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The 100 "Murphy’s Law" Review and 4-Episode Test: Crime and Punishment

The 100 "Murphy’s Law" Review and 4-Episode Test: Crime and Punishment

HeadingAnother one bites the dustTitleThe 100 "Murphy's Law" Review and 4-Episode Test: Crime and PunishmentBy Kaitlin Thomasstaff5 minutes ago0 Comments0 0The 100 S01E04: "Murphy's Law"Another cast member was voted off the island this week in "Murphy's Law," and unfortunately it was Charlotte, the young girl (emphasis on girl) who was last seen slashing Wells' throat in an effort to slay her inner demons. The Hundred just assumed he'd been killed by Grounders while on watch, but then Jasper and Octavia found the knife (jeez, Charlotte, where did you learn to murder people? You should never leave the murder weapon behind!), which served as the jumping-off point for this week's big discussion about right and wrong, when it's okay to kill a fellow human being (apparently, the answer is "sometimes"?), and chaos versus regulation.I don't want to downplay the importance of Charlotte ultimately jumping to her death over the guilt and shame she felt as a result of killing Wells, because that's a very big deal, but the real discussion has to be about what transpired because of her actions. For every action there's a reaction, or consequence, and there's no way that Charlotte's throat-slashing of Wells was going to go undetected, let alone unpunished. Charlotte used Murphy's knife to do the deed—a knife Bellamy had given to Charlotte during the acid fog—which gave Clarke an enemy to direct her anger toward. And Bellamy, God help me, did the right thing when he told Clarke not to confront Murphy. Now, he didn't warn Clarke away from Murphy because he remembered giving the knife to Charlotte—Bellamy looked equally shocked when Charlotte confessed to killing Wells after the group had already strung up and tried to hang Murphy for being a dick—he did it because Murphy was his bro. But he wasn't wrong to want to keep the knife detail quiet, perhaps recognizing that making the news public would result in a lynch mob. And what do you know, when Clarke confronted Bellamy in front of the entire camp—where everyone was busy building a wall for protection after Wells' death—there was indeed a lynch mob!In Clarke's defense, she had no reason to believe Murphy hadn't killed Wells. It was no secret Murphy hated the guy—a lot of people hated Wells because of his father—but he'd already tried to kill Wells back in Episode 2. Murphy was a jerk, plain and simple. He was hungry with power. He'd just peed on someone a few minutes earlier in a display of dominance. I'd have probably jumped to the same conclusions as Clarke and the rest of the group, because all the signs pointed to Murphy and his Shoulder Pad of Doucheyness being the killer. Unfortunately, the problem with jumping to conclusions in this setting is that problems and arguments escalate very quickly, which is why Murphy was hanging from a nearby tree branch in the span of a few minutes. The group skipped right over judge and jury and went straight to executioner, and Bellamy—the self-appointed leader of this ragtag group of survivors—made no move to save his minion, instead choosing to blame Clarke because she had the audacity to ignore his orders and confront Murphy in the first place.Bellamy's protective nature regarding Charlotte is no doubt a result of not being able to protect Octavia growing up. It makes him feel human and when coupled with his inability to kill Atom last week, makes you wonder what kind of a person he really is underneath the facade he's built. But he can't go around picking and choosing when to let chaos reign and when not to. And he certainly can't go around blaming Clarke when he could have easily calmed the mob of people trying to hang Murphy for his alleged crimes. He's proven several times now that he has command of the Hundred, whether that's a good thing or a bad thing, and by staying quiet, he allowed chaos and revenge masquerading as justice to win out over the truth and common decency.The Hundred is struggling with how to govern themselves on the ground, and it's an interesting thing to watch take shape. They were all for killing Murphy because he's treated them poorly, but very few people jumped at the chance to kill the young girl who actually killed Wells. That's a pretty effed up double standard, in my opinion. No one wants to murder a child, even if she is a murderer. It's much easier to blame the douche bag who's been barking orders and pissing on people, than taking the life of an orphan girl. Tensions are still running high in the group, and now that Murphy has been banished from the safety of the base they've set up, it'll be fun to watch how Clarke and Bellamy plan on working together to set up some sort of boundaries and rules regarding life on the surface. They don't decide who lives and dies, but they can help form a society that isn't completely based on ruling through fear.Perhaps the most interesting development from where I sit is that these are all teenagers who've been imprisoned, some of them for harmless crimes. From our perspective, you'd think that people who've been wrongfully imprisoned wouldn't be so quick to jump to the harsh punishments of the Ark, but then again, that's also all they've ever known. It doesn't appear that there's any sort of judicial system on the Ark. If you're deemed guilty of committing a crime (probably by the council?) you're either floated or, if under the age of 18, locked up. Growing up in this kind of society would definitely warp an individual's mind and sense of judgement.Back on the Ark this week, Abby was facing her own dilemma as the escape pod needed a pressure regulator before they could launch for Earth. Once Clarke removed her wristband in an effort to punish her mother for essentially murdering her father, the timetable was moved up by two days. Raven did her best to have the pod ready, but Abby ultimately took the fall after their shady business to secure the regulator was discovered by Kane. Abby will be punished for trading morphine for a (busted) regulator, but Raven was able to set off for the surface on her own.I'd still like to explore the government structure on the Ark more than we have been able to, and I'm pretty sure I don't care about Finn and Clarke hooking up in a moment of anger and loneliness-inspired passion, or that Raven is definitely Finn's girlfriend and is now headed to remind him of that fact. The relationship drama that's probably about to hit the fan is only going to complicate the good thing the show has going right now, and I'm not sure I'm ready for it. I'd much rather watch a show that explores the guilt of a young girl who murdered an innocent man and her subsequent suicide than have to watch Finn explain why he was allowed to hookup with Clarke because he thought he'd never see Raven again. "Murphy's Law" managed to make many strides in terms of story, I'm just not sure the show can handle the relationship stuff on top of the heavy material it's already working with.VITAL STATSCurrent Population of The Hundred (not including Bellamy): 93– This was Episode 4 of The 100, which means it's time to declare whether or not you should stick around after tonight's episode. I'm going to go ahead and give this one the thumbs up!– Did Clarke hoard all the Pantene Pro-V when they reached Earth? Somehow she manages to have hair that looks freshly washed and silky smooth while the rest of the Hundred appear to have the unclean, greasy look you'd expect them to have after however many days on Earth.– Finn's got himself a little bunker full of goodies, and apparently that bunker belonged to Emily Thorne because there were enough candles in there to light an entire mansion in the Hamptons. Honestly. who told Clarke and Finn to light every single candle? Conservation is key, folks!– Where do you think Murphy is going to go? How long can he last on his own outside in the forest?– I like that Monty's attempt to contact the Ark failed. It's more realistic that he fried the rest of the wristbands rather than open a line of communication on his first try.– Do you think it's sometimes okay to murder people as long as they're really big dicks?
Being Human Postmortem Q&A: Sam Witwer on the Series Finale, Stage Blood, and “Being an Idiot” On the Set

