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Showing posts from 2010

Fun With Keywords: Fake Nude Andrew McCarthy Edition

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Happy New Year, everyone. Let’s close out 2010 with another look at the search terms visitors used to find this site in recent weeks.

andrew mccarthy fake nude
For some reason, the idea of someone diligently hunting online for doctored Andrew McCarthy nude photos delights me to no end.

is helen hunt in pretty in pink
No, but it does seem like the kind of movie she’d crop up in, doesn’t it? Both Gina Gershon and Kristy Swanson have small parts in Pretty in Pink, however, and that’s got to count for something.

psych mocks the mentalist
At every possible turn.

"criminal minds""25 to life""hotch"
25 to life criminal minds no hotch
25 to life where was hotch
Glad to see I’m not the only one who was concerned and/or miffed about that. According to internet scuttlebutt, there was no Hotch in “25 to Life” because Thomas Gibson was off playing in a golf tournament in Wales during filming. I have no idea whether this is true. I do know, however, that “I was playing…

Psych: Yang 3 in 2D

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Psych season finale! Let’s get down to the nuts and bolts:

A young college student named Allison Cowley (Mena Suvari) claims to have escaped from the evil clutches of Shawn’s mysterious longtime nemesis, Mr. Yin. Yin chained her up in a house, but she managed to escape, after stealing a framed photo showing an adolescent Shawn posing with Yin’s cohort and his own other longtime nemesis, Mr. Yang (Ally Sheedy).

The Santa Barbara Police Department storms Yin’s house and finds it now occupied by a nice family eating breakfast (Lassiter: “Aw, crap.”). Chief Vick suspects Allison made up the entire story of her abduction, but Allison proves her familiarity with the house by blindfolding herself and describing the furnishings. Convinced Allison is still in danger, Shawn takes her to stay in his childhood bedroom in Henry’s home. Shortly thereafter, Allison disappears, leaving behind a yin/yang symbol painted on Shawn’s bedspread.

Shawn and Gus visit Yang in the mental institution to ask…

Psych: The Polarizing Express

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When Shawn is caught on a surveillance camera performing an illegal search of an office, the district attorney’s case against a notorious mobster named Czarsky for tax fraud is thrown out. The mayor comes down hard on Chief Vick, so she places Shawn on indefinite suspension and, for good measure, fires Henry. Furious with his son for his devil-may-care attitude toward police work, Henry wonders aloud whether things would’ve turned out better if Shawn hadn’t returned to Santa Barbara and re-entered his life five years ago.

Yep, it’s an It’s a Wonderful Life-themed episode, folks. ‘Tis the season.

Shawn falls asleep in the Psych office, which is festively decked out for the holidays, and wakes to find Bad Santa’s Tony Cox, playing himself, clad in an elf outfit and throwing snowballs at him.

This episode is a doozy. I mean that in the best possible way.

Psych: Dead Bear Walking

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I’ve got a lot of recapping to blast through today, so this’ll be fast and dirty. I’d make some kind of “bear with me” pun here, but I don’t want you all to lose respect for me.

Lassiter’s surprisingly normal and friendly kid sister Lauren (April Bowlby), an aspiring filmmaker, decides to trail her big brother around while filming a documentary on police work. A zoo trainer named Jasper Zane is found murdered, presumably mauled by a polar bear. The bear is set to be euthanized, though Shawn suspects the bear is being framed. Shortly thereafter, animal-rights activist Macleod Sinclaire (Brian Klugman) emancipates the bear from the zoo and stashes him in the Psych offices to hide him from the authorities. Shawn is totally cool with this, Gus is less so.

Lassiter swiftly traces the bear back to Shawn and Gus and takes him back into custody. Shawn and Gus search Zane’s home and discover the zoo’s director, C. Lee Banting, has insured the bear for two million dollars. Their theory th…

Criminal Minds: 25 to Life

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So it’s been a year since Haley’s murder and all the associated awfulness (which I’ve decided to collectively refer to as the Hotchpocalypse), and Hotch is taking some time off to be with his son. Ergo, this is a Hotch-free episode.

No Hotch? At all?

…The hell?

