The Husband:

I know I’m a week late in my final round-up for Big Brother 11. Honestly, I’ve been staring at spreadsheets for eight hours a day to make a living, so by the time I get to some “me time,” I just want to sit down and watch Veronica Mars. (I know I’m five years late to the table, but goddamn it’s a good show.) But hey, better late than never.

As you all know, Jordan “No Booger” Lloyd beat, with a vote of 5-2, Natalie “Tae Kwon Don’t” Martinez. The seventh vote was, of course, America’s, and it was revealed online (in an interview with producer Allison Grodner) that in each case that Natalie was hypothetically put up against somebody else in the final two, she lost America’s Vote by 90%. I know it would be sensationalist, but I’ve always wanted a post-finale reunion special (about a week later), just for these situations, because my wife and I would both love to see how Natalie reacts to realizing that America absolutely hates her guts. At least during the two-hour finale (keep up the extended finale, btw, from here on out), the audience laughed when she exclaimed that she stuck by her word. And that her friends Jessie and Lydia would have voted for Michele over her had that been the final two. Oh man, how the assumed mighty has fallen.

But how did it get to this place? Well, my mind was racing during the final two eliminations, first when I got pissed at Kevin for kicking Michele out over Jordan (I thought it was a horrible idea, as I thought he had the best chance of winning against her), then when I got pissed at Jordan for winning the final HOH competitions and ousting Kevin, because I thought she had no chance of winning the final vote so she should have at least not given Natalie $50,000. But hey, I’ve been known to be wrong on occasion, and it seemed that the tide had turned against Natalie, culminating in a tsunami that destroyed her entire game. (Hey, remember when I said it was stupid for Natalie to lie about her age? Well, it seemed to be the spark that set everybody against her.)

No booger, no cry.

No booger, no cry.

In the end, Natalie got two votes (one from Russell, one from Kevin) because she apparently played a better game than Jordan. I personally don’t buy that for a second. Jordan may have seemed out of it, but she controlled Jeff whether or not he wants to admit it. She played it low while letting others do the dirty work, a trend that Natalie only figured would work for herself halfway through the competition. That alone makes Jordan a better player, even if she still shouldn’t have won the money if I had my way. (Jeff, Michele and Kevin would have all been better choices, in that order.)

And Jeff, bless his heart, won $25,000 for being America’s Favorite Player, and this, combined with his appearance on The Bonnie Hunt Show where he apologized profusely and convincingly for his homophobic slurs against Russell during the first week, gives him some major all-star cred should another one of those seasons come around.

So let us finish off this season exploring the expulsion order, and why that specific houseguest was sent packing.

Braden: Overreacted to simply being put up, resulting in an offense-laden storm against several players. This would include calling Kevin a beaner, even if Kevin is actually African-American and Chinese. (Good job, Braden.) Also, was Braden high during the finale?

Laura: By “exposing” Ronnie’s game (which was pretty much out in the open from the beginning), she put a target on her back way too early for her to make any headway in the game. She made it personal too quickly, and that’s a major no-no.

Casey: See “Laura.” He just needed to shut his mouth.

Ronnie: I never really understood how he was a “rat” for playing both sides of the game (I’m sure that at least one of your favorite contestants of yore has done the exact same thing), but his disposition grew less and less sunny each week until he had nothing else to do but be defensive. He played a hard game from the beginning, but he didn’t slow his roll, and he paid for it.

Jessie: Yes, we voted Jeff to receive the Coup d’Etat because we liked him, not because we felt sorry for him. But in the most vital transition of the game, he usurped Chima’s nominations and got Jessie out, thus finally ensuring a fair game in the house. But Jessie took it like a man, and for that I am grateful.

Chima: In the most spectacular meltdown on American Big Brother, Chima threw a multi-day hissy fit and accused the show of being rigged, even though the Coup d’Etat had been introduced seasons earlier during the all-star season. Sorest loser of them all, Chima goes down as being one of the most horrible people to ever play the game. Be an adult and accept that you can’t control everything. Expect the unexpected, motherfucker.

Lydia: For being a drunk and crying over Jessie’s ousting (even though he had nominated her for eviction earlier in the season). What the hell happened to the strong person we saw at the beginning of the season? She lost her mind, that’s what.

Russell: Sick of all of his bullshit (which he unconvincingly says was all an act), Jeff sticks his neck out, changes some plans and gets him out.

Jeff: People say that him evicting Russell did him in, and this is true, but honestly, unless he had won HOH two rounds after he did this, he would have still been gone. Keeping the terrible Russell in would have only kept him around for another week.

Michele: For being too awesome of a player. It all fell apart when Kevin won the veto in a week that saw Natalie come out of nowhere and scoop up the HOH.

Kevin: Jordan knew something we didn’t, and while it meant that Natalie won $50,000, getting Kevin out won her the half-million.

Natalie: For completely fucking up her plan with Kevin to go up against each other in the final third of the HOH competition by sucking at that HOH basketball game, going so far as to forget when she herself was HOH.

Other stray thoughts:

  • Good catch, s3’s Danielle, for pointing out that the only time a woman has won BB was against another woman.
  • Jeff: I don’t need a high-five for bashing somebody. [pause] But was he a tool?
  • Dan is still the best winner in BB history.
  • P.S. If my wife wants to add to any of this, I’m sure she has plenty to say about Natalie
The Wife:

I hate Natalie so much that I wouldn’t be able to articulate my venom towards her without sounding like a truly horrible human being. Sufficient to say, when she lost in the finale, I screamed, “SUCK IT, BITCH!” and punched the air triumphantly.

My problems with Natalie begin with the way she speaks, which honestly in my opinion, sound as though she has some kind of speech disorder that prohibits her from forming sentences in a normal manner. It sounds like she’s always reading off of cue cards and can’t quite get it right. And then there’s the tone of her voice, a gravelly, nasally pitch that sounds so much more shrill and irritating as she stumbles over her words. (Now, Jordan has one of those nasally pitched voices that sounds almost babyish, but the fact that she can form sentences naturally makes her instantly less irritating.)

I also believe Natalie made an egregious amount of stupid decisions. She didn’t make any big plays. She didn’t win jack shit, and simply lucked into winning a crucial HOH because Jordan is bad at numbers. Jordan played like she was  a dumb blonde weakling, but Natalie, with those tacky highlights, actually was what Jordan was pretending to be.

Would I have preferred Natalie get no money at all? Yes. I’d have liked Sugar Bear to get some of that cash so he can marry his boyfriend. But watching her face as she realized all of her friends had turned on her was fucking priceless. Again, I say what I posted as my Facebook status that night:

“Suck it, Natalie! Nobody likes you! Not even your friends like you!”


