Category Archives: Reviews

SuperHeroStuff - Shop Now!

Recap: Supergirl S3E16 “Of Two Minds”

There’s a lot to unpack in Supergirl‘s “Of Two Minds” and even more questions about the future that the Legion is trying to prevent. Pestilence is on the loose and Imra and the rest of the legion is out to kill her with their weaponized blood before she becomes Blight. Lena is still trying to find a cure for Reign using pain to induce her alien state so she can study her. A dead bird leads way to five sick city council members and there’s a mysterious mark appearing on those affected.

While the team is dispatched to the nearest outbreak site, Winn uses humor to deflect (and hit on an unimpressed doctor) and J’onn J’onzz says some foreshadowing famous last words about “not causing a panic”, which in formulatic terms means, a panic is about to occur. Imra of course, is the cause of the panic thanks to her putting up a forcefield around the building in an bid to show Supergirl just how much she doesn’t know about anything. Lena discovers new intel about Reign and the parallel universe Sam goes to when she’s not Reign.

Mon’El and Alex reach out to Imra & Supergirl ,respectively to get them to compromise. There’s a hint of everyone knowing that this rivalry is jealousy based , Imra was at the site of the their discovery of a possible Pestilence who turns up dead. Supergirl expresses her displeasure with Imra going rogue and leaving to kill the suspect without telling anyone but, their talk is cut shot by Winn coming down with the disease.

While Winn recovers Imra and Supergirl have a passionate talk about murdering WorldKillers rather than saving the human part of them and Imra storms off refusing to give up her killing objective. Sam and Reign have it out verbally in parallel plane with Reign trying to get Sam to surrender to her dark side. J’onn uses his troubles of dealing with a parent with Alzheimer’s to correlate with Kara’s problem with Irma’s quest. Mon’El calls Imra on her mission statement based on her emotions and begins to question the whole League and mission with Braniac.

Alex falls ill from the precursor to Blight as Winn’s condition worsens, the DNA based vaccine from the future doesn’t work on what they have because, it’s not the full disease. Winn ruminates on his relationship with his mom and having great friends , like Jimmy who dropped everything to be by his side, seems to make peace with his seemingly inevitable end. Sam goes toe to toe with Reign and it isn’t pretty, Reign plays upon her worse maternal fears causing Sam to ask for to beg for death to save her. When Pestilence is discovered the team sets out to stop her and save her human half, while Braniac alerts Imra who is ready to kill her.

Pestilence breaks in to a board room and confronts the insurance company that has been ruining the quality of patient care , using her godlike capabilities to kill people she finds unworthy. Imra decides to attempt to kill Pestilence with a sneak attack while Supergirl is trying to talk sense into her. Her interference causes Pestilence to scratch Supergirl who falls ill which sucks for the team because it gives Julia time to show up and take her away. On the upside as Pestilence fled with Purity ,she drops her needle giving them her pure DNA which is enough to secure and create a cure. Winn and Alex wake up and Supergirl and Imra finally have an open, honest heart to heart that clears to air. Imra finally seems more real than competitive, giving her a bit more of a multidimensional portrayal than the writers have given her. The other two Worldkillers, Purity and Pestilence, sense Reign’s presence and descend upon L-Corp , which sends the team there to help Lena and her secret gets out , unfortunately so does Reign.

This episode was touching, there wasn’t a hint of male toxicity in the whole episode, there was a lot of emotion and tears from the male characters showing us something that we rarely see in modern media. There’s also something nice about Sam wanting to call in her girl crew to fix her in stark contrast to what seemed like the girl fight bound Imra and Supergirl. While his wasn’t one of the best episodes of the series, it was one of the most human, emotions were toyed with and the writing was less pop culture feminism and more real life applications of feminism. It seems like the writers are veering away from the show being all about Supergirl, like Arrow or The Flash, and more about the team as a whole. This veer isn’t a bad thing, it’s just that the story is more defined and very paint by numbers heartstring storylines with real world themes.

