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Good Girls Review – Guess Who’s Back, Back Again (3×01)

Credit: Good Girls/ NBC

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Good Girls is back and you better strap in for one emotionally twisted and dangerous ride.

Beware: this post contains spoilers, obviously. If you haven’t seen the premiere of season 3, tap out! 

First off, they’re back, baby!

Secondly, he’s back, baby!

I have never been this excited to see a character, who I already assumed survived, confirm that he is, in fact, alive.

Of course, I’m talking about Rio, who is like a cat with nine lives and despite going off the grid and letting everyone think he’s dead, he’s still somehow the ringleader in charge. You know he’s a bad guy, but you have to kind of be in awe of how nonchalant he is about everything and yet still manages to get things done without lifting so much as a finger.

Beth might think that he’s dead, but she clearly has never heard of the golden rule in television – no one is dead until you see a body and even then, be suspicious.

Last we saw Rio, he was bleeding out as Agent Turner dangled a Hail Mary in front of him after Beth betrayed him, shot him multiple times, and left him to die.

The odds were against Rio, but we all correctly assumed that Agent Turner would spare him and use him at his own convenience as a snitch.

Agent Turner could have just walked away and lived a happy life, sure, but he’s always been consumed with getting the bad guy and bringing Rio and his men down. He wanted revenge and well, he paid the ultimate price.

Rio, known now as Kowalski (sure, he can pass for European any day) was put in witness protection in exchange for his cooperation.

However, it’s unlike Rio to work alongside the cops and FBI, and we should have known he would have a contingency plan if it ever came down to it.

Rio may be a lot of things, but one thing he’s never been is stupid — he knew the feds were closing in on him and could scoop him up at any moment, so there was a huge likelihood that he prepared for this exact moment.

Rio didn’t just have a plan to get himself out, he had a plan to take Turner out, too. No FBI agent sticking his nose into Rio’s business, no problem.

Rio played his part right, and when Turner thought he gave him what he wanted, he pulled one over on him. Turner’s flaw is that he grew too trusting of Rio and walked right into a trap. He was ambushed and gunned down in broad daylight. Just like that.

Beth is living life oblivious to the fact that she has a giant target on her back.

The ladies who continue to believe that he’s alive despite all the clues and foreshadowing that he’s definitely coming back.

Dean mentioned Rio coming back as a zombie (oh, Deanie, you have no idea) and even Rio’s baby momma, who Beth befriended out of guilt, keeps insisting that Rio always comes back.

And she’s not wrong.

Beth is in for quite a wake-up call when she realizes the man she “thought” she killed is still alive and is out for blood. A piece of advice — if you’re planning to kill the King, make sure he’s dead before you walk away.

She’ll likely realize something is amiss when she hears about Agent Turner’s death. Or maybe she won’t because his “accidental” death is a good thing for her, too. Without Turner around, she can go about her business and produce counterfeit money without having to look over their shoulder every few months.

Beth hasn’t learned her lesson despite the dangers she’s found herself in. She’s still dabbling in this lifestyle because it’s convenient and she assumes that the risks have been eliminated.

If Beth was smart, she wouldn’t be surprised by the rise of a new (or old) problem. It’s the territory that comes with the shady life she’s leading. If it’s not going to be Rio, it’s going to be some other gang leader trying to get into her business.

But Beth trudges on and finds new ways to keep on keeping on with her lucrative “career.”

The lengths these women go to to find new ways of doing bad things is incredible.

If you take a step back, it’s actually a lot of work for someone who is essentially “taking the easy way out.” It’s hard making an honest living, but making an illegal living is no walk in the park, I’ll tell you that!

However, it’s not difficult to understand why Beth, Annie, and Ruby are willing to take such risks.

When the series picked up, our ladies were doing their best to scrape on by, and that financial struggle is what has motivated them to continue pursuing this life of crime.

I’d say of the three of them, it’s most burdensome to Beth and Ruby’s family.

Beth’s working at a gift shop picking up hours to pay off the mortgage that they’ve fallen behind on. How is she running a counterfeit money production company from the back? Who owns this shop? Throughout the episode, it seems like Beth’s an employee or possibly a supervisor, but yet no one has caught on to her off-hours project?

Meanwhile, Ruby is working at a nail salon where she’s still putting bitches in check while Stan, a disgraced cop, is working security for “The Mayor” aka a strip club in town.

This is by far the biggest change in the series considering how buttoned-up and proud Stan was in the beginning. Situations change and the Hill family has been flexible and accommodating (Ruby watching butt-naked strippers walking around Stan is something) to pay for their daughter’s medical care.

With Annie, it doesn’t seem like money issues are as big of an issue as her boredom with a mediocre lifestyle. And as far as we know, she’s working valet and taking all those expensive cars for a whirl aka my biggest fear giving way my car to valet!

Good Girls started off with moms dabbling in crime to make ends meet but the more we trudge along, the more we understand why they do what they do, and that may be the biggest takeaway of all — that earning money “the right” way isn’t enough to support necessities in life.

A series that could have run out of storylines, burnt through them, and exhausted possibilities has figured out a way to elevate and one-up themselves each time. It has never slowed down, it’s only speeding up as the crimes they commit catch up them just as quickly as the lies.

Just when you think you know what twist is coming, they surprise you.

The series isn’t afraid to pull triggers, literally, and knows when it’s time to close the chapter on a character to better the story. It shows the good and ugly sides of each character, embracing both equally, and establishing that it’s okay to break the rules when necessary and backed into a corner. But most importantly, it teaches you to own up to it even if Beth’s still figuring that out.

While we want to champion Beth for being a headstrong woman who never lets anything knock her down, she remains oblivious to her involvement in anything.

She may have watched a man die, but she doesn’t blame herself. Sure, it pains her to see his family suffer, but she believes it’s for the best and that Rio had it coming.

It has never occurred to Beth that’s she’s just as low and terrible as Rio because she hides under this housewife facade.

Her terrible choices even boil down the befriending Rio’s baby momma because she’s searching for some twisted version of forgiveness and likely some connection to him.

Other Thoughts from a Good Girl

  • Dean went from selling cars to selling spas. At least he’s trying to pull his weight.
  • I love how they’re testing their fake money at the Currency Exchange of the guy they kidnapped!
  • They really told Lucy that they needed her to make money for casino night. Remember what happened the last time they dragged an innocent into this unwillingly?
  • “You bitches just leveled up.”
  • The stripper giving Sara a tutorial about swallowing a pill… the Mayor’s office will get ya.

Will Beth get it together? Or will Rio’s return slap her right in the face? I love our girl, but I’m kind of excited to see the other foot drop.

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Lizzy Buczak is the founder of CraveYouTV. What started off as a silly blog in her sophomore year at Columbia College Chicago turned her passion for watching TV into an opportunity! She has been in charge of CraveYou since 2011, writing reviews and news content for a wide variety of shows. Lizzy is a Music Business and Journalism major who has written for RADIO.COM, TV Fanatic, Time Out Chicago, Innerview, Pop’stache and Family Time.

Brooklyn Nine-Nine

Brooklyn Nine-Nine Review – Father Son Showdown (7×10)

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Brooklyn Nine-Nine Admiral Peralta Review

Boyle takes pride in being mistaken for Jake’s butler, Terry screams that he’s a muffin man, and Hitchcock and Scully prove they aren’t total idiots. There’s a lot to like in “Admiral Peralta,” though I have my issues with it (both personal and more objective).

Amy and Rosa’s storyline is fine. I always like when competence is proven by Hitchcock and Scully. I had a feeling there would be some reveal here because we’ve been shown too many times that these two are actually quite adequate when they want to be. Nothing too intense is happening, but I like the small amount of respect that Amy and Rosa gain for Hitchcock and Scully, even if Hitchcock immediately loses it.

Gina’s absence has allowed Hitchcock and Scully more time to shine, and for the most part I think they fill the spot nicely. I personally miss Gina, for when Gina was used right she was my favorite character, but Hitchcock and Scully bring something different to the table. They don’t replace Gina, they just fill her spot. They are completely different characters with different roles, but their two-for-one dependence is unique to Brooklyn Nine-Nine and their shifting position as allies to obstacles is a fun way to spice things up here and there. “Admiral Peralta” ensures that their presence will continue to be effective by reminding the audience that they are competent, keeping them from becoming one note.

Terry and Holt’s storyline is meaningless, and that’s great; not every storyline on every show needs to be more than just entertaining. There will probably never be a follow up to this flute storyline, so it’s just a fun avenue to get a little creative with the camera work and have Terry scream about being the muffin man.  The intense camera closeups of Holt “coaching” Terry on the flute ups the intensity of the task in the same way similar techniques provide intensity in sports films. It’s silly fun.

Holt still learns a lesson by the end of it, so they do throw a small arc in, but it’s overall inconsequential and the final gag that Terry didn’t even need to have practiced to get the spot is great. It’s a bit meta, too, just emphasizing how meaningless all of this is, and I love it.

My only full complaints come with Jake’s storyline. I like the core conceit of Jake trying to come to terms with the fact that he’s going to have a son and that his family doesn’t have a good track record of father/son relationships, but I feel like it’s backwards. We, the audience, already know that Jake is going to be a great father, so there is no natural tension there. That means the tension has to be created through Jake’s personal fear of not being a good father, and this fear only fully manifests itself at the end of the episode before being immediately cleared up.

If Jake knew he was having a boy earlier in the episode his fear could have been more realized and created a stronger arc for him. I like Roger’s final speech to Jake a lot and I like his admittance to being a poor father for Jake, but I think the scene would have been more powerful if we saw Jake struggling with his place as a father from the start of the episode.

The use of Jake’s grandfather provides context and history for the “curse” the Peralta men seem to pass down generation to generation, and also puts Roger into a position where he has to directly confront his poor upbringing of Jake, which is great. I like seeing the three come together to try to clean the kitchen after the cake spills, but I can’t help but to feel, despite the great visual gag of blue frosting everywhere, that their attempt to “birdbox it” is ridiculous. Why not just have Boyle come in and clean it up? They had to tell him the gender anyway to get him to bake a new cake (actually, they may have kept that secret from him some how since Boyle didn’t put the food dye in). I know they are trying to keep it a secret but it didn’t seem like that big of a deal in the greater context of the episode.

Maybe I could have believed it more if the reveal was tied to Jake’s fears, but again, we don’t really see those fears until the end of the episode. Alternatively, maybe I’m just not into gender reveal parties (I’m not).

Honestly, I’m just not that into the baby in general, so from a personal standpoint I’m not a fan of this episode, which likely affects my view of the episode as a whole. Speaking as objectively as possible, though, this is a fine episode of Brooklyn Nine-Nine. There is some heart to Hitchcock and Scully’s story, and while Holt and Terry’s flute lessons aren’t going to sit atop many “best moments” list, it’s a funny storyline. There is also some real drama with Jake and his father and a very good resolution to that drama. I don’t think it’s set up as effectively as it could be, but it’s still a well written character beat. Combine those together and, despite my personal grievances, “Admiral Peralta” mostly works.

Other Great Thoughts:

  • I’ve never felt more seen than I did during the precinct’s universal shrug after Jake and Amy’s pregnancy reveal.
  • Terry’s daughters criticize him all of the time.
  • Why does Jake care about hanging up on Amy first? That was weird, right? Or is that just me? What did I miss there?
  • Roger asking if his dad is at the hospital is quietly heartbreaking, and I really appreciate that beat.

 

 

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Manifest

Manifest Review – Mic and Zeke Get Married, But Do They Make It to Their Honeymoon? (2×12)

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Manifest Call SIgn Review

And they lived happily ever… until they didn’t.

Mic and Zeke’s wedding was a beautiful celebration, but their happiness was shortlived on Manifest Season 2 Episode 12 because their honeymoon was interrupted by the three looming shadow figures that have been threatening the Stone family for several episodes.

But before we get into the “disaster” that stemmed from Mic’s decision to not follow the Callings, let’s talk about the wedding.

It went off without a hitch aside from Mic’s brief “cold feet” — and I love how Zeke worked that into a joke since he’s actually freezing to death.

For #TeamZeke fans, the wedding was a celebration of life and love.

Mic hesitated a bit before the wedding because she was scared. Usually, weddings are supposed to celebrate the beginning of a long road ahead for a couple, but Mic couldn’t envision a future with Zeke because they didn’t have a cure for the death date.

He accepted that he was dying while she wanted him to fight for his life.

Mic wanted a “sign” to point her in the right direction, and she got it when Ben’s Calling led him to a consignment shop where he found his mother’s veil.

The veil confirmed what she already knew to be true: she wanted to marry Zeke more than anything.

For those of you that have been #TeamJared, well, you were in the same boat as Jared: you wanted to be happy for Mic, but it was hard to watch.

In the penultimate episode, Zeke only had 2 days left to live, which meant everything was expedited.

Jared was taken aback by Mic’s announcement that she was getting married (likely because he was still holding out hope that they would get back together), but he figured that he would support her on her “big day.”

Sadly, when he saw her in that wedding dress, you could see the pain it caused him. My heart broke for him.

He has wanted to be in Zeke’s shoes for the longest time, and he couldn’t stand by and watch the love of his life walk down the aisle and marry another man.

After the intimate celebration, Mic and Zeke got ready for their honeymoon, which also doubled as Zeke’s hoorah. It’s incredibly morbid, and I’m kind of glad it was interrupted.

They didn’t get too far before they got the call that poor Cal was taken by the three meth heads.

Read the full post at TV Fanatic! 

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Roswell

Roswell, New Mexico Review – The Story of Nora Truman (2×03)

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Roswell, New Mexico Good Mother Review

As Michael looks for answers about his mother, Roswell, New Mexico sets off to explore what happened in 1947 when the UFO, alien saucer, whatever you want to call it, landed.

It’s a pleasure seeing Kayla Ewell back on the screen. She’s filling a tall order by conveying the emotions of a scared, young mother in a foreign land without being able to say a single word.

And she nailed it.

Flint Manes, who proved that he may be trying to be on the right side of history, gave Alex an account of what happened the night of the UFO landing.

Alex then tried to exploit his father to find out the version of events that he’d heard and learned of a man named Trip.

The only thing better than Kayla is original Roswell star Jason Behr tapping into the role of Trip, a man who was likely the reason Nora was taken to Caulfield and kept as a prisoner for hundreds of years.

Behr did a phenomenal job as a soldier who was curious about the woman standing in front of him while also portraying a man who knew he had a duty to his country.

It’ll be interesting to see this story unfold and lead us into the present-day dynamics of humans vs. aliens, especially since many of those humans are siding with the aliens and protecting them from the hatred brought upon by being different.

We’ll find out specifically what happened to Ewell that she went from “gunned down to smiling next to a prize-winning pumpkin to a torture chamber” in the span of a year.

Who was the blonde woman who saved her by taking a bullet for her and gave her a fighting chance? Was it Max and Isobel’s mother?

And who was the man who, unlike Trip, offered to help Nora and meant it? Could he be a descendant of Maria DeLuca?

If so, there’s a real possibility that Guerin and DeLuca are somehow related, which would be problematic for their relationship.

The past could also give us some insight into the DeLuca’s and why Maria’s family has some supernatural connections that she doesn’t seem aware of.

The theme of “mothers” was overarching as Maria was reunited with her missing mom, Mimi. She was found wandering on the road by Cam, who came back to town and realized it was even weirder than when she’d left it.

Of course, Mimi didn’t remember a thing that happened while she was missing for a month and thought it had only been a day. Maria didn’t think anything of it because her mother’s memory isn’t the best and she tends to “wander,” but she also knew something was up because her mother was wearing some nifty cowboy boots.

What happened to Mimi? Did she get abducted like one of the other residents suggested?

And in the same vein of mothers,  Isobel tried once again to abort her pregnancy.

It wasn’t clear what the outcome was, but given the amount of blood loss, I’d say she got what she wanted. However, I feel like the series wouldn’t introduce a pregnancy storyline just to get rid of it, so I’m not convinced Isobel is sans baby just yet. It’s possible the alien baby is much stronger than she thought.

It was incredibly sad to watch her go through so much pain and risk killing herself in the process, but the series used it to paint a picture of the very reality that women without access to proper medical treatment or with no choice have to go through.

They also made sure that Isobel explained her reason for wanting to abort the pregnancy — it was something she was doing for herself.

She couldn’t go through with having a baby that belonged to Noah, a man who emotionally manipulated her and lied to her. It wasn’t of her own free will, which was a very crucial part of her decision.

The series is finding refreshing ways to keep Max’s presence around, and the scenes he shared with Isobel were sweet, even if they were a figment of her imagination after ingesting poison.

It proves how much she needs and loves him. But more so, it underlines their strong bond.

Max is still connected to Isobel and since he’s gaining strength while getting regenerated in the pod, he knew when something was wrong. If it wasn’t for him connecting with Rosa to tell her to check on Isobel, she would have died.

Rosa was a lot more tolerable on “Good Mother” mainly because she acknowledged what we were all thinking — she didn’t deserve this second chance.

It made me feel for her a lot more than I did in last week’s episode because it proves how much she’s struggling and hoping to numb the pain by drinking.

She found herself back in a strange new world;  a world where she’s suddenly the outcast, hated by the town and even though people care about her in her inner-circle, she can’t help but feel guilty and like a burden that she survived while Max perished.

She’s truly going through survivor’s guilt. But by opening up to Liz, she can finally begin healing.

It’s going to take some time, but I think they have to find a way to inform the town and her father about Rosa’s return.

Especially if she continues to sneak around town. Her need for booze got her caught by her best friend, Maria, who thought she was having some kind of episode like her mother.

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Rosa assured her she was real, and once Maria learned the truth, she wasn’t happy with either Guerin or Liz.

The truth ruined her shortlived romance with Guerin, but it was pretty perfect while it lasted. I’m hoping she can forgive them and understand that they thought they were protecting her, but she’s right that they left her pretty vulnerable.

Liz spent most of the episode bonding with Cam and it gave us some of the strongest moments of the hour.

You wouldn’t think these two would fair so well considering they were both romantically involved with Max at one point, but that connection is exactly what made this so great.

They weren’t bitter or jealous — they both loved and cared for the same man and allowed that to bring them closer together.

I’ve never been a huge Cam fan (which is weird cause I love Aunt Freya on The Originals), but that may have changed now that she’s done pining over Max. I think my problem with her was that she allowed herself to be treated like crap by a guy who clearly didn’t want to be with her.

But all that aside, she noticed that Liz needed someone to just be real with and vent out her anger and frustration with Max’s decision.

It may have been risky to give Liz a weapon while she was chugging back that wine, but she needed to get all of that out.

It’s not like she’s going to tell Rosa, who is already vulnerable, that she may not have allowed Max to sacrifice himself or that she wishes he’d consulted her first, but she’s right — no one should have to make a decision to save either their boyfriend or their sister.

It’s why Max did it for her, and now, she owes him enough to find a way to save him.

And while she does that, she also has to find a way to help Rosa before it’s too late. Will she be able to help them both?

There’s a lot of promising storylines building up, but the tempo has been a bit lackluster. Let’s get to the action!

What did you think of tonight’s Roswell, New Mexico?

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