Monday, August 31, 2009

A Haunting in Santa Barbara

Shawn, Gus and demonic spirits possessing young co-eds... what more can you ask for? Oh, I don't know, maybe one of the best episode titles ever!! "The Devil's in the Details... And in the Upstairs Bedroom" might be one of the funniest titles I've ever seen on a TV show. Classic! Here's a look at the rest of the best in this week's edition of "The Funny, The Funnier and OK, For Real, My Side Just Split."

Shawn and Gus's friendship started on shaky ground when they rolled up to the crime scene. After a hilarious recap of a prior phone conversation, it turned out that Shawn was feeling a bit let down because Gus had promised that the girls at the Catholic college (scene of the crime) would be wearing Catholic school girl uniforms, and they were not. He carried the disappointment with him to the body and tried to avoid taking the case even when Gus kept insisting that they were accepting it ("May I speak with you in the Stop Openly Contradicting Me Room, please?"). Shawn ultimately lost, but the road to Gus's victory was paved with hilarious one-liners, quips and all around awesome-ness.

Later, Gus was a little bent-out-of-shape because Shawn always gets to be lead investigator (or as Shawn says, Lead, as in the element "lead" as in pronounced like "led" investigator), so he claimed the title for the hour. It made sense since Gus was the one who wanted to take the case of the co-ed who committed suicide after apparently being possessed by a demonic spirit. But, things quickly went downhill when Lassie beat them to a suspect and visited the best friend's house before they even knew she existed. Shawn quickly snatched the title back, but then returned it to Gus (after a hilarious fight over it) when things took a creepier and decidedly scarier turn in the best friend's bedroom.

The best friend's bedroom is where we find this week's funniest scene. That exorcism was so freakin' funny! These things are supposed to be scary and unsettling, but when Shawn and Gus get involved, things just go from funny to funnier. Watching those two chickens holding that (not so possessed) girl down and seeing their reactions to her strange behavior and the unexplained happenings in the room was classic! Add in the awesome visual nod to The Exorcist (with the priest arriving in the foggy night), Shawn getting easily distracted by flattery, another (more subtle) Mentalist reference ("Carson D.'s got Simon Baker on tonight. That's can't miss."), and Gus running out scared when the light fell over and you get another vintage Psych scene that had me laughing well into the commercial break. Runner-up goes to Shawn's "Devil Went Down to Georgia" schtick. So funny!

Psych airs Friday nights on USA Network. Catch up on this episode ("The Devil's in the Details... And in the Upstairs Bedroom") and others at And learn more about the awesome-ness that is Shawn and Gus at USA's official site or friend them on Facebook and follow them on Twitter.

Friday, August 28, 2009

The Countdown Gets Closer to the Finish Line

Last week, we barely dipped our big toe into the Top 10 of the summer-long countdown. But this week, we're diving straight into the deep end with three more episodes that shone brightly this season. But before we get to them, we have to go over the rules for the countdown. LillyKat and I ended up with 33 incredible episodes that demonstrate the diversity and quality of the current television state. The shows and their episodes are from both NETWORK and CABLE television. All episodes aired between June 2008 and June 2009. Each episode that made the final list moved us in some way; either by making us laugh out loud, cry our eyes out or just left us with that "wow" feeling that stays with you for a few days. So basically, it's completely subjective! Since this is a summer-long countdown to the number 1 episode, we will reveal a few each week all summer. So, be sure to tune in every Friday to find out which episodes are on the countdown! Today, we're going to take a look at numbers 9-7.

9: "The Double Death of the Dearly Departed" - Bones
I LOVED the pure comedy of this episode. It had me laughing so hard I had tears running down my face ("We can't see him like this," "Like What?," "Hitler."). The whole thing had a Weekend at Bernie's feel to it with Booth and Bones stealing borrowing that body from the wake and then propping him up in the car to make him look alive for the ride back to the Jeffersonian. It was completely ridiculous, but that's what made it so darn funny. And then they managed to drag everyone else into it making the story even funnier. The funniest part of the episode, though, was Booth and Bones referring to murder with the key word "translation" (as in, it looks as though this guy was actually translated - HILARIOUS!) and Angela telling the family that they couldn't view the body because of a mortuary issue that had him looking like Hitler. So freakin' funny! Gotta love it when Bones tickles our funny bone. Written by Craig Silverstein and directed by Milan Cheylov.

8: "Cherry Bomb" - The Closer
During our visit to the set of The Closer in June 2008, the cast was relieved to have just gotten done filming this episode. When it aired, I understood why. It made you want to take every teenage girl you knew and say beware of arsewipe, cocky son-of-a-bi*tch dreamboat boys suddenly wanting to be your boyfriend. They aren’t interested in you, and you can and will do better. The case was a highly political one involving the son of a commander in the LA County Sheriff’s Office who sexually assaulted a girl a week prior to her ending up dead from an apparent suicide. Turns out slimeball arsewipe son of the commander and his friends invented a game called “Cherry Pickin’” whereby each put up $50 to see who could sleep with the most virgins by the end of the school year. He who picks the most cherries wins the cash. And the fame. And WTF else. Complete with “LookIt” Page (read: MySpace-esque homage) with each girl’s picture adorned with a little cherry graphic. Turns out the commander's son really had to really work to get our victim's cherry in this episode - and he beat her to a pulp in the process. It’s rare to see Brenda shaken up by a case, but this one got to her and found her even more steadfastly determined to nail the commander's son. You knew she would somehow, some way get the confession – even if every conceivable odd was stacked against her. Whether it was going toe-to-toe with the father, searching out another victim to get a tear-jerking account of how she was assaulted, or having to settle only for the assault conviction, she got justice in the end. I don’t know what was more infuriating – the boys and their game, or the fact these girls fell prey to the game. The closing sequence, with another cherry pickin’ victim coming back to Brenda’s office to change her mind and press charges was classic. I had visions of The Accused whilst watching this ep. When Brenda arrests the group of Cherry Pickin’ friends, I had visions of Kelley McGillis’ character going after all of the idiotbot men who cheered on the sexual assault of Jodie Foster’s character in that movie. She got justice in the end, too. Thank. God. I predicted this would be favorite episode on PTR’s list for this year. Poignant, powerful and tough to watch. Written by Michael Alaimo and directed by Rick Wallace. - LillyKat, PTR Senior Staff Writer

7: "The Long Blue Line/Into the Blue" - Cold Case
This episode was pretty much perfection for me. I remember saying at the end of it, "OMG, Cold Case just Sixth Sense-d us! I can't believe it!" When Moe told Lilly that from where he sits, she's still in that "box," I began to see Bruce Willis, that scary little kid and the entire previous hour flash before my eyes while Lil was watching water fill the room as the mirror began to shatter and her mind raced to figure out what was going on. She was still in that car trapped in the water unconscious and everything that had transpired in the last hour had been a hallucination. The episode was one big Lilly-fest from start to finish and part of that Lilly-fest included a huge chunk of the missing pieces of her past. Stillman was the cop who caught the man who assaulted her as a young child. She left an impression on Stillman and when she came up through the rank and file in PPD, he took notice of her astute observations and impeccable instincts and took her under his wing. And we also learned that Lilly's father left because of her mother (no surprise). This was one of the rare outings that mastered both the case-of-week and the personal story. And managed to throw a little surprise in there as well. Written by Jennifer Johnson and Greg Plageman and directed by Roxann Dawson (Part 1) and Jeannot Szwarc (Part 2).

So, there's a look at numbers 9-7 on the countdown. What do you think? Do you agree? Disagree? Leave us a comment with your thoughts. And be sure to tune in next Friday for #6-4 on the list.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Roundup: 'Closer's' Final Word; 'Bar's' World of Gray

By LillyKat
PTR Senior Staff Writer

'The Closer's' Fifth Season Airs Mondays on TNTThe Final Touch

Two words: Kevin Bacon.

For three seasons, he's directed at least one episode of The Closer.

For three seasons, he's never disappointed.

This past week's ep was the first time we've seen him direct a finale, and I can still say there's something amazingly perfect about his episodes.

For me, he has a way of creating a certain kinetic energy with the camera. It's constantly moving, constantly generating curiosity, suspense, action and perfect-pitch pauses of reflection all at once. He doesn't show you everything; he lets you guess at what's coming, then delivers it in a way that makes you think for a moment.

