Friday, October 13, 2017

REVIEW: FOX's 'Ghosted,' 'The Last Man on Earth,' 'The Gifted' and 'Brooklyn Nine-Nine' (October 8-14)

Various reviews from FOX shows for October 8-14, 2017:

FOX's Ghosted - Episode 1.02 "Bee-Mo"
FOX's The Last Man on Earth - Episode 4.02 "Stocko Syndome"
FOX's The Gifted - Episode 1.02 "rX"
FOX's Brooklyn Nine-Nine - Episode 5.03 "Kicks"

In 2017, it's impossible to watch every scripted show out there. There are over 450 of them. It's even more impossible to even provide adequate coverage of some of them. Great shows slip through the cracks. Some shows take awhile to figure themselves out. So as a way for me to provide more coverage of various shows, I'll just be writing some paragraph reviews of the various shows that aired new episodes on FOX from October 8-14, 2017. Enjoy!

Ghosted - "Bee-Mo"
Leroy and Max take Jermaine trick-or-treating, although Jermaine hopes they'll drop him off at a party instead. The party becomes the least of their worries when Jermaine is infected with a zombie virus by a demon cat. Halloween is a busy night, full of paranormal activity, for LaFrey, Annie and Barry at the Bureau Underground. Written by Blake McCormick and directed by Lynn Shelton

It's very much appreciated that Ghosted recognizes that Max and Leroy aren't the best field agents that the Bureau Underground has. They are still new to this operation and to working together. They just stumble upon a case that turns out to be a huge deal. Of course, it's a little predictable as well. The audience knows that the creature creeping people out is the cat. It just sets up the expectation that Jermaine is going to get involved somehow. Of course, it's still very frightening and tense when Max and Leroy are tasked with sedating the teenagers that have been infected. But it also sets up the question of why Annie isn't in the field herself. She delivers the weapons to Max and Leroy. She seems much more capable and skilled than Max is. And yet, she's not one of the leads. She's just a supporting player whom the show may be setting up as a potential love interest for Max. That's a little odd and forced. Not sure if the show has earned that yet. But "Bee-Mo" is largely just the show trying to figure itself out. Ally Walker gets to do a little more this week than just shoot out a bunch of exposition. But it's not all that better because she's mostly just acting opposite a screen and trying to make things seem tense. The show has more fun when it focuses on Captain Lafrey valuing her privacy while knowing everything about everyone else. That's an intriguing avenue to explore with her. And finally, the work-around for the end of pilot twist is pretty lame. Max knows his wife is in the custody of the Bureau Underground but he can't see her for vague reasons. B-

The Last Man on Earth - "Stocko Syndome"
Tandy devises an escape plan to get away from Pamela and back to Carol and the others. The rest of the gang encounters a castaway, Glenn, who has been stranded on an island for years. Written by Megan Ganz & Tim McAuliffe and directed by David Noel

It's great that the big twist from the premiere that saw Pamela kidnapping Tandy and stranding the rest of the group on a "deserted" island doesn't last for an extended period of time. It would have been troubling if it lasted for a couple of episodes because it would have been much more difficult for the show to explain how they would all reunite. Now, it makes sense that Tandy can break free from his confinement and find Carol again because of the giant signal fire she starts. That's nice. Meanwhile, it's still difficult to really connect with Pamela this season. As a character, she was so compelling to watch in her first episode last season. And now, she's just a little too self-centered with little regard for how the world has changed. She wasn't great interacting with people before the virus. That hasn't changed even though she's one of the few surviving people in this world. Of course, Kristen Wiig and Will Forte still have a great dynamic between them. Meanwhile, it's fascinating to get another new character addition so early in the season. Unlike Jack Black, it seems like Chris Elliott's Glenn will actually be sticking around. It's a funny concept to find this guy who was stranded on this island hoping to be rescued one day but is completely oblivious to what has happened in the outside world. That means the group needs to break it to him. Thinking about reuniting with his family was all that was keeping him going. And in the end, Carol breaks the news in a cruel way because she desperately needs to find Tandy. That's a stunning twist. But it still creates a genuine bond between Glenn and the rest of the group. Glenn and Pamela forming connections with the main cast should be intriguing to watch this season after one has been very beneficial and one has been so destructive. B

The Gifted - "rX"
After exerting her powers beyond their limits, Blink goes into a state of shock, forcing Caitlin and Eclipse to go on a mission to find a special serum that will help her to recover. Reed faces some difficult choices when it comes to helping his family. Polaris runs into some trouble. Written by Matt Nix and directed by Len Wiseman

"rX" needs to explain right away how the mutants aren't able to teleport right back to the abandoned warehouse to rescue Reed from being taken by the Sentinel Services. As such, the tension is incredibly high because Blink's powers are growing incredibly unstable. Thunderbird needs to make the decision regarding whether it's still safe for all the mutants at the safe house where they have all landed. Lauren is able to prove her worth by being able to close the portals that keep popping up. But that is only successful for so long. Meanwhile, Caitlin proves that she could be essential as well because apparently she's a nurse. That's a skill set that comes in handy. Of course, it's then surprising that she is so completely oblivious to what health care is like for mutants. She's lived a privileged life where she's never had to think about these issues. And now, she is forced to confront them. It still doesn't allow Amy Acker to play more than a concerned and confused mom. That's disappointing. But it's still a tense story where she is at least an active character. It highlights how the family is forming connections with the Mutant Underground. That will be important if they are going to rescue Reed and Polaris from their imprisonment. And in that side of the narrative, Polaris is immediately more interesting to watch. This is just a really good performance from Emma Dumont. Stephen Moyer is still too much of a straight man in this crazy world. Him making a deal with Sentinel Services in exchange for immunity for his kids is potentially troublesome. But even that seems like it will become complicated very soon by whatever is going on with that scientist at the end of the hour. That's just a cryptic tease that essentially means nothing now. But it will mean something because it's Garret Dillahunt in the role. B

Brooklyn Nine-Nine - "Kicks"
Now that he's officially back at the precinct and desperate to solve a real case, Jake finds a loophole to get out of his temporarily designated desk duty. Unfortunately, that loophole rests on his ability to pass an official evaluation performed by Holt. While Charles provides Jake with moral support, Terry and Amy help Rosa, who believes Pimento may be cheating on her. Written by Andrew Guest and directed by Eric Appel

This season of Brooklyn Nine-Nine has gotten off to an awkward start because the time in prison for Jake and Rosa wasn't all that compelling to watch. But now, that story is over and both are back in the Nine-Nine. It's so rewarding and uplifting to see them back in this environment. Of course, it also makes sense that they are back on desk duty and struggling with that in their own ways. Jake is ready to get back in the field. He wants on a case with Charles and to prove to Holt that he is ready - even though in doing so it could cost him his badge and gun. And then, it's fascinating to see how his time in prison has affected his ability to do this job. It reveals a new side of maturity within Jake. Hopefully, that will be a consistent part of his story this season. He may be a better detective because he wants to make sure that he's not sending anyone innocent to prison. Yes, he makes a crucial mistake in releasing the perp despite him being guilty. But his new understanding of the world could be very beneficial to his career while making him more mature as a character as well. That could be a ton of fun. Meanwhile, it's just hilarious to watch Rosa try to figure out if Pimento is cheating on her. She sees the evidence all around him. Of course, there's a reasonable explanation for all of it. And then, the story takes such an interesting and inspired twist. If Rosa is feeling this way, then maybe it's time to end this relationship. That seems very reasonable and rational as well - even though it completely destroys Pimento in the end. That's a lot of fun too. B+