Elementary: Rekt in Real Life – eSports, Gangsters and Global Warming (Review)

Elementary logo

Elementary “Rekt in Real Live” was clever and interesting. Yet for all its intricacies it was ultimately unsatisfying. Whether it was down to Christine Taylor playing against type (she was a murderous villain in the episode) or the sour ending to Shinwell’s short-lived reunion with his daughter; the episode was not overly enjoyable.

Ultimately the plot was very well done. On top of the eSports agent being murdered to learn the location of an up and coming professional “eJock” there was Shinwell and his story.  The murdered gaming agent leads Holmes, Watson and Marcus to another gaming area run by Joey Ng.

The new suspect; Ng, has just hired Tendu (the eJock) to play for his team in an upcoming tournament. Ng has Chechnian escorts to keep his professional players happy and later Holmes and Watson learn that Tendu has fallen in love with the model/hooker a’la “Pretty Woman.”

As Sherlock, Watson and Marcus follow the clues they learn that Tendu was a celebrity, via Instagram apparently, for his “sealfies.” The young man is an Inuit from a small village who took the snaps to fight an animal rights activist.

His counter move to stop the activist from killing off seal hunting in his village made him a star before becoming a professional gamer. It is this link, his village, that leads Holmes and Watson to catch his killer.

Initially they believe that Raina, the activist, had a hand in the torture and death of gaming agent O.G. Pwnzr (Bobby Moreno). Ms. Lindquist, the activist’s lawyer turns out to be more than involved with the agent’s death and putting Tendu on a hit list to die. 

The motive turns out to have everything to do with global warming and nothing to do with the gaming world, Chechnian hookers or seal hunting.  Elementary “Rekt in Real Life” manages to give us a mystery that twists and turns quite satisfactorily until it is solved by Holmes.

As all the clue following occurs Shinwell finds that his daughter Chivonne reaches out to the undercover agent working to take down his old gang; SBK. A young gangster has decided that he wants the 14 year old girl as his girlfriend.

The thug’s way of courting is to have fellow gang members follow the victim and make their life a misery. Chivonne asks her ex-con father to help get Lucien (Andrew Manningoff her back.

Shinwell agrees to help but has to stop short of actually killing the young thug. He decides instead, after a chat with Watson, to offer the criminal a boost up in his material world in exchange for leaving Chivonne alone…forever.

The plan works but when Shinwell tries to get closer to his daughter she tells him point blank that this is not what she wants. She asked for his help because of his criminal past and it is his past that she wants no part of.

Ending Shinwell’s storyline on such a sour note brought down the overall tone of the episode. Still, despite the massive downer induced because Chivonne used her father, this was one of the better mysteries on offer this season.

Elementary airs Sundays on CBS.

Cast:

Guest starring James Kyson as Joey Ng, Connor Johnston as Tendu, Madaí Chakell  as Chivonne, Rachel York as Carla Giovani, Kathy Najimy as Raina and Christine Taylor as Ms. Lindquist.

Superstore: Super Hot Store – Dina, Garrett and Sex (Review)

Superstore - Season 2

After last week’s romantic episode, that ended in a sexual harassment case for Amy and Glenn, Superstore heads straight to the sex part in “Super Hot Store.” Despite the sub-zero temperatures outside the building, the Cloud 9 establishment is sweltering inside.

Glenn calls corporate and complains only to be told that the computer says that things are a cool 64 degrees. Tempers are frayed as the heat increases in the store and as the episode continues a newly promoted Marcus and Amy butt heads.

Glenn puts the air conditioner on in his office and Garrett decides to stay in the room while the manager goes up on the roof to fix the heating problem. Cheyenne accompanies Glenn. He manages to change the setting language but nothing else.

He and the new mother do bond over their mutual love of travel and later, after the problem is sorted by corporate, Cheyenne extricates herself from Glenn with a few white lies.

