Friday, November 21, 2014
Overall, I have been very happy with season seven of Castle, especially with episode six. I really enjoyed Once Upon a Time in the West, the seventh episode of the season. It is another fun, entertaining episode.
Like usual, there are spoilers ahead for people who haven’t seen the episode yet. Read at your own risk.
Rick and Kate have Lanie, Esposito, and Ryan over the loft and tell them they got married. The three are a bit upset, especially when Martha goes on about how perfect it was, even saying you should have been there. Lanie goes off on Kate briefly, talking about not eating carbs for months so she would fit in her dress, and then she hugs Kate in happiness while pushing Rick away. The guys hold on to their disappoint, saying they had plans for the wedding, including a song, and now there is no song for Rick, not even at the reception/party that will be coming up. Kate gets a call about a new murder, and Ryan and Esposito refuse to go, saying that is another call they didn’t get.
At the hospital, they discover that the victim got sick on the subway, was taken to the hospital, said diamondback just before she died and she had been poisoned. At the precinct, Ryan and Esposito discover that the woman had just been at Diamondback Dude Ranch. Kate contacts the local sheriff who says he can’t do anything with any concrete proof and he’s unwilling to go to the ranch to ask questions since the ranch brings in a lot of tourists to the area. Kate is aggravated, but thinks there is nothing else she can do. Then Rick comes up with the idea that he and Kate should go to the ranch and honeymooners to investigate. Surprisingly, Gates agrees with Rick, so the two head off to the ranch. Rick thinks they might as well try to have some fun too since they won’t be able to take an actual honeymoon for a while because Kate used her vacation days looking for him when he was missing.
Rick is having fun from the moment they get to the ranch while Kate is trying to focus on finding out what happened to the victim. They do some shopping, getting some western clothes and Rick wants to get guns, but Kate says they need to head to their room - she managed to talk their way into them getting the same room as the victim. They talk to the guy in the room next door who also shares the bathroom and learn some things about the victim, including that she may have been involved with a married ranch staff member. Rick comes up with a way for them to try to figure out which staff member by them doing various activities around the ranch. He of course goes for the poker game in the saloon while signing Kate up for something like calf or hog roping. They learn that the victim had been asking a lot of questions and they keep hearing about lost gold.
Back in New York, the guys are working on the case as well, while continuing to whine about not being at the wedding. Rick and Kate go looking for the lost gold, with Rick tracking trash through a field instead of tracks. They find what Rick thinks is the treasure, only to discover a dead body instead. There is a suspect in New York, though he turns out not to be the killer. When Rick is drinking with the owner of the ranch, he gets a call from the guys. They figured out that the owner of the ranch is the killer and Kate isn’t answering her phone. Rick and the guy almost get into a shoot out, but Kate arrives to deal with the situation just in time. At the precinct, the guys are still complaining about not being at the wedding when Gates decides that she has had enough of that. She points out that real friends would just be happy for their friends, especially when they have been through as much as Rick and Kate have. The important thing is that Rick and Kate are happy and married. The guys see the light and follow through on an idea from Gates and each give a few of their vacation days to Kate so she and Rick can have a short honeymoon. They are staying at the ranch for those days, but Kate gets a promise of a real honeymoon for sometime later.
This is another fun, entertaining episode that I really enjoyed. Yes it does get a little silly a few times, but it works for the episode and makes it more entertaining in my opinion. The case is interesting and it serves as a way to give Rick and Kate at least a short honeymoon, which is nice. I’m not the biggest fan of westerns, but the western theme works well here. The episode does use some of the cliches of the genre, like shootouts and someone shooting a gun out of someone else’s hand. Those things all worked to make the episode more fun and entertaining. Castle has done other episodes sort of like this and those episodes also did the same thing. I tend to like these type of theme episodes.
Once Upon a Time in the West is very closely tied to the last episode, well, at least the ending of the last episode. It isn’t said for sure, but I don’t think much time has passed since Rick and Kate got married and the beginning of this one when they are telling Lanie, Esposito, and Ryan. I got the impression that Rick and Kate weren’t home that long before getting them to the loft to tell them. It is clear that they are happy to share their news. I get why the three were disappointed or even upset at first. I think Lanie was the best, with how she sort of told Kate off, and then was hugging her and happy for her friend in less than a minute. The guys held on to their issues longer, and while some of that was amusing at first, like when Rick just hands his wallet over to them when they say he owes them for the tux rentals, but it got old for me when they wouldn’t drop it. Even when calling Kate about the case, they brought it up again. They were being childish and it got old for me fast. I was very glad when Gates decided to have a talk with them and I agree with everything she said.
