The Flash: The Runaway Dinosaur – Review

The Flash: The Runaway Dinosaur (Season 2, Episode 21)

“A zombie? For real?” – Cisco

This week The Flash did a really good job of balancing a very emotionally heavy story with one of the funniest stories that they have done in a while.

To recap: Cisco “vibed” and discovered that Barry was not actually dead but in the speed force. Barry had to come to terms with the death of his mother before he was allowed to leave the speed force with his powers. After being knocked unconscious last week, Wally seemed fine but Jesse wouldn’t wake up. The team tried to deal with Jesse but at the same time contain Tony who had come back as a zombie. Fortunately Barry came back and fixed everything.

With Barry’s powers gone and this week, with Barry gone, we have seen everybody take up a bigger role in the team and none more so than Iris. Iris has constantly been in the periphery but now she’s getting involved and we’re seeing what a bad-ass she is. This episode we saw her tell Cisco to get behind her after he told her to do the same thing and at every venture she was ready to step forward no matter how much danger it put her in. I love this version of Iris and I hope she doesn’t disappear now that Barry’s back.

I have long since given up on the science of The Flash making sense – if you think too much about it, you’re not going to enjoy it. That’s why I only had a short moment of disbelief when a zombie was introduced to the episode. Tony was the least fear-inducing zombie that the show could have made but it was great: he was so slow that there was no sense of immediate threat and it gave Cisco plenty of time to crack some jokes.

Barry’s story-line was a real journey and examination of what Barry’s been through in his life. Grant Gustin has proven how good he is at playing these emotional scenes and he didn’t fail us this week. He spent the majority of the episode looking like a sad puppy but it was believable – all of his pain and grief felt real.

So, what were the consequences of the second particle accelerator explosion? Jesse and Wally haven’t yet revealed that they have any powers (although not for lack of effort on Joe’s part) but Barry seems to have this new zen-like clarity.

The end of the episode had us revisiting Zoom and Caitlin at CCPD where we saw that Zoom had gathered an army of meta-humans to help him destroy the Earth. He also gave Caitlin the ultimatum of joining him or dying and whilst I don’t care all that much about Caitlin’s life, I do want her to join him – if only because it might make her character more interesting.

So what did you think of this week’s episode of The Flash? Are Wally and Jesse harbouring some speedster abilities? Will Caitlin join or leave? Let me know in the comments.

Advertisements

Game of Thrones: Oathbreaker – Review

Game of Thrones: Oathbreaker (Season 6, Episode 3)

“Good. Now go fail again.”

The first two episodes of the season felt like they were setting up the show but now we are definitely in the action and it’s great. As usual, there was a lot happening so this is part-recap, part-review.

We first went to Castle Black and met the re-born Jon Snow who (understandably) had a minor panic attack. Jon’s being alive has a lot of consequences for plenty of people but the glint in Melisandre’s eye was unmissable – she wants Jon to be her new Stannis and going forwards maybe he will be. The typically grim north didn’t miss out on the chance to make a few jokes at Jon’s expense, including one about the size of his “pecker”.

From Jon we went to Sam: as much as I like Sam as a character, I had honestly forgotten about him and it took a while to remember what his story-arc was. He is travelling to the Citadel with Gilly and her child but he intends to first drop Gilly with his parents. Previously I wasn’t particularly interested in this story but now that the show is diverging from the books, it would be fantastic to actually meet Sam’s father.

Bran and the Three-Eyed Raven continued in their trips to the past – this time watching an older Eddard Stark do battle in order to gain access to a building. So far the common thread in the flashbacks is Lyanna Stark which means that this season we may unwrap some of the mystery around her and according to some fan theories that could change the entire landscape of the game of thrones.

Dany’s future is looking less and less certain: when will the girl learn that introducing herself that way does not endear people to her? She was delivered to Vaes Dothrak but whether she will stay there or be killed will be voted on by the Khals when they arrive. Now that her dragons are free I wonder if they will arrive in time to save her from whatever fate awaits her.

In Meereen, Varys was able to find out who was funding the attacks on Dany’s men and the show hilariously addressed the fact that Grey Worm and Missandei are perhaps the most boring characters in Westeros.

In King’s Landing, Maester Qyburn has commandeered the use of Varys’ “little birds” and the little power that the Lannisters had is quickly diminishing. Lady Olenna made an appearance and was just as perfect as always. Tommen tried to assert some dominance (tried is truly a key word here) and get the High Sparrow to allow his mother to see Myrcella’s grave. The High Sparrow clearly came out on top but it was amazing how easily manipulated Tommen is. There’s no way that Tommen is going to keep the throne but rather than killing him, they could probably just politely ask him to hand over the crown and he would do it.

