Category Archives: Uncategorized

American Crime – Episode Five – Advance Preview

American Crime “Episode Five” was written by Keith Huff and was directed by Tanya Hamilton, whose other credits include The Vampire Diaries, Greenleaf, and Queen Sugar. Huff wrote for season two as well as for House of Cards and Mad Men.

The focus of this episode shifts away from the farm, but Diego (Clayton Cardenas) wants justice, and the DA’s focus shifts from sex trafficking to “agri-issues.” The major theme of this episode is white privilege. The men think that white male privilege is a burden they must bear while their wives, especially in the south, have life easy, but the women wouldn’t agree.

A number of characters have to make hard, life-changing decisions in this episode. Shea (Ana Mulvoy-Ten is one of them. She also finds a new job, that seems likely to be both more and less than she thinks it will be.

Nick (Timothy Hutton) also has to make some difficult decisions. Clair (Lili Taylor) offers to help but is really a big part of the problem. Clair crosses paths with Kimara (Regina King) and the two find they have unexpected common ground. Kimara answers a call for help in the middle of the night.

Jeanette (Felicity Huffman) makes a difficult choice after doing a lot of cooking. She decides she needs some breathing space, but she’s not very good at being independent. She finds out that she doesn’t have a lot of options. Dallas Roberts (Carson) has a fabulous scene.

Gabrielle (Mickaelle X Bizet) has a difficult time fitting in. She has a grown son of her own, but she hasn’t seen him in a long time. She starts to come into conflict with Clair.

Here are a few dialogue teasers:

Are you over 18?

I don’t understand what is going on.

They don’t always have a choice.

Tell us about the farm.

You shouldn’t have to worry about that.

It’s a regular arrangement.

Who told you where I’m at?

It’s not your business what I do.

Maybe you just want to work it out. Sometimes you just have to deal with things.

Modern day slavery.  In the rest of the world, it’s called a job.

People who’ve spent most of their lives being exploited, it’s very easy to return to exploitation.

It’s all set up so the people at the top don’t get dirty.

We put a lot of bodies in that river.

With only three more episodes to go, it will be interesting to see if they can bring all of the threads of the story together. They’ve certainly cast a wide net to demonstrate the different nuances to the themes of exploitation and certainly on that level the stories interweave and resonate with each other. Don’t forget to tune in Sunday at 10/9c on ABC!

Agents of SHIELD – What If… – Review

Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. returned with “What If…” written by DJ Doyle and directed by Oz Scott, whose extensive credits reach all the way back to Hill Street Blues and include LA Law, The Practice, CSI: NY, Gotham, and Criminal Minds. This was a terrific episode, featuring the return of Brett Dalton in yet another iteration of Ward.

The episode really does answer the question what if May (Ming-Na Wen) didn’t kill that girl in Bahrain and Coulson (Clark Gregg) never joined S.H.I.EL.D. and Skye (Chloe Bennet) never transformed into Daisy. The answer is that Hydra won! Shows don’t often get to explore this question, and it’s clear that whatever the costs may have been, the world with S.H.I.E.L.D. was definitely a better one. I love how this show is able to re-invent itself – always maintaining its core – and keeping the tension dialed to 11! The episode features some terrific performances, especially from Elizabeth Henstridge (Simmons), Bennet, and Dalton.

The episode picks up right where we left off with Daisy approaching the figure in the bed – thrilled because she thinks it’s Lincoln, only to discover that it’s Ward! She immediately tries to quake him as he rolls over, smiles and says good morning! I loved how cute he was that he made the quake gesture back at her, asking if that’s something they do now. Daisy is utterly stunned.

I quite like how this played out. It makes sense that Skye isn’t with Lincoln. If she never changed, she would never have met him, and we find out later that he’s dead in the Framework. What’s more curious is why Ward isn’t a die-hard Hydra person. I wonder if they had had any expectation of a cameo by Bill Paxton? The episode is thoughtfully dedicated to him. It may never have been their intention to have Paxton back regardless of his untimely passing because he was busy working on Training Day, his new series. I’m really looking forward to them filling in Ward’s story!

If the Framework is all about having no regrets, Ward is a big one for Skye – and so is Lincoln. While it’s true that Aida (Mallory Jansen) didn’t have Simmons or Daisy’s brains mapped, she does have their dossiers and may have planned for at least Daisy – likely not Simmons given that she’s dead here! Skye did have feelings for Ward at one point and let’s not forget that she was “addicted” to Ward-Hydra.

Daisy tells Ward that he startled her and he points out it’s not like he snuck in there – we’re left wondering if they are living together or just sleeping together – we learn later that Skye has asked Ward to move in – and it’s been “approved” by Hydra – CREEPY! – but Ward has said no. However, it’s clear this is a regular thing. Ward brushes off her actions by fondly calling her a weird-o as he takes his overnight bag into the bathroom to change. And that was a little weird as they go to separate rooms to change after sleeping together. The room is clearly Daisy’s – I liked the nod to her history by having a huge Chinese wardrobe in the background. There are skin products on the dresser – and an Hawaiian hula girl – just like Coulson has later in the episode. Plus that picture of her and Ward on vacation.

