April 21, 2018

Once Upon a Time: The Guardian (7x18)

Tilly and Margot... so freaking cute.

Cons:

I actually find myself a little bit confused about what is going on with Facilier. Why did he take the dagger? Or did he take it? Why did he want it in the past? And why did Rumple need that magic that Regina had received for helping Henry? It all seems a bit convoluted, and unnecessarily so for what is mostly a very focused, deep episode.

Pros:

As I said, Tilly and Margot are adorable. They go on a super sweet date, and we also see the two of them beginning their courtship in the Wish realm, so we get to see Alice and Robin at the same time as we see Tilly and Margot. I'd watch so many episodes just about the two of them if I could. Tilly taking Margot to the bookstore, the "Pop and Pop" bookstore, as she calls it, to her favorite place, the travel section... Margot giving Tilly a bracelet, and promising to be there even on Tilly's bad days... these two are so sweet they are rotting my teeth. In a good way. I can't stand it.

Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.: All Roads Lead... (5x18)

Yikes. I know I've been saying all along that Ruby and Hale aren't all that interesting to me, but this week I might just have to go back on that.

Cons:

In some ways, my newfound appreciation for Ruby is a bad thing, because just as I was finally getting sucked in to her story, she died. And I don't really know what to make of that. Hale, I have no sympathy for whatsoever. If I'm supposed to care about her and feel bad for her in her grief over her daughter, then... I don't know what to say. Because I don't.

Pros:

Honestly, this episode was super intense though. We learn more about what exactly Gravitonium does to a person, and it's... awful. Apparently everybody who has been absorbed by the Gravitonium is still sort of... in there, or at least their consciousness is. We see that this drives Ruby mad for the brief moments she has it inside of her. Even worse, as she tries to touch Von Strucker's face, she crushes his skull by accident. It's really hard to watch. The poor thing is crying and screaming and clearly just so scared and in so much pain. But as Hale and Daisy both try and talk her through this, Yo-Yo makes a very different call. She sees before her the Destroyer of Worlds, and she strikes out, using her powers even though it hurts her terribly to do so.

April 20, 2018

Grey's Anatomy: Judgment Day (14x20)

Oh boy. Things are happening.

Cons:

I don't know if they're trying to reintroduce the idea of Owen and Amelia, as Amelia helps Owen with the baby boy who has been unexpectedly dropped into his life. If so, NOOOO. Amelia and Owen were a train-wreck and I do not root for them together in the slightest.

There was one random intern who ate a pot cookie but lied about it and continued to work, ultimately leading to nearly killing a patient, and getting himself injured. Richard fires him, obviously. I know that over the years, almost every single doctor in the hospital has made horrible choices, but this felt particularly egregious and stupid. Am I supposed to care that this dude got fired? Because I honestly don't even know his name, and his behavior is abhorrent.

The Big Bang Theory: The Comet Polarization (11x21)

Okay, not bad.

Cons:

There's this one joke where Sheldon starts to compare the comic-book shop to Wakanda from Black Panther, and Amy worries he's going to say something "offensive to certain groups of people." She is then relieved when he doesn't. This wasn't an egregiously bad joke or anything, but sometimes I just wish people would tell it like it is? Instead of saying "offensive to certain groups of people," couldn't Amy have just said "don't be racist"?

Howard and Bernadette trying and failing to have a date night didn't offer much in the way of good comedic material. It wasn't bad, it just didn't really go anywhere. They want Stuart to babysit, but then he gets busy with the store, so they can't leave... just nothing much going on with all of this that I really cared about.

Supernatural: Funeralia (13x19)

This shit is compelling, you guys. I'm really happy with this episode.

Cons:

This wasn't a flawless, amazing episode though. The pieces were all compelling on their own, but when you look at the sum of its parts, I have to admit that this was quite an exposition-heavy, slightly clunky outing. There was just so much recapping that had to be done. We had to remember Jessica, the whole history with Billie, and Rowena, we had to remember Naomi, just... on and on and on. As a consequence, there were several moments where characters had to say things out loud to remind the audience, even though there's no real reason that the characters in-universe would need to rehash those details.

