Last Week in TV - Week of April 13 - Reviews and Episode Awards

Welcome back to Last Week in TV where I celebrate the best, the brightest, and the douchiest in TV. Walter O'Brien is hands-down winner for the last one by the way. Most of my TV week was spent trying to catch up with all the stuff I missed last week. Some of which I succeeded at while others are falling to marathon later status. As such, some shows do not have reviews, only grades and awards. Backstrom will be back in the column next Monday but I didn't quite manage to catch up in time for today's deadline. Overall it was a decent but busy week for me. I hope yours was good too. Next week's nominated episode is episode #4 of The I. T. Crowd, a British comedy. Should be interesting since I watch a fair amount of British dramas but nothing else. If you would like to nominate a show, please fill out the short form below. Until next week, comments are the sprinkles of life. Happy TV viewing!

Overall Awards - 

Normally this is where the Show of the Week would be but none of them really stood out to me.  Instead I'm going back to the old way of doing it this time and giving out overall awards.

Best Bromance - The Flash - Cisco and Ray
Best Use of an Underused Character - Grimm - Hank
Best Guest Star - Battle Creek - Candice Bergen
Best Reveal - iZombie - both Lowell and the police captain are zombies
Biggest Douche - Scorpion - Walter O'Brien
Worst Parenting - Fresh Off the Boat - Louis and Jessica
Most Ominous Yet Potentially Fun Alliance - Supernatural - Sam and Rowena
Best Diatribe - CSI: Cyber - Nelson talking about Apple changing connectors

Nominated Episode -

Scandal - 4.10 - Run

This was probably the absolute worst episode for me to watch of Scandal. First I had very little background knowledge going in. Add to it, this episode would have been confusing to people who watched weekly. The storytelling format used in which events are rewound to show things from different perspectives with some scenes only happening in Olivia's head did nothing except confuse me more. I was never a huge fan of the tri-screen thing that 24 did, but it would have been an improvement here. I expect the twist was the big draw but that too limped. I give awards as I watch shows and as soon as we met Ian I wrote the "Sorry But I Don't Trust You" award. Once Ian was taken away and "shot," I knew for sure he was the bad guy. I watch a lot of TV and I was crazy about Burn Notice and White Collar. Burn Notice taught me that the person in the cell with you is often a plant, while White Collar showed me just how easy it is to make someone believe they were taken to another country. It is possible that Liv is halfway around the world, but I doubt it. Like she said, that wouldn't make sense. Liv herself didn't make sense to me either. Why rush the only plan you've got? She had wasted a lot of her 5 minutes when she came up with the bathroom window plan. She should have waited until the next time to try. Still the biggest problem I had was of course the constant reference to the love triangle. I simply do not get the appeal. How low does your self-esteem have to be to wait around until some woman makes up her mind on if she likes you better than some other guy? If she's torn, that's a clear sign to move on. She's not worth it. The same goes if the genders are switched. Love triangle is just another way of saying passive-aggressive mind game. Who would ever want to be in a relationship with someone that manipulative? In the end, the only things that made this episode tolerable to me were Kerry Washington's acting and Hallucination Abby. I would have much rather spent my time watching HalluAbby lay down the hard truths. As it is, these two things raised the grade an entire letter grade for me.

Grade: C-
Ranking - 1
Audience - I really don't know because this episode is different from everything I've seen from Scandal. I don't know if the show has changed so much since season 1 or if this episode is an anomaly.

Best Reason to Watch - Kerry Washington's acting
Best Scene - Hallucination Abby sticks it to Olivia
Worst Subplot - She's kidnapped and all she can think about is a freaking love triangle. Gah!
Most Mixed Metaphor - I love the Wallis Simpson reference but I think you've got it backwards. The President would be playing the King Edward VII part and Olivia would be the Wallis Simpson.
Biggest Huh? - Why is this episode rewinding and jumping back and forth? It's the weirdest storytelling structure I've seen on TV. It's also very annoying. I'd rather they split screen like in 24.
The "Say What?" Award - Why is the President suddenly here? What's up with all the jam? I don't get it.
The "Sorry but I Don't Trust You" Award - Dear hostage, I don't trust you. I've seen too many TV shows. You could very well be the mastermind in this whole show. The idea that they supposedly killed you only makes me more suspicious. Furthermore, there is no proof yet that this is a foreign country. I saw White Collar.
Most Overused Words - 5 minutes
Most Common Sense - Hallucination Abby
Worst Nightmare - being stuffed in a body bag with a dead body
Worst Sign - kidnappers let you see their faces
Least Surprising - Ian is the mastermind, which I called from his appearance
Worst Plan - Trying to do everything in one bathroom trip instead of spreading it out like a spy. I thought Olivia was smart. / dropping the gun instead of keeping it
Best Plan - hide your kidnapee in the room across the hall so you can see when the people chasing you head out and can move her then
The "Welcome Back" Award - Scott Foley of Felicity fame / Jason Butler Harner from The Blacklist
Best Quotes -
1. Ian: "Your father is…what? Ike Turner?"
2. Abby: "Where's the press, who I bet would be swarming you on a daily basis if the President of the United States went all Wallis Simpson on America?"
3. Abby: "It doesn't matter who you love. Look at me. Jake and Fitz can't help you. There is no man to rescue you. Do you hear me? No one. No one is going to help you. You are the only gladiator in the place. You are all you've got. You have to rescue yourself."
4. Olivia: "I'm not choosing Jake. I'm not choosing Fitz. I choose me. I'm choosing Olivia and right now Olivia is dancing. I'm dancing, Jake. I'm free. Now you can dance with me or you can get off my dance floor. I'm fine dancing alone."
5. Olivia: "I only negotiate with people who have the power to say yes or no. You don't have that. You're not in charge. No one in this ambulance is in charge."

