<p>Alan Tudyk of 'Dollhouse'</p>

Alan Tudyk of 'Dollhouse'

Credit: FOX

Recap: 'Dollhouse' - 'Briar Rose'

Echo reads childrens' books, Ballard gets close to his objectives and we finally meet Alpha

So. We’re looking at a downwardly mobile member of society dumpster-diving, when he finds a human hand in the trash. And that hand is attached to a muscular arm that immediately clutches our scavenging buddy around the throat. The moral of this story, kids: never be poor.

[A full recap of Friday (May 1) night's "Dollhouse," with spoilers, after the break...]

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<p>Debbie of 'Survivor: Tocantins'</p>

Debbie of 'Survivor: Tocantins'

Credit: Monty Brinton/CBS

Recap: 'Survivor: Tocantins' - 'They Both Went Bananas'

Coach and Debbie are lying liars. Sierra's just a whiny truth-teller. Which is better?

 

Pre-credit sequence. Heading back to Forza after the latest Tribal Council blindside, Sierra is grateful, very. Very, very grateful. She figures she just witnessed a miracle. The actual miracle workers (No, not Helen Keller and Annie Sullivan), Stephen and JT,  are trying to smooth things over with Debbie and Coach, who were nearly as blindsided as Tyson. Both Coach and Debbie nod and agree that they're glad they didn't know in advance. Because being in the loop is such a drag. Stephen isn't displeased that Coach and Debbie are being diplomatic, but part of him would prefer that they be open with their well-deserved discomfort at what just took place.

[Full recap of Thursday (April 30) night's "Survivor: Tocantins" after the break...]

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<p>Daniel Faraday (Jeremy Davies) returns to 'Lost' this week with a bang on the 100th episode of the series</p>

Daniel Faraday (Jeremy Davies) returns to 'Lost' this week with a bang on the 100th episode of the series

Credit: ABC

Recap: 'Lost' #514 'The Variable'

Jeremy Davies delivers in one of the season's defining episodes, as Faraday takes center stage and explains his plan

In an episode written by Edward Kitsis & Adam Horowitz, "Lost" reaches the first of the pinnacles of the season, conclusively (to my mind) answering one of the season's biggest questions.  They do it in a way that is cruel and sad and absolutely in keeping with the show's history.  And it caught me off-guard.  And it did it playing fair and square.

What's odd is that this special hundredth episode of this show, this heavily promoted milestone, is really fairly simple, if you're just talking about what happens.  Daniel Faraday decided to change things after all.  For all of his talk of "constants," Faraday gives in to the idea that he can change things, and from the moment he arrives back on the island, everything he does is toward that one goal... change the future.

Daniel Faraday has always been a sad and sketchy figure on the show.  His reaction in "Confirmed Dead" when the plane showed up at the bottom of the ocean was a vintage Jeremy Davies moment.  This actor's had the market on twitchy, thoughtful young men sewn up since his debut in "Spanking the Monkey" and his breakout role in "Saving Private Ryan," and for many actors like Davis, having a persona as recognizable as his, as stylized and extreme as his, might be a trap.  But Davies continues to wring new life out of what he does, and he came out swinging last night in an episode that seemed to exist primarily to set him up as a prime example of hubris in motion.  In order to make his destruction most potent, the episode takes its time setting all of its tragic clockwork into motion.

When Daniel Faraday showed up at the end of the last episode, number ninety-nine for the series, it was a welcome sting to an episode, because it held a promise.  Faraday had to have a purpose showing up again, and sure enough, he's on a mission from the moment he steps off that sub at the start of this episode.  And considering Sawyer's got his security guy stashed in a closet and it's just a matter of time before the Oceanic survivors are revealed to be infiltrators, Faraday really couldn't pick a worse moment to show up and start spreading the crazy.

[more after the jump]

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<p>Celia of 'America's Next Top Model'</p>

Celia of 'America's Next Top Model'

Credit: Jim DeYonker/Pottle Productions Inc

Recap: 'America's Next Top Model' Cycle 12 - 'Let's Go See the City'

Go-sees cause the usual problems with punctuality, while a debate brews over age vs. height

Ay carumba! What’s Portuguese for “You walk like a squid with scurvy?” Whatever the proper translation is, Allison, prepare to hear it, girl, because it’s time for go-sees! Your eyes may channel the most lovely of sirens -- or perhaps just a very fresh flounder -- but your walk! Last time I checked, you could not walk a runway to save your scales.

Can the five remaining models do all of their go-sees and still make it back by 3:30? Can they? Can they? Can they?

[Results of the go-sees and Wednesday (April 29) night's "America's Next Top Model" elimination after the break...]

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<p>Adam Lambert of 'American Idol'</p>

Adam Lambert of 'American Idol'

Credit: Michael Becker/FOX

Recap: 'American Idol' Results - The Final Four is set

Adam Lambert makes a shocking appearance in the Bottom 3, but would the favorite head home?

8:59 p.m. Oooh, tricky. Not only did FOX skip Obama tonight for "Lie to Me," but "Lie to Me" ended at 8:59, putting a minute of "American Idol" into the 8 p.m. hour. That's bound to either confuse several DVRs -- you only missed an over-dramatic recap of last night's show -- or bump up the ratings for Tim Roth's bubble drama.

9:01 p.m. 47 million votes were cast last night. I'm honestly not sure if that's impressive, given that there were two lines per contestant, meaning much less chance of getting busy signals. A couple million more votes than last week just isn't all that stunning, no matter what Ryan implies.

[Recap after the break...]

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<p>Julianne Hough and Chuck Wicks of 'Dancing with the Stars'</p>

Julianne Hough and Chuck Wicks of 'Dancing with the Stars'

Credit: Kelsey McNeal/ABC

Recap: 'Dancing with the Stars' - Results - Chuck vs Melissa

Viewers are surprisingly warm toward Ty, keeping the rodeo legend around

In what Tom deems "the most exciting elimination yet," the eighth elimination of this season of "Dancing With The Stars" seems to me to be clearly between Melissa (who is injured, and thus forced to be judged on her very weak rehearsal video), and Ty (who is clearly the worst dancing star standing).  As I suspect some serious pity votes from "Bachelor" fans already pitying poor Melissa, I'd be surprised if Ty wasn't the one to go.

[Results after the break...]

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<p>Kris Allen of 'American Idol'</p>

Kris Allen of 'American Idol'

Credit: Chris Cuffaro/FOX

Recap: 'American Idol' - The Top 5 sing Songs From the Rat Pack Era

It's another standout night for Adam Lambert, but Danny and Kris have their moments

Tuesday (April 27) night's "American Idol" features our Top Five singing Songs of the Rat Pack (toned down to Songs of the Rat Pack Era). It also prompts a key question: With only five people singing only five songs and getting only four critiques apiece, how will "American Idol" possibly still manage to run two minutes long? That's the challenge faced by our producers!

Our contestants were guided through the standards by that Rat Pack legend, Jaime Foxx. And what a coincidence! Jaime Foxx, who just happens to have a movie currently in theaters, walked in at exactly the moment Matt Giraud was doing his Ray Charles impression. What a truly spontaneous moment.

Foxx promises he'll tell the contestants exactly what's on his mind, just as he recently advised 16-year-old two-time "American Idol" guest performer Miley Cyrus to go make a sex tape. Who knows what wisdom he'll have for newly 17-year-old Allison Iraheta?

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<p>Adrian Pasdar of 'Heroes'</p>

Adrian Pasdar of 'Heroes'

Credit: Trae Patton/NBC

Recap: 'Heroes' Finale - 'An Invisible Thread'

A shapeshifting Sylar makes his way towards the President with Claire in tow and the Petrelli brothers hot on his trail.

Volume 4 of “Heroes” had its ups and downs, and with “An Invisible Thread,” the final episode in the “Fugitives” arc of the series, the show sought to tie up the remaining threads in order to have the world go to hell just a few weeks later. The episode had a tough act to follow, what with “Chuck” just before it delivering a complete clinic on how to stage a season finale. But even taken on its own, too little of tonight’s finale made much sense to make one long for Volume 5.

[Full recap of Monday's (April 27) "Heroes," with spoilers, after the break...]

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<p>Jeanane Garofalo of '24'</p>

Jeanane Garofalo of '24'

Credit: FOX

Recap: '24' Episode 20 (3 a.m. to 4 a.m.)

Jack Bauer takes Jeanane Garofalo to task for being a liberal. Fans cheer.

So maybe it was a mistake that I watched Monday (April 27) night's "24" after rewatching and recapping the "Chuck" finale? It's not that I had any choice in that matter. Shows come on when they come on and I'm just a humble recapper, a slave to the schedule. But maybe if I hadn't been coming off of "Chuck," Monday's "24" wouldn't have felt so darned boring for most of its running time.