The Wife:

I think I’ve found the one episode of Gossip Girl I really don’t like. And believe me, I desperately wanted to like the “backdoor pilot” of the Untitled Gossip Girl Spin-Off About Young Lily Rhodes, but I didn’t. I liked what they tried to do with it, but the execution just fell utterly short. For instance, it made sense that, as Lily leaves her daughter in jail to think about her actions, she reflects on her own relationship with her mother and the night she spent in jail as a teenager. Premise = solid. In fact, the cast = totally solid, too. I like Brittany Snow. I like Andrew McCarthy. I like Cynthia Watros. I like Ryan Hansen. I love Krysten Ritter. But there was something about the writing of these characters that just didn’t work. Part of the point is that Lily as a teenager was very different than the Lily we know now, the one who ultimately fulfilled her mother’s wishes for her by marrying up, marrying someone grand (or several someones, as the case may be), but it was hard to see a connecting point between teenage Lily and adult Lily, other than that their both blonde and like men who wear leather jackets more than men in Don Johnson suits.

So as Serena sits in jail (by choice, in fact, to prove to her mother that she can make adult decisions such as serving her time, which means she’ll miss prom), Lily reminisces on her past. About how she got kicked out of boarding school (Santa Barbara’s Thacher School, which is real and thus I must give unlimited props to the attention to detail there) because she wanted to live with her dad, a music producer. But Daddy Andrew McCarthy doesn’t have time for his daughter, other than to tell the good folks at the Thacher School that she was acting out because her parents divorce was adversely affecting her, effectively getting her back in after a brief suspension. (Sidenote: I miss Lipstick Jungle.) Her mother is callous and inattentive, and her sister had the wherewithal to remove herself from that life altogether years ago, which Lily feels was a worse form of abandonment. So Lily, sensing her life kind of sucks, disobeys her parents and goes to find her sister in L.A.

No Doubt, I have a date with you July 21. Be ready. I will be.

No Doubt, I have a date with you July 21. Be ready. I will be.

Lily finds one of Carol’s coworkers and he agrees to let her borrow her sister’s clothing from her locker (she changes at work a lot because she’s constantly going on auditions) and escorts her to a Snowed Out show where Carol and her boyfriend/not boyfriend Shep would be in attendance. First of all, Krysten Ritter was amazing. Adorable. Funny. Perfect casting choice for the artsy, free-spirited older sister. But an even better choice was casting Veronica Mars‘ Ryan Hansen as Carol’s sort-of boyfriend. Hansen is amazing at playing self-absorbed jerkmeats, and here he was a self-absorbed jerkmeat with a bad Billy Idol pompadour. Genius. Carol wants to help Lily and be a good big sister and everything, but she can’t at the moment because she and her friends are on their way to crash a music video director’s party so they can get back the tape he took from them, which they paid him a good $500 to shoot. That music video director, by the way, is a Van Der Woodsen, channeling James Spader as Stef in Pretty in Pink. And he really likes to do coke. And he fucked Lily’s sister, which I think, if that turns out to be the Van Der Woodsen that Lily eventually marries, IS SUPER FUCKING AWKWARD. Owen and Shep pick a fight with Van Der Woodsen and his cronies, which Lily gets into to defend her sister. Van Der Woodsen calls the cops, and Carol has to bail her little sister out of jail when their mother won’t, opening up the possibilities for a string of Rhodes sisters adventures in LaLaLand.

Other than Ryan Hansen being a dick and dancing around to “The Safety Dance,” not very exciting. And even less exciting was the modern-day prom storyline. Someone might be sabotaging Blair? Well, no, not really, because it’s just Chuck making her prom dream scrapbook come true by forcing her choices to lead her to the dress she’s always dreamed about (which is fab), the date she wanted to have (Nate), the mode of transport and the glittery princess Prom Queen tiara that Nelly Yuki almost stole from her had Chuck not taken the stuffed ballots. He even gives her the key to his suite at the Plaza, because that’s how she wanted her perfect prom night to end. But instead, she ends it by breaking up with Nate. (Hooray! Because we all know she should be with Chuck, the man who made her 12-year-old prom dream come true!) Serena even makes it out of jail in time to attend the dance because her former lover/almost step brother bails her out. I mean, why? Why even bother with the prom in this episode? It was so insignificant, and wholly, completely understated. While I liked the thru-line of the big band at the prom playing “Stand and Deliver,” I have a very difficult time believing that a prom for Constance and St. Jude’s would have looked like that prom looked. We know their winter formal looks a lot more stunning than this did. This was so cheeseball in its attempt to be elegant, adult and understated that I just didn’t know what to do with it. I hate to say it, but I think the 90210 prom is going to be a lot more believable.

If Blair designed that dress when she was 12, shes a better designed than Little J ever was.

If Blair designed that dress when she was 12, she's a better designed than Little J ever was.

There’s nothing technically wrong with the L.A. Lily storyline. And nothing wrong with the grainy film wipes they applied to her memory (which works for me because she’s a photographer). It just fell really flat. And even though there was a lovely resolution in which Serena, sitting with Blair outside prom, acknowledges that she knows her mother had her arrested out of love and concern while Lily apologizes for her entire tenuous relationship with her own mother, there were no real risks in telling either story, nothing to lose or gain, which means . . . no drama. And that means boring. I’d like to see the spin-off succeed, though, because I’m very curious about the timeline of Lily’s life, which was something my sister-in-law brought up last night. The music they chose last night put us pretty solidly in 1986, and we’re assuming that Lily was 16 or 17 then. And Serena was born in 1991 if she just turned 18 this year, so Lily was bearing Van Der Woodsen children by the time she was 20/21. Now, that’s perfectly plausible and all . . . but does that really give her enough time in L.A. to cultivate a career as a rock photographer and follow Lincoln Hawk and Nine Inch Nails around? I had assumed her wild years lasted much longer than this, at least until her mid-20s. If anything, I need to spin-off to help me flesh that out.

The Husband:

I do feel a definite disconnect between the present Lily and the 1980s Lily, and I definitely have a hard time believing that whatever Cynthia Watros was doing would ever lead to some of the horrific displays of behavior and evil that modern-day Celia is capable of (I point you toward the Debutante Ball episode from s1), but I also think I liked the backdoor pilot far more than my wife did. It shows a good deal of promise, and while they might be getting their years a little iffy as far as much is concerned, I think it could be a pretty wildly fun program. They just need to bridge the years a little bit better, because otherwise it’s barely even a spin-off so much as an entirely new show. (Like how Mork & Mindy is technically a spin-off of Happy Days. Say what?)

