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TV Rundown: May 4 - 9: 'Vampire Diaries' Plays Dead or Alive

Dead or Not Dead: The Vampire Diaries: It was the deadly twist that sent social media and fans into a flurry. Will it actually stick? Given the series' history, instinct says "no". Though if it does last, it would be the boldest game-changing move, in TVD’s history. 
Great Escape: Fargo: Lorne Malvo managed to escape police custody without even breaking a sweat. He simply employed the tactic of assuming another person’s identity and it worked. In a glorious scene of cat-and-mouse psychology, Billy Bob Thornton reminded viewers of his gift for the transformative and wowed in the process.

Best Guest Star: The Blacklist: Anytime the phenomenal John Glover (TV’s Greatest Villain from “Smallville”) makes a television appearance it is a show stopper and his turn in “Berlin” was no exception. Now a network needs to wise up and offer him the leading role, he deserves.

Best Season Finale: Bates Motel: Bringing a sensational season to a close in a slow boil, "Bates Motel" bid farewell to viewers with an emotionally gratifying and climactic finale. After the previous episode’s surprising twist, there was skepticism as to how it could play out. The series didn’t waste time settling the matter, brilliantly resolving it in a way that cements it into the fabric of Norman’s psychosis and exonerated other characters from being guilty of abetting him.

As he decided to take drastic action to prevent further heartache, Norman’s true colors took center stage and proved why he will always be impossible to completely write off. While the ensnarement of his soul in darkness is a painful inevitability, it is also the series’ underlying tragedy. 

One of the best moments of “The Immutable Truth” came in Norma’s reconciliation with Dylan, one of the series’ rare moments of radiant happiness. Not surprisingly, the entire cast rose to the occasion for a stellar final bow. The downside to a show being this outstanding is enduring the year-long wait for the next installment.

The Penultimate: Arrow: Setting the stage for an epic battle was all the rage on this week’s “Arrow”. Fortunately amidst the chaos there was time for a father/daughter reunion and sister/sister pep-talk. The highlight of the episode came with Felicity’s rousing speech of encouragement to Oliver. Only to have him…look over her shoulder, breaking eye-contact and ruining the moment. 

Bitterest Goodbye: The Tomorrow People: The season/series finale of the CW’s spectacular sci-fi series closed with a magnificent finale that tied up a lot of loose ends and opened a Pandora’s box of possibilities. Unfortunately, they will never get a chance to be explored because the ax was lowered on the freshman drama following its finale. Creatively superb, the series signed off with a gripping farewell that established the characters on a different course than when they began their journey.

The final shot of a re-powered John working side-by-side with Jedekiah was an exciting way to end things. Wondering what would’ve happened if things had continued was even more exciting. Showrunner Phil Klemmer gave the CW one of the best new series they’ve had in years and I am grateful for the ride.

Best Daytime Performance of the Week: The Bold and the Beautiful: Ashlyn Pearce rocked B&B to its core with her performance as Aly Forrester during last week’s Cliffhanger Friday. During Aly’s electrifying verbal smackdown of Taylor, Pearce seamlessly transmitted Aly’s years of equally pent-up rage and sadness with a powerful zeal that walked a knife’s edge between lucidity and the harrowing madness that comes from unburdening major truths. 

Tyrion Withdrawals: Game of Thrones: Where was Tyrion? "First of His Name" consisted of a lot walking and talking without the best chatterer on the show.

Villainous Undoing: Revenge: After 3 seasons, Emily Thorne finally succeeded in nailing one-half of her “revengda”, so why did it ring so hollow? Mostly because the ruination of the sinisterly charming duo that is Victoria and Conrad, fails to be all that gratifying. In Emily’s latest scheme she couldn’t even go toe-to-toe with them. She relied on her sister as the Trojan horse for her psychopathic “justice” confection. 

As bizarre as it may seem, she comes across far more crazed than the Graysons could ever hope to be. Rooting for a character that can’t accept her father’s total responsibility in his own fate and using innocent people to carry out her revenge is simply not appealing. The main thing that keeps “Revenge” interesting is wondering how Victoria and Conrad will get out of their latest predicament so they can reign again.

[Image by The CW]

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