Summary: Rachel is upset because her divorced parents keep arguing. The friends throw a surprise birthday party for Rachel but they are forced to create two separate parties when both of Rachel's parents show up. The friends attempt to keep the parents separate as Rachel struggles to have a good time listening to both of them complain.
The Good: This was a really creative episode of comedy and it worked so well because of that. The idea of the two parties was ingenious and the desperate attempts to keep Rachel's parents away from each other allowed for some hilarious tension and very inventive laughs. All 6 friends got the spotlight at different times and all were very funny whenever they needed to be. But the main focus here was on Rachel who had a fantastic episode to examine her feelings with the divorce. It felt very real and gave us an excellent story to base the episode around. The laughs were spectacular in this episode. Ross' antics were brilliant as always, Phoebe's "secret operation" was really funny, Monica's obsession with an organized party was great, Chandler's energy was as great as always and Joey got a lot of nice moments throughout like when he hilariously kissed Rachel's mom. Even Gunther got some lines and funny moments.
The Bad: Nothing.
Best Moment: There are so, so many laughs to select from. I'll go with Ross' hilarious conversations with Rachel's parents as he tries to sheepishly explain things away.
Character of the Episode: Ross.
Conclusion: This was a fantastic episode with an engaging plot and some of the show's very best laughs. Episodes like this are why Friends is one of the very best sitcoms out there.
Summary: Flashbacks show Shane attempting to save Rick when the apocalypse happens. Jenner lets in the group and they enjoy some luxuries. Jenner explains that all the other scientists are gone and he's alone. He also explains how the infection works. The CDC then runs out of power and is going to self destruct in 30 minutes. Jenner locks everyone inside to give them merciful deaths but eventually lets them leave. Jacqui stays behind and everyone else leaves as the CDC explodes.
The Good: The opening flashback was fantastic. I would love to get a flashback episode detailing the actual outbreak at some point and I think it would also help get me attached to more characters. I thought it really helped humanize Shane and let us know that he did what at the time was the right thing to do. He actually did seem to think that Rick was dead and with the pressure of walkers and military gunners invading the hospital, Shane really needed to get out. It made him a bit more humanized which was definitely needed.
But Shane also gets deepened even more when he drunkenly almost rapes Lori. He came off extremely creepy in that scene and while I initially sympathized with him since he did his best, I quickly turned against him as he clearly is only out for his own interests now. The apocalypse likely changed him now that there are no rules in the world. I really like that these characters are different from who they used to be ad it adds some realism to a show about zombies which I really like.
Jenner was really good throughout the episode. It was nice to see him behaving slightly awkwardly with others since he's been alone for so long. That was a really good little touch. I like that the arrival of a new group didn't change his suicidal mindset from last episode, as it would have made little sense for them to give him hope, especially with his backstory about his wife and the other scientists. His speech explaining the process of zombification (it's what I'm calling it) was very gripping and it felt really good to get some answers about how the apocalypse happened.
The ending stretch was pretty tense and exciting and served for a fun closing stretch for the season. I was very pleased to see the grenade return and have a role in the plot too. Throughout the entire ending stretch Rick really impressed me. Daryl and Shane were pretty rough and overly aggressive which was pretty annoying, but it was nice to see Rick keep a level head and logical thought process throughout the episode.
It's always nice to see the group enjoying some luxuries and relaxing for once. In a dark show like this, these little moments of levity count for a lot.
The Bad: The characters still remain a weak point in this series. They are all extremely shallow and while Shane got some development in this episode, we still don't know a great deal about him. This weakness really affected the end of the episode when Jacqui died and I literally did not care at all. If you were to ask me who Jacqui was I would not be able to answer you, and that's a problem.
The CGI in the final explosion was a little rough and definitely could have been better.
The Unknown: Are the French still alive? Are there any other places not overrun? It seems unlikely now. Is there any chance of a cure?
What did Jenner whisper to Rick?
