Joe Dyton

Archive for March, 2009|Monthly archive page

Grey’s Anatomy recap: “Elevator Love Letter”

In Grey's Anatomy on March 27, 2009 at 5:49 pm

Last night, we were treated to what I thought was another superb episode of “Grey’s Anatomy.” This current run of quality episodes could easily be described as “How Shonda Got Her Groove Back,” because “Grey’s” creator/showrunner Shonda Rhimes and her writing team have found the magic that had been mainly missing from this lukewarm, uneven season. Last night’s show and the one the week prior reminded me why so many people fell in love with this show in the first place.

I thought every storyline worked last night, even Mark and Lexie’s filler one. It actually served some purpose. As for the other main stories, all I can say is wow. They were all very well done, and there were several members of the cast who really stepped it up a notch, in particular, Kevin McKidd, Justin Chambers, Sandra Oh and Patrick Dempsey.

 As much as I hated the offscreen drama surrounding Katherine Heigl’s rumored desire to leave the show, that nonsense actually came in handy last night. Because of those rumors, there was no guarantee that Izzie was going to make it through that surgery. Her dying on the table would have the perfect way for Heigl to be let off of the show. So because of that, I was in as much suspense as the rest of the doctors loitering in the hallway during Izzie’s operation. If those rumors had never occurred, I would have had zero doubt that Izzie was going to make it. Who would have thought offscreen drama would enhance the onscreen drama?

I know the main story was Izzie’s surgery, but I was just as invested in the Owen/Cristina storyline as I was with Izzie’s. Holy cow, even though I knew what was coming; I was still put off by watching Dr. Hunt strangling Cristina. After watching this show four-plus seasons now, and I can’t think of too many scenes that were more intense and disturbing than that one. I can only imagine what the heck would have happened if Cristina was living alone.  

Despite that disturbing scene, it was good to see this relationship finally get some legs underneath it. It had dragged on for awhile now. I think I am so used to seeing relationship develop so quickly on this show that when one progresses realistically, I begin to get impatient. But speaking of relationship pace, these two went from 0 to 60 in a heartbeat, didn’t they? Their courtship seemed to consist of a stolen kiss here and there, and then all of a sudden, they were full-on “getting together.” And then things ended as soon as they got started when Cristina broke it off. I could see the fear in her eyes as she was lying there looking at the ceiling fan. I can’t blame her for being afraid to fall asleep with Owen next to her. I think it shows just how much Owen cares about her that he took up Derek’s offer to treat his PTSD. I don’t we’ve seen the last of Owen and Cristina.

And then there’s the third meaty storyline of the night; Derek’s attempted proposals to Meredith. I was torn a bit about the placement of this event. I almost felt there should have been an episode dedicated to Derek proposing. They are the highest-profile couple on the show; it seemed unfair that their finally getting engaged shared the spotlight with another main cast member getting live-saving surgery. On the flip side, it was fitting that Derek did when he did. He was finally feeling good about himself again and he had a clear mind for the first time in awhile. He was McDreamy again last night. I just hope Shonda keeps her promise that these two are together for good. There has yet to be a successful engagement/marriage on this show (Izzie/Denny, Cristina/Burke, Callie/George). I feel this one will stick though.

So, overall last night’s show was another “A+” episode of “Grey’s” in my opinion. I’m keeping the faith that the show will build off of this momentum and we’ll have a great rest of the season. I don’t think it’s any coincidence that the season’s gotten stronger as it became clearer what was going with Izzie and Denny began to fade away. It took the writing team forever get to this point, but at least we’re here now. Here’s to a great rest of the season.

 Here are a few more thoughts about last night’s show….

