Friday, October 31, 2014

The Big Bang Theory - Season 8 Episode 7 - The Misinterpretation Agitation

After airing on Monday nights for just over a month, The Big Bang Theory is back to airing on Thursday nights at 8 pm EST for the seventh episode of Season eight, The Misinterpretation Agitation.  I think it is another fun, entertaining episode.

I will be discussing the plot of the episode a little, so there will be spoilers for people who haven’t seen the episode yet.  You have been warned.  Proceed with caution.

Bernadette is excited to have been chosen to be featured in a story about the sexiest female scientists in California.  Penny is happy for her friend while Amy doesn’t like the idea of the article, saying that women scientists should receive attention for their minds, not their looks.  Later when Bernadette and Amy meet for dinner, Bernadette shares that the article isn’t happening after all.  Amy goes on about how it is for the best because women scientists shouldn’t be looked at as sex objects before finally admitting that she complained to the college about the article and that is why it isn’t happening.   

Right after returning home, Sheldon discovers someone he thinks is a delivery man trying to get into the building.  The man is actually there to take flowers to a woman he is interested in and that he believes returns that interest.  During their conversation while walking up the stairs, Sheldon discovers that the man is there to see Penny.  Dr. Lorvis is a doctor with several famous patients.  He ends up in Sheldon’s apartment talking about some of those patients.  He is still there when Leonard arrives with the food.  He is surprised to learn that the doctor is interested in Penny and believes the interests is returned.  He is also surprised to hear that Penny doesn’t wear her engagement ring while working.  The guys head off to the doctor’s house to see his collection of movie props.  Things take an interesting turn when the doctor once again heads back to see Penny, only to decide he likes Amy after she is nice to him.

This episode does bring up another issue with Penny’s new job.  She sort of flirts with doctors to help her sales.  It has already been said previously that flirting is part of the job and that she should do well because of her looks.  This is the first time it has come up that one of the doctors Penny flirts with thinks it is anything more than just flirting.  Dr. Lorvis seems nice enough, though he is very shy and possibly more of a nerd than the guys.  He has no clue about how to interact with women and he takes everything out of context.  Leonard and Penny do end up talking a bit about her flirting and the fact that she doesn’t wear her engagement ring when working.  She claims it is no different than what she did as a waitress to get tips.  I think that shows that even though Penny is being more mature and responsible about some things, she is still the same person.  Leonard is a little bothered by what is going on, but it didn’t seem like a huge deal.  They didn’t really fully discuss the issue or settle anything about it, but it is good that they at least brought it up.

I think it is believable that Bernadette would have been happy to be featured in the article about sexy scientists.  She has shown that she is comfortable with her looks and doesn’t mind if people notice.  I also think it is believable that Amy would have a problem with it, both for why she says, and maybe because she is a little jealous as well over not getting any sort of attention herself.  Their disagreement is a real issue that women have to deal with - getting more attention for their looks than their brains or work accomplishments.  It was an interesting storyline even though their positions weren’t surprising.  Personally, I enjoyed what was going on with the doctor a little more, both with how the guys started to look at him as some sort of hero because of who some of his patients were, and how Dr. Lorvis himself reacted in certain situations.  His basement is full of movie props and classic arcade games.  It is a nerd paradise. 

The Misinterpretation Agitation is another fun entertaining episode.  It would have been fun if something tied to Halloween had come up - I tend to like holiday episodes - but the episode is still fun and entertaining.  Fans of the show will probably find something to enjoy about it.

The episode will be available on the CBS website.  It may also be available through some streaming services.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Castle - Season 7 Episode 5 - Meme is Murder

The fifth episode of season seven of Castle, Meme is Murder, is another entertaining episode.  I feel like it stands alone better than the first four episodes of the season since there isn’t anything that ties back into previous stories.  While that does mean there is nothing new to the mystery surrounding Rick’s disappearance, I am all right with that. 

As usual, there will be spoilers ahead, so proceed with caution.

Rick, after receiving some last minute coaching from Martha, films his first ever internet commercial for his new book.  As he tells Kate when they are on the way to a new crime scene, the internet and social media is the future and he has decided it is time to make it work for him, at least for publicity for his books.  The victim, Abby Smith, is a young woman who because famous online through posting funny things on social media.  Shortly after the investigation begins, someone going by the user name Netslayer posts pictures of the crime scene and Abby’s body on Snappamatic, a photo sharing site.  The photos aren’t the ones that the cops took, so they decide that Netslayer is the killer.  The investigation leads to a retired police detective, Bill Garrett, who worked in the cyber division who now owns a store that sells vintage furniture.

Ryan and Esposito pick him up, but it soon becomes clear that Bill is being framed.  Netslayer decides to taut the police by posting a picture of Ryan and Esposito picking up Bill along with a message saying that the police are wrong and he’s still out there.  Netslayer then posts a collage of images that seem unrelated.  Rick and Kate decide that it is a clue to who the next victim will be.  Tori discovers where one of the images came from, but the woman who posted it has nothing in common with Abby.  Rick finally figures out that the clue is referring to a recent story about a group of spoiled rich kids who flood Snappamatic with pictures of their lavish lives.  Kate then finds another picture on the site from the collage and it points them to Tatiana Fischer as the next potential victim.

Kate and the guys find Tatiana and try to take her into protective custody, but she refuses, claiming that she has a party to get to and that Netslayer wouldn’t dare to target her.  When she gets to the car, she discovers her boyfriend, Cam Magani, another rich kid who is also popular on Snappamatic.  Almost immediately, pictures of Cam’s body are posted to Snappermatic, along with one of Rick and Kate looking happy while drinking coffee.  That was actually from when they were on the way to the first crime scene, but Netslayer is using the picture to try to make Kate look bad at her job.  While Rick thinks it will blow over, Kate is upset, especially since the higher ups at the police department expressed concern to Gates about the photo, who stands by Kate and won’t take her off the case. 

Ryan shares that they figured out how Netslayer got in Cam’s car.  When Cam got the car, a Rolls Royce, he posted a picture holding the key.  Netslayer was able to use the picture to make a copy of the key with a 3D printer.  Talk about freaky.  Anyway, they figure that Netslayer did the same thing to get a copy of Abby’s apartment key, so footage from surveillance cameras on her street are checked and Tori manages to find a shot of his face.  Kate and the guys decide they need to talk to Bill again to see if maybe Netslayer was connected to one of his old cases. 

Bill recognizes him immediately as Adam Lane.  While still in high school, Lane was severely bullied, including a humiliating video being posted online.  Bill was able to get the video taken down, but the damage had been done and was just made worse when the DA wouldn’t press charges.  Lane seems to have vanished, but they manage to track him to the basement apartment of the house where he use to live with his mother.  Just as Kate arrests him, Esposito calls with the news that something has just popped up online showing the owners of Snappamatic, Kent and Orin, restrained somewhere, hooked up to some kind of electrical device that will kill whoever doesn’t get the most votes by the time the counter gets to zero. 

At the precinct, Kate tries to reason with Lane.  When that doesn’t work, she changes tactics, using insults to get to Lane’s insecurities.  He lets a few clues slip that point to where Kent and Orin are being held.  Ryan and Esposito are able to get them just in time.  Soon after, Rick happily gathers Kate, Alexis and Martha in his office to watch the finished web commercial.  To say that it wasn’t what he expected would be an understatement.  The ad is mostly made up of the bloopers from the filming, with creative editing and a lot of auto tune going on.  It is hilarious.  Rick is upset while the women point out that it has already gotten a lot of hits, which was the point.  Kate tries to reassure him that people will forget since it is just the internet before deciding that they need to watch it again.

This episode is a bit more serious overall than the last two even though there are some funny things here and there.  People who felt that the last two episodes went too silly may like this episode more.  Most of the funny stuff is tied to the commercial.  Yes it is a little silly in spots, but it is very funny and I think it works.  I do wonder if his agent and publisher are a bit ticked at him about something - perhaps being missing for two months - and decided on the blooper commercial as revenge.  I have no idea if something like that would be released as an official commercial for anything.   

