REVIEW: THE CLEVELAND SHOW – SEASON 1-4

MAIN CAST

Mike Henry (Family Guy)
Sanaa Lathan (Blade)
Nia Long (Stigmata)
Reagan Gomez-Preston (Jerry Maguire)
Kevin Michael Richardson (Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 2012)
Jason Sudeikis (Son of Zorn)
Seth MacFarlane (Ted)
Jess Harnell (Animaniacs)
Arianna Huffington (Edtv)
Jamie Kennedy (Son of The Mask)
David Lynch (Twin Peaks)
Aseem Batra (Scrubs)

RECURRING / NOTABLE GUEST CAST

Alex Borstein (Faily Guy)
Fergie (Nine)
Seth Green (Idle Hands)
Corey Holcomb (The Wedding Ringer)
Mila Kunis (Bad Moms)
Jennifer Tilly (Curse of Chucky)
Fred Tatasciore (Hulk Vs)
Patrick Warburton (Ted)
Kristen Bell (The Good Place)
Glenn Howerton (That 80s Show)
Nat Faxon (Reno 911)
Maurice LaMarche (Futurama)
Marina Sirtis (Star Trek: TNG)
Frances Callier  (He’s Just Not That Into You)
Craig Robinson (This Is The End)
Will Forte (The Lego Movie)
Stockhard Channing (The Business of Strangers)
Jane Lynch (Glee)
Lucas Grabeel (Smallville)
Josh Gad (Frozen)
Edward Asner (Elf)
Will Sasso (Movie 43)
Matthew Morrison (Glee)
Kanye West (Anchorman 2)
Bebe Neuwirth (Jumanji)
Kit Pongetti (Scrubs)
Taraji P. Henson (Hidden Figures)
Keke Palmer (Scream Queens)
Nancy Cartwright (The Simpsons)
Emily Deschanel (Bones)
Lea Michele (Scream Queens)
Mike Judge (King of The Hill)
Quinton “Rampage” Jackson (The A-Team)
Rob Riggle (21 Jump Street)
Niecy Nash (scream Queens)
Dawnn Lewis (Futurama)
Carl Reiner (Two and a Half Men)
Amber Heard (Zombieland)
Cory Monteith (Glee)
Wilmer Valderrama (That 70s Show)
Vincent Katheiser (Angel)
Christine Lakin (Family Guy)
Justin Timberlake (The Social Network)
Will.i.am (X-Men Origins)
James Karen (Wall Street)
Lizzy Caplan (Cloverfield)
Sofia Vergara (Machete Kills)
Hank Azaria (The Simpsons)
Eliza Dushku (Tru Calling)
Mark Hamill (Star Wars)
Katee Sackhoff (Battlestar Galactica)
Danny Trejo (Machete)
Robert Rodriguez (Sin City)
Ric Flair (Uncle Grandpa)
John Slattery (Mad Men)
Owain Yeoman (Supergirl)
Tom Kenny (Super Hero Squad)
Rosie Perez (Pineappe Express)
Edy Ganem (Devious Maids)
Ella North (Criminal Minds)
Florence Henderson (The BRady Bunch)
Rutina Wesley (Hannibal)
Darren Criss (Glee)
Bryan Cranston (Argo)
Loretta Devine (Crash)
Phylicia Rashad (Creed)
Will Arnett (Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles)
Krysten Ritter (Jessica Jones)
Jan Hooks (3rd Rock From The Sun)

This is a good solid comedy who everybody should enjoy, it can have some abusive language but it is expected to as this is from the same minds who thought up Family Guy but in this they make it funny rather than offensive. I would reccomend this product to anyone and tell others who sometimes get a product based on the strength of different reviews is to ignore those who have given one star as they are all people criticize it for essentially not being Family Guy or American Dad.

EPISODE HIGHLIGHTS ARE

1.1) Pilot

After having his house damaged by Peter once again, Cleveland Brown and Cleveland Jr decide to leave Quahog and head to California to pursue his dream of being a minor league scout for a professional baseball organization. While passing through his hometown of Stoolbend, Virginia he bumps into his old flame, Donna Tubbs. She invites him to stay at her house for a couple of days, where Donna relays to Cleveland how she needs a father figure around for her kids after splitting with her husband, Robert. While at Donna’s house, he is introduced to Rallo and Roberta, Donna’s kids, and the neighbors, including the local redneck and the family of bears, which include father Tim, his wife, and son Raymond.

1.2) Da Doggone Daddy-Daughter Dinner Dance

Cleveland tries to make inroads with his new stepdaughter Roberta by asking her to accompany him to the school’s father/daughter dance. Last year Robert did not show up. The evening seems to be going smoothly until Cleveland runs over the family pet on his way to get an ice cream cake for celebration. Then his redneck neighbor Lester takes it and eats it. This kills his chances of being accepted by his new kids. Rallo and Cleveland look for meadowlark lemon and Cleveland dives in nasty places looking to keep the secret but Lester and the others tell him to be honest

1.3) The One About Friends

Cleveland notices his son, Cleveland Jr. has no friends, and sets out to find him a good friend. He finds out that Lester’s son, Ernie, has no friends, which Cleveland realizes is a perfect opportunity to have his son make friends with another friendless child. It goes well, but things take a turn for the worse. Ernie leaves his family and joins the Brown family, much to their dismay. Ernie is unsanitary and disgusting, which pushes Donna to make Cleveland call child services and get Ernie back in his home.

1.4) Birth of a Salesman

Cleveland looks for a job, first trying to be a grizzled police officer two days from retirement and also as a singing salesman at the Stoolbend Flea Market. Tim helps him get a job at Waterman Cable as a phone solicitor. Cleveland runs into an old high-school friend, Terry Kimple who is working as a cable installer for Waterman. When they were in school, Terry took the rap when they were busted for drugs. When Cleveland excels as a salesman, causing business to dry up for Tim, Tim prays for bad things to happen to Cleveland. Meanwhile, Roberta and Rallo feel resentment towards Cleveland Jr. for stealing their mother’s affections from them and try to make him look bad until they learn the true extent of his feelings towards his own mother.

1.5) Cleveland Jr.’s Cherry Bomb

While watching a baseball game at Stoolbend Stadium, Cleveland sees Roberta kissing with Federline Jones. Cleveland tries to talk to Roberta about maintaining her virginity but while she admits she has yet to do anything, makes it clear that it is none of his business. Following the advice of his friends, he takes the family to church to hear about maintaining purity. Cleveland Jr. gets carried away in the moment and pledges his purity to Cleveland’s dismay.

