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TV Review: Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Ep. 18 – Providence

Warning Spoilers Ahead

Agents_of_SHIELD_logoWith the end of last week’s episode still ringing this week’s episode opens with S.H.I.E.L.D. still weakened and battered. Coulson seems to be in charge and is assessing where the organization stands, and what assets they still have. The answer is very few. The organization has also now been branded a “terrorist” organization, on the run, and off fighting Hydra. This drives the team to go underground and on the run, erasing their identities.

With Colonel Glenn Talbot now on their trail, Coulson and his team seek refuge in the last place anyone would look, where they begin to uncover S.H.I.E.L.D.’S most dangerous secrets — secrets that could destroy them all.

What’s also nice is we get to follow up with Grant and Garrett where it’s confirmed that Garrett is indeed the Clairvoyant. Some of the earlier plot lines, and individuals captured, is revisited, now with a fully active and in charge Hydra backing them up. With S.H.I.E.L.D. broke, Garrett decides to not only free some folks, but also go shopping and grab loose weapons and various S.H.I.E.L.D. facilities.

With Coulson’s S.H.I.E.L.D. team on the run, a cryptic message is sent, sending the team to an unknown location. Who sent the coordinates? We’re not quite sure, but Coulson is convinced they’re from Fury himself. This leads them to a snowy location in the middle of nowhere.

Coulson learns the truth about Fury when he meets an isolated S.H.I.E.L.D. agent in the location they stumble upon.

While last week’s episode was an improvement, this week’s writing, acting, everything is leaps and bounds above what’s come before. It’s night and day from what we saw here and what came before. There was more than enough moments to make this episode satisfying, and the highlight of the season so far.

Writer: Joss Whedon, Jed Whedon, Maurissa Tancharoen, Brent Fletcher
Overall Score: 8.25

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It’s new comic book day tomorrow! What are folks excited for? If you’re not sure, you can catch our recommendations tomorrow!

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CBLDF – Bone Named Among 10 Most Banned Books of 2013! – I guess you can say it got boned by censorship.

Spinoff Online – Paul Bettany Confirms Vision Role in ‘The Avengers: Age of Ultron’ – Remember when sites said he was Ultron?

Joystiq – Motion-controlled rail shooter Blue Estate coming to Xbox One – Will this video game based on a comic be worth it?

The Hollywood Reporter – WGN America Adapting DC Comics’ ‘Scalped’ – The channel is interesting.

Kotaku – Giant Mecha Erected in Tokyo – Want.

 

Around the Tubes Reviews

ScienceFiction.com – Captain Marvel #2

CBR – Daredevil #1.50

CBR – Nightcrawler #1

SciFiNow – Zero Hour And Other Stories

TV Review: Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Ep. 17 – Turn, Turn, Turn

Warning Spoilers Ahead

Agents_of_SHIELD_logoWith Captain America: The Winter Soldier, the importance, and stakes of Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. has never been higher. Starting with the previous episode the series directly is being affected by the events of the movie as the meltdown of S.H.I.E.L.D. and how it affects the team begins.

The episode kicks off right where the last one ended with S.H.I.E.L.D. firing upon the plane and guns pulled as questions as to who is on what side are thrown around. The team quickly figures out Hydra has infiltrated the organization and without knowing who to expect they still head to their intended location convinced Hand is really the Clairvoyant.

All that leads to a hell of a revelation from May about how the team came about, and her mission. It was pretty obvious as to who she was calling, but what she reveals about the team is interesting. And speaking of twists…. Hand makes her move, claiming someone else is actually Hydra.

Of course there’s a misunderstanding! It’s the oldest story in comics, two sides think they’re enemies and then battle before teaming up. What gets interesting is we know more about what’s going on than Coulson and his crew. Of course there’s a betrayal! We learn who’s the Clairvoyant, or at least the best idea as to who it is.

Fighting happens, Hand steps in, lots of slow motion to make it look all cool. The episode wraps up as  a nice coda to Captain America: The Winter Soldier, mentioning how much of disarray S.H.I.E.L.D. is in now and who is in charge…. sort of. But, that’s not the end really, there’s a bit more, and that’s somewhat predictable, but how far it goes is impressive. Did they really just kill off such a big character on the show and comics?

The episode promised some big movement as far as story, and it has done exactly that. Overall, the  episode was ok, with some fantastic moments. Hopefully the show gets on track after this. Ironically, a movie might just have been what this television show needed to kick it into high gear.

Writer: Joss Whedon, Jed Whedon, Maurissa Tancharoen, Brent Fletcher
Overall Score: 7

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It’s new comic book day! What’s everyone excited for and getting?

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Pando Daily – Machinima’s new CEO digs in, lays out a plan to return the MCN to its former glory – It’ll be interesting to see what they do to improve.

iO9 – The 12 Weirdest Comic Crossovers Ever – Yup, these are weird.

ICv2 – Hastings CEO, CFO Out – I really want to see where this goes.

JoBlo – We interview Kevin Feige about Captain America 2, Hulk, Avengers 2, & more! – Some good details.

