NCIS: Los Angeles – Rage

Granger and Agent Rand

Well, well, well. Two recurring NCIS actors on NCIS: Los Angeles. It’s almost too much, but still very nice, especially as the usual pattern of being the opposite of what you are on the other show, didn’t seem to happen. So we had Alicia Coppola as an FBI agent and young Gibbs, aka Sean Harmon,* as a convict.

Callen and Charlie

And we got to return to Callen as a con, six months after he was pulled from his undercover role in prison. You’d have thought his tan would have been a giveaway he hadn’t spent all that time in a solitary cell, but still. It was fine.

It’s a wonder what they can do to make an actor younger for a role, but I have to say that the younger Hetty was so scary as to make me worried. But it was another step on the journey to finding out about Callen’s past. Wonder how long they will be stringing it out?

Callen and Hetty

I welcome the break in finding fault with Deeks, which seemed like such a stupid plot device. As unlikely as him and Kensi thinking no one notices what they are up to.

All in all, pretty good, despite the high body count. Just wondered who else was on that bus with all the convicts. Surely someone would have noticed what happened?

(Photos © CBS)

*One day I look forward to seeing Sean Harmon with nice hair.

X + Y

This was a film that looked a lot more fun in the trailer than it actually was capable of delivering. That’s nothing new or unusual, but disappointing, nevertheless. We need good films about Asperger Syndrome, and a comedy about a maths prodigy seemed like a good place to start.

And yes, it was funny, and it was sort of good from an aspie point of view. But only so far. The scriptwriters knew what to put in, and then they went and did what so many films and shows do; in order for it to satisfy our neurotypical demands, the poor aspie occasionally becomes almost ‘cured’ of their affliction. If the plot needs them to. Then they can go on and be weird again.

I loved Sally Hawkins in Paddington. Here she was a loving and sometimes perfect mother to an aspie child, while at times she was so clueless you couldn’t believe it. The woman who knows her son needs seven prawn balls, or else, would have learned a few other things as well over the 14 years that she’s been her son’s mother.

According to my own maths specialist, the maths chosen to do tricks with was pretty good. Short enough to fit in, but mostly correct. Thank you for that, a least.

X + Y

Teaching yourself to speak Chinese in a few weeks, with the help of a book, even for a child prodigy… Well, it’s possible. Maybe.

Alex Lawther [who played the young Alan Turing] was another maths genius, but this time as a neurotypical one, which suited him better, but made for more upsetting viewing.

Nathan’s poor room mate in China was the real victim of the story. An almost maths genius who didn’t make the grade, and who actually doesn’t like maths very much. That’s sad.

Whereas Nathan found love and friendship and [almost] gave up on his maths. Which is possible, but less likely.

A 79th birthday for Roger Whittaker

Roger Whittaker

Happy 79th Birthday Roger!

The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel

What can I say? Well, not the title of this film, obviously. I stumbled over the words for the first one, and add a second film and I’ll have to call it Marigold 2. But to get back to the saying; Marigold 2 is as fun and entertaining as Marigold 1 was. I worried in case the usual thing about a sequel not having the surprise element to offer, would mean it suffered.

But I reckon that a film that makes someone like me laugh out loud in the cinema, can’t be bad. (I’ve been informed that Daughter’s peers are not Marigold fans. They didn’t see No. 1 and don’t plan to see No. 2. That’s their loss.) Us oldies deserve more films featuring old people, even if we are delusional when we believe we are Richard Gere or Lillete Dubey.

The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel

Maggie Smith still gets most of the good lines, whether she’s in India or at Downton. Here we have two women aged 79, who start new jobs and enjoy them. One of them finds new love, and so do quite a few others, even when it takes them a while to realise where true love is to be found.

And inevitably there is sadness, although it is dealt with off screen. It’s as with nudity and sex; more powerful when not seen. Sooner or later we all have to check out, and far better we didn’t waste time dunking a teabag into lukewarm water before we do.

Sonny might be an impossible optimist, and he might get a lot of things wrong, but he also gets things right. After all, whose idea was any of this Marigold stuff?

And I’ll have a beautifully lit up courtyard like this, please.

The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel

NCIS: Los Angeles – Expiration Date

Sahib? Seriously? I suppose the scriptwriters for this week’s NCIS: Los Angeles wanted to appear to be genuine. I just wonder whether having their returning Gurkha character address white people as sahib was the best way to do it.

But, he was very charming, and they were right to have him return. (Interestingly IMdB has not listed the actor. They have one of the other Gurkhas instead. One Gurkha is much the same as the next one…)

Gurkha, Deeks and Kensi

Did we really want to see Kensi and Deeks in bed? Perhaps it’s the beginning of the end.

Now, I liked this episode, much as I have liked nearly all LA episodes this season. But when you stop and think, there were an awful lot of deaths (perfectly all right, it seems) ‘in return for’ having Sam Hanna survive. LA tends to be very bloody. Maybe this week was no worse than average. Could be I just started to count the bodies.

(Photo © CBS)

Ambassadors

It’s been a busy week. As Bookwitch I’ve travelled to Edinburgh three days running. Were it not for that, I’d have attempted to get myself invited to the Grandmother’s neighbour’s flat last Thursday.

This 90+ gentleman was about to be visited by the Russian Ambassador, and he had asked the Grandmother to be present. I believe there was some medal that was to be handed over to the neighbour, and at first I thought it unlikely that the real Ambassador would make a house call like that.

But then I remembered that when I was about 16, the then Soviet Ambassador called in at my school. That seemed quite natural at the time, so why not now, if an elderly man was to be honoured?

And only hours before this medal presentation, I managed to squeeze in the week’s NCIS, before dropping off with exhaustion. OK, so they shouldn’t say bad or fictional things about a real Russian Ambassador, which I assume is why they have someone slightly more junior as a recurring sometimes bad and sometimes good character.

But I think of him as the Ambassador, and I’m sure he was referred to as such in one of this season’s episodes. I might have to watch again, just to check. (I’ve been trying to, actually. Just seem to run out of time, which is why I am barely halfway through my private repeats.)

NCIS – We Build, We Fight

Wow! Again.

This was one strong episode from a strong season of NCISs. Directed by Rocky Carroll, no less. Apparently the man is difficult to work with, or so he thought.

We Build, We Fight

Interesting plot about a gay marine, which I believe the cast felt strongly about. And it shows. Plenty of homophobic characters as you’d expect, and very nicely dealt with. After the teary end to the story about our dead hero, I felt we were due something to cheer us up, and I was right.

Baby Palmer and admirers

It was a baby we needed. Palmer and Mrs Palmer (give the woman a cheese burger!) finally have a little baby Palmer. Even Gibbs smiled.

They had better not kill Hollis Mann off! Lovely to see her back. Not so lovely when you think about Gibbs and his reaction to her presence. Ducky would appear to be on the right track.

Hollis Mann

(This is the only kind of visit to autopsy that I will tolerate from Hollis Mann.)

(Photos © CBS)