Category Archives: Things

Flynn’s in his feelings, saves a life on this week’s Timeless

What are Garcia Flynn and Anthony after? Wish I knew. All I know is they travel through time to stop Rittenhouse from being able to… Not sure. But the writers keep throwing bread crumbs each week. Seems our villains—who might be our heroes, but seem really dastardly right now—don’t want Rittenhouse to learn how to travel through time.


Our villains might be our heroes, but seem really dastardly right now


In this week’s episode, they’re in 1969, trying to make sure Flynn doesn’t thwart the first moon landing.

He doesn’t, and our heroes manage to save the day yet again.

Viewers can’t expect to gain tons of new knowledge about Flynn’s motives, outside of him wanting to stop Rittenhouse from learning secrets of time travel. However, this episode reveals more learn about Flynn’s family background.

Flynn ends up meeting his mom, then a young widow who also worked as a secretary for an aerospace company. By the time Flynn is born, she’s an engineer. He tells her, after giving his mom’s son a shot in the arm, he remembers her as a sad woman, and he wants to make her life happier.

That shot? Saved his half-brother who was going into anaphylactic shock—the same day as the first moon landing. According to Flynn’s recollection of history, his half brother who died before Flynn was born. Flynn saved him that day and somehow ends up curing the boy’s allergic reaction to bee stings. When our heroic trio return to the present, that boy is now a man—living in Paris.

Meantime, Rufus doesn’t like the person he’s becoming as a result of these time hopping excursions. For the first time, he killed a man and didn’t feel anything about it. But before that, he was in nerd-man’s heaven with all his heroes doing their thing in mission control that day. (By the way, I consider “nerd” a compliment.)

This week’s episode also gave a long-overdue nod of recognition to NASA mathematician Katherine Johnson, whose calculations were instrumental to some of the agency’s groundbreaking missions.

This week’s episode here:

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Secrets escape the bag and big decisions—This Is Us Episode 8

This is Us. A show that’s remarkably human.

In previous episode I didn’t recap…

Beth finds out Rebecca met William years ago. She learned this while she and William got high off some “adult brownies.”

Toby is grubbing down his spaghetti. Talking about what they’ll do in New York for the part of Thanksgiving holiday. Kate tells Toby the trip for both of them is a no-go because he’s chucked the diet and now Kate’s chucking him.

Kevin pretty much gave Olivia a rundown of his life. She intimated she felt he was from a typical bland middle-class family. “Wonder Bread,” she called it.

Yeah. They’re anything but that.

Continue reading Secrets escape the bag and big decisions—This Is Us Episode 8

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Timeless Episode 7: Stranded in the past, Chocodiles and returning trust

They’re stuck. In 1754. Around the time of the French and Indian war. Some of Garcia Flynn’s henchmen put explosives on the Lifeboat, the prototype time machine that our main characters need to get back to the 21st century. The henchies were going to blow it up, but Wyatt gets their attention to try and stop them. Wyatt shoots one henchie to death, but another shoots at one of the explosives attached to the mothership.

It’s damaged, the henchmen leave, and Lucy, Rufus and Wyatt are stuck.

Rufus runs down possible ways to fix the machine… then remembers he may not have to. There’s “The Protocol.”

It involves digging a hole three feet in front of the Lifeboat and burying a message on special paper that’s sealed in a special, environmentally-unfriendly capsule.

They bury this message so folks in the future can find it. Then they get to moving… walking. And walking. And more walking. They find a dead soldier and get caught by Shawnee.

They’re in captivity and Rufus makes me wonder where he grew up because he starts talking about how he’s craving Chocodiles!!!! I ain’t neva heard any character talking about Chocodiles. I used to grab one on the way or from school every now and again. They cost a quarter back in the day.

Lucy geeks out when the chief walks in, because this tribe is run by

via GIPHY

A woman! And she doesn’t trust the English-speaking white folks.

They’re about to kill Lucy and Wyatt but not Rufus. Why? Because he didn’t have a choice to be there… he was forced. She assumed Rufus was a slave. Of course, he isn’t, but he really didn’t have a choice because he was the only person who can pilot the Lifeboat. Anyway, the chief wanted to kill Lucy and Wyatt because they, according to her words, chose to be there.

Rufus comes to their rescue, like the magical negro he is, and says if they kill Lucy and Wyatt, they’ll have to kill him, too.

So the tribal leader agrees to spare them all because of Rufus’ honor, but if they act shady, she promises to kill them all.

Back in the future, the feds and folks from Mason Industries are digging up someone’s yard in a suburban Pittsburgh neighborhood. The Feds cleared the whole block by saying Zika-infected mosquitoes were found nearby.

