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Archer Review – An Old Foe Returns (11×04)

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Archer has made quite a few enemies over the years. When you’re a selfish, alcoholic super-spy going around foiling everyone’s plans that’s bound to happen, and no one has had their plans (and their life) foiled more than Barry. Barry, the former ODIN and KGB agent, has been Archer’s main rival from the beginning. The two have constantly butted heads with Archer inexplicably gaining the upper hand time and time again. It is safe to say the two men have a burning hatred for each other which makes it all the more surprising to see Barry casually chatting with Archer’s friends. Apparently, Barry has turned over a new leaf in Archer’s absence and has become a valued member of the team. Archer is not buying it, repeating “double-cross” at every point of Barry’s explanation of the plan.

While Archer, Barry, Lana, and Cyril leave for the mission, Mallory is trying out new butlers for Archer, putting them through a ringer of mud masks and drink refreshments in order to test their subservience. Pam and Cheryl aren’t convinced it’s enough. Cheryl insists they take these candidates to their breaking points to test their mettle with a dark anecdote about her former servants going postal (due to mistreatment by a young Cheryl in a hilarious recurring gag involving darts) Frankly, it’s not the worst idea as any butler serving Archer can expect to be routinely humiliated.

The gang continues to bicker as they drop into the mission area. Cyril is frustrated that Archer and now Barry don’t take him seriously as a leader or a human and tries to complain to Lana but it falls on deaf ears. Cyril, like Archer, burned quite a few bridges himself but doesn’t have Archers charisma or record of success to command even begrudging respect out of his comrades. It’s very amusing how hard Cyril has worked to become an elite spy and how quickly his confidence has been shattered by Archer’s mere presence. You can’t really blame them for tagging on him, as he can’t even keep one guard from escaping.

Archer and Barry start to bond over insulting Cyril, flaunting their complete disregard over the Agency’s no-kill rules. Archer tries to torpedo any goodwill after chopping off one of Barry’s hands to prevent a classic “which one do I shoot?” moment with the other Barry bots. Barry manages to shrug this painful moment off and reveals he visited Archer eight times while he was in his coma. How very sweet of him.

Cyril finally snaps after his leadership credentials come into question one too many times. He breaks the neck of a guard and blasts a chainsaw-wielding Barry away. Of course, Archer and Barry don’t give him any credit, instead remarking that it’s in poor taste to kill an unarmed man and now four girls are without their father. Cyril can’t catch a break.

The gang fights through a seemingly endless army of Barry Bots while Lana uploads a virus to disable them. She’s successful but a killer robot breaks through the wall pinning them down. The big reveal is that it’s Lana, not Barry, who’s doing the double-crossing. She’s willing to sacrifice their new ally to save her own hide and Archer is not having any of it. It seems like an unlikely friendship has blossomed between Barry and himself and results in a poignant moment as Archer sings in Spanish to his remains. It turns out, however, that Barry can transfer his consciousness over to other Barry Bots, effectively making him immortal and ending the episode on a happy note, at least for now.

The new season finally appears to be hitting its stride and settling into a good comedic rhythm. Archer was actually sympathetic in this episode although he continues to throw his coma in everyone’s face.  Barry and Archer have really fun chemistry together and while I assume they are setting him up to betray Archer, I hope they hold off as long as possible.

 

Favorite Moments-

  • “You know you got shot right?”
  • “For your information, this is a prior wound.”
  • “I hate him but he definitely got you. Lana, did you hear Barry get Cyril?”
  • “Time for daddy to give baby a spanking…No I don’t stand by that.”
  • Barry singing to an unconscious Archer and kissing him on the forehead is such a delightful throwaway gag. I really could see them being friends in a different life.
  • Archer throwing Cyril a candy bar after every insult is top tier Pavlovian humor. Watching Cyril smash a candy machine while crying over the picture of the guard’s daughters is so laughably pathetic,
  • It appears Mallory has found the perfect replacement for Woodhouse in Alister who is both expert sommelier and lemur rehabilitator.