The case for Meme is Murder is interesting and it deals with things that are more current and relevant in the world today.  Social media has gotten extremely popular in recent years, and there are people how have huge followings on the various social media sites for basically doing nothing.  Abby becoming famous for posting her silly “reviews” seems believable.  Bullying has taken on a whole new unpleasant angle tied to the internet.  Bullies can now torment their targets around the clock by posting nasty stuff online and to make it worse, other people can, and do join in, adding to the taunting or even just watching things unfold.  As Kate says during a bit of a rant at one point, being anonymous on the internet means people aren’t accountable for their actions and cowards who would never do anything in person become bullies.  Cyberbullying is a very real problem and I think the episode deals with it decently.  Kate also points out how once anything is posted to the internet it is there forever and that people can take things, like the picture of her and Rick, out of context.  During his questioning, Lane shares his belief that the people who started to follow him because of the murders and the ones voting for Kent and Orin are the ones who are really sick.  He may have a valid point on that and it is a bit disturbing to think that people would sit by and watch something like that.  Unfortunately, there probably are people that would do that.  I do think it is believable that someone who had been bullied like Lane with nothing being done to the bully could flip like he did. 

The episode also brings up something else that Lane does in committing his crimes that I think is very unsettling.  Lane is able to create copies of keys just from taking pictures of them and uploading the pictures to a 3D printer.  I’ve heard of 3D printers before and different things they can create, but I guess I didn’t realize that something could be made just from a picture without some sort of design or something.  That is a scary thought.  I know that criminals had ways of getting copies of keys before, using impressions or something like that, but they had to actually get their hands on the key for at least a short period of time.  I do think it isn't as likely for the keys to a newer car to be copied in this way, especially one for a Rolls Royce.  I do know that several car companies have started to put microchips or use special laser cutting for the keys.  When my mother got a new Camry in 2007, she was told that she couldn't just go get a copy of the key made for a spare because it wouldn't work.  A copy would have to come from Toyota.  It seems more believable that taking a picture of a house or apartment key could work.  

Lane’s victims were all popular because they shared a lot online.  Lane was able to track them through the pictures they posted online, which reinforces the idea of how it isn’t safe to put too much on the internet, something Rick himself tried to convince Alexis of back in season five, only to have his concern brushed off.  The pictures may look innocent enough, but there are things in them, included hidden GPS information connected to where they were taken, that people can track.  I actually first heard about how GPS information can be found in pictures taken on smart phones a few months ago.  There are ways that criminals can find that GPS information.  The idea that an innocent picture of a pet or flowers, or whatever would have that sort of information in it does freak me out a bit.  This makes me glad that I have never been comfortable posting pictures online and haven’t jumped on the bandwagon of taking a selfie every time I do anything.  In fact, I have never taken a selfie and have no plans to do ever do so.

It seems like Martha and Alexis have been around a little more this season than they were last season.  That is fine with me since I like them.  Martha tends to be fun, and she is again in this one when she decides that Rick needs to go through some last minute warm up exercises right before filming his commercial.  Her reaction to the finished commercial at the end is fun as well.  Alexis is only in the last scene.  It was fun to see her reaction to the commercial too.  I like that things are back to normal between her and Rick after their issues in season six.  Ryan and Esposito each play important roles in solving the case.  Captain Gates is in a few short scenes.  I really like that she backed up Kate with the higher ups at the department and didn’t pull her off the case after the picture was posted.  I really didn’t like Gates when she first showed up, but she has grown on me. 

Meme is Murder is one of the more serious episodes.  I think it works very well.  It is another entertaining episode that is worth watching.

Rick’s internet commercial has been posted on several websites if anyone would like to watch it again.  Meme is Murder should be up on the ABC website by now.  I think it is also available through other streaming services. 

Unfortunately the next episode will not air until November 10th.  There isn’t even a rerun next week because the time slot is going to some special connected to the music award show that is airing on ABC on Wednesday the 5th.  Going by information that has been online about the episode and from the teaser at the end of this episode, the next one should be good and make a lot of fans happy.

Season 7 Castle Episode Recaps/Reviews
Driven ~ Montreal ~ Clear and Present Danger ~ Child’s Play ~ Meme is Murder ~

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Castle - Season 7 - Episode 4 - Child’s Play

The fourth episode of Castle of the season - Child’s Play - is another one that is a bit lighter overall even though a few more serious things come up.  The episode stands alone fairly well, there are a few small connections to earlier episodes.

Once again, there are spoilers, so people who haven’t seen the episode yet will want to proceed with caution.

At the loft, Rick, Kate, Martha, and Alexis finish a big dinner that Martha and Alexis fixed, complete with a huge sundae with potato chip fudge ice cream.  When Kate tries to say that she and Rick will do the dishes, Alexis takes the plates away.  Kate is a bit concerned with how Alexis is acting, but Rick isn’t bothered and thinks he should enjoy it.  They get called to a crime scene where there is a dead man inside an ice cream truck.  They soon figure out that someone was hiding in a cabinet in the truck and it looks like it was a second grade student since there was a field trip permission slip from a near by school in the cabinet. 

When Kate and Rick talk to the principal the next day, he says that none of the kids have said anything.  Kate then gets the idea that Rick should go into the classroom, as an adult who can act like a kid, and try to find out who was in the truck.  Rick claims he’ll have no problems, but a few of the kids do present a bit of a challenge.  He does come up with the idea of having the kids write stories, hoping that something in them will point to who the witness is.  As Rick tells the teacher, he believes that witnessing the murder will come out in the writing some way.  He thinks he finds the potential witness, but it turns out the boy was writing about a scary movie.  A little girl named Emily seems on the verge of telling him something at the end of the day, but then her mom interrupts, so Rick promises that he will be there the next day.

The next morning, Alexis actually feeds one last bite of breakfast to Rick while giving him a lunch that she packed him.  After that, he agrees that he needs to talk to Alexis.  Back at the school, Rick has a princess tea party with Emily during recess that is very sweet and she does confide in him.  Unfortunately, it is that Jason is a bully.  Rick does tell her something that I think is very good related to her inner strength.  Emily interprets it in a different way, punching Jason who then goes running to the principal.  Since Jason’s parents are lawyers who threaten to sue at the drop of a hat, the principal sends Rick on his way.  As he is leaving, Rick finds a drawing in his coat pocket that is of the ice cream truck.  Kate, Ryan and Esposito have been following other leads in the case.  Rick lets Kate know about the drawing and she goes to the school where they discover that Jason drew the picture.

Jason mouths off a bit to Kate when she first starts to talk to him, but he eventually starts to talk.  He insists he wasn’t in the ice cream truck but that he knew who was and that he wasn’t supposed to tell.  It was his older half sister who also was the graphic art teacher of the victim.  It turns out that they, along with one of the victim’s childhood friends from Russia and a former cop had been making fake passports to help Russians being taken advantage of go back home.  One of their clients is actually a wanted criminal who is now killing anyone who has seen his picture.  Kate and Rick go after an actual picture Jason’s sister has, only to figure out that the picture is in the classroom.  Just as they find it, the bad guy shows up, a fight ensues, and Rick ultimately stops him by dumping marbles on the floor.  Rick discovers that Alexis put a tracking program on his cell phone when she texts him to come straight home.

Rick again agrees that he has to talk to Alexis.  Rick arrives home on a scooter to Alexis freaking out a bit because she thinks he is late.  They talk about her being afraid that he will disappear again and how he felt after she was kidnapped.   He also points out that part of being a grown up is realizing that you can’t protect someone you love every minute.  Rick convinces Alexis to be a kid by bringing in another scooter and the two head off for pizza. 

While this episode isn’t one of my favorites, I still really enjoyed it.  Rick and Kate spent most of the episode investigating apart, something that I generally don’t like as much.  I just tend to enjoy the episodes more when they are together more.  I did like Rick spending time with the children .  While it was perhaps a bit silly, it was fun and I think worked overall for the episode.  The princess tea party was absolutely adorable and gives the audience a hint at how he was when Alexis was that age.  It takes a confidant man to pull of fairly wings and a tiara, and Rick pulled it off perfectly.  I just wish that Kate would have shown up then for some reason - maybe to have lunch with Rick or just to check in - and seen the tea party. 

Rick has always been a bit of a child inside the body of an adult man and that one of the things that I like about him.  It makes him more of a fun character.  He isn’t exactly immature, at least not all the time, but he will take time for fun and to enjoy things.  Yes some of that can be a little silly, but I like it.  Rick in a classroom full of children is very fun.  He thinks he will have no trouble at all, only to quickly see that he is wrong.  It seems mostly realistic even when it is a little silly.  Rick has a way of connecting with children without talking down to them.  I thought it was fun to see him with younger children after seeing him with Alexis for the last six years.  Nathan Fillion is wonderful in the episode and it nice to see him get a bit more to do.  The case is interesting, though I enjoyed the parts with Rick in the classroom more than Kate, Ryan and Esposito following other leads.  I think I would have enjoyed that part more if Rick had been more involved in it as well like usual. 

