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Scarecrow-88

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Mork & Mindy : Mork Runs Away, 14 September 2014
9/10

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

"Mork Runs Away" is best described as adorable, a big hug for those who watch it. Okay, before you vomit, just hear me out. Mindy so desires a romantic interest since most of her time has been spent in the house with Mork, her friend. So a beau from the past might just be the re-introduction to a decent love life needed for Mindy so she won't feel so lonely. Mork interrupts this unintentionally (remember, he's still unaccustomed with human behavior and as each episode ends, Mork has learned more about relationships and the human condition) after Mindy's pops calls off their basketball game because of the "coffee passing incident". Mork's description of the trip to his first basketball game produces one laugh after another: this is Williams at his most brilliant. How Mork torpedoes Mindy's date is equally hilarious and sad….Mindy heartbroken and Mork teary-eyed because she was upset just tugs at the heartstrings. I think we can just see that Dawber and Williams were such a treasure together, so when something (in this case an attempt at the potential romance with an old flame going up in flames) comes between and disrupts their kinship, it has emotional resonance. Their hug at the end kind of sums up just what this episode feels like…no matter the problem they encounter, at the end they are still together and a vital part of each other's lives. Mork's "preaching" to his new "roommate"--a loony in a flophouse planning to leave for Venus with two imaginary traveling companions—is a treat as he describes how he would convince others to join them on a trip to Venus. Robert Donner, a recognizable television actor and western character actor, is a hoot as the flophouse nut appalled at Mork's accurate description of real Venusians. In a white robe, and sounding off to his imaginary companions, Donner sends up that wacky prophet weirdo often encountered in slums and street corners to the hilt. Seeing Donner and Williams in a long scene together is a comic dynamo. To call Mork and Mindy endearing would be an understatement. Each episode seems to indicate that Mork and Mindy's friendship blossoms with love at its center.

Mork & Mindy: Mork Moves In, 14 September 2014
7/10

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

"Mork Moves In" has Mindy forced to confess to her father that the crazy yo-yo living in her home is actually an alien from outer space…an advanced civilization that did away with violence years ago. Pops wants Mindy to kick Mork out of her house while she realizes that his entrance in her life has produced wonderful results that have awakened a dull existence prior to his arrival. Highlights include Mork getting drunk off of Ginger Ale, awakening from his sleeping area hanging upside down like a bat in Mindy's armoire, and Mork lifting Mindy's kitchen table asking her where she wants him to "set it". This episode is primarily set in Mindy's apartment and seeing her trying to control a madcap Mork after his wild reaction to Ginger Ale is a thing of hilarity. The bits with the elk head and the trapper hat (and robe) are inspired sight gags Williams is able to use for absurdly comic moments. While Pam Dawber is actually in charge of stirring the storyline while Williams is allowed to go wherever the part takes him, their pairing is pure gold. Dawber is such a doll…I love her to bits. Williams' difficulty with the English language (like using phrases backwards) and parts of his own species' language provide some fun moments, also.

CSI : Friends & Lovers, 14 September 2014
9/10

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

If this episode does anything, it tells us that life sometimes just isn't fair. Murder, accidental or of a passion due to circumstances spiraling out of control, sometimes events transpire and good people suffer the consequences. The brutal murder of a jerk dean of a school (with the woman responsible for its opening the lead suspect) has Catherine and Nick investigating blood which speaks for the victim. Warrick and Grissom investigate the strange death of a young man found naked in the desert, seemingly dead because of fear. Jimsonweed seems to be a reason for what caused his death, and the case leads them to a good friend of the victim's and a despicable dealer, knowledgeable of the law regarding his profession and assured of his not doing time, who works raves on the outskirts of Vegas. Photophobia, auditory hallucination, and fireworks turn up, as does a bite and aluminum, as the investigation concludes. We get a strong indictment of an angered Grissom unleashing a rant against the dealer, later telling his colleagues that three types of criminal bothers him: sexual predators of kids, rapists, and those who sell death to kids. We also see how Grissom deals with the frustrations of his job…rollercoasters. A young Milo Ventimiglia is the friend of the naked victim who turns out to be an unfortunate recipient of a drug considered harmless fun, while character actor Kelly Connell is a funeral director answering to a shocking revelation regarding the "cutthroat funeral business" involving caskets, a dead body that had been embalmed (found in a garbage bin in Vegas!), and a grave dug up to show no signs of a burial. Sara works the embalmed-body-in-a-garbage-bin case, outraged at what she learns once her investigation turns up a horrible truth of what desperate people do to salvage their business. The dean case leaves Catherine and Nick with a bad taste because both realize that his death could have been avoided had he just left alone his employer and a member of her faculty alone…while Nick appears satisfied with the how of the case after it's solved, Catherine encourages him to desire the why behind the murder. This episode is a major bummer.

