Eh. The A plot (that would be the Michael/Donna, ft. Nard Dog) was a colossal waste of my time, proving why I dream longingly of the day Steve Carell opts not to renew his expired contract so I can tell him not to let the door hit him on the way out. Fortunately, we had B & C plots to keep me entertained.
B plot: The new parents, Jim and Pam, have trouble staying awake in the office.
So adorable. Every second of this was golden, from Gabe catching them at their desks, while Pam hisses at Jim for failing to keep awake ("Yeah, well, it's really warm in here. It's like a sleeping bag."), to Gabe's completely non-threatening reprimand followed by hopeful eagerness that, as sane/rational/helpful people, they will help him determine the best way to disseminate information, to them staring at the vending machine and contemplating energy drinks which Pam can't have since she's still nursing.
Jim: Doesn't mean I can't drink it.
Pam: Well, it does and it doesn't.
(I feel like such a terrible person for enjoying it when she snaps at him, but...as much as I love 100% sweetness and love, I like an occasional bit of conflict spark. Just a little bit. A pinch of 1-2%. For realism's sake? It hammers in their married-couple-ness for me?)
Then Darryl did the first useful thing he's done since he moved upstairs - telling them about a secret napping place in the warehouse - to which my immediate response was "Oh! If I do not get to see them spooned up asleep like little baby cats, there will be hell to pay."
Had to compromise on that count, since they were neither spooned up nor asleep, as they were being plagued by the sounds of a prelude to Dwangela sex (HORROR), but I did at least get to see them tucked into their little cocoon together rather than taking shifts alone, so I'm going to count it as a victory. My OTP demands have been sufficiently met for the week, good show.
P.S. Remind me to browse around for more baby!fic soon. I expect a continual stream of ficlets, preferably from people who've had babies or at least done some nannying, to supplement any and all new references to Celia. [That's right, I'm sick to death of the nickname that sounds like the generic and boyish 'CC' - initials last used to liberally threaten showrunner Chris Carter - so rather than accepting and adapting, I am just demanding change.]
C-plot: Meanwhile, Angela takes matters into her own hands when Dwight refuses to honor their contract.
Frankly, I would rather have ignored Michael and watched the entire meeting with the lawyer over their contract, because I thought nearly every minute of this exchange was marvelous. Unlike the entire internet, I love this subplot. I especially loved their first shared TH; it was like the low-rent version of Jim & Pam, but somehow no less satisfying. They play off one another marvelously. Two comments:
-Amber, Milky Way, Diane and Lumpy? Um, what about her fancy expensive new cat, Princess Lady? And does Bandit just live in the office? Rather than accept that you do not think cat names are worthy of continuity, I choose to believe those four names are merely the cats who share her bed, while the others prefer different sleeping locations.
-I really don't need to see various ways of Dwight injuring his crotch. What is the writers' obsession with that area? I'm sorry you painted yourselves into a sexless corner with the mockumentary format, but those are the boundaries; stop trying to push them.
Leftovers from A-plot land
-Toby! Toby Toby Toby, he had - he had lines, and an entire scene and-- !! *squeals* I wanted the cold open to go on forever. Yes, we've reached the point where Toby conducting a meeting about radon detectors is rapturous.
"You were being really funny, and then you went too far."
--Yeahhhh, I think that might be the show's whole motto.
-Michael Gary Scott, are you turning down an offer to hang out at with Jim and Pam at their house, watching a movie and playing with the baby?! *Stanley voice* WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOU?
Voice: My theory is either one of those shape-shifting bounty hunters from X-Files, or a Yeerk. Either way, aliens are clearly involved.
RS: The fact that we're agreeing on something proves how insane this situation is.
-Jim: "Okay, now you're just being hurtful." Look, sometimes Jim says things and I melt for reasons I can't explain. They trigger biological responses on a weird, subconscious level. [for future reference: was in response to Michael pointing out that it's easy to keep people from finding out their significant other is cheating, look how long it took Andy! He had to come out and tell him!]
