The Flash: Things You Can’t Outrun (EPISODE REVIEW)

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This week on the Flash: we’ve got a guy who can turn himself into a noxious gas, and his motives are as sinister as his powers sound. 3 metahuman villains in as many weeks? This is looking more like Smallville than anything else on tv. But it appears now they’ve actually got a place to put the errant metahuman scum: they’ve already got built in prison cells below them in the particle accelerator. Yep. That actually happens. Why must all metahumans have such dastardly motives? This week, The Mist as he’s aptly titled, just wants to kill three people. And that’s his endgame. He knocks off two. The third? Joe West.

One of the strongest scenes to play out actually occurs with Joe and Barry’s father. Henry was a good friend to Joe, and apparently Joe never made the excuse to see him after Henry was accused of murdering his wife. John Wesley Shipp does an excellent job with his facial expressions here, delivering the perfect amalgam of hate, sorrow, and hope.

Iris and Eddie Thawne… Hmm. I really have nothing to say about their relationship. I think it’s blatantly not going to work, which is annoying to have to watch, but it’s still slightly entertaining. Eddie Thawne is most certainly going to eventually become Zoom, or the Reverse Flash, whom we saw a brief snippet of in the Pilot episode, but he doesn’t appear to have any sinister intent just yet. I wonder if Barry’s inevitable relationship with Iris will spark this deadly rivalry. Does he already have his powers? Guess we’ll see. But I find I actually like his character so far.

This episode marks the first time we get to see what really happened behind the scenes with the particle accelerator mishap. We get to see Caitlin’s fiancĂ© for the first time during the flashback sequences. He’s an incredibly self-sacrificing character, which is instantly likable in a person. I hope we get to see more of him – whether that means more flashbacks, or that he comes back to life. Robbie Amell is the actor’s name, and he looks remarkably similar to his cousin Stephen Amell. I wasn’t thrilled with Danielle Panabaker’s acting in this episode to be honest. It didn’t strike me as very genuine. Rather it seemed a very forced procedure.

Where this episode really let me down though was the emotions they were trying to convey. If the audience doesn’t at first empathize with the characters, telling them why they should doesn’t help. And this episode was one big pity party. Again, Barry’s emotions run rampant. He messes up and he blames it all on himself, and then he starts blaming himself for his mother’s death as well, and… It’s all overkill. We get it. He’s had it rough. But then he starts talking to Caitlin and she too tells Barry how hard her life’s been since her fiancĂ© died. This series is way too young to fully grasp us in a believable pity party. We may like the characters, but that doesn’t mean we’re ready to get involved personally. It bogged the episode down unnecessarily.

It turns out Harrison Wells knew the particle accelerator would explode. He fitted Barry’s work lab with a camera to see him get zapped by residual energy. So does this make him the bad guy? He’s certainly playing the puppeteer, but to what end? And do we really need these scenes at the close of each episode? Stay tuned next week and find out!

Current ranked average for The Flash Season One: 7.33

Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.: A Hen in the Wolf House (EPISODE REVIEW)

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Right off the bat we’re thrown into the action, as a weaponized form of the obelisk that Whitehall is pursuing kills about 75% of the guests at some party. So this is what Hydra wants with the Obelisk? Seems a bit… sinister, and without any reason to be. Interestingly Whitehall, whom we learn is “one” of Hydra’s new heads, isn’t the only megalomaniac in Hydra. Even the Hydra operative that Agent Simmons was doing research with claims it’d be cool to just kill millions. Sick. But that’s Hydra for you.

Skye confronts Coulson about the strange carvings on his desk, and after being shut down, she visits Ward who tells all. Somehow this all has to do with her father, a notion that is confirmed after she confronts Coulson. He drops the bombshell that one of his theories involving Skye is that she’s actually an alien. Excellent. Little lines like this. Gotta love Coulson. But when she is shown the full extent of Coulson’s carving symbol output she suddenly realizes that it’s a map. Of course, this is never expressly confirmed to be the case, but the way the scene ended made it seem like that was the end of the discussion.

This episode actually hits a lot of the open mysteries. The most blatant mystery is Skye’s father, whom we learn is the man working with Raina, the girl in the flower dress. I wish the reveal were played a little better, because it was severely anticlimactic. But long story short, he’s got anger issues, kills without any second thought, and blames Coulson for the way his daughter turned out. Skye has yet to meet him, but it’ll happen in the next few episode undoubtedly. Especially now that he’s given Whitehall the Obelisk.

Back in the Hydra lab we’ve got Simmons entirely out of her depth, sweating bullets, and nearly getting caught for everything and anything. Enter Adrianne Palicki, playing the part of Bobbi Morse (aka Mockingbird), to give her even more of a hard time. But seriously, why was she giving Simmons all that trouble? I’d have been really angry when I eventually found out she was actually on my side. Angry and relieved. It also turns out Bobbi was Agent Lance’s ex she-devil he keeps bringing up. But why is it only now that she gets introduced to Simmons? Wouldn’t it have helped her out tremendously knowing she wasn’t alone in the wolf house?

