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This week’s episode of Arrow seemed to signal the start of a possible transformation in the type of hero that Ollie would become. For the first time Arrow moved away from corporate criminals and focused on street crime. Through that shift, “Legacies” was able to parallel Oliver’s past with the story of the Royal Flush Gang’s, Kyle Reston, and show us how the burdens of a parent can often be unfairly transferred to their children.
At least on the surface, Ollie resisted Dig’s suggestion that there were other ways to save the city besides hunting down billionaire criminals. Ollie returned from the island with one mission on his mind, so this foray into fighting street crime sort of marked a turning point. Because of Dig’s influence, Ollie’s narrow scope widened just a little bit and created a tiny opening for Ollie to begin creating his own future as a hero beyond the hit list his father left behind.
Kyle (aka. “Ace”) gave up a life of his own to pursue a life of crime with his family. Like Ollie, Kyle had become obsessed with the mission that his father had originally set into his mind – “to be set for life.” In Ollie’s flashbacks, we saw how his father’s expectations manifested into hallucinations that haunted Ollie when he was near death. Ollie had not yet fully understood the extent of the damage his family’s business had done, but his father’s last plea was enough motivation for him to sacrifice his future to ensure his father’s dying wishes were fulfilled.
It was interesting to see the parallels between Kyle and Ollie when it came to the risks they were willing to take for the sake of their father’s aspirations. Although Derek Reston refused Oliver’s job offer out of pride, we saw the guilt he carried for having turned his kids onto a life of crime. I couldn’t help but wonder if Robert Queen would have also regretted the burden he placed on Oliver if he could have seen the life he was currently leading and the suffering he endured on that island. I also wonder what direction Kyle’s life is likely to take now that his father is dead. Kyle probably doesn’t have a person like Dig in his life who can help him reroute the unhealthy objectives set into place by his father.
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Jax is getting a little too cocky and Clay is getting a little too comfortable. And that’s “Crucifixed” in a nutshell.
This was one of the show’s annual epic installments, running a full 90 minutes on FX including commercials. And while there was plenty of action, when all is said and done it still feels like we’re in a bit of a holding pattern, or maybe just setting the table for the season finale.
The most memorable event in “Crucifixed” was its namesake incident: Otto’s brutal murder-by-crucifix of poor Nurse Pam. And it’s possible that the fallout from those bloody few seconds will be one of the biggest turning points of the season. I think we can debate the wisdom of Tara sneaking in anything sharp for Otto to handle — no matter how much the two have bonded and no matter how vaguely connected the item is to LuAnn, this was a stupid move — but she did it, so the really important stuff will be what happens next.
Whether or not Tara winds up in jail as an accessory to murder, I’d like to believe that her thoughts about the club and Jax will never be quite the same. When Jax tries to reassure her — “We’re gonna get through this, like we do everything else” — Tara’s response is telling: “That’s what scares me the most.” After all the crazy crap she’s been through, it should.
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“Say the Word” is the first season-three episode of The Walking Dead that I outright dislike, and a lot of it has to do with the weird situation we find ourselves in with Michonne. It’s weird because we, the viewer, know that she’s right to suspect The Governor of being up to no good. We know this because we’ve witnessed him murder, seen his fish tanks filled with zombie heads and understand that the story dictates that this guy be a human villain to eventually challenge Rick and the group. And yet, despite the fact that we know she will ultimately be proven correct, the way she’s constantly Scooby-Doo-ing around Woodbury still seems fueled by needless paranoia and irrationally dangerous. The Governor hasn’t given her a single reason to distrust him so much, and yet there she is at the beginning of this episode, staring at him menacingly from outside his window. What does she hope to gain by being so obvious about it? If she’s wrong not to trust him, she’s ostracizing herself from the town and making things difficult for Andrea. If she’s right, she’s just going to get herself killed by being such a blatant and annoying snoop. I find the whole thing distracting, and it’s not helped by Danai Gurira’s barely-even-one-note performance as Michonne.
This week’s episode opens with the mini-bomb that the Governor is still caring for his zombiefied daughter, who he keeps hidden away at home. I thought for sure that bit of info, taken from the comics, would be saved for an end-of-episode reveal, so it was surprising to see it presented right up front. Meanwhile, Woodbury is busy preparing for some kind of semi-regular party that culminates in a mysterious main event. Andrea is intrigued and remains stuck in a push-and-pull with Michonne over whether they should leave or not. (An emotional tug-of-war that still doesn’t work for me because, thanks to the time jump between seasons two and three, we never got to see these two becomes friends.) Ultimately, Michonne ends up going, convinced it’s time thanks to a creepy though vague journal she finds in the Governor’s home. Andrea decides to stay, although she may want to change her mind when she discovers that the town’s main event is a gladiator-style fist fight where the contestants are surrounded by a ring of chained-up zombies. The Governor assures her that the fight is fixed and not really dangerous as the zombies’ teeth are removed. This does not look to ease Andrea’s mind.
