Thursday, April 30, 2009

Lost: Hope vs Logic

It started in season one, in season two they called it man of science versus man of faith. The battle depends upon this idea that if you just followed the logical path, you would logically be rewarded versus the idea that if you believed in the island, you would somehow be rewarded. Neither is completely right and neither is completely wrong, it's just another study in finding a balance, a common ground, a compromise that satisfies the realities of the mind and the whims of the heart.

It started with Jack versus Locke. Jack being a scientist – a spinal surgeon – who has lived his life by the rules of the world, knowing that if he just followed what he KNEW was right, everything would be fine; Locke being a paper shuffler – who longs to become a hunter – who has lived his life by the hope in his heart that if he does what he FEELS is right, everything will work out.

On the island they've clashed for years, the eventual outcome having Locke martyred for his beliefs and Jack, destroyed by the results of his logic, taking on Locke's position, becoming a believer of faith and destiny.

Now on the island, stuck in 1977, Jack is complacent to believe that if he waits for some sign, if he just follows his heart and does what the island wants, he will be fulfilling his destiny and then another scientist comes along to inform him that not only is he wrong about the ideas of destiny and faith, but he's only doing more damage than good in following the ideology that has brought him back to this place.

Daniel knows a thing or two about complacency and following the instructions of others with the hopes that what they are asking him to do is right. His mother, Eloise Hawking, has been guiding him his whole life towards a destiny of mathematics and quantum physics that will lead him to be an expert on the properties of the Island. In that way he will be ready to be chosen by Charles Widmore to be on the freighter to return to the island, only to end up with the group of those left behind by the Oceanic 6 where he will travel back in time to 1977.

These travels inevitably lead to his death, at the hand of his mother; the mother who knew all the while she was leading her son to his death. The irony is that the proof of Daniel's pre-existing theory that 'whatever happened, happened' exists in the pursuit of his current theory of 'variables' being able to alter the past (and, in essence, the future) because it's this change he's trying to exact when he meets his maker.

What happens beyond this season is, as Eloise tells Penny, unknown, but as for the rest of this season, it's Daniel's change of heart that will lead Jack on one path and Kate on another and they become the constants around which the season's story will conclude: Jack riding on faith that he can change the course of history; Kate insisting on the logic that they cannot.

Jack has high hopes that if they change the past, then the hatch is never built and there's no button for Desmond to forget to press, so their plane will never crash. Kate brings up the 'Terminator' argument, if they change that past and never crash, they'll never be put on the course that brings them to this point where they want to change that past. Well, maybe she said something more like, "Whu, that makes no sense," but maybe next week she'll bring it up.

So they can either stick to the 'whatever happened, happened' theory, having everything Jack and Kate do from here on out only put into motion the events that lead to their plane crashing in 2004, or go with Daniel's new theory that variables can change an established past… and create a parallel timeline. But it would only be interesting if now, suddenly, there were doppelgangers of all characters on the island who now exist on the island as the characters they've evolved into through the stories WE'VE seen and also characters off the island who have become the characters they might have been if they hadn't crashed.

Would Claire have given Aaron up? Would she have found out about Jack? Would Kate have been arrested and put in the slammer for good? Would Sayid find Nadia in Los Angeles? Locke still be wheelchair bound, waiting for his Walkabout? Would Danielle and her crew ever have been 'summoned' by the island? Would Hurley have never heard the numbers that won him the lottery? Charlie, Libby, Ana Lucia, Eko, Michael… Boone and Shannon – still alive?

It would be curious to see just how they would handle those situations, how they would explain to these characters that now they Can NOT leave the island because if they ran into themselves, time-space might unravel and collapse upon itself. It would be curious to know how much would remain unchanged, or 'course-corrected". And also how the audience will survive the eight month hiatus after getting a glimpse into the answers.

Bones: Promo Predix for Tomorrow

I just watched tomorrow's episode of Bones, and I gotta say...the thing I was most excited for has yet to be seen--the promo for "Critic in the Cabernet," which will air after "Beaver in the Otter" tomorrow night.

I predict it will go something like this:

Announcer: "Next Thursday on an all new BONES, Bones has a SHOCKING request for Booth:"

Brennan: "I'd like you to give me your sperm."

Booth: "Wha?" [Epic face.]

Announcer: "But when Booth starts having some UNUSUAL visions--"

Stewie Griffin: "Go to her and make a direct deposit."

Announcer: "--It may not be a baby they're making, but a SHOCKING DISCOVERY that could change their lives FOREVER." [Over images of Brennan holding case babies, Booth smiling in adoration.]

[Image of Booth fainting.]

"Family Guy's Stewie Griffin APPEARS on an all-new Bones."

Stewie: "Good man, Boothie."

Okay, I'll take that job in the promo department now. ;)

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Chuck: Chuck versus the Network Renewal

Over the past few weeks, online fandom has slowly come around to the realization that Chuck MIGHT be on the verge of cancellation. Campaigns of renewal have been launched; the most creative include sending in boxes of Nerds candies, and buying Subs from Subways while writing "SAVE CHUCK" on a comment card.

I'm sure it wasn't lost on anyone that when you went to the Official Chuck site, where it lists what's coming up next for this Monday's Finale, it said "Series Finale". I'm sure it also wasn't lost on anyone that on the same page, on the rotating dial of features, it depicted Ellie and Devon with the words "…Season Finale".

If it's your intention to send online fandom into a frenzy, that's a pretty good way to do it.

In the midst of cancellation fears, having one of the best finales is a pretty good way to do it as well.
In an interview with the NY Times before the finale, head honcho Josh Schwartz was quoted as saying, "If, in two weeks, that is the last episode of the show to ever air, it will be one of the least satisfying finales of all time. Chris Fedak, the guy who created the show, said people will set their living rooms on fire." So I will freely admit that I watched the first half an hour basically… for lack of a more professional term... freaking the hell out.

The culmination of a year's worth of planning, Ellie's first wedding was set to go off without a hitch, except that the head of Fulcrum, Ted Roark, survived the previous week's attack and supplanted his men at the reception party location (adjacent to the church) and offered Chuck an ultimatum: the Intersect for your sister's life. Chuck sets his friend Morgan to "stall" the wedding while he heads off to retrieve the Intersect and contact Casey for backup.

The resulting shoot-out is nothing short of spectacular with Sarah digging through wedding presents for weapons a-la-Lara Croft and finding knives; Chuck and Bryce returning with ammo to back her up; and Casey diverting a covert operation with a plane load of soldiers to smash through skylights. All this set to Mr Robato, played with nerdy gusto by Chuck's Buymore buds Jeff and Lester, better known as 'Jeffster', who end their performance with fireworks that set off the fire alarm and soak all the wedding guests. And one very distraught bride-to-be.

The second half (yeah, all that, just the first half) has Chuck scrambling to use all available help (including Casey and his men) and the generous payback from the government for his services to plan a second wedding for Ellie. The one she wanted in the first place: a small wedding on the beach. And yeah, I kept expecting SOMEONE to get shot because… we're only thirty minutes in and I'm not quite ready to set my living room ablaze.

Turns out Sarah, who was supposed to join Bryce on a new Intersect project, has decided NOT to go, but instead stay with Chuck and this family of misfits she's been adopted into. Oh, and one of Casey's men is a bad guy. But he's not Fulcrum. After killing Ted Roark and three of Casey's men, he reveals he's something entirely different… what? Who knows, that's for next season to disclose.

And, in what seals Chuck's fate, he chooses to go with Sarah and Casey to rescue the intersect from falling into the wrong hands (because guess what, Chuck's dad put a rudimentary intersect into his own mind and he could warn Sarah and Chuck that the man who'd come to pick up Bryce for Intersect implantation was SUPPOSED to be dead.) At the secret location Bryce locks himself in with the Intersect and as Casey and Sarah fight against these new bad guys, they send Chuck for help.

They might as well have asked him to stay in the car.

Using the nifty Quarterback Cheat Sheet computer his father gave him, Chuck finds a way into the Intersect room and finds Bryce near death. Handing him a bloody monstrous computer chip thingy, Bryce tells Chuck it will destroy the Intersect, and then passes away. (My living room is NOT on fire because killing Bryce is like killing Sawyer… there might be a tear, but as long as Jack and Kate are still chugging along, it's all good.)

Chuck moves to destroy the Intersect, but he understands that not only is this his father's life's work, but this is also a very important mother load of information that just should NOT go to waste. And, with two years worth of assurances and encouragement stored up in his memories, he CHOOSES to become home to the Intersect once more before destroying the computer for good, even though, only hours earlier, he lamented that this was the very thing that had destroyed his life.

But this Intersect has some very bad-ass upgrades. Once the Baddies of Unknown Origin have captured Casey and Sarah and broken back into the room, Chuck gets a new flash (which Sarah announces louder than a fart in church), but this flash of information doesn't tell him who these people are, just how to defeat them, leaving Chuck staring at an awestruck Sarah and Casey before declaring, Neo/Matrix style, "Guys? I know Kung Fu."

In Sci Fi Wire, Schwartz is quoted on the finale as saying, "It will end in a way that's going to launch the show into season three with a real—it's a game-changer. I think that it'll be immensely satisfying in its own right, but it also really, really launches the show in a way that, you know, we're already breaking season three stories and can't wait to start telling them."

