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So Things Really Do Work Out In The End: "Lucky" (Season 4 Finale, Part Two)

That was an absolutely awesome episode! Now that's how it's supposed to be done! Thank you Kathleen McGhee-Anderson for writing such a fantastic epi. Where do I begin? Let's start with my favorite lovebirds: Chassie : ) I Love You But I'm Leaving Charles couldn't bear the thought of having to see Cassie everyday in school without them being together, so strapped for cash, and feeling limited in terms of options for his future, Charles decided to enlist in the Army. He told Cassie of his plans, and though she attempted to talk him out of it, he basically let her know that he had already made up his mind; that being an army brat anyway, he was accustomed to living on bases; and finishing school there meant nothing to him if they weren't together. Cassie told her parents about Charles's plans. Eddie bucked, at first, at the idea of "saving Charles" yet again, but with Jenn's subtle influence, realized that talking to him was the right thing to do. (I love how Jenn gently nudges Eddie in the right direction.) Eddie caught Charles before he walked into the Army recruiter's office, and let him know that he had other options, such as working his way through school, as Eddie did, and that although he and Cassie weren't together, Charles had people who cared about him-- Eddie cared about him. Charles, however, was determined to follow through with his course of action, and went into the recruiter's office and enlisted. : ( Blood Money & Atonement Eddie searches all night for Syd, with no success, but once Lizzie tips him off about the diary she gave her, belonging to her Aunt Minnie, Eddie knew where she had gone. As expected, he found her with her Aunt Hazel at the convalescent home, reading her passages from the diary in an attempt to jog her memory. Just as Syd was getting frustrated, Hazel starts to remember an incident in which a man paid her father "blood money" for the murder of her twelve year old sister Minnie (killed when someone burned a cross in front of their house). The father put the money in a wall in the attic and never used it, but it tore their family apart. After hearing the story, Eddie was satisfied that the money belonged to Syd and the Glasses, however, Syd also wanted justice for her aunt whose murder was never solved. She and Eddie went back to confront Mr. Crawford, to get him to confess to the murder. It turns out he didn't commit the act but knew who had. Eddie and Syd convinced him to reveal the culprit, and do the right thing by accompanying them to bring the person to justice. He did so, and the person turned out to be the Commisioner. When Eddie confronted him, in his office, the commissioner told him he had been a stupid kid and didn't intend for the girl to die. Eddie told him he needed to do the right thing and pay his debt by taking responsibility for what he had done. The commissioner laughed and told Eddie that wasn't happening, because after all, who was going to believe Eddie over him? What he didn't realize, however, was that Eddie was wearing a wire, and when he opened the office door, cops were standing outside of it stunned at what they had just heard. In a scene reminiscent of "Cold Case," Eddie read the commissioner his rights as he was escorted away in front of the entire precinct. So, an old wrong is righted, and as a murderer is brought to justice, atonement is made for the blood money, and the Suttons' luck changes. I like how the "Glass House" s/l that began last season was brought to an interesting and satisfying conclusion. It also seems they may want to incorporate Syd into the cast, as the Sutton's seem to have developed a soft spot for her after witnessing her character and change in temperament (her sharing the money with them notwithstanding), and I still have a theory about their plans for her and Nate. She did tell Eddie that the Suttons and the Glass's are connected...I think the writers were letting us know that Syd Glass will continue to be a part of the Suttons' lives, and maybe we should expect another chair at the table next season. Antonio & Julie: A Modern Romance Lizzie & Andy's modern-day rendition of Romeo & Juliet was halted due to some kids attacking Andy on account of his relationship with Lizzie. The principal (who I enjoyed in his role on "Samantha Who") would only allow the production to continue if the song featuring them kissing was removed. Lizzie decided to step down from the play due to censorship, Andy followed suit, and the rest of the cast did as well. The principal and drama teacher attempted to force everyone to participate in the play by putting them all in detention and threatening to extend it for a month if they didn't comply. The kids didn't budge on their principals, but through their own impromptu high school musical scene, convinced the principal and the teacher that Lizzie & Andy's number should remain in the play because it celebrated love & unity, and despite the ignorance of naysayers, a show presenting a message like this must go on. I liked how Lizzie & Andy's play was used to make the case regarding the significance of dramatic media in bringing light to social issues, and that the backlash that often follows should not be allowed to quiet the voice of truth and freedom. Lizzie & Andy grew on me a little more in this epi...probably because they got more screentime, and perhaps the actors are getting more comfortable with one another. Andy's smile was so cute when Lizzie told the drama director he was her boyfriend in real life. We Are Family I thought it was sweet when Jenn sat with Nate Ray in the beginning of the epi. She was concerned for him because the Army was denying Nate coverage for treatment for post-traumatic stress disorder, although he had been on two tours of duty in Afghanistan. It was refreshing to see her mothering instinct kick in for him after all the conflict they've had in the past (due to Jenn's struggle to accept Eddie's having another son by someone else). Tay composed a tribute to Nate Ray for his sacrifice in fighting for our safety in the war. Jenn set up a venue for Tay to perform the song in front of an audience, honoring Nate and other soldiers for their sacrifice. Nate was deeply touched, and emailed the link of the performance to his fellow veterans, who in turn, emailed their families and friends, which ultimately resulted in the local news station receiving the link and airing the performance during the evening broadcast. When Nate saw the story on TV, he excitedly called Jenn in to see, and she called Tay to let him know. Tay, who was walking home with Lizzie, was happy about his star turn, but that excitement was cut short when Lizzie informed her mother of Charles & Cassie's plan to elope. :O A Lovely Union Cassie's proposing to Charles was so sweet...although I had seen Cassie in all-white before the epi aired, I was still taken by surprise when she proposed to Charles. I assumed Charles would be the one doing the proposing, so that was a nice twist. Cassie realized that achieving your goals, in the end, can be empty and meaningless without the one you love to share the success with. She understood that it wasn't space she and Charles needed, but togetherness, because he is the love of her life. Charles & Cassie looked beautiful in their wedding attire. Cassie's ensemble was simple, yet elegant and Charles was so handsome. Seeing them together like that brought a big smile to my face (I think it remained there until the end of the epi. : ) I was upset with those cops at the courthouse for slowing down the fam as they raced the clock to make the impromptu wedding. I was glad that Cassie & Charles decided to wait for their family's support and involvement, because that is, after all, the backbone of this show. I Love Happy Endings : ) Chassie's impulsiveness forced Charles' parents to make amends, which resulted in his father coming to the "unwedding party" and making amends with his son, giving Charles three of the best gifts ever: fatherly love & the freedom to pursue his education, debt-free, while living his life here with Cassie and those he loves. Thankfully, he didn't have to run away, but can stand with his feet firmly planted in this soil, and continue to grow into the man he is supposed to be. It was so sweet to see Chassie, their parents, Tay and Nate in their group hug/love huddle...don't ya just love LOVE? : ) So, I suppose, all's well that end's well: Syd & the Suttons split the cash; Nate Ray begins to heal with the help of his family; Tay moves along the road to stardom, Lizzie & Andy, the wonder-duo, get a little closer; Charles gets the father he always wanted; Charles & Cassie are engaged & in love and all is right in the world :D Final Thoughts Lizzie & Andy's s/l in this epi, parallelled Chassie's relationship as well. Woudn't it be interesting if Lizzie's response to her drama teacher: "no it isn't, he's my boyfriend in real life" was really a statement about EH & RA? Hmm...okay, maybe I'm reading too much into it, but if it were true, I'd have to say it was ingenious how their truth was brought into plain view, being worked into the storyline in that way. I think their being together would be absolutely fantabulous : ) While I was glad there was an immediate follow-up to Episode 9, I couldn't help feeling disappointed that the season was ending so soon...I thought I had another week to adjust. : ( Wouldn't it be great if they could bring it back in the spring? Anyways, here's to hopin'...until then, we have Hulu, eh? Until next year fellow LH fans...