Or maybe it’s just because I really like 80s Los Angeles movies, like Less Than Zero and, as the title would suggest is an influence, Valley Girl. The city still feels dangerous and open in these narratives, not like the plastic, cultureless meh I lived in for five years.

And yes, I love Krysten Ritter too, but I’ve loved her for a few years now. And she is definitely one of the main reasons I thought Confessions of a Shopaholic was such a blindingly underrated film. (Yeah yeah, I am in fact male – don’t let my endorsement of that movie fool you.)

But other than Blair and Nate breaking up, nothing really vital happened to anybody in modern day GG land. Save that for next week.

The Wife:

Sadly, Armie Hammer was back on Reaper this week, but Morgan was utilized so well that I wasn’t totally in hate with Monsieur Hammer’s typical scenery-chewing. (I don’t mean that in the Pacino way that he acts big; I mean his teeth are so white and gleaming that whenever he talks it looks like he’s eating the world around him.) He pops up to pay little brother Sam to catch a soul for him so that he’ll look good for daddy, something Sam ultimately screws up because he, Sock and Ben taking a shining to the soul, a young kid like themselves who, sadly, died a virgin. Poor Billy was hit by a truck whilst being “covetous” of an older woman, and that was enough to damn him to hell. His entire mission post-escape is simply to be with the woman he’d died while coveting, now a divorcée. And so the boys agree to let him lose his virginity before they send him back to hell, helping him meet and hook up with the girl of his dreams.

But once Sam sees how happy Billy is with his older girlfriend, Sam talks the whole situation over with his Corpsicle Dad (who is totally happy to hang out in a freezer in the garage and appear to give fatherly advice where needed) and is inspired to try and capture another part of Billy and send that back to hell in his place. The gang heads out to dig up Billy’s corpse and peg it with the vessel (a very enticing red rubber dodgeball), which seems to work . . . only to find out that it doesn’t at all when the vessel gets rejected at the DMV. Morgan is furious with Sam for trying to pull the wool over his eyes and warns his little, less evil brother never to fleece him again. You know who else is furious? The Devil, who shows his displeasure with Sam by mentally hurling boxes from the Work Bench warehouse at him. Dodgebox, by the way, is way harder than dodgeball.

The Devil sends something called The Ender out to capture Billy, which will destroy his soul in a terrible and excruciating way. When Sam comes to warn Billy of this, he learns that Billy hasn’t actually had sex yet, and so Sam et al try to ward off The Ender for a little bit so Billy can achieve his goal before he dies. But as The Ender, a Death Eather-like figure, rises from the ground and zaps his way through doors and tables, he suddenly stops outside of Billy’s room and leaves. Ben’s theory? When Billy and his girlfriend consummated their relationship, because they were truly in love, their two souls became one, thus turning The Ender off Billy’s scent and saving his post-life . . . until Morgan comes around and beans Billy with another dodgeball, sending the newly devirginized soul straight back where it came from. Thus endeth another round of “Sam Tries to Beat The Devil and Fails.”

Thatll teach you to fuck with me and my giant suits!

That'll teach you to fuck with me and my giant suits!

That ending, btw, was a surprise, even though I should have known that The Devil always wins. Also a surprise? The fact that this show is actually getting rid of Kristen, thus ending the worst subplot ever! I had thought they weren’t going to when I noted at the beginning of the episode that the parents of Sock and Kristen had decided to move out of the house and get their own place (because that’s what one does when Washington State has a budget crisis; buy a second home and allow your son, daughter and their friends, rabbits and Corpsicle dads to live in your old home for free), thus allowing Sock to bring Kristen shower coffee and so on, only to have her resist again because, well, their parents could come visit anytime, thus making shower coffee no longer okay. Sock made an attempt during family portrait day to ingratiate himself to his stepdad, in the hopes that he’d officially let Sock date his stepsister . . . all of which goes horribly, horribly wrong when Sock grows so angry with his stepdad’s assertion that he is clownlike and not good enough for Kristen on their flyfishing trip that he decides, in no uncertain language, to admit that he’s been fucking his sister. Cue beating with fishing rods and Sock swimming away in the very cold waters of what I assume is Lake Washington. And after all this, Kristen is done with hotel and restaurant management school, so she’s going back to Japan, anyway, and has apparently learned things about herself from fucking her stepbrother. I’m just glad this plot is over, because it was excruciating and horrible to watch. And here this whole episode, I thought I was going to have to endure more of it. Thank you, surprise, contrived-as-hell ending!

As always this season, Ben and Nina are my favorite part of the show and to celebrate their very special two month anniversary (Nina: “Wow, two months ago I kidnapped you and forced you to be my boyfriend!”), Nina wants to share with Ben something very special to her – flying, which is very different than reverse cowgirl. I know my husband was surprised to hear a joke about a sexual position in an 8 p.m. primetime timeslot, but I think that joke was totally necessary to set up this very cheeky subversion of paradigms. There’s something truly great about Ben expecting that Nina wants to try a new sexual position, but actually proposing something far more extreme, something, in fact, that sensitive Ben is actually kind of afraid to do. I mean, it’s not like she asked him to eat a live llama with him, but there needed to be some resistance on Ben’s part to Nina’s demonness, and flying is that thing. While playing wingman for Billy, Ben meets a psychotherapist who helps him overcome his fear (and hits on him quite a bit), and so he returns to Nina ready to fully love himself and thus receive love (as if flying were the ultimate form of intimacy between a man and a demon). He comes to her with a “vision board” to remind him of why he’s awesome (my favorite bit of this is that he thinks he has great hair), and tells her he’s ready to fly with her, but when the time comes, he chickens out a little bit because he is, actually, just really afraid of flying. So, just like she did two months prior, she kidnaps him and forces him to work through his fear by actually flying with her. Pretty sweet, if you ask me, especially because he ends up totally loving it.

Next week, I look forward to getting back into the mytharc of this season as Sam and Andi chase down Allen Townsend, whom they encountered watching over Billy’s grave at episode’s end. I will take more of that over Kristen any day.

Other funny:

  • “I’m too upset for clothes, man.” – Sock
  • By the way, what the fuck are Tyler Labine’s tattoos? That one on his arm is crazy-looking!
  • “You know, in the old days, I used to get the souls who ate shrimp. You can imagine how unsatisfying that was.” – The Devil
  • “Eternity is such a long time for no pie.” – Billy, best double entendre ever
  • “This time there is no covet. There’s only love-it.” – Billy
  • The actor who played Billy, by the way, is Jake Sandvig, who has done some time on Veronica Mars, even though I, as usual, don’t remember him. (At least it wasn’t in that football episode I really don’t remember!) I liked him a lot in this role, and I will definitely remember him now. He was cute!
  • “I decorated with human furniture!” – Nina
  • Ben: Tomorrow night, for our special anniversary, you and me, we’re flying to the moon.
    Nina: Oh, baby . . . you would suffocate and freeze before we got there.

