Category Archives: Reviews

TV Review: Riverdale S1E11 Chapter Eleven: To Riverdale and Back Again

riverdaleAlice wants Betty to help with the Jason Blossom investigation; Jughead wonders if it’s the right time to give his father another chance; Fred and Mary attend the homecoming dance.

Riverdale is bright lights and music with the homecoming dance as the first season begins to wind down with just a few episodes left and that means we still need to find out who killed Jason.

This episode is focused on that with various characters doing their best Scooby Doo to try find out who killed Jason and maybe we’ve gotten an answer by the end of the episode? Or, is someone setting him up?

There’s lots of feints in this episode, especially for the ending, and we as viewers still wonder exactly what’s up. What’s interesting though is this episode emphasizes the history of everyone’s parents and that at one point they too were in the same positions as their sons and daughters and were friends and dating. We get more of that here and what I think is one of the strongest aspects of the series is that layering reminding us of the history of everyone.

The episode is a good one. It’s entertaining. There’s good acting. The plotting is solid in its pacing and how things play out. The episode hits all the beats and does what it needs to do which is throttle us towards the final few episodes of the series in the coming weeks. This is the set up before the series ending spike and in that sense and as a part of the whole, it’s a great addition to this series.

“To Riverdale and Back Again” is a fantastic episode in that it has an almost complete focus on the bigger murder mystery but throughout it reminds us that the parents of Riverdale are as much stars and vital parts of the story as their kids.

Overall Rating: 8.55

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TV Review: Arrow S5E19 Dangerous Liaisons

arrowOliver, Team Arrow, ARGUS, and the SCPD kick off a citywide manhunt for Adrian Chase; Felicity needs to deliver something illegal that will entice Helix to go after Chase.

Arrow is an interesting one as it focuses on the chase for Chase and Felicity makes a choice to go her route to find the wanted individual. That involves working with Helix to free one of their comrades in exchange for some help to find Chase.

While the plot is ok, the episode is much better than it seems at first glance and that’s primarily due to the points made by Felicity when confronted by Oliver concerning what she’s about to do. Her actions put her on the opposite side of Team Arrow and as she points out, why is it ok for only Oliver to do everything necessary to win the day? Why can’t other members? It’s a solid defense and points out Oliver is often a hypocrite in his battle and takes a do as I say, not as I do attitude. It’s solid for someone to call him on his shit.

The other part of the episode that makes this a solid one involves Rene and Quentin calling him out for not seeing his kid. There’s some solid back and forth and real heart in their discussions. It also answers some questions about Rene that have been lingering and also shows off how solid of a character he is. This bit of the episode grounds it a lot and also is some of the most solid writing of the season. It’s simple, but the focus on the characters is something we don’t see enough of.

I’ve been up and down as far as this season, but this episode is easily one of the strongest. Through the there’s a real focus on the characters adding depth to each in their own way and there’s lots I’m leaving out so I don’t spoil anything. A solid hour that gave us action and heart.

Overall rating: 8.15

TV Review: Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. S4E19 All the Madame’s Men

Daisy teams up with an unlikely partner; Aida prepares to put her endgame into effect.

Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. is interesting in that the final game plan for Aida is clear and it doesn’t make a hell of a lot of sense when you think about it.

Aida is using Fitz to try to build a system to give her a real body, because? I don’t quite understand the reasoning behind it all since she’s a robot, has free will for the most part, and is in full control. Why would she want to make herself weaker? This also the question as to why she’s keeping everyone alive? Other than Fitz, I’m not really seeing the point at all.

But the episode is all about that build to the point where the team will eventually defeat her and escape. We know it’s coming, it’s just more of a question as a how and what the fallout will be.

What’s also interesting is so many characters being willing to accept that they don’t live in the real world and go along with things. There’s some serious flaws in Aida’s program apparently. You’d think she’d make it all work in her favor a bit more, wouldn’t you?

This part of the season has gotten to the point where the concept is better than the actual execution. It’s not bad and there’s lots of action but the holes in the plot are a bit too big to ignore.

