Thursday, May 24, 2007

Lost: "Through the Looking Glass" - airdate 05/23/07

Flash: Jack is on a plane and then on a bridge, with an ugly beard, a drinking problem and apparently an urge to kill himself. On Island: Preparations are underway to hike to the radio tower. Sayid tells Jack that he is willing to sacrifice his life, if necessary, to ensure rescue for the group. There seems to be a lot of that going around: has he been talking to Charlie? Jack moves his people out – oh, look, there’s Vincent! – as Sayid, Jin and Bernard watch them go.

Naomi shows Jack how her sat-phone works, in case something happens to her: they’re just waiting for Charlie to clear the signal. Charlie, however, is busy being worked over by the two gorgeous women manning the Looking-glass Station. They are quite unfriendly, and the blonde (Tracey Middendorf) was in Angel S1E1. The women decide to call Ben for orders and Charlie gets a glimpse of the flashing yellow light and the switch he is destined to turn off. In the Others’ camp, Ben gets the call and bugs his eyes out a little more. He sends Mikhail to clean things up. Mikhail points out that Ben told everyone that the Looking-glass Station was flooded. “I lied,” snaps Ben. He then tries to call Tom and the Other commandos at the beach to let them know his plans are unraveling. They have their walkies off, however, as they stealthily infiltrate the Losties' camp. The snipers wait … wait … then BOOM BOOM! Fantastic explosions and flying bodies as Sayid and Bernard, using rifles, detonate their tents. Poor Jin cannot get his pistol to shoot straight and is soon captured. Bernard runs for the hills but doesn’t get far; Sayid is nabbed as well. Up in the mountains, the Losties see the two explosions. Rose says, “There were supposed to be three” while Kate, horrified, breathes “It didn’t work!”

Flash: Bearded-Jack is getting stitched up after having rescued a woman and her child from a car wreck. His heroism is marred by the fact that the woman crashed because she was distracted by seeing him on the bridge preparing to jump. On Island: The Losties are panicking but Jack keeps them moving towards the radio tower. Where did Kate get that clean hoodie? Sun and Rose are extremely concerned about their sniper husbands. Back underwater, Charlie is amazingly confident as he continues to get pounded on. The commando Others report to Ben that the explosions killed all but three of the raiding party and that the only Losties still on the beach are the three snipers. Ben, who is looking increasingly unstable, tells Tom to kill Jin to make the other two spill the Losties’ location. Bernard totally caves and gives up not only the Losties’ destination but that Carl helped them. Ben’s head is about to explode and he gives Alex a look of pure fury.

Ben decides to go after the Losties and tells Richard to continue taking the Others to the temple as they’d planned. Alex wants to go with Ben and, surprisingly, he agrees. He claims he will talk the Losties out of being rescued. During a break for water, Kate tells Sawyer she wants to go back to help Sayid et al. Sawyer is pretty withdrawn and isn’t interested. She gets upset, saying he hasn’t been himself since returning with Juliet’s tape and, trying to draw him out, reminds him that Juliet was going to test her for pregnancy too. Sawyer glares at her: let’s hope you’re not. Desmond finally comes to on the outrigger, and is promptly shot at by Mikhail. Desmond dives for the Looking-glass hatch and, fortuitously, comes up while the women are arguing in another room. Charlie, thrilled to see him, tells him to hide; he ducks out of sight and Charlie gets punched some more. Boy, there are a lot of commercials.

Flash: Bearded-Jack pops some pills. A doctor, played by the second Las Vegas actor to make a guest appearance on this show (Naomi being the first), checks in on him. Jack wants to do the surgery on the woman he rescued; Dr. Las Vegas says nope. On Island: The Losties are still hiking. Why do so few of them wear their backpacks correctly, on both shoulders? It’s much more comfortable that way. Sawyer decides to go back to the beach; Kate wants to go too but, with a haunted look, he tells her he doesn’t want to go with her. Jack, cheerful as ever, says it would be a suicide mission to go back without guns. Juliet pipes up that she knows where some guns are hidden. She and Jack smooch, and then she and Sawyer head back down the mountain. Kate tries not to be jealous of either. At the Looking-glass, Mikhail scubas up and asks where [Desmond] is. Thinking quickly, Charlie suggests that a better question might be why Ben lied to the Others about this hatch, and why they are jamming signals coming to and from the Island. Mikhail, being a communications guy, does not like the sound of that. When Ben calls them, Mikhail pretty much asks, what the fuck, dude? Ben says he’s doing it all to protect the Island. He goes on to say that he needs Mikhail’s help to clean up his mess: first kill Charlie, then kill Bonnie (the blonde) and Greta (the brunette) so they can’t report back to any of the Others. Mikhail hesitates but seems ready to obey. I wish he would put his eye-patch back on – ick.

Sawyer and Juliet zing each other a couple of times and then Juliet admits that there are no guns. She lied so Jack would let them go. Hurley shows up, wanting to help, but Sawyer dismisses him, saying he’ll get them killed. Sawyer is pretty tense these days. Alex asks Ben why he’s letting her tag along; he says he’s going to hand her over to her new Lostie family, since she likes them so much. She asks why he won’t just let them leave the Island. “Because I can’t,” he snarls. Back in the ditch of dead Dharma-ites, Locke is still alive (of course)! He can’t move his legs, though. He finds an old pistol among the corpses and in despair moves to shoot himself. Suddenly, it’s Walt! He tells Locke to put the gun down and get up, you have work to do. The magic of the Island has aged him several years in the month or so since he and Michael boated away; the Island has not, however, made him a better actor.

The Losties are still hiking and I wish Kate would put all that hair in a ponytail. She looks a little sad and Jack tells her that Sawyer didn’t mean what he said, he was just trying to protect her. She smiles, “Why are you sticking up for Sawyer? He wouldn’t do it for you.” Jack says, “Because I love you.” Whatever. Flash: Bearded-Jack keeps looking at an obituary he tore from a newspaper. He walks into a funeral home and keeps popping pills. Who’s in the casket? On Island: Rousseau says that they’re nearing the tower but she’s not leaving when the rest of them get rescued. Just then, Ben and Alex appear, causing much consternation among the Losties. Jack goes to parlay with Ben.

Mikhail dons his patch (thank you!), kills Greta and shoots Bonnie in the back. Desmond pops out of his hiding place and nails him with a spear-gun. Nice! Charlie tells Des not to kill Bonnie since they need to get the code out of her to turn off the signal jammer. Ben and Jack go off to talk alone. Flash: There are no Oxycodone refills left for Bearded-Jack and he is very cranky about it. On Island: Ben asks Jack why he wants to leave the Island when there is nothing left for him out there: no father, no wife. He goes on to say that Naomi is not who she says she is and if she’s allowed to call her ship, the Bad Guys on it will kill every living person on the Island, Lostie and Other alike; he wants Jack to get the sat-phone and give it to Ben. Jack: no f’in way. Ben calls Tom on the beach and tells him to kill Sayid et al. if Jack doesn’t do what he says. Jack continues to refuse; Ben says he is not bluffing, and three shots are heard over the walkie. Jack goes insane and beats Ben senseless. He calls Tom: “I am getting my people rescued and then I am going to find you and kill you.”

Underwater, Bonnie gives up the code but Charlie can’t write it down fast enough. With her dying breath she tells him it’s to the tune of “Good Vibrations,” that the keypad was programmed by a musician. How serendipitous! Jack drags Ben back to the group. Ben groggily looks up to see Rousseau and introduces Alex to her mother. Away from the group, Jack tells Kate that he heard Sayid et al. being killed. On the beach, however, Sayid et al. have not been killed and, in fact, Ben had instructed the commando Others to fake the executions. Tom thinks they should have done it anyway – he thinks Ben’s lost it. Juliet and Sawyer lurk in the bushes, trying to figure out how to rescue their guys. Just then, Hurley busts in, driving his Dharma VW van! Yay, Hurley! He runs over one Other and Sayid manages to snap the second Other’s neck. Seeing all is for naught, Tom surrenders to Juliet, and then Sawyer shoots him anyway: “That’s for taking the kid off the raft.” Hurley is astounded: “Dude, it was over, he gave up.” Sawyer: “I didn’t believe him.” I love new scary Sawyer.

