A good place to start this review would be with Michael Landes. This was really his episode, as Nick had to deal with multiple events hitting him at the same time. It was a little bit of a test for Michael as an actor to show the different sides of Nick and how he reacts to different situations. It was too bad we did not really get to see Michael do more with Nick and the mother. I thought that sub-plot was nice, but underplayed. It did not convey too much except that you knew it affected Nick. It would have fleshed out the episode and Nick as a character to see him interacting with his mother some more. That is the only point I will actually complain about. It would have been a great opportunity for Michael to show the critics out there he is a damn good actor as we see each week. That makes a nice segue into the comment that Nick had at one point. The comment that I had a feeling was a play on his critics.
"I'm not really that good of an actor. I just say it like it is. You should try it sometime."
It is all in the delivery, something you need to see too fully appreciate it. Michael Landes put on a terrific performance but was able to shine those pearly whites for the ladies to drool over. The scenes with Lola Glaudini, Isabella, were outstanding and they played off each other very well. That was a key to making this episode work. However, Michael's finest scene was probably the last scene where he watched his mom wake up and he embraced her. The eyes, the relief on his face was simply well done. Michael definitely has a taste for the sharp dialogue, but he is a lot better as an actor than anyone will ever give him credit for. I know, you think I am high on Michael Landes and yes, I am. I have seen a lot of movies and tv shows since I was a kid. There are not too many actors I consider very good, as most range from un-watchable to outstanding. I really believe Michael Landes is a great actor. Michael makes Nick a real person and no one, and I mean no one else, could possibly replace him and be believable.
Secondly, Alexondra and Danny damn near stole the show with their comedy routines. The scenes in the van with these two were a riot. Especially the first one when they both eating licorice hanging on Nick's every word like they were watching a soap opera waiting to see what happens next. It was hilarious, and the dialogue was well executed you really believed they were interacting with each other I also like how Carl and Kate kind of bonded in this episode as Carl played a running joke on Kate through out the episode with the Link in the bag that ended up being a baby doll that Carl tweaked the voice on. Carl had set her up from the word go, it seems Carl only does things like that to people he respects and likes. So, his little joke, and playing on Kate's curiosity developed their relationship a little further and that is nice to see. Carl and Nick have a competitive brotherly relationship kind of thing going on, while Carl and the Captain have their battle of the wits. Now if we could just see Carl and Jonathan interact a little more maybe send them off on their own adventure then that would be fun.
Speaking of Jonathan, it looks as if he is starting to get a handle on his character and more comfortable on the show. Everything is going to be just fine, I am already taking a shine to him and the new hq isnt that bad. I still prefer the original HQ, but oh well. Maybe I'll write an article on that sometime in the newsletter. Jonathan took a step forward with Nick in a big brotherly way. Jonathan seems to be very impressed with how cool and badass Nick is. He looks up to him in a big brotherly way and that adds something that Sean did not have with Nick. It has taken awhile for that to develop but it is heading in that direction that is a great sign of things to come for Jonathan.
Where does all of this lead and come from? This episode comes full circle back to one thing and one thing only. The acting will always be superb in this show. The direction will always be stylish with long takes and mis-en-scene. What is always the foundation for an episode is the writing. If the script sucks, not all the talent in the world will save it. Did anyone see the movie... maybe I shouldn't go there. I don't need to be flamed for it. "The Years," didn't have to worry about being a bad script, as it was a dandy of a script. This will probably be the sleeper of the entire season in scope. It will be overlooked because of what will be coming shortly. We were introduced to Nick's mom, Carl and Kate bonded, Jonathan is impressed with Nick, etc All these little nuances and subplots created a nifty and well thought out episode. We found that Links live in all walks of life with the opening lower class Links, then moving on to the high class Links. That was a nice little play on social struggle and establishing not all Links live the same way. The episode was not a happy episode. Nick lost a friend, had his heart and mind played with, but was able to say good-bye to his mother. The ending was touching, but we all knew it would only be for possibly a couple of days or possibly hours. It was sad, but at least he could say good-bye. All the subtle layers of the episode were the foundation for a well rounded, well paced and well thought out episode. This episode had it all except for a knock down drag out fight, but this episode did not need it. This episode did not need CGI work at all. Evan Katz wrote a dandy episode, I just think the only low mark was the sub-plot with Nick's mom being underplayed but perhaps that was to set up the ending. Oh well...
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