After a full throttle pilot, Gotham switches to a slower gear in order to explore the issues facing Gotham’s inner city children, and the failing of its government system on how they’re handled. The corruption of Gotham City reaches just as high as Gordon had suspected, and it’s not simply that the Mayor is in Falcone’s pocket. There’s a general flaw in the system of the City itself; everyone is trying to survive, and does so by looking out for themselves, and to hell with everyone else. Gotham City has been represented in comic books and other media adaptations as a city that breeds criminals, and by having a high poverty rate and children without homes or parents, the Gotham series may provide an answer for why that is. The inner city children are antagonized by the police and mistreated by the law system by being sent upstate into prison-like disciplinary facilities, and this is most likely the cause that riles up the citizens, making them push back.
It’s a rare show that can inspire fits of giggles simply by reading an episode description, and “The Kindred” certainly meets that bill: “Ichabod Crane concocts a daring plan to rescue his wife from the Headless Horseman by resurrecting a Frankenstein-like monster created by Benjamin Franklin.” It’s a sentence that reads like a pitch for a Pride and Prejudice and Zombies knockoff, rejected for being too absurd. And yet, not only does Sleepy Hollow embrace this idea for a story, they do so in a manner that makes the action plausible in the universe and turns it into fist-pumping excitement.
Sometimes what’s noteworthy about The Good Wife is in what it chooses not to give us. A fine example comes in the form of Diane Lockhart’s exit from the firm she started with Will Gardner before the series began. While the synchronized-to-the-second exit of Diane and her fellow jumpers (including new cast addition Taye Diggs as Dean Levene-Wilkins) is a bit much, it’s still a remarkably restrained sequence. Diane knows what she wants to do and she does it, without any overt nods to the partner she lost. The show is smart enough to know that weknow he;s in her thoughts, along with the many years of memories associated with Lockhart Gardner, but we’re thankfully spared any kind of literal highlight reel.
Brooklyn Nine-Nine is back on a new Sunday night slot, and it doesn’t take long for the series to settle back into its groove. The season premiere, entitled “Undercover,” recaptures the magic of season one, opening with Detective Peralta (Andy Samberg) ending an undercover sting operation after infiltrating the local mafia. Upon his return to the precinct, he’s quickly brought up to speed on the events of the past few months while away (the best gag comes when Boyle and Santiago arrive to the office wearing the same outfit). This is followed by Captain Holt’s generosity by allowing Jake 12 seconds to fill us in on his own highlights while covert: I fixed a boxing match, smoked a whole cigar, found myself in a room with 12 guys all named Sal, and missed you all so very much. And just like that, Brooklyn Nine-Nine proves once again why it is the funniest show on television.
Hell on Wheels has had a difficult fourth season. There have been excellent episodes like “Elam Ferguson” and the introduction of brilliant new characters like Campbell (Jake Weber), but with only four episodes left in the season it seems like Hell on Wheels has no real direction. Strong acting and interesting characters haven’t been able to save the season from its aimlessness.
The penultimate episode of The Strain‘s first season reminds us most of “Across the Sea”, the third-last episode of Lost‘s final season. That episode came very near the end of Lost‘s run, but left the present action to show the origins of Island inhabitants Jacob and the Man in Black. Choosing to halt the action and go back into the past to tell a story that only revealed a small amount and to do so that late in the season felt misguided and a little pointless. “Last Rites” is not quite as much of a side-step, but the return of Setrakian’s flashbacks was certainly a surprising development.
As I predicted elsewhere last week (shameless plug alert (but seriously, listen to Podcasters of Sex — it’s great)), the title of “The Revolution Will Not Be Televised” forebodes that the news story on the Masters/Johnson study doesn’t make it to air. But, while it was never beyond expectations that Bill would be the cause of the story’s failure, one wouldn’t have guessed that he would stop the segment by outright sabotaging it. And it’s doubtful that anyone guessed that rival sex researcher Dr. Kaufman’s assistant would be none other than our old friend Ethan (unless Nicholas D’Agosto was in the cast listing ahead of time, for those who check such things).
Brooklyn Nine-Nine is back on a new Sunday night slot, and it doesn’t take long for the series to settle back into its groove. The season premiere, entitled “Undercover,” recaptures the magic of season one, opening with Detective Peralta (Andy Samberg) ending an undercover sting operation after infiltrating the local mafia. Upon his return to the precinct, he’s quickly brought up to speed on the events of the past few months (the best gag comes when Boyle and Santiago arrive to the office wearing the same outfit). This is followed by Captain Holt allowing Jake 12 seconds to fill us in on his own highlights while covert: “I fixed a boxing match, smoked a whole cigar, found myself in a room with 12 guys named Sal, and missed you all so very much.” And just like that,Brooklyn Nine-Nine proves once again why it is the funniest show on television.
With “Cuanto” we mark the halfway point of the final season, and its first major death. As fans of Boardwalk will attest, though, the only real surprise was that it took as long as it did. If you were running the numbers in Vegas, or Atlantic City for that matter, the odds would come up quick that there will likely be a lot more to come. If only Arnold Rothstein was still around to roll the dice on that one.
Speaking of Rothstein, his former business partner arrived as the game-changer in last weeks episode, leaving this week to make good. Luckily she does at that. In fact, Margaret emerges as the star of the show in “Cuanto”, and it’s not hard to see why.
Character breakdown for the in-development ‘Walking Dead’ spin-off on AMC…
The sixth episode of Lost was the first Sun episode. “House of the Rising Sun”, which originally aired on October 27, 2004, is one of the best episodes of the show’s first season, and it has stuck with me as the moment when Sun became a fully-formed and truly fascinating character, which she would remain until the end of the series.