He has become Agent Charles Carmichael with all the bells and whistles an agent could wish for. Most importantly, he's a spy by choice; the past two years have given him the confidence to become that, and this changes the entire show. Now he doesn't HAVE to stay in the car, now he can work as Sarah and Casey's equal while injecting his Chuckism onto the cases. He can be taken further into the fold, come up with a cover that allows for travel (government analyst, like the General suggested?) The basis of their storytelling has expanded to a point where, like Sarah told Chuck, they can do anything.

And that, my friends, is why I might consider setting an ABC Exec's office ablaze should they choose to wuss out on a show that has been continually entertaining while staying true to its characters – that's something of an anomaly on television these days – in order to dish out some more cookie cutter crap. Now if you'll excuse me, I have to go find some Nerds and eat some Subways.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

What's The Deal With Spoons?

No, seriously. What's so sexy about spoons?

I don't know, but you might ask the folks under the cut--


In one of her few openly flirty moments with Jack, Kate cleans off a spoon WITH HER MOUTH for Jack. Moments later, Kate makes a terrible decision; Evangeline Lilly throws script to the floor and spits on it.

Sydney and Vaughn from Alias share ice cream after a particularly tough case. In this closing scene, set to Aretha Franklin's "You're All I Need to Get By," the partners talk about how they can't make decisions based on just themselves anymore--they have to consider each other. Very sweet.

And, finally, the most recent joiners of the Sexy Spoon Club, it's Booth and Brennan, complete with airplane noises. Holy God.

So, is it just the feeding each other thing that's sexy? Something oddly seductive about the shape of a spoon? Do I just have a dirty mind?

Let me know if you have any other shippy scenes involving silverware.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Bones: Finale Spoiler Roundup!

By now, my beliefs about the finale are pretty much set. Hell, my beliefs about the season five finale are pretty much set. There are a couple things we know for certain, things that have been shoved down our throats since, oh, I don't know, last summer.

As we careen toward the season finale (less than three weeks now!), I'm going to check in a couple of times to keep the blog up to speed with the newest rumors and spoilers. I highly doubt my ultimate speculation will change, but the details are definitely up for grabs, and I'm going to let the cast and crew fill in the holes as we get closer and closer.

Here's the new information that's come out since we last talked about the finale.

1. We got spoiler photos for "Critic in the Cabernet." While the pictures themselves are killing me, it's the captions that are really telling. In the second photo, the caption reads "Booth (David Boreanaz, R) asks Brennan (Emily Deschanel, L) to be in the operating room with him during surgery." And then, obviously, in the third picture, she's in scrubs, assumedly going into surgery with him.

What this means: A couple things. First, that a lot of the hospital stuff happens in "Critic." After reading the sides, it sure seemed like it was going to end with Booth passing out in the hallway. Now, we can see we're going to get a diagnosis and at least up to Booth going under in this episode. In my opinion, the most important implication of this is that they can "tie up" the baby story within "Critic." There's almost definitely going to be a scene--probably the one where she's in the scrubs--where they have their last conscious moment together before he goes to surgery. He's gonna want to clear a few things up with her, you know, just in case. Whether this is

(A) "Please use my sperm and have our baby if I die,"
(B) "I always imagined the next kid I had would be with the woman I was going to spend the rest of my life with." "I understand." "Do you?",
(C) "I love you," or
(D) Some combination of the above,

I don't particularly care, because it'll be angsty and delicious. And then they tie up the baby story, you think it's over. Well, you won't think it's over, because you're smart. You know that a week later, they're going to have all the ingredients for an awesome baby, and when the season ends with Brennan turning that stick over, you're going to be, like, "Damn, I totally saw that coming." And so will I.

It also means, perhaps, that Booth is going to be conscious during his surgery. Why else would the doctors let her in the room? She'll be there to guide him through the process and hold his hand, helping the doctors to stimulate specific parts of his brain. It's not on Youtube, but there's an incident on ER that was similar. Mark Greene was having awake brain surgery in the season seven episode "Piece of Mind." He wanted his pregnant fiance in the room, to keep him company. Asked to constantly name words that start with "B," Mark held Elizabeth's hand and named words like "baby." Very sweet. So that would at least give her a reason to be there. And a reason in the season finale for him to crash, her to be forced out of the room, and that's when his dreamlucinations start getting really screwy, not to be righted again until he wakes up and she's there, holding his hand again.

2. Ausiello posted this little number yesterday.

Congratulations are in order! A major female character on a popular and highly rated hour-long drama series will learn that she's pregnant next month.

Come to think of it, hold off on the congratulations. This is far from a happy occasion. You see, the expectant mom will be none too thrilled to find herself with child. For starters, the timing couldn't be worse -- both professionally and personally. And then there's the baby daddy. He's been, um, going through some stuff lately. Personal stuff. The kind of stuff only a psychologist and/or a surgeon can fix. A kid is an extra dose of crazy he probably doesn't need right now either.

On the other hand, maybe a new life is exactly the kind of game-changing event these two do need. As the saying goes, good things come in initially small packages.

Of course, there's an added wrinkle I have yet to mention. The bun in her oven? It may have company.

What this means: Potentially nothing. It's a blind item, so it could refer to any number of shows, including Grey's Anatomy, where it could potentially apply to Cristina and Owen. (Personally, ick. Please no.) But it's hard not to speculate that this could totally refer to Booth and Bones's tiny ramification. Yes, the biggest contradiction is that Brennan by this point will have said specifically that she does want a baby. Except she wanted it in a non-complicated, sperm donor kind of way. I don't think Brennan's quite ready for a baby in a Bones=Mommy, Booth=Daddy kind of way. Faced with that, she's definitely going to have a little "what was I thinking?" moment. The babydaddy stuff also fits reallllly nicely with our Agent Booth. And, I don't know if Ausiello feels the same way that we do about the last few episodes of Bones, but game-changing sounds pretty good right about now.

The timing is just right on this, seeing as the episode went to post-production the day before Ausiello spilled this info. If his source is somebody in the editing room, the promo department, etc., it makes perfect sense that the spoiler would get leaked on that day.

I have no idea what that "company" business is about. If anything, it speaks to the blind item being about Grey's Anatomy, because a Cristina/Owen baby could have company in a Mer/Der baby if they decide to write Ellen Pompeo's pregnancy into the show. I'm totally expecting the Bones finale to end with the pregnancy reveal--way too early to know if there are twins in there.

3. Emily said some shit on a press conference call the other day.

MM, follow up: Will anything with regards to the way it happens, will that spawn a whole new question that people are going to bombard you with from now on?

ED: Um, yes, I’m sure. (laughs). But I can’t really talk about that part.
I think that Hart Hanson, the creator of the show, wanted to find a clever way to put them together…that wouldn’t forever taint everything on the show, and I think he found a nice way of doing it. Obviously, it affects things in the future but doesn’t completely ruin the chemistry that we have. So, I’m glad we waited this long. I don’t think we should have waited too much longer than this to have something happen, but I think he’s figured out a very clever way to do it.

Potentially a lot of ways that could be read, but this could definitely apply to my just-partners-with-a-baby theory.

Alice: Can you tell us what the audience might expect, or what will be a little different in the season finale?

ED: You’ll see a very softer Brennan. Well, I don’t know if it’s very softer, but you see her in a different situation, like you saw...there was an episode in the season, when they were undercover in the circus, and it’s similar in that you get to see these characters in a totally different environment at times, so you see different sides of a character. So we’ll see a bit of a softer side of Brennan. You know, I was trying to talk to Hart about it, again, the creator of the show, about what’s different about Brennan in the finale, and you know, it’s harder to put a finger on. I don’t know how to describe in words myself on how I chose to do the performance, but it’s definitely a different side to Brennan that you haven’t seen before. But it’s still the same Brennan, but it’s just a little bit different, in a different situation.


ED: (laughs) Well, it turns out Booth and Brennan have a little connection to Motley Crue. I guess they go back! Go way back (laughing)! And the Crue is actually playing in the lab, which was totally crazy. We totally transformed the lab so they could play there. I don’t want to reveal TOO much of the episode to say how that happens, but basically, turns out that Booth and Brennan know Motley Crue, randomly. Yeah.

And, finally--

MR: Now, with her request that Booth father her child, how do you see that panning out? Best case scenario? Over time will a serial killer grab the kid? Hold him hostage or her hostage?
ED: (laugh): Uh, yeah. No, that’s absolutely possible. I think that that is definitely a possibility. I think that, you know, just seeing Booth and Brennan with a baby in the future...we did this one baby episode last season (Baby in the Bough), and you saw Brennan interact with a child. She changed a lot during that episode... So we’ll see. You know, I don’t think Brennan (laughs)…if there IS a perfect mother, I don’t know that Brennan is anywhere near that.

What this means: Most importantly, that "The Lab" is definitely just the lab, dressed up like a nightclub. Basically, Emily confirmed that the finale takes place (at least in part) in Booth's dreamlucination. Score one for me.

Inside the dreamlucination, Brennan is, according to Emily, "softer." Leigh and I have been talking for weeks about what dreamlucination Brennan would be like, and we agreed that she would still be Brennan--but she's how Booth would imagine her in his brain. She's open to him, she's probably flirty, and she doesn't have hangups about believing in love. What would be great, though, is if, at the end of the day, he wants the real Bones back. Maybe he does get to get closer to this Brennan than real-life Brennan (at least up until this point, teehee), but it doesn't matter because she's not the woman he fell in love with.