One of the recurring elements of Supernatural is that one of the Winchesters gets into some sort of trouble, and the other Winchester panics. I am NOT complaining about the brothers worrying for each other; that's basically my kryptonite. But sometimes the show uses these moments of panic as "cliffhangers" before commercial breaks and it always makes me roll my eyes. Sam gets taken by Rowena, and Dean runs out and then turns on Jessica, asking her in a panic: "where the hell is my brother?!" And then we cut to commercial break. Pu-lease. Nobody thinks Sam is actually dead or dying. We're not stupid.

April 19, 2018

Suits: Pulling the Goalie (7x14)

This is an interesting episode, because it seems to be wrapping up a lot of the elements of the story, leaving us with something of a clean slate going in to next week's two-part finale. Is that so we can focus all our energy on Mike and Rachel leaving? We'll see!

Cons:

I guess... I mean... I'm happy for Louis that he gets to be with Sheila and all that, but there are a few things about this that really rub me the wrong way. For one, Sheila was pretty clear that she didn't want kids. As a woman who is constantly being told that she'll change her mind about not wanting children, it miffed me just slightly to see Sheila caving on that. It's fine to change your mind, obviously, but it seems like Sheila has decided to sacrifice her own desires for Louis, and that sucks. The other thing is... sure, Sheila's fiance was a dick, but is Louis actually any better? We're supposed to think he's a good man because he sacrificed the chance to humiliate his rival, all because Sheila asked him to. But Louis was only in a position to humiliate him because he decided to pick a fight with the guy and screw him over all to maintain his honor. That's such a nasty, petty thing to do!

Pros:

That being said, Louis' plot thread this week did have a couple of really good elements. For one, it saw the return of Katrina, who will be elevated to a main role next season to try and fill the gaping hole in our hearts made by Mike and Rachel's departures. She's such a fun character, and her enduring love and support for Louis makes her all the more fun to root for. I might not always like Louis, but I admire Katrina for never turning her back on him. We also got a great little moment with Harvey and Louis, where Louis helps Harvey with a work thing, and in turn Harvey gives Louis relationship advice. It's nice to see a scene with the two of them where they aren't yelling at each other every once in a while. With Mike gone next season (sniff sniff), Louis and Harvey's relationship might very well be a bigger focus.

April 16, 2018

The Walking Dead: Wrath (8x16)

I'm so pissed off right now I can't even handle it.

Cons:

My mercy was stronger than my wrath? Or whatever? Ugh come ON, Rick. As I was watching this episode, I was getting so excited to finally have something to write about with genuine enthusiasm in the "pros" section of my review. I haven't been this hyped over an episode of The Walking Dead in literal years. That moment when the guns started backfiring and the battle began? Damn, that was good stuff. And then Rick slashes Negan's throat! It was literally the perfect way for his character to die! I was so excited! I literally said "thank you!" out loud to my computer screen. And then Rick tells Siddiq to save Negan, and Negan doesn't die. I cannot express how annoyed this makes me.

In my real, everyday life, I am 100% opposed to capital punishment. But within the context of this television program, Negan needed to fucking die, you guys. He just needed to die. And I was all set to really admire the way that they did it. Rick using Negan's affection for Carl to get him to drop his guard for just a second, so he could get close enough to slash out and kill him? That's messed up, and in the perfect way. I could just see how that action would effect Rick moving forward, especially given his conversation with Morgan, and Carl's letter, and all of that. Sometimes people have to die in situations like this. And yeah, I get the idea - Negan's going to rot in jail forever, as a symbol that they're building a real civilization with humane law and order instead of merciless killing. Couldn't Rick have waited just a couple more minutes before making that decision? If anybody needed to be the last person to die in the struggle, it needed to be Negan.

April 14, 2018

Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.: The Honeymoon (5x17)

Wow, a ton of stuff happens in this episode.

Cons:

I mean, a ton. This episode felt a bit crowded. I get that it's setup for what's coming down the road, but it felt like quite a lot of important plot points to squeeze in to one hour of television.

Ruby and Hale didn't interest me, even here during their emotional scene. I want to care about their relationship, and the way that Hale has always raised Ruby to be a soldier and all of that... but I just can't make myself feel anything about it.

Pros:

Even though there was sort of too much going on in this episode, I will say that for the vast majority of it, I was enjoying the scenes we were getting.

