Tag Archives: FX

The Bridge “All About Eva” Review (1×12)

26 Sep

marcohankWe all have tragedy in our lives. We all have to get through every day, whether we feel like it or not, and sometimes, starting off the day is the hardest thing to do. Perhaps we pour ourselves a cup of coffee. Perhaps we go for a jog. Perhaps we make our bed.

Hank tells Marco that his wife told him to make his bed every morning, and Marco takes that suggestion to heart; he needs to get a sense of order back in this crazy life he’s living. Getting drunk is an easy way out, something Frye knows all too well.

Still, Marco attempts this at first. However, the one force that’s stopping him is Sonya Cross, that woman whose condition has alienated her, preventing her from connecting with Marco on a more personal level. It’s both sweet and refreshing to see Sonya so determined to make this connection, a connection that may very well be more important to her than to Marco. He’s a guy that can pick himself up again; she, like she says at Marco’s front door, “has no one else”. Yet, possession is essential to her. She can’t let go of her sister’s car or the cassette tape in it. All throughout her life, she’s been alienated, and she’s turned to objects to fulfill her emotional needs.

These two characters are inherently fascinating. I can only lament the fact that the David Tate storyline was the impediment to the continued exploration of this relationship. Hopefully we can just get back to the rudimentary ideals behind the show.

One of these ideals is that the border situation affects everyone living there. The other main storyline of the episode involves Linder’s search for Eva, a character that really doesn’t feel like a character right now. However, what the show does is show the effects of the El Paso-Juarez world on specific characters (in this case, Linder), and then use that to represent the larger scope that they want to convey. The storyline is “All About Eva”, and we’re invested because Linder’s a main character. Yet, take a look at the final scene. It, and the episode, focuses on him first, then slowly zooms back so that we can see the truly far-reaching effects of this particular case. It both magnifies and underscores the tragedy.

lidnerrWhat this episode does well is reflect actual humans living through actual tragedies. It doesn’t make them the tragedy, as with Tate. Tate’s character was emblematic of the exact opposite of what I mention in the paragraph above, and that ultimately hurt my opinion of the handling of the character. We all have stuff to get through. We’re all human.

Grade: A-

Other thoughts:

-This episode also has a sense of finality to it. I’m interested to see how the actual finale plays out.

-Fausto Galvan is the best. I wish his storyline had been more developed.

-“I told him you wouldn’t like it if we dated.” “No I would not have.”

-“Is there any chance she went back to her boyfriend?” “No, not really.”

-The Frye/Adriana dinner scenes are always a treat.

-Next week, Fausto should just walk into the police station and start threatening everyone. He might as well cut off a few dicks, balls, and lips while he’s at it.

-FX renewed the show for another season. This is good news.

Credit to FX and The Bridge for all pictures. I own nothing.

The Bridge “Take the Ride, Pay the Toll” Review (1×11)

19 Sep


“You will be like me when this ends. That I can promise you.”

Marco Ruiz has gone through pain and suffering that no one should ever have to go through. That’s not to say he isn’t to blame for some of it, but he’s been forced down a descending path of darkness, slipping and sliding to the edge of the abyss. That edge manifests itself right there on the bridge in a standoff between David Tate and Marco, and it’s a satisfying conclusion to a storyline that needed to be wrapped up as soon as possible.

The episode doesn’t stray from the events surrounding that standoff, and it’s a tense, well constructed sequence of events. The main problem I have with it is that it’s essentially a rehash of everything that’s played out so far in the season, whether it be David Tate’s psycho-ramblings or Marco’s anguished screams. However, I’m happy that the storyline has finally come to a close. The show’s been spinning its wheels for a while, and there are two episodes left to head back into the world of El Paso. The thing is, I have absolutely no idea what the writers’ plans are for the rest of the season, and I’m not sure if that’s a good thing or a bad thing.

Anyway, both Bichir and Kruger once again do magnificent work, and where they’re at their best is during moments of silence. When Marco asks Sonya about Gus, it’s heartbreaking to see her struggle to answer the question, and the silence says it all. After Tate is dealt with (good work, Sonya!), we also get subsequent scenes of silence, none better than Marco’s scene in the morgue with Gus. Bichir conveys so much emotion there that it makes the last scene incredibly painful and beautiful to watch. Imagine how much more haunting that final image would be if the song doesn’t kick in.

One other scene I’d like to talk about is when Sonya visits Marco in the hospital. She’s devastated, having failed at the most important thing in her life right now. Marco, understandably upset, pushes her away, stating that they’re not friends anymore. It says so much for Sonya’s character growth that she doesn’t point out the fact that she actually saved him, and that everything could’ve been avoided if not for Marco’s actions. Earlier Sonya might’ve, but this case has matured her such that she’ll go out of her way not to point it out. A couple episodes ago, Marco blew up at her for stating the obvious, asking her to just tell him what he wanted to hear. In this episode’s hospital scene, Sonya goes “I told you what you wanted to hear. What was I supposed to do?”

It’s evident that she’s started to learn from Marco and truly cares for him. She’s not going to kick him while he’s down, so that’s what makes the scene that much more heartbreaking.


This is one of the better episodes of the season, and I’m uncertain, yet kind of excited, to see where the show goes next.

Grade: A-

Other thoughts:

-I want the Tate storyline to be wrapped up, but not completely ignored later on. There are so many aspects of his character that are way too mysterious and muddled, and I’d like to glean some more information about his motivations. Right now, the storytelling for him is still absolutely ludicrous.

-I’m pleasantly surprised the show has the guts to kill off Gus. It doesn’t have the emotional impact it should have, but Marco makes it work.

-The cold open consists of Ray disposing of some bodies. That’s an interesting way to start off the episode.

-This episode seriously needs a random cutaway, right in the middle of all the tension on the bridge, to Linder dropping bodies out of a window or something.

-Why wouldn’t Marco just throw the gun over the side of the bridge? He’s just asking for Frye to get shot by basically handing the gun back to the murderer right in front of him. Honestly, though, I’m just happy that Frye somehow survives that. Lillard has done such great work with the character, and it would’ve been a crappy way to go out.

Credit to FX and The Bridge for all pictures. I own nothing.

PTC condemns “Sons of Anarchy” season premiere because they don’t have anything better to do with their lives

12 Sep


Today, the Parents Television Council (also known as the GOPA, or Group of Pretentious Assholes) decided to use their oh so wonderful 1st Amendment rights to petition Congress for what is essentially a Constitutional amendment. For a TV show.

Oh yes, this group of rambunctious little worrywarts is back at it again, releasing a statement today that reads, “The Parents Television Council is calling on its members to contact Congress to express the urgent need for a consumer cable choice solution in response to the violent and sexually graphic premiere of FX’s Sons Of Anarchy, which featured a young boy committing a school shooting, simulated rape scenes, torture of women, and a man who was drowned in a bathtub of urine”, which essentially means “We didn’t like the episode, so we want everyone to conform to our highly idealistic and narrow-minded view of television in general.”

What a hoot! Last I checked, parents decided what their kids could and couldn’t watch, not a group of idiots that are getting more attention than they deserve (I’m writing an article about them, for God’s sake). What’s next? Criticizing Game of Thrones, Hannibal, or pretty much all of TV? I’m so glad there’s a council out there telling adults how to act.

Of course, all members of this group probably watch these shows in a dark room somewhere, smoking joints, giggling, and slapping each other with balloon animals. They’re so distracted that they don’t seem to notice the “TV-MA” and the “VIEWER DISCRETION ADVISED” and the “THIS PROGRAM CONTAINS VIOLENCE, LANGUAGE, SEXUAL SITUATIONS, AND NUDITY, WHICH ARE THE EXACT THINGS WE’RE CRITICIZING” disclaimers, four or five of which accompany each episode of every show on the network.

The show is on cable and at 10 pm, and it’s not a show for tiny, messy kids with inferiority complexes. Of course, going by that definition, that’s the equivalent of saying it’s not a show for the PTC.

Credit to FX and Sons of Anarchy for all pictures. I own nothing.

