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And finally, Tuesday (minus NCIS)

Standoff

*pokes* Be cuter.  This episode was worth watching once but probably not again.  The storyline was interesting, but the romance wasn’t, and we all know which I hold in higher value, don’t we?  I knew from spoilers that back in high school, Emily had been bullied while Matt was a bully himself, and while I hoped the episode would offer more insight about this, it really didn’t.  My imagination did just as good a job as anything they said.  Though I did like his “Give me names.” 

Okay, actually, it was worth it just for the teaser, in which they’re called in on Sunday, and Emily looks adorably cute wearing a messy ponytail.  It was even more worth it to see Cheryl smirk, “Well, it’s Sunday.  I figured you’d be with her.”  Hee!  And it was a compelling storyline, about the wimpy kids who make this great plan to abduct their tormentors and make them repent on [web] camera, only to have one of said wimpy kids turn things upside down, take the upper hand, and threaten everyone with death and rape and what have you.           

It was, however, really interesting to hear Matt switch into bully mode, yelling at the kid in order to set him off.  Did you see Emily’s face, listening to him?  She looked torn between admiring a job well done, and being unsettled by how naturally it seemed to come to him.  Okay, I feel like I’m forgetting something about this ep, but that’s all I can think of.  I need to start a Cute Meter.  Or an episode chart.  Yes!  That’s it!  A table in which I note episode titles beside a list of Cute Moments (slogan: “No moment too small!”)  In which case, this ep ended with them walking off arm in arm.  Yes it did!  You have to be really quick to see it before an extra walks in front of the camera and it fades to black, but after they scoff at one another that they wouldn’t have liked each other in high school, as they’re walking away from the scene, Emily links her arm in his.    

House: Hey Tritter, see what happens when House doesn’t get his pills?  He becomes violent, irrational, and incapable of practicing medicine.  Feel free to fill in your own joke involving the phrase “what’s different?”  And while I am generally in favor of having characters receive a punch in the face (I may have rewound eight or nine times), it also means that House is mean to Cuddy.  Vicious, even, like an old dog that bites you when startled from sleep.

I have to admit, I normally don’t like Cuddy, but seeing her curled up crying in her office after he snapped that it was a good thing she wasn’t a mother, my heart kind of went out to her.  Most fortunately, Wilson was there to lend a sympathetic ear.  “And by ‘how are you’, I mean ‘What the hell did House do’.”

Sorry I don’t have much to say about this episode.  It was one of the better cases, as I always like things involving cute little girls, but character-wise there wasn’t much except for what I’ve already mentioned.  Oh, and of course, how in the end it was Wilson who took some incidental advice from Chase and decided to stop letting House push him around.  “I’m going to need thirty pieces of silver…” he says sadly, while Tritter gives a wickedly pleasant smile as he finally gets his way.  I’d be a lot more disappointed in Wilson, but fortunately it looks like House is going to get off with a light punishment.  In fact, if I’d know that a couple months in rehab was all that was going to happen, I’d have been yelling at him to tattle sooner.  Does House need rehab?  Very possibly.  So you see, it’s a good thing all around.    

Law & Order: SVU was clever, having all those awesome guest stars like Bob Saget and Bernadette Peters in order to distract us from the weird dynamic between Stabler and Benson.  Not only were the guest stars fun to watch (I LOVE Bernadette), the storyline itself was great, very classic SVU, and had a number of surprise twists that I wasn’t expecting.  Back when I was a casual viewer, that would have been plenty to entertain me.  But now, as often happens, it’s the character relationships that I want to talk about, however major or minor a role they play in an episode. 

You know, I want to be happy about the fact that Liv is back.  I do.  So rarely do characters leave a show and then abruptly come back like nothing’s wrong.  If you weren’t up to date with Hollywood news, and known her departure had been temporary, you might have felt like there had been a small miracle, and things were right with the world again.  You know, like if when Mulder had come back from the dead, John Doggett had transferred back to whatever department he came from.

The analogy I used with X-Files was that seasons 8 & 9 were like a minor chord on a piano – it’s a recognizable chord, dissonant but not displeasing.  It’s nice, in the moment.  But at the same time, it’s not quite right.  You can’t put your finger on why until you hear it resolve with a major chord (seasons 1-7), and you realize THIS is what it’s supposed to be like.

I want to make that same analogy, Olivia being the major chord and Dani the minor key, but I can’t, because I really liked Dani.  I would have liked her being around for a few more episodes.  I think I’m going to make a strange analogy to ice cream sundaes instead.  Say your whole life you’ve always topped it with chocolate sauce, because it’s good, and that’s universally accepted as the traditional topping.  But then one day, you dare to be different and go for the strawberry sauce.  Use that for a little while…and suddenly, chocolate seems dull and flat.

Olivia, still struggling to sort out her feelings for Elliot (or maybe that’s all in my head), is also struggling to figure out how she fits into the team again.  Out of left field, Casey is snotty and condescending even though she seemed perfectly happy to see Liv a couple of episodes ago…and Elliot, wow.  It’s like he’s harboring this resentment against her, probably because she left without a goodbye, but since he won’t admit that, she can’t apologize for it or explain why.  Not that I blame him either; he hasn’t had control over much of anything in his life lately.  Stuff happens and gets explained to him later.  Well, at least there was the end.  “I’d give you my kidney.”  “Not if I gave you mine first.”  Maybe next week they’ll be back to good.

Damn, it’s December.  The time of bounty is over; welcome to the dry season, in which new episodes of everything suddenly become sparse and haphazardly scheduled, a pattern that will persist until halfway through next month.

 

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