Tag Archives: Television

TV Review: Fear the Walking Dead S2E8 Grotesque

fear-the-walking-dead-posterNick’s steadfast search for answers leads him into a deadly dog-eat-dog landscape; and a dark piece of his past is uncovered.

Fear the Walking Dead is back kicking off the the second half of the second season with an episode focused completely on Nick. Yup, other than some new characters, everyone else (for the most part) is absent other than walkers.

The episode is a fascinating one and the strongest of the season so far. It actually makes the case in many ways that the series should drop every other character and just focus on Nick’s survival on the zombie apocalypse.

So what do I mean about “for the most part” when it comes to the other characters? There’s flashbacks that involve Nick and his mom is present. That’s the extent really of major characters from our survivor group.

But, back to Nick…

The episode adds a hell of a lot to the character who has up to this point has been the drug addict who seems to have more going on than folks give him credit for. We see him survive hoards of walkers, dogs, and humans intent on killing anything that moves. It’s an interesting focus on survival and seeing the growth of skills.

There’s also very interesting new dynamics added as new characters are introduced and a we’re left with a new location as the episode wraps up. Hopefully we see more of this focus, because this really was one of the best episodes, if not the best episode, of the season and possibly the series. It’s very character driven focused in on just one and for that it’s stronger in many ways.

The first half of the season was ok, but this start of the second is heads and above better than what we’ve seen so far.

Overall Rating: 8.65

TV Review: Arrow S4E23 Schism

arrowSeason 4 ends with Oliver teaming up with a surprising force in an attempt to stop Damien Darhk and his magic once and for all.

Arrow ends its over the top fourth season attempting to stop nuclear bombs and Darhk. The episode defies logic so many times it actually pulled me out of it.

Exhibit one: Oliver shoots an arrow at Darhk with a crowd behind Darhk. The arrow would have hit someone in the crowd.

Exhibit two: Darhk’s magic is destroyed, but he can still feel Rubicon failing and control a bullet, after he loses his magic.

Things like this is just bad and uneven writing that has plagued the season. This finale is just a microcosm of the issue. A big battle ensues, and that battle looked like it could have been out of The Dark Knight Rises in its ridiculousness.

The episode does end with at least one thing that’s interesting, the revisiting of Oliver’s run for Mayor. Where this takes the fifth season could provide a lot of ground, and the episode as a whole leaves the team in a very different place than where they’ve been most of this season, also setting up what will hopefully be a very different fifth season.

The fourth season was far from excellent, or even good, but in its end its shaken Oliver and the Green Arrow up enough that things should at least be somewhat entertaining to see where it goes.

Overall rating: 6.85

TV Review: Gotham S2E22 Transference

Gotham Season 2

While Gordon, Bruce and Lucius remain at Indian Hill, the city of Gotham will be met with a new threat as Hugo Strange’s inmates devise a plan to escape and start their new lives in Gotham.

Gotham wraps up its second season… sort of. The second season ends in an interesting way, and one that feels very much like a comic book.

While some things are taken care of so much is left open for the third season. It really feels like the ending of a comic book story arc where there’s more to go. No happy little bow on this story.

What’s impressive is that the episode manages to go through so much in so little time. There’s Strange, ClayGordon, Penguin, Fox and Bruce, Riddler, and Fish Mooney. Everything gets its moment and given ample enough time to go through their arc.

There’s definitely bad. Strange’s finale is a bit of a let down with something (No SPOILERS here!) happening that feels like he should be more hurt or even killed. And the follow up to that is… odd.

There’s a great comedic moment involving Gordon and Fox that will have you laughing and rolling your eyes at the same time.

The season wraps up in one way, but also takes us into the third for what looks to be an interesting further evolution of the show. There’s definitely a better vision for the show, and a consistent style now that feels like a blend of a lot of what’s come before with Batman.

We have some time to wait until the third season, but there’s a lot to look forward to as the show builds its own version of the Batman mythos.

Overall Rating: 7.65

TV Review: Fear the Walking Dead S2E7 Shiva

fear-the-walking-dead-posterThe family faces their greatest test yet. Meanwhile, Nick, Madison, Travis and others go to great lengths to keep each other close.

Fear the Walking Dead wraps up with a midseason finale that’s all about family and what parents would do for their kids as well as what we do for the ones we love.

