The Emmy awards inspire more conflict, shock and outrage than possibly any other major awards show on the circuit. It makes sense; we spend so much time getting to know these characters and their struggles that we become incredibly invested in the show's success. But with so many channels, platforms, programs, stars and prestige dramas on the air right now, it’s going to be impossible to please everyone. Of course, that knowledge doesn’t stop us from waiting impatiently every year, hoping that our favorite performances from the past year will be recognized with an Emmy nomination. And every year, we end up with a new list of nominations that surprise and delight us, or send us into a spiral of rage, heartbreak and Twitter ranting. The 2014 nominations were no different, and these are the biggest shocks of the year.
Best Supporting Actor in a Comedy: Andre Braugher, Brooklyn Nine-Nine Despite its critical acclaim and Golden Globe wins, Brooklyn Nine-Nine is still something of an underdog in terms of ratings and public attention, so we weren’t expecting the Television Academy to take much notice of the Fox show. Which is why we were so delighted to read Braugher’s name on the list of nominees this morning for his work as the magnificently deadpan Captain Ray Holt. Brooklyn Nine-Nine might have only gotten one major nod, but it was for the single best part of the show, and for that we’re endlessly grateful. We know it might be hard to read, but we are... ecstatic.
Best Actress in a Drama: Lizzy Caplan, Masters of Sex Masters of Sex probably tops the list of brilliant shows that nobody pays enough attention to, but for all of its high points – the costumes, the dialogue, the chemistry between Masters and Johnson, the tense, quiet drama, the brilliant guest starts – much of the show’s excellence can be credited to Caplan’s performance as Virginia Johnson. It’s a complex, layered, funny, sexy, compelling role and it’s thrilling to see her work rightfully acknowledged as one of the best performances of the year.
Best Supporting Actress in a Comedy: Allison Janney, Mom Mom is a complicated show. It’s ostensibly a typical Chuck Lorre comedy, with lots of inane jokes and strange plots, but it also devotes a great deal of time to the dramatic, difficult relationship between mother and daughter, both of whom are recovering addicts. It doesn’t always work, but when it does, it’s usually thanks to Janney, who transforms what could have been a stereotypical over-the-top, obnoxious character into a flawed, layered, realistic human being.
Best Supporting Actor in a Comedy: Fred Armisen, Portlandia While it’s sad not to see Armisen’s co-star and co-writer Carrie Brownstein on the list of nominees as well, we’re excited to see the Television Academy finally pay attention to this weird, hilarious show and the weird, hilarious characters who inhabit it. Whether he’s learning the history of hip hop before a big concert or playing a feminist hippie who hates the customers in her shop, Armisen’s always original, funny, and just a little strange.
Best Comedy Series: Silicon Valley Another critical favorite that didn’t seem to get a lot of mainstream attention, Silicon Valley had an excellent first season, skewering the tech industry, the people who aspire to be part of it, and the people who make fun of it. Although airing on HBO automatically got the Emmys’ attention, it wasn’t the cultural phenomenon that some of its network-mates have become, and so it was good to see that a show doesn’t necessarily need A-list stars or famous directors in order to get attention.
Best Supporting Actress in a Comedy: Kate McKinnon, Saturday Night Live This season of SNL got bogged down by an influx of new cast members, the loss of its head writer halfway through the year, and controversy over the diversity of its cast. But there was one cast member who held things together, who was consistently hilarious and able to rescue just about any sketch just by being in it, and that cast member was Kate McKinnon. From Bieber to Ellen to “Dyke and Fats” to doing it on a twin bed, McKinnon was definitely this year’s MVP, and we’re happy to see the Emmys recognize that as well.
Best Actress in a Miniseries or TV Movie: Kristen Wiig, The Spoils of Babylon To be honest, we never expected this weird, awkward and often hilarious miniseries to even be on the TV Academy’s radar, let alone the nominations list, but Wiig’s performance as Cynthia Morehouse, who endures poverty, war, an unhappy marriage, and a forbidden romance with her adopted brother in outrageous, strange and hilarious fashion was one of the funniest things on TV this year. Not quite on the same level as Lady Anne, but we imagine it would be a little awkward to nominate a mannequin for an Emmy.
Best Supporting Actress and Guest Actress(es) in a Comedy: Kate Mulgrew, Laverne Cox, Uzo Aduba, and Natasha Lyonne, Orange is the New Black Orange Is the New Black swept the nominations this year, and while we’re happy to see it get recognized for Best Comedy and Taylor Shilling’s lead performance as Piper Chapman, it’s the supporting cast who we’re really thrilled for. Between Mulgrew’s transformative work as Red being included in the Supporting Actress category and three of the finest, funniest and most heartbreaking actresses (Aduba, Lyonne, and Cox, who is the first transgender Emmy nominee) crowding everyone else out of the Guest Actress category, don’t be surprised if Orange takes home plenty of gold on Emmy night.
Tatiana Maslany Gets Snubbed… Again Apparently, playing eight distinct characters, all of whom are equally complex, interesting, and fully-realized is not enough for the Emmy voters to take notice of Maslany’s incredible performance on Orphan Black, and both she and the show were snubbed for a second year. Since the tension between Helena and Sarah or the complicated relationship between Allison and Donnie or Cosima’s fight through her debilitating illness wasn’t enough, it seems the only way that Maslany will ever a nod is if she plays every single character on True Detective Season 2.
The Emmys Don’t Care About The Americans Despite turning out some of the most compelling, interesting, thrilling drama that has aired on television in the past year, The Americans was almost completely ignored by Emmy voters, earning one nomination for Margo Martindale’s guest spot. And though we pretty much expected the show not to make the Best Drama Series cut, we’re mostly shocked that Matthew Rhys’ incredible performance this season was also completely ignored by the Academy. Clearly the Emmys have a hard time looking past some bad wigs to see the brilliance underneath.
Really, Jeff Daniels Again? Don’t get us wrong, the once and future Harry Dunne does good work on The Newsroom, but it’s nothing special, especially compared to both what his fellow Best Actor in a Drama nominees turned out this year, and the performances of so many other actors who didn’t make the cut. But considering how much the Emmys seem to love him, we think Bryan Cranston and Matthew McConaughey might want to hold off on writing their acceptance speeches.
Ricky Gervais Gets Nominated For… Derek? We loved Gervais’ arrogant, deluded David Brent on The Office. We’re still laughing about his performance as the rude, frustrated and sometimes desperate Andy Millman on Extras, and we’d watch him bicker with Stephen Merchant and Karl Pilkington all day. However, we weren’t as crazy about his work on Derek, the saccharine, gentle-hearted sitcom where he plays the saccharine, gentle-hearted nursing home caretaker Derek, so we’re surprised to see just how vastly the Television Academy’s opinion about the show differed from ours. Still, at least we know we’re guaranteed a hell of a show if he actually wins.
Downton Abbey Keeps Racking Up the Nominations We get it: Maggie Smith is an international treasure. That doesn’t mean that the Emmys have to nominate her every single year, without fail. And just because Downton Abbey is a British period piece, that doesn’t mean it’s better than any number of excellent dramas who continue to be overlooked just because everyone on the show speaks with a British accent. It’s okay not to nominate them, Emmys. Everyone will still think you’re smart and worldly, we promise.
The Wrong People from Shameless Get Nominated, as Per Usual Here’s the good news: Shameless finally got more than one nomination! The bad news, though, is that they went to the actors with the most name recognition – William H. Macy, who is up for Best Actor in a Comedy and Joan Cusack, whose Guest Actress hot streak continues – rather than the ones who carried the show this year – Emmy Rossum, Jeremy Allen White and Noel Fisher, to name just a few. But, hey, it seems like that category switch actually paid off, even if it means nominating the actor whose character was in a coma over the ones who were struggling with jail time, balancing college and caring for his family and coming out and looking after his bipolar boyfriend.
Somehow, House of Cards Got 13 Nominations There are only two possible explanations: either the Emmy voters thought that, like Orange Is the New Black, they were voting based on the first season of the show, or they didn’t actually watch the new season of House of Cards, and they decided to throw a bunch of nominations its way to cover up that fact, since it’s an “important, prestige” drama.
While most directors prefer to keep the plot details of their summer blockbusters under lock and key, Jurassic World director Colin Trevorrow has been surprisingly frank and forthcoming about his upcoming installment in the Jurassic Park franchise. After JoBlo caught wind of plot details surrounding the film, which had been up until now, cloaked in secrecy, Trevorrow decided to buck the usual trend of denying rumors and confirmed much of the leaked information in an interview with Slashfilm. In the interview, Trevorrow dished about many of the leaked plot details of the film, clarifying and correcting some of the more worrisome rumors, and expressing his desire to really surprise audiences with the film: "Last week was discouraging for everyone on our crew — not because we want to hide things from the fans, but because we’re working so hard to create something full of surprises." So how do we feel about the final announcements? We've broken down and assessed all the confirmed information from the interview.
CHRIS PRATT: DINOSAUR SCIENTIST
After launching into space in the upcoming Guardians of the Galaxy, Chris Pratt will spend Summer 2015 in Jurassic World as a scientist studying the behavior of raptors, but Trevorrow urges that these raptors won't be doing tricks. “He’s just trying to figure out the limits of the relationship between these highly intelligent creatures and human beings.” Pratt is quickly becoming quite the diverse performer, and he has the right amount of goofball charm to work as an over-eager researcher — the kind that had dinosaur posters splattered all over his childhood bedroom. We're on board with this one.