Daisy tries to get information off Ward by asking who he thinks will run the “brief” when they get into work. Ward decides it must have been Pinksy (Brandon Morales) who sent the text because whoever sent it knew that Ward would sleep in! Daisy notices her hair is longer here, but she’s utterly stunned when Ward calls her Skye – it also goes with the star on her bedside table – but it makes sense if she never transformed. More disturbing? She works for Hydra! And we get great opening Agents of HYDRA credits!

The drive in to work is a nice way for us to get a flavor of this new world through Daisy’s eyes. Ward thinks that she’s quiet because she’s angry he didn’t want to move in. But she’s really stunned to find herself in a Hydra police state. The news on the radio talks about stringing up people for treason for hiding Inhumans, a road sign admonishes people to “Suspect it. Report it. For Humanity,” and they work in the Triskelion! It wasn’t destroyed in the Framework.

Daisy wants to stop some Hydra agents from beating an Inhuman, but Ward drags her away, clearly thinking that she wants to join in. I loved the lobby of the building, complete with a Hydra statue! The sets were just fantastic in this episode – great attention to detail.

Ward is a bit impatient with Daisy’s lack of focus, and keeps having to pull her back from gawking. Ward apologizes that she put herself out there and he doesn’t want to live with her right now. They’ve been together a few years, so it makes sense, but it’s just not the right time. He tells her that he needs some time and space – that there are things about him that she wouldn’t like if she knew. It’s hilarious as we find out that it’s not at all what Daisy thinks – it’s the opposite. She’s the die-hard Hydra agent and he’s in the resistance!

Daisy takes a minute to check her “e-mail” and track down the others. Lincoln “died during testing” and Simmons is also listed as deceased! What does that mean for Simmons having snuck into the Framework? Daisy is thrilled to see May – but this is not the May we’ve seen develop over the last four years. This is the emotionally cut off, hard ass, cavalry. This May has no interest in what Daisy has been hacking, and clearly just dropping “the Framework” is not going to get through to their friends. May here does not consider Daisy a “friend.”

And then we cut to Simmons clawing her way out of her grave!!! Lucky for her it was pretty shallow. Simmons immediately realizes that she was murdered. And she really didn’t look too healthy! Simmons makes her way out of what was the S.H.I.E.L.D. Academy and realizes that S.H.I.E.L.D. fell. Julia (Jade Harlow) stops and picks Simons up. Henstridge sounds like she was sick while filming this – which totally worked for having just crawled out of her grave.

Simmons also starts to get a feel for the Framework and its reality. She is impressed that Julia makes art – her earring. Simmons comments that it’s fascinating – as is Julia having dreams of going to med school. She wants to help people – it’s why she picked Simmons up after all – but this is all more life-like, “real,” than Simmons expected of a simulation – it’s certainly a lot more complex than the one she and Fitz (Iain De Caestecker) devised. “So many computational layers.”

The two are stopped at a new Inhuman checkpoint. Julia admits that she was freaked out by them at first – and no freaks out when Simmons says she doesn’t have her ID – she must have lost it. Simmons is impressed that they can test for Inhuman DNA pre-terragenesis. Julia is sure they’ll be arrested – but freaks out even more when Simmons produces a S.H.I.E.L.D. ID. Simmons begs to use Julia’s phone to try to call Daisy, but in the end, has to flee for her life.

Back at the briefing, May fills them in on the latest Inhuman-gene-positive- detainee who has possible subversive contacts. She tells them ominously that the “Doctor” wants this fast-tracked. Naturally, we all thought the Doctor was going to turn out to be Radcliffe (John Hannah), right? So it’s even more stunning when it turns out to be Fitz! Much more about that later…. The current detainee is none other than Vijay Nadeer (Manish Dayal), but he’s using an alias. May sees Daisy perk up and wants to know if she knows him. Daisy says no, but May assigns Daisy and Ward to get answers.

It’s clear that Hydra’s interrogation techniques are extreme. Vijay is clearly the Inhuman who was being beaten in the garage. It’s fun to watch Daisy try to stay at the torture controls and Ward make her take over the questioning. He clearly thinks she is the cruel one – and we learn much later that Ward is the one who gave Vijay his fake credentials. May watches from the observation room and texts Daisy – on her Blackberry! – that she expects more. Even the Blackberry is a nice touch at an alternate reality as they are no longer being made.

The interview continues with Daisy going in directions that Ward is clearly – in hindsight – freaking out over! She draws attention to his Hydra-made ID card – Ward dismisses it as “not possible” – because as we find out HE made it! Daisy also exposes Vijay’s real name! Ward punches Vijay when it looks like Daisy has gotten him to start talking! Daisy thinks he’s just being crazy Ward, but he’s actually protecting himself and the resistance!

Simmons wanders into what looks an awful lot like a Starbucks and realizes she looks terrible. She’s not there for the coffee, however, and quickly sees that there’s not one smartphone in the place. Blackberry’s aren’t smart phones, mildly intelligent, yes, but not smart. Simmons deftly steals the keys to a car and a woman’s overcoat. Unfortunately, she’s stopped before she can get out the door by two Hydra agents, who want to see her ID. She says that she fell while hiking and lost her ID.

The two take her to their car. She gives them her real name and they discover that she’s dead! Henstridge shines as action hero Simmons! She manages to get the gun off one and shoot them both, and then steals their car! Which is a lucky break, giving her access to information on the Hydra system!