Overall Rating: 7.9

Recap: Supergirl S3E14 – Schott Through the Heart

The return of Supergirl in “Schott Through the Heart” starts off with the team getting ready to go to battle but, it’s not what you think. The team is gearing up for a karaoke battle that is and it is every bit of cheesy awesomeness that you’d expect. They kick things off with Kara doing the robot with spitting some Beastie Boys rhymes and includes J’onn talk singing some Whitney. Since we got off to a happy , fun times start we know the bad things are going to hit us hella hard with the furiousness of a gut punch. The writes did not disappoint in that regard. Winn’s rendition of “Take on Me” is interrupted with news of his fathers death appearing on the news before he gets to sing his first note.

Winn’s mother shows up at the funeral and attempts to reconcile now that it’s “safe” but, the would be heart to heart is cut short when the Toy Makers casket explodes. While Alex is off with J’onn and his dad having dinner , Mon’el and Supergirl have a talk and Winn tries to wrap his head around his father’s exploding casket. Mary attempts to reconcile with Winn but, it falls on deaf ears and this somber moment gets interrupted by “flying monkeys” calling Mary out over the sky of the DOE. When the monkeys finally break through , causing all manner of havoc inside and outside of the building, the team jumps into action , while the winged Monkeys try and take Winn.

Alex and the J’onzz men enjoy an interesting dinner that touches on appropriation and the troubles of black men on earth, especially in America. J’onn admits that while he chose Hank for survival, he kept it because he wanted to live authentically and be seen. We see glimpses that the senior J’onzz might have some form of early Alzheimer’s, either from years of isolation and torture or simple aging. Jimmy and Winn attempt to work through Winn’s emotions in regards to Mary’s return, speaking from experience Jimmy lets Winn know that forgiveness is needed to move forward , if that’s what he wants. For her part, Kara talks to Mary while Mary laments about all the things she wishes she would have said to Winn and Kara lets her know that he just needs time.

Alex and the senior J’onzz have a heart to heart about his condition and he kicks her out when she says it might be best to tell J’onn. It is heartbreaking and real, all he wants is to protect his son and all Alex wants is to protect them both. In other familial relationships, Mary shows off her talents for fixing things while dropping some truth on Winn about what she went through living with his father. Memory is a funny thing and the writers showcase the reality of domestic violence in a very real, thoughtful and non-exploitive way. J’onn confronts Alex to find out why she left and she refuses to let him know the truth in an attempt to keep the peace and protect the men who have become her default dad and grandpa.

Mary escapes the DEO and heads on a secret mission to confront the creator of the flying monkeys to protect Winn. Unfortunately, she does this without backup and gets captured and hostaged for Winn by the Toy Makers apprentice. While his protege monologues her devious plan, Mon’El, Jimmy, Winn and Supergirl head off to save Mary. I love that while running for their lives Jimmy and Winn stay true to character and keep up their witty banter. Mon’El and Supergirl take on a Jurassic robot while Winn uses his wit to try and get away from his fathers crazy protege and with his mom getting physical they are able to take down the villain.

The episode ends with a neat bow wrapped around all of the relationship drama and a feeling of closure. Mary and Winn join the team for karaoke night and finally tells him how happy he makes her and how proud she is of him before he invites her to stick around so that they can really get to know each other. Mon’El and Kara have that heart to heart they needed to have and, in typical Kara awkwardness she thinks the talk wasn’t about his wife but, about the Legions plan. We find out that the third world killer will evolve in 1000 years and the ship didn’t arrive in that time by accident. The J’onzz men finally have a heart to heart where the senior J’onzz admits his condition to his son and his regret at not being able to protect him from the pain and J’onn seeks out Alex, who without words gives him a knowing hug. We also find out why Lana was suspiciously missing from the episode and are left wondering if she’s up to her old Luthor trips again, when we see what’s on the other end of her call to Jimmy.

“Schott Through the Heart” is a decent midseason return for Supergirl. The episode is all about hard talks, reconnecting and relationships , making it one of the more human episodes of the show. There is a real but, touching awkwardness is Mon’El and Supergirl’s conversations that reaches it peak in this episode as the truth comes out. Not to be outdone Winn and his mother Mary have a heart to hear but, it’s going to be understandably hard for Winn to let go of some of their pain and come to terms with their estrangement. And, while these softball relationship tests are hard to watch the one that drives things home and hits the heart, is the relationships between J’onn and his father bringing real world problems into our fantasy world and drawing us into the amazing character development that goes into some of the Supergirl characters. Overall this episode was a somber but, interesting watch and relied heavily on character interactions and emotions rather than the usual battle scenes that drive the story forward.

Overall Rating: 8.2

TV Review: Krypton S1E1 Pilot

Superman’s grandfather, Seg-El, learns Krypton is in danger of being destroyed so that his future grandson will never be born.

The history of Superman’s family is explored in Krypton, the new series from SyFy. A cross between the comic series and Game of Thrones, the series focuses on Superman’s grandfather Seg-El and a time travel conspiracy to erase Superman from existence.

The debut is an interesting one taking us deep into the Kryptonian society as they’re take over by the Church of Rao, the quasi-cult like Church that’s been mentioned in Superman and Supergirl’s history but not explored too much.

What we learn is a fanatical sect has taken control over Krypton and rejected science. It’s an interesting concept and one that’s a solid reflection on today’s world as anti-science individuals have invaded our government and rejected logic. Enter the House of El who believes there’s an alien threat that will soon attack Krypton. Replace alien with climate change, and you have a series that’s a loose allegory for today’s ills and one that could soar if it really focused on that.

The series though is about the family drama as the House of El is shamed and the House of Zod rules. It’s more Game of Thrones than Superman comics and that’s quite ok as it makes the series a step above sci-fi adventure.

The characters are interesting but no one stands out. They all feel second tier in their own special way. Only Adam Strange, a time traveller to help save the future, is interesting and makes things a bit more entertaining.

What does stand out is the set design, costumes, and world which has so much detail. The show looks amazing. While it’s drab in color and a bit depressing, it still looks fantastic. Particularly impressive is our brief glimpse of Braniac, the big bad that’s coming, whose make-up and design is heads and above what we’ve seen on live action comic adaptations.

The debut episode isn’t bad, it’s also not amazing either. It’s a good start that has me wanting to see where it all goes. There’s potential here and if any of the characters stand out going forward will be key because right now, there’s no “star” to make the series really stand out. There’s “heart” that’s missing here. The motions are being gone through without the emotional depth and connection that’s needed. No matter what though, it’ll be fantastic to look at.

Overall Rating: 7.0

TV Review: Marvel’s Jessica Jones S2E13 AKA Playland

Waking up in unfamiliar surroundings, Jessica once again finds herself torn between two worlds and facing an impossible choice.

The second season of Jessica Jones wraps up with an episode that reminds me of something but I can’t put my finger exactly on what. The season as a whole has had elements from elsewhere that it’s hard to nail down. Much like the rest of this season, this finale has thrown expectations out the window.

There’s three storylines, two of which play off each other.

Trish has to deal with her mother who is in manager mode, taking advantage and overall being a horrible human being. It’s the dynamic we expect. At times she seems great. At other times she’s horrible. But Trish is recovering with Jessica on her mind. She wants to help but also not turn her in.

Then there’s Jessica who’s on the run with her mother who shows sign of being super. It’s heartbreaking because you can see the hurt Jessica feels and the struggle with what she should do.

And it’s those choices that are interesting.

“We only have one mother” Detective Costa says emphasizing that Jessica is not in her right mind and is focused on blood over what’s right to do.