Everything Comes Full Circle: "The Gathering Storm" (Season 4 Finale, Part 1)

A son returns, the past gets paroled, Jenn discovers the source of her illness, and Lizzie clears her name in the first part of this season's two-part finale. This episode had a good flow/rhythm to it and was somewhat reminiscent of shows from earlier seasons, in terms of the feel and quality of the writing. The Past Not Forgotten So Cassie's innocent New York escapade was revealed, albeit, not so innocently. Her posing for Julian turned out to be a mistake, as she thought he was taking shots of her having fun, when in reality, he videotaped their photography session, edited the video to make it seem sensual, and then posted it on the internet. Of course, Charles sees the video on the net and goes ballistic, upset with Cassie for lying about where she was and whom she was with the night this took place. He was already worried and upset about Cassie's leaning towards applying to art school in NY rather than sticking to the plans they had originally agreed on-- of them attending schools in the area so they could be together. Once he found out about Julian, he kicked Cassie out of his apartment. Later, Sage informs Cassie that on the night in question, Charles stayed at her apartment. Although he slept on the couch, he still hadn't let Cassie know that's where he was, and so he was guilty of omission just as she was. Cassie confronted him at his apartment and informed him that she was applying to Pratt regardless of whether he was coming with her or not. A level-headed Charles met Cassie in school the next day, apologizing for how he overreacted, but also for holding her back from her dreams. He told Cassie that he felt some time apart may do them good, and although he was not talking break-up, the thought of being apart from one another overwhelmed them, and with tears in their eyes, they hugged before walking away. The Past Returns Syd Glass, who held Cassie and Charles captive in the Sutton's home in season 3, called Eddie to inform him that she was up for parole. She let him know that she never intended to hurt his family, had dealt with her anger issues, and asked if he would speak to the parole board on her behalf. Eddie learned that while serving her sentence, she got her GED and was teaching art classes to other inmates. He showed up to the hearing, and after listening to her statement, was convinced that she was sincere in her apology and was a changed individual. Although the parole hearing officer told him that she would not be allowed to come near him and his family, Eddie informed them that he would be seeing alot of her, since he found some money that she may be able to help him determine the owner of. Lizzie showed Syd a diary, she'd found in the attic, that belonged to Syd's aunt. The aunt had Alzheimer's and wasn't able to remember anything to assist in the investigation, but when looking through a scrapbook, Syd located a picture of a man that was not in the family. Once Eddie got information on who the man was-- a Mr. Crawford-- and where he lived, he and Syd paid him a visit. Mr. Crawford was not forthcoming with his connection to the family or the money, only indicating that they were "looking a gift-horse in the mouth." At the end of the epi, Syd got frustrated with their lack of progress and left the Suttons a note to let them know she had gone. Favorite Son Nate Ray came back shell-shocked from the war. He worked in logistics and was in charge of letting his troop know where the enemy was located based on intel intercepted from their radio communications. Unfortunately, we discover that the strike that resulted in him being injured and sent home- as well as the injuries of five other soldiers and the death of two others- was not thwarted because he gave the wrong directive. The radio he used gave out suddenly. All the men around him were saying they should abort the mission, but he felt they should follow the orders given and clear out the area. Unfortunately, he didn't realize the enemy had moved from their original location and they were blindsided. Nathan brought the radio back with him to fix, but also, because he couldn't let go of the guilt for what he felt he had caused. It was touching to see Tay's support and loyalty for his brother, which was a stark contrast to the contempt and disregard he had for Nate earlier this season. In an impromptu intervention (arising from Nate's having a flashback in the middle of the night), Eddie and Tay helped Nate release some of his guilt for what happened in Afghanistan. At the end of the epi, Eddie accompanies Nate to the VA hospital, where he begins treatment and counseling. Lizzie & Andy: The Dynamic Duo When Lizzie first started high-school earlier this season, she was tricked by the school's mean girls into sending an embarrassing text to her then-enemy-now-high-school bestie, Sylvia. Although she and Sylvia have long since cleared the air, the mean girls dug up the skeletons, and in a sadistic attempt to get Lizzie out of the school play, threatened Sylvia with revealing photos they said they'd share with the entire school of her with her ex-boyfriend. Her mother saw their threatening text, as well as Lizzie's old one that they sent to frame her, and reported her to the principal. Through a little P.I. work (and with Andy in tow) Lizzie discovered that the mean girls didn't actually have any photos of Sylvia; located where Sylvia's mother had moved her; and along with Sylvia, convinced her mom that she was innocent. Sylvia accompanied Lizzie to school and informed the principal of what had transpired, and Lizzie & Andy were able to depict their burgeoning love onstage. A Time To Heal During her extended bed rest, Jenn was able to do a little investigative work of her own, via her laptop and phone, leading her to the discovery that several other people were being treated for the same illness that she and the dearly-departed Rhonda had, and it seemed they had all been to the clinic. Although she knew people wouldn't be able to receive treatment at the clinic until the source of the problem was discovered, Jenn knew she had to inform the CDC of her findings so the facility could be checked out. Further online research indicated that the illness originated from rat droppings. Jenn was able to determine that all the other people with the illness had been at the clinic, except Rhonda. In looking through items belonging to Rhonda, Jenn discovered a photo of her with Brianna, the little girl Eddie rescued from the drug house earlier this season. Jenn discovered that Rhonda also stayed there at one point, and an investigation revealed the drug house as the source of the illness. When the house was bulldozed, the droppings got in the soil and Jenn, along with some of the other people who helped plant the community garden there, were infected. Thankfully, the outcome of this ordeal was positive for Jenn and the others, as they were able to receive the treatment they needed, and the clinic was reopened. Other Thoughts I liked how they tied Brianna and the Community Garden, from the first epi, into the finale. It contributed to the continuity of the overall s/l this season, and showed that in life, seemingly unrelated events and experiences may actually be interconnected, and recognizing these relationships may be key in bringing about positive outcomes. I wonder if Syd and Nate Ray are next season's new couple on Lincoln Heights? It just seemed kind of interesting that their s/l's coincided so that they were back at the Suttons at the same time, and they look to be around the same age...hmm... There's something missing from Lizzie's "high-school experience" s/l...it just seems to be underdeveloped. I think it was best when Lizzie and Tay's school storylines overlapped, because they seemed to be more interesting that way. Regarding her relationship with Andy, I think they may need more screen time to familiarize the audience with Andy as a character and with them being together, because at this point it just seems rushed, and I'm still not really sensing the chemistry between them yet. All in all, this epi was a significant improvement from those aired in recent weeks, and I enjoyed watching it. I was glad that I didn't have to wait long to watch the next episode, or part two of the season finale: "Lucky"...

