This Week on TV, Nov. 22, 2014

Spoiler Alert!

Once Upon a Time

Oh, Rumplestiltskin, you were doing so well! Sacrificing your life to save the people you love! Marrying Belle and giving her your dagger! (even if you needed to lie for a moment and use the real dagger to avenger your son, then switch it with the fake you gave Belle) Doing things free of charge! Wanting so badly to not do what you were forced to do under the dagger’s compulsion. But now, after losing your son and finding the sorcerer’s hat, you seem to be embracing the darkness once again. I mean, trapping the apprentice in the hat? Deceiving Emma into believing you are helping her, so she thanks you as she’s about to unwittingly walk into her doom? Coercing Hook, even ripping his heart out, keeping him alive with the knowledge of his slavery and impending death? Oh, that is so low! It breaks the heart to see one who was doing so well descending again into evil.

Fortunately for Emma, she has Elsa right there to save her. She may not have realized she was saving Emma’s life, but she certainly took a risk to help her friend. I love what she said to Emma, that simply being loved by others isn’t enough. Emma must love herself and embrace her power, just as Elsa has. Elsa only realized this just recently, but just in time to share it with a friend in need.

I also liked how the Dark One and the Snow Queen are maneuvering against each other. Now they’ve taken what they need from one another, the town’s too small for the both of them. It’s a race now, to see who will be first to the finish, who will gain the upper hand, and who will destroy whom? Ingrid seems to be ahead now that Rumple’s suffered a severe setback and Ingrid’s goals have just advanced, but don’t count the Dark One out just yet!

I notice that these apocalyptic curses all seem to look like clouds for some reason.

And, finally, Regina’s metamorphosis continues as she shares sage advice, learned from her own mistakes, with Snow and Charming, receives encouragement from Snow, and finds greater support from Robin. And perhaps this mysterious person who wrote the book. The sorcerer, perhaps? (then again, were I the sorcerer, I’m not sure I’d have let the hat fall into the Dark One’s hands again)

Oh, and we know Anna technically did trap Elsa in the urn, but not of her own free will. And she was frozen.

Agents of Shield

Ah. I see my hallucination theory seems to be proven wrong, and my thought that Senator Ward would have been smarter to use every possible resource to stop his escaped brother has most definitely been proven right. It doesn’t get much more convincing than kidnapped, dragged on a hike, forced to dig one’s own would-be grave, forced to confess (ah, he did do it, then!), and then torched alongside your abusive parents. About the only question left for the Grant family is, “Is Thomas still alive?”

Meanwhile, we discover that Whitehall has a surprising connection to one of Coulson’s team, none other than Sky. His inhumanity is certainly well-established, as it is revealed he was the one who personally had her mother butchered, harvesting her genetic material, the secret of his renewed youth. If I had been Sky’s father, finding my beloved wife’s corpse so mutilated, so defiled, I probably would have gone crazy too.

All the more satisfying, then, as we see the shadow-dancing of Whitehall and Sky’s father, like predators circling each other, trying to feel each other out. It’s particularly good when Grant Ward returns, ingratiating himself back into Hydra, and forming a read-between-the-lines connection with Sky’s father (apparently he’s called “the Doctor” in the script). Could this be the beginning of an alliance to protect Sky and avenge her mother? Always exciting when a pair of homicidal maniacs team up to do something good, something the audience wants them to do, even if it is due to their twisted reasoning.

And we have our usual Shield fun-time: Mr. Bakshi (or however his name is spelled) is interrogated and tries to commit suicide, Fitz takes a forward step in his recovery, Morse and Hunter get a room (or van), Coulson starts actively trying to emulate Fury’s capabilities as Director, May holds the fort at home, Simmons displays her idolization of Agent Carter (who makes an appearance in flashbacks), and Sky and Trip deliver a watch and a button in Hawaii as part of a super secret mission in Australia to map the entire earth and find this hidden city everyone is after.

Oh, and this city and the Diviner (and what’s inside it (ah! “Revealing what’s inside!”)) apparently have something to do with the end of the world.

