Patient Zero, an ambush and an unfortunate Presidential appointment on this week's '24'
It's rare for anybody to praise a network's on-air promotions staff for restraint, but if ever there were an episode that could have been advertised as "The Episode of '24' That Changes Everything!" Monday (March 30) night's episode was it.
This was big. This was even bigger than Tony Almeida eating a candlelight dinner by himself.
[It's so big I can only talk about it after the break... With spoilers...]
As the Petrellis seeks to heal familial wounds, Danko seeks help in an unlikely place.
I’m sure this goes without saying, but “Into Asylum” was a let down after last week’s brilliant “Cold Snap.” But that’s got more to do with “Snap” being a singular shot of awesome into the mediocre circulatory system of “Heroes” in general. “Asylum” slowed down the season-long chase for the superpowered, as two relationships were repaired and one Axis of Evil was formed.
Read shape-shifting spoilers after the break.
We aren't sure that Gilles Marini is actually a 'star,' but he did get the season's first Perfect Score
What ratings-hungry new rule or revelation does Dancing With The Stars have up its sleeve this week? Well, first off, this week will feature the first ever double elimination, which I suspect means a dance-off between more than just two couples! (Tom sells it: "This means double the drama!). And top of it, we get two dances never before seen on Dancing With The Stars! The dances are called the Argentine tango and the Lindy-hop, and we learn the former is "all about sensuality" (aw, Denise Richards, you missed your big shot by a week), and the latter, similar to the jitterbug, is "all about fun." Let's judge for ourselves:
[All the performances recapped after the break...]
Mark & Michael get a rare double-penalty, Margie nearly passes out and karma is a fickle mistress
Someday, when HitFix has made me rich and famous and I decide to leave the entertainment journalism game, I'm going to go back to grad school and get my PhD. When that occurs, I plan on creating a dual degree program in Religious Studies and Television Theory. My thesis will be titled "Keoghan and Krishna: Case Research on Karma and 'The Amazing Race.'"
Sunday (March 29) night's "Amazing Race" episode, whimsically titled "Gorilla? Gorilla?? Gorilla???" will probably get its own chapter, as it exposes both the power of "Amazing Race" karma, but also its sad limitations.
[Recap with spoilers after the break...]
Eliza Dushku's Echo heads back to college, experiences another glitch and we learn her last name
Previously on... Yeah, last week definitely picked up the pace. Ballard, suspended for his investigation of the Dollhouse. Sierra’s handler, a scumbag rapist, killed. Ballard’s girlfriend/neighbor, secretly an active, does the killing. And Dominic – still kind of a dick.
We open Friday's (March 27) new "Dollhouse" with a flashback, to before Echo was Echo, when she was still just Caroline. She’s in a bad spot, and DeWitt offers her a way out: five years as a doll. Yes, we’ve seen this before, but we finally learn the name of DeWitt’s mysterious employer: the Rossum Corporation.
[More after the break...]
Matt Giraud is the latest 'Idol' favorite to make a surprise trip to the Bottom Three, but would he force a Judges' Save?
8:00 p.m. ET Smokey Robinson has never seen an "American Idol" competition this tight and if there's anything Smokey Robinson knows, it's reality television handicapping. If you're curious, he likes Coach on "Survivor: Tocantins" and he's picking Fo on "America's Next Top Model." He's still undecided on "Make Me a Supermodel," but he's amused by that Mennonite girl.
8:02 p.m. There were 36 million votes cast last night. Unfortunately, none of them will be able to save Alexis Grace. You can never undo what you've done, America. So learn to love Scott MacIntyre. He's your fault.
[How did America vote? Full recap after the break...]
One of the oldest paradoxes in time travel is brought to life this week
Excuse me for posting this recap in the morning instead of last night, but as I went to sleep for a few hours, I was still thinking about the episode. It's not my favorite of the season by any means, but it's one that demanded a little extra reflection.
One of the most difficult things about an ensemble show like "Lost" is making sure that every character is well-served, and as much as I love "Lost," it doesn't always pull off that task as well as it should. If there's any character out of the main ensemble who feels adrift most often, it would be Sayid Jarrah, played by the unflappably cool Naveen Andrews.
Traditionally, whenever there is nasty work to be done, Sayid is the character that the show turns to, drawing on his past with the Republican Guard in Iraq as justification for letting him do what no one else will. This week, all of that nasty seems to catch up to Sayid, and the entire episode essentially becomes one man's struggle between the devil and the angel on his shoulders, leading to one of the season's best endings, a moment that perfectly dramatizes one of the oldest questions people ask about time travel.
"If you had a time machine, would you go back to when Hitler was a kid and kill him before he ever got started?"