How that plotline wraps up is unexpected, shocking, and outright heartbreaking. It’s a great ending again preventing the formula we’ve seen so many times before. While not perfect, it’s probably the best finale of a Marvel Netflix series, especially in how it deals with its “villain.”

Then there’s Jeri’s storyline which has now roped in Malcolm. Out of all of the shit, this is Malcolm’s season to shine. Even after being fired, he fixes Jessica’s office, setting it up again. He also delivers the goods to Jeri which leads to a new status quo which should be interesting to see where it all goes in future series. Out of all of the characters, Malcolm is the one that has shown positive growth in so many ways and while he was “the junkie” in the first season, we can see he’s all heart and the best of the bunch. Out of all of the shit, there’s the slight glimmer of good through him. Without it, the season would be a rather depressing one.

The episode wraps up with Jessica figuring things out and taking stock of her life. The noir aspect of the season really comes through with the finale ending in a way that drips crime and detective stories.

As far as endings go, this was the strongest. It brought a lot of emotion and didn’t fall into what feels like the usual punch fest with a big villain. There was something rather muted about it, fitting for a season that as a whole was low key.

Overall Rating: 7.65

TV Review: Marvel’s Jessica Jones S2E12 AKA Pray for My Patsy

As Jessica and Dorothy wait anxiously for updates on Trish, a call from Costa brings alarming news. Jeri hatches a plan to get her revenge.

With just one more episode to go after this, the focus is mothers. Both Trish and Jessica’s. The episode begins in a way where you think that Jessica and Trish’s mother actually have made amends in a way. It’s the most mother/daughter we’ve seen the two out of the two seasons.

We also get the confrontation we’ve been expecting and has been foreshadowed as Jessica’s mother goes after Trish resulting in a hell of a confrontation and a result that’s a bit unexpected in some ways. It’s the fight that has been rather limited this season. Where it goes is interesting and while I had hoped the season wouldn’t end with another fight, it seems like that’s where it’s all going.

Then there’s Jeri who’s out for revenge after being robbed. She’s pissed and she’s going to go after everyone responsible. Where that all goes is rather interesting and it brings Jeri back to being the manipulative shit she is. There’s a comment about that from Jessica in an earlier episode and much like this season, it seems foreshadowing is what it’s all about. The end result is horrible and shows how evil Jeri can be. It’s actually a bit shocking, even for her.

That foreshadowing extends to how the episode ends. Not going to ruin that but this is a season that each episode in various ways build upon the rest. They hint at what’s to come regularly and without massive action sequences it’s all more focused on the characters. With one more to go, it’s going to be an interesting ending.

Overall Rating: 7.45

TV Review: Marvel’s Jessica Jones S2E11 AKA Three Lives and Counting

Shocked by her own actions and haunted by visions of Kilgrave, Jessica worries she’s turning into a monster. Trish’s plans for Karl become clear.

In the first episode of the season, Jessica’s client wanted her to kill her cheating boyfriend. She knew about Jessica and Killgrave and convinced that Jessica was a killer. For much of the season she’s struggled with that and we’ve seen her improve in so many ways.

The last episode had her make a choice though in a sort of act of defense where she killed again and now she’s haunted by her actions.

Literally haunted.

Killgrave is back haunting her as she deals with her choices as well as figure out what to do next with Doctor Malus. There’s something great about seeing David Tennant in his role. He brings such an evil and sadistic charm to it all and he and Krysten Ritter have a solid banter. Her grumpy demeanor, though she’s the good one, his happy/smiley responses, though he’s the evil rapist. It really works because it’s so unlike what you’d expect. It also brings Jessica back to her “traumatic center” that drove her narrative the first season. It was nice to see her make gains this season but this reminds us trauma lasts and isn’t an easy fix.

But, for as bad as Jessica is, Trish has gone off the deep end kidnapping Malus and betraying Malcolm. There’s some interesting stuff with her but her motivation is a little odd feeling like it’s driven by jealousy. The two’s dynamic has been a big part of the season and this episode really brings together the strange dynamic which while sisterly also is not healthy.