The wolf house: Hydra. Raina. All the bad guys in this show have really bad antics, and aren’t very efficient at being bad. Menacing yes, but actually getting stuff done? I don’t think so. When Raina sent out that email to all the Hydra operatives with the image of Simmons attached, why did it just pop up on everyone’s screen. Since when is that how email works? And why doesn’t Hydra have better security on their email anyway. That image could’ve been egregiously NSFW. And let’s talk about how that one Hydra dude with the permanent stinkface and black hair (can’t remember his name for the life of me) just fast walked down the corridor in pursuit of Agent Simmons – him and his cronies. They looked like they wanted to run. But they didn’t. Silly. But very menacing.

The day hath arrived early! Simmons and Fitz are reunited! And it’s awkward. After the past two episodes involving Fitz getting over his infatuation (crazy as it is) with Simmons, she’s back, and it’s not just in his head. I really love the two characters. And the scene felt natural. Can’t wait to see what becomes of it. What did you think about this week’s episode of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.? Which scenes stood out to you?

Current ranked average of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Season Two: 8.48

Gotham: Viper (EPISODE REVIEW)

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Viper was the strongest episode of Gotham yet, and despite it all I’m still not sold entirely on its staying power. The show is slowly beginning to find its pace, but as it is now it seems like nothing more than the Sopranos in Gotham. We do get some interesting twists and turns however, that could lead us to some really cool plot lines if they choose to follow. This episode’s strengths play on what we as viewers hope to expect from the series in the long run. We get some nice references here and there, Bruce gets some development, and we’ve got our first superpowered individuals.

With Viper we see the strongest use of territorial gang drama in Gotham to date. For me it’s what made the gangs and mob bosses seem more like mafiosos than silly goons. I love that Fish Mooney is attempting to make plays towards a power grab from Falcone, attempting to feign otherwise by getting into kerfuffles with lesser family heads. She is also training the perfect weapon to bring Falcone down. I just wish she had more reason to. Maroni is also trying to show Falcone that he’s no simple pushover. Why is everyone so upset with Falcone? He’s my favorite mob boss right now. He had a nice moment by the end of the episode, if not for it being staged.

I’m not a fan of Maroni’s violent eccentricities. When the Penguin is telling him his story he beats him, waits for Jim Gordon to confirm the story, and then he laughs it off. I don’t wanna watch that. And this is primarily why the show hasn’t stuck so well with me thus far. Mafia crime stories don’t appeal to me. The mafia isn’t why I’m a fan of the Batman comic book character, but it seems to be the crux of the premise so far for Gotham. But anyway, Penguin moves on up. And Maroni tells him he should be proud of the name Penguin – it suits him.

The menace this week is found in the form of a drug called viper. It looks like poison, has a creepy wonderland-esque label “Breathe Me” on the back, and people willingly take it after being given a dosage freely. Its effects on the body were very interesting. It gave you incredible strength, and godlike sensibilities, but it ate away at the calcium in your bones. After the drug wore off you’d immediately die – which was kind of a ridiculously horrific way to do so. Guess that’s one way to clean off the streets. But that begs the question of why the drug was even being distributed in the first place? Was the guy just crazy and wanted to see how many people he could kill, or was it for further testing purposes? Either way, it is mentioned in the past tense that the next stage of the drug, Venom, had already been created – so why not show us that? Why tease something that already exists and give us the lesser product? For those that didn’t catch the reference, Venom is the drug popularized by bat-villain Bane.

My favorite part of the episode is actually how ridiculous this one scene was. Gordon found an image of Stan, the viper dealer, and some old guy. Just by looking at the books on the bookshelf behind the old guy, he made the jump that it must’ve been a philosophy professor at a Gotham college. Excellent deduction my friend. But it’s really Harvey Bullock who steals the scene, yelling at the man “What’s altruism?!”

It looks as though WellZyn, a Wayne subsidiary was behind the manufacturing of viper. No problem. Bruce Wayne is on the case. When Batman first swung onto the scene in 1939 he was known as the world’s greatest detective. But in modern renditions of the story that title’s been all but forgotten. It appears that’s not so with Gotham. Despite my continued flabbergasty at their only being one room in the Wayne Manor, Bruce finally gets around to being proactive. He discovers the discrepancies in the company ledgers, realizes that they’re affiliated with gang payoffs, and actually goes out in search of answers. Brave kid. I love the actor too. Now that he’s not moping 24/7 there’s some real promise there. Glad that Pennyworth is finally helping him do research too.

What I really hope we get to see sometime in the near future is a purely Bruce centered episode. Or Selina Kyle, who only appeared very briefly this week. She’s a terrible pickpocket. If we can get Bruce and Selina to go on a detective mission, that would be fantastic. What do you want out of Gotham? Or is hitting all the right notes already? Let me know below.

Current ranked average of Gotham Season One: 7.76