As a reveal hinting that maybe Andrea really shouldn’t trust the Governor, the fight doesn’t work all that well, mostly because the people of Woodbury appear to be having a blast. It also seems a little odd that nobody cared to mention the town’s one big entertainment option clear up until Andrea was sitting on a bleacher watching it go down. As normal as everyone treats it, you’d think “Night at the Fights … With Zombies!” would be on the town brochure.
Hank takes center stage in this week’s episode of Grimm as he realizes a case he worked on in the past could have had Wesen involved. He asks Nick to poke around with him because the guy he arrested years ago is about to get the death penalty. As the two reviews the case and go over everything the suspect had said, they come to realize that the two brothers involved in the case were a type of Wesen known as Wendigo. These Wendigos are not the friendliest of the bunch as they are cannibals.
The guy being put on death penalty therefore should be released as he had killed one of the brothers in self-defense and not murder. But how do Hank and Nick clear his name before the death penalty is given to him in a matter of hours? Well, it wasn’t easy, but they had to find the remains (bones) of the Wendigo’s previous victims. Unfortunately, when Hank and Nick go back to where the brothers used to live, their house has been turned into a supermarket. The two of them initially wanted to look underneath the floors of the brother’s living room, but it’s going to be more difficult with the current situation.
Without a warrant to dig into the supermarket’s ground, Hank and Nick decide to take another approach to the matter. They decide to seek out the living location of the remaining brother to see if they can find clues there. When the two get to his house, no one is home, but the brother does return home eventually. Seeing Hank and Nick again (they met earlier at his work place), he goes into crazy overdrive. Hank and the brother get into a fight and in the end Hank is forced to shoot him in self-defense. After this incident, Hank was able to get the guy he arrested a retrial as new evidence (the bones in the ground of the supermarket) proves that he was justified to kill the already dead brother.
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Sheldon is taping a special “Sheldon Cooper Presents: Fun with Flags” episode about Star Trek flags, and invites his friend, Wil Wheaton to be a guest. During the taping Amy, who is filming and directing the show, keeps correcting Wil’s acting as too wooden or not fun or upbeat enough. Wil insists that he is a professional actor and that he is doing this web broadcast for free. Amy replies that they still are not getting their money’s worth. After another take where Wil appears to be overacting and reminds Sheldon of a young William Shatner, Wil says that he can not do this if Amy is going to be a pain in the asshole. Sheldon is now caught in the middle and does not want either his friend or girlfriend upset. Amy tells Sheldon that Wil is being rude to her and that he should ask him to leave. Sheldon objects that Wil Wheaton was a minor celebrity and he could not do that. Amy says that maybe she should leave to which Sheldon replies that if she did that would solve everything and that he’ll see her at dinner. Amy reacts with maybe you should have dinner with your friend Wil Wheaton. Sheldon says that he would like that and that Amy was on fire with her ideas.
In Howard’s old bedroom after dinner, Bernadette says that his Howard’s mother won’t let her help with the dishes. Howard remarks that she likes to like off the leftovers when no one is looking. Howard grabs a couple of turtlenecks to take with them. Bernadette wants to know why he does not keep them at their home. Howard wonders what she means when all he has here is a few sweaters, books, bank stubs, computers, mail, collectibles, medicine and his electric body groomer. He says that it’s late so why don’t they spend the night there. Bernadette objects and said that after he got back from space he’d move to their place, however they spend half their nights at his mother’s house. His mother asks if he has any laundry to do, and Howard yells back that there is underwear in the hamper and that it’s been on the list for two weeks. He then tells Bernadette that he gets it and he’ll move his stuff over this weekend. He suggests that his light sabers will look good in the living room. ”Or the closet” she replies saying that they can decide later.
Sheldon returns to his apartment after raising “heck” with Wil Wheaton at the Hometown Buffet. The owner recognized Will and put them next to the frozen yogurt machine. Leonard asks about his plans with Amy and Sheldon replies that she went off in a huff after Wil called his a pain in the A-S-S. Leonard suggests that Amy was mad at him because Wil was rude to her and then he went to dinner with him. Leonard gets Sheldon to call Amy. Amy starts with “What?” and Sheldon asks her to tell Leonard that she is not mad at him. She confirms that she is mad and that he should have taken her side. Sheldon is amazed that Amy was mad and that Leonard was right making it a weird day.
