SPOILER ALERT: Colton is not coming back next season. It's been revealed on some other sites for a few weeks now, plus, they just finished filming the fall season last week, and with the way Colton looked at the reunion, there's no way he just got back from 39 days in the game.
Great review, Luke. While I appreciated the producers' attempts to blindside and confuse the audience (rather successfully, I should point out), I think it worked against them this week. I would much rather have seen more of the strategizing and conversation that led to such a strange vote, even if it meant that I would know all going into it who was going home.
Everything about the second half of this episode was completely absurd. Colton's arrogance, disrespect, and offensiveness (to Bill and to Leif too, it should be noted) is purely despicable and I wish he was the one going home tonight -- that might have justified their giving up of immunity, for Colton is truly the "cancer" on their tribe. Anyone with such blatant disrespect for the dignity of others shouldn't be allowed on television. The fact that the men all gave in to Colton's absurd plan is further proof of the casting department's horrible job in recent seasons. They are probably high-fiving themselves over Colton (he makes for interesting tv) but have failed to give this game people who are willing to play it and play it for the long-haul, not in such an impulsive, naive way. Grading this episode on the decisions of the people in it, your one star makes sense, but grading it on its quality as an intriguing, dramatic, entertaining hour of television, it deserves five.
As always, a great review, Luke. I was so happy when Matt and his arrogance were voted out, though I'm not too thrilled with Colton's arrogance either.
Great review. Any idea how Olivia got from the gas station to tied up in the dungeon with Nina?? The gas station attendant never saw her, so she must have been removed before she entered the gas station, right? But then Peter would have seen something. I'm so confused... and I love it. Yay Fringe!
I actually think your dropped theory is correct -- Nina (with spurring from David Robert Jones) is using drugs to force Olivia into remembering the primary-Olivia's memories. Nina and DRJ may not know what those memories are, but for some reason they need her to remember and care about the primary universe/timeline -- perhaps to use her to restore it (via the machine?!). Just a theory, but it seems plausible by what we've seen so far.
Eccentric, off-the-wall characters like Dwight require a "straight man" to play off of (which Jim and to some extent Michael have fulfilled on the Office), but I can't imagine there is a "straight man" in the Schrute family. Rainn Wilson is a talented comedic actor, but I doubt Dwight can successfully be the focus of a show. Of course, I'd still try it out.
No thoughts on the cold open? I enjoyed it -- while it started off as a rather lame prank, the reveal at the end that Stanley and Dwight were actually deceiving Jim into giving them dozens of free meatballs was spot-on hilarious. As for the rest of the episode, I agree largely with you, Dan, though I actually enjoyed the Jim plot. I interpreted him wanting to leave so he could get back to Pam and his two kids, not because he didn't particularly want to be there. Overall, a decent episode but lacking some cohesion.
tati, It's taking place in Samoa (for the fourth time). They filmed it back-to-back with the previous season.
Excellent review. As far as J.J. Abrams series go, Alcatraz seems more aligned in structure to Fringe than to Lost, considering its hybrid procedural-with-a-heavy-mythology nature. Perhaps Abrams is trying to perfect what he did with Fringe so that he ends up with a show that carries a large audience further than Fringe could. I can't wait to see where it goes from here!
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