The Husband:

Perhaps you might know actor Jake Sandvig better from his role in Sky High as Lash, the bully with the Mr. Fantastic/Stretch Armstrong abilities. He was paired up with Speed, the large speedster played by young Will Harris, an actor who just happened to be in the USC production of Bat Boy: The Musical directed by my sister in the fall of 2005.


The Wife:

Of all the things that happened in tonight’s episode, the most shocking for me is the following: Gossip Girl is going away until nearly the end of April? What? Why? Granted, it frees up my Monday TV schedule a little bit, but this show just came back. CW, I do not understand your programming decisions. First you cancel Veronica Mars, now this? (Why no, I am not at all bitter about the lack of VMars in my life. Not at all.)

Like every good episode of Gossip Girl (or, I should say, like every Gossip Girl-y episode of Gossip Girl), the plot culminates in a party. Jenny’s super sweet 16 to be exact. After running into Poppy Lipton, who has suddenly transformed into a 45-year-old artist since last we saw her if that haircut is to be believed, Serena realizes she needs to get back into the social scene and uses Jenny’s birthday as a way to do it. But Jenny isn’t a monster anymore and doesn’t want to have a birthday party that will be featured on Page Six or any MTV docuseries that might be called My Super Sweet 16. All Jenny wants is to hang out with her extended family, play boardgames and eat her dad’s chili. But make no mistake: she will wear a fabulous dress while doing all of that. So Lily and Serena cancel the party, only for Serena to put the party back on when she finds out that Penelope is having a party the same day. An unseen war-of-the-parties rages, with every posh face from Constance putting in their requisite appearance at Jenny’s birthday party. Jenny is less than thrilled, especially because no one at the party seems to know it’s thrown in her honor for her birthday, as it appears more like the Serena-and-Poppy show. Jenny resorts to doing the only thing she knows how to do and posts the party on Gossip Girl, ruining Serena’s tasteful society affair with passed hors d’oeuvres by filling it full of drunken teenage party crashers, two of whom have sex in Serena’s bed. The party then gets broken up by the cops, which, by Isla Vista standards, is how you know it’s a good party!

I am rolling my eyes at all of you right now.

I am rolling my eyes at all of you right now.

Also ruining the party? The strange tension between the warring Chuck/Vanessa and Blair/Nate factions as each half of the fractured couples set out to make the other jealous. Although Blair is dismayed that Nate only wants to be friends with her, she still parades her possession of him around like a prize, which angers her ex-lover Chuck and confuses the hell out of Vanessa, who technically wasn’t broken up with Nate until halfway through this episode. And how does Blair know that Nate doesn’t love her in the same way he used to, despite all of her attempts to convince herself that he is now her destiny?:

“He kissed me. On the forehead. Like Chevalier kissed Gigi. Like he was a man and I was a little girl.”

I’ve got to say that Blair really creeped me out in this episode, mooning over someone who wasn’t at all right for her just because she desperately needs to feel whole in her downward, awkward spiral. I don’t like a Blair so pathetic that she delivers all of her lines as though she’s Leslie Caron (who is a great dancer, but, let’s face it, not much of an actress). Though Blair compares herself to Gigi in this episode and does deliver her lines like a young girl, I’d go a step further and compare her to another Leslie Caron character, Lili in Bob Merrill’s Carnival (or, as you might know it, the movie Lili). Lili is a young girl orphaned and brought to the circus, where she evidently doesn’t know puppets aren’t real. As she grows closer to the puppets, she doesn’t even begin to realize that the cruel Mr. Paul the Puppeteer is the man behind them who makes her feel so loved. You see, Mr. Paul is mean to her when he isn’t a puppet. He’s a mean man in general, but he secretly loves Lili, which is creepy because I’m pretty sure she’s 13 and slightly retarded. Look, kids, I’ve been in that show and I know that script and it just doesn’t make sense if Lili isn’t slightly mentally deficient. I mean, in Gigi, Caron’s character is largely just naïve about becoming a whore and needs to be groomed in womanly ways by her Aunt Alicia (Agnes Moorehead’s role, which I’ve played). There was a blankness of expression and thought in these line readings that totally reminded me of the way Lili is written. It’s different than Gigi’s naïveté, which is what I think Leighton Meester was trying to convey; it really came across as mildly delusional. More Lili than Gigi. It was a good character choice, but it caught me very, very off-guard. I want my old Blair back. And maybe I’ll get her back once she learns that Vanessa totally bedded down with Chuck Bass.

Less integral to the party-plots is the plight of the Humphrey family. Dan is all ready to head off to Yale and, what’s more, he’s received a fan letter in regards to a story he’s had published. Daddy Rufus encourages Dan to write back to his fan and give him some writerly guidance, but he’s secretly concerned with the financial aid information Dan has just received from Yale: with colleges so impacted during these tough economic times, less financial aid is available and so young Humphrey gets none. In discussing this with Lily, she suggests that, barring acceptance of actual Bass Der Woodsen funds to fund Dan’s collegiate journey, Rufus should sell his sweetles Brooklyn loft and move in with her. Unbeknownst to his children, he takes the initial steps to do this and a confrontation in regards to the matter arises in the aftermath of Jenny’s party, where Dan reveals he took a call from the realtor.

I absolutely believe that Rufus selling the loft would be in his children’s best interest as far as providing college funds for Yale-bound Dan and Parsons-bound Jenny, but there are definitely less dramatic ways to get financial aid. First of all, FAFSA deadline is June 1st so there’s plenty of time to fill that out. Dan could also apply for work-study. Dan could also apply for one of the hundreds of thousands of privately-funded scholarships available in the New York City area and nationwide. Speaking of which, wouldn’t creating a scholarship in the name of her deceased husband and encouraging Dan to apply for it be a great way for Lily to help her boyfriend’s son AND get a giant tax write-off? It could be the Bart and Lily Bass Foundation Scholarship for Young Artists or something, and they could give funds to artists who work in different mediums (playwrights, poets, novelists, sculptors, painters, photographers, dance, acting, etc.). What the fuck is Lily doing these days, anyway? I’m sure she could take some time to do some fundraising so that artistically minded kids can go to college. Just a thought, Gossip Girl writers. I mean, if the recession is hitting Gossip Girl so hard that Dan Humphrey can’t get an ounce of financial aid from Yale, shouldn’t its wealthier denizens do something to alleviate that problem?

