Sunday, April 27, 2008

The Office: Oh, Toby

Oh, wow.

It’s not a secret that Toby loves Pam. We’ve known for a long time that he’s got a little office crush on Miss Beesly, but until this week’s episode, we’ve never really seen visual proof of his affections. And then there he was, his fingers tracing a little pattern on Pam’s bare knee, Jim and Pam and Toby and the rest of the office looking around at each other awkwardly.

One word: unfortunate.

We’ve all been talking for a few weeks about the need for a drama-less Jim/Pam marriage. I blogged last week about my will-they-or-won’t-they ennui, but it seems everyone in the Office fandom has it now. We’re flat-out expecting the other shoe to drop on Jam, and we’ll roll our eyes when it happens and let out a sigh and a “Predictable.” Isn’t it funny that the most shocking thing that could happen to these two, the most dramatic, is just a simple, sweet wedding?

Last week, I also pretty much dismissed the idea that Toby could actually come between Jim and Pam. Even though I saw the similarities between “Casino Night” and Toby’s impending exodus, I really didn’t—and maybe still don’t—think that it would be such a huge deal.

We know Toby has a crush on Pam, but it never seemed to come close to Jim’s love for her. I assumed that a Toby-as-Season-Two-Jim crush scenario would serve only to remind the audience (and Pam) of how different things are now and how much better Jim is than Roy.

But this last episode turned things on their head a little.

Perhaps purposefully, the show oddly and poignantly recast Toby as Jim and Jim as Michael in this episode. Even Toby’s little speech about Costa Rica was whoa reminiscent of Jim’s Australia speech. I actually went back to “Dwight’s Speech” to make sure it wasn’t the exact same phrasing—it wasn’t, but it was still pretty close.

So thinking about how freaking awkward those fifteen seconds of fingers-on-knee were, how awkward do you think we (and Pam) would feel if Toby actually pulled a “Casino Night” stunt? If he tells her he loves her or—gasp!—kisses her, I will die. If any incarnation of “Just once” comes out of Toby Flenderson’s mouth, I will keel over and die. That said, it could also be pretty awesome—I love seeing awkward Office moments that involve people other than Michael.

And if this super-unfortunate incident does occur, it could be the direct impetus for the Jam elopement I so desperately crave. This is the only circumstance under which I could forgive Toby for doing such a thing. If he actually throws Jam out of whack, I will slap someone. A writer or Toby or a producer...looks like it’ll be you, Paul Lieberstein.

Because it’d be contrived and silly and, frankly, kind of unbelievable, because Pam’s always been just nice to Toby. When Jim was going through his crush issues, she kind of exacerbated the problem by flirting back—and ultimately kissing back. Jim was vulnerable; Toby’s just kind of pathetic. Especially now, I can’t imagine Pam kissing Toby back.

Also, I’ve seen some speculation that it won’t be Toby leaving. There are a couple of reasons for this spec. One is that it’s been so highly publicized. I mean, the episode is called “Goodbye, Toby.” It’s a little too obvious for cliffhanger material. We’re prepared for the ol’ switcheroo on this one. That said, I’m super-jazzed to see Michael in this episode; the official NBC synopsis says that Mr. Regional Manager throws a huge party to commemorate the immense joy he feels at Toby’s departure.

The other reason is that Amy Ryan, who was just amazing in Gone Baby Gone and who probably knows Jennifer Garner, is appearing in the finale as Dunder-Mifflin Scranton’s new HR representative. Now, perhaps they’ll give her Toby’s old desk in the annex and pretend like she’s sitting back there minding her own business with Kelly all day, but it seems unlikely that Amy Ryan is going to take a job as a series regular on a sitcom.

Ultimately, I love Toby. I love the horrible things that Michael says to and about Toby. And I like that everyone in the office is a little enamored with Pam. It’s kind of like how in my group of theatre friends, everyone kind of latches on to the occasional straight guy. A straight guy in drama club is like candy at fat camp. I’m confident in the writers’ commitment to Jim and Pam’s relationship, but I’m also fearful of their commitment to creating drama. Surely they know better than to really make this into a Jim-Pam-Toby love triangle...right? Because if that’s the case, I won’t just be saying “Goodbye, Toby,” I’ll be saying, “Goodbye, Office.”

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Jate Daily News: Susan Lewis That Shit

I know Caroline promised that I'd be updating next with an in-depth discussion of my thoughts and predictions for "Something Nice Back Home," and that's still what this is going to be - it's just not a discussion of the same thoughts and predictions for the episode that I had originally intended to write about. It was going to be a lovely blog that painted the pretty picture of Jack and Kate sharing a home together in the hills above Los Angeles whilst raising little Aaron as their own precious son. It was going to more or less spell out why it's entirely probable that Kate (and Aaron - Jack's family) is that something nice back home for him. It's a fantastic masterpiece in my head, made even more beautiful because there's such a good chance that it may come true, and I still plan to get it written. Stay tuned though, because tonight is about something else entirely.

Tonight is about Susan Lewis, that spunky little blonde doctor from the golden years of NBC's ER, and how one of her trademark moves is going to play a huge part in the upcoming episodes. Or, at least, I'm predicting that it will.

Let's do a little bit of exposition for the kids who didn't watch ER back in the day, shall we? I'll try to make it quick. In season 8 (arguably the last truly great season of the now laughable series) we found ourselves watching the drama of the Susan/Carter/Abby/Luka quadrangle. It was a weird quad, because Abby/Luka weren't even together anymore - they had a nasty breakup in which he shouted "Carter can have you!" on top of many other wretched insults - but had managed to mend fences enough to maintain a close friendship; so close that she was sleeping on his couch after being forced out of her apartment for a while. Carter and Susan, on the other hand, were great friends who found themselves in need of good company and great comfort because, let's face it, Susan was lonely and Carter was too pansy to step up and fight for Abby once she and Luka were kaput. Save for the whole "Abby and Luka build back a great friendship and become roommates" thing, it was a quadrangle that is strikingly similar in every way to the Juliet/Jack/Kate/Sawyer quad that we currently have on Lost.

Even Sawyer's "You'll find some reason to get pissed at Jack, and bounce right back to me!" comment in the Skate breakup was said for the exact same reasons as Luka's "Carter can have you!" in the death of Luby. It was a man exhausted by trying to be with a woman who is clearly splitting her affections between two men.

The quads are the same, you guys! Susan and Juliet are the same! It's freakishly similar, and that only serves to bolster my belief that the Lost quad is headed for the same outcome that the ER quad experienced in that wonderful eighth season - specifically, the episode entitled "Secrets & Lies." This episode saw our trusty quad in a pickle of circumstance, as they all got in trouble at work (along with one adorable med student) for joking around with the ideas of sexual harassment. They were sentenced to a day-long seminar on the topic, but the seminar's instructor got caught in the snow. Cue a wonderful twist of events that leaves our quad trapped in a room together all day with nothing else to do but talk, laugh, flirt, argue, and - ya know - fence. It was brilliant, because it presented Susan with the unexpected opportunity to witness Carter and Abby interacting without interruption; for her to see just how jealous he got over the idea of her living with Luka; to realize that no matter how great he treated her or how long he dated her, his heart was actually inextricably tied to Abby.

I see a very similar (albeit totally more dramatic) situation being set up for next week's episode, "Something Nice Back Home." Jack falls horribly ill - we're talking a matter of life and death, people - and it's up to both Juliet and Kate to work together to save him. It goes without saying that we will get plenty of Jacket and Jate interaction with this episode, and it definitely should go without saying that Kate is going to be beside herself with worry. Juliet is going to see that. What's more, Juliet is going to see a side of Jack that she's never really seen before; a side of him that's vulnerable, weak and scared. And in that state of distress, Jack is bound to reveal emotions in front of Juliet - whether purposefully or otherwise - that she's not bound to like. In the promo that we got after last night's episode, there's clearly a moment in which Jack lies sick in bed, looking completely broken and slightly upset, and tells Juliet very bluntly: "I want Kate."

What does he want Kate for, exactly? I don't know. But I'm almost certain it's going to give way to at least one ridiculously Jatey and emotional scene - one that will either be directly witnessed by Juliet, or at least felt in it's intensity as the emotions become charged when she gives in and allows Kate to take care of him instead. The details aren't exactly what's important here - all that matters is that I sense Juliet getting a heaping taste of the Jack/Kate bond and suddenly taking notice that it's not as simple as she originally thought. To me, Juliet has been existing in a romance with Jack under the premise that Jack no longer wants or loves Kate after how she "broke his heart" when she cage!sexed Sawyer. She's going to see quite clearly that, although he was indeed hurt by that and other Skate instances, it did nothing to lessen the love that he feels for Kate. Juliet is an intelligent woman, y'all, and I think she's alert enough to take notice of the connection that Jack and Kate share when they're given a few uninterrupted moments to express themselves. She'll come to realize that no matter how hard Jack may be trying to fight it and move on with her, his heart is inextricably tied to Kate.

Just like Carter's was to Abby in that classic, game-changing episode.

And what Susan Lewis did at the end of that day-long seminar-gone-psycho is the same exact scenario that I see Juliet Burke following in the footsteps of after "Something Nice Back Home." It's impossible to truly explain the wonder of "pulling a Susan Lewis," and for that reason I am just going to ask you all to watch the clip. It's the last 10 minutes of the episode, but skip ahead to about 6:54 in order to watch the final and pertinent scene:

For the record, you should all watch the entire clip and the two other clips that comprise the entire episode simply because it's brilliantly written (by John Wells. I'm still shocked.) and beyond hilarious. John Carter and Luka Kovac engage in a fencing match, guys. Hilarity. Watch it. But in the meantime, let's get back to the point.

