Sometimes, you just need a feel-good episode of television and on Easter Sunday, God Friended Me Season 2 Episode 19 delivered just that.
The episode was more than just a feel-good, it was an outstanding piece of television that indulged in a little bit of God Account sleuthing, some primetime action, a realization (albeit too late) from the protagonist, and an emotional Friend Suggestion.
What an hour!
The episode stands as proof that it’s okay, and even slightly encouraged, to move the focus away from the mystery of the God Account for a bit because it allows us to tap into the humanity of the series.
Miles and Cara confronted Corey Smith about whether or not he was behind the God Account, but their hopes were dashed when Corey revealed he wasn’t.
However, he could bring them one step closer to the person behind the God Account because he designed the predictive analytics algorithm being used to fuel the Friend Suggestions.
Therefore, Corey may not be “it,” but they are a lot further along than they’ve ever been if they can pinpoint the person that stole the code from Corey.
Unfortunately, being close enough was not good enough for Miles. Not this time.
With his whole life uprooted and his sister sick, Miles demanded answers.
It makes me think that, at this point, Miles doesn’t care about finding out who is behind the account. It could be anyone.
All he wants is someone to yell at, to blame, and to ask why he gave up everything and they’re still not helping his sister Ali, whose hair began to fall out after the chemo treatments.
With the chemo taking its toll, Ali made the brave decision to shave her head in a beautiful moment that showed just how strong she is.
She’s a fighter, so with or without the God Account, she’s not going to let cancer take anything away from her.
It’s unclear why Miles thinks the God Account can or will help Ali in her cancer battle. It almost seems like he believes that he’s owed some kind of favor in return for all the good he’s put out in the world, but that’s just not how it works.
We don’t do good things and expect something in return, and so, Miles shouldn’t expect to be rewarded for all he’s done. The act of helping someone is the true reward.
The realization that the God Account wasn’t going to help Ali upset Miles for a multitude of reasons.
Miles is now standing by helplessly as Ali suffers, but he also realized that he may have given up his relationship with Cara for absolutely no reason.
Ding ding. Miles, welcome. We’ve been saying this all along.
For the umpteenth time, I must point out that the God Account never asked Miles to give up love in exchange for helping Ali. This is a belief that Miles had simply because of what Gideon said.
Of course, by the time Miles made the realization, it was too late as Cara moved on.
She finally told Miles she was dating Adam, and it was kind of a slap in the face.
He was understanding because he knew it would eventually happen, but I don’t think he thought it would happen so soon.
It took Miles by surprise because nothing has changed between them in terms of how they interact when helping the God Account. Sometimes, it still feels like they’re together or about to get back together.
When Miles finally mustered up the courage to tell Cara how he feels after Ali’s “life’s too short” advice, Rakesh warned against it because Cara was truly happy.
Yes, you should be honest, but only if that honesty contributes something to someone else’s life. In this case, it would only complicate things for Cara.
Big Brother Recap: The Final Four (23×32)
The dust has barely settled on last night’s disappointing Double Eviction, and we already had another episode to take care of that showed the fallout of the Double, as well as the latest Head of Household competition.
We started the episode showing everything that was happening during commercial breaks in the Double Eviction. Hannah was fighting to stay, saying that she’s a strong competitor, and Kyland wanted to play with strong competitors. Kyland and Xavier, who have a final two deal, wanted to stay true to their final three deal that they made with Derek.
Derek was freaking out the whole time, saying in the Diary Room that he deserves to be in the final two, because of all the moves he made to get there. Well…he didn’t make any moves, and barely deserves to be in the final four. He thinks that the other guys have pulled a fast one on him, by nearly evicting him from the house, rather than keeping nominations the same and evicting Hannah anyway. Derek’s delusion continues to astound me, and I can’t even believe that he thinks he deserves to win.
Azah was not entirely sure that sending Hannah out the door was best for her game, which is clearly obvious, since she’s playing for fourth place at this point in the game.
With four people left in the game, this HOH was the most crucial one of all, since it’s a guaranteed spot in the final three, and the ability to compete in the final HOH competition to end the season.
This competition was themed around the new CBS show, CSI: Vegas, with the winner of the competition getting a special sneak peek of the show.