This week’s episode of “Arrow” picks up pretty much exactly where last week’s episode left off: Diggle awakes from his poison induced unconsciousness to discover that his employer, Oliver Queen, and the murderous vigilante, Arrow, are in fact one in the same. Throughout the course of “An Innocent Man,” Dig struggles to come to terms with Oliver’s criminal killing hobby as he decides whether or not to take Mr. Queen up on his offer.
Oliver Queen very much became the 1970s liberal, and he was contrasted with law-and-order beat cop and cosmic do-gooder Hal Jordan, a.k.a. Green Lantern. The two emerald-clad heroes set out on a road trip through America, helping loggers and Native Americans, stopping drug lords, facing the perils of overpopulation and pollution, and even dealing with a Charles Manson-type cult leader.
Later at the Queen mansion, Laurel drops by to make sure Oliver is OK post-shootout. The possible-future Black Canary still doesn’t know he’s Arrow, but she has noticed he tends to disappear. “I care about the lives of other people, Oliver.” A lecture from Laurel and John on the same night? Looks like it’s time for a bad dream.
Once again Oliver is on the trail of a wealthy, dishonest businessman who had a whistleblower murdered and framed the woman’s husband for the crime. Now on death row and awaiting execution, Oliver assists Laurel in getting the evidence she needs to free the man. Without a doubt this was the least threatening villain Oliver has faced. This whining twerp isn’t the slightest bit believable as a ruthless businessman, especially when he exclaims in a pouty cry, “She’s going to come after me!” in referring to Laurel.
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Man, I fucking love when Sons of Anarchy is in mid-season, coasting at an exhilaratingly high speed of drama and badassery. “Bonds are broken and alliances are tested,” is the foreign-to-spoilers episode description on DirecTV, and it could very well be the description for every episode this season. When the stakes get this high for a TV show’s characters, the latter half of many series’ seasons fail to live up to their potential. Sons is so good, however, that there were at least five minutes in “Ablation” were characters relaying already-known exposition to other characters, but each case was nearly as exciting as finding out the information ourselves. Everybody in SAMCRO knows almost everyone else’s dark secrets at this point. You could cut the tension with a knife recently removed from someone else’s back.
Once at the cabin, Jax cuts off the guy’s hands so he can give one to Unser and one to Pope, you know, so they can ID the guy. Reasonable, right? Anyway around this time, Tara gets a phone call about Abel and Thomas, so the two are off to see what happened.
Clay, of course, was trying to pin the accident on Pope. But that wasn’t much of a plan. The heat was inevitably going to come back around on him, and it did when Jax, Chibs and Bobby caught up with Frankie Diamonds holding a gun on Lyla at Nero’s place. Frankie confirmed for Jax that Clay was behind the home invasions, and Jax assumed that meant Clay sent someone after Gemma and the boys as well. (And why not, after everything Clay’s done in the past?)
At the hospital, as Tara and Jax watched Abel in surgery to reverse his irregular heartbeat and wondered if Gemma had been high or drunk, Clay tried to comfort an inconsolable Gemma in her room. You knew Clay would seize the opportunity to help his Blame Pope campaign by telling Jax that Gemma had been run off the road by a van at the same time Jax and Chibs were under fire. Clay told Gemma he couldn’t bear to have Jax hate her, too, and he, of course, knew she’d go along with his story so Jax wouldn’t keep her away from the kids. (Notice Gemma called them “my babies,” too). Unser determined the dead guy, Charles Turner, had no ties to Pope; Pope gave Jax the same name.
Tonight’s a huge night for The Walking Dead as the Governor (David Morrissey) will be introduced, Merle (Michael Rooker) will re-introduced, and the town of Woodbury will formally join the show and become an important aspect of it for the immediate future. I will have a better preview of tonight’s episode a little later today, but for now I wanted to share a trio of new images that have emerged from ‘Walk With Me.’
But it’s immediately apparent why these characters stand out in the comic book. Quiet, distrusting Michonne has stood by Andrea’s side for seven months, but even Andrea admits to hardly having learned a thing about her—like who the real identities of Thing 1 and Thing 2 are. But faced with capture, Michonne doesn’t hesitate to behead her longtime companions to keep them quiet. “It was easier than you’d think,” she says.
Things begin after Andrea and Michonne happen upon a helicopter crash that also attracted the attention the Governor and his group of men. The women can’t decide whether to make their presence known, or remain hidden. Whatever is going on in Michonne’s head, it doesn’t involve getting to know strangers, so she readily sacrifices the two docile walkers she’s been traveling with to avoid detection. It’s all for naught, however, as Merle (Michael Rooker) – complete with his nifty new appendage – happens to stumble onto his old acquaintance and her traveling companion.
