Welcome Gentle Readers

This blog tends to wander from its main purpose -- updates on my fiction. I do have updates and excerpts of my work. But I also write about my obsessions -- food, friends and pop culture and my weird life in Los Angeles. Enjoy!

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Holidays, Crazy Bears and Mutant Soldiers

Warning: If you find yourself here via a google search for such things as TV shows or films, recipes or cities, this blog has some facts. However, this blog is one author’s very twisted musing on many weird things. It is sometimes graphic in content. If you read on, don’t write to yell at me.

Holi-daze 09 – Spring Edition

The holidays have gone by in a blur so far this year. I think our 4:45 am wake up time is causing the days to feel shorter somehow. I did have a couple of Harp Lager on St. Patrick’s Day. And before you make with the gee you don’t look Irish, it’s my mother’s Feast Day, okay? However on that note, we do have a rather large block of family so fair of skin and freckled of face and even naturally red of hair that there’s some links in there somewhere. I lived in neighborhoods and went to schools in Philly where there were scads of Irish-Americans. That is why I know how to do an Irish jig. I learned it in High School gym class. I can also Polka and square dance. I’m not sure what the origin of teaching those were other than perhaps, The Lawrence Welk Show. I’m not kidding here. The school administration foisted a big band on us for our Prom. We had to fight for a DJ to be included. At any rate, I had some beer and corned beef and cabbage. Not all at once though. We didn’t do much for Mardi Gras. It’s hard to have a raucous street festival with two really tired people. We did have some lovely seafood though. President’s Day was a lovely day off for writing. And then, the last holiday before Memorial Day, Cesar Chavez Day. UCLA celebrates it. This year, the official holiday fell on a Friday, so we had a three-day weekend. Sweet! I remember helping with the grape boycott as a child, but I had no idea until we started working at UCLA that there was a holiday. Again, we used it to work on projects. I also rested my back as much as possible (when not writing or cooking). Alas, It’s back to a full week’s schedule starting tomorrow. Easter looms, but we have to jam all those festivities into a regular weekend. No fair.

Craig Update

I’m making progress in persuading Craig to write memoirs. He’s considering the title, I Craig. I pointed out that could also be a new and disturbing verb. He liked that thought as well. He’s come to peace with Juan Epstien being a neighbor. Craig even looked at his Web-based series, The Venice Walk. Craig and I agreed that some of the acting may be high on histrionics, but the basic premise is certainly worth of producing as a series. It has young, attractive people in a state of constant personal crisis and Juan Epstien as their unconventional – some say obsessed – parole officer. Sounds like the CW to me. Save for the cursing. That may make it more suitable for FX or Spike TV. With peace in the neighborhood, Craig has been left to obsess with Winnie the Pooh. That began when he found out that a business associate of one of his family had the nickname Vinnie the Pooh (I am not clever enough to make this up). Craig was so tickled by that that his girlfriend thought it would be fun to give him a book full of Winnie the Pooh and friends stickers. Everyone else who knows Craig knew that idea would lead to disaster and some sort of obscenity. And it has. My present was a very happy Winnie the Pooh sticker on a page filled with foul-mouthed rantings on disemboweling Christopher Robin. I had to crop the image. Craig doing readings of his memoir will have to be at bookstores with no children’s sections.

Blood Oath

I finally finished the draft two-part pilot. When I say finished, I mean it’s written in longhand on legal pads. That’s how I roll. Thus, when I input the script into Movie Magic, it’s really a draft and a half. I refine the longhand version as I input. I’ve been writing that way for a long time. I have a lot of trouble creating directly into a keyboard. I’m not sure why. I wasn’t even planning on writing full scripts (I’m up to episode three). I was only going to do treatments with enough detail that we could do character, location and set breakdowns. But once the guys started doing things, I couldn’t help but write the dialogue as well. My mutant soldier boys love attention. It also helps that the concept is as fully developed as possible so that the budget reflects the actual demands of each episode.

