NCIS, 12x11, "Check"
One thing I love about both not following spoilers and being so behind on TV that I don't even see previews is that when this show does a twist, it genuinely shocks me to the core. And I was stunned when Diane went down. As stunned as I imagine original viewers were to see Kate. Could not process it for so many minutes, especially with the smear of drying blood on his face. All the clues WERE there, including my subconscious thought that her voice didn't sound quite right over the phone before I dismissed it, so that was a masterful job as far as the writing goes.
Even prior to that, I had been thinking the diner scene reminded me of something, and I thought it was CSI or Criminal Minds (which to be fair it was), but my blood ran cold when they brought up Jenny. I still remember how hollowed out and gutting that spring 2008 finale felt. Just, WOW. The only thing wrong with this the pacing and the horribly abrupt ending (I need to know how Fornell responds! Also, wtf was that about how he & Diane were probably going to get remarried?? I might have known about this and just forgotten, but either way, salt! Salt in all my wounds!).
Between this and finally introducing Ex-Wife #2*, they packed in too much and then made it feel like they just ran out of time. This is how you set up a direct 2-parter, not how you set up a midseason tentpole and then put it on a shelf until the next major sweeps period. Still, I loved the flashbacks to his proposal. I am super pissed on behalf of Fornell's awesome and now motherless daughter more than anything, really. I also really loved the side twist of Gibbs' raining fire and death on the group, trying for "checkmate," and getting cold clocked and left to suffer another day, pride hurt as much as anything else. AND, on top of all this plot twistiness, you tie it back in to I.T. Kevin and how this was all made possible by the virus he made for Sergei. Oh, so good.
*Speaking of the ex, for one moment of levity: I laughed forever and ever (and ever!) at Gibbs falling asleep with her on the sofa in perfect mirror of McGee falling asleep with Diane two years ago, complete with an echo of Fornell's response when those same two find the new pairing: "What the hell am I looking at?!" (did Diane get it from him, or vice versa?) I'm still laughing at that. I've rewound it at least eight times to laugh at it. (but also, awww a little at Gibbs submitting to temple massages for headaches like a big puppy. I don't see any chemistry between them, but I definitely enjoyed seeing her crazy both before and after that moment)
Preserve Teh Cute!
This is absolutely not the most awkward and uncomfortable-looking spooning ever. How dare you.
Bonus moment of levity:
Diane: YOU are supposed to be making amends, not making his year!
Rebecca: I didn't! I wouldn't -- yuck!
Offended Gibbs: "Yuck"?
[that's enough to laugh at on its own, but it's also funny if you keep going]What's that supposed to mean? Five hours ago you couldn't wait to rub my --
McGee: OH LOOK, it's a...cat. Outside. I'm going to go help it.
It's interesting to me that no one seemed overly concerned about Abby's safety when they figured out he wasn't done, because I thought everyone knew that if you want to hurt Gibbs in the family place, you start with her. Maybe pick off Ziva while she's vulnerable and far away from D.C. protection, but Abby's the real coup. I hope that's where they were subtly going with the way he said her name upon seeing her right after Ducky warned him how if they truly want to see Gibbs suffer, there's no telling "for whom he might come." It turned into "you got something?" instead, but I have rewound that sound a lot of times anyway.
NCIS, 12x12, "The Enemy Within"
Ugh, I forgot about that woman. And I will forget about her again once this episode is over. Future Me doesn't even know who I'm talking about. That obnoxious woman who bugged Tony outside the restroom earlier this season, with whom he's now apparently in a relationship?
I still think the pacing of the last episode was off, but at least they had a decent Gibbs Basement moment at the beginning and they sprinkled a fair amount of Fornell and his Non-Feelings into this episode. I liked Ellie offering to lend an ear to his daughter. Also, I enjoyed Obviously Secretly Evil Sarah in the case, even if it was never clear precisely why she wanted to kill the Imam. (TERRIBLE PACING, part II)
I've also been watching some Mindy Project behind the scenes, mostly because I ran out of other new sitcom episodes to watch before bed and I was like, "Ugh, fine, I think enough annoyance is out of my system that I could tolerate adding more without having a heart attack."
3x08, Diary of a Mad Indian Woman: For two seconds I was like, "This is gonna be fun!" and then it was all lame-as-hell "secretly I have always thought Danny was hot in an annoying way" backstory, which is the grossest. Both because she and Danny had so little chemistry in season one (they barely have it now), and also because I truly truly hate relationships that are born of mutual or even one-sided dislike (made all the more aggravating by the fact that 90% of people in fandom love exactly that garbage).
The teaching plot was better, but just OK. It was weird to see her being a mostly-competent adult around her goofy moments, and then I got angry that it felt weird instead of already being the awesome main reason I love the show.
3x09, How To Lose a Mom in 10 Days: I don't remember anything about this episode except that Danny's mom was there, boring it up, and so was Morgan, so I'm just going to copy and paste this neat thing I found when I went looking for reviews to jog my memory about the episodes I watched 48 hours ago:
"Have you seen the extended NYC footage from “Danny and Mindy”? Currently it is here on Vimeo. I bring that up as I prepare to write this review because I want you to watch that two minute video, which (unless my audio is selectively wonky?) does not have sound. I want you to watch it however you wish; for me, it was accompanied by “Midnight City,” my favorite Danny-and-Mindy song. But maybe you are OK with watching it in silence."
