Con Man: Season Two Finale – Shock-A-Con Shocker (Review)

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The hilarity continues right up till the last moments of the season two finale of Con Man. Episode 11 sees Wray struggling to meet with Finley and Bobbie’s increasingly desperate attempts to take the final Hemsworth out of the picture.

Wray’s agent is not the only person dead set on removing Girth, Stutter is still creeping around with his camouflaged guns.  Later, he shows Wray that his adapted sniper rifle shoots bean bags.

Nerely spends a good bit of time “saving” Tiffany from drinking. He ends up imbibing a good bit of alcohol before going over to speak with Finley. After Tiffany orders Wray a tequila, she reorganizes his shirt. After pulling out the tail of the garment she advises him to “show your tits.”

Yanking open the top buttons of Wray’s shirt reveals a hairy chest. Tiffany is shocked and confused. “What is that?” she asks and upon being told it is chest hair, remarks wonderingly “it grows there?” “Put it away,” she says, “I don’t like it.”

Wray replies that he could if she had not ripped off his buttons. He then goes to speak with Finley only to find Girth there already. As the two men start to compete for Farrow’s attention, Bobbie shows up in an ethnic costume to divert Hemsworth.

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MINDY STERLING AS BOBBIE

The diversion turns into a billabong attack which wounds the actor over his right eye. Bobbie flees and Girth goes to give himself a “stitcheridoo” with some dental floss and a stick.

Wray talks to Finley and Brenda comes up to support him for the lead role in “Doctor Cop Lawyer.” She then attacks a woman serving cocktails dressed in black. Finley gets drink spilt on her back and leaves. Wray is startled by a camouflaged Stutter, whose sniper rifle cleared the room when it went off accidentally earlier.

Episode 12 starts off brilliantly with Wray talking to John the bartender. Nerely believes that he is really Casper Van Dien, after he tells of a boy who dares to dream big.  The entire interaction turn out to be a dream which ends with Wray screaming.

(Kudos to Tudyk and his team for getting Van Dien’s Starship Trooper co-star Dina Meyer for that split second cameo.)

Realizing that he is missing the “Spectrum” board Wray rushes across the comic con floor. He stumbles across Girth, who has stitched up his wound with cinnamon dental floss, and the two almost have a fight.

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Garth Hemsworth and Wray Nerely

Nerely rushes off before things get physical and Hemsworth chases after Wray.  The two enter the recently closed down “Obstacle Corpse,” following closely behind Brenda who rushes through without a scratch, and Stutter shoots Nerely with a beanbag round.

Girth saves Wray but loses out on the lead in “Doctor Cop Lawyer.” Wray gets the part and learns that shooting on the new series starts on September 15. He gets cast because Finley Farrow believes he is “broken” a quality that she insists is crucial to the character.

Wray makes it to the panel and while struggling to control his contempt for his former cast mates he pays lip service to the idea of the movie. He then goes about the long process of insulting everyone, including fans of the show.

Jack reveals that shooting on the movie will start on September 15 and Wray somewhat spectacularly undergoes a meltdown on stage. He tells the world that he will not be doing the film and his old pal Jack Moore is hurt and a little bit angry.

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Jack Moore

Tiffany sobers up long enough to recommend moving the start date of the movie to allow Wray to do both projects. Before Jack moves things on to the Q&A portion of the panel, he texts his agent telling him he now wants the lead role in “Doctor Cop Lawyer.”

The last two episodes of Con Man brought everything together perfectly. The long build up to the chase through the deadly obstacle course, that mic drop moment and Wray’s decision to drop the “Spectrum” movie role left Nerely right back where he started. Still unhappy with where his career has  headed since “Spectrum” the television show was cancelled.

A lot of comedy moments were scattered throughout the two episodes. The Shock-a-Con/Talk-a-Thon battle between the hosts, Bobbie’s attack on Girth, that long drawn out fart from Tiffany and the interaction between Wray and the “child star” earlier were hysterically funny.

The sight-gag of Brenda rushing pell mell through those blades of death was also a brilliant comic touch.

Con Man ends on a flat note for Wray.  Somewhat tellingly, it reveals that the actor, whose best friend really was Jack Moore (emphasis on the was), really is his own worst enemy.

With season two ending on an audience member asking Wray about dumping on his old cast and refusing the role it looks like there may well be a third season on the cards.

There are certainly enough actors to keep up a never ending stream of uber cool cameos, think Dina Meyer here, and this fact alone is a good reason to bring the show back again.

For fans of the series, Comic Con HQ have set up a binge session where both seasons can be seen for free over the first seven days. Once the week is up, viewers will have to pay $5 a month, or $50 for an annual pass.