Best Moment: The explanation of the infection was interesting and gripping television. Getting some answers feels quite good sometimes.
Character of the Episode: Jenner.
Conclusion: This was a solid and enjoyable finale, despite not being particularly special. The focus on the CDC gave the episode purpose and it leaves us on a good note as we don't know what to expect in season 2, and that's pretty exciting.
The season as a whole was really good. It had great moments and a very fun pace throughout all 6 episodes. There hasn't been a bad episode and the action has been great. The biggest flaw so far has been the weak characterization, but with season 2 being 13 episodes long, it builds some hope that we may get more insight on these characters soon. If The Walking Dead can get its characters together, it could really be a fantastic show. I'm looking forward to seeing more.
Summary: Chandler and Ross run into bullies at the coffee shop who bother them and they are afraid to deal with them. Phoebe tries to meet her father again and accidentally hurts his dog. Monica is running out of money and doesn't want to take a bad job so she invests in stocks.
The Good: The bullies plot is creative and pretty unexpected, since adult bullies are rarely seen in TV shows and movies. There are some fun laughs with Ross and Chandler throughout the episode. Phoebe meeting her brother was pretty fun too, and so was Monica's little stock storyline.
The Bad: This episode lacked for me though. The plots were fun, but really lacked in humour. There were just a ton of average jokes, with some feeling a little bit ridiculous as well. This episode had creative ideas but the execution was weak and there was nothing memorable about this episode at all. Shortly after watching it, I forgot pretty much all of the jokes, which is never a good thing.
Best Moment: I'll go with Phoebe's ridiculous connections telling her to go see her dad. Not a great scene, but this episode was quite ordinary throughout.
Character of the Episode: Phoebe.
Conclusion: This episode had creative ideas, but was extremely bland and didn't give me very many laughs. The weakest episode of the show so far.
Summary: Flashbacks reveal how June met Luke and started their relationship. Fred starts making passes at Offred which frustrates her. Serena approaches Offred, asking her to have sex with Nick since she believes Fred is sterile. Nick reveals he is an Eye. Offred meets Ofsteven, who is Emily. Emily is much more secluded now. She steals a car and drives around before killing a guard. She is escorted away by officials. Offred has passionate sex with Nick.
The Good: The depressive nature of this show has done a fantastic job of providing some genuine tension. I don't want to see the main characters suffering, yet the show has established that even the smallest things can have disastrous effects. Because of this, every scene has a notable amount of tension as I worry that things can escalate when I'm least expecting it.
Fred and Offred's relationship has been decently fun to watch so far. It provided for a really good scene towards the end where Fred revealed some nice details about his character and motives, while also posing himself as a potential threat to Offred despite being so welcoming to her. Clearly Fred has some affections towards her, and I'm interested to see what that leads to.
Seeing Emily return as Ofsteven was great. Alexis Bledel put in a tremendous performance as always, and I really loved how she conveyed the tragedy her character was put through. The simple scene with Ofsteven playing with the dog was really sad and powerful, and I like how it actually took the opportunity to show a wife who seemed genuinely nice, as she tried to give Ofsteven a bit of a break.
The Bad: I still feel like Nick is completely lacking as a character. I know nothing about him, and I found it tough to buy into the idea of Offred going to have passionate sex with him by the episode's end. Sure she may have been inspired by Ofsteven stealing the car, but it's hard to imagine her feeling quite that inspired. The Eye twist was predictable too and it had no real impact to me. It's also hurt by the fact that we don't exactly know what an Eye is. I assume it's somebody who works for the government, but then why doesn't Nick report everything to the government? In that case should I feel afraid that Offred is having sex with him since it's illegal? Would Nick tell officials? But wouldn't he tell them anyways about Serena setting up Nick to have sex with Offred? Since he apparently isn't telling anyone, then what does him being an Eye even mean for the story? It serves no purpose and changes nothing, which is just sloppy writing.