Dina enters Glenn’s office and finds Garrett camped out there. She stays in the cool room with him and the two share uncomfortable silence until Dina says, “sex?” Garrett responds favorably and they have sex at least three times behind closed doors.

Marcus is asked by Amy to clean up a leaking pallet of yoghurt and he responds vaguely. Later, after she discovers the mess is still in the floor, Amy gets angry. She and Jonah go to confront the new man running the warehouse.

Jonah works to mediate the confrontation but Marcus blows it when he tells Amy to smile. She reacts angrily and fires him. Jonah tries to save to situation but Marcus once again puts his foot in it and Jonah seconds Amy’s firing.

In sympathy the entire warehouse team walks out with Marcus. The rest of Cloud 9 try to unload the latest shipment and apart from Sandra becoming trapped behind boxes and breaking the scanner, Amy takes a fall after scooting down the rollers.

Marcus returns and apologizes to Amy and Jonah and is “re-hired” (it is unclear whether Amy actually had the power to fire anyone) and the temperature is lowered by corporate .

Dina and Garrett agree to dislike each other but still have sex and Jonah praises Amy on her toughness and being able to take a fall.

One of the highlights of the episode was Dina’s impression of Glenn when corporate, who had kept Glenn on hold for the entire episode, got back to the manager to say it was the computer after all.

While Dina’s aping of Glenn was not perfect the voice on the other end of the line never noticed it was not the manger at all. Even funnier was the admission that Glenn was right all along about who’s fault it was but he was not there to hear it.

The awkward pairing of Dina and Garrett continues to be one of the funnier aspects of the show. Both of them swear that they cannot stand the other and yet they are apparently sexually compatible.  This odd couple get together is just brilliant.

Lauren Ash and Colton Dun are running a close second to America Ferrera and Ben Feldman as “couple of the year” but for entirely different reasons. Granted, Amy and Jonah are not a couple yet but we believe it will not be too much longer before cupid strikes hard.

Nichole Bloom and Mark McKinney were spot on together on the Cloud 9 roof. The storyline, where this week Glenn realizes that his ancestors were slave traders, was priceless.

Superstore continues to be one of the funniest things on NBC right now. Tune in and see what you think.

Cast:

Agents of SHIELD: The Man Behind the Shield – LMD Invasion (Review)

MALLORY JANSEN, ZACH MCGOWAN, JASON O'MARA

The big payoff of Agents of SHIELD this week in “The Man Behind the Curtain” was four of the team being replaced with LMD replicas by Radcliffe, via Aida after a trio of agents go in and pull Mace out of The Superior’s clutches. There was a somewhat satisfactory fight sequence between the Russian baddie and Quake which ends, somewhat predictably, with the delusional chap losing.

The inhuman SHIELD agent does take it for granted that The Superior was killed with her final action which leaves the barely living Watch Dog leader to Aida’s devices. (On a sidenote, the actions of Aida, “Even filth has a purpose” in terms of very human delight at enacting revenge on the idiot leader was just brilliant.)

The Superior managed to prove that he had no real idea or understanding of his place in this verse. His statement to Quake before having his arse handed to him an a plate (that he had been training for this event) showed how little he really understood about the whole issue of inhumans.

Backstory wise, the Phil and May relationship was looked at in more detail with emphasis on their “almost romance.” That they were attracted to one another has always been a constant but it turns out that May’s “civilian number 14” (Andrew Garner) was the one who stopped them from consummating their attraction.

It explained much but the portrayal of Phil Coulson as a somewhat nebbish agent that May poked good natured fun at was, to a degree, misplaced. In the overall scheme of things, one feels that this may have been an attempt to make Coulson less capable whereas in the verse itself the head of SHIELD has always felt completely on top of everything.

(With the exception of his death by Loki’s hand earlier.  Even then, however, Coulson was pretty much unflappable. When he fires the weapon at Loki his throw-away remark of “so that’s what it does,” showed the real essence of Phil. Just as his last words to Nick  Fury revealed his true thought process.)

