Lethal Weapon: Ties That Bind – La La Land (Review)

1lw-s1_106-sc46pt3-md__331_f_hires1

Lethal Weapon keeps cranking it up with storylines that amuse and enthrall. “Ties That Bind” sees the return of Riggs’ deceased wife, via a friend he sees at an investigation  and a look at what partying really means in “La La Land.” Murtaugh also has some issues with Riana trying to grow up too soon.

The episode starts with a barefoot girl  being chased down the street by a red Ferrari, the car smashes into the young woman and a palm tree. The beautiful young lady dies and the two cops get their case of the week.

At the Murtaugh residence Roger is trying out the new family television and a risque picture of Riana ends up on the flat screened smart TV. Roger is not amused.

Neither is Martin when he discovers that he has new neighbors on his section of the beach. They are a trio of Dutch men who love loud rock and roll. Riggs goes over to introduce himself and breaks their amplifier.

The two detectives start working on the Ferrari girl case and meet one of LA’s elite class, one Dylan Ashworth a man whose father Harry is one of the richest men in the city.

Murtaugh gets the phone number of Riana’s “boyfriend” who posted the picture on his Facebook page.  Later he and Martin pay a visit to the lad who goes by the name of Sea Dog. First they crash Dylan Ashworth’s party.

Martin sees his wife’s old roommate, Rachel. She sees Riggs and scurries out of the party. Roger goes to question Dylan. Young Ashworth is condescending and patronizing, he also starts to snort cocaine in front of the detective. Dylan is arrested.

After questioning Ashworth, Murtaugh is starting to lose patience with Dylan just as his father and family retainer turn up to  free him. Riggs goes to see Rachel and they talk briefly about her connection to the Ashworth family and LA party planner Julian.

Riggs stops Julian and gets his “party” book. Unfortunately it is in code and he gives it back.  The two detectives visit Sea Dog and Martin manages to keep Roger from thrashing the kid. They then use him to steal Julian’s notebook.

Martin takes it to Rachel who deciphers the thing and he learns that the dead girl was connected to Ashworth senior. Roger and Martin crash another Ashworth party. Dylan’s father Harry is about to perform a bit of S&M on Rachel, who does not want to participate.

As Riggs and Murtaugh attempt to find Harry and Rachel, she escapes. Ashworth chases her down the street in another fast car. As he is about to run Rachel down, Martin shoots out a tire and the car flips over and catches fire.

Martin grabs Rachel and he takes her away from the burning car that explodes soon after.

This episode of Lethal Weapon used the big screen version as a template but adjusted the storyline to fit both Wayans and Crawford.  It was funny, Murtaugh warning Trish in the precinct and getting that look and Riggs’ falsetto tone when talking to Julian’s guard, “We’re here!”

Riggs’ feud with the music loving Dutch guys was also funny and reminiscent of the big screen Riggs. (Especially when he smashes up the guitar.) Murtaugh breaking in on a spanking, or to be more accurate, whipping session in the hotel was also very funny.

Lethal Weapon also boasted two brilliant scenes. After a short, but so impressive, car chase, we see Riggs, holding Rachel tightly, walking away from the explosion and never batting an eye. All slow mo bad ass-ery and way too cool for school.

That scene is followed by  Roger trying manfully to hold back tears after his little heart to heart talk with Riana…was…just…brilliant.

Lethal Weapon benefits from a cast that are firing on all cylinders and have nigh on perfect onscreen chemistry. Wayans and Crawford are Murtaugh and Riggs.

The end scene, where Roger has the Dutch guys’ RV towed away ends with the two sitting on beach chairs and drinking beer. They clink their bottles and Crawford smiles at his “senior” partner. There is a solid truth in the actors grin and in his eyes.

We have no problem believing that these two cops are friends in this small screen buddy feature.

Lethal Weapon airs Wednesdays on FOX. Tune in for some great action moments, some spot-on comedy and two damn fine actors who are setting the small screen on fire.

Cast:

Guest starring Roberto Aguire as Dylan Ashworth, Elizabeth McLaughlin as Rachel, Tanc Sade as Julian, Christopher Stanley as Harry Ashworth, Hart Denton as Chauncey and Jacob DeMonte-Finn as Dutch Guy.

