Tuesday, September 30, 2008

CSI Miami: A Fuelish Episode

Last night’s episode of CSI Miami, “Won’t Get Fueled Again” was just another insult in a long line of insults to the viewers’ intelligence.

The episode starts with a man burning to death at a beach party, which turns to a gas theft ring, and morphs into a human trafficking ring.

There were several things that were just outright ridiculous. First and foremost was the burning man, who seemed to be able to run several hundred feet, all while his body is being burned to a crisp. I found that just too hard to believe. I don’t think someone so consumed with fire can run that far, especially while weaving and tripping around so many obstacles. Also hard to believe is that no one – NO ONE – at that party ever made a move to help. Sure, the people in the CSI Miami universe are abnormally shallow, but still it seemed incredible.

Also in rare form was the ever-askew Horatio Caine (David Caruso). I laughed out loud when Caine, asks the new ME, Dr. Tara Price (Megalyn Echikunwoke), “What does the position tell you?” Of course, he was asking about the position of the body, but what made the question so funny is that Caine strikes his famous sideways pose just as he asks the question. Dr. Price should have answered, “The position tells me that you like to vamp for the camera!” Also, Caine’s voice seemed quite subdued in this episode, never raising much about a low whisper. But he didn’t fail with his trademark halting delivery of lines, asking party host Paul Sanders (Neil Jackson), “You are…..holding……an accelerant.”

Of course, the evidence is also ridiculously convenient. How is it that there is always – ALWAYS – a bank security camera in rage that has a perfect shot of the crime? How is it that the shots the camera gets can always be enlarged to get the license plate? Wasn’t it also nice that Calleigh just so happened to be in the right place at the right time when the Escalade they were trying to track down turned in front of her just as the BOLO was sent out? But, as fate would have it, there is ALWAYS a car or truck that gets in the way of the chase, and while Calleigh (Emily Procter) can drive at high speeds with one hand on the wheel, she can’t seem to drive around the stopped truck and continue the chase? No, she has to sit and watch it drive a way for a short while to mull over her mistake. And how lucky for the guy driving the Escalade, who manages to get his car on fire AND have it wiped down of fingerprints before Calleigh got there. But, on the flip side, how did Calleigh manage to empty the entire glove compartment but leave the giant fingernail that Wolfe’s (Jonanthan Togo) eagle eyes did not miss?

Of course, while suspects and criminals in the CSI Miami universe always look perfect, they are probably the dumbest in the country. They virtually never ask for a lawyer, and they confess at the slightest question or provocation. I can see it now:

Caine: We.....have some questions....for you.
Suspect: I did it! I murdered (fill in the blank)!

The one bright spot was the new ME, Dr. Tara Price, played by Megalyn Echikunwoke. I think she is a great improvement over ME Alexx Woods (Khandi Alexander), who, in my opinion, had a strange attachment to her victims, often calling them things like “baby boy” or “baby girl” and sometimes almost a too lovingly "handling" their bodies. It just seemed a little icky and unprofessional to me. Dr. Price, on the other hand, seems to be much more professional and a little less cold. I think it was a positive start. And she brought a real smile to Eric's (Adam Rodriguez) face.

But the series continues in its effort to dumb down the storylines, and the forensics. I’m thinking they should rename the show CSI For Dummies, don’t you?

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Monday, September 29, 2008

Mad Men “Six Month Leave” Full Of Contradictions

The episode of Mad Men “Six Month Leave” opens with Don Draper (Jon Hamm), banished from his home and staying in a hotel, reading the newspaper headline about Marilyn Monroe’s questionable death. Meanwhile, Betty (January Jones) is at home, seemingly falling deeper into what seems like depression. But the episode is really an excellent study of double standards and conflicting messages.

It seems that the women in the office are rattled by Monroe’s death, but the men seem indifferent, almost as if she deserved to die for the life she lived. Peggy (Elizabeth Moss) however, seems on the fence. She's partly sympathetic but also takes a businesslike approach to the matter, telling Don it’s a good thing that they didn’t go ahead with the Jackie/Marilyn Playtex ad campaign.

Pete (Vincent Kartheiser), Peggy, and Sal (Bryan Batt) are in Freddy’s (Joel Murray) office doing prep for an ad pitch. Freddy, however, urinated down his pant leg and doesn’t even seem to realize it. When it’s brought to his attention, he sits down and passes out, clearly from too much alcohol. The team goes ahead with the presentation without him, Peggt taking his place.

Betty is going through her routine day, defrosting the refrigerator and putting lining in her kitchen drawers. She seems rumpled and careless about how she looks. When a friend comes to Betty’s house to borrow a dress, Betty just says that she’s not feeling well. At the office, Jane (Peyton List) tips Don off that she’s aware that something is wrong at home, and Don snips at her that it’s personal and confidential. He’s clearly not pleased at the prospect of having his proverbial dirty laundry aired to the rest of the office.

Don is also unhappy when he’s called in to Roger Sterling’s (John Slattery) office and is ambushed by Pete and Duck (Mark Moses), who want Freddy fired. Don resists at first, but then relents after Roger tells Don that Freddy will be given a 6 months paid leave to dry out and possibly return. When the staff jokes about Freddy’s “accident” at the company blood drive, Don chastises them for their behavior. The next day, when all is done with Freddy, Don calls Peggy into his office and promotes her to take over Freddy’s accounts, but not after he expresses his disappointment that she let him get ambushed over the issue. Peggy, who seems conflicted about the promotion, expresses her displeasure with Pete, who seems unconcerned because after all, Peggy got a promotion out of it.

Betty decides to go out to the stables, runs into Arthur (Gabiel Mann). She asks about her friend, Sarah Beth (Missy Yager) and Arthur said he saw her. She suggested the go to lunch together to lift Sarah Beth spirits, and he agrees. As he leave, the smile on her face goes blank, then her face turns cold. Betty never shows up for the lunch, staying at home with the kids and taking the phone off the hook.

Don, spending some time with the kids, returns home and when the kids are put to bed, they argue about what to tell the kids. When Don suggests that he could just come home, she nixes that idea. She’s clearly still miffed at him.

Over dinner and lots of drinks, Don and Roger give Freddy the news about his job, then take him out gambling to an illegal casino set up, and they all continue to drink. Of course, so does Freddy, who earlier proclaimed he could turn if off when he wanted. But while Freddy is off on his own at the casino, Don and Roger sit at the bar, and Roger tells Don he knows what’s going on with Don’s marriage. But when Don spies Jimmy Barrett (Patrick Fischler) in the casino, he goes over to him and clocks him, and the Don, Roger, and Freddy make a quick exit.

After they send Freddy home in a cab, Don and Roger mull over their marriages at another bar. Don tells Roger that “it's your life” and that he might as well move forward. Later, Roger’s wife Mona (Talia Balsam) storms into Don’s office, saying that based on Don’s advice, Roger asked for a divorce. When he denies telling Roger to get a divorce, Mona asks that didn’t Don say, "It's your life, you have to move forward?" Don is stunned, and as Roger tries to calm Mona, Jane is at her desk, crying. When she also steps away, Don gives Roger a cold glare and tells Roger he wants Jane off his desk.

There are a lot of mixed signals going on here. First, everyone at Sterling Cooper drinks like fishes. But even when Freddy is clearly having trouble, some laugh about it, some use it against him, some want to help him. That’s fairly typical. But what is pathetic is that while Freddy is being fired for his drinking, they take him out for a night of drinking.

The clear division between how most of the women reacted to Marilyn Monroe’s death was also obvious. Many of the women in the office seemed to have become tearful or despondent over it, as if Marilyn’s death was not remotely her fault. The men, on the other had, seemed to think for the most part that it was expected, considering who she was and the life she led. In fact, this is very telling of the way men think of women in those days, even those to which they are married.

Betty’s problems are becoming more obvious, but I find myself wondering, is her problem a deepening depression over which she has no control, or is she allowing herself to wallow in her unhappiness with her life, or both? She seems to be going through the motions, as if she is trapped by her role as wife, rather than trying to pick herself up out of it. Maybe I have an advantage of growing up during the era when women were literally burning their bras; my expectations for what I could make out of my life were much higher. For someone like Betty, who already had two children and who lived in the culture where women had their place, maybe she felt that there was no place for her to go with her own life. Yet, we have someone like Peggy, who seems to be trying to keep high ethical standards, is continuing to move forward in a career in a company where a woman’s value isn’t respected.

Don. a man with deep secrets of his own, seems most vunerable with his own secretaries, who are more observant than he likes. But in the case of Jane, her apparent potential for leaking information to Roger is just too great, so she has to go. So he must remain as distant as possible, even seemingly to his own wife.

It goes without saying that everyone’s life on this show is a bit of a house of cards, which seems to be falling in a slow, deliberate collapse. The only question is, who’s going to be the first one to fall that will bring down everyone else tumbling down?

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Friday, September 26, 2008

Season Premier Hits and Misses

Quite a few shows had their season premiers this week. I’ve already written about CSI Miami (”Resurrection”) and CSI NY (”Veritas”) on this blog, but I thought I’d also give some attention to a few others that premiered this week. I also realized that I never turned on ABC for anything. At first I thought they didn’t have anything new, but then I realized that except for Lost, I don’t watch any ABC shows.

Law & Order SVU: “Trials”
I have a full recap for the season premier episode “Trials” on my blog All Things Law & Order. I also wanted to make note here that while the episode wasn’t bad, it really wasn’t anything special either. Most notable was the introduction of the new ADA Kim Grayleck (Michaela McManus). It was notable because it was awful. Her acting is wooden, maybe just a hair better than Elizabeth Rohm, who also played an ADA on Law & Order (the “mothership). It seems that they are making Grayleck purposefully annoying, portraying her as the competitive go-getter who thinks that she’s better than everyone else. It is made worse by her marginal acting. I hate to pass judgment so quickly, but you know what they say about first impressions...and my first impressions are usually right on target. I sense problems with McManus, hopefully the show won’t wait too long before they pull the plug on Grayleck.

The episode also continues to focus on the personal drama with Stabler (Chris Meloni) and Benson (Mariska Hargitay), and seems to put less emphasis on the actual crimes. It’s almost becoming a soap opera. I still like the characters, and the chemistry of the overall cast could be the best in the Law & Order franchise. But I would like to see more about the crimes and how they solve them, and less about things like Stabler’s troubled daughter and Olivia’s apparent post traumatic stress.

NCIS “Last Man Standing”
(NCIS Photos CBS)

The season premier of NCIS, “ Last Man Standing” picks up 126 days (according to the tally Abby (Pauley Perrette) was keeping) from the season finale when DiNozzo (Michael Weatherly), Ziva (Cote de Pablo), and McGee (Sean Murray) were banished to other jobs outside NCIS. While Special Agent Leroy Jethro Gibbs (Mark Harmon) kept his position at NCIS, he was saddled with a new, and inexperienced staff.

Ziva, now back to being a Mossad agent, is working undercover singing in a cabaret style bar, and gets caught in a terrorist’s explosion, McGee is relegated to a basement area where he is “boss” of his own computer tech team. DiNozzo is stuck on a Navy ship, begging to get out.

They also have a new NCIS Director, Leon Vance (Rocky Carroll), who replaced the ever-annoying Jenny Shepard (Lauren Holly), who is now dead and buried (so I hope - you know how TV shows like to bring people back from the dead).

While investigating a murder, it becomes necessary for Director Vance to clue in Gibbs to the fact that he had to transfer Gibbs' people away for them to help Vance work on a case. It seems that there is a leak within NCIS and Vance thinks that one of the three new people he put to work under Gibbs is the culprit. Vance was hoping that somehow Gibbs would be able to pick up that something was wrong with one of them, his magical radar would go off and he would start to investigate. Now really, I think that was the dumbest, most convoluted way to get to the bottom of a leak.

The bottom line is that it seemed obvious in the fact that the show would not work well without Ziva, McGee, and especially DiNozzo, and that they wouldn't leave these people out of the loop and of the show for long. As the show ends, it’s only DiNozzo who hasn’t officially returned to the NCIS home base. But we have to expect he will.

Also glaringly obvious was that it was the woman with the law background who was the leak. Yes, they tried hard to make it look like it was someone else, but not hard enough. Still, the episode seemed to work better than most, and I am not exactly sure why. It may have had something to do with the fact that Ziva, McGee, and DiNozzo were on the screen but not necessarily together. We got less of their usual juvenile banter. It also could be that Director Shepard is gone. While new Director Vance also seems to have his own quirks, at least he isn’t slobbering all over Gibbs like Jenny used to. So the premier gets good marks from me, and I hope the show keeps it up.

Without A Trace: “Closure”
I’ve come to the conclusion that there are no happy men on television these days. They all have all kinds of “issues” and are filled with angst. The poster boy for “Troubled Male Leads” belongs to Jack Malone (Anthony LaPaglia). Every time he is on the screen, I feel like the life force is being sucked out of me. Malone is different from characters like House, for example, because House seems to actually have some sort of life and interests outside the confines of the hospital. Malone, however, seems like he lives and breathes the FBI, and not in a healthy way. Sure, he’s going through therapy, but it seems even his therapist (played by Linda Hunt) seems to want to run away from Malone every chance she gets.

The real drags on “Without A Trace” are the cases themselves. They seem the same every week. And so it was with the season premier, “Closure.” It was nothing new. Someone went missing, they investigated, they found them. This show needs more. According to ratings reports, it also needs viewers, as they dropped off significantly from last year’s season premier. It was probably due to the change in the day that the show airs. I don’t know why CBS keeps moving this show. This show either needs to get Malone on some happy pills, or they need to start feeding them to the writers.

ER: “Life After Death”
I haven’t watched ER regularly for quite some time. I may have only caught a few episodes last year when they went into reruns and nothing else was on. The season premier, “Life After Death” finishes off where the season finale left off – with an ambulance explosion. It seems that Dr. Pratt (Mekhi Phifer) was injured, although the extent wasn’t fully realized until they began working on him in the ER. Full disclosure here, I never like Pratt. Never. In fact, he was one of the characters that caused me to stop watching the show because I found him to not only be a terrible doctor, but just an all around annoying guy. So I wasn’t sorry when Pratt’s injuries proved to be fatal. The sad thing is, there isn’t much else redeeming in the episode or in the show’s cast that makes this show compelling. Too much time was spent on Pratt’s death, and on the mourning of his colleagues. Since all I recall is how much his colleagues hated to work with him, I almost found the Pratt tributes phony.
As far as the series is concerned, there is no drama left. It’s just a bunch of actors spewing out medical terms over a patient. This is being billed as ER’s final year, and that’s a good thing, because this show has been on life support for quite some time.

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Thursday, September 25, 2008

CSI NY: “Veritas” Very Predictable

Photo from CBS

While CSI NY is far better than its Miami equivalent, it seems that the show is becoming routine, and also increasingly unrealistic It’s not just all the glitzy special effects, it’s how easy the crimes are to solve and how complex evidence can be just so conveniently available and analyzed so fast.

The season premier, “Veritas” picked up where the season finale, “Hostage” left off. But, while Mac Taylor (Gary Sinise) was being taken hostage by an apparent bank robber named Joe (Elias Koteas), something happened and Mac finds himself in a car that is sinking in deep water. He pulls himself out, and easily finds his way to a road, where he stops a passing car and enlists help from the woman behind its wheel. He proceeds to call Stella (Melina Kanakaredes) to give her his location.

When Stella and Flack (Eddie Cahill) arrive at the scene, they are told they can only take photographs as the Jersey police have claimed jurisdiction. As a body was also in the car and it has a connection with the bank crime, they have a little more information to go with. But it seems clear that Joe is still out there, trying to get his hands on the money from the bank robbery. The ME (Robert Joy) is able to do a virtual autopsy on the body, which magically hovers like a 3-D hologram in mid-air.

Mac also finds some more evidence when an apparent magic bullet drops out of his clothing. There is also a hole in his shirt. It seems Mac was shot at through a window, and the window slowed the bullet enough so it only had enough power to pierce his clothing. Amazing!

Complicating matters more is that Adam (A.J. Buckley) ties Flack’s sister Samantha (Kathleen Munroe) to the case. Adam breaks protocol and tells Flack before he tells Mac, but I really don’t understand why. Flack finds that Samantha loaned her car to an acquaintance, Lauren, who winds up dead in its trunk. Lauren had nothing to do with the murder. But, as luck would have it, they find evidence on Mac's own evidence case that ties Joe to a plant that can only be found in certain places. Of course, they find the exact place where the plant is at, find a hole recently dug, and find that Joe has buried several passports and IDs there for his use. And, it appears that Joe – or whatever his name is – is watching them, because he calls them and taunts them. He also said that Lauren’s death was an accident. It seems Joe can see Mac and Stella from where he is calling, and they try to trace his call with no luck.

Back at the lab, rather than check all the IDs for any prior records, they check to see which IDs are legitimate and then only check the ID for that one. Wouldn’t it have been quicker to do a cursory check on all, and then the one with the record would have flushed out immediately? It was a roundabout way to get to the clue. They find that Joe’s real name is Ethan Scott. They are able to track him down easily by getting the travel plans for his wife, Allison (Deena Dill). They tip off his wife to Ethan’s crimes, and of course, an unwitting Ethan walks right into the trap. Mac gets his man. And Mac is happy because after all, Joe/Ethan "pissed [him] off". (That's right Mac, it is all about YOU!)

The problem with this episode is that it was just all too easy, and all too predictable. It is amazing to me that all murders and crimes in the world can’t be solved like this – within what look likes the time span of a day or less. But of course that’s not possible because REAL crimes don’t always have magic bullets, the unusual plant life that can only be found in very limited locations, the tire track that has magic properties, or science-fiction like forensics tools, to name a few. But there is an inconsistency with all this magic when they can’t quite make out Joe’s face when his photo is snapped at a toll area, yet they can make out the tiny vehicle identification number on the door of his car from the same photo.

Of course, the most obvious thing that saps the drama is that we know that Mac, while he was hostage in the season finale, would come out fine. After all, he is the star of the show, isn’t he? It’s just like CSI Miami where we all knew that Horatio Caine (David Caruso) wasn’t going to be dead. It seems that some of these crime shows aren’t trying hard enough to have real, believable cliffhangers any more.

Maybe I missed something, but why exactly did Adam feel that he couldn’t take the information about Flack’s sister’s car to Mac to begin with? Why wouldn’t Adam not trust Mac to do the right thing with it? Is there something between Mac and Flack where Mac would have turned on Flack with the information? Maybe it’s some past history with Flack’s sister and Mac that I have forgotten, either way, it seemed an odd move for Adam to make.

So while this episode was better than the CSI Miami premier – the CSI NY team seems to be actually showing some acting depth – the story itself was average at best. I hope they don’t fall into the CSI Miami trap of glitz over substance. Now that, would be a crime.

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Wednesday, September 24, 2008

House:” Not Cancer” Not That Interesting

Last night’s episode of House, “Not Cancer” did not start like the usual episode. Instead of just having one patient, we had 5 people, four of which were dead or dying. The fifth was a math teacher who had a corneal transplant who wasn’t ill…yet. In fact, the common thread with the patients is that they all got something transplanted that originated from one person.

