All Along The Watchtower

films . videos . television

Thursday, March 23, 2006

Wednesday Night Round-Up

Lost: The Whole Truth
I was really worried for a while last night that Lost was going to pull out a miracle baby plotline. Yeah, that plotline worked sooooooooo well on the last two seasons of The X-Files. That storyline in no way drug down and buried a once great show and no, I'm not still bitter about it.

I've never really been a huge fan of the Sun and Jin storyline. I don't find it quite as compelling or interesting as discovering more about Locke or Hurley or Kate (though part of the yearning to find out more about Kate is..well, we get more screen time with Kate. Always a good thing in my book). And the thing is, we didn't really learn anything new about the characters that we hadn't already known before. Pre-island life, Sun was going to leave Jin and her family and move to America. She was taking lessons in English with the guy whose father owned the hotel that Jin served as a doorman for. Jin was working hard in Sun's father business to be worthy of Jin, but in doing so, we was selling out his soul and losing Sun. He gained and lost everything in that one decision. Oh yeah--and he could kind of be a jackass, which we see in the scenes at the fertility doctor when Jin goes ballastic, saying Sun knew that she couldn't have children before they married and didn't tell him. Her response of--yeah, that was my plan to marry below my perceived social status really stung.

So, we didn't really learn much new here, except that we have to assume Sun is still lying on one small detail about who the real father of her child is. Jin chooses to jump to the conclusion that it's his by some kind of miracle and Sun lets him think that, not volunteering that she was still seeing the son of the hotel king behind his back. I wonder if this truth will ever come to light. I don't see a lot of DNA tests on the island to confirm or deny this. Though maybe Sawyer has one of those kits where you swab the inside of the mouth of the kid and alleged father to determine the biological father than I hear advertising on the radio from time to time. Heaven knows, they have everything else the plot needs when it's required.

As much as I wasn't thrilled by the backstory of Sun and Jin on the island, the scenes on the island actually worked. Jin's admission that he's isolated with Sun and needs her to relate to everyone was great, as was the scene where we see his point of of view with Sawyer and Bernard talking. Also, Jin's attempts to keep Sun safe by destroying her garden and then later rebuilding it were nicely done. I wonder if now Jin will have Sun try to teach him to speak and understand English so he can relate to those on the island. It would be a terrible tragedy is Sun were to die (as we've heard another cast member may die by season's end) and Jin were left isolated, never really able to fully communicate with the rest of the island community.

Speaking of the island community, that's where all the action was taking place this week. Henry Gale continues to work his Cigarette Smoking Man mojo on everyone he comes in contact with. His whole--well, I am not playing games, but if I was, I'd do exactly what I've been doing what a nice moment. Really, the whole episode came down to the last five minutes when you suddenly felt things starting to move and shift in interesting ways--just in time for the credits to roll and us to groan that we have to wait until next week to find out where it all goes. The Henry is playing Locke and Jack is fascinating and to see him sit in front of both of them and basically admit it to them was a nice touch.

Also, I found it interesting that Sayid has moved beyond hating Anna Lucia and wants to transfer that hatred to the Others. He blames them for Shannon's death now and is hoping deep down Henry is an Other so he can extract a pound of flesh from Gale for the death of Shannon. And it's interesting to hear Anna Lucia apologize for the death of Shannon to to see Sayid's reaction. Meanwhile, Charlie is still a rogue figure, doing whatever it takes to win back into the good graces of the community. Or is he? Is it just a game he's playing to set up an elaborate revenge on Locke? Seems that Charlie's main motivation may be making Locke look foolish, as he stated a few episodes ago.

Finally, was I the only one who when they saw Daniel Dae Kim and Sam Anderson together on the beach, didn't have a quick flashback and wonder if they'd talk about ways Wolfram and Hart was using Darla to get at Angel? (If you don't get that...you missed season two of Angel, where Dae Kim and Anderson played evil lawyers in Wolfram and Hart, the law firm that antagonized Angel).

Veronica Mars: The Quick and the Wed

Wow...how long was that recap? Did anyone else get the feeling this was an episode designed to come back after a long hiatus and not last week's?

I think we covered ever base and every on-going plotthread on the show with the recap. Not that I didn't appreicate the catch-up and I think UPN is smart to give new audience members as much of a catch-up as possible, but wow...it was long. I also have to wonder--did the producers pull a fast one and put a few red herrings into the recap just to throw us off the trail.

