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This Week in TV #5 (March 20-26)

31.March.2011

The Amazing Race: Unfinished Business

Chuck

House

NCIS

Survivor: Redemption Island

Fringe

This week in TV—Numero Cinco (March 20-26).

Warning: Spoiler Alert!

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

Episode 5: Don’t Ruin the Basketball Game

My thoughts while/after watching this episode:

—Really digging the new intro, infused with clips of a moment each team has had this season (lastly and most notably, Jaime and Cara at the Horn task last time).

—Apparently, the continuing legs are what really makes this season extra tough for our beloved second-timers. And don’t forget that the last two legs have been in Japan and China, with this leg ending in China still. Hello communication/language barrier.

—That basketball game at the train station was great to see. That’ll go down as one of the most memorable moments in AR history, no doubt. It’s so good to know that these teams, even though they’re smack in the middle of competition and all that, can still kick back, relax, and have a good time with each other. Kudos to The Cowboys and Jen and Kisha for bringing their A-game in playing with The Globetrotters; and of course, a round of applause for Jaime and Cara for cheerdancing on the sideline. Whoa, Kisha set a pick for Flight Time with Big Easy guarding him! How about that?

—Speaking of comm/language barriers, as it turns out, even if you speak the native tongue, miscommunications can still happen. Or maybe the cab driver just wasn’t paying attention. Too bad, but good thing it didn’t cost them at the Double U-Turn.

—Speaking of the Double U-Turn, I believe it went down as well as can be expected, albeit predictably: a domino effect—the first desperate team that got there (the Goths) with a team right on their heels (the Redheads) U-Turned the team right behind them, and then the U-Turned team decided to U-Turn the only team they knew were behind them (the Globetrotters). That’s as straightforward as it gets, but kinda boring if you ask me. At least we got to see Cara with a messy do, sweaty, and panting and all. Okay, I may have said too much.

—So that’s the “prehistoric” roadblock according to the episode summary! Meh. Then again, seeing Jaime bending over and humping that puzzle, with a perfect view of her shapely butt sticking out: wowzers.

—Bye bye Express Pass.

—Jet and Cord finishing first! The Cowboys are back in business baby!

—Sad to see the Redheads go, though I’m proud of how they went out, finishing that physically draining task when they could’ve opted not to. Sigh. And so we lose more babes this season. Wait, are there even any left? Let’s see… the girls left are Kisha and Jen, Margie, Vyxsin, Christina, and Mallory—of these women, Mal is the only babe, at least to me.

» Currently in its 4th season

Episode 19: Chuck vs. the Muuurder

Didn’t like this episode, except for a few bright spots:

1. Karissa Vacker as Agent Josie. Here’s one hottie I’m gonna have to keep my eye on as her acting career comes into full bloom.

2. Kevin Bacon. What? The pig is cute, right?

3. Director Jane Bently. I’ve always been a fan of the character, even before she turned goodie goodie before this episode ended. Too bad she seems primed to leave Chuck, as it seems that her character will be of no further use in the plot leading up to the finale.

4. The fact that vs. the Muuurder is over and done with, and that we’re moving on to the Volkoff story arc, Chuck and Sarah’s imminent wedding, and more revelations about the computer Papa B left Ellie and “Agent X”.

Quick Question

Oh my goodness! That last scene left me stoked for the final five episodes this season: vs. the Family Volkoff (20), vs. the Wedding Planner (21), vs. Agent X (22), episode 23 (title currently kept under wraps), and lastly, vs. the Cliffhanger (24). The burning question—is “Agent X” Ellie? Highly doubtful, but I still maintain that the writers/producers are setting things up for either (Or both!) a Mr. & Mrs. Smith (Chuck and Sarah as married spies) or a Wonder Twins (if Ellie does become an Intersect)-themed season 5—that is, if Chuck is renewed by NBC for a 5th season.