I love how when it comes to the spoilery sections, Emily gets flustered and changes the subject. I think her awkward answer to the baby question speaks volumes about the reality of the situation.

Summary Speculation: The first forty-five minutes of the episode tag-team between what's happening in Booth's dreamlucination and what's happening at Booth's bedside. The two cross paths; ideally, when Brennan is lurched away from his bedside, dreamlucination Booth reacts to losing her touch. My ultimate fantasy for this situation is for dreamlucination Brennan to be the one to push Booth to wake up, promising him she'll be with him when he does. And then he opens his eyes, and she's right there, looking down at him in his hospital bed.

The last fifteen minutes are Booth's recovery. I see Booth waking up in the hospital, then we do a fly-over of nighttime DC as we push into his apartment. It's days later, and Brennan is letting them into his apartment. He's fine, recovered, just released from the hospital. He tells her a few things about what happened while he was under. Maybe at the end of "Critic," Booth starts to make a confession, and Brennan stops him, asking him to tell her later, like she doesn't want to hear just-in-case declarations. So here, at the end of "The End of the Beginning," Booth is in the clear and can make those declarations without the uncomfortable vibe of "I'm just telling you this because this might be the last time we ever speak."

What I think might happen is an implicit decision to allow themselves one night to spend together. Within the context of "What happens in Booth's bedroom stays in Booth's bedroom," they'll have sex and, who knows, they might even exchange "I love yous." ('Cause it still feels like they're really leading us to an ILY, right?) They wake up the next morning, tear themselves away from each other, and agree that they can't do it again. (Not sure WHY they would agree to this, what specifically they'll decide is keeping them apart, but whatever.)

Unfortunately, what happens in Booth's bedroom doesn't always stay in Booth's bedroom. Sometimes, it grows into a little person with an incredibly high IQ and the ability to use that intelligence effectively.

You wanna talk about two people occupying the same space, breaking the laws of science? There's your miracle, Booth.

Gah, I'm dead of excitement. Seriously, if this baby thing doesn't happen, you're going to have to scrape me off the ground.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

House: Is This in My Head? I Don't Know What to Think.

Ah, bachelor parties. How can one go wrong, really, when playing out these alcohol-drowned, stripper-crazed shenanigans on our television screens? I don't really think you can. And, contrary to popular belief right now, I honestly think the stag night for our charming Dr. Chase is - can you believe? - completely real.

First of all, there a ton of promo pics for this episode at house_spoiler on LiveJournal. Looking at them all, it seems as though this party is much too intricate and involved for it to be a figment of House's haunted imagination. He's talking to Wilson, he's pouring shots, he's toasting Chase. Taub, Foreman and Thirteen are there - the latter joins Wilson in doing body shots off strippers. It's all very odd an unlike anything we're used to on House, but I doubt he would hallucinate something this detailed. Much less something that takes this much time. Call me crazy, but I just think that sounds absurd.

This shot is from the episode promo. Foreteen are at a strip club, but no one else is there. It looks nearly empty, save for a few other random people. I'd bet it's during the day. And judging by their facial expressions, I'd bet they aren't there for pleasure. Everyone thinks House must be the best man (which, I agree, is ridiculous) because he's throwing the bachelor party, but I bet Chase has a best mate out there somewhere. House just took it upon himself to put the party together, and here we see Foreman (and his female-loving girlfriend) checking out strippers. Recruiting, if you ask me. And, really, why would they be doing that if there's no real party to recruit for in the first place? They wouldn't. They're picking and choosing which girls to use at Chase's party, because Chase's party isn't actually at a real strip club.

It's at Wilson's apartment. Which I find not only hilarious, but also incredibly Housian. It is so totally like House to break into Wilson's apartment and turn it into a makeshift strip club without asking, while Wilson is blissfully ignorant at work. You can see in the photo here that Wilson looks to have just arrived home (you can see his briefcase and keys in other shots), and he looks less than thrilled at the state of his home. If you can find a logical explanation for me as to why House would hallucinate Wilson coming home and yelling at him for the fake, imaginary bachelor party he's not really throwing, please feel free to tell me what it is. Because I don't see how that makes any sense at all. This party at Wilson's has to be real.

Also, if you're going to hallucinate yourself throwing the most epic bachelor party known to man, wouldn't you also hallucinate that you did a better job with the atmosphere than just Chinese paper lanterns, light sabres, and a blow-up kinky sheep? Seriously. This party is probably epic in it's activities, but it looks pretty cheap when it comes to decorations.

Oh, and you really can install stripper poles into your home without any hassle. A pole in Wilson's living room doesn't mean this party is a hallucination. Not when you can have one put there within minutes and it's just as easily removed when the celebration is complete. Just want to make that clear, because I'm sick of everyone trying to use that as an excuse.

Anyway, there's a moment in the episode where House is (as seen) pouring shots in the morgue. This is making everyone in the fandom assume the party must be a hallucination, because it looks entirely too similar to the other photo of House pouring shots at the party for Chase. I'm still not convinced this means anything. Trust me, it worried me and I spent far too (pathetically) long stressing about it, but I don't think it means hallucination. That almost seems too obvious to be the answer. If you look at the rest of the promo pics in that link at the start of this blog, it almost looks like House is putting on a show of incredible bartender tricks. My bet is that he was practicing those tricks in the morgue. If you pay attention, there are too many differences in the two photos for them to actually mesh as reality/hallucination: House's posture is different, for starters; the alcohol he's pouring is different; the number of shot glasses is different in both photos, etc. Also, it seems pretty obvious that Chase actually drinks the shots - if this were all a hallucination, the fact that Chase isn't actually there to make that alcohol disappear would kind of be the buzzkill of the entire scenario.

Here's another thing: The immigration officers. These fools are ridiculous, you guys. They're not even trying to look legit. They're clearly strippers, obviously hired by House and most likely sent to kidnap Chase and get him to the party. Chase and Cameron (she's there - see the ponytail?) are on their way home from work, walking out casually with Foreman (whom I bet is totally in on the INS/stripper prank), when they get stopped by these crazy fools and told that Chase is being remanded to INS custody - or something like that. I find it telling that Foreman is with them, because either Cameron is in on it, too, or she's going to freak out that they're hauling her fiancé away. Good thing Foreman is right there to let her in on the joke and calm her down, don't you think? I do. I also think it makes no sense for them to be there at all if there's no real party to take Chase to anyway. I think the party is definitely real.

Also, there's Amber. Amber really is a hallucination, and we've been given the impression that she's having a little fun with House - she's helping him enjoy his insomnia, etc, by giving him awesome ideas of how to best spend his time. For instance, throwing Chase this massively awesome bachelor party. You can see in this photo that House is hanging out with Amber... in Wilson's bathtub. He's also wearing the same Hugh Heffner-esque pimp robe that he's wearing in all of the photos of the party - also taking place at Wilson's. I'm willing to bet that this bathtub toast is after (or near the end of) the party, and they're congratulating one another on a brilliant plan excellently executed. The party was a huge hit, and she's oh-so-proud of him for pulling it off while he's oh-so-impressed with her for coming up with the idea to begin with. I can't really think of another logical explanation as to why House is wearing the same outfit he wore at the party, and he's at Wilson's apartment in both instances.

Speaking of people wearing the same outfits, this is a random nit-pick, perhaps, but why exactly would House hallucinate everyone in their actual work clothes at this party? If this were a hallucination, he'd probably see them in their street clothes or at least suits that aren't EXACTLY THE SAME as the ones they actually wore that day to work. Because Wilson, Chase, and Foreman are all in the same clothes we see them wearing in other promo pics - and why would House hallucinate himself wearing a tie? He NEVER wears ties! He's clearly just all dressed up to make a scene, cause a fuss, and fuck with everyone's heads. I'm pretty sure it's going to be beyond awesome.

Really, there are a ton of reasons why I'm convinced this bachelor party is real instead of hallucinated, and only one reason that even halfway makes me think it might not be. I'm ignoring the one reason because it feels like self-induced paranoia to keep myself from getting too far entrenched in the optimism. To me, it's real and that means the immigration issues are real... and that means the wedding is real.

So many set leaks and sources (like the National Enquirer) have already confirmed that Chase & Cameron get married after the INS issues come up, but somehow we're all still doubting it anyway. Self-preservation on the part of the CC 'shippers, I think, and pure denial on the part of everyone else. We'll see who ends up being right on Monday night, but I have a sneaking suspicion that the episode will wrap with the Chase/Cameron wedding happening in a pretty little musical montage.

Even if it doesn't, I'm still expecting it for "Both Sides Now" anyway.

Unless, of course, "House Divided" proves me completely wrong and rips my heart out Monday night. In which case, none of this will matter because I'll be a pathetic ball of disappointment anyway.

But, really? I highly doubt the chances of that happening. And, either way, we should all prepare ourselves for Monday night -- it looks like it's going to be epic, no matter what the reality turns out to be.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Bones: Psst. We Need More Conflict.

I’m not sure I’ve ever seen such a civil fandom debate.

Right now, people all across the internets are debating the merits of the last dozen or so episodes of Bones. Most personally, it’s going on between Mae and myself.

See, she’s kind of not enjoying Bones right now. Part of that is, of course, her current obsession with Chase and Cameron on House. (No, seriously, she won’t shut up about them. Love you.) The other part is that…well, she just doesn’t really like it right now.

