Should the worst happen anyway, I've also been assured that TPTB have enough heads-up to write 6x16 in a way that will wrap loose ends and serve as a possible series conclusion, which worked well enough for Without a Trace, and hopefully will work better here, since these writers tend to treat relationships well. I feel...cautiously optimistic. Not that I forfeit the right to bitch at length about being shortchanged, because I will continue to do that for some time unless and until we get a green light for season 7, but it's better than no conclusion at all.
And to top this post off, have two weeks' worth of tv commentary on the show. With lots of multimedia included to make things interesting, because now more than ever I feel weirdly in love with every episode. *CLINGS*
Numb3rs, 6x06, "Dreamland"
[EDIT: Most of this was written a week ago, and as such, makes no reference to that Horrible News, until the very end.]
My first reaction to the cast list was "Lawyer Ted from Scrubs? Really? What, are you just making the sitcom rounds and picking up as many annoying people as possible?" Fortunately, he was a very minor character in comparison to Hey, It's That Guy! playing "Floyd" from "Department 44." (and the less said about Otto, the better)
Numb3rs has a singular talent for casting consistently wonderful long-term characters - even if it takes me a while to warm up to them - and incredibly awful guest stars. This one doesn't quite outpace Buster Bluth, but he has the same gift for ruining final scenes. I WOULD LIKE BETTER RESOLUTION ON CHARLIE'S REACTION TO THE LOCKET, THANK YOU. Floyd was almost entertaining before that final transgression. I feel like his schtick would quickly wear out its welcome, though, so I hope he's not planning to make another appearance.
The case wasn't bad (and I'm now sufficiently terrified of lightning you can aim), although how much of that was due to it being good and how much of it was due to my enchantment about having watched half an hour's worth of behind-the-scenes footage of various scenes a few hours beforehand is anyone's guess. "Oh! I got to see them rehearse the part with the radios and Nikki coming down the hill! WHAT A GREAT SCENE." Etc, etc.
But did it strike anyone else as particularly stupid of Charlie - and anyone else - to keep wandering around at night, apparently without permission or any plan for protection, in the same place people were recently killed? I mean, what was supposed to prevent them from meeting the same fate? Did I miss that part because I was too busy remembering things like how funny it was when David Krumholtz tripped over a random box as they approached the blown-up van?
I enjoyed the X-Files parallel and Nikki calling Don "Agent Mulder," though. And the Scooby Doo jokes.
And I giggled very immaturely, as intended, when Floyd whipped out a bigger flashlight.
Oh, and before I forget -- like I just did -- so much love for David trying to wrestle guidance, direction, and other mentoring/leadership advice out of Don. And Don dodging the questions at every turn. And the end scene jogging, and Don's cute laugh after "For a Jewish guy, you sure like to put yourself up on the cross."
And all the scenes with Don & Alan, which I lately love but just can't...articulate.
AND NOW, THE REAL POINT OF THE EPISODE: Margaret's birthday, which prompts Alan to give Amita a locket of hers passed down through five generations. "Well, we never had a daughter. So Margaret wanted me to give it to our daughter-in-law." And even though Amita tries to protest that she's not married to Charlie yet, "You've been a member of our family for quite a while."
Dying! That is what I am doing; dying of love and quiet flailing. (It seems inappropriate, due to the deeply touching nature of this scene, to flail loudly or wildly. AND YET.) Personally, I couldn't help tears pricking at the corners of my eyes. Alan has risen so much in my estimation lately, it's crazy. And due entirely to his blossoming relationship with Amita, which is quite possibly the sweetest thing I have ever seen. She certainly is part of the family, and when just the two of them spend time together, it is too sweet for words.
Say, let's have another scene of that, right now! In which we open on them playing chess before Don & Charlie come through the front door. Here are some things I find delightful about it, in no particular order:
~A kiss hello:
~Charlie mock-complaining that Alan gets along better with his future daughter-in-law than either of his actual sons (not to discredit his clear pleasure over this fact).
