serenity_abrin: (NCIS - Three)
[personal profile] serenity_abrin
So, the finale was kind of meh.  You can really see the extending of the season.  I thought the organ-parts island storyline was disturbing and maybe a little interesting but ultimately felt like a big waste of time as it didn’t build to anything.  The Fish who comes out of the river in the opening of the finale feels like she’s had yet another character journey that we didn’t see -- something more than her time on the island.  She’s got a new look and more followers than I can believe were on that helicopter.   She’s healed up.  It just felt like there was a missing leg of her journey.

I wasn’t very keen on Selina’s sudden turn.  I’ve really enjoyed watching Selina and Bruce.  Their little romance is awkward and adorable.  I feel like there’s a lot to be read into Selina’s actions -- that she’s dealing with killing someone (presumably for the first time?) and it’s hitting her harder than she’s willing to allow herself to be hit.  But she refuses to show it, so she’s ready to shed who she was and go hardcore as a result.  However, the show doesn’t explicitly show any of this so her sudden turn feels SUPER sudden.  It says that Fish was with Selina for 2 weeks but since they don’t show that (which would’ve been awesome to see) or explain what about Fish’s gig is so appealing for Selina, it feels really forced, weird, and out-of-left-field.  Even though she killed someone, she doesn’t feel like a killer the way Penguin does.  She attacks when her back’s up against the wall.  Being with Fish seems like a big sea-change.

HOWEVER, I really liked seeing Fish and Selina interact.  I liked Selina and Ivy with Barbara.  I liked Barbara dressing Selina up and the three girls just dealing with their shit together.  I liked the mixing up of the girls with each other in the finale (even if the Lee/Barbara thing went batshit crazy).  I really appreciated having more women interacting with each other.

The Barbara thing was definitely weird.  I was surprised they would go there, knowing that in the Batman lore Barbara ends up with James for a bit before divorcing (and Babs getting her name through that).  It really felt to me like the actress wasn’t being received very well so the PTB decided to break her up with Jim and then didn’t know what to do with her.  Her rebound relationship and depression did lend itself towards her final arc but it seems like that wasn’t the same Barbara we met at the beginning (though, admittedly, my memory’s sketchy on that).  Given that, though, I could see this turn being plotted out.  I didn’t see as a killer but as soon as she asked for Lee’s help, I thought she was going to mess with Lee’s head and her relationship with Jim.  I did think for a moment that she was the one who killed her parents in the previous episode (when you see the blood on her dress and she’s so disconnected when she’s confronting her parents).  I’m not sure I like turning her so dark.  I feel like I could accept this better if they hadn’t done it to one of their female characters.  The fight between her and Lee felt gratuitous and unnecessary.

But, on the other hand, her character did seem to be going nowhere.  Even at the beginning, she didn’t really seem to fit well.  If they’re getting rid of her, I can see why.  Or, the change might open up an interesting storyline (not one that interests me personally but it might be good for the character nonetheless).  It does make me hopeful that if they’re willing to throw this character under the bus, then they might be willing to break with other lore.  They did just kill Maroni.  So, maybe they’ll be willing to play with other things and I can hope for relationships that otherwise wouldn’t have a chance because they would get in the way of canon.  It certainly puts a fresh spin on things as you really can’t know what’s going to become of characters -- their fates in the comics aren’t a sure thing in this universe.

I haven’t really warmed to Lee’s character.  She just seems unjustifiably weird, but not in the way of Penguin or Riddler.  She’s not actually weird.  She’s someone who seems so normal but she’s got this weird interest in crime and Jim’s work that doesn’t seem to suit her character.  Maybe I’m reading too much from the comics where she’s this older lady who’s almost saintly in her interactions with Bruce.  I think there are hints of some stuff she got up to when she and Thomas Wayne were younger but it still feels like her core is this super decent person.  She’s so adamantly done with Bruce’s world in the comics, hating how it takes lives and such.  That seems at odds with this Lee.  Also, more on the point, it really feels like her interest isn’t character-based but story-based.  Like, they wanted a woman they could include more readily and so gave her this trait for story-reasons.  I also haven’t really felt the chemistry between her and Jim.  I don’t think they have bad chemistry but it’s really blah to me.  I could take or leave Lee.