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This Is Us

This Is Us Review – Don’t Let Me Keep You (6×04)

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This Is Us Review Don't Let Me Keep You Season 6 Episode 4

Grief is one feeling that everyone in this world understands.

I often find myself wondering how it’s possible that This Is Us continues to find new ways to turn me into a re-enactment of the Kim Kardashian crying meme, but I know now that it’s because they touch on such universal subjects and feelings. 

We all understand that rollercoaster of emotions that come with losing a parent, significant other, or loved one. 

Death and loss hurts the same — regardless of the relationship that you have with the person who passed. 

Grief comes in waves, and each wave finds new waves of knocking you right off of your feet. 

For Jack, there was shock, anger, happiness, fear, and eventually, just a deep pain that only time could heal. 

The loss of his mother, Marilyn, took him on a trip to Ohio, where his mother started a new life after finally escaping her father.

She got out. 

But in that same vein, Jack realized that part of her never truly did as the weigh of his father’s abuse was always lingering.

And it was that abuse that made the father and mother so estranged. 

Jack and Marilyn talked every Sunday at 6 p.m. on the dot, but they were also complete strangers to each other. 

As Jack drunkly told his father Stanley when he called him to inform him about his mother’s passing, he was always there just hanging over them and keeping them apart. 

We see it when Marilyn returns to Pittsburgh to meet the triplets. She’s a ball of anxiety and nerves because she’s afraid that her husband knows she’s there and will come find her. 

However, pointing the finger solely at Stanley was also Jack’s way of ridding himself of the guilt. 

Stanley was a terrible husband and father, yes, but Jack could’ve made more of a conscious effort to visit his mother since he knew how uncomfortable she felts coming back to Pittsburgh. 

It was unfortunate that he only came to Ohio and got a real glimpse of her new life after she was gone. 

If Jack packed up the family and made the long trek for just one weekend, he would’ve carried less of a burden.

I was concerned the first time he agreed to that one beer with Mike.

When it comes to alcoholism, it’s a slippery slope, especially after a profound loss and the realization that time is awfully short. We always think we have all the time in the world, but we don’t. And we can never get it back once it’s gone.

Since Jack is known as the man who gives the greatest speeches, there was a slim chance that he would fumble the eulogy.

When it comes down to it, Jack always knows what to say, and his speech about building a new home — one that’s worth remembering — was all that needed to be said about Marilyn’s new life. 

He acknowledged that without the darkness there couldn’t be light.

No moment is wasted on This Is Us. Even if it feels silent, it’s meaningful, carefully crafted, and significant. 

It wasn’t a coincidence that Jack sat on the same couch that his mother used to when she made the calls to him that she looked forward to every Sunday.

Jack also attempted to write the eulogy from her favorite table at the coffee shop where she met her boyfriend Mike.

When he wrapped up his eulogy, he ended with his mother’s famous phrase to end a phone call: “don’t let me keep you.”

After the funeral, Jack, the family, Mike, and Debra took the skates Marilyn bought the Big Three and took the kids skating, finally fulfilling her wish. 

And in her memory, Jack served up a delicious meal of hot dogs and tomato soup to the children right before breaking down and declaring that “he doesn’t have a mom anymore.”

It was a beautiful representation of how the simple moments mean the world, but we oftentimes don’t realize it until it’s too late. 

With This Is Us fully embracing its final season, the episode provided closure to the chapters about Jack’s family, but it was also a eerie to watch knowing that one day in the near-future, Jack would be gone and Rebecca + the Big Three would be dealing with the same sadness. 

And, in a further future, it’s a bit of a peak into what the Big Three will feel like when losing Rebecca, though, thankfully, they broke the cycle and had a strong relationship with her. 

It’s the circle of life — and it never gets easier. 

If anything, I hope this episode serves a reminder to make the most of the time with the people you love. 

What did you think of the episode? Share your thoughts below! 


