Tag Archives: Television

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: 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

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: 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

The Walking Dead S7E7 Sing Me a Song

walking-dead-5 photoA deeper look at the Sanctuary and the world of the Saviors; members of Alexandria look for supplies.

The Walking Dead‘ focuses on the Sanctuary in this episode that picks up on Carl’s trip to try and kill Negan. It’s an interesting one in that we get a much better idea as to who Negan is and what the “rules” of the Sanctuary and Saviors are.

A lot of the episode is Negan talking to and dealing with Carl after Carl kills a few of his members. It’s scenes that come straight from the comic as Negan breaks down and tries to figure out who Carl is and more importantly what he should do with him.

It’s an interesting episode because we see a different side of Negan. He is his usual dickish self, but he also backs up a little when he thinks and realizes he’s dealing with a kid. We also see Negan explaining his thought process is and how things run.

We run through Negan showing off the world of the Sanctuary and get a better idea as to how things work. It’s more detail than we’ve seen before and better sense as to how people react around him. And based on looks and reactions, it’s also clear there’s some issues within the ranks. We get a better idea that there’ll soon be an uprising against Negan and his loyal followers.

There’s other parts of the episode as folks look for items, but nothing really stands out. Like the previous extended episode there’s a bunch that happens, but nothing exciting and it felt like there wasn’t much of a reason to have the extra thirty minutes. Maybe an extra ten or fifteen (with ads, much less), but the extended episodes don’t feel like they take advantage enough of the time (and that says something for a show that tends to stretch things out).

The episode is the Negan spotlight we haven’t had and presents him in more depth than we’ve had before. What’s interesting is the live action version is just a slightly different version of Rick as opposed to the larger than life character presented in the comics. Still, he’s a slightly different challenge and based on how this episode ended, I’m looking forward to seeing how the mid-season finale wraps up in the next episode.

Overall rating: 7.75

TV Review: Arrow S5E8 Invasion!

arrowOliver wakes up to a life in which his parents are still alive and he is about to marry Laurel; Felicity faces a new threat with the help of The Flash and Supergirl.

Arrow celebrates its 100th episode as part of the 4 night crossover “Invasion” event. The result is a bit mixed overall, but it’s entertaining. For those that missed last night’s The Flash, there’s aliens who are up to… something, and at the end of the episode they abducted some of the heroes.

This episode is interesting in that it uses the bigger picture story, but doesn’t get to caught up in it. Instead it celebrates the history of the series taking us through the years in its own version of “Flashpoint.”

In this shared dream world Oliver and crew live different lives where Ollie is marrying Laurel, Diggle is the Arrow, and everything is kind of… normal. The different take on folks is kind of cool and it’s a nice “what if” riff on everything about the series. Seeing each character awaken is entertaining as well, especially what triggers them.

But, what’s really special is all of the guests that show up in the episode. Villains from the past as well as friends and family are all on board in a celebration of the last five seasons. They kept it all under wraps which is even more impressive and for folks who have watched the series, they should be happy with the touch of nostalgia.

There’s some things that don’t quite work as everyone wakes up and the story takes a hard sci-fi spin. I don’t want to ruin it, but the special fx work against the episode at this point and it just doesn’t feel like Arrow. But, the point is to bridge to the next chapter which is on the next day.

This episode works some and fails in some ways, and it’s not as strong as The Flash‘s entry, but better than Supergirl’s. With one more to go in this event, it feels like there’s a lot still to wrap up, but so far, it’s been a fun ride.

Overall rating: 7.85

TV Review: Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. S4E7 Deals With Our Devils

agents of shield season 4After losing half of their team, the remaining members look for answers as time begins to run out for Ghost Rider.

Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. is back after a bit of a break and some of the team has been sucked into the ghost world (not sure what else to call it). That leads to one of the more interesting things of the season where the episode is split between color and black and white depending on whose perspective it is.

It’s a bit of a distraction storywise, but the bigger aspect of it is its focus on Robbie and Ghost Rider. Robbie was sucked in which causes Ghost Rider to jump to Mac. Some coolness is a nod to classic Ghost Riders as he drives around on a motorcycle with a shotgun on his back. Fans of Blaze and Ketch Ghost Riders will notice the nod.

