Now the world is ready for a "Veronica Mars" movie, but once upon a time creator Rob Thomas had another goal in mind. He wanted the series to continue in any way the network would allow. After The CW pulled the plug at the end of Season 3, Thomas sprang into action with a crazy idea: Relaunch the show after a time jump and follow Veronica (Kristen Bell) through a career in the FBI. In the 12-minute presentation Thomas shot, Veronica has new fiends and foes, and has moved to Los Angeles, leaving the private detective life behind. It was a very different show, but held onto its heart. Right off the bat, Veronica is busting a pedophile under the direction of her new boss, played by "Justified" star Walton Goggins (then on "The Shield"), and she's cracking wise the entire time. What's missing is the old gang, half of what makes "Veronica Mars" so special. There's no Wallace, Mac, Weevil, Logan or even Piz. What's worse, her dad isn't there. In the long run, it's probably better that this idea never moved forward. Now fans get the "Veronica Mars" movie they've been wanting, along with the characters they love so dearly. "Veronica Mars" is in theaters Friday (March 14).
"The Flash" isn't the only comic book adaptation on the way. NBC has released the first photo of Matt Ryan in costume for its pilot "Constantine." The image comes as production on the pilot, which is in contention for the 2014-15 season, begins. Ryan plays John Constantine, a man who battles demons, both literal and figurative, and has the ability to see the dark underworld parallel to reality. With that power, he finds himself in a position to save the world more than once. Let the speculation begin about how closely the show will adhere to the mythology laid out for the character in the comics.
The Brains tribe is really struggling on "Survivor: Cagayan," with J'Tia Taylor as the latest casualty of their inability to win challenges. But she tells Zap2it that she understands why Kass and Tasha voted her out and kept Spencer.
Zap2it: You had quite the wild "Survivor" experience -- are you glad you went on the show? J'Tia Taylor: Yes. I wouldn't have it any other way. This was the experience of a lifetime. To get out there, to give it your all, give it your best shot and to even just have the opportunity. You know how many people want to be there? And I actually got picked, I got cast. It's fantastic.
What did you think of the brains/beauty/brawn twist? I thought it would be interesting, but I also thought that the brains were in trouble. It's an athletic show, so I thought we were in a little bit of trouble, especially when I saw our guys. I particularly thought I was in trouble because I was the youngest female on the tribe and usually those are the ones who get targeted.
You sort of answered this, but we were going to ask if the twist inherently hurt the Brain tribe, because we thought it did. It so did. Not only in the challenges, but when I saw that as soon as they got to camp ... on the other two tribes the guys made fire, that really surprised me. We tried to make fire, it was actually the girls taking over the lead of the camp moreso than the guys and that was a little disheartening.
Why do you think your tribe had such a hard time gelling? I think all of us are used to being leaders. It was clash of the titans. It was just a free-for-all, a mental brawl, a strategic brawl. We're used to being leaders and sometimes that doesn't make really good followers. If you're on the brains tribe, you want to be the mastermind, you don't want to be the person behind the mastermind. We were a team of individuals and that really hurt when we got to the challenges.
Talk about the rice incident. That was crazy. So, the rice incident. Basically, we got back from the challenge and I was already feeling pretty dejected. I felt like I stepped up for the puzzle because this was my go-big-or-go-home moment, I really wanted to pull it out for our team and I couldn't do it. I was already feeling very bad and then Garrett, who I'm supposed to be in an alliance with and we're supposed to vote off the last person who is not in our alliance, decides to have a public forum. Not only is it embarrassing, but it basically threw away what we were supposed to do. So then I decided OK, if I'm going home, let me hurt the person who hurt me most and everybody else, since they all said I was going home. Garrett was talking that he wanted to eat, so I dumped out the rice.
Were you surprised that Kass and Tasha kept Spencer over you? No. Whenever I went into Tribal Council I always went with the argument in my mind and knowing that I could very well go home. I'm not mad at them, I understand their decision. When I went in, I felt they were going to keep me, but as the conversation progressed, it seemed like the tide was turning. I understand, I'm not oblivious to what was going on. They wanted to win challenges. I was trying to make the point that you need loyalty and that we're not always going to be in this tribe, and they went with another way of thinking.
Would you go back on "Survivor" if asked? We think you would be a really fun person to bring back. I would totally go on "Survivor" ... [but] before I went back on "Survivor," I would join a team where I had to do something under pressure, because that was one thing that I was really not ready for. I can do a puzzle, I still hold to that. What I cannot do is swim 200 yards, go over a big fence, pull something back and then do a puzzle while somebody is yelling at me. I would really work on that.
"Survivor: Cagayan" airs Wednesdays at 8 p.m. ET/PT on CBS.