Gotham

I’m rather torn about the introduction of Harvey Dent in this week’s episode. Not only are they hitting hard on his future as Two-Face, but it seems he has only two modes: far too happy or freaking scary. “He was scared,” says Dent to Gordon concerning their suspect in the Wayne murders. Well, yes, Harvey, but not for the reasons you suppose, I think.

The bomb-maker, Hargrove, is obviously off his rocker a bit, but he seems to comprehend the value of human life. That, I think, is the most important thing, and I’m not sure I’d have sent a man like that to prison, rather than a psychiatric facility. It makes it all the more tragic, then, after he’s been rescued from evil men who coerce him into making bombs that kill people, for him to be sent to Arkham among a crowd of “criminally insane.” If he wasn’t insane going in, he will be when he comes back out.

On the lighter side of things, Gordon stashes Cat with Bruce and Alfred. Fitting, as she’s the star witness in the case of Bruce’s parents. Alfred’s a good bodyguard (remembering how he had Allen at his mercy a couple episodes back), but the addition of Cat to the Bruce-Alfred dynamic is, at first, unwelcome. They clash a bit, experience some friction, this girl from the streets and this boy in high society, but not too badly. Alfred certainly sees that this might not be so bad after all, once she gets Bruce smiling, laughing as they throw food at each other. Ah, kids!

Back in the underworld, Penguin and Fish are as conniving as ever. Fish doesn’t quite realize why Penguin wanted to smell her scent, besides being creepy, but she’s using her pawns to move against Falcone now, so she’s getting pretty confident with herself. Meanwhile, Penguin has discovered Liza’s secret, and I suspect he’s now going to use Liza against Fish, and likely Falcone once Fish is disposed with.

I’m rather enjoying the intrigue!

(considering her name is Fish and her enemy is Penguin, I think we know who’s going to win)

The Flash

Hmm. It’s an interesting choice to have a guy who controls the weather, then a guy who multiplies, then a guy who becomes toxic mist, then a normal man with a unique gun, then a woman who makes everything explode at her touch, and now, it seems almost mundane, more mundane than the ice-gun, it’s just a guy who turns his flesh into steel. Yet for all the wacky danger Barry has had to adapt to, in a simple contest of speed vs strength, he now has to confront the fact that he is not super strong or invulnerable, he’s just really fast, and his opponent is just an overgrown bully.

And to make matters worse, he’s the same bully from Barry’s childhood, and clearly wants Iris. (thank you, people who make this show, for letting Iris get the last punch)

There are some hinky details, of course. I mean, if Barry manages to travel faster than the speed of sound, then wouldn’t it be impossible for the sound of the sonic boom to reach his opponent before Barry himself?

And somehow no one Barry picks up and moves with his speed suffers any injury from being suddenly hit with something super-fast, despite how that is exactly how Barry manages to overcome this bully.

Also, never reveal your secret identity to an enemy! Yes, you have him locked up, but that brief moment of triumph over an old enemy is simply not worth the risk if he manages to somehow escape.

Looking past that, it was good to see Barry and Iris patch things up, and to see Barry and Eddie start to bond a bit. They both like Iris, though Barry keeps it secret, but Eddie seems like an alright guy. Of course, then I glanced at wikipedia and found that Eddie is somehow going to be the Professor Zoom yellow-flash who is obsessed with Flash and murdered Barry’s mom. I had thought Wells was the culprit, as he obviously has knowledge and tech from the future, and he’s obsessed with Barry, and he’s a wolf in sheep’s clothing, and everything points to him. So… I’m confused about how they’re telling this story, but, then again, I was confused about some Black Canary things in Arrow, and that’s all coming together now, so I’m sure things will be made clear in time. The secrets of Wells and Eddie will eventually come to light. Whichever one of them turns out to be Barry’s arch-nemesis.