New Shows -

Tatau - 1.01 - Pilot

I had no idea what this show was about but I didn't expect it to get so weird so fast. I think part of it is because I have no idea what is motivating Kyle here. I know he had a girl and I know there was a death somewhere in there but I couldn't make out if she died or their child did no matter how many times I listened to the dialogue. I'm going to need a whole lot more back story before I can buy that this guy would go to so much trouble to chase a girl that everyone said was alive. Then to have her actually show up alive and somehow believe that he can suddenly see her future murder based on one backwards glance. That seems highly farfetched to me. Has he always been able to see the future? Is his family related to the Winchesters? There has to be more than his suddenly believing in his hallucinations to base this on. Plus if he keeps going on in this way, if the woman does end up dead he will be the prime suspect. In a foreign country no less. Not a smart plan. Generally I would have the patience to find out but I've already got a thoroughly taxed TV schedule and I like Poldark far more. That's the British import I'm going to stick with for now even if this is intriguing. Maybe in marathon later.

Grade: B-

Best Reason to Watch - the cliffhanger ending
The "Say What?" Award - Kyle is planning on going to another country to see if a girl is missing after her father and brother tell him she's not. Exactly what kind of insanity is this?
Best PSA - Don't drink strange stuff that gets you high while on vacation. It's just commonsense.
Best Supernatural Element - the island's version of the White Lady
Least Surprising - Budgie's gambling debts
Most intense - preacher
Most Shady - Dries, who obviously called someone about the dead body
Best Quotes -
1. Budgie: "You ever seen The Wicker Man?" Tyler: "No, why?" Budgie: I think this is the sequel."
2. Dries: "What? He was chasing a girl that just wanted to get away, man. How much clearer could it be?"
3. Budgie: "Okay let's just pretend that's not the most insane thing you've ever said."
4. Kyle: "Remember we met yesterday at the other beach café." Lara: "And that makes lying in my boat naked acceptable, does it?"
5. Tyler: "It can be really magical and empowering or deeply disturbing." Dries: "Most times, both."

The Messengers - 1.01 - Pilot

The CW has no faith in The Messengers as evidenced by its exile to Friday nights midseason. That's not where you put a show unless it's just biding time before other programming can push it off. It's a shame really because the bones of this show are solid. 5 people die when a meteor strikes earth and they awaken with super powers to allow them to fight the devil on earth. It's a familiar story but the characters are intriguing. The pacing is also good in that they answered a lot of questions in the pilot instead of dragging them out. The execution of the story got a little slow at times though. We don't need to see all 5 have their eyes changed or see all 5's angel wings to know that it's happening to them all. It slowed down the pace and made the overall pilot feel unnecessarily cluttered, a hodgepodge of character vignettes instead of a coherent story. While a pilot's first job is to introduce the story and characters, it also has to make people want to tune in for the next episode and it's here they could have upped the ante. Still I'm intrigued enough to put this on weekly review until the CW pulls the plug on it. And they will.

Grade: B-
Ranking - 4 (because it's not going to last long)
Audience - genre fans and those who like apocalypse stories

Best Reason to Watch - the overall pacing
Biggest Switch - Diogo Morgado, who plays the devil here recently played Jesus on the Bible miniseries
The "Not Them Again" Award - angels, they're taking over TV and not in a positive way
Most Random - 2 women are talking engagement when suddenly some guy walks up and shots one
Biggest Moral - Into every hero's life, a little douche must come. Seriously, were they picked because they all have a bully and a fraud in their lives? I'd escape too.
Biggest Terminator Rip-off - the naked guy in the crater
Most Surprising - No one has telekinesis or teleportation yet. Maybe one will be Vera's specialty since they've already got telepathy, super strength, healing, and foretelling the future.
Least Surprising - Joshua's evil father and wife are having a baby
The "Welcome Back" Award - JD Pardo from Revolution / Shantel VanSanten from Gang Related
Best Quotes -
1. Vera: "Look. This is something that somebody didn't want us to know about." (helicopters and military vehicles pour in) Alan: "What makes you say that?"
2. Joshua: "It's not your church. It's God's church."

Weekly Shows -

Battle Creek - 1.07 - Mama's Boy

This episode is just what I needed from Battle Creek. I needed some reason to feel sympathetic towards Russ and boy did Candice Bergen fit the bill. Growing up under a con woman had to be hard, especially since he never felt like she loved him. Then to get confirmation from a lie detector. Yikes! Glad they left whether the results were true or not ambiguous. I'd hate to believe that and Russ needs something to hold on to. I am now very curious about Milt's mom. Why doesn't she want to talk to him? I have a running theory that Milt's family is part of a crime syndicate and he helped put away his dad or brother or someone. It's probably dead wrong but until we get actual back story on Milt that's what I'm going with. In the end, I liked this episode better than the last ones because it had heart and gave me a better understanding of why it is so hard for Russ to trust people.

Grade: B

Best Reason to Watch - back story
Best Character Interaction - Russ and his mom
Worst Mother-in-Law - Constance set up Holly to blackmail the fake reporter as a test to see if she is good enough for Russ
Biggest Ouch - A lie detector tells Russ that his mom doesn't love him. That's doubly harsh.
The "Well That Explains It" Award - Russ' terrible attitude makes sense after meeting his charming but criminal mom
Most Mysterious - Why won't Milt's mom talk to him? Did he turn in his father or brother or something?
The "There's Not enough Brain Bleach in the World" Award - I feel for Russ. Walking in on your mother's booty call is a one-way street to brain bleach.
Best Hard Ball - Holly threatening the fake news reporter
Saddest Back Story - Russ has knock off shoe knowledge because that's what he got every birthday
Best Reaction - Milt and Meredith to Russ and his mom theorizing the case together
Biggest Huh? - Why is Russ expositing the crime that got her busted to Constance? I assume she remembers it. This would make more sense if he was explaining to Milt.
Best Twist -
The "Welcome Back" Award - Candice Bergen of Murphy Brown fame among others / Chris Mulkey from Grimm and Friday Night Lights
Best Quotes -
1. Russ: "You conned the mob!" Constance: "I conned a schmuck with a few cell phone stores. Forgive me if I didn't check his family tree."
2. Guz: "My son is complicated. Your son is ill-tempered, distrustful, impatient, and stubborn…but he deserves to be happy. So whatever game you are playing this time, just stop."
3. Russ: "Hey, that's my mother. I'm gonna get real angry if you shoot her."
4. Constance: "His dad was his mentor." Russ: "Yeah, the Barrymores of bunko."
5. Milt: "I think our best option is to take her into the field with us." Russ: "No, your best option is to not believe a word she says. It's served me well for many years."

