Michael Griffin
  • 'White Collar' Recap: Deadly Renegotiations
    By: Michael Griffin Jan 10, 2014
    USA Network Apparently Jeff Eastin, the show's creator, decided his New Year's Resolution was to really toss things into high gear with this episode. He succeeded. The episode aired with Peter Burke (Tim DeKay) running in the park (all that was missing was the title music for Chariots of Fire in the background), ruminating on what had gone on with Neal Caffrey (Matt Bomer) and his recent actions that, while keeping him out of jail, seriously crossed lines in terms of lawfulness in Burke's eyes. He then got a call from the FBI Section Chief Bruce (Boris McGiver in a decidedly different role than the assassin Hersh on Person of Interest) who said that Washington was ready to hire Burke. It was a huge opportunity for the longtime FBI agent, but as Agent Clinton Jones (Sharif Atkins) told him in the next scene, Caffrey was holding him back and Jones suggested that Caffrey should learn to take responsibility for his own actions. Of course, neither agent had a clue what was REALLY going on. Caffrey and Mozzie (Willie Garson) went to meet Curtis Hagen (Mark Sheppard) at a public water fountain. Caffrey wanted to renegotiate, but Hagen had his own tactic - kidnapping Rebecca Lowe (Bridget Regan), Caffrey's love interest. He proved it by showing a cell phone with a live stream of her sitting in a corner of a room, gagged. Caffrey was ready to drown the scuzzy forgerer, but held back after being warned that the lovely hostage would die. Caffrey had half an hour to meet at an address with the window. In the past few episodes, Caffrey and Mozzie had been finding their friendship really strained, since Mozzie had kept warning his friend not to get emotionally entangled with Lowe. Yeah. Like Caffrey really listened to that. He proved that there was still solidarity when Caffrey said, "I'm on my own." after Mozzie tried to get him to loop Burke in, Mozzie said softly, "No ... we're on our own." which earned a grateful beam from Caffrey. They hatched a plan to try to plant a tracking device/bug on Hagen that would allow them to both listen and follow him wherever he went. Burke met his wife Elizabeth (Tiffani Thiessen) at the park and told her that he was taking the Washington job in two weeks. Burke still felt tortured at having to accept what Caffrey had done. He also showed her the card that the late Agent David Siegel (Warren Kole) had been carrying. He was meeting an art dealer about a possible forgery. He said he was not bringing Caffrey in on it. Caffrey and Mozzie met Hage. Caffrey showed the window pane - that should have been it, but Hagen made them stay to solve the rest of the puzzle of the Mosconi code. He said that Mosconi was covering a big secret and showed them a mural he had restored. Caffrey took this as a cue to try to sidle up to Hagen and slip the bug in Hagen's pocket. The Gods Of TV Writing had Burke call him right there, killing that chance. Caffrey said that he had to see the FBI agent so as not to arouse suspcicion. Before he left, he made Hagen call Lowe and he talked to her. Well, he talked at her, since she was gagged and couldn't say anything more than "MMPH! MMMPH! MMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMPH!" While Caffrey was with Burke trying to suss out wheter a painting was a forgery, Mozzie and Hagen were having a snark-off, with both actors leveraging their smarminess to the hilt. Hagen showed that he had the upper hand by revealing that he knew Mozzie's real name of Teddy Winters. At the art dealer, Caffrey found that the painting was indeed a fake and that it had Hagen's initials hidden on it. This set Burke on Hagen's trail, which couldn't happen. Caffrey decided to put the tracking device on Burke instead so that he could track him and know if and when he might be going after Hagen. After hearing that Burke had pinpointed Hagen's location to where they were currently (and also some damning things about his moral character), Caffrey turned the tables on his nemesis. After having Mozzie "Rain Man" the Mosconi Codex pages, he dumped them on the ground, poured gasoline on them and then after Hagen freed Lowe, set them on fire. While Hagen spluttered, the two men dashed away, with Caffrey splintering off to meet Lowe in a harrowing scene that had me expecting her to be shot in front of him. That didn't happen as they had a long embrace. A few minutes later, Burke and Jones came in and found Hagen, smoking a cigar and seeming quite full of himself. Another problem - Jones decided to check Caffrey's anklet ... which would place him in Hagen's hideout for most of the day. Caffrey and Lowe were sharing what they knew while hunkering at his place - and Lowe insisted on not telling the police the true story, since that would land Caffrey in jail. They decided to keep working on it together and they figured out that Mosconi may have been hiding a diamond that was the equivalent of the Hope Diamond. In the interrogation room, Hagen, after telling Burke that Caffrey had probably framed him for that painting, took both of them to a park. A whole phlanx of police accompanied them. He began brazenly telling Caffrey and Burke to 'beg for his freedom.' Then everything turned sideways. A sniper's bullet hit Hagen, killing him instantly. As Keanu Reeves is fond of saying in his movies: Whoa... Burke and Caffrey found the apartment that Hagen had been staking out, The address and apartment number matched the one on Siegel's card. They found that it was a home office that had impeccable