1.7) A Browns Thanksgiving

Cleveland celebrates his first Thanksgiving with his new family. His parents, Cookie Brown and Levar ‘Freight Train’ Brown arrive for Thanksgiving. Cleveland’s dismal relationship with his father nearly lands him in a fight with his own father, until Donna’s Auntie Momma shows up. She starts making comments on how outrageous she is after farting. Freight Train gains an infatuation over Auntie Momma and decides to have sex with her after a game of football. However, when Cleveland was taking out the garbage, he saw Auntie Momma in the bathroom, with a penis. Despite that Freight Train had sex with Auntie Momma (who secretly is a man), he did not even know about it.

1.9) A Cleveland Brown Christmas

Cleveland and the family go to pick out a Christmas tree at Lester’s lot. Cleveland has his eye on a nice large tree but Rallo insists on a smaller tree. Cleveland finds out that Donna and the family have been lying to Rallo, telling him the reason Robert cannot come around during the holidays is that he is an FBI agent. When Cleveland fills in as Santa Claus at his office holiday party, he has one too many egg nogs and lets the truth slip about Rallo’s father. Rallo fails to connect that it was Cleveland posing as Santa and takes out his hostility on the figure of Santa. With Rallo’s admiration for his dad destroyed, Cleveland tries to reconnect father and son in an attempt to save Rallo’s Christmas spirit.

1.10) Field of Streams

After a nostalgic flashback to the glory days as his high school’s baseball all-star, Cleveland visits his alma mater to find out there is no longer a team because he and his friends insulted Wally as a teen. Now Principal Wally gives Cleveland one week to raise money to re-build the stadium before the season begins. They raise the cash from a generous donation by Mr. Waterman and organize the team on time. Cleveland then steps in as head coach and dusts off his retired jersey in an attempt to convince Cleveland Jr. to play ball instead of joining the math club. Cleveland Jr. turns out to have no skills, even going as far as deliberately interfering with a play to save a ladybug.

1.11) Love Rollercoaster

Cleveland Jr. is building a model rocket for the school science fair. Roberta’s new teacher, Ms. Eck challenges Roberta to prove she can get by without her looks and has her alter her appearance by wearing a ‘fat suit’. Her first day as ‘Tyra’ gets off in an inauspicious start when she is rejected by Federline and the teachers she previously had wrapped around her finger. Cleveland Jr. sees her alone in the cafeteria and warms up to her. When he shows her his model rocket, which is not only failing but is being outmatched by the geeks who are translating Klingon, she helps him with the design flaw. They win the science fair – probably because of the TIE fighters the rocket deployed to attack the geeks – and Ms. Eck gives Roberta and A Grade for proving she more than just looks.

1.12) Our Gang

When the worst kids in the school go too far and Principal Wally expels the group, Coach Cleveland comes to the rescue by taking a group of delinquent teens under his wing. In an effort to teach them life skills, he proposes they go into business making and selling cookies. The kids however, misinterpret his baking terms for drugs and start dealing. Business is good until another gang takes over the area, stealing the drugs and money from the Crazy Eights. Cleveland rushes in to steal back the goods still believing them to be cookies. When he finds out they are drugs, he destroys them by flushing them down the toilet but faces a demand to return them or lose Cleveland Jr. who was captured. Cleveland rallies the Crazy Eights but becomes endangered himself.

1.13) Buried Pleasure

At Stoolfest, a local community festival, Cleveland calls Holt to tell him of a concert. he finds Holt out shopping with his mother and unable to go. Later that night at The Broken Stool, the guys tell Holt he is too accommodating to his mother’s wishes. When Donna sees Holt in a rage from their bedroom, she shows Cleveland and when they see Holt rolling up a figure in a carpet and take it away they assume Holt killed his mother. Cleveland helps the police set up a police sting operation and get Holt to show them where he buried the body…a sex doll that Holt decided he needed to get away from. Holt admits to Cleveland he has not had luck with real women and they set Holt up with Jane, a girl from the Waterman Cable office.

1.15) Once Upon A Tyne In New York

When Donna is not thrilled by marred life, Cleveland reveals that he and Donna have not yet taken their honeymoon. When soliciting ideas from the gang, Coach McFall reveals his former fling with Tyne Daly in New York City. Inspired, Cleveland takes Donna on a road trip to the Big Apple, and to Donna’s dismay, Cleveland allows the Stoolbend gang to tag along while the kids are left with Terry. The next morning, Donna and Cleveland try to enjoy their time while the rest of the gang wander off but they soon get into trouble, requiring Cleveland to come to the rescue and break off his day with Donna. Cleveland tries to make it up by taking Donna to a Broadway show but it is a cover for helping Coach McFall reunite with Tyne Daly. When Coach McFall actually meets Tyne Daly, they find his breakup was not exactly under pleasant circumstances. Frustrated with being neglected by Cleveland, she leaves and returns to the hotel bar.

1.16) The Brown Knight

After a stressful day at the school, Donna comes home and is in no mood for Cleveland’s shenanigans. At The Broken Stool, the guys tease Cleveland about Donna running things. When he confronts Donna, she admits she had to develop a take-charge attitude to survive being a single mom but agrees to lighten up a little for Cleveland. At an ATM, a robber attempts to take their money and Donna’s wedding ring. While Donna struggles with the thief to protect her ring, Cleveland runs around helplessly. When the thief’s gun goes off and Cleveland is shot, Donna feels horrible and agrees to restrain herself more for Cleveland.

1.17) Gone With The Wind

When Cleveland is diagnosed with high cholesterol, Donna puts him on a new high-fiber diet, which causes an intestinal backlash. When it begins to affect his work, he goes to see Dr. Fist who gives him a written note card explaining that he has a medical condition which he soon takes advantage of. Cleveland quickly realizes his gas might score him a few points in the Broken Stool’s karaoke contest. Donna is appalled that Cleveland should resort to such disgusting behavior but they are interrupted by a call that brings news of Loretta’s death. Cleveland’s old friend Quagmire from Quahog arrives with the body and explains that she was accidentally killed by the bathtub falling out of the damaged house gag when Peter tried to decorate his & Lois’ bedroom with a brachiosaurus skeleton Brian dug up, but unintentionally dropped his hardhat on a lever, causing the crane to lose control and slam the skeleton on Loretta’s house, of which Cleveland had survived numerous times. Worried for Cleveland Jr., they try to break the news gently and find he has already put his mother’s death behind him. The guilt of having survived the same accident that killed Loretta multiple times causes Cleveland to break down for a while, until he realises why he is upset when Donna helps him move on as well, prior to winning the karaoke competition.

1.18) Brotherly Love

Acting as his brother’s wingman, Rallo gives Cleveland Jr. a few pointers on how to win over the girl of his dreams, Chanel. Although when Cleveland Jr. finds out that her boyfriend is local rap star Kenny West. Cleveland Jr challenges Kenny to a rap battle to win Chanel’s heart. Meanwhile, during a cable installation, Cleveland and Terry somehow get mistaken for male strippers and decide to make a new career out of it. But not if Donna has anything to say about it.

