Lost (“Maternity Leave”)

Season 2, Episode 15
Date of airing: March 1, 2006 (ABC)
Nielsen ratings information: 16.43 million viewers, 9.9/15 in Households, 6.9/16 with Adults 18-49

If there was ever any doubt that Henry Gale was one of them or an innocent who got himself involved in one of the crappiest moments of his entire life, this episode made sure that you know who the guy really is. It’s his first full episode of being a prisoner in the Swan station and he is already starting to manipulate Locke into seeing the villain in Jack, to create that conflict between the two prison guards, to make his life a little easier behind that locked door. It’s the first real sign of Henry Gale not being so innocent, and it’s the first move by the writers to depict that who Jack and Locke have locked into the weapons chamber is actually a villain. So far we have only come to see the Others from the distance, in a group, unknown to everyone but themselves, almost as they were ghosts. But Henry could be the first step towards humanizing the villainous characters and to make sure that they appear human in future episodes, and not like ghostly monsters who show up when they need to kidnap a kid or draw metaphorical lines in figurative sands. For one and a half seasons the others haven’t been much of villains, and with the writers barely using and explaining the black smoke monster or other dangers coming from the jungle of death, it was about time that at least the human villains would start become more integrated in the plot. Henry Gale is that point of connection, and he is starting it off like a good villain.

Best friends forever, or at least until Claire gets her memories back.

The episode was otherwise solid, even if someone like me didn’t get much out of it being a Claire-centric episode. Emilie de Ravin hasn’t shown why she was allowed to be a central character in the show, but she did show why the writers gave her less and less screentime, as she isn’t much of a great actress when things are demanded of her. Claire stood in front of Danielle Rousseau as she was starting to remember things and connect the dots, but de Ravin’s face was of an actress who just stepped out of a daily soap opera to guest star on a weekly primetime television mystery science-fiction survival drama. I wonder no more why Claire has always been drawing the short stick when it comes to storylines in the show, but I do have to ask myself why I liked the character when I first saw the show back in the spring of 2005. Was it just because de Ravin was an attractive young woman whom I could easily have a crush on and that is all my 18-year-old mind needed back then? Or is this episode one of those prime examples of a high-concept television drama with an extra order of episodes has to be produced on the fly whenever the producers have the chance, and the scenes in the DHARMA hospital station were produced more with speed and less with precision? There could have been a great conflict between Claire and Danielle about who scratched whom and why, and whether or not Danielle was actually bringing Claire back to the Others, but the writers didn’t focus on that story at all and instead just went with the team-up of three women, who decided to head into the jungle with one pistol and one rifle (and whatever else Danielle had in her backpack — probably some more explosives) and enter a DHARMA station for the sake of advancing the mythology. Okay, now I know what happened: The writers chose quantity over quality.

And of course the writers had to wait until it was time for Claire’s episode to let her have a few flashes and start remembering, although I do found it to be a nice idea that this is the first episode with flashbacks set after the plane crash on the island (let’s exclude “The Other 48 Days” for now, because that whole episode is a flashback). With Claire it seemed quite obvious, since she couldn’t remember what happened in the two weeks between episode ten and fifteen of the first season, but now I’m sort of wondering if there will be other instances that includes characters flashing back to times on the island after they have crashed, instead of before. Is there even logic behind this idea?

Kate is doing all the tense work in this creepy DHARMA station.

The rest of the episode was good enough to awaken my interest for a few minutes. Granted, Mr. Eko wasted his conversation with Henry, although it was a scene that pretty much had Eko believe Henry was one of them. I was however a bit disappointed that Sayid was nowhere to be found during this hour — yes, he may be shocked of himself again after using torture techniques to get a person to answer questions, but it’s not like his actions came out of nowhere in the previous episode (for heaven’s sake, he introduced himself as a torturer), but it’s almost like the writers did not want to deal with the character, considering this was Claire’s episode, and it was supposed to advance Henry’s manipulative tactics, which would have otherwise been in the way for a story headlined by Sayid.

