Designated Survivor s1 ep 20

*SPOILERS*

“Despite recent disruption to the world order, this is not the time to retreat into isolation or populism. This is the time to show that global co-operation can and will lead us to a safer future.”

Sigh. President Jack Bauer, ladies and gentlemen, as usual talking a lot more sense than the real-life shower of lunatics and fascists about to drag us into the apocalypse, and momentarily depressing me as a result, but no time for Weltschmerz this week, we’ve got a recap to get through, and things are moving FAST. Except on the nuclear disarmament front, that is, where things are grinding to an ignominious halt, thanks to the ridiculous Abe Leonard finally publishing his “It wasn’t Al Sakar! Dun dun dun!” story.

While the First Mole Lady seizes the opportunity to try and get the classified goss again, Moss is apoplectic that PJB didn’t tell him first, Seth is confused but loyal, funny and frankly lovely about it (Seth is the BEST) and the French President is just rude, announcing to NATO that she’s taking PJB’s Kum-ba-ya plan (despite it being HER IDEA) off the table because she thinks he’s too gauche to deal with. (Not that he helps himself by drawling “Madame” at her in cringe-worthy fashion every chance he gets.) After a few weeks when PJB has seemed much more authoritative, it’s disappointing to see him slip back into brow-beaten, sad-sack mode; I half-expected the cardigan and glasses to come back out, and the five minute flirt with “Madame” didn’t really turn that around for me – I thought he was going to kiss her hand at one point, ew – but it seemed to work for her so maybe we will eventually get our nuclear disarmament in season 2 after all.

There’s still a lot of other season 1 business to get through between this and the finale, though. While PJB’s away, Emily and Aaron will… sadly, not play, but will see each other across a crowded restaurant, have a very nice hug, and tease me with talk of wanting to work together again and anything could happen and the like. (You guys, I WANT THEM TO GET TOGETHER SO BAD.) Since Aaron is quite obviously delighted to see her, and Emily is quite obviously ready to take a stiletto to his lunch partner’s face till she realises it’s his cousin rather than some Julie-come-lately muscling in on her man turf, is it too much to hope we might get a snog next week? Or do I have to wait till season 2 for that as well? Hurrumph.

From a metaphorical ship to a literal one, meantime: Agent Q is running about the USS Conspiracy Corp, whacking folk with the wrong end of an axe, presumably since any federal agent chopping folk’s heads off would have to deal with a tsunami of paperwork. Mid-thump and before Catalan cataches her again, she manages to get a distress call out to a very nice lady at the US Coast Guard who doesn’t quite understand the significance of it at first. La Guard gets there, though, bless her, and gets hold of Reed Diamond, who is now FRANTIC with worry for the missing Q and yelling at everyone about everything, bless him. Now, obviously, Unpopcult keeps a keen eye on the latest developments in employment law and does not endorse vociferation as an ideal management technique in real life. But on this show, at least, it does seem to get things done – and by “things,” I mean a huge, practically immediate FBI raid on the USS Conspiracy Corp, and a lot of authoritative shouting and shooting and deck-clearing which is very impressive and exciting indeed, even if it almost ends me when I think it’s about to accidentally end poor Agent Q. It’s a great fake-out, leading to an absolutely fantastic cliffhanger – how will Q get out of this fresh fix? Will Reed Diamond admit his feelings for her? Are Reed Diamond’s feelings all in my head? And does Mole Guy really have better hacker skillz than Chuck? I don’t know, but bring on the next ep, I’m excited to find out!

The Mentalist s5 ep 13

Jane and co investigate when three bodies, hidden since the late 1980’s, are discovered in a basement on an abandoned farm, and there’s a Homicide: Life on the Street reunion of sorts as Kyle Secor and Reed Diamond both make guest appearances, albeit not in the same scenes.

By itself, this week’s mystery could have been fairly non-descript (and the diner scene resolution annoyingly trite), but the episode was thankfully rendered significantly more interesting – and creepy, VERY creepy – by connections with Red John and Visualise, and the return of Diamond’s Haffner. Who turned out to be pretty damn creepy himself.

Weaving in a thread about Lisbon’s years of service, and just what or who (squee!) it is that keeps her at the CBI, “The Red Barn” was a decent episode with a handful of great, unnerving scenes and something highly disconcerting going on in the final seconds. If I was a little bit disappointed in it, it’s not because there was anything wrong with it, per se, just that, given the RJ element, I may have been expecting a little too much; the ep suffered in comparison to some of the past Red John eps which have knocked me sideways. Much as I love The Mentalist, the show is clearly running out of steam.