Once again Arya was senselessly beaten by a girl who seems to enjoy it all too much but there was more this week. Finally Arya is stripping away her identity and becoming no-one. She got her eyesight back and the Hound even got a mention: is he really dead?

Ramsay continues to rule over the North and was given an unexpected gift by one of his liege lords. Rickon Stark – the last time we saw him he was a tiny kid disappearing into the forest with the Wilding, Osha – is back and that can’t be good news. He was the final Stark that was free: now he either becomes Ramsay’s ward (what kid wouldn’t want Ramsay as a mentor?) or more likely, he’s tortured until he dies.

Our final scene took us back to the Wall where Jon hanged the people that killed him. They all gave their final words but worst of all was the unfiltered anger on Olly’s face as he looked at Jon. There was a lot of hate towards Olly after he stabbed Jon in the heart at the end of last season but seeing his dead body brought home the fact that he was really just a kid. This was the funniest episode of the season so far but Olly’s death reminded us how cruel this world really is.

We learned that Jon is leaving the Night’s Watch but for what?

Will he make a play for the Iron Throne? Did you want Olly to die? Will Dany survive this season? Let me know in the comments.

The 100: Red Sky At Morning – Review

The 100: Red Sky At Morning (Season 3, Episode 14)

“Jasper’s actually smiling.” – Bellamy

The last episode of The 100 made it seem as though we had potentially reached a stand-still yet this week showed us just how untrue that was.

Clarke, Octavia, Bellamy and Jasper were on board the boat and tried, unsuccessfully, to convince Luna to take The Flame. Meanwhile in Arcadia, Raven became more obsessed with Alie’s code and despite Monty’s advice otherwise she took their one chance to kill Alie and failed. Finally, in the Polis; Murphy, Pike and Indra managed to escape and attempted to destroy one of Alie’s power sources but failed. There was a lot of failure this episode.

As the main antagonist this season is computer code, it makes sense that the show goes into more sci-fi territory but most notably, their transition has been seamless. Raven typing furiously away at a computer over ten different monitors doesn’t look out of place but fits perfectly within the narrative of the show.

Remember Jasper and Monty in season 1? So young and care-free? Well, after seeing and doing terrible things over the last year, we haven’t seen those people in a while – that was until this episode. Monty had sex; Jasper had a pleasant conversation with a girl: they actually smiled! Naturally the show couldn’t let that stand so Monty had to kill his mum a second time and Jasper’s new friend was murdered. The emotional whiplash that this show subjects me to is dangerous.

We’re seeing a new side of Raven – as one of the toughest and smartest characters in the show, it was always going to be interesting to see how she responded to having been under Alie’s control. Her response has been to throw herself into the mission of destroying Alie but that has affected her decision-making skill. This week was a major blow for her: her relationship with Monty has been damaged, I don’t imagine that the others will have a great response when they found out what she did. Ironically, what they’re unaware of is that Raven managed to greatly weaken Alie.

The only reason that Alie wasn’t destroyed this week was because, contrary to popular belief, John Murphy has a heart. I could wax lyrical about Murphy’s beautiful character development but we can see how he has gone from cold and calculating to a truly loving character: the idea that Emori’s mind would be lost was enough to stop him from destroying Alie.

Alie spent a lot of this episode talking about a ‘migration’ and now it appears that the City of Light is on the Arc. Considering that the City of Light isn’t real, I’m not sure what difference that makes but I’m sure it’s relevance will be revealed soon enough.

The end of the episode found Clarke, Octavia, Bellamy and Jasper dumped away from the boat community, without Luna and with no real plan of action going forwards. As Bellamy put it, “what now?”

What did you think of this week’s episode? How will they stop the City of Light? Did you agree with Raven’s actions? Let me know in the comments.

Arrow: Genesis – Review

Arrow: Genesis (Season 4, Episode 20)

“I don’t mean to apply logic to a bad guy’s plot but…” – Felicity

We’re rapidly approaching the end of the season and are now beginning to learn what Damien Darhk’s plot is.

This week in Arrow, the team split up to do their own separate things. Oliver and Felicity went in search of a shaman to teach Oliver magic so that he would be able to defend himself against Damien Darhk. Thea went on an idyllic retreat with her boyfriend only to discover that she was actually trapped in an artificial dome, courtesy of the Darhks. Finally, John went up against his brother for the last time and killed him.

Damien Darhk made a typically dramatic return this week as he spoke to members of the previously elusive council. Just in case you had forgotten how powerful he was and how little he valued human life, he killed the two members of The Council that were present in the room. What I was wondering though, was why the other members that had (wisely) elected to video conference their way in had no reactions – I’m not even sure that they moved. Seriously Arrow, just try. Please.

Major complaint about the episode out of the way, there were some great elements this week. First of all, Thea made yet another Harry Potter reference which solidifed her status as one of my favourite characters in the show. Arrow will never be as bright and laid-back as The Flash or Supergirl but Felicity and Thea bring in some much needed levity.