Oh, and that fan letter? That’s from Dan’s half-brother, the missing Bass Der Woodsen. “Andrew” is “dead,” but Scott is definitely alive. On encouragement from Rufus, Dan gives his fan a call, and the minute Scott’s parents see his cell phone light up with a Brooklyn number, they go into panic mode, asking one of the best questions I’ve heard on TV in a long time:

“How do you delete an incoming call?”

This scene was hilarious, perhaps unintentionally, especially with the actress playing Scott’s mom screeching out a shocked, “HE KNOWS!” when she sees the Brooklyn number. As though that was the only Brooklyn number that would have called Scott. Not like it could have been a wrong number or anything or a telemarketer. Nope. A number from Brooklyn automatically means it’s the son of the person you stole a son from. Tres dramatic!

And, in a final note, Armie Hammer showed up this week to accompany Serena and Poppy on their impromptu trip to Spain, which is how Serena deals with getting blamed for Jenny’s party becoming such a clusterfuck. Apparently, he’s been on the show before as one of the businessmen that Georgina and Serena swindled at a bar last season, but I’m willing to bet we’ve never actually seen his face. I think Mr. Hammer really sucks on Reaper, but in his few lines on Gossip Girl I feel like he’s better cast here. The intrinsic smarminess works a bit better. And he’s got gigolo hair, which is way better than his Wall Street hair on Reaper. We’ll see how he does on the Spanish adventure when Gossip Girl decides to return in April.

Some other random things:

  • I’m kind of in love with Blair’s purple cloche.
  • I am also kind of in love with her periwinkle sweater and pink tweed skirt.

  • Kelly Rutherford has the shiniest, prettiest maternity tops I’ve ever seen on TV. Her best pregnancy cover-up in this episode? A strategically placed knee.

  • Eric also got a bad haircut, but nothing is as bad as giving Poppy Eve Ensler’s hair, which doesn’t even look good on Eve Ensler.

  • I’m sorry, Gossip Girl universe, but NO ONE takes clothes off the mannequins. If someone from corporate walked by, that store would be screwed.

  • Poppy’s party shirt just contributed to her reincarnation as a middle-aged woman. Beige? With bobbles? Ugh. Hideous.
    Truly, this is the worst article of clothing Ive ever seen on this show.

    Truly, this is the worst article of clothing I've ever seen on this show.

  • The Humphrey family crockpot looks like a trashcan. As a result, I was really concerned as to why Dan would bring board games AND trash to his sister’s Sweet 16.

  • Pretty sure Vanessa’s purple party dress is the cheapest-looking thing I’ve ever seen on this show. Did they rustle that shit up at Forever 21?

The Wife:

You know how The Devil keeps mentioning that he has scads of other children? Well, now we’ve finally met his favorite, Morgan, a preppy looking dude who seems as though he’s come from old money but has a knack for getting arrested a lot. This actor who plays Morgan is the unfortunately named Armie Hammer, who I apparently should know from this one episode of Veronica Mars “Witchita Linebacker,” in which Hammer and Beauty and the Geek‘s Sam Horrigan both played beefy football hunks. (I should note that I do not remember anything about this episode of VMars at all.) While I’m interested by the addition of Morgan and the sibling rivalry between him and Sam, I am not loving Armie Hammer in this role. He reminds me of what would happen if you crossed Chuck‘s Captain Awesome with a low-rent version of Gossip Girl‘s Nate Archibald. He’s bland at best, and somehow manages to adopt Ryan McPartlin’s cadence without any of McPartlin’s grace or depth of delivery. Either Hammer is not a good actor but just looked right for the part (and I can imagine a taller, leaner version of Ray Wise looking like Hammer back in the day), or he’s making a choice to come across with this level of falseness. I really think it’s the former. I guess I can compare when he shows up on Gossip Girl later this season as a love interest for Serena. Here’s hoping he turns out better than Aaron Rose did.

Seriously, this jacket is meant for a man twice his chest size. Its ridiculous.

Seriously, this jacket is meant for a man twice his chest size. It's ridiculous.

I’m also really perturbed by the fact that the wardrobe dept is unable to tailor Hammer’s suit jackets to fit him well. I know he’s 6’5″ and that it’s hard to buy pants for someone that tall without getting a large jacket (if you buy off the rack), but the wardrobe people get paid to tailor things. Seriously, kids. Get this guy a blazer that fits him well.

Sam’s introduction to his newfound half-brother comes when The Devil steals his $1000 winning scratcher to bail Morgan out of jail. Thinking that Sam will be a good influence on Morgan (whom The Devil loves because he’s bad, but is disappointed in because he has no focus or ambition, choosing to live like a reckless party boy instead of Hell’s Right Hand), The Devil sends Morgan to learn the ropes of bounty hunting from his better behaved son. The soul of the week is a greedy, miserly man named Edmund Fitzgerald, who’s spending his escape from hell recollecting all of the things taken from him after his death. To do so, he kills the new owners of those items by releasing some little golden buggits to crawl into their ears and eat their brains. The gang, with Morgan’s help, steals the next item the soul wants back, a self-portrait, and he sends golden buggits after them to retrieve it (which culminates in a funny bit where the guys all smack each other with pans to kill the bugs, and then hide from them huddled together in the shower). Without the portrait, they’ve lost their lead on finding the soul — until Andi suggests that the soul must have a warehouse somewhere in which he keeps all of his stuff.

They eventually track down the correct shipyard, and meet Morgan, who has already taken the initiative to find the soul’s shipping container. They find a nearly completed inventory of all of the soul’s things, the only unchecked item being “Mary Ann,” whom they assume is his beloved wife. Morgan, unable to control his impulses, steals a ring from the soul’s vault. While visiting Fitzgerald’s wife to warn her of his return, she informs them that Mary Ann, the thing he loved most in the world, is actually his boat. As Sam and Morgan head off to find the boat, Sam realizes that his half-brother has stolen the soul’s ring. Sam points to the ring as evidence of why The Devil is disappointed in Morgan, and Morgan kindly informs his brother that he’s only hanging out with Sam to get credit with Daddy and eventually rise to power alongside him. The soul, desiring the return of his ring like Gollum with his precious, sends an army of buggits after them. Sam urges Morgan to return the ring, but its stick on his fat greedy finger. Sam tells Morgan to jump into a nearby pool, which the buggits won’t enter, and Morgan tosses the ring back to Sam, who gets the soul to accept the ring and, as he swallows it, impales him on the nearby vessel. With the soul gone, the buggits turn back into gold coins, which Morgan wants to keep.

