With Tessa's help, Shannen Doherty's Alexandra seizes control of the Grand Waimea from Vincent and utters the most loathed and overused catchphrase since "Where's the beef?" — "You're fired." Alexandra may be a viper, but the words lacked bite without The Donald's signature cobra hand gesture. Anyhow, because of the baseball playoffs, we're gonna have to wait until November for new episodes. But there is one consolation: The show's moving to Thursdays, where it will be paired with The O.C. as a sudsy alternative to NBC's Sort-Of See lineup of Joey, Will & Grace and The Apprentice, and CBS heavy hitters Survivor and CSI.
Thankfully, Malcolm-Jamal Warner says tonight what I said about Jason Alexander's mouthy daughter last week: "I never would have gotten away with what she does. My father would have brought the hammer down." And while I was never as insolent as this kid is, I do have to admit that on the rare occasions I did get grounded (usually my phone privileges were revoked), I employed a similar tactic to the ones this daughter uses, sitting next to my mother on the couch, sighing pathetically until I wore her down to the point where she'd throw the phone at me just to get rid of me. (That said, I feel compelled to also disclose that I've been a legal adult for 13 years and I still haven't gotten my second set of earring holes because Mom told me not to when I was a teen.)
So it's a reunion of sorts as Vanessa Marcil's former 90210 costar James Eckhouse pops up as a former CIA op with an ax to grind with Big Ed. All in all, it was a pretty cool episode in which Josh Duhamel and James Lesure put their handsome heads together to clear their boss's name when he's arrested for murder. Turns out Papa Walsh wants to avenge his brother's death, which Big Ed had more than a little to do with. So, of course, the boys trick Eckhouse into believing that they're actually from "the Company," sent to protect him, but what the heck kind of government agent reveals how he framed someone so quickly? It took like 60 seconds for him to open up and expose his dastardly deed to Danny, a confession all conveniently caught on surveillance video. Oh, wait a minute. This is TV....
Everybody Loves Raymond
Of course Marie and Frank got kicked out of their retirement community. And of course they come back to reclaim their house from Robert and Amy. And of course Amy's old apartment has already been rented so they have to share the house with their parents. What I didn't expect was for Ray to finally stand up to his overbearing folks: "I always think, 'Why can't Mom and Dad get along with Debra and me? And Robert? And Amy?' And I say to myself, 'Maybe it's us, because they're the parents and we're supposed to respect them and honor them.... Maybe it's us.' But today, after 40 years, I think I've actually figured something out: It's not us. It's you. People, from your own World War II world, have spoken — and it's you!"
Two and a Half Men
After years of playing goofy Lewis on The Drew Carey Show, it was refreshing to see Ryan Stiles playing straight man opposite Jon Cryer's sad-sack Alan. As Alan's ex's new beau, his subtle, deadpan reactions to Alan's neurotic antics cracked me up more than most episodes of Whose Line Is It Anyway? ever did. I just wish my favorite Carey alum, Diedrich Bader, would get better gigs than those silly JC Penney commercials. (And yes, I spotted upcoming TV Guide coverboy Charlie Sheen perusing one of our digests — we see everything.)
A blind girl is the only witness to a crime. Didn't I see the same thing on Without a Trace last week?
Obviously Blair Underwood's plane wasn't going to crash, but I still thought this episode was engrossing enough to neglect CSI: Miami tonight. I promise to watch next week, when a newbie — and, sorry, dang cute — CSI is brought in to replace Rory Cochrane. (In an aside to the readers who wrote in asking why Cochrane was let go: I have no firsthand info myself, but I did come across a pretty interesting interview with him at www.csifiles.com.) So, anyway, we get to know more about Roger's life, specifically his gambling problem and his troubled marriage. Speaking of wedded bliss, is it me or is Heather Locklear's Harley acting so much more like Roger's wife than, well, Roger's wife? Domestic discord aside, I thought Eddie's fear-of-flying subplot was clever, although I have a hard time believing the whole formation-flying emergency-landing scenario. How could an antique prop plane keep up with, let alone fly in front of, that big old jet airliner?
The Tonight Show
That Jay Leno is one class act, as evidenced during his humble and generous announcement that Conan O'Brien will replace him as host when he retires in 2009:
"I don't think that there's a better choice. Because, you know, when I took this show over, there was a lot of animosity between me and Dave [Letterman] and who's gonna get it, and, quite frankly, a lot of good friendships were permanently damaged. And I don't ever want to see anybody have to go through that again. This show is like a dynasty: You hold it and then you hand it off to the next person. And I don't want to see all of the fighting and 'Who's better?' and nasty things back and forth. So right now, here it is: Conan, it's yours. See you in five years, buddy."
The show was full of fun clips from the past 50 years, too many to mention here, but I'll make one random observation: Did you see the sheer terror in guest cake presenter Oprah Winfrey's eyes as Jay force-fed her a heaping fingerful of icing? I thought I actually saw her eyes glaze over from sugar shock.
Quote of the Night
"I didn't turn down nuthin' but my coat collar." — Taxi star Queen Latifah, raving about the food in Italy.