And although I myself am more invested in this show than I’ve ever been, I kind of have to agree with her. Because I feel like we’re on a rickety cart in a mineshaft going a million miles an hour, ready to fall to a sooty, painful death at any moment.

Here’s the thing. For a show that so heavily relies upon the sexual tension between Booth and Brennan, there’s sure not much tension this season. Sure, we threw in the potential of Brennan/Jared for about half an hour, and she was dating those two guys at the beginning of the season, and Booth flirted oh-so-briefly with Perrotta in “Fire in the Ice,” but the purpose of those insinuations had nothing to do with ramping up tension and way more to do with immediately furthering the Booth/Brennan storyline. At least with Cam or Sully or even Rebecca that one time, there was character development beyond what our heroes feel for each other.

Which is not to say that we don’t want our heroes to feel for each other. We do. Deeply.

It’s just that right now, they’re basically together. They don’t see other people (at least not seriously), they spend virtually all of their time together, and they touch each other all the time. (Have you noticed this?! Good God, Booth and his fingers are EVERYWHERE lately!) Even though they’ve been more adorable than ever lately, there hasn’t been any conflict or development all season, really. (I’ll allow “Con Man in the Meth Lab” and “Mayhem on the Cross” to act as exceptions to this statement.)

Right now, we’re in this mineshaft, and there’s a fork in the track coming up.
One of them leads to a track that’s going to get us all killed. That track is called “Booth and Brennan Hook Up, Confess Love, Artificial Reason Keeps Them from Being Together.” With the new promo pics that came out for “Critic in the Cabernet,” combined with what we know about that episode and the one following it, I’m so terrified for the end of that episode. Because it sure seems possible that, after going through a few days of baby confusion, ending with him exclaiming, “If I can’t be involved, I don’t want her to have it” to his hallucination, that he might be prone to a “Bones, I said that because I’d rather have a baby with you the old-fashioned way”-type confession. With all the recent discussion about Brennan’s incapacity to believe in love, it sure seems like the finale could bring an “I love you” from one or both of them.

And that would be bad.

The track I hope they take is called “Booth and Brennan Agree to Let It Out of Their Systems ONCE, Accidentally Get Pregnant, Are Forced to Live for Rest of Life with Consequence of Spontaneous Sexage.”

Basically they need to resolve the current tension, which has gotten dull over the course of four years, and add new sexual tension--the tension that comes with knowing what the other person looks like naked and feeling like you can’t act on it. What would be awesome is if they basically rope off one night, one night where they’re going to allow themselves to be together. And in the course of that evening, maybe “I love yous” are exchanged in the throes of passion, but they agree beforehand that what happens in Booth’s bedroom stays in Booth’s bedroom.

Plus, you add in this little baby, and there’s this added tension of This Is Not What We Planned. And they’re forced to work their life around what it means to have a child together, to affirm that they are, in fact, going to be part of each other’s lives forever. Heady stuff.

Episode-to-episode, I’ve never been as entertained as I have been by the last three. They’ve been an excellent balance of funny and angsty, built upon compelling cases that actually have me paying attention to more than Booth’s facial expressions. But how they’re operating now is an unsustainable model. They’ve got to do a few things next season to keep the show on track:

1. Get serious. Remember when Caroline accused Booth and Brennan of being “all Dr. Brennan and Special Agent Seeley Booth”? I have a feeling she wouldn’t do that anymore. When’s the last time a case affected them? Now, it seems they solve the case in 55 minutes and spend the last 5 talking about themselves, rather than spending the last 5 talking about the case and what that means for them. My two favorite B&B episode-enders are the ones from “Death in the Saddle” and “The Girl with the Curl.” Ostensibly, they’re talking about the case--it’s the subtext that gives these weight. Now, it’s just all…text.

2. Give me some angst, please! Yes, the B&B closers are cuter than cute. But for cripe’s sake, let them argue every once in a while. Take them back to their roots. Their hottest scene may still be the fight in the Pilot.

3. The baby thing is non-negotiable. It’s gonna give them something tangible to disagree about. They need to go beyond everyone and their mother thinking B&B are already a couple. Put them in situations where it would be correct to assume they are together, like a doctor’s visit or a trip to Baby Gap. (Two words: Tiny. Socks.) Ramp up the angst by giving Booth two people to be protective of for the price of one. And, finally, let Brennan experience pure, undeniable love the moment she sees their baby--and watch how this changes her relationship with Booth.

Yep, as long as they do exactly as I say, things will work out just fine.

Fringe: The Curious Case of Olivia Dunham

"Many warriors of the inevitable confrontation are among us now - but before they can be considered soldiers, they must be regarded as recruits. And the expectation must be that they shall be unwilling…"

These are the words written by Walter Bishop within the "Zerstorung durch Fortschritte der Technologie" (ZFT), or "Destruction by Advancement of Technology" in English – a manuscript compounding Walter's scientific findings to the conclusion that our technological advancements are leading us towards an apocalypse in which our dimension and one that exists parallel to our own will literally or figuratively merge, forcing a confrontation between the peoples of both dimensions, and only one will remain.

Around the world there exist cells of ZFT followers who consider themselves recruits to this cause and while they adhere themselves to the teachings of an obscure manuscript, the intended warriors may end up being a group of specially selected children in Boston, and a smaller group of children from Jacksonville that were experimented upon some twenty five plus years ago - a group that included Olivia Dunham.

Since the beginning of the show, the idea that one of our protagonists has suffered at the hands of Walter Bishop wasn't uncommon with most of fandom agreeing that Walter had experimented on his own son, Peter. While this turned out to be true for smaller experiments, there were theories of greater goals, of genetic manipulation that would cause Walter to be concerned for Peter's health. It was revealed that Peter had possibly drowned as a result of a car accident, but was saved by The Observer and later he developed an illness that no one had ever recovered from… yet he did.

There's still room for Peter to be 'altered' (more on that later), but with the episode 'Ability' Fringe tossed out a fairly large bone – that Olivia might have been given a drug called Cortexiphan, as part of a smaller cell in Jacksonville of a larger study in Boston that set out to prove that children with certain traits might have their perceptions – and, in essence, their minds – expanded to the point of having special telekinetic-type powers.

Of course Olivia denied it, the lights she managed to 'turn off' with her mind weren't the result of actual mind powers; it was merely a game played upon her by someone wishing to gain an ally in his imaginary upcoming war. But by the end of last night's 'Bad Dreams' there was no denying that not only was Olivia part of a satellite cell of the study, she might have been both the proof of its success, and the reason for its demise at the time.

The episode starts with a woman ushering her young daughter home from the circus only to be pushed into an oncoming subway train… seemingly by Olivia, who wakes from this nightmare to discover that it has actually happened, but is being deemed a suicide, and launches her own private investigation into the cause. Before seeing the news, we see her morning rituals: she wakes far too early from this dream, does sit-ups to keep herself in good physical shape, and chooses her wardrobe from a choice of similarly colored drab attire.

She also gets a peculiar bit of information from her niece (who is, along with her mother, living with Olivia temporarily). The child, who is receiving a vaccination that day, laments that they are going to shoot something that is 'dead' inside of her and that it is gruesome. Of course, it's all to make you better, right?

Her short investigation into the suicide yields little information except that she was not actually at the platform (as seen in video surveillance) but she had witnessed the event in real time (a red balloon she'd seen float away was still on the ceiling). Olivia attempts to go sleepless, but it only results in another dream in which she is seen physically 'helping' someone stab the victim and her investigation leads to the identity of a man who had been at both crime scenes.

Nick Lane is a 29 year old man who is presented to us as waking far too early from a nightmare (presumably seeing Olivia's actions... whether in the past or the present is left to our imaginations in the end) to do push-ups to keep in good physical condition before picking his clothing from an array of similarly colored drab attire. Under a hypnotic state induced by Walter, Olivia travels with Nick where he picks up a stripper and later assists in her suicide. Nick, you see, is a reverse-empath. Rather than feel the emotions of others, he projects his emotions onto others and poor Nick is suicidal, understanding that his abilities have helped kill others.

His guilt leads him to the top of a building where he intends to kill himself, but he's brought with him several people he's been passing along the way – his powers growing – and he understands Olivia is the only person who can stop him and Olivia knows it as well… because Walter confirms that yes, he was part of the experiments on children with Cortexiphan, and that yes, Olivia was one of the children. These experiments went beyond just issuing a pill and waiting for results. When Walter likens the experience to 'camp', it seems these children were kept ("unwilling") in a facility for some time and they were paired up, possibly to amplify their abilities… possibly to travel between dimensions.

On the rooftop, unaffected by Nick's empathetic field, Olivia approaches the man who greets her as an old friend, "Olive, you heard me!" He exclaims his disillusionment at the promises given to him as a child that "what was written would come to pass". He "wore the grey and blacks", "tried to fit in", "stayed fit, stayed focused, stayed ready" and waited, but he didn't want to hurt anyone else. He challenges Olivia to kill him because "you always were the stronger one" and when she doesn't, he forces a woman to leap from the ledge.

Olivia apologizes and shoots Nick in both legs, effectively lifting Nick's spell from the others on the rooftop and he is taken to a facility where he is being kept in an induced coma to prevent his powers from endangering others. And in the closing moments, Walter rummages through one of his boxes and pops in a tape that shows a very young Olivia Dunham huddled in the corner of a darkened room while Bishop and his old partner William Bell discuss what triggered "the incident".