The Royals - 1.04 / 1.05 - Sweet, Not Lasting / Unmask Her Beauty to the Moon

The difference between these two episodes was startling for me. The first was one of the better ones. It got all characters out of their comfort zones and showed how the royals related to common people. I especially liked the scene with the bartender and Liam. It was a good dichotomy between the distiller and Queen scene. It produced much different results as well to my delight. I love the idea that the queen got revenge on the just plain rude distiller by having his place burnt down. That'll teach him to say that Queen Helena has no power. She's one of the few royals that actually does. I also liked Eleanor better in this episode than most, which means she was barely tolerable. Here's hoping she takes her own advice because I can't stand much more of her "woe is me" attitude. Time to lock her away at rehab and get her off my screen. The same can be said for the second episode, which committed the greatest TV sin. It bored me. 15 minutes in I was wondering when it would be over. It got so dull that I started playing games on my tablet just to pass the time. Besides the back story on Queen Helena, nothing important happened. It was a giant waste of time.

Grade: B / D

Best Reason to Watch - 1.04 - seeing the royals interact with the people / 1.05 - nothing because nothing happens
Best Scene - the bartender tells Liam to step up as future king
Best Insinuation - Queen Helena had the guy's distillery burned down
Most Needing to Take Her Own Advice - Eleanor
Biggest Oops - Crown Prince Liam mistakenly thinks someone is pregnant and asks the name of her baby
Best Drink Name - the Flaming Lamborghini
Most Fun - out of everyone, I'd say Ophelia had the best day
The "Worst Person, Best at Her Job" Award - Queen Helena is not going to win any prizes as a mother or wife, but she sure knows how to work the cameras to ensure the monarchy's favor with the people
Most in Need of a Gibbs' Slap, Or 30 - Princess Eleanor who is about to become the deal breaker for me
Biggest Brat - Ophelia at the ball
Most Depressing - Gemma thinks she has to whore herself out to be important
Most Despicable - Cyrus, as always
Strangest Idea - silent dance party
Most Boring Subplot - the love square between Liam, Ophelia, Gemma, and Nick
Most Adorable - Nick speechless at Ophelia's dress
Shortest Resolve - Eleanor goes substance-free for about 45 seconds before realizing she can't get through her day without alcohol
Best Reference - Back to the Future
Best Quotes -
1. Bartender: "You seem charming, like you're good fun." Liam: "Thank you." Bartender: "Those aren't the qualities I want from my king. Seems like that's just me though." Liam: "What is it you want from your king?" Bartender: "Someone who recognizes when they have the power to make the world a better place. Someone who changes lives and inspires all of us to do the same. Do that and then I'll say you've done something. Then I'd call you my king."
2. Eleanor: "How your mother treated you, that's not your fault. Maybe once you make the choice to let that go, it will get easier." Imogene: "Yeah, you too."
3. Gemma: "I do hate to interrupt but I love this song and I could really use a warm body. Nick, would you mind terribly?" Nick: "This is the part where you ask me to dance and then the jocks lock me in the trunk of a car." Gemma: "Dance floor, McFly. Now!"
4. Imogene: "Wow, you sure put a whole new spin on Your Highness. You holding? Come on, share the wealth. Don't my taxes pay for it?" Eleanor: "Taxes from…from what job, sorry?" Imogene: "Ouch. Feisty princess."
5. Queen: "I can't stop the press from reading between the lines." Liam: "There are no lines to read between." Queen: "Listen. Don't over think things, my love. Let me simplify things for you. Our #1 role on tours like this is to seem interested." Liam: "Why not be interested?" Queen: "Don't be naïve."

Poldark - 1.05 / 1.06

Grade: B+ / B-

Best Reason to Watch - the character interactions
Best Speech - Demelza to Poldark feeling sorry for himself
Biggest Eye Roll - The middle of an angry mob is no time to discuss your feelings. Bah! Get to safety, you idiots.
Biggest Nightmare - Cornish jails in Poldark's time
Quickest Birth in the Kingdom - Demelza gives birth in less time than it takes to finish a play. Lucky her.
Worst Wife - Keren, who is never satisfied
Worst Husband - Francis, who blames his own faults on everyone else
Most Bold - Demelza for going to Captain Blamey's house to plead for him to renew his advances to Verity
Least Gracious Guest - Demelza's father
Most in Need of a Gibbs Slap, Or 30 - both the Poldark degenerate gamblers
Worst Plan - secrets are never a good thing between husbands and wives / gambling, especially while drunk
The "What an Idiot" Award - Verity runs off in the middle of an angry mob because her emotions overwhelm her / Francis gambles away everything
Least Surprising - the miners make Poldark the leader of their new coalition
Most Depressing - Jim's death
Best Quotes -
1. Francis: "What's the matter with the women of this family?" Aunt Agatha: "The men."
2. Demelza: "Ross, you cannot fight the world. You can only make your own small corner a fairer place."
3. Poldark: "I promise you I will make the world a better place for her. I will be a better man for her sake." Demelza: "And for me?" Poldark: "I'm already a better man because of you."
4. Dr. Enys: "I envy you." Poldark: "My charmed life?" Enys: "Is it not charmed? Has it not comfort and purpose and certainty?" Poldark: "This is Cornwall, Dwight. Nothing's certain."
5. Demelza: "He's young and handsome." Poldark: "And green." Demelza: "And free. Do you envy him?" Poldark: "Sometimes. You were right. The world is a harder place now thanks to Julia. The stakes are higher. Loss is more painful. Yet I would not change places with him. My life is more precious for being less certain and richer for being poorer."

