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This week, I contributed another article to Sound on Sight's "Greatest TV Pilots", this time for The Wonder Years. You can read it here. Also, I did a new "To Better Know A Hero" post on Falcon, which you can read here.
Bob's Burgers: The Kids Rob a Train
Anytime Regular Size Rudy shows up, you know a good time will be had by all.
Once Upon a Time: Quiet Minds
Full disclosure: I watched this episode immediately after the HIMYM finale, so I may have missed some important details as a result of the loud, rage-induced ringing in my ears at the time.
I'm a little unclear as to why Neal had to die. I get that he and Rumpelstiltskin were one now, so that only one or the other could be dominate at any given time, but I'm not sure why Neal had to die to let Rumpel out to tell Emma about Zelena. Couldn't they have just let Rumpel reassert himself briefly?
At the time, I figured they'd find a way to bring Neal back at some point (a la Rumpelstiltskin), but I've since read that apparently he's gone for good, as the actor has left the show.
In hindsight, it was a great big telegraph of his upcoming death, but I did appreciate that Neal and Hook had that moment together. That aspect of their relationship was always far more interesting than their rivalry over Emma.
At least the witch's identity has been revealed. I was really worried they were going to drag that out all season.
Agents of SHIELD: The Beginning of the End
One of the show's best episodes yet. Amazing what happens when the plot kicks into high gear in favor of another case-of-the-week episode.
So are we supposed to be thinking that Victoria Hand is the Clairvoyant? Because I don't, but I'm not sure if the show is trying to make us think that or not by the ending. I will, in fact, be disappointed if Hand is the Clairevoyant, simply because making the prickly good guy who doesn't like the main characters the villain seems too obvious. I assume she's just operating under the impression that Coulson's team has been comprised and is bringing them in, but various places on the internet are talking like the end of the episode revealed her to be the Clairvoyant.
Also, I don't for a second think May is the Clairvoyant either. I'm pretty sure she just has a direct line to Fury, knows more than she's letting on about Coulson's resurrection, and has been monitoring him for Fury.
I do, however, still think that Garrett (or NotFalcon) is the Clairvoyant. There were some scenes with Garrett that were downright sinister in this episode, so either he's the Clairvoyant, or the writers know we're thinking that and are having some fun with it.
I'm still not entirely certain how Skye's double-blind trick was supposed to work. The Clairvoyant wouldn't need both his name and location being thought to pick up on SHIELD - one or the other would be enough to clue him in.
The moment where Skye pulled a gun on May was nice just for the way it showed Skye being an actual agent of SHIELD and not a super special and totes unique Mary Sue snowflake for once.
Ward shooting Wormtongue was frustrating, both for the sheer stupidity of it, and because it was motivated by his feelings for Skye, of which I could care less.
That said, I am very pleased that Coulson figured out Wormtongue wasn't the Clairvoyant relatively quickly, within the confines of one episode.
Department H got name-checked this episode. They're basically the Canadian version of SHIELD, and responsible for the original organization of Alpha Flight. I have no idea who owns the film rights to Alpha Flight as a whole or the various characters, but I wouldn't complain if some of them appeared on this show.
Still puzzled by the lack of a more direct Winter Soldier tie-in. And no, using your end tag to sneakily run a clip from the movie doesn't count as a tie-in. But it sounds like Winter Soldier may end up shaking up this show, so at least some kind of tie-in effect will be there.
Glee: 100/New Directions
By no means a perfect pair of episodes, it will nevertheless be hard to top them next year when the show actually does run its series finale. As always, what it lacks in realism and logic it makes up for in emotion, and these episodes (particularly the second one) nailed the bittersweet feeling of saying goodbye and moving on.
Glee has suffered for awhile now from its identity crisis, trying to be both a show about a glee club and the people who pass through its walls, and a show about those people and what they do after they move on from the club. I've always enjoyed the former more than the latter, even while some of the replacement students never quite popped (and in part because Rachel has only grown more and more insufferable), but the show needed to pick one identity and commit to it, and I can't begrudge them sticking with Rachel, Kurt, etc.
If we didn't already know the series only had one more season to go, I'd probably bail at this point. As I said, I liked the school-based stuff more, and it seemed like the material that had the most potential for at least reaching a baseline of being entertaining and realistic. But with only one more season to go, I'll stick around (unless it gets absolutely deplorable). I'm a completist, after all, and there's not that much left. May as well close it out. And hey, at least the music can still be enjoyable.
So how long before Schue raps his way into New York?
At this point, I can't stand Rachel any more than Santana can, but I am so glad their whole feud storyline is over.
Also, Mercedes, Rachel, while your "who is more famous?" feud is cute (by which I mean annoying), I can assure you, the level of fame you've both achieved this quickly out of high school is equally ludicrous.
So Brittany is joining Santana in New York - how is Santana's current girlfriend going to feel about that? And did Heather Morris leave the show, not get anything better, and has now come back, or was this the plan all along?
Nice to see Quinn again, especially since she missed the Finn tribute episode. If that's the last we see of her and Puck, that'd make for a decent series wrap for the pair.
Also, we never, ever need to see April Rhodes again. Even beyond my irrational dislike of Kristen Chenowith, she brings nothing to the table.
I'm not going to lie: that (fourth?) reprise of "Don't Stop Believin'" was pretty great. Seeing the remaining original New Directions members, followed by the initial recruits, then the second wave leading Will on stage as everyone joins in and jams out, well, like I said, it's going to be tough to top that when it comes time to end the show for real.
"Biff Mackintosh" is either my new band name or my new pornstar name.
Community: G.I. Jeff
I have no idea how this played to anyone who didn't grow up watching G.I.Joe or playing with the toys (my wife mostly liked it), but I loved it, from poking fun at the tropes of the genre (nobody dies) to the new character designs and names, and the spot-on fake commercials. I will say that the animation in the original cartoon was actually better than what they used here (though certainly not great and not expensive - the repeated animation gags were highly accurate), but that aside, this was a loving homage and a fantastic episode.
I haven't taken the time to look it up, but it sure sounded like they got at least some of the original Joe voice actors for this. Though not Cobra Commander's.
"G.I. Jobra" just about killed me.
Parks and Recreation: Prom
Other Shows I Watched
The Simpsons "You Don't Have to Live Like a Referee", Family Guy "Secondhand Spoke", American Dad "Stan Goes on the Pill", The Goldbergs "The President's Fitness Test", Trophy Wife "Couples Therapy", Suburgatory "The Ballad of Piggy Duckworth", Modern Family "A Hard Jay's Night",
Superintendent Chalmers: I have seven other principals, and I have never yelled their names—not even once.
Lisa: The Amazon! It’s just like I pictured it after seeing all those pictures online!
Sue: Will Schuester’s profligate spending and his penchant for staging
elaborate private bacchanalia replete with extravagant scenery and
costumes not seen since the reign of Caligula.
Fourth Wall: Don’t paint graffiti; play sports!
Parks and Recreation
Ben: I specifically requested elliptical cartridges for the turntables. How
am I supposed to keep my Hüsker Dü albums in near-mint condish?