This Week on TV, Jan. 31, 2015

Spoiler Alert!

We’re halfway through the season now for several of these shows, and they’re not disappointing! Can’t wait for Nashville to get back into the fray, though.

gotham-logo-screencapGotham

Well, I will say this, I was not expecting Butch to be all self-sacrificing like that. Finding Fish, sure, rescuing her, sure, even supporting her in going after Penguin, despite disagreeing with her, sure. But staying behind to delay Zasz after propelling her out a ground-level window and covering her tracks? Color me completely surprised. Perhaps he does have one tiiiiiiny shred of selfless honor after all. Or maybe he just figured there was nothing left for him to lose, so he might as well.

Fish looked like she’d flipped her lid a bit when she was strapped down to the torture chair, but I’m guessing that was a coping mechanism, what with the whole “about to be tortured to death” thing. She certainly leaves Bullock with a sincere plea to find Butch, save him if possible, after Butch saves her twice. While there is no honor among thieves, it can be difficult to just forget someone who, mere moments ago, traded their life for yours.

And speaking of honor, the GCPD finally starts to man up when Gordon brings one of their own to justice for murdering a witness. At first, it’s an uphill battle, but Gordon does not give up, and not just because a man’s life was stolen, but because this man trusted the police enough to step forward and help them solve a case, which led directly to his death in the heart of their department. This enrages Gordon to no end, such that he even asks Penguin for a favor, helping him find the tangible evidence he needs. Then, at last, Gordon’s peers actually rally to his side, at least a little, as he reminds them of the honor of the badge they all wear. Small steps in the right direction.

Unfortunately, Gordon will have to live with the consequences of asking a mobster for help. He stipulated that no one gets hurt, and certainly no one died, but the interrogation of an officer who had the information and evidence they wanted certainly left the man and his family traumatized.

Speaking of Penguin, he had the scare of his life when he found himself facing a psychotically-enraged Fish and Butch alone. Anyone else notice how Fish was hitting him with a baseball bat, like he was hitting that guy in the first episode?

Finally, we have the return of Bruce, Alred, Selina, and even Ivy, as Bruce looks for Selina, but she strongly repels his interest, even telling him that she had lied about ever seeing the face of the man who murdered his parents. I wonder if she’s lying about that now, to get him to leave her alone? Either way, he’s left in tears, but a word from Alred helps him pull himself together and get back on task. Ah, tough love.

Oh, and Nigma, the future Riddler, thinks he’s making headway with his crush. Knowing how much of a psychopathic murderer he becomes, this bodes not well.

agentcarterlogoAgent Carter

Stan Lee Cameo! 😀

Also: Howard! You idiot!

You just had to lie to Carter, didn’t you? And it was to try and spare her feelings, as she steals Steve Rogers’ blood back for you? Come on! You’re smarter than that! If you had just been honest, at least you’d still have her on your side!

Geniuses can be real idiots, ya know?

And poor Jarvis, caught between a man he is loyal to and a woman he respects.

Agents Duley, Thompson, and Sousa each pursue leads and support each other as best they can. Sousa has a good hunch, but it doesn’t work out, even with Thompson lending him his skills at interrogation. Then again, he does figure out that the mysterious woman form the club is the same as the mysterious woman from the dock. Thompson runs a tight ship in Duley’s absence, but he has no idea how to appreciate Carter, even telling her, with some sympathy, that no man will see her, a woman, as an equal. Meanwhile, Duley goes all the way to Germany to speak to a condemned man, to gain some information about a mysterious battle. In exchange for information, he gives the man a cyanide pill, so he can die quick and painless. Then he gives another pill to the guard who escorted him, because he can identify him. Cold, man. Cold.

Disturbing: the “battle” never happened. The Nazis simply found piles of torn, broken bodies. That’s it. Also disturbing: Thompson finds a connection between this “battle” and Howard Stark. Just what is going on? Is Stark being very well framed, or does he know something?

Finally, there’s a sociopath who feels slighted and hunts Peggy Carter down, even making it to her apartment door. But then he’s interrupted by Dottie, her neighbor. Who knows his super-advanced weapon is an automatic. And uses a Black Widow maneuver to take him down and break his neck at the same time.

Now that is worrisome! Peggy Carter is not to be trifled with, but I’d bet on Black Widow every time! It’s one thing to be taking on the usual sort of secret agent of the day, but how’s Carter supposed to fight a Russian spy whose combat skills are so similar to one of the deadliest assassins who will walk the Earth several decades later?!

Oh, and who is typing what on that typewriting communication device?

Flash-TV-Show-Teaser-TrailerThe Flash

Another of the classic Rogues makes his debut, even if he isn’t associated with Captain Cold as of yet. This week’s villain was Star Labs’ prodigal genius, a man who warned Wells that his particle accelerator could explode (not knowing, at the time, that Wells wanted it to explode and create the Flash). Hartley Rathaway, the Pied Piper, is one of those genius jerks we all love to hate and hate to need. His origin hasn’t been defined yet, as we know he was kicked out of Star Labs, but we don’t know what happened to damage his ears.