The Bridge “Old Friends” Review (1×10)

12 Sep


Most of television nowadays is entertaining without really being thoughtful. The Bridge is starting to shift toward this end of the spectrum, as the story that’s now unfolding on screen is one of a criminal mastermind and the cops that are trying to catch him. That’s not to say the show is bad, but the tonal shift is evident.

Most of this specific episode involves Marco and Sonya trying to find Gus, and this storyline ultimately feels like a waste of time. Marco would’ve gotten that phone call from Tate no matter what, and their search feels like a wild goose chase. I suppose it could be spun so that a wild goose chase is necessary, as it heightens the sense of desperation felt by the two cops, but there are better ways to do this. Bichir and Kruger milk the hell out of their roles (the scene shown in the picture above is absolutely fantastic. It marks a reversal of their character roles, as last week, Marco was the one trying to inject optimism into the proceedings. This week, Sonya’s forced to comfort him and maintain a level of confidence.), but I find myself losing interest. This is especially the case for Tate, as his motivations are a bit muddled now. For example, why blame Marco more than anyone else? It’s these kind of inconsistencies that prevent me from really getting involved with this storyline.

I am interested, however, in Mathew Lillard’s Daniel Frye, a character whose layers are exposed in this episode. Lillard is wonderful throughout, especially in an AA meeting scene in which he goes from making a joke out of everything to breaking down and pledging to maintain sobriety. Lillard conveys a full range of emotions there, and it’s almost a moment of catharsis for him. Of course, then Mr. Omnipresent Tate walks up to him in the parking lot and abducts him. Enough with this kind of stuff, show.

The other side story of the episode involves Charlotte, a character that I have a ton of problems with. Right now, she’s just tangentially related to the search for Gus, and her scenes really feel out of place. I also don’t buy her sudden transformation into a killer. Yes, she’s been backed into a corner, but when I said I wanted her to become more of herself, this isn’t what I meant.


So, we head into next week with Gus in some giant barrel lit by a glowstick, and Marco and Tate driving  together to get him. Of course, there’s always the possibility that they’re just going to drive off into nowhere and eventually meet up with Todd.

Grade: B

Other Thoughts:

-Or, maybe Marco will realize that he doesn’t care about Gus, and just shoot Tate. Or, Tate’s whole plan will revolve around Marco having a gun, and when they get to their destination, they find out that his gun is out of bullets.

-I like Alma and Marco’s scene, as well as Alma’s refusal to go with him. Yes, it may seem stupid and cold, but it makes sense if you think about it. She realizes that it’s Marco all along that has been the danger to her and her children.

-“Twelve steps can suck my dick.”

-No Linder. I guess he’s off eating ham sandwiches, disposing of corpses, and being his usual unintelligible self. I hope that if this continues for multiple seasons, his storylines just involve him wandering around doing whatever the hell he wants.

-Diane Kruger still looks great while injured.

Credit to FX and The Bridge for all pictures. I own nothing.

Sons of Anarchy “Straw” Review (6×01)

11 Sep


Sons of Anarchy is an entertaining, pulpy show that’s always a delight to have on television. This doesn’t change in the Season 6 premiere, which opens with Tara and Clay in jail and the club at a breaking point. Even within jail, (the magnificent) Donal Logue’s Lee Toric is trying to tear SAMCRO apart. He visits Tara, Clay, and Otto, and it’s obvious that he has an immediate effect. Tara breaks down and attacks another inmate, Otto is already beaten down due to a rape, and Clay is forced to comply with Toric’s demands. All of them try to maintain a facade, but Toric is able to weasel his way into their minds and tweak a few things. Yet, Toric is also wearing a mask. We see that he’s essentially a crazy person, a drug user that strips naked and likes mirrors for some reason. Everything is at a breaking point.

Outside, Jax and the club confront a group of torture-porn filmmakers after they rough up one of SAMCRO’s girls. It provides for the necessary action, as well as introduces Kim Dickens’s character as a new love interest. I guess it kind of makes sense that Jax would jump into bed with her, as he’s hurt by Tara’s refusal to see him, but I thought he had more principles than that. In fact, it’s almost as if he’s transforming into a Clay-type figure. I really wish the show would commit to his character one way or another, though, giving him closure somehow. It would tie up his and Clay’s storylines, as well as Opie’s death. However, I feel as if that won’t happen until later on.

