This Week on TV, Nov. 15, 2014

Once-upon-time-logoOnce Upon a Time

So now we know Ingrid the Snow Queen’s backstory. Perhaps she intends to destroy everyone in Storybrooke simply because she sees them as a threat. I mean, if her own sister could “betray” her like that, then surely the only ones who can be trusted are those who also have power they don’t yet know how to control. Granted, Emma’s power going uncontrollable like that was something of a curve ball I did not expect, but I can see a bit of Ingrid’s reasoning.

She’s still bat-crap crazy, though.

I like the little bit with the “Weaselton” duke. Such a lowlife, using Helga like that. First playing with her heart, then spurning her for the next queen, then lying to her face to try and turn her against Ingrid, then threatening the sisters with their secret, and then, to top it all off, using her as a shield to save himself. I really don’t like that guy. I actually hope we might see him again, to get his comeuppance.

The balance of the two villains, the Snow Queen and Rumplestiltskin, was brilliant, particularly with the performances of Elizabeth Mitchell and Robert Carlyle. They’ve sort of danced around each other, looming figures which could destroy each other, feeling each other out, giving warnings, offering deals. But now the Snow Queen is taking the upper hand in their game, as she approaches the Dark One with something he wants, and she is the one to say, “Then we have a deal.” Typically, that’s his line, and it portends ominous things.

Just what did she whisper in his ear?

And a shout out to Robin’s conflict, that scene with the Knave, and Regina’s growing selflessness. The great irony: she’s finally becoming worthy of that happy ending, yet it seems denied her, as of yet.

Agents_of_SHIELD_logoAgents of Shield

Were I Senator Ward, I probably would not cover up the escape of my highly-dangerous brother from federal custody. Then again, as I think about it, the shadow dance of Ward and the pursuing Shield agents seems to be preferable to the widespread destruction which could result from the pressure of a proper manhunt. It seems to be a “pick your poison” scenario. Still, it would at least be satisfying to see the feds working with Shield again. C’est la vie.

Between the pursuit of Ward and a sudden break in Coulson’s alien-writing case, the pressure was doubled in this latest episode, “The Writing on the Wall.” While Ward wormed his way through Hydra holes (ah, alliteration!), Coulson raced to stop a serial killer who carved the alien marks into his victims’ flesh while they were still alive. Coulson, and the rest of Shield with him, was brought to the breaking point as his symptoms threatened to break his mind. It was a deeply personal struggle, winding through his altered memories, a past unknown even to him. It ended only when he found the relief of learning what he was being compelled to seek, and the mystery of the symbols he was scratching was finally revealed to be the blueprint of a strange, unknown city. New mystery: what is this city, where is it, and why is it so important?

But at least the Director of Shield is no longer nuts. Hopefully. 😉

And Ward displays more and more alarming behavior. He seems to be on a deranged quest to fulfill several desires of his. One of them, of course, is the end of his brother the senator. (I am waiting to see my hallucination theory is accurate) A second quest, no surprise, involves Sky. Perhaps he’s trying to impress her, give her all the answers she’s ever wanted. Every bit as alarming as his apparent desire to kill his own brother, and his obsession with Sky, is the instability which leads him to draw a high-ranking member of Hydra to him and deliver the man to Shield, after killing all the Hydra agents around them. Granted, he has turned on his fellow agents (in Shield) already, but it’s clear that no one on either side is safe. He’s learned that Whitehall is locally in charge (how are he and Strucker and who knows how many other of the original Nazis the same age after seven decades?), and he calls Sky at the end of the episode, commenting on how Coulson doesn’t need the new recruits (Hunter, Morse, etc.) “to hang around for much longer.”

Yeah, Ward is definitely not all there, in a terrifying – and morbidly fascinating – way.

gotham-logo-screencapGotham

Yes, I am definitely enjoying Gotham more and more.

We have Gordon dealing, indelicately, with his fellow cops after they abandoned him to the nonexistent mercies of an insane criminal. Bullock is starting to really support Gordon, including rallying the cops to find him when he goes missing. Essen is starting to follow in the same route, being the first to volunteer to help find Gordon. And we have Gordon again, dealing with his own anger. It doesn’t get much more visceral than fighting three stooges and a guy with a sword, all while unarmed.

Barbara, unfortunately, has been emotionally wounded by her encounter with a madman, and Gordon isn’t quite able to help her heal after her ordeal. It’s tragic, but understandable, when she leaves.