The Mary Sue – Agents of SHIELD Showrunners Respond to Criticism, Blame Unrealistic Fan Expectations – Nope, can’t be bad writing, acting, plots. Nope, not at all.

Around the Tubes Reviews

The Beat – Inhuman #1

ICv2 – The Simon & Kirby Library: Horror HC

TV Review: Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Ep. 16 – End of the Beginning

Warning Spoilers Ahead

Agents_of_SHIELD_logoAgent Garett and Triplett have returned to assist Coulson’s team hunt down S.H.I.E.L.D.’s devious nemesis–the Clairvoyant. But will Deathlok kill them all to guard his master’s identity?

The episode kicks off with a brief scene featuring Deathlok, our first real look at the character and his abilities other than advertising teasers, but from there, Coulson makes a move to find the Clairvoyant, pulling in Garrett, Sitwell, Hand and more to devise a plan. There’s some talk of psychics and how in this world they don’t believe in them, which is an interesting dig into Marvel’s mutant world.

From there, the group breaks up in teams of two to look for the Clairvoyant while Skye does what she can to try to narrow down who that person actually is. The problem is, that means all those teams will be split up and going in undermanned. As things pan out, they’re all undermanned and overwhelmed. And that leads one pair up against Deathlok, but while a member goes down, they’ll at least be able to track him now due to some luck.

And that leads to everyone engaging Deathlok leading to lots of explosions. This is an attempt at action, but for a cyborg, Deathlok has some seriously bad aim. But, some good news… looks like we finally meet the Clairvoyant.

That all leads to a pretty shocking moment… yes a shocking moment we didn’t see, and the Clairvoyant didn’t see either. But, was that really the Clairvoyant?

This leads the team to dig further into their mysterious foe leading to all kinds of possible crosses and double crosses.

The first half hour of the show was rather dull with a lot of head scratching moments, but the last little bit opens up some interesting possibilities as to what’s to come. As usual, the show is a lot of promise, but not a whole lot of execution.

Writer: Joss Whedon, Jed Whedon, Maurissa Tancharoen, Brent Fletcher
Overall Score: 6.5

The Walking Dead Season 4 Finale, 2nd Highest in Series History

THE-WALKING-DEAD-Season-4-Finale-Poster-RickThe Walking Dead went out on a high note for the finale of its fourth season. The excellent episode delivered 15.7 million viewers of which were 10.2 million adults age 18-49. That’s a record breaking night for AMC which also saw a record for The Talking Dead which saw 7.3 million viewers and 4.7 million adults age 18-49. If that wasn’t enough, Comic Book Men had 1.1 million viewers of which 715,000 were adults age 18-49.

The fourth season of The Walking Dead was a record setting one. The series saw an average of 13.3 million live/same day viewers per episode. Of that 8.6 million were adults age 18-49. That’s an increase of +24%/+22% over season three.

From an AMC release, here’s some statistical highlights.

Key Nielsen Highlights for the season four finale of The Walking Dead

  • 9 pm airing – 8.0 national HH rating with 15.7 million viewers
  • 9 pm airing – 8.0 national rating with 10.2 million Adults 18-49
  • 9 pm airing – 7.8 national rating with 9.3 million Adults 25-54

Key Nielsen Highlights for the season three finale of Talking Dead

  • 10 pm airing – 3.8 national HH rating with 7.3 million viewers
  • 10 pm airing – 3.7 national rating with 4.7 million Adults 18-49
  • 10 pm airing – 3.7 national rating with 4.4 million Adults 25-54

Key Nielsen Highlights for the season three finale of Comic Book Men

  • 12 am airing – 0.8 national HH rating with 1.1 million viewers
  • 12 am airing – 0.6 national rating with 715,000 Adults 18-49
  • 12 am airing – 0.6 national rating with 666,000 Adults 25.54

The Walking Dead was a monster online as well. The show was the #1 non-sports related program on the night on Twitter with 1.01 million Tweets from 356,770 unique people. All that added up to 63.11 million Twitter impressions. There were also numerous hashtags related to the show that were trending.

On Facebook 3.1 million people had 5.8 million interactions about The Walking Dead.

 

TV Review: The Walking Dead S.4 Ep.16 – A

Warning Spoilers Ahead

the walking dead season 4In the season finale of The Walking Dead Rick and the others begin to reunite at Terminus, soon realizing that the marauders are closing in, and that the so-called sanctuary is not exactly what it seems to be.

The episode opens up in the past, with everyone back at the prison, it’s simpler times, a time of happiness. Quickly flash to Rick, alone, covered in blood, sitting on a road by himself, and shaking. We know to expect a tense episode, and we’re not even at the credits yet.

Post credits, we see Rick, Carl and Michonne, still in the woods and surviving, making their way to Terminus. After a quiet moment of teaching, the three are interrupted by the screams of an individual surrounded by walkers. Their quiet moment has gone bad as the three are now on the run, having to change their plans and now figure out where to go to survive the walkers. It leads them to a car, and things are calm again. But that’s not for long… Rick and crew are surrounded by the crew Daryl has joined. And the crew has issues with Rick, they know he killed a member of their crew. But, I don’t remember them ever seeing Rick and I have no idea how they know who did it. But, that’s a plot hole I guess I’ll need to go back and figure out myself.