CSI : Who Are You?, 14 September 2014
8/10

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

So you have that animosity between Brass and Warrick surfacing yet again, except this time it is over a cop's testimony regarding a suicide he was witness to, with the CSI needing to investigate to make sure. The cop is offended that his word is questioned while Brass sees this as an opportunity to serve as a "Union rep" which allows him to antagonize Warrick and, in turn, Sara (assigned to assist Warrick on the case). The tumultuous nature of CSI "scientists" and the "cops who face real danger on the streets" becomes a volatile situation Brass seems willing to allow to heat up while Grissom wants the flames fanned into nothing but smoke. So proving what happened at that scene will determine where the cop's bullet actually is (it was missing from his clip; he explains that it reduces the chance for his gun to jam, while CSI must make sure it wasn't fired in a criminal act) and if this was suicide as proclaimed. A questionable car jockey and a bullet found in a tire might just incite or diffuse a "war" no one wants on either side of the investigation. Grissom and Nick are working the case of a discovered skeletal corpse found inside a wall underneath a house as a plumber was searching for a leak. Grissom meets facial reconstructionist, Terri Miller (the stunning Pamela Gidley), who adds a face to the skull and through her work (she allows Grissom to assist, placing his face in clay and smoothing out the skull) Fay Green is named as the victim. Her former boyfriend might be the viable suspect, but his wife looks awful nervous as Grissom and Nick request investigating their home. A type of sand (not from a beach) found on the skeletal remains and specific puncture wounds from a tool with "crocodile teeth" will help assist the CSI in their investigation. The dissolved marriage of Catherine and her husband Eddie (character actor Timothy Carhart) had been mentioned in dialogue the first episodes of the season, and this is introduced thoroughly as a case of rape, regarding a stripper saying she was treated too roughly, brings their relationship to the forefront. Treading delicately as not to conflict the case of rape against Eddie, Catherine will try to investigate without touching the evidence, and perhaps she is able to conclude that this was less of a crime and more of expectations not met. Eddie is shown here to be a master manipulator and con as not only does he try to influence a little trip down memory lane with Catherine but his lying regarding "big contracts with musicians in the industry" to girls to get laid certainly doesn't help his cause. A great piece of acting from George Eads as a gun is pointed directly at him and he is interlocked in a standoff where his life could be hanging by a thread as the killer trembles in fear at everything crashing down around her. Nick is quite rattled by this experience as Grissom must halt what could be a dangerous situation. The skull fingers sticking out of concrete under the house is quite a grabber. Catherine's life as a stripper is mentioned here, and her scene with DNA analyst, Greg (Eric Szmanda, longtime series regular who stole scenes in early seasons) about "remembering her performance" was great! Brass once again carries himself like an asshole just trying to provoke hostility. The potential of a relationship between Grissom and Terri (the chemistry is truly palpable) never quite materializes unfortunately.

CSI : Friends & Lovers, 14 September 2014
9/10

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

If this episode does anything, it tells us that life sometimes just isn't fair. Murder, accidental or of a passion due to circumstances spiraling out of control, sometimes events transpire and good people suffer the consequences. The brutal murder of a jerk dean of a school (with the woman responsible for its opening the lead suspect) has Catherine and Nick investigating blood which speaks for the victim. Warrick and Grissom investigate the strange death of a young man found naked in the desert, seemingly dead because of fear. Jimsonweed seems to be a reason for what caused his death, and the case leads them to a good friend of the victim's and a despicable dealer, knowledgeable of the law regarding his profession and assured of his not doing time, who works raves on the outskirts of Vegas. Photophobia, auditory hallucination, and fireworks turn up, as does a bite and aluminum, as the investigation concludes. We get a strong indictment of an angered Grissom unleashing a rant against the dealer, later telling his colleagues that three types of criminal bothers him: sexual predators of kids, rapists, and those who sell death to kids. We also see how Grissom deals with the frustrations of his job…rollercoasters. A young Milo Ventimiglia is the friend of the naked victim who turns out to be an unfortunate recipient of a drug considered harmless fun, while character actor Kelly Connell is a funeral director answering to a shocking revelation regarding the "cutthroat funeral business" involving caskets, a dead body that had been embalmed (found in a garbage bin in Vegas!), and a grave dug up to show no signs of a burial. Sara works the embalmed-body-in-a-garbage-bin case, outraged at what she learns once her investigation turns up a horrible truth of what desperate people do to salvage their business. The dean case leaves Catherine and Nick with a bad taste because both realize that his death could have been avoided had he just left alone his employer and a member of her faculty alone…while Nick appears satisfied with the how of the case after it's solved, Catherine encourages him to desire the why behind the murder. This episode is a major bummer.

