Todd mason


"Sacrifice"

A well-mounted but unspectacular start for this new anthology series, from the folks who've brought us Masters of Horror on Showtime and Masters of Science Fiction on ABC in the U.S. The pilot's good to look at, but not so great to think about. Thirteen episodes have been promised by NBC, assuming the ratings hold, and while scheduling a horror- and suspense-drama hour after Last Comic Standing might seem an odd sort of "flow" for the night, it does therefore follow both CSI and Supernatural on other nets and might well gather at least a slice of their audiences.Producer/screenwriter Mick Garris adapted a short story by actor and bookseller Del Howison, who's been branching out into writing and anthology-editing; young director Breck Eisner has done some television hours and one theatrical feature, Sahara. The episode's production is top-notch, particularly since it's striving for the grimy, desperate feel that's become rather familiar in lots of recent US/Canadian horror films...t... read more

"When Worlds Collide"

A season finale a swan song for Diane Farrs Megan Reeves and not quite a cliffhanger when in comes to Charlies future involvement with the FBIEven given this is a show about an FBI unit and the CalTech-style academics who work with them this series only infrequently runs head-on into political matters but producers and episode-writers Cheryl Heuton and Nicholas Falacci have something to say about the National Security State and its sometimes blind disruption of scientists work and sometimes of innocent peoples lives And so this scenarioa DC-based FBI counterterrorism expert is called out to the LA offices when two Pakistani-immigrant professionals are kidnapped by unknown assailants The two are part of a Pakistani charity agency which is under scrutiny by the FBI as a potential money-launderer for terrorist activity The two kidnap victims are found tortured before they were murdered but not before one of faculty at the CalTech analog another Pakistani immigrant read more

"Pay to Play"

This was a very solid episode of Numb3rs for all that it does take for granted a number of things that one might question such as the gangster-wannabe nature of many rappers going as far as to spray bullets into a rivals house or the quantifiability of pop-music success either theoretically or via payolaAt a rap-labels promotion party its two most successful artists are highlighted when a self-recordingpromoting rapper who resents the label-owner at least crashes and demands to be heard Hes rushed offstage but the most popular artist on the label seems less than thrilled with how things are happening around himhe steps out gets in his car and is cut down by gunfire in front of a number of witnesses Since the FBI was already working a case against the record label for drug distribution Liz Warner is on-scene and invites Dons unit in to poke around as well albeit they seem to have left the corpse in his car an improbably long time at that point The disgru read more

"My Princess"

Even though by showing it tonight as the last episode of Scrubs NBC intends to air it violates internal chronology Bob Kelso is magically back in charge at Sacred Heart I can see why they kept this charming episode for the season finale And possible series finale though it does seem more likely than not according to various sources on this site and elsewhere that ABC will commission and run at least a few more episodes to make a full seasons worth for the last setUsing a framing device that as others will remind you resembles that of William Goldmans novel The Princess Bride and the film made from it we have the intersecting stories of Elliot and JD attempting to diagnose a young woman patient of Elliots who seems to be getting worse no matter how her symptoms are treated and that of a bedtime story Cox tells his young son which is inspired by the days events in the hospital including Kelsos maniacal drive to ensure no doctors are working overtime and therefore read more

"Atomic No. 33"

An episode that was more of a straightforward mystery than usual with multiple suspects in the murders of various members of a Christian-offshoot sect that could very easily be called a cult and indeed is classified that way by state and Federal authorities Also an episode which gave a little space for Don and Robin to be playful with each other and for Larry to begin to articulate the discontent which is starting to color his life The title refers to the place in the chemists Periodic Table of arsenicIn the compound of the sect which like Christian Science and some other faiths prefers to avoid standard allopathic medicine a social event is disrupted by what turns out to be poisoned coffee laced with enough arsenic to sicken the assembledand just a little too much more It turns out that the recently installed minister and his son have ulterior motives in their involvement with the church--they are con men playing as Megan notes a life con to exploit the congrega read more

"My Waste of Time"