Rating: Four shirtless Jeff Goldblums
THE PARK IS BASICALLY SEAWORLD WITH DINOSAURS
If your first you don't succeed (and your dinosaurs eat a whole bunch of people), try, try again. Jurassic World will feature a fully-realized and functional theme park on Isla Nublar with all the creature comforts: luxury resorts, restaurants, raptors, a golf course, night life, more raptors, basically everything John Hammond ever wanted for his original park. And like every SeaWorld vacation, eventually things go south. Damn humanity and our hubris! The idea of yet another iteration of Jurassic Park collapsing into chaos does seem a little trite, there are some fun twists here to shake up the formula.
Rating: Three stubby T-Rex arms
...AND, LIKE SEAWORLD, PEOPLE ARE OVER IT
The kids in Jurassic World just aren't impressed by the towering prehistoric creatures, already way spoiled by a steady diet of SFX dinosaurs over the years. So what's the only way to impress their young, CGI-addled brains? well, bigger dinosaurs of course. This could definitely be a fun bit of meta commentary for a franchise that first delighted fans with pre-historic action, but lost steam once it started valuing spectacle over character. Definitely great news.
Rating: Five "clever girrrl"s
BIGGER, BADDER DINOS, BUT NO MUTANT FREAKS
The original rumors reported that the new film will include a new genetically modified dinosaur spliced with DNA from other animals, like snakes and cuttlefish. It turns out that the rumor was only partly true. Trevorrow says that in order to shake things up and jog some interest back into disinterested park patrons, the geneticists at Jurassic World get a corporate mandate to create a bigger, louder, and more ferocious dinosaur. While this dinosaur will likely dwarf the creatures of old, the director doesn't want you to think of them as "mutant freaks." Trevorrow assures us, "It doesn’t have a snake’s head or octopus tentacles. It’s a dinosaur, created in the same way the others were, but now the genetics have gone to the next level. For me, it’s a natural evolution of the technology introduced in the first film." Despite Trevorrow's assurances, a genetically modified dinosaur does sound like the film is drifting away from the spirit that made the original film great. We'll have to wait and see about this one.
Rating: Two doorknob-turning raptors
NO FRIENDLY DINOSAURS
An earlier rumor suggested that there would be a ton of dinosaur vs. dinosaur action, and that some of the dinosaurs would be fighting to protect humans thanks to some training via Pratt's character. However (and thankfully), Trevorrow amends that rumor. "There’s no such thing as good or bad dinosaurs. There are predators and prey. The T-Rex in Jurassic Park took human lives, and saved them. No one interpreted her as good or bad. This film is about our relationship with animals, how we react to the threat they pose to our dominance on earth as a species." We definitely think creating "hero" and "villain" dinosaurs would have been a terrible move. Cheers to morally ambiguous lizards.
Rating: Five stolen dino embryos
Filmmaker Joss Whedon has been surprising fans with lavish gifts as a thank you for viewing his latest film online. Last month (Apr14) The Avengers director debuted his movie In Your Eyes at the Tribeca Film Festival in New York, and then released it online as a Vimeo.com rental minutes later.
Now Whedon has surprised fans once again by rewarding a random selection of 1,000 viewers with gifts, including Apple TVs, Xbox One consoles, grills and potted cacti.
Fans from all over the world have been receiving the gifts, which also extend to autographed posters and thank-you videos from the cast of the film.
In Your Eyes producer Michael Roiff tells Buzzfeed.com that the proceeds from the film are covering the unconventional thank you process, and Whedon plans to continue sending gifts and keep the buzz for the film going so that more people watch it.
He explains, "The idea was we're doing something a little different, and we just want to say thank you... This is working out, and we want to say thanks and give something back, and try to keep people talking so we can keep doing it this way.
"Usually, there are so many layers of people saying, 'No, you can’t do that'. It’s so cool to have people write back and say, 'This is awesome!' It's been a lot of fun."
Aviva Drescher did not appear in this week's episode of Real Housewives of New York, but her words haunted these ladies like the thought of their Botox administer skipping town (Dr. Pendergast really is the best with the T-zone so here’s hoping he doesn’t leave New York City). Like in Return of the Jedi Aviva’s astral form hung around whispering “You’re both white trash, quite frankly,” over and over again. This is mostly because Ramona Singer, a.k.a. Eyelander, and In-the-Red Sonja Morgan were kind of acting like white trash. Violence, emotional outbursts, and crying about your father... this feels like an episode of Maury.