He uses sonic vibrations to break things, including people, but the true danger he poses is in his chess-playing mind, which enabled him to nearly kill Barry. It’s unclear why they locked him up in the particle accelerator, as he doesn’t have any superpowers, so the best I can think is to make sure he doesn’t leak the identities of the Flash and his friends. But, even locked up, twice, he is confident he will get out again. He even tells Cisko that he will let him out, because he knows everything about Caitlin’s fiance, Ronnie Raymond, aka Firestorm. He knows where he is, what happened to him, and how to save him. That’s some pretty heavy extortion material.

And he is fairly well established as Cisko’s rival, more than anything else. Rathaway even “knows Wells’ secret.”

Just by coming back into the picture, Rathaway forces Wells to admit that he was warned about the possibility of his particle accelerator exploding. Everyone loses trust in him, as he had chosen to gamble with people’s lives to further his own ends, without telling them. He poses such a threat that Wells nearly reveals his non-crippled Reverse-Flash status. And Joe’s suspicions about Wells are renewed, prompting him to investigate the man with Eddie’s help. Not bad for his introductory episode.

Wells also seems to be in more dire straits than we thought. He can’t really control his speed force, and something about it is wearing him down, such that he stole the tachyon device just as a quick fix to help himself. And this is revealed just as some “real endgame” is looming close, and he is obviously worried. When the devil you know is worried, what does that mean about the devil you don’t know?

Meanwhile, Iris gets hired by a real news agency, seeking to exploit her connection to the Flash, though that is now severed. One of her idols proves rather derogatory about her and her “gumption.” But Wells throws her a bone in the press conference, giving her a moment to shine, with just one well-phrased question.

arrow-season-3-logo-0001Arrow

Maseo and Tatsu have saved Olly’s life. It’s rather simply explained, as the cold dropped his core temperature enough that he was just barely able to hang on to life. With her medicines to help him recover, he’s able to get back on his feet, but not move very well. Maseo clearly has every intention of honoring his debt to Olly, even turning on his own brotherhood and concocting stories to hide his involvement when he explains things to Ra’s al’Ghul. Clever, but very dangerous.

It’s fitting that, as Olly starts rising from his deathbed, Team Arrow is also rising from the tragedy of losing him. It’s not easy, quite painful, in fact. Laurel is taking on Canary’s role, and it does not go well (why did she not use those sound grenades again?). She’s no warrior, no fighter, and her ineptitude has fatal consequences. But when Ray Palmer realizes that he has to fight for those who are still alive, instead of fighting for the dead, he inspires Felicity to do the same, and she helps Laurel do the same as well. So Team Arrow gets back on its feet, however unsteady their balance is right now, and they save lives.

Unfortunately, the war with Brick and his thugs has only begun, and the next episode promises an epic uprising of people from the Glades to take back their home. So, big question, where is Ted Grant, the Wildcat, Laurel’s mentor, in all of this? I’m hoping he shows up in the next episode, because otherwise they will seriously be doing his character an injustice.

Speaking of doing justice to characters, kudos to Ray Palmer! Not only does he take action in a heated moment of danger, protecting Felicity, but he offers his time and means to helping the authorities take action against Brick. He rises up as well, pushing Team Arrow forward without even knowing it. I don’t think anyone else could deliver that line so well, when Brick is saying he can’t fix this with money, and he answers, “I got a lot of money.” The Atom is rising!

Thea is also coming further into her own. When Merlyn tries to get her to leave, she refuses to abandon her city and her brother without a proper, truthful explanation. Even as Roy warns that lying to Thea will cost Merlyn his relationship with her when the truth comes out, Merlyn doesn’t tell her everything. Considering the truth is, “I used you to murder your friend so your brother would go fight the man who wants me dead, and it cost your brother his life,” I’d say Merlyn is going to lose that relationship anyway. But Thea, knowing the danger now, simply asks, “why run?” She intends to stand and fight, and so Merlyn will too.

Oh, and I so called it on that DJ guy (Jayse, I think?) being an assassin from the League.

I do have some qualms with how Laurel is going to such lengths to deceive her father into believing Sara is still alive. I mean, I know it’s easier than telling him the truth, easier than risking him having another heart attack, easier than having to explain and justify her new vigilante activities, but Laurel looks disgusted with herself for it, and I can’t blame her there. If she had just taken the harder, riskier route before, then she wouldn’t have to go to such lengths to preserve the lie. It’s going to be devastating when the lie implodes on itself.

Reign_intertitleReign

Well, some things came to a head this week, and others were sown deeper.

