Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Reviews 8/22/12 - 8/27/12

Did I already say that Alphas is freakin' awesome? Last night's episode was on the messy side, but there was lots of interesting content. We saw one side of the alpha world with the fight club and now we see the other side, with alphas trying to live on their own, far away from everyone else. Hurricane Rosen rolls in and messes things up like he usually does. Rosen's approach to this war with Stanton Parrish has been really poor as this episode highlights. He wants a direct resolution--finding out about the device, no matter the costs--while Stanton Parrish is playing a longer game. While Parrish isn't making any friends either, he provides an alternative to the single-minded Rosen and the government. Rosen doesn't offer much right now, and while he may be the good guy from a story perspective, few alphas seem him as one. Skyler fit right into the war, wanting the best for her daughter and also knowing that Rosen isn't the answer. Is Parrish? We could see her on the other side the next time we see her. Kat Watch: Not in the episode. Rosen said he had her take apart the machine but she didn't find anything. Boo! In hindsight, it was probably for the best she wasn't in an already cluttered episode.

Breakthrough on Grimm! Hank finally learns about Nick's Grimmhood! This is amazing stuff for a show which painfully and ploddingly tried to keep everyone in the dark every episode. Now there's only the Juliette problem, which is turning into more fail from the writers.

If people didn't already know Walt will be screwed. In this week's episode, the third to last of the first half, we see the height of Heisenberg--the cold-blooded drug boss who can look anyone in the eye and make demands--and the low of Walt--the angry, vindictive man who berates Jesse and later shoots Mike then pathetically apologizes. Walt, in the end, is not Gus, nor will he ever be, not even close. Gus ran a tight ship, controlled and unremorseful, every move serving a distinct purpose. Walt can't be like that. He's a dead man.

The season finale of True Blood was relatively better than the season finale in previous season, and the rest of the season was as well, so I'd call Alan Ball's final season a success. Now, his tenure has been rocky to say the least, but he pulled it out in the end, leaving the show on firm footing for the final season. What made the season finale particularly good was its separation of the important and unimportant (well, except for the Alcide stuff which was out of place as usual). There isn't any time dawdling around with Russell. He's dead within the first few minutes, making his existence this season more of a funny story on the side for the audience to smile at. Same with Maurella popping out babies. It's funny but isn't important to the main plot of the episode. Then there's the actually important parts of the episode, the raid on the Authority HQ, Lots of blood and exploding vampires which is always fun. And then the end, Bill dying and reforming as Lilith (or Billith as people are saying) which was surprising. Bill was already the bad guy for most of the season and for him to continue on, as an even more dangerous creature, is a significant departure from the path the show seemed to be on. So the stuff I didn't like: Tara and Pam was completely forced, perhaps in an attempt to regain the LGBT viewership. Alcide became packmaster finally, after an uneventful detour for a few episodes. Cue the V problems storyline. In hindsight, the fire monster storyline seems even worse than it did before. Now it's 100% irrelevant.

The first season of Strike Back, the Sky1 production, focused a lot on how the CIA is a bunch of dicks. This third season is going back to this idea, with the CIA almost killing the team at the beginning of the episode. The rest of the episode was fairly interesting with the Tauregs. One of the things I like about the show is how the characters explore different regions and cultures around the world while chasing the bad guy.

For those who thought Suits would break the USA and transcend its initial case per week premise, think again. After a summer of twists and turns, plotting and backstabbing, Suits returned to where it was before the season began. No Hardman in the picture, Jessica back in charge, Harvey and Donna doing fine, Mike and Rachel not together, and no one liking Louis, although he's more hated now. There's stuff to clean up, but the characters are allowed to practice law in peace now. The bulk of the episode was perfectly fine, with lots of great scenes like Mike and Harvey stoned. But the introduction of Tess and what happened later reeked of plot device. Awful writing. The writers wanted to keep Mike and Rachel apart, so they introduce this never before seen childhood friend and have her and Mike sleep together, and Rachel sees. Terrible, lazy, even offensive. No other way to put it.

At this point, it's best to think of Burn Notice's overall plot (and some stuff in between) as a big farce. Burn Notice is a lot like NTSF:SD:SUV; stuff blows up, people get shot, and the plot makes no fucking sense. Just like in all the previous summer/season finales, this season's summer finale ended with a big shocker--another big bad! We're already 20 layers deep and it's just getting started, as the ratings are still good. 50 more big bads (when all actors/actresses in Hollywood have been used up), 20 more evil international organizations with no clear intent, and we'll probably end up at the final boss, Michael's father. Other than that, the episode had a cool setup, putting the team out on their own, so the action was pretty good. But the ending... expected yet disappointing every time.
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