We’ve been seeing this farm from hell in which people haven’t quite accepted the fact that people are dead and zombies now. As I said with last week’s episode, it’s fascinating to see religion actually coming into play.

And that idea of religion and the intelligence of the series can be seen with this episode title. “Shiva” could be a reference to the Hindu goddess or it’s a reference to the time people of Jewish faith spend to mourn their love ones.

Everyone has their moments in this episode as each figures out where they stand and what they believe in when it comes to this new world, and in particular what they think of this particular situation. What’s interesting I think is that like The Walking Dead, Madison and her group are a force of destruction much like Rick’s group. They’re just pure destruction and you wonder if they’re worse than what they’re fighting/dealing with. Do they destroy everything they touch?

The episode has a bit of a shocker with individuals dying and others making a different choice when it comes to where their future may lay. Who’s right? Who’s wrong? It’s fascinating and interesting to see because in the end, like a good argument, there’s a lot of gray.

The series returns in August, but it leaves us at one hell of a spot.

Overall Rating: 8.15

TV Review: Arrow S4E22 Lost in the Flood

arrowOliver and Diggle race to rescue Thea, while Felicity, Curtis and Noah join together to stop Darhk.

Arrow has just one episode left with team Arrow going full assault on Darhk and his cult world. I think one of the best things about the episode is the new locale for Arrow and Diggle to run around. Seeing them running in what amounts to generic suburbia is actually interesting, especially seeing how they use their surroundings.

But for me, the highlight of the episode is Felicity working with Noah and her father as her mother watches on. Felicity finally reveals to her mother what she’s been up to and seeing the family dynamic adds a hell of a lot to Felicity’s character, especially with a twist towards the end. But, the best part is watching Noah make comments about the three individuals. There’s tons in this bit of the show alone to entertain and discuss and how things progress for Felicity going forward will be interesting.

But, with that good comes some bad, and that’s during the lest ten minutes where the show gets all Star Trek in the quality of its explosions and acting. Apparently shaky cam and jumping = explosions and things falling apart.

But, with that plan stopped Darhk is out of options, and pissed. It’ll lead to a showdown next episode to wrap things up, and who knows how team Arrow will stop him.

Overall rating: 6.95

TV Review: Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. S3E21 & 22 Absolution, Ascension

Agents_of_SHIELD_logoIn the third season finale, Hive’s master plan is completely revealed, forcing S.H.I.E.L.D. into action.

Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. wraps up the third season with the agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. taking on Hive in what amounts to a two hour battle with all sorts of twists and turns.

But, who will die!? That’s been the tease and focus for weeks now, and honestly, that answers is about all that’s interesting. Would the show have guts to kill off a major character?

The answer, no, not a major character and one that I have no problem seeing him die. That’s how much I’ve disliked him. No, I’m not going to spoil it.

I think the most interesting thing of the show is the last 10 minutes of it which flashes six months ahead to a very different situation for everyone. And again, that sums up what I think is most of the second season of the show, 50 minutes of show for 10 minutes of something that’s interesting. And we see that here, except it’s an hour and 50 minutes.

The episode wraps up what I think was a season filled with promise and little delivery. But, those last moments set up what could be an interesting fourth season.

Overall Score: 6.95

TV Review: Gotham S2E21 A Legion of Horribles

Gotham Season 2

Hugo Strange welcomes a familiar face to Gotham after he resurrects Fish Mooney in Indian Hill. Later, Bruce discovers a friend is in danger and teams up with Gordon, Alfred and Lucius, while uncovering more of Strange’s experiments.

Gotham has just one more episode to go after this one and boy does it set up a hell of a lot. While I might not have totally agreed with the direction and pacing of the season, I will say it has given us a fairly logical point for the creation of a lot of Batman’s rogue gallery (though Batman himself is about 10 years too young).

Tonight, we get yet another classic villain introduced, but also the return of one from the first season. Like so many comic characters, the dead don’t stay dead and we get the return of Fish Mooney. But Mooney to me isn’t the best introduction. In a previous episode we saw a character who is likely Killer Croc, and this episode we get someone named Basil who is an actor. For those who know Batman comics, this is Basil Karlo, aka Clayface a rather interesting and cool villain. We see his abilities on full display in a way that saves a bit on special fx. While I’d love to see Clayface in his full classic look, what they’re doing so far is a bit more grounded and interesting in ways.