~Don: "Yeah, what's up with that, is it just 'cause she's prettier?" And Alan being like, "Yep." XD
(I have, like, zero pictures of Don. I felt I should preserve his ideal hair at some point)
~Off that, Don indirectly calling Amita pretty. Which is an obvious observation, since he isn't blind, but still made me grin
~"One of my true regrets in life is not having a daughter. But having a daughter in law is just as good." Awwww. If their smiles at each other get any sweeter, my body is going to experience diabetic shock.
~"And with any luck, I'd have two daughters-in-law." Hahaha! I love that Alan does not do "subtle" hints. (Maybe he had some foreshadowing that their show was about to veer toward the brink of cancellation?) I agree with him.)
~Amita's reaction to the above line:
"You know I haven't seen this thing in years?"
Yes, that is the sole resolution we get. Die in a fire, Interrupting Floyd! Meanwhile, I will just focus on trying not to melt over Charlie's smile (it's difficult).
Also, have a random shot from a second angle, because I'm pretty sure there are like three frames before it switches to Charlie
Relatedly, I love Charlie's frozen smile on "Why...do you keep doing that?" And I like how Amita promptly stows the locket out of sight, keeping it private, even though there's no earthly reason to do so. Now, if someone will just write me like 400 words of post-ep fic, just enough to close this scene properly (and, if you're feeling really daring, add the introduction as well), I would be content.
Conclusion: this whole beautiful "daughter in law" dynamic has me thrown into a tizzy of squee. Despite the fact that it's existed in some capacity for a couple of years now, it's so much brighter when you acknowledge it openly and officially.
6x07, "Shadow Markets"
What's this? A semi-chronological list of highlights, way longer than it needs to be, because I am CLINGY? Yes.
-I normally hate when episodes start off in action, switching back and forth between criminal of the week and our characters, especially if set to obnoxious music (well, "obnoxious music" is somewhat redundant for this show, which has introduced me to exactly one catchy song). But for some reason, as annoying as Augie is, I don't hate this one.
-Maybe I just really like hot!leader!Don when he's tapped into computer screens and earpieces, overseeing the field operations from a stakeout van and directing everyone else. Especially if it gives us an excuse for a long running shot at some point.
-Nikki and David sweet-talking people into ghostcredit.com is one of the best things I've ever seen. They should feel free to go undercover for stings more often.
-"Nikki, grab this jackass." Hot!angry!Don is also welcome to come around whenever he likes.
-"Usually I make the first move, but this is cool. Hi, I'm Augie!" Hilarity factor of her snapping cuffs on his wrists, bereft of amusement: high.
-Full confession: I don't dislike Augie as much as I've disliked all the guest stars they've used for the past two episodes. Upon second viewing, I think I like him. He grew on me like he grew on Nikki's heart.
-Me, 2 seconds after Amita walks onstage: OMG OMG OMG GAME FOOTAGE FROM "PRIMACY"! AHHHHH! JAZZ HANDS! OTHER FLAILING! Yes, I also register the oddity of using her battle with Spectre as the particular footage, but I will ignore that for the purposes of plot streamlining. So the fact that they subsequently acknowledged it as Amita's game, including her particular avatar and connection to it? Wonderful. Oh, continuity, your importance on this show never ceases to amaze me.
Speaking of which, look what I dug up on the CBS YouTube channel! For super-easy comparison purposes:
(I love that the team working this case is COMPLETELY different from the one working in that episode. Back then we had Megan, Larry and Colby, in a week where David was absent and before Liz was a regular. Isn't observing differences fun?)
-I had read fairly detailed spoilers about Alan's new boss, including a transcript of the scene with Don in the living room, and I already thought she sounded hilarious. Then she was played by Wendy Makkena, and it was seventeen times more fabulous. Charlie's expression says it all:
[Edit: Speaking of observing differences -- I wasn't planning to have issues with Charlie's hair this season, and really it looks fine, but LOOK AT IT IN DIRECT COMPARISON TO SEASON 4. Oh my God, season 4, you were the best.]
-Really, we needed to have "leet-speak" explained to us like a piece of processing technology on CSI: Miami? I know CBS is supposed to skew high in age demographics, but...come on. "Pwned" was in my vocabulary 5 years ago.
-I AM JUST GOING TO QUOTE A LOT OF THINGS TONIGHT.
Don: What was Dad doing here?
Charlie: I guess his boss insisted, and she's kind of...
