Got the Monday updates ready (just a smidge late), and it was mostly feast, just a little bit of fowl.
***Note: I take full responsibility for the above pun, mostly because it refers to Heroes being crap***
How I Met Your Mother: Slapsgiving 2!!! The reverberations from "Slap Bet" continue to be awesome, as Marshall grants Slap #4 to Ted and Robin on a very special Thanksgiving. The greatness of Chris Elliot shows up as Lily's dad, although I was hoping for a little more from him. The string of failed board game ideas was funny, but other than the running gag of Lily's "Dead To Me" stare, he was mostly just hanging out and annoying people. Just seemed a little too tidy for him to pop in and be forgiven by the end of the episode...although as a sitcom, I suppose it was slappropriate to the situation. Ted and Robin's negotiation over who gets the slap was pretty funny, as was Barney working the clock to try and get out of it. Marshall's grand plan to get everybody back to together was a little thin, although in the context of the Slap Bet and the Power of the Slap, it works. There were a lot of nice little moments in the episode too, which brought the quality up some more. The scene in the deli where Lily makes the widow cry was such a well played piece of comedy. The commercial at the end for "Slap Bet" the board game was ten times funnier than it had any right to be, mainly for the kid-on-kid violence.
Castle: The first half of the episode was treading some Law and Order waters, but it picked up with the industrial espionage angle, then the counterspying, THEN the fraud at the end. The twists in the back half made for more compelling television, but at the expense of the first half. Castle's actions, reaction, and expressions only go so far (although they do go a loooong way, don't get me wrong). The subplot with Alexis volunteering at the NYPD was decent, mainly for the great visual of her in her "Beckett outfit", but the finale of that storyline made up for the slowness at the beginning. Loading up the back half of the show is dangerous territory, especially with Dancing With the Stars about to be over, and Castle losing its big lead-in. Still, I think the audience is built by this point. An "Alexis in law enforcement" storyline would be welcome, I just don't think it plausibly works out with her current age. Alas.
Heroes: This week's episode was a three-way dance for "Worst Thanksgiving Gathering Ever", featuring The Petrellis, The Bennetts, and the Carnies. Let's go to the Tale of the Tape:
The Petrellis: "Nathan", Peter, and the Cryptkeeper. Way ahead on "starkest location", but they lose points for the catered meal. Angela spends a couple scenes flat out lying about Dead Nathan, then just reverses course on it. Wasn't Peter there? Or did he get Parkman'd? Also, didn't Nathan have a wife and kids? I'd go look it up, but if Tim Kring doesn't care enough to mention it, then neither do I. Things pick up late when Sylar comes out to play, but unless he cut open Kobayashi's brain, I'm not interested. Sylar goes to slice open Angela's head (what is this, attempt #3?), but Nathan's mind takes over again and stops him.
The Bennetts: Claire and Noah, then ex-wife Sandra, her new boyfriend (who is undoubtedly fielding several "child molester" auditon requests after this), two annoying yappy dogs, the ghost of Chuck Cunningham...I mean Lyle, and then HRG's amnesiac Saturday Night Thing from the Primatech days. Oh yeah, and then just when the awkwardness level couldn't get any higher, they fire Gretchen at us again. I guess the faces at the table were too symetrical or something. Par for the course for this show, nothing actually happens over the course of these scenes. Claire whines a little more about quitting school, then raises the emo bar by running a steak knife through her forearm. This storyline has tryptophan beat hands down for inducing drowsiness. Oh yeah, and then Claire steals the compass and decides to go on a road trip to find MagnetO'. It'll be just like Crossroads, only without all that...no, it'll be exactly like Crossroads.
The Carnies: Finally we come to something resembling a storyline...comparatively speaking. Lydia talks Hiro into taking her back to eight weeks ago to watch Samuel off Joseph...you know, for the 3 people at home who hadn't figured it out about a million episodes ago. Samuel (who never met an overblown dinner speech he didn't like) realizes that Lydia knows, and decides to accuse Edgar of the murder. Hiro, who sure is using his powers a lot for SOMEONE WITH A BRAIN TUMOR), saves him, then tries to play hardball with the Dirt Devil to get Charlie back. Unfortunately, Hiro gets Jamatian'd. However, since this guy is no Rene, Hiro starts babbling about something and disappears.
So final score...we'll give it to the Carnies. Sylar's pie-eating contest scored some points, but more story happened at the CarnEvil. Besides, they could use a win before Claire shows up and drags them down to Boring Character Hell with her. Claire is the new Parkman, you heard it here first.