A Week in TV / A Week in TV - April 2012

A Week in TV (2nd – 8th April 2012)

It’s been a rather eventful week in TV, this week. The almighty Game of Thrones made its way back to our screens (which you can read my thoughts on here  https://steosphere.wordpress.com/2012/04/03/game-of-thrones-the-north-remembers-and-so-do-we/. By the way, if someone can tell me how to make a link as one word, I would greatly appreciate it!) and The Killing also made a return for a second season, which you may or may not give a hoot about. Either way, you’re going to be hearing about it.

Alas, without further ado.

Once Upon a Time – Stable Boy

“Mirror mirror, on the wall, who’s the fairest of them all?” Not Snow White when Regina/The Evil Queen is finished with her, that’s for certain. This week’s episode promised to inform us as to why Regina hates Snow White/Mary Margaret with such a burning passion. It did just that, but whether you were surprised at the outcome or not depends on whether or not you were affected by temporary blindness throughout the entire episode. The episode title should provide a helpful hint – a man.

After last week’s escapades with the Mad Hatter, we’re back to normality with Once Upon a Time (normality being fairy tale characters trapped in a human life). Mary Margaret is in jail for murdering Kathryn, the wife of David (who just so happens to be also be Prince Charming) and burying her heart in a box. Nobody with sense believes it to be true, especially Emma, who goes about proving her friend’s innocence in the way she usually would. The end result is that she gets outwitted by Regina once again, but not before realizing that not only is Sidney Glass lying to her (and is also the genie, but don’t tell her just yet) but that Kathryn may not be dead after all. She’s standing right there but her heart is also in a box. What gives? Or, could it be that sneaky old Mr Gold/Rumpelstiltskin has worked a bit of hocus pocus to raise her from the dead? It certainly would seem that way.

Now, back to the main focus of this episode. It was interesting to see that Regina was not always the embodiment of evil and that she was, at one point, fully capable of love for others. I’ve said before that the mark of a good villain is not in how evil they are but how they came to be that way. I stand by that same philosophy this week. Lana Parilla is absolutely amazing at making Regina as evil as psychically possible but from this episode, it’s clear that she’s also fully capable of portraying a completely different side to the character, as well as being able to switch between the two sides at a moment’s notice as happened towards the end. I’ve thought, since the start of the season, that she was the perfect casting choice for The Evil Queen and this episode solidifies that opinion.The scene in the jail, between Regina and Mary Margaret, was absolutely brilliant; On one side of those iron bars, you have the absolute image of innocence and on the other, a woman who positively oozes poison. The two actresses play so well off each other that you simply get absorbed in the tension and that entire scene threw as much of that out at you as you could stomach.When it comes to reflecting on this entire season of TV on the whole, that scene will definitely stand out among the crowd.

The reveal that Snow White ratting out Regina’s forbidden relationship to Regina’s mother, culminating in the murder of the stable boy, being the reason that The Evil Queen despises her so much was, unfortunately, extremely predictable. Anybody that couldn’t see it a mile away from the start of the episode should’ve been kicking themselves by the end. On the upside, it’s interesting that the reason for Regina’s lack of empathy for anything and everything is due to a loss of great love, something you wouldn’t assume she would have ever been capable of from looking at her today. Again, I have to say this is due, in part, to Lana Parilla’s excellent portrayal of the character.

In summary: this week was a very strong run with a nice cliffhanger to keep us on our toes for a few weeks, but it suffered largely from a predictable plot twist. Also, the actress they got to play Young Snow was phenomenal. She had Ginnifer Goodwin’s mannerisms down to such a standard that I suspected that CGI was in effect at one point! A flawless casting decision right there.

The Killing – Reflections/My Lucky Day

And so it begins again. Thirteen episodes of ‘Who killed Rosie?’ except this time, we know there will be an answer to that question at the end, unlike the first season. It’s fortunate that I actually liked the slow moving plot of the first season. Heck, I didn’t even mind the end of it either. You see, unlike a lot of people, I don’t expect all the answers to be delivered to me by the end of the season. I understand that certain mysteries may be dragged out to make the conclusion more compelling, or even just to continue longevity. Spending several years watching Lost taught me to appreciate such a thing. As such, I didn’t dislike the first season ending the way it did. However, it’s a good job that we’re definitely getting a conclusion to the murder mystery this season because, if Lost did teach me anything, it’s that spending too long teasing us with a story can make the eventual conclusion disappointing after so long a wait.

Anyway, the two opening episodes of season two were pretty much what you’d expect from this show. The plot advanced but in an extremely slow manner. To be perfectly honest, I spent most of the time not thinking about what was going on but trying to remember what happened in the first season. I have no problem with a slow-moving story but the disadvantage to that is that it’s harder to remember what happened. Well, for my brain anyway. A re-watch of the first season was on the cards but I completely forgot about it. Ah well, onwards and upwards.