Flash: Bearded-Jack is stealing Oxycodone from the hospital. Dr. Las Vegas tells him he knows Jack was trying to kill himself. Jack says Dr. Las Vegas can’t help him. On Island: Dear god, they’re still hiking. Hurley calls in over Ben’s walkie and reports that everyone, including Sayid et al., is okay. Claire asks him about Charlie. In the hatch, Desmond readies the scuba gear while Charlie plays “Good Vibrations” on the keypad. He clears the signal and a transmission comes through immediately: it’s Penny! And she didn’t send any boat! Damn, I hate when Ben is right. Desmond notices that Mikhail’s body is gone; that’s because he’s in a scuba mask outside the hatch with a grenade. Charlie realizes what Mikhail is going to do, and closes the blast door as Mikhail blows a hole in the wall. As sea water floods the communications room, Charlie writes “Not Penny’s boat” on his hand and holds it up to the window for Desmond to see. Des, stricken and helpless, watches his friend drown.

The Losties turn off Rousseau’s distress call and Naomi goes back outside to make her call. Locke staggers out of the jungle and throws his knife, killing her. Jack picks up the phone and Locke points his gun at him: put down the phone or I will kill you. Ben, who is now tied to a tree, practically begs Jack not to contact the ship. Locke, true to form, is unable to kill Jack (although I really thought he was going to go through with it this time) and Jack speaks with someone on the boat, joy and relief washing over his face. Flash: Bearded-Jack is sitting in his apartment, drinking expensive tequila, surrounded by maps. He calls someone and pleads with them to meet him at the airport. It is night, and he parks at the end of a runway. Someone drives up: it’s Kate, clean, combed, wearing makeup. She’d read about him rescuing the woman from the car accident. He smiles faintly, “Just can’t stop pulling people from wreckage.” Holy crap – these have been flash-FORWARDS? He says he thought she’d go to the funeral. Kate is incredulous – why would I do that? Jack says he’s been flying a lot, every weekend, hoping to crash again. He’s making Kate uncomfortable, and she says she has to get back, “he’ll wonder where I went.” Jack speaks more urgently as she backs away: they made a mistake; they were never supposed to leave the Island. “We have to go back!”

My first reaction: who was in the fracking casket?! I think, since these flashes were forward, is that it’s Ben in the casket. That might account for Clean-Kate’s scorn for the funeral. Or maybe it’s Locke, since he and Jack crossed each other’s science/faith lines on several occasions. Also, who is Clean-Kate’s “he” – Sawyer? A non-Lostie (maybe she got back together with Nathan Fillion – ooh!)? Now that Charlie’s gone, I miss him. His character was allowed to be interesting again in the last couple of episodes, and Dominic Monaghan did a great job; I loved Charlie’s confidence in himself and his destiny down in the hatch, all the way to the end. I wish, and I suspect I am not alone, that more of Season 3’s episodes had the movement that this one did (although the Jack-flashes were a little tedious, at least they were fairly brief). Hopefully Season 4 will keep the momentum going.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Veronica Mars: “The Bitch Is Back” – airdate 05/22/07

Logan tells Veronica what he saw, handing her a disk. When she insists that she has not had sex with Piz, he says, “You were naked, I just assumed.” Shaken, she throws him out and watches the video. She gets to Piz and Wallace’s room just as they are returning from the infirmary. Piz is in bad shape (cracked ribs, face a swollen mess) and Wallace is seething. Veronica asks Piz if he recorded them. Piz - “I’m sorry, I’m on some morphine here … what?!” - denies it. Wallace wants to kick Logan’s ass; Veronica says she’ll deal with him. My theory: it’s The Castle who set up a bug to record Wallace and when they got bonus Veronica/Piz footage, they ran with it. At the hotel room, Parker is a wreck: nothing says you’re still in love with your ex like beating up your ex’s current boyfriend. She stands as if she’ll splinter if she moves, and breaks up with Logan. Me, I don’t care, and Logan scarcely notices that she’s in the room. Veronica gets off the elevator as Parker gets on. Parker sniffles, “He’s all yours.” Veronica snarls, “Trust me – not why I’m here.” She is furious with Logan, saying that Piz is having trouble breathing. Logan is incredulous and reminds her what he’s learned with her over and over: that someone always has to pay ... and this time it shouldn’t be him. Veronica spits that they cannot be friends with each other – he is out of her life forever. Logan looks shattered, as he always does when his best intentions backfire. He can’t believe that he fucked up again.

Veronica corners Dick and finds out that Chip Diller sent him the email with the video. Ryan Hansen is really fantastic in these final episodes. As Veronica stalks across campus with everyone pointing and laughing at her (“and I’m back in high school,” she voice-overs), Weevil offers his help. She says she’ll probably accept. Chip is easily intimidated by her and tells her he got the video from Dominick. Veronica finds Dominick (who looks like he’s about 45); he doesn’t know her and foolishly is not intimidated. She cuts off all his credit cards and gets Weevil steal his rims. Chasened, Dominick gives her another name: Gorya Sorokin. This guy (who only looks 32) is not only not intimidated by the tiny blonde, but is pretty lewd and scary in his own right, and she settles for bugging his room. A-ha! I was right: The Castle is behind this.

Ack -another side ponytail. Veronica grills Wallace a little and he ‘fesses what he knows about The Castle (not much). She asks him to go undercover and get some pictures for her. She then talks with Nish (the former school newspaper editor/strident feminist) who had written an article about The Castle –the members are said to be the richest and most powerful men in the country - and who is involved in an attempted lawsuit for discrimination: The Castle won’t admit women. When Wallace is picked up, Veronica follows the car to a self-storage warehouse. Wallace goes inside, is told to strip down and put an electric dog collar on. In front of a video camera, he is grilled about the incident in Chicago when the homeless man was killed. When he tries to lie, another pledge in another room is zapped by the collar. The screams are pretty awful.

Veronica gathers Wallace up when he finally staggers out. Although he didn’t get her any pictures, he’s deduced the identity of another pledge, and she plans to follow this kid until he leads her to The Castle. In the food court, Veronica and Piz are heckled; Piz tells her to let it go and that karma will take care of those guys. Veronica: “Oh yeah – I’m going to run him over with my karma.” Hee. Dick congratulates Logan on the magnificent beating he gave to Piz. Logan says that Piz wasn’t the bad guy and looks sad. At night, Veronica follows the pledge to a mansion; she scales the wall and sneaks in through the dog door to try for a money shot. She is startled to see an enormous (and icky) portrait of Lilly Kane on the wall.

The mansion is Jake Kane’s and he is the putative leader of The Castle. Gorya gives Jake the recorded confessions from the storage units and Jake transfers them to a hard drive on his desk. Our girl is almost caught, but steals the hard drive. The next morning, Keith is at the mansion as Jake tells him that the stolen hard drive contains five years of research and intellectual property worth gazillions. Clarence Weidman is there and he’s still scary. Keith finds a thread caught in the dog door. The neighbor has security footage of the backyard and, as Keith recognizes his daughter as the thief, he collects the DVR as evidence. On his way out, Keith asks the security guard for a list of license plates; the guard is one of the fired deputies and refuses to help. [See? What did I tell you about the continuity?] Unfortunately, the guard does not have a grudge against Weidman and gives him the list. Mac and Veronica use a supercomputer on campus to try to decipher the hard drive’s password. Keith finds Veronica’s snagged sweater in her laundry. When he confronts her, she is too embarrassed to explain what is going on and runs out. Jake Kane has a full-on hissy fit when Weidman tells him Veronica took the hard drive. It seemed a little over the top, actually, but I suppose he still holds a grudge for helping Duncan escape with his love child. As Keith is giving a pre-election interview, Jake, Weidman and the DA burst in and accuse Keith of hiding evidence against Veronica. The reporter is quite interested by all this. Back at the lab, Mac and Veronica are still trying to break the password. Keith tries to call Veronica; when he can’t reach her, he goes into the Evidence Room and erases the DVR with the Veronica footage. He looks so sad.