There was one weird thing about Danielle though: Not only was she the catalyst for characters heading straight into the jungle of doom again to experience an adventure and a development in the mythology, but I found it quite convenient that her daughter is both alive and obviously the person who helped Claire escape. As if this world didn’t have another teenage girl with blue eyes to offer who somehow ended up on this island to be the voice of reason, the person with empathy. It would make sense that the girl who helped Claire is Alex (this is still a television show, and Alex still being alive is a well-done twist), but damn, if LOST isn’t a show that likes to put on a show of conveniences…

Liv and Maddie: Cali Style (“Sing it Louder!!-a-Rooney”)

Season 4, Episode 4
Date of airing: November 18, 2016 (Disney Channel)
Nielsen ratings information: 1.122 million viewers, 0.25 rating with Adults 18-49, 0.26 rating with Adults 18-34, 0.57 rating with Females 12-34, 0.22 rating with Adults 25-54

For some reason I wanna watch the Sing It Loud! franchise, because now that the writers have delivered a premise of the show-within-a-show, it sounded intriguing enough to be turned into an actual show. GLEE at a boarding school for misbehaving teenagers — that’s a good-enough tagline to at least warrant a Disney Channel TV movie, which I would totally watch. Though maybe not, because I haven’t even watched the HIGH SCHOOL MUSICAL franchise yet, though there were a couple of minutes since its inception that I was interested in watching it. Now more so than ever because of Disney+ and the sorta-spinoff mockumentary series.

It’s the finale of a long night of essay writing, prepare for a maddening twist!

It was a pretty good episode, though once more I could have wiped my butt with the Joey/Parker storyline. After four episodes, the story is still just Joey continuing his Falcon persona, and Parker hating Joey’s Falcon fame, and Joey bathing in his success, and Parker creating schemes to show Joey that his ruse can crush at any second. It’s the same old story and the season hasn’t even been on for that long. And of course Parker will fail every time he tried to destroy Joey, which makes this entire story a long running joke which is running out of jokes. The gags haven’t been funny at all in this episode, and in addition to the missing comedy, it destroys the potential of having at least some true high school moments for Parker and Joey, who for once do something together at school, without the show having to interrupt their stories with something Liv and Maddie are doing. By the way, why would the writers only focus on boys at BOOMS and not on Maddie’s freshman year at college? One might think that putting a character in college is more intriguing for a TV writer than depicting the senior year of a high school student. When characters are in college on a Disney Channel sitcoms, does that automatically spell less screentime for them?

Liv’s storyline was good, though as soon as Gemma (hell to the yeah to her return!) mentioned that the production needed a 10-year-old Sasha, I knew that Ruby would be it, before she even delivered her living room performance of Sasha exclusively to Liv. I liked the idea of Ruby and Liv working together on Sing It Louder!!, because maybe the show will continue to depict show-within-a-show performances and scenes, and fluff up the fourth season of LIV AND MADDIE with musical numbers a little bit. The season finale of Skyvolt looked intriguing in the third season finale, and I must say, I dug “Second Chances” during this episode, and not just because the show-within-a-show felt like part of an actual musical (though the producers could have worked on a better and more eventful choreography). I would almost hope that the writers would give Dove Cameron more time to portray Liv, just so there will be more musical elements in LIV AND MADDIE. You might know that I have a soft spot for musicals, just not GLEE — I still haven’t gotten through the second season, and since Mark Salling was charged with child pornography, I will most likely never watch the show ever again. Cancel culture, y’all!

Auditions for a Disney Channel show are the hardest.

Meanwhile, Maddie had something to do in the episode as well, and it was okay, though entirely forgettable. I liked the idea of her being a klutz, and it was obvious that Aunt Dena would ruse Maddie in letting her believe that her Mother Earth magic saved her laptop (though how could it have been functioning after drying out? Maddie spilled pineapple juice on it, and that probably had a high level of sugar, making the laptop unusable forever). But yeah, a few more actual college storylines, and I would have been happy about Maddie’s arc. Even more so if Maddie’s storyline would take away from the terrible high school storyline that makes me cringe every time Joey opens his mouth.

