April 2009


The Husband:

And the changes keep coming. Presumably due to the added fourth judge and the fact that the show has finally acknowledged its problem with running over their allotted time (earlier, anything they said always seemed to translate to “Fuck the Fox affiliates and their local news,” which is entirely understandable), this is the first time I can remember the Top 5 not getting to sing two songs. Considering how great Tuesday’s show was – all five were either reallllly good or great – it would have been nice to see twice and much awesomeness from them as well, but it’s also understandable that the sheer amount of talent that was on display was a direct benefit of only having to work with one song. Would Allison’s incredible (yes, incredible) performance of “Someone to Watch Over Me” been merely okay if she had done, say, “My Way” later on in the show? Would Adam have suffered just like Clay in season 2 during the Robin Gibb week, where he dropped Simon’s mouth with his performance of “To Love Somebody,” only to embarrass himself with “Grease” (as in “is the word”) less than an hour later? (And yes, I know that was a Top 4 performance, and Top 5 was Neil Sedaka week, but the principle is the same.)

On another note, I’m starting to understand all the love for Kris Allen. No, I don’t want him to win, but I’m finally getting that his performance style is pretty damn spot-on for those who, say, listen to Alice Radio here in the Bay Area. He’s easy-going and confident even when the song is difficult, and his is the face that launched a thousand glittery posters taped to a teenage girl’s walls and ceiling, right next to her dolphin art. I still don’t think I could simply listen to an album of his just yet, but this late in the competition, he is oddly growing on me. I guess the turning point was “Falling Slowly” two weeks ago.

Feeling a little awkward about this suit choice, actually.

Feeling a little awkward about this suit choice, actually.

And no, I wasn’t entirely surprised about Adam being sent to the bottom two. Okay, I thought he was great as usual, but it’s time for me to pull a Children Of Saint Clare Kibosh on “Feelin’ Good.” Yes, it’s a great song, so it’s not like I’m putting the COSC Kibosh on it because it’s entirely overused on the show. My thing is that it seems to be the American Idol song of death. I remember it being performed at least three times before, all in the semifinals, and not once did any of the contestants who used that song advance to the next round or the finals. Hell, I think in season 4 (the first one with a “guy night,” a “girl night” and a results show all in the same week), two people sang it within a day of each other, and both bit the dust. Something about it just rubs people the wrong way. I guess because it sounds angrier than it really is. Or the imagery is a little too strange. (It does, after all, demand that we share feelings with blossoms, dragonflies, reeds and pine scent.) Maybe I should just eliminate any song that could potentially be covered by the band Muse. America doesn’t really get prog rock. (Hell, I don’t half the time.)

And yes, Allison’s performance was the first of the year to move me to tears. This is the performance people have been waiting for, even if that person isn’t Simon. I don’t understand why he thinks that she lacks confidence, because damn, that girl is a performer. Maybe he’s just thrown off by the fact that she’s a minor and/or isn’t dressing like a hussy.

And sorry, Jamie Foxx, you may be an Oscar winner and all Zen now, but you can’t fool me. You will always be Wanda.

The Wife:

There’s a lot of talk from Simon about Allison’s “likability” or her perceived lack thereof. If only Simey read the interwebs and knew how much we all did, in fact, like her. I think her excellent performance this week and her garnering a Silver Stool of Safety were aided by one additional detail: the reveal of a softer, yet still totally Allison, look.

Happy Birthday! You look fabulous!

Happy Birthday! You look fabulous!

That multi-tiered black and white skirt paired with the black bustier? That was exactly what Allison needed for people to see her as serious. She looked appropriate for her age, and for the music of the Big Band era without being too literal or kitschy (say, by picking up a cherry print halter dress from Hot Topic that I totally used to have and coveted and loved the shit out of back when I was a 16-year-old Goth). She was the whole fucking package on Tuesday, from the new black streaks in her pink mane to the thick black straps of her sandals, and she was imminently likeable.

Good job, girlfriend. You fuckin’ earned that Silver Stool of Safety.

And, actually, so did Gokey, who for the first time in this competition actually sounded like more than just a fun wedding singer. Though I’d still like to see him go next week and have a Kris-Adam-Allison final three. That’d be sa-wheet.

I can’t say much about men in suits, but I wonder if it wasn’t Adam’s shiny, shiny white suit paired with the song my husband has just put the offical kibosh of this here blog on that did him in? How can you wear a white suit and not look like an asshole? I think grey or sand are the lightest colors you can safely enter into on the suit spectrum before people start writing you off as a complete douchebag. That said, that doesn’t mean that I didn’t like the suit in context with the performance. I can stand by a white suit in that context. And I can stand by Adam Lambert, even if he’s only wearing a loincloth. In fact, especially if he’s only wearing a loincloth:

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The Wife:

We still don’t know exactly what Daniel Faraday was off doing in Ann Arbor, but we do know that because 1977 is the present for the Freighties and O6ers, they can die.

