This Week on Television – March 17-23

Though most of the episodes which aired this week (other than the mid-season return of FlashForward) had no reason to be more spectacular that usual – they were not premiering or concluding, they are not going on any extended breaks – the plots were exciting and the events game changing, making me anticipate next week’s episodes even more than usual…except in the case of Caprica.

FlashForward: Revelation Zero, parts 1 & 2 – The return of FlashForward gave us some answers and a lot more questions about what caused the blackout and who is behind it all. Sure, the machinations of the evil villain Flosso weren’t all that impressive, but the depth of Simon (Dominic Monaghan)’s character was revealed to us, which both pleased and surprised me. He is not the villain of the piece, but he is Suspect Zero, yet he knows not much more than we do about what is going on. And if that wasn’t enough to compel you to keep watching, then the threat of yet another blackout might just have that appeal. Plus, don’t you want to know if Demetri (John Cho) will survive and if the events of April 29th will happen as predicted?

Caprica: The Ghost in the Machine – For the penultimate episode before the mid-season break, not a whole lot happened. Daniel Greystone (Eric Stoltz) tried to taunt Robot-Zoe (Alessandra Torresani) into admitting she still existed within the machine, but despite fire and pet-murder (which was not a real possibility considering the gun was loaded with blanks) she refused to show herself. So nothing was accomplished there. Otherwise, Joseph Adama (Esai Morales), whom I continue to have difficulty believing sired Bill Adama, though perhaps I now get where Lee came from, pussyfooted his way around V-world to find his daughter…which he did not accomplish either. Let’s just hope they give us something amazing next week, or the break might be permanent for me.

Spartacus: Blood and Sand: Whore – Now here was a show where a whole lot did happen, and it was quite magnificent. The tension in the friendship of Lucretia (Lucy Lawless) and Ilithyia (Viva Bianca) continued to rise, particularly as Lucretia seems to be also developing a friendship with Ilithyia’s supposed friend, but mostly rival, Licinia. When men play at politics, friendship, and plotting, it never gets so messy as when the women do it. Ilithyia, following Licinia’s lead and wishing to take a gladiator for her lover, requests Crixus, whom Lucretia is reluctant to share. And by reluctant, I mean she pitched the most terrible hissy fit about the matter, screaming and cruing and throwing expensive things about. Things easily escalate from there, as Lucretia, refusing to share, gives Ilithyia Spartacus (Andy Whitfield) instead. Perhaps this act might have been enough, but Lucretia had to bring Licinia in with her. And Ilithyia, mocked and humiliated and hysterical, responds by bashing her rivals skull in to the marble floor until the once lovely face is a ruin. An image to always keep in mind before mocking a rival.

The Pacific: Part 2 – The horrors of Guadalcanal came down just as hard this week as they did last. Fighting starvation and disease, the soldiers picked up their guns and fought whenever they had to, wherever they had to. The story of desperation was highlighted when the marines, having suffered for some time, stole supplies from the newly arrived army. And if that wasn’t enough, we got to watch as the men sat in trenches shooting on-coming soldiers with machine guns. I always thought this tactic was completely insane, but if it had not been for the vigilance and bravery of a few men, particularly John Basilone (Jon Seda) who not only brought more ammunition but also ran into no-man’s land to clear the shooters’ lines of sight and picked up a hot gun to carry it to a new location, giving himself 3rd degree burns, the tactic of running at enemy lines would have worked. Machine guns are not much use when they have no bullets. The sentiment of the entire episode was summed up in Basilone’s face when his superior told him he would be put up for a medal for his efforts in that battle – after the hell he’d just been through, what good is a medal?

Chuck: Chuck vs The Final Exam – Yes, Chuck (Zachary Levi)  had his final spy test, the final test of all his abilities, which determined whether he was, indeed, a spy, or whether he was no more than a Buy More employee. This episode is a game-changer, though we still don’t know how everything is going to change, but change it must, for Chuck is a spy. He no longer needs a team, backup, certainly not handlers; he is supposed to go to Europe and work from there. The only problem is that, while Sarah (Yvonne Strahovski) thinks he passed his test, he didn’t.  He was supposed to kill a man, but Casey (Adam Baldwin) did instead, and so Chuck is left still confused in his uncertain life. If he didn’t actually pass the test, but everyone thinks he did, does that still make him a spy?

Castle: Tick, Tick, Tick…: Castle is one of the best shows on television – definitely the best procedural drama. And it is continually getting better. In this episode, not only did we have some nutjob who is obsessed with Nikki Heat, the character which Castle (Nathan Fillion) created and based on Beckett (Stana Katic), but we also got a FBI with super-cool gadgets and some major sexual tension between our two leads. And, it surprised me, which is rare. I fully expected the FBI agent to get blown up in Beckett’s stead, since, of course, you can kill a guest character. Instead, Beckett is the one whose apartment went up, just as the episode ended, and I cannot wait to find out what happens next!

So, are you beside yourself to watch next week’s episodes of these shows? And don’t forget, it’s the Caprica mid-season finale on Friday, and Supernatural, Vampire Diaries, and V are all coming back from hiatus. If you are looking for a more detailed commentary on any of these shows (or some others), you can find them at Insights of a TV Addict.