17 March 2011

The Watcher: 03/11/11 - 03/17/11

S01E09 - "I Want You Back (From the Dead)" (14 March 2011) - A interesting deviation from the original, now we get to explore a child vampire and the consequences of that. All in all, however, this episode is a far cry from the goodness of the last few eps, mainly because I don't find myself all that moved by the kid/Aidan storyline, nor did I find Josh and Nora all that interesting this time around. Sally getting her ghostly smooch on was very interesting, on the other hand. It would be quite cool to see if the writers are going to explore to the fullest extent the abilities and limitations of ghosts, because I'm pretty sure I haven't seen ghost on ghost action before (or at least lately). Anyway, a solid episode that will hopefully propel us towards some cool conflicts in the final batch. However, one nitpick: did they really have to use "Mad World" in nearly every other scene? Over and over and over again - it got to a point where it lost any sort of significance and just became a eye-rolling cue. Overused, but undoubtedly their heart was in the right place. Score: 7.5/10

S04E18 - "Chuck Vs. the A-Team" (14 March 2011)
- There has been so much emphasis on Chuck and Sarah the last season and a half, it's refreshing whenever Casey becomes an integral part of the action. It's his lack of screentime and presence that ultimately brings us to this mostly enjoyable episode where Casey is front and center. My only gripe is that the Chuck/Sarah/Casey combo has never really felt like A-Team material - as spies, mind you - so having Chuck and Sarah under the delusion that they are, in fact, that good, just irked me wrong. It was also fun having the Gretas from earlier this season in the episode, and it was especially cool to see why and how Chuck can/is still be an important asset to the CIA. I'm interested to see where Dad's computer will fit into the overall arc, and happy that it didn't serve simply as an function for Chuck to regain his abilities after losing 'em for the third time. Score: 8.2/10

S03E17 - "Os" (10 March 2011)
- I frankly don't have much to say about "Os" other than the science mumbo jumbo didn't really catch my interest this time around, and although the whole Soul Magnets business conceived by William Bell is cool in its own right, having Bell take over Olivia's consciousness isn't exactly my cup of tea. As for Anna Torv's impersonation of Nimoy's legendary voice, she sells that it is William Bell, but ultimately, I can't find myself taking her too seriously, as it does sound sorta funny. One last note: I did enjoy Peter being forthcoming about everything: the Shapeshifters that he's killed and all the research he's been putting into the Doomsday Device. Now, that's all fine and dandy, but I'm ready for some more nuggets of mythology about the First People. Score: 7.5/10

S02E06 - "Blaze of Glory" (16 March 2011)
- Anyone else feel this episode was far too short? It was as if it had just started and already we were nearing the end. Perhaps that's the sign of an enjoyable episode, or the need to have more material. "Blaze of Glory" opened with a wonderful interrogation of sorts with Boyd and Ava concerning the events of the last episode, as Boyd corrects the Agents on their word choice and rudeness. Great writing and acting for all involved. And then Winona makes the decision to stealio herself $100 from the evidence locker, and everything just sort of escalates from there - and from the previews of next week, the shitith has not even begun to hit thy fan. Her bad decision making aside, I'm a Winona/Raylan shipper instead of Ava, so it was very pleasant to see affection between those two, and I loved and relished every scene with 'em. As for the B story of the week where the Marshals have to pursue themselves some bad guy, the general plot wasn't all around interesting but led us to a hilariously written and acted 'chase' scene with Art and Frank that is bound to go down in 'Best Of JUSTIFIED' lists. A very enjoyable episode. Score: 9.1/10

S01E09 - "Tina" (14 March 2011) - Quite glad Tina gets a whole episode dedicated to her, as she did seem like the odd man out (although next week, in the season finale, we concentrate on a character that has hardly had two scenes the whole series). "Tina" is a fantastic episode. The writing is top notch, full of humor (e.g., Tina pulling the fire alarm to postpone handing out tests, a idea taken from Chris) and drama (e.g., Tina making the decision to split ties with Chris), perfectly balancing the two and coming off as a true story, not contrived or forced or fake. "Tina" is definitely one of the more enjoyable episodes, and it's great to see many of these storylines from episodes past either come together or continue to evolve. Tina was the adult living in a teenage world, and she wasn't able to grow up herself. With this episode, she confronts her lack of adultiness and makes the choice to improve herself, to be a full fledged adult (something I'm not exactly looking forward to, myself). One more episode, and with all the pitiful ratings, I'm thinking it might be the last, which would be extremely unfortunate. Shit shows like JERSEY SHORE gets mammoth ratings and accolades from dumb teens, but an intelligent show such as this will most likely get the axe? Bloody hell. Score: 10/10