It would seem shortly after the experiments were stopped, possibly by this incident and the implications of whatever happened, the children had their memories of the events removed. Before he's shot, Nick answers Olivia's lack of recollection with a vague, "I think they meant for us to forget." And it's possible Walter and William knew of a way to 'deactivate' the effects of the Cortexiphan in the children, allowing them to go back into the world and grow up 'dormant' – subconsciously waiting to be 'called' into action, or rather, 'woken up'.

Olivia's character has faced criticism for being emotionless and drab, but maybe this is the consequence of these actions. Since her abduction by Jones men, during which something was injected into her spinal fluid, she's seemed different, more emotionally active somehow. It could easily be attributed to better writing (as the change came coincidentally after a hiatus), or the introduction of her sister and niece (reminding her of the humanity she's trying to protect), but it would be far more interesting to say that whatever they injected into her, awakened her from a hypnotically induced slumber of sorts.

As her niece tells her at the end of the episode, what they put inside of her isn't really dead. A vaccination is just a weaker strand of a virus, intended to help your body build immunities against the strands that would cause you to be sick. Cortexiphan may just be the strand that helps an already advanced mind grow stronger, enabling and amplifying latent psychic powers.

In Olivia's case it could mean something quite explosive that is attributed to her emotions… something that could lead to the apocalyptic scenario Walter envisioned in his manuscript. And maybe Walter created the antidote in the form of another human, the son that the audience was so keen to have been experimented on in the first place.

Throughout the episode, there were at least four occurrences of Olivia becoming emotionally disturbed and each of those times she was calmed – or kept in check, rather – by Peter Bishop, once at the instruction of his own father and it's that time where it seemed the most odd. Peter didn't say a word, simply clasped his hands around Olivia's and she instantly relaxed.

It may be a stretch to say that Peter is her true partner in this experiment, not Nick Lane, and that somehow while it was originally intended for Olivia to be used as a weapon against those in this alternate dimension in the event of a "literal" merging of dimensions, she and Peter will eventually become ambassadors in a "figurative" merging with the world of the Observers to avoid an apocalyptic end. Only time, and second season from Fox, can bring us closer to those answers.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Chuck: Chuck & Sarah vs A Real Life

It's really what this show has been aiming for in the past two years isn't it? Chuck getting the Intersect out of his head so that he can return to the 'normal' life that he had before Bryce sent him that email. Of course, that assumes that Chuck can ever really go back to having a normal life, and that once he realizes what that truly means, that he'll want to keep it.

Last night, in 'Chuck Versus the Colonel', Chuck and Sarah go renegade in order to find Chuck's father, who is being held by Fulcrum agents because they want Daddy Bartowski to re-create the Intersect he made (the one that ended up in Chuck's head) with improvements so they can imprint it into Fulcrum agents.

Of course, as with all Chuck missions – and really, all missions in life – it's never as simple as it might seem.

The first hurdle they have to jump is the fact that when they reach the location of the Black Rock, where Fulcrum is holding Chuck's father, they only find an abandoned drive-in theater. The second, bigger hurdle is the fact that John Casey – now upgraded to Colonel – has been given orders to bring Chuck and Sarah in, dead or alive.

And then there's the hurdle of the single bed in the motel room.

This is a show where the ship is practically shoved down your throat and to deny it is to be blatantly ignorant (of course, I feel this way about other ships as well… like Jack and Kate on Lost). Sometimes it leads to sweet moments (like when Sarah thought Chuck had sacrificed himself in an exploding vehicle) but mostly it makes you want to smash your head into a wall because the idea that Chuck and Sarah Can Not Be Together has become redundant in a way that I never thought could be worse than Buffy and Angel.

It's been brought up in a million fractions of the same two excuses: Their feelings for one another "compromise" the missions, and once Chuck goes back to a normal life, it isn't clear if Sarah can drop hers to be with him. We've already seen the first excuse shot down recently in 'Chuck vs the Broken Heart', but we're still left with the 'normal life' scenario. Would Sarah drop her secret agent lifestyle to be with Chuck? Would she even be able to?

'Chuck vs The Suburns' gave us a peek into Chuck and Sarah living in domesticity, but it was a mission and, in the end, Sarah (despite her heartache) treated it as such. This time her feelings for Chuck lead her to go rogue with him and she's taking this opportunity to test the deeper waters of a real relationship and if Chuck's friend hadn't left him with an IOU for his one condom, he and Sarah might have made the Dissertation of Intimate Relations. Instead, as they were captured by Casey and taken back to HQ, Sarah left Chuck with the knowledge that she did, indeed, want a relationship with him.

In some ways Sarah's end of the relationship is much harsher than Chuck's. As he told the General, the past two years have been an experience, one in which he has grown as a person, beginning to realize his full potential. He's gained, at least temporarily, an older brother in Casey and a girlfriend in Sarah and treats the relationships as certain and everlasting, despite begrudgingly knowing they're not. His life may be in danger, and sometimes his situation at work, with friends and with his family might seem disrupted, Chuck is moving forward on his way to a better life – with or without Sarah.

For Sarah, she has to constantly remind herself that Chuck is her mission, that she is his handler and that this life she's been adopted into is not her own, but an extension of the mission that is Chuck Bartowski. Outside of him, she has no family – her father currently a fugitive from the law is her only relationship – and her life has been all about missions. Those missions have given her a purpose in the chaos her life became when her father had been arrested.

Chuck has given her a glimpse into what a real life would be with friends and family, a sister and brother-in-law, and most importantly, someone constant in her life – Chuck. She's fallen for him because he's given her something she hasn't had all her life – stability and unconditional love – and last night in that bed she accepted that this was the life she wanted, with Chuck. And she reiterated her choice while awaiting incarceration at HQ when Chuck joked about two beds and she replied, essentially saying there was no need any more for the separation.

Of course, their new life together can't start until Chuck gets the Intersect out of his head and, conveniently, members of the Buy More staff cut the power, allowing for Chuck and Sarah to escape their confines to find Chuck's father, picking up Casey along the way in a scene reminiscent of the first episode with Sarah and Casey, guns drawn over Chuck, who insists one foot in the car proves that he's still IN the car (a running joke that always ends with Chuck elsewhere).

Casey, it seems, is far more loyal to his word than his mission and having promised Chuck he'd keep his father safe, he sides with Sarah and Chuck in saving Chuck's father from the impending air strike the General has ordered.

While Sarah and Casey infiltrate the Fulcrum base (it's down a hatch, underground – but Desmond is nowhere to be found), Chuck realizes that the drive-in theater is being used as a screen on which to play the new Intersect his father has been creating for a large faction of Fulcrum agents and he sets out to destroy the projector. His father, Sarah and Casey are captured and all together watch Fulcrum start up the projector, but it turns out what his father was building wasn't an Intersect, but a program to remove the Intersect from Chuck's mind.

As the film ends and Chuck faints, the air raid commences, destroying the Fulcrum base and killing many of its agents as Casey and Sarah escape with Chuck's father and the "Intersect" cube. As Chuck awakes, he admits he feels "lighter" and with Fulcrum seemingly destroyed, and the Intersect seemingly removed from Chuck's mind, the General decides that this mission is over.

Of course, it's not, and next week's finale looks to hold a brawl between what's left of Fulcrum and Sarah, Chuck and Casey at Ellie and Devon's wedding. The outcome of which could either be the series finale, or the events that will lead to a stellar third season. Obviously I'm hoping for the latter, if only to see how Chuck and Sarah handle their newest mission – A Real Relationship.

Lost: Who Wants to Go on an A-Mission With Jack?

New promo pics came out yesterday, and they hint at something I've been waiting for all season long.

A good, old-fashioned, traipsing-through-the-jungle, getting caught by the Others A-Mission. With Jack and Kate.

Here's hoping it includes the classic elements:

1. Kate invites herself along.

2. The Others outsmart them, but they go to great lengths to protect/reassure each other.

3. The guns come in handy.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Grey's Anatomy: From Wedding Bells to Onesies

You know what's almost always the best thing ever? When the female member of your OTP gets pregnant in real life. Granted, there are times where this either does you no good (fans of Mark/Lexie, for instance) or makes you cringe because you kind of hate the meta reality (Sydney Bristow getting pregnant all because Ben Affleck let one slip), but usually such events bring nothing but bouncing, twirling and spinning in glee - because usually it means you're going to get an OTP baby out of the deal.

In case you haven't already heard: Ellen Pompeo is pregnant, you guys (!!!)

First of all, a HUGE congratulations to her and Chris. Awesome news. So excited. Caroline and I love celebrity babies. The more the merrier! (Unless, of course, you are Jennifer Morrison and Amaury Nolasco. Please don't join the club. Please. Don't.)

Anyway! Second of all, Ellen will be in about her fifth month by the time Grey's returns to the studios to start filming the new season. They've managed (so far) to hide Chyler Leigh's pregnancy, although it's pretty obvious, but the only reason they've pulled it off for this long is because she was in the beginning months while they filmed. And also that she's not Meredith Grey - she's easier to put on the backburner for a while. But I don't see how they're going to hide Ellen's third-trimester belly, here.

Meredith Grey is going to end up preggers, y'all. She has to. I really don't comprehend how they work around it. Jennifer Garner couldn't even carry a baby inconspicuously - you really think teeny, tiny 100-pound Ellen Pompeo is going to? No. A McBaby is in our very near future.

Which is fine, because they'll get married before the end of this season anyway. And Derek really, really wants all of Meredith's crappy babies. Might as well start ASAP.

And, for the record, the spumors about TR Knight leaving/George being sent off to war to die made it ridiculously easy for me to predict the name of this McBaby: Georgia/Georgie Shepherd.

I reserve the right to change my prediction if the TR Knight spumors go up in smoke, but for now - Georgia or Georgie. And I'm really feeling Georgia even more.

As Caroline said last night, the one thing you can be certain of is that little Georgia Shepherd will be consistently bright and shiny - she won't have a dark and twisty fiber in her precious little being.

Who's excited? I know I am.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Friday Night Lights: The Reason I Have Stock in Kleenex

You know what I find befuddling, and also totally wrong? The way we cover Friday Night Lights here at CiG. Caroline and I, in particular, love this show so much that we can rarely find coherent phrases to describe how amazing it is - and it affects us more emotionally than practically any other show that we watch - yet we consistently neglect to sing its praises here on the blog.

The third season recently ended (for those of us not lucky enough to have DirecTV), and I've been thinking about it a lot. The remaining Panthers left over from Season One have now graduated and are off to college. The same goes for Lyla and Tyra, the last of the original Panther girls, and Julie is being left behind. To top it all off, as you can see in the photo, Coach and Mrs. Coach are faced with the ultimate shift in their livelihood: coaching the championship Dillon Panthers is out; figuring out how to make winners of the rag-tag East Dillon Giraffes (okay, fine, Lions) is our newest hurdle to overcome. But, seriously? Coach without the Panthers? FNL without the Panthers? What is happening, here?

As my mind ruminates on how it's all going to work, I find myself more and more in love with the wonder that is this show. I always seem to say that I can't imagine loving it more than I already do, but then an episode like "Tomorrow Blues" comes along and I'm knocked on my ass yet again. I cried practically the entire episode, you guys. No, really, I did. Lyla struggling with her inability to fulfill her Vanderbilt dream, all because her father is a selfish ass, made me ache for her - and I don't even particularly like Lyla all that much, but I really felt empathy for her there. And when Coach and Mrs. Coach took Julie and Gracie Belle (Gracie Belle!) out into the driveway to surprise Jules with her new car?

Y'all, there is perhaps nothing I love more on this show than heart-to-heart moments between Tami and Julie Taylor, and when Julie broke down in the car admitting to her mom how alone she felt... I cried right along with her. Aimee Teegarden is becoming a lovely young actress, and her chemistry with Connie Britton is more than believable as mother/daughter. Julie is rightfully terrified of what her life will mean next year: all of her friends are older than her, and they all just graduated. Her boyfriend is older than her, and he's going to art school in Chicago. She has nothing left, and I remember feeling the same ache when my older friends graduated and left to fulfill their college dreams, leaving me alone and uncertain back in high school. I love the idea of exploring Jules as she finally comes into her own next year, with or without Matt by her side.

I loved Tim and Billy dreaming big about Riggins' Rigs and all that goes with it. I loved Billy confiding in Tim about Mindy being pregnant and all that it means for their future. I love the honest ways in which men express their emotions and fears on this show - there's a baby on the way now, and that changes everything for Billy. Life holds more weight and purpose now, and he can't afford to make the wrong choices. Really, I love watching the Riggins brothers transform into mature men. So awesome.

I loved Landry convincing Tyra to fight for what she wants from UT, and driving her all the way to Austin just to personally ask for a better shot at getting in. Honestly, I think I love Tyra Collette most of all. There is not a single character on this show that I hate (Okay, JD McCoy's dad, but that goes without saying.) and I really want the best for all of them, but I feel a strange connection to Tyra and it causes me to really root for her. I wanted so badly for Tyra to get into UT after how much she's grown, changed and worked her ass off since early Season One. Watching her go through this internal battle over whether or not she's even good enough... it killed me, and it made the follow-through even better.

Speaking of the follow-through, do you know what I loved most of all about "Tomorrow Blues?" It shouldn't come as a shock, really.

The 'shipping. The relationships on this show are just outstanding, and they had me bawling my eyes out more than anything else in the entire episode.

It all started with Tyra/Landry. These two are my OTP, you guys. I mean, yes, Coach/Mrs. Coach are the ultimate OTP but really they're more like the guarantee couple. Tyra/Landry have been pulling at my heart strings for a long time now, and I am desperately smitten. When he dropped her off after returning from Austin (and after giving her an awesome pep-talk on the side of the road), Tyra entered her house to find that a letter from UT had arrived in the mail. She immediately ran back outside to flag down Landry in his car before he drove away, and they met at the fence in the yard so that they could open it together. But do you know what the best part was? Tyra stared into Landry's eyes, mixed so crazily with both hope and fear, and asked: "You'll love me no matter what happens?" To which Landry instantly replied that, yes, he most definitely would. As far as I can recall, that was the first time the "L" word was used in canon by those two, and it got my eyes all teary with glee.

But then... Oh, but then she opened the letter. And the smile on her face was enough to start my waterworks. I was so, so happy for her, and I couldn't even contain myself as I squealed with delight. TYRA IS GOING TO UT, EVERYONE! TYRA COLLETTE IS GOING TO BE A LONGHORN! CAN YOU BELIEVE? Ack, I'm still just overwhelmed with happy feelings for the girl.

Beyond Tyra/Landry, what's surprised me about this past season of FNL was how I kind of fell in love with Tim/Lyla. I never expected it. I never had anything against the pairing, really, but it had never done anything for me in the past. This season, however, I really started to love the way Tim became a more respectable and honest man because of Lyla being in his life. He's still a screwball, but you can tell that he really cares about her and wants what's best for her. That's why it both broke my heart and made me cry (again) tears of joy when Lyla admitted to him that she almost went to Vanderbilt, and Tim selflessly told her she should do it. San Antonio State is not the place for Lyla Garrity, and Tim Riggins knows just how top-of-the-pedestal Lyla Garrity really is -- he knows its a miracle she's even with a guy like him, and he would never allow her to pass up an opportunity like Vanderbilt just to stay close to him, no matter how hard it may be to say goodbye. I really gained a lot of respect and love for Tim Riggins in that moment, but then he had to ruin it a little by running outside to tell Billy he was giving up on his own college career because he didn't have Lyla to go with him anymore.

Enter the awesomesauce of Big Brother Riggins. Seriously, there were just so many moments in this finale that changed the way I felt about a lot of the characters. I never cared too much about Billy before, but when he pulled Tim aside and gave him that little lecture about opportunity, the future, and the children that will someday depend on them all? Yeah, that was for the win, Billy Riggins. And now Timmy is going to go to college after all! Can I get an amen? Woot!

But I would be misguided and a total failure at discussing the wonder that is 'shipping on FNL if I didn't talk about the constant favorite: Matt/Julie. Who didn't simply fall over and die when Julie tried to break up with him just to protect herself from getting hurt, only to have Matt refuse to let it happen? Too unbelievably precious. Those two young ones are so in love, and it's beyond adorable. She's terrified of losing him to the big Chicago city and all the culture (and women) that it has to offer him, but Matt doesn't care about any of that - he only has eyes for little Julie Taylor.

So Matt sits there at the wedding reception, adorable girlfriend on his lap, watching families dance together. And he thinks about Grandma Saracen, all alone in the old folks' home. And, much to my dismay, he runs off to rescue her, telling her that he's not going to go to Chicago - he's going to stay in Dillon and continue taking care of her, because she's the only person in his life that's never given up on him. Which is really sweet, yes, but Matt seriously needs to get on with his life.

The only thing I sort of like about this turn of events is that it means Matt and Julie will have one more year together in Dillon until Julie graduates, too, and then they can both go off to college together. Honestly, hopefully (and I swear I don't mean this as cruelly as it probably sounds), Grandma Saracen will probably end up dying before the end of next season. This is really the only way I can see any new forward motion happening, because if she's gone then Matt will finally be able to let go of his precious obligation to her - he can finally chase his own dreams without feeling guilty about how it inconveniences poor little old Grandma.

I'm sorry, you guys, but Grandma Saracen has quickly gone from awesome to annoying in my eyes this year. I still can't believe she was so awful to Matt about wanting to go to Chicago in the first place. Way to be supportive, Grams.

So anyway, yes. I'm not entirely sure what next season holds for us. Matt and Julie will stay together, but Tyra/Landry/Tim/Lyla are all off to college. We didn't follow Smash to college, so do you really think we're going to keep up with what the Fab 4 are doing in their differing college towns? I honestly don't know, but it kind of makes me sad to think we may not get to follow their character/relationship development anymore.

Oh well. I'll probably be too preoccupied with the plight of the Giraffes and how it's affecting Coach & Mrs. Coach back at home. I really think this could be an awesome twist in the story for our show, and I can't wait to see how it all plays out. Sadly for me, I don't have DirecTV and therefore get to wait until January to find out. Again.

If this DirecTV contract wasn't solely responsible for FNL's constant renewal, I would have to be bitter and hateful toward it. Instead, it's like the saving grace that just tries to teach me the value of patience and "all good things come to those who wait."

Except, you know... I don't want to wait.

Friday, April 17, 2009

The Office: Not Gonna Say It Out Loud

A press release came out this morning for the penultimate episode of the season, and while I'm pretty excited about it (and speculating like crazy), it would be remiss for me to explain why, because (A) I might jinx it and (B) I like to maintain plausible deniability on these things, so that when the kid turns out to be random DHARMA child #4 and other such things, I can say that's what I thought all along. Synopsis and stuff under the cut.


MICHAEL BRINGS COFFEE AND DANCING TO THE OFFICE—Michael (Golden Globe winner Steve Carell) enters the cafe-disco business. Meanwhile, Pam (Jenna Fischer) and Jim (John Krasinski) decide to take a secret trip. Rainn Wilson, Ed Helms, Leslie David Baker, Brian Baumgartner, Kate Flannery, Mindy Kaling, Angela Kinsey, Phyllis Smith, Oscar Nunez, Creed Bratton, Paul Lieberstein and B.J. Novak also star.

What are these links doing here?

The Office: The Dunder Mifflin Three Need to Go Back

I'm sure I'm not the only one who's upset about this division of labor going on in The Office. With Michael having quit (Pam deciding to go with him, and Ryan being pulled in a 'what-the-heck' move that's far less shocking than his hair) the rest of the office seems… civilized.

Charles has Jim doing 'rundowns' of clients, and Dwight wearing properly buttoned crisp white shirts. There's no shenanigans, not much interaction, and no fun. But I guess that's what happens when Michael's not around, and I say that as someone who lists Michael as one of my least favorite characters.

It's not that Michael is a bad character; it's that too much concentration on his character generally makes me squirm and while I understand that is the desired effect, I kind of prefer Office episodes where I'm left in tears LAUGHING, not drowning in embarrassment. Last night the biggest laugh I got was in the teaser, because I love Cheeto puffs and because THAT is The Office.

The randomness of everyday situations is what fuels this show and Charles brings with him a lot of the tense vibes that are currently floating through office buildings across America (and probably the world). As people are being laid off due to the "economy", the responsibilities are being shuffled around and compacted onto the shoulders of those who are left, who are, in turn, far more stressed knowing that with the rate of unemployment so high, any slight snafu could land them at the back of that line as someone takes their place.

This is exactly the work environment I don't want to be watching on television as television is my ESCAPE from the actualities of the workplace, which is why, I'm sure, it will be ending and returning back to some semblance of normal (or at least normal by "The Office" standards) before the season is over. The question is, how do you turn back that Frozen Donkey Wheel and what year do you pop out in? And if Older Miles touches Baby Miles, will time collapse onto itself, or will Older Miles just drop dead?


I can see two scenarios with The Office.

Firstly, Michael gets his job back. It's the easiest. He'll begin to steal clients from the Dunder Mifflin sales crew because Michael is an adept salesman. It's something we've seen time and time again: whenever Michael is put in a position of having to make a sale, he's suddenly not the complete ass that makes us squirm; he's a guy who knows EXACTLY what he's doing. If Michael (along with Pam and Ryan) take enough clients, Dunder Mifflin could "buy" Michael Scott Paper Company and re-employ the trio. They'll take a small loss given that Michael will want his clients to retain their 'savings', but it's a much smaller loss than if Dunder Mifflin lost the clients altogether.

Secondly, Dunder Mifflin closes the Scranton branch (Charles IS there to evaluate the branch) and Michael convinces the crew to stay on as members of the Michael Scott Paper Company. This is something America should be seeing more of in the near future, smaller businesses coming in and taking advantage of the mistrust the American public has for these larger businesses that seem to be reaping massive profits while firing employees, cutting back on benefits and exporting jobs to other countries… and crying about the "economy" problem from private yachts and jet planes.

I'm on board with the second option, mostly because it would give the show more freedom to be insane and that is when this show is at its best. Smaller offices that don't have to answer to a corporate office generally have more fun and are, because of this, far happier and more productive. If they go with the first option (even for the opposite reason: a complete failure of the Micheal Scott Paper Company), I would hope David Wallace would understand that the answer to his question from a few weeks before, "What are you doing right?" lies in the environment Michael creates in his office. That freedom to roll up your sleeves, play a few pranks, and laugh.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

House: How We Saw It Coming All Along

If you watched this week's House episode (and if you didn't, you're sadly deprived) you know that Chase and Cameron got engaged, just as Mae and I predicted. And it was perfect, the culmination (for now) of five seasons of development.

I was a little bit surprised by the fandom's reaction, though. Whether people loved or hated this turn of events, many of them seemed surprised, or said they'd never seen it coming.

I feel like I've known we'd end up here practically from the moment I stepped into the fandom.

So how did I know?

Here, in celebration of this squee-worthy development, I present to you a list of the major canon anvils for Chase and Cameron's relationship, and eventual engagement.


1x03 Occam's Razor

Chase: We should test the girlfriend’s theory. She thinks she rode him to death.
Foreman: [laughs] What did you tell her?
Chase: Well, I told her 22-year old men don’t die of sex.
Cameron: What’d you ask her?
Chase: What do you mean?
Cameron: I mean, I hope you got some specifics on exactly what was going on. It’s a girl who thinks it could kill you… it’s worth knowing about. [pause]
Chase: Have you ever taken a life?

Chase: I’m waiting for the Epstein Barr virus. [looks at Cameron] She’s weird, isn’t she?
Foreman: Bad idea.
Chase: What?
Foreman: Bad idea. You work with her.
Chase: What did I say? Is “weird” some new ghetto euphemism for sexy, like “bad” is good and “phat” is good? Then what the hell does “good” mean?
Foreman: “Ghetto euphemism”? [Chase laughs.] You don’t think she’s hot?
Chase: No.
Foreman: Wow, then you’re brilliant. And I am using “brilliant” as an euphemism.
Chase: Obviously, the girl is hot. You, you’re not talking about her aesthetics, you’re talking about if I want to jump her. I don’t.
Foreman: Brilliant. [long pause, a test beeps] Your Epstein Barr is ready.

Cameron: What about Chase?
Foreman: Well, the man has no physical interest in you. He has a completely professional relationship with you, he respects you as a colleague and a doctor, and yet he can’t look at you without thinking sex.
Cameron: Because I asked what kind of sex could kill you?
Foreman: You now have total control over your relationship with him.
Cameron: So, a woman can’t express her interest in sex without it being some professional powerplay?
House: No. [House walked in to the lab, unbeknownst to the other doctors.] If you look the way you do, and you say what you said, you have to be aware of the effect that it’ll have on men.
Cameron: Men should grown up.

Cameron: Sex… could kill you. Do you know what the human body goes through when you have sex? Pupils dilate, arteries constrict, core temperature rises, heart races, blood pressure skyrockets [Chase is starting to look uncomfortable], respiration becomes rapid and shallow, the brain fires bursts of electrical impulses from nowhere to nowhere and secretions spit out of every gland [Chase starts to look for an escape route], and the muscles tense and spasm like you’re lifting three times your body weight. It’s violent, it’s ugly, and it’s messy, and if God hadn’t made it unbelievably fun… the human race would have died out eons ago. [small pause] Men are lucky they can only have one orgasm. You know that women can have an hour-long orgasm? [Chase is very wide-eyed; Foreman walks in.] Hey, Foreman. What’s up?

2x07 Hunting

[Chase knocking at a door of an apartment in a long hallway. There's music blasting from inside the room. The door opens to reveal Cameron with badly disheveled hair.]
Chase: Glad you changed your mind about that drink.
Cameron: Come on in.
Chase: You should get changed, there's this new place on campus that looks… [Cameron pushes him up against the wall and kisses him. Chase looks very confused but kisses her back.] Are you high?
Cameron: Uh huh. [She strips off Chase's jacket, he doesn’t really fight her.]
Chase: I thought you disposed of the drugs.
Cameron: Not all of it. [They start stripping each other.]
Chase: Uhh, slow down… your pupils are dilated! You’re not… [She yanks his shirt off.]
Cameron: Come on Chase; don't turn into a good guy on me now.
[They continue kissing.]

Chase: Ativan. It’ll help settle you down. [He hands her some pills which she takes.]
Cameron: Why are you so calm?
Chase: Not coming off meth helps. Last night probably shouldn't happen again.
Cameron: Do you think I want it to?
Chase: When two people have had sex, unless it sucks, if they can do it again, they're gonna do it again. And that's when things get complicated. And it didn't suck.

3x14 Insensitive

Foreman: You married a dying man. You thought six months, a year, it'll be tough. But then I'll recover and I'll have the rest of my life. It's like willingly getting the flu or joining the Peace Corps. Short term.
Cameron: Wow, you nailed it. It was basically like a wasted weekend.
Foreman: The sacrifices you made were huge. But they were at the height of your love for him. Commitment is only commitment because it has no expiration date. You stand next to someone and watch them floss for 30 years like my parents have, then ask for sacrifices. That's how you know the real thing. Cameron, I wasn't criticizing you. People who avoid commitment are people who know what a big thing it is.

Chase: Happy Valentine's Day.
Cameron: A holiday that only applies to people who are already paired up. For everyone else it's Wednesday.
Chase: Wow. Thank you for that dash of cold water.
Cameron: Don't get me wrong. I still think true love's out there it's just very far away. Possibly in another galaxy. We may need to develop faster than light travel before we can make contact. (They walk outside) So I'm thinking we should have sex.
Chase: That makes sense.
Cameron: Despite the wisdom of pop songs. there's no point in putting our lives on hold 'til love comes along. We're both healthy and busy people. We work together so it's convenient.
Chase: Like microwave pizza?
Cameron: And of all the people I work with, you're the one I'm least likely to fall in love with.
Chase: Like… microwave pizza.
Cameron: The point here is to make things simpler, not more complicated. Someday there'll be time to get serious about someone. Meanwhile, we already had sex once and didn't get weird about it. So…
Chase: I get it. I get it. So, what if I'm offended by your judgement.
Cameron: Then you're not the man I'm looking for.

3x17 Fetal Position

Cuddy: House won’t care. He has his diagnosis. [She starts to leave, then stops] Dr. Cameron. Dating Chase… can only end in one of two ways.
Cameron: House told you?
Cuddy: You get married and live happily ever after or somebody gets hurt and you two can’t work together and I have to fire somebody.
Cameron: I would hate to see my personal life become such a burden to you.
Cuddy: I’m telling you this for your own good.
Cameron: Well I assume you’re going to have this same conversation with Chase for his own good.
Cuddy: Chase isn’t the one who’s gonna get hurt here.

House: Oh look. Sticking up for your girlfriend. Who says chivalry’s dead?
Foreman: He’s not joking? [Cameron gives him an exasperated sigh.]
House: Be patient. She’s going through all of us. She’ll get that jungle fever eventually. [Cameron glares at House.]
Cameron: I’m not going through anyone.
House: You love him? [Chase and Cameron each give him a look.]

3x18 Airborne

CAMERON: [tossing the bottle aside, entering the bedroom] Is Foreman right? Did you agree with me because of our relationship?
CHASE: Relationship?
CAMERON: You know what I mean.
CHASE: You mean, because of our _lack_ of a relationship.
CAMERON: I mean, because we're having sex.
CHASE: [joking] Yes, Foreman's right. I thought you were completely wrong about the medicine, but agreed with you anyway because I figured that then you'd do me in some old lady's home.
CAMERON: [playfully] Then, well played.

CHASE: I want more.
CAMERON: [joking] I thought you were getting a little worn out, but...
CHASE: That's not what I meant.
CAMERON: [losing the smile] I know. I was just hoping you'd take the hint and pretend you never said that.
CHASE: I want this to be more than it is.
CAMERON: I thought we were clear.
CHASE: In the beginning, but you can't tell me you don'...
CAMERON: [interrupting] Yes, I can. And I don't. It was... fun. That's it.
[She looks at him ruefully.]
CAMERON: And now it's over.

3x19 Act Your Age

CAMERON: You were right. An eight-year-old kid grabbed my ass. I shouldn't have encouraged him.
CHASE: [Laughs.] Well, I was a boy once I know how they think.
CAMERON: You were a pervert at 8?
CHASE: Maybe... 11. [Laughs.]
CAMERON: I didn't realise you were going to get hurt. I'm sorry I misled you.
CHASE: You didn't. You have feelings for me. You come back to me again and again.
CAMERON: For sex. It's a simple, physical...
CHASE: C'mon, you have feelings for puppies and patients that you barely know but when it comes to a guy that you've worked with for 3 years? [Takes her hand.] Had sex with, spent the night with, you're telling me you feel nothing? Absolutely nothing?

[Cut to Chase getting ready to leave in the locker room, Cameron walks in and notices flowers on top of her locker, the card reads 'Not Stolen'. Cameron smiles and takes them down.]
CAMERON: They're beautiful. [She walks a few steps closer to Chase.] I thought about what you said, and ... I really don't want a relationship with you.
CHASE: I know. I also know you like flowers. [They smile at each other Chase leaves, Cameron looks at the flowers.]

3x20 House Training

Chase: 6 mm cuts, started at the apexes. Also, I just wanted to let you know, should you change your mind, I’ll be available.
Cameron: Aren’t you getting tired of hearing me say it? I have no intention of going out with you, having sex with you, doing anything with you, except work.
Chase: You don’t have to make a big deal about it, I just thought I’d let you know. I decided Tuesdays would be a good day to do that.
Cameron: You did not suddenly fall in love with me. You were looking for something, and I happened to be st –
Chase: Cameron, it’s fine. No need to go on about it. Advancing through the lung bases.
Cameron: We need to put this behind us.
Chase: Understood.
Cameron: But you keep bringing it up!
Chase: You’re the one who’s still talking. Look, I’m not demanding anything from you, I’m not following you home, I’ve got no expectations. A gentle, polite reminder once a week is hardly stalking.

3x24 Human Error

(Monday night, Cameron is waiting outside Chase's door when he opens it)
Chase: Hi.
Cameron: Its Tuesday.
Chase: Uhh... no, it’s Monday.
Cameron: I know, it's just... I didn't feel like waiting.
[they smile at each other and share a kiss]

4x02 The Right Stuff

WILSON: Interesting. So you're seeing Cameron now?
HOUSE: No. Not interesting because not seeing. Saw. My patient wont consent to MRI's or ultrasounds, and you've dealt with more liver cancer than anyone else here.
WILSON: So you want me to share the secret scanning techniques I learned in Nepal? Unfortunately, the monks made me swear a blood oath. Where was she?
HOUSE: In the lobby. I guess we could palpate the area around the liver.
WILSON: Which wont work unless the tumour's enormous, which you KNOW, which means your here because these visions are freaking you out.
HOUSE: She had blonde hair, why would I hallucinate that?
WILSON: Yes. Yes, why are you merging Cameron and Chase? We should find out before the next time you see her when she'll be black.
HOUSE: Mm-hmm, because, of course it's scientifically impossible for a person to go back and visit somewhere they worked.
WILSON: No. But since she's not a dead cat, it is scientifically impossible for her to be in two places at once.
HOUSE: Physics joke. Don't hear enough of those.
WILSON: She just called me from Arizona. [Dials a number and turns the phone around so House can see the number.] Notice the area code – 480. They put an offer on a place in Scottsdale. [The phone is ringing.] Do you want to talk or should I? I guess we could both talk. Although they're engaged and if you're staying in touch, you might want to buy them... [House hangs up the phone with his cane.] Maybe it's not repressed guilt, Maybe it's just panic. Right now you've got enough fellows to build a rail road. But you're going to have to narrow that room full of numbers down to three people.

5x07 The Itch

House: [putting the phone on speaker] Speaking of breathing hard...Cameron, are you engaged to Chase yet?
Thirteen: Sorry, we should've clarified. We're calling about the patient, not Dr. Cameron's love life.
Cameron: We aren't engaged. It moves things along a lot faster to just give him the answers. Seizures can also be induced through--
House: [interrupting] After six years?
Cameron: A year and a half. Through sleep deprivation, or--
House: Sleep deprivation would take too long. You living together?
Cameron: We spend most nights together. There's a bunch of drugs that can lower a seizure threshold.
House: And cloud the diagnosis with side effects. His place or yours?
Cameron: His, usually.
House: Interesting.
Cameron: You would've said interesting no matter what the answer.
House: And no matter what the answer, it would've been interesting. No engagement, commitment issues. His place, control issues. Not sure whose, but interesting.

5x15 Unfaithful

Chase: [to Thirteen] Don't quit.
Thirteen: Cuddy wouldn't give Foreman a recommendation, he's not going to be able to find a decent job.
Chase: Foreman shouldn't leave either.
Cameron: You think they should split up?
Chase: Office romances are a bad idea. [off Cameron's look] We beat some very long odds.
Cameron: Wow, why don't you save the gushy stuff for the wedding? [to Thirteen] House is playing with you. If you let him get away with it, he's not gonna respect you anyway.
Chase: Or House is helping you. He knows it probably won't work out, and he's actually doing you a favor.
Cameron: Yeah, that sounds a lot more like House.

5x21 Saviors

House: You and Chase are over.
Cameron: You are wrong.
House: You decided that his single drawer of clothes is one drawer too many. But you don't have the guts to tell him, so you're emotionally walking away instead of actually walking away. Which is stupid, because only one of those is good for your heart.
Cameron: He's gonna ask me to marry him. I was looking for some thick socks. Found the ring.
House: And you wanna say no. So let's circle right back to his single drawer of clothes--
Cameron: I don't want to say anything. I don't want him to ask. Not now. Kutner--we're all a little freaked out. We go home, we just wanna hug someone, we just want to know that everything is going to be okay. I don't want him to propose just because he's scared.

Cameron: I should never have postponed our vacation.
Chase: I should never have planned it.
Cameron: I found the ring--in your sock. I didn't want you to propose out of some sort of knee-jerk reaction to what happened to Kutner.
Chase: Well, guess you don't have to worry about that anymore.
Cameron: I'm not, I...I don't care how it happens. I just...want it to happen.
Chase: Are... are you proposing to me?
Cameron: I'm...proposing propose to me.
Chase: After I broke up with you? After you ruined my planned proposal, you expect me to...
Cameron: I'm not expecting. [shrugs helplessly] Hoping.
[Chase slowly goes down on one knee and takes her hand.]
Cameron: Yes.

And there you have it, from the beginning of the series, circling back to that adorable picture that opened this entry. These are just the major anvils, the ones that told me what was to come. If you don't already know, there's a ton more little moments that I didn't include here, from ones that will stomp your heart into tiny pieces to ones that will make you squeal. Stay tuned--it's going to be a fun ride for the last three episodes of the season. And if you haven't watched yet, what are you waiting for?

(Credit to the clinic_duty LJ community for a good portion of these quotes.)