Welcome back Cold Case! Yes, I know last night's episode was really the third of the season, but it was the first one so far where the show felt like its glorious old self. Lilly took center stage, she made a connection with the victim's mother (and she got a thank you hug at the end plus good Karma), Scotty played a supporting role, new girl Josie played a supporting role, we got excellent backstory on Jeffries, Lilly had one of her trademark interrogations and the case was very engrossing. Yes, it was a happy-dance inducing hour last night. I really enjoyed the first two episodes of the season, but they just seemed off - strong cases, great storytelling, but lacking the punch that the show usually delivers because Lilly was somewhat MIA. Not last night, however, as she carried most of the case. The scales were tipped back into her favor, and I couldn't have been happier. I was a little concerned after hearing that this episode would focus on the movie Halloween only because I wasn't a huge fan of last year's experiment with The Rocky Horror Picture Show (despite a creatively done episode, the story was lacking), but this episode managed to avoid the pitfalls because it stuck with the characters and the story, and left the movie as a minor player. The guest characters were fascinating, and I was truly engrossed with their story. I never guessed the killer until Lilly revealed him. My heart ached for Jeffries and all that anger that he tries to place on the truck driver who hit and killed his wife, when it's really himself he's so angry with because he wasn't there for his wife when she needed him. I'm going to continue to say this until it happens, but I hope we get some reaction from Lilly on her final encounter with serial killer George Marks. I read that we would, but nothing so far. I'm wondering if this is going to be like last year when we were promised some reaction to her break up with ADA Kite in the first season finale, and all we got was one awkward scene between the two in the second season premiere. I wouldn't be surprised if the newspaper in the trash can scene from this season's premiere is all we get. Disappointed, but not surprised. On the other hand, this show is slow to reveal information, so it might still be coming. Overall, an excellent episode, and a nicely done restoration of the character balance that I hope continues.
I never thought I'd see the day when Gabby would sincerely apologize to Carlos for her affair with John, so imagine my shock last night on Desperate Housewives! She finally realized, after she discovered that she might not have meant as much to John as she thought (it hurts to have your feelings played with, doesn't it Gabby?), that what she did to Carlos was hurtful and wrong (Carlos is no saint, either, though). Of course, she was sure to buy herself an anniversary Aston Martin. Lynette doesn't get enough screen time, but her stories are hysterical. How funny was the coffee cup spill she orchestrated? Susan's usual jealously and rivalry war with Edie heated up over the church talent show, and culminated in a hilarious scene at the piano. And Bree finally kicked out her mother-in-law! I was so happy when she sent her off in that taxi. Oh, and how funny was that lie detector test that she insisted on taking? Does Bree really love George, or was she just confused? Interesting development, nonetheless, because I always thought that she was just using George to make Rex jealous. And now, the police think she conspired with George (who must be a pathological liar to so easily pass that lie detector) to poison and kill Rex. Raise your hand now if you think the onions from the pilot are going to come back to haunt her? If you're lost, Bree had an argument with Rex at a family restaurant. She went to the salad bar and prepared Rex's salad, but she accidentally put onions in the salad. Rex was deathly allergic to onions, so he ended up in the hospital. I can't wait to see how all of this develops. Overall, an improved episode over last week, but still not on par with last season or even this season's premiere.