With the future of the show up in the air, it’ll be interesting see how far the series will go, and maybe it’ll be able to revitalize itself a bit before the season wraps up. The story here had a lot of promise when it began but has quickly fallen into a lot of the issues that we’ve seen before.

Overall Score: 7.05

TV Review: iZombie S3E4 Wag the Tongue Slowly

normal_izombietv_s01promo_001-1~0Liv consumers the brain of a murder victim who had the reputation of being an office gossiper; Blaine and Peyton grow closer as they wait to see if Ravi is able to reverse the effects of the cure; Major is one step away from fulfilling a promise.

iZombie gives us an episode that mostly sticks to its formula in this episode but what the series seems to be doing in its third season is adding in a bigger mystery, well really mysteries.

Most of the episode focuses on a murder which has Liv consuming a brain to help figure out who the murder is. It’s the usual for the show and Rose McIver is always fantastic playing off the various personality quirks of her new brain. That story is interesting and there’s lots of fun, and funny, moments that keep it interesting.

But, the episode is really about those ongoing stories.

The fix to the zombie cure, the zombie killer, Blaine and Peyton, that’s all explored here and then some. And I think that’s where this season is really standing out. It’s able to mix in four or five different plotlines in a way that’s not completely clear how they all come together and every single bit feels like it has more than enough time to move it forward and entertain.

As always, the cast is fantastic and how they interact always stands out. When it really comes to having fun and seeming like they’re having fun, this cast and show really stands out. And here too, we get that, even when the story itself is a little dark.

iZombie constantly entertains and this season has picked up after a slow and odd start. Consistently it delivers one of the most fun hours of television and consistently has me laughing and putting a smile on my face.

Overall Rating: 7.65

TV Review: The Flash S3E19 The Once and Future Flash

The Flash Season 2Barry travels to the future to find out Savitar’s still unknown identity in the hope of saving Iris; the hunt for Killer Frost continues in 2017.

The Flash goes back to the future as Barry hopes to find the identity of Savitar and instead finds his friends broken and still grieving. Trips out of time are always interesting and open up opportunities to explore some of the characters and what makes them, them. Here we get a sense of that but it has more to deal with the friendship and unit everyone is.

With the death of Iris, Barry has given up and things have fallen apart. There’s some interesting things to see how everyone has taken it and what they’re up to.

But, the episode is a little weak in that we see some Rogues who have taken over the city beating up the Flash, but you don’t get a sense the city is under some crime spree and with only two, it’s a little weird. There should be more Rogues and villains taking advantage, but I never got a real sense that was the case. So, with hints the Rogues have beat up the Flash and his team, it’s kind of blah.

But, we see the band get back together in a way and that’s cool. Barry also is given a little help from future Barry, so it’s not all lost. Overall, the episode feels like it has a Scrooge sort of vibe about it, so nothing really new in that way.

The episode though really pays off at the end when Killer Frost is confronted by Savitar. It’s clearly someone who has gotten her attention, which has me that much more interested in finding out who is behind it all.

Not a bad episode, but one that doesn’t add a ton to the series other than giving Barry a little more effort to defeat Savitar. Still, I really want to know who Savitar is!!!!

Overall Rating: 7.35

Supergirl S2E18 “Ace Reporter” is a Fun Transition Episode

Lena’s ex-boyfriend comes to National City to unveil his nano-technology breakthrough; Lena asks Kara to attend Jack’s conference with her for support.

After a bit of a break Supergirl is back with an episode that feels like a transition from the first half of the season to the rest of the season. The episode is a Lena Luthor-centric episode as it has to deal with her ex-boyfriend coming to town. That ex might look familiar as he’s played by iZombie‘s Rahul Kohli who plays Jack. The episode is interesting as Kohli’s character on that show has had some recent issues when it comes to women and his interaction with them, so to see this episode also focus on a relationship is a bit… weird. While I know it shouldn’t play on my mind, it did.

