Quick Hits: The Good Wife, Homeland, Fargo, The Leftovers, & Quantico

Quantico, The Good Wife, Homeland, The Leftovers, Fargo, and Blindspot are all on my current list of shows that I try not to miss. However with my taking to the friendly skies in 16 hours. I’ll have to give these shows less than they deserve. Instead of full reviews, I’ll give you some highlights (if I can find any) , and mostly low-lights, as well as some golly gee moments  and mostly some gripes.[Edit] I am now in Minnesota, and despite the early beginning and the long day – these quick hits are still – a work in progress, and more meaningful, not so quick. Let’s start now,


The Leftovers –

Everybody is wondering what and where they all came from
Everybody is worryin’ ’bout where they’re gonna go
When the whole thing’s done
But no one knows for certain
And so it’s all the same to me
Think I’ll just let the mystery be

While those are the lyrics to the Iris Dement song, which also is heard behind the opening credits of The Leftovers second season on HBO,

I think those words are indeed at the heart of what this series is about. Which is to say and very much as the lyrics do – that I’m not sure, and I’m not in  a minority when I say this..

In Episode 3, called Off-Ramp, we meet Laurie (Amy Brenneman). Nowadays, Laurie is out of the Guilty Remnant (GR). as is her son Tommy. Together they are working to destabilize the GR. Laurie is writing a tell-all book about her time in the GR, and Tommy ostensibly remains in, as an undercover. His job is bring out some folks from the grip of GR, and Laurie’s job is that she runs a group therapy which helps people deal with the aftermath of the departures. Her real task is to help those folks recover.

Laurie looks and sounds like she’s not only made progress herself, but the episode implies that the counseling work the group does is both meaningful and is actually helping people cope. Laurie may be out the GY physically, but she still has the silence of the GR, and the menace of GR, within her. So much so that it is almost as if the GR is choking the life out of Laurie.

There are three major shocks in the episode, and their interpretation is up to the viewer. Brenneman was great in this episode, and she finally has become a character in the fullest sense.

But the underlying theme, or what lies at the heart of The Leftovers is that all the remaining people still need answers, and are not getting them. I was disappointed in this episode as it showed that while Laurie may be out of the GR, she’s no where’s near being even close to being a fully realized person.

Speaking something else not realized at all this time, was Jarden, aka Miracle, Texas. So they spent two episodes setting up Jarden for us – with all of its scars, and blemishes, and secrets only to abandon the whole place this. Why?

I’ve no idea so I’ll just let that mystery be…

Continue reading

Fargo: The Second Season of the Hit Show on FX Begins

Fargo, returned for its sophomore season on the FX network last night. The setting this season is again in Minnesota, but it is 1979 which makes this season a prequel.

Just two characters return from last season’s nearly universally praised and surprising hit show. One would be Lou Solverson, played last year by Keith Carradine and set in 2006. Here Solverson is much younger and played by Patrick Wilson.

Lou’s daughter Molly, was played wonderfully last season by Allison Tolman, who starred as a Minnesota Deputy Sheriff is back – but this time around, she’s just a four-year old kid. So we won’t be seeing Allison.

What has also returned is the quirky characters, the sudden and shocking violence, and the often tundra ike weather of Minnesota.

We’ve got another season of warfare by gangsters, dumb as doorknobs characters, a whole bevy of characters who speak with Minne-sow-tah accents as they strive ahead always seeking something beyond their reach, capabilities, or good sense.

Like True Detective, another anthology series that aired its second season on HBO recently, Fargo is also an anthology. But while True Detective was mostly deadly serious – this show is best described as mostly deadly.

And that’s not meant to be a negative. In this Season Opening episode called Waiting for Dutch we are going to hear about and see a Ronald Reagan western film being filmed (that is without “Dutch” Reagan who is off-screen getting the shot by Sioux arrows inserted), and then, in no particular order, we will see Jimmy Carter, electric typewriters, UFO’s, and a restaurant called The Waffle Hut.

Before the episode is over, 4 separate people will have been killed, the police will notice a single shoe hanging off of a tree, as well as facing the challenge of the case which yields the bodies of three victims with 4 cars remaining in the parking lot.

Now Fargo may be deadly, but the situations are decidedly humorous – they lack only the snappy one-liners, as well as a laugh track.

Continue reading