The scenes between June and Luke did nothing for me. Luke is a very bland character and I find it hard to buy into their "special" love. They just don't have good enough chemistry.
I wasn't a fan of the car scene either. I could maybe buy into Ofsteven doing it, but it still felt spectacularly stupid in my eyes. Because of that, I was completely taken aback by the tone of the scene, as it was apparently supposed to be empowering or something. I didn't get that vibe at all with the scene, so it completely missed its purpose.
The Unknown: Looks like a lot of people are in love with Offred. Where is that story going?
Is Offred going to be pregnant soon? She threw up in this episode, so could that be a clue?
When will the Mayday resistance come into play?
And I'll repeat this again, but what does it mean to be an Eye? I expected we would get answers before the reveal but we really didn't.
Best Moment: Ofsteven playing with the dog in complete sorrow was quite powerful.
Character of the Episode: Ofsteven.
Conclusion: This was a notably weaker episode with sloppy writing and moments. It still consisted of solid storytelling, but the attention to detail was very weak and the flaws really dragged the episode down a lot for me.
Summary: Flashbacks show Offred and Moira talking during their handmaid training. They stage an escape and Moira gets away but Offred is caught at the last second. She is punished by Aunt Lydia and Aunt Elizabeth. Offred is kept in her confinement and reads a message from the previous Offred. Offred discovers Fred is sterile and they have another unsuccessful ceremony. Offred has her rematch with Fred who tells her about the previous Offred who killed herself. Fred also frees Offred from her captivity to Serena's chagrin.
The Good: This episode was really strong. The previous episode was very powerful but it was also quite flawed. This episode on the other hand was much more consistent (at least until the final 30 seconds), and I think that this episode itself really got me hooked into the series. The show just really needed a full episode which had me engaged without any major problems which detracted from the show as a whole.
Offred's main storyline in her room was very strong. We get to see more of the harsh life in Gilead and it's clear that Offred won't be as exempt from it as we may have hoped, especially seeing how vicious Serena continued to be in this episode. It was pretty sad to see Offred continually trashed by Serena who is determined to keep her isolated, despite how much Offred wants to be able to leave her room.
The flashbacks were also very cruel to Offred this episode. Seeing her whipped in the feet was deeply unpleasant and brutal, and it continues to make aunt Lydia the most vicious villain of the series. Ann Dowd is fantastic in the role and she is a character I really want to see receive some comeuppance. Her reign of terror continued to be really painful with her whipping of Offred. Continuing with that storyline, I really enjoyed the escape attempt from Offred and Moira. It made sense that they would try to get out of their containment, and the final scene where Offred is reprimanded while Moira leaves was very powerful stuff (see: Best Moment). I also think it's good to build more around Moira and Offred's relationship. I suspect we will be seeing more of them, so I feel that I really need to care about what their relationship was for an of Moira's scenes to have resonance.
As a side note, I was really unsettled by the ceremony scene in the flashback. It was really creepy and awful, in a lot of ways even more so than actually seeing the ceremony for ourselves. This show continues to find success by being unpleasant, but still powerful. This isn't a show I can watch for long periods of time, but it is one which has really stuck with me so far.
I really enjoyed seeing Offred interact with the various people in this episode who offered to help her out. Nick was rather creepy as he continued to seemingly affirm love for Offred, which I think really helps to show how Offred really can't trust anyone no matter how helpful they may seem. The doctor was the same way as well. He claimed to be a good listener and he also offered some invaluable information to Offred by suggesting that Fred was sterile. Yet despite all this, he came off very poorly by offering to have intercourse with Offred to help her out. In this world it's hard to tell if he's genuinely trying to help or if he's just taking advantage of her. Offred refuses, implying that she couldn't trust him either. And now that takes us to the Waterfords who are the most trustworthy, yet Offred just can't trust them. Nobody else is trustworthy so why would they be? The shadow of the past Offred was also cast over the storyline, raising the paranoia as we try to find out the motives of both Waterfords. Fred seems decent enough at the moment as he tries to help improve Offred's life, apparently since the previous one killed herself, but can we really trust him? Such is why this show has been so fascinating thus far.
