“I Hire Prostitutes To Shoot Me.”
Welcome back to The Breakdown. Fall TV is killing us softly. We have The Walking Dead, The Flash, The Leftovers, Fargo and Doctor Who to deal with on a weekly basis now, but we’re far from complaining. Below we have tons of shows boiled down to the sum of their parts. Is what’s left good? Great? Superb, even? Scroll to find out, I guess. Lastly, let us know what other shows we should break down. Let’s break it down.
Addition breakdowns provided by Max Mielecki: the man who takes The Flash without the Arrow. Also, SPOILER ALERT!
Doctor Who: “Before The Flood”
By Max Mielecki
“Before the Flood” delivers a satisfying, if overstuffed, resolution to the mystery of the underwater ghosts. As is typical of Steven Moffat’s run on Doctor Who, the answer is interesting, witty and a little convoluted. That’s not to say that “Before The Flood” is a bad outing, as it’s actually one of the smarter episodes in recent memory, packing lots of compelling backstory, some great moments for the entire cast and explores some interesting things. It’s a lot to cram into an hour, and “Before the Flood” has to move at a blisteringly fast pace in order to include it all. However, despite all that, it’s still a pretty great ride.
The Walking Dead: “First Time Again”
by Montel Allen
“First Time Again” threw us into a new chapter while slightly continuing on where last season left off. The direct continuation of last season’s drama was presented in black & white, which admittedly threw me off. I kept waiting for the shoe to drop and reveal that it was all a dream, but it turned out that wasn’t the case. In these flashbacks(?), we’re introduced to the new problem that we see being solved in the present, and that’s a whole slew of walkers. We were dropped straight into what honestly felt like a mission ripped from an RPG, with objectives and all. I actually liked the task of herding thousands of walkers away from Alexandria. I enjoyed the tense task of keeping the walkers on the road, a task which was squandered by what I can only predict are the Wolves that were teased throughout Season 5. Unfortunately, the part I was most content with in this premiere was annoyingly interrupted by the flashbacks, catching us up on how we got to level 20 in this game. I understand the need for exposition here, but if you’re going to thrust me into this new chapter, fitted with new characters and goals, keep me there. However, I did appreciate seeing the rekindled relationship between Rick and Morgan and how Morgan fit in with the others (especially when he calls out Carol). The candy bar bit with Michonne showed that this show can have some humor when it wants to. While this premiere didn’t hit as hard as previous ones, I’m always willing to let The Walking Dead take its time to tell the story it wants.
The Leftovers: “A Matter of Geography”
by Montel Allen
“A Matter of Geography” painted the Garvey’s journey from Mapleton to Miracle. The new Garvey family is something I’m on board with. Lily (with one L) was adopted in a rather stale meeting, and in it was the first time I think we’ve seen Kevin smile. (Let me know if that’s right.) I adored Kevin and Nora’s damaged chemistry, with Kevin confessing what happened to Patty and Nora confessing that she hires prostitutes to shoot her. Following other familial amendments regarding Kevin Sr. being released and Tommy and Jill meeting up, we got an expository reveal of the life in, but foremost around, Miracle. It truly is a highly coveted place to live. The security and precautions were far from mild, and to me it felt a lot like something out of The Walking Dead in the vein of Terminus or Alexandria. The Leftovers frequently and passively plants narrative seeds, and the ground was littered with them here. Kevin briefly encountered the man Michael went to pray for last episode, and the intended house they were supposed to live in was burned down “mysteriously.” I’m enjoying what this season has used as its foundation. Last week boldly focused on the Murphys, using the Garveys as a somewhat nonessential backdrop, and this episode reciprocated that with the spotlight on the Garveys. Things ended with Patti, who has a frightening presence, and a cinder block-sporting Kevin in the river where Evie disappeared from last week.