Or two.

Or three.

Whether it was the truck pursuit sequence (THAT was fun to watch); or, the chilling confession Brenda gets from the serial killer (listening in punctuated silence nearly sick to her stomach, the underscore mimicking a girl's feint scream, placing each victim's personal item on the map to indicate where the murder took place ... GENIUS!); or, the tender stillness between BJ and Charlie when she has to force Charlie to return to Atlanta even though BJ does (at least IMHO) seem to want her to stay ... all of these moments lead me to continue to say that a Kevin Bacon-helmed episodes consistently stand out. The way he chooses to set-up his shots, what he gets from the actors, how it packages it together doesn't seem procedural.

It's original.



HOWEVER ... I must say that out of all The Closer finales, this seemed the weakest. It didn't really have that cliffhanger-omfg-now-what-when-does-the-series-come-back feel - whether that was with story or character. And while Brenda's "giveback" of the suspect to the Texas detective so that he could be put on death row AND actually be executed for the crimes he committed WAS out of character for her, I didn't find the case, on the whole, to be finale-worthy.

Compelling, chilly, creepy, interesting to watch: yes.

Leaving me wanting the December crop of episodes to get here soon: not so much

Then again, if this is the ONLY season where I can say that, the show is still a pleasure to watch.

Can we have KB direct MORE than one ep a season? Please?

New episodes of The Closer return in December. To catch up on the series, head on over to the show's official site.

Do We Have..?

I'm not exactly sure what to say about the summer finale of Raising the Bar ... other than to once again ask, "Do we have judges like this? And prosecutors?"

'Raising the Bar' Airs Monday's on TNTOne thing I've learned by watching the show this season is that the law is one big gray area.

And that includes EVERYONE playing practicing it.

On both sides of the aisle. On both sides of the bench.

In our finale this week, Kessler and Ernhardt - essentially - conspire to keep a pregnant dope addict mom incarcerated for a minor infraction just so that she can a) have the baby in jail and/or b) have it taken from her given she is, according to team Judge and Prosecutor, unfit to be a mother and/or the baby deserves better.

While I might agree with that assessment, there's Public Defender extraordinaire Jerry defending her right to BE a mother AND be free despite the obvious circumstances stacked against her.

So who is right? Who is wrong?

I'm not sure there was a clear answer in this episode.

Or this particular case.

Or even with Roz's case, whereby a horse cabby goes on trial for assaulting a police officer when said police officer tried to interfere with the horse cabby's efforts to save his dying horse from colic by beating it violently - which is, actually, what one has to do so that the horse doesn't suffocate itself to death. The police officer thought the cabby was just cruelly beating the horse.

Should the cabby have stopped to calmly explain what he was doing? Maybe, but he was short on time to save the horse.

Should the police officer have interfered? Probably, since he didn't know what said cabby was doing.

And that is, IMHO, what RTB does best: it doesn't give you the black/white answer. It makes you uncomfortable with the nuances of the law, the way it can be manipulated, how it can be interpreted and who ultimately benefits - or suffers - from it.

The show is an interesting study in the "system."

Yes, it's a TV show.

Yes, there's creative license.

But on this show, the good guy doesn't always win. And the bad guy doesn't always get punished. Sometimes the bad guy gets to go free, and the good guy gets busted - which is, actually, the way of the world.

Right isn't always right, and wrong isn't always wrong.

When this plays out on screen, it makes for interesting television.

As it did this week.

To catch up on Raising the Bar head on over to the show's official site.

Remote Rewind: For Better or For Worse

After three seasons, a couple of break-ups, several almost break-ups, and more ups and downs than a rollercoaster, Sully and Michaela finally tied the knot in this 2-hour episode. They had suffered so much loss leading up to the big day that it was nice to see a happy occasion. But things weren't all honkey-dory on the path down the aisle. Michaela's mom and two of her sisters came into town for the wedding, but this led to a few rough patches -- not only between Michaela and her family, but also between Michaela and Sully. It's fair to say that the Boston crew wasn't exactly overly-impressed with the house that Sully had poured his heart and hard-earned money into over the last year. They said that it was "nice for Colorado Springs." In other words, not too impressive for their Boston standards. When Michaela started to see the house through their eyes, Sully took offense and asked her when she was going "to start seeing things through our eyes?"

Mrs. Quinn brought with her a fancy wedding dress from Paris. It was beautiful, but not exactly Michaela's style. Plus, she was supposed to wear a dress that Dorothy and the other women in the town were making for her. She didn't want to hurt either side's feelings, but Dorothy quickly conceded that the Paris dress was simply divine and she should wear it. Later, Marjorie began taking out her hurt over her own failed marriage and her shattered relationship with her mother on Michaela. Hank being quite the expert on recognizing certain ailments, realized that Marjorie's ex had left her with more than a broken heart and he alerted Michaela. She gave Marjorie some medicine to cure her STD.

Eventually, things were smoothed over between the Quinns and the wedding was on track to proceed. There was only one problem: Cloud Dancing. He was wanted by the U.S. Army and Gen. Custer was in town for the festivities (Mrs. Quinn had inadvertently invited him) making it impossible for him to attend his "brother's" wedding. Thanks to Jake, it was nothing a swift smack to the head with a bench couldn't cure. Problem solved. Everything was set except for that dress. Michaela decided to combine the elements from both dresses and create one that better reflected her. The result was simply stunning (if not a bit inappropriate for the time period and location). The moment had finally come and Michaela walked down the aisle with her mother at her side to give her away (something Mrs. Quinn first balked at because it wasn't traditional). After the "I do's," food, fun and dancing took over and Cloud Dancing took off before Custer came to and placed him into custody.

After, Michaela and Sully boarded a specially decorated train car (complete with the new headboard Sully had made for them) courtesy of Brian and Matthew. They waved to their loved ones and rode off into the sunset as a married couple. This being the 1860s and Michaela being a woman of proper breeding, their wedding night was a big night and marked a huge milestone in their chaste relationship. This being a family show, we were privy to the couple closing the shades ("It's getting darker"), sharing a passionate kiss and the episode fading to black. It was the perfect ending to a beautiful wedding episode.

Feeling nostalgic for Dr. Mike, Sully and the rest of the residents of Colorado Springs? Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman: The Complete Series is now available on DVD

Monday, August 24, 2009

'Ice Road' Closed for the Season

"Dalton Ace" Jack Jessee's Marks of a Good Season:
1) I didn't die
2) I made it home every trip, and
3) I made a little money doing it

Mission accomplished for all of this season's drivers on Ice Road Truckers. And what an intense, fun, and exciting season it was! I'm sad to see this year come to a close (and worried that the show will once change locations next season and we'll lose the awesome-ness that is the Dalton, the awe-inspiring views of Alaska, and the fun drivers who drive that road every year), but it did end on another set of exciting notes. My girl Lisa finished off her stellar season by navigating her brake-challenged rig back to Fairbanks. After leaving Deadhorse, she discovered that the air was leaking out of her trailer brakes which would eventually render the them useless. Her biggest concern was that the air would run out just as she was climbing a hill, causing her truck to lock up and come to a dead stop on the incline. She managed to ascend the always-scary Atigun Pass, but had to make it back down without any trailer brakes. Thanks to some good shifting and her jake brake, she was able to navigate down Atigun without applying her brakes. Once she reached Coldfoot, Tim was able to help her cap the air leak well enough to get her all the way back to Fairbanks. She completed her 15th run and her most impressive season yet that should put her on the path to become the Dalton's first heavy-haul woman.

Meanwhile, Hugh had a temporary set back with his brakes as well. The thawing roads made for some extremely bumpy rides and one of those bumps knocked one of the brakes off. Phil was able to fix it with a bungee cord, and Hugh then made it back to Fairbanks just in time to pick up his 14th and final load the next day. Rival Alex was paired up with veteran George Spears, and the two took the slow and steady route much to Alex's chagrin. He had an otherwise uneventful ride to Deadhorse where he finished his 13th and final run of the season (one behind rival Hugh). Meanwhile, George finished his 15th and last run of his career (maybe). All along, George had said that this would be his last season on the ice road, but he was beginning to have second thoughts on his way back to Fairbanks. Hmm... time will tell if George really hangs it up this season. His protege (and family friend) Tim finished his first solo run of the season without any problems.

