When Gabrielle went into the pharmacy's rest room to use her brand-new pregnancy test, you knew it wasn't going to be pretty. But her off-screen "Son of a bitch!" followed by a courteous "You're out of toilet paper" to George was easily the funniest moment of the episode. However, the tensest moment was a toss-up. Paul not-so-subtly threatening Susan was certainly up there. I am so thankful though, that, in what may be a first in television history, someone actually pretended to just go along with a villain until they were out of harm's way. Susan screws up a lot of things, but actively avoiding a murderer isn't one of them. Her postexplosion decision to call a private investigator coincidentally, the same one Paul used (Richard Roundtree) ought to be interesting. With Zach on the road (or lane) to snapping like a psychotic twig, it can't hurt to have some protection (assuming the P.I. stays on Susan and Julie's side). Maybe Zach can compare notes with George, who seems to get a little more maniacal each time we see him.
Tom and Lynette's marriage took an ugly and uncomfortable turn. That last scene, where they both said way more than they should have, was (purposely) painful to watch. (Suddenly, those rambunctious boys aren't their biggest problem.) The question is whether we'll discover the secret Tom confided to Ryan O'Neal before the end of the season. Well, as long as he didn't sleep with Gabrielle, it should be OK. Danny Spiegel
When did Patrick Dempsey turn into a stud? Let us all think back to 1987 and Patrick's starring role in Can't Buy Me Love. He was a dweeb with a capital D. Eighteen years later, just look at him. At 39, he's TV's newest heartthrob. Like John Stamos, the older Patrick gets, the better. I wish I had that problem.
But one of tonight's biggest highlights was the moment Bruce Weitz's patient character stopped shaking I got chills (they were multiplying). Dave AndersonMONDAY
Amy Abbot is such a smart girl. Not just because she's got the grades to get into Princeton, but the fact that she caught on to Ephram's wishy-washy ways and handled the situation in such a mature way, by politely ditching his sorry butt. (God, I wish I'd been half as composed and together in my senior year of high school.) While I feel for Ephram's baby drama, his revelation that he never had any long-term intentions for a relationship with the person he was supposedly madly in love with? I can't just chalk that up to the current situation. I just think that the small-town girl could do so much better than this city boy who is getting too big for his britches. Especially and I say this as a hetero female if he couldn't see what a hottie Amy was in that sexy new dress. (BTW, I know many of you complained that I was too hard on Ephram last week, but a whopping 76 percent of people who voted in our poll yesterday agreed that the moody boy isn't handling the whole Amy thing well.)
But poor Mama Abbot. I just thought she was going through early menopause. Then the look of excitement on Dr. Crankypants' face when he thought that he was going to be a third-time parent was almost as adorable as when he started skipping through town when he found out his other offspring got into New Jersey's Ivy League school. And speaking of N.J., note to Amy's little pals: I don't think she'll need Mace or any other sort of weapons to survive in the Garden State. Besides, the Sopranos takes place in North Jersey, nowhere near Princeton.
