A Case of the Mondays

Well, this is lucky number thirteen for A Case of the Mondays. Fun fact that I learned the other day (which many people may already know), but any month that begins with a Sunday will automatically have a Friday the 13th.

This week I’ll discuss a whole lotta Lost episodes before the big finale later this week. I’ll also discuss the week in television, which was actually lacking a bit. And the Continuity Police returns, after a one week hiatus.

Oh, and a few people were nice enough to send me an e-mail telling me what the song was in the 4400 finale. I appreciate anyone who took the time to do that.

Also, yesterday featured the debut of the September TV Feature, in which various IP columnists give their views on the upcoming fall season. I wrote a piece on Reunion, so go give it a read. Here’s the link:
http://tv.insidepulse.com/articles/42826

CONTINUITY POLICE, VOLUME 6:

Fellow IPer Brendan Campbell sent me a continuity error regarding the new show, Prison Break. There’s an example I’ve been sitting on for a while, so I’m going to use that. But the Prison Break continuity error is on deck, so next time I can’t think of one expect to see it.

This continuity error will focus on the cult favorite show Buffy the Vampire Slayer (which I am a fan of, admittedly) and, specifically, the rules regarding vampires. More specifically, I’ll look at Spike, using examples from the seventh season.

There are two big rules regarding vampires. The first is that they can’t be out in the sunlight. The second is that they have no reflection. In the seventh season episode “First Date” in which Buffy goes out with Principal Wood, the two of them are in the car with Spike. Wood is driving, Buffy’s got shotgun, and Spike is in the back seat. Wood looks through the rear-view mirror at Spike (with a look of contempt on his face). This would lead us to believe that he sees Spike’s reflection otherwise he would have nothing to look at. We also know that he isn’t NOT seeing Spike, because he doesn’t discover that Spike is a vampire until later in the episode (after he sees Spike’s vamp face). No matter how you want to interpret the scene, it was very poorly scripted.

Also, in season one of Buffy it had been made explicitly clear numerous times by Angel that vampires don’t breathe. Two examples immediately come to mind: When Buffy dies in the season one finale and he can’t give her mouth to mouth because he doesn’t have breath, and when he’s able to go into a room with toxic gas, again because vampires can’t breathe (he overtly states this both times). However, in the seventh season when Spike was being held captive by The First, one of the Bringers holds Spike’s head under water. Spike struggles for breath until he ultimately passes out. Of course, since vampires don’t breathe, holding Spike’s head under water would really be fruitless. We can also bring up the fact that in the season two finale (probably one of the best Buffy episodes ever), Spike strangles Drusilla until she passes out. Again, that shouldn’t have happened since vampires don’t breathe.

Speaking of Spike, I look extremely forward to seeing James Marsters on Smallville in just a couple weeks. He’s a great actor who did an exceptional job with Spike, and I have no doubt that his outing as Brainiac will be superb.

LOST:

Like I said last week, I got the Lost DVD and plowed through every episode I haven’t seen. With that said, I have a few comments regarding specific episodes, as well as some overall season thoughts.

First and foremost, while essentially watching the entire season in a matter of days, I have to say that I really enjoyed the season-long ongoing joke about Scott and Steve, and how everybody always gets them confused. For the most part we never see either characters, but they are constantly referred to by the main characters (particularly Hurley and Sawyer). In the episode that Claire thinks she’s being attacked, Hurley is walking through the woods and mentions to Jack he was with Scott and Steve, and realized he has no idea who they are. Then, in the episode that Ethan is killing a person a day until he gets Claire back, Scott is the first to meet that fate. First Sawyer accidentally refers to him as Steve (before getting corrected), and then in the eulogy Hurley apologizes for constantly calling him Steve. In the finale, when Sawyer is reading everybody’s letters, he notes that a woman writes about missing her husband, but is sleeping next to Scott at night. Walt corrects him by saying that’s Steve, and that Scott is dead. There are a few more references throughout the season, but it was actually a really humorous ongoing joke that I may have missed otherwise. Humorously, even during the DVD commentaries the creators of the show get confused about which one actually died.

I also noticed something interesting in the episode that we get the back story on Claire’s pregnancy. When she goes to a psychic, the guy very urgently tells her that she must not allow another to raise her child. The way he says it, you’d assume he is saying “you must not allow another to raise your child.” Instead, I think he may have been saying “you must not allow AN OTHER to raise your child.” The bad guys on the show are, of course, called “The Others” and do have a history of kidnapping babies (and they did try to kidnap Claire). An interesting twist, especially after finding out at the end of the episode that the psychic knew the plane would crash and they’d end up on the island.

