TV Thursday – 6/20/13

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This is where the real summer doldrums kick in, most shows are over for the season and there are only a few to keep watching.  Within the next couple of weeks, the list will shrink still further, as Warehouse 13 wraps up for the season on July 8 and Continuum has only 5 more episodes.  Only Burn Notice and Defiance will run through the summer, when we’ll start picking up new seasons in early fall.  This list might get real thin, folks.

Burn Notice #7×02 – “Forget Me Not” – There’s a point I’ve made for a number of years now, the opening  credits just do not match the show anymore.  It isn’t a show about being burned.  Michael Westen hasn’t been a burned spy for at least 2-3 years, yet they have never changed the opening which still describes him that way and that’s always bugged me.  Now, it’s even worse as this season opens up with him working for the CIA in the Dominican Republic, not the Miami that the opening describes.  I guess if they’ve never cared enough to change the opening in the past, they’re sure not going to do it for this last season, but its something that’s always bugged me.  However. Michael and Agent Strong come back to Miami, looking for the guy who was trying to hunt him down last episode.  We first fine out that Madeline has been making inquiries to the government trying to find out if Michael is alive and getting nowhere, so now she’s going to go to the CIA in person.  On the way there, she’s intercepted by Michael who tells her to stop blowing his cover.  Then, Michael and Strong covertly follow Jesse, Sam, Fiona and Carlos as they try to hunt down Dexter Gamble.  Michael covers their back as best he can without being seen and this sets up a series of flashbacks to the days when he and Fiona first met.  First, the group goes to an abandoned gas station and gets ambushed.  They’re only saved when Michael, with a sniper rifle, takes out the last gunman before they can do something stupid.  There, they are able, with the help of Fiona’s hacker contact Dixon, to find out the base of Gamble’s operations.  As Michael races to get ahead of them so he can take up a sniper position, the rest of the gang arrives and waits for Gamble to get home, but he’s already there, playing gardener, and takes Fiona captive to find out what they know and to force her to make contact with Michael.  Jesse, Sam and Carlos try to figure out their next move, but Michael and Strong are ahead of them, they’ve found the escape vehicle, abandoned and burned.  Strong orders Michael not to reveal himself to the others, but Michael steals a car and heads the others off, forcing both teams to join up.  When Gamble learns that Fiona honestly has no idea where Michael is, he calls Sam with Fiona’s cell phone and gives him one chance to give Michael up before he kills her.  Sam offers to deliver a secure satellite phone, used for “emergencies” so that Gamble can talk to Michael, who Sam says isn’t in the country and Gamble agrees.  