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Retro View

Today I discovered that the computer at home has no difficulty whatsoever with the online streaming video at FOX!   To make things five eleven times more splendid, EVERY EPISODE OF STANDOFF IS NOW ONLINE.   I went on a spree, watching first the episode I'd missed and then doing an audit of all the cute scenes to date.  Transcribing them all took like 10 pages in my Word document.

And to ring in the New Year, we watched crime dramas on CBS - Cold Case, Without a Trace.  My family's choice, not mine, which: rare! So I have lots of things to discuss.  Even if they're kind of abbreviated discussions because going 2+ weeks watching no TV except a couple hours of Survivor and O.C. seems to have eroded my memory of how I write things for this site.
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Standoff: Life Support (and other things)
The episode was good; in the season so far I'd say top half.  The HT was a stupid kid, but everything else was great.  The caring nurses, the doctors, Emily tramping out to the boondocks to haul an idiot doctor in, and of course, Matt's increasing agitation and fraying temper.  Okay, really it was that last part that won it for me.  My major problems with the episode were the incessant flashbacks - I mean, one montage of the running feet was enough to tell me that Matt had probably lost someone important in his life at the hospital when he was a kid.  Until they were ready to reveal the whole story at the end, they didn't need to keep repeating that image throughout the ep.  

The end revelation was, however, quite moving.   Poor Matt. 

I really hated the doctor who refused to come in because he "doesn't negotiate with terrorists."  I don't care how long he spent in the Israeli army, a) the girl is going to DIE if he doesn't come in (and so are several innocent hostages) and b) this is America, meaning that the "terrorist" kid is going to jail and not coming out for a good long time.  Not that he has any desire to hurt anyone else.  Also, there is a difference between waving a handgun and strapping bombs to your chest.  Even if said gun is being waved in a room full of oxygen tanks.  Very proud of Emily for managing to bring him in.   Especially loved how excited she was when she called Matt to let him know, and got completely shot down.   It's not her fault she was absent for the majority of her partner's meltdown.

The Matt/Emily dynamic was really, seriously on in this episode.  I mean, to be honest, sometimes it's heavy-handed on the romance side and sometimes it's really cut-and-dried and too focused on the hostage situation, but this episode has one of the best balances ever.  It's the kind where if you didn't know the whole premise of the show, you wouldn't necessarily know they were involved.  But you would clearly see that they were partners who cared about each other.  Even if Matt spent most of the time being grumpy and snapping at her, he did at least seem to realize that he was out of line, and not really mad at her.  Fortunately, Emily seemed to realize that, and didn't get upset.  At most, she looked a little ticked that he wouldn't tell her what was really bothering him, but she didn't push either.  He basically told her to skedaddle, but she went without argument, because she probably honestly WAS more helpful going out to corral the doctor than staying there and trying to reason with him.
  
Cheryl did a much better job of that.  I'm not overly fond when the boss gets to shine, but in this situation, I don't think it would have been believable if he'd told anyone but her.

If you think anything was lacking in the M/E department, I recommend the post-ep story for you. 

Cute Meter: 6; lots of reaction looks, an overnight hospital vigil (for a third party), and hand-on-leg.
I loved Emily's face when she was listening to Matt confessing the story of his mom's death.  It's very hard to describe, but it's pretty much the same look I get whenever one of my favorite characters confesses some angsty personal tragedy. But yeah, the last scene was my favorite.  Awwww.

There are another...what, 8 episodes left in the season?  What else can they do for me?  Let's think.  They've covered a whole lot of the cute scenarios I crave seeing.  Like, a lot-a lot.  All kinds of kisses (from make-out variety to sweet), minor injury, spooning, sympathetic touch, lives in danger, tears, scramble-for-cover, partner abducted, various meaningful looks and exchanges, and kind of-sort of "love you."  And even things that push/cross the line, like the hotel room.  But they're not out of options for feeding the Cute Meter yet, no not by a long shot.

We are still lacking hugs of any sort.  Playing with hair. Cheek, forehead, palm kisses.  Handholding.  Why has there yet been no handholding! And of course, the big sweeps-stunt stuff: majory injury (say, partner-shot) and/or hospital vigil.   Or a real Love You. 

I'm just saying, in a precautionary sort of way, you should think about that before you feel a need to break them up or create a love triangle or rhombus or anything like that for the sake of variety.


Cold Case: The Promise
This is among my top ten episodes for this show.  Overweight college freshman (played by the girl I like to call "typecast but AWESOME" ever since I saw her on Boston Public) dies in a frat party housefire; deemed accidental until a cell phone picture of her having beer forcibly poured down her throat surfaces.

The content is fairly horrific (beer, Manny, "boink the oink") and I constantly have to look away, but I still think it's one of the best eps they've ever done, simply because of the friendship between Laurie and Dirk.  I've noticed I have a tendency to judge episodes by how much I enjoy the victims' stories.  Either the detectives' storylines really are that boring, or they really do get that little screentime.  I'm going with the latter.  I mean, all crime shows have flashback scenes, but on Cold Case, the dichotomy between the case and the people working it seems more severe than the others - the detectives being relegated almost to the sidelines, despite fairly interesting-sounding storylines.  You know, this seems like a show designed for fan fiction.   I should check that out sometime.