Being Human Postmortem Q&A: Sam Witwer on the Series Finale, Stage Blood, and “Being an Idiot” On the Set

Being Human found its door on Monday night after four seasons of monster-roommate adventures, and after watching the bittersweet-yet-satisfying series finale, I jumped on the phone with Sam Witwer—a.k.a. the man behind tortured babe-magnet vampire Aidan Waite—for an in-depth chat about the circumstances that led to Being Human’s end, his plans for the future, Star Wars, the perils of stage blood, and more. Here's what he had to say...It’s always a little bit of a disappointment, even when a show ends on a high note like Being Human has, for fans to say goodbye to a series that they really loved and cared about. Do you have any words of comfort for them?The timing was good and it was no one’s fault, really. There was some really unpredictable stuff that happened with the budget that was really no one’s fault. Everyone was really taken aback, like, ‘What do we do?’ and the budget went down and we all discussed what to do, the cast and the crew, and we decided to do 13 episodes and end it on our terms, 13 episodes and end it well. And the other thing is that the writers were staying away from the stories that the British series had done and they’d been staying away from the stories that we’d done, and you know, they did 37 and we did 52—that’s a lot of stories between a vampire, a ghost, and a werewolf.The whole thing, really, is that it’s always been a modestly budgeted show and, I think, it’s always been a better show because of that. Under these circumstances, everyone really had a chance to step up and contribute in a way that was really non-traditional for an actor or for anyone, really. I mean, where else would I have the opportunity to write a piece of music and say ‘Hey, put this in an episode,’ or run off and shoot the second unit just on a whim, or write a scene, or do any of those things; these producer-like duties because we just didn’t have a lot of people on set. And that’s a good thing, because what it does is make everyone really involved and really invested and it really became our show. So, at the end of the day, this is the scale that the show was really designed to be on. It was never meant, as far as I’m concerned, to be this seven- or eight-year show. I never felt that way. It was always a smaller-scale, almost independent film-type series that was intimate and about these people and if you want to stay true to that, it’s got to be small, it’s got to be about four years.Now maybe we could have squeezed a fifth in, but we were really playing with fire at that point. I can’t thank Syfy enough for caring enough to let us end like we did. There was a lot of discussion and they might have said, ‘You know what? Do a fifth.’ And we didn’t really know what that was gonna look like.That’s definitely important. I think some of the surprise at the cancellation kind of came from the fact that the writing was good and the ratings were good, so… what? What do you mean it’s canceled? You know?That’s the thing, look, I think Syfy was just doing their due diligence. They’re running a business and if the ratings are up, they do need to consider whether there is another Being Human-type thing coming later on. They have a responsibility to that. What would have been best for fans would have been for Syfy to tell them earlier so that the entire last season could have been a celebration. With that said, I can’t stress enough that Syfy actually saved us and I’m not at liberty to discuss the details but it was a very unusual situation that Syfy was put in, and I do want to stress that Syfy actually saved the show under these very unusual circumstances. That should be made clear. Syfy actually stepped in and did some very unusual things to save the show and then as a reaction, we said, ‘Why don’t we just end it at four seasons?’ There was some real cooperation there. [The network] did not like the idea of leaving fans high and dry and believe me, if they had not lifted a finger, we would have been done after three no matter what the ratings said. It was just that strange situation, and through Syfy’s clever maneuvering we were able to do it. The only compromise was that the budget went down.Given that you had the advance notice and there was time to write an actual ending to the story, what was the intention behind the finale? Did you approach it with the aim to wrap everything up neatly, or was there the hope that the show had other options in the future?If we had been asked to do a fifth season, the only idea we had on the table—the only idea—was that we would reboot the characters and put them in completely different situations. They weren’t even going to be the same characters.Oh no.Yeah, but that was our only choice! The story of Josh, Nora, Sally, and Aidan is done. It’s done. So it would have been the same actors and maybe the same character names, but it would have been a standalone story. That either would have worked or it would have fallen flat on its face.It’s like, in terms of getting people to come and play with us [read: guest-star] for not a lot of money, we had to go to people who already liked us and worked with us and unfortunately, we killed them all off. So, that was another reason for a reboot. You know, we could bring back Mark Pellegrino or Amy Aquino.What was it like working on a genre show like Being Human, where the fans are so vocal and passionate about the show? Going forward in your career, do you think you’d rather do something different?I don’t really have an intention either way. I actually did a pilot for CBS that was very good, and it wasn’t picked up, but it was very good and it didn’t have vampires or monsters in it at all. I did a few independent films. It’s just that the stuff that seems to be catching, for me, is genre. Now, as for going forward, I couldn’t guess. There was something offered to me a few years back that was on a vampire show and I said no because I just didn’t want to do a vampire thing. I said ‘Nah, that’s not something I want to do.' And then, you know, just a short time later I’m on Being Human and I stayed for four years. So you never really know and you never know what’s going to catch and for me it’s really about the script. I can’t say ‘No, I’m not gonna do genre,’ because what if the genre stuff is really good? Then I’ll certainly want to do it and the good thing about genre stuff as far as actor career longevity is that the fans who see something they like are about 15 times more passionate than your average television audience and they will never, ever forget if they see something they like.The other day I was out for a publicity thing and it’s kind of interesting, Being Human has really picked up its fanbase lately, I think probably from Netflix and Hulu, and I get recognized now more than I ever have, and there were people coming up and I assumed they were all for Being Human but then this dude came up and said, ‘Hey, I really appreciate what you did on Battlestar [Galactica]' and I was like, 'What? I was barely on that show!' I mean, I was a regular in theory but you know, I didn’t show up much in the end. And this guy was like, ‘Yeah, but I really, really liked that,” and I was just like, 'Okay!' These fans really recognize you and I’ve gotten a lot of credit for Battlestar. That’s what these fans are like, and let me just say, when I say ‘these fans,’ I’m one of them. Whenever I see someone do honor to something that I’m really passionate about, I don’t forget it. They’ve done a service for me. It’s like, ‘Hey, you cared about this thing that I care about and you did a really good job.’ So, yeah, I really understand that mindset and you know, if I end up in more genre projects, I don’t think it’s going to hurt me—provided I do a good job.That’s the other side of it, if you do a bad job, the fans will not be shy about how much they hated what you did. For me, the pressure was on with Being Human for a different reason, because, you know, it was the first time I was being signed up as the guy, right? But the really big pressure things for me were Star Wars: The Clone Wars and Smallville because it was like, if I didn’t do something the fans liked, they were going to remember it. You really don’t want to mess that up and with Smallville, I mean, as soon as I was cast the fans were angry. They were very, very angry. But as soon as we started filming, the comments started changing and they were like, ‘Hey, he’s okay,’ and they were ready, they were so ready to just destroy me, but I managed to dodge that bullet.I guess Being Human was sort of the same thing because the British fans just hated us, but when we started airing they were merciful. And the Star Wars gig, you know, with Darth Maul, the fans hated me for like a second and then once everyone saw what part that played in the larger picture, they were okay. You know, you get little tastes of what would happen if you messed it up; little tastes of just how bad it could get for you on the internet.The internet is a tough place.Yeah, but the fans, I understand why they’re like that. They just don’t want to see someone mess up something they care about. Who would? And I’m not naming names, but you see it, actors who just don’t give it their all because they didn’t like it or they didn’t care that their material was an established branch or an origin story or a book adaptation or whatever and you can tell that it’s just a paycheck for them. That’s really horrifying, because there are millions of people counting on them to do their job and thousands of actors who would die for that job and who would respect the material and do a better job and understand that this is important to someone. It’s really on you [as an actor] to research it and learn why it’s beloved. If you don’t understand that, then you’re not the person to play the role.Do you see yourself doing more Star Wars in the future, or more voice acting in general?All they would have to do is call me up. My relationship with Lucasfilm is very friendly and continues to be since the Disney acquisition. I can’t get over the kick I get at being welcomed into the building. I mean, I was a giant Star Wars fan growing up so, you know, to even walk into ILS or stay at the [Skywalker] Ranch, these are things that I never thought would happen in my life. So, that opportunity, to do voice acting, but to do it on Star Wars, that’s like saying ‘Hey, we’re going to give you a thousand dollars but only if you let us give you a million dollars.' I’m like, yes, great, absolutely, we’ve got a deal. Those guys, all they have to do is call me up.It’s also been such an honor to work on the last George Lucas-produced Star Wars. That’s something that’s really special to me and I know was special to the entire cast and crew. We were really proud to have worked on the final sentence that George had to say before handing the reigns off to Disney. That’s really something.Going back to Being Human: First of all, stage blood—does it come off with soap and water?That stuff is designed to come out and not stain the costumes too bad, but the thing is, it does stain your skin. If you watch the series, I don’t remember exactly which episode it is, I think it’s in the third season, maybe the second, but I’m pretty sure it’s the third, where you can see my lips are really red and we did multiple takes over and over again and you know, we had the stage blood there and the only way to combat that is to rub shaving cream into your lips.Gross.I know! And luckily later on they discovered that they could just take fruit juice and add a little food coloring to it and for the parts where I’m just drinking the blood and getting it on my face, we could do that.From an effects standpoint—ghost, werewolf, or vampire—who do you think had the hardest time existing on the screen?Josh, Sam Huntington, he had the lion’s share of the makeup, especially in Season 1. Later on they did digital stuff. Once you establish the werewolf transformation you don’t have to show it in its entirety every time, but I mean, that guy had whole-body prosthetics where his entire torso was covered. In Season 1 he did something like two 18-hour days with a five-hour chunk for makeup. It was insane.I had quite a few makeup turns as well, this season, but really in the last two seasons, and certainly the old-man makeup in the finale. It was more elaborate than it looked. The whole notion was to make it look natural and Eric [Gosselin] really made it look subtle, but it was more involved than it looked. I think it’s a great credit to Eric that no one knows that. I mean, it looks natural, but I had prosthetics on my forehead and my chin, deepening the wrinkles around my eyes, just deepening everything up.Leaving Being Human, what is one of your favorite experiences from working on the show?[I apologize in advance if the hilarity of the following anecdote doesn’t quite survive the conversion to written word, but trust me, when Witwer tells it, it’s priceless.]This is gonna sound bizarre, but you know, you’d show up in the morning and you’re really tired and we all had this sort of call to acknowledge one another and someone came up with it during Season 1, and you’d just go ‘Eeeee.’ We’d make this weird sound and that was our way, our call of the wild, to let everyone know there was a cast member here. And you’d be tired, you know, in your trailer thinking you don’t have it in you to do another day, and then you’d hear ‘Eeeeee!’ And you’d respond, ‘Ee?’ And they’d come back with, ‘EEEEE!’ and you’d say ‘EEEEEEEEEEE!’ and it just kept going in this chorus as all the different cast members joined in and it was, it got you ready to go, it was like saying, ‘Alright, let’s go to work, let’s do this.’ That was the wonderful thing with this cast that when they showed up, you could never be in a mad mood with those guys. You’d always be like, ‘Oh god, oh no, are we doing this again?’ And after, you’d hang out a little longer than you would normally because these guys are your friends and they make you laugh.The great thing was that the producers also really understood this. Like, how funny do you want this show to be? Because if you want it to be funny, we need to have diplomatic immunity. We have to be allowed to be idiots on set. And there were a few times when we all got sat down and they were like, ‘Listen, the director, the guest-director is a little bit weirded-out and he doesn’t know how to handle you and you need to tone it down,’ but more often than not, they went back and said, ‘Look, you have to let them do their thing. Are they getting their work done? Do they know their lines? Yeah? Well guess what, their being idiots on set actually makes them funnier on camera soooo… sorry.’ That was part of what made the show. Yes, we were all very professional, but we also kept each other laughing. Otherwise we’d lose energy and it wouldn’t be as much fun. You know?You gotta do what works!Yes! Right! It’s like, in a classroom, we’re the goofballs sitting in the back of the room just feeding off each other, and that was important because the main characters on Being Human were actually friends. Some of those relationships, I think especially the relationship between Aidan and Nora, evolved gradually, and I think that was a reflection of me and Kristin [Hager] getting to know each other. You were seeing real stuff. We didn’t have to create those friendships. If anything, the pretending, it was pretending you didn’t like each other for a second. And I think that was important. In the end, it [Being Human] ran for as long as it should have and it went out as it should have. It went out entirely on the note that it should have and I think it went exactly to the scale it was meant to. It was a small show about these core characters. It was never designed to be like an eight-season thing. That’s not Being Human. If Being Human was a movie, it would be a small, independent movie about people accepting themselves and love that never quite gets there but it’s there anyway. I love that with Sally and Aidan, the audience gets to experience what a love between those two would be like, but Aidan never really does. I think that’s wonderful. I think there’s really something beautiful about that and about Sally in Season 1, you know, her mission was to solve her murder and then she solved it and she got her door and then she gave it up to save Aidan and the mission changed, her reason for being changed, and I think it’s great how these things work out, looking back at those critical moments, how everything was sort of planned.
What to Watch Tonight: The Americans, Pablo Schreiber’s Return to SVU, and the Debut of Deadbeat on Hulu

