Tag Archives: Television

Review: Locke & Key “Crown of Shadows” S1E10

Locke & Key "Crown of Shadows" S1E10

Nina and the detective are celebrating her return to sobriety and she’s completely unaware of all the hi-jinks that her kids have been up to and the evil that is headed their way. Kinsey, Bode, and Tyler are anxiously waiting for Ellie’s return unaware that Dodge got to her and is now in possession of the crown and the key needed to control it, so when she shows up at the house with a literal army of shadows it’s game on.

I WAS ALL ABOUT:

  • Bode using a multicolored lightsaber to keep the shadows at bay while they hunt for more flashlights, then using it to defiantly stab a closing in on shadow monster causing it to go up in all the flames, is everything good and pure in this whole cold, heartless world.
  • I loved Scot using his horror knowledge to be the king of captain obvious when it comes to questioning all the off choices the team makes and Eden wondering what the plan is if Lady Doge wakes up why they’re carrying her through the spooky cave.
  • Bode finding Rufus’ body at his house while everyone else is off on their mission to open the black door and dump the body.
  • Kinsey coming to her senses and realizing that opening the black door might not be the best idea, at least until she let Tyler talk her out of it it.
  • Bode again being the voice of reason and questioning if they really got rid of Dodge because something wasn’t adding up for him.
  • Watching them release Rendell’s ashes and calling the house HOME for the first time.

WHAT WORKED: Throughout the season finale we are reminded that these are just kids messing with some very grown up (and ancient) magic. They make some rookie mistakes but, they also come up with some out of the box solutions that most adults wouldn’t have come up with. Things aren’t tied up in a nice little bow and it’s messy, like life and childhood and adolescence making it reliable wherever you are in your life cycle.

I also like shoving a lot in on the front end of the episode so that you find yourself lulled into a very false of security with twenty or so minutes remaining but, at the same time there was an uneasy feeling that kept you on your toes until the last five minutes when Kinsey after receiving a call from Gabe. After the phone call, the viewer gets to have it’s idyllic happy ending shredded when a flashback gives us a bunch of aha moments and we find out that Gabe Kaiser Sose’d Kinsey to get close to the keys, made evident by the flashback reveal that shows Lady Dodge body changing from him and then using the Anywhere Key to get into the party where she seduces Tyler. Eden got shot by a glowy bullet so there’s another demon on the lose and, if that wasn’t enough, Ellie is who got thrown into the pit because Lady Dodge used the Identity Key on her to lull the kids (and us viewers) into a false sense of security so that she could continue her hunt for the keys.

KINDA SUCKED: That you spent a lot of the episode hella sure that, Ellie got thrown into the pit in the black door in a Lady Dodge suit, poor Rufus making the aha moment when you find out you’re right, that much worse.

BEST MOMENT:  

TIE

  • Scot being honest about his feelings and telling Kinsey that what she wants (her dating both him and Gabe) isn’t going to work for him, so it’s best that they just stay friends.
  • Bode writing a letter to his friend Rufus as Nina puts up missing posters looking for Ellie.

BEST LINE:

“Is demon non-binary” – Scot

“You’re gonna have a knife fight with a demon?” – Eden

“If you’re undecided, then that’s your decision” – Scot

FINAL THOUGHTS:  This was a great final episode with amazing reveals a perfect ending for the show’s first season. I really hope that it gets renewed because I want to see more of Matheson, it might not be as dark and heartbreaking as the comics but, it’s still filled with great characters, a wonderful story, a well thought out and executed mythology and a rich world filled with people you can relate to, who happen to find themselves in magical situations. The series as a whole was cohesive and clever and this episode was the cherry on top of a great story sundae.

OVERALL: 9.4

Review: Locke & Key “Head Games ” S1E3

Locke & Key‘s third episode was all about the Head Key. The kids enter Tyler and Kinsey’s minds to dig up more memories of their father and deal with the trauma from their sudden loss of their dad. Bode finds the Ghost Key and uses it to talk to some of his ancestors since he can’t talk to his dad with it. Lady Dodge grabs the Fire Key from the ruins of Mark’s house and Kinsey literally buries her fears.

