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I love how every Friday, lately, goes like this --

6:55 PM: God, is it that time already? Maybe I'll skip the leadup shows this week. It doesn't seem worth getting up and turning on the TV.
6:59: *sigh* Guess I might as well give it a try. I can always go back to my book if I get bored...
7:04: (rapt with attention, totally sucked in)
7:59: OH MY GOD, GHOST WHISPERER. HOW ALWAYS SO AWESOME, when I have no anticipation for you at all? It's like Cold Case. Or Three Rivers. I cannot for the life of me remember why I think they're entertaining, but then as soon as I sit down to watch an episode, it blows my mind. This is ridiculous! I feel like a crazy ranting fool, talking about how much I love this show when I have publicly disdained it for, oh, my entire life dating back about four years, and yet it's true! *flail*

(notice how I am still not capable of articulating specific scenes I loved. I feel like it would ruin the magic. I just hold my breath and absorb them, instead.)

Then I hung out downstairs and watched Medium with my parents for a while. I feel the most important part of it was this excerpt from our conversation:

Dad: I think [Allison's] hair gets shorter every episode.
Me: Why must you say things that hurt me?
(10 minutes later)
Dad: It look like her hair and her husband's hair are the same length now.
Me: Seriously. Heart, pain-in-the.
Mom: Her hair was never very long, though.
Me: I know! That's what makes this so unbearable! ALL I AM ASKING FOR IS A CHIN-LENGTH BOB; IS THAT SO HARD?
Mom: Well, at least the daughter's hair is growing out a little...
Me: Oh my God, that is not even close to where she needs to be. I am not acknowledging Ariel's existence until her hair goes past her shoulder blades again.
Mom: I think you're a little too concerned with hair.
Me: I don't think you're concerned enough.</div>

=========
Numb3rs, 6x08, "Ultimatum"
*wonders if she can somehow use this episode as a model to force CBS into giving back the full episode order*

One day, I am going to learn to trust TPTB. It's not like they have ever steered me wrong, even when I was sure they had. Liz & Nikki will both eventually prove their worth! Even if it takes years, Robin will come back! Megan will have a dignified, graceful exit! Charlie & Amita will never derail! Most of all, THEY UNDID COLBY BEING A TRAITOROUS SPY. Once you fix that kind of curveball, you should probably get lifetime benefit of the doubt that you will always take care of your characters.

And yet, none of this stops me from falling for every piece of misdirection, namely biting my nails all friggin' hour that they were going to turn on Edgerton just when I finally got around to liking the bastard. I have been burned in the past, okay? Besides, Don killed his own mentor a few week ago. I'm allowed to be a little on edge. AND IT WAS QUITE NERVEWRACKING. Even minus the threat of death, by 9:45 I saw no possible way that, even if they proved it was a frame job, his various activities after being arrested would allow him off the hook without jail time.

Am still not sure how they overlooked all the hostage taking, time-wasting and physical assault, actually, but I guess Missi Pyle was just so corrupt that it canceled out his slightly extreme response? Then again, I'm also still not sure why Don was so willing to arrest him and throw him in jail without a chance to explain in the first place. Feel like maybe they could have shown us some more compelling evidence/backstory on that count.

In retrospect, I'm sure if I watched this episode again, I'd appreciate how cool Ian was under pressure, admire his master plan & required acting skills, and wonder how I ever worried. Kind of like how I finally watched the season premiere again last week and was like "...Past Me, you are an idiot for doubting the engagement. Seriously. Charlie is, like, brimming over with joy. You really didn't see that?"

[Edit: *gives in and watches Ultimatum again* Yeah, that's exactly how I feel.]

Another thing I should learn to do is stop judging episodes solely by my Amita Scale, i.e. determining their worth by how many scenes she's inand/or how much focus is on her. Because even though I want to say intrinsically that this was the best episode of the season, I just...can't do it. It lacked Amita! And despite the fact that there was no rational reason she needed to be in this episode, and it probably would even have been weird to have her there, it is just BURNED INTO MY BRAIN that if she's not around, the luster dims.

However! All that being said, this was amazing. In ways I'm not sure I can articulate, because I've only seen it once and I was maybe just flying high on the plot's adrenaline, so I'm just going to start making a list of things I liked.

* That really nice scene in Charlie's office with Nikki, where they're both trying to reconcile the guy they know with what he's doing now, and having a hard time reconciling it. Awww. And then I maybe zoned out a little and kept replaying last year's season finale in my head.

(random note: every time they use this set, my mom asks whose house this is. Which tells me that Charlie has way too much office for one professor)

* The analogy in which Charlie counts out $100 and asks Nikki to randomly divide it between them as part of...some math concept I wasn't paying attention to, because I was laughing so hard:
Charlie: Thirty dollars? Really?
Nikki: No offense, but my 401(k) and the economy aren't seeing eye to eye.

* The whole video conference with nervous!Charlie, and the fact that there was all this faith riding on his ability to figure out what really happened. I kept thinking it's a good thing Charlie doesn't have a deep emotional attachment to Edgerton (or Colby, really, at least as compared to Don), because this results-under-pressure tactic didn't work so well the last time Edgerton was featured in an episodes, and they no longer have Larry to rely on for backup brain. Yes, I was still thinking about Angels & Devils.

Though did very much enjoy Edgerton's propensity for snarky sarcasm. Was awesome.

* Edgerton's rationale for holding Colby hostage rather than Don, what with his experience in "The Janus List" and all. That was running through my head a lot. Mainly because I kept trying to tell myself that things would turn out okay here just like they did in the season 4 premiere, but still.

* Nikki's prom date held up the flower shop he got her corsage from. I don't even know what to do with this information. Why do I like the thought of her being a teenage badass dating the same?

