TV Blur (10/20/12)

The TV Blur is the weekly post where I will recap the television shows that I watched.

Note: This post contains spoilers!

Boardwalk Empire – “You’d Be Surprised”

Surprisingly, there wasn’t much to be surprised about. Nucky is still wrapped around Billie’s finger and pushes his weight around to get her play rejuvenated after it was pretty much dead. Also, Nucky and Rothstein share a heated conversation over how Gyp Rosetti has control of Tabor Heights. This leads to an attempted assassination, but we knew that Rosetti wouldn’t go down that easily. Meanwhile, George Muller has his “wife” convinced he’s a good man who had to run away from bad men. Incidentally, she beats a man half to death thinking he was one of those bad men. Finally, Margaret is still going on with her business at the hospital and Gillian won’t admit that Jimmy is dead.

The stare after the attempted assassination of Gyp when he looks at the dead paper boy gives you all the reason to know he realizes who ordered the hit on him. That being said, you can bet an all out war is on the horizon. Here’s a thought, if Nucky wanted Rosetti dead, why not just hire Richard Harrow to do it? Maybe I just want one of my favorite characters back on the show, but out of everyone he’s proven to be a stud in killing. Aside from that great scene, the whole Van Alden/Muller story-line stole the episode. He now has a body to dispose of and went to Dean O’Bannion. You just know things are going to get a bit whacky with him. I’m still not a fan of the Margaret or Gillian story-line, and as for Nucky and Billie, I really don’t understand why he’s jumping through hoops for her (they haven’t shown any reason for it yet). Half the season over, and this is more a Season One set-up than a Season Two action.

The Walking Dead – “Seed”

Season 3 premiered with our group of survivors beating down zombies and scavenging for food. They’ve been on the road ever since the farm house was invaded and finally catch a break when they arrive as a prison. After mowing down zombies left and right, they make their way inside and sleep in cells. But as they explore more of the prison, Hershel is bit and Rick chops off his leg to keep him alive. Brutal.

You can sense that this group has overcome most their Season 2 drama: Hershel and his farm, Carol losing Sophia, Rick protecting Carl. Now they’re a zombie-killing unit without much to live for other than Lori’s pregnancy. The episode simply displayed how unhappy the group is, but even though they might be hopeless, they’re still going on. Meanwhile, we see some more of Michonne, the black woman with a sword and two armless zombies on chains. She’s caring for Andrea who has become sick and weak on the trek to stay alive away from the group. Even though they haven’t explained Michonne at all yet, I am intrigued and cannot wait to find out more about her character.

I’m usually not a fan of the drama that unfolds in The Walking Dead, but I must admit that the scene where Lori is talking to Hershel about her worries. If everyone has the virus, what if the baby dies while still in her stomach? Will it turn into a zombie and tear her apart from the inside? That’s quite a thought, though I’m not exactly opposed to this happening since Lori gets on my nerves more times than not. Anyway, the episode ends with the discovery of a few humans living in the prison. We’ll find out what their deal is in the next episode.

Homeland – “State of Independence”

Carrie writes a report and is excited to debrief the crew later that night, but is turned down by Estes who clarifies that she’s not being reinstated. Disappointed and upset, Carrie attempts suicide by swallowing a handful of pills with wine, but quickly reconsiders and vomits them up. Meanwhile, Brody promises Jessica to make a speech at her fundraiser, but has to pick up the tailor who crafted his suicide vest and drop him off at a safe house since the CIA has acquired intelligence leading to him. This becomes problematic as Brody gets a flat tire and after a stop at a gas station, the tailor runs away. Brody catches the tailor and tackles him, unfortunately the tailor is wounded from a stake sticking up from the ground. Under the stress of Jessica on the phone, Brody kills the tailor and later buries him. Finally, Saul arrives at Carrie’s door to personally deliver the video of Brody.

The final minute of this episode came with a huge sigh of relief. It was a struggle watching Carrie beat herself up over being wrong about Brody, but to finally see her say, “I was right” made every Homeland fan breathe easier. I also have to mention the brilliance of Claire Danes in her attempted-suicide scene (a second Emmy is on the way). As for Brody, I’m wondering how many hoops he’s going to have to jump through for Roya and Abu Nazir until he’s fed up with everything. It seems that every additional thing he’s asked to do is pushing him further away from staying with the plan. As for Jessica, she’s been put through a lot since Brody’s return and gave a great speech in place of Brody. Wonder how far things would’ve got between her and Mike if they ever had that nightcap. I guess we’ll never know.

How I Met Your Mother – “Who Wants to Be a Godparent?”

Marshall and Lily spend their first night away from the baby with their friends, but when they ask what’s new with them the friends remember they requested stories of only an 8-or-above in importance. This results in the friends telling Marshall and Lily that everything is great, when they actually aren’t. Marshall and Lily later begin discussing who they would designate godparent for Marvin in case they both die. To determine which friend they would choose, Marshall and Lily make them compete in a game show-like competition. After the game, the group and the parents are split with what they consider important. Marshall and Lily come around after realizing they don’t know a thing about their friends anymore. The episode concludes with Marshall and Lily revoking their request to only hear 8-or-above stories and decide to have all three of their best friends as godparents.

