Thursday, October 29, 2009

TV Review: Castle - "Vampire Weekend" - Video - Blogcritics

TV Review: Castle - "Vampire Weekend" - Video - Blogcritics

Previously published as TV Review: Castle - "Vampire Weekend" - Video - Blogcritics


Monday, October 26, 2009

Thursday, October 22, 2009

TV Review CSI:NY "Battle Scars"


A dead person in a place like New York is hardly a cause for concern. After all, plenty of large cities around give more than a few opportunities for crime to take place. However, there are a few things which make this a bit more tricky. Stella (Melina Kanakaredes) and Flack (Eddie Cahill) would be content to think a robbery went wrong except for the money still in the victim's apartment. I'm taking about enough bills and coins to fill almost the entire bedspread. No self respecting thief would leave it emrely sitting there.

Mac Taylor (Gary Sinise), the crime lab department head, has another snag on his hands when the only other person at the crime scene is hurt far too badly to be of any help. Still, there is evidence which can be used almost immediately. Between Danny (Carmine Giovinazzo) and Adam (AJ Buckley), fingerprints and DNA are examined with highly capable equipment.

Giovinazzo has always been a strong performer, so watching him hobble around with a cane since his character got shot in the season premiere ("Epilogue") is a powerful image. It's no small thing to stay behind while one's colleagues hit the streets as part of an investigation. Developing the storyline is a credit both to the actor and the writers.

Nice to see Cahill and Giovinazzo together again! The scene where Danny and Flack interrogate a possible prime suspect is classic detective work. These two simply look like cops even in street clothes, which does not work out for everyone. Flack, for once, is not hesitant about doing his job. Somehow, Danny is a calming influence so Flack does not get thrown off balance. Losing his girlfriend was hard for Flack ("Pay Up"), and lately he's been not acting like himself. Should Danny ever learn what really happened at the warehouse raid ("Pay Up"), their friendship might be on shaky ground.

Meanwhile, Mac gets frustrated after a paper advertises the Compass Killer is still on the loose. (They probably have a lead with the compass left behind at the morgue). Sid (Robert Joy) even saw the guy. ("Lat 40 47N Long 73 58W") Assuming there is another episode this season about the case, Skeet Ulrich should return for a fresh guest star appearance.

One small bit of luck. When Mac and crew solve this week's case, they also close the book on another case which is a bit cold.

If the fadeout at the end is to be believed, then next week is either a pre-empt or a repeat airing of a former episode. Since the show runs from September until May, there are several repeats pencilled in so the run doesn't end prematurely.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

TV Review CSI:NY "Dead Reckoning"


When Mac (Gary Sinise) hears about a man's murder, the solution is a relatively simple one. The victim has a wife. She confesses to kiling him, so the case should be over and done with. If only things were that simple. Stella (Melina Kanakaredes) has the unfortunate task of giving Mac the bad news: it doesn't match their prime suspect. While the DNA is in fact female in origin, it comes from someone else entirely.

Flack (Eddie Cahill) must now grill the confessor since she appears to be protecting another. Without perhaps meaning to, he mentions feeling okay about a wrongdoing does not take away any guilt. Wow! For the first time, himself acknowledges what has more or less been an open secret. After his girlfriend Jessica was killed during a routine police job, a hunt for the killers had top priority. ("Pay Up").

Flack killed a man, sort of. I have some reservations about the act being a cold blooded one out of pure revene. Sometimes, a cop has to shoot first before a noggodnik gains the upper hand. Eddie Cahill takes on the role of the tortured soul with solid raw skill. Flack is a character who is living with sorrow and trying desperately to hang on. Mac and a few others have noticed the troubling change, but no official action yet. It may only be a matter of time before a life is put in jeopardy.

Danny (Carmine Giovinazzo) is having problems of his own. A drive by shooting paralyzed him from the waist down ("Pay Up"). He finally is standing on his feet Now, does this mean he is able to walk? perhaps. Then again, if he can pull himself to a standing position, bending over to pick up his daughter makes logical sense.

Sinclair (Mykelti Williamson) returns, since the current kerfuffle means pressure from the mayor's office to solve the case. Quickly. Sinise and Williamson work well as two who take their jobs seriously. Good thing, because Mac finds out the true cause of why there are more than a few deaths connected to the same person. Here's a hint - someone is sloppy. The key is not assuming anything without evidence to back up the theory.

Halen (Sarah Carter) appears to have settled in, and there is a reason why she works so hard. The double set of wages from her grant and crime clean up duties help to pay off student loans.

Monday, October 12, 2009

TV Review Castle "Fool Me Once"


Castle (Nathan Fillion) and Beckett (Stana Katic) have always had some uniqueness to their cases, but this week's is anything but simple. Why? For one thing, it involves a guy who apparently dies while on an expedition to the South Pole. Since the man, a Mr. Fletcher, is on a video feed to schoolchildren, NYPD gets a call to try and investigate exactly what is going on..

A lead is traced to an apartment, where Fletcher is lying dead on the floor. Odd. Not that a corpse is unusual, but isn't this guy halfway around the world? Twists and turns make for an interesting episode up until the arrest when the case can finally be concluded. One of my favorite parts is watching Castle and Beckett work out whether Fletcher just might be CIA. An agent named Gray has to come help them out.

