S01E04 - "Wouldn't It Be Nice if We Were Human" (7 February 2011) - I wasn't much a fan of Josh and his werewolf buddy - nor was I a huge fan of it in the UK series - but I did enjoy the bloody sex & bite session between Aidan and Rebecca. Talk about a messed up relationship. However, it's the most compelling aspect of the episode, and to see Aidan constantly trying to save Rebecca and not succumb to desire himself, that's good TV. It also helps Sam Witwer can pull off the brooding and painy expression better than any other vamp on the tele these days. Sally's desire to connect to her fiance and eventually affect the emotions and thought processes of those around her is a decent storyline, but not exactly one we haven't seen before. At the very least, it's nice to see she's allowing her fiance to move on with his life. But right now, it's the frakked up relationship with Aidan and Rebecca that has me suckered in. Rebecca is a wild card, literally, and I can't wait to see where she ends up by the finale, and how all of this will affect Aidan and his whole 'I'm not gonna feed on people!' thing. Bishop soon, please?
S04E14 - "Chuck Vs. the Seduction Impossible" (7 February 2011) - Another fun episode in a row! Gasp! Stop the presses! Perhaps the bestest part of the episode was the General Beckman/Roan Montgomery subplot, and the absolute awesomeness of Beckman screaming "DUCK!" from across the building and firing a bloody rocket launcher. Now that was some great stuff. Also great? Sarah trying to stop Chuck from sneezing and saying that if they get caught because he sneezed, they would pretty much be the worst spies ever. Ah, the funny. And let's not have this review written without mentioning Sarah in her bellydancer outfit. Um, yea. Nice. I'm also loving Casey and his relationship with Alex and Morgan, and I'm also liking Mama Bartowski's interaction with Ellie for the first time in eons. But their conversation in the kitchen reminded me of the whole fact Ellie still thinks Chuck isn't a spy anymore. Oh, I just wish they got that subplot done with already, or at least not have introduced it. After all, Chuck got back into the spy mission for one purpose: find his mom and get her outta Volkof's grasp. Now that it's all fine and dandy, why not just get out of the spy life? And especially now that he's all engaged with one of the hottest women on earth? Dug the episode - and not just because of the bellydancers. Anytime Roan is on CHUCK, it's a good time. Here's hoping we see him again, perhaps as a Beckman/Roan kickass spy episode where they're on a mission and save the day? I could see that. And Team Jeffster come to the rescue, too? Oh, I am brilliant.
S03E12 - "Concentrate And Ask Again" (4 February 2011) - A pretty much standard Freak of the Week episode that has bits and pieces of FRINGE greatness sprinkled here and there. Like, for example, having another Cortexiphan subject integrated into the plot and infused with hatred for dear ol' Walter Bishop, and Bishops subsequent remorse for his decisions of the past. Stuff like that - the personal, overarching mythology elements - I love that. What do I also love? Anna Torv in a gorgeous dress. Oh, boy. And that also goes to prove that Ms. Torv can shoot and kill and look gorgeous all at the same time. I propose she be a Bond girl; she could pull it off tremendously. The biggest moments of "Concentrate And Ask Again" are at the ending. First off: Bowling Guy wrote "The First People"? WHAT? Must Know More!!! Secondly: Peter still has feelings for Folivia, and the fate of both worlds at war hinges on what Olivia Dunham he truly loves. Although I can't say I'm particularly super pleased with that last development, there is a sort of poetry and literary beauty to the fate of two worlds resting on love. Or you can crudely boil it all down to the potential death of a few billion people based on who Peter has a hard on for or not. But let's not spoil the awesome cataclysmic stakes that have been set on the table, and the potential immortality of the Bowling Guy and what all this 'First People' business is about. Oh, FRINGE, I love you.