The players went one at a time in a crime scene. They had to use a blue light to find pieces of evidence like a fingerprint, chemical markings, tire tracks, DNA, and footprints. Once they found it, they had to memorize the details of the evidence, and match it on a wall that had a bunch of the same evidence pieces with small differences. Whoever found all the pieces the quickest won.
It was just the men competing, since Azah was ineligible. Kyland only took one try to find everything, but he took too long to find the specific parts of the fingerprints. Derek had a strategy to focus on one at at time, which everyone followed. Xavier found the specific details in the fingerprints, which everyone couldn’t quite figure out.
That was all that mattered, because Xavier won the HOH competition, finishing it in just over 10 minutes. Xavier won his second HOH competition of the season, and a guaranteed spot in the final three.
Kyland was incredibly angry at himself for not winning, since he gets paranoid about…everything. Xavier has a final two deal with Derek and Kyland, but feels more loyal to Derek, since the deal was made on day 13, and he knows that he would sweep through the jury sitting next to Derek, and instantly be $750,000 richer.
While thinking over his options, Xavier realized that it’s possible that Kyland should be the target, because he knows how strong Kyland is, and then Derek gets all the blood on his hands by voting him out. Derek isn’t entirely sure if this is the best idea, since Kyland is part of that final three deal he has with Xavier, but if it gets him closer to the end, it may be time to cut Kyland out of the game before its too late.
At the Nomination Ceremony, Xavier nominated Kyland and Azah for eviction. It’s Day 72, and Azah has found herself on the block for the first time, which is actually pretty insane, because it’s rare someone gets so far in the game without getting nominated at least once.
The nominations do not hold a whole lot of power this week, as the Power of Veto practically decides who the sole vote will be for next eviction night. That competition’s results will be on the feeds, but the competition will be played in full after the long-awaited premiere of Survivor next Wednesday.
Best Player of the Episode:
This goes to the latest HOH (and most likely the winner of the season) Xavier. He knows the threat level that Kyland has, and he will let Derek take the shot at Kyland without ruining his relationship with him, pulling the strings along the way.
Worst Players of the Episode:
Derek, Kyland, and Azah. All three of them are filled with delusion that they are the strongest players in the house, while they are all going to lose to Xavier. Derek believes he founded The Cookout (when he didn’t), Kyland thinks he’s a social mastermind (which he isn’t), and Azah hasn’t fully started playing this game until last night. I know she’s my winner pick, and I’m proud of her for making it this far, but Azah the Big Brother player hasn’t lived up to my expectations sadly.
With the evictions of Tiffany and Hannah, it’s hard to really find people to root for in the game, even though there’s still two full weeks left, but we’re almost there!
‘The Chair’ Review: A Humorous Commentary on the World of Academia
An entire show focused on a dilapidating university English department had the very real potential of being extremely boring and niche with its heavy ode to literature. However, Netflix’s original series The Chair, starring the fabulous Sandra Oh, is a humorous commentary on the world of academia, cancel culture, ageism, sexism, and transracial adoption.
The bulk of the humor rests on the shoulders of Ji-Yoon (Oh) and Joan (Holland Taylor) the only women in the department alongside Yaz (Nana Mensah). Ji-Yoon is the first woman department head to take the position just as enrollment is crumbling by 30%.
What’s meant to be a momentous moment in her career turns into a shit show when she’s tasked with putting out daily dumpster fires.
In the short six episodes, we’re quickly introduced to the complicated lives of Ji-Yoon and her colleague/lover Bill Dobson, one of the younger professors who’s under intense scrutiny for making an insensitive and ignorant reference to nazis.
There’s a strong balance between personal and professional lives as the underlying tension displayed immediately between Bill and Ji-Yoon ignites a budding romance, amid the dean’s increasing pressure for Ji-Yoon to let Bill go.
Ji-Yoon’s a powerful woman who isn’t afraid to stand up against university systems that oppress women and women of color. And despite her ability to properly handle her work life, her home life seems to be teetering.
Her daughter Juju is a spitfire who is ready to speak her mind at any moment. Whether to diss her halbi, cross personal boundaries scaring off babysitters, and telling Ji-Yoon how she feels about her transracial adoption.
The real dynamic duo is Juju and Bill. As Bill’s healing from the loss of his wife and empty-nesting after sending his daughter off to college, he finds comfort in taking care of Juju while he’s on suspension.
Juju’s lack of connection with Ji-Yoon is saddening, as it stems from Ji-Yoon’s absence due to her tireless job. However, by the end of the season, the growth between mom and daughter is emotionally beautiful.
Yes, I shed a few tears.
The decision to use an English department as a commentary vessel is ingenious. Historically, academia is full of jaded tenured professors who are generationally out of touch. But, an English department is stereotypically overrun with crotchety old pretentious men.
Some of whom are definitely ready for retirement.
Yaz is a Black professor whose class has quickly become the most popular in the English department. With her classes yielding the most students, this causes jealousy among the other educators, putting her tenure track in harm’s way.
When she’s denied the distinguished lectureship and begins to feel helpless as a woman of color at Pembroke, she considers taking an offer from Yale. However, Ji-Yoon’s desperation to rebuild the department full of diverse women convinces Yaz to stay.
Yaz’s character doesn’t receive as much screentime as she deserves. Most of the attention is placed on Dobs and the rest of the professors fighting desperately to hold onto their power.
Furthering the theme of sexism, Joan’s office is displaced in the basement underneath the gym. As a professor who’s been with the university just as long as her male counterparts, she finds her situation outrageous and greatly sexist.
Yet, by the season finale, after Ji-Yoon’s been ousted as the head of the department, she strategically chooses Joan to replace her. This feels like a win for the women and especially Ji-Yoon, as her vision of change continues.
While there hasn’t been any official word about a second season, Season 1 paved the path for deeper topics to be pursued. Especially the romance between Ji-Yoon and Bill. So I can’t imagine the show won’t receive another green light.
If you’re someone who shutters at the idea of being immersed in the academic sphere even fictionally, don’t worry. The Chair is a show you can enjoy on the pure basis of humor and emotional family drama. And of course Sandra Oh!
Brooklyn Nine-Nine Series Finale Review: The Last Day (8×09/8×10)
Season 8 of Brooklyn Nine-Nine has a lot of issues. The finale of the show is not one of them.
Using a heist for the finale episode is a brilliant move, and I personally feel it is a pretty gutsy one, as well. The heist episodes are highlights of the series, and each year the pressure mounted to keep the quality of these outings high. Not every heist episode is a classic, but enough of them are that with each additional entry there is a risk of diminishing the reputation of the yearly series.
So to hinge the series finale on a heist episode is a gutsy move. Not only must it live up to the expectations set by the previous heists, but it also must serve as a satisfying conclusion to the show. In retrospect, it seems like an obvious answer and it serves the function of “series finale” very well. Maybe for viewers this seemed like a no-brainer from the start, but from a writing standpoint this was a risk.
It was also a risk due to the nature of these episodes. The heist episodes tend to toss the rules of the show out the window, resulting in mass chaos where damage to the precinct is encouraged and betraying loved ones and risking serious bodily harm are expected. They also exist almost completely outside whatever storyline the show is focused on in a particular season.
I’ve criticized the show pretty thoroughly this year for not providing deep enough character ties to its serialized plot, citing how I feel the messages the show tries to send about the police get a bit watered down due to a lack of exploration. “The Last Day” continues this trend. Jake was suspended by the police in “The Set Up,” and yet doesn’t reflect on his suspended time at all when deciding to quit the Nine-Nine in the finale. That’s a major disconnect from Season 8 and is a large reason I feel this season is among the weaker years of the show. O’Sullivan, Holt’s marriage troubles, Rosa quitting the Nine-Nine – none of it is really relevant to the final episode. There isn’t any true through-line from the season to this finale. Is that risk of narrative disconnect worth the reward?
I believe it is, because while the final episode of Season 8 has almost nothing to do with Season 8, it has everything to do with Brooklyn Nine-Nine. It’s a phenomenal interpretation of what the show is and I loved pretty much every second of it. It’s an amazing excuse to run through the show’s history and never quite feels overly-cheesy because of the exaggerated logic the heist episodes operate on.
But my favorite aspect of the finale is that for the first time in a long, long time, the entire crew is together. No A, B, and C plots – just one huge A plot with different moving parts. Terry sums this up perfectly when they get trapped near the end of the episode, citing that the Nine-Nine is at its best when it is working together.