The Captain returns! Ruben Hudson Santiago makes a fresh appearance after being gone for a couple of episodes as the boss in charge of the detectives. Technically, he's in charge of Castle too, even though Castle is a civilian and not subject to the departmental rules Beckett, Ryan (Seamus Dever) and Esposito (Jon Huertas) are. Lanie (Tamala Jones) is the exception. As the medical examiner, she is responsible solely to the state licensing board.

Pressure to solve this case makes everybody on edge. After all, children play no small part. Fletcher being dead is bad enough. To make matters worse, this guy is either a man with multiple identities or a highly skilled con artist. The trick is keep one's mind open to any and all possibilities.

Robert Pine as a wealthy businessman with a family is a nice touch. For those who do not recall the name, Pine is well known for his work on Chips, the police drama with Erik Estrada in the lead role. Playing a protector suits Pine perfectly, and he uses just enough toughness in his voice to get the point across without coming off too strong.

Too bad Castle gets blinded by the case's progress and takes work home with him. Alexis (Molly C Quinn), Castle's daughter, gets a new violin teacher named Dylan. (Tyler Hoechlin). Under ordinary circumstances, this would not be cause for concern. Castle jumps to conclusions about their relationship. Quinn is brilliant in the police conference room as she yells about the misguided impression. No matter how much a parent wants to protect a child, not everything can be avoided..

Other fun moments come as Castle tries to figure out what Beckett thinks of his new book. He has based it on her, sort of. I doubt it is an exact carbon copy. After reading an interview Castle gave to a magazine writer, Beckett declared she should have seen the book first ("Inventing the Girl"). Nathan is charming as he waits with bated breath for Beckett's opinion. It shouldn't matter what she thinks, of course. The book was started before Castle and Beckett met. Still.

Beckett's mom died, but this story is on the back burner for the time being. A serial killer might be involved, but this is speculation on my part and not to be taken as 100% accurate. Other people killed around the same time does not mean much in a major metropolitan city, although Beckett's mom has a connection of sorts to one of them. It's tenuous, but could prove important as time goes on.

Thursday, October 08, 2009

TV Review CSI:NY "Lat 40 47N Long 73 68W"


With a place like New York for a location, it stands to reason things local would be wrapped into a episode from time to time. having Ellis Island as a crime scene is a stroke of genius. However, there is more to the story than meets the eye.

For example, the deceased works the night shift at Ellis Island. He supposedly talked to his wife before he passed away. According to Hawkes (Hill Harper), the notion is impossible. Why? Since he's a former medical examiner, he can tell about how long the dead guy has been in that state. It's a guess, but usually some sort of evidence exits to at least give a proper range. Plus, despite the hanging corpse, prints indicate antoher person was there too. Homicide! This leads Mac (Gary Sinise) to think the killer might have answered. This is a voice mail, so no need to audibly respond.

A race is on to find whodunit. Having a second corpse doesn't help. The two victims are vastly different, which makes a connection between them unlikely. However, there may be one promising lead. Sid (Robert Joy), the current medical examiner, leaves Mac a message about the second victim's husband stopping by the morgue.

Every season has the potential for a storyline which runs over most of the season. While it doesn't have to air week to week, it takes some time to finish. Perhaps the latest long running plot should be called The Compass Culprit. Despite some terrible lighting issues, I think Skeet Ulrich (Jericho) was in several scenes as a man who wants to get the attention of Mac and his team. Done. Here's the problem- is he there because he's breaking the law and wants to get caught, OR is he attempting to draw attention to someone else who is? I cannot be entirely sure either way.

A new set of eyes is not a bad idea. Good thing Mac hires Halen Becall (Sarah Carter), the crime scene cleanup girl, in the lab part time. Smart girl, she figures out a way to make him notice her. Apply for a grant so her salary is paid for a year. Mac doesn't have to let Adam (AJ Buckley) go. She certainly has the background for the job - biology undergrad and forensics masters. Those degrees are perfect.

Adam and Halen actually make a decent team. They are both dedicated to the job at hand, and have the quirkiness down pat. Competing for the same job? Not exactly. Halen just wants to be in the lab she loves. Adam is smart enough to recognize her talents, but someone should tip him off about the grant. And soon, so he knows his job is secure.

What an improvement over Kendall, the last lab technician! Halen is eager to learn and resourceful in her quest when she wants something. Becall makes watching a joy. Halen steps on other's toes inadvertently. She also senses when she goes too far and clarifies. Would I trust her in a interrogation? Probably not. Someone tougher is needed when it ocems to questioning suspects.

Speaking of, Flack (Eddie Cahill) is grieving still over the death of his girlfriend, Det. Jess Angell. He is holding on, but barely. The beard of stubble seen this week is solid evidence. It's not a bad look, but I've always preferred Eddie Cahill clean shaven. Even after Jess's dad asks Flack to come by for a pot roast dinner, Flack cannot bring himself to walk in the Angell front door. Guilt as the reason makes little sense. After all, Flack is not responsible for Jess being dead. A set of crazed kidnappers is ("Pay Up"). Perhaps Flack is troubled over something else. What, if anything, has not yet been revealed. Stella (Melina Kanakaredes) is worried, and rightly so. Flack self destructs, and somebody could get hurt. Or worse.

Danny (Carmine Giovinazzo) is eager to leave his wheelchair, so he is pushing himself to work hard and achieve this. I'm not sure how chin ups help, but the important part is a man not willing to sit around and feel sorry for himself. Lindsay (Anna Belknap), his wife, is prepared to stand at his side with their daughter to cheer him on.