The handling of the case itself was usual. House (Hugh Laurie) and his team guess on various diagnoses, they argue with themselves, they argue with House, House argues with them…the dance continues. In fact, in respect to the medical storylines, if you’ve seen one House episode, you’ve seen them all. In this episode, House seems to think that cancer is at the cause of the illness, and when it seems he’s proven right, he now thinks the diagnosis is wrong. He was part right and part wrong, as House realized that cancer stem cells from the original donor had mutated to look as if they belonged there, attaching themselves to other organs in the patient’s body. This made them hard to spot and also made those areas of the body under attack very weak.

But this episode seemed different in that House seems a little more lost than usual. He doesn’t have Wilson (Robert Sean Leonard) to kick around at will. But, to see what Wilson is up to, House enlisted the help of a private investigator, Lucas (Michael Weston). House got the PI initially to help him with medical cases where his doctors couldn’t (like breaking into homes, something I’ve always had a problem with), and he also taps him to keep tabs on Wilson. But what House doesn’t realize is that the PI is also observing House, just because that's what he does.

A little humor is interjected when House mooches paying for his lunch off another colleague (a doctor). House proceeds to join the doctor for lunch, testing the waters for how good this guy would be as House’s replacement whipping boy since he didn’t have Wilson to kick around any more. House also asks, "Do you have some ethical problem with what I'm doing that you could express in a unique way that would actually make me think that I'm wrong even though I'll never admit it?" After the doctor asks House if House knows he’s not gay, the little scenario runs its course and the gag is over.

House’s original diagnostic team seems for the most part to have been relegated to window dressing. Foreman (Omar Epps) is the only exception with more screen time than Cameron (Jennifer Morrison) and Chase (Jesse Spencer), the latter two almost completely disappearing from any significant storyline. Meanwhile, we get more of the new team, who is just like the old team. Thirteen (Olivia Wilde) is just another Cameron-type, and Taub (Peter Jacobson) and Kutner (Kal Penn) go through similar disagreements with each other and with House as their predecessors did.

It’s as if it’s the same show as always, with just some new faces. Yes, House’s drug problem has taken a back seat, which is a good thing, but they need something more compelling that House’s inability to cope without Wilson to make the show seem interesting. And they also need more than just a new set of faces to make the medical cases seem different.

In some aspects, the edginess of the show and the drama seems to have disappeared. House almost seems too…nice. Yes, he’s still cranky. Yes, he’s still annoying. But what made House great is his intensity and single mindedness for his cases. His “pining” for Wilson, much to the glee of the House/Wilson shippers I am sure, is just not the answer. Don’t get me wrong; this is still a good show. But the bar was set very high in the show’s first year or so, and it seems evident that it peaked and now has reached some sort of plateau.

Maybe the writers need to hire a private investigator to find out where the real drama has gone, because it certainly seems to be missing from the show.

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Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Sarah Connor Chronicles: The Perfect “Mousetrap”

Last night’s episode, “Mousetrap”, returned the show to the suspense and drama that we saw in the series initial episodes. And they did it without a lot of complications and terminator wars.

The episode begins with Charley Dixon (Dean Winters) and his wife Michelle (Sonja Walger) stopped at a gas station in the middle of nowhereville. They are fleeing in order to protect themselves. While Charley is distracted though, Cromartie (Garret Dillahunt) sabotages his own car, and steals Charley’s – with Charlie’s wife still in it.

Meanwhile, John Conner (Thomas Dekker) is stealing cable for his very pregnant neighbor, and sees a news story about an actor whose identity Cromartie used while he murdered a huge group of an assault team. Later, John gets a call from a crazed Charley, but Charley covers up his panic and asks to talk to Sarah (Lena Headey). She seems not happy to hear from him, but she’s really speaking to him in code. She manages to get Charley’s location and goes to help him, with Derek (Brian Austin Green) in tow. But, before she leaves, she tells Cameron not to let Charlie out of her sight.

Cromartie is holding Michelle captive, and he has her tied to a chair set up with wire and mousetraps so that any move she made would cause her to be blown up.

Meanwhile, while John and Cameron (Summer Glau) are loading computers onto their pickup truck, he gets a phone call from Riley who wants to see him. Cameron doesn’t like the idea but John takes off when she’s distracted and heads to find Riley.

Ellison (Richard T. Jones) is at home, and he watching one of Laslow’s movie when he gets a call from Weaver (Shirley Manson), who poses an opportunity to him and asks him to meet.

Michelle, despite being tied up, has managed to get access to her cell phone and calls Charley. Sarah insists that Charley ask Michelle something to be sure it’s really her, so he reluctantly asks her a question only she would know. It IS Michelle, and she gives them her location as she best knows. But unbeknownst to her, Cromartie sees that her phone is out of her purse. When Michelle pleads with him, he tapes her mouth shut and sets her chair on the mousetraps, and we can see what look like an explosive device.

While all this is going on, John and Riley are out having fun, when they see Cameron staring at them from across the street.

Sarah, Charley and Derek find the location where Michelle is being held, and enter with their guns drawn. When they see Micelle, Sarah warns that no one should touch her, seeing what looks like an explosive set up. While Sarah reviews the situation, Charley finds their truck had just been sabotaged. Sarah realizes the bomb is fake, and the Cromartie just wanted to keep them there. They free Michelle, and Sarah calls John, telling him to stay with Cameron. But Cromartie has tapped into the call and now has John’s number and the date code word. When Derek says he noticed some equipment tied to a huge cell phone tower right outside the window, Sarah realizes what is going on, and they all flee as Cromartie has the cell phone tower blown up to fall on the house.

Everyone seems OK from the explosion, and Derek and Sarah realize that Cromartie has heard her phone call to John and Cromartie knows the secret calling code. But, as Charley helps Michelle, he sees she is bleeding from her back. She insists she can go on.

Cromartie now calls John, posing as Sarah, and tells him to meet her at the pier and turn off his phone. Meanwhile, the group knows they can only make progress on foot in order to get help, and Michelle goes on, even though she is still bleeding.

While this is going on, Weaver and Ellison have their meeting, with Weaver showing pictures of a plane crash with terminator parts that were found in the wreckage. She said that she and her late husband spent $20 million to reverse engineer the technology, with no luck. She also indicates she knows about Ellison’s New Mexico case from eight years ago who saw a man with a robot leg trying to kill John Connor. She thinks Ellison knows what is really going on and who recently murdered all those police and agents. She wants Ellison to help her find another terminator.

Back in the desert, Sarah car jacks a lone van driver, and they escape. But Michelle is bleeding to death, and Charley demands Sarah to stop the van.

John, back at the pier, spots Cromartie, and runs, Cromartie also seeing him and begins to chase. It ends with both of them in the water, but Cromartie can’t swim, so John gets away. But, just like Star Trek the Next Generation’s Commander Data, Cromartie can still sink to the bottom and walk his way out, which he does. But John has already left the scene with Cameron, who managed to catch up with John.

Outside a hospital emergency room, Charlie is overcome by grief. Michelle is dead. Later, at her funeral, he drops a bible onto the casket and storms off. Ellison is there, and seemingly only a short way away is Cromartie. The episode closes with Sarah, John, Derek and Cameron lowering their heads at a dinner table, with a very subdued. serious tone.

This episode worked well because it was less of the terminator vs. terminator scenario, and a little more of a terminator using his brain, not brawn, to get to John Connor. Although I must admit, it seem a little odd that John, who knows the trouble he could be in when he goes off on his own, being unprotected no less, still does it. I realize that he wants to have his fun, but he’s seen the bad that can happen from complacency. One day, it would be good for John Connor to show that he is really learning from his mistakes.

Enhancing the story line is Michelle’s death, which puts Charley back on the market, and probably will give him a major chip on his shoulder. Nothing adds to the drama of a show with a guy who is angry and wants revenge. The question is – to whom will he direct his anger? To the terminators? To Sarah” Or to both?

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Prison Break: “Safe and Sound”, But for How Long?

Last night’s episode of Prison Break, “Safe and Sound” was just another trip on the predictability train. But now, we’ve jumped to the unbelievability train.

The premise of the story is the same as it’s been in the last few weeks. The team is working to get another one of the Scylla memory cards. But this time, while Wyatt ( Cress Williams) is trying to catch up with Sara (Sarah Wayne Callies), Mahone (William Fichtner) is trying to catch up the Wyatt, who murdered his son.

In order to get their hands on the latest Scylla card, they have to enlist the help of Agent Self (Michael Rapaport). Agent Self tries to get the card in a conventional way – by getting close to the card by meeting with the person who possesses it, Oren – the head of the LA Treasury Bureau – who is located in Self’s building. But, as luck would have it, the card is in a safe, which is blocking any transmission of any signals that would allow them to grab the data. Since this is television, they have an easy work-around. Self will help them to break into the office next door to Oren’s, so they can cut through the safe to extract the card.

In a scenario that stretches any sense of credibility, Self manages to get the blue prints to the building in a nanosecond, and get the guy in the office next door to go out to lunch with him. While there are leaving the office, he sprays a liquid all over the carpet as he leaves the room. This necessitates some one to call for a clean up, which just so happens to be Sucre (Amaury Nolasco) and Bellick (Wade Williams). Of course, they arrive there immediately and begin the clean up. (Now think about it, when has anyone in a maintenance or janitorial department come right away to clean up?) While they are running their noisy equipment, Michael (Wentworth Miller) and Linc (Dominic Purcell) use a noisier metal saw to cut through the safe. I would think that a noise from a simple carpet-cleaning machine would not be able to drown that out. What is even crazier is that “the General” has arrived in Oren’s office, and after Oren returns, Michael can hear them talking though the hole in the safe while they are downloading the data. Now if they can hear someone talking normally even through the safe and the wall, wouldn’t someone have heard that very very noisy metal cutter?

Of course, they get the data in time and leave in no time flat, managing to clean up the office they were in and leaving no trace they were there, all before the guy comes back from lunch with Self. Meanwhile, to make things more secure, the General tells Oren that all Scylla card holders have to keep the cards on their person at all times. Yes, that will make them much safer. (!?)

Meanwhile, back at the office at another time, T-Bag (Robert Knepper) is shocked to see Sucre and Bellick at the front desk, speaking with the woman who incapacitates people with her cleavage, showing her T-Bag's photo. She then proceeds to blackmail T-Bag, keeping her silence for a small percentage of his earnings, which he has yet to see. Of course, she really has no idea that T-Bag is really a murderous Scum-Bag. But T-Bag has an epiphany when tea dripped on the pages of the bird book seemed to reveal more information. Later, complicating matters, Mr. Xing shows up at T-Bag's office with gun in tow, and asks if is ready to hand over the Scylla. He says that if T-Bag does not turn over the Scylla in three days, T-Bag will be dead.

Wyatt is still holding and torturing Gretchen (Jodi Lyn O'Keefe) but she manages to escape by, over time, prying out a nail and stabbing one of Wyatt’s flunkies with it. She seems near crazy from her torture.

With information he got from Sara, and also conformation he got from his wife, Mahone is hot on the trail of Wyatt. He tracks him to a motel, and catches a hotel employee who Wyatt paid off to serve as a lookout, but before the employee can tip off Wyatt. He gets Wyatt’s cell phone number from the hotel employee.
Image from Fox
Back at the home base, Sara and Glenn (James Hiroyuki Liao ) go through all the possible Scylla holders. Sara recalls hearing that one of them had flown to Laos, and another was heading to Asia. She researches Laos on her Blackberry and finds that "runaway inflation" in Laos has led to riots and a high death toll. When Michael returns, the two discuss Laos, and they conclude the Company's plan was to destroy the area's finances, in order to reap the profits from reconstruction. Sara also admits to him that she was at a bar, but didn’t drink, and won’t ever lie to Michael again. They share a passionless kiss.

Agent Self says they have information on two of the other three card-holders, but admits that the General is a "ghost." Luckily Sara remembers that while she was being held captive, she heard Gretchen called her boss "General." Sara thinks he is the top man of the Company.

Wyatt and the General are mulling Gretchen's escape. Someone interrupts and tell them that a search of their image database for the General had been requested that day… by Don Self. Someone’s going to be in trouble.

And – that’s it for the episode.

My initial reaction was that they are trying very hard to generate suspense for Scylla and what it all means, but they are ruining any progress they make by creating these unrealistic scenarios in which to get their hands on Scylla. The whole stunt with the team gaining access to the office during the day, where they risk being spotted, heard, or caught, would have been more realistic had they pulled off the heist at night. Heck, if they had waited a day, the guy would have had the card on his person if he followed the General’s new mandate. I suspect that the new rule to keep the cards ON the cardholders at all time was a plot device just to get themselves out of these silly, imitation Mission: Impossible scenarios.

Again, Sara and Michael seem lifeless together. Mind you, I’m not one of those “shipper” people so I don’t care what goes on with those two. Still, I expect him to show much more love towards her since he went to such lengths to find her.

But the real workhorse of the show – the person who delivers a solid performance every week no matter what he’s given – is William Fichtner. Frankly, I am finding myself caring more about what happens to Mahone than anyone else on the show.

I can only wish that we’ll see something different next week, a little less Mission: Impossible and a little more intrigue. Somehow, though, I doubt it.

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CSI Miami "Resurrection": It...Is...Alive!

All photos from CBS

Coming at the end of David Caruso Day was the season premier of CSI Miami titled “Resurrection”. This episode was named “Resurrection” for a good reason. You see, the immortal Horatio Caine (David Caruso) isn’t dead. But you knew that already, didn’t you? There is no way that the show would kill off the star of the show, the character some fans love, some fans love to hate, and some crazy people stalk.

But here’s how it goes down.

The episode opens with a flashback from the season finale ”Going Ballisic”, where we see Horatio Caine, laying apparently mortally wounded on the tarmac, his sunglasses nearby, one lens shattered by a bullet. Of course, he wasn’t wearing his sunglasses at the time he was hit, and there is no blood on or near his eye, so he knows he didn’t get shot in the head. Ryan is getting a message on his phone saying “It’s done.”

A body bag is being zipped up as Ryan (Jonathan Togo) and the ME Wellner (Kurt Long) look on. Calleigh (Emily Procter) and Eric (Adam Rodriguez) arrive at the scene, and are shocked to find that Ryan has already released Horatio's body so the media wouldn’t get a look at his body on the tarmac, laying there in his own blood. . Of course, they seem to be more concerned with how fast Ryan got there than immediately checking the crime scene. Eric goes to the morgue to see the body, and is shocked to find that the ME had already released it to the Feds but the ME has no recollection of the agent’s name.

Eric smells something…and it’s not dead bodies. Well, maybe he DOES smell dead bodies, after all it is a morgue. But I think he senses the stink of conspiracy!

Back at the tarmac, Frank (Rex Lynn) is filling in Calleigh, telling her that Horatio was there to see off Julia Winston (Elizabeth Berkley) and son Kyle (Evan Ellingson) on a private jet to Puerto Rico. But they can’t be located there. Eric is still wondering why Ryan got to the crime scene so fast. (Focus, Eric, focus!) Natalia (Eva La Rue)finds a partial shoe print and a speck of blood evidence, which, back at the lab, she finds it belongs to a criminal who had been killed in jail the day before. She thinks someone stepped in that person’s blood and tracked it to the tarmac. How convenient.

Faster than you can say “DNA evidence”, a recently released convict named Diaz (Saul Huezo), whose shoe print matched the one on the tarmac, is in custody. The sole of his shoe still has blood on it, and Eric declares, "We know you're an associate of Juan Ortega.”( Jose Zuniga ) Of course, he denies he is involved in Horatio’s murder, he was just there to catch a flight. He just so happened to take a picture with this camera phone after hearing a shot so he could send the photo to Ortega and take credit for the hit. In the photograph, in the pool of blood, we see a reflection of something on top of a nearby hangar. "That's not something," Eric says. "That's someone." How anyone can see that kind of detail from a low-resolution camera phone shot is beyond me. Faster than you can blink, Eric and Calleigh are at the top of that hangar, looking onto the tarmac. Calleigh states the obvious: "Perfect vantage point for a shooter. " Yes, I could have told her that, even without the photo. In searching the area, Calleigh finds a bandage. She says she had spoken to Agent Caldwell (David Keith) that morning and he (gasp!) had the same bandage!

Now, Caldwell is being grilled and he denies any involvement in the killing of Caine. He says they were both were trying to get Ortega for the sale of alloy bullets. But Calleigh says that the signature of the mystery agent, Dean Redland, who signed out Caine's body, matches Caldwell's handwriting! Calleigh also show Eric Caldwell’s PDA with the text message "It's done." But who did Caldwell sent it to? Eric calls the number and Ryan answers. Eric’s outrage is evident, saying "It all makes sense now…How you got there so fast, why you released the body!"

"I was just following orders," Ryan whispers. Eric has a cow, grabbing Ryan. ‘Orders from who, Wolfe? From who?” "From Horatio." Shock! It…Is…Alive! Eric and Calleigh want the details, and Ryan tells them that the ME was an ATF plant, Ortega was sending someone to kill Horatio. Saris (Kim Coates) wanted Horatio dead as well. The only way Horatio would survive was to stage his own execution. Caldwell did the shooting and Ryan was responsible for the blood. "Where's Horatio now?" Eric asks and Ryan tells him "He could be anywhere."

We then see Horatio at a lovely home, sunglasses in tow. The burning question is, did he use a throwaway pair of sunglasses when he got “shot”, or did he just get a new pair? Oh, the drama of it all! He draws his gun, he carefully walks around, and he finds Julia and Kyle in the house, alive and kicking. Julia wants to leave, but Horatio won’t have it. He doesn’t want Julia seeing Ron, but Julia objects, "That man is my husband. " Horatio tells her, "And that is your problem… "I need four more hours." He gives Julia a key to a “safe place” and tells Julia to go there and wait for his call. But Horatio is going underground.

Later, on a hidden dirt road, a man meets Horatio. Apparently Horatio saved his life years ago and he wants to help Horatio. Horatio just wants the alloy bullets oft the street. The man hands him a briefcase, with $10 million inside. Horatio can’t use normal methods with the police to get that cash because things were “complicated." He trusts Horatio, saying, You will retrieve these bullets. Lives will be spared." Horatio smiles and answers, "If it's the last thing I do." (Can we only hope?)

Meanwhile Eric and Caldwell interrogate Ortega, but he refuses to cooperate. Eric and Caldwell suggest to Ortega that they drive him through gang territory and sit him in “the informant’s seat.”

Caine, still in the middle of nowhere, meets with Yelina (Sofia Milos) , who agrees to take the money and pose as a buyer who wants the fused alloy bullets. Caine cautions her to be careful but that he will be close by.

As Eric and Frank drive Ortega through Miami, gunfire breaks out nearby. Eric and Frank find two hooded men shooting at an armored truck. While this is going on, Ortega escapes. Afterwards, Eric and Frank determine that the armored truck shooting was staged to free Ortega, and that fused alloy bullets were used in the attack, which went right through the bulletproof armor.