Fargo: “Waiting for Dutch”
by Montel Allen
Fargo returned with “Waiting for Dutch” which set up what could be a very captivating story. The three camps that were introduced all bring their own horror to this very true story. The Gerhardt family now stands at three by the episode’s end, with the mother, Floyd Gerhardt (Jean Smart), and the two of three sons, Dodd (Jeffrey Donovan) and Bear (Angus Sampson) Gerhardt, remaining. The third son, Rye (Kieran Culkin), proved to be a short-lived character that participated in the standout scene of this episode. The scene where the viscera commenced was delightfully Fargo. We got a horrific shooting of three people, including a waitress who didn’t go down completely until her brains consumed the snow outside of the diner. This shootout branched its way into the other active storylines this season. One of those storylines was Lou Solverson’s (Patrick Wilson), who is Molly’s father in Season 1. His work as a detective is a great look at the source in which Molly learned her intuition. Partnered with Ted Danson’s Hank Larsson, Lou’s role in the story should get quite intense as the story progresses with some humor thrown in for good measure. Lastly, we have Peggy (Kirsten Dunst) and Ed (Jesse Plemons) Blomquists. The aforementioned Gerhardt, Rye, was brutally hit by Peggy and ultimately killed by Ed. While Ed was quite taken aback by his impulsive actions, showing actual remorse, Peggy’s character draws more curiosity given how heartless and manipulative she is. She’s this season’s Lester I believe, but looks to bring new things to the series. This was no Season 1 opening, but the tension that’s to come is nearly tangible.
by Max Mielecki
“The Flash of Two Worlds” was a fine way to settle into the groove this season, although it seemed a lot more concerned with setting up the conflict rather than letting the character dynamics speak for themselves. That said, the conflict they did set up is an intriguing one, and now that the exposition is out of the way, it’ll be great to see where a newly-expanded Team Flash heads next.
iZombie: “Zombie Bro”
by Montel Allen
“Zombie Bro” was a less-than-impressive episode of iZombie. I didn’t care for the whole frat theme that we got here. While it didn’t take itself seriously, with your stereotypical frat guys and parties, I still found some scenes and lines of dialogue cringe-inducing. I’ve seen better work from Rose McIver’s Liv “on brains.” The case also ended quite abruptly, as it dragged its heel up until the last second. Making the episode a bit better was Blaine and his whole funeral/zombie business. We are introduced to his father Angus, played by Robert Knepper, and boy does Blaine have daddy issues. Major played a bigger role in this episode, as he dealt with the emotional aftermath of being Max Rager’s hit boy. Seeing the kids of the guy he killed mourn and beg for answers on TV sent him into a tailspin of depression involving the drug Utopium he and Ravi first scored at the club. There still doesn’t seem to be much of an evolution in iZombie’s story, but I’m willing to keep on riding.
Scream Queens: “Pumpkin Patch”
by Montel Allen
Finally! “Pumpkin Patch” topped what Scream Queens gave us in its premiere episodes (and with a theme song, too). The episode was essentially split into two, nearly separate, plots. In the better half was the search for Zayday. Why wasn’t she killed? Because the Red Devil likes himself (or herself) some chocolate. The search aspect upped the intrigue. I found Denise’s presence on the search to be one of the comedic highlights, spouting off lines like, “It smell like booty in here.” Denise and Gigi were quite close to catching the killer, but since this show is derived from campy horror, the Red Devil was left with the opportunity to escape and did so. But, we do find out that Gigi is in line with the Red Devil. Zayday handles herself and escapes, and she returns to the KKT house looking flawless in time for the election. Chanel #1’s side of the episode was less entertaining, but it still had great nods and downright head spasms to other noteworthy shows and movies. The Shining may have been an inspiration for the maze, and Chanel’s time in “Orange is the New Black” lasted just the right amount of time. The results of the election are sure to play out next week, so let the best queen rule.
Are you still on board with ‘The Walking Dead’? Enjoyin’ this here season of ‘Fargo,’ ya? Tweet us @YouNerded so we may judge you.
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