“Cougar Town” 6×08 – This One’s For Me

Grade: B+

Opening Title Sequence: “Welcome to Cougar Town. Badly break for secret treats.”

I haven’t been a weekly reviewer of Cougar Town‘s final season, not because there hasn’t been anything especially endearing about it but because it’s difficult to express my love for this group week after week. I’ll look like a obsessed maniac if I keep giving this show As, right?

In “This One’s For Me”, the show steers away from storylines that are strong and emotional, a theme that’s been driving this show in the past few episodes, and instead relies on being ridiculously fun and compelling. While watching the eighth installment of this season, I realized how tough it was going to be to watch the show end its 6-year run soon.

What I particularly enjoyed this week about the cul-de-sac’s adventures was Jules and Grayson’s subplot. Their relationship hasn’t always taken the spotlight. The show has always instead relied on focusing on Jules’ relationships with everyone else, often pairing Grayson in a storyline with someone else (Andy for some bromance, Travis for some father/son moment or even Ellie for some hilarious banter). I loved how she finally allowed him to trust her keep this new secret of his–him being in a ridiculous yet outrageous comedy show–and the way the show ends, with Jules laughing hysterically at Grayson’s performance while saying she still doesn’t understand a single thing, is amazing. I love Courteney Cox’s face in that moment–it’s so real and amusing. This heartfelt moment was the perfect way to end this episode.

Elsewhere, Laurie paired up with my favorite character Ellie in a funny B-subplot about dressing up like your kid. I’m glad that Travis and Laurie’s kid isn’t getting in the way of good storytelling this season (as babies are usually the jump-the-shark moments in sitcoms), and I kinda want to see Laurie and her son dressed alike MORE–that was such a perfect scene.

Andy and Travis’ dynamic is always amusing to watch, and their desire to play videogames behind their women’s backs allowed for some fun and interesting developments. Seriously, I can’t bid this show farewell.

Favorite Quotes

Jules: At least none of these things are weird sex things.
Tom: Uh, two of them can be.
Jules: Which one? No–I don’t want to know. It’s the fedora, right?

Grayson: Starting tomorrow, my bar will be closed for a week.
Andy: Did someone finally get sick from eating the food?
Laurie: Or is it smelling the food? I think the smell is worse than the taste.

Andy: Tom, I need protection.
Tom: Are we talking condoms or guns?
Andy: No, I need–you have guns?
Tom: I dunno, you have money?

Jules: Bingo! Case closed.
Ellie: Actually, it’s not. It’s very open.
Jules: That’s what I meant. Case wide open.

“The Flash” 1×13 – The Nuclear Man

Grade: B

The Flash finally gave us the Firestorm backstory episode we were waiting for. Appropriately called “The Nuclear Man” (Firestorm’s nickname in the comics), the episode juggled two different themes and tones.

While we have to wait for next week to see what really happened to Firestorm in the end, it was amusing to watch any interaction he had with Caitlin because of their shared history, and Robbie Amell delivered a very convincing performance. It must be difficult to be two different characters at the same time, and Amell nailed them both with ease.

Another strong subplot was the Joe/Cisco investigation to Barry’s mother’s murder. Even as I take my time to warm up to Cisco and his sometimes-ridiculous remarks, I had to be thrilled with that revelation at the end. Now that Joe and Cisco are aware that an adult-Barry was at the crime scene when Nora was killed, it should be interesting to see how the show handles time-travel for the rest of the season.

Sadly though, I wasn’t too fond of the Barry/Linda C-plot. I didn’t think they have any chemistry together and to make things even worse, Iris was involved in this weak subplot. The fact that she felt the need to include herself in their relationship makes me hate her even more, and I can’t understand why she’s suddenly feeling jealous. Where’s Eddie to distract her or something?

But even with these two highly different tones, it’s hard not to love Barry Allen or the show in general. The writers are clever enough to make us invested in these characters already, and as long as the show continues to impress with cool CGI effects and an entertaining story, there’s no reason to stop watching.

Speedy Bits

-What’s with that woman who lives in Barry’s old house now? The way she stares at Joe is creepy and equally hilarious.

-Loved the heartbreaking look on Caitlin’s face as Barry takes her and runs while Firestorm explodes.

-General Eiling is coming back apparently. Clancy Brown is perfectly casted for this devious role, but I’m still waiting for Gorilla Grodd!

-Where can I get a mirror like the one at Barry’s old house?

-I suppose Linda didn’t notice how fast Barry was vibrating when he got, um, “excited”?

Red Blurs & Quotes

Cisco: Aren’t you worried about moving too fast?
Barry: No, what do you mean? It’s a second date.
Cisco: No, no, no, no. I meant going too fast, hurrying. Look, I mean, you’re fast, but there’s fast, and then there’s fast. Am I being subtle enough?
Barry: You’re really not.

Joe: You change one more time, I’m gonna shoot you.

Joe: I’m good at reading people. That’s how I know I can trust you with my suspicion. When I go talk to the family and friends of a murder suspect, somebody I know is guilty, and I tell them the person they love is a killer, guess what they say? That’s not the person I know.

“How To Get Away With Murder” 1×12 – She’s A Murderer

Grade: B

An entertaining episode this week that ended with quite a bang.

What worked about this week’s episode is that it steered away from any ridiculous and often unnecessary storytelling device and decided to just give us actual story. That and the fact that we spent almost the entire hour speculating with the law students where and when Annalise was going to turn on them—and then she ended up having an entirely different plan.

