuts here? I've been trying to adjust to Charlie's freshly-shorn look, because he cycles in and out of perfection on a fairly regular basis, but Don desperately needs a trim before those ends merge into some sort of mullet, something's going on with Liz that makes her look 10 years older, and Colby - Colby - honey, no.
CSI, 10.01, "Family Affair" (really? nothing, in the title, about palindromes at all? Someone someday is going to have to placate me on this count.)
Ayup, they still got it. Even if that teaser was not so much "cool" as "baffling" in the sense of "Er, why are we taking a tour through the world's freakiest wax museum? And when did everybody become a kung-fu master?"
1. I LOVE EVERYBODY. *beams and hugs team* Catherine the Great. Sulky!Greg (*pats*). Nick The Perfect. SARA THE BEAUTIFUL. Langston the Budget Wonder Boy. Even ol' buggered Ecklie. I pretty much forgave all the yelling at Catherine just for the, dare I say, adorable way he sent Sara back into the fold? BEST TEAM EVER. I mean, they can fight Cold Case & Numb3rs for the title, but the odds are in their favor.
Just wanted to reiterate how the premiere brought that all back, in the light of...
2. Dude! I am so impressed that Lauren Lee Smith's ass bounced out of here without so much as advance warning or even a last scene on film. Helps preserve my impression of her character as a snotty bitch right to the very end. Check out her exit interview! By which I mean, check out the dedicated staff member who wrote out coherent copy for her exit interview and packaged it in a folder that the director was kind enough to focus on. Someone's probably already transcribed it, but I did it from scratch just because I could:
Riley Adams stated that she was resigning so that she could accept a law enforcement opportunity in the Midwest that offered more opportunities for advancement. Adams stated that she found it frustrating to be a member of the grave shift because "The team suffers from a lack of cohesion. There is no team unity, no leadership, and poor communication."
There are uniquely talented individuals, but they are too often more concerned with pursuing their separate investigative agendas than with integrating themselves into a tightly conditioned unit. Another factor that cannot be ignored is the ineffective leadership of the supervisor, Catherine Willows. Willows is brilliant, determined, experienced and passionate about her work, but as [sic] a problem delegating clear lines of responsibility among the team members, which leads to a duplication of work, wasted time, and interpersonal conflict.
I mean, knowing the team as I do...and knowing what I saw of Riley last year...I find it sort of hard to take any of this seriously. In theory I get why she thinks this way, because I observed some of the things she mentions about team unity. I also observed that whenever Riley was removed from the scene, these problems self-corrected. There's also some particularly delicious irony in her whining for "advancement opportunities" after seeing Langston get bumped up to level 2.
And Sara said such wonderful, sweet, true and supportive things, anyway. And then Cath promoted Nick so she could get him to do half her paperwork. *squishes*
3. GREG IS TOO CUTE FOR WORDS. And entirely too interested in whether she's tired of being married. ;) No, I think you could hear my squealing five counties over when he hugged her. Tell me that walk up wasn't a man on a mission! I love them. I love that his crappy day/week/whatever instantly dissolves when she re-enters his life. He's not at Halpert levels of unrequited pining or anything, but platonically speaking he's always been and always will be especially attached to her. And I get to reap the benefit of his puppy-like joy every time she comes back.
3.5. Nick & Sara have a bond too. And it's wonderful to see the pair of them all smiling and laughing in happy disbelief that they're here and working together again, it's just to a slightly lesser degree than my joy about the above. Only slightly, though!
4. "SARA IS USING A BASEBALL METAPHOR." I didn't need Catherine to point that out for me; my radar was on HIGH ALERT.
5. Gleeeeeeeeeeee! They said it! You think it's a tired and cliche tradition and it shouldn't make me as happy as it does, but no, when you finally introduce the words "her husband," I DO THE SKIPPY DANCE OF JOY.
Lastly, I popped into Dollhouse during commercials. Oh, Jamie Bamber. Don't seduce me like that. I know you're not a regular cast member! And I know why I don't want to watch this show - besides the sci fi angle, as far as I can tell Eliza Dushku is constantly used as either a high-end prostitute or running around grimy/dirty/bloody, possibly still in skimpy clothing - but Echo's docile childlike nature fascinates me and I want to read it in fanfic settings. Also, I'm highly fond of Topher. Is that bad? I get the sense he's kind of weaselly and squirrelly, yet he's endearing to me.