Lethal Weapon s2 ep 16

Lethal Weapon has had a week off in the UK, but the offscreen action has been continuing: specifically, the news that the show has been renewed for a third season, but with Seann William Scott stepping in to replace Clayne Crawford, albeit playing a different character. 

Now… I should again stipulate that I have no idea whether Crawford’s behaviour merited dismissal. (Actors and crew members who have worked with him on Lethal Weapon and elsewhere have continued to offer support, mind you; which suggests, again, that there might be more than one side to this story. Or that Crawford, like all of us, contains multitudes.) And I’m entirely unfamiliar with Scott’s recent work. But replacing Clayne Crawford with Stifler out of American Pie doesn’t strike me as necessarily the best move.

We’ll see. (Or rather, we won’t; I’m not at all sure I’ll be watching.) Meantime, this week’s episode starts at a police gun buy-back event, at which a gang jumps in to steal the guns, around 400 of them. Riggs and Murtaugh locate the gang leader, Booker, fairly swiftly, but he claims that he’s an undercover ATF officer. Which is true as far as it goes, but Booker’s boss says that he’s gone rogue since his partner was shot. Meantime, Murtaugh is reading Sun Tzu’s ‘The Art Of War’ in order to navigate his ongoing battle with Trish. And Ruth has parked next to Riggs’s trailer for the time being; the two of them hang out, bicker, and play Mahjong; all of which, as Riggs is well aware, is providing him with a level of emotional support which is keeping him off alcohol.

It’s a reasonably good episode, but no more than that: it doesn’t sting like Lethal Weapon at its best. And it looks as if that’s the last we’re seeing of Ruth for a while, which is a shame: Swoosie Kurtz has an engaging way with salty dialogue.

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The Bridge (Bron/Broen) s4 ep 2

At the start of an episode in which all might not be quite as it seems, we’re introduced to a couple of new characters: two teenage girls, maybe sisters, definitely homeless, and making a living from crime. Their immediate impact on the story is to steal a mobile phone and pass it on to number one suspect Taariq after a chance meeting with him. But given that Henrik is still having visions of his missing-presumed-dead daughters, it’s impossible to ignore the symbolism.

Saga has survived the attack at the end of last week’s episode, of course; and is keen to get back to work, of course: it’s what she does and what she is. Later in the episode she will correct Henrik when he tells her that she can’t be a detective 24/7. For now, though, there’s a significant, almost moving, moment when she dons her leather trousers and big-pocketed coat before jumping into her Porsche: the superhero is putting her costume on, and she looks as close to happy as she ever gets. 

Her discovery that hot-desking is now de rigueur at the Copenhagen nick throws her off-balance, mind you, but she and Henrik manage to lift Taariq and discover that the phone given to him by the girls has an app on it which tracks the phone of murder victim Margrethe. This is… one hell of a coincidence, if coincidence it is. But Taariq’s claim that he wouldn’t have wanted to kill Margrethe, because she was helping him, has already been corroborated, sort of, by club owner Silas (who confirmed that Margrethe met Taariq) and by Margrethe’s husband Niels (who claimed that Margrethe sometimes helped people she felt had been wronged by the immigration rules, that being how she slept at night).

However, Saga still hasn’t quite recovered from the trauma of being accused of her mother’s death, imprisoned, then stabbed. Some of her behaviour is typically Saga-esque: immediately after apparently satisfactory sex with Henrik she re-opens the investigation into the disappearance of his wife and daughters, discovering that the marriage wasn’t great and that Mrs Henrik had a male confidant at work. But she’s having panic attacks, which is most unlike her.

Around the core storyline, there’s plenty going on. Sofie and Christoffer have now moved in to the house offered to them by their protection officer (?) Frank. It looks as if I called it wrong by invoking the spirit of The League of Gentlemen in relation to Frank and his landlady (?), but it’s still creepy enough: a sort of commune, I think, in which there’s a vacancy because the last tenants broke an agreement. Uh, what agreement, wonders Sofie? “It’s no big deal”, soothes Frank. “I’ll explain later”. The sinister landlady puts some flesh on those bones in due course: “Be the best you can be, and pray that’s enough to be allowed to stay”. Yikes.