And were back to a merely watchable episode albeit one with some inspired bits of business not least a flashback involving Ken Jenkins as the now-retired KelsoKelso has left and Perry Cox is the new Chief of Medicine a fact he insists everyone recognize by addressing him and referring to him as Chief Doctor Cox nonetheless the bureaucratic responsibilities of the office dont sit well with him Jordans presence is at best only mildly helpful with that albeit she does give Cox someone to enumerate his woes with Ted notes that he is now Coxs subordinate and offers the same sort of slavish assistance he provided Kelso till the Janitor points out to Ted that he doesnt have to continue toadying that with Cox he can make a fresh start The exuberant Ted not only begins asserting himself with Cox who is only slightly puzzled but with the Janitor as well who finds himself no longer the undisputed leader of his little group of hospital misfits Meanwhile Turk is co read more

"End Game"

A good episode with a lot of reunions in it and only one heavily telegraphed goof on the part of our agents Aya Sumika returns as Liz Warner Bil Nye as Bill Waldie Sharif Atkins as fugitive Clay Porter and the continuing presence of Michelle Nolden as Robin Brooksand Don is even showing that he mightve finally learned something about balancing work and love lives with a partner We also get to see the still slightly shaggy more irascible than usual paterfamilias Alan Eppes attempting to force some environmentally-friendly but irritating upgrades on the house only to have Charlie return the favor by counterproposing upgrades that would incovenience Alan instead I suspect that this thread of restless and slightly snappish and unshaven Alan is likely to make itself more important by seasons endOne could also see the groundwork being laid for Larrys eventual departurehe has a slightly underexplicated crisis of faith in his project seeking the Higgs boson and a read more

"My Dumb Luck"

An episode that could stand comfortably with any of the previous seasons episodes the first one in this stymied season that I can write that about without hesitationAnd of course I failed to heed my own advice and forgot that NBC changed time slots for the show on Thursdays to 830p ETPT so missed it last night and caught it today on NBCs website But its a fine sendoff for Ken Jenkinss Kelso with the A story devoted to Elliot and Carlas attempts to rally folks to attend a meeting of the hospitals board of directors to get them to rescind Kelsos forced retirement at age 65 Kelso had falsified his age on HR documents so as to buy himself some time The B story is mostly devoted to Kelsos reminisces about his life at the hospital as delivered to a young intern named Boone or Boon which Kelso with characteristic charm refers to as a stupid name The C story involves Cox unable to diagnose a chronically ill patient whos been in and out of Sacred Heart for mont read more

"My Manhood"

Angela Nissel the writer who perhaps has made the most of her or his association with Scrubs is credited with this amiable episode and while she does offer a few good wild concepts one of the true pitfalls of the aging sitcom is in evidence here the attempt to make well-rounded characters out of roles which are best preserved as devices Bob Kelso grounded just enough so that he isnt just a two-dimensional two-faced ogreis funny and at times sobering or acidly touching most obviously in the episode where the audience gets to see what he hides from his staff how much life and death decisions take out of him every day Bob Kelso tragic figure who has to depend on Elliot and Carla and for goodnesss sake eventually Cox to rescue him from forced retirement considerably less effective in every wayBut then that last wasnt the only unlikely development in this thinly-plotted but incident-rich episode The A-storyline Turk has apparently returned from a weeks visi read more

"Checkmate"

This was Alimi Ballards Sinclairs episode and a mostly if not subtly comic episode for Charlie David Krumholtz in rougly equal measures and falls to the middle range for the series despite some nice setpieces in Sinclairs attempts to encourage a bright young man to reconsider becoming a bright young thug And this episode marks the temporary return of Robin Brooks Michelle Nolden Dons short-term flame in the US Attorneys officeThe episode begins with three attempts at murder of witnesses two essentially successful albeit one victim survives long enough to give a dying declaration to Robin whos prosceuting the case in question against a resourceful gang lord In the third the would-be hit man is killed instead In the one immediately successful case the hitwoman makes a point of explaining that shes pulling on gloves to avoid leaving fingerprints in a car that shes already handled without gloves avoiding gunpowder residues on her hands would make m read more

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