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This Week in TV #3


The Amazing Race: Unfinished Business


Survivor: Redemption Island

The Mentalist


This week in TV—Numero Tres.

Warning: Spoiler Alert!

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

Episode 3: We Had a Lot of Evil Spirits Apparently

My thoughts while/after watching this episode:

—Justin’s shirt (The Duck Whisperer, harkening back to when Zev channeled the “Horse Whisperer” in him) is awesome!

—Imagine taking a huge risk for a 15-minute lead, only to get to the destination an hour later than the flight you’re supposed to have a lead on. Bummer!

Many, if not all, of you long-time AR fans out there know, that in this game, flights can make or break a team’s chances at survival. And with the unluckiness teams have had with flights getting delayed so far this season, teams really should be more cautious in taking risks with regards to flights, though one risk that pays off could ensure victory in this game.

Personally, I wouldn’t have taken the risk with a connecting flight, which was supposed to get you there 15 minutes earlier (that’s not a lot of time when weighed against the possibility of a delay that can surface for any number of reasons) and just went with the direct one. Though I have to agree that a lot can happen in as short a time as 15 minutes in The AR.

—For a guy who doesn’t speak a lot of English (which is probably the reason why Christina does majority of the speaking in pit stop interviews), Ron sure knows a lot of deep words like “ineptitude” and “consternation”.

—Seeing Mal as she and her dad got at the roadblock: oh my goodness! This is no doubt the quirkiest/hyperest Mal ever.

—Those loincloths at the mud challenge are the most ridiculous attires, so far this season. They trumped the kangaroo suits from the previous episode. Now, if only Jaime and Cara got there and did the challenge before nightfall…

—Zev and Justin, with their second first-place finish in a row! They really are back with a vengeance.

—I’m not sure if I agree with Phil giving The Globetrotters a 30-minute penalty (sending them from 3rd to 5th place) because of the fanny pack incident at the Shinto task. I don’t think that what transpired merited a penalty, because in the end, Ron was able to find the fanny pack since The Globetrotters left it with his stuff back at the men’s changing room.

—I’m really sad that Mel and Mike had to go. Though I believe it is for the best, since the competition will only get more intense as the legs proceed and Mel’s body just isn’t conditioned for that type of thing anymore. Nevertheless, it was nice to see them compete a second time.

Quotable Quotes

Justin (Reading the clue WHILE DRIVING!): Look for the Diyuzan Railway Station, Zev. What if it’s some tiny little thing (referring to the Kintaro Statue)?

Zev: Like their

Justin: Zev.

Zev: (laughs)

* * *

The Globetrotters’ gibberish prayer at the Shinto cleansing ritual. Hilarious!

* * *

Kisha (at the mud challenge): Great. Guess I’ll learn to keep my mouth closed.

* * *

Zev (while celebrating with Justin at the mat): Did you just hump me?

Justin: I did just hump you.

» Currently in its 4th season

One-week break.

» Currently in its 7th season

Episode 15: Bombshells

Two words: DREAM STATE. Awesome! We got to see Rachel Cuddy as a little girl (not a toddler), House as a zombie slayer (With Foreman, Chase, Taub, and Masters as the zombies, of course!), and the hilarious sitcom thing! Was that a Two and a Half Men-type thing?

Apparently, the “dream state” is the new, hip plot device for injecting a little novelty into your show. Two weeks ago, it was used by Nikita, a show only in its first season; this week, it was used by House, a show in its seventh. I wonder if someone else is going to do it next week. For sure it won’t be AR or Survivor. Look out for Chuck (not likely—they’ve done it earlier this season), NCIS (maybe), The Mentalist (maybe), and Fringe (also not likely—the real Fringe world is strange and baffling enough as it is).

Oh, and sad news for Huddy fans: your favorite pairing just broke up—though I suspect that this is the breakup that precedes the actual split. I’m actually more worried about House, because with him and Cuddy not on good terms, he’s more likely to spiral out of control, back to his Vicodin addiction for starters, and who knows what else he’ll end up getting into. Looks like Dr. Crankypants is officially back next week, and is headed to a dark, dark place yet again.

Quotable Quote

Cuddy: Get them (House’s team) out of here. My urethra is not for public entertainment.

House: But it is good time-adjacent.

» Currently in its 8th season

Two-week break.

» Survivor‘s 22nd season

Episode 4: Don’t You Work For Me?

Let me start things off with the biggest event that went down this episode: for the first time ever, Russell Hantz was taken out of the game—this time, for good. And then to see him break down into tears and get all hypocritical and bitter, that was just icing on the cake. Bitterness is a bitch, Russ, best to leave it where you stand and never look back. And if there is any justice in this world, you won’t renege on your word that this is the last time you’ll be in Survivor.

Now that’s out of the way, here are my thoughts about some of the other things that happened:

—I’ve never been a fan of Matt from the start, and the handshake thing sure didn’t help, but as he and Russell went head to head and he emerged victorious, I’m now a fan. Blonde Surfer Kid just vanquished one of the most notorious players to ever play the game. Wow. Holy Mackerel, indeed, Kristina!