What to Watch Tonight: The Americans, Pablo Schreiber’s Return to SVU, and the Debut of Deadbeat on Hulu

What to watch on Wednesday, April 9...SERIES PREMIERE, 12am Pacific, HuluDeadbeatTyler Labine stars as a lovable wastrel whose ability to perceive dead people leads him into a series of wacky scrapes and misadventures, as he helps the recently departed complete their earthly agenda. All 10 episodes of the first season go up today.8pm, ABC FamilyMelissa & JoeyJoe plays wingman to help his divorced buddy (Mel’s old Sabrina the Teenage Witch co-star David Lascher) readjust to single life in “Catch & Release,” but it’s Joe who ends up drawing female attention (another of Mel’s old Sabrina the Teenage Witch co-stars, Elisa Donovan). Zander has new ladies in his life as well: His two college roommates, who raise Lennox’s hackles (but neither of whom appear to have co-starred on Sabrina the Teenage Witch).8:30pm, ABC FamilyBaby DaddyBeen plans a doozy of a first birthday party for Emma in “Send in the Clowns.” But while Tucker is organizing the entertainment with gusto, Ben and Danny each stumble upon shocking secrets.9pm, NBCLaw & Order: SVUIn “Beast’s Obsession,” William Lewis (Pablo Schreiber) busts out of the pokey and goes on a spree—and not the shopping kind, the other kind. Soon he and Benson are squaring off once again, with a child’s life on the line in Lewis's latest sadistic game.9pm, CBSCriminal Minds“What Happens in Mecklinburg…” sends the BAU team to the Memphis area, where a string of kidnappings appear to have a common element. Perhaps spurred by this latest trip, Savannah unloads her frustrations with Morgan’s copious job-related travel.9pm, The CWThe 100In the wake of a tragedy close to home, Clarke and Finn try to connect with the Ark—and connect with each other in the process. Elsewhere in “Murphy’s Law,” Bellamy tries to preserve order on Earth, and Abby takes a risk to give Raven a chance to escape.9pm, PBSNOVA“Inside Animal Minds: Bird Genius” spotlights some of our more intelligent feathered friends, including lock-picking cockatoos and puzzle-solving crows and ravens. Think of it as a chance to better know the species that will soon, inevitably, seize control of the planet from us simpering apes. I for one welcome our new avian overlords.SERIES PREMIERE, 10pm, PBSYour Inner FishPaleobiologist Neil Shubin hosts this three-part series, based on his book of the same title, which traces the evolutionary path that has led all the way from the earliest prehistoric life forms to Tommy Wiseau, Justin Bieber, and the person who invented autoplay videos on websites. The opener considers how the first fish to plop itself onto land paved the way for the human form to develop.10pm, FXThe AmericansIn “Arpanet,” Philip strives for access to a revolutionary electronic communications system that the U.S. government is primarily using to watch cute cat videos and write misspelled screeds. In other technological tussles, an FBI polygraph threatens to tighten the vise grip on Nina.10pm, NBCChicago P.D.Two warring gangs, a bundle of corpses, and the disappearance of several million stolen dollars—just another day on the job for the Intelligence Unit in “Turn the Light Off.” In other business, Platt turns to Ruzek for help.10pm, CBSCSIThe team is on the trail of a cannibal in “Consumed,” but it turns out they may be after more than one. And if this video evidence is reliable, their quarry may be one of the hottest bands of 1989.10pm, FXXLegitIn “Afghanistan,” Jim travels to the front lines to entertain the troops—and to put some distance between himself and his parents. Stateside, Billy is hospitalized alongside Jim’s mom.10pm, TV LandHot in ClevelandAfter meeting his son and grandson for the first time, Simon helps Joy secure a spot for Wilbur at an A-list preschool. Meanwhile in “Dr. Who,” Melanie and Elka are on the hunt for the ideal physician.10pm, Comedy CentralWorkaholicsA malicious online gamer targets the fellas in “DeputyDong.” It just goes to show what we all know: You can’t trust people who make their living on the internet.10:30pm, Comedy CentralTripTankVicious pranks, enormous burritos, and besotted rhinos make up just some of the zaniness in “Crossing the Line.”LATE-NITE:– Tracy Morgan and Nick Cannon on The Arsenio Hall Show, Syndicated, check local listings– Andy Garcia, Jenna Elfman, and Ingrid Michaelson on Conan, 11pm, TBS– TBD on Chelsea Lately, 11pm, E!– Colin Firth on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, 11pm, Comedy Central– Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg on The Colbert Report, 11:30pm, Comedy Central– Jennifer Garner, Dave Grohl & Krist Novoselic, and Stevie Nicks on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon, 11:35pm, NBC– Lindsay Lohan, 13-year-old nuclear fusion reactor constructor Jamie Edwards, and Real Estate on Late Show with David Letterman, 11:35pm, CBS– Kate Upton, Cole Hauser, and Neon Trees on Jimmy Kimmel Live, 11:35pm, ABC– Denis Leary, Thomas Middleditch, and Fitz and the Tantrums on Late Night with Seth Meyers, 12:35pm, NBC– Sharon Osbourne and race car driver Tony Kanaan on The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson, 12:37am, CBSWHAT ARE YOU WATCHING TONIGHT?
Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. "Turn, Turn, Turn" Review: Out of the Shadows

Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. "Turn, Turn, Turn" Review: Out of the Shadows

Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. S01E17: "Turn, Turn, Turn"WARNING: The following review contains spoilers for Captain America: The Winter Soldier. If you've seen the episode, you already know what happened in the film, but to counteract the inevitable complaints about spoilers... you've been warned.There are two groups of thought regarding humanity. One group believes humans are good by nature, the other subscribes to the notion that humans are inherently evil. I'm generally pretty cynical when it comes to my fellow human beings, which is why my brain does this funny thing whenever I start to really like a TV character. It starts coming up with a list of reasons why that person is secretly a jerk or why they're going to die soon. That's why I've been wondering for weeks when the other shoe was going to drop regarding Bill Paxton's Agent Garrett. I liked him far too much. He was far too cool to be a good guy. I could hear this little voice whispering in my ear last week, telling me he probably wasn't all he appeared to be. When coupled with the knowledge that the Clairvoyant was an agent within S.H.I.E.L.D., my brain started going down the list of possible suspects.Knowing that the Clairvoyant had to be someone we'd met already, I instantly ruled out Agent May because it was far too obvious she wasn't reporting to the Clairvoyant, and was a Fury plant whose job was to keep an eye on Coulson. Agent Hand (R.I.P.) was obviously a red herring, and a character I'm going to miss dearly. Titus Welliver's Agent Blake was out of commission after last week, otherwise I'd have seriously considered him. There's something about Welliver that just screams, "I MIGHT NOT BE TRUSTWORTHY!" I think it might be his face. And those times he played characters who weren't trustworthy. Continuing down the list, I knew Agent Sitwell was shady—and his role in Captain America: The Winter Soldier proved I was right—but he's always given off the air of a lousy lackey, not of a man in charge. I doubt he even had control of the radio station in his car. That left only Agents Garrett and Tripplett. We hardly knew Triplett, and he was too young to fit the profile I'd created in my mind (I've been watching a lot of Hannibal lately, sorry), which meant by process of elimination and my own distrusting nature, that Agent Garrett was the only viable option.Garrett being the Clairvoyant actually makes a lot of sense. His character was instantly likable, and looking back, it's clear the series went out of its way to make him appear that way. His cool take-no-prisoners attitude purposefully threw us off the scent. The character also just fits the profile of the Clairvoyant. He has a history with Coulson, which would explain his interest in Coulson. He was "old guard" enough that he'd have not only the security clearance, but also the power to amass and influence followers. And he's been around long enough that he'd have been fully enveloped by the Hydra mentality. I suppose then, that if I was able to smell the traitorous stank on Garrett that I should have been able to follow it to Agent Ward—yes, I've finally decided he's interesting enough to be upgraded to his real name, although I make no promises about maintaining that. Agent Handsome still has a nice ring to it.Someone threw out the idea that Ward was a traitor in the comments last week, and I can't remember who it was, but if it was you: nice work! I remember seeing that comment and thinking, "Huh, that's an interesting theory!" And then I went about my day eating gummi bears or whatever. I didn't give it much thought at the time, and I suppose that's exactly what the writers had intended. From the beginning, they built Ward up to be a hero. He was prickly and didn't work well with others, but he jumped out of the plane to save Simmons. He went in the field with Fitz and came out with a bromance. He trained Skye as her superior officer (and he kissed her tonight, which I'll get to later). And he went so far as to carry on a sexual relationship with May. Ward managed to insert himself (heh) in to everyone's lives in a way that made you not only trust him, but like him, or at least like that he was on your side and not your enemy's.Producers Jeph Loeb and Jeff Bell did a post-mortem interview with TV Guide about tonight's episode, and in it they confirmed they knew from the beginning this was going to be Ward's path. I stand by my previous criticisms of his character and Dalton's cardboard performance, though, because A) they're already out there on the Internet, and B) looking at this in retrospect doesn't change the fact Ward really deserved that Agent Handsome nickname for most of the series. Loeb and Bell admitted Dalton didn't know right from the beginning that Ward would be revealed as a traitor, and I don't know when Dalton got the memo, but it doesn't change the fact the character—even if he's a skilled liar and manipulator—was about as boring as white paper for awhile. I think the writers would argue they purposefully kept Ward from fully developing as a character for awhile, because he was a big fat liar who lies, but I'm just too much of a cynic to believe that they'd had that mapped out, too.Instead of kicking ourselves for missing what was apparently right in front of us all along, our time would be better spent looking at how something like this—Garrett, Ward, Hydra—could happen. If you didn't see Captain America: The Winter Soldier prior to this episode, you were probably a bit OMGWTFBBQ at the reveal that Hydra not only exists, but that it's been thriving in S.H.I.E.L.D. for the last 70 years. It's a curious battle about right and wrong, because, and I'll try to be brief here, Hydra truthfully thought they were doing the right thing by eliminating would-be criminals before they had the chance to commit those crimes. They were pulling a Minority Report, but as Cap pointed out, they weren't ruling in the name of freedom, they were ruling with fear. It's easy to see how people would be swayed toward Hydra's way of thinking, though, and it's even easier to see how someone like Ward—someone with a horrible family life, someone who needed a father figure—would be susceptible to what Garrett was spinning when he was under his command.Is Ward really a "bad guy" though? He definitely shot three people in what appeared to be an attempt to save Garrett, but the final scene in which Garrett's talking and Ward zones out is an interesting development. Could it mean he's no longer listening to the bullsh*t Garrett's feeding him? Some might wonder if he's playing Garrett, and while I think that's always a possibility, I think it's going to be less about good versus bad as it will be Coulson versus Garrett. I could be wrong—I'm wrong a lot—but I have a feeling this will be a rich storyline for Dalton, and we're going to see a side of Ward we maybe haven't seen before. Just as we had to question whether Bucky Barnes was actually evil in Captain America and not just a weapon used by the enemy, I think we might eventually find ourselves in a similar situation with Ward. He was led to believe certain things by a man he looked up to for a long time. Has his time on Coulson's team changed him? Did he really have feelings for Skye?It appears we now know why Ward really shot Brad Dourif's character last week, and it wasn't because Nash threatened Skye—although, I kind of wish it was, because that at least makes it more interesting than what it was, which was to just make Coulson believe the Clairvoyant was dead. I'm not one for shipping, especially on this show (unless we're talking Ward and his stubble from next week's promos, because that should stay forever), but part of me hopes he wasn't lying about his feelings for her. That being said, if it's those feelings that somehow pull him back to the good side, I will vomit all over that development, because this ain't The Vampire Diaries (I kid! Sort of). But I think those feelings can be an asset to the story if used properly.I talked a lot about how feelings make us human last week, and how it was those supposed feelings Ward acted on last week that made his character more interesting. Even though we have to look back at everything Ward's said and done with a different lens now, I stand by that statement, too. If his feelings for Skye are real, that's more interesting than if he was playing her. And I don't subscribe to the notion that just because someone is revealed to be working for the opposing team that everything they've ever done or said up to that point is a lie. I'm sure some of it was, but all of it? Nah, that would be hella boring. And right now, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. is anything but boring. My only question is this: When will the rest of the team find out about Ward's apparent double-cross? Because as far as they know, nothing is wrong.DECLASSIFIED CASE FILES– The next person who makes Fitz cry is getting my foot up their a$$. Also, Fitz shot someone! Go Fitz! Team Fitz!– May confirmed what we all knew, which was that she loves Coulson was placed on the team to monitor Coulson and report back. But what we didn't know was that she basically assembled the team by telling Directory Fury what kind of team Coulson would need, which pushed him in the direction of Fitz, Simmons, and Ward. Sneaky!– As far as everyone knows, Fury is still dead. But as we know, that was a fake out and Samuel L. Jackson will be appearing in the season finale. What do you think that means?– Has the show always used suggested hashtags and I've just been blocking them out until now?– Ward still has the harddrive with all the plane's files, right? Skye handed it to him, but I don't recall him giving it back. I'm sure that won't turn into anything!– "But I'm getting better at it." (The look on Simmons' face when she said was kind of chilling.)– How effing cool was that Hydra logo at the end where the S.H.I.E.L.D. logo used to be?thekaitling:list:were-you-shocked-by-the-clairvoyants-identity/thekaitling:list:and-what-about-the-identity-of-the-mole/
Glee "Bash" Review: Once You Are Real