Lincoln Heights Review: "Relative Unknown" (Season 4, Episode 7)

What I liked about this epi Grandpa Sutton: I was wondering what happened to him and why we hadn't seen him on the show. He was cool and funny, as usual, and I was glad he told Eddie the truth about how he was treating Tay. Tay's singing Trey Songz singing Charles telling Cassie "I'll probably just go wherever you go" and "If I'm with you, all my wishes have been granted": Aww...that was so sweet-cute : ) Grandpa Sutton & The Rev Cookin' In the Kitchen: Uh-oh Pops! Ya got a lil' game don't ya? I thought it was funny that Travis actually went to Grandpa Sutton's old stomping ground on 18th & True St. to play cards with Pinky & Z. The playing cards part was blah, but I chuckled when he knocked on the door and asked for them. What I didn't like about this epi The writing: was not as interesting as usual Charles's dad: He's just an a**hole...anything else I say will basically sum up to that... The fact that Charles didn't charge his deadbeat father more money: What did he do to deserve a discount? He kept rubbing in the fact that he didn't consider Charles a son by calling Travis "my son," and when Charles tried to take up for Travis, basically telling him to butt out of it because it was "a family affair." And then he had the nerve to try to give Charles advice by saying he didn't value himself enough and should have charged more. Hmm, well I wonder why he has low self-esteem Daddy Deadbeat...maybe it's because you don't want him and acted like he didn't exist most of his life you a**hole (I guess I had to let it out anyway, lol). He was right though, Charles should have charged his a** $1000 and walked away. The fact that Charles actually smiled and shook that deadbeat's hand at the end: He didn't deserve it...'nuff said. Eddie & Cassie's Control Issues: Eddie : I think this is the first time Eddie has gotten on my nerves. I mean, I can understand wanting to have father & son time, but to guilt your son into doing it is just a bit much. He's young, gifted & black...recognize. Also, I know Grandpa Sutton has done some dirt in the past, but to call him out in front of everyone, without knowing what had transpired, was disrespectful and uncalled for. Grandpa should have taken the belt out on him... Cassie : I understand being focused on your future and being concerned about your significant other not having goals, but come on...as much as Charles & Cassie have been through, why give him an ultimatum like that ? And she knows Charles is just experiencing the whole brotherly thing, so I think she should have understood that he wanted to look out for his lil' bro. If he hadn't been there, Travis would have ended up being a statistic. Trey Songz acting: I guess he's a singer, and not an actor, so ok then... Landy: I'm sorry...just not feelin 'em...yet. Maybe they'll grow on me, but the whole thing just seems forced. Final Thoughts So all in all, this was a great big filler epi, with regards to dialogue, but I suppose there was movement in various storylines, seen in the following: Charles and Cassie applying to colleges; Eddie supporting Tay's music aspirations; Grandpa Sutton & the Rev getting together; Lizzie & Andy (sigh...see the above paragraph); and the most significant of all: Jenn's being rushed to the hospital :O Jenn's situation seems serious and will probably be a driving element in the remainder of this season's epis. I wonder what's wrong with her, and I hope the final three epis will be good...that is all.