I’m still uninterested in Penguin.  He’s an interesting character but I just don’t care about his mob ambitions.  I thought the fight between him and Fish was really bad.  The whole thing was badly done.  I did like that Fish killed Maroni.  I’m surprised she didn’t do it sooner.  Maroni felt like such a little man in this episode.  I guess he’s always been vindictive and petty but it just seemed so stupid to egg Fish on -- to make SO sure that she knew he was the number one in their relationship -- that he put her down in some fashion.  He seemed so threatened that he couldn’t even pretend to respect her.  His entire speech seemed to be mocking her.  I thought she would shoot him much sooner than that.  I was actually surprised that it looked like she was going to go along -- like after he agreed to them being partners, she was copasetic, which didn’t jive with the ambition she’d shown so far.  After all the shit she took on that island, I didn’t see her taking anything more (and the way she swaggered on shore -- she seemed like someone who was there to get hers and wasn’t going to pander any more).

I felt bad for Falcone.  It’s been a while since we saw him and Fish together.  I always felt that he was very respectful of her and his other enemies.  He seemed classy for a mob!guy.  Since it’s been so long since we saw him kill Fish’s girl that she planted and then ordered Fish taken out, it did feel like Fish was being unreasonably mean to him.  I had to remind myself what he had done (although, to be fair, she pushed him big time on that score).  I feel like we haven’t actually seen the last of Falcone.

Anyway, the ending.  So, the three guys get loose only to be rounded up again, which seemed pointless.  But then somehow Penguin has the only gun?  Or he managed to kill everyone but Fish and the 3 guys?  Like, what happened there logistically?  He shoots everyone and then takes off after Fish; where were her minions?  Did they all flee Penguin but not Maroni’s dudes?  And then the fight up on the roof was lame.  I did like Butch’s character-arc.  I felt really bad for him.  Of all the villains, I think Zsasz is one of the more noteworthy.  I like that he’s not crazy the way he is in the comics.  I mean he’s clearly a psychopath but he also seems loyal to Falcone.  He seems more mission-oriented.  He clearly enjoys inflicting pain or messing with people but he doesn’t let himself off-leash if it doesn’t come to the mission he’s been given.  I’ve always really liked highly competent characters, and I think he qualifies.  It’s nightmare fuel to imagine what he must’ve done to Butch.  I feel like Butch’s character arc could be a series in its own right; it’s very interesting stuff.  But, I guess, I would like to see Butch be loyal to Penguin now.  I did like Butch and Fish’s relationship.  They got us to question it for a bit but it’s clear that it’s super strong.  It’s so sad to see him so messed up; to have to choose between someone he loves and the programing that’s the only thing that’s keeping him safe now.

Other items:
Bullock is one of my favorite characters on the show.  As I hoped, he turned out to be the heart-of-gold type.  His one-liners are hilarious.  I laugh out loud at least once an episode, which is not something I do that often (even for comedies).  It’s always because of Bullock.  I really like his and Jim’s relationship.  I like that Jim went out on a limb to free Bullock from his “Cobblepot”.  I like how exasperated Jim makes Bullock.  They’re just such a great pairing, and have really bounced off well with each other.  There really can’t be enough Bullock for me.

Riddler is also a favorite of mine.  Sadly, they are going the evil route.  I mean, it’s not a surprise, but he’s so adorably sweet that I was hoping they would lessen it a bit or draw it out further.  Leaks for next season indicate that Riddler’s evil side is going to be ramped up and that it will be more of a focus so I’m not sure if I’ll still like him as I do now.  I did end up rooting for him and Miss Kringle.  I had hope for a moment after that one bad narcotics guy was taken down that she would finally turn towards Nygma and they would be awkwardly adorable together for a bit (and have a story-arc similar to Freeze’s in the animated show -- her death would send him over the edge).  Now, with her skeptical about her boyfriend’s death and Nygma actually killing someone, I think her number is almost up.  I feel like Nygma’s arc next season will be him working to overcome the murder but unable to stop himself from giving clues (as this is his pathology and they hinted at this in the spoilers for next season).  She will do more investigating and it will lead to him ultimately killing her, which will fracture him completely.  I mean, I don’t want this to happen.  I’d love if he finds some kind of drugs or therapy or something to stave off his “other” self for a while more so he’s not a full-blown villain until Bruce is an adult.  But, I don’t see that happening.  It will be interesting to see how this will unfold for him.  I’m not super psyched about him having two personalities as that smacks of Two Face more than the Riddler.  I always thought the Riddler was a cooler cucumber than that.  So, we’ll see how it goes.