Susan Lewis pulled off one of the greatest breakups in the history of television, all because she was being completely selfless and focusing on what would make the man she was dating most happy. When the lightbulb went off in her head and she realized that what would make him most happy was not, in fact, her, she chose to set him free while at the same time attempting to make him face his feelings for Abby and finally do something about it. A similar scenario almost took place with the Addison/Derek/Meredith triangle on Grey's, as Addi eventually admitted that she should have just let him go, and kind of did take place with the Finn/Meredith/Derek triangle when Derek opted to walk away because Finn was "the better guy." If you watched The O.C. then you've seen the slightly more bitter version of this selfless breakup technique, as Anna dumped Seth once it became obvious that he was still crushing on Summer. Anna, like Susan, also made sure to point out to the male that it was time to step up to the plate and finally be with the woman he loved. This is not a new breakup format by any means, and it's a totally valid plot bunny in the path to ending a triangle.

The fact that we're dealing with more than a triangle on the island these days - just like our favorite hospital co-workers were back in their day - makes me think it's even more likely and justifiable that Juliet Burke is gonna Susan Lewis that shit. The producers have told us that a lot of what happens in the upcoming finale rests "on the axis of the triangle," and they're talking about the Jate/Skate triangle. No mention of the quadrangle takes place, which leads me to believe that the quadrangle no longer exists by the finale. And I don't personally think Jack Shephard is the type of guy who would break up with a woman he even slightly cares about - this is a man who needs to fix things, not break them. So in order for us to get back to the trusty and annoying triangle, Juliet is going to have to end it with Jack.

I really don't see why she'd ever do that unless she's either a lying bitch or a selfless and caring friend. She wants what's best for Jack in the end, which I'm sure she'll soon realize means setting him free to be with the one he truly desires. And Susan Lewis paved the way for all the underdog girlfriends of TV land to do exactly that with dignity, grace and a nice big dose of redemption in the eyes of the opposing 'shippers.

We've already been promised that "Something Nice Back Home" is going to produce a "happy twist of events" for Team Jate, and we've all just assumed that it's in reference to the FFs only; who's to say that this happy twist isn't in actuality a Jacket breakup giving way to a Jate hookup? Anything is possible. And just because the same episode has been repeatedly touted as revisiting the Jacket relationship, there's nothing that says we're revisiting it in a romantic way. It could just as easily mean that we're revisiting it in order to watch it fall apart. Nothing can be taken at face value with this show, and that's a lesson we've all learned the hard way over the years.

It may not happen by the end of next week's episode - although I personally really think it might - but I do predict loud and proud that Juliet will put her own personal spin on the Susan Lewis Breakup Speech at some point before the end of the season.

And then we can all go back to stressing over that tried and true Jate/Skate triangle instead.

Truth be told, that actually sounds pretty damn favorable to me.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Law & Order: "Is this because I'm a lesbian?"

There was a time when I watched Law & Order: Mothership every week. That was long ago and now I get my L&O fix from twenty hours of SVU every week, like the rest of America. I thought I’d give the original recipe another shot this season, due to the arrival of Jeremy Sisto and it being the only show with new episodes during the strike. But it didn’t take.

And then came the news that Jesse L. Martin was leaving, killing all my hopes and dreams of loving L&O once more. But I do still love Jesse, so I made a point of tuning in last night for his final episode. Wherein Ed Green went on trial for murder, for shooting a suspect under murky circumstances. By 10:58, the charges were dropped and Green and his jaunty cap slinked innocently off into the unknown. But the murder investigation revealed that Green had been hiding a secret off-screen gambling problem, complete with shady dealings at a speakeasy. A problem he developed in reaction to the loss of Lennie Brisco.

Um… what?

Did L&O learn nothing from Elisabeth Rohm’s departure? Inventing backstory in a character’s last episode is awkward and jarring. And cheap.

But that’s the thing about L&O departures. And most other procedurals, too. No one ever just leaves. They get killed – if not in body, at least career-wise.

Over at SVU, Novak and NewGuy are on their way out, too. I don’t care about NewGuy (fine, I do know his name, it’s Lake) and I’ll be glad to get rid of him. He brings nothing to the table and he speaks through a clenched jaw, like Adrianne Curry and Mark Ruffalo. Please, dump him unceremoniously and get Richard Belzer back up to full-time status. His demotion isn’t the only reason SVU’s sucked ass this year, but it hasn’t helped.

Casey, I’m sure, will make a dramatic exit. I’d bet that she won’t fake her death and enter the Witness Protection Program, but everything else is on the table. Well… they probably won’t kill her, because it would call up memories of how they faked us out with Alex Cabot. So it’s more likely that she’ll go all-out and break the rules on a case, then either be fired or resign. God knows she can’t just get a new job in Bumblefuck, Iowa – not unless her last SVU case is so emotionally and/or morally exhausting that she washes her hands of the whole endeavor.

As for me and the Mothership, I think we’re done. It’s been real, L&O, but your cast full of newbies does nothing for me. I can only hope that if the time ever comes for Sam Waterston to exit, Jack McCoy will go out classy.

But I’m not holding my breath.

Grey's Anatomy: Jane Doe Needs a Toe Tag, Please.

I have a pretty regular (and pretty pathetic) morning routine - give in the to annoying sun shining through my window and refusing to let me sleep in, roll over and check my cell for the time, roll over the other direction and grab the laptop from it's spot on the floor beside my bed. Once comfortably propped up against my pillows with the trusty Mac on my lap, I give my inbox a once-over to see if there's anything that needs immediate attention, and then I head for SpoilerFix to find out if any new information got released in between the last time I checked it right before falling asleep and the time that I gave in to that annoying bright & shiny sun outside my window.

Two things can be deduced from this confession about my daily routine: [1] I am a desperate spoiler whore for whom there is no cure, and [2] it really is no surprise that I'm 25 and single.

Let me just say in my own defense, though, that right now I have five "appointment" shows, but only read spoilers for Grey's and Lost. Okay, so I read spoilers for Days of Our Lives, too, but that's a necessity in order to figure out when it's actually going to be worth watching again. Otherwise, I prefer to stay pretty much in the dark for my other shows. It's also a fact I've come to accept that if I break down and start reading spoilers for a show, I've fallen hard for an OTP and therefore must know everything beforehand in order to prepare my heart if things start going downhill. This is exactly the reason I broke down after three seasons of spoiler-free Lost-hood and can no longer go more than a few hours without knowing if there's any new info on the Jate front. Caroline is held responsible for keeping me updated in the event of my actually having a life during a new spoiler-release moment. Seriously, she gets yelled at if I stumble across exciting new info only to find out that she's known about it for hours/days/weeks and neglected to clue me in immediately.

With Grey's, the constant Mer/Der on-again/off-again Cycle of Annoyance demanded I bury myself in spoilers because - really - I was so close to throwing my hands up and walking away from it all that only a true sign of hope on the horizon could keep me tethered to this show and caring at all about tuning in again tomorrow night. As all of us spoiler whores know, that hope on the horizon was delivered to us via spoilers a while ago now, and my Grey's focus has started shifting from "When will Der/Mer stop driving me insane?" to "When will Gizzie die? When will George/Lexie hook up? When can I have my Alex/Izzie back? For the love of Shonda, WHEN WILL JANE DOE DISAPPEAR?!?"

The Gizzie question has already been answered, thank you so very much, and the middle two queries are purely speculation and desperate hope for a new OTP - but unfortunately, this past week of spoiler hunting has given me an answer to the latter question that really makes me want to kick somebody in the crotch.

On April 21st, ABC released the episode summary for 4.13 "Pieces of My Heart," which airs on May 1st and offers the return of Addison Forbes Montgomery just one hour before the Lost episode that has Jaters ready to keel over and die. May 1st is going to be a kickass night, y'all. Except for the fact that Jane Doe (or Rebecca or Ava or whatever the holy fuck her name is) returns yet again to severely work my nerves. I love Elizabeth Reaser, I really do. I think she's a brilliant actress and her performance has been wonderful - it's not her that I'm tired of seeing on my show. It's her character. And no, this isn't about my bias toward an Izzie/Alex pairing, either - I just think the Alex/Ava romance is as far-fetched and ridiculous as the Izzie/Denny or Izzie/George romances were. I can't help it that the two people who keep ending up in unrealistic (okay, in my opinion, at least) romantic stories are the two people I'd rather see in a romantic story together. The whole "falling hard and fast for your patient" story is just too silly for me, because it never happens over a long enough time frame. Plus, I'm pretty sure Jack Shephard would be happy to tell you all about why that kind of love story is doomed from the start.

ANYWAY. I was hoping Jane Doe was actually gone for good, despite not really getting a formal send off in her last appearance, but May 1st will dash my hopes and dash them hard. When I read the aforementioned ABC episode summary and, specifically, the phrase "Rebecca/Ava returns with shocking news for Alex," my gut sank just a little and my immediate reaction was more or less one of "Oh crap. Now she's pregnant again."

The past several days managed to drown me in great Lost information and cause me to totally forget about how pissed off I was at the implication of that statement. It's great when you can succeed at pushing the bad news to back of your mind and forgetting it's even there until something else comes along and digs it back up again, just so that it can dump even more suckiness on top of the pile.

This morning when I picked up the Mac for my SpoilerFix catch-up session, the latest non-episode-specific information included this from Entertainment Tonight:

"Someone gets pregnant before the end of the season -- and that the identity of the father may be in question."

I shall now proceed to take a deep breath and release the first General Sigh of Discontent for today. Siiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiigh. Why is this necessary? Obviously, it doesn't say that Jane Doe is the one who ends up pregnant - but you're going to have a hard time convincing me otherwise given the whole "shocking news for Alex" tid-bit that we received on Monday. It's so stupid, you guys! It's contrived and unnecessary and, well, boring. Plus, I highly doubt that this new baby (conceived ridiculously soon after birthing the first one, mind you) is going to end up being Alex's kid anyway. It's an annoying plot bunny story line for the sake of pseudo-drama and in the end all it's going to amount to is that Rebecca got knocked up again and decided it would be a stupendous opportunity to return to Seattle and attempt to chain Alex to her forever. It's manipulative, even if there is a good chance that the baby might be his.