And my beloved scruffy physicist is dead. Shot by his own mother. Which is, like, totally harsh, dude.

We do know, though, that during his time in Ann Arbor, Faraday got to thinking about his whole “whatever happened, happened” hypothesis and returns to the island thinking that he might be able to actually change the future. He tells Jack and the rest of the A3 that they “don’t belong here,” and proceeds to sneak into the construction site of the Orchid station to vainly warn Pierre Chang against releasing the island’s electromagnetic energy. He warns him that one day, an incident will occur at the site of The Swan, which he knows because he’s from the future. He also informs Chang that Miles there is his son, all growed up, which Chang doesn’t seem to have much of a reaction to other than cementing his assumption that Faraday is batshit crazy. Faraday explains to Miles that he’s just playing agent of destiny, telling Chang all of these things so that he does what he’s supposed to do (i.e. get people off the island prior to, possibly, what is known as “The Incident,” which we’ll learn all about in the finale – two of those people being his wife and son). He later sets little Charlotte on her path, telling her that she needs to leave the island on the submarine with her mommy and not return. (I greatly appreciated the detail where she announces she isn’t allowed to eat chocolate for dinner, which was my favorite part of her dying ramblings. It really cemented that her mind collapsed back to this moment when she was set on her “destined path.”)

With Phil tied up in the closet, Sawyer and Juliet realize that their time amongst the Dharma Initiative has to come to an end soon. He provides the A3 and the Left Behinders with a choice: they can get on the sub and leave the island without incident, or they can go back to the beginning and disappear into the jungles. Jin refuses to leave if there’s even a chance that Sun is on the island, and Faraday bursts in, wanting to know how he can find the Hostiles. He needs to talk to his mother, he says, and get her help in getting everyone back to their correct place in time. Juliet gives Dan the code for the fence (141717) and Sawyer sends Jack and Kate to steal a motorpool van and take him out to Hostile territory. Once they’re out the door, Sawyer and Juliet send Hurley to pack a bag and, hand in hand, the LaFleurs begin to pack up the life they’ve made together.

Worst. Mod Squad. Ever.

Worst. Mod Squad. Ever.

Once Dan, Kate and Jack hit up the motorpool, they’re stopped by Ranjinsky, who is rightfully suspicious of their activities and starts a shootout with them, grazing Faraday’s neck with a bullet, which, once the trio are safely off to the fence in a Dharma Jeep, having distracted Ranjinsky et al with explodeys, causes him to ruminate on the fact that the things happening to them in 1977 constitute their present, so they are not infallible, in a nice bit of foreshadowing. He explains that he’d spent a lot of time thinking about what is constant with time travel, but never about the variables. People, he supposes, are the variables. People like himself, Kate and Jack, trapped in a time in which they do not belong. If that’s true, then perhaps they can change things before they start to happen. There will be an incident involving a release of energy, which causes Dharma to build The Swan to contain that energy by pressing a button every 108 minutes which, one day, Desmond David Hume will fail to press, releasing a burst of energy that brings down Oceanic 815 and sets the castaways past in motion. But if Faraday can prevent that incident from occurring by detonating a hydrogen bomb (Jughead, which he conveniently told the Hostiles to bury), he might be able to stop all of that from happening.

Ranjinsky and his men head to LaFleur to report what just happened to them and find that he’s packing to leave. Once they discover Phil in the closet, Ranjinksy holds the two hostage and threatens to shoot them as the alarm sounds over Dharmaville, putting everyone on high alert. Faraday enters into Hostile territory brandishing a gun and demanding to see Eloise. Alpert tries to calm him down, seeming to recognize the scruffy physicist but not quite sure from where until Daniel tells him he helped him bury a bomb in 1954 (which really freaks Alpert out, presumably because he thought he was the only person in the world that doesn’t age). But before Alpert can help Daniel get to that bomb, he’s shot in the back, by his own mother. As he dies, he mutters: “You knew. You always knew this was going to happen. Yet you sent me anyway.”

In fact, Eloise had been pushing Daniel toward this destiny all along. Although he loved music as a child, she pushed him toward mathematics, citing his natural ability for numbers, demonstrated by the fact that, even as he plays music, he knows exactly how many times the metronome has moved since he began. I really loved the following exchange between Eloise and her young son, which I found eerily prescient and indicative of Daniel’s character arc for this episode:

Daniel: I can do both. I can make time.
Eloise: If only you could.