The episode's most thrilling moment almost didn't happen. Jack was supposed to haul his load of diesel fuel across 70 miles of ocean ice to remote Point Thomson, but when he arrived in Deadhorse, he learned that a polar bear (or possibly a polar bear den) was blocking the ocean ice road. Only a few hours remained before the road closed for the season and Jack was about to pack in it when the polar bear moved and the road reopened. So, he pulled his 50,000 lb. truck out onto the ocean ice, and I literally held my breath. The end of the season means thawing, and thawing means thinner ice separating Jack from the bottom of the freezing cold ocean below. You could actually see chunks of ice separating as he was passing nearby! So scary! In the end, he made it safely to Pt. Thomson where he dropped off his 20th load of the season (more than any other driver).

So, it was an intense season that saw some of the worst weather in the Dalton's history. There were blinding white-outs, huge mounds of snow, tons of accidents, wildlife in the road, and slippery, steep passes. Simply put, it was awesome! And I can't wait to do it all again next season. Better start breaking in the edge of my seat in a few months.

To catch up on this season of Ice Road Truckers, click on over to where you'll also get show info, driver bios, and an IRT app for your iPhone.

How the West was Fun

Regular readers of PTR this summer know that I have a certain affinity for westerns. I also have a certain affinity for all things Psych, so combining the two was pretty much perfection for me. The Bonanza-style music playing over those sweeping aerial shots of the landscape, the "Saddlesore Saloon," the "cowboy" talk, and pretty much every other western staple made this episode that much more awesome. Here's a look at this week's edition of "The Funny, The Funnier and OK, For Real, My Side Just Split."

I've often wondered if the writers of this show are inspired by one of my favorite cartoons as a child: Scooby Doo! A lot of episodes have that "And I would have gotten away with it if it hadn't been for you kids and your dog!" feel at the end. This week, the vibe was even stronger. A small, secluded town with strange things happening at night, a legendary ghost story, murder, and a motive that would easily rival some of my fave Scooby episodes. And just like Scooby, the shadowy figure on the horse who seemed to disappear wasn't really a ghost. It was Stinky Feet Pete and he murdered McBain because he discovered a million dollars worth of gold in the abandoned mine shaft. Scooby always had that funny/spooky feeling and it's great to have a show that carries on that tradition with such hilarity.

I don't think I would ever get tired of Sheriff Shawn. Those scenes were just plain HILARIOUS! When Lassie walked in and found Sheriff Shawn and Blacksmith Gus sitting around the desk playing poker and speaking "cowboy," I almost died. Shawn really embraced that simpler time when people weren't dependent on electronics ("or living past the age of 40" -Gus) and he got kinda used to the whole sheriff thing. Loved his shoot out at the "Saddlesore Saloon," his "New sheriff in town" speech, his ride on horseback two feet down the road to the saloon and his pointing to his sheriff's star at the end when his authority was questioned. Just funny from top to bottom.

This week's funniest moment was so funny that I can't even think about it without losing it all over again. Shawn and Gus falling into the mine shaft was funny, their little girl whimpering upon landing on a pile of rocks was funnier, but the ensuing coccyx bone discussion was a whole new level of funny. Shawn, who last week thought that a Ponzi scheme had something to do with The Fonz, didn't understand that the coccyx bone is the proper name for the tail bone and not another part of the (male) anatomy. This made references to rubbing lotion on the coccyx and massaging the coccyx and so on and so forth absolutely HILARIOUS! If there was ever a side-splitting moment, this was it. Classic Shawn and Gus!

Psych airs Friday nights on USA Network. Catch up on this episode ("High Noon-ish") and others at And learn more about the awesome-ness that is Shawn and Gus at USA's official site.

Friday, August 21, 2009

The Countdown Breaks into the Top 10

The summer-long countdown is finally dipping its big toe into the Top 10 with three more episodes that shone brightly this season. But before we get to them, we have to go over the rules for the countdown. LillyKat and I ended up with 33 incredible episodes that demonstrate the diversity and quality of the current television state. The shows and their episodes are from both NETWORK and CABLE television. All episodes aired between June 2008 and June 2009. Each episode that made the final list moved us in some way; either by making us laugh out loud, cry our eyes out or just left us with that "wow" feeling that stays with you for a few days. So basically, it's completely subjective! Since this is a summer-long countdown to the number 1 episode, we will reveal a few each week all summer. So, be sure to tune in every Friday to find out which episodes are on the countdown! Today, we're going to take a look at numbers 12-10.

12: "Yanks in the UK" - Bones
I expected to laugh at Booth and Bones's adventures in London, but I did not expect to be laughing so hard that I missed laughs while I was laughing! Booth driving that ridiculously small rental car and not being able to grasp the no right-on-red concept was HILARIOUS! And it sent him into a meltdown where he proclaimed, among other things, that he was glad the U.S. had a revolution with England. Later, he was trying to ease the car back into "the flow of traffic" and more hilarity ensued. I'm not sure what's funnier during these types of scenes -- Booth's rising agitation level, Brennan's rational/level-headedness, or the combination of the two. Meanwhile, Brennan was busy thwarting the affections of her British cohort, which prompted some interesting scenes between her and Booth. They shared several intimate conversations and Booth, in a successful ploy to deter his partner from sleeping with England's very own Romeo, told her that she's "special." All together now: Aaahhh! The entire episode set the season off to a smashing good start. Part 1 written by executive producer Hart Hanson and Karine Rosenthal and directed by Ian Toynton. Part 2 written by Stephen Nathan and Scott Williams and directed by Ian Toynton.

11: "I Believe in Angels" - Saving Grace
I sure do like it when everything comes full circle. Especially for show I gave up on. But I took a second look at the series, and I'm glad I did. My gripes for the second season of were about the same as they were the first season: stop the endless downward spiral of Grace; give us something to care about in her character; separate her away from that co-dependent mess of a relationship she has with Ham Dewey; force her to grow up, be accountable and act like an adult; give some of the other characters a chance to shine. When the show DID do all of this, as it did with this second season finale, it really worked for me. Grace owned up to not only having been awarded a last chance Angel, but also in accepting her responsibility that comes along with that gift. We didn't get the happy ending with Leon Cooley earning a stay of a execution, but we did get some serious soul searching on the part of Grace that brought her face to face with Leon in the end. It allowed her to make some peace not only with Leon, but within herself. We didn't get the holier-than-thou lecture from Angel Earl (not that he ever really does that), but instead, more of the equal partnership between her and Grace as to the turn of event(s) that have brought them both to this point in time. And we also saw the leveling of the playing field between Earl and Grace, which had been progressing nicely for most of the season. That is, they had become friends, gotten to know each other, had come to almost understand one another. In the end, we found out Grace really was worth saving. Written by Nancy Miller. Directed by Artie Mandelberg. - LillyKat, PTR Senior Staff Writer

10: "The Incident" - Lost
This season finale was jam-packed with questions for next season while still providing enough to close out this season. We found out that Jacob had a personal hand in bringing Jack, Kate, Hurley, Sayid, Sun and Locke back to the island by appearing to each of them at their worst moments. Later, we learned one of the season's most shocking secrets: Locke really is dead! His body was hidden in the chest that Richard, Ilana, Ben and "Locke" were carrying around. Not-Locke was really an old rival of Jacob's who has survived by, apparently, taking others' shapes. Not-Locke convinced Ben to stab Jacob several times (although, it didn't take too much convincing since Ben had always felt neglected in Jacob's eyes) and then Not-Locke pushed him into the fire. We got an ominous warning from Jacob right before he was pushed: "They're coming!" Who's they and why are they coming? The critical point of the episode came when Juliet got sucked into the pit with the energy source and the non-detonated hydrogen bomb. She had a huge choice to make and she decided to detonate the bomb. Is she dead? Did she "reset" the island? What happened to everyone else? Intriguing questions left hanging in this excellent season ender. Written by executive producers Damon Lindelof and Carlton Cuse and directed by Jack Bender.

So, there's a look at numbers 12-10 on the countdown. What do you think? Do you agree? Disagree? Leave us a comment with your thoughts. And be sure to tune in next Friday for #9-7 on the list.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Remote Rewind: Murder on the River

As difficult as it was, both physically and emotionally, for Michaela to climb Pike's Peak and say goodbye to her friend, nothing could have prepared her for the emotional ride she was about to take. Any history student can tell you about Gen. Custer and his intolerance toward Native Americans and how it ultimately led to his demise at Little Big Horn. But before he held his "Last Stand," he carried out his massacre tradition in the Battle of Washita. The latter is where this outstanding 2-hour episode of Dr. Quinn focused its story.