Glee "Bash" Review: Once You Are Real

HeadingOMG kurt!TitleGlee "Bash" Review: Once You Are RealBy MaryAnn Sleasmanstaff6 minutes ago11 Comments0 0Glee S05E15: "Bash"There's something kind of icky about Glee using violence against a gay character to push a straight black character—one who has some complicated-yet-understandable reasons for distancing herself from her straight white boyfriend—into taking her albino boyfriend back, but kudos to Glee for Grown-Ups for at least acknowledging that the problems its characters face in New York are much more multifaceted than the ones they faced in Ohio. The stakes are higher; the wise, trusted teacher isn't there to point them in the right direction, and the right direction isn't as obvious anymore. Still, the fact that a storyline as serious as a gay-bashing was relegated to B or C status in favor of yet another Rachel-is-too-precious-for-this-world plot and ample focus on Mercedes and Sam's messed-up, star-crossed heteromance, especially considering that this episode was blatantly named "Bash" and that Kurt's beating dominated the promo. It was almost a "bury your gays" situation except that Kurt got to live.Prior to his attack, Kurt attended a candlelight vigil for another friend who had been hurt by total strangers during a startling increase in the number of crimes committed against gay people in New York City—a trend that is actually totally for real happening. I know. WTF. Papa Hummel showed up to voice his own disbelief with regard to the reality of hate crimes being committed in NYC. Kurt was supposed to be safer in the vastly diverse city, the home of Broadway and Stonewall and fashion week. It was supposed to be his escape, his chance to be himself, real and unfettered by bigotry. It's a sentiment held by so many individuals who grow up feeling stifled in small towns full of narrow minds, and Kurt's experience was an extreme mirror of what often happens once those free spirits and other sundry weirdos make it to their sanctuary: It's not perfect. Problems don't just disappear. Even New York City has its share of bigots, hate-mongers, and other flavors of douchebag. It's just a place, and places only mean what we want them to.That sentiment was also apparent in this week's episode of The Rachel Show, when we saw her once-fanatical devotion to NYADA wither as soon as Carmen Tibideaux failed to properly bow alongside the rest of the little people in Rachel's life. At one time, Rachel wanted nothing more than to attend NYADA. It was the most important goal in her life. It was a stepping stone on the way to greatness—like, a HUGE stepping stone on the way to greatness. She was devastated when she initially didn't get in, but times and circumstances have changed—as has the meaning of NYADA for Rachel. Once she was cast in Funny Girl, NYADA's stature was overshadowed. First it shrank to a small stepping stone, and then barely a stone at all.Rachel doesn't need NYADA for Funny Girl, and truthfully, she may never need NYADA. Kurt made a good case for the school and a college education, but the current reality of Rachel's situation is that NYADA isn't what she thought it would be, it doesn't fill the need she thought it would fill, and while at one time she would've happily sold he soul to get in, she's now equally as eager to GTFO. Situations change.Which brings us to Mercedes and Sam. In their case, situations changed very quickly, and in the span of one episode, they went from "never dating again" to "broken up for questionable career reasons" to "back together forever." Mercedes thought that her budding musical career would give her limitless freedom to explore her art and her interests and to live life to the fullest degree... only to learn that she may or may not be restrained by a different set of standards. Her back-up singers warned her that dating a white guy sent an odd message to her black fans, that it could alienate many of them. Her professional life conflicted with her personal life, and for now, Mercedes has seemingly opted to tend to the personal side of things, but this is a conflict that will repeat itself time and again, in one form or another, for as long as Mercedes finds herself out in the workforce.There was a lot of chatter from a lot of people in "Bash" about the kids from Lima, Ohio becoming real adults now, with real adult problems and real adult responses to those problems. In earlier episodes, I would've accused Glee of trying too hard to push the point, because Glee always tries too hard at not trying too hard and that's half the problem with Glee. "Bash" was a surprisingly mediocre episode after a string of refreshingly good ones, falling into some of Glee's old exploitative-ish patterns of relegating actual big storylines to the back burner for the sake of RACHEL OMG RACHEL SO PERF, but the fact is, the shift to New York has ushered in a growth spurt for the former perpetual high-schoolers, and a healthy dose of harsh reality for a series that routinely rejects it because reasons. And you know what they say about reality: "Once you are real, you can't be ugly, except to people who don't understand."MUSICAL NOTES– Playlist ranking blah blah: Everything Amber Riley sang was perfection. – Sam: "It's really hard for a straight white man these days." Blaine: "We should probably change the subject."– Rachel called Tibideaux a failure. Classy.– "Whoever wrote this fan-fiction really sucks." "Actually, George Lucas wrote this one." Admit it, you peed a little.– Countdown to Funny Girl never opening for some reason, forcing Rachel to go back to NYADA and grovel for her place in class?
Glee "Bash" Review: Once You Are Real

Glee "Bash" Review: Once You Are Real

HeadingOMG kurt!TitleGlee "Bash" Review: Once You Are RealBy MaryAnn Sleasmanstaff6 minutes ago11 Comments0 0Glee S05E15: "Bash"There's something kind of icky about Glee using violence against a gay character to push a straight black character—one who has some complicated-yet-understandable reasons for distancing herself from her straight white boyfriend—into taking her albino boyfriend back, but kudos to Glee for Grown-Ups for at least acknowledging that the problems its characters face in New York are much more multifaceted than the ones they faced in Ohio. The stakes are higher; the wise, trusted teacher isn't there to point them in the right direction, and the right direction isn't as obvious anymore. Still, the fact that a storyline as serious as a gay-bashing was relegated to B or C status in favor of yet another Rachel-is-too-precious-for-this-world plot and ample focus on Mercedes and Sam's messed-up, star-crossed heteromance, especially considering that this episode was blatantly named "Bash" and that Kurt's beating dominated the promo. It was almost a "bury your gays" situation except that Kurt got to live.Prior to his attack, Kurt attended a candlelight vigil for another friend who had been hurt by total strangers during a startling increase in the number of crimes committed against gay people in New York City—a trend that is actually totally for real happening. I know. WTF. Papa Hummel showed up to voice his own disbelief with regard to the reality of hate crimes being committed in NYC. Kurt was supposed to be safer in the vastly diverse city, the home of Broadway and Stonewall and fashion week. It was supposed to be his escape, his chance to be himself, real and unfettered by bigotry. It's a sentiment held by so many individuals who grow up feeling stifled in small towns full of narrow minds, and Kurt's experience was an extreme mirror of what often happens once those free spirits and other sundry weirdos make it to their sanctuary: It's not perfect. Problems don't just disappear. Even New York City has its share of bigots, hate-mongers, and other flavors of douchebag. It's just a place, and places only mean what we want them to.That sentiment was also apparent in this week's episode of The Rachel Show, when we saw her once-fanatical devotion to NYADA wither as soon as Carmen Tibideaux failed to properly bow alongside the rest of the little people in Rachel's life. At one time, Rachel wanted nothing more than to attend NYADA. It was the most important goal in her life. It was a stepping stone on the way to greatness—like, a HUGE stepping stone on the way to greatness. She was devastated when she initially didn't get in, but times and circumstances have changed—as has the meaning of NYADA for Rachel. Once she was cast in Funny Girl, NYADA's stature was overshadowed. First it shrank to a small stepping stone, and then barely a stone at all.Rachel doesn't need NYADA for Funny Girl, and truthfully, she may never need NYADA. Kurt made a good case for the school and a college education, but the current reality of Rachel's situation is that NYADA isn't what she thought it would be, it doesn't fill the need she thought it would fill, and while at one time she would've happily sold he soul to get in, she's now equally as eager to GTFO. Situations change.Which brings us to Mercedes and Sam. In their case, situations changed very quickly, and in the span of one episode, they went from "never dating again" to "broken up for questionable career reasons" to "back together forever." Mercedes thought that her budding musical career would give her limitless freedom to explore her art and her interests and to live life to the fullest degree... only to learn that she may or may not be restrained by a different set of standards. Her back-up singers warned her that dating a white guy sent an odd message to her black fans, that it could alienate many of them. Her professional life conflicted with her personal life, and for now, Mercedes has seemingly opted to tend to the personal side of things, but this is a conflict that will repeat itself time and again, in one form or another, for as long as Mercedes finds herself out in the workforce.There was a lot of chatter from a lot of people in "Bash" about the kids from Lima, Ohio becoming real adults now, with real adult problems and real adult responses to those problems. In earlier episodes, I would've accused Glee of trying too hard to push the point, because Glee always tries too hard at not trying too hard and that's half the problem with Glee. "Bash" was a surprisingly mediocre episode after a string of refreshingly good ones, falling into some of Glee's old exploitative-ish patterns of relegating actual big storylines to the back burner for the sake of RACHEL OMG RACHEL SO PERF, but the fact is, the shift to New York has ushered in a growth spurt for the former perpetual high-schoolers, and a healthy dose of harsh reality for a series that routinely rejects it because reasons. And you know what they say about reality: "Once you are real, you can't be ugly, except to people who don't understand."MUSICAL NOTES– Playlist ranking blah blah: Everything Amber Riley sang was perfection. – Sam: "It's really hard for a straight white man these days." Blaine: "We should probably change the subject."– Rachel called Tibideaux a failure. Classy.– "Whoever wrote this fan-fiction really sucks." "Actually, George Lucas wrote this one." Admit it, you peed a little.– Countdown to Funny Girl never opening for some reason, forcing Rachel to go back to NYADA and grovel for her place in class?
News Briefs: The CW Orders the Comedy Backpackers to Series