"Chuck" is fighting for its life and felt the responsibility to deliver a finale with romance, comedy and a series redefining twist. Meanwhile, "24" has already been renewed and it's basically treading water in the weeks leading up to a two-hour finale. One show is hungry and one show is pretty well sated.

There were two spectacular Jack Bauer meltdowns in the episode and for many fans, that will be enough.

[A bit of a recap after the break, though it's hard to recap an episode so stripped down...]

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<p>Just when did Melissa Rycroft injur herself?&nbsp; She's all smiles at this US Hollywood Party last Thursday.</p>

Just when did Melissa Rycroft injur herself?  She's all smiles at this US Hollywood Party last Thursday.

Credit: AP Photo/Matt Sayles

Recap: 'Dancing with the Stars' - Performances - Week 8

How will the judges score injured Melissa's rehearsal tape?

 

Nine weeks in.  Six couples left, one of which (Ty & Chelsie) is obviously the least capable.  But wait!  Tom informs us that Melissa has suffered an injury and will not be performing tonight.  And, of course, he'll explain what that means for the competition a little bit later. In the meantime, here we go:

Gilles Marini & Cheryl Burke

After weeks and weeks of being the frontrunner, Gilles has floundered a bit recently.  And he's also having a lot of trouble with his shoulder (which conveniently results in a shirtless trip to the doctor).  The shoulder seems like its going to be fine, but Gilles is totally questioning himself.  But with the linde-hop, Gilles proves quickly his insecurity was unwarranted.  Dressed in very comic, matching polka dot outfits, he and Cheryl give us a fun, energetic performance that reveals a different side of the usually sexpot-oriented Gilles.  While he's still undeniably sexy, its much more goofy that we're used to, and the judges praise his diversity.

Score: 27 (which is actually the same score as last week, but they are celebrating it anyway)

Lil' Kim & Derek Hough


After giving us a toned down, uncharacteristic performance last week that resulted in a fifth place finish (down from first the week prior), Lil' Kim lets us know that the real her is "back with a vengeance."  Given the green light by the judges to bring all of her personality to her dance, Kim brings it to her and Derek's casa nova.  In a black widow-inspired dress, she is fiery and focused, keeping up a perfect pace with Derek. The crowd (including Lance Bass!) gives a rousing standing ovation, and the judges follow suit.  "The bitch is back and she means business," Bruno announces, and Kim tears up as judge after judge serenades her with compliments.

Score: 28 (the 10 is from Bruno)

Chuck Wicks & Julianne Hough

Chuck and Julianne are ecstatic that after last week's personal high score of 27, they might really be in this competition.  They follow it up by continuing their questionable fashion choices (especially Chuck, who is wearing blue suede pants - which I'm sure was a self-conscious move to accent his ass, which he seriously shakes nonstop through the performance - and a blue silk tank top).  But also by continuing the energy they finally found last weekend.  It seems at this point its truly a five couple race.   Carrie Ann has some issues with Chuck's chin (I didn't notice), and the boys both have issues with his arms, but otherwise they agree.

Score: 26 (though a little let down by Bruno's 8, the pair are pretty stoked).

Shawn Johnson & Mark Ballas

Too-cute Shawn and Mark want to "sizzle" this week, and Mark decides to bring in his mom (!?) to show Shawn how. It turns out she's a three time Latin American dance champion, and she has a move or two to send Shawn in the sexy direction.  Its clear that Mark has inherited some of his mother's skills during their samba, though Shawn seems to struggle to keep up with his spark.  Her attempts at "sizzling" hip moves come across as awkward and forced.   It's certainly not a bad performance - but this late in the game its not w . Len agrees, though Bruno and Carrie Ann are much more into it.

Score: 27 (including a erroneously perfect score from Carrie Ann)

Melissa Rycroft & Tony Dovolani

We learn Melissa's not here because she has a rib injury. And it looks like she'll be able to come back to the performance (she's on the phone with the doctor "right now").  The judges are going to have to base their scores on Melissa's rehearsal tape, which she did in the midst of the injury.  Her practice video mostly involves a trip to the doctor after hurting her rib during a "very difficult move." Serious, suspenseful music in the background, we learn "she hope she's can pull it together!"  She certainly doesn't for the rehearsal.  Dancing the jive to The Go Gos (Belinda Carlise, we hardly knew ye), it feels very unpolished and it is clear Melissa's injury is proving problematic (she makes lots of "I'm in pain" faces).  The judges are sympathetic, but unimpressed.

Score: 21 (eee, let's hope those Bachelor-fans bring out the pity votes in full force)

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