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
It's been three long years since an original Family Guy aired, and creator Seth MacFarlane and his crew haven't missed a beat. Nice dig at the beginning when Peter listed a slew of other Fox shows that have come and gone. But, for the record, Undeclared and The Tick were two that, in their own way, were just as undeserving of the network ax. I defy you buy the Tick DVD and not have a new appreciation for Suddenly Susan's Nestor Carbonell. (If you love sharp superhero parody, you should seriously consider picking up this collection. And then have a snack and beverage after your purchase.) Anyway, what's great about this show is that it's not just one type of humor. There's the purely scatological kind, which included Peter playfully calling his wife, Lois, a "foul, venereal-disease-carrying, street-walking whore." Then you have loads and loads of biting satire and pop-culture references — in this episode everything from a crazed Mel Gibson to the mysteries of Bed, Bath & Beyond and George Lopez to a wry tribute to Garfield and his adorable nemesis Nermal the kitten (which I sadly understood because I bought those books when I was, like, 11).
And finally, there's my favorite kind of joke: the random, usually senseless riffs that go on and on for at least one more beat than you'd think, like this one:
Peter: "Well, what're we supposed to do, Lois? Just admit that there's no excitement left in our marriage, go home and spend the rest of our lives looking at each other across the breakfast table talking about how much we both like Total?"
Lois: (brightening) "Oh, I love Total!"
Peter: "Ooooh, actually, so do I! And it's healthy for us, too! — Oh, god, it's starting already. Lois, we're screwed!"
(By the way, Total is indeed delicious, but in terms of taste alone, is it really any different from Wheaties? Cinnamon Toast Crunch is the all-time best.)
But please, for the sake of all that is holy and pure, let's make this the last installment where we see a nearly naked Peter. No one (except maybe Lois) needs that. — DS
I may be wrong, but unless Nickelodeon's The Fairly OddParents did something similar in a recent episode, I'm pretty sure this was the first animated parody of "bum fights." The second show of the night for Seth MacFarlane (Family Guy) was, like its predecessor, full of rapid-fire jokes (including a clever jab at Donald Trump's endless self-promotion). But CIA agent Stan Smith and his family just didn't seem as appealing as the Griffins. And that's saying something, considering baby Stewie's homicidal disdain for his mother. It's endearing to see Stan almost assassinate his wife... and yet, there's something lacking. Let's just say that if you've already created a groundbreaking animated program centered around a suburban family, maybe the next series should be something set in a vastly different environment. Matt Groening's Futurama was in the same "universe" as The Simpsons, but everything else was quite different. Well, except for the pervasive lack of chins. — DS
This week is the week I'm forced to admit to my failing memory. (Ah, 40 — you are a cruel, cruel age.) Have we seen Al Swearengen put his glasses on much before, or have I just missed it all this time? Either way, it lends him a bit of a Homer Simpson air, doesn't it? Almost cute — as cute as a conniving sociopath with a bucket or two of blood on his name can be, anyway.
"F--k off," Miss Isringhausen tells a nosey and hovering E.B. Utterance of the hour, that. And speaking of Utter, Charlie earns the episode's award for truth. "Money must buy these bastards any f---in' thing they want!" he yells after Bullock has to pull him out of the Bella Union, thereby likely saving him a bullet to the head. Pretty much, yeah. And as he says, an "amalgamation of capital" is what's changing everything. Always does.
On to the biggest lie, though. "You want the bath?" Joanie asks Calamity Jane. "I may well get to that," our hard-drinking hellion replies. Somehow, I doubt that. And one more exchange worth quoting: "You're not only a f---in' pain in the b---s, Charlie, but also the strangest f---in' person I ever met," Jane says. "You'll get no argument here," he replies. Which is why he's one of my favorite characters.
Now, here's a question. Do you really think Miss Isringhausen would sell her loyalty for 5000 bucks after just one threat from Al? I'm betting no. I'm betting she's not the kind to give in so easily, if for no other reason than the fact that her employer probably pays better in the long run. And while I'm on that, have we ever heard her say for sure who she works for, or are we relying quite a bit on Al's theories? Could there be a surprise coming on that front? (Again, my memory's going, folks — and the calendar pages aren't turning any slower.)
And oh, man — poor little William, huh? That's the toughest thing about this show: As soon as you see even the slightest hint of kindness — Tom treating the kid to a bike ride in this case — brace yourself. No good deed goes unpunished on Deadwood. — Michael Peck
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 Anderson
It's astounding how clever the Cold Case writers were tonight: Time was running for keeping a serial killer (played by Rocky Horror Picture Show's Barry Bostwick) locked up; they did the time warp and found another murder he committed and managed to throw in oodles of catchy RHPS songs along the way. Brilliant.... On Extreme Makeover: Home Edition, they built a house for a shooting victim who'd lost his sight. Sweet. But the show got annoying when megaphoned Ty found that the head contractor liked megaphones as much as he did. Ah, nothing says motivation like being screamed at from both directions.
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