Hannah Montana (“Lilly, Do You Want to Know a Secret?”)

Season 1, Episode 1
Date of airing: March 24, 2006 (Disney Channel)
Nielsen ratings information: 5.435 million viewers, 4.5 rating in Households, 2.888 million viewers with Kids 2-11, 2.340 million viewers with Kids 6-11 (9.6 rating), 2.324 million viewers with Tweens 9-14 (9.4 rating), 1.251 million viewers with Teens 12-17

Disney+ is up and running, and while I am still finishing my run of LIV AND MADDIE, I have decided that the adventures of a pop star and her normal alter ego shall be the second show I am watching. I have a bit of experience with HANNAH MONTANA way back when, but when I did watch the show some time in 2008, I didn’t watch all of it (I think I remember a Halloween episode and one that had Dolly Parton in it). But now that Disney+ exists and I have found a liking for Disney Channel shows, why not trying to make my way through the entire run of Miley Cyrus’ television adventure, before she became a real pop star and probably someone who could easily mingle with Emma Watson and Kristen Stewart in what is going to be called the first legal threeway marriage between three women. They are what Christina Aguilera, Britney Spears and Avril Lavigne were for kids in the early 2000s.

Disney Channel television products from halfway into the first decade of the new millennium seem incredibly old these days. There is a reason to studio was able to buy all the things it could get their hands on (Marvel Comics, Lucasfilm, ABC, 20th Century Fox), and I think one of the reasons might be that their TV shows were successful while also being produced on the cheap. It’s 2005 and HANNAH MONTANA was conceived as a show that did not have to comply with the unwritten rules of high-definition television, and the very soundstage-like setting makes this episode seem like it was produced during a time the studio was not allowed to shoot anything under an open and blue sky. This is generally I have a problem with when it comes to Disney Channel shows (they never seem to be allowed to use exterior settings), but maybe it’s just because they are sitcoms, and that’s what the genre is all about: Exterior sets are forbidden and you better look as cheap as possible, where the audience could think that the entire thing was produced on video. It sort of is unbelievable to say that about a TV show that found its premiere date in early 2006, but then again, not every broadcast television show was airing in high-definition back then, so maybe the Disney Channel was just straggling behind?

It’s the face you make when your BFF has tickets to your own concert.

While I’m hilariously wasting an entire paragraph about the fullscreen quality of this episode, I must say I had this episode kind of worse in my memory banks. There were a few moments I chucked during, and it turns out that Miley Cyrus and Emily Osment are good-enough actors and a well developed team to carry the entire show with just their chemistry, no more regular or supporting characters needed. Maybe it was just this episode, which needed to go through the premise of Lilly finding out about Miley’s greatest secret, but the way their friendship went from its normal status at the beginning to a crash-landing midway through to the new high they shared close to the end of the episode made for an intriguing start to the show and a promising way to start off a new friendship between two characters who maybe have been close to each other, but in reality they haven’t really. Not only did this episode of a sitcom television show deliver an actual premiere episode, in which the characters changed the status quo of their lives a little bit (shouldn’t that be the case for every character in any television show, no matter the genre?), but it also made good work of its two main attractions and they way they acted. Who would have known that, when Miley became a little insecure and didn’t know what to do, her Southern accent comes popping out and the scene gets at least a little funnier? And I was definitely not expecting that the friendship between Miley and Lilly would be defined in this episode and even make me care if they get back together by the end of the episode (which was an obvious guarantee, but I still worried for a hot second). In that way, the episode did good, although we’re allowed to ask the question now if future episodes will develop that friendship, because when it comes to the Disney Channel, barely anything gets developed — characters usually stay the same over the course of three or four seasons of sitcoms.

Disney Channel presents crossdressing for the sake of laughs.