And I was so glad to see Dr. Dimples' brother leave town. I get that he's worried about his big bro's lifestyle switcheroo, but planting seeds of doubt while his older sib is thinking about setting down roots? That's just not nice. And so rude to do it in front of Andy, which led to a heart-to-heart and then to Jake spilling the beans about Nina's long-time lusting after Doc Brown. You know that is just going to put a damper on poor Bailey's love affair... and did anyone else catch the offhand line about Jake's brother being an alcoholic and have a PO5 moment? Angel Cohn
Here's a surefire way to make sure your girlfriend breaks up with you: bust into the operating room where her estranged husband is having surgery due to injuries he sustained saving your life just a few hours earlier. Hold the surgeon at gunpoint and insist he work on your wounded prisoner who has much-needed terrorist information. Let your girlfriend get hysterical as her husband dies on the table as a result of the neglect. (Yep, it's really over.) I don't know about you, but I was rolling my eyes over that one. Did we really need such a bizarre twist in an otherwise great ep? Palmer authorizing the illegal capture of the Chinese terrorist helping Marwan? Jack breaking into the Chinese consulate, risking his life to grab Lee Jong? The Chinese consul getting shot during Jong's capture, raising suspicion of U.S. involvement? (Um, Jack knows that his smash-and-grab was the political equivalent of invading China, right? And how many people now know about this?) If that wasn't enough drama, how about Michelle getting all steamed when she finds out Tony's been living with someone? And Buchanan losing his cool when he finds out that Tony kept him out of the loop when he ran the mission to capture Jong? Or Chloe worrying that she's "all psycho" because she didn't feel anything when she killed Marwan's associate? So who's gonna lose it first? (I say Chloe.) So many great leads. But in the meantime, let's hope that Jong survives his surgery, or else Audrey will be the least of Jack's worries. Robin Honig
OK, I know I said I was done with this one, but you know how it is. Time heals everything, blah, blah, blah. Constantine wasn't going to win anyway, and with two themes tonight the relics, er, classics of Leiber and Stoller and tunes from this week's Billboard charts there's twice the chance that He Who Shall Not Be Named could warble his way right out of our hair. Besides, we all need to work together or the reality terrorists at votefortheworst.com will have won! Oh, and as a Weight Watchers graduate, I need to stress that I am so not hating on anyone because of their size, aiight? I'm hating on them because they should have been kicked to the curb weeks ago. Way before some other talents. And even more so now that they're getting lippy about sticking it to Simon and not going home until they conquer the Great White Way. Yeah, 'cause Justin Guarini's Beach Boys musical did so well, right?
Carrie Underwood: Aside from looking a little scared every now and then, Country Girl's got chops of the gods. That "Trouble" number was fun, fun, fun, and whoever Melodie Crittenden is, she owes Carrie a big old thank-you for clueing us in to her beautiful "Broken Road."
He Who Shall Not Be Named: As much as I'm loath to say it, this was a very respectable "On Broadway." Those strong vocals almost had me forgetting his tired pointy-nger hand-reach move. Too bad he had to go and undo any goodwill I had going with that cocky 'tude of his. And after a middling facsimile of Brian McKnight's "Everytime You Go Away," no less! Ahh, wouldn't that be beautiful irony.
Anthony Fedorov: Ooof. I think I just got a rash from his "Poison Ivy." That's a shame. Thankfully, Cowell and I are on the same page about A-Fed's take on the Backstreet Boys' "Incomplete." Very well done. And not a bad way to spend your 20th birthday, huh? Still, it may be time.
Vonzell Solomon: Oh, Baby V, I'll treat you nice. And not just because Paula was loving you like Corey Clark only wishes. Voice like buttah. As for the second selection, Simon is obviously huffing, because I'm thinking Idol's benefit single, "When You Tell Me That You Love Me" would totally not suck if it were her soaring solo rendition. Or if she just called me. That would help, too.
Bo Bice: No clue what Paula meant by "you color it all up with Bo," but as always, I'm with the Bice Squad here: This month's Smoking Gun-runner can stand by me anytime. Especially if he can keep making think that Los Lonely Boys' "Heaven" doesn't actually blow. Oooh, sorry. No pun intended, Bogart. — Damian J. Holbrook
The Amazing Race
I tell ya, I would not want to be around Meredith the next time he sees a red double-decker bus. He's been so amiable and even-keeled throughout the race, it's probably safe to say that he has never been as outwardly angry and aggravated as he was during that road block (especially around attempts six and seven). Let's remember, he was the man who last week named his figurine "Jerome the Gnome." I mean, that's a nice guy. Gretchen, his equally nice wife, was getting so fed up that her exclamation "Oh... shoot!" was frighteningly close to an actual swear word. But can you blame either one of them? After that entire leg, it came down to pure driving ability and that's it. (I feel a tiny bit sadistic saying this, but the quick-cut editing of the various bus mishaps, frustrations and blowups of the final three teams was both brilliant and hilarious.) I'm sure I'm not alone when I say that I'll miss Meredith and Gretchen. As a genuinely touched Phil said, they were an inspiration.