records not only on the two men, but everyone in Burke's division ... and the late Agent Siegel. On top of that, Caffrey found an area where paintings had been created, and Hagen's initials practiced over and over. In another room, there was a dressing room area, with pictures of Rebecca in various stages of costumes, and the area where Rebecca had allegedly been held hostage by Hagen earlier. The two men stood there gobsmacked as the episode ended. Immediate thoughts: Bomer got a chance to flex some acting muscle: his near-frenzied run when Caffrey was trying to meet up with Lowe was a perfect showing of how the usually ultra-cool man was this-close to losing it. Well, now Sheppard can go back to just playing the dastardly Crowley on Supernatural. Was Hagen collaborating with Rebecca and got betrayed by her? This is the first time in a while that the show has made my head spin. Caffrey: It looks like the con man got conned. It looked like there was a bit of thawing between Burke and Caffrey at the end when they realized that Hagen may have been a pawn too. Hopefully the show can get back to the friendship of sorts they had in the early seasons. Follow @Hollywood_com //
  • 'Person of Interest' Recap: Getting To The Root Of It
    By: Michael Griffin Jan 08, 2014
    CBS The episode opened with things looking bleak. Control (Camryn Manheim) and Hersh (Boris McGiver) had the upper hand, with Harold Finch (Michael Emerson), Arthur Claypool (Saul Rubinek) and Samantha Shaw (Sarah Shahi) all under the barrels of guns in a supposed safe room. Shaw was just about to be taken out with two shots when Root (Amy Acker) burst in, wielding dual pistols. After a frantic shoot-out, Hersh wound up shooting Root from behind while Shaw, Finch and Arthur got away. So did Control and Hersh, with Root in their custody. Finch and Claypool, who was dying from a brain tumor, found a bank deposit box that was supposed to hold the code for Samaritan, Claypool's creation that was similar to the Machine that Finch had created. Problem was, the privacy zealots Vigilance also joined the party and took over the bank while Finch and Claypool were in the vaults below with the bank manager. Finch locked the vault door to keep Vigilance out, but not before the manager got wounded in the leg in a shootout. To make matters worse, Hersh was one of the people leading the SWAT team outside the bank. (I would not have taken the odds on Vigilance were I were a betting man.) Shaw was still hiding in the bank lobby, communicating with Finch. On the other side of the country, John Reese (Jim Caviezel) and Lionel Fusco (Kevin Chapman) were in a holding cell, hashing out the meaning of what they were doing. Fusco said he wanted to keep fighting the good fight while Reese saw it as pointless. Fusco gave up in disgust and signaled that he was ready to leave. He did mention that he hadn't heard from Finch and suggested that he might need their help. After some time, Vigilance ran out of patience and decided to blow the vault, but Shaw rigged another bomb nearby so that an escape route through the sewers would be available. Claypool smashed the code for Samaritan under his foot. They were nearly ready to leave when Vigilance caught up, only to have Fusco and Reese appear to save them. Hersh had some Vigilance pinned down as well, but one of them was holding a grenade and detonated it. Chances are very high that Hersh survived, though, since he could probably live through a nuclear bomb. Root's situation played out thusly: She was held in a cage by Control and was alternately being given barbituates and uppers to get her to talk. Root kept begging the Machine to help, which caused Control to smirk and keep asking her to tell her where the Machine was. Root scoffed and said that the Machine was too complicated for the likes of her Finally, Control cut an important bone out of Root's head - one that controlled sound from the ear to the brain. But it turned out the Machine had been talking... at a level of sound that Control. who was in her 50s, could not hear but that the younger Root could. It gave her important information, like where Control kept an extra scalpel on her body, an area that Root could reach when Control was performing her 'surgery.' Root freed herself and took control (snort) of Control. She talked to the Machine and it told her to tell Control to leave it alone, telling Control that it was watching her at all times. Finch sat with Claypool, who was back in a hospital bed, waiting to die. He told Finch that he was losing memories. Finch said that they weren't destroyed and then Root called and told Finch that finding the Samaritan code was her problem. She then had the machine play back memories, happy ones, for Claypool to watch before he passed on. Reese, who had just rescued Finch, said that he couldn't stay. He felt the Machine had let him down when Joss Carter died and that it didn't really care who lived and died. He left while a bereft Finch could only watch. Apparently the bank manager had actually been a plant - the real manager was killed just before the three had entered. Unfortunately, that loose end was tied up by the mysterious man who has Finch in his sights. He shot the woman and he now had the Samaritan Code. The episode also showed flashbacks to Finch's life, including his talking to his increasingly dementia-addled father about machines and his hacking the government. It also showed the genesis of the Harold Finch name: He pressed a bird-watching book into his father's hand as he was fleeing being questioned about the hacking.  Hopefully this will end up in something really good. Follow @Hollywood_com //
