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Friday, September 14, 2012

Glee- The New Rachel

By vagueonthehow from Tadcaster, York, England (Chris Colfer & Lea Michele) [CC-BY-2.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons

Glee eschews the crazy in favor of the sweet. We approve! Even though Rachel is in the school of her dreams with beauty, talent, a bright future, residence in one of the coolest cities in the world, and a cute new wardrobe, she is miserable. We hate you, Rachel. She’s upset because Finn hasn’t talked to her for two months. Yeah, he’s in the army, but come on, girl. If you haven’t heard from him in two months, you should forget him. Rachel is also disturbed by being constantly sexiled by her roommate who has more than a few notches in her belt. Having sex in a shared room while your roommate is trying to sleep is the ultimate in bad taste.

The worst thing about Rachel’s new life is her dance teacher, Cassie, played by Kate Hudson. Cassie’s personality is even worse than Rachel’s little-girl ballet skirts, but her introduction scene was a nice way to open the season. We like that she calls Rachel “David Schwimmer.” We wish Rachel would take off her version of the Sex and the City “Carrie” necklace. Is that a nod to the HBO show? We get it. Rachel is in New York. That doesn’t make her Carrie. Rachel met a new hot guy with the perfect torso. She heard him singing in the shower. Ern, however, did NOT hear him singing because her dad blundered out of his room and started singing along.

Kate Hudson’s mashup was forgettable, but her performance wasn’t. The Spanish pronunciation wasn’t great, but she sure has charisma. She really put Rachel in her place with that dancing??? She hasn’t heard Rachel sing yet. Whoopi Goldberg is back! Yay! The Freshman Reaping was a good scene. Ave Maria wasn’t good, but we can’t believe that girl got thrown out of the school! What is she going to do now?!! What about her lease in New York where she’s living?! What about all the money she’s invested? Losing a semester? We’re having a meltdown for this two-second character. When Rachel saw Kurt, we were touched and excited for her. He should have given her a heads up that he was coming to squat though.

Back at McKinley, Artie is still on the show and Sue had her ridiculous baby. Ugh. Artie is nominated to pick the “new Rachel,” since “Rachel was the undisputed star.” WHAT?!! They hardly let that girl sing at all last year. We know, because our iPods were particularly empty during season three. They held a little sing-off of Call Me Maybe. The cover was cute and didn’t make our ears hurt. We don’t think it needed to be covered though. We like that most of the characters aren’t regulars anymore. This show had too many characters. Yeah, we aren’t left with most of our faves, but at least the show has a core three dozen to focus on. Of Tina, Blaine, Brittany, and Unique, the new lead should be Tina. But we’re not super impressed with any of them. We’d pick Blaine, but the show autotunes him too hard.

New characters, new characters… So, Glee took the worst person ever on The Glee Project (and that’s saying a lot) and gave him a lead role. Alex was hated by literally every person except Ryan Murphy. Seriously, who else likes him? Unique says he can sing any song, any time. ANY song, any time, Unique? Try this one. Start at 5:00. That’s one blogger’s Everest. Stupid runs one of us has no ear for. Just Jake was okay. He had a decent tone, but he didn’t wow us. We think it’s stupid that he’s Puck’s brother. The Glee club needs better voices this year. Just Jake’s ego should keep him out of the club, but we doubt it will. This is a club that contained Rachel, Mercedes, Santana, and Quinn Fabray at one time. Hate him.

We like Marley alright. She may wear too many hates, but she’s pretty and seems sweet. Her mom is fantastically, tear-jerkingly supportive. We already have the best dad ever on this show (Burt), so it’s time to have the best mom. New York State of Mind was good.  Marley is great and likeable at the same time. Do we have a real nice girl on the show?!! For once? We appreciated that she wasn’t totally overdramatic about the song like Rachel was. She looks like Lexie on Grey’s Anatomy to us. Looks like Marley is the new female lead of the Glee club. She’s better than Tina, so good. She looks like a real teenager. We loved when she stuck up for her mom. We hate that the show is going to put her with Jake. Cliché.

Kurt is looking a lot better in his old age. He’s cuter. And Will got a haircut! So necessary. It’s Time sucked because of all the autotune. That’s a great song, and Darren Criss isn’t that bad. He doesn’t need all that computerized fixing. This show always overuses the autotune, but it was at new levels in this song. It was awful. We greatly prefer the original. We saw Burt. He showed up to foist high expectations about New York on his son. We love that they covered an ADELE song from her first album. Lots of people aren’t familiar with the music on 19. It’s really good and (BONUS) not overplayed like her other stuff. Marley’s voice was better on New York State of Mind though.

This episode wasn’t as laughably bad as a lot of Glee episodes. There was little ridiculousness. We like that it goes between Rachel and the Glee Club, but it feels like they will have to end Rachel’s plot at some point or make a Broadway-based spin off for her and Kurt. We don’t think the high school show can handle nine million characters and a plot about a Broadway adult once Rachel graduates. We’re pretty pleased with this premiere. We came to lambast, hate watch, and snicker, but we got a promising episode. We know it’s only a matter of time before the show sucks again.