When Mac finally breaks the password, the hard drive contains dirt on about eighty years of Castle members: business leaders, congressmen, etc. They watch a bit of Gorya’s “confession” and realize his family has Mafia ties; Veronica thinks she may just let him keep his secrets. She does, however, give the list of Castle members to Nish. Nish says, “You’re going to make some very powerful men very unhappy.” Won’t be the first time, says Veronica. In the food court, Logan tries to apologize to Veronica, but she’s not having any of it. Gorya comes up and says some really nasty things. When Veronica doesn’t react, Logan moves to go after him. She stops him, saying that Gorya is “connected.” Logan muses that he wondered why she didn’t rip him a new one. He watches Gorya walk off a ways and then beats him up anyway. Pretty much all Logan has gotten to do in the last 80 minutes is beat people up. Veronica has a little half-sad, half-satisfied smile on her face. Logan apologizes, fairly sincerely, to Piz as he leaves; Piz looks from Veronica to Logan and back again, and there are some really complicated emotions swirling among the three of them. At the Kane mansion, Weidman lets Veronica in (“So you’re the butler now?”) and she returns the hard drive to Jake. He says he’ll have her arrested; she retorts that if he does, the members’ confessions will go public. “And leave my dad out of it.” Jake bemusedly he tells her it’s too late for that.

Veronica goes home. Keith has made gumbo and asks her no questions. They are both melancholy but it’s clear how much they love each other. In the morning, the front page of the paper says that charges have been filed against Keith for tampering with the evidence. Veronica cries, and goes to vote for her dad for sheriff.

Damn you, CW.

Veronica Mars: “Weevils Wobble But They Don’t Go Down” – airdate 05/22/07

Veronica and Mac are waiting in line to pay for their fro-yo. They are discussing Piz’s issues with Veronica leaving for the FBI internship: she’s annoyed that he’s mopey about it, but admits she would be annoyed if he weren’t mopey. Mac thinks she ought to let Piz know that she will miss him too. In front of them, a girl gets her student ID confiscated. Weevil – oh how we’ve missed you! – has injured his leg on the job and is talking with an HR flunky about his worker’s comp claim. The actor playing the flunky was the paranoid bookshop owner in Angel S4 (“Magic Bullet”). Back in Piz’s dorm room, Veronica is wearing some really strange overalls/suspenders as she flirts with Piz. This leads to some chemistry-free foolin’ around which has me squirming with horror. The campus police have gone to Keith regarding the fraud with the fake student IDs; the two students who were nabbed pick Weevil out of the lineup.

Weevil, who has been fired, uses his one phone call to call Veronica: “I need a bail bondsman and a PI, and you need a 21st century answering machine!” She goes to the jail and they work out that he is being framed. The only people who know he is an ex-con are the students in her Criminology class. [This double-episode does a really lovely job with continuity, wrapping up as many loose ends as possible and answering questions we might otherwise never know because the damn CW has CANCELED THIS SHOW.] At the bursar’s office Veronica gets to flash her shiny new PI license and learns about the mag-card machine used to code the ID cards. Wallace notices that he is being followed by some student and is slightly weirded out by this. Another mag-card machine is found in the empty locker next to Weevil’s and, after Veronica does some interviews, it turns out that he has no alibi.

Veronica keeps Wallace company while he works on his airplane in the aerodynamics lab; he mentions that he’s being followed. They’re very cute together – it’s like old times! Veronica asks Wallace’s professor about the mag-card machines; he refers her to a grad student, saying the technology needed to code the machines is unbelievably sophisticated. Piz invites Keith to be in a pre-election radio show to rebut Vinnie, mentioning the available 4,000 college votes. Keith tells Veronica that only Weevil’s prints were found on the mag-card machine. When Veronica meets with the grad student, they discover that all his research has been stolen from his files. [Hey! These acts are really short. And there are really a lot of commercials in between. Stupid CW.]

On Piz’s radio show, things go badly for Keith as Vinnie insinuates that he doesn’t care about underage drinking in campus-adjacent bars. Wallace confronts his stalker and it turns out the Hearst College secret society, The Castle, has tapped Wallace for membership. Wallace is alternately creeped, worried and proud. Veronica and Weevil retrace his steps, trying to discover how the people framing him might have gotten his fingerprints. On a stop at a dorm room, they discover that some boxes that he touched when working on the sink are now missing. One of the roommates living in this room is in Veronica’s Criminology class. A suspicious Veronica manages to get a photo of a photo of the roommate with a group of friends.

Upon closer inspection of the photo, Veronica picks out the roommate, the grad student and the two students who identified Weevil. Logan [finally!] is on the phone with Parker when Dick staggers in, wanting to talk about Beaver. Logan tells him that they’ll go surfing to get Dick’s mind off things. At the beach, Veronica, Piz, Mac and Wallace test Wallace’s plane; the surf boys are there too. Dick: “Why is this wetsuit like a cheap hotel? No ballroom.” Hee. Piz says that flying the plane is bringing out his inner nerd and Mac asks, “Wait, you have an inner one?” Hee again. As the plane stalls out, Wallace wants some alone time with it, so Veronica, Piz and Mac join Logan and Dick at the fire pit. Dick takes Mac aside and apologizes for being, well, a dick to her and his brother. Back at the fire, it’s truly awkward, and Logan is an asshole to Piz. On campus, Veronica manages to track down the rest of the group in the photo. They bring her to a room in the library where they are all waiting. She smiles.

The group of students tries to bribe her and she sneakily records them. If charges aren’t dropped against Weevil by the next day, she’ll take the recording to the sheriff. She calls Weevil with the good news. He thanks her, and the camera pans down to the third mag-card machine he has collected from the students’ lab. Looks like our boy will never, ever learn. In the meantime, Dick receives an email with a video file; he shows it to Logan, and it’s Veronica and Piz, in Piz’s room, foolin’ around (chemistry-free, of course). Logan completely wigs. He rushes to the campus radio station, pulls Piz out of his show, and administers a horrific beat down. Poor Piz can barely defend himself; Logan is a wild man. At the Mars PI office, Logan staggers in, his hands in shreds. “Veronica, there’s something you should know.” Oh, Logan, this will go badly for you, I just know it.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Heroes: “How to Stop an Exploding Man” – airdate 05/21/07

As Linderman’s henchmen burst in, Niki and DL phase through the wall to escape. Molly recognizes Matt, and Mr. Bennet lowers his gun. Hiro stands up to Mr. Sulu, refusing to abandon Ando; Mr. Sulu sends him on his way with a glint of what may be pride in his eye. Sylar is in Isaac’s studio, working on his latest vision-painting: it is Peter and Sylar in a standoff at Kirby Plaza. Sylar growls. He’d be pretty darn hot if he’d wax his eyebrows just a teensy bit.

Mrs. Petrelli (Nathan’s mom, not his wife) arrives at Nathan’s office to tell him that Linderman is dead, but his plan should still proceed. Nathan looks momentarily relieved that his puppeteer is out of the picture but does acquiesce to his mother. Power corrupts, Nathan! Niki and DL are hunting for Micah in the office building. He’s getting weak, however, and sends her on alone. Mohinder and Mr. Bennet hide Eric Roberts’s body as Mr. Bennet insists that Mohinder trust him. Mohinder snarks: “Right, because that’s worked very well for me before.” Sassy! Claire, in the rental car with Peter, calls her dad to let him know that Sylar has killed Atomic-Ted. Mr. Bennet asks to speak with her Uncle Peter and tells him that they’ll let him know where Sylar is. Peter takes Claire to see Nathan. Claire is pissed and feels betrayed, saying they can’t trust him. Peter, who is looking quite delicious in this scene in the car, says he’s afraid and his brother will help him. He goes to talk with Nathan, who can’t hide his thoughts: you can’t stop it; they’re all going to die. Peter backs away, stunned that Claire was right. He runs up to the street, shouting for Claire. He’s so upset that his hands start glowing and he passes out. Oops. Meanwhile Claire slips out of the car and runs smack into Mrs. Petrelli. Double-oops!

Molly agrees to look for Sylar. She explains to Matt (who is just starting to realize that the events unfolding around him are way bigger than he thought) that she can find anyone at all … except for one person who is much, much worse than Sylar. “When I think about him, he can see me,” she moans. And right there, my friends, is the first mention of our Big Bad for Season 2. She locates Sylar in Isaac’s studio. Matt wants to go after Sylar himself but Mr. Bennet says they need to find Peter. The young man in question wakes up in Simone’s father’s greenhouse. This is either a dream or a flashback, and our current-Peter watches it unfold as Past-Peter, Simone, Simone’s dad Charles and Mrs. Petrelli come onto the roof. Past-Peter and Simone have a clunky conversation about death. Simone looks so pretty with her curly hair. Mrs. Petrelli and Charles talk about Linderman’s plan to blow up NYC. Current-Peter overhears Charles saying that Peter should be able to save the world, but Mrs. Petrelli thinks her younger son is too weak, and that Nathan will step into power after the bomb. She leaves; Charles sips his coffee and looks straight at Current-Peter. “I know you’re there,” he says. Current-Peter boggles.