Overall, I really enjoyed Once Upon a Time in the West and think it is one of the more entertaining episodes for this season of Castle. The next episode looks like it will be one of the more serious episodes.
Once Upon a Time in the West is available to watch on the ABC website and other streaming services. I think it is also available through ABC On Demand.
Castle Season 7 Recaps/Reviews
Driven ~ Montreal ~ Clear and Present Danger ~ Child's Play ~ Meme is Murder ~ The Time of Our Lives ~
Monday, November 17, 2014
The Septum Deviation, episode nine of season eight of The Big Bang Theory, is another fun, entertaining episode overall that also touches on something more serious.
Like usual, there will be spoilers for people who haven’t watched yet so read at your own risk.
Leonard arrives home with Penny after having gone to the doctor about his breathing problems - trouble breathing, lots of sinus infections, and snoring. It turns out he has a deviated septum. When Leonard mentions that he is having surgery to fix it the next week, Sheldon does not react well and thinks it is a very bad idea even though he has complained about Leonard’s snoring for years. Sheldon now claims he won’t be able to sleep without hearing Leonard snore. Sheldon is also freaking out a bit and is convinced that Leonard will die in surgery. Sheldon has even done research and discovered that one in 700,000 die from general anesthesia.
Sheldon keeps obsessing, all but guaranteeing that Leonard will die because of math that he has done. Since he won’t stop it, Leonard and Penny try to cover up the surgery, telling Sheldon they are going swimming. Sheldon finds out while Amy is driving him to work by badgering her until she tells him. He wants to go to Leonard - so he can be at Leonard’s bedside when he is dying to say “I told you so.” He makes a point of calling Penny a liar before wanting to talk about Leonard’s funeral preparations. When there is a small earthquake and the lights go out in the waiting room, Sheldon insists he is going to check on Leonard and no one can stop him. He was sort of right - a glass door that wouldn’t open stopped him. At home, Sheldon and Leonard have matching bandages - Sheldon broke his nose on the door - and Penny finds it funny. Sheldon is still annoyed that Leonard had the surgery.
Raj is trying to figure out what to get his parents for their fortieth anniversary. He is shocked when he learns they are splitting up when he dad calls to say he is moving out. Raj acts all right at first, but then breaks down. Later, Howard and Bernadette stop by Raj’s office to try to cheer him up and end up making nasty cracks to each other about their parents. That evening Bernadette talks about how she doesn’t want her and Howard to end up like Raj’s parents. They start sharing things they like about each other before it spirals out of control into a sort of passive aggressive type argument before Raj arrives for dinner.
The last little bit of the episode is at least a few days later - the bandages are much smaller - and Sheldon has received something he ordered before Leonard’s surgery. He bought matching engraved urns for himself and Leonard. The one for Leonard says that he thought he was right but he was wrong and it was his roommate that was right. Sheldon’s says “I’m with stupid.”
At the very end, after the credits and a promo for another CBS show, there is a very nice tribute to Carol Ann Susi, the actress who provided the voice for Mrs. Wolowitz who passed away a few days before the episode originally aired. Mrs. Wolowitz isn’t mentioned at all in this episode, but that isn’t exactly unusual. There have been many other episodes where she wasn’t in or mentioned. I haven’t heard how the writers plan to deal with this in the show yet.
It is funny, as well as a bit sweet, to see Sheldon worrying and fretting so much about Leonard having surgery, though he goes way, way overboard about it. I get being worried about someone having surgery, no matter how minor because, well, it is surgery. I haven’t dealt with the best when my mom had a knee replacement or her gall bladder removed - though there were some extra complications with the gall bladder surgery that added to the stress of the situation. I did, while alone, have small meltdowns each time, but then I was fine. I didn’t obsess over every tiny thing that could go wrong like Sheldon did, though that does seem believable for him. I do get why Leonard and Penny tried to keep the surgery from Sheldon as well. It was really funny when Sheldon ran into the door at the hospital.
