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  1. mtmjr

    NCIS: Los Angeles

    I guess great minds can differ, and I certainly accept anyone who wants to be done with any given show, and while I could take issue, at length, with a number of things raised in 123BP's post (because I have also watched most of those shows), this one is the one that I can't accept. Tiva, anyone? That was the most inconsistently written relationship I've ever seen on a procedural (with the possible exception of Olivia and Elliot on Law & Order: SVU, but at least one could fan-wank that relationship based upon the fact that they were two profoundly damaged characters). The writers on the mothership never seemed to have a clue what Tony and Ziva wanted from each other or felt for each other. The whiplash made my neck ache. In contrast, Kensi and Deeks have actually followed the trajectory of a real relationship. Obviously there have been mis-steps along the way, but the fact is we have gone from flirty antagonists, to co-operative partners, to super-flirty partners, to eff buddies, to boyfriend-girlfriend, to co-habiting intimate partners, to fiancees, and now to spouses. That's consistency in my book, and it's why I'm so looking forward to the ultimate payoff! I also kinda like the whole Sam/duChamps thing, and Callen's teasing about it. It's all about whether Sam is ready to put himself out there again socially, and I think it's nice to see him dipping a toe in the water, and Callen joshing him about it in an encouraging way (which I found totally consistent with their relationship). DuChamps is a cool character, and I'd be happy to see more of her.
  2. mtmjr

    NCIS: Los Angeles

    As for a), I've been imagining things for years, and haven't come up with anything good. I wonder if it's changed over time, i.e., what Shane Brennan imagined back in Season 4 is completely different than what will be revealed in Season 10. As for b), I'm really hoping it will be the return of Hetty. Maybe to officiate the wedding? I'm SO looking forward to this episode it's kinda ridiculous, but it's not often that you actually get a pay-off to a relationship like Densi, especially in a procedural. It's like the Powers that Be actually producing a piece of fan-fiction 🙂
  3. 'Kay, another random thought, that I might be turning into a hypothesis. Just re-watched the Season Three episode, either "Nature" or "Nurture," where Cole is pointing a gun at his son and can't pull the trigger. And his son is played by the same actor who played little James in the first season. Again, I'm not sure it's a coincidence. Maybe, the whole series is about saving Cole. Time knows that, in order to be fixed, Cole needs to be erased. But Time likes Cole the way he is (throwback to "Lullaby" -- "Time likes Jones the way she is.") So Time is trying to figure out a way to fix itself, and still keep Cole. I'm gonna keep this theory in mind as I re-watch the rest of the series.
  4. 'Kay, so here's a thought. I just re-watched "Brothers" from Season Three, where Cole kills Ramse, and then read some comments about it that people made when it first aired. And it caused me to think again about Cole-Ramse and Ramse-Sam. I don't think it's a coincidence that Sam is about the same age when Ramse first finds him as Cole is when Ramse first takes on the role of his big brother. And I also don't think it's a coincidence that they look alike (in fact, when Ramse says goodbye to adult Sam, the first time I watched the scene, I was distracted by how similar adult Sam looked to Cole; I was wondering if it was really Aaron Stanford under those bandages). Someone pointed out how, when Ramse is saying goodbye to Sam, he says "you're the only thing in my life I don't hate myself for," and what does this have to say about his relationship with his "brother." Well, we know that Cole at the beginning of the show is absolutely oozing self-hatred and recrimination for the things he's had to do to survive. So much so that he willingly throws himself into what he believes is a suicide mission, with the vague hope that he can make his past transgressions go away. And Ramse, as the older brother who basically raised him from age six, and helped make him what he is, has to know that. So I'm wondering if Ramse's somewhat fanatical devotion to Sam is an attempt, maybe subconsciously, to atone for the mistakes he made with Cole. People are always ragging on Ramse about how he's willing to sacrifice the world for a son he's known for a few days. In a way, it makes more sense if he sees Sam as a chance to atone for what he thinks he did to Cole. A chance to save his "brother" from becoming the self-loathing, suicidal asshole he seems to be, thanks to Ramse's influence. Somehow, in Ramse's mind (conscious or sub-conscious), Cole and Sam are the same person, and Sam is his do-over. Just a thought.
  5. So, late to the party on this one, but I just finished watching the series and knew that it deserved an immediate re-watch now that I know how it all plays out. It's obviously one of the most brilliantly realised (no, I correct myself, THE most brilliantly realised) time travel stories ever told on television. I just re-watched "Tomorrow," from Season 1, and oh-my-God, the Cassie who dies in Cole's arms at the CDC is the Cassie that got sent back in the finale! She has the grey streak in her hair. So she has lived the entire series, and knows about her transition to 2043, and Athan, and finding out that Cole is the demon. And she already proclaimed that, "I have murdered 7 billion people, and I won't make it 7 billion and 1." And then she did what needed to be done, and accepted that he had to eliminate himself from existence, and she went back to her timeline. And then she saw James for what she thinks is the last time ever, and he didn't know any of this and she couldn't tell him. But she does say "I don't want to be alone when I . . . " And Cole thinks she means that she doesn't want to die alone. But I think she meant that she doesn't want to be alone when he erases himself and the timeline resets. I'm still crying now, like, 10 minutes later, because it's all so sad and satisfying. Wow. I wonder what they told the actors before they filmed that scene, because it played out perfectly.
  6. mtmjr