Interestingly enough, the real meat of this episode wasn't the case Veronica was investigating. Usually, these storylines tie into the central plots in some way, but this one felt like more a stretch than usual. Bride-to-be runs off to meet up with former boyfriend who needed a friend to talk to about a bad time in his life. Oh yeah, seems fiancee was partying a bit too hearty at his bachelor party and she's a bit miffed. She decides to go through with the wedding to make him break it off so she can keep the ring. She was ready to give it back had the groom broken it off but when he hired a P.I. to set her up, she decided to take the scorched earth policy. Yeah, it's interesting and it keeps Veronica busy, but it doesn't necessarily add much to the overall big picture.

Speaking of the big picture, the mayor is once again conspicious in his absence. We really, really need him to come back on screen at some point and I cannot believe for a second that Steve Guttenberg is TOO busy to squeeze in Veronica Mars between trying out for the Surreal Life and hoping for a guest spot on Hollywood Squares.

The more interesting plots were those surrounding the people who come into the Echols family sphere of influence. Aaron sits in prison, shouting his innocence and saying there are no tapes that show he was with Lilly. He throws suspicion back on Duncan and is saying he'll never get a fair trial. He's then approached by Kendall who teases him through the prison glass in an attempt to get to the Echols family fortune. Seems that Kendall has to only go to the one source she's already got wrapped around her finger--Logan.

Meanwhile, Logan is continuing to try and clear his name and keep from serving jail time. He's offered a plea bargain and refuses. His campaign to get rid of the one witness against him continues with Heidi. Logan plays the entire situation--sending e-mails from mom to dad that they found condoms in Heidi's room. Also, the entire dynamic of Logan and Heidi's discussion about having sex changes over the course of the story. From what started as kind of one of those jokes between a couple, suddenly becomes more when Heidi seems to decide to sleep with Logan as some weird way to prove her parents wrong about Logan. And we get the impression that Logan took advantage of Heidi. In the end, he comes to Veronica for help, saying he's done something he shouldn't have. I wonder if it's that he slept with Heidi or if it's that he actually developed real feelings for her and realizes now that he has to break her heart and his or go to jail. Interesting development, but I bet Veronica will have next to no sympathy for him either way.

And I will agree with what I read elsewhere--how did Terrance Cook get to San Fran so quickly and why was he breaking into a house?

South Park: Life Without Chef
"We shouldn't be mad at Chef for leaving us. We should be mad at that fruity little club for scrambling his brains."

One of the great things about South Park is because of the animation process used to create the shows, episodes can be extremely topical. We had the whole satire of the Florida hanging chads a few years ago and last season we led off with a satire of the response to Hurricane Katrina. This year, we lead off with a skewering of the entire situation with Issac Hayes' abrupt departure from the show because South Park satirized Scientology. Matt Parker and Trey Stone quickly put togther an epiosde in which Chef returns to South Park, having been brain washed by the Super Adventure Club. In case you didn't figure it out, the Super Adventure Club is a thinly veiled parody of Scientology--even including a disclaimer at one point "No really...this is what these people believe."

I will admit this one made me laugh--a lot. Recyling and pasting together old dialogue from Chef was genius. And the entire plotline of taking Chef to a strip club to save him was a riot. And then the creation of Darth Chef at the end...classic.

The whole episode was great. But I have a feeling the Scientoligsts out there may take great offense to it since it's poking fun at them yet again. I've never seen a religion that can't take a bit of satire or criticism less than Scientology. But that's another post.

I am sure this episode will repeat (unless Tom Cruise finds out about it that is) during the week. If you missed it, I recommend it. One of the funnier things I've seen in a while and you have to respect the genius of Parker and Stone. They are able to consistently turn out episodes that are both funny and topical on short notice.

2 Comments:

At 8:11 AM, Anonymous Kelly said...

Yes we watched this one last night and wow! Definitely one of the funniest South Park shows I've seen in a long time! I still can't believe he left over that though while all these years he was getting paid well to make fun of other religions. Oh well.

 
At 8:56 AM, Blogger Scooter said...

This episode of Veronica Mars was ment to come off a long hiatus as the last one was pulled and postponed until last week.

Apperently Hannah hasn't made much of a impression on you yet as you forgot her name. I believe Heidi was the name of the run-away bride.

As for Scientologist not having a sense of humor, no religons do, Jews were mad at the SNL sketch, Muslims are pissed about the cartoon debackle, and Christians are always boycotting the entertainment business.

 

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