>TV Round-Up

>24: Day Eight 5- 8 p.m.
Do they not do background checks over at CTU? I ask this because it seems a bit odd that CTU, an agency whose sole purpose in life is to gather information, can’t or doesn’t look deep enough into Dana’s past to see that she’s got a criminal past and has taken on a new identity. On the other hand, maybe she was so good at crafting her new identity that it lead to her being hired. Whatever the reason, it just really sticks out like a sore thumb for the new season and feels like they’re working too hard to provide some kind of distraction to the unfolding plot to a major head of state.

Hopefully she’ll stay far away from Jack since it appears that just about anyone who comes into Jack’s sphere of influence isn’t faring too well right now. It’s interesting to see Jack’s win at all costs attitude wear off onto Rene (especially given how upset she was early on last year by Jack’s methods) and to see her have her own Jack Bauer moment as the cliffhanger to the first four hours of the new day. Even more interesting is that she’s able to to pretty much take care of a guy whose thumb she just sawed off with little more than a first aid kit. I’m telling you, that CTU training is incredible. I wonder if it’s taught by McGyver.

Meanwhile you’ve got As the Hassan Family Turns with a brother conspiring to kill his older brother and take over the reigns of state, all jump starting the country’s nuclear weapons program. That’s pretty ambitious for one terrorist plot, you have to admit. And to see him still trying to get the uranium while his brother consolidates power should prove interesting

Oh, one last thing. Any time they want to kill of Freddie Prinze, Jr is fine by me….

Chuck: Chuck vs. First Class

And we’re back. “Chuck” has been getting its stride going with the first four episodes and it really hits it here, even if the B plot is kind of similar to the one last week. I thought Morgan had established authority over Lester last week, but any excuse to see Casey and Morgan teaming up to take down Lester is fine by me. Seeing Casey positively salivating at the chance to use his tactics on insurgent Lester was pure and total gold and worked a lot better than last week’s “Fight Club” homage.

But where the show really worked was Chuck getting his own first solo mission. At first, I assumed Shaw was brought in as another spy who’d put Chuck into a corner and limit him. But to see Shaw give Chuck the chance he’s been wanting for so long and then to see Chuck go on his mission, watching it unfold was just a lot of fun. And even Kristen Kruek, who was usually a major downer on “Smallville” works here. Again, the joy of “Chuck” is that guest stars come in and they play off the types of characters they’ve played in other shows, movies or other areas. And it’s all working here.

I can’t believe we only have two more episodes left before the Olympics break…

Dollhouse: Epipath Two

Whatever else you can say about Fox’s treatment of “Dollhouse” I will give them credit–they renewed the series last year and they made good on their promise to run all the episodes. While it’s still another Whedon show cut down and sent to the scrapheap, at least this time around Joss and company got to gives the fans the closure and ending the show deserves.

After we saw Echo and everyone else take out Rossum two weeks ago, we had to have an episode that dealt with the fallout we saw from the zombie future. And “Epipath Two” felt like a nice code to the series, allowing Whedon to have everyone win the battle and end on some hope for the characters. Not everyone got a necessarily happy ending, but it felt like there was some hope there for everyone. And while the show may have been originally all about Echo, it’s fascinating how in 26 episodes the supporting cast was more developed and this show felt more like an ensemble show in the end than anything. In fact, I found myself caring more about how Topher would end up and would he solve the problem facing them as well what had happened to make him the way he was, than really much of the drama between Echo and Paul.

Also, in watching the finale, I kept wondering why when they got back to the L.A. Dollhouse they didn’t just download a copy of Topher into one of the dolls to help the real Topher solve the problem. Or at least have a line that says–oh his construct was destroyed.

Caprica: Rebirth
I’ve said elsewhere that I think this show might be more successful if it weren’t sold as a prequel to “Battlestar: Galactica.” It’s a solid enough show that it could have stood on its own without being part of that franchise. As it is, watching the episodes it’s hard to not look for things that foreshadow or echo things we’ll see in BSG.

I liked the pilot but had reservations about it. That said, I think “Rebirth” is a solid entry and a good second episode because it allows the universe to expand and seems to be putting in motion a lot of things the series will explore as it goes along. Chief among them is Zoe in her various incarnations and the questions of identity that it could bring up.

Also, I find it fascinating to see just how her parents are dealing with her death and the implications of her involvement in the attack. Her dad seems to want to deny that she could be part of it while mom wants to admit it and accept some responsibility for the actions. It should set up some fascinating episodes and storylines to come in the coming weeks…

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