The Following, S1 Ep 8: Welcome Home

I’ve been watching this show for eight episodes now, and it continues to surprise me.  Sure, there are things I can point out that I think the characters SHOULD be doing when they’re doing something else, but overall, I’m pleased with the show.  In a sick, twisted, it-makes-me-want-to-vomit way.

I used to have an interest in serial killers.  Mostly about what made them the way they are so they want to kill people.  Over time, that changed, and they terrify me almost as much as zombies.  Let’s face it, zombies are just plain scary.  ANYway… I used to watch Dexter, and I still would if I had Showtime, and I’ll probably find it on DVD to finish the series because Dexter is a great psychological thriller.

The Following is psychological (only a little because of the plot twists and no one seems to know how Joe Carroll got this way) and gory.  I’ve seen more blood and ACTUAL violence and murdering on this show that I ever did on Dexter, who I regard as a pretty awesome serial killer.  The difference between Dexter and Joe is that Dexter is meticulous and calculated and really wants to be a good person but is stuck with this compulsion to be bad.  Joe is just plain bad, and we don’t know why.

Alright.  There are only 8 (now 7, I think) episodes left of the season, and I have no idea where it’s going or what’s going to happen.  That is often the staple of a good show.  Last week, Joe escaped from prison for the second time.  He was taken to a safe house where his cult was set up to serve him.  He had his son kidnapped, and is trying to bond with him, which just isn’t going well.  And he’s trying to find his wife, Claire, who is in protective custody.  So much happening.

To find out where Claire is, Joe has Weston, the resident FBI tech guy, kidnapped and beaten, but gets nothing from it.  And the FBI is freaking out and can’t really figure out what to do, especially with a new supervisor.  I think the new supervisor (whose name I can’t remember) is a part of Joe’s cult, mostly because he was the one that sent Weston home, which got him kidnapped and beaten for information.  I could be wrong, because it seems that in this show whenever you think you know something, you really don’t.

Oh, and Roderick finally makes an appearance.  And he’s the sheriff.  Surprise, surprise.  But he did admit – in a flashback – that he killed two of the girls that Joe took the fall for, so he’s a lot more devious than we thought.  It means that he’s more than just a follower.  And Joe referred to him as his “first student.”  Hmmm…

One of my pet peeves about this show is that it takes place in fake Virginia.  Actually, that part is pretty cool.  What makes it annoying is that there are a ton of fake cities with real names they are using, and they really don’t match in real life.  But maybe that’s a good thing because I’d had to think that this Joe Carroll is running around my state.  Anyway, a local (fake) city they used in this episode was Newport News (which is a real city, but fake in the show).  The funny part about using Newport News is that they kept calling it “Newport Harbor.”  I noticed while watching the captions (because I have the captions on for everything), and it sounded like it was dubbed over to say Harbor instead of News.  It’s just a little thing I noticed that maybe someone else wouldn’t, but I still thought it was pretty cool.

Right before they start talking about Newport News…Harbor

What do you think of The Following so far?  What do you think will happen next?

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Marathoning Firefly

In the last two weeks, I think I’ve watched Firefly three – almost four – times.  Pretty crazy, except Firefly is just plain awesome.  I’ve found the time during naps, and early bedtime, and late nights when I can’t sleep.  I’ve even allowed the Boy to watch an episode or two, mostly because he’s not paying much attention and playing a game on the iPad.  But he occasionally looks up to see what’s happening before going back to his game.

I find myself wanting to learn the Chinese phrases spoken in the episodes, along with picking up some slang here and there.  “Gorram” has been added to my vocabulary permanently.

I also find that the more I watch it, the more I learn, or the more I see that I didn’t see before.

The basic idea is that it is a space western that takes place nearly 500 years in the future.  Look a little harder and you’ll see that 500 years ago, the US and China joined forces to become one large power and overthrew the UK (which is why everyone speaks Chinese phrases powdered into English sentences).  Then the Earth got used up and people began to scatter across the universe looking for homes and work.  The “Alliance” became the governing power.

