Thursday, March 25, 2010

Catching Up: The Dramas

Ahh, so much good television watched, and so few chances to blog about it. Okay, let's tackle these in some semblance of order. First off, Castle.

Castle. I love you Castle. Just when you were starting to get a little fluffy, you turn things up to 11 for the post-Dancing With the Stars crowd. This week's episode was shades of the first episode, with a serial killer obsessing on Castle's books. This time, it's Nikki Heat who is inspiring the killing, and it's important enough to bring the FBI in, spearheaded by Dana Delany (looking nothing like her China Beach days). Castle and Delany instantly hit it off, with Castle bouncing ideas off of her (the way he does with Beckett, awww), and entranced by the shiny FBI toys that she brings along. This serial killer likes to taunt Detective Heat...err, Beckett, and is constantly a step or three ahead of the good guys. The puzzles were excellently done, and some of the softer scenes worked out well (like Castle at Beckett's place). Even better, the incredible cliffhanger ending was really well done, upping the stakes even after I realized what was coming. Also, Beckett in the shower. Well played. Can't wait for next week.

Lost was some good times this week too, taking a short break from the regular Losties and delving into the story of one Richard (sorry, Ricardo) Alpert. In a bold move, most of the episode takes place in 1867 (now that's what I call a flashback!), and follows Ricardo as he loves his sick wife, accidentally kills a doctor, arrives home too late to save her, cannot recieve absolution from a priest (important), gets sold to a boat captain (working for someone named Hanso!), brought about the Black Rock (!), crashes into the Crocodile statue (!!), comes face to face with the Smoke Monster (!!!!, oh, and the encounter leaves his eyes permanently guylinered), and is eventually rescued by...The Man In Black (!!!!!). The MiB gives him the ceremonial Short Sword of Godkilling and sends him off to kill Jacob (with the same "don't let him speak" warning that Dolan gave Sayid). Instead, Jacob goes Chuck Norris on him, then offers him some wine. He explains that the Island is like a cork that keeps evil (in this case, the MiB) from escaping into the world. Jacob doesn't want to directly influence the people brought to the Island (which appears to be test subjects in the battle of good and evil that Jacob and the MiB are playing, but he does recruit Ricardo to be his Agent, working to guide the people who come to the Island. Oh, and gives him eternal life. And a suave haircut, one would think. Finally, Richard buries his wife's cross under a convenient bench.

Back to the future, Richard goes to that bench, digs up the cross, and starts yelling that he wants to join Team Smokey now, but instead finds Hurley. Who is talking to Ricardo's dead wife. They have a well-acted reunion, and Richard is brought back into the fold. However, looking on is...Not-Locke! I enjoyed this episode, stepping out of the current story to give us a boatload of backstory and answer a few questions. I also really look forward to seeing how the metaphor of MiB smashing the wine bottle (the one that represents the shell holding evil inside) rather than remove the cork (aka, the Island). The storyline is chugging along at a good clip, and I am past the point of no return on it.

Burn Notice: I totally forgot that this had ended, so I got on Hulu and watched the finale. This season was a disjointed one, with the overall story not being all that compelling (felt more like a rehash of the Carla storyline), and the team being all weird around each other. They tried to sell us on a darker Michael, but it never paid off...until the last ten minutes of this episode.

Where we begin is with Gilroy freeing "Simon", a mysterious and very bad criminal. Simon turned the tables on Gilroy and blew him up good. We start from there, as Michael has to hoof it away from the Feds and get to a safe place. Before he can get his beloved Charger though, Simon blows up a food cart and draws Michael into an electronics store to deliver some exposition. Long story short, Simon is the psycho version of Michael, and his bad deeds are what they blamed on Michael in order to burn him. Simon wants Michael to deliver "Management" (i.e., Frasier's Dad) to him, otherwise a hotel goes boom. This was a weak part of the story, as it just seemed really obvious that Sam and Fi would take out the bomb, just getting them out of the way. Michael sneaks into his own place, calls Management, and spills the whole plan. While building a bomb, which was a neat scene. The weak part of the story was , once again, Michael's mom. The only good shot she got in was admitting that "taking one for the team" by protecting Michael is her way of making up for his crappy crappy childhood.

So we get our people into place; Management arrives, and Michael realizes too late that he's underestimated Simon. Simon gets away with Management, but Michael steals a truck (and also negates all the "I'm not going to be a line wolf anymore" progress he just made with Sam and Fi, another storyline that's driving me nuts this season) and chases Simon down. The ending has Michael holding a gun to Simon's head, about to pull the trigger. Management talks him (mostly) down, and Simon taunts Michael about how now Management owns Michael. The FBi scoops him up, and then we see him being led through dank hallways, wearing a jumpsuit and manacles, and a hood. The hood and shackles are removed, and he opens his eyes to...a tastefully appointed study...and scene. New episodes in June, so we'll see what happens next. Will his burn notice be revoked? Will he go somewhere that isn't Miami? Three months and counting.

Okay, comedies tomorrow (with luck). Three weeks worth of Community, The Office, and 30 Rock to catch up with.

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