And the body count has started to rise: Patrik, the twin who works as a hospital clown – presumably that’s a thing – is murdered, perhaps by someone who mistook him for Richard the journalist. Unless, of course, someone was pretending to be someone else, a possibility I can’t rule out because they look exactly alike – unsurprising given that they’re played by the same actor – and because, as yet, I’m not sufficiently interested in The Twins to try to keep tabs on which one is which. Niels, meantime, the husband of the first victim, has had someone deliver to him photos of the crime scene, which – together with a mysterious phone call we only hear his end of – starts to mark him out as a wrong ‘un. It’s maybe not quite as good an episode as last week’s opener, but it’s more than good enough.

The Good Fight s2 ep 10

*SPOILERS*

“Day 471” sees the return of some dastardly but very welcome faces from The Good Wife in the form of Dylan Baker’s incorrigible Colin Sweeney, Mike Colter’s suave, sinister Lemond Bishop and Wallace Shawn’s deceptively mild-mannered, utterly ruthless Charles Lester. The recurrence of something else from The Good Wife is, while beautifully-executed (sorry), considerably less welcome to me, though – having already lost one TG Universe senior partner that I adored to a bullet (and never really got over it, as the long-suffering Jed will confirm), having another one shot in the chest seems particularly cruel.

Happily, REDACTED survives – quite possibly due to the quick-thinking Marissa and her cardigan – but he’s not out of the woods, yet. The culprit’s at large, the self-righteous, sanctimonious Liz does something both stupid and wrong (FFS, Liz!) which means the firm’s suddenly in none too healthy a position either, and the police are significantly less interested in finding the shooter than they are in harassing Reddick Boseman’s more notorious clients, regardless of evidence, motive or anything to do with anything. I mean, for a start, Sweeney was actually in a completely different building on the phone to REDACTED at the time – an airtight alibi which would have taken seconds to confirm, if Capt Lawrence actually cared at all.

The strengths of this show being its characters and its wit, however, there’s plenty of hope and humour amongst the worry, though. Diane, who has been through this before but with a significantly less happy ending, finds herself again, ditches the drugs and the self-doubt, and despatches Alan Alda’s duplicitous Solomon with aplomb. Jay comes back because he’s great. Colin is adorably worried. And Lucca gets an entire office full of balloons because…. why not? Her and Diane gleefully popping them is exactly the kind of joyful moment we all need. Get well soon, REDACTED. (Please, please don’t die.)

The Blacklist s5 ep 20

In a sinister cold open, a girl and her father are in a forest, trying to escape from someone or something: the father gets caught; the girl gets away. Meantime, in the non-arboreal world it’s still a race between Red and Liz to find the Bones: Red is at home recovering from last week’s injuries, and Liz visits him to make it clear that the death of the man who killed Tom doesn’t provide closure, as Tom died trying to uncover the ossific secret.

While talking to Liz, Red casually covers up a newspaper story about a mysterious girl who has wandered out of a forest and who, when examined, shows no sign of having been exposed to the modern world. Liz infers that the girl is in some way connected to the Bones, because that’s all Red’s interested in at the moment, and decides that she and the Task Force have to unravel her secret before Red does.

The girl, Maybelle, is diagnosed as having leukaemia and hospitalised. She is a member of a community which, under the sway of one Nicholas T. Moore, who failed as an author but succeeded in getting onto The Blacklist, is convinced that it survived an event which it knows as The Contagion. Any outsiders – known as The Ollo – and anyone who escapes and is recaptured, such as the girl’s father, are contaminated and need to be burned to death in what looks like a human-sized smoker.

A hospital orderly turns up to take Maybelle, for tests, and the fact that it’s PRUITT TAYLOR EFFING VINCE doesn’t seem to raise any red flags with Liz and the staff, given how surprised they all are when he chucks her into a van and drives her away, all the better to smoke her. Samar tries to prevent him and gets taken along for he ride. By the end of the episode the girl has been saved from a good smokin’, but Samar has disappeared. Which might mean there’s a little more yet to be revealed about Moore and his community: I wasn’t quite sure what they were up to, the significance of those vertical lines the father and daughter drew on their foreheads, or what Pruitt Taylor Vince had to do with them.

