Supernatural: Hunted

From TVGuide:  January 11, 2007: Hunted

The winter hiatus is finally a thing of the past. Now, we can get to the business of finding out Dad’s secret: Big Daddy Winchester wanted Dean to take care of Sammy. To save him. And if he can’t save him, he’s going to have to kill him. That’s cold. I have to admit that at first I was unsure of whether the hiatus was worth waiting for this bit of news. But as the episode wore on, a bigger picture started to unfold: There’s going to be a war starting, a war that’s going to need soldiers. And these psychic humans are the key. The yellow-eyed Demon seems to be preying on these “special” children, telling them to do little things like kill the neighbor’s cat. But, gradually, the orders will deal with bigger and broader targets. Sam’s understandably upset with his brother for sitting on this secret for so long. Instead of lying low like Dean wants, Sam does the exact opposite and leaves Dean at the hotel to figure out what his destiny is and his connection to these other “children.”

It’s January, and it’s the first episode after hiatus, so I guess a few things are required to happen: 1) Sam leaves Dean; 2) Dean gets knocked on the head with a gun and captured; 3) Sam steals a car; and 4) Part of it has to take place in Indiana. Dig out your Season 1 DVDs, insert disc 3, re-watch “Scarecrow” and marvel at the similarities. This isn’t a bad thing. I’m beyond happy that we actually got to see Sam steal the car this time. In fact, we got to see him do a lot of stealing and/or lying and/or breaking and entering. Don’t know why that’s so freakin’ appealing, but it is. We also got to see him use his brains and his muscle! How satisfying was it to see him avoid the dual trip wires Gordon had set up to kill him, receive a pounding “Gordon-style,” then bounce back enough to kick some butt of his own? Where do the brains come in, you ask? Aside from eluding the trap, he was clever enough to drop an anonymous tip that led the police straight to the murderous hunter. Go, Sammy! Plus, he made a great pop culture reference à la Dean. Can anyone say T.J. Hooker? That’s what I’m talking about.

After Sam ditches Dean at the hotel (I still wish Sam had collected on that rain check from “Bloodlust”), he ends up meeting a girl named Ava. She has visions just like Sammy. In fact, she saw the youngest Winchester die in her dreams — he blew up in what was a really cool explosion. I really enjoyed the scenes with Sam and Ava. She was funny and got Sammy to lighten up a little bit, even while they were dealing with such dark issues. I have to say that Sam needs to be surrounded by people that’ll help him remember to smile every once in a while. Dean does that for him, too. Anyway, I loved Ava’s wide-eyed innocence about the whole thing. It was very refreshing, and I know the episode ended with her gone, but I do so hope she turns up again. However, her poor fiancée won’t be showing up again.

I still feel bad for Dean, the boy keeps getting left behind. I loved how Dean defended Sam. How heartbreaking was it to see Dean think that his little brother may have died in one of the explosions? For a split second there, he probably thought that he was all alone in this world. At least we actually got to see Sam save Dean, unlike in “The Benders.” Once the older brother was untied, how great was that moment when he made sure that Sam was OK? I literally shouted: “Awwww!”

The reveal of the secret kinda makes me even angrier with Big Daddy Winchester. He unloaded that heavy burden onto his son just after he acknowledged that he had made Dean grow up too fast, had saddled him with too many responsibilities at such a young age. I know it was important for someone to know since John was going away — but to carry that kind of news is too much for anyone. And what if he ends up having to kill his brother? That’s the last of his family (his immediate one, anyway). How would he be able to do that? What do you guys think of Dean still mentioning that maybe they should just leave the country or lay low, and that he’s sick of the job?

As for Gordon, it was really interesting that he was all about business and not about revenge against Dean. He could have hurt Dean way more than a couple of punches here and there; Dean made a fool out of him in “Bloodlust.” Nope, the hunter found out where Sam’s “destiny” was headed, and he wanted to make sure that that never happened. Again, he’s so about the black and white, he can’t even begin to see the gray. Love how he didn’t underestimate either Winchester. How long do you think it’ll be before he breaks out of prison or escapes from the police and goes back on the hunt for Sam and the other children like Sam? Plus, he raised the issue of him having Roadhouse connections other than Ellen, Jo and Ash. That has to mean we’re going to get more hunters that’ll come after Sam — especially if they know what Gordon knows. Speaking of the Roadhouse, I liked the way it was utilized in “Hunted.” Sam showed up to elicit Ash’s help; Ellen took pity on Dean and let him know where Sam was. Plus, we found out that she hasn’t seen her daughter Jo in weeks. That means Jo’s out there, and there’s the possibility she could run into the boys at any time.

I have to say that I really enjoyed “Hunted.” Jared and Jensen’s chemistry was just so spot-on, especially right after Sam untied Dean, and then again in the car at the end. Plus, the use of Jefferson Airplane’s “White Rabbit” in the beginning was just cool — I love that song. I wonder what else Eric Kripke has in store for this second half of the season? A Sam-vs.-Dean smackdown, possibly? More psychics that break the pattern? I cannot wait to find out.

Favorite Lines from “Hunted”:
—”He said that I might have to kill you, Sammy.”
—”Am I supposed to go dark side or something?”
—”Now, Dean, they say you can’t protect your loves ones forever. Well, I say screw that. What else is family for? He’s in Lafayette, Indiana.”
—”Why can’t you just leave town, please? Before you blow up?”
—”But, instead, I drove out here to save your weirdo ass. But if you just want to stay here and die, fine.”
—”Are you OK?” “I just helped you steal some dead guys confidential files. I’m awesome!”
—”You do that to my brother, I’ll kill you!”
—”Dude, who are you?” “I just watch a lot of T.J. Hooker.”
—”I’m not a killer, Dean. I’m a hunter. And your brother’s fair game.”
—”I want you out of harm’s way, Ava.” “What about you?” “Harm’s way doesn’t really bother me.”
—”You got your Roadhouse connections, I got mine.”
—”Show your brother the killer you really are, Sammy.” “It’s Sam.”
—”I’m surprised at you Dean, getting all emotional.”
—”You’re a fine upstanding citizen, Sam.”
—”You can’t protect me.” “I can try.” “Thanks for that.”
— “Bitch.” “Jerrrrk.”

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Desperate Housewives: Revelations

From TVGuide: January 7, 2007: No Fits, No Fights, No Feuds

As Nicollette Sheridan said to the women on The View last week: “Finally! A new episode!” I would’ve preferred more Nicollette tonight, though, besides just the final scene. But what a final scene — Alma is moving to Wisteria Lane, thanks to the real-estate savvy of Edie. The best episodes of DH are the ones like tonight that introduce new mysteries while further answering old ones. What was Alma giving herself a shot of in her thigh? For a while there, I thought she was killing herself, but I was wrong. I liked the earlier flashback scene where we found out why Alma and Orson got married — she tricked him into getting her pregnant, and he was never in love with her. Loved when she showed up to Bree’s door, and Bree fainted. Valerie Mahaffey is a stellar addition to an already solid cast, so I hope Alma lasts. Her best line was to Orson while sitting next to Bree on the couch: “What is it with you and redheads?” Since Alma and Bree are so similar, it was natural for them to bond via Bree’s secret to making a good, moist pound cake: sour cream. So maybe it was Alma who killed Monique? And maybe Orson thought Mike killed Monique, and that’s why he ran him over? We shall see….

I enjoyed Gaby and Carlos, especially when they both agreed that they are each a “tough act to follow.” You knew Gaby’s new beau Bill (Mark Deklin) was not going to continue tolerating Gaby’s obsession with who sent her the flowers. Speaking of the flowers, Myra Turley was dang hilarious as Peggy the bitter florist who never gets sent flowers herself. It’s a pleasure when Ricardo Antonio Chavira gets to be funny as Carlos, and he had some zingers tonight — like calling the chapeau-wearing Bill a paperboy: “Extra! Extra! Read all about it!” and then referring to him as Jimmy Olsen.

How many of you experienced some bad Nora déjà vu tonight? Little Kayla (Rachel Fox) is carrying on the tradition of her annoying mother, treating Lynette like crap just like Nora did. OK, it makes sense for Kayla to be going through trauma-with-no-mama, but having her put Lynette’s heirloom doll in the garbage after literally trashing it was uncalled for. It’s fun to watch the Scavo boys work as a posse, and that was a nice scene with Tom telling Kayla that Lynette wasn’t the cause of her mother’s death. But you know there’s trouble brewing, when Kayla told Tom she’ll never love Lynette: “And you can’t make me.”

Two more big “reveals” happened in this episode — one I saw coming, and one I didn’t. I wasn’t shocked at all when it was revealed that Austin was secretly sleeping with “Little Miss Van De Tramp” Danielle, behind Julie’s back. Hey, I was just happy slutty Danielle’s hair looked like it was from this decade. Once again, Andrew (Shawn Pyfrom) had one of the funniest lines, describing how he knew Austin was straight: “Austin’s not gay — even after three beers.” Oh no he di-int. What I did not see coming was Paul Young being in the same prison as Mike Delfino. Not a complete shocker, but it was one of those “Why didn’t I think of that?” moments. We all knew Susan would make at least one more visit to Mike, but it seems as though she’s convinced Ian that she really does love him and has said her last goodbye to Mike. As I mentioned earlier, we shall see….

So how long will Bree’s friendship-breakup with Susan last? Great call-waiting scene between Bree, Susan and Detective Ridley (Ernie Hudson). Of course Susan was going to try to turn Orson in just to protect Mike. But poor Susan didn’t expect Ridley to show up during Bree’s “Shame On You For Thinking My Husband Killed Someone” dinner. Desperate Housewives, indeed.

The OC: Recaps, Ryan’s 2 Dads & Peaches

From TV Guide:  

January 11, 2007: A Season for Peaches

Should we start with the peaches or the prostitution? Let’s begin with the erotic novel: A Season for Peaches sounds like it might be a really good read (“The Bridges of Madison County meets The Notebook meets porn”). Aren’t you dying to know what was on page 47? I can’t blame Ryan for going back on his promise and reading the book — how could he not? Especially after meeting Henri-Michel? Initially, I couldn’t see what in the world Taylor saw in this pretentious non-bather, but then the more he and Taylor talked, I saw how much they really clicked, chatting passionately about art, poetry and philosophy. And for the first time I realized how little Taylor and Ryan have in common. I’ve always been distracted by how cute they are together, but now that I think about it, what do they talk about? It’s not like Ryan’s the “corn-fed farm boy” Henri described him as, and he’s just not into many of the same things Taylor is. (Though how sweet was it that he was making an effort, reading French philosophy?) And while Taylor’s usually charmingly nervous, it was great seeing her so at ease and totally in her element, gabbing on a French talk show. Sure, they’ve got the opposites-attract thing going for them, but the fact that Taylor did lie to Henri about Ryan writing philosophical essays was a bit troubling. Ryan wasn’t wrong to point out to her that she’s not fully accepting him for who he is. I’m glad the cheesy slow-motion scene near the end was just a dream. I’m not saying that I want to see Ryan and Taylor break up, but a few stumbling blocks will make their relationship more interesting.

Relationship trouble seemed to be a theme of the night, underscored by Seth and Summer finally ending their sham of an engagement. Hats off to Seth for executing his plan of acting like a 16-year-old so well, telling Dr. Roberts that Summer was “cool” and “pretty easy on the eyes.” It was good seeing Dr. Roberts again, and I liked that the show is following through with its winks to Grey’s Anatomy (“seriously”), although as I laughed at hearing about his patient impaled by a unicorn, part of me cried inside thinking about how Seattle Grace is partly responsible for The O.C.’s cancellation. But then I immediately went back to laughing at Summer and her new gal pals the “Newpsieweds” — they were one scary bunch of self-proclaimed ho’s, willing to sacrifice endangered owls for a hot tub! Summer was actually starting to resemble the daffy alternate-universe Summer of the Chrismukkah episode. And just like in the holiday episode, there was Che again — why? That character feels like he’s overstayed his welcome by now. I hope they’re not trying to say that Summer still has feelings for the rat who turned on her and got her kicked out of school. And while it’s good seeing that Summer wants to work more on finding herself, it’s hard seeing Seth finally realize what he wants (Summer), and watching it slip away.

But of all the relationships on the rocks last night, the one that seemed to suffer the most damage was Julie and Kirsten’s friendship. And all because Julie let a little thing like prostitution get in the way. I liked Kirsten’s detective-like way of uncovering the truth — it reminded me of something Sandy would do. (I wonder how long that guy waited for her to come back with her toys.) How long did Madame Julie really expect to keep this illegal side business going? Now she not only lost her job but her best friend Kiki as well. This time, Julie may have damaged things beyond repair.

January 4, 2007: Who’s Your Daddy?

Obviously they weren’t going to convince Maximus to do TV, despite making several references regarding his alter ego’s resemblance to Ryan over the years. So I guess Hercules is a pretty good second choice to play Ryan’s dad. (Though I’m still holding out hope that Russell Crowe, Simon Baker and Ben McKenzie play brothers in a movie one day — wouldn’t that be terrific casting? But I digress…. ) Every time Kevin Sorbo and Ben McKenzie shared the screen they looked more and more alike. However, Ryan and his dad seemed to have very different temperaments. Frank was more of an outward charmer and less of a brooder, eager to share tales about old family car trips. He was so charming that I started to like the guy, and that’s where the show kind of backed me into a corner: I was almost rooting for the guy to indeed have a terminal illness. Because if he didn’t, that meant that he was a liar and manipulator who was hurting Ryan. Knowing his troubled ex-con past, it wasn’t surprising when he did hurt Ryan, emotionally. What was surprising was that former domestic abuser Frank was the one who got hurt physically — and by peace-loving Sandy, of all people! I loved that Sandy punched him, and that Ryan stepped in and broke up the fight. It was like things coming full circle from Season 1: All of Sandy’s lectures to Ryan throughout the years, cautioning him not to resort to violence, have finally sunk in for Ryan (for the second time this season, the first being with Ryan not killing Volchok). Seeing the tables turn with Sandy not heeding his own advice and throwing a punch (and hurting his hand) was a fun bonus. And then, just after things got all “intense,” as Taylor put it, this show did a 180 and went all sweet with Sandy and Ryan chatting, and Ryan saying to him, “My dad is right here.” Just one of the many reasons I’m gonna miss this show.

Speaking of missing things, why was Seth not at the big dinner? After four years, he’s never met Ryan’s dad, and then he blows his chance. Wasn’t he curious to learn what Frank was like? Didn’t he want to support his “brother”? I know, he was busy with his comic marriage subplot with Summer, but still, he could have worked the dinner into his schedule. The marriage subplot is mildly amusing, but it’s getting old quick. It has to be obvious to both Seth and Summer that each is faking their marriage enthusiasm (if you can call it that — they’re faking it so badly) and simply playing an elaborate game of chicken. Just call it off, already. Hopefully bringing Dr. Roberts into things (will we actually get a visit?) will be the last straw.

Calling it off — well, as I’m sure most of you have heard by now, Fox has decided to cancel our beloved O.C. But the good news is that it’s not immediate. This shortened fourth season will get to play out through February, so loose ends can be tied up, and a proper finale can be had. And a lot can be said for the popular school of thought that says it’s best to go out while on top. Many shows have lingered long after they should have said goodbye, producing a season or more of material that it’s best to pretend didn’t happen. (I’m thinking of Dawson’s Creek, Party of Five, Beverly Hills, 90210 — I could go on.) While the ratings may have dipped this season, the story lines and writing have been at a peak. And that’s the way I want to remember The O. C.: punches thrown during parties or dinners; sweet moments like the Cohen family watching Meerkat Manor; and witty, ad-libbed-sounding banter like that between Seth and Ryan during the silly Pancakes scene:

“Don’t listen to mean Uncle Ryan, Pancakes. That’s just the ‘roids talking. They do make him huge, I know.”
“Will you get him out of here, please, before he ends up in a quesadilla?”

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