Friday, April 17, 2015

The Big Bang Theory: The Communication Deterioration (8x21)

This episode wasn't great. It fell into the trap that this show often falls into - they set up some interesting scenarios with a lot of potential, and then failed to deliver. Let's take a look.

Raj gets the honor of working on a proposal for NASA about a message sent out to from Earth to potential aliens. Raj asks the other guys for suggestions. When Howard and Sheldon start bowling him over and making all of these decisions, Raj decides that he and Leonard will work on it alone. Sheldon and Howard are upset about being excluded. Raj and Leonard realize that since neither of them are natural leaders, they can't get anywhere without Sheldon and Howard. They ask them to come back in on the project. However, as they all work together, Raj, Howard, and Leonard slowly realize that Sheldon is the one who always gets his way. In the episode tag, we see aliens receive Sheldon's message and discuss how delicious he looks.

Meanwhile, Penny is torn about her future. She doesn't know if she should go audition for the part in the Kevin Smith movie, or just keep going with her sales career. She goes to Sheldon for advice, who at first insists he won't help her, since he's just learned that he tends to boss people around too much. Eventually, he caves and tells Penny that she should go to the audition and get more information, but there's no reason to make a decision yet. Penny goes to the audition, but she remembers how much she hates the competitive atmosphere, and she decides to stick with her job. She thanks Bernadette for getting her the job, and Bernadette pressures her to take her and Amy out to a thank you dinner.

Supernatural: Book of the Damned (10x18)

Oh nooooo. That was awesome! And terrible! I'm legitimately terrified for the finale. It's going to kick my ass with feelings. Let's dive right in!

Charlie is on the run from a group of men who seem determined to get the Book of the Damned from her. She gets shot, but luckily it's not a serious wound. She contacts Sam and Dean, who come to meet her at one of the safe houses Bobby had set up for hunters. Dean discovers the identity of the people who shot Charlie - the Styne family. They're an evil bunch that go back centuries. They've used the Book of the Damned for all sorts of heinous crimes. Dean has an encounter with the Stynes, and is barely able to get away. He tells Sam and Charlie that he can feel the Book calling out to the Mark. It's bad news, and they need to destroy it. As the Stynes show up to try and take the book, Dean implores Sam to burn it. Sam does so, and together Sam, Dean, and Charlie manage to defeat the Stynes.

However, we later see that Sam didn't really destroy the Book. He takes it to Rowena, because he's desperate for a way to remove the Mark from his brother. He figures that she'll know how to crack the book's indecipherable language.

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.: Melinda (2x17)

Oh my GOD. We finally got the story of the Cavalry. That was... intense. This whole episode was... wow.

So. In the present day, we see May get put in charge of the base. Gonzales and the others seem willing to trust her, for now. Bobbi tells May that the reason they don't trust Coulson is that there's a secret project, Theta Protocal, that Coulson has been funneling all sorts of money into. May didn't know about this project. She turns to Simmons for help, and the two of them do their research. They discover that Coulson is indeed hiding something - he's been spending money on all sorts of weird stuff for a while now, and hasn't been honest about his whereabouts. Mack thinks that Coulson is planning some sort of facility for Inhumans.

At the very end of the episode, we see Fitz succeed in opening the toolbox. He uses it to contact Coulson and Hunter, who are still hiding out. Fitz informs them that he's being followed, but he wants their help in ditching the people tracking him so he can come hang out with Coulson and Hunter.

Skye is being trained in how to use her powers with Jiaying. She starts to discover the beautiful potential of her powers. She also learns the truth - Jiaying is her mother. Jiaying tells her that she has to be careful and not tell anybody the truth. Jiaying is in charge of Afterlife, and if people were to suspect her of playing favorites, her authority would be jeopardized. We hear a story about another Inhuman who stole Terrigen crystals to use on her daughter, so that her daughter could go through the transformation. Because of the horrible way this story ends, (I'll get there in a sec) Jiaying and Skye will have to keep their relationship a secret.

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Once Upon a Time: Heart of Gold (4x18)

This was a good episode. Not the best, but good enough that I don't even care how stupid it is that Zelena is back. Or that we got virtually no Captain Swan. Let's dive in!

Back in Sherwood Forest, many years ago, we see Robin working in a tavern. He is newly married to Marian, and he's turned away from thievery. He doesn't have enough money to pay taxes to the Sheriff of Nottingham. Robin needs a way to get the money, and fast. Rumplestiltskin shows up and makes him an offer - he'll make sure Robin gets the money he needs, if Robin will travel to Oz to steal something for him. Robin goes into Oz and there meets Will, who is also searching for the item Robin is to steal. This elixir is capable of healing a broken heart. Will and Robin agree to look for it together. Robin tries to steal the elixir, but he is stopped by Zelena. However, he does manage to escape, and take some of the elixir with him.

