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Wednesday, May 24, 2017

My Review of Arrow 5.23- Lian Yu

Oliver puts together quite the band to take on Chase and Talia and the flashbacks come full circle...

Well, as promised, the flashbacks are officially over.  The last set of flashbacks ended with Oliver putting on the costume we saw from the pilot and getting rescued.  I have to admit that I wondered if he was going to be rescued right then or if he was going to be on the island a bit longer.  We had been told last summer that the flashbacks would end this season, so I knew he would be rescued, the only question was whether he would be rescued by the crew Anitoly sent or not.  But he was and now that circle is closed.

The fight against Chase was as vicious as could have been expected.  Some of my guesses from last week were correct in general, even if the specifics were wrong.  Nyssa did fight Talia and Oliver did fight Chase, but, interestingly, Oliver chose to send Malcolm with Nyssa to find William while he and Slade went to find everyone else.  Slade has calmed down dramatically since we last saw him and actually worked very well with Oliver.  Malcolm also worked rather well, mainly because Oliver chose to keep him close to Thea, knowing that Malcolm would (and apparently did) die to protect her.  I say "apparently did" because, while we saw an explosion, we never actually saw Malcolm die, so there is always the possibility that he somehow survived.  Slim chance, I know, but without seeing some sort of proof, I will still list him as apparently dead.

The other thing I got right is that Slade did take on the minions, and he did quite well at it too.  Wild Dog and Diggle also did a good job fighting the minions in hand-to-hand combat.  I have to admit to being surprised at how easily Nyssa was able to defeat Talia.  I honestly thought that the fight would have lasted longer.  Instead, it was very brief and ended with Nyssa victorious.  The scream between the Black Siren and the Black Canary was sort of fun to see and I loved that Lance clocked the Black Siren upside the head to knock her out.

Putting the makeshift team together to save his friends and family was vintage Oliver.  As I've said many, many times before, he can be extremely pragmatic when the situation warrants it.  He knows he can trust Nyssa and he knows that he can trust Malcolm to protect Thea.  Other than having the information about his son, I'm not sure why Oliver thought he could trust Slade, but I am glad he did because Slade acquitted himself nicely in this fight.  Oliver doesn't like him, but knows that he can work with Slade if needed, and boy was it needed tonight.

What I am really curious about is how the hell Chase managed to plant and network that many bombs all over the island without ARGUS finding out about it.  Something about that is just really weird.  That said, I think I can overlook that plothole because the rest of the episode was so awesome.  Oliver told Chase that he wouldn't kill him, and he meant it.  He shot Chase in the leg with an arrow, but he didn't count on Chase being willing to kill himself in order to finish his revenge.

We know that the whole team isn't wiped out because Black Canary, Black Siren, and Wild Dog were all recently promoted to series regulars, so they (and presumably the rest of the team as well) got away from the explosions somehow.  Did they manage to get to the boat in time?  Or maybe they went into the ARGUS facility and escaped the blasts.  We'll just have to wait and see what happens when the show returns in the fall.

Until then!

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

My Review of The Flash 3.23- Finish Line

The team takes on Savitar with a result that wasn't predicted, but makes sense...

As I guessed last week, HR traded places with Iris and was killed as a result.  What I got wrong was when the switch happened.  I thought that someone had switched him and Iris while Savitar was running around, but HR had actually switched places with Iris earlier.  That was quite brave of him and, as I said last week, it makes sense because he felt guilty that he had inadvertently revealed where Iris was when he thought that Savitar was Barry.  The good news is that HRs death brought Harry back to help the team out.  While I did enjoy HR, Harry is my favorite version of Wells that we have met so far.

I must admit that I did think that Savitar was actually going to go down the path that Barry had suggested.  Well, I did until he was talking to Barry and Iris alone and he was talking about how hard it would be for him to find a place in the team.  At that point, I knew that he wasn't going to give up.  What I didn't expect was for him to cause the Philosopher's Stone to blow up (or whatever it did).  I'm not sure if he was trying to kill Barry and the gang or if he was trying to do something to distract them.