However, Michael comes up with a plan, using information we see in more flashbacks, to reason that a certain phrase from Fiona’s past will make her react a certain way.  He arrives at the warehouse where Gamble and Fiona are hidden and calls Fiona’s cell phone.  He insists on talking to Fiona and when he uses that phrase, she hits the deck and Jesse, Carlos and Sam open up on the warehouse from outside with machine guns, killing Gamble.  Fiona is saved, but when she comes out, she kisses Carlos and ignores Michael.  We see a final flashback to the past where Fiona kisses her ex-boyfriend, the guy she dumps to take up with Michael, and Michael identifies it as a kiss you give someone when it’s over.  Afterwards, as Michael is getting ready to go back undercover, Jesse and Sam are supportive, but Fiona clearly is not and she gives him that kiss, the one that says goodbye.  Now I had only a couple of very minor issues with this episode.  First off, Dexter Gamble came off as a very competent and intelligent agent last episode and most of this one, but he started to lose it when he had Fiona captive.  He said he wanted to trade Michael’s whereabouts for his freedom and I suppose that isn’t a bad idea, but considering how quickly Michael took out his boss last episode, described as “less than ten minutes after he learned Michael was working for the CIA”, he sure fell for an obvious trap at the end.  He should have been suspicious, especially when Michael ended up right outside his door.  If it had been me, I would have kept Fiona between myself and any potential ambush.  Secondly, I’m getting a bit sick of Strong being such a douche.  By the end of the episode, he’s sort of listening to Michael, but he still shoots down some of his best ideas.  Now I know Michael is low on the totem pole, that he’s essentially slave labor, but they picked him because of his particular skill set, then they ignore most of his suggestions?  Kind of stupid.  Finally, Carlos survived another week.  He can’t last too much longer, after all, they have to do something to get Michael and Fiona back together and they can hardly do that with Carlos still breathing.  Since he was running with the crew this week, I thought he might get it, but alas, he’s still breathing.  It really kind of sucks because Carlos seems to make Fiona happy, he seems to be a pretty decent guy and the longer he’s around, the more attached people will get to him.  This was the 100th episode for Burn Notice and it did a pretty good job, the only real bad part were the horrible Irish accents in the flashbacks, but I suppose I can forgive them for that.  Something is going to have to happen to get the team working together full time again, especially with the abbreviated schedule this season, they can’t afford to mess around, keeping them apart, and it was far too jarring telling different stories, just to have everyone in an episode like they did in this season’s first episode.  I just don’t want to see them pick up next week like nothing ever happened either, they need to be clever about how they do it.  We’ll see how they do.