S02E12 - "Twin Destinies" (14 March 2011) - Last week was a boring episode, this week we get a riveting episode with some interesting twists which include a death, Rush possibly being an self-serving asshole once again, and some real drama (and pretty SPFX). For the hundredth time in the world of STARGATE, time travel is once again used and a character - this time Rush - comes back to tell listening ears what exactly went wrong so they can remedy it this time. The nifty thing about this time traveling story, and the time traveling installment last season appropriately titled "Time", is that writer/co-creator Brad Wright goes a different direction with the science fiction cliche: there can be real consequences and a whole new range of story possibilities that can come out of this. Sure, the Destiny from Original Timeline appears to be enveloped in a sun, with Rush in the control panel, but if we know anything about STARGATE, it's that they'll be back and it will be important. Really, this was just a splendid episode with a clever script and some very nice cinematography and lighting that showed off the gorgeous ship just right. And Telford died! At least Telford from one of the realities. That was pretty cool. Also, just a sort of sidestep comment: I loved the bit about McKay back at Stargate Command, and I also dug all the accolades Eli got, although they did seem to come out of nowhere. Looking forward to wherever this plot goes in the final seven episodes. Score: 9.1/10

S02E10 - "Mother's Day" (15 March 2011) - I hate to say it, but I actually quite liked the episode, and is definitely the best episode of V the show has ever produced. Hell, it quite nearly makes me hope there is a season three so I can see how this evolves, and that I can finally, finally see the mono e mono confrontation between Erica and Anna. Surprisingly, what we got here in "Mother's Day" I didn't predict. I was hoping for that fight between the two mothers, but that didn't happen. Instead, we got some goods and some meh's. First, the goods: I absolutely loved seeing Tyler get killed; hope this sticks, though I know better. I also loved Ryan getting his neck snapped by his daughter; although I'm pretty sure the writers will make up something about V DNA that enables their necks to reattach or something. I loved Erica & Co. plotting Anna's death at the hands of Lisa, and the near perfect execution of that plan. I liked that there is a branch of government that wasn't sold on the V's promise of peace and have instead been bidding their time to strike, and that Jay Karnes (the SHIELD guy) was actually there to scope out Erica for this project instead of getting her fired. I loved that everything and everyone around Erica seemed to just collapse or die around her, and that she is/was reaching her breaking point. I also loved Lisa tossed down into her grandmother's dungeon and being forced to watch Tyler get it on with Anna's new and improved daughter and subsequently watch as it kills him; not only was it superbly directed and conceived, but will offer some marvelous plot points and ideas for a season three. As for the meh: Anna's mom has been foreshadowed as a important part of the story all season - not to mention getting the original V actress to sign up for this shenanigans - only to be impaled and left for dead here without any real impact? I do hope the writers have a bigger plan for her death instead of the shock value, because that would be one of the ultimate stupid ideas they've had. The season ending with Anna and Ryan's daughter united in blissing all of humanity is a cool idea, indeed, and the scene is given some eerie chills by the white glowy light and Morena Baccarin's marvelously wicked and crazed performance, but I would have very much liked that Anna vs. Erica fight. Everything up to this point sort of demanded it. And the big cliffhanger: Anna and Ryan's kid bliss everyone? Well, yippie freakin' do! Sure, I get the implications of it - everyone on earth ready and willing to do anything Anna commands them to do - but the overall feeling of 'Holy shit, what the frak just happened?' wasn't really there. Maybe if "Mother's Day" was episode nine and we were given the Erica vs. Anna fight here? Sorry, I know I bring it up a lot, but I really freakin' wanted it!!! As a season finale, it accomplishes its job splendidly; as a series finale, it works and doesn't work; enough is wrapped up or left at a satisfying enough place that if it is the Last Episode, I'm not about to write an very angry letter to ABC or make a blog post about the unfairness of it all. In the end, "Mother's Day" definitely was far better than I expected, and for that, I give thee kudos. Score: 8.9/10

With declining ratings and being a generally badly made television series, the likelihood is that there ain't going to be no season three of V. On the other hand, ABC apparently has a lot of spots to fill for Fall 2011, so there just might be the slimmest of chances. Frankly, I'm torn. This series is a week-by-week example of unfocused and utterly lazy writing (and furthermore, acting), a symbol of a show needing some sort of huge overhaul in its creative juices or the need to just give up and become a wacky 40-mins. of sci-fi cheese. I could forgive and dig the show if it wanted to be cheese, but instead, it's fairly obvious that they meant to hit allegories and tackle heavy subjects each episode, such as the subplot concerning the soul and the overarching debate of human emotion....

...alright, alright, I'll stop with the bashing...

Point is, I think I will be a bit sad not see V continued. At the very least, I would hope the writers and producers come together and film a segment for the DVD in which they reveal all their plans - if they truly have any - for the rest of the series. Just lay it all out. If this truly is the end, well, I can deal with that just fine. It was an experience with very few ups and a megaton of downs, and it was always a pleasuring bitching about its imperfections or commenting on the good when it showed itself. The truth of the matter is that V could have been one hell of an outstanding series, but it just wasn't in the cards, evident by the halfway point all the way back in season one. If this is the last I write about V - and if it does get canceled I just might end up writing a eulogy here - I feel inclined to give thanks to Morena Baccarin and Laura Vandervoot, the two ladies who gave what I feel where the best performances of any actor on V week after week, and "Mother's Day" is definitely a strong case for that statement. V...well, it's been...interesting.

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