[more after the jump]
The girls worked on posing, pretended to be immigrants and, in an elimination surprise, one girl turned snitch
It’s episode four of cycle 12 of "America’s Next Top Model"! Too many numbers for you in a single sentence? Of course! This is a show about models, not crime-fighting mathematicians. Geez.
So Nijah went home last week; Allison got to stick around because she’s less boring than Nijah, who, by the time this sentence has ended, I will have totally forgotten.
Oh, interesting. Rihanna isn’t featured in the anchor Cover Girl commercial. Do I smell a backlash against the singer because of her personal choices? Do I love a conspiracy story?
[Full recap after the break...]
Sandra is strutting around more than usual, given that her picture was the best last week. It’s obviously hell on the rest of the girls, simply because Sandra is annoying and mean and a horrible soul. But before I can enjoy a real catfight, the doorbell rings, and Toccara is there. Oh my God, her voice could make the beard on the Lincoln Memorial bleed. Just show up and give out the clothes you “bought,” which probably means picked up from a sponsor. The visit is apparently all about nurturing one’s “personality.” And, apparently, walking on the Top Model house catwalk, because that’s all kinds of fun, right?
Before she leaves, Toccara hammers home that you, like, really need a personality. Kthanxbai!
A dance-themed Tyramail can mean only one thing: Benny Ninja, vogue pioneer and posing queen. The girls all head to Marquee to meet Ninja and a model-turned-DJ named Sky Nellor. This challenge is all about matching one’s poses to music, because, apparently, photographers care about such things.
Nellor spins beats and the models come out in pairs, trying their best to pose to the music. Kortnie and Sandra fail; the former thinks about being funny too much, the latter is too unaware of her body. Tahlia and Allison don’t fare much better, but Celia kills it, as does a cool, jazz-inspired Aminat. Back at the house, Allison vows not to let her poor showing get her down.
Here comes the challenge: At a club called Mansion, a pair of designers who go by The Blondes agree to provide the fashions. A crowd will determine the winners. Of course this is a crowd of extremely elite drag queens -- the best posers on the planet, and I mean that in a good way. This is "Paris is Burning" all over again.
Allison gets called out as “sour,” which is good, right away. So is Kortnie and Sandra. Then Celia gallumphs onto the stage and owns it. Girl, you. Can. WERQ.
Aminat gets even eaten alive, as does Tahlia. Natalie wins her round, destined for a pose-off with Celia. Celia has the presence of mind to work with her crazy gold garment, and she wins over the drag queen handily.
Back at the house, Tahlia breaks down. This is because the crowd hated her, and that’s because she isn’t a very confident model, and THAT means she isn’t a very good model. She begins to talk about going home. Will she actually remove HERSELF from the competition? Will she? WILL SHE?
Before we can analyze, it’s off to another photo shoot. Tahlia confesses to the stylists in hair and makeup that, once again, she isn’t sure she should be there. Celia voices what everyone is thinking: We know you’re a burn victim, and that’s just so special, but really. Go home.
The next photo shoot takes place at Ellis Island. Benny Ninja will join each model as she tries to channel an immigrant arriving from the old country. They’re actually using a real, honest-to-goodness, old camera and everything!
Sandra is up first. Her stiffness makes her more like the way an 1850s immigrant might look right now, as opposed to, you know, back then. Fo gives it her all. London has a naturally dramatic face, and she falls effortlessly into her “character.” Teyona, once again, can do no wrong. And then comes Kortnie. God, honey, you are so pretty, why must you flop like a sack in front of this old, old camera?
Now here comes a surprise: Tahlia’s shoot is actually good. Did I miss something?
Celia -- let’s not even spend any more time on her. She just rules. Can we move on? Good. Because Aminat seems to be experiencing some difficulty. She seems to falter with every frame, while Allison works her waifish anchovy eyes to full effect.
Panel comes next. Please, lordy, lordy, let Sandra go home. I don’t care if she adds drama to the competition. She grates.
Teyona just seems to own the judges. They love her shoot. London, inexplicably, fails to impress because she’s looking off in the distance, but Sandra just bombs completely. She’s handed the judges yet another profile, and even I, a 36-year-old shorty with a big ass, knows to give a photographer some range. The judges also like Aminat and Allison.
Fo is up next. Like London, she does not connect with the camera because she isn’t, you know, looking into it. Natalie is praised and even given a comparison to Keira Knightley.
Oh God, here comes Kortnie. She can do no right. And she’s so pretty! Are the planets out of alignment. Nigel declares her eyes to be “dead.” Tyra says she “underperformed.”
Tahlia, for her part, looks like a hot mess in person, but she has the best photo of the bunch this week. Celia does meh.
So who goes home? Sandra is in the bottom two. Hooray! But so is Kortnie. And, sadly for the known world, it’s Kortnie who goes home. Next week: More misery with Sandra at the Top Model house! Oh, yay.
