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Decided to hang out downstairs and watch with my parents, because out of all the crime shows I've attempted to hook them on, these are about the only two that both of them really enjoy.   It sparked much discussion and extra commentary.

Mom was pretty up in arms over the blatant messages this show was trying to get across.  Right from the start, she was griping "Oh yeah, lack of sex ed - THAT'S what was responsible for teenage pregnancies back in the day.  All those poor kids completely unaware that having sex could get you pregnant." 

Even my dad, normally much more mellow when it comes to morals, pointed out, "Uh, aren't there a lot more teenage pregnancies now than in the 60's?"  Mom: "Yes!  That's why it was such a big deal when a teenager got pregnant back then, because it didn't usually happen."   (Boss Guy: "Everyone was doing it [having sex], nobody was talking about it."  Mom: "Oh, everyone was not doing it!  It was not nearly as commonplace as it is now.")

Anyway.  About the evil nuns - Mom's words, not mine.  Her very first comment was an eyeroll coupled with "Gotta paint the Catholic Church in the worst possible light, of course.  It's nothing but scandal and corruption, certainly not about helping people.  Evil nuns?  Bring 'em on!"  We placed bets throughout the episode, trying to guess the killer.  She was sure it would be an evil nun, to help perpetuate stereotypes.  I was equally sure it wouldn't be, because they like to bait and switch - the nuns always seem to be abusive, but not murderers.  Personally, I was going with the boyfriend - this show has a history of the killer turning out to be a kindly older gentleman with a family, who's spent his whole life trying to forget that one horrible mistake he made in the heat of an argument.  Dad thought the mother seemed so guilty, she HAD to be the one.

Absolutely none of us suspected Karen (shows how smart WE are), though we were all in agreement that she'd had a sex change somewhere along the way.  Honestly, when they first started talking to her I couldn't figure out why the flashback figure of the young Karen had morphed into a present-day man.

I loved the actress playing the victim of the week, though.  She had such doe eyes, and the sweetest, softest demeanor ever.  Bordering on naive, yes, but that was part of her charm.  I've never been so bitter about the death of a cold case victim.  Plus aside from her narrow face, she looked so much like Anna Belknap that I had to keep shaking my head to remind myself that it wasn't. 

One thing that annoyed me was how Karen - who'd spent the entire episode, and apparently the full 9 months of her pregnancy griping about the parasitic life growing inside her and how she couldn't wait to get it out and make it go away - ended up hysterical and weepy when it came time to give it up.  PLEASE.  Just once, I want to see a pregnant teenager without the option of abortion go through her pregnancy and labor and then be *happy* to give it away at the end.  If you never wanted a baby in the first place, why would you suddenly feel a mystical connection to it once it's outside your body?  This makes no sense to me.

That being said, I got annoyingly choked up at the end when Hilary was singing to her newborn baby.  I don't even like that song- in fact  I actively dislike "You Are My Sunshine" - but I wanted to cry.  I think it was more because I felt horrible that Hilary was hurting, though, than the reason for it.  She was simply too sweet and idealistic of a girl to have her heart broken. 

In non-flashback related things, Lily has some serious mommy issues doesn't she?  I think we've heard about those before, but I can't remember.  I must have blocked them out, because I'm not interested in hearing her whine about her sucky childhood.  Sorry, show, but when you spend half your time in flashback land for the guest stars, I have less interest in your regular characters' personal lives.  Unless it involves cats.

Without a Trace: First of all, if you didn't read my first post about this ep, go here to find out how much I was anticipating the Elena's-daughter-gets-abducted plotline in "Without You."

It's hard for me to wrap my head around the fact that until quite recently, I hated Elena.  I couldn't stand the sight of her - and here she is, my favorite character.  For the first time in...ever...I actually recorded a WaT episode with the intent of saving it, just because it was all about her.  That being said, the whole missing-daughter plot played out much more nicely in my daydreams.  And by "nicely" I mean there was much less Jack and a lot more Danny when it came to scenes that involved calming down the panicky and hysterical mother.  Honestly.  I don't CARE if Jack has daughters of his own and is theoretically a more logical choice...I want tenderness, damn it, and the closest I got was his hand on the small of her back for a moment, ineffectually apologizing for having gotten into it with Carlos an episode or two ago.

*crossly* And yes, I know that it wouldn't have been very appropriate for Danny to go home with her at the end, even with the most innocent of intentions, because at the moment Sophie needs her mother's full attention, and only her mother's attention.  For the girl's sake, it needs to be just the two of them.  This does not stop me from very much wanting him to be there to comfort Elena once her daughter is asleep.  Surely there could at least have been a hug before she got in the car and drove off?

