MacGyver: Ruler – Thrown Under the Bus (Review)

Lucas Till as MacGyver

As opined in an earlier review, the specter of Patricia Thornton will not rest easy behind bars as she reaches out to endanger the entire team in MacGyver “Ruler.” In this episode, which takes place in “Amsterdam,” Mac and the entire team are in the field when they are thrown under the bus after a bomb they intercept explodes in the town “centrum.”

This is Boze’s first international field mission and it was supposed to be fairly simple and straightforward.  The group are put in jeopardy when the bomb they take from Olivia Prior explodes destroying property in the city. The CCTV footage in Amsterdam show all four operatives and the Dutch intelligence community and the cops are all after the team.

In the field, as the agents fend for themselves, we learn that Jack has an old girlfriend in Amsterdam and that he can speak Dutch and French. Boze can actually make passible prosthetics on the fly and that when the chips are down the “scientist” can be as brave as anyone on the team.

At the start of the episode Boze daydreams about saving the entire team while on assignment. He reluctantly reveals his aspirations to be a field operative to the robot that Mac built. Later, after almost dying in his first assignment, Wilt realizes that he is perfectly happy back in the lab.

This was an interesting episode. The sets all looked Dutch (Mike’s Film Talk would know, we lived there for some time) and the scenes were tightly filmed enough that there were no real “give-aways” as to where the location might actually be.

Apparently The Netherlands has increased their CCTV capability to match the paranoid extent of England’s CCTV coverage. In this storyline it seems that in Amsterdam the cameras are everywhere.  There is a smattering of Dutch spoken by the odd player and Christopher Heyerdahl does a brilliant job with his introductory line, as he enters the control room.

The only complaint about the language is when another actor talks of Schiphol Airport. They do not pronounce it properly. The Dutch basically growl the first part and no one, not even Heyerdahl say the word correctly.

The team manage to turn the tables on Harlan, who is the real bad guy here and escape. Boze tells the robot that he is pleased to be back with the geeks and alls well that ends well.

In terms of humor, this one delivered a number of chuckle worthy moments. Jack’s girlfriend and his previous CIA cover story, “Call me Bryce,” were amusing enough to make Dalton even more fun than usual.

Boze’s impromptu prosthetics, that began to melt off of Mac’s and Riley’s faces in front of the overly hot servers was clearly a nod to Inspector Clouseau  and his melting nose in the 1976 comedy “The Pink Panther Strikes Again.”

Both Mac’s oversized proboscis and Riley’s fake nose begin to fall apart as the two operatives sweat buckets trying to recover incrimination footage that Harlan’s agents covered up. It was an almost perfect moment of strained comedy as the two race to avoid detection.

(Ironically, Boze does save the day just as he did in his daydream by distracting the Dutch cops who are closing in on his two friends.)

While “Ruler” was entertaining it has to be mentioned that the robot, with its “Jarvis” type delivery a’la Iron Man, is annoying. Another one of those “points off for lack of originality” moments. The AI concept with an English butler character as the robotic sidekick has been done before.

MacGyver airs Fridays on CBS. Head on over and catch this one. The new boss, so different from the old one, has well and truly settled in and the team are bonding very well. This re-imaging is well worth a look.

Cast:

Guest starring Christopher Heyerdahl as Harlan Wolff, Svetlana Efremova as Olivia Prior and Deborah Mace as Jenaveev.

Dr Ken: Pat’s Rash – Allergic to Nuts (Review)

 DAVE FOLEY, TISHA CAMPBELL MARTIN, KEN JEONG

Dr. Ken this week focuses on relationships. “Pat’s Rash” is brought about by his “allergy to nuts,” as Damona puts it, and along the way more than one romance falls by the wayside. It is also crystal clear that both Pat and Damona have unsettled issues with their brief office liaison. This week’s episode is all about relationships, both romantic and otherwise.

The Storyline:

Pat comes into Welltopia with his new girlfriend Megan. He has a rash on his face and Megan is not happy about it. He reluctantly decides to have Ken look at the hives on his face before a banquet that he and Megan are due to attend.

After running tests Ken believes that the stress of dating Megan is destroying Pat’s health. He tells Pat this and he reacts badly.

Meanwhile things are not going too smoothly for Dave with Emily. As he struggles to communicate with the overly quiet girl, Molly steps in to help. D.K. offers to break up with Emily for Dave, who is perfectly willing, at first, to let his granddad do the deed. Molly insists that Dave do it himself.

Clark and Allison attend a meditation class and both find the experience daunting and annoying. As they work on their burgeoning friendship both of them work too hard at compromising.