Van Helsing: Little Thing – Big Rock Candy Mountain (Recap/Review)

Van Helsing - Season 1

Van Helsing in “Little Thing” opens with Rebecca explaining to Sheema what her future will be if she does not do her bidding.  Women are being used as surrogate mothers so Rebecca can procreate. If the babies are not born alive, the moms are then used as “feed bags.”

Axel and his little band of survivors have left the hospital and head to the base. They stop to refuel the fortified ambulance and the group hear church bells off in the distance.

Doc goes to urinate behind a car and catches John sneaking up on her.  There is a discussion about the bells and who might be ringing them. Axel distrusts the situation and reminds them that the base is their destination.

John continues to be a thorn in Axel’s side and Sam asks Vanessa what she thinks. She suggests a vote and Doc reveals that her sister worked at the base. Doc make’s the decision for the group, they are heading to the base.

Mohamad, who was left behind in the city, is following Axel and Vanessa on a bicycle. The main group reach the base and find the entrance blocked with vehicles. They enter and a vampire rushes the perimeter fence. Van Helsing shoots at the thing and it steps on a landmine.

The creature is vaporized.

John continues to argue with everything Axel says. The bike that Mohamad is riding breaks down. He makes it to the same gas station that Axel’s group were at. He sees the sign from Sam with his name on it and the  arrow pointing to the direction they headed.

On the base, the group split up and look for people. The place appears deserted and they settle down for a rest. Van Helsing removes the bandage from her knee and the wound has healed completely.

As the group lay down, Axel takes the first watch. The silence of the base is disturbed by the sound of more vampires stepping on land mines. Axel checks out more areas of the base and when he returns the rest of the group agree to search the area.

Doc and Vanessa find Doc’s sister’s office. She is not there and there are no obvious answers. While the group discuss why the base is deserted, Axle searches the perimeter. Van Helsing suggests they all split up in pairs and go through the buildings.

Van Helsing learns that it was Doc’s sister who sent the Marines in to guard her while she was comatose.  Vanessa then finds her medical file and it is empty.

More vampires set off the landmines and the searchers begin to get jumpy.  Susan and John discover a man hiding  in one of the rooms. He claims to be a member of the resistance. Sam suggests digging in and Axel says no.

John wants to join the resistance and, again, Axel says no. He suggests taking a couple of days to rest.  Doc, who appears to be putting some distance between her and Axel,  disagrees.

Mohamad finds two vampires standing under a dead parachutist and he kills them with a machete. Later, he sleeps in the parachute canopy caught in the tree’s branches.

Axel takes his group to a bunker called “The Farm.” The new guy blows the door open with a mixture of dynamite and a grenade. They all go in and before getting down the stairs, the entrance collapses, trapping them inside.

As they explore the bunker, they find food and a lot of empty rooms.  On top of medical supplies, Sam and Flesh find lots of real food and beer. Axel finds a door leading to a quarantined area.

The survivors sit around drinking beer and wine. Sam sits next to Vanessa and begins to breathily sing “Big Rock Candy Mountain.” The group giggle and then some of them sing along.

Doc tells Axel to leave her alone and he reacts angrily. Susan and John break off from the group and do some exploring. They talk about music and argue about which bands are American.

The two kiss, Susan rather tentatively, and John gets over excited. He puts his hands around her throat and she asks him to stop. She slaps him and he strikes her back. Susan begins to scream.

Axel and the rest of the group go to see what is going on. Vanessa gets there first and John calls her a bitch. Van Helsing knocks him out with one punch.

John is restrained and Doc sees the marks on Susan’s throat. She points out that they match the ones found on the two victims in the hospital. Axel goes through John’s bag and finds a knife and one of the fingers.

John who has been working at the tape around his wrists, gets free. He grabs Susan, smashes a wine bottle and holds it to her neck. Axel pulls his gun and Van Helsing throws her knife at John.

The blade goes into his throat and John bleeds out. Vanessa retrieves her knife and says she hope they are right about John being the killer. As she walks off, Susan cries and Burl Ives begins singing “Big Rock Candy Mountain” as the final credits begin scrolling on the screen.

Van Helsing continues to be dark and disturbing. There were less vampires in this episode. Rebecca was the only one to appear.  The focus was on the group and their journey to the base and later their searching of  the facility.

