Tag Archives: Television

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

TV Review: Fear the Walking Dead S3E1 Eye of the Beholder/The New Frontier

The Clark family find themselves in a terrible predicament; Strand faces resistance as he attempts to hold power.

Fear the Walking Dead kicks off its third season with two episodes that shakes things up. To say it shakes things up is an understatement. New characters are introduced, new locations are explored, more dynamics are set up, and a major character apparently dies. A lot of criticism has been levied towards the series and this first two episodes feels like it addresses some of them by upping the action and really shaking things up.

When the last season ended we saw individuals dressed in military uniforms either shooting or capturing some of the individuals we’ve come to know and this episode drops us into the horror as those same military individuals are murdering them to see how long before they turn. It’s twisted and weird but from that a lot of conflict arises and it’s best to not reveal everything.

There’s lots of good in the fact that we’re dropped in the action and there’s a hell of a lot of conflict. The bad is some of that conflict deescalates rather quickly. It does come off as using each other for convenience but the fact there’s not a bigger grudge on display is a bit of a headscratcher. There’s easy ways to explain this away but it’s a little odd and stands out as the biggest negative of the first two episodes.

The new locations and characters are what really stands out. We’re taken to a new community that feels like a ranch the Bundy’s might like while taking a stand against the government. They mention they’re putting together a new society and community, which adds a slight ominous tone to what otherwise would be Herschel’s Farm Part 2. And that all is part of the excitement of these first two episodes. Lots of new characters and locations and we have to figure out who is on the level and who will be an obstacle and threat.

The episode too also catches us up on Strand who everyone thinks is a doctor for that truth is revealed. The episode may have been stronger without that and more being devoted in another, but his short segment does answer some questions that have been left hanging last season.

But, the biggest thing is the death of a major character. The fact the season kicks off with a major character seemingly dying (and I’d be surprised if they survived) lets us viewers know that everything is on the table and anything can happen. It also greatly shifts the dynamic as to what this season may bring.

The third season kicks off in a way that I’m excited to see what happens the entire show is shaken up in a way that it feels like a whole new series. What might happen? We’ll find out and I’m excited to see. I wasn’t excited about the series returning but after this episode I can’t wait to see what happens next.

Overall Rating: 7.97

TV Review: Arrow S5E23 Lian Yu

arrowOliver assembles a group of unlikely allies – Slade, Nyssa, Merlyn, and Digger Harkness – to engage in an epic battle against Chase and his army.

Arrow wraps up its fifth season with an episode that’s generally good though feels like it’s both stretched out and compacted at the same time.

The good is the episode wraps up Oliver’s Russian adventures and we get to see glimpses of his heading home, which is a new revelation and answers some questions. That all feels a bit packed in and could be an entire episode on its own.

Most of the episode is focused on taking on Chase and action scene moves to fight scene moves to action scene with fights that feel like they’re choreographed well or not at all. It’s an odd experience as things look tight are a bit sloppy. That’s apparent early on when Oliver takes a swing in a badly delivered punch.

In the few moments where there’s not fighting or running for safety, there’s reflections on what it means to be a father with Deathstroke and Merlyn sounding somewhat reasonable. The moments are a bit bizarre as they’re in danger, but there’s enough time to talk about fatherhood? The scenes are good, but the situation they’re in between they feel odd.

Then there’s the ending which I’m not about to ruin, but it doesn’t feel like an ending at all instead it’s an unresolved aspect of the episode. Yes, it’s a cliffhanger, but in this case it doesn’t feel like it’s a good payoff it feels like something that should be resolved within the season. It’s hard to describe, but something didn’t sit right.

It’s not a bad episode, but as a season finale, something feels like it’s missing.

Overall rating: 7.45

TV Review: iZombie S3E8 Eat a Knievel

normal_izombietv_s01promo_001-1~0Liv and her boyfriend become closer when she shares the brain of a former daredevil with him; Blaine is back to his old ways; Ravi makes progress in his new research; a discover puts Major in grave danger.

iZombie is an ok episode with one focused on the murder of a daredevil and an attempt to move the various stories forward. The issues lay in the fact the murder mystery isn’t all that interesting and while Rose McIver is her usual amazing self in the acting aspect, it’s not enough to distract from the rest of what’s going on.

There’s some focus on Liv and her boyfriend which is a rather blah storyline. The attraction is clear but the case hasn’t quite been made to me caring.

Then there’s Major being human now and cured. Why doesn’t he quit his job? I can’t figure this out. Why put himself in danger?

Then there’s Blaine, who’s back to his old self. While it’s interesting to see him get his revenge it has a been there done that aspect to it.

The good of the episode is a bit more of a focus on the anti-zombie folks as a decision is made to infiltrate them. It’s also a little odd that other avenues aren’t taken to take care of them, like turning them into zombies or outright killing them.

For as different as the season began, in these last few episodes it’s all gotten back to where it was seasons ago. The series looked like it was evolving in its formula this season and in some aspects it’s branching out, but in others it’s taking a bunch of steps back.

Hopefully this is just a bridge episode moving things along and getting us to the next phase of the season, but this is an episode that’s largely forgettable in so many ways.

Overall Rating: 7.05

« Older Entries