Sylar catches Ando as the latter sneaks into the loft with his sword. Just in time, Hiro teleports in and, notwithstanding Sylar’s taunting, manages to teleport Ando to safety, back to Tokyo. Sylar is a bit surprised that his quarry has escaped. Niki, looking for Micah, stumbles upon his body and “Jessica,” who is smoking hot, by the way, smirking nearby. No one in the viewing audience for a minute believes that she is anyone but Candice, but Niki falls for it, and Jessica/Candice begins beating on her. A mirror gets broken, the real Jessica tells Niki to stop being such a puss, and Niki taps into her doppelganger’s super-strength, knocking Candice out. Micah comes out of his hiding place to give his mom a big hug. Matt arrives at Isaac’s studio – luckily for him, Sylar is already gone – and stares in semi-shock at all the paintings, recognizing Claire, Hiro, Niki, Peter, Nathan. He is so in over his head and he now knows it. Claire, at Nathan’s office with Nathan and Mrs. Petrelli, is furious that Nathan won’t help stop the bomb. “The future is not written in stone!” she cries. “This one is,” mutters Nathan. Claire wants to know why, then, if these events are inevitable Mrs. Petrelli has schemed to keep Claire apart from the Petrelli boys. Nathan is startled at this, not having considered it before. Mrs. Petrelli smarms up, saying that they can offer Claire a place to belong, a family. Claire hugs Nathan, then whispers “I already have a family,” before throwing herself out the window. Nathan: No! Friend Mouse: Awesome! Claire plummets many stories to the street below, puts herself back together, and runs off to find the other Heroes. Nathan stares after her while his mother insists that he let her go.

Mohinder and Molly, trying to escape the building, find DL who looks quite bad. Micah and Niki show up and they all get on the elevator after Micah works his computer-fu and fixes it. Micah and Molly share a wicked cute we-may-be-superheroes-but-we’re-still-kids look. Hiro leaves Ando in Japan, saying that he’ll be back for him, and teleports back to NYC. In the dream/flashback, Charles tells Current-Peter that he’s a good guy and his capacity for unconditional love will allow him to save the world. What? How will that help? Mr. Bennet wakes Peter up and promises to stick with him in the fight against Sylar. “Thank you, Mr. Bennet,” says our polite boy. “Call me Noah,” says Mr. Bennet. He does have a first name – wow! They go to the plaza and Sylar appears, telekinesis-ing Mr. Bennet [like I’m going to start calling him “Noah” after all this time] into a building. “What took you so long,” Sylar sneers as he and Peter square off.

As Peter and Sylar start to fight, Matt arrives and fires his gun at Sylar. This is not a problem, however, as Sylar stops the bullets and flings them back into Matt’s chest. He goes down wheezing. Niki steps up and wallops Sylar a few times with a parking meter before Peter calls her off. I think that’s stupid – wouldn’t he want all the help he could get? Peter beats on Sylar, perhaps having absorbed a bit of Niki’s strength, until Hiro appears and runs Sylar through with his sword. Well, that was fairly anticlimactic. Peter is worked up enough that his hands start glowing; when he asks Hiro to kill him, Sylar telekinesis-es Hiro into a building until Hiro teleports himself away. Sylar collapses. Claire runs up and almost shoots Peter as they’d planned, but Nathan swoops in, taking the gun away and saying that she was right, this wasn’t written in stone. Peter doesn’t want both the Petrelli brothers to have to die, but Nathan scoops him up and flies into the stratosphere. As everyone (yes, everyone: Niki, DL, Micah, Molly, Matt, Mohinder, Mr. Bennet and Claire) looks on, BOOM. And that’s it. In the aftermath, Matt is unconscious and being loaded into an ambulance; DL is looking better (??); Claire and Mr. Bennet head off together; and Sylar has apparently dragged himself into the sewer. Nobody noticed the bad guy escaping? END OF VOLUME ONE.

VOLUME TWO: GENERATIONS. Hiro has teleported himself into some field outside of Kyoto. It’s 1671 and there’s a scary-looking army in red battle gear approaching. On the other side of the field, a lone figure in dark armor – either Kensei and/or Hiro’s father – is mounted on a horse, carrying a banner with that S symbol. And then we have the solar eclipse.

Hm. I like the twists of Sylar escaping, the foreshadowing of a villain worse than Sylar, and the predicament Hiro has gotten himself into. I felt a little let down by the battle on the plaza, though: all season we’ve been led to believe that all the Heroes had to be there to fight Sylar, but really they just watched Peter, and it didn’t end up being much of a tussle. I don’t think the Petrelli boys are dead: perhaps Nathan flew way up and then tossed Peter away, knowing Peter could regenerate and flying himself to safety. And I think Mrs. Petrelli looks like Sharon Osborne, only scarier. Also, that Evan Almighty movie looks mighty bad.

Monday, May 21, 2007

Springtime in Boston

You may have noticed that my Lost recap went up a few days late. This is because my husband and I took his parents to Boston for two days. We’d taken his folks to NYC for his father’s 65th birthday; this trip was for his mom’s 65th, and I got to be tour guide this time since I used to live in Boston. We had pretty terrible weather – high 40s and raining, low 50s and raining, low 50s and not raining – but we managed to pack a fair amount into our two days.

Since you really don’t need a car in Boston (and parking is neither readily available nor affordable!), we took full advantage of public transportation: the bus from Maine, and multi-day unlimited T-passes. I found a great little guesthouse in Back Bay (on pretty, residential Beacon Street, just blocks from the Hynes T-stop … and one block away from the Crossroads Irish pub – where we ended up no less than three times. Sure do love me some Guinness.).

The first order of business was the Duck Tour. We had a fantastic guide - stage name of “Ace Bandage” - who was funny (but not over the top), well-spoken and full of information. The tour is a great way to see the whole of the city before you go off exploring on your own. After the duck, we took the Red Line to Cambridge for lunch at John Harvard’s Brew House in Harvard Square; I was disappointed that they were out of porter but made do with a yummy red ale instead. A stroll through Harvard showed not much action on-campus, so we headed back to Charles Street and prowled around Beacon Hill for a while. It is amazing how quiet that neighborhood is, even being in the heart of the city. We took Newbury Street via the Public Garden back to check in and rest our feet briefly, then jumped on the T to Government Center. We saw the Holocaust Memorial, peeked in the windows of the Union Square Oyster House, and made our way to the North End.

My favorite place in the North End is Dairy Fresh Candies at the start of Salem Street: in my three years living in Boston, this candy store is the only place I was ever recognized as a regular. They carry imported and domestic chocolates, candies and nuts of all kinds, fresh fudge and roasted nuts, pasta, sauces and cakes. I managed to get out of there after spending only $36.00 (my usual is closer to $50, especially around Christmastime). We explored for a bit, finding North Square and the Old North Church, and took our time perusing menus before settling on a place for dinner. Our waiter, Joe, was great; the antipasto and bruschetta appetizers were quite nice; my shrimp and asparagus risotto was tasty but could have been a little creamier. As we headed out, Joe asked me if I was a football fan and pointed out Bill Belichick, head coach of the New England Patriots, dining with a girlfriend in the back dining room.

Friday was pretty much pouring rain all day, so we decided to be indoor kitties as much as possible. We grabbed bagels at a Finagle-A-Bagel (mine: chocolate chip bagel with plain cream cheese) and zipped over to the Museum of Science. Luckily for us, they had a Bank of America/MBNA promotion going on and all four of us were admitted for free – yay! We explored for a couple hours (along with about eight million field-tripping grade schoolers) and then decided that we needed more sustenance. On to another one of my favorite places: the Parish CafĂ© on Boylston Street. Each sandwich recipe on the menu has been contributed by a local celebrity chef: I was tempted by the mussel po’boy special, but ended up with smoked ham and cheese on warm banana nut bread with peach chutney. Mmmmmmmm. The Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum was our next stop – the one thing my mother-in-law really wanted to see. I had never been there before and can now wholeheartedly recommend it. Mrs. Gardner was a rich Bostonian who liked to collect art, and she designed and built this museum to house her collection. She placed the artworks in the rooms as she wished, not grouping them by any rhyme or reason, and instructed that the collections be left as she had put them. She also decreed that anyone named “Isabella” should have free admittance for life – very cool. We wished that more of the exhibits had been tagged, but were fascinated by the collection even so.