Just Live Your Life (LH Season 4, Episode 6: "With You I Will Leave")

Wow, there was alot going on in this epi: Johnny comes back to hang with Lizzie; Cassie goes out hangin with Sage at the club; Tay hangs w/troubled teen/youth, Jarone; and Nate Ray's life hangs in the balance. There was definitely a healthy helping of drama in this epi, so let's dig in... First Of All... Why was Cassie taking any advice from Sage? True, she had a point about Charles being the one who lied in this situation, and she was only helping him out as a friend (although that line she gave Cassie about "maybe trying it sometime" was off-base, because Cassie has been the best friend Charles could ever have, so suck it Sage ; |), but let's not forget: Cassie has good reason to be wary of Sage, because she was workin' hard , a few seasons ago, to encourage the rift between Cassie & Charles. She tried her best to lie and manipulate both of them so she could have her way w/Charles, and would have been successful if she and Charles hadn't gotten in that car accident that left her comatose long enough for Charles to come to his senses. Be that as it may, I suppose all that was a while ago, and they can let bygones be bygones and be civil, but hanging out with Sage on (no matter what Sage called it) a double-date? I guess her English teacher's discussion on the wasted life of Miss Havisham, from Dickens' "Great Expectations," got Cassie thinking she needed to get out more and not sit around moping about the man who did her wrong. But still... Sage? What the heck? Now, I could see hanging out with her if it had been with some other girls, or just a group of folk from school, but I just didn't see the point of Cassie going out to a club with Sage & two guys she didn't know...for what? Ok, maybe it was so Cassie could see that she really does want to be with Charles, despite his imperfections. I guess that creep, Serge, showed Cassie the grass ain't greener on the other side, and Cassie showed him she ain't a punk...don't put Cassie in a corner, or you might end up curled up on the floor in a world of hurt. More Drama with Jen & Dana: "Frenemies Forever" The two frenemies were back at it again...of course, Jen instigated it all by making Dana's younger son, whom Eddie is mentoring, feel unwelcome at their home and discouraging Tay from being around him. From the time Jen found out about Dana being Eddie's high school sweetheart, she has had a chip on her shoulder. Although Eddie is fiercely devoted to her and the kids and he only sees Dana as a family friend- since her family helped raise him after his mother's death- she has still had an axe to grind with Dana and has consistently acted condescendingly towards her. To be fair, though, Jen did have a good point about Jarone because he has tended to stay in trouble/be in places he has no business, but he hasn't had a positive male role model in his life, or a stable home environment; hence, the need for Eddie & the Suttons' involvement. He's not a bad kid, just a misguided one. Even Jarone was aware he needs to be in a better place, because he wanted to go to the private school in the burbs, that he & moms can't afford. Jenn showed everyone how she really felt about Dana and her offspring, in this epi, in a way that even Tay had to call her out on. So They Think They Can Dance I forgot to mention that Lizzie and Andrew danced their butts off at the community center teen dance. Maybe that could be their schtick on the show...apart from volunteering together at the community center, they could become a dance team and compete in competitions...ok, maybe not. Anyways, after the dance, Andrew leaned down to kiss Lizzie, but she was still having visions of Johnny, so she pulled away and left the dance early. I'd like to know what song was playing as they slow-danced and when she ran out...it was nice, but I haven't been able to find it yet. (Oh, another thing: before the dance, Andrew showed Lizzie a pic of Marco, Gabriel and his mom in Mexico...Yay, they made it). Sweet Dreams, Johhny Ever since Johnny was taken so abruptly last season, I have wanted him to come back to Lincoln Heights. I guess Lizzie did too, because her subconscious summoned her boo from the Great Beyond. It started with a dream in which she had another opportunity to receive the flowerpot from Johnny, and this time, she didn't drop it. Her mother was right about the dream being an opportunity for her to relive that moment with a happier ending, but is it just me or was Jenn acting a little insensitive towards Lizzie about the situation? At breakfast, Lizzie asked everyone if they remembered when Johnnie gave her the flowerpot, and Jenn replied: "How could I forget...when you dropped it right in front of him...poor guy." Wow...way to go mom. Then after Lizzie told them the dream, Jenn called the interpretation "Dream Analysis 101" and gave her the obvious interpretation, which was true, but the matter-of-fact way in which she said it just seemed as though Jenn was rubbing it in. Jenn was definitely off in the first part of this epi- having to stick her foot in her mouth quite a bit. Lizzie & Johnny had some fun in this epi, doing some of the things they never really had a chance to do when he was alive: they rode on a merry-go round, they kissed (I don't recall them ever kissing before he died...), and danced to their song at a high-school dance. I thought it was cute when they were on the merry-go-round calculating Lizzie's high school experience so far. Lizzie told Johnny about her first week, in which she made four friends, which became three friends and one enemy, which equated into one friend and three frenemies, which as Johnny pointed out, equaled the square root of high school sucks. Ah Johnny, I've missed you and your nerdy sense of humor...of course, Lizzie's realized subconsciously, that this experience was equivalent of her going in circles, because Johnny was gone. She was having the time of her life, and Johnny, the time of his after-life (there goes that Johnny humor again : ), but Lizzie knew it was time to move on. It was so cool to see him again, and I didn't want to see him go, but life must go on...thankfully, Johnny was cool about it, having a better perspective on all things life-related, so all is well. It was really good seein' you again Johnny... :** ( Bring On The Waterworks Why Don't You? Nate Ray wrote the family from war, addressing each family member in their own personal little section of the letter. He wrote Lizzie about treasuring every moment of life, because it's precious and the future is unknown. As if seeing dearly-departed Johnny wasn't enough, we got another tear-jerking experience in finding out Nate's unit had been hit and several people were killed, and then experiencing the tense "waiting all-night for news of Nate" scenes w/the Suttons. I commend the writers and actors, because I really felt like I was on pins and needles waiting with them. It was beautiful to see how the family rallied together, and to see Jenn finally empathize with Dana and make peace. I loved that Cassie called Charles when the fam was in-waiting...Charles has always been there for Cassie when she needed him, so I'm glad she resorted to calling her "tried & true"- they really are best friends. In the end, I was so relieved that Nate is still alive, but I wonder how badly injured he is. Money Answers Many Things So the Suttons are in the money now. Being the good, upstanding folks that they are, though, Jenn & Eddie have decided to put the money in the bank and try to determine who left the money in the house. I wonder why it hasn't dawned on Eddie or Cassie that the money probably belongs to the Glass's who lived they before them - specifically, the girl who held Charles & Cassie hostage, in the house, when she was trying find the "treasure" her grandmother left her (see the epi "Glass House"). I guess that realization is coming up soon...Jenn & Eddie agreed to use a portion of the money, however, to send Jarone to the private school outside of the city, so he can be in a better environment and have a chance to develop into a man of character, just like his big bro Nate. Moving On So Lizzie bids Johnny a final goodbye, which gives her freedom to embrace this new phase of her life, and kissing Andrew, her new bf, was symbolic of that. Let Landy commence... Jenn and Dana are on good terms, so Jenn gave her a job-upgrade at the clinic: from janitor to administrative assistant. Miracles do happen... Cassie has forgiven Charles, accepting him flaws and all, so love still reigns supreme in Chassie-land... : ) So it's another "all's well that ends well" epi on Lincoln Heights...well, all except for the fact that we don't know the extent of Nate's injuries, and if he's going to make it...I guess we'll have to keep hope alive. Until next week LH fans...

