(S06E07) Benjamin Linus is one of the most fascinating characters ever put to screen, played with devilish brilliance by Michael Emerson. He positively dominates every scene he's in with those intense, thoughtful and incredibly dangerous big eyes of his. This week, we got to see quite literally two sides of Ben Linus.
Considering that virtually Ben's entire life happened on the island in the alpha-verse, I had been intrigued as to what beta-Ben would be like ever since his first appearance in 'The Substitute' three weeks ago. As I anticipated, our flash-sideways picks up events somewhat shortly after Locke's story.
It also features Locke, as well as a few other familiar faces in new and intriguing roles. At this point, I think I could watch an entire series set in the beta-verse just to see all these people's lives interconnect. It's truly fascinating stuff.
-- Monk to Dr. Bell
(S07E05) You kind of knew when you put together the words Monk and submarine you were going to get an unusual episode, didn't you? As a longtime Monk watcher, you know that enclosed places are not Adrian-friendly environs, so when an old friend of Natalie's -- hottie Casper Van Dien (Starship Troopers) as her late husband Mitch's buddy, Lt. Steve Albright -- asked Monk to investigate a suspicious death on the U.S.S. Seattle, trouble would ensue. Was it a contrived situation to get Monk trapped on board? You bet, but you accept that and move on.
What made this episode unique was how Monk reacted. Initially, he ran for the hatch like a crazed three-year-old. But then Adrian concocted a coping mechanism. This was a Monk first. To deal with claustrophia, he envisioned Dr. Bell by his side.
A documentary about Second Life that actually takes place within the virtual world has been picked up by HBO for a premiere sometime next year.
The documentary, Molotov's Dispatches in Search of the Creator: A Second Life Odyssey, was created by multimedia director Douglas Gayeton, whose avatar, Molotov Alva, serves as a guide through the virtual 3D world. Gayeton previously worked on the CD-ROM version of the film Johnny Menemonic, and is a partner with Propaganda Films along with David Fincher, Spike Jonze, and Alex Proyas. The documentary was produced by Submarine in Amsterdam, however, not Propaganda.
While I'm enjoying this show still, after this episode I had to wonder if I could have just cut-and-pasted my review from the last episode before Christmas and changed a few words. The title: over the top cute (but still far better than "First Act of War" or something). The outfits: better, especially the yummy chocolate silk jammies. The angry teenaged daughter: still angry, still whiny, still want to slap her. Nathan Templeton: no longer evil. Just... not. What's with that?
What did I like? Well, those jammies. The nicely-built cliffhanger. The way Mac answers her phone while wearing aforementioned chocolate-colored jammies. It's soooo Presidential. The developing relationship between Jim Gardner and Rob Calloway - the dynamic works pretty well, sparring but with growing respect for one another. And Gardner with the loyalty? Boy that was a nice (if canned) little speech. I could almost hear the orchestra in the background soaring as he delivered the "I love the Pres" address to the gathered generals and admirals and such. Finally, I am going on record as saying that Ever Carradine's hair was nice this time. It still needs to be shorter but, at long last, it looks like it belongs on an adult. With a job.
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