But, what I think is the most intriguing thing is the introduction of the Court of Owls in the episode. Though the title isn’t used we learn Strange answers to a higher power. For those who have read Scott Snyder’s recent run on Batman, or those who have read interviews with the producers of the show, it shouldn’t be a surprise as to the introduction of this group and nemesis of Batman. The season has been hinting at it with its focus on cryogenics and we finally get their first on screen moments. I’m sure we’ll see more of them in season three.

And with all of that, we also get a Gotham Police Department completely caught off guard by the explosion of crazy and not sure how they should be dealing with it all. It’s probably one of the most realistic things about the season. They wouldn’t have a clue what’s going on and be a bit lost.

There’s a lot to go through and wrap up before the season ends, and I’d imagine we’ll see a lot of this bleed over into a third season. Who will get out and be the villains for then should be interesting.

Overall Rating: 7.65

TV Review: Fear the Walking Dead S2E6 Sicut Cervus

fear-the-walking-dead-posterConflict erupts in a final push to Strand’s destination; and Chris makes a decision that shakes the family. Meanwhile, Nick meets a new maternal figure.

Fear the Walking Dead takes its title for this episode from Psalm 42 which debates not being close to God and the pain for being in exile from him.

That concept of being close to God in death is a theme that runs throughout the episode as cast members reflect about the situation about them, and those they have lost.

The episode is an interesting one that explores an almost cult like belief that death is a good thing in that it brings one closer to the creator. We see that in a few ways in the episode as things are slowly revealed throughout the episode.

It’s an interesting philosophical episode that debates what the living dead are in this world. It’s a concept that hasn’t been explored too much in The Walking Dead world, and it hasn’t been explored much with a religious concept such as this.

Each character explores this in some way and many through touching moments that have them dealing with the death of someone close to them.

The episode is the best of the series so far diving deep into concepts that’ll get you to think and debate about this new world. Here’s hoping we see more of this going forward as it’s something we rarely see.

Overall Rating: 8.65

TV Review: Arrow S4E21 Monument Point

arrowFelicity realizes she needs to ask her father, Noah Kuttler, for help when Team Arrow learns what Damien Darhk’s next move is going to be. Meanwhile, Noah and Oliver have a heart-to-heart talk that leaves Oliver rattled.

Arrow has a hell of an interesting episode that isn’t quite as exciting as it should be, but at the same time there’s a hell of a lot at play.

Darhk’s plan involves nuclear missiles and it’s up to Team Arrow to stop them. And really, that rests on Felicity and Noah’s shoulders. The flaws of the episode, and the season, are emphasized by this episode that seems to ignore the reality of nuclear war and what happens when a nuclear weapon is launched.

But, I guess there’s actual death, so I can’t complain that much?

There’s also the issue of Thea and her being kidnapped. This plot is all over the place too, and what Malcom’s involvement too is a bit head scratching. In fact, so many people are ok with nuclear annihilation to restart mankind is even more dumbfounding.

The entire plot just feels bizarre and over the top and asks the viewers to remove any sense of reality or thought and ignore the issues that seem to crop up over and over.

Sigh….

Overall rating: 6.85

TV Review: Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. S3E20 Emancipation

Agents_of_SHIELD_logoDaisy’s prophecy ticks closer toward a huge loss as S.H.I.E.L.D. is force to register Inhumans following the events of Marvel’s Captain America: Civil War.

Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. is very improved this episode as it not only deals with the fallout of the Sokovia accords, but the team also finally does something intelligent when taking on Hive.

Talbot pays a visit and demands to find out how many super powered individuals Coulson has working for him. It’s actually smart plotting and is a solid follow up to the film. Simple, but also very effective.

The episode also has Lincoln being recruited by Daisy… with a nice twist eventually. For the first time I felt the team was actually being intelligent in their choices, decisions, and actions.

There are some points that had me screaming at the television. For instance a character turns his back on the bad guys and winds up getting killed. It’s stupid in many ways and you have to wonder why the character doesn’t press ahead to beat Hive and the rest of the Inhumans. It’s really frustrating.

For me though, the highlight of the episode is James, who is clearly James St. James in the comics, using a flaming chain. It’s straight out of the comics and visually awesome.

We also finally get Hives plan, though it is as simple as I expected. So, that’s good at least.

There’s a lot that’s good here. Not as much bad. There’s improvement. But, the episode is better than some previous ones and we’re on to the two hour season finale next!

Overall Score: 7.35

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