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  1. "Sorry guys." -BANG- Raise your hand if you were like me and expected Buck to shoot himself dead right in front of all his mates right then and there. I actually said those words as the dramatic moment appeared to hit, only for Buck to decide against it in what was an equally shocking swerve. One that, if I'm being honest, was not particularly satisfying. I mean, I don't mean to make light of Buck's situation or that a family- including a baby- were riddled with bullets. ...and I certainly don't wish to minimize the importance of the SWAT team or the police in general in getting the professional help they need. Mental health is no joke. The problem I have is that they built this "very special episode", one that is, potentially, "game changing" only for the producers to hit the "swerve" button to give us an episode that doesn't really change anything at all. One, let's start with the obvious. This shouldn't have been the first time any of the SWAT members saw a dead baby, nor would it have been the second or even the third. No less disgusting, sure, but I'm not sure why the team needed therapy after seeing a tragedy they've seen many times before. (Case in point- the team didn't go into therapy after the school shooting, which should have been just as traumatizing) Secondly, while the episode was great at exploring the stigmas the police face in getting professional help (i.e., they're "weak" if they need counselling), this wasn't the first time in the series Buck went AWOL and the team was concerned about him. They didn't need to go into therapy then- why go through it now? If this was about *Buck* needing therapy, wouldn't it have been better if the flashbacks were the team talking to *Buck's* psychiatrist, not the LAPD's? Continuing with Buck, I feel the story of him feeling depressed and being pushed to the edge is getting exhausting. Sure, it's a "real" story...but there comes a point where it just drags and it feels like it's "too much". It felt nice that Buck seemed to be recovering and getting his life back together...I think that would have been a nicer story about perserverance than punching him in the (metaphorical) gut again just so the producers could have their "Very Special Episode". I think if I had a chance to re-do the episode I would have had Buck initiate the hostage situation at the bank, knowing full well that SWAT would be called in. Buck would do everything he could- short of actual murder- to get himself killed, because that would be his goal, with the team realizing it and doing all they can to stop him from doing so. *Then* all the counselling and the brooding would be worth it, since the team wouldn't just be trying to get past what was a trying time for themselves but they'd also be helping Buck get out of criminal charges as well. I mean, if they're going to have a "wham" episode...then make the story a real "wham". Not something that could have been a regular episode with some overdramatic elements thrown in.
  2. I miss her too. I believe the episode (based on TheFutonCritic listing) they aired last night was when Chris and Stephanie Sigman's Jessica Cortez went undercover in Mexico. That was Cortez's best moment, in my opinion.
  3. For anyone wondering, this episode has been pushed back to April 8. It was originally scheduled for April 1 but CBS changed it.
  4. That's more like it. I'll start this by quoting a refrain I always say about stories in general- if you care about the characters, you care about the story. That sums up what I feel about tonight. Sure, the writers gave us some good moments- like Luca's issues, the twist the assistant manager of the hotel was actually in on the gangbangers' scheme, and Hicks being asked if he ever actually apologized and meant it (and the line where Hicks and Luca agree they hate smart criminals)- but this one's more on the casting director. The acting is really what made this episode work, because the acting brought the characters to life and made the characters people we actually care about. Because we all knew how the plots would end...well, except the one with Cyrus. I didn't see that coming although I understand why he did it. In his own words they were just going to "tag him and bag him" so why not take that leap? Overall, this was pretty good. Next week will air on April Fool's.
  5. This may be the first time I can say I was truly and genuinely bored of the episode- and not in a "I was interested, but it didn't hold it" kind of way. I was just...bored. From start to finish. Nothing really held my interest. I mean, there were stories...and angles. Just don't ask me about them because I couldn't bother to pay attention to them. The problem tonight seems to be that the show went with some rather undeveloped stories. The base case was your standard "will they save the kid?" storyline with a lazy attempt at bringing in witness protection to "make things interesting". Hondo's anger at Nichelle scheduling an Ice-T inspired rapper was disproportionate with what it took for his acquiescence later (plus, Hondo, haven't you learned that your anger has already gotten you into trouble before?). Oh, and could Daddy Hicks sound any more robotic to his son when he tells him, "there is nothing you could do that would make me stop loving you"? A new low tonight for sure.
  6. I believe it was "Plain Sight", as Reid explains that JJ is one of the few people who call him "Spence", and says so fondly. That's when Gideon surprises him with the football tickets.
  7. I'm not sure Harvey Weinstein qualifies as a human. He just has the (hideous) appearance of one.
  8. There were some pretty good scenes that pulled at the heartstrings, like Daddy Hondo admitting to Darryl that abandoning his kids was the worst mistake of his life and Tan's scenes with his mother and Bonnie. I also think Shemar Moore is great at pumping people up. No matter what the message is, he can always make it inspirational. "It's not how much money you'll pay...it's how much do you want it?" True that. Outside of all that...and a reappearance by the always great Kareem Grimes...this was a pretty rote episode. It does get a few points in that the SWAT team waited until after the opening bell to rescue the boxer's wife (when usually shows would have her rescued before the opening bell just so she could be ringside and inspire her husband), but, other than that, you knew how the episode would play out. It also loses points because Deacon stupidly entered the hiding spot without backup...I know "time was of the essence" but c'mon...a few minutes waiting for backup wouldn't screw up the mission. It would have screwed up the plot, though. A split decision tonight.
  9. Danielg342

    SEAL Team

    Street lied to Hondo in order to get time off so he could be further manipulated by help out his mother. It was more of a "straw that broke the camel's back" infraction (because Street in S1 was difficult), but it was a trust violation still.
  10. I think it's important to remember that JJ was not an original cast member, being forced on to the show because CBS didn't like that the pilot had only one female regular (Elle). Because of that, the writers had a difficult time finding the right "fit" for her in the stories and in the team, as the other characters took up the story roles that the writers actually planned for. The writers only exacerbated their problem when the role they did assign JJ- that of a media liaison- was one that was not inherently an "investigative" one, meaning she further had no natural fit in storylines that heavily featured an investigation into the crime. This is ultimately why JJ, for five seasons, had a "presence" on-screen and had a lot of lines but hardly ever did any narrative "heavy lifting", since her job didn't involve her being a part of the team's actual investigation. Her role fit one that's better assigned to a "spot" character, used only when needed, because there's very few times a media liaison is needed in an actual investigation. So when she became a profiler in S7 I wasn't against it. The only issue is how they did it. They thought, at first, that JJ would be more "likeable" if she was shown to be adept at just about everything, making the classic writing mistake where writers believe "the more awe-inspiring the character is, the more audience will like them" when the reality is the reverse happens. I know "Mary Sue" tends to get thrown around a lot in TV criticism, but I do believe it applied to JJ from S7-S10. What defines a "Mary Sue" is a hyper-competent character who faces no actual difficulties, overcoming every challenge as if it were a breeze. This describes JJ in this time period to a tee. Sure, she had her struggles, like "200" and "The Forever People", but neither of them had any meaningful impact. In "200" she brushed aside waterboarding as if it was nothing and in "The Forever People", a metaphorical snap of her fingers was enough to cast away her inner demon for good (and, worse, though JJ was "affected by PTSD" in "The Forever People", it didn't affect her actual competence at her job, despite Morgan telling her she was "reckless"). JJ at this time didn't resonate with me because her struggles never felt real- she got by them too easily for my liking. Then in S11 something seemed to change. The writing for JJ focused more on her self-doubt and the burden of expectations. More importantly, JJ had struggles during this time...and they actually had an impact. In "The Storm", Antonia Slade told JJ that she thinks JJ believes she should lead the BAU, and that seemed to have an effect on JJ. In "Sick Day", JJ had her decision-making questioned when she put herself at risk to save a boy that reminded her of her own son, getting JJ, in effect, suspended. Then there was "Last Gasp" where JJ, given the reins of the BAU, looked like a deer in the headlights. She became a much better character, and was one of the few bright spots of the last years of CM. I also think she had a much more believable bond with Reid during this period, because she understood where he came from, even if it's from a different perspective. Reid also second guesses himself and does it often, which is something JJ relates to. They had a pretty nice friendship going for a few years...and then, well..."Truth or Dare" happened... ...but, I'm going to focus on the positive and not dwell on that. So, yeah, JJ was always a complicated character for me...but I think the writers ultimately figured her out. I only wish they'd done so for the rest of the cast.