Twenty-five years ago, Donald Sanderson (Kyle Secor) was convicted of murdering his wife and daughter in their DC-area home. He’s now up for parole, and he’s been a model inmate, so Morgan heads to the prison to determine if it’s safe to release him into polite society. Sanderson tells Morgan he’s innocent, claiming a trio of unknown assailants broke into his house and killed his family. “Do you have any idea what it’s like to be accused of something you didn’t do?” he asks. Why, yes indeedy, Morgan certainly does. So Morgan goes off and thinks some really deep thoughts about the appropriate course of action. Seriously, we get a pre-credits montage of Morgan furrowing his sexy brow while thinking, and it’s already obv…

Criminal Minds: What Happens at Home

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Three women are strangled to death in a gated community in Las Cruces, New Mexico. Apart from the residents, no one entered or left the community around the times of the attacks. The community inhabitants are all extremely similar from a demographic perspective, making it difficult for the Behavioral Analysis Unit to whittle down the pool of possible suspects.

Straight off the top: This is a strong premise. Too many episodes this season have tried to jack up viewer interest by featuring either an overly-gimmicky unsub (Reflection of Desire: “He keeps the women alive for three days to correspond with the three-act structure of a screenplay!”) or a gratuitously sadistic one, complete with too many salacious rape/torture scenes (Middle Man, Remembrance of Things Past). The result has been a cluster of uniquely silly and/or off-putting episodes. Here, the writers smartly de-emphasize the unsub and place the importance on the unique setting of the attacks -- a high-security gated comm…

Psych: We’d Like to Thank the Academy

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After Shawn and Gus muck up a drug bust with their utter lack of reverence for appropriate police procedures, a fed-up Chief Vick orders them to attend a three-week crash course at the Santa Barbara Police Academy, under the tutelage of Officer Nick Conforth (Ralph Macchio). Nick graduated first in his class at the Academy, just ahead of his arch-rival Lassiter, yet has never been able to hack it in the field, due to his tendency to go all to pieces in times of stress.

Ralph Macchio! Outstanding. Cross another name off the master list of Psych dream guest stars.

Meanwhile, a number of check-cashing establishments run by noted crime boss DeVry Longsdale (Doron Bell Jr.) have been robbed, most likely by a petty criminal named David Arnold. When another robbery takes place, Shawn and Gus prey on Nick’s feelings of inferiority and persuade him to take them to the crime scene, in the hopes of solving the case first and showing up Lassiter. They spot Arnold fleeing on foot; Nick freezes…

Psych: Dual Spires

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It’s the much-heralded Twin Peaks tribute episode, and it’s a good one. It’s much too cluttered with awesome references to hit them all individually, so I’ll just point out a few as I go, and then clump the rest together in a big coffee-and-cherry-pie-soaked wad of awesomeness at the end. Here’s the plot: Shawn and Gus receive a mysterious email inviting them to the annual Cinnamon Festival in the itty bitty mountain town of Dual Spires. Upon arriving in town, they first hit the Sawmill Diner, which is run by Bob Barker (Dana Ashbrook) and his wife Michelle (Robyn Lively), and which boasts the finest cinnamon pie and apple cider Shawn and Gus have ever tasted. Shawn and Gus also meet the town’s friendly sheriff, Andrew Jackson (Lenny Von Dohlen).

The festival is interrupted when the body of homecoming queen Paula Merral is found by the side of the river, wrapped in plastic. As Bob and Michelle grieve beside their niece’s corpse, Shawn receives a mysterious text message: “Who kill…

Fun With Keywords: Apocalypse of the Preppies Edition

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Here's a fresh new batch of search phrases used to find this site in recent months. Oh, Google Analytics. What did I ever do without you?


neal wandering around shirtless
Yeah, that’s pretty much every White Collar episode, ever. I love White Collar. Come for the snappy dialogue and cheerful shenanigans, stay for the shameless Nealsploitation.

apocalypse of the preppies
Just switching those two words around adds a whole new universe of meaning. I’m changing my blog name, posthaste.

are cadillacs looked down on by preppies?
Bear in mind that I am, at best, an imitation preppy (no disposable income, no impressive pedigree, I don’t golf, and my backhand is total crap. Got myself a decent preppy name, at least). From my perspective as someone who doesn’t own a car and is wholly immune to car culture, I neither look down upon nor feel any affinity for Cadillacs or any other car. However, I do have a secret fondness for the Mini Cooper. It’s cute.