The Devil obliges, giving Morgan the coins to appease him, which Sam thinks is totally unfair. The Devil tells Sam that he thinks he’s wrong about Morgan, and that Sam might be the son he should groom as his favorite, but he still has to appease Morgan in the hopes that fatherly attention can set him on the right kind of evil path.

“Wow. I’m so conflicted now. I don’t know who to root for.” — The Devil

This was an okay plot, paired with two other okay plots. Nina was almost underused in this episode to make way for Morgan, but she still got some bright bits. Ben realizes that he may not be satisfying her sexually, a subject she avoids talking about by shoving burgers into her mouth. Not wanting to lose Nina, Ben goes to Gladys for Demon-Human Sex Advice, and she offers to give him a hands-on lesson in how to treat a demon woman, having hands-down one of the most amusing lines of the night:

“I like to make learning fun, so bring along lots of plastic garbage bags.” — Gladys

Ben may be a “Horn Hag” for Nina, but he’s really not into Gladys’ offer, so she suggests that, perhaps, Nina finds his human body sexually repulsive. Ben starts to think that, perhaps, Nina can’t be satisfied when she has sex in her human form, so he offers to have sex with her in her natural body, but only if he has a few drinks first and she doesn’t talk in her demon voice at all during the act. Dismayed, Nina transforms and asks Ben if this is what he wants. As he takes a swig from the bottle, she flies off.

Uh, seriously? Youre telling me you dont want this hotness?

Uh, seriously? You're telling me you don't want this hotness?

Later, Nina shows up at the Work Bench to tell Ben the truth about why she’s been avoiding discussing her sexual satisfaction with him. He’s not her first human. Back when she was an angel, she was part of a host sent to Earth to take human loves and bear human children. After the fall, angels of that host who were cast out of heaven also had their human families smote by God. Though Nina never had children by her human lover, she lost her human lover to God’s wrath and never took another. She hadn’t been fully involved with Ben because she wasn’t ready to completely fall in love with a human again, but she tells Ben that she’s ready now to love him fully.

I liked this storyline because I like Nina a lot, and it was great to see Jenny Wade balance the comedy of eating meat to avoid one’s problems with the sadness Nina feels for the innocent man who died for her sins when she was cast out of Heaven. There’s a great heaviness and sorrow in her monologue, which she delivers in such a way that makes it seem like she’s trying to breeze over it so it doesn’t hurt so much. It’s the kind of thing that almost doesn’t belong on a lighthearted show like Reaper, but I really dug this added insight into Nina. I hope it doesn’t stop here, though. The writers just opened up a whole world of potential by adding in these more arcane elements of Christian mythology to their theological cannon.

And then there’s another battle between Sock and Andi for supremacy at The Work Bench. Sock notices that Ted, unable to truly leave the place that was his home for so long, has been wandering around the parking lot, begging customers to let him carry their parcels to their cars for tips. Sock decides to take advantage of this and subcontract his job to Ted. It begins simply with Sock taking a cut of Ted’s parking lot tips, and then escalates into Sock asking for a ton of shifts, particularly ones that involve unloading deliveries and taking inventory, and farming them out to Ted for 40% of Sock’s pay while he naps and earns extra cash. It doesn’t take long for Andi to catch Ted in the store, and for Ted to subsequently out Sock as his boss. Not wanting to lose his new meal ticket, Sock offers to cut Andi in on 10% of Ted’s profits, but she won’t stand for it and demands that Sock fire Ted. Sock actually does something kind of selfless by appealing to Andi on Ted’s behalf, saying that while he was taking advantage of Ted for his own gain, he was also helping the poor dude, who feels lost without his job at The Work Bench. Andi decides to give both men what they want and calls corporate to hire Ted back on as a trainee for a 6-month trial basis . . . with Sock as his trainer. She’s clever, that Andi.

But clearly, the most important thing in this episode is the ending, which finally gets Reaper back on track to answering the questions posed in last season’s cliffhanger pertaining to the master plot. Sam’s mom orders a giant freezer from The Work Bench, with instructions to simply deliver it to the garage. Part of dating the boss is getting to go on delivery shifts all week, so Sam ends up being the fateful driver who meets his father’s reanimated corpse in the garage. Now he finally knows that his dad is alive, and we’ll all soon find out how that happened.

Now I await the return of Ken Marino!

The Husband:

Something about this season is making me truly love it, even if some of the plots aren’t always coming together as well as they can. It’s another instance of the whole being greater than the sum of its parts, I think, because as they are beginning to lessen the importance of the Soul Of The Week in order to make room for some character development — something s1 struggled with sometimes in its pre-strike episodes — we’re getting a more fleshed-out show. For instance, Buffy, a show I didn’t necessarily love while watching the entire series 1.5 years ago, had plenty of bad Demons Of The Week episodes, but it got by on its better story arcs and its insistence that we try to love and respect each and every one of its major characters, and so I in return have respected the show more each time I think about it.

I also think, as aforementioned, that the action/danger scenes are being better-directed, I appreciate how Andi is a much smarter character this season, and, yes, the writers’ realization that Ben could be just as interesting as the goofy Sock is really upping the stakes for the show’s own Scooby Gang.

This is more than likely going to be Reaper‘s final season — I’m surprised it got this one — so I don’t know if I’m just trying to make everything this season seem better than it truly is, or that it really is better. Either way, though, it’s a great time to spend an hour on Tuesday nights. (Or Wednesday if it’s just that hard to schedule around American Idol.)

The Wife:

As my husband mentioned in my last Bones post, this episode saw the return of Veronica Mars‘ Michael Grant Terry as fan-favorite intern Wendell Bray. (The rumblings I see on the interwebs indicate that many Bones viewers seem to like him the best. I’ve also seen rumblings that indicate that some people think that Ryan Cartwright’s Vincent Nigel-Murray is actually Joel David Moore’s Colin Fischer. This is incorrect. You would know Joel David Moore if you saw him. In fact, I just spied him on Angel the other day, in full vamp makeup. He is that recognizable that I know it’s him even when his face is covered. And yes, this does explain how Joel David Moore got the gig on this show.) Wendell and Booth are teammates on in a local hockey league that seems to be largely comprised of dudes who work together who like to do a little friendly beating up on other dudes out on the ice.

In the cold open, a member of the opposing team, The Firedawgs (volunteer firefighters), beats up on Wendell, which causes Booth, as the “enforcer,” to further beat up on said Firedawg. I’ve mentioned before how, sometimes, this show becomes a way in which the actors/executive producers can speak about themselves a little bit. Most notably, the anti-dogfighting eulogy that still makes me tear up from “The Finger in the Nest” as a testament to Emily Deschanel’s animal activism. In “Fire in the Ice,” we get a glimpse at just how much David Boreanaz loves hockey. I remember him talking wistfully about how much he loves to play hockey with his son in an interview, so I was not at all surprised to see an episode dedicated to the star and producer playing hockey. If I were to say that David Boreanaz looks good on the ice, it would be meaningless. But that’s because I don’t know anything about hockey. And I think he looks good all the time.

Later, the player that Booth threatened turns up dead in the lake, discovered while two ice fishermen bored a hole in the ice and, consequently, the body. Delicious blood and guts. Just how I like them. Things become complicated when Booth sees the crossed hockey sticks that the dead man wore around his neck and suddenly realizes that it’s Pete Carlson, the Firedawg with whom he recently fought, automatically making Booth a suspect. In order to work the case, Caorline brings in Special Agent Peyton Perrota. Bones refuses to work the case with anyone but Booth, and Peyton accommodates the request by allowing Booth to tag along and help during the investigation. This episode was really light on squint work, and all of the evidence keeps pointing back to Booth (or, you know, ANY OTHER HOCKEY PLAYER!). Everyone at the Jeffersonian was pretty convinced that Booth would never kill anyone, except for Sweets, who worries that Booth has spent his life finding ways to take back the power he lost as a child of abuse, all of which manifest in avenues for controlled violence: his army career, his FBI career, his devotion to recreational hockey. Booth shrugs all of these suggestions off with a venomous, “I’m not my father.”

And you're not my father either!

And you're not my father either!

Basic forensics confirmed that the victim was killed and then drowned and frozen. It’s clear that he died when an unknown object was jammed into his eye socket, but no one can figure out what or whom. Carlson had numerous gambling debts, but he always managed to pay them off quickly, thus ruling out any foul play on the part of those he owed, leading the team once again back to the hockey rink and a potential crime of passion. Luckily, Bones, Perrota and Booth find the spot on the ice where the victim was killed, along with an additional blood streak. Because their best hope to find the killer is to match the extra blood, this leads to a fun little hockey sequence where Booth and Wendell try to get players to bleed so that Wendell can secrete blood samples out to Bones. Unfortunately, this process turns up nothing. It does, however, get Booth knocked pretty hard on his head. So hard, in fact, that he starts hallucinating that he’s playing hockey with his favorite player, Lucky Luc Robitaile. Luc reiterates that Booth is, in fact, not his father. He urges Booth to stop looking where he’s looking and start looking at the team.

Wendell and Hodgins did get to have their own special Side Squint adventure trying to figure out why all of the fish in Carlson’s fishtank were belly up, but hadn’t eaten each other, as they would naturally do if not fed for days. In this protocol-breaking Side Squint adventure, they discover that the victim, who had severe gambling debts, hid jewelry cleaned in ammonia in his fishtank. All of the jewelry, it turns out, was claimed as damaged in a fire.

Heeding Lucky Luc’s words, Booth starts doing some old fashioned detective work and looks up the Firedawgs roster. He realizes that four of the Firedawgs played hockey together in high school. Taking his otherworldly sign into consideration with the evidence, he brings the three remaining Firedawgs in for questioning, and one of them nearly instantly confesses to killing his teammate, the very man who ruined his chances of ever going pro. I guess sometimes, when you’ve residually hated someone for ruining your life for so long, you really just need to stab them in the eye with a boot lacer.

I’d definitely call this one of Bones‘ weaker episodes. It was too light on policework and never fully realized either of the things it wanted to do with character development. I’ll accept Booth’s realization that he isn’t his father via his Lucky Luc fever dream, but only grudgingly. That scene is really just another way for Booth to continue to avoid confronting his past. This episode also tried to establish a bit of jealousy and possessiveness on Bones’ part, by introducing Agent Perrota, who was not shy about asking Booth if he was sleeping with Bones and also not shy about flirting with him. Yes, Bones is possessive of her partner, but that’s because she trusts him and knows they work well together. However, she’s also willing to let Perrota join their investigation because it’s the right thing to do. She follows the rules because they’re the rules. She would never do otherwise. Even in the end when Booth teaches her to skate down at the rink and she asks him how working the case with Perrota was, she asks because Booth hasn’t worked a case with an actual agent in a long time. It’s not because it’s another woman he might prefer to her, but that he might prefer actually working with someone trained in law enforcement, not science. She’s too logical to succumb to petty jealousy. Temperance Brennan just doesn’t work that way.

If they ever make The Cutting Edge 4, we totally have to audition.

If they ever make The Cutting Edge 4, we totally have to audition.

The Husband:

Yes, Perrota may be a good addition to the cast if she sticks around, but to me, actress Marisa Coughlan will always be the fearless comedienne who basically embarrassed herself several times in the completely despicable – but compulsively watchable – Tom Green film Freddy Got Fingered. I will never forget her role as the wheelchair-bound girl who, to paraphrase her, didn’t ever care about jewelry, because all she wanted to do was suck Tom Green’s cock.

The Wife:

A part of me feels like catching up with Eli Stone is too little too late at this point, as we are now nine episodes into the season, leaving only four after this before the show goes away forever, but Eli Stone, while this season has faltered a bit, doesn’t deserve to go away with a quiet whimper. It’s a good show. And it’s too bad people don’t watch it. I realize just now that’s its basically Private Practice – Medicine + Spirituality + The Law. (I’m basing that half-assed math solely on the fact that the shows are both about ethical dilemmas and how to approach them.) And if people won’t watch a medical show about Big Ethical Question that’s a spin-off of another highly successful medical show about people sleeping with other people, what hope is there for a show about a Prophet-Lawyer? The answer, evidently, is not much.

Seven episodes have aired since we last wrote about this show, largely dealing with the break-up of Weathersby, Posner & Kline and the reforming of those partners as two distinct legal entities. Jordan broke off to form Weathersby Stone with Eli as the other managing partner, successfully avoiding a breach-of-contract suit by proving that his newfound interest in pro-bono work was the original intent of Weathersby, Posner & Kline based on a cocktail napkin he and the other two partners signed containing the first draft of their mission statement when they formed their firm. From there, Posner and Kline try to seduce all of Weathersby Stone’s loyal employees by offering them the kind of money their newly pro-bono counterpart cannot. Taylor stays with her father, as does Keith, who has stepped up to become a much bigger character this season, while Matt Dowd goes where the money is and, much to Eli’s dismay, Maggie Decker, too, turns to the dark side, lured with the promise of being able to choose her own cases as head of the pro bono department.