Later, Eric meets with Horatio in a parking garage, and is hurt that Horatio chose Ryan to help him in his deception, and not him. Horatio seemed to be trying to protect Eric should the sting fail. Awww!

Calleigh, now at the scene, found skin scrapings on the glass of the driver's side door from one of the shooters. Back at the lab, they find it skin belongs to someone named Todd Keener (Alex Solowitz) who is not a known affiliate of Ortega’s gang. Within minutes Eric questions Keener who refuses to “rat out my boys," adding, "You cops, you just don't get it. You're on the short end. The gangs got all the ammo. You're nothing but ducks on a pond." Eric tells Horatio, now at the police department, that it seems the bullets are everywhere, and Horatio says he’s working on it.

Meanwhile, Yelina is meeting with Ron, wanting to purchase the bullets. And she wants ALL of Ortega’s supply. He is suspicious, and he pulls a gun on her. But she promised a deal to Ron that would make Ron a wealthy man. She gives him the $10 million as a down payment. He tells her he keeps a boat down at the marina, and that’s where he will be.

Ryan and Eric are able to trace Ortega’s movements from when he escaped the car by tracking blood drops, and theorize that he stole a car to get away. Back at the lab, Ryan and Calleigh find that the traffic signal at the armored car crime scene had been fixed to stay red, which kept the armored truck in place, allowing the ambush. After tracing the people who have such a device that can keep the light red, they track it to ATF agent Jake Berkeley (Johnny Whitworth), Calleigh’s former main squeeze. Immediately, they question Berkeley, and of course he denies he did it, saying he’s working undercover. Apparently the gang took his motorcycle that had the device. He agrees to help them.

Meanwhile, Yelina is watching Ron meeting with the gang members to get the bullets. Of course, they are doing the deal in broad daylight, because Ron thinks Horatio is dead. Yelina calls Horatio to tip him off that the deal is done.

Now, Ron, with Yelina is buying back all the alloy bullets from the local gang, and Ryan and Eric search for Ortega. Ryan and Eric remember that they still have Diaz's cell phone, and finding a call from Ortega, they trace the location of the call: an airstrip at the end of the Everglades. Wow, these people are quick!

At the airstrip, Ortega is preparing to get on a private jet when the cops arrive, Horatio Caine making the arrest himself. "Taken down by a dead man," Ortega states.

Berkeley is back at the lab, with a load of guns from the gang's safe house that he believed were used in the ambush. But, he had to break his cover to get the guns. "I didn't do it for the case, Calleigh," he says. "I did it for you." They kiss.

At the marina, we also see Ron and Julia in a kiss, with Ron explaining his plans to take them to South America by boat and sell them. They will be happy together. But Julia drops a bomb on him that she wants a divorce. Walking away, we see Horatio Caine there, with his gun drawn. Ron yells, "What the hell is this?” Horatio responds "It's called irreconcilable differences. "

Ron shoots, and Horatio fire back hitting what looks like a propane tank, which explodes, causing the bullets and the entire boat that Ron is in to explode as well. The blast should have knocked Horatio off his feet, yet he remains planted to the ground, not even dropping to protect himself from flying debris. Afterwards, Eric tells Horatio that they still can't find Ron's body, but the bullets appear to be gone. As the episode closes, Horatio promises, "Whatever it takes, we'll find him," to which Eric responds "It never ends, does it?" And, because he still needs a job and we need a show, Horatio Caine answers, "And it never will.”

Well, it looks like the CSI Miami team wrapped up the “death” of Horatio, solved an armored car heist, and got those fused allow bullets off the street in less than 24 hours. That is some police work – some unbelievable police work, that is. I know that these shows deal a lot with compressing time just for the sake of moving the episode along faster, but some of the speed in which they do so is laughable. It seems that they are able to get DNA results and identify to whom it belongs in nanoseconds. They are able to get people in for questioning with the blink of an eye. They manage to have an ME in place that just so happens to be an AFT agent who can help stage Horatio’s death. Horatio, who is a crack shot, isn’t able to hit Ron on the boat, yet misses and hits a propane tank, blowing it all up. And, even more amazing, the explosion didn’t even seem to ruffle his hair. It’s just all too convenient.

Of course, Horatio thinks nothing of putting the women he loves in jeopardy – Yelina, Julia – in order to take down the criminals. He’s such a user!

CSI Miami, which still draws huge viewership across the country and around the world, seems to revel in appealing to the lowest common denominator. The story lines are simplistic, the evidence too convenient. Let’s not forget that the acting is wooden and the characters predictable. And you know what that means? It means I’ll be back for next week’s episode.

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Monday, September 22, 2008

The 60th Emmy Awards Show: Horrible!

It’s bad enough that the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences snubbed so many for Emmy nominations. But the insult was compete when the Emmy Awards Show didn’t even seem to put much effort into providing a decent awards show.

I’ve written here before that I don’t like awards shows. They are usually only good for the first half hour, and then they descend into boredom. But last night’s Emmy Awards began with boredom already in full swing.

The show opened with some clips of past shows that seemed disconnected. It was followed by a speech from Oprah Winfrey, which was OK but a little long and frankly I’m not sure of its point. Still, it seemed to be a wasted lead in for what was to come. The hosts of some of the top reality shows were introduced, with Tom Bergeron, Howie Mandel, Heidi Klum, Ryan Seacrest, and Jeff Probst. And they seemed proud of the fact that they had nothing prepared, stating, "We have nothing…This is serious. This is not a bit….We have nothing." Heidi Klum stood there in the center of the pack and said nothing. Then, William Shatner was called onto the stage to help tear off Heidi’s manly tuxedo costume to reveal a more scantily clad Klum. It was…weird.

My husband and I switched over to the Green Bay vs. Dallas football game on NBC, but, like watching a bad accident, we had to switch back to the Emmys to see if the horror continued. It had. What was even stranger is we found ourselves watching more of the Emmys than we normally do, just to see how bad it was. We switched the game back on during acceptance speeches, but did manage to catch Jeremy Piven’s dig where he asked "What if I just kept talking for 12 minutes? That was the opening." No kidding.

Before I switched off the show, I saw Josh Groban lower his standards to perform a horrific montage of 30 themes from primetime TV shows of the past, complete with the infamous Law & Order “doink doink” which of course is not part of the Law & Order theme song. (Idiots!)

Probably the funniest piece, although maybe drawn out too long, was Ricky Gervais going on about missing last year’s awards where he won, and where Steve Carell accepted for him in a hysterical celebration. Well, Ricky demanded his award back from a purposely stone-faced Carell, descending into even attempting to tickle Carell. I couldn’t believe it, actual entertainment!

One commercial that I did watch was the Macy’s commercial. Full disclosure here – I hate Macy’s. They took over a Kauffman’s store in my home town and since then, I have barely purchased anything from them because they reduced their selection of products and they also don’t have the same quality they had before. Yet, years after this big Macy’s merger had been announced, we now see a commercial, which touted the deep history of the store in New York City. Well, since New Yorkers sometimes seem to act like the world revolves around them, I became even more miffed at Macy’s, since they still seem to think that what New Yorkers have liked over the years the rest of the country will like too. Still, Macy’s should ask for their advertising money back, seeing that this dog of a show didn’t do much to put me in the mood to “reminisce” about Macy’s in New York.

Also horrific was a disjointed and sometimes uncomfortable skit with some of the old stars of the show Laugh-In. Ruth Buzzi looked eerily the same in her old lady costume, Lily Tomlin and Joann Worley seemed the same too, and Alan Sues seemed feeble or drunk, or both. It was almost embarrassing.

And that was it for me. The TV went off and I never looked back.

All I can say is that the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences should be ashamed of themselves for this show. It seemed disjointed and lifeless. It was like amateur hour(s). I actually felt sorry for those performers who were nominated for an Emmy. The show was an insult to them, but even more of an insult to viewers. The sad thing is, the Academy will probably nominate themselves for an Emmy next year.

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Saturday, September 20, 2008

David Caruso Day – Monday September 22, 2008

In preparation for the season premier of CSI Miami - Resurrection” - to air on Monday September 22, Lisa de Moraes of the Washington Post has declared that day “David Caruso Day.” I am sure fans, non-fans, and stalkers alike will want to participate. But there are rules you have to follow, which she outlined in the following article:

Monday, the start of the seventh glorious season of "CSI: Miami," we have declared David Caruso Day - a 24-hour tribute to the most underappreciated thespian in the primetime firmament. It's something like that National Talk Like a Pirate Day -- which, in one of those incredible coincidences that makes covering TV such a paranormal experience, is today! On David Caruso Day you don't have wear an eye patch or say "Aargh!" all day long. Instead, you get to hiss pithy, mockable one-liners while leering over the top of your Maui Jim's, and generally muck about like an actor who, early in his career may have gotten to fill in for the lead role of Jean Valjean in "Les Miserables" on Broadway for six months, but who is coming to the realization the defining role of his career is a vocabulary-challenged cop saddled with the name Horatio. Additionally, we invite you to send an essay "What David Caruso Day Means to Me" to the TV Column's invaluable colleague Emily Yahr. And, we encourage you to send photos and video of you participating in David Caruso Day, which should also be sent to poor Emily's e-mail address. We will share the submissions with you on the chat next Friday. So here, with thanks to the many TV Column chatters who have contributed their suggestions, are the OFFICIAL DAVID CARUSO DAY RULES:

1. Maui Jim sunglasses must be worn all day. Outfit should ideally also include a dark expensive suit (Armani for verisimilitude), dress shirt, no tie, badge, and a Hummer for transportation. When speaking, head must be cocked to one side, hands on hips (aka Caruso Handles).