The other storyline going on in the episode is tied to Raj learning that his parents are splitting up just before their anniversary. This part of the episode stays more serious. It has been a while since we have seen them talking to Raj with some kind of video chat. There have been hints in at least one or two of their most recent video chats that things are not happy between them, so their separation isn’t exactly a surprise. Raj seems all right at first, which makes sense since he’s even made remarks about their marriage before, though he does have a bit of a meltdown. Later in the episode, he is better about it while Howard and Bernadette end up having an argument about their marriage. Some of what came out has come up before - like how Howard won’t do anything around the apartment - and there were a few new things as well. It is good that they sort of discussed those things, but nothing is really settled.
Probably the coolest thing that came up in the episode is when Howard was telling Raj how he found a fencing school that gives lightsaber lessons. Unfortunately, that was at the time that Raj learned about his parents, so he couldn’t properly appreciate it.
The Septum Deviation is another fun, entertaining episode of The Big Bang Theory. It will be interesting to see if more comes out about Raj’s parents, and if he and Howard follow up on the lightsaber fencing.
The episode is available at the CBS website and through various streaming services.
The Big Bang Theory Season 8 Recaps/Reviews
The Locomotion Interruption and The Junior Professor Solution ~ The First Pitch Insufficiency ~ The Hook-up Reverberation ~ The Focus Attenuation ~ The Expedition Approximation ~ The Misinterpretation Agitation ~ The Prom Equivalency ~
Tuesday, November 11, 2014
After having to wait an extra week, Castle fans finally got the episode we have been waiting for, The Time of Our Lives. Overall, I am very, very happy with the episode.
There are spoilers ahead, so beware if you haven’t watched the episode yet. You have been warned. Read at your own risk.
First, before I get into anything else, I want to clear up one thing. The wedding does really happen. It is not a dream or something in an alternate world. It happens. It is beautiful and wonderful. I will go into more detail with that in a bit.
The episode begins by showing a man riding in the back of a vehicle with a briefcase handcuffed to his wrist. He seems a bit nervous, and it turns out he has reason to be. His car is ambushed, he and the driver are killed, and the killer uses a rather unpleasant method of getting the briefcase.
At the loft, Kate is putting together breakfast when Rick joins her in the kitchen. He hasn’t been able to sleep the last few nights for some reason. Martha is considering whether she should audition for a new play. He sees that Kate had gotten an invitation to Will Sorenson’s wedding and that gets the two of them having short talk about how they would be different if they hadn’t met. Kate then gets a call about a murder and they head off. The victim is the man that was ambushed. Rick notices something that makes him think an abandoned coal plant might be involved and he convinces Kate to stop there to check it out.
On the way inside the plant, Rick asks Kate if she wants to go to Will’s wedding and she says she isn’t ready to see someone else’s perfect day, something that clearly upsets Rick. Inside they find evidence that seems connected to the murder including some kind of amulet that Rick picks up. Some kind of alarm goes off, alerting the bad guys that they are there. There is an explosion, Rick is thrown through a door, falls through it or jumps through it as an odd light washes over him. When he gets up, Kate and all evidence that anything was going on there is gone. He rushes back to the 12th, telling Ryan and Esposito that Kate is in trouble. They call out the captain, who is Kate and she says she has never met Rick before.
Rick is surprised but tries to convince everyone that he knows them. He knows things about a current crime scene, which raises suspicion so they take him into interrogation. Kate eventually goes into interrogation and mentions wild things that Rick has done, like jumping onto a float during the Macy’s Thanksgiving parade and singing a duet of Let it Go - he would never sing a duet of that song. She wants to know when they met, and he mentioned the book party six years before when she had short hair that was cute. Kate says that didn’t happen and that a different detective contacted Rick about the murder that was similar to his book. Rick did help with that case, but he didn’t continue to work with the police and never wrote the Nikki Heat books.