Life, Love & The Pursuit of Family (LH Season 4, Episode 5: "Trash")

Silence Is Golden Yup, the silent treatment worked like a charm with Miss Cassie. She was fixing her parents meals and practically begging them to talk to her. They definitely played their cards right: if they had railed on her about disobeying, she would have pulled the "I'm grown now" card...space and silence gave her the opportunity to reflect on what she had done and to realize that if you want respect, you've got to give it. Sherlock Sutton & Sidekick Malik Over at the Revolution Coffee Shop, Tay & Malik discussed the "egregious" treatment Tay had been experiencing at home over that huge pool table he ordered. They spotted a "money op" in the form of a $500 reward (later increased to $600) for anyone who provided key information to catch the bandit. Figuring this would be the way to keep that pool table in the house, the two mapped out a plan to pinpoint who the masked man was. They questioned Lizzie, since she was the only person who had really gotten a good look at him when he intervened in the "heroin bear attack" and got that drug-dealer away from her. Lizzie showed the young detectives the martial arts move the bandit used to flip the guy over, and Malik figured the culprit would show up at the Aikido class at the Center. Unfortunately, everyone in the class performed that move, but they were able to identify a key piece of information that actually would help them pinpoint their man. Back at home, as they watched a surveillance tape- Jenn had brought back from the clinic- showing the bandit dropping off goods, they smiled happily as they quickly identified the bandanna-clad burglar. Lizzie & The Bandit After her experience with drug-dealer, Pablo, and Ocito the Heroin Bear, Lizzie was shaken up and ready to give up on her work at the Center. She figured she hadn't gotten through to Gabriel, since they spoke different languages, and was disheartened because she felt she hadn't been able to help him adapt. Marco let her know that there are many ways to communicate with people, and that she had gotten through because he gave her his bear, and that really meant something- a bear stuffed with $50 grand of pure heroin, notwithstanding. Lizzie had a change of heart and went to Marco's to let him know. There, she discovered her lil' buddy Gabriel and his mother, Anna, being housed by Marco so the drug-dealers wouldn't find them. Thankfully, they were able to get away, but not before Lizzie was chased by the drug-dealers again- barely escaping by slipping through a chained gate; Marco was given up by Tay & Malik because of the tattoo on his forearm; Andrew gave himself up as the bandit, wearing the same tattoo; Marco was released, and with Jake's help, was able to smuggle Gabriel and his mom out of his apartment in a big box. Gabriel showed Lizzie she did make an impression on him, telling her "Te amo Lizzie" (so cute) and giving her a big hug. Lizzie was a little saddened that Marco was leaving, but he explained that Gabriel and Anna were like his family, since his own was taken away from him at a young age. Before riding off into the sunset in Jake's pickup truck, he left something for Lizzie to remember him by. As the truck faded from view, Lizzie reached in the package and pulled out...a bandanna! So my suspicions were confirmed (looking at the promo for this epi, I figured it was him, since he was the only new character introduced on the show with that body type : ). Andrew informed Lizzie that his tattoo was a press-on, and Marco had sworn him to secrecy...and now, she was too. With Marco gone, I suppose it's up to Lizzie & Andrew to "hold it down" at the Center...so Lizzie & Andrew are now on their way to bonding and becoming the next cute teen couple. Brothers Charles's brother, Travis, was pretty cool. He hung out with Charles while he worked on the car; took him suit shopping; and put him at ease at the party their father was hosting, knowing Charles felt like a fish out of water. He was really laid back and easy-going...completely unpretentious, considering Daddy Dearest. I think it'd be cool if they brought him back as a recurring character on the show. Heartbreak On Ice Wow, Charles's dad really did turn out to be a jerk. He winced when Junior told Charles they'd buy him a suit to go to the party and then had the nerve to identify Charles as his nephew, to one of the party guests. He had built a picture-perfect life filled with prestige, politics, pretty house & family, and didn't want Charles soiling that image. After denying Charles, he told him they'd discuss it later, and giving him $50 and the keys to his luxury car, sent him to go pick up some ice for the party. Later, he basically let Charles know that he was too important to acknowledge him as his son; that he wrote that letter a long time ago; and that the relationship with his mom was a brief summer fling...as if that weren't enough, he proceeded to ask Charles if his mom was still hooking up with one-night stands. Thankfully, Charles cussed him out and told him he wished he'd never met him. Suttons To The Rescue Cassie sketched a drawing of Charles from the pic he & his brother sent her from his suit-fitting. She called to talk with her honey and found him distraught. Knowing Charles was in a vulnerable state, and unsure of what he would do, she pleaded with her dad to go help him. The road trip gave Cassie the opportunity to let her dad know how deeply she truly cared for Charles. When he saw them together, he realized it was true and remembered how it was to be young and in love. I loved when Eddie stood up for Charles with his dad, and when he had the fatherly talk with him. Charles shared what he was going through and Eddie sympathized with him, letting him know that he had to learn to be strong, stand tall, and deal with difficult situations. Charles bit the bullet and told Eddie about the money, which helped him to see Charles in a different light...he really saw that Charles was a good kid that just needed guidance. Cassie didn't respond as pleasantly to Charles's confession- she felt he lied to her and she couldn't trust him, but thankfully, Dad was there to remind her of that deep love she had for Charles, and that love expresses itself through acceptance and forgiveness- just as he had done after her indiscretion. So, all's well that ends well in this epi: Cassie & her dad are back on speaking terms; Charles & Eddie have a better relationship; Chassie made up; Marco rode off into the sunset; and socially-conscious teens, Lizzie & Andy, begin their road to couplehood. The End : ) Oh, wait a minute...I wonder what Cassie's going to say when she finds out Charles told Sage about the money? Maybe it won't even come up...yeah right. Stay tuned...see ya next week!