At Oxford, Faraday’s mother tried to push him away from girlfriend/lab assistant Theresa Spencer, warning him that every woman in his life will get hurt, but covering by suggesting that they’ll come to that state by always feeling like they’re second to his work. (Not, you know, because their minds will time travel and then collapse, leaving Theresa in a coma and Charlotte, well, dead.) Later, to commemorate the receipt of his doctorate, Eloise gives Daniel the beautiful leather journal we’ve seen him cling to throughout his tenure on Lost. Its inscription reads, “No matter what happens, remember that I will always love you.” That day, he also receives a $1.5M Pound Sterling research grant from one Charles Widmore, the research that eventually puts Theresa in a coma and turns Daniel into a gibbering mess of what he once was when he tests his theories on himself. Widmore pays him a visit after the crash of Oceanic 815, which the then-addled Daniel feels strangely, emotionally connected to, and tells the young scientist that he faked the wreckage and that people from that flight are still alive on a mysterious island that, if Daniel can help him find it, will heal him and make him capable of doing research again. Although he isn’t sure he can do what Widmore wants him to do, Eloise convinces him to go along on Widmore’s journey, promising him that it will heal his broken mind.

Totally invariable: my love for Daniel Faraday.

Totally invariable: my love for Daniel Faraday.

The exchange between Faraday and Eloise at his childhood piano and her inscription in his journal, I think, are really the touchstones for this episode. As I mentioned before, Daniel’s childhood wish that he can “make time” ends up being exactly what he tries to do before being shot down by his own mother figuratively (in that childhood exchange) and literally in his final scene in Hostile territory. She goes to visit Desmond and Penny in hospital to explain to Ms. Hume how her son is responsible for Des getting shot in the groceries (which, by the way, do not stop bullets – Des is just totally badass and fought Ben through the pain), which is, I think, her way of admitting her own responsibility for the hand she had in Faraday’s fate. Later, after Penny has gone in to talk to her husband (who is A-OK thanks to that grocery shield), Eloise runs into Widmore outside the hospital. He tells her he won’t go in to see Penny because he had to sacrifice his relationship with his daughter to do his work, a claim which angers Eloise so much that she feels the need to defend her actions toward her son, because while Widmore may have sacrificed his relationship with Penny, it was Eloise who sacrificed her son. She guided him on the path of his destiny, which was ultimately to be shot by her own hand. (By the way, Widmore is Faraday’s dad, in case you were wondering. And he is rather unmoved by this whole situation.) Yes, Daniel’s dying words were correct. She knew. And yet she sent him anyway because that’s how things had to happen. Death was Faraday’s present, but there was no way he was going to be able to change the island’s past – Eloise was always going to stop him. Whatever happened, happened.

This, along with Eloise’s sweet, but sad, “If only you could,” feeds in to Lost‘s greater themes about fate and destiny, in adding more proof that they are constant. But I’m struck here by the similarity between Eloise and the Virgin Mary, both of whom lived their entire maternal lives knowing that their sons were born to die as sacrificial lambs for God, Fate or the Greater Good. I’ve never thought of Eloise as sympathetic before or even really relatable (even though she is played by the wonderful Fionnula Flannigan). But here, in seeing her relationship to her son, I think I finally got to know her, and I do believe that the cold, manipulative face of the Agent of Fate is indeed tempered with a heavy amount of maternal sadness. That “if only you could” is as much mourning her son’s eventual death as it is mourning her own inability to prevent it, in spite of the fact that, as a loving mother, she should do what she can to protect her son, to be a Warrior Mother like Kate.

I may not have been moved to tears by “The Variable” as I was by its clear partner “The Constant,” but I think it’s a pretty brilliant, poetic and moving addition to the Lost canon. Yet another stellar episode in a stellar season. I will be forever haunted by the image on young Daniel’s futile protest of his destined path, wanting to sit at that piano and make time, as he unconsciously counts the movements of the metronome, keeping time the way it is and was, not the way he wants it to be.

The Husband:

A terrifying, tragic episode in a season of slow burns and emotional catharses. While many of the episodes this year may not be the most exciting or adrenaline-pumping, they are the most intellectually stimulating, not only for their deep dive into metaphysics and time travel but also their storybook-like acknowledgement of destinies both spiritual and scientific. As Faraday struggles to get a grasp on the past, present and future, doing everything in his power to rationalize the impossible, we as viewers see a different plot of a desperate man railing against what he knows in the back of his mind is incapable of being changed. The bright, brilliant man who has helped the Losties so greatly with his exposition and knowledge of the island and all of its physics-related qualities now becomes the helpless pawn in a game he is all to familiar with, and it’s startlingly upsetting.

The worst moment, in terms of pity, comes when Daniel approaches young Charlotte and proceeds to tell her what we already knew, that one day a strange man came to her and told her to never come back to the island for fear of death, and it’s Faraday’s sadness that truly makes the scene incredible. Nothing he could say to Charlotte could make her not return to the island, because we all know she will. Faraday knows it too, but it’s as if he thinks that if he believes it enough, he can change both their destinies. Alas.

