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TV of the Week: 23/06/2012

NCIS

Season 8, Episode 19

‘Tell-All’

Despite being generally enjoyable episodes, I have to say that I haven’t been blown away by the recent stream of NCIS episodes, and that continued here. They are all good, solid, exciting episodes, but none of them have really done anything particularly special for me. I think perhaps the problem is that that have all been very procedural episodes of late, which is fair enough as it is a procedural show, but they haven’t really had any significant character plots in them. The semblance of a character plot this week was Gibbs getting an invitation to his ex-wife’s wedding, although it didn’t get a huge amount of screen time and I not entirely convinced I understood the resolution.

The plot itself was fun to watch, as always, although again wasn’t mind-blowingly special. It was the classic bait-and-switch; the episode spent the majority of the time building up the conspiracy angle, with a manuscript that everyone who read died, a college girl who was also an arms dealer, and a corrupt official, but at the end it all came down to a husband being jealous of his wife. I didn’t really see it coming, but it did still feel like a bit of a let-down after all that the episode had built up. We did get to see Gibbs work with Fornell, however, which was fun as always. It’s great to see Gibbs ‘relax’ about his friend, instead of being the ‘boss’ as he always has to be with the team.

Overall, this was a typically solid episode if nothing else. The plot was fun, the conversations between the characters were enjoyable, and it was generally a good time. It certainly isn’t a contender for the best episode ever, but it was decent enough. I just hope the series picks up momentum soon as we approach the finale.

Leverage

Season 4, Episode 4

‘The Van Gogh Job’

Unlike the majority of episodes of Leverage, which focus primarily on the con, this week’s was all about a love story. The team were investigating the disappearance of a Van Gogh painting during the war, but they already knew who had it just not what he had done with it. What was different about this episode, however, was that instead of trying to con him out of the painting, they simply asked him where it was and, after some initial reluctance, he agreed to tell the story to Parker.

The most significant part of this episode was made up of flashbacks to the man’s (Charlie’s) youth when he had fallen in love with a woman. Unfortunately, because of their difference in skin colour, society back then wouldn’t allow them to be together and the flashbacks told the story of the trials and tribulations they went through to be able to live happily-ever-after. We knew from the present day that it wouldn’t work, which made it all the more painful to watch what happened. One great thing about the flashbacks was that, instead of using an unknown actor and actress for Charlie and Dorothy, it was Aldis Hodge (Hardison) and Beth Riesgraf (Parker) who played their parts. Their acting was fantastic, especially in the final scene of the flashback, and it really connected to the story.

While the flashbacks were going on, in the present day the team were still looking into what had eventually happened to the painting. They pulled some very typical tricks to get them into people’s houses and the bank and in the end Nate realised what Dorothy had done with the painting after Charlie had given it to her. The present day plot wasn’t as good as the flashbacks, but it was still enjoyable to watch.

This was a very original episode of Leverage, as many of them are, and was one of the best so far this season. I look forward to seeing where the rest of the season goes and, if the storytelling and acting is as good as it was here, we are in for an incredible ride.

Grimm

Season 1, Episode 19

‘Leave It to Beavers’

One thing which has become particularly apparent over the last few episodes of Grimm is that Nick is slowly becoming more and more comfortable with his role as a Grimm and the responsibilities he has because of that. We saw this week how Nick is finally starting to use some of the weapons left to him by Aunt Marie and, while it was slightly odd how quickly he picked them up, it demonstrates that he is now a Grimm who is also a cop rather than the other way around.

The actual plot this week was more procedural that we’ve seen for a couple of weeks, as Nick and Hank investigated the drowning (in cement) of a beaver Wesen. Despite having a procedural beginning, this episode did tie in with the overarching plot threads from the season, containing both the return of the beavers we’ve seen in the past and the Reapers. The former of those provided us with a chance to see part of the society of these Wesen, and their traditions and rules, as well as the impact Nick is having in their lives.

The latter, meanwhile, served to demonstrate once again how Nick is stepping up his role as a Grimm and managed to kill both of the Reapers sent after him. The fight was fairly awesome, but what was especially great was that we saw how Nick and Monroe have decided that they aren’t just going to lie down and let the Reapers take over; they cut off the dead Reapers’ heads and sent them back to the organisation that sent them as a message.

The other small plot this week was that Juliette invited Monroe around to dinner. Naturally, it didn’t exactly go smoothly and Monroe did almost mess up the cover story at one point, but they managed to get through it. Once again I found myself hoping that somehow Juliette would discover Nick’s secret, but once again it wasn’t to be. I hope that she isn’t kept in the dark for too much longer, however, as that would really start to frustrate me.

To conclude, this was more procedural than the last few weeks have been but it was still an enjoyable episode and did serve to further the plot a bit more, particularly in terms of Nick’s role as a Grimm. The only thing missing from this episode was Rosalee, who seems to have disappeared without explanation. We are in the home stretch of this season now, and I hope this show can keep the momentum of the last few episodes up until the end of the season.

A Town Called Eureka

Season 5, Episode 6

‘Worst Case Scenario’

Coming into this week’s Eureka I was hoping that the Jack/Jo plot was over. Alas, as was clear from the ‘Previously On…’ that wasn’t the case, although it does seem like by the end of this episode that it is finally finished. I can’t see Jack and Jo together as a couple at all and, while I understand the tensions that existed after the time in the ‘Matrix’, I was fed up of this plot. This episode didn’t deal with it badly, but it wasn’t especially interesting and certainly wasn’t the highlight of the plot.

The disaster-of-the-week plot of this episode was, ironically, all about disaster prevention. After what happened with the Astreus Mission, Global Dynamics were conducting disaster simulations to test their reactions, but naturally it all went wrong when the computer conducting the simulations decided to make them a little too real. It was enjoyable watching everybody’s reactions to the disasters, both the real and simulated ones, and I did think as I was watching the opening scene that I wouldn’t mind a scene like that in the finale. Although there are often disasters in Eureka very few cause the damage on a scale of that in the simulation, and it would be interesting if in the finale the characters had to deal with the chaos of a real disaster.

The best thing about this episode, without doubt, was the revelation that Holly is alive within the Matrix. We don’t know whether or not she’s actually ‘her’ or whether she’s just a programme, but like Zane said if she thinks she’s real and Fargo thinks she’s real, who’s to say that she isn’t? It looks like Fargo is going to keep seeing Holly in the Matrix, which is great as it means we will see more of her and Felicia Day playing her. I look forward to seeing where the plot goes as I can’t imagine that the show can go too long with Fargo just visiting her now and again.

This was a great episode, and bodes very well for the rest of this season. Holly is back, on some level at least, and this episode was a typically enjoyable episode. The Jack/Jo plot seems to be out of the way, so hopefully the show can move on from it now and start some new plotlines for what is presumably the final arc of the show. I will be disappointed to see Eureka go, but if it can end at the standard of this episode I will be satisfied.

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