It has to be noted that out of all the shows on television that recently showed a character having a throat injury lethal enough to die from, only Van Helsing had John, whose blood was spurting out, not fall over dying instantly.

This touch of realism made the death all the more disturbing.  Death, the show tells us, is not instantaneous or easy.  John died while choking on his own blood and it was a shocking but truthful moment.

Doc has become very prickly toward Axel since leaving the hospital. After she chases the Marine off, she tries to explain that it is not him. But does the doctor really mean it?

For now the group, with their newest addition, are trapped in the bunker. Mohamad is not far away though and he may be able to help. Vanessa’s comment about John, after she kills him, bring up a good point.

As Doc pointed out moments earlier, John was not popular with the group. He accused everyone else of being the murderer and sided with Brendan to have them all killed.

Was he the murderer or did someone else, the real killer, set him up?

Van Helsing airs Fridays on SyFy and Space. Tune in to see how Vanessa fares on her quest to find her daughter.

Cast:

Quantico: Soon – Cult Equals Suspect – (Review)

 MARCIA CROSS, PRIYANKA CHOPRA

After weeks of changing suspects in the master terrorist theme in “Quantico”, “Soon” now seems to be pointing to Sistemics as the “big bad” here. In essence making a situation  where  cult equals  suspect. Certainly Caleb Haas is still in the running for being, if not the mastermind, a major player in this terrorist plot line.

“Care” was shocking with the reveal that Shelby Wyatt (Johanna Braddy) was driving the van that Will and Simon had to enter last week. The surprise in this episode was Caleb Haas (Graham Rogers) as burnt out junkie hiding at his mother’s house.  (Although this is later proven to be a ruse.)

In the flashback sequences, Will (Jay Armstrong Johnson) and Haas are still preparing for Olsen’s “penetration” of Sistemics.  The NATs are also getting their security clearances and this allows a look at who got through and who did not. Olsen’s gal-pal Iris Chang (Li Jun Li) does not and this results in Chang blowing Will and Caleb’s cover with the cult. 

Iris is not the only NAT to turn on Caleb, Shelby goes to Liam (Josh Hopkins) and informs on Haas’ involvement with Sistemics as well.

After the more serious tone of last week, the Quantico flashbacks are of a more flirty nature, intermixed with the two who are arguing;  Iris and Will about Sistemics.  Miranda tries to trap Liam into admitting unprofessional conduct with a NAT after she is removed as the head of the academy.

There are plenty of semi-clad athletic NATs who are all interested in one another.

Also in the flashback sequences we see Iris call the cult to tell them that Caleb is FBI.   He rushes to  save Will, who already left,  and gets there too late.  The cult contact that Will was to meet (played by Christopher Hayes orders Haas to beat Olsen senseless and a stricken Shelby rushes to the bloodied man’s  side.

GRAHAM ROGERS, JAY ARMSTRONG JOHNSON

In the present all roads appear to lead to “Mark Raymond” and  Haas.  Senator Claire Haas (Marcia Cross) reveals to Alex (Priyanka Chopra) where her son is and after an attempt to get the drug addled Caleb  help, Alex leaves. Haas then  escapes his mother’s house. He is  now sober/straight , and tells someone on the other end of his cellphone that “she bought it.” 

Booth (Jake McLaughlin) is intent on busting Alex and manages to at least arrest Raina (Yasmine Al Massriwho is helping Parrish to track down Caleb.  While it seems that Systemic may well be the voice  on both end of  the phone, Haas still comes over as a serious suspect,  as does Shelby.

There is still a very good chance that neither Haas nor Wyatt are “dirty” and  only seem to be connected; think Elias Harper and even Alex  here.

On the top of the terrorist suspect list sits Caleb Haas however. In flashbacks,  he may appear to be infiltrating the cult organization but the senator’s son’s motives are vague to say the least. Away from the suspect of the week theme, in the romance department Booth still acts like the jilted lover and it is starting to wear thin.

The only issue with “Quantico”  thus far is that Alex is starting to become “Agent Gullible” falling for Caleb’s act seems far removed from the young NAT that Miranda gives that pep talk to back in the academy.