  11. Danielg342

    SEAL Team

    Not necessarily. Street got kicked off SWAT (for basically the same reasons as Vic did) to end S1 but the actor who portrayed him, Alex Russell, stayed on. Street then spent the first half of S2 working his way back on to the team, and he was successful. So I don't see why SEAL Team couldn't do that too.
  12. Danielg342

    SEAL Team

    I understand. I just think kicking him off the team was harsh- Vic at least was remorseful and understood the gravity of his actions. He didn't get defensive and try to justify what he did- he owned up to the mistake. Punishable, yes, but recoverable, I think. What bothered me more about Vic was that the show created him just so they could eventually sacrifice him. I think it cheapens the story they wanted to tell, because no one the audience truly cared about is going to have anything happen to them, when, in reality, this would shake up the team pretty badly. Of course, I don't follow this show all that closely (I'll only catch it when I'm waiting for S.W.A.T. to come on), so maybe those that do can answer this question for me. Why couldn't the show use a regular character, make them make a huge blunder on the battlefield that costs the team their mission, and put that character in an arc where they have to redeem themselves to the team? S.W.A.T. did it and it was a pretty good story. Why couldn't this show? Have they done it before or something?
  13. I'm not saying that the team should have reached out to them. I think the episode could have, at the very least, used a line where someone understood their frustrations come from a real source and that a lot of them really need therapy. As I said before, they had a real chance with the moderator because they could have (and maybe should have) given her a backstory to explain why she'd start a incel chatroom in the first place. I'm not saying I support what a lot of incels write (I've seen it too)- I'm just saying that if the show is going to cast them as the monster, they need to remember where that monster came to be.
  14. I suppose the most diplomatic reason for why this season went the way it did was that CBS maybe sprung the cancellation news onto the writers suddenly, forcing a rewrite of what they already had. It could explain why we had Cases Of The Week in what was supposed to be the final run of episodes. I also suppose that perhaps the writers didn't want to write a series of episodes that were "too far" from the kind of episodes they did before. It would explain why they concluded the series with a final scene that suggested things were going to operate like they did before- we would just not get to see those episodes. I don't know. I largely agree that the ball was dropped and I had different expectations for how this season would play out. I didn't disagree with the choice to end the series with the implication that the BAU would still continue but they should have done something to indicate that, after the finale, a "new" era of the BAU was beginning. If they didn't want characters to leave the BAU they could have at least given the team awards or someone could write a book about the BAU thus elevating their stature. I mean, in-Universe, catching the Chameleon was a big deal...why didn't the show recognize that? As for the Chameleon himself, I remember saying in my initial assessment of him that they had thought him out a bit better, he could have been a more "iconic" character. For one, they should have cast a better actor, because for a "final villain" you should go all out meaning you get someone who's higher profile than Michael Mosley. No disrespect to Mosley but he's nowhere near the guy I would picture to be the guy closing out one of the longest running TV shows in American history. (I mean, Hawaii 5-0 is getting Chuck Norris for its finale. Chuck freaking Norris. Why couldn't CM get him or someone of his stature?) Secondly, I don't think he should have been introduced via flashbacks. We should have seen his first case in real time. Thirdly, and more importantly, I believe he should have had a different MO other than "cutting people's faces off". That's a pretty unique MO for a criminal which would make him easier for the police to catch- even if he kills in different states, in today's 24/7 Internet news world, how would someone not think a series of murders where the face was cut off would be done by the same guy? Pretty easy to detect and corner, methinks. Rather, I suggested that he changes his appearance by using items he stole from the people he murdered, like a shirt or a necklace or a tie. That would be a bit harder for a layperson to put together and would likely require someone of Rossi's calibre to figure out. It might be harder to write, but the show's final villain should be a unique challenge to the writers. He shouldn't be a rehash of someone they did before. As for other parts of the