Once more into the breech, my friends, with this week’s television offerings. Lots of different things on the agenda for this week and luckily, most of it pretty good. I really am starting to regret last week’s decision not to review “reality”-type shows because I saw a beaut this week that would have instantly gone to my “Bottom of the Week”, a show airing on National Geographic Wild called Fish Tank Kings. It’s certainly not because it’s about fish, I love fish, I’ve had numerous fresh and salt-water tanks over the years. I even generally like that style of show, there is another one on Animal Planet called Tanked that I like, but the people in Tanked are fun. They’re entertaining. They have a sense of humor. The people they work for are decent human beings. I can’t say any of that for Fish Tank Kings. In the first episode, the head of the Florida Marlins is a complete asshole, I’d have punched him in the face and there’s really nobody on the Living Color team that strikes me as a particularly nice person. They’re all pretty crappy human beings, they spend all of their time yelling at each other and insulting each other. No thanks, I pass. It’s American Chopper with fish. I think I made it through three of the five episodes for this season before I gave up. Give me something better, please!
Arrow #1×02 – “Honor Thy Father” - Laurel prosecutes another man on Oliver’s list of bad men his father wanted him to go after. However, Martin Somers doesn’t give in to Laurel’s legal maneuverings, instead hiring a Triad assassin to take out the legal team. Meanwhile, Oliver’s mother and stepfather are pressuring him into taking over a part of the company, which he knows will interfere with his mission to bring his father’s ex-criminal buddies to justice. It is revealed that, while still on the island, Oliver has an encounter with a mysterious hooded figure. This show, believe it or not, is still really impressing me. To be honest, one of the biggest things I’m enjoying is that Green Arrow is not afraid to kill. That’s one thing that I typically hate about most comic book shows, the “hero” is afraid to actually do anything and the villains are responsible for more carnage because if it than had the “hero” just disposed of them when they could have. Green Arrow is an anti-hero. He’s not out upholding truth, justice and the American way. If someone gets in his way while he’s pursuing his quarry, they’ll get an arrow through them. Whether this kills them or not really isn’t relevant, they don’t pretend he’s shooting through their clothes or conveniently not harming anyone. Oliver Queen is deadly. Before I forget, one person I forgot to mention last week is Paul Blackthorne, who played Harry Dresden in the unfortunately short-lived Dresden Files, doing an equally good job as Laurel Lance’s father, Detective Quentin Lance. Loved him in Dresden, love him in Arrow.
Elementary #1×03 – “Child Predator” - I think the series is starting to grow on me, or maybe more properly, the characters are starting to grow into their skins. This time, Holmes and Watson take on a serial killer who has been abducting children in New York since 2005. When he kidnaps a child, he leaves a bundle of balloons to thank the parents for their gift, therefore he’s called the Balloon Man. In a stroke of luck, Holmes identifies his getaway vehicle and they recover the first child ever kidnapped, thought long dead. It’s a race against time, the Balloon Man demands his “son” back or his newly kidnapped victim will pay the price. It’s well done, although I had a feeling as soon as they captured the first victim, he was actually the Balloon Man, which turned out to be accurate. Most of these shows have a “twist” at the end and that was just the most obvious one I could find. I won’t dock it points though, it was a very good episode regardless. It’s nice to see Holmes and Watson getting comfortable with each other, especially with Watson stepping out of her comfort zone as a companion and into being interested in the case. I know this whole “sobriety companion” thing is a plot device, I just want to get past it so she’s not such a git and is really there to help him solve mysteries.
Haven #3×05 – “Double Jeopardy” – When an online pornographer has his eyes scooped out in his tightly sealed home, Audrey and Nathan are convinced that, once again, someone is troubled. As more victims pile up, each injured or killed in a manner reminiscent of a criminal case they got out of, they start to suspect that it’s the judge, a noted hardass, in whose court all of these cases occurred. However, when the judge ends up the next victim, they have to go on a hunt for the person who is sending Lady Justice herself out to kill those who beat the rap. Meanwhile, Nathan continues working with the Guard, trying to get into their organization so he can figure out not only who is going to kill Duke, but how he can save Audrey from the coming storm. My only problem with this week is that it feels like a filler episode. Sure, you got a little new info in the B-story, but the Lady Justice part felt like a trouble-of-the-week, which is exactly what it was. It did nothing to advance the mythology and it wasn’t even all that interesting. Not a great episode, not a terrible episode, just… an episode. Therefore, it gets an average rating.
The Mentalist #5×04 – “Blood Feud” – When Rigsby’s father is found shot in a small California town, the team mobilizes to head off a brewing gang war. We’ve only run across Steve Rigsby once or twice before, he’s a convicted criminal, a drunk and an abusive human being, pretty much everything that Rigsby is not. I honestly didn’t care that Steve Rigsby got shot or honestly, that he died. He was a sleaze and the whole “his lifestyle is going to kill him” thing really wasn’t that impressive, especially since his lifestyle only had an indirect impact on his death, he was just in the wrong place at the wrong time and got a chest-full of buckshot. I’m really not sure how to feel about Jane putting Rigsby into a situation where he could kill his father’s shooter and get away with it, the writers framed it so that the killing shot wasn’t just Rigsby taking revenge, it was self-defense. So should I feel bad that Rigsby would try to kill a guy more-or-less in cold blood, or that in the end, he didn’t end up having to? One thing I didn’t like, and it was only the very beginning of the episode that made me remember it at all, was Rigsby’s kid. We hadn’t heard anything about his girlfriend in a couple of episodes, learning that they split up is really disappointing, especially considering how disgusted I was with him for getting into that situation in the first place. Overall, a pretty good episode but it’s making me look at Rigsby a bit differently and certainly not in a good way.
Person of Interest #2×03 – “Masquerade” – The latest number to come up belongs to Sophia Campos, daughter of the Brazilian consul, a spoiled party girl whose lifestyle makes it very difficult to guard. Immediately, Finch and Reese think someone is targeting her because her father is set to announce his candidacy for the Brazilian presidency, but it becomes clear that she’s gotten herself involved in something much darker. Meanwhile, Finch tries to adjust from his time in captivity and finds it difficult to leave the house, even with his new canine companion. I love that dog. The concept is great, but how it plays out is even better. Finch, who originally really hates the dog, is playing with him by the end of the episode, throwing a ball, taking him for walks, really enjoying being around the dog and that’s something you just don’t see much in shows like this. Very much appreciated from this animal lover.
Best of the Week: Like last week, my vote goes to Arrow, which continues to knock it out of the park and surprise the hell out of me. This is absolutely not what I was expecting, in a very good way. This is the kind of “superhero” show I’ve really been looking for, I am keeping my fingers crossed that it continues to be so good.
Worst of the Week: Fish Tank Kings are getting a dishonorable mention anyhow, for being such an unlikeable show, but. to be really honest, there was nothing all that horrible this week. My pick has to go to Haven, the lowest-rated show of the week, for being just… blah. Not good, not bad, just a typical episode with nothing really to recommend it. As much as I guess I ought to be thankful that there wasn’t anything awful that I had to subject myself to, I kind of feel bad giving such a middle-of-the-road episode my bottom spot.