Once Upon a Time: Chosen (7x17)

I'm so happy that Rogers gets to save Henry. And I'm pretty happy with this Zelena-centric episode!

Cons:

I with that Naveen wasn't working with Facilier. And by that I mean I wish that we could cut through the crap and just get past the part where everybody has their feelings hurt about this. With so few episodes left in the show, I'm just not all that interested in furthering the Facilier plot in this way. I want him and Regina to be happy together, and for that to happen I don't want all of this deception and nonsense getting in the way. That said, it appears that Facilier has gotten Nick/Jack/Hansel out of the way, so that can only be good news...

Pros:

I thought this episode was going to be mainly focused on Henry and Nick, and in a way it was. But oddly the real star of the episode was Zelena, as we see how her backstory intertwines with Nick's. When he and his sister were captives of a witch who wished to eat them, Zelena saw the two poor kids being held in cages, and did nothing to save them, merely warning the witch to get out of town, because there's only room for one ruling witch. Later, however, Zelena is saved by a blind man who ends up being Hansel and Gretel's father. Zelena goes back to save the children, but finds they are gone... turns out, they had already escaped. Zelena's new love interest is horrified to learn that Zelena knew where his kids were all along and didn't tell him, and in a fit of rage, Zelena punishes him by burning Hansel's arms in the fire.

April 13, 2018

Grey's Anatomy: Beautiful Dreamer (14x19)

This show is always getting me to be emotional about stuff that I don't want to be emotional about!

Cons:

Ugh Catherine you are just the worst. Apparently there's some big secret about the Harper Avery foundation and Jackson didn't know about it, so he may have just ruined them all. Catherine is so entitled and she really needs to get off of her high horse and communicate with the people around her. I guess I should just wait and see what the deal is before I make too many judgments...

So, the ICE plot was bold, and daring, and mostly effective. I do question the lack of a certain perspective, though. I wish we could have had at least one person in the hospital tell Bello to just talk to the ICE Agent and go from there. I'm not saying that's the right thing to do, but having everybody immediately jump into crisis mode felt unrealistic, because I think a lot of people are pretty naive about how bad things can get. I also question the decision to send her to Switzerland to work with Cristina. Is that actually legal? They forged documents and just shipped her out of the country. How is that any better than fleeing up to Canada like Andrew wanted to do? Ah, well. Maybe we'll get more of this story moving forward. If so, then I rescind these complaints. But if this is really the end of Bello, then I'm a little disappointed in how that shook out.

The Big Bang Theory: The Reclusive Potential (11x20)

Continually uninspired.

Cons:

One of the complaints I'm always coming back to with this show is that there's just not a lot of creativity. There are fun setups, and then little follow-through. This episode was better than some, but the same problems exist. We see Penny and Bernadette throwing Amy a bachelorette party, but Amy passes out very quickly when we get to the bar, so we don't get to see much in the way of creative shenanigans. And the guys go and meet a genius recluse, but they just sit around and talk for a while and then leave. Not the worst scenes in this show's history, but just not that creative either.

Pros:

I did like the "thesis" of the episode, if you will. Basically, Sheldon sees a truly genius man who isolates himself from society and produces great results. But, he realizes, this is not the life for him. The guys encourage him, telling him it's a good thing that he lives a full life and has more going on for himself. He goes home and shares this with Amy. I enjoy seeing evidence that Sheldon continues to grow as a person through his relationship with Amy. It's more than I can say for most of the other characters on this show. Also, the line about rabbit vs. squirrel was pretty great.

Supernatural: Bring 'em Back Alive (13x18)

So.... this is a Buckleming episode. However, I must say I was mostly okay with it. As surprising as that is!

Cons:

There are a couple of different reasons to cringe when I see those dreaded names flash up on the screen. One of them is that they tend to do stupid things like kill off Charlie and Eileen. The other one is more of a structural issue. Buckleming episodes tend to be A-plot, and they tend to be crowded. This is no exception. We have the Asmodeus/Gabriel/Cas/Sam part of the story, we have the Apocalypse world story with Dean, Ketch, and Charlie, and then we have the Lucifer subplot. Honestly, cut the same amount of plot into two episodes, and just let it breathe a little bit more. Give us just a few more minutes with Apocalypse!Charlie so we can understand how hard it is for Dean to leave her behind. Give us more time with Cas and Sam talking to Gabriel before Asmodeus shows up. Give us more of an understanding of Lucifer's poor leadership skills before Sister Jo decides to leave him. Cramming all of this stuff into one episode means that we get the plot points taken care of, but we don't have quite enough time for nuance and development.