Ken and Allison discuss Pat’s problem at home and Ken’s statement that “he needs to leave her before his face falls off,” prompts Dave to believe he should break up with Emily.

Pat learns from Ken that Megan is damaging his health and gets angry at his friend and colleague. He then breaks up with Megan in front of Damona, Clark and Ken. She reacts badly and Damona goes to bat for her former lover.

Dave starts to break up with Emily who cuts him short. Using more words in one episode than she has the entire time the two have dated, she tells her boyfriend that the relationship has been over for ages. Emily then leaves.

Pat thanks Ken for looking out for him and later he and Damona talk about their agreeable breakup while making “eyes” at one another. This romance is definitely not completely over…yet.

D.K. is pleased that Emily has moved on and Molly supports her brother with more sage advice and a hug. Later Dave thanks Ken and Allison for their help and Ken takes full credit as Allison uses her new meditation training to deal with Ken.

Standout Moments:

Damona’s reaction to Pat’s rash.

Ken’s exact same reaction seconds right after.

D.K.’s offer to break up with Emily for Dave.

Damona sticking up for Pat “He broke up with you!”

Clark and Allison and their inner dialogue at the meditation class.

Emily’s verbal outburst when she and Dave break up.

Pat and Megan full stop.

D.K.’s reaction to Emily after the break up.

Molly’s impression of D.K. “Dave doesn’t want to see you anymore.”

D.K.’s response to Molly’s impression “I wouldn’t beat around the bush like that.”

Clark’s reaction to Megan’s line about her husband.

Clark and Allison’s inner dialogues at the end of the episode.

Final Thoughts:

As pointed out, this one was all about relationships. Pat and Megan were not a good match over the long haul. His initial refusal to go back to the single life added to his problems. Dave and Emily also had problems but since she never talked to Dave they stayed together.

The message in this episode of Dr. Ken is that sometimes we have to step outside our relationships, with the help of friends and family, to see what is really going on.

It was brilliant to see D.K. back in the mix and Dana Lee, Krista Marie Yu and Albert Tsai rocked it this week. As funny as the main storyline was, the Park family interaction, which included Dave misunderstanding Ken and Allison’s conversation, was brilliantly funny this week.

The ongoing plot line of Allison and Clark trying to bond is still funny and the Pat/Damona “will they/won’t they” arc is far from over.

Everyone in this episode of Dr. Ken got a fair share of the comedy pie. Ken got in some good lines and reaction and Gillian Vigman just killed it as the  shrew in this tale. Brilliant stuff indeed.

Dr. Ken continues to be the best thing about Friday nights. Tune in and check this out if you have not already done so. This is good family fun that everyone can enjoy.

Cast:

 

Guest starring Zooey Jeong as Emily and Gillian Vigman as Megan.

Rosewood: Silkworms Y Silencio – Yams and Chuppahs (Review)

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“Rosewood: Silkworms Y Silencio” was not just about yams and smashing a chuppah,  it was about yet another telenovela parody, this time set to the  storyline of a murdered soap star whose killer may, or may not have been a costar.  Although in reality the episode could really be all about soap or even television  tropes.

The main plot has an actress found murdered in her home and only one real suspect.  Playing out against the mystery is the continuing Villa and Rosie relationship storyline. It  is turning into another triangle with Erica (Joy Bryantas the interloper who is competing successfully for Rosewood’s affections.

(Earlier triangles were “mini-me Rosie” Mike, played by Taye Diggs and Kat, played by Nicole Ari Parker.)

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Anita (Sherri Shephard) die hard Rosie fan.

There was “mucho comedia” (See what we did there?) and a little backstory, although the flashback to Rosie buying the GTO was really set up for later gag.  It appears that since Warehouse 13 did an entire episode as a  telenovela, it has become quite the thing to do on American TV. Not to mention all those telenovela “remakes” and the sitcom Telenovela with Eva Longoria

In “Rosewood” this week there are more subtle and not so subtle jokes than one can shake a parody at.  From Hornstock’s amazement at the gorgeous cross-dressing suspect (played by an actor who was almost the spitting image of actor Justin Long) to the teasing Rosie/Villa reenactments, there were so many “gags” that it took repeated viewing to catch them all.

Underneath the whole murder of a soap star plot, was the intensifying of the two doctors, Kincaid and Rosewood as a new couple. Erica struggling to get on better ground with Rosie’s mother Donna (Lorraine Toussaint) by giving a dinner with roast chicken was the secondary theme. However,  the new woman in Rosie’s life will not be making yams, something  that is apparently expected not only by Donna Rosewood but just about everyone in Miami. 