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Promised Land

Promised Land Pilot Review – A Place Called Heritage (1×01)

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Promised Land Season Premiere Review A Place Called Heritage Season 1 Episode 1

ABC uncorked a new family drama paired with a telenovela, and it hit all the right notes. 

Promised Land, a tale of an immigrant family at the helm of a wine industry in California, threw a lot at audiences in the first house. 

The series definitely fills a gap left behind by other shows with Latino family’s at the forefront, namely the prematurely canceled Grand Hotel and Beauty and the Baker. Considering both those shows aired on ABC, it leaves me a little concerned for the fate of Promised Land, but I’m hoping the drama bubbled up to the top of many must-watch lists following that jam-packed pilot. 

In the first scene, we meet Juana and Rosa, two sisters crossing the border to chase their American dream, when they meet Carlos, a man with his sights set on the Heritage House, a vineyard where his brother, Roberto works. 

For much of the episode, it’s unclear if scenes featuring the trio are flashbacks or if these are present-day immigrants looking or work. 

However, by the end of the hour, it’s revealed that Carlos is Joe, the patriarch of the Dynasty-like clan, while his wife, Lettie, is Juana. I love that this time, the wife isn’t just arm candy but someone who has also put in the work for a better life, even if she never became a teacher like she hoped. 

During their journey to a better life, Carlos, Juana, and Rosa came across a sex-trafficking ring, which is where Rosa got shot. They dropped her off at the hospital, but since that meant deportation, they were forced to part ways then and there, and it’s unclear what happened to Rosa or if they ever kept in touch. 

But Juana — now Lettie — is likely glad she hitched her wagon to Carlos’s because they worked their way up from the bottom, and in the present-day, they own one of the biggest wine brands on the market.

Of course, it’s not all as picture-perfect as it may seem; the top rarely is. 

Over the course of the episode, and through perfectly woven flashbacks with present-day scenes, we learn that Lettie married Joe’s brother, Bobby, and the two had a son together, Mateo. 

Bobby reportedly cheated on Lettie, so she remarried Joe, but while he made Mateo the GM of the vineyard, he never fully embraced him as a son. 

And that’s peeling back the first layer of the complex family onion. 

Joe married Margaret, who accused him of stealing the vineyard from her dying father. Despite sharing three children, she vows to take the vineyard back from him by any means necessary. 

And she’s enlisted their son, Antonion, to do her dirty bidding. Antonio is more than happy to pull one over his father as Joe turned his back on his own son after he came out. 

When Antonio returns home for Joe and Lettie’s anniversary, his father attempts to make good as he needs him to steer his sister, Veronia, in the right direction as the company’s newest CEO.

Naturally, this a recipe for disaster for the family, but it’s highly entertaining for all of us sipping on wine from the couch. 

Veronica’s first day as CEO was a smashing success up until she hit one of the vineyards employees and ran from the scene. 

The man, Delgado, is fighting for his life at the hospital, and the accident unearthed his side hustle: making papers for illegal immigrants. 

Promised Land Season Premiere Review A Place Called Heritage Season 1 Episode 1

PROMISED LAND – “A Place Called Heritage” – Alliances and loyalties are tested as Joe Sandoval assesses the future of his family-run Sonoma Valley wine business. Just a few hundred miles south but a world away, Carlos Rincón and sisters Juana and Rosa Sánchez cross the U.S. border from Mexico in search of a better life on the series premiere of “Promised Land,” airing MONDAY, JAN. 24 (10:01-11:00 p.m. EST), on ABC. (ABC/Danny Delgado)
CECILIA SUÁREZ

Of course, that’s somthing Joe and Lettie are very familiar with, but apparently, they have no tolerance for. 

When the Sheriff allows it to slide, Joe fires the employee with the fake papers, Daniela, and explains that he’s doing the best thing for the business. 