1.19) Brown History Month

Cleveland and Cleveland Jr. teach Donna and the kids their tradition of celebrating Black History Month. However, when Rallo learns about his heritage at school, he provokes Cleveland into a battle royale with neighbor, Lester.

1.20) Cleveland’s Angels

After Cleveland gambles away Roberta’s college fund, Kendra discovers that Cleveland was actually cheated out of his money and recruits Donna and Arianna for a “Cleveland’s Angels” mission.

1.21) You’re the Best Man, Cleveland Brown

Cleveland finds out that Cleveland Jr. will inherit all of his ex-wife’s belongings and that his parents, Cookie and Freight Train, plan to remarry. To add insult to injury, Freight Train dumps Cleveland as his best man in favor of Donna’s ex-husband, Robert.

2.1 ) Harder, Better, Faster, Browner

Cleveland attempts to get Kenny West’s rap career off the ground and President Barack Hussein Obama pays Stoolbend a visit.

2.2) Cleveland Live!

In an animation first, The Cleveland Show offers the audience a behind-the-scenes look at the “filming” of the episode. When Cleveland and Donna attempt to celebrate their anniversary, their unruly kids and disruptive friends, including Donna’s ex-husband, Robert, get in their way

2.3) How Cleveland Got His Groove Back

Instead of continuing on their family-heritage trip to Africa, Cleveland and the family end up turning their layover into a tropical vacation.

2.4) It’s The Great Pancake, Cleveland Brown

Cleveland crushes Cleveland Jr.’s spirit when he forbids him from trick-or-treating because he thinks he is too old. Junior reinvents himself as a “cool kid” and is invited to attend a Halloween party with Roberta. Meanwhile, Rallo goes against his mom’s wishes and eats way more Halloween candy than his teeth can handle.

2.5) Little Man on Campus

Coach Cleveland gets greedy to win the high school baseball state championship game and turns to cheating when his star pitcher goes out for the season.

2.8) Murray Christmas

When Rallo’s teacher forces him to spend the weekend at a retirement home to get to know the senior citizens during the holidays, he meets Murray, who teaches him about Hanukkah. In an attempt to rekindle Murray’s holiday spirit, Rallo helps him escape, but when his new friend’s health begins to suffer, Rallo has to bring Murray back to the home. Meanwhile, Cleveland trains for a boxing match against his bully of a father, Freight Train, which ends with some bumps and bruises.

2.9) Beer Walk

Donna, frustrated by her husband’s laziness on the weekends, nags Cleveland to help her around the house and to do something more with his life. To prove to Donna he can be as charitable as her, Cleveland recruits his buddies from Quahog and Stoolbend to participate in the First Annual Charity Beer Walk. When Donna gets injured at the event, Cleveland has to take over the housework.

2.13) A Short Story and a Tall Tale

Cleveland and Donna celebrate Valentine’s Day with a trip to Los Angeles after scoring courtside seats to the all-star basketball game featuring Kevin Garnett, Dwight Howard, LeBron James, Steve Nash, Dirk Nowitzki, Shaquille O’Neal and Dwyane Wade. Caught up in the excitement, Cleveland gets rowdy and talks smack to the players from the sideline throughout the game. The basketball champs, feeling hurt, seek revenge by paying a surprise visit to Stoolbend and putting Cleveland in his place.

2.14) Terry Unmarried

When Cleveland discovers he and his wife are not actually married, and his best friend Terry is gay and in a relationship, they all decide to go to Vermont for a double wedding; Cleveland Jr. tries to get Rallo to break a nasty habit.

2.15) The Blue, The Gray and The Brown

After Cleveland fights to save the town’s drive-in movie theater, his efforts to preserve the town’s history is noticed by the Stoolbend Preservation Society and he is invited to attend a private dinner party at the home of the great-great-grandson of the town’s founding father. While at the event, Cleveland learns of the town’s legacy and decides to take back his beloved town.

2.16) The Way The Cookie Crumbles

After Cleveland learns that his parents have been scammed out of their life savings, he plans to bring down the con man who targeted his mother.

2.18) The Essence of Cleveland

Cleveland is reunited with an old classmate “Fatty Patty”, who is now skinny and beautiful and still has a crush on Cleveland.

2.22) Hot Cocoa Bang Bang

Cleveland takes the entire family to a comic convention in an attempt to sell his comic book, “Waderman.” While there, Donna is horrified to find out that Robert Rodriguez is screening a Blaxploitation film that she starred in when she was younger, and Cleveland Jr., tired of Comic-Con being a playground for Hollywood to peddle their projects, gathers a band of geeks together to take the Con back to its true origins.

3.1) BFFs

Cleveland is upset when he finds out that his best friend Peter Griffin came to Stoolbend and did not call him to hang out. In an effort to bond with the guys, Cleveland takes them on a camping trip hosted by guest star Ric Flair.

3.2) The Hurricane!

When a storm hits Stoolbend, the Browns are forced to salvage what’s left of their vacation and Cleveland, Jr. shocks everyone with a proclamation of his religious beliefs.

3.3) Nightmare on Grace Street

Donna makes Cleveland and Rallo spend the night in a haunted house. Meanwhile, Cleveland’s new friend goes on a murderous rampage and Roberta is stuck in love triangle between a vampire and a wolf.

3.5) Yemen Party

When Donna joins a women’s support group and starts to complain about how Cleveland treats her, Cleveland dresses up as a woman to infiltrate the group and show Donna how good her life really is. Meanwhile, Cleveland Jr. and Rallo join forces to stop the playground bully, Rodney.

3.6) Sex and The Biddy

Rallo suspicions that Murray’s new girlfriend is a gold digger are confirmed, but not before it’s too late, and Cleveland finds a shortcut to working out and improving his body to impress Donna.


3.7) Die Semi-Hard

While staging their own live nativity scene, Cleveland tells his family his version of the greatest holiday-themed blockbuster movie ever told. This is the first episode parodying a film.

3.8)  Y Tu Junior Tambien

When Junior starts dating a very attractive young lady named Cecelia, Cleveland gets green with envy because Junior’s one-upped him and suspicious of her motives. When things start to get serious between the two lovers, Cleveland suspects that the young woman is using Junior to get a green card. But it goes too far. Lester calls the immigration agency, and in an attempt to keep Cecelia in the country, Cleveland Jr. marries Cecelia and moves out. Meanwhile, Junior attempts to get used to living on his own.

3.9) There Goes El Neighborhood

After getting himself into several cultural misunderstandings with his new and popular Latina neighbor, Cleveland attempts to make amends by demonstrating his knowledge of Latino culture. But Cleveland gets into a bind when he offers to babysit Choni’s son and winds up losing him. Meanwhile, Junior sets up his new wife Cecelia on a Valentine’s Day date but his jealousy gets the best of him.

