Tag Archives: Television

TV Review: Arrow S5E17 Kapiushon

arrowPrometheus attempts to break Oliver; Anatoly worries about Oliver’s increasingly violent tendencies, which come to a head in a brutal confrontation.

Arrow has had lots of ups and downs this season and at this point things have felt like they’ve dragged on a bit too long, especially when it comes to the Russia storyline that’s a major focus of this season.

This episode is no exception and feels like it splits itself in two as Oliver goes on the offensive in Russia with bodies piling up and then there’s his being held prisoner by Prometheus/Chase.

There’s some really solid stuff here. For those who watched the first two seasons of Arrow, you’ll remember that Oliver was full of bloodlust and had no problem killing those he saw as villains. There was a lot of time devoted to that and he eventually changed his ways.

This seasons dives into that bloodlust building with each episode. It’s a prequel in many ways and directly dives into a subject that was debated a lot in the series. Again, that’s really good and cool. But, with the back and forth with the various Russian mobsters, things have kind of blended together. It’s not too exciting when some of what happens feels like we’ve seen it before and it’s all repeating itself. I’m literally zoning out at it all. And what’s weird is, out of all of the seasons, this prequel story is the most important and tied into the modern day story. It’s an actual important one.

The torture aspect with Prometheus is the villain’s attempt to get back at Oliver for killing his father but in the end he just wants a confession in a way. That leads to Oliver coming to an internal conclusion about his nature and the killing. It’s interesting and catharsis in some ways, but also feels anti-climactic. Oliver’s realization leads to a conclusion at the end of the episode that’ll drive the rest of the season in an interesting direction, one we’ll have to wait and see.

The episode is decent, it’s just dragging it feels like. The departure from previous seasons seems to have caused another problem, a series that’s dragging.

Overall rating: 7.65


The Walking Dead S7E14 The Other Side

walking-dead-5 photoThe Saviors visit the Hilltop unexpectedly, surprising everyone, with plans of taking more than supplies.

The Walking Dead‘ continues to build the tension as the episode focuses on Sasha and Rosita going after Negan and Negan’s crew heading to Hilltop to get a new doctor now that theirs is dead.

The episode falls into the slow and plodding but full of tension type of show with things building throughout and everything presented being rather subtle. You never know what will set off an explosion and lead to greater escalation. This is an episode full of subtle things.

An example is early on with Jesus talking the Maggie where he officially comes out on the show. It’s something fans have wondered since his comic counterpart is gay and its been confirmed that he is, but this is the first official nod to it. The interaction with Maggie is excellent and his movement and look to see Maggie’s reaction says more than words could. The same goes with Maggie’s reaction. It’s a touching moment.

There’s the Hilltop issue with Daryl and Maggie having to hide. The tension there isn’t the will they be found question. The tension is if Gregory will turn them over. The dude is a snake and it’s a question of when he’ll turn them in, not if. That’s the build up here. But, it gives Maggie and Daryl a moment to talk where Daryl has an emotional moment that you can tell he feels guilty over Glenn’s death. It’s great acting and as a viewer I felt the pain being presented on screen.

The bigger part of the episode is Sasha and Rosita’s plan to assassinate Negan. But, that goes sideways as they come across Eugene. Now, it’s left to the viewers to decide. Has Eugene really been brainwashed and going along with Negan? Does he have a plan? The show plays it really well so viewers are unsure of where things are going with him. Sasha and Rosita’s plan is busted though which leads to Sasha to take matters into her own hand. We know things are probably not going to go well for her since the actress who plays her is going to another show, but you never know!

The episode is good in the subtle things it does, but is another episode setting up the war to come. Not the best, but there’s a lot of small things to keep viewers engaged and looking to dissect. The episode is full of tension, but never quite delivers in that department.

Overall rating: 7.65

TV Review: Arrow S5E16 Checkmate

arrowOliver gets closer to the truth about Prometheus; Helix refuses to continue to help Felicity until she does a favor for them.

