Rosewood: Dead Drops and Disentanglements (Review)

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One reason that “Rosewood” works so well is that it provides, more often than not, plots that step outside the box. In “Dead Drops and Disentanglements” Hornstock’s daughter Sophie is on a date in the middle of a field when a dead parachutist falls on the car she is in.

While this inclusion of a family member in other shows would be intrusive this is “Rosewood” a procedural show set around the world of cops and pathological medicine amidst family and friends. Rosie, and his extended police family, seem to know everyone in Miami but that is what the show is about, apart from forensics, it is about family.

Take, for instance, this episode. Ostensibly it is about solving the mystery of the dead parachutist, but in reality it is all about relationships and family.  Rosie and Annalise are still doing that annoying “will they, won’t they” schtick, that apparently is not going away anytime soon. But…

The main storyline is about family: Hornstock and Sophie (Amanda Leighton), Rosie and his family and Villa and her mother. (Granted the last familial duo were only glanced in on but it is part of the theme.) A secondary story arc deals with the dead man’s, and Rosie’s, connection.  The heart issue and the knowledge that Rosewood has, in essence, Damocles Sword dangling over him in the guise of  his health problems that will ultimately kill him regardless of precautions taken. 

It is this borrowed time theme that makes Rosewood so alluring and charismatic. Rosie may only be starting to “live life large” as the dead man did, but he already is larger than life.

Back to “Dead Drops and Disentanglements,” the storyline has Rosie and Villa (Jaina Lee Ortiz) still having issues with their relationship while Dr. Kincaid (Joy Bryant) fills the void left by Annalise’s “disentangling” action as she  moves away from Rosewood, in a romantic sense.

Rosewood is reminded of this own mortality as he works on the dead,  possibly murdered, parachutist.  The theme of “paying it forward” is an important part of the plot and Rosie’s family are also reminded of his own mortality by the dead man’s presence in the pathological lab.

Hornstock (Domenick Lombardozzi) has issues with his daughter Sophie who is at that awkward stage of life; 17 and struggling to make her own identity in the world. Throughout the episode Ira and his daughter bicker, argue and finally bond.  Once again all about family. 

On a sidenote, Amanda Leighton has not appeared in any programs that Mike’s Film Talk reviews until a few nights ago on Lifetime/LMN.  The young lady played a (doomed) character named Dee in “The Cheerleader Murders” and she was very impressive. Considering her character spends much of the film off-screen, her time in front of the camera was noteworthy. Then she appears on “Rosewood” and shows that she can act her little cotton socks off on other projects as well. A performer to keep an eye on.

Final Thoughts:

The comic bit with the parachute was perhaps the only outrightly t funny moment in the show. That said, Rosewood is not about the blatantly funny, his humor is witty and based upon banter.  The show did act as a reminder that the pathological expert is living on borrowed time, and this may well be why Annalise is reluctant to explore the relationship that she should  so obviously be in with the man.

Mutual attraction has allowed Erica Kincaid to become a (Temporary?) bedfellow of Rosewood’s and is now no longer his cardiologist. Whether this will work out over the long haul remains to be seen. The Kincaid/Rosewood romance feels a little too much like Annalise and (Mini-me Rosewood) Mike Boyce.

For those interested, the dead man was not murdered. A tumor in his carotid artery, the one in his neck,  killed the poor chap dead whilst on his parachute jump before he could pull the rip-cord.

“Rosewood” airs Wednesdays on FOX. Watch this one, it is about much more than cops, pathology and procedures.

 

Lucifer: St Lucifer – Amenadiel, Maze and Steamy Windows (Review)

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At long last the answer to whether or not Lucifer can be killed, by just anyone, is presented in St. Lucifer.  Morningstar decides that turning down Decker’s request for sex has made him into a saint and as such he identifies with the victim in this episode.  Maze gets back into Lucifer’s circle of trust and she steams up some car windows with Amenadiel in the process.

Speaking of sex, or lack thereof, the episode starts with an obviously naked Chloe in Morningstar’s bed. After offering her a choice of expresso or “hair of the dog” Lucifer teases her about their night. He then reveals that nothing happened.

The big payoff in this episode was that Lucifer (Tom Ellis) can only be injured by his current fascination, Chloe Decker (Lauren German). Along with his evolution into a very different “Lord of the Underworld” Morningstar learns that being charitable to someone other than Chloe is rather meaningless. In other words there is no “rush.” 

The murder victim, it appears, really was a “saint;” a former pro ball player who turned philanthropist and channeled money to good causes.  Tim Dunlear (Michasha Armstrong) is beloved by many, married to Vanessa (Christina Chang) and the lover of Kyle Erikson (Michael Welch).

He is also very dead.

