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Sons Of Anarchy 6.1, Straw Review

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Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

The penultimate season of Sons of Anarchy has exploded onto television in bombastic fashion, featuring a shocking scene derived from the Sandy Hook’s massacre that is sure to split opinions around the world, torture porn (the literal kind), more characters addicted to heroin, and some shots of Charlie Hunnan’s ass to tide women over until 50 Shades of Gray hits theaters. Accounting for all of this and more though, series show runner Kurt Sutter has painted a poetic picture of themes that symbolize all hope, trust, and friendship are gone; something that you can bet will pave the way to a Season full of more betrayal than ever before.

Two weeks have passed since the climactic ending of Season 5 that left SAMCRO’S Redwood Originals’ friendship in shambles and hanging on by a thread. Jax is lost and still torn between his mother Gemma and wife Tara (whom was arrested for unintentionally aiding Otto in killing a nurse), while the club itself lacks any direction on where to go,or who to trust.

All of the falling out has caused Bobby to relinquish his duties of club Vice President while Chib’s is now shown to have taken up the mantle. It’ll be interesting to see if throughout the Season he too cracks under the constant internal struggling that is sure to only expand within the titular motorcycle gang. Chib’s is easily one of the most likeable characters on the show too with his Scottish accent and more humorous dialogue, so here’s hoping he can maintain order but I get the feeling that in the gang’s current state, a Vice President badge doesn’t mean squat.

Multiple characters are still jailed including Clay, Tara, and Otto (whom is still on death row) and while they don’t have any interaction between each other, it’s some of their individual scenes that stand out among the highlights of the episode. The aforementioned highlights include a graphic prison rape scene on Otto as U.S Marshall Lee Toric continues to have him tortured by other inmates for the intentional death of his sister (he brutally murdered her with a cross if you forgot). Afterwards though we see that he’s not perfect himself as in an isolated bedroom it’s revealed to us that he is a heroin user; a revelation that is sure to spice up the arc even further. Admittedly however, it does feel like a randomly generated topping to further dramatize the dilemma. Nevertheless, the execution is what will truly matter and obviously remains to be judged.

Shifting back to our other inmates, Tara learns how to attain some prison credentials by fighting back after some inmate bullying, but what’s most tantalizing about her arc is how she willingly distances from her husband Jax, requesting that he cannot come to court hearings. She essentially feels ashamed of her current predicament and even utters something along the lines of “Jax can’t see me like this”. Meanwhile, Jax is practically handed on a platter from his mother Gemma that she is the one responsible for Tara in jail, causing Jax to become visibly upset with her for the never ending plotting and scheming that never fails to stir controversy. Nevertheless,Jax abides by his wife’s wishes and stays away from her but his inability to cope with being pushed away sets him down a path of adultery. The elements for a compelling arc are most definitely being planted here in what will inevitably unfold into a primary story arc.

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Other quick tidbits involved a scene of Tig giving Juice some good old comeuppance in the form of repeated closed fists as a long-awaited response to his Season 4 betrayal. An involvement of a new rival gang in the background of Iranians crops up with a shootout over their torture porn side business. It’s not too clear where the arc is heading yet but the shootout is broken up by a police squad led by a Peter Weller cameo. Finally, there is a reminder that Tig is still wanted dead and not off the hook for killing Pope’s daughter.

What anyone reading a review for this episode wants to have elaborated on however is the school shooting from a clearly disturbed and bullied child whom was seemingly injected into the show without explanation or dialogue. It was an absolutely incredibly racy and cruel scene to shoot, but for something so despicable it was tastefully executed in a way that will further the core narrative of Jax’s wish to distance himself from all of the violence, especially when you consider the gun came from somewhere within his band of outlaws. This is a plot point that could have come off sickening (and to some it probably did) but Kurt Sutter and FX filmed the scene with enough necessary restraint and precautions by not showing us the actual shooting. Instead, filming was wisely done from the school’s outside perspective with the distressing cavalcade of bullets audible, allowing you to reach the obvious conclusion of “people got mowed down”. In the end, Season 6 will benefit with engrossing television moving forward from treading on such a touchy subject. You know what they say, “Go big or go home”

My only real nitpicks are that it was a very disjointed episode constantly shifting not just from story to story, but character to character to character. It just never settled down into a logical flow and instead felt like a composition of scenes edited together randomly. And once again, I hope the decision to make Toric a drug addict from seemingly out of left field is handled more carefully than the writers saying “he takes heroin and gazes into a mirror naked, deal with it”. We need some believable exposition and back-story on that one.