3.10) Dancing With The Stools

Determined to claim the first place trophy at the annual “Dancing with the Stools” ballroom dance competition, Donna recruits Cleveland Jr. to be her partner. But their hopes of taking home the big prize misses a beat when Cleveland Jr. professes his love for Donna just moments before their well-rehearsed routine. Meanwhile, Roberta babysits Rallo for a week, and learns that domestic responsibilities are not as easy as they seem.

3.11) Brown Magic

Excited to spend quality father-stepson bonding time with Rallo, Cleveland takes Rallo to his very first magic show, where they get hired to be the opening act. Thanks to Rallo’s sharp wit in the role of the puppet, Cleveland and Rallo’s ventriloquist act becomes a hit. As their act gets rave reviews by fans and ventriloquist critic Graham Kensington, Rallo grows tired of Cleveland taking all the credit for their success. Not one to be taken for a dummy, Rallo proves that he is the heart of their comedic act.

3.15) The Men In Me

Cleveland is labeled “The Whitest Black Man in America” after he wins a dance competition for the chance to attend a pop sensation’s concert. Unable to shake off his new reputation, Cleveland is determined to understand his roots and where he came from. Everything starts to make sense when he is reunited with his former nanny Barbara (voiced by Florence Henderson), a high class woman with a taste for refined culture. But even though Cleveland’s nanny influenced many of his interests growing up, Cleveland finally learns that happiness comes from being comfortable in your own skin.

3.16) Frapp Attack!

After Donna becomes jealous when Cleveland gets too close to a female co-worker, a music video made from footage of his workplace shenanigans goes viral and attracts the attention of a big-time music producer. He is attracted to Donna as well, making Cleveland jealous.

3.17) American Prankster

One of Rallo’s pranks goes too far and gets Cleveland, Jr. kicked out of the scouts. Cleveland takes matters into his own hands and threatens to send Rallo to juvenile detention, but things backfire when Rallo runs away.

3.19) Jesus Walks

Devout church choir girl Vanessa (Fergie) catches Cleveland, Jr.’s eye, and he eagerly volunteers to go on a church trip to be in her good graces. Vanessa’s fellow choir member, Hunter (Darren Criss), confronts him for going to church for the wrong reasons, but the tables turn when Vanessa winds up being a handful for the boys. Meanwhile, Donna’s ex-boyfriend returns home from Iraq and discovers that she is married.

3.20) Flush of Genius

Cleveland Jr. profiles his dad for a report on his favorite American, but when Cleveland falls off the toilet and suffers a concussion, he loses Cleveland Jr.’s admiration. Meanwhile, Rallo gets excited when he realises he has grown tall enough to ride his favorite roller coaster.

3.21) Mama Drama

Hoping to lift Donna’s spirits on Mother’s Day, Cleveland hires an actress to play Donna’s estranged mother, Dee Dee Tubbs (Phylicia Rashād). But when an unexpected event leads the real Dee Dee to find Cleveland, he stages one last effort to reunite Donna with her mother, and the unlikely meeting helps the two women forge a new mother-daughter bond.

3.22) All You Can Eat

After Cleveland Jr. gets bullied by Oliver Wilkerson and his gang again, Roberta gives him a makeover, and his stylish new look gives him the confidence to approach Daisy, a misfit who catches his attention. But when Daisy mistakes Cleveland Jr. for a woman, they decide to make a statement and go to the prom as a gay couple. Meanwhile, Cleveland’s authority as his favorite snack food’s ultimate expert is threatened by another fan.

4.1) Escape from Goochland

Cleveland and the gang visit their rival high school in Goochland for the annual football game, but when Federline, the gang’s designated driver (who Cleveland only brought along because he was the original designated driver and he wanted to drink), destroys the car belonging to Cleveland’s nemesis Chet Butler, they must find a way to escape their enemy’s home turf. Meanwhile, Donna takes back Roberta’s Halloween hooker costume, but decides to wear it instead, and Roberta and Cleveland Jr. play pranks around Stoolbend when they dress up as Donna and Cleveland.

4.2) Menace II Secret Society

Cleveland confronts now super-famous rapper Kenny West about not sharing credit for the megahit they created together, “Be-Cleve in Yourself”. He soon discovers Kenny’s involvement in a secret hip-hop society with will.i.am, ?uestlove, Bruno Mars and Nicki Minaj. Meanwhile, Cleveland Jr. starts a polka band after being rejected by his school’s marching band.

4.3) A General Thanksgiving Episode

When Holt misses his plane to Florida for Thanksgiving, he reveals that he was not even invited to his estranged family’s holiday dinner. To help him get over his Thanksgiving blues, Rallo invites Holt’s father over for the holidays, which ends up making Holt’s family relationship worse. Meanwhile, Cleveland tries to open an airport bar, but ends up drunk and flying a stolen airplane.

4.4) Turkey Pot Die

Cleveland’s idea to take Cleveland Jr. to a turkey farm to bag one for Thanksgiving dinner does not fly with the young guy, who instead hatches a plan to free the birds. Meanwhile, Rallo and Donna team to construct a Thanksgiving Day float.

4.6) Tis The Cleveland To Be Sorry

Cleveland discovers that the food served at the local homeless shelter is much better than it is at home, so he pretends to be homeless to benefit from the meals. But when the community catches onto his ill-spirited scheme, they confront him and he must apologize to everyone. Meanwhile, chauvinistic store owner Harris Grundle hires Roberta as a Christmas elf, but requires all of Santa’s female helpers to wear sexy elf costumes.

4.8) Wide World of Cleveland Show

Cleveland hosts a special episode showing what The Cleveland Show is like in different parts of the world.

4.9) Here Comes The Bribe

After Cleveland botches his part during the renewal of their wedding vows, Donna hustles him to marriage counseling, where the mediator informs Cleveland that, for a price, he can slant the “treatments” the husband’s way. Meanwhile, Junior’s refrigerator breaks, so he and Rallo turn it into a hotel-style minibar.

4.10) When a Man (or a Freight Train) Loves His Cookie

When Freight Train misses his and Cookie’s anniversary bash, she decides to hit the road with George Clinton and the P-Funk All-Stars, leaving Freight Train and Cleveland to track her down. Meanwhile, Junior’s visit to an office-supply store sparks an elaborate fantasy.

4.11) Brownsized

With the promise of six-months severance pay (in exchange for everyone else losing their health benefits), Cleveland deep-sixes his job, but is having a tough time trying to find a way to tell Donna. Meanwhile, Federline forgets his and Roberta’s anniversary, so Rallo finds her a handsome new man, Devon (voiced by Kid Cudi), but finds that Devon is straitlaced and boring to the point of being annoying and holier than thou.

4.13) A Rodent Like This

A rat running rampant in the house sends Donna and the children to stay with her mother, while Cleveland is left behind to deal with the rodent. Reveling in having the place to himself, Cleveland soon bonds with his new pet pal, whom he names Rat Lauer. Meanwhile, Rallo and Junior play spies, but not all goes well when Junior refuses to reveal what is in his secret-agent briefcase.

4.14) The Hangover: Part Tubbs

Donna tries to run for the school board, but her plans are thwarted when Cleveland accidentally kills a new friend playing a game. Meanwhile, Cleveland Jr. discovers that he is an excellent diver, but has doubts about joining the team because of the skimpy Speedo he must wear.

4.15) California Dreamin’ (All the Cleves Are Brown)

Cleveland and his family move to California so he can pursue his dream of becoming a baseball scout.

4.16) Who Done Did It?

After Cleveland eggs Arianna’s house defending Donna’s honor, he decides to seek revenge against everyone by pelting them with eggs — which lands him in prison for killing Mr. Waterman’s sham wife, Lydia. Meanwhile, Rallo and Cleveland, Jr. discover that Freight Train writes whodunit novels under a woman’s name and become his students on how to write and solve a mystery, using Lydia Waterman’s death as inspiration for a new book.

4.17) The Fist and the Furious

Cleveland decides to make Dr. Fist  one of his friends, but fears for his safety when he discovers Dr. Fist’s mob association. Meanwhile, Rallo and Cleveland Jr. open a food truck business.

4.20) Of Lice and Men

A lice outbreak at school means Rallo must lop off his beloved Afro, and when the other kids start making fun of him, Junior has his back. Meanwhile, Cleveland house-sits at Freight Train and Cookie’s, where things take a bad turn after his pals show up.

4.21) Mr & Mrs. Brown

Donna is incensed when Cleveland and his mom are mistaken for husband and wife on a visit to a retirement home. Meanwhile, Rallo rips off a candy bar from a vendor, and then tries to get Junior to take the rap for the theft.

4.23: Wheel of Family!

Donna and Cleveland try to fix the kids’ hectic schedules, while Cleveland Jr. finds his pole-dancing talent. Cleveland later finds out that Robert and Dee-Dee have become an item, and they adopt and raise a child.

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REVIEW: 13 SINS


CAST

Mark Webber (Green Room)
Devon Gaye (Dexter)
Tom Bower (Die Hard 2)
Rutina Wesley (Hannibal)
Ron Perlman (Hellboy)
Pruitt Taylor Vince (Heroes Reborn)
George Coe (The Entity)
Richard Burgi (Chuck)

Elliot Brindle, a meek salesman, loses his job despite his debt and the people who depend on him: Michael, his mentally handicapped brother; Shelby, his pregnant fiancee; and an unnamed, abusive father. Elliot receives a mysterious phone call that offers him $1,000 to assertively kill a fly that has been harassing him. After Elliot checks his bank account online and sees that he has been credited, he accepts the next challenge: to eat the dead fly. The caller explains that he will be offered a series of thirteen challenges, each of which will result in greater rewards. If he fails to complete any of them, interfere in the game, or reveals the game, he will forfeit all the money.

The next few challenges attract police attention: making a child cry, arson, and scamming a homeless person. When the child identifies Elliot in the police station based on wanted posters, Detective Chilcoat takes over the case. Shelby becomes concerned about Elliot’s secretive and odd behavior, and he explains that he is planning a surprise. For his sixth challenge, Elliot is forced to take a corpse out for coffee. Given a strict deadline, Elliot panics and brazenly steals a cup of coffee from a police officer. Elliot is credited with two challenges for his bold behavior after he threatens to file a complaint about the officer’s public intoxication.

After he flees the scene, the caller tells Elliot that he has left behind evidence; however, if he wins the game, his record will be purged. At the same time, Chilcoat tracks a conspiracy theorist that has been investigating the game. Paranoid, the man flees Chilcoat but advises him to kill Elliot at his first opportunity. For his next challenge, Elliot receives no instructions and is taken to a rural motel. There, a man identifies himself as a former childhood bully, and the caller tells Elliot to sever the man’s right arm with a surgical saw, an action which the man has apparently consented to. Elliot initially refuses, believing the man to be coerced by the caller, but the man deliberately provokes Elliot into cutting off his arm below the elbow. After driving the man to the hospital, Elliot savagely beats the man’s brother, who was also involved in bullying Elliot and Michael, and once urinated on Michael’s face. As a result, he is credited with two more completed challenges.

When the police arrive at the banquet hall where Elliot and Shelby are having their rehearsal dinner, Elliot is surprised to discover that they are interested in Michael. In order to give Michael time to escape, he accepts his next challenge, to destroy the banquet hall while singing The Internationale. Disappointed in his reluctance to break social norms, the caller instructs Elliot to surrender to the police, from whom Elliot learns that another person has been playing the game. Elliot takes and accidentally wounds a hostage in order to escape and complete the game before the other competitor. As he escapes, he leaves behind his cell phone. Desperate, he takes an old woman hostage when she shows up, sure that she is involved in his next challenge.

After feigning ignorance, the old woman reveals his next challenge: to set a stainless steel wire across the road. Elliot is horrified when he realizes that a group of bikers have been instructed to speed down the road. Although he disarms the trap in time, the other competitor rearms the trap, and the cyclists are decapitated. Disgusted, Elliot quits the game, and, when he returns home, discovers that Michael is the other competitor. Michael reveals that the final challenge is to kill a family member. Although Elliot originally tries to talk Michael out of killing their father, Elliot becomes homicidal when their father reveals he won the game by killing their mother. To prevent his sons from experiencing the horror of winning the game, their father commits suicide.

However, Michael refuses to stop playing the game and attempts to kill Elliot. Elliot kills Michael in self-defense, though he is stabbed multiple times. Elliot is credited for his final challenge, but he forfeits all the money when he interferes with the game by killing Chilcoat, who has murdered the conspiracy theorist and has now arrived to clean up the crime scene. In the final scene, Elliot learns that Shelby has declined to play the game, and he collapses laughing, but in the next shot it is revealed that she in fact killed the fly but refused to eat it for six thousand dollars, stating that it is “vile” and is shown throwing it into the trash.13 Sins  was totally unexpected. While it’s not a comedy per se, it certainly has an element of dark humour to it, but don’t let that mislead you. It’s grisly, it’s gruesome, it’s great and gory fun, with a wonderfully tense atmosphere. There are scenes of extreme and outrageous violence. The ending was unexpected too and a nice and tidy finish to an enjoyable but bumpy ride. Horror lovers should love it.