2. If you are using more than 10 words in a sentence while speaking, you are doing it wrong.

3. The more the mundane the spoken sentence, the more it must be delivered with the slit-eyed intensity of a man who has just cornered John Dillinger -- or, if you prefer, the slit-eyed intensity of Laurence Olivier as Heathcliff. The goal here is to make William Shatner look well-modulated. Less mundane sentences spoken in the course of the day (example: "Boss, you can take this job and shove it.") may be delivered with only a pseudo-grim look.

4. When calling someone by name in a conversation, participants must follow that person's name with an extremely pregnant pause. Example: "Frank (pause, pause, pause) it looks like the Xerox machine is broken again." When the topic of conversation is very serious, the person must be addressed by their full name ("Francis" instead of Frank). Address women you work with as "Ms" followed by last name, never by their first name.

5. At least 75 percent of statements made in the course of the day by participants must be delivered as a question. Example: "It's ... cold outside?"

6. At least once per hour, you must open your cell phone abruptly, dial a number, tensely whisper terse instructions into the phone and slap the phone shut -- before the call could possibly have connected to the person you dialed.

7. When speaking to someone at length, you must first address the person's feet, then slowly look up and, before making eye contact, look away, then walk out of the frame. Exception: It is acceptable to look a small child in the eye.

8. Appear in places when you are least expected, especially to confront your nemesis, who is hopefully from another country, like Brazil. When your nemesis finally spots you, smirk, call out his/her name, say you are coming to get him or her, then immediately disappear.

Here are two more clips for inspiration: David Caruso Day-worthy takes by Jim Carrey and the "Sesame Street" team. For advanced instruction, attend the David Caruso School of Acting. Good luck!…
[Note: the clips she references are below.)

So get out your sunglasses, put your hands on your hips, stand sideways, and have fun!

David Caruso School of Acting (Comedy Inc.)

David Caruso – Sesame Street Style

Jim Carrey does Caruso

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Thursday, September 18, 2008

Bones: Putting My Finger on What’s Wrong

Last night’s episode of "Bones", “The Finger in the Nest,” again seemed more focused on the relationships between the characters than the crime itself. I think I’ve come to the conclusion that this show has ceased to be about the crimes and forensic anthropology. This change has happened over a period of time, and while it seems to be a natural progression, for me, it still seems a little off.

The murder case in this episode was about a veterinarian who was killed because he was going to expose a dog-fighting ring. The murder is first uncovered when Booth’s (David Boreanaz) son Parker finds a dismembered finger in a birds nest, which just happens to be low enough for him to get into with only a short climb into a tree.

While Temperance “Bones” Brennan (Emily Deschanel) and her staff work on the murder, Booth is more worried that his son will be forever scarred by finding that finger. While he is enlisting the help of the ever-annoying Dr. Sweets (John Francis Daley) to determine if Parker is suffering from post traumatic stress after finding the finger, I come to the conclusion that Booth is becoming a total wuss. (I called him a “doofus maximus” a few weeks ago. I now officially add “wuss” to that description.) I don’t like what they are doing with Booth and what kind of man he is becoming.

Without going into the details of the forensics – frankly why bother since the show seems to make it just a backdrop to the “dance” that is going on between Booth and Brennan – they crack the case relatively easily. It’s not without another casualty, though. A dog named Riley, who was instructed to kill the vet by its master, is euthanized before Bones can adopt him. Booth and Bones bury Ripley in what looks like a park. I hope it wasn’t in a park that I will be going to soon.
It’s not that the show isn’t entertaining. It is. Booth and Bones have great chemistry and the cast seems to mesh very well. Well, except for Dr. Sweets and Dr. Saroyan (Tamara Taylor), who I both wish would just go away. As a matter of fact, I am finding harder and harder to rationalize why Dr. Sweets plays such a major role in the work at the Jeffersonian, except to be an outlet for Booth and Bones.

So as far as the chemistry element of the show, I give it an A-. But as far as the crime element of the show, I give it a C. The science is there, yes, but it seems to only be a convenient plot device to advance the relationship between Booth and Bones. If I had to compare it to anything, it seems like I’m watching a modern version of Nancy Drew. If they are trying to make Booth and Bones into a new version of Mulder and Skully, I say nice try, but at least Mulder and Skully had story lines that seemed more fitting for people over the age of 15.

By the way, the soap-opera element will only get worse, as they are adding a new twist to the show by throwing another wrench into the Angela and Jack’s relationship. Read on from Eonline:

Bones Casting: Meet Angela's Lesbian Lovah

Meet Angela's new...woman! Angela Montenegro (Michaela Conlin) on Fox's Bones is currently torn between two male lovers—ex-fiancĂ© Jack Hodgins (T.J. Thyne) and ex-husband Grayson (Sean Blakemore)—and now a fourth party will be added to the mix!

Fox confirms to us that the adorable Nichole Hiltz, who is best known to most TV viewers as Marshal Mary Shannon's ditzy but well-meaning sister, Brandi Shannon, on USA's In Plain Sight, will appear in Bones' Nov. 12 episode, "The Skull in the Sculpture."

Nichole plays Roxie Lyons, an artist's assistant implicated in her boss' death. Roxie, however, is more than just a suspect—she shares a romantic past with Angela. (She debunks the theory that she killed out of sexual jealousy by pointing out that she is a lesbian and that her boss was a man.)

Now what does this mean for Angela's love life? Well, it certainly isn't going to make Jack any happier with her! I ran into T.J. Thyne (whom I adore) at the Fox party, and when we discussed his character's love life, he said, "Thank you for knowing that she dumped me!" Sounds like Jack isn't going to be forgiving and forgetting any time soon.

In other news, yes, they are now casting for a hottie to play Jared Booth, Seeley's high-ranking Navy officer brother. Jared has a strained relationship with Booth (David Boreanaz), a fond friendship with Cam (Tamara Taylor) and eyes for Brennan (Emily Deschanel). I'm pretty sure that's not going to go over well with Booth, but I get the feeling the situation between Jared and Seeley is more about sibling rivalry than romantic competition.

David himself tells us, "We'll dive into Booth's past a little bit this season. Maybe we'll see his younger brother and his grandfather. And we'll see a little bit more of a vulnerable side to his character."

More deets on that in a future post, along with dish from David, Emily and Michaela themselves about what's to come in season four—but for now, post in the comments about what you think of Nichole's casting and who should play Booth's brother...
—Additional reporting by Jennifer Godwin and Natalie Abrams

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Wednesday, September 17, 2008

House: Does Dying Change Everything?

Last night’s season premier episode of ”House” – “Dying Changes Everything” – proves that dying changes nothing when it comes to Dr. Greg House (Hugh Laurie), or for the show for that matter.

The medical case is standard fare. A woman comes in with mystery illness, the staff scrambles to find out what is wrong, guesses on the diagnoses, treats the patient for a few different things, and House figures it out in the end. This is only a backdrop to the real story: Dr. James Wilson (Robert Sean Leonard) is leaving Princeton Plainsboro teaching Hospital.

I wrote in February about House and Wilson being ”TV’s Power Couple”. They still are, but they just won't be working together, at least for now. This episode was akin to watching a married couple going through an ugly split up, with Wilson being the woman with bruised feelings who isn’t appreciated, and House being the man who just doesn’t get what he’s doing wrong.

The bone of contention between the two is the death of Wilson’s girlfriend, Amber, who was killed as a result of a bus accident. Since she happened to be on the bus with House, and was on the bus BECAUSE of House, Wilson seems to be harboring bad feelings toward House about it. And, in typical House fashion, he doesn’t quite understand why Wilson is so miffed with him. He thinks Wilson is committing “career malpractice.”

While House’s staff works to diagnose the patient of the week, House is distracted by Wilson’s quitting, and in one case, abandons his patient and dumps the patient on Wilson. House also openly refers to Thirteen’s (Olivia Wilde) Huntington’s disease, which she insists to House and her peers that she does not have. (Later, however, she admits to the patient of the week that she DOES have Huntington’s.)

Dr. Cuddy (Lisa Edelstein) also tries to play marriage counselor, trying to get House and Wilson to talk things over and make nice. After all, she doesn’t want Wilson to leave, either. In typical Cuddy fashion, she seems to gloss over the problem by thinking that her mediation over a session with these two would cure their ills. Of course it does not. Cuddy even goes to House’s apartment and called him out for risking the life of a patient rather than apologize to Wilson. When he closes the door in her face, she shouts through it, "You're doing the same thing he is. Running away. Except he's not killing anyone in the process." Personally, Cuddy should have fired House long ago, so now she really has no power with him at all. Well, maybe she only has power over him to the extent that she can confiscate all the remote controls for the TVs in the doctor’s lounge area. I continually am perplexed – even annoyed – that Cuddy, who really is the person in power at the hospital – is frequently made into a weak, ineffective leader.

Thirteen, however, seems torn about the patient, first with the requirement of an abortion of the fetus that was gestating in the wrong place, and later, telling the patient of her own disease in order to encourage the patient to believe in her own abilities. She gets confounded when the patient readily agrees to the abortion procedure, and even more frustrated when the patient goes back to work for her boss, because the patient says that is where she thinks she belongs. The bottom line is that Thirteen is just another reincarnation of the emotionally driven Dr. Cameron (Jennifer Morrison), who is still working in the emergency area and doing fine without House. A side note about Olivia Wilde – I am not quite sure what she did to herself, but she seems thinner and her head just looked huge. In fact, I found that every time she was on the screen, all I saw was a giant forehead. Her hair also seem plastered to her head. She made Dr. Kutner (Kal Penn) and Dr. Taub (Peter Jacobson) look attractive in comparison, which believe me, is quite a stretch.