Arrow dives deep into the revelation of who Prometheus is with an episode where his identity is revealed to Oliver leading to a confrontation between the two and a revelation of why. It brings a lot together from the season, especially plot points that haven’t felt like they were relevant. It’s probably the best use of the flashbacks in a season.

Lots are thrown at viewers this episode forcing them to pay attention to every reveal throughout the episode.

And that forcing to pay attention involves Chase’s plans as the back and forth between him and Oliver feels like a game of one-upmanship as viewers are left to figure out who really has the drop on whom. It’s all interesting in a way but after a while, it feels like Bill and Ted playing with time to resolve their problems.

What’s most interesting in the episode is its ending which involves some interesting allegiances and a direction that feels like it plays well into Oliver’s past life. This episode is a good one in that it plays with expectations as to where things are going in the episode and the season. There’s a lot of confrontations and twists and turns that keep viewers on their toes. That sums up a lot of the season. Even Adrian Chase’s name gives a fake for comic book fans (the name is that of the original Vigilante, a character who has appeared on the show this season).

The episode is one of the stronger ones of the season connecting a lot of dots and giving us reveals and twists at the same time. This episode is a perfect example of that. We know the secret identity of the villain but there’s still reveals to go in the episode giving us a second villain to contend with. It feels like the latter half of this season is redeeming the slower earlier season and it’ll be interesting to see how things go from here.

Overall rating: 8.25

The Walking Dead S7E13 Bury Me Here

walking-dead-5 photoThings do not go as planned when a group of Kingdommers delivers goods to the Saviors during a routine supply drop-off.

The Walking Dead‘ focuses primarily on the Kingdom in this episode that ramps things up through tragedy and sees one character slip towards bloodlust. The episode is very Morgan-centric as it tests his pacifism as things become tense with the Saviors.

The episode focuses on the Kingdom’s payment to the Saviors which is sabotaged by a member of the Kingdom in hopes it’ll spark the war between the Kingdom and the Saviors. It’s a twist that was easy to see coming and of course if goes horrifically wrong.

Those events orbit Morgan who is forced to make a decision and teeters on the brink of going back to his blood fueled days or if he remains the pseudo-pacifist that he has become. He’s presented with the truth as to why things went wrong with tragic results and

But, at its heart is Morgan and all of the tragedy he’s experienced over the seasons. There’s lots to his backstory that we don’t know and you see some of it come out here. This is a man who is traumatized from his actions and like someone experiencing PTSD it comes out here in his actions and what he says after. It’s a flip in many ways with the killer released, the Morgan we knew seems to be gone, but at the same time it’s not the warrior leading an uprising. This unleashed Morgan seems more to have accepted the world as is and that it’s kill or be killed.

But also important in this is Morgan’s interaction with Carol who he reveals exactly what has happened in Alexandria. As much as Morgan’s shift is important, Carol’s reaction is more so becoming the catalyst for what seems like the Kingdom’s shift. We’re not 100% sure that’s the case, we have to wait until next week to be sure.

The episode is one that mixes slow with shock twists. There’s multiple deaths, interesting reactions, and character development and depth added. It’ll be a pivotal episode in some ways and the ramifications will reverberate for a long time to come. The Walking Dead is its strongest when it mixes character development and shocking moments and this episode gives us that and then some.

Overall rating: 7.95

The Walking Dead S7E12 Say Yes Review

walking-dead-5 photoThe group scavengers for supplies; back in Alexandria, someone must make a morally challenging decision.

The Walking Dead‘ gives us an interesting episode as various members head out to go scavenging in hopes of finding guns so they can pay off their end of the bargain with the garbage people. It’s an interesting episode because while there’s some solid action sequences a lot of the episode is focused on Rick and Michonne as they spend time alone. Rick keeps mentioning how he’d like a few more days to scavenge with her and it feels like it’s almost a vacation for the two of them.