And yeah, sure, they were actually all working against each other, but that’s a technicality in this case. From a story purpose, they all work together to create one final heist, and it results in an excellent finale to the series. Asides from paying homage to dozens of moments from the show’s history, “The Last Day” also delivers the punches to the heart you need from a good finale. Some are goofy, like Hitchcock and Scully’s hug and Gina’s exit, and some are heartwarming, like Amy and Rosa and Holt and Jake.
Holt and Jake’s relationship is the highlight of this show, and their final scene together brings them to a well-earned conclusion. Jake finally gets true acceptance from a father-figure, but wonderfully has grown past the need to get it. This doesn’t mean that Holt’s words don’t mean the world to him – it just means from a story standpoint, Jake did actually grow up, and he doesn’t need Holt’s approval anymore.
Which makes Holt’s approval that much more affecting. It tugs at your heart in a way none of the season’s other plot lines do because it’s so directly tied to Jake and Holt’s journey on the show. Holt’s words are affecting because we’ve actually witnessed the growth they’ve both gone through and we’ve seen the ways their actions and personalities have influenced each other over the course of the series.
“The Last Day” fully succeeds at bringing these characters to earned conclusions, and I am genuinely impressed by its success.
But Season 8 was a mess.
I wish I didn’t have to taint this review with some dourness, but what was the point, from a story standpoint, of having Jake be suspended? His conduct didn’t factor into any plot lines past that episode. The season opened with a heavy look into what it means to be a “good cop” and Jake’s decision to leave detective work behind has nothing to do with it.
Maybe I’m biased because I know the season was partially re-written to include examinations of the current sociopolitical era, but it really feels like this finale was written in a vacuum away from all of that. It’s really odd to have so many plot lines that have Jake evaluating exactly what it means to be a cop and then only have him leave because he wants to be a dad.
To be clear, that’s a great reason for Jake to leave! It’s super relevant to his character arc and it’s the perfect send off for him. It’s just odd that none of those other factors factored into his decision at all when they were the focus of nearly half of the season’s episodes.
I agree Brooklyn Nine-Nine needed to address police conduct. I agree Jake leaving to be a dad is an excellent end to his story. I don’t agree that those two storylines don’t cross paths at all. There’s a huge disjoint there that I can’t overlook when considering the quality of this season.
So, with that said, I didn’t love Season 8 of Brooklyn Nine-Nine. It had story inconsistencies, a tendency to dilute its noble messages by not grounding those messages in character, and at times fell a bit too far into standard sitcom fare.
But I love this finale. A finale’s number one priority is to be as great a representation of the show it’s capping as possible. “The Last Day” is near perfect by this metric. It maintains the consistent quality of the heist episodes, grounds its heartfelt moments through its characters, and is anything but standard. It embodies everything that makes this series special – the ensemble cast, sharp, witty writing that moves one-hundred miles a minute, and a surprisingly strong heart that beats all the way through to the last scene.
- I think this was the best episode of the show since the move to NBC.
- The joke referencing the opening credits is one of my favorites jokes in the entire series. This is the sort of joke that only really works in a finale. I didn’t really “laugh” at it, but I appreciated the heck out of it and felt it was a great 4th wall break that didn’t technically break the 4th wall.
- You knew Gina would be back, and I love how it isn’t really made into a big deal. She slips in and out of her old role without a trace. Love it.
- Hitchcock winning is so stupid. It’s the cherry on top of the chaos.
- I wish we would have gotten more investigation driven episodes this season, as a large part of what made the show so unique was its ability to take investigations and genuine danger and balance them with humor, however that’s more of a season criticism and I don’t think this was necessary for the finale.
- The epilogue showing us that the heists will continue and will keep these characters in each other’s lives for years to come is a wonderful final scene and very true to the show and its sense of camaraderie.
When I say “standard sitcom fare” I only use that as a negative regarding Brooklyn Nine-Nine. I don’t have anything against standard sitcom fare, as it wouldn’t be standard if it didn’t have some merit! But part of what separated Brooklyn Nine-Nine from other sitcoms throughout its run was how different it was and how sometimes it was closer to a spoof of police procedurals than it was to a sitcom. The closer to The Office or Parks and Recreation that Brooklyn Nine-Nine gets, the less Brooklyn Nine-Nine it becomes. There easily could have been an episode of The Office or Parks and Rec where everyone goes to the cabin for a weekend (I know that actually happens in Parks and Rec and there are similar scenarios in The Office), but no other show on television can do a heist episode like this.
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