I don't know, it just really bugs me. The Alex/Ava story has gotten on my last nerve since before it had even ever truly found any sense of depth - and it's never been that deep to begin with. I understand that she went through a traumatic experience and bonded with Alex when she had no idea who she was - but she got her memory back, she has her husband and her daughter and now I just feel like she's just being selfish. I'm sure there are those of you out there who vehemently disagree with me, and that's your prerogative, but this on-again/off-again recurring story between Alex/Ava is honestly frustrating me more than the Der/Mer version ever has.

And that's pretty bad, kids. Shonda, if you're out there, please make it stop. Focus on the relationships between the characters we already know and love - quit continuously shoving these guest stars and outsiders down our throats, no matter how great of thespians they all happen to be. It's bad enough Addison is gone now, don't you think? I want what little screen time we get every week to be dedicated to those we've cared about since day one. Alex has so much potential and room for character growth, but backsliding him into the Ava story over and over again isn't getting him anywhere interesting at all.

Kill the Jane Doe story, Shonda. Call the morgue and slide it into a cold, dark grave right beside Gizzie.

Maybe then I'll start to have faith in your game plan again. Maybe.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Brothers & Sisters & Birthdays...oh my!!!

The strike ended for me in the form of Brothers & Sisters on Sunday night. I had almost forgotten what it felt like to be excited for new television. After returning home after a birthday party for a 2 year old, I was ready for some grown up tv and sit on a couch that wasn't full of toys.

I adore this show but this episode seemed to lack the power that I had expected. C'mon guys. You didn't do anything for weeks. Surely you've got more spinning around in that brain than what I saw.

For those of you who don't care to hear my commentary...he's the episode in a nutshell. Within the first 2 minutes we learned the fate of Robert's campaign. Senator Hairboy didn't get the votes he needed and graciously bowed out of the election. Then we all of a sudden skip ahead 3 months. Apparently that was the only event we needed to be updated on. Nothing else happened. Okay - right. Isaac asked Nora to move with him to DC. The kids freaked. Nora said yes. The kids freaked. Nora, with some help from Kitty, decides to stay put. The kids are relieved. Robert and Kitty are trying to start a family by way of hormone injections and egg harvesting. Sarah and Graham are still having a lovefest which could prove disaterous (in my opinion). Rebecca experiences her first birthday as a Walker and gets a subtle-hint-you-might-be-my-daughter necklace from David. Holly yells at him without knowing that Justin is in the pantry and can hear everything. Justin spills to Rebecca and she decides to get a DNA test done to know who her daddy is. Note to all: Always take Justin with you. What a sexy piece of arm candy he his. Mmm. Mmm. Good.

Mr. and Mrs. Former Presidential Candidate
Ok - although there was not enough of them (which there never is for me) the scenes they did have were quite enjoyable. While at the doctor's office, a nurse is showing Robert how to give Kitty the hormone injections and what side affects to be prepared for. After seeing the ginormous needle, Kitty finally calms down and says, "ok", which Robert thinks is code for "ok - I'm ready". In fact, no. "Ok means Ok! Go means Go!" Silly Robert. You shall soon learn the language of the overly-hormonal woman. What's funny is, when youlook at the needle once he has's no longer in the syringe. Safety first! I thought it was funny that he's waving around this syringe with nothing in it. Apparently he can't be trusted enough to NOT accidentally jab her with it. The most enjoyable part of this scene? Kitty finds out that he knows of a secret dinner planned by Isaac for Nora but was sworn to secrecy about the details. Yeah, Robert. That's not a good enough answer to any woman. Hormone injected or not. In the funniest quote of the evening, Kitty blurts out, "Well you're gonna tell me Robert or I am going to inject you with so many hormones that you will, in fact, grow boobs and sing soprano." The look on Robert's face and his response is absolutely priceless. He grins. Grabs her face and says, "Look at these side affects coming on so faaast". Rewind. Watch. Repeat. Listen to the way he says fast. Adorable. Oh, Rob Lowe.

Did anyone else find that the sudden jump to "let's start a family" was a little odd? Because. Um. How did Robert go from "I never wanted the baby" to "Here let me help you inject those hormones so we can start a family"? I - someone needs to connect those dots for me because I'm not getting it. I have weak quad muscles...I can't jump that far on my own. The idea of them having a family hadn't been mentioned since the miscarriage and even then they didn't speak of it much. I assume we're supposed to think since Robert isn't going to be President, they can finally focus on their life together - which is great. However, I need to know that's how we got there. I need to know we didn't get there by Kitty suggesting it and Robert just agreeing because he knows that's what she wants. I can't knock the man for wanting to do whatever she wants to do because it will make her happy. The only men left like that are bartenders and they only do it because they know there will be tips involved and possibly the exchange of phone numbers. Plus - why go to hormone injections and egg harvesting. There was no trouble slipping one past the goalie before. Why is there a problem now? See? Not. Making. Sense.

Robert's chat with Isaac during the birthday party clued us in to the fact that being a Senator won't be enough for him anymore. Insert DUH. The man wanted to be President and was very close to getting there. That's like...playing in the big leagues during spring training, not earning a spot and being sent back down to AAA. Most players won't be happy back in the minors. I don't think Robert will either. So - like I said - unless I get a scene helping me bridge this gap, I'm going to sit back and wait for all of this to get back to Kitty. What a well-spoken fight that's going to be, right? Intrigue. Not to mention the phone call received at the end raising the suspicion that Robert would be asked to be VP. Someone wasn't happy about it. By someone - I mean Kitty. Setup complete.

The Clan Leader stays put...
OK - did anyone actually think that Nora was going to leave? Come on. That'd be like...George Clooney leaving ER. Wait...Anthony Edwards leaving ER. Wait...David Duchovny leaving the X-Files. Ok - you're just going to have to trust me when I say there's no way in hell she was going to leave. Kitty may have admitted she tried to get Isaac to do her dirty work - but it needed to be done. 2 days in Washington and she would have been screaming for her kids and they would have been screaming for her. Props to Kitty for being the only one to go talk to her. Score one point if you called Kitty's "please stay - i need you" line. The point value is low because it had already been mentioned in the scene. Nice touch though. I must say I'm happy to see Danny Glover go. He creeps me out. Not sure why. I'm sure he's a great guy but still - creepy. I also enjoy all the ways the crazy Walker kids tried to mess with Isaac's "come away with me" plans. Stellar.

Selfish. Party of one. Your table is now ready.
Sarah continues to be annoying and my least favorite person on this show. She and Graham are still loving all over each other but there's something going on there with him. I smell a rat. Not sure why but I smell it. Of course - he did put together a multi-million dollar deal to skyrocket Ojai's profits. Sarah tells Saul she's emotionally involved and can't be objective and doesn't want to go forward with the deal. Things are really good between her and Graham and doesn't want her "nixing this deal" to get in the way. Saul assures her it's a great deal but, being a total idiot, she just doesn't care and asks him to take care of the situation for her. Translation: Hey Uncle Saul? Can you tell Graham we don't want to do the deal for no good reason other than making sure him and I can continue to have all the sex because I don't care about what this could mean for the company? Wow - way to be completely selfish. Like Saul said, way to let your personal life get in the way of the family business. Although - something tells me that Saul isn't happy about what she's done. He had that look on his face he used to have when Sloane was up to something. I hope that by "up to something" it means booting Sarah out of the business...or at least paying someone to trip her so she stumbles off the Ojai dock in front of everyone. That'd be awesome!

Who's your daddy?
Like sands through the are the step-Walkers of our lives. Holly and David continue to smooch and are making out on the couch when Justin and Rebecca get back. Gross. Seriously. Could you imagine coming home to see your mom making out with her boyfriend on the couch? That ain't right. Anyways. David decides to be nice and add yet another piece to the "maybe you are my daughter" puzzle. Not realizing that the "pantry of family secrets" is within an earshot, she yells at David for implying, yet again, that he might be her father. Justin overhears and spills to Rebecca. Result? We end up with Rebecca bringing a brush, razor clippings and some gum from David to a DNA lab to get it straight once and for all. Gum? Razor Clippings? Hair? That - is gross. Seriously. Gross. At this point - I think she's a Walker. If she isn't - I see the Walkers still embracing her as such because if they don't...well...she'll have no reason to be there.

However, her birthday party didn't disappoint as no Walker gathering would be complete without a big blowout. Nora said her peace and defended her decision to move to Washington. After yelling at her children, her brilliant moment came at the end where she instantly gained her composure, turned to Rebecca and said, "None of this applies to you, sweetie. You're fine. Happy Birthday" and heads off to her room. Oh, bi-polar Classic.

I give this episode 3.5 electoral votes out of 5.

Until next week...

Lost: Baby Swap '08 Is Officially a Head-Scratcher

I mean, it was pretty much inevitable.

We’ve got all these little pieces of Jack Shephard’s life—successful spinal surgeon, Daddy issues, failed marriage, compulsive urge to fix things, plane crash, Oxycodone addiction, aversion to presh babies—but we’re still waiting for answers on how he gets from A to B to C. It’s kind of driving me crazy.

With every new spoilery tidbit, Mae and I have been calling each other in a near-panic, desperate to just get on the line with each other and have a spec-fest. Yesterday, I frightened an innocent passerby on the street. Once I assured the man that I was shouting at my phone and not at him, Mae and I got down to business.

In the process of discussing the few new things that have come up in the last few days, including a new piece from, I came up with what I think is a pretty good prediction.

Here’s what I’m basing it on:

1. That there TV Guide article, specifically this quote: “Jack's flash-forward revolves around Kate. We're sworn to secrecy but will let slip that fans of Jate are in for a long-awaited, happy turn of events.”

2. A recent spoiler telling us that the finale includes scenes from Christian Shephard’s post-rescue funeral.

3. Another recent rumor telling us that there’s a letter Christian Shephard wrote—read in a flash-forward—to both of his children.