It’s cute to see the two as they find supplies including weapons and food in a destroyed carnival that feels like the thing of nightmares at times. It’s all rather interesting because it feels like the series is foreshadowing death. It’s a topic the two discuss, so makes you think something is being set up that might shock the viewers. It also could just be moments to set up the relationship more and we the viewers will feel a bit more tension if either of the two is put into danger.

But, other than that, there’s not a whole lot that happens in this episode. Rosita and Sasha scheme to take out Negan, but it’s an episode focused almost completely on Rick and Michonne. This is one of the “character” moments that some fans seem to flip out due to lack of action. But, the episode is a solid one focused on relationships and how they exist in this new world.

The setting of a building and a carnival is amazing in that there’s so much detail and every little bit gives the viewers a story. The walkers, the weapons, where things are placed, there’s just an amazing attention to detail that tells a story itself and the viewers are left to figure all of that out themselves.

The moments are subtle, the acting is key, and you almost forget how messed up the world is. Almost. It’s a good episode focused on characters and relationships.

Overall rating: 7.85

TV Review: Arrow S5E15 Fight Fire With Fire

arrowWhen Vigilante attacks Oliver while he’s acting as the mayor, Diggle leads the team on a mission to stop Vigilante once and for all.

Arrow bounces back from last week’s forgettable episode with one that’s full of action, reveals, and twists.

Picking up from last week, Oliver’s mayorship is on the line as impeachment discussion begins and he’s dragged before the city council. Will he tell the truth? Will he cover things up? Will he come up with a plan to save himself?

While Oliver looks to be sinking, he’s now a target of Vigilante who attacks him and that kicks off the action of the episode. From there it’s fights with some political maneuvering thrown in there. It’s a combination that works and works really well.

There’s some excellent moments in the episode. Actually a lot of excellent moments. Felicity gets her hacker back on which is cool. Vigilante kicks all sorts of ass. Mr. Terrific gets closer to his comic counterpart. Oliver makes an interesting decision. And, we finally learn the identity of Prometheus. That part is not too shocking of a reveal, but it’s still interesting to see where it goes and why.

Last week’s episode was a bit of a downer, but this week’s is a bounce back the storm after the quiet with next week teased to be even more explosive.

Overall rating: 8.35

TV Review: Arrow S5E14 The Sin-Eater

arrowChina White, Cupid, and Liza Warner escape Iron Heights and set out for Star City; the ACU seeks to arrest the Green Arrow for Detective Malone’s murder.

Arrow is a bit of a dud in a mostly forgettable episode. With villains who we’ve seen before and don’t feel like much of a threat, most of the fireworks happen not in the costume.

Oliver/Green Arrow face two big hurdles. As we saw at the end of last episode, the reporter (and Ollie’s girlfriend) Susan had put two and two together to figure out that Oliver is the Green Arrow. Her career is put in jeopardy due to decisions made by some of Oliver’s allies. That puts his relationship on the rocks and threatens his role as Mayor. Hint, you don’t want to piss off the press.

The second part of the episode is that the police are after the Green Arrow for the murder of Detective Malone. That makes it difficult to do his job and it also is what puts his role as Mayor at risk.

The two plots together makes the whole Ollie as Mayor a much more important plot and makes a lot more sense as to why they went that route. A whole bunch of things are coming together here clashing Oliver’s secret life with his public life a bit more so than it has in the past.

The episode is generally boring, but what happens is really important. The emphasis here isn’t on the villains, it’s the bigger picture of what’s been going on.

Overall rating: 7.00

TV Review: Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. S4E15 Self Control

agents-of-shield-lmdAs more LMDs infiltrate S.H.I.E.L.D., suspicion begins to turn to paranoia among the members of Coulson’s team.

Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. gives us an entertaining dive into the rabbit hole as the episode progresses and we’re wondering more and more who is an LMD and who isn’t. While I’d have liked a slow build to it all, this episode delivers what I’ve been looking for going with an almost psychological horror as we question everything. The episode is the last before a month break and it leaves us with a lot of action and an ending of the episode that’s the best of the season so far, and one of the best episode endings of the series.