Our final stop was dinner at Tapeo on Newbury Street (another of my favorite restaurants); I was glad I’d thought to make reservations because it filled quickly, even with the dismal weather. This is a Spanish restaurant with a large tapas menu, and I knew it might be pushing the envelope of my in-laws’ food comfort zone a little. But they totally rallied and, I think, enjoyed it quite a lot. I had sangria (several glasses, actually), and we all shared a number of tapas: skewered spiced pork with dates, sole stuffed with asparagus, salmon in a dill cream sauce, empanadas, garlicky chicken, and beef tenderloin on toast with pimiento. So delicious! Also, Tapeo serves their bread basket with a little scoop of hummus instead of butter: flavorful and a bit healthier.

Since it was still raining Saturday morning, we decided to just head home; frankly, I couldn’t have stomached anything for breakfast at that point! I’m going to call our mini-trip a success: my husband enjoyed himself for the first time ever in Boston, my in-laws wore big grins the entire time, and me, I always like being back in the city for a visit.

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Lost – “Greatest Hits” airdate 05/16/07

Who is that, crashing through the jungle and diving into the outrigger canoe? I think it’s Carl. Jack, reasserting himself, leads the Losties into a field to demonstrate what he, Juliet and Rousseau have been planning. He opines that for the first time, the Losties know when and where the Others are coming, and that the Others will have no idea that the Losties are going to fight back. Then, Rousseau blows up a tree. Sayid seems semi-impressed, Kate looks incredulous, Sun and Jin seem worried, and Sawyer just looks distrustful. Now, that was a really big explosion. Since the Others have eyes and ears seemingly everywhere, I can’t imagine that huge boom went unnoticed. I think the Losties just tipped their hand. Way to go, Jack. Oh, also: Desmond seems to have had another Charlie-vision.

Flashback: Charlie, Liam and the band hear their song on the radio for the first time. Present: Charlie is making a list on a piece of notebook paper: the flashback we just saw is #5. The Losties are all rigging their tents with wire for the explosives. Sayid, still working on Naomi’s satellite phone, wants to go to the radio tower to turn off Rousseau’s distress call, which he assumes is overriding all other signals. Juliet says no outgoing signals leave the Island: Ben jams everything from the Lookingglass Station (underwater). Sayid is sure that this station is connected to the cable that runs out of the ocean. Desmond tells Charlie that once again, he’s going to die but, because of his death, everyone else will be rescued. If Charlie doesn’t die, the rescue won’t come.

Flashback: Charlie as a young boy, is at a public pool with his dad; Charlie is afraid to jump in the water, but finally does so. Present: On Charlie’s list, the swim lesson is #4. Desmond says that in his vision, Charlie goes down a hatch underwater, flips a switch on a control panel, and then drowns. Sayid comes up with a diagram of the Lookingglass station (taken from Mikhail’s cabin before Locke blew it up): someone will have to follow the cable and swim down to the station to turn off the jamming signal. Jack thinks this is crazy – a suicide mission. With meaningful glances at Desmond, Charlie volunteers for the job. Jack says he is focusing on fighting the Others: “You’ve wanted me to make decisions here for 90 days. I just made one.” Charlie and Des make more meaningful faces at each other. Suddenly, Carl (I knew it was Carl!) lands on the beach in the outrigger and races towards the Losties. Sayid tackles him but Sawyer intercedes on Carl’s behalf, invoking their cage time together. Carl says that the Others are coming! Sawyer says we know, tomorrow night. Carl says no, now! Tonight! Oops!

Flashback: the Others’ camp, six hours ago. Ben comes back from having shot Locke and tells the assembled group that the attack on the Losties will commence immediately. Richard objects, wanting to know where Locke is; Ben insists and the thugs in the group get a move on. Alex runs into the jungle to where Carl is hiding, and sends him off to warn the Losties. Present: On the beach, they’re making new plans. Instead of wiring all the tents, they’ll stack dynamite in three tents, and then the three best shots will stay behind to sniper-shoot the dynamite to detonate it. Rousseau will take the rest of the Losties to the radio tower for safety and to turn off the distress call. Charlie and Desmond will head to the Lookingglass station to shut it down. Flashback: sometime during Drive Shaft’s heyday, after Liam started shooting up but before Charlie succumbed, Liam gives Charlie a ring that was a family heirloom. Present: Charlie lists the ring as #3. He tells Claire not to be afraid and tells Aaron that he loves him. Claire gives Charlie a really sweet kiss and then he strides off resolutely.

Flashback: In London, Charlie rescues a woman from a mugger. She tells him that he is a hero. Present: The mugging interruptus is #2. Bernard turns out to be a pretty good shot, so he will be one of the three snipers waiting in the Losties’ camp; I think Bernard is fodder. (Sayid and Jin are the other two shooters.) Jack wants to stay behind for the fight but Sayid tells him to act like the leader he is claiming to be. I sure hope Sayid doesn’t get killed off. Hurley wants to come with Charlie and Des but Charlie won’t let him, saying Hurley is too big for the boat. “That’s not cool, man,” says Hurley. Charlie feels badly, and gives his friend a big hug, sending him on his way.

Charlie and Desmond pull the outrigger hand over hand along the cable. Flashback: It’s season 1, and Charlie introduces himself to Claire by a campfire on the beach, the airplane wreckage behind them. Present: Meeting Claire is #1 on Charlie’s “greatest hits” list; he gives the list to Desmond and asks him to give it to Claire. Des says wait, I’ll dive down instead of you. Charlie says okay, and then whacks Des on the head with a paddle, knocking him out. Charlie dives down and makes it into the station. It’s a new set! And clearly not flooded. He pulls himself onto the decking, thrilled to be alive. Suddenly, a door flies open and two women charge out, guns drawn.

It’s fairly heavy-handed, the way they have Charlie saying goodbye to everyone. Since he’s the odds-on favorite to get killed off, the build up makes you certain that he’s not going to make it to the end of the episode. It was when he said goodbye to Hurley, however, that I guessed he wouldn’t get killed off quite yet – it was too obvious for this show. Again, for a detailed analysis, try The House Next Door. His position is that this was one of the all-time best Lost episodes; reading through his post may just convince you of it.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Veronica Mars: “I Know What You’ll Do Next Summer” – airdate 05/15/07

I’m a little torn here, but my gut feeling is if this is what we can expect as to the caliber of the mystery-of-the-week episodes from here on out, then they might as well cancel VM and let us remember her glory days with fondness. I don’t mean to belittle the social issue they presented, but jeesum, I could have solved this mystery myself.

Chez Mars, Veronica is studying for her PI licensing exam, while Piz is reading Soldier of Misfortune, a book written by Hearst student, Apollo Bukenya, a former child soldier from Uganda. The book is causing a huge sensation – movie deal! increased social awareness! – and Piz gets the first on-radio interview with Apollo. Keith is worked up because there’s been a rash of ‘09er home burglaries [Sacks’ first name is Jerry? Since when?!]. Piz gets a summer internship at an NYC internet music something-or-other; Veronica is thrilled for him, but he thinks the East Coast is really, really far away from the West Coast. In the meantime, Veronica gets a 95 on her PI test!

Veronica gets a call from Kizza, a Ugandan refugee purporting to be Apollo’s long-lost father. She poses as a Hearst College newspaper reporter and arranges an “interview” with Apollo. Wallace is skeptical, thinking that long-lost relatives always show up when someone is about to come into a lot of money; Wallace also warns Veronica not to break Piz’s heart. Keith thinks the Kirkpatrick clan is behind the home burglaries. Parker finds out that Logan has planned a summer-long South American surfing trip with Dick [um, it’ll be winter in that hemisphere during the No. American summertime, so I’m not sure that surfing’s the best idea, but whatever]; she is put out that he didn’t think about being away from her for three months. Veronica manages to obtain some proof [her word] that makes Kizza’s claim look legitimate. By the way, Parker and Logan STILL have no chemistry.

Veronica tells Kizza to come to California and they’ll do a paternity test. Piz decides to take a different internship with a Neptune radio station which, while not as glamorous as the NYC one, is (a) in radio which he loves, and (b) closer to Veronica whom he loves. Keith meets with Liam Fitzpatrick and suggests that since Liam is working on his third strike, he might want to scale back on the burglaries. Mac and Max are blissfully in the middle of a “sex/nap/eat loop,” or, as Max puts it “Poundhog Day.” “Poundhog Day” is funny.

Apollo figures out that Veronica is up to something and she confesses that Kizza hired her. Understandably, Apollo is not happy about it. Mac and Veronica catch up about their various love-lives: Mac is worried about losing herself in her relationship with Max; Veronica is enjoying “Pizneyland,” saying that although “there’s no rollercoaster, [she’s okay] without the adrenalin and the nausea.” That’s my second favorite line from the episode. At the sheriff’s office, the 09er Homeowners’ Association is putting pressure on Keith; he discovers that all the burgled homes have the same security system. That’s a clue! Veronica – with the best kitty pen ever - is at the PI office when Kizza shows up. He agrees to a blood test, although she does tell him that the movie deal has fallen through for Apollo (i.e., no big check). Logan asks Parker to come with him and Dick to South America for the summer. She is very excited and squeaky about it, but his expression is ambivalent at best. Veronica, while attempting to track down Apollo, meets Zeke, another African student; he tells Veronica that Apollo’s book is a fraud, the stories he tells are not his (he was never conscripted as a child soldier), plus the advisor wrote it.

Wallace thinks that Veronica should not expose the book since the publicity it’s been generating is bringing a lot of attention to the social issue. Veronica finally finds Apollo and he reluctantly agrees to the paternity test. At the hotel, Dick is surprised to find his father waiting for him. Big Dick has turned himself in and will be going to jail – for a measly year – at the end of the summer. Dick says he’s got a surf trip planned for the summer; Big Dick thinks he should stay home for some father-son time. Vinnie stops by the sheriff’s office and Keith theorizes that he is in cahoots with the Fitzpatricks on the burglaries; Vinnie dares him to prove it.

After an hour of waiting for Kizza to show up for the blood test, Apollo tells Veronica that he used her to weed out the gold-diggers. He did write the book, it all actually happened to him, and everything that she found out was in fact “disinformation.” Keith then calls from work: Kizza’s rental car had stolen plates and he is being detained at the sheriff’s office. Apollo is reunited with the father he never knew and tough-girl Veronica gets a little choked up. Mac tells Max that she doesn’t want to break up with him, she just needs to slow things down a little. Dick has a powerful scene where he tells Big Dick how guilty he feels about Cassidy’s suicide and how both the Dicks are responsible. Logan calls off the surf trip entirely when Dick backs out in favor of time with his father. Parker is disappointed and says she’ll just go back to Denver for the summer; Logan doesn’t seem too disappointed about that. And Veronica gets accepted to the FBI’s summer internship program … Piz: “That’s in Virginia, right?”

Next time: the two hour season, and series-as-we-know-it, finale. Oh! My favorite line? When Vinnie refers to himself as “a walking big tent party.”

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Heroes: “Landslide” – airdate 05/14/07

Peter finally reins himself in, moving away from Atomic-Ted, and Mr. Bennet tells him, Ted and Claire to get out of NYC until the tracking system has been disabled. If both the Explodo-Boys are out of town, the town can’t explode. Sylar, however, is lurking around the corner and overhears their plan with his stolen superhearing. Meanwhile, as Hiro mourns his broken sword (and, by association, destiny), Ando looks up “sword repair” in the yellow pages.

It is Election Day and Nathan is fretting about being behind in the polls; Linderman is not concerned. Nathan’s wife rolls in, but is perturbed to find Linderman there. He is, of course, charming, and as he leaves, holds her hand between his own , saying he would like to give the Petrellis a gift in anticipation of Nathan’s big win. Yeah, yeah, we know: he just healed her legs. Nathan is visibly conflicted (still) about being a Good Guy vs. Satisfying His Ego via Linderman; she tells him that “you’re gonna do great things, but you don’t have to sell your soul.” Too late! As Nathan leaves to go to his election HQ, Hiro and Ando come up to him, and Hiro asks for Nathan’s help in stopping the bomb. Nathan refuses them gently, saying that no one can stop it. Hiro is shocked and announces that Nathan is already a villain; Nathan looks abashed, just for a moment. Across the street, DL and Jessica decide to follow Nathan, figuring he can lead them to Linderman. Hiro and Ando find the sword repairman and – yatta! – Hiro’s dad, Mr. Sulu, is there. He and Hiro go in the back to talk; Ando worries that Mr. Sulu will try to talk Hiro out of his quest.

Micah and Candice are hanging out, Candice snarfing down French fries; Micah dryly notes that he has “a cousin who eats like you. He’s huge.” Candice smirks: “So am I.” Micah doesn’t understand why she works for a bad guy like Linderman when she could use her powers for good; she replies that “people are so mean to each other because of how they were born – or what they look like. Mr. Linderman will cure the world.” [Hopefully, she’ll survive the coming apocalypse so we can see what she really looks like. I’m guessing not pretty, based on her recent remarks.] Linderman arrives and bribes Micah with financial security for his family if Micah will help. Peter, Claire and Ted attempt to rent a car to get out of NYC, but Ted is nabbed by the FBI, led by Clea Duval. Peter grabs Claire and invisibles away into the crowd as Ted is loaded on a truck; Clea thanks her informant, “Isaac Mendez,” for the tip. Back at the sword repair shop, Mr. Sulu tells Hiro that he has known all along about Hiro’s power, and that he will teach him how to kill Sylar. It seems that Mr. Sulu used to be allied with the older generation of Heroes [but he does not admit to having a power of his own] until some of them (i.e. Linderman and Nathan’s mom) “lost their way.” Then, they get on with the sword-training. Cool!

andice takes Micah to go vote and he reaches out to all the election computers (as they’re networked), changing the votes so that Nathan wins by a landslide. DL and Jessica, meanwhile, have tracked Nathan to his election HQ, demanding how to find Linderman. Nathan wants their promise that if he tells them, Linderman will never be able to come after him and his own family. DL and Jessica next find Mr. Bennet and Matt Parkman waiting for the elevator in the downtown building; Jessica gives Matt a look: “Didn’t I throw you out a window?” Poor Matt is not amused. And there’s a peculiar act break, because when we come back from the commercials, all four of them are in the elevator, listening to godawful elevator music, looking entirely uncomfortable. It’s funny. And I would have put the commercial break there, after that shot.

DL and Jessica move off to find Linderman; Mr. Bennet and Matt head out for the tracking system, i.e. Molly – who has responded to Mohinder’s transfusions and regained her power. In fact, she locates Matt, her “other hero,” right there in the building. Eric Roberts ambushes Matt and Mr. Bennet, totally stone-cold, comes up behind them and shoots Eric twice [twice!] in the head. Exit Eric Roberts. They find the tracking system and Matt is horrified that Mr. Bennet plans to kill a little girl. Mohinder, however, has grown a set of stones to go with his new spine, and knocks Matt out, grabs his gun and points it at Mr. Bennet, who is pointing his own gun at Molly. Standoff! Sylar flips Atomic-Ted’s transport truck onto its roof, using his telekinesis, and then pops Ted’s skull off to eat his brains. Exit Ted.

Hiro and Mr. Sulu finish their training to discover that Ando has bought his own sword and gone after Sylar on his own. Peter and Claire discover Dead Ted and realize that Sylar will be the one blowing up NYC. Claire says Uncle Peter will have to go after him. Peter says yikes: “Last time I fought Sylar, he killed me.” DL and Jessica find Linderman, who tries to bribe Jessica, knowing that she is more motivated by money than anything else. Jessica practically drools over the millions he offers her, but gets a grip and lets wimpy old Niki reemerge. Linderman, not well pleased, tries to shoot her and DL takes the bullet … and then somehow manages to get behind Linderman, as the old man is advancing on Niki, and phases his fist into Linderman’s skull. Exit Linderman. DL collapses and looks really bad; Niki holds him and whimpers. Bring Jessica back! Nathan sweatily gives his acceptance speech over a montage of all our Heroes looking troubled/determined/scared/desperate, and we close on Sylar up on a rooftop, practicing with his new atomic fireballs. Next time: boom!