They excavate and eventually find a capsule with the paper Rufus buried inside. Only the capsule is cracked and the special paper has partially disintegrated from time’s wear and tear.

So how will they get home? Well, unless the show arc is about to take a sharp turn to the who-knows-where, I assumed they’d figure out a way to get the trio back home.

They did.

You’ll find out when you watch that episode.

One thing to note: All of the angst and mistrust that Rufus, Lucy and Wyatt waded through in the Watergate episode was resolved, it seems. And they all acknowledged the reasons behind each other’s desires… Their pilot doing whatever it takes to keep his family safe, to also keep Rufus from selling out to Rittenhouse (Wyatt threw the recorder Connor Mason gave Rufus in some large swampy-looking hole), to bring back Lucy’s sister, and prevent Wyatt’s wife from getting killed.

Oh, and they made history, too.

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From coonskin caps to leisure suits: Timeless and the Watergate

So the crew bounces from The Alamo to the leisure-suit 70s, but not before we get a glimpse inside Rufus’ life.

He’s at home. His mother tells him about a game Rufus missed. His athlete brother missed a shot at the final buzzer, and was a little despondent about it. Rufus apologies for missing the game, but his mom says they both understood because he (Rufus) is working so hard for his family. Apparently he’s making bank and used his earnings to buy them a nice pad.
But Connor Mason shows up to their home with the Rittenhouse man…the same man who Rufus encountered on the street one night after his car konked out. Thanks to a Rittenhouse initiated hack. See, that happened after Rufus told Connor he wasn’t going to spy on his time traveling partners anymore.
Yeah. They stopped his car AND threatened his family the way men and suits do. They didn’t state it outright, but we all knew if Rufus didn’t feign cooperation his fam would be done for.
So or kept spying on them.
But in this episode all the secrets come spilling into the open. Including Lucy’s chats with Garcia Flynn.
But they both discover Rittenhouse is a name they have in common. And Wyatt discovers they’ve both been lying to him. And they all discover they have secrets. I think this includes Wyatt, whose motivation for time travel could be to make sure he alters events so his wife isn’t murdered. Wyatt also learns, from Flynn, about a diary Lucy has written… although she hasn’t yet written it… that talks about Wyatt’s obsession with his wife’s death.

This week’s location: Washington D.C. Watergate. Rittenhouse wants what’s still a mystery today… an 18 1/2 minute gap in a taped conversation between then-president Nixon and H.R. “Bob” Haldeman.

They also want some document… that turns out to be a “who.” A person they want Rufus to get rid of, but instead he helps to flee. The Doc knows all names of Rittenhouse member as by heart. And she’s been hiding out with the black liberation front.
Funny moment. Rufus finds their location with Lucy, but this time, she’s the odd one out. Instead of Rufus waiting outside in the 1930s with folks looking at him like he’s suspect, it was Lucy’s turn. And Rufus returned her advice. “Try not to make any eye contact.”

The full episode here and at NBC.com’s Timeless page:

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Extra Tape, more story

When I am out in the field for work, I usually gather way more than enough tape than I need to turn a story around. What a waste if I don’t at least try to use at least some more of what’s gathered to tell more of the story.

That’s the goal of Extra Tape… even though I’m not using tangible tape to record anything anymore.

So let’s get to the story… The rector of a congregation in Silver Spring, Md. arrived to church and found hate-based messages written in two places on the church campus. Both messages read “Trump Nation whites only.” This congregation and its supporters and allies are pushing back with love:

Montgomery County, Md. Police are investigating what they call “hate-based vandalism,” and are offering a reward of up to $10,000 for information that leads to an arrest or arrests.

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This is Us episode 6: Tapping into suppressed emotions, embarrassing dads, and making connections

Back in the day: Jake decides to get a desk job to make more money for his family. But he still plots the course for his own company: Big Three Homes. But… Jake and Rebecca are starting to realize Randall is academically razor sharp, REALLY sharp, after his teacher calls them in for a meeting and suggests he attend a school for gifted kids.

 

Present day
After William sings and plays the piano for his granddaughters, they want either him or uncle Kevin to speak at their school’s career day. They have the cool jobs. Actor. Musician. Not their dad. They don’t even know what he does for a living. Randall’s youngest daughter only knows he has an awesome chair to swivel in when they visit him at work.

Randall trades commodities based on weather pattern predictions. Weather derivatives. How funl;;aodjljcnaop;dmlcjh;idcixnkaodjclnk.aejocl….

Oops, sorry about that. Just fell asleep at the keyboard. Not saying weather derivates aren’t fun to SOMEONE. I get it. Every career, every area of interest has its charm. For someone. Wifey Beth can’t even explain what the man does for a living.