Episode grade: B

Thursday, September 13, 2012

The New Normal - Sofa’s Choice

Pic By Nick Step ( [CC-BY-2.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons

The pilot won us over, but can the second episode keep us? It’s not like this TV show is breaking ground with its nontraditional family. Modern Family has already done it. The shows are different in that Cam and Mitchell are a gay couple that are difficult not to love, and the show treats them as if they are normal. You can ignore the show or not. It is doing its own thing whether you approve of a “lifestyle” or not. It doesn’t care what you think.

On this show, characters are constantly pointing out that the gay couple is abnormal and the show goes out of the way to send the message that if you don’t like them, you’re a bigot. We like the way Modern Family does it better, but you have to admit that The New Normal mines the situation’s humor more by having Bigot Grandma deliver Sue Sylvester-style insults. We need this show to get less preachy and just do its thing though, or it’s going to date itself. The show should be less self-righteous for something that revels in stereotypes about gay men.

No one had to explain the Grey Gardens reference to us. That girl had it DOWN. We wish the writers had given Goldie a different dream. Hers depresses us. Goldie has four years of college and three years of law school. What is she going to do to feed her kid in the meantime? If she takes a job on top of that, it will be tough to spend time with her kid, let alone maintain a social life as well. Shania will be in her teens by the time Goldie can provide for her. Favorite line: “Those fruits are like cannibals. All they eat is fruit.”
Episode grade: B

Reasons We Are Actually Looking Forward to The Walking Dead

We hate and love this show. We love it for a second, and then there will be a string of episodes that make us want to drop it all together. Then a herd of guy friends (some of them are hot) come up and say, “Did you see what happened on The Walking Dead?!!” Then we feel like we have to go watch it. The annoying characters, unrealistic situations, and dragging episodes keep this show from being what it needs to be. We love the concept and the first season, but this show could and should be a lot better. It's the show that, culturally, we feel like we need to be watching even when it's a huge drag to watch. The first half of season two almost lost us for good. Things are looking up for season three though.

1) Dale is dead - One of the most annoying characters on the show, Dale, has died and will not be around to moralize and waste our lives. Let’s just hope Hershel doesn’t turn into Dale to fill the void. He needs to be his own ethical old guy and not a repeat of a character hardly anyone liked.

2) Shane is dead - The Lori/Shane/Rick triangle is over for good. The show effectively and entertainingly dispatched this storyline in season two. We’re glad this wasn’t dragged out anymore, because we sort of didn’t care. At least the death was good.

3) Prison break! No more aimless woods walking! - This season, the gang will be trying to break into a prison and make it their fortress. There will be new characters to meet in this endeavor. It sounds cool and may keep the gang from just wandering around. We love when they have a goal, project, and purpose.

4) Michonne - She’s gonna be bad ass. One glimpse is all we needed of her to want much, much more.

5) The Governor - We have a thinking, non-zombie antagonist to replace Shane! Antagonists always bring the drama and plot. Defeating antagonists is what storytelling is about.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Parenthood- Family Portrait

By Photographed by Greg Hernandez *derivative work: – Kerαunoςcopia◁galaxies (Lauren Graham) [CC-BY-SA-3.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons

Previously on Parenthood, Crosby got something awesome that he didn’t deserve, but we’re so happy for Jabbar that we didn’t care. Max was way ruder than anyone with Asperger’s Syndrome that we know. Haddie was a regular teen. Sarah was not Lorelai Gilmore. Adam ruled. Zeke didn’t. Julia is cool too. This isn’t the kind of show that starts off with a bang. Most premieres try to get attention, but this first episode was as quiet and normal as any episode of Parenthood. Julie and Hot Joel have a new kid, Victor, and he’s a sweetheart, but Julia doesn’t love him yet. He’s acting hesitant and Max told him that he’s not part of the family yet. Aww. We love him and can’t wait for the moment when he breaks down and loves the Bravermans.

Ray Romano is an even bigger jerk than Max, but we totally understand him firing Sarah after that work day. You don’t want an employee who is a liar. For the record, we’ve never lied in job interviews or on resumes, and God knows sometimes we’ve needed to. Nothing is worth it if you get it like that. We loved how different Ray was from his Everybody Loves Raymond days. We were surprised to see him pull this off so well, but that’s our fault for not watching his critically acclaimed last show. It was so awkward watching Sarah mess up and knowing that she was going to be outed as a liar! This is a good show, but we feel like Lauren Graham should be on a show where she has a bigger, better role than Sarah, whose best plots were in season two. Last year, she was largely wasted and kind of pathetic.

We didn’t think Haddie was a brat. We thought she was a realistic, relatable teen about to go to college. It was cute when she tried to bond with Max and gave him the weighted blanket. Crosby realizes that his parents didn’t raise him with any concept of spirituality, and it was interesting to see him actually seem to resent that rather than just feel intellectual superior to religious people. We get his complaint that the church is a community solely for people who can pass their litmus tests. We liked the way he and Jasmine handled the situation. They were totally in the right. The last scene of the episode was great. This was a regular, nice episode of Parenthood. Sure to please longtime fans, unlikely to win rabid converts.
Episode grade: B

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Weeds- God Willing and the Creek Don’t Rise

Eight years later, Andy and Nancy have sex. Wow. That was so depressing and yet so right. We’ve been waiting a long time for Andy to realize that Nancy is not good for his life. But what a way to end that relationship. Will it stay ended? There is an hour of Weeds left. She could get him back. We feel like she shouldn’t. 

The episode also took us back to Agrestic, which has been rebuilt. That was a good thing. Agrestic was always a good place for this show and it’s no different years later.

