Tag Archives: Television

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

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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

TV Review: Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. S4E14 The Man Behind the Shield

agents-of-shield-lmdCoulson and the team engage in a deadly cat-and-mouse game as they work to rescue Director Mace, who is fighting for his life.

Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. after what feels like forever we finally get the origin of the man who is obsessed with Coulson and the head of the Watchdogs. And after all of the waiting… it’s underwhelming. It’s underwhelming to an extent that Coulson even acknowledges it with a “cool origin bro.”

The episode focuses on a couple of things, two of which are trying to find individuals. There’s Director Mace who is being held by the Watchdogs and in usual bad guy fashion is toyed with for unknown reasons. Then there’s finding May.

There’s a lot to the episode that left me scratching my head. Quake fighting the non-powered Watchdog head in hand to hand combat when she could end it in two seconds by using her powers. Then there’s her leaving him after winning. And some of the other bad guys get away eventually!?

It’s all really choppy and weird with plot points that make little sense at all.

And then there’s those last ten minutes where a twist is revealed as to why things played out the way they did… which left me with… huh!?

For those who read comics, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. feels like it’s taking a lot of ideas from Marvel’s Secret Invasion storyline leaving viewers to question who’s real and who’s not. It’s fun, but the episode has also gone a bit over the top with it all giving us reveals at odd times leaving out the shock of it all.

While I generally like the concept of where this season has gone, it hasn’t quite played things the way I’d like, expect, or make sense. In the end, this episode left us with one too many decoys.

Overall Score: 7.85

The Walking Dead S7E9 Rock in the Road Review

walking-dead-5 photoRick and the others are led to a new community, where they meet the residents and their ruler; a familiar face resurfaces.

The Walking Dead‘ returns after its winter break with kind of a new direction for the second half of the season. We left off with Rick and crew being reunited on Hilltop with a renewed vigor in a way.

Rick has a vision and that’s to unite the three communities to take on Negan and the Saviors, but will they go along?

The politics of the world is now in full display as each community leader is asked if they are willing to put their people at risk to take on Negan. The answers vary and the reactions differ showing off how different leaders view the threat in front of them. It’s nice to see things not go smoothly, but I think more importantly it’s nice that each answer has its own logic to it.

But, this is the beginning. For those who have read the comics, you know war is up next and the question is, will that war happen here or will we have to wait until next season? This episode gives some hints that it might be sooner than later with a pacing that’s much faster than much of the season.

Many have complained this season has plodded along and it would see the writers are addressing that somewhat. There’s some great action sequences with one in particular getting me to take notice and cheer along. But, what’s great is the series is really moving along as it sets up the showdown we all know is coming. The series is building up to an explosion and it’s one that feels like it can’t be missed.

The end of the episode really gets interesting as things can’t go smooth and a mystery builds involving Gabrielle. What’s he up to? I have no idea, but I’m intrigued as to where the story goes. Hopefully it’s not a distraction, but feeds into the greater story in an organic way.

If all of that wasn’t enough, that ending is an interesting one, one I didn’t even see coming. Who are the mysterious people? We’ll find out, but even when I thought I knew where things were going, the series zags.

The Walking Dead is back and it’s showing off it still has it.

Overall rating: 8.45

TV Review: Arrow S5E12 Bratva

arrowA mission takes Oliver, Felicity and the team to Russia, where they meet up with Anatoly, Oliver’s old friend; fresh out of rehab, Lance returns to the mayor’s office ready to get back to work.

Arrow gets further into the Russians as the enemy theme that’s going on with comic television shows in this episode that ties together the present storyline with flashbacks of the season.

At the center of the story is the General who framed Diggle who may or may not be selling a nuclear weapon to Russian bad guys. If the idea of a nuclear weapon sounds familiar, it is because it returns things to Felicity and her decision that led to the death and destruction of an entire town.

The episode is definitely a return to “street” bad guys. There’s no metas or folks to fight with special powers, this is about as basic as it comes and that’s something that was teased after last season. This one would be a bit more focused at “realistic” enemies in a way. The idea of loose nukes is still rather over the top and doesn’t quite feel like the Green Arrow to me, a character that I associate more with taking on corrupt cops and trying to help his own town. This is a step too much for me when it comes to that.

The good for the episode is that it has Felicity dealing with her decision and it also puts Diggle and Walker on a crash course ending that story in some ways. The trio gets a bit more like a trio again.

The episode also sets the team upon some further task with this one complete. The season has jumped around in focus in this way with the flashbacks really driving the big picture story unlike some previous seasons where they were used to fill in the gaps of Oliver’s past.

The episode also has the return of Lance, back from rehab and having to answer some tough questions as to where he’s been and what he did. It brings a more human touch to things and returns him to the fold, but not enough is given to the plotline to really feel like it is a plotline as opposed to a strange way to announce he needs to grow some more as a character. There’s opportunity here, but it feels like it’s just not being used.

The episode opens up some further stories. One we’ve seen before, Oliver’s identity, and a new thing dealing with Ragman. Hopefully, these are better than what we’ve seen, but this episode itself is only so-so.

Overall rating: 7.95

TV Review: Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. S4E13 BOOM

agents-of-shield-lmdAn explosive Inhuman surfaces and the team are tasked with containing it. Elsewhere: Coulson and Mack encounter Radcliffe’s inspiration for Aida.

Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. gives us a bang and brand new villain who is kind of like Nitro in a way. An Inhuman that expands in gass and creates an explosion.

The episode is interesting in that it kills off at least one character and gives some more depth for Radcliffe as a character. We now know why he wanted to create the LMDs and the world that Melinda now inhabits. It’s touching in some ways.