Rick ends up calling Martha to pick him up and is surprised to see her signing autographs in the precinct. Her career has done very well on the stage and she is in final preparations for a revival of Mame. Rick is in for even more shocks when they get back to the loft. Since Martha co owns the loft - that happened after Rick lost most of his money - she went a bit wild in the decorating department. Alexis is home for a few days to see the opening of Mame. She moved to California three years before and dyed her hair black and she and Rick don’t have a great relationship. When he can’t make himself wake up, Rick decides he is in some alternate world and sets out to find a way back home. Rick manages to talk his way into observing Ryan and Esposito - mostly in exchange for good seats to Mame. Ryan is a huge Martha fan. Rick tries to find the amulet again but manages to get himself in trouble with the guys and Kate and he is kicked out. Rick is persistent though, and he sneaks his way through the precinct to watch another interrogation, only to be caught and thrown into holding. Kate shows up and lets him out, saying she doesn’t want to do the paperwork. She also admits that they met years before at a book signing.
Rick returns to the precinct again, and he asks Kate out for a drink. She accepts and shares that she isn’t sure that being a detective was the right job for her since she never solved the case that set in down that career path to begin with. They are able to catch a suspect that closes the case, though the amulet is still missing and they don’t know the whole story. Kate is satisfied but Rick isn’t. That night Rick and Alexis talk, with her sharing that when he gave up on writing after a badly received book, she felt like what she isn’t making a difference either and that she shouldn’t bother anymore. He tells her that everything matters, which makes him determined to get through to Kate. The next morning he picks up coffee to take only, only to be taken at gunpoint.
One of the bad guys takes Rick back to the factory. Marcus Lark, a wealthy man, has the amulet and believes that Rick is from an alternate world and wants to know how the amulet works. He is less than pleased when Rick says he doesn’t know how it works. Kate shows up just in time to save Rick. Then another armed person shows up, and Rick jumps in front of Kate, saving her from being shot. Kate asks why he did that and he says it was because he loved her. The medallion activates again, sending Rick home. He wakes up to Kate wanting to know if he is all right. Once he sees the engagement ring, he knows he is back home. Rick tells Kate about what he went through before saying it helped him figure out a few things, including why he hadn’t been able to sleep the last few days. It is because they didn’t get their wedding day. He thinks they are ready now and he asks Kate to marry him now.
They head to the Hamptons with Martha, Alexis, and Jim (Kate’s dad) and have a ceremony outside at sunset. Kate has a new outfit that is different than I expected but fits her. I am almost 100% sure that she is wearing the earrings that Martha gave her the last time. Their vows are sweet and beautiful. The episode ends with Jim, Martha, and Alexis drinking champagne while Rick and Kate dance to a song he plays on his cell phone with Kate proclaiming it to be perfect.
Like I mentioned earlier, I wasn’t completely sure what to expect from the alternate world type of story. I first read a little bit about that a few months ago I think it was. At that point, there was basically no information shared other than it would be an alternate world story and I thought it sounded interesting. Then I saw the first preview, at the end of the fifth episode, along with another short clip that had the story idea making less sense to me at that point. I think the story ended up working well. It was entertaining and interesting to see the different versions of characters - some more different than others. Kate was definitely successful in her career, but had no personal life and didn’t seem to have much in the way of happiness. She even doubted her job choice because she hadn’t been able to solve her mother’s murder. Kevin and Jenny’s relationship fell apart after he and Javier had to work longer hours when Kate was promoted. Javier and Lanie still have a history, but things went wrong there too and they didn’t work it back out. Rick’s reaction when he saw a very pregnant Lanie walk through the precinct was rather funny. Javier seems to have some lingering issues about the former relationship as well. Seeing the different version of Kate - either in a dream or alternate world - along with hearing about himself did make Rick realize a few important things.
There was a good amount of build up to Rick and Kate getting married last season in Castle. I was fine with that at the time, along with their decision to have a big wedding that seemed to just keep getting bigger. Then the finale happened which, as far as I am concerned, screwed up the wedding. They were minutes away from it when Rick is run off the road and the episode ended. I still have not watched that episode again. I really do not like it for multiple reasons, including some that have nothing to do with the non wedding. I am now referring to that episode as The Episode That Shall Not Be Named. I have also had issues with the first few episodes of this season, but I have been liking the season overall. I am very happy with The Time of Our Lives, but I still don’t like The Episode That Shall Not Be Named. Honestly, I don’t know that I ever will like that episode, but it didn’t drive me away from the show.