Cut to Coulson, lecturing his high school class on politics. Before the Hydra state, people put themselves first, over the state. People had their own truths, their own media , their own agenda. Gee. This felt like it was ripped from the headlines… Coulson says that there were so many untruths about Inhumans that people saw them as magical – like unicorns. Coulson blames everything on May’s saving the Inhuman girl. He credits Hydra with saving everyone – when no one else would tell the truth, Hydra brought law and order – or, you know, a police state….

Coulson has one precocious student – Burnell (Taj Speights) who insists on interjecting that Hydra came from Nazis. Ah… there’s that real world commentary again… Coulson insists that Hydra began centuries ago, so they couldn’t be Nazis – that’s just propaganda. Completely missing that Nazis could be Hydra – and isn’t that the same thing? Coulson suggests that Burnell’s question demonstrates how important it is to separate fact from innuendo… He goes on to say that before the incident there were some 1500 newspapers – and haven’t we just been witnessing a terrible attack on the free press?

Coulson is interrupted by Hydra agents. They are there for Chris Adler (Skyler James Sandak). They need to run some tests on him. Chris and Burnell are clearly friends – and Chris motions for Burnell not to do anything. Most shocking, of course, is that Coulson stops Adler only to send him back for his bag – which the Agents then take. Coulson does nothing to help his student.

Back in the interrogation room, May bursts in – no more games. Vijay recognizes her. Inhumans blame her for what went wrong. May pulls a gun on him and Daisy yells at her to wake up! Which of course has no effect. But she does wake May up that Vijay is valuable. May orders that he be taken to the Doctor for testing – the Doctor will get answers. And then Vijay truly is terrified.

Vijay begs Daisy not to take him to the Doctor – he’ll talk! Daisy tells him to shut up – about that – but he does fill her in on what happened in Bahrain. May didn’t kill the girl and she went on to kill a lot of people at Cambridge – which is clearly the site of a huge incident. It’s the incident that gave Hydra the green light to exterminate Inhumans! Daisy promises to help get him out, but he doesn’t trust her and fakes her out about surveillance cameras and gets away, only to be captured by guards.

Daisy is happy to see Fitz, who disapproves of her losing control of the prisoner. He certainly doesn’t show any signs of recognizing her as more than Agent Skye. I loved the ominous music surrounding him – and his black suit for some reason reminded me of the Nazi doctor in Raiders of the Lost Arc – just me?

Simmons goes to the rendezvous and finds the backdoor switch. She leaves a mark on the bench for Daisy and then uses the Hydra computer in her car to find Coulson. When she gets to him, he has no memory of her. I loved that she went to him. She asks him if he ever had moments where reality isn’t quite right, where his memories don’t quite fit.

She tries to tell him that his mind has been wiped. That he was the Director of S.H.I.E.L.D. and destroyed Hydra. Coulson thinks it’s a test – or that she’s going to get them both arrested. Henstridge is wonderful in this scene as she gets increasingly distraught over not being able to get through to Coulson. She tells him that he is a teacher, and a leader, and a great man, and he shouldn’t be there!

Simmons realizes that she needs some kind of proof. As Coulson is ushering her out the door, telling her to get help and not to talk about S.H.I.E.L.D., she spots the Hawaiian hula girl – and immediately says T.A.H.I.T.I. – Coulson adorably corrects her saying it’s Hawaiian. She says “It’s a magical place” – he wants to know why she said that – it does mean something! She reminds him that his memory has been rewritten before – and he’s beaten it!! – she tells him, you’re Phil Coulson and you need to remember me! She tells him that all his friends rely on him and this world is a lie!

Simmons agrees to leave, but tells him she’s not giving up on him. She’s found a crack and she’s going to exploit it. But Coulson immediately goes to the phone on the wall to report a subversive.

I loved Simmons finding Burnell tagging her car. When he denies it, she points to the can in his hand, and he points out that that’s how Hydra does it. He also says they deny being Nazis and hauling kids out of school – clearly taking his friend was the last straw for Burnell! Simmons tells him she’s not Hydra. He tells her he want to go to Chris or he’ll get the resistance – first mention! – to come after all of them. Simmons calls him “a rogue piece of code” which is hilarious.

Simmons dials it back and gathers herself. She starts to realize who Coulson is in this reality – and what an uphill battle she has. She tells Burnell that Coulson used to fight Hydra and even trained her well enough to steal the car. She also confirms that Hydra are all Nazis. Telling him the truth, wins Burnell to her side, and he gives her his car because she can’t drive the Hydra-mobile. Unfortunately, she’s spotted by a surveillance drone.

Cut back to Fitz torturing Vijay with a horrible machine that can test their DNA without any dangerous side effects – at least not to him. Daisy points out that it looks like Vijay is being burned! It’s wrong – it’s crimes against humanity wrong. Fitz insists that these are In-humans – so not humanity. He tells her that she’s been a great asset, but not to give her opinion unless he asks for it. So, the question is, what’s happened to Fitz? Was the death of Simmons so traumatic that he became this monster? OR is Fitz the one person in the Framework who is truly able to see it for what it is? He helped to create it and Aida after all. How do we excuse his torturing and killing Inhumans? If he knows that this is not reality, he knows that he’s only torturing code – they aren’t, in fact, real humans!

