So, this whole blogging thing hasn't worked out quite like I planned. I've lost all but 1 of the original team members, and I'm starting to feel overwhelmed. Additionally, what happened after I began my career in the music industry has repeated itself here -- blogging about TV has actually made me enjoy TV less. I will be taking a brief hiatus in order to regroup and think about what I want to achieve with this blog, then will (hopefully) come back stronger, and with a redesign. In the meantime, however, Hans Blix has expressed interest in continuing to write about Lost. So stay tuned, and thanks for sticking with us.
Also, after last night's Fringe I've decided that Astrid is bad news.
And maybe Charlie is too.
* why hast thou forsaken me?
I’ve given up hope for any mention of Santiago. I haven’t given up hope for mention of Street, but I’m still irritated that it hasn’t happened yet. That being said, this episode brought some good ol’ friction back into Dillon, TX.
When Katie McCoy sweet-talks Tami into letting her host the annual Panthers BBQ, Tami is delighted to have it off her plate while Eric is livid, believing this to be a maneuver to increase J.D.’s standing. And sure enough, during the BBQ Eric gets cornered by Buddy and Mr. McCoy. At home that night, Eric snarls that he misses the coach’s wife, to which Tami retorts that she can’t wait to meet the principal’s husband.
When Smash realizes his mom is working two jobs just to stay afloat – and then is offered a substantial promotion at the Alamo Freeze – he ponders whether or not to accept. While I understand why Mama Smash would want her boy to go to college instead of straight into the workforce, I’m still bothered by the message that the practical path is somehow lesser. I guess it’s a plot contrivance to keep Smash around, but this is three episodes in a row, shoving it down our throats.
When Billy gets embroiled in a scheme to steal copper wiring from a recently closed plant, Riggins allows himself to be dragged along too. Nothing new here, except a nice side scene of the friction between the Garritys and the Collettes. Lyla is quite funny this season, which is whole new side of her. First the pigeon comment, and now the Finding Nemo thing. Hilarious!
When J.D. overhears Matt & Julie making fun of him during the BBQ, we catch a rare glimpse into the character, which thus far has been underdeveloped. Perhaps, like Eric, J.D. doesn’t believe all the hype about himself. This would be interesting, and would mean that the immaturity of J.D.’s character is not about poor writing or acting, but about the fact that he’s kind of a ghost in his own life, dragged along by his physical abilities and parental pressure.
At the Arnett Mead game, Matt is feeling the pressure, worried that if the Panthers don’t win he will be benched. And naturally, he fumbles the final play. Poor Matty.
I don’t really have time for this so if you didn’t watch it, check out a full recap at Buddy TV. While there is no such thing as a bad episode of SN, this has got to be the most disappointing flashback episode ever. Shame on you, Supernatural. Usually SN flashbacks are phenomenal (“In the Beginning,” “A Very Supernatural Christmas,” “Something Wicked,” “Home”) but this one didn’t tell us anything we didn’t already know and even Jensen Ackles in the above outfit couldn’t save it. Although the part when he nailed that kid in the stomach with a ball almost did. Some thoughts:
1. How on earth did Dean have time to absorb all these pop culture references in his life as a hunter? Heathers, Dead Poets Society, Hello Kitty -- he was all over the place in this ep. Although I guess young Dean and young Sam did spend a lot of time holed up in hotel rooms waiting for John to come home.
2. Young Dean was basically the same as old Dean. I was surprised by Young Sam, though. It had never occurred to me that they went to school, nor what their skills would translate into as far as high school goes. One of my favorite moments was when Dean asked why Sammy let the bully beat on him. “You could have torn him apart!” says Dean. But little Sam didn’t want to be a freak. Touching, and yet scary.
3. I already complained about this, but why does Dean look so much older than Sam? They are only supposed to be a couple of years apart.
4. Also, what came between these boys in the first place? In the pilot ep, they haven’t spoken in some time -- Sam asks why Dean didn’t call before showing up, and Dean says Sam wouldn’t have answered even if he had. And in the flash-forward ep “What Is And What Should Never Be,” Sam and Dean are totally estranged. But in the flashback eps, the brothers always get along relatively well. I get why John and Sam had issues -- supposedly when Sam left for college, John told him to “stay gone.” But Dean and Sam? What’s the deal there?
5. So, Sam’s teacher had some great effect on him by encouraging him to write? Maybe it would have been too perfect, but this would have made more sense if College Sam had majored in English rather than Law. I understand that the point of the inspiration was that he didn’t have to go into the family business, but they focused on the writing thing so much that I thought it could have flowed better.
And so could I, if I weren’t in such a damn rush.
Grams and Pacey, reunited! The woman who played Mrs. Warren is Mary Beth Peil, who played Grams on Dawson’s Creek. Though she looks younger in this than she did on that show. Funny how makeup works.
In this episode, a gaggle of seemingly unrelated folk are exposed to a computer virus that liquefies their brains, causing the matter to dribble out of their ears. Disgusting, but the juxtaposition of old and new technology was interesting, going from Olivia playing Operation with Ella, to Walter asking about floppy disks, and finally to the super-intelligent bad guy of the week, Brian Dempsey. Dempsey is a tech genius who has fallen on hard times, and is understandably bitter. Less understandable is his decision to murder those he feels have wronged him via a complicated computer virus. How the virus kills is never really explained, nor is what relationship the car salesman and Olivia’s niece Ella had to Dempsey. I think the writers hoped we might not notice.
In other news, Peter snags an envelope addressed to Walter and reads a letter, then crumples it up and tosses it out. Sneaky little Astrid retrieves the letter, and gives it to Olivia. Turns out its from Mrs. Warren, mother of Carla Warren, Walter’s assistant who died in a laboratory fire and whose death sent Walter to the institution. Peter is worried that his father’s fragile mental state can’t handle meeting Mrs. Warren, whom he is sure will blame Walter for the death. Instead, she just wants to share her pain and learn more about her daughter’s life. And, for the first time, we see Walter’s empathy toward an outsider. It’s nice.
Olivia’s character has really comes leaps and bounds, especially due to the introduction of her sister and her niece. She is fun and silly around Ella, whom she obviously adores. I also loved the moment when the car salesman admitted that he went to strip clubs, and asked her not to judge him. She’s much more likable now. Not so good, however, is the flirtation between Peter and Rachel, largely because Rachel is so obviously not above board. We’ll see. The only good this about it is seeing Joshua Jackson’s roguish charm on full display. Yum.
I recently read the Five Reasons Why The Fringe Team Is The Worst Department In The FBI, and the hilarious #2 was “They Refuse To Check Out Massive Dynamic Despite The Fact Massive Dynamic Is Obviously Involved In All This Shit.” Amen! WTF ever happened to Massive Dynamic? The pilot episode of Fringe introduced the original team who worked on fringe government projects: Walter Bishop and William Bell. Why, then, has there been no mention of William Bell since? It makes no sense.
I continue to enjoy Fringe. However, when it comes to building a larger framework within which all of the episodes to date fit, I’d say the show is failing miserably.