preppies are not fat
Eh. I’m sure so…

Psych: In Plain Fright

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So Shawn and Juliet are officially a couple, though they’re hiding their relationship from everyone, Gus and Lassiter in particular. Meanwhile, Shawn and Gus celebrate the return of something called Scare Fest -- a monster-themed festival -- at a local carnival. Why, yes, Halloween was almost three weeks ago, but Psych was off the air throughout October, so they’re playing catch-up. Scare Fest used to be a much-beloved annual tradition, until the carnival canceled it fifteen years ago after the death of a kid named Johnny Ricketts on the Ferris Wheel.

At Scare Fest, Shawn and Gus eat bacon-wrapped churros, which actually sound kind of awesome, and run into their former assistant Ken (Jerry Shea), who is now working as a janitor at the carnival. Ken! Aw, I like Ken. Good to see him back. While touring a haunted house, Shawn spots someone murdering an elderly man and stuffing him inside a coffin. The tour operator, Carol (April Matson), can’t be bothered to investigate, so, w…

Criminal Minds: Into the Woods

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The bodies of two young boys are found buried along the Appalachian Trail in Pennsylvania. One of the boys disappeared two years ago, the other a year. The kids were evidently murdered several months after their respective disappearances. After the BAU jets up to Pennsylvania to investigate the killings, ten-year-old Robert Brooks (Gattlin Griffith) and his younger sister Ana (Emily Alyn Lind) are kidnapped in the immediate area while camping with their parents. The team members don their coziest fleece pullovers, and a massive search begins for the missing kids.

(As tends to be the case when dealing with hurt and murdered children, this is a spectacularly grim episode. Grim, grim, grim, grim, grim. The only bright spot? The adorable zip-front pullovers that Hotch and Rossi and Prentiss all wear. Seriously, they’re like a walking LL Bean catalogue.)


Criminal Minds: Reflection of Desire

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Well. We’ll just mark this one down in the “failed experiment” column, shall we?

I was going to boldly proclaim this weak, watery, silly Sunset Boulevard tribute and/or knockoff to be the Worst Episode Ever, and then I remembered that nothing can really touch last season’s “The Fight” in terms of sheer awfulness. For those who missed it, “The Fight” was the backdoor pilot for the still-upcoming spinoff and consisted of forty-two minutes of our BAU members standing on the sidelines and cooing about the awesomeness of Forest Whitaker’s team of hipper, grittier FBI profilers. It was breathtakingly stupid.

That said, this episode ain’t good. Criminal Minds, I like you a lot, but you’ve fallen off your game this season.

(Note to self: Write a script for a porn film about a horny aviator and title it Backdoor Pilot.)

Psych: Extradition II: The Actual Extradition Part

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Psych is back! Psych is back!

Excuse me. I’m a little excited about this. Fall television has been pretty dismal thus far, but Psych rarely disappoints.

Shawn and Gus head up to Canada, land of “smoked salmon, poutine, and Coffee Crisp,” to visit dashing art thief Pierre Despereaux (Cary Elwes), last encountered in the fourth-season episode “Extradition: British Columbia.” Despereaux, who is serving out his sentence in a minimum-security Vancouver prison, has footed the bill for their entire trip. Gus is suspicious about his motives in wanting to see them, but Shawn claims they’ve become friends: “I follow him on Twitter.”

Despereaux makes bold claims about his intention to prove to Shawn that he’s the world’s greatest criminal. Shawn and Gus scoff at this, but as they drive away from the prison, Despereaux pops up in the back seat. He steals their rental car, luggage, wallets and passports, and leaves them by the side of the road.

Criminal Minds: Middle Man

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Three exotic dancers are found dumped in an Indiana cornfield after being raped, beaten, and strangled by multiple assailants. All three women were abducted from their workplaces on a Friday night, tortured over the weekend, and murdered on a Sunday. A fourth woman, Stephanie (Cherilyn Rae Wilson), is still missing.