After sending the Cheyenne women, children and elders away to what they thought was safety, Michaela, Sully and Cloud Dancing find out that Custer is planning on intercepting them on their journey. They set out to warn Black Kettle and his fellow Cheyenne, but come upon a horrific sight as they reach the Washita River: bodies everywhere. The women, children and elderly are all brutally murdered on the banks of the river. Bodies are shrewn about and children lie as lifeless as dolls. Cloud Dancing's own wife is among the dead and he tragically mourns her lifeless body. Flanked with a sense of hopelessness and despair, Michaela frantically searches for survivors, but finds none save for a tiny infant shielded under the body of a young Cheyenne, No Harm. As a baby, No Harm's mother shielded him and he survived and now he did the same to save one of the youngest members of his tribe. It was devastating and moving and made even more so by the show's decision to withhold a musical score and allow the scene to unfold in silence.

After they return to Colorado Springs with the young orphaned baby, Michaela goes back to work as if nothing happened. She tends to patients at her clinic and rebuffs anyone who wants to be a shoulder for her to cry on, but the weight of what she witnessed and the toll of the lives lost catches up with her eventually. First, she has a difficult time sleeping. She finds herself scrubbing the floors and medical supplies at the clinic during the wee hours of the night. Then, she begins to shut people out and snap on a dime. It finally comes to a head one morning at the homestead. Brian gives her a hard time and she flies off the handle. After, she runs out to the barn and begins frantically sweeping. Sully runs out to see if she's OK and hears her devistating sobs. He decides to give her some space and time to come to terms with the tragedy.

Eventually, Michaela spends some time with Cloud Dancing. He helps her mourn and move on from that horrific day along the Washita River. By the end of the outing, she seems better, but forever changed. But then again, so are most of us who witness along with her, the total devastation that was done to the Cheyenne. A difficult episode to watch and shoot (according to both Jane Seymour and Joe Lando, the hardest of all the episodes), but an important one. And, an important furthering of Michaela's emotional journey before she walks down the aisle and never looks back.

Feeling nostalgic for Dr. Mike, Sully and the rest of the residents of Colorado Springs? Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman: The Complete Series is now available on DVD

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

'Grace' Goes on Faith

Season 3 of 'Saving Grace' Airs on TNTBy LillyKat
PTR Senior Staff Writer

Well, nothing like a jump off a 12-story building to test one's faith.


Aside from the fact the stunt itself was impressive, the lead-up to it was equally impressive.

Grace's point blank refusal to Earl to go on faith.

His urging her to face the moment at hand.

Her fear of dying.

His not being able to love her as much as God does.

And that was all in the last five minutes, folks.

And yet, it was almost like Grace operated completely out of her element for most of the ep so that her defining moment at the end would culminate in a where-do-we-go-from-here teaser for what will be the series' final episodes (airing next summer). It seemed to go against her newly reformed self, yet maintain it at the same time.

Whether it was Grace being overly protective of Rhetta trying to step out and have coffee with a new guy (now if that isn't the pot calling the kettle black, I don't know what is); or, learning Clay told his dad to f*** off, thus, earning himself one heck of a black eye as he got smacked around and hit his head on the table (ouch); or, Ham actually turning DOWN Grace's let's-do-a-nooner offer, saying he's now seeing someone (seriously, folks, I never thought I'd see that day).

Whatever it was, she seemed like the odd man out.

Until the end.

When she seemed promoted to angel.

To Neely.

Er, let's make that angel assistant.

And what's up with Neely wanting to challenge faith by jumping of a 12-story building - as in, if there really IS a God, he'll save me? How about Rhetta truly now being set to file for divorce after learning Ronnie bonked her mistress IN the bedroom of their house? And Ham's potentially abusive father?

All these directions in which to go.

Only nine episodes left in which to do it.

For a summer finale, this certain set the table for what lies ahead for us next summer.

New episodes of Saving Grace return in the summer of 2010. You can watch full episodes of the show anytime over on the show’s official Web site. You can also visit to share your stories of how you embrace your inner-Grace.

Roundup: 'Closer's' Softer Side; 'Bar's' New Girl on the Block

By LillyKat
PTR Senior Staff Writer

'The Closer's' Fifth Season Airs Mondays on TNTKeep the Kleenex

It's not often we get to see the softer side of Brenda Leigh Johnson.

The weaker side.

The maybe-I-made-a-mistake-side.

But we did this week.

Not only did we see her get emotionally attached to her victim - outright tears of sadness when he passed away after severe gunshot wounds to the abdomen. But, we also saw that the checking of her emotional sensibility at the door as she once again chose to close her case over all else stung her more than usual.

Crime solved: good

Emotional cost: high.

After she plunked Charlie at the hospital, assigning her to keep an eye on said victim given BJ was called to the scene WHILST transporting Charlie somewhere over the rainbow, Charlie befriends the victim in a pretty darn clever way to cover her being ... well, dumped in the hospital. But BJ's deliberate attempt to keep Charlie at bay when she knew he was on his last breaths, thus, interrogating him on his last breaths as to who might've been the shooter (disgruntled brother of his girlfriend, who chose to lie to her family and say she was raped as opposed to simply saying she got herself pregnant) got BJ in a whole lot of hot water at the end of the ep.

Especially having to deliver the news to Charlie that her newfound friend had died.

And having prevented her from saying goodbye.

Not the first time BJ had gotten into trouble by her relentless pursuit of closing her case.

Not the last time.

And that's a good thing.

It makes for good episode viewing given we rarely see Brenda be wrong. She always manages to hold the upper hand - even when her methods are questionable. And yet with this ep, I'm not sure choice was wrong even if it was somewhat painful to those closest to her.

In a way, it was almost an ironic form of payback.

And yet, I can't fault her for staying until the very end with the boy - not simply coming in, getting what she needed and bailing. She filled in in a mother-like way (given real mom was a flight attendant on her way to Hanoi and couldn't get back home in time before), nor managing to nail the brother for the shooting.

Painful justice.

But justice nonetheless.

The summer finale of The Closer airs next Monday at 9 p.m. on TNT. For the scoop on the series, head on over to the show's official site.


I know an Ashley.


I do.

'Raising the Bar' Airs Monday's on TNTShe's all-knowing. Self-righteous. Talks a million miles a minute. Can quote random facts for no apparent reason.

But she isn't a Public Defender for New York City.

Then again, you know what they say: everyone has a twin - even if it is fictional.

I like the new girl - even if she is ... well, annoying.

Reason I like her most: Rich gets to be her mentor.


And how happy am I Bobbi and Jerry finally did the deed?

Double yay!

As for the major case focus this week, Jerry defends a young man who stabbed a fellow inmate even though he should never have been in jail in the first place. His stabbing of an inmate was done out of desperation to escape the grips of the gang inside prison who were torturing the young man.

Stab the guy, we won't bug you anymore. As in, won't beat the crap out of you. Torture you. Make your life a living hell.

Naturally, Jerry doesn't win. And the poor guy has got to go back to prison.

And again I think: does our justice system ever work, or is it all just a total joke?

How PDs ever put up with it is beyond me.

Go Jerry and Bobbi!

The summer finale of Raising the Bar airs next Monday at 10 p.m. on TNT. For the scoop on the series, head on over to the show's official site

Monday, August 17, 2009

Slippery When Wet

Temperatures have risen to -5 degrees, the ice is turning slushy and snow storms have given way to sleet storms. This can mean only one thing: spring has sprung on The Dalton! And from the looks of things this week, it's going to be a rough end to a very rough season. You know things are bad when "Dalton Ace" Jack Jessee is spinning out on Atigun and slipping and sliding across the Yukon River Bridge. How intense was his ride back to Fairbanks this week??!! When his truck came to a dead stop on Atigun, I literally held my breath. It was so scary! Luckily, the DOT plow was able to give him a tow up the remaining 300 feet.