I’m not sure if I can handle Faraday being dead. If there’s any other character in this show that I would love to be resurrected Locke-style, it would be him. But if this is the last we see of him, we know he went out on a great episode overflowing with emotion, information and the cruel hand of fate.

The Wife:

I’m a little disappointed that Sammy’s retaliatory act against The Devil/plan to get Satan’s dirty little secrets. Nothing about his attempt to seduce his hot, dead-eyed tutor in all things evil worked for me. And I think Andi was right to point out at the beginning of this that there was no need for her to be jealous because Sam’s not a seducer. This, of course, is supposed to be the joke, that Sam’s not very suave with the ladies (remember how long it took him to ask out Andi when she actually had a personality and allure?), and that joke is somehow supposed to be made funnier by seeing Sam as a fish-out-of-water in slacks and a turtleneck, but it wasn’t funny. And it wasn’t dramatic, either. In fact, save for the final scene in which The Devil has sent Sam in with a gun/vessel to send Sally back to Hell there was nothing at stake here to make me interested in this plot.

I also found it extremely strange that The Devil decided to make Sam seduce Sally in his stead. I know that I can’t rely on a conventional mythology of The Devil to be my guide for someone else’s mythic universe, but he is the fucking Devil. He insists that, “I don’t chase tail. Tail chases me.” In which case, wouldn’t it simply be easier for him to work his Devil magic and seduce Sally, making her fall head over heels in love with him and, in fact, chase after him? Wouldn’t that be more his style? After all, it’s not like he actually cares about love, so if he wanted to sleep with someone, there was no need to establish the contrived pretense that she, a demon bitch with crazy demon bitch claws, needed to be “saved” from a reaper by The Devil. In the end, he got to sleep with Sally anyway just because he bought her a very thoughtful vegetable steamer . . . which he could have just given her in the first place!

No, really, Ill sleep with anyone who buys me a kitchen appliance. Thats how I came by this KitchenAid stand mixer.

No, really, I'll sleep with anyone who buys me a kitchen appliance. That's how I came by this KitchenAid stand mixer.

So all we learned here is that The Devil has secrets, and that Sally is not going to be the person to divulge those secrets to Sam. And he needs something more than a contest to beat The Devil now that Alan Townsend has been sent back to Hell for sinning so hard in Vegas that he was “back in Hell before Carrot Top hit the stage.” And what’s more, I endured 42 minutes of Sam in turtlenecks (which are oh-so-wrong on Bret Harrison, by the way) for one brief scene that’s actually moving the story forward, tacked on at the end when Sam finds an old vessel in the back of the Work Bench (or makes a new one? if so, how?) and sends his father back to Hell with Ted’s lost cell phone so that, rather than living in a freezer in Sock’s garage, Mr. Oliver can help his son get out of his contract from the “inside” by tracking down Alan Townsend. I wish more time had been spent on Sam’s relationship with his Zombie Dad rather than his inane pissing contest with The Devil because then I might have believed Sam’s habituation and tension at having to banish his undead father to Hell. With only a brief scene in which Sam’s dad sets up the Internet so he can try to have a somewhat normal life, and a subsequent scene in which he realized that was no life at all and he’d rather be in the Underworld helping his son, there was nothing to ground that final scene and contextualize Sam’s emotional state.

As for the B-story, Nina tortures and harasses Ben so Sock steps in to protect his friend from psycho demon ex-girlfriend, and Nina plays demon tricks with Sock’s dreams where she seduces him and rips out his heart. Sock becomes set on destroying Nina’s lair and driving her out of town so she can’t hurt him or Ben anymore, but she realizes she’s being a dick and tries to apologize. Even though Sock won’t let her speak to Ben, seeing her is enough for him and by the time they go to destroy Nina’s lair, Ben is ready to get back together with her and does . . . as Sock accidentally burns the place down. I enjoyed watching Nina torture Ben far more than anything that occurred in the A-story.

I appreciate the attempt to get away from the Soul of the Week format, but the seduction stories just didn’t make any sense to me. It did, however, provide one excellent line from The Devil that I’ll leave you with:

“I am the Dark Lord of asses!”