In keeping with the theme of soap opera romance, there are more females “looking for love” than usual. The soap star who is murdered works on Daisie Villa’s (Lisa Vidal), favorite show. This allows Annalise’s mother to pop up a lot in this episode;  at the precinct and the soap set.

Another Rosie fan also shows up, Anita (Sherri Shepherd) who has never hidden her burning torch for Rosewood.  

Not being completely au fait with the world of the telenovela, which is referred to as a soap in this episode (a rose by any other name…)  superficial exposure to the genre has made some things in “Silkworms Y Silencio” obviously funny.  Other gags perhaps less so, but there appears to be a sub-context going on that deals with fandom and just how much the telenovela has become part of American, or Miami, life.

There is much made of Rosie and Villa’s continued denial of their mutual attraction, although to be fair it is more Annalise who continues to prove the old “not just a river in Egypt” schtick.

Standout Moments:

Rosie’s request for an APB (all points bulletin) for his missing car, aka The Yellow Queen.

The Hornstock and Rosie exchange about Chuppahs.

The “looking at Villa’s badge and running;” twice,  by two different suspects.

The Antonio Espada (Juan Pablo Di Pace) scene where he describes, in essence, the relationship of Villa and Rosie who both deny any resemblance to his tale.

Followed by Espada’s other co-star, played by Yara Martinez doing the same thing moments later. Rosie turns to Annalise and starts to say “You start” and Villa ignores the comparison completely.

Unicos.

Daisie Villa.

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Final Thoughts:

There were a lot of tropes in this episode (which is really just a fancy way of saying stereotypes) and all worked brilliantly.  Even the old standby of “mom hating the new girlfriend” is pulled out and that works too.

By the end of the episode, it appears that Villa is pushing for Rosie to admit his feelings for her, but at the same time, pushing him away when he starts. It could be said that this has been their relationship from the day one  but now it seems that Annalise is upping the stakes.

Battle lines are drawn at the dining room table, and Erica’s faux pas at not being prepared to take part in saying “Grace” after her first sin of omission by not making yams, has fired off the first salvo in this war.  The soap star’s killer turns out to be the her next door neighbor who is rumbled by the  nebbish/nerdish neighbor who offered help at the start of the episode.

It should be pointed out that Donna is not the only mother who “interferes” with her offspring’s life.  Daisie also constantly turns up and butts into Annalise’s day, especially when it comes to “Hot Chocolate” Rosewood. Both women’s Christian names start with D, are the writers trying to tell the viewer something?

Will Erica Kincaid survive the meal, with yams provided by mother Rosewood, or not. Time, and a few more episodes, will tell.

“Rosewood” airs Wednesdays on FOX.

 

 

 

Agents of SHIELD: The Team – The “I” in Team Stands for Infection (Review)

 LUKE MITCHELL, CLARK GREGG, JUAN PABLO RABA, NATALIA CORDOVA-BUCKLEY

In “Agents of SHIELD: The Team” the actual calvary charge of Daisy and her limited crew ended rather badly for the good guys.  Before the whole Hive, aka Alveus infects  inhumans news,  the team’s rescue and Fitz’ MacGyver solution while in the Hydra headquarters was exciting and edge of the seat stuff. But by the end, the “I” in team stands for infection.

Malick being captured was a bonus, right up until his vision came true and he died. (Amazingly, as he foresaw, his death was caused by Hive, albeit indirectly.) Still Gideon (Powers Boothe) manages to pass on some information to Coulson before he buys it. The most important, that we know of, is that Hive can infect inhumans. 

Alveus has, it turns out, infected at least one inhuman; Daisy.  In terms of Chloe Bennett’s character this is deja vu all over again, as Yogi Berra used to say. Under the power of Hive, Skye/Daisy is once again playing double agent, just as she was way back in season one.

(And somewhat fittingly, she is once again under the tutelage of Grant Ward/Alveus (Brett Dalton). It seems that even when Ward is not really himself, he is drawn to Daisy.)

Malick’s defection from Hydra to SHIELD is no surprise, Hive’s lack of understanding about people may be his downfall. Gideon already felt he had sacrificed his brother, Hive’s murder of Malick’s daughter Stephanie in front of him was not a wise move.

Daisy reveals to Lincoln, at the end,  that she was the one infected.

In a flashback sequence, Daisy looks as though she was sexually aroused by the whole experience of being penetrated by that sandy extension of Hive or, at the very least,  in love. Not to mention that she seems to be excited at the prospect of getting those things from SHIELD.  Considering Hive’s expression borders on bland disinterest obviously the parasite affects different inhumans differently.