Malice: Threw the Looking Glass 2: The Jabberwonky Eye
Post glass-throwing, Ramona storms off with Sonja to head back to Heather’s house to fix her hair. Meanwhile, Kristen Taekman is drenched in pond water with microorganisms slowly crawling into a cut on her face. The ladies try to calm her down and she is a very good sport about this. Hitting someone in the face with an object and drawing blood sounds a little like assault. It doesn’t take Phaedra Parks to solve this mystery, Ramona drew blood. Had it been Kenya Moore that she hit, Ramona would have been arrested. The ladies prep for dinner and both talk a ton of smack. Ramona tells Sonja she feels like her father. Sonja has a breakdown and starts crying and yelling at her about it. #repressedmemory It sort of seems like Ramona is manipulating Sonja’s issues with her parents. Heather Thomson tries to play hostess and mend fences. She also tries to laugh the whole thing off. However, Kristen is justifiably outraged. She’s a good sport because she just wants to know why it all happened. Ramona stumbles over to Kristen yells a ton about getting wet and gives her the most disingenuous apology in Housewives history. Before things bubble over, Heather surprises the ladies with an Elvis impersonator. Kristen gets too distracted and forgets about Ramona and her wine.
Wilted Flowers in the Attic
Ramona realizes she’s persona non grata. To get away before someone mentions the word assault Ramona packs her bags and calls a pilot friend. Dressed in her most dowdy mom drag she joins the ladies for a hike. While in the woods, Ramona sees some trees that remind her of her back yard. Apparently, she lived in the Cabin in the Woods. Also, her childhood must have been like Flowers in the Attic… at least in her current story. Apparently, not mentioned until she needs to make a hasty getaway, she had an abusive father. It’s probably true but it’s shameless to dust off old wounds to get out of a girl’s trip. She convinces Carole Radziwill to drive her to the airport. Ramona’s hot pilot friend shows up. An attractive man flies to come pick up Ramona while she’s away for the weekend and her husband thinks she’s on vacation. You do the math. As Ramona flies away into the sunset, Carole stands on her rented car. She wonders if she’ll get her deposit back if the rental company sees her walking on the hood on TV. Then she remembers she’s painfully thin and the car may have dented her... plus Bravo paid for the car. Meanwhile, Sonja loses it again and yells at Kristen for not understanding abuse. Apparently, Sonja is accessing some pretty heavy memories and projecting them on this light situation. Throwing anything at someone’s face crosses a line.
I’ll Show You My Pontoon
Heather plans a boat trip with two of Sonja’s favorite things: booze and men under 21. She’s starting to really resemble Ramona Singer... scratch that, we mean Bryan Singer. Sonja sloppily hits on a 20-year old pontoon captain. Sonja is a stunningly beautiful woman but she really shouldn’t get this sloppy on camera. Given her emotional outbursts, she may need a hug or a Care Bear stare.
Ramona Caught Wine Handed
Heather plans an elaborate dinner to close the weekend. Everyone brings up the glass incident for the umpteenth time. But suddenly, LuAnn desperate Lesseps gets a text. It’s a picture of Ramona partying at Molly Sims’ latest party. And with that, Sims gets mentioned more than she has since Las Vegas was canceled. They even get a picture. This confirms everyone’s suspicions that Ramona made shameless use of her “abuse” to leave like a thief in the night. Sonja ponders if Ramona has been manipulating her and how much wine she had that day. The other ladies have decided they will “get even” with Ramona. If they plan to destroy her they will have to find the horcruxes Ramona hid at Jill Zarin’s fabric store and Alex McCord’s Brooklyn brownstone.
The Duchess of Put-Downs
LuAnn may have been downgraded to a “friend” of the housewives but she has sharpened her wit. She gets some of the best lines of the night:
"If we’re gonna talk about vocabulary, 'provoking' isn’t an adjective, it’s a verb. Just sayin'." – giving Heather a vocabulary lesson
"Ramona would never, ever, ever go to therapy. She claims she’s in perfect mental health." – on Ramona’s mental state
"Sonja doesn’t exactly live in the real world, so getting hit in the face with reality must hurt." – a well crafted Sonja burn
Real Houselines of New York City
"I think we’ve got a non sequitur here: shotgun recoil on one side, a psycho b**ch throwing a wine glass at your face on the other. Are they the same thing? I don’t think so." – Heather
"Her hair looks like s**t." – Kristen on Ramona's ruined blow-out
"What are you the wicked witch of the Hamptons? You gonna melt?" – Kristen on getting Ramona wet
"Who are you to get me wet?" – Ramona doesn’t know what entendre means
"Of course the only option for white wine is Ramona Pinot Grigio. Hope she doesn’t throw the bottle at my face... b**ch." – Kristen
"That was some act. I mean, not Oscar worthy. But definitely People’s Choice… or Daytime Emmy." – Carole on Ramona’s meltdown
"Do you go to Christian Mingle online? I tried it, but I was unmatchable." – Sloppy Sonja flirting
"I’ve had experiences with women, just not with you." – Sonja repeating what Carole told her
ABC Television Network
Soon the Grey's Anatomy cast will be down to just two characters who were wide-eyed interns back when the show first started. The original five interns have gone through vastly different paths to reach their current careers. Some have a place in future Grey's episodes while others will never see an operating room on ABC ever again. So what does time have in store for the original group?