Robin lies to Will and says that he wasn't able to get any of the elixir. Will then tells Robin the story of why he wants the elixir - he wants to cure his own broken heart after the tragic death of his sister. Robin, touched upon hearing this story, makes up his mind - he slips the vial of elixir into Will's pocket. Back in Sherwood, Robin decides not to pay taxes to the Sheriff. Instead, he takes on his new identity as Robin Hood, who will steal from the rich and give to the poor.

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Outlander: By the Pricking of My Thumbs (1x10)

Oh man. Laoghaire you bitch. I mean, I knew that was coming, obviously. But it makes me so angry every time I read the book. Ugh. Let's go over what happened.

The Duke of Sandringham is visiting Castle Leoch, and Murtagh believes Jamie might be able to ask the Duke for his help in clearing Jamie's name. Claire informs Jamie that the Duke is working with Black Jack Randall, but of course she cannot say how she knows. Jamie believes her, but decides that he should still give it a try. Wtih Ned Gowan's help, Jamie produces a record of Jonathan Randall's heinous actions against Claire. This report, signed by both Jamie and Claire, should get the Duke to stop working with the man.

The Duke agrees to help Jamie, but only if Jamie agrees to be his second in a duel against the MacDonalds. Jamie agrees, despite the fact that there's animosity between the Frasers and the MacDonalds. Jamie ends up skirmishing with one of the other men, and he is slightly wounded. However, it may have been worth the trouble - the Duke agrees to try and remove the price on Jamie's head so he can be a free man once again.

While all of this is going on, Claire confronts Laoghaire about the "ill wish" that Claire found under her bed. Laoghaire insists that Jamie belongs to her, and that the marriage between Claire and Jamie must be a loveless one. Laoghaire also reveals that Geillis Duncan was the one to sell Laoghaire the ill wish. Claire finds Geillis in the middle of a witch ritual in the woods, and thus learns that Geillis is pregnant. Geillis tells Claire that she didn't know the ill wish was meant for her - she sold it to Laoghaire without knowing its purpose. She also tells Claire that the baby she is carrying belongs to Dougal MacKenzie.

Monday, April 13, 2015

Elementary: One Watson, One Holmes (3x19)

Aww. More great Joan/Sherlock friendship stuff! Let's jump in. I'm going to be brief.

The case this week involves Everyone, the hacker coalition. Sherlock gets a visit from one of its members, and learns that there's a civil war going on in the group. Some of them want to remain anarchists, helping and hurting people on a case-by-case basis as they see fit. Another faction wants to be a full-blown political movement, supporting the left and working against the right. Things get complicated when a member of Everyone winds up dead. It's up to Sherlock to figure out who killed him. This is made all the more difficult by the fact that he has to track down people's actual identities and match them to their online handles.

Eventually, after some twists and turns involving a hacker working undercover for the FBI, multiple real people using the same online handle, and sensitive government secrets, the case is solved.

Meanwhile, Sherlock notices that Joan seems to be pulling into her shell, and is not getting out and socializing nearly as much as she used to. She is invited to hang out with her friends and plan a bachelorette party, but she ducks out early and makes excuses. Sherlock talks to her, concerned. He believes she is turning inward and becoming antisocial as a way to cope with the traumatic loss of Andrew. He tells her that their friendship is a give and take - that they should both work towards the best aspects of each other. Sherlock admits that his antisocial tendencies are not his strongest quality, and he believes Joan should avoid emulating them. Their relationship works best with one Holmes and one Watson. Not two Holmes. Later, Joan goes out to spend time with her friends, realizing that she needs to maintain her social life.

Sunday, April 12, 2015

The Big Bang Theory: The Fortification Implementation (8x20)

Kind of a lackluster episode in certain regards, but there was one plot thread that cracked me up, and a few funny moments besides. Let's dive in.

Sheldon is grumpy because he was not invited to a symposium at Richard Feynman's house with a bunch of his colleagues. He is moody and morose during his date night with Amy, which breaks the rules of their relationship agreement. Sheldon remembers what it was like to be left out as a child, when his siblings would build forts and not let him come inside. Amy offers to build a fort with Sheldon. They make a really cool fort, and Sheldon is having so much fun with Amy that he agrees to a sleepover so she won't have to leave. He is then disturbed to find that Amy had stashed sleepover supplies such as pajamas and a toothbrush in the apartment several years ago, just in case.

This plot thread was okay, but it didn't offer a ton of surprises or anything particularly special. I did enjoy Sheldon's obvious delight at the fort, and his loophole in their relationship agreement made me chuckle. (He holds up a picture of himself smiling to cover up his bad mood). Also, Amy and Sheldon play march madness with different forts, comparing their own creation to other famous forts such as Fort Knox. That was pretty cute. I wish we could have learned more about why Sheldon had been excluded, because I felt like there was a good opportunity for some reflection on Sheldon's social isolation.

Saturday, April 11, 2015

Grey's Anatomy: Crazy Love (11x19)

I love Maggie. Her entrance into this show may have been rather silly, but I love her character. And are we starting to see some love triangle-y thing going on with her, Jo, and Alex? Uh oh! Interesting! Let's dive in to the plot.