Fish Mooney and Penguin are still continuing their feud, of course, despite “peace” being established. I can see why Penguin doesn’t kill he mother, as her ramblings spark clever ideas, though I still keep expecting him to. (Anytime, now. Anytime.) He’s caught the scent of Mooney’s latest secret, that she has someone near Falcone, which does not bode well for Liza.

Bruce and Alfred are continuing Batman’s origin story. This week, we have Bruce, who is fairly clueless now when it comes to people, getting bullied at school. And really, how low is that? Bullying a boy who just lost his parents? Bruce came off a bit stilted in this episode, speaking too formally for his age, but he certainly made his sentiments and ideals clear. And Alfred proves more and more that he can be plenty scary, such as when he warns the bully against further activities against Bruce. I think I see where Batman learns it from.

And, of course, and at last, the return of Selina “Cat” Kyle, as she gets busted by the cops and has to talk to Gordon again. “Miss me?” Heh.

Flash-TV-Show-Teaser-TrailerThe Flash

Ah, the many uses of super speed! Reading libraries of files really quickly, for instance! I love how they keep having small, little, important things Barry can do with his speed, besides just running really fast. Be his own centrifuge, vibrate his vocal cords to alter his voice, etc. One talent, many tricks!

Eiling?! General Eiling?! Ohhhh, dear! That is one high-ranking military officer who does not get along with our heroes! EVER! Yet I imagine his bull-headed frontal assaults would be preferable, in a way, to Dr. Wells’ seductive manipulations. Who doesn’t prefer an honest enemy to one who masquerades as a friend?

It does get a tad ridiculous how easily, and often, Barry’s mask comes off. I mean, come on, he’s wearing it for a reason, and it looks fairly snug anyway! It really needs to stay on, ya know?

On the one hand, we have the bright hope of Iris West, bravely blogging about “the Streak” so as to vindicate her childhood friend. The scene with her and masked-Barry was also well-crafted, if a bit obvious. We know she’s feeling an excitement she hasn’t before. No great need to stand behind her, Barry. Of course, if I suddenly had the chance to be the thing that thrills the girl of my dreams, I might react in a similarly-cheesy way, heh. All the tragic, then, when they seem to take a backwards step.

On the other hand, we have the tragedy of Bette/Plastique. (I think I saw a depiction of this character in Smallville, but I digress) She’s a victim of what was done to her, and of the military she once served. She’s lost, yet the first metahuman we meet besides Barry who is not a psychopathic/sociopathic killer. The worst part is that, in her moment of greatest weakness, Wells’ takes advantage of her, manipulates her into trying to kill Eyeling. She comes to her senses, fails to warn Barry of the wolf in sheep’s clothing. (apropos, in light of the sheep-dog conversation)

And another of Wells’ creations is apparently the gorilla, Grodd.

That promises to be a very interesting development later on.

arrow-season-3-logo-0001Arrow

Okay, whew! They did a good number on us there, making us think Roy might have killed Sara. I mean, seriously, Roy. My money was on some kind of hypnosis (bye, money!), but it turned out to just be confused memories. Hopefully. (there is the question of him remembering her last words, but that could just be a small error, something that slipped through the cracks) Even in best-case, though, Roy now has to live with the guilt of having killed a police officer, albeit in a mirakuru-induced state last season. That’s not an insubstantial weight.

With Roy having to doubt himself, and his friends having to do the same, it was highly effective for them to introduce the former-apprentice of a former-vigilante, give the heroes a glimpse of what the future might hold for them. The story of Ted Grant is that of a noble soul who tried to clean up the streets as the vigilante Black Cat. He failed, yet keeps trying to do some good with his gym. He’s very much a peer for the Arrow, so, naturally, we see the two collide in their first meeting. He’s more pure, in some ways, as he’s never taken a life, yet not as determined in the path of a vigilante, having quit when his apprentice killed a man, yet also stronger in a quiet way, as he keeps his gym open to help people in the only way he knows how.

Its an interesting dynamic between the two, particularly since Olly discovers Laurel’s training, and his first reflex is to protect her, while Ted’s response is to help her become stronger.

Speaking of Laurel, she comes more into her own as well. She sticks to her guns with her training, stands by her new mentor, withstands the emotional blow when it seems like Roy killed her sister, remains calm under direct and imminent threat of bodily harm, and chooses to convince Ted to make her his new apprentice, by helping him get back off the mat life has thrown him down on. I call that impressive.

