Here are this week’s recaps from some of my favorite shows.
Friday Night Lights
We start off this week with a Lions loss. We never see the game, but after “Fracture,” the writing was on the wall. As the assistant coach said, “Vince has lost his team.” Vince has let his father fill his head with superstar dreams, and no one, not Jess, not Coach, not Luke is going to bring him back to earth. After his dad tells him Coach Taylor couldn’t possibly bench his star player because “all coaches want to win,” (and man does this guy not understand Eric) Coach does the impossible and benches Vince for not helping Luke with some offensive plays. Instead, Jess is there to drill with Luke.
Luke and Becky are giving starting over a chance, but there’s still some parental baggage, and Luke is reluctant to have Becky and his parents at the after-game celebration. Bolstered by a Lions win, with himself leading the team, he invites Becky to the post-game dinner with his parents, who are concerned, but accepting. Tami’s ongoing effort to save a troubled teen, Epyck, hits a major snag when another teacher accuses Epyck of stealing money. In the scuffle over searching for the girl’s purse, Tami is injured and it’s off to juvie for Epyck, which is too bad, because her scenes with Gracie Belle were sweet and endearing.
Also bittersweet is Mindy’s pregnancy. She just got her job at the Landing Strip back, and now she’s facing what another pregnancy will do to their income and her body. Billy is adorably excited, and tells her he has a steady job now, and they can handle another Riggins. Mindy’s pregnancy sickness also opens up the door for Becky to waitress at the Landing Strip (over Mindy’s strong objection, but I think she was too sick to fight it out), and once she sees just how much money she can make, she starts talking about taking a regular gig there. There has been some noise on the Internet about how plausible this is, but I think given Becky’s background, lack of parents, and her maturity level, it’s reasonable, if not entirely normal. Given the way she handled the patron asking her to dance, I don’t think she’s entirely naïve about the job.
Julie has been bumming around at Matt’s (Matt!), for a week or so and doesn’t seem to be headed toward any kind of future of her own, until Matt points out that he doesn’t want to be her safety net. He wants her to live her own life and not latch onto whatever seems good at the time. I’m not much of a sap or a crier, but when Matt ran after Julie’s car, kissed her and told her everything would be okay, I may have gotten a bit misty. Isn’t that what we all want? Someone to give us a kiss and tell us it will be okay? Next week TIM RIGGINS IS BACK!!!! WOOOOHOOOOO!
Game of Thrones
In the season finale of Game of Thrones, there was a lot of set up for next season. Starting with the Wall, Jon tries to desert and join his brother’s army on their march south to avenge their father’s death at the hands of the Lannisters. Sam and his fellow brothers of the watch convince him to return, however, which is good because they’re mounting a party to go north beyond the wall to see exactly what they’re up against. Robb is busy taking out his frustrations on a tree (unfortunately not the captive Jamie). Catlyn tells him that the first order of business is to get the Stark girls back, and then they can “kill them all.” Speaking of the Stark girls, Arya has her hair cut off and is posing as a boy to hide from the Lannisters and their assassins. Sansa seems to have grown a back bone after Joffery shows her Ned’s head on a pike and tells her that as a wedding present he will give her Robb’s head next to Ned’s, to which she replies, “Or maybe he’ll give me yours.” She nearly pushes him off the landing, but is refrained from doing so by cooler heads.
Joffery is proving himself to be quite the little tyrant, having a minstrel’s tongue cut out (to be fair, he did give the minstrel the choice between hands or tongue) for singing a satirical song about Cersei and Robert. Tywin and Tyrion are having a strategy session over what to do now that Cersei and Joffery have removed their sole bargaining chip in avoiding war and retrieving Jaime, which is to say removing Ned’s head. Tywin sends Tyrion to court to get King Joffery in line. Yay! This has to mean more Tyrion slapping around Joff! I would watch 45 minutes of just that. Against his father’s wishes, he also brings along Shae, the prostitute. That has to be Tyrion’s one weakness, his need to have a woman love him. Across the sea, Danerys is discovering just how much her mercy was worth to the witch she saved. The witch has tricked Dany into giving up her child, thinking she would save her husband who is alive, but catatonic. The witch explains that though her life was spared, and she was spared from any further harm, she watched her village be plundered and raped, and therefore has an interest in thwarting the Dothraki regardless of Dany’s kindness. Dany mercifully smothers her husband, unmercifully chains the witch to the funeral pyre and, once it is set aflame, walks into the fire herself. And in the best scene on TV this week, she emerges with three wee baby dragons draped around her and the bended knees of the remaining Dothraki. When does the next season start already?!