The Bad: I wasn't very happy with the ending scene, just like with the last episode. I thought it wasn't properly built up to and I really didn't get the feeling of Offred taking control, which is what I believe was intended. It was also quite cheesy and didn't fit at all with the tone of the show.
How did Moira get away with writing in the bathrooms? Surely the aunts would notice, and seeing how remorseless they are, I'm sure they would punish everyone until the culprit revealed themselves.
The Unknown: Is Fred sterile or was the doctor lying about it? The evidence does point to him beign sterile though, so I suspect it's true.
What happened to Moria after she left? Apparently she was caught and killed according to Janine, so how did that happen?
Was Fred telling the truth about the past Offred? I don't trust anybody at the moment.
What happened to Aunt Elizabeth? Did she violate the laws or die somehow?
What did Ofglen do while Offred was locked in her room?
Best Moment: Moira leaving was a spectacular scene. I love how Offred wordlessly communicated to her that she should go while Moira expressed guilt, sadness and gratitude to Offred. The scene was carried by acting and created a pretty powerful moment, which was much more powerful than the reveal of Moira's death in "Offred". I think that reveal did add an air of tragedy to this scene as well, since we know that Moira is destined to be captured and killed anyways.
Character of the Episode: Offred.
Conclusion: This was a very good episode. It was consistently enjoyable and continued to build the world and its characters in fascinating ways while also having more powerful and uncomfortable scenes. This was the first episode that felt like a complete package of enjoyment, making it quite effective.
Summary: Phoebe learns that Old Yeller dies at the end of the movie and that her mom had been hiding the sad endings of sad movies from her. Richard starts hanging out with Joey and Chandler a lot and Monica gets jealous since she gets less time with him now. Rachel gets terrified after she learns that Ross has made plans for their future.
The Good: This was another solid episode. The Richard story was the best here and was pretty clever. It felt real having Joey and Chandler think of Richard as a dad naturally, and I also like that they gave Richard reasons for enjoying the company of the guys as well. Monica's involvement was excellent too and I love that she didn't create meaningless drama as Richard immediately chose Monica first. It was a logical decision for Richard and was a nice little story for the episode. And on top of that it was really funny especially with Joey and Chandler imitating Richard, though it wasn't as funny as Friends at its best. The other storylines were mostly just filler but they were fine. Ross was great as always in his story with Rachel and I did enjoy their brief argument. Ben's story was harmless fun I suppose.
The Bad: Phoebe's story was completely average. Phoebe is best as a background character, so giving her a central story like this with nobody else to properly play off of really doesn't work. The episode really lacks on hilarious moments and only gets a few good chuckles out of me. That separates it from the other great episodes this season.
Best Moment: I'll go with Joey cluelessly telling Richard they think of him as a dad. It was pretty funny and used Joy's one-track mind to its fullest.
Character of the Episode: Joey.
Conclusion: This episode had some pretty funny moments and solid storylines but it doesn't quite live up to the other strong episodes this season.
Summary: Chandler continues to get creeped out by Eddie and tries to get him to leave but Eddie doesn't seem to remember anything and refuses to leave. Joey struggles to deal with the consequences of losing his job and has issues moving on. The girls all read a book where they are goddesses who get their "wind" stolen by men and they use the book as inspiration to help them improve their lives.
The Good: Eddie was the real highlight of the episode once again. Adam Goldberg has done an absolutely tremendous job of bringing the character to life with all of his hilarious quirks and mannerisms. Chandler's reactions to Eddie's crazy antics remain hilarious and the storyline has a great feel good ending with Joey and Chandler being reunited to get Eddie to finally leave. Joey's storyline is really good too and feels pretty real as we can see Joey struggling to deal with the fact that the best thing in his life is now gone. His conflict with Ross is great too and has some pretty funny moments, but more importantly, it was a conflict which felt real. Neither of them were mad at each other and were still friendly but they came to blows once and quickly apologized to solve it. It was nice to see the show exploring a minor spat between friends instead of something big. The girls' story was fine as well and ha some really good laughs scattered throughout. Also, I feel that in terms of pure humour, the show has never been better. The creativity and the dialogue in every episode is excellent, so even while some stories lack, the show remains tremendously funny to make up for it.