Cast:

Guest stars Ricki Lindhome as Janey Carney, Josh Dean as Rico Java, Liam McIntyre as Girth Hemsworth, Laura Vandervoort as Finley Farrow and Dina Meyer as other bartender.

Sleepy Hollow: The People v. Ichabod Crane – Molly Saves the Day (Review)

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Sleepy Hollow “The People v. Ichabod Crane” is centered around a demonic monster whose powers take the guilt of a chosen subject and use it against them.  A despair monster created to push their victim’s to kill themselves.

The black substance that attacked Crane in last week’s episode turns out to be the device by which the victim is captured. Crane is found, later in the episode, by Jenny and Diana, in a cocoon. He is held here while the drama plays out in his head.

Diana and Jenny are  becoming almost a permanent team, as are Alex and Jake who have a close call with Jobe. The episode’s highpoint was the reappearance of Kiwi actor extraordinaire John Noble as Henry Parrish.

In all honesty, this was a slow paced and somewhat boring episode. Any “courtroom” debate, whether it be of Crane’s own guilt or not, is going to drag. It was Noble’s interaction with Mison’s character that kept the entire thing from slipping into a sleep inducing event.

The further bonding of Jenny and Diana was interesting, but it really only served to solidify their partnership and to reveal Thomas’ Marine background, “Simper Gumby!”

Sleepy Hollow uses this episode to show Crane’s deep guilt over those he cannot save, on top of his guilt at losing Abbie. It also solidifies the bond between Ichabod and Molly, who saves him in the end from the despair monster.

Alex appears to be getting caught up in Jake’s enthusiastic acceptance of Crane and his mission. She may be the more pragmatic of the two but even Jobe’s disintegration of the Smithsonian guard does little to dampen her newfound ardor.

The trial of Crane was easily the most lackluster bit of the episode.  Even the saving of Ichabod was anticlimactic. Each episode so far has put Diana in the role of reluctant acceptance of Molly’s fate. Partnering her with Jenny has pretty much guaranteed that Agent Thomas was going to cave in sooner or later.

Little is seen of Dreyfuss, although his personal boogeyman and minion makes his presence very well known in this episode. We do know that Dreyfuss’ plans are on schedule and that things will become very busy for Crane and his little cadre of followers.

The show is not the same without Abbie Mills and that is probably a good thing. Although it would be nice if the former witness was allowed to return sometime in the near future. If the grown cop could be disposed of after three seasons a child surely will not last long at all.

Diana may well step in for Molly, as Jenny has for her sister, but it will not be the same. (To be fair, Thomas feels like a Mills clone sans the witness role.)

Sleepy Hollow airs Fridays on FOX.

Cast:

Guest starring John Noble as Henry Parrish, Kamar de los Reyes as Jobe and Onira Tares as Grace Dixon.

Rosewood: Pufferfish and Personal History – Katherine Isabelle (Review)

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Just when it seemed that season two of Rosewood was going to sink into a morass of mediocrity and yellow-tinged colours, along comes an episode like “Pufferfish and Personal History” to set things back on course. Guest starring the ever talented Katharine Isabelle (Ginger SnapsAmerican Mary, Hannibal) – whom we have had a mad crush on since her bad-girl werewolf role in “Ginger Snaps” – this Rosewood starts on a classical note.

Amidst the musical backdrop of Mozart’s “Così fan tutte” there is a montage which features four people, five if one counts the baby held by the running woman. Rosewood, an unidentified man, woman and baby, and another woman who is losing consciousness behind the wheel of her car.

All four are connected but we do not learn how until towards the end of the episode. Rosewood, however, is only connected to one of the players in this multifaceted vignette. The dead woman behind the wheel of the car.

Last week’s episode ended with Rosie learning that his Tawnya bender took a toll on his heart condition. He is told that he needs to get his affairs in order in case the medication does not reverse the damage done.

As he prepares to meet his day, Rosewood replays the message received as  the woman dies while driving and crashes her car into a local farmer’s market. The victim’s name is Naomi Bauer and she was a documentary filmmaker.

Rosie arrives with Villa who is dismayed to see Mitchie on scene already. The body is delivered to the Magic Lab for a pathological exam. On the table, Rosewood begins his incision and Mitchie says, somewhat surprised, that there is a lot of blood for a “dead person.”

Naomi is still alive and Team Rosie bring her back to life with some CPR and a few jolts of  electric paddles.  Bauer was poisoned by a substance known as TTX; so too was her biggest rival, another documentary filmmaker whose mother taught them both in school.

There was a lot going on in this episode. Naomi, we learn, was a “system child” someone who was shuffled from foster home to foster home. Her biggest rival, Emmett Townsend is number one on the suspect list until he turns up dead. He was killed by the same substance that caused Naomi’s paralysis.