We saw some old faces, but the best of the bunch was Megan, Silas’s deaf ex. He told her about poking holes in the condoms and confessed that he still loves her. In fact, he’s never really loved anyone else. Megan took him back. They are together now and Megan is following him. Even though this seems out of nowhere, we love it and think Silas in love is a perfect way to end his story arc. We always liked the Megan character.

The Doug stuff was a waste of time, as usual, and the Shane stuff was just okay. Nancy getting Conrad and Guillermo onboard was too easy, and she wasn’t nearly as judged by her old friends or questioned for her absence as she should have been. Things went too smoothly for her there and probably deserved more than one episode to make the dealings believable. Still, this was the best episode of the season so far. It really feels like Weeds is coming to an end, rather than just meandering.

Episode grade: B+

Popular Music 9/11/12

The xx- Coexist
Genre: Alternative
There are two lead singers in this band: a guy and a girl. We like that, and it’s pretty in right now.  
Some of the lyrics on this CD are too repetitive for us. This stuff is quiet, haunting, peaceful, and understated. It left us feeling like a nap. It’s not something we’d want to listen to all at once again. Some of these songs might belong on a good mixed CD. This isn’t upbeat stuff. Sunset is as upbeat as it gets. But we feel relief when songs aren’t as beat-driven these days, because that’s starting to wear on our nerves. We wouldn’t call this CD melodic either. This isn’t our taste, but it’s not awful.
Grade: C

Carly Rae Jepsen- This Kiss, single
Genre: pop
This song is destined to annoy at least one of us for the next six months. It’s not special. Carly’s decent voice is kept in one annoying place the entire time. The background is very electronic and beat-driven. Get used to it. It sounds like the next radio hit.    
Grade: C

David Guetta- Nothing But the Beat 2.0
Genre: Dance
Well, we know what we are getting with David Guetta and an album with this title. It’s the same album with a few new songs. Our favorite new song is She Wolf (Falling to Pieces) featuring Sia. We love her voice, even if we hate the instrumental stuff right after the chorus.
Grade: B-

Fifty Shades of Grey: The Classical Album
We can’t believe this is a thing.
Grade: A+ for the music. F for the concept

Group 1 Crew- Fearless
Genre: Christian and Gospel
This is like pop/hip hop, only Christian. Musically, it’s damp. It sounds like everything else on contemporary Christian radio. Flat melodies, the same chords Christians usually use (the easiest ones to play on the guitar that worship leaders learn first), and that lame, wet blanket sound that makes it easy to identify contemporary, popular Christian music. The lyrics are upbeat/positive, which is always nice, but some of them are rip-offs of clichés.
Grade: C-

Lifehouse- Between the Raindrops featuring Natasha Bedingfield, single
Genre: Pop
Okay, we love Lifehouse and we also love Natasha Bedingfield. Both of the artist and the group are Christians, but they know not to be heavy handed or preachy. They also know to have their own sound and not just copy and water down the today’s popular music. You know it’s them when they are singing. They are doing their own thing, but they have the deep, positive lyrics we like in some Christian music. When we saw that they did a song, we were excited to hear it. It didn’t disappoint. Yeah, it could have been better, but we enjoyed this song. They sounded great together.
Grade: B

Dave Matthews Band- Broken Things
Genre: Rock
You know what Dave Matthews song we really like? Gravedigger. That’s a good song. This album doesn’t have convert-winning standout songs, but it’s good enough to more than please longtime fans of the group. To them, this band can do no wrong, especially if they are making music much like the albums that came before. It’s a nice album. We just don’t love this band like its major fans do.
Grade: B

Norah Jones is also back to bore us with her coffee shop crooning. We’ll never get her. If you like Amanda Palmer, her new album is really cheap in Amazon’s mp3 store. No real standouts/nothing too interesting this week.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Downton Abbey seasons 1-2

By RedAmarilla (Flickr: National Television Awards 2012) [CC-BY-SA-2.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons

As some of you have already noticed, we have a new page telling you what shows we will be blogging about and what days of the week to expect posts on each show. That way things aren’t so random and you know when to stop in. Be sure to drop by Sunday for unlisted shows, books, and movies, and Tuesdays for music. Something you also might have noticed is that we listed “Downton Abbey” as one of our regularly covered shows. You may be thinking, “What the heck IS that show? Why do I keep hearing about it? This blog has never mentioned that show before, so why is it now in one of the coveted ‘regularly covered spots’ and not [insert your favorite show that we rudely ignore most of the time]?

Well, we’re addicted to Downton Abbey now, that’s why. We cover what we love SO MUCH that we also want to write about it. We watched four episodes of Downton last year, but we got too busy to finish all the episodes and bookmarked it for later. This very week, we started watching it again and by the end of season one, we were completely hooked. There are only six episodes in season one and nine episodes in season two, plus a Christmas episode. Even though they are about an hour long each (and some are longer), we breezed through it and are now having withdrawals.

The show is set in England, from 1912-1920. That’s eight years in two seasons, so yeah, the show moves fast. Downton Abbey is a rich family’s house. The show follows the family’s lives, loves, and dramas, as well as those of the family’s servants and a few friends. Do you like Pride and Prejudice, Anne of Green Gables, and stuff like that? Well, you’ll love this. The dialogue is witty, snappy, and refined. The characters are interesting. The action is in the conversations and relationships. No scene is wasted. It’s clean, it’s fun, it’s romantic, and it’s a quality import.

