Very slow week this week, Bones, Castle and Mentalist are all taking time off, Walking Dead is over for the season and new and returning shows like Defiance and Warehouse 13 don’t start until later in the month. Ah well, let’s see how things went with the few shows that were actually on.
Arrow #1×19 – “Unfinished Business” – There’s a virulent new form of Vertigo on the streets and after a girl is killed while under it’s effects, Oliver goes off to question the Count, who was the only one who knew how to make Vertigo, in the state mental institution. It turns out that the Count is in no condition to talk to anyone, he’s totally lost his mind from the drugs that Oliver pumped into his system a couple of episodes before. However, the Count apparently escapes from the institution, maybe not so crazy as everyone thought. Detective Lance thinks he’s found evidence of something hinky at Oliver’s club, the last place the girl who died was seen before her “accident”. He starts to harass Tommy, who had bribed a building inspector to skip his inspection before the club opened. When Detective Lance shows up with a search warrant, Oliver is afraid he’s going to find his secret lair, but Tommy has thought of everything and packed the area with boxes of wine. Tommy is sick of Oliver’s lies though and quits his job as club manager. Felicity figures out that there is a powerful psychoactive drug in the new batch of Vertigo, a drug that would be almost impossible to get, except at a mental institution. They find that it isn’t the Count (“One syringe! Two syringes! Three syringes! Ha Ha!”), but his doctor that has been making the new drug from a backward engineered version of the old one. The Count is tied up in the lab to give them a convenient patsy to pin things on if everything goes south. Oliver takes out the doctor but chooses to spare the Count, who clearly is insane. He then tells Diggle that he’ll help him track down Deadshot. In the flashback to the island, we find that it is Yao Fei’s daughter Shado who actually trained Oliver to use a bow. We knew that it was someone other than Yao Fei and Slade doesn’t seem to have the skills. In an earlier episode, Oliver related that Yao Fei had trained him in the use of fighting sticks, not the bow, but now we find that Shado is an advanced archer and she’s the one that got him up to snuff. It’s nice to see all the threads being tied up.
Dr. Who #7×08 – “The Rings of Akhaten” – The Doctor spends the first couple of minutes of the episode stalking Clara through time, it comes off as really kind of creepy. He goes back to the present to pick Clara up and she says she wants to see “something awesome”. So he takes her to the Rings of Akhaten, a religious ceremony held every thousand years where a young girl, called the Queen of Years, supposedly sings to their god. Well, not so much. Clara meets up with Merry Gejelh, the current Queen of Years, who is running away from her responsibilities because she thinks she’ll screw up. Clara talks her into being brave and all that rot. Merry performs the ceremony and, as expected, screws up. Therefore, their god, a creepy mummy-dude, grabs Merry to drain her memories, with the Doctor and Clara in hot pursuit on an open-air sky-cycle. Oxygen anyone? They arrive at the mystical pyramid and save Merry, only to realize that the actual god is a giant sun-sized parasite that feeds on the memories of the attendees at the ceremony. The Doctor offers the parasite his own 1000-year memories, hoping to overstuff the creature, but that doesn’t work. Finally, Clara shows up and offers the leaf that brought her parents together, the “most important leaf in all of human history” and the parasite dies. I guess potential memories are more important than actual memories. The Doctor takes Clara home and she says that if she’s just replacing his lost friend, she’s not interested in going with him. He assures her that she isn’t just a replacement for Rose, because if that was the case and he was going to try to get into her pants, I’d just stop watching right now. I fucking hate Rose with a burning passion hotter than a million suns. While I guess that seeing a pile of aliens at the Akhaten marketplace was cool, I kept thinking they belonged in a cantina somewhere. Everything you saw was just a guy in a mask. That’s not all that impressive. The whole idea of a giant star that eats thoughts once every thousand years was ridiculous too. The ending felt like someone realized they had to start filming and still had no coherent end so they invented the whole “potential memories” nonsense because the director was getting pissed. I hope that further scripts at least attempt to make some sense and aren’t just flash over story like this one was.
Elementary #1×19 – “Snow Angels” – I watched Person of Interest on the same night and as soon as this came on, I momentarily thought I was watching the other show and thought to myself “didn’t they already do a big storm episode this season?” Well, yes, this is a big storm episode. The guard at a security building is killed and the prize was apparently a ton of expensive cell phones that hadn’t officially been released yet. However, Sherlock doesn’t buy it and finds that the phones were stolen as a cover for the real theft, architectural drawings of one of the largest cash vaults in the country. The problem is, the power is out due to one of the worst storms on record and the police are out keeping the peace, leaving Holmes, Watson and a snow plow driver named Pam to stop the heist of the century. On the homefront, Holmes offered to help an old friend, Ms. Hudson, get over a breakup. I was wondering when she’d show up, in the classic Sherlock Holmes books and movies, Holmes lived in her boarding house at 221B Baker Street. It wasn’t a bad episode although I find the premise a bit silly. Holmes deduces that the thieves planned their heist for precisely the time that the storm would knock out the power across the whole of New York. There’s no way to plan for that, sorry. It isn’t like they could have done anything had the sequence of events not happened in exactly that way, nor could they have just held the architectural plans until a blackout happened, their absence would have been noticed. I really dislike “convenient” stories, where things had to work out just so in order to work at all. Secondly, Sherlock really didn’t solve the mystery, it was just luck that the guard had managed to shoot one of the thieves and the police were able to reason out which one of them ended up at the hospital. Once they had one of the thieves, the rest, including the mole inside the police, was easy and it took virtually no sleuthing at all.