finale- the writers should have thrown in a line or two discussing the other agents that have been on this team, at the very least Morgan and Hotch. Morgan, at least (given his history with Garcia), should have had a mention, since it's inconceivable that he'd miss Garcia's going away party unless he had a great reason to miss it, like being stuck on one of his restoration projects. Hotch, for his part, could have been away in seclusion with Jack, who may be becoming a great soccer player at this stage. Then there's Elle, Alex, Ashley and Kate...it might have been awkward to shoehorn them in to the dialogue but, at least for someone like Elle and Alex, who also had significant contributions to the team, they should have at least tried. Finally...Garvez. I know I didn't say I bought the attraction between Luke and Garcia, and I still don't. I do want to say it has nothing to do with looks- I just think their personalities aren't a fit. Garcia, even in the most generous of character assessments, would be someone who'd be emotionally needy because she's very neurotic and likely needs a lot of reassurance. Garcia, then, would need someone who is not just patient but would be able to reassure her and calm her down- Morgan fit much better with her in this regard, especially since we've seen him do it with Garcia multiple times. Luke, while laid back, doesn't strike me as the kind of guy who'd want to put in that kind of "emotional" work- he'd rather have the simple life with a simple woman. Which is why Lisa worked much better with him. Of course, if the writers wanted Garvez to be the end game, they had a chance to set that all up in "Luke" and develop the relationship instead of springing up haphazardly in the finale. It could have been a nice story for the last twenty or so episodes, but the writers dropped the ball.
  15. I suppose, since the media likes to think "incel=deranged monster", that Hollywood producers are hesitant to portray incels (or anyone associated with the "manosphere" for that matter) as sympathetic in any way. I'd also imagine it's realistic that the police, who are generally very "macho", would look down at a group of men who appear as the complete antithesis of "macho". ...but I also think this kind of characterization gets old very quickly. Hollywood loves to rip on lonely men who couldn't get a date to save their lives, forgetting that there are very real people in those situations who get into really deep depression because of it. I mean, I don't want to sound like I'm justifying misogyny (or misandry, for that matter), but a lot of incels are really depressed people who really need help, and I don't think many people realize this. I don't know how far gone Alex Minassian or Elliott Rodger were, but I'd like to think there may be at least a small possibility that maybe if someone had reached out to them and said, "no, you're not a pathetic loser just because you're single" that they wouldn't go off on the deep end. To be fair, this episode was a bit better at exploring the struggles of the manosphere than most other shows are, even if it all came within a short rant by the moderator of the chatroom. They didn't go far enough though. At the very least, they could have said the moderator was inspired to create the chatroom after, say, her brother committed suicide because he couldn't handle rejection anymore or because he lost his job because of a sexual harassment complaint. At least then it would provide a deeper and better explanation as to why incels have the rage that they do- because they have real struggles, not some "petty bitterness" that Hollywood thinks they could shrug off. There was a moment where, after Chris said she was dragged into the van, that she paused which gave me hope that she wouldn't finish her account by saying "I was raped", but then those hopes got dashed. Now, I grant that she didn't say who raped her, which makes me hope that maybe we'll get a twist on this overused story where Chris says she was raped by four girls and the policemen just laughed it off, picturing a lesbian fantasy instead of taking it seriously. This could be an extra reason as to why Chris never told anyone about it- it's hard enough to admit you were raped, but to be raped by girls tends to be a harder thing to swallow, since so many people think "women can't rape". So the hit to Chris' pride in the aftermath would be twice as hard, because she'd likely think, "how can I tell these macho men that I was raped by a girl?" I mean, I still stand by my original point that I wished they hadn't gone there, because "rape a backstory" is overdone, or, at the very least, made this a part of her character pretty much from the outset. However, if the show is going to spring this on us now, at least put a twist to the story to make it not feel like a retread, even if it's a realistic retread.
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