I gave "Private Practice" the solo treatment a week ago, seems only fair to do it now for "Bionic Woman." (I've seen "Dirty Sexy Money" and "Gossip Girl," too, but may not be able to post about them today.) Spoilers coming up just as soon as I chat up strangers at the bookstore...
Still not feeling this yet. Like "Reaper," episode two spent a lot of time rehashing or simply reliving developments that had already happened in the pilot. Why did we need to spend a third of the episode on Jamie refusing to work for Jonas, then agreeing to so long as he met her terms, when that was the exact substance of the final scene of the pilot? Also, did I miss the moment last week where it was clear Jamie's boyfriend Will was going to die? I actually am fine with him being gone (if, indeed, he is), as the actor didn't add much, but when we left things, he seemed to just have one of those Hollywood through and through gunshot wounds that somehow missed all his vital organs.
There were some attempts to let Michaell Ryan seem more relaxed and confident, like the aborted drunken pick-up, but she's still a blank to me. Katee Sackhoff had more physical presence casually crouched on the floor of that hotel room than Ryan had in the entire episode. And, as happened last week, the episode sped through far too much of what should be the heart of these early shows: Jamie's reaction to discovering how powerful she is now. Montages are kewl and easy and all that, but I would have loved the fight training, or the one-armed pull-ups, or whatever, to stand on their own and breathe a little. Maybe we hear Jamie complain about how much she hated pull-ups in high school, only to be amazed at how kick-ass she is with one arm now, that sort of thing.
Meanwhile, Isaiah Washington enters, in a role that feels a bit like a melding of the Will character (maybe that's why he's dead?) and Jae the fight trainer (who also seemed to be a commando leader type in the pilot). Rageaholic, homophobe, whatever you want to call him, Washington has charisma on camera, though often in a way that becomes so intense you stop looking at the character and start looking at the actor. Since people are already going to be looking at the actor, given the messy "Grey's Anatomy" exit, it's a good thing that he's playing this part in a more natural style. I'm just not sure what he adds to the show, other than controversy -- the number of bosses/middle managers at the bionics factory already makes half the supporting cast feel redundant -- and based on the ratings (down about 2 million viewers from a week ago, same as "Private Practice"), the controversy didn't bring any new viewers to the show.
The action remains mediocre, and while there's nothing about the show that really puts me off, there's very little (save Sackhoff) that really has me interested in continuing, outside of a professional obligation to keep track of one of this fall's more hyped rookies.
What did everybody else think?