Later, I was holding my breath once again when he tried to use the truck's momentum to carry him up the 6% grade of the Yukon River Bridge. I was actually scared when the show did that little fake-out leading into the commercial where it showed his rig careening toward the guard rail. Turns out, he slipped and slid, but was able to gain some traction (by downshifting) just in time. And just as a side bar, the animation that shows the truck plunging into the water and landing on the bottom of the river/sea really freaks me it. It's like 10x scarier than the one that shows the truck careening off the side of the mountain (not that I'd want to suffer that fate either, it's just that the water one is so much freakier!).

Meanwhile, my girl Lisa was hauling her most explosive load yet (literally!). After her first load stalled out on her (the air pressure on the trailer wasn't functioning properly), she unhooked her cab and went back inside the Carlile building to get another load. This new load was so dangerous, she had to inform the state police when she started out on the road (and she was quick to point out that the state police ought to always be informed when she's on the road -- hahahaha! I love Lisa!). She was very concerned that shifting (her achilles heel) would once again rear its ugly head on Two & a Half Mile, where last week, she spun out and had to back all the way down the incline to try again. So this week, she tried a little trick where she turned on the fan to cool the engine leading into the incline and then flipped it off at the right moment to give herself extra traction. It worked, and I was relieved.

Elsewhere, George and Tim completed, what could be, their last run together as George will be retiring at the end of this season. They hit a bad patch of low visibility going up Atigun, but otherwise, had a good run back to Fairbanks. Alex got stuck in Coldfoot when his convoy partner had a leak in his oil line and later when a storm settled on Atigun. The two eventually got back on the road to Deadhorse. Hugh and Phil (a.k.a. "Phil-Billy") completed another load and landed back in Fairbanks, but not before Hugh struggled going up the Beaver Slide. He failed to gain track, so he started purposely swirving his truck back and forth across the hill in an attempt to gain footing on something. It worked and it garnered him some serious praise from Phil-Billy. Overall, the road was thawing for the spring and it was making for some dangerous conditions for our fave ice road truckers. But then again, what else is new on the Dalton?

Ice Road Truckers airs Sunday nights on History Channel. To catch up on this season, click on over to where you'll also get show info, driver bios, and an IRT app for your iPhone.

Lifestyles of the Rich & Psychic

When a famous billionaire's plane goes down and you can't find the wreckage or the billionaire, who you gonna call? Shawn and Gus, of course! And they did find the wreckage and the billionaire, but things only got complicated from there, so let's discuss in this week's edition of "The Funny, The Funnier and OK, For Real, My Side Just Split."

After getting hired by the billionaire's family (the Claytons) to psychically figure out why Mr. Clayton's plane went down, Shawn and Gus headed to the family's mansion for dinner. When they weren't spitting out chunks of bread and putting them in the soup over dinner or breaking valuable decorations before dinner, the duo was causing a stir of a different kind. Shawn was able to ascertain that Mrs. Clayton was sleeping with her tennis instructor (which prompted her son to declare, "No wonder why you have so many sexy tennis outfits!"), the son was angry because his wealthy father had forced him to get a job and start being responsible (oh, the humanity!), and Mr. Clayton was having an affair with the housekeeper. Oy! When they left the home (with doggie bags in hand and actual doggies nipping at their heels as they sprinted across the Clayton's expensive lawn), they had a plethora of suspects and enough antics to leave me laughing into the commercial.

Later in the episode, the two visited the Clayton's country club (after the family fired them, but good news! Lassie and co. decided that the plane crash might have been deliberate, so the country club visit was "official police business"). If you thought dinner was funny, well, that was just the appetizer. Shawn got an idea, but not just any idea. According to Gus, this was one of Shawn's "loosely formed ideas that shouldn't work on paper, but ultimately proves to be reasonably successful." Cue the idea. These two took to the links with some of Warren's golfing buddies. And these gentleman don't fool around. They were playing a thousand bucks a hole and one golfer admitted that he had lost his plane to Warren in a previous game of skins (the very same plane that crashed and killed Warren... dum, dum, dum!). Between the over-the-top fake laugh from both Shawn and Gus and Shawn describing how well he does as a psychic ("This here is just a trial membership. We only belong to the most exclusive clubs"), these two were a long way from the country club crowd. But hey, they did learn about the hanger, so yeah, "reasonably successful."

This week it wasn't a moment or a scene or even a theme that had me laughing the loudest; it was several little things. It started with Twitter. Shawn described a "status transmission" that he was receiving psychically as something like a "Twitter." Gus quickly corrected him by saying, "a tweet." And Shawn responded that there was no way he was going to say it that way. Later, Shawn (knowing absolutely nothing about anything financial including referring to sub-prime as "sub prime-time"), thought that a suspect was implicating Henry Winkler's Happy Days character "The Fonz" in Warren's murder. He was, of course, talking about a Ponzi scheme. I'm not sure that Shawn ever learned the truth. Throughout the episode, he kept making "notes to self" that he wanted Gus to remember rendering them no longer notes to self and driving Gus crazy. Thankfully, Gus was there to correct the Twitter faux pas, handle the financial stuff and remember all of the notes to self.

Psych airs Friday nights on USA Network. Catch up on this episode ("He Dead") and others at And learn more about the awesome-ness that is Shawn and Gus at USA's official site.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

How Will 'Grace' Wrap it Up

Season 3 of 'Saving Grace' Airs on TNTBy LillyKat
PTR Senior Staff Writer

In light of the recent news that this third season will be the last for Grace Hanadarko, I have to say I'm looking at this past week's episode a little differently.

We recall I've continued to talk about the maturing of the character, and her subsequent embracing of her new role alongside Earl as his co-pilot in the do-good-for-others department. We now have about nine episodes left to figure out what that really all is going to mean.

And what legacy Grace Hanadarko will leave behind on the television landscape.

But more immediately, what exactly is Neely going to do - or not do - to this partnership between Grace and Earl? And what is Neely going to become to Grace?

What - if anything - is Johnny going to contribute as the go-between for both Grace and Neely (all the while still not realizing he's actually met Earl, which I think is one of the best B-storylines going on the show at the moment - next to Rhetta's personal troubles with her soon-to-be-ex husband)?

And what about Ham seeming to start living a life outside of the mind-numbing, energy sucking, codependent mess of a relationship he obsesses over with Grace?

The fact the case this week was an odd role reversal of an abusive relationship - that is, a lesbian couple, where one partner beats the other and/or takes things a little too personally when someone else might get close to her - kind of paled in comparison for me as I now start to wonder how this series is set to wrap up.

We recall back during season one, we posed the question is Grace really worth saving? And if so, once she's "saved," would that be the end of the show?

I now think the answer to both those questions is yes.

She's proven she is worth saving.

And she's moved more into the "saved" direction than not.

Next week's episode is set up as the summer series finale; it teases us with the idea that Grace could die trying to save a jumper. We obviously know she won't, but give it nine episodes and maybe we'll be singing a different tune.

One thing's for sure, the Saving Grace folks will keep it interesting until the very end.

New episodes of Saving Grace air Tuesdays at 10 p.m. on TNT. You can watch full episodes of the show anytime over on the show’s official Web site. You can also visit to share your stories of how you embrace your inner-Grace.

Roundup: 'Closer' Mails It In; 'Bar' Cops a Bad Feel

By LillyKat
PTR Senior Staff Writer

'The Closer's' Fifth Season Airs Mondays on TNTCheck, Please

So can we just start with Charlie almost being shipped back to Atlanta after ONE week ...?

Sorry, but did I miss something ...?

I did predict the innocent-goody-two-shoes-misundertsood-teen routine could possibly go out the window this week (and it did). And I also get that a "scenario" needed to be set-up so that BJ and Fritzy would find the compelling reason to keep her.

Still, the timing seemed ... well, weird.

And I'm not sure I could really get past it. Her baking marijuana into brownies (which BJ sniffs out like a bloodhound and, naturally, becomes higher than a kite) is bad - really bad. But IMHO, there didn't seem to be enough getting-to-know-her episodes as yet to justify that kind of an abrupt change in behavior. And having BJ's mom "talk" about how bad Charlie is back home isn't the same as seeing it play out over the course of episodes.

Then again, this is TV. And sometimes they just have to cram it in.

Oh well.

As for the case ... hmmm ... a dead body gets mailed in an ice chest to Major Crimes, which leads BJ and Co. to encounter quite the interesting variety of suspects: a scripture-thumping stepfather, a disgruntled ex-girfriend, a buddy who was constantly being hit up for money and a landlord who simply hated the victim’s guts. Meanwhile, Gabriel is studying for the detective exam, so BJ uses the case as a teaching tool.