Another relationship I absolutely adore is Bruce and Alfred’s.  I’m not too fond of Bruce’s storyline involving Wayne Enterprises but I liked seeing Lucius and want to see more of him in the future.  I’m probably most interested in the batcave reveal at the end of the episode, and all the secrets surrounding Thomas and Martha’s deaths.  I want to know what the Arkham deal was.  I want to know what Thomas was doing.  The PTB say he was leading a double-life but also hint that he’s a really good man (which I’m glad of -- I hate any storyline that makes him super shady).  I’m really curious to learn more of him and what Wayne Enterprises is up to, and also to see Bruce take back his company.  The PTB have said they’re going to start Bruce along the path of his playboy persona and I’m not too happy about it.  Like, I can see him learning to appear more at-ease in company and such but he’s not ready for flirting.  I like him being awkward with Selina and out-of-his-element with anything “normal”.  I really do adore his relationship with Alfred though.  I like the soldier back-history they explored.  I like how Alfred is kind of an equal, kind of a father, kind of a friend but also a servant.  It’s an interesting dynamic.  It certainly adds a lot to all the Alfreds I’ve seen over the years.  I mean, we know Alfred basically raised Bruce but it’s different to actually see him with this boy -- to see them having to figure things out together.  Alfred doesn’t have the answers but he clearly loves Bruce and is doing his best, which is really good.  I love Alfred being protective.  I love Bruce being concerned about Alfred.  I like that Bruce is driven but also kind and out-of-his-element.  I like that he’s not this super angry individual that he’s often portrayed as.  He’s just this little boy who lost his parents and is looking for answers.  There isn’t even anything extraordinary about him yet (aside from his money).  I like the normalness of him (but also the stiff upperclass side of him where he’s clearly out-of-touch with ordinary folk).  I liked the storyline of Alfred getting stabbed, though I wish they’d explored it more.  I’m probably looking forward to these two the most next year.

Villains: DollMaker is creepy.  What he did to his assistant (the one he turned into a woman) is messed up.  He seems like another creepily competent villain and I wouldn’t be surprised if he shows up again.  I think his storyline was done a disservice because it was so alienated from all the rest of the stuff that was happening.  I think if that’s somehow tied in next season, it might make the side-trip to his island stand out less.  I know they hinted at him earlier in the season so it was good to see him.  But, again, he didn’t really fit in.

The Ogre was also creepy.  I like the actor.  I thought that arc was good overall.  It pushes Jim and Lee’s relationship, which didn’t interest me.  But it was interesting for Barbara.  I feel like there needed to be that little bit more to explain what pushes her over the edge.  Like, you can see from the beginning that she’s spiraling.  When she says no one would miss her if she died, you can see the depression and issues she’s been dealing with all season that leave her vulnerable to the Ogre.  But she’s still so scared of him and messed up when he asks her to choose to kill someone.  There isn’t a moment when you see her being attracted to the idea he’s giving her -- not when he’s actually there.  It seems tacked on.  I feel like there needed to be a conversation where you can see her coming around, being intoxicated by the freedom he’s offering her.  He seems to be pushing it on her the whole time and she seems blitzed out and drugged while at her parents’ house.  Only in the next episode does she seem to have really embraced her evil side completely.  I feel like the arc is there but that it needed an extra scene to show her transition in a way that wasn’t so out-of-the-blue.