As for Tig, we’re starting to see remorse seep through that hard exterior. He’s truly hurt by all that has transpired, and even though he drowns someone in urine and follows that up by urinating himself, we can see the struggle taking place in his mind in the subsequent scenes.

Now, on to the more controversial storyline. We have a young kid in the background of several scenes throughout. Near the end of the episode, he sits down on a bench, rolls up his sleeves, takes out a gun, and proceeds to start shooting in a school. It’s certainly a shock, but I question the ability of Kurt Sutter to handle something like this. I love Sutter, but he tends to be better at violence for violence’s sake. When the show starts attempting political messages, I’d imagine it would get a bit strange. It’s certainly effective in the context of the episode, however. Anything can explode in a second, and since the kid draws striking similarities to Jax, it reflects how he’s lost emotionally and capable of anything.


Overall, it’s a solid premiere that effectively sets up the rest of the season.

Grade: B

-The show has always suffered from having to juggle multiple storylines at once, so I’m not sure whether Bobby’s storyline will amount to anything compelling.

-The Chibs-Juice scene is heartbreaking to watch. It’s really well acted, and it’s emotionally affecting.

-Peter Weller is awesome. “Persia hasn’t been a country since 637 AD. They’re called Iranians.”

-Gemma’s rising while everyone else is falling. Her relationship with Nero is well off, and she has control over her life.

-Kurt Sutter, always finding a way to abuse himself on screen

-Wendy shows up.

Credit to FX and Sons of Anarchy for all pictures. I own nothing.

Wilfred “Regrets” Review (3×13)

6 Sep


Well, that was…interesting. The final shot of the third season of Wilfred is of Ryan in a forest, unearthing a statue of a man in a dog suit. It’s a moment that’s perfect for a cliffhanger, intended to be intense and mysterious. However, it comes across as tacky and unnecessary. Let’s break down why.

Ryan’s dad has always been a fundamental part of the show, even without his physical presence. He’s been hovering over these characters’ heads, influencing Ryan’s life in ways Ryan himself does not want to admit. Wilfred is important, but he may very well be a manifestation of Ryan’s inability to let go of his childhood. The series is about him maturing as a person, and his dad has impeded that natural progression of events.

This is exactly why I was excited to hear that his dad would be brought into the fold this season. However, I feel like the writers only scratched the surface with this relationship; it was a unifying storyline, but it jumped around the other side stories way too much. The weaving was less effective in this season.

That’s not to say I didn’t enjoy the season (there are a few absolutely amazing episodes), or the episode. I love Wilfred’s reunion with Ryan, as it conveys true sadness on both of their parts. It’s heartbreaking and endearing, and it reminds you why you’re watching this show. The Jenna stuff, on the other hand, feels a bit generic, just like the rest of the season. The show pushed the boundaries in seasons 1 and 2, and I feel like they took a step back here.

As for the decision to kill off Ryan’s dad, I’m left disappointed. I guess that it is a smart move on the part of the writers, as they can maintain the ambiguity they’ve created with the character. However, it comes across as an avoidance of Ryan’s father issues. I hope that next season, the writers focus on him coping with the death, and not with the new overarching mystery. I don’t think that will happen, but I’d really love it if Ryan worked to make himself better. If that means the series has to end, then so be it. I want to see a natural progression of events, not some meandering plot that dances around a big mystery the whole season.

It’s not a bad episode. I’ve made it out to be worse than it really is, but that just stems from disappointment.

Grade: B

Season Grade: B

Other thoughts:

-So Ryan’s roommate is a spy! Okay.

-We also find out that the pro bono division managing job is actually real. It’s an interesting decision that I hope will be handled well next year.

-“What’s next, landscaping camp?”

-“At first I thought it was you, but then I thought about what you look like, and act like, and how you struggle with dandruff and stuff, and honestly I just burst out laughing.”

-Renewal is not a given. The show has been struggling, especially without Louie as a partner, but I hope FX allows it to end on its own terms. Hopefully I’ll see you all back here next year for season 4.

Credit to FX and Wilfred for all pictures. I own nothing.

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