I decided to only briefly review these past two episodes. There wasn’t much content in them that I feel would benefit from a full length recap that I normally do. Both episodes were centred around Hotch, which was nice to see. Lots of interrogations, which actually helped both episodes become even better. Excellent intros, crazy endings. But enough rambling, let’s quickly review!
A Place at the Table:
Honestly when I was preparing for another week of reviewing this show, I wasn’t really all that excited. Aside from some really great episodes recently, Criminal Minds hasn’t been exciting me all that much this season. When I heard about this episode though, I was intrigued and was looking forward to it. Mainly, Ed Asner was set to play Hotch’s father-in-law. I love the Brooks family – a lot. Haley was one of my favourite characters on this show until her unfortunate and untimely death. Her sister, Jessica, has always been someone I enjoyed seeing on screen. The fact that we got to see her not once, but TWICE this season is already an incredible thing. It was very interesting to see her break down at the beginning of the episode; it’s something we haven’t seen from her. The intro of this episode was intense too! And it looks like this could be a possible hate crime? That’s really sad. As well, the unsub was trying to recreate a Christmas dinner? Ugh.
Regardless of all this, it was an interesting episode. The profiling, as per usual, could’ve been better. The interrogation scenes early on were good to watch. Jack has really grown up, so fast. It’s really unbelievable. Jessica has become such a more developed and layered character. Hotch’s father-in-law made me very upset with the attacks at Hotch about Haley’s death, but I could understand where he’s coming from. Hotch is partially to blame for what happened. This doesn’t make it any easier to digest, though. I almost broke down myself over some of their talks. Some great comments by Rossi and Garcia throughout the episode too, as per usual. They’ve been saving this season for me with their sass and humour. If I had to rate the episode, I’d give it a B-. It wasn’t completely unwatchable, the interrogation scenes were logical. But that’s about it from the case/unsub side of the episode. And I hope to see way more from Jessica later on!
An episode filled with clichés. Dark thunder, lightning, and rain to symbolize ominous storytelling, the “it was all a dream” ending, and more. Not that the clichés weren’t enjoyable to watch, but you know. Anyway, the intro was pretty interesting in this episode too! It starts off in the interrogation room with Hotch and a suspect. That growling sound the guy hears from Mr. Scratch? Yeah, that’s not a sound I would put as my ringtone. “Agent Hotchner, I’m not a murderer!” “Yes you are, and I’m going to find out who turned you into one.” Spine-chilling stuff right here. The fact that we got two Hotch-centered episodes in a row in something to be commended. Proxy-killers have always intrigued me. Cognitive interviews are cool to see as well, like the one conducted in Nanny Dearest (8×21). I’ve always loved how this show can get into the psyche of the unsubs they face, as well as the victims. Both of these episodes spent a great deal of time in interrogation rooms. A cute Hotch/Garcia scene was nice to see.
The first person views of the victims as well as the BAU was also a cool feature. The scene where the team discussed their biggest fears was unnerving. I don’t know about you, but my biggest fear is bees. Ooh, and nice drawings done by Matthew! They remind me of the monster from the movie The Babadook. And that creepy growl we hear throughout never gets easier to hear. The profiling in this episode was actually prominent. The lights flickering on and off, and Garcia’s computers being hacked once again were really scary. The use of candles was romantic. And Hotch’s scenes – that dream sequence – were crazily intense! Now, I haven’t fully enjoyed an episode directed by Matthew Gray Gubler since Heathridge Manor (7×19). But this one was more unique and intense than most. If I had to grade this episode, I’d give it a B+. It was a unique concept that Breen and Matthew came up with, and the ambiguous ending as well as a possibility about talking about Hotch’s father/abuse? That’s too good to pass up.
What did YOU think of both A Place at the Table and Mr. Scratch? Did you enjoy Thomas Gibson’s performances in both? Did that ending of Mr. Scratch freak you out? Please be sure to leave a comment down below! I’ve left a lot out of these reviews so to have a big discussion!
“Ashes to Ashes” — (8:00-9:00 p.m. ET) (Content Rating TBD) (HDTV)
Program information TBA
JANE THE VIRGIN
“Chapter Twenty Two” — (9:00-10:00 p.m. ET) (Content Rating TBD) (HDTV)
SHE’S HAVING A BABY! — After having false labor, Jane (Gina Rodriguez) insists that Xo (Andrea Navedo) and Rogelio (Jaime Camil) go to Las Vegas to perform their show, but once they are gone the labor turns very real. Xo does everything she can to get back to help Jane, but ends up making Rogelio feel like he’s not part of the family. The truth about Michael (Brett Dier) and Rafael’s (Justin Baldoni) feelings for each other, and Jane, are put aside to help make Jane’s labor easier. With the good news on the birth of Jane’s baby, Alba (Ivonne Coll) is excited to tell her special friend. Meanwhile, Petra (Yael Grobglas) learns some very important information that concerns Rafael, leaving her to decide if she should tell him. Ivonne Coll also stars. Zetna Fuentes directed the episode written by Josh Reims and Jennie Snyder Urman (#122). Original airdate 5/11/2015.