Speaking of Thea, I liked how she figured out fairly quickly that something about her holiday was a bit off. Her boyfriend, Alex, on the other hand… I don’t think that he was aware that his boss is evil but at this stage he either has to come to that realisation or he’s a complete moron. I’m betting that he’s a complete moron.

I wasn’t a fan of the magical storylines that Arrow has been embracing but by this point I have to just accept the direction that the show is going in. With that in mind, I loved Esrin Fortuna, the shaman that Oliver and Felicity sought council with. Similarly to Constantine, she makes this mystical side of events much more accessible – it isn’t treated with this great reverence and that just makes it slightly more believable.

The key story this episode was the battle of the Diggles and the position of power switched so frequently that I almost got whiplash trying to keep up. Every since Andy showed his true allegiance, he has been far from a sympathetic character so I spent the majority of this episode hoping that John would shoot him. Clearly, I was pretty happy when he died but more importantly, it will be interesting to see the effect that this has on John going forwards.

What did you think of this week’s episode? Can Oliver now defend himself against Darhk? Let me know in the comments.

 

 

The Flash: Rupture – Review

The Flash: Rupture (Season 2, Episode 20)

“I didn’t think he’d actually try to outrun The Flash!” – Cisco

The Flash began this season slowly but as we reach the end they keep getting better and better.

This week we saw the team sending a hologram of The Flash around Central City to keep up the pretence that he was still active. Zoom made his return with Caitlin and killed a group of police officers to prove his dominance. Barry decided that he had to get his powers back in order to help and tried to recreate the particle accelerator explosion but was killed in the process.

I loved this episode of The Flash – this week was intense, there was a lot of death and heavy decisions to be made so Cisco was the perfect break from all of that. I adore Cisco and whilst not all of his jokes land, they had a pretty good success rate this week. However, he had a bigger role to play than comic relief and we saw a lovely scene between him and his brother showcasing Carlos Valdes’ ability to play more than just the comedian.

Once again I find myself getting bored with Caitlin: the writers don’t seem to know what to do with her and she ends up just sitting around, occasionally exclaiming in horror. Zoom tried to tempt her over to the dark side this week – a move that I would be happy to see her make, with the provision that she doesn’t become the campiest, caricature of a villain (see Killer Frost).

Zoom brought over another meta-human from Earth-2 in the form of Rupture, Cisco’s brother’s doppelganger. I can’t exactly tell you what his powers were – he had a really cool scythe-thing that glowed? – but he was still an exciting villain to watch. Especially with the added dimension that when they did manage to defeat him and he was killed by Zoom, all that Cisco could see was his own brother.

Barry paid a visit to his father at the beginning of the episode where we learned that ‘Garrick’ was Barry’s paternal grandmother’s maiden name. Obviously there’s a reason for this so I’m going to dive into some theory right now: Jay Garrick is the man in the Iron Mask and is also a speedster. Somehow, they’ll free him or he’ll escape and be the key to defeating Zoom.

This season has been teasing extra speedsters – Wally West and Jesse Quick – and it looks like it is finally happening. Wally and Jesse were hit by whatever came out of the particle accelerator explosion so we may have some extra speedsters in the next episode (or maybe they’ll be in comas for nine months like Barry – that would be great television).

Overall, I think that this episode was fantastic – the stakes are higher than ever as we saw Zoom kill a room of people for no particular reason and then the Flash himself died at the end. With three more episodes, I don’t think that Barry’s death will last too long but how will they bring him back?

What did you think of this week’s episode? Is Barry really dead? Let me know in the comments.

Game of Thrones: Home – Review

Game of Thrones: Home (Season 6, Episode 2)

“Jaime Lannister is half an inch shy of an inch.”

If you were missing the gory violence and unexpected murder last week, then I hope that this episode satisfied you. This is Game of Thrones so there were a lot of different things going on which means that this is part recap part review.

Bran made a return this episode after his absence last season and we saw how his training with the Three-Eyed Raven was progressing. I’m sure that the Bran story-line is going to go somewhere amazing eventually but right now it’s boring – just as it was boring in Season 4. The best part of this story was discovering that Hodor’s name is actually Willis and as a boy he was able to speak. The only way that I can see Bran’s story as something to look forward to is if we delve further into events of the past.

Then, in the shortest battle in the history of the Night’s Watch, the Wildlings took Castle Black. Whilst it was short, this was an epic scene – they knocked down the gate, they brought a giant, and the fact that the Night’s Watch gave up immediately after one of their rank was killed (why did he shoot the giant?) was a funnier and more realistic response than if they had decided to fight.

