On the D/L

Apr 15, 2014 | Posted by in TV

On time this week, long may it continue

Family Guy – Season 12 Episode 16 – “Herpe, The Love Sore”

Another strong entry this week, Family Guy definitely seems to be rediscovering the magic that people enjoyed so much in earlier episodes.

The main story this week involves Stewie deciding that he wants to be blood brothers with Bryan which causes him to contract herpes. Turns out Brian’s had it all along which makes sense given his questionable relationship history. This gives us some great STD fueled humour as Stewie comes to terms with this ailment and tries to get revenge in hilarious ways.

Peter, Joe and Quagmire fill out the B-Plot where they are bullied into vacating their favourite booth at the Drunken Clam and consequently become cowards. The jokes that surround this cowardice are top notch, I love that everyone is picking on Peter because he appears weak and that nobody respects Joe and Quagmire for the same reasons.

Highlights of the episode include a joke where Bryan Cranston gets handing an award for sneezing, a reference to the ever changing status quo of who can understand Stewie and reminders that Brian is a dog and therefore behaves like one sometimes. Overall a funny effort.

Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D – Season 1 Episode 17 – “Turn, Turn, Turn”

So here we are, a few days after the release of Captain America: The Winter Soldier in the U.S.A we have an episode of a TV show spoiling the major twists from that movie. I have to say that I don’t really have an issue with that personally, I’ve seen the film and know what happens plus I like when things are interconnected. I do appreciate that the time gap between the release of the film and the airing of this episode is not huge and that fans of this show who just didn’t get the time to go to the cinema at that weekend will be faced with a significant spoiler. Also, there’s no way that the events of the film couldn’t have an impact on this show.

As for the episode itself, it did some things really well and other things terribly. The writing just isn’t smart enough to convey the deep seeded mistrust that’s going on between these people. We have several scenes of the characters testing each other to try and gauge their loyalties but ultimately I didn’t really feel that these tests were in any way conclusive. I get that they were in a desperate combat situation and had to make these decisions on the fly but I was far from convinced. There was some progress on the Ward and Skye coupling but I just don’t see them as a couple. They have little to no chemistry and it seems to me that the show had completely forgotten about it after the first few episodes.

I thought that the episode did a nice job of tying into the film, it was interesting to see the perspective of other parts of S.H.I.E.L.D dealing with the crisis and where it all fits in on a larger scale. There were some good character moments such as Coulson being at a complete loss when everything has fallen apart around him and the guest characters Victoria Hand, Agent Triplett and Agent Garrett were all great to see. I’m also impressed by how little Fitz and Simmons annoy me of late, I like that the show separates them and is trying to develop them independently of one another. We finally find out who The Clairvoyant is in this episode but honestly, if it had turned out to be me then it would have made about as much sense.

To avoid spoiling it all I’m keeping this shorter and vague because it’ll not only spoil the episode but the movie too, in summary I thought the episode was interesting and will hopefully lead to a much more interesting show when the dust settles and the drive ahead with their new status quo.

The 100 – Season 1 Episode 4 – “Murphy’s Law”

Grim is definitely a word I would associate with this episode, that’s not in a bad way at all though. By the beginning of this episode the group are aware of Wells’ murder but are quick to blame it on the illusive grounders. It’s not until Jasper and Octavia discover his dismembered fingers as well as a knife that is identified as belonging to Murphy. What happens next is what you might expect given this highly strung crowd – they immediately hurl accusations at Murphy and threaten capital punishment. This is a very complex issue and the show actually treats it as such.

In a bit of a surprise, Charlotte feels guilty with all the talk of killing Murphy and owns up to the fact that it was her that killed Wells. There’s a particularly great moment when Bellamy is told that it was an interpretation of the advice he gave her. Bellamy is much more rounded in this episode in general as he begins to realise the consequences of the things that he’s doing, hopefully this is taking him down the route to being a more mature leader.

Charlotte’s story is very well handled in this episode, I really like that Murphy pointed out the inherent hypocrisy when people were so quick to suggest killing him but are hesitant to do the same to Charlotte, sure she’s far younger but she still willfully committed murder. It’s perfectly in character for Clarke to defend Charlotte as she believes that killing anyone is wrong but there’s a nice moment when she refuses to let Charlotte hold her hand, she believes in what is right but still condemns her for her actions, it was a subtle and effective moment and worked nicely.

The resolution of Charlotte’s story was completely unexpected and I would even say shocking. Her suicide to save Clarke’s life was a noble sacrifice for someone who had done something irredeemable but it seems like kind of the easy way out for the show. The murder and subsequent suicide will have ramifications for this show in the future but I can’t help but think there was more to be mined from Charlotte’s actions, perhaps if they’d saved the reveal for another episode or so then they could have done more with her.