-You know sometimes you think a thing can't get any gayer, and then it does? Andy's pink tie with rainbow stripes is like that.
-RYAN JUST BLATANTLY PROPOSITIONED ERIN. AND THEN SUBTLY PROPOSED A THREESOME WITH HER & KELLY. Fortunately, I died in that moment, so I don't have to accept the fact that she's too stupid to even be offended, and he had to pretend it was a joke. Whatever. Next time fandom has a kink/PWP challenge out for this series, I expect this threesome to be covered. Use her naive innocence as a positive. Don't make me spell out for you how, but my word, can you even imagine the lethal combination of prettiness in one bed? (sofa, car, kitchen floor, we don't have to be fancy here) For purposes of this conversation, I will even call Erin pretty. Hah, and you all thought I was joking when I said I would support this OT3.
-Er...Stanley's desk has an assortment of toy cars on it why?
Oh my word, Survivor was fantastic again! WHAT IS THIS. Do I just automatically love the last month of every season, regardless of the general quality level, for no reason beyond the fact that it's almost over and I am contemplating dreary months ahead without it?
The family challenge should have boring, especially given that all of the family members were quite dull (boring! all of you, so boring! also, continually unfair that Grossell has such a hot wife! I found the married love story of Rupert & Laura sweet, though). But then Colby spazzed the hell out, and I fell out of my chair laughing. Funny, he never seemed to care about being dead last in challenges before...apparently Colby only has two settings, "sleepwalking zombie" and "ROID RAGE." It's quite entertaining. Even better when Jeff tried to pretend he was part of the family and joke "He's been like this for 34 days."
The other half of the fun was that Jerri's sister is adorable and sweet, and so watching them WIN - in a delicious repeat of Jerri's win at the card challenge, where she JUST barely eked out the victory over Grossell - made my day. I love how once upon a time Jerri was the wicked witch of the west, and now she's the most likable person left out there. I want to use the word "sweet" a lot. I'd totally be her pal. Sandra cracks me up as a viewer, but Jerri seems considerably more personable (I know, it's weird for me too). I wish she would have time in front of the camera again. Why don't the producers understand that I like nice/"boring" people, and not the evil caricatures?
But the VERY best part was that Grossell immediately began stamping his little troll feet and muttering to himself about how she just cost herself a million dollars for making stupid-ass decisions that were not strategic at all - like, duh! It's not as if you are taking her to the final 3 anyway. Not everything is about strategy all the time. Sometimes, when you win REWARDS, the idea is to choose people you'd actually enjoy spending reward time with. Being pleasant: it comes with secret advantages! Which begs the question of how Parvati got picked first, but then again, I'm pretty sure Jerri hates everybody that's left so much she was counting on Parvati's perma-charm/flirting mode to at least make the afternoon bearable. And Sandra she's probably neutral about.
I get why Russell glittered with rage, because he probably did deserve to go - I always feel more inclined to reward the people who bring their spouses/significant others, AND he finished at an insanely close second place - but it's hard to feel sympathy for him when he did it to himself by being horrible and making everyone hate him. Plus there's the tiny matter of how it made no difference whatsoever, hah! At this point I'm pretty well resigned to him making the final 3, but am nurturing the hope that he will make it there only to be completely shut out.
Later, Rupert was voted out in a very anti-climatic manner. OH WAIT, NO, THAT PART WAS TOTALLY AWESOME TOO. I'd actually forgotten about the idol, so it was wonderful to have Sandra play it all casual-like. Loose lips sink ships, Rupert! Yours, specifically. To recap, first she got to spend the afternoon lying in the shelter with Parvati and openly mocking/laughing at Russell, then telling him flat-out "I'm against you" and otherwise refusing to be intimidated by his threats, and then she got to catch him completely off guard and make herself look awesome in front of the jury too. Good week.
Relatedly: I don't understand how Colby wound up being the Last Hero Standing. It boggles the mind.
Ghost Whisperer, 5x21, "Dead Ringer"
Great episode, or GREATEST episode?