AD - 1.02 - The Body is Gone

This episode felt more scattered than the first, possibly because it doesn't cover key scenes in the Bible and lingers a bit long on some that aren't in it. I do like their explanation for why the disciples went to Galilee. It made sense and gave them some alone time with Jesus without guards breathing down their necks. In fact, all scenes with Jesus and His disciples were excellent. The joy they felt at Jesus' appearance was palpable and the scene with Thomas was well acted. I thought Jesus' ascension was fairly decent CGI as well but some of the dialogue felt more stilted than the pilot. On the plus side, the continually corroding relationship between Pilate and Caiaphas is fascinating and Pilate is becoming more bloodthirsty. Both of these things should create more intensity in the coming episodes.

Grade: B

Best Reason to Watch - the turmoil of Biblical Jerusalem and the hotbed of political machinations there
Best Scene - Jesus and disciples at Galilee
Most Bloodthirsty - Pilate kills all the guards who were watching Jesus' tomb
Most Poisonous - Leah, who keeps pushing Caiaphas to go further against the other leaders
Most Faithful - still Mary, Jesus' mother
Best Reaction - the disciples to seeing Jesus
Best Gesture - Jesus breaks his bread and offers some to Peter
Best Quotes -
1. Peter: "I think I feel pain at His absence, great guilt because I wasn't with Him at the end, and shame. I so want to tell Him I'm sorry." Jesus: "Peace be with you."
2. Pilate: "You should consider this a lesson in civic administration. If you cannot control the story, kill it."
3. Caiaphas: "Good morning, governor." Pilate: "It was."
4. Caiaphas: "Why won't this business end? Why couldn't this Jesus just stay dead?"
5. Peter: "Do you dare to believe?"

Scorpion - 1.21 - Cliffhanger

For many on my timeline, this is hands down the show of the week. For me it is not because it focuses on my least favorite character, Walter, being his most obnoxious. The amount of sock throwing and mental Gibbs' slapping I did in this episode surpassed all others. By a lot. I get why he was angry but I am thoroughly tired of him thinking that he is the only person who matters and everyone else revolves around his wishes. I applaud Paige's decision to get Ralph as far away from Walter as possible. He's hardly a good role model with his narcissist ways and Ralph is one call away from being taken by the Division of Family Services given how much danger he's been in lately. Drew has a clear case to sue for custody these days. Ralph himself needs to be spanked since he's part to blame as well. Still he obviously needs a more stable environment and a much better role model. Cabe shares part of the culpability in the overall story too. He never should have told Walter the truth in the middle of the mission. How exactly was that going to help anyone? Cabe should have told him earlier or later, not then. He knows how "all about me" Walter gets and doing it in a stressful situation was just going to make his reaction worse. From a story point of view, it also stalled the countdown intensity so we could deal with drama and man pain. At this point, I'm hoping Walter's newest escapade, literally hanging over a cliff, means that he needs to get therapy for several weeks in a place that doesn't allow any communication. I could stand some Walter-free episodes in the new season. Since that can't happen realistically, at least some Walter-light ones.

Grade: B-

Best Reason to Watch - Paige takes a stand and puts her kid first
Best Reaction - the rest of the team to Walter summarily dismissing Cabe from the team
Biggest Douche - always Walter
Most Clueless / Biggest Brat ? Most in Need of a Spanking - Ralph
Most Handy - Happy and her nifty gadgets
The "Say What?" Award - The magnets can hold someone Walter's size but not Ralph's size? Hmm.
Biggest Eye Roll - Ralph comes in to save the day AGAIN
Worst Security - The gas company's password is 1234? That ought to make everyone feel safe.
The "Way to Make It All About You AGAIN" Award - Paige is rightfully concerned about the safety of her son and you are spouting about her taking Ralph away from you? Shut up, Walter. Shut up now!
Best Plan - Paige decides to limit Ralph's time with Walter
Least Welcome Return - Merrick, who should just let Cabe control everything
Best Continuity - Ferret Bueller
Best Quotes -
1. Paige: "My son nearly died because he wants to be you." Walter: "Is it so awful being me? Being around me?" Paige: "I just don't want him to become you."
2. Cabe: "Walter, how many times do we have to save each other's lives before you realize I'm not the same guy who made that mistake 16 years ago?" Walter: "I said only the bare essentials." Cabe: "Grow the hell up. People might die here today and you're only thinking about yourself."
3. Walter: "Guys, what did Elia give me this morning?" Toby: "Everything short of an open-mouthed kiss."
4. Toby: "Congratulations, you're raising Walter." Paige: "Oh God."
5. Paige: "He's not the only member of this team. He cannot make unilateral decisions."

Fresh Off the Boat - 1.12 - Dribbling Tiger, Bounce Pass Dragon

As a teacher and former high school basketball player, I have a real problem with this. What kind of parent encourages middle school kids to blatantly foul other players? That's the kind of douchey parenting that you hear on Little League fields throughout America. Combined with the inaccuracies of school climate even in the 90's, I had a hard time with this episode. Jessica was a bright spot for awhile but she got douchey too. Call this episode a fail in a show that usually makes me laugh and awwww.