The final fight which pitted the Flash (Earth-1), the Flash (Earth-2), Kid Flash, Gypsy, and Vibe against Savitar and Killer Frost was pretty cool.  I think the coolest moment was when Barry vibrated his way into Savitar's suit and then cause it to explode.  That was pretty cool and reminded me of how Neo killed Agent Smith in The Matrix.  The part I really didn't expect was for Iris to shoot Savitar.  I totally get why she did it, but it was unexpected.  When I heard the shot, I half expected Joe to be the one with the gun, so seeing Iris be the one who shot Savitar was a twist that I didn't expect.

As for the ending, we know that Barry isn't going to be trapped in the Speed Force jail for longer than an episode or two.  I am working on the assumption that he will somehow get out of the jail either at the beginning of the premiere or right at the end.  My only question is how they will get him out without destabilizing the jail again and unleashing havoc on Central City.  If a speedster has to be in the prison, then someone will have to take his place.  The only other option that I can see is for them to somehow shut the prison down after they get Barry out.

Having Barry go to the prison is a fitting end to the season.  While the havoc he wrought was unintentional, Barry did make a lot of mistakes that he needed to pay for.  If he hadn't created Flashpoint, then Savitar would never have been created, the Dominators wouldn't have come to Earth, and the Reverse Flash wouldn't have been around to mess with reality using the Spear of Destiny.  My one question is why no one thought to see if Jay Garrick could have gone back in.  I do get that Barry sees this as his penance for what he has done, but if Garrick had volunteered to go back in, that would have put someone in the prison and stabilized it.

Then there is Caitlin.  She decided not to take the therapy that would have erased her metahuman cells, so she still has her powers.  However, she isn't Killer Frost anymore.  If she can figure out a way to use her powers without going all dark side, she would be very useful to the team.  She just needs to figure out how she can do that.

Overall, I can't say that I loved this season.  It was fairly uneven and a little too dark for this show.  Next season, they really need to bring back some of the lightness and fun from the first season.  With Barry being gone, I have to wonder how the team will cope.  Wally will have to step up and protect the city and everyone else will have to go on with their lives.  I just hope that not too much time passes between now and when Barry is freed.  I also hope they don't have Iris go down a path where she obsesses over how to get Barry back.  This will put a crimp in their relationship, methinks.

Until the fall, have fun!

Thursday, May 18, 2017

TV Schedule for 2017-2018

Well, the TV schedule for next year has been released and I have my schedule worked out.  I am only adding a few shows after having dropped several this year.  I have a couple of slots with more than two shows, which is never fun, but I'll deal.  New shows will be bolded.  Shows in new timeslots will be italcized.  Shows with a (?) by them are new shows that I will try out and see if I like them.  So here is my schedule:

Edited June 6th, 2017

Premiere Dates added by each show as they are advertised

Sunday:

10 pm- Madam Secretary (CBS, 10/8) & Ten Days in the Valley (ABC) (?)


Monday:

8 pm- Lucifer (Fox, 10/2) & Supergirl (CW, 10/9)
9 pm- The Gifted (Fox, 10/2)
10 pm- The Good Doctor (ABC) & Scorpion (CBS, 9/25)


Tuesday:

8 pm- The Flash (CW, 10/10)
9 pm- Bull (CBS, 9/26), This Is Us (NBC, 9/26), and Legends of Tomorrow (CW, 10/10)
10 pm- Gospel of Kevin (ABC) (?) Law & Order True Crime (NBC, 9/26) (?)

Wednesday:

8 pm- The Blacklist (NBC, 10/4) & Riverdale (CW, 10/11)
9 pm-  SEAL Team (CBS, 9/27) (?) & Dynasty (CW, 10/11) (?)
10 pm- Designated Survivor (ABC)

Thursday:

8 pm- Supernatural (CW, 10/12)
8:30 pm- The Good Place (NBC, 9/28)
9 pm- Scandal (ABC) & Arrow (CW, 10/12)
10 pm- How to Get Away With Murder (ABC)

Friday:

8 pm- Once Upon a Time (ABC, 10/6), MacGyver (CBS, 9/29), & Blindspot (NBC, 10/27)
9 pm- Marvel's Inhumans (ABC, 9/29)

Returning at midseason:

The 100 (CW), The Originals (CW), iZombie (CW), Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. (ABC)

New for midseason:

Black Lightning (CW), The Crossing (ABC), Deception (ABC), Instinct (CBS)

Dropped by me:

Quantico (ABC), Timeless (NBC)

Cancelled by the network:

The Vampire Diaries (CW), Grimm (NBC), Conviction (ABC), The Real O'Neal's (ABC), Secrets & Lies (ABC), American Crime (ABC), Bones (Fox), The Blacklist: Redemption (NBC)

Dropped by me and then cancelled:

Pure Genius (CBS), Time After Time (ABC), Frequency (CW), APB (Fox), Scream Queens (Fox)

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

My Review of Arrow 5.22- Missing

Oliver finds himself teaming up with an unlikely group of people after Chase kidnaps his entire team and heads to Lian Yu...

The team that Oliver has put together to take on Chase and Talia is a powder keg that could very easily explode in his face.  First, there is Malcolm Merlyn.  There is absolutely no love lost between him and Oliver.  That being said, I think this is a situation where Malcolm can be trusted to be at least moderately helpful.  Whatever faults he may have, and there are quite a few of them, Malcolm has shown an unswerving dedication to keeping Thea safe.  While his ideas of what is in her best interest generally diverge from what she actually wants, he does have that going for him.  While I wouldn't trust him unreservedly, he can be trusted to at least make sure that she is kept alive.  That being said, I suspect that if he thought that teaming with Chase would be the best thing for Thea, he might choose that route.  However, I don't see that being the case.

Then you have Nyssa, who is by far the most trustworthy of the group.  The only issue with her is how she will react to Talia's presence.  There doesn't seem to be a whole lot of love there either, but I would never discount family ties.  Then again, she is still technically married to Oliver, so I think she can be trusted to stay with him.  And she is definitely a formidable warrior who has shown herself capable of taking down almost any foe.  The only people who give her trouble are Oliver and Malcolm, and I think we can safely assume that both Talia and Chase would give her difficulties as well since they are both of a similar caliber.

Then there is Deathstroke.  He is going to be the biggest wildcard.  He hates Oliver, even before Oliver locked him up on Lian Yu. so I have to wonder how Oliver is going to manage to get him to work with the group to fight Chase and Talia.  The good thing about him is that he has a completely different fighting style than anyone else.  All of the other major actors in this brewing fight have undergone training by the League or someone affiliated with the League, so having him along could be useful to Oliver.

Then, of course, there is Oliver himself.  He has received training primarily from the League or someone close to it, but he also learned from Deathstroke.  Also, he is the man who killed R'as Al Ghul which makes him uniquely dangerous.  He has reached the point where he is willing to work with anyone who he thinks will help him out, which is always a dangerous place for Oliver to go.  If either Felicity or Diggle had been around, I don't think Oliver would have done what he did.  Then again, if Chase hadn't kidnapped them, there would have been no reason to accept Malcolm's help or go to get Deathstroke.

I am very interested to see how this is all going to play out next week.  I am sure there will be some sort of mind games involved, but I suspect that we have passed most of that and are headed more in the direction of a straight out fight.  The big question is who will fight who.  I suspect that Oliver will task Malcolm and Deathstroke with taking on the minions and freeing the gang while he and Nyssa take on Talia and Chase.  That would make the most sense because that would put the person Oliver can trust the most by his side against two incredibly dangerous enemies.  The downside is that it would means that he would have to have the two people he trusts the least save his friends and his sister, but I think that would be a risk worth taking otherwise he could end up fighting three people on his own.

One worry I do have is whether or not Chase or Talia has managed to get Deathstroke to their side.  If so, this fight will go poorly because having the three of them team up will be very, very bad for Oliver.  But, we'll have to wait and see.

Until next week!

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

My Review of The Flash 3.22- Infantino Street

The day of reckoning has arrived and the entire gang is working tirelessly to sae Iris from Savitar. But did they succeed?