The issue I have with the episode is it’s pretty clear as to what’s being set up for the future. The agents will be forced to choose between saving Melinda and killing this person we’re introduced to. It’s pretty obvious this is where things are going. But, again, the segment adds a lot of depth.

The bigger thing of the episode is introducing us more in the folks that are pulling the strings of the Watchdogs and Senator Nadeer. I’m not quite sure where it’s all going, and it’s at least interesting because it’s not Hydra, so something new and it feels like we’re getting a good villain for Coulson to go up against.

The real bad of the episode is too many football references. It feels like the writers know that the Super Bowl was the past weekend so they specifically had this football sub-theme running through things. It was noticeable, and a little irritating due to cheese factor.

The episode is one of the better ones this season. There’s solid action and a good new villain. It adds some depth to some characters. It also moves the bigger picture story forward. Other than some eye-rolling dialogue, it’s actually one of the more solid episodes this season.

Overall Score: 7.85

TV Review: Arrow S5E11 Second Chances

arrowOliver gets help from a surprising source in his quest to take down Kovar; Felicity tries to hack the NSA to help free Diggle; Curtis informs the team about a female vigilante.

Arrow returned last week with a good episode and this episode continues that with another episode that’s entertaining and good, but not great.

Most of the episode is focused on a female vigilante who might be a good new Black Canary, so a chunk of the team heads out to find more about her and introduce themselves. This gets them into a battle with new metahumans, which is a solid expansion of the DC Flash universe by using this television series.

The rest of the episode focuses on Diggle and getting evidence to prove his innocence. That really moves along, and quickly, and with some small details it feels like it’s setting up a collision for later in the season.

Bigger in the episode is the flashback parts of the episode where we see some of the real origin of the Arrow. That’s actually a fascinating bit that fills in some gaps.

The episode is pretty decent, though again doesn’t blow me away. There’s some action, some movement in the plotlines, and some new additions to the series as a whole which is good. What I really like is how this episode adds to other series and uses some of what’s been established there. It’s a great way to create a more cohesive and entertaining universe. It’s the small details that really add up.

The episode is good, but cool in finale which gives some winks and nods and sets up what could be something interesting. It doesn’t give us anything definitive, but continues to lay the ground for the rest of the season.

Overall rating: 7.95

TV Review: Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. S4E12 Hot Potato Soup

agents-of-shield-lmdCoulson and the team race to save agents Sam and Bill Koenig from those triyng to get their hands on the Darkhold book.

Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. brings back the Koenigs in a fun episode that plays off guest star Patton Oswalt’s deadpan humor. We also learn a bit more about them too! Like the original that got them all into SHIELD… who is not what you’d expect.

There’s something endearing seeing Oswalt play off himself in three different roles, each with their own personalities. The episode revolves around them and their hiding the Darkhold and a search to find them and it.

We also get some more reasons for at least one of the villain’s motivations this season with a pretty interesting twist at the end that seems like there’s a big target being placed on Coulson. With a reveal of who’s an LMD and who’s not, things are heading to a collision course.

This episode is a stronger one of the season adding some depth to motivations mixed with some humor to it all. I think the lesson is clear, more Oswalt please!

Overall Score: 7.85

TV Review: Arrow S5E10 Who Are You?

arrowOliver worries that Prometheus is right and really is a killer at heartl Felicity is bent on revenge after Detective Malone’s murder; Diggle fights for his life in prison.

Arrow ended it’s winter break with what appeared to be the return of Laurel Lance. This return from a bit of a break dives right into that shocking revelation with a story of time travel… but is it true? We get the full reveal in this episode which is full of twists and turns as we get the full story. I’m not going to spoil things though.

Laurel’s return is in stark contrast to the team losing a friend in that previous episode too. The two diametric experiences are played off each other quite well to create emotional ups and downs and keep viewers on their toes as to what to think and expect.

Diggle’s story continues as well. I’m not quite sure where this storyline is going, but it feels a little played out and doesn’t fit the rest of the season’s greater story. It’s like they needed something for Diggle to do, so they went with this. It hasn’t been working for me, so the sooner this is over, the better. It’s a distraction for what’s been an improved season.

The episode is a good return giving us answers about the previous episode’s shocking return and shaking things up a bit. Along with action there’s a lot of emotion to fit in what is an entertaining episode.

Overall rating: 7.95

TV Review: Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. S4E11 Wake

agents-of-shield-lmdMay works to uncover the truth about what happened to her; Aida’s next move puts everyone’s life at risk.

Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. seems to be narrowing its focus as it really gets going in the second half of the fourth season. The episode focuses on Coulson wanting to look into Senator Nadeer as Daisy is brought before a Senate committee. It’s some interesting spy stuff getting the team to a more street level in some ways and away from the special fx spectacle we’ve seen in previous episodes.

There’s also the focus on the captured May. That part of the episode plays very Matrix-ish, but it does so in a way that’s really entertaining and I only figured out what was going on a few moments before the reveal. It’s a good part of the episode and one that makes May a badass, but also keeps her captured.

These two storylines come together towards the end and it’s best to not give that away.

The big thing about the episode is Mack and Yo-Yo’s relationship which has some fantastic moments and the highlight. There’s a revelation about Mack that just makes me love the character even more, and that says something considering he’s my favorite character on the show. I’m really hoping they keep this level of “adult” when it comes to these two and we actually get to see something that explores real relationships, something missing with FitzSimmons.

One of the better episode of the season, but it’s still a little uneven. The Mack/Yo-Yo moments while few really pays off with the revelation about Mack adding tons of depth and May’s bit will have you questioning what’s before you. A definite improvement on the season and showing off what really works for the series.

Overall Score: 7.88

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