There are no new developments connected to Rick’s disappearance, but the episode does address how Alexis is afraid that he is going to vanish again.  It even refers back to when she was kidnapped and how overprotective Rick felt afterward too.  When that happened, once Alexis was back home, they didn’t really deal with that again except very briefly when Rick didn’t want her to go off to Costa Rica.  They really didn’t talk about things at that point, so I think it is good that they did this time.  I think it is completely believable that Alexis would be worrying more about Rick and even kind of over protective.  It is kind of cute to see her fuss over him in that way, though she is going overboard.  Last year when Rick and Alexis had their issues, Kate didn’t bring it up, she just waited until Rick said something.  This time, she points it out early in the episode.  I think this is a way of showing that Kate feels more comfortable as a part of the family that includes Alexis and Martha.  I also think there is a bit of a clue in what Rick says to the teacher about how it would come out someway in writing of the child who witnessed the murder.  I think that is a clue that whatever happened when he was a child has already made it into his writing at some point in his past.  I’m also thinking that it is possible that something from the missing two months may start to come out in his future writing, once he is working on another Heat or Storm book. 

Overall, I really enjoyed Child’s Play even though it isn’t one of my favorite episodes.  I liked Clear & Present Danger better, but that one is hard to top.  This one is still very fun and well worth checking out.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

The Big Bang Theory - Season 8 Episode 6 - The Expedition Approximation

Season eight of The Big Bang Theory continues to be funny and entertaining.  The sixth episode, The Expedition Approximation, tackles another issue in Penny and Leonard’s relationship in a funny way.  This episode is also the last that will air on Monday night.  Starting on October 30th, the series is returning to Thursday nights at 8:00 P.M. EST. 

As usual, there are spoilers ahead, so proceed with caution.

During a group dinner, Bernadette admires Penny’s new suit and then asks Sheldon about his new research into dark matter.  Sheldon claims that it is an exciting time in that field because he is now working on it.  Raj then shares how he heard that there are new grants being given out for work in dark matter.  Whoever receives the grant will have to spend hours in mines observing things.  Raj suggests that he and Sheldon team up to try to get one of the grants so that they could possibly make new contributions to both physics and astrophysics.  Penny finds the idea of Sheldon spending hours in a mine hilarious since he freaked out going through a car wash.

Later, Penny and Leonard are having a dinner at her apartment.  Penny is distracted and thinking about work while Leonard talks about a video game.  Penny then presents Leonard with an envelope full of money.  She has a company car for work now, so she didn’t think it made sense to keep the car that Leonard got her not that long ago.  She sold that car and is giving Leonard the money so they are even.  She also gives him a picture of them in front of the car in a decorated pink frame that says best finance ever.  Leonard says that the car was a gift and he didn’t want to be paid back.  The two keep insisting that the other keep the money.  The next day, they talk about it more, with Leonard finally suggesting that they open a joint bank account with the money and use it for the wedding or something else in the future.  Penny likes that idea too, but the disagreement picks back up when Penny claims that Leonard doesn’t like that she can pay for her own stuff now and it makes him insecure. 

Sheldon and Raj talk more about the idea of trying to get one of the grants for dark matter research.  Sheldon is most put off by the idea of having to use a bucket for a bathroom.  Raj then suggests that they should try to find a simulation for a mine which leads to them heading down in to a steam tunnel under the college where it is hot, humid, and cramped.  Amy is standing by to lead a rescue attempt if necessary.  They are both struggling with things, but they seem to be dealing.  Sheldon actually admits to Raj that he finds his change in work scary since he is starting over.  Raj shares a nice story tied to what keeps him motivated, but Sheldon freaks out and runs away screaming when he sees a few rats, leaving Raj to fend for himself.

Penny and Leonard are over and Bernadette and Howard’s and ask them how they handled money issues.  It quickly goes downhill after Bernadette makes sure to emphasis that she makes a lot more money.  That then evolves into them having a fight over the chore chart Bernadette made for Howard and how he won’t get his allowance if he doesn’t do his chores.  When Bernadette leaves the room to check on Howard, Penny and Leonard decide they don’t want to end up with them and they will figure it out.  The argument starts up again, but Penny doesn’t want to leave until they hear if Howard got a star for making the bed like a grown man. 

This episode has two different storylines going on, something that tends to happen on the show, and both of them are very funny and entertaining.  So far this season, Penny and Leonard have addressed a few issues in their relationship.  I think that has been a good thing and it shows that both of them have matured.  In the past, they would avoid things which led to more problems.  This time, they are at least starting to deal with money issues.  I kind of see both of their sides of the issue.  Leonard still wants to be able to do things for Penny, while she doesn’t want to feel dependent on him for money issues.  Things don’t get fully resolved, but it is progress. 

Money has come up between Howard and Bernadette before.  She really does seem to be more responsible in that regard, though she does sort of put Howard down at times as well because she makes more.  Howard has been impulsive with money before - like when he and Raj bought a 3D printer - but Bernadette’s way of dealing with it is to treat Howard like a child instead of an equal.  Yes he can be childlike in some ways, and I can see him not wanting to help around the apartment after his mother babied him his entire life, but I don’t like when this side of Bernadette comes out that much.  It was funny at first, and aspects of it still are, but she just comes across as so mean at times, and I don’t like that.  Bernadette is basically a bully, and that came out some earlier this season with how she was acting about Penny and the new job.

Sheldon is still trying to deal with changes, including now doing research in dark matter.  He seems all right about it for much of the episode, but he does finally share with Raj how afraid he is to be starting over.  It is a big deal for Sheldon to confide something like that in anyone.  Of course he follows that up by saving himself and leaving Raj to fight off rats, which is a typical Sheldon move.  Sheldon has been going through different things lately, and I like that they are exploring him more than him just having a lot of quirks.  Both of the stories are funny at times.  The funnier moments are when Sheldon and Raj are in the tunnel and after Bernadette and Howard get into an argument. 

This episode of The Big Bang Theory is another fun, entertaining episode that also deals with a few more serious things as well.  The show is still going strong and still well worth watching. 

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Castle Season 7 Episode 3 - Clear & Present Danger

I have had some issues with recent Castles episodes, mostly the season six finale and the season seven premiere, but I have continued to watch.  The second episode was a little better, with a few more answers being discovered, but something was still a little off.  For the most part, I was all right with that since I know that the writers have started what they are calling a new mythology connected to Rick.  I didn’t expect everything to be resolved in one or two episodes.  I did want to see the beginning of some resolution, and I do think that happened in the first two episodes.  For me, Clear & Present Danger, is the most entertaining episode of the season so far and it feels like things are back on track between Rick and Kate.  While some of what happens is more silly, to me, it feels more like a classic Castle episode.

Like usual, I will be sharing things that will be spoilers for people who haven’t watched the episode yet, so read at your own risk.  You have been warned.

A man is alone in his apartment playing pool when there is a knock at the door.  When he checks the peep hole, no one is there, but he opens the door anyway and walks into the hallway.  He then freaks out and rushes back inside, slamming the door behind him.

Rick and Kate are settled in at the loft, on opposite ends of the couch, using their tablets.  They have a short discussion about doing something that night, deciding against the idea of a movie because they have watched a lot of them recently.  The discussion takes a more personal turn, with each of them admitting that they thought the other wasn’t ready for certain activities again just yet.  They each state clearly that they are ready and just when they are ready to head to the bedroom, Kate’s phone rings.  They have a murder to deal with.

Will Fairwick, the man from the first scene, is dead in his apartment, stabbed in the chest with a pool cue.  Ryan shows up to the scene a little late, smelling of alcohol that he said someone spilled on him when he and Jenny were having dinner.  They discover a stash of cash in the apartment and it looks like Will worked for an insurance company.  His neighbor Henry shows up long enough to say that Will was a pool hustler and that was how he made his real money.  Henry says that he and Will sometimes played video games together and he didn’t hear anything because he had been playing with headphones on.