Apparently, the answer is "No" since we saw Savitar stab Iris.  That being said, there are some inconsistencies between the way this final scene played out from how we have seen it before.  In previous iterations, Barry did not have the Speed Bazooka, but this time he did.  Also, in at least one previous iteration, we saw HR on the roof of the building with Joe, but he wasn't there this time.  Between that, HR's feeling of guilt over having revealed Iris' hiding place to Savitar, and the reminder of the disguising technology, I have to wonder if maybe HR managed to somehow switch places with Iris while Savitar was running around while Barry was shooting at him.  With everyone focused on Barry shooting at Savitar, it is possible that HR (or someone else for that matter) could have switched places with Iris in order to save her from being killed.  I'm not sure if I would say that it is likely, but it is definitely possible.

One reason why I am doubting that Iris is actually gone is that it would be a major change to the show, such a major change that I am not sure if the writers would go there.  Unlike Laurel's death last year on Arrow, Iris' death would be much more consequential.  We've already seen how Iris' death would impact the team, so I don't think they are going there.  I guess they could if they wanted to examine how Barry could handle things differently, but that does not seem at all likely to me.  As always, I have to say that I could be wrong, but her actually dying here strikes me as being very wrong.

That being said, I did appreciate that Barry did show the lengths he was willing to go to (or not go to) in his efforts to save Iris.  I am not entirely sure I agree with Lyla's reasoning to not give the Dominator tech to Barry, mainly because what he wanted it for was not to change the past but to alter the future, which is a different creature altogether.  I did appreciate that her decision did lead Barry to get Snart to help him.  That was just something fun to watch.  Snart is always fun to see, so seeing him help Barry just made things lots and lots of fun.  It also showed that, while Barry is definitely willing to bend the rules to help people he loves, he does have his limits.  He could have sacrificed Snart to save Iris, but he wouldn't have, which is a good thing.  I am scratching my head a little about why that made Lyla change her mind so quickly though.  I appreciate that it did, but that did seem a bit mercurial of her, however necessary it was for the plot.

The other major story, which I think will be explored more next week, was the fight between Cisco and Killer Frost that has been brewing for a while.  He hasn't lost his hands (yet) or anything, but she is convinced that she must get rid of Cisco in order to "ascend" with Savitar.  That makes me wonder if Cisco is some sort of major threat to Savitar.  After all, if he somehow convinced Killer Frost to go after Cisco, it is entirely possible that it could be because Cisco can do something to him.

Until next week!


Wednesday, May 10, 2017

My Review of Arrow 5.22- Honor Thy Fathers

Mayor Queen deals with the fallout of Chase being revealed as Prometheus while Oliver and Thea find out something disturbing about their father and the Green Arrow and his crew rush to stop a horrific plan...

Oliver certainly had his work cut out for him tonight.  As mentioned last week, there was some major fallout from the revelation that Chase is Prometheus.  Because he was the DA, all of his prosecutions are now suspect, so 36 people were freed.  While Oliver and the gang managed to capture one tonight, I am more than willing to bet that this storyline will be a major role in next season, particularly if (as I've heard) the Vigilante plays a role in next season.

This problem is still not a major issue yet, but Oliver and Thea faced an earth-shaking revelation tonight.  In 2002, Robert Queen got in an argument with a city councilman and the councilman died.  While the death was an accident, that doesn't prevent Thea from being even mor3e convinced that she is descended from, or raised by, monsters, which means that she is one too.  I have to admit to rolling my eyes at that one.  I get why she and Oliver would be upset about what happened, and the fact that it was covered up, but it was clearly an accident.  That means that Robert Queen is not a monster because of this, if he is at all.  I think Oliver had it right when he explained that it just means that Robert, like Moira, was a complex person who didn't always do the right thing.

