Friday, October 9, 2015

Bones 11.2: Back in Place

The conclusion of the Bones season 11 opener last night was strong and emotionally satisfying, with everyone ending up where they should be, and then some.

Bones needed to go back to work at the Jeffersonian. Arastoo needed to be more than second banana, and he and Cam can pursue their love from afar for at least a few years. Certainly that's preferable to a Jeffersonian - for them and us - without Bones.

The new FBI woman played by Kim Raver was too good to waste on her being a villain, and it was a good jump in the plot that she wasn't. The FBI with Booth, Aubrey, and Miller will be fun to see in action.

Most important, these first two episodes of the new season show there's still energy and stories to be told in dem Bones. The scientific mysteries are still cracking, the characters are still devoting their all to solving a case, and the murders keep on coming.

Indeed, the actual cases, I think, are what will determine the ultimate longevity of Bones.  There are only so many times you can go to the well of putting one of our central people in life-and-death danger, or even in peril of leaving their jobs.   Bones has so far excelled in coming up with new murder mysteries that can be solved by the team's ministrations.

I'm looking forward to seeing what the rest of the season will serve up on that long, white table with those bright lights above.

See also Bones Back for Season 11: Aubrey and 'Audrey'

See also Bones 10.1: The Fulcrum Changes ... Bones 10.2: J. Edgar and the DNA Confession ... Bones 10.3: Meets Rush and a Dominatrix ... Bones 10.4: Brennan and Angela on a Bench in the Playground ... Bones 10.5: Two Jokes and Three Times ... Bones 10.6: A Thousand Cuts ... Bones 10.7: The A-Word and Quarks ... Bones 10.8: Daisy's Doula ... Bones 10.9: The Milgram Experiment and the Birds ... Bones 200: 10.10: Just like Bogey and Bacall ... Bones 10.11: Life after Death, and Sweets in Wonderland ...Bones 10.12: The Digital Revolution ... Bones 10.13: The Almost-Serial Killer ...Bones 10.14: meets La Parure ... Bones 10.15: Cards in Hand ...Bones 10.16: Hodgins' Money ... Bones 10.17-18: Bullies and Capital Punishment ... Bones 10.19: Do You Buy Booth's Gambling Addiction? ...Bones 10.20: Intimations of a New Jeffersonian ... Bones 10.21: Ten Years Isn't Enough ... Bones Season 10 Finale: Rehearsals for Retirement?

And see also Bones 9.1: The Sweet Misery of Love ... Bones 9.2: Bobcat, Identity Theft, and Sweets ... Bones 9.3 and NCIS 11.2: Sweets and Ziva ... Bones 9.4: Metaphysics of Death in a Television Series ... Bones 9.5: Val and Deep Blue ... Bones 9.6: The Wedding ... Bones 9.7: Watch Out, Buenos Aires ...Bones 9.8: The Bug in the Neck ... Bones 9.9: Friday Night Bones in the Courtroom ... Bones 9.10: Horse Pucky ... Bones 9.11: Angels in Equations ... Bones 9.12: Fingernails ... Bones 9.13: Meets Nashville, and Wendell ... Bones 9.14: "You Cannot Drink Your Glass Away" ... Bones 9.15: Hodgins' Brother and the Ripped Off Toe ... Bones 9.16: Lampreys, Professors, and Insurance Companies ... Bones 9.17: Spartacus in the Kitchen ... Bones 9.18: Meets Day of the Triffids ... Bones 9.19: The Cornucopic Urn ... Bones 9.20: Above the Law ... Bones 9.21: Freezing and Thawing ... Bones 9.22: Promotion ... Bones 9.23: The New Intern ... Bones Season 9 Finale: Upping the Ante

And see also Bones 8.1: Walk Like an Egyptian ... Bones 8.2 of Contention ... Bones 8.3: Not Rotting Behind a Desk  ... Bones 8.4: Slashing Tiger and Donald Trump ... Bones 8.5: Applesauce on Election Eve ... Bones 8.6: Election Day ... Bones 8.7: Dollops in the Sky with Diamonds ...Bones 8.8: The Talking Remains ... Bones 8.9: I Am A Camera ... Bones 8.10-11: Double Bones ...Bones 8.12: Face of Enigmatic Evil ... Bones 8.13: Two for the Price of One ... Bones 8.14: Real Life ... Bones 8.15: The Magic Bullet and the Be-Spontaneous Paradox ... Bones 8.16: Bitter-Sweet Sweets and Honest Finn ... Bones 8.17: "Not Time Share, Time Travel" ... Bones 8.18: Couples ... Bones 8.19: The Head in the Toilet ... Bones 8.20: On Camera ... Bones 8.21: Christine, Hot Sauce, and the Judge ... Bones 8.22: Musical-Chair Parents ... Bones 8.23: The Bluff ... Bones Season 8 Finale: Can't Buy the Last Few Minutes