Again, I’m finding surprises as I write the scenes that weren’t in the first book. There was Jenn Saxl’s revelation to Vincent that she never thought he should have been Altered. Of course, Vincent is confused by this attitude. He didn’t have a real choice. The alternative would have been institutionalization. Vincent realizes that she never really saw him as he was even while they were children. This is important to show the audience why Vincent didn’t want lodgings with the Saxls upon his return from the portal despite Bobby being there. I’m getting much better at cinematic. I’m sure it’s 80 percent Jon and 20 percent Battlestar Galactica. I have to show things that I would handle as interior monologue in my fiction but not make it look like exposition. Vincent’s personality helps. He has such colorfully worded tirades. Getting out the information is fairly easy. All of this new material begs the question of writing a prequel. I’m not going to do that, because there isn’t enough material for a whole book. And I have clear plans for two more sequels (I told you, the boys really love attention). However, I’ll probably do some online short stories or novellas.

Post on the pilot presentation is slow going. We’ve got a handle on the art work, but we need to resolve some equipment issues before Jon can take on doing the composites to replace the green screen. We expect to resolve those issues this week. Meanwhile, the new version of the website is up at: http://bloodoathseries.com/. We’ll be adding to it as the art work is finalized.
Unfortunately, there are no updates on the other projects.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Carnies, More UST and a Cylon Smackdown!

Warning: If you find yourself here via a google search for such things as TV shows or films, recipes or cities, this blog has some facts. However, this blog is one author’s very twisted musing on many weird things. It is sometimes graphic in content. If you read on, don’t write to yell at me.

Warning 2: If you plan to see the BSG series finale, DO NOT READ THIS BLOG!! If you do not know what BSG is, you are reasonably safe.

Where are the Clowns?
My life has become a carnival. And no, that’s not a metaphor. Nor is it a Brazilian Carnival. That would be a lot of fun. No, it’s the kind of seedy around the edges carnival where carnies work. It cropped up at the end of our street between Wednesday evening and Thursday morning. It was looming in the pre-dawn darkness when Jon and I were heading for work Thursday. It’s going full tilt right now until 11pm tonight. I assume it will be gone by pre-dawn tomorrow. The music is different from carnivals I remember growing up. It isn’t that kind of circus-y music, it was some hard core wrap. Given that the carnival was sponsored by the police station, Jon and I wondered if the carnies would be nervy enough to play Cop Killer. No one seemed to be paying attention to the lyrics of the song we heard as we passed by. Short segue. In looking up a link for the song, I found that Ice-T had performed it. No, I really never paid any attention to who was doing what in the world of Gansta Rap. Now, I get the irony of Ice-T playing a cop on Law and Order: SVU. Ironic, indeed. Where was I?

The carnival topped off a weird, sometimes painful week. The Friday before last, someone contacted Ralph that was interested in one of our films. It was one we had on a far back burner because of Luv U 4 Ever and The Gunslinger, but it is an attractive project because of its potential to be made on a very low budget. Since we weren’t focused on it, this film didn’t have a complete business plan. Thus, we spent last weekend frantically pulling together the reams of paperwork required for funding. That’s what I was doing last Sunday instead of blogging. We had to figure out if the schedule could be compressed and where. We had to figure out all sorts of minutia by Monday morning for a shoot that could be in Los Angeles or in Michigan. And we needed to do this by Monday. It was finished on time. And we’re waiting to see what happens next. As for Luv U 4 Ever and the Gunslinger, we may have some good news on the horizon. Film attendance in February (a traditionally slow month) was up nearly 20%. That has prompted interest from funding sources that film is still a good place to make money. We’ve been hearing from some that we hadn’t talked to in a while. I hope to have some announcements about those films soon.

For a person who likes to have control over my life and particularly where I may be traveling at any given moment, the past year has been a lesson in great patience. It seems to have served me well. I hardly blinked at the machinations that followed sending off the paperwork. I still had a pilot to finish (more on that below) and Jon had a presentation to edit. Why was the week painful? My back is once again in revolt against me. It didn’t help that the doctor shrugged at me then told me that surgery wouldn’t necessarily help. I plan to take yoga as soon as my schedule stabilizes. If it ever stabilizes.

Friday was particularly grueling. Constant pain puts a pall on everything. I was thinking about how little I really understood what my mother was going through even before she fell ill. Those thoughts were illuminating, but not very helpful. Every effort seems futile while viewed through that prism. As always, Bruce Springsteen provided clarity. Actually it was Bruce via Jon Stewart during his interview on March 19th. I loved that interview. It looked like a date between two people who were so into each other that they were nervous wrecks to be in the same room. Adorable! Anyway, Stewart had been inspired to do what he does by Springsteen’s philosophy that the ride is far more important than the destination. When pressed, I can’t think of anything I would have done differently or anywhere else I’d rather be. My back is still torturing me, but I’m in a far better mood than on Friday.

Blood Oath Revelations

It has never been clearer to me that I really hate putting my characters through pain. It’s quite amusing considering my hobby, but it’s true. My progress on Blink, the two part opener for Blood Oath, was ground to a halt because I hard to put Rik through a long period of deep and painful grief. I knew how it would turn out, and still, I found it tremendously difficult to actually put him through it. Jon thinks that this is a healthy attitude for me. He said he’d worry given how real my characters are in my head to enjoy torturing them. I got through it last night and finished writing the first draft. Mind, I still write drafts in longhand. The script has to be inputed into a scriptwriting program now. Wheee!

Expanding the point of view in the script has been a fun. I’ve spent a lot of time with Vincent, and that’s been interesting. He has quite a mouth on him, dear Vincent, but he is also endearing. I’ve really enjoyed writing the scenes that I didn’t think fit in the first book. All of the peripheral characters from the novels have a lot more to do in this script, especial the women in Rik and Vincent’s lives. I had to make them viable candidates for the guys’ affections to the viewers. That way, they will be seen as a source of tension and possible betrayal later. This is particularly true of Lt. Remak. She is genuinely fond of Vincent and really distraught over his disappearance. Her feelings for Rik are very deep, and she seems to have a reasonable chance of winning his. The relationship between Rik and Vincent comes as a complete and unpleasant shock for her. Spending time with her before the relationship makes her motivation a lot easier to understand later. Vincent’s would-be girl-friend, Jenn, is different. It is clear that Vincent is fond of her as a friend though she exasperates him. She never had a chance with him romantically, thus she comes off as unreasonable from the start. My hope is that at the end of Blink, the audience is happy that the men have finally figured out what is between them even while dreading what the response will be.

Cylon on Cylon Smackdown!
The series finale for Battlestar Galactica was this past week. As with most of season 4, I went into it with grave trepidation and deep misgivings. I’d been hearing from Richard Hatch that the entire season would be more brutal than the other three. Given the early groundwork in BSG that anyone is expendable, I was really worried about having my heart ripped out at any moment during the entire season. Above all else, I abhor unfair ends to characters. Though the series was set in a constant state of war and eminent destruction, I also felt that many of the characters had earned the right to survive the finale. Thus, I went into the two-parter with a different set of expectations than Jon’s. I wasn’t looking for the answers to the Opera House or who the virtual characters were. Or even what Starbuck was. I was reasonably confident that those issues would be worked out in a way consistent with the rest of the series and in keeping with elements of the original. They were. I won’t go into this here save to say that Ron Moore followed the original series fairly closely through to the end (including an Earth that was not Earth and divine intervention). Nothing about the resolution of the plot threads surprised me nor did I find them problematic. What I was worried about whether the endings for the characters would be fair. In my opinion, they were. Do I wish that some of the romances had happier endings? Sure. Would I liked to have seen Brother Cavil torn limb from limb and have his entrails eaten before his eyes? Certainly. But I thought all of the character arcs ended fairly. And it had an old Centurion Cylon vs new Cylon smackdown http://en.battlestarwiki.org/wiki/Centurions! You gotta love that! I think that BSG has raised the bar for what television drama can be. It particularly raised the level of the quality of dialogue. I will be forever grateful for having seen it, because it will surely influence my work. However, unlike many others, I am glad the ride is over. It was a brutal trip for me, especially the last half of the 4th season. I can’t go through that again. Of course, I’ll probably watch Caprica.

Next week – More on Craig and Winnie the Pooh, Juan Epstien and hammers.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Blog Delayed

We have some breaking film developments that have us tied up this weekend. I hope to be able to report on the goings on soon. It's all very exciting and a bit scary around the edges!

Sunday, March 08, 2009

Red Carpets, Cloned Organs and POV

Warning: If you find yourself here via a google search for such things as TV shows or films, recipes or cities, this blog has some facts. However, this blog is one author’s very twisted musing on many weird things. It is sometimes graphic in content. If you read on, don’t write to yell at me.

I’m not sure how long this blog will be. I’m under the weather from some bug and my back is in revolt yet again.

About Red Carpets
Jon and I were invited to a film premier last week. It’s the first in a long while for us. It’s hard for us to attend these events. Aside from our work schedules, we feel like any time we don’t spent working on the projects is time wasted. But this premier was being held by a network with whom we’ve had a lot of contact and it wasn’t their first invitation. We felt it would be rude not to go. Of course, my worry at any of these functions is what Jon’s reaction to the film will be and how he might express that reaction. Jon has no guile, as I’ve said before. He calls ‘em like he sees ‘em – sometimes in great detail. Thus, I had to make note of how close the exit was to the doors to the theater itself. We were pretty good there. It was just a few yards from the theater doors to the exit of the building. The screening was crowded, so we could slip out easily before the principles knew we’d left. Yes, I have to calculate these things. In was more complicated in Cannes, because someone connected to the film could be walking behind you on the sidewalk far from the screening room. We had to be very watchful there. This theater reminded me of the local theaters in Cannes where the Film Market had it’s screenings – small and quaint with some Art Deco touches. The film, Something Evil Comes didn’t make me rush Jon headlong from the theater. There were a lot of positive things to say about it.

The fascinating thing about film premiers is they all have the same kind of hierarchy, no matter how modest they may be. Typically, non-actors don’t walk the red carpet unless they are the producer or director of the film. This premier had a modest red carpet, but the same rules applied. Aside from some of the stars of the film (alas, Cigarette Smoking Man was not among them), there were aspiring stars and starlets seeking publicity from the small cadre of paparazzi, and characters from the Gay community (the theater and the Network are important to the Gay community). Thus we had the blonde number in a little black cocktail dress typical of a red carpet, but this number had 18-inch biceps and linebacker shoulders. Somehow, the dress worked. There was also Black and not female Marilyn Monroe in the Seven Year Itch outfit. That ensemble was less successful, but it was fascinating. It wasn’t the worst premier experience we’ve had. I won’t say what that was other than it was over ten years ago and involved an art film. It wasn’t the strangest either. That title remains with Turbo! A Power Ranger’s Movie. Mainly because I also did the interview for Trekkies that day dressed in full dominatrix wear. It was quite a strange day (it remains one of my strangest in Los Angeles). But however much we enjoy premiers in Los Angeles, they have almost insurmountable competition in our minds. We’ve been to four premiers at the Cannes Film Festival, including two in competition and the world premier of Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith. Once you’ve been down a red carpet past bleachers full of paparazzi with a Storm Trooper escort while a full orchestra is playing, you get blas├ę about almost everything else. I’m not being smug. I think we’ve suffered because of that experience. I know I do each and every May that I’m not in France. Jon’s beginning to worry about that. I’ve been yelling at the TV during any food or travel show where the host is in France. Things like ‘she has a baguette, the bitch!' He’s probably right to be worries. I am getting obsessive about going back.

Note to the Studios: STOP Making This Film!

A few years back, Jon and I were in a movie theater. One of the trailers shown was for The Island. As we watched as the gorgeous and compelling Ewan MacGregor and Scarlett Johansson flee from perils like the hot and yummy Sean Bean, we realized that we’d seen this film before. ‘It's Parts: the Clonus Horror,’ Jon exclaimed. ‘Why are they remaking a Mystery Science Theater movie?’ Of course, the 1979 film wasn’t made for MST3K. It just fit there extremely well. I preferred that version to the regular version which I also had the misfortune of seeing while in college. As it turns out, not even the director of Parts knew that they were re-making his film. When he finally noticed, he sued. As noted in the Wikipedia article about the lawsuit (which was settled), there were a number of similarities between The Island and Parts: The Clonus Horror. The one that wasn’t mentioned in a bullet point was that they both sucked. Even Michael Bay’s usual slick and fast paced presentation could not keep the film from tanking. Such spectacular failures bring me to the conclusion that, perhaps, films about clones being raised for their body parts may not be a good subject for a film. Imagine my surprise to find that there is another film in the works involving clones being raised to donate their organs. This time, as before, it is a dystopian society (British in this case) where this process has somehow become a good idea. But in Never Let Me Go, there aren’t great escapes, harrowing pursuits and exposure to a shocked world of a heinous practice. This is about how one clone (purportedly to be played by Keira Knightley) learns to accept her role in the food chain and eventually succumb to death. Okay, now I get to see characters go through this reprehensible process with no hope of them ever finding an escape. The author is a fine writer and this book has been lauded all over the place. His works have made some fine films, but this still sounds like a bad trip. Please, put the clones for body parts plots in the circular file. Better yet, shred and burn them and bury the ashes.