Sidenote: It was brilliant to see Welch, after his character’s demise on  “Z-Nation,” knock it out of the park as the gay lover of the late charitable Dunlear. 

Feeling quite virtuous, Lucifer spends much of the episode bestowing acts of dubious kindness to those around him. He even offers to stage the late Dunlear’s fund raiser at LUX.  Before the event the devil breaks into song at the memorial service for the dead man much to the distress of Erikson.

Kyle reveals that the two men were in love.

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Michael Welsh as Kyle

Dan, “Detective Douche,”  gets tied up by Malcolm who explains what Hell is like to his new “partner.”  He also  reveals, through his description, why he is constantly eating since his return from the dead.

Maze hooks up with Amenadiel to complain and the two do a little bonding, after initially picking on each other. Lucifer’s protector is clearly attractive to Amenadiel (D.B. Woodside)   and she teases the angel into a steamy tryst in the back of a car.

The main plot line of the episode was Lucifer’s only being mortal when he is around Chloe. One splendid twist was that it is not Malcolm who shoots Morningstar but the dead man’s murderous widow Vanessa.  She pumps three shots point-blank into the devil’s chest. Dan, who rushes to save Lucifer comes in to find that he is alive and uninjured.

It is also noteworthy that the angel actually lied to Malcolm, according to Lucifer, who explains that although his brother brought the gunman back to life, Amenadiel cannot actually kill him.

This then is the more interesting subplot of the episode.  Amenadiel has been portrayed as the less than happy angel who is in charge of Hell while Lucifer is on his holiday.  Clearly Morningstar’s brother is being affected by his close proximity to the underworld. Eating red meat and shagging a demon in the back of a car and lying not really being the sort of behavior one associates with an angel.

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Christina Chang as Vanessa Dunlear

One highpoint of the episode had Lucifer solving Dunlear’s murder, or at least intuiting that Mrs. Dunlear killed her hubby, and then getting shot by the murderer.  Morningstar’s exasperated, “Oh bloody hell,” was brilliant.

(As was the devil’s “pun-line” about the plastic surgeon in the charity gala audience: “Tucking marvelous.”)

Morningstar is still evolving enough so that he accepts Maze back into the fold, also so much that at one point Decker tells him she misses the old Lucifer.  As he and Maze talk, the devil makes the connection between his “mortality” and Chloe. Lucifer goes to see Decker to prove his theory.

As they talk, Chloe tells Lucifer that he makes her vulnerable. As he listens, Morningstar cuts his hand with a knife and bleeds. Holding his injured hand behind him, Lucifer replies that Decker apparently makes him vulnerable as well.

Tom Ellis continues to kick arse in his depiction of Lucifer. Kevin Alejandro (Dan, aka Detective Douche), Lauren German and Lesley-Ann Brandt have all taken their characters to the next level and D.B. Woodside dominates any scene he is in.  Addictive acting and story, this one is a keeper. 

Lucifer airs Mondays on FOX.

 

 

Quantico: Care – Trafficking (Review)

PRIYANKA CHOPRA

Things appear to be heading to a conclusion on Quantico, in Care,  where human trafficking is the subject under study back at the academy.  In the present Simon and Alex “use” Ryan Booth to steal a CIA asset who turns out to be Will Olsen.

The twins, at the academy, fight to keep Miranda’s experiment running despite the bureau and Liam not being supportive. Shelby is still struggling to deal with the fact her parents are still alive and Caleb pushes for her to meet with them. Alex agrees with Haas and Wyatt crumples under pressure.

With the academy’s latest assignment taking place in Canada, the NATs must cross the border illegally and the winning team gets the field assignment of their choice.  Shelby’s parents can meet with her in Canada without fear of extradition

In the present, Alex impersonates Nimah and Simon, Ryan Booth as they infiltrate the CIA holding cell where Will is being held. The sudden re-emergence of Olsen makes it seem that the NATs helping of Haas ended badly.

Shelby’s parents reveal that they sold software to the opposition and could be tried as war criminals, hence the disappearing act.  The couple, played by Kevin Kilner and Kelly Rutherford, turn out to there to con more money from their daughter. Caleb learns of their plan and pays them off with the 5 million and tells them their game is over.

Simon and Alex grab Will from the CIA and Ryan angrily accuses  Parrish of taking the asset. When she proves that she never left the bureau, Ryan refuses to believe it. Liam tells Booth to back off as he is starting to sound like Alex.

Will, is keen to help Alex and Simon track down the voice on the other end of the phone. He was also more than willing to help Caleb back at Quantico.  Olsen, who hacked the NSA database and has it in his head, is turned over to the voice’s contact along with Simon.

Parrish has to give her phone back to the driver of the van who turns out to be Shelby Wyatt (Johanna Braddy).