    S08.E24: Unleashed

    I could accept Sam dating, though not next season, but in the far future. He's a relatively young man, and Michelle would never have wanted him to become a monk. But certainly not Jada. Presumably, she's already married to her beau in Sudan and anyway, she would be a terrible match for Sam -- she loved his undercover persona, not real Sam. And Sam's feelings for her were complex, but I don't think he ever wanted to be with her on this plane of reality (though I do think he maybe imagined scenarios where he was with her, which is probably now making his guilt and misery even worse).
  7. mtmjr

    S07.E24: Talion

    OMG I had this exact same thought! I'm terrible at predicting how shows will play out (I really thought Michelle's death was a big old fake out), but I remembered that I called this. I'll be interested to see if this particular decision has any repercussions for Sam's character and his mental state going forward.
  8. mtmjr

    S08.E24: Unleashed

    It was a good episode, for sure. Not as gut-wrenching as last week, but you couldn't very well top that, and besides, I don't know if I could take that level of intensity and horror twice in a row. That said, I'm somewhat ambivalent about the whole thing. Killing Michelle in such a horrible, frustrating way just seems so ... well ... pointless. It didn't advance the plot -- we already know that Tahir is a monster. It didn't do anything for the characters except torture them. Basically, it was just one of those "we have to bump off a popular character occasionally so that you know when we put our characters in jeopardy there's an actual chance they will die" moments. I blame "24" for popularising this trend. The episode itself played out in a fairly linear way. Sam "goes rogue," except he really doesn't, because he teams up with Sabatino and doesn't really do anything out-of-bounds. Then, the team persuades him to work with them, which I did like, especially Nell's heartfelt plea and Callen standing in front of the car. Then they all team up to assist Tahir in blowing himself up. The end. I guess I was hoping for a twist. Of course, the twist I was really hoping for was that Michelle wasn't really dead, and instead they had a sparklingly clever plan to ruin Tahir, but you can't always get what you want . . . I kinda see this as a lost opportunity to do something really cool with a tense, well-grounded story and an established villain. Instead, it ended up as standard procedural revenge porn. That said, maybe LL Cool J or the producers just wanted him to have a little more meat to play with for his character. I am interested to see how this changes him, or if it does. I do think he's an under-rated actor, and I get that it could be boring to play the same stable, disciplined good guy season after season. This does give him a chance to bring more dimensions to the character. I guess I'll re-evaluate next season whether the development helps or hurts the show overall. I will say that overall I loved Season Eight, and think it was one of the strongest to date. Oh, and Kensi's proposal was everything I could have hoped, and very them. But wasn't I promised a cliffhanger? Did I miss it?
  9. mtmjr

    Spoilers and Speculation

    And this show has never edited together a misleading promo for an episode (except that they do it practically every week -- I remember one promo in Season 6 that made it look like Deeks was garrotting Kensi -- I seriously watched it in slow mo to try and figure it out). Don't get me wrong, I love that they do that because I HATE when promos give away important plot points. But my point is that the promos often do not tell the whole story.
  10. mtmjr

    Spoilers and Speculation

    Ah, but I'm not suggesting that anything was fake up until the minute that Kensi and Deeks found Michelle. Up until then, according to my very tentative theory, everything was totally real. Hetty got Tahir released -- and Nell got them to lose the surveillance -- in a desperate last-ditch effort to save Michelle, which didn't work, since Tahir never gave them her location. But then, K & D actually found Michelle, and sure she looked unconscious, but we don't know from their reactions that she was dead. And, as I remember it, we never actually hear anyone say she's dead. Now I haven't re-watched it, but as far I recall, we don't get a lot of dialogue after that. Rather we have Sam looking stricken, and driving towards the crime scene, and then reacting to Michelle under a sheet. So my theory, such as it is, is that there may be some team interaction after the discovery of Michelle, in which it was decided that, for whatever reason, it made sense to stage Michelle's death even if she wasn't really dead. So the whole team would have been in on it. As I've said before, it's just a theory pinned on vague hope, but it's not necessarily inconsistent with things the show has done in the past. And if there's a choice between NCIS: LA Season 9 having Sam as a completely changed, dark, sad character and this theory, then at this point I'm choosing my theory :)
  11. mtmjr