It’s ultimately a solid opener though as some very interesting seeds were planted for the episodes to come. We were embraced with quite a bit of shock and mystery from events and key characters. The happenings should keep viewers coming back for more betrayals and twists, provided the school shooting scene didn’t rub them the wrong way of course. I have high hopes for this penultimate Season and feel that things are kicking off with a swift and relatively exciting bang.

What did you think of the Season 6 premiere? Let us know below!

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TV Review: The Newsroom 2.2 – “The Genoa Tip”

the newsroom 2.2

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

There is a concept out there called the Bechdel Test. The test is applied to various works of fiction, usually movies and TV shows, and it asks whether, within that work of fiction, two women are able to have conversations that are about something other than men. Not surprisingly, a great many works of fiction fail this test.

The Newsroom is, alas, generally one of those that fails and fails hard. Even in an episode like this one, where we had women discussing 9/11, civil rights issues, Occupy Wall Street, political events in Africa and a (fictional) US military opperation where the military is accused of using nerve gas on a civilian population, well…even then the show still managed to work in conversations about men.

Now let me stress that this was a decent episode. It was fascinating to see Will McAvoy (Jeff Daniels) dealing with being shut out of the 9/11 anniversary coverage (and it was really neat seeing the footage of him covering it on the day), and I also liked watching his views on targeted assassinations evolving in real time. I also very much enjoyed his moral discomfort with the case of Troy Davis, a man executed by the government for killing a police officer; a man who was almost certainly innocent.

I also really liked the subplot of Don (Thomas Sadowski) getting drawn into that case, and practically begging McAvoy to cover it. Scenes of him continuing to investigate Operation Genoa were also welcome, as were scenes of Maggie (Alison Pill) trying to expand her usefulness to the team by trying to become the go-to person on all things Africa. Plus Jim’s (John Gallagher, Jr) ongoing frustrations with the Romney campaign were quite entertaining.

And so the news storylines were, as always, strong, and in this case they were easily strong enough to overcome the ongoing weaknesses of the romantic subplots. It helps that those subplots were largely relegated to the background in this episode, though the growing tension between Jim and a reporter for a rival media outlet is something I’m eyeing warily. Still, I’d like to think this mellowing-out of the romance stories is something Sorkin is doing deliberately. Perhaps he’s taken notice of the fact that in the opening credits, people are shown doing news stuff, not making out with each other.

Overall this was a solid, entertaining episode with little to drag it down. The foreshadowing of the Operation Genoa story, which we already know is going to turn out bad for the team, was nicely handled, and makes me want to continue to tune in. That’s not something I would have said for much of last season.

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Doctor Who At The Proms 2013 – Review

Doctor Who Prom Matt Smith Jenna Coleman

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

In what is fast becoming a regular fixture in the BBC’s schedule of events (well, every couple of years at least), the Royal Albert Hall was filled with fezes, Sonic Screwdrivers, and more aliens than you could shake a stick at for the third Doctor Who Prom, which was recorded in early July and broadcast yesterday on BBC1.

Like the two previous Doctor Who Proms, this is a very Murray Gold-centric concert given that he has been Doctor Who’s composer since 2005 with a specific focus on the Eleventh Doctor and music from Series 7 episodes including I Am The Doctor, The Impossible Girl, and a beautiful rendition of the climactic song from recent episode The Rings Of Akhaten performed by child actress Kerry Ingram and tenor Allan Clayton. But, as this year’s Prom is also celebrating Doctor Who’s 50th Anniversary, it gives a few minutes over to paying tribute to the Classic Series’ incidental music as well.

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Radiophonic Workshop composers Mark Ayres and Peter Howell head up the prom’s Classic Series music, leading the BBC orchestra in performing a medley of scores by various Doctor Who composers including the Cybermen Theme from the late 1960s and the music from the Fourth Doctor’s Regeneration in the 1981 story Logopolis. It’s a great selection of music from all three decades of Classic Who and is a fitting recognition of the earlier seasons’ incidental music, which is largely overlooked.