Locke & Key S1E3 Head Games

WHAT WORKED: In Head Games  Bode finally comes clean about the Lady, which is some info that the older siblings should have had from the beginning since they had no idea what they were actually up against. The title is a play on words and gives off a lot of hints about things that directly affect the episode’s progression. We learn more about the Head Key, how it can put things into your head and take things out just as easily as it allows you to just look around. The episode also deals with trauma and recovery from it, in some very real and honest ways, Tyler and Kinsey have been holding a lot of emotions, from guilt to anger, about their actions when their father was being murdered.

All those emotions are pushed front and center as the kids use the keys to open up memories but, to confront their inner demons (Kinsey does this literally and figuratively, although not in the healthiest of ways) and try to make sense of things. Up until this point, the keys were just fun and games, an easy fix to their real-world problems but, in this episode, the other shoe drops and the kids are forced to get somewhat on the same page with the Lady Dodge threat becoming real for all of them.

I liked that the writers took time to showcase all forms of dealing with stress and emotional trauma, they seem to have carefully written the story to make it clear that there is no right, or wrong way, to grieve or deal with trauma and there are no short cuts to dealing with it either. What was great about the way they handled their trauma depictions was that they didn’t say there was a wrong way or a right way, they just showed what was and it made their pain understandable, heartfelt and sincere which created a connection with the viewer on a human level.

BEST MOMENT: When Lady Dodge snatches a kids key from him and throws him on a subway platform through a new door it was shocking. But, it also provided us with first-hand visual knowledge of how ruthless she was and it set the tone for her future interactions with the Locke kids and anyone else who gets in her way. This seems summed up everything that you really needed to know about who Lady Dodge was and in a few simple frames took Locke & Key from a fantasy kid’s show to a dark fantasy show where anything could happen.

OVERALL: 8.4

Review: Chilling Adventures of Sabrina “Chapter Twenty-Six: All of Them Witches” S3E6

episode 6

In keeping with the Odysseus story, Circe turned the towns jocks into pigs who are being held in Theo’s barn, which made Robin come clean about who he really is and Sabrina and Ambrose figured out a way to lure the Dark Lord’s residue out of Nick and use it to help the coven, which was a hell of way to leave things but, gave us so many juicy things to look forward to in All of Them Witches. Things are still tense between Nick and Sabrina and he’s still going it solo and wanting Sabrina to do the same and the witches that the covens transmission summoned is right pissed, which is where this episode picked up.

Zelda tries to convince the fringe witches to join their cause and save the Academy and what’s left of the coven from the wrath of Pan. Hilda tries to enjoy her last days a human witch with her fiance, Sabrina is trying to deal with her heartbreak over the Nick break up while engaging in final death with Caliban for the final piece of the Unholy Regalia while Madam Satan starts to get weird gifts from Lucifer marking his return for revenge.

WHAT WORKED: The sisterhood coming together to banish a bigger threat, the Pagans, and the old gods. Prudence showing compassion to Sabrina and offering a cord-cutting spell to rid Sabrina of her pain and challenging her to figure out what SHE wants instead of harping on the past with Nick.

WHAT I LIKED: Caliban coming through in the clutch to offer to help Sabrina and them having a moment as he lays out his plan to rule hell together by taking turning Earth into the Tenth Circle of Hell off the table. Sabrina and Caliban have a lot in common and I like their banter, I don’t think they belong together because Sabrina seems to need time to find herself but, it’s nice to have it on the table.

Prudence standing up for diversity and championing the black witch. It kind of felt like an ode to how white feminism works and excludes women of color and invalidates what they bring to the table and keeps the divide going that keeps us all down, witch or no witch, it’s the same story,  different battle and it always needs to be addressed because until witches, or women, get on the same page we/they will continue to fail.

WHAT I DIDN’T LIKE: Sabrina making a play for Harvey, not for a moral reason, do you but, for the fact that it’s a girl code violation of the highest order.

BEST MOMENT: Hilda and her beloved doing Sweeney Todd musical numbers were adorable and then she turned into a spider. There were a few things that happen in the interim before we go back to them but when we do and the initial shock has worn off Mr. Cee is just as all in for love as he ever was, human-sized spider body and all and it is pure, beautiful and everything!