With regards to the Joker, Graysons, etc. I’m not a fan.  I don’t need to see the Joker at this point.  They’ve hinted at exploring the Joker more next season and I don’t want to see it.  Let there be some things that Bruce will deal with as an adult.  I don’t want everything to get a nod.  I did like the Scarecrow origins but, again, it’s enough to leave it there.  I don’t want to see him again either.  There are other villains who are older than Bruce that Gotham can explore.  I don’t want to see the famous characters just to have the famous characters in it.  I mean, you could add Ra’s and his daughter since they would be adults and active in the world and that might be interesting.  But you don’t need Killer Croc or Joker or Harley.  Other DC properties are doing those.   I feel like Gotham should focus on its own thing without loading the seasons with Easter Eggs that I don’t have any interest in seeing.  I actually like the crime-of-the-week storylines, though they’ve said they’re going to get away from them next year.  I found them to be entertaining.

Sadly, they are going to keep on with the police corruption.  Given the nature of the show and Gotham’s world, they would have to.  But I’m not interested in Jim fighting the system.  I would like to see Loeb get his but it all seems so pointless.  I mean, on the one hand, Penguin did just blow up the mob underworld -- the old system is ripe to be taken back.  But, on the other hand, Jim’s unlikely to be able to clean things up any time soon.  Even when he’s commissioner, it seems like only his precinct is full of honest cops.  Everywhere else is still full of corruption.  So, it doesn’t feel like he’s going to succeed, which means watching him fail all the time or get false success (like what he did with Loeb’s daughter) and having it backfire on him.  I don’t like such hopeless situations.  I’m just hoping that they’ll back away from it eventually.  I can see next season trying to pick up the pieces but if Jim could spend one season getting most of the worst cases out of there and then focusing on other shit for the rest of Gotham, I would be happy.  It won’t happen of course.  That’s a gold-mine of storylines for the writers and they’re not going to abandon it.  Plus, with Penguin being such a high profile character, it’s kind of essential to keep that going.  Not looking forward to it though (not that I expect it will get more than this next season.  It seems like it’s on shaky ground right now.)

Anyway, for next season, I think it’s good if they scale back the main cast.  There were too many balls juggling in the air and not enough focus.  I am curious about Riddler and Bruce.  I want to see a lot more of Bullock and Alfred.  I want Selina to reclaim her better side.  I wouldn’t be upset if they decided to lock Barbara up and end her storyline.  And I would be happy to have Jim have interactions with Bruce and Selina, since I think those are fun.

I have been really happy with the latest episodes of Elementary, especially regarding Sherlock’s relationships.  I really enjoyed “Under My Skin”.  I mean, the main case was really disturbing.  The idea that they took out her organs without her knowledge (not just put drugs in her but took out her organs) is so deeply wrong.  But I loved the Sherlock/Alfredo storyline.  The ending where Sherlock declared that Alfredo was his friend was just perfect.  I really enjoyed seeing Sherlock’s growth and the influence Watson has had on him in this way.  I like that he’s not isolating himself anymore and that he’s not dependent on her -- that he’s getting new friends of his own.  And I enjoyed Alfredo’s little joke at the end and the implication that he will be more relaxed with Sherlock now.  I just hope that Alfredo will still be around.  I feel like the change in their relationship may herald a diminishment in Alfredo’s appearances because he’s not tied to Sherlock’s work or sobriety.  It’s always good to see him though.  He challenges Sherlock like Watson does, and that only makes Sherlock better.

So after getting this episode, then we get another great bonding moment for Sherlock.  I just really loved how he and Marcus ended up together.  I liked how Sherlock handled his talk with Marcus -- it was a little self-centered but his heart was in the right place and he seemed to pick his words with care.  It clearly gave Marcus something to consider, which was good.  I was pretty blah about Marcus initially but I’ve really warmed to him now.  I am really enjoying any episode that focuses on Marcus and Sherlock.  The growth of their relationship is one of my favorite things on the show right now.

I am a little concerned about Joan.  She feels a little cut off after what’s happened.  They have touched on it a little in the show but now it seems like she’s just settled into her role with Sherlock and part of her characterization has just been left fallow.  Not sure how I feel about that.  She’s been disinterested in her social life and cutting herself off and I don’t like it.  I want her to be the healthy one in the relationship, and I’d like to see her getting back on track.  It’ll probably be something they’ll address next season.  While I’m not really interested in Joan’s lovelife, I feel like it would be good for her to find a new relationship and get back on the horse.  I think I would feel better about what’s going on with her if that happened.  I don’t want Sherlock’s growth to be at Joan’s expense (either in-story or narrative-wise).  I’m sure it won’t be overall but they don’t have much time left this season for anything so status quo it is.