As I said, the episode is a spiral and a build up. There’s only a few agents left to mount a resistance against the LMDs and even then, have they been compromised? That’s the question we’re left with over and over. We never fully know exactly who is still themselves and who is an LMD. That’s some solid work as we’re kept on our toes.

The episode also amps things up with Aida who is also spiraling in her own way, into craziness. She makes some shocking moves that will change things.

But, it’s the last 15 minutes or so of the episode, especially the last 5 that really ups the excitement for what’s to come. We get to see what everyone’s fantasies are within the program giving us a better idea about their wants and desires and while some are obvious, some are quite shocking.

And that’s what’s great about this episode, its ability to shock with twists. This is one of the strongest of the entire season as it keeps things very simple but builds upon the ongoing story. More like this please!

Overall Score: 8.95

The Walking Dead S7E10 New Best Friends Review

walking-dead-5 photoWhile searching for a missing Alexandrian, Rick and his group encounter a mysterious collective, its inhabitants unlike any they have crome across.

The Walking Dead‘ Is building up and this episode really gets the ball rolling as we find out about the mysterious group that we were introduced to at the end of last episode. Much of the episode is the politicking and maneuvering for what will be the eventual conflict to come.

The new group is interesting in that it puts together a couple of different plot threads from earlier in the season and it’s a new type of group we haven’t seen before. They’re more of a collective and not very vocal which is unsettling for a few so many reasons. To me, this new group reminded me of something we’d see in a Mad Max film, and while different, it works. They are clearly the numbers that are needed for Rick to go unilateral, but adds some realism as to how Negan will eventually be defeated.

There’s also some movement in the Kingdom as Daryl bounces around talking to folks and finds there’s some allies, though they might not see eye to eye as to exactly how to go about things. But, the biggest thing of the episode is an eventual reunion between Daryl and Carol. The two are some of the cutest things on the show and there’s a bond there that puts a smile on my face every time we see them together.

The episode is a good on in that it sets things up for what’s to come and gives us something new, but it’s not the most exciting episode. The new group is interesting, we get a new walker, we get some plot lines answered, and Daryl and Carol are brought back together. There’s a lot, but it’s not all that great.

This episode is the set up episode building what’s to come. As a bridge, it does a solid job, but on its own, it doesn’t quite stand.

Overall rating: 7.85

TV Review: Arrow S5E13 Spectre of the Gun

arrowAn attack on City Hall brings back painful memories for Rene; flashbacks reveals Rene’s transformation from family man to a hero named Wild Dog; Oliver realizes the best way to find the attacker is to do so as Mayor Queen.

Arrow goes “very special episode” with this entry that focuses on gun violence and the debate over gun registration. The topic feels about a year too late to be relevant and the actual politics of the show is muddled and summed up with “it’s a complicated issue” and “we need to do something.” About the one thing that the show does get right is the need to enlist gun supporters to figure out what an actual solution might be and make it happen.

At its core, the episode is about Rene and why he became Watch Dog. He represents the pro-gun side of the argument, but the story presented is a pretty tragic one. We learn about his wife, his kid, and his origin in many ways. It’s a pretty average origin, but as presented it adds some depth to a character that was lacking one.

Most of the other characters are in the anti-gun crowd or are used to give information about weapons and throw out stats about the increased likelihood they get shot, the police perspective, the military information, or more. It touches on “Blue Lives Matter” as well as “Black Lives Matter” without really saying much. It’s all pretty by the numbers.

And that by the numbers makes the episode both a success and a failure. It presents the difficulties of the situation. The shooters in the episode are white men. Some of the dialogue though is stilted and feels like stats just being thrown out, exactly like an Afterschool Special. The fact this episode airs today as opposed to a year or two ago is puzzling.

I went in hoping the series would take an interesting stand, but by the time it was through, it really said very little. Even issues like “Black Lives Matter,” though touched upon, isn’t given much play. There’s a lack of depth and emotion that fits such an issue.

The episode goes through the motions but in the end says very little.

Overall rating: 7.05

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