>TV Round-Up

>Lost: Left Behind
After the giddy heights of the past weeks, we get an episode that is, well, just OK. It wasn’t necessarily horrible, but it wasn’t quite as great as I’d hoped.

Kate and Juliet are knocked out, drug off into the jungle and handcuffed together. They make their way back to the Others base, only to find they’re being pursued by the giant smoke monster. We find out the purpose of the barriers we saw a few weeks ago (it apparently keeps the smoke monster at bay), but we also (maybe) find out that the Others aren’t in control of this. Or it could be that Juliet is lying, playing some kind of game at Ben’s behest–though the question becomes what is the game and why are they playing it?

I do wonder if the Others really do or don’t have control of whatever the smoke monster is. Is it some elaborate security system? Is it something more? Is it somehow connected to the island?
Thinking back on the overall run of the show, the only person who has seen the monster and not been attacked or hurt by it is Locke. Which bring up the question of does Ben know this? And if Ben does know, is that why Locke is being allowed to go with the Others wherever they’re going? Also, it’s interesting how quickly Locke is being allowed to become part of the group that is the Others. We’ve seen that he and Ben have an affinity and desire to stay on the island, so will this make them uneasy allies as the rest of the season progresses?

But, back to Kate and Juliet…so in the flashbacks we find out that Kate hooked up with the woman Sawyer conned to help get to her mother. Kate was hoping Mom would at least be grateful for Kate killing the guy who was hurting her, but apparently not so much. Mom loved the guy, even if he wasn’t exactly a nice guy. And so that’s why she turned Kate in.

Seems that Kate and her mom just can’t quite pick the right guy. Which I guess is the whole point of this since it seems Jack has moved on to Juliet. Though you’d think that someone as self-aware and savy as Juliet wouldn’t want to the rebound girl if Jack is indeed trying to get over Kate.

That said, it should be interesting to see how everyone reacts when they show back up with the central group and Juliet is part of the deal. Honestly, I think she’s got some other agenda (no pun intended).

Meanwhile, Hurley decides to make Sawyer accept his role as reluctant leader. The thing with this one was I saw that there was more to it than the tribe wanting to banish Sawyer. I guess Hurley just wanted to play Jeff Probst for a few hours or something. Anyway, I can’t imagine the group would banish Sawyer since he seems to have his stash of all this stuff–plus, doesn’t he know where all the guns are? Did we hear he’d given them all back or given up their location at some point? I am pretty sure I don’t recall that, but I’ve been known to be wrong before.

Friday Night Lights: Best Laid Plans
And here we have everything that I love so very much about this show, all encapsulated in one superb hour.

NBC, if you cancel this one I am going to be upset. And then I’m going to buy this DVD set, watch it over and over again.

OK, let’s start with the one negative. The whole Street kisses Suzy just as Lila shows up was pretty cliched. But even as out of the soap opera writers handbook as it was, the scene still underscored a fundamental character development for Lila. The poor girl’s faith in men is being shattered. She’s lost faith in her dad, she’s lost faith in Street. Looking back to the pilot, it’s interesting to see Lila being now in the place Tyra was when the season started out.

It’s also interesting that the last two guys who you thought would be stable and good for Trya when the series began are the ones that came through for her in the clutch. In a show where I have a lot of favorite characters, Landry stands out as one of the best. His suffering to do the right thing, his taking the brunt of Tyra’s shame and rage and his speech to her at the end…what started out as a sidekick to Sarcasan has blossomed into one of the best characters on this show. And this show is filled with great characters.

That said, I’m afriad of where the Taylor’s storyline is headed. I am hoping it won’t lead to some type of seperation. I loved the final scene where we go from a sense of relief and joy that this fight is resolved to the utter look of horror on Eric’s face when Tami annoucnes she’s staying in Dylon. Wow, what a great scene. Suddenly, the whole outcome of the game next week takes on new meaning and new shades. Will this be the professional triumph he’s worked so hard for, only to have him lose everything that he holds dear?

The thing is, I have no idea how any of it will turn out. I can’t even begin to guess–and that’s why I love this show. We’ve got a huge bunch of rather standard situations, but the writing and acting have made them all so real and authentic that it feels different and unpredictable.

If you’ve not watched this show, please do so this week. I think the show’s fate depends on a good showing. I’ve heard that NBC wants to renew the show but isn’t sure what to do with it or where to place it on the schedule. Please, please, please tune in this week….

The Shield: On the J0nes

It’s been far too long a wait for new episode of The Shield. That said, the wait was worth it.

Picking up one week after Lem’s stunning death at Shane’s hands in last year’s season finale, this one opens with Kavannaugh more obsessed than ever with bringing down Vic. What fascinates me about this show is how Vic corrupts everyone who comes into his sphere of influence–even Kavannaugh, a guy who brought down dirty cops has become one. At one point Vic reveals how he does it–he changes the rules and makes the person he’s going after panic. And he’s done that here….to the point that Kavannaugh will break in and plant evidence. I have to wonder if he’ll be caught. I think Dutch will be instrumental in destroying the foundation of Kavannaugh’s case against Vic in the coming weeks.

Meanwhile, the departments tries to force Vic out, all the while making Lem the poster boy for cops gone wrong. Which only brings Vic back into the fold and more determined than ever. I’ve wondered since the beginning what might be Vic’s downfall and it may be the death of Lem is the beginning of the end. When Vic finds out Shane killed Lem, that can only get ugly. And that will lead to Vic feeling more and more alone, more and more trapped by his own deeds and his own corruption. I can’t see Vic trying to go out in a blaze of glory or try some insane act of redemption for his guilty conscience like Shane did here (which I think we may see all season).

I don’t know where it will all go, but I’m certainly hooked. And the thing is, this like Friday Night Lights is one of those shows I watch unfold and can’t believe an hour has passed so quickly.

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