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Lost: “The Man Behind the Curtain” – airdate 05/09/07

Losties. Sawyer returns to the beach and plays the recorder for Sayid. They stomp off to get some answers out of Juliet. Nosy Kate wants to know what’s going on. She just gets more and more annoying. The group gathers and Sayid expresses his distrust of Jack. When Sun vouches for Juliet, they play the recording for the group. Jack and Juliet walk up and Juliet tells Sawyer to flip the tape over: it’s Ben’s message to her, saying that the Others will attack the Losties to get the pregnant women. Juliet says that she told Jack what Ben was “making [her] do” the night she and Sun confirmed Sun’s pregnancy. Sayid wants to know why Jack didn’t let the rest of them in on it. Jack says he hadn’t decided what to do yet, but now “it’s time to catch up.”

Ben and Locke. Flashback: Emily and Roger are hiking out in the forest, and Emily goes into labor prematurely, giving birth to a baby boy. She is weak and bleeding, so Roger scoops them up and runs through the woods, coming out onto a rural highway. A car pulls over to help – it’s Eugene Toombs from season 1 of the X-Files! Eek! – and Emily dies in Roger’s arms after naming the baby Ben. A-ha #1: Ben was not born on the Island. Present day: Ben is puttering around in his tent. He’s feeling nostalgic because it’s his birthday; when Richard stops by, Ben asks “You do remember birthdays, don’t you?” Richard wants to know if Ben wants him to take the recorder with Juliet’s new instructions back to the hiding place. Oops. Ben thought he’d already taken it. They hear a commotion outside; it’s Locke, toting his dead father. Why don’t you start at the beginning, Ben? says Locke.

Over drinks, Ben says that he is not the leader of the Others – Jacob is. Locke pffts that Ben is a liar and insists that Ben take him to meet Jacob. But no one meets Jacob but me, says Ben. Flashback: Boy-Ben arrives at the Island with his father via the submarine. Eugene Toombs has given Roger a job with the Dharma Initiative; there’s a mellow 1970s communal vibe to it all. They go through Processing to get their housing and work assignments; Ben’s dad is pissed that he’s to be a janitor: Roger, Work Man, is what his jumpsuit says. A-ha #2: he’s the guy from Hurley’s van! Present: Mikhail arrives at the Others’ camp and Ben dryly notes that he’d heard Mikhail was dead. The Russian reports on the Losties’ new friend Naomi, which gets everyone in a tizzy. Ben says they’ll deal with the pilot when they raid the Losties’ camp in a day or so; Mikhail wants to go get her now; when Ben starts to waver, Locke beats the crap out of Mikhail. So, we’ll just go see Jacob now then, concedes Ben, causing more consternation among the Others. Alex brings Locke a gun, saying he’ll need it if he’s going to meet Jacob.

Flashback: A siren goes off at the Dharma Initiative compound. The Dharma folks grab their guns as they are being attacked by the Hostiles, the native inhabitants of the Island. That night, Boy-Ben sees his dead mother looking in his window at him. He goes into the jungle after her a couple days later, and comes into a clearing where that freaky whispering starts up. Startled, he looks up as Richard comes up to him. Grown-up Richard, looking exactly the same as present-day Richard, except with a bad haircut. Boy-Ben explains about seeing his dead mom and wants to leave the Initiative to live with Richard and his band of merry men. Richard tells him to be patient. Present: Ben and Locke come to a stone house and Ben tells Locke to shut off his flashlight as Jacob doesn’t care for technology. They light a lamp and go inside, where Ben starts talking to an empty chair, insisting that Jacob is sitting there. Locke, and the entire viewing audience, thinks Ben is a stark raving lunatic. As he turns to go, a low creaky voice says “Help me.” He turns on his flashlight to see what tricks Ben is playing and the room goes nuts, furniture flying around. Ben and Locke escape; Ben says, that was Jacob.

Flashback: Ben, now an adult, is a Work Man like his dad. I guess he’s been really patient, like about 20+ years’ worth. They load up the van to make a supply run. Once out in the jungle, Ben tells his father that he’s done putting up with him, checks the time, dons a gas mask and gasses his father. When he returns to the compound, all the Initiative members are dead too, including Eugene Toombs. Richard (back to his pretty-boy short haircut) and his raggedy band show up, wearing gas masks. “Do you want us to retrieve [your dad’s] body?” asks Richard. Ben says to just leave him out there. Present: Ben takes Locke to a giant pit full of the Initiative members’ decomposed corpses. “This is where I came from,” says Ben. He speechifies that the Dharma people couldn’t manage to coexist with the Island’s original inhabitants and once he realized that, he decided to position himself with the winning team. “That makes me smarter than you, John,” Ben says, and, grabbing Alex’s gun, shoots Locke in the chest, knocking him into the corpse-pit. Locke, bewildered, asks why. “Because Jacob spoke to you, John. What did say to you?” Ben demands. When Locke tells him what Jacob said, Ben gets bit agitated and sneers, well, I hope he helps you now, and tromps away. Wow, Ben sure is possessive about being Jacob’s chosen one.

Cool! What the heck is Richard? How old is he if he can’t remember his own birthday? And how does he keep his eyeliner intact in such a humid environment? I totally didn’t see that coming – I figured him for a flunky. Also, the Island (Jacob?) has healed Locke several times before so shooting him in the gut and leaving him in a pile of dead bodies – not necessarily fatal in this place. Ben must be hoping that the Island has Locke in disfavor now and won’t heal him. We’ll see. I’m not counting Locke out yet, although internet rumor is that there will be five dead characters by the season finale.

Tuesday, May 8, 2007

Veronica Mars – “Debasement Tapes” airdate 05/08/07

Tonight on the CW: Paul Rudd guest stars as Desmond Fellows, a spineless, possibly alcoholic has-been rock star (I think I got the quote right). Also, a shameless product plug on Piz’s radio show is made soooooo much more obvious by a commercial for the very same product immediately after the act break. Frackin’ network.

Veronica and Wallace are at Veronica’s house, watching some movie for Wallace’s film studies class. Veronica tries to find out if Piz is pining for her but Wallace refuses to indulge her. Keith comes home to announce that so far, it looks as though he will be running unopposed in the upcoming Sheriff election. Logan forgot to do a project for his business (?) class and has the weekend to come up with a business plan presentation. The college radio station is hosting a benefit concert with the sole living member of “My Pretty Pony,” Paul Rudd, a/k/a Desmond Fellows. [Does anyone know if Rudd in fact plays or sings at all? If not, he’s fairly convincing, at least to my inexpert eyes.] Piz gets to baby-sit Desmond for the weekend. At the hotel, a hasn’t-seen-her-teen-years-in-years groupie crashes the hotel room and, as the door hits her ass on the way out, she apparently snags the backing tapes out of Desmond’s backpack. Since his MPP partner died, Des does live shows with a recording of the dead guy’s vocals, so losing the tapes is a big problem.

Veronica finally gets to discuss boys - with Mac in the cafeteria; turns out that Mac is attracted to Max even though Bronson is a sweetie. Piz calls Veronica to help him find Desmond’s tapes. As she rides the elevator to Desmond’s hotel room, Logan hops on and attempts to not be jealous of Piz, but when Piz meets Veronica at the door, he gets all hang-doggy. [I miss snarky Logan and his ripped abs, although his arms are looking all kinds of huge these days. And, on another note: I hate all the side ponytails Veronica and Mac are sporting these days – way too precious.] When he sees the web site Dick is perusing, Logan gets an idea for his project – - and calls Mac to help him with the online stuff. Mac, exhausted from outdoor activities with Bronson, is more than happy to spend the weekend indoors, fueled by Red Bull and red licorice. [My teeth hurt just thinking about it.] Leo – skinnier but still mumbling – visits Keith to ask for help since he thinks the sporting goods store for which he does security may be robbed by fightin’ Irish Danny Boyd. [Boy, we’re bringing all the alumni back for this one, aren’t we?]

Veronica and Piz manage to track down the groupie from the teaser. She’s an assistant professor of Chinese at Hearst and, after speaking with her, Veronica is convinced that she didn’t take the tapes. Mac and Logan run into some techie trouble and she calls Max to help them out; it doesn’t take long for Logan to pick up on their cute “hot nerd on nerd action.” Piz tries to persuade Desmond to stay in and work on some new songs, but Des succumbs to the beast within and hits a dorm party. He rallies the troops to go skinny-dipping and is quickly nabbed by Sacks after experiencing some significant shrinkage. The Pacific Ocean is COLD, dude.