Also... I'm thrilled to see Charlie and everything, but I hate that she got written back into this story in an episode written by the very people who gutted her in a bathtub. The whole thing put a really sour taste in my mouth. I wanted them to stay the hell away from her, honestly.

April 12, 2018

Modern Family: CHiPs and Salsa (9x19)

This episode was very middle-of-the-road for me.

Cons:

So, on the one hand, I do appreciate giving some direction to a few characters who have been mostly aimless for a while now. Luke taking steps to go to college, Haley trying to improve her reputation at work, Gloria working to sell her family's sauce, Mitchell contemplating a new job offer. But the reason I'm mentioning it in the "cons" section is that I'm just not sure I trust this show to go anywhere with it. I want true A-plots, developing character arcs, all that jazz. And this show hasn't been able to deliver on those things. Are we actually going to get to see Luke starting school? Are we going to see Mitchell accept a new job? Maybe, but if we do, it'll be several episodes from now and there won't be much time and thought put into it.

Claire and Phil's plot line was pretty uninspired. They get competitive, but then realize they're both out of shape. Phil has a robot that does stuff for them when they can't move because they're so sore. It was just... predictable. Nothing awful, just nothing all that interesting either.

Suits: Inevitable (7x13)

What the heck, Paula?

Cons:

I've been saying for weeks now that I actually like Paula and Harvey as a couple. Here's the thing: I'm happy, in a way, that we're not dragging out the love triangle thing unnecessarily, when we all know how it's going to end up. But what I'm bummed about is that in ending it, the story ends up making Paula look like kind of a monster. She basically decides that her insecurities over Donna are too strong, so if she and Harvey are going to make it, then Harvey and Donna can't work together anymore. Donna begs her to reconsider, and when she doesn't, Donna tries to resign. This is so messed up! I can't believe that these three adult humans think that Donna damaging her career is an acceptable thing to consider just to preserve Paula's security in her relationship. Gross!

Similarly gross? Louis and Sheila. I'm just not digging this whole story for Louis. I thought we were going to see him continue on his trend of growing up and being better, but instead it's like he's backsliding. I like Sheila perfectly fine, and their weird foreplay is always hilarious. But I don't want to watch Louis perpetuate adultery like this, and the longer that Sheila goes along with it, the more respect I lose for her.

April 09, 2018

The Walking Dead: Worth (8x15)

Eugene is the worst.

Cons:

He's the worst in the sense that I'm getting sick and tired of looking at his stupid face and hearing his stupid voice. He uses up way too much screen-time, honestly. And this entire plot with him was a pointless detour! Daryl and Rosita kidnap him, which I thought was exciting, but then he gets away and gets back to his outpost, where he remains more determined than ever to produce bullets for Negan. This felt like a big honking waste of time to me. I was excited about the possibilities of Eugene back at Hilltop, but apparently not! And he treats Gabriel really poorly the whole time, which honestly does not help his case!

I'll admit I got caught up with the Dwight stuff just a little bit, but there is one big problem here: of course Negan discovered he was a spy. If he hadn't figured that out, it would have undercut Negan's threat as a villain in a big way, because Dwight isn't exactly difficult to figure out. I just wish there could have been a way for him to be a bit more subtle, or for Negan to figure him out a little sooner. One or the other.

April 07, 2018

Once Upon a Time: Breadcrumbs (7x16)

I realized that Nick was Hansel last week. Was I not supposed to? I'm confused by this.

Cons:

The flashback story was kind of stupid. Basically, Henry wants to "find his own story" so he wants some grand adventure where he can find a ring to propose to Ella with, one that comes with a great story. Hook tries to help him by setting up a grand adventure, but it turns out that Hook paid Blackbeard to let Henry have his moment of glory. Henry is hurt that it's a setup, but then forgives Hook because apparently Hook was feeling insecure in comparison with the other Hook. It was just kind of... lackluster, and all of these story beats felt like they came out of nowhere. Were we supposed to know that Henry was still feeling like he was without a story of his own? It doesn't seem like him to want adventure for adventure's sake. And was it ever a thing that New Hook was jealous of OG Hook? Because if it was, I certainly didn't pick up on it. The whole flashback was pretty much entirely useless.