News Briefs: The CW Orders the Comedy Backpackers to Series

A NETWORK FINDING ITSELF NEWS... The CW is growing up and taking that rite-of-passage backpacking trip across the world. Or at least making a show about it. The network will air 10 half-hour episodes of the comedy Backpackers this summer. Noah Reid and Dillon Casey will star as a pair of buddies who trek all over the globe in search of Ryan's missing bride-to-be. Backpackers already has a life on the web as part of CW Seed, an online studio that makes digital content. The four episodes already released online will be repurposed, but the final six will be all-new. [CW via press release]BUSINESS TIME... Oh Lordy, Bravo has announced a million new and returning shows and they're the bane of my existence. Let's get this over with! Returning to Bravo are: Below Deck (Season 2), Don't Be Tardy... (Season 3), Million Dollar Listing Los Angeles (Season 7), The Real Housewives of New Jersey (Season 6), Top Chef (Season 12), The Millionaire Matchmaker (Season 8), The Real Housewives of Atlanta (Season 7), The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills (Season 5), Shahs of Sunset (Season 4), Vanderpump Rules (Season 3), Fashion Queens (Season 3), Newlyweds (Season 2), Thicker Than Water (Season 2), Blood Sweat & Heels (Season 2), and Watch What Happens Live (Season 7). New scripted series include Odd Mom Out, a half-hour comedy about "momzillas" on New York's Upper East Side, and Girlfriend's Guide to Divorce, starring Lisa Edelstein as a self-help book author who secretly separated from her husband. Among the new unscripted projects coming are cooking reality show Top Chef Duels, restaurant competition Best New Restaurant, voyeuristic dating show 100 Dates, friendzone-breaking Friends to Lovers?, Real Housewives of New Jersey spinoff Manzo'd with Children, Eurotrash docuseries Euros of Hollywood, British socialist watch Ladies of London, pageant series Game of Crowns, real-estate series Million Dollar Listing Miami, fish-out-of-water series Jersey Belle, divorce series Untying the Knot, parenting advice series Extreme Guide to Parenting, and The Real Housewives of Atlanta: Kandi's Wedding, which needs no explanation. Also, Bravo canceled Princesses: Long Island. If you'll pardon me, I'm going to take a shower to rinse off all the filth now. [Bravo via press release]... Netflix has released more details on its upcoming drama Marco Polo, which was ordered to series back in January. Production is underway, shooting locations will include Malaysia, Italy, and Kazakhstan, Season 1 has been upped to 10 episodes from nine, and the cast includes international actors Lorenzo Richelmy, Benedict Wong, Zhu Zhu, Tom Wu, Remy Hii, and Rick Yune. But it's still about the famous Italian trader and not the pool game. Look for it in late 2014. [Netflix via press release]... Starz slapped a premiere date on Power, 50 Cent's new drama about all the same stuff 50 Cent likes to rap about, like women, power, and bidness. But if you want the specifics, it follows a night-club owner who also moonlights as a drug dealer. Look for Power on Saturday, June 7 at 9pm. [Starz via press release]... NBC is fishing for comedy talent through a new program called "NBC Comedy Playground." The network is asking for video submissions (5-10 minute samples or 2-5 minute pitches) for new show ideas starting May 1 at the project's Web site otherwise they'll just give Sean Hayes another show. [NBC via press release]... But until then, NBC will continue to order silly shows like NBC's Epic Funnies (yes that's the real title), a variety clip-show in the vein of America's Funniest Home Videos. NBC has ordered six episodes of the hourlong (AN HOUR LONG!?) show. No premiere has been set. [Deadline Hollywood]CASTING NEWS... Shirley MacLaine will be dropping by Glee for a few episodes before the end of Season 5. The Oscar-winner will play a powerful socialite in the Big Apple who's looking to turn Blaine into a star. Her first appearance on the show will happen later this month. [TV Line]... British actor Ben Miller will be the Doctor's guest in the next season of Doctor Who. Miller, who's known across the pond as one half of Armstrong and Miller and the star of Primeval, will play a villain in an episode penned by Mark Gatiss. Doctor Who returns later this year. [BBC America via press release]... Ashley Tisdale (High School Musical and a recent guest spot on Review) and George Wendt (Cheers) will star in TBS's untitled barbershop comedy from the creators of Will & Grace. Tisdale will play a barber and Wendt will play the former owner of the shearing shop. [Deadline Hollywood]... Dollhouse's Enver Gjokaj will guest-star on Rizzoli & Isles for multiple episodes. He'll play a Boston University professor who meets Rizzoli AND Isles. Gjokaj just needs his own show already, the guy can act. [TV Line]... Oscar Nunez (The Office) and Kerri Kenney (Reno 911!) wil guest-star on the season finale of New Girl. They'll play employees of a cruise that the gang goes out on. [TVGuide.com]... Linda Hamilton, mother of John Connor, is sticking with science-fiction and will guest-star on Season 2 of Syfy's Defiance. She'll play the estranged wife of Rafe. Plus there's a new trailer! [EW]
Glee: We Need to Talk About "Bash"

Glee: We Need to Talk About "Bash"

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Glee: We Need to Talk About "Bash"

Glee: We Need to Talk About "Bash"

Important: You must only upload images which you have created yourself or that you are expressly authorised or licensed to upload. By clicking "Publish", you are confirming that the image fully complies with TV.com’s Terms of Use and that you own all rights to the image or have authorization to upload it.Please read the following before uploadingDo not upload anything which you do not own or are fully licensed to upload. The images should not contain any sexually explicit content, race hatred material or other offensive symbols or images. Remember: Abuse of the TV.com image system may result in you being banned from uploading images or from the entire site – so, play nice and respect the rules!
Justified Season 5 Finale Review: It’s a Set-up!

Justified Season 5 Finale Review: It’s a Set-up!