CBS averaged 10.2 million viewers and a 6.4 rating/11 share in households for the night, just beating FOX's 10.1 million and 6.2/10. ABC (5.9 million, 3.7/6) came in third. NBC (5.6 million, 3.7/6) took fourth, and The CW (945,000, 0.7/1) trailed with a night of repeats.
FOX scored a narrow win in the 18-49 demo with a 2.4 rating, beating out CBS' 2.3. ABC finished third with a 1.8, followed by NBC, 1.5, and The CW, 0.3.
The surprise reveal of King Ecbert (Linus Roache) at the end of the last episode of "Vikings," introduced what is surely to become a powerful foe for Ragnar. As the Viking warrior led his men raiding to the west, they were attacked by men in armor. Though the Vikings won the battle, the final scene of a relaxed Ecbert in the bath painted a picture of a very lavish lifestyle. Speaking with Zap2it, Roache gave a little insight about the character and what to expect from him as he becomes a key player in Season 2. "King Ecbert knows how to live," he says. "Ecbert loves the finer things in life, like art and music. And he's a thinker and he's a politician."
While he may be fighting smarter, that doesn't mean Ecbert isn't willing to get bloody, as Roache adds, "He's a warrior too, but he's also a tactician and an opportunist. He'll fight if needed, but if he's more valuable orchestrating, he will do that." The clash in war styles isn't the only difference between the two sides. "You get the sort of Pagan culture moving into a Christian culture," Roache says. Those two belief systems are bound to create conflict. For Roache, working on "Vikings" is giving him the chance to explore a world that came before him. "It's history, but it doesn't feel like you're telling history. It's history made alive," he says. "Everything feels real, it feels authentic." It's one of the things that make History Channel's venture into scripted TV so special, he says: "I think it's one of the greatest ways to tell historical stories. You actually feel what it's like, what it might have been like to live there." "Vikings" airs Thursdays at 10 p.m. ET/PT on History. Before watching the next episode, check out a first look video of Ecbert and Ragnar meeting below. Nothing brings two guys closer than a friendly bath.
Sebastian Stan has his hands full with his role of Bucky Barnes/the Winter Soldier in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, but that doesn't stop fans from clamoring to have him back on "Once Upon A Time." His last appearance as The Mad Hatter was in the 2012 episode "The Doctor," and he says a return likely won't happen any time soon.
"It's a hard question to sort of answer," Stan tells Zap2it while promoting "Captain America: The Winter Soldier." "I really enjoy that character and I have a lot of fun, and I enjoyed both of the showrunners and everyone on the show. Never say never. It's very possible. At the moment, it's not really on my radar, but you never know. I remain a big fan of everybody there."
He does think that there is story left to be told with that character, though he says that any questions about what storylines those could be should be directed to "OUAT" creators Adam Horowitz and Edward Kitsis.
"There's so many possibilities there," Stan says of The Mad Hatter. "One of the things those guys did so well -- out of the many things -- is they just reinvented all of those characters in a new way. They reintroduced them to a whole new generation. The Mad Hatter was never like that in just the cartoon. It remains to be seen."
"Once Upon A Time" airs Sundays on ABC at 8 p.m. ET/PT. "Captain America: The Winter Soldier" hits theaters on April 4.
WGN America's spooky new series, "Salem," doesn't premiere until April. Since that's way too long to wait to get our fill of the series' supernatural take on the Salem witch trials, Zap2it decided to get you -- and the stars -- excited for the debut by subjecting them to our "Salem" Survey.
Up next is Elise Eberle, who plays Mercy Lewis, one of Salem's "afflicted girls," on the new drama, premiering Sunday, April 20 at 10 p.m. ET/9 p.m. CT.
Read on to find out why she loves "Witches of Eastwick," why you should never mess with the Supreme and what she'd take with her to 1690s Salem.
Zap2it: Describe your character in 5 words.
Eberle: Naïve, brave, vulnerable, dangerous, evolving...
What three items would you take with you to a deserted island (or puritanical Salem)?
Toothbrush, soap and antibiotics.
Could you have survived in the 1690s?
With those three things, without a doubt.
Which witch is which? Name the book/TV show/movie/play each witch is from. No cheating!
Glinda the Good Witch: With those three things, without a doubt.
Hermione Granger: Mudbloods have more sass than you think.
Bonnie Bennett: Sounds like a Puritan.
Fiona Goode: Never mess with the Supreme.
Sabrina Spellman: Owner of the coolest cat on the block, SALEM!
Endora: The only ginger I know who can rock blue eye-shadow.
The White Witch: Don't eat those Turkish delights.
Willow Rosenberg: She be a witch!
Pick one: "The Witches of Eastwick," "The Craft," or "Practical Magic"
Hands down, "Witches of Eastwick." Witchy Cher is too good to pass up.
If you could cast any spell, what would it be?
Maybe a persuasive spell? That way I can get people to do things :)
Would you be a good witch or a bad witch?
Can I be both?
What's the most surprising true fact you learned about the actual Salem witch trials?
I did find it interesting that most of the innocently accused pleaded guilty to being a witch.
What's the most challenging thing about starring in a show that's both genre and period?
With a historical subject matter, you're having to deal with pretty firm expectations about the way things should be, so I'm hoping that the audience can appreciate our alternative take on it all. I'd say the real challenge is creating a fantastical story that's real enough for the audience to embrace it and love it as much as we do. Luckily everyone is incredibly talented, from the writing to the set decorating to the props to the costumes, so there's very little space for concern.
It was movie song week on "American Idol" Wednesday (March 12), and rock 'n roller Caleb Johnson made an unusual choice for his number: "Skyfall" by Adele, from the James Bond movie of the same name.
It was an uncharacteristically slow and restrained performance by Johnson, but it really worked for him. The song is a perfect way to show off a different side of his vocal abilities while still staying true to who he is as a singer.
The judges loved it, with Harry Connick Jr. telling Caleb he's going to be hard to beat. He was right -- this was one of the best vocals on the night.
For the final episode of Dyrdek's MTV docuseries, the TV star and former professional skateboarder decided to break yet another Guinness World Record to add to his collection, but this time, he was going to do it driving a car backwards off of a ramp to beat the longest distance in the air while still maintaining control of his vehicle. You know, nothing major ...
All kidding aside, Dyrdek was pretty nervous before the stunt at Six Flags Magic Mountain in Valencia, Calif. "When you initially get in the car, you're telling yourself, 'Why are you here? Why would you even do this? What is the purpose of this?'" Dyrdek tells Zap2it on the set of the record-breaking stunt. "And you just have to tell yourself, 'No, get out of that headspace. Get in the kill mode.' And then you just strictly focus up until that moment when it's go time."
The stunt was extremely risky and dangerous, and Dyrdek knew that so many things could go wrong. But he didn't concentrate on the what-if's. "You have to fight your basic instincts, because it's too late now," Dyrdek says. "You just have to do everything you can to do it perfectly."
Spoiler alert: Dyrdek pulls off the stunt on his first try. "I just broke the world record for jumping a car backwards off a ramp 89 feet and 3.25 inches," Dyrdek tells Zap2it immediately following the stunt. "I'm so glad it's over."
Although it didn't happen perfectly. As Dyrdek landed the car, he spun out too far and crashed into the barrier on the side. But since he was still in control of the vehicle, it counted. "I thought I turned out of that landing enough, but I hit the side and it bounced me sideways," Dyrdek says. "I had control of the car but I just couldn't get it straight and avoid hitting the side. I was angry. Even as I was heading towards the wall, I was like, in my mind, there is no way I'm going to hit this wall right now. And when I hit that wall, it was annoying."
"I think I went a little bit too fast," Dyrdek adds with a laugh.
So why pick this stunt to end his series' run? "It was just a cool opportunity, something I had talked with Chevy about doing even before this last season," Dyrdek says. "We've got a cool series finale. It's a great retrospective leading to a big party, and then this big stunt. And we also let Big Black have all of his big dreams come true. He got to do all the stuff he couldn't do as a big kid. It's just really about having a cool, strong way for all the fans to say goodbye to the Fantasy Factory once and for all."
Although his hit clip show "Ridiculousness" is still going strong, Dyrdek reveals that this might be it for him on MTV. "I think I'm hitting that threshold of age, you know?" Dyrdek says with a smile. "I love MTV, I would love to make shows for them forever, I love everyone there, but my time is coming to an end as a whole with MTV."
And he feels the same about breaking world records. "This is it, you know? I think I've made my world record run," Dyrdek says. "It's time to sail off into the sunset with my highlight reel of glory."
After six seasons of crazy stunts and good times, "Rob Dyrdek's Fantasy Factory" ends with a one-hour series finale on Thursday (March 13) at 10:30 p.m. ET on MTV. Check out a sneak peek at his record-breaking jump below:
On this Thursday's (March 13) all-new episode of "Jerks With Cameras," jerk Justin Hires gives new meaning to the word "pest" with his prank ... and it's almost gets him killed when he bugs the wrong guy. Zap2it has an exclusive first look at his pesticide prank, where Hires sprays innocent bystanders with what looks like harmful chemicals -- but is really just water. Unfortunately, his victims don't know that, and they get understandably angry.
The "American Idol" producers manage to pack a lot into each two-hour performance show, but there are plenty of things that happen behind the scenes that you don't see on your TV screens. Here's what you missed off-camera during the Season 13 Top 11 performance show:
- All the off-tempo clapping last week did have one positive effect: A CBS page told the crowd not to clap during the slow songs. (THANK GOD.)