TUESDAY, MAY 12
“Rogue Air” — (8:00-9:00 p.m. ET) (Content Rating TBD) (HDTV)
STEPHEN AMELL, ROBBIE AMELL, WENTWORTH MILLER, LIAM MCINTYRE AND DOUG JONES GUEST STAR — As Wells (Tom Cavanagh) once again gets the upper hand on the S.T.A.R. Labs team, Barry (Grant Gustin) realizes he needs to make a big move and reaches out to an old foe, Captain Cold (guest star Wentworth Miller), for help. Joe (Jesse L. Martin) and Caitlin (Danielle Panabaker) warn Barry that Cold can’t be trusted. True to form, Cold has his own agenda that involves the meta-humans trapped in the containment cells. As things seem to be going from bad to worse, The Flash gets reinforcements – Arrow (guest star Stephen Amell) and Firestorm (guest star Robbie Amell). Doug Aarniokoski directed the episode written by Aaron Helbing & Todd Helbing (#122). Original airdate 5/12/2015.
“Patriot Brains” — (9:00-10:00 p.m. ET) (Content Rating TBD) (HDTV)
PERCY DAGGS III (“VERONICA MARS”) GUEST STARS — Liv (Rose McIver) and Clive (Malcolm Goodwin) investigate the mysterious death of a former sniper, Everett (guest star Ronald Patrick Thompson), who has been working as an instructor at a paintball facility. They begin questioning family members including Everett’s ex-wife and her new husband Sean (guest star Percy Daggs III) and realize things are not what they seem. Meanwhile, Major (Robert Buckley) continues to get closer and closer to the truth, and Blaine (David Anders) does the unthinkable. Guy Bee directed the episode written by Robert Forman (#108). Original airdate 5/12/2015.
WEDNESDAY, MAY 13
“My Name is Oliver Queen” — (8:00-9:00 p.m. ET) (TV-14, SV) (HDTV)
Program information TBA
“The Prisoner” — (9:00-10:00 p.m. ET) (Content Rating TBD) (HDTV)
DEAN IS ON A RAMPAGE — When it comes to the Stynes, Dean (Jensen Ackles) decides to take matters into his own hands. Sam (Jared Padalecki) tries to come to terms with his decision. Thomas J. Wright directed this episode written by Andrew Dabb (#1021). Original airdate 5/13/2015.
THURSDAY, MAY 14
THE VAMPIRE DIARIES
“I’m Thinking of You All the While” — (8:00-9:00 p.m. ET) (Content Rating TBD) (HDTV)
GOODBYE, MYSTIC FALLS — In the aftermath of Alaric (Matt Davis) and Jo’s (guest star Jodi Lyn O’Keefe) powerful nuptials, things take a dramatic turn when an uninvited guest shows up, leaving Elena (Nina Dobrev) in terrible jeopardy. Despite Matt’s (Zach Roerig) advice to leave town to protect herself, a defiant Bonnie (Kat Graham) takes matters into her own hands after finding herself on the receiving end of a twisted plan. As Stefan (Paul Wesley) and Caroline (Candice Accola) reach an emotional crossroad in their relationship, a reunion with Liv (guest star Penelope Mitchell) leaves Tyler (Michael Trevino) faced with a decision that could change his life forever. Meanwhile, Lily’s (guest star Annie Wersching) reckless actions cause Stefan to realize the lengths to which his mother will go to reunite with her “family.” Finally, after a devastating chain of events, Damon (Ian Somerhalder) is forced to make the most difficult decision of his life. Michael Malarkey also stars. Chris Grismer directed the episode written by Julie Plec & Caroline Dries (#622). Original airdate 5/14/2015.
“Burn” — (9:00-10:00 p.m. ET) (Content Rating TBD) (HDTV)
THERE IS ONLY ROOM FOR ONE QUEEN — Mary (Adelaide Kane) risks everything to take down Condé (Sean Teale), even as Francis (Toby Regbo) believes she is turning against France. Catherine (Megan Follows) makes a bold move and meets with Queen Elizabeth (guest star Rachel Skarsten) in a stunning plot to seek revenge on Mary. Meanwhile, Kenna (Caitlin Stasey) has a secret that will seal the fate of her relationship with Bash (Torrance Coombs). Celina Sinden, Anna Popplewell, Craig Parker, Jonathan Keltz and Rose Williams also star. Fred Gerber directed the episode written by Laurie McCarthy and Nancy Won (#222). Original airdate 5/14/2015.