Mateo, who took a liking to Daniela and helped set her up with the papers, decides that this is his breaking point and calls Joe out for being a hypocrite at the anniversary party in front of all the guests. 

And he’s not wrong. Joe seemingly succeded in the exact same way Daniela is trying to, but he won’t give her a chance or look the other way. 

It’s so much easier to turn up your nose when you’re at the top instead of pushing for change. 

Mateo then tracks Daniela down and looks into buying his own land for a competing winery, which makes sense considering Joe didn’t even leave him any shares in the will. 

Why not build your own fortune from the ground up? Mateo seems to be the only person that isn’t afraid of a little manual labor. 

Meanwhile, the moment leads to a pretty intense fight between Mateo and Lettie. When she suggests that she doesn’t know him anymore, Joe is reminded of his past and hits the ground running in the field alongside the workers. 

Elsewhere, Margaret and Antonio keep on scheming in hopes of getting the reins, the socialite daughter, Carmen, attempts to infuse the brand with a little modern marketing in between taking Instagram shots, and Veronica’s husband, Michael, sort of flirts with Carmen in a moment that seems really off-brand before you remember that this is also part telenovela and that sort of thing is likely going to happen. 

The pilot showed plenty of promise alongside a very intriguing plot and developed characters. 

I’m interested to see how Joe and Margaret’s paths crossed, and what led to their split. 

Also, what’s the backstory with Joe’s brother? When Carlos first arrived at the Heritage House, they had such a great relationship. It was likely tainted by Lettie, as so many brotherly relationships are on television, but why did Bobby leave and then decide to come back as a priest that teaches at Junior’s school?

It seems like Carlos/Joe is a good man, but then again, he did steal his brother’s dream of owning the vineyard, so maybe that’s just a facade?

There’s definitely much more to unpack here, but I’ll be honest, a series where the family fights over wine and not oil is a welcome change of pace. 

What did you think of the premiere episode of Promised Land? Will you be tuning in again?


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4400

4400 Review – Give Up The Ghost (1×11)

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4400 Review Give Up The Ghost Season 1 Episode 11

In the words of Kevin Pearson — who is not related to this show whatsoever — “Manny say what?!”

While the war between the 4400 and their enemies is bubbling up to the surface in the background, 4400 Season 1 Episode 11 focused solely on the mystery of what happened to Manny. 

Jessica was determined to break Jharrel so that he would tell her what Manny was working on before he vanished. 

She tried to convince him that the government had Manny is in custody and that Jharrel would be helping her keep him safe, but he quickly caught on that if that was the truth, she would just ask Manny himself. 

Her interrogation methods were pretty weak. Sure, blasting obnoxiously loud music was meant to drive him to the truth, but Jessica cracked out of desperation way before Manny did. 

And eventually, she brought in Soraya for an assist. 

While Soraya’s allegiances were questioned after she turned over a thumb drive to Manny, I let out a sigh of relief when it was made clear that she’s simply playing Jessica and the government while still assisting the 4400. 

I hope she forgives me for losing faith in her. 

Using the “Wrinkle in Time” book to not only get facetime with Jharrel but also to show him that she cracked the wall-clock code was brilliant. 

They have a secret language that keeps the government in the dark.

Jharrel was able to use what she learned along with his memories to piece Manny’s messages together — and he found him in room 437. 

So, where has Manny been all along? He’s been in the space within the space, which seems to be some kind of like the liminal space like on Nancy Drew. 

It was clear that Manny’s power was invisibility, but I thought that Jharrel and co. were going to have to try to pull him out of this space and into their timeline, but I was wrong. 

It turns out, Manny can reappear and disappear whenever he pleases. And I can count all the ways that is going to come in handy when fending off enemies and the government. 

This means that Manny has been here this whole time simply trying to get Jharrel to a safe space where he can reveal himself.

It also means that answers are coming!

Through flashbacks, it was revealed that Manny and Jharrel’s relationship wasn’t always as solid as it is now, but the COVID pandemic definitely brought them together. 