CSI : Pledging Mr. Johnson, 14 September 2014
8/10

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Outstanding episode of CSI has Warrick exorcising a demon in the corrupt judge wanting him to disrupt evidence so that a guilty party will escape prosecution. Meanwhile a doozy of a case might seem like either the lover or husband was behind the drowning death of a decomposed 34 year old woman, but a head wound on a boat and a shoulder injury could very well indicate that a completely different reason was responsible. What I think makes this case so memorable in the CSI canon is that Catherine and Grissom go head-to-head over telling the husband about his wife's affair, basically pointing out who he was…a man separated from his wife and deeply in love with the deceased. The tragic results of this and how the wife really died are a direct example of what Grissom argues with Catherine about…telling those involved in their investigation only what is necessary, and not bringing personal life events into the job (Catherine endured a cheating husband and wanted to "do the right thing" by telling the husband about what his wife was doing, encouraging inadvertently the notion that the lover killed her). Catherine's explosive back-and-forth with Grissom over his "not having a life" is especially an eyebrow-raiser. His turning out to be correct is a life lesson that haunts as the screen fades to black. A highlight of this investigation includes Grissom using science (a recreation of the area of water covering certain lakes, little boat, and a fan to determine where the wife's boat ended up while Catherine put "feet to concrete" to find it herself first) while Catherine "pounded the pavement" with both locating the victim's boat. Greg lovingly giving Catherine props to the "defeated" Grissom is a treat. I like how this case doesn't go as expected and, instead, arrives at a conclusion that tells us that accidents do happen. Also, a fraternity-suicide is investigated by Nick and Sara as they pursue the reasoning behind a college kid (trying to secure a spot in the fraternity) hanging from a rope. They have a hard time believing he'd commit suicide just because he didn't make it. When a girl's "inking" of her name on the victim's "privates" shows up during autopsy, a liver is found in his system, the cause of death is ruled to be a choking, and a rope is found with blood located around its noose, Nick and Sara are sure there's much to this story and it could implicate fraternity heads (one with a big-time attorney as his father). Fraternity hazing is put under the microscope here as Nick cops to understanding (since he was part of one in college) the inner working of this while Sara shows her repulsion at these types of activities and behavior. The narcissistic behavior of a frat kid, thumbing his nose at Nick and Sara by lying to them and throwing out how his pops would help him escape the sentencing he truly deserves provides a nicely satisfying conclusion when he gets what's coming to him.

CSI : Crate 'n' Burial, 14 September 2014
8/10

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Strong third episode of CSI definitely signifies quite early why the series would be so lasting…good storytelling, strong characters, and tragic developments that define human nature (both, at its ugliest and best). What I thought was significantly strong (and, again, something now quite recognizable in dialogue on forensic shows and criminal television) was Warrick's response to Catherine regarding letting their case go as was headed (a grandfather willing to take the rap for his grandson over a hit-and-run of a little girl on her scooter at night): they must "follow the evidence no matter where it leads them" because criminalistics involves catching those responsible for crimes committed even if those ultimately guilty aren't bad people. A supposed underground burial involving a wealthy businessman's wife, her position held for ransom until he pays up, might not be as it seems and it is up to Grissom, Sara, and Nick to determine what was going on. A bruise on the burial victim's face, "audio forensics" on a recording of the ransom demand from a payphone and what it ultimately entails, use of a particular kind of infrared device that indicates heat signatures underground while Grissom and Sara are in a helicopter, and a colleague of the businessman's grabbing the duffel bag containing the ransom money are certain developments that lead to twisty results so crucial to the success and thrills of CSI. I loved Grissom's early tutelage of Sara who was a "star pupil" of his and how she becomes an exceptional criminalist under his mentorship, which is shown here in how he reduces her analysis of what happened at the kidnap scene by finding dirt. You see Grissom also encourage the best from Nick, worrying that he wouldn't devote all his creative energies to seeing all the evidence pursued passionately (the auto recording and getting the most out of what it has to get answers to the kidnapping-ransom scenario). Warrick providing his number to a kid going to jail and seeing Catherine take off early for her daughter's birthday show that he is a really cool guy; he just has flaws like we all do.