Judging from the ratings the season two premiere got, I’m not entirely sure there’ll be a third season. We know the current mystery is being resolved this year, but if it did get renewed, what next? Another murder to solve? That would inevitably be the expected progression but I’m not sure The Killing is that strong of a show to entice an audience to stick with it for another slow-moving murder plot. The ratings for the premiere weren’t excellent but it’s still early days so predicting it’s survival is not on the cards just yet.

Nevertheless, it was an average return for The Killing with nothing more or less than what you would’ve expected if you’ve watched the first season. One more thing though: what is with the rain in this show? I’m convinced they deliberately choose days to film which contain the most heaviest of downpours!

Bones – The Prisoner in the Pipe

A poor little girl discovers a set of eyeballs and other human remains floating in the toilet basin when she goes to use it for the very first time (she definitely wont be attempting it again anytime soon). Those remains belong to a prisoner who was murdered in prison and dumped down a drain. That’s the mundane details of the case-of-the-week out of the way and now we can concentrate on the main focus of this episode – the birth of baby bones.

After several seasons of ‘will they, won’t they?’, Booth and Brennan finally got together at the end of season six, last year. Not only that, they’d already sealed the deal and Brennan was pregnant with child. After Emily Deschanel’s real-life pregnancy, the current season of Bones has been significantly reduced in numbers and this is the first episode back since February, of an extremely shortened season. We’ve seen the pregnancy and the house-hunting and now it’s time for the birth. In typical Bones fashion, it did not go without a hitch or according to plan at all. In an obvious reference to the bible story of the birth of Jesus (which was also specifically mentioned during this episode), Brennan found that there really was no room at the inn and was forced to give birth in a stable of sorts. Then, as the episode ended, Mama Bones, Baby Bones and Daddy Bones were the perfect family, all packaged and ready to be presented. Aww, isn’t it sweet?

Season seven has very much been focused on the relationship between Brennan and Booth, and that will inevitably continue with the arrival of their child. I did initially worry that the sudden formation of this relationship would change the way the show worked, as it does essentially revolve around these two characters, but it became clear to me that that wasn’t going to be the case from earlier in season seven. The show works in pretty much the same way it always did, only with this added dynamic put in there. With the arrival of this baby, I am now wondering the same thing: will it change the way the show works? Bones is not as good a show as it was in the earlier seasons and I’m afraid that any change in the atmosphere may kick-start a rapid downward spiral. Fortunately, I am confident that that won’t happen.

This week’s episode was an average week for Bones, with a birth thrown in there for good measure. Brennan and child are a picture that works well and I hope the rest of this current season continues on building up this relationship whilst keeping the others the way they are.

Oh, one more thing: DAISY! Can somebody please kill off this hideously irritating character before irreparable damage is done? The screen certainly does not light up when she’s on it. In fact, the screen is more likely to end up cracked and splintered from me putting my head through it in frustration of seeing her again.

Fringe – Everything in its Right Place

Oh Lincoln. You couldn’t get the Olivia you wanted so you go after the one from the other side. You don’t even make a habit of masking that effort, either. Still, it seems you may well have succeeded.

This week, the alternate universe is back at the forefront and it’s been far too long since this last occurred. Not only that, they’ve got a grisly case that needs solving and our Lincoln shifts his delectable behind over there to help them crack it. Once again, with the use of the alternate universe, it’s made clear as to why Fringe is such a fantastic show. It’s not enough that it already gives us great characters to watch every week but it insists on giving us another set of these same characters, albeit radically different and inhabiting a fascinating world. In some ways, the alternate universe is a better place to visit than the regular universe because these characters are so different that they’re simply so fascinating to watch. Introducing the whole concept of the alternate universe, and the characters to go with it, was an excellent choice when it first appeared several seasons ago. It opens up so many story opportunities that can only be a benefit to us viewers.

So, several things have changed. Lincoln knows he has no chance with our Olivia. Over there, the other Lincoln has been killed and that leaves a gap for him to squeeze into, and from the ending, it’s clear that the other Olivia has no problem with him filling it.   Unfortunately, this whole chain of events was incredibly predictable from the get-go. From the moment Lincoln stepped out into the other universe and spoke to Olivia with that glint in his eye, I knew he’d wind up wanting to stay there a while longer and it also became apparent that that wasn’t going to be possible with the other Lincoln still around. Low and behold, he’s been killed. I don’t like it when Fringe becomes as predictable as this and it doesn’t usually happen that much so I hope it won’t happen again for some time.

Anyway, things were of a decent standard on Fringe this week. The return of the alternate universe was much-welcomed and has been sorely missed, though elements of the plot were far too predictable, unfortunately. With not many episodes remaining of the current season, it’s still not clear as to where things are heading so I look forward to seeing that unfold. The chances of renewal are still very much up in the air but we can still keep on holding hope. Episodes like this demonstrate the creativity that this show is capable of given the chance. The audience may be low, but the imagination certainly isn’t.

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