FRIDAY, MAY 15
CEDRIC’S BARBER BATTLE
“LA” — (8:00-8:30 p.m. ET) (TV-PG, L) (HDTV)
LOW RIDERS AND LOW FADES — Hosted by actor and comedian Cedric The Entertainer, “Cedric’s Barber Battle” sets out to capture the unique barbering culture in a hilariously unfiltered, no-holds-barred arena. Creating hair sculptures that feature elaborate designs, ranging from images of a person’s face to grand cityscapes, the barbers will use nothing more than their clippers and a few coloring tools to create intricate works of art that are both imaginative and location-centric. Barbers featured in this episode include Josh Ryan (“Dr. Fade”) from San Francisco, California, Scott Andrew Ramos (“Famos”) from Montreal, Canada, and Thad Franklin (“Milano”) from Cleveland, Ohio (#107). Original airdate 5/15/2015.
WHOSE LINE IS IT ANYWAY?
“Scott Porter” — (8:30-9:00 p.m. ET) (TV-14, DL) (HDTV)
THE “HART” OF COMEDY — WITH GUEST STAR APPEARANCE BY SCOTT PORTER (“HART OF DIXIE”) — Hosted by comedian Aisha Tyler, cast members Ryan Stiles, Wayne Brady and Colin Mochrie, along with guest comedian Greg Proops, put their comedic skills to the test through a series of spontaneous improv games that are prompted only by random ideas supplied by the studio audience. The four performers must use the little information they have and their wild imaginations to depict different characters and an array of scenes, as well as perform songs. After each round of improvisation, Aisha will dole out points to our four performers and declare a winner at the end of every episode. Directed by Geraldine Dowd. Original airdate 5/15/2015
“Eye in the Sky” — (9:00-10:00 p.m. ET) (TV-14, LV) (HDTV)
A NEW ANGEL IS REVEALED — Erin’s (Sofia Black-D’Elia) attempts to celebrate Amy’s (guest star Madison Dellamia) birthday in peace are thwarted as Raul (JD Pardo) and Joshua (Jon Fletcher) look to jumpstart Joshua’s visions, and we finally meet the seventh angel. Shantel VanSanten, Diogo Morgado, Craig Parker, Anna Diop and Joel Courtney also star. Eric La Salle directed the episode written by Matt Pitts (#105). Original airdate 5/15/15.
This week’s “Castle” has the man diving back into the events that interrupted his wedding day and had him missing for two months, when recurring dreams surface his conscious self. “Sleeper” was enjoyable, but I think I loved the idea of this episode more than I loved the episode itself, and I had higher expectations for it and for the entire mythology.
Okay, I have to disagree with Beckett on this one, it’s definitely not the best excuse, but at least it’s an excuse or at least an attempt at one. I didn’t mind having to wait 20 episodes, to get some answers; we waited for years to get some about Johanna Beckett. But this mythology, everything surrounding Castle’s disappearance, definitely wasn’t on the same level, as thought out, as the mythology surrounding Beckett mother’s murder. And while some might have thought the development on her story was too slow, I liked that we got to discover it meticulously, piece by piece. We got to discover, Castle’s whereabouts piece by piece alright, but they just shoved everything in this episode. Probably in case the show doesn’t get its eight season.
I think the episode was well thought out, and really enjoyed the plot of Castle trying to find the meaning behind his dream, and piecing it together. The interactions between the characters were great, but I just can’t feel satisfied with “Sleeper” because of the reason for his disappearance. It was just too much crazy to accept. Honestly, I’m still not sure I understand the reason behind it. Terrorists? Al Qaeda? A Russian assassin? I mean, really?
As I’ve mentioned before, I loved the idea of the recurring dream, which had Castle whimpering in his sleep for a week, before a concerned Kate sends him off to get help, from the therapist who had helped her through her issues after the shooting. It’s the therapist that helped her get to Castle, get to where she is, and I found it incredibly fitting. I’m glad they brought back Dr. Burke for it, and not just any therapist.
While Castle was skeptical, at first, about diving back in, about disrupting the balance of his currently perfect life (how long is this going to last? Am I right?), once he starts thinking about it, he can’t stop. He needs answers. Even when Dr. Burke tells him to takes things slow, not to rush anything; even when he tells him not to take everything too literally because sometimes, dreams are just figments of our imagination, and Castle has an incredibly active one, Castle goes at it, head on.
“I was in Thailand, getting shot at, with Chuck Norris?” –Castle
His mind is creating a narrative, but he’s certain that his dreams are actual memories. The team, even though they’re skeptical, and assume he’s picking out plot points from action movies he’s seen, help him out. They chase after his leads, dedicate resources, even if they are only “grasping at straws,” because they’re a team, they love each other, and that’s what they do. They support each other, even if they feel things don’t add up.
