CSI: NY, 8x13, "Ripple Effect"
So I am still watching it, even though every week I am so bored that I can feel brain cells dying in protest before they have to process any more. It has gotten so dull that half the time, five minutes after credits roll, I not only don't know who did it or why, I can barely even remember what case they were working on. Even CSI: Miami is not this bad! With great effort, I wrote down three things that seemed noteworthy:
1) Danny/Lindsay Montana/City Boy banter, which ends with her pretending to spot a snake in the grass while he jumps 10 feet in the air. I think I cracked a smile.
2) Oh good, Sid's a multi-millionaire now. Yeah, totally no one more deserving. -.- Can he at least retire now?
3) The only thing that has been genuinely interesting to me for MONTHS now is this new Christine person. She is the first thing that has really made me perk up and sit a little straighter every time she shows up on screen. I can't tell if they are going down an obvious road I want them to go down or if she really is just an old friend, but either way, it is really nice to see Mac have non-evil friends outside the department and smile for reasons totally unrelated to work. Plus, she's just such a cheerful breath of fresh air. I like her face.
CSI, 12x13, "Tressed To Kill"
Obligatory Snarking: Let me be honest with you, there are very few things more horrifying to me than having a lock of my hair randomly chopped off. When people (myself included) come back from PAYING for it to be cut, I see them as victims; how much worse would a non-carefully-controlled slash job be?
But even I am side-eyeing these people and wondering how they ended up going to the police. Especially if it happened at a mall, I would have just assumed it was punk-ass kids thinking they were being super-cool by harassing people. Without a news report on how creepily frequently it's been happening, this just seems like an extremely trifling thing to bother the police about compared to actual theft, bodily harm or threats, etc. Now, once we establish that it's a creepy pattern, things get interesting.
Post-Snarking: That was wonderfully chilling - so much so I'm disappointed they didn't make it a whole serial killer arc, because that was Criminal Minds-level creepy and usually when CSI manages that, they milk it for all it's worth. I couldn't believe they cast David Gallagher and didn't make him the killer, but I'm glad I was surprised by who it was. Even if they did only give you three concrete suspects. The woman playing the cancer patient was especially excellent in this.
Actually, everyone was cast well. I loved all three of the main girls (the first/third victims and the sister), but the Very Special Murder Victim especially wormed her way into my heart. There's knowing she's going to die from the moment you meet her, and there's being able to deal with it. I did not fall into the latter category. Ted Danson's personal sense of duty was an irrelevant vehicle to deliver it, but the emotional fallout hit me all the same.
I loved that Sara had such a starring role in this (particularly liked her "Stop staring at my hair," which prompted me to start staring at her hair, flicking through old photos on Tumblr, and realizing that while I never appreciate it, her hair is currently in one of the best states it's been in ever since the layers happened in season 4 or 5 and it was never quite the same). When you get great cases and a Sara lead, it's a little like winning the jackpot.
Finally, very much appreciated Greg staring moodily into Catherine's empty office and Nick (in fetching black turtleneck) joining him for a little reflective chat. Aw.
Another solid "A" installment, in other words.
NCIS, 9x14, "Life Before His Eyes"
"I wanted both."
"It doesn't work like that."
(insert ugly crying here)
For all that I hassle and complain at this show for being ordinary and boring, it has also done a number of incredibly unique, bold, showy things. Like this week, where I am just shaking my head and very, very impressed. I couldn't ask for a more incredible "200th episode showcase." I expected it to be good based on the description beforehand, but it went beyond my expectations in every way.
They weren't kidding when they said there would be a lot of flashing images you'd want to slow down, pause and watch again. I loved the confusing blur at the beginning (jumping out most to me: "I'll keep you safe, Abby"), even more so after slowing it down to savor every important thing crossing the threshold. Whoever was in charge of pulling all that footage together, I love you.
If anything dragged, it was the way the present-day case was intercut. It wasn't strong enough to pay off in a really satisfying way,
But the vast majority of it was just a powerhouse. This is why Mark Harmon is high on my list of favorite actors; so much of Gibbs isn't in the dialogue, but his expressions. Whenever they pick a character to center an episode around, his are head and shoulders above the rest of the cast and this one did me in in the best possible way. The scenes with his mom blew me away (I especially like how he turns his cheek into her hand and am annoyed it is not popping up in .gif form on Tumblr). Plus I like the coloring in this shot -- it looks a bit like a vintage photograph, doesn't it?
Raise your hand if you're part of the crowd that would absolutely vote for a world in which Ziva never shows up and Kate and Tony are married with a kid. I know you're out there. There is quite a chunk of fandom who expresses this wish on a regular basis. Not me, but so much applause for giving those poor people a belated birthday present. (personally, I kind of like the "hellcat" Ziva we got a glimpse of. And yes, I giggled at the use of "Tiva" as one of her mispronounced names.)
The McAbby version, ehhhh, gross. In that timeline, that part is actually worse than the drunken-recluse Gibbs part. Although the latter did make me realize that nothing is sadder than a world where Abby's affection means nothing. I like that as many times as we have reinforced that what he did was wrong, today we got an idea of why we shouldn't wish it away. Who knew that the season 3 finale, all those years ago, was going to so hugely inform the remainder of the series? (probably everyone. I was new and green)
Which brings us to our treasure trove collection: Kelly and Shannon. Kelly never works quite as well due to the necessity of rotating actresses in, and you have to work harder at pretending instead of just having it shown to you (in my head, she's perfect Mary Mouser forever), but I like this girl better than the last one. I worship at the feet of anyone who writes Gibbs' girls into episodes.
"If we hadn't died, you wouldn't have joined NIS, and you wouldn't have become an agent."
"None of that matters."
"No Tony. No Ziva. No team."
"But I'd have had my girls." And: "I'd have had you."
Sorry, hang on, return of the ugly cry.
This is the imagery theme of the entire 2011-2012 TV season.
Meanwhile, it has genuinely never occurred to me, in all my nonstop vicarious mourning, that Gibbs would have stayed a lifelong Marine, or how much potential there was for that career to end in a heartbreaking way. Could I actually be reaching a point of acceptance on their deaths? And by that I mean, would I be willing to accept Gibbs doing so? All I know is that I love everything this episode chose to be. I think it might have just taken home the "Season Champion" trophy.
Contemplated watching entire terrible series of "Eastwick" for Darren Criss. Then figured out YouTube would do it for me and compile all his scenes in one convenient 17-minute package. Context is vastly overrated. And oh hey, apparently his entire role is to have a relationship with Hanna from Pretty Little Liars (so much more entertaining here than on her current show). Yes. I like this. This is good. I am a satisfied viewer."