We visited King’s Landing where Cersei has a new bodyguard in the form of a seemingly mute but just as terrifying Gregor Clegane (The Mountain). Jaime tried to threaten the High Sparrow but it became abundantly clear that killing the High Sparrow would lead to his death. Their conversation was interesting – last season we learned that the High Sparrow had effectively taken control of King’s Landing but now we see him revelling in that: what is it that he wants? Also, it’s official: I support Cersei this season. I just feel sorry for her and I guess I’d rather the evil that I know than that I don’t.

In Meereen we had more delightfully funny conversations between Tyrion and Varys with Grey Worm and Missandei making a very stiff return to events. Tyrion freed the dragons and they didn’t kill him which is a victory on his part. Now the dragons are free, will they find Dany? I would love to see the Dothraki hoard react to a couple of dragons landing in their camp.

This week Arya was attacked on the street again and then Jaqen H’ghar led her away. As much as I love Arya, this felt very much like the same thing that we saw last week. In fact, they could have used this scene in last week’s episode and then something could actually have happened this time around.

Then we went north again and paid a visit to the Boltons who provided the first real moment of shock in the episode as Ramsay killed his father. I knew that Ramsay wasn’t happy with the birth of his new brother and I had assumed that he would kill the baby (which he did do a little bit later) but the dagger in his father’s side was unexpected and brilliant. Ramsay isn’t mad, but he is an unseen level of cruel – perhaps surpassing Joffrey – so wherever his story takes us this season, I expect high stakes.

We briefly looked upon Brienne, Theon, Sansa and Podrick who plan to head north to seek sanctuary with Jon at Castle Black.

We saw the Iron Islands again – a nation long since forgotten but who want to get back into the running for the Iron Throne. The King (Theon’s father) was killed by his brother and now there is the question of succession. Yara sees it as her right but as a woman, that isn’t exactly a popular point of view. I would love for this to turn into a political espionage story-arc but I think there may be a lot more outright murder.

Finally, after spending too much time staring at Jon’s inert body it happened. Jon Snow is alive and well! Possibly… I mean, he opened his eyes so at the very least, he’s alive. Despite her doubts, Melisandre was able to revive Jon with what looked like a spa treatment.

I think this marks the point in the season that we have finished with any exposition and from next week we should be in the thick of it.

What did you think of this week’s episode? Did you know that they would bring Jon back? What was your favourite story? Let me know in the comments.

The 100: Join or Die – Review

The 100: Join or Die (Season 3, Episode 13)

“The key to surviving on the ground and on the Arc is to keep fighting at all costs, against all odds.” – Pike

The City of Light is growing and it doesn’t look like they’ll be slowing down any time soon.

This week Marcus and Pike arrived in Polis and refused to submit to the City of Light so were taken prisoner. Needing Marcus to assist in locating Clarke, Jaha threatened Abby’s life and to save her, Marcus took the chip. Flashbacks of the day before the 100 were sent to the ground were featured heavily in this episode and we learned that Pike helped to prepare them. Clarke, Jasper, Octavia and Monty continued searching for Luna.

The episode opened with the streets of Polis covered in blood and the message was clear: you either join the City of Light or you die. I say it every week, but the show continues to get more and more intense: as the population of the City of Light grows I struggle to see how they’ll be able to stop it.

As the characters can’t immediately tell when somebody is under Alie’s influence, the show is really playing with the alliances that they’ve spent three seasons building up. Watching Abby manipulate Marcus was a fantastic scene this week – you can see his relief at seeing her and he obviously wants to trust her. I imagine that they’ll try a similar tactic if Clarke ever arrives in Polis and I’m not sure she’ll be able to hurt her mother.

For a while now, Marcus has been this pure light and symbol of peace – some may even call him a Christ-figure. If you weren’t calling him that then the heavy symbolism of hanging him up on that crucifix might having you saying that. I mean, a crucifix? Come on.

Unlike certain shows (I’m looking at you Arrow), the flashbacks felt like an important and relevant part of the episode. Initially, the most striking part about them was the innocence of the kids on the Arc: at that point we were able to call them kids but life on the ground has robbed them of that. We also saw Pike pre-ground and the show didn’t try to give him a sympathetic back story which I appreciate. As far as we can tell he has always been the same – his overall intentions are good but his method is cruel and wrong.

Nonetheless, seeing Pike getting cut by Indra was far from satisfying. I’ve spent the season wanting him to get his comeuppance but that kind of up-close cruelty was difficult to watch. Murphy saved his life, again proving how much he has grown from the first season.

It is a testament to how good a character Jasper is that, even amongst all of the sad and awful things that happen in the show, he doesn’t fail to make me smile.

By the end of the episode Clarke and co. had found Luna but Luna refused to help them. Now they’re in the middle of the ocean.

Will they convince Luna to help? How are they going to get back to land? Let me know in the comments.