Category Archives: Reviews

TV Review: Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. S4E10 The Patriot

agents-of-shield-lmdSeparated from their team, Coulson and Mack discover a shocking secret about Mace, leaving all of S.H.I.E.L.D. in a precarious position.

Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. focuses on Mace this episode as the episode primarily is about Coulson, Mack, and Mace after they’re shot down and have to survive.

It’s an interesting episode in that it reveals the truth about Mace and we learn more about the character, his background, and the secret he’s been hiding. For most of the season Mace has felt like a suit playing the person in charge and this episode is where it all comes together and makes a lot more sense.

It’s not bad and an interesting twist to everything that sets up yet another dynamic to everything. Who knows if that’s good or bad, we’ll see where it goes and how it does that.

There’s some bad in the episode.

The LMD aspect of the story feels a little plodding and it doesn’t really move along at all. May fights her captivity but overall it’s thrown in there. Instead the episode should have just ignored it as little actually happens it feels like. Everything could have been added to another episode and up the pacing a bit.

I was worried Hydra would rear its ugly head this season and they come up… a lot. Which makes me feel like we’ll see them as the main villain before the season is over. It’s a little boring at this point and it’d be nice if the Watchdogs were a thing on their own instead of being a part of some bigger conspiracy.

For as good as last week was, this week was a step back in too many ways. The series this season as a whole has been uneven and we see that here. The episode ends on a high not though with a creepy horror like tinge that the series would do well to follow. Hopefully, things will pick up from here.

Overall Score: 7.55

TV Review: Lucifer S2E11 Stewardess Interruptus

Lucifer TVThe tension between Lucifer and Chloe makes it difficult for them to investigate the murder of two victims who happen to be Lucifer’s old flames.

Lucifer lays it all out there in this return episode after its winter break. Let me start by saying, hells yes. This episode is fantastic in so many ways. There’s the fun performances of the characters, the interesting case, and the focus on Lucifer and Chloe… especially Lucifer.

For its two seasons the series has hinted that Lucifer is at least bi-sexual (though could be something else), basically he’s not hetero. This episode throws that in front of us with Lucifer having to deal with past lovers, both female and male. It’s fantastic to see and to see his, and Chloe’s reaction, shows how far some have come when sexuality is involved. His mentioning his having been with men and Chloe’s reaction is very modern and in the end feels as natural as anything else.

But, in all of that there’s a greater focus on Lucifer and the fact that in the end few people really care about him. There’s an obsessed individual who feels like a cultish stand-in representing those who say the worship the devil, but even that is fairly shallow. We get to see more of Lucifer the person and in that we feel a bit bad for him.

The episode isn’t all “awe,” there’s lots of humor, especially when it comes to Maze and Detective Douche. Their “buddy cop” relationship is fantastic and seeing Maze finally taking center stage is beyond welcome. It brings a levity to it all.

The episode is absolutely fantastic showing off all of the strengths of the characters and actors delivering one of the most fun hours I’ve had watching tv in a while. Lucifer remains my favorite comic television adaptation right now and this episode is a prime example why.

Overall Rating: 9.45

TV Review: Gotham S3E11 Mad City: Ghosts

season_3_posterFalcone (guest star John Doman) places a hit on Gordon (Ben McKenzie). ‎Gordon and Bullock (Donal Logue) discover a follower of Jerome (guest star Cameron Monaghan), who plans to bring him back to life. Meanwhile, Penguin (Robin Lord Taylor) spirals out of control before the biggest television interview of his Mayoral career, and Bruce (David Mazouz) and Selina (Camren Bicondova) deal with Selina’s mom’s return to Gotham.

Gotham returns from its winter break with an episode that continues some things from before the break and head straight in to some all new things in an episode that absolutely reflects the ADD season so far.

After Gordon killed Falcone’s son at the end of the last episode it’s a focus on revenge in the absolutely silliest thing we’ve seen this season. Hitmen running around with automatic weapons lighting up places trying to kill a cop seems bizarre even for this series and a mob boss would be much more subtle than this is. Even for a show that’s over the top, this is a bit too much and it’s resolution is so quick that any actual drama is wasted.