Dr. Meredith Grey (Ellen Pompeo)
Although it's an ensemble cast, Grey is the closest thing to a main character, hence the title. She is a good surgeon, but known mostly as the wife of top neurosurgeon Derek Shepherd (Patrick Dempsey).
What’s her future? Staying by the side of her husband, providing moral support to the hospital, performing common surgeries.
Dr. Alex Karev (Justin Chambers)
The guy's a jerk, yet he always winds up with such lovely women. Seriously, almost every female throughout the years have had some type of relationship with Karev. He's excelled at pediatrics the past few years.
What's his future? It looks like he's trading his everyday scrubs for a bigger bank account in a private practice. Can't blame him; more money and better hours are always good.
Dr. Cristina Yang (Sandra Oh)
Yang was always the intern with the most potential and she has clearly established herself as a top surgeon. Her skills rival even Shepherd's.
What's her future? She has been offered to run a rich hospital in Switzerland. Yang is officially off the show after this season, but you never know, we could see her again in an episode or two.
Dr. George O'Malley (T.R. Knight)
Always the nice guy, O'Malley never got a chance to develop his surgical skills because of a terrible accident.
What's his future? None. O’Malley died in the Season 6 premiere after complications from his accident. Unless there's some flashback episode, Knight will never be on Grey's Anatomy again.
Dr. Izzie Stevens (Katherine Heigl)
Stevens proved to be irresponsible (Denny and the LVAD wire, indecision) and gets so sick, she hallucinates seeing Denny, who had died after a heart transplant. Stevens just kind of leaves the show with little explanation, but that has more to do with Heigl than Stevens the character.
What's her future? None. Stevens is still alive, but Heigl pissed off so many people from Grey's, her return will never happen. Heigl claimed she wasn't given good material to work with. Ouch. Why is Heigl such a diva?
As the standard TV season winds down, mid-season and summer shows come back with a vengeance. Orphan Black, which features a woman (Tatiana Maslany) who discovers that she is a clone created by a secret organization, is a runaway hit. Continuum, in which Kiera Cameron (Rachel Nichols) is a cop from the future that gets sent into the past to stop terrorists from her time, is back for a third season and is both smart and action packed. Both series are chock full of twists and turns but also really smart premises but which is the show that should be your new obsession?
THE SCIENCE IN THE SCI-FI
Continuum is pretty smart about the science fiction of time travel. One of the main sources of drama in the series is the tension surrounding the science of the space-time continuum. Is Kiera helping to create the future where her son and husband are waiting for her, or is she changing that future with everything she does in the past?
The series boasts a startlingly realistic vision of the future (big business buys out the government and creates a technocratic police state), but also shows off tons of cool gizmos.
Orphan Black, on the other hand, is a little light on the science despite being about clones. Cosima Niehaus, one of the clones in question, is an evolutionary development student... but is basically treated as an all-purpose science expert.
Winner: Continuum. The show actually conscribes logic to time travel and presents startling technological developments for the future.
Both series feature actors doing double (sometimes quintuple!) duty. Part of the appeal of Orphan Black is that Maslany plays so many characters. There are not only so many clones you don’t know what will happen next, Maslany also breathes them all to life with unique personalities and distinct characteristics. She even sometimes has to play one clone impersonating another. It’s like the acting Olympics.
Thanks to Continuum's heavy use of time travel, Nichols plays Kiera both in the present and in her original future. In addition to this (spoilers!), we've seen a recent development introducing a two versions of Kiera’s confidant Alec Sadler (Erik Knudsen), from two different timelines. It’s an interesting twist but the show isn’t capitalizing much on having the actors exist in two different time periods as far as performance goes.
Winner: Orphan Black. Maslany is a powerhouse and deserves an Emmy, while Kiera hasn’t gone through much of a transformation despite being in the present for three seasons.
TRUST VS. UNCERTAINTY
The suspense and tension of Orphan Black comes from the characters' (and viewers') inability to trust anyone. Any character could be a monitor, an agent sent to spy on the clones. Everyone’s motivations are suspect, and any new characters and developments come equipped with WTF shocker moments.
Continuum is built on uncertainty. No character knows that the changes they make will create the shocking future Kiera came from or make things better or worse. But the tension exists primarily on a scientific level, rather than a human one.
Winner: Orphan Black is more fun because the story unfolds at a terrific pace, while Continuum can be irritating because, for some reason, the terrorists from the future have never questioned if they are creating the future they tried to escape from.
AND THE ULTIMATE WINNER IS...
