December 19, 2018

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NCIS Season 15 Episode 18 Review: Death From Above

No. No, no, no, no, no. Just no. Whoever thought the plot of NCIS Season 15 Episode 18 was a good idea... just no. Wait a minute: this one was authored by none other than Christopher J. Waild! It's not often that I call out screenwriters, but this same Mr. Waild was behind two of this season's weaker entries, NCIS Season 15 Episode 3, "Exit Strategy," and NCIS Season 15 Episode 10, "Double Down." Both the aforementioned episodes required multiple characters to make mind-bogglingly poor decisions in order for the plot to unfold. "Death From Above" featured not just that but the protagonists being defeated by their own defense measures! By the time the credits rolled, I seriously wanted to take this story and throw it into the burning pile in the evidence garage. Yeah. Because that was the bad guys' plan: bribe an NCIS agent to get them into the Navy Yard so they could sneak into NCIS and destroy the evidence against a drug kingpin. Because, despite how breathtakingly stupid the plan was, it actually worked! Well, until Mr. Kingpin got arrested for the conspiracy to destroy evidence and all. I'm sure there are people out there who found "Death From Above" to be a fun diversion, with the various characters Die Harding their way around NCIS Headquarters. I was not one of them. That's not to say the episode was entirely without merits. It's just that even the good parts felt diminished by, well, everything else. Take this scene from the end of the episode: It made for an entertaining fight, sure. But the fight made no sense. Gibbs had plenty of chances to take down the villain prior to this point. It felt like he was purposefully taunting the man! Plus, he armed himself with a heavy piece of pipe or rebar, which instead of whacking the bad guy with, he threw through the skylight. Gibbs is known for his gut instinct, but he literally had no way of knowing if anyone was actually in the squad room at that exact moment. To be fair, he knew that the response team was on their way there, courtesy of the radio before they climbed on the roof, but why take all the extra steps to eliminate the villain? I will say that it was gratifying to see Robert Wagner return as DiNozzo Senior, who provided an all-too-brief update on Tony and little Tali (not to mention himself!). Despite the fact that his presence didn't make sense after the evacuation (seriously, why was he still in building?), his protectiveness of Abby coupled with his impersonation of Ducky worked pretty well. Better, in fact, than pretty much anyone else on the show! The bad guys never actually realized that Senior was an imposter, after all, unlike Torres. Rocky Carroll, who directed the episode, also deserves props for making the most of the lackluster script. Related: Get CBS All Access via Amazon Channels for Hit Shows, Exclusive Originals & Live TV! Then there was McGee and his technical difficulties in MTAC. The less said abo..

NCIS: New Orleans Season 4 Episode 18 Review: Welcome to the Jungle

Predictable much? The transition has officially begun on NCIS: New Orleans Season 4 Episode 18, all wrapped up in a mission south of the border. In case you somehow missed it, Shalita Grant is leaving the series. Unlike when Zoe McLellan bolted during the summer between NCIS: New Orleans Seasons 2 and 3, the producers have had the opportunity to make Percy's exit feel more organic to the narrative. That is, if by organic I mean hitting viewers over the head with it for about 10 minutes an episode. Subtle, no. Effective, yes. Related: NCIS: New Orleans' Shalita Grant Exits First, let's talk about the mission (case feels a little small for an international, inter-agency effort) that intermittently interrupted the departure drama. Any mission that started with a middle-of-the-night call and vague directions was bound to be complicated, and this one was. So Pride called Sebastian, who would be slightly more effective than Loretta in a firefight, and Percy. Only he got Gregorio instead, because, well, Percy had a thing. Gregorio actually said a personal meeting she couldn't get out of, but still that doesn't fly. (And neither did Percy. Yuck, yuck, yuck!!) With that weak-ass excuse and his earlier orders, Pride must have had his fill of vagueness for one day. It turned out that he had been recommended as an investigator by a dead man, Lt. Daryll Watkins, who Pride had kept from being wrongly convicted of a crime sometime in his colorful past. The legend grows. Watkins wasn't there to greet Pride since he had been cut down during an ambush at a druglord's compound. It seemed the druglord had somehow been tipped off that the army was coming to arrest him. Related: NCIS: New Orleans Season 4 Episode 17 Review: Treasure Hunt So Pride had to find the mole in this super-secret drug indiction unit, in Argentina, I think. Fortunately, there were quite a few survivors of the raid, so Pride had a healthy-sized pool through which to sort. Here's where the investigation should have ended. There was a CIA agent on the raid, and the CIA agent always does it. It's like in TV Scriptwriting for Dummies. Then they could have just gone back in for Watkins' body unmolested and called it a day. Sebastian and Gregorio instead had to shift through the candidates, with first the token local, then Watkins' No. 2, Green Beret Sydney Halliday, falling under suspicion. Everything pointed to Halliday, but Pride knew in his gut she was innocent. And, whatta ya know, the sneaky CIA agent was setting her up. Pride convinced the colonel in charge to take everyone involved in the first mission, including the two suspects, back on a mission to retrieve Watkins' body and his laptop with all the secrets on it. That was when Connolly, the CIA agent, revealed himself to everybody but the viewers, who had figured it out when he first appeared. Halliday, for some reason not in handcuffs al..

Bull Season 2 Episode 18 Review: Bad Medicine

What happens when your beliefs don't align with the law? That was the conundrum on Bull Season 2 Episode 18. Or better yet, what happens when the law is wrong? I'm always thrilled to see Dana Delany on screen, and her role a Assistant U.S. District Attorney Sylvia Banner was no exception. The most intriguing part of ADA Banner was that she continually challenged my feelings about her motives. Was she simply being a hard-ass about this case because she wanted to win, or did she believe that if he pushed hard enough, and lost, that the law would change? I do my job, you do your job, the system does the rest. Sylvia Permalink: I do my job, you do your job, the system does the rest. Added: March 27, 2018 At first I thought that having Nicholas taken to the hospital was a nasty move, and certainly having Child Protective Services show up on Laura's door step, along with a police officer, was playing hard ball. But, in the end, it was the doctor's testimony that he couldn't have prescribed a better treatment than Laura's that saved her. My baby was living his life again, instead of just waiting to die. Laura Permalink: My baby was living his life again, instead of just waiting to die. Added: March 27, 2018 When Jason Bull left Laura alone at the hospital, I was disappointed in his judgment. I know he needed to leave to prepare for court the following day, but he should have had someone sit with her. Laura was a desperate mother worrying that the government was going to take away her seriously ill child and put him into foster care. In a dark moment, she could have done anything, including try to run off with the boy. When the judge revoked Laura's bail for going to find her sick son instead of heading to court, I was thankful this was a jury trial and not a bench trial. The judge's belief that the law was the law didn't bode well for Laura's outcome. The point that this episode drove home the most was that the law can be complicated, questionable, and in some cases wrong. The fact that a physician can use a drug to help a patient in one state, but have to do prison time for treating the same patient in another state was mind boggling. And the solution that people in need of treatment should just move to another state was overly simplistic. For most people, their health insurance is tied to their employer. It certainly wouldn't be easy to just quit your job, and hope to find another in a different state. It would be even more complicated if you or a loved one were seriously ill. Another interesting point that came up in this story was Dr. Jason Bull's drinking. We've seen it over and over again during Bull Season 2. Jason Bull turns to alcohol, especially when he's under stress or lonely, which is most of the time. He drinks in a group. He drinks alone. He drinks. The question is, does he drink because it's become a bad habit,..

For The People Season 1 Episode 3 Review: 18 Miles Outside of Roanoke

For The People is quickly becoming the best legal dramas on television. On For The People Season 1 Episode 3, Kate and Sandra went head-to-head in the courtroom, Allison took on a judge who was using an algorithm for sentencing, and Leonard continued to be the worst. Let's start with Kate and Sandra because every scene that included them going at it was perfection. It was exciting to watch them sizing each other up by hitting Google to find out what they were up against. On the surface, they should have hated each other, but you could tell there was the possibility of them becoming friends. The case was a conflicting one for Kate because she knew the woman did something wrong by revealing all of the secrets in the manner she did. Related: Jasmin Savoy Brown Previews Allison's Latest Case If you watch For The People online, you will know that Kate is one of the most straight-talking characters on all of TV. She's actually very reminiscent of Cristina Yang from Grey's Anatomy. Yeah, there are a lot of parallels between For The People and Grey's Anatomy, and that's a good thing. Kate admitting to Sandra why she was so set in her ways was one of the best moments of the series yet. While many thought she was harboring deep, dark secrets, she was actually still angry about a kid who ruined a field trip when they were in school. Sandra has always tried to do what's right, and in her mind, she felt like her client was being used as a scapegoat because of the lack of initial press release and the subject matter. Despite their differences, I cannot wait to see what cases these two work on in the future. Britt Robertson and Susannah Flood were great in every scene together. Allison's case was a topical one, and I'm all for those. Can I just take a moment to express my shock at software being used to hand out sentences? It's always shocking when you realize just how advanced technology is these days. It's worrying to think about what the future could hold if computers are already able to decide how long someone should spend in prison. Keenan's story was heartbreaking because he was only trying to defend a family member. He wasn't a criminal, and I loved that Allison refused to roll over and accept defeat. Related: For The People Review: Rahowa It was evident from the get-go that Allison's relationship with her brother was relatively non-existent. It certainly made me wonder whether she would have reached out to him if she didn't need his help. It seemed like Allison's brother resented her because Allison was the recipient of the swanky apartment that she's now sharing with Sandra. If anything, the case brought them closer together, but to get the full story, we're going to need to meet the parents. Then there was Leonard who continued being the worst. Stealing a case from the girl he was having sex with was a ho..

For The People Post Mortem: Jasmin Savoy Brown Opens Up About Taking On An Algorithm & More!

Allison went up against an algorithm on For The People Season 1 Episode 3, and it found her going to some very different places to get some help. TV Fanatic had the chance to chat with her portrayer, Jasmin Savoy Brown, about the big case and what's to come on For The People Season 1. Read the full interview below. TV Fanatic: Allison spoke to the judge after input from her brother. Do you think that was good advice? Yeah, I do. I do. I think that her doing that was a bit humbling for her, and also a bit scary. I think it takes some vulnerability to just speak to someone peer to peer and not be posturing or trying to prove, "I am a lawyer," with her just taking off all those layers and just standing there in front of the judge. Related: Jasmin Savoy Brown Teases Allison's Latest Case I think it was a risk, getting so scary for her, but I think it was smart because not only was it a sign of respect, but it also was kind of a walking example of what she was discussing and trying to prove to the judge. Like, "Look at me. Look at Keenan as a human. I'm talking to you as a human. Look at Keenan as a human." So I think it was a bunch of layers happening all at once, but in the end, it did benefit her. TV Fanatic: Do you think the case was a defining one for Allison's career? I think Allison's been very fortunate that, so far, she hasn't lost any cases, which I think is good for her confidence, but it also might be bad for her ego. But I think that the fact that she is faced with a case that deals with this algorithm kind of proves to her that she will never know what is going to happen in the courtroom, and she has to always be prepared. And I think that it really ... I think overall it's a good thing that she had this happen now. TV Fanatic: Do you think that it brought Allison closer with her brother? Like, are they going to be seeing each other more now? I definitely think it brought her closer to her brother. I think that their relationship won't change that much, just because that's the way their family is. They kind of are set in their ways, and it would take a lot for a drastic, emotional, day-to-day change to happen between any of them. But I think on a minor level, it did shift their relationship, even if it just means that Allison can sleep better at night knowing that she can call him if she really needs to. TV Fanatic: Why do you think the relationship was strained because Allison's brother thought she was the favorite child? It's so funny because you say that, it's probably because I play Allison that I definitely see from her perspective, which is that he was always the favorite. TV Fanatic: Right. I think they were always in competition because they're both incredibly smart, but they put their smarts to different uses. And for Allison, she sees it as, "Look, you're just like them. You followed in their footsteps. They lov..

Rise Season 1 Episode 3 Review: What Flowers May Bloom

Everyone needs to dream every so often. That's what Lou asked of everyone on Rise Season 1 Episode 3 when it became apparent that making Spring Awakening the professional and polished production he wanted was not going to be the easiest of things to accomplish. Through three episodes, it's becoming clear as day that Lou is a perfectionist. He wants everything to be as polished as possible, and that's why he can't help throwing subtle shade about past productions at Tracey. Tracey successfully spearheaded the operation for years before Lou appeared on the scene, and it was stolen from her without so much as a second to process it. Tracey and Lou are so different, and that's why they clash. It wouldn't make for good TV if they just got along every single week, but Lou needs to start thinking before he speaks or he runs the risk of Tracey telling him she's out ... for good. Related: Rise Review: The Best New Show of The Season! There's only so much one person can take before they snap, and there were several moments during "What Flowers May Bloom" in which Tracey looked ready to make a swift exit stage left. But there was a bigger issue on the horizon for Spring Awakening: Would it be able to remain a success without Simon? Lou definitely took Tracey's comments on board about how risque the story was, and that's why he turned to Simon. Being the first big production under Lou's control, Lou is likely starting to worry that he was the wrong man for the job and the naysayers were right. But Simon's speech about it being a timely tale surprised me. Simon worried on Rise Season 1 Episode 1 about the subject matter because he had to play a character who indulged in sexual activity with another male. That conflicted with the views of his parents, and that's why they wanted him out of Stanton High because they feared it was going to corrupt him. Lou went a little too far by going to the house, and subsequently putting his foot in front of the door to prevent Simon's mother from closing it on him. There was a time and place for that sort of conversation, and it was at the school. Lou's comments did, however, make Simon's mother think about things more in depth. She and her husband made the decision relatively quickly after learning about Spring Awakening. It conflicted with their views, and that's not a bad thing. They wanted to do the best by their son, but it seemed like Simon's mother had come around to the idea of Simon remaining in the play by the end of the episode. Related: For The People Review: Rahowa Then there were all of the developments with Maashous. That kid has had a rough time of it in the system, and I loved that Lou went to speak to the person who was responsible for him. The woman didn't seem like she knew how to cope with looking after anyone. Sitting in the car was rather telling. I teared..

Black Lightning Season 1 Episode 10 Review: Sins of the Father: The Book of Redemption

Woah! Talk about upping the ante. Black Lightning Season 1 Episode 10 was all about getting the pieces of the puzzle in place as we head towards the conclusion of Black Lightning Season 1. Let's talk about that episode-ending twist that Kara is working with Martin. It came out of nowhere, and, based on the hair of the villain it was showing leading up to the twist, I thought Tori was going to be revealed to be alive. What I love the most about Kara being the villain is that she's been hiding in plain sight all season long. She's been working at the school and will likely know before most which teens are using Green Lightning, and that makes it a whole lot easier for Martin's plan to come to fruition. If you watch Black Lightning online, you will know that she gave Jefferson a stern talking to earlier in the season after he tried to tell her what to do. Now that she's armed with the truth about Black Lightning's identity, it will likely be her calling the shots. Related: Black Lightning Review: Books of Revelations There are pros and cons to her laying her cards out on the table for Jefferson, but I'm leaning more towards her keeping it on the down-low and trying to get in his good books before revealing all about her association with Martin. Sparks are quite literally going to fly when the truth comes out, but for now, Freeland is still very much under the impression that Black Lightning is not to be trusted. I'm still unsure what will happen when the people with abilities are inevitably released, but I'm getting the impression the ASA wants them in the vegetative state until they find a way to control them. Jefferson was right to be skeptical of Gambi's motives. How can you be expected to trust someone who has lied to you for much of your life? Gambi wanted to protect Jefferson, but he should have come clean long before now about his involvement with the ASA. Secrets never stay buried. It may take years, but the truth always comes out. The good thing is that Jefferson being forced to go along to meet Martin helped him realize that Gambi was the same person at the core and that he did not have a bad bone in his body. Related: Black Lightning Review: Three Sevens Their relationship needs some work, but they should return to the way they were before long. I'm entirely on board with Gambi helping take down the ASA and redeeming himself before the end of the season. I'm starting to enjoy the contrast between Anissa and Jennifer regarding their powers. Anissa was right out of the gate, practicing, while Jennifer could really care less about her abilities. We finally know more about the powers, and I was shocked to learn that Jennifer's cells are creating pure energy. That must have been scary for her to hear about. It seemed like Anissa dragging her for the way she was acting was the nudge Jennifer needed for her powers to activate. ..

Roseanne Season Premiere Review: Twenty Years to Life

The Conner's are back, and it's insane how much we've all missed them! On Roseanne Season 1 Episode 1, we jumped right into things by joking about Dan wondering why everyone always thinks he is dead. It's certainly one way we can all ignore the final season of the original run of the series. The first thing which will be highly discussed is the political leanings of Roseanne. The episode made no qualms about the Conner's voting for President Trump. The only thing which confused me was why so many people were surprised by the character voting for Trump. As someone who was raised in the mid-west by a hard working family who struggled, the Republican tendencies weren't at all shocking. Roseanne even made a case for herself within the episode by stating things weren't going well for the family, and they almost lost the house. It's been no secret Trump's campaign was talking directly to the middle-class American family which is exactly what the Conner family is. Thankfully, the politics of the episode were used for wonderful jokes and punch lines as it's revealed Jackie voted for the other guy; though it wasn't the person you thought it was going to be. Who else started cracking up when it was revealed Jackie voted for Jill Stein even though she didn't know who she was? Jackie has always been influenced by Rosanne, and I figured Rosanne would have made her question herself when it came to who she was voting for. Of course, we all know Jack and Rosanne couldn't stay mad at each other forever. The whole apology was complete perfection. There was no way Roseanne was going to apologize, but at least Jackie knew how difficult it would be for her to forgive her. You gotta appreciate the sisterly love. Jackie, it is not my fault that I happen to be a charismatic person who's always right about everything. Roseanne Permalink: Jackie, it is not my fault that I happen to be a charismatic person who's always right about... Added: March 27, 2018 It was also wonderful having Jackie speak up for Becky when it came to the surrogacy thing. Do I think Becky should be a surrogate? Of course not, but it's an interesting storyline to throw Becky into. Speaking of Becky, I may be the only one who liked how they touched on Mark passing away. We didn't need a long explanation of what exactly happened to Mark right off the bat, but I am hoping we get a little more backstory on what exactly happened to him. It's clear Becky is still grieving for her husband by making the wildly impulsive decision to become a surrogate. I actually found myself agreeing with Rossane and Dan about Becky donating her own egg to the surrogate. Related: Roseanne Promo: Watch Johnny Galecki's Return! While I understood the money is really great and it would help her pay off her debt, it's clear she hasn't thought it through completely. Hopefully, the family will ..

Shadowhunters Season 3 Episode 2 Review: The Powers That Be

Things going haywire was just the tip of the iceberg for the Warlocks on Shadowhunters Season 3 Episode 2. In actuality, everything was becoming sheer chaos. It didn't start this way. The magical group had a lot to celebrate, especially with a new High Warlock in town. However, their magic was being affected by a mysterious individual. And, what's worse was that our favorite Warlock could've been banished from the city for a crime he didn't commit. Magnus is going to have a hard time doing anything with the new High Warlock around. Lorenzo Rey made it known on Shadowhunters Season 3 Episode 2 that he hates, or at the very least despises, Magnus. That is a conflict he won't soon give up. Before Lorenzo came to town, Magnus had the ability to travel and make the decisions all by himself; he had the free rein to do so. However, now he's bound to follow the rules like the rest of the characters. And if he steps out of line, Lorenzo won't object to getting rid of him. He made that clear with his idle threat. Magnus had nothing to do with the Warlocks's magic being corrupted at the party. In fact, anyone who knew Magnus would know that he wouldn't do something like that. It's not in his character or motivation. Lorenzo went after him out of spite because he was searching for any reason to get rid him. Anyone could've been at fault, but come on, he wanted to blame Magnus. He used that tidbit about Magnus's demon father merely as a leverage to craft the future case against our favorite Warlock. Right now, I wouldn't classify Lorenzo as a love-to-hate villain. He seemed more like a character who would be a thorn in the group's side. What did you think of the new High Warlock of Brooklyn? Let's take a step back and analyze the Warlock party for a moment. Lorenzo's mansion party was gorgeous! He may be a self-obsessed, over-dramatic leader, but he designed a nice home. And he threw a good party before things went haywire with the layline. The costuming was beautifully done and it was a nice touch to see familiar characters again, like Catarina and Madzie. Plus, the use of special effects added to the conflict when the magic started becoming out of control. Seeing each Warlock react differently to Lilith's corruption made the experience more unique than seeing a generic contamination. Each reaction showed off the style and personality of the Warlocks to get a better sense of their powers. From the amount of times Magnus's father was mentioned in "The Powers That Be," it almost seemed like Shadowhunters was teasing his eventual appearance. You don't give someone a name unless you want it to register in our minds. We might need to prepare ourselves for the demon to arrive at some point in the future. Lorenzo may not have been involved in solving the problem or causing it, but he inadvertently helped steer Magnus in the right directio..

SEAL Team and S.W.A.T. Renewed at CBS!

CBS is not ready to part with SEAL Team or S.W.A.T. quite yet. The network confirmed Tuesday that both series would be part of the 2018-2019 season, and we can't say we're all that surprised. While neither has been a breakout success, both have been pulling in decent ratings for CBS. In Live + Same Day ratings, SEAL Team Season 1 is averaging 6.8 million viewers and a 1.1 rating while S.W.A.T. Season 1 is averaging 6.2 million viewers and a 1.0 rating. "These exciting new dramas have been sensational additions to our schedule, are striking all the right notes creatively, and really connect with our viewers,” CBS Entertainment president Kelly Kahl said. “SEAL Team has strengthened our Wednesday lineup — routinely winning its time period with over 10 million viewers and allowing us to build an even more powerful night, while SWAT has improved Thursday’s 10 p.m. hour by over 2.5 million viewers versus last season." "Additionally, both are among the very top streamers on our digital platforms, including CBS.com and CBS All Access. We congratulate the talented casts and producers on an amazing year as we look forward to their return next season." Related: Young Sheldon Renewed for Season Two! The two dramas join Young Sheldon and The Big Bang Theory as the only shows the network has renewed for next season. Young Sheldon is one of the biggest success stories of the season. It is averaging 12.9 million viewers and a 2.3 rating. Okay, SEAL Team and S.W.A.T. Fanatics! What do you think of this exciting news? Hit the comments. Remember you can watch SEAL Team online and S.W.A.T. online right here via TV Fanatic. SEAL Team continues Wednesdays while S.W.A.T. continues Thursdays. View Slideshow: CBS Cheat Sheet: What Will Be Renewed?