There’s Selina’s mom’s storyline which is… a distraction it feels.

Then there’s a focus on Penguin which is actually interesting once it’s clear where things are going by the end of the episode. The build up had me scratching my head and thinking things were a bit silly until the payoff that actually is solid in how it comes together.

Finally, we get a whole new story about the dead rising and the eventual return of Jerome, aka proto-Joker. It’s yet another storyline thrown into an already packed episode and season. It ties into Indian Hill, but maybe it’d be better to save this for the next season?

That’s my issue with this episode, it attempts to do too much adding onto a season that’s already packed with storylines that aren’t focused enough on and not given enough depth. Focusing just on the Court of Owls, or just the rage virus, or just Falcone’s revenge, or the return of Jerome, or Penguin’s meltdown, or two of these things, it’d work and work really well. But packing too much makes the episode and series a master of none of them.

Overall Rating: 6.75

TV Review: Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. S4E5 Broken Promises

agents-of-shield-lmdCoulson is unaware of a dark secret May is hiding, even as the two grow closer; Aida is determined to find the Darkhold.

Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. picks up where the intriguing conclusion to the winter break left us with Aida running around trying to get the Darkhold and May replaced with a Life Model Decoy.

The episode basically runs two stories, both of which are pretty solid.

First, there’s Aida and trying to get the Darkhold. She goes with an all out assault and that gets the team working to stop her with a lot of action and some great jokes about the fact there’s a killer robot on the loose. There’s lots of pop-culture references that give the tone of the episode an entertaining one with jokes flying around, especially comments about the Terminator franchise.

What’s more interesting is the weaves this part of the episode pulls off. I’m not going to ruin it, but at first I thought things were wrapped up and settled, but boy was I wrong. In fact, what seems like the end is only the beginning as we learn more about what’s really going on as far as the Darkhold.

The second part of the episode has to do with Senator Nadeer and that mysterious Inhuman. We learn a lot there and again I don’t want to ruin things but Daisy, Jemma, and Director Mace go to deal with that. It’s an interesting new dynamic with Daisy back and not fully trusting her new boss and vice versa.

What I particularly enjoyed was this episode tying into something from earlier, the Watchdogs, that felt like it had been abandoned. They look like they’ll be the big bad for the rest of the season as there’s someone lurking in the shadows. As long as it’s not Hydra again, I’d be happy with that.

The episode is a pretty solid one coming back from an uneven first half of the season to deliver an entertaining hour that had a lot of action and more importantly really sets up where the rest of the season is going.

Overall Score: 7.70

TV Review: Justice League Action: Shazam Slam!

justice-league-actionWhen Batman becomes possessed, the Justice League must hunt down and defeat the Djinn to save him and the world.

The Justice League are back in animated action in Justice League Action‘s hour-long debut that has the team dealing with some escaped Djinn and eventually Black Adam. Sporting a style which feels like a blend of Bruce Timm, Imaginext, McDonlad’s toys (though Cyborg feels like a nod to the Teen Titans Go! style). It’s an interesting style that feels like an appeal to kids and based on the 6pm debut, that’s most likely the intended audience (and we’ll keep that in mind for the review).

The episode doesn’t have a ton as far as story or depth, it’s focus like the title suggests is on action. Again, not a bad thing and believe it or not a niche that isn’t filled by DC’s animated movies.

The humor is the focus on tone which is light and fun. There’s lots of jokes and everything is a quick take. Again, with a focus on kids this isn’t too shocking.

The characters are plenty which is partially the most fun of the series. Wonder Woman, Batman, Superman, Green Arrow, Green Lantern, Cyborg, the major characters are there. But, Swamp Thing, Constantine, Booster Gold, and Shazam all are part of it as well. It creates a great mix with all sorts of personalities and powers to combine.

The animated series is fight but light. It’s called Justice League Action and it shows. We’ve seen better animated series, but this is a welcome addition filling a hole that’s been there for far too long.