4. TV Guide saying we’re in for Christian Shephard reaching out to “both of his children,” and Hurley relaying a “chilling” message from Charlie to Jack.

5. What we know already—that in the future, Jack likes Oxycodone more than he likes spending time with Aaron.

So here’s what I foresee. Though I have been hoping for a while that Jack and Claire would figure out their connection pre-rescue—thus giving them a chance for sibling love and the opportunity for Claire to send Aaron back to LA with his uncle, not just Jack and Kate—I’m starting to think that their relationship won’t be revealed to Jack until this letter is revealed.

Which comes as quite a shock to Jack, because for the last however many weeks or months, he’s been raising Aaron with Kate like he’s just some kid who he’s pretending is his son. (More on this spec in Mae’s upcoming blog about her broad interpretation of the title “Something Nice Back Home.”)

So all he knows is that his dad had an illegitimate blond Australian daughter named Claire. And this is enough to make Jack think...could it be possible? Surely, being one of the only people on the island aware of some of the freaky passenger connections—knowing, of course, of his own history with Desmond and of the evening Sawyer and Christian Shephard spent together—he shouldn't be completely closed off to the idea.

So there’s a spark.

And then Hurley comes over and tells him he’s had a vision about Charlie. Who’s got issues with Jack raising Aaron like he’s his own—he doesn’t care if he is his uncle, you just don’t do that.

I love, by the way, the possibility of not only a Dominic Monaghan return but also of striking a pretty important parallel between Charlie and Jack—drug addicts taking on the role of Aaron’s dad.

And suddenly, Jack realizes a couple of pretty critical things. Like that there is something mystical about the island, something that does in fact draw people together—people like Jack and Claire and Jack and Kate. And it didn’t want them to leave, but, y’all, Jack’s a resourceful guy. He’s a man of science. And—imagined or not—he starts to feel the pull to go back.

He also realizes that he didn’t just leave his friend, the cute pregnant girl, behind. He left his sister behind. I realized that the Jack/Claire revelation is way more awesome if it happens to Jack off-island than on-island. Especially because do we really think Jack Shephard would take his sister’s baby and then leave her on the island? Yeah, he wouldn’t. It’s much better this way.

So, yeah, I’d say that’s enough for him to tell Kate he’s done playing house. He loves her and wants to be with her and have a family with her—but a real family, not a fake family full of lies. He’s got to get back to the island, to Claire. Jack wants to reunite the Shephard Family. (PS Jaters, we always knew Kate would end up raising a little Shephard kid, now, didn’t we?) He feels guilty about how things have turned out and he’s wracked with worry about what’s happening on the island.

And he starts doing drugs. And he starts growing a beard. And Kate’s conflicted, y’all, because she knows she shouldn’t really have Aaron, but he’s so cute and he calls her Mommy. Mae and I are really worried for Aaron, because if he goes back to the island and Mama Claire and he’s like three years old...he has a mom already, and her name is Kate. It’ll be like the Baby Jessica story, which was made into an awesome made-for-TV movie like fifteen years ago, where the babydaddy never signed off on the adoption, so Baby Jessica lived with this adoptive family for three years before the biological parents decided they wanted her back. And it’s like...don’t tell me that when you’re three you don’t know who your mom is.

I don’t want Aaron to end up like Baby Jessica, and I don’t want Kate to end up like Roberta "Robby" DeBoer, who cried when she had to give her daughter back to these kind of trailer trashy people.

Mae’s got more about “Something Nice Back Home” and what that might mean for Jack, Kate, and Aaron. Suffice it to say, I think she and I both can pretty much picture Jack having a crap day at the office and coming home to Kate holding Aaron, bouncing him around. He coos his hellos to the both of them, kisses both of them (in two very different ways), and the Skaters make pissed-off comments about Taco Night.

Screw you, TV Guide for giving me too much hope!

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Brothers & Sisters: DNA Drama is Better With a Happy (and Non-Incestuous) Ending

I haven't exactly been mysterious or vague about who my favorite member of the Walker clan is, have I? If you go look at the very few posts that I've ever made about this show, it should be pretty damn obvious that I'm on Team Rebecca and wouldn't hesitate to cut you if you try to bring her down.

Suffice it to say, I'm not too incredibly happy with where the show seems to be headed in terms of Rebecca's story. She isn't an angel and she's definitely made some bad choices en route to becoming an accepted member of the Walker family, but I've always wanted her to get that familial love that she so obviously craves. They've been blatantly hinting at the possibility of a paternity scandal since the moment Ken Olin left his cushy chair behind the camera and stepped into frame as Holly's long-lost ex-boyfriend, David. I've seen it coming for miles, and it finally came to a head in Sunday's return-from-hiatus episode.

Holly unknowingly admitted to Justin (who was hiding in the Pantry of Secrets) that she can't be certain of who Bec's daddy really is - probably William, but still might be David. Sigh. Holly, I swear to God, I want so desperately for you to not be such a sneaky, lying whore. Why do you keep doing this to me? To Rebecca?

Long story short, Justin tells Becca about the paternity issue and he questions her on whether or not she wants to have a DNA test to find out for certain. She says she doesn't - she's afraid to, really. And why shouldn't she be? She's finally got this great family - psychotic and bitter as they may sometimes be - and she finally feels like she's a part of something special; why take a test that could make all of that disappear? I don't think I'd want to, either. But Justin tells her that he'll go with her, and they can do it together so she won't be alone. She agrees, and we're left waiting in limbo for the results of the test they did to come back and set the tone of this show's future.

Set the tone of this show's future? That probably sounds a little heavy to some of you, but to me it really is that serious. Because, to me, I can already sense what path they'd go down if Rebecca turns out to be David's kid instead of William's - the path of a Rebecca/Justin romance. And that's just, ya know, gross. I don't care that they wouldn't be related to one another in any way and therefore are not being incestuous - it's still gross. If you've ever referred to someone as "my sister" or "my brother" and actually meant it literally when you said it, it will never be okay for y'all to hook up.

And it will never be okay for me to watch this show again if they do that.

I'm totally serious, you guys. I will be forced to walk away from this brilliant show that I so desperately love. I don't want to, but I absolutely refuse to watch a story line that is far too soap opera-ish, EVEN FOR ME. And I watch Days of Our Lives, people!

What's more, it just feels like such a cop-out to have Rebecca end up being David's daughter in the end. Emily VanCamp's presence on the show would become virtually unnecessary, because this is a show about the Walkers - if you're not a Walker, married to a Walker, or dating a Walker then you have no place in their world. Look at Joe, for example: he and Sarah got divorced and now the once-constant staple at family dinners who had his own semi-intriguing stories is rarely ever seen at all. If Rebecca's not a Walker, then there's really no point of Rebecca being on the show. I love her, but Brothers and Sisters is about exactly what the title says - it's not about the life and times of a girl who we once thought was a Walker but really she isn't, but we follow her around and update you on her life anyway because she's a cool chick. She is a cool chick, that's for sure, but she's a cool chick who has no place on this show if she's NOT A WALKER ANYMORE.

How stupid would that be, really? On top of making her multi-layered character pointless on this show anymore, taking away her Walker status makes all of the story growth over the past year and a half entirely worthless. They will have, in essence, wasted all of that time having the core Walker clan adjust to Rebecca's presence, deal with their emotions about her, face their anger toward William about his affair with Holly, and eventually all get to a point where Rebecca is now practically considered a full-fledged member of the Walker family - despite passive-aggressive digs from Sarah, Kitty and even Kevin from time to time. What was the freaking point of it all if she's just going to end up being a non-Walker again in the end?


This is why I refuse to believe Ken Olin is stupid enough to go down that road. He may be suffering from a bout of narcissism right now and therefore writing himself into more and more episodes in order to share the screen with his wife, but I still don't think this brilliant man who did such great things on Alias is suddenly mindless enough to undo a year and a half of story progression here. I think it's actually much more interesting to pose the paternity question, let it float out there in the Walker world for a little while, and then have the DNA test show that nothing has changed and William is still her father.

Think about it for a minute, if you will. It seems like such a great story to have Sarah, Kitty, Tommy, Kevin and Nora all figure out that Rebecca had a DNA test because Holly admitted she slept around too much 21 years ago and suddenly those emotionally-stunted Walkers are forced to really re-consider how they feel about Rebecca. It becomes a question of whether or not they want her to end up being a Walker anymore. They've gotten to know her pretty well by now, and she's becoming such a fixture in their family circle - Nora already thinks of her as one of her own. Sarah and Kitty give her shit, but it's becoming the equivalent of your basic sibling rivalry and the way sister's just typically treat each other like crap sometimes. They all had such a hard time coming around to Becca's Walkerhood that it would seem so fitting for them to suddenly realize how much they actually do accept and love her when forced to consider that her Walkerhood may be null and void soon.

I would love to see the Walkers rally around Rebecca in the limbo days of waiting for the test results. It would seem like a full-circle gratification for Rebecca if these people - from whom she's only ever wanted total acceptance - were to tell her that no matter what the results say, she'll always have a place in their family. For her to know that they consider her one of their own, regardless of the obligation of DNA, would be so emotionally fulfilling for this girl. And such a better story, in the end, than stripping her of her Walkerhood altogether. Let them all rally around her, every single one of them anxious about the DNA results because now they've all had epiphanies about wanting her as a sister for real, and then finally the news arrives: Rebecca is, in fact, William Walker's daughter.

It has so much more depth and emotional drama than any story that revolves around her being David's daughter ever could. It would be so fabulous to watch it all play out - the initial reactions of the clan when they find out through the Walker grapevine that Becca may not be one of their own; the incessant brother/sister phone calls venting and talking through their feelings about it all; family discussions around the island in Nora's kitchen as they all realize they're a little sad at the prospect of losing Rebecca; the fabulous moment of Walker redemption when Rebecca finally gets the love and acceptance she's always longed for - and not just because Nora demands it be so, but because they want it that way.