If you watch Serenity (the movie sequel to the series), you’ll find out that everything was a rouse.  A group of people created the story that things happened the way they did, when the fact was that it was their fault.  And they essentially created Reavers (zombies – yuck!), and tried to stop them by then creating sleeper assassins, like River.  And that failed as well.

And I’m sure if I watch it again, I’ll find something else interesting or noteworthy.

On a side note, I’m thinking of heading to Philadelphia for Wizard World Comic Con in June to see Nathan Fillion.  We shall see, however.  There’s still lots of time beforehand to decide.  But it’s just a thought I had, and I’d love to go.

All-Star Celebrity Apprentice: Upset

Dee Snider… fired… WTF?

Honestly, I thought he was one of the stronger players, based on watching him in a previous season.  But I guess not.  I was really rooting for him, not only because he’s Dee Snider and he’s awesome, but I hate most of the other team.

And Bret was fired last week, which was just plain crazy.  Especially since this Brande chick had no idea about the numbers and details of her task.  The ONLY reason she wasn’t fired was because she brought in the most money for her team, and Trump just couldn’t do that… it would have been a Celebrity Apprentice first.

So… we’re two episodes in, and there’s so much crap going on, and so many funny things, and so many things I don’t like.

First, I love Lil Jon.  I think he’s hilarious, and he’s brilliant.  Also, seeing him stand next to Dennis Rodman was just awesome!  But I think Lil Jon is my favorite from Team Power.  Not only is he  a strong player, but I’m not rooting for anyone else to win from that side… just sayin.

Ugh… next there’s this whole Omarosa thing.  I can’t believe she was engaged to Michael Clark Duncan.  I hate her even more for ruining such an awesome guy.  ANYway… she was project manager and she was playing for his charity.  And she won.  So, yay for his charity.  But boo for her winning.  AND… she played up the crocodile tears.  LaToya made a great point that EVERYONE sees through this charade and secretly knows that’s she’s using this as leverage to keep her game going.  Did I mention how much I hated Omarosa?  Because I really do.

Gary Busey is awesome.  He’s so crazy, and during last night’s episode, the tickling thing he was doing was just plain creepy – borderline sexual harassment/assault if you’re SUPER uncomfortable with it.

We watched it live last night, which I don’t usually like doing because of all the commercials.  Either Hulu or NBC online are my go to places for this show, but there was nothing else on I wanted to watch.  So we suffered through the commercials.

So… my picks to win this season are…

  • Trace Adkins
  • Bret Michaels
  • Lil Jon
  • Penn Jilette
  • Dee Snider
  • Runner Up – Marylou Henner (who I think could make it really far, just not win the whole thing)

It’s a shame two of my picks have already been fired.  It just means the show (and The Donald) are just plain unpredictable.

Who’s your pick for the all star winner?

Updating

Um.  Wow.  The last time I posted here was in October, and for a self-proclaimed TV junkie, that is just unacceptable.

But, it is a new year, and there’s new TV, so there’s going to be a new me.  A new blogging me, anyway.

Right now, I’m working on recaps/reviews for the season finale of Parenthood and the series finale of Private Practice.  I also want to review the two new creepy shows, Do No Harm on NBC and The Following on FOX.  So, I have lots of ambitions, lets see if I can get it done.

I have to admit that most of my daytime hours are spent watching kid shows on PBS.  Actually, I find I’m watching a lot of kid shows on Netflix and Hulu because the Boy knows how to navigate my iPad and iPhone like a pro.

So that’s what’s coming up.  I hope to do more regular blogging because I love writing and TV and I just need to do it  more.

Castle: Probable Cause, S5 E5

“Probable Cause” (S5E5) was probably THE best episode of Castle I’ve seen in a long time.  Maybe ever.  And I love Castle.  And I think every episode is great.  Especially when Nathan Fillion makes a Firefly or Buffy reference.  Oh, and when Castle doesn’t get special treatment because he’s in trouble?  Love it.