Almost forgot: For whatever warped reason, I found myself laughing out loud during Uchenna and Joyce's visit to Sirkeci train station. Just as they're taking in this beautiful ritual of spinning and chanting, we abruptly cut to the "Rip!" of a clue envelope being opened. It was sorta like, "What a wonderful, solemn experience now, let's get going."
Hey, next week's the big finale. Oh, and like I won't be screaming like a crazy person for the shaved-head couple to win? DS
Ummm... holy cow! Best episode ever. I don't say that lightly and it wasn't even the season finale. I figured out pretty early in that Duncan was the one who raped Veronica, or at least took advantage of her mostly unconscious state. But the rest of this heart-racing episode kept me guessing right up until the very last scene, when her supposedly rehabbing mom returned home. Did P.I. Daddy pick her up on the way back from meeting with the stripper in Vegas? And if she's home before her stint is up at the poor teen's Betty Ford, did Veronica waste her college fund? I sure hope not, since she sure isn't getting any money from Duncan or the rest of the Kane family. Even though her pops was the one who flew to Havana to pick up the runaway. Did anyone else notice the Cuba poster on V's wall? Did Duncan see that once when he was over and get inspired, or do they think alike because they are supposedly related? Wait, I still can't wrap my head around the fact that they are brother and sister and they slept together. No wonder Duncan has angry fits and smashes up cars. I can't wait for Keith to get those paternity results, because something tells me that Mrs. Kane just told Duncan that vicious bit of info so he'd stay away from her husband's lover's daughter.
And Logan... Logan, Logan, Logan. Please tell me that the cameras in the pool house were one of his daddy's little proclivities before he became all Zen and that the younger Echolls just forgot they were there. I was thrilled that he wasn't the one who drugged and raped Veronica, because I fell hard for him after he stood up in front of all his "friends" and pronounced the school outcast his girlfriend. This emotional roller coaster is so taxing for me that I can't even imagine what it is doing to Veronica. Though, as her proud papa pointed out earlier in the episode, "She's not your average 17-year-old." Hello, understatement of the year. I thought Amy Abbot was all mature for the way she handled her noncommittal boyfriend. What passes for normal in Neptune would rock Everwood's world. I know it shook up mine. Kudos to the writing crew, who not only brought in just about every high-schooler Veronica ever helped, but also for getting me to actually stand up and shout at my TV. I was jumpy because of all the aforementioned drama, but when Veronica lied to Wallace I nearly went through the roof. Then, of course, the world's tiniest detective redeemed herself, boggling her best pal's mind in the process. If the writing staff keeps up the good work in next week's season finale, they'll probably have me gasping for air. Thank you again, UPN, for renewing this show for another year. This is the best cardio workout I get all week as a confirmed couch potato. ACWEDNESDAY
I just don't get Locke. Why would he give Sayid a gun and then tell him that he was the one who hit him upside the head and foiled his plan to find the source of the French transmission? Sure, he had that whole hooey excuse about how he didn't want them all to die because of whatever had killed the former islanders, but he just shouldn't have told him. Some things are best kept secret, especially on Magical Mystery Island. His timing was also strange when he crashed Boone's funeral, where he was about as welcome as a mistress who shows up and wails over the coffin while the grieving wife and family look on in disbelief. Did that bright hatch-light fry some of his brain cells or is he just plain crazy?
One thing that did make sense was Sayid's 24-style backstory, where he was used as bait for a terrorist group in order first to find and then save the woman he loved and helped escape from an Iraqi prison. That he spent seven years searching for her says a lot about the kind of man he is and that was only compounded by the shocker that he wasn't meant to be on Oceanic 815, but that he cared enough about his deceased friend to change flights so he could give him a proper burial. Maybe if Shannon knew what we do, she'd be less quick to judge and hold a grudge against the conflicted but lovesick hero.
