I did have real things to update about, but I can't remember a single one of them. So instead: more fandom, huzz.
Life, 2x04, Not For Nothing
This was a pretty stellar episode. Everybody! Working together! No-one was annoying! (Annoying = rare on this show, but Stark can normally hit that one square on the nose.) (I want to make a NCIS joke here.)
Anyway! The Prison Experiment! Based on The Stanford Prison Experiment performed by Philip Zimbardo, whose own version was pretty sketchy to begin with. The idea is you separate people into guards and prisoners and watch them conform to their roles. He was trying to prove that the prison system is ineffective in rehabilitating prisoners. The results showed how willing people are to do things when authority figures come in to play. I felt like the episode really picked up on how twisted that environment can be, and how stupid that fucking professor was. Zimbardo's own work was criticised because he injected himself into the proceedings, and thus skewering the results of the work. (It's a seriously creepy study; I watched a documentary on another such experiment performed in Germany a few years back and it's just terrifying.) The kid who was responsible for the murder accepted the reality that he was a convict which I think is something Dani says. It's interesting, too, to have Ted there. I guess I'm a convict too / Ted still thinks he's a hero. Charlie, too, but Charlie's circumstances are a little different, being framed etc.
Other stuff! Some beautiful direction, and an interesting choice to sort of over-saturate and increase the contrast in the split-screen section at the beginning. I liked how quickly the whole place could degenerate, especially when the fake-fratboy incited the 'riot'. Super!Ted was wonderful to behold, and it was pretty interesting to put him in the same shot as Stark. Jen's phonecall was quietly revelatory - I loved how tired she sounded when Charlie said I do those things sometimes and she answered I know, like she sees that childish surface he has sometimes. I also liked how the phone call then comes to bite the professor in the ass; that was a great catch, and an interesting way to work the plot.
I liked Stark trying to make sure that Charlie was okay, and how that contrasted with Dani whose method is always silence. Dani is most reassuring when she's not patronising Charlie - she doesn't ask him if he is okay (she can see that it's freaking him out a little bit), but instead she backs him up by being assured of his competency. That's not to say that the surroundings don't make her freak a little, too - Crews throwing the fake-fratboy against the wall; her drawing her gun; that slow walk at the beginning when you're making that transition from thinking it's a prison, to realising something isn't quite right. Charlie is turned slightly away, and Dani is looking forward, but they both begin the walk to the exit at exactly the same moment. It's an instance in which they are completely synchronised, and I thought it was a lovely touch.
And then, of course, KAREN FUCKING DAVIS. I won't lie: I screamed with glee. I missed her name in the guest credits! And then there she was, being wholly awesome and not at all vindictive. It made me miss her a LOT. I love how clear-cut and non-nonsense she remains, and that she doesn't tell Tidwell (I never remember his name! I always have to look it up!) who she is until she's telling her partner; and I love how Tidwell played off against her. They were a fantastic double act and, oh gosh, I hope she comes back.
And finally, the season arc. There was six, there are five, there could just as well be four. The return of the conspiracy room, huzzah! (And I just found out that the actress that plays Rachel is going to guest star in Saving Grace; fuck, I love that show.) Whoop, whoop!
I actually managed to watch this when it aired which is a first. The Sister yelled, I kind of threw myself down the stairs (ow) and then it was on and we both groaned to see Michelle Ryan fail at injecting anything skilful into Nimueh. How the hell did she even get lifted for Bionic Woman? She's terrible!
This episode was wonderful. Merlin drinks the poison on Arthur's behalf! Arthur embarks on a dangerous (???) journey! Gwen kisses Arthur! Omigosh, adorkable. Gaius continues to be his own laugh riot (I really love that character), and Uther remains typecast as someone who won't budge. Morgana continued to stand her ground with a remarkably aggressive form of passive aggression.
And then there was the dialogue. *dies* I feel like no-one is even trying to hide the slashy dialogue. It's ridic! But marvellous. Merlin is dying! He's calling out Arthur's name! Arthur can't let him die! Speaking of Arthur, I'd like to take a moment to comment on THE WORST FIGHT EVER. When he kills that damn thing? And you don't even see it? What the fuck? What was that about?
noorie, judging by Uther this week, I think your guess re: Nimueh is right, which is annoying in the extreme (and still makes more sense if it's Morgana).
To conclude: OMIGOSH THAT'S LANCELOT. And he's pretty cute, too. ! GASP WHO SAID THAT NOT ME.
I hate Rob Morrow's hair. I'm just saying.
Charlie's clearance story continues to be massively boring to me, although it certainly got more interesting when it turned out that a) the guy judging the whole thing is KEITH CARRADINE and b) it's actually got a lot more to do with the Bureau's issues with Don. Ooooh.
Nikki Betancourt is fierce, and I can't wait for the day when she gets her shit together and gets right over Don's dime, because fuck if this week wasn't kind of ridic on that front. Don flipping out was illogical in the extreme. The woman worked it good! And if it had been Megan, there's no way he'd have flipped like that. So I felt like that was a bit cheap. Not that I think he should take to her immediately, or that there shouldn't be conflict; I just think it was done poorly, and didn't make much sense. I need a Betancourt icon (and her voice, guh).
On the plus side, David and Colby continued to be reliable, which I am grateful. Oh gosh, show. You make me so sad.