CSI: Cool, 14 September 2014
8/10

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

With the ugly turnabout of Holly Gribbs' (Chandra West, concluding her quick time on the show at its beginning) shooting, surgery, and most certain death, Brass is reduced from lead of the crime lab back to Homicide while Gil Grissom receives "temporary promotion" to take over as the boss of CSI in Las Vegas. Sara Sidal (Jorga Fox) is a CSI in San Francisco called in by Gil (he trusts her and wanted IA away from the lab) to investigate internally what went wrong during the night Holly Gribbs was shot. Warrick placed a bet for a sonofabitch corrupt judge wrongfully, having to earn him a quick few thousand in an hour, further placing himself in a bad light while on leave due to his reckless disregard for orders entailing him to watch Holly while she dusted for prints. It appears as if Gil will have to fire Warrick for his misdeeds. Meanwhile, a fake suicide (prescription glasses dictate to Gil this was set up to look as so; he's further assisted by a "dummy drop" with tourists outside the hotel cheering on each drop of a forensic dummy by Nick from the roof!) is investigated as it pertains to a creep who won millions and dumped a girlfriend (carried along as a piece to bang as he tells her; yeah, nice guy this sleaze) after encouraged by her to use a twenty on a slot machine. An unfortunate guy who had spent so much time on that machine, winning nothing, and the dumped girlfriend are suspects. Red roof dirt, bloody carpet and towel, a square image embedded in skull from a statue, and carpet fibers in a watch all play a part in the answer of the whodunit. Also, the scumbag who murdered Holly doesn't realize that she damned him through a fingernails-scratch on the face, hidden pager, and use of a phone to give her a little time to decide how to combat him…the ultimate tragedy of being shot by her own gun does leave a bad taste in Catherine's mouth as she is adamant in working the Gribbs' shooting (because she encouraged Holly to stay a CSI for the night). This is Fox' introduction to the series and her quick earning of Catherine's favor indicates just how special to those on the team, and Grissom, she'd be. Warrick has a hard time ahead of him as the judge insists they are not done with gambled bets, but having Grissom as an ally and support does help. Highlights include Catherine "going method", talking seductively to Holly's killer to secure his residence and Grissom's mentioning of "following the evidence". Letting "the evidence speak for the victim" is now commonplace in forensics shows and reality crime television.

Mork & Mindy: Pilot, 10 September 2014
8/10

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Inspired by the loss of a wonderful actor, comedian, humanitarian, and performer, Robin Williams, I wanted so badly to go back to Mork & Mindy and revisit the show that made him a star. Robin Williams' physical abilities, expressions, "sound effects", impressions, and child-like innocence (think of his alien as a babe introduced to a new world, and his response to the mores, behavior, and lessons on humanity are what provided so much delight) are so kinetic, energetic, vigorous, wild, over-the-top, lively, unpredictable, and endearing, you couldn't help but smile or laugh at something he'd do at some point in each episode. The pilot special has Mork sent to Earth because his sense of humor clashed with the emotionless planet of Ork. "Exiled" to Earth to research humans and communicate through the mind back to leader, Orson (which he would lovingly mock the weight of), on what he has learned and experienced, this show had a unique premise that could have easily been a crash and burn disaster had it not been for the marvelous chemistry of cutie-pie Pam Dawber (she works at her father's musical instrument shop in Boulder, Colorado) and Williams. Pam is innocuous and sweet, providing her home "temporarily" to Mork as he spends time in this new world, reacting to the customs and ways of life he encounters. The pilot includes Mork "going back in time" to when he met the Fonz so he could learn "mating rituals" between men and women; the Fonz calls on Laverne (Penny Marshall; her work with Williams is spectacular) for help in kissing. Just seeing Fonz and Mork in the same scene together is an absolute hoot…the Fonz' discomfort as Mork seems in such desperate need of information is just a treat. Geoffrey Lewis has a hilarious scene as the sheriff, "encouraged" by Mindy's father (Conrad Janis), during a boozing at his store at the sad thought of his daughter having a "man" living with her (basic "society is in moral decline" and the yearning for "the old days") to address Mork, as he tries to intimidate and interrogate the visitor from another world. Mork's difference in how he "sits down" (standing on his head!), drinks (with his fingers!), looks at eggs (eggs are a mode of space travel for Mork's species!), salutes (with his fingers), "beeps" and "honks" when responding and reacting to people, situations, pop culture (he does a number of familiar impressions, notable to television audiences of the time) all provide countless moments to enjoy and remember. This character was at times quite manic, off-kilter, and bombastic; Williams was firing on all cylinders. Madcap doesn't begin to describe Williams' Mork. Pam was his "better half": a true friend who would be there for Mork through thick and thin. We see how Mindy comes to Mork's defense when he's facing an insanity hearing that could lead to his being sent to the loony bin…how Mork, speaking in a Southern attorney's voice, ruffles the feathers of the court-appointed psychiatrist, leading to the reveal of his affair with the stenographer, has to be seen to be believed. Just the opening episode tells you of what was in store. Great comic stuff, right here. Williams was a genius. A loss of him will always be felt…he had that type of significant impact. The bit with the backwards suit and Williams' hand sign exchange with a local kid are highlights.