The Prom also features brief appearances from Fifth Doctor Peter Davison and Carole Anne Ford, who played the Doctor’s granddaughter Susan Foreman at the series’ beginning in 1963, introducing different performances. Which is another good way of incorporating the wider history of Doctor Who into the Prom.

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In addition to the music, the Prom also features a pre-recorded specially written scene featuring the Doctor and Clara that syncs up with Matt Smith and Jenna Coleman appearing live and in character at the Prom itself, which is an amusing breather from the music. Neve McIntosh and Dan Starkey also appear as Madame Vastra and Commander Strax, introducing some of the performances and as themselves in some behind the scenes footage showing the process of their prosthetics being applied. And of course, as is traditional for the Doctor Who Prom, during some of the music we get aliens from the programme ‘invading’ the Royal Albert Hall and interacting with the audience including Cybermen, Silents, and Skaldak the Ice Warrior.

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Despite the “Aliens invade the Albert Hall” thing being the same as always but with slightly different aliens, this now staple of the Doctor Who Prom still managed to feature some more original moments including conductor Ben Foster sparring with Dalek using a sonic conductor’s baton and being accused of overacting. Which was a fun little moment that stopped the Dalek invasion of the Albert Hall being an uninspired rehash of the last time we saw it.

This year’s Doctor Who Prom is nothing spectacular or revolutionary and it’s a shame that the broadcast version was shortened considerably (including the removal of the specially written piece Song For 50) but it’s still a fun watch. Murray Gold’s music is as stirring as ever and the specially written moments are mildly entertaining if a little forced at times. Excellent Bank Holiday entertainment.

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True Blood 6.6 Review – Don’t You Feel Me?

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Do you ever wake up in the morning and wish you had four names? No? Me neither. Bellefleur sporn number 4 got just that in last night’s episode of True Blood, introducing Adeline- Braylin- Charlene- Danica. It seems my prediction is coming into fruition slowly but surely, number 4 now has an actual name so maybe we will be seeing more of her as the season plays out.

The cliff edge we were left on after last week’s episode thankfully played out as predicted, nobody died. Eric and pam zoned into their father daughter telepathy to get each other out of a sticky/deadly situation. I love seeing Pam and Eric working together they are a great duo in the show, unlike Eric and Nora. For some reason I cannot get on board with Nora, as sadistic as the governor’s plan was to have Eric watch Nora die a slow and painful death (can anyone else see the hugely camp DR?), I actually really didn’t mind. Speaking of killing off characters, I heard a rumour that someone was going to be killed this season (obvi, but someone important). I was hoping it was going to be Nora, she isn’t missed when she doesn’t appear in an episode and I get jealous for Pam when Eric show loves for anyone else but her. Eric trying to act human and non- vampire like have been two of the funniest moments this season, firstly earlier on in the season when he dresses up as a reporter to glamour the governor into dropping his evil plan. Secondly in last night’s episode when he assumes the character of apparently very nerdy LAVTF soldier, FANTASTICO.

After six seasons someone finally realised how to save Terry Bellefleur from himself, by glamouring. You know, that totally new thing that vampires have been able to do THE WHOLE TIME. As soon as the decision was made to glamour Terry I knew it was going to be curtains for our favourite veteran. This episode was then spent wondering at what point he was going to be shot in the head. Terry Bellefleur was eventually shot dead, he will be missed as he was a great character with a highly relevant back story but I do think it is always a good move from the writers to shake things up. The mystery behind terry is his memories, they are the essence of his character so to take this away and have him without was never going to work.

Billith is increasingly becoming more insane as the series continues, its understood that he has the weight of the survival of all vampire kind on his cold shoulders, but he is a little over the edge lately. Having the Japanese blood synthesiser guy drain him of all his blood, so he can meet with naked Lilith for answers about the white room was a strange plan. Come on Bill put two and two together, the white room is obviously at vamp camp where the majority of vampires that you haven’t even really noticed are missing are currently being held. Unfortunately Bills draining master plan back fired as riddle loving Lilith was unwilling to share information.

Thank godess Emma and her funions (what are funions, fake onion rings?), have been returned to Martha. I actually had a small celebration mid scene and hope that strange and somewhat pointless storyline is now over. If we are lucky, the wolves will now get a real storyline that doesn’t surround running around Bon Temps/Shreveport looking for a small annoying child and eating fried chicken. We said sayonara to Emma but is it also the last of Sam Merlotte? Pack Master Alcide has banished Sam from his home, he seemed pretty serious and all yellow eyed about the threat so we are left wondering what is next for Sam and his too-much-too soon new girlfriend. With Sam having Merlotte’s and that lovely trailer behind Merlotte’s to live for, I’m guessing he won’t give said prized possessions up without a fight.

You have got to love Jason finally manning up in an arena outside of the bedroom and taking charge to rescue Jessica, he is finally using the brain in his head to solve his problems and take action. Is this the new Jason? True Blood have a way of taking a twist on a character for a couple of episodes but then falling back to reality pretty quickly and having them revert back to their old ways. Jason is bound to slip up along the way, within the first five minutes of being at vamp camp Sarah best- dressed Newlin had already outsmarted him and he was rendered useless once again. It seems manning up were the words of the day, with Billith doing just that by day walking right on in to vamp camp. I love that with each episode Bill has a new super power, today’s power… turning the soldiers guns against one another and having them shoot each other dead with their own bullets, brilliant. As an audience we love to see Vampires act like Vampires, Bill crying for answers and going all soft on us just wasn’t working. A good beheading was in order and it was fulfilled with the governor’s head being ripped right off and ironically placed on a stone statue of himself.

Warlow and Sooki were having their own special sepia coloured moment throughout the episode, a heart to heart if you will. With Warlow enlightening Sooki of his plan and blood binding contract to turn her in to a vampire so they can feed off each other for the rest of their lives, this sounded romantic for about five seconds until you actually think about it. Warlow doesn’t trust his vampire side not to harm Sooki once night falls so they embark on an S & M style bondage session (is there another way?), with Sooki tying him up against a tree and binding the vines with her light… OK. Once Warlow was tied up, we knew it was going to go down. Sooki seems to be having a slight identity crisis lately between embracing her urges and burning her bra. In this episode she chose to be the Sooki who embraces her urges as she seduced the half vampire half faerie, whom she is bound to by blood as he sat tied up to a tree in a place where darkness cannot reach them… now there’s a sentence I never thought I would say.

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The Apprentice Episode 11 Review – Interview With The Vampires

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No, I’m not for a moment suggesting that Claude, Margaret et al are creatures of the night – not-at-all-they-are-all-lovely-people-I-have-not-been-hypnotised … what? Where was I? Went a bit glassy-eyed, you say? Can’t think what that could have been. Anyway, yes: lovely people, all of them. Wouldn’t have a word said against them.

Seriously though, if you think about it there are similarities. Like the undead monsters of legend and fiction, these four advisors tear the candidates’ business plans to shreds, suck out any lifeblood from them, discarding the irrelevancies, the bravado and the plain lies, and leave behind either a shattered torn wreck of a person or, if they’re very lucky and very strong, a new creature worthy of joining their exalted ranks.

Donald Trump is fond of describing the original US version of the show as “the interview from Hell”, but this week, as the contestants dwindle down to the final five, that description could not be more appropriate. After all the tasks, all the pressures, all the personal growth, the learning curves, the blunders, the victories and the crushing failures; after all the excuses, blame-shifting, credit-taking, the disposal of almost everyone else in their way, the candidates now have to face head-on and alone the careful taking apart of their business plans, and with it their own character.

These are The Interviews, this is the day when they are grilled by Lord Sugar’s top advisors as they try to peer past the business-speak, the self-promotion, the grandiose claims and the impressive resumes, to both the hard details of the business plan and the person behind that plan. This is it: there is finally nowhere to hide. Like the Gestapo of the Second World War (again, no offence guys!) this quartet of inquisitors will peel back the onion, rip out the heart and soul and get to the truth behind the grand words, even if it breaks the author of those words.

