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Wednesday, 3 of March of 2021

Archives from author » noel

Justified – “Truth and Consequences”

“I think a snake bit him.”

Justified TitlecardLES: It was another fun episode of Justified last night that saw a lot of characters in their elements—Raylan’s back to making “get out of town” ultimatums, Boyd’s calling out his rivals in grandstanding fashion, and Art got be alternatively supportive and patronizing of the fuck-ups who populate his office. We inched forward on the plot of Drew Thompson by learning the FBI has a vested interest in him as a material witness, a move that furthers my hope from last week that Stephen Toblowsky’s Agent Barkley will be back soon to bluster at Raylan’s antics. And the opening was probably the closest Justified has ever come to horror, as I was legitimately on edge both in the scene where Boyd tries to buy Cassie off and the follow-up where poor Jimmy is assaulted by the residents of Billy’s herpetarium. (The latter leading to some hauntingly hard to watch moments.)

However, I do think that this is the weakest episode of the season yet, for a couple of reasons. The first being that it felt like more of a place-setting episode as opposed to a dynamic one, where a lot of elements are set up that we know will pay off in the future. Johnny meets up with Wynn Duffy to discuss the possibility of betraying Boyd, but there’s no real movement and none of the moments that make Wynn such a special character to watch. There are a couple instances of Rachel showing job fatigue*, but they all are on the fringes of the action and (again) feel like giving the character something to do, rather than setting up a character arc. And of course, Lindsey runs off with Randall and Raylan’s bankroll for the closing scene, setting up an obvious showdown next week or the week after. Certainly every show needs to get the ball rolling, but this was one where I could very clearly see the strings and the “act one” trappings of events.

*How wonderful was that interaction between Rachel, Art and Raylan? “How many times has Wyatt Earp done the same thing?” “Well, he’s a lost cause.” Raylan looks offended.

My second issue is that I’m also a little concerned about one of the reveals, the fact that Drew Thompson is on the run for witnessing Theo Tonin murder a federal witness. It seems more than a little coincidental that the same man who sent Robert Quarles into Harlan last season to get him out of the way is also the same man who was tied to a body falling from the sky 30 years ago into the same county. I certainly don’t have a problem if the show wants to bring Adam Arkin back in some capacity because Adam Arkin is terrific both in front of and behind the camera, but to tie him into this case feels like a wholly inorganic way to do so. We set up in the final episodes of last season that Duffy was trying to pitch Tonin on taking over Quarles’ proposed Oxy operation, and I think it’s entirely reasonable he could take credit for Quarles’ death and become as much Detroit’s man as the Dixie Mafia’s, which would further draw Tonin into Raylan’s orbit. This reveal seems to be forcing him into the story, and—sadly—has killed some of my initial investment in the season’s mystery.

Thoughts?

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Justified – “Where’s Waldo?”

“I thought we were a circle.”

Justified TitlecardThis week on the Justified roundtable, it’s more on the bag in the wall as season-long mystery and a case-of-the-week instigator, whether or not Raylan could cut it as a exotic dancer, and how much we all love Art. Seriously. Art’s the best.

LES: Well, it’s the second week of Justified, and what a week it’s been. Raylan, Arlo and Tim went on the trail of the Waldo Truth ID and crossed paths with a true white trash family, in a move that led to Raylan having to disarm a 13-year-old boy. Raylan learned that his bartending friend-with-benefits Lindsey not only has an ex-husband, but one who’s a bare-knuckle fighter capable of taking down two men without breaking a sweat. Ellen May fled the confines of Audrey’s for the Last Chance Salvation church, leading to a fantastic preach-off between Boyd and Billy. And we saw the return of some wonderfully familiar Justified faces, as Sheriff Shelby tried to draw the boundaries of his relationship with Boyd and Wynn Duffy showed up in Harlan, no longer overshadowed by Quarles and able to give free reign to his own sadistic impulses. (The latter gave us the episode’s best line: “But I don’t even trust the way you just now said I could trust you.”) Read more »


The Good Wife – “Je Ne Sais What?”

“This guy’s obsessed with Rambo. Does anyone even watch that anymore?”

The Good Wife Title Card s3I say things and they happen.

Last week, I said that L/G needed to hand off Eli to another lawyer, preferably Elsbeth, to handle the DOJ investigation happening, and whamo! I should ask for other things to happen. Tell me what to ask for you in the comments, otherwise I’ll use my powers for evil (like asking for David Lee to only appear in Gilbert & Sullivan garb).

After a lot of booms (see what I did there?) in the previous episode, “Je Ne Sais What?” is a much lighter episode, and we’re all the better for it, really. There’s plenty of (easy) humor, and a bit of advancement on the political campaign, making it just the right sort of episode before we enter the back half of the season. Read more »


Justified – “Hole in the Wall”

Justified TitlecardInstead of regular reviews for Justified, Cory Barker from TV Surveillance and This Was Television suggested doing a Justified roundtable, similiar to what he had done with Les Chappell and Andy Daglas during Mad Men, and I get to be included this time (though Andy is too busy to join in this week)! We’ll host the roundtable here at Monsters, so check back each week for thoughts on the latest episode from the fourth season of Justified.