Regardless of the “manufactured” feel of the flashback, which managed to tie in The Superior with Coulson and May, it served to show just why Phil was so ready to accept the LMD version of Agent May.

Mace has, seemingly, been rescued just in the nick of time but, especially after Aida’s whispered comments to the barely alive Superior, he could have died and still had his consciousness imprinted onto the LMD that Fitzsimmons spot in the corridor at the show’s end.

The episode ends with LMD Phil reviving LMD May and saying that they have waited forever. Clearly things will be taking a downward turn before the season finale. So far it looks like the only two members of SHIELD on Phil’s team who are not Radcliffe replicants are the two scientists.

It will be interesting to see if The Superior becomes a more interesting character once he has been turned into a LMD. Up to this point he was all empty posturing, with Aida at least who could have kicked the Russian’s arse seven ways to Sunday with little effort, and pointless threats.

The big question at the end of this episode of Agents of SHIELD is whether  Mace actually survived his session with The Superior’s goons and just what purpose Radcliffe has in mind for the fallen Watch Dog leader.

On yet another sidenote, the whole Framework exercise at the start and later with Mack, was brilliant. While we see none of what transpires during Mack’s session the Oculus Rift line was priceless. The earlier sparring match between Phil and Daisy was also great to watch. One can only presume that many things will be sorted out in this Matrix type world in the series.

Agents of SHIELD airs Tuesdays on ABC. Tune in and see where the season heads next in this alternative LMD world.

CAST:

SNL: Alec Baldwin and Ed Sheeran – Ladies Against Trump (Review)

Saturday Night Live - Season 42

Alec Baldwin broke the record for the number of times anyone has hosted the show since its inception. (This last time made Baldwin’s time number 17.) The monologue was brilliant, made all the more so because Pete Davidson came on to comically mock the host. “Tell me, does everyone’s head expand after a certain age?”

The host reprised his role as Trump not for the cold open but he did show up later in a gag. Once again it was Melissa McCarthy who stole the show with her impression of Sean Spicer.  Everything about the cold open was spot on, the doll show – showing how vetting would work and Kate McKinnon’s cameo as Jeff Sessions was priceless.

McCarthy’s Spicer is nigh on perfect. Her aggression and OTT reactions to the press’s questions were brilliantly funny. The cameo by McKinnon as Sessions was also a comedic highlight.

The Spicer cold open was hilarious but the show’s comic highlight was a toss up between the Kellyanne Conway “Fatal Attraction” and “Ring” style gag with Jake Tapper being stalked and hunted by the publicity mad Conway.

This was comedy of the sublime and sadly, it seemed that the younger “hip” audience missed some of the punch lines. McKinnon quoting Alex Forrest’s lines seemed to go over the heads of the audience. They did eventually catch-up and get the joke but it took a little time.

The final bit, where Kellyanne falls out of the window and falls to the street below, only to get back up and readjust her broken and misshapen limbs, was evocative of a J Horror “moment” and was simply perfect.

SNL made the most of Baldwin but the episode belonged to the ladies. In an apparent answer to Trump’s displeasure at women portraying men in his cabinet, a lot of the female players took potshots at the POTUS.

Leslie Jones with her dream of playing Trump when Alec Baldwin takes off the wig was brilliant.  The confrontation between Jones and SNL creator Lorne Michaels was funny, with all the physical comedy taking place in front of the cast.

It was the Vanessa Bayer punchline that killed it however. With a blond coiffed Bayer wearing the POTUS costume to stab Jones in the back at the last moment. This was just priceless.

It was not just the impressions by the female SNL members who socked it to Trump and his cabinet.  Another skit, which built on an earlier sketch with Baldwin as Trump, had the president taking the three judges to “People’s Court” to challenge their ruling and their right to stop his ban.

Once again, a female slammed the POTUS, the judge was played by Cecily Strong as a younger version of a Judge Judy type. Trump’s appeal is squashed yet again this time by a “TV” court. “That’s okay,”  Baldwin’s Trump replies, ” I’m a TV president.”