We’re left of course with Neil, Luisa, Leah, Francesca. Oh yeah, and Jordan, who from last week looks to be first to be likely to be hailing a cab home. But then, Lord Sugar has made odder decisions and if the plan tickles him sufficiently, who knows? The final five are given twenty-four hours to hone their business plans, make any last-minute adjustments and then present them to Lord Sugar’s aides. Despite his massive setback after the shocking revelations in the Boardroom last week, Jordan seems confident, saying he is “by far the best investment opportunity in the process”. Well, the Big Guy didn’t seem to agree last week, but we’ll see.

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We first see a collage of snippets from the interviews, which shows first Luisa, and Claude does not like her comparing herself to Lord Sugar, while Margaret has withering comments on Jordan’s choice of his role model – David Beckham! Claudine Collins talks to Francesca, tells her she comes across as boring, while Mike Suter gets Leah to offer him some cosmetic advice – which she does! She certainly proves she knows her stuff, but I wonder if Mike is too pleased that he would need all this work done in her opinion. Neil however seems to be up for it, saying he wishes he could do all four back-to-back.

Claude however points out that Neil can certainly sell his own house, he has the sales skill but few people have that talent. Neil is unshakable in his confidence in his plan, even though Claude tells him he has no chance. None. Zero. Margaret grills Jordan on his work with the Oxford Entrepreneur society, while Claude uncovers the fact that Francesca does not know her numbers, confusing profit with turnover, but worse, she seems to admit putting down a figure of five million turnover on her application as a figure she grabbed out of the air!

On the other hand, he seems to be unable to find much to complain about or pick holes in with Luisa’s plan, while out in the waiting room she asks Jordan if he feels he has something to prove after last week, and he agrees he does. Claudine however starts to pull apart his story as the king of the Oxford Entrepreneurs, saying that he is taking credit for the successful businesses and ideas of others. Jordan makes a lot of those “air quotes” which I have to say really annoys me. Claudine also uncovers what we already knew from last week, that Jordan already has a business partner, whcih is going to complicate this deal.

Luisa admits to Mike that writing business plans is not her strong point; he tells her she should have written in her plan the examples she has that her business works. Claudine worries that the very idea behind Leah’s business may have moral implications, an accusation she totally refutes, while Jordan is put to the test by Mike to prove his boast that he can solve a Rubik’s Cube in under three minutes. Like every other claim he makes, this one turns out to be false: he can’t do it. This I think speaks volumes about the man. Mike also points out that the business Jordan is offering Lord Sugar a partnership in is already established, and oh look! Jordan is not on the board of directors! Fancy that!

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Claudine is impressed with Neil’s wish to live up to his late father’s aspirations for him: it gets a little emotional and even the hard-nosed interviewer looks moved, though she tries to hide it. On his return to the waiting room the guys notice Neil is for once quiet; seems this part of the interview has had quite an effect on him. Luisa is accused of being a game-player, of being manipulative and when she gets out shoots something of an accusation at Francesca, who looks less than happy that her fellow candidate is bringing up the past again. What Luisa doesn’t realise is that this is exactly what she’s being accused of doing: mind games, manipulation. She’s still doing it.

Neil is told by Mike that his business plan is flawed, however this is nothing compared to Claude’s savaging of Jordan – we’ve all seen this coming – when he realises that the guy is not a partner in the business he’s offering Lord Sugar, and has no right to negotiate a percentage of it, never mind fifty. He literally throws Jordan out, telling him he is a parasite, and has no right to be in the process. Crushed, Jordan exits but says nothing to the others. Whereas Neil says he could do another interview (but they’re finished now) Luisa admits she’d rather give birth again than go through that again.

Interviews concluded, Lord Sugar meets his advisors before making his decision. Luisa comes out of the process well; few people having anything negative to say about her, though Claude admits her business plan is a little light, while Francesca’s plan is also praised as is she herself. The revelation however that she made up her turnover figure does not, of course, go down well with the man who may be investing a quarter of a million in her. He’s less happy to hear that the general consensus is that Neil’s business plan cannot, will not work. Lord Sugar looks almost as crushed about this as Jordan was when he left Claude’s office.

Leah gets a lot of praise too, though Claudine calls her “cold”, but Claude is very impressed with her. Not so with Jordan, as he now reveals that having read through his business plan it’s become clear that Jordan does not own or have any share in the business he is offering, and Mike says he is not an entrepreneur; he takes credit for other people’s ideas, as we have seen.

It’s no great surprise then (and I have to admit I enjoyed it) when Jordan is the first to be fired from the final five. Lord Sugar says he has “nowhere to go” and there’s nothing else he can do. Jordan tries to bluster that he has a “gentleman’s agreement” with the owner of the company, but Lord Sugar tells him to “cut the crap” and shows him the door. Neil he is similarly annoyed with, but for different reasons. It’s clear that had his plan been in order Neil would have been definitely in the running, but as it stands he’s been advised that Neil’s business plan cannot work under any circumstances, and he simply can’t invest in it. He tells Neil sadly that he is “the right man but the wrong plan”, and that if he were hiring, as in the earlier seasons, he would give him a job tomorrow. But that’s not what’s happening, that’s not what’s on offer, and Neil becomes the second of the final five to be let go. Man, there’s even a tear in the old guy’s eye when Neil leaves, though whether that’s from frustration, anger or genuine remorse, only he knows. Maybe he just got a bit of grit in it. Still, it looks genuine. Neil seems totally crushed, realising he has come so close and then failed. You have to feel sorry for him.

So we’re left with three ladies, and Lord Sugar has to choose between them. He tests the morality issue with Leah, but she stands up for her own strong sense of ethics, which seems to satisfy him. Luisa’s claim that she can work in a team comes back to bite her in her rather perfectly-formed backside, when Leah agrees but Francesca, who has only just a short time ago been on the receiving end of one of Luisa’s barbs gets a last shot in at her; damning with faint praise, and you can’t blame her. There was no need for her comment earlier; it was just catty.

Weighing up the three options, Lord S accuses Francesca of not being much of a leader and not explaining her idea too well. But he makes the decision and tells Leah that she is in the final, before pointing the Finger at Francesca, leaving us with Luisa and Leah as the only ones left standing.

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And so the final has come down to this: Luisa versus Leah, blond versus brunette, ditzy bimbo versus cool level-headed scientist. Karren wastes no time rubbing in the fact that the final is entirely an all-girl affair, and that no matter how it turns out, Lord Sugar will be going into business with a woman. Yeah! Girl power!

So no doubt next week we’ll see the return of some of the fired candidates to help out on the final task. Be interesting to see if Jordan gets asked back. Personally I hope Jaz is not there; I really coud not stand her. But either way we’ll have a winner next week, and to the shame of my gender, it will be one of the softer sex, who have proven here that they may look better than most of us and have a different way of thinking and of doing things, but they are in no way the weaker sex.

Place your bets, ladies and gentlemen! Place your bets, and be here next week for the decider! Winner takes all on July 17.

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TV Review: Dexter 7.6, “Do the Wrong Thing”

Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars

It had to happen sooner or later. No, I’m not referring to Dexter and Hannah finally hooking up; I’ll get to that in a minute. I’m referring to the first episode this season which hasn’t had the same momentum as the rest of season seven. “Do the Wrong Thing” may be the worst episode this season, but that doesn’t mean it was a bad episode – there were plenty of great moments and it moved along well enough – it was just a bit of a departure from the preceding episodes this season.

The reason for that is the sidelining of Isaak in favor of greater focus on Hannah. With Isaak in prison (for the time being), he’s temporarily been removed as the primary immediate threat. This isn’t surprising; considering what a beast he was last episode it’s easy to imagine that if Isaak wasn’t somehow put in a corner, the season might be over already. So it makes sense that we’d take a small reprieve from dealing with Isaak who’s doing just swell in prison, breaking the wrists of any Columbians that obstruct his view. I say a small reprieve because thankfully the show didn’t do what they could have which is completely ignore Isaak until he returns from his incarceration. Instead we saw how he’s doing as well as how his people and Miami Metro are each busy preparing for his inevitable release.