S02E01 - "The Moonshine War" (9 February 2011) - After what feels like a good millenia and a half, JUSTIFIED finally comes back to television with one hell of a great episode that nicely ties up the loose ends of "Bulletville", the season one finale, and forges us ahead to the main baddies and storylines of season two. The first ten minutes concludes (mostly) season one: Boyd goes after the people shooting after he and Raylan, but before he can kill the shooter Raylan shows up and stops him. Boyd ends up disappearing, leaving Raylan to spend a majority of the episode asking about his whereabouts. Raylan also goes to the big crime boss in Miami and basically offers him the opportunity to stop this nonsense or die where he sits. Thanks to Raylan's ex-boss, the matter gets cleaned up efficiently. Of course, thanks to the killing spree of "Bulletville", Raylan is sort of in some doo-doo. And then we're introduced to this seasons Big Bads: the Bennett family and Ma Mags, all who know Raylan (and his hat) from before. First, the big news: LOST alumni Jeremy Davies! God, that guys awesome; glad to have him. Secondly, Ma Mags is chilling and freaky and I can't wait to see her go down. That last scene with Mags, Dickey (Davies) and poor 14-year old Loretta's dad was just...yikes. Chills up the spine, y'know? The other dangling thread looking to have its ups and down this season: Raylan and the stunningly gorgeous ex-wife Winona, who don't so much talk what they mean to say so much as act on it. Also, each episode of JUSTIFIED has that one scene that is just awesome. This time around, it's the scene at the gas station where Raylan talks to the pervert and sprays him full of diesel. All that trademark witty dialogue, the wonderful performances and brilliant guest stars - it's all there, and by the looks of it, we're in for another stellar season of JUSTIFIED.
S01E13 - "Coup de Grace" (3 February 2011) - A entertaining episode with Nikita once again knocking down Division agents and giving the good ol' middle finger to her former employ, and Alex showing quick thinking on her feet that assisted her teammate with the whole saving the day thing. Division, Michael, Alex, Nikita - all great material here. If there is one true big strength with this series, it's the stellar action scenes that truly prove Maggie Q can kick ass. Speaking of Q, she was excellent in this episode, and I don't just mean the dress. Michael was tolerable for the first time in awhile, with his whole I-hate-Nikita (!!!) attitude repressed (somewhat) for the time being. I still think it was a mistake to get Alex out of Division, but if we get more episodes like this, I could better understand why the writers went that route. Frankly, it just seems like it leads to a higher probability of Alex being found out, but that's just me.
S01E04 - "Cadie" (4 February 2011) - Cadie isn't exactly my favorite character of the series, but nonetheless, SKINS delivered yet another pretty good episode. In "Tony", we get that Cadie is quite the druggie. She's nearly always on something. Well, now we get a bit of a backstory, a peak behind the curtain, about why she is the way she is. Turns out she's not only super depressed, but her mom is super picky and obsessed with beauty. Everything needs to be beautiful, her body, Cadie's body, and that lends itself to self-satisfaction. Cadie is pretty much a used object to her friends, a source of drugs, and for Michelle's moms boyfriend, a object of desire (don't know why, dude). So pretty much, she has a shitty, messed up life like the rest. Actress Britne Oldford has got Cadie down splendidly: she sits wide eyed in front of the counselor, there but not there. She caves in to what other people perceive of her, and she does it magnificently through her eyes alone. Cadie may not be my favorite character, or my favorite episode, but it's another example of the strength of these actors, professional or no. There's also developments with Tony and Tea and whatever their strained 'relationship' is, and Stanley is going a little overboard with his love for Michelle. Next week we finally got Stanley, my man, so hopefully he can grow some balls and do something about Michelle soon. After all, with declining ratings and interest, I don't think the future of SKINS is all that secure.