Rick and Kate talk to the owner of a pool hall where Will has won a lot of money.  The owner claims that Will talked about having made a deal with the devil to be so good at pool.  He also said that Will was acting nervous recently and started to say that his time was up.  Back at the precinct, they look at the video footage from the hallway outside Will’s apartment.  It shows the door opening and closing, after the time of Will’s murder, but no one is visible on the footage.  Rick decides that the devil showed up to collect while Kate tries to find a more reasonable explanation, like a draft from an open window - even though all the windows were closed and locked from the inside.

They follow a few clues, which leads Rick and Kate to Tom Talmadge, a man in the hospital recovering from being attacked.  When he talks to Kate, Tom says he was attacked by some kind of unseen force and he briefly blacked out.  When he came to, a stranger, that he now identified as Will, was standing over him.  Tom believes that Will saved him from whatever attacked him.  Back at the precinct, Kate wants to look at the video footage again, only to discover it missing from the evidence and the officer on duty says no one has been there since she originally brought it in.  That makes Rick decide that the suspect is an invisible man.  They do discover that Will had been dating Donna, a biology professor that he originally knew from college before he had a break down and dropped out.

Kate and Rick head back to Will’s apartment to get the keycard for the insurance company that he worked for.  Rick does make a joke or two about the Invisible Man again.  After Kate picks up the keycard and they are leaving, she is attacked by something or someone that they can’t see.  At first Rick thinks she is teasing him, but he quickly realizes he is wrong and tries to help her.  He does manage to get the attacker off Kate, only to be attacked himself as soon as he picks up the fallen keycard.  Once the attacker seems to leave, Rick shares that he managed to keep the keycard.  Kate comes up with a creative explanation for the encounter when telling Captain Gates what happened.

Back at the loft, Rick and Kate attempt to follow through on their plans from earlier, but first Rick and then Kate get the feeling that they are being watched.  Rick then gets what looks like every pot and pan in the loft and strings up a homemade alarm.  Unfortunately, they are interrupted again when Martha, who thought they weren’t home yet and wanted some dental floss, got snared in the trap. 

Esposito spots body glitter on Ryan and wants to know what is going on.  Ryan is still worrying about being able to pay for everything connected to Sarah Grace.  Specifically, he is worrying about college that he says will cost a quarter of a million dollars just for a state college.  He has a second job working as a bouncer at a strip club.  A male strip club.  Tory does some work with the keycard, but she is unable to find any information.  Another clue takes Kate and Rick to what turns out to be a secret government facility working on cloaking technology.  Will was working on the project which has been set back by his death.  His boss suggests that the Chinese may be behind his murder.  She also believes they are behind a recent computer attack that damaged all the files for the project. 

Rick notices something that points to Henry being involved in the attack.  He was a talented programmer who has been in trouble with the law before.  Will and Henry had been working in secret on the cloaking suit and managed to get it to work.  Henry used it to try to find proof that Talmadge had stole code from him.  Things didn’t go as planned and he ended up hurting Talmadge instead of just scaring him. 

Kate and Rick then realize that Will got back in touch with Donna because he wanted her research to use for the cloaking suit.  When Donna figured that out, she was ticked off and used the suit to attack and kill him.  She manages to get in the suit again, but Rick and Kate trap her in a room where they then get the idea to use fire extinguishers to find her.  Will’s boss shows up at the precinct to take possession of the suit.  Esposito gives Ryan the gift of a speedo, claiming he needs a proper uniform for his new job.  Back at the loft, Rick and Kate are able to pick up where they left out before earlier.

While some people may find this episode too silly, I thought it was really fun and entertaining.  It was nice to have a more lighthearted and fun episode again after the last two episodes that were more serious.  Nothing new tied to Rick’s disappearance comes up, but that doesn’t bother me.  While I do want answers to what happened, I am fine with it taking a while, as long as there is no lingering or long term damage to Rick and Kate.  Things definitely look to be back on track in that regard, which makes me happy.  It is nice to see them more natural with each other again and back to teasing each other a bit.  They even have one of their mind melds as Rick calls it moments late in the episode when they both get the same idea at the same time.  I am happy that they are getting back to their normal even while still not having all the answers.  There was at least one point in the second episode when it seemed like Kate still had doubts about Rick.  I didn’t see anything like that in this one, which I liked.

I have always really enjoyed the episodes that have Rick fully embracing one of his somewhat wild ides - he’s been cursed by a mummy, attacked by a vampire, abducted by aliens, a ghost is a killer, the killer is a zombie, he is going to die because he watched a cursed DVD, there is a time traveling killer, Bigfoot is real, or there is a ninja assassin running around.  The fact that it looks like an invisible person killed Will is just that type of case.  Rick and Kate’s reactions to what is going on is very entertaining.  It was kind of creepy but also funny when Rick was getting beat up by the invisible woman.  I’ve already watched this episode twice, and the second time, I swear I heard something when Rick did before he set up the pots and pans.  It is rather freaky to think that someone could be around that you couldn’t see.  It was very funny to see Kate try to explain what happened to Gates, especially when Rick started to say more but was stopped by Kate.  The cloaking technology stuff that is part of the story is based on real research that is being done by the military and/or government. 

The episode has several funny moments.  Some come from how Rick and Kate react or deal with things connected to the case.  It was really funny how Rick rigged up the homemade alarm in the bedroom.  It looks like he not only got every pot and pan from the kitchen, but that he got donations from the neighbors as well.  He has a lot of cookware.  It was really funny how Martha got caught.  Kate looked mortified, but Martha was fine, mentioning how she didn’t think they were home and she just wanted to get some dental floss.  I also found it funny that she didn’t question why there were pots and pans hanging from the ceiling.  Esposito’s reaction to Ryan’s second job is very funny, as is the gift and the way Ryan reacts to it.  I don’t think anyone else knows yet, so it will be interesting to see how Rick and Kate react.  I also don’t think that Esposito is done teasing Ryan about it yet either. 

This episode of Castle is the most entertaining of the season so far for me.  It is a bit silly, but it works.  Things between Rick and Kate are well on the way to getting back to normal even though they don’t know what went on when he was missing.

Fall TV Season 2014 So Far

I usually look forward to new seasons of tv shows starting back up in the fall each year.  This year, I was mostly looking forward to The Big Bang Theory and Castle, my two favorite shows.  I am current with some of the shows I watch, and behind on others.  This seems to always happen to me.  I’ve decided to write a bit about what I have watched so far this fall, along with mentioning what is sitting on my DVR waiting for when I get around to watching.

I will mention things that have happened on different shows.  While I’m not going into as many details as I have when I have written about specific episodes, there could be some spoilers ahead.

The Big Bang Theory is on Monday nights right now, but will go back to Thursday nights after football is done.  The show is still going strong in the eighth season and I still find it funny and entertaining.  I love that Stuart is living with Howard’s mother even after her health is better.  They seem to have sort of adopted each other and it is hilarious to see Howard flip out about it.  Hopefully this will continue since it is so funny.  The relationship between Sheldon and Amy and Leonard and Penny are still going on.  Raj has finally found a woman that can deal with his issues in Emily.  She seems nice, though there is some kind of tension between her and Penny.

Scorpion is an hour long drama on CBS that airs after The Big Bang Theory.  So far, the show has had fairly high ratings.  I do wonder if they will stay that high once The Big Bang Theory moves back to Thursdays.  The show is about a group of geniuses who don’t function well in normal society who work together.  Walter runs the company and has a history with Agent Gabe Gallo of Homeland Security and the two men still have issues.  Gabe recruits Walter and his team to work on national security problems.  Walter befriends Paige, a waitress, and her genius young son.  Paige ends up working for the company, helping them deal with the real world while they help her interact better with her son.  The show says it is inspired by true events, but I have no clue what is true and what is exaggerated for tv.  The show is entertaining but really nothing special.  A lot of over the top stuff has happened in every episode so far and Paige becoming part of the team does seem a little odd.  I just ended up leaving it on after The Big Bang Theory because I had my DVR set for Sleepy Hollow.   Right now, I don’t know how much longer I will keep watching.

Sleepy Hollow is in the second season.  I really enjoyed the first part of the first season last year.  The show has a different take on the Headless Horseman that I think is very interesting.  The first season did have fewer episodes, and there was a break in the middle of the season.  I’m not sure why FOX decided to do that instead of airing all the episodes.  By the time the show aired again, work was really crazy for me, and I missed most of those episodes and I haven’t gotten caught up yet.  So far, I have seen the first two episodes of the second season.  There is one more on my DVR, soon to be joined by another one.  While I still really enjoyed the show, I was a little confused about a few things, including if one character was good or bad, since I missed the last episodes. 

Castle had a cliffhanger to resolve in the premiere.  While that mostly happened, I still have major issues with the finale of season six - I honestly don’t think I will ever be happy with that particular episode - but I am feeling much better about things now that the new season has started.  There are still a lot of questions connected to Rick’s disappearance, but there have been a few things resolved.  I am all right with things not being completely figured out tied to that yet.  I did not like the way this story line, which is supposed to explore Rick more, was started or even the direction it was going for much of the premiere.  Exploring Rick is fine.  I’m just not completely happy with how it is being done.  Things are better by the end of the second episode.  The third episode was great.  I more detailed post about that episode is coming soon. 

NCIS is a show that I’ve watched off and on for years.  I do tend to enjoy it, but I don’t worry if I miss an episode..or two...or more.  I have mostly watched the first few episodes this season, but I have also been doing other things at the time, so I haven’t caught everything that has happened.  I sometimes watched NCIS: Los Angels.  This year, that show changed time slots and is airing at the same time as Castle, so I haven’t watched any of it.  I also don’t have it on my DVR.  I wasn’t too bothered about seeing it.  I have started to watch NCIS: New Orleans, but my attention keeps wandering.  The show seems ok.  I just haven’t been hooked I guess.

Marvel’s Agents of Shield is one that I watched off and on last year as well.  So far, I’ve seen the first episode this season and have the others on my DVR.  I have seen bits and pieces of the other episodes because I’ve flipped back and forth between this and NCIS: New Orleans.  From what I have seen, there are interesting things going on this season.  I do enjoy the show and plan to catch up.

Forever is a new show that I am really enjoying. The first few episodes set up what is going on with Henry - that he is over 200 years old - and that he is searching for answers about his condition.  The fact that there is also someone else out there with the same condition, who is much much older, is set up during the first few weeks.  Things are done to make it seem like this guy, who calls himself Adam, is a villain of some sort.  He hasn’t been in the other two episodes, though I think he will pop up in other episodes.  A little more of Henry’s past is shared in each episode and I find that very interesting.  I also really like the relationship he has with Abe and exactly how they are connected.  I am really like this show and I really hope it lasts.  It is probably the new show that I am enjoying the most this year.

Criminal Minds is mostly like it has been in previous seasons so far.  There is a new agent played by Jennifer Love Hewitt that is the only change.  The first few cases this year have been suitably creepy. 

Stalker is a new show that airs after Criminal Minds.  The show has potential, following the detectives of a special unit that deals with stalking cases, but I’m still not sure what I think yet.  Both of the main characters have issues, with Beth attacking a rich kid who has been stalking his former roommate.  Jack is basically stalking his ex.  He moved from New York to take the job so he would be in the same city as her again.  She discovered he is in town, and in the second episode, she tells him to leave town or else she will get him fired.  I guess it is kind of bothering me that Beth and Jack are both showing criminal traits when they are cops.  I have watched other shows where eventually a cop character bends the law or crosses a line, but never right from the beginning.  I still haven’t decided for sure about this show.

Bones has really annoyed and irritated me already this season.  That has happened with the show previously at times, even to the point where I stopped watching for a while more than once.  I’m honestly not sure why I am still watching.  They did do a conclusion to the over the top conspiracy story that got started last season, but the conclusion seems kind of too convenient.  Honestly, I didn’t expect much with that story because I didn’t care for how the show handled other attempts at longer stories.  The third episode has everyone trying to get back to normal after the murder of Sweets.  Booth is back full time at the FBI, but he has trust issues.  While that is understandable after he was framed for murder, the way it has been handled has been to make Booth grumpy while avoiding trying to deal with anything.  A grumpy Booth is not pleasant to see.  Temperance does get him to realize that he can’t shut himself off from everyone and it seems like he is back to normal by the last scene.  Again, that is a little too easy for dealing with what the writers put Booth through.  It won’t surprise me one bit if the writers decide to make grumpy Booth return every so often throughout the season.

Gracepoint is the US version of the British show Broadchurch.  I was able to see Broadchurch on BBC America in 2013 and I really enjoyed the show.  I have been interested in seeing Gracepoint since I found out it was definitely being made even though I had concerns with it being on FOX.  So far, the show has been very good and stayed very true to the original.  I have seen some complainants about that, but I like that it has stayed so true to the original.  Broadchurch was excellent and if too much was changed, the show would lose something.  There will only be ten episodes.  I know a second season of Broadchurch is planned.  I have no idea if Gracepoint will get a second season as well.

The show is focused on the investigation into the murder of a young boy named Danny in the small town of Gracepoint where everyone knows everyone.  The first episode focused on Danny being found and the beginning of the investigation.  Time has been taken over the first two episodes to introduce the various characters, pretty much all of which are suspects at this point.  The show is slowing building things like was done with the original.  David Tennant is also in this version, another reason I wanted to see the show even though it is odd to hear him with an American accent.  I have heard that Gracepoint will have a different outcome than Broadchurch.  I think the show has been very well done so far.  I wouldn’t mind if it ended up with the same outcome if it continues to be this good.

CSI has been moved to Sunday nights at 10:00 P.M., something I still have trouble remembering.  If I hadn’t already had the DVR set for the show, I would have missed the first two episodes.  The first episode deals with a case that goes back to when Russell and Julie worked at the lab in Seattle.  The second and third episodes have had different cases, but still connect back to the first one slightly.  Julie has gone back to Seattle to look for more information and Russell is still going over the case as well.  In the third episode, Sara and Greg face potentially being exposed to a deadly disease at a crime scene. 

I still watch The Simpsons on Sunday nights.  The most recent episode has Marge attempting to start a franchise sandwich shop.  I know a lot of people say the show is horrible anymore, but I still enjoy it.  I do enjoy Bob’s Burgers when it is on, but it hasn’t been on every week because of football.  I have the first few episodes of Gotham on my DVR, but I haven’t managed to watch any of them yet.  I have watched the first few episodes of The Middle.  The show has grown on me since it started.  I don’t care for The Goldbergs, though I have left it on the last few weeks because there wasn’t anything else on then I wanted to watch.  It was basically background noise.  I did see the first episode of Black-ish and I didn’t care for it.  I have seen Mulaney on FOX as well and am not impressed. 

Honestly, right now, the only shows I plan to keep watching all the way through the season are The Big Bang Theory, Castle, Forever, Elementary (once it is on after Thursday night football ends), and The Simpsons.  The other shows depend on how entertaining I continue to find the episodes.  I will more than likely keep watching Criminal Minds, though it may build up on the DVR at times before I catch up.  Some things will change once The Big Bang Theory is back on Thursday nights and Elementary is back on.  I have no intention of watching Two and a Half MenMom I can take or leave, and I mostly left it last year.  It will probably just be background noise if I leave it on.  I did like 2 Broke Girls during the first season overall, but it did start annoying me last year, so I’m not sure I’ll bother to watch it this year or not.  I like Mike & Molly and think it is pretty funny, but it isn’t on right now.  I’m pretty sure the show was renewed, but I don’t know when it will start airing.  It started later last season as well.

Monday, October 13, 2014

The Big Bang Theory - Season 8 Episode 5 - The Focus Attenuation

The Focus Attenuation, the fifth episode of season 8 of The Big Bang Theory, is another fun, entertaining episode.  I just about choked when I took a drink at the wrong moment and started to laugh while trying to swallow. 

There are spoilers for this episode, so anyone who hasn’t watched it yet may want to stop now.

The guys end up talking about how they haven’t come up with idea for things to invent in a long time.  Sheldon claims that Leonard lost focus on that stuff when Penny moved in.  They get the idea to take the weekend to focus on trying to invent something.  When Leonard checks in with Penny, the girls decide to go to Vegas for the weekend.  Right after they get there, Penny gets a message from her boss about a meeting or presentation getting moved up to Monday, so she now just has two days to prepare instead of just over a week.  Penny decides to stay in the room to get some work done while Bernadette and Amy head off to have fun.