For those of you who have seen it: l;asyfoiadhf rskldf## THE LAST SCENE OF THE CHRISTMAS SPECIAL OMG WE SHIP THEM SO HARD. People we don’t care about: Bates. People we care about: Everyone else. Who we really, really care about: Mary, Matthew, Sybil, Violet, and Isobel. If you want to catch up, you have a week. Do yourself a favor and make a list of the servants as they are introduced. That's the weakness of this show: There are a lot of characters and at first it's hard to keep track of everyone. But this is like crack to us. Also, it has Maggie f***ing Smith. DUH.
Show grade so far: A-

Sunday, September 9, 2012

LOST- season two

By Dysepsion (Own work) [GFDL (, CC-BY-SA-3.0 ( or CC-BY-SA-2.5-2.0-1.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons

We’re not actually re-watching LOST. Just Gilmore Girls. We don’t need to re-watch LOST to do this. We just need the episode titles. That’s how often we’ve seen LOST/how well we know it.

We want to repeat our DISCLAIMER: The LOST episodes will be graded compared to other LOST episodes. We can’t give them all A+s, or that wouldn’t be any fun. Except for Stranger in a Strange land, which would get a C- when compared to regular TV. That means we will give some episodes Fs and Ds, but know that we think every episode of LOST is better than 99% of the other stuff we’ve seen. We kind of tend to do this with all the shows we watch. We grade them against themselves and the other shows that WE watch, not all shows out there. Assume that we think all the shows we watch are As and Bs compared to other shows, because if they drop below that, we just stop watching them. Just know that nearly every episode of this show deserves an A. 

Man of Science, Man of Faith
In flashbacks, Jack saves Sarah from paralysis and meets a Scottish guy named Desmond while running stadiums. He gets a lesson in hope from his father. On the island, Jack, Kate, and Locke go into the hatch and find Desmond. Shannon sees Walt in the jungle, but everyone else just thinks she’s crazy.

The contents of the hatch really paid off in seasons to come, mostly because we like Desmond so much. The opening! We were obsessed with Make Your Own Kind of Music by Mama Cass after that, and so were our friends. Who knew that song could be creepy? Even creepier: Jack’s hair in the flashback. Wow, that was bad. We love that Jack’s father actually gave him some good advice, for once, and we also like how Jack is always criticized for his horrible bedside manner. We had to see Jack, Kate, and Locke go into the hatch about a thousand more times after this, but the first time was exciting as hell. Plus, we think this is one of the best Jack flashbacks.
Episode grade: A-

In flashbacks, Michael very reluctantly gives his ex-girlfriend custody of Walt so that she can take him out of the country. All we really find out is that Michael gave Walt a stuffed polar bear and a speech a toddler could never understand. AWW. On the island, we get to see what happened to Michael, Sawyer, and Jin after the Others blew up the raft. They all lived, but when they made it to shore, they are grabbed by a hostile-looking, violent group of people. There’s some hatch action where Desmond has Locke enter Hurley’s numbers into a computer. Also, if you are ever asked, “What did one snowman say to the other snowman?” Answer: “Smells like carrots.”

It was a mistake to show us the hatch happenings from Kate’s perspective. We really just could have moved on. Watching Michael and Sawyer bicker and blame each other while sitting on the remains of the raft wasn’t exactly what we wanted to see after the last, awesome episode. Most of the episode featured them sitting on the water, adrift, if you will. We were mildly worried about Jin, but not much. He was never one of our favorites. He’s okay. As for the custody issues, did we really need to see the story behind Michael giving Walt to his ex? We got the message in the season one episode, Special. We know he wanted to be a father, but his ex got custody. There didn’t need to be a whole flashback about it. The end was cool and scary, but it wasn’t worth the whole hour of waiting. Compared to most other LOST episodes, this one was just boring.
Episode grade: F

In flashbacks, Locke has a hard time letting go of his anger after his kidney is stolen, but a new girlfriend, Helen, gives him an ultimatum that helps him make progress. On the island, Desmond shows Jack and Locke a video that explains the hatch was built by scientific research company, The Dharma Initiative, in the 70s in order to control an electromagnetic condition on the island. Michael, Jin, and Sawyer are imprisoned by the passengers from the back of Flight 815.

This is our least-favorite Locke flashback, but that’s not much of a diss because most of his are fan-flippin-tastic. This episode introduced Dharma and lots of the show’s geeky mythology that would change the course of the season. Locke is a believer; Jack thinks it’s crap. Man of science and man of faith. This is also the introduction of Ana Lucia, played by Michelle Rodriguez. Now, we know this is an unpopular opinion, but Ern liked that character and found her sympathetic. Leeard, and the rest of the world, did not.
Episode grade: A-

Everybody Hates Hugo
In flashbacks, Hurley deals with the aftermath of winning the lottery, quits his job, and loses his best friend (an actor we hate, by the way). On the island, Hurley struggles with his new job as food distributor, fearful that everyone will start hating him for not being able to please everyone. He first thinks to blow it all up, and then he decides to just distribute it all at once. Claire and Shannon find the bottle with the messages that washed up to shore after the raft blew up.

