Recapping Television's Hottest Shows with Monkeys as Critics
As Olivia struggles to keep Peter's identity secret, someone from her past catches the team's attention.
I’m not sure any “Fringe” fan expected the show to continue on the level exhibited in last week’s return, but the awkwardly titled follow-up “Olivia. In the Lab. With the Revolver.” largely spun its wheels, content to let the “will Olivia tell Peter” tension simmer over a bland freak-of-the-week case. But what transpired wasn’t part of The Pattern, at least in the way that the show defined it last season. It was perhaps the start of the next phase of the War of the Worlds.
[Full recap of Thursday's (April 8) "Fringe" after the break...]
The implosion continues for the Villains and a new power player plots a scheme
Pre-credit sequence. Following one of the most comically over-the-top recap packages in memory, the Villains return to the camp, where Russell and Parvati are giddy and giggling at their triumph. "He ain't nothing on me..." Russell gloats. "I'm controlling this game." Coach, meanwhile, is angry at Russell, who he calls a bully. Jerri is also upset at losing Boston Rob. Gee, morons. Maybe you shouldn't have made the choices you made? Now Coach finds himself in "an alliance of lies." He approaches Jerri as asks Jerri if now might be the time to make a move against Russell and his pack, but Jerri says she'd rather just sit back and wait for the merge. Why is Jerri still invited to All-Star seasons? She was ineffectively evil in her first season, just ineffective in "All-Stars" and this season, she hasn't even risen to the level of "ineffective." Jerri is making Danielle look active and involved. Coach looks around and, like Colonel Nicholson at the end of "Bridge on the River Kwai," he realizes that he's screwed everything up. "We're done," Coach complains. "We're toast. Pray for the merge."
[Full recap of Thursday's "Survivor: Heroes vs. Villains" after the break...]
No vampires on 'ANTM' this week, as the girls learn to be real while being fake
Welcome to the next episode of "ANTM," Cycle 14! Anslee is still in the running, and she’s a mom, so it was only a matter of time before she got a letter from her child and started to cry.
“It’s like walking around feeling empty,” Anslee blubbers, and she isn’t referring to the typical model starvation.
[Full recap of Wednesday's (April 7) "America's Next Top Model" after the break...]
Surprising voting results force Simon, Ellen, Randy and Kara to make a decision
9:01 p.m. ET Set to "Hey Jude," the recap of Tuesday's Lennon & McCartney performance show does a fine job of making a so-so show look superlative.
9:02 p.m. "Prepare yourself for a surprise or two," Ryan Seacrest says, kicking off Wednesday's (April 7) show.
Prepare yourself, indeed, after the break...
Have Damon and Carlton finally shown their hand?
Tonight was a pivotal moment in the final season of "Lost," which should come as little surprise since tonight was the return of Desmond Hume to active duty.
"The Constant" is a dividing point for many fans. The ones who hate the time travel and the alternate timelines and the donkey wheel... well, "The Constant" is pretty much enemy number one for them. And I can see how if you don't like the way the "Lost" writers play with those ideas, the last few seasons must feel like a major letdown after getting invested in a story that was laid out, for all its mysteries, in a fairly simple and linear manner. One story on the Island, one story in flashbacks. People trying to survive, and the things that haunt them from their past. There was a shape to it that was fairly comfortable.
And then the show exploded. Literally. Timelines fractured. Structure caved in on itself. And it became a very different show. The characters are all still there, and we are definitely still dealing with story threads that were introduced five or six seasons ago, but so much more has happened since those early seasons that we're starting to realize now that we're not watching the show we initially thought we were watching. And that can be a disconcerting thing for a viewer, no doubt about it.
This season in particular has been an upset for some people thanks to the flash sideways storyline that's been the subject of much debate since the season premiere. I've read reactions calling the alternate timeline "confusing," "pointless," and "a train wreck." I've also read reactions from people who have been engaged by the puzzle presented to them by the show this year, at least a half-dozen different interpretations of what they're watching. I've certainly speculated about the nature of what we're seeing openly here in these recaps, and my theories have evolved over the course of the season. I've used a shorthand while describing the separate storylines, referring to one as TIMELINE A and one as TIMELINE B, although I'm fairly sure it's not as simple as a rift in time or space.
Anna looks for infiltrators, as the rebels look to infiltrate and send a message
There were times in tonight's episode of "V" when I thought, "Finally! A show I might enjoy watching from week to week!" There were times in tonight's episode of "V" when I questioned just why I volunteered to cover this show week-to-week. And there were a few times in between. It's kind of a "best of 'V,' worst of 'V'" scenario, really. You have a pretty fun plot about the resistance infiltrating the main "V" ship right next to a plot where Erica brings Tyler to hang out with his dad, a plot that seems like it might make Tyler worth caring about before just making him as boring as he always is. (Honestly, if the show had just seen fit to let him stay with Krycek up in the north woods for all time, I doubt too many people would have cared. Instead, Lisa's going to hang out with him.) And, worst of all, the episode just ladled on the portent.
[Full recap of Tuesday (April 6) night's "V" after the break...]
'Idol' performances feature a didgeridoo and a bagpipe player, plus a little singing
In what may well have been an "American Idol" first (it probably wasn't, but I don't want to do research), Tuesday (April 6) night's show introduced the theme -- the music of Lennon and McCartney -- and then went straight to commercial without a single performance.
That's what you have to do when you're trying to find a way to fit nine performances into two full hours of telecast.
Click through for a full recap of Tuesday's filler-filled episode...
With the bomb set to go off, Hassan makes a desperate move to save NYC as well as the peace accord.
It’s not often you get the silent clock to end an episode of “24.” If you count the 2-hour telepic “Redemption,” tonight marked only the 10th time that device has been employed. Teri Bauer, President David Palmer, and a few notable others have all received this treatment over the course of the show. While you can argue on whether or not the character that inspired this latest iteration deserved it, I think the silence was as much for the implications of said death as much as the character itself. But we’ll get to all that in good time. Say, the end of the recap. How’s that sound?
Since FOX aired two hours back-to-back tonight, I’ll try and keep things to their usual length, so I’ll break things up hour-by-hour, give you the blow-by-blow, and see what this double dose of Dana gave us.
[Full recap of Monday's double-dose of "24" after the break...]
Hour 1: 6 am – 7 am
Everything comes together in what was originally the 'Chuck' season finale
Last spring, when "Chuck" had no reasonable assurance of a future on NBC, Chris Fedak and Allison Adler wrote a season finale that turned the show upside down. "Chuck vs. the Ring" was a great episode and a terrific season finale, but had it been a series finale? Oh, there would have been grumbling.
Last winter, with no reasonable assurance of any more than 13 episodes for the show's third season, Fedak wrote "Chuck vs. the Other Guy," with some expectation that it would be the season finale and some strong possibility it might be the series finale.
With Monday's (April 5) episode, "Chuck" delivered a near-perfect finale. Leaving aside your feelings on the mechanics which got us to Monday's episode, the 44 minutes that aired on NBC wrapped up the 13-episode semi-season perfectly, delivering both laughs aplenty, but also action, romance and drama. You can look at nearly everything that happened in "Chuck vs. the Other Guy" and see how it flowed organically from the things that happened since the premiere. It wrapped up most major arcs, but also set the ball gently rolling for plenty of adventures to come. But it wasn't a cliffhanger finale or a "gamechanger" finale or any of the things we've come to expect from bubble shows looking to force a network hand.
"Chuck vs. the Other Guy" would probably have served as the kind of series finale most shows only dream about. It didn't complete the journey that the main characters were going on, but it set them down, however temporarily, at a pausing point along that road. If "Chuck" didn't come back, after seeing "Other Guy," you'd have felt as if the mission instigated in the pilot had been fairly executed (with one exception) and that the characters were going to go forth in their adventures on their own.
Of course, a funny thing happened on the way to "Chuck vs. the Other Guy" being either a series or a season finale. That funny thing was NBC's utter disaster of a fall, which somehow added six episodes to the third season. But "Chuck vs. the Other Guy" is such a satisfying ending that it'll be plenty tempting to call the next six episodes the start Season Four ("Look Ma, 'Chuck' got a Fourth Season... kinda!") or the launch of a bridging micro-season (like the "Saved by the Bell" beach season).
[Let's talk a little more about "Chuck vs. the Other Guy" (with spoilers, of course), after the break...]
Relive the episode that finally got the series back on track since it left Bravo
It seems that “Project Runway” is the five-year-old brat of reality television. You miss one little episode, and suddenly it’s running willy-nilly through the kitchen, turning on all the stove burners and grabbing that new Costco-sized container of peanut butter just so it can smear the goo through its long, luxurious Heidi Klum tresses before rolling around in the dog crap in the backyard.