CSI: Pilot, 10 September 2014
8/10

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

The inaugural episode of CSI: Las Vegas, one of the all-time greats and a CBS television staple. The pilot deals with the flaws of Warrick, a fine investigator with a gambling addiction that haunts him thanks to bad decisions while on the job. He has a judge he makes bets with, placing one on the Packers when he was supposed to be shadowing a rookie CSI detective on the job her first shift (Chandra West, in a cameo that seems like the beginning of a starring role). Because Warrick fails to obey his commander's orders (Paul Guilfoyle), she is shot in the line of duty, dusting the prints of a robbery with the man who shoots her the one responsible. West's character seeks advice from Catherine Willows (Marg Helgenberger) about this new job, unsure she wants to do it as a career, motivated by her traffic cop mom to become CSI. Catherine tells her to stick it out, and that she wouldn't regret it…haunting words that loom over the shooting, and indicate to us that harm to a cop could come at any moment. Prior to her being shot, West's Holly Gribbs had a gun pointed towards her while dusting for prints at a store owner's establishment…irony is the owner was the one pointing the gun! So it is kind of foreshadowing. In the pilot, Gill Grissom (William Petersen) is supervisor of the graveyard shift but he answered to Guilfoyle's Jim Brass. He tries to comfort and ease Holly into the job after a shaky interview with Brass and vomit during her first visit of an autopsy. So the tragic aspects of Holly are evident throughout. This is the nature of such a dangerous job. You could be in danger at any time. Anyway, Warrick has a bet with Nick Stokes (George Eads) as the two are competing for CSI Level III position which has the perks of extra pay and vacation time. Warrick's being so involved in his self-improvement jeopardizes his job. Catherine and Warrick were the CSIs on the case of a husband who murdered his wife's brother, and it appears that whether or not it was "protection of family" hinges on a shoe and toe nail. Meanwhile, Catherine has a moment with a little girl that was molested, providing a realization that protecting her own daughter and loving her deeply is important. Meanwhile Nick investigates the odd results of a tourist (character actor Royce Appleton) awakening to find his items stolen (wallet, keys, etc.) thanks in part to a babe (the always-delicious Krista Allen) who seduced him in a casino…waking up to find himself robbed, with Nick believing something was ingested that knocked him out. What that knock-out agent ultimately is quite a stunner…let's just say it isn't eye wash. Brass proves to be a real asshole in this episode, particularly nasty towards Warrick who needs a warrant to search his suspect's toenails for a link to the brother-in-law's murder. This pilot proves that the show has several threads going on during each episode. This ends with Gribbs' shot-in-line-of-duty, with Brass informing Warrick that he must face administrative leave for not shadowing her as he was told. Gribbs is said to be in surgery and possibly dying as the first episode ends.

The storyline thread not yet concluded involves a murder faked as a suicide, and a fingerprint left at the scene was left by a prosthetic hand from a novelty warehouse! The mother of the victim tells Grissom that the voice leaving a "suicide confession" was not her son's voice, too. So the pilot basically sets up the next episode. That dummy being bludgeoned in the head by Grissom has blood that is spattered that came from Holly, told by her supervisor that it was a mandatory part of the first day!


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