What I appreciated about the premiere is how the nature of the show’s comedy is not grounded and is allowed to go nuts every once in a while. Jackson isn’t in pain when shown in his sister’s clothes twice during these 23 episodes, and generally speaking there is something very crazy about Lilly “landing” in the Stewart house with her skateboard, which usually shows she has no restraints — that’s great for a sitcom. In addition, Miley won’t be held back having a crush on Johnny Collins (when Corbin Bleu probably still thought he could be a Hollywood superstar), who happens to be black, and Miley and Lilly’s random best friend Oliver finds time to be the prick of Seaview Middle School, because when you write a sitcom that does not want to bore you with emotional stuff, then there is always an asshole who makes things a little difficult for the characters, although it’s guaranteed that Oliver will remain best friends with the central characters, no matter how much of an idiot he is. HANNAH MONTANA is essentially the best Disney Channel sitcom: A few characters I care about, ridiculous comedy, some hot teenage pop music I don’t mind every once in a while (Miley Cyrus making the extra dough while shooting the show, as the songs she sings were probably released for the viewers to buy and listen to like this is the soundtrack of FROZEN), and the Southern accent that comes shooting out of the Cyruses that makes things more hilarious that the show has any right to be. It’s almost like the Disney Channel could work towards a revival season, like they are doing with LIZZIE MCGUIRE.

The End of the F***ing World (Episode 5)

Series 1, Episode 5
Date of release: October 24, 2017 (All 4)

This episode was almost too sweet. James and Alyssa hated each other for leaving one another, then they missed each other like they were a couple in love but not together, and then they found each other again, as if this entire thing is really just one big love story with two weird characters. And in the meantime those two characters are getting embroiled in a murder mystery (for the investigating detectives at least), with the police getting closer to them. Eunice and Teri don’t even suspect James and Alyssa in the murder right now, and considering there are only three episodes left in the season, it begs the question what needs to happen for the inspectors to catch up to the teenagers and if there is time for more character moments for James and Alyssa. Three episodes and a very clear-cut story and imagination of where everything is going — it’s almost like James and Alyssa’s adventure was planned to the tee from the beginning, although for some reason this episode could be seen as a filler, or at least as a pause in James and Alyssa’s journey, so that Eunice and Teri get some time to find out some things about the kids they hope aren’t the suspects.

Someone is very friendly towards a thief.

I liked the idea of James and Alyssa being separated for almost the entire episode. While Alyssa was dealing with the bigger problem of being a young woman and a thief, both characters had the chance to deal with their inner conflicts on their own, and I liked those conflicts. While I have no idea why James was sitting in a police precinct building and suddenly was forced to deal with his reporting of a murder, I liked that he was dealing with his mother’s suicide, even if he didn’t come out of it with a morale. It was expected that something like this happened in his back story, but I do believe that the depiction of the suicide wasn’t quite necessary in the narrative (then again, it says “show, don’t tell,” so I guess the episode did things the right way). All the show needed to do was what it already did, as James was talking to the detective. That his mother killed herself is enough information to accept James’s weird and probably psychotic behavior. After all, suicides tend to do that to t(w)een witnesses in stories like these.

Meanwhile, I loved the story of Alyssa, the thief, doing something good and being awarded for her deed. First of all, I was a bit surprised that she cared enough about returning the 5-year-old girl back to her father, and secondly, I was surprised that she stood there, arms reached out and ready to be “arrested” by the security guy of that crappy store that can’t even check when a little girl runs off, let alone has signals at the door that actually signal someone is coming in or out. That the security guy would show clemency to Alyssa was sweet though. He kind of knew that something awful must have happened to the girl sitting in front of him, and he knew that putting her into police contact might not be the right thing to do for her right now. I’m glad to see that there are people out there who show compassion. Although in reality, Alyssa got that compassion because she returned the little girl, she got that compassion of being told to get out of here and never steal again, because she took on a plot device that allowed this development.

For some, this is the greatest love story of all.

And finally, the thing between Eunice and Teri. I would laugh when it turns out at the end their conflict isn’t at all about their possible sexual encounter, which may have just been a kiss on the lips for all the writers care. I still find those two characters extremely interesting though, and it was lovely to see they got that moment during lunch time, as well as Teri’s weird face when she told Alyssa’s mother that Alyssa isn’t a murder suspect yet. That was almost an evil face Teri produced here, and one I almost laughed about.

By the way, can you even get a fingerprint from a murder weapon that has been in water for more than 24 hours? To end that episode with this scene is pretty neat, but I’m not sure about the scientific reasoning behind it. Then again, the knife could simply have an engraving that connects it to James. Which would make James super stupid, because he left the murder weapon with his name on it at the crime scene. He almost deserves to be captured by the police just for this. But then again, this might be the plot device that propels the story forward by a mile.

Women’s Murder Club (“Maybe, Baby”)

Season 1, Episode 5
Date of airing: November 9, 2007 (ABC)
Nielsen ratings information: 9.60 million viewers, 6.5/11 in Households, 2.0/6 with Adults 18-49, 2.7/7 with Adults 25-54

In which the writers focused a little more on the homicide (and disappearance) at hand while taking a few steps back when it comes to the relationships the characters are involved in. If it hadn’t been for the final scene that of course had Lindsay and Tom making out in her apartment after sharing some of their emotional and dramatic back story with the viewers, this episode would have been the first one not dealing with Lindsay’s love life, which would have been incredibly refreshing. But now I just fear that the relationship drama was put on hold with this episode because of the highly emotionally charged murder investigation of the week, which dealt with a dead husband and a missing woman who is about to give birth or may have given birth already right after her husband was killed point blank. When children or babies are involved in the homicide investigation of a crime procedural television drama, the stakes seem to be much higher for the detectives and the writers seem to take the story more seriously for the sake of the characters. In the previous episode we’ve had some horny seniors, and now we got to see what it’s like when Lindsay Boxer is investigating the murder of a father-to-be, while the child-bearing mother-to-be is nowhere to be found.

Bullet out of the head.

If this episode was just here to explain Tom and Lindsay’s baby-less back story, then it was quite the interesting way to put the back story into the spotlight, even if some serious eyerolls were the symptoms by the end of the episode, when Tom decided to go for his ex-wife’s lips as he was starting to hand out wedding invitations. If there is anything I could do without when watching television, it is stories like these, in which separated partners get back together, even though one of them is already in another relationship that walks closer to the altar with each episode. And because the make-out session happened during the closing seconds of this hour, the remaining 42 minutes had to be filled with a solid homicide investigation that made a little too much use of the red herring principle: Characters got introduced who were supposed to be the suspects in the investigation, and then it turns out the writers weren’t interested in using any of the established narrative, so back they went with the missing mother-to-be and her best friend, who should never have been emotionally able to help Beth do what she did. You just miscarried a baby yourself, but a few weeks later you’re ready to help your also highly pregnant best friend to get rid of her own baby? I’m coughing a lot right now.

But the episode was still emotionally good to go. When crime procedurals come around with these kind of episodes, they can always show what the writers have in store when it comes to emotionally manipulative stories, and how forceful the characters in the shows are when it comes to these kind of stories (as in, how hard the detectives of a crime procedural will get into the case to catch the perp when the victim is a child or a baby). For Lindsay, the world seemed to stop when she realized what kind of case she was working on, although the writers did explain themselves away by creating this back story of a miscarriage, although in hindsight I’m not so sure it was even needed. It certainly makes WOMEN’S MURDER CLUB a crime procedural in which the detectives have reasons for their steely-eyed focused investigation, but in the end this episode seemed like it was just created to let Lindsay and Tom have that moment and to promise that this show isn’t just about the murders, but also still about the relationship of the characters.

Lindsay likes to confront his exes for not doing their job to her liking.

But yeah, one or two red herrings less would have been wonderful. I didn’t really need Clayne Crawford’s idiotic and sexist character, whose only reason for existence was to make life hell for Lindsay during a few minutes in the interrogation room. I also didn’t really need the B story of the baby buying “adoption,” which seemed like a story that was worth to be the A story (selling babies in the back alleys or on the black market — even more so a crime story that could make the detectives angry and focused on getting the perps), but here it is, filling airtime and maybe taking away screentime from the Lindsay/Tom story that clogged the final minutes of the episode. Maybe I should be thankful for that, because all I want is less relationship drama, although what would WOMEN’S MURDER CLUB be without it?