It also forces us to get a better idea of the relationship between Robbie and Ghost Rider and the deal they’ve got between them. It hasn’t been fully explained, but here it’s laid out pretty well. It also gives us a bit question mark as to what’s next for the character who is rumored to get a Netflix spin-off at some point. There’s also the fact Mac has now experienced the Ghost Rider, so he and Robbie are tied together in some ways which should play out nicely.

There’s also the reveal of Ada to a bunch of folks and she steps up to help save the day in a way. For those that have seen Doctor Strange, some of what happens there looks and feels very familiar and it’s a nod to the movie without directly tying into the film.

Overall, a not bad episode with some interesting new aspects thrown in. It feels fresh in many ways, both visually and storywise. Though the danger doesn’t every quite gel and feel like it’s a big deal, it’s better than the villain of the week fights we’ve seen over and over. It also moves along the story while setting some other things forward as well. One of the stronger episodes of the season.

Overall Score: 7.95

The Walking Dead S7E6 Swear Review

walking-dead-5 photoAway from all the tragedy caused by Negan and his Saviors, Tara and Heath run into trouble after crossing paths with a mysterious new group. A brand new society unlike anything seen before.

The Walking Dead‘ really shifts the focus with an episode completely focused on Tara and Heath who have been awol for the season. I honestly had forgotten about both of them until this point, which I’m not sure what that says about their two characters.

We knew that Corey Hawkins (Heath) would be leaving the show in some way as the actor is the lead in the 24 reboot, 24: Legacy which begins soon. It’s just a question of how, not an if, and this episode sort of answers that.

The episode bounces back and forth between the present with Tara stumbling upon a new group of individuals and her and Heath’s journey. It’s an interesting episode as we learn about this new community as Tara does with little bits of information being teased out little by little. We don’t know if they’re friend or foe and honestly I’m not quite sure what the answer is by the end of the episode.

We learn they’ve had their run in with the Saviors. That they’re very distrusting. That they’re pretty well armed. And my guess is they’ll come into play later this season. It’s just a question as to how. And I have some ideas, but I’m not 100% sure.

The biggest thing about the episode is Heath’s good-bye. It’s an interesting sendoff and one… well I don’t want to spoil it at all.

But, the real emotional punch is the end of the episode as Tara makes it back to Alexandria. She’s been away through all of the events so how will she react? The last few minutes are the real punch to the gut and few words are said as Tara and Eugene exchange glances. It plays into something Tara says earlier in the episode and the impact is felt instantly. The show does some of its best work with what’s shown visually instead of verbally and that scene in particular is a perfect example.

The episode is a slow but interesting one that pays off in the last 15 minutes which show the emotional rollercoaster the show excels at and reminds us at its heart it’s all about those still living.

Overall rating: 8.15

The Walking Dead S7E5 Go Getters Review

walking-dead-5 photoSaddled with grief and surrounded by enemies, members of the group try to find safety at the Hilltop before it’s too late.

The Walking Dead‘ changes its focus in this episode from the Savior’s camp and Alexandria to Hilltop where we get to see Maggie, Sasha, and Jesus.

But the episode is so much more than that too.

First, we find out how Maggie is doing and Sasha is by her side the entire way. There’s news about the baby and I’m not a spoiler person so you’ll have to watch the episode or go elsewhere to find out.

But, the episode is really more about Maggie coming in to her own in a way and standing up to Gregory, the spineless current leader of Hilltop.

The community is sent a message by the Saviors which results in Sasha, Maggie and Jesus taking the lead to deal with it all barking out orders and making the situation safe. It’s a stark contrast to Gregory who grovels in front of whatever the Saviors say. And that contrast is the spark of the power play to come. As a comic reader, I know how this ends, but it’ll be interesting to see how the show varies from the source material.

There’s also something with Carl and Enid. They go on a road trip and again I don’t want to ruin it as to where and why. Something happens between them and we’ll just leave it at that.

The episode is an interesting one in many ways but what stands out to me is it wasn’t about how scary or imposing the Saviors are. Instead the focus is on Maggie the badass and her standing up. That is something I’ve been looking forward to and think from here on out it’s as much Maggie’s story as it is Rick’s and hopefully the show will recognize that as well.

Overall rating: 8.15

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