 

REVIEW: ARROW – SEASON 4

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MAIN CAST

Stephen Amell (Screamers 2)
Katie Cassidy (Black Xmas)
David Ramsey (Con Air)
Willa Holland (Legion)
Emily Bett Rickards (Brooklyn)
John Barrowman (Torchwood)
Paul Blackthorne (The River)
Image result for arrow season 4 green arrowRECURRING / NOTABLE GUEST CAST

Neal McDonough (Minority Report)
Grant Gustin (Glee)
Audrey Marie Anderson (Lie To Me)
Cynthia Addai-Robinson (Spartacus)
Enid-Raye Adams (Final Destination 2)
Echo Kellum (Ben and Kate)
Jimmy Akingbola (Holby City)
Alexander Calvert (The Returned)
Elysia Rotaru (Supernatural)
Jeri Ryan (Star Trek: Voyager)
Katrina Law (Spartacus)
Ryan Robbins (Sanctuary)
JR Bourne (Stargate SG.1)
Rutina Wesley (Hannibal)
Matt Ryan (Constantine)
Parker Young (Suburgatory)
Brandon Routh (Superman Returns)
Charlotte Ross (NYPD Blue)
Eugene Byrd (Bones)
Danielle Panabaker (The Crazies)
Carlos Valdes (The Flash)
Ciara Renee (Legends of Tomorrow)
Casper Crump (The Legend of Tarzan)
Falk Hentschel (Knight and Day)
Anna Hopkins (Defiance)
Peter Francis James (Oz)
Lynda Boyd (Power Rangers In Space)
Janet Kidder (Earth: Final Conflict)
James Kidnie (Robocop: The Series)
Colton Haynes (Scream Queens)
Celian Jade (Legendary Assassin)
Rila Fukushima (The Wolverine)
Tom Amandes (Brokedown Palace)
Daniel Cudmore (X-Men 2)
Rachel Luttrell (Stargate: Atlantis)
Megalyn Echikunwoke (That 70s Show)
Amy Gumenick (Greek)
Adrian Holmes (Smallville)
Jason Schombing (Mutant X)
Emily Kinney (The Walking Dead)
Madison McLaughlin (Major Crimes)
Alex Kingston (Flashforward)
Adrian Glynn McMorran (50/50)
Vinnie Jones (The Cape)
Nolan Gerard Funk (Riddick)

Image result for arrow RestorationMy name is Oliver Queen. For five years I was stranded on an island with only one goal: survive. Now I will fulfill my father’s dying wish. To use the list of names he left me and bring down those who are poisoning my city. To do this, I must become someone else, I must become … something else.” The quote that has started a journey of an era and for many of us introduced us to the “Emerald archer” . The Fourth Season sees our hero finally become Green Arrow as aposed to The Hood or just The Arrow.

Image result for arrow The season started was excellent we are introduced with change, the “relaunch” of Oliver’s identity and a brand new arrow cave. To top it all off we are finally introduced to Damien Darhk and the secret organization of HIVE. This all brings us one good big package of an extremely great season. The early part of the season was a build up to Legends and the huge two, night crossover event which introduced savage and the hawks. Then season gets back to the main story of Damien Darhk. With the Christmas episode of the Year being the mid season cliffhanger leaving Felicity Smoak at deaths door, Showing just how far Damien will go to get his way.Image result for arrow Legends of YesterdayHaving a Villain with magical powers was a nice twist for Arrow making him different from the villains that have come before. The theme of this season was tied in very good to be honest, through the main villain’s name and the character types of most characters on this show. Basically it was accepting the inner darkness within you, which was portrayed quite well throughout the episodes. On top of all this darkness, the main cast was trying to find hope in their struggles or the lack of hope more or so. Arrow was always a dark show even from season 1 it was pretty dark, so it was appropriate for season 4 to continue the trend. Towards the end you see other characters grow darkness inside of them, and team arrow slowly splitting apart during these dark times. Also we get to see more of the darkness that happened to Ollie back on the island which wasn’t great for the most part of it, but at least they got that dark message across.One of the biggest highlights this year was John Constantine played by Matt Ryan making an appearance. I was a huge fan of the short lived Constantine TV Show so it was to have him return on Arrow, which could lead to more appearances throughout the arrowverse.

Image result for arrow dark watersSara Lance’s resurrection is also a highlight, many were sad to see her killed off during the first episode of season 3. When Legends of Tomorrow was announced and the first teaser showed Sara Lance alive and well using the new hero identity White Canary, it left fans wondering how her resurrection would happen. Thankfully fans of the comics knew the powers of The Lazarus Pit, which was also used to help Thea (Speedy) during season 3. Having the pit destroyed was a good idea too. If it hadn’t been vanquished then you could use it as an easy to bring characters back.Image result for arrow Blood DebtsRay Palmer also gets a resurrection,. Although many knew he wasn’t dead and that he had most likely just shrunk, his return also led to his role on Legends of Tomorrow, which nice to see Brandon Routh getting a main role.

Image result for arrow takenDuring the first episode of the season we were shown a grave where Oliver and Barry are shown standing over it without giving away who was in it, then near the end of the season we find out. When it was revealed  that Black Canary aka Dinah Laurel Lance was the victim it sent shockwaves throughout the fandom, seeing as how They were regular lovers in the comics.  I see it as a nice change as not have to copy what the comics do. We know that Katie Cassidy will be appearing throughout the Arrowverse in the upcoming seasons of the various shows, so it will be interesting in what format she returns.

Image result for arrow SchismI’m a huge fan of the Arrowverse and love all the shows (Arrow, The Flash, Legends of Tomorrow and Supergirl) Arrow Season was great it had great action, heartbreaking moments and a great villain. It will be interesting to see where season 5 takes the characters.

REVIEW: HANNIBAL – SEASON 1-3

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MAIN CAST

Hugh Dancy (King Arthur)
Mads Mikkelsen (Clash of The Titans)
Caroline Dhavernas (Wonderfalls)
Laurence Fishburne (The Matrix)
Hettienne Park (Puppy Love)
Gillian Anderson (The X-Files)
Scott Thompson (The Simpsons)
Aaron Abrams (Take The Waltz)

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RECURRING / NOTABLE GUEST CAST

Raúl Esparza (Pushing Daisies)
Kacey Rohl (Caprica)
Lara Jean Chorostecki (Beauty and The Beast)
Michael Pitt (Boardwalk Empire)
Katharine Isabelle (Ginger Snaps)
Richard Armitage (The Hobbit)
Eddie Izzard (Powers)
Gina Torres (Firefly)
Anna Chlumsky (Veep)
Cynthia Nixon (Igby Goes Down)
Fortunato Cerlino (Gomorrah)
Tao Okamoto (Batman V Superman)
Glenn Fleshler (All Good Things)
Nina Arianda (Tower Heist)
Rutina Wesley (True Blood)
Vladimir Jon Cubrt (Hollywoodland)
Richard Chevolleau (Earth: Final Conflict)
Chelan Simmons (Wonderfalls)
Cynthia Preston (Carrie 2013)
Molly Shannon (Scary Movie 4)
Ellen Greene (Heroes)
Dan Fogler (Fanboys)
Lance Henriksen (Aliens)
Ellen Muth (Dead Like Me)
Martin Donovan (Ant-Man)
Shawn Doyle (Big Love)
Barry Flatman (Odyssey 5)
Amanda Plummer (Pulp Fiction)
Jeremy Davies (Constantine)
Daniel Kash (Bitten)
Zachary Quinto (Star Trek)
Julian Richings (Cube)
Joe Anderson (The Crazies)
Mia Maestro (Alias)


There was a lot of wariness of Hannibal initially. While the original source material were Thomas Harris’ books, the movies loomed so huge in the public’s mind. And going the prequel route? Not only has that not turned out so well in Hollywood in general, it’s already given us a disappointing prequel in this very franchise with Hannibal Rising.

