<p>&nbsp;Zachary Levi and Brandon Routh of 'Chuck'</p>

 Zachary Levi and Brandon Routh of 'Chuck'

Credit: NBC

Recap: 'Chuck' - 'Chuck vs. the Other Guy'

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...]
Read Full Post
Maya Luz and Anthony Williams on Project Runway Season 7

Sometimes you're in, sometimes you're out and sometimes you're just back in again. Maya and Anthony can absolutely speak to that.

Credit: Lifetime

How 'Project Runway' jumped the shark right before Bryant Park

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.  

Read Full Post
<p>&nbsp;The Cousins on 'Breaking Bad'</p>

 The Cousins on 'Breaking Bad'

Credit: AMC

Recap: 'Breaking Bad' - 'I.F.T.'

Walt pushes things with Skyler, while Hank's having issues

"I.F.T." opens with a flashback. In and of itself, this isn't particularly remarkable. TV does flashbacks all the time, mostly to fill in story points that won't come up in the organic sweep of what's happening. But "Breaking Bad" doesn't really do flashbacks all that often. There have been a few back to when Walt was a floppy-haired chemist working on a potentially Nobel Prize-winning research project, and there have been some other timeline switches heading into the future of the show's timeline (particularly in season two), but this series, for the most part, doesn't engage in jumping back into its own history, particularly to events that occurred within the timeline of the series proper, all that often. So on that level, tonight's opening scene - separated from the rest of the episode in typical "Breaking Bad" fashion - is remarkable. Creator Vince Gilligan and episode author George Mastras want us to see this moment for some reason.

[Full recap of Sunday's (April 4) "Breaking Bad" after the break...]

Read Full Post
<p>&nbsp;Jet and Cord of 'The Amazing Race'</p>

 Jet and Cord of 'The Amazing Race'

Credit: CBS

Recap: 'The Amazing Race - 'You're Like Jason Bourne, Right?'

The teams head to Malaysia, where one pair faces a Speed Bump

A lot was made going into this week’s episode of “The Amazing Race” about the handicap facing cowboys Jet and Cord, who face a Speed Bump in this week’s trip to Malaysia, but I didn’t really see the concern. My problem, I think, is that the entire race seems to be facing some sort of handicap: Steve and Allie are without their luggage, and if we’re being completely honest some of the other teams aren’t exactly operating with a full toolbox in terms of strategy or general intelligence. Last week’s episode saw the teams living up to our expectation from the premiere that this may be one of the most mistake-prone casts of all time, and so the idea that Jet and Cord’s Speed Bump is a huge disadvantage just doesn’t fly. 

And if you have any doubt of that, I’m pretty sure that this leg more or less sealed the deal. 

Spoilers for this week’s snake-infested episode of “The Amazing Race” after the jump… 

Read Full Post
<p>Ian Somerhalder and Melinda Clarke of 'The Vampire Diaries'</p>

Ian Somerhalder and Melinda Clarke of 'The Vampire Diaries'

Credit: The CW

Recap: 'The Vampire Diaries' - 'There Goes the Neighborhood'

The new vamps in town cause problems, while Elena and Stefan go on a double-date

This week in Mystic Falls, everyone's all about technology -- cell phones, texting, chat rooms. Can double dates, out of control MILFs, and Jeremy's Internet research cause half as much drama as the army of old-new bloodsuckers congregating in Pearl's Vampire Halfway House in the woods, learning how to -- gasp! -- text message?

[Full recap of Thursday's (April 1) "The Vampire Diaries," titled "There Goes the Neighborhood," after the break…]

Read Full Post
<p>John Noble of 'Fringe'</p>

John Noble of 'Fringe'

Credit: FOX

Recap: 'Fringe' Returns - 'Peter'

In the wake of Olivia's discovery of Peter's true nature, Walter reveals how he came to this universe.

 If any recently launched genre show learned the true lesson of “Lost” (“It’s the characters, stupid!”), it’s “Fringe.” While its individual episodes can be hit or miss, it has at its core the type of unorthodox family that’s necessary to hold an audience’s interest even if The Pattern doesn’t. Tonight, in “Peter,” we saw the start of The Pattern, itself derived from an easily understood starting point: a father’s grief over a lost child. In fact, the mythology of “Fringe” was summed up nicely tonight by Carla, Walter’s assistant in 1985:  “For the sake of one life, you will destroy the world.” Much more eloquent than my previous version: “Two worlds. One door. WHO YA GOT?”