Love that all the heavy drama was so perfectly tempered with the funny moments like Hurley and Charlie trying to sing to Claire's kid, aka "Turniphead"; the satisfied look on Kate's face when Jack realized she'd drugged him; and Sawyer being the only one who could soothe the screaming infant. Hey, I'm with the baby! Sawyer's Southern drawl is perfect for bedtime stories. AC
Primetime Live: Fallen Idol
What a load of crap! This Corey Clark is still so full of sour grapes about being kicked off Idol in 2002, you can practically see the cheap whine oozing out of his pores. Like we'd believe a bitter bad-check-passing wannabe who a) lied about b) being arrested for c) assaulting his little sister, that Paula Abdul coached him on song choice and the humpty-hump? Please, we all know she's clueless about music and, if you didn't notice, the dude's DL look makes Randy Jackson's Journey gear seem butch. Though it's no wonder this fairy tale is coming out now; based on what we heard, Clark's soon-to-drop CD needs all the press it can get. Hello, suck city. Even if the "I heard rumors back then" comment from that one ousted singer was kind of damning, it's telling that the so-called couple's trip to the cell-phone store wasn't verified on screen. Nor was there proof that any of those calls came from Abdul's number. All Clark has is one voice mail from her warning him about a rumor that he started in the first place! Besides, months before all of this blew up, Simon Cowell himself told me that contact with the contestants is kept "to a minimum... it's healthier for us and [those] in the competition." So if you think he'd allow this to go on backstage, ya'll got another think coming. But I think the strongest weapon against these charges is the always-up Abdul herself. In her e-mail to ABC, she calls Clark a flat-out "opportunist" and "a liar." Which is mighty tough talk from a woman who never met a compliment she didn't breathlessly utter. So you know she's gotta mean it. Straight up. DJH
Can Barbie survive without Ken? We'll see. The legendary plastic version ditched her boy toy after, like, 40 years and seems to be doing fine. Somehow I'm guessing little Jennifer won't be quite as lucky. Because no matter what befalls plastic Barbie, she always manages to keep a smile on her face, while Jenn's look of utter shock was a dead giveaway that she was scheming to pull a "Rob and Amber" to the final two. But she didn't look nearly as shocked as Coby, who nearly fell off his jury stump in delight at the chaos that has befallen the Kororians. It's really better off that Gregg left now; I mean his allegiance to Jenn had gotten to the stage where he actually asked her permission before taking down her target in the reward challenge. You just know that Probst was wishing he had a whip to crack at that point. Instead he had to settle for taunting them. It didn't really matter since Ken of course picked Barbie to go yachting with him, but their first date turned into an awkward threesome when they were able to bring Katie along, and then an outright party when friends and family members showed up. I'm guessing that seeing this now, Ian isn't too bummed about losing out on that particular reward, since he gets to swim with dolphins all the time, and it gave him and the other alpha male, Tom, a chance to pull a big strategic move. And then the super-tall guy who is getting way too skinny I'm worried about him! won the challenge that really mattered immunity. I thought he was making a HUGE mistake letting Katie in on the plan, but turns out that he was right. Go figure. Here's hopin' that move helps him make it all the way. AC
Oh, lord. Back-to-back episodes, the Nana, attempted rape, geek fights. We had it all. So let's just take it in small bites. Trust me, it's safer this way. (Times approximated due to ongoing tug-of-war with Pepito the Wonder Chihuahua over a Hermie the Dentist finger-puppet.)
8:07: The guys arrive in Miami; Seth morphs into Abe Vigoda.
8:17: The Nana! Linda Lavin looks fab, though Sandy seems verklempt about her sudden engagement.
8:18: Jess the coke whore busts Trey on his Marissa crush. Cue creepy music.
8:30: T.I. hits the stage at Spring Break. Kirsten hits the bottle at noon.
8:32: Look at Ryan's arms!