Of everyone Joe West could have asked for help in solving the murder of Barry’s mother, it is ironic that he asks the aforementioned wolf in sheep’s clothing, Dr. Wells. Though he proves at least someone is becoming suspicious of the man. Unfortunately, it seems he’s attracted the enemy’s attention.

Hmmm, considering Wells’ knowledge of future event, I wonder if he knows from experience that his colleague could have built a particle accelerator in four years.

And, heh, gotta love how Caitlin and Cisco both interact with each other (calculating how many insects Barry eats while running every day) and Barry (the uber-nerd trio!). Had to laugh at the scene where Caitlin lectures Barry about visiting with Iris as the Flash while setting his dislocated shoulder back into place. Heh! Classic!

Arrow

Cupid. Single craziest girlfriend-wannabe ever. Ever. Far outclasses Huntress in the crazy department. As such, she gets so many fun lines, delivered with giddy, terrifying sweetness by a woman with a “killer” figure (sorry, I could not ignore the pun). She’s absolutely no match for the Arrow once he catches up to her, but she certainly left a trail of devastation in her wake.

(I could swear I saw that scene where Olly saved her in last season’s finale, but I can’t seem to find it again…)

Naturally, as Olly has a… hmmm, was this one psychopath or sociopath… either way, as he has a crazy lady hunting him, trying to be with him, this is the episode where he discovers Felicity is moving on with her life since she can’t be with Olly. I can understand why Olly’s getting so twisted up inside, as it’s never easy seeing the proof that a gorgeous woman you care deeply for does not necessarily need you to be her significant other in order to be happy, but, still, he made a choice, and so has Felicity. Now he needs to move on somehow.

(Sara’s still my favorite out of Olly’s girlfriends)

And it turns out Felicity has a type! Who’d have thunk it! Rich, smart, physically fit, handsome, and wants to improve the world! (and who are, or become, superheroes) I can think of worse types! 😉 Of course, the part where Ray even does that insane jumping pull-up routine, shirtless, is priceless! These two make for a cute couple, I say, and their relationship is certainly progressing, with their first “date” of sorts, Felicity’s support and admiration of him, Ray’s admiration and respect for her, and their first kiss! Ooooh-oooh!

And Ray is making progress towards his superhero identity of the Atom.

Roy is off his game as he tries to come to terms what what he did, even if he wasn’t in his right mind at the time. Poor guy, that’s a terrible weight to carry. Fortunately, even as Olly gets knocked off his game too, they find some solace in the love and company of the Diggle family. Behold the great divider between the heroes and villains: the heroes endure the tough times together, as a family.

Thea gets a surprise suitor in the form of her new DJ, an arrogant egotist, but he’s good at his job. Very bold too, daring to kiss her so soon. Gotta wonder who this guy is and what he’s up to.

And Olly’s friends from his flashbacks are very dangerous! Especially the wife with a samurai sword! Oh, I dread what we’re going to see happen to them! It can’t be good!

I forget, did we see where he learned that trick to slip out handcuffs yet?

Next villain: Captain Boomerang!

Side-note, they’re doing an Arrow vs Flash crossover already? Isn’t that just a bit soon? And isn’t it just a bit obvious from the trailers that it’s because something happens to Barry to make him go crazy?

Nashville

The CMA’s!

With drama!

You know, it really is demeaning when they teleprompt someone into behaving stupider than they are. Layla’s finally been turning around as a character, coming into her own, finding her voice, and to see her forced to say something that makes her sound like an idiot, particularly in the wake of that awful, insulting reality show… well, small wonder she’s upset. Oddly enough, though her husband Will is a super-popular sex symbol, he’s able to empathize with her experience of seeing a fabricated depiction of her in the spotlight. Were I Will, I would probably set out to write a song or two for Layla, to support her somehow. For the moment though, yes, hold her, Will. Hold her.

Though Will is wrong about one thing. I say you can be famous for who you are, and you should.