Lost (“One of Them”)

Season 2, Episode 14
Date of airing: February 15, 2006 (ABC)
Nielsen ratings information: 18.20 million viewers, 10.8/16 in Households, 7.8/18 with Adults 18-49

This episode created a bit of an uproar on German television. It’s torture sequences put it into the restricted list of programs to watch and sell — in Germany, programs that are restricted for youth under 16 years is to be aired on television past 10 p.m. (or the violence will be cut out if it airs before that time) and even then it’s not guaranteed that violence will be censored. LOST has already been a show that could not be sold to youth under 16 when the DVDs were released, but this particular episode and the torture sequence made the FSK, the German board that rates programs for the appropriate ages, rate the second season of the show to be restricted to anyone under the age of 18. Consider the second season of LOST be so restricted that parents had to buy the DVD box of the show for their kids, who were more than likely the worldwide target audience. And let’s not forget how messed up the ratings system is in both Germany and the United States, and how different they are. We Germans don’t care about sex and language — BEFORE MIDNIGHT is restricted for an audience under 6 years of age in Germany, and it’s well-known that Julie Delpy is shirtless for parts of the film. But you Americans don’t care about violence and gore — HOSTEL is a freaking hit that I don’t understand, and Jack Bauer gets to torture and empty out living Russian hitmen on primetime television and no one bats an eye, yet have problems with sex and nudity. I think it’s something we Germans talked about when season two of LOST was released on DVD and got the red stamp of restriction. We were all shaking our heads.

Henry Gale is about to learn what pain feels like.

This was a good episode. I was bitching and moaning just a little bit about how this season was moving forward in a snail’s pace when it comes to character development or anything regarding the mythology of the series, but this episode may have changed things. Henry Gale could be the innocent man from Minnesota who just got to the wrong place at the most wrongest of times, but he could also be one of them (the title of the show should pretty much spell it out already), which means Sayid has all the reason in the world to keep torturing this man, and Jack and Locke have all the reason in the world to keep Henry locked in the armory (it’s a good thing all the weapons were removed in the previous episode, because now the Swan stationers conveniently have a prison cell they can make use of). It seems quite obvious from the beginning that Henry is one of them and that there is more to come to the story, because for one, there is no way that an innocent man would easily answer all of Sayid’s questions without constantly asking in return what he is doing here, what this place is and why he is being tortured (meaning, Henry is rarely scared, and that means he was anticipating fists hitting his face, which makes him a spy for the Others), and for two, every time Michael Emerson was allowed to do one of his weird and mysterious faces (especially his final moment of the episode), it essentially spelled out in visuals that he is not who he says he is. Besides that, the episode ended with a cliffhanger when it comes to the story of Henry Gale, but I would only assume that the writers never even intended Henry’s story to end either way, as this hour was about Sayid and what he felt he was destined to do. This being Sayid’s episode, there was no time and space for Henry’s story to finish in the same episode it began and join the other survivors, but then again, the show was never really good in concluding major character arcs within 60 minutes.

Tree frogs get killed within the hour, but that’s just because Sawyer and Hurley’s trip into their jungle neighborhood was here to fill time and give the audience something to breathe in-between Sayid’s torturing session and flashback story. First of all, I’m sort of shocked that Hurley would even hang out with Sawyer after the stunt he pulled in the previous episode, but here we are — the writers found a way to force Hurley into Sawyer’s story, and I am wondering how much food Hurley took into his secret stash before he gave it all away for the greatest feast the island has ever seen. But if the writers needed a construed way to bring Hurley and Sawyer together, then maybe the story wasn’t a good idea to begin with. Considering how much Sawyer we’ve had ever since he woke up from unconsciousness, I am a little surprised that the writers gave Sawyer the B story instead of a character we haven’t gotten busy with lately.

Sayid stands in the middle of a greenscreen world.