But lo and behold, not only was Hannibal good, it was great. There was always a major reason for optimism, amongst all the naysayers, and that was Bryan Fuller. An amazingly imaginative and distinct voice in TV, Fuller’s previous shows like Wonderfalls and Pushing Daisies had proven he was someone whose work was always worth a look. And it became clear that he had a true passion for the story he was telling with Hannibal.

It’s now a very daunting task for any actor to play Hannibal Lecter, thanks to how beloved and memorable Anthony Hopkins was in the role. But Mads Mikkelsen proved to be an excellent Lecter, giving the character an ever-cool, ever observational demeanor that conveyed both his intelligence and his danger while not behaving in such an arch manner that he would come off as too obvious a villain to those he interacted with.

As the true protagonist of the series, Hugh Dancy is also perfect as Will Graham, who goes far beyond the usual “eccentric but skilled” archetype of crime series heroes to portray someone with some genuinely traumatic issues – which only escalated through the season. Dancy managed the difficult task of portraying Will’s amazing skill set and his innate “goodness” while also showing that this guy has severe problems that would make him genuinely seem like he could be someone to keep an eye out for. If Hannibal was going to convince the world at large and possibly even Will himself that he was a killer, we had to see how that could sell, and Dancy’s performance did that perfectly.

When Hannibal was first announced, it sounded like the show would be about Hannibal and Will consulting together on killer-of-the-week cases, with Hannibal managing to keep the truth about who he was from Will for several seasons. All of which is to say, it sounded like it could be tedious. But Fuller quickly proved he wasn’t playing into our assumptions at all. Yes, Will’s job had him working several different cases this season, but it was hardly a bunch of one-off, unimportant stories. In fact, several of these cases would have repercussions in later episodes, or even the killers themselves (such as Gideon and Georgia) returning. The events in Hannibal were never self-contained. Will killing Hobbs in the premiere was a huge event that would haunt and shape Will through the entire season. The totem pole on the beach may have had no connection to the main story, but it would continue to resonate with Will as he began to hallucinate. The entire season felt like a well-constructed story where the majority of the cases Will worked contributed to the tapestry being completed.

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While Will and Hannibal’s relationship is the one at the core of this series, Jack Crawford – an integral character in Harris’ books – was hardly shortchanged. Laurence Fishburne, looking far more engaged than during his short time on CSI, was great as Crawford who had his own interplay with Hannibal occurring all season, while dealing with some huge issues at home. The story of Jack’s ill-fated attempt to use FBI trainee Miriam Lass (Anna Chlumsky) to help find the Chesapeake Ripper also was used to truly shape who Jack was and what was motivating him, rather than a bit of backstory thrown in and then barely touched upon.

Overall though, the supporting characters were strong. Caroline Dhavernas had a tricky role she pulled off well as a protégé to Hannibal and a colleague of Will’s whose close ties to both men made it all the more difficult to suspect either was up to no good. Tabloid reporter Freddie Lounds (Lara Jean Chorostecki) was equal parts vexing and amusing as she weaved in and out of the story – eventually seeing some truly depraved events occur while in the company of Dr. Gideon (Eddie Izzard). Despite only appearing a couple of times, Gina Torres brought a lot of power to Bella Crawford’s plight and rift with her husband. And it was a delight to see Gillian Anderson as Dr. Bedelia Du Maurier, Hannibal’s own psychiatrist, as we tried to figure out exactly what she and Hannibal knew about one another.

Best of all was Abigail Hobbs (Kacey Rohl), the daughter of serial killer Garett Jacob Hobbs. On a lesser procedural crime series Abigail would have been a one and done character; the damsel in distress Will saved. But here, the psychological damage her father had put her through long before his death, not to mention the horrific day he died (and killed her mother) cast a big shadow on the entire season. Abigail’s own secrets and her growing bond with both Hannibal and Will made for a compelling through line, as so many possibilities lay before her with two surrogate fathers who could help shape her into someone who stops murders or causes them.

Regardless though, Hannibal has plenty to fuel its stories going forward. As I noted above, Fuller didn’t play into audience expectations at all – who would have guessed that Will would have figured out the truth about Hannibal by the end of the first season? But by having it occur in the manner it did, with Will disgraced, imprisoned and looking guilty of multiple murders, while Hannibal walks free, the entire dynamic has been upended in a very exciting way.

We went into this year with a huge change-up, as Will Graham was locked up, accused of the crimes he now realized Hannibal Lecter had committed. Bryan Fuller took this subversion of the usual Thomas Harris dynamic and used it to its fullest extent, as the early episodes involved Will as the genius, (perceived) killer who was still a valuable resource to the FBI.

At the same time, Fuller realized this was a storyline that shouldn’t go too far, and wisely constructed Season 2 in two distinct segments, wrapping up the “Will as prisoner” section in the first six episodes. These episodes found Will at odds with Jack and Alana while forging a closer, ill-fated bond with Beverly. There was also some excellent material for Dr. Chilton, whose own narcissism and instinct for self-preservation mixed with his intelligence and growing awareness of just what a threat Hannibal was.

It all culminated in the absolutely fantastic “Yakimono”, which was basically the first of two amazing finales Hannibal would deliver within one season. The excitement of Miriam (Anna Chlumsky) turning up alive turned out to simply be the next step in Hannibal’s twisted traps, as Miriam was a ticking time bomb of sorts – set to go off at just the right time, aimed at a perfectly-placed target in Chilton.

Yes, Hannibal’s rise to supervillain status was cemented in Season 2, and it was glorious and terrifying to behold. Hannibal had always operated on a level that was a bit bigger than life and that got pushed even further this year, as we learned just how intricate, complex and masterful Lecter’s plans were and saw how amazing his abilities were, as he manipulated people in ways both subtle and extreme. In the wrong hands, it could have all fallen apart, but the wonderful writing and directing, combined with Mads Mikkelsen’s confidant performance – always exuding intelligence – made it work.

Meanwhile, we got to see Will Graham in a much better place, at least as far as his own comprehension of what was occurring and willingness to make huge moves of his own. After seeing Will mentally spiraling throughout Season 1, it was very gratifying to see him now so much more in control and, even as Will was put through one terrible situation after another. Hugh Dancy again brought the right mixture of vulnerability and inner strength to Will, and he and Mikkelsen played beautifully off one another.