There was speculation online even before the new season began about when the wedding would be. Many people have thought that it would happen in the sixth episode for a few reasons, including the fact that Terri Edda Miller wrote the episode. She is married to the creator of the show and one of the producers. I wasn’t sure what to think when I first heard about this episode having some kind of alternate world story, especially once it became more clear that the wedding would be in this episode. The few previews that came out - it seemed like there were fewer clips and pictures released this time - just confused me more. I was still looking forward to the episode though. I was a bit anxious while watching as things unfolded even though I knew the wedding was supposed to be coming. There were several call backs to moments in earlier episodes, though I may have missed some since I was a bit distracted waiting for the wedding.
All along, I didn’t care if Rick and Kate a big, huge, extravagant wedding or something smaller. I tried not to have many expectations for the wedding and I did well, until the last week before The Episode That Shall Not Be Named aired. Some of the promotional things at that point really built up the wedding, so my expectations grew. And then it didn’t happen. Even if I had kept my expectations more under control, I still would have been annoyed by how the episode ended. Last season, as they discussed the wedding plans a bit here and there, it did seem to be growing a bit out of control. I definitely remember Kate saying at one point that she didn’t want a huge guest list and Rick agreed, but the guest list grew and grew until it reached several hundred. I wasn’t crazy about Kate’s first dress and I loved her mother’s dress that she was wearing when everything went straight to you know where. The creator and new show runner both said in interviews over the summer that a wedding was still coming. I still wanted to see a wedding of course, but I kept the expectations down. Yes I did get very happy and even excited when I watched a short interview with Nathan done on set and I spotted him wearing a wedding ring, but I still kept my expectations under control. That is probably part of why I am so very happy with the episode overall now. I have watched the episode again already, and the wedding specifically many, many times. The rewind feature of my DVR got a work out. I honestly don’t know how many times I backed it up to watch again last night. I will more than likely be watching that part of the episode again tonight.
I was not expecting the entire episode to be focused on the wedding or even most of it. Really, I just wanted to see the wedding, no matter how long or short it was. The wedding is short, taking place in the last five minutes or so of the episode. I am not the least bit disappointed that the wedding wasn’t longer. What we got was sweet, beautiful and perfect. I like that only Jim, Martha and Alexis were there. Yes it would have been nice if Kevin, Jenny, Lanie, and Javier had been there, but I’m not upset or disappointed that they weren’t. I actually think that if more people had been there - even if only those four - it would have lost something and it wouldn’t have been as perfect. It would have been nice if Jim had gotten at least one line, but that is a minor thing for me. Hopefully there will be some extended or deleted scenes on the season seven DVD release.
Before watching the episode, I wasn’t sure where the wedding would take place, though I had a few ideas. I didn’t think they would go to the Hamptons again because of the mess that happened last time, but it works and I like that they went there. I do think that shot of the house was pulled from Murder He Wrote, the season five episode when they spent the weekend there, with the background adjusted with effects. I remember reading before that the location for that house was very, very expensive, so I don’t think they really went back there. I think the shot was reused, and the actual ceremony, set outside on the grounds, was on a set with green screen. At first, the sunset does look odd and even a bit unnatural. On rewatch, I didn’t even notice it. Filming on set also allowed them to keep any pictures from leaking before they were ready to release something.
Rick and Kate both look so happy during the entire ceremony part of the episode. Kate wears a white pants outfit that is different but works for her. It is a simple, elegant look which fits her perfectly. I did like her mother’s dress, but I get why she didn’t wear it again. Their vows are touching, beautiful, and absolutely perfect for them. I love when Rick called Kate Mrs. Castle and how they started to dance while the others were drinking champagne. It was a very sweet moment between Rick and Kate, especially when she says that it was perfect. When she says that, Rick gets such a happy look on his face.
I am very, very happy with The Time of Our Lives overall. The alternate world story is interesting and entertaining and the wedding is beautiful, touching, and perfect. Yes they could have devoted more time to the wedding, but I honestly don’t think it could have been any better than this. Last year, Booth and Brennan got married on Bones and most of the episode was focused on the wedding in some way. There were nice moments in the episode, but once it was over, I was left thinking is that it? I haven’t felt that way at all with The Time of Our Lives at all.
The episode is available online at the ABC website as well as other streaming services.
