THE RACE: WEEK FIVE (October 21st-27th)
Beauty and the Beast (9/8c, CW) – Much to my dismay, I missed most of this ep due to a scheduling conflict. Lacking the help of my trusty VCR, I had to rely on the last 15 minutes to piece together what I’d missed, and it looks like I missed A LOT. Vincent apparently physically assaulted Cat, and she covered it up. Cat took a lie detector test and used extreme measures (antiperspirant on her FOREHEAD???) to protect Vincent. He returned the favor by faking a memory of the two of them and taking advantage of Cat’s excitement over said memory to weasel information out of her for his own agenda. Vincent rescuing Cat from atop the elevator while having a REAL flashback of their past was a powerful, breathtaking moment – but his end-of-ep sincerity was too little, too late. Considering everything he’s been putting her through lately, Cat was right to close the door – er – window on him. SCORE: Withheld until I can see the whole ep.
Castle (10/9c, ABC) – Best episode of Castle EVER? Maybe not, but it came darn close! I love, love, love (imagine fifty more “love”s tossed in there) time travel stories, and this one was sublime. I was riveted the whole episode, cherishing each new thrilling development, while simultaneously dreading the end of the ep, when the mundane “rational” explanation for everything would be revealed. But Castle outdid itself in a way I never expected – they left the ending OPEN. They let us believe that maybe these guys WERE time-travelers. They allowed – even encouraged! – us keep believing in wonky futuristic scanners, twisty-turny timelines, and Castle and Beckett married one day with three kids. It was dramatic, exciting, fun, and yes, a little bit chilling, too (when Beckett spilled the coffee at the end…**shiver**). This ep was a ride, and I didn’t want to get off. SCORE: 9/10
Marvel’s Agents of SHIELD (8/7c, ABC) – Scheduling conflict strikes again! Missed the first half, and apparently some majorly important stuff happened in those thirty minutes. This really is a show you can’t afford to miss a moment of – not if you want to have a clue what’s happening – and I found that out the hard way. As to what I DID see: Skye’s betrayal of the group hurt, but it seems she was betrayed, too. Scorch was a blast (literally) and the stuff about naming him earned several chuckles. The ending with Skye and Coulson was powerful and emotional, and I could only imagine how much more gripping it would have been if I’d seen the whole ep and knew the full context. As it was, I can only guess that this was one of the best episodes yet. SCORE: Withheld until I can see the ep in its entirety.
Supernatural (9/8c, CW) – Oh, poor Cass! Poor, poor, POOR Cass! Supernatural has always been a show that exemplifies the “show, don’t tell” storytelling technique, and this ep was a prime example. Every moment of Castiel’s homeless, cold, hungry, desperate misery was documented onscreen in painful detail, until I was shivering in the rain right along with him. Castiel’s relief at finally having a safe place to stay with food and friends filled me with warmth, as though I’d just eaten a hearty bowl of soup after spending hours out in the bitter wind. Dean kicking Cass out at the end was so utterly brutal. I wanted to cry. I can only hope the show understands that not allowing Castiel to stay at the batcave does NOT have to equal abandoning him. I was shouting at the screen in those last moments: “Give him your car, Dean! Give him some money, give him some food, give him keys to a hunting cabin somewhere! Call Garth to come protect him!” Bonus points given for pure emotionality, Cass getting “deflowered,” the sheer CREEPINESS of Sam unknowingly being inhabited by another creature, Jared rocking dual performances as Sam and Zeke, clever use of a TV evangelist character, and Zeke bringing Cass back to life. Points deducted for: continuing last year’s trend of making a class of once-mysterious and elusive creatures (Reapers) fully corporeal and dreadfully ordinary. They were SO much cooler when you had to be dead/dying/out-of-body to even see them. SCORE: 8.75/10
Chicago Fire (10/9c, NBC) – And the firehouse drama continues. My heart shatters every time I look at Shay. I give the show major credit for not quickly wrapping up the fallout from her devastating experience in the previous episode. I’m so glad New Guy (sorry, I haven’t learned his name yet) gave Shay some much-needed advice, but I’m not sure she’ll take it to heart. I don’t trust the photographer-lady Shay is hooking up with, and I have a feeling that camera will come back to haunt her. As far as Zoya’s green-card issues go – can’t blame a girl for trying! Who could resist falling for Severide? (Not me!) Matt’s doing great with the boys (kudos to the show for writing some realistic bonding scenes), and Mills’ Freudian slip made me cringe and cover my face. The Chief’s health news was very unexpected, and I couldn’t help but wonder how much of a role it played in his decision to retire. Also: Benny Severide as the new chief??? Can we say “BAD IDEA”? I await his reign with equal parts anticipation and dread. How is it possible to be charismatic and slimy at the same time? Somehow, Benny pulls it off. SCORE: 7/10
Elementary (10/9c, CBS) – When Sherlock’s bored, you know there’s bound to be trouble! Loved him and Watson fishing for potential murder victims at the morgue. The platypus skull was cute, and Sherlock being the one who slept with Joan’s friend was downright HILARIOUS. Definitely my favorite twist of the episode. The case portion of the ep was a fun road trip with lots of dead ends and u-turns, but I am and always will be a “character girl,” so, as usual, Joan and Sherlock’s personal stories were what held my attention. SCORE: 6.5/10
Grimm (9/8c, NBC) – The end of last season was very slightly re-written – and for good reason. Last year’s finale basically had all of Nick’s friends diving into a car and ditching him to the tune of, “Nick’s a Grimm, he can take care of himself!” I thought that was pretty lame, so I’m happy the show chose a different route – even if it meant fudging the writing a bit. Here we had Nick’s buddies use the car as a means of searching the container yard. Rather than ditching Nick, they were trying to find him (while mowing down a few zombies in the process). As usual, this ep included several laugh-out-loud moments courtesy of Monroe, some hard-core action (do NOT mess with zombie-Nick), and the show’s trademark gross-out gore (dismembered hands and feet, anyone?). All in all, a fun one. They almost always are. 🙂 SCORE: 7/10
The Mentalist (10/9c, CBS) – Welcome back, Creepy Ray! Welcome back, Visualize! The case of the empty-room struggle and the stretchy-band murder weapon disposal were cool, but they took a back seat to the more intriguing story of Cho’s love-interest-turned-stalker-turned-spy-turned-Red John-victim. (Try saying that three times fast). That lady definitely kept me guessing until the end. I’m sorry she got murdered, but at least she was able to convey some useful info. I don’t know how the team can assume that RJ was actually the one who hired the girl, though. He could have sent a minion to hire (and kill) her. Also, did anyone else think she was just repeatedly pointing to the location of the tattoo, rather than attempting to draw the actual image in blood? Then again, Jane’s instincts are better than mine, so the tatt probably IS three dots. Ray’s warning near the end seemed very dire – I thought he might be dead before the end of the ep, but it didn’t happen. Bonus points given for: Cho and Rigsby’s cute little fruitbowl scene, several satisfyingly complex mysteries, and a heart-pounding, edge-of-the-seat ending. Points deducted for: Cho’s sloppy questioning of the PI Lady. When’s my favorite interrogator going to learn to stop feeding information to the people he’s questioning??? You don’t say, “Who hired you? Visualize?” You just say, “Tell me who hired you. NOW.” Grrrrrr. SCORE: 7.5/10
And the winner is…Castle, for an exquisitely-delivered time-travel roller-coaster that made my fangirl heart swoon. Supernatural noses into a close second for continuing to deliver the kind of sharp, Kripke-quality eps that made me fall in love with this show in the first place. Kudos!