'kay. Funny. Weird. Unique.

And yet, I'm still feeling a little underwhelmed with this season's offerings of The Closer.


Maybe I've just watched too long that I can start to piece together aspects of the episode quicker than I have in the past. And when that happens, shows tend to lose a little bit of umph for me.

Still love BJ and Co., though.

New episodes of The Closer air Mondays at 9 p.m. on TNT. For the scoop on the series, head on over to the show's official site.

Don't Let the Door Hit You on the Way Out


Evil-creepy-arsehole-bad-guy-cop Tim is gone.

'Raising the Bar' Airs Monday's on TNTDefinitely hated this guy.

And the sad part is we know there are cops out there in the ol' real world who are even WORSE than his character portrayed.


But can I just ask how blind, deaf and dumb was Michelle Ernhardt over this guy?


For a woman portrayed as doing anything to get the upper-hand in her job, I get her fraternizing with the cop to get what she wants. BUT, she is also fiercely protective of her job, so getting involved with someone who seemed so slimey just out of character for her.

And yet, we all have flaws, eh?

And Ernhardt is by no means perfect.

So it worked.

In an annoying sort of way.

But I think what struck me most about this episode was: 1) Bobbi is becoming my second favorite character; and 2) Nick Balco can actually do something good for a change.

The expression on his face once he realizes how fraked up the case was after Tim had tampered with jury, fabricated evidence AND slept with Ernhardt was priceless. And, his stepping in to clean up the mess whilst still seeming sympathetic to Michelle was a nice twist on his hardline character.

New episodes of Raising the Bar air Mondays at 10 p.m. on TNT. For the scoop on the series, head on over to the show's official site

'Saving Grace' Done After Three Seasons

Actress Holly Hunter of TNT's 'Saving Grace'By LillyKat
PTR Senior Staff Writer

It looks like Grace won't be saved after all.


Just when it was starting to get really good, too.

TNT announced this week that the Saving Grace will end its three season run next summer (2010).

While TNT wanted to continue with the adventures of all-things Grace Hanadarko, Fox (which actually produces the show) decided to end production after disappointing overseas and DVD sales.

As part of the decision, TNT will not air the winter run of the remaining six episodes on tap for the third season until next summer; and, Fox will film an extra three episodes to tie up all loose end so as to give the series a proper send off.

So look for the final nine episodes of the series' third installment to all air next summer.

Guess Angel Earl is going to have to find another assignment, eh?

Sources: TNT Publicity; LA Times.

Friday, August 14, 2009

The Countdown Dips into the Top 15

The summer-long countdown is moving right along with three more episodes that shone brightly this season. But before we get to them, we have to go over the rules for the countdown. LillyKat and I ended up with 33 incredible episodes that demonstrate the diversity and quality of the current television state. The shows and their episodes are from both NETWORK and CABLE television. All episodes aired between June 2008 and June 2009. Each episode that made the final list moved us in some way; either by making us laugh out loud, cry our eyes out or just left us with that "wow" feeling that stays with you for a few days. So basically, it's completely subjective! Since this is a summer-long countdown to the number 1 episode, we will reveal a few each week all summer. So, be sure to tune in every Friday to find out which episodes are on the countdown! Today, we're going to take a look at numbers 15-13.

15: "Mortal Men" - Deadliest Catch
I know we referenced Captain Phil's memorable survival of a blod clot passing through his lungs in last week's countdown, but THIS is the episode that started it all - and left us all wondering what the heck was the matter with him. As a result of an Arctic hurricane, the Cornelia Marie took one of those 90 degree rolls, which threw Phil out of bed, across his room and smack dab into the sharp corner of his dresser. Being the tough guy that he is, he thought he could just Ace bandage himself back together and keep on fishin'. Not so much. Slowly but surely, it gets worse. Way worse - to the point where Phil's coughing up blood, the crew is freaked, and he's thinking the haunting dream he's always had of dying on the Bering Sea is actually going to come true. Now, I love Captain Phil, and the Cornelia Marie is my favorite ship (though the Hillstrand brothers on the Time Bandit run a very close second). But I just wanted to throw Phil overboard given he just would not call it a day and get himself to a freakin' hospital - even when everyone was telling him to do so, including his crew and the other captains. Thankfully, Phil does come to his senses. But interestingly, what he thought was the cause of the problem (cracked rib, punctured lung from being thrown out of bed) ended up NOT to be the case (as we now know). And that made this episode quite compelling to watch. - LillyKat, PTR Senior Staff Writer

14: "Unleashed" - Fringe
This episode centered around a seemingly impossible concept and managed to make it seem pretty possible all in the course of a 1-hour story. It's a hallmark of this series, but it was done to perfection with this outing. Scientists successfully created a new species by using the DNA of several existing species. It sounds crazy, but Walter presented his research, addressed all of the difficulties that one would have to overcome in order to accomplish such a feat, and then pointed out that if the scientist built on Walter's research from 20 years ago, he/she would be able to create a hybrid creature (in theory anyway). Apparently, the "monster" contained bat DNA, which is important because bat DNA gives the creature a unique immune system that would allow it to fight off the effects of different DNA coming together (much like the way the body will reject an organ transplant unless the recipient takes specific drugs to stop the process). It was all very clever. This stellar episode also included a life or death situation with Charlie (who had been attacked by the hybrid creature) and had Walter putting his own life in danger for the greater good. What more can you ask for from this delightful freshman series? Written by Zack Whedon and J.R. Orci and directed by Brad Anderson.

13: "Heart of a Cop" - Saving Grace
Two words: Christina Ricci. When I heard she was joining the cast of Saving Grace for a three episode arc, I was beyond thrilled. When she debuted in this episode - late to a crime scene after she and her son were teary-eyed and heartbroken over the death of their pet goldfish - it ended up being Best.Character.Introduction.Ever. Unexpected, yet cute and charming at the same time. We were all being set up to have Grace rip her a new one given her. Yet, when she finally does arrive and breaks into tears, even Grace is thrown off her game. Brilliant! As was the episode. It counts as one of my all time favorites. Everything gelled - some suspense, lots of humor, great personal interactions amongst the characters, nothing was over the top, good pacing. It all just worked. But it was Christina Ricci who made this episode so much fun - and so memorable. She was a perfect addition to the cast. As Holly Hunter told us, the role of Abbey Charles was written specifically for her by Creator Nancy Miller. As such, it definitely fit her like a glove. Christina is good in EVERYTHING she does, and I still wish she would become a regular cast member (or at least recurring). She balanced out the testosterone, gave us the young cop v. old schooler angle and slowed Grace down a bit to give us a more mentoring, elder detective woman look at the usually wild-child-hellraiser character that is Grace. Written by Denitria Harris-Lawrence and directed by Artie Mandelberg. - LillyKat, PTR Senior Staff Writer

So, there's a look at numbers 15-13 on the countdown. What do you think? Do you agree? Disagree? Leave us a comment with your thoughts. And be sure to tune in next Friday for #12-10 on the list.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Northern Exposure

I can't even tell you how excited I am to have my Shawn and Gus back! I have been looking forward to this premiere all summer, so it pains me that I was out of town when it aired and haven't been able to do this write-up. And, to make matters worse, I have a new format for PTR's Psych write-ups this season and I haven't been able to roll it out yet. It's called "The Funny, The Funnier, & OK, for Real, My Side Just Split," and it showcases the episode's best moments. So, without further adieu, here's the inaugural edition of The Funny, The Funnier and OK, for Real, My Side Just Split.

When I first heard that Psych was starting off its season with a little visit to our neighbors to the north, I thought, "Hey, what's this all aboot?" But this hilarious hour had something better (and possibly more Canadian) than an "aboot" here and there -- MOUNTIES (or, more formally, the RCMP)!! I was sad that they weren't actually mounted, but it was good to have them all the same. And, as it turns out, they thought that Shawn was in charge of Lassie and that instantly made things about 10x funnier. So many jokes, so well executed. Setting the episode in Canada was made even funnier by the fact that the show is actually filmed in Vancouver (which doubles for Santa Barbara), so really, it was a story that took place in a different place, but was shot on location in the show's home city. Only Psych could take a vacation to the place they're already shooting in!

