Tag Archives: Television

TV Review: Arrow S5E8 Invasion!

arrowOliver wakes up to a life in which his parents are still alive and he is about to marry Laurel; Felicity faces a new threat with the help of The Flash and Supergirl.

Arrow celebrates its 100th episode as part of the 4 night crossover “Invasion” event. The result is a bit mixed overall, but it’s entertaining. For those that missed last night’s The Flash, there’s aliens who are up to… something, and at the end of the episode they abducted some of the heroes.

This episode is interesting in that it uses the bigger picture story, but doesn’t get to caught up in it. Instead it celebrates the history of the series taking us through the years in its own version of “Flashpoint.”

In this shared dream world Oliver and crew live different lives where Ollie is marrying Laurel, Diggle is the Arrow, and everything is kind of… normal. The different take on folks is kind of cool and it’s a nice “what if” riff on everything about the series. Seeing each character awaken is entertaining as well, especially what triggers them.

But, what’s really special is all of the guests that show up in the episode. Villains from the past as well as friends and family are all on board in a celebration of the last five seasons. They kept it all under wraps which is even more impressive and for folks who have watched the series, they should be happy with the touch of nostalgia.

There’s some things that don’t quite work as everyone wakes up and the story takes a hard sci-fi spin. I don’t want to ruin it, but the special fx work against the episode at this point and it just doesn’t feel like Arrow. But, the point is to bridge to the next chapter which is on the next day.

This episode works some and fails in some ways, and it’s not as strong as The Flash‘s entry, but better than Supergirl’s. With one more to go in this event, it feels like there’s a lot still to wrap up, but so far, it’s been a fun ride.

Overall rating: 7.85

TV Review: Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. S4E7 Deals With Our Devils

agents of shield season 4After losing half of their team, the remaining members look for answers as time begins to run out for Ghost Rider.

Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. is back after a bit of a break and some of the team has been sucked into the ghost world (not sure what else to call it). That leads to one of the more interesting things of the season where the episode is split between color and black and white depending on whose perspective it is.

It’s a bit of a distraction storywise, but the bigger aspect of it is its focus on Robbie and Ghost Rider. Robbie was sucked in which causes Ghost Rider to jump to Mac. Some coolness is a nod to classic Ghost Riders as he drives around on a motorcycle with a shotgun on his back. Fans of Blaze and Ketch Ghost Riders will notice the nod.

It also forces us to get a better idea of the relationship between Robbie and Ghost Rider and the deal they’ve got between them. It hasn’t been fully explained, but here it’s laid out pretty well. It also gives us a bit question mark as to what’s next for the character who is rumored to get a Netflix spin-off at some point. There’s also the fact Mac has now experienced the Ghost Rider, so he and Robbie are tied together in some ways which should play out nicely.

There’s also the reveal of Ada to a bunch of folks and she steps up to help save the day in a way. For those that have seen Doctor Strange, some of what happens there looks and feels very familiar and it’s a nod to the movie without directly tying into the film.

Overall, a not bad episode with some interesting new aspects thrown in. It feels fresh in many ways, both visually and storywise. Though the danger doesn’t every quite gel and feel like it’s a big deal, it’s better than the villain of the week fights we’ve seen over and over. It also moves along the story while setting some other things forward as well. One of the stronger episodes of the season.

Overall Score: 7.95

The Walking Dead S7E6 Swear Review

walking-dead-5 photoAway from all the tragedy caused by Negan and his Saviors, Tara and Heath run into trouble after crossing paths with a mysterious new group. A brand new society unlike anything seen before.

The Walking Dead‘ really shifts the focus with an episode completely focused on Tara and Heath who have been awol for the season. I honestly had forgotten about both of them until this point, which I’m not sure what that says about their two characters.

We knew that Corey Hawkins (Heath) would be leaving the show in some way as the actor is the lead in the 24 reboot, 24: Legacy which begins soon. It’s just a question of how, not an if, and this episode sort of answers that.

The episode bounces back and forth between the present with Tara stumbling upon a new group of individuals and her and Heath’s journey. It’s an interesting episode as we learn about this new community as Tara does with little bits of information being teased out little by little. We don’t know if they’re friend or foe and honestly I’m not quite sure what the answer is by the end of the episode.

We learn they’ve had their run in with the Saviors. That they’re very distrusting. That they’re pretty well armed. And my guess is they’ll come into play later this season. It’s just a question as to how. And I have some ideas, but I’m not 100% sure.

The biggest thing about the episode is Heath’s good-bye. It’s an interesting sendoff and one… well I don’t want to spoil it at all.

But, the real emotional punch is the end of the episode as Tara makes it back to Alexandria. She’s been away through all of the events so how will she react? The last few minutes are the real punch to the gut and few words are said as Tara and Eugene exchange glances. It plays into something Tara says earlier in the episode and the impact is felt instantly. The show does some of its best work with what’s shown visually instead of verbally and that scene in particular is a perfect example.

The episode is a slow but interesting one that pays off in the last 15 minutes which show the emotional rollercoaster the show excels at and reminds us at its heart it’s all about those still living.