Fitz asks how things are going with Ward, and Daisy says fine. Before she can say more, May rushes in with a report about a subversive at a school. Phil Coulson – a teacher – called it in. It was a woman with reddish hair and a S.H.I.E.L.D. ID – Daisy asks if they got a name and is dismissed – but she’s heard enough. Fitz puts all assets in the area on it.

Ward stops Daisy on the way out. He tells her that it’s like he woke up to a totally different person. She tells him that she’s pissed that he didn’t want to move in together. He needed space – and now she needs her own. I loved that we got a great shot of evil-Ward head tilt as she stormed off! Great mis-directions all through the episode!

Meanwhile, we see that Coulson has a secret file. Drawings of S.H.I.E.L.D. insignia, his cello-playing girlfriend, a picture of Lola, THAT Tahiti postcard and lines and lines of his writing “it’s a magical place.” There have been cracks!

I loved the Daisy/Simmons reunion at the rendezvous. Simmons is stunned to see that Daisy is Hydra, and Daisy says “I saw that you were dead. Wait! Are you still dead?” Simmons says “NO. I’m feeling much better!” Simmons tells Daisy she was murdered by Hydra – which makes perfect sense as we know Aida had a good reason to want her dead… The two also catch up that Coulson and May are completely different. Simmons wonders why Radcliffe built the Framework this way because he was never into Hydra.

The two are interrupted by the appearance of Ward. He pulls a gun on them and says they need to talk… Ward doesn’t know who Simmons is and wants to know if Simmons is Daisy’s source in the resistance. Simmons is freaked out and wants to know why Ward is even there! Daisy lowers her gun and tells Ward that she’s never betrayed him – meanwhile Hydra Agents are closing in. And then Ward pulls the trigger, killing a Hydra agent and tells them that he does have something to do with the resistance!

Simmons gives Ward her car keys so the three can get away. We get a great car chase. Ward tells Skye that she tested positive for Inhuman DNA – and it’s why he joined the resistance! Daisy is impressed that Ward is the one who got Vijay his card and is the Hydra mole – meanwhile Simmons says, what a surprise! Even in this reality, Ward is the traitor – but in this reality, it’s a good thing!

Ward drives them into an underground parking garage to escape the Doctor’s drones. He tells them to go to Daisy’s apartment. She apologizes for Vijay – she had to give May something and didn’t know it would lead back to him. He asks what her real name is and she tells him – he says, they’ll talk.

May gives Vijay’s card to Fitz and fills him in on what happened at the park – not that they know anything. Fitz is concerned about the mole. He says, you know what my father always said – you have to have trust to be betrayed. And that made me wonder if Mace (Jason O’Mara) was going to turn out to be Fitz’s father – but likely not. Surely, there isn’t a big enough age gap… Fitz tells May to treat the mole like a cancer. May says she’ll cut it out herself – and then Fitz cruelly throws Cambridge in her face. She tells him that the drone footage was sent directly to the Director – by request.

Daisy tells Simmons that Fitz was also brainwashed. Daisy wants to know why create this reality. Simmons says that Radcliffe wanted to take away people’s pain. Daisy suggests that taking Simmons from Fitz is what turned him into a monster. Simmons says this reality lures you in, and Daisy agrees that she couldn’t even believe what she found herself doing. She looked up Lincoln – would she have wanted to stay if she’d found him?

Daisy suggests that they have to get out. Simmons doesn’t want to leave them, but Daisy says they need to talk to Yo-Yo and come back with a game plan. The backdoor doesn’t work, so they know that someone knows they are there and has re-coded their exit!

We cut to a picture of Simmons – that Aida is looking at – and we learn that she’s the Director! Fitz joins her, addressing her formally as Madam. Aida knows there’s a mole. She’s eliminated their escape route and is ready to tighten the noose. She tells Fitz that his work is too important to be distracted by the footage she has of the subversives.

Fitz insists that he won’t stand by and watch the subversives destroy everything that they have built. Fitz insists that he has to protect that – he has to protect HER! And isn’t that what he tried to do before? Is this Aida’s own fantasy? Or is this Fitz’s cover? She tells him that his anger won’t solve it, they need his creativity – and then she pulls him in for a kiss! Yep. That’s Aida’s end game, her happy ending.

In the final scene, Coulson finds Daisy in the backseat of his car. He’s clearly totally freaked out and wants to know if she’s with the other person – and it’s not okay! Daisy tells him that she needs him to remember her. He insists that it’s not real. She begs him to remember her, but he doesn’t. This is another wonderful scene. Daisy tells him that he’s the one she goes to when things get heavy and he’s the closest thing she has to family. She hopes that deep down he feels it too… and then he remembers her name! And the last word is “Daisy.”

I loved this episode from start to finish. I loved how they played with our expectations, and how we got such heartfelt appeals to Coulson from both Simmons and Daisy. De Caestecker was wonderful as Evil-Fitz, but I’m still holding out hope that he’s playing Aida. I’m also loving finally getting the redemption for Ward that I’ve wanted since he first turned traitor. It’s fabulous to have Dalton back in the fold.

What did you think of the episode? Theories? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below!

The Good Fight – Reddick v Boseman – Review: “Are we expecting trouble?”

1.08 – “Reddick V Boseman” This week, Diane is reunited with yet another old client, while Carl Reddick makes a surprise first appearance in response to recent events at RB&K.

“We’re here, fighting the good fight.”

