The only other good part was J. Lo's performance. Yes, I know that's an old nickname but I'm sticking to it. Just like I stick to Puff Daddy. Anyway, I actually rather liked her Spanish song. I have no idea what it was called and probably won't ever listen to it again, but at least it was good. And on that note, I tried a Radioblog search for her name and out of curiosity decided to finally listen to the oft-mentioned "Jenny from the Block." I hate myself for saying this, but it's kind of catchy. The parts where she's singing as opposed to the stupid rapper, that is. Anyway. Back to the show.
Bad things included:
- The LAMEST MUSIC VIDEO EVER. Actually, "lame" isn't really the word for it. While they used a 70's song that I really love ("Happy Together"), the faces melding into one another went beyond creepy and straight to horrific, to the point where I was shuddering in revulsion. There were all these horrid moments where everyone looked like androgynous humanoid cyborgs…*shudders*
- Akon's performance. Why? Why would you bring him back, without Gwen? He's boring. And what was even singing about anyway? "Nobody wanna see us together" and "Fight for our right to love." Is he gay? Or are we talking mixed race? In either case, nobody really cares. Unless the song is supposed to be set in 1960.
- More cheesy clips of Simon in Africa with the sweet little impoverished children, which resembled nothing so much as those sappy commercials that encourage you to sponsor a third world cherub for only X number of dollars per month. It just...it leaves me with a bad taste in my mouth when I see Idol (or any celebrities, really) doing that. It could not more blatantly scream "PR MOVE!!" if they ran those words in a scrolling marquee at the bottom of the screen. I just don't feel the sincerity.
OH! Back to good, there's a "Hit List" online, which would seem to have bad connotations, but is actually a list of 50 songs where this week you can vote for your top 5 choices; eventually one of them is going to perform live on the show. Go vote now! I am more invested in this than I am in voting for the contestants, because it is imperative that good songs are chosen in order to avoid ever seeing another performer like Akon again. There is a lot of crap on that list, so you are to vote according to my whims. Acceptable choices are:
- Avril LaVigne, "Girlfriend"
- Beyonce and Shakira, "Beautiful Liar"
- Hilary Duff, "With Love"
- Katharine McPhee, "Over It"
- Daughtry, "Home" or "It's Not Over"
- The Fray, "How to Save a Life"
Lost 3x16, "One of Us":
I find it kind of ironic how much I was looking forward to this episode. I actually made myself wait an extra hour so that I could watch it straight through without commercial interruption. I'm also really glad I used all my willpower not to read the timeline on Wednesday afternoon. If I'd ruined the twist ending like that, I wouldn't have had any fun at ALL. Fortunately, I kept up a semi-running commentary while I was watching it, so the majority of this review will be written in the happy language of someone who hasn't gotten to the end yet. Also, it's going to be EXTRAORDINARILY LONG. I tried to control myself, but...I am long-winded.
I have come to a conclusion: The Others are a cult. SERIOUSLY. This is how cult leaders talk! Were you not getting cult vibes every time Ethan started talking? Talking about how she's special and she's going to make a great difference, the secret location of Specialness, the forbidden contact with friends/family/the outside world...and more than anything, how they went out of their way to seem gentle and non-threatening, and let her feel she was welcome to walk away at any time. Technically, nobody was forcing her to do a thing. They just played mind games until she couldn't find a reason to argue with them anymore. (Oh, plus all the talk about Him, of course. The great and mysterious "Jacob." If THAT didn't send your Cult Alarm siren off, you haven't been exposed to nearly enough news coverage and/or pop culture creations about such groups.)
The only part of the Juliet flashback that was bad was the bit about her with Goodwin. Which I thought would be less gross than the concept of her and Ben, but still turns out to be EW EW EW OH MY GOD WHY. He is older and less attractive than I remember, but even that wasn't as gross as the image of Juliet sitting naked in bed. I really hate when TV gets around the no-explicit-nudity rule by showing them sitting with their back to the camera sans clothes.
In non-flashback bits, when Jack and Kate were looking for firewood, stamping on larger branches to break them up, did anyone else think they were imagining stomping on one another's faces? Probably not, but the accompanying silence sure made it seem that way to me. And then when Jack said that all that happened during the week he was there was that he kept his head down, did what he was told and didn't ask questions? I believe him, even if Kate continued to look suspicious. Why would he jeopardize his chance to leave, after all?
