Week in Review 11/22/09 – 11/29/09

It was a mixed week for television, being that it was the American Thanksgiving, there were quite a few repeats, but those were made up for by some fantastic new episodes of shows such as Criminal Minds and NCIS: Los Angeles. There were also new episodes of The Cake Boss and NCIS to enjoy as well. Although Thursday and Friday were a little boring the rest of the week more than made up for it. If you haven’t watched the above shows and don’t want to be spoiled then don’t jump with me, everyone else let’s get started.

I don’t usually include shows from TLC in my review, even though I do watch them. However, this week I’m going to include Cake Boss because it’s my daughter’s new favorite show and let’s face it Buddy is kind of awesome isn’t he? This week’s two new episodes were both great and really interesting.

The first episode had Buddy making a dog shaped cake for a fundraiser at the animal shelter, but he also decided to go one step farther and make a cake for the dogs as well. This cake for the dogs poses a slight issue because the dogs can’t have chocolate or sugar so it limits what they can put in the cake.

They decide to mix peanut butter, shredded carrots, eggs, honey and dog food and bake them into the cake for the dogs. Sounds gross, but it’s kind of ingenious for the animals. On a funny side note, while one of the bakers was working on the dog cake, he had a bowl of dog food sitting next to a bowl of chocolate icing. Cue Cousin Anthony walking in. 😀 As usual Cousin Anthony was complaining about something, and then went to get a cupcake, which he then iced with… dog food. lol. The rest of the bakers laughed at him and started making dog jokes, he was angry and stormed out. I was thinking, “really? You can’t tell the difference between chocolate icing and dog food?” I guess that’s why he’s a delivery boy!

Meanwhile, Buddy was working on moulding the cake to look like a boxer dog from the shelter named James. When it was done it was unreal how life like the cake looked. This team of bakers is amazing and Buddy is unbelievably good at making cakes.

Thing is Buddy isn’t happy being the king of cakes, he wants to be the king of pizza too. While he was at his father-in-law’s pizza place discussing the cake for the 25th anniversary party, the testosterone of the men took over and somehow we ended up with Buddy being in a pizza making competition with his father-in-law who has been making pizza for a quarter of a century. Not the brightest challenge he’s every made but he worked really hard at it.

Buddy’s pizza was more of a foccacia bread pizza like his own father used to make, and his wife’s dad’s is more of a New York Pizza style. In the end it was a close call so they called in Buddy’s nephew, Buddy C. to make the final taste test. Buddy C. chose the father-in-law’s pizza over Buddy’s. That seems to makes sense considering the man’s been making pizza for so long, he should be an expert!

On the whole though, Buddy’s cake shaped like a pizza was a hit. The cake had a light brown crust and even had red, yellow and white fondant melted on top to look like cheese and sauce. The cake looked like a pizza, and tasted like cake, the best of both worlds.

I really enjoy watching this show because the cakes are always so inventive and it’s amusing to watch the process of the cake making.

The second episode gave Buddy the power to mould the universe, literally. Buddy had to make a cake for the local planetarium, and the cake ended up being a work of science and art.

Buddy decided to make a cake where the planets were stacked on top of each other in order of their distance from the sun, making the cake stand about 7 feet tall. The problem was the stability. Buddy wanted it to be whimsical and slightly tilted but the problem with that is that the cake planets weigh a lot. The Sun was the base of the cake and it was made out of pound cake, and the planets followed but they were made out of cereal treats (ie Rice Krispie squares) because cake wouldn’t have stayed up in the air due to gravity and all ;). Eventually with the help of some metal rods, screws and supports the cake came to life and it was so awesome it made me want to study astronomy! I loved how when he presented the cake he mentioned he added Pluto because when he went to school Pluto was still a planet. 😀

Also during this episode they made a golf inspired cake that was great and really looked like a golf course, complete with water traps, trees and a little flag. So impressive what they can do.

The funniest part of the episode was when Buddy got all cocky and full of himself and his brother in law challenged him to bake a cake using an Easy Bake oven. The crazy part was that he did! He baked a two tier mini-cake and even iced it (although he stipulated it had to be his icing stuff, like his own fondant). Buddy is clearly an fabulous baker because he can make a cake in any oven and it looks good.

You can catch two all new episodes of Cake Boss on TLC, Monday night starting at 9 pm.

