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Wednesday, 21 of August of 2019

Tag » Season Finale

The Good Wife – “The Dream Team”

“They tried to flip it, but they didn’t put any work into it.”

The Good Wife Title Card s3Nothing ever dies, nothing ever goes away. Things can be forgiven, but they can never be forgotten. So, yes, you may keep defeating two crafty lawyers time after time, Lockhart-Gardner, but they never forget the defeats. Yes, the grand jury didn’t indict anyone, and the SA didn’t bother to try again, but the stink of judicial bribery will always be there, Will. Yes, you can run from your past, from your husband and live in a spartan, all white apartment, but he will find you, Kalinda. And, yes, Alicia, you can kick out your husband and he will fall on his sword for your professional success, but the marriage will never be fixed because neither of you seemed to really make an effort.

So no matter what you think about new days and starting over, the past is there, always lingering, always waiting for you to stop looking over your shoulder. Read more »


Young Justice – “Auld Acquaintance”

“Cold-hard science, and a little misdirection, and now you champions of stagnation have become our agents of change.”

Young Justice Title CardI’m letting the first season finale of Young Justice (don’t worry, the season 2 premiere is next week, in a prime example of the silly programming practices that mark kids program scheduling) off the hook a bit since the episode that preceded it have been good. This episode, on the other hand, is kind of a lacking, and feels more like an epilogue than a finale to the season.

And it’s not only the kind of “Meh” approach to the season’s previous events that the episode attempts to conclude, but that that the major throwdown between heroes and their sidekicks isn’t as exciting as it may have been (though, understandably so from a narrative standpoint since the team is outnumbered and outgunned (BUT THEY’VE ALSO TAKEN DOWN AMAZO).

Oh, and there’s more Roy silliness. Read more »


Being Human – “It’s My Party and I’ll Die If I Want To”

“The easiest person to hate right now is you.”

 

Aidan, held by the Dutch, watches Suren's last moments.

"This was my worst idea since those chops in the '70s. Maybe even that mustache in the '20s. I can't be trusted with facial hair."

The best times on this show are the morning roundtables. Aidan sucks down blood from a coffee mug like a cup of joe. Josh rifles through the paper and eats breakfast as the only patron of the house who eats his food with a fork or spoon. Sally kicks up on the counter or in one of the chairs, watching the corporeal exist. They laugh, they chide, they discuss the things in their lives as if those things only ever happened to them.

And this good humor between monsters was the point of Aidan and Josh moving into the house in the first place: to have a corner of the world away from the horror of their other-worldly existences where they can commune with their inner human. While last season included only minor intrusions on that happy home (Rebecca’s occasional appearances, Josh’s maker hanging out), the season one finale obliterated their home’s hide-and-seek base quality.

Bishop’s flaming charge into unwelcome turf shattered a window and shattered their beautiful dream. This season has marked several instances where their domestic pursuit has been tread upon, maimed, bled, and haunted. If the first season was about protecting their home from the truth of their natures, this second season has been about exposing the fantasy as impossible when the house is infested with repressed nightmares.

The house has become more nest than home. But, by the end of this season finale, we see the house as more happy than it has been in some time.

Read more »


Justified – “Slaughterhouse”

“He didn’t know it was a state trooper. He just saw a man in a hat pointing a gun at Boyd.”

Justified TitlecardI fully intended to write about Justified on a week-to-week basis after I mainlined the series just before the season began. For one reason or another, I never got around to writing a post about it (though I think I started one or two). After a few stalled weeks, I simply decided to wait until the season ended and took it as  a whole.

A fair amount of digital ink has already been spilled about this season, and not just in weekly episode reviews. James Poniewozik at TIME, Todd VanDerWerff at the LA Times, and Ryan McGee have all chimed in about the quality of this season, noticeably focusing on the show’s odd qualities and the struggle to reach similar heights in season 2 linked to Margo Martindale’s Mags Bennett.

I think it’s fair to say that this episode allowed the full weight of the season’s thematic heft to land very soundly on us. Not only was the season concerned about filling vacuums and crossing lines, but it  became the paternal side of last season’s maternal emphasis: What does a father mean? Read more »


Pretty Little Liars – “unmAsked”

“Guys, I don’t trust Melissa as far as I can throw her and Ian’s fetus.”

Spencer stands in Room 2 at the Lost Woods hotel.

Spencer is appalled by the content but loves the organization.

This episode is everything that is wrong with Pretty Little Liars and possibly everything that is wrong with America.

I don’t expect much from this show. I like it. I wouldn’t admit that to my dude friends (except this is on the internet — hi, dude friends) but I do watch this every week instead of catching up on Justified. It exists within a bubble of camp and camp is something that can only be enjoyed experientially. Have you ever tried to describe the plot of a B-movie to someone that doesn’t enjoy camp? It’s like explaining how to pierce your knuckles. Why would you do that to yourself? You watch a show about high school drama that’s already annoying then heightened to a hyperbolic level by a phantom, omniscient villain who always wears black gloves, even when eating, and terrorizes through text and shadowy secret-telling? Forget it, bring on the knuckle-piercers.

And, somehow, I’ve continued to watch, even enjoy, Pretty Little Liars because it knows what it is and even pokes fun at itself. Within this melodrama that moonlights as a thriller, there’s a thread of intelligence (not from the characters — they’re all nearly simple) in the storytelling.

Except for this season finale. But, lucky for them (and us), they padded their crappy tale-spinning with actual advancement and real information. By the end of the episode, you really feel like you got somewhere.

Let me warn you now before you move on that there will be spoilers. Because how can we talk about how foolish this all is if we don’t discuss the actual events we had to suffer through?

Read more »


Chuck vs My Heart Strings: A Reflection

“Tell me our story.”