- Jessica's "Sound of Silence" was pretty loud in person -- when the band kicked in, the bass drum was so loud it shook the seats in the studio. Also: The judges continued their pow-wow about the Alabama singer well into the commercial.
- Something must've been up in the Urban household on Wednesday night, because Keith was talking to someone on his phone during practically every commercial break. (That's not usual for the country superstar -- he frequently takes selfies with the crowd and talks to people with signs. He did that on Wednesday too, but only during one of the commercial breaks.)
- Harry always engages with the crowd too, but usually from the comfort of his seat at the judges' table. On Wednesday, he picked up the slack for Keith's absence and took some selfies with the crowd.
- Speaking of Harry, the whole "pounding the piano" interaction between him and Seacrest inspired the sign-carrying Harry fans sitting next to me to run with the joke, taking the opportunity during the next commercial to scream for him to take them to "pound town." Classy! (But you were all thinking it too.)
- During one commercial break, the producers had the crowd boo fiercely for a few seconds for a reason TBD. Maybe they inserted it during the West Coast airing? Or maybe they're going to edit something funny for Thursday night's results show.
- The contestants are frequently deep in concentration before they sing, but not always. Caleb moonwalked behind Seacrest after he was introduced, and Ben fist-pumped to a couple of the quips in his "everybody makes fun of him" video package.
- Season 8 finalist-turned-backup singer Allison Iraheta is a fan of Alex Preston: She screamed and clapped as the singer hit the final big note at the end of his song.
- Jennifer Lopez rocked out to Jena Irene's performance, dancing in her seat throughout the entire thing. She also lip-synced along to Malaya's "Dreamgirls" song.
- Jena's applause from the crowd at the end was by far the loudest of the night.
- In order to avoid incorrect name pronunciations, Seacrest's teleprompter has phonetic spellings of Jena's and Malaya's names: Gina and Ma-lie-ya.
As the new season of "Flipping Out" moves into its second week on Wednesday (March 12), it's clear that a major focus will be design assistant Andrew Coleman and his continued unprofessional behavior.
As revealed in last week's Season 7 premiere, Jeff Lewis' trustworthy assistant Jenni Pulos, she of the gigantic pregnant belly, is about ready to pop, which means maternity leave is knocking on the door. While Jeff admitted he was worried about what he'd do without her, Andrew reminded everyone just how delusional he is, suggesting he may get more responsibilities at Jeff Lewis Design in her stead.
Except, as even a casual viewer of the Bravo series knows, there's nothing in Andrew's history as an employee of Jeff's that would remotely suggest that he deserves more responsibility. And this is something Jeff is clearly keenly aware of.
Enter: Megan. At the start of tonight's episode, we learn that Jeff has brought in a friend to pick up Jenni's slack -- a move that didn't please Andrew. So what does America's No. 1 Employee do? Step up his game and prove he's worthy of advancement?
Hahaha, have you been watching?
Andrew continues his ridiculous, confusing behavior, targeting Megan with his inappropriate, tawdry jokes that he seems to think are funny or charming or endearing, but instead are ground for a sexual harassment lawsuit in any sane workplace.
I mean, seriously: "Megan Weaver's got a nice beaver"?
It's pretty clear Jenni and Gage have had their fill of Andrew's antics. (Truthfully, Gage gave up on ol' Andy a season ago.) But, Jeff still gets a kick out of it -- despite Andrew threatening Jeff's nascent paint line last week. But, with a guy like Jeff, who also paid for an employee's breast enhancement and attempted to coach her on which size to elect this week, is it any surprise he's keeping Andrew along?
Do you think it's time Andrew get the boot? Or are you still a fan of his behavior on "Flipping Out"?
"Beauty and the Beast" Season 2 may be on hiatus for now, but there are still more episodes ready to air in the summer of 2014. Why was Vincent arrested for murder? How will Catherine cope with this? Can the newly-reunited couple stay together?
A promo for the summer episodes gives some hints. Watch the video here.
It does look like Vincent will not be spending too much time in police custody. Obviously the beast can break out of any prison, but is Vincent going to be so quick to give up his identity so soon after getting it back? Will Catherine go on the run with her lover?
And what does everyone else -- Gabe in particular -- feel about this turn of events.
We will have to wait to find out until the summer when "Beauty and the Beast" returns.
Another familiar face is making their way to "Girl Meets World."
Lee Norris is set to reprise his role as Minkus on Disney Channel's upcoming "Boy Meets World" sequel series, E! News reports.
Fans of the original TGIF staple will remember Minkus as the nerd who went to elementary school with Cory (Ben Savage), Topanga (Danielle Fishel) and Shawn (Rider Strong). Norris will appear as Minkus in one episode of the new series' first season, premiering this summer.
"I've had a great time being back on set with some of my old friends," Norris tells E News. "It still amazes me how many people love and remember Minkus, and I'm excited for the fans to catch up with him after all these years."
This should come as no surprise to any "Nashville" fan -- Juliette's jealousy and impatience drove the diva make an impulsive and rash decision on Wednesday's (March 12) all-new episode, "We've Got Things To Do." But instead of just making things harder for herself, she almost took down the Queen Bee of country music with her!
After signing with Rayna's label, Highway 65, at the end of last week's episode, Juliette was anxious to announce the big news and release her single, "Don't Put Dirt On My Grave Just Yet," as a digital download. However, Rayna has a different plan. She tells Juliette to keep quiet on her joining Highway 65 for now, because association with Juliette can harm Rayna's career the way things are right now. But with a calculated album roll out for Rayna, the association can be helpful for Juliette in the future. It's logical but obviously pisses off Juliette, who's ready to get back in country music's good graces. But Rayna tells Juliette the first step she should make now is separating herself from Edgehill, meaning dropping Will and Layla from her tour.
After the way Jeff Fordham dropped her, Layla hires Brett to be her new manager -- super awkward for Will, right? Having his secret ex-boyfriend manage his beard ... who doesn't even know that she's a beard in the first place. Oof. Even worse, Brett tells them both the news that Juliette dropped them from her tour. Will storms over to Juliette's to ask her what happened and try to fix things, because he thought they were friends. It's truly heartbreaking hearing Will beg Juliette to tell him what he did wrong to make her not want him on her tour anymore and that he's given up too much to be a one-hit wonder (like his own happiness). He needs the tour to promote his album, but Juliette can't tell him why she dropped him. She just says it's not personal.
Another person who wants to make the right call professionally (and not personally) is Scarlett now that Liam's gone (to Westeros). When Scarlett tells Deacon that Liam was "called away" and can't produce any more tracks for her album, he tells her that he was never a fan of Liam's (gee, I wonder why?) and she can do the album without him. Scarlett tells Rayna she's not ready to trust another stranger to help her produce (because she'll probably sleep with him and develop another addiction in addition to her pill-popping), so she wants to ask Avery for his help since he knows her and is talented on his own. But when he has reservations on how it might make things with Juliette, she clears the air: "I'm so done with complicated it's not even funny."
When Avery tells Juliette about Scarlett's offer, she gets "pissed." She turned down her own imprint at Edgehill because Avery didn't want to ride her coattails but he'll do it for Scarlett, as Juliette sees it. But Avery says it's doing a favor for a friend, and the situation is different. They both get angry and storm off.
After Luke Wheeler offers Will a spot on his tour (so much tour-shifting going around! Scarlett left Luke for Rayna, so Luke's filling her spot with Will who left Rayna for him!), he breaks up with Layla. Will thinks Jeff wants him to distance himself from her after he tried promoting her album, and he obviously doesn't care about her romantically. But Brett tells Will later that Will can't break up with her. While Brett says he'll never expose Will for being gay, others in his past might as he gets more famous. Brett says rumors will start to swirl about why Brett got fired, and it could tank Will's career if he hasn't been "careful" with exes in the past.
When Will confesses to Gunnar later that there were indeed "others" in his past, he's worried about them coming out of the woodwork. So he comes up with a plan to shut them all up once and for all: He proposes to Layla! And she says yes! Whoa. This is going to end reallyyyyy badly for both of them. Never thought we'd say this, but poor Layla. Yeesh.
While Luke offered Will a 45-minute set on his tour, he also offered Deacon a spot as well! That's such a huge opportunity for Deacon, and it's obvious that he's excited about it. But he says he has to run it by his lawyer girlfriend first, because he's just the sweetest and best boyfriend ever. Too bad he's with a two-timing, lying, awful person, because she's got major feelings for Teddy. And since Teddy's pursuing her hardcore, it's obviously not going to end well. At least she tells Deacon to go on the tour. If she had ruined that chance for him, that would have been just the absolute cruelest thing ever.
At Rayna's album release party, Juliette gets tired of not being able to advertise the fact that she's been signed to Highway 65, especially when everyone's touting Scarlett as Rayna's next big project. When Juliette hears people saying that Scarlett's the best young singer/songwriter Rayna's ever heard, she gets way jealous. So Juliette hijacks the mic to introduce Rayna, and oh-so-slyly announces in front of all the press that Rayna signed her to Highway 65. Everyone in the room is clearly shocked that Rayna would make such a poor decision, but Juliette is satisfied. Rayna gives Juliette an honest and frank talking to later on that night, telling Juliette that she put everything on the line for this label and is really doing everything to make it work for both of them. But Juilette needs to listen to her. Rayna comes up with a plan for damage control now that the secret's out, so they sing together at the Opry. It's not going to fix things totally, but it's a good start.
Meanwhile, in order to keep the peace in their relationship, Avery tells Juliette he'll say no to Scarlett's offer, but what he really wants is for Juliette to be okay with it so he doesn't have to say no. Especially since Scarlett told Avery she really needs him for her album.
In other news, Avery and Zoey tell Gunnar they just want to keep the band as something they do "for fun," because they've all got other things going on. Zoey tells Gunnar about her audition, and how it will take her away for six months if she gets it. But she doesn't, so it won't.
Also, Teddy gets super father figure-y with Maddie when she focuses more on music than her schoolwork and wears too much makeup and calls Deacon her "real dad." When he grounds her, she gets pissed, and uploads a video of her singing with Deacon's last name to YouTube. A.k.a. she's about to blow up the country music world with the secret that her real father is Deacon Claybourne. Uh oh.
What did you think of Juliette and Rayna's first big performance since becoming a team once more? How much do you think Maddie's little upload is going to affect all our favorite characters? Isn't Deacon's girlfriend just the worst?
In it, the Liars have tracked Alison down in her Philadelphia hideout and they confess to her that they think her mother is "A," the person who has been torturing them since Mona stopped being "A" and went to Radley.
Alison doesn't seem particularly surprised at this, but she says it's complicated and sits downt to spill her guts to the Liars. Answers, indeed. Who's ready for some answers?!
"Pretty Little Liars" airs Tuesday nights at 8 p.m. ET/PT on ABC Family.
"Men at Work" wrapped up its third season with a two-part, hour-long finale on Wednesday (March 12) and with it came many changes.
Tyler (Michael Cassidy) and Jude entered into a secret relationship, Neal (Adam Busch) found himself a new apartment, hurting Gibbs (James Lesure) along the way, and Milo (Danny Masterson) continued to feel left out -- wait, is this still a comedy?
Well, with the hour-long hilarity out of the way and Season 3 wrapped, the question stands: Does the show deserve a Season 4? Are their more hijinks left to be mined from this funny foursome? Or is it time for "Men at Work" to retire?
Make your voice heard in our poll below and sound off further in the comments!
As always the case in "The Americans," "The Walk-In" focuses on lies, secrets and broken promises. This time, however, the sources and outcomes are a little different: Paige proves herself to be a spy-in-training, Elizabeth fails to deliver a letter and Stan does the Russians' dirty work.
Elizabeth's broken promise
Back in 1966, when Elizabeth is a young and unsure spy, she hangs out with Leanne to talk about babies while washing blood off the hands from a mission. Leanne already has her first baby -- the boy who is, in the present-day of "The Americans," the teenage Jared -- and has written him a letter. The idea is that if she and Emmett get killed or arrested, the letter will explain why.
Elizabeth promises to deliver that letter if necessary. And then she lets Philip impregnate her.
After the early-'80s death of Emmett and Leanne, Elizabeth now has to decide about fulfilling that promise. She seems ready to do so until she actually meets and talks to Jared. The kid is, understandably, a mess. He has also been taken in by a kind family that knows him from babysitting jobs.
Jared doesn't know much, but he believes his parents wanted him to go to college.
For better or for worse, Elizabeth realizes she can't hurt this boy any further and leaves with the letter. She later burns it in a dark and empty alley.
Paige meets 'Aunt Helen' and begins a life of espionage
You've got to hand it to the KGB: They think of everything. While the audience knows full well that Elizabeth disappeared to recover from a gunshot wound and not to care for Aunt Helen, that's the story for the world. A story seems like it should be enough.
But who knew there was a "real" Aunt Helen? There truly is an elderly woman who lives in a nice little house, complete with photos of Elizabeth and baby Paige. Sure, she's some kind of KGB spy and not really a relative, but you've got to admire the subterfuge!
It's a good thing too, since Paige has decided that it's time to meet old Aunt Helen. She skips school (covering with fake strep throat and debate-club tryouts) and takes the bus out to the boonies. Paige even finds a new friend, Kelly, who commiserates about how parents just don't understand.
Safe bet that Kelly's parents aren't spies though.
When Paige arrives at Aunt Helen's house, she is shocked to be called "Shelly" and quickly realizes that Helen is loopier than expected. But hey -- no harm, no foul, right?
Nope. Paige gets home to find her father waiting for her. He knows what she did and isn't pleased about it. A hint of a fight follows, and poor, innocent Philip even believes he has won it. This guy has a lot to learn about teenagers.
And he is going to learn it -- Paige pretty much immediately calls up her new BFF, Kelly, and sneaks out of the house.
Philip and Elizabeth terrorize some poor janitor
Getting back to the espionage, Philip and Elizabeth head out to that factory that's about to be moved. It turns out that they're too late to read the instrument panel -- that has already been shipped to the new location -- but the propellers it makes are still around.