EPISODE’S MVP: Gryla, I have loved her since the Christmas episode, she’s the epitome of every exhausted mother and I love for her no-fucks-to-give attitude. She loves her ghost children even though they’re mischievous and she’s a badass. Whenever she shows up, all other witches are irrelevant.

Overall: 8.1

Recap: Cloak and Dagger S2E2 – White Lines

White Lines is the title of the second hour of the two episode, two-hour premiere of Cloak and Dagger and it was just as brilliant as the first hour. The beginning slides into the end of the season premiere seamlessly, we pick up at the murder scene in the club where Tandy and Ty called Detective O’Reilly in to help them. O’Reilly kicks them out so she can clean the crime scene before the rest of the cops show up and everyone gets caught. Tandy and Tyrone have a fundamental clash of opinions, and in its simplicity, it highlights the differences in thinking between classes and races. The episode is split between all three major characters, with each getting to show things from their point of view which was a brilliant choice because it built up the tension , gave us a little relief and then ramp up the feeling again.

download (4)

.Tyrone heads off on a mission to discover what the voodoo symbol was that one of the drug kingpins drew on the floor, he gets his answer, to a degree but, it also leads to a confrontation with Evita who is not too happy that he never made contact especially after he shows her his power. While trying to learn to control his power he comes accidentally poofs himself to a chained up to a gurney in an ambulance, Makayla who begs for his help. He tries to take her with him and save her but, it doesn’t work and he ends up back in the church alone, defeated and sad.

download (6).jpg

Next up is Tandy’s story. We see her in her group therapy session, Makayla starts to defend Jeremy and Tandy gets upset and yells at her causing her to run away. After her mom calls her on it, as a survivor of abuse, Tandy sets out to track Makayla down and save her, or at least apologize. After her search comes up empty, she goes back to talk to the group leader who leads her to Andre Deschaine, a community leader,  who helps her on her search. Unfortunately, the rescue mission gets cut short, Tandy has a power surge when she sees a vision of her dead dad and runs off.

MayhemCloakDagger-625x352.jpg

The third story we see is Detective O’Reilly as the devil at her brains door, Mayhem, escapes and decides to enact her own version of justice. Mayhem is much more assertive and violent and, it’s kind of glorious. She goes rogue and shows up to see the widow of one of the men who was murdered at the gang summit, after going Jack the Ripper on a $100k Kandinsky, and threatening to do the same to everything else in the house, she manages to find out the info she needs. She heads to the docks where she bumps into Tandy and that’s where things start to get hella interesting.

150667_7628-450x0.jpg

While watching the memorial for over a dozen missing brown and black girls from a poor neighborhood and getting a lesson in racial politics from Andre , he gets a call and Tandy rushes off to the hospital to see an almost comatose Makayla. Wanting to get to the bottom of what happened, she slips into her mind and figures out what happened to her, she gets a lead and uses social media pics to find out more, which is how she ended up bumping into Mayhem leading to an epic bad guy beat down with a riotgirl style soundtrack in the background. After Mayhem sends Tandy to stand guard she finds out that there’s another shipment of girls coming in and once she has gotten all she needs from the ambulance driver, she kills him in a way that would make Deadpool smile.

Evita shows up at the church to apologize to Ty, where he tells her about what happened in the ambulance and how she has to find her. It is nice to see him open up and it was equally nice to see her help him through it because, it works and they end up at the hospital putting him right back on the path of him and Tandy being a dynamic duo, kicking bad guy ass and saving all the missing girls. Tyrone heads to O’Reilly’s to fill her in on what he discovered and finds her tied up and,  after he rescues her he poofs to Tandy to warn her and that’s where we discover that Mayhem isn’t the other half of a split personality, it’s a different person.

Quotes:

On Drugs in marginalized communities-

Those people choose misery and I’m sick of watching it

– Tandy

People don’t choose to suffer Tandy and, they don’t choose to hurt.

– Tyrone

On missing minority girls-

Where are the cops, the reporters, they should be all over this.

– Tandy

They would be if YOU went missing.

– Andre Deschaine

Episode High: Watching Tandy and Mayhem, in an O’Reilly suit, go ape shit on the bad guys to stop them from trafficking women was everything. I love it when girls are more damn hell in a dress than damsels in distress.

I found White Lines to be amazing. Cloak and Dagger is setting itself up to be the This is Us of the Marvel Universe because I felt all the feelings and still got all the action. Jennifer Phang is a brilliant director and the way she frames shots and gets such honest and emotional performances out her actors is to be applauded. Between her directing, the killer script and the truly breathtaking performances I spent the second half of this two-part season starter feeling some pretty real feelings about some imaginary characters. Honestly, at this point in the game, if you aren’t all about Cloak and Dagger, I really don’t know what you are doing with your life. And, I’ve got to give a special shout out to the music supervisor because this soundtrack is FIRE.

I give this completion of the series premiere arc a 9.8

Recap: Supergirl S4E17- All About Eve

All About Eve picks up right where we left off last week and continues at a rapid-fire pace, packing more into the first ten minutes than most shows squeeze into a whole episode. Alex finds an unconscious Lena and we find out the contents of the note that was left with her. Supergirl and J’onn J’onzz are on the hunt for Lex and the double agent Eve when J’onn tries to do a mental sweep and falls from the sky while hearing his fathers voice. Jimmy heads back to work and we find out about some of the side effects of Lena’s serum. Supergirl links up with the old gang while Nia tries to dream up Lex’s plan back in the Fortress and J’onn tries to reconnect with his dad in spirit to gain clarity on who he is becoming.

Lena heads off to visit her mom to find out where Lex is so that she can regain some of her strength by defeating the beast that her brother is.  Her mother plays on her fears about losing her friends which touches upon yet another toxic familial relationship that Lena has and adds some shades of humanity to the Alpha Queen that Lena is. Lena teams up with Alex and Supergirl to track down Lex by using Eve, leading the unlikely trio to Eve’s Aunt Mary but instead find her cousin Bitzie who Eve cured with Lena’s serum.

Cousin Bitzie gives up the location of Eve’s secret lab, which gives us a glimpse at the Supergirl Too. Upon finding the lab and discovering the source of the serums power,  Supergirl and Lena finally have a real moment and share their vulnerabilities bringing them one step closer to being friends.  They also discover what else Eve and Lex have been up to, including some Kryptonite hearted, laser blasting test subjects who force the three to solidify their relationship with an escape plan. The trio brings the Kryptonite heart back to the DOE and fills the rest of the team in on the part of Lex’s plan where Jimmy gets shot.

The team then suits up and heads to DC to confront Eve after seeing her image inducer glitch on national TV while the repeal of the Alien Amnesty Act is being announced and of course no one sees this as a trap. Lena slips her mom the plans to the prison to show her that Lex was planning to kill him and she uses that as leverage to try and get her to give up Lex.  Supergirl gets grounded by a hologram Eve and some new Kryptonite infused tech while Supergirl Too attacks the White House in OG Supergirl’s  outfit making her a villain. The president gives a speech that solidifies the hate in the heart of many Americans and enacts martial law for Alien refugees.  Luckily for the lady of steel Lena , Alex and her new boss don’t believe it was Supergirl and the episode ends on a battle cry note.

The side stories on this episode centers on family and coming to terms with yourself, serving as a nice thread that runs through every part of the episode down to Jimmy’s recovery and his relationship with his sister. We also see Lockwood playing it big for his son and wife while struggling to make headway in DC. It’s kind of nice to see him trying to play the politics game and, hitting a brick wall of politically motivated humanity even though we know that things are going to go his way because Lex is backing him and it’s needed for the story to move along. We also get to see J’onn dealing with his new self by summoning his father for assistance in figuring out who he is and who he has become since killing Manchester. J’onn is forced to feel all the emotions and share all of his rawness which gives a touching element to tonight’s episode. His daddy projection helps him sift through the clutter and set himself on his proper path and lets him claim his identity as the Martian Manhunter and I couldn’t have been more pleased.