S10E12 - "Collateral" (4 February 2011) - That was actually pretty clever. Previews for the episode pointed towards Clark losing his powers, and I honestly rolled my eyes and nearly considered not watching "Collateral." Turns out, it was all a virtual reality created by the VRA and provides the surprisingly awesome return of Chloe Sullivan after an eleven episode absence. The one string that has been dangling in front of viewers since the "Pilot" is that Chloe Sullivan is not part of official Superman continuity, and from then on, there have been foreboding comments made about Chloe's fate, how no one - not even the Legion of Superheroes - ever heard of her, leading me, and many others, to believe that she will have a tragic, heartbreaking resolution. I for one hope to see that through (sorry Chloe fans), and it looks like Chloe teaming up with Flag and his team might signal that endpoint. Although "Collateral" was a good episode, it wasn't great by any means, but it was pretty interesting to have Clark confront his trust issues or else he would pretty much die. In the end, he truly, really had to make a Leap of Faith, and watching Clark battle his doubts was a fine character moment. Ultimately it does feel a little rushed, but I dig what I can get. Random nitpick, though: Cyborg and Impulse were shown at Hawkman's funeral, also having been knocked out. However, they are not part of VRA's captured heroes, or at least we don't see them. Suckage. Overall, it was all worth it to not only see Clark confront his trust issues pertaining to Chloe, but also to see him fly, man! Sure, it was a digital world, but still, Superman-in-the-making flew!
S06E11 - "Like a Virgin" (4 February 2011) - Here's a perfect example why SUPERNATURAL is one, if not the, best television program airing right now (until DOCTOR WHO airs, that is). Here's an episode that has the means of being just a standalone Case of the Week tale where nothing is really pushed forward and the mythology is on a bit of a stop for 43 mins. Not the case here. Nope, what we get is some genius writing about Sam Winchester and his newly ensouled self, his lack of memory of everything that happened over the last year and a half (including his stint in Hell), Bobby's trepidation about him (which is understandable cos a week ago Sam tried killing him), dragons abducting virgins, and the most mythological and 'Holy crap!' moment of 'em all: the dragons were unleashing the Big Bad from Purgatory (aka Monster Island). No, not the Devil. The Mother of All monsters! O.M.G! So not only is the greater mythology of the season served, but the absolutely stellar arc of Sam's reinsoulnation is dealt with great care and amazingness from dialogue to screen. "Like a Virgin" is a perfect episode that is just far too short. I love it. And I can't end without mentioning the fantastic writing in this ep. The dialogue is so clever and culturey referency it's hysterical and brilliant: World of Warcraft, Middle Earth, Godzilla (wOOt!), and many other cultural icons are mentioned. God, I just love this writing team. It's amazing: the first few episodes of the season were a little sketchy, but after "All Dogs Go to Heaven", this season has been magnificent. One hell of a brilliant storyline, some absolutely brilliant interpretations of fairy tales and complicated mythology, great acting...it's just wow. Speaking of acting, Best Moment of the Year: Dean Winchester trying to take out the sword in the stone. Awe-some.
S02E05 - "Concordia" (8 February 2011) - Okay, at least we got some slow movement with this episode. "Concordia" didn't necessarily move the plot forward enough, but it did lend itself to one of the more - if not the most - exciting V episode yet. Thanks to editing, performances, and (for once) the music, the whole set-up for the assassination was pretty intense. However, I do think the writers lost out on some beautiful drama by not having Anna shot, or Marcus permanently die instead of 'he may or may not, but most likely will be bright as red rain in 'da mornin'!' Also, "Concordia" features the best moment of the season: the (brief) stare match between Anna and Erica. Oh, Anna - even without showing emotion (kudos to actress Baccarin), one can still see the fire in that aliens eyes. This series better culminate with a hand-to-hand fight between those two, or else everything else will just not have been worth it. I'm still waiting for Lisa to become integral, or at least knocked up (which I thought was going to happen after they made whoopie in the premiere). Tyler made a leap forward with becoming important, but once again, he's been put on the back-burner. He better not become another Walt. With five episodes to go before the inevitable series finale, lets hope the writers send this series off with a proper bang.