Browsing Tag
season premiere

There has been some trepidation on how Damages‘ creators Todd A. Kessler, Glenn Kessler, Daniel Zelman were going to continue the multi-layered storyline of the first season of the show. Fans will know that we’re introduced to the series very near the end before being warped back in time and shown how we reached the point where a bloodied and distraught Ellen Parsons (Rose Byrne) would be running down a New York City street. While the season premiere offers up the future again, it isn’t the opening teaser that sets this episode in motion, it’s the final seconds that draw the audience right back in to the show’s comforting grasp.

Fresh off the destructive Arthur Frobisher (Ted Danson) case, a haunted Patty Hewes (Emmy winner Glenn Close) is confronted by her associates into taking a new case. Ellen relays a set-up case provided by her new FBI friends as she strives to take down the women who tried to kill her, but Patty has been contacted by Daniel Purcell (William Hurt). The full scope of the help that Purcell needs isn’t immediately evident aside from a big corporation and chemical work that could be very harmful. Patty initially rebuffs Daniel, who we find out had a previous relationship of some sort, but in the closing moments of the premiere the tables turn dramatically.

Byrnes portrayal of a broken, revenge-driven Ellen is the highlight of the episode and her shut out from an Emmy nod last year is near criminal. While her story isn’t as integral to the “A” storyline, at least at this time, her vivid daydreams about shotgun blasting a-still-alive Frobisher add an element to her character full realized in the aforementioned closing seconds.

Three great things continue over from the first to the second season of the series. The A-list cast is a big part of just how great this series is, with award winners, cult favorites, and solid acting stripes abound, the series continues to compile the best cast on TV with additions like Timothy Olyphant (Deadwood), Marcia Gay Harden, and Hurt. The second and third go hand in hand, the astounding writing for the series is what made it so attractive to these actors and actresses and the premiere already begins the twisty-turny spiral we’ve come to expect. Lastly, its an intelligent series that keeps the watcher engaged, everything in the series has a purpose, and as we saw last season, everyone is connected, everyone is manipulating someone else, everyone is dirty in some way, but who comes out on top is a matter of great discussion once we’re able to see how everything shakes out.

For those worried about the second season of the series, don’t, everything that made Damages one of the best drama series on TV is still intact and just as good as ever. Will the writers be able to sustain the series again for 13 episodes and include as many twists as last year? That’s still to be determined, but if the initial batch of episodes is any indication its going to be a great ride.

USA Network’s Burn Notice took the summer by storm last year combining the elements of a procedural, with the snark of Gil Grissom on CSI, and a comedic bite rolled into serious stories. The show excelled at making a name for itself with its overall mythology on why Michael Westen was burned and how he was going to save himself from being trapped in Miami forever. In the final episodes of season one we are introduced to bigger players in the game, including the unseen Carla (Tricia Helfer) who beings manipulating Michael from the very start of this episode. Her motives aren’t known beyond Michael driving into the back of a trailer and emerging with two dead bodies and a tied up security consultant to work with.

While it looked like the season finale was going to change up the show’s formula, season two eventually finds Michael back in Miami performing a job for Carla in order to meet her and find out what is going on. Carla, as we’ve known for some time, is played by Tricia Helfer, assuming yet another villainous role after her run as Six on the Peabody-winning Battlestar Galactica. Although she is in the episode for less than a minute, her presence (and beauty) alone make her stand out and give a face to the previously ambiguous element behind the show’s burn notice.

Westen finds himself needing to help a security consultant who the syndicate (a cool name we’re giving to the people manipulating Westen) has taken his family hostage. The target is a private security firm (aka mercenaries) with data the syndicate wants. When we finally get to see the data it makes no sense to any of our main characters, but its obvious there’s a lot of wheels turning here. There’s a grand aura behind this season with many of the cogs in the wheel beginning to sync up into something bigger, which should make the next few months fun avoiding the heat on Thursday nights.

The season does start a little low key, especially with the return to form no more than five minutes into the season premiere. Not that this is a bad thing, as previously stated Burn Notice‘s biggest advantage over other procedurals is that you forget it IS a procedural at heart, with each episode focusing on the relationship between Michael and Fiona, Michael and Sam, Michael and his mom, throwing in a client, a bad guy, Michael with a funny accent, and ending with the bad guy getting his due in a clever manner. While some shows have strived to change up the formula each and every season, My Name is Earl comes to mind, to mixed results, Burn Notice stays true to what made it fun in the first place.

Note: At the request of the SciFi Channel and Universal Media Studios this review is being kept as spoiler free as possible.

The third season finale of Battlestar Galactica was one of revelation, deep revelations as the series prepares for its final season and begins to bring all the threads of the Cylon/Terran war to a head. As we closed out last season in 2007 we were treated to the identity of four of the final five Cylon models, Colonel Tigh (Michael Hogan), Chief Tyrol (Aaron Douglas), Sam Anders (Michael Trucco), and presidential assistant Tory Foster (Rekha Sharma) and the return of the seemingly dead Starbuck (Katee Sackhoff). The fourth season premiere picks up exactly at the point when Starbucks returns to great Lee Adama (Jamie Barber) in the midst battle against a Cylon fleet who has found the humans.


The battle scene in the beginning of the episode is spectacular, really showcasing the programs special effects and cementing itself as a true sci-fi series. Up until this point the show has been about the characters, with the fact that they were in space, in a rag-tag fleet and a behemoth Battlestar just one piece in the overarching puzzle. Here though, the audience is treated to a great battle. As Starbuck claims at the end of last season, she’s been to Earth and can lead the fleet there, but here return is met with skepticism amongst most of the crew believe her to be a Cylon.

The events of last season also continue with the newly acquitted Gaius Baltar (James Callis) who, after being tried for crimes against humanity and the slaughter of hundreds of colonists on New Caprica, is seemingly doomed to exile with a group of devout followers who believe in his Cylon-inspired ideas of only one true god. This storyline is sure to get more and more interesting as the season progresses, the last 15 minutes, of which I’m legally forbidden to talk about, certainly change the game for Gaius.


Most of the episode deals with the return of Starbuck and her desire, nee, absolute need to direct the fleet to Earth while the newly revealed Cylons attempt to cope with their place in the fleet, and determine if they are a danger to themselves and the rest of humanity. The writers play around with some “alternate realities” that bring back eerie, chilling echoes of Boomer shooting Adama.

However, with all that said, the episode ultimately turns out to be a rather flat disappointment because it is mostly a launching board for the stories we’ll see in the final season, but there isn’t much happening here besides what’s been described above. The seeds of stories to play out in these final 20 episodes are easily sown but fans may still be questioning how people like Tigh could be a Cylon when he fought against them in the first Cylon War. I question if the writers really have a plausible reason for doing this, especially with how many plot holes it opens up. Still, the writing/producing team has kept me entertaining for three seasons of excellent, excellent storytelling and action and I trust them to finish out strong, I just wish the first new episode in nearly a year was more of a bang.

FOX begins to roll out the new season with the third season premiere of high intensity thriller Prison Break. Season three sees most of the remaining (read: not dead) principle cast from season two back in prison, this time, in Sona, a Panamanian prison with no guards and ruled by the inmates themselves.

The premiere starts off directly where season two left off, Lincoln (Dominic Purcell) has been exonerated of all charges, but Michael (Wentworth Miller) was forced to kill a man in the season two finale, this time facing his punishment in the aforementioned hell-hole. In a turn of events that would be considered ludicrous on any other show, sans maybe 24, several other characters enter into the prison as well including FBI Agent Mahone (William Fitchner) who chased Scofield the duration of the last season. Mahone is set up by Michael in the finale with a boat full of drugs, and as he enters the prison he’s without the little white pills he popped all throughout the manhunt and begins to go into withdrawals.


The writers did what you would expect here as Mahone attempts to befriend Scofield knowing he’s the only one who can clear his name of the drug charges and subsequently break him out of Sona due to his masterful skills displayed in the first season of the show.

Showing up as well is T-Bag (Robert Knepper) and former prison guard Bellick (Wade Williams) who’s been beaten and relegated to cleaning the toilets. Although his cleaning of waste brings up the season’s initial big plot point and the reason Michael won’t be getting out of Sona anytime soon.

It’s going to be interesting to see how the writers utilize Lincoln now that he’s not the one on the run anymore, and doesn’t have the same skill set Michael had to initially bust him out of Fox River. The notable absence and seemingly written off character of Dr. Sara Tancredi (Sarah Wayne Callies) should be interesting to watch as the season progresses now that Callies has stated she’s no longer on the show, yet the character remains a very big part and the only motivation for Michael to stay alive and escape.


The season premiere successfully sets up the upcoming season with a greater focus on The Company directly instead of through proxies like the former President and Mahone. It’s a serviceable introduction to what we’ll see in the coming months, and all over-the-top plot points aside, Prison Break is still a hugely entertaining show.