So, back to the episode last night, “Probable Cause.”

While investigating a shocking ritualistic murder, Beckett and her team uncover surprising evidence linking Castle to the killing. As the evidence against him mounts, loyalties are tested, and when surprising revelations come to light, Beckett begins to wonder how well she really knows her new lover and partner of four years.

I need to stop gushing about how much I love this episode.  But first, here’s what happened…

First up, there’s a murder.  No surprise there.  It seemed pretty standard for our gang to go and investigate the crime scene as they usually do.  Found evidence of murder, some fingerprints, the usual.  EXCEPT.  The fingerprints belong to Castle.  The ones they found at the crime scene.  And they were there BEFORE the gang got there.  Mysterious.  And makes Castle a murder suspect.  Only they try to dismiss it when they find another suspect who was a lover to the victim, Tessa.

The next piece of evidence is jewelry that Tessa received from her alleged lover.  So the gang follows that lead.  Straight back to Castle.  Castle allegedly made a withdrawal for $12K in a cashiers check and took it to the jeweler where the alleged lover purchased Tessa’s earrings.  So the evidence is piling up.  And Castle keeps denying.  And Beckett keeps questioning.  It’s hard to see her question Castle because they’ve been partners and are now in love.

In an effort to relieve Castle of his murder suspect status, they go to the chief who orders his apartment be searched, his computer swept.  More evidence.  They found gloves, and that Castle’s computer had been wiped clean.  They found a deleted file that contained a story idea for the perfect murder.  And emails to Castle’s alleged lover, Tessa.  Beckett is overwhelmed.  Esposito and Ryan finally admit they know the two were dating.  And the other alleged lover of Tessa’s alibied out.  Castle has no alibi and  is officially arrested for Tessa’s murder.  And Castle still denies it.

Beckett has a really nice moment with Lanie where she tells about all the alleged emails and Castle’s alleged lover.  Beckett gives Lanie this really concise, genuine and sweet description of Castle and how he can’t be the killer they think he is:

You should have seen him, Lanie.  He looked like a little boy, he was so scared.  I know him, Lanie.  He is an immature, egotistical, self-centered jackass sometimes but he’s not this.

Castle in the holding cell is a whole other plot twist of drama.  Tyson, or 3XK, shows up as a cop to threaten Castle.  He killed Tessa and framed Castle.  Way to go for exposition.  He explains how and why he framed Castle.  He wanted to disappear and for no one to be looking for him so he could start killing again.  Tyson said it wasn’t about the killing, it was about the planning and the preparation.  The perfect frame job.  Tyson isn’t seen in the holding cell because he’s slick and tampered with the surveillance footage.

Castle confesses to Beckett about Tyson being there, and she finally sees that the case makes sense and that Castle is being framed.  In a desperate attempt to save Castle’s life, Beckett goes back to the chief to beg they keep him there instead of sending him to central booking.  No such luck.  But Castle manages to escape custody and meet up with Beckett in the NY Public Library, where she first arrested him.  Castle has a lead on the case.

Tyson hired a lookalike to pose as Castle to withdraw money and purchase jewelry.  He also got Castle’s fingerprint, and was able to plant the rest of the evidence.  Charges were dropped, but Castle escaped from custody, so he’s still in trouble.

Beckett takes Castle back to the precinct to deal with his escape from custody, when they get caught on bridge while it’s opening.  They were planted there by Tyson, who rearends them, then captures Beckett to draw Castle out of the car.  Castle shoots Tyson, and he falls over the bridge into the water, never to be found.

Castle finally puts together the last of the puzzle.  Everything had been set up so Tyson could disappear.  He planted everything, and wanted them to find all the evidence.  Public and dramatic and final, so he could go back to killing with no one knowing.  Talk about an unfinished ending.

