08 September 2011

The Watcher: 08/26/11 - 09/08/11

BREAKING BAD S04E07 - "Problem Dog" (28 August 2011) - Hank's final scene where he details his investigation to his peers makes this episode worth it. Frankly, I wasn't entirely impressed by the Walt/Skylar scenes, and I haven't been for a long while, but I did love seeing Jesse just spill the beans and say what's what at the therapy meeting and Hank getting closer to the truth (although I have no doubt there will be many obstacles in his way). Obviously, my main source of happiness is Hank finally on Gus' trail which will ultimately lead him to Walt and most likely create some gorgeous drama. But I'm also intrigued where this whole scenario will take Jesse. Thankfully there's a little forward progression with his guilt-ridden character, but I sorta want him to reach his destination already, or a inkling of how he will turn out. By no means do I want a Walt vs. Jesse end to this season. Ugh. Score: 8.5/10

BREAKING BAD S04E08 - "Hermanos" (4 September 2011) - Now there's a breathtaking, utterly intense episode. For the first time in two seasons, we get a closer look at Gus - how he came to be who he is, his emotional state, a look at his ability to multitask and lie on the spot convincingly, it's simply a marvelous episode in the categories of writing, directing, and (especially) acting. There's already so many marvelous reviews of "Hermanos" out there that really delve deep into the intricacies of the episode, so I'll leave you to searching those up. But this was a masterpiece of an episode. Bravo, guys. Gus commanded the screen before. Now, I am absolutely freakin' glued. A man who wants revenge is a dangerous, addicting thing. Only thing I can do without is Walt mumbling and being all submissive. I want his dark side to take over now, I want that transformation to badass to begin. That said badass who killed those two guys in the penultimate season three finale. C'mon, Walt, make me interested in you again! Score: 9.7/10

RESCUE ME S07E08 - "Vows" (31 August 2011) - Not bad. Not bad at all. Going back to the shows humorous roots before an expected dramatic turn. A lot happens in "Vows": Colleen and Black Shawn get married [which is hard to actually believe, because it feels like just yesterday when she was still a smart-mouthed teen], Tommy and Janet renew their vows, the team enters an fire and it don't look like all of them are coming back. Sheila even is given a surprising amount of time to develop, and true to character, her appearance is both hilarious and heartfelt. As an penultimate episode to a series, it feels fitting, and fairly conclusive. Lots of funny bits with Tommy's unintentional racist remarks, time spent with the Gavin family, fighting drinking, and sweet romantic moments. RESCUE ME ain't getting soft on us, is it? [see next episode] Overall, "Vows" is a series highlight. Score: 9.6/10

RESCUE ME S07E09 - "Ashes" (07 August 2011) - I didn't know what to expect, but it certainly wasn't "Ashes." Weirdly, it both felt like a series finale and just another episode. There is definitely a feeling of closure, yet also that the story could easily go on. So after the final cliffhangery moments of "Vows", there is a fatality, but just not as extreme as I suspected. Peter Tolan and Denis Leary are both geniuses of misdirection, and the opening minutes is the duo at their absolute best. Lou stands in front of five coffins and gives a speech to hundreds of funeral attendees, and then the reveal comes. Brilliant, brilliantness. Beautifully misleading. Oddly, though, part of me would be interested to see how that world would turn out. Sure, killing off the main guy would probably be the easy way out, but simultaneously, the way Tommy Gavin is, it felt right that he would perish on the job and at his personal best. And the way "Vows" was setup, it seemed like doom was on the horizon for Tommy.

There was doom, but in a different way: emotional turmoil. His best friend is gone, and with his death, 62 Truck is basically ripped apart, and "Ashes" shows the characters together for the final time. Even with that element of drama, though, there is a surprising about of funny in "Ashes". For example, the whole bit involving the urn with the ashes spraying all over the guys in the truck - hilarious, especially when the cop came over. And Tommy having to deliver his son - despite how unlikely that whole series of events was - was comically genius and well acted. Basically, the most surprising thing about "Ashes" is that it is an happy ending, in a way. Yes, someone died, but with that death, positives came out of it. A child is born, the firehouse family splits but stays the same, Tommy decides to forego drinking, etc. The episode acknowledges that he has a long way to go still, and he needs to maintain making the choice to stay sober, but here we get to see Tommy make the choice not to drink, and his speech to the new firefighter recruits shows that he understands his problems won't be saved by a bottle. There is evolution to Tommy Gavin, and it's been interesting to see. I also loved Tommy's ghostly visitation at the end - one of my favorite elements of RESCUE ME has been the visions of dead people.