Greer seems to be making her departure, as her husband’s connection to the castle invasion is discovered. Mary and Francis manage to bargain with the other nobles to protect her from the danger of execution, but she is stripped of everything of material value, including her titles. What she will, or can, do from here is anyone’s guess.

Francis discovers Conde’s interest in his wife, and the two literally come to blows over the matter. Conde believes Francis to be unworthy, while Francis loves Mary to the point where, seeing her able to touch him when she can touch no one else, makes him angry with jealousy. This is just as Mary is trying to support and join with Francis again, difficult as it may be, so she seeks to use Lola to divert Conde’s affections away from her. I do have to say, I was more expecting Conde to fall for Lola given the nuances of his introduction to her at the beginning of the season, but if Narcisse still has feelings for Lola as well, that portends even further complications.

Speaking of Narcisse, he accepted the charge of embezzlement (in place of treason and blackmail) and is losing his vast, wealthy properties (instead of his head). So, for the moment, he is behaving.

Bash was yanked all over in this episode as well. He helps Claude discover the truth of what happened to her twin sisters, and she had nothing to do with their deaths. It turns out they froze to death because of an open window while the king was enjoying the nanny, who framed Claude for the deed in order to preserve herself. As it turns out, it was Bash’s mother who opened that window, killing the infants in her anger towards Henry.

So, first Bash helps his sister find vindication. Then he saves Catherine who, in her madness with the ghosts of Henry and the twins, was about to freeze to death outside. Then he severs connections with his mother for her crime, which he holds to despite her revelation that Kenna once threatened their lives to maintain her status as Henry’s mistress. In almost every other circumstance, I could see their relationship surviving somehow, but Bash has a moral justification for his anger towards his wife. He does despicable things in the service of others, but Kenna nearly sacrificed lives for own selfish interests, and that is something he finds impossible to forgive. I can’t really blame him.

Catherine, learning the truth of Claude’s innocence, confronts her ghosts, her madness, her mistakes, and throws them back into the darkness. She will not evade her guilt, but neither will she carry the ghosts with her any longer. It’s a peaceful parting with her daughters, who were innocent when they died, but not for Henry, who was anything but innocent.

And Bash’s mother, right after Bash saves Catherine’s life, discovers the dangers of murdering infants include the possibility to enraging their insane mother. As this show is big on showing the consequences of one’s actions, I can only imagine that things are not going to go well for Catherine when the murder is discovered.

I don’t envy Bash, knowing that he just saved the woman who just killed his mother while growing distant from his wife.

Final note: I sigh and roll my eyes because, once again, everything hinges on these womens’ love lives. Conde and Francis fight over Mary, Lola makes advances toward Conde, and Greer is stripped of everything she owns and banished because her husband donated money that was stolen to fund the attack in which Mary was raped. I like the show, but that can get a bit tiring to have everything revolve on their romantic relationships.

grimm_title_cardGrimm

So, first off, we have our freak of the week in an electro-wesen with a long name. I’m with Wu, it’s “a Mala-something.” It kills a ghost hunter, reopening an investigation into an old double homicide. Turns out, the wife of the house was having an affair with a married man, and when the man’s wife told her husband, he went home to find them in bed together, and fried them. Then he proceeded to live like a bum, returning to the house at night to relive all the memories he had of his wife, never letting go, even as he slept in the same bed she and her lover had been lying in when he scorched them. He was way off his rocker, and very dangerous. He was one of those where killing him may have been doing him a mercy of some sort. Certainly, everyone around him is safer now.

Exactly how that frog paste concoction works, I have no idea, but it saved Nick’s life. Good thing his ancestors believed in being prepared. And it occurs to me: a good part of what makes Grimms so dangerous is, quite simply, they are prepared, possessing tools no one else thinks to have. So they see, they’re strong, and they’re well-armed. That really is a winning combination.

Nick and Juliette’s relationship is starting to feel strained as she tries to deal with her new hexenbiest status. Fortunately, Renard knows an old friend of his mother’s named Henrietta, also a hexenbiest, I believe. And she seems pretty imposing, even before we meet her. Write down her phone number or her address, and the writing scatters in moments. Juliette calls her and she knows it’s Juliette, and knows they’ll be meeting that very night. When she talks, you know she expects to be listened to. Juliette knocks on the door, which opens to seemingly outside, and she finds she’s already inside, with Henrietta descending a flight of stairs behind her. We know next to nothing about Henrietta, but I can already tell, I would be very happy to not get on that woman’s bad side, thank you very much!

Wu continues to acclimate to the weirdness, even displaying his dry humor. It’s not easy, which is why he was at the trailer so late at night. I’d say it’s a good sign for him to be working on his understanding instead of freaking out endlessly.

And what was that at the end, with Renard’s old gun shot wounds bleeding, then not being there?

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4 Responses to This Week on TV, Jan. