Motive 4.11Merritt Patterson, Tim Guinee. The show delivers...



Motive 4.11

Merritt Patterson, Tim Guinee. The show delivers another great story. Here are 6 random reasons why this is brilliant:

  • The bond/friendship between the two girls (Liz and Rachel) is strong and interesting.
  • The victim is a very sympathetic and interesting character. Very real. I really grew to admire her over the course of the hour and felt a sense of loss that she was murdered.
  • The household of the killer is odd and oppressive. Some lovely camera angles in the filming help set an other-worldly tone. Loved the twist at the end. Clever.
  • Very witting dialogue abounds. Mostly from the Tommy Flanagan character.
  • Great scenes for Oscar: showing him to humourous, noble, brave. A hero. Someone who will do what is right, no matter what the cost to him. Really love that character.
  • The romance between Angie and Jack is adorable. Fab chemistry between the actors, and brilliantly written.

10/10

Stranger Things 1.4

A very satisfying episode, as several characters start to connect the dots.

  • At the start of this episode Joyce Byers is isolated. Neither her son (Jonathan) nor the cop (Hopper) believe her crazy story. Not that Joyce, to her credit, is deterred. Or needs them. She’s quite the hero. But isolated, nonetheless. However, after Nancy chats to Jonathan and after Hopper does some digging, we can see that the two of them are coming around to seeing that Joyce is right about some things. And that kind of story advancement is exciting and rewarding.
  • Eleven is in a similar position at the start of this chapter. All three guys have accepted that Will is dead, and have turned on her. A couple of uses of her powers later and… they are back in the fold.
  • Outside of these narratives, we get some more short scenes with the mysterious and unpleasant Dr. Martin Brenner telling us about the official attempts to investigate this other dimension. Or whatever it is.

9/10

The Good Wife 5.17

An episode which meanders a lot in the second half when Alicia goes MIA due to her grief over Will.

  • The case-of-the-week was interesting mostly in terms of how David Lee was using it to drive a wedge between Alicia and Diane. Ultimately it was just another story where the two firms met in court. Something we’ve seen far too much of, this season.
  • Finn Polmar got more screentime this week, making me suspect that he’s a new regular character. Damian Boyle made (what I presume is) his last appearance on the show, having sown much disharmony in his time with us.
  • The huge (and ugly) Alicia/Peter confrontation at the end felt like it came from nowhere, and it certainly seems like something that will dramatically affect the show moving forward.

8/10

From Dusk Till Dawn 3.7

  • Another episode with an interesting location, a cool baddie-of-the-week and some kickass fight scenes.
  • The fact that they have regular characters turned against other regular characters AGAIN is starting to feel a little incestuous, however. Maybe an episode where none is the team is temporarily turned would be a good idea now?

9/10

Major Crimes 5.13

A thrilling and emotional episode illustrating why this is now one of the very best shows on TV.

  • This 3-parter wasn’t as good as the 5-parter from early in the year but it was still some of the best crime drama storytelling you would ever see anywhere.
  • The script set up a genuinely compelling mystery and was able to engage us, get us invested, and - after 3 chapters - give us a dramatic and exciting payoff.
  • We also had the conclusion of the long-running Buzz b-story. The final scenes of this were as good as, if not better than, the main story. In fact, the a-story was slightly predictable in the way it brought a gun into play in the final seconds whereas the b-story successfully switched gears in it’s final minutes. Brilliant.

10/10

Childrens Hospital 6.8

Superstore 2.6

  • A Halloween episode with a slim storyline.
  • Some good moments (thanks to cast) raise it up.
  • A couple of scenes remind us that Jonah has a crush. Presumably laying the groundwork for an Amy/Jonah romance down the road.

8/10

Orange Is The New Black 3.8

Best parts:

  • Piper’s panty speech was a hoot. Brava Taylor Schilling! Likewise the discussion about donuts between Charlie and Pennsatucky was hilarious.
  • Enjoyed seeing Danny‘s backstory fleshed out a bit (in one scene) and his ensuing telephone confrontation with Caputo bodes well for upcoming episodes. Season is really tightening up as it goes along. This ‘corporate owners’ storyline is better than I would have expected.
  • It took them ages to give Piper a storyline, but now that she’s building a panty-empire she’s really likeable again.
  • The big reveal (at the end) that Lolly is up to something (concerning Alex) is very satisfying. In the week since watching 3.7 I had been wondering if she was an assassin sent in to get Alex, and now it looks as if that is the direction we are headed. Another thing that bodes well for upcoming stories.
  • About the only weak link was the Crazy Eyes sci-fi sex novel. It was funny when kept to the background, but the more time spent on it, the less amusing it became.

9/10

Bosch 2.10

A perfect conclusion to the season, and to the main story as well as a few b-stories.

  • The first half of the episode was completely devoted to a b-story barely touched this season, but kept alive in occasional references. It came back here. And dominated the episode. The final scenes - which were magnificent - were devoted to it. And it was very, very satisfying.
  • The season’s main story came to an explosive end, as well. Most of the second half of the hour was taken up with it. And it was action-packed and exciting.
  • Many threads from season one popped up here. Characters, ideas, scenes… were referenced and had a direct bearing on events taking place. The show seems meticulously planned. The storytelling is exceptional, and the effect is very rewarding indeed.
  • I was drawn to the show by Titus Welliver - who remains as magnificent as ever - but I am now under the spell of the writing. And I eagerly look forward to the next season.