So here we are. The final episode of RESCUE ME. It's been a helluva ride. Ups and downs, positives and negatives, there's no denying the show is something unique, though. Thank you Denis Leary, FX, Peter Tolan, and everyone involved in the production of this show. It's been a great seven years. Score: 8.7/10 | Season Score: 8.0/10

TORCHWOOD: MIRACLE DAY S04E08 - "End of the Road" (26 August 2011) - I'm writing this over a week after the episode aired, and hell if I remember what happened. So I checked the net, and now I remember that Wayne Knight blew himself and some other people up in a air, and that alien technology has finally found its way into the narrative in the form of that thingy Jack's looking at on that there screencap. More political mumbo jumbo, more stuff about operatives working for The Families inside the CIA, etc. You can tell that there is some form of movement, but again, just not enough. When Jack figures out what the object in the floor is, he is completely worried, very un-Jack like, and we get the sense that this thing is directly tied to Jack, or whatever this thing is, it ain't good, and Jack needs to get away from it for some super awesome reason. But there isn't one. I can't wait for the Big Reveal to happen, and then everything we've watched - including the ridiculous, seemingly pointless episodes - will have meaning we didn't know about before. Hopefully. As it stands, "End of the Road" is an step in the right direction. Now let's see where this goes. Score: 7.3/10

TORCHWOOD: MIRACLE DAY S04E09 - "The Gathering" (2 September 2011) - With only one episode left to go before the season finale, the series is moving its ass to put all the pieces in the right places. Why couldn't they have done this episodes ago, man? So yes, a lot happened in "The Gathering", but the rub is, there should have been some natural progression to this whole string of events, instead of it all just happening in 55 mins. Speaking of 55 mins., how on earth is this whole thing gonna be wrapped up in 55 mins.? Russell T. Davies isn't Steven Moffat - he likes things all finished and wrapped up at the end of a series, so how can there be a natural conclusion to this thing that still has so much unexplained/up in the air? Better be a damn brilliant 55 min. finale.

So here we are. 'The Gathering." Team Torchwood is now at Buenos Aires/Shanghai with the intent on discovering what The Blessing is, how to stop it, and save the world for not dying. Well, Gwen wants to stop the Miracle so she can save her father. Rex is working outside the system to bring the Miracle down and not tip off the CIA operative (but that doesn't work too well). Jack still seems connected to how this Blessing came to be, although I still don't understand the specifics of The Blessing. Hell, we really don't know too much of anything right now. Like I said, better be one hell of a brilliant 55 min. season finale. Score: 8.9/10

TRUE BLOOD S04E10 - "Burning Down the House" (28 August 2011) - Like most episodes of this series, episodes can be broken down into pro/cons. Pro: I genuinely liked Tommy's death scene, and can't wait to see how Sam reacts to it. Sookie is now in the thick of this Antonia business. Actually, speaking about Antonia, Fiona Shaw is absolutely excellent here. Great performance. Ms. Shaw, and I especially like how Marnie and Antonia are now at odds with one another...sorta. Jason needs to make up his mind about Jesse pronto before my patience goes kaput. Oh! And I almost forgot about the opening scene, probably the best part of the ep: Sookie using her supernatural powers to stop the bloodfest at the convention center or whatever from claiming Bill and Eric's lives. As a consequence, Eric regains his memories, and a rift is made between the two love birds. Interesting. Where are they gonna take this? Score: 8.0/10

TRUE BLOOD S04E11 - "Soul of Fire" (4 September 2011) - Lots of good, some bad. First the good: loved the awesomeness of Sookie surrounded by a ring of fire [DISLIKE: Sookie being helpless], loved that Sookie used her mojo faerie juice to stop Antonia from dustin' her vamp friends. Didn't mind Eric and Bill being stupid and choosing to sacrifice themselves as long as it meant Sookie was safe, but I loved when Pam was in utter disbelief at their stupidity. Liked the Jesse/Jason scenes, as usual. Liked Jesus getting his inner mojo on, and the nifty special effects and makeup involved in that. Loved that Marnie got a bunch of bullets in her now, and I loved Eric snatching out that one obnoxious redneck's heart. Also loved Sammy taking his revenge for Tommy's death. That was pretty cool. So a lot of good elements. What I don't like: the big episode-ending twist that sets up the finale. Really, show? Really? Sheriff Andy's V addiction brings him to...getting shagged by a faerie and vowing to protect her (which will most likely put him at odds with Sookie next week)? Now that's just dumb. Still not too sure what the hell to feel about Eric and Sookie not really talking to each other or really even acknowledging the tender romance they had mere days ago. Meh. Whatcha gonna do. Overall, a good season with lots of positives and a few groan worthy moments. Let's hope the season finale makes all those UGH! subplots/scenes worth it. Score: 9.1/10


Anonymous said...

Whoa, you watch lots of tv dude! I don't watch anything at all this Summer but there are lots of shows I'm interested in this Fall, I might even blog about it if I have time before TCFF starts.

Speaking of which, I really hope you can make time to head up to Mpls area even just for the wknd. MGP is gonna be tremendous, can't wait for that!!

Time Lord said...

Yeah, I do watch a lot of TV. It sorta became my addiction over the summer, what with discovering the awesomeness of BREAKING BAD and SONS OF ANARCHY. I ended up watching more television than movies. What shows this fall peak your interest?

I would love nothing more than to get to Minneapolis. Feel free to send a limo. :) It really sucks not owning a car. On my dorm whiteboard on the door, I was all, 'Anyone wanna give Andy a ride to White Bear Lake?' My reply: a intricate drawing of poop. Oh, I miss co-ed floors, haha. If I'm unable to go, make sure you have one hell of a great time in my stead!