Criminal Minds
Hotch cannot catch a break, but I’m glad he’s gotten more screentime since he’s my favorite character.  I thought the scenes with his father-in-law and sister-in-law were heartwrenching.  I felt so bad for Hotch, and a little angry at his father-in-law, though I understood his position.  I mean, someone probably should call Hotch out on the fact that Haley wouldn’t be dead except for him.  But, on the other hand, we know that no one could think that harder than Hotch himself.  He wouldn’t let himself off the hook, so hearing someone else putting that on him too was awful because you just know he’ll take it to heart and it will be another burden he carries, making it that much harder for him to let go of his guilt.

In the same episode, I really enjoyed the Garcia/Reid moment where he got her food.  Nothing else really stood out about that episode for me.  The next episode "Mr. Scratch" was creepy but also a little farfetched for me.  I did viscerally feel for the initial victims, especially the guy who thought he’d been raped.  I mean, if you could get someone to hallucinate like that and kill their families, that’s a twisted thing to do to someone.  And the guy who killed himself rather than his kid?  I was totally bought in that his kid was in danger and really hoping that the kid wouldn’t get hurt.  It’s super sad to think of the kid without his dad now.  So, emotionally the episode hits, even if intellectually I just wasn’t feeling it.

Now, for Hotch, it’s another gut-wrenching episode.  It’s almost too much having this episode right after the one before it.  It’s better if they spread that stuff out.  That said, it was still great to see Hotch pitted against the unsub.  I was a little confused why Hotch was alone where he was.  I thought the mind-game element of it was good.  I had been spoiled before the episode but it was still shocking to see Reid get his brains blown out.  There was some chatter online about Hotch’s childhood abuse and some suggestion that perhaps the unsub tapped into that, though I didn’t see that anywhere in the episode.  It felt like what the unsub tapped into was what we saw -- Hotch's fear for his team.  But, it is a very interesting idea.  Also, the exploration of the recovered memories thing was also interesting.  Overall, it was a creepy, atmospheric, interesting case.

Also, going back to an older episode, I wanted to say that I was really happy with Reid and the surveillance lady.  I’m glad he asked her out.  Like Joan, I think it’s good for his character to get out there again.  After Maeve, I wouldn’t have been surprised if he never dated again, as he never seems that interested.  But I think it shows Reid is healing to be able to ask this lady out.  And, I thought she was kind of adorable.  I wouldn’t mind if they became an item and she showed up the way the other Significant Others of the team do.  That was a big positive for me.

On the same note, I was glad that Hotch and Beth were broken up.  I still have a hangup of the actress from CSI Miami, though it’s lessened quite a bit.  I was okay with her.  I liked what she was doing for Hotch, loosening him up and such.  But I’m glad that that chapter’s closed, especially as the actress is no longer available.  I think Hotch and Jack need more stability.  So, that leaves him open to finding a new lady love and I think he’s in a better space for it because she won’t be a rebound to Haley (or even Beth, since they just sort of faded away).

For “Protection” as soon as both women seemed to know and condone the unsub’s behavior, I knew they weren’t real.  I had flashes of "With Friends Like These".  I am a little tired of all the mental illness storylines that have been popping up.  I am very happy with how Criminal Minds handles pregnancy on this show -- it's simply another part of life.  It’s not a big story point or anything.  It’s just something that happens in real life and treated normally, which pleases me immensely.  I have been very concerned about Kate’s niece.  It does look like they’re going to revisit the season-opening case, which I’m glad since that left an icky taste in my mouth but we’ll see if they give closure (beyond rescuing the girls, which I’m fairly sure will happen).  I have liked Kate for the most part.  It’s not like Criminal Minds does a ton of character development.  It’s just a little here and there anyway, and mostly the characters are focused on work and giving exposition.  I guess there’s been a lot with Kate’s niece but that’s clearly part of the season-long “unsub” arc so it doesn’t bother me.  Brings something fresh into it.  I’ve certainly been worried about the girls when they’ve been in danger, so the storyline’s working for me.