Overall rating: 8.15

The Walking Dead S7E5 Go Getters Review

walking-dead-5 photoSaddled with grief and surrounded by enemies, members of the group try to find safety at the Hilltop before it’s too late.

The Walking Dead‘ changes its focus in this episode from the Savior’s camp and Alexandria to Hilltop where we get to see Maggie, Sasha, and Jesus.

But the episode is so much more than that too.

First, we find out how Maggie is doing and Sasha is by her side the entire way. There’s news about the baby and I’m not a spoiler person so you’ll have to watch the episode or go elsewhere to find out.

But, the episode is really more about Maggie coming in to her own in a way and standing up to Gregory, the spineless current leader of Hilltop.

The community is sent a message by the Saviors which results in Sasha, Maggie and Jesus taking the lead to deal with it all barking out orders and making the situation safe. It’s a stark contrast to Gregory who grovels in front of whatever the Saviors say. And that contrast is the spark of the power play to come. As a comic reader, I know how this ends, but it’ll be interesting to see how the show varies from the source material.

There’s also something with Carl and Enid. They go on a road trip and again I don’t want to ruin it as to where and why. Something happens between them and we’ll just leave it at that.

The episode is an interesting one in many ways but what stands out to me is it wasn’t about how scary or imposing the Saviors are. Instead the focus is on Maggie the badass and her standing up. That is something I’ve been looking forward to and think from here on out it’s as much Maggie’s story as it is Rick’s and hopefully the show will recognize that as well.

Overall rating: 8.15

TV Review: Arrow S5E7 Vigilante

arrowOliver learns about a new vigilante in Star City after the bodies of two criminals show up at SCPD; Diggle feels annoyed about his new situation; Lance confesses a shocking secret to Thea; in flashbacks, Oliver speak with Konstantin Kovar.

Arrow has a new hero in Star City as the Vigilante shows up in an episode that’s full of action, but holy crap is it boring. The episode adds something new with the Vigilante, as if the season didn’t need yet another person in a mask running around. The character is interesting in that he can take on Oliver and his team and his methods are pretty rough. It’s a nice dichotomy, but it just feels like it’s too much added to the season.

The character design is pretty cool though, and it looks great on the screen.

There’s the plot with Lance passing out which is interesting. I’m sure this will get explained in some simple way, but it’s being teased out well and does throw a wrench into everything that’s going on. There’s a bit of a vibe to the first season with it. It may seem a bit silly, but it’s working so far.

But, the episode for me was really about Diggle who is on the run and thus can’t spend the day with his son who is having his second birthday. It’s touching and how that’s wrapped up is really good. It gives an episode full of action some feels and Diggle is more than a soldier. The second thing that’s solid is the twist at the end. This one I’m not giving up and folks should be intrigued to see what happens.

The episode is decent, but I was rather bored through it all. There’s lots of action, but it all feels like been there, done that. The episode isn’t bad, it just doesn’t stand out for me at all.

Overall rating: 7.45

TV Review: Arrow S5E6 So It Begins

arrowFelicity and Curtis learn that Prometheus’ victims have a mysterious link to Oliver’s past that could upend his new team.

Arrow goes back to the beginning in some ways as the clues are put together as to why Prometheus is killing individuals and it goes back to something from the first season that the series has gotten away from. That’s a good thing as the series has definitely slipped a bit in its focus and what this episode does is get back to basics in some ways.

But, what I think is really solid about this episode is the reaction of Team Arrow’s new recruits when they learn what the possible truth is. There’s a mix of horror and some real solid debate as to the truth of it all.

Lets face it, Oliver is a killer, and though the kills were righteous, he also has never really stood up for those acts, just by Diggle, Felicity, and Speedy. Here we get an outside jury in a way now stands up to him and puts him on trial. It’s a solid twist it detail that adds a lot to the episode which feels like it’s the real beginning of the season. That restart within a restart is good as the season has been rather iffy so far.

There’s some decent action as members of Team Arrow come into contact with Prometheus. There’s some odd choices since I don’t remember their saying the train was clear. It might be a detail I missed, but it felt like they possibly let a bunch of people die.

The episode is a focus on Oliver and how he has changed over the seasons. He’s grown as a character and person and gone further than just being a vigilante killer. He feels closer to the actual comic character he’s based off of due to that.

Overall, a much better episode for the season and heading in a good direction. How things come together and what the big reveal to come is will hopefully pay off. That teaser at the end though…. that’s where things get really interesting and I want to know where it’s all going.

Overall rating: 7.85

The Walking Dead S7E4 Service Review

walking-dead-5 photoThe remaining members of the group try to keep it together in Alexandria; they receive a sobering visit.

The Walking Dead‘ is interesting in that the Saviors come knocking in Alexandria to demand their payment. It’s the first confrontation between Negan and Rick since the events of the first episode and first payment to be made… and they’re early.

The episode has two main points, for Negan to dominate and for Rick to come to a realization of what the new reality is. And that’s the interesting thing about this episode. There’s not a lot of flash, it’s all about the subtle moments, words, and interactions.

