Lost: "Two for the Road"
So after I picked my jaw up off the floor and collected my thoughts about this episode, I realized that
a) Michael has been annoying for quite a while now, so I'm not as devastated by his betrayal as I might otherwise have been;
b) I'd kind of grown to like Ana-Lucia, and now I was actually going to miss her;
c) that Sayid/Ana-Lucia* will sadly never be (and no, Sawyer/Ana-Lucia doesn't count -- blech);
d) That Libby really has to live, or the writers will look pretty stupid for introducing two major female characters from the tail section only to kill them both off (and besides, we still don't know her backstory); and
e) Christian Shephard may be a boozy jerkface, but he's still more attractive (looks-wise, I mean) than his book-burning twerp of a son. I'm guessing he (Christian, not Jack) is also Claire's deadbeat dad, which certainly puts an interesting twist on things.
Oh, and f) how stupid is Sawyer, the professional con man, letting himself fall for the oldest trick in the book? Unless we're meant to believe that he really let Ana-Lucia walk away with the gun and only pretended to be shocked afterward that she had it, but the episode really didn't play that way, so I really think there's no choice but to conclude that yes, Sawyer is that dumb.
Conclusion: Not the best episode overall, but that shocker ending definitely sold it.
* Though admittedly, that "my new girlfriend shot my old girlfriend" thing would be a bit of an obstacle. Still, they had more chemistry in their few scenes together than Sayid and Shannon ever did, IMO.
House: "Euphoria" (both parts)
Wow. WOW. Talk about a superb showcase for the supporting cast (well, except RSL's Wilson, who barely got in a couple of lines, but he's had plenty of development over the past couple of weeks). Omar Epps really gave this one his all, but I have to agree with those who say that Jennifer Morrison stole the show out from under his nose. Cameron had some fantastic moments in these episodes, and I think they've gone a long way toward developing her character in a consistent, credible fashion. Now if only the writers remember that next week and keep heading in the same direction...
Some random thoughts:
- How touching was it that House was ready to sacrifice Steve McQueen to save Foreman? The writers handled that just right -- without any fanfare or bathos, just a brilliant bit of seeding a couple of episodes back where House bridled indignantly at the mere suggestion of using Steve as a lab rat, and it was evident that he really did think of the little guy with affection. That deft little touch made this episode that much more poignant for the loyal viewer.
- Really interesting about Foreman's religious faith -- something he's never spoken of or even hinted at before, obviously because he doesn't want to admit to struggling with doubt or otherwise seeming uncertain of himself. But now his quizzing of Cameron about her beliefs in "House vs. God" makes a little more sense, as does his very hard-nosed approach to his own guilt after he dealt dishonestly with her over the article (there's no hypocrite like a religious hypocrite, after all). Good work on the part of the writers.
- Chase... didn't have that much to do, again, but I liked him counselling Foreman Sr. in the chapel.
- Cuddy got saddled with a thankless role in this story, but Lisa Edelstein did wonders with it. I felt for Cuddy, especially when House tried to manipulate her by trotting Papa Foreman into her office.
- Wow, I really didn't expect so much House/Cameron in a Foreman-centric episode, but it was definitely there -- the surprise, the curiosity, even the admiration on House's part. It was subtly handled, though, which is the way it ought to be if this ship is going to sail at all.
Doctor Who: "The Girl in the Fireplace"
If my review of this episode could be summed up in one word, it would be *wibble*. Like "School Reunion" before it, there are bits where the plot becomes paper-thin, but what it lacks in technical substance it more than makes up for in style. Gorgeous frocks and clockwork monsters, pedagogical eros (well, sort of), the Doctor bursting through a mirror on a white horse... okay, I'm sold.
I'm really loving David Tennant's exuberant delight in... well, just about everything. As I was saying to lizbee last night, he's a bit like Paul McGann's Eighth Doctor that way, but whereas Eight was almost childlike in his innocence and didn't seem to quite realize (or perhaps didn't allow himself to realize) the emotional dynamics going on around him, Ten is much more knowing and aware. And yet, he is such a big geeky fanboy, even when he does something certifiably mutton-headed like trapping himself 3,000 years in the past just so he can Save The Girl (apparently forgetting about the other Girl he's left stranded in the future), it's hard to fault him.
Besides, I only boggled over that particular plot point for a few seconds before I thought, "Oh, but he's a Time Lord, he figures he can live through all those years and find a way back to Rose and Mickey before too much time has passed for them." In fact, until Reinette showed the Doctor the fireplace, I was actually thinking that was how the episode would end: Rose staring into the distance with a single tear running down her face, Mickey on the verge of exploding with nerves, and then the Doctor suddenly pops his head into the room and says, "Hello! Sorry I'm late... had a bit of a problem getting back here."
Also, I love Mickey. I can't believe I'm saying that considering how completely annoying and pointless he seemed to me when he first appeared, but I'm enjoying him more and more every episode. I think I'm actually on the verge of shipping Rose/Mickey, just because it's so obvious now (even to Rose, one would think) that the Doctor is just not going to be The Guy for her no matter how much she wants him to be, while Mickey seems to be improving by leaps and bounds.
As for Sophia Myles as Reinette, I really liked her. I thought she was going to be one of those unconvincing girl-of-the-week love interest types, but she had real fire and steel (loved the scene where she rebukes the court) and a cleverness in her eyes that made me believe. The chemistry between her and David Tennant sure didn't hurt, either -- and I laughed out loud when the Doctor realized who he'd just snogged (and note, he didn't say "got snogged by" as one might expect, he took responsibility -- that's the really radical bit!). I would not myself have picked Madame de Pompadour as the Doctor's love interest, but the whole thing was handled fairly discreetly, even if you think Steven Moffatt was being disingenuous about the dancing not being a metaphor.
Conclusion: This ep didn't topple "School Reunion" out of the number one spot on my top ten list for the new series, but it fits rather nicely just below it. Ten is definitely turning out to be my Doctor (of the newer models, anyway: it'd be pretty hard for anybody to unseat Five in my affections, flawed scripts and general beigeness notwithstanding).
And now to bustle about tidying the house and making school lunches and all those other things I can only get done when the kids are in bed. Sigh.