But learning William plays the piano got Randall wondering if he has an untapped creative side.


First thing outta that mouth when looked up from that phone and saw Kate? “Oh, so you hired the fat one this time.”


Continue reading This is Us episode 6: Tapping into suppressed emotions, embarrassing dads, and making connections

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NBC’s “This is Us” finds relatable levity in gravity…

Okay, so there’s a show I really enjoy on NBC. It’s one of a few that’s caught my eyes this season.

This one’s called “This is Us.” I’m about five recaps late to this party, but no me importa, it still gets mad love.  “This is Us” toggles back and forth between the present day and, I want to say, the 1980s.  Maybe the cusp of the 70s and 80s.  Now that I think of it… it looks like some of those short-shorts… Yeah, they came from the early 80s. And in one flashback episode, one character was touting her Care Bears bikini as if it were the sh!# like Underoos were back in the dizz-ay.

But anyway, the show toggles back and forth between the 1980s and the present day.  It’s about a husband and wife, and their three children.  So, the first scene opens with a woman, Rebecca (played by Mandy Moore) who is very pregnant. With triplets. Rebecca and her husband Jake (Milo Ventimiglia) are in what looks like their sparsely furnished home on his birthday. Rebecca’s so very, very pregnant, and he wants her to do this little sexy dance. Imagine: she’s not feeling it at all probably because of her triple-packed uterus. Oh the humanity (inside). She starts to indulge him, but her water breaks. All goes well… until it doesn’t. One of their babies dies.  So now Jake shares glory and tragedy with his triplets:  The birthday of a girl and boy, and the death day of a son.

So into the hospital nursery comes a baby, a freshly-born little black boy whose drugged-out daddy (cliche) dropped him off in front of a fire house.  After Rebecca and Jake lose one third of their triplets, they decide to adopt and raise this little boy, Kyle, as their own. That’s what they called him at first. In one episode, there was even a line about giving each of their three kids names that start with K. “

Kevin, Kate and Kyle. All Ks,” Jake proclaimed to the doctor.

Continue reading NBC’s “This is Us” finds relatable levity in gravity…

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Why NBC’s The Good Place is a great Thursday night stomping ground

Why NBC’s The Good Place is one of my good places

Where do we go after we die? It’s an existential question that’s survived the ages. Seems a whole lotta people have answers, but no one really knows for sure if they’re right.

So there’s this show on NBC that I’m into. It’s called “The Good Place,” and it deals with some of these exact questions, with an interesting twist.

Post-death Edenic perfection is laid out in one cozy community comprising 320 or so freshly-deceased humans. But it’s not at all morbid. This perfect, bright community was created by Michael (Ted Danson). He was another community-maker’s apprentice for 200 years, then he was blessed with his own community to design as he wished.

Thing is, Michael’s community is flawed. Something’s driving things awry in his good place, and it’s making him miserable.

So let’s start at the beginning. This lady, Eleanor (Kristen Bell), shows up in Michael’s office. Michael tells her she’s dead. The dialogue briefly toys with the idea of heaven and hell (The Good Place vs. The Bad Place)…without delving into theological matters. But Eleanor didn’t have to worry. She was in The Good Place.

One great thing about this place—no loneliness. Everyone’s paired with a soul mate, and they get to live with that person for eternity. They also get a tailor-made home. Not sure if there are many mansions in this Good Place. But if it weren’t so, I’m sure Michael would’ve mentioned it.

Eleanor’s soul mate is Chidi (William Jackson Harper), an academic from Senegal, who spent his life in academe as a ethics professor and working on a long @$$ book draft before death grabbed him. Their mansion? A cute little cottage with sharp angles and primary colors for the exterior; two large circular windows situated above four or five circular groomed bushes that are the same height—all in a row. I’m wondering if there’s a reason they chose primary colors, and if there’s a reason they chose circles to represent the main windows on Eleanor and Chidi’s home. Is it because of the circle of life, or because what goes around really comes around even in The Good Place? Dunno. Anyway, the artwork in Eleanor’s specially constructed house is nothing she likes. Clowns… The real Eleanor Shellstrop likes clowns. Friendly ones, not the scary ones seeping out of woods trying to scare kids.

Next to Eleanor and Chidi’s home is a huge mansion complete with majestic, bursting fountains.

Eleanor is little salty about that and gets even saltier when she finds out the couple who lives in that home, Tahani Al-Jamil and Jianyu, consists of a good-doing humanitarian and a Buddhist monk who is continuing the vow of silence he started on earth. Can you get more Good Place worthy than that?

