This Week on TV, Dec. 6, 2014

Once Upon a Time

One thing to be said for Once Upon a Time: they have gotten really good with their heartbreaking cliffhangers. That ending moment of…. silence… it’s like that moment you’re actually scared to turn to the next page in a book, because what just happened was so immense… but you are so hungry for what happens next, you must turn that page! Oooooh! It gave me goosebumps!

Rumplestiltskin. The villain. The Dark One. You know what the difference is between hero and villain? One is selfless, as Rumplestiltskin was when he sacrificed his life to protect his family, and the other is selfish, as Rumplestiltskin is now, as he lies to his wife, destroys the fairies, makes deals with the Snow Queen, and forces poor Hook to do his dirty work.

I’m wondering just what that sorcerer was thinking when he made a hat that eats people who possess magic. And how, exactly, did they let it slip from their grip twice?

Contrasting with the selfish villains are the selfless heroes, walking by faith, hope, and love, and then taking precautions to keep their loved ones safe from them when the Spell of Shattered Sight hits them. Elsa had the best timing ever for making her wish, as Ana and Kristoff were in dire need of rescue. (ah, so Blackbeard has the Jolly Roger… again… sheesh, and what do you want to bet it was Ariel who saved his sorry life the first time?) In the face of this extreme circumstance, it’s heartening and heartbreaking for everyone to isolate themselves, as they are putting everyone else before their own interests, yet unable to do what comes most naturally to them: band together.

So the spell is cast. The crap has hit the fan, and we are left in the frozen moment just as it’s about to fly everywhere.

And the letter Ana and Elsa’s parents wrote so desperately, in their last act, has come to Storybrooke. What does it say?

Agents of Shield

Ah-hah! So it is the Kree after all! I couldn’t be certain, but all indications were that the Kree were behind this, and that has now been confirmed. And in typical Kree fashion, the first security measure was genius, brutal, and merciless. What could be simpler, yet more insurmountable, than turning invaders into defenders the moment they invade?

And that was the first security around the city.

The obelisk, the Diviner, has it’s own instantly-lethal security. Seems to be a thing with the Kree.

And Mac… poor Mac. If he’s even still alive (not entirely out of the question), he’s now one of the devil’s own sentinels. The man who helped Fitz start really healing. The man Fitz relied so much on.

And that’s just one corner of our latest episode. Morse has some scheme cooking, which Mac was a part of. Coulson strives for zero casualties and loses a good, capable man within minutes, even ordering Fitz to shoot Mac with real bullets. Fitz and Simmons find it too painful to be around each other, yet Simmons keeps trying, but Fitz has decided to leave the lab to her. Skye and Raina actually interact some, with Raina claiming their destinies are entwined with this idea of being worthy of the Kree city’s power, which will apparently render mankind virtually extinct except for the chosen few, and with a discussion regarding Skye’s father, who is “misunderstood.” Ward returns long enough to take Raina and Skye (his obsession) from Shield, with the promise of sparing everyone on the Bus, which he keeps.

Unfortunately, when Whitehall hears of this, he immediately orders Shield’s plane to be shot out of the air. Cliffhanger.

Castle

Oh, Castle! You are so adorable when you go all geeky like that!

This week’s niche flavor: action movies! This one is obviously a tribute to both the classic action flicks we grew up with and the movies The Expendables, which brings the action stars together for absurd amounts of gunfire and explosions. (haven’t actually seen them yet, but that much, I can tell from trailers)

This one had some unexpected twists and turns, in classic Castle fashion. First the victim is an action star, then he’s a living weapon as a former secret agent, then he’s just a goat-herd who became a movie star by ripping off (with permission) his friend’s story, then he’s a real badass who beats down four guys like they’re nothing, and so on and so forth. Of course, the killer is hiding in plain sight. What’s more dangerous than a drug dealer with his own club? A woman.

Beckett certainly had her work cut out for her, investigating a celebrity’s murder, reining in Castle’s rampant geek-out, and taking on a drug dealer, all while bidding a final, fond farewell to her old place, officially completing the move-in with her new husband. Good luck with the new life!

The Flash

Flash vs Arrow!

Called it! A draw! A tie! I mean, what else could it possibly be with these people?

And I called it again! Something was done to Barry to make him go crazy.

Two calls notwithstanding, I really enjoyed this! We had a pair of heroes who were friends, but with mentors/associates who were wary of each other, and this episode was pretty good at highlighting both the similarities and the differences between Barry and Olly. This was particularly emphasized on Barry’s side, of course. As Olly is trying to teach him discipline, this is the episode he loses it completely.

The Arrow once rampaged through his city, piling up a body count, but has redeemed himself and the police are no longer after him. Now the Flash, whose worst failures are the lives taken by his enemies, now, after everything he’s done, gets put on the city’s naughty list, not to mention Iris’ hate list, after he nearly kills Eddie (in an induced state). That’s a long road to walk to find redemption for something which isn’t even his fault.

You gotta love how they managed to keep the good humor going through this hero vs hero episode. Setting Felicity’s shirt (though nothing else) on fire. “I heard you heal fast.” It’s difficult to tell when Olly is joking, apparently. “It’s so good to have another woman to talk to!” as they’re talking about science and tech stuff. “Sure would be nice to have a cold gun right now.” (dun-dun-dun!) And “Please tell me you’re not having this conversation right now,” as the heroes square off. LOL.

Felicity has a thought on how to find Sara’s killer at last.

They are pursuing Captain Boomerang (one of Flash’s classic enemies, as I recall). With teasers for Captain Cold and Heat Wave (the formation of the Rogues!). The fun ain’t over just yet!

Love how Olly instinctively feels that there’s something off about Wells.

Also, mentioning Ronnie in this episode and the last episode, and showing him now as Firestorm! (though, not only is he a hero, but if they’re true to his powers from the comic books, then he can’t actually harm those two thugs directly, so…)

Arrow

Back to Starling City, now. As Olly helped Barry, now Barry helps Olly. More compare and contrast of the two heroes, their crews, their tasks, their outlooks, ets. Both poignant, and hilarious. So much laughter! Cannot pick a place to begin! 😀

The Flash is obviously picking up some professionalism, evacuating an entire train station before confronting the villain. Who, by the way, is very capable, and intelligent enough to retreat when he finds himself facing government agents, two vigilantes, and a metahuman. In vain, though, because facing both of our heroes is simply not something you walk away from, and Captain Boomerang soon finds himself in a private prison. (both hero crews envy the other’s private prison)

The Arrow, meanwhile, is regaining a little more of his lost humanity. We see something very important in these flashbacks, namely: Olly’s first experience with torturing someone else, and learning how important it is to get answers. But there is a price to be paid for this, and sometimes it is a price which simply must not be paid. Then again, sometimes it must be paid after all. It is a hard question, and the answers are never easy.

(I kind of hate how they made Waller not a fat woman in this show… it kind of has a certain significance that a character who I would fear more than Batman has usually been overweight)

Digs and Lyla move forward once again with their relationship. Not only do we get to see Digs call her “sweetie” (whenever he wants something), but he comes dangerously close to losing her. That inspires him to act, to keep her, to propose marriage. And her reply, from a hospital bed, is, “Stop talking… so I can say yes.” YES!

There are intimations the two heroes will cross paths again. “I’m still calling the shots.” “We’ll talk about that.” “Yes, we will, and then I’ll call the shots.”

Oh, and of course the two heroes see who would really win in a fight. Which we never see, of course. 😉

Nashville

Oh, Juliette! I think I just about fell over laughing at her antics this episode! Getting jealous, stalking Avery, “I can’t believe it took that long to rent something that makes me even shorter!” and the great crash. Of course, exactly when Avery is wanting to be back with Juliette, she is just starting to let him go. (rolls eyes) The healing process can be very long and tricky.

As Avery continues mending things with Juliette, looks like he’s soon to be teaming up with Sadie, and things are mending between him, Scarlett, and Gunnar as well. (that thing with the three of them on an impromptu road trip suddenly seems more genius than I first thought) It’s a shame things between Zoe and Gunnar are so bad when neither of them really did anything wrong. In fact, Gunnar’s been striving to do the right thing all along, and Zoe just can’t deal with the responsibility she’s been handed in place of the fame she desires. So she leaves town to go start a new life in L.A.

I have to applaud Scarlett for the various things she does in this episode. She’s proving a capable manager for Terry, she’s compassionate and sensitive, but she’s also been needing a little push to get past her fears. It breaks the heart to see Terry fall like that, but to see Scarlett confront her fears like that and take the spotlight again is inspiring. And poetic, as she commented how lonely it is in the spotlight, but now she has two band mates by her side instead.

Still, the band may not go big, ever, as Gunnar, again, chooses to do right by his son. And that is a worthy role model, in my opinion.

Deacon is angry, and it’s somewhat justifiable. His life with Rayna got splashed on the cover of a magazine, and he feels betrayed. But even more, it’s the truth punching him in the face. Not an easy experience, ever, even in the best-case scenarios. So his life gets hurt, and changed, again, all because of Luke. And I can only imagine how that will play out in time.

Meanwhile, Rayna is losing a bit of herself to the commercial world. She’s committed to her relationship with Luke, but she, Maddie, and Daphne are not liking the changes that came with allowing the media into their private lives. Home is home, and work is work, and never the twain should cross. So having work literally set up shop in their living room, and decorate like they own the place, and change their traditions, is very unwelcome.

Luke may be needing to start pushing the media out of his life, since it’s not only his life now.

Love the moment where Maddie and Rayna play like their going to amputate Daphne’s hand! LOL!

Will and Layla take a break from being themselves. Personally, it would have made a great date, and I was hoping for something like that after the episode a couple weeks ago, where they were like a couple kids shyly getting to know each other for the first time, and after Will comforted Layla after the debacle with the CMA’s and the reality show. But they went their separate ways, and so the rift between them silently opens.

Will gets a glimpse of an openly gay couple, and wants some of that. He wants it so much that he tries to kiss one of the guys, who refuses because he’s in a relationship. It’s not anonymous hookups, he tries to teach Will, but Will won’t hear it.

Meanwhile, Layla displays her true singing chops, catching the accidental attention of Jeff, and they begin to bond. But even when Jeff is opening up and being his most decent, he is despicable. And he seems to have a thing with bedding the female artists who have irritated him in the past. Man, with an MO like that, it’s gotta burn that can’t just do that to Rayna.

White Collar

Mozzie is married?!

A whirlwind mutual-con romance, followed by a honeymoon-con in Europe, concluding with betrayal and abandonment. Of course, Mozzie always knew she’d come back someday, to grovel and beg him to take her back! …instead, she wants a divorce. Ah, but he knows she’s just trying to con a good Samaritan, so he goes to warn the man! But the man is also a con man, and his bride’s new partner in crime! Oh, but she’s changing her mind, she’s in danger, Mozzie must help! And thus is the trap baited and set.

It’s easy to see how Mozzie would fall for this, and would have fallen for this if not for the timely help and third-party-perspectives of Neal and Peter. Mozzie is saved, and he displays a higher code of honor than the wench who would have sent him to prison. Whew!

The Pink Panthers actually took a more background role in this episode, as the apparently cut Neal off as they move in on their score. Fortunately, the FBI is able to detect their targeted airplane as it nears landing on the West Coast, so the agents out there mobilize. We see nothing, but there is an underlying tension, and then… the Panthers don’t show up. And Peter is now in hot water with the higher ups.

Likely it was just a test run, as the Panthers’ ringleader shows up. Just as Peter and co. deduce that the master thieves are targeting the Federal Reserve for half a billion dollars, the mastermind is waiting for Neal at his home, with a gun, and the words, “There’s a mole in the operation.” (were I in Neal’s place, I would be just a teensy bit nervous)

Also… Mozzie is married?!

Grimm

For this Christmas-themed episode, it was rather refreshing to have the weekly threat not be fatal, for either the good guys or the “bad.” It’s just a genetic disorder that brings out the particularly destructive side of adolescence. And it’s cured through the grandmother of all sugar rushes! Hey, after some destruction and gluttony, what monster doesn’t want to take a nap?

I love it when Rosalee and Juliette are defending the toy train! “They’re not touching it! Over my dead body!”

A bit more menacing would be the Secundum Ordinae Naturem Wesen (SNOW… yeah, no drawing on the image of the KKK there), or the Wesenrein, for short. Trubel, Josh, and Bud investigate a potential connection, finding a stronger one than expected. Either this little gang of street thugs are part of an unholy order of prejudice… or they’re part of a fraternity, in the same order as college frats. Time will tell.

Nick and Captain Renard have some things to figure out. Firstly, how do they keep their mothers from killing each other when they meet? Second, what do they do about Wu, who is starting to connect the dots, that all the strange things that happen are related?

There are some rather touching elements to this episode. Rosalee has gleaned Munroe’s knowledge of train toys, the married couple are soon to go on their honeymoon (at last!), Josh and Trubel bond as she teaches him about the wesen who are after him, and Trubel comes to a decision. She says good-bye to Nick, unable to say good-bye to everyone, so she can go help Josh with his trouble at home. Nick gives them his Aunt Marie’s car, wishing he could give more. Trubel answers that with, “Nick, you gave me my life.” And they drive away. A simple, touching farewell.

While Juliette silently takes a pregnancy test. (they like their cliffhangers in this show!)

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