Flipping on Nate was quite the unexpected twist that makes me love-hate this show. I still worry that the writers here sometimes make Gotham look like a wonderfully-written show, but that ending was satisfying and thrilling that it made me forget most of the terrible things that went on before (example: case-of-the-week).

I’m still baffled by every show nowadays that continues to be formulaic without using its cases-of-the-week to tell a larger story throughout the season. Was anyone really interested or even listening to the case this week? Does anyone really care if Annalise wins or not? I certainly didn’t because it made little to no sense at all compared to the bigger plot here which involved Hannah Keating making sure that Annalise’s house gets a search warrant.

Marcia Gay Harden delivered quite the impressive performance, particularly in the courtroom where she made Bonnie look like a laughingstock in front of an audience. It was rewarding to see that kind of soapy, disastrous scene take place—why, I’m not sure. And that’s a feeling that I have every time I watch this show.

But other than that, I’m starting to enjoy how unsettled the students are about any piece of evidence that comes to light. I don’t care about whatever crap Rebecca was involved in with that Rudy kid, but Michaela and Connor (and even Laurel sometimes) are proving to be intriguing enough to keep me invested. With only 1 episode left before the 2-hour finale, I hope the show doesn’t screw up again after what’s been a very rocky season.

Sneaky Courtroom Bits

-Even with that shocking ending, I worry the show isn’t using shock-value (like it has before) at the expense of character development. I sincerely hope Annalise has her reasons for turning on Nate, even though she could have easily brought down the Keating Five and walked out without (less) blood on her hands.

-I LOVED Bonnie’s scene with Annalise where she tells her she’s figured it all out and that she won’t get away with this.

-Asher continues to be clueless about everything going on around him.

-Of course Annalise cleaned the floor after they all killed Sam. Because she’s a part-time cleaning lady when she’s not busy being a murderous plotter or a manipulative law professor/attorney.

-Speaking of which, how scheming is Annalise when she tells Connor without her, he goes to prison? Same goes to the flashback that reminds us how she similarly manipulated Michaela and Wes into trusting her.

-Why is Frank such a good boy to Annalise? Is there anything else here, or are we supposed to believe this guy is freakishly loyal?

Amusing Keating One-Liners

Annalise: Here’s the thing, Mr. Walsh. You’re not gonna trust me. That’s just not in your nature. But you can stop worrying because—and you might have forgotten this—but I’m your only option here. Without me, you’ll go to prison.
Connor: That doesn’t mean we won’t end up there.
Annalise: No, it doesn’t. But the odds are better with me.

Asher: What did you think they’d find, the bloody knife Annalise hid under her mattress? Our boss would be a better killer than that, yo.

Bonnie: You’re not going to get away with this, Annalise. Not if you keep avoiding the police. Hannah’s smart. She loves Sam too much not to solve this. And I know why you want to protect them, but they’re sneaking off all the time to talk. You didn’t do this. They did. Don’t let them ruin you.

“Gotham” 1×15 – The Scarecrow

Grade: C+

A very disappointing episode.

There wasn’t much going on this week on Gotham where the second part of the Gerald Crane arc seemed to be even worse than the first. If anything, I’m willing to admit that this show doesn’t do two-part arcs well. There was so much potential here, but they ruined it all with another lame procedural case-of-the-week that had zero character development and wasn’t even thrilling.

The biggest problem here is that everything is extremely predictable on Gotham. Nothing about Jim and Bullock investigating the case was original or even entertaining for that matter. Another thing I’m starting to loathe is how every episode starts with a murder, proving that the show is unwilling to let go of its dreadful formulaic format anytime soon. Unlike The Flash, this show doesn’t use its weekly villains to improve the dynamics between its core characters.

And then there’s Fish Mooney. Last week’s extremely weird and cartoonish ending didn’t really have any on-screen consequence, which is a shame because I wanted to see Fish in a horrible fight scene for once (I’m assuming it would have been horrible, of course). Being trapped in some sort of underground prison with a bunch of other creepy men was even more cartoonish than anything the show has done so far. And the way she manipulated the Big Boss and slit his throat was very expected. Zero character development here too.

The fact that I actually enjoyed young Bruce’s storyline is not a surprise, seeing how he’s been one of the very few reasons I’m still watching this mess. But looking back at this particular plot, nothing happened there either. Sure, it was amusing to see Bruce hiking and reminiscing about his father, especially with the heartwarming father/son moment he shared with Alfred in the end. But when a subplot as straightforward and simple as that becomes the highlight of the hour, you realize how crappy everything else must be in comparison.

Bat Bits

-At this point, I’ll be seriously surprised if the show can deliver a well-written episode before the season finale.

-Leslie and Jim are very cute together. Even though I’m starting to become a little annoyed with Ben McKenzie’s serious face, I can never get bored of Morena Baccarin.

-Another Barbara-less episode! Anyone else cheering?

-Penguin and Maroni’s scene should have been thrilling, no? And I actually laughed at how Maroni kept pouring champagne into Penguin’s glass until it started to spill. Why does this show make it so easy for me to mock?

-David Mazouz has been delivering an incredible performance as Bruce. To me, he’s more talented than Jada Pinkett Smith.

-I love when Carmine Falcone trash-talks Fish Mooney. It’s so hilarious.