But with the Ukrainian Terminator muzzled for the moment, Hannah, the mysterious femme fatale extraordinaire, commands Dexter’s complete attention. The episode opens with him stalking her with Ghost Harry whose appearances this episode were actually tolerable though used merely as a means for the audience to see Dexter’s conflicting internal monologue, something that doesn’t really warrant Harry’s appearance but because he actually made good points, I’m letting it slide. The scenes between Michael C. Hall and Yvonne Strahovski have been well written, amusing, and enjoyable, but it’s difficult not to see this as familiar territory already tread. First in season two there was Lila, a psychotic succubus intent on just generally being walking toxic waste, and then in season five of course we had Lumen, the damsel in distress. Granted, these women were each distinct individuals with totally different motives and characteristics, but they each filled similar roles for Dexter. Again, Hannah doesn’t exactly resemble either, but she’s clearly representative of a path Dexter has been down before on several occasions (though he’s not half as pretty, let’s not forget about Miguel Prado). Still, all episode Dexter struggles to balance his need to kill (and why not the flirty, hot, homicidal blonde?) due to all the stress he’s endured recently with the inconvenient truth that Hannah’s status as a merciless killer is somewhat murky. Basically I’m a bit conflicted as to where I think this is going as well as how it’s being handled. Sure, it’s entertaining, but it hasn’t really proven yet to be contributing much that we haven’t already seen.

In addition to Dexter making less than intelligent decisions regarding Hannah, he also demonstrated a definite lack in sound judgment when he pushed for Deb to take Sal Price, the crime writer, up on his offer for a date. Really? The one other guy on the planet that suspects Hannah is more than just a victim and you want to pair him up with the woman from whom you promised to not withhold information? Okay.

Debra and Dex weren’t the only characters to open up and tend to their personal needs; Angel, we come to find, is in the midst of deciding to retire so he can get away from the detective game and get into the restaurant business. I’m telling you guys, we are inching ever closer to an Angel spin-off sitcom on CBS. I like Angel but after Deb shot him down on the suspicious suicide of Alex the bartender, I’m glad to see some consequences and retirement isn’t an unreasonable one. However, as with Hannah, I’m not sure where this is supposed to be going. How will this serve any of the story lines which have been introduced thus far? How will this effectively contribute?

Quinn, on the other hand, while also dealing with personal business (which also happens to be super entwined with his professional work), is repeating past mistakes which will directly affect the plot by agreeing to tamper with evidence in the Isaak Sirco case in exchange for Nadia’s safety. We’ve all seen this coming and, what do you know, here it is. Quinn has always been so short-sighted and seemingly empty-headed that at this point each scene I see him in in which he isn’t either being killed is an utter shock and disappointment.

Surprisingly, the only person in “Do the Wrong Thing” who is staying on top of business is LaGuerta as she continues her search for anything that could lead her to the real Bay Harbor Butcher. This is another story thread for which the writers clearly have plans, but apparently can’t do anything about them until we get closer to the season finale. Despite meandering a bit, LaGuerta and Deb’s scene together was great to watch entirely because of Jennifer Carpenter’s incredible portrayal of Deb’s sneakiness in steering LaGuerta away from trails that would lead to Dexter while still upholding her duties as lieutenant.

Though Isaak’s scene with his Columbian friend and those between Dex and Hannah were the most compelling for me, I think my favorite was the latest installment in the ongoing conversation between Dexter and Deb regarding Dex’s devious deeds. In “Do the Wrong Thing” we finally got around to the Barrel Girl/Jordan Chase murders thanks to LaGuerta’s persistence. It was fun watching Deb finally put the pieces together about Dex and Lumen and I loved Dexter’s outburst when he said, “Let me worry about LaGuerta!”

“Do the Wrong Thing” definitely wavered and stumbled a bit, but it was still fun and considering the hot streak season seven has had, this lull may serve the seasonal arcs well by acting as a sort of calm before the storm. I’m curious to see how the show will make Hannah something more than just another love interest/accomplice. I’m eager for LaGuerta’s meddling to enter into the mix. Quinn is seriously close to losing his life (I hope). And I have to suspect that Angel will be sucked back in soon so that should be good too. Ultimately the second half of the season will determine exactly how successful “Do the Wrong Thing” really was so until we get there, here’s hoping for less meander aimless roaming and more Isaak the unstoppable killing machine versus our homicidal hero.

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