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The Killing: Missing (2011)
Only Character....But Could Have Advanced the Plot
I guess we need to get to know Holder and Linden, but it would be better through bits and pieces of discovery. It's almost like they decided to completely ignore Rosie's murder and go on the sidetrack. Jack takes off and the entire episode involves a sort of combat between the two principle characters. I guess if you know there are going to be four years from the start, you can afford the luxury of an episode like this. My issue with this episode is that it cheats us of significant events that have been boiling away. We get no follow-up on anything until the last thirty seconds. I do admit that this is an odd couple who are trying to survive one another, but for me, Jack is not very interesting. He is underdeveloped as a character and seems in the way. Oh, one other thing. I know we're talking Seattle, but does it ever stop raining. I'm going to need windshield wipers for my TV.
Looking for Adela
Stan is in jail for nearly beating Amed to death. He realizes that the poor teacher has never done anything to anyone. He is a model citizen who is doing amazing things. Now he lies near death in the hospital, probably on life support. Stephen and Sarah hone in on Royce who is a significant lead. Sarah is having trouble with her son who is bewildered and defiant. Royce is now running the company, but he is messing around with people Stan would have never hired. Richmond is gaining in the polls but one of his tech volunteers makes a discovery that could be damaging. Finally, Mitch is overwhelmed by some news from the bank.
The Killing: Undertow (2011)
There are more messed up situations than in any of the previous episodes. Sarah and Stephen, while trying to come up with answers, make promises on which they cannot deliver. The mysterious Mohammed is the target and there are things that aren't known. The trouble is that because of the political/social climate, Bennet is automatically seen as a murderer. When Mitch sees him going back into the school, all bets are off. She brings shame on Stan and he must prove his manhood. That crazy Royce guy is in the middle of everything. Also, Richmond puts it all on the line, literally. The gloves are off and he now must shine. Finally, Mitch makes a discovery that will turn things up a notch.
The Yearling (1946)
Yes, Some Say Heart Warming, But.....
This movie is based on a book by excellent American novelist Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings. It has to do with a family living on a farm many years ago. They are just barely making it and are having to deal with thieves and other threats to their farm. Jodi is a young boy, the only surviving son after many childhood deaths. He is a bright, kind boy, but his mother has turned harsh from all her tribulations. He longs for a pet, but there is barely enough for the family to eat. When a doe dies the fawn is removed and Jodi takes care of it. The problem is that the little critter can't stay away from the family's corn crop. The ending to this film is really quite sad and real. There was little sentiment in the West when a bit of food could be the difference between life and death. Gregory Peck is excellent as the father who would love to provide better for his family. A classic American story.
The Killing: Stonewalled (2011)
The episode starts out with Sarah and Stephen on their faces, being subdued by the FBI who immediately begin to compromise their case. It seems that they are looking into terrorist activities and really have no interest in the dead girl. They even ask if she could have been prepping to be a terrorist herself. Mitch is getting more and more depressed and obsessed and nearly kills her sons. Meanwhile, Bennet is into something. He is becoming hostile. Also, the politics are suddenly down and dirty after Richmond attends a hearing concerning the woman who was drunk and killed his wife. This really puts an edge on things going into the next episode.
The Killing: Vengeance (2011)
A Close Call
Stan and Mitch are fractured. Things keep going south. Mitch withdraws from a violent act probably because he has been that guy before (meaning a hit man) and doesn't want to go back. Mitch is now convinced that Amed is involved with this because Royce continues to meddle. Sarah is watching her potential marriage disintegrate because she is married to this case. It turns out there was more to the story of Rosie entering the Amed's apartment than originally told. Meanwhile, racism is beginning to filter in at a frightening rate. Richmond just can't divorce himself from his basic honesty and be a true politician, not willing to win at all costs. Pressure is on to fire Amed from his group. As has been the case numerous times already, the conclusion sort of knocks one's socks off. Can't wait to see what's next.
The Paradine Case (1947)
Peck Delivers a Conflicted Character
When your principle character loses his objectivity, one would think there is a failing in writing and production. But Hitchcock knew this going in. What he also knew is that Selznick, who couldn't keep his rich hands off this film, would be a roadblock. Apparently, this film was very expensive to make and more's the pity. Anyway, a sultry woman is accused of murdering her blind husband. Peck is given the case and must be her advocate. What's unfortunate is that he begins to fall for her, even though he has a wife on the sidelines who is totally aware of what is going on. I won't do spoilers but I will say that Peck's good faith calculations lead to some real complications, things that his own personal myopia disrupt his serious analysis of the case. While it may be a less successful Hitch, it's still pretty darned good.
Much Better Done Than Most A & C Comedies
We get to see many of the Universal monsters here and that's a treat. They maintain their identities and act as they should. Because they are dropped into the crazy world of Lou Costello and his straight man partner, there are plot events that keep them hidden. Larry Talbot, Lon Chaney, Jr., seems to turn into the wolfman at the worst times. Because of lack of due diligence, Dracula (the Lugosi one) and Frankenstein's monster, played by Glenn Strange, get away and lurk around for some time. Of course, Dracula can't help himself because he depends on the right kind of nourishment. There is a romantic angle involving Lou's character, and, of course, Abbot's perpetual incredulity about his partner's witness. It's a lot of fun and well worth the effort. Maybe the best one these guys did.
Follow the Fleet (1936)
An Excuse to Sing and Dance...and That's Great
Fred and his friend, Randolph Scott (this is not a Western) are on shore leave. Obviously, these are show people. Ginger is around somewhere (his former partner) and in this effort they rekindle their relationship and their dancing skills. Along with them is the young woman who later became the wife of Ozzie Nelson. She's so young and it became surprising to me how well she could sing. I know that Ozzie was some second rate band leader in these days. There is some sparring because of the lack of seriousness of Fred's friend, Bilge. He is one of those guys who is full of himself and leads women on, only to desert them. Of course, who cares about the plot since we can see the most famous dance pair in history hoof it to some lesser known Irving Berlin songs. "Face the Music and Dance" is the only one that rings a bell with me.
The Killing: What You Have Left (2011)
Rosie Was There
An intense episode develops the fact that Rosie showed up at Amed's house the night of her murder after the party. After Stan's meltdown he is fixated on finding the killer and enlists his work buddy, a dangerous man, to find out what he can from the school. The two police officers are putting lives in danger. Much of this episode involves Rosie's funeral. Amed shows up at the Larsen's house after the funeral. Meanwhile, Richmond's political aspirations are being compromised. This murder is being used against him, even though it's just a car from his campaign fleet. In a TV interview, all his good deeds are cast aside when the mayor keeps up the crime and punishment stuff. We are left with a great narrative hook at the conclusion. This is a soundly paced and well done series. We are really roped into what happens next.