Most of that surrounds around Rick as we see him go through the steps of resistance and eventually acceptance. He at first resists Negan a bit and then eventually gives into his demands and wants. He gives up goods. He gives in to demands. And we eventually find out why.

Though the episode is an extended one, it’s the last 5 to 10 minutes of it that’s really key. In a discussion with Michonne, Rick gives up what’s on his mind and he goes through a lot including what happened to Shane and the truth about Judith.

This episode can best be described as the psychology of Rick. We get a sense of where he’s at with the reality of what’s going on. It’s a key episode because of that. Because now we know where Rick’s starting from mentally, we can get more interested into where he goes from here.

Overall rating: 7.65

The Walking Dead S7E3 The Cell Review

walking-dead-5 photoA new group of survivors seem to have it all in their impressive community; however, there is a price.

The Walking Dead‘ focuses on Daryl and Dwight in this episode that’s really paired down in a lot of ways. The episode takes place mostly in part of the Survivor’s community, the Sanctuary, and a lot of it revolving around Daryl’s incarceration by Negan.

The episode is fascinating is that it really drives into the psychological control Negan has of his followers. But, is that control absolute? What we see in this episode is some of those first cracks and that has to do with Dwight.

The episode is about control and control. Negan wants to break Daryl and make him a member of the Saviors and Dwight has made that a mission of his. But what’s Dwight’s motivations?

For me, it feels like Dwight is focusing on Daryl because he himself is torn over being broken by Negan. Dwight wears Daryl’s vest. Dwight rides Daryl’s motorcycle. Dwight uses Daryl’s crossbow. It’s clear Dwight is a bit fascinated and obsessed in a way over Daryl. We can guess why, but most likely it’s due to Daryl’s being free and standing up compared to Dwight’s emasculation.

We get some of Daryl’s backstory which ties slightly into what we saw of Dwight last season. There’s some pieces of the puzzles coming together there and what happened to Dwight’s face. It’s interesting and throughout the episode Negan looms over everyone.

We also learn more about Negan. We get some of his moral code. We get some of his philosophy. And we get the sense of his control over everyone. It’s a slow tease of the villain who isn’t as much as a villain as may think. Maybe he just sees a different way to create order.

As I said, it’s an interesting episode that shows how much things have been played out, but we also begin to see cracks in a new world full of so much order.

Overall rating: 7.95

TV Review: Arrow S5E5 Human Target

arrowOliver must turn to an old friend when Tobias Church captures one of his new recruits; Felicity’s worlds collide when Detective Malone joins the anti-crime unit.

Arrow improves with this latest episode that has Oliver having to fake his own death to take on Church. It’s a plot twist that we’ve seen numerous times before and there’s nothing new when it comes to that.

To pull off that twist Oliver brings in the Human Target, another DC Comic character who actually had his own show at one point. There’s actually a good twist when it comes to that part that’s not revealed until the end of the episode.

But this episode is that false ending. They deal with Church but that only leads to something even bigger looming, which is a good thing because Church as a villain felt a bit too low level to sustain a season. The name Prometheus is mentioned which is a pretty big character in the DC Universe, so here’s hoping it’s a reference to that.

The bigger part of the episode is Diggle getting back into the groove of things but personal lives is a focus as Felicity’s relationship moves forward and Oliver has to deal with it. There’s a lot of will they, won’t they, but it’s cute and I’m not sure we’ve seen the last of them as a couple.

The end of the episode is where it’s at though. There’s an actual decent tie-in to Oliver’s five missing years and the mysterious archer that’s not the Green Arrow shows up with a pretty big act. We’ll see where it all goes as this is a big improvement from last week.

Overall rating: 7.65

TV Review: Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. S4E6 The Good Samaritan

agents of shield season 4The shocking origin story of Robbie’s transition into Ghost Rider is revealed as the lives of Coulson and the team hang in the balance.

Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. is much improved after a rather dull previous episode as it really focuses on the origin of Robbie as Ghost Rider and stopping whatever happens with the Darkhold.

As the new Director looks for Robbie and Daisy to arrest them we’re given flashbacks as Robbie recounts what happened on the day he turned. It’s a really solid story as we get the same story from his and his brother’s perspective. It’s a really good way to go about it as we get where Robbie’s guilt comes from.

What I think is really solid though is all of the winks and nods the episode gives fans of Marvel. Robbie’s origin involves a certain motorcycle riding character. We’ve been told he made a deal with the devil, but it’s not the devil you’d expect. I know I got super excited to see it on screen and something I wasn’t expecting. There’s also references to Agent Carter and the Dark Force from the second season. It’s another nice wink that makes that series a bit more relevant. Finally, we get a Roxxon reference!

All of that, plus adding in some twists and turns and the episode is one of the strongest of the season by a long shot. What’s impressive is it was able to do all of that but also really move the story along the way. We have motivation for why folks want the Darkhold and some solid confrontations. A lot is packed into the episode and it all comes together smoothly as well as feeling like nothing gets short shrift.

This was a nice bounceback from last week’s episode which had me falling asleep. More of this please!

Overall Score: 8.15

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