Thanks to Mellie for this:
All reviews by Andy Mangels
Ask Not – 3 stars
The show is getting increasingly more conspiracy-heavy (oh, The X-Files has
so much to answer for), so some welcome comedic scenes between Tess and Kyle
are good tension-breakers (especially when she finds his hidden stash of
pornography). The impetus for some of Max’s actions are a heavy-handed
‘moral’ about leadership and John F Kennedy that he learns at school, but it
seems only necessary to re-establish the fact that the kids are students
(never did Buffy any harm, fighting the forces of evil between lessons).
The truth about Davis is a welcome touch (and he’ll be returning, you can be
sure) as is the skullduggery by Whitaker and an unexpected source. But
ultimately the episode is not nearly as tense as it needs to be.
Trivia: You may see something familiar in the eyes of white-bearded teacher
Mr LaFeber, played by JG Hetzler. Star Trek: DS9 fans will recognise the
actor as Klingon General Martok.
Surprises – 5 stars
The episode is a tour-de-force for actress Katherine Heigl as Isabel, and
she is riveting onscreen throughout. Too often kept in the background
during the first season, this story adds enough intrigue for Isabel to
launch her into an increased role. Plus, she looks absolutely fabulous,
even when running through muck in a dress (that’ll be a fan-pleaser, then –
The scenes of protective mother Diane Evans as she meets Isabel’s friends at
the party are also a delight, adding some needed humour to what is
undoubtedly one of the series’ darkest episodes to date. And while a big
surprise is revealed in this episode, I’m convinced there are several more
hidden agendas waiting to unfold. A gripping and excellent episode.
Summer of ’47 – 3 stars
Isabel got her spotlight last episode, and this one is almost purely
Michael’s show (unfortunately, he now sports an even worse haircut than in
the first season). Whilst the story does little to advance the modern-day
plot, it does plant some very important seeds for the future of the series.
Unfortunately, the producers found it necessary to use their regular cast to
tell the lengthy flashback story (ie, Michael is the past Carver), leaving
the view to wonder which of the kids would be popping up next as adults in
the past (…). But for everyone who thinks some of the young actors look
too old for their teen roles, this episode proves that almost all of them
seem completely out of place in adult roles as well.
A cool last-minute revelation and some nice elements to the flashback help
buck up this episode’s entertainment value, but the double-casting is
distracting and more than a little creepy.
The End Of The World – 3 stars
It’s taken five episodes this season to get back to the mushy romance, and
this hybrid/rip-off of the storyline for Terminator manages to wrap up some
of those subplots. Certainly, it seems as if the humans and the aliens are
separating from each other, to fulfill their respective destinies.
Jason Behr is fine in dual roles as the once and future Max, showing off his
buff physique in several scenes, and evincing a nice bit of jealousy during
Liz and Kyle’s bedroom scene. Liz goes through several heartbreaking
scenes, but as someone who’s a number of years past any teenage
loves-of-my-life, I’ll certainly be glad to see this sub-Dawson’s Creek
storyline back-burnered again. Expecting the crackling Courtney/Michael
scenes, this episode seemed oddly laconic and lacking urgency, leaving you
feeling somewhat unsatisfied.