Chicago P.D. 3×23 “Start Digging” Recap

Spoilers Ahead

And the streak of unnecessary TV deaths continues.

Case Summary: When a woman is found dead in the trunk of a car, the unit links her to Voight’s son Justin, but before they can find Justin, he’s been shot and left in the same position. And before we can find the killer, Voight’s in a position to be promoted to Lieutenant and when the culprit’s found, the notorious detective we met in the pilot returns.

Review | Analysis: “Start Digging” is the type of episode that managed to remind me of what Chicago P.D. in its first season was like. And while I adored the first season, I’m not sure I’m okay with the turn this episode took. Voight’s actions were understandable, they’re unquestionably wrong and as someone who hates watching favorite characters take drastic turns, it’s never fun. Ultimately, while “Start Digging” ended in a cliffhanger that’ll bleed into season four intriguingly, I wanted a little bit more. But I suppose the series did a great job of leaving me wanting more, right?

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Spring ’16 Finale Roundup: Week Three

| May 16 – 22 |

We’d like to officially declare this finale season as “unwanted TV death season” since it seems to be a common denominator amongst all the series we’re watching. Death on television isn’t always shocking, sometimes we’re able to see it coming from a mile away, but Once Upon A Time, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. and Quantico writers have decided to be ruthless.

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Scandal 5×20 “Trump Card” and 5×21 “That’s My Girl” Recap

Spoilers Ahead

Abby finds out a big secret that Liv has been hiding thanks to her father.

Episode Summary: We meet our presidential nominees.

Review | Analysis: Abby and Olivia team up with Fitz and the Gladiators try to bring down their common enemy, Hollis Doyle. Because it is so natural for them to backstab each other, Abby starts digging up new dirt on Mellie. The Gladiators accuse Hollis of racism after he says a few questionable things. Of course, his poll numbers go up and one of his ex-wives comes into the picture and accuses him of rape. Again, as if he is immortal or something, his numbers keep going up. With Hollis winning at every turn, Abby desperate, decides to meet with none other than Papa Pope. I mean, why, why, WHY would she agree to get in the car with him after all that he’s done? Well, we find out one thing – Olivia had an abortion. And the baby was Fitz’s.

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Chicago P.D. 3×22 “She’s Got Us” Recap

Spoilers Ahead

“There’s such a thing as having too much empathy. You leave nothing for yourself.”

Case Summary: When an entire family is brutally murdered, their youngest daughter and the only survivor has seen who’s done it. The only problem is, she’s heavily traumatized and disoriented leaving it up to Dr. Charles, Lindsay, and Halstead to find ways to get through to her. And after the events from last week, Roman can no longer return to patrol.

Review | Analysis: “She’s Got Us” was an exceptional episode showcasing why this show is so special. It was great to be reminded of why we chose to review this show in the first place taking us back to elements that were found in the very first season. As one of the most thematically powerful episodes all season, “She’s Got Us” exhibited character growth beautifully showcasing just how vital it is to keep a balance between empathy/self-care, love/partnership, and work/fun.

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Once Upon A Time 5×22 “Only You” and 5×23 “An Untold Story” Recap

Spoilers Ahead

Episode Summary: Gold uses the Olympian Crystal to save Belle and tethers all of Storybrooke’s magic to it, but when Henry runs off to New York in order to destroy magic, Gold, Regina, and Emma must change course in order to stop him. After they send the Camelot folks back home, Snow, Charming, Killian, and Zelena are taken through the portal to the Land of Untold Stories.

Review | Analysis: Once Upon A Time from the very beginning has emphasized the importance of choice. There’s great power in all of us and it is the ability to decide where we go once we’ve been hurt. While it’s never easy to choose the hard path, it’s almost always the right one, and this show’s rightfully presented us with both the difficulties and the ramifications. It’s also reminded us of the importance of forgiveness. Essentially, life and art are one in the same — nothing that’s worthwhile is ever easy, but in the long run, it’s always the best choice. “Only You” and “An Untold Story” dealt with choices and the power of hope beautifully reminding us all of why we fell in love with this show.

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Spring ’16 Finale Roundup: Week Two

| April 24 – May 15 |

We’ll be diverting a bit from our usual finale roundup structure to dedicate the entire compilation of categories to CBS’ Madam Secretary — the season finale that has so far been my favorite. “Vartius” dealt with three significantly intricate matters with a kind of grace very few shows have mastered. Often times where there are too many stories told in one episode, it tends to get overwhelming, and that’s especially the case with finales wanting to wrap things up, but “Vartius” reached resolutions that’ll effortlessly and brilliantly bleed into season three.

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Chicago P.D. 3×20 “In a Duffel Bag” and 3×21 “Justice” Recap

Spoilers Ahead

Case Summary: “In a Duffel Bag” the Intelligence unit’s surprising find sends them off on a seemingly never ending quest, but also manages to reveal a part about Voight’s past we would’ve probably otherwise not have known. In “Justice” after Roman’s shot through the car door, Kim goes to trial when the kid she shoots claims he’s innocent.

Review | Analysis: Chicago P.D. gave viewers a bit sneak peak of what Chicago Law will look like if the pilot’s picked up, and it made for an interesting episode. For the most part, despite the fact that it wasn’t my favorite, “Justice” kept a great balance between the case and the heart within the unit. And though it actually felt like it was a two hour long episode, it was fascinating to be uncertain of what’s ahead. While we don’t always know who the killer right away, the issues “Justice” brought up continuously kept me on the edge of my seat. The series has yet to cover police brutality in depth and I’m still waiting for the episode where it showcases what it’s truly like.

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Once Upon A Time 5×21 “Last Rites” Recap

Spoilers Ahead

“Keep your chin up, there will be happiness again.”

Episode Summary: When our heroes return to Storybrooke, Zelena is hesitant to believe Hades has actually teamed up against them, and after replacing the Olympian Crystal, Hades attempts to use it to kill everyone in order to create a new kingdom with Zelena. Back in the underworld, a newly deceased Arthur teams up with Killian in order to help the heroes defeat Hades. One soul dies, while another returns.

Review | Analysis: Once Upon A Time is a show about hope — a reflection of the real world, only with fairytale characters. And much like in the real world, there are genuinely dark, hopeless times. To be quite honest, when a series like this leaves us in a hopeless state, it isn’t easy to write. And it’s not something that happens often, which is what makes it so jarring and too emotional. Funny thing is, Once Upon A Time is a show that knows how to kill people with closure — especially when it’s a character we’ve grown to truly care for. But perhaps, we’re simply meant to believe that sometimes, there is no closure.

“Last Rites” was simultaneously satisfying and emotionally numbing — two juxtaposing mindsets that feel incredibly wrong together. But that’s life: where there’s childbirth, there’s also death somewhere else. Where there’s happiness, there’s also deep sadness. But on Once Upon A Time though there may not always be hope, True Love is always strength, and where there’s strength, there is always a natural desire to be selfless. True Love is sacrifice.

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Once Upon A Time 5×20 “Firebird” Recap

Spoilers Ahead

To quote the 80s classic, The Princess Bride: “death cannot stop true love, it can only delay it for a while.”

Episode Summary: In Flashbacks, while Emma’s searching for her birth parents, a Bail Bonds woman, Cleo, manages to convince her to let go and after her death, Emma pursues the same career. In the underworld, True Love’s kiss restarts Hades’ heart and the quest Killian and Emma are sent on doesn’t go as planned forcing the heroes to once again say goodbye as they return home without the man they set out to rescue.

Review | Analysis: Once Upon A Time deals with incredibly real situations with fantastical elements, but despite the fact that magic and myths are a prodigious part of this series, the issues our heroes face can often be unbearably difficult at times. Nevertheless, we’ve come to learn that the hard path is always the right path and in the midst of the journey, it’s key to remember that the choices made today, pave the road for tomorrow. Emma Swan is the character that’s made her way into countless hearts for a number of reasons and the love story she’s a part of needed to be just as unique as her role in this fantasy world. “Firebird” tragically epitomized what it truly means to be brave revolutionizing the notion that where there’s bravery, there’s always love. It is apparently possible to have an episode even darker and more heartbreaking than “Swan Song”, but Once Upon A Time is a series about hope, and when it comes to Emma and Killian’s love, there’s never a single doubt that it will prevail.

“Firebird” explored a theme we don’t often see on Once Upon A Time, and it’s the importance of letting go. As human beings we have a tendency to hold on too tightly and while there’s strength in determination, sometimes, we must let go in order to let the universe take its course. Sometimes, we need armor in order to get through the things that burden us. And sometimes, armor isn’t about protecting ourselves, but rather protecting those we love. Ultimately, it all comes down to selflessness and the fact that while it’s okay to choose ourselves every once in a while, we must be able to tell which of our choices will lead us towards the good life we’re destined for.

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