The Wife:

Before I get into the meat of this episode, let me just say that I’m super glad Fringe films in NYC and tosses in Tony Award winners and Broadway vets whenever it gets the chance. There’s something of a de-emphasis on theatrically trained actors appearing on film and television these days, and I find that, because of that, I have an extreme preference toward actors who cut their teeth treading the boards. I can really tell the difference between actors with stage training and actors without, because those with stage training seem to have so much more depth to their performances, like there’s always a rich inner life stirring behind them. A lot of actors who lack that kind of training end up being a little bit dead in the eyes at times, and that totally kills a performance. I’ve already talked about how happy I am to have Michael Cerveris as the Observer (who was perhaps his most observable tonight as he got an extended walk-on in a club scene at the beginning of the episode), who currently works in Sondheim shows. And I cannot fully explain my delight in seeing Jefferson Mays as a featured player in this episode. Mays won a Tony in 2004 for Doug Wright’s I Am My Own Wife, a one-man show about a German transvestite and the historical relevance of her antiques (which I regrettably didn’t see when it was here at the Curran in 2004). (Husband Note: I saw it, and he was fantastic, while the show is more of a B/B+.) So my delight in his appearance on my television screen last night essentially came down to my husband and I gleefully trying to insert the phrase “I am my own wife” into any scenario in which it would fit during the course of the show. Considering the nature of the episode, in which Mays’ character tried to stop his diseased wife from killing young men and drinking their spinal fluid all over Boston, we managed to work that in a lot. (Why isn’t she in the Chinese restaurant basement? Because she doesn’t exist, as Mays clearly is his own wife.)

So Nicholas Boone’s wife Valerie is running amok, seducing young men at clubs so she can drink their spinal fluid, which is what she needs to live, considering she’s been dosed with a ZFT-created drug (with a syphilis base) that has turned her into a monster. She can unhinge her jaws like a snake, exposing razor-sharp fangs which allow her to snap a victim’s head clean off, allowing her to suck all the spinal fluid right out of his body. That drug, whatever it actually is, causes her to lose spinal fluid faster than her body can produce it, hence the need to get it in any way she can. It also makes her eyes freakishly blue. No one knows why ZFT would do such a thing, other than creating monstrous women who eat spinal fluid seems like it aligns with their goals of global destruction through the advancement of technology.

I’ve got to say that I truly, truly loved the freak meet in which a sleazy guy with a terrible Australian accent (couldn’t Anna Torv have coached him?) picks up Valerie at a club, citing, “You’re my kind of girl,” and takes her home, where, in the heat of a kiss, she snaps his neck with force befitting a Slayer. From then on, each of her kills is punctuated with a callback to that line, “You’re my kind of man.” Dude, I’ll tell you what. My kind of girl can definitely, definitely snap a dude’s neck with her bare hands.

Walter finds an extinct strain of syphilis on the first victim’s neck, which they trace to a drug company called Lubov Pharmaceuticals, based out of Nicholas Boone’s home. They arrest the wheelchair-bound Boone and he agrees to tell them everything he knows about ZFT (which he used to work for) if they help him save Valerie. He says she’s been kidnapped and held in the basement of a Chinese restaurant (that, naturally, is actually a laboratory), but when she can’t be found, he tells Olivia that he needs to retrieve some vials of a contagion, XT43, which he believes will cure the person who’s out killing – his dear wife Valerie, whom he says was intentionally infected by ZFT to punish him for leaving the fold.

No, no syphillitic demon women yet. I'll let you know.

No, no syphillitic demon women yet. I'll let you know.

Amongst the things in his home laboratory, Peter finds a video camera with a recording as recently as three weeks ago in which Valerie is perfectly healthy, happy and normal and Boone himself is able-bodied. One of my favorite parts of Mays performance was the rhyme he creates for his wife on the videotape: “Valerie Boone, you turn March into June.” Not only am I sure that their happy videotape was entirely improvised, but that tape and that rhyme in particular served to ground and humanize the Boones and make their story exceptionally tragic. Olivia asks him why he’s in a wheelchair now if he was fine just a few weeks ago, and he reveals that he had been carefully measuring out portions of his spinal fluid to feed to Valerie in order to keep her alive while he tried to find a cure, but he could only give so much without killing himself and partial paralysis was as far as he could go to personally save her. And so she ran off, desperately fighting to survive. I love this kind of monstrosity (see my previous affections for Joseph Meegar), and that little rhyme really worked to make me completely sympathetic to Boone, Valerie and their plight.

Olivia and Peter try to track down where Valerie might be headed by following Boone’s stolen car (where they turn up more victims), while Boone stays in the lab with Walter to work on a cure for his wife. When Olivia and Peter call to say that they know where Valerie will strike next, Boone tells them that he can’t make the cure in time and begs them to bring his wife in alive so he can still try and save her. He asks Walter to remove another 25 ml of spinal fluid, assuring him that he has carefully measured each previous withdrawal so he won’t die if he loses just a little bit more. Astrid warns against it, but Walter proceeds anyway, trusting his new scientist friend. But by the time Peter, Olivia and Charlie bring Valerie in, it’s almost too late for Boone, who has had a stroke due to the loss of spinal fluid. And as Valerie is administered the antidote and returns to the Valerie Boone who turns March into June, Nicholas slips away into death.