And since I mentioned Dr. Cameron, I thought I should reference her two former peers, who are also now on their own to an extent. Dr. Chase (Jesse Spencer) is busy doing surgery and happy to be in a position where he can have some power over House’s team by nixing surgery for the patient. Dr. Foreman (Omar Epps) is working for House, but in a slightly better position where he was before because he has more influence over House’s staff.

Of course, as the episode is winding down, House comes in with the magic diagnosis of a form of leprosy, and provides the cure.

But the real heart of the matter comes at the end, when Wilson is getting reading to leave with his final box of personal belongings, and House comes in for one final chance to get Wilson to stay. House says, "I know I didn't try to kill her. I know I didn't want her hurt. I know it was a freak accident. But I feel like crap and she's dead because of me," and asks Wilson if they are OK now. But Wilson comes back that this was not the reason he is leaving. He tells House, "We're not OK,” that he was leaving not because of Amber, but because of House. Wilson spears back with, "You spread misery because you can't feel anything else…We're not friends anymore, House. I'm not sure we ever were." He admits to being House’s enabler – something viewers have known for quite some time now. Still, it was good to hear Wilson tell it like it is, before he walked out the door.

But the bottom line is, what has dying changed for House? Nothing really. He’s still the same, prickly, condescending, self-centered jerk he has always been. He still takes advantage of people. He still doesn’t seem to really care about his patients. Is the fact that Amber is dead and Wilson left the hospital mean that everything changed? No, not one bit. Just because Wilson isn’t at the hospital won’t mean that he won’t be in House’s life, as evidenced by the preview for next week. So when it all comes down to it, while Dr. Greg House pontificates that “dying changes everything”, for him, that's just not true.

Episode Clips

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Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Prison Break “Eagles and Angels” Doesn’t Fly

It’s a good thing that Prison Break seems to be starting the episodes off with a recap of the prior week, because I sense things are going to get complicated and hard to follow as we move through the season.

In this week’s episode, “Eagles and Angels”, we seen the team continue in their effort to get their hands on The Company’s data memory cards collectively known as “Scylla”. We learned in an earlier episode (the season premier episodes ) that it wasn’t just one card they were after, but six, which meant 6 more episodes of the same.

In this episode, they find that other card is at the Turkish consulate. They assume that a man has it, but when they have trouble downloading the information from their highly obvious black vehicle parked nearby, they realize the card is in the possession of a woman - Lisa Tabak, who is married to the Turkish consul. While Lisa is later being given some information from one of The Company men, the team plots to get the information from her device. They have to abort one plan as she is surrounded by too much security.

T-Bag (Robert Knepper), however, continues in his impersonation of Colt Pfeiffer, but is spotted by Linc (Dominic Purcell) and he and Michael (Wentworth Miller) give chase. They catch up with T-Bag and press him on the whereabouts of the bird book, but let him loose when it appears they have caught the attention of security. T-Bag still has the bird book, however, and makes his way to his “job” to collect his “bonus”. When he arrives at the office as Cole Pfeiffer, a receptionist with extremely distracting and voluminous cleavage give him a message that matches a clue inside the bird book. Later when T-Bag is shown his office by a somewhat skeptical employee, he also sees that his office number is in the book as well.

Sara is distressed when Agent Self (Michael Rapaport ) calls her to say that Bruce Bennett was found dead, and Sara blames herself. (I blame her too.) Michael consoles her. But a worried Agent Self also warns Michael that Bennett might have told The Company they are in Los Angeles. Michael tells Agent Self about T-Bag, and that T-Bag has the book that he got from Whistler which has the plans for the break in. Still, Michael and the gang work to plot to get the information on the device, which will likely be with Lisa Tabak when she attends an “Eagles and Angels” benefit dinner that night. Since “Eagles and Angels” honors fallen police officers, they know they have their work cut out for them in order to get in unnoticed.

Meanwhile, Sara (Sarah Wayne Callies) still struggles with Bennet’s death and ends up at a bar, asking for a double bourbon, but doesn’t drink it.

While all this is going on, Wyatt (Cress Williams) is also in L.A. trying to hunt down Sara. He takes a diversion to kill Jasper, who was waiting for Agent Self to show up. It seems The Company knew that Jasper was leaking information. When Agent Self goes to meet the jumpy Jasper, he finds him dead on the floor of his room, and we glimpse Wyatt leaving the scene.

The team, during broad daylight, confounds the security at the police storage facility, where they easily get uniforms and badges to help them get access to the benefit. They get into the Eagles and Angels benefit, and Michael gets the data collection device right under the table where Lisa will be sitting. But when a police officer asks Michael where he worked Michael balks. He covers for this by saying he was emotional because one of the fallen cops being honored was one of his guys, but the real cop I doesn’t seem to be buying it.

At the bar, Sara is still contemplating taking that drink. While doing so, a sleazebag comes by, hitting on her, and when rebuffed, steals a credit card from Sara which has Bruce Bennet’s name on it. The bartender takes the drink from Sara, and the sleazebag uses the stolen credit card to pay his tab.

At the benefit, Linc is recognized by one of the guards, and Linc makes his way out. The problem is that Lisa also got a phone call with a code message, and she moves to leave as well, the data transfer not complete. Linc is stopped by the guard, who knows Linc’s name and holds a gun on him. Bellick (Wade Williams) comes up stabs in his side, but Linc pulls out the knife and stabs the guard again, killing him. He calls Michael to something so they can get rid of the body, but Michael advises him to let the guards find the body, and to wait for Mahone (William Fichtner).

Somewhere else, we see Gretchen (Jodi Lyn O'Keefe), chained, imprisoned in a dark room where Wyatt has been torturing her. He says someone else besides Whistler had been looking into Scylla, and pressures Gretchen for more information. But he gets a call from a woman telling him that Bennett's credit card had just been used at a bar in San Pedro.

At the benefit, Michael moves ahead with a modified plan. Mahone, still disguised as a police officer, tells one of Lisa's security guards that there was a body outside and "we believe it's one of your men." He asks the guard to come outside and identify the body, and Michael, who stas with Lisa, stands close to continue the wireless download of the data from her Scylla card she was carrying. Michael gets a little bonus when his nose begins bleeding.

Wyatt shows up at the bar where Sara had just been, asking the bartender if she'd seen Sara. Sara was in the bathroom crying, and she slips out the back without knowing Wyatt was looking for her and was so close.

The files finished downloading and Lisa was whisked away by her remaining security team. Back at the waterfront location, Sara is absent and no one knows where he is. Self and Michael commiserate, but also agree to keep going with the task, even though Self lost his contact in Jasper.

T-Bag, in the office, was mulling over the bird book and the name “Xing”. We then see some people in a dark room in New York City, where a man named Xing was telling someone else that Cole Pfeiffer did not show for their meeting. "So, you don't have Scylla?" the man asked, and then stabs Xing. The mystery man says he’s going to Los Angeles.

As Lincoln asked Glenn (James Hiroyuki Liao) if he got anything off Lisa Tabak's phone, Glenn hurriedly closed a bunch of windows on his computer screen, and said no. Mahone also asks Glenn to help him find the man who killed his son, giving Glenn a sketch with a description fitting Wyatt.

Michael calls Sara, wondering where she is an how she is doing. She tells him “you’re all that's keeping me going right now." He wanted them to make some time together and says he’ll come get her but she says she’s close and will be right there. But as she turns to leave, we see that Wyatt has been following her.

There were several things that bugged me about this episode. The first obvious thing was the lack of physical intimacy between Michael and Sara. For a person who seemed so desperate to find her, it’s as if he remains very distant when he’s around her, even when they are sitting privately as they were on the dock. At one point in the show he touches her hands, but that’s about it. There seems to be no chemistry between them. I know Sara is troubled and Michael is under pressure, but I guess I just expect at least an embrace, a kiss, something that makes it seem like there really is love or even just a little passion between them. They almost act like a married couple on the verge of divorce.

I also am finding the team's ability to break in or to infiltrate places a little too easy. Yes, I know this is television, but at least they should work for it more or make it more credible. Their stealing of police uniforms and badges was completely devoid of suspense because it wasn’t remotely credible.

I also believe that Michael Rapaport was miscast as Agent Self. His acting is flat, it’s almost like he’s reading lines in a high school play.

A pet peeve of mine in this show – but it’s not limited to this show – is the use of blown up color photographs on a whiteboard. Honestly now, do they really need it? It seems to me that in this episode, there was initially a huge layout of photos on the board, which suddenly disappeared a few scenes later for another picture or two. I know these things are done for show, but again, it detracts from a what I think should be a more realistic feel. Do they really have time to print out all those pictures, and do they want to even leave evidence of what they were doing if they have to suddenly flee?

Of course, the biggest problem will be the “story of the week” which will be “how to get another Scylla card without getting caught” scenario. It is already getting old, and frankly it is sapping any possible drama out of the show.

It is highly possible that this is the last season for Prison Break if they keep up this pattern. It can’t just be another version of Mission Impossible every week. The only prison this show needs to break out of may be of it’s own making – a repetitive storyline.

prison break 404 "Eagles ang Angels" promo #4
by pbeliteS4

Terminator Sarah Connor Chronicles: Too Automatic?

In this episode of The Sarah Connor Chronicles, “Automatic for the People, “ the group is faced with a potential disaster at a nuclear power plant. The only disaster here was the ease of which the power plant was infiltrated, not by a terminator, but by Sarah Connor and her cohorts.