Back at Quantico, the Behavioral Analysis Unit reviews the case file on their shiny new iPads, which come courtesy of Garcia. Reid, who remains stubbornly old-school, leafs through a hard copy of the file instead. It always seems vaguely improbable that a genius in his mid-twenties would be a die-hard technophobe, but it’s one of his established character traits, so let’s roll with it.

The team flies to rural Indiana and meets with the local sheriff, Jeff Salters (Robert Newman), who immediately gets on Hotch’s bad side by implying the women were asking for their grim fate by working as strippers. Hotch responds by calmly ripping him into a pile of shredded cabbage, a…

Criminal Minds: Top Ten Episodes

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I’ve been on a Criminal Minds kick lately. This is odd, since I’m pretty indifferent to both crime procedurals and shows or movies or books about serial killers. Still, while the subject matter of the show doesn’t push my buttons, I sure do like the major characters. They’re smart. They’re good at their jobs. They’re likeable. They’re certainly attractive (two of the six current regular cast members -- Shemar Moore and Matthew Gray Gubler -- are former male models. Those are my kind of odds). Ergo, this list of my top episodes.

One caveat: This is a Top Ten list, not a Ten Best list. I’m not going for quality here. In fact, some of these episodes are distinctly… ungood. These are simply the ten episodes I view with the most fondness at this moment. I make no claims that this list is either comprehensive or balanced. I rewatched Season One most recently, so it’s freshest in my head and thus is disproportionately represented. I also have a discernable pro-Hotch bias. Grim…

Criminal Minds: Safe Haven

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Two families -- the Bennetts in Council Bluffs, Iowa, and the Archers across the state line in Omaha -- are found bound and stabbed to death. In the case of one of the families, the father was gruesomely and amateurishly disemboweled after being slaughtered. Suspecting they’re dealing with a dangerous spree killer, the BAU jets off to the Midwest to investigate.

Show of hands: How many viewers want to join the BAU solely so they can zip across the country in that cute little private plane with the big comfy seats and the flattering mood lighting? Just me?

Meanwhile, young Ellie Spicer (Isabella Murad), the kid who was kidnapped by Tim Curry’s character after he murdered her father in last season’s finale, runs away from her neglectful foster family in Los Angeles and seeks refuge with Morgan (there’s been a running subplot over the past several episodes about Morgan keeping in constant touch with Ellie, but frankly, it’s been too dull to warrant a mention before this). He stashes h…

Criminal Minds: Compromising Positions

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In Akron, two married couples are murdered after being forced to have sex with their spouses at gunpoint. Both male victims were traditional alpha males: educated and athletic overachievers with attractive wives. The male victims were shot, while the female victims were stabbed. This, plus the highly sexualized staging of the crimes (the men wore condoms and had Viagra in their systems), suggests to the BAU that the unsub is impotent. While Reid yammers on about the established stabbing-impotency link, Hotch looks glum and refrains from mentioning the time the Reaper gave him a highly personal demonstration about how being stab-happy doesn’t always equal impotent.

(Hey, we’re four episodes into the new season, and nothing soul-wrenchingly awful has happened to Hotch yet! This is a good omen.)

Criminal Minds: Remembrance of Things Past

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Hey, look! There’s a brand-new credit sequence with a slightly revamped version of the theme music, plus new footage where the cast members show off their kicky new hairstyles. I approve, apart from this business about how A.J. Cook is no longer a cast member. That part still sucks.

In Bristol, Virginia, a young woman named Jenny leaves a distraught message on her parents’ answering machine: “When you get this message, I’ll probably be dead.” Shortly thereafter, her corpse is found, along with that of another young woman, who made a similar phone call to her fiancé before being horrifically tortured and murdered as well. The MO is nearly identical to that of a serial killer known as The Butcher, who murdered twenty women from 1984 to 1993 before stopping. This was one of Rossi’s old cases, and he’s taking it verrrrry personally that he was never able to capture the culprit.

Oh. It’s a Rossi-heavy episode. This doesn’t bode well.