What was suitably cute was the very beginning of the episode, with Sophie crawling into Mom's bed to escape her nightmares (despite initial resistance on the latter's part).  Awwwwwwww.  [But as an aside - is that really a problem?  Are you not supposed to let your kids sleep with you?  Because I remember running to Mom & Dad's room during almost every thunderstorm until I was at least 8, and aside from Dad occasionally griping about being woken up, they always welcomed me.  It's only recently that I've started to hear people say it's a bad habit, which confuses me, because I think of it as something that strengthens the parent-child bond.  I'm putting too much thought into this.]  

And it was cute seeing her at FBI headquarters.  I think maybe they hammered in just a little too hard how sweet and adorable she was - you'd think the agents had never seen a kid before; people crowded around her as if drawn by a magnet.  The only thing that should attract that much attention is if someone brings in their dog.  Still, I'm not going to complain about anything that involves adorable Danny/Sophie interaction.  Hee, he's so her future stepdaddy.   

Especially now that Carlos is going to jaaaail!  IDIOT.  Like you weren't going to get caught.  Even if the guy that took her had been able to remain "a ghost," you should have taken into account that your ex-wife's entire job description is to find and rescue people who go missing *without a trace*.  And now instead of one weekend a month to spend with your daughter, you get occasional visits with a glass wall between you.  Of course, I hate Carlos - even now that I've seen his fuzzy-teddy-bear-Daddy side - so the fact that he was behind the kidnapping does not displease me.  It disappoints Mom, though, who kept going on about how the poor girl is now going to be traumatized forever.

Mom: "Losing her dad basically forever, because he's going to jail after arranging to have his daughter kidnapped at knifepoint?  She's going to screwed up for life."
Me: "Mm.  That's okay, Danny can fill the father-figure role."
"Still screwed up for life."
"Stop messing with my fantasies!!"

Serious Complaint #1: I would like to register my disgust with the whole "Uncle Danny" thing.  It smacks of bad!fic and too many CSI stories where Lindsey Willows goes on and on about "Uncle Gil."  Where in the handbook of life are you taught to consider your parents' closest friends as extended aunts and uncles?  Um, no.  If it was someone I'd known my whole life, I simply called them by their first name, i.e. "John," or else "Mr. Delmore."  (Not "Mr. John", either)  But "Uncle"?  WTF.  Of course, I've never called my real aunts/uncles by their title either, it was simply 'Mark' and 'Ann' and whatnot, but I think it's especially weird that Sophie would use the phrase "Uncle Danny" for someone her mother was dating.

Serious Complaint #2: Having Danny be the one to go into the house with a loaded gun trained on Carlos.  Because, hi, if Elena can't even work the case because of emotional involvement, you think there aren't just a few emotions in play if Danny's watching a former friend threaten his current girlfriend?!  My dad thought it was the stupidest thing he'd ever seen, and I still can't figure out why Danny wouldn't have taken Sophie outside, and left Martin to stay and make the arest, instead of the other way around.  

And finally, no, I did not forget that there was an actual MP case this week, which was a pity because they've had all these really boring cases lately, and then this week they finally had a MASSIVELY INTERESTING one.  But they wasted a magnificent plotline on a week in which the MP got shafted to make room for the personal-development aspect.   SIGH.  Was that not one of the coolest plots ever?  Man claims his wife has been abducted from their hotel room, but no one can find any proof that she was even there, much less taken.  Mom's theory was that the guy had killed her without meaning to, and repressed the memory and/or imagined that he had witnessed someone else commiting the murder, unable to believe himself capable of such a thing.  My theory was that the wife was having a secret affair with the guy pretending to be a hotel worker, and that they were planning to run away together - that she was on her way out when the husband woke up, and the wife quickly pretended she was being attacked until her lover knocked her husband out. 

Both our theories were shot to hell - the attack was real, but had happened ten years previous.  And the wife did not die durign that attack, but 3 days ago, at home - simply suffered an asthma attack.  He came home and found her dead, and apparently was so overwhelmed with grief that after laying her body in bed, he went to New York on the trip as planned, and let his memories substitute the rest.  Seems like an extreme reaction, but whatever.  Because they were busy shafting this case, we never got a satisfactory explanation for why he snapped, other than a brief elevator conversation in which he reveals that he's supposed to talk to a doctor.  All righty then.  I still think that if they hadn't needed to shaft it, they could have gone on a lot more very interesting red-herring paths with this case.    

Okay, I think I'm finally done.  Whew!  Perhaps my username should be TalksALot.

[Edit: Oh no, I'm not done - the local news at 10 had another blurb about Nick Rossini...sadly no new information, just a plea from his family for him to come home or someone to come forward.  It's really beginning to bug me that he just disappeared in the middle of the night last December and hasn't been heard from since.  I went to high school with him, and a year of college before he transferred (I even shared classes with him at both schools), and really, he was smart and well-liked and really *did* have the brightest future ever, and I hate the complete blank of information about what might have happened to him.  This is wrong; I'm not supposed to know people featured in the bad news!]

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