SEXY POST-STABBING SHOWER! But before we get to that, let's recap the rest of this week's The Following.
The farmhouse murder crew assembles in the basement to figure out what to do with the poor store clerk Paul wooed/kidnapped last week. Emma, naturally, suggests their only option is to kill her. Jacob squirms a bit. Paul reads the line "do you like pancakes? Oh that's right, you'll be dead. They've got a wacky Three's Company energy that really counterbalances all the bondage and murder.
Back at Claire's house (which is sort of The FBI's second command station these days), Claire demands to know when they're going to find her son. Remember last week's home video, Hardy? They're teaching Joe Jr. how to be a killer! They're indoctrinating him into THE FOLLOWING. But before you can say "helicopter parent," Hardy's attention is diverted by an even more pressing issue: Maggie has kidnapped his Williamsburg-based restauranteur sister, Jenny. And she's going to make her eat non-local.
…Actually she's probably going to knife her or something, but that's splitting hairs. In the wake of her husband's death, Maggie has ditched Carroll's prescribed narrative (or as she jokes, gone "off-book," LOL) for a little personal vengeance. And as we learn from Carroll himself, she was a killer long before joining Team Follower: under the name Margaret Schuler, she stabbed her way through the midwest. Chick's got skillz! Which makes Hardy even more hot to find her and save his sister. Joey? You've gotta hang tight, kid. We'll get to you during March Sweeps, promise.
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Super-smooth, Hardy offers a "something suddenly came up" to Parker as he bolts for Brooklyn. But he won't be alone — Weston (who is not in fact named "Iceman" on this show, convenient as that would be for me) tags along, eager to learn more about Hardy's past and probably save the day when all hope seems lost. But in the meantime, just shut up, dude, Bacon needs some zzz's.
Back at the farmhouse, Emma and Paul continue their frosty dance. That is until Paul drops a bomb that upsets her more than any Bravo marathon he and Jacob may have shared undercover: Jacob's never killed anyone. WHU-WHAT?!? And you're hanging with Team Follower, No. 1 Kill Crew in the Northeast?!? Emma's heart is broken. Love means never having to lie about whether you murdered then disposed of someone, right? To say nothing of the time a few years ago when, in a graphic game of Never Have I Ever, Jacob claimed to have tossed a fresh kill in the river. You're a TAYLOR SWIFT SONG WAITING TO HAPPEN, YOU LYING BOY.
NEXT: It's Flashback Time!...
Hardy's about to spend the rest of the episode tied up on a gurney while someone else talks, so luckily we're given a few fun flashbacks to his post-Carroll time in BK. Dining out with Claire, sharing secrets in bed (his firefighter brother died in 9/11; his parents are dead; everyone's dead) — it's basically Girls, only Hannah's an alcoholic and super into Edgar Allen Poe.
(Sidebar: ALCOHOLISM. Can you dramatize someone's dependance on booze — or any substance for that matter — without making it the complete focus of the story? Flight tried valiantly but wound up a two hour testimonial for AA, and the long history of "Very Special Episodes" suggests it's rarely, at least on network television, a subject that can just be treated "as is." Clearly The Following is trying to treat Ryan's alcoholism as another wrinkle in his larger serial killer-hunting story, but every time the subject is raised you can still feel the episode grinding momentarily to a halt.)
Returning to the present, Hardy enters his sister's restaurant, puts on a blindfold next to a "put this on" sign, and is soon greeted by Maggie. She does her villain thing, explaining how and why she kidnapped Jenny, before clocking Hardy in the head.
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Just like Paul suggested, Jacob is having a difficult time readying himself to kill the store clerk. She pleads with him. If he lets her go, she won't tell anyone. Hell, she'll even bleed a little to convince Paul and Emma he really did kill her. We cut to commercial with the knife at her throat, but, I mean, you've seen the episode — he unties her and urges her to make a run for it. It's not long before Emma and Paul cotton to Jacob's actions, though, and soon they're chasing her across the property. They catch her. Surround her like a hunted boar. And in another DEEPLY UNPLEASANT SCENE, stab her a few times.
Don't worry! She's not dead. (But she probably will be by the end of next episode.)
Maggie tells Hardy that her foster dad wore a pacemaker much like the one in Hardy's chest, which she learned to manipulate (fatally so) with magnets. And so Bill Nye sets to work in the restaurant, disrupting his pacemaker as she goes on about "real love" she shared with her husband, the dearly departed fire guy. Then Weston makes like any good character-cum-plot device and saves the day, shooting Maggie to death.
Finally what you've been waiting this whole recap for — as a dirtied Emma and Paul dance less frostily around each other in the shower, washing themselves off from their recent hunt. "It's not like we're gonna get it on," says Emma. BUT OF COURSE YOU WILL. I just like when characters are able to overcome their differences. Jacob discovers the clerk re-tied to her chair in the basement, his effort to set her free totally shot. And now Emma will know what a loser he is! He finds her in the shower with Paul. But rather than freak out and kill him, he takes this new union of souls as an opportunity to get wet with the people he loves. It's the closest thing to a beautiful moment we've seen on this show!
That is, until Hardy heads back to Claire's. Those of you familiar with show creator Kevin Williamson know that in addition to his horror and thriller work, he's also a master of teenage melodrama — most notably Dawson's Creek. (Which I've never seen. Sorry!) And if there's anything that screams "teen melodrama," it's swelling indie music to underscore to a moment in which two characters talk about love. In flashback, Hardy explains to Jenny that he's a "constant reminder of the worst time in [Claire's] life." "But you love her!" she admonishes. In the present, Claire begs Hardy to stay. But he can't! He's committed to his work! Hardy leaves, the music reaches a crescendo, and camera tracks him like Dawson — all sad resignation and emotional vulnerability, walking away from his lover and into a world beset by madness and Poe masks. SCENE.
There are two shows in The Following vying for dominance: one's the often disturbing procedural we tracked last week; the other is Dawson's Creek with butcher knives. It's a weird combination! But one that, properly modulated (and I should note I'm being totally serious right now), could actually be among the more interesting concepts on television. Imagine it: late into an all-night stake-out, Hardy is ready to throw in the towel. An incoming text reads "OPEN YOUR WINDOW." Hardy panics, grabs his gun. But it's just Claire, smiling as she holds a bottle of wine outside the passenger door. "Bad Religion" by Frank Ocean starts playing as they clink glasses. Three hundred feet away someone is probably being murdered. Y/N? Please tell me I'm onto something in the comments.
[Image Credit: Nicole Rivelli/FOX]
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The last time Hollywood.com spoke to Revenge star Gabriel Mann, he told us that the stars of the show — good and bad — would start dropping like flies. What he didn't mention was that one of those stars might be him. After the mysterious, murderous "white-haired man" put Mann's character, Nolan, in a chokehold last week, it looked like the sartorially savvy billionaire's days were numbered. So, of course, Hollywood.com has to start Mann's interview with the following statement: "I am very mad at you."
Mann laughs, but then dropped some more bad news. "I was taking some real twisted pleasure in the fact that I was talking about myself [the last time we spoke]," he says. "I think come tomorrow night, that will increase tenfold. Not just for myself, but for other characters who are very intregal to the story, or have been through the season. If you were mad at me before, I think you're going to be really mad at me after tomorrow."
Yikes. So, fellow Nolan fans, let's prepare ourselves for the worst, but hope for the best. Because gruesome times are a'coming. "There will be blood," Mann teases."There will be a lot of blood. Those scenes were not pleasant to shoot. It was funny to have me and Emily sitting in chains together, after all of the trouble that we've gotten up to all year. My character is incredibly smart, but karma may have finally caught up to me. There's no better way to get Emily re-invested in her revenge scheme than to kill her partner. The fun of the show is the collateral damage can involve anyone, and they're not afraid to take those risks."
But Emily is ultimately very resourceful, so don't count out a signature Thorne last-minute save. "Emily has done a lot of pain inflicting on her own this year," says Mann. "She doesn't like to have her role usurped by the white-haired man, and I think her actions may reflect that." Still, beating the white-haired man won't be an easy task. Actor James Morrison may have played the lovable and heroic Bill Buchanan on 24, but you won't find that heroism here. "You don't want to mess with this guy," Mann says. "By the time I got to play my first scene with him — [Morrison is] the nicest guy in the world, but don't run into him in a dark alley. He's freaky. On a scale of one to ultimate baddie, we're tipping toward the top. If he hangs around, he could be quite a foe. We'll have to see."
Mann is mum when asked about the return of a certain long-missing guest star, but he does let us know that some old faces could be popping up. "The beauty of the show is, unless we've seen you run out on a gurney, we don't know if you'll pop up again," he says. "Actors who have been on the show may or not have been very surprised to get a call. I think we will address any number of characters who we have recently or not recently seen by the time we finish up. The person I believe you're talking about — I'm zipping my lips. But we will in some way deal with characters that the audience has come to know and maybe despise throughout the season."
Intriguing! Finally, Mann tells Hollywood.com that a last-minute Grayson-family shocker is on its way, but is sneaky when it comes to the details. "I'll let the last five minutes [of the episode] speak for themselves," Mann says. "It will be really difficult for people to have to wait to see how this one turns out. We've had a lot of cliffhangers this season, but they don't touch this one. It's going to be a long summer."
Yowza. Viewers -- prepare yourself for an emotional night. "I would say you might want to buy one of those boxed cartons [of wine] for the evening," Mann says. "Wine in a box for the finale. Drink it quick, because you're going to need it by the end of the episode."
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[Photo Credit: ABC]
'Revenge' Star Dishes on Tonight's Betrayal
Britney Spears has been classed as a "special needs" patient following her admission to a Los Angeles hospital, after it emerged she locked one of her young sons in a room with her at her Los Angeles home.
The troubled singer, 26, was admitted to the city's Cedars-Sinai Medical Center on Thursday evening following a major standoff with police at her Beverly Hills mansion when she refused to hand over her two boys to ex-husband Kevin Federline after a scheduled visit. Her court-appointed monitor called for emergency services after witnessing Spears' apparent mental breakdown.
A source tells People.com, "She had already put Sean Preston in the car when Britney locked herself in a room with Jayden James.
"The cops came and got through the door and tied her down to a gurney."
And Spears is being kept under close watch at the hospital--she is being held on a "5150 hold" order, meaning medics have reason to believe she is a danger to herself or others. Various online gossip sites claim Spears has been identified as a "special needs" patient, a reference which is only used for those who have overdosed or attempted to commit suicide.
Meanwhile, police are reported to have found Spears "under the influence of an unknown substance" after the incident--but further reports claim her drug test was negative.
Life & Style magazine is reporting an insider as saying, "Her blood test just came back, and, thank God, it was clean. There are no traces of drugs or alcohol of any kind."
Spears is expected to remain at the hospital for a minimum of 72 hours on lockdown for mental evaluation, after going "completely psycho" when paramedics took her away in an ambulance.
Another source tells Usmagazine.com, "They had to strap her down like a mental patient and she was going between laughing and hysterics. (It was) a total psychotic breakdown. She just went crazy."
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New grads Paul (Rider Strong) Karen (Jordan Ladd) Jeff (Joey Kern) Marcy (Cerina Vincent) and Bert (James Debello) head off to a cabin in the woods to let off some post-college steam before entering the working world. They are a pretty likeable bunch except for Bert who gets drunk and starts shooting at squirrels with a rifle--and then accidentally shoots a stranger in the woods. Bert keeps mum about the incident until the man projectile vomiting blood and looking like he's been skinned alive shows up at the cabin and tries to take their truck. While trying to stop him Paul unintentionally sets him on fire and the gang watches as he runs ablaze into the woods. What they don't know however is that he had a contagious flesh-eating virus. When his charred body falls into the local water reservoir everyone becomes vulnerable. The first to gulp down a glass of water filled with strange chunky particles is Karen whom they forcibly quarantine in a shed behind the cabin when she begins to show signs of the disease. Before long the fear of contagion turns the remaining four against one another. What's more a local lynch mob has formed in order to track down and kill anyone who may have come in contact with the virus which has apparently threatened this small town before. Cabin Fever is definitely a rollicking ride; it will scare you gross you out and make you laugh.
Like most low-budget horror films Cabin Fever's cast isn't exactly stellar yet the young actors and actresses really elevate the material. The most refreshing thing about the characters is that they react to what is happening to them in a way you and I probably would as opposed to the typical slasher-flick way: Instead of banding together against the common enemy they bicker act like cowards and put themselves first. Strong who last appeared in My Giant but is probably better known as Shawn from the TV series Boy Meets World emerges as a capable lead as Paul the most sensible of the group. Although his character comes across as somewhat brighter and more sensitive than the rest he is still immature enough to try to cop a feel when his love interest Karen is sleeping and feeling under the weather. Karen meanwhile is played by Ladd who has had small roles in several movies including The Specials and Never Been Kissed. Her character is the most compassionate of the gang and Karen reacts more intensely to events than the others. Kern as cocky know-it-all Jeff Vincent as slutty tough chick Marcy and Debello as party boy Bert perfectly round out the diverse cast of characters.
Because of its gruesome subject matter it is difficult to describe such a vile movie as being good or even well made but this one really is. In his feature directorial debut helmer Eli Roth delivers a truly disturbing horror picture. While most pics of this genre tend to look cold and gritty Roth saturates his sets with golden ambient lighting that brightly contrasts the film's dark dismal subject matter. And dismal is putting it mildly: Cabin Fever shows viewers things that most movies don't because they would be considered too disturbing. Case in point: When the intoxicated Bert drives off for help in his pickup and hits a deer the animal doesn't just die on impact but struggles in pain its hind legs flailing through the windshield. Such disturbing imagery escalates by degrees until the very end when the film takes on a weird surreal quality. For example the scenes of Paul being pushed through a hospital on a gurney have a dreamlike feel bound to make moviegoers question if what is happening is real. The film's score also has all sorts of unusual instrumental influences including a Twin Peaks-inspired number when a sheriff comes to investigate the cabin and a Deliverance-type banjo ditty to accompany the locals folk in front of the general store which adds a touch of humor at the most unlikely moment.
Socially inept Barry Egan (Adam Sandler) is the only son among seven sisters who torment his insular daily life by calling him "gay boy" and making harassing telephone calls to him at work at the toilet-plunger warehouse he runs in the San Fernando Valley. Barry takes out his frustration by breaking and smashing things or randomly bursting into tears. One day he discovers a potential means of escape in an offer (and this part's based on a true story) for frequent-flyer miles through the purchase of $3 000 of Healthy Choice Pudding which Barry buys by the case eventually racking up over 1.25 million miles worth of air travel. But loneliness is the guest who doesn't leave and Barry bides his time by engaging in a phone-sex service wherein he gives away his credit card number and other information. He ends up being harassed by the woman he calls who turns out to be part of an extortion scheme organized by a dirtbag mattress salesman (Philip Seymour Hoffman). This leads to unforeseen consequences that push Barry deeper into the hair-pulling abyss--until his sister introduces him to Lena Leonard (Emily Watson) who with deceptively simple tenderness in this otherwise deceptively simple love story awakens Barry to his inner strength.
Let's get this over with right now: Adam Sandler kicks ass in this movie. It doesn't matter that he's playing varied degrees of his angry retard from Billy Madison Happy Gilmore and the rest and that here he's solidified those characters into a core of brewing indecisive rage (less the requisite heart of gold). Sandler seems to understand he's representing all the sexually inept basket cases that go through life nitpicking the fine print because they can't get laid. It's also obvious that nobody breaks things on screen like Sandler--but at least here his rage isn't just something that looked funny on paper. When he's tearing the door off the john or screaming himself almost into a stroke during a confrontation with one of his sisters one gets the sense that Sandler is getting in touch with the rage of the inner self. His fits aren't necessarily funny but they will make you laugh. It's long been speculated that Sandler has the talent to deliver the goods and he does it here with a cartoonish walk and punctuated delivery that'll suck you right into the loose wires of Barry's dilapidated nervous system. Maybe this performance won't earn him an Oscar nomination but Sandler's Barry will both give you the creeps and make you cheer him on. Refreshingly Emily Watson plays it straight this time around (as opposed to playing diseased dying or insane)--but unlike Sandler's performance any actress that looks good on a gurney could have done her role. But Watson gives a heck of a lot of warmth to a character that doesn't seem to have much of a story. Philip Seymour Hoffman as the sleazy salesman who operates the sleazy phone-sex service gets to say "shut up" a lot. This role again could have done by just about anyone but it's apparent that Hoffman has become an indispensable facet of Anderson films. So where oh where is John C. Reilly?
Boogie Nights and Magnolia gave us a director who put the cultural absurdities of David Lynch and the detailed broad strokes of Robert Altman in the soup and made us eat it with a gun to our heads. We loved it bestowing Paul Thomas Anderson with awards nominations and a fat paycheck. Punch-Drunk Love (for which Anderson won best director at Cannes 2002) exemplifies the director's knack for capturing the mind-numbing madness of the obvious. With a camera that slinks along hallways and around corners panoramic stills of the Valley's empty streets and grocery stores over-amplified sound effects and a creepy score by Jon Brion Anderson has put together a far more accessible feast than his last two outings. This is a movie you could watch just for the ingenious theatrical movement of the camera. Some of the scenes in Punch-Drunk Love--like when Barry's sister introduces him to Lena and we're barraged with crashes squelched dialogued and chaotic drumming that'll make you think you're having a seizure--are awe-inspiring. Anderson's screenplay loaded with witty dialogue and unexpected heart-stopping surprises is on par with the direction; there are a lot of choice lines especially from Sandler to put on your computer's hard drive.
After winning November's primetime sweeps, CBS is still showing some impressive momentum. The Eye Network won the ratings race last week with crime drama CSI taking the top spot for the first time this season, attracting an estimated 24 million viewers.
Today host Katie Couric has signed a deal with NBC that will pay her at least $13 million a year, according to PageSix.com. As part of the deal, Couric will be given her own show to produce.
George Harrison's song "My Sweet Lord" is being re-released on January 14, 31 years after it topped the British charts. Proceeds from sales of the late Beatle's single will go to an undisclosed charity.
Universal Pictures and David Silverman, co-director of the megahit Monsters, Inc., are in talks to produce a new computer-animated film based on the Curious George books. Ron Howard (How the Grinch Stole Christmas) is rumored to be co-producing the project, according to Variety.
Margaret "Peggy" Salinger, daughter of reclusive author J.D. Salinger, is auctioning off 32 letters her father wrote to her over a 35-year period on Wednesday at Sotheby's in New York. According to CNN, the letters reveal the elder Salinger's "lonely world surrounded only by the characters in his novels."
Artisan Entertainment announced Tuesday that the studio is teaming up with comedy legends National Lampoon to produce a new film titled National Lampoon's Van Wilder, a college romp starring Tara Reid (American Pie) and Ryan Reynolds (Two Guys, a Girl and a Pizza Place).
The Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department released details on Tuesday about the Dec. 2 arrest of actor Gary Busey. Tiani Busey, his ex-wife, called authorities earlier that day, accusing the Oscar nominee of spousal abuse. Officers found bruises on her, arrested Busey and booked him for investigation. They were divorced in June 2000.
Martha Stewart's media company, Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia, is being sued by Emmy-winning composer Edward Dzubak, claiming Stewart uses his work as her TV show's theme music. Stewart's company denies they lifted his composition.
As part of the 44th annual Grammy Awards in February, singer/songwriter Billy Joel will be honored at a special dinner for his continued support of AIDS and cancer research charities, reports USA Today.
The American Way, an organization that supports free speech, bestowed their Spirit of Liberty award upon Canadian rocker Neil Young on Tuesday for his advocacy of American civil rights.
On Wednesday, master flautist James Galway will be knighted by the Queen of England at Buckingham Palace.
The U.K.'s The Guardian newspaper reports that actress Rachel Gurney, who gained fame as the star of the '70s British series Upstairs, Downstairs, died on Nov. 24.