I think the problem with Thea is similar to the problem with Diggle.  Both of them view the world in very binary, black-and-white terms.  You are good or bad, evil or not, a monster or a savior, but not something in between.  The problem is that most people really are somewhere in between.  They aren't perfect, but they're not monsters either.  I also think that Thea feels guilty about things she has done in the past, so she is looking for an excuse to hate herself, not unlike Oliver a few episodes ago.  They both need to accept that they have done some wrong and some right and really focus on how they help people.  As Oliver noted, they are not their parents, nor are they defined by their parents' actions, unless they choose to define themselves that way.  They are each their own person who must stand or fall based on what they have done, not what their parents have done.

I do admire how Oliver managed to capture Chase.  However, I have to wonder (given the look on his face at then end of the episode and the preview for next' week's episode) if Chase already knew how his dad felt about him or if Chase planted that story in order to make Oliver think he had a leg up on Chase.  The entire thing was way too easy.  And easy, in this world, makes me very, very nervous.

I really hope that Rene is ok.  Not showing up for the hearing to get his daughter, even given how nervous he was early in the episode, is not a good thing.  Here's hoping that something didn't happen to him.

And Kovar is on Lian Yu with Oliver?  That is so not a good thing.....

Until next week!

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

My Review of The Flash 3.21- Cause and Effect

Barry finds out why the other Barry became Savitar which causes Julian and Cisco to take drastic actions to stop the events from unfolding....

So, the Barry who became Savitar is not an alternate version of Barry, but a time remnant of Future Barry who was left over after Barry created Flashpoint in order to stop Savitar.  This is a perfect illustration of something I have talked about before.  With all of the time travel that takes place on this show, sometime the effect of an action precedes the cause.  So here's what happened:

In order to stop Savitar, Future Barry created time remnants of himself much like Barry did last year when he was racing Zoom.  Of these time remnants, one survived and was; for some reason; cast aside because he wasn't the "real Barry".  To get revenge, he became Savitar and went back in time in order to get revenge on Barry and force him to create more time remnants so that one of them will become Savitar and start the cycle all over again, thus creating what Cisco called a "closed loop" or; in a less elegant form; a perpetual series of events where each cause creates an effect which then causes the cause.  Yeah, take a second to wrap your mind around that one.

At this point, the only way to stop Savitar will be for Barry to somehow break the cycle by not using time remnants to fight Savitar.  Which leads to an interesting question: why isn't the Black Flash after Savitar the way it was after Thawne on Legends?  Or maybe that is the key to defeating Savitar.  If the Black Flash comes after Savitar, then Barry can defeat Savitar without creating a new one.  But allow me to speculate a little further.  What if the "casting off" Savitar referred to was an attempt by the Black Flash to destroy the time remnant?  That would explain the scars on his face and why Savitar is in the suit.  The suit might somehow protect him from the Black Flash.  I know it is all highly speculative at this point, but it is worth considering.

Then we have Cisco and Julian's attempt to try and stop Savitar.  The idea wasn't a bad one per se, but it wasn't terribly well thought either.  By preventing Barry from creating memories, it would doom him to only ever knowing what he knows now, which would mean that any future villains Barry would have met would have an advantage because he wouldn't necessarily remember that they are villains (as one example).  The fact that it backfired so spectacularly was sort of amusing.

It was fun to see Barry be the way he was in the first season, when his powers were new and he was discovering everything for the first time.  He was so happy with everything that was going on and his sheer joy at being able to speed around was just fun to watch.  Unfortunately, the other unintended side effect of the attempt was to strip Wally of his powers because, without Savitar to give him his powers in this timeline, Wally was powerless.  So, not the worst idea in the world, but not well thought through and with horrible side effects.

It was also fun to see HR and Brand try and resist the romance and see how HR's word gave her the spark she needed to complete the Speed Bazooka.  I am definitely enjoying watching this.  I don't think she'll stick around, so I'll enjoy this while I have it.

Until next week!

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

My Review of Arrow 5.20- Underneath

Oliver and Felicity get lots of enforced alone time (thanks to Chase) while the gang tries to figure out how to rescue them and Diggle and Lyla try to work through their differences regarding ARGUS....

This was an episode that wasn't so much about moving the overall story along as much as it was cleaning up the personal messes between the gang in order to allow them to focus on the bigger picture.