The episode though feels like one to transition the characters in various directions.

Kara’s situation concerning her job is the focus of her growth and that’s where this episode focuses her. We get more information about Lena and she’s given some depth by showing her being vulnerable concerning Jack. But, even through all of that, the end of the episode is her major twist. Then we get some stuff between Guardian and Winn.

It’s all rather forgettable when it comes to the big picture. None of it is bad in any way, and the bad guy in this episode feels different at least compared to the super powered aliens that have made up the bulk of them this season.

But, other than shifting some of the relationships, not much in this episode is really memorable or stands out. Not a bad hour, but also not the most super one either.

Overall Rating: 7.0

TV Review: Gotham S3E15 Heroes Rise: How the Riddler Got His Name

season_3_posterNygma (Cory Michael Smith) convinces himself that he doesn’t need Penguin (Robin Lord Taylor) to succeed and begins to introduce himself to Gotham as “The Riddler.” Bullock (Donal Logue) and Lucius Fox (Chris Chalk) get caught up in Nygma’s mind games, while Gordon (Ben McKenzie) learns troubling news about his father’s death. Meanwhile, the Court of the Owls reveals its next move.

Gotham returns with an interesting episode that focuses almost completely on Nygma and it’s all presented in a series of mind games featuring Lucius Fox and Harvey Bullock. What’s interesting is the episode is mostly devoid of Gordon whose story is relegated to the secondary story. Instead, coheadlining the episode is more of a focus on Bruce and “evil Bruce.”

There’s some good and a lot of bad.

The good, actually close to great, is the story featuring Nygma, Fox, and Bullock. The story is entertaining, especially to see Fox and Nygma challenge each other’s brains. The focus on brain instead of brawn is a nice shift from the more physical aspects of previous episodes. But, the story really feels like we’re just getting to the point Nygma calls himself Riddler. Almost as the story is crafted around that concept. It’s not a bad aspect, but it feels a little forced. Still, Cory Michael Smith as Nygma has a solid spiral into his insanity.

Then there’s aspects involving Bruce and Gordon and while they move things along, there’s just not much excitement there. The series is clearly pushing Bruce to his eventual turn into Batman, which is strange since he’s barely a tween and we see some of those steps here. Then there’s this Gordon and the Court of Owls story, which also involves Bruce… that I’m holding out to see how it really plays out.

Overall, not a bad episode in its return but it still shows some issues with mixed acting and story plotting. The series isn’t consistent in its quality within its episode which makes for a choppy experience and entertainment.

Overall Rating: 6.45

Attack on Titan S2E38 “Southwestward” Review and Analysis

In Attack on Titan’s Southwestward,” we get a build-up to what should be one of the defining battles of the second season: The Siege at Utgard Castle. This episode seems to work as more of a build for the next couple of episodes to come. Without much to lean on story-wise, this episode builds up the anticipation of what’s about to happen.

The episode starts with a cold-open on one of the most significant parts of the entire episode. We’re back with Connie Springer in his home town trying to figure out what exactly happened. As Connie tries to come to grip with what happened to all his family and friends, other members of the Survey Corp try to help Connie figure out what transpired. Lynne suggests that because there’s no carnage, all of the villagers had to have escaped unharmed. Gelgar questions Lynne’s conclusion because Titans aren’t known for ransacking anywhere other than to specifically target humans. Moreover, all of the horses remained in the stables which means that the humans would’ve had a low likelihood of reaching safety with titans on their heels.

