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This Week in TV #1


The Amazing Race: Unfinished Business




Survivor: Redemption Island


The Mentalist


This week in TV—Numero Uno.

Warning: Spoiler Alert!

The Amazing Race: Unfinished Business (AR‘s 18th season)

As a fan of The Amazing Race from the very start, let me say that I haven’t been this stoked to see a season of AR, after following the show religiously—all of 17 seasons.

As you can glean from this season’s subtitle, AR 18 features eleven teams of two that played the game before that either got close to winning it all but fell short, or fan favorites that most viewers thought were eliminated too soon. And so this is their second chance to win the race and the million-dollar prize that goes with finishing first. That alone makes for good reality TV. Add Phil Keoghan’s statement that this season will feature the most challenging and difficult legs ever, and this becomes must-see reality TV.

I simply cannot wait to see how these seasoned veterans perform the second time around, and if the tasks, challenges, and legs really are the toughest we’ve seen on the show.

Episode 1: Head Down and Hold On

I’m so happy that these teams are back: Zev and Justin (best friends), Margie and Luke (mother and son), Jet and Cord (cowboy brothers), Flight Time and Big Easy (of The Globetrotters), Gary and Mal (father and daughter 1), and of course, the only Asians on the race—Ron and Christina (father and daughter 2). If any of these teams end up winning the race, I’m good.

A little something for those who haven’t seen the premiere episode: hurry and watch the rerun on TV or download and watch it online—the first leg hasn’t ended yet. 😀

Quotable Quote

Jet and Cord: It’s a once in a lifetime opportunity—again.

» Currently in its 4th season

Episode 16: Chuck vs. the Masquerade

Ever since the “resolution” of the Volkoff story arc in vs. the Push Mix (episode 13), it felt to me like Chuck has gotten into a little bit of a slump (and this is my theory as to why the writers have decided to resurrect the Volkoff plot line). Imagine that. Even with the return of Roan Montgomery (John Larroquette) in vs. the Seduction Impossible (episode 14) and the sultry CAT Squad in vs. the CAT Squad (episode 15), the show still slumped.

Of course, that little bit of a slump will do nothing to help counteract the declining numbers of those tuning in, though the fan base is keeping the ratings steady, which will probably be enough to make sure the show doesn’t get axed (too soon).

Anyway, in vs. the Masquerade, we meet the new Volkoff—Alexei’s daughter, Vivian (Dang it, she’s hot!). And that’s pretty much all there is to say about it. Well, that, and we see what Yvonne Strahovski looks like in a red night gown and matching red lace stockings with wings a la Victoria’s Secret.

Oh, and don’t forget to wear your suspension-of-disbelief hat before you watch this episode—but you knew that already.

Quick Questions

What’s the new mission that Casey will be working on? Who’ll be the members of his new team? What was it that Alexei left for his daughter? Could it be another Intersect? Why do doors suddenly slam shut just as there’s something interesting to see?

» Currently in its 7th season

Episode 13: Two Stories

A really entertaining episode, this one.

Two Stories is a lot fun to watch and re-watch. There’s just so much to enjoy. It’s a breath of fresh air, especially after the two emotionally heavy episodes before it (Family Practice and You Must Remember This). The usual grim and serious atmosphere of the show is seemingly absent—at least in this particular episode.

I simply enjoyed all the movie rip-offs and references (Pulp Fiction, A Few Good Men, Ghostbusters, etc.) and the brisk pacing of the episode, despite the many layers of storytelling and flashbacks that were involved.

This episode is very entertaining and hilarious, and so it successfully distracts our attention from the small amount of diagnostics it featured (hey, the writers deserve a break from dealing with all the medicine mystery stuff from time to time). There’s also heavy heapings of Huddy. Overall, a fantastic episode!

Quotable Quote

House (to the two kids sent to the Principal’s Office): Who put sand in her vagina?

» Finished its 3rd season

In purgatory (not canceled or renewed yet).

» Currently in its 8th season

Episode 16: Kill Screen

Felt kind of lost this episode.

That’s all I have, folks.

Kill Screen is a disappointing episode, and that’s all you need to know.

» Finished its 2nd season

In purgatory (not canceled or renewed yet).

» Survivor‘s 22nd season

Episode 2: You Own My Vote

“Former Special Agent” Phil is starting to get on my nerves, but at least he’s proven to be a man of his word (…so far) and a load of fun to have on the show, as he provides comic relief from practically every angle and even in the most unexpected places and ways. Though there are times when he gets really annoying—but that’s the pros and the cons. I’d still rather have him around than Russell Hantz.

Speaking of the Evil One, I’m glad that there are people willing to stand up to him despite knowing what he’s capable of. I do hope that their stance doesn’t backfire on them. Come on guys, make a power move and get rid of Russell before the merge!

Quick Questions

On which days will the duels at Redemption Island take place? Is there any chance that either Russell or Boston Rob (or both, for a dramatic, there-can-be-only-one finish) will be sent there? In the same vein, do you think either of them, if they get to the end, even have a chance to win the game and the million?

» Currently in its 1st season

Episode 16: Echoes

Not sure I dig the whole dream state drama that Echoes features, though it is a breath of fresh air, if anything.

In this episode, we get a free trip inside Alex’s head, with The Inquisitor driving the boat. I think that sums this episode up real good.

Oh, Rudolf Martin guest stars as Gustav the forger, we finally find out how Nikita came to have such a spacious home/base and where she gets the cash for all the techs and guns she has, and, someone finally catches up to reality (and I believe I know just how this person will respond if and when the whole truth is revealed).

That scene in Alex’s head, with Percy, Amanda, Nikita, and Alex’s dad Nikolai was awesome. We just don’t get to see enough scenes showing Nikita interacting with Percy, Amanda, or both. Way to go, writers! 😀

Quick Questions

How much of her dream does Alex remember? What happened to Whitfield? Why is Nikita going all out to save Alex? Is it her conscience that pushes her to do it? Will Percy act on Amanda’s recommendation to cancel Alex? What will happen between Nikita and Michael now that he found her base of operations? Don’t you think Nikita is a blockhead because she: 1) picked a hideout that was part of an old Division op, and 2) chose someone who was once a target of Division as her partner in taking down Division?

Michael (to Birkhoff): It’s only a favor when you have the option of saying no.

» Currently in its 3rd season

Episode 16: Red Queen

Red Queen exemplifies the type of episode that makes viewers (me, especially) stick with The Mentalist despite all the filler episodes that come with the package. Though it must be said that it takes a lot of suspension of disbelief to appreciate the type of material this show has to offer at this point in its three-season run.

All I’m gonna say is that this episode gives us additional info related to Red John and his friends, more specifically, his friend in the CBI. Finally, some development in the Red John story arc!

And, for the record, I never believed for a second that Hightower was a baddie. Based from what we’ve seen from her ever since her character was introduced as Minelli’s replacement as head of the CBI, there’s just no way she would’ve turned out a crazy killer (Ha, writers! Your red herrings won’t work on me anymore!).

I love that Jane is really playing it real close to the vest this time. I just hope Hightower is able to escape Red John’s reach, and that Jane doesn’t take her advice, however rational it may be.

Quick Questions

Who’ll take Hightower’s place as head of the CBI? Does Hightower’s exit mean that Minelli will be forced to come out of retirement to resume his former post? Just how close is Jane to finding Red John’s mole inside the CBI?

» Currently in its 3rd season

Episode 15: Subject 13

I will never get tired of watching the old school intro of Fringe. The dated graphics and effects, the vintage music—it’s all so cool, in a seriously geeky kind of way.

And if you pay close attention, the fringe science concepts flashed during the intro are pretty much commonplace in our present, technologically advanced age, like laser surgery, in vitro fertilization, and virtual reality (of course these were considered fringe concepts by scientists way back in 1985). I love the accuracy and the authenticity of this vintage intro.

Needless to say, Subject 13 is a flashback episode, like Peter (214), and yet it is unlike Peter in that it is wholly set in 1985 (in Peter, the past is relived because in the present, Walter is telling all to Olivia, who recently found out that Peter is from an alternate universe). The episode starts and ends in 1985, where we get to see what it was like for the Bishops “over here” and “over there” after the events of the First Crossing, and we get to see a whole lot more: what Walter was like after he saved Peter and before parts of his brain were removed by Bell, Peter as a boy and his adjustment to this universe, the Cortexiphan children (including a young girl named Olivia), and, yep, you guessed it—we get to see, for the first time, someone from Olivia’s past who is very much alive today.

As can be expected, flashback episodes offer a ton of revelations, some of which I am a little reluctant to face, because such revelations will alter the way I view, not only future events, but also all of the things that have happened in the past (that I know of in Fringe lore). And this particular episode really mixed it up for me. So much so that writing about the revelations would fail to do justice to their ground-breaking quality. All I can say is that you’ve got to see them for your own eyes to believe them and be completely submerged in the murkiness of the harsh reality of it all.

Ah, Fringe really is a show like no other.

Quotable Quote

Walter: Uh-huh! The beguiling Olivia Dunham beguiles.

6 Comments leave one →
  1. 27.February.2011 9:32 am

    Subject 13 was an awesome episode that brought as back to where the Peter episode left us. Albeit mushy, it fleshed out the web of relationship between toot and toot. Hahaha! You should watch it. Everyone acted very well. Every movement of the muscle is worth noticing. They are so great. And this is the episode where we get to see someone we haven’t seen before. :p Enjoy watching.

    • 28.February.2011 12:46 pm

      Yeah, I now know the identities of ‘toot and toot’. 😆

      You’re absolutely right, everyone acted wonderfully. Even the kid actors for young Olivia and young Peter did a phenomenal job acting the part.

      I also know now who it was you referred to as “someone we haven’t seen before”. Intense!

      And the biggest revelation so far: Olivia being the person to give Walternate a clue as to Peter’s whereabouts. Oh my goodness.

  2. 27.February.2011 1:37 pm

    Geek mode na naman. :))

    • 28.February.2011 12:49 pm


      Di ka nanaman ba maka-relate? Manuod ka na kasi ng Fringe.

  3. 12.March.2011 12:17 am

    oh, you watch nikita too? cool! i absolutely ❤ that series, especially since shane west is part of the main cast. haha!

    • 12.March.2011 11:38 pm

      Imagine that, we’re fans of the same show and we found that out just now! 🙂

      Of course, I should’ve figured that you’re a Shane West fan/groupie. 😆

      Anyway, I first learned about it when I heard a rumor that Maggie Q was going to have a TV gig, and when I found out that she’ll be playing the title role for a La Femme Nikita remake, I was sold right then and there. Lyndsy Fonseca and Melinda Clarke are welcome toppings to the cake, you know, Maggie Q being the cake. 😀

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