First off, I was so glad to see Lyla call out Diggle on his behavior.  Is she running ARGUS the way he wants her to?  No and she is also not running it in the most moral way, mainly because she is operating in a world of grey.  And, as she pointed out, Diggle has tended to support Oliver in most (but not all) of his decisions, so she; as his wife; deserves to receive the same consideration, at the very least.  I know I harp on him a lot, so it was nice to see someone on the show call him out on this sort of thing.  As for the whole stealing and improving Curtis' tech thing, I think that would barely have been mentioned if he hadn't already been upset at her, so I won't even really look at that.

Then there is Oliver and Felicity.  It was nice to see the two of them talk about what has happened between them and for Felicity to acknowledge that Oliver's keeping William a secret wasn't that big a deal.  I was not fond of the way they retconned her reasons though.  Last year, she was fairly specific that she was upset that he hadn't included her in any decisions and now they are having her say that she was really upset that he didn't trust her enough to tell her about him.  Personally, I think both are bogus.  The idea that you don't keep secrets from someone you trust is not really a good one.  Everyone (well, most people) is going to keep something from people around them, no matter how much they trust them.  They may be embarrassed, they may just not want to talk about it, or it may be one of a million other things.  It doesn't automatically indicate a lack of trust.

It was good that Oliver told Felicity what Chase had done to him and what he learned about his inspiration for becoming the Hood in the first place.  That was something that did need to be shared because that sort of secret could really eat away at everything.  And  she handled the whole thing perfectly.  She said what a lot of people have said, which is that he really is not as bad as he sees himself to be.  Is he perfect?  Hell no.  But he is not a total monster.  He has done some really heinous things and some things that cross moral lines, that is for sure.  And while his initial reasons may not have been the best reasons, the reasons for doing what he is doing have changed over time.  And that is a good thing.

I hope they deal a little more with the storyline they touched on briefly about the criminals that Chase has put away.  That sort of story could really go far in powering a season long arc of trying to recapture people that were released after it was revealed that Chase is Prometheus.

Until next week!

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

My Review of The Flash 3.20- I Know Who You Are

The identity of Savitar is revealed, and it's a doozy!  Meanwhile, Cisco deals with his feelings about confronting Killer Frost and HR starts falling for a physicist...

So a future Barry is Savitar.  And this Barry is very, very different from the other future Barry we saw last week, so I can only assume he is from a different timeline or a different earth.  This whole thing leads to a very interesting conundrum: How does the future Barry from last week trap Savitar in the Speed Force and why is Savitar trying to kill Iris?  If Savitar is future Barry and knows what Barry will do, then how can he be trapped by future Barry?  And how did he come to be the way he is?  My suspicion, at this point, is that some future event (or event in an alternate timeline) caused that Barry to lose Iris, which led him to become Savitar and to try to kill other Iris' to prevent other Barry's from being happy or something like that.  Or, it could be that he needs to kill Iris in order for Barry to turn into him so that Savitar can continue to exist.  The only problem with the last is that it assumes that Savitar changes each time.  If Savitar is trapped in the Speed Force each time through the timeline, it is possible that this Savitar is the original and that he has been trapped in the Speed Force over and over again, which would explain his madness.  I guess we'll have to wait until next week to find out for sure what happened.

I can't say that I blame Cisco for being unwilling to fight Killer Frost.  After all, she does take his hand in the future and he doesn't have full control of his abilities.  I didn't think his control was that bad because he has not seemed to have had a ton of trouble controlling his abilities, but maybe he has been having more trouble than he has been letting on.  My thought about his reluctance was that he just didn't want to hurt her at all because she is his friend.

You have to wonder how everyone else is going to react to the news that Barry is Savitar.  The one thing we know for sure is that it is going to be confusing for everyone.  I just hope that we get some explanation about why Barry became Savitar relatively quickly because we only have a few episodes left.

I find it hard to blame Tracy for wanting to run away from everything, after all, it's not every day you find out that a speedster from the future wants to kill you to prevent you from trapping him in a force you only speculatively knew about.  Yeah, this will mess with your mind for sure.  Here's hoping they can figure everything out.

Until next week!