Both shows are insanely addictive. However, Orphan Black wins by a nose. It’s the right blend of action, mind-bending surprises, and a good sense of humor.
Mission BriefingAfter murdering Agent Koenig, Ward has absconded with Skye, hoping to finally get the encrypted S.H.I.E.L.D. information off of the hard drive. Coulson and the team move to find Ward and rescue Skye, but Maria Hill (Cobie Smulders) shows up to providence with the U.S. government, hoping to convince Coulson to stand down, since S.H.I.E.L.D. doesn't rightly exist anymore.
The AgentsEveryone's on deck this week, but not necessarily playing for the same side. Ward has essentially kidnapped Skye so she can decrypt the hard drive while Coulson, Fitz, Simmons, and Triplett are following the breadcrumbs left behind by Skye. Meanwhile, May is stirring things up behind the scenes, and Maria Hill provides some much-needed backup in a special guest appearance by Cobie Smulders.
Mission FalloutMay gets into contact with Maria Hill, who is pursuing work in the private sector after the dismantling of S.H.I.E.L.D. May wants the know the identity of the person behind the T.A.H.I.T.I. project, hoping it might finally give Coulson the answers he’s been seeking, but all Maria has to offer is a cryptic riddle left by Nick Fury (Director Fury is apparently a poet in his off hours).
Meanwhile, Coulson and his team are wondering what happened to the Bus and their missing agents. Surveillance shows May leaving Providence a little while after her fight with Coulson. Fitz wanders around the base and discovers a secret message scrawled onto one of Keonig’s Faux windows: “Ward is HYDRA,” just as Gemma is discovering Koenig’s body stashed in the supply closet. Simmons examines Koenig and determines that Ward was the only one who was capable of killing him. Fitz freaks out, as he’s wont to do, and the team works on figuring out how to save Skye. Luckily, they discover that Bus is in Los Angeles, but not before Providence comes under attack. Maria Hill shows up with Colonel Talbot and U.S. military in tow. She urges Coulson to stop working under S.H.I.E.L.D. and accept that the agency doesn’t exist any more. She suggests that the agent allow his staff to walk away from S.H.I.E.L.D. and join the private sector. Coulson informs Maria about the Ward situation, and the agent helps the team escape so they can go after Ward and rescue Skye.
Elswhere, Skye tells Ward that the location needed to decrypt the drive is the same diner where she first met Mike Peterson in the pilot episode. Ward rushes Skye to decrypt the drive, but she expertly stalls for time, giving the HYDRA turncoat enough jabbering Technobabble to keep him satisfied. Skye needles into Ward about his allegiance to S.H.I.E.L.D., and reveals that she knows he’s really a member of HYDRA. She calls the police to the diner, but Ward quickly subdues them. Skye almost escapes, but is soon re-captured by Deathlok. Deathlok, always the pragmatist, tells Ward he has only five minutes to get Skye to decrypt the drive. Ward confesses that his feelings for Skye have always been genuine and the he was just “following orders,” but Skye his revolted by Ward’s true colors. Deathlok stops Ward’s heart and forces Skye to tell him the encryption site before starting it again. The agent reveals that the drive needs to be 35,000 feet in the air before it can be unlocked.
Before Ward can get the Bus in the air, he finds himself locked in a standoff with Maria Hill, who's piloting another Jet. The two exchage verbarl barbs which gives Coulson enough time to sneak aboard the Bus. Coulson locates Skye and escapes the Bus mid flight in Lola, Coulson’s flying corvette, but not before the drive is unlocked.
The team shacks up at a skeezy motel, having lost not only their agency but their home. May surprises Coulson in his motel room. She reveals that the lead behind the T.A.H.I.T.I. project was Coulson himself. In a message sent to Fury before his death in The Avengers, Coulson reveals that the T.A.H.I.T.I. project was created to revive a mortally wounded avenger, but that the project should be shelved due to it’s horrific side-effects. Coulson learns that he was, in fact, searching for himself this whole time. How exestential.
Most Valuable Agent This Week’s MVA goes to Skye for managing to outwit and outgame Ward at his own game. Not bad for a new recruit.
Mission Highlights- Adrian Pasdar is back as the burly, no-nonsense, fake-mustache wearing Colonel Talbot. Let's hope he sticks around a while.- I love Ward’s insistence that he’s definitely not a Nazi. Evil terrorist? Sure, you’ve got me pegged, but a Nazi?! Whoa buddy, let’s not jump to conclusions.- “If I come out, will you shoot me? Cause then I wont come out."- Chloe Bennet gives some of her best acting yet in this episode.
Jake Gyllenhaal has a big year ahead of him. His second film with French-Canadian filmmaker Denis Villeneuve (Enemy) had a lot of critics talking last month, and he's got some exciting upcoming projects as well. A movie with David O. Russell, another one with The Bourne Supremacy screenwriter Dan Gilroy, and one exciting venture that a lot of people are actually furious about (if you can imagine a world where people are furious about something Jake Gyllenhaal is doing).
