About Last Night…

April 7, 2010

Last night’s TV was a night all about conclusions. Whether it was the true beginning of the end on Lost or an end that was meant to only be a middle on Southland. Uh, let me explain…

Yea, I'm gay, but I can mess you up.

The truncated second season of Southland ended last night on TNT. This handful of episodes that were aired were only the first six of an abbreviated 13-episode order from NBC, before NBC cancelled the show early last fall. This sixth episode was in no way meant to act as any sort of finale, season or otherwise, and it was evident. There was nothing spectacular about the episode; the two cases were rather rote and the attention paid to Sal and his insufferable daughter Kimmy (possibly the worst characters on this show) felt lame. We were provided with a little closure regarding Regina King’s Lydia and Tom Everett Scott’s Russell, luckily. It was rather unsatisfying on the whole, though.

I’m hoping TNT gives this little show another chance and orders at least six more episodes to really wrap things up. Too much of this season’s focus was placed on Shawn Hatosy and Kevin Alejandro’s characters, and the true heart of this show, the triumvirate of Michael Cudlitz, Ben McKenzie, and King, fell by the wayside. If the season had been longer, it probably wouldn’t have been as noticeable. But, as it stands, what we got felt rather stilted. On a happier note, though, how awesome is Michael Cudlitz’s Officer Cooper? Probably the best gay character on television, who’s just shown as a real guy and not a caricature. If this is the end of Southland (and I fear it is), he’ll be missed.

Did you miss me?

But, on to the the main event of Tuesday night, Lost. Wow, what an episode. With only six episodes left including the two-hour season finale, I feel like last night was the night that truly set everything into motion. For weeks now, we’ve been wondering how these Sideways stories came into play. Are they examples of what could have been? Is it an alternate universe? Is there some connection to the Island story? Hell, is there any connection to the Island story?

Well, as it seems from last night’s Desmond-centric hour, they are very connected. Without pretending I really understand (because I don’t), it appears that the two storylines are running parallel to each other, with the possibility of crossing back and forth. With Sideways Desmond now on a mission to find all the Sideways Castaways and help awaken them, as it were, it begs the question: Is the endgame of Lost going to be all about each character choosing which reality to live in, with Desmond as their shepherd? And, if so, how the hell do Jacob and Smokey figure into all that?

I get the feeling, though, that however Damon Lindelof and Carlton Cuse have chosen to end Lost, some people aren’t going to be happy. A lot of comments I’ve read out in the Interweb seem to indicate a demand for more answers. While that’s always been the case with Lost, I think loyal viewers will be doing themselves a great disservice if they cry foul over unanswered questions. For me, Lost has always just been about the ride. Speculating on what it all means is a blast, but if I don’t get answers to everything, I won’t let it color my unending love for this show. I trust the creators to steer us in the direction they see fit. So, my advice to fans: let go and enjoy. Accept the answers you’re given and cherish the opportunity to spend years re-watching DVDs, arguing with friend over answers to questions you didn’t receive.

Best Moment: Not really a moment, but just getting to spend some time with all of my favorite peripheral characters last night was such a treat: Charlie, Daniel Faraday, Eloise Hawking, and Penny. The love story between Desmond and Penny has always been a favorite of mine and the opportunity to see Faraday again literally made me squeal. I don’t think I’ve ever loved Jeremy Davies more than I have in this role. And any chance to see Eloise, with that glint in her eye that says she probably knows more about what’s going on than anyone else on Earth, is a real fun. The re-appearance of all these fan favorites is a real gift from the writers to the dedicated fans.

Alright, ya’ll, it’s late and I’m sleepy. So, we’re just going to have to bulletpoint the best moments of tonight’s first new 30 Rock since the Olympics. It was a pretty solid episode. Liz discovered she had met someone while still kite-high at the dentists and was talked into finding out who he was by Kenneth. Avery Jessup (returning guest star Elizabeth Banks) clues Jack in on a potential sale of NBC that totally mirrors the real-life acquisition by Comcast. And Tracy pursues his EGOT with a successful one-man show, much to Jenna’s chagrin.

Let’s do this!

–       Liz waking up to find a waffle in the tray of her DVD player.

–       “You were watching it for about an hour, said Nicole Kidman should get an Oscar for it, and then turned it off.” – Jack, when asked by Liz if she tried to watch said waffle.

–       “It’s so romantic, just like that movie I only saw the first ten minutes of, Fatal Attraction.” – Kenneth, after hearing about Liz and her Future Husband

–       “He could wear a thumb ring!” – Liz, realizing that there are worse things than Future Husband being a murderer.

–       “What am I? A nerd?” – Tracy, after being asked by Liz if he’s prepared for his performance that night.

–       Jonathan stammering “Rhubarb rhubarb golf prostate” when Jack needs him to pretend to be a Board Executive.

–       Liz’s dentist handing her a personalized pamphlet, “Hard Cheeses and Your Root Canal, Liz”

–       Tracy’s Claps-Giving Yay Ha-Rade!

–       “Jenna, could you accept my Tony for me? June is a tough month for me because that’s when I begin lifeguarding again.” – Tracy

–       Jenna revealing that she’s been petitioning the Tony Committee to create a new category, Living Theatrically in Normal Life

–       “Don’t worry, it’s just a donkey spell” – Kenneth, after spasming and braying because his prescription was in the wallet he through out the window.

–       “Yo CNBC! Nightly News rules!” – Brian Williams, as he spikes a Nerf football at Avery’s feet.

–       “If I wanted to see a black guy make a fool of himself, I’d have sex with K-Fed again.” – Jenna, explaining why she didn’t want to see Tracy’s show

–       “Without my wallet, I don’t even have my lucky rabbit spine!” – Kenneth

–       Breadback: (n) the loaf of backfat between an older woman’s bra and her giant underwear

–       And, finally, the episode’s big reveal that Don Geiss has been dead for three weeks. The idea that they’ve been carting him around, a la Weekend at Bernie’s is HYSTERICAL! I guess they needed to figure out how to rid themselves of this character without needing Rip Torn, in light of his recent bout of drunken insanity.

What did you think of the episode?