He does, however, uphold his bargain with Olivia and records a message for her on the very video camera that holds the final images of him and Valerie together before the contagion in which he tells her some names involved with ZFT, the only one we are privileged to hear is, perhaps, the one we all knew was coming: William Bell, alias Gordon DeBoone, is ZFT’s biggest funder.

For me, this one was a really ideal episode – sympathetic monsters that actually contribute to the mytharc and move the story forward, and a lot of that is anchored in Jefferson Mays’ performance. Good times, Fringe. They’re really come around to some good stuff recently, and I’m pleased with where they’re headed. Now if they could only get Raul Esparza to guest star . . .

And some funny bits:

  • “You know what this reminds me of, Peter? Shrimp cocktail.” –Walter
  • “It tells me you’re hot. And you’re definitely hot. But I’m looking for someone with syphillis.” –Peter, when being hit on by a girl at a club and reading her with his thermal heat sensor.

The Husband:

Now that we are completely done with Edie Britt (and her one-episode stint as a narrating ghost), we can finally move on with all the dangling story threads. And, once again, I feel that the show has no idea what to do with Gaby anymore. When this season started, every story with her children felt out-of-place and forced, but when they never showed up at all, Gaby’s stories simply felt like the same-ol’-same-ol’. This week was a lot of old and a little bit of new, as she joins a gardening club only to find out that they don’t sit around all day drinking and gossiping but actually gardens. And so, with the help of Tom Scavo, she stages a coup to turn the club into something fun, only to have to reel the newly buff Tom in from spending too much time with Patti, the town skanky cougar. (Even if we all know that Tom would never cheat on Lynette, merely hanging out with this STD-ridden hoooooooooooe is problem enough.) All of this info comes to Lynette’s attention at an awkward Solis-Scavo dinner.

But there are, of course, more secrets to uncover at this dinner, but just like the one between Gaby and Tom, the one between Lynette and Carlos is equally non-threatening. Lynette took a shower one day at Carlos’ office at work, which in turn upsets Tom, so Lynette is hesitant to tell him about what happened the next morning, when Carlos swung by the Scavo house to pick Lynette up for a company meeting, only to hear her knock herself unconscious in the shower and carry her passed out naked body to her bed.

Yeah, ho-hum. See?

As far as the Hodge clan stories are concerned, Orson’s neurotic thievery has finally caught up with him as Bree catches him in a lie about what he was doing the night of Edie’s death — don’t forget, he was one of the many elements that caused it to happen, accidental or not — and begins to work with her son to divorce the man, as he just simply hasn’t been the same since before he went to jail. Which makes sense. Because he was in jail.

The only worthy story this week deals hardcore in Creepy Dave’s life, as he has seemingly stopped all of his vengeance schemes in order to mourn Edie’s death and drink himself into a stupor. The neighborhood doesn’t know what to do with him, but Susan at least makes an effort to sneak through his house and take away anything that could be used as a means of suicide. (Gun, knives, ties, belts, etc.) When she comes back to return the gun and knives — because she was pulled over by the cops and was found with all the weapons, ho ho! — she relates a story to Creepy Dave, one that completely changes his focus and purpose on Wisteria Lane. As we all know, something was fishy about the day that Susan and Mike got into the car accident that killed Creepy Dave’s first family, but now it comes together more clearly — Susan was the one driving the car, but she and Mike decided to say that Mike was driving as Susan didn’t have her license on her. And as these words go into Creepy Dave’s ears and through his fucked-up brain, a new scheme seems to form, and his bloodlust arises anew.

What will Dave do with this new info? The show seems to infer that he’s going to do something horrible to Susan and Mike’s son, MJ, which would be above and beyond the cruelty of his original plan. But this man has just lost his second wife, so who knows how far he’s willing to go?

After last week’s sex fest, not much was going down on Brothers & Sisters this week, so I’ll just say it was a good middle-of-the-road episode and just run through some of the more important updates.

The Saga of Tommy Walker

Now that Tommy has made it very clear he is not coming home to Pasadena, his wife Julie is left struggling to pay the bills and support their child to the point that she has to give up the house. Kevin groups together some money to put the house in the Walkers’ name, but then Julie is offered a well-paying teaching position up in Seattle (whut whuuuut?) and leaves, presumably forever, from the clutches of the Walkers. I missed the second half of the first season of this show, so I don’t really have any connection to her character, so this is fine.

The Continuing Break-Up of the Hottest Couple on TV

Now that Justin and Rebecca are done, she has been dealing with all of Ryan’s drama in re: his dead mother and her relationship with William Walker. This had the potential to make Rebecca and Ryan a very creepy, incestuous-but-not-incestuous couple (both their moms banged the same dude, and both at some point has thought they were a Walker), but Rebecca begins to see Ryan’s true, evil colors when he accepts Holly’s offer to work at Ojai Foods. Since he is technically a Walker, he would be entitled to some shares, enough that if he banded up with Holly (and presumably Rebecca), they could overtake the entire company. Rebecca ain’t no fool, though, so she returns to Justin to make him aware of this plan, depressed that Ryan wasn’t the sweet guy he thought he was.

