Bit of a ho hum week to be honest. Shows were solid but not spectacular. Still trying to figure out how Last Resort makes it a full 22 episodes (not that ABC has ordered a full 22).
Revolution S1 Ep06 "Sex and Drugs" Dir.Steve Boyum Written By.David Rambo
By all weights and measures “Sex and Drugs” is a filler episode for Revolution. There is hardly any headway made on the main plot. Filler episodes can give a better understanding of the world and some of the side characters. These things happen. Making for one of the best episodes Revolution has done.
It is heartening to see that in Revolution someone can not just be stabbed in the stomach and be fine the next episode. Physical harm is a bit different than bipolar characterizations. Nora isn’t doing too well with her stab wound, which brings Miles and the gang to Drexel’s doorstep.
Drexel is an old friend of Miles. He supplied most of the Monroe Republic with heroin, making himself and everyone around him a tidy little warchest. Drex starts off with the Lando entrance but at heart he is a skeezy Tony Montana. The whole world around him is burning and he has his own heroin fueled paradise. Paradise would have been better if Miles didn’t go and desert the Republic. He thinks Miles owes him not just for using his doctor but all the money he has lost.
Aaron wondered why the crop of poppy flowers were up in flames. Turns out the O'Halloran family is responsible, they live on down the road. Before the blackout they were police and firemen. Post-apocalyptic shows always deal with the loss of humanity. People just go bad as society falls apart. The O’Halloran clan hasn’t gone bad. They are pretty good people, holding onto their pre-blackout morals such as heroin is bad and other. These old ways have put them in confrontation with Drexel. As payment for the use of his doctor Drexel wants Charlie to go and kill the head of the O’Halloran clan.
Once again putting Charlie in the position of having to take a life is over done at this point. Blame the schizophrenic characterization. The show can’t make up it’s mind with what to do with her There is never any drama with that situation. She has to stay pure and her cold exterior is all an act. It was nice seeing actual nice people in the post blackout world but the situation is rote.
It was time to explore the life of former Google Executive Aaron. Other people have lost their children or loved ones. Aaron lost his place in society. Suddenly all his money and knowledge was worthless. Things went back to caveman days and he is not cut out to be that. He can no longer protect or care for his wife. Aaron is utterly emasculated. Zak Orth gives a great performance with his eyes.
Without seeing the emasculation of Aaron his “suicide” wouldn’t have had any of the impact it had, in the moment. Hindsight is 20/20, a red flag should've been raised once he pointed the gun at his chest. You don’t kill yourself that way, you would shoot yourself in the head. In the moment though I bought that Aaron had just died. Revolution has done a good job of making it seem like no one is safe (other than Miles and Charlie).
“Sex and Drugs” was a total filler episode but here it is my favorite one so far. The same issues are there. Charlie is boring but the people around Charlie are very interesting.
B+ Now I’m going to go watch “The Beach”. Revolution needs a “Beach” episode.
Sons of Anarchy S5 Ep08 "Ablation" Dir.Karen Gaviola Written By.Mike Daniels
It really isn’t the start to an episode of Sons of Anarchy without Gemma waking in a stupor. At least this time she isn’t barely covered. The fallout from Gemma’s crash as well as the death of 2 out of the 3 traitorous nomads is the main thrust of “Ablation”. Managing to close out some running storylines as and move into the logical second phase of others.
Season 5 has been really violent if you haven’t notice. Bodily damage and gruesome deaths just happening to the people less important characters within the Sons. For the most part this violence happens in a vacuum. Prior seasons violence and death had more purpose and effect on the Sons. This isn’t as true this season. The overall level of violence has at least heightened the sense that Sutter and Co. would be willing to kill of another Son but not an important one. At least all that violence is having some positive effect, in how viewers could engage with the show.
One of the main figures of this increased violence has been Jax. From smashing the guard’s head in to coldly congratulating Tig for killing the guard’s wife. This Jax is a bit of a sociopath in how calmly he deals death and violence. Did he really have to take his attacker by the shoulder and then pump his guts literally full of led? He could have blown him away earlier with none of the false sense of security. Prior seasons Jax hardly killed anyone. The only time Jax seemed to enjoy killing someone was A.J. Weston (Henry Rollins) in season 2. Now Jax just takes a couple drags of his cigarette and chops off the hands of the dead man who tried to kill him. These personal touches is not something you find in most crime bosses. Damon Pope has made his life about being dealing with the criminal element but always at a distance and never personally. Cutting off the hands wasn’t some release for Jax he had a plan. Use the prints to figure out who this guy was. Even though Unser and Pope both note prints on some glass would have been just fine.
Sons is playing a very tight game with it’s portrayal of Jax. In season 3 you had the long con that the whole audience was never in on, making for an excellent finale. In the present the show simultaneously is trying to show a Jax Teller that is descending further into darkness while simultaneously making him appear to be the thoughtful planner with a plan to get out. So is the cold death dealer all an act for the club or just Jax compartmentalizing work and family life?