Finally, this episode brought Carl Reddick (Louis Gossett Jr.) back to the firm he started, and introduced us to a proud, accomplished, and ambitious lawyer, who is unimpressed with the direction his firm has gone in his absence. His introduction, a speech in front of the entire firm in a meeting room about the importance of being a worthy adversary to those who oppose you, is symbolic of the time he was of — and a stark contrast to Adrian Boseman’s to-the-point entrepreneurial side. Forming the 3rd angle of the named partners is Barbara Kolstad, who represents the more pragmatic perspective. So, when Carl comes in looking to completely remove Adrian from his place as a name partner of the firm, it both felt unlikely it would happen, but also worrying. Throughout the episode we’re treated to moments of Adrian and Carl attempting to sway partners one way or the other over a vote to change the leadership makeup of RB&K, with quick takes on different sides of a conflict: “We have to keep the doors open” versus “We have to keep our fight going, to stand for something in this firm.” 

In the end, it comes to a stalemate, as Barbara casts her vote to keep the act from going forward, and possibly allowing Carl to destabilize the firm by planning to completely oust Adrian from the firm. It mirrored the conflict between Stern, Lockhart, and Gardner in the first season of TGW, for better or for worse. (There are countless mirroring moments between this first season and earlier events of TGW, and while I appreciate that, one of the weaknesses of the later seasons of that show was how repetitious it became with the power plays in the firm… Can we try for new ground with this new firm in this new series, possibly?)

“Are you on eHarmony?…”

The case of the week was a bit of a mixed bag for me. While embroiled in a civil war of sorts with Reddick and Boseman vying for control of the firm, Pastor Jeremiah Easton (Frankie Faison) stops by to speak with Carl Reddick to ask a personal favor to help him evict a youth from the halfway house he sponsors. However, when Diane, Jay, and Maia go to serve the eviction notice, Paul Johnson, the evictee claims he’s been sexually victimized by Pastor Jeremiah, and he’s got plans to bring the pastor to court.

His lawyer, Gabe Kovak, does barely more than almost implicate himself in blackmail in his initial pitch to Diane for the suit against Pastor Jeremiah. From the beginning, this crass and creepy as hell “lawyer” barely seems ahead of the curve to keep Diane, and the investigative duo of Marissa and Jay at bay while he threatens Pastor Jeremiah with even more outrage if the case goes public. Adrian and Diane seemingly don’t know for certain if they believe Jeremiah is innocent, and Jeremiah’s “dignity” is increasingly at stake as they assert more and more damning “facts” about the pastor’s alleged relationship with Paul, claiming both that Paul could identify the pastor’s genitals, and also that they have video evidence of the pastor going to Paul’s room late at night for sexual misconduct. 

Pastor Jeremiah refutes the claims, but doesn’t do anything to prove his innocence. In the original series, he’s a very politically-driven pastor, who knows how to get money from his position, and is not exactly a straightforward individual, say, compared to his more idealistic son, Isaiah. However, sexual molestation would be an extreme affront to his established character. The reveal near the end of the episode is mostly satisfying, but also abrupt and confusing in a way.

Marissa and Jay realize that Pastor Jeremiah and Paul both wear fitbits as a part of the halfway house’s health initiative of sorts. They compare the data from the fitbits to the footage that Kovak claims to have the pastor making a move on Paul, but it doesn’t add up. Both of them experience “low heart rates” at the time of the meeting, which would not signify a sexual encounter at all. The big break in the case, however, is when they look into Kovak’s history, and find that he’s a member of the alt-right who takes cases to destabilize leftist public personas in order to further the narrative of his movement.

This is an interesting turn of events, but it isn’t exactly spelled out how a young black man in a halfway house is suddenly working with an alt-right trolling lawyer… I expect that he met with Paul at first to try to get him to turn against the pastor in an effort to gain money or notoriety, but didn’t expose the “alt-right” aspect of it. Either way, the case just sort of disappears after that, and I didn’t get a sense of closure at all on whether there was any credibility that the young man was lying or if he was just manipulated by his lawyer. 


After failing to get Maia’s attention, Henry orchestrates a suicide attempt. First, he writes a note for Lenore and Maia, then he dresses in his best suit. He leaves his watch, and goes to the barn to hang the noose. Amy gets Maia to check up on him, as she’s fearing the worst after getting his message. In a classic twist on a dramatic situation, he fails to get the noose deployed and accidentally falls over the railing in the barn, landing on his back.

Amy and Maia show up in time to hide the evidence of his suicide attempt, and later, this later fuels a proper emotional moment between Maia and Lenore at the hospital, as she reads his letter he originally left for them. He writes very eloquently that his wife and his daughter both deserved better from him. I was actually expecting more of an inquiry into the whole situation, but perhaps that will be saved for next week’s episode. This was one of the shorter parts of a busy episode, but probably the most effective for me.

“Did you hear what Trump did!?”

Colin and Lucca continue in their romantic side plot by saying gross things in public and threatening to have sex in a public bathroom. I’m not entirely annoyed by this, because they do have chemistry, and I laugh when people catch Colin saying lewd things on the phone while at work. I also like the awkward family introduction as well, as it brought back a familiar feeling that I’ve not felt since Alicia’s departure in the original series. At this point though, it feels a lot like they’re relying on old tricks without expanding on them too much, and the forced attempt at cable-like drama is reminding me of some of the dumber sexual interactions of TGW. But, this is just the beginning of the series, and there’s still interesting things that can happen in the political world of Chicago. I’m hoping this shapes up, narratively speaking, because Cush Jumbo kills each scene she’s in, even if the content is not really that fantastic yet.

