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the island of conclusions

TV catch-up: Merlin 4x06, Downton Abbey 2x08, Homeland 1x06, H50 2x08

the island of conclusions

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TV catch-up: Merlin 4x06, Downton Abbey 2x08, Homeland 1x06, H50 2x08

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Merlin 4x06



How can I even add to the squee this episode has already produced? I dunno—but here goes, anyway!

*I loved how businesslike and brisk evil!murderous!Merlin was. He had a job to do, dammit, and people were just getting in his way. (In a related note, I’ve always loved that old!Merlin isn’t just a disguise in which Merlin looks old. He actually is old, and stiff and frail, and can’t do stuff like jumping on a horse. It helps make the persona less gimicky than it might be, and more poignant).

*I loved how Gwen got to make ALL THE FACES in this episode. I particularly liked her “ew-I-can’t-look-no-I-have-to-look” face which she was watching Gaius deal with the hydra-worm thingamabob in Merlin’s neck.

*Oh, yeah—and the other stuff! You know, watching Arthur this season is like watching this kid, not your kid, maybe a neighborhood kid, or one of your friends’ kids, who’s always been nice enough, but kind of annoying to be around, a little too high on his own good looks and sports skills, y’know? And then one day, you see him, and maybe something’s happened to him, some ordinary tragedy, like a parent’s death, or he’s just had to take on some more responsibility, and you realize that not only has he become an adult, but he’s a strong and considerate adult at that, someone who’s learned, who knows where, that depth of feeling can make a man stronger, not weaker, and that courage consists not in ridding yourself of attachments but in letting people know they matter to you.

Or, you know, something like that. But with more swords and red cloaks and dragons.



Downton Abbey 2x08



Okay, I feel like I don’t really have the right to comment on the second season finale of S2 because I still haven’t seen 2x06 and 2x07 and I probably never will. But if I were to comment, I would probably just say this: “You know, some people—some shows—might consider it tacky to take a catastrophic global pandemic and put it in the service of a cheesy plot device? But, whatever, Julian Fellowes, you just do what you think is right.”

Sorry. This season of Downton made me angrier than I usually ever get at TV shows, I expect because it dealt with world historical events in a way that was either borderline offensive or just didn’t suit my politics, depending on how you look at it. I usually just switch off shows I find that aggravating, but, being me, I had to watch the Spanish Flu episode.



Homeland 1x06



I…I honestly don’t even know what to say about this episode other than omfg. I can’t believe they went there. I’m so glad they went there. That was easily the hottest thing that’s crossed my screen for a long time. And the most wrong. Her heels digging into the car ceiling. Jesus.

Okay, that aside, I love the way the show messes around not only with the question of who’s lying and who’s telling the truth, but also with the question of people’s “real” mental states. Is was Brody turned, or was he brainwashed (or is he innocent)? Did he pass the polygraph because he's a well-trained terrorist mole or because he's a motherfucking marine? Is Saul anxious, or is he lying? Is Carrie crazy, or just more aware than anyone else? And this week, did she tell Brody about Hamid because she was drunk, or because she was trying some ploy or because she was just gets high off gamesmanship (because she’s crazy)? Altered states, I dig them—you rarely get some many together on one show.

Oh yeah, and after this week I think that Jessica Brody has definitely learned not to plan any more get-togethers at her house in the foreseeable future. They don’t end well.



H50 2x08



God, that was cute.

(I know everyone was loving the Steve-Danny-Dog interaction, and I’ll grant you that was adorable. But we’re all bird people in this house, and so we were thrilled that the 5-0s came to the rescue of the parrots. I would have taken one of those to hang out with for a few days. But I suppose they were repatriated to the rainforest, right?)

  • I saw a criticism of Downton Abbey that called it a telenovella, and I think that its treatment of serious historical issues can be excused if one views it as a historical telenovella with very high production values.
    • yeah, in theory I agree, and I would have been very happy to enjoy it that way, but for some reason I just couldn't--maybe if its historical unrealisticness had erred on the side of more sympathy/screen time for the war veterans, I would have made it...But the Courtenay plotline, then Lang, then the William thing just killed it for me...

      Still, I did end up loving all the Crawley sisters. I felt like you do at the end of some Jane Austen novels--wishing they'd had better men to choose from (okay, Branson seemed okay by the end).

      Oh, and I adored the Dowager Countess's line about the aristocracy not surviving by intransigence :)

      Edited at 2011-11-09 03:23 am (UTC)
  • what you said about Homeland-omg yes!!!!
    I'm loving that show and agree with you-the way the writers keep the audience off balance and full of questions is awesome-
    car sex wasn't bad either!!
    • oh yay! I'm glad you're watching Homeland--it's so fascinating, isn't it? The characters are so complicated (including the terrorist girl), but I feel like it comes out of their characters organically, instead being manipulations on the part of the writers, if you know what I mean?

      And no, the car sex wasn't bad at all!
  • Sorry. This season of Downton made me angrier than I usually ever get at TV shows, I expect because it dealt with world historical events in a way that was either borderline offensive or just didn’t suit my politics, depending on how you look at it. I usually just switch off shows I find that aggravating, but, being me, I had to watch the Spanish Flu episode.


    Oh, do I ever hear you on that one, and I did have to watch the Spanish Flu episode, though I came very close to tossing my remote across the room. Constructive, I know.

    On a different note, poor Jessica Brody......
    • I'm glad I wasn't the only one to have that reaction! (I couldn't throw anything at the screen, but only because I was watching on my laptop). I think it was mostly when Jane the maid was saying, yes, you're right, I'm only a lowly maid, I'll see myself right out of a job now, but I love you anyway. Sheesh.

      And the prettified flu thing. Ugh. (I could rant about this one for a long time)

      It takes a fair amount to tip my love-hate relationship to Englishness all the way to almost hate, but there you go.

      But, yes--no more barbeques for you, Jess-- (poor woman, unlike everyone else on that show, she really didn't ask for all this)
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