Changing Points of View

No, not me. Some maintain that I never change my point of view (I’d argue about that.) It’s a problem in the pilot for Blood Oath. The books are exclusively from Rik’s point of view, but for the pilot, I had to have scenes with Vincent and others where Rik isn’t present. I had to re-start the pilot when I realized that I was still following the book’s POV. It’s been an interesting change. I know Vincent very well, but I’ve never expressed written dialogue that wasn’t through Rik’s filter. It’s been interesting. I’m wondering if it will change how I write the next book. Somehow, I don’t think so. But who knows? We came up with a fun way of showing the past fights between Rik and Vincent when they were a part of the Squad. Each incident is relayed by someone who was there. Each story is off from the actual events. None of them accurately captures the way Vincent really speaks. The variations run from Ned Flanders squeaky clean to Sam Spade’s euphemisms to swearing like a drill sergeant. Writing those have been a hoot. I think the actors will enjoy doing the scenes as well. I’m more than half way through. I hope to finish the pilot this week.

We have had some progress on the film funding front, but it’s nothing I can write about in a public forum. Hopefully, by next week, I’ll have news that I can report.

Sunday, March 01, 2009

Jug Bands, Killer Puppets, and Aural Pleasures

Warning: If you find yourself here via a google search for such things as TV shows or films, recipes or cities, this blog has some facts. However, this blog is one author’s very twisted musing on many weird things. It is sometimes graphic in content. If you read on, don’t write to yell at me.

Kudos
I must give a congratulatory shout out to good buddy, Tracey Wilson for her new play, The Good Negro and for the wonderful write-up in the New York Times. Well done!

Surprise in a jug

I was surprised last week at the archive. That’s an extremely hard thing to do these days, especially while I’m in Los Angeles. I mean, the day we moved into our first place in Venice, a guy on a unicycle wearing a pink Spandex unitard and a little cape rode by yelling ‘I’m Pink Man.’ Turns out he wasn’t the actual Pink Man who operates out of San Francisco. This specimen was a local Venice denizen trying to horn in on the franchise. But you get the point. It’s not that I thought that the librarians where I work wouldn’t or couldn’t sing. They struck me as either the Peter, Paul and Mary type singers or closeted Headbangers. I really wasn’t expecting a jug band. They didn’t have washboards, but they did have mandolins and a slide whistle. There was much in the way of knee slapping. I was very surprised as the Librarian at the center of it all (he’s a cross between Grizzly Adams and Santa Claus) hardly every speaks. See him belting out a jaunty tune was quite a surprise. As were the jugs.

There isn’t much noise at work. Loud conversations are rare. But work at the Archive has been, for the most part, very interesting and satisfying. Right now, I’m digitzing a special collection of very old (we’re talking pre-Mayflower voyage old) books on trade from the big players of those days (England, France, Spain, Italy and the Netherlands). I believe I can read the term Table of Contents in 8 languages. What good is that? Who knows? The fate of the world may turn on my finding a table of contents in Sanskrit. I haven’t scanned the oldest documents at the Archive. We have a center working on the Dead Sea Scrolls. I know the London Center scanned the Book of the Dead. I don’t think anything other-worldly happened to them afterward. During last week’s conference call, no one from that center was chanting about Imhotep. Jon thinks it’s because no one READ the Book of the Dead when it was scanned. That must be it. Horror movies are never wrong about these things. Where was I? Oh yes, old tomes. I think the funniest thing I discovered were civil codes from the 1600s carefully laying out when it was permissible for passengers on a ship to sue the shipping line if they fall victim to pirates. Since I have found evidence that these laws were still in international law books as late as the 1920s, I doubt they were ever repealed. Thus, survivors of the Somali pirate attacks could hire one of attorneys who appear on daytime TV ads, to go after the careless ship owners who were in dangerous waters and not in a convoy. This is the stuff that goes through my head while at work.

Boys Day Out
Jon, my DP and my lead from Blood Oath were out making another short without me. I was flat on my back for the weekend with my uncooperative back. This was the first project Jon has worked without me, but they did well. They were working on an episode for a Webisode called 15%. The series is a twisted comedy about the strange life of a talent manager. This episode, Betty, features a diva puppet from a hit TV show and the drama she drags the manager and his wife through when her operator decides to quit. Yep, Betty, the puppet is wielding a knife. When we were asked to work on the script, Ralph told us he wanted Adult Swim kind of humor. Mission accomplished. The series should start running on Myspace and other venues in a few weeks.