As funny as the Canada setting was, Lassie in Canada was even funnier. And the fact that he wasn't allowed to carry a weapon was hilarious. It was a common theme throughout the hour and it just worked so well. Even at the end when they apprehended the faux "international art thief," Lassie took his gun for himself before the mounties caught him. And then there was the cat and mouse game between aforementioned faux international art thief and Shawn & Gus. LOVED the part when Despereaux wrote down everything he was going to do and Shawn countered with his own "To Do" list (including, but not limited to, trying some of that maple sugar candy everyone is so crazy about) and wrote his on the expensive restaurant's cloth napkin. Classic!

For the night's most hilarious moment, we have to go back to the beginning of the episode when Shawn and Gus went skiing down the slope after Despereaux (after one ski lesson) ala James Bond in For Your Eyes Only. I'm not sure which part was funnier: the "pizza" versus the "french fry" bit about skis and their faster/slower positions or the end when they stopped abruptly after hitting the pavement and Shawn declared that finding Despereaux meant that his cup of hot chocolate was now a write-off. The entire sequence was, simply put, AWESOMELY HYSTERICAL!! I instantly thought, "So. Worth. The. Wait!"

Psych airs Friday nights on USA Network. Catch up on this episode ("Extradition: British Columbia") and others at And learn more about the awesome-ness that is Shawn and Gus at USA's official site.

Remote Rewind: Peace on the Mountain

We're going to take a little break from Sully and Michaela this week to focus on a stand out episode from the third season that pushed Michaela both physically and emotionally. At this point in the Sully/Michaela arc, they were reunited after being faced with the possibility of losing each other at the hands of Cheyenne dog soldiers and now, engaged (after Sully dreamt about losing Michaela, he asked her to marry him right after he woke up in a sweat lodge where he was trying to recover from a nasty migraine). But before these two could walk down the aisle, Michaela needed to complete a challenging journey: climbing Pike's Peak.

It all started when an eccentric, but aspiring former teacher found her way to Colorado Springs. Never one to shy away from a challenge (or an opportunity to raise a few eye brows), Sam came to Colorado Springs to climb Pike's Peak. She had lived a life of excitement and scandal (having an affair with a married man back east), but she hadn't climbed the tall peak. Michaela wants to climb it with her, but Sam tells her that she needs to do it alone. Michaela protests, but Sam assures her that she has hired a guide and will be fine. Michaela finally drops it and decides to spend the time she has with Sam before she starts her climb to get to know her better. Sam shares her love of Emerson with Micheala and the two become fast friends.

Sam says her goodbyes and takes off for her journey up Pike's Peak. Michaela worries, but lets her go. Things change when she spots the guide Sam hired back in town without Sam. When she asks him what happened, he tells her that he took Sam to the trailhead and she told him to leave. Michaela packs her things and gets the guide to take her to the spot where he left Sam. He, of course, thinks that she and Sam are crazy, but does it anyway. Michaela begins her hike and eventually catches up with a very weak Sam. It turns out, Sam is dying and has very little time left. Michaela being a doctor, wants to get her back down the mountain and into treatment, but Sam refuses. She has been through the treatments and she simply wants to enjoy her time left, accomplish something grand and die in peace.

Michaela once again protests Sam's decision, so when she wakes up the next morning, she's alone on the mountain side. She grabs her things and goes looking for Sam. She finds her, but she is even weaker and having trouble breathing. Michaela tries to help her, but Sam refuses. She wants to be left alone and she gives Michaela a choice: either leave her to die in peace or stay with her as her friend (NOT her doctor). Michaela feels torn between her duty as a doctor and her obligation as a friend. She settles on the latter. She looks up at the night sky with Sam as Sam quietly passes away. Michaela is devastated when she loses her friend, but finds one last message from Sam telling her to live life to its fullest. The words comfort her as she makes her way to the top of Pike's Peak and then back down and into town. She leaves that mountain a new person thanks to Sam, a little Emerson and her own physical and emotional strength. Little did she know that that emotional strength would be tested even further in the coming weeks, but we'll delve into the show's most tragic episode next week.

Feeling nostalgic for Dr. Mike, Sully and the rest of the residents of Colorado Springs? Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman: The Complete Series is now available on DVD.

Monday, August 10, 2009

In-'Sight'-ful Season Ender

According to In Plain Sight's outgoing showrunner David Maples, this week's episode of the hit series was not intended to be the finale. He told E! Online's Watch with Kristin that he had intended for last night's outing to be the second to last episode and the conclusion to be the finale, but creative differences with the network led to his departure and a bit of a re-work for the end of the season leaving all of us in the lurch until spring. Of course, I'm not worried about Mary (Cold Case already played this trick on me with Lilly), but I am curious to see how the show writes itself out of Mary being unconscious and facing the possibility of some brain damage and how they're going to proceed with the Marshall/Mary/Raph/Brandi love situation (square?). And with the departure of Maples, means the show is transferring to someone else's hands. This makes me a little nervous, especially since I think the show is coming off of it's strongest season. But, as How I Met Your Mother's Marshall would say, that's a problem for Future TVFan to worry about because it isn't happening until next year. Let's just stick to the episode that was and how it worked as the second season finale. As much as I dislike cliffhangers, I have to agree with the network in that they work better for a finale. I'm not sure, however, how I feel about using this device when the show is off the air for 8-10 months in between seasons. My life is jam-packed and I'm not going to be as invested in Mary and co. next spring as I am right now, which may make the conclusion feel a little heavy-handed. We'll just have to see.

I kinda knew what was coming with this story line -- I just didn't know how it was going to go down. Even though I knew, I still thought the actual shooting was pretty shocking. Maybe it has to do with what Marshall and Stan said: you never worry about Mary because she always seems like she's the stronger contender, like she always has the upper hand even when she shouldn't. And the truth is, she did this time too. Someone sucker-punched her while she was making sure Det. Dershowitz wasn't ambushed and also maintaining a safety net for her witness. It's hard to imagine the mighty Mary being felled by something as small as a single bullet, but then again, nobody is a match for gun powder and lead.

There were more allusions to Marshall's feelings for Mary this week. His full-fledged waterworks when he saw her on that stretcher and his "primal instincts" to find the person responsible and make them pay (as well as his "loved ones" discussion with Raph) drove it home. Both of which could easily be interpreted as friendship and his close relationship with his partner until you take a few weeks ago into consideration. As I said, I'm not worried about Mary -- I know she'll pull through. The real cliffhanger is whether or not Marshall will if Mary ultimately ends up with Raph. Next season suddenly began to feel a little further away.

In Plain Sight will return next spring on USA Network. If you missed this week's finale, check it out for free at And for more on the show, visit

Breakdown, It's (Not) Alright

Murphy's Law was in play this week on Ice Road Truckers -- BIG TIME! And, strangely enough, it wasn't just one driver suffering: it was all of them. Lisa was heading south to Fairbanks when she and her passenger Anita (a stranded safety instructor whose flight from the North Slope was canceled when Mt. Redoubt started erupting a thousand miles south right outside Anchorage grounding flights across the state) encountered a breakdown. Lisa began to smell diesel fuel inside her cab. She stopped and discovered that her truck was leaking diesel. After laying out a hazard mat to catch the pollutant and turning off her truck, she tried reaching other truckers on her radio. Unfortunately, no one was within radio contact and she and Anita were stranded on the side of the road with no heat and a cab that was getting colder and colder by the second. After an hour, another truck finally crossed their path and stopped to help. He found the source of the leak, and luckily, had the needed part to mend it and get Lisa back on the road to Fairbanks. Of course, Lisa being female, blonde, attractive and stranded, several other trucks stopped to try to help her a well. She got back on the road and traveled the remainder of the 500 miles with strong diesel fumes in her cab leaving both her and Anita with headaches and unsettled stomachs. Fairbanks and the Carlile lot never looked so good.

Meanwhile, Alex was set to leave Deadhorse for Fairbanks with an out-of-service truck on his trailer when his truck suddenly took itself out of service courtesy of a flat tire. Unfortunately for Alex, this has been a common theme for him this season. He was temporarily sidelined until they patched his flat. He was on his way for the second time when he realized that the broken down truck he was hauling was leaking toxic anti-freeze. So, he had to drain the radiator so there would be no anti-freeze left in it to leak. Luckily, the third time was the charm and he and his convoy partner were finally southbound on the Dalton. Things went smoothly (he even managed to master his achilles heel: chaining up) until he got close to Fairbanks. His engine started to falter as he tried to ascend a hill. He pulled over and discovered that his air filter was clogged causing the engine to stall out. His convoy partner was able to rig a quick fix that carried them the rest of the way to Fairbanks.