Kitty’s Emotional Affair

Kitty, still struggling through her marriage with gubernatorial candidate Robert McCallister, is getting closer to single father Alec (Matt Letscher from Eli Stone), going to far as to help him pick out a new house. This, in turn, leads to a fairly major car accident, which Kitty decides to lie about in re: if there was anybody else in the car. But when Robert decides to take their adopted child to the park and is approached by Alec’s little boy, he puts two and two together and exposes Kitty for having an emotional affair and lying about it. This collapse has been brewing since the birth of their child (which Robert missed due to his political schedule), and the addition of Kitty running to Alec at his new place and making out with him pretty much seals the deal. I don’t know how much Rob Lowe is into being on this show, but this is a program that puts a lot of effort into having its focal characters be pretty morally responsible people, and I don’t know if the writers and showrunners are even planning on getting Kitty and Robert back together.

The Wife:

It was only a matter of time before Leslie Winkle grew tired of Howard Wallowitz, and that time has come. Strangely, although they claimed to be friends with benefits, Howard is quite crushed by Leslie’s rejection and so Sheldon suggests that the gang take him to Vegas to make him forget his troubles (“You know, I’m given to understand that there’s an entire city in Nevada devoted specifically to help people like Howard forget their problems. They replace them with new problems such as alcoholism, gambling addiction and sexually transmitted diseases.”). Raj and Leonard head off to Vegas with Howard, while Sheldon stays behind to enjoy eating the kind of meal he can only enjoy when all of his friends are gone, an Indian paneer dish that Raj wouldn’t eat because he detests the food of his homeland and that Howard and Leonard couldn’t eat due to their respective allergies to peanuts and lactose. But Sheldon’s peaceful evening eating Indian food alone is ruined when he realizes he doesn’t have the keys to his apartment and has to squat at Penny’s until he super comes to let him in. The super never arrives, though, and Penny offers to let Sheldon sleep on her couch, which he refuses because “I have no intentions of living out E.M. Snickering’s beloved children’s book, The Tall Man from Cornwall,” in which a tall man tries to sleep on something too short for him, which Sheldon proceeds to demonstrate according to the rhyme. Penny allows him to sleep on her bed while she takes the couch, but when he can’t fall asleep, there arises my favorite thing in the Big Bang Theory canon: “Soft Kitty.”

Yes, he makes her sing him “Soft Kitty.” I never, ever, ever will tire of hearing a lullaby about a very touchable kitten sung to a grown man. Ever. In fact, I like this song so much that I will occasionally sing it to my cats. In fact, I’m going to post the first appearance of “Soft Kitty” on this show just because I want to press play:

In Vegas, Howard doesn’t really want to leave his room, preferring to cyberstalk Leslie and bemoan the end of their relationship while Raj and Leonard play video poker and drink cocktails. Raj is approached by a prostitute, which gives him the idea to hire a prostitute to make Wallowitz feel better. They decide to pay her for the Jewish girlfriend experience, and once they convince Howard to join them at the buffet, she reels him in by complaining that the caterers should have put out a brisket. After some time with “Esther Rosenblatt,” Howard approaches his friends to admit that they hired a prostitute for him, and, when they do, he expresses his total and complete gratitude.

Would it kill them to lay out a nice brisket?

Would it kill them to lay out a nice brisket?

There’s also a nice bit at the end of this episode that I hope gets followed up on. When Leonard returns from Vegas, he sees Sheldon coming out of Penny’s apartment, proclaiming that he now understands more about being friends with benefits (because Penny explained it to him), which clearly makes Leonard think that somehow, inexplicably, his social awkward friend has stolen his dreamgirl.

A couple of funny lines:


  • “Do you kind of look like a shiny Sheldon?” – Raj, in re: Sheldon’s resemblance to C-3PO in Sci-Fi 20 Questions
  • “You’re the milk thief! Leonard thought I was crazy, but I knew that carton felt light!” – Sheldon, in re: Penny occasionally entering their apartment to borrow sundries while they’re not home


And a bone to pick:


Seriously, BBT writers? You are writing a show about alleged geeks and geekery, and yet you insist on calling Twitter posts “Twitters” instead of “Tweets,” which is the actual term? You fucking fail on that count.

The Husband:

I have a different gripe as to where the BBT writers failed, and that would be during Sci-Fi 20 Questions. You are writing a show about alleged geeks and geekery, and yet you insist on them choosing easy, internationally recognized characters C-3PO and Mr. Spock. Come on, man. Even a minor Star Wars geek would pick somebody like, say, Wedge Antilles or Bail Organa. And this isn’t at all going into the Star Wars universe outside of the movies, where the guessing could actually get difficult. But C-3PO? A four-year-old could have guessed that. And people who hate Star Trek can guess Mr. Spock. Penny’s been hanging with these guys for a long enough time that Spock should have been one of her first guesses.

Fail.

The Wife:

One thing I’ve always appreciated about How I Met Your Mother is that it’s filled with callbacks for regular viewers, and I have to say that I was pleasantly amused by the callbacks in “The Three Days Rule,” as well as a callback on last night’s Big Bang Theory to what is undoubtedly my favorite thing ever to appear on the show. But as for tonight’s episode of HIMYM itself, it was pretty much a non-starting plot that led to an amusing “sexting” prank war between Ted, known to call women too soon, and Marshall and Barney, who pretend to be Ted’s most recent date in order to prevent him from calling her too soon. I’m usually not bothered by stuff that doesn’t advance the master plot about meeting the mother, and I certainly wasn’t bothered by this. However, with HIMYM, I prefer episodes that add to the overall plot of the series – be that Marshall and Lily’s adult responsibilities, Ted’s romantic quest or anything involving BRoLove. And this episode wasn’t any of those things. It was, however, totally funny. Why so funny? Let me count the ways:

1. Barney’s brief history of The Three Days Rule, which traces its origins to Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, who knew how to play to crowds and waited three days to resurrect himself because if he had just waited one day, like, nobody would have even known that he’d died. NPH’s delivery of this speech was amazing. In fact, when we have children, I think I shall make them listen to it every Easter as they stuff their little faces with pagan chocolate bunnies.

2. Ted’s naked lady laugh and its boundlessness. He will laugh at accidentally seeing Lily in the bathroom. He will laugh at National Geographic. And, my favorite, a faux-Picasso painting, with the addition of, “That’s a boobie.”

3. When Robin realizes what Marshall and Barney are up to: “You sons of bitches. You’re Holly.”

4. The Return of Ted’s Red Cowboy Boots! I’m so glad that Marshall and Barney came up with a way to get Ted to put those on. So, so glad.

5. Ted’s revenge texting scheme: telling Marshall and Barney that he has gay dreams about his best friend, causing the two of them to wonder which of them Ted would rather have sex with.

Why do we keep wanting to have sex with Ted?

Why do we keep wanting to have sex with Ted?

6. Marshall’s speech about his cuddliness. I wish I had written this whole thing down, but I was too excited by its inclusion that I kept tapping my husband exclaiming, “YOU HAVE TO PUT THAT ON A TEE SHIRT!!!” As such, all I was able to write down was the excellent end line to that speech: “I’m cuddly, bitch! Deal with it!” And so the similarities between my husband and Marshall continue. He is a cuddly motherfucker, and you just have to fucking deal with it.

7. “The machines are forcing you. They wanna watch. That’s just how they get down.” – Barney, explaining the scenario Marshall concocts to get Ted’s answer about which one of them he’d rather have sex with when the inevitable robot uprising occurs.

8. Stan. This dude is the mack daddy of sending sexy texty texts, sending ladies snippets of Pablo Neruda, which we know Ted loves from “The Naked Man,” where his date, Vicky, proclaims she hates Neruda because it’s all in Mexican and she prefers the poetry of Jewel, who has crooked teeth and lived in her car, so, you know, she’s got stuff to write about. This was an even better callback for me that I bet a lot of people missed because they were too busy focusing on how awesome Stan is. Stan is so the mack daddy of sexting that Marshall and Barney both fall in love with him a little bit, but he ultimately ditches them to go on a date with Robin. That dude is gonna be legendary. Just you wait.

On another note, Cobie Smulders is now so pregnant that flowy tops just aren’t working anymore. I bet that when Alyson Hannigan returns, Robin will be confined to the booth or her morning news program that nobody watches while Lily gets to do all the walking around, sans flowy tops and giant handbags. Also, I’m not the only one waiting for a baby Satyana Denisof cameo, right?

The Husband:

You know that guy, Stan? Played by the omnipresent Kevin Michael Richardson. Now, on look alone, you may remember him as Rockefeller Butts (best name ever) on ABC’s short-lived non-laugh track sitcom The Knights of Prosperity, but did you know that he is one of the most high-profile and prolific voice artists out there?

Go ahead. Click on his IMDB page. I dare you. Your mind will explode.

You may notice that, amidst all those voices, he not only did Goro in the Mortal Kombat movie, but he was also Deus Ex Machina in The Matrix Revolutions, and if you remember that scene, you know that he is the baddest muthaeffa of them all.

Besides, I think if there were a battle between animated show voices, Mr. Richardson would whoop some ass.

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