Grade: D-

Best Reason to Watch - the parents forced to interact with their kids
Worst Reason to Watch - teaching your kids all the wrong things
Best Awww Moment - Louis tracks down the knockoff My Little Pony for Jessica
Best Speech - Eddie about teamwork
Worst Speech - Jessica's in the restaurant
Most Fun - the Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon-style basketball game in Eddie's mind
The "Say What?" Award - I started my teaching career in the mid-90's and even then we couldn't force parents to volunteer or donate. Nowadays, you couldn't have parents supervising programs even if they volunteered. Thanks government.
Best Plan in a Pinch - iron quesadilla snacks
Worst Plan - putting Jessica in charge of the play / encouraging the basketball team to get fouls
The "Thank Goodness it's Gone" Award - 90's style PC drove me nuts
Least Surprising - Eddies' team loses without Dmitri
Best Meta - Jessica scoffs at the idea of TV hiring Chinese actors
Best Reference - Mighty Ducks / Margaret Cho
Best Quotes -
1. Principal: "Mrs. Wong, our school budget has experienced major cutbacks. We rely on parents to supervise our afterschool programs." Jessica: "Well I'm sorry. We're busy with our own afterschool programs. They're called jobs."
2. Emery: "Me and Evan are in the play." Jessica: "You are? Why? You're not going to become actors. You think they're going to put 2 Chinese boys on TV? Maybe if there's a nerdy friend or a magical thing where someone wanders into Chinatown, but no."
3. Jessica: "Look, we can't volunteer. Is there anything else we can do?" Principal: "Well, you can donate money." Jessica and Louis: "How do we volunteer?"
4. Jessica: "Once there was a little girl and all she wanted was a Sparkletime Beauty horse, the knockoff version of My Little Pony. When you hugged them, it burned but you played through that pain and 1 in every 5 had a human face." Emery: "Did the girl ever get one?" Jessica: "No, she got something even better. A strong work ethic. She focused on her studies and became the first one in her family to go to college. Think about that." Evan: "What girl was she talking about?" Eddie: "Connie Chung. Has to be Connie Chung. Who else is there?"

iZombie - 1.05 - Flight of the Living Dead

It's a Veronica Mars reunion. Woo hoo! I'm not surprised that creator Rob Thomas chose to bring back Ryan Hansen first. They seem to have a real life bromance going. Still it was fun seeing Hansen playing a thoroughly conceited character here. He owned it and I wouldn't mind having him back again even in little Easter egg things like magazine ads or billboards. That could be a great piece of recurring meta. Another plus was this brain incarnation of Liv and I hope it continues longer than the others. It was nice to see her take chances even if those chances didn't get much farther than a bike ride and possible new romance. Zombie love in the air? Speaking of potential dates, there are now far too many zombies in Washington. It is officially a zombie horde and that causes lots of potential problems for the story line. If they keep it a secret, it's going to get unbelievable. If they don't, it consumes the story. I'm really not a fan of the captain being part of the horde as well, even though it was incredibly smart on Blaine's part. How else could he hide the dozens of people going missing from one park? By the way, here's hoping Major isn't dead or becomes a zombie too. Then we're in love triangle territory and that's never a creative storytelling setting.

Grade: B+

Best Reason to Watch - forward movement on Blaine's hidden zombie army
Most Shady - the Captain is obviously under Blaine's control as the city's latest zombie
Sweetest Creepy Gesture - Liv holds Holly' dead hand while Ravi cuts into her skull
Biggest Face Palm - Liv is talking about eating brains in the middle of a crime scene where anyone can overhear her. For the love of my sanity, there is no cone of silence in TV Land!
Most Brain Dead - Me because I never put it together that her name is Liv Moore. Bwah!
Most Pointless - Why do they tell us the plot 3 times every episode? We get an overview in the opener, then we get the previouslies, and then the cartoon title card explanation. That's overkill, pun intended.
Best Pick-Up Line - Lowell
Best Reaction - Liv to Lowell telling her that he's a zombie too
Best Good Guy - Clive, who not only investigates a non-case for Liv but also checks out Major's missing teen
Biggest Mind Twist - Liv eats Holly's brains because she cares enough to find out what happened to her
Worst Game - the Who Would You Eat First game
Best Pun - Boughs of Holly
The "Welcome Back" Award - Bradley James from Merlin / Ryan Hansen from Veronica Mars and Bad Judge
Best Quotes -
1. Liv: "And that's not all. Daddy McComb is out of a job. There's no way he's keeping his medical license after you went all Oprah with his prescription pad."
2. Captain: "I'm on this new diet so I look at pictures of food I can't have. Some people hate on food pictures. Not me. Balls of spaghetti are my porn."
3. Peyton: "What? You think we'll find a keg in the bathtub?" Major: "No but I heard rumors that there'll be streaking in Holly's honor." Peyton: "Seriously? Smart phones have cameras. Is no one here planning a career in politics?"
4. Carson: "Eliza said she would take care of it. I did not know she meant take care of it Tony Soprano style."
5. Liv: "You're leaving awfully early." Major: "Yeah, I'm really bringing down this wake."

Younger - 1.04 - The Exes

This episode of Younger is all about 2 things: second chances and sex. Lots of sex. Bed-breaking, nirvana-ascending, "seeing yourself outside your body" type sex if the characters are to be believed. That's not typically my thing, but Younger does it well especially since it's all in the first 5 minutes. I especially love how real Liza keeps breaking through 20-something Liza as Kelsey's celebration gets progressively boozier and more out-of-control. By the time Liza sees Josh with another woman, she's in full MOM mode. Good thing because Kelsey is about 2 tequila shots away from making a permanently bad tattoo mistake and losing her first big career break. Not that she hasn't made plenty of mistakes before then, both personally and professionally. Thad needs to go. Now. I would have been happier if Lauren had stuck around instead of him. Surely Kelsey and she would have gotten into a spirited conversation about whether 'Nsync or Backstreet Boys was better, while Liza looked on like they were insane. I would have died laughing. Instead we get a great Liza speech about taking responsibility for your own actions and everyone gets a second chance. All in all, this episode was a good representation of Younger's charms.