Suprise, Surprise...It's Grow Up Time (Lincoln Heights Season 4, Episode 4: "Time to Let Go")

Funny Money All that money made Tay lose touch with reality in this epi. He went from chillin in his "tricked out room," playing video games, and producing music on a split screen in his mind, to buying a pool table and an attic full of stuff with his friend's brother's credit card, as an advance on his newfound inheritance. Tay is always getting into something...he keeps things fun though. I will say that Mishon Ratliff can sing...I heard him sing on the show in past, but I didn't know he had an album out until I came across him on youtube last week. Charles's surprised act was funny. When an ecstatic Cassie told him about the bag of money someone left on their porch, he was like "Wow" and had this cute look of surprise and amusement, but that look changed when Cassie told him her dad dropped the loot off at the precinct. Poor Charles...he tries to do the right thing (many months too late, but still...), yet he can't he can't seem to avoid police scrutiny- first Mack's death and now this...and the sin that beats all is that he never told Cassie a thing about it, but he told Sage ...you know that's going to come back to bite him in the but-tocks. Lizzie's Project/Build-A-Bear Boyfriend Lizzie's got a new project: a little kid, Gabriel, who's had problems fitting in at the LH Outreach Club. He mostly speaks Spanish, so there's a bit of a communication barrier. Also, looks like she got a little more than she bargained for with that teddy bear she was going to repair for him...talk about build-a-bear: turns out this bear was built with some white "stuff" on the inside, and I'm not talking about the fluffy kind. Poor Lizzie...every time she tries to help out, she runs into trouble. Well, at least she wasn't kidnapped like she was in the first season...I thought that's where things were going when we saw her walking the mean streets in this epi...either that or those guys were going to knock her unconscious or something. Anyway, I'm guessing the reward for all her good-doing is a new boyfriend. That's where new cutie on the block, Andy, comes in. He's also working at the LH Outreach Club, and it turns out that he goes to Lizzie's new high school and he speaks fluent Spanish, so he can help Lizzie learn. Looks like this little connection is Chassie Jr. in the making...I wonder how popular they'll end up being. I don't know if they'll make it to Chassie's fan-love level...I mean, can a show strike couple's gold twice? We shall see...anyway, hopefully Lizzie will let Andy walk her home next time...living in that area, and attracting drama as she does, Lizzie needs all the protection she can get. Fast Cars & Steamy Nights Ok, it was one night, but boy oh boy did Chassie get it on (as much as the PG rating would allow). Let me start at the beginning: Charles found out his mom had been hiding a letter his dad sent him, when he was two, and decided to contact him. Turns out his dad is a hot shot attorney and is pretty well-off and wants to see him. Charles wants to go, but is apprehensive about going alone and wants Cassie to go with him. Of course, her parents aren't on board with their teenage daughter going on an overnight trip with her boyfriend, but Cassie decides to assert her independence, pre-graduation, and go anyway. So, off Chassie goes on their road trip to meet long-lost daddy. His father has the perfect little family, with a picture perfect wife, son, and home, and wouldn't you know it? He and Junior are working on restoring a vintage Jag. What does Charles think? Well, Charles is a car-guy and has restored a '65 Mustang...Dad, you don't need to know that he banged it up, in a jealous rage, when he thought Cassie was too preoccupied w/art and that hot coffee shop owner, Luc, but he does have the pictures for his design portfolio. Well Junior doesn't need a portfolio, daddy exclaims, this is just a hobby we're doing for fun and he's going to Harvard. Hmm...do I detect a bit of competition and condescension Pop? Methinks I see the perfect daddy picture beginning to crumble...there's got to be something wrong with those people, though, b/c they seem as if they're right out of that movie "Pleasantville." Maybe Charles's mom isn't completely off about his dad's "concern" for him...I mean, they did just hook up one summer when she was a camp counselor, and he only wrote one letter in 15 yrs. I don't want Charles to be hurt...after all he's been through with his mother and (thankfully deceased) perverted, racist, jail-bait step-dad, he needs a happy break. We'll see what happens... Ok, so back to the hotness... So, Chassie gets to their hotel room and they talk about how nice his family is- they even remind Charles of the Suttons...he never thought he'd have that, but as Cassie says, he deserves it. Meanwhile, Cassie's parents can't even enjoy their evening together, because they can't stop thinking about Cassie & Charles together in some hotel in San Diego. Ah well, good thing Chassie's not preoccupied with thoughts of their parents...instead, we see Charles come out of the bathroom, after a steamy hot shower, shirtless and with a smile on his face (this was how I looked : D )...Cassie, sitting on the bed in a tank and shorts, makes the first move by telling Charles that, although she told her parents they'd get a room with two beds, that didn't mean they had to use both of them (hint hint, wink wink ; )...besides, sharing one would be better for the environment (lol). Charles wants to know if she's sure that she's ready to "share"...it's been awhile, but Cassie is ready for some lovey-lovey, kiss-kiss with her man. Well, that's all Charles needs to know...the light goes out and the lovin (I mean, sharing ) in the twin bed begins (this is a PG review too, so sorry folks, lol...) We see the two lovebirds the next morning: Charles is smiling, as he holds Cassie in his arms and watches her sleep. She wakes up, and as they bask in the glow of their love, they wish they could be together forever, lalala...but back to the real world: Detective Dad, Eddie, has figured out that the money came from their attic and that Charles is the thief-turned-Robin Hood. Ruh-roh...he's gonna have h*** to pay when he gets back. It's a good thing Charles has decided to stay with the perfect people for awhile...Cassie is sad to leave, and Charles is sad to be apart from her, but they both know that he needs this. I didn't like the fact that Charles sent her back on the bus, rather than driving her home, but in the spirit of "not having him face the music in this epi," I understand why the writers made that choice. I wonder what Cassie's reaction will be when her dad tells her about her honey's connection to that money...I hope they don't break up over this...if so, I (& all the Chassie-lovers) will be : (. Growin' Up Is Hard To Do I guess Cassie was expecting an earful when she got home, but instead she got ignored, as her father walked past her to go upstairs without even looking at her face, and her mother's back was turned to her. I think the angry, silent-treatment approach was the best one to take in this situation, b/c Cassie thinks she's grown now (and she almost is), and obviously, is determined to do what she wants...I think her parents' "I'm so angry and disappointed in you that I won't even look at you and speak to you" response had more impact than a tongue-lashing and grounding would have, b/c now she knows she has lost her parents trust...by the look on her face, at the end, I think Cassie would have preferred the regular round of punishment. Her choice forced her parents to accept that she's not a little girl anymore, and their response indicates that things can't go back to the way they were. There's a certain comfort in being the kid, and I think Cassie just felt that slip away...oh well, you got what you wanted, eh, Cassie? Now it's time to grow up... Other Stuff: That food burglar s/l was pretty random...I wonder if he's someone the Suttons know or if the "burglar bandit" was just a plot point for this epi. Since he didn't get caught, though, I'm guessing we'll be hearing from him again...maybe he'll turn out to be someone interesting...hopefully. Lizzie's new friend, Andy, was the cute kid from "Maid In Manhattan" and other movies...wow, time flies...I knew he looked familiar but just couldn't place my finger on who he was...Oh, and the cute karate instructor/jr. staff member at the LH Club played on Young & The Restless this season...I don't know if he's still up there, b/c I haven't really been keeping up, but I knew his face looked familiar...anyways, be back next week!