It was interesting to note that the team immediately started finger pointing at one another when an alarmed Coulson explained his concerns.

(Brilliant scene with Phil Coulson (Clark Gregg)  after he leaves Vault D and Gideon Malick. The former head of Hydra has told Coulson about the hive infection and as he walks away from Gideon, all the inhumans look threatening and suspicious.)

Daisy works both sides against the middle perfectly. Playing her team members until Coulson can trap them in a containment area and she has already framed Lincoln by planting the artifact in his locker.

Near the very  end, where Daisy grabs the sphere and the terrigen crystals and then starts the SHIELD base shaking itself to pieces, looks bad for Phil and his little group of agents.  On the plus side, at least “Fitzsimmons” appear to have partially broken that curse.

Interesting note: Hive/Ward refers to Daisy as Skye. Does this signify a weakness? Are Grant Ward’s memories disjointed or fragmented? Stay tuned to find out.

Favorite Moments:

Fitzsimmons.

Phil Coulson owning his sin; the one that allowed Hive to come into the world.

Malick’s rodeo line.

Joey’s total feeling of betrayal.

Conclusion:

Things are getting darker for the Agents of SHIELD. Daisy being a puppet of Hive and taking all that stuff to her new master is disturbing. Almost as upsetting as her flashback sequences when she is taking to Lincoln.

With the final moments of the episode showing Hive deciding to go on the world’s biggest shopping spree, things may well turn even darker.

“Agents of SHIELD” airs Tuesdays on ABC.

 

 

 

Gotham: Into the Woods – Penguin Does Theatre of Blood (Review)

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There cannot be many who did not cheer when Penguin left the brainwashed Oswald Cobblepot behind in Gotham Into the Woods. When the former King of Gotham does a Theatre of Blood on Grace Van Dahl’s two snotty, and murderous, kids the series hit a season highpoint.

Actually, the episode had several season two “bests” with the capture of Nygma (Cory Michael Smithand the return of Barbara Kean (Erin Richards).  The main story was Jim Gordon  hunting down who framed him with the help of Harvey Bullock (Donal Logue) and later, the man who set him up, Ed Nygma.

Standout Moments:

The electric chair Gordon was sitting on at Ed’s apartment.

Robin Lord Taylor as Cobblepot snapping and reverting back to form when he discovers the poison that Van Dahl stupidly held onto.  The “roast” scene was a brilliant homage to the 1973 horror film Theatre of Blood starring Vincent Price.

In the film, Price plays a hammy Shakespearean actor who kills off the theatre critics who conspired to keep him from winning an award. He kills of each one and feeds one critic his cooked dogs. Actor Robert Morley‘s character repeatedly asks for his “babies” just as Van Dahl keeps asking for Sasha and Charles. 

Barbara Kean standing in front of Jim’s door, “Hi Jim.”

Bullock at his “friend’s” apartment, “We ain’t got all night!”

Selina throwing the repaired jacket away.

Thoughts:

Miss Peabody really dislikes Kean and one wonders if she will decide to make Barbara into a nail, despite Strange wanting to take it easy on Barbara.  It is a shame to see Nygma caught so soon, especially before he could fully transition to The Riddler.

Bruce Wayne (David Mazouz) ends his training with Selina (Camren Bicondova) rather quickly, much to her disgust, but only because of the repaired computer

The scenes with Nygma and Gordon in his apartment were brilliantly tense and uncomfortable.  Ed’s taking umbrage at Jim’s calling Pinkney’s killer a psychopath and the cuckoo clock were spot on.  Adding to the tension was Ed’s talking  to himself.

It is also amusing to note that when Nygma is caught at the end, when the killer falls face first into the snow, the strongest word out of his mouth is “crud.”

Gordon’s heading to Kyle’s place after Ed shoots him maintains that connection between the two and gives Selina the line of the evening:

“Great! A dead cop in my crib now.”

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Bruce Wayne and Alfred.

By the end of the episode, all the Van Dahl’s are dead, Nygma is in Arkham Asylum (surrounded by lunatics) while Bruce and Alfred are looking eagerly at the computer that Lucius Fox repaired. Jim calls Lee but does not speak to her, Penguin sits at the family dining table all  blood-spattered and drinking wine and Barbara stops by for a visit.

A lot went on in this episode, the cat and mouse game between Ed and Jim was excellent but the top spot of the episode was the “Vincent Price” remix by Cobblepot where he killed and cooked the two younger Van Dahl’s and fed them to their mother.

Bruno Heller has hit a note of gruesomeness that promises to keep the show interesting and fun for quite a while.

Gotham airs Mondays on FOX.