The parallel plot line has Rosie and Villa talking about rivals. Rosewood maintains that he never had  rival and Annalise does not believe him. Later in the episode Naomi realizes that Rosie’s rival was not a person at all but his health problems.

Clearly, Rosie feels an affinity with the filmmaker after her very close brush with death. Throughout the episode, when Rosie looks at Naomi, he sees himself in the hospital bed surrounded by friends and family.  Her continuing health issues, a type of cancer, puts them in a category as ethereal twins.

Naomi finds out that her mother was an escapee from a  religious cult who gave evidence to law enforcement to put the leader in jail. (The running woman with the baby in her arms.) The man’s  son turns out to be the murderer of Emmett and the attempted murderer of Naomi.

Leaving the main storyline alone for a moment, it has to be said that the real draw of this episode was Katherine Isabelle. The performer effortlessly ruled every single scene she was in, easily dominating the action. Her presence insured that everyone upped their game and brought the show’s standard back where it should be.

There was another issue in the show brought about by Rosie’s somewhat grim diagnosis last week.  The pathologist needed an investor in his company and Donna Rosewood opts to take her payout from Gerald to do fill that requirement.

This episode also benefitted, somewhat, from the lack of Villa’s new fella, Adrian Webb. Nothing against this new romantic attachment in the detective’s life, but the combination of Rosie and Villa works best when they are the focus.

As noticed by Naomi Bauer, these two have a special chemistry that makes them very interesting. She tells the duo that perhaps she will “do” their story next.

Rosewood, despite the interesting storylines this season, has palled somewhat.  This episode, with a powerful guest star and brilliant presentation, headed back to “Rosie-Land” and it is a welcome move.

The series airs Fridays on FOX.

Cast:

Guest starring Katherine Isabelle as Naomi Bauer, Chandler Rylko as John Teller, Lony’e Perrine as Greta and Patrick Cage II as Craig

Dr. Ken: Ken and the Basketball Star – A Shot to the Heart (Review)

KEN JEONG

In keeping with a theme of mixing a bit of tragedy with the ensemble comedy on offer via Dr. Ken “Ken and the Basketball Star” steps up to the plate and hits a home run. (Yes we are aware that there has been a mixing of sport’s metaphors here.)  It was pointed out quite clearly in the first season that Ken is a huge basketball fan.

With last week’s emphasis on Ken’s job and the more serious moments hidden amongst the mundane, this episode looks at Dr. Ken having to break news to a patient that is more than a little life changing.  The fact that the patient is a teenager makes the diagnosis all the more upsetting.

The Story:

Molly is studying with high school basketball star Danny Willis. The kid comes into the Park kitchen and Ken is beside himself. He is so excited that he tells Dave off for embarrassing him in front of the star.

Later Molly calls Ken at work and asks if he can look at Danny’s ankle, he injured it at practice. Since this could keep the boy from playing in the big game, Ken says yes.

After the exam, Ken tells the delighted teen and his parents that playing in the big game will not be a problem. When Ken goes to shake Danny’s hand  he notices something and starts asking the athlete some questions.

Another exam takes place and this time the news is not good. Danny has marfan syndrome. The star athlete could literally drop dead on the court in the middle of a game. Willis’ parents are outraged at the diagnosis initially, until Ken reveals that the medical tests have proven him right.

Danny, quite wisely, opts out of playing basketball and instead plans to become a doctor.

The main storyline focused upon Ken’s love of the sport and his hero-worship of the athletes who make the game exciting. It also allowed us to see, again, that underneath the jokes and OTT behavior, Ken is still a doctor who cares.

While the Danny Willis story played out, there were other smaller plot threads in the show. One dealt with Allison’s bonding with Pat and, to a lesser degree, with Damona over a mutual love of good cappuccino.

This made for some splendid comic moments. Not just from the topic of conversation, Allison revealing some of Ken’s humorous moments at home, but also from Damona.

TISHA CAMPBELL MARTIN, SUZY NAKAMURA

Damona and Allison sneak into Pat’s office to drink cappuccino and the receptionist’s reaction when they are caught is brilliant.

The other storyline featured Connor who in this episode moves in with Clark. The newly engaged couple have some teething pains caused by both men being a bit set in their ways.

Of course Clark being Clark reacts with some OTT histrionics and Connor responds with a more grownup attitude. These two are, it seems, a perfect match and they are brilliant together.

Standout Moments:

The Ken wearing Dave’s pajamas story.

“You’re embarrassing me in front of Danny Willis.”

“Armageddon!”