The spies learn this courtesy of a janitor named Derek. He comes upon Jackie looking in some boxes and is fortunate (and smart) enough to tell her all about his three boys who are expecting him for dinner. Considering Elizabeth's recent experiences with families and children left without parents, this hits a rare soft spot.
All Elizabeth does is take the photo of Derek's youngest son before leaving with significant looks and veiled threats.
Derek really doesn't know how easily he got off this time.
Stan makes his career with a bullet, destroys it with three little words
The dangerous dance between FBI Agent Stan and KGB double-agent Nina continues as Stan tracks down Bruce Dameran, the titular walk-in we met in the previous episode.
During a rare trip home, Stan uses his family time wisely by talking to his wife about laundry. Seriously, how has this marriage survived even this long? Even when it's for national-security purposes, laundry isn't exactly going to bring that spark back into a marriage.
But it helps with the case, and that's what Stan cares about.
Before the laundry comes into play, however, Stan has to track down Dameran's job at the World Bank. It turns out that a) Dameran called in sick that morning, and b) there's a big gala for World Bank leaders at the Marquee Hotel.
The Marquee Hotel is adjacent to a certain Laundromat.
With no time to waste, Stan rushes to the roof across from the hotel -- and finds Dameran ready with a sniper rifle. To his credit, Stan does try to reason with the man a bit, but that really doesn't work. Dameran ends up shot, screaming about injustice and the indifference of Reagan.
Because this is Stan doing the shooting, he heads over to the safe house and Nina in order to unwind. He is up for a medal and super-happy -- which is probably why Stan says the sentimental and possibly fatal words, "I love you."
At the Soviet Embassy, Nina reports on these latest developments. Arkady is very pleased -- shooting Dameran in order to increase Nina's value to the FBI was the plan all along. And Nina is proving even more capable than anyone ever realized.
This is why you should never underestimate the pretty woman. She'll take down nations if you're not paying close enough attention ... And Nina might just do it.
It's movie week on "American Idol" Season 13, so fingers crossed we don't have to hear any "Don't Wanna Miss a Thing." Let's get right to it, shall we?
1. Sam Woolf, "Come Together," "Across the Universe"
Nice how the Beatles' catalog was made into a movie, right? Handy for moments like this. Anyway, we love this choice by Sam. He's a good singer, but he's been so blah on the show thus far. This is actually letting him show a little grit and growl. It's still a sliding scale -- he's not Caleb Johnson -- but for Sam, this is positively edgy. He could've gone much, much further with it and not been quite so Broadway at moments, but we'll take what we can get. Baby steps. 2. Jessica Meuse, "The Sound of Silence," "The Graduate"
Love the choice. I barely typed a word for the first half of the song because I was so engrossed. This is the moment she's been needing. It wasn't perfect -- she was sharp a few times and there was a a weird moment where she and the band weren't in sync with each other. In fact, that sounded like the band was off, to be honest. And if that's the case, then kudos to her for keeping her professionalism and not letting it get to her. Overall, good stuff.
3. C.J. Harris, "Can't You See," "Blow"
This is C.J.'s best performance to date, we think. He's bluesy and showing some personality, plus he's on pitch. The ending breakdown is particularly nice, it's no wonder Keith Urban jumps up to applaud. This is miles better than last week, for sure.
At this point in the night, we finally feel like the Season 13 contestants have come to compete. So far, the season has been so underwhelming, but the first three singers tonight have all stepped up their respective games. 4. Dexter Roberts, "Sweet Home Alabama," "Forrest Gump"
So, it's fun that Dexter can play that iconic opening lick from this song on the guitar. We don't know how hard it is (it's probably not that hard), but that's still fun. Vocally, this is not Dexter's strongest performance, but that's more due to the fact that this song isn't a singer's song at all. It has about three notes and is very repetitive. However, he's been so good in the competition up to now that this won't hurt him, plus there's the fact that this song is a boot-stompin' anthem that people love. He's completely safe, even if this was kind of a boring performance.
Harry Connick Jr. calls this performance "smart," which is the correct adjective. It was a very smart choice. But yes, Dexter needed to turn up the heat on that performance.
5. Ben Briley, "Bennie and the Jets," "27 Dresses"
Oooh, the piano. This guy is a real jack of all trades. Vocally, this is an interesting choice. It's a hard song -- it jumps around a lot, there are some weird minor things happening at moments. However, it's one of those middle-of-the-road songs that isn't really uptempo but isn't slow, so it just kind of plods along. Ben is giving 1000 percent in trying to make this exciting, but it's a little boring as a performance number. Vocally, though, as we said, this is terrific. Nice falsetto, handles the weird pitch jumps with aplomb. Solid job.
The judges' criticism that he's not authentic and a little affected is fair. This performance was different for Ben, but that doesn't bother me. I like to hear different stuff and he pulled off the vocals, at least.