Some people are saying that it's been so obvious that she's David's daughter since day one that it has to end up being that way when the results come in. I say the opposite - it's been so damn obvious since day one of David's story that we were going to have a paternity scandal that it has to end up being a moot point in the end. This should be a story line about emotional growth and familial bonding - not a story line about breaking a young girl's heart yet again. Despite how much she really likes David, I think we all know it would shatter Rebecca to find out the Walker's aren't really her blood. She doesn't deserve to have the rug pulled out from under her like that again, I don't care what kind of shenanigans she's pulled since we met her. No one deserves that much heartbreak.

Plus, I really don't want to have to stop watching this show because of a Justin/Becca romance. Keeping her a Walker will solve that problem before it starts, kthnx.

Gossip Girl: OMFG

Hey there, Upper East Siders. Gossip Girl’s back and ---

Erm. Sorry. Can’t help it.

Yes, Gossip Girl’s baaaaack! Bringing the yogurt, the name-dropping and the panicked phone calls. Oh, the drama. Jenny’s in! Jenny’s out! Jenny’s in again! Blair has to suck it up and be nice! No, wait, she’s a bitch with a plan!

One of the things I like about this show is that it uses standard teen-drama fare, but things don’t necessarily turn out the standard way. It’s something that won my affection with the Serena/Nate/Blair/Dan hotel room kerfuffle in The Wild Brunch and it happened again last night. If this were The OC, Jenny would have managed to sneak that red dress back into Rich Mom’s closet in the nick of time, thanks to Nate or Dan or Eric creating a painfully bad diversion. In GG’s world, Jenny gets busted. And just when you think she’s turned into social roadkill, she turns around and pimps Nate out and --- BOOM. She’s back in the game. It’s twisted and I love it.

New York Magazine has a lengthy cover story this week declaring GG the “Best. Show. Ever.” The cover itself is lame, because the cast-members-in-bed-in-underwear thing has been done to death and because little Taylor Momsen is fourteen frickin’ years old and without her pants. Anyway. The article touches on how the GG kids never really face consequences for their misdeeds, like when Bart saved Serena’s ass by donating money to Constance Billard. And then last night, Jenny stole twice and was facing all kinds of trouble. But once she figured out how to work the situation, she got off scot-free. (And, by the way, why wouldn’t the lady from the dress shop be hunting Jenny down to press charges, when she was so obviously the thief?) So maybe it’s true that these kids get away with everything. In the real world, that’s despicable. But in this fluffy, candy, fantasy world, it’s awesome.

Speaking of inappropriate sexuality, have you seen these OMFG (or OMG) ads for the show? And the clips where The CW has cut together every mention of sex on the show ever and put them on a loop, so someone’s saying “Sexsexsexsexsex?” OMFG, indeed. There’s not that much sex on the show, really. It’s more implied than overt. And yet they’re trying to market GG like it’s The Real World: Las Vegas.

But the inappropriateness surrounding Serena last night was pretty great. Even though you’d have to be living in a cave not to know that those mystery gifts were coming from Georgina Sparks, not Chuck. I never came across Georgina in the books, so I only know what’s been teased in magazines and interviews. Even though it was totally transparent to use Chuck as a red herring, the escalating gifts were a great way to hype up Georgina’s arrival. Can’t you just imagine Serena and Georgina’s coke- and booze-addled sexcapades all over Manhattan? Again, I say… awesome. As much as I was dreading Michelle Trachtenberg joining the show, the next episode looks like an amazing bitch-off and a hearty taste of Serena’s bad-girl days.

That said, I worry for my beloved Dan and Serena. The thing about GG filming on the streets of New York City is that there are always spoilery paparazzi pics coming out. Like the one from the other day where Dan was making out with… Georgina. That is not cool. Dream sequence, please!

Though I suppose if Dan and Serena are going to be New York’s Seth and Summer, we’re going to have to get used to them breaking up every five minutes.

Can this bad girl stay good? Will Queen B ever regain her throne? Will N’s haircut continue to stand in for a personality? Stay tuned. Until next time, XOXO.


Last night I was blogging in class--I know, I'm such a good student--and I saw for like a quick little second on OfficeTally that the site operator updated the spoiler page with the title for the finale, only to remove it, like, seriously minutes later. Last I checked, there weren't any comments about it. But I saw it, and my classmate saw it. (He's an Office fan, too, so I had to point it out.)

It's called "Goodbye, Toby," apparently, according to NBC.

My classmate--you can surmise how interesting our class is based on how much time we spend passing notes about The Office--had what is kind of a funny speculation: that this finale could oddly parallel "Casino Night," with Pam being engaged to Jim (!!) and Toby sadly confessing his feelings for Pam...once. (Classmate: "And then he'll move to Stamford, even though there's not a branch there anymore.")

I think things between Toby and Pam could be brought up before the end of the season, if only to actually reinforce Jam and to give Jim something to feel weird about. If anything, it could remind Pam of "Casino Night" and how beautifully, wonderfully different things are now. I highly doubt that a Toby confession could actually throw Jim and Pam's relationship/engagement/marriage into question, but I suppose we'll see.

Imagine the Michael possibilities for Toby leaving! (Is Michael the reason Toby's leaving??!!) There's a lot of potential here--perhaps Toby's heading to Corporate (he's already technically a Corporate employee anyway) to give a little more weight to the New York office scenes. Will Toby be involved in the spin-off in any way?

There's also a big sigh of relief that it's not Kelly. Gosh, I love Kelly. Who am I kidding--I am Kelly. And for as much as I thought a Jim-gets-a-real-job story would be great character development, I also worried about what that would mean for the Dunder-Mifflin Scranton dynamics.

Okay, naptime!

Jate Daily News: New Sneak Peek Out--And It's Jack/Kate!

Rolled out of bed and came into the living room to check the news. New Lost sneak peeks? YES! Hit play--it's a Jate scene! This required, of course, an emphatic 8 AM fist-pump and a really excited "Score!"

Some thoughts:

Well, that ain't antibiotics. He's a stressed-out guy with a history future of painkiller addiction...I wouldn't be surprised if we're seeing the start of his Oxycodone problem here. I hate it when I doubt Jack Shephard!

I love Concerned!Kate. I'm just so freakin' excited for next week's episode, because with Jack having more serious issues than a "stomach bug," Kate's bound to really turn up the concern. I also love Flirty!Kate, which is kind of what she's being here. It reminds me of the spoon scene from last season.

This is pretty classic Jate. Maybe I've just been watching too much of seasons one and two lately, but it's like (1) Flirty-Flirty, (2) Serious Conversation/Exposition, (3) Flirty-Flirty, (4) Interruption.

It's comforting, really, to see them return to a pattern that feels like normalcy for them. She's not stealing guns off of his person, but they are pulling dead bodies out of the water. It's really one or the other, isn't it?

I'll gladly take any scene of Kate in Jack's tent, too. That's never a bad thing.

As for the other two scenes, they were Barracks scenes and showed everyone freaking out about the invaders, Sawyer getting way too lucky with bullet-dodging, and Claire's house going kablooey. They're linked from the YouTube video and widely available.

We'll be back later today with another Jate Daily News piece including some theories about the flash-forwards. See you then!

ER: Enter Fat Lady. Singing Imminent.

I don’t want to definitively speak for everyone, but I’m pretty sure that the five of us are all members of the I Used to Ship Carter & Abby and Had My Heart Broken by John Wells Club. (It’s a fun club. We meet at Doc Magoo’s. Oh, wait. That burned down, remember? About five minutes before my hopes and dreams.)

So when we read spoilers that said Dr. Kovac was exiting ER stage left, we were, to say the least, stoked. For as much as we’ve hoped and hoped that our OTP would eventually be reunited, we’ve pretty much been living under the feeling that as long as we can’t win, we don’t want them to, either. And we genuinely don’t like Abby with Kovac. We’re not just being bitter. First and foremost, we love Abby Lockhart, and we think she deserves better than a head-basher toolbag who is either thinking about Catholic clergy during sex or telling our heroine how she’s not that pretty and not that special. Excuse us, but we think she IS that pretty and that special.

So then we got word that Noah Wyle was making good on his deal with Warner Bros. to do a handful more episodes of ER—they were supposed to happen this year, but then the strike happened, and, well, you know how that goes. Suddenly, the Carbies were at attention. It was like the freaking barking chain. It doesn't matter how long it's been, we operate perfectly every time. Mae, Sophie, and I were spending way too much time talking about the potentialities associated with a John Carter return, especially one which coincided all-too-nicely with a Goran Visnjic exodus.

Could we win? Five years after “Kisangani,” could we win? Could we literally lose five years of battles and then win the freaking war?

Also, has it seriously been five years since Carter’s first trip to Africa? That terrifies me. I feel so old.

We didn’t want to get our hopes up or anything, but for about a week, there was a lot of cautious optimism. A lot of speculation, a lot of wishing and hoping and you know what would be perfect? And you know what would be perfect? Carter coming back from Africa (is he seriously still over there?) to a newly-single, still-kind-of-broken Abby. And it’s not that she needs fixing, but she could use a friend, she could use John Carter. First for friendship, then for something else. Just like old times.

‘Cause really when you look at it, it’s eerily similar to the positions they were in so many years ago. Post-breakup, trying to stay on the wagon...except now she has a kid and Luka’s for reals gone. So, you know, we’re suddenly building a happy little season fifteen for them, where Carter’s meeting Joe and they’re creating a family and holy crap working together again and getting coffee and pie and finally getting engaged and taking things slowly but ultimately realizing that they’re basically the OTP of this freaking show and have been for the last EIGHT YEARS.

I was already considering the fact that John Wells might actually call me and ask me to appear on the show in my long-awaited role as Carter’s super-awesome niece Caroline (Ha! Get it! That’s my name!) who loves her Uncle John and ultimately sets the tone.

We really wanted that. So when we heard the unspeakable—that Maura Tierney is leaving, too—we were a little inconsolable. I mean, it’s kind of heartbreaking. And, yes, we were exercising cautious optimism, but we had also just been hoping like hell. After the heartbreak wore off (a little), we had a few pretty serious WTFs to ask John Wells.

First of all, what’s the point, really, of having a season fifteen without Maura Tierney? I mean, I know we give her a LOT of credit based on our fangirly obsession with the woman, but she is absolutely the emotional center of the show. Are you really going to try to center a whole year around Taggart and Gates? (Also, now’s a good time to say that I don’t even know what Gates’s first name is. That shows (A) how seldom I watch the show nowadays and (B) how inconsequential John Stamos is to ER in the long run.) Y’all need Maura. Without her, damn, I don’t even know.

Secondly, if Maura’s leaving, then SERIOUSLY what’s the point of having a season fifteen WITH Noah Wyle? Again, we know we place a lot of weight on Carter and Abby together, but the only other person he really knows from back in the day is Pratt, and they didn’t really like each other that much. Remember how awkward it was when Jeanie Boulet came back and didn’t know ANYONE? It negated the awesomeness of her return, quite frankly. And I worry about them negating the absolute awesomeness of Noah Wyle doing anything other than those freaking Librarian movies.

We’re also going to have to concede to the Lubies. It sucks. A lot. But with Maura and Goran leaving at the same time, it seems pretty clear that Abby, Luka, and that dumb baby Joe are going to get to ride off into the sunset together. And then two episodes later, our hero will return to a sadly empty hospital. As a brilliant Carby Board member (Shannon) said a few days ago, “In a way it is kind of has always been about timing."

The hope that has kept the five of us tethered inextricably to ER is pretty much obliterated. What could have been a final season of redemption and Carbitas now seems like it’ll be another example of tragically missed connection and poor timing. And for that I am sad. I literally can’t remember a time when I didn’t want those two to end up together or a time when I didn’t have absolute faith that they would.

My esteemed colleague—and, seriously, one of my best friends in the whole world—Mae Vaughan said something the other day that made me reconsider my Post-Carby Angst. She reminded me that our friendship was built on a foundation of Carby. It’s a friendship that has obviously evolved from that, but we can’t help that the beginnings of our awesomeness are seriously Carter and Abby. So for that, I am grateful. So thanks, ER, for Mae. Thanks for the handful of people who understand the importance of the 2.12-carat Royal Oval Diamond and who remember the day we found out about it and basically keeled over and died. And then called each other and did it all over again.

I’m a big baby for my OTPs, but I’ll take Mae over them any day.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Lost: "Something Nice" in the Jate Daily News

Before I get down to the business of Jate, let me first point out that we've been joking for a while now about how much of a Jate bias we show in our Lost blogging - so much so that we've started referring to this place as The Jate Daily News. Well, today we decided to make it official and literally separate all Jate-only or Jate-heavy blogs from all the general Lost discussion blogs by creating an entirely new archive tag. Jate Daily News is now an official part of this blog - and yes, we're being ironic by calling it "daily" news; not even we can be obsessive enough to find new and interesting blog-length topics about Jate to discuss every single day. However, if you're a Jater and the only reason you visit this blog is to read our thoughts on the beloved pair, we've now made it quite simple for you to find just the blogs you're looking for by clicking on the JDN archive tag. Better yet, bookmark it! We've gone through the archives and co-tagged all the old posts that fit JDN criteria, so take a stroll down memory lane with us as we officially begin this new 'shipper-tastic era of the CiG blog.

(Of course, if you're a Lost fan who comes here to read about Lost and wishes we would shut up about Jate... well, the new JDN tagging system works in your favor as well. For every new blog about Lost, scroll to the end and check it's tagging. If a JDN tag is noticeably absent, you're probably safe. Probably.)

AND NOW! Shall we launch into the first official installment of the Jate Daily News? WE SHALL!

The last time any of us blogged about Jate, it was when I came to discuss Damon's spoiler quote about the "spectacular kiss" and surmised that it's more likely to be a Dope kiss than a much-anticipated Jate kiss. I still believe that to be entirely probable, but at the same time... much has changed and much has come to light in the short time since that blog was written.

Another statement from our mind-twisting Exec. Producers let us know that Jate being a part of the O6 and Sawyer, in turn, not completely hinges on the axis of the Jate/Skate triangle. We Jaters started to feel cautiously optimistic again. At least for me, that little bit of information basically tells me that Kate choosing to leave with Jack (and Sawyer choosing to stay behind/let her go/whatever the case may be) has pretty much everything to do with Kate's romantic loyalties at that moment in time. Clearly, it sure enough has a lot to do with her caretaker status over Aaron as well... but I'm just saying. The Jate spirits were slowly being lifted, and we slowly started to believe again that maybe - just maybe...

And then TMZ caught Josh Holloway at LAX, prompting the trustworthy Dark UFO to reveal in it's spoilers section that Holloway was in Los Angeles to film "top secret" footage for the season finale.

It was like Black Monday, except it wasn't Monday and it felt a lot like a color even worse than black. That tiny bit of optimism that had been slowly building in the hearts and minds and Jaters? Yeah, that shit crashed and burned faster than the Paolo/Nikki plot twist. The only conclusion anyone could come to was that it meant Sawyer was off the island - and in Los Angeles. Which is inconveniently where Kate is also playing house with Aaron. You want to talk about me not being happy? Because, yeah. I'm still on edge about that whole mystery, but I honestly can't even be bothered to think about it. I don't want to. It's giving me an ulcer.

As for Caroline and I, we had both reached a point at which neither of us was going to care. We were ready to give up spoilers and settle into a cynical mindset about Jate where not even seemingly good information could possibly bring us joy. Because the letdown when you're eventually proved wrong... well, that hurts like hell.

Last night, we were comfortably living in our new cynical world. This morning, TV Guide had to go and reconfigure everything we had settled so nicely into believing. In a list of Six Secrets of the Island Revealed, as posted by the aforementioned Dark UFO, one specific list number turned the cynical Jate world upside down:

4) TV Guide caught a scene shot for the May 1 episode in which Jack collapses, unconscious, on the beach. Expect Juliet to take charge and perform emergency surgery. "Get to go into Jack's guts!" says a gleeful Mitchell, who adds, "After reading this episode, I realized that Juliet really does truly love him." Even so, Jack's flash-forward revolves around Kate. We're sworn to secrecy but will let slip that fans of "Jate" are in for a long-awaited happy twist of events.

Even now, I can hardly contain myself. I CAN HARDLY CONTAIN MYSELF.

Now, I hang out over at the Forums and thus have been discussing this with them/reading their thoughts all day. That said, much credit is given to the brilliant minds on that site for some of what's about to be said. The rest of the credit is given to me and Caroline though, since we (of course) immediately conversed and squee'd and traded ideas.

The thing of it is, it doesn't necessarily seem squee-worthy on it's own to simply know that Jack's FF revolves around Kate and we'll be getting something "long-awaited" that promises to make us happy. However, there is so much implied about this episode already. The title of the May 1st episode that TV Guide speaks of is "Something Nice Back Home" - ever since we found out this was a Jack-centric episode with a title like that, Jaters have somewhat jokingly tossed around the idea that Jack's "something nice" waiting at home is, in actuality, Kate. It used to just be a fun speculation. It used to just be a joke. Now it actually seems pretty damn plausible.

So plausible, in fact, that most of us are skipping over the "kiss" conclusion for the "happy twist of events" and jumping right into the conclusion pool of "sex." Are we probably jumping the gun and taking it a little too far? Maybe. But that doesn't make it any less possible. The implication of the title, along with the statement that Jack's FF revolves around Kate, almost leads me to believe that they're a steadfast couple by some point in this episode - perhaps even that they're actually living together, playing house with Aaron. We don't know yet what causes Jack to pull away from Aaron - it could be anything, and it could happen at any time. There's nothing that says yet that Jack can't be totally content in his uncle/surrogate-daddy role for a while before whatever it is takes place and throws him for a loop.

It does make me wonder, when looking back on "Eggtown," why the scene in the courtroom played out as it did with regard to asking Jack whether or not he loves Kate. What I mean is, they're supposed to be world-famous celebrities. You'd think everyone would know if two members of the Oceanic 6 were shacking up together and raising a third O6'er in their little post-island family world. But then that simply makes me think about how vague everything in the "Eggtown" FF actually was - the prosecutor simply asked if Jack loves Kate... one could surmise that she'd have no reason to even ask such a question had those two not been publicly linked romantically after their rescue. Do you see what I'm saying? Not to mention that the identity of who Kate claims to be Aaron's father is notably ignored, I'd think entirely on purpose. I mean, sure they were ignoring it because we were all supposed to think it was Sawyer's kid up until the shocking reveal of it being Aaron... but it still makes me wonder who Kate names as Aaron's father once they arrive back in the States. Anyone who'd believe two brunettes can produce a blond-headed moppet clearly didn't pay attention in high school biology class, but that's beside the point here. The point is - I know, finally, right? - "Eggtown" actually left plenty of loopholes that can easily be filled in by Jack and Kate living in couple-hood for however long they're off the island before Jack completely pulls away from Aaron and consequently loses Kate, too.

I mentioned this on the forum and I'm going to say it again, mainly because I don't doubt that someone will likely try to discredit me by reminding us all that "Something Nice Back Home" involves a Jack FF where they're all at Christian Shephard's funeral - not too long after arriving home from the island, it would appear. I, personally, think this episode is going to be one in which the FF's take place over several months - if not years. We've been told that we will absolutely see how Jack ends up at the rock-bottom point he was in during "Through the Looking Glass," and I don't see how that's going to be accomplished if we're focusing his entire FF on the timeline around Christian's funeral. To me, we have to jump ahead a bit. Or a lot. Establish character status with the funeral FF, and then start jumping forward - Jack's life a few weeks after that, and a few months after that, and so on and so forth. We need to see the progression... which will also provide the opportunity to see the progression of the Jate relationship! Who knows, they could already be coupled-up by the time Christian's funeral rolls around. As Caroline astutely pointed out, it's not like the funeral could be taking place immediately after they get off the island - Kate kind of has to get arrested and arraigned first if she's going to be present at said memorial service, as we already know she is thanks to on-set photos.