It was cute when Hurley shared all the food at the end, but what the heck was with him wanting to dynamite it in the first place? That’s just crazy. We all know Hurley is a little crazy, but that goes beyond believability. There was almost no forward movement on the island. The flashback was fun though. We liked Starla and Hurley quitting. We have always hated DJ Quarth. Is that even his name? So  we weren’t sad when Hurley lost him as a best friend. It wasn’t really clear why his buddy started hating him. Just jealousy? Feeling like Hurley misled him into quitting his job? Couldn’t Hurley set him up with a new job at that box company?
Episode grade: C

…And Found
In flashbacks, we see Sun and Jin, unlucky in life and love, first meet. Jin was a worker bee, but an ambitious one. Sun was educated and modern, and she didn’t want to participate in her mother’s matchmaking. But then Sun started liking her match only to find that he wanted an American woman and was using Sun as a front to please his parents. Jin is treated like a dog at his new job, so he quits. That’s when they literally bump into each other and sparks fly. On the island, the tail- section survivors have decided to go to the main camp and join the A group. Michael leaves them to find Walt, so Jin and Eko go after him. They see some of the Others. Sun loses her wedding ring, but she finds it. She worries that Jin is dead.

The on-island drama of the week was literally Sun looking for her wedding ring. Big, huge snore. Yeah, Michael looked for Walt, but that didn’t go anywhere. It was just bickering and walking around in the jungle. However, the flashback was sweet and an important part of their love story. It was nice to see how they started out before deciding they had to be together. It was sweet, and it made us like Sun more that she went to a university. Seasons two and three tend to stall for time in between bursts of brilliant episodes/scenes.
Episode grade: D

In flashbacks, Shannon’s father dies and leaves everything to her stepmother. Shannon’s stepmother refuses to pay for the ballet internship Shannon gets. On the island, Shannon starts looking for Walt, since she’s been seeing him. Ana Lucia, Sawyer, and the others come across her, and, thinking Shannon is one of the others, Ana Lucia shoots Shannon. Shannon dies.

This is the first of several times LOST takes an unsympathetic character, makes them likeable in their flashback, and then kills them once you like them. That way, their death is sad. This episode gets a lot of criticism since so many people thought Shannon was useless, but it got to us. Shannon sincerely wanted to work hard at the internship, whether she would have been able to keep it up or not. We like that the episode killed Shannon. Her hysterical fighting with Sayid and search for Walt were fruitless and dull though. We think Sayid should never have fallen for Shannon. It cheapens his love story with Nadia. Before the plane crashed, he was looking for Nadia. Sayid is too mature and capable for Shannon. We don’t understand that relationship. It feels forced. Still, it was nice to have this twist and to like Shannon before her sad end. Sayid’s face after the shooting was memorable.
Episode grade: C+

The Other 48 Days
Instead of doing an episode dealing with the aftermath of Shannon’s shooting, LOST gives us the entire last 48 days from the view of the tail-section survivors. The Others kidnapped many of them, putting the remaining survivors on alert. One man, Goodwin, is an Other, like Ethan was. Ana Lucia accuses and imprisons the wrong man at first, but once she realizes who the Other really is, she kills Goodwin. The episode follows them up until the shooting of Shannon.

Yeah, this is information we want to know, but Sayid’s reaction to the shooting and the acceptance of the tail-section survivors into the main group is more pressing. So we were annoyed at first, but then the sheer brilliance of the episode won us over and completely engrossed us in this story. The scene where Goodwin dies is fantastic. The whole episode is creepy and exciting. One-island flashbacks really work. What’s funny is everything revealed in the episode is stuff we either already know or could have guessed, but it’s all so well done that the information feels new. We love the details.
Episode grade: A-

In flashbacks, we find out that Ana Lucia was a cop on leave after being shot. Once reinstated, she seeks vengeance on the thief who shot her, because he killed her unborn child. She shoots and kills him, illegally. On the island, Mr. Eko takes the dying Sawyer to the hatch so that Jack can tend to him. A frightened Ana Lucia ties Sayid up so that he will not plan revenge on her for killing Shannon accidentally. They talk and she releases him. Bernard and Rose reunite. Hurley hilariously remarks that he didn’t see that coming (that Bernard would be white).

It felt like this episode was stalling. Nothing in the flashback was shocking, and we couldn’t care less about Sayid’s grief over Shannon. There’s a debate over whether Ana Lucia is sympathetic. One of us thinks that if the character were a man, she/he would have been. All the actions and lines would have come across as “damaged” and “tough” were Ana Lucia a guy, rather than “bitchy.” If a guy’s unborn child had been killed by a criminal (which could have been done by shooting his wife), it would have been interesting. Maybe it’s the actress’s fault, but Ana Lucia gets a bad rep. We enjoyed her flashback, for the most part, but the on-island action is slow again.
Episode grade: C-

What Kate Did
In flashbacks, Kate blows up her abusive stepfather who turns out to be her biological father. She also meets and speaks with the man she grew up thinking was her real father. On the island, Kate takes care of Sawyer until he is seemingly possessed by the spirit of her stepfather. She runs around in the woods, sees a horse, and runs into Jack, who she kisses. Then she runs away before he has a chance to respond. Ana Lucia does not go to Shannon’s funeral. Michael uses the hatch’s computer to talk with Walt.