And see also Bones 7.1: Almost Home Sweet Home ... Bones 7.2: The New Kid and the Fluke ...Bones 7.3: Lance Bond and Prince Charmington ... Bones 7.4: The Tush on the Xerox ... Bones 7.5: Sexy Vehicle ... Bones 7.6: The Reassembler ... Bones 7.7: Baby! ... Bones 7.8: Parents ...Bones 7.9: Tabitha's Salon ... Bones 7.10: Mobile ... Bones 7.11: Truffles and Max ... Bones 7.12: The Corpse is Hanson ... Bones Season 7 Finale: Suspect Bones

And see also Bones 6.1: The Linchpin ... Bones 6.2: Hannah and her Prospects ... Bones 6.3 at the Jersey Shore, Yo, and Plymouth Rock ... Bones 6.4 Sans Hannah ... Bones 6.5: Shot and Pretty ... Bones 6.6: Accidental Relations ... Bones 6.7:  Newman and "Death by Chocolate" ...Bones 6.8: Melted Bones ... Bones 6.9: Adelbert Ames, Jr. ... Bones 6.10: Reflections ... Bones 6.11: The End and the Beginning of a Mystery ... Bones 6.12 Meets Big Love ... Bones 6.13: The Marrying Kind ... Bones 6.14: Bones' Acting Ability ... Bones 6.15: "Lunch for the Palin Family" ...Bones 6.16: Stuck in an Elevator, Stuck in Times ... Bones 6.17: The 8th Pair of Feet ... Bones 6.18: The Wile E. Chupacabra ... Bones 6.19 Test Runs The Finder ... Bones 6.20: This Very Statement is a Lie ... Bones 6.21: Sensitive Bones ... Bones 6.22: Phoenix Love ... Bones Season 6 Finale: Beautiful

And see also Bones: Hilarity and Crime and Bones is Back For Season 5: What Is Love? and 5.2: Anonymous Donors and Pipes and 5.3: Bones in Amish Country and 5.4: Bones Meets Peyton Place and Desperate Housewives and Ancient Bones 5.5 and Bones 5.6: A Chicken in Every Viewer's Pot and Psychological Bones 5.7 and Bones 5.8: Booth's "Pops" and Bones 5.9 Meets Avatar and Videogamers ... Bad Santa, Heart-Warming Bones 5.10 ... Bones 5.11: Of UFOs, Bloggers, and Triangles ... Bones 5.12: A Famous Skeleton and Angela's Baby ... Love with Teeth on Bones 5.13 ... Faith vs. Science vs. Psychology in Bones 5.14 ... Page 187 in Bones 5.15 ...Bones 100: Two Deep Kisses and One Wild Relationship ... Bones 5.17: The Deadly Stars ...Bones Under Water in 5.18 ... Bones 5.19: Ergo Together ...  Bones 5.20: Ergo Together ... Bones 5.21: The Rarity of Happy Endings ... Bones Season 5 Finale: Eye and Evolution


Neanderthal bones

Heroes Reborn 1.4: GPS RIP

Heroes Reborn continues to move along at a breakneck pace, literally in the case of at least one major character in episode 1.4.

Molly Walker, as I said in previous reviews of the reborn series, was one of my favorite heroes in the original series. I would have liked to have seen more of her this Fall, but I guess taking her own life had a heartbreaking logic.

It's a victory for our side - the E.P.I.C. locators can no longer hijack her power - but it comes at a tragic price. The two sides will now be a little more evenly matched, but as long as the distaff half of the killing team is on the loose, no hero will safe. Fortunately her partner apparently has a conscience, and indeed is beginning to display heroic powers himself. On the other hand, it was sad to see the priest shot to death by another deadly hero hunter, before the priest had a chance to thoroughly turn to fog.

The myriad story lines are beginning to coalesce, as the butterfly woman leaves the Arctic and Miko comes to America, and I'm looking forward to more.