All that hunting did reveal one truth. Gemma wasn’t run off the road like Clay said but was indeed high when she was driving. Gemma would never had told Tara the truth. It puts her right where she is locked out from her family and any real stability. Jax once again turns a bad situation, the near death of his boys, into a positive by forcing Gemma to return to Clay and make him “feel like a king”. In the hopes that he will spill the beans that he was behind the home invasions. This bit seems slightly odd since Frankie Diamond admitted it was Clay’s plan all along when he held up Nero’s new brothel to Jax, Chibs, and Bobby. What more proof do they need? This admission certainly seals Diamond fate to die at the hands of Clay in the next episode. Gemma is setup as a mole. This would be useless if the best evidence you have is going to come around in the next episode. Either way this seems to be setting Clay up to get a bit of redemption and fall on the sword for Gemma. He would still do anything for her and getting her in the good graces of her family might be the only redemptive act Clay could get. Not that he deserves it.
The disgruntled Sheriff Roosevelt came to Jax with an interesting proposal. Give him the ones responsible for the death of his wife and he will give them the rat. At first glance the rat he is talking about seems to be Juice. Only they cut him out of the RICO case after they were unable to get the Irish. It sounds like someone else is talking to the Feds. Clay is always thinking several steps ahead and it wouldn’t be beyond him to think he could run guns without the Sons.
The initial marketing blitz that painted Damon Pope (Harold Perrineau) as the main antagonist does not appear to be all that true. Yes, he did burn Tig’s daughter alive as well as kill several other people in front of the Sons to show his power. No doubt this is a bad man. With a bit of distance from the first three episodes and Pope isn’t all that scary. Pope is offering Jax friendly advice and seems satisfied with his vengeance. Tig now knows the pain he is going through, and is in a good business relationship with the Sons of Anarchy. The real villain is as it always has been Clay Morrow.
C+ Developments these things happened.
Homeland S2 Ep06 "A Gettysburg Address"
After the intensity and greatness of “O&A” it was time to take a breath and reassess the situation. Brody is now working with Team CIA. Mike is getting closer to figuring out who exactly killed Tom Walker. Dana is forced to deal with the ramifications of her date with Finn. The whole episode plays like one big recap in the present. Than masked, armed men just jump on the scene and blow seven CIA investigators away, among them Mr. Quinn. Homeland, just not letting viewers the luxury of thinking they know what is going to happen.
Brody is working with Team CIA, but he certainly isn’t being the most forthcoming with information. This could easily be explained off screen, but why hasn’t he told them about stealing the list of possible targets from Estes safe. He is a mess jumpy, short, constantly looking for a tail even if it isn’t there. These paranoid moments in the car do a good job of spicing up the normalcy of driving sequences. Best of all who is to say Brody really has a tail all Quinn said was that the agreement wasn’t ideal. Going against protocol and contacting Roya, instead of the other way around can’t work many more times. Brody is just the pawn in the Nazir chessboard he gets the orders not give the orders.
All of the Brody sections where marked with the remainder of DTB - Don’t Trust Brody. Carrie is claiming to have her eyes open, she saw the tape, but an episode prior she wanted him to run off with her. People do stupid things when they are in love. Besides monster suicide bomber Brody isn’t the Brody she loves. Either she is doing a really good long con or this season is once again going to end in some shock treatment.
The Dana and Mike storylines just feel like keep busy lines than ones that are meant to set in motion greater events or character growth. Dana is turning into a guilty wreck over Finn hitting that woman. Going to visit her in the hospital only to have the best of timing and witness her die. Dana works best when she is nagging at Brody on her own these plotlines play more like a bad teen soap about the children of politicians. Mike is being shut down with his investigation into Tom Walker. We know he is right, he has some circumstantial evidence that makes it look like Brody killed Tom Walker. In the end all he has is the same suspicions he had at the start. If you’re going to pay actors to stick around might as well use them.
With Brody only now revealing that the Tailor won’t be coming back to his shop for the rest of his life, Quinn gets the go ahead to go in. Unsurprisingly the records are well kept and there are lots of cigarette butts. With Roya’s hints at something bigger being hidden within the shop we get a nice moment of Quinn just about to figure something out. Than as stated above masked men in armor burst on the scene. Homeland hasn’t really had many gunfights, this one isn’t quick. Carrie is left with seven dead. If Quinn is among them isn’t that clear. Yes, he had the universal sign of life with blurry vision and he woke up, but those looked like some bad wounds.
Brodys whole deal hinges on them Estes being able to tell the future President Walden that he stopped an attack on America, conveniently leaving out the part where Brody wanted to blow him up. That attack is moving forward at a very fast rate and Carrie seems no where near close enough to see it coming.