The skit ends with Trump going on to another People’s Court case.

Other skits on the night that were spot on was the Russell Stover gag about Black History Month chocolates, the Cheetos pitches for new adverts (both these were brilliant) and the drill sergeant sketch.

Weekend Update was, as usual, topical and amusing but this week it was not the comic highlight of the show. Ed Sheeran killed it. The lad from Framlingham, Suffolk in England proved again just how talented he really is.

SNL continues to hammer away at the latest POTUS and his swamp filled cabinet. Congrats to all the ladies of SNL, and Melissa McCarthy, for ripping it up on the night. Since this was Alec Baldwin’s big night, we will leave you with his opening monologue.

Lethal Weapon: The Murtaugh File – Dr. Cahill (Review)

ffLW-114_8-DM_0116_f_hires1

Lethal Weapon “The Murtaugh File” had very little to do with Roger Murtaugh, although peripherally it did take a close look as his family. (It also relied upon the older more stable partner to take the “kill” shot later on.) This episode was all about Dr. Cahill, and it included her relationship with Riggs.

The show starts out with a motorcyclist being knocked off a cliff by a pickup truck. Roger and Trish learn that Riana has been lying to them and Riggs feels like Cahill is not listening to him.

As he talks to the doctor, she ends the session and puts his file back. Martin notices that there is a file with Roger’s name on it. Thus begins his interest in just why his partner was seeing the precinct shrink.  While this runs along side the primary storyline, the main plot deals with Cahill and a stalker who is “protecting” her.

With so much focus on Cahill, we learn a lot more about her character, thought process and her fearlessness in dealing with the criminal element. An outside psychiatrist is called in to go through her files and we also learn who she likes and dislikes, in terms of peers.

The motorcyclist who is murdered at the start of the show is Cahill’s boyfriend. His assailant’s vehicle, the murder weapon, is caught on a GoPro type camera on Sean’s helmet. The clues lead Roger and Martin to find out that Cahill has a stalker.

Suspects range from Brad, the doctor’s ex who refuses to sign over their house, to Dr. Levinson. As they work their way through the list, Cahill actually invites Martin on a date as bait.

Rigg’s plays along and they get a hit. One person who is not a suspect is Bailey’s new assistant Officer Montero. The young uniform cop turns out to be the man behind the murder of Sean and later the near death of Brad and he shoots Levinson in the back.

Montero also sets Levinson up as the killer by planting the doctor’s DNA on an envelope.  Along the way, Roger and Trish go through a struggle with Riana when they learn that she has not only been lying but also has a fake ID.

It turns out that their daughter is working as a club DJ and she needs the card to get into the gig.

Rigg’s learns that Roger hesitated to shoot a bad guy who had his then partner Avery held hostage. The incident “bled” over into his off duty relationship with Trish and he had to see Cahill to work things out.

By the end of the episode Cahill’s stalker is taken out by Roger, with a sniper rifle, and Riggs threatens to throw himself off the building if Cahill does not continue their sessions.

This was a brilliant episode. It featured an excellent Riggs moment when he saves Cahill’s ex-husband from being run over by a large truck. (Martin slides toward the prone man and the approaching vehicle and shoots the truck in the radiator.)

Most importantly, the episode managed to breath even more life into the “office shrink” making the character an even fuller three dimensional person and not the cardboard comic cutout that features in the films.

Letting Jordana Brewster and Clayne Crawford dance together, metaphorically, brought so much more to their professional relationship and friendship.

Next week sees the introduction of Matthew Miller‘s version of Leo Getz.  The teaser shows a much taller Getz but it looks like the show’s creator has pulled out all the stops, just as he has with the rest of the cast. 

Lethal Weapon airs Wednesdays on FOX.

Cast:

Guest starring Johnny Sneed as Dr. Ronald Levinson, Adam Kaufman as Brad, Matthew Alan as Officer Montero and Lane Carlson as Sean Hawkins.