 The Highlights:

 *More brilliant acting performances. The “Grey’s” cast is very talented, and there are no weak links, which is remarkable for a cast that large. However, there are some episodes where the actors get a sense of the moment and really deliver. Like I mentioned before, I thought Kevin McKidd was excellent last night. He’s been good all season actually, and a great addition to the cast. He does a good job of looking broken down and like someone who suffers from PTSD. Same goes for Sandra Oh, she was fantastic. Cristina is such a robotic character, so getting to see her emotional side is such a nice treat. I’m sure Sandra Oh enjoys getting to play the character a little differently as well. My heart broke for Alex during his “this isn’t the way…” speech in the on-call room. Justin Chambers has been the man the last couple of weeks. Hopefully he’ll get a storyline that doesn’t involve the woman in his life getting sick (first Ava then Izzie) for him to show off his talents. And last but not least, Mr. Patrick Dempsey, who will hopefully get some Emmy consideration for his work these last few episodes. It’s been his best work probably during the whole course of the series. Last night, he didn’t do a much strong verbal action as he did non-verbal. I could literally see the weight of the world on his shoulders as he was preparing for Izzie’s surgery. To me that’s the sign of a good actor, someone who can portray emotions without saying a word.

 *Everything Meredith. For the most part, I’m pretty lukewarm and indifferent to Meredith (not a good thing for the show’s title character), but I can’t help but feel she deserved the game ball last night. She was there for just about everyone last night (with the painful exception of Izzie); Derek of course, Alex and Cristina. I loved at the end of the episode when she told Cristina she was engaged, and Cristina responded that her and Owen broke up she simply got into bed next to her. She didn’t complain about Cristina raining on her parade or anything like that. She just played the supportive best friend.

*The Chief-Alex fertilization conversation. I thought this was a good, comic relief story that helped lighten the mood, at least temporarily. I could totally understand the Chief’s disgust when Alex planted the “sample” right in front of his lunch tray. I know it was covered in a plastic bag, but I’m still not sure I would have moved it over with my fork if I was the Chief.

 *The Callie-George scene. Sometimes I forget that George and Callie were married and Izzie was the main reason they got divorced. I thought that tied in nicely with last night’s episode and it was great that despite everything, Callie did the right thing and convinced George that he needed to be there for Izzie. It’s sad that he needed to be convinced, but I guess the important thing is that he was there.

*Derek’s proposal: If it weren’t for Izzie’s successful surgery, this would have been the highlight of the evening (see what I mean about how maybe the engagement should have been broken out in to another episode?). I loved what Derek finally decided to do. It was much more Meredith’s style than the bedroom covered with roses and bears. I also loved the Chief blocking her from the other elevator (he’s getting back to his old self lately). But after his two sad sack proposal attempts earlier in the show (the first one was especially sad when he just put the ring down on the table), he finally got it right. I’m also glad he decided to shave before he (didn’t) pop the question.

 The Lowlights:

 *I was not a big fan of Dr. Swender’s abrasive nature when she was talking to Izzie about her course of treatment. It just came of as insensitive, although as a oncologist, I guess it comes with the territory. I did love it though when in the OR when she questioned McDreamy one time too many, he finally snapped at her. At that point, I knew Derek was back. I will say, as much as I didn’t like her, I do hope she sticks around because I feel like she’s the perfect foil for Bailey. Dr. Swender has the same no-nonsense attitude, but without Bailey’s heart. She’s the perfect person to go toe-to-toe with Bailey, a much better fit than Arizona was.

*I also didn’t like Mark’s patients’ kids’ attitude. I know they had been through a lot, but it was tasteless for them to be sitting there and willing their mother to die. I was glad to see that they did have some remorse when she finally passed. The one positive is it did teach Alex a lesson about being there for loved ones, no matter what.

*I also didn’t care for the cheap shots Alex and Owen took at Derek about his most recent failed surgery. That’s the last thing he needed on day like that one.

 OK, a few more random thoughts and I’m done…

 *Once again, the writers did a great job of keeping the smaller storylines (Mark’s patient, Callie and Arizona’s relationship) out of the way, so the bigger plots had their due. It’s another reason the show’s gotten better; they aren’t watering down stronger storylines to make room for bigger ones.