Headingas the crowes flyTitleJustified Season 5 Finale Review: It's a Set-up!By Tim Surettestaff19 minutes ago1 Comment0 0Justified S05E13: "Restitution"I wish I could say that "Restitution" rode in on its horse and saved Season 5 from its troubles in the eleventh (or thirteenth) hour, but it didn't. Instead, the episode was on a par with the rest of the season, meaning it was fine, but still well short of the brilliance we know that Justified is capable of (the curse of being a prestige drama!). But I'll give "Restitution" credit for resolving most of Season 5's unfinished stories by the time Raylan and Ava parted ways on Shady Meeting Bridge, as they all had to go off and prepare for Season 6, the series' final, which was looming in the distance.As I said in my review of last week's "Starvation," I was really hoping that Raylan's gamble in trying Kendal as an adult would backfire on Raylan because a) Raylan needs a kick in the pants, b) that would be a great starting point for Season 6, and c) things would seem too easy if Raylan's plan worked and Darryl copped to shooting Art. Well, that last part is pretty much what happened, with Wendy getting the confession out of Darryl after playing the part of a battered sister who loved her brother too much to turn on him. However, maybe next time Wendy ought to leave with the recorded evidence instead of flaunting it in front of Darryl, given his established history of killing his siblings. I am not the arbiter of who lives and who dies, but Wendy probably deserved to bite it for that dumbness.Instead, Raylan showed up at the right time and looked all cool with his gun barely drawn by his hip and Darryl decided dying in a whorehouse was better than living in a cell so he made a move for Wendy which was a bad decision because Wendy pulled a pistol on his privates and got Darryl's rocks off but in the bad kind of way. Another lunge, another gunshot, and Raylan didn't really have to do anything at all, which is fine because that's kind of what Raylan did all season long. He did get to say goodbye to Darryl with a real zinger, telling him, "Didn't I tell you you were gonna wish I killed you? Well don't ya?" I think Darryl's internal monologue in that moment was less concerned with Raylan's verbal vengeance and more of, "Ow my balls. My sister shot me in the balls." So that big showdown between Raylan and Darryl never happened unless you count Raylan taunting a ball-less dying man on the ground as a showdown, and Wendy probably would have shot Darryl whether or not Raylan was there at all.The Crowes were built as a near carbon copy of the Bennetts in Season 2 (my favorite season of Justified), but they never got a chance to be a real threat to Raylan. In fact, Raylan didn't take out any Crowes directly. Dilly was killed by Darryl, Danny was killed by a hole in the ground, and Wendy killed Darryl. The meanest thing Raylan did to the Crowes was not get Kendal a cup of coffee. Though these gingers from Florida started with such promise, I'll look back at them less as fearsome Crowes and more like pesky gnats who managed to self destruct without much interference from Raylan at all.As for Boyd, he was dealing with gangsters from Detroit Canada Mexico, and managed to get them off his back through smart phone slight of hand when he changed Raylan's contact information (I love how Boyd has Raylan in his address book; "sup R, where r u? hit me back") to read Darryl's name instead. So when the Mexican cartel demanded that Boyd bring Darryl in to pay for killing those men in Mexico, Boyd was actually texting Raylan. Okay, so phone trickery wasn't as cool as blowing someone up with an explosive cigarette box, but it worked when Tim and Rachel arrived (no Raylan?) and put a bunch of holes in the cartel members. It was a rather easy way of getting Boyd out of his jam, but that felt like the M.O. of "Restitution" as it had the mindset of wrapping things up by any means necessary and setting up Season 6 instead of salvaging the confusion created from sending Boyd all over North America.And the biggest set up for Season 6 came courtesy of... AVA? Yep, Ava finally had something relevant to do! Well, in the very final minutes. Before that, her part in "Restitution" was more of the same women's prison nonsense of watching her back and then fighting back and then getting into arguments and then me falling asleep. But once she got out of prison—YES she's finally out of prison!—Ava became important again because she was interwoven with the leading men of Harlan instead of eating ice cream and dislocating her shoulder in jail. And the terms of her release weren't that much of a surprise. She got out on the condition that she help the Kentucky Marshal Service take down Boyd, which looks like the backbone of Justified's final season. I don't think that excuses all the jail shenanigans that ultimately meant nothing to Ava's arc other than giving her a long-winded reason to break up with Boyd and get a haircut, but the idea of Ava turning rat on Boyd is a juicy start to Justified's final season because her allegiances to both Raylan and Boyd are rocky are best.Season 5 had about six episodes worth of story to tell and got lost in all the manufactured complexities that came with stretching things out. And some of the more interesting elements were ignored or abruptly dropped. As soon as Mara, the mail-order bride who was briefly married to Paxton, became interesting, she was shuffled off the show with little fanfare. Jay and Roscoe, the two sibling gangsters played by Steve and Wood Harris, were the most fascinating villains of Season 5 but they were relegated to second-fiddle nuisances (but they were part of the season's best scene). And Season 5's most fascinating development—Art learning about Raylan's involvement in the murder of Nicky Augustine—was scuttled to the point that the writers shot Art instead of dealing with it head on. Even Raylan's love life drama fizzled out as Allison simply faded away.Of course, I'm comparing Justified to itself and its past glory, and that's a high hurdle for any show. But I'll remember Season 5 as a season full of messiness and missed opportunities, unfortunately.POSTCARDS FROM HARLAN COUNTY– Whatever happened with Rachel becoming interim Chief Deputy? Nothing seemed to change much from that promotion.– What happened with Katherine? Did we need her this season?– When the prison guard said, "Crowder get off that goddamn table!" I laughed a lot. I still am not sure why.– The scene with Raylan and Kendal in the interrogation room was outstanding as Raylan swapped hunting stories with Kendal as a way to get Kendal to slip up and prove to Wendy that he didn't commit the shooting.– Did Boyd really think he could convince those cartel members to turn on their boss? I'm not sure what the point of that scene was.– Tim spoke Spanish. This show needs more Tim.– For a minute there I thought Season 6 was going to be Raylan in Florida, but I guess his trip down south to see his daughter will be postponed until they catch Boyd. By that time, Raylan's daughter might be in a Boca Raton retirement home. Winona is going to be pissed.HEARD 'ROUND HARLANTim: "The way this works Darryl, I follow you around."Tim: "I appreciate your concern, this may as well be a slow night in the champagne room for how comfortably erect I'm going to be watching your bitch ass squirm about."Boyd: "Some folk say Disneyland is the happiest place on Earth, well I promise those folks ain't ever partied with Boyd Crowder in Sin City."Boyd: "You want me to shit my pants, Alberto, because it seems to me that would make your job more unpleasant."Boyd: "You ever pulled off a shot like that Mr. Ranger Sniper?"Tim: "Good guys don't need to shoot people with their hands cuffed, Crowder."Tim: "What you did is use us to save your own ass.."Boyd: "Well if my survival is a happy byproduct of my selfless act, so be it."Winona: "Did you hear that sweetie? Daddy's coming home so that mommy can finally take a nap."
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