Overall the episode was decent. There was actual footage of Supergirl in the episode, which marks a departure from most of the episodes of this season. It looks like the writers are returning to what works, giving Supergirl the same depth and heroic arc that they have been giving her male counterparts for seasons. We also go to see a lot of real moments between characters and their families, there was a whole lot of character development and relationship strengthening going on, which is going to be needed for the battles that we know are about to come. It’s nice to see that the team is getting themselves ready to fight back as a unit and regain some of the camaraderie that we had gotten used to. I hope that the writers build on all of the easy to follow breadcrumbs they laid out in tonight’s episode and, while I found some of the “twists” hella predictable and a bit lazy, it was still interesting to watch. I think the show can only go up from here, or at least I hope it does.

I give this episode a solid 7.5

TV Review: Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. S5E1 Orientation Part One & Part Two

Coulson and the team find themselves stranded on a mysterious ship in outer space.

Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. kicks off its fifth season with a game changing opening in a two episode debut. As the fourth season wrapped up we saw that the Agents were no longer on Earth and were aboard a ship of some sort. Where are they? How did this happen? Some of those answers are found in the two episodes in what might be the strongest debut of any season.

Lets start with the story.

The team is disconnected, separated, and have no idea where they are. They need to figure out what’s happened and the episode is mostly them doing exactly that. It all flows nicely and through it all we’re introduced to the situation, the goal, and who the villains are. But the bigger question is, are they really the villains? This season feels like a tough one when it comes to that with a slightly more ambiguous situation.

But, what’s truly impressive is the twist that’s revealed as to exactly what the situation is. It’s not what I expected at all and there’s so much mystery left to figure out, not to mention how it all ties together with the rest of the live action Marvel universe.

The characters too are great. There’s some amazing lines by Mac and it’s clear that the writers are having fun with the genre and situation they’re all in. There’s some jokes about the situation, about some tropes, it’s just fun.

The story is solid and the production value has increased as well. The special fx look like the budget is higher and there’s a focus on the visuals. The aliens too look solid fitting well into the existing Marvel movie universe. It’s interesting and the only downside is that there’s a lot of darkness so it’s hard at times to tell exactly what’s going on. It’s good and forces you to pay more attention but it’s a downside too.

The two episodes together make for the strongest debut of any season so far. The characterizations are great, action is is solid, and special fx are improved. Hopefully this isn’t a fluke and what we can expect for the season going forward.

Overall Score: 9.45

TV Review: Arrow S6E4 Reversal

arrowJust as Oliver starts getting things in order, Black Siren launches another attack on Star City.

Arrow has a rather bizarre plot of taking down the internet which is clearly a feint but generally it’s an episode that feels like it needs to get us somewhere, but isn’t sure how to do it.

The episode revolves around Felicity and her attempt to have a renewed relationship with Oliver while superheroing gets in the way. That’s the best aspect of the episode. We get to see Oliver deal with what he’s pulled so many times on so many others. There’s something solid about seeing a woman doing this to a man. Yay progress?

But, the bad is that what’s distracting her is her past dealings with Helix and her hacker friends. I wasn’t a big fan of that storyline and it seems like for at least the short term that’s going to be the focus of a big bad. We get a plot about taking down the internet and of course it’s a small piece of the big picture but there’s just such a suspension of disbelief of “this is how the internet works” that took me out of the episode. The “action” aspect of the episode lacked. It lacked a lot. So, it’s best to try to focus on the positive, Felicity and Oliver’s relationship, but that has issues too.

Oliver has a son… remember? This episode feels like it forgets that as the kid feels like he’s nowhere to be seen as Oliver bounces around being Mayor and also having time to meet with his former team. When’s he taking care of the kid? For a person who wants to focus on raising his son this episode feels like he’s not really doing that.

A low point in an otherwise improved season, the episode just had too many frustrating aspects that take you out of what is clearly an episode getting things focused on where the season is going.

 

 

Overall rating: 6.75

TV Review: Arrow S6E3 Next of Kin

arrowA rogue team led by Onyx breaks into Kord Industries and steals something lethal; Oliver struggles to connect with William, so he reaches out a surprising source for help.

Arrow has Diggle taking the reigns in his first outing as group leader and as the Green Arrow. Things don’t go all that well though. The episode has a rather boring villain, instead focusing on the team and their interaction with this new dynamic.