  • 'Justified' Recap: Meet More Crowes
    By: Michael Griffin Jan 08, 2014
    FX Justified opened with a really nice tribute to the late Elmore Leonard, the author behind the whole show. Timothy Olyphant, who plays Deputy Marshal Raylan Givens, Walton Goggins, who plays Boyd Crowder, and creator Graham Yost all spoke highly of him. The episode opened with Givens on the stand for a possible settlement case for Dewey Crowe (Damon Herriman). The main purpose of this scene was to once again gleefully show how stupid Crowe was. At one point, Givens pointed out "for the record, he thought he had four kidneys." The ultimate was when, after Crowe's lawyer threatened to have many other people talk about how rough Givens was in meting out justice and the defense decided to up the settlement to $300,000. Judge Mike Reardon (the always great Stephen Root) said, "In light of your situation, the state has decided to up it to 300." Crowe reared up and in righteous indignation, roared, "300? After all I have been through, I'm ONLY GETTING $300?!?!" In possibly the best deadpan voice ever, Reardon replied, "That's $300,000, you nitwit." The scene shifted to Boyd in jail, talking to his fiancee, Ava Crowder (Joelle Carter) - she had been married to his brother - and saying that he would do whatever he would to free Ava, including threatening a judge's family. After parting ways, he went to a dope deal, only to find that Detroit was in free fall - they tried to stiff him, literally. He had to shoot three men, getting his ear badly wounded in the process. He called Wynn Duffy (Jere Burns) to tell him that the two of them were going to go to Detroit. A quintessential Leonard scene happened next in Florida: Dilly Crowe (Jason Gray-Stanford) and Elvis Manuel Machado (Amaury Nolasco) paid a visit to a corrupt Coast Guard officer and Dilly wound up shooting him due to his making fun of his stutter. This was bad because the Coast Guard officer had been on the Federal watch list for taking bribes. This meant Art Mullen (Nick Searcy) wanted to send Givens to Florida to see the Crowes and also possibly see his baby daughter, since Winona (Natalie Zea), his estranged former wife, was also in Florida. Wanting no part of that, Givens sought a shortcut to stay in Kentucky and went to see Dewey at his new bar. He found him in a pool and after some back and forth with him and learning that Dewey had distanced himself from his clan, he shot the pool up on his way out just as a measure to keep tweaking Dewey. Givens went to Florida and found that Machado was his target. He met a Florida task force and was driven around the area by Agent Sutter (David Koechner). Dilly met the senior Crowe, Darryl (Michael Rapaport). Darryl blew his top about hearing about the dead Coast Guard officer, since he knew that would spell trouble for his clan, since the Feds would come sniffing. Boyd went to Detroit with Duffy to find out about his missing drug shipment, since he was going to need money to pay off whoever he needed to get Ava free. The two went to an abandoned building and had to climb 14 flights of stairs. What ensued was a truly surreal scene. They found Picker (John Kapelos), who he had had dealings with in the previous season. There was a bunch of severed mannequins and a man with a chainsaw in another room, torturing someone. Sammy Tonin (Max Perlich) was there too, but Picker soon disposed of him and the chainsaw guy (Boyd and Duffy were spattered with Tonin's blood, with both of them being too impossibly cool about it). It turned out he had aligned himself with the Canadian mob and was going to kill Boyd and Duffy as well, but Boyd turned the tables on him by hitting him with the briefcase. The three of them met the Canadian connections, played by Will Sasso and David Foley, continuing the show's tradition of bringing in comedic actors to play serious roles. The Canadians were backing out ("I thought all Canadians were supposed to be nice?" "Wrong Canadians."). This meant that they would have to find other avenues. Picker suggested Mexico. In Florida, things didn't go well for Givens either. First he and Sutter met Jean-Baptiste (Edi Gathegi), who called Darryl right after he left. Darryl was then flying down the Everglades on an airboat, where he sent his sister, Wendy (Alicia Witt), a paralegal, to meet with the two law enforcement officers. He agreed to have them get Machado, so that he wouldn't violate his parole. Darryl went back to his place and told Machado his services were no longer needed and that he would meet him at a hotel with his last payment. Machado went with Wendy to go to the hotel. The tricky part was Dilly. In a cold-blooded move, Darryl had his brother Danny stab him, since Darryl figured that he would be too stupid if he had to talk to the Feds. Machado, who figured he had been set up, tried to thwart the plan by taking Wendy at gunpoint, but the Crowe sister, while having gone legit, was still more than capable of thinking on her feet. She purposely got into an accident and fled the scene while Machado stumbled off. She called Givens, who was at the hotel finding that Machado wasn't there. She told him that Machado was fleeing to Cuba. Givens and Sutter found Machado on a motorized raft, trying to leave. When they told him he could either A) Bring the raft back and they arrest him or B) Try to swim to Cuba, Machado chose C) Get pumped full of lead by the two officers when he tried to draw on them. Givens headed back to Kentucky after Sutter told him how hard it was to have to leave his kids when he saw them on his visitation days. Givens didn't even want to deal with that, electing to have a Skype conversation with Winona. The episode closed with Boyd visiting the home of Lee Paxon (Sam Anderson), the man he most despised - a powerful man who he had humiliated last season, but who now had the upper hand. After Paxton wanted him to grovel and sneered that he wouldn't do that even to save his "white-trash" fiancee, Boyd caved his head in and then paid off Paxton's new Latvian wife to keep quiet. Boyd the Animal had resurfaced. Follow @Hollywood_com //