So, I caught up on Thursday's Without A Trace, and I've decided that this show just doesn't pack the emotional punch that it used to in its earlier seasons. This episode was moving, but not the way it was when they did a very similar story two seasons ago with the brilliant episode "Wannabe" (if you haven't seen this episode, check TNT's listings for it to re-air). Is Without A Trace repeating itself, and only in its fourth season? Recycling plotlines is inevitable as a series ages, but it's never a good idea to do so with an episode that is easily the show's finest hour, and one of the most emotional things I've ever seen on television. The climatic scene toward the end even seemed to mirror "Wannabe" as the picked-on teenager attempted to kill himself, albeit with a homemade bomb and "Wannabe" was a hanging on a fellow student's monkey bars. I felt bad for Ryan during last week's episode because he was horribly picked on and bullied, and I was at the edge of my seat when Danny tried to talk him out of pushing the ignitor on the bomb. I really couldn't believe it when he pushed the trigger (luckily, it malfunctioned), but it wasn't as gripping as its similar predecessor. I know it seems like I always give this show a hard time, but it's only because I was there for the amazing early seasons. I know shows start to show their age, but procedurals like Without A Trace shouldn't be doing it so soon because they have a long shelf-life (think Law & Order). Look at a show like Law & Order: SVU, it continues to turn out amazing episodes in its seventh season, and some would argue that, like fine wine, it gets better with age. Without A Trace is acting like the cheap stuff that starts to spoil if you don't drink it fast enough, and as a fan of the show, it's just a little hard to swallow. But as I've said, the ratings keep getting better, so I suppose it doesn't matter much (even though we all know that ratings do not equal quality). Last week's episode was a strong step in the right direction, though. I just hope this week's doesn't take us two steps back with the edition of another character and the huge eye roll inducing scene in the preview with said new character (who happens to be Roselyn Sanchez) and Sam (Poppy Montgomery) going undercover as call girls. In fact, my eyes are rolling right now as I write this, so my expectations for this one are low.
About Last Night... CBS started off the night on top with Cold Case at 8 p.m., followed by ABC's Extreme Makeover: Home Edition, and MLB coverage on Fox. NBC's The West Wing landed in fourth. At 9, ABC took over first place with Desperate Housewives, followed by Law & Order: Criminal Intent on NBC, and MLB coverage on Fox. The final hour of the night went to ABC as well, with Grey's Anatomy, followed by Crossing Jordanon NBC, and MLB coverage on Fox. For more information on last night's ratings, visit Zap2it.
Friday night once again went to CBS, as the eye network won all three of the hours with Ghost Whisperer, Threshold, and Numb3rs. For more information on Friday's ratings, visit Zap2it.
@8 p.m. - Laura and Jackson encounter the mystery creature and manage to get a G.P.S tracking system in it on NBC's Surface. It's game 5 of the Yankees and the Angels on Fox tonight as its MLB coverage continues.
@9 p.m. - The Pussycat Dolls make an appearance on an all-new Las Vegas on NBC. Catch an encore of the premiere of Related on the WB.
@10 p.m. - Allison risks her life to save a kidnapped boy on NBC's Medium.
*Veteran TV-producer Steven Bochco is taking over the reins at ABC's Commander In Chief from creator Rod Lurie per the AP. Lurie will stay on as executive producer. According to a source close to the production, Bochco was brought in to make the show run more smoothly and ensure scripts are turned in on time. Production was halted after a script wasn't finished in time according to the same source. Commander In Chief has made an impressive showing in the ratings so far, winning its Tuesday night timeslot.
*7th Heaven is officially the longest-running family drama on television. The WB drama debuted in August of 1996 and it just aired its 200th episode. The feel-good show tells the story of the Camden family, led by their preacher father (Stephen Collins). The show airs Monday nights on the WB.
*And finally, it's TV on DVD Monday! Okay, you guys are out of excuses now. Over the summer it was, "I'd watch the reruns of Veronica Mars on UPN to catch up, but they aren't showing them all, so what's the point?" or "I'd watch the show but it's probably going to get cancelled." But, its doing very well against the behemoth that is Lost, and more to the point, the first season DVDs are out tomorrow!!! This means you can run, walk, drive, skip, skate whatever to your closest DVD seller or rental store and buy/rent the first season and catch-up! For those who are too busy to go out and get the set, check out amazon.com or you can rent it through Netflix. My first DVD should be arriving via Netflix tomorrow or the next day! Other than Veronica, you can also check out Arrested Development (season 2), South Park (season 6), and The Jeffersons (season 4) on store shelves tomorrow. For more releases, visit tvshowsondvd.com.
That's all for today. Be sure to tune in tomorrow for a look at how all your favorite shows are faring so far this season. I'll also have my take on tonight's Medium, and all the latest television news!