 *I should also mention I enjoyed the Bailey-Izzie scenes and I liked that the scarf Izzie was knitting was for Bailey. I didn’t like the fact that Meredith and Co. avoided Izzie all day. I loved that Bailey told them to “do better” tomorrow.

 * “Lines of the Week.”

-“Is your boyfriend OK to be cutting into brains today?”

-“Give me the cup.”

-“I just wanted to know how things were co-uh-going.”

-“Their patients shouldn’t suffer just because I’ve got things growing on my organs.”

-“Hands around your neck.” “Ring thrown in your face.”

-“Maybe we have to mess up so we can step up.”

“I want to spend the rest of my life with you.”

-“People are better than no people.” 

Well, I hope you all enjoyed the show as much as I did. It looks like we’re off until April 23, so enjoy the break!

Have a comment, question or criticism for Joe? Contact him at thedytonian@yahoo.com.

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Lost thoughts: “He’s Our You”

In Lost on March 27, 2009 at 5:44 pm

Hey “Lost” fans,

Here are a few quick-hit thoughts about Wednesday’s episode of “Lost,” “He’s Our You.”…

I liked the episode, even though it was totally not what I was expecting. The promos from last week showed that burning van, and I thought all heck was going to break loose last night. But, other then that van and the final scene, the episode was very tame.

 I liked that we got to see how Sayid went from Point A to Point B. I hope we get a Hurley-centric episode like that this season too to see how he went from being in prison for murder to boarding a flight to Guam without the authorities. It’s interesting, when we first saw Sayid getting onto that plane, I assumed he was under arrest, but it turns out he’s been captured by someone just like him. As rough as that first scene was, I think it was important to show that he’s had that killer instinct since he was a kid.

I think my favorite scene was when the Others had Sayid captive and he was given that truth serum tablet. I was on the edge of my seat (as was Sawyer apparently) wondering just how much he was going to reveal. I loved the look on the Others’ faces when Sayid was describing all of their stations, including the one that hadn’t been built yet. I was hoping he’d get to explain a little bit more when he told them they were all going to die. I would have loved to have seen their reaction when he told them that young Ben Linus was going to lead “The Purge.”

And speaking of Ben, wow! I couldn’t believe Sayid shot him. Well, then again maybe I’m not that surprised. He seems to have no boundaries. I can’t help but wonder what happens to Ben in 2007 now. At first I thought that might be why he’s lying on that cot unconscious with the rest of the injured 316 survivors. But then again, he could be hurt from when Sun knocked him out with the oar last week. Either way, I was floored when young Ben fell to the ground.

Aside from the Sayid story, I got a kick out of the cafeteria scene; Hurley is the best. It was a little strange to see Jack so willing to sit back and let Sawyer handle things. I guess as much as he hates to admit it, he knows it’s the best way to keep everyone safe for now. Speaking of Sawyer, I felt bad for him last night. All he wanted to do was keep Sayid safe; but Sayid seemed to want nothing to do with it. I couldn’t believe how lopsided the Others’ vote to off Sayid was. I thought there might be at least a few people who would have thought it might be a good idea to keep Sayid around to see if he has any more information.

I was a little surprised that Juliet just assumed now that Kate was back, that her days of “playing house” with Sawyer were finished. Insecure much? I also found it interesting that Juliet felt if she told Kate that she was with Sawyer, it might sound like she was telling Kate to stay away. Hmm. I also liked Kate’s line to Sawyer about how she’s not sure why everyone came back, but she knows why she came back.

 Here are my burning questions last night:

-The obvious, If young Ben doesn’t make it, what happens to ’07 Ben?

-Where’d that flaming van come from?

-Who is Ilana working for?

