Dear TV Writers: Your Fear of the Moonlighting Curse is Killing Your Show

What is the Moonlighting Curse, and why is it such a big deal to television writers? Read this in-depth look at the crippling phenomenon and find out!

Getting Rid of the Stigma: Mental Illness in Young Adult Fiction, by Megan Mann

In this piece, Megan brilliantly discusses the stigma of mental illness in literature and how some young adult novels are helping to change the landscape for this discussion.

In Appreciation of the Everyday Heroine

A mask does not a hero make. In this piece, I discuss why it's wrong to dismiss characters without costumes or masks as superheroes.

Thursday, February 28, 2019

Grey’s Anatomy 15x15 Review: “We Didn’t Start the Fire” (The Record Breaker) [Contributor: Julia Siegel]


“We Didn’t Start the Fire”
Original Airdate: February 28, 2019

It’s official: Grey’s Anatomy is now the longest running primetime medical drama series in television history! Over the past fifteen years, Grey’s has managed to capture audiences through its unique blend of medical oddities and character-driven stories. The show has been incredibly successful thanks to the amazing writing staff, who continually keep the viewers interested in the characters’ lives and personal growth through plots that hit every emotional high and low.

However, Grey’s Anatomy wouldn’t be around if it weren’t for the very devoted fan base. Whether you have been watching for all 15 years or started recently, the fans have been an integral part of the show’s success.

And what better way to celebrate the record-breaking episode than to have the main plot of the week center on a party?

CELEBRATION


It wouldn’t be a proper milestone without a party, and having the episode focus on Catherine’s successful surgery bash was the perfect way to incorporate the show’s celebration. Of course it also wouldn’t be a Grey’s Anatomy party unless something went terribly wrong. Hint: did you catch all the blatantly obvious fire symbolism, from actual fires to the powder keg heating up between certain characters to the many-meanings title of the episode? Jackson is hosting Catherine’s get-together at his penthouse at her request... except that the guest of honor doesn’t want to show up at all. In her absence, everything starts hitting the fan.

The fun starts with the Grey-Shepherd-Pierce sisters’ struggles. Maggie learns that her med school rival, Kimberly, has published an article about her life-saving surgery from the previous episode that makes her look like the hero instead of Maggie’s risky and groundbreaking procedure. Maggie is furious that Kimberly is stealing her thunder and that all the other doctors like the article. Later in the episode, she has a candid discussion with Richard, who gives her the best fatherly advice in telling her that she needs to be bolder and take her thunder back by publishing her own paper.

Amelia is having a rough day of her own and doesn’t even want to attend the party, which is partially in her honor for saving Catherine’s life. After two weeks of recovery from her aortic dissection, Betty/Brittany is ready to move back home with her parents and baby Leo. Owen and Amelia both have a hard time saying goodbye to their children, especially since Betty/Brittany doesn’t actually say goodbye before leaving. Their bad moods continue at the party, where several things go down.

First, Owen is once again visibly upset by seeing Teddy and Koracick together. He becomes even angrier when he learns that they are going on a trip together. Second, Amelia feels like her relationship with Owen has hit another rut because they only got sort of back together when Betty/Brittany and Leo came into the picture. They have an argument about their relationship, in which Amelia accuses Owen of still being in love with Teddy. Owen refutes and says he just hates Koracick, and Amelia decides to break things off with Owen. As if things couldn’t get any worse, a third event occurs during Catherine’s toast.

Meredith is nervous about attending the party with DeLuca because they haven’t taken their relationship public yet. Before the party, Meredith tells Alex that she is dating DeLuca just to get it out in the open and make things less awkward. Her strategy doesn’t work very well because telling one person doesn’t equal telling everyone, which the couple finds out the hard way. Amelia bombards Meredith with her current issues at the party and says that she might spend the night with Meredith, who was happy to have the house to herself for once and wants to spend it with DeLuca. Being the nice person she is, Meredith doesn’t object or tell Amelia about her plans with DeLuca. Meredith breaks the news to DeLuca, and the two of them go into a guest room for some alone time... which gets interrupted when Richard accidentally walks in on them making out. A very embarrassed Meredith decides to “act normal” by taking over the caterers’ jobs and helping with cooking food.

WHAT ARE YOU DOING HERE?


Catherine’s party is crashed by a surprising guest: Helen Karev. Helen shows up at the hospital a few hours before the party to see Alex, but when Helm tells him Mrs. Karev is looking for him, he thinks she means Jo and ignores the message. Alex goes to the party and has Helm tell his wife to meet him there. Jo finds Helen in the waiting room of the hospital before she leaves for the party and takes Helen with her, as Helm told her to meet Alex there. To say that Alex is surprised to see his mother is an understatement, and he immediately jumps to the worst conclusions about why she is visiting.

It’s sad that after all these years and everything he has done to help her, Alex still can’t trust anything that his mother says or does. He doesn’t believe that she has shown up in Seattle for a simple visit. Instead, he thinks that she might be having another episode or psychotic break and calls her doctor to see if she has been doing well. Alex is even more concerned about his mother’s mental status when she starts freaking out about smelling smoke when no one else does. Helen tries to tell Alex that everyone needs to get out of Jackson’s apartment because there is a fire, but Alex doesn’t believe her.

THE KICKERS


As all of the chaos is erupting at her party, Catherine plans to not show up and convinces Bailey to go to the party together in her limousine. Catherine goes on a long rant about how Bailey needs to live life more and splurge, yet she won’t even allow herself a little happiness by attending her own party. Eventually, Catherine tells Bailey that she has no intentions of attending her party because she doesn’t feel right about celebrating a less than perfect outcome. She is terrified of living with cancer for the rest of her life. Bailey convinces Catherine to go to her party, and they arrive just in time for the fireworks to start.

Once they walk in the door, Jackson starts a toast to his mom and her recovery. At the same time, Owen confronts Koracick about him preying on Teddy, and Helen is freaking out about a fire. Owen and Koracick exchange heated words, which ends with Owen being punched in the face when he says that Koracick isn’t a father. Too bad Owen hadn’t previously known Koracick’s backstory and had to be told in the moment by Teddy, who immediately defends her boyfriend. Amelia leaves the party before the toast, since she can’t stand to see what is happening. After Owen gets punched and the fight is broken up, the fire alarms start going off as Helen exclaims that the fire is coming from the kitchen. Smoke starts pouring out of the kitchen, and everyone starts running out of the apartment. Alex is weirdly excited about the fire because he realizes that Helen wasn’t delusional.

Ben and other firefighters come to the rescue, and it’s too bad that a crossover with Station 19 didn’t happen. It turns out that there wasn’t a fire, but the smoke was caused by a plastic pan being put in the oven. Meredith and DeLuca are pretty sure that they started the fire while helping out after their make out session, but they don’t confess. The “fire” doesn’t really ruin the night for everyone, as Maggie, Jackson, Catherine, and Richard take the limousine for some family time. Catherine realizes that the most important thing for her is to celebrate each scan and test with her family, whether the results are positive or not.

Owen gets a big surprise when he gets home and finds Amelia there, who tells him that the Dickinsons have decided to bring Leo back. Betty/Brittany decided that she didn’t want to keep Leo, even though her parents did, because she wants to be a normal kid again. Owen and Amelia are once again Leo’s parents, but their relationship status is very much up in the air. Meredith and DeLuca are also surprised when they go back to his place to spend the night. Carina shows up with their father, which doesn’t seem to sit well with Andrew. Remember all those things that Andrew revealed about his father in the elevator to Meredith? Sounds like we are going to see that whole fiasco play out in upcoming episodes.

Brooklyn Nine-Nine 6x07 and 6x08 Recaps: "The Honeypot" & "He Said, She Said" (#AmyToo) [Contributor: Alisa Williams]


“The Honeypot”
Original Airdate: February 21, 2019

Now that Gina is officially gone, it’s time for Holt to choose a new assistant and it’s a struggle. After hiring and firing three assistants in three days, Jake steps in and offers to find Holt someone great. Sure enough, Jake quickly finds Gordon Lundt, who has recently moved from Philadelphia, where he worked as an assistant in a precinct. He looks perfect on paper and even better, he has the exact same personality as Holt: super serious and straight to business. Holt doesn’t like him from the start, and is convinced that Gordon is flirting with him, and feels it’s inappropriate.

Jake doesn’t see it, but agrees to look into Gordon and actually check his references (not realizing that he should have done that before hiring him). It doesn’t take long for Jake to discover that Gordon lied on his resume. He never worked in Philadelphia, and in fact, he actually works for Commissioner Kelly! Jake determines Gordon is a spy who has been sent to the Nine-Nine to discover what Holt is up to. Now that they know, Jake and Holt hatch a plan to uncover evidence against Gordon and Commissioner Kelly.

Meanwhile, Terry, Rosa, and Charles enlist Amy’s help to declutter the Nine-Nine, which has been a mess since Commissioner Kelly closed the first floor and all the uniformed officers had to move into the bullpen. Amy pulls out all sorts of organizational tricks to try and whip everyone into shape. First, she tries to Marie Kondo the office, but it doesn’t work well because Terry and Boyle insist everything on and in their desks brings them joy and they can’t part with anything. Hitchcock and Scully have the opposite reaction and try to throw out all their paperwork, because it does not bring them joy.

Next, Amy tells the team about the Norwegian organizational art of “Munkensmat,” where you get rid of all personal possessions except one. Then, you incinerate all of them. Amy leads the purge, and even convinces Boyle and Terry to join in, despite the fact that they have more personal clutter than anyone else. Terry has a difficult time parting with a fancy pair of suspenders still in the box, and Boyle has a hard time parting with, well, everything, including his great-grandfather’s shoes and eight framed photos of his father.

Meanwhile, Holt agrees to accompany Gordon to the Barrel Making Exhibit at the Brooklyn Museum of Industry so Jake can snoop on Gordon’s laptop and look for email exchanges between him and Commissioner Kelly. A thoroughly ruffled Holt returns hours later, relaying all the subtle ways Gordon flirted with him while they were there. Jake still can’t believe a lengthy discussion on barrels is what passes as flirting in Holt’s mind, and much to Holt’s dismay, it seems it was all for naught anyway, because Jake couldn’t find anything on Gordon’s laptop.

But just then, Gordon comes in and admits that he was sent to spy on Holt by Commissioner Kelly, but has had a change of heart. He tells Holt he’s fallen in love with him and just can’t bring himself to spy on him any longer because he cares too much. Jake decides they can use this to their advantage and “double dragon” Kelly. He asks Gordon if he’d be willing to turn double agent. If they can stage a meeting between Gordon and Kelly where Kelly admits all the dastardly things he’s been up to since taking office, they’ll have the proof they need to go to the mayor.

Gordon readily agrees, saying he’d do anything for Holt, and meets up with Kelly at a cafe. But Gordon triple crosses them! As soon as he gets to the cafe, Gordon tells Kelly that Holt asked him to wear a wire and spy on Kelly, and that Jake and Holt are sitting in a surveillance van right now wearing terrible mustaches as disguises. Holt and Jake rush in and Kelly threatens to go to the mayor with this if Holt doesn’t resign. But Holt has a trick or two up his sleeve. He tells them he knew Gordon would “triple dragon” them and was prepared. He set up multiple recorders and cameras in the cafe before the meeting and says he will show the mayor these tapes which clearly show Kelly and Gordon plotting and threatening him unless Kelly agrees to Holt’s demands. Holt then demands that Kelly re-open the first floor of the Nine-Nine and allow the uniformed officers to clear out of the bullpen.

Between Holt’s win with Kelly and Amy’s Munkensmatting, the bullpen is looking incredible. Amy asks Terry if she can take a photo of his desk to submit to “Organizer’s Quarterly.” He begrudgingly agrees but when she says she’ll need the drawers open too, he freaks out. She pulls one of the drawers open and discovers that Terry didn’t Munkensmat his fancy suspenders after all! He finally confesses that he just couldn’t do it because he bought them the day of his lieutenant’s exam. He failed the exam and could never bring himself to wear the suspenders, but part of him still hopes that one day he will earn the right to wear them. Amy relents and admits that Munkensmat is stupid, and even buys Terry a bunch of study materials so next time he takes the exam he’ll ace it.

Bullets on the Bulletin Board:

  • “You don’t have to turn everything into a Thomas Cruise film.” 
  • “Do what I do: embrace the mess.” “You have a bagel stuck to your sweater.”


“He Said, She Said”
Original Airdate: February 28, 2019

In the latest episode of Brooklyn Nine-Nine, Jake and Amy take on the case of a finance guy, Seth Haggerty, with a broken penis. He claims it was broken by a female coworker, Carrie Brennan, who “just went crazy” when he kindly offered her advice on how to do better at her job. She claims that she broke his penis when he tried to sexually assault her. Captain Holt assigns Jake and Amy to the case. Carrie tells them that even though she was sexually assaulted, she’s not interested in pressing charges. It’s a he said, she said case, and she knows how these things play out. Without evidence, he’s going to walk and she will have been dragged through the stress of a trial for nothing. Plus, her firm offered her a $2.5 million settlement if she signs a non-disclosure agreement.

But Amy convinces Carrie to press charges anyway, and says they will find evidence, she’s sure of it. Carrie hesitantly agrees. When Rosa finds out what Amy did, she completely disagrees with Amy, which shocks Amy, who thought Rosa would have her back on this. Amy says that Carrie’s courage will get other women who might have been sexually harassed or assaulted by Seth to come forward, too. But Rosa says she’s a realist and it’s Amy’s job to put this victim’s needs first. Even if they can find evidence, winning at trial is a long-shot and meanwhile, Carrie is out the settlement money and probably a job by the end of it, not to mention having her whole life torn apart. Rosa says Amy needs to think about the victim right in front of her and her needs, rather than hoping this will be the case that changes the world.

Next, Amy and Jake pay a visit the finance firm, where they interview all of the employees to try to get someone on the record about Seth and establish a pattern of behavior. Everyone has the exact same thing to say, though: that the office is “extremely professional” and Seth is “a really good guy.” The boss also tells them that the $2.5 million settlement is now null and void and they’ve terminated Carrie.

This makes Amy dive into the case even more than before, and after working for three days straight and not coming home, Jake starts to worry. He reminds her that sometimes the evidence just isn’t there for some cases. Amy finally admits that this isn’t just any case for her. When she was a rookie, her mentor and boss helped her get detective, but as soon as she did, he took her to dinner and tried to kiss her, telling her that after making her career for her, he deserved something in return. She ran out and the next day put in her transfer request for the Nine-Nine. She never told anyone because she was afraid he would sabotage her career if she told. So this case hits really close to home for her. Jake tells her they’ll find the evidence they need and they get to work again.

Meanwhile, Charles and Terry bring Captain Holt news that Ernest Zumowski, a.k.a. The Disco Strangler, a serial killer who terrorized New York City for six years in the 1970s, has died. Holt is the one who brought him to justice and ended his reign of terror, and everyone in the Nine-Nine has heard the story a thousand times. Holt asks Terry and Charles how Zumowski died and they tell him he was on a prison transport van which burst into flames and he burned to death. After hearing this gruesome tale, Holt is convinced that the octogenarian criminal escaped and staged his death. Terry and Charles are convinced Holt is just trying to relive his glory days and isn’t able to admit that the most notorious criminal he ever put away is dead, but they follow Holt on his hunt anyway.

First, they pay a visit to the medical examiner’s office. The ME tells them he couldn’t match any dental records because Zumowski didn’t have any teeth left (because he was so old). Holt demands to know why the burned body is five centimeters shorter than Zumowski’s record says he is, and the ME has an answer for that too (old people tend to shrink a bit as they age). Next, Holt demands to know about the yo-yo string that was discovered in the wreckage. This was, after all, the Disco Strangler’s preferred method of strangulation and Holt is convinced that it was left to taunt him.

The ME can’t speak to that, so they pay a visit to the woman who was driving the transport vehicle. Even though she barely survived the crash and is covered in burns, Holt has no mercy. He’s convinced that she was seduced by the Disco Strangler and helped him escape and stage his death. Terry and Charles are horrified by how unmercifully he interrogates her, but she convinces them she doesn’t know anything and Zumowski truly did die in the crash. Deflated, Holt returns to the precinct and admits he was having a hard time letting go. But just then a fax comes through and it’s an aerial photo from a highway camera that clearly shows the Disco Strangler. He’s alive!

Holt, Terry, and Charles lead a huge manhunt and tell all the dozens of officers not to underestimate this guy, or to be lured into a false sense of security by his elderly appearance. He’s a wily killer and won’t hesitate to take them all down! They corner him in the city and re-arrest him, though Holt’s big moment of confrontation is rather anticlimactic for him since Zumowski is deaf and can’t even hear Holt’s taunts. But at least they’ve gotten a dangerous criminal off the streets, and it turns out the transport driver did help him escape after all. Holt is vindicated!

Back at the Nine-Nine, Amy and Jake finally have an employee who gives them the evidence they need: a group text that outlines exactly what happened that night and where Seth admits he assaulted Carrie. This employee comes forward not because he’s interested in doing the right thing, but because he knows if Seth gets fired then he’ll get his job, which would be a great promotion for him. They’re able to arrest Seth, and Carrie gets her job back. But when they go to follow up with her, they find that she’s packing up her things anyway. She tells them she’s just quit. The whole atmosphere has changed and everyone at the firm looks at her as either a traitor or a victim. She’s being left out of team outings and activities, and it’ll only be a matter of time before that means she starts being looked over for opportunities and promotions. She tells Amy that despite this, she’s still glad she pressed charges and that Seth got fired. She feels good knowing she did the right thing.

When Jake and Amy return to the precinct, Rosa has something to tell them. It seems Carrie wasn’t the only woman Seth harassed, and another victim has found the courage to come forward, just like Amy hoped would happen. Rosa tells Amy she was right after all, and that “two steps forward, one step back is still one step forward.”

Bullets on the Bulletin Board:

  • “You can never watch too much DuckTales. It’s my dream to have a gold coin pool.” 
  • “You’re lying! You’ve succumbed to his groovy voodoo!”

Thursday, February 21, 2019

Grey’s Anatomy 15x14 Review: “I Want a New Drug” (It’s a Tie!) [Contributor: Julia Siegel]


“I Want a New Drug”
Original Airdate: February 21, 2019

Grey’s Anatomy is now tied with ER as the longest running primetime medical series in television history! It wouldn’t be a Grey’s Anatomy milestone without one character actually having a milestone moment, while the rest of the characters and audience are taken on an emotional ride. The show has been spending a lot of time over the past year discussing the ongoing opioid crisis in America through the eyes of Amelia and Betty/Brittany. This episode was specifically crafted to be the boiling-over point of the discussion about drugs, overdosing, and the consequences of one’s actions.

EPIDEMIC


A large overdose epidemic sweeps through Grey Sloan Memorial Hospital when at least 50 people have adverse effects to various drugs that they bought, and consequently took, at a nearby park. It’s an all-hands-on-deck situation as the ER overflows with patients. Link, Bailey, Richard, Alex, Owen, and Amelia have an especially difficult time handling what is going on around them, while Teddy steps up to save Betty/Brittany’s life. Betty/Brittany comes to the hospital with her boyfriend; both took the same spiked meth and pills. They are put in the clinic since they aren’t exhibiting many symptoms of overdosing. Suddenly, Betty/Brittany starts to have pain in her chest and passes out. Link sees her struggling to breathe, picks her up, and runs her over to the ER to put her in Owen’s care.

