Tag Archives: s1e09

I declare myself conductor of this meeting as I have the bribe sheet

He's checkin' it twice

He’s checkin’ it twice

And just when I said that Deadwood couldn’t be cheery.  Maybe “No Other Sons or Daughters” doesn’t quite fit that description, but the humour here is superb and is almost enough to make us forget what a terrible place Deadwood can be.  Or perhaps not.  While most of the camp, particularly Al, is putting its best foot forward (new frock coats anyone?), Cy remains monstrous; all the more so for the contrast.  It’s interesting that a man introduced as a more “civilized” version of Al has emerged a less human one.  While civilization brings out the best in the town’s citizens, its representation makes us wonder just what the residents are working toward. Continue reading

Advertisements

The Index Asset Evaluation and Intake Process

That's right Skye, wait in the van

That’s right Skye, wait in the van

I had some hope than an episode written by Jed and Maurissa would help elevate proceedings on SHIELD; the direct involvement of showrunners almost always filters out the noise and clarifies a show’s voice.  But the only thing clarified here is the fact that SHIELD doesn’t really have a voice.  Mae’s background has been one of the few tantalizing bits of serialization on this show, a mystery that promised to make her something other than a stock character if only we gave it a little of patience.  Well, after eight episodes of hearing hints about Mae’s background, “Repairs” lets us… hear about Mae’s background.  Clunky exposition is not the way build character, particularly when its connection to current events is tenuous at best. Continue reading

Bleeding Hearts Have an Ironic Fear of Their Own Blood

house_of_cards

Episode nine presents us with a very different Frank Underwood, one who can’t perfectly manipulate everyone around him, who can have his pride wounded, who can be small and hateful.  One who, in short, is vulnerable, a fact best summed up in the burn he receives after being blindsided at the top of the episode.  Presenting this version of Frank is effectively a request to forget who he was in the first seven episodes.  In fact, given the seeming irrelevance of the Education Reform Bill, we might as well forget the first seven episodes altogether.  That’s a tall order for any serialized drama but as the exchange seems to be that this promises to become a more interesting series, I’ll do my best. Continue reading

Is that it? Am I done?

Francis, we hardly knew ye

Character death has become the new normal of the post-Lost TV landscape.  It’s an easy but effective means of convincing the audience that “no one is safe” and a welcome sign that TV execs may have accepted the fact that we want our expectations to be thwarted at least as much as we want them realized.  I don’t lump Whedon in with these imitators as he was racking up bodies long before Shannon got shot.  In the case of “Hero,” however, I will lump him in with the deaths that detract from, rather than adding to, the story.  After eight episodes that have mostly ranged from bad to worse, Doyle’s exit just looks like more flailing from a series that doesn’t know what it wants to be. Continue reading

Shoot

Since when am I not hot enough to sell Coke?

One week after the heights of “The Hobo Code”, we’re back to the sterile, un-affecting, version of Mad Men.  I might even go a step further than that and say that not only does “Shoot” fail to capitalize in the good work done in “The Hobo Code,” it undermines it by letting Don find some measure of integrity in his life at Sterling Cooper.  Don, like most characters, is most interesting when he’s conflicted and giving him such a clear victory over an even slimier businessman provides a moral certitude we didn’t need.  The journey there isn’t even particularly interesting as “will he or won’t he” is never in any real doubt.  The “real” drama may be in the fact that Betty’s ambitions are also hanging in the balance but her domestic angst just isn’t resonating with me. Continue reading

I learned how to die a long time ago

Episodes like “Baelor” challenge my resolve not to put any spoilers in the first few lines of my reviews.  It’s a courtesy to those who might glimpse a link off Facebook or Google and one made more difficult when all the emotions I’ve carried away from an episode revolve around the ending.  Alright, now that I’ve padded the intro enough, Continue reading

Maybe we won

I’ve already discussed how The Wire’s narrative creeps up on you, but it bears repeating for this episode.  “Game Day” finds all the characters in very different places than they were in the premiere.  Continue reading

You didn’t deserve this

I’ve certainly been enjoying Damages thus far but this episode pushed the series, as a whole, above the “great” threshold.  Continue reading

I don’t know what you want from me

We’ve known for some time that Harry is not infallible, but “Father Knows Best” is the first episode to put that fact into focus and make Dexter confront it.  The notion that Harry knew about Dexter’s birth father and lied about it certainly isn’t a good thing, but the Morgans do seem to be overreacting a little.  The problem is Continue reading

There’s something in the closet

“Home” is a far superior to “Bugs” Poltergeist–type story that managed to address many of the concerns I’ve raised about this series.   Continue reading