Grade: B+

Best Reason to Watch - an increasingly frustrated Liza has enough
Best Speech - Liza
Best Aim - Kelsey
Biggest Brat - Kelsey, who whines like a tween and blames her own idiocy on Liza
Biggest Douche - Thad
Most in Need of a Guest Star credit - Josh's abs
Least Affected by the Walk of Shame - Josh's roommate
Worst College Flashbacks - babysitting drunk people
Worst Back Tracking - Nirvana reunion concert? I know it's morning after a great night, but you need to create better quality lies, Liza.
Worst Plan - drunk texting clients
The "I Feel Old" Award - I had to look up Andrew Keegan to figure out who he was. Thankfully I already knew who JT-Squared was although I never referred to him that way. To me he was that kid from Home Improvement. I'm guessing these two were Chad Michael Murray fans too.
Best Reference - Lohan / Gilmore Girls
Best Quotes -
1. Liza: "You know you can rant and deflect blame all you want or you can own this, take responsibility for it, and go fix it."
2. Liza: "Alright, see. I told you. It's closed." Kelsey: "How is this even possible?" Liza: "Because it's after midnight on a weekday and he's not a coke dealer."
3. Thad: "Babe, you know I don't do Brooklyn. No offense." Liza: "Lots taken."
4. Josh: "Monks?" Liza: "Well monks who have dedicated their lives to lots of sex." Josh: "Just stay in the present and have lots of sex…hmm, I could probably be persuaded."
5. Liza: "You and all the tequila you drank need to get in that cab this Instafare."
6. Anton: "We all get one mistake."

The Flash - 1.18 - All Star Team Up

Could we please just move Felicity to The Flash? Please. She always rocks here which is something I could not say by the time I gave up on Arrow. Ray can stay too. He's awesome fun, especially with Cisco and I would love to see their bromance continue as they find more stuff to geek out over. I've heard rumors of Ray going to some other spin-off with the dead Sarah but if that doesn't happen, Central City has plenty of room for an awkward billionaire scientist. Maybe he can take Wells' place when we finally get rid of him. Let's make that soon by the way. I loved everything about this episode, except Cisco's remembering something that never even happened for him. This whole alternate timeline is already screwing things up and it's time to let it go. Such a shame because The Flash may have been the Show of the Week if time travel didn't screw it all to hell.

Grade: B (knocked down for Cisco remembering something that never happened for him)

Best Reason to Watch - guest stars
Biggest Hero - Cisco who lets himself get stung so the bee won't attack Ray or Caitlin
Best Character Interaction - Cisco and Ray geeking out and finishing each others' sentences in a great start to a bromance
The "That Makes No Sense" Award - If they are in a new timeline where the other one did not happen, then Cisco remembering anything makes zero sense. Nada. Nothing. This is the problem with time travel. Writers think they can do anything with it and they break their own rules. Sucky writing here!
Best Point - Ray points out that Cisco's plan to fry the bees will also fry his suit
Worst Plan - not telling Iris / talking to Joe about having sex with Iris
The "Just Stop" Award - Please stop fake killing Cisco. Leave the poor kid alone. Don't real kill him either.
Most Surprising - robotic bees
Most Obsolete - What exactly is Iris' role in this story? Why is she even here? Storming out of a restaurant is not worthy of the screen time it's taking up.
Most Enthusiastic - Felicity at getting able to use a keyboard to get data
Biggest Overreaction - Cisco, I understand a fear of insects and other creepy crawlies. I hate spiders. But using explosions to take them out might be a bit overkill.
Best Time to Buy Stock in Raid - when the bee killer comes to town
Biggest Oops - It's one thing to have bad schematics. It's a whole other level of carelessness to not check the suit for stray bees.
Most Fun - Barry, Joe, and Eddie stopping crime 5 burglary sprees at a time
Least Fun - death by insects
Best Wrap-Up - Felicity explains the highlights of Arrow season 3 so I don't have to watch it. Thanks, Felicity!
Best Continuity - Felicity talks about when she first met Oliver
The "Welcome Back" Award - Amanda Pays from the original Flash TV show
Best Quotes -
1. Felicity: "What is wrong with you? Is everyone in Central City in a bad mood? I thought Central City was supposed to be the fun one."
2. Felicity: "Oh she's good. She's like my nemesis. I've never had a nemesis before. I kind of like it."
3. Cisco: "Bees, why did it have to be bees? Y'all I don't do bees. Ain't nobody got time for bees."
4. Felicity: "Discovery Channel. Turns out there's a lot to discover."
5. Cisco: "That is it for the defibrillator. It is completely fried." Wells: "You're lucky to be alive Mr. Allen." Felicity: "I was very specific that you not die." Ray: "Yeah, it's a pretty big thing for her."

Supernatural - 10.18 - Book of the Damned

Yes, it is the exact same plot twist over and over again. One Winchester is in trouble. The other Winchester allies with the devil or does something catastrophic to save him. There's nothing new about this alliance between Sam and Rowena, but at this point I don't care. We're 10 seasons in. I've given up hope that either will change and let's face it, SPN is no longer seasons 1-3 quality. All I care about now is the entertainment value and this one delivered. I love the idea that Rowena will have an actual purpose this season, finally, and if we are going to get a Big Bad for next season, she works really well for me. I love the idea of Crowley uniting with the Winchesters against his own mother. It will be interesting to see the internal struggle knowing the Winchesters won't care one jot about his feelings. I am a whole lot less pleased that Metatron is on the loose again. He's an irritating storyline that's been over for awhile but the writers' haven't gotten the message. That whole subplot knocked this episode down from an A- because of its sheer fast forward mediocrity. He did have some good lines though. I will give him that. Mostly though this is the Sam I love best. The one who won't give up on his brother, who has realized that he is a hunter to the core just like his dad and brother, and who is unafraid to say how much Dean means to him. I love the speech he gave to Charlie, who was delightful in this episode as well. This reminded me of her very first episode and all the pop culture references. Anyone who thinks in Princess Bride is good with me. In the end, I am very excited to see where this twist will take us and I am looking forward to traveling it in Baby with some classic rock blaring as TV's best brothers take down the bad, one monster at a time.

