Apparently so. The usual bastard bastard redball 4.15er so I had to stay back late, and fret, as the transport gets thin on the ground where I abode.
I suppose I should be very grateful I did manage to get through the door in time to see Lee Majors hand on the tv tough guy mantle to (not so) young Valley on Human Target. It's so cheesy, but kinda sweet, and really, really a lot of sun king/dying king mythos, if you've been over indulging in the Rosemary Sutcliff oeuvre (guilty as charged). What can I say? It was a cheap and cheesy tv moment but I liked it, because it wasn't just referencing tv tradition, and tv of my childhood at that, but much, much older traditions, too, if one wants to read such meaning into a daft show like Human Target, and one really shouldn't.
And yet, that's exactly what the scene was. And like I said, if you'd been over doing the Sutcliff lately, you'd really see it, as that is her favourite trope (and thus mine, too). You see it mostly on British tv, still whispering the old beliefs, in ye olde shows like Robin of Sherwood (big time) but also Dr Who, to some extent and loose interpretation, especially as he seems to be regressing in age something chronic (what next, Timelord Babies?) and it hovers over Merlin like a dark cloud.
Ah, Ms Sutcliff. Still one of my very favourites, and such a comfort to me and, as I could never get any of her books out here (bar one), I'm using the interwebs to catch up, and loving it, btw. The last one I finished wasn't the best of the best, but still a damn fine read. It was called Knight's Fee and set around the 1090s and not a lot happens (the big events all happen off stage) but it's a charming slice of historical vaguely homoerotic romance, if you're that way inclined. Not quite as intense as Eagle of the Ninth (could anything?), but it had its moments and had all the Sutcliff tropes, so I was happy. Okay, yes, they were sort of foster brothers, so a bit icky, but in a world where Wincest is canon, well, shrug. I'd certainly describe it as a romance. Complete with love tokens.
Lacking in love tokens, but still having its moments, was White Collar. I seriously thought I wouldn't get to see it and I was seriously stressed and perhaps the Scottish tea I had (PG Tips and Glenfiddich) helped, or maybe it's just seeing the episode again, but I was in a more receptive mood. I still don't know how Neal didn't end up covered head to toe in purple dye at the end though, save that he's Neal Caffrey and the laws of heaven and earth rearrange themselves around him.
I've also realised that it's not what the show can give me, but what I bring to the show, ie it's more fun if I just sit back and watch it with my wrong goggles on. And there are moments, boy, are there moments.
Like the scene, apres Peter's formal chewing out for a bogus bank robbery, the boys are kicking back at Chez Burke, bitching and moaning, but slowly coming to a rapport. Peter is so wound up by his job insecurity Neal actually tosses him the considerable bone of telling him that he wasn't going to leave, afterall. Just like that, the big deal about whether Neal would run or not is solved, or mostly solved (he still tests the invisible bars of his cage on a daily basis).
I'd like to think that, building on from that revelation, the boys would have moved onto moaning of a different sort, had not Jones interupted with his ill timed phone call. This is me, watching with the wrong goggles on.
Besides, Peter sure seems to entertain his gorgeous, art loving, fussy dresser man friend quite a bit when the missus is out. Peter, you devil, you. I realise it's just because Mrs Burke was unavailable, but still, hello slash goggles.
The downside of course is that Neal spends even more time alone in his pad with Moz, who seems to have moved in, pretty much. So annoying.
I just wish it was more of an 80/20 split with Neal and Peter grabbing the lion's share, but, ah, well. It's definitely better on the re-watch, and the boys breaking into the bank was cute. Pointless and confusing (what on earth were they trying to do?), but cute, nevertheless.
Curiously, I don't mind watching the show with the appearance of marital infidelity on Peter's part, not when Elizabeth seems to be always pushing the boys together, like really pushing them together, smoothing out disagreements and listening to their gripes. Seriously, the few times you ever see Peter with his missus, and they're talking about Neal. Always Neal.
You'd have to think she's either the most tolerant woman on earth or she just doesn't care. I'm going with just doesn't care, given that she's already giving Peter comedy socks for gifts (oh dear) and Peter has made several references to the spark having gone out of their relationship. I mean, it's a decade long marriage, it's bedded down into a warm ember glow, but it just can't compete with the white hot heat Neal is generating (even if Peter ends up burnt half the time).
Peter is always all Neal this, Neal that, Neal hurt my feelings. Elizabeth would have to be an eejit not to clue in, and she's pretty clued in. Hell, maybe it gives her more time for her bookclub or something - grin.