The wheel keeps spinning back to Caleb Haas (Graham Rogers) in this scenario.  The fact that Haas is the common denominator here is obvious. The triangle of Olsen, Wyatt and Haas has Caleb at the apex of the structure and therefore still part of a ever shorter list of suspects. 

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Haas is not seen at all in the present timeline of Quantico. No one mentions him, not even Shelby, before trouncing off, referred to him after the second bomb went off in the investigation room.  Considering Caleb’s character arc, he does seem the most likely candidate, especially now that Wyatt is seen driving the terrorist’s van.

There could be another scenario at play. As the number of Alex’s classmates get whittled down (Vasquez, Harper and Duncan, along with any number who were blown up in the second explosion) it seems that the entire class have been targeted.

The NATs all have had multiple layers in this show.  Hidden agendas, past peccadilloes that  have been covered up and somewhat less than sterling backgrounds all seem to be part and parcel of these new recruits and new agents.

Alex is now alone, with Booth convinced of her guilt, as Simon and Will Olsen are taken into the van along with her cell phone. It looks like Parrish will have to target the terrorist alone.

Quantico airs Sunday’s on ABC.

The Family: All the Livelong Day – Willa’s Dream (Review)

ANDREW MCCARTHY

So at last the truth comes out, at least part of it, in The Family: All the Livelong Day, lots of Ben and Adam’s “backstory” comes out.  Most important is the news  that Adam is dead and he died just prior to Ben’s escape. Another thing that comes to light is that the reason for Willa’s actions are the result of a day dream.

Or was it a fantasy, similar to what Ben does (as a defense mechanism) where he can pretend that stale donuts are French toast and old bread is pizza. It is revealed that there is a lot going on in Ben’s head, some of which may have already been in this damaged teenager’s makeup  before the pock-marked man held him captive for so long.

At least now the immediate family members, as well as Hank Asher, can be let off the hook in terms of who killed Adam.  Unfortunately the cause of Adam’s  demise  is still up for debate. The scenario of Ben killing Adam (and the Warren boy did look dead laying on that cot) is still alive and well especially after that argument.

The moment that Willa has the day dream about Adam returning while the family are all in a panic and the resulting visions of Adam at christmas and his prom results in an epiphany of sorts. Willa then starts grooming Ben to become Adam.

(Although it is worth mentioning that Ben did go to the Warren’s house, which is where he meets Willa, and there is something going on with the teenager; he does like to hide things…)

When Claire (Joan Allenasks why, at the start of the show, Willa points out that the family was falling apart. In flashback,  John wants a divorce and Claire asks him to put it off, and the stress of running for mayor has put the  Warren’s even further on edge.   The disappearance of Adam was the final straw and Willa feels responsible.

(So too does Danny, but his answer was to crawl into the welcoming arms of substance abuse, whilst Willa’s was to “take charge” of Mom’s campaign.)

For the first time Claire’s fragile side is shown as are Willa’s strengths. A montage of “Adam training” is shown and Willa takes a lock of hair from Ben, obviously to aid in “faking” the DNA test.  Later it is revealed that Willa (Alison Pillthe manipulator and campaigner has never really outgrown her own guilt. Emotionally, she is trapped in that adolescent mindset of 10 years previously. Her inner child wants to fix, “her” mistake.

Later in the show,  the “collapse” of Claire is shown,  where she drinks a bottle of vodka after learning from Willa what she has done, and the woman passes out on the “Adam” bench in the park. This sequence  shows just how devastated the Mayor is.

Hank Asher seemingly tries to kill himself with a plastic bag, although it  is doubtful he would have succeeded as Hank only  holds the end of the bag closed rather than ties it.

At the last moment, Willa loses faith in her plan and gives Ben $10k to forget the whole thing and go away.  In an ironic twist, it is Willa that suggests the “lying” spin that Claire uses, “I don’t tolerate lying, just ask my kids.” This is exactly what Willa has been doing albeit because Ben did not go away as she paid him to.

More Ben backstory is revealed, how he escapes for example, and the two lads digging through the brick wall while singing “I’ve Been Working On The Railroad (all the livelong day)” and we see when Ben takes charge of the deception from Willa.

The young Warren woman  has created a monster and her dream has turned into a nightmare now that Claire knows the truth. The Warren family’s trials are not  yet over.  Hank Asher still has secrets to share as well and Ben has many layers waiting to be revealed.

The final shot of the present day Warren family  is a clear suggestion that things are far from over. Willa’ face all crumpled up with stress and pain, John oblivious to the tension offering up breakfast foods and Claire leaning in and hugging Ben while her face is a picture  of someone damned. Ben; on the other side of the hug, face expressionless, cold and chilling.

The Family‘s last sequence has Ben going back to the hotel room and retrieving the money he hid behind the light-switch plate, that cold look is still there and it is disturbing.

