Monday, November 10, 2008

TV Highlights: Shapeshifters on "True Blood," Angela's Betrayal on "Heroes," Termination on "My Own Worst Enemy," and more

• "Desperate Housewives": For every episode of this weekend-soap, I try to determine who is the plot victor, the lovely lady with the juiciest material to chew on. In this episode, I declare Bree the winner. Susan spent most of the episode inspiring her closeted-artist of a boyfriend to paint a depressing portrait of her after she enforced a 4-date-bout of celibacy. She was flattered because it proved that he knew her. I, personally, felt it proved that at the end of the day, her flaws were how he defined her. On the posher side of town, Gabby finally came to her senses and realized her family wasn't for sale once Carlos' massage client started to insert herself into personal family moments. Exhibit A: Crawling into bed with Carlos and Gabby to watch an animated film with the kids. The expressions of awkward confusion on their faces--especially Carlos' since he only felt her get in bed--were priceless. Unfortunately, Gabby's territorial behavior cost Carlos his job and reputation. Then again, if they spread his..."abilities" around town, he won't need the country club for a referral. Carrying on the "DH" tradition of consensual pedophilia, Lynette discovers that her hopelessly romantic son Porter is madly in love with his bff's mom. After (justifiably) assaulting her in the ladies' room, the hag informs Porter that she's pregnant. But instead of running into mommy's arms, he gathers his major cashflow and plans an escape with his cougar. Alas, not even the discovery of a boy's lost innocence can top Bree's storyline. Having sex in her work kitchen was nothing. Getting caught on tape was nothing. Getting blackmailed by a thieving teenage employer was, once again, nothing. Ordering her former juvenile delinquent son to do "whatever it takes" to get the surveillance tape back and dismissing Orson's warnings to not break any laws definitely deserves acknowledgement as the highlight of the episode. We all know nothing can stand in the way of Bree and her pristine reputation. Luckily, the redhead being ravaged on the cutting board was actually Katherine. Unfortunately for Susan, her ravager was Mike. Oh and Mrs. McCluskey discovers that Edie's husband has a doctor for the criminally insane on speed dial. I think this is her cue to move.

• "True Blood": Lately, I've been immersed in the world of vampires, as I am half-way through the third book of Stephenie Meyer's series. It seems sacrificing yourself for humans is a major no-no in both texts. Bill stood before the head vamp and begged for the 5-year silver incarceration over the order to sire a new vampire from a young religious girl. But for Sookie's sake, he accepts his punishment. Meanwhile, the creature he left in charge of protecting her, transformed while he was asleep at the foot of her bed. Poor Sam. He really wanted her to accept him the way she accepted Bill. But according to her, her major gripe with his shape-shifting abilities was that he lied about it, which I thought was lame. If Bill could've lied about being a vampire, he most certainly would've. People don't just go around advertising their weird abilities--heck, even she never did it on purpose. Luckily, Sam was there when her enemy almost nabbed her in the dark bar. I secretly think it's Rene. He was giving her that whole "you're a sweet girl" schpiel before Sam cut-in to dance with her and the color of the assailant's shirt matched his, but then that would mean that he killed the other girls and I can't figure out why he'd do that. But you have to admit, it would be funny if Arlene had picked yet another dud-of-a-husband after gushing about how good he was with the kids. While we're on the subject of vicious murderers, Jason has gotten himself in over his head. His girlfriend Amy is certifiable. When she discovered that he was secretly quenching their pet vampire's thirst, she decided to con him into thinking they were going to integrate him into their little family, and treat him like a blood supply that can talk. It was too late by the time he could figure out what was really going on and she plunged a plank of wood through the vamp's chest, spreading sticky, gooey blood all over him. Tara, on the other hand, was covered in her own vomit. While she was being exorcised by that witch doctor and stabbing a ghost representation of herself, I started to wonder if maybe that "sorceress" had just poisoned her, and of course I was right. It was like she'd dosed Tara and her mother with placebos and convinced them they were cured like they were hyperchondriacs. Her mom may still be in La-La land, but Tara decided to drown her fears in the devil's juice and jump Sam's bones. Unfortunately, he's sniffed out a new opening into Sookie's heart, so he's suddenly manifested a conscience and refuses to sleep with her unless she treats him like a person. As for the educational portion of the episode, we learned that shape-shifters need to be near the creature they're transforming into, they can't turn into humans because they're too complex, their form wears off when they fall asleep, they can't control their transformations when there's a full moon, and they're not vicious creatures like werewolves...or so Sam claims.

• "Chuck": I can't believe Chuck is really going to give that lying-cheating-backstabbing whore another chance, and against his sister's forewarning. I'm not saying she'll cheat on him again, but his desperation for a normal relationship shouldn't force him to settle for such a low-grade female. Yes, Jordana Brewster (Fast and the Furious) is very hot, but rewarding her character's infidelity just sets a bad example for all those geeks out there who have super low self-esteem. Best part of the episode, though, had to have been when he was showing off how cool he had become, throwing it back in her face.

• "Heroes": We learned Arthur usually erased Angela's memories in order to control her, and Linderman healed the scars in her mind so that she'd remember her husband's plot against Nathan. She had to paralyze Arthur, since he arranged the car accident that led to Nathan's wife's paralysis in an attempt to kill him so that he wouldn't investigate Linderman and discover that he had nefarious plans for New York and, essentially, the human race. Arthur mind-controlled his doctor into telling Angela that he had died. The moment marks the end of Angela's pure, naive, housewife personality and the beginning of Arthur's year-long plot to rejuvenate and get revenge. Meanwhile, the lost Petrelli brother, Sylar, was shown pre-psycho behavior. Apparently, after his first kill, he tried to commit suicide. Elle saved him in order to help HRG discover how he takes other people's powers, since it's such a rare gift. Their plot was to plant a gifted person in Sylar's wake and provoke him to attack. Unfortunately, Elle grew attached and tried to save Sylar's soul without much luck. Once he realized she was gifted too, he banished her from his presence--sparing her life (perhaps she was the mother of his child in the future)--and proceeded to give HRG what he wanted, while breaking Elle's heart. As she summed up quite well, they were the ones who turned him into the monster that he is and unleashed him on the world. The writers also felt the need to tell us the story of how Claire's mom came to be as spunky as she is. Apparently, the blue fire guy is her rambunctious younger brother, who she often risks her life for, and her grudge against The Company stemmed from her misguided belief that they were the reason her baby died when they provoked her in a fight that led to her house burning down. Thompson (Eric Roberts), her former Company partner, felt pity for her and let her go, dropping the little nugget of truth concerning her daughter's survival before she left. At the end, we discover that the man Claire saves from the fire at the beginning of the series was actually her uncle. It's a small world after all. And lastly, Hiro witnessed all of these backstories when he was in that mystical trance, but Linderman showed up once he awoke to stop him from warning the Petrelli's that poppa was alive.

• "My Own Worst Enemy": Hedward came dangerously close to being discovered by the head-honcho who's gunning for Edward. Another operative, Pam/Ellen, discovers that Hedward is broken and...well, I'm not sure if Henry or Edward tried to spare her life by tricking Ray into thinking he had already killed her--that part was confusing. But in the end, his therapist, Norah, flushes Ellen's mind with all of Pam's memories and frames her as the broken operative who misidentified Edward as Henry, throwing the head-honcho off his trail. It's a good thing Norah is in love with Edward, otherwise, they'd both be screwed. With Pam/Ellen's termination orders, we discover that said orders simply mean that the operative is the one terminated and the fabricated existence gets to live on, which makes me believe even more that Edward is the actual fake personality. I mean, wouldn't it be easier to erase a few fabricated memories as opposed to thousands? As a precaution though, Edward injected himself with nanos that will poison Henry's system and kill him if they ever try to terminate him. Whether Edward is the real personality seems to be irrelevant to him, he's not going anywhere without a fight, which seems to be a motto his son has ingrained in his system. The argument of nature vs. nurture surfaced in the episode, as Henry wondered if his son, Jack, was more like him or Edward. After watching him in a fierce stick-fight match against a man twice his age, it became abundantly clear to Henry that perhaps Edward's personality has seeped into his children a lot more than he imagined. Another concept the series brought up was at the center of Eagle Eye's plot. It was the idea that within the Constitution is a statement up for interpretation that basically says the government can "activate" any civilian to protect the country whenever it wants. It was most certainly referring to "the draft," but since yet another one of Henry's co-workers was revealed as an operative and his therapist is in on it too, and his wife is suspected of being two-faced in the next episode a la Mr. and Mrs. Smith, I have to wonder if maybe this elite secret operation is actually a test for worldwide implementation. What if someday we can all be activated?

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