8:45: Sandy scares off the Nana's slickster beau with talk of prosecuting dudes who prey on old ladies with beachfront property. Zzzzach does it all for the gnocchi by cooking Italian for Summer. Marissa agrees to hang with Trey, rightfully deems The Notebook the best movie "like, ever." Kirsten spends Carter's farewell dinner guzzling her body weight in wine. Then his.
8:46: Carter gives Kiki one hell of a kiss goodbye before leaving for his new job. She decides she's had enough wine. Whoo hoo! But not enough vodka. Boo!
8:47: Summer jumps Zzzzach after watching Seth lick whipped cream off of Jaime King on MTV-ish "Spring Break" show. Is that Rochell Thomas?!
8:50: On the beach, things get Lifetime-movie-ugly between Trey and Coop.
8:57 Hermie the Dentist meets grisly end in 'Pito's nearly toothless jaws of death.
9:02: The guys return home. Sandy's fear of resembling Tony Blair quickly replaced by realization that wifey's "tomato juice" is 90-proof.
9:08: Julie Cooper in an apron fails to seduce Caleb with her Eggs Benedict.
9:12: Kiki's secretary delivers Carter's parting gift. Sales of ugly gold feather pendants triple on home-shopping channels across the U.S.
9:15: Seth declares war with Zzzach for quitting the graphic-novel as a ploy to woo Summer. "Wake up. I'm a water polo player. We're never nice." Pool-based jocks everywhere take offense, then realize Zzzach is a major tool and that we hate him.
9:30: Sandy finds Kirsten passed out like it's Cinco de Mayo. Hey, it is. Drink up, Kiki!
9:36: A battered Marissa hides her run-in with Trey from Ryan and his big arms.
9:40: Jess the coke whore gives Ryan and his big arms the wrong idea (see above).
9:45: Caleb serves Julie with divorce papers, pics of her hotel clinch with scuzzy Lance, brings up Luke, kicks her out of the mansion and ascends to the right hand of Satan. The graphic-novel launch turns into a Seth-Zach smackdown. Summer debuts a Little Miss Vixen with a Whip outfit, erasing memories of Season 1's Wonder Woman getup. Marissa flees in tears after makeout session with Ryan triggers Trey-matic flashbacks. Kirsten flees inebriated after Sandy implies that she's an unfaithful lush.
9:50 Marissa rips into stalker-y, remorseful Trey. Summer finally breaks up Seth and Zach's brawl and dumps 'em both. Ryan spies brother leaving girlfriend's, continues to get wrong impression, makes jealous face.
9:57 Kirsten the unfaithful lush's slurry cell-phone apology to Sandy cut short by oncoming truck. Jaws hit floor. Credits roll. — DJH
Upon first glance, the appearance of Marg Helgenberger's real-life husband Alan Rosenberg seemed to be a TV violation of Gigli's Law (viz., never act opposite someone you're involved with unless you're actually asking for trouble). But Rosenberg was dynamite as Adam Novak, a brutish lech who tried to pick Catherine up at the Hardball singles bar. After unwisely allowing Novak get to second in the parking lot, Catherine managed to stop him from getting to third, but in doing so she inadvertently smacked herself in the face with the car door. Naturally, when two lady bar patrons turned up dead, Novak became a suspect his courthouse keycard was found next to one victim and Catherine became a potential liability to the investigation. "We live in glass houses," says Grissom, sounding like "Dr. Gil." "You have to be careful where you take a shower." Helgenberger and Rosenberg later faced off with an intensity that reminded me of my sparring matches in karate class, where sometimes I'm kicked in the head (it's not so bad, really). Novak showed up at Catherine's house to a) claim innocence and b) call her a "bitch" for teasing him with her charms outside the bar. She responded by a) calling 911 and b) pulling a gun on him. In retrospect, Novak seemed too seemly to be anything but a red herring. However, I found the advances in stalker-technology fascinating the actual killer used a GPS transmitter unit to keep track of his victim/imaginary girlfriend. Wonderful what they can do nowadays. G. J. Donnelly