I loved the other half of that scene, with Sayid eyeing Juliet like the grumpy guard dog he is. I don't begrudge the fact that he wants answers, but I have to side with Juliet here, and her ever-present look of resigned exhaustion, because she knows damn well that anything she divulges is only going to make them hate her more. Oh, and there was squee factor - Jack's voice suddenly interrupting, "Leave her alone," and oh, the warning in his eyes. I've been waiting to hear something like that ever since she got branded. I know Juliet's got ninja defense skills and is far from helpless, but it still does my shipperiffic heart a world of good to hear him defend her and warn off hostile threats. "She’s under my protection,” Jack adds, just in case he didn’t get the message, to which my inner cynic is like ooooh, okay then JACKSUS, but my soft side is all OMG *squeefwamblowsup*
I also liked the next-day moment, where Sayid is breaking the trail, taking out his rage on the plants in his way with a machete while Kate sticks close to his heels, Jack and Juliet lagging far behind. "Guess it's no use asking them to wait up, huh?" she asks rhetorically, and Jack assures her that they just need time, to which I shout THANK YOU, Jack The Voice of Reason and Benevolence! "My people kept Sayid chained to a swingset for three days. Then I dragged Kate into the jungle, handcuffed myself to her, and lied about it," she answers. "How much time do you think they'll need?" I'm still totally on Juliet's side here. She's in a bad situation and everything she does seems to make it worse. But the fact that Jack is laughing with her gives me hope. Also, she vaguely reminds me of a new bride coming into a frontier town, and being automatically suspect just for being an outsider.
Beach Reunion - The aforementioned scenes are enough to give me my shipper's fix on an ordinary day. But the reunion scene...oh wow. THIS was what I'd been waiting for, and I was so excited that I put it on pause/one-frame-advance, stretching out the 20 seconds between Sawyer and Kate into about 3 minutes the first time around.
The Reunion Hug of Squeeage is the best hug in the history of television. Well, maybe not, but if I compare it to the rest of my Collection of Cute I bet it would rank pretty darn high, and I know I've played it a half dozen times in slo-mo and another fifty bajillion the regular way. I can't tell you how many different ways I imagined this during those long dull weeks they were apart, but it turned out better than anything I could come up with. Now, it saddens me a little that I'm not sure if I felt Kate's emotion quite as strongly as I have in episodes past, and maybe that's because I'm still reeling over the last few Jate-heavy episodes, but you know what? Sawyer's look more than makes up for it. Given how much he loves her, how can you not be on this ship?
Another brilliant scene...around the campfire, where everyone is questioning Jack about Juliet's trustworthiness. It's the camp vs. Jack, basically, and as much as I'm on the latter's side, I love when Sawyer speaks up. I love that Kate defends him exactly as I want her to - telling Sawyer to lay off, "he did it for us" - and I love that Sawyer volleys the retort right back. "Really. Sounds like he did it for himself." Because even I cringed a little when Jack started ranting about how HE was supposed to get off the island. I don't think I'd feel very sympathetic towards him at that point either - "gosh, you mean YOU were gonna get to go home while we continued to languish on the beach without our much-needed doctor? EXCELLENT." Of course, what I love most of all is how Claire is wavering on her feet from the start, and while the debate rages Charlie's concern is diverted more and more towards her, until she collapses in his arms with a heavy nosebleed, and the Lostaway Showdown ends ahead of schedule with Charlie's frantic yelp for Jack.
Just one ungood thing on that scene - I hate when Kate calls him "James." Since she only uses it as a verbal slapdown, it makes her sound like his mother. Or at the very least, a bossy sister. The name doesn't suit him, anyway.