Following #1×12 – “The Curse” – Joe Carroll is on the phone with Ryan Hardy a lot, isn’t he? For a while now, Carroll has been metaphorically calling this dance between himself and Hardy a new novel, I guess he was serious. He sits down at his laptop and is pounding out an actual book, complete with all of his plans. He just doesn’t understand what’s going on in Ryan Hardy’s head so he calls up and asks. He wants to know why Ryan is so dedicated to bringing Joe to justice. What drives him? Is he trying to protect Claire? Is he trying to finish his last case and see Joe put away forever? Is he just playing the generic “I’m here for justice” cliche? Well, none of those. We get a little backstory on Ryan Hardy, his father, an ex-cop, was killed in liquor store robbery when Ryan was 17 and he got to watch is father die. Yes, watched, nobody was actually trying to help his father, no one was performing CPR, they were just watching him bleed out. Thanks guys. We’re supposed to think that tragic event instilled him with a sense of justice, which is great, but Joe still doesn’t get it. Worse, we learn that Hardy found his father’s killer and force-injected him with drugs until he overdosed. Justice? Hello? To me, that puts Hardy more in Carroll’s camp than as a respectable police officer. Anyhow, Hardy meets up with Weston, who isn’t dead or overly damaged, although he looks like he went head-first through a plate glass window. No, although it hurts to breathe, he’s just fine! So now that they’ve found the secret cult-member training camp, they follow the money to a defunct separatist movement, where Hardy and Parker think they can trace connections between movement members back to the hideout of the Joe Carroll Cult. Parker coins the term “Carrollism”. Fuck you, Parker. So anyhow, off they go to search for clues, along with “I’m in pain” Weston and just about everyone gets captured. Seriously, that makes 3 times in 12 episodes that Weston has been captured by the Carroll Cult. Someone needs to seriously rethink this guy’s field agent status. Upstairs, Jacob ties up Agent Parker while she tries to piss him off. Maybe she’s feeling left out, not having been shot by the cultists yet this season like Weston has. Hardy comes face to face with Carroll and Weston, behind bullet-proof glass, and they sit around for a while chatting about Hardy’s past. It had a strange “Silence of the Lambs” vibe to it. After all, we have to help Carroll past his writer’s block somehow, don’t we? Joe tries to draw some wild connections between himself and Ryan, death drives them both and some rot, it’s really pretty dumb, then Jacob shows up with Parker in tow and Ryan lets them all go. Heck, he should have shot Jacob and then let Joe torture Weston a little more, heck, he hurts so much now, a little more pain won’t matter, then put a bullet in Joe’s skull. No, let the crazy serial killer go! So Joe makes his way back home, where apparently Claire and Joey had tried to escape by, you know, walking right out the unlocked front door. They don’t like it so they put a GPS ankle bracelet on her and tell her not to do it again. Emma tries to talk to Claire, but surprisingly, Claire doesn’t forgive her for lying to her all those years. In fact, she smacks her in the head and tells her to stay the hell away from Joey. Don’t hold your breath. Joe meets up with Emma and they get it on in the kitchen. Of course, the only reason they slept together before was because Joe’s ex-wife wasn’t there. Now she is. Hmmmm. In the end, we see Roderick meeting with the FBI in his guise of the sheriff. He’s going to help them, right until he can stab them in the back, just like everyone else. Why do these people not suspect everyone of being a cult member? I know I would! Then again, most of these people have an IQ somewhere south of 50.