To see Diggle not be perfect is actually interesting and to see him doubt himself does quite a lot to really get you think about Oliver’s leadership. The episode’s strength is really focused on that and by the end of the episode things look in a better place, a good thing because playing this out too long and it’d all get rather dull and down.

But, there’s not just Diggle’s leadership but also how everyone reacts to that. Not everyone is on board and folks are noticing that it’s not a smooth transition. Where that dissatisfaction will lead to the future will be intriguing and it sets up a good dynamic between everyone.

What’s also good about the episode is that it allows Oliver to spend time with his son and attempt to bond with him. This is not his father’s son and the episode focuses on his son being a kid and having issues at school. It takes a series that has had issues with the fantastical these last few seasons and grounds things making them relatable. It also forces Oliver to rethink priorities and his relationships with some major movement in his love life by the end of the episode.

With a downplayed villain “Next of Kin” focuses more on the character than the actions creating an episode that’s much stronger for it.

Overall rating: 8.05

TV Review: Arrow S6E1 Fallout

arrowOliver must deal with the fallout of the explosion on the island.

Arrow kicks off the sixth season diving right into the ramifications of the previous season finale and setting up what’s to come this season.

For the most part, this episode is vastly improved over all of last season. The first part I like is that the episode deals with the last season in flashbacks teasing out what happened with each and we’re presented one character at a time and how they’ve been impacted. The bad is, we know how everyone is, something that could easily have been played out longer to create more tension. I can’t help but think this way of plotting out the story could have been stretched out a few more episodes for a reveal one or two more episodes down the line. Instead, we’re caught up and while seeing how everyone is going forward it feels like an opportunity has been missed.

The good about the episode is that things are rather grounded in a way and it’s all presented so that it’s more “street level” than the previous few episodes which went off the rails as far as that. Black Siren is back and we’re told why she’s out for revenge in flashbacks so we get a few head fakes.

The episode also has a twist at the end which unfortunately feels like something we’ve seen multiple times and is the “go to” plotline that’s been tread too many times in the television series and I’ve lost caught in the comics. Crossing my fingers that it plays out better than past stories.

The season has started stronger than the last few and it’s one of the stronger episodes of the series and the strongest in quite some time. A good start so we’ll see where it goes.

Overall rating: 8.45

TV Review: Fear the Walking Dead S3E3 Teotwawki

Alicia and Nick fall in with new crowds; Madison discovers Otto’s past mimics her own.

Fear the Walking Dead slows things down after the exciting debut double episodes of this season and we learn more about the Otto ranch as an ominous cloud feels like it slightly rolls in.

The episode kicks off with a video featuring the Ottos that plays intot he show later as we get a more definitive take as to what their deal is. From the short 30 second opener it’s clear that the Ottos are survivalist of the stereotypical type and Jeremiah is looked up to for his “predicting” the fall. There’s an undercurrent of religion but it’s mostly anti-government focused.

What’s interesting though is that we see some outtakes from Otto’s video later and we learn more about him and his family and why he’s the way he is. It’s tragic in many ways and Madison is able to relate to him a little more over it. Jeremiah though comes off as a bit tragic, sad, and a monster over it all. We also get a better sense of the Ottos as a whole and why one son is good and the other, not so much.

Through the madness of it all, we get a better view of Madison and her family as well. Nick is out of it as usual, scheming and planning and just not all there. Alicia goes the other side assimilating well in a Carol sort of way.

Then there’s Strand who we get a better idea as to where he was going and what’s on his mind. The series would be stronger if they cut him from the episodes and their short bits, instead saving them for an entire episode and longer segment. The short bits aren’t enough, but it’s clear his story will eventually dovetail back.

The episode isn’t bad, it’s just not as strong as the previous one. While the first two episodes were the introduction and a lot of the set up, this episode begins to play out what’s been lined up. As part of the whole it’ll be fine and while there’s some interesting moments, the episode is ok to watch but not all that exciting or intriguing… until those final moments, when things are pulled out from under us and thought lost character returns.

Overall Rating: 7.07

« Older Entries