I was thrilled beyond belief to hear the truth behind Claire's kidnapping. For its part, I think the mystery about all the pregnant women on this island dying before they give birth adds a huge layer to the mythology of the island, and is definitely something that begs further exploration. I find it indescribably fascinating. See, I always knew Ethan was just a rogue creepazoid. Nobody would willingly kill Charlie! (shut up) However, while I believe that killing Charlie wasn't in the plan, I'm not sure I actually believe that they never meant to take Claire at all. Maybe they didn't mean it to happen so violently, but since they like to treat the Lostaways like a curious bunch of feral animals, I think they would have wanted to control the circumstances surrounding Aaron's birth. Because even if they gave Claire the immunizations, wouldn't you think there'd be quite the risk of hemoragghing or other problems during the birth itself if it's happening on a desert island without any sophisticated equipment or even an indoors? And with their child-snatching history, I'm sure they would have kept Aaron, too.
Nerve-wracking bit? When Sayid and Sawyer caught up to Juliet alone in the jungle. I've never been so scared of those two in my life. I wanted to slowly back away from them and look for a way to run. And yes, I realize that Juliet was kind of pulling a mind game on them when she pondered just how THEY got to be the camp's moral police, but come on, she was almost literally backed into a corner. The difference between her and Ben is that she uses her powers of manipulation for good, not evil. Mostly. Right now, anyway.
Oh, look at that - I'm STILL not done with the shippy bits! The Charlie/Claire interaction wasn't much publicized beforehand, but I very much liked the bit where he's torn between wanting to keep Evil Other Juliet away from Claire, and listening to Jack whom he trusts unquestioningly. Ten times better than that? The end, where he's slumped in what looks like a rather uncomfortable position, one hand dangling over the side of Aaron's crib and the other clasping Claire's hand while she sleeps. Between that and his smile when she woke up feeling fine, I died from the cuteness. For about the twelfth time.
Had to revive myself again for Jack and Juliet's final conversation, where she looks at him thoughtfully and asks why, despite everyone else's suspicion and mistrust, she never has to explain herself to him. His reasoning? He saw the look in her eyes when the sub was destroyed - she wanted to get off this island more than anything else in the world. "And that makes you one of us." OH! MY! GOD! YES! Yes, exactly! Juliet's been kicked around and lied to and and trapped on this island for over three freaking years; yeah, she worked with the Evil Others, but I suspect she didn't have a choice and it was easier just to fit in. And then along came Jack, and her chance for escape. Then with escape destroyed, the Others abandoned her - poor lost lamb has nowhere to go, but now, just maybe there's some hope for her. Finally, she's here on the beach with decent, non-manipulative people, with Jack on her side. She doesn't have to hold guns to peoples' heads and kidnap them and otherwise carry out Ben's bidding. In the immortal words of the late Shannon, "Everyone gets a new life on this island...I'd like to start mine." Substitute "beach" for "island," and there you go.
But then there was the ending. The ending that unraveled all the Juliet love I'd built up over the past month or so, killed my ability to appreciate any future cute scenes between her and Jack, temporarily soured the ones in this episode, and generally pissed me off so much that I didn't want to watch the show anymore. I hate being wrong, you see. I hate it when I'm not the one that gets to say "I told you so," and I hate when I look stupid for being manipulated. I hate the fact that if Juliet is insincere, then Jack is once again without a love interest and he can go back to mooning over Kate and then I'll feel guilty that he's all alone. Jack really, really needs someone to protect. Sometimes I think he is possessed of an extra Caring chromosome, rather like Horatio.
Anyway, the only reason I have decided maybe I won't give up on the season entirely has come from the fact that I have spent the last two days hitting up every discussion place I can think of, screening past the negative comments until a select group of people have convinced me that maybe Juliet is not so much evil as two-timing both sides to maximize her chances of getting off this island. Like she's playing along with Ben until she gets him in a position to make demands, because after all, right now the Others have a better shot of finding outgoing transportation than the Lostaways. That still doesn't make me completely happy, because how could you decieve someone like Jack when he looks at you like THAT? But it gives me some hope that eventually she'll come around to the Lostaways' side, rather than continuing to look out for only herself. Also, I am going into my cocoon of fluffy fics (once I find them) and daydreams (which I have in ample amounts) now. Well, in a minute. After I bitch about the preview.