As far as Kate episodes go, this is one of the best. We finally find out what she did, and it wasn’t too disappointing. Yeah, it could have been better. She could have actually killed someone who didn’t deserve to be killed. We liked the on-island stuff where Kate seemed to go crazy with guilt and self-hatred over having this guy’s DNA. The Jack/Kate kiss was too long in coming. Jack obviously should have followed up on that, whether she ran away crying or not. This one was action-packed, and it ended with the eerie contact of “Walt.” Yeah, there’s no way that was Walt.
Episode grade: B-

The 23rd Psalm
In flashbacks, we see Mr. Eko’s past as a Nigerian drug lord who poses as a priest and gets his little brother killed. On the island, Charlie leads Mr. Eko to the crashed plane where Eko finds his brother’s body. Claire finds out about Charlie’s heroin stash from the crashed plane, and she isn’t happy at all.

Numbers alert! “23” Yeah, that’s not special. Those numbers are everywhere, and that’s arguably the most popular psalm in the Bible. This is the only Mr. Eko flashback that’s worth anything. The others are dull and stress the viewers’ ability to care. This one even started out great: young Eko’s first murder was a gripping, stellar way to begin the episode. You really can’t top Eko facing the smoke monster though. This is where Charlie went from a little annoying to REALLY annoying. He spent the whole episode following Eko around and whining. But for his presence, this would have been an “A.”
Episode grade: B-

The Hunting Party
In flashbacks, Jack fails to save an Italian patient, and the patient’s daughter kisses Jack. Jack returns home, determined to work on his marriage and spend more time with his wife. But he’s too late. His wife is packed and ready to leave him. On the island, Michael goes off to look for Walt, and Jack, Locke, and Sawyer go after him. Jack, angry at Kate, refuses to let her come, but she follows them without permission. The hunting party runs into a group of the Others who have taken Kate hostage. The hunting party must give up their weapons and agree to stay on their side of the island in order to get Kate back. They have to return to camp without Michael. Jack is furious at Kate, even though she apologizes. Jack asks Ana Lucia about the possibility of raising an army.

This flashback is pretty useless. That Italian woman was in the top ten prettiest women we’ve ever seen in our lives though. Why does she not get more work? Is she too impossibly good looking? The end of the flashback was important, but it’s not like we couldn’t have guessed that a woman left a SURGEON because he was married to his work. That could have been told in two lines in the next Jack flashback. The best part of the episode, by far, was when the Others lit their torches and we met “Zeke” with the beard. It was scary, exciting, and infuriating. Sure, it was another tease that didn’t amount to much, but what a great moment. We don’t like what this episode did to Kate. Earlier, she was a useful tracker and brave A-team member. This episode made her into a dumb, pathetic nuisance who should have stayed in the kitchen. What, did this show need a Shannon replacement? This episode went a lot way in sealing the character as a G-I-R-L. She fouled up, and that erased a season of good behavior on the island. Jack was way too irritated with her (mostly because of the kiss) and should have let her come in the first place. Has he met her? OF COURSE she was coming.
Episode grade: B-

Fire + Water
In flashbacks, DriveShaft tries to make a comeback and fails. On the island, Charlie dreams that Aaron is in danger and becomes obsessed with the idea of baptizing the baby. Claire figures Charlie is using drugs again. Locke steals the heroin and puts it in the hatch. Charlie steals Aaron and takes him down to the beach. Claire cries, Locke takes the baby back, and then Locke punches Charlie a couple of times.

The ONLY good thing about this episode was seeing Locke beat the crap out of Charlie, who we fully hated by this point in the series. Even a flashback that showed him getting royally screwed over by his older brother couldn’t make Charlie sympathetic. This episode was a complete waste of time that drug the season down. Also, the butchering of Catholic doctrine was even apparent to the non-Catholic blogger. It’s such a populous religion that you could pull someone from off the street, have them review your material, and make sure it’s right. That was pure laziness. We guess we liked Charlie walking around in a diaper though. That was a good scene.
Episode grade: F

The Long Con
In flashbacks, Sawyer cons a woman even though he kind of falls in love with her. On the island, Sun is attacked by an unknown assailant and everyone blames the Others. Jack, Locke, Ana Lucia, and Kate fight over the guns. In the end, it’s all a ruse for Charlie to get revenge on Locke (by making Locke look foolish) and for Sawyer to get all the guns. Charlie attacked Sun, at Sawyer’s direction, and no one finds out that it was him.

We’re not sure why Sawyer decided to start being an ass again for almost no reason. Yeah, people took his stuff while he was presumed dead or escaped on the raft. That’s perfectly reasonable. We have to admire Sawyer’s genius plan to turn the other characters against each other. There’s no plot progression except for the introduction of Sawyer’s main off-island love who comes back to waste our time in subsequent episodes. It’s even more messed-up that he conned her after he developed actual feelings for her. We were mostly bored by this one, but it’s still a LOST episode, so we love it more than most episodes on TV.
Episode grade: D-

One of Them
In flashbacks, Sayid tortures a prisoner for the first time at the behest of American soldiers in Iraq. One of the soldiers is the man who raised Kate. On the island, Rousseau captures a man who she thinks is one of the Others and shows him to Sayid. Sayid brings him back to the hatch and uses his past talents to interrogate “Henry Gale.” Sayid is convinced he is an Other. Meanwhile, Sawyer and Hurley search for a tree frog that’s annoying Sawyer.

Oooh PLOT TWIST: Sayid didn’t learn to torture because he was in SADDAM HUSSEIN’s Republican Guard. He learned it from Americans because they are the secret bad guys, and we should judge ourselves, learn to be more liberal, and continue to hate the Bush presidents!! We usually love when LOST shows us something we don’t expect, but here, it felt forced, unlikely, and a little preachy. It just had no place on a show like this. This isn’t a political show. So yeah, other than the Kate connection, the flashback annoyed us. Thank goodness the on-island action more than made up for it. We are finally introduced to Ben, and this is the event that speeds the season up to its action-packed conclusion. The season is mostly meandering and repetitive until Ben shows up to put things in motion. Season two really starts here. We had to see Sayid’s dumb Shannon grief resurface again. Groan. That unbelievably stupid couple? That’s no one’s OTP. Let it die, show. Another thing we didn’t like: Why do we have a repeat of the plotline where Sawyer is looking for an aggravating animal? Didn’t we have that episode in season one?
Episode grade: B-

Maternity Leave
In flashbacks, Claire remembers the time she spent with Ethan. He did a bunch of medical tests on her and injected her with things. Rousseau and her daughter, Alex, help her escape. In real time, Aaron gets sick, so Claire, Kate, and Rousseau go to the abandoned Dharma medical station to look for a cure. Rousseau is looking for Alex, who was raised by the Others and is still with them. Nobody finds anything. It turns out that Aaron had a regular fever. Meanwhile, Jack and Locke disagree about how to treat “Henry.”

Eko cutting off his beard danglings: wtf. We’ll never understand that fully. Nor will we care. We love on-island flashbacks, and this is episode featured the first one. The Ethan scenes were unsettling in a good way. Sometimes babies just get sick. Listen to Doctor Jack, people. All we found out was that the Others use fake beards. Lots of this episode didn’t seem to go anywhere, so a lot of it felt flat in the end. We enjoyed the female-centric episode though. It left the boys behind and still managed to be one of the more serviceable LOST episodes. We also liked seeing Rousseau’s perfectly cast daughter. We’re pretty sure this episode is the time Ern’s all-time favorite book (“The Brothers Karamazov”) was referenced on this show. “Henry” didn’t want to read it. Peasant.
Episode grade: C

The Whole Truth
In flashbacks, Jin is diagnosed as infertile, but only Sun knows about it. On the island, Sun finds out that she’s pregnant. She swears to Jin that she’s never been with another man. Lies. Meanwhile, Ana Lucia, Charlie, and Sayid go looking for Henry’s balloon that will confirm his story.

We’re not fans of the storyline where Sun cheats on Jin and her questioning who the father is (not that we know about that by this episode anyway). It mars the love story a little, and it turns out to be Jin’s anyway. The island makes dudes’ swimmers extra Phelps-like. We also don’t like when Jin turns into a jerk randomly, going back to his old, domineering ways. It’s like when Sawyer stole all the guns. There’s growth and then backsliding. All of these things we’re complaining about are very realistic, but that doesn’t make them fun to watch. The best part of the episode was that last scene where Henry plants doubt as to his intentions and ends it with “Got any milk?”
Episode grade: C+

In flashbacks, Locke’s dad fakes his death and then asks Locke to help him get some money from some scam. Helen wants Locke to stay away from it, but Locke can’t. Locke proposes to Helen, but she turns him down because he is unable to let go of his father. On the island, the hatch goes into some weird emergency drive and traps Locke. Locke asks Henry to help him keep from having his legs crushed. He also asks Henry to enter the numbers. Locke ends up trusting Henry because of this, but then Ana Lucia, Charlie, and Sayid come back and let everyone know that Henry is a liar and an Other. Jack is kept from the hatch by Sawyer. They play cards for the medical supplies Sawyer stole.

This is the third lamest Locke flashback (The lamest being the one where he meets Helen and the second lamest being the commune one). The on-island action between Ben and Locke was good, but it didn’t really lead anywhere in the long run, did it? The question mark Locke saw and all the interaction felt mysterious and important, but it wasn’t. This episode was great the first time around, but it doesn’t hold up as well under multiple viewings. You have to admire Sayid’s investigation skills and obsession level. Oh, hey, remember Sawyer’s thievery and jerkitude? Well, he’s over his bad attitude and good-naturedly gambles the medical supplies for a pittance and then congenially hands them over when he loses. This dude is bipolar. As for the flashback? It all felt unfair. Why couldn’t Helen listen to Locke’s reasoning? Why couldn’t he explain that it was for a) closure and b) to get some of the scam money? Why couldn’t Locke stay away from that guy in the first place? Ugh, frustrating.
Episode grade: C

In flashbacks, Hurley is in a mental institution where he has an imaginary friend, Dave, who is interfering with his recovery. Libby was a patient too. On the island, Dave shows up and runs around the jungle, trying to convince Hurley that the island is all in his head. Libby kisses Hurley and convinces him that it’s all real.