Peter is so cute though. For all his grumbling and pretending like he doesn't care, he's always thinking about Neal, talking about Neal, doing things for Neal, putting himself on the line for Neal, looking like an idiot for Neal, risking his life for Neal, ignoring his marriage for Neal. Sounds like a man deep in the throes of a dangerous passion to me.
Neal, to my delight, is becoming much more give and take with Peter. Sometimes Neal is very closed off from Peter, but when he opens up, or is worried about Peter, or upset by Peter, well.
Also liked the hints of Neal angst, though, as always, it's something that was told, rather than shown, but I guess Neal is one to to play it close. Annoying that he confides in Moz more than Peter. I don't feel that's right, but that's just me.
We can only assume the whole music box farago is putting trust issues in the way of Neal's blossuming friendship with Peter, which gives me a reason to hate that ruddy box even more. Or, at the very least, sternly disapprove of it (and these macguffins never work, they build up expectations that will always exceed the reality of the reveal, especially given the show's limited budget, schedule and creativity).
What else? Can't stand the ridiculous electronic tag thing they make Neal wear, it doesn't look at all like the ones they use out here (that everyone seems to sport on the bus, more like a chunky 80s cheap plastic digital watch), but I guess it's not supposed to look real.
Love the way Neal is always sitting in some unorthdox fashion in the FBI building (favourite was when he was eating takeway Chinese crosslegged on the window sill while the rest of the proper agents sat primly around the table, oh Neal, you rebel, you).
I like the way Peter is often giving Neal a look, just to see if he can work out what Neal is thinking or which way Neal is going to go or how Neal digests a particular piece of information, or, in this case, an insult. I like it because it shows that Peter isn't a complete idiot and tries not to take Neal on face value. It also shows he's a good friend, closely tracking how Neal is travelling.
There's a real look after the villian of the week throws a few verbal jabs in Neal's direction that seem to land home and Peter is clearly judging how upset Neal is by this. I like to think that if Neal had shown anything more than irritation Peter would have stepped up on Neal's behalf. I swear Peter has to be an older brother, the way he's always watching and worrying over Neal. It's the sort of sheep dog thing you have to do (round 'em up, keep 'em in line, protect the eejits from wolves).
On the re-watch also, those scenes with Peter and Moz, at first annoying, if only because they featured a) Moz, and b) they were filmed in one of my fave (close to subway) parks when I wasn't in it, but now I'm seeing all the crap Peter has to put up with to get intelligence and assistance from Moz re Neal and I realise Peter has to really, really care about Neal to go through that much trouble.
Maybe it's Mozzie's way of testing Peter, too, seeing just how far he will go, and it's pretty far. It's interesting, that although Neal has said, under the influence no less, that he trusts Peter above all others, it's Moz who usually speaks of, or demonstrates a greater trust that Peter is acting in Neal's best interests. That Neal often doesn't see it that way, well, that's just Neal (Neal can be so cruelly dismissive of his friends, and the amount of shit he puts them through, at times).
Oh yeah, and Tim and Matt are gorgeous. There's that, too.
So, all in all, I enjoyed it, even after a long terrible day. Clearly, I need to be watching this show with my Glenfiddich powered slash goggles on. And I see no problem with that.
Oh, I got home so late I missed the sunset feeding and the angry, hungry parrots killed my windchime, just so I know they weren't best pleased. I complained about the office owing me one (1) windchime and it is now the stuff of legend, apparently.
Oh, I forgot to mention, having finished Knight's Fee, I was wondering where I could get me some more vaguely slashy knight/squire type action, when a dvd of Merlin arrived. Good enough.
Oh, it's still silly, like beyond panto silly in parts, and the way Arthur treats Merlin, well, it'd be unbearable if one couldn't clearly see Arthur's abiding affection lurking beneath the taunts and abuse. I still don't know how Merlin hasn't given Arthur a hiding just yet, but perhaps that's one of his great lessons, patience and control. Certainly Arthur lets Merlin get away with a shocking amount of lip, and in public, too, so clearly Arthur is fond of the lad, though he still can't imagine why. The rare moments when the boys drop the snarking and slapping and are just there for each other, they really quite make the show. Well, for me, anyway.
So far I've only seen the two part opener, but it was quite effective in setting up Morgana as a baddie, the failing of Uther (getting even more paranoid and brutal in his dotage, if that was at all possible, and still the worst ever judge of people) and some moments where the once and future king really began to shine through.