  • James Avery: An Appreciation
    By: Michael Griffin Jan 05, 2014
    Paul Redmond/Getty When I was in high school and college back in the 1980s and '90s, my favorite TV father wasn't Cliff Huxtable (Bill Cosby) on The Cosby Show. He was too cloying and the show just reeked of saccharine sweetness. It wasn't Steven Keaton (Michael Gross) on Family Ties. Nor was it Jim Walsh (James Eckhouse) on Beverly Hills 90210. No - it was Philip Banks (James Avery) in The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air. That's why hearing of Avery's death from complications from open-heart surgery hit me harder than I expected. Avery was able to convey a tough as nails man who was more than capable of being a great father. He could go from silencing his nephew, Will Smith (Will Smith) with a glare to dispensing fatherly advice to his son, Carlton (Alfonso Ribeiro) or one of his two daughters, Hilary (Karyn Parsons) and Ashley (Tatyana Ali). He was also a devoted husband to his wife, Vivian (Both Janet Hubert and Daphne Reid). Despite his angry looks, he clearly didn't mind being the butt of the fat jokes that Smith often tosses his way. It wasn't just his facial expressions that made him so memorable, though his angry bulging eyes and glower could be equally hilarious and terrifying. His deep voice was capable of conveying so much and he could modulate it quite well. He was gifted in physical comedy too - his scenes throwing Jazz out of his home were always funny. Despite the jokes, Avery always seemed to use his size to command a scene, not crowd it. He was able to combine all three things: his face, voice and size to create such a unique, compelling persona in all of his roles. Anytime I saw him appear on a show, it always made me smile. Of course, Avery was on other shows,appearing for short stints on shows like The Closer, He also did a ton of voiceover work, including shows like the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, where he was the villainous Shredder (many people had their memories of him through that). The main thing was that he never was not working. In fact, he had just finished a movie with Zach Braff, Jim Parsons, Mandy Patinkin, Donald Faison and Kate Hudson before he passed away. His death was such that it was even front-page news on Rest well, Uncle Phil. You'll always live on in syndication. Follow @Hollywood_com //
  • From Draper To Disney: How Will Jon Hamm Fare In His New Movie?
    By: Michael Griffin Jan 03, 2014 There are roles that actors would kill to be known for - to have their image immortalized in people's minds forever ... well, until there's a remake or reboot of the same movie. Right now, Jon Hamm has that role in Don Draper. The problem is, the Madison Avenue ad man is following Hamm like a shadow, possbly tainting how people see him on the big screen. It happened when I was watching Hamm in the trailer for his upcoming movie, Million Dollar Arm. In it, he looks like Draper, just with a little longer hair. Sure, he doesn't do Draperian (welcome to a word I just made up) things like smoothly light a cigarette or say things like "If you don't like the direction of how things are going, change the conversation." Still, I found myself thinking, "Draper's just acting nicer here." The movie's tagline, "Sometimes To Win, You Have To Change The Game" sounds like something that came out of Sterling Cooper's think tank. The best player in the World for movie trailers, Hollywood interviews and movie clips. The movie, which is right up my wheelhouse as a sports fan, is about an agent (Hamm) who tries to get cricket players to play Major League Baseball. The people who produced it also were behind Miracle and Invincible (They are branching out though, this one has three words in its title). They aren't banking entirely on Hamm, since they have other notable actors and actresses like Lake Bell, Alan Arkin and Bill Paxton. Still, this is a big push, since Hamm is starting to formulate his strategy once his TV show goes dark after its final seasons (there will be a bit of a wait here though, since it is going the Breaking Bad route and splitting its final season into two parts) I know, Mad Men is still on the air and there hasn't been time for Hamm to separate himself from Draper. He should be thankful that people will remember him in that role - how many actors and actresses have passed through Hollywood over the years and failed to even make the slightest memorable mark? He's going from the show that features sex and drugs, among other things, to the land of Disney, where an unhappy ending is practically anathema. Sure, Hamm is more than welcome to re-invent himself, but I'll still find myself watching this movie and waiting for him to suddenly pour himself a drink, light a cigarette and bark for someone from creative to come to his office. You're not out of our heads yet, Don Draper. Follow @Hollywood_com //
  • Will Kevin Costner Succeed In His New Sports Role?