Murphy’s banishment from the camp might seem a little harsh given that he was nearly hanged for a crime he didn’t commit but I can also see the logic behind it. I like that Clarke and Bellamy are the joint leaders of the group now because Clarke will bring some welcome morality to everyone – something that we see that Bellamy agrees with in some way.

The furthering of The Ark story was interesting, the growing desperation is apparent and we get to see something of a clandestine side to society there with black market trading. I’m looking forward to seeing more of Nigel in the coming episodes. There’s also a resolution to Abby and Raven’s story as they set off for the surface after all of the armband signals disappears which happens to coincide of the repair of the escape pod.

One thing that this episode does badly is the hook up between Clarke and Finn, it really felt out of place to me. I understand the rationale behind it being that teenagers feel abandoned and therefore seek comfort in each other but the two characters are otherwise strong and intelligent so the intense emotional reaction is unfounded I think. It only seems to exist to create a love triangle with the arrival of Raven and that’s not really something I’m interested in.

For the most part I enjoyed this, it was dark and risky and did much to develop the characters -particularly Bellamy- but it is brought down by the needlessly tacked on love scene to set up a love triangle. Aren’t people sick of these by now? Hopefully it’s not something that lasts too long and they stay with the strong storytelling. This is a show that’s quickly finding its feet and I find myself looking more and more forward to seeing more.

Supernatural – Season 9 Episode 17 – “Mother’s Little Helper”

I forgot about this one last week so I’m just covering it now, little bit of a cheat but who’s counting? This episode was more of a slowed down character episode but it all worked very well. Dean and Sam continue to do their own thing with Sam investigating a series of violent murders uncharacteristic of the people carrying them out and Dean lying to Sam about what he’s really doing.

I really liked the fact that Dean seems to be getting further consumed by his addiction to Cain’s blade and the violent urges that gives him which mirrors Crowley’s addiction to human blood. The difference being that Crowley has embraced his addiction while Dean is still tortured by his. I really like that they seem to have an inseperable link at the moment and Crowley seems to be reveling in that. He can hold the promise of getting the blade over Dean’s head for a very long time and Dean just has to put up with it. There was a really interesting moment where Dean stops a hunter from going after Crowley for his own reasons, the reveal that the hunter wasn’t a hunter at all shows just how in control of Dean Crowley is. Lying to Sam is another concerning sign.

Sam’s investigation of these murders leads him to meet an ex-nun who has experience of similar circumstances in 1958. She tells Sam that Abaddon was at her convent and removing people’s souls. Henry Winchester shows up with his partner, Josie Sands to investigate this. Their investigation leads Abaddon to almost possess Henry before Josie stops her and convinces Abaddon to take her instead so that she can study the men of letters from within before destroying them completely. These events also show us how Abaddon got her current form. I really liked this insight into the Men of Letters, the parallels to how Sam and Dean conduct their investigations were obvious and it was good to see more of Henry Winchester. It also gives us some background on why Abaddon is a match for Crowley in terms of power and status. I’m guessing that we’ll see more of this time period as Henry Winchester is oblivious to Josie’s possession at the end.

This was a very good episode that was tightly focused on the characters. Sam and Dean’s separate experiences are both very strong and seeing Dean’s further decline into addiction is some interesting stuff. I also like how the revelation of Abaddon’s plan to harvest souls to create an army of demons causes him to match Dean’s desire to stop her.

The Big Bang Theory – Season 7 Episode 20 – “The Relationship Diremption”

Another strong outing this week, the title is in reference to the fact that Sheldon no longer feels that his chosen field is going to yield anything significant in way of breakthroughs and deals with him coming to terms with that and trying to move on.

Cleverly the show takes the approach of likening this transition to a relationship breaking up and goes through all the tropes associated with it. There was a particularly hilarious scene where Sheldon was drowning his sorrows and the poor decision making associated with it.

The B-Plot concerns a double date featuring Raj and Emily having dinner with Howard and Bernadette and focuses mainly on a previous encounter that Emily had with Howard where he didn’t come across the best. The jokes here are superb and while the humour is a little juvenile it’s still hilarious. There’s also a couple of Kripke appearances which always brings a laugh, his brutal jabs at the characters are always good to see. I also really liked the scene where Howard and Sheldon sit down and discuss their respective issues. It’s been an interesting development having their friendship strengthen over the past few episodes, something we haven’t really seen in the earlier seasons.

Overall, a very funny episode that has the characters playing to their strengths and has Sheldon at his best throughout. Like with Family Guy there’s often not too much to say about an episode of this show beyond how the joke did or didn’t work for me but I would recommend checking this one out, it’s this show at its best.