I was reluctant, but I agreed, and I did indeed watch in silence because I'm hella lazy. Turns out they are a much more likable and also believable couple when they don't talk. Even cute! I can see why people ship them.
3x10, What About Peter?: SO GOOD.
RIght after watching this, I learned that the actor who plays Peter is leaving after episode 13. I learned this information from a blogger bemoaning how sad this is because the series has been "undeniably better" since he joined (lol no), and my immediate action was to yell "HALLELUJAH, CAN I GETTA AMEN??" And then I realized with dismay that the blogger might be a little bit right, because the episode I'd just watched was the funniest episode I'd seen in a while, because it turns out Peter is not only more entertaining than Danny, he's also more fun to watch than literally every regular or recurring character except Mindy herself. Well, crap.
I just really liked everything about his struggles to become a real adult, and also the continuity of Nicole, the Mini Pomeranian. I liked Danny's grumpiness and Rules about renting to Peter. I loved Peter's vengeful maturity regression in response to being kicked out. I liked everything they did with Danny and Mindy's relationship, even though I can't currently remember what those things are, and remember being generally delighted by everything. I think I didn't even hate the Jeremy-and-Morgan-and-Lauren's-Baby part, which is a true Christmas miracle.
3x11, Christmas: Now that was just a sad waste of Julia Stiles' face. (especially after you made her a hoarder! I should probably be worried by how much more than endeared her to me. I, too, have found an uncashed paycheck among my belongings.) She could have hooked up with Peter?? Why in god's name would you force knowledge of her sleeping with Morgan into my brain? The only positive in this was Peter's dilemma about whether to steal the attractive smart woman he earned by being a good person, or helping a bro hook up with a woman via deceitful means. Bro Code in action.
BUT, I still liked the majority of this episode. I loved Mindy's slideshow, and how upset she got when Danny left, and how thoroughly appalled Danny was by the sacreligious all-female living nativity (Are those WISE WOMEN? Nope, I'm out). Most especially I loved Mindy in legitimate tears because to everyone's genuine shock, she actually wants to be a better doctor and not just put in her time and punch out ASAP so she can catch up on celebrity gossip/physical hookups.
Also, Mindy's slimming optical-illusion dress blew my mind. I was staring right at her and I could not convince my brain that it was just a dress and she had not Sono Bella'd her figure into a size 6 overnight.
I'm paused there for now because I want to digest the idea of her being A Responsible And Capable Adult for a bit, and also ride the high of not hating this show.
But wait, as of this week, there's another new sitcom episode!
2 Broke Girls and the Past and the Furious
To recap: looking at a $450,000 car, boring. Having Max roofie and kidnap her best friend (out of love!) while committing grand, grand theft auto in a clumsy attempt to give her a birthday worth remembering? PRICELESS. [this section to be updated if I ever watch it again so I can quote specific things I love.]
Punishment: watching Oleg propose. For as mercifully little time as we spent in the diner this week, I still wanted less.
And finally, the new year has kicked off with double helpings of two other CBS procedurals:
The Forever People: I was not enthused by the cult or JJ's PTSD/flashbacks, but HOO BOY was I ever unexpectedly surprised and delighted by Reid's concern about her. Poor puppy got in way over his head, but I loved his dauntless determination to be there for her, even after standing there at a rare loss for words. Soft voice, strained voice, then wounded-eyed helplessness when confronted with themes of rape and miscarriage -- I soaked it all in.
"All I know is my friend is hurting, and when I see it, I want to make it stop." -- seriously, if companion dogs had thought bubbles translated into
English, that is what they would say.
Anonymous: Mom was joking that this show should be called "Twisted Minds" based on what the people writing it come up with, but then we concluded that I'm the person with the real twisted mind, because seven minutes into this episode I was yawning and impatiently sighing, "UGH. Not murdery enough," as I started reading a book waiting for the action to begin. I DON'T CARE ABOUT YOUR FAMILIES.
I don't think there were more than 30 minutes of murder plot in this whole episode, but I enjoyed every one of them, even though it was super predictable. I've always been surprised that more desperate people don't turn to near-murder to increase the spare organ supply, tbh.---------------
Last week: first of all, the clown masks and assorted ephemera were TERRIFYING, especially the clown suit in the car with him that almost gave me a heart attack, so KUDOS. I'm pretty sure not even American Horror Story has scarier clowns than that. I thought the plot with the politician and the secret-daughter/escort was well done too, allowing me to peg the song as the stalker just before the midway point. Well, one of the stalkers. TWO STALKERS at the same time?? How delightfully novel!
Second, I liked the increasing terror in finding out Perry had vanished into the wind after making bail, too. I did not love Jack seeing her break down. I just found out that the actors are engaged, and somehow it has made their characters' chemistry even more repellent.
This week: OH MAN, it's that guy! I love the guy playing Ray; he's got good versatality and can play both good and bad guys like few others can. I'm not sure how to reconcile his family being terrified of him with his claim that he didn't mean to kill her family, he just wanted to save them and be the hero so she'd take him back, but I'm betting the family is correct. (I'm also unclear how he doesn't go straight to jail if he's released from psychiatric care? I guess I wasn't paying close enough attention to the backstory)
And I guess I did like the slumber party ending, even if I had no patience for Missing Eyebrow Hairs nagging them like an obnoxious Chihuahua about why he doesn't get to share secrets with all the grown ups. (To be fair, they could also be way less discreet than making Somber Announcements and then going off to whisper among themselves in a glass-walled office.)