All's Well That Ends Well? (Season 4, Episode 3: "Aftershock")

That money looks good doesn't it? Oh, if only...sorry, got caught up there for a moment...on to the review : ) The Return of Bishop Uh-oh...Bishop came back to take out the Suttons...he came, he lied, and he got conquered- all in one epi. Despite the scruffy beard, overgrown hair, dark shades and wheelchair, I knew it was Bishop when he showed up at the vets' support group (ok, not immediately , but while he was talking I figured it out...& yes, I saw the preview before reading that he was going to be in this epi : ) He does a good job changing his voice and his accent, though...when he was on the show, in season one, he had a Jamaican accent, but when Eddie discovered he was actually from the U.S., he quickly took on an American accent...this go-round, he really sounded like an older guy who had been through something. Interestingly enough, though, the actor who plays him (Raymond T. Williams) is British, so I'm even more impressed (I know actors switch accents all the time, but I really had no clue this guy was British until I read it). I enjoyed the fact that this epi had a little more action in it, and I'm glad that Eddie & Nate Ray took Bishop out, but I wish this had been allowed to unfold over several epis...just to stretch the dramatic tension out a little more (also, because Bishop was an interesting character and I would have liked to see a little more of him...I think it would have been interesting if Bishop had bonded w/Nate Ray more, so that he could play on his sympathy and sense of loyalty to another vet). Brotherly Love I'm glad that Tay realized the type of person Nate Ray is and accepted him as his big brother. He was really getting on my nerves, to this point, but I guess the situation was realistic: all his life, he's been his father's only son (as far as he knew), then out of the blue, this other son shows up, vying for his father's affection. I'm glad the brotherly love is flowing now...I almost had a tear in my eye during their poignant moment, after Nate announced he was reenlisting in the war. I can't believe he's leaving already...especially since the family situation just worked itself out. But again, that's how life is...I just hope he makes it back alive. I wonder if this storyline has been sped up b/c Chadwick Boseman (Nate Ray) had to shoot a new fall series (NBC's "Persons Unknown"). I hope that's not the writing on the wall, b/c I want him to stay on Lincoln Heights. For Love or Money Chassie was really playing the kissing game in this epi, and I loved it. : ) I'm glad that Charles finally gave the money back, b/c the fact that he had not was starting to get to me...sure, I've been concerned since Charles took the money in last season's finale, but this epi was the clincher. My concern grew to worry when he didn't seem bothered after Cassie shared her concerns with him about her parents' struggling to pay bills, and possibly, being in danger of losing the house...and especially, when he was sitting at dinner with the Suttons, and Jenn & Eddie talked about how they'd be pulling extra shifts since the FEMA check was delayed, indefinitely...and definitely when Nate said he'd be sending back money from the front lines to help out...Whew! I really didn't want to start disliking Charles, and I'm glad I didn't have to. Do The Right Thing For some reason, the end was touching, when Eddie discovered the money on the front porch...I guess b/c I was hoping it would be Charles doing the right thing, although he and his mom are struggling, and b/c the Suttons had been struggling, as well, and this windfall could change their lives. I guess Charles had to bring it back the way he did, b/c it probably would have been difficult getting the Suttons to understand why he held onto it that long. I understand he and his mom have been struggling for a long time, and all that money may have made things better for them...but then, his mom probably didn't need access to that much money...she's pretty deadbeat (staying with a guy who almost molested her son, and then kicking Charles out when he confronted her about it; leaving her son to fend for himself, all this time, while she's been in Hawaii; coming back and hooking up w/another potential low-life; and then, threatening to kick Charles out, again, b/c he's trying to do the right thing...) so, I think more money could have turned out to bring more problems for them. Charles may have realized that, and perhaps, this factored into his decision to return the money. I'm wondering, though, if the money rightfully belongs to the Suttons. True, it was found in the wall of their attic, but do they have the right to keep it, since we know it probably belongs to the former occupants, the Glasses? (For some background, see the first epi from season 3: "Glass House.") It will be interesting to see how this all plays out... What's Gonna Happen? So what does next week hold? Well, we know Nate Ray is shipping out, but what about the money? How will the family react to their, potentially, newfound fortune, and just what is Eddie going to decide to do with it? And this probably won't come up any time soon, but I wonder if Charles will ever tell Cassie the truth...

