Around the Web
Two more reviews from me at Sound on Sight: the penultimate chapter of the "X-Files Conspiracy" crossover, and the penultimate chapter of "Trial of Jean Grey". It was a penultimate week, apparently.
Also, as some of you may have seen on twitter, this week Dr. Bitz and I began recording the Saved By the Bell Reviewed podcast, along with Billy Superstar of the Full House Reviewed blog and Portland artist Carolyn Main.
We're still a few weeks away from going live (we want to get a few under our belt and work out the kinks before we start posting), but you can be sure I'll pimp the hell out of it here once it goes up. In the meantime, you can follow the show on twitter @sbtb_reviewed, and check out our under-construction tumblr here.
The Simpsons: The Man Who Grew Too Much
Always nice to see a Sideshow Bob episode centered around something other than Bob trying to kill Bart. But let's not pretend the act one reveal of Sideshow Bob is at all shocking when Fox has been pimping his appearance in commercials all week.
Once Upon a Time: New York City Serenade
Similarly, you know what takes a lot of the interest out of an episode that is constantly asking "who could have done this?" or "who could be behind this?" A massive months-long ad campaign that spoils the episode-ending reveal. This one I almost blame on the writers more than ABC: they had to know ABC was going to pimp the hell out of the Wicked Witch of the West being the new Big Bad, so maybe don't hold her reveal for the end of the episode.
Despite the series finale feel of the midseason break, I fully expected a pretty standard reversion to status quo by the end of this episode, but was still surprised at just how much was restored. I figured Emma would get her memories back by the end (all the better, because we don't need Hook trying to convince Emma he's a not a loon for multiple episodes), but having everybody back in Storybrooke seems like maybe too big a "back the way things were" moment for the first episode of the new half-season.
It also seems odd that all it would take to restore Emma's memories was a magic potion, when a big deal was made at the end of the last episode about how permanent Regina's memory wipe would be. Like, obviously, she's getting her memories back, but it should have taken more than a relatively mundane method to do so.
On the one hand, I appreciate that Emma's boyfriend turned out to be a flying monkey, because it makes her less of a jerk for running out on him. On the other hand, ewwww, Emma was sleeping with a flying monkey!
Probably because there was a lot of older stuff (and I am old, especially in my musical tastes), I liked more songs in this episode ("Don't You Forget About Me", "Danny's Song", "Gloria" and "Hold On") than any other episode I can remember short of the all Billy Joel ep.
The Rachel/Santana conversation towards the end of the episode was actually really good, made all the better because it didn't magically repair their friendship. They just both acknowledged some hard truths, opening a window for future reconciliation, but then walked through the door of their feud (or something like that).
Also, I love that Starchild straight-up refuses to play Rachel & Santana's game, and that Santana and Dani are still dating even though Santana was kicked out of the band. Sometimes the most minor of characters on this show are the most adult/realistic.
We had lock-ins in high school. They were fun, but certainly not epic on the scale Tina, Blaine and Sam were expecting.
Agents of SHIELD: Yes Men
This wasn't the greatest episode of the show or anything, but it stands as a pretty decent template for what I'd like to see from the show moving forward (and frankly, expected from the beginning): the main cast investigating some little corner of the Marvel Universe, featuring a C-List or so guest star or villain. Obviously, I don't expect Tony Stark or Captain America to show up regularly, but there's no reason the show couldn't feature characters on the level of Sif or Lorelei on a more regular basis.
Part of me wonders if this Sif appearance was planned from the beginning, or if, after the first few episodes aired and the producers heard the fan reaction, they were like, "crap, who can we get from the movies, stat?!?" Probably the later, since, if you could get Jamie Alexander, why not use her in the Thor 2 tie-in episode, unless you hadn't bothered to ask at that point (unless they had and her schedule just didn't allow for it)?
Sif's list of blue aliens (Interdites, Levians, Pharagots, Kree, Sarks, and Centaurians) adds weight to the idea that the blue creature Coulson saw last episode was indeed a Kree, as it's the name from that list with the most significance, and the one slated to appear in a movie later this year.
Words cannot describe how bored I am with the idea of a May-Ward-Skye love triangle.
Other Shows I Watched
The Simpsons "Diggs" Bob's Burgers "The Frond Files", Family Guy "Mom's the Word", New Girl "Fired Up", Brooklyn Nine-Nine "Fancy Brudgom", The Goldbergs "Lame Gretzky", Trophy Wife "The Wedding Part One", Suburgatory "I'm Just Not That Into Me", Modern Family "Other People's Chidlren", Revolution "Three Amigos", The Big Bang Theory "The Friendship Turbulence", Community "App Development and Condiments", Parks and Recreation "The Wall"