—As usual, Mr. “Former Special Agent” was busy with his antics that I find incredibly hilarious and entertaining. On the other hand, he is annoying virtually everyone he’s in the game with, so I’m surprised Omatepe ultimately voted off Kristina. In the same vein and also in this episode, it has been proven that Rob’s influence within his tribe is actually a lot more paramount than what we were led to believe earlier this season. “The Robfather” is officially back.

—I like that Ralph revealed to his alliance that he had the hidden immunity idol. That gave them a big boost in their morale.

—It’s not just about numbers, this game. It’s also about the quality of the players you have on your team, since they’re going to determine whether you get to the end or not.

—Zapatera is clearly the more dominant of two tribes when it comes to physical challenges, since they have four athletic guys as opposed to Omatepe’s two (Phil is definitely not athletic in any way).

—I can’t wait to see what happens to Zapatera, and specifically, to Stephanie and Krista aka Russell’s “girls”, when their turn to vote somebody out comes up.

Quick Questions

On which day in the three-day cycle will the next Redemption Island duel take place? The first time, it happened on Day 6 (3rd day of the cycle), so I thought the next duel was going to happen on Day 9. But for some reason it was moved to Day 10 (1st day of the cycle). What the (expletive) is up with Phil and his pink briefs? And why does he go around camp wearing just that as his bottom apparel? Of course Hatch could do a lot worse, but at least he can fish and do other stuff that give camp life a huge boost. Do you buy what Russell said, that this is the last time we’ll see him on Survivor?

» Currently in its 1st season

On hiatus. Returns April 7th.

» Currently in its 3rd season

Episode 17: Bloodstream

LaRoche as Hightower’s replacement? Nothing against Pruitt Taylor Vince—I’m a huge fan of him and I think he’s doing a fantastic job as CBI’s Professional Standards head honcho—but is it really plausible that an internal affairs guy gets assigned as director of an agency? Really now. The writers/producers got lazy on this one—unless there’s something to it down the road.

Anyway, it was refreshing to see Lisbon get demoted to team member, even if it was for just a short time. I thought she handled being Cho’s subordinate pretty well, and so it felt like Cho would be a good fit as team leader… NOT! Though he  was able to transition to team leader quickly and quite smoothly, I still maintain that he would be better kept a senior member of the team, with the perfect deadpan humor he possesses and all. Deadpan just wouldn’t suit a team leader, right?

Oh, and has the CBI never heard of forensics? In the flashback scene, as the culprit recalled what went down, she clearly wasn’t wearing gloves when she used that golf club to kill the victim. Oh well, I guess that’s just one more thing to confirm that she is, in fact, the killer.

Lastly, there’s something about how the final scene was played out that makes me think that Jane will find the Saint Sebastian medallion significantly useful later on. Take that and add the other things given to him that we haven’t seen come into play yet: the gun from Mashburn, the suspect list from Minelli, and the statistics file on Red John from the geeky but sultry Dr. Montague, to name a few. We’ll have no choice but to wait and see how all these become useful in episodes (season/s?) to come.

Quotable Quote

Trent (victim’s assistant): Are you the CBI agents?

Jane: Yes. She (Lisbon) does the detecting, and I do the insulting.

Lisbon: Uh, consulting.

Jane: That, too.

» Currently in its 3rd season

Episode 16: Os

First, we had a Diane Kruger (aka Joshua Jackson’s lover) cameo in Season 2. Now, we have a Jorge Garcia cameo! I wonder who’s next, and if there’s still time to get more cameos into Fringe.

And then a WTF moment just before the intro: floating people! I mean, sure, I read the episode description about thieves defying gravity, but I didn’t expect to see them actually floating like balloons!

Man, seeing Olivia smile so much and acting all sweetie pie really threw me off. It’s weird, to say the least. Maybe I’m just used to good ol’ melancholic, emotionally-burdened Olivia. Whatever. I just hope the writers aren’t planning on a big reveal that she’s pregnant with Peter’s baby, just like Bolivia/Altlivia/Fauxlivia.

I’m glad that Peter revealed his part in the shapeshifter killings to Olivia. Finally! Not that I ever thought he wouldn’t, or that he would tell anyone before her. I just wished we got to see Olivia’s initial reaction to learning Peter’s secret. Instead, the big twist interrupted. Define annoying.

Speaking of that twist at the end of this episode: whoa! That was un-freaking-believable! I certainly didn’t see it coming. It’s so good you have to see it to believe it. Yet another layer of character for the unrivaled acting chops of one Anna Torv.

Fringe is driving me nuts!

Quotable Quote

Walter: I think I remember seeing a file about floaters in there. Of course it could’ve been from a period when Belly was in search of a perfect bowel movement.

Astrid: Charming!

Walter: Everybody poops, dear.

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