Up first is the premiere of season four, “Hole in the Wall.” Raylan becomes a bounty hunter to make some quick cash (even though it’s against Kentucky law for him to do so), Boyd and Ava deal with the pains of growing a criminal enterprise but an old friend has arrived to help, and Rachel just sits at her desk. BECAUSE THAT’S WHAT RACHEL DOES APPARENTLY.

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The Good Wife – “Boom De Ya Da”

“No one disappears. They all come back. Like zombies.”

The Good Wife Title Card s3

First: I want to apologize for the lack of The Good Wife posts as the season wound down. Sundays and Mondays just got hectic for me, TV writing-wise, and it just receded as the week went on. Those issues have been removed from the time equation, so I should be back with the show for the time being. Know that I generally liked each episode, though I feel like the series is starting to gorge  itself on guest stars (“A Defense of Marriage” was practically bursting at the gills). I have nothing to say about the “resolution” of the Kalinda and Nick storyline since, well, without seeing Nick’s body being dumped into a plastic barrel of hydrofluoric acid, Breaking Bad-style, I refuse to believe that he’s really gone.

Second: All of the feelings about this episode. And all of the thoughts. And all of the thoughts and all of the feelings are in serious conflict with one another. Read more »


The Good Wife – “The Art of War”

“It’s still crap.”

The Good Wife Title Card s3First, apologies for no review for “Waiting for the Knock” from last week. Between paid writing and trying not to get sick (and then actually getting sick), I just didn’t have the opportunity to write about the episode. Here’s a micro-review: Clarke is the most awesome to ever awesome, Cary’s hoodie was hawt, and if Dylan had hung onto Lemond any longer, I would’ve been sniffling about a drug dealer and his son. Also: Two folks from The Wire stopped by, again, so that was cool. Also also: Cary’s hoodie, guys.

And now onto “The Art of War.”

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The Good Wife – “Don’t Haze Me, Bro”

I’m of two minds about “Don’t Haze Me, Bro.”

The Good Wife Title Card s3On the one side, there is no Nick storyline. HUZZAH. (Sadly, he’s back for the next two episodes.) And it was a very funny episode.

On the other side, the case of the week was something of an afterthought (though it had John Glover, who is always a delight). And some of the humor turned out not to be that funny.

Oh, and despite all the mounting evidence, someone is bound and determined to demolish Peter’s run for governor with this campaign worker scandal.  Are we getting played for saps? Read more »


The Good Wife – “Two Girls, One Code”

“You’ve been paranoid for so long that you don’t recognize when someone is on your side.”

The Good Wife Title Card s3As you may or may not be aware, I work for a Web site. And since I work for a Web site that has high-profile corporate sponsors, we’re constantly concerned about search engine optimization, or SEO. It was to my delight, then, to see a court case about how a search engine, in this case Chum Hum (owned by returning Web 2.0 nemesis/caricature Neil Gross), was potentially (and likely) gaming search results by tweaking its search algorithm. It’s something we talk about at work about every week in regards to Google Panda, their algorithm.

So perhaps I responded more strongly to the court case than others may have (it’s actually a really important thing to highlight, and I’ll get to that), but the rest of the episode offers lots of good stuff if the case’s search engine intricacies weren’t your cup of tea.

And, you know, the dramatic dead end that is the Kalinda-Nick thing. Oy. Read more »


Young Justice – “Darkest”

“I believe I have outgrown the name Aqualad. And anything resembling regret.”

YJInvasionTitleCardPardon me while I try not to get my hopes up too much.

Probably for the first time since “Usual Suspects” did I really enjoy and legitimately like an episode of Young Justice. I mean, sure, there’s the Mal-Karen thing in Ivy Town, but it was just more of a narrative contrivance that didn’t do much to undermine the otherwise strong episode that legitimately raises the stakes of the invasion storyline (even though I still think it’s pretty of muddled as a whole). Read more »


The Good Wife – “And the Law Won”

“What was that? Suddenly I’ve got Columbo on the jury?”

The Good Wife Title Card s3For the record, I had no idea that Maddie Hayward, Maura Tierney’s character who debuted in this episode, was going to just keep the feminist ball rolling this week, and make it even more explicit.

While last week’s review was a sort of a large, over-arching, “here’s an idea I’m having, let’s talk about it” sort of post, this week’s will be a bit more nuts-and-bolts, and more focus on the episode than the broad overview I gave the premiere. If anything, hopefully, this will convince people at Television Without Pity that my response to the Kalinda plot last week was not due to me hating her (which seemed to be common take-away, oddly, and ignoring the parallels I was attempting to draw). Read more »