Season 7 Castle Episode Recap/Reviews
Driven ~ Montreal ~ Clear and Present Danger ~ Child's Play ~ Meme is Murder ~
Friday, November 7, 2014
The newest episode of The Big Bang Theory, The Prom Equivalency is the eighth of season eight, is another fun, entertaining episode that also has a surprising development.
As usual, there are spoilers ahead, so read at your own risk.
Howard is a bit upset to hear that his mother Debbie and Stuart were at Beninhana the night before even though he says he is all right. It doesn’t help that Raj says that once they got back to the house - Stuart is still living there - they probably put on matching pajamas.
Amy and Bernadette arrive for an evening at Penny’s. The living room is full of clothes because Penny had to make room for her new work clothes in her closet. They start talking about proms after Amy and Bernadette see Penny’s prom dress. Penny actually went six proms and enjoyed them. Amy was on the clean up crew for her prom, and only danced with a mop. Bernadette had a date, but he only went with her because he was trying to get to her friend. Bernadette says how she thinks it would be cool if they had their own prom now by getting the guys to dress up in tuxes and decorate the roof. Amy likes the idea too, though Penny is less interested. She comes around when Leonard says that he would like it.
Bernadette is happy that everyone is coming, including Stuart who is bringing a date. Howard flips out some about that, thinking that Stuart is bringing his mother. Howard decides to call him, and then is upset when Stuart says he is bringing someone else. Sheldon is less than pleased about the idea of going to a prom. In high school, he spent his time studying - though he was also younger than his classmates since he graduated so early. He decides to talk to Penny about it since he knows she isn’t as into the idea either. His idea for getting through the evening is to pretend that he’s an alien that is taking part in a human ritual to learn about humans. Penny doesn’t want to do that. She does ask Sheldon if he will be taking part in any post prom mating rituals.
On the night of their prom, Sheldon kind of freaks out after seeing Amy in her dress. He runs back into the apartment while Penny and Leonard head to the roof and start to enjoy their evening. Raj, Emily, Howard, and Bernadette are in a limo going to pick up Stuart and his date. Howard is shocked and upset to see that it is his second cousin Jeanie. Yes, that second cousin. Howard is also upset by the fact that Raj starts talking about the incident and it only gets worse when Emily says that she already knows because Raj told her ages ago. Howard is not dealing well and things devolve to the point where he and Stuart start fighting in the car. Emily is having a great time. Amy goes to check on Sheldon and he talks about all the pressure he is feeling tied to this prom and how it is more than he can deal with. Amy says she wasn’t putting pressure on him for anything and she just wanted to have a nice evening. Sheldon then says something incredibly shocking that I absolutely did not expect.
I really enjoyed this episode and thought it was very fun and entertaining. The prom do over is only main story in this episode, though a few subplots do come up. Overall, I think the idea of them doing their own prom on the roof is sweet and fun. There are a few really nice, even sweet moments with some of the characters that come about because of the prom. It is completely believable that Penny went to multiple proms and made out with the football captain at one of them. I think Amy and Bernadette’s prom experiences are completely believable too. It was fun to see Bernadette so excited about something since her mean side has been out more in recent episodes. Amy gets to show a slightly different side as well with dressing up. It may seem a little silly to some people, but I think it makes an entertaining episode.
It is interesting that there is a bit more about Howard’s cousin Jeanie who has only been mentioned a few times, usually when one of the other guys is teasing Howard. I still find it funny how Howard is dealing, or really not dealing with - Stuart living with Debbie and their strangely developing relationship. Things are not fully normal there, but Howard’s relationship with Debbie isn’t exactly normal either. I find it very interesting to see Howard more and more crazy about Stuart and Debbie. I just find it very funny. It is clear that Debbie sees Stuart as a surrogate son with what we have seen. She was probably a bit lonely after Howard moved out even though he was still going over there somewhat often for various reasons. At the very end of the episode, Stuart gets a call from Debbie and immediately has to leave, something that use to happen to Howard. Howard and Stuart getting into what is basically a brawl in the back of a limo is hilarious. There is another development in Amy and Sheldon’s relationship that is very surprising. It isn’t a bad thing and it is progress, but it is surprising.
The Prom Equivalency is a very fun, entertaining and somewhat surprising episode of The Big Bang Theory. Fans of the show should definitely enjoy it.