Fun With Keywords: Trampy Jai Wilcox Edition

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Here’s another look at some search terms used to find this site over the past few months, courtesy of Google Analytics. Is this post just a shameless excuse to look at photos of Sendhil Ramamurthy? Yep. Sure is.

is conrad sheehan still on covert affairs
No. The character was written out after the pilot, and sexy Jai Wilcox replaced him. And there was much rejoicing. Jai is pretty.

jai/ben
jai/joan
auggie/jai
jai/auggie sex
Wow. Jai gets around, huh? Gotta say, I’m a little disappointed the Jai/Arthur crowd is keeping quiet. I thought that pairing would be a natural.

covert affairs will annie and jai ever hook up
I doubt it. Looks like he’ll be too busy with Ben, Joan and Auggie.

Criminal Minds: JJ

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None of the new fall shows have piqued my interest sufficiently to get me to, like, watch them, let alone recap them, so I’m switching gears and turning my attention toward Criminal Minds, CBS’s workhorse crime procedural about a gaggle of smart, adorable, boundlessly likeable FBI agents who profile serial killers. For the most part, crime procedurals simply aren’t my bag, but Criminal Minds, now in its sixth season, is a notch above the rest of the pack, thanks to consistently solid writing and an excellent cast.

Let’s give this a try, shall we?

A pair of smarmy young thugs are arrested in connection with the disappearance of Kate Joyce, a young woman who vanished while partying with friends in Atlantic Beach, Maryland. Kate was last seen leaving a club with the guys, Sydney Pearson (Michael Welch) and James Barrett (Christopher Marquette), who admit to having consensual sex with her, but deny any wrongdoing; the Natalee Holloway parallels are obvious and deliberate. The local pol…

Covert Affairs: When the Levee Breaks

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A chemistry teacher named Anton Sabine gets kidnapped by armed thugs in Hong Kong. Shortly thereafter, Ben Mercer saunters up to the front gates of Langley, introduces himself as a former CIA operative, and surrenders, claiming he wants to come in from the cold.

Annie and Joan observe Ben’s interrogation. Ben confirms that he left the CIA two years ago during a mission in Sri Lanka, in which Jai was his handler. Ben’s assignment was to ingratiate himself to a dangerous arms dealer named Felix Artigas. Ben had planned to accomplish this by handing Anton Sabine over to Artigas for the purposes of making chemical weapons. After he fell in love with Annie, Ben was suddenly infused with a more noble spirit and decided he couldn’t ruin Sabine’s life in that manner. Instead, he went rogue and smuggled Sabine to Hong Kong.

Annie tries to grill Jai about his past with Ben. Jai claims he’d love to tell her everything, but the information is classified. (Annie grouses, “The problem with …

Covert Affairs: I Can’t Quit You Baby

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A medical supplier named Donald Ridley is detained by Customs while flying back into the United States from London with a crate of undeclared diamonds in his possession, intended to finance Angolan insurgents. For whatever unfathomable reason, Arthur brings evil old Henry Wilcox out of retirement to consult on the case (Arthur: “I may not like you, but I respect your talent.” Henry: “Isn’t that funny? I like you, Arthur, but I don’t respect your talent at all”). Outstanding! Everything’s more fun when Henry’s around. Annie and Auggie are a couple of nice kids, but it’s the supporting characters -- Henry, Jai, Joan, Arthur -- who really make this show zip right along.

A chatty young vice-consul at the Embassy in London named Vivian Long (adorable former child star Anna Chlumsky, who has evolved into an adorable adult) has been routinely providing Ridley with a highly fishy surplus of assistance in easing his shipments through Customs. The CIA suspects Vivian is complicit with the…

Psych: One, Maybe Two, Ways Out

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Summer finale time, folks: Shawn and Gus walk along the waterfront, eating ice cream cones while Shawn mopes about how Juliet is now happily dating Declan. I hope Juliet continues dating Declan, just so we can have Nestor Carbonell around on the show for a good long stretch. He’s awesome. Anyway, as they chomp on their ice cream (Shawn contemplates opening an ice cream shoppe, and yes, he does pronounce the superfluous “e”), a slinky, black-clad, gun-toting babe (Franka Potente, hooray) approaches and claims she needs their help. Her name is Nadia, and she works with Ewan O’Hara, Juliet’s covert-operative brother (introduced in last season’s “You Can’t Handle This Episode”). She needs to find her former mentor, a man named Strabinsky (Jon Gries), who disappeared off the grid a while back, so he can help her erase all traces of her past missions and go on the run.