So the basic gist of our current Jate situation is that it's looking hopeful, however naive we may be for choosing to believe so. For some reason, I just can't ignore the squee-worthy feeling that came upon me when I read about this "long-awaited happy twist of events" and there is no denying that my cynicism is fading fast. We still probably aren't getting a "spectacular" Jate kiss in the finale, and that pesky problem of Sawyer turning up in LA still looms darkly in our future, but I'm not going to let any of that overshadow the fabulousness that seems to await us in Episode 10.

It's like I reminded Caroline last night: Darlton promised that the "Because I love you" would be addressed, and that it would be addressed many times. The vague references to it in "Eggtown" do not a "many times" make, and therefore I'm still waiting with bated breath for it to be discussed in unveiled conversation. Hopefully we have that to look forward to, as well, in all of this happy Jateness.

Be it a kiss, sex, couplehood, or even playing house - whatever the case may be, large or small, we're due some happy Jate moments. And we're definitely due some happy Jate hope. I'm not ready to give up on them yet, so I'm ready and willing to take whatever squee-inducing moments I can get.

Friday, April 18, 2008

The Office: Waiting For It to Kick My Ass

I don't know what it is about my desire to be spoiled, but there it is. I hate not having the most up-to-date information about everything, which has influenced me to read spoilers, buy an iPod Touch, and stay whoa current on all celebrity news. So last night, when I went for pre-rehearsal drinks with some friends and (voluntarily) missed The Office, I felt quite stressed showing up to a rehearsal where a handful of people knew what happened...and I didn't. One friend refused to tell me, even though he'd seen it--so I knew it was good. Called Deborah in Ohio; she hadn't seen it, but heard amazing things. (Note to self: call her back.) I left an embarrassing, half-drunk voicemail on another friend's phone. And then I broke down and called my mom, who I knew would understand. Of course she understood; the woman lived through ER season nine in the Carter house.

She spilled everything (Thanks, Mom!), and as soon as she said, "Jim goes into the little room where they do the thing," I interjected, "...and he had a ring already." What a sweet moment that was! Jim's a dude who knows what he wants, no? A week after they started dating!!?! Very sweet. I love thinking about him doing that--love it.

When people find out about my spoiler obsession--or witness anything akin to the near-meltdown I had last night--they always ask if it ruins the episode. And, yeah, it kind of does. It ruins the surprise, sure. But it doesn't make me love it any less. And no matter what my mom or spoiler websites say, nothing's going to live up to being able to see their faces. I was one of those assholes who knew the ending of "Through the Looking Glass," and do you think I was less blown away by the episode? I haven't seen them in a while, but when I watched Alias back in the day, I used to read wildfeed recaps, which spoils the episode often with mere hours before airtime.

Nothing could have ruined Jim's preciousness in that episode.

Now, having seen the episode in its entirety, having rewatched those two specific uber-presh scenes a handful of times, and having read some teasers for upcoming episodes, I now find myself sitting here waiting for the other shoe to drop. Call me pessimistic, but I've been a victim of eerily similar ploys masterminded by JJ Abrams, Jack Orman, and the like. Sydney and Vaughn teetered on the edge of getting engaged, only to have Sydney get abducted by the Covenant (Santa Barbara, take one) and then Vaughn turn out to be maybe-evil and crash the car (Santa, Barbara, take two). Carter proposed to Abby (he says badly, I say beautifully), and then got spooked and never presented her with the ring. I've been here before.

So I'm sitting here, thinking about PB&J and wondering what's going to go wrong for them. Judging by some of Pam's faces last night, we might think she'd say no to Jim's proposal...but some of her other faces suggest otherwise. But how could she say no to Jim? She loves him, clearly, and I think she understands now just how lucky they are to have found each other. And, yeah, Pam's been through the engagement ringer (oh, puns), but she of all people recognizes and appreciates the innate differences between Jim and Roy. Just the fact that Jim is so sure in his love for her--that he purchased a simple-but-pretty ring for her after a week--speaks volumes. Y'all, in "Fun Run," when the cameras caught Jim and Pam kissing hello in the car, he already had a ring!

I feel a prediction coming on. I think Jim will propose to Pam and it will be spectacular. Perhaps up on the Dunder-Mifflin roof, perhaps at dinner, I don't know. But I'm sure it will kick Pam's ass and probably mine, too. Pam wants to say yes--she really does--but she's having misgivings, especially when she thinks about how poorly her last engagement turned out. Jim gets a little miffed because, as I said, he doesn't (and shouldn't) appreciate being compared to Fiance #1, who was kind of a toolbag. Pam eventually fesses up to the fact that she's kind of terrified of engagement ruining their relationship. And she doesn't want a big wedding--she already tried that. And she doesn't want a long engagement--she already tried that. So Pam tells Jim she'll only marry him if they can get married RIGHT NOW. [Jim: "Wha?" Pam: "Did I stutter?"] And, I mean, Jim Halpert is a man of tradition. He wants a church wedding with his parents there and his brother there and, for crying out loud, Michael Scott there. He wants that for them, but I think at the end of the day, he's going to do whatever it takes to make Pam his wife. And if she says let's drive to Atlantic City, Jim's going to gas-and-go.

This blog will be along for the ride, that's for sure.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Lost: We've Got Questions, You've Got Answers

First of all, this blog is coming atcha from a classroom. Could I be more of a senior?

As the season arrives at a point, Mae and I have been talking lately about the mysteries of Lost. What with the strike and everything—plus the whole starting in January thing—this season of Lost hasn’t really followed a traditional sweeps pattern. We’ve gotten a lot of answers, a lot more questions, and we’re reaching a point where both of us JUST WANT ANSWERS.

Last night on the phone, Mae said to me, “I don’t want to live in a world without Lost, but sometimes I just want it to be over.”

It was so true.

So as we get to the exciting part of the season, we wanted to put some questions out there—questions to which we want answers. These are particularly related to season four, part of a longer list of questions we have for JJ and crew. We want to see these questions answered in 2008.

1. How is Aaron with Kate? We have information about what looks like a Claire-centric episode. The producers also said that of the last three episodes, only one is a flashback, and that should be the Locke-centric episode directly preceding this Claire outing. So Claire’s episode should then be a flashforward, which is fine and super-intriguing, especially because it includes Australians. Which leads me to two incredibly important points: if Claire in the future is in Australia, then why is she not (A) with Aaron and (B) the Oceanic seventh?

Are we going to eventually see a Claire/Aaron reunion? ‘Cause, folks, that’d be hella awkward. It’d be a little Walt/Michael circa season one, except that Kate (AKA Mom) will likely be around...very high awkward potential.

There’s a spoiler out there that says in a future episode, we see Sawyer, Claire, and Aaron making their way back to the beach. Could they be defectors from Team Locke? The spoiler also said that something goes wrong on the trek. Maybe this is how Claire and Aaron get separated. And how Sawyer dies.

2. Why is it so hard to find the island? Desmond and Sayid are out of the island’s logistical perimeter, aren’t they? We’ve been told that the freighters aren’t the rescuers, so our brains are jumping to one Penelope Widmore. She’s out for Desmond, so I’d chance to believe that she’ll find the freighter first—and would have to be led to the island to save the others. She knows Desmond’s on a boat—she’s looking for a boat. So I want these guys to spell out the how and why of getting to the island. I think we will, because of this quote from Damon Lindelof: "This year's finale will sum up exactly how difficult it may be to [journey back to the island]." And what is the barrier? Is there, like, a manmade barrier between the island and the real world, constructed by the Others or the Hostiles or DHARMA or whatever? And the barrier turns off sometimes, like on September 22, 2004 and the day the hatch imploded?

3. Who’s in the coffin? I mean, I can sit here and throw out about a million ideas: Claire, Ben, Sayid, Michael, Christian, Walt, Sawyer. But does that get us anywhere? Doubtful, because I don’t have a good theory as to who’s actually in there. The bigger question, I guess, is why Kate reacted so viscerally to the funeral in “Through the Looking Glass.” It seems to me like someone she and Jack mutually didn’t like—apparently, no one really liked him or her, as the funeral was empty—but her face seemed to show such a strong distaste.

4. Where do Juliet’s loyalties lie? We think she pretty much works for herself. She wants off the island, and the Losties seem like her best chance of making it back to Miami. (We like this theory because it might mean she sees Jack as just a convenience, not a love interest.) Since Juliet is one of our favorite love-to-hate characters on television right now, we’re hoping she goes down in a blaze of shame or glory. As we’ve said before, we want to see Juliet either turn out to be a traitorous whore (the Lauren Reed path) or sacrifice herself for the good of the larger community (the Diana Fowley path). Ultimately, we could see this happening this season if, perhaps, Juliet sacrifices her own chances of escaping the island in favor of Sun, her patient, getting off the island. (Although, we’d have to ask—wouldn’t Jack do the same thing?)

5. Is Christian Shephard alive? When Jack kept going on and on about finding his dad at St. Sebastian’s in “Through the Looking Glass,” Mae and I immediately wrote it off as the musings of a severely drugged and depressed guy. Mae’s mom, however, demanded that Christian Shephard is actually alive. Could it be that, just as the island cured Jin’s infertility, Rose’s cancer, and Locke’s paralysis, it “cured” Christian Shephard’s death? Seems unlikely, sure, because we’re existing under the assumption that were Locke to return to the real world, he’d have to break out the wheelchair, so if we follow this model, wouldn’t Christian return to death in the real world even if he is alive on the island? I could see the elder Dr. Shephard as having something to do with the “Frozen Donkey Wheel,” for sure, as he’s related not only to our much-beloved hero, but also to Claire, Aaron, and to Jacob.