4400 Review Give Up The Ghost Season 1 Episode 11

4400 — “Give Up The Ghost” — Image Number: FFH110a_0032r — Pictured: Sophia Echendu as Mariah — Photo: Adrian S. Burrows Sr./The CW — © 2022 The CW Network, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

When Manny finally opened up to Jharrel, we found out that the former works for the government. Not only that, but Manny was unclear about what his job actually was. 

Right before Manny disappeared, he confided in Jharrel about the golden ratio, the Fibonacci sequence, and the space between reality. Basically, I think Manny is the creator of the green light. 

And I think when Jharrel moved the pineapple and picked up the seashell, he unintentionally set it into motion, which is when he saw the green light flash and Manny disappeared. 

Manny is the key as he has all the answers, which explains why the government is desperate to get its hands on him.

It’s also concerning that this was a position within the government in the first place. Were they testing time travel?

Wouldn’t it be something if it turned out that the government is responsible for creating the 4400 and yet, they’re purposefully making the public fear them?

I can’t wait to see how Manny plays into the plot moving forward as this only juices up an already exciting series that’s hitting all the right notes — it’s entertaining while being an excellent commentary on issues of race, LGBTQ, and more. 

The government was determined to make the 4400 suffer, so they killed the power at the Bois Blac hoping that they’d run back to them out of desperation. 

They never expected that some organization would singlehandedly fund a fundraiser, but, as Andre pointed out, it’s also slightly concerning that some group by the name of BHN is willing to shell out that much money on them.

What do they want in exchange? It’s almost like they are trying to buy them from the government. 

Shanice should be very weary, even though it’s understandable that she just wants to celebrate something good happening for once. 

BHN could be tomorrow’s problem. 

Her relationship with Andre seems to be heating up, and it looks like she has both Logan and Mariah’s blessing. 

There was quite a bit of tension between Andre and Logan when the latter showed up to help the returned after learning about the power outage. 

Andre thinks Logan is trying to get closer to Shanice, so he’s in overprotective mode. A part of him is likely also jealous considering the deep history between Logan and Shanice. 

However, from the looks of it, there’s nothing left to revive there. They seem to have both given up on the idea that they could go back to how things were, and Shanice is much more focused on the here and now, which includes forming some kind of relationship with her daughter. 

And Mariah opening up to her about having a crush on Mildred is not a bad start. It takes a lot to come out to a parent, so it was a very special moment for the two of them. 

Speaking of Mildred, there are definitely some anger issues for her to work through if she wants to get her powers back and make amends with the 4400. Her anger is understandable given everything that happened at the hospital, but it’s also not good to hang onto it and let it fester. 

She needs a proper outlet for it — she needs to turn that rage into action, and there’s no better person than Claudette to inspire her. 

Claudette understands a thing or two about fighting back against the opposition, plus, she gave Mildred a killer makeover. But though unrecognizable, I don’t think she necessarily blends in. And that may be a good thing. If the 4400 need motivation, Mildred is the poster child for fighting back. 

Elsewhere, the Rev and Keisha were trapped in an elevator together when the power went down, and I could not think of a worse experience. 

The Rev was very thrown off to find out that Keisha was gay. He’s old school, so he still views homosexuality as a “sin,” which didn’t sit well with Keisha in the slightest as she made it clear that those who hate are sinners and not those who love. 

And then she knocked him down even further when she told him that he would’ve vanished from his son’s life even if he hadn’t vanished from the green light. 

That one hit home, but it was true. 

The Rev has been one of the most unlikeable characters, and while he has redeemed himself ever so slightly over the last few episodes, if he doesn’t get with the times and practice acceptance, he’s going to be turned away by his own people. 

After everything he’s been through, he should know better than to hate someone for being different.

There’s an energy leading into the final three episodes that indicates the 4400 will not go down without a fight. 

What did you think of the episode? Are you glad Manny is back? And is he their secret weapon? Sound off in the comments! 


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