» Currently in its 7th season

Episode 17: Fall From Grace

From the various reviews I’ve seen, it seems that House fanatics are divided on whether or not Fall From Grace was the best episode to kick off a two-week break (House returns on April 11th). But for me, it’s an absolutely amazing episode that gives us viewers so much to see, and reveals even more—about the characters we love, and their dynamics that we so love to hate (uh, yeah, just the Huddy part). Also, I’m siding with those who believe that this was the best episode to leave us with before the break because of the following:

—House’s antics have really reached their peak: the Segway PT, the playing at work, the monster truck, using Cuddy’s guilt over breaking up with him to do his bidding, and the Green-Card wedding;

—Karolyna Wydra! She nailed the character of Dominika so well, and she was spot on when she delivered her idiomatic faux pas (see below). Her adorable, cheeky smile just makes me melt each time. She’s hilarious, and hot! I don’t know what’s up with House, but I’d hit that in a heartbeat;

—Chris Marquette and Amber Tamblyn, with a Joan of Arcadia reunion; and,

—Who’s not a fan of that twist at the end? Certainly a first for House!

Oh well, House fans may still disagree about this episode, but I bet we all can’t wait for the next episode, The Dig—House’s 150th episode, plus, 13 returns!

Quotable Quotes

Dominika: This is America—the land of the home and the free of the braves.

House: Yeah, I just get teary-eyed every time I hear her say that.

* * *

Dominika: In your head!

House: It’s “face”.

Dominika: On your face!

House: Close enough.

* * *

Wilson: You’re a lot of things House, but you’ve never been a sadist. You’re pummeling an opponent who isn’t fighting back.

» Currently in its 8th season

Episode 18: Out of the Frying Pan

Okay, so I’m having mixed emotions on this one.

It’s cool that we were given a change of pace from the get-go: no “grab your gear” and heading out to a crime scene, Gibbs and Tony interrogating a suspect six minutes into the episode (with a Good Cop, Bad Cop routine with Tony as the Bad Cop and Gibbs as the Good Cop), Ducky reciting poetry to the murder victim, Ziva visiting Autopsy before Gibbs, Abby recreating the crime scene down at the evidence lockup, the first time (if memory serves me right) that Gibbs ate in Interrogation, no Zivaisms, no Jimmy; but otherwise, I thought this was a pretty sleepy episode, courtesy of the dull, predictable case. Still, it’s good to know that Gibbs’ Gut is working fine, and that he continues to challenge Vance when the situation calls for it.

Five episodes left this season, and I am stoked.

» Survivor‘s 22nd season

Episode 6: Their Red-Headed Stepchild

Another generic Survivor episode yet again, but, as always, here are my thoughts while/after watching this episode:

—Oh come on! Still with the short intro? I’m guessing they have to shorten it because of the extra time needed to show some Redemption Island scenes and the duel, but come on now. The full intro is about a minute and change. You can do better, Survivor.

(And because I miss the full intro so much, I’ve decided to embed it here.)

—This week’s Redemption Island duel took place on Day 14, and so I’m still confused as to when the duels take place in every three-day cycle. Perhaps it’s not fixed. I suppose the writers/producers are content to just have it go down any day so long as it’s before the next reward/immunity challenge.

—Finally, a challenge that involves a fair amount of physical contact between the two tribes. It’s about time, really. Omatepe kept it simple—just one shooter (Natalie), and always short to Grant—and Grant proceeded to dominate the challenge. A 5-0 blowout win by Omatepe is the perfect way to send a message to Zapatera: that the momentum of the game has shifted to their side. And now, the numbers are even again since the start of the game.

—See, now this is what you get with Philip still in the game: Stealth “R” Us! With Phillip as “the specialist”, Rob as “the mentalist”, and Grant as “the assassin”. Freaking hilarious! Oh, and that little monologue afterwards, now that’s what I call “entertainment”.

—Stephanie was sent to Redemption Island. Yeah, sure, I mean, was anybody expecting a different result?

Obviously, we’re currently in the lows of a typical season of Survivor, and all we can do is look ahead to the merge, which is shaping up to be an absolutely interesting situation for all the castaways involved. I can’t wait.

» Currently in its 1st season

On hiatus. Returns April 7th.

» Currently in its 3rd season

On break. Returns next week.

» Currently in its 3rd season

Episode 18: Bloodline

Still haven’t seen this yet; ergo, to follow! 😉

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