The central case this week involves a chef whose wife cut off his penis when she discovered him having an affair with his sous chef. April calls in Catherine Avery to assist, because she is a very skilled urologist. Richard expressly told April not to call Catherine, because of their lingering issues, but she really is the best for the job. Catherine successfully reattaches the penis with Stephanie's assistance. Catherine is impressed by Stephanie's skill. Later, the man forgives his wife for cutting off his penis, proving that they're both a little crazy. The sous chef, furious at what she considers a betrayal, cuts off the newly reattached penis. Stephanie manages to retrieve it from the jilted lover. Catherine Avery offers Stephanie a fellowship with her, but Stephanie realizes that urology is not the specialty for her. She still hasn't found the right thing. Richard and Catherine talk about their issues. They both acknowledge that they'll probably keep hurting each other, but they decide to get back together.

Meanwhile, Amelia and Callie both work on a patient who has a spinal injury. This teenage girl is a golf prodigy, so maintaining mobility is very important to her. Callie wants to take a more conservative approach, but Amelia has an idea that will hopefully allow the girl a better chance of getting back to golfing. Owen weighs in and agrees that Amelia's approach is best. However, during the surgery Amelia realizes that the damage is worse than she thought. Ben has to rush and get Callie. They save the girl, and she'll be able to walk again after physical therapy... but her golfing days are over. Callie tries to reassure Amelia that they did their best, but Amelia is distraught. She tells Owen that being with him is a bad idea. She thinks his interference was based on their personal relationship, and as such they should cut things off. Meredith had earlier confronted Amelia about her relationship with Owen, saying that she told Cristina she would look after Owen. Amelia tells Meredith that it's none of her business how she tries to rebuild her life after losing the person she loved most in the world.

Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.: Afterlife (2x16)

Yikes! This is getting crazy. I'm so excited that we got to see J. August Richards back as Deathlok! Let's dive in to the plot.

Coulson and Hunter hide themselves in the Retreat, the same place where both Skye and Bruce Banner hid away from their powers. They are able to watch surveillance footage which shows them Skye using her powers to rebuff the S.H.I.E.L.D. agents who were trying to take her. They also see Gordon take her away. Coulson triggers the alarm at the Retreat, in order to lure S.H.I.E.L.D. to their location. He plans on stealing their quinjet so they have a chance of taking S.H.I.E.L.D. back for themselves. At first it looks like they are grossly outnumbered and doomed to fail, but Coulson assures Hunter that backup is on the way. The backup turns out to be Deathlok, also known as Mike Peterson. With Deathlok's help, Coulson and Hunter are able to get control of the quinjet. The next step is to find Skye. Coulson knows that he only has one option to do that: he needs find Grant Ward.

Meanwhile, Skye wakes up in a place with Chinese aesthetics called "Afterlife." She meets Lincoln Campbell, a man who is tasked with helping her come to terms with her powers. The two of them bond over their powers and their experiences, but then Lincoln accidentally lets slip that Raina is also there. Skye is furious that they would be trying to help Raina, after all she has done. Skye goes to confront Raina, but before things can get out of hand, Jiaying (Skye's mother!) shows up and diffuses the situation. She asks Skye to stay and explore their connection. Skye also wants to get a message to her friends to see if they're alright, but Gordon says he'll have to get permission from the elders. Gordon also visits Cal, who is imprisoned and not allowed to see his daughter.

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Outlander: The Reckoning (1x09)

When I first heard they were going to do make this TV show, I wondered about a lot of different things. Sure, there's a lot of sex and violence in this show - but then again I watch Game of Thrones, so I figured that wouldn't be too tricky. My biggest concern was in how the relationship between Jamie and Claire would translate to the small screen. It's a hard sell - a 20th century woman and an 18th century man? There are just so many potential pitfalls right there. How can you tell a story about two equals who fall in love, when there's so much historical sexism weighing everything down? It works in the books because there are hundreds upon hundreds of pages with which to sell the romance. In the show? Well, I was nervous. And one of the things I was most nervous about was the whole spanking incident. Let's dive into the plot, and then I'll tell you what I thought!

We pick up where we left off, this time getting a glimpse into Jamie's head. He meets with a British deserter who has information that might lead to his getting his name cleared. The information is that Jack Randall is responsible for killing one of his own men. Jamie knows he can't use Randall to clear his own name. At this point, the kid who was supposed to be guarding Claire rides up and informs everybody that Claire has been taken hostage.

Jamie, along with help from the others, gets into Fort William. He confronts Randall and Claire with an empty pistol, and manages to bluff his way close enough to knock Randall out. He and Claire escape, with the aid of the others causing an explosion as a distraction. Jamie wants an apology from Claire for wandering off and getting herself into trouble. He says that Claire is his wife, and thus should have obeyed his orders. Claire is incensed by being treated like property. The two get into a screaming match, but ultimately they apologize to one another and reconcile.