Almost immediately Sheldon, Raj, and Howard get distracted by talking about movies.  They have an idea connected to Back to the Future II, so it is decided that they need to watch the movie.  They get into a discussion about the time travel stuff that even includes the proper tense of words to use when describing someone from the future going to the past to change something and then returning to the future.  Eventually they decide to go the college and work in Leonard’s lab, but once again, they are quickly distracted by videos online while Leonard gets more annoyed.  An attempt to come up with a deterrent results in them starting to watch Ghostbusters in the lab and then returning home to watch the entire movie.  In Vegas, Bernadette and Amy get plastered and decide that Penny is a party pooper because she stayed in to do work.  The next morning Penny is ready to go to the pool while Bernadette and Amy have horrible hang overs.

At first, it seems that Penny is still the same.  Going to Vegas is her idea, and she is talking about getting so drunk on margaritas that she pukes just before she gets the message from her boss.  Once she sees that message, she decides that she needs to stay in and do some work first, something that Penny hasn’t done before.  Even when Bernadette and Amy return to the room and try to get Penny to leave, she still says no.  Penny does end up going with them to some sort of show, but she is working there while the other two get drunker.  It is nice to see Penny be more responsible and not the one getting fall down drunk.  It seems like she is taking her job seriously, something else that is nice to see and shows that Penny is finally growing up some. 

The guys getting constantly distracted is funny, including the idea that they come up with to try to stop the distractions.  I also think it is funny how often the stuff that distracts them leads to them wanting to watch some movie.  I kind of feel like watching Ghostbusters myself now.  I don’t think I have ever seen Bernadette and Amy as drunk as they were in this episode.  They have been drinking with Penny before, and Bernadette has gotten a little tipsy, but they are both so drunk they are all but falling down.  I thought that Bernadette was really funny, especially when she mentions a certain show that she wants to go see. 

A lot of what happened in this episode is silly in some way and won’t have a large overall impact, but there are indications that Penny is maturing and starting to take things more seriously.  The episode is fun and entertaining and I think I’ll enjoy it just as much when I watch it again.

The episode will be available to watch on the CBS website eventually.  I think it will show up on Tuesday the 14th.

Bones Season 10 Episode 3 - The Purging of the Pundit

I am still feeling a bit conflicted about what is going on in season 10 of Bones so far.  Yes the conspiracy was resolved by the end of the second episode, but it didn’t feel satisfying.  Too many things just seem a little too convenient and I am not at all happy about what happened in the premiere.  My DVR is still set to record the show, though I honestly don’t know if that will continue.  I did have the show on when it originally aired, though I wasn’t really paying attention and I missed most of what happened.  I went ahead and watched the episode from my DVR yesterday.

I will be mentioning things that will be spoilers for this episode and possibly pervious episodes as well.  Read at your own risk.

Remains are found in a storm drain by two female high school students who were looking to do some sort of community service to help their chances of getting into college.  Shortly after Temperance and Booth begin investigating, they discover that the remains are of a controversial talk radio host.  The new agent - I still can’t remember his name, so I just refer to him as Junior.  That’s what I thought of him during the first episode and it has just stuck for me.  Anyway, Junior is still around and he is trying very hard to help Booth with the investigation, only to be shut out over and over or sent back to his desk like a child being sent to his room.  Things connected to the case are kind of gross, which has been normal for Bones for years.  It seems they are still trying to find the most gross and disgusting look for remains.  There are even ferrets that have been snacking on the body before it is found too.  The show does go overboard on the gross factor. 

They find evidence that the victim had been involved in some kinky activities.  That is probably the most interesting development in the case.  It wasn’t that interesting overall at all and I didn’t particularly care about who the killer was.  The case is solved by the end - the co host did it - but I didn’t care.  There was more attention given to Booth and he is or isn’t dealing with his lingering trust issues.  Booth is having trouble sleeping that he brushes off when Temperance points it out.  He all but pats Junior on the head before sending him off and handling things alone.  Grumpy Booth was around for much of the episode.  I get that he has trust issues and is even a bit angry over everything he’s gone through, but really nothing is done to deal with it.  Temperance finally talks to him, telling him he can’t isolate himself and he needs to start to trusting again.  Temperance is more trusting and accepting of Junior and tries to encourage Booth to be the same.  Later in the episode, when Booth once again dismisses Junior, he stands up to Booth.  Shortly after that, Temperance backs out of going in during an interrogation, saying that Junior should go instead. 

By the end of the episode, Booth is acting like he is back to normal and fine with Junior.  His issues weren’t really dealt with just by Temperance talking to him once and then making Booth work with Junior.  I have a feeling that grumpy Booth will reappear throughout the season.  It would make sense for him to have lingering issues after everything, but those things aren’t truly being addressed or properly being dealt with.  I find it aggravating that the writers set all this stuff up and then are trying to quickly brush stuff under the rug instead of having Booth do things to deal with his issues instead of just being grumpy.  It does feel like Junior is supposed to be a replacement for Sweets, something that isn’t sitting well with me at the moment even though I sort of like the character.

There was nothing special about this episode of Bones.  I didn’t particularly care about the case and I didn’t care that much about Booth being grumpy.  I just don’t care that much about the show anymore.  I’m not sure what can be done to change that at this point and I’m not fully sure why I still bother to watch.  I guess part of it is because I’ve mostly stuck with it this long, I feel like I might as well keep watching until the end.  I don’t see the show going past this season, though the one producer has already basically said in an interview that season 11 is all but a done deal. 

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Castle 7-2 - Montreal - Some Answers Along With More Questions

After watching Montreal, the second episode of the seventh season of Castle, I do feel much better about what is going on with the new story tied to Rick that is being introduced.  I still very much dislike the season six finale and I’m honestly not sure what, if anything, will fix that for me.  However that one disappointing episode didn’t ruin the entire show and I’m definitely interested in what is going on.  I still have some issues about how things were set up in the premiere, but this episode does recover some of the backwards steps taken, and I am feeling more positive overall now.

Spoilers for this episode, as well as at least the premiere and possibly finale, are ahead.  There are actually probably more spoilers in this one than I have shared in previous posts about any episode.  You have been warned.  Read at your own risk.

I’m not sure exactly how much time has passed since the end of the premiere, but it doesn’t seem like a long time.  Rick does an interview tied to the release of his two newest books, but the woman conducting the interview is more interested in asking questions about Rick’s disappearance and if his relationship with Kate is still good.  Rick comes up with the idea of offering a reward for information leading to answers about what happened to him.  Captain Gates is less than happy when she discovers that Rick gave out the number of the precinct for the tip line.  Rick’s reaction to hearing that the phones have been ringing off the hook is shockingly hilarious.  

Rick is back for the first time helping Kate and the guys with a new murder, involving the owner of a toy company.  When they go to the office to talk to the employees, Rick quickly gets distracted playing with the different toys.  It doesn’t take long for Kate to discover that the victim had been keeping some kind of secret from everyone before his death.  The case is all right overall, but it isn’t as interesting as what is going on with Rick’s search for answers.  Alexis is helping Rick sort through all the calls, most of which seem to be from crackpots or women desperate to meet Rick.  Martha has started to go out with someone she met in a grief counseling group, and if Rick wouldn’t mind to much, it would help if he would pretend to still be gone.  Martha says that she and her new guy connected over their grief and it would mess things up if he found out that Rick came home.  It sounds like Martha logic.  When Rick gets a mysterious call on his personal cell phone, he decides to meet the caller even though Kate has misgivings.

At first, when Rick meets the guy who called alone, I thought it was fake Jenkins from the premiere.  Once I got a better look at him, I realized it was a different guy.  At first he seems to have information that may be helpful, but it quickly becomes apparent that the guy is one of the crackpots, something he doesn’t want to seem to admit to Kate.  Not long after a couple shows up at the precinct saying they may have information.  They think they found Rick in the background of one of their honeymoon pictures in Montreal.  With some help from Alexis, they figure out that Rick is standing outside a bank, which causes Alexis to suggest the key that Rick had hidden in his jeans when he was found was for a safe deposit box at that bank.