Elsewhere, Hugh encountered problems before he even picked up his load in Fairbanks. His exhaust system was on the fritz, so he was stranded while he waited for the mechanics to fix it. They patched it up and had him on the road (with Phil Billy) about 5 hours later than he had anticipated. Later, he struggled with chaining up as he prepared to cross Atigun Pass. Dalton Ace Jack was hauling a crucial load of diesel fuel to Prudhoe. The eruption of Mt. Redoubt meant that the only supply line to the oil fields was the Dalton, so the generators needed to provide power to the buildings and rigs were running desperately low on fuel. Jack's load of 9,200 gallons of diesel would be a welcome site in Deadhorse. Most of his trip was uneventful, but he did have a close call with a southbound truck on one of the inclines. The truck was supposed to yield right-of-way, but continued to navigate the hairpin turn just as Jack was approaching it. A collision seemed imminent, but both trucks were able to pass through the curve without slamming into each other. The only other close call of the episode occurred when Hugh descended Atigun Pass and his "J brake" refused to engage. He couldn't use his regular brakes because they could cause him to jackknife and slide off the slope and downshifting was only slowing him down a bit. He was barreling down the hill when his J brake finally engaged and slowed down his rig. Somehow, no matter how many episodes I see of this show, it still manages to put me on the edge of my seat.

Ice Road Truckers airs Sunday nights on History Channel. To catch up on this season, click on over to where you'll also get show info, driver bios, and an IRT app for your iPhone.

Friday, August 07, 2009

The Countdown Keeps Rolling

The summer-long countdown is moving right along with three more episodes that shone brightly this season. But before we get to them, we have to go over the rules for the countdown. LillyKat and I ended up with 33 incredible episodes that demonstrate the diversity and quality of the current television state. The shows and their episodes are from both NETWORK and CABLE television. All episodes aired between June 2008 and June 2009. Each episode that made the final list moved us in some way; either by making us laugh out loud, cry our eyes out or just left us with that "wow" feeling that stays with you for a few days. So basically, it's completely subjective! Since this is a summer-long countdown to the number 1 episode, we will reveal a few each week all summer. So, be sure to tune in every Friday to find out which episodes are on the countdown! Today, we're going to take a look at numbers 18-16.

18: "The Final Hour" - Deadliest Catch
The fourth season finale of Deadliest Catch is remembered - at least by me - for the Cornelia Marie crew's resilience in light of Captain Phil's troubled health. As we recall, their season got off on the wrong foot - they couldn't even find the crab at first, then they encountered engine troubles that forced them to return to port. When they finally limped back out the crab grounds and started to rake in the payload, they were hit with Phil's near-death blood clot health issue, which saw him have to be removed from the helm and take up residence in a hospital. Credit should be given to relief Captain Murray Gamrath for pulling the crew together and doing one heck of a pinch hit job. As we now know, Captain Phil's health remained an issue for the first part of the fifth season, and it is still something he must keep a close eye on as he continues to fish today. However, considering only 2 out of 10 people survive a blood clot passing through one's heart and onto one's lung, Phil has already beat the odds. And that is definitely worthy of a place on our countdown.LillyKat, PTR Senior Staff Writer.

17: "Zebras" - Law & Order: SVU
This season finale incorporated one of my favorite devices: suspect the most unlikely suspect even if he is right under your nose. Cold Case did it to perfection with the George Marks character, The Closer shocked me with the Stroh character and now Law & Order: SVU has managed to do it with a weaselly lab rat who seemed to get in the way of solving the crime more than he helped. In fact, I thought Stabler was going to deck him several times. Turns out, he wasn't incompetent and he wasn't bumbling the case -- he was covering his tracks. Stuckey was the man that Stabler and Benson were hunting, and he had a bit of an ax to grind with Elliot. Apparently, Elliot should have been more patient with Stuckey and not discounted his intelligence (or psychotic-ness!). First, he kills CSI tech O'Halloran and then waits for Elliot. He gets Elliot and ties him up, but he makes a mistake when he answers Elliot's phone and his ensuing conversation with Olivia tips her off. When she arrives, the showdown to end all showdowns occurs between Liv and Stuckey with Liv pretending that she hates Elliot and sides with Stuckey. Her deception works, and she manages to save her life and Elliot's. Stuckey isn't so lucky. This was one awesome way to end a season! Written by Amanda Green and Daniel Truly and directed by Peter Leto.

16: "Tomorrow Blues" - Friday Night Lights
With the end of senior year comes many difficult decisions, and this year's season-ender centered on those decisions and their repercussions for the future. Lyla thought that going to San Antonio State with Riggins was the right decision even though she had gotten into Vanderbilt. Thankfully Riggins, in a very selfless act, convinced her that she belongs at Vanderbilt. Matt was torn between his dream of art school (in Chicago) and his grandmother and her declining health. In the end, he chose his grandmother. And then there was this outing's most moving story line: Tyra's emotional rollercoaster as she waited to find out if she would be moved from the waiting list to the accepted list at the University of Texas. She made a desperate visit to the school's admission office, but it was that beautiful, moving essay that made the difference. I rejoiced along with Tyra and felt so proud for her when she received that acceptance letter. What a moving moment and such a perfect reflection on why this show is one of television's best. Written by Jason Katims and directed by Jeffrey Reiner

So, there's a look at numbers 18-16 on the countdown. What do you think? Do you agree? Disagree? Leave us a comment with your thoughts. And be sure to tune in next Friday for #15-13 on the list.

Thursday, August 06, 2009

Remote Rewind: Sully's Heart Song

When we last left off, Sully and Michaela had finally thrown caution to the wind, run into each other's arms and professed their love for each other after a fateful trip to Boston. It was TV romance at its best, but things did not stay quite so rosy once they settled back into normal life in Colorado Springs. First, they struggled with their different lifestyles and expectations, but soon discovered that all they needed was each other -- everything else would fall into place. Later in the season, Sully developed a close (but innocent) relationship with a white woman raised by Native Americans. She kissed him, Michaela found out, and she and Sully broke up shortly after. Next, Michaela briefly "courted" the reverend when they bonded over a group of orphaned children (he asked her to marry him, but she declined). All the while, she and Sully remained separate. They slowly began to build their friendship again, but nothing materialized on the relationship front. It seemed, once again, that their intense, overwhelming feelings for each other had created a fear so strong that it kept them apart. All of that changed in this episode when renegade Cheyenne kidnapped Michaela, and Sully found himself risking his own life to spare hers.

After Sully and Michaela witness an incident between a group of renegade Cheyenne (dog soldiers) and the army, they're thrust into the middle of the conflict. Michaela tells Sully that if the army asks, she will not be able to lie about what she saw. The army asks, she tells the truth and the dog soldiers go on the attack. They set fire to houses on the outskirts of town and when their path crosses with Michaela's, they take her while Sully watches helplessly. The dog soldiers, led by One Eye, go on the run and keep Michaela as a prisoner. Cloud Dancing's son takes pity on Michaela and decides to risk his own life to save his father's friend. He frees Michaela and when One Eye finds out, he kills him. She doesn't get very far and One Eye takes her shoes so she cannot run again. Sully finally catches up to them and sends a voice signal to her. She pretends to have to go to the bathroom, so One Eye takes her to the woods where he tries to rape her. She fights back and Sully seizes the moment to jump in, grab Michaela and get out of there. The two escape after crossing a river in the dark. When Michaela wakes up the next morning, they are safely atop a ledge and Sully brings her some honey and berries. Faced with almost losing her, he decides to go for it one more time. Michaela realizes how devoted Sully is to her and how much she truly cares for him.

By the end of the episode, the pair make it back to town just in time to stop General Custer from executing innocent women, children and elders of the Cheyenne nation. Custer being Custer, wants to continue with the execution anyway, but Sully is able to stop it. Cloud Dancing is safe, but Michaela and Sully's future is still a bit up in the air. At least they're back on the right track.

Feeling nostalgic for Dr. Mike, Sully and the rest of the residents of Colorado Springs? Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman: The Complete Series is now available on DVD.