>TV Round-Up

>Bionic Woman: Paradise Lost
I wanted to love the second epiosde of Bionic Woman, but I have to admit that, overall, I found it a bit “myeh, not so much.”

It seems like there was a lot of heavy-lifting going on in this episode as the series tries to find its footing for the week-in, week-out business of telling its story. Hopefully we’ve got those all in place now and the show can starting establishing its voice and telling stories that are unique and interesting to the series as a whole.

This week, we find Jamie struggling with the burden of having these new powers thurst upon her. We find her attempting to rebel against her new-found destiny (if you will) by trying to go back to her old life, even going so far as to pick up a guy in the bar for a meaningless tryst in the bathroom. That is, until, she gets a little too into it and breaks his ribs, shoving him up against a stall. Jamie still continues to run from her new-found destiny, until a random encounter in a bookstore pushes her to realize she can play a role in making the world a better place and saving the world. But, (in one of the more obvious from a mile away plot points of the night) the guy in the bookstore turns out to be part of the conspiracy group. Needless to say, not shocked by that one, at all.

Meanwhile, some other group has poisoned an entire town. Jamie goes through some training (which did anyone else wish Giles would show up?) and then pushes to be sent out into the field. I’m still curious to know exactly what strength Jamie brought to the mission, other than her bionic ear working to help find the girl who hadn’t died from exposure to the virus. This whole plotline raised a lot of questions, few of which we got any substantial answers to–or even hints of answers, mind you. What is this other group and why’d they poison the town? Will this threat come back? Why was our group so bent on finding out who did it and why? How many of these organizations are there out there? And do they have their own versions of Jamie as some kind of secret weapon?

I am guessing and hoping the show will start to answer these as the weeks go along. It’s still a bit early yet to tell what the overall bigger picture here might be. But I hope it comes into focus soon.

Meanwhile, we’ve got the whole Sarah plotline. Sarah, the first Bionic Woman who went a bit mad and claims her software was hacked. Oh yeah, and she survived a bullet to the brain. I really want to know how that happened. The story even hints that it knows we’re wondering, but it’s kind of glossed over.

Overall, we had a lot of threads but not a coherent whole this week. I am not sure what they’re setting up here, but I hope it takes off soon. As I said before, right now I am getting a strong Buffy-wannabe vibe off the show. A lot of the themes seem to be the same and I can only hope Bionic finds the story it wants to tell with those themes soon.

Reaper: Charged
Reaper’s second episode, on the other hand, shows how you can use your second-episode to remind the audience of the show’s premise, all the while expanding your universe. And you can do it in an entertaining, fun and enjoyable way.

I’ve always thought the second episode of a television show must be one of the hardest to produce. After putting all your eggs in a basket to sell the show to the network and then viewers, now you have to start delivering on the promise and continue to build on expectations. And I’ll give Reaper credit–the second episode did that.

In “Charged” we find Sam attempting to rebel against his calling. He figures if he doesn’t open the box, he can’t be the bounty hunter for the Devil. The Devil doesn’t take kindly to this and the way the box follows Sam was nicely done. But it turns out that is Sam doesn’t accept his role in things, innocent people will die. Sam is thrust, reluctantly, into action.

I loved the way the vessel this week was the toy truck and that it got destroyed. Interesting to see how Sam is going to have to deal with things, should things go a bit wrong. And the scene where he announces who he is to the escaped soul and then the Devil telling him now the guy was hunting for Sam was hysterical. I’ll go so far as to say that this week’s escaped soul wasn’t necessarily all that pivotal. In X-Files or Smallville terms, he was little more than the freak-of-the-week, but he did what he needed to do–motivated Sam and showed how and why he has to do what he does.

And the episode itself was a fun. It worked well and had some good moments in there. A couple of good laugh out loud scenes and the plotline of trying to hide the secret identity from his mom were welcome touches. CW may have a hit on its hands here…assuming anyone will watch.

Trust me–it’s worth giving this show a try.

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