But things quickly go wrong in paradise. Eleanor figures out she doesn’t belong in the Good Place because the videos that play on the memory chanel inside her home have nothing to do with the triflingness she called a life. She’s not the Eleanor Shellstrop Michael thinks she is.

In fact, she was the worst. Self-centered and amoral. The show hops back and forth between her life here and some of her earthly interactions to demonstrate how wack she was back then. But thanks to Chidi, she’s learning to be a better person, one worthy of The Good Place.

Tahani is the consummate hostess, so she and the silent Jianyu throw a party. That’s where Eleanor got drunk and carted away shrimp in her bra cups. The next morning, things start falling from the sky and blowing craters into the ground. Shrimp also start flying through the sky while a giant frog hops about, smashing chimneys while trying to slurp up the shrimp.

Eleanor thinks she’s forking things up. No, you can’t curse in The Good Place.

Turns out, she isn’t the only one who shouldn’t be there.

She has company. Jianyu has a backstory. And he talks. And he’s kind of doltish.

Turns out he’s a DJ from Jacksonville, Florida who has lofty aspirations to be a DJ in popping cities like Tampa and Daytona. He also sold drugs to college kids. Fake ones. Drugs. Not fake college kids.

I’m glad this series is starting to get into the back stories of the characters. I get the feeling The Good Place is filled with ordinary people with ordinary issues who are trying to do better. They’re just trying to do it dead.

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NBC’s Timeless and the CBS eye… Wait, HUH?

So what would’ve happened if the Hindenburg didn’t blow the fork up? NBC’s Timeless is all about that, and more.

Yes, I also watch another NBC show–The Good Place. Where the fork did you think I got that? Truth be told, I’ve been veggie cussing for decades, but that’s neither here nor there.

So let’s get into Timeless, which first aired a few weeks ago, but I’m just now getting to this.  Shame.


My favorite line in this pilot: “I am black. There is literally NO place in American history where that would be awesome for me.”


Lucy Preston is a history professor who is pissed she didn’t make tenure at the university where her sick mom used to work. No, I don’t think her mom was some kind of degenerate. She’s really sick. I’m guessing cancer, but they don’t say. All we know is she’s hooked up to a vital signs monitor and has been unconscious for a while. Lucy confides in her sister about the disappointment. Amy advises Lucy to start making her own future instead of worrying who she’ll disappoint by diverging from the same life path as their mom.

Rufus Carlin is a total coder geek (that word geek is NOT a pejorative in my world), a brotha who’s taken a fancy to a fellow nerd at the lab where he works.

About that lab… it’s housing a project so top secret that the gov’mint didn’t even know about it. Well… they didn’t until gun-toting capsule thieves commandeer it so it gets sucked it away to the Hindenburg disaster date—May 6, 1937—a few hours before it’s supposed to combust. Side note: I noticed the capsule resembles the logo of longtime network competitor CBS. What the what?

Delta Force member Wyatt Logan is the third main character. He’s introduced after the shootout and time capsule disappearance.

Homeland Security calls on Lucy, Logan, and Rufus to chase the capsule. Lucy’s the history expert. She’ll help them stay hidden in plain sight because she’s familiar with world events and customs, fashions and other norms of past eras. Rufus will pilot the rickety-looking prototype time machine. The developer, Connor Mason, kept it functional in case anyone got stranded while using the sleek time capsule. Logan is the muscle, an elite special-ops soldier. He can beat a mo-fo down if needed. And he does.

But poor Rufus. Woke Rufus. Bro was pushing back against the capsule’s developer, who heads Mason Industries. Mason’s also a black man—but from England, I think. While he was trying to convince Rufus he was the only person who could take the time-travel trip, his employee wasn’t having it. My favorite line in this pilot: “I am black. There is literally NO place in American history where that would be awesome for me.”

Continue reading NBC’s Timeless and the CBS eye… Wait, HUH?

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Greenleaf Raptured… one taken, the others left

Which way did they go?

Looks like OWN-TV’s done raptured all the season 1 Greenleaf episodes back to glory. Serves me right for waiting until the first season’s end of days to start with these recaps.

Thankfully, Queen Sugar’s still here, along with Super Soul Sunday. Iyanla’s also around to keep fixing up the lives of folks who got left behind.

She’s trying to help me process this Greenleaf loss.

Greenleaf didn’t get snatched like a thief in the night. I knew they’d be removed from on-demand access, but I let time slip away and didn’t check the expiration dates. That show was temporarily taken, but some on other networks are left.

via GIPHY

In the words of the homie,  Forest Gump:

“That’s all I have to say about that…”  (for now).

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