This one you either love or hate. It’s kind of pointless, sure, and people think Dave being imaginary was supposed to be this big twist that MADE the episode. We don’t think that was the intention. This episode wasn’t supposed to blow our minds. It was supposed to show us how mentally unstable Hurley was before he got to the island, how he struggles to understand reality, and how much he needs someone to ground him. We found out why Hurley was in a mental institution in the first place (partly guilt over having been so fat he killed people…wow). We liked seeing Harry from Sex and the City. We were entertained the whole time. The Dave “character” was funny. Libby is the least-shallow person ever. Unrealistically so. But we like this episode. It entertained us.
Episode grade: B-

In flashbacks, Rose and Bernard meet, he proposes, he finds out she has cancer, and he takes her to a faith healer in Australia. The healer doesn’t cure Rose, but she lies to Bernard and says it works so that he will drop his obsession to heal her. On the island, Bernard tries to make an S.O.S. signal out of rocks, but he’s such a douchebag that no one wants to help him. Rose tells him that she wants to stay on the island because she thinks it healed her, not the faith healer. Meanwhile, Jack and Kate try to trade Ben/Henry back to the Others in exchange for Walt. Michael appears instead.

Thank God there was only one Rose and Bernard flashback. One of the things Ern always hated about this couple was that Rose is always shooting Bernard down and nagging him. It’s not just in this episode too. In fact, in this episode, it’s the most tolerable, because at least she’s right in this situation. Re-watch it and pay attention to her naysaying. It will ruin the couple for you. This episode was sweet, we guess, but it didn’t tell us anything we didn’t already know. The island has healing powers? YOU DON’T SAY. Michael’s reappearance nudged the plot forward an inch.
Episode grade: D+

Two for the Road
In flashbacks, Ana Lucia travels Australia with Jack’s father as his bodyguard, but she ditches and calls her mother, asking to return home. On the island, Michael tells everyone that the Others are low-tech, savages with little more than sticks and few numbers. He wants to rally everyone to take the Others on and steal Walt back. Ana Lucia and Sawyer have sex, and she steals a gun off of him. Michael gets a hold of this gun and shoots Ana Lucia and Libby, helping Ben/Henry escape. Then he turns the gun on himself, popping his arm.

This episode is praised and famous for its shocking ending. After attempting to make Ana Lucia sympathetic (which didn’t work for most people), LOST killed her off. Having Michael do it, turning traitor, was even better than just having a regular death. We were kind of relieved that Libby got shot. We like Hurley, but we don’t necessarily want to see him getting action. It was almost as unbelievable as the Sayid/Shannon romance. The picnic thing was cute though. Once again, Ern liked Ana Lucia and the flashback. Almost no one else did though.
Episode grade: C

In flashbacks, Mr. Eko is a priest investigating a miracle in Australia. We find out that Claire’s psychic didn’t consider himself really gifted before meeting her. On the island, Mr. Eko and Locke find another Dharma station. The new station has TV sets watching the other stations. They see Jack walking around in their first hatch. Jack tries to save Libby, but it’s no good. She dies. No one knows Michael shot her.

This is the second best Eko flashback, which isn’t saying much, since we hate most of them. The miracle girl was appropriately creepy though, and it was cool to see Eko actually pretending to be a priest. Watching Locke start to lose his faith in the button was interesting. Any episode with so much Locke is good for us.
Episode grade: C+

Three Minutes
In flashbacks, we see Michael living with the Others, seeing Walt, and making a deal to rescue Henry/Ben. We also see that he’s made a deal to trade Jack, Kate, Sawyer, and Hurley in exchange for his son. On the island, Michael convinces the listed four to help him storm the Others camp and get Walt back. Sayid tells Jack that he fears Michael has been turned. At the end, Sun sees a sailboat heading for the beach. In the next episode, we find out it’s Desmond.

The flashbacks were good, even though we kind of figured that Michael had made some sort of deal to betray the survivors and get his son back. The only new piece of information was that they wanted a specific foursome. We’re glad Sayid figured out that in an INVASION, if someone wasn’t taking him, that meant it wasn’t going to be a real kidnapping plan. Come on. Hurley and not Sayid? Hurley and not Locke? Hurley and not Eko? Michael needed a better story. This episode was mostly set up, but it was gripping and tension-building, not to mention gratifying to see a character have half a brain.
Episode grade: C+

Live Together, Die Alone (parts 1 and 2)
In flashbacks, Desmond is released from prison after fouling up with the army, and he tells his rich sweetheart (whose father does not approve of him) that he is going to become worthy of her. His plan is to win some sailing race, but he crashes on the island where he is found by a man named “Kelvin.” Kelvin lives in the hatch and pushes the button. Desmond assaults him after Kelvin tries to abandon the hatch and accidentally kills him. On the island, Michael leads his foursome to the Others while Sayid follows on Desmond’s sailboat. Sayid’s plan goes awry and the Others grab Jack, Sawyer, and Kate. They let Hurley go. They give Michael and Walt a boat and instructions on how to actually get away from the island. Desmond goes to the hatch and realized that he caused Flight 815 to crash when he failed to enter the numbers promptly Locke stops entering the numbers and the hatch implodes. It might have done worse had Desmond not used a failsafe key or something.

We bet you read that summary and thought, “Wow, that was the crappiest summary of all time. It in no way captured the epic romance between Desmond and Penny, his desperation, his lowest moment, the craziness in the hatch, the fail safe, the Charles Dickens, Ben leading the others, Locke’s meltdown, Eko’s pleas, and the capture of Jack, Sawyer, and Kate.” This episode had a lot to do. It had to introduce Desmond and Penny. It managed to squeeze out our first tears over that couple. It had to wrap up season two. It had to implode the hatch and release electromagnetic activity.  It had to be creepy and exciting. It had to make sense. Well, it might have failed at that. But it was awesome and mostly pulled everything off.
Episode grade: A