10/10

Red Dwarf 11.6

Rectify 4.5

  • While the Tawny/Ted scene is the standout here, this was an episode of many great scenes. Remarkable storytelling.
  • We saw Daniel getting angry, and we saw Janey fight with her husband and gets some things out in the open. We also saw a couple of engrossing conversations that may prove key in the resolution of the big mystery.
  • But this was Ted Jr.’s episode. The Tawny scene was heartbreaking. I cried, pressed ‘pause’ and took a break before continuing. And he was front-and-center for most of the episode that followed. It was as powerful and sad as anything that has happened to Daniel.

10/10

The Last Man on Earth 3.5

  • Slim idea with a weak ending, which managed to generate laughter here and there in the first two-thirds.
  • It had a very strong opening sequence, which was beautifully filmed.
  • The building they are moving to is really cool. Feels like a place the show would do well in, for the rest of the season.
  • And the Tandy/Lewis  feud generated plenty of laughter. For a while. Then with the Carol reveal, everything kinda fizzled.

8/10

The Jim Gaffigan Show 2.8

A fight gets the Rashomon treatment, allowing Ashley Williams to shine (in the second flashback). Nice story, with heart. 8/10

Westworld 1.8

A scattershot episode that answered some key questions, but raised many new ones.

  • We continue to see that Dolores is seeing things.
  • Great thought-provoking conversation between Ford and Bernard.
  • Great showdown between Ford and Hale, sending her storylines spiraling in a new direction. One which brought back a face from the show’s past.
  • Man in Black: backstory info. And very interesting it was. Seeing as it led directly into Maeve’s backstory in a crucial way.
  • One again Maeve’s storyline was the best, most exciting, most shocking. What next for her?

10/10

Luke Cage 1.6

  • First episode that didn’t feel overly slow. A lot happened. And the while thing was basically a race against time, as Luke and Claire tried to get Scarfe to safety.
  • The scene that set the story in motion was the weakest in the episode. Scarfe deciding to ask Cottonmouth for more money? Which then developed into a fight? One where Cottonmouth shot Scarfe? But didn’t finish the job, and opted to drive away? Pretty much none of that made any sense. Even Scarfe’s choice of Luke Cage is questionable…
  • However, the rest of the episode was strong. The various action scenes, though understated, were cool. And so were the scenes with Mariah Dillard facing the press. Made the world of the show seem rounded and real.

9/10

Orange Is The New Black 3.7

David Newsom.

  • Across the board, in all storylines, this was a light and funny episode.
  • For the fourth time in a row we got a very interesting flashback backstory (Norma’s), but this time it wasn’t so tragic.
  • For the first time all season Piper now has a real storyline. One that is both amusing and promises plenty of story in episodes to come. It was great to see her and Alex sharing a scene that wasn’t actually about their relationship.

9/10

Bosch 2.9

  • The story drives this series, like almost no other on television.
  • A lot of this episode follows the two main villains of the story: Veronica Allen as she tries to track ‘her’ money, and Carl Nash as he hides out with a friend.
  • Both storylines excel. When she show does this - and does it so well - you almost believe that the character of Harry Bosch could be written out and the show would still be an excellent crime drama worth watching. Almost.

10/10

The Good Wife 5.16

Many shows have killed off a major character but rarely has it been done as well as this.

  • Alicia goes on a quest to find out why Will wanted to phone her, just before he was shot. A quest that, ultimately, provides no answers. From a storytelling perspective this was absolutely the right choice.
  • Kalinda goes on a quest to find out exactly which shot killed Will. And when she has an answer, she extracts a kind of revenge/justice. Also very powerful storytelling.
  • Diana got one of the best scenes in the episode when she fired a heartless client. Cary got the other great scene when he opened a can of whupass on some schmucks during a deposition. And Eli had a brilliant comedic scene at the very start of the episode. All three scenes were ‘larger’ than the show would normally do, but worked here as a counterpoint to the slow, somber mourning that occupied virtually every other scene.
  • Across the board this was an intelligent and sorrowful episode.

10/10

Star Trek # 003

  • Production begins on the regular series with this strong story, showcasing remarkably well-developed regular characters.
  • Not only are Kirk, Spock and McCoy very recognisable as themselves but their personal relationships/friendships are exactly as we would expect them to be, also.
  • Most of the action takes place on one set: the bridge. Performances are uniformly excellent. From the actions and a few visual effects we get an hour of high tension.
  • The visuals are striking, memorable, beautiful.
  • Kirk is awesome here. Not just for his bluff, but also for his immediately reaction to the distress signal. Kinda makes the heart swell with pride.

10/10

The Rockford Files 5.11

Scott Marlowe. The ending is clumsy but this is an unusual and strong TRF which doesn’t feature Jim as much as usual and looks at the effects of a fake news story on a mafia family. We spend a lot of scenes with two characters who never interact with Jim as they try to plot a takeover (fueled by their belief in a story they read in a sleazy tabloid). It’s a clever idea for a story, and it really only falls down in the hurried climax. 8/10

Do you think Rectify will ever tell us if Daniel did it?

Rectify 4.4

  • This season has brought three new characters and their stories into the fold. Something they show never did before, and it is definitely one of the reasons this fourth season is the best. So far.
  • In all three cases we really care about the new characters, and - even more important - we get to watch their impact upon the three main characters they are paired with.
  • But, of course, it is the main characters we care most about. And this season, most of them are dealing with big changes.
  • And, with episodes like this, we are fearful for them. The end is near (only four episodes now) and when the show ends they will have reached their “destiny” as it were. And, in some cases, it might be bleak. Very bleak.
  • That short final scene (Daniel in bed) was… scary. Very scary.

10/10

Brooklyn Nine-Nine 4.4

Enjoyed the vibe of the crew working at night, etc. But other than lines from Holt there weren’t too many laughs. 7/10

Chicago PD 3.2

Fairly generic story, which follows a predictable path. Action scenes are good, but none of the b-stories pop. 6/10

Major Crimes 5.12