The Oscar-nominated actor is, apparently, trying his hand at high theory. Columbia University is launching its installment of The Year of James Baldwin and they've enlisted Gyllenhaal and Colm Toíbín, and Irish writer and literary critic, as speakers on the subject. As people saw this news flashing across their Facebook feeds, a collective "Huh?" was emitted, followed by some real anger. What does Jake Gyllenhaal have to do with James Baldwin? Part of the concern was linked to the issue of race, which is indeed a relevant issue here — as a giant in black literature and an author born during the Harlem Renaissance, it's relevant to question a celebration of his work that begins with a white American actor and an Irish author. But the outrage wasn't just related to race, and the response inspires another question: Can people accept celebrities as intellectuals?
It seems that we connoisseurs of pop culture like our celebrities to stay in their lanes — frivolous drama, yacht parties, hot messery. And many of them fit the bill. But what happens when one surprises us and starts voicing political opinions, or tries out literary and cultural theory? People tend to get judgmental, going so far as to assume that celebrities, like Gyllenhaal, couldn't possibly have anything to contribute to an intellectual conversation.
Granted, certain actors have a little more leeway in the legitimacy department. Gyllenhaal speaking on Baldwin probably induced fewer eye-rolls than the Miley Cyrus college course (and the fact that she wasn't even directly involved with the class tells us that there's a general distate for all things that seek to link the celebrity world with academia). But pop culture fans and members of academia would likely benefit from a more accepting stance. The intellectual community could become more inclusive in terms of content (without losing whatever high-brow, exclusivity it may rightfully hold dear), and the celebrity world could expand into other areas, allowing both fans and stars to broaden their horizons. Ultimately, a meshing of the two worlds could inspire a wide variety of possibilities, some of which might prove to be truly fascinating.
You can learn more about the upcoming Columbia talk featuring Gyllenhaal and Toíbín here.
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This is the first Bo-centric episode of the season. Anna Silk is back from maternity leave and feistier than ever. “Lovers. Apart.” is surprising because it focuses on characters that rarely get their own storylines. Lauren (Zoe Palmer) is still in hiding. Meanwhile, Evony the Morrigan (Emmanuelle Vaugier) is back with a vengeance. It looks like this episode, is focused on the Bo/Dyson/Lauren threesome and where they all are in the wake of Bo’s disappearance last season.
Bo & Dyson
The episode begins with Dyson (Kris Holden-Ried) and Clio (Mia Kirshner) on the train having just missed Bo. It’s unclear where in the infinite number of dimensions Bo could end up jumping off a moving inter-dimensional train but that will not be explained later. Dyson is suffering from transcendental sickness which happens to normal people who dimension jump. Apparently, there are no booster shots, so consider this before making any trips to the fourth dimension. Clio is able to heal him and use a piece of Bo’s dress to track her.
Bo, loopy from hanging with Dr. Who, lands in an empty cabin in the woods. The house belongs to Ian Jenkins (Lochlyn Munro) a family man with a daughter, Julia (Chloe Rose), who is a bizarro version of Kenzi. It turns out this family has a secret. Bo tries to save bizarro Kenzi from her father who bears a disturbing resemblance to Scott Peterson. However, as usual, Bo is mistaken.
It turns out a body jumping Fae cleverly named Jumbee, is trying to kill every member of the Jenkins family. Bo leads bizarro Kenzi right to her. As ususal, Bo is conveniently rescued by Dyson. Bo, ridden with guilt, tries to stop Jumbee so she gets succubus-ing. When she steals some chi she ends up face-to-face with the mortal Jumbee (Neema Bickersteth). It turns out she was thought to be a witch, she’s actually an elemental Fae. She and her interracial lover are murdered and separated. Dyson and Cleo find their remains and Dyson and Bo recite wedding vows to put Jumbee’s soul at peace.
It’s a great moment for Team Dyson fans to see Bo and Dyson finally together. They may be part of a throuple with Lauren but something just feels so right about Bo with Dyson because they fell in love in the first episode. It’s also worth noting that Lost Girl does not shy away from diversity and having Jumbee as part of an interracial couple. Although, it would be helpful for the audience to know what time period she’s from. It seems to have elements that could tie it to slavery or colonial times which isn’t particularly clear. #missedopportunity
Clio inevitably betrays Dyson. However, Bo’s fried brain was healed by Jumbee so she royally kicks Clio’s ass because they don’t need her anymore. Apparently, unbeknownst to the audience, they’ve been on Earth in our dimension this whole time. It seems weird that no one took issue with Jumbee being a Fae and mating with a human.