The episode explores Jessica’s loss. By the end of the episode, Trish is harmed, Malcolm’s relationship with Jessica has collapsed. For all the gains of the season, she’s now at rock bottom in many ways again shunned and shunning friends. With great performances by Ritter and Tennant, the episode is a standout of the season.

The season has been an interesting one in that way with ebbs and flows around relationships and this episode is one of the highs of the season.

Overall Rating: 8.35

TV Review: Marvel’s Jessica Jones S2E10 AKA Pork Chop

Jeri finagles a deal for her new client in exchange for Karl’s location. Trish forges ahead with her own investigation. A prison guard crosses a line.

Jessica is in a bit of a tough spot. Her mother is arrested and to get a better deal she has to give up Dr. Malus. But, the government clearly wants Dr. Malus for his knowledge and experiments. So, her mother gets a better deal, Jessica hands the US government and weapons maker. If she doesn’t, she’s going away to the Raft where she’ll be in solitary for the rest of her life. It’s a tough decision for her to be in and interesting in some ways as it puts her in the position where she might have to help a criminal.

There’s some revelations in the episode that are the interesting thing that really focuses on the dynamic between Jeri and Jessica. There’s a friendship that has been brewing between the two. It’s tenuous but it’s different than what we witnessed in the previous season and even how Jeri was acting earlier in the season. That makes what Jessica has to tell her more interesting and rather heartbreaking. You can see the two attempting to connect and be friends but it’s a struggle. The end result is not surprising but heartbreaking and in a few moments we go from thinking Jeri as a character that’s hard to relate to, to one for which we should have tons of sympathy.

Then there’s that ending… Not sure what I think but it’s a bit odd to go there and can’t say I’m necessarily pleased with it all. But, it does bring back that discussion of her being a murderer or not. I’ll let you view and decide yourself.

This second season is giving us something a little different in that the solution isn’t about punching people. Instead we have had 10 episodes that are focused on personal interactions and moral choices. This was a good episode in some ways and horrible in others. Still what was good was great which feels like a recurring theme of the season.

Overall Rating: 7.05

TV Review: Marvel’s Jessica Jones S2E9 AKA Shark in the Bathtub, Monster in the Bed

The shooting forces Jessica to rethink her plans. Meanwhile, Oscar asks for help with a family crisis, and Trish’s frustrations finally boil over.

The episode is an interesting one in that things have slowed down again but this one is bringing together a lot of various threads that have begun earlier in the season.

There’s the shooter from the end of the episode which turns out is Pryce Chang and he was aiming for Jessica’s mother. How was he hired? Who hired him? We don’t know but you better believe Jessica has him to find that stuff out. We haven’t seen the character in a while and the coincidence he’s the one hired feels a little too convenient and connect the dots but it at least uses the character in some way other than just being a rival to Jessica. It also explains why there was so many mentions of his military experience.

We eventually get his logic and it’s not bad at all. There’s some truth to it all and we can understand his choices, as extreme as they are.

Then there’s Trish and her using. Jessica finds that out and feels guilty that she wasn’t there to help at all. So, there’s another fall out that has echoes of the flashback episode. It’s sad to see her slide like this but Rachael Taylor has done an excellent job in the role and whomever handles her make-up has been doing a great job of making her look strung out. There’s a melt down which is interesting and where that goes builds into the cycle we’ve seen before of her being reworded in some ways for her destructive behavior.

Then there’s Oscar whose domestic issues come to a head and he needs Jessica’s help. There’s good in that Jessica has to work with her mother and also some good in that we get to see her again let down her guard a bit as well. There’s something nice about it all that humanizes her character even more.

This is the episode that sets up the last four of the series. There’s a lot good here in the way it brings things together and we see the struggle Jessica has with what to do with her mother. There’s this ongoing theme of sins of the past coming back and having to deal with them. This episode does a good job of emphasizing that.

