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A group of unique directors and the essential works that you've got to see.

||| Steven Soderbergh |||
Steven Soderbergh

For effortlessly being able to work at the top of the Hollywood A-list and go off on his own to make strange, experimental independent works

A twisted Python-esque take on Scientology, mental health and marriage, and Soderbergh's first true work of pure genius.

The best screen adaptation of an Elmore Leonard novel, and the film that started the most fruitful pairing in modern cinema.

The film that shows how vibrant a Hollywood film can be with a little independent spirit.

Recommended by EdwardHavens

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Episode 18 of ''Angel'' Sees the Return of Connor!

By ChrisFaile

February 12th, 2004

Casting calls and news items in the TV community come in each day here to FilmJerk.com. Filling in for the soon-to-be-wed Amy Lawrence, Chris Faile catches the minutiae that falls through the cracks and discusses them more in depth than most of them probably deserve. Today, read news on a number of different pilots working their work towards fall consideration that look the most interesting, as well as news on “Angel,” “The West Wing,” “The Dead Zone,” “Stargate: SG-1,” “Las Vegas” and others.


24: Producers are now looking to cast the character of Jane Saunders, who will appear in two episodes at this point -- beginning with episode 18 -- and perhaps one or two more. Described as in her late teens, she "must resemble Kim Bauer in height, body type and facially. This is an important plot point...blonde hair is not absolutely necessary. We need an actress with an emotional range." Things that make you go hmmmm...

Angel: The first tidbits of the untitled episode 18 are revealed. Producers are presently casting for the “large guest star” role of Cyvus Vail, a warlock who is the CEO of a powerful demon clan that has enterprises stretching throughout Los Angeles. A former employee of Wolfram & Hart, his special powers made him the go-to warlock when it came to the big magical mojo cases. The character is listed as being in his mid-30s to early 40s and it is revealed that he helped give Angel’s son Connor new memories since the end of the last season— and now he needs Connor back to defeat a certain demon named Sahjahn. Terrence O’Hara directs from a Drew Goddard script.

The Dead Zone: In “Instinct,” the local animals – both tame and domestic – all seem to have gone collectively mad, and Johnny senses that their behavior signals an impending catastrophe that he must try to avert. The episode also sees the introduction of Tom Keane, a physically fit naturalist who’s also a bit off (think Richard Dreyfuss in "Jaws"). An expert with the Fish and Game department, he is found wandering half naked in a state of fear and confusion. Scruffy, ranting and clearly not himself, Tom was in the woods doing a study on bears when he started charting odd behavior among animals, starting with the smallest and moving up the food chain— to the point that they have been attacking people and the nearby town. Tom was himself infected by their collective anger, and came close to losing his mind. Now, he summons his resolve, overcomes his fear, and joins Johnny and Walt on a reconnaissance mission into the woods to learn if the animals' behavior is a mere aberration— or if it signals something far darker.

The District: A state judge has a warrant out for Chief Mannion. When Mannion was on his sabbatical last year, he rode through this small Iowa town on his motorcycle. They said his motorcycle violated the city's noice ordinance, a ticket that Mannion ignored. Going back to the town to fight it, he makes amends with the judge and proceeds to help the Judge with a murder investigation.

The Division: A social worker is taking girls out of the foster care system and putting them out on the streets as his prostitutes. He kills a mother because she was about to find out that her daughter was one of his girls and expose his whole scheme.

ER: Episode 19 finds a young mother experiencing seizures, with no medical reason forthcoming. A dark secret from her past is at the root of feelings even she is unaware of. During the episode, an attending physician named Nelson supervises Abby during her psych rotation and becomes impressed with her connection with patients. Also, an attractive African American woman comes into the ER after being involved in a car accident. She needs surgery and is getting no sympathy from the man who was in the car with her, even though he spent the night before. Later we learn that she met Dr. Pratt at a club some time ago and he may have promised to call. Oops.

Girlfriends: For an upcoming episode, producers are looking for supermodels, music artists and star names to play Candy, William's hot, hot date at his promotion party. Extremely beautiful and ditzy, she turns out to be a stripper.

