Recapping Television's Hottest Shows with Monkeys as Critics
Claire comes to a crossroads, Nathan and Danko come to a breaking point, and Sylar comes face to face with his father
As Tracy Strauss stumbles towards her holding cell halfway through tonight’s episode, she sees a message pop up from Rebel on the security monitor. “Help is coming. Have hope,” it reads. For many “Heroes” fans, this is the message the show sent by rehiring Season 1 scribe Bryan Fuller after the unfortunate demise of his critically lauded yet little watched series “Pushing Daisies.” Tonight marked the first installment with any input from Fuller. Did he answer the S.O.S.? Well, it’s an unfair question, really. No one person can really turn the S.S. Heroes around at this juncture, but at least tonight’s episode pointed a few plotlines in promising directions.
Rebel suggests you continue reading the spoiler-filled recap after the jump.
The White House standoff comes to a head, Jack goes on the run and a favorite character gets the silent clock
I'm not saying that you're an evil criminal mastermind. I don't want to imply that you're plotting a way to destabilize the government for your own nefarious purposes. I'd never dare accuse you of colluding with any hostile regime, African or otherwise, as part of any sort of anti-democratic cabal. And I'd never want to suggest that you might be fictional.
But bear with me for a second as I impart this advice to you: If you ever have the means or opportunity to kill Jack Bauer, please do so. Don't try to be clever and brainwash him. Don't think you can set him up to take the fall for whatever horrible thing you did. Don't do anything that might leave Jack Bauer walking the Earth, because if Jack Bauer is still walking the Earth, eventually he will find you and he'll kill you twice. Because that's the way Jack Bauer rolls.
[Please note the in the previous advice, the name "Jack Bauer" can be removed and replaced with "James Bond," "Jason Bourne" or "Rocky and Bullwinkle"]
Trust me. Given the number of people you intend to kill anyway, you'll never regret killing Jack Bauer.
[More thoughts on Monday (March 9) night's "24" after the break.]
A Blind U-Turn plays a major role, while nobody knows who Anton Chekhov is
Russian playwright Anton Chekhov was born in 1860 and died in 1904. He was also a short story writer and a physician, but his plays include "The Seagull," "Uncle Vanya" and "The Cherry Orchard."
He is, as we say, kind of a big deal.
I only mention this because on Sunday (March 8) night's episode of "The Amazing Race," eight players had to unscramble the name of a Russian playwright from a pile of seven letters. For at least six of them, the task was impossible and required total guesswork.
That just makes me a little sad. I understand that awareness of theater is a class-based knowledge, but I'm not convinced that it's asking too much for a general body of people, most with at least some high school or college education, to be able to name one Russian playwright and if you're going to know the name of one Russian playwright, it might as well be Chekhov.
OK. I just had to get that snobbery out of the way. Actually, being able to spell "Chekhov" had almost nothing to do with the way Sunday's episode broke down.
[Recap after the break...]
Remote wiping sounds dirty, but that's what happens to Eliza Dushku's 'Echo' on a sensitive job
Previously on “Dollhouse:” you should know the drill by now.
Then we hear a woman moaning in what sounds like orgasm and what turns out to be the final stages of labor. Note to the writers: do not ever suggest to your wives that the final stages of labor are anything like an orgasm. Echo is there, working as a midwife – yet another one of those jobs that could be performed by a regular person, but is being done by Echo, presumably at a very high hourly rate.
[For more, click through...]
a.k.a. 'We're still hunting for Emmy nods'
After tonight's episode there are only two more installments of the great "Battlestar Galactica" left. Anyone feeling nostalgic? Any chance we'll get the thrill of one more Entertainment Weekly cover (or are we doomed to "Twilight" every other week)? Are we ready to debate who amongst the cast has the best shot at breaking out in the years to come? No, probably not yet. However, because tonight's episode featured more dramatic personal moments amongst the characters (Emmy watcher alert!), this writer's mind is starting to wander.
Unlike the past two episodes, there were not that many startling revelations in "Islanded in a Stream of Stars." Sure, stuff happened like seeing the Cylon Colony for the first time (basically V'ger without all the fog), but beyond Adama's pivotal decision at the end of the show (which had been hinted at since at least last season), it was time for some more tender moments between some of our favorite characters.