Don: I think she's hot.
Charlie: I was going to say she's assertive, but yeah...she's pretty hot.
-UNEXPECTED POIGNANT CHARACTER: "My husband couldn't take the stress. He had a heart attack and died. You gonna hack him back for me too?" This old widow makes me sad. :(
-*beams* I am far more in love with the idea of Don swinging by to pick up Amita than I should be. Also, the midlife crisis convo is an example of those Don/Alan scenes I never write about. Instead, have this attractively posed shot of Don telling Amita he'll meet her out front.
-Also, Kath is my favorite. "So what's your secret? Circuit training and carrot juice...or just lots of sex?" The answer is B. I don't care what lies you tell me about hardly ever seeing Robin, the answer is still B.
-Augie: This might just be the shock talking, but you just saved my life over there, and I'm feeling some pretty intense emotions about you right now...?
Nikki: Actually, it was Agent Sinclair, but I'll let him know how you feel.
-When did she start having chemistry with everything on two legs? Because the banter is WEIRDLY FANTASTIC in a way that almost makes me forget about Ian (spoiler alert!
Nikki: Augie, people want to kill you. I want to kill you.
Augie: In a good way?
-I love that one of the people coming after him is Mossad. It's kind of like a metaphor for real life, in how NCIS (I am...making a leap to its ex-Mossad liason) is breathing down my show's neck and indirectly killing it with its success.
-My entire response to Charlie preening his peacock feathers is much like Amita's. Except instead of stifling the urge to drape myself over the desk laughing, I'm actually doing it.
C: What do you think of my dad's new boss?
A: She's kind of driven, but I like her. Did you notice she seemed to be coming on to Alan?
C: Actually, I felt she was giving me a bit of her erotic attention.
C: I was quite uncomfortable...and oddly flattered.
A: (finding this all highly amusing) You're blushing.
C: (totally blushing) No I'm not....
A: *nods* Yeah. And gloating.
-I don't know what I like most: Don teasing Nikki about her "soft spot," David teasing her about liking him, or the fact that tough-talkin' Nikki is transparent enough about her feelings for both of them to pick up on this fact. By the way: "You think he's gorrrrrgeous, you want to kiiiiiss him..."
-Reason #218 not to cut this show's episode count: exchanges like this --
Don: Can we see what they're saying?
Amita: In Leet-speak...luckily, I speak leet. [or 1337, as it were]
Charlie: That's so hot.
Don: *makes a noise of disgust and leaves the room*
I have watched this 37 times, and can confirm that it only gets funnier with age and repetition. Charlie's list of turn-ons never fails to amuse me...but it's funnier when the pair of them annoy other people with their shiny happy relationship.
-Aw, I liked Aunt Rose. Why'd she have to go and get dead? Boo.
-If you need me, I'll be over here, having a heart attack at the thought of Don riding around on a death trap motorcycle. Sorry, am still affected by the cancer blog I read a few months ago about the woman whose middle-aged husband wiped out on the road (no other vehicles involved) one night and died as a result. DEATH TRAPS!
-I'm not gonna lie, it took me a really long time to actually hear what Charlie and Amita were saying about the virtual vs. reality, and longer still to process any meaning in the words. My brain just tuned it out as "geek talk" white noise and was completely enthralled by watching them set the table for dinner. It's the simple things that make me happy.
-I was not at all paying attention to the words Amita was saying during her talk - being distracted by Primacy and all - but after having seen her avatar figurine, I have to say that 3-D printers seem sorta like magic. Also, that prop is now among my coveted TV show souvenirs. *adds to Journal Of Impossible Things*
-I love that Boss Kath is totally indiscriminate about who she hits on. I also love the fact that Amita seems not at all fazed by this revelation, so clearly the garage scene we didn't see was more significant than previously assumed. I don't know if I'm thrilled that they dropped that hint and then kept it in the dark, or just disappointed that we didn't get to see Amita's reaction.
-Alas, despite whatever Flash Forward might imply to the contrary, Amita is very firm that "Me and my avatar are spoken for." Awww.
-Still. Watching the men argue over which one she was into, only to be pwned by an attached note to Amita, is the funniest thing I've seen all season. It's 'cause she's prettier, duh.