Then Harry Connick Jr. runs up to the piano to show off "pounding" the piano, but instead he plays what at first sounds like "Nadia's Theme," the "Young and the Restless" theme song. Hee. 6. Majesty Rose, "Let It Go," "Frozen"
Bold choice, wow. And ... yikes. This song is too big for Majesty. The verses are hard to hear and the second chorus is way off pitch. The problem is that she had to lower the song in order to "belt" the chorus, so that made the verse hard to hear because it was too low for her. But then when it got to the second chorus, it was still too high for her. She does not have the big, belting Idina Menzel voice to pull that off. She was horribly flat and shouty on the second chorus. Did you hear how she kept changing into her head voice? That indicates it's too high for her to belt.
Interestingly, Harry Connick Jr. doesn't call her out on how off pitch she was. I thought for sure he would. The judges are actually kind of suspiciously nice to her, in that way where you suspect that the crowd got so into it that they were afraid of being too critical on her. Or maybe it just sounded better live. But on TV? That was kind of a mess. 7. Caleb Johnson, "Skyfall," "Skyfall"
Gorgeous choice. Best so far tonight. I didn't type a word the entire time he was singing because it was so good. Caleb needed a more serious moment where he could show off his pipes in a different way from the usual rock and this was it. Awesome.
8. MK Nobilette, "To Make You Feel My Love," "Hope Floats"
Nice choice for her voice, though she sounds nervous at the start -- there are a couple tiny spots that are a little rocky. She also looks kind of uncomfortable just sitting there on the stool and singing. However, once she gets going and finds her groove, it's nice. Her stage presence doesn't get any better, that's something she can certainly work on. But vocally, this is very pretty. A lovely moment. Love her "I'd go crawling down the avenue," nice change to the melody line. And she was more emotionally invested in the song than she usually comes across.
9. Alex Preston, "Falling Slowly," "Once"
I was actually hoping MK would do this song, but I just knew Alex would do it. Anyway, it's a beautiful song and he does a nice job with it. It's unfortunate he couldn't sing it as a duet with MK -- now that would have been amazing. But Alex is a good singer and this was very pretty. You know what movie song we would love to hear him sing? "Shattered" by Remy Zero from "Suicide Kings." Listen here, it's a terrific song and would suit Alex really well. Anyway.
10. Jena Irene, "Decode," "Twilight"
Terrific song choice for her, it's appealing to a certain voting demographic but also just suits her voice really well. It's also nice to hear her at the piano a little. Her soaring, belting vocals are really strong on this. If they do classic rock, she would nail some Heart. Can't you just hear her on "Magic Man" or "Crazy On You"? Beautiful job tonight, sweetie.
11. Malaya Watson, "I Am Changing," "Dreamgirls"
OK, so, I was sure she was singing "And I'm Telling You" and I was already rolling my eyes, just because that song is everywhere since that movie came out. However, this is a refreshing change of pace if someone has to do a "Dreamgirls" song. Malaya does ... pretty well with it. Things go off the rails a bit at the key change, which is unfortunate because she was killing it up until that moment. She does pull it off a terrific ending, though, and that's all the audience will remember.
So, who should go home? Yikes. This was a really strong night. Honestly, my Bottom 3 are Sam Woolf, Majesty Rose and MK Nobilette/Jessica Meuse (toss up). And I think Majesty was vocally the weakest one. She was all over the map.
But it probably won't be her who goes home. Unfortunately, it will probably be MK, even after she turned in one of her strongest weeks.
With Chief Vick and Juliet off in San Francisco, new SBPD Chief Lassiter needs a new head detective. In "Psych's" "A Touch of Sweevil," he finds that person in Betsy Brannigan (guest star Mira Sorvino), who he discovers is a Lassie clone, after first trying to get rid of her by having Gus and Shawn pull out all the crazy stops with their psychic shenanigans.
It's a fun episode, particularly with Yvette Nicole Brown and Tom Arnold rounding out the guest-star list as fellow paranormal consultants. It also kind of makes us wish Lassie and Brannigan were getting a "Psych" spinoff -- especially since her sidearms are named "Belle Star" and "Beatrix Kiddo."
Shawn: "If he wants to turn a blind eye to my skill set for four years running, then he can eat a hot, steaming bowl of suck-it soup."
Gus: "Is there a green room, Randall? If so, I drink only vitamin water. Not the sports drink, just regular Evian with crushed vitamins -- Flintstones chewables, all Barneys."
Betsy: "Most folks would try and hide that level of tomfoolery. But you didn't ... I tried to work through it and I came to the conclusion that it works! Finally I have found a place where I can feel free to come out and be my true self. A place where I don't have to hide my peccadilloes -- and believe me I got a lot of peccadilloes."