The final scenes of “Soon” show that Alex does not know that Raina has been detained by her sister and Booth and that Caleb still has a hidden agenda. Although there is no clue as to who he is speaking to on the phone.

“Quantico” airs Sundays on ABC.

 

Lucifer: Eu Tu Doctor? – Dirty (Recap/Review)

Lucifer-ep107_sc1_159_hires1

In “Lucifer: Eu Tu doctor?” Morningstar learns that he suffers from jealousy, at least where Chloe and Dan are concerned.  He also finds out about Amenadiel, aka Dr. Canaan, and Maze’s betrayal. It also turns out that Malcolm (the coma cop) may have been saved by an angel but the man has much more in common with Lucifer as he is dirty after all and he is not alone.

Lucifer is disturbed to find that Linda, his therapist, believes he is jealous of Chloe and Dan. Detective Decker interrupts the session with a murder. A “cheating” therapist has been murdered. Morningstar arranges for Linda to consult on the case and he tries to have his doctor fix Chloe’s “douche” meter.

While investigating  the murder, more is learned about Decker’s former relationship with Dan, Malcolm pays Chloe a visit, Lucifer learns of Dr. Canaan, and Decker’s douche meter definitely needs sorting.

As every episode thus far, Lucifer continues his mortal morph while pursuing Chloe. Missing from “Eu Tu Doctor?” is Amenadiel. The angel’s presence is there, with the discovery of his office near Dr. Martin’s and Morningstar’s realization that Mazikeen helped his brother, but he is not.

Investigations show, via Dr. Martin’s assistance, that the murdered Dr. Shaw’s wife was stalking a patient of her husbands. While the doc’s spouse did not kill her husband, Sandy  is instrumental in solving his murder.  Malcolm tells Decker that he was investigating a crooked cop when he was shot.

He also reveals that he died.

The theme this week is all about dirt. Not the organic kind, except in Sandy Shaw’s case, but more in the meaning of the word.  Viewers learn that at least two cops are dirty, and peripherally, Lucifer learns of the  the dirty trick that Mazikeen pulled on him by helping Amenadiel.

Morningstar solves the murder by inviting the group  counseling session of Dr. Shaw’s former patients (a mourning/coping mechanism) to look at his problem with Decker. The session is run by Dr. Medina (Al Madrigal) and when Lucifer asks what the therapist wants. What he truly desires, it turns out to be Sandy, the murdered man’s wife. 

Medina confesses to killing Shaw as he attacks Lucifer. Chloe saves the day and Linda is having second thoughts about her relationship with Morningstar.  Decker believes she now knows who shot Malcolm at the Palmetto club.

She and Lucifer head to The Paddock Bar and discover Paolucci has killed himself and left a suicide note. In it, he claims to have shot his partner Malcolm and cannot live with the guilt. Linda stops the physical part of her dealings with Lucifer and Dan kisses Chloe revealing quite a lot about how they feel about each other.

Malcolm meets with Dan and we learn that the “Lazarus cop”  killed his partner and that it was Dan who shot Malcolm at the Palmetto club. Not only is Malcolm “dirty” as Chloe always believed but so is her ex Dan.

Back at LUX, Morningstar confronts Maze and reveals he knows she helped Amenadiel. Mazikeen explains she did it to protect Lucifer but he does not believe her. “We are done,” the devil says before walking away from his ninja bartender.

This episode of “Lucifer” left out not only Amenadiel (D.B. Woodside) but lacked the flashing eyes and demonic morphing bit where the devil scares the deserving.  There was the usual “what is your desire” drill, Sandy Shaw is the recipient and when asked her initial response is “dirty.”

“Eu Tu Doctor?” was far less about Lucifer and more about the Palmetto cop Malcolm and learning that Dan, as suspected all along, was the cop who shot him.  There is a keen sense of irony in this episode. Dirty cop Malcolm is brought back to life by an angel (Amenadiel) but rather than this miracle causing the man to mend his ways, he continues the nefarious nature of his existence.

Tom Ellis is still charming as the self centered and rather smarmy Lucifer and Lauren German stays strong as the object of the devil’s desire.  This was a somewhat low-key episode but still entertaining as Morningstar discovers himself becoming still more human when his green-eyed monster makes itself known.

“Lucifer” airs Mondays on FOX.