Out of all of the moments this season, this battle, between Rick and the “bikers” is the scariest of them all. I had no idea how they’d all get out of it and what’s needed to be done to survive, what is done, is brutal, visceral, and frightening. This is Rick unchained, all his pent-up anger is loosened.

But, throughout the episode, we’re shown flashbacks. The flashbacks are mostly between Rick and Herschel. We’ve never seen how Rick became a farmer, a shepherd, and here’s that back story. The episode is clearly about Rick’s finding peace, then losing it due to man, not the walkers. It’s also about what world Rick is giving Carl. As Hershel says, Rick’s war is over, but from the fight we just saw, it’s clearly not. Rick won’t know peace in this world. But, they’re back with Daryl! So… yay?

Rick and Daryl discuss Daryl’s journey and what happened and it’s clear these four are family now. Rick explains his anger that unleashes is a reason they’re alive. We’ve just seen it, and saw it with Rick and Tyreese. Rick is a killer for survival, not because it’s part of some rule set, and he’ll do what he needs to so he and Carl survives. What’s also interesting is Michonne with Carl. It’s clear there’s a motherly/sisterly thing going on with Michonne watching over Carl. It’s a great relationship and is another example of the growth of these characters over this season and the series. It all leads to Michonne opening up to Carl about how she lost her child and boyfriend, an emotional moment for her as she explains her “pet” zombies and how she deserved to drag them around as a reminder. To her it made her a monster and gone. She’s found now, with a new family. But, the dynamic between the three, Rick, Michonne, and Carl is a weird one, but shows how things have changed in personal relationships, along with the new threats.

But, the four have gotten to Terminus and are smart by sneaking in. There they meet the members of this crew and are welcomed. Something isn’t right. Much like Rick and crew, we’re suspicious as viewers, wondering what the spin of it all is. Should we trust them? That answer is quickly provided.

Things quickly dissolve, and Rick and crew are under fire again, up against unknown forces who want something…. we don’t know what, we don’t know why. It’s tense, very tense, and I felt my stomach tighten as the action progressed. I expected the worst. But, through it all, there’s some good moments, as Rick and his team is reunited with Glenn and his. It’s a joining of forces we’ve been waiting for.

After all of that, we’re back in the past. Happier moments. Rick, Carl, Herschel, joined by Beth working on the farm. Cut though to the present, and Rick is about to lead another revolution, and take on Terminus. A hell of an ending as it looks like season five is starting off with war.

Next season can’t come soon enough…. I left the episode shaking, jaw dropped, and counting down the days.

Writer Credits: Frank Darabont, Robert Kirkman, Tony Moore, Charlie Adlard
Overall Score: 8.75

TV Review: Comic Book Men – Episode 316 – Knights of the Stash

Warning Spoilers Ahead

comic book menIn this episode of Comic Book Men, Jason Mewes invites the guys to a Renaissance fair for medieval revelry and a customer brings in one of the most valuable items the Stash has ever seen.

The most valuable item is interesting and kicks off the show. This is an item I’ve never eve heard of, which is a reason I like the show. As usual it’s a fun thing about the episode, I find something about geekdom that’s new to me. The end decision about the deal, I’m not too sure on, but it’s always interesting to hear Walt’s thought process on how he comes to his decisions.

I’ve never been to a Renaissance fair. There’s little about it that interests me. So watching how these guys react going to one is entertaining. It’s all clearly set up and none of it is realistic in that you or I could experience one like they experience it. The situations are fun, and in the beginning the crew is rather mixed in their enjoyment, but that generally turns. The most interesting thing is that there’s a good debate about how Walt judges the folks who appreciate Renaissance fairs, but they themselves have no issue with comic related cosplay. I wish there was more discussion of that, as it’s well worth it. But, thankfully most of the group seems to disagree with Walt, who’s the judgy one of them.

Overall, the episode was an ok one, maybe the weakest of the season, but there’s still moments that got me to laugh. I do appreciate it on some level…. still not sure I’ll ever go to a Renaissance fair.

Featuring: Ming Chen, Kevin Smith, Walt Flanagan, Bryan Johnson, Mike Zapcic Overall Score: 7

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The weekend is here! What’s everyone doing?

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Bleeding Cool – Blackout Is Coming To Agents Of SHIELD, Played By Patrick Brennan – Interesting.

Spinoff Online – CinemaCon 2014 | ‘X-Men’ Excites But ‘The Secret Service’ Steals Fox’s Show  – Also interesting.

GamePolitics – UK Copyright Law Will Allow CD and DVD Ripping This Summer – Very nice.
Around the Tubes Reviews

Talking Comics – All-New X-Factor #5

Talking Comics – Guardians of the Galaxy #13

IGN – Noah

CBR – Superior Spider-Man #30

CBR – The Wake #7

A Sneak Peek of The Walking Dead Season 4 Finale

Don’t miss the next episode of The Walking Dead, Sun., Mar. 30 at 9/8c.

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