Anyway, his feeble and ultimately futile attempts to defend her are moving.  I kind of cry at the end when she dies.  Also, Sarah McLachlan's "Fallen" plays over the ending montage.  The only time I don't hate the ending montages are when I like the song playing, and McLachlan is the central goddess of my music world, so, there you go.

One sour note to the episode?  This was the interim period, before Kat Awesome Miller showed up, when they were working with that snippy woman with the questionable past.  Man, I hated her.   I'd forgotten how much.

The other thing I dislike about the episode are her stupid crazy fat friends, the ones who refuse to go to the authorities and report what happened (out of shame or some such nonsense).  ESPECIALLY the psychotic one who set fire to the house.  I mean, why did they have to be like that?  Geeze.  Look, #1, it is always good to report people.  Be as much of a tattletale as possible.  Especially if you're like Deirdre, and get raped.  I don't care if you were blind drunk when you got raped, TELL PEOPLE.  Then maybe my damn college wouldn't force smart freshmen such as myself to attend idiotic seminars about the definition of rape and how to prevent it/what to do if it happens to you.

Cough.  End digression.  It's kind of their fault for wanting to go to a party.  Parties are stupid.  Nobody should go to parties.  And how could they not spot a bunch of idiot frat boys from a distance of five hundred yards?  And it wasn't just the tiniest bit suspicious to be invited?  If you're not pretty and you're not popular and you don't have popular friends, SUSPECT RANDOM INVITES.  They should have known that.  Ah well.

Without a Trace: Check Your Head (or, "the agoraphobic lesbian.")

...this only aired last year?  Last MARCH?  Huh.  I thought I'd given up on the show by that point.  How is it possible that I caught this episode?  Well, somehow I did see it original airing.  I really enjoyed it then, as I could empathize with the missing person.  I have a bit of a problem with reclusiveness myself.  I can spend entire weekends in my room without even opening the blinds.  I have panic attacks on a regular basis and there are in fact certain points where the thought of going outside and facing the world, seeing people, terrifies the hell out of me.  You remember her face when she's standing outside the building for the first time, practically shaking?  I've looked like that before.  My indoors record's only 4 days, but still.

Admittedly, there are a lot of funny parts (Elena to Danny: "somebody needs his nappy time"), but my parents were mostly just amused by the word "agoraphobic," and its repetition.  By the sixth time someone uttered this word, we were about to start a drinking game.  We cracked jokes at the writers' expense.  I forget exactly what they all were, but I know the last one was around 11 PM, as my dad went out to shovel the driveway.  "Any volunteers to help?" "Sorry.  Can't leave the house, agoraphobic."  Oh come on, it was New Year's Eve.  We were plied with sparkling drinks of a nature which may or may not have been alcoholic.

Also, my dad made the rather astute observation that Elena?  Sounds like Sandra Bullock.  (we'd just watched Miss Congeniality, as well as the sequel) No, really!  Listen next time!  They have the same slightly nasal quality to their voice.  They sound alike, if Sandra was putting on a Spanish accent.  Mind, Sandra Bullock is one of my favorite actresses, so I think Elena might be immensely more bearable from now on.

About the episode!  Yes.  "Hiro from Heroes!" was in it.  Sweet.  Although when she and Martin grabbed him, Sam managed to make the most racially insensitive remark of the year, which made me hate her a little bit.  "What's your name?" "Wei Fan!" " 'Way Fun?' " "Wei Fan!" "Okay, Way FUN..." And I was already ticked at her from the way she treated the case like a joke at the beginning.  ("Five hours?  Seriously?  Okay, I'm going back to lunch.") Okay, maybe that doesn't sound like a long time, but as I recall it, they usually jump on their cases well on the early side of the first 24 hours, and besides, there's usually a serious reason when they start investigating less than 12 hours after a person goes missing.

All right.  Breathe.  Sam's our favorite, remember?  *shakes head vigorously* No, Sam is Office Slut Barbie.  It's Poppy Montgomery we like best.  Anyway.   I did love the scene where she and Martin were talking to the little boy.  Gotta love Martin.   And those two are really my pair of choice when it comes to working chemistry.  When they enter a room together, it's like Mulder and Scully.  They just fit.   (Romantically too, if I must pick an OTP for this show, but that's a separate issue entirely.)

The episode is really great until you come to the REASON she finally left the apartment.  I mean, honestly.  To go visit her girlfriend's father (also mob boss - that right there was where this ep lost my love.  how far-fetched must you be?) and try to forge force a reconciliation?  Honest to God, love doesn't fix everything.   It vaguely reminds me of really crappy fanfiction, where a victim of rape feels better after sleeping with her beloved.  Anyway, while both women are very lovely and I wish all f/f relationships on TV were portrayed as being this intelligent (caring, emotional, hesitant, fairly reserved), that still doesn't mean I want to see them make out at the end.  Especially not when I can practically hear guys all 'round the world hooting at their screens.  Because seriously, you KNOW you mostly did that to score ratings with the male gender.  Guys are gross that way. (Although it seems increasingly that women aren't much better, given that they're the ones who write most all the slash....)

Sigh.  Well, at least it ended on the amusing bit with Jack and Danny randomly singing along to "That's Amore."  I bet it took about 500 takes before they got all the way through it without laughing.  They still looked like they were fighting hard to control grins.

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