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Episode Review: STANDOFF (“No Strings”)

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A surprisingly good episode, even though the episode had a few holes in the middle after the twist. But it was great to see that the writers use some twists for the hostage storylines, and are not tired to take stories from classic movies. Okay, I noticed it here for the first time, but I now know the writers have watched PHONE BOOTH.

The twist was great, but it didn’t bring much of a different story. Though I liked that Paul was just another hostage and not the hostage taker, the writers could have done far more with the smuggler ring in Paul’s ear, or with Paul being the hostage in the situation. Instead Paul was pretty much out of the episode, as soon as the twist was revealed,and the thrill went completely by, focusing on the aspect of the real villain without focusing on Paul again. Because I didn’t really buy that Paul was out of the game, just because he was wounded. And I don’t think that a terrorist cell, who smuggles people, is smuggling Asian people into the US -where was the back story in that? Especially with the woman, who wanted her son with her. Somehow I didn’t get why the smuggling should have been considered a terrorist attack with the characters.

Paul shooting Lana was somewhat unnecessary. I could imagine he got the order in his ear, but there was absolutely no sense in shooting Lana. There was no reason why Paul should shoot her, and there was no reason why the woman wanted Paul to shoot her. So I reallt don’t know why Lana was shot, which is why that scene was mostly for the shock, but bears no logic within the story. Furthermore, the “listen what I have to say” from Paul comes a bit iollogical too. The woman, as clever as she might be as a low-profile terrorist, wasn’t she noticing at this point that Paul might give some information about the people behind the situation? I as a big bad in Paul’s ear would have grown completely suspicious, when Paul said something like “listen what I have to say”. So, there’s no logic as well. Or there’s just a story missing.

But when Paul came with his mother, and Emily and Matt realized the whole thing, I was reminded by PHONE BOOTH. There, Forest Whitaker’s character learned/figured out the sniper, and wanted Colin Farrell’s character to know that his “lawyer is on it’s way” – meaning Farrell’s character knew that the police knows about the sniper now. Same thing here: Paul finally got his hope back, when the FBI “talked to his mother”, meaning they know about the people behind the situation. A nice little twist, which was fun to see. But it didn’t help to let me forget the predictability of the first third. After the teaser, I knew that either smuggled people or drugs would be in the container. So, the whole discussion about WMD went by me in a freight train.

The little Quantico plot was okay. It didn’t take much time, and it didn’t really develop Matt’s and Emily’s relationship. But I liked his “don’t go”s at the end, and that he said he loves her. A bit touching, and as long as the writers still rely on the romance in the series, I don’t care how “okay” those little plots are. 7.5/10

Written by Christian Wischofsky

August 27, 2011 at 9:00 AM

The Good Guys 1.01: Pilot

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A new car means: risking something during a car chase

The Good Guys marks the beginning of the summer season. This year, the networks are about to launch a handful of new series during the summer, hoping to find audiences during the ratings-low months, until the next season starts in September. NBC launches a thriller-serial titled “Persons Unknown”, ABC has a handful of soapy shows with cops and vampires launching next month, and FOX tries it with the new crime procedural slash buddy comedy The Good Guys. A show, which already won me over with its cast and premise; a show I don’t expect much from, instead of giving me some good times; a show which I hope will like during the summer months.
The pilot episode managed to give me a bit of fun, and I even liked it a bit, but it still isn’t the summer highlight I was hoping it would be. All in all, The Good Guys looks like a simple crime procedural with a bit of action in 80s style – which isn’t bad, but at least the writers could have given us a bit more character depths during the first episode. I saw absolutely nothing of it here.
On a sidenote: This is the last pilot episode of the season 2009/2010 reviewed by me – with this one there are 39 reviewed pilots. And how many of these shows did I cancel already? Hm …

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Written by Christian Wischofsky

May 21, 2010 at 12:32 PM

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