4-24-2017 1-58-54 PM.png

As they’re getting ready to move out, Connie hears the most haunting words uttered in the entire series of Attack on Titan, “Welcome Home.” Connie looks in sheer terror after seeing a Titan speak for the first time. The Titan who crushed his home and his spirit leaves Connie with more questions and no answers as to what happened to his family

The rest of the episode does an alright job of building suspense for the coming episodes while fleshing out the secondary characters. We get to see more of the relationship with Ymir and Christa who in season one were all but non-existent. The show also builds on the collective intelligence of Hanji and Armin who are able to work out that the walls were probably created by Titans still living inside of the walls. Pastor Nick finally speaks up and gives the Scout Corps some desperately needed information that Christa, a 104th Regiment Recruit, is the key to all of the Scout Corps questions. Pastor Nick says only Christa is able to reveal the answers that Hanji has been seeking, and they must find her to discover the truth. Just as this reveal happens, Sasha reports back to Hanji and Levi that they are needed at Castle Utgard.

As we skip over to Castle Utgard we find the impending doom for the remaining 9 scouts locked up in the castle tower. Titans are moving at night, somehow powered by the full moon, and the scouting group has the unfortunate luck to see the Beast Titan for the first time. As things seem dire for the Scout Regiment locked up in their tower, Hanji’s squad rides towards Castle Utgard to give some much-needed assistance.

This episode provides the viewer with a relative break in the action so that the episode can rebuild the suspense and horror that is sure to come over the next few episodes. In shows like Attack on Titan, it’s important to break up the constant slaughtering with a bit of solid foreshadowing so that the horrors of the Attack on Titan world don’t become predictable and normalized. While it’s not necessarily as exciting as the battle intensive episodes, I get why it’s needed, it just isn’t as satisfying as the episodes that came before or after.

Overall Rating: 7.20

TV Review: Powerless S1E9 Emergency Punch-Up

powerlessbigThe team gears up to leave for a company retreat when supervillain Dr. Psycho releases a toxic gas in Charm City; Emily does her best to make the most of a terrible situation.

Powerless doesn’t bounce back from last week’s episode as this one is a bit… blah, at best. The episode basically has the team stuck in a room with the threat of their dying if they head out of it and breathe Dr. Psycho’s toxic gas. The point of the episode is for the team to be stuck in a situation where they’re force to bond, it’s a tv plot we’ve seen so many times before, and this version doesn’t add anything to the formula.

Part of the episode’s issue, beyond it being a reused plot and adds nothing to it, is that there weren’t any jokes. The humor comes from props and no one really pulls it off. The biggest jokes involve either t-shirts the team is supposed to wear or the fact that Emily has to wear the pee bucket on her head in an attempt to free everyone.

When it comes to the interactions or what’s said, there’s not much there. Van makes a joke about wiping his own butt and there’s a joke about Ron using his cuteness to disarm folks. That’s it.

The series was looking good, but things have slipped these last two episodes where the concept is better than the actual final product. Where once I thought the series was finding its voice, it definitely is struggling now. The concept is there, the writing just isn’t

Overall Rating: 5.85

TV Review: Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. S4E18 No Regrets

The truth behind Fitz’s turn threatens to bring down all of S.H.I.E.L.D.

Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. builds towards the eventual battle with Aida as the team makes some moves to free some individuals and gain more allies. There’s also some questions as to Jemma’s loyalties and what she knows.

The episode to me is mostly forgettable though. There’s the return of Trip which is great to see since he’s a favorite of mine, but other than that, it’s rather blah as a whole. There’s action. There’s some solid sneaking around. But, it’s all about the end of the episode.

But, watching this episode, I can’t help but thinking, of all the holes that are in our faces. Aida is shown with the bodies of all of the individuals in the construct which had me wondering why she hasn’t bothered killing them? There’s also a character getting Terrigen mist around her, but she doesn’t die?

Both of those things were enough to take me out of the episode and at this point, I’m just waiting for the eventual battle and to see how everyone gets out of this simulation. We know it’s coming, so it all just feels like a build to something we know will happen, which unfortunately has me just counting down the episodes for what’s coming.

The series has lost steam as they’ve gone into this new world. The first episode of this specific arc sequence was full of possibilities and you can tell the writers were willing to do whatever they felt like. This and the previous episode though feel much more on the rails and by the book in many ways. The series needs to get back to that anything can happen and if they do that, this season will end on a strong note.

Overall Score: 7.05

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