The Bad: The girls' story feels rather pointless and it accomplishes nothing other than filling out time. Surely Chandler and Joey should have called the police or somebody about the obviously crazy Eddie?
Best Moment: As much as I enjoyed the Eddie story, the best moment was from the conversation between Rachel and Ross where Rachel tried to set her foot down. The scene was really well written and a lot of the dialogue has me laughing hard.
Character of the Episode: I'll give it to Eddie again. I'll miss his crazy fruit-dehydrating and head-stealing antics.
Conclusion: This was another really strong episode with tons of funny moments, though one slightly weaker story once more prevents this from reaching absolute greatness. Still a great episode of comedy though, as the show continues to prove why it's one of the best sitcoms around.
Summary: After foolishly claiming he writes his own lines, Joey is killed off from Days of Our Lives and is upset. Chandler tries o get to know Eddie and discovers that he's a little bit crazy. Ross and Rachel deal with sex related topics while Monica and Richard do the same, one room away from each other.
The Good: This episode was much better than the last as all 4 of the stories were meaningful and had several great laughs. The main Joey story was probably the weakest of the bunch, but it was still very good and provided some nice laughs. Chandler's story is excellent though as Eddie instantly becomes a hilarious and memorable side character while he demonstrates his unhinged craziness, which is made even funnier by Chandler's reactions to him. The writing was creative and the jokes even better. Meanwhile, both Rachel and Monica's storylines are excellent. They tie nicely into each other's as both couples experience some minor problems before they ultimately decide to have a passionate night together. Not only were the arguments between everybody funny, but all of the characters felt perfectly in line and logical through every moment. I particularly enjoyed the awkward interactions between Ross and Richard which were absolutely hilarious.
The Bad: I suppose it is a bit of a stretch for Eddie to suddenly be crazy, but I'm willing to buy it sine we hardly knew anything about him in the previous episode.
Best Moment: It's tough to choose with so many hilarious moments. I'll go with Eddie freaking out at Chandler after Tilly arrived. The scene was so well done with tons of great laughs.
Character of the Episode: Eddie for being just excellent though I could easily give this to a number of different characters. Chandler, Ross and Monica were all excellent here.
Conclusion: This episode was really good, delivering tons of great laughs and moments and had the Joey storyline been just a little bit better, I feel this could have been one of the show's best episodes.
Summary: In flashbacks, June and Moira witness the rise of Gilead as women's rights are slowly stripped away and riots happen in the streets. In the present, Offred is taken by Serena to see Janine and her baby. Offred talks to Janine who seems to be abusing her new privileges. Upon returning home Offred is questioned by Lydia about Ofglen who is revealed to be gay. Lydia is about to punish Offred for quoting the bible but Serena protects her by claiming her to be pregnant. Offred however isn't pregnant. Ofglen, now known as Emily had an affair with a Martha. The Martha is executed and Emily loses her genitalia through surgery.
The Good: This was a very strong episode with a bunch of great moments throughout. It was a marked improvement on the first 2 episodes and has now hooked me into the series.
I really enjoyed the scenes at Janine's residence. There was great dialogue and the character motivations were very strong for both Janine and Offred. I loved the short scene where Offred got to hold a baby for a little bit, and the show was able to subtly demonstrate how much Offred misses her child. Janine's character is also nicely getting developed as we see her taking advantage of her situation, something which fits what we saw of her aggressive character in "Offred".