See also Heroes Reborn: Good to Be Back ... Heroes 1.2: Carly Fiorina meets Steve Jobs

And see also Heroes Season 4 Premiere: Metaphysics, University, Carnival ...Heroes Meets The L Word in 4.5 ... Heroes 4 Mid-Season Finale  ... Heroes Season 4 Resumes ... Heroes 4.15: The Chess Game Continues ... 4.16: The Trial of Hiro ... 4.18: Penultimate  ... Heroes Forever

And see also reviews of Season 3 Heroes Gets Lost ... Heroes 3 Begins: Best Yet, Riddled with Time Travel and Paradox ... Sylar's Redemption and other Heroes and Villains Mergers ... Costa Nuclear ... Hearts of Gold and the Debased ... Seeing the Future Trumps Time Travel ... Superpowered Chess with Shifting Pieces ... Villains and Backstories ... The Redemption of Sylar ... Thoughts on the Eclipse, Part I ... The Lore of the Comic Book Store ... Hiro's Time Traveling Closure ... Augmented ... Shades of Recalibration ... Baby, Rebel, and Last Fantasy ... All that Shape Changes Remains the Same? ... Season 3 Finale: Hopeful Deceptions

Reviews of Season 2 Heroes: Episode 1 ... 2 ... 3 ... 4 ... 7. Heroes Meets 12 Monkeys ... 9. How Immutable Are Fate and Isaac's Futures? ... 10. Penultimate for the Fall ... Heroes 2 Finale: Heroes Who Didn't Survive

And from Season 1: Heroes in Focus ... Heroes Five Years Gone: Triumph of Time Travel and Comics ... Heroes the Hard Part: Only the Pictures Not the Words ... Heroes Landslide: Winnowing and Convergence ... Heroes Volume One Finale


no heroes, but pretty strange

Thursday, October 8, 2015

The Affair 2.2: Loving a Writer

I was going to wait until Sunday to watch the next episode of The Affair, but I realized there may not be Showtime where I'll be, so I watched episode 2.2 last night on Showtime On Demand.  I'm glad I did. It was superb, continuing its compelling mix of great acting, cinematography, and storyline, with Alison's and Cole's stories this time.   The Affair this season will be presenting four points of view - not only Noah and Alison, but Helen and Cole - and, so far, that's enriched the story.

Joshua Jackson's performance as Cole in 2.2 was Emmy worthy. The subtle, under-the-surface, powerful but contained display of hurt, hate, pain, love, fatigue with the world, and, in that last scene, just a hint of satisfaction at seeing Noah charged in court, was just masterful.   This was about the best performance I've ever seen of a man after his wife has left him.

Of course, Cole is nothing but considerate to Alison in his take, in contrast to being disruptive, even frightening in her rendition of the same story.  Ruth Wilson also puts in a fine performance, down to the expression in her eyes when Noah comes home after the lousy day in New York City that we saw in episode 2.1.   After he grouses and leaves the room, the camera twice shows Alison looking at something with concern, uncertainty, and a touch of bracing in her eyes - perfect camera work - and it turns out that's Noah, who apologizes and takes Alison in his arms.   The love they feel for each other is vibrant.

Alison's day in the vivid green of Cold Spring is notable in other ways, especially with Yvonne, who gets off one of the best lines in the episode, remarking to Alison that it's a "horrible thing to love a writer".  Alison learns that Yvonne is head of Bradford Publishing.   Are they Noah's publisher? Probably.  We know that Harry - Noah's editor - arranged for Noah and Alison to stay in the beautiful house in the country, which we now learn is owned by Yvonne and her husband.   There are important connections to be explored.

There's poetry in almost every scene of this drama, including in the taxi with Cole driving Noah's soon to be erstwhile father-in-law, who paints an appealing picture of how Montauk used to be - getting Cole to almost roll his eyes in the front seat - including "the way the ocean changes like a moody woman".

A hallmark of great narrative is how even the minor characters are memorable.   The Affair has all of that, and I'm looking forward to more.

podcast review of every 1st season episode

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Minority Report, Blindspot, and Limitless: Similar Scenarios

I've been watching, enjoying, and reviewing three new network series this Fall:

Minority Report on Fox, Blindspot on NBC, and Limitless on CBS (I also love Nashville on ABC - just so that network shouldn't feel excluded - but it's not pertinent to this post).   Anyway, I realized last night that the three series have very similar setups.

Minority Report and Limitless are the closest: Both feature a guy with science fictional powers (Dash on Minority Report can see the future, Brian on Limitless becomes the smartest person in the world when he takes the fictional drug NZT).  Both team with hot female cops (Dash with Lara, Brian with FBI-agent Rebecca), and have to contend with superiors and co-workers who don't appreciate or fully comprehend what the pairs are doing.

Blindspot reverses the genders - Jane is the point-of-view character (she's also hot), teamed with Kurt at the FBI - and she doesn't have science-fictional powers.   But she has super training as a SEAL, and, like Dash and Brian, is a victim as well as hero.   And she and Kurt have to contend with colleagues and superiors who oppose, distrust and otherwise don't believe in them.