    By: Michael Griffin Jan 03, 2014
    Fresh Movie Trailers/YouTube Kevin Costner, the man who has played roles in baseball movies like Bull Durham, Field of Dreams, For Love of the Game and Tin Cup (Yes, golf is a sport) is now playing a different type of sports character - a front office man in Draft Day, which will be coming out in April. It's about time - though it will be interesting to see if he succeeds. While I'm not saying Costner is old, he will be 60 in a little over a year,  and he is aging gracefully. Other actors, like Harrison Ford are doing it - Ford played Branch Rickey in 42 (then again, Ford is also appearing in The Expendables 3). Like many athletes, he is shifting from his playing days to management. It's like Crash Davis has moved into a front office position, except it's football. His character is determined to get the No. 1 pick in the NFL Draft, no matter what. The ironic thing in all this is the choice of the franchise that Costner's character is in charge of: the Cleveland Browns. This has been one of the most downtrodden franchises of all time. Their fans have seen everything from Earnest Byner's Fumble to their owner Art Modell taking the franchise to Baltimore and then having to have the league award them an expansion team to be able to have football again. They have never won a Super Bowl and their team was particularly dreadful again in 2013 (in fact, they just fired their head coach after only one season in that position). So it seems almost cruel to have this larger than life character of Costner's take on the role of the team's general manager. In fact, it's not just football that has left the city of Cleveland wanting - it's all sports. Their basketball team, the Cleveland Cavaliers were annual punching bags for Michael Jordan's Chicago Bulls in the 1980s and '90s (not going to go into that whole LeBron James and The Decision thing either - that would require about 5,000 words) and the Indians have not won a World Series since '48, a time that keeps receding further and further in time's rear view mirror. They don't even have an NHL team. So the citizens have had to turn to the theater to see their teams win in Major League and Major League II. The movie itself should be great - Ivan Reitman is directing it and the rest of the cast is strong, with Jennifer Garner, Sam Elliott, Terry Crews (of course!), Denis Leary and Frank Langella also appearing. The problem is that Browns fans would likely expect that were Costner's character to get the pick, whoever he selected would probably get hit by a bus in the very next scene. At least Costner didn't decide to play the general manager of the Chicago Cubs. Follow @Hollywood_com
  • Another Season of 'Justified' Will Warm Up The Winter
    By: Michael Griffin Dec 31, 2013
    FX Winter has come and the New Year will be rung in soon. That means something else is on its way: another new season of Justified. Its season premiere is on Jan. 7. What better way to tide yourself over until spring than to watch one of the best shows on television? If you are going to be new to the show, I would suggest binge-watching on Amazon. Trust me. It's worth doing. The show has some of the best dialogue and acting that I have seen. Where Justified really excels, beside its main core of characters, is the casting of the peripheral ones. People like Margo Martindale and Neal McDonough. Though they were the main villains, they brought such a level to their work that they were far from being cardboard cut outs like someone from, say Walker, Texas Ranger. They bring in people that you might not even associate with dramas, like Mike O'Malley and Patton Oswalt. I was stunned at the work that O'Malley put in as the sadistic hit man from his season. The show, while already great, did something that I really liked last season: It allowed its secondary characters like Tim Gutterson (Jacob Pitts) and Rachel Brooks (Erica Tazel) to spread their wings and tell their own stories and not just appear for two minutes and snark at Timothy Olyphant's Raylan Givens. Gutterson's dialogue with Colt Rhodes (Ron Eldard) in last season's finale was a thing of beauty. I'm really interested in seeing where this season goes with Givens and his frenemy, Boyd Crowder (Walton Goggins). Givens has gone to a really dark place, walking away while the Detroit Mob rubbed out one of their own. Crowder is also in a very bad place, having seen his dream of buying a home and living a semi-respectable life with Ava Crowder (Joelle Carter) snatched away at the very last second. This season also marks the return of Dewey "You Mean I've Got Four Kidneys?!?!" Crowder (Damon Herriman), which should send all fans of the show into paroxysms of joy. The human cockroach, Wynn Duffy (Jere Burns) -- he who has seen about five people shot around him without suffering a scratch -- will also be great to see. Burns can convey so much with just the mere arch of an eyebrow and he may be the only criminal who does not fear Givens (even after having his gun pointed right at his forehead). On the law enforcement side,besides Gutterson and Brooks, I'm always giddy to hear what Art Mullen (Nick Searcy) has to say. I'm hoping there's also a good arc involving Mullen and his pending retirement. I could write about 10,000 words about this show, but figure that this season might be over by the time I finish. Instead, I leave you with this: Get ready to return to Harlan, everyone. Follow @Hollywood_com //