I'm sure it was the usual 25 seconds long, but all I remember are the two frames of what looks like Sawyer & Kate and a frantic and meaningless sex scene, and it makes me irritable. We already saw this. We already saw this twice, if you count Ana-Lucia, but since I don't (because it never happened. Nope! Never.), we still already saw Kate & Sawyer in this position, and I don't think I really need a reminder. I'm sure technically it will make sense in the overall storyline context, just like the Sawyer and Ana-Lucia Thing Which Never Happened, but I can't help thinking there should be a way to write it better so that we don't need to see crap like that.
Sometimes I wonder if I am the only fangirl in the world who will squeal like mad at any and every hint of romance between her preferred characters, and occasionally be known to play back kisses in slower-than-slow-motion, but then pitch a hissy fit the minute it leads to sex.
CSI: NY, 3x20, "What Schemes May Come."
Every so often there comes an episode that for whatever reason, I just don't want to watch. It's not that the episode is a total wash, I just can't seem to make myself sit still for a whole 40 minutes, preferring instead to hop and skip for the character-development bits. It happened with "Charge of this Post" (I KNOW, but I wasn't 100% hooked on the show yet), and "Murder Sings the Blues," and "Some Buried Bones." And now this one.
The horses in the teaser were pretty, and even covered in blood, the gray horse was pretty when he came back to the crime scene. I just want to know what the point of having it come back was if we weren't going to see either detective catch it. Damn it, where's Mac the Horse Whisperer when you need him?
Oh, I suppose technically there was Stella "processing" the horse in flashback, but not good enough. And also, most of my horsey knowledge has trickled out of my brain, but horses shouldn't have marks left by their tack, should they? Isn't that a sign they're overworked? Sigh. In other news, I'm disturbed that people with lengthy rap sheets are allowed to drive horse carriages. I think I'm overthinking this, but it's not like there was anything better to focus on. Because I'm sorry, in a scene that includes Flack in his finest suit + smirk, and a glossy black horse? I'm gonna be staring at the horse.
I felt zero suspense when they were arguing over how the guy could be dead at the scene but then alive in the body bag. I didn't think transgenics, obviously, but still - this is how Nikki and Paulo died two weeks ago on Lost (well, paralyzing spider venom, but same results). And I've seen multiple shows/movies showcase some sort of drug that slows down heartbeat and breathing until you appear clinically dead. Also, I've read "Romeo and Juliet." I assumed it was like one of those scenarios.
The rat with the ear on its back was beyond gross. Poor furless ratty without an immune system. Growing organs isn't impressive unless you can grow them without hurting animals.
Lindsay and her fairy tale was the cutest thing ever. Everyone exchanges bemused smiles, because Lindsay is and always will be the little kid of the lab, and cute and silly things like this are her trademark style. Everyone knows this and loves her for it. (shut up, they do. I'm especially loving Flack's role in all this. "Lots of greenhouses in New York, Lindsay." and "I am so glad that figuring this stuff out is your job...not mine.") Can I skip to the shippy bits now?
You would think my energy reserves would be sapped after Lost, but no, I had plenty of drive to skip and squeal over every second of Mac and Peyton. Firstly, the fact that he was running like a bat out of hell to get to her. Secondly, her smile at seeing him. Thirdly and so on, hands cradling face..."I'm okay." "No you're not, you're bleeding." I'm running out of words to describe what these interactions are doing to me. Do you know where injury is on my Checklist of Cute? It's like the #3 spot after spooning and tears. Er, actually there might be a few more things above it...but whatever, it's good. I like worry and comfort, be it major or minor.
Oh, and it's a good thing I finally sat through this episode, else I'd totally have missed him holding her hand after they revived the mouse. In fact, I was about ready to bash the stupid dialogue there, but then...*purrs*
And then the ending scene. Mac has such a soft spot for Stella, it's not even funny. Well, yes it is, a little bit. Is there anything he wouldn't do for her? It's the sweetest platonic relationship I have seen since...ever. The closest I can compare it to is Gibbs & Abby, but without the age gap, which shifts the dynamic a little. It's not even brother/sister, it's just...an amazing friendship. Grissom and Catherine don't have that. Nothin' like it in Miami, either. This an NY original. Context? Oh, yeah, Stella was asking for special new HIV test thing to give her quicker results. I wasn't really paying strict attention to the dialogue, as I was waiting for the cute bit, and after she kissed his cheek in thank-you, I was happily wrapped up in a post-cute-bit daze.