The recap (below) outlines how the show set up the scenario where nuclear power plants will come under the control of the machines in the future. I have to admit, through, that the only thing it may have shown was how easy it is in a fictional world to get access to the sensitive insides of a power plant, either as an employee or a visitor. Even more unbelievable is the fact that a novice can pick up an emergency power plant manual and figure out after looking at a few pages how to fix the problem.

Here’s how it starts. There is a new arrival in Sarah Connor’s world. A naked man appears in a flash, apparently from the future, with a wound in his chest. He grabs some clothes conveniently located next to a homeless man where the man luckily landed, and runs off.

Back at the church where they are hiding, everyone seems to be mulling over recent events and their injuries. Sarah (Lena Headey) is worried that Cameron (Summer Glau) can be trusted, Derek (Brian Austin Green) seems to be putting his trust is God. Cameron, of course, is healing faster than everyone else. But Cameron also is concerned that John Connor (Thomas Dekker) is taking too many risks as evidenced by him deciding to fix her. But to make everything better, Sarah tells John to go back to school.

He does go back to school, but seems uncomfortable. While he seems to be moping outside, a blond girl comes up and asks he bailed on English class, and calls him a weirdo. Her name is Riley and she seems miffed that John never seemed to notice her in class. She convinces John to cut class and head over to his new house that Sarah has just bought, with everything inside.

Meanwhile, Agent Ellison (Richard T. Jones) is at Dixon’s house and speaks to Michelle Dixon (Sonya Walger). She tells him there is a gun in the house and she is concerned because Charley hates guns. When Charlie Dixon (Dean Winters) comes home and sees Ellison, he wants to know what’s going on and Ellison says they need to talk. Michelle is stunned that Sarah is alive and in LA too, and seems incredulous about the robots on the loose, Charley tells her that he doesn't love Sarah "like that", but she slaps him, saying his should be the least of their worries. She leaves the room, and Ellison advises they should leave the place, because it’s not safe.

Back at home, Sarah is dozing off on the couch, and is awakened by a man crashing through the glass doors. Cameron goes out to check the outside area, while the man, on his last breaths, tells Sarah and Derek to “stop Greenway." He also says something will happen at a power plant in Serrano Point in two days, and then he dies. Sarah says he's from the future, sent by John. Derek says he'll take care of the matter at Greenway at Serrano Point, but Sarah is not so sure. We see what looks like Serrano Point in the future, complete with flying vehicles on the attack and resistance fighters shooting back. Derek thinks that Greenway must play a big role in the future. While Sarah wonders what is supposed to happen in two days, Cameron thinks they can find out from Greenway themselves.

We see Sarah and Cameron with IDs entering the plant as temporary janitors. (How they were able to get security clearance so quickly is beyond me.) They are shown a cartoon training video and shown around the plant. They are told to be careful of going in the fuel building without proper protection. Cameron sees Greenway (Paul Schulze) as he walks by.

Back at the power plant, Greenway is double checking everything as the plant is going back on line tomorrow. Sarah sees him drop some pills, and Sarah tells him that she would have a headache too if she had his job. He insists they’re just vitamins. She introduces herself as Kara from Elgin, Texas, and Greenway tells her he was stationed right near there in the Navy. Nelson (Dean Norris) – probably Greenway’s supervisor - interrupts and tells Greenway he wants to talk. Sarah follows them, but not before picking up Greenway’s empty pill bottle that he just conveniently threw in the trash. She trails them across a raised walkway to another building, hearing Nelson tell Greenway the plant is going back on no matter what and they won't be stalled by Greenway. Sarah gets stopped in her pursuit, as he doesn’t have the right pass card to let he in. Nelson thinks he sees someone in the doorway (Sarah) but she manages to hide out behind the door on the ledge.

Meanwhile, John and Riley are looking at John’s new room, which looks like it is appropriate for a 3 year old.

Sarah and Cameron follow Greenway to a bar, the hang out for plant employees. (It reminded me of a scene from the movie “China Syndrome”.) While Cameron play pool shark, Sarah makes nice with Greenway, who is at the bar drinking. He says he’s served 12 years in the Navy on a nuclear sub, he has a cheating wife, and he has cancer. He shows her the scar on his arm from the cancer operation. Nelson is at the other end of the bar. Sarah tells Greenway that he seems like a good guy, and that if the other people won't drink with him it's their loss. Greenway tells her that is not the reason they won't drink with him.

While Derek is outside in Greenway's car, a pick-up truck arrives, a man with a crowbar gets out, and then smashes Greenway's back window and leaves. Derek pulls a gun but the man in the pick up just speeds off.

While Cameron is counting her pool winnings, Derek comes in to the bar and tells her and Sarah about Greenway’s smashed windshield. Sarah tells him that Greenway has enemies as he stopped the last test over safety concerns, and that some are afraid the plant will get shut down and lose their jobs if he stops tomorrow’s test. Cameron confirms that the reactor is showing some problems

Back at the house, while Riley is still there, Sarah comes home. John introduces her. Sarah is not happy and Cameron gives Riley the eye. Riley looks uncomfortable. But John isn’t having any of his mother’s concerns, and takes Riley to his room, apparently to stay the night. Before she leaves in the morning, she throws John her phone and asks if she can call him. He programs in his number. He adds, though, that any time she calls him, the first words out of her mouth need to be the date. She asks why, but John just says that’s his way.

Returning to the power plant, Sarah gets caught nosing around, but is told by Nelson that she has to do a clean up of a spill. She going into the room with protective gear, but freaks out a bit and exits the room. She’s contaminated, and has to undergo a hose down. But after all that, Nelson tells her that the whole thing was a false reading, a “hiccup”, and he leaves.

At the Dixon house, Charley and Michelle are leaving, destination unknown, and Ellison gives him a bible, "for the road."

Back at the plant, it’s only minutes away from the test, and Greenway seems to be proceeding as if nothing is wrong. But Sarah makes a cell phone call to Derek who is at Greenway’s home, saying that something is wrong. Derek finds Greenway, who is dead by hanging. Sarah watches what is clearly a “terminator” who, doubling as Greenway (minus the scar), is proceeding with the countdown, and the plant goes back on line.

The machine version of Greenway is walking through the plant, finds what looks like a release valve and turns it, releasing what appears to be steam. Sarah finds Cameron and informs her that Greenway has been replaced by a machine. Cameron doesn't react right away, saying that thinking about what she should do. An alarm goes off with some employees mention a leak, and Sarah tells Cameron to fix it.

As Greenway returns to the control room, alarms are going off and the staff is in panic mode. Greenway says that all will be fine, but it seems a melt down is in progress unless the cooling system begins to work. As one employee goes to check on the cooling system. Greenway shuts the door behind him, and tells a stunned staff to remain calm. As the staff member who ran out of the control room sees Nelson, he warns him that Greenway seems to have gone off the deep end. Nelson goes to the control room to find the staff on the floor –either dead or unconscious – and he meets a similar fate.

Derek drives up as people are fleeing the plant, and runs right in. (Doesn’t this place have ANY security?) Meanwhile, Cameron is trying to close the valve when Greenway picks a fight with her.

Sarah and Derek enter the control room (again, no security?) Melt down is imminent. They find Nelson unconscious, and Sarah looks through the emergency manual, which luckily is right out in the open. (I suppose it is “Nuclear Power Plants for Dummies?) Sarah has found information, but she runs out, while Derek tried to get help from the “red phone.”

While Cameron and Greenway fight, Sarah easily takes out a security guard and gets his gun. She enters the radioactive room with out a protective suit and runs through it. Derek does not follow, but somehow finds himself meting up in the same place as Sarah, who DID run through the room. Sarah shoots Greenway, and Cameron pushes him into some tanks, revealing his Terminator skeleton. Cameron finishes closing the valve, avoiding disaster.

In the radioactive room, Sarah is putting Greenway’s metal parts and some videotapes in a radioactive waste drum. Back at home she runs a wand over Sarah, and determines Sarah was not radioactive. Sarah asks Cameron about the her future cancer, and if any exposure from the day’s evens is the cause. Cameron doesn’t know. When Cameron enters the house, she and John talk about Riley. John asks if he's safe – from Riley – and Cameron doesn’t know, as "girls are complicated." John's phone rings. It's Riley, who says the date "16 November,” and says she was just testing.

Outside, Sarah sees a bloody hand print on a house post. She walks further and sees another on the door. She pushes the door open and walks into what looks like a basement or storage room. On the wall is writing in blood, with the following words: Greenway, Alpine Field, P. Alto, Wallace Brook, and more. We also Cameron, Derek, John, and Sarah standing there looking at the writing Sarah finds that the blood is still wet.

Later, a man is having a press conference, talking about the incident at Serrano Point. He says that it and six other power plants will be in partnership with Automight systems, which will take the human element out of the control room by adding automation. As the man leaves in his car, he morphs into T1000, Catherine Weaver (Shirley Manson).

As far as advancing the story, I’d say this episode did its job. The downside is that it seemed to take a very simplistic approach to the operations of a nuclear power plant. It was so simplistic that I found it laughable. The other thing that gave me pause was how simple it seemed to terminate the terminator version of Greenway, and how easy it was to dispose of its parts. Maybe something happened off camera where they removed the brains of the terminator unit? I didn’t think it was that easy to dispose of one just be breaking up its parts. Also odd was Sarah forcing herself to run through the radioactive room, when Derek seemed to be able to find his way around it just fine, and just as quickly.

Of course, we are being asked to draw a suspicious look to John’s new friend Riley, who John seems to think he can trust for now just because he gave her a code word to use when she calls him on the phone. That tactic wouldn’t work if she was already working against them.

All in all, the story moves forward. But hopefully they won’t have too many episodes where things are just too easy.

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