Lost thoughts: “LaFleur”

In Lost on March 6, 2009 at 4:24 pm

So, was it me, or was last night’s “Lost” episode one of the most straightforward episodes we’ve seen during the entire series? The plot basically ping-ponged back and forth between “present day” and three years prior. And for the first time in awhile, I didn’t have a million questions after the show was finished. Of course there were some, otherwise it wouldn’t be “Lost”! J

Overall, I thought the episode was alright. Like last week’s, I was hoping for a little bit more. There was plenty to like though. I thought Sawyer was great; he carried the episode in my opinion. I like the leader/heroic role he’s taken on this year; it’s a far cry from the nickname-giving conman he’d been during the first few seasons. It was weird seeing him without facial hair during the “three years later” scenes, but that’s neither here nor there. And as much as I enjoy Sawyer as is; it was kind of nice seeing him play the romantic at the end of the episode when he brought Juliet a flower before their dinner. I guess those three years really softened that bravado of his. Although, what terrible timing it is that now that he’s fallen in love with someone else, Kate has made her way back to the island. And here I thought, the love triangle would be between Jack, Kate and Sawyer.

Speaking of Kate, I loved Sawyer’s “is three years long enough to get over someone” speech. It was very heartfelt and at the same time kind of heartbreaking. I also enjoyed Sawyer and Richard’s conversation on the bench. It was very noble of Sawyer to admit he killed Richard’s men to keep the truce between the Dharma folks and the others alive.

Wow, two paragraphs on how much I liked Sawyer last night. That’s a lot of Sawyer talk. J Well, like I mentioned, I thought he carried last night’s episode; and he did a great job. I guess I should also mention I loved how his conman skills came in handy when the crew left it up to him (the “ship captain”) to explain how they got to the island. His story was very convincing. I also loved his name, Jim LaFleur. Speaking of the name, here’s my weekly, “Reading too much into a scene,” segment: I felt some symbolism when Sawyer picked that flower for Juliet. “LaFleur” is French for “the flower,” so I felt like it was a symbol of change; change of name, change of attitude in the romance department and change of who is affection is target towards. Again, the name is probably random, but that’s what I took from it.

Aside from Sawyer, here are few other thoughts about the episode…

 *It was great to see two actors from two of my favorite shows on last night: Reiko Aylesworth (“24”) playing Amy and Kevin Rankin (“Friday Night Lights”) playing Jerry, one of the security guards.

*I found it interesting that the crew went from staying for “two weeks” to three years. I wish we could have seen more on how they came to that decision.

 *Juliet can deliver babies and fix cars, who knew? I also liked how she played it off that she didn’t know what that “sonic fence” was.

 *Jin finding Kate, Sawyer and Jack two episodes ago all makes sense now. I just wish we could have seen more of the reunion; we’ve seen Jack, Hurley and Kate back on the island for about 60 seconds since they returned (and they’ve been back technically for three episodes!!).

 *If that really was little Charlotte that Faraday saw, then I guess her story about seeing him the past was true.

 And of course the burning questions…

 *Juliet was able to deliver Amy’s baby successfully (for now). If everything remains OK, what happened on the island afterwards that made it impossible for woman to have babies? And for the big question of the night…

 *WHY ISN’T THERE A NEW EPISODE NEXT WEEK???? After an ending like that one, we really have to wait two weeks to see the full reunion. Talk about unfair!

What did you think of the episode? Do you think Sawyer will throw Juliet to the curb now that Kate’s back on the island? Where are Sun and Lapidus? Feel free to comment below!

Have a comment, question or criticism for Joe? Contact him at thedytonian@yahoo.com.

24 recap: “6 p.m.-7 p.m./7 p.m.-8 p.m.”

In 24 on March 5, 2009 at 1:34 pm

I know it may be a bold statement, but I have to say I think the second hour of Monday’s “24” might have been the best of the series. I was on the edge of my seat the entire time. I could go on forever about how much I liked the show, but I won’t. Instead, I’ll just hit on the highlights. There are several, so before I get to them, I want to talk about only thing that bothered me.