Owen is shocked to see Betty/Brittany and wants to do everything possible to save her life. Teddy, Bailey, and Richard step in since Owen wouldn’t be objective in treating the teen. Amelia and Betty/Brittany’s parents arrive right before Teddy is ready to bring Betty/Brittany to the OR for emergency surgery to repair an aortic dissection. Owen tells Teddy to get Maggie to do the surgery, but Teddy says there is no time to wait and that she is more than qualified to do the surgery. It’s great to see the old Teddy emerge and pull double duty in the hospital. Maggie meets her in the OR and wants to take over the surgery, but Teddy says that she should do it in case Betty/Brittany doesn’t make it.

Teddy knows that Amelia is going to need Maggie’s support no matter the outcome. Plus, if Betty/Brittany doesn’t make it, it’s not like Amelia is Teddy’s number one fan to begin with. The surgery is a success, even though there were complications, and Betty/Brittany makes it through. She is very surprised to see her parents when she wakes up, and she appears to be happy to have them and Owen and Amelia there for her. Complicating the situation is the death of her boyfriend, whom Link was unable to save from bleeding out after the kid ripped his IV out and caused what looked like an artery or vein to sever.

Mr. Dickinson doesn’t want to tell his daughter that her boyfriend is dead, but Amelia argues that she needs to hear the truth in order for the severity of her life decisions to sink in. Amelia feels that Betty/Brittany will be more likely to get clean if she knows the truth because Amelia had the same thing happen to her. The Dickinsons do appear to be warming up toward Owen and Amelia, which is good because this story is far from over.

Elsewhere in the hospital, Jo and Alex help a woman find her lost three-year-old son. A homeless man walks into the ER with the child and tells Jo and Alex that he saw the mother passed out on a park bench like the other drug users. Alex calls social services, the boy’s father, and the police while Jo treats the woman. The father arrives to claim his son and the police arrest the mother. Jo tells the father that his wife needs help and treatment to become sober, but Alex shuts her down to tell the man that he needs to protect his child first and foremost. We do get a small moment of backstory when Jo asks Alex if he had the same thing happen to him as a child. Alex tells her how his junkie dad abandoned him outside of a bar when he was six. Little moments like these really show how much Alex has grown over the course of the show.

RECORD BREAKER


While everyone else is handling the drug users, Meredith is setting a new hospital record for longest single surgery. The very long-named and confusing procedure spans over twenty-four hours, which was started on one night and ended the next. Meredith is assisted by her trusty companions DeLuca and Helm, who never seem to leave her side anymore. In typical Meredith fashion, she doesn’t want to celebrate her record at the moment she breaks the previous one because they haven’t completed the surgery, and now that she knows she holds the longest single surgery time, she will want to beat it again.

Meredith is so worn out by the end of the operation that she falls asleep on a gurney in the middle of the hallway. DeLuca sees her and wheels her into an open hospital room, puts a blanket around her, and turns out the lights to let her rest peacefully. It is a little odd that Meredith breaks a record in the episode that Grey’s Anatomy ties the record for longest running primetime medical series because it seems like her momentous occasion would fit better for the record-setting next episode.

However, expect a big celebration full of surprises for the viewers and characters in the next episode. The big Grey’s milestone airs Thursday, February 28, so mark your calendars and make sure you don’t miss the occasion!

Tuesday, February 19, 2019

Blindspot 4x13 Review "Though This Be Madness, Yet There Is Method In't" (De Plane! De Plane!) [Contributor: Jen]


"Though This Be Madness, Yet There Is Method In't"
Original Airdate: February 15, 2019

We've spent 13 episodes on this plane crashing storyline, Blindspot, and it's time to release me from this procedural misery!

CASE OF THE WEEK


We are FINALLY crashing this friggin' plane. Not that I want this plane to crash. I'm not a psychopath. I just want the storyline to be over because it's boring. I appreciate Blindspot trying to throw some variety in their typical "Let's blow up New York" bomb plot, but the plane thing wasn't much better.

Does anyone remember why Madeline was crashing the plane? Do we care? Anyone? Bueller? All right, maybe there's someone. All the characters repeated the reasons about five times. I was starting to feel it was personally directed at me. Madeline wants to crash a Bradley Dynamics plane so she can release documentation that Bradley knew their aeronautics program — code name ARVO — failed major safety tests but they went ahead with it anyway. This will allow Madeline to take out one of her biggest competitors and win a very big contract.

What we discover in "Though This Be Madness, Yet There Is Method In't" is all of that documentation is doctored. The ARVO program passed all the safety tests, which their director can back up with real documentation. Okay, so he's probably not evil. The real humdinger, and one of a few real surprises in this storyline, is that ARVO was installed on a very particular jumbo liner — the new Air Force One.

Now don't get too excited, Blindspotters. It's the new Air Force One, which means it really isn't Air Force One at all because the president isn't on it. It's still just a regular big old plane, but the innocent lives on board are more than enough incentive to save it. However, Blindspot felt like there needed to be more incentive so they put Director Weitz on board. He was being fired by one of the president's top advisers. Yeah, saving Weitz doesn't really add a lot of incentive for me. I was good with the dozen or so other poor souls on board, but do you, Blindspot.

Boston, undercover as Del Toro, has to hack Bradley Dynamics, make it believable to Madeline, but stop short of actually crashing the plane. Dominic Masters pops up again and apparently he has some gumption. He decided Zapata's story about meeting with Del Toro sounded fishy, so he went out and found the real Del Toro. The cartel was paid and they didn't hear any complaining from Madeline, so they were fine taking their money and walking.

But Del Toro wasn't. I think? He says, "Nothing is free in this life, which is why I'm here." First person who can explain what the heck this means gets a cookie. The guy refused to do the job because Zapata was late. Then Del Toro decides to do the job anyway because he was already paid and felt bad about taking the money for zero work. Or something like that?

UGH. It's times like these Blindspot drives me nuts. The only reason they brought the real Del Toro in was so Madeline could foil Zapata and Boston's plan, but the writers can't just say that so they cook up some bizarre moral philosophy for a criminal hacker who works for the deadliest cartel in the world. Just stop trying to logic it, Jen. Life will be so much simpler.

Madeline has also wired the building where Boston is hacking the plane with C4 so all evidence will be destroyed — including Zapata and Boston. But then Madeline finds out about their deceit and sends a goon to kill them while the real Del Toro hacks the plane. Boston takes out the singular goon with a chair and makes a hilarious comment about watching professional wrestling, but they still need to stop the hack and Zapata only has one bullet.

Boston bluffs his way through a distraction with a fake dead man's switch and some C4. Zapata shoots one goon with her last bullet and then throws her gun at the second while taking him out Krav Maga style. It was awesome.

Long story short: Boston is able to unhack the hack, the plane is saved, and Madeline's plans are foiled. Unfortunately, it seems she has bigger fish to fry with a mysterious reference to something called "Helios" which I am sure we'll be finding out more about now that this plan fiasco is finally over.

TEAM BLINDSPOT


There's a lot of back and forth between Boston unhacking the hack and Team Blindspot (namely Rich) trying to kick Del Toro out of the system because they believe he's the hacker in charge. It leads to Zapata telling Boston to leave the building and call the FBI to let them back into the system so they can stop the hack. The trouble is the building is about to blow any minute. Essentially Zapata is offering herself up as the sacrificial lamb to save the plane.

Rich lets Zapata back into the system, she hits enter, and seemingly starts to exit the building, but then the C4 goes off and the building comes down. Boston is convinced Zapata died, which means so is Team Blindspot. Of course, she's not dead and reappears with the coolest "I'm alive line" ever ("Like I said how hard is it to push enter?") Everyone is very relieved she's alive, but particularly Reade.

Hmm, now what did I say in one of my previous reviews? Oh yes... here it is: "He'll fume for a few episodes, Tasha will do something heroic or almost die or something to that effect, Reade will realize he still loves her, and TA-DA! Happy ending."

Dang, I'm good. We're clipping along nicely, aren't we Rapata shippers? Tasha decides almost dying in a collapsed building while saving dozens of lives from a plane crash isn't enough to gain Reade's full trust back. Ummm... why not? When did Edgar Reade become the patron of morality on this show? I must have missed something.

Tasha decides she must go to Zurich, obtain the files Madeline would never destroy, which will lead to her prosecution, and thus clinch Reade's forgiveness and trust. All right, hold up. Why is it every time someone on Blindspot goes undercover for months and months they don't gather any EVIDENCE? All the evidence they need to put the Big Bad away forever is destroyed in the last second, and then the Big Bad gets away to concoct yet another nefarious plan.

Do any of these FBI agents actually know how to be FBI agents? Why didn't Zapata make copies? Why didn't Reade order Madeline's arrest sooner? He was in her office. We couldn't deploy a dozen agents to arrest the woman before she figured out her plan was not going down in flames?  Do they even need paper evidence? Isn't Zapata's testimony as a CIA agent more than enough to put Madeline away? Sweet Moses, this show is ludicrous sometimes. No, scratch that — a lot of times.

And of course... there's someone to beat the crap out of Zapata in a bathroom after she obtains the aforementioned crucial evidence. Sigh. Blindspot has played the "Zapata is dead" card almost as much as they played the "Zapata is evil" card this season and it's all just tired. I just want this plot to be over.

Back to more positive developments: Boston is his usual ray of sunshine in an otherwise dismal plot. These ludicrous plots are only made entertaining by the witty repartee of characters like Boston, Rich, and Patterson. Blindspot can never ever get rid of those three. We'll be lost to gloom and doom of the ridiculous.

What I truly loved was Rich's concern and unwavering loyalty. He was convinced hacking the plane for real is something Boston would never do and made sure everyone at the FBI understood it. Rich may snark about Boston, but he's ride or die. They are so endgame, even though Boston won't be taking a consulting job with the FBI like Rich. He's not a big fan of risking his life every ten seconds, which is absolutely understandable, and casts a nice, subtle heroic light on Rich too.

Boston's appearance at the FBI also puts him face-to-face with Jane again. Remember: Remi was holding a gun to Boston's face the last time these two saw each other. He's freaked out, of course. Jane apologizes for everything she did to Boston and it leads to this hilarious exchange:
Boston: And we're... we're just all cool with her again? 
Kurt: We're all good. 
Rich: It was days ago. 
Boston: Okay. Apology accepted?
I died. Best reaction to good Jane/evil Remi ever.

KURT AND JANE


Kurt and Jane decide to celebrate Jane being alive by going on a vacation to a little cabin in the woods. Has Kurt Weller ever heard of five star hotels? What's up with these two roughing it all the time? They don't get enough grit and gore in the field? I don't care if the cabin owner stocked the fridge, Weller! You're still cooking, which is basically like being home. Book a massage and eat some lobster prepared by a culinary chef like the regular people do, guys.

That said, why are we even talking about a Jeller vacation? It's hilarious these two think they'll actually get away for some "alone time." Honestly, what annoyed me most about this plane crash storyline is that it interrupted Jeller baby-making time. And then we didn't even get that! Things were starting off so nicely: there was wine. Jane was saying things like, "We don't have to go away to be together. I've got everything I need right here." Kurt moved in to nuzzle her neck...

... And then someone slid an envelope under the door. No. Absolutely not. NO MAIL. It probably has a bomb in it or some airborne pathogen. DO NOT OPEN IT WITHOUT AN X-RAY! HAS THE LAST FOUR YEARS TAUGHT YOU BOTH NOTHING?

It's worse than airborne pathogen: it's something from Shepherd's estate lawyer. Well, rip it up or throw it in the fire. But do Kurt and Jane listen to me? Noooo. We could be on our way to twins right now, but Jane needs "closure." You know what I need? BABIES.

Jane opens the envelope, and there's another puzzle to solve. Good grief. Can we be done with the puzzles? The fact I am saying this probably means this show needs to wrap it up. At least it wasn't tattooed all over Jane's body this time. 

Stray Thoughts:

  • "You can do this." "You don't know that. That's just a thing you say!"
  • Reade is popping in to see Madeline on the exact day Zapata is crashing the plane and the evil sorceress is not supposed to get suspicious? Okay, Mr. Assistant Director of the FBI.
  • "Shush, I'm getting scared." This adorable man puppy deserves to be loved up.
  • "I'm alive because of Roman." Aww, I like how we like Roman now even though he was a criminal mastermind and murderer. But he saved Jane's life so everything is square. Even Weller begrudgingly likes him. Looking like Luke Mitchell probably doesn't hurt either.
  • "I thought she was damaged enough to live in the gray. " Me too, Madeline. It would've been way more interesting if she was.
  • Reade called Zapata "Natasha" just before she hung up. He still loves her.
  • The whole time I watched this episode, all I could hear was Tattoo from Fantasy Island yelling, "De Plane! De Plane!" Hence the title.

Brooklyn Nine-Nine 6x05 and 6x06 Recaps: “A Tale of Two Bandits” & “The Crime Scene” (Of Trudy Judy, Rosa's Hair, and a Dope Case) [Contributor: Alisa Williams]


“A Tale of Two Bandits” & “The Crime Scene”
Original Airdates: February 7 and 14, 2019

Craig Robinson guest-starring on Brooklyn Nine-Nine has become an annual occurrence, and I am here for it! He and Andy Samberg are always hilarious together, and this episode was no exception. Terry’s convinced that Doug Judy, the Pontiac Bandit, (played by Robinson) is back because someone has been stealing cars using his exact MO. Jake’s convinced of Doug’s innocence because Doug promised him he was going straight, but Terry doesn’t believe it for a second. When they go to investigate, they find out Doug is dead!

They head to the funeral and meet Doug’s sister, Trudy Judy (played by the hilarious Nicole Byer), who ropes Jake into singing an impromptu song in tribute to Doug. While he’s upfront doing a truly terrible job, Jake spies Doug standing in the back. He’s alive! Doug motions to Jake to meet him in the back room where he tells Jake and Terry that he had to fake his own death because a real bad guy named Stefano Lucas is after him. Lucas thinks Doug stole his vintage Ferrari and put a hit out on Doug. Even though Doug has an alibi for the night of the car theft, Terry isn’t buying that Doug’s really on the straight and narrow now.

Jake convinces Terry that it must be a copycat using Doug’s moves, and that only Doug can help them catch the car thief. Terry remains unconvinced but Jake offers a challenge he can’t refuse: whichever one of them is wrong has to do 100,00 push-ups. Terry agrees to give Doug a chance, and Doug tells them where he thinks the copycat would go to boost cars that evening. Before they head over, they have to make a detour so Doug can sing at a bar mitzvah.

Meanwhile, the rest of the Nine-Nine heads over to their regular bar after a hard day’s work. But it turns out the bar has been taken over by firefighters! The bar the firefighters usually hang out at burned down so they’ve decided to make this their regular spot. The Nine-Nine isn’t having it. They appeal to Holt for help, but he refuses, saying the bar is beneath them anyway, and this is a great opportunity to find a better one. The team then turns to the bartender but he refuses to take sides, saying he just wants to make money. That’s when Boyle has a great idea and says if it’s just about money, they’ll just have a drink-off against the firefighters. Holt refuses to participate and leaves, making it nine firefighters against five Nine-Niners. The odds aren’t great, but the team is confident they can do it.

Back at the bar mitzvah, Terry interrupts Doug’s DJ-ing to tell him and Jake that a car theft just went down exactly where Doug said it would. Terry had sent some plain-clothes officers on ahead to stake the place out and they caught someone red-handed. Jake’s delighted, because this means Doug’s innocent but Terry says not so fast. He’s now convinced that Doug intentionally brought them to the bar mitzvah to establish his alibi while his partner boosted cars. Jake’s dubious until Terry reveals who the car thief is: Trudy Judy! Doug’s sister!

At first, Doug swears his sister is innocent, saying she’s a good girl who’s studying to be a nurse, but she was caught in the car with all the car-boosting devices she needed, so it’s pretty obvious she’s the culprit. Trudy tells them she was falling behind on her student loans and that’s when she discovered Doug’s notebooks about how to steal cars and it was a great way to make money. She swears she was only going to steal enough cars to pay off her loans and then go straight again, and she definitely had no idea she’d stolen the car of big-time criminal Stefano Lucas, who then put a hit out on her brother.

Doug convinces Terry and Jake to take pity on her and reduce the charges if she helps bring in Stefano Lucas, who’s a much bigger criminal than either of them. Doug says he’ll call up Lucas, tell him he’s the one who stole his car and offer to give it back if Lucas will call off the hit. Then, when Lucas comes to get his car, the police will be there waiting. There’s only one problem though: Trudy doesn’t have Lucas’ car anymore; she’s already given it to a fence named Dallas who’s a really creepy dude.

Over at the bar, the team is having trouble of their own. They’ve fallen behind the firefighters. Boyle delivers an inspiring speech to motivate them, but manages to throw up in the middle of it. Hitchcock is the only one who’s left standing, but just then Holt shows up! Apparently Rosa left him a ton of voicemails. In one of them, after she thought she’d hung up but didn’t, she rambled on about how Holt didn’t care about them. That shook him to his core, Holt says, and he had to show up to support his team, even if he does hate the bar. He orders bottle after bottle of the gross, knock-off wine the bartender carries, and seconds before closing time, he manages to scrape ahead of the firefighters! The Nine-Nine is victorious! The firefighters admit defeat and storm out to find a different bar.

Meanwhile, Jake and Terry, along with Doug and Trudy Judy, are staging a meet with the fence, Dallas. Terry pretends to be Trudy’s beefy boyfriend, which spooks Dallas and he runs off. They grab the car and call up Stefano Lucas for the meet. But while they’re waiting, the car blows up! Terry and Jake run to investigate what happened. Terry’s convinced this was the Judys staging a distraction so they could get away, but Doug is still there and reminds them he doesn’t work with fire. That only leaves one person: Trudy! In all of the commotion, she’s disappeared!

Just then she calls Doug and he puts it on speaker phone so Terry and Jake can hear too. It turns out she’d been scamming them all this whole time. She only ever went to one nursing class, she says, and it was boring. She’d actually spent her time running internet scams until she discovered her brother’s notebooks about how to boost cars, and she’s been having a great time doing that. Also, Dallas was never her scary fence — he’s her employee! Even though Jake and Terry had offered to reduce her sentence, a reduced sentence is still a sentence, and she wants to be free. Something tells me this isn’t the last we’ve seen of Trudy Judy.

Bullets on the Bulletin Board:

  • “No one likes hip-hop more than a 13-year-old boy.”
  • “1,000 push-ups? That’s a lot to you? Make it 100,000 and I’m in.”
  • “I never throw up. I just tell my stomach to deal with it. My body is terrified of me.”
  • “You guys, we don’t have time to figure out what suspenders are for.”
  • “Don’t be so hard on yourself. We all make poor choices when we’re younger. I was once in a flash mob.” “Ew.” 



“The Crime Scene”
Original Airdate: February 14, 2019

In this episode of Brooklyn Nine-Nine, Rosa and Jake are at a mysterious crime scene. An investigative reporter who was doing a story about a poultry farm was murdered in his apartment, but the doors were locked from the inside and his security system was still on. Jake’s super excited to be investigating a “dope” case that’s full of intrigue. His excitement is dampened by the arrival of CSI Franco McCoy, whose arrogance rubs them the wrong way. Things go from bad to worse when the victim’s mom shows up and demands that they promise her they’ll find her son’s killer. Rosa refuses but Jake caves because he says she reminds him of his own mom. He then ends up promising a bunch of other friends and family members of the victim that he’ll find the killer. Rosa’s furious because Jake broke the number one rule of investigations, but Jake’s even more determined to make good on his promise.

Unfortunately, finding the killer means working with Franco McCoy, who is becoming more unbearable by the day. He lets them know the victim was stabbed 30 times. He also finds the delivery guy who brought food to the apartment the evening of the murder. They know from the security camera that the delivery guy was the only one who went near the apartment around the time of the murder, but he never went inside, so he definitely didn’t do it. When they talk to him, they realize that the person who answered the door and took the food must have been the murderer and the victim was already dead. Unfortunately, the delivery guy is always high and so he’s not much help. He keeps starting over with the sketch artist and the end result is that they’re looking for someone who resembles Bilbo Baggins, Winona Rider, or Seth Meyers.

By day four on the case, Major Crimes is gunning to take over, and Holt comes down to the crime scene to find out how Rosa and Jake are doing. Jake begs Holt for more time and admits he promised the victim’s mom he’d solve it. Holt tells him that’s a rookie mistake, but even so, he agrees to get them more time. By day 21, Jake has resorted to blaming Harry Potter. By day 36, Jake is seeing Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson in the blood spatter, and by day 50 Jake is convinced the amount of tax charged on the delivered food is somehow connected. Recognizing Jake is in way too deep to be useful, Rosa agrees to give the case over to Major Crimes.

But Jake hasn’t given up yet. He recreates the crime scene in the precinct, using Boyle slathered in ketchup as the victim. Jake is spiraling out of control, and though the rest of the team tries to talk him down, he can’t let this go until he solves it.

Next, Amy wakes up covered in red Post-Its with Jake hovering over her. Naturally, she punches him in the face when he startles her from sleep, but things go from bad to worse when it turns out Franco McCoy is there too, and has agreed to help Jake. Amy yells at them to get out, so Jake moves to the bar and next recreates the scene with mozzarella sticks and olive stick people. Rosa shows up and convinces Jake that he needs to just come clean to the victim’s mother and admit that they’ve exhausted every lead, and he won’t be able to find the killer after all.

Rosa and Jake sit down with the mother, who takes the news well, albeit tearfully. She says she understands they did everything they could, and she mostly just feels guilty because she and her son had a big falling out shortly before he died and she never got the chance to make amends. This has a huge effect on Rosa, who hasn’t spoken to her own mom since coming out as bi, and next thing Jake knows, Rosa is promising to find the killer. Looks like they’re back on the case!

It’s day 55 and Major Crimes has already labeled it a cold case, but that’s not going to stop Rosa. They head back to the crime scene but the place has been scrubbed clean now that Major Crimes has released the case. But while they’re standing there trying to decide what to do next, Jake and Rosa hear a rattling noise. It’s coming from the AC vent! Despite having spent hours and hours in this room over the past couple of months, Franco had never let them turn on the AC for fear the air would disrupt the evidence. They take off the vent cover and discover a ton of water bottles and food wrappers inside. It looks like the murderer was hiding out in the vent until the body was discovered and then snuck out sometime after. Then, Rosa remembers that Jake counted 15 hazmat guys on the scene, even though Franco insisted he only had 14 team members. The murderer must have snuck out in a hazmat suit!

On day 56, the case is reopened thanks to Jake and Rosa. They review the video footage with Franco and spot someone in a hazmat suit who isn’t wearing the booties the real CSI people do. They find footage of the guy removing the suit outside the apartment building, and it turns out he’s a hitman who was hired by the owner of the poultry farm the victim was investigating. The owner was bribing the FDA and the victim was about to publish an expose about it, so the owner hired a hitman to take the reporter out.

Jake relays the news to the victim’s mother and promises (again) to make sure the poultry farm owner is brought to justice. Even though Rosa’s annoyed that Jake made another promise, she understands where he’s coming from. In fact, Rosa’s called her own mom and is doing lunch with her later that day.

Bullets on the Bulletin Board:

  • “You look like Edna from The Incredibles.” “My girlfriend’s in cosmetology school and she’s been trying a bunch of different hairstyles on me.” “Is she... passing?” 
  • “This guy ordered his dinner from House of Lettuce. There’s no way he knew he was gonna die. No one orders lettuce as their last meal.”
  • “Just so you know Franco, we’re not responding well to you as a person.”

The Flash 5x14 Review: "Cause and XS" (If At First You Don’t Succeed) [Contributor: Deborah MacArthur]


"Cause and XS"
Original Airdate: February 12, 2019 

Who’s ready for a Groundhog Day episode? And if you’re not ready, just wait a bit and maybe some seemingly inconsequential thing in your day will change, thereby making you ready the next loop.

This week, Nora’s playing with time (she learns nothing from the sins of her father) so she can save members of Team Flash from getting killed by Cicada. What would normally be just a typical time loop episode is uplifted by a ramping sense of desperation on Nora’s part — kudos to Jessica Parker Kennedy for being stellar at emotionally losing it, again — and a heavy emphasis on character moments for both Nora and, surprisingly, Cisco.

TRY, TRY (x52) AGAIN


The episode opens on Cisco in the arctic black ops site, cyber-stalking the bartender he met a couple weeks ago. Oh, and doing metahuman cure science stuff, too. Before he has a chance to breach home for his date with Kamilla and the announcement of the metahuman cure, he gets some news on his computer that stops him in his tracks. Turns out, the cure won’t synthesize for another month — so that’s a month of Cicada continuing to kill metas. After he breaks this news to the team, Sherloque gets the idea of sending the cure into the Speed Force to, er, speed things up. Cisco likens it to “nuking” the cure in a “pan-dimensional microwave,” and it’d take the month-long wait down to about an hour.

So, cool. That’s a plan. Barry volunteers himself for hanging out in the Speed Force for an hour (I sure hope the Speed Force isn’t still angry at him) but Nora isn’t happy to see him go. She’s worried about having to handle things on her own, and Barry reassures her that everything will be fine and anything he can do, she can do. Oh how right you are, Bartholomew! Nora’s a chip off the old block, at least where blatant disregard for the laws of time and physics is concerned.

Once Barry is tucked away into the Speed Force for an episode, Nora runs into Ralph in the hall on the way back to the lab. Ralph has plans to “help” Cisco with his upcoming date by using the Book of Ralph, the same “guide” he used to help Cisco get over Cynthia. Cisco wants nothing to do with Ralph’s misguided assistance and that sentiment is shared by the rest of the team, who all flee: Caitlin leaves to develop the delivery method of the metahuman cure (Sherloque tags along with her, confused), Iris goes to her office to write an article for her blog/paper, and Nora has no idea what’s going on so the help she can offer Cisco is limited to just telling him he’ll be late for his date. Ralph does manage to get inside Cisco’s head by mentioning the types of guys Kamilla usually dated, though, which makes Cisco show up to his date with a wildly different personality in order to impress her. It does not go over well.

I mention all these moments that I would normally gloss over in a review because they’re critical elements of the time loop — they’re the little things that change, or don’t change, depending on what iteration of the loop Nora instigates. Where everyone goes after that moment in the hallway where Nora runs into Ralph (the farthest she’s capable of going back, for reasons unexplained) is important to who ends up alive or dead by the end of the timeline. The loop also affects how Cisco dresses for his date, either making himself into a slick businessman, a fitness enthusiast, or a… hipster, I guess? And the dates with Kamilla are what eventually clue Cisco into the whole time loop fiasco, since he repeatedly gets a sense of déjà vu.

In the first loop, Caitlin/Killer Frost dies. Loop number two kills off Ralph. The third loop gets Cisco. The fourth loop goes beyond Team Flash’s main players and Cicada kills Cecile, who isn’t even a meta (as far as he knows) so I don’t get how he can justify that within his narrow serial killer justifications. Nora relives the same hour 52 times before finally being found out and confronted by Team Flash, although it’s not really clear how they figured it all out. Nora confesses that she keeps going back, but someone — sometimes multiple someones — always dies with Cicada’s dagger in their back.

This revelation is followed by a nice little scene between Cisco and Nora, and as-yet-unseen combination of characters that work surprisingly well together. I don’t recall if Nora ever mentioned Cisco being a part of her upbringing — did she only know about Team Flash through the museum in the future? If so, I wonder what happens to deteriorate the team’s relationship so completely. And I bring this all up because Cisco does a really good job playing the role of a wise “Uncle Cisco” character to Nora, sharing the self-doubts that led to his repeated failed attempts to be someone other than himself on his date. It’s basically a lesson on psyching yourself out, accepting yourself as you are, and so on. Nora learns she should lean on the rest of the team for the answers to her time loop problem, and they all devise a plan: if someone has to get stabbed by the dagger, why can’t it be Cicada himself?

Cicada ends up back on the roof, but Iris is there waiting for him. He throws his dagger and the rest of the team arrives, but Nora uses her time-warping speed to make sure the only person in the dagger’s path is Cicada. He gets stabbed in the glowy wound (I guess Iris’s epiphany at the end of last episode was the existence of that weak spot? Still not exactly groundbreaking, though) but doesn’t die. Let me just say: if this episode had actually ended with the rest of the team officially defeating Cicada while Barry was chilling in the Speed Force for an hour, “Cause and XS” would have earned an immediate place in my list of top five episodes of the series. That would have been absolutely genius.

Though wounded, Cicada does leap away in the end. Later, Iris basically says he’s disappeared, which is par for the course where Cicada injuries are concerned. The team encourages Cisco to go on his date as himself and, since Cisco is amazing, it goes over much better. Barry returns, having missed all the action, and lectures his daughter on playing with time travel. Kinda pointless, Barry — her existence is time travel! Just spending time with you guys means she’s messing up the timeline!

Of course, Barry doesn’t know that Nora is messing up the timeline even more than her mere existence implies. She zips forward to 2049 to confront Eobard Thawne about the mess she’s likely making of the timeline, but even though he yells at her like a crazy person, she still seems to be on his side.

Other Things:

  • So, that metahuman cure — is that tiny vial Barry took with him all the team has? Because that seems like a fine amount for Cicada, but literally no one else. Also, having extras of your solution serum? Probably a good idea, guys.
  • Nora learns that Eobard Thawne is responsible for the death of yet another person close to her (Cisco), albeit only in an alternate timeline. Seriously, Nora, what else do you need to realize that dude is bad news and you shouldn’t be partnered with him?
  • When The Flash comes back in March: KING SHARK VS. GORILLA GRODD!

Thursday, February 14, 2019

Grey’s Anatomy 15x13 Review: “I Walk the Line” (New Grandparents in Town) [Contributor: Julia Siegel]


“I Walk the Line”
Original Airdate: February 14, 2019

It’s safe to say that ABC missed a major opportunity to air a wonderfully romantic episode of Grey’s Anatomy on Valentine’s Day this year. Instead of something fun revolving around the tricky love lives of the doctors, we got several dark storylines that put a damper on the holiday’s evening. Granted, this was a big episode for Kevin McKidd, who directs the Owen-centric events. From gun violence to runaway teens to drug addiction, this is surely one holiday episode we are not likely to forget.

PARADE VIOLENCE


The main plot of the episode follows the aftermath of a shooting at a Scottish parade. A teenage member of a Scottish marching band finds himself at death’s door when he is shot through the hand and in the chest. His father is especially broken up about his son’s injuries and refuses to leave his side as Owen, Jackson, and other doctors try to treat the kid. Once they get the bleeding under control and have an idea of what they are dealing with, Owen and Jackson bring their patient to the OR in hopes of saving his life.
         
The father waits patiently for news with the support of the entire band, who show up at the ER to give the audience a small musical interlude. While operating, Owen and Jackson reveal that they are having a difficult time coping with the cause of their patient’s injuries. They find it hard to believe that the world has become such a horrible place and that parades have to be added to the list of things/locations that are no longer safe. They continue to discuss the issue of gun violence in the context of each having a small child who needs protecting from the world. Thankfully, the teen pulls through, which allows for some nice emotional moments.

REALITY BITES


If you think saving a kid’s life was enough for one day for Owen, then you would be wrong. Owen also gets to deal with the arrival of Betty/Brittany’s parents who were given Amelia’s contact information from the rehab center... right after learning that Betty/Brittany had escaped from rehab. Although I’m not quite sure how the parents found out their daughter was in rehab, the next logical step in Betty/Brittany’s story is for her parents to finally learn the truth. Plus, we finally get a recurring stint from Jennifer Grey as Betty/Brittany’s mother, Carol Dickinson. Amelia and Owen quickly learn that Betty/Brittany had been lying to everyone, including giving them a false last name. The Dickinsons didn’t know that their daughter was pregnant when she ran away and haven’t heard from her in nearly a year and a half.

However, they do know about her struggles with drugs and are very unhappy to learn that Amelia and Owen have been taking care of their daughter without contacting them. The two try to explain that they attempted several times to call, but they quickly caught on that Betty/Brittany was giving them fake numbers. The Dickinsons do get to meet their grandson, whom they want to immediately start taking care of, much to the chagrin of Owen. Amelia decides to confide in Carol about the real reason why they took Betty/Brittany in and describes their family dynamic. Mr. Dickinson isn’t very happy that their drug addict daughter has been living with another drug addict and tries to take Leo away. Owen steps in to put his foot down as the baby’s legal guardian and wins the battle, but it appears that a larger custody battle is going to ensue.

MASTER SURGEON


Maggie spends her day preoccupied by treating her enemy from med school, Kimberly, who needs a replacement aortic graft. Kimberly says that she has seen some of the top cardiothoracic surgeons in the country but none are willing to try the risky operation. Maggie is her last resort at a chance to live, which doesn’t sit well with the distracted doctor. Maggie spends most of the episode trying to decide if she even wants to help her enemy, but has the decision made for her when scans show that the surgery is impossible.

While continuing to struggle with what to do, Meredith wants to talk to Maggie about dating DeLuca and whether it would be weird. Remember how Maggie and DeLuca were a thing at one point? Maggie is too distracted with her patient to talk to Meredith, so Meredith decides to help her spitball ideas to save Kimberly. Meredith suggests doing the surgery from below the graft instead of above, which Maggie feels could work. Maggie asks Meredith to assist on the surgery, and the sisters attempt a surgical procedure that neither have done before or are sure will work. The pair have only 40 minutes to complete the surgery, and they manage to pull out a last second victory.

Maggie learns how to put the past behind her and give people second chances, which is some much-needed character growth. Meredith gets her chance to ask Maggie if it is all right for her to date DeLuca after the surgery, and Maggie tells her to go for it. The episode ends with Meredith going out to dinner with DeLuca on their first official date, and the two share a few kisses before leaving.

THRUPPLE?


The last storyline of the episode features Teddy and Koracick. The two tag team on a patient who may or may not be involved in a thrupple (three-person couple). This minor plot is the comic relief of the episode. Whether you get caught up in the oddities of the relationship between the patient, her husband, and her best friend is up to you, but it is very entertaining to watch play out. Through watching her patient interact with her two men, Teddy realizes that she doesn’t need her relationship with Owen to be complicated and decides to just be friends with him.

That opens the door for a new romantic partner, and the teased relationship between Teddy and Koracick appears to finally begin. For some reason, their newfound friendship/relationship seems a bit hard for some of the other characters to accept, even though it seems like it will play out nicely.

Monday, February 11, 2019

The Flash 5x13 Review: "Goldfaced" (All That Glitters Is Not...) [Contributor: Deborah MacArthur]


"Goldfaced"
Original Airdate: February 5, 2019 

I wrote the outline of this review all of five minutes after watching the episode, and I’m seriously struggling to remember a huge chunk of what happened. Barry and Ralph went looking for a... thing? Barry wore a necklace and all black and acted like a tough supervillain. Um... Cisco wasn’t in the episode again, that was a bummer. Iris should really invest in a cross-body purse for when her investigative journalism career leads her to break into the houses of suspected serial killers. Nora is being manipulative on top of lying to everyone around her, all because she trusts Eobard Thawne for reasons yet to be clarified.

And that’s it. The rest of the episode is a hazy mess of confusion, which should make writing this review super fun!

SHINING, SHIMMERING, NOT-SO-SPLENDID


Okay, first off: the villain of the week is named Goldface. Gold. Face. There’s problem number one. Problem number two is they named the episode after that ludicrously named villain, a move I can only hope was done ironically. Yeah, yeah, I know Goldface is a pre-existing comic character, but that doesn’t mean I can’t find the guy’s name absolutely ridiculous. To its credit, the show does seem to lean into the silliness a bit — not with any explicit jokes or anything, but just by making the whole Goldface plotline as over-the-top as possible. It has undercover work! It has dramatic for-your-own-good betrayal! It has a mid-2000s sub-par action movie gunfight!

Goldface is an arms dealer and general black market... negotiator? Mayor? I don’t really know what one calls a person who hosts a black market, but whatever that title is, Goldface has it. Barry and Ralph have to go undercover to get a piece of tech that will help Caitlin in creating her metahuman cure, but it take a lot of finagling and a lot of lying to gain the trust of the criminals at the market. Barry adopts the moniker “The Chemist” and claims a bunch of high-profile crimes as his doing, while Ralph, well, Ralph was already in a shifty sort of business before joining up with Team Flash, so he’s just playing himself.

To add to the difficulty, everyone at the market gets cuffed with anti-meta cuffs. I don’t know how they got that technology since I’m pretty sure it was developed by Team Flash and only distributed to CCPD, but whatever. Hey, side note: if Team Flash could develop power-dampening cuffs and containment fields, why is finding a metahuman cure so difficult? Clearly, suppressing meta ability is not outside of their scope, so why is it such a struggle to adapt the same technology on an organic, vaccine-like level? Just wondering.

Before Barry and Ralph can even get near the tech Caitlin wants, Goldface orders them to help his people steal a 3D printer from a hospital. I don’t remember why this 3D printer at the hospital is so special they have to steal it, but either way, it must be stolen. Barry is full of guilt over stealing from a hospital helping sick kids, so Ralph self-sacrifices his morals by locking Barry up and going to steal it alone. Except he doesn’t, because he has also caught the guilt. An action scene breaks out, complete with industrial metal music. All it was missing was some strobe effects.

Nothing is stolen on this day! Barry and Ralph defeat Goldface and he melts but is somehow still alive, the hospital gets to keep their 3D printer (does it print body parts? I don’t feel like rewatching to find out, but let’s say it prints body parts), but Barry and Ralph have failed in their mission to steal that thing Caitlin needed.

Ah, well. Can’t win ‘em all, kids.

AND THE OTHER STORIES


The B-story that should have been the A-story because it was a thousand times more tense and exciting than Barry and Ralph pretending to be gangsters: Iris being an investigative journalist and straight-up breaking into Cicada’s house. Well, I don’t think she knew it was Cicada’s house when she broke into it; she was under the impression that it still belonged to one of Orlin’s relatives, but Orlin surprised her by, like, living in it.

I know it would never be possible, but I think I could’ve been happy with a full thriller-inspired episode of Iris trying to sneak around Cicada’s house and, like the actual episode, trying to interview him when she gets caught. Which, yeah. She gets caught. First, when Orlin catches her at the door and she pretends to be investigating lead poisoning the water supply in his neighborhood, and then for realsies when Orlin notices she left her purse in the hall and didn’t have one when she was at the door. Iris, you really gotta leave your accessories at home while investigating.

Iris, because she’s awesome, fights off Orlin and stabs him in his glowy Cicada-wound with what looks like a fancy pen? It’s genuinely difficult to tell. This encounter gives Iris an idea for defeating Cicada, but I really have no idea what her idea is. Using his blood, maybe?

And the C-story of the episode is Nora trying to distract Sherloque from investigating her. She gets help from Eobard Thawne, who uses the excuse of wearing a Harrison Wells face (still not explained, by the way) to tell her he knows how to get into Sherloque’s head. I mean, the whole point of the multiverse Wells characters is that they’re all different so that makes zero sense, but fine. Thawne tells Nora she has to make Sherloque fall in love.

Nora organizes a meet-cute with a woman Sherloque has already married in seven other universes. Sticking with the Sherlock Holmes theme, the woman’s last name is Adler (and I suppose my rant against romantic Holmes/Adler relationships would be too off topic for me to go into in a The Flash review, so we’ll just say this is a cute reference and move on). After some stumbles, Nora eventually succeeds in her goal. Sherloque is smitten and, after realizing that Renee Adler is a meta, pushes aside his Nora investigation to ensure she’s never targeted by Cicada.

Other Things:

  • Eobard Thawne straight-up calls love a weakness and that raises no red flags for Nora?
  • "Hey, anonymous criminal colleague." Ralph actually being funny is still weird to me.
  • "Goldface, huh? More like Fool's Gold." It’s sad how serious Barry was when he said that line.
  • Upcoming episode: “Next Tuesday, Next Tuesday, Next Tuesday” And by that I mean we’re going through a time loop!

Saturday, February 9, 2019

Blindspot 4x12 Review: "The Tale of the Book of Secrets" (The Rock) [Contributor: Jen]


"The Tale of the Book of Secrets"
Original Airdate: February 8, 2019

It's time to cure Jane, and Blindspot sends their best to Peru to get the job done.

TEAM BLINDSPOT


Jane is the Case of the Week again, so I'm going straight to teamwork because it was on full display in "The Tale of the Book of Secrets." Seriously, Jane has been the Case of the Week for like four episodes. Who is ready to cure her?


I'm not quite sure how it happened, but Team Blindspot has split into thirds. Teams within teams:

  • Team #1: Kurt and Jane (of course)
  • Team #2: Patterson and Rich
  • Team #3: Reade and Zapata

And then we have Boston who is a floater and goes where he's needed. I've stated many times the addition of Rich Dotcom to the team and promotion of Ennis Esmer to series regular is the smartest decision Martin Gero has made. Second only to marrying Kurt and Jane in season three, of course.

Esmer has chemistry with everyone, just like Ashley Johnson, but there's something special when the two share scenes together. So nearly an entire hour of a Patterson Dotcom team-up is the stuff dreams are made of.

What I particularly admire about Rich's addition is the writers are able to utilize his skills without usurping Patterson's. Female characters who are strong STEM examples are a rarity in television. Blindspot doesn't dumb Patterson down or have her act out-of-character just so Rich has something to do, unlike other television shows who have introduced technologically-talented male counterparts to partner with their established and beloved technologically-talented female character. *cough*Arrow*cough*

Patterson is clearly in charge and runs the lab, while Rich is her right-hand wing man. The two bring out the best in each other, and their abilities are blended into an unstoppable and hilarious duo. They are master puzzle solvers and if Kurt Weller is going to put his wife's life in anyone's hands, then Patterson and Rich are his best bet.

As I said, there would be impossible to find stem cells that Team Blindspot would find in the nick of time. Ken Lee, a billionaire hypochondriac, has his very own stash should he ever need it. Who needs their own private stash of stem cells? I can think of so many better uses for a billion dollars like... a big house with a pool. Yeah, okay, I'm not saying I would be the most creative billionaire, but I still think Jesus should give me the chance to prove myself.

Ken isn't giving up his stem cells to some rando in the FBI. Fair. Also, mean. Patterson offers Rich's white wale  the "Book of Secrets" — as a trade for the stem cells. The problem is Rich and Patterson don't have the Book of Secrets. A small snag in an otherwise brilliant plan.

I am not going to review every puzzle Rich and Patterson have to solve because there's a dozen of them. These are Roman hoops only Rich and Patterson can jump through. I get tired even thinking about it. Honestly, you'd think Roman would make it slightly easier to save his sister. He was very busy planning world domination. How did he plan all these freaking puzzles?

Anyway, Patterson and Rich's first solve leads them to the country where the Book of Secrets supposedly resides  Peru. In Rich's defense he did always say it was in one of the Americas. We go from cherimoya seeds, to the Cusco Cathedral, to a bed and breakfast with a snake on the wall, then a hidey hole near the Cristo del Pacifico, and probably a dozen other steps I've missed. But it all ends with Rich and his trowel digging up the Book of Secrets while Patterson keeps watch.

One of the best moments is when Rich and Patterson need Jane's help. Yup, deathbed Jane is still sleuthing with her hot husband. I STAN A CRIME SOLVING KING AND QUEEN. There's a file on Roman's final cache that Patterson could never open because she couldn't break the password. The clue is an image of what looks like an antelope in front a shield, but Jane realizes it's really a springbok — a gazelle found in South Africa and the shield is really a the South African seal. Jane is blind, she is struggling to breathe, and her brain will eventually be mush from seizures but she knows that image anywhere. It's Roman and Remi's coin. The password is, "I got you something," and y'all, I was verklempt.

Ken Lee tries to double cross them, but Kurt alerts Reade who calls in the Peruvian police, which gives Patterson another chance to barter with Lee. The Book of Secrets is pretty much worthless from a medical perspective, but an important piece of Peru's history. Patterson being Patterson doesn't want to give it to a jerk billionaire who tried to kill them. Instead, they negotiate his release and in return, Lee gives Patterson and Rich the stem cells Jane so desperately requires.

RICH AND PATTERSON FOR THE WIN! Honestly, seeing the tears in Rich and Patterson's eyes as a healthy Jane thanks them for saving her life was the cherry on top of an already great team up. I could watch a show just of Rich and Patterson hitting the road and solving crime around the world. SPIN-OFF IDEA!

Zapata and Reade bring Boston, our designated floater, off the bench and ask him to go undercover with Tasha by pretending to be the hacker Del Toro. They offer to expunge his record and Boston immediately signs on, despite danger not really being his thing. It's kind of funny how they've made such a massive deal about this Del Toro guy and his abilities because they are seemingly easy to replicate. I buy that Patterson, Rich, and Boston are all super hackers in various forms, but could the Blindspot writers stop acting like Del Toro is unique?

Moving on... the real test for Boston is fooling Madeleine. Zapata has control issues, which is understandable given they could all die if this goes wrong. But the magic of people like Rich and Boston is they are well... magic. You gotta let them do their thing. Boston throws a pitch perfect hissy fit when Madeleine discovers his identity and questions if he's really Del Toro.

Madeleine says: "You are either brave or very stupid," and Zapata replies, "Why can't he be both?"

HA! Loved it. But also didn't Zapata figure Madeleine would discover who Boston is? I feel like Tasha should have been more prepared rather than worrying about Boston's preparation. Unfortunately, they aren't given anytime to loop back to Reade; Madeleine demands their phones and instructs Boston to hack and crash the plane today.

This feels like a safe place. I don't remember why Madeleine is crashing the plane anymore. And I don't care.

KURT AND JANE


Here's the upside of Blindspot killing Jane: They are not killing Jane, but we still get all the sappy, super emotional, deathbed love declarations shippers go nuts for without having to deal with the very unpleasant consequence of the writers killing our fave.

Kurt "I've Never Refused An Assignment" Weller sends Rich and Patterson to Peru. ALONE. It's amazing. The absolute last thing I want to see is Kurt Weller running around the Americas while Jane tries to remember how to breathe. Yeah, sure, he'd be out searching for the cure but that's what his entire team of FBI agents are for. Kurt belongs by Jane's side and the glorious miracle of his character is he knows that.

Jane calls him on the decision. She believes Kurt is only staying put because he believes Jane is going to die. Kurt has been unwavering in his belief that Jane will be all right. It's clear he watches Blindspot regularly. But if Kurt thinks Jane is dying, then it must mean she really is and that's terrifying for her.

Kurt winces when Jane says "die" because even giving the word causes him physical pain. We know Kurt is afraid. He broke down with Patterson last week and the guy is just trying to keep it together for Jane. Both Sullivan Stapleton and Jaimie Alexander give tour de force performances. But Kurt can't really admit it yet to Jane because he doesn't want to scare her more than she already is. So he offers the simplest and most honest explanation: "I want to be here because I'm your husband first and an agent second."

Nothing quite prioritizes your life like death does. It's an unpleasant way to go about it. I'd advise you simply head my and Kurt Weller's advice — put your marriage first. Your spouse should always be number one. Both Kurt and Jane have put up very strong fronts; they are soldiers. Warriors. Strong to the Wellers is not breaking. You face adversity with an iron will and stone face. And sure, when you are stopping bombs from going off in New York City, that's a really good resolve to have. But Jane's Zip poisoning isn't that; it is something different.

One of the great joys of marriage is not having to be on top of everything. You can fall down and know someone will be there to catch you. Life can be overwhelming — particularly when faced with your own mortality. I speak from experience.

Sometimes the only thing left to do is to succumb to the fear. Jane has been trying very hard to fight through her symptoms and act like everything is okay, but the truth is her body is failing her. The lack of control over your own body is deeply frightening. It's like being on a sinking ship and you are without a life raft. The boat is going down and you are going with it. All your choices are taken away. You must accept your powerlessness.

Jane admits she is scared.

Jane Doe finally cracks and when she does she lets Kurt all the way in. You find a deeper love with your spouse inside those cracks. Jane has felt fear before as Remi and Alice. Her life has been in danger. She's nearly died. Her parents were murdered. She lost her child. Jane's life has been marked deeply by suffering. Yet, the one thing missing from all of those events in her life was someone she could rely on. Jane never had anyone she could be scared with. Not even Roman. She was the big sister. It was her job to protect him, and not the other way around.

Jane has found her rock in Kurt. Her waves of fear, grief and anger can crash upon him and he won't break. He will be there, wave after wave, holding on and never letting go. I always think of that wonderful line from Glee in moments like this, when Rachel says, "This is what a man looks like. This is how a man loves."

Kurt affirms: "I know. I am too." Jane voicing her fear also gives Kurt permission too as well. Breaking means running away, hiding, or refusing to be there for someone. Kurt Weller is none of those things. Admitting fear is not breaking. Being willing to enter that space with your spouse, admit your fears together, and live in that moment is the strongest thing you can do as a couple. Fear is incredibly lonely and knowing the person you love most not only shares your fears, but is willing to face them with you, is a powerful antidote to the loneliness.

The beauty of letting go, allowing the fear to rush in, is that there's a peace that comes with it— clarity. You know, without a doubt, what truly matters in life. You seize it without hesitation, holding on for as long as you can.
Jane: "I love you. You know that, right?"
Kurt: "Don't say it like that."
Jane: "Like what?"
Kurt: "Like it's the last time."
Jane: "I love you and I always will."
Kurt: "I love you too."
If I thought for even a microsecond that Blindspot was really killing Jane, I would have been hysterical. But I don't so I kept my emotions to a low sob. Also, Kurt said, "Sweet dreams, baby," and I thought I would die. HE CALLED HER BABY. WHAT IS LIFE? We've milked this storyline for all it's worth. I am checking deathbed love declaration off my shipper list. Now it's time to cure Jane once and for all, which Rich and Patterson graciously do just in time — as predicted.

Jane says, "Apparently this hospital doesn't believe in a recovery period and they've got me doing laps in the hall already." This is the most real thing Jane doe has ever said. Listen, I've been in the hospitals a lot in my life and they constantly want you walking when all you want to do is sleep. It sucks. I feel Jane on a spiritual level.

The real joy of "The Tale of the Book of Secrets" other than the shipper goodness is that you no longer have to fear the writers will kill Jane or Kurt at the end of the series. There's no more emotion to mine from that plot. YOU SURVIVED, BLINDSPOTTERS! Now it's time to make some babies.

Have at it, kids.

Stray Thoughts:

  • When Rich pointed to the humongous Jesus, I thought, "Wait a second. That's Jesus?" I had no idea who that statue was and I AM CATHOLIC. Yeah, sometimes I'm unworldly and dumb.
  • Roman Briggs for Remi Briggs made me super emotional.
  • "Every time we do the thing of finishing each other's sentences, I get a little turned on." "You are completely alone in that." Rich and Patterson have about of 5% chance of happening as a romantic couple, but the writers are leaving their options mildly open with lines like this.
  • "Suck on that, NASA." I'm still laughing over this Rich Dotcom line.
  • "Would I lie to you?" YES YOU WOULD, KURT, but at least there's been character growth in that area.
  • "... that sexy crooked smile." Let's do a thing where Jane and Kurt talk about one another's best physical characteristics for 45 minutes. Annnnnd GO!
  • The final file to Roman's cache was called "Full Circle." If this show gets renewed for another season, I will fall off my chair.

Friday, February 8, 2019

Grey’s Anatomy 15x12 Review: “Girlfriend in a Coma” (Recovery) [Contributor: Julia Siegel]


“Girlfriend in a Coma”
Original Airdate: February 7, 2019

This week’s episode of Grey’s Anatomy showcases the doctors’ relationships through a passage of time. Using a patient’s care and treatment as a lens for bringing the show into present time works well for the most part. The patient’s recovery is just as important as the main characters’ as they recover from their own various issues.


PASSING THE TIME


The patient of the episode is Natasha, the woman who fell off a balcony on her wedding day from a few episodes ago. The episode covers a few months — from Thanksgiving to Valentine’s Day — to show Natasha’s progress and decline. She is in a coma for the first month or so after Meredith, Jo, Link, Nico, and DeLuca operated on her. After she wakes up, she is in pretty good shape and continues to improve for a bit. By the end of January, Natasha’s condition takes a turn for the worse, and the surgeons have to remove a part of her bowel that died and put her back on the ventilator.

By her side the whole time is her loyal fiancé, who is unsure of how to keep on living if Natasha doesn’t make it. Natasha continues to go downhill, making recovery seem impossible. On Valentine’s Day, Natasha and her fiancé decide to take her off the ventilator and let her pass away peacefully. They both know that they have fought as hard as they could and that Natasha has been given the best possible care. Her injuries were too severe, and they are happy for the time that they have had.

After taking the patient off the ventilator, Alex has an idea to make Natasha’s dream come true: all of the main and recurring doctors gather in Natasha’s room for an impromptu wedding. They all hold up their phones and tablets with pictures of the stars to give Natasha the wedding under the stars she had dreamed of. The happiness of the wedding doesn’t last long, as Natasha takes her last breaths mere moments after the ceremony ends. Natasha’s story is very moving and mirrors the ups and downs that many of the other doctors face in this episode.

TWO FAMILIES


The passage of time also lets us finally see a very pregnant Teddy! Owen and Teddy’s relationship continues to be strained and awkward, whether it’s a holiday or a regular neonatal exam. They clearly haven’t figured out their new dynamic yet, even though Owen promises that they will make their own traditions with their baby. Owen tries a few times to reach Teddy in this episode, but she shuts him down. At least they are happy when they find out that they are having a baby girl! Tom Koracick is still romancing Teddy over the few month span of the episode too. I like whatever is happening between the two of them, and their characters could be good for each other. Tom clearly cares about Teddy, since he takes her to a spa for manicures and pedicures for Valentine’s Day.

Owen’s struggles continue as he tries to balance his emerging family life with Teddy and his current dysfunctional family. Amelia and Owen seem to be going strong and are a united front when it comes to Betty and Leo. Betty has been in rehab for several months and drops some big bombshells on Amelia and Owen during a visit: she tells them that she is starting to go through the twelve steps of recovery and has gotten to the step where she tells the truth and apologizes for her wrongdoings. Well, she has a lot to apologize for because it turns out her name is not Betty (it’s actually Brittany), her parents have no idea that she was pregnant and has a son, and she ran away from home when she got pregnant so she didn’t have to face her parents. Oh, and she really misses drugs.

Owen and Amelia are shocked to hear Betty’s, uh... Brittany’s, truths. It seems that this family is living a soap opera. Brittany is reluctant to the idea of reaching out to her parents and telling them where she has been and what she has been going through over the past year and a half or so, which Owen and Amelia aren’t happy with. Owen struggles with the truth about Brittany because he wants to do the right thing and contact her parents, but he doesn’t want them to potentially take Leo away from him. Good news: Brittany’s parents are coming to town in the next episode, so Owen won’t have to agonize about it for too long.

PUTTING THE PIECES BACK TOGETHER


The episode also features our first look at Catherine’s long road to recovery. Now at home and taking it easy, Catherine is having a difficult time adjusting to being a patient. She refuses to accept help from anyone, much to Richard’s annoyance. Catherine’s recovery is especially tough for Jackson, as he is unsure of how to react and what to do. Thankfully, Maggie becomes his rock by explaining that she knows exactly what he is going through. It’s nice to see Maggie put Jackson before herself and help him get through hard times. Catherine has a few ups and downs throughout the few months post-surgery, but by the end of the episode, she has taken physical, emotional, and mental turns for the better.

Bailey is also trying to put her life back together, and is in a healthier place. She spends the three months pleading Ben to come back home and be with her, but Ben isn’t quite as eager as his wife. Ben tells Bailey that she broke his heart and just because she is ready to get back together, it doesn’t mean that he is. Bailey fails at explaining to Ben why she was struggling and wanted a break in the first place, and finally admits to him that she is seeking help for her anxiety. After a while, Ben has a change of heart and shows up on Valentine’s Day to build Bailey the treehouse that he promised her after her heart attack. Bailey is very moved by the gesture and agrees that their relationship is forever. It’s nice that Bailey and Ben have finally let bygones be bygones and get back together.

LOVE TRIANGLE?


The final story of the episode is a giant game of cat and mouse being played by Meredith, Link, and DeLuca. Meredith has been teasing Link and DeLuca for far too long, and both men have pretty much had enough of her games. Surprisingly, Meredith acts like a little kid and constantly blows off the men after making plans with them. DeLuca constantly calls her out on her rude actions, and his bitterness and desperation make Meredith sink even lower. On Valentine’s Day, Meredith asks Link to dinner in front of DeLuca. After Natasha dies, DeLuca pulls Meredith up to the roof for a surprise dinner, which she wants to leave so she doesn’t stand up Link. DeLuca convinces her to stay, and the two finally have their long-awaited first kiss.

Link is pretty mad that he got stood up by Meredith and appears to be over her for now. Grey’s Anatomy seems to be wasting two opportunities here. They have been teasing a love triangle for months, and this episode doesn’t pay off. Granted, Meredith rarely makes up her mind quickly, so I’m sure we will see more of the love triangle. There is also a new episode of the show airing on Valentine’s Day next week, so it’s odd that they wasted the chance at having a real holiday episode.