Moving on to Tuesday and a twisted new episode of NCIS. I say twisted because the idea of the government using children in a think tank environment to help with war strategies is a wee bit disconcerting. Don’t you think?

The episode starts with two unsuspecting kids playing in a corn field, (which in itself is nerve racking for me.. I don’t know why). Those two kids end up find a scarecrow, which turns out to be a dead body that is missing a hand. Wow, those kids are never going to be able to enjoy The Wizard of Oz again without thinking about that.

The dead scarecrow was identified as Lance Corporal Trevor Lazatta and it turns out he guarded an testing center for children. The center was incredibly creepy. We had children playing all these war games and discussing issues like how to kill the most enemies without losing too many of our own soldiers. These are things that kids simply shouldn’t be worried about in my opinion.

We learn that the deceased Corporal used to belong to a gang with none other than Weevil from Veronica Mars. Okay, his name was Eddie but the whole time I was thinking, Weevil didn’t do it. 🙂 Eddie was one of those classic crime show ploys to throw us off the trail of the real killer, far to obvious and way too loveable. It seems that Eddie was trying to get help from the Corporal with his keeping his cousin out of the gang life style. We also learn that the Corporal was asking Eddie for advice on one of the children at the centre who was in trouble.

That child was Angela, a super smart girl who made art that actually hid messages. It was unbelievable, and of course it was the awesome Abby who figured out the codes. The messages were actually military secrets, and that gave us a clue into what was going on.

First Gibbs suspected that Angela’s mom may be taking advantage of her little girl’s brains, and selling the military secrets to the enemies, but it wasn’t. A money did lead us somewhere else though. To Krista Dalton who worked at the child genius compound and who’s sister worked for a defence contractor. Unfortunately the sister turned up dead, and Krista still didn’t seem too repentful for selling the secrets to a video game creator but she wasn’t the killer.

Finally we’re lead to the head honcho of the think tank, who was actually Krista’s deceased sister’s boyfriend. Wow, what a tangled web. Anyways, after taking Angela hostage the man made the mistake of standing in the open with NCIS agents surrounding him with guns (not too bright after all they’re trained marksmen). Ziva took him out and the day was saved.

Some funny side notes from the episode were Ducky and his Thanksgiving invitations. He waited so long to hand them out and then everyone was busy, except Abby. Then we had Abby trying to cook Thanksgiving recipes in her lab and it was so Abby it was hard not to smile at it, even though the thought of food being cooked around blood samples made me squeamish 🙂 I also thought it was amusing how everyone had to miss their Thanksgiving plans because of the case and ended up at Ducky’s anyways. I really do like the team on NCIS and it was a good episode. Don’t miss it Tuesday nights on CBS at 8 pm.

Also on Tuesday was a great episode of NCIS: Los Angeles where Abby from NCIS had a guest role. The episode starts with a Naval Engineer being murdered in what used to be his child’s nursery and the whole murder was taped through the video camera in the teddy bear’s eye. Well the whole murder except the murder’s face because that would be too easy 🙂

Director Vance sends Abby to help the LA team because Abby believes this case is tied to a string of cases she’s been linking to a serial killer dubbed by her as the “Phantom”. Abby named him “Phantom” because he leaves no evidence at the crime scenes. The string of cases is really random and fairly long, leading Agent Callen (Chris O’Donnell) to have difficulty believing Abby.

Abby wins the team over by finding a ‘negative footprint’ at the crime scene which points them to believe the killer has been wearing a hazmat suit to avoid leaving traces of his/herself on the crime scenes. Pretty tricky isn’t it? While they were waiting on the details of the suit, Eric asks Abby out to a Hollywood Goth Club, that he knows she likes from reading her blog. Aw, how cute Eric has a crush on Abby, and why wouldn’t he? She’s adorable, funny and so smart.

Although not smart enough to figure out that this Naval crime had been staged so that Abby would be drawn out to LA, and into the arms of the “Phantom”. The serial killer has been following Abby’s blog, by posing as a criminalist and even going so far as to suggest Abby would love the goth club in LA. Eric plays right into it bringing her there and she gets kidnapped while outside checking out the amazing hot rods.

The LA team jumps into motion to save Abby, as her home team is getting ready to ride to her rescue as well. Nate assures Callen and Sam that the “Phantom” will keep Abby alive long enough to brag and get Abby to admire him (he’ll be waiting for that one) but will he will eventually kill her.