[Spoilers after the jump]
As one key alliance builds, a losing tribe has to decide if it's Age before Beauty
Pre-credit sequence. Timbira returns to camp after voting out Jerry. Coach is still annoyed about the tribe impugning his leadership, specially Black Widow Erinn.. "It pissed me off and it made me think Erinn's gotta go, because she's the cancer in the tribe," Coach says, as Erinn picks her nose by firelight. The next morning, leadership is up for discussion at a tribe pow-wow. Tyson's OK with letting Brendan and Coach fight it out. "I wasn't paying attention," he says. "I don't care." Coach, however, cares deeply. Very deeply. Although he publicly tells the tribe he'll gladly let Brendan lead, he tells the camera, "If you look at me, you look at Brendan, who looks stronger? I do. We need to thrive in the wild and not just exist."
[Full recap, with spoilers, after the bump.]
'American Idol' reaches its top group. Would there be a twist? And would there be room for Tatiana?
Thursday (March 5) night's Very Special "American Idol" is a results show and a performance episode all-in-one, as the eight Wild Card contenders sing and the judges will make their picks in a single action-packed hour.
As a result, this will likely be a hybrid recap, shifting from performances to minute-by-minute results as they occur. Bear with me here...
The full excitement after the break...
Leslie Gornstein joins our Monkeys as Critics team to talk about the girls vying for Tyra Banks' love
Eeeee! Scream, girls, scream, you’re on reality television and the producers say screeeeaaaam. Scream, headband girl!
It’s season 12, and top to pick another top twig; among the initial 34 girls, we have an “African goddess,” a freckly hippie, a girl who thinks she’s going to be Tyra’s BFF and several fading blondes whose wispy locks definitely won’t survive the makeover episode -- that is, if they even survive this two-hour opener. First task:
Dress as a goddess outside of Caesars Palace in Vegas and walk on a pretend cloud. Weeeew! Oh look! Centurions from central casting! Tyra dressed as an even goddessier goddess. Or, as Celia gushes, “an entity!” That’s it. Intros over. Time to meet the new girls individually in the panel judging room.
[More from Wednesday's (March 4) "America's Next Top Model" premiere after the break...]
Who's LaFleur, who does he love, and who did he kill?
Did I mention how much I loved the end of last week's episode?
"Do you recognize him?"
"Yes. That's the man who killed me."
Now... about this week's episode...
... GIANT STATUE! HOLY CRAP!
I think it's now safe to assume that anyone who thought Sawyer was going to be the subject of the four-toed giant statue was wrong. The statue is waaa
aaaaay back in time in the Island's history. And after just a glimpse of it, they're launched forward in time again, and they land sometime in the early days of the Dharma Initiative's struggle with the Others. And this time, when they land, they land in a way that makes them feel like maybe John Locke pulled off what he was trying to pull off. Maybe he put the needle back in the groove, because everyone's headache goes away, and there are no more flashes.
Now that the writers aren't bound to one structure that's the same each time, they are free to play with time in all new ways, and this time, the episode revolves around jumps either "Three Years Later" or "Three Years Earlier," each time as punctuation to whatever we've just seen. And it really works. It pays off that jump in chronology each time, and it sets up a sense of where the story's going, but not how it's going to get there. The introduction of LaFleur is pretty wonderful. Sawyer just took back ownership of a significant piece of the show's mythology. He's not just a survivor. He's a guy who knows how to live along the way. He's just as driven by his feelings about the Island as Locke ever was. He's just not as vocal about his crazy.
[more after the jump]
We all knew Lil Rounds was advancing, but who joined her? And will the Wild Card bring Tatiana Del Toro back?
8:00 p.m. ET Oh, America. What have you done?
8:01 p.m. We're only 59 minutes away from learning who's coming back tomorrow for the Wild Card show. ANOOP!
8:01 p.m. Is it just me, or have the crowds been more enthusiastic toward Simon this year? Randy's solo booing stands out more than usual.
8:02 p.m. Ryan asks Paula to compare this year's group to past groups at this stage. In true Paula fashion, she ducks the shoe and replies, "I think we have an amazing start for the Top 12 going on."
8:04 p.m. "Hot -n- Cold" may be the worst Group Sing ever. It's a silly song, but the singers have all been instructed to deliver ever line with a silly smile. The song is especially emasculating for the men, who look like they're playing extras in a modern-dress adaptation of "Grease." A modern day adaptation of "Grease"? That's ridiculous. Exactly.
8:06 p.m. The cameraman just pulled almost out of the theater. Is he trying to escape? I don't blame you.
[More after the break...]