I’ve also put a lot of thought into Hurley’s lottery numbers. The numbers were: 4, 8, 15, 16, 23, and 42. What do these numbers mean? Well, the flight number was 815, so there’s a connection there. Also, by the end of the season there were 42 survivors on the island (that we know about). There were originally 48, and then the woman drowned, bringing them down to 47. Then Scott died, bringing the number to 46. Then Boone died, bringing the number to 45. Then the baby was born, bringing the number back to 46. Then Michael, Walt, Jin, and Sawyer left the island on the raft, bringing the final number to 42. Also, the French woman has been on the island for 16 years. This leaves 4 and 23. Kate mentioned that she the bounty on her head was $23,000, but I have a feeling that there’s a greater connection than that.

If anybody has any theories, I’d love to hear them. Let me be clear when I say that I only want theories, I DO NOT want spoilers. I’ll post any interesting theories I get next week.

In some ways, I actually enjoyed part one of the finale more than part two. I found the reconciliation between Jin and Sun to be absolutely beautiful, and I really liked how Michael and Sun had a very awkward good bye. The two of them have experienced a lot of awkward moments together. I also really enjoyed the scene between Jack and Sawyer, where Sawyer finally tells him about how he met Jack’s father one night at a bar in Sydney. The powerful moment where Sawyer says “Christian” (Jack’s father’s name) was really touching. It was also nice how Kate asked where Sawyer was, and was silently disappointed when she didn’t get the chance to say good bye.

That said, the second part of the finale was also great. If you notice, there is actually a youngish woman in the boat with The Others (she’s the one who throws the explosive on the raft). I believe that that girl is the French woman’s daughter, who the others had kidnapped 16 years earlier. I also liked how, in a passing moment, we discovered that the comic book Walt used to always read (with the polar bear), was actually Hurley’s.

Well, coming into this week’s finale we have a few questions. What’s in the latch? What will happen to the guys on the raft? Why did The Others want Walt? In regards to Walt, I liked how the French woman said that she heard The Others say they want the child. The natural assumption was that they wanted Claire’s baby. Turned out, they wanted Walt. As to why they wanted him, it seems obvious that his special abilities were the reason. What will happen to the guys on the raft? Well, it looked like Sawyer was shot, so that ain’t good. Perhaps they can salvage the wreckage of the raft to at least drift themselves back to the island, or perhaps to another island. From what I’ve read, it’ll be a few episodes before we see any of the reunited with the rest of the crew.

Now the big question, what’s in the latch? Well, based on commercials, it looks like some sort of scary spotlight. But based on what I’ve read, and everybody’s been exceptionally hush-hush, it has something to do with Jack’s past. A possible scenario is that his father is down there, but I think that’d be disappointing (and it wouldn’t make much sense). Well, count me excited for the new season.

THE OC:

I recently read in a magazine that Rachel Bilson and Mischa Barton are not so much getting along. I guess Rachel is not exactly thrilled that this season is supposed to focus so much on Marissa (Mischa’s character). Of course, Lord knows if these rumors are even true, so take it for a grain of salt. Anyway, my views on this issue are a bit mixed. On one hand, Mischa Barton’s character is clearly billed over Rachel Bilson’s, therefore it should be expected that her character would be focused on more. In that regard, I don’t know how much Rachel has a right being upset. On the other hand (like I said last week), Rachel Bilson’s character is astronomically more likable, and I’d argue more popular as well. Further, in my opinion, Rachel Bilson can act circles around Mischa Barton, so another part of me believes that Rachel Bilson deserves to get more attention, due to her great work. Although I’m also admittedly biased, since I am officially in love with Rachel Bilson. Nevertheless, I always get somewhat disappointed when I find out that actors really don’t like each other when the cameras turn off. It tarnishes the illusion that they’re best friends when you watch them on TV.

Anyway, regarding last week’s episode. Due to the great emphasis on Ms. Bilson, the show gets an automatic thumbs up from me. Her scene with Seth as they tried to usurp Taylor was great, with Seth going to lengths to cancel the shenanigans (and then later bringing that up again), and then Summer’s exaggerated “I’m so sorry” gesture (which looked really cute, also). This girl has got just about the cutest personality ever.

The stuff with Kirsten and Charlotte is certainly suspicious. Right now the popular theory is that Charlotte is a lesbian. It seems a bit early to walk down that road again, since we already had a central character experimenting with a lesbian just last year. I wouldn’t be surprised if we see some single white female stuff going down, though. Although they already did that whole “girl goes to rehab, meets another girl, only for that girl to go single white female on her” with Kelly on Beverly Hills, 90210. But I guess my theory about something going on with her and Sandy was wrong.

The stuff with Marissa and Ryan was, once again, not as fun, entertaining, or interesting as the stuff with Summer and Seth. Nevertheless, at the very least sending Ryan and Marissa to another school allows each couple to have more exclusive story arcs. Also, considering the amount of witnesses watching, that Dean would have been so completely and utterly fired for manhandling Marissa like that. First of all, they were not on school property so Marissa really had every right to be there. And even if you want to argue that it was a school sanctioned event, so a school official has the right to tell somebody to leave (which is plausible and fair), Marissa willingly agreed to leave without any fuss whatsoever. Without any provocation, the Dean grabbed her by the arm, and she repeatedly asked him to let her go before Ryan (stupidly) punched him in the face. That Dean was completely in the wrong.

Also, this brings me to another gripe: Why exactly is every physical altercation settled with a punch to the face? I’ve seen fights before, and a whole lot of yelling, pushing, shoving, and grabbing happens before a single punch is thrown. Punching should be the culmination, not the first thing that happens.

Not so much a complaint, but instead curiosity, but how much is the family keeping Kirsten in the dark? Does she even know about the Trey shooting? Granted a few months had passed between the shooting (in the season finale) and the season premiere, but when Sandy visited her in rehab, he doesn’t mention anything to her about it (in fact, he blatantly doesn’t mention it when he gets a phone call regarding the incident), and she doesn’t ask about what’s going on with it. Then, again, when Sandy visits her at the cabin, he doesn’t mention anything about Ryan possibly being expelled, and she doesn’t ask about the situation. I can kinda sorta understand keeping her in the dark because of what she’s going through, but I wish it was made a little clearer.

Well, next week looks pretty interesting with Caleb’s will being read, and the tension that it may cause between Jimmy and Julie, and Julie and Kirsten. My prediction is that he leaves everything to Kirsten, basically making Jimmy’s money problems worse, ultimately leading to his departure from the show (notice he’s not in the opening credits). It was always obvious that Caleb really loves Kirsten, and his feelings for Julie always seemed mixed and questionable anyway. And considering that he knew he was going to divorce her, he seems like the type that would be right on top of updating his will.

THE SIMPSONS:

The actual story wasn’t that great, but I do have to admit that I laughed a few more times than usual (which basically means I laughed a few times). Actually, to the show’s credit, he episode did remind me a bit of what used to be great about the show: A realistic, relatable issue (in this case, Lisa being scared of something), and at the end of the episode it was resolved in a sweet, logical way (Lisa realizing that it’s okay to be afraid, being that she is eight years old, and learning that there are ways to overcome her fear). And it was done in a pretty sweet, light hearted manner. The show has drifted so far away from this formula, and instead opted to have episodes revolve around some sort of predicament your average person would never in a lifetime be in. On top of that, the storylines usually don’t even make realistic (within the context of the show) sense. However, this episode steered a little closer to the classic formula.

Off the top of my head, some of the stuff I found funny: Homer saying “That’s bullshit” after viewing the commercialization of Where the Wild Things Are, Marge making a comment about not knowing what Apu was in a past life, Homer saying he loves waking up drunk, there being a “Carl Lot” (not to mention a Ralph Lot as well) in Lenny’s parking lot, and I did giggle at the cemetery workers’ intentional attempts at making the cemetery creepy.

Overall, a better effort than usual, but lets be honest: It’s still the weak link of the Sunday night animation line up.

FAMILY GUY:

After last week’s somewhat disappointing performance, Family Guy returned to its homerun hitting ways last night. Between Peter arguing with Joe about eating his legs (saying “we’re gonna have to agree to disagree here”) and Quagmire playing I Never and getting completely blasted (and their excited squeals when they decide to draw on his unconscious body) and Brian’s announcement that he’s going in the basement and answering “What do you think?” every time they ask what he’s going to do there. And extra credit for Stewie’s “Okay, somebody’s going to have to explain that to me” at the end, after laughing hysterically. I also got a kick out of Death on the boat, and after asking what he’s doing there, he points out the tidal wave coming.

Other fine points were Lois telling Chris he’s making a scene while he’s crying at Peter’s funeral, and Mayor West getting into a yelling contest with Quahog. Oh, and that line about a pig refusing to eat a Jew had me on the floor. Overall a really funny episode and it’s a relief to see that they haven’t lost their step despite last week’s so-so episode.

AMERICAN DAD:

A big masturbation week for Seth MacFarlane, as two of his series focuses on a character continuously masturbating. Anyway, this ended up being a pretty funny episode, especially at the end when Stan explains all different sorts of sexual things to his son. I also liked when Haylie and Roger were fighting, and Stan walks in and says “Haylie what the hell is wrong with you? Finish him!” as he throws his gun to the ground next to her. A pretty funny episode, but I think Family Guy was the champion this week.

TV FUN FACT OF THE WEEK:

This week we attack a television classic, “All in the Family.” I have a confession to make: I’m actually not a huge fan of this show. It doesn’t offend me, I just don’t find it to be as funny as it’s hyped. Well, here we go:

During contract negotiations with Carroll O’Connor one season, the producers planned for Archie Bunker to be murdered at a convention if the negotiations failed.

That’s pretty morbid, isn’t it? That leads me to wonder, has any lead character (and by that I mean the billed star) been killed off so violently in a series that does not revolve around violence (so that eliminates any cop or law dramas)? If anybody can think of any examples, e-mail them to me.

Well, that’s it this week. Next week I’ll have my thoughts on the Lost premiere, which should be good, as well as my thoughts on episode #2 of Reunion.