  • Must-Watch Winter Programming: 'Lillyhammer'
    By: Michael Griffin Dec 30, 2013
    Netflix It's winter and the weather is frigid in a lot of parts of the U.S. Snow covers the ground, which means a good portion of people are stuck inside. What better way to while away the time than to find shows to binge watch on Netflix? I found one that's really great - Lillyhammer, with Steven Van Zandt from The Sopranos. He also played in a band with some guy named Bruce Springsteen. The premise of the show is a mafia hit man turns government informant after being shot at one too many times. He enters witness protection and chooses Lillehammer as his location. (He saw the 1994 Winter Olympics and was captivated by the place.) A good amount of fish out of water antics ensue. Van Zandt is pretty much the most well-known actor on the show (though there is a surprise cameo in season two that made me chuckle). The cast is populated by a lot of Norwegian actors who more than hold their own, with Trond Fausa doing the best as Torgeir Lien. As the show progresses, you get to see these people as having their own quirks and foibles. I will warn you, there is a LOT of cursing, so if you have kids nearby, watch it on your laptop and wear headphones. Your family members will still likely look at you strangely as you sometimes fall out of your chair laughing like a loon. The show mixes drama and humor equally, though it leans more toward the funny. Some scenes had me nearly hysterical (two words: ski jump). It also touches on other topics, like racism and immigration, especially with the Muslim population. There's also sex and an unexpected pregnancy; someone gets to be a first-time Dad at an older age. Van Zandt is great as a mafioso that is completely out of his element in the relatively peaceful place of Lillehammer (the show's title is also a play on his character's dog's name). He meets a motley assortment of people from all walks, ranging from the town's chief of police to members of a biker gang. And with all the snow that is on the ground for most of the show, it will also make you appreciate how much better you likely have it where you are. Follow @Hollywood_com //
  • 'White Collar' Recap: Coloring The Truth
    By: Michael Griffin Dec 20, 2013
    USA When the episode open, Neal Caffrey (Matt Bomer) and Rebecca (Bridget Regan) were in his bed, entwined after a vigorous night of ... ahem. She pressed him on the window and the Mosconi Codex, he said she was better off not knowing, since the other person involved was a Bad Person. She then left, clearly still smitten despite a brief awkward conversation with Mozzie (Willie Garson). Bomer and Regan clearly have chemistry and this doesn't seem forced, like Sarah (Hilarie Burton) was. Meanwhile, at the office, Agent Clinton Jones (Sharif Atkins) showed Peter Burke (Tim DeKay) a Welsh coin found at a pawn shop - one of the coins that had been stolen before. Caffrey and Mozzie then went to the church where the stained glass window was to determine how to steal it. Mozzie shot a pane out with some kind of pellet, which would necessitate a repair. Clever. Caffrey then went to work at the FBI office, where Burke showed Caffrey the coin. He said that he wasn't going to stop until he found out who stole it. Caffrey tried to look unaffected, but he looked more constipated than anything. The coin had been swiped by a nun ... yes, a nun. They decide to find a fence who dealt in these things. Caffrey said he'd got on the streets, and Burke wanted to go with him. Caffrey got him off the trail by saying that if the fence was new, he'd run if the FBI was seen sniffing nearby. Burke asked if Mozzie knew anyone and Caffrey replied that he was at a lunch and it would be bad to interrupt him. Burke called his wife, Elizabeth (Tiffani Thiessen), saying that he knew she had a lunch, but needed to stop by her office. Caffrey met Andrew Dawson, the prosecutor who had taken the bribe to let Burke go free before. He presented a Mutually Assured Destruction scenario and got the fence's name. Mozzie was waiting for Elizabeth, having a nice picnic set up. His phone bleeped, it was a text from her phone, which Burke had taken. Before the FBI agent could sit down, Mozzie dropped about five or more cell phones in a pitcher of water. Burke asked him about possible fences and Mozzie reluctantly told him (after Burke threatened to have an old case of his re-opened) about a fence named Karl Dekker in a flower shop. Mozzie happened to be persona non grata with Dekker, though. He told Burke to look for a sign with a tulip on it. Caffrey went to the area of the fence's place and found Burke wandering the same area. It turned out Mozzie had left a fact out - the color of the tulip. There were three signs with tulips of different colors. While Caffrey