There’s a fairly funny gag with Desmond and Keith about the Beatles, then Piz and Veronica bail Desmond out. Veronica asks to look at Des’s pack and quickly ascertains that it is not, in fact his: he took the wrong bag off the airport carousel. Veronica and Piz head to Los Angeles to switch packs back, promising to be back in time for the concert. On the ride home, they discover Des’s notebook full of lyrics and a CD labeled “New Crap” which turns out to not be crap at all. They call Desmond at the concert, saying they won’t make it back in time … maybe he has some newer stuff he can play? He tentatively takes the stage and offers up some new solo stuff which the crowd, of course, loves. Veronica and Piz sneak into the show, proud of their little boy all growed up, and Veronica - admitting to herself that she may actually like a good guy for a change - takes Piz’s hand. Mac, on the other hand, breaks up with Bronson who, if he were a better actor, would have looked crushed.

Keith and Leo stake out Leo’s warehouse and notice Vinnie Van Lowe with Danny and the other presumed robbers. They then notice Vinnie locking Danny et al., into the warehouse and calling the cops. [Vinnie has a new Members Only jacket on – a blue one!] At the sheriff’s office the next day, Vinnie (back in his regular gray M.O. jacket) thanks Keith for the props in the newspaper about the foiled robbery: “Vincent Van Lowe is an asset to the community.” Vinnie thinks that quote will look great on his Van Lowe For Sheriff campaign posters. Poor Keith.

Monday, May 7, 2007

Heroes – “The Hard Part” airdate 05/07/07

I’m not going to mince words here: this was a bit of a letdown after last week. Also, maybe I’m forgetting details from earlier this season, but it seems like there are some gaps and jumps in what we know/are told in this episode. Ah well.

Hiro and Ando are in present-day NYC and prepare to track down Sylar. They consult the comic and they decide to find Isaac so he can tell him their next steps. In the Petrelli apartment, Peter interrupts and tells Claire she needs to stay in NYC to help him not go nuclear. Claire says, “Nuclear? Like Ted?” and Peter says, “who the hell is Ted?” The man in question is buying (or maybe stealing) a car with Mr. Bennet and Matt; Ted uses his energy-hands to de-ice the car [Although it's November, I didn't think St. Louis got that much snow that early ... but I'll let it go because, as I live in Maine where we do get snow that early, I think that’s a super-excellent trick.] The three are on their way to NYC to destroy the “Walker system” which tracks the Heroes. [Wait - since when did the tracking system get a name? Obviously it must be the little girl, Molly Walker, but I don’t remember anyone referring to the tracking system that way before.] Sylar is working on his paintings in Isaac’s studio and thinks that the exploding man is he. He wigs out and calls Mohinder, saying that although killing Heroes to take their powers was okay with him, he’s troubled by the idea of killing thousands of innocents. Then, with his super-hearing, Sylar catches Mohinder tracing the call, and hangs up, cranky that Mohinder isn’t more sympathetic to his moral quandary.

In Las Vegas, DL is, understandably, very upset that a car from Linderman’s casino drove off with Micah [How does he know this? He wasn’t there.]. Jessica is strangely unconcerned about it. [This whole scene is just off.] DL decides to go after his son; Niki-in-the-mirror tells Jessica that DL will die without her help. Micah, unbeknownst to his parents, is already in NYC with Candice-as-Niki. Mohinder and Eric Roberts [I know, “Thompson”] are heading into Thompson’s NYC headquarters, and Mohinder tries to act tough, insisting that Thompson help him stop Sylar. Thompson: “So you’ve become a vigilante – it’s cute.” [Eric Roberts is SO creepy!] Thompson explains that he wants Mohinder to help little Molly Walker: she’s sick with whatever killed Mohinder’s sister, and he better help her, because she’s the only one who can stop Sylar. [It just occurred to me that cute little Molly is the girl that Matt Parkman found using his mind-reading the first time, when she was hiding under the stairs after Sylar stuck her parents to the walls using cutlery. But I don’t recall how the Linderman Group got her away from the FBI/police.] Sylar is on the phone, saying he’d like to come see someone even though it’s been a long time. When he goes to clean up, Hiro and Ando sneak into the studio, find dead Isaac, and hide.

Sylar discovers them, using his super-hearing [that’s been very handy this episode] but Hiro teleports them to safety in the nick of time [also handy]. As they follow him down the street; Ando wants Hiro to kill him now, but Hiro says it’s not time: the comic says it happens after the election. DL phases himself and Jessica into Linderman’s room – apparently, from Jessica’s reaction, that is not a pleasant experience for the uninitiated – and they find quite a lot of material on their family: photos, paintings, old report cards and immunization records. DL thinks it makes sense: Linderman was doing a science experiment with them to see if DL + Niki = child with powers. Jessica – who is, I think, speaking for the audience – says huh? how does that make sense? it’s just creepy. They discover that Micah is being held in NYC. Mohinder is taking a blood sample from Molly and she lets him know her power: she just thinks about a person and she can find them anywhere in the world. Mohinder thinks that’s very useful, but she can’t access her power while she’s sick. Inconvenient! Back in the Petrelli apartment, Nathan, Peter and Claire are discussing Ted. Peter is hopeful that Ted is the exploding man, not him; Nathan is cagey; and Claire finds out that Nathan’s power is flying, which she thinks is cool. Nathan agrees to “make some calls” and promptly weasels to Linderman that they have a problem. Yes, Nathan, the problem is your ambition getting in the way of saving the city from apocalypse. Sylar, in the meantime, has made his way to Queens to see his mom. He’s brought her a snow globe: she has a huge collection of them and it seems he brings her one from each Hero-murdering trip he takes. That’s so thoughtful.

Sylar’s mom is not only a little religious, she’s also a little odd, although I don’t think she has a power of her own. She does put a fair bit of pressure on her son, however, saying that he is special and can be so much more than a watch-repairman, “you could be President.” [Ah – that’s where he got that idea then.] Claire and Peter stop by Nathan’s office – in full pre-election frenzy – but Thompson is there, talking to Nathan, in the aftermath of Nathan’s telephone call to Linderman. Claire totally wigs when she recognizes Thompson, but Peter once again tells her that she’s part of this and he needs her to help him. As a parallel, Thompson tells Nathan that they (Linderman’s cronies) need him to allow NYC to explode. To his credit, this troubles Nathan, but he really, really wants to win this election, and it looks as though he is going to toe Linderman’s line. Micah has figured out that “Niki” is not his mom, and he tries to escape, but every door he goes through brings him back to their hotel room. Candice shows her true colors: she doesn’t change her own appearance, she can alter others’ perception of the things around them. She threatens to subject Micah to some truly horrific stuff if he doesn’t behave. Sylar gives his mom a little demonstration of his powers which is at first beautiful (he freezes water from the faucet to make the room a live-action snow globe), but the power seems to corrupt him and he ends up scaring her.

Hiro and Ando watch through the window as Sylar pleads with his mom, who has locked herself in her room, to explain to him why he would want to kill thousands of people just to prove that he is special. Ando convinces Hiro to get on with the Sylar-smiting as it’s for the greater good. When Sylar and his mom have a falling out (i.e., he accidentally stabs her with a pair of scissors), Hiro freezes time and, apologizing first, swings his sword at Sylar’s neck. For some reason, Sylar is able to break free of the freeze and grabs the sword, breaking it. Ando rushes in and Hiro teleports the two of them to safety again. Sylar, stricken, realizes he’s killed his own mother. He is not too stricken to finger-paint the NYC apocalypse in her blood. Ack.

Mohinder gives Molly a transfusion of his own blood, saying that his parents conceived him to help cure his sister; he was born too late to help her, but he can still help Molly. Peter gives Claire a gun and says she has to shoot him in the back of the head (“You know the spot.”) if he starts to go nuclear. Claire: “My destiny is not to shoot you. The universe cannot be that lame.” Nathan’s mom stops by to let him [us] know that she is in cahoots with Linderman and wants Nathan to let the city explode. Claire and Peter run into Ted, Matt and Mr. Bennet downtown. While Claire is reuniting with her dad, Ted cluelessly stands next to Peter, who starts to absorb his power. That can’t be good for anybody!