Meanwhile, at the Lace-front Diner, poorly-wigged Lauren is connecting with fellow waitress, Crystal (Ali Liebert). The two ladies bond, mostly because Crystal wants to get freaky with Lauren and in a huge surprise, she actually gets to. This is a new Lauren who isn’t scared to get a little wild. However, Lauren does get scared by a call to the diner so she hits the road. Crystal surprises her in her car and betrays her. However, in a bizarre twist of fate, Dyson and Bo drive right by not realizing Lauren is getting kidnapped. Oh Snap!
Evony is back with a random eye patch. It looks like now she’s the MoRRRigan now. #badpiratejokes She looks like she has a renewed sense of purpose after being enslaved by Vex. She kills a few people with her power to inspire people to turn into puddles. She gets Massimo the Druid (Tim Rozon) to give her a new eye and reveals that they have a long history. Does this mean she will take advantage and take over Kenzi’s drug debt?
Best Lines of the Night
Bitch, I think your brain broke. - Bizarro Kenzi
When you’ve been in power as long as I have, everyone’s a child. -Evony
Don’t disappoint me like Chanel Number Goo, did. -Evony
[My Boots] might make this homeless person’s nightey thing your rocking look like an actual fashion choice. -Bizarro Kenzi about Bo’s Damaged Outfit
This episode is all about tea. Everyone is spilling it and airing out truths, half-truths, and idle gossip. What more could you want from the lovely ladies of Atlanta? The highlight of the episode is that the seeds planted here will lead to some major blowouts later in the season.
Cynthia Bailey and Peter Thomas celebrate their three-year anniversary with a free meal at Bar One. They meet up with Cynthia’s friends Christopher Williams and his wife Natalie. They gratuitously randomly spill some tea on Todd Tucker. Apparently, when Todd dated one of Natalie’s friends he cheated on her. Natalie, being a woman who has full use of her eyes, ears, and mental faculties, believes he’s an opportunist. Although, she has yet to comment on Peter being an opportunist. They all retire to Industry where Peter has prepared a free meal of food from Bar One across the street. But Christopher surprises her with a song he wrote about their marriage.
Kandi Burruss has a meeting with her inner circle to confirm that Todd left the production. Kandi’s assistant Don Juan, his real name, complains about some of the challenges of putting up a musical. However, Kandi in her infinite wisdom doesn’t care because she figures believes knows she can make it happen. She visits the Rialto to check the space while Todd takes a call from another woman job. He decides to quit his other job and come back to the musical.
Kenya Moore has a powwow with her aunts, one of whom, Lisa, is the best Gayle King impersonator in Detroit. She decides to break the news that the best solution for her mommy issues is to become a mommy. Meanwhile, NeNe Leakes visits Porsha Stewart's expensive new abode.
The ladies decide to go to a winery to drink themselves into friendship. But there is some pending drama on the table. Cynthia has invited Natalie who has spilled tea on Kandi. Kenya and Malorie Massie had some beef last week. Not to mention NeNe invited Marlo Hampton who is always good for some shade. Meanwhile, Kenya has decided to air out some of Natalie’s dirty laundry. Allegedly, her husband has referred to her as a common-law wife. Team NeNe ride to the winery and start gossiping. Meanwhile, Team Kandi, Porsha, and Phaedra Parks discuss Phaedra’s milk tanks.
At the winery, all the ladies have lunch and it all comes out. Kenya attacks Natalie’s marriage to which everyone rightfully reminds her she’s never been married, understatement of the year. Then Kenya calls out Natalie’s gossip about Kandi that makes her squirm with discomfort. Kandi shuts it all down and completely eviscerates Natalie by taking all of her gossip as an epic compliment for how much Tom has come up. But the seeds of more discord have been planted. Kandi mentioned that she knows things about Peter. Plus, Kenya has made a new enemy.
Tasty Tea from the Episode
I really need him. But every time we disagree on something he’d rather leave me for 5 or 6 months and go back to his little comfortable job. -Kandi on her relationship?
I can’t help but think why would a single woman want to live in an 8,000 square feet house. -NeNe on Porsha’s house.
Kenya’s telling everybody she’s dating an oil tycoon. :laughing: Let’s laugh together. Where’s the oil tycoon, honey? -NeNe on Kenya’s African Prince
The relationship I have experienced with my mother has left me with a huge void in my life and having a child of my own will in some way repair that void. -Kenya having a moment of clarity
I have never seen Cynthia dish so much tea in one afternoon. Tell me more ... :slurps: -Kenya
I’m trying to be supportive ... a little bit. -Todd
As much as these ladies love to drink you’d think we’d be the first ones to know that Atlanta has a vineyard. -Cynthia
The one thing about me. If I’m going to hang out with all these girls I have to be a little drunk. I want all the alcohol. -NeNe
I would like to see that gift certificate. - Kenya on Natalie’s marriage.