and Burke were dithering about the color, Mozzie slipped in and warned Dekker, who thought it better to escape than to extract any revenge on Mozzie. Seconds later Burke and Caffrey found guns, since Mozzie had interrupted an arms deal. Mozzie switched shoes with someone to escape, much to Burke's consternation. Mozzie and Caffrey reconvened later and Rebecca joined them. She implored Caffrey to let her in on the plan ... which he reluctantly agreed to. The plan was for Caffrey and Mozzie to slip in at 9am, since the glass repair people took a coffee break then. Rebecca kept the workers occupied by 'accidentally' dropping an earring in a sewer grate (as a native New Yorker, I hope she later boiled that earring several times). There was a third worker inside, but Mozzie steered him away with a secret handshake. Caffrey climbed up and stole the window. The three of them slipped away, but the worker immediately discovered the theft and was standing outside, puzzled, when Burke was in the area. Caffrey revisited the scene of the crime moments later, saying he had been buying a croissant. Skeptical, Burke told Jones, who said he was going to stake out Dekker's shop to see if he returned, to call him later regardless of the situation. He then went to Caffrey's and fielded the call. Jones told him that he hadn't found Dekker, but Burke was responding as if Jones had collared the fence. He then made as if he was going to go to the office to interrogate him and told Caffrey to come alone. This painted Caffrey into a corner - he confessed that he had taken the money. Burke was furious and ready to arrest him, but Caffrey told him why he had done it (leaving out the part that Curtis Hagen played in it). Caffrey laid it out - if Burke did arrest him, Burke's case would be re-opened and he would likely lose his job, which would devastate his family life. The FBI agent left him at home. The next scene was an intense conversation between Burke and Elizabeth.She felt that Caffrey had done the right thing. Burke, who always viewed things in the prism of right or wrong with no gray areas for justice, felt that he had been wrongly freed on false evidence and that he couldn't live with himself if he let that go. An angry Elizabeth said that he had better be absolutely sure that he was ready to do this act of professional suicide. Burke was at the office the next morning, watching a clearly uncomfortable Caffrey sit at his desk. In walked Jones with Dekker - he had come back and fallen into Jones' stakeout. Caffrey immediately realized he had been played. Upstairs in the interrogation room, Jones and Burke decided to hold the coins as leverage. Caffrey told him he realized that Burke had misdirected him and pointedly said that the ends justified the means there. Burke realized he needed to confront the dirty federal prosecutor. Caffrey offered to go, but Burke went alone. He presented his own Mutally Assured Destruction scenario - return the coins and resign or Burke would arrest him there, which would effectively end his own career. Caffrey was still sweating the situation but pressing ahead with Mozzie. They dissembled the stained glass window and Rebecca joined them. What they found was that if they looked at one piece of glass that was one color, it could reveal a message on another. This could also be used on the manuscript, but only the original. Which was in Hagen's possession. This did give them some leverage, though and Caffrey was mulling over how it could get him out from under Hagen's thumb for good. Dawson folded. He returned the money and resigned. Burke called Caffrey into his office and told him that news, but then said that it was a compromise ... one that he would never do again. He also realized that Caffrey did do what he did to help him.. but he also did it because he was a criminal. The trust was shattered now. Really. Yeah, right. Over the course of five seasons, the trust between the two has apparently been shattered more times than a herd of bulls running through the finest china shop. The next episode is in three weeks, with Hagen apparently taking Rebecca hostage. I'll see you all in the New Year for more recaps. 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  • 'Person of Interest' Recap: Broken Reese's Pieces
    By: Michael Griffin Dec 18, 2013
    CBS The episode opened with Sameen Shaw (Sarah Shahi) asking Harold Finch (Michael Emerson) where John Reese (Jim Caviezel) was. Finch said Reese would return when he was ready. Finch then ignored the Machine trying to give him numbers. It turned out Reese was at a bar in Colorado. Clearly still hurting from Joss Carter's (Taraji P. Henson) death, he walked away from saving someone who was being beat up and also he started drinking heavily. Back in New York at the Library, Root (Amy Acker) was somehow communicating with the Machine too and told him that he was still needed and that he shouldn't ignore Her, meaning the Machine. He decided to help out and recruited Shaw to take over in Reese's absence. She was sent to play doctor at a local hospital, since the Number was a guy with a terminal tumor: Arthur Claypool (Saul Rubinek). Finch seemed stunned at first when he saw Claypool's face on his computer monitor. The tumor was affecting Claypool's memory and he was saying things that shouldn't be leaked, possible state secrets, and he had a Secret Service detail monitoring him. There were a series of flashbacks throughout the episode, spanning a decade from 1969-79, with a young Finch and his increasingly-forgetful father who was suffering from what seemed like Alzheimer's. The phrase "If they want to keep me out, they need to build it better" was said often. It was interesting to see, though the flashbacks didn't illuminate much else about the character of Finch except to show how incredibly smart he was, which we all know anyways. Claypool's wife, Diane (Camryn Manheim) came to the hospital. After an unsettling scene where he kept saying he didn't remember Diane, Shaw talked Diane in the coffee room. It turned out Claypool never talked to her about his work. She was broken up over how he had changed. After the conversation, Shaw found Claypool out of his room. It turned out he was in radiology. Finch chirped in and told her that he was in the NSA, which meant he was likely shouting secrets that many Bad People would love to get their hands on. Seeing a security detail outside the radiology room, Shaw got in there via a more unconventional way, through a ceiling tile. She found a syringe with sodium pentothal: Claypool wasn't be examined, he was being interrogated. She saw the would-be interrogtor -- a woman -- leave the control room and then of course, the Secret Service burst in. Side note: Shahi was doing really good job playing the "Reese" role with Finch during this whole thing. Shaw was locked in a hospital office. A cell phone in a desk rang. It was Finch, who had driven to outside the hospital. He was reluctant to come inside, electing instead to try to figure out who was trying to interrogate Claypoool: it turned out to be a woman named named Elizabeth Ross. The agent began trying to question Shaw, who gave him a very hostile glare. They cut to Reese at the bar. He walked past a table with a guy reading the paper. He yanked off the cap the guy was wearing: it was Lionel Fusco (Kevin Chapman). Reese kept him at arms length, but Fusco was not going anywhere. Back at the hospital, the Secret Service agent interrogating Shaw got flushed and collapsed. His food was spiked. Shaw extricated herself and got to Clayman's room to try to get him and Diane to leave. There were people coming into the hospital: it was the Vigilance group I mentioned before. Things were going badly, Clayman was refusing to listen to Shaw, but then Finch came into the room. Clayman recognized him. Now mollified, Shaw and Finch got him out of his hospital bed, with Claypool reminiscing as they were walking along. Apparently the two went to M.I.T.. There was a brief shootout between Shaw and the Vigilance people, but Team Finch was able to get Claypool and Diane out. At a hotel, Finch was asking Claypool about the things that Vigilance was asking about in the radiology room - about someone named Rudy and a program called 'Samaritan'. It turned out -- get ready to have your minds blown here -- Claypool had made ANOTHER Machine. It could remember and learn and was a real AI. I'll wait while you process that. Claypool said that Samaritan was destroyed in the wake of 9/11 and also because someone had already built a machine (Finch tried to keep a poker face at that but seemed to fail miserably). At the bar, Reese chided Fusco for not drinking, only to have him retort that he was two years sober. It was because of Reese and then he got on him for his self-pity, saying that he wasn't the only one hurting. Reese said that that it was all pointless, which set Fusco off, since that pretty much intimated that the cop was pointless. Fusco decked Reese through the door outside and they fought, though Fusco lucked out, what with Reese having his reflexes dulled slightly by the drink. After a fight that was coordinated as well as a WWE match, police sirens broke it up. Carter would have probably smacked both of them for fighting. At the hotel, Claypool was arguing with Diane again, and Finch tried to reassure his friend that it was his memory playing tricks on him again due to the tumor. That's when Claypool said something chilling: "No. I remember my wife. I buried her two years ago." "Diane", realizing that that the ruse was up, spoke into her watch and a bunch of agents burst in, subduing Shaw at gunpoint after a bit of a fight. Then even more of a shock: The assassin, Hersh (Boris MacGiver) entered. To make matters even worse, it turned out that "Diane" was really Ma'am from Control, Shaw's previous employer. She said that only one person between Claypool and Finch would leave alive. It cut to the Machine calculating survival percentages (Shaw had nearly an 85% chance of dying - yikes). Then ... from somewhere ... Samaritan seemed to be activated again. The next episode is going to be on Jan. 7, which should be enough time for people to re-assemble their brains after all this. See you all in 2014. Follow @Hollywood_com //