September 2009 Archives

Doppeled Again?

Warning: This post contains spoilers for the season premiere of Fringe.

I am incredibly angry at Fringe and, by extension, JJ Abrams.

As soon as Charlie started walking down the hall toward the furnace, I groaned and said to my wife, "Please tell me he's not going to replace Charlie." And that's exactly what happened.

Last season was so good, and my hopes for this season were even higher. Then they go and do this. It's a cheap trick, and it was done cheaply. Based on what we'd already seen, there was nowhere near enough time for the villain to kill and copy Charlie, let alone retrieve the doctor's body from whereever he'd stashed it-- we'll give the benefit of the doubt and say it was in the same room-- and position it to be found by Peter. It was a horrible cheat.

And it's a cheat we've seen before, when Sydney's best friend Francine was killed and replaced by a doppelganger on Alias. Hey JJ, just because you're stealing from yourself doesn't make it any less lazy.

I liked Charlie. Though he was often peripheral, he served an important function, connecting Olivia to the real world. He was her anchor. Taking him away may advance the plot, but it insults the audience and weakens the show. I am not looking forward to weeks of Charlie's sinister looks behind Olivia's back. How tedious. This show had so many other great things going for it-- there was no need to resort to such a hackneyed stunt.

Perhaps in the other universe, there's a show called Fringe not written by hacks.

Comments (2) | last by Dave, Sep 27, 3:24 PM

Treemail

Do you believe Russell's savvy now?

The man is thinking a few moves ahead. Assuming that, as has been true for the past few seasons, there would be an immunity idol hidden in their camp and trying to figure out where it would be was brilliant. That he actually found it floored me. Kudos to Russell, but shame on the producers. This should be a sign to them that they've gotten lazy and predictable. Granted, nobody was going to stick their head under that tree accidentally, but if you're looking for the idol it was a pretty reasonable think to check. They should have buried it somewhere away from camp that wouldn't be stumbled upon and could only be found with the clues in hand. Shamefully lazy, really.

I'm now hoping against hope that Russell somehow manages to get the other idol too.

I'm not sure why Yasmin's there, but it sure as hell isn't to win a million dollars. Instead of making friends and recruiting allies for later in the game, she used her visit to alienate every single person on the other tribe. How can anyone be so clueless? I don't think she'll be around very long.

This was the first of two medical evacuations this season. The full-contact physical challenges have been getting more brutal season by season. They just seem like really bad ideas-- the players have no protective padding, are in 115 degree heat, and haven't been eating well. That's a recipe for disaster. I'm amazed we haven't seen broken bones.

And kids, here's one last important survival tip: if you're going to float around a swamp all afternoon, be sure not to ruin your tribe's fishing gear.

Comments (4) | last by Dave, Sep 27, 3:21 PM

Survivor: Samoa

Let's cut to the chase. We're only one episode in, and it's already clear that this season will be all about Russell. I can only imagine how many little happy dances the production team must have done as the dailies came back. If Coach was Survivor gold, Russell is platinum.

I think it's hilarious that this guy is a multimillionaire, and is there to play the game. It's not about the money for him, it's about going up against opponents mentally and physically. I feel sorry for everyone else this season, because they're playing an entirely different game and don't even know it.

I'm surprised the rules permit players to destroy other players' stuff. Getting rid of an opponent's socks may seem small, but that player is going to be really unhappy, physically uncomfortable, and disadvantaged. Imagine trashing their shoes, or their underwear. Why not plant a snake in their bed? What exactly are the limits of what players can or can't do? It seems like if you can avoid getting seen by other players, you could get away with a lot-- especially if you remember to sabotage yourself in a trivial way, so nobody suspects you.

What amazed me about tribal council was that Russell appeared to be completely honest, saying Marisa told him she was feeling uncomfortable about him. And instead of everyone thinking, "Geez, Russell totally turned on her based on a single minor comment, that guy's trouble" they all rallied behind him. They all viewed Marisa as the guilty party (or decided to jump on the "anyone but me" bandwagon). And Marisa, after Russell stabbed her in the back at tribal, didn't even have the sense to out him as a snake and tell everyone that he approached her about having a secret alliance.

I love that Betsy, the cop, smells a rat, but hated that she a) chose to say something about it to Ashley (if I'm remembering that right), and b) proceeded to call Ashley out as the weak link at tribal council. You can bet Russell is going to hear about Betsy's mistrust of him, and I have no doubt he'll engineer her ouster. She's the oldest woman in the tribe, it shouldn't be a hard sell. I'd have thought Betsy would be smart enough to keep her eyes open and her mouth shut, her friends close and her enemies closer.

This could be a very entertaining season.

Comments (6) | last by michael, Sep 25, 5:55 AM

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