At least Sayid was given this episode, since enough time has passed for him to grieve over Shannon’s death and have it affect his decision-making and actions. His flashback story may have been a little underwhelming and artificial (especially that last shot of the trucks driving away and the oil fields burning in the background — just a little too much greenscreen here), but this was the best episode to get him out of the funk, with the best story to showcase that Sayid is not at all over the death of the woman he loved (in spite of that love only having existed for less than a month, but I guess island magic was involved again). Will it make him less calculated over the course of the Henry Gale storyline, or is the prisoner in the Swan station a nice plot device for Sayid to come to the realization that he is a changed man and that he craves to be the man he was before the Americans invaded his country?

The End of the F***ing World (Episode 4)

Series 1, Episode 4
Date of release: October 24, 2017 (All 4)

This happened to be an interesting episode. A lot of things that I predicted would happen after the end of the previous episode did in fact happen and that made me very happy for a change — predictability was served, but the way it was served made for a more intriguing character study in the long run. Not only did James become an actual, emotional human being with this episode (realizing he is not a psychopath, realizing he just wants to be with Alyssa, realizing he has done something wrong), but he also started to look less like Dylann Roof with his cheap new haircut, so there is a stark and wonderful development right here. Also, Alyssa is kind of becoming the truly bad figure in this different love story, considering she doesn’t really know what to do, how to deal with the emotion she is having after Clive’s death, or how to behave and what to think while hanging around with weird and mysterious James. It’s almost like there could be material for conflict between the two — the road trip could stop here, and Alyssa and James could be standing against each other, and all this over a sort of misunderstanding. He wants to lighten up the load of his mind and accept punishment for the evil thing he has done, and she just wants to move on, forget that things happened (and she really wants to forget that image of Clive and his stabbed neck), and get to her father. Alyssa can’t think of James as the good guy, because he murdered someone, yet she doesn’t realize he also saved her life. Meanwhile, James grows out of his shell and decides to take action on his own, after being mostly passive through the previous three episodes (minus punching the crap out of his dad). In a way, Alyssa became the passive character by not doing anything about what just happened (hell, even her new haircut was styled by James, according to her voiceover), and James became the active character. That’s quite a change from two episodes ago.

New look, same attraction.

I did love the notion of Clive’s murder becoming the focal point of James and Alyssa’s story though. First of all, applause for the two detectives — oh wait, this is England, there they are called inspectors — I immediately started liking Eunice and Teri, and there is some chemistry and weirdness in their partnership that warrants its own television show. Hey, if someone ever plans to revive a show like NIKKI & NORA, which didn’t even make it past the pilot stage on UPN back in the middle fo the first decade of the millennium (I never liked the short-lived web series that followed out of the positive word of mouth of the pilot — it looked cheap and it never seemed to focus what it wanted to be), here are two characters you can take immediately, because they have been established already. I can only hope that Teri and Eunice will be recurring characters for the rest of the season. After all, Bonnie and Clyde-kinda characters need cops who chase them, and I still want THE END OF THE F***ING WORLD to be the Bonnie and Clyde-drama I was hoping for it to be after the previous episode. Which means Alyssa and James have to find each other quickly again and do something else that’s dark and messed up. Maybe kill another rapist and serial killer that gets them celebrated in the public?

The inspectors are coming to catch you.

By the way, I was so pissed that Clive’s mother burned the polaroids. When Teri and Eunice found Clive without the pictures surrounding him, I already suspected that mommy wasn’t too happy about her son’s legacy, but when her burning the pictures was depicted, I wanted to put my arms through the screen and hit Clive’s mother for doing this. Dammit, James and Alyssa could have been something like heroes in the world of the mistreated and abused — the teenage couple who roams through England, constantly comes across evil people, kills them, saves lives in the process, all while being ferociously hunted by the police. I don’t think that THE END OF THE F***ING WORLD will become exactly that, but hell, that certainly is quite the idea for another TV drama. I already feel sorry for what’s about to happen to James and Alyssa, even after Clive totally deserved to be murdered.