Lucca’s exposure to the well-off Morello family’s liberal views entwined with indirect racist undertones (using her ethnicity to give validity to their opinions of President Trump/political situations that will not affect their posh lifestyle) unearthed a couple of threads: Colin’s being groomed to become a senator by the wealthy family and their friends, and Lucca does “get hurt by boys.” She reacts to the news of prospectively being racially-diverse arm candy for a budding politician by abruptly breaking up with Colin. Afterwards, she immediately breaks down in her car. Clearly, this isn’t going to be the end of that couple, and there’s still a rushed feeling to the whole thing, but it was still an effective emotional shot. 

NEXT WEEK (really more like tomorrow, because I’m writing this on Saturday): Jane Lynch joins the cast as a tricky FBI agent who probes Maia’s memories, and Colin Sweeney will make an appearance. (I love Dylan Baker’s creepy portrayal of Mr. Sweeney, but that was a squarely-Alicia-facing side plot, so I don’t know how well this will work for me…)


– Wilson’s running excuse for a late review?: This week we had severe storms/tornadoes roll through during an otherwise already busy week and I lost internet connectivity at home for a while. Now, I’m currently down at the beach on a short vacation for the weekend. I’m also writing this review a week after watching the episode only once, so it’s thinner on the details than usual. Apologies, folks!

– They said the thing… They’ve used the word “fight” a lot this season, but Barbara actually was the one that said “the good fight” in this episode. The Kings have no problem with being on the nose with their dialogue.

– That Kovak dude, I really hope he never shows up again. He made my skin crawl…

– Marissa + Jay are a great duo. I wish Jay wasn’t just Marissa’s mentor character, though. (There was more autonomy this time where he got to be Adrian’s eyes and ears during the infighting at the firm, but… more please!)

Alright, now it’s your turn. What did you think? Join the discussion in the comments section below.

Brooklyn Nine-Nine – Episode 4.13 – The Audit – Promo, Sneak Peeks, Promotional Photos & Press Release

Sneak Peeks

Thanks to Ellie87 for the heads up.

The Wrap

AV Club



Kyle Bornheimer (“Casual”) Guest-Stars

With the crime rate lowered, Brooklyn will be shutting down one of its precincts – permanently. The Nine-Nine is confident they will be evaluated fairly, until the official auditor turns out to be Amy’s ex-boyfriend, Teddy (guest star Kyle Bornheimer). The whole squad then must band together to try to save the precinct in the all-new “The Audit” spring premiere episode of BROOKLYN NINE-NINE airing Tuesday, April 11 (8:00-8:31 PM ET/PT) on FOX. (BRK-413) (TV-14 D, L, V)

Cast: Andy Samberg as Det. Jake Peralta; Andre Braugher as Capt. Ray Holt; Terry Crews as Sgt. Terry Jeffords; Melissa Fumero as Det. Amy Santiago; Joe Lo Truglio as Det. Charles Boyle; Stephanie Beatriz as Det. Rosa Diaz; Dirk Blocker as Det. Hitchcock; Joel McKinnon Miller as Det. Scully

Guest Cast: Kyle Bornheimer as Teddy Wells, Jama Williamson as Rachel


Performers Of The Month – March Polls

The nominations this month were incredibly robust with a massive turnout. This might very well have been the most nominations ever submitted. Normally there are clear fan favorites who dominate and get a ridiculous number of nominations. Those nominees don’t always go on to win, but they always do very well in the polls. This month was an exception in that there was no clear singular favorite in either category. Every one of these Top 5 in both categories received hundreds of nominations each. There were a few contenders who got very close, but just barely missed slipping into the Top 5. Thank you so much to every person who participated in the nomination round. Your entries have helped to create what could very well be our most competitive polls yet.

Now comes the hard part where you can only vote for 1 actor and 1 actress to be crowned as the Performers Of The Month for March. The polls will be open until 6 pm ET on April 14th.

Here is the list of your Top 5 Reader Nominees in each category:

Top 5 Reader Nominated Actors (In alphabetical order):

Stephen Amell (Oliver Queen/Green Arrow) – Arrow (5×17 & 5×18) (Also Staff Nominated)

Matthew Daddario (Alec Lightwood) – Shadowhunters (2×10)

Bob Morley (Bellamy Blake) – The 100 (4×6 & 4×7)

Dominic Sherwood (Jace Wayland) – Shadowhunters (2×10)

Chris Wood (Mon-El) – Supergirl (2×16 & 2×17)

Top 5 Reader Nominated Actresses (In alphabetical order):

Sarah Drew (Dr. April Kepner) – Grey’s Anatomy (13×16)

Katherine McNamara (Clary Fray) – Shadowhunters (2×10)

Lana Parrilla (Regina Mills/Evil Queen) – Once Upon a Time (6×14) (Also Staff Nominated)

Eliza Taylor (Clarke Griffin) – The 100 (4×5 & 4×8)

Emeraude Toubia (Isabelle Lightwood) – Shadowhunters (2×10)

Please remember the rule that a single performer can only win 2 times in one year before they become disqualified for the rest of 2017. If any prior winners win again they will no longer be eligible for nomination in 2017.

2016 SpoilerTV Performer of the Year: Chyler Leigh

2016 SpoilerTV Reader’s Choice Performer of the Year: Amy Acker

December Winners:

Outstanding Actor: Tarjei Sandvik Moe (Isak Valtersen) – Skam

Outstanding Actress: Melissa Benoist (Kara Danvers/Supergirl) (Guest Star) – Legends of Tomorrow

January Winners:

Outstanding Actor: Christian Kane (Jacob Stone) – The Librarians

Outstanding Actress: Floriana Lima (Maggie Sawyer) – Supergirl

February Winners:

Outstanding Actor: Harry Shum Jr. (Magnus Bane) – Shadowhunters

Outstanding Actress: Katie McGrath (Lena Luthor) (Guest Star) – Supergirl

All winners throughout the year earn a place on our year-end Performer Of The Year poll which will determine the best performer of 2017!

Please only 1 vote per poll per person! May the best performers win!

After you vote be sure to hit the comments to convince others why your nominees are the most outstanding performers from March and why they deserve to win.

Prison Break – Kaniel Outis – Advance Preview

In true Prison Break form, the first episode of its revival turned out to be a divisive one. Critics, for the most part, hated it, while fans viewed it much more warmly, as you perhaps might expect for a revival of a cult show that was never a critical favourite at even the height of its creative powers. After gloomy predictions, it actually ended up a ratings success, too. Wherever side you came down on the fence, it’s clear that Prison Break’s return evoked some strong feelings. For better or for worse, it got people talking. In an age of 500+ shows, that’s not insignificant. But can Prison Break 2.0 stay relevant as the novelty wears off?

Kaniel Outis is a different beast in many ways to its predecessor. It’s set primarily in the war-torn city of Sana’a in Yemen rather than Vancouver masquerading as upstate New York, swapping out leafy suburbs for dusty, cracked vistas of desolation. It’s also different in how it sits down to spend a significant amount of time with Michael, after he spent almost the entirety of the premiere hiding behind a curtain, waiting for its entrance. Yet in many other ways, it’s a natural continuation. Its pacing is hyperactive, there’s a logically puzzling action set-piece, and the plot is more convoluted than ever. As sweeping a critical statement as this sounds: if you liked the first episode of Prison Break, you’ll probably like this one. There’s no gear change here.

It may come as no great surprise that Michael’s primary objective when we catch up with him here is to break out of prison. He’s doing this, seemingly, because it’s what his character does. In that respect, we’re in very familiar territory here, and it’s where Kaniel Outis feels the most like a reskinned version of Prison Break’s greatest hits. The same building blocks of this plotline are as they’ve been in prior seasons: the thinly-sketched breakout crew, the impossibly intricate plan, the subterfuge around oblivious guards.  

It’s gently entertaining in the way it echoes Prison Break’s nuts-and-bolts glory days of Michael assembling his masterplan to escape from Fox River, but that’s it – it’s an echo. Michael himself doesn’t fare very well, either. Wentworth Miller could play this role in his sleep and still be engaging in his enigmatic, chilly way, but Michael’s characterisation squanders Miller’s performance, forcing him to spout riddle after riddle as Michael describes his agenda in the vaguest terms imaginable. It was fun, once, to know that our lead character was ten steps ahead of us in the audience.

Now, with so many chessmaster characters on TV, the convoluted methods of withholding information that will be a shock reveal later on for no emotionally realistic reason are frustrating, not compelling. Future episodes would do better to tap into the actual layers of the character beyond the sole attribute he’s most popular for.

Meanwhile, Lincoln and C-Note have their own mission to contend with, and it’s one that sends the show careering into some sticky territory. The creators insisted that this revival wouldn’t make a political statement – that it’s just here to be enjoyable escapism, and there’s nothing wrong with that conceptually. Yet setting the show amidst the Yemeni civil war, and making so-called Islamic State terrorists prominent villains, is a statement in of itself, and it’s not really one that Prison Break seems to know it’s making. Its conception of Yemen is vague and thin, defined solely by (a being dangerous and (b full of terrorists.

It’s the FOX News version of the Middle East, one that refuses ever to engage with specifics and merely just throws in some pervasive stereotypes of a war-torn country and the terrorists that threaten it. Add to that the optics of, for instance, Lincoln the American winning over the locals by bribing them consistently with US dollars, and it paints an unflattering picture of this show’s writing. There’s room for stories about hot-button issues of terrorism and radicalisation, but that requires finesse and nuance, to go beyond the narratives of cable news and Call of Duty. Prison Break, for all of its good intentions, doesn’t have that finesse, and it ends up playing into some ugly stereotypes.

As with Ogygia, Kaniel Outis is a tightly-paced episode that knows when to throw out an intriguing twist for a burst of energy whenever its narrative becomes bogged down. There are some really enjoyable moments to be found here – the return of another original character to the series is narratively inessential, but genuinely fun in a way this grim-and-gritty revival isn’t always. The cast remain engaging, too, although Dominic Purcell’s straight-man action hero shtick feels like a waste of the actor’s talents after his great work on Legends of Tomorrow this season.

Yet this is an episode that seems unmoored, playing it too safe on one hand while dipping into touchy subject matter on the other with the subtlety of a jackhammer. Prison Break is trying to tell something rich and compelling here, and sometimes it crops through in its exploration of game theory and how that cold, rational worldview is reflected in the agendas of these characters. Yet it can’t overcome its addictions to tired tropes and lazy narrative shortcuts designed for a cheap moment of excitement, as evidenced in a lousy cliffhanger that reflects badly on the show’s ability to take weighty topics seriously.

In all likelihood, you might have drawn your line in the sand on this revival already. If you’re finding it an exciting burst of nostalgia with actors and characters you enjoy, then Kaniel Outis will probably be a satisfying second chapter to you, and that’s a reasonable viewpoint to take. Yet for those viewers who aren’t on board, Kaniel Outis provides no real reasons for you to suddenly hop on. Prison Break knows who it’s pleasing, but the limits of TV made solely for the fans is becoming clearer by the minute.

Kaniel Outis airs on FOX on Tuesday at 9/8C.

The Originals – Keepers of the House- Review

This week on The Originals, The Mikaelsons race to New Orleans so that Vincent can heal Hope. It works but only temporarily. Vincent and Elijah team up to find the missing children. Hayley and Marcel do the same and come across a werewolf who is involved in the scheme. She claims they started this as a way to fight Marcel for control of the city. She then takes her own life. Vincent and Elijah confront Will who is also a part of it. He escapes but they manage to track him to where the children are. They save the kids but Marcel and Klaus end up trapped in a circle with the Hollow. At the end of the episode, both Klaus and Marcel seem affected by it. Meanwhile, Freya and Keelin steal some of Marcel’s venom and seem to grow closer. 

Favorite pair: I have a new ship! I knew I sensed something between Freya and Keelin last week. They have a very interesting dynamic. Freya hasn’t really been herself lately. Even when she was watching Hope, she kept herself at a distance. She’s been hyper focused on her family’s safety for years now, I think by now it’s all she knows to do. And yet, Keelin seems to bring out the old Freya. Even got her to almost smile. But this is the CW so Keelin probably won’t live to see the end of the season. 

Favorite character: In only a few episodes Vincent has become one of my favorite characters. Out of everyone, he seems to be the most levelheaded. He tries his best to keep the peace between the Mikaelsons and Marcel while also doing what must be done to protect everyone. That included his best friend Will. Even while knowing how far gone Will was, he still did everything in his power to save him. 

Most useless character: Okay, what is the point of Sofya being in this season? We’re 4 episodes in and so far all we’ve seen her do is be Marcel’s eye candy. I expected her to catch Keelin breaking into the safe and some kind of fight scene, but nothing happened. Dear writers, use her or lose her. 

Character I’m worried about: After this week’s episode, I’m a bit concerned about Elijah’s storyline this season. I feeling like they’re preparing for him to go dark. His willingness to kill an innocent child and Vincent’s mention that the Hollow brings out your darkest feelings felt like signs to me. I think being in that dream world messed all of them up a lot more than they’re letting on. It’s funny because, Klaus, the character who I would expect to be the most damaged after the past 5 years seems to be the most stable right now. What the hell happened in that dream world? 

What’s next? So it seems that the Hollow has gotten hold of Marcel and Klaus. We still know very little about it actually is. My money is on some kind of godlike creature. It’s really the only thing I can think of. I’m assuming it’s trapped somewhere, kind of like Cade on TVD, and will be set free soon enough. I guess it’ll continue to go after Hope. If it likes children and power, it won’t be able to stay away from her. I do hope we’ll get to see what Hope can do soon. So far we’ve only really gotten a glimpse. 

Best quotes: Keelin: “Sorry, I don’t do bloodhound.” 

Elijah: “That’s quite the monster that you’ve got lurking in there. Do you want to see mine?” 

Hayley: “We have got to stop making it a habit of putting our family’s lives ahead of others’. I don’t want that for myself. I don’t want that for Hope. We have to do better.” 

That’s it for this week. Check in again next week for an all-new review and let me know in the comments what you thought of this week’s episode.

Designated Survivor – Season 2 – Looking for a New Showrunner

Thanks to Al for the heads up.

Army Wives grad Jeff Melvoin, who boarded the Kiefer Sutherland starrer in December, is being replaced as showrunner, The Hollywood Reporter has learned. A search is underway for a new showrunner to take over for an expected second season of the political thriller. Melvoin, who replaced Jon Harmon Feldman, will stay on as an executive producer and help train the new showrunner.

All told, the expected new hire will become Designated Survivor’s fourth showrunner. Amy B. Harris (The Carrie Diaries, Wicked City) was originally tapped to serve as showrunner on the drama created by David Guggenheim. After boarding the Mark Gordon Co. show ahead of the pilot, Harris was replaced as Designated Survivor scored its official series pickup in May as the show’s creative changed direction. Harris was replaced by Feldman (Blood and Oil, No Ordinary Family), who helped launch the ABC Studios and Mark Gordon Co. co-production to decent reviews and impressive ratings (including DVR records) ahead of its full-season pickup. Feldman left in December for an overall deal with ABC Studios.

Designated Survivor remains a key property for ABC. Despite cooling off following its strong out-of-the-gate launch, Netflix inked a multiple-season deal with co-producers Entertainment One, Mark Gordon Co. and ABC Studios for international rights to the show. A second season pickup is all but a done deal.

Read More on THR