The scenes at the Waterford residence were great as well. Aunt Lydia and the Eye interrogating Offred was very tense and enjoyable. I love how we slowly got more information fed to us about Emily's situation and we got our understanding that Emily had an ongoing relationship with a Martha and is being punished for that, not for being part of the resistance. There was also a great air of tension during Offred's questioning as she kept on provoking Aunt Lydia by quoting the bible, clearly frustrated with her life. I also appreciated that Serena took pity on Offred and got Lydia to stop attacking her. It gives us more understanding on Serena's character and gives her some conflict with Offred once it's revealed that Offred is not pregnant.
The flashbacks were enjoyable too, though I had some issues with them (see: The Bad). I thought it was an effective way to show the injustice of what happened to the world. There was some good emotion in seeing the army killing people as they rioted and also in seeing June and Moira struggling to comprehend their new situation.
The best part of the episode in my opinion was absolutely Emily's storyline. We didn't know much about her relationship with the Martha, but the silent performances of both women made me emotionally invested, ensuring that all the scenes surrounding Emily's tragedy hit hard. We didn't know much about her before and we still really don't know much about her, but I care about her now.
The Bad: The story of how Gilead came to be just doesn't seem real to me. Apparently the law preventing women from doing things like working and owning property was passed overnight. Was there no press on this? The internet exists so how did nobody know this was happening? How did a majority of people choose to do this? Whose idea was this? How did they get a following for this? There are so many unanswered questions and a lack of attention to detail which really frustrates me and prevents the episode from scoring really high.
I wasn't a fan of the ending music. Last episode it made sense because it conveyed a sense of happiness which was tonally different from the rest of the episode. This time we had uncharacteristic music signifying anger, which doesn't work as well since we have seen anger in the show before. While it may not have been on the same level, I feel that it wasn't different enough to require a different music cue.
The Unknown: Does the Commander really love Janine or is she just making up stories? How is that going to impact Janine's standing in her house? Is it also foreshadowing the possibility of Commander Waterford loving Offred?
Does Nick truly love Offred? I feel like his character has been fairly weak so far and has added very little. I almost put it in The Bad, but I feel that the show could definitely make something good out of this. I also believe that Nick is the Eye in the house so that could lead to some interesting story.
Best Moment: The hanging scene was emotive and powerful. Both actresses did a fantastic job of getting me to care and that followed with a deeply unsettling and difficult to watch scene where the Martha was executed in a vicious hanging while Emily watched. Very strong stuff.
Character of the Episode: Emily.
Conclusion: This was a very strong episode and while it had some flaws, it had lots of emotion, tension and character building which I absolutely approve of. If the show can keep this kind of focus on characters and emotion, then it has some serious potential of being great.
Summary: Joey isn't enjoying his alone life as much as he had hoped and wants to move back in with Chandler. Chandler however comes to terms that Joey is gone and so gets a new roommate named Eddie. Monica is upset with Ross who is spending more and more time in his apartment. Phoebe is contacted by a record company to make a music video for Smelly Cat.
The Good: The two main stories are good here. Joey and Chandler are funny as they have a conflict which is funnily treated as a breakup. They have some good moments here and I particularly enjoyed Joey letting out his frustrations on Chandler. The Monica and Ross story is good too and has a really realistic feel by bringing in a sort of sibling rivalry into the mix. It had some sweet and funny moments throughout.
The Bad: This episode is fine but is really missing a spark throughout. There is fine storytelling in the major storylines but neither really make me laugh hard with some quality comedy. The Phoebe storyline feels pretty pointless and doesn't add much comedy either.
Best Moment: Joey snapping after the juice ran out was a hilarious moment and the idea that the juice just sent him over the edge was hilarious, and the scene was made even better by the egg analogy and Chandler pointing out that there is another carton just over there.
Character of the Episode: Joey.
Conclusion: This had some good story but was lacking the special humour that most other episodes had. It was fine but completely unspectacular.
Just a university student who loves to watch TV. And criticize it like hell.