Aural Pleasures

We picked up the sound mix for Blood Oath. It’s just the dialogue tracks, no music added yet. I listened to them to make sure that they were clean. Our shoot location was basically a cavernous corrugated metal box. We had howling winds, rattling the walls, huge trucks thundering past at any given moment and the occasional train roaring across the back of the building. We were assured that current software could isolate the soft voices of my leading men, but I had to be sure. I was very happy to find that not only were the voices clear, but the performances were everything I was hoping for. Rik’s voice was always soft and sexy, but the emotional range ran from authoritative to uncertain to playful. I could tell when he was in physical pain as easily as I could hear him teasing. Just lovely. Vincent’s voice was a different kind of soft, but with a great deal of emotional range as well. His was concerned, uncertain, angry, relieved and playful in turns. I like to listen to an actor’s performance even during auditions. I’ll close my eyes or look at my notes so that their facial expressions aren’t distracting me. I’ll do the same thing during rehearsals. If I can hear the character in the voices without looking at them, I know they have them completely. I really could hear their personalities in those tracks. It was very exciting.

Post continues on Blood Oath. Meanwhile, we have a major meeting on a studio lot, no less, about a number of our projects (we have a whole lot of irons in that fire). I love going to that lot. It means I have to bake some cookies. I have an old friend toiling there on a new series. I would be remiss if I didn’t stop by with a bag of treats. Stay tuned.

The Sublime and the Ridiculous
Warnings: Spoiler’s from CSI: Miami

This season of Anthony Bourdain’s No Reservations has been an interesting mixed bag of journeys and one scandalous clip show. The title of the clip show was Food P-rn (the word rhymes with corn) and it featured snippets that they didn’t have room for or were truncated in the original episodes. The framing sequence is Bourdain in a dimly lit theater saying the naughtiest things about his favorite foods. I really enjoyed this twisted episode not because of how appropriate Bourdain looked in such a place or how funny he was in the linking sequences. I have long associated sensuality with an appreciation for food. Some of the sexiest people I know are a pleasure watching when they enjoy a meal. I’m not talking about my actor buds. They are very sexy to be sure, but most of them eat like Hoover vacuums. I think because they’re always hungry. The most surprising thing about the episode was that the foods he found most sensual and appealing were very simple meals with the most basic of ingredients. Of course, there was a lot of time devoted to all manner of pork products. But Bourdain was orgasmic over a bowl of noodles made with home made stock and vegetables fresh from the farmer’s market. Even the most extravagant dish was basically a poached egg in a fondue-like sauce of French cheese. It was the black truffles that made it extravagant. My favorite line from the show involved cheese: Soft, runny, punget. May lead to groin throbbing, heaving d├ęcolletage. Lipitor. This season, Bourdain has revealed an obsession for meats in tubes (hot dogs, sausages and other things I’ve never heard of) and admitted to liking KFC mac n’ cheese. Jon won’t even eat that, and he loves all things mac n’ cheese. The most interesting restaurant he’s visited this year was Le Veau D’Or in New York City. It is a French restaurant frozen in time at 1937. They still give table side carving service and the menu was sold when Bourdain first went there over 20 years ago, yet he adore everything. I, who have been trying to master the basic roast chicken in his cookbook, would like to go there to sample one he considered perfection. His show is still the best travel show (and food show) on TV. Catch it!

I have surprised many by my lack of ranting at the antics on CSI: Miami. It’s not they’ve improved in any way whatsoever. It’s just that there has been so many other things to blog about. And maybe I was tired of yelling. This season, the skewering of the laws of the land continues. For some reason Eric Delko is in danger of being deported. His birth certificated was forged. Thus, he wasn’t born here. However, he is still Cuban. There have been three episodes about how Cubans that make it to land without being caught are allowed to stay in the country. Even if the law is wrong, I would think they’d follow their own continuity. The Russian mobsters are back, and, of course, they’ve got the lab team in their sights. Whey should they be concerned with the FBI, or ICE or the DEA? There is a crime lab lead by a Lieutenant on a municipal police force after them. They have to retaliate. And then there is Puff Daddy, the lawyer. He’s doing a two episode guest stint as a defense attorney. The team doesn’t know whether or not he’s crooked or an aggressive advocate for his clients. I don’t know why he’s there. I think we’re on a road with that show that can only end in spandex and capes. If the show picks up more irony about its own silliness, I’m willing to go there with them.