 

Overall Rating: 7.25

TV Review: Marvel’s Jessica Jones S2E8 AKA Ain’t We Got Fun

While Jessica debates her next move, Malcolm confronts Trish about her erratic behavior, and Jeri makes contact with a healer.

Jessica is captured and has to decide as to what she’s going to do about the revelation that her mother is a killer and a monster. After some action, the episode evolves into something rather claustrophobic in a way. Jessica and her mother are mostly in a room discussing about their past and what the two remember. It’s interesting in that Jessica’s memories don’t jive with what her mother depicts as the reality. It brings up in a way how we look at our childhoods with rose colored glasses.

In the end, Jessica must figure out what to do with her mother and how to deal with her outside of their dungeon.

Malcolm confronts Trish about her addiction but all of that gets cut short when Jessica tells them the whole investigation of IGH is off. And, while Malcolm attempts to do good, Trish eventually becomes a bad influence. It’s interesting to see her become the “bad guy” in this case. She’s the addict and dealer bringing down others.

But that’s not where the interactions end. Jeri and Inez have some back and forth that’s intriguing. Jeri wants to learn more about Inez and Inez learns about Jeri, and we do so as well. They both represent hope to each other in some ways. Inez sees that Jeri has made herself from nothing and Inez gives Jeri hope for a cure. There’s also Inez’s scars which clearly remind Jeri of her own. The mixing of all of this with sexual emotions is an interesting one and in ways reflects Jessica’s relationship with Oscar.

There’s some interesting stuff in Malcolm doing the work for Jeri and he digs up dirt on her partners. How that plays out, I’m a little uncomfortable with as it both feels uncreative but also has some bad tropes about it. Realistic? Sure. But, for a show that’s so good in some ways, there’s some cringy moments. And maybe that’s the point?

The episode in a way is the quiet before the storm as relationships advance. It’s those final moments that really matter. The episode is a step back from the excellence of the previous one and while delivering interesting character interactions, it slows things down as they begin to ramp up.

Overall Rating: 7.15

TV Review: Marvel’s Jessica Jones S2E7 AKA I Want Your Cray Cray

Flashbacks shed new light on the aftermath of the family’s car accident and reveal a painful turning point in Jessica’s adult life.

The second season goes deep into the “origin of Jessica Jones” as we learn about what happened to her mother after the car crash and this episode is as close to an origin story as I’d expect for the series. Taking place right after the accident and five years later, we see Jessica and Trish falling out as Trish’ singing career takes off and her drinking and partying gets out of hand.

The episode fills in a lot of gaps to the story of Jessica. We see where things just aren’t going right and she drops out of college. We see her falling into the wrong crowd in a way. We also see the “origin” of her leather jacket and “Alias.”

We also get a lot about her mother’s experience. We see her recovery and the experiments by Dr. Leslie Hanson and Dr. Karl Malus. We see the impact of their work in a negative way and we also see the good too. There’s decisions that are made that make sense for good and bad and the person we thought was a bad guy isn’t so much. But of course she is. She’s prone to violent outbursts and she’s dangerous. And we see how far she’ll go.

Then there’s Trish. We see a lot of bad here. While her going to rehab has been referenced multiple times in the series, we have no idea how bad it really was. This episode lets us see all of it and it’s bad. What’s going on in the “present” might seem like it’s a low for her but her actions here are far worse and out of control.

It’s all an interesting episode that adds a lot to the characters. We see Jessica slide to the character we know. We see Trish out of control. We see Jessica’s mother’s story too. There’s also the loss Jessica experiences. It’s her at her most vulnerable and it’s difficult to not feel some emotion at the ending of the episode as the two reconnect and talk. They’re both at a low point and the emotion flows from Krysten Ritter and Rachael Taylor. It’s the two’s best work of the series.

Overall Rating: 8.45

« Older Entries