08 October 2011

The Watcher: 10/02/11 - 10/08/11

Just want to take a moment and say that over a month ago was the one-year anniversary of The Watcher. Let's take a quiet moment and acknowledge the awesomeness of that. Satisfied? Alright, moving on. Review time!

[And I know loads of you guys read these reviews, but just gotta say sorry Terra Nova, Person of Interest, Nikita, or The Secret Circle aren't reviewed. Oh, and the premiere of American Horror Story. I'm already well behind on my viewing. Apologies.]

BREAKING BAD S04E12 - "End Times" (02 October 2011) - "Crawl Space" was the epitome of Breaking Bad at its ultimate best. The series also has a knack for not going the expected route. "End Times" did not proceed anywhere near as chaotic, violent, or intense as "Crawl Space" led me to believe, expecting the next two episodes to be nothing more than Walt vs. Gus in a fight to the finish. Instead, after this amazing cliffhangery episode, there's another silence before the storm. Walt's getting into position, masterminding his method to get rid of Gus. Gus may or may not have poisoned the kid of the girl Jessie's involved with, but Walter gives a convincing argument to Jessie - convincing enough that Jessie and Walt are on the same team again, leading us to the sure-to-be-jaw dropping season finale next week, which I'm both excited and sad to see. "End Times" was another exhilarating episode, proving that Gus is even more difficult to kill then expected. How will Walt and Jessie get their opportunity? Score: 9.1/10

COMMUNITY S03E03 - "Competitive Ecology" (06 October 2011) - I've read a lot of reviews of "Competitive Ecology" where the viewers liked the banter between Jeff and the group, supposedly reminiscent to the kind of dynamic/arguments they had back in its freshman season. Maybe it's been too long since I watched those episodes, but "Competitive Ecology" wasn't exactly a stellar episode, nor did the core group really impress me. Hell, I found myself more interested in Todd then anyone in the group - despite the supreme hotness of Brita and Annie. You know it's a weird episode when you get more chuckles out of Pierce or - gasp! - even motherfrakkin' Chang. I dislike Ken Jeong to the point where I would make a thorough website dedicated in honor of my dislike for him if only I had HTML skills, and I think his continued inclusion in the show is to its detriment, but hell if I didn't find his insane, outrageous, barmy subplot somewhat amusing. I think I grinned. I think I chuckled. Maybe this is another case of comedies being funnier when watched in consecutive order instead of week-to-week, but "Competitive Ecology" was very 'meh'. Score: 5.1/10

DEXTER S06E01 - "Those Kings of Things" (02 October 2011) - The writers don't often turn comedic with Dexter Morgan, but when they do, it work. "Those Kings of Things" has more laughs than the last two seasons combined (which I know probably isn't a fair thing to say, given the subject matter of those seasons), making it a fun premiere to a show's sixth series. It feels not too long ago Julia Stiles was just discovered by our serial killer and taught in the way of revenge, and now here we are, fast forward a year or so later as Dexter looks for schools for Harrison, Deb's living with Quinn and a possible marriage proposal on its way, and Batista is being promoted for whatever reasons that I don't care about. In a nutshell, I liked this premiere. I laughed. I loved everything involving Dexter's high school reunion: the awkward conversations, the unexpected blowjob from a hot ex-classmate, and indulging in his extra-curricular activities with a wife murderer, which also lends itself to solidifying the show's theme of religion this year. Dexter's victim is religious, leading to a conversation before his imminent death about forgiveness and the sin of killing. Furthermore, Dexter enrolls Harrison in a Catholic school (funny, but far too blatant, writers!), and two new baddies are introduced - Colin Hanks and Edward James Olmos, who like to quote Scripture before a kill. All other subplots I'm not hugely in love with, with the exception of Batista's sexy sister/cousin/whatever who watches over Harrison. Everything else - well, when one watches Dexter, you sorta know what you're getting into: good plotlines, bad, bad ridiculous subplots, gruesome kills, soul searching that may lead nowhere. It's just part of the shows DNA. But I'm excited to see how Dexter tracks down these Bible thumpers and eventually interacts with them. And Deb, who has perhaps the most substantial character growth of anyone else in the series, will hopefully go some interesting places this season that don't directly involve her romance with Quinn. So, show me more, Team Dexter. Score: 8.1/10