Growing Pains Reunion II: Alan Thicke and Joanna Kerns, Kirk Cameron, Tracey Gold, Ashley Johnson, Jeremy Miller and Chelsea Noble all return for this second reunion, which finds the Seaver parents selling their house. Intending to use the proceeds to travel, Jason and Maggie both have very different ideas about where they're actually going, and the fact that their adult kids need them to solve various crises further complicates their quickly unraveling plans. The production is set to begin this next week, and producers are looking to cast Mike and Kate's 14 year old daughter and Carol's husband.

Hope and Faith: In the 20th episode, “Faith’s Mind,” Olga and Magda – Faith’s old maid in Hollywood and Magda’s daughter – come uninvited to live with Faith at Hope’s house. As cute as Kelly Ripa is, this show is just wholly uninteresting to me.

JAG: “Hard Time” finds Mac escorting a hard-edged, deeply angry prisoner to the brig after being sentenced to one year there for heroin use while in uniform, and has been given an additional four years in stir for physically attacking Mac. But he finds out she has a soft side. But she is innocent of having used heroin, she's had to be tough to survive in her life, and she melts like a candle in a firestorm when she sees her daughter again. Meanwhile, Harm investigates when a dedicated career non-com accuses his superior officer of having informed his crew about his HIV infection.

Joan of Arcadia: In the episode "Requiem For A Third Grade Ashtray," Will and Toni witness a carjacking. Giving chase, they pull him over on the freeway. They discover that the carjacker – an average guy, with three kids to feed – has unwittingly kidnapped a pregnant woman who is about to give birth. Also, KEVIN believes he might be recovering some sensation in his hip and gets some electromyography (a nerve conduction) test done. Also, Joan visits a coffee house and art show.

Judging Amy: A 15-year-old girl is in Amy’s court, charged with shoplifting red teddies from the local lingerie shop. She currently resides at a group home, and her attorney argues that she simply fell under the influence of an older, predatory girl. With some prodding, Amy discovers that this business is basically the beginnings of an escort service. Oh, what will Amy do, what will she do…

Las Vegas: “Nevada State” finds Sam is talked by a man whom she testified against in a murder case, Mary is reunited with a high school rival and Nessa has her hands full with a bunch of drunken Brits, soccer fanatics who have invaded the Montecito for the weekend. The latter is attracted to one of them, but it is only for the moment. Despite its blender-like, thrown-together feel, I am a big fan of this show. I just wish it had a better timeslot.

Law & Order: The past comes back to haunt a German national who emigrated to the U.S. fifty years ago who is now a retired Mill worker from Yonkers. Officials at the U.S. government believe that Anders was a Nazi and are trying to have him deported. The case against him had stalled until a holocaust survivor comes forward claiming to recognize the man from the camps and agreed to testify against him. When she is found murdered, he soon becomes a prime suspect. But his lawyer surprises the D.A’s office by mounting a defense, which claims that there was no holocaust, that it was all basically an exaggeration. The laywer claims that the millions of deaths were “the result of disease, pestilence and wartime conditions.” Ummm…this episode will piss off a bunch of people, I bet.

Law & Order: Criminal Intent: The perp in “Conscience,” Mark Farrell, is a one-time jock gone a little to seed, and was a medical corpsman in the Guard. He has been caring for his wife who has been in a vegetative state for six years after suffering a heart attack while hiking with him and her son. Her parents and son are trying to legally have her taken off life support while Mark is in staunch opposition of this, because he seemingly loves his wife too much. In reality, he was responsible for her becoming dehydrated during their hike, causing her heart attack. He is keeping her alive to filter money from an illegal account. When a neurologist begins to prove that his wife may be capable of complex brain activity, he murders her out of fear that any more tests on his wife will reveal what really happened that day. Oh, and he tries to pin the murder on his stepson. Sounds like a stand-up guy.

Law & Order: SVU: “Relapse” sounds like it could be one of the series’ best. The episode follows Jamie Vega, a brilliant man cursed with knowing how brilliant he is; others consider him arrogant or narcissistic. As a teen, he was a heroin addict and killed a woman for drug money. Convicted and sentenced to prison, where he stubbornly refused to get clean until he learned about the existence of his daughter. Now motivated, Vega kicked drugs and sought an education on the inside; despite various setbacks, Vega obtained a Ph.D. and, once free, landed a prestigious job as a criminology professor. When one of his students is found dead, however, Vega becomes the primary suspect— a fire he stokes by fleeing from the police. Although innocent, Vega is convicted of murdering the student who also happened to be his lover. With nothing but a prison sentence to look forward to, Vega relapses into the life of a heroin addict. The true murderer is soon found and Vega is released, but the damage has been done; Vega is a junkie again, and only wants revenge.

Navy NCIS: Episode 16, entitled “Body Bag,” focuses on a good looking man of unknown origin who is a pragmatic, extremely intelligent, well educated, terrorist. His sense of humor hides a man who is deceptively dangerous. He is a man on a mission and he will not be deterred. So he takes Gibbs and his entire staff hostage at the NCIS headquarters. During this episode, four new NCIS agents are introduced, working with Gibbs and NCIS Director Tom Morrow during the hostage situation. Will they stick around in some capacity, perhaps?

NYPD Blue: Producers are looking to cast the role of a very pretty, tough New York City detective in her late 20s to 30. This woman is a strong and very competent police woman who teams with Det. Ortiz and will be recurring through the end of the season.

One on One: "The Play's The Thing" finds an ex-lover of Jenny McCarthy’s Holly warns two of her friends the dangers of dating her. Perhaps it’s because the gals is nuts in real life?

Seventh Heaven: The most pressing things for the Camdens in “High and Dry” is that a new couple in town calls on Eric and Annie Camden for help...on decorating their new home. Also, Peter and two friends meet at the park to drink beer and get busted by Peter's father, Vic.

The Shield: In the 12th episode of the season – interestingly called “Riceburner – a Korean gangbanger flees the police, leaving a dead child in his wake. However, when the cops try to investigate, they learn that the Korean community is a stone wall that cannot be breached by "outsiders."

Stargate SG-1: In the eighth-season episode “Lockdown,” the spirit of the evil Anubis is loose on the base, possessing various humans in order to try and make a break through the Stargate. In an attempt to contain the ghostly menace, O'Neill closes the Stargate and orders a lockdown of the base. One of the most decorated fliers in Russian military history, with 23 years of experience in the service, Colonel Dmitri Karpov, is introduced here. He requests a transfer to Stargate, but is put off by O'Neill's refusal to put him on a Stargate team until he has more experience in offworld missions. Later, as Anubis tries to thwart O'Neill and use various human forms to gain admission to the Stargate, Karpov makes the ultimate sacrifice to defeat the ghostly menace. Will Waring directs the episode, with Joseph Mallozzi and Paul Mullie credited as the writers.

Star Trek: Enterprise: In the episode “The Council,” which began filming yesterday, will feature two alien races prominently: The Sphere Builders, who can interpret different timelines and could recur later this season and a reptilian-like race. Sphere Builder Primary (the leader of her alien race) and Presage, both females, should figure prominently into the episode’s happenings. David Livingston will direct this episode.

Still Standing: For the episode entitled “Still Hanging Out,” producers are looking to cast the recurring role of Steven, one of Brian’s brainiac/geeky friends. While visiting the Miller household, he enjoys a good game of Risk, as well as flirting with Brian’s Aunt Linda. Also Lauren gets a new boyfriend in Matthew Halverson, a member of a “happy, church-going” family headed by “Saturday Night Live” vet Kevin Nealon.

Tru Calling: Episode 18 is still untitled and introduces two neighbors of Tru. One, Sally, lives across the street from her, and they seem to have a neighborly relationship, except for the fact that Tru thinks her name is Chris Berenson. When Tru gets involved to help her neighbor, Sally claims to be the victim of identity theft. In actuality she’s the culprit, and a full-blown con-artist. Also, we are introduced to Tim Baxter, a respectable, if slightly nerdy-looking guy. Paul Shapiro directs this one, with the writer TBD. Just put this show out of its misery, willya?

The West Wing: In the currently untitled 17th episode of the season, new characters making an appearance include E. Bradford Shelton and Senator Roland Pierce. Shelton is a moderate judge in his late 50’s who is being considered to fill a vacant seat on the Supreme Court. He is the choice of compromise, intended to offend neither Democrats nor Republicans and described as “terribly likeable.” Senator Pierce is the equivalent of a Teddy Kennedy: Democratic royalty. Gregarious and formidable, he is Ryan Pierce’s hard-drinking “Uncle Rolly.” We continue to lament the decline of the show this season.

Everyone wish Amy a very happy wedding! Two more days, gal, and your single days are behind you!

Updated on February 13 with "24" scoopage.