    Spoilers and Speculation

    I'll call that, and raise you Sans Voir/Endgame at the end of Season Three and beginning of Season Four! At the end of Sans Voir, it certainly looked like Callen had smoked Janvier on live television. And in Endgame, most of the episode was spent playing out a complex but well-constructed plot that relied upon both the bad guys and the audience accepting that it really happened. Now, I wasn't watching live at the time, so I don't know how Sans Voir played out for the unspoiled, but I imagine it was pretty convincing at the time. So if you wanted to top that (as a show runner, that is), you'd have to go really, REALLY big! I agree that Sam is a man of great personal faith and discipline, and has a solid support network, but this is his wife -- whom he adores -- horribly murdered before his eyes for no other reason than because she is his wife, and because of his work for NCIS. There is no way that wouldn't change him dramatically and forever, and I also have a hard time believing he could just come back to work in a few months and joke around with the guys about "Which super power would you rather have," or Eric's annoying whistles. Plus, at the end of the day, it just feels more in character for the show if the whole scene is something different than it first appears. At least, I really hope it is . . . Of course, I'm probably wrong, and in denial. I agree that the scene in the preview which appears to be set in the morgue is hard to reconcile with this theory. If I have the emotional stamina, maybe I'll go back and re-watch the ep and look for clues, but it made me feel physically uncomfortable to watch the first time, so I don't know.
  12. mtmjr

    Spoilers and Speculation

    Okay, so I'm just gonna throw this out there. Does anyone think that there's any possibility that the ending of "Uncaged" was not exactly what it appeared to be? In other words, is there any chance that Michelle is not actually dead? I can't decide if it's just wishful thinking on my part, or if there's any basis in the episode to think it. I mean, we cut from Kensi and Deeks finding her to Sam reaching the scene, and theoretically undercover spy stuff could have happened in between. Maybe I'm just grasping at straws because I don't like the idea of the tonal shift in the show that I think could result from Sam becoming a bitter, grieving, guilt-ridden widower, who lost his wife as a direct result of his work for NCIS. Anyone else have any thoughts?
  13. mtmjr

    S08.E23: Uncaged

    Oh wow. I don't quite how to react to that! On the one hand it was an incredibly intense and effective hour of television. On the other hand -- they really went there? I couldn't quite believe it when I was watching it, and I'm still having trouble wrapping my head around it. One of the reasons I've enjoyed this show so much over the years is the light-hearted banter in the bull pen between the whole team, and between the partners when they're doing their investigations. And I'm just not sure how much witty banter Sam is ever going to be up for again after this -- seems like every time he mentions his home, his family or his personal life it's going to be overshadowed by the tragedy of this horrific moment. And that would mean that the whole tone of the show may have to change. And frankly, if that's the reset that Gemmill has in mind, then I think it sucks :(
  14. mtmjr

    S12.E19: True North

    Okay, so I just watched this ep in the UK, and I appreciate all the Reid situation speculation, because that was obviously the main takeaway of the ep, but the thing that got me was, what was with that final victim? I mean, I guess I can buy that he abducted her even though he had no visible weapons or chloroform or anything, and then she was tied up at first when she was in his trailer But then he lets her loose and has her sit on the couch next to his stroking-out Mom. And he has no weapon or anything. Why the heck wouldn't she just have tried to clock him with the nearest lamp, or jumped up and barrelled into him? In that situation, wouldn't you do you darnedest to overpower him and get out of the trailer? I get Stockholm Syndrome, but it seemed like it was only a couple of hours. Anyways, it wasn't a bad case-of-the-week, but that victim's weird passivity threw me out of the narrative. As for the Reid stuff, I'm reserving judgment until I see how it plays out . . . .
  15. mtmjr

    S08.E22: Golden Days

    Well, I thought this was a fun episode! I liked that Sam and Callen were like, "Dudes, we're actually Federal agents, not the mafia," and the cold war vets were like, "Whatever Mary." The individual interactions of the newly-formed partnerships were well-written and acted. I even enjoyed the cheesy final standoff, with the vets riding in to save the day (like we didn't all see that coming :) I do agree, though, that the disastrous nature of the Old Guys' plan was kinda played down. It ended up with a massive body count, including one guy who was literally tortured to death, for basically no return. Yeah, I guess that all the dead dudes were gangbangers, but I'm not sure I buy that every one of them deserved a death sentence. I absolutely loved the whole Kensi/Deeks and Deeks/Whiting storyline. Kensi and Deeks' scenes were so real and grounded and true to the characters and their relationship. I especially liked her "joke" that if he went to jail, she'd just have to break him out and they'd live the rest of their lives together on the lam. Because that is totally what would happen! Fan fiction writers, take note :) As for Deeks and Whiting, I think it's a really good way both to put the whole Boyle mess to rest once and for all and to open up fun possibilities for a Deeks arc in the future. I like Whiting as a character and I think the actress is very effective (it doesn't surprise me that they have made her a recurring character, since ECO specifically mentioned in his commentary on "Internal Affairs" that he really enjoyed working with her and loved their rhythm and repartee). I loved that she kept him twisting in the wind during their whole meet-up by not admitting until the very end that she remembered his confession. Way to keep a guy off-balance. As for the suggestion that she will keep the Boyle thing hanging over him for the rest of his career, that's an empty threat and I think he'll figure that out when he thinks it through. She can't very well close the case now, and then re-open it in a year or two and say "Oh by the way, he confessed to me two years ago. Why did I close the case then? Oh, I thought it was more useful to blackmail him with the confession then, but now I want to prosecute him with it." I think Deeks will work with her, not because she's manipulating him, but because he trusts her and because he genuinely cares about exposing corrupt cops. Oh, and please don't let Bates be a bad guy!