Brats, Teens & Other Crazy Things (Lincoln Heights S4E2: "Persons of Interest")

Things have started to pick up in this epi. I like the addition of Lizzie's new friend...she seems to be an interesting character, and the actress did a good job making you care something about her. I think Lizzie's high school s/l may turn out to be pretty interesting...RNB is one of the best actors on the show, in my opinion, and I'm looking forward to watching her traverse the dramatic, rocky road of high school cliques, rejection, teen angst, and puppy love. I'm glad Nate Ray finally told Tay the truth about himself, b/c he's been acting like a brat...and now Jenn is too. She's acting pretty immature about this whole situation...Nate is the child Eddie fathered when he was a teenager, loong before he even knew her, and he just found out that Nate was his, some 20 yrs later. Jenn's been b*tchy about it since then, and though I know Nate's mom can be a bit much sometimes, it seems to me that much of her negativity towards Jenn was in response to Jenn's nasty-tude. The party was going great and everyone was in good spirits, and then, rather than showing her son how to be kind and mature, she asks the lady to leave, Nate leaves, and the party is a bust. I can understand her being a little insecure since Dana was Eddie's first love who, it turns out, had his first child, but it's obvious he's in love with, and fiercely committed to, Jenn and the kids. She and Tay are acting like azzes and I don't like this side of them...but I suppose family life can't be all peaches and cream can it? Especially not on a family drama... Anyway, I'm glad Charles came back...they actually had me a little concerned that he may have been going on an extended road trip. I'm glad he came back and didn't disappoint Cassie (at least for now)...it was so sweet to see her asleep by his apartment door waiting for him. Umm...when I said they needed to bring Lund back, last week, I meant him , not his annoying child Sage...and what was up with her living in Charles' apartment building? The Suttons (or at least Lizzie) didn't even know she was in town, and there's been no mention of her, but she actually lives in Charles' building, and he knew, but hasn't spoken w/Cassie at all about it? Weird...then he actually opens the box and lets Sage know what's inside? What the...? I thought they were going to have her sneak a peek, which would have been expected (so I guess that's why the writers didn't go that route), but seriously: why would they have him share that with Sage? Granted, I know he feels he can't tell Cassie about the money (since he got it from that hole in the wall of her attic and has been using it) but come on...Sage? Are they supposed to be developing some sort of bond or something now? Puh-leeze...anyway, I'm definitely interested in seeing how they're going to explain this next week. In summary, I'm interested in seeing what Lizzie's teen-ship (the high school years) will bring; Jenn & Tay are acting like little bwitches...I don't like it when the Suttons aren't getting along; ( and what the...is going on w/Charles? Why for the love of Chassie is he confiding in Sage of all people? He doesn't trust anyone else, but he trusts Sage ? Now, I'm thinking that he'll probably say he had to let her in on it b/c of the cop situation, and he may have to leave the toolbox at her house, in case they come back to search, but we know all of this is a ticking time-bomb for Chassie...sigh...I guess we'll see how it all plays out...

Home Again Suttons? (Lincoln Heights Season 4, Episode 1)

My favorite family show back! I'm glad to see the Suttons back in full-effect. It's interesting to see Eddie's oldest son with the fam...I wonder what will be going on w/him this season. Eddie's still working the beat...they need to bring Lund back (not Sage, though, just Lund); Momma Jenn's still juggling work at the clinic and at home (I wonder why they didn't work Nicki Micheaux's pregnancy into the show);Tay has really grown, and has no problem putting people in their place; I'm still lovin' Chassie (although EH's overacting takes me out of scene quite a bit...hopefully, this was a warm-up epi for her), and Robert Adamson is looking better than ever. Looks like this is going to be a tough season for Charles...I hope he can talk his way out of the case brewing against him, and can come up with a good explanation as to why he hasn't told anyone about that money he found yet (but that probably won't hit the fan until mid-season or later). Oh, and Lizzie...I wonder what drama they have planned for her this season... Although they passed on that beautiful suburban home, I'm glad the Suttons decided to stay in Lincoln Heights...especially since that's the title of the show and all. : ) All in all, I enjoyed this epi...other than those people who wouldn't leave the front yard of that crack house (I understood and appreciated the message though), and EH's acting, this was a pretty decent season opener. I'm looking forward to what this season has in store for the Lincoln Heights crew, and will definitely be watching. If you still haven't seen "Home Again," head on over to Hulu and get caught up... you still have about three days before epi 2 airs... : )

Great show!

This show is one of my favorites! Very realistic. Funny, sad, touching. Everything you can ask for in a drama. I wish it would come out on DVD.