The Governor makes his first appearance (later to be formerly introduced) and after he is satisfied with the goings on in the wreckage (basically killing two of the dead soldiers and taking one to heal), he gets his men to roll out. Just as the girls thought they were safe an old friend sneaks up behind them. Merle is BACK (Daryl’s brother), complete with a crazy blade arm used for impaling zombies amongst various other functions no doubt. Andrea immediately faints and after a hazy car ride sequence, ends up with Michonne in an electrically lit room receiving treatment for her sickness. After Andrea and Merle do a little catch up, The Governor introduces himself to the ladies and to the post-apocalyptic paradise Woodbury.
‘Sons of Anarchy’ season 5 rides again with its seventh episode of the year, “Toad’s Wild Ride,” as Jax uncovers the source of the home invasions and Unser is placed in a deadly situation, while the club tracks a con man (‘Community‘s Joel McHale) that ripped off Gemma.
Clay is in full damage-control mode with his Nomad flunkies, telling them there is DNA evidence that will link them to the home invasions and the murder of Roosevelt’s wife. Frankie (Chuck Zito, who you just knew was going to be a bigger presence at some point) reveals to the audience that Clay has been using the Nomads to sow dissent among the Sons and turn public opinion against them in an effort to regain his seat at the head of the table. For their help, they would get a piece of the gun and drug money. Frankie asks what the next move is, and Clay tells them they need to get out of town. Part of the pressure is also coming from Unser snooping around.
While Clay and Unser are slowly approaching a “there can be only one” moment, Gemma and Jax’s might already be here, maybe as soon as next week. Gemma’s complete unraveling has been a pleasure to watch this season (and well acted by SOA elder stateswoman Katey Sagal), and to see Jax and Tara finally give her a little trust and love just as she makes her biggest mistake of the season is just painful. Jax gave her the car back, Tara gave her their children, and now both of them may have accidentally played a role in a child’s death.
It was a brutal turn, especially after she and Jax finally had a breakthrough. “I made you make up for the love he couldn’t give me anymore. I’m sorry that I’ve always been too much,” Gemma said in her confessional/apology, opening up completely about how she’s treated Jax since his brother died. “When he died, I felt so bad,” Jax admitted. “It wasn’t because he was dead, it was because I’d have you all to myself. I knew how wrong that was. I love you mom. We’re gonna get through all this, I promise.”
Although I loved how rattled Greg, GoGo and Frankie were by Unser and Jax’s visits, it didn’t seem like the smartest move to tip off the Nomads that they were on to them. And in fact, it seemed like my reservations would be proven right and that things were going to go badly for Unser once Clay got wind of what was happening. The scene with Clay and Unser in Unser’s trailer was a winner; I loved how nonchalant Unser was about having a gun on Clay right from the beginning. Both Ron Perlman and Dayton Callie brought out the tension while making everything appear calm on the surface. It takes a lot to unsettle those two guys.
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Revenge season 2 continues with episode 4, “Intuition.” Victoria watches a maid clean blood from the floor and burns a blood-covered check to Amanda. Twenty-four hours earlier, Emily plays Kara’s voicemail for Aiden. He tells her the Initiative is going to be all over Kara and she needs to be prepared for what she’ll find.
I loved this episode so much, you guys. Did Emily pull her act together? No, not really. But so much happened! The show seemed to be treading the same path for the past few episodes, but with the return of Kara Clarke — and that juicy reveal at the end — I see potential for Revenge to become a whole new show. But enough about me! Let’s get to the recap, then talk theories at the end.
In this week’s episode, Emily is forced to acknowledge the consequesnces of her obsession with getting even. Sure, Emily’s every fiber is devoted to revenge, but at what cost? We get a hint: someone’s blood will be spilled on the Graysons’ floor before the episode’s end.
Cut to: 24 hours earlier: Emily confronts Aidan on the beach about having gone to see her mother. He doesn’t exactly admit to it, but he warns Emily to be prepared for what she might find should she continue her search.
Revenge hasn’t had a truly shocking and sufficiently soapy moment like Amanda tumbling to her photogenic coma in quite some time, so it was fantastic to finally have something to cheer for again. Evil shadow corporations and elaborate conspiracies are nice, but sometimes a good, old-fashioned pregnancy-in-peril plot is exactly what a show needs. The best thing about this plot is that it brought together many of the main threads that have been running parallel for the first few episodes. This is especially true of Emily’s mother Kara, whose plot is still very murky. Now that Amanda’s injury has brought her out of the woodwork to grieve, it forces her out into the open and hopefully into charged interactions with both Emily and Victoria. The emotional complexity of this is smart as well, as the more Emily remembers about her mother, the more she realizes there is to the story of her disappearance.
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