THE POWER 5 ON TV FOR THIS WEEK:
Things are beginning to heat up as more shows premiere for the start of their 2013-14. Save from Grimm’s obligatory Halloween-ish start and a couple of midseason newbies, next week we’ll be considering the whole kit ‘n caboodle (yeah, I went there) of prime time television. Until then, take a gander at this week’s power rankings and let me know what you think.
1) The Blacklist—The Freelancer (-)
A little birdie is telling me that this intense drama will be a consistent top 5 participant in the power rankings throughout the year. Reddington continues working his way towards immunity and Lizzy is between the proverbial rock and hard place in regards to her hubby’s secrets. After calling out another event (a less than impressive CGI train derailment), Red has everyone’s attention. The freelancer, an assassin who doesn’t mind piling up an impressive collateral damage bill, is in town to take out Floriana Campo, a champion of women ensnared in the sex slave ring. Ms. Campo is not quite the humanitarian she appears to be and Reddinton throws his own curve ball, directing the hit on Campo. He exposes Campo’s true colors, ridding the world of the vile chameleon. Lizzy’s husband finally gets out of the hospital and she makes the decision to keep things quiet after considering Reddington’s advice.
The chemistry (or animosity, if you will) between Reddington and Keen remains strong and Spader’s performance as the bad guy is the dilithium crystals powering the warp core of this future award winner.
2) The Vampire Diaries—I Know What You Did Last Summer (New)
I’m all about the fun and that’s what Diaries brought to the table, at least in the first few minutes before the crap hit the fan. Elena and Damon are still in the honeymoon phases of their ‘ship, even as Ms. Gilbert is getting ready to attend Whitmore college with Caroline and Bonnie…well, she thinks Bonnie’s coming but everyone’s favorite witch (this writer excluded from the ‘everyone’) is deader than General Zod and hanging around Jeremy-who-still-sees-dead-people and continues covering for her. Meanwhile, Stefan’s still suffering the Angel treatment while Silas makes his presence felt (though he can’t hide from Jeremy) in a serious way, compelling an entire town square and killing Bonnie’s dad in front of the town. Add to that a vampire running loose on the Whitmore campus, Matt getting magic’d by Nadia, the third part of he and Rebekah’s Paris ménage-a-trois, and a very human Katherine and season 5 is off to a great start.
3) Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.—0-8-4 (-1)
This just missed out on the number two slot this week. Better than the series premiere, 0-8-4 offers us some more backstory on the team. But where the backstory does add a bit of depth, the interpersonal relationships drive the show. Whedon’s fingerprints are all over AoS as it reminds me of Buffy at its finest with the quirky characters, strong leads and dialogue that is fun and relevant. There is a real chemistry between the entire team and I have the sneaking suspicion that as the show continues to find its legs, it will get better and better.
4) Sleepy Hollow—For the Triumph of Evil… (+1)
Speaking of getting better, Sleepy Hollow is really starting to pick up the pace. I once mentioned the show appeared to be taking the Supernatural approach, sprinkling the monster-of-the-week episodes around the overall story arc. Imitation and all that, Sleepy Hollow is doing a sincere form of flattery. Ichabod remains at the top of my list for new characters (rivaling Spader’s Reddington) and his partner, Abbie Mills, is finding her groove. To top things off, it looks like another Mills—Jennifer—will be added to the cast. There are some good stories to be told and organic strife between sisters based on the horrific history they’ve shared. The dialogue, especially Ichabod’s, continues to be a strong point to the show.
5) The Originals—Always and Forever (New)
Between Revolution, Sons of Anarchy, and Once Upon A Time this was a tough call. It ultimately came down to which show had the most replay value and despite the somewhat rehashed nature of the episode, there were enough new information seeded throughout The Originals premiere for it to grab the final spot. The Vampire Diaries has always done an exceptional job in knowing when to use flashbacks to further the story and, based on this episode, The Originals will maintain that relevancy of its flashbacks. We learned more about what happened to Klaus the first time he fed, the Mikaelsons’ initial landing in New Orleans, and Marcel’s secret weapon, a powerful witch named Davina. Oh, and Klaus shows once again why it’s so hard to feel empathy towards him for extended amounts of time.
Revolution—There Will Be Blood
This was by no fault of its own. It was a strong episode that is molding the new villain, the Governor…err, Titus Andover, Aaron and company trying to figure out how he’s alive and no worse for wear, and Neville makes up his mind to take down the new Government peeps. Charlie’s still after Monroe and makes a new ‘friend’ in the bounty hunter chasing him (they haven’t graduated to that “friends” status yet but it’s only a matter of time) and there is a serious problem with dead rats. Lots and lots of dead rats.
Sons of Anarchy–Wolfsangel
Despite some major deaths, including long-standing members Otto and the newly patched Phil, this week felt more like a set up for some potentially earth-shattering shakeups headed our way. In addition to the SAMCRO deaths, Donal Logue’s rogue ex-marshall bought the big one at the end of Otto’s shiv and Robert Patrick was introduced as Les Packer, president of the SanDino chapter. The biggest building blocks for future episodes are Galen and Irish are out to teach the Sons a lesson, August and Jax’s continually cordial relationship, and Nero having second thoughts about his affiliation with the club. One can’t forget that Clay’s still locked up and Wendy and Tara are working side by side to help the latter get a divorce and custody of her kids. I’d be surprised if Sons doesn’t find it’s way back in the top five before year end.
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