Sure enough the “Phantom” is intent on having Abby think he’s awesome, but she’s just a little more fantastic than he is. She gets him to scratch her nose then she bites him so that he has teeth marks and evidence at this crime scene. He really wants Abby to love him and show appreciation and she keeps him talking while she uses sign language to give hints to the team. Eric found the live online footage and reads the sign language which leads them to her.

Unfortunately, the Phantom is smarter than your average killer, and he’s booby-trapped the place he’s holding Abby to explode when the doors are triggered. Thankfully, Abby gets the message signed in time to stop Callen and Sam from opening the door, but they still had to find another way in. They end up using the sky light and Sam drops Callen in with a rope while Callen shoots the Phantom. Just in the knick of time of course, because the Phantom was just about to chop Abby to pieces using an axe.

Yay, LA team you’ve saved our favorite lab tech! Abby sings their praises to her team on the phone, and she has officially made the LA team fall in love with her especially Eric. I foresee a few more cross overs and hopefully soon! You can catch this great show on Tuesdays following NCIS at 9 pm on CBS.

Wednesday there was an edge of your seat episode of Criminal Minds that was also very emotional.

We open with a very gruesome crime scene where the team is all visibly distressed, but we don’t get to see who the victims are which immediately frustrates me. Then they start flashing to an investigation room, where each member of the BAU team is being interviewed about what happened. [Note from Jenny: The questioner is the evil, although nice at the end, Strauss. Just FYI. 🙂 ]

The team starts to recap the day for the investigators, and the only thing that each of them continues to stress is that it was in no way Hotch’s fault. Through the flashbacks we see how the team found the location of the, The Reaper (George Foyet), using the medication cocktail he requires to live. Unfortunately, when they get to, The Reaper’s apartment he’s not there, but they did find some surveillance pictures of Sam Kassmeyer, who is the US Marshall protecting Hotch’s wife and son. This is a terrible plot for me because I hate when crime shows allow the families to get hurt.

Hotch and the team rush to Sam’s house and they find him beaten and his fingers cut off. Sam is in really bad shape but in the ambulance he manages to tell Hotch that he didn’t tell Foyet (The Reaper) anything but it didn’t matter because he stole Sam’s phone. In Sam’s phone was the phone number to the safe house where Hayley and Jack (Hotch’s wife and son) were being kept in witness protection. Sam died of his injuries.

Foyet called Hayley and pretended to be another US Marshall, telling her that both Sam and Hotch were dead. He told her she needed to throw out her current cell phone and buy a new disposable one, and then head to her old house where he’d come and meet her to take her to a new safe place. I was so sad about this, it was nerve racking.

Unfortunately, Hotch was a little too late figuring out Foyet’s plan, and he called and got to talk to Hayley. He talked to his son, Jack, too and told him that Jack was “helping him work the case” causing Jack to run upstairs and hide because it’s some kind of code between them.

Hotch then had a very emotional and touching conversation with Hayley on the phone, while the team all listened in. They are obviously still very much in love even though they were separated. Hotch apologized, but Hayley said he never signed on for this. Then Foyet shot her. How horrible! He shot Hayley while Hotch listened, that was so heartbreaking.

Hotch gets to the house and searches for Foyet. He finds Foyet hiding behind a curtain and shoots a whole clip into him, but Foyet is wearing a bullet proof vest. Foyet and Hotch start fighting and end up downstairs where Hotch gets the best of him and beats Foyet to death. The team arrives and pulls Hotch off Foyet, and then Hotch runs to find his son, who is still in hiding. He finds Jack exactly where he was supposed to be, safe and sound.

The panel of investigators found Hotch’s actions to be within reason, because Hotch could attest that if Foyet had gotten up again he would have tried to kill him or his son. Unfortunately, it’s not all happy endings because now Hayley is dead. I was in tears. I don’t know what’s going to happen now with Hotch because he can’t keep being a BAU member if he’s a single dad now can he? You can catch Criminal Minds on Wednesdays at 9 pm on CBS.

That’s it for now, I’ll have Monday’s news up shortly too. I hope you have a great week and I’ll be back next week with another review.

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One Response to Week in Review 11/22/09 – 11/29/09

  1. ncislafan says:

    Great recaps of NCIS: LA and Criminal Minds. Two of the best shows on air.
    CU sindee