And then ... OH NO SHE DID NOT. Celia just stood up in front of Tyra and ratted on Tahlia, saying that Tahlia didn't want to be there. But Tyra and the judges' decisions stand. Look for Celia to take some serious heat next episode.
Would you describe Celia as more of a "snitch" or a "rat" or a "stoolie" or a "narc"?
Allison Iraheta and Adam Lambert are the Motown Night stars, while Michael Sarver and Megan Joy struggle
Since "American Idol" has previous fit 10 performances into a single hour, Tuesday (March 25) night's two-hour Top 10 show, featuring the Music of Motown, promises to have ample banter, clip packages and dead air.
Let's separate the wheat from the "American Idol" chaff after the break...
It's a Battle of Beauties as Holly Madison and Denise Richards dance off... But who went home?
The second elimination episode of this seasons's Dancing With The Stars did not, thanks to the Presidential Address - have the usual liberty of being preceded by a whole hour of recapping (which, even f or reality television, is pushing it). So it began with a much more conservative ten minute rehash - from Steve-O's stumble to Denise's pathetic performance to Bruno calling Steve Wozniak's performance "the worst ever" (and you need more, head to ABC.com!)
Tom & Samantha remind us that - in an attempt to tear a few viewers away from American Idol - the elimination episode now comes complete with a "dance off," in which the bottom two re-dance the previous night's performance in an attempt to win higher marks from the judges (the home voters' tallies don't change, however).
[Full recap after the break...]
The first four couples not put to that task? Melissa & Tony, Gilles & Cheryl, Shawn & Mark.. and here comes a bit of a shock: Steve Wozniak & Karina Smirnoff. Karina squeals as we learn that the home voters obviously are eating up Wozniak's charming inability to dance. The lowest score since season two (a 10!) somehow put him in the ranks of the top three couples. He admits the only time he's been more shocked was "when he was served with divorce papers."
There's no surprises with the next four: Lawrence & Edyta, David & Kim, Chuck & Julianne (ugh), and Lil' Kim & Derek (yay!), leaving the three lowest non-Wozniak scorers - Steve-O & Lacey, Holly & Dmitry, and Denise & Maksim - to face the potential of a "dance off" alongside Ty & Chelsey, who I assume received very few home votes due to Ty's non-celebrity and ridiculous dullness. My guess is that it's gonna be a battle of the sluts: Denise vs. Holly. Who home-votes for a slut? People are bound to feel sorry for injured, fresh-outta-rehab Steve-O and Ty's at least got the cowboy vote... but Denise and Holly?
But before we find out, it's filler time:
First, we have Cloris Leachman's "guest appearance" in some bizarre parody of a vintage dancing how-to commercial, complete with fake grainy film reel. I can only hope Ms. Leachman received some
Then.. Hall & Oates, which I can at least say are a huge step up from last week's first act Big Bad Voodoo Daddy.
And finally... wait, am I gonna have to actually glance up from my computer? It's Adele, doing a lovely rendition of "Chasing Pavements." However, it feels significantly wrong watching this being "interpreted" via two barely dressed dancers (the woman doing the splits in her sparkly bikini). Adele... I know this is good exposure, but...
Wait, it's not "finally" after all: We're getting an explanation of the concept of the "dance off" by various contestants!
35 minutes into the damn show, we finally learn the bottom two. Steve-O & Lacey: Safe! Holly & Dmitry: Bottom two! Ty & Chelsie: Safe!!
Yes! It's a skank-off! I totally called it. Except now I'm kind of concerned I'm losing one of my best shots at half-decent jokes next week. Either way, here we go:
Holly & Dmitry
After ANOTHER recap, they take the floor to repeat their samba (and Holly repeats her intensely busty red bikini number). I'm not seeing a huge improvement. Holly still seems incredibly unaware of what she should be doing, nervously watching Dmitry's every move to see what she should be up to. Len and Carrie Ann both seem to totally disagree me, while Bruno just goes on about hot she is without really giving any positive or negative.
Score: 18 (that's one up from last night)
Denise & Maksim
In the prep video, Denise takes charge: "I think we should definitely rehearse before tomorrow." Ya think, Denise? I hate to give Ms. Richards a compliment, but it seems like it pays off. It's nothing amazing, but her & Maksim's samba is so much better than Holly & Dmitry's. Denise seems to be actually TRYING, unlike any performance she's given so far on the show. All three of the judges overwhelmingly agree, and tell her she deserves to stay.
Score: 20 (that's FOUR up from last night
So it's down to this. The home votes are added to the judge's new scores, and joining Belinda Carlise back in obscurity is... Denise & Max! Wow, America hates Denise Richards even more than I thought. She doesn't appear to really care (all contestants that don't make the top 3 make the same $200,000, so she must be just happy with this easy money).
See ya next week..