FRINGE S04E03 - "Alone in the World" (07 October 2011) - Last week's episode of FRINGE showed what this new type of format could bring to make the series fresh and exciting again. Although it would be nifty to have Peter back, last week proved that the series doesn't need him. Like the Observers said, his part of the story was finished. Perhaps it would be best for Peter to be just gone from the show after successfully making the bridge that will save both deteriorating universes? Because, and I apologize to any Peter fans here, I'm just not feeling the vibe of this "Where's Peter?" stuff. Let's start saving the universes instead of concentrating solely on Scientific Matters of the Week. So as you can tell, I was less than in love with this week's monstrosity, a being that latches itself onto a young boy's psyche which results in the death of lots of people and nearly became a city-wide virus. Big threats, connected to Walter's emotional story, but I didn't feel a thing for it. What I did like, though, was the dynamic between Lincoln and Olivia - again, although I have doubt she feels the same way he does. Damn my sappy undertones! I also liked Walter confessing to the young boy in his lab what happened to the Other Peter when he crossed over to the Other Side, and the consequences of that. At least the writers have now set up a viable reason why Walternate wants this universe decimated. Still a faithful viewer, but season four - which just might be its last season if viewership doesn't improve - is thus far off to a rocky start. But next Friday promises some big development in the whole Peter Bishop department. Score: 6.4.10

REVENGE S01E03 - "Betrayal" (05 October 2011) - With "Betrayal", we add another layer, and possibly alley, to Emily's revenge scheme with the revelation of Victoria's romantic relationship with Emily's father. Not a jaw-dropping, huge twist, but definitely one that may benefit Emily down the line, as evidenced by the final scene as feelings towards her late affair lingers still. That's a plot line that I am excited to see develop. The sappy side of me also wants to see Emily/Amanda reconnect with her childhood friend, what's-his-name, the bar dude. I get her reasoning for not revealing herself to him, but damn, am I already looking forward to the moment when who she truly is gets outed - since I doubt she'll ever be upfront about it. The scene where she finds out he named his boat "Amanda" was especially touching. As for her revenge this week, it wasn't hugely satisfying, but it was another step. Three episodes in, I'm engaged in the overall plot - with the minor exception of Emily's romance with Victoria's son, primarily because I feel the chemistry between the two leads is rather lacking - but I hope Ms. VanCamp will be able to show a wider range of skills instead of the skulking 'I have a sinister plan' expression she's been obligated to show thus far. Still, I'm glued. Score: 7.5/10

SUPERNATURAL S07E03 - "The Girl Next Door" (07 October 2011) - Regrettably, the rich and urgent cliffhanger of last week's episode - Sam and Dean in an ambulance being sent to the hospital under charge of the Leviathan - gets resolved in the first ten minutes, leaving the rest of the episode to fall into the "Monster of the Week" format. That part is disappointing, as I was really looking forward to the Winchesters doing their own Halloween II-esque cat & mouse game with the Leviathans, so the very much alive Bobby swooping in to save the day was a bit of a bummer. Still, "The Girl Next Door" gave us multiple things I liked, and one aspect I particularly did not like, which I will touch on first: Dean's murdering of Amy (Pond, haha) and subsequent letting-her-son-go thing. Immediately I wasn't a fan considering my love for the name and character of Amy Pond, so the whole murdering her thing did not set well with me. And then, under the rules in which he decided to kill her, he elected not to kill the son, even though by those rules he should have. Whatever, Dean. More reason to love Sam over you. And speaking of loving Sam, I loved, loved, LOVED the flashback's of a 1998 Sam meeting Amy for the first time - ignorant in the ways of talking to girls, showing his kickass side to Amy, and his youngster smooch. Whenever Supernatural delves more into Sam, I am all for that, and "The Girl Next Door" delivers in spades. Also to their benefit: the casting of the gorgeous Jewel Staite as Amy Pond. Sci-fi geeks will recognize her from Firefly and Stargate: Atlantis. Ain't she pretty? So an overall really good episode spoiled by the dumbassness of Dean. Score: 9.4/10

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