I love how characters keep coming back.  I never really like Tyson, or his murderer person, 3XK, but it makes for a great season to season story that never seems to be finished.  And I can’t even begin to gush about how much I love the plot twists and Castle being framed and not being the golden boy for a minute.  Nathan Fillion really nailed this character.  And the fact that Castle played true to his nature of having to solve the case when he is the suspect.  Classic.  Castle and Beckett really do make a great team.

What did you think about last night’s episode?

Two and a Half Men, Ep 10.4: You Know What the Lollipop is For

I’d been seeing previews for this episode.  Mostly that included Miley Cyrus and her new hair.  And a tattoo.

Here is the CBS episode description:

 When Walden’s old family friend Missi (Miley Cyrus) comes to visit, he now finds her attractive at 19 but is horrified when she suggests he date her mom and starts feeling paranoid about getting old. Jake and Missi meet and fall for one another, but she ends their short-lived fling when she leaves to get back together with her boyfriend back home. Walden and Alan console Jake and the three of them bond over their relationship woes. …

 

The only problem I have with the description they give about this episode is that Walden and Alan never console Jake over Missi.  Jake and Missi hook up, and when he leaves, she says she has a boyfriend, and the episode ends.  We never see Jake being consoled. The only bonding that really happens is between Alan and Walden because Alan jokes about Walden’s memory loss.  Walden has a few good sight gags involving those jokes where he can’t remember what he was doing, why he was going upstairs.  He can’t remember what he forgot to remember.

But there are so many things wrong with this episode.  Aside from Alan wanting to creep all over a 19 year old Missi, he also wanted Walden to creep all over Missi.  And Walden was in a familiar situation in this episode.  In a 2004 episode, Camel Filters and Pheromones, Berta brings her 16 year old granddaughter (Meghan Fox) to work, causing all kinds of problems for the guys.  The twist is last night’s episode was that Missi wanted Walden to hook up with her mother.

I can’t say that I’m enjoying it this season, although so far it’s been better than last season.  Sadly, I think the show died with Charlie.  And the ratings boost was because of Ashton Kutcher, which is fine.  I’m not a fan, but he can be funny.  The show just isn’t what it used to be.  And Alan is getting creepier all around.  He used to be sad, but it was funny and not at all depressing.  Now it’s just beyond all that.

Will this be the last season?

Bachelorette Emily and Jef End Engagement: Is Anyone Surprised?

I’m a little late to the game on this one, but I had a few thoughts that came to mind.

The news of the latest Bachelorette split comes as no surprise to me, nor should it anyone.  Can a real relationship or true love REALLY come from a televised manufactured series of situations in which you spend the least amount of time with the person you ultimately end up choosing?  Is that really what it takes to find love or make a relationship work?  I kind of doubt it.

Recent Bachelorette, Emily and her fiance Jef (with one “f”) have ended their engagement.    And after only a few months.  They have said the split is on good terms and both have stated that they were a couple in love and trying to make it work.  But obviously, they couldn’t.

I’d never watched the Bachelorette before this season, and I sincerely doubt I’ll ever watch it again.  It felt empty and insincere.  But what can you expect from reality television… it also felt rushed, but when you have 25 guys allegedly vying for the affection of one woman and six weeks to do the wooing in a minimal capacity, there is nothing shocking about the end results.  And it only confirmed my original idea that you can’t find love on a television that is based around finding love.  I understand there are unique circumstances, and there is an exception to every rule, but overall, that’s just not how it works.

Oh, and what kills me, or makes me giggle depending on how you look at it, about this split is that Emily was the “winner” on a previous season of the Bachelor.  And that relationship ended, and Emily was claiming to be hurt by it, and never thought she’d find love again, much less on TV.  And what did she do?  She signed up to be the prize instead off the ass fighting for the prize.  Meh, whatever I guess.

Best of luck to them.  I’m sure they’ll find what they’re looking for.