Davis’s protégé is outshining him and his Grassy Knoll project. Davis wants his music to have a message, while Lil Calliope knows the people just want a beat they can bounce to. As a side note, I was super hyped to hear them listening to my high school alum Linnzi Zaorski while riding in the car. If you’ve never heard her, she does a sort of Billie Holliday 30’s jazz thing that is amazing. Del is trying to bring his New Orleans/New York by way of New Orleans Indian project to fruition, but is being frustrated by Big Chief Lambreaux’s perfectionism. Giving bass playing tips to Ron Carter!?! For reals!?! The best part of the Del storyline for me right now is having Dr. John, or Mac as he’s known to his buddies, spouting his Dr. Johnspeak “it’s all Oats and Herbs my nerbs!”
It looks like LaDonna is going to sell the bar, as she can’t even go into the place, and it’s pretty clearly destroying her, as Larry points out. Unfortunately, even though he is making some sense, you can almost hear the “See? What did I tell you?” behind everything he says.
My favorite part of this episode was Antoine dueling with Kermit Ruffins. After being invited to play with Kermit, Antoine steals the audience away to the Soul Apostles gig at Blue Nile, where they perform an astounding rendition of “Mr. Big Stuff” (Dig at Ruffins from Antoine?). Kermit almost immediately steals them back, but nice initiative from Antoine. Sonny is interested in the Vietnamese shrimper’s daughter Linh. I’m hoping that this means we will get a better look at that community. They were some of the first back and rebuilding homes and businesses after Katrina, and it would also give us a window for the BP oil spill in future seasons. The Abreu case and Janette working for Chang almost feel like they’re in a different show right now, and with so few episodes left, I wonder how they will tie into the season, though the Abreu thing is worth it to move Toni and Colson closer together. She’s not ready, but is pleased by his interest. And finally, after an episode that was for the most part upbeat, we have the death of Harley in a mugging gone wrong. It’s devastating not only because of who Harley was, but also because of the randomness of it. We started off the season with the funeral of one beloved New Orleans musician, and now it looks like we’ll end with another.
White Collar is one of my favorite shows, mainly for the triple threat of the Peter/Neal/El relationship, so with this week’s episode veering away from that, it was bound to be a disappointment for me. Diana, who I love, but should always be a secondary character, is front and center this week. She’s undercover as an assistant to a Devil Wears Pradaesque magazine editor whose life is in danger because of an exposé she’s publishing on a new drug. This was another weakness of this episode — the character, her job, indeed the entire journalism industry was not well researched at all.
Slightly more interesting was meeting Diana’s partner Christie, who has invited Neal and Sara to a dinner party. I also enjoy just about anything having to do with Sara. I’m not sure if it’s Hillarie Burton’s acting or the way the character is written, but she has the perfect amount of enthusiasm/chemistry/intelligence for Neal. But, Neal has an ulterior motive for attending the dinner party: to get access to the Nazi boat manifest, which is apparently on its way to DC. And really, why else would he go? I hope this means that we get:
1. More battle of wits/trust between Peter and Neal and
2. Sara and the art crimes National Gallery woman (Anna Chlumsky) meeting.
I don’t really want to see a cat fight, but I’d like to see the two size each other up. Next week seems to be Mozzie-centric from the promos (why White Collar writing staff?), but since there also seems to be a fair amount of Peter/Neal interactions, I’ll hold off judgment until I’ve seen it.
Franklin and Bash
I’ve seen some poor reviews of this show by reviewers who seem to want this to be some sort of Ally McBeal/Boston Legal type show. Instead, it’s far more buddy comedy than anything else, and I for one am really enjoying the Myer/Gosselaar dynamic.
It seems we’re going to get two cases an episode with this show. The first involves a high school buddy of Bash’s, if not exactly Franklin’s, who was involved in a bar fight, or a donnybrook as Jared puts it, and is eventually also charged with DUI for driving to the scene of the fight and subsequently taking a breathalyzer that put him over the legal limit. The team proves that Danny “Double D” DuBois, could have been legally under the limit while driving to the fight, but over by the time of the breathalyzer by having Franklin shotgun beers and taking a breathalyzer immediately after, which registers a .001 and 15 minutes later, which registers a .09. The arresting officer admits that it’s possible Double D drove to the fight sober, but the alcohol entered his bloodstream just prior to taking the test. The second case is a divorce arbitration between Hefner-like Paxton and his wife, who is accusing him of cheating, which would nullify their pre-nup agreement. Paxton isn’t exactly denying this because his reputation and ego won’t allow him to admit he’s impotent. Franklin convinces Paxton to admit his dysfunction to his wife, who gives him a second chance. The highlights for me were the Janie/Bash interaction, Franklin’s drunken closing, and Karp shredding it on the guitar. Quote of the episode, which pretty much sums up this show: “We’re Franklin and Bash, we stepped over the line 10 exits back!”