Kate agrees that going to Montreal makes sense in their search for answers, though she says she won’t be able to go until the weekend because of the active case.  Rick thinks he can go alone but Kate doesn’t think that is a good idea.  Alexis agrees with Kate and they decide that Alexis will go with Rick to keep him out of trouble.  They find the bank and Rick comes up with an idea to get into the safe deposit room.  Something seems a little off with the banker that Rick meets with, almost like he knows something.  The key does in fact open a safe deposit box.  Inside the box are envelopes addressed to Kate, Martha, and Alexis in Rick’s handwriting.  Each envelope contains a memory card.  When Rick is back in New York, he takes the one for Kate to her and has her watch it, saying the ones for Martha and Alexis have basically the same message on them.  The card has a video message Rick made during his two month disappearance in which he says that if  Kate is seeing the video then he is probably dead.  He also says that he did not leave on his own to avoid the wedding and says how he loves her, always.  Seeing that video does a lot to help Kate and it clears up once and for all that he was not trying to leave her.

Kate comes up with the idea of seeing if Tori can get any information off the memory card.  Rick decides to stay behind in case Tori finds anything when Kate and the guys head off after a new lead.  Tori has some sort of computer program that can analyze the faint images out a window behind Rick in the video to figure out where it was made.  When the program comes up with a location, Rick decides to head back to Montreal alone to check it out.  Once there, he finds the room where he made the videos and Fake Jenkins turns up again, this time with a gun, saying that Rick shouldn’t be asking questions and trying to figure out what happened.  Fake Jenkins then goes on to say that Rick wanted to forget.  When Rick objects, Fake Jenkins mentions something that happened when Rick was 11, that he hasn’t told anyone else before, claiming that Rick told him as a way to convince himself he really did want to forget. 

Once back home, Rick shares what he learned and is troubled by the thought of what he would have done that he would want to forget.  Alexis suggests that he had just seen something while Martha basically says maybe it would be best to let it go.  That night, Kate reassures Rick that she is not going anywhere while pointing out that they both need a little more time to readjust before getting married.  She also points out that Rick must have had a reason for wanting to forget.

There are a few answers provided during this episode, the most important coming in the video Rick made for Kate that makes it clear he was not trying to leave her and what happened was out of his control.  I’m glad that Rick made that video since it does a lot to help Kate with her concerns with what has been going on.  We also now know that for at least part of the time, Rick was in Montreal, though that doesn’t explain why he had antibodies to Dengue fever in his system when he was found.  It also doesn’t explain how he ended up in the dinghy. 

Personally, I don’t trust Fake Jenkins.  He is already a known liar who sounded very convincing in the premiere when he gave his story to Kate.  Too many things about his story don’t fully make sense, including the fact that he has a gun pulled on Rick.  The hint about what happened when Rick was 11 was supposed to be the proof Rick left behind to convince his future self to stop looking for answers, so the gun seems to be overkill.  I really don’t see Rick, even if he wanted to forget, being all right with the idea of Fake Jenkins threatening to shoot him.  I’m not that convinced that Fake Jenkins is telling the truth. 

If Rick wanted to forget something from the missing two months, that still doesn’t explain how he was shot, why he had the Dengue fever antibodies, not to mention how and why he ended up in dinghy floating on the ocean for days or why stuff was planted in the tent.  If the memory loss was Rick’s idea, then why wasn’t a better cover story concocted that didn’t raise as many questions?  It does seem odd that Rick doesn’t seem to be questioning if he can trust what Fake Jenkins said, probably because of the mention of the childhood incident.  Even with that, I think it is possible Fake Jenkins is lying.  It doesn’t mean that Rick willingly shared that story.  Some kind of drugs, like a truth serum, or hypnosis could have been used to get the information. 

While Rick may say he will deal with not knowing, I don’t think that will last.  He may manage for a little while, but the need to finish the story will become stronger and he will be back to looking for answers.  I also think that Rick, before he lost the memory of those two months, would have known fully well when he said he wanted to forget that he wouldn’t just give up.  If he truly wanted to forget, then why didn’t he do something else to try to convince his future self, like maybe leave himself a video or letter.  By the way, I think Rick made the videos without Fake Jenkins and whoever else was involved knowing and managed to get them in the safety deposit box.  It doesn’t make sense that they would have let him make the videos, leave them somewhere safe, or keep the key. 

After I thought about things from the premiere more, it seemed like there were more holes in the evidence discovered that pointed to Rick being behind his own disappearance.  Certain little things here and there that don’t fully fit.  Normally Kate is able to pick up on those things, though I can see why she didn’t notice those things as fast in this case since she is clearly more emotionally involved.  It would have been nice if it came out during the episode that Kate had started to pick up on the odd things, but that didn’t really happen.  Kate and Lanie have another little talk which is nice.  Esposito has a new ring tone on his phone thanks to Lanie that I found funny once I realized what it was.  Evidently the two of them have definitely gotten back together officially. 

There is a nice scene with Ryan and Esposito at the toy company office in which Ryan acts like Rick, picking up the various toys while he shares worries about being able to afford everything for the baby.  Overall, the episode has a good mix of humor with the more serious moments.  I liked Alexis in the episode.  She has shown an ability to point out useful things in the past.  She has shown that she has a bit of the same interesting in mysteries that her father has in previous seasons - that was mostly missing last season.  To me, it fits and makes sense that she comes up with useful ideas again and that she wants to go with Rick.  I really like that she and Kate are in agreement with Rick not going to Montreal alone.  His declaration that he is a grown man and doesn’t need permission followed by basically begging for permission is really funny.

With the premiere, while I felt better about where things were going by the end, there were things that I didn’t like about it.  With this episode, I feel even better than I did after the premiere.  Yes there are still a lot of unanswered questions, including a few new ones, but there has been a little bit of progress and the most important thing has been made clear to Kate - that Rick didn’t intend to miss the wedding.  I do think this stuff will come up again, though I’m not thinking it will be brought up in every episode.  I do think that the story has recovered a few of the steps back that were taken with the premiere.  From the short teaser at the end of the episode, it looks like the next one will be one of the sillier type of cases that Rick loves - along the lines of him thinking the killer is a zombie or that there is a vampire running around the city.

Recent episodes of Castle can be watched online at the ABC website.  I think they usually show up there a day after they air.  From when I looked before, the website will only have an episode available to watch for a limited amount of time. 

Monday, October 6, 2014

The Big Bang Theory Season 8 Episode 4 - The Hook-Up Reverberation

Season 8 of The Big Bang Theory is continuing well after a good start with the premiere.  The fourth episode just aired.  It is another fun, entertaining episode overall, though a few slightly serious things do come up once or twice.  

As usual, there are spoilers, so read at your own risk if you haven’t seen the episode yet.

Raj finally brings his girlfriend Emily over to the apartment to meet everyone.  It seems like she has a problem with Penny immediately even though she agrees to meet so Penny can practice her sales talk for her new job.  Things don’t go well when Penny goes to Emily’s office to practice.  It seems Emily does have a problem with Penny and it goes back to her almost having sex with Raj several years ago.  Howard is still having issues with Stuart living with his mom - evidently she signed up for HBO, something she never did for Howard, and bought fancier toilet paper.  The guys, when visiting another comic book store, miss Stuart’s store and start talking about the possibility of investing so he can reopen.

Emily has been good for Raj and she seems nice, so it was a little odd to see her act the way she did toward Penny.  Things do get discussed and seem better briefly, but then something indicates that they aren’t liking each other.  I’m not sure how I feel about this development at this point.  If it doesn’t come up all the time, then it more than likely won’t bother me.  If it comes up a lot, it will probably get a little annoying to me.  I never did like that a drunk Penny ended up in bed with Raj even though not much really happened, so I was less than pleased for that to be brought up again.  As part of thinking of investing in the comic book store, Leonard, Howard, and even Sheldon discuss the subject with Penny, Bernadette, and Amy, with each having a different reaction. 

I was intrigued by the idea of the guys investing in the comic book store and I liked that Stuart was around again.  He seems to have a lot of problems, but I like him.  He’s entertaining when he shows up.  I also love what is going on with him living with Howard’s mom and how Howard is flipping out about it.  There was another very funny conversation between the two of them when Howard claims that his mom’s house is his and that he is welcome to drop in any time he wants.  You can see Howard struggling to stay calm at Stuart’s comeback to that. 

Penny's hair didn't look as bad to me in this episode.  It almost seemed like it was slightly longer than it was in the first episodes.  I still don't like it, but that is a minor thing that isn't preventing me from enjoying the show.

Overall, I thought this was another fun, entertaining episode that touched on a few slightly serious things.  I like that something is going on related to Stuart and the comic bookstore.  I absolutely love that Stuart is still living with Howard’s mom and how much that irritates Howard. 