Meantime – spoiler alert – Red, unhindered by Liz, is still trying to find the Bones, because Maybelle and Moore had nothing whatsoever to do with them. Nice one, Red. In the first place he reaches out to Jennifer, his daughter, in case the Bones were left with her mother. Jennifer filibusters for a while, then takes him to Naomi’s grave and says that she doesn’t want to see him any more. So Red makes contact with Garvey’s number 2, Judson, who tells him that the suitcase is in Costa Rica, as presumably we will all be in the next episode. It’s a nicely creepy and fast-paced episode; not as good as last week’s, maybe, but that was exceptional.

Timeless s2 ep 7

*SPOILERS*

Two’s company, four’s a Time Team – for now, anyway – as Wyatt, Lucy, Rufus and Flynn (despite Wyatt’s dog-in-the-manger protests) head off to 1919 New York to try and save one iconic suffragette and end up getting to know another rather better. It’s a decent, interesting story but I’m not entirely sure the show does Mary Grace Quackenbos Humiston justice. Yes, she was nicknamed “Mrs Sherlock Holmes” and yes, her Patrick Jane-style sizing up of everyone she meets is impressive (albeit less surprising to the modern audience who’s seen quite a lot of this preternaturally-smart, solve-it-on-sight sleuthing template on tv over the last few decade or so). But the real Grace was absolutely amazing for a number of reasons and accomplishments, and it’s a shame the show couldn’t have given us more of a hint about them. On the other hand, though, the episode’s only 40-ish minutes, I hadn’t heard of her at all before, and it did prompt me to go look her up so maybe it didn’t do too badly on that front after all.

Setting the history aside however – which any actual historians watching must find incredibly difficult to do each week – what of the ep? The stakes are high, Flynn and the slightly over-confident Rufus – the moment when Flynn points out to him that just because he’s not going to die right now doesn’t mean his kneecaps won’t get blown out is hilarious – make a nicely knockabout team, and their brief alliance with REDACTED sort-of-makes-sense although I’m not sure it’ll be as one-off as everyone says. If Keynes has a problem with women’s rights, he’s going to have a problem with REDACTED’s pretty soon, no? Romance or no romance.

Post-romantic stress meanwhile (as identified immediately by Grace) is causing difficulties for Wyatt and Lucy, although significantly more for Lucy who, finally, thank goodness, stops being so gosh-darned polite about it and gives the big jerk a piece of her mind, even if her comments are significantly milder than mine might have (or already have) been. After the first couple of episodes of the season suggested he might be brighter than we thought, Wyatt’s treatment of Lucy post-Jessica’s return indicates he’s a complete idiot but I guess “I would really appreciate if if you would stop acting like you’re the one who got screwed” does get the necessary point across. Since Lucy and Flynn are just friends (for now) and (yay Connor!) it looks like the Jessica Problem might be about to take the turn we’ve all been waiting for, there’s still hope for Wyatt to redeem himself, though, so come on, dude. Get it together. Time’s-a-wastin’.

Blindspot s3 ep 21

*SPOILERS*

The EPG for this week’s episode says “Jane is forced to recruit someone from her past to help take down a dangerous alliance,” which makes my heart sink; not because of the “dangerous alliance” part but because the “someone from Jane’s past” well is one Blindspot is far too fond of dipping into, and those “someones”, with the rare exception, tend to be somewhat annoying. My fears are realised as this week, we get the mother lode, both literally and figuratively, with a double-does of the intensely irritating Shepherd, appearing first in time-wasting flashback before being shuffled in to Tat HQ to wind everyone, especially me, right up.

Months of black-site living mean Mama Doe’s a bit twitchier and slightly more subdued than she was, but she’s still very much herself, which means we go from “No way will you be seeing Jane!” to “Here’s Jane here, carry on!” within seconds, and all for naught except that she and son Roman are both dropping giant “whatever mysterious malady ails him is going to ail Jane pretty soon too” hints all over the place. That’s a problem for another day, though; today’s task is to identify which particular nefarious scheme little bro has cooked up now and stop him.