Continuum #2×08 – “Second Listen” – We start, as usual, in the future, where a skanked-out Garza comes to see future Alec, with a suspicious Kiera working security.  We will flash back to this encounter several times in the episode.  Back in the modern day, Kiera and Gardiner, who have been working together, identify two guys who stole and transported Elena’s body.  They tell them where they took it but know nothing more.  Arriving at the drop location, Kiera and Gardiner find dry ice but no body and decide to “get their people on it”.  Kiera goes to Alec and asks him to reactivate Elena’s CMR so they can get a location.  He cannot get a GPS signal, but apparently he can see through her eyes.  I wonder how, since her eyes are almost certainly closed and I’m sure that rigor mortis has set in.  How would a CMR be able to open the eyes of a dead body, especially one that was stiff as a board?  They get some unclear images, but nothing more.  Alec is working with Jason on the time machine and frankly, Jason is kind of a dick.  So is Kellogg, which is hardly a surprise, he comes in and orders Jason out of the lab, telling Alec that he set ground rules for a reason.  This will not end well.  Alec goes back home and sees Emily and they talk about the challenges of Alec’s life.  He tells Emily about the flashback he got when he tried that drug a couple of episodes ago.  Kiera calls Alec and asks him to help her on the body snatcher case, which, of course, he does.  Kiera goes to the courthouse to see the arraignment of the two body snatchers they arrested earlier and both of them drop dead on the stairs.  She looks through the video footage and identifies the guy she saw earlier driving the truck that took away the bodies of Jaworski and Chen, claiming to be Section 6.  Back at the lab, Alec and Jason are working and Alec suspects that Jason might be his biological father so he covertly takes a DNA sample.  Kiera goes to visit Escher and accuses him of employing the black guy that killed the body snatchers.  He denies it and says that they’re part of a group of rogue time travelers.  They have secret tattoos between their fingers to identify them.  Kiera goes back to the morgue and checks the bodies for similar tattoos and finds a couple that have come in that way.  The tattoos are some sort of code and at the precinct, Betty finds more bodies that have the same kind of tattoos.  Alec gets a phone call from his roommate saying he’s having problems with his computer, would Alec come home and fix it?  It smells like a trap, but Alec goes and finds everyone in the house dead, except Garza, who kidnaps him and takes him to a dark warehouse where they talk.  Kiera, using her future tech, identifies Garza’s fingerprint at the apartment and goes to find them, but first, she has the police hold Emily as a suspicious person, which she is because we know she works for Escher.  Kiera goes back to the lab and she and Jason, along with the time travel slice, locate Alec and Garza.  We see Alec and Garza talking, apparently his future self told her to go back in time and kill him, so that the future wouldn’t turn out the way that it did.  Kiera arrives and tries to keep Garza from killing Alec, but it’s really Alec who convinces Garza not to kill him, that his future self sent her back because she could look at the situation objectively from the outside and make her own decisions.  Garza escapes and Kiera saves Alec.  Alec is reunited with Emily and tells her that he’s working with the police to stop Liber8 and she promises to help in any way she can.  Emily and Kiera make up and decide to start over.  Meanwhile, Gardiner has been searching for records at the courthouse when the guy that they saw through Elena’s eyes comes in and puts a bullet in his head, killing him.  Bye bye, Agent Gardiner.  However, after he’s dead, Kiera receives a call from his phone, but no one is there.  Is that the murderer calling or the phone?  We’ll find out next episode, I’m sure.  There will be a couple of weeks hiatus, I’m not sure if there’s a holiday or they’re just letting the Syfy version catch up, but there are only five more episodes left in the season anyhow.  Now my question is, just how many time travelers are there?  We know about Liber8 and Kiera.  We know about Jason and Elena.  We know that Escher is almost certainly a time traveler.  Now we have the freelancers?  Now correct me if I’m wrong, but I was under the impression that there was only the one device that went off, sending Liber8 and Kiera back.  Elena was supposedly caught in the fireworks, but sent back farther because she was farther from the device.  So where did all these other people get the ability to go back in time?  Did they go back after Liber8?  Did future Alec make a bunch of these devices?  After all, there was supposedly only the one to start with.  They need to explain this.  It really seems like they’re trying to defuse Liber8 from being the terrorists of the first season who wanted to destroy the modern world and keep the corporations from taking over the future, to being part of some elaborate plan set up by future Alec Sadler.  Liber8, while they’ve been around this season, seem to be taking a back seat to Escher and his crew, and now to the freelancers.  Will Liber8 end up being redeemed and friends to Kiera and Carlos?  If anything, I’d say they’ve stuffed too much into the second season and haven’t really answered many questions.  What about Jason?  Is he Alec’s real father?  What about Emily?  Has she developed real feelings for Alec?  It’s getting difficult to keep it all straight in my head.

Defiance #1×09 – “If I Ever Leave This World Alive” – At the end of last episode, Doc Yewll declared that there was an outbreak of plague and it’s ravaging the town.  Irathients are immune to the disease, although they are carriers and everyone fears them because they could be infecting those around them without showing any sign.  Castithans are neither carriers nor infected, they’re just dicks and they spend a lot of the episode picking on the Irathients.  The town council debates what to do.  The disease can only be passed on by direct contact so they decide to quarantine the Irathients, using the excuse that it’s done for their protection.  Irisa takes this badly and fights against Rafe, who has been tasked with rounding up the Irathients, but is eventually captured.  It was done very similar to the Japanese roundup during WWII, with much the same reaction.  The humans who were guarding the Irathient are very hateful, disrupting their religious ceremony, resulting in the death of an Irathient who jumps their attacker.  I guess it’s not all that clear who was in the wrong at the very end, the human who kicked over their religious display, or the Irathient who got pissed off and jumped her.  In the end, it doesn’t matter because he’s dead.  Doc Yewll informs everyone that there was a similar outbreak of plague outside of San Francisco not long ago and one of her friends discovered a cure.  She sends word to her friend and they launch an ICBM with vials of the cure to Defiance.  Now wait a minute, last episode they said that nobody could fly higher than 400 feet because of the alien junk, yet now they’re launching missiles?  Besides, you never see anything in the sky when people are looking around, surely you can see up to the 400 foot level.  It makes no sense.  Anyhow, Nolan and Amanda find Connor Lang, who has become the spokesperson for the Earth Republic inside of Defiance and convince him that they need his help to get the medicine, which has landed a couple of clicks out of town.  See, the Earth Republic has shown up and quarantined the town to keep the disease from spreading to the East Coast.  Lang is the only one who they’ll pay any attention to so he and Nolan head out to the quarantine line.  Along the way, Nolan learns that Connor and Amanda were not only close, they were very, very close.  Nolan got Amanda pregnant but she had an abortion without his knowledge and he’s never forgiven her for that.  Once they get to the quarantine, they convince them to let them pass, so long as they can be blown up at any time, and they go to get the drugs.  Meanwhile, the disease spreads and Amanda is too sick to govern so Datak Tarr steps in to save the day, at the behest of Stahma.  By the time Nolan and Connor get back, Nolan is clearly not doing well and they are ambushed by a group of Irathients who take them hostage at the precinct.  They demand that the rest of the Irathients be let go and that the leader’s brother be brought to him.  Unfortunately, the brother is the one who was killed earlier so things don’t work out so well.  Datak heads off to the precinct and convinces the Irathients that he’s on their side, that the humans deserve to die and they should destroy the medicine.  Nizar, leader of the Irathients, goes outside to light the gasoline Datak poured on the first box of medicine and is shot in the head.  Datak then goes back inside and kills the rest of the Irathients in cold blood, he’s especially cruel to an Irathient woman who gets the best of him, shooting her and spitting on her repeatedly.  He then puts a bullet into Connor Lang, killing him, since he saw too much.  It wouldn’t look good for both humans to die so he saves Nolan, who was unconscious at the time anhyow.  The medicine gets back to the hospital and most people are saved.  Some time later, Amanda and Datak are on the local radio show, she thanks him for his bravery and his son unplugs her mic so that Datak can talk uninterrupted.  He says that while he would never care about the town before, his wife has talked him into adopting the community and he wants to run for mayor against Amanda, who finally gets a word in edgewise and says she welcomes the challenge.  Also during the episode, Quentin meets up with Nicolette and she tells him that his mother is in Modesto, having been send there after her sickness caused her to almost kill Quentin and Luke.  Quentin gives her the gold piece and says he’s going to go look for her.  Later, Nicki meets up with Doc Yewll, who is clearly part of the plot, and tries to talk her into joining her since Birch is now dead and she’s too old and frail to do it herself.  It was a really good episode, one of the best of the season to date, it answered a lot of questions that we’ve had, although it didn’t tell us too much.  We now know more about Amanda’s past and she’s clearly still very attached to Connor, even though she doesn’t admit it and he’s dead now so it doesn’t really matter.  We’ve seen how Stahma has pushed Datak to become powerful and influential and where that’s leading.  We’ve seen, bit by bit, how the plot of Nicolette has advanced, from the attack of the Volge, to the new machinations with the golden device and the fact that Yewll, while she isn’t in charge of the plot, seems more connected than we ever knew.  We also see Nolan and Irisa mend some fences that were damaged after the death of Sukar.  All in all, a good episode.