Damona blaming Allison in Pat’s office.

“I stayed with Pat a whole extra month for that coffee…”

Dave and his face paint, along with cheering at inappropriate moments.

Ken leaping on the cheerleader’s bus.

Allison and Pat making up over cappuccinos.

Clark and Connor cuddling and the pillow.

Final thoughts:

D.K. has been missing for a couple of episodes and we miss him. While we may be sad that Dana Lee is not in every single episode, the show continues to deliver, almost flawlessly,  a perfect mix of humor with just a touch of the old lump inducing sentimental moments that make this series a special experience.

This year has seen the loss of a favorite character, Dr. Julie,  and the introduction of Eric and Connor. Dana Lee’s grandfatherly presence has been greatly increased and the remaining members of the cast are being allowed to widen their characters’  horizons.

Tisha Campbell-Martin, Suzy Nakamura (a personal favorite since that hysterical cameo in Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story), Albert Tsai, Krista Marie Yu, Dave Foley and Jonathan Slavin continue to fill their characters with moments of truth.

They also manage to effortlessly work together as one of the best ensemble casts on television.  The comedy works each week and every single player gets “a moment.” Even in an episode like this one, where both Ken and his patient get a “shot to the heart,” the players all have a chance to shine.

Dr. Ken is still the best thing about Friday nights.  This series can make the most downbeat day end with a smile. Tune in and see what we mean.

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Dave Foley and Suzy Nakamura and that espresso machine…

Cast:

Guest starring Zak Henri as Danny Willis.

Shut Eye: Two of Swords – Marime (Review)

KaDee Strickland, Jeffrey Donovan in Hulu's Shut Eye

The Path “Two of Swords” brings things to a head (no pun intended) when Charlie’s ability to see the immediate future results in the Nadine scam being uncovered. Although this does not happen until the whole Fonzo/White Tony feud ends with the police searching the leader’s residence.

Since the cops are not “Roma” everything they touch becomes contaminated, aka Marime. Fonzo is furious and takes Tony to a tribunal with the elders. Tony asks for four of Fonzo’s parlors and gets two. Fonzo asks for revenge and ends up losing his eldest daughter.

The girl will be forced to marry White Tony’s son. This move is to  bring the two houses closer together. Fonzo is distraught and his daughter is furious with him and the Roma customs. Later, the unhappy father lays down next to his younger daughter, who is sleeping in a tent in the back garden.

She reaches out to her father and touches his shoulder, Fonzo reacts and places his hand over hers. It is a poignant moment that reveals the saccharine inner-core of a violent and unlikeable character.  It also makes the man more human and we can feel his pain.

Emma’s body is found and Nick believes that Nadine may have been able to help find who killed her.  The cops know that the girl overdosed on the South American drug that Gina left with Linda. Charlie explains that the unhappy client knows nothing.

Charlie finalizes the scam on Nadine, burning the fake money and putting the $1.7 million in a trash bag.  As he continues the con, he has a very real vision of the woman killing herself.

He sees Nadine come out of the house with a weight and jumprope. She steps off the pool’s diving board and sinks to the bottom of the pool. In real life, Charlie leaps in and finds Nadine dead, floating lifeless as he watches.

The next thing he sees in Nadine coming out of the house and yelling at him as he floats in the water. Charlie then sees that the weight and the rope have been tied to him.

He climbs out of the pool and Nadine wraps a towel around him. She sees the real money, it has fallen out of the trash bag,  and asks Charlie about it. She learns about the scam and he explains that he is not her friend and that she should stay away from people like him.

Charlie finishes by telling the unhappy woman to seek out a therapist. He then returns home. Linda, who is sipping  a glass of pre-celebratory champagne, reacts badly to the news that her husband blew the con.

This was a touching episode. Even the despicable Fonzo manages to come across as a sympathetic character. His pain, at losing his daughter, is real and practically tear inducing.

Haverford’s very real distress, and anxiety, at being forced to be the good guy is also touching. He rages at Dr. White for her “saints and sinners” theory and then, like Judas, denies his fate.

Linda, once again, proves to be the Haverford with ice-water in her veins. She does not care that the con would have killed Nadine.  Meeting with Gina, Linda declares that she can still get the money. It appears that she has now chosen her “bit on the side” over Charlie.

Kudos to Angus Sampson who actually became a character who could be empathized with mainly due to the storyline and his subtle acting. Mad props also got to Donovan.

As his character starts to break apart, all tears and massive amounts of guilt, it was “lump in the throat time.” Show creator Leslie Bohem and  episode scribe (Tom Pabst) knocked this one right out of the park.

Shut Eye is streaming on Hulu and all 10 episode are available to watch at once.

Cast: