Straight talk about select TV episodes for the week of April 11-16, 2010

“Supernatural”: Point of No Return

As a die-hard “Supernatural” fan, I wish I could say the series’ 100th episode was as kick-ass as I wanted it to be. While it hit all the right notes that a milestone episode should – surprising death of a character, unexpected return of a character, game-changing plot twist, humor, reaffirmation of show themes – I wish Point of No Return had reached for a few higher notes. I could not help but feel we’ve seen some of these plots before: Dean or Sam losing faith in his destiny, the other brother reaching down to convince the faithless of the importance of the mission. I felt like the 98th episode, Dark Side of the Moon, was much more fantastical, jarring, revealing and fun to watch.

That’s not to say I don’t have high hopes for Supernatural. This show thrives on the last three episodes of every season, creating a tangled web of misery, pain, mythology and well-aimed one-liners for the Winchester brothers, much for our viewing pleasure. With four episodes and an impending Apocalypse to go in season five, I’ve got my seatbelt buckled. B-

Best line:
Dean: So, screw destiny right in the face. I saw we take the fight to them, do it our way.

“Modern Family”: Benched

“Modern Family” is usually dependably funny, but this week’s episode missed the mark. Watching Jay and Phil spar over who would coach the boys’ basketball team was boring. Claire realizing little Alex has grown into a teenager was predictable. And Mitchell and Cameron’s expedition to prospective employer Charlie Bingham’s house was cringe-inducing – and not in the humorous way. Is this really what audiences want to see, 20 episodes in? Talk about filler. C-

Best dialogue:
Luke: Where did Coach Stupak go?
Phil: He left, he got sick.
Luke: Is he going to die?
Phil: Everybody dies, boys, let’s focus on what’s important!

“Glee”: Hell-o

Coming off a much-anticipated, four-month hiatus, I expected more from “Glee.” The romantic plotlines did not advance: Rachel and Finn are together, Finn doesn’t want to be with her, they break up. Boo stinkin’ hoo. By now, viewers know better than to expect showrunner Ryan Murphy to allow a couple we like to actually be happy together. Take Mr. Shue and Emma, for example. They finally kissed at the end of the fall finale – and for what? They break up in this episode too.

Sue Sylvester, at least, was on top of her game, coming in with great zingers aimed at Will. But still – this is another example of Hell-o undoing all that the fall finale accomplished: Sue was dethroned, suspended from teaching at McKinley High, Will had won. But wait! She blackmailed Principal Figgins and now she’s back. Boo.

I’d like to see more singing and more dialogue from Mercedes, Kurt, Arty, and Tina. This show shines when it emphasizes all of its cast rather than the main players. I did enjoy Brittany and Santana trying to seduce Finn, though. Kudos on milking Brittany and Santana’s, um, friendship.

And putting Rachel together with Jesse St. James, of rival glee club Vocal Adrenaline, is asinine. Viewers can see through that, and despite Rachel’s desperation, writers have built her up as a girl smart enough to see when she’s being used. Or so I thought. C

Best Line:
Sue: Oh, I will bring it, William. You know what else I’m gonna bring? I’m going to bring some Asian cookery to rub your head with, ’cause right now you got enough product in your hair to season a wok.

Throwback episode of the week:

“Dawson’s Creek”: Pilot

Yeah, I’m getting into “Dawson’s Creek” 12 years too late. But it’s fun, not to mention one of the golden standards to which I hold all dramas on TV. Dawson is a compelling romantic, obsessed with Steven Spielberg, and has the vocabulary to rival Merriam Webster. Joey is a tomboy, sarcastic and snappy. Their friendship represents one of the most complex and endearing, and creator Kevin Williamson has a gift for dangling teenage angst and its associated gritty emotions in our faces without making it obnoxious. A

– Sonya Chudgar