Pros:

Although... we did get to see Henry proposing to Jacinda, and it was pretty adorable. There's something about the two of them that I find undeniably sweet. They're not passionate like Hook and Emma, they're not quite as fairy-tale perfect as Snow and Charming. They're just... good together. It's adorable.

Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.: Inside Voices (5x16)

This episode contains some real highlights, and also some not-so-good stuff. Let's take a look.

Cons:

The stuff with Hale and Ruby and Creel and all of that suffers because it had no real buildup. I mean, this half-season has had tons of scenes with them, but it still feels like it's coming out of nowhere. Especially Creel. I barely remember what happened the last time we saw Creel, or why I should care about him. And if I can't remember, then I know casual viewers won't either.

In many ways this episode was a filler, in that it was moving things into place for more intense moments later on. That's no problem, especially when it comes to interesting character beats. But for whatever reason, I really felt the "filler" aspect of it during May, Daisy, and Robin's plot thread. They spend basically the whole episode in transit, waiting for Robin to give them a lead on Coulson. Then, she does. And so we're finally one step closer to a reunion. It just felt like a lot of time was spent on very little forward progress in these scenes.

April 06, 2018

Grey's Anatomy: Hold Back the River (14x18)

Grey's Anatomy is usually good for a couple of tear-jerker scenes most weeks. I am more stubborn than most, so when I find myself getting misty-eyed it usually means a) I'm exhausted, or b) a scene really, really worked. Maybe a little bit of both this week, but lemme tell ya - I got choked up.

Cons:

Maggie and Jackson are on thin ice with me. They were just starting to get cute, and then they throw in a stupid, juvenile, "misunderstanding" plot thread. See, April tells Maggie that she "jumped her ex-husband in a supply closet," meaning that now Maggie is pissed at Jackson and possibly thinks that he kissed/had sex with April. It's just... ugh. Communication, people. It's the cornerstone of any healthy relationship. Let's just NOT with this.

The Teddy detour of last week makes even less sense now, when you have Amelia and Arizona both calling Teddy for details about Owen's behavior. Teddy doesn't even get to appear in this episode to defend herself. Is she coming back on the show next season, or was this whole little plot cul de sac really as useless as it appears?

The Big Bang Theory: The Tenant Disassociation (11x19)

This show is sexist, guys.

Cons:

It's the little things. Like the show starts with a joke about Leonard making fun of Raj for getting "beat up by a girl." And even though Howard points out that it's sexist, it's still not enough to erase the stupid joke. Raj and Howard's subplot involves finding a hot girl who owns a drone that crashed, but of course the punchline of the joke is that Raj is super creepy, and the girl sees that on the drone video feed as Raj talks about sleeping with her. Raj is the worst. How am I supposed to root for him with women when he behaves this way? Even Stuart points out that women don't tend to frequent the comic book shop because of the latent sexism of the men there, including himself. I suppose I should be impressed that he is recognizing the sexism, but it's not enough to point something out. You actually have to go somewhere with it.

Supernatural: The Thing (13x17)

This was quite a solid episode! When I saw the promo, I wasn't all that interested, but the actual episode had quite a bit of new information, some forward progress, and some genuinely cool and funny moments as well.

Cons:

The one problem I do have is with this new outpost of Rhode Island Men of Letters. Sam and Dean encounter some descendants of MOL, and these characters are introduced as if they are one-offs, instead of a big deal. Sam and Dean thought they were all that remained of the MOL - at least, the American ones. Shouldn't they want to set up some sort of information-sharing network with these new people? It felt like the existence of other MOL was downplayed far too much. Similarly, it seems a little flimsy to me that the MOL would open up another dimension to cleanse the earth, just because one crazy dude said so. I mean, I know he went rogue, but still.

Also, no Cas. And only one Cas mention all episode, from Asmodeus and Ketch. They need to come up with better excuses as to why he's not around.