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Question: Got anything on a The Walking Dead? —Ashley
Ausiello: Not only does the Feb. 9 midseason premiere — titled “After” — further open a window to Michonne’s past, it also kinda serves as Carl’s official coming-of-age episode. And trust me when I say that you’ll never again think about discounting Chandler Riggs as just a good “kid actor” — his work here is exceptional.
Question: I’m waiting for Season 5 of Justified to kick into high gear — it does kick into high gear soon, yes? —Bruce
Ausiello: This week’s episode certainly takes things up a notch. Not only do we get our first big Boyd-Raylan scene, but a recurring character bites the dust and Buffy vet-turned-Emmy-winning scribe Danny Strong pops up as a lecherous prison guard who takes an interest in Ava.
Question: Now that Patrick Dempsey and Ellen Pompeo are set for another two years on Grey’s Anatomy, how long until we hear about the rest of the originals (and Sara Ramirez)!? —Brian
Ausiello: We should know by the end of February. I’ll bet my entire Smurf collection — including Gargamel’s Castle — that they’ll all be back (sans Sandra Oh, of course).
Question: Any Grey’s Anatomy scoop for the second half of the season? Maybe something on Jolex? —Kath
Ausiello: Jo and Alex will face off against a common enemy when the show returns on Feb. 27. “In the first episode back, which picks up right after the wedding, you see Jo being kind of a rock for Alex because he’s furious about what Shane has done to his dad,” explains Camilla Luddington. “He’s distraught by it. And she’s there for him. And she’s also ready to go [toe-to-toe] with Shane. She hates Shane. She’s not for him staying at the hospital. So you see her get closer to Alex through that.”
Question: Nashville scoop, please! —Karen
Ausiello: The Season 2 finale will be considerably more subtle than Season 1’s much-maligned, over-the-top, everything-but-the-kitchen-sink cliffhanger. “I would imagine we would not go out with a car wreck or anything like that,” series creator Callie Khouri assures me. “We’re not going to have an explosion. Nothing like that. Whatever fireworks we go out on this season will be all emotional.”
Question: I miss Nashville‘s Juliette and Rayna being in a story together. Any chance they will be again? –Larry
Ausiello: In a word (or two): “Ohhhh, yeah,” Khouri promises. Without detailing what the show has on tap, she adds, “They have such great chemistry together that their roads will always converge somewhere.” Meanwhile, EP Dee Johnson notes that the singers enjoy “a very strange relationship, because Juliette totally admires Rayna — though she would never say that to her face — and Rayna has been down the road that Juliette is on currently. So they will always be crossing paths.”
Question: What is the Wicked Witch’s problem with Regina on Once Upon a Time? Is it a personal vengeance or something else? —Ana
Ausiello: The fourth episode back, “It’s Not Easy Being Green,” will shed light on the origin of Rebecca Mader’s character — possibly including her beef with the Evil Queen. “She’s got a whole backstory and mythology,” says series cocreator Adam Horowitz. “We used the original [L. Frank Baum] book as a jumping-off point, and then spun her in a hopefully unique, Once Upon a Time way.” But rest assured that when Wicked meets and/or reunites with Evil, “There are sparks that fly,” Horowitz warns.
Question: Please tell me Episode 10 was not the series finale of Dracula! —Mary
Ausiello: Sorry, Mary, but the Prince of Darkness is down for the count.
Question: Help! I’m in dire need of some Reign scoop (there may even be a friendship bracelet in it for you)! With Mary’s new plan to marry Bash (and promos have shown them kiss), will Francis move on with a new lady? And how will Mary deal?! I need scoop on this love triangle ASAP. —Julia
Ausiello: Mary never forgets she’s queen, executive producer Laurie McCarthy tells TVLine. As such, she says, Mary’s “attraction for somebody can only go so far – until she believes that it can go further, and then it might be surprising what happens between the two of them.” And you’ll remember, Mary went as far as sleeping with Francis when she thought they were going to be husband and wife; now that she’s registering for china with Bash (whom she’s already kissed), it’s a safe bet to think things are going to steam up for the pair. BONUS SPOILER: “Things will come to a terrible head” for one of the show’s couples later this season, McCarthy adds.
Question: Loved the Sleepy Hollow finale. Anything you can share on Season 2? —Richard
Ausiello: Now that Katrina is part of the modern world, expect an increased presence for Mrs. Crane when the Fox drama returns. “She was trapped in Purgatory, [so] there were limitations to how she could be involved in our stories,” co-creator Alex Kurtzman says. “Now that she’s been freed from that place, she’s going to have a whole bunch of new stories to come.”
Question: I’ll take any Big Bang Theory scoop you’re willing to throw my way. —Alexandra
Ausiello: Even though the promos for this week’s Star Wars-centric episode have been focusing solely on James Earl Jones’ appearance, I’m told that Carrie Fisher will definitely be joining him in the installment, as we first reported.
Question: I’m dying for some Dallas scoop! Mainly about my favorite bad girl Emma Ryland, but I’ll take anything! –Allison
Ausiello: Picking up a mere 12 hours after the finale, the Season 3 premiere finds your very bad girl having lots and lots and lots of sex with John Ross. (Like, to the point that you wonder if they’ll ever stop.) But during the times she does come up for air, she helps Pamela plan her wedding to John Ross (awkward!) and, in Episode 2, gets knocked down a peg by the father she put behind bars.
Question: Do you think Mandy on The Following is going to be Joe’s new apprentice? Sure seemed like it from last night’s episode. –Walt
Ausiello: It’s possible, especially after Tiffany Boone told us that next week’s installment “will definitely be a shocking episode for Mandy” and that the hour will spend time exploring Mandy’s relationship with her mom, Carrie Preston’s Judy. “You’ll see the fractures in their relationship and what they’re going to do about that going forward,” Boone teases.
Question: Any scoop on who Paget Brewster is playing in this Thursday’s Community? —Theresa
Ausiello: The Criminal Minds vet guest stars as “an angry IT lady whose office is the [Greendale] basement — and she doesn’t have a parking spot,” Brewster tells us. “Jonathan Banks and Alison Brie (as Hickey and Annie) come to me to finagle a favor, and it becomes this ‘quid pro quo’ situation where I then try to get something out of them.”
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Question: Please tell me Kristina isn’t going to open up an Asperger’s school on Parenthood. I’m willing to cut my favorite show a lot of slack — I was one of the few who didn’t hate the mayor storyline! — but this is beyond preposterous. —Jim
Ausiello: She’s getting her school, and we have Julia to thank for that. Yep, Joel’s estranged wife kicks some legal ass to get the necessary approvals to make it happen — and she may get some ass as her reward. To be more specific, Julia hits it off with the school’s potential headmaster, a handsome educator by the name of Evan.
Question: The preview for this week’s Sherlock finale pointed to to romance for Holmes. Can you shed any light? Also, assuming you’ve seen it, is Episode 3 as good (or better) than 1 and 2?—Kerri
Ausiello: Without giving too much away — which in the case of PBS’ bloody brilliant detective yarn, would be kind of criminal — that bit of nuzzling you spied between Sherlock and saucy bridesmaid Janine (Yasmine Akram) was definitely real — and not some kind of dream sequence or fantasy. But just because there’s giggling and splashing coming from the bathroom of 221B (!) doesn’t mean you should be setting your DVR for The Incredibly True Adventures of Sherlock in Love. Not yet, anyway. As for how Episode 3.3 stacks up against 3.1 and 3.2? While “His Final Vow” has fewer funny zingers than “The Empty Hearse” and “The Sign of Three,” it more than makes up for it in terms of mind-blowing twists and genuine suspense. Watch it live.
That’s a wrap! Please send questions, comments, and anonymous tips to email@example.com. (Additional reporting by Kim Roots)Follow @MichaelAusiello