After all the hype, I was rather let down by this episode. In part because I figured out that Chuck's father was Orion weeks ago. But the bigger problem for me is, well, Chuck. It struck me that after nearly two years, Chuck has had no character growth. For every step forward, he's taken two steps back. Or he goes running off to save the day only to need Casey and Sarah to save him.
On The O.C., Josh Schwartz gave us a Chuck prototype in Seth Cohen. But Seth, after four seasons, was not the same person as when we met him. Heck, he was a very different person by the second season. At least he had the balls to go after the woman he loved, damn the consequences and humiliation. I've just really become bored with Chuck (and by extension Chuck/Sarah). What does keep me interested is Casey, Ellie, Awesome, and even the Buy More staff which I didn't even like when the show premiered.
I do feel the show still has a lot of potential. There were some terrific episodes early in the season. And maybe the game changer in the season finale will breath new life into the show, but, right now, I won't be too choked up if it's canceled.
The writers seem to believe that Kutner's suicide was shocking, powerful, and heartbreaking. I found myself not caring. There seems to be a total disconnect between the writers and the audience. No one cares about Thirteen, Kutner, or Taub. There's been little character development for the three. Thirteen's was given a debilitating and fatal disease, yet it's swept under the rug as she's suddenly (and inexplicably) found happiness with Foreman. Taub's life is a mess right now, but he's internalizing most of it. Kutner seemed to be the healthiest, in every conceivable way, of the bunch and he's the one who kills himself. Kal Penn is leaving the series to to go work for Obama and I understand that when someone commits suicide you don't always know why, but this just seemed so out of the blue, a shock for shocks sake or, just as bad, lazy storytelling as they could think of nothing else suitable to do.
And because of Kutner's suicide, House reached a whole now level of bitterness, self-absorption, and assholish behavior as he blamed the parents for their child's death. I was floored by what he said and Kutner's parents will have to live with his vile comments for the rest of their lives.
Another issue I had is Thirteen, Foreman, Taub and even Cameron and Chase dealing with the loss of their friend. Really, they were all friends? In the first three seasons we saw Foreman, Chase, and Cameron hang out together outside work, when have we seen the new group do that? Their grief would have been more understandable if they admitted they never got to know him and that maybe that's why they missed a sign.
I could go on ranting, but I'll just direct you to Mo Ryan's thoughts on the episode. She sums up my feelings pretty well.
I don't think I've ever loved a parent/child relationship as much as that of Rick and Alexis. Nathan commented in a recent interview that he thought Rick was not a very good father and it's why Alexis was forced to become the parent. I have to strongly disagree with him. For Alexis to be such a good kid, to be such a wonderful person, and to be a teenager who wants to hang out and play laser tag with her dad rather than be with her friends shows that Rick was a strong, loving, and supportive influence in her life.
How much did I adore the laser tag scene? It may be my favorite scene of the series thus far. Not just because it shows the bond between the two, but we got to see Alexis being a kid. Being so mature for her age comes naturally. She grew up an only child surrounded by adults. And she seems to embrace being mature for her age rather than lamenting she's missing out on things. But the laser tag showed she's not missing out. She can be just as goofy as the typical teen when she wants to be.
I appreciate getting backstory on Kate. We know quite a bit about Rick, but practically nothing about Kate outside of the job. Now we know her decision to become a cop was based on personal experience; she's driven to succeed where other detectives fail. I suspect she's done more than a little investigating into her mother's murder, but at some point likely it became to painful to continue. As soon as she shared her story with Rick, I knew he was going to start digging around himself.
Kate is wrong about one thing, I don't think her story will become fodder for Nicky Heat. Rick genuinely wants to see if he can help give her justice and closure. And I think it is reasonable to believe that a mystery writer, whose talent is creating and solving a puzzle, could bring a fresh perspective to the case.
So, Rayburn had his eye on Charlie since the academy, wanted to bring him into the business, thought he could do so by making his friend dirty, and the murders and Charlie's subsequent imprisonment were all a horrible mistake. Now, everyone together say, "Convaluted!"
I'm actually not going to rant about the resolution since the writers had the good sense to tie up lose ends just in case this was the last episode ever. Yet, if the show does come back, there is still empty space on that wall. And is Dani's father really dead?
I appreciated Nevikov dying in a) an unpleasant manner and b) being taken out by Charlie. I think he overestimated Charlie's zen. And I felt they had done about as much with the character as they could.
I loved the character moments. Everyone rallying around Charlie and, by extension, Dani. Amanda Puryer aiding Ted and Charlie before revealing Charlie's location to the police. Yes, Ted, she was helping you as a means to an end of helping her client. And then there was Charlie and Dani. I can't say I've been a shipper, but it's always been evident that there is a strong connection between the two and that, someday, they would be more than just partners. Until confronted with the possibility of never seeing the other again, I don't think they took a good hard look at the depth of their feelings. The brushing of the fingers was beautiful and heartbreaking. And then there was the montage, as people were paired off. The episode closes with Dani and Charlie, eyes locked on each other, as the very last word of the song playing is "love". For the first time ever, I felt sorry for Tidwell.
I don't have much to say about this other than I did enjoy the first episode. I had some concerns after reading a few reviews. I didn't find it as quirky as it was being described, which is a good thing. I did find a couple of the characters rather one dimensional - born again detective and self-serving detective - but the rest of the characters are being fleshed out nicely.
I also read that the show had a supernatural bent or veered into magical realism with Detective Delahoy's two near misses with death. The shooting is harder to rationalize, but, for now, I think they guy is just damn lucky. And it sets up a nice parallel with his partner. Delahoy, with a brain tumor, believes he is dying and trying to end his life before the tumor becomes debilitating. His partner, Detective Banks, is terrified of dying at the age of 42, as every male member of his family has, and is going to extremes to protect himself.
Anyone want to know who The Doctor's final companion will be before David Tennant's tenure is over? Check this out. I approve.