I'm going to ruin this with my words, but if I don't, Future Me won't have any concrete memories to tickle her brain with. So:
Opening scene of win forever - Jim watching with a smile as Aiden plays chess against an invisible opponent, smiling sightly less when the opponent's pieces actually move themselves. Sometimes even Carl the Watcher is too creepy for him.
^ I wrote that and figured it would be the highlight of the episode, but no, we were just getting started. The entire gosh-darn episode features Jim in full-on Protective Daddy mode, amidst warnings that the Shadows are hell-bent on taking/hurting/possibly killing Aiden. It brought up another point I've always wondered about but haven't seen enough of this show to really tell - that he can't protect his family from things he can't see. When he reaches the point of running around calling secret meetings of the Protect Melinda From Herself society, we're in a serious place. (also, have I mentioned I love that society? And how Ned, whom I admittedly forgot was even on the show because that's how much I don't miss his absence, is a full-fledged member of it? Because I really like it when Jim turns to this 19-year-old kid for answers)
Meanwhile, Melinda's half out of commission, being sent so many false visions of her son being injured that she ignores the real instance of him tumbling off the counter in the kitchen and getting a nasty head gash. Surely that was the final highlight of the episode, right? Especially with Jim right there to scoop him up and yell at her for doing nothing? "What is wrong with you?!" And subsequent conversation in the hospital waiting room? Because I like this show best when we are freaking out over the kid's safety. My stars.
"It's not all right. My kid is bleeding. He was calling out for me, and where was I?"
"You want me to say it? You were dealing with a ghost instead of..."
Nope, still not done! Because then there's entire latter half of her wrestling with the decision of whether or not she should protect him by convincing him that ghosts aren't real, so that the Shadows will leave him alone when he can't see things anymore, even though it means deliberately taking away his "gift." To which Jim is like, 'uh, how is this a choice? What part of THIS WILL KEEP OUR SON SAFE doesn't make sense to you?' Or, okay, the exact conversation went more like this, which I am just going to sit here and transcribe in all its glory, because I can:
Jim: You're telling me that these...mindless, hungry things want our son.
J: And they'll kill him. If that's what it takes, they'll *kill* him.
J: But Carl said that Aiden is young enough that if we tell him that ghosts never existed, right, that he just had them in his imagination, then he literally won't see them.
M: If that's even possible. If we decide that's something we want.
J: Something we want? Well, would it protect him or not?
M: Carl thinks so.
J: Look, Melinda, I know that this is a loaded subject for you, and I know that you believe --
M: Sounds like you've already made up your mind.
J: About something that would protect our son --
M: Almost like you've been waiting for it come to this.
[And with that, Melinda slides calmly into Passive-Agressive Attack Mode, going on a baffling warpath in which somehow this is all Jim's fault. He takes most of it in surprising stride, giving her way more concessions than I would.]
J: Well, no, not exactly this, I don't know, but -- honey, Carl has been warning you for months that there's danger coming, that it's closer and it's getting stronger.
M: Ghosts make threats all the time.
J: Honey, these aren't threats, these are warnings. About our son. And I think you believe them, because you wouldn't be sitting here having this discussion --
M: Why don't you just say what you really want; what you've always wanted?
J: *eyebrow lift* What's that?
[Meanwhile, the thunder rolls and the lightning strikes, just to make this whole thing a bit more dramatic. I totally approve.]
M: A normal kid. [awww]] And maybe even a normal wife.
J: Now that's not true! I love him, I love you, I love what we --
M: But admit it! Life would be better! Easier, right?
J: No. That's not fair.
[Angry pointing! Finally starting to get a little bit riled up in the face of her baseless accusations. You know, whenever they fight, I just want to point out that this is the man who literally refused to die (well, stay dead) in order to stay with her.]
M: 'Cause I am going to have to stop doing what I do. I'm going to have to lie to him about where I go, and who I talk to when he's around.
J: Honey, I don't know how it would work! But if it could, don't you think we owe it to Aiden to try?
M: By changing him? Then who is he, if we take away this incredible part of him?