Andrew McCarthy as Hank Asher shows more about his mind set, in his “backstory.” Asher is frozen in time by a mother in firm denial of her son’s dilemma and true nature.  It is after her latest visit that he attempts suicide.

At the end of the day, there are a more than a few victims here.  They all have one thing in common; Adam.  As the show delves deeper into the story (hopefully to reveal just how pock-marked man escaped the bunker and where he deposited the body of Adam) one cannot help but wonder what Bridey will do with the information when she learns the whole truth.

The biggest question that remains is just how did Adam die.  Smart money has to be on Ben as it does look like the boy with the big imagination and ability to fantasize may have done Adam in.

The Family airs Sundays on ABC.

 

 

 

 

Dr Ken: Dave’s Sex Talk – PEB and Jessica Alba (Review)

 SUZY NAKAMURA, KEN JEONG

Dr. Ken: Dave’s Sex Talk had its comedy groove on and featured Pat as a PEB dispenser to Clark and Molly explaining the difference between a mom and a “Jessica Alba mom.” It also looked at Dave’s curiosity about sex “outside of baby making.”  We also get Ken as procrastinator and Dr. Julie as babysitter with some hilarious consequences.

The show starts with Dave asking if sex is only for making babies and Ken, the master procrastinator, ignores the question initially and then pretends to fall asleep. Ken then gets news that the Doobie Brothers are playing and he asks Allison to rock out at the concert.

Molly explains to Allison that she is starting to look like a “mom” and not like a Jessica Alba mom.   The teen fashionista then offers to give her mother a make-over.  Allison is not overly keen until she meets the mother of Molly’s friend who is dressed in the same sweater and clogs.

Ken asks Dr. Julie to babysit Dave and the inquisitive youngster asks her the sex question and she ends up giving Dave the “talk.”  She also messes quite a lot up.  Ken is called by Allison who explains that Dave is telling the other kids and getting things wrong.

The moral of the episode is two-fold. Ken avoided giving Dave the talk for fear of his son growing up too soon and not needing him; ergo,  parents fear their children out-growing them and being parents sucks.

TISHA CAMPBELL-MARTIN, DAVE FOLEY
Pat’s sneaky a**.

Pat and Damona apparently get back together again after he gives Clark the pre-emptive breakup (PEB0  advice. Clark follows Pat’s advice and actually repairs his relationship with Connor (they are both trying too hard) and Julie learns the true meaning of “foreplay.”

Standout Moments:

(In no apparent order)

Ken’s “Why are you dressed like the Hamburglar’s naughty daughter.” (Which may just be the highlight of the episode.)

Pat’s “Yeah I know Damona and  I boned  a bunch of times but that was different.  I’m the boss.”

Clark: “Thai me a river.”

“Except Scandinavians.”

Molly: “I don’t know what’s happening but it’s dorky and forced.”

Molly:  “A mom-mom and not like a Jessica Alba mom.”

Julie: “Seeks rock-hard guy who can stay up all night.”

Sweater twins.

Ken’s Dana Carvey impression of Carvey’s George Bush impression.

SUZY NAKAMURA, KRISTA MARIE YU, NANCY FRIEDRICH
Sweater twins.

Honorable Mention:

The scone museum scene.  In a country where scones are apparently triangular oddities and not the delicious round sweet treats served with Devon clotted cream and strawberry jam (along with a lovely cup of tea) the fact that Ken knows what scones really are made the joke exceptionally funny, despite the American audience not really getting the gag.

Ken taking credit for Kate giving Dave the sex talk until he learns she messed it up.  The second Allison asks what he told their son, Ken instantly rats Julie out.

Recap:

It was nice to see Pat and Damona continue their May-December thing.Dave Foley and Tisha Campbell-Martin continue to work well as the office  “odd-couple.”  Clark and Connor (Stephen Guarino) are the perfect together and Kate Simses continues to rule as Dr. Julie.  Ken Jeong manages to keep Dr. Ken on form as the procrastinating family man who avoids “awkward” conversations. 

On a personal note, how can one not love  Suzy Nakamura  for wearing that striped outfit (the Hamburglar dress ). The costume was pure  comic genius that made the Ken reference work beautifully. 

Albert Tsai and Krista Marie Yu were, once again, perfect.

The end message of the episode, apart from “PEBs work” is that our children are to be cherished, even when they are “playing” us because it will not be long before they no longer care enough to try. Also,  not every mother can be a “Jessica Alba mom.”

And remember it  is probably  a good idea to handle that sex talk yourself.

JONATHAN SLAVIN, KATE SIMSES, TISHA CAMPBELL-MARTIN
Kate Simses rules as Dr. Julie

Dr. Ken airs Fridays on ABC.