Juliette meets Avery’s parents! And oh boy, the mother is nice, and the dad really isn’t. Fortunately, it allows Avery to get a good look at himself, and make a decision, albeit one he has no firm plan for, to change, to be better as a father than his own, and to be there for Juliette. Certainly she needs it, and it’s exactly what she needs. Forget how she was all but ignored by the CMA’s, she has a man who loves her. Even if they have some issues to work out, there is little I find more inspiring than a commitment to be the best parents they can be.

Speaking of parenthood, Gunnar and Zoe find their relationship strained after Micah’s mother abandons him. Zoe is unwilling to bear the responsibilities of motherhood, emphasized as the despicable (and desperate) Jeff Fordham dangles the carrot of fame and fortune before her eyes. All the worse, Micah goes to the bathroom when their backs are turned and gets lost, resulting in Gunnar panicking and snapping at Zoe. Zoe, with her spirit dealt a blow, believes she can only come between Gunnar and Micah, so she leaves them and goes to live with Scarlett and Deacon.

Speaking of Micah, poor guy, with two motherly figures leaving his life in quick succession. Gunnar obviously hasn’t told Micah the truth about his mother, wanting to keep his hope alive, and that’s not a bad thing, but perhaps not the best either. I have no talent with talking to people, so perhaps I’m wrong about this, but the best thing I could think to do is be honest, and stress to Micah that it’s not his fault.

It would probably be something like, “Son, you are about to learn a hard lesson: that good people can make terrible mistakes, and people who don’t deserve anything bad still have bad things happen to them. Your mother, right now, is making the single worst mistake of her life. I hope she comes back, because if she doesn’t, this will haunt her for the rest of he days. And you need to know, her choice has nothing to do with you. Remember that. You don’t deserve this. Her choice is only about her. But whether she comes back or not, I will take care of you. I’m here, son. I’m here.”

Then again, very easy to say something like that when I’m not in that situation. It’s not like I can fault Gunnar for trying to protect his son. Perhaps do what he did for a bit, then do what I would do?

Going back to Scarlett and Deacon, they settle down to watch the CMA’s on TV, though Deacon is reluctant at first. He enjoys it more as he sees good things for his friends, and sees Rayna and Luke displaying a certain strain in their relationship. Scarlett gets reflective of her time in the spotlight, remarking how there were things she liked about it, but it felt lonely.

Rayna and Luke are working out some kinks in their relationship, spurred on by Rayna’s reaction to something Luke intended to talk about later, namely a prenuptial agreement. Rayna has some issues with that, and she fails to give Luke the credit he feels he deserves for the first several of her awards. Luke is agitated and drinks a bit (honestly, these people need to go sober), and maybe begins to form a connection with Rayna’s friend and an artist on her label, Sadie Stone (no, no, no, no, no! I know they seem to have a thing for throwing couplings around willy-nilly, but, for pete’s sake, not that one!). Fortunately, they seem to be working that out by the end, as they both honestly express themselves. Rayna gives him all the credit she can with her final award, and one of the best acceptance speeches in history. He apologizes for his shameful behavior. (Love is learning to say you’re sorry)

More trouble, when Teddy starts associating in public with the escort Jeff introduced him to. Yeah, that’s gonna bite him and his family in the ass, particularly with what I can surmise to be Jeff’s master plan: to trap Teddy in a situation where he can be blackmailed into signing his daughters Maddie and Daphne to Edgehill, furthering his vendetta/feud with Rayna.

This show really does have an intricate plot on a very personal level for the characters, and one that does not get held up for twenty episodes soap-opera style.

(indeed, very intricate, as I just spent a whole page on Nashville alone… must work on condensing that in the future)

White Collar

It’s really good to see Neal’s heart, as he wants to look out for a girl he has to con in order to get close to what he has to steal. Unfortunately, the targeted tech company is using outdated hardware that no one can hack, so they have to steal a file, then put it back, without incriminating an innocent girl.

My plan in such a situation: they used the feather, so now use the hammer. Break in loudly, flashily, put the file back, leave “empty-handed.” Amy suffers no lasting consequence. (or at least that would be the case if her boss did not arrive back early from overseas and notice the theft)

Instead, we have Neal showing us the one time he wants to fail on a date, with a girl he really likes. Thank you, June, for the assistance! Futile effort, but appreciated nonetheless!

With Neal wanting to both succeed and fail in a relationship, and the Burkes preparing for a drastic change to their relationship, things are complicated further by the evolving and dangerous relationship of Neal, Keller, and their handlers. Both sides want the same things, but are willing to employ vastly different methods to accomplish them. Things come to a head when Peter intends to confess the Bureau’s activities, but his Interpol counterpart instead goes with their original plan of slipping the file into Amy’s purse, but Amy interrupts Keller in the act, and Neal has to talk and think fast to save everything. Or at least, everything that can be saved, as he’ll have to live with breaking Amy’s heart.

Neal is left with another wound to his soul, and a realization that he’s actually enjoying working for the FBI in a way, as he only cons bad guys now. But there’s a lot of money coming to the Pink Panthers in the show’s final weeks, and you know he’s gonna be tempted to take it.

Grimm

Oh, big decision, and not a comfortable one. Nick and Juliette never had a choice about all this Grimm business in the first place, and to have it suddenly become a choice, well, they certainly needed some time to think about it, together and separately. Then, of course, is the part where reversing the curse involves an exact reversal of what was done to enact it in the first place. Which gets awkward on many levels, and is almost like indulging a violation in order to fix one. Blech!

Nick comes to realize he liked being a Grimm, and wants it back, but Juliette kind of needs to be on board with that. And super kudos to her! For all her doubts and wishes, she does not hesitate one second to make the sacrifice once she sees her friends, Munroe and Rosalee, need Nick to be a Grimm, to protect them. That is strength that can’t be taught.

(the women of Grimm kick ass!)

The friends in question are on the receiving end of another hate crime in response to their inter-wesen marriage. Those punks ever dare to face Munroe in a fair fight, I would not want to be in their place.

Meanwhile, Adalind herself falls deeper down the rabbit hole, somewhat literally, as she’s forced to wander an illusory labyrinth to torment her mind. It now makes sense why the Gollum-wannabe sounded like Viktor, yet Adalind did not detect it. And when Viktor comes to offer relief, if she just helps him find her baby… it’s horrifying and terrifying, and that look of sublime hope in her eyes shows that he has succeeded. He has broken her. God help the Resistance when she starts naming names, and they start taking losses to protect a child they’ve never even heard of.

Not that the Royals will be the only one looking. Elizabeth wants to see her granddaughter, of course, and she intends to find the woman entrusted with her. Oh, that promises to be a most interesting meeting!

With Nick on the verge of becoming a Grimm again, and before the decision is made, Trubel comes even further into her own. She’s had fairly compassionate roles these last few episodes, but she proved this week that she’s still got the crazy killer inside anytime she needs it. This is demonstrated when a wesen thinks to hurt Nick (and Bud), requiring Trubel’s brand of machete-wielding persuasion. She’s also fairly decided that, if Nick does not become a Grimm again, she should leave, to keep the crazy as far from Nick and Juliette as possible, so they can live normal lives. Considering how much they mean to her, and how much their home has meant to her, that is a tremendous sacrifice she is willing to make.

Fortunately, Nick is on the path to Grimm-hood again, and I pity the wesen criminals who get in the way of two Grimms! …well, okay, maybe not “pity” but I don’t envy them, that’s for sure!

And a few small notes to finish this off:

Wu is making his presence felt, and they need to tell him something.

Josh Porter, the son of an elderly Grimm we met at the tale-end of last season, is being hunted by wesen we can probably assume work for some Royals and are after his father’s key, which he gave to Nick.

Those evil wolf-headed brothers, tormenting that poor woman! First they beguile her into a relationship, then they try and convince her she’s crazy with those nightmarish hauntings! She goes to therapy, she’s on medication, they terrify her into driving and accidentally killing an innocent bystander, and they likely intended to kill her, just for her money!

Personally, I’d have been rooting for decapitations, or at least losing some sort of appendage they value.

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