[Full recap of Thursday's (April 1) "Fringe" after the break...]

Read Full Post
<p>Jerri of 'Survivor: Heroes vs. Villains'</p>

Jerri of 'Survivor: Heroes vs. Villains'

Credit: CBS

Recap: 'Survivor: Heroes vs. Villains' - 'I'm Not a Good Villain'

The Heroes begin to recover their mojo and Boston Rob and Russell continue to bicker
Pre-credit sequence. We're starting at the Villains camp, because they had the more contentious elimination. "For the first time in all of those times, I was shocked last night," Rob says reflecting on the last Tribal Council. As he puts it multiple times, "Something just doesn't feel right."  They're all discussing how badly Tyson blew things and wondering what this will do to Russell's confidence. Courtney, silent most of this season, refers to Russell as a "Bandy-legged little troll" and makes fun of his schoolboy crush on Parvati. And, indeed, Russell and Parvati and Danielle are giggling and cackling, which frustrates Boston Rob. He doesn't know if the three of them are just stupid or if they know something he doesn't know about the people sharing his shelter. Rob notes, "I was born at night, but not last night." I prefer El-P's version of this particular truism.
[For a full recap of Thursday's (April 1) "Survivor: Heroes vs. Villains" click through...]
Read Full Post
<p>Jessica of 'America's Next Top Model'</p>

Jessica of 'America's Next Top Model'

Credit: The CW

Recap: 'America's Next Top Model' goes after the 'Twilight' audience

In 'America's Next Top Vampire,' the girls get drenched in blood for a shoot

Oh, here it comes. We’re just far enough into Cycle 14 that the crying begins in earnest. Right off the bat, we get to hear from a model mommy who had to leave her baby for this, like, amazing opportunity. Now taking bets on how long it takes for Anslee to cry.

[Full recap of Wednesday's (March 31) "America's Next Top Model" after the break...]
Read Full Post
<p>&nbsp;Tim Urban of 'American Idol'</p>

 Tim Urban of 'American Idol'

Credit: FOX

Recap: 'American Idol' Results - Down to 9 for 'Idol'

After a 'Clash of the Titans' plug and a Diddy performance, one singer is sent home

9:00 p.m. ET Excellent. Tonight's "American Idol" results show has been brought to us by "Clash of the Titans." On Wednesday night's "American Idol"... Titans... Will... Clash!

[Full recap of Wednesday's (March 31) "American Idol" after the break...]

Read Full Post
<p>Jack attends to Sun's head wound that may be a clue to the nature of the split reality in the final season of 'Lost'</p>

Jack attends to Sun's head wound that may be a clue to the nature of the split reality in the final season of 'Lost'

Credit: ABC

Recap: 'Lost' 6.10 - 'The Package' threatens to reunite Sun and Jin... but does it?

Another stepping stone episode drops one major bombshell

"A wise man once said war is coming to this Island.  I think it just got here."

This week's episode of the final season of "Lost" was deceptively simple, and at this point, watching fans of the show micro-manage their expectations from week to week is fascinating.  I think part of the problem is a sort of separation anxiety that's setting in, and so instead of enjoying the ride from here to the end, fans are starting to go a wee bit crazy.  As a result, anything that strikes them as less than perfect gets magnified and they seem to be lose focus.

Relax, kids.  Even a week like this week, where things seem very direct and surprisingly linear, is packed with information and answers and suggestions for where we're going in the next two months.  Also, let's be fair... almost anything would have seemed like a comedown after last week's Richard Alpert episode, but I think Paul Zbyszewski and Graham Roland did solid work in building this Jin/Sun-centric installment, and in a few moments, I think they may have given us some major peeks behind the curtain.

It had to happen eventually that we'd get an episode that focused on the drive to get Jin and Sun together again, and they've been hinting at it in moments, but tonight, this long-separated couple took center stage, and there were some powerful emotional punches thrown and landed as a result.  In TIMELINE A, we backed up a few steps from the point we've already seen, picking up with Jin and Sun at LAX, just after Jin has been questioned by customs about the $25,000 in cash he was trying to carry into the country.  He's released, but customs keeps the money.  When Sun asks why he was carrying it, he admits that he's not sure.  Her father gave it to him just before they left and, as he puts it, "I do what your father tells me."

Read Full Post