[Ah, I thought it was weird that she wasn't crying yet. There we go.]
J: I don't care. If it would keep my son safe and alive, I don't care.
[Sorry, your transcriber is busy dying a little bit. Doctors suspect ovarian damage.]
M: You don't mean that.
J: And you don't know. You don't know how many nights that I have stayed in this house alone, waiting for you to come home. Knowing that there's nothing I can do to keep you safe from a threat that I can't see, or hear, or fight. But right now, for Aiden, you're telling me I can? That there's a choice? Honestly, what choice did you think I was going to make?
And now your transcriber is officially dead. It probably looks silly written down, because goodness knows I get giggly whenever people get serious about mystical or paranormal things (only Medium is exempt from this rule, because they ground themselves in crime drama too). But in practice, I assure you that it is the loveliest thing in the world.
Oh, and meanwhile, there was a relatively interesting case involving a rage-filled ghost twin blaming Melinda for crossing his adoptive mom over before he had a chance to talk to her, that wound up being the first ghost whose crossing-over made me cry (it was the weeping between the brothers while finally parting ways, okay! I still have emotional scars from Harry Potter! And the living one had a wonderfully sweet girlfriend waiting right there!), that harkened all the way back to a previous episode from another season, an episode I vaguely recognize, so it's either a cornerstone of the series or I've just seen part of it in syndication, which made it even better.
Goodness, that was wonderful. *faints in bliss*
Medium, 6x21, "Dead Meat"
That's it, I officially redact any and all statements I may have made about season 6 sucking so hard that the series should throw in the towel. I spent every second of the family moments mentally prostrating myself at CBS's feet, apologizing for my hastiness and begging them not to listen, because TPTB have been knocking it out of the park lately, and this family is the most precious and wonderful slice of heaven on the airwaves.
Between Joe's birthday, the older girls' cute presents (a sweater/self-serving offer to drive him to work and a comic book with his face pasted onto the panels, respectively - when did Bridgette get so creative?) and Marie shoplifting collectible toys for Daddy "because they're yours - they have your name on them," my need for family storylines was more than satisfied. (also: the comic book shop guy was Lawyer Ted from Scrubs. HAHAHAHA!)
And they even had a magnificent case to go with it - a murdered animal-rights-organization employee, featuring a farm full of the most adorable piggies you have ever seen.
I wish everyone's meat would squeal at them when they tried to eat it. The world would be a better place. I'm not a vegetarian, but I wish I was and I hate anyone who doesn't at least feel guilty about perpetuating animal slaughter, so this episode stirred up a lot of HAIR-TRIGGER RAGE ISSUES, mostly aimed at Joe because I don't understand how you eat meat that has a synonym for 'baby sheep' right there in the name. Or how anyone thinks it is stupid to rescue a cute little pig and pay for it to live a happy life at a rescue farm. That took me back to an uncomfortable time in season 2 when Joe didn't like dogs and I hated him in ways I didn't know it was possible to hate.
That's the condensed version of my feelings.
When I wasn't full of rage, I was giggling at Scanlon's helpful contributions during the pig wrangling. Quotes are probably not exact, but they went something like...
Allison: (chasing the escaping oinker) Bandit!
Lee: Oh, he's got a name! And you know what it is! I'm not gonna ask.
. . .
Allison: Wait, I think I know this tree!
Lee: You know the tree, you know the pig, I'm starting to think you got this whole other life you don't tell me about.
And the best news is that despite the thousand-dollar impulse expenditures (remember when you were both unemployed and battling creditors two years ago, guys?)), Bandit can continue to live his happy life on the rescue farm, everybody wins! Except the animal rights people, who were made to look like whackadoodles at the end when their embezzling chairwoman wound up being a hypocritical 2-time murderer. God, show, you're in Hollywood, you're supposed to be liberal. Numb3rs knew how to walk this line without offending people! Be more like Numb3rs!
Um, I really did like this episode. It's just hard to tell since I condensed all my love for the home scenes into a paragraph.