As Nadia explains this, a helicopter zips overhead. Someone leans out and fires an assault rifle down at Nadia and t…

Covert Affairs: Fool in the Rain

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At the annual assembly of the World Trade Organization in Toronto, an amiable Persian man named Yahya (Mousa Kraish, who, by the way, has a totally adorable personal website, which makes me suspect he might be chock-full of personality) slips away from the rest of the Iranian delegation and pops into a taxi, instructing the driver to take him as close to the United States as his limited funds will allow. Next stop: the Canadian side of Niagara Falls.

To distract herself from thoughts of Ben, Annie stays late at the office, steeped in unnecessary busywork. Joan convinces her to take a few days off to clear her head. Back at home, Hurricane Danielle bursts in on Annie while she’s taking a relaxing soak in a sudsy bath to rant incoherently about how Michael’s brand-new job is conflicting with their planned anniversary getaway. Note to Annie: Find another place to live, stat. Danielle goes on at some length about Michael’s utter selfishness, while the brief spurt of bonhomie I felt …

Psych: Shawn 2.0

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We open with Shawn listening to an audio book: Internity, a teen-geared saga about vampire doctors. Aaaaaaand it’s already clear the Psych writers are fully caffeinated and at the top of their game this week.

This week’s crime: An elderly woman, Lucy Friedman, died at an outdoor Philharmonic concert. The Santa Barbara Police Department assumes the death was due to natural causes, but Shawn notices a can of bug spray beside Lucy’s corpse. He suspects her death is linked to two other recent cases in which aerosol cans were found next to the bodies. Before Shawn can dazzle the SBPD with his insights, his thunder is stolen by the arrival of famed criminal profiler Declan Rand, who proclaims that Lucy was murdered, then immediately sets about flirting shamelessly with an instantly-smitten Juliet. Why, it’s Nestor Carbonell! Nice to see him and his fabulous eyelashes back on my television screen (as Shawn puts it, Declan has “the most impossibly dark eyelashes on any man ever”). The…

Covert Affairs: What Is and What Should Never Be

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We open with the plot already in full swing: Annie lies sprawled on the concrete floor of a warehouse, injured and dazed. There’s a gun and the dead body of a young woman nearby. Annie picks up the gun and gets to her feet, looking confused as all hell. While she tries to make sense of the situation, a group of uniformed police officers swarm the warehouse, guns drawn, and order her to drop her weapon.

Annie is taken into the custody of the FBI. Back at Langley, Joan and Arthur (hi, Arthur! Good to see you -- you were missed last week. Stick around for the rest of the season, will you?) discuss the situation. Joan expresses concern for Annie’s safety. Arthur, being Arthur, is more concerned about still being able to use Annie to draw out Ben Mercer.

Special Agent Rossabi (Noam Jenkins), the Fed who arrested Annie in the pilot episode after she and Auggie were caught breaking into the morgue, interrogates her about the incident in the warehouse. Joan arrives, in the flimsy guise…

Psych: Ferry Tale

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Watching Psych is the equivalent of eating a bowl of marshmallow fluff for breakfast: tasty but insubstantial, and it’s only a matter of time before you start jonesing for solid food.

A cluster of furloughed convicts on board a ferry bound for the Channel Islands to participate in a work-release program overpower their guard and try to escape on the lifeboat. Fellow ferry passengers Shawn and Gus (Gus dragooned Shawn into helping him with an environmental cleanup effort) team up with the prison guard, Craig (Chi McBride), and try to recapture the felons, above Henry’s explicit orders to let the Coast Guard take care of it. When Shawn releases the lifeboat, thus cutting off the prisoners’ line of escape, the felons take everyone on the ferry hostage and demand a boat and safe passage in exchange for the release of the passengers.