It was also cute for the dragon riding bit (how pandering) but I will forgive them that, I'll forgive them anything, for the skeleton warriors. Harryhausen homage! Bwee!!!
It's also good that the kerniggets are getting slightly, if only slightly, less red shirty and I liked Merlin's real dread about Morgana betraying him to Uther. Thus begins their brinkmanship. In fact it's nice to see all the pieces falling into play. Nicely done.
Oh, forgot to mention, since Sunday turned rainy and thus no weeding and I was too lazy to do anything but dust and tidy (ie moving crap from here to there and back again) and watch The Avengers. Enjoyed Lobster Quadrille, though I was making arch comments about loving shows that really go overboard with the whole chessboard analogy. This one was classic Avengers with black and white tiles everywhere and giant chess pieces, just in case, you know, you weren't getting it or anything. They even threw in Alice in Wonderland, for good measure. All that for a bit of the old smugglers cove. Heh.
At least I got my Burt fix for the week - grin. Burt is one of those reliable players in the "white Jaguar school" of UK television shows of the 60s (and early 70s) that rates a shot whenever he shows up (ditto Peter Bowles, etc).
And yes, I can never have too many shows who overdo the whole chessboard thing in my weekly viewing - smirk. Or effing music boxes. I still can't believe that Holmes fillum, all about those damn music boxes.
Meanwhile, triplej played this old Smiths song the other day and I simply cannot get it out of my head. Had I the talent or tech, I'd be turning this into a rather silly White Collar vid, with Peter asking Neal if there's something he'd like to try...
NYC bees turn red from cherry juice
Forecasters stick their necks out - it's going to be the wettest December this century (scroll for giraffe photo)
From free-to-air to free online: the rise of catch-up TV
Nathan Fillion: 'Castle is easy work'
Chuck Season 4 Tonight: Badguys Don’t Deserve Yams
A New Ames for Human Target
Supernatural: I'm Mulder. You're a red headed woman.
James Roday lives dream with 'Psych' tribute to 'Twin Peaks'
'Burn Notice' prequel movie on its way
Jeffrey Donovan to Direct 'Burn Notice' Prequel Movie
Anne Rice Discusses Lestat, Twilight and Robert Downey, Jr. (Armitage, Bomer ref)
Neal stood in front of the mirror, carefully buttoning up his crisp new shirt, blue, like his eyes.
He was cleanshaven now, though his hair was still dyed jet black, and slightly long, curling a little at the tips, especially the long comma that fell forward over his eyebrow. It made his eyes even more intensely blue. He looked properly black Irish now, with all the flashing temper and charm to match.
He caught Peter watching him in the reflection of the motel mirror, and it wasn't a happy look. Confused, Neal turned.
"You don't like the shirt?"
"The shirt's fine," Peter shrugged, voice flat.
Neal's hands dropped to his sides.
"Something's wrong. What?"
Peter shrugged again.
Neal gave him a look. No more secrets.
"New shirt, new suit. You're turning back into Neal again."
Neal was perplexed. "I thought you'd be pleased. Look, this is me, getting back in the saddle."
"So I see."
"Peter? What?" Neal gestured helplessly, upset now, not at all sure at what he'd done wrong.
Peter shook his head. "You never learn. This," he indicated the shirt. "Every time I see you like this, it's like a role you play, and I hate it. Sometimes, I really hate it. You just don't get it. I fell in love with you. You. Not this version of Neal," he indicated the shirt. "This Neal, he can be a bit of a bastard. A lot of a one, actually. I see you dressing like that and I know I have to start second guessing you and watching my back and I'm too tired, Neal. I'm just too damn tired."
Neal glanced down. "But this is me, it's who I am."
"No, it's not. And it doesn't have to be. I understand, I do, you wanted to be Neal Caffrey, the idea of him, and you became him, and that would be fine, but trouble follows him around. Bad trouble. I was thinking, hoping, that it might be time for a change."
"Who do you want me to be?'
Neal glanced up to the ceiling.
"What if you don't -"
"I will. I do. I like you, I love you. I wouldn't keep coming back if that wasn't true. And I know what I'm asking for is hard. Maybe we could try, you know, Neal Lite, a little lower profile, not quite so flash. You don't have to be working an angle 24/7. You could just be my friend, my lover."
Neal tilted his head.
"You really don't like the shirt."
"The shirt is perfect, it brings out your eyes. It's what you're going to do with the shirt that worries me."
Neal's mouth quirked into a slight smile.
"Take my beloved out to dinner."