Rich Dotcom, sporting a delightfully brash shirt and planning a charming, strangely familiar graphic novel/ tv series(?), is back to offer tech support, but is regrettably under-used – when you have a crew of miserable Does around, why bother with laughter or joy? – and even Patterson isn’t as well-deployed as she usually is, though she does have a couple of triumphant moments. The wickedness of the week is quite clever, though: Roman is planning to sort-of-blow-up-the-UN-but-not-really, just enough to get the squabbling leaders of two made-up countries evacuated to a not-so-safe house so he can kill them some more. To be honest, it’s probably too clever – the whole plan has something of the “sharks and laser beams” about it, but no matter – Blindspot, with its naked amnesiac lady in a bag/tattoo-palooza of mystery has sharks toting laser beams in its very DNA. This week’s particular silliness is worth it for the revelation that Kurt apparently has an encyclopaedic knowledge of fictional world leaders: “We need to find King Almasi and President Bottros!” he barks, without missing a beat. Impressive. More so than the UN’s own security chief who insists on sending the said King and President to the unsafe-house, because “protocol.” Oh, girlfriend.

Unsurprisingly, “protocol” gets a bunch of Ms Chief’s security staff gunned down in a hotel hallway – goodbye, guards, we never knew you – and Jane and Kurt playing international mediators before sending the King and the President to safety out of the window down a garbage chute. Hurrah! (The garbage chute is then summarily dispensed with, of course, so we can get an unencumbered action-movie shot of Kurt and Jane leaping out the window together instead. It’s very cliched, but I like it.)

It’s not all rejoicing and secret shipping of bickering world leaders (no? just me?), though. For reasons that make no sense and that nobody need trouble ourselves with, Keaton “fires” Zapata, putting a slight wrinkle in my Zeaton/Kapata hopes. And then Zapata and Reade give in to their feelings for each other, which turns the wrinkle into a giant crease. *Shrugs.* It doesn’t really bode well for the main characters that I’m more interested in a possible Keaton romantic angle than theirs, but never mind that for now. Plot-wise, the big news is the set-up for next week’s season finale: Roman challenging big sis to “one last game”. Is it too much to hope that “last” is the operative part, and season 4 brings some fresh villains? Come on, guys. Enough Doe vs Doe. End it.

Hawaii Five-0 s8 ep 19

An elderly hitman, Leroy Davis (nicely played by The Wire’s Frankie Faison), decides that it’s time for him to confess his sins to Steve, chosen because back in the day John McGarrett led the investigation into Leroy, but was never able to pin anything on him. Hawaii Five-0 normally handles its flashback stories pretty well, and this is no exception: it’s downbeat but touching. Curiously, at the end the families of the (eighteen) victims line up to offer thanks to Steve, who seems to accept it as his due, even though all he did was follow Leroy around.

It’s particularly out-of-place this week, because one of Steve’s worst decisions – putting Adam in charge of an undercover operation – is now unravelling, largely because Adam’s a colossal effing idiot. He’s abducted by McNeal and taken to meet his half-sister, who we now understand to be Ms Big. Which means that it’s her turn to demand the $20 million Adam knows nothing about, this time threatening Kono and Chin if he doesn’t pay up, and shooting McNeal in the head as a sort of demonstration of her bona fides as a ruthless yet capricious killer.

So Adam runs to Jessie, and tells her that with people he cares about under threat he’d better get the money. She’s dumbstruck: you… know where the money is? The money you denied knowing anything about? The money I tried to beat out of you? Oh yeah Adam knows where the money is: he’s deposited it with a Yakuza banker. Adam and Jessie withdraw $20 million in cash money at a moment’s notice – the Yakuza Bank clearly keeps a lot of cash on hand – and put it in his car. Obviously Adam turns his back for a minute, giving Jessie the opportunity to drive off with his car and his money. He ropes Tani in to help trace Jessie, but when they find the car the money’s gone and Jessie’s dead. Oh, Adam. Remember when you promised to protect her? Me too.