But that announcement got me thinking about all those sci fi and fantasy shows that never finish on television. It's a phenomenon us long-time science fiction/fantasy fans have learned to live with. We jump on any new genre show on television hoping against hope that the ratings will be strong enough that we'll get the whole story. Alas, we know that more often than not the plug will be pulled mid-stream and we'll be left wanting. And for every Joss Whedon who continues Buffy and Angel in comics, there are tons more who don't.
" And did the Countenance Divine/Shine forth upon our clouded hills?/And was Jerusalem builded here/Among these dark Satanic mills?" Very nice tie-in to the episode. Poetic even.
Also, despite the fact that Utopias don't work, they are rather rampant lately, and I couldn't watch this episode without thinking about all of the other Utopian societies this episode conjured. The first one I thought of was Ayn Rand's secret society created by John Galt in Atlas Shrugged. The fact that all of the people in Evanston have abilities also made it very Rand-esque.
Tonight's episode was a great blend of the comic and the serious. I was a little disappointed that they resolved the April storyline so quickly, though I am hopeful that maybe Natasha Gregson Wagner may become a more regular feature of the show. With her ability, they could practically build an entire show around her. They could call it The Closer. Oh, wait...
- At 7, CBS has a new 60 Minutes.
- NBC has a new, two-hour Dateline at 7.
- At 7:30, FOX has a new episode of The Loop (another new episode airs at 8:30 and the series finale airs at 9:30).
- At 9, Disney has a new Hannah Montana.
- Kelly Clarkson and Reba McEntire perform together on a new Crossroads, on CMT at 9.
- HBO has a new John From Cincinnati at 9, then new episodes of Entourage and Flight of the Conchords.
- USA has a new episode of The 4400 at 9, followed by a new Dead Zone.
- At 10 there's a new Next Food Network Star on...well, you know.
- Lifetime has a new Army Wives at 10.
- Showtime has a new Meadowlands at 10.
- Also at 10: WE has a new Bridezillas.
- At 10:30, TCM has Martin and Lewis in At War With The Army.
- At midnight, Cartoon Network has new eps of Saul of the Mole Men and Moral Orel.
Check your local TV listings for more.
Let's see what has happened since "Blink."
(S03E07) After Dennis Ryland's several near-death experiences in the third season premiere, and the peaks we see into Isabelle's cooperation with him in this episode, I'll admit I was beginning to feel hopeless. Ryland seemed all-powerful, able to fend off any manner of 4400 attacks and unstoppably diabolical. The perfect enemy and
doppelganger archfiend for Tom.
That feeling kept cropping up throughout the episode, sometimes dully thudding as an undercurrent, sometimes spiking into a painful crescendo. Tom and Alanna were spinning out of control. First she was accused of being a Nova Group member, then we learned she had betrayed Tom's trust (but we all knew she was doing good the whole time, right?). Then it seemed she was headed for several years behind bars ... and Tom and Diana, how would they live with themselves if they gave up Gary Navarro to Mr. Perfect Evil himself?
(S03E06) Last week there were arguments. I said the wrapup was too neat. Some of you said no, I just didn't get it -- there was complexity. Things might not be as they seemed. And I'm happy to ring the bell of correct-ness. Ding ding ding! az1324 called it: Matthew was sent back from the future to work for the "other side." Whatever the other side, is.
Indeed, much to my delight we're given ever more conundrums in The 4400. It does seem as if Isabelle has redressed her "angel of death" moniker, although she is causing quite a bit of murder and mayhem as she turns the gifts of the Nova Group members against them. Perhaps we should replace the "of death" in her title, in fact, with "avenging."
Add Alana -- who through her work with students in the 4400 school, finds the man who killed her first husband and son -- to the list of AA members. And when we're talking 4400, AA stands for Avenging Angel.
(S03E05) As if the writers were pumping promicin themselves and reading the viewers' minds, Maia is neither gone nor forgotten in the second part of "Gone." And she comes back with explosive force, erupting into Tom and Alanna's fantasy worlds, radiating through Diana's frantic subconscious. I'm rapt as I watch Diana making a frightening collage of little girls' faces, as I see her sink into desperation when she learns that Maia has been sent back to the 1800s -- and died, at 25, only having left diaries behind as she expired on the Oregon Trail.
While I'm rapt by Tom and Diana emerging from the distinct wooden quality of the past several episodes, I'm thrown by the seemingly random details skittering about the edges of the plot. The 4400 we meet this week, an investment banker, can smell pheremones. It's a cool party trick and, you'd think, useful in the plot of a drama starring Alicia Silverstone. But it's a sideshow, just like the valiant efforts made (and subsequently erased) in the far past by the other children: synthetic fuel, colonies on the moon. Lovely, but ... why do these very interesting details feel as if they were picked out of a science fiction grab bag?
(S03E04) 'Gone' is an appropriate title for last night's episode. Gone is Lily, dead at the feet of her gorgeous and precocious (in sex, and in everything) daughter. Gone is Jordan Collier (even though he is tantalizingly alive according to last season's finale). Gone -- from the storyine line this season so far -- are Kyle and any number of tantalizing minor characters. Gone are Shawn's confidence, Matthew Ross' wisdom and principles, Diana's interestingness, Tom's keen relevance to the plot, all Diana's good dialogue.
And, at the end of the episode, gone is Maia, at least in the incarnation we know. Certainly, she'll be back, but not as Diana's daughter.Her absence creates a huge hole, most notably in Diana's deep connection to the 4400 through their close relationship.
(S03E01/S03E02) I had so many questions in the weeks leading up to last night's third season premiere of The 4400. Two, however, were keenest: Jordan Collier is alive!?! And, Isabelle went from baby to young woman in the space of a minute? (and, did she do it on purpose? and, is she really evil?)
Surprisingly, we saw absolutely nothing of Jordan Collier (not even a hint, really). Instead, the episode was largely centered on Isabelle's instant aging which was, literally, sapping the lifeblood of her mother, and on the rise of a dark subset of the 4400 who were using their powers for a bloody fight against evil: evil, that is, as personified by the NTAC elite whose fear of those very powers led to so much illness and death at the end of season two.
Chief among their targets is E-vil himself, Dennis Ryland. When he proves to be indestructible (just how many times can one man escape death, anyway? Does he have special powers we don't know about yet?), the Nova Group announces their plans to show the world their true power, on October 19.
Beware: There's a bit of shoulder-popping and gore in the preview.
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