Under orders from Captain Vick, a SWAT team storms the ferry. Two of the convicts are recaptured, but the remaining two, Dane Northcutt (Kevin Alejandro) and…

Covert Affairs: Communication Breakdown

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In what appears to be a deliberate prank, internet access is mysteriously disabled for several minutes all across DC. The CIA believes this is somehow linked to the Datatech conference, a huge annual convention noted for attracting mischievous hackers. The suspected culprit is Natasha Petrovna (Liane Balaban), an avowed anarchist and Russian national with an extensive criminal record for hacking. Natasha also has a colorful romantic history with Auggie. Hey, who doesn’t?

The CIA is desperate to own the source code Natasha used to cause the tech blackout, so Joan sends Auggie into the field to offer her two million dollars for it. Auggie objects at first -- Natasha doesn’t know he’s a Company man, and he’d like to keep it that way -- but Joan insists.

Auggie, with Annie in tow, approaches Natasha at the Datatech conference, where both the FBI and a gaggle of shady Europeans in expensive suits have been trying to sweet-talk and/or bully the source code out of her. Natasha wants noth…

Psych: Viagra Falls

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The Santa Barbara Police Department’s former police chief, Herb Wilkins, is found shot to death down by the waterfront. Two legendary SBPD veterans, Peters (William Devane) and Boone (Carl Weathers), who are essentially a more curmudgeonly version of Shawn and Gus, come roaring up to the crime scene in their lime-green Cadillac, anxious to investigate their old boss’s murder. Gus and Shawn sulk and moan and complain about having to share the investigation with the pair of old duffers.

From questioning the owner of a waterfront churro stand, Shawn and Gus discover Herb had been spending a lot of time with a young redhead who works at a nearby gift store. Shawn and Gus, plus Boone and Peters, search Herb’s locker down at the aquatic center and discover a duffle bag filled with cocaine. Juliet notes that Herb withdrew fifty grand in cash a couple days before his murder. Evidence points to a drug-related hit, though Boone and Peters refuse to believe their former boss could have been …

Covert Affairs: Houses of the Holy

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Ah, Covert Affairs: Putting the “domestic” firmly into “Domestic Protection Division.”

Here’s what I’m looking for in a show about secret agents, and bear in mind that this list is by no means comprehensive: Memorable villains. Cool action scenes. Exotic locales. Sophisticated intrigue. Complex relationships. Sendhil Ramamurthy leaping wildly from the tops of shipping containers in pursuit of miscreants.

Sadly, Covert Affairs kind of fumbled the ball on all fronts this week.

I should be clear: This is not a bad episode by any stretch. It’s just not terribly interesting, or evocative, or exciting. In fact, if I’m judging it harshly, I’d have to say it’s… pretty dull. There’s a strong motif of crumbling marriages and cheating spouses running throughout this episode, most of it only peripherally linked to our major players, which is not what I’m looking for in an action-packed spy show; it’s difficult to become emotionally invested in anything that happens in this hour.

Crucial infor…

Life Beyond Thuderdome: Gotcha!

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I've got a fresh new column up over at Forces of Geek: This month, I'm examining 1985's Gotcha! in waaaay too much detail. Gotcha! is not the sort of film that holds up well under scrutiny. In fact, it's thoroughly obnoxious from start to finish. Still, Paris and West Berlin in the mid-Eighties both look fantastic, and Linda Fiorentino is awfully pretty, so there's that.

My review is here.


Psych: Shawn and Gus in Drag (Racing)

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Fasten your seatbelt. This won’t take long.

A masked gunman steals a Lamborghini belonging to loan shark Logan Paget (Angus Macfadyen). The car is found shortly thereafter, with the thief shot to death in the driver’s seat. The dead man is identified as Max Contreras, a known street racer. Shawn snoops around the crime scene and determines the shooter must’ve fired from another speeding sports car.

Juliet and Lassiter interrogate Paget, who spoke on the phone to Max shortly after Max stole his Lamborghini. Paget maintains his innocence and claims Max was afraid someone was trying to kill him.

Calling on their vast knowledge of The Fast and the Furious, with a hefty dose of Point Break thrown in for good measure, Shawn and Gus infiltrate Max’s former street-racing gang, which includes charismatic leader Tommy (CSI: Miami’s Adam Rodriguez) and Max’s ex-girlfriend, sexy mechanic Gina (Vanessa Minnillo). Tommy challenges Shawn to a race to test his mettle. Shawn, driving Henry’s pic…