Opening the season with the flash forward to Jack and Hannibal’s brutal, nasty fight, with a potentially fatal turn of events for Jack, was an audacious and spectacular move. It put a ticking time clock on the entire season and let us knows, even in the quietest moments, that something very bad was going to occur soon.Image result for hannibal mizumonoIn the meantime, we met siblings Margot and Mason Verger, who had their own mini-arc over several episodes. At first, I wasn’t sure if Michael Pitt’s rather big, mannered performance fit in on a show that mixes grisly and shocking imagery with quiet, subtle acting. But I was soon won over, as we got to know Mason more and saw just what a monster he was – and how his “Look at me!”, repellant behavior purposely stood in contrast to Hannibal’s mask of kindness and gentleness towards those around him. Hannibal’s instant dislike of Mason was one of several times Fuller was able to inject humor into the macabre situations this season.

One of the only problematic aspects of the season as it progressed was Alana and her seemingly unwavering belief in Hannibal’s innocence and Will’s guilt. In the early episodes, it was actually very interesting to see her sympathetic portrayal as someone who was horrified to think her friend was a killer, but wanted to help him, sure he’d been pushed into his actions by Jack not heeding the consequences in Season 1. But the more the likes of Beverly and Jack began to believe Will and start suspecting Hannibal, the more frustrating it became that Alana just didn’t see it. Thankfully, Alana began to come around on her own, not due to a shocking moment in the season finale, and was firmly on Will’s side again by the time all hell broke loose at Casa Lecter in the finale…

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…And what a finale it was. As exciting as the Jack/Hannibal flash-forward was, there was some concern that it might deflate the actual finale a bit. After all, we’d clearly seen the biggest thing that would happen in the final moments of the season, right? What else could be bigger than that? The answer was dark as hell but also incredibly exciting, as it turned out Jack would only be the first character to have a possibly fatal encounter with Hannibal inside his home. Within just a few minutes, Jack, Alana and Will all lay bleeding and dying, while Hannibal Lecter walked free. Oh, and Abigail was revealed to be alive… and then had her throat sliced by Hannibal! And Bedelia (Gillian Anderson) was revealed as being Hannibal’s companion (and accomplice) at the very end!

Season 3 of Hannibal began on the heels of an incredibly audacious, jaw-dropping Season 2 finale, that left nearly every major character except Hannibal himself possibly dead, as the bad doctor fled the country accompanied by Bedelia. You couldn’t have a bigger “What’s going to happen next?!” scenario, which no doubt led to frustrations when the season began and answers were not exactly being quickly delivered. More so, while Hannibal has always been an unusual, often esoteric, dream-like series, all of those aspects were dialed up to the Nth degree in the first three episodes of the season.

It was still highly evocative, compelling stuff, delving into the frame of mind of characters like Hannibal, Bedelia and Will Graham and their new lives in Italy, more order includes – while slowly revealing who’d survived that night in the house. I have to say, the answer to that question being “Everyone except Abigail” did diminish what had happened to a certain extent, but still, these episodes were showing there was plenty of consequence and fallout from that oh-so bloody night in Hannibal’s house, beyond the injuries sustained.

The pace picked up considerably around episode four and then went into overdrive, as Jack had an amazing rematch with Hannibal and Mason Verger’s plan to get revenge kicked into gear. A high bar was set by Michael Pitt as Mason in Season 2, but Joe Anderson adeptly stepped into his shoes (and mutilated face) in Season 3, bringing his own take on Mason’s witty, macabre insanity.Image result for hannibal primaveraThe standout “Digestivo”, which wrapped up the Mason Verger story once and for all in a thrilling, intense hour of television. A lot happened here, to the point that this felt like a season finale – which was not coincidental, given the show was about to leap ahead three years and into an entirely different story.

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Given this ended up being the final season of Hannibal I am incredibly grateful Bryan Fuller decided to move up his plan to make Red Dragon the Season 4 storyline and put it into the second half of Season 3 instead. Not only did it mean we did get the show’s version of the original Hannibal novel depicted, but it also essentially meant we got two seasons in one this year. And wow, was this version of Red Dragon awesome. Yes, it streamlined some aspects – we didn’t get any of the Dolarhyde flashbacks (one tiny glimpse aside) and Will’s role was altered, to some extent. But this was creepy, intense storytelling through and through, with Richard Armitage bringing just the right mix of scary and semi-sympathetic as Francis Dolarhyde, a murderous, delusional monster who was at war with the potentially loving man somewhere deep inside him – a war amplified as Dolarhyde fell for the blind Reba (a strong Rutina Wesley), even as “the Dragon” was coming to life within him, compelling him to kill.

This storyline also allowed Fuller to bring characters like Jimmy, Brian, Freddie and Chilton back into the story, all of whom got nice moments – well “nice” may not be the right word for Chilton, but he sure got some riveting moments, as he came face to face (and mouth to mouth) with the Dragon in a horrific manner.

Of course, the center of this show has always truly been the relationship between Hannibal Lecter and Will Graham and has given them a far more intricate, layered and complicated dynamic than they typically had in the Red Dragon novel (or other films), where Will met Hannibal a couple times, figured out he was the killer and was nearly killed while catching him. That meant this version of Red Dragon couldn’t help but feel different than others – even early on, when the story beats were pretty much sticking to the source material, what was driving Will forward felt notably altered thanks to all he’d gone through in this series beforehand. So yes, Will’s actual deductive skills are not used as much here as in the novel when it comes to tracking down Dolarhyde, and his relationship with Molly is essentially a hollow one he can’t really go back to – not because of anything wrong with her, but because of what he’s gone through. Yet the story still resonated so much because we were seeing how Will was affected by once more interacting with Hannibal and the simultaneous urge to join forces with him and determination to put an end to Lecter, once and for all.

In the midst of this, the rather obvious fact that Hannibal’s obsession with Will was a form of falling in love with Will was finally articulated – as was the idea that a part of Will returned those feelings, even while he knew Hannibal was a monster himself. This back and forth had long been fascinating and it felt appropriate to finally be upfront about it here. What was also great was that this Hannibal was a fully dimensionalized, multi-faceted character in a way no other version had been before – we saw so many sides of him, including the caring side that manifested with Will or even Abigail… even as he murdered Abigail and tried to kill Will!

We understood Hannibal better than ever, yet Fuller commendably never tried to redeem him. He was never going to change who he was. And that’s a big reason the ending was so satisfying, as Will pulled them off that cliff together. It was, on one hand, a culmination of the strange love story between the two – as the “murder husbands” were united, having killed Dolarhyde together. But Will also knew this was it. If he let Hannibal go, or live at all, he would kill again – he’d promised as much while threatening Alana. And Will might eventually cross even more lines in terms of the crimes he was willing to commit himself. So it had to end… which it did, in an emotionally stirring, “yes, this feels exactly right” manner that was, as always, perfectly played by Hugh Dancy and Mads Mikkelsen.