6. What in the hell is Jacob? Yeah, speaking of that guy, WTF? I don’t even have a theory on Jacob. A lot of the mysteries of Lost have thus far been explained by logic and science (electromagnetic forces, e.g.), but Jacob and his cabin are just a complete mindf*ck to me. Ben, Hurley, and Locke can see it—are they the only ones? The third episode back is called “Cabin Fever,” so I’d venture to say we might be getting some answers about (or at least a better look at) the mysteries in that little shanty. I want to know just how much Jacob “controls”—is it just that he influences Ben, or is there more to it? Is Jacob associated with the whispers? With the castaways’ visions of Walt or Ana-Lucia or Libby or Christian Shephard? With the monster?

7. Time travel—WTF? Again, I wish I had something to say about time travel, but I don’t. Just give me answers, people. I have a feeling that no matter what they say, to understand this time travel business I’d need Damon Lindelof to sit me down and personally explain it to me, using flowcharts and visual aids and probably some mathematic equations. Literally, just have Daniel Faraday sit on a bench, look into the camera, and explain it to me.

8. Why doesn’t Richard Alpert age? I’ll take some more information about the Hostiles, please. As I understand it, Ben allied with the Hostiles to organize and execute the Purge of the DHARMA Initiative to become what we now know as the Others. It begs the question...are there more Hostiles out there that didn’t join Team Ben and Richard? Maybe those people have become so evolved with the island that they’ve become like the monster in the episode of The X-Files where Mulder and Scully get lost in the woods (“Detour”). Maybe they’re the whispers! Either way, I want to know what the deal is with Richard Alpert and his inability to get old. Does the island cure aging, too?

9. What happened to Annie? This is Mae’s favorite question; I’m a little eh on it. But Annie, the little DHARMA girl who was Ben’s childhood sweetheart, seems to have had a huge effect on the boy who’d grow up to be Chief Other. Did she die in the Purge? Could she have died in childbirth with Ben’s baby? (And he was so distraught he decided to steal himself one?) I’d be willing to bet that when Harper (therapist to the Others) told Juliet, “You look just like her,” she was referring to Annie.

10. When are Jack and Claire going to find out they’re related? Both Jack and Claire have upcoming centric episodes, so I’m hopeful that we’re going to get this moment pretty soon. How might this affect Aaron’s future? A while ago, I specced that perhaps Claire knowingly puts Aaron on the rescue boat with his uncle, not just with Jack. Also, if Jack knows just how he is connected to Claire, it could fuel his post-island guilt—although I don’t understand why my Jack Shephard wouldn’t work through his shit to honor his responsibility to his sister’s baby and his father’s grandson.

Is that too much to ask? I mean, there are some pretty big reveals involved in answering these questions, but I think I’m being more than reasonable. I can hold off on learning more about the monster, the four-toed statue, and what happens to Sawyer until next season. These ten questions can be answered to some degree in these last five episodes, especially now that you’ve gotten your extra hour.

The Office: Hand!Watch 2008 Commences, This Blog is Officially on the Edge of Its Seat

Everyone in the Office fandom has gone insane. Including myself.

We have officially initiated Hand!Watch 2008 and will be on constant lookout for a Jam engagement until the season ends. Yes, the producers and cast members have succeeded in ramping our excitement up to a fever pitch. I posted last week about some quotes and news items floating around hinting at the possibility of an Office proposal, but in the last few days the scintillating teases have been out of control.

Jenna Fischer is the queen of misdirection (remember the cropped photo fiasco of summer 2006?), and she's incredibly good at getting the fans ears to perk up. I can't remember where I saw or read it (I think OfficeTally), but she said she recalled being told that, due to lack of time, there wasn't going to be much Jim/Pam for the back half of the season, only to be surprised to read the second script and find out something huge about Pam.

So here are the questions I have and the answers I propose.

1. We're supposed to find out what this quirk about Pam is. It's new and big and something we've never known before. (That's what she said.) Jenna says, "Michael and everybody have a good time with that, teasing her about it." Speculation has been incredibly varied, although I think my favorite idea is that Pam might have a speech impediment, making "Did I Stutter?" of particular interest. I think it could be something as simple as Pam wearing glasses. As a proud glasses-wearer myself, I can't imagine why she'd get teased about it at work. I hope it's more interesting than that, though. (Pam Sparkles, anyone?)

2. The quirk supposedly arises after Pam spends the night at Jim's. NBC says of the next morning that an "unexpected inconvenience" arises. We all know what usually happens when unexpected inconveniences arise after spending the night away from home. It's like a walk of shame plus an eight-hour workday. Oh my gosh, y'all, I saw the most egregious walk of shame EVER the other day. I almost offered this girl my coat. Anyway, you spend the night unexpectedly at your boyfriend's, you have to wear the same clothes, maybe you pull a Donna Moss and leave your panties in full view of the room, maybe you have to share a toothbrush, maybe you don't have contact solution so you have to toss your lenses and wear your glasses...maybe you start thinking it would just be easier to live together. I like this idea. A Jim/Pam move-in could be the stepping stone between dating and engagement. It would show them moving in the right direction without actually putting the ring on Pam's finger, which might seem a little quick.

3. Somebody's leaving Dunder-Mifflin. (Not necessarily the show.) Jenna says it's not Pam or Michael. Frankly, I'd like to see it be Jim. I'm still going to need my Jim fix (duh), but it's time for one or both of them (them being Jim and Pam) to take a leap. Others think it might be Phyllis. A bright yellow line from Ryan to Stanley on Dwight's hilarious office responsibility flowchart might indicate that Mr. Hudson is leaving Scranton. As long as it's not Kelly, and as long as whoever leaves stays on the show, I'll be fine.

Now let's rehash a little. I was, frankly, disappointed in "Dinner Party." Granted, my hopes were up very high and it was the first episode back post-strike, but I just...I wasn't as blown away with the hilarity as I expected to be. I think an OfficeTally commenter said it best when they likened the episode more to Curb Your Enthusiasm than to the traditional style of The Office. It was mostly just hella awkward, which is why I really hated, say, "Gay Witch Hunt." The Jim/Pam stuff was very sweet; though some people were concerned about Jim's every-man-for-himself approach to escaping the party, I would never believe that he would totally ditch Pam. We all know that when it comes to his relationship with Pam, Jim is all about live together, die alone.

Is Jan going to be gone from the show now? Or will she continue to wreak havoc on Michael's (and, subsequently, everyone's) lives? I have come to really appreciate Jan's ridiculousness--and what's not to love about Melora Hardin? I was pretty absent from the last few years of Gilmore Girls, but I was just tickled to do some research on Leigh's latest blog and find that Lorelai's impromptu therapist was none other than Jan Levinson!

So John Krasinski says big things are afoot this Thursday, I'm remaining cautiously optimistic. Fingers crossed, though!

When the the answer. Seriously?

Spoiler alert.

Turn around now if you don't want to be spoiled.

Ok – you’ve been warned.

Every once in a while you hear a spoiler that makes you have one of those “I should have had a V8” moments. You end up smacking your forehead thinking, “how did I NOT think of that?” Sure, I can blame it on speculation cobwebs that have formed due to the strike. Then I remember this is Grey’s Anatomy we are talking about and this feeling is not uncommon. But, I digress…

Meredith is seeing a shrink.

*Donk* Why did I think of that? Oh I know why. It was just too obvious. When speculating about television, you never go with the obvious. Generally because the obvious is too predictable and that’s just no fun. What would television be without the agony and frustration of wondering just what those writers are smoking and how they are gonna get out of their current mess?

We’ve all known from the very beginning that Meredith was in need of some help but my brain never went to “maybe they will have her see a therapist”. If any of you out there said it? Please choose an item from the gift basket on your way out. Honestly, I can’t think of anyone else on tv who could use a shrink more than our own dark and twisty Meredith. Fear of abandonment, fear of commitment, mommy issues, daddy issues, sibling issues…fun, huh? If that described the personality of anyone in my life, psychiatric help would be something I would suggest on a daily basis.

Somehow it’s just more fun to see our beloved characters get the booty kicking they need on their own, rather than hearing it from a trained professional. This usually comes in the form of some sort of eye opening event. Meredith has almost died – twice. If that didn’t make her completely change her ways – I’m thinking a shrink might be the only way to do it.

I personally don’t need to see a therapist run down the laundry list of issues she has. I already know. Meredith already knows. I’m sure everyone at Seattle Grace knows. What she does need is for someone to call her out on her crap and make her see that without making some permanent changes, her life will continue on this vicious cycle and the fans will decide ripping out chunks of hair each week is no longer worth it and they too will walk away. If that’s what Shonda has in store. Bring it on.

Shrinks can also open the doors nice and wide for fabulous quotes that are instantly immortalized in thousands of away messages. Who out there remembers Sydney’s “Have you ever felt that someone was your soul mate?” or Lorelai’s “I don’t think I ever really loved anyone…until Luke.” Tell me you didn’t use those once or twice. Since we heard that this is a catalyst for a Mer/Der end of season reunion, I will be anxiously awaiting Meredith’s couch time. I bet Freud wishes he could be around for this too. Roll on over, man. This is gonna be good.

All of the recent spoilers got me thinking…if a Mer/Der “together for good” reunion was not the original plan for the end of the season…what in the world did Shonda have planned and what made her change her mind? During her time off, did she catch the reruns on ABC or Lifetime? Did she take the Grey’s refresher course? Did she finally see the frustrations of millions of Mer/Der fans and decide that enough was enough? I’m still finding confetti from my “YAY the strike is over” party but do we possibly have something to thank the writers for? Have there ever been so many questions in one paragraph?

One thing is for certain. I would not have been able to handle yet another angst ridden summer wondering if Mer/Der were going to make it. The biggest questions I have now are how are they going to fix it and how will this shrink get us there? Thousands of ways to choose from…but only a select few will work.

Meredith? The doctor will see you now.