* Charlie's visible admiration for Don's ability to get calmer and think more clearly the more the stress mounted. And more mutual admiration at the end. Again, I say, awww. This was one of the best brothers-working-together episodes we've had in a while.

*SURVIVOR ANALOGY. Using actual footage from the current season, in a simultaneously hilarious and amazing showing of cross-promotion. Part of me was like, "Gross, I cannot believe Russell hogs the camera so much that now he can't even be confined to his own show," and the rest of me was like "Heeheehee! Any week I get to see Mick Dreamy two nights in a row is a damn fine time." The latter part won out, in case you can't tell, as I rolled about in a fit of glee that two of my favorite series were combining in beautiful ways.

To be honest, I'm not entirely sure I didn't make this up. It seems like a figment of my imagination. But if it really happened, then it's the first time I haven't zoned out on one of Charlie's analogies in a long time. (Even when it's explained with illustrations and laymen's terms, it still sounds too much like math to me. But when I can watch Survivor challenges, well...you're on!)

* Nikki: We went to a Dodgers game, not a chapel in Vegas.
Ooh! Give me more tiny insights into your brief fling with Ian, because it intrigues me. Seriously, hottest couple that has ever been conceived on this show, no matter how short-lived or casual. On fire, fire I say!

* Edgerton snickering as he calmly foils the first attempt by The Incompetent Prison Marshall & Co to infiltrate the room.

* Code words about food to let Colby know what's about to happen. Followed by the unlocking of his handcuffs and working together to get them both out of there unharmed. I have to admit, that even at the height of my fretting, I never worried for Colby's welfare, even before the nice touch of giving him a chair to sit down on.

* Nikki: One thing I'm certain of? I'm ever held hostage, I want you on the other side of that trigger.
Don: Well, you I might let them keep.
BWAHAHA! OK, starting now, their dynamic is my favorite of any combination within the FBI team. Even more than David/Colby. Then again...

Colby: Took you long enough.
David: Oh please, none of this would have happened if you didn't fight like a girl.
Colby: Come on. If anybody acted like a girl in there, it was you. Should have heard yourself on that phone, all "I just want to make sure my partner's all right in there." Downright embarrassing.
David: Hey, if I let you die, you know what kind of paperwork I'm gonna have to fill out? I can kiss my promotion goodbye.

I NEED THIS SHOW IN MY LIFE FOREVER. WE CANNOT BE HALFWAY THROUGH SEASON SIX ALREADY. Maybe I will try to pretend it is a British show, or Pushing Daisies, or Season Strikegate, and be thrilled when we get as many installments as we do.

Next week looks terrible, so I am going to assume that said terrible-looking plot is just a cover for some kind of adorable Charlie/Amita subplot that will, per usual, come out of nowhere and surprise me. My expecting it will probably jinx it, because the best stuff happens when I give up and expect nothing, but still.

P.S. ...I really want to write crack!fic involving the cast of Numb3rs playing Survivor now. We played a (twisted) version of it with the Digi Destined in the last installment of Interview Lady, and I cannot tell you how much fun it is to try and figure out the order in which people get voted off and who will win. Looking back, I don't even think we had a master plan; we just went with the flow and it turned out hilarious.

I'm worried that I can't stop thinking about how to form teams and/or whether romantic partnerships would be seen as immediate threats or potentially useful allies. It doesn't help that I have a whole month of memories featuring Lou Diamond Phillips in a jungle setting already...

=============
Speaking of Survivor, week 9, HOW DOES THIS SEASON KEEP GETTING AWESOME AT EVERY TURN? Even though the individual people are still boring, and Grossell is still living up to his assigned name, it's gotten incredibly exciting. The fact that I can no longer tell who's going to be voted off is probably the only reason why, but geeze, it was amazing watching Laura win immunity for the second week in a row. Mostly because it is fun to watch Grossell's head explode with disbelief every time one of his evil troll plans is ruined before his eyes. Hahaha!

(I also got a kick out of him muttering and grumbling about Mick not being good enough at the puzzle, because...dude, you couldn't even get to that stage of the challenge. Personally, I enjoyed watching Mick Dreamy finally shine at some aspect of challenge competition. *drifts off in a trance*)

Another thing I found fun to watch was Erik throwing a silent fit over in the jury section at Tribal Council. The way he tried to kill everyone with his eyes, and fumed and raged at being forced to stay silent as they all talked trash about him, had me in stitches. It wasn't quite as much fun once he started gloating and rallying around Russell's revenge-blindside, but was nice while it lasted. And even though I want the latter out ASAP, it is always fun, for those few seconds, to see an immunity idol expertly played.

I'm trying to forget the part where Grossell gloated and swelled his head exactly seven times bigger as he found yet another idol without any clues. THIS IS NAUSEATING. STOP IT. He does not need any more reasons to think he is a god among cavemen; quit pandering to him!

In other news, my brief moment last week of respecting Natalie disappeared when she bludgeoned a rat to death. It was admittedly not a very small or cute rat, so I probably wouldn't feel guilty about eating it once it was all sliced up and cooked, but I don't understand how anyone can look at a mammal up close and then kill it. Nor do I want to.

Voting: Sucks for Kelly, but I never warmed up to her nasty-ass blonde dreadlocks, so I'm not real sorry to see her gone. Though I would have been even happier if Galu had randomly voted out Natalie, because...well, no, that would put Mick and Jaison in danger next, wouldn't it. But come on! Surely there is a way to separate the hot men from the ugly half of their original team, success-wise? In a way where the hot men succeed?

(God, why do all the women who are left suck? Exception made for Monica's eye-candy factor, because it fascinates me how she is incapable of getting dirty and always looks like she's stepped right off the pages of a magazine.)

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