Even if Esposito is acting somewhat like an *ss, I have to agree with him. It just doesn’t add up. “Sleeper,” for me, just cemented the fact that they had no idea what they were going to do when they had Castle abducted, on his wedding day. Espo feels the need to address how messed up his story is, and honestly who wouldn’t? His delivery was a bit harsh, but he’s still just looking out for Beckett, and despite his reservations, he helps Castle out, helps him to identify the man from his dreams. Compiling a file on the people who have the same military tattoo Castle saw in his dream, Esposito helps Castle in identifying his Chuck Norris lookalike, Jeff Powers. (Jack Bauer anyone?)
Castle and Beckett following up on the lead, and going to the man’s place of residence, leads to this episodes funniest bit. It was simple, yet hilarious.
“Castle, what are you doing?” -Beckett
“It’s okay, he knows me. Jeff Powers? It’s Rick Castle, from Thailand.” -Castle
They find Jeff Powers shot in his own apartment, a bullet in his skull, and missing teeth. He was tortured by a Russian Assassin, who has two dozen assassinations on his belt. The identification of Ilya Golovkin causes Beckett to send her husband home. He was involved in something big and it’s dangerous, so he can’t be investigating anymore. (Now who’s calling the kettle black, Beckett?)
She’s putting his safety before his feelings and no amount of arguing will make her change her mind. Unphased, she’s willing to send him home in with LT in handcuffs, so he indulges her. We were also gifted with a little bit of acting from LT. Don’t think I didn’t see your eyebrows wiggle when Beckett mentioned handcuffs. It was great.
And Castle’s “Just for the record. Extremely bitter.” was perfectly delivered by Nathan Fillion.
“Sleeper” had a family dynamic which I absolutely adored. It felt true to the earlier Castle family moments all while including Kate. The episode included a concerned mother, a supportive wife and a matured daughter.
Martha’s motherly side shone throw this episode and it was great to see a more serious side to her character.. She was concerned about her son’s lack of sleep, concerned when he became too obsessed. She had her concerns when he starting digging into his abduction and she goes to the precinct to speak with Kate, concerned that if he chose to forget, there must have been a reason. But Kate understands Castle, understands the obsession that can drive him. She understands the need for answers and convinces Martha it’s going to be okay, that she’s there for him and that she won’t let him fall.
I loved Alexis (and Molly Quinn) in this episode, always loved the bond she shares with her father. Alexis waking up Beckett, worried her father is becoming a bit obsessive about Thailand, and wanting someone to watch over him was all kinds of cute, and its moments like this one that make me happy she hasn’t moved out of the loft yet.
The episode touched into Castle’s insecurities about what happened during these 2 months, and Alexis wants to be there for him, wants to be seen an adult, as someone he can confide, who doesn’t need to be shielded from the truth because it might hurt. This leads to a touching heart to heart between father and daughter, and I’m not sure I mentioned it but, I love their relationship. It’s easy to see how deeply she cares for her father.
Alone, Castle, following a money trail from Jeff Power’s file, (sloppy guys!) finds himself in an Indian Café, faced by the man shot, bleeding out and dying, from his dreams. Jeff Powers was his handler, but Balal is not a spy. The man, an exchange student and friend of Castle’s from 11th grade, is an Al Qaeda defector, with whom Castle had consulted with about terrorism, for his first Derrick Storm Novel.
The sequence about the Debate Trophy had lead Castle to Philippe Bartlett, instead of Balal, the real person he had shared the trophy with. “Castle” was always on the verge of not being believable, (invisibility cloak, anyone?) but this plot was just beyond ridiculous. They went to the point that they altered his memories, because erasing them wasn’t enough, they had to go in his brain and change his actual memories. Really? What is this a sci-fi movie? This episode was just too out there for me.
The reason they had to interrupt the Caskett wedding was because Balal, after a leak was discovered, needed someone he could trust, someone he knew that was too prominent to sweep under the table and forget about. They were on a ticking time bomb type schedule and needed Balal’s intel, needed Castle, to save tens of thousands of lives.
I loved that Castle punched fake Jenkins for making him miss his wedding day. It unexpected, but still totally called for and it somehow felt satisfying. He has some leverage now that he knows they can’t kill him.
Castle and Beckett’s end conversation acknowledged the fact that the mythology is still shredded in mystery, and while some questions were answered, many still remain. The main one for me stays: Why did he want to forget the two months? Saving the world doesn’t seem like something he’d want to forget, it feels like something he would like to brag about. This though, I feel, could still only be a narrative the people who abducted him created so he would stop digging around…
“Castle, this is completely different. Whatever happened to you, you already knew the truth and you decided that you didn’t want to remember it anymore. And as much as we want to know what the answers are, if you decided that, then there had to have been a reason.” – Beckett (in Montreal)
I didn’t hate this episode, I liked it, but I would have loved to have loved it. How about you guys?