 

I have to give Fox’s promo department a big thumbs down for giving away Juma’s target during the scenes for next week at the end of last Monday’s show. How much more fun and suspenseful would last night’s episode been if we didn’t know what the target was until Renee flipped to that last blueprint? The sad thing is, Fox has been doing that with “24” for years. Maybe I’ll have to take a page out of other fans’ playbook and turn off the TV once the episode is over and skip the previews. They’ve dropped the ball before, but not like this. The whole episode was based around finding the target; part of being in the know was fine, but I think I would have enjoyed it more if we were in dark along with the FBI.

 

So, that was my lone gripe about the episode. Otherwise, it was excellent as this whole season has been. Here are some of the things I liked in particular:

 

*Seeing Tony again. I know he’d only been gone for a few episodes (save the last couple minutes of last week), but it felt like he’d been out of play longer than that. If I could change one thing, it would be that Tony was in the White House helping Jack. It’s fun watching those two kick butt and take names. Unfortunately, Tony is a “wanted felon” as Jack put it, so he had to wait in the car.

 

*Speaking of Jack kicking butt, it was a hoot watching him do it in the White House of all places. The man has no boundaries, I tell you. I just hated to see him have to take down his buddy Bill in the process. I do give Jack credit for doing it so Bill didn’t have to get involved in any illegal doings.

 

*How about the “Special Appearance” by Mr. Jon Voight? He was great last night! I enjoyed watching him casually eat Chinese food as the White House was being taken over, then calmly tell Juma how to get President Taylor to come out of her panic room (hold her daughter hostage) and then proceed to play darts. It was all in a day’s work for this season’s resident bad guy. Although, what is Juma shipping him that’s so valuable he’d betray his country?

 

*I also enjoyed watching Agent Pierce do everything he could to protect Allison’s daughter. I’m so happy that he was brought back this season. If I were ever in a position where I needed a bodyguard, I’d want Agent Pierce protecting me.

 

The more I think about it, there were a couple more I didn’t like about the episode. For example…

 

*Isn’t it about time everyone started trusting Jack and his methods? They’re unconventional yes, but he gets results. If he hadn’t been interrupted during his interrogation of Senator Mayer’s aide, he probably would have found out the target, and the Secret Service would have been better prepared. Instead he was locked up while an invasion of the White House was about to take place. Speaking of Senator Mayer…

 

*What a killjoy this guy is, huh? Even after Jack saved thousands of lives, the guy still won’t give him a break. Then he has the gall to yell at him for letting President Taylor out of the lockdown despite the fact that Juma was ready to cut out the President’s daughter’s eyeballs. I think it would be great if Jack ends up saving Senator Mayer down the line using his “questionable” methods. Then I’d like to see what he has to say.

 

*I also hated to see Chloe get into trouble for helping Jack. It probably wasn’t in her best interest to wipe a name off of that list, but Jack can be very convincing when he needs something. And Chloe always has his back, so it was no surprise she went through with it. I was liking Janis until she went out of her way to rat out Chloe. It wasn’t like she just overheard Chloe and Jack’s phone call, she had the call descrambled. Doesn’t she have better things to do than figuring out what Chloe is up to? I guess after finding out her co-worker Sean was a traitor, she figured she can’t be too careful. And finally…

 

*I thought Dubaku’s death would have been a little more ceremonious. He wrecked havoc on the U.S. for a better part of the day, and he dies of a heart attack via a lethal injection? Seriously, that’s the best the writers could come up with? I would have much rather seen him brought to justice, or if he had to die, it would have been better if he had gone down guns a blazing; not in a hospital bed at the hands of one of Juma’s men. I just felt that was a letdown.

 

So, those were just a few of my thoughts about this solid two-hour episode of “24.” Despite my disappointment in knowing what the target was going to be going in, I do have to say bravo to Fox for doing a two-hour showing. I don’t think I would have been able to wait all week for the 7 p.m. to 8 p.m. hour.

 

What did you think of the episode? How do you think Jack and Co. will get out of this jam? According to next week’s promos, it looks like goody two shoes Larry Moss may go against orders and lead a rescue mission into the White House. Will he actually go through with it? Comment below!

 

Have a comment, question or criticism for Joe? Contact him at thedytonian@yahoo.com.