What are the source of these similarities?   Minority Report and Limitless both derive from movies, which in turn were adaptations of a short story ("The Minority Report" by Philip K. Dick) and a novel (The Dark Fields by Alan Glynn). The FBI played no role in the previous Limitless versions, but does in its TV series and in Blindspot, which had no previous incarnation.

Well, the FBI is good to bring into any television series, even though it doesn't guarantee massive success, as witness what happened to The Following.   Maybe the similarity is the result of some kind of corporate espionage, which raises the interesting question of which series came up with these similar scenarios first?

Calling Efrem Zimbalist, Jr. to get on the case and figure this out.  (Or maybe Cie McCullough, a reader on Facebook who caught a possible error in an earlier version of this post.)

See Minority Report 1.1: Boding Well ... Blindspot 1.1: Good to See, Or, Coronet Blue meets The Illustrated Man ... Limitless 1.2: Genghis Khan Gene


Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Fear the Walking Dead Season 1 Finale: Water Water

Fear the Walking Dead concluded its all-too-brief first season last night, and although The Walking Dead will be starting its next season next week, I'll be missing Fear TWD and wishing it was continuing on television screen - beyond its webcasts - too.

The most significant development in this last episode for a year was the luxury ship off-shore, and its holding of some hope of distance from the walkers.   Ultimately, the question is whether the walkers can't be swimmers.  It certainly seems they can't - I mean, what kind of stroke could they do?  They lack the coordination to do any of the swimming strokes that at least I do at the pool.

But there's a further implicit question here: can the walking dead drown?  If not, then couldn't they just stagger into the water and out to any boat, in water over their head?  I suppose they could - but they would likely be swept away by any decent current.   I'm pretty sure we've already seen them swept away in river currents on The Walking Dead, and ocean currents would be much stronger.

Still, our human survivors finding impregnable safety on the water seems too easy a solution - though, hey, solution is something that comes from water, right?  Anyway, it'll be fun to see what's in store next year.

My other favorite part of this season finale was Nick telling his mother that he was more ready for the apocalypse than anyone else in the family, because was already somewhat out of his mind, and was coping with the insanity of being an outsider even when the world was relatively sane.   This was reminiscent of Robert De Niro's' character Michael in the excellent 1978 movie The Deer Hunter - Michael fares the best in the  insanity of fighting and getting captured  in Vietnam because he was already somewhat crazy at home.  It's impressive to see Fear The Walking Dead picking up on this profound and counter-intuitive aspect of human nature.

The Walking Dead does this too, but as I said as soon as I saw the first episode of Fear TWD, there's something about the greater proximity of this story to our reality that makes it more riveting to me.

See also Fear the Walking Dead 1.1: Great Beginnings ... Fear TWD 1.2: Tobias Leads the Way


Monday, October 5, 2015

Homeland 5.1: Moving into the Age of Snowden

Homeland was back last night for its fifth season with an excellent episode that both cleared the deck from last season but left enough of it to start the combustion in this season.

But first, to begin with, there's an error in a lot of what's being said in the press this season about Carrie being pulled back in, Godfather like, when she tried to get out.  If she'd really wanted out, she would have landed a job in a field other than security, and certainly not in Germany, a known hotbed of Islamic terrorism since 9/11.

But that said, it makes a powerful narrative for Carrie to go in a few minutes from being with her daughter - who still looks like the very image of her father Brody - to being tied up in the tunnel of a Hezbollah leader whose son was killed by Carrie in one of the attacks on the infamous Abu Nazir.  It was also good seeing an undamaged Saul back in the fight, and a sullen, deadly Quinn deployed in this, too.

The fifth season also has three powerful women:  the German CIA section head, an assistant to the German minister who is now no longer cooperating with the CIA, and a reporter/editor for a Wikileaks-like organization.  Those are strong, important positions indeed, and it will be fun to see how those gambits play out.

The reason the Germans no longer want to cooperate with us is the hacking of CIA documents which reveal our clandestine operations with the Germans.   This brings Homeland right into the age of Edward Snowden, whom I'm looking forward to seeing via Skype at Bard University a week from Friday.   Cyber until now has played a secondary role to hands-on agents in the field in Homeland, and it will good to see how this plays out, too.

So the complex pieces on the reset board are mostly in place, and I'll be back here next week with a review of where they go and how they do.

And see also  Homeland on Showtime ... Homeland 1.8: Surprises ... Homeland Concludes First Season: Exceptional


  different kind of espionage