From there, Eli has gone on to break up Maggie’s marriage (after having a vision of her fiancé cheating), as well as break up his brother’s marriage (after having a vision of Laura Benanti cheating on Nate with, uh, Eli). He’s gotten really good at breaking up engagements this year. But there’s more to his relationship with Nate than just Laura Benanti’s fickle affections. After getting his visions back from Nate and discovering their father’s journal, he grapples with living his life and knowing his fate. Ultimately, Dr. Chen convinces him to burn the journal (but not before making a secret copy for himself). However, desperate to unlock the journal’s secrets, Eli starts participating in a very dangerous kind of acupuncture called The Dark Truth, which Frank refuses to perform on Eli more than once, thus leading to a rift in their friendship as he turns to rival acupuncturist Dr. Lee (Melinda Clarke) for help. Meanwhile, he receives a vision about a burning building, complete with Victor Garber’s Jordan Weathersby singing the most strangely keyed version of “Don’t Mess Around with Jim” I’ve ever heard, leading Eli to take on a drug trial case for a wealthy businessman that turns into an emancipation hearing for that man’s son when, after Eli helps his father get permission to run an MS drug trial that could save him, contradicts the son’s own wishes. Eli needs to prove that the father (the Jim of the song) did not have his son’s best interests at heart, and he achieves this by having Nate look into Jimmy’s medical records, thereby discovering that his father had falsified his CT scans to show that his son’s MS had not worsened, thus allowing him to swim on the Olympic team. (Complicated, I know.) Nate’s testimony in the case means that he can no longer work for St. Vincent’s, the hospital at which Jimmy’s primary care physicians worked. Instead, St. Vincent’s offers Nate an extremely large amount of hush money to keep their shoddy and falsified medical records under wraps. Thus, while risking Nate’s job, Eli actually puts his brother in a pretty sweet position, financially, giving him the means and free time to ask Laura Benanti to marry him. And then Eli has that pesky vision. And Laura Benanti finally sings something. (Finally!) And then she leaves Nate on their wedding day, despite Eli’s best efforts to keep himself away from her. As it happens, he could do everything in his power to make sure he didn’t reciprocate, but there was nothing he could do about Laura Benanti’s feelings for him.

Pity. She looked fucking amazing in that wedding dress.

Needless to say, this leaves Nate furious with his brother – putting their father’s vision that they were to work together in dire jeopardy. It’s difficult to explain in a catch-up post just how intricate the late Mr. Stone’s journal has been to the Nate-Eli relationship, but it has been a good plot thread to keep this season together. Last season was about Eli coming to terms with his gift and learning how to use it, and this season has been about how that gift affects other people – especially the brother who didn’t end up with the vision-providing deadly aneurysm.

Couldnt we just have a threesome with Laura Benanti and call it a day?

Couldn't we just have a threesome with Laura Benanti and call it a day?

Meanwhile, Maggie is struggling to find her place at Posner & Kline and, other than plugging up an intel leak at Weathersby Stone, hasn’t been doing very much at all. She pines for Eli, but stays away when she isn’t met with quite the same reaction. Poor Julie Gonzalo goes underused again. It’s like on Veronica Mars – her character had such potential at the beginning of Season Three . . . and then it just petered out. I guess we’ll never find out how she ends up with Eli and a baby in the future now.

Keith got a good multi-episode arc with guest actress Tiraji P. Henson (who deserves a Supporting Actress nomination for her work in Benjamin Button; she also deserved that same accolade for her work in Hustle & Flow, but they let her sing with Three Six Mafia in the live performance of “It’s Hard Out Here for a Pimp,” so I guess that’s a decent consolation prize). Henson starred as Angela, Patti’s daughter, a promising medical student who was arrested for a DUI when she wasn’t drunk. Keith managed to get her off that charge, while falling for her, until he finds out that she tested positive for cocaine. Angela insists that the false positive was because of some antibiotics she had been taking for a cold (which she probably shouldn’t have had even a glass of wine with, if warning labels on drugs are to be believed). Angela later gets suspended from medical school when she is accused of stealing drugs from the nurses station – a charge she tries to disprove, coming to blows with her mother over her drug addiction and, in the process, allowing Eli to discover that Patti once had a severe alcohol problem that was only solved by Jordan setting her straight. Henson and Loretta Devine have a great scene together during this confrontation, and it allowed us to see Patti as something other than a sassy black side character. (She’s great and all, but I often worry about black actresses being pigeonholed in the sassy black friend role. Or, sometimes, as the “magical negro” trope.) While Keith doesn’t get to end up with the girl, he does manage to help Patti and Angela have a real, honest relationship and assures mother and daughter that, while Angela probably can’t return to that medical school, she can find a way to work in medicine if she still wants to and make her mother proud.

And then there’s Matt and Taylor, whose strange relationship has taken up a lot of screen time this season and has culminated in a pregnancy. They’re learning how to be a couple, how to be good parents and, mostly, how to not be a Big Giant Douche and a Fucking Ice Bitch. In the latest episode, they thought, briefly, that there would be a chance their baby would have Down Syndrome, something that made Matt immediately want to find ways in his life to accommodate a special needs child, while Taylor turned straight down abortion alley. In actual human life, having a baby does change a lot. It certainly changes who you are as a person. I’ve just never seen a baby used as a character-changing plot device in this way. I mean, we’ve seen the dude-needs-to-shape-up-and-be-a-dad thread before (Knocked Up, Worst Week . . . oh, dozens of other examples), but I’ve never really seen it work both ways. And so deliberately. There is absolutely no reason for Taylor and Matt to be having a baby other than to see how they, as characters, react to this change. This plot, for me, is probably the strangest part about this season. I see its function, but I don’t really understand its necessity. Oh, well, Taylor won’t have that baby before the final episode airs in two weeks, right? I won’t have to care about this plot very soon.

Even with that weird baby plot, I will miss Eli Stone, and not only for the Victor Garber and Loretta Devine and Johnny Lee Miller’s very strangely large head, but for its heart and its faith. Much like Pushing Daisies, this show asks us to believe in miracles, and to have faith. It’s certainly not subtle about that approach, especially when George Michael appears in your living room and insists that you gotta, in fact, have faith, but I think we need things that ask us to believe in miracle-working lawyers and candy-coated pie shops filled with Anna Friel in beautiful dresses. If not for the landscape of arts and entertainment, where in the world are we asked, so blatantly, to indulge in hopes and fantasy?

That, and I’ll miss playing “Hi, Broadway actor!” with my husband when Broadway vet-fueled Eli and Daisies are gone.