Sarah and Chuck talk about their lives together on the beach.

"Does it bother you that, even though we're the stars of this show, Baldwin's going to be the one they demand at Comic-Con?"


I’m not sure I prepared enough. I knew that I was going to watch the final episode of Chuck live (because, basically, the windows deal for the final season, which left episodes off Hulu, NBC.com, and the WB site) made me. But I didn’t get enough of the essentials to celebrate the end of this series. Sizzling Shrimp and (even if it wasn’t for drinking) Rombauer Chardonnay made their absence felt. I didn’t even get a fast-food sausage or a PinkBerry knock-off.

Snacking through a wake aside, the one thing I did make sure of was to watch this finale alone. Watching it live meant that I wouldn’t be able to rewind, to pause, to walk away (no DVR). I was going to have to stare at this series finale until it was over, commercial breaks being my only respite. I was subject to the whims of this show’s authors, ones that have notoriously (if inconsistently) taken advantage of me emotionally. But I was of two minds approaching the final episode of Chuck.

One was recollecting all the times this show has manipulated my inside feelings with neo-folk soundtracks, a guy debating the same things I debate since we’re of the same age, and a hopelessly romantic (if far-fetched) storyline. The other part of me couldn’t trust this show, not just because of the manipulation but also I didn’t know what to expect because the last three seasons have been so inconsistent (at times, straight up betraying). Even in the episodes leading up to the two-hour finale, I really liked the third-to-last episode but rolled my eyes at the penultimate one. It’s not like I was worried about them tying up loose ends but I was worried that the ending would be so sickly sweet that my inherent cynicism would pile up in my throat and choke any sentimentality I could feel for the show.

So I sat down to watch it, gastronomically unprepared but maybe emotionally over-prepared. After knowing this would be the last season NBC/WB could, in good conscience, support, would this series come up big in the end or did they muster up just enough disappointment to say “screw you” to me one last time? Read more »


Breaking Bad – “Face Off”

“I musta saw it on House or somethin’.”

Breaking Bad title card
I sat still for a long time after the episode ended. Not blankly, not cursing the skies for ending this season of Breaking Bad and making me wait months and months for it to begin again. Not really any desire at all. Actually, just a furrowed brow.

Noel remarked last week that the penultimate episode was a little boring by Breaking Bad standards. The cliffhanger aspect wasn’t as demanding and reveals weren’t as gasp-worthy. That’s how I feel about this episode for the most part. Other than the ethical obstacles Walter obliterates in “Face Off,” the finale kind of tied itself into a nice bow. Okay, it’s a sloppy bow but — instead of feeling like I’m dangling off the edge of a mountainface, I kind of feel like I’m staring at the danger from a safe distance.

That’s a weird metaphor. Let me explain. Read more »


Game of Thrones – “Fire and Blood”

I’ll not sit meekly by and wait for the snows.”

Robb hitting a tree as Catelyn approaches

That tree never did anything to you, Robb.

This was pretty standard for a season finale. Admittedly, the season reached a climax at the end of last week so it’s only to be expected that the finale essentially ties up its one big loose end (Daenerys) and then spends the rest of the episode putting the pieces where they need to be when the next season starts. It’s essentially season 2, episode 00.

And there’s nothing wrong with that at all. Indeed, this first season really feels more like prologue to whatever is to come after, and probably should be treated as such. But it’s not very good, even as a prologue. The first half failed  to make connections between sexposition sequences and the larger narrative world, leaving me feeling talked at and without a sense of what was at stake here. The second half tried to pay off some of that, and while I enjoyed the last five hours more then the first five, I didn’t know why I needed to care who was on the Iron Throne.

And I still don’t. Read more »


House – “Moving On”

“I’m making changes.”

House gives Cuddy back her hairbrush.

This is what Huddy closure should look like: House in a final dramatic gesture to Cuddy's horror. So sweet.

Let me tell you why this was a good episode of House and it’s probably not for the reasons you think.

It’s not because of the structure of the narrative. In season finales past we’ve seen so many different ways for them to break the formula, some great (season 4) and some not so great (season 6). By comparison to those episodes, this one is pretty straight-forward. Yeah, we have interviews with Cuddy and Wilson that set up the last five minutes but nothing like Amber in the bus accident. Really, if it weren’t for the extremity of those five minutes, it would probably line up with anything else this season.

That very well might have been the intention, to keep it in line with most of the rest of the season. For most of the hour, it doesn’t even feel like a season finale of any show, let alone one in the rich tradition of this particular series. It’s kind of a rope-a-dope. But again, not for the reason many people think.

It’s not what actually happens at the end that makes this episode very good. It’s what it means. And it means a lot of things: breaking through, connection, finally getting on the other side of things after walling everyone out. But, most importantly to me, it means that all that Psych 101 Wilson, the Ducklings, and Cuddy communicate through is just as much crap as I think it is. With a single action, House looks around at everyone that claims to be the foremost experts in all things Gregory and says, “Don’t pretend like you know me.” And that is why this episode is special.

But let’s stop beating around the bush.

Read more »


The Good Wife – “Closing Arguments”

It’s nothing. I’m over-worrying it.

That wasn’t so bad, was it? Okay, yes, I wasn’t thrilled with the plot development at the end, but at least the promos allowed that rage to happen before watching the episode, and the sequence was remarkably well-filmed, so it does soften the blow a bit.

On the whole, the episode is pretty strong. Unlike the previous two episodes, the episodes feels nicely balanced. The lack of the political subplot has allowed the show’s soapier elements to come forward, and not necessarily in the best possible ways. Here, however, the political subplot comes in to fill some gaps, and thus gives the episode a nice sense of closure (even if I still have some niggling plot threads dangling). Read more »