Tuesday, July 26, 2016

EARTH S:2016 E: 29 Cruz Control

Like a lot of people, I've been down on the current season of Earth with its ridiculous plot contrivances and inconsistent characterization, but I have to say, last week's episode was a real return to form.The show hasn't hit one out of the park like that since the early days of the Al Qaeda arc.

The ep started a bit shaky. We all knew the #NeverTrump campaign wasn't going to succeed, but we still spent an inordinate amount of time on it, and then it's followed up with a comic subplot about Trump's wife plagiarizing her speech -=eyeroll=-. With all the strong female characters on the show recently, it's a shame for it to take a step backwards with such a stereotypical character. If the writers actually make Trump President, I hope they write Malania out in favor of Ivanka, who already looks to be a more interesting character. (Though did you catch the way her dad patted her ass? I really hope the writers aren't going there -- we get it, Trump's evil. No need to make him any skeevier than he already is.)

But the real meat of the episode was in the second act. Ted Cruz has never been one of my favorite characters, not least because the actor who plays him sucks giant red donkey dick. Everytime he opens his mouth, he comes off as a smarmy little kid who thinks he can put one over on the adults. For a character who was introduced as this diabolical genius, the acting never matched up. But here, in what I can only assume is Cruz's swansong, the show actually made me feel bad for him. Sure, his motivation for dissing Trump was purely personal, but that actually made it more compelling than Romney or Kasich who are just standing on some generic principle. (There are the Bushes, of course, but after everything George, Jr. did, it's hard to respect Jeb and Papa George for standing by him. Rafael and Heidi, though we never saw much of either, are far more sympathetic characters.)

Still, Ted's always been a jackass, so despite the pathos, there's more than a little schadenfreude with him getting booed by his own party. I've got to hand it to the writers, as much as I hated the whole Tea Party arc, their handling of Cruz and especially Christie this season has been outstanding. Now if only they find a way to get Huckabee his comeuppance, everything will be right with the world.

Of course, we also have to talk about that cliffhanger. Oh my god! Can you believe it? After all this time, they're finally bringing Julian Assange back? I know he popped up briefly for that Sony hack subplot a couple seasons, but this is the first time he's played a major role in the story in years. (A lot of people seem to think he had a falling out with the producers, hence the ignominious way he was written out, but I guess if there was an issue, it's been taken care of.) And what a way to make his grand re-entrance! After Bernie's constant accusations of Democratic double dealings -- boom! -- we have total proof. I did not see that twist coming. I thought he was just paranoid. If Assange and Sanders team up, this is going to be so epic.

NEXT WEEK: A Hillary episode. Kill me now.

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