HIMYM is still looking at gimmicks and stand-alone episodes to save their terrible start to the Eighth Season. The episode barely had any comedy and instead, dealt with the difficulties that friends go through when someone has a child. The scene when the group argues comes off as mean and vicious, something HIMYM usually avoids at all costs. Overall, the episode was uneven and this stems from revolving it around Marshall and Lily, the two worst characters on the show.

Revolution – “Soul Train”

The group catches up with Captain Neville and while they prepare to rescue Danny, Nora plans to bomb the train. The episode flashes back to the day of the blackout for Captain Neville. He gets fired from his office job and is portrayed as a loving, family man with a son. But he has a dangerous side to him, shown as he takes his frustration out on his punching bag and then later as he kills his neighbor who tried to rob him. Back to the present, the train departs so Miles and Charlie boards the train to save Danny. Nora is stabbed by a man from the Resistance for having second thoughts about bombing the train. Miles disposes of the bomb but they’re unable to rescue Danny. The train reaches the base where Monroe and Rachel are. When she sees her son, she informs Monroe with a drawing of a pendant that there are twelve of them out in the world and they’re key to restoring power. The episode ends as Captain Neville hugs his wife and then Nate is revealed as Captain Neville’s son, Jason.

Since the pilot, this was the strongest episode of the season. It had timely action sequences and an insight to Captain Neville’s past, which was very well done. But continuing with Revolution’s flaws, every time they try to surprise the audience with a mind-blowing revelation, they fall short. It was no surprise to me that Nate was Captain Neville’s son, nor was I surprised that Rachel informed Monroe about the pendant. It would be wiser to avoid this type of narrative altogether, or at least presenting these scenes in the middle of the episode. The risk of keeping these things at the very end is that if it doesn’t actually surprise the audience, it’s considered a weak and unsatisfying ending, which causes a drop in viewership. As of right now, Revolution isn’t doing as good a job as other new shows like Nashville and Last Resort to keep my interest peaked, but I’m going to stay with it until at least the half-way mark.

Ben and Kate – “21st Birthday”

Kate hasn’t had the crazy birthday party she deserves since she had her daughter, so Ben decides to throw her a surprise party. Kate spends most of her night with her old friend Molly, who is still up to partying all night long, drinking heavily, taking drugs, and clubbing to pick up guys. Kate realizes that’s not her idea of having fun anymore. Also, Tommy and Kate get a bit closer when he admits he’s mad at Maddie for a bet she never paid to him that he was going to use to take Kate out on a date. Meanwhile, Ben finds out that Darcy moved into her parents’ house with her husband, adding salt in the wound that Ben still wishes to be with her. BJ defends Ben in front of Darcy and the episode concludes with everyone, including Maddie, at the ice cream shop celebrating Kate’s birthday the way she wanted.

This show continues its impressive beginning run balancing sentiment with comedy. This episode separated Ben and Kate for the most part, but showed that it could still work. Putting Ben and BJ together proved to be hilarious as the two craziest characters tried to steal a tree in Darcy’s backyard. Having Kate and Tommy together in the other story-line brought out a sincere sweetness to their future story-line. But just like every episode thus far, the show will leave you with a smile on your face.

The Office – “Work Bus”

There’s a strong reading of EMF in the office and Jim attempts to prank Dwight to grant Pam (and everyone else in the office) a week off to repair the dangerous levels. The plan backfires when Dwight presents the staff a work bus, providing them a cramp work space. Jim wants to do something great for Pam since she was so supportive about his new job plans, but Dwight keeps derailing his plans. Dwight reveals that he thinks the EMF made him infertile because he wasn’t the father of Angela’s baby. Jim cheers him up admitting he’s sort of the father to the entire office, resulting in Dwight driving the bus to the pie stand. Meanwhile, Nellie asks Andy to sign her application letter to adopt a baby. At first, he’s harsh but has a change of heart (thanks to Erinn) and signs the letter.

The episode was pretty complex for The Office, one that doesn’t fair well as a stand-alone episode. Without knowing the characters’ past such as Jim hiding his future plans, Dwight’s affair with Angela, etc., all the important story-lines are lost. That being said, it was a more effective episode for fans of the series. I still don’t like the Andy-Nellie feud but hopefully that could be put to rest soon.

Parks and Recreation – “Sex Education”

Leslie attempts to education the senior citizens about sex education after they realize the seniors are more sexually active than ever, spreading sexually transmitted diseases. But it’s actually against the law to educate anyone in Pawnee other than abstinence. Meanwhile, Tom is sentenced to spend a week without any electronic devices after crashing his car while tweeting. In DC, Ben and April meet their boss, Congressman David Murray, who the suspect to be a robot because of his machine-like routines.

While I wasn’t a fan of Tom’s story-line, it did a good job at poking fun at the current generation of social media addiction. There’s no doubt that more than a handful of Parks and Rec fans nodded along to Tom’s daily routine of checking Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram in the morning then moving onto Reddit. Leslie did what she does best, fighting for the good of the people in Pawnee against ridiculous laws. Her and Ann had good exchanges, but the funniest parts were the seniors responding to Leslie’s session.

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