Warehouse 13 #4×17 – “What Matters Most” – In Ohio, District Attorney Terry Graham goes out to get his mail and drops dead, the victim of an apparent death penalty cocktail.  Artie sends Pete and Myka to check it out.  He wants to send Claudia and Steve on another case, but Steve is trying to move his belongings into the boarding house so Artie goes with Claudia instead, leaving Steve and Abigail to clean the pipes in the goo room.  This is yet another episode where they have multiple storylines going on, mostly because none of them are exciting enough to make it on their own.  This has been a problem in recent episodes, I’d much rather have the team all stay together instead of going off in their little cliques.  So, let’s go through the cases one at a time.  It’s physical time at the warehouse, everyone has to have their yearly checkups.  Pete is clearly not happy about his, the doctor told him that his testosterone is a little low.  Boo fucking hoo.  Pete and Myka end up in gated community hell, where everyone is far too interested in making everyone else follow the rules.  I’d never, ever, ever, ever live in such an anal place and the first person they ran into, Colonel Arnold Cassel, President of the Board, I’d just punch in the face.  I hate people like that.  They can’t find an artifact that caused Graham’s death, but then another attack happens next door where one of the local wives and her teenage lover get grafted together.  Finally, they find the woman’s husband, who they thought was responsible since his wife was cheating on him and he had been fired by Graham, but he bursts into green flames, a third victim with a third set of symptoms.  Pete and Myka are stumped, thinking there are multiple artifacts, finally decide that these people are being punished for their sins.  This is further confirmed when they find Cassel choking on a red mist in his house and he reveals that his company gassed a village in Kuwait that was harboring terrorists.  They call Steve and Abigail, who think that there may be artifacts from Sodom and Gomorrah that punish the wicked and Myka realizes that there were chocolate chip cookies at every violent scene.  The artifact must be salt-related, baked into the cookies and taking revenge for sinful behavior.  They find Janice, just about to feed her sinful cookies to the last of the board members.  Pete gets thrown out a window and breaks his legs.  Myka bags the salt, but Pete has to confess his sins to become healed, he tells the story of driving drunk and breaking his friend’s legs in a crash.  Next, Claudia and Artie.  They go to New York City, where a teenage boy has a seizure and starts writing advanced mathematics on a wall.  They find out that the teenager, Nick, is living on the streets, he can’t possibly know the math.  Every time he has a seizure, he gets closer to death.  Artie works out that the work points to quantitative analysis that banks use.  Nick has another seizure and they get him to describe the visions he’s getting of the office the artifact-user is working in.  They identify the bank office and Artie goes in, finding an employee wearing Orville Wright’s aviator goggles, which he’s using to hijack Nick’s brain to increase his computing power.  Artie goos the goggles and Nick is saved.  Claudia invites Nick back to the warehouse, wanting to give him a better opportunity than she had.  Finally, we turn to Steve and Abigail.  Steve is clearly unhappy, especially after he gets goo in his face.  He and Abigail talk and he’s unhappy because nobody has found their “one” that they can tell about their work with the warehouse.  Abigail suggests that maybe they’re one big happy family and don’t need anyone outside.  That seems to satisfy Steve.  In fact, he makes lasagna for everyone when they come back from their missions.  Claudia shows Nick to his room and he texts someone that they don’t suspect anything, he’s in.  Finally, we see Myka’s medical examination where the doctor confirms that she has ovarian cancer.  Okay… so what?  They have the warehouse!  They had something that brought Steve back to life, cancer should be a piece of cake!  That’s the problem with this show, they’ve built the warehouse up into a panacea, there’s really nothing it can’t do, so all of the problems they have aren’t really problems.  Big deal.  The bit with Nick, while I didn’t see it coming, certainly fits.  After all, it’s only been an episode or two since Claudia was identified as the target and it would be hard to come up with a better person to appeal to Claudia than Nick.  We’ll have to see where that leads.  The rest of the stories were… boring.  That’s why I hate these 3-in-1 episodes, it’s just cheap, weak, gimmicky stories that aren’t good enough on their own to make an episode.  Personally, I would have let all of the shallow, stupid people in Pete and Myka’s community die, they were all a waste of space anyhow.  Nick wasn’t all that worthwhile either, and the idea that some broker somewhere is just borrowing another brain for more calculating power is stupid.  Nobody ever heard of a computer?  And letting Steve and Abigail bond… not all that interesting either.  Yes, Steve has been through a lot, but he comes off as pretty weak most of the time.  He should be stronger.  The line about his doctor telling him he was gay wasn’t all that necessary either.  It was an average episode and they only have 3 more this season.  They’d better get their asses in gear.

Best of the Week:  While it only got a 4 (mainly because I couldn’t give it a 4.5 because of the rating system), Defiance wins this week.  We finally get some answers to some of the question that have been developing all season.

Worst of the Week:  It falls to Warehouse 13, not because it was bad, but because it was just blah.  It  could have been better, it should have been better, it was just weak all around.

Other Stuff I Watched:  Bones 1×13-1×22, Mythbusters #11×08

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