Ugh.  I knew as soon as Ned came back that he was going to be killed off.  Sucks so much. I adore Ned, especially when he’s awkward.  I did like his Gilroy Libbs persona.  That was cute.  I liked his growth, being able to stand up to Tony and Tim.  I liked that he found his niche.  If he hadn’t died, I would’ve been happier not to see him as an IT guy, as then he could be on more missions.  I don’t remember him being a huge geek but it’s been a long ass time since we saw him.  The only thing I remember about him right now is the bug in his tooth and his crush on Tony (?).  The saddest thing is that we find out his mom is a CIA lady (and looks like she might be badass too) but he’s dead so we’re not going to get to see him interact with her.  Given how adorkable he is and how hardass she looks, I wonder how they get on.  What kind of mom was she to him and how did he view her?  I’d rather Ned was seriously injured but recovering so that she would visit him in the hospital and they could interact and Ned would eventually recover.  That’s totally me headcanon.

I was kind of stressed that it looked like Bishop and her husband might be on the outs.  I don’t want them.  I like them as a married couple.  I thought Gibbs’ friendship with her husband was adorable.  I did think it was a douchey thing to press him to break the rules for her.  He clearly had integrity.  Surely that’s one of the things she loved about him.  I mean, she put him in a terrible place and didn’t really try to see his side.  I did like her opening up about killing the guy but it does seem like their marriage is very strained.  I hope they manage to fix it and get better.

Rest of the episode: I don’t remember this Bayar guy at all and they’re leaning so heavily on him.  I guess we saw him a while ago.  They should really reintroduce why I should care about this dude or what’s going on.  I didn’t like them trying to blackmail him though.  Felt beneath NCIS to do that.  I liked the music at the end when Ned was hurt.  The scene itself was kind of meh considering we’re losing a fairly important recurring character.  Looks like there’s ghosts next episode.  They really shouldn’t have killed off Franks if they’re just going to have him keep coming back.  His death felt like a ratings stunt when it happened and it’s only been worse as time goes on.  Nice to see Kate though.

NCIS New Orleans
It’s a little much to see two episodes in a row with LaSalle being driven by what happened to his loved ones.  He was a little weird in that he ran hot and then cold.  Like, I liked him when he took a deep breath and let King handle stuff.  But it felt weird after him being so hot.  Then, the death of his girlfriend (their relationship was adorable so far) seemed kind of sidelined to King’s hot pursuit.  It was a bit much to have them both hot-under-the-collar.  I’m not really enjoying this side of either character or the Baitfish storyline.  I dislike that he named the bad guy that and actually calls him that.  The whole storyline is annoying and I hope it doesn’t go on next year.

Speaking of Baitfish, I did not feel satisfied with how it ended.  He was so smug in the interrogation scene and when he was taunting LaSalle -- I wanted him to have some kind of come-uppance.  Getting shot in the head did not feel good enough, especially as it wasn’t what the team wanted to have happened.  It seemed like someone else getting the upperhand and Baitfish didn’t suffer.  After seeing LaSalle’s girlfriend’s dad, I knew him getting the deal wouldn’t cut it but I disliked how it was handled.  The whole episode left me unsatisfied.  Even King taking down that lady, which should’ve been the culmination of the arc felt like a letdown.  He gave away that he knew she was onto something way too easily and didn’t agree with it.

I feel like the CIA lady is going to end up as a member of the NCIS team.  I’m okay with that.  I think she adds something fresh and it would be good to see her more.  I’m also okay if it doesn’t happen too.  I hope the IT guy gets upgraded to regular cast.  I missed his presence in this episode but I see him in the promo for next week, so I’m glad about that.

For the last episode, I loved that Sebastian wanted to help LaSalle and he was afraid he would lose his friendship when he had bad news to give (even though LaSalle wasn’t even there at that point).  I LOVED the hug between the two of them.  I pretty much called that the bartender was the bad guy as soon as I saw him.  When he mentioned that the first drink was non-alcoholic, I pegged it being roofied and who could do that better than the bartender?  I did find the ending itself to be sort of WTF and too out-of-left-field to believe.  I knew it was the guy but the reasoning was too far-fetched.  If they’d just made him a serial rapist/killer, it would’ve felt more real.


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