I’m almost afraid to see what happens to the Japanese family in the flashback sequences. You know it’s gotta be something pretty bad. Olly has to end up back on the island sometime, and he emerged from his five years with scars, tattoos, and no friends. As he says, “Nothing good ever happened” during the years he was away. Small wonder the woman of the house wants him gone, as we can guess something terrible happened to the entire family, and we’ve yet to see it.

And, oy vey, at the end comes the appearance of a truly insane archer. You know it’s bad when she calls herself Cupid. With her obvious Arrow obsession, I foresee much trouble for everyone, particularly Olly and Laurel.

White-collar-logoWhite Collar

First thought: K-K-Keller?! Oh wonderful! Yeah, that’s all you need, when you’re going into the most dangerous undercover assignment of your considerable career, is the sudden appearance of an old, psychopathic enemy who has already hurt you and those you love, and who knows all your secrets, or at least the ones that can get you killed. Yeah. Perfect. On the bright side, Keller’s conniving, manipulative nature does, at least, afford them some time to work with.

Even better, it turns out he’s to Interpol what Neal is to the Bureau. Talk about an unlikely alliance, secured only by the fact that if one of them squeals on the other, the favor is returned. Mutually Assured Destruction.

On the much lighter side of things, the scene where Peter masquerades as Neal’s father was priceless! “Nathaniel, how dare you? I gave you explicit instructions to wait for me.” Just a hat and some glasses, a bit of posturing, and he’s this venerable, authoritative old man. Gotta love it!

Also on the lighter side, Mozzie’s keen observational skills enlighten him almost immediately to Elizabeth’s happy news! And, of course, he alludes to the one time he helped deliver a baby. Heh.

And you gotta love how they nabbed that stamp so easily from the best security system money can buy, with a little fight, a pair of forks, and framing that auctioneer lady. Classic!

Finally, this is one episode that ended on a completely good note. Yes, they are going after the biggest prey they’ve ever sought, and they have a precarious truce with a dangerous man, but Neal’s freedom is guaranteed upon success, and the Burkes are having a baby. The future looks most promising indeed.

grimm_title_cardGrimm

Lesson of the week: do not be an abusive creep or you may just get what’s coming to you tenfold.

I like how wesen aren’t the only supernatural thing in the world. Also, apparently hexenbiests aren’t the only ones who can do magic. Humans can too. We’ve seen Volcanis and La Llorona, and “Dyin’ on a Prayer” introduced the human-summoned golem. It was an interesting take on the clay monster of legend. Most depictions show something made pretty much of stone, but clay is every bit as dangerous. Heck, the clay golem might be even worse, as it could fit through small spaces, suffocate you even while you struggle, and it doesn’t even notice when it’s being hit with something solid. Fortunately, there was a way to kill the big bad monster, and it involved a small boy learning to stand up and protect his friend.

There’s a reason I like this show, ya know?

Trubel shines more and more. Not only did she form a bond with the small boy in question, helping him find the courage and strength to fight back (and save her life) at a crucial moment, but she also used a cloak-and-dagger approach to get Nick alone, to tell him about Agent Chavez’s rather aggressive job offer. Now he’s in the know, they can work together to figure things out. Of course, exactly who Chavez’s friends are remains a mystery. (sheesh, how many secret orders can there be in the world? The wesen population with their Council, the Royals, their verat, the Reapers, who else is there?)

I was glad last episode’s cliffhanger did not go quite so badly as I feared. If there was another robbery, it could have destroyed any chance of helping Nick get his powers back. But in a way, this was worse. This was something aimed directly at Munroe and Rosalee, so it’s not likely to remain a one-time thing.

On the brighter side of things, Elizabeth certainly has a wicked sense of humor. I do believe she enjoyed freaking Munroe and Rosalee out a bit so they’d leave the shop and go home. And then, the next morning, impersonating Adalind and, again, freaking Munroe out. And when Rosalee calls her out, “Oh, Rosalee, you’re taking all the fun out of it.” But then there is the small difficulty as they near the end of the spell: they need to add a bit of Juliette to the potion, apparently. Which involves her consent, I imagine. Which means she’ll have to choose whether or not to help Nick be a Grimm again.

Speaking of Adalind, she encounters a rather interesting security system. Downright freaky, having faces pop out of stone, saying, in different languages, “I know where your baby is.” Over and over again. And then they sob and sob and sob, letting out literal rivers of tears, enough to drown a person. In this case, Adalind.

And, finally, Wu shares his suspicions with Captain Renard, returning to work after his stay in the hospital. With Wu pushing it, it won’t be long before they have to tell him something.

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