The first three episodes of season 8 are available online at the CBS website.  I think they usually show up a day after they originally air.  I'm not sure if the episodes are available through any of the streaming services. 

Bones Season 10 Episode 2

After the season premiere of Bones, I was irritated and annoyed by the show again to the point that I wasn’t sure I was going to watch the second episode as it aired.  I ultimately decided to watch it, mostly because there wasn’t anything else on at that time I wanted to watch.  Once The Big Bang Theory goes back to Thursdays, Bones will wait on the DVR. 

I will be mentioning things that will be spoilers for previous episodes of Bones, especially the season 10 premiere.  You have been warned, so read at your own risk.

Everyone is still trying to deal with the death of Sweets.  Booth is in a full on guilt mode, blaming himself since Sweets was doing something to try to help clear Booth when he was killed.  The team is very focused on trying to figure out who the ultimate bad guy is.  Daisy is there as well, saying that helping the investigation will help her.  They manage to uncover more evidence tied to the conspiracy.  The person who actually killed Sweets - but not the person behind it all - is found dead from when Sweets was able to shoot him with rats crawling all over him.  More of the evidence starts to tie back in to J. Edgar Hoover and what he was up to when he was in charge of the FBI.  By the end of the episode, they have decided that the conspiracy does go back to things Hoover did, including secret files, that were passed down to the step father of the person behind the current problems.  There was an exhibit at the Jeffersonian of Hoover’s office and the real files that link to all the real crimes are actually in the exhibit.

I don’t know much about Hoover, though I have heard that he kept secret files on a lot of people, so the idea that his files were passed down to someone else kind of makes sense.  At the same time, it seems entirely too convenient for the whole mess to tie back to Hoover, never mind that all the proof was right there in the Jeffersonian the whole time.  Once again, the writers tried to set up something big with a long story arc only to have it fall incredibly flat.  I even though to myself after it was over, “That’s it?”.  It just isn’t working for me.  I think there are a few little loose threads hanging as well.  They didn’t identify any current FBI agent as being dirty or at least as being blackmailed into doing stuff by the bad guy.  It seems like with certain things that happened - the team sent to kill Booth in the finale and then Booth being framed for murder - had to have a current FBI agent involved to pull off.  It just doesn’t really make sense, but the characters were acting like everything was all resolved and tied up with a neat bow.

Sweets being murdered added absolutely nothing to this story.  There was an attempt to tug at the heartstrings early on when Christine walked out talking about Uncle Sweets and Daisy taking her to the park or something.  We don’t see Temperance and Booth try to tell Christine that he is dead, but it is strongly implied that is what will happen when the scene ends.  All the murder has done is set stuff up for Booth to be guilty and basically be Mr. Grumpy.  I just have a feeling that he will be having more outbursts and just be, well, grumpy, throughout this season.  I get that he would have issues tied to everything that has happened, but I don’t have a lot of faith that the writers will deal with it properly.  Given what they have done before, I could see them just having him moody and grumpy until he snaps and shoots another clown or something. 

I don’t care for how this story has played out at all.  I didn’t have high expectations because of how prior longer stories have been done, but I was still irritated and disappointed.  I really don’t want to see Booth racked with guilt for the rest of the season.  It would make sense for him to deal with that for a little while, however, the Bones writers have shown in the past that they like to drag something on and on and on well past when the story stops working.  I am glad that there is at least some closure to all this conspiracy stuff, though I won’t be surprised if they decide to bring up something tied to it again at some point.

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Criminal Minds and Stalker Make for Creepy Viewing

I have watched Criminals Minds from the beginning for the most part, though I have missed some episodes here and there over the years.  That show in particular can creep me out more than any other because of the nature of the crimes that are part of the stories.  There are times when I’m not in the mood for that type of show.  I have been known to follow watching it with very silly comedy or even a cartoon or two.  For the last few years, CSI has been on after Criminal Minds but that has changed.  CSI is now on Sunday nights and a new show, Stalker, follows Criminal Minds.  It was just about as creepy as Criminal Minds.

There are potential spoilers ahead, for both Criminal Minds and Stalker

At the end of the last season’s finale, the newest member of the BAU team, Alex Blake decided to leave the team.  That particular case seemed to really get to her, so I wasn’t surprised that she decided to leave the team.  The promos for the episode said that someone would be leaving forever, so I was slightly concerned that someone would be killed off before seeing the episode. 

I’m not sure how much time was supposed to have passed since the finale, but both Reid and Morgan were fully recovered from the injuries they sustained.  Kate Callahan, an agent the team has worked with before at some point, becomes the newest member.  The team heads off to work on a new case while time is also taken to show what looks like a regular family.  Then we see that the husband/dad has severed body parts hidden in the house.  It isn’t long before he is arrested, with more limbs in his car.  He claims he just bought the limbs and didn’t kill anyone to get them.  As the investigation continues, the team discovers he was telling the truth while the audience sees a young woman being held against her will by a very creepy looking guy.  It seems like he is the person who sold the limbs to the first suspect.  The young woman is able to get away, after losing an arm, just as the team is arriving.  They believe that they have captured the person responsible for the disappearance of several young women, though Kate does raise a few questions.  The last bit of the episode shows another woman runner being kidnapped and then someone looking at some sort of website where it looks like women are sold to the highest bidder.  It seems like the show is setting up another ongoing major villain.

When I first saw promos for Stalker, I wasn’t planning to watch it.  Somehow, I didn’t hear that CSI was moved to Sunday nights and that Stalker would be on after Criminal Minds.  I really just didn’t change the channel after Criminal Minds since there wasn’t anything else I wanted to watch on at that time.  I’m not sure what I think of the show yet or if I will watch more.  It seems like there is some potential there, but it has to be handled correctly.

Within the first few minutes a beautiful young woman is confronted by her stalker.  Things don’t go well and it ends with him setting her vehicle on fire with her inside.  That has clearly escalated beyond stalking.  Later we see Jack Larson, a new detective joining the special stalking unit with the Los Angeles police department led by Beth Davis.  She is not happy with Jack at first, something that doesn’t improve when he cracks a few stupid jokes.  Another pretty young woman is doused in gas in an elevator, but she manages to get away.  In addition to that case, Beth is also trying to help a male college student who says his former roommate is stalking him.  The roommate is from a wealthy family, which makes it even harder to deal with.  They discover two men had been working together to stalk both women, though one of them turned far more violent and wanted to burn the women alive for some reason.  I honestly can’t remember if a reason for that was given.

A little bit comes out about both Beth and Jack during the episode.  It seems very obvious that Beth was a stalking victim sometime in her past.  She has a ritual every night at home, going around checking all the window locks and closing the sheer curtains before activating an alarm system.  It does seem like she wants to help people being stalked, though sometimes she goes too far.  She takes matters into her own hands with the rich young college student stalker, actually attacking him and then telling him that she can lie so much better than he can.  It sort of looks by the end of the episode like the stalker is becoming fixated on her.  She also tends to wear somewhat inappropriate clothing for work - low cut bouses - and then gets an attitude if someone notices.  While I am not saying that a woman is asking for trouble if she wears low cut, tight, or revealing in some way clothes, there are things that just aren’t appropriate to wear to work.  I probably wouldn’t have paid much attention to that, but the writers made a point to make a big deal out of it by having Jack talk about it.

Jack has not been truthful about why he wanted to move from the other side of the country and join the unit.  Taking the job was an excuse for him to be able to move to Los Angels and once again be near an ex - I’m not sure if it is an ex-girlfriend or ex-wife - Amanda and the child he believes is his son.  He didn’t attempt to call the ex and talk to her about seeing the child or anything.  He just skulks around the boy’s school, watching.  At one point, he did take pictures from a distance as well.  So John is basically a stalker himself.  Amanda spots him and tracks him down to confront him, telling him to stay away.  Nothing is shared to indicate that Amanda just disappeared with Jack’s son or anything like that.  While I can get that he wants to see the child - though it seems like it is questionable if it is his son or not - the way he goes about it makes it very hard, if not impossible, to have any sympathy for his situation. 

Criminal Minds was creepy like normal, which is what I expect from the show.  Kate seems to fit the team well so far.  With Stalker, I’m not sure what I think just yet.  The two main characters both have issues that make them harder to like.  The show has some potential along with the issues.  I’ll keep watching for now.  The pilot episodes can be different in some ways from how the show ends up being after a few episodes.