A Case of the Mondays

For anybody wondering why I haven’t posted a Dead Zone recap/review yet, it’s because I’m currently in Long Beach Island, and therefore I don’t have access to my TiVo, which allows me to do the scene-by-scene summary. I’ll be here til next week, which means last night’s episode either won’t be done, or will be extremely late (depending on whether the TiVo decides to delete the episode before my return). I apologize for any inconvenience, but I will do a recap of last week’s episode in this column, so that you can all find out what I thought.

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THE DEAD ZONE:

Last week’s episode had Johnny searching for Chloe, the missing daughter of famous artist Andrew Lyne. It was a fun episode with a lot of unexpected twists and turns, but I found the whole thing with Bruce being this massive art fan a bit too contrived. I could be completely wrong, but to my knowledge Bruce has never once shown an interest in art (and, again, I could be completely wrong about that). It was strange how, out of no where, he’s fawning over an artist like a little school girl, and has such an obsessive appreciation for art that he was almost unwilling to destroy a painting for the sake of saving a girl’s life. It just came off as very convenient for the sake of the episode, with very little (if any) previous interest mentioned before.

That said, I think they did a really nice job of making Lyne a mysterious enough character that it seemed very possible that he may have actually been the one that would kill her. They also did an effective job placing a lot of suspicion on the art dealer, both because of his unrequited attraction to Chloe, and his interest in seeing Lyne successful, even if it’s through tragic publicity. However, I almost feel like this episode was reminiscent of a Scooby Doo episode, where there’s one character that is essentially unnecessary to the plot, so naturally that person ends up being the culprit. So I wasn’t necessarily shocked when she was revealed as the killer, but I honestly did not see the circumstances that surrounded it (that she was, in fact, Lyne’s only real daughter). They did a nice job of making her somewhat sympathetic (having to watch all these other girls masquerade as Lyne’s daughter, while keeping her identity secret, because Lyne did not consider her his muse), while still making her seem diabolical.

Oh, and I also liked Lyne asking Johnny where his cane is, only to add that he looks more mysterious with it. Yeah, that cane was really, really cool. And I thought it was cute how Johnny drew a picture of him and Bruce at the end of the episode. So…..elementary school-esque. I have also noticed, however, that these episodes don’t seem to have any continuity. Once Rebecca left, nobody ever mentioned her. Once the female psychic left, nobody ever mentioned her. It would be nice to connect the episodes a bit, especially when some of what happens seems somewhat significant.

THE 4400:

From my July 4th column:

“Speaking of Shawn, I continue to really enjoy his character. I like that he works alongside Jordan (the default villain, if there is one), yet continuously shows character and nobility. When another 4400 is in danger, he tries to protect them. When he sees people in need, he uses his wealth and power to help them. He doesn’t talk down to people, and he tries to stand for what’s right. It seems really obvious that he truly does care about people, and he hasn’t let his surroundings taint his morals. However, I suspect that if Jordan does die, and if Shawn does inherit the complex, he may end up walking down a dark road.”

It looks like Maia isn’t the only clairvoyant child out there. I haven’t seen last night’s episode yet, but two weeks ago Jordan did indeed get murdered, Shawn did indeed inherit the complex, and Shawn did indeed begin his journey down a dark road (evident by him closing the doors on the homeless girl he had previously tried to save). I’m interested to see where this goes and the writers did an admiral job of emphasizing (yet in a subtle way) Shawn’s character and nobility before having him sacrifice those traits for money and power.

What I also enjoyed about the episode was the unusual interactions between the series regulars. If memory serves, we’ve never really seen Shawn interact with Richard and Lilly, and we’ve never seen Jordan converse with Maia. Part of the fun of the show is that there are these different, non-connected storylines, and, in turn, it’s nice to see these differing arcs intertwine with each other. In a strange way, it almost seemed surreal seeing the uncomfortable communication between Jordan and Maia (with Maia being afraid, guilty, and confused, and Jordan being comforting, friendly, and reassuring), and both characters showed their age during it. And, again, seeing Shawn so friendly and personable with Richard and Lilly, only accentuated his change in behavior in the closing scenes of the episode.

Obviously, I also need to discuss Isabel and Kyle. Ladies first, as we are seeing Isabel slowly become more and more sinister with her powers. First she had a hand (we must assume) in Lilly’s daughter’s hospitalization, and then she deceived Jordan into going through with the press conference, which ultimately led to his murder. Of course, the question remains as to why Jordan’s body vanished (I predict that Shawn constantly attempting to heal him may have brought him back to life, in some fashion).

I can’t say I was especially shocked to see Kyle revealed as the murderer, but I am intrigued as to why he (or whoever is possessing him) did it. Something that must be considered is that, we must assume, both Isabel and Kyle are being controlled by the people of the future. Therefore, why is it imperative to our future that Jordan be murdered?

LOST:

Lost had another strong showing last week, as we learned more about Charlie’s drug addiction. I really like the format of the show, where we learn about a character at a time, instead of numerous characters having flashbacks within the same episode (the season finale is the exception here). It was interesting to find out that Charlie did want to get out of the band and end his drug addiction, but it was his brother Liam that forced him to stay, and then later wouldn’t let him quit (even though he said he would if things got too out of control). Then, later, it was Liam who put his life back together, while Charlie became the drug addict.

Much like Jack’s episode, it was also obvious that Charlie had a lot of insecurities to overcome, and ultimately overcoming those insecurities allowed them to survive. I also liked how Locke’s discussion with Charlie earlier about the moth played a part in their escape from the cave, as well as Charlie’s acceptance within the group. It was also nice seeing Jack recognize that Charlie is going through withdrawal, and to later lie for him so that nobody else would know. Finally, I especially liked how Locke forced Charlie to decide for himself that he wants to give up drugs, instead of making the decision for him.

This episode also shed a little light on the season finale. Later in the season we discover that men disguised as priests crashed onto the island while trying to traffic drugs that were hidden in statuettes of Mary. In the season finale, Charlie comes across these statuettes, and we learn by the conclusion of the episode that he took one. The natural assumption we are supposed to make is that he’s doing it for the drugs; however in this episode we also learn that Charlie is religious, which means he may have taken the statuette for its religious symbolism.

Finally, I once again enjoyed the developing relationship between Jack and Kate, and the recognition it gets from the other characters, primarily Hurley. It was also nice to see the subtle attempts at reconciliation between Mike and Jin, when Mike corrected Hurley by telling him that they’re Chinese, not Korean. I’m really enjoying the progress of the series, as it’s one of the few shows I really anticipate seeing the following week.

WHAT A ROLLER COASTER RIDE:

Well, it’s been an interesting couple of weeks in wrestling, hasn’t it? First off, practically half of the roster was released. Going to WWE.com those two days was like driving past a car wreck: You hate seeing anybody getting hurt, yet you can’t look away. Here’s my take on those released.

I can’t say I’m terribly shocked by Kenzo Suzuki, Hiroko, Mortecai, Gangrel, Joy Giovanni, or Marty Jannetty, as they haven’t appeared on television in months (or, in Joy’s case, don’t really serve any purpose while on television as is). It’s disappointing seeing Shannon Moore and Akio go, as they were never really given a chance to succeed. Billy Kidman showed last year that he has the personality and (surprisingly) charisma to pull off a mid-level heel, yet they decided to give up on him for no evident reason whatsoever. It’s especially surprising that he was let go considering he’s married to Torrie.

The shocker, in my opinion, has to be Charlie Haas and Jackie Gayda, as they definitely had an upside. Both could have easily been moved to RAW, to have Haas feud against Shelton for the Intercontinental Title, and Gayda to challenge Stratus for the Women’s Championship (since she’s pretty much the only face female left on either roster). Letting them go was a terrible mistake, especially considering that they had just gotten married a couple weeks ago. Also, releasing Dawn Marie in the midst of her pregnancy was not in the best taste.

I was also upset to see Spike let go, as I had really enjoyed his whole “boss” persona. Everything from the long goatee to the scowl to the all black outfits really worked. I also think that D-Von and Bubba were finally seeming fresh, changing up their attire to the all-black, instead of the camouflage and jerseys.

I do have to wonder, though, how Val Venis continues to avoid the cutting board. Don’t get me wrong, I’m a fan of the guy and for the life of me I don’t understand why he’s not given more of a chance to show off his skills, but it seems to me that twice now there have been massive cuts where people on television more frequently than him and given much more airtime than him (and probably aren’t making any more money than him) get laid off. That said, I really hope they do something with him. Two suggestions would have been moving him to Smackdown and having him join JBL’s Cabinet (since he has strong political views) or having him re-align with Bischoff as chief of staff Morley.

Oh, and how about this Matt Hardy stuff? I must admit to being shocked when he attacked Edge backstage, and I think WWE did a nice job of making it seem like it was a shoot. Obviously it is not, nevertheless they’re doing a good job, even allowing Matt Hardy to appear on TNA to drive the point home.

I read Gene Lindberg’s very detailed report of Matt Hardy and Lita on ByteThis, and I must say, even though it was probably all scripted, Lita made some very strong points about Matt Hardy cutting wrestling promos on real life situations. I’m definitely looking forward to RAW tonight to see where this is all heading.

Anyway, I’m off to the beach. Enjoy the rest of the week, and hopefully I’ll have something to talk about with next week’s column. Check out the Vineyard Vines website!