Grade: B

Best Reason to Watch / Most Intriguing - Sam allies with Rowena
Best Scene - Sam tells Charlie that he can't be a hunter without Dean
Best Reason to Fast Forward - Metatron always
Best Character - Sam
Best Continuity - references to the pilot
Most Disgusting - skin pages and blood ink
The "Poor Babies" Award - Dean and Sam have never been to a beach? Even to hunt down some ocean monster? That doesn't seem right. (Of course by next season they'll have lived there for a year given how the whole Grand Canyon canon-busting thing turned out.)
Best Reaction - Sam at Dean recapping his time with Rowena and Crowley
Most Fun - Dean rocking out to The Boys are Back in Town and Sam's humor about it
Worst Plan - not killing Metatron right from the start / lying to Dean about Metatron being out with the demon tablet
Biggest Misconception - libraries actually are still flourishing with circulation and visits up in my area
The "Ninety-Second Verse Same as the First" Award - jumping in to save a brother, to hell with the consequences is a Winchester specialty
Best Point - What exactly is Cas' role on this show now? He's been obsolete for years.
Best Reference - Princess Bride / Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure
Best Quotes -
1. Charlie: "Did you know dental floss works great on stitches? I only passed out twice and I'm pretty sure my wound is minty fresh."
2. Sam: "I guess I really understand now that this is my life. I love it, but I can't do it without my brother. I don't want to do it without my brother, and if he's gone then I'll…" Charlie: "I've got it. I do."
3. Charlie: "I'm exhausted and I'm bleeding and I'm in a phone booth. A phone booth. I didn't know these things existed outside of Bill and Ted's."
4. Charlie: "You were the Dread Pirate Roberts of hunting."
5. Metatron: "Poor Castiel, swam so far just to drown in shallow waters. Isn't it ironic? Don't you think?"

CSI: Cyber - 1.06 - The Evil Twin

Grade: B-

Best Reason to Watch - Mundo and Avery interaction
Best Reason to Fast Forward / Most Annoying - Krumitz and Nelson's incessant bickering
Most Joyful Scene - the hacker team finding how to prove the murder
Best Catch / Best Upper Body Strength - Mundo, who pulls himself and the murderer over the ledge
Best Reason to be Scared - motion tracking chips on a Smartphone / open wi-fi and free hotspots
The "Say What?" Award - How can this team believe computer devices when they just found out someone hacked the hotel? Surely it would be easier to hack someone's personal stuff than a hotel. Why aren't they at least considering this angle?
Best Point - Apple screws with us all, forcing us to buy extra junk because they change the connectors
The "Little Warning Please" Award - you don't just put spiders on my screen without ample preparation to look away
Most Awkward - Krumitz and Nelson's weird high five/fist bump thing
Most Evil - Avery for rescuing the spider and then torturing Nelson with it
Best Reference - Trojan horse
The "Welcome Back" Award - Justin Bruening from Ringer
Best Quotes -
1. Krumitz: "Raven, could you grab me that pen over there and stab me with it? That would be awesome."
2. Mundo: "Nelson thinks Evan framed himself." Avery: "That would be a smart move." Mundo: "You don't really believe that, do you?" Avery: "Nelson thinks the way hackers do but Evan has no motive and no definitive connection to Adel Foster other than a kiss and kisses rarely get you convicted of murder."
3. Krumitz: "Yeah well clearing your history may hide porn sites from your girlfriend, but it won't hide anything from me."
4. Simon: "Guys, let's just reign in our intellect here."
5. Avery: "You know what I miss about this place? The Mets." Mundo: "The Mets? I would comment but you'd probably fire me."

The Goldbergs - 2.18/2.19/2.20 - I Drank the Mold / La Biblioteca es Libros / Just Say No

Grade: B / C / B-

Best Awww Moment - Adam tells Barry how much he means to him
Best Guilt Trip - Barry tells Adam he's the greatest gift he ever got
Best Payback - Adam gets to beat up Barry
The "Back the Truck Up" Award - Murray was right to call Erica and Barry on their so-called gift. Having him apologize for it is dead wrong. Parents aren't supposed to give into their children just because they throw a fit. That's bad parenting. / Similarly, Beverly shouldn't have to apologize for her politics just because Erica throws a baby fit about wanting everyone to think like her.
Most Disgusting - drinking mold
Most Fun - Adam's jerry-rigged zip line
Biggest Brat - Erica calling Beverly clueless and then lashing out at her
Best Nostalgia - there were a lot of songs about hardworking broke people from Jersey/the heartland in the 80's / Discman woes
Biggest Huh? - Erica and Barry had enough stuff to pawn that they made almost $1,000 in the 80's? The 80's. Yeah, I don't think so.
Worst Parent - Beverly Goldberg blaming teachers for her kids' not doing well
The "You Tell Them" Award - Erica is absolutely right to call out Murray on his double standard
The "Is This Really a Thing?" Award - suburban gang fighting in the 80's?
Best Continuity - Erica's job at Gimbels
Biggest Overreaction - The parents to the kids drinking at a party. My parents started the phone network too so they all knew what we were doing but they didn't split us up. Instead we all got the longest lecture of our lives and grounded…like normal parents.
The "Say What?" Award - no way Beverly Goldberg leaves a half consumed bottle of mold around, even in the trash
Best Reference - Buster Browns / American Gladiators
Worst Reference - the Noid / TJ Hooker hair / America's Funniest Home Videos
Best Quotes -
1. Erica: "You know the song?" Murray: "Of course I know the song." Erica: "But you don't listen to music." Murray: "But I live on earth." Pops: "You do realize when Elton John says, 'You can tell everybody that this is your song,' it's not actually your song, right?"
2. Erica: "That's all you care about? Taxes?" Murray: "Yes. Why do you think we had Adam? He was a write-off."
3. Barry: "Dad's giving me a beer cause I'm a working man." Erica: "What? I work and I like beer. I've said too much. I should go."
4. Murray: "Well now I fight the Power." Erica: "You can't fight the Power. You are the Power."
5. Murray: "I just wanted to have the big rite of passage with my son when I should have been having it with my daughter. Here's to you. You're a man now."

TBBT - 8.19/8.20/8.21 - Skywalker Incursion / Fortification Implementation/Communication Deterioration

The middle episode in this run was by far the best for me, mostly because I liked almost everything that happened. Sheldon and Amy discussing being left out and then deciding to build a blanket fort was a lot of fun and had a surprising amount of heart. I'm always a big fan of Wil Wheaton guesting and to have him mediate an argument between Penny and Leonard was fun. I really like how they have made Penny successful this season. Giving her the sales rep job was a brilliant stroke of character development that was long overdue. I like how the tables have turned now and Penny is the more successful of the two. The subplot I liked least was the introduction of Howard's brother but that is mostly because they went with a cheap masturbation joke when the whole thing could have been more heartfelt. I wish they had added more to the scene with Howard and Raj instead of making things crass. Other than that, 8.20 was one of the more enjoyable episodes of The Big Bang Theory this year.

Grade: C+ / B+ / B-

Best Reason to Watch - the second episode had great subplots for everyone
Most Talented - Penny's eye roll communication
Most Fun - Sheldon playing Doctor Who at Amy's / blanket fort
Best Point - Sheldon reminds Leonard that no matter how sucky their day was, he saw Sheldon tasered
The "Still Gets People Every Time" Award - What is it about ET that makes grown men weep? I don't get it but maybe that's because I was forced to watch ET on repeat during a blizzard.
Best Parody - Sheldon's Eye of the Tiger science version
Best Continuity - the guys keep bringing up past adventures
Best Guest Star - Wil Wheaton
Best Reference - Doctor Who
Best Quotes -
1. Caller: "I don't have a question. I just want to say I'm a big fan of the movie. I've seen it like 10 times." Penny: "Okay well, I'll apologize for the first time, but the other 9 are on you."
2. Leonard: "We're trying to get past a security guard, not rescue Zelda." Sheldon: "I think what really needs to be rescued is your sense of whimsy but one quest at a time."
3. Leonard: "Sheldon, I'm sure it's not because they don't think you're an elite scientist." Howard: "Yeah I bet you anything it's just cause you're a pain in the a**." Sheldon: "You're just saying that to make me feel better."
4. Penny: "I mean the whole experience reminded me about how much I hated that world. You know the anxiety, the depression, the negativity. I don't want to feel those things. I want to sell drugs to people who feel those things."
5. Bernadette: "Don't take this the wrong way but how many of these little booze balls have you had?"
6. Howard: "Come on, one day this may double in value and be worth half what I paid for it."
7. Sheldon: "I want to go in." Leonard: "Well so do I but they'll never let us." Sheldon: "Is that the attitude that helped you get Penny?" Leonard: "No, but I don't have 3 years to make that gate feel sorry for me."

Grimm - 4.18 - Mishipeshu

Much of this episode is a stopgap measure before the big reveal of the stupidest plot Grimm has ever had - Adalind and Nick's baby. Kill me now. I did like the Native American take on things and really loved how Hank was such an integral part. They don't use Russell Hornsby enough so it was good to see him get a meatier part here. I am also good with Janelle becoming more of the story. With her Native American history and the fact that she saw the mishipeshu too, she would make a good addition to Team Grimm if they finally get rid of Juliette. Now that Adalind got visibly pregnant seemingly overnight a couple of episodes ago, they really can't have Juliette kill her so there goes any need for Juliette. Plus Nick's life sucks enough already. You have to feel for the guy with his sort of hexenbiest girlfriend and his hexenbiest nemesis who happens to be pregnant with what may turn out to be his hexenbiest kid. Could this get more Maury Povitch? Where's Mama Grimm to take away yet another special baby so we don't have to deal with this plot line anymore?

Grade: B-

Best Reason to Watch - Hank gets a meatier role
Best Friends - no one's giving up on Juliette…except me
Most Intense Scene - Juliette tells Nick that she likes the power of being a hexenbiest
Best Acting - Russell Hornsby as Hank
Worst Estimate - Wu, you should know by now that Wesen make up 98% of the crime in Portland. That's because they make up 98% of the population.
Least Surprising - the people getting murdered killed Simon's dad a long time ago
Most Surprising - Janelle gets spirit jumped and takes out the last bad guy
Least Likely to Pass a Drug Test - Hank and Janelle
Best Quotes -
1. Wu: "What percentage of crime in Portland do you think is Wesen related? Like 20, 30%." Renard: "Well one way or another most crime in most places is Wesen related." Wu: "Oh, okay."
2. Nick: "You don't scare me and I'm not letting go." Juliette: "Aren't you scared of what you might do to me?" Nick: "I could never hurt you, Juliette." Juliette: "I wish I could say the same but I just don't know anymore because deep down I do blame you for what’s happened to me and part of me loves you for it because I've never felt like this before. It's ironic isn't it? You've been the special one for so long. You're connected to a world that most people will never know or understand, and now I know and I understand and I don't want to give it up. Just like you didn't want to give it up but now I know why. Once you're in it and you've seen it and tasted it and lived it, you can't go back. Everyone just seems blind. I like this power Nick and I know you do too." Nick: "Stop it." Juliette: "I can't."
3. Juliette: "You know I didn't need to let them arrest me. I just wanted to see if you'd come rescue me." Nick: "I'm not letting you out if that's what you mean by rescue you. It's safer for you in here." Juliette: "And safer for you."
4. Hank: "What happened?' Nick: "The mishipeshu sort of borrowed you."
5. Nick: "She's definitely pushing me to the limit. She doesn't give a damn what I think." Hank: "What are you going to do?" Nick: "I'm going to keep her locked up as long as I can. That way at least I know where she is and I can keep talking to her." Hank: "Well that's...sort of a plan."

About the Author - Dahne
One part teacher librarian - one part avid TV fan, Dahne is a contributing writer for SpoilerTV, where she recaps, reviews, and creates polls for The 100, Grimm, Teen Wolf, and others. She's addicted to Twitter, live tweets a multitude of shows each week, and co-hosts the Sleepy Hollow "Headless" and Teen Wolf "Welcome to Beacon Hills" podcasts for Southgate Media Group. Currently she writes a Last Week in TV column for her blog and SpoilerTV. ~ "I speak TV."
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