Person of Interest #2×19 – “Trojan Horse” – Finch and Reese get another number, but this time, he’s already dead. However, they find that there is a woman in danger, Monica Jacobs, an executive at the tech company Rylatech. Finch goes off to play chess with Elias in prison and through his moves, Elias gives Finch clues about the deaths of the D.A. and Detective Szymansky. It turns out Symansky wasn’t dirty after all, but Elias sure tried. Carter is happy to hear the news, but she’s still avoiding Cal Beecher, who’d like to be her boyfriend, because he cost her a promotion to the FBI. Finch gets a job at Rylatech, something he doesn’t seem to have a problem doing anywhere he wants, he can instantly be an employee of any company, anywhere, with no delay. Convenient, that. One night, while Finch is working late at Rylatech, he sees Monica sneak into a secure area and copy files from the computer of their original number, Justin Lee. It looks like she’s involved in corporate espionage, but in fact, she’s a whistle-blower for something much larger. The real bad guys fake the records to make it look like she’s been stealing from the company and terminate her on the spot. Harold suspects that someone is giving top-secret Rylatech secrets to the Chinese, but it’s even worse than that. Reese and Monica break into Rylatech to get access to the blocked servers, to get the proof they need, when they are cornered by employees with guns who try to perforate them. It turns out that Monica’s boss, the one who founded Rylatech, was leading the crew, but after he is stopped, he takes his own life rather than be captured. Finch learns that it wasn’t just sending Rylatech secrets to the Chinese, they were using Rylatech equipment, that was widely used at the most secure sites across the country, to spy on everyone! Cal Beecher, who had proven he wasn’t going to give up, was ordered killed by his godfather, who is in reality, the real head of HR. On a drug bust, he’s set up and gunned down by the police, just after Carter decided to give him a second chance. Finch, while poking around inside of the Rylatech system, realizes that ”Descima Technologies” has written code he recognizes and it’s only use is to attack “the Machine”. This was more of a mythology episode, which is good because they haven’t spent much time on it recently. We did see the return of Reese’s ex-partner Shaw, to whom Finch offers a job. As I’ve said repeatedly, they need more people in their little circle, I just don’t know how Reese would respond to the woman if they had to work together. However, she turned Harold down, at least for the moment, questioning whether she should be “hanging out in a derelict library with your poorly socialized guard dog, and Bear here?” That’s a great line. The whole idea of HR, while I’ve never been a big fan of massive criminal conspiracies that are entirely invisible to the authorities, hasn’t been seriously addressed lately, at least not since they were supposedly “taken down”. I hope we get to see some of the reasoning behind HR and hope it’s more than a bunch of mustache-twisting evil nonsense.
Psych #7×06 – “Cirque Du Soul” – You know, I think I like the idea of Rachel and Max in Psych more than I actually enjoy the portrayal of Rachel and Max. Yes, I think Gus deserves a girlfriend, he’s one of the few characters without one. Shawn has Jules. Shawn’s father and mother are semi-back-together. Lassiter has Marlowe. It was time for Gus to have a serious relationship, and initially I was supportive of it, but to be honest, both Rachel and Max are portrayed entirely one-dimensionally. Take this episode, for instance, where Rachel’s only purpose is to be overprotective and disapproving. She keeps sending Max out with Shawn and Gus and things happen, things that are totally accidental and unavoidable, yet she keeps getting pissed off. Sorry, Gus has no control if an accident happens at a circus. Rachel just looks petty and stupid for blaming him. So anyhow, Zola, a circus performer, shows up at the Psych office and wants Shawn to find a trapeze artist, François for her. Rachel wants Max to spend more time with Gus, so they take him along to the circus. While there, they find François, apparently practicing a routine, but he misses the hand-off and falls to his “death”. Except it wasn’t the fall that killed him, he was already dead. See, François and his trapeze crew were actually a criminal group, running around the city trying to steal Tritium because, for some reason, the evil Jeffrey Duke, king of the Port-o-potties, needs a bunch of it and has kidnapped Zola to make them comply. François had accidentally touched an electrified fence while trying to vault it and died, the rest of them tried to cover up the accident by making it look like he died in a trapeze accident. They need to get Zola back, and their stolen Visas, before they get picked up for being illegal aliens. We also see Marlowe get released from prison and she and Lassie have to deal with one of Lassie’s old flings, parole officer Ursula Gibbs, who desperately wants to be with Lassiter, she describes him as a god among men in bed. Um… ewwww? Therefore, she makes life hell for Lassie and Marlowe until Jules sets her up with creepy coroner Jake Lloyd and she backs off. Yes, this is a comedy show, but that was really a dumb plotline, Lassiter and Marlowe could have simply requested a different parole officer citing conflict of interest. We do not ever need to see Lassiter taking a bubble bath again. Just saying. Overall, this was just an average episode, mostly due to bad acting on the part of Rachel, who leaves Gus in this episode because bad crap happens to her son because she’s so overprotective, but she comes back in the end. I predicted as much the second she left him. I like the idea of Rachel, I just don’t like the reality of Rachel. Please, make her better!
Best of the Week: With no really exceptional episodes this week, it was hard to choose, but I think Person of Interest edges out the competition. It’s a big episode that focuses on the mythology and that hasn’t happened much lately. It introduces some interesting questions that really need to be asked and it might even bring in some much-needed regular characters on the good-guy side.
Worst of the Week: Seriously, not even going to pretend that The Following isn’t a shoe-in for the rest of this season. It’s just awful and I have yet to find another person who actually likes this show. How did it get renewed again?
Other Stuff I Watched: Charlie Chan – Castle in the Desert (1942), Charlie Chan – Black Magic (1944), Charlie Chan – The Shanghai Cobra (1945), Charlie Chan – Dark Alibi (1946), Charlie Chan – The Golden Eye (1948), The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, Viva Kneival (Rifftrax)