Overall Rating: 7

The Walking Dead S7E8 Hearts Still Beating Review

walking-dead-5 photoNegan’s unwelcome visit to Alexandria continues as other members scavenge for supplies; things quickly spin out of control.

The Walking Dead‘ this season has been criticized for being slow, meandering, and really down. Not the usual story of survival, community, and family that we’ve seen for the last six seasons.

This mid-season finale, while not the best we’ve seen, is the best of the season and is as much of a message to the viewers as it is to the people of this universe.

It picks up from the previous episode where Negan has been hanging out in Alexandria waiting for Rick’s return and being rather domestic by cooking and having dinner. It’s interesting in we see a relaxed, almost charming Negan. This is one that would almost be a productive member of society. But, we know that’s not the case.

It’s hard to describe most of what happens for the Alexandria setting of the episode. Two individuals die and it’s not too shocking as to who it is. That takes away some of the emotional aspect of it, but how and why is interesting. It ramps up the tension of the series and really sets into motion what those who have read the comics know is coming…. “All Out War.”

But the episode really is about that catharsis. Rick, when we get to those final moments, is back in his “don’t fuck with him” mode and ready to take on Negan for the greater good. Up to this point he’s been broken by Negan, but there’s a change here and we almost see the switch in Rick as he goes through some motions.

And there’s a hell of a lot of emotion as well. Daryl makes it out of Sanctuary and back to the group which results in a reunion where I teared up a little. But the group as a whole comes together and in those final moments march on to what happens next. It’s a reunion that screams the band is back together and game on. It’s the emotional moment which has been lacking for much of this year.

The end of it all feels like a message to the viewers as much as everyone on the show. Rick is back. Rick is ready to kick ass. Negan’s reign is coming to an end as Rick’s “ricktatorship” is back. Rick has a message for fans, buckle up because all hell is about to break loose.

Overall rating: 8.85

TV Review: DC’s Legends of Tomorrow S2E8 The Chicago Way

legends-of-tomorrow-season-2A new time aberration leads the Legends to 1927 Chicago, where they realize they’ve been set up by Eobard Thawne, Damien Darhk and Malcolm Merlyn; when Stein is taken captive, Sara must choose whether to save him or try to stop the Legion of Doom.

DC’s Legends of Tomorrow  is a fun episode as the team heads to Chicago and has to deal with Al Capone. Malcolm Merlyn is also introduced as part of this new Legion of Doom and that means things get interesting considering his history with Sara.

The episode feels like the first real clash between the Legends and the Legion and as is usual the heroes get their butts kicked by the bad guys. That seems to be how these stories go (with the heroes eventually rallying).

There’s also some interesting things like Stein telling Sara what he did and he reaction. Due to various reasons this episode that isn’t fully discussed but we get to see the characters’ perspectives when it comes to changing history and that’s pretty interesting.

And most importantly the episode is fun. Heatwave steps up as he deals with an imaginary Captain Cold. Is he doing it for the girl or for other reasons? We get a better idea about him and it’s nice to see some depth. He constantly steals the show and this episode is no exception. What’s also fun is the time twists, especially how Capone is used. It’s some small “what ifs” but they’re nice and interesting.

The episode ends us in an fascinating place and it’s something I’m not going to ruin for you. I personally am looking forward to seeing what it means when the series returns in January.

Overall Rating: 8.05

TV Review: Arrow S5E9 What We Leave Behind

arrowAfter the attack on Curtis, Oliver realizes Prometheus is planning to make a deadly move on all of Team Arrow; Felicity and Malone find a clue that ties Prometheus to Oliver’s past.

Arrow takes its mid-season break with Oliver figuring more of Prometheus’ plan and somewhat of how it ties into Oliver’s past. The episode is an interesting one that does a solid job of balancing the action with the schmaltz.

Curtis gets a big part of the spotlight in this episode which has him not fighting crime as much as fighting with his husband. The two have been seen a bit throughout the series, but we really haven’t gotten to know them other than some cute moments here and there. This episode really dives into their relationship with the fact Curtis has been moonlighting being brought up. It’s interesting in that it addresses a question I have, but there’s also some issues in that it seems like no one who’s a superhero can have a decent relationship on this show! It’s all really touching and heartbreaking and as much as I wanted to see this tackled, I also didn’t want it to go like this.

The rest of the episode dives into Oliver’s past and that’s the thing that’s really solid about this story arc. The episode weaves this new story effortlessly into the past and it works really well! It makes me want to go back and check out the series’ first two seasons. It also does a good job of returning to some of the plot threads from those seasons that seems to have just… gone away.

There’s some fun too with the episode. The team celebrates the holidays a bit which gives the rest of the team moments of their own to shine. They’re all finally getting some depth which is adding to the show’s enjoyment.

The episode is a really good one… and that’s not even going into that ending. What the hell!? We’ll have to wait and see what it all means, but I know I did a double take.

From the touching moments to the action, this was the strongest episode of the season and hopefully we get more like it when the show returns.

Overall rating: 8.65

TV Review: Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. S4E8 The Laws of Inferno Dynamics

agents of shield season 4With the lives of everyone in Los Angeles hanging in the balance, S.H.I.E.L.D. and Ghost Rider find themselves working together.

Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. wraps up the with the midseason finale that feels like sound and fury signifying nothing.

There’s a lot that goes on here as SHIELD and Ghost Rider take on Eli. And the Inhumans step up as a team including the director who straps on his own costume. A lot of the episode deals with Yo-Yo, Ghost Rider, and Quake stepping up as a unit. There’s lots of action and lots of special fx, but overall it feels pretty empty.

Stories wrap up nicely and a lot of new ones begin and overall there just feels like something was missing. We finally get an idea of what Eli’s plan is and it’s… something. I’m still not quite sure the point other than his being nuts. And when it’s all wrapped up it kind of feels like the writers weren’t sure where they were going with it all either.

Thrown into all of the action Mac and Yo-Yo’s relationship is really pushed. It’s something thats been danced around all season, but not really addressed in a long way, but it feels like it’s a major issue in this episode. Since it just is thrust front and center it feels really out of place due to that.

And the episode really feels like it’s a way to wrap up the rather listless plot for the first half of the year and moving us onto the next which will have more to do with ADA and LMDs. For fans of comics, that has potential and while this season generally feels improved it still has shown some major issues when it comes to the plotting.

Hopefully we’re done with this mess of a story… on to January!

Overall Score: 7.95

TV Review: The Flash S3E9 The Present

The Flash Season 2Barry heads for Earth-3 to get advice from Jay Garrick on how to stop Savitar; Wally tells Barry he’s been training with H.R.; old wounds are reopened as Cisco faces Christmas without Dante.

The Flash wraps up with this mid-season finale that features a holiday themed episode with everyone sort of getting together to celebrate it while they also battle Savitar. To do that Barry gets some help from Jay Garrick and all of it is interested.

The bad of the episode is that it features Mark Hammill. That usually wouldn’t be bad, but in this case it’s brief and a very short guest appearance. It’s always cool to see him, but it’d have gone over better as a secret to be found out while watching. I had hoped for more as far as that.

The episode is interesting in that we get a better idea of who/what Savitar is and why he’s after Barry. We also get an idea of how that ties into Dr. Alchemy. That part is interesting and works well, but the episode is really about the future. Savitar lays out what Barry and his team can expect and then in an odd twist the episode gives us an actual vision of the future.

And that’s what the episode really feels like, about the future. It wraps up some plotlines, but it’s really about setting things forward for the second half of the season. The wrapping things up is a bit too clean and what’s presented, there feels like a lack of emotion by the characters. Cisco deals with his brother, but other than a haunted look we don’t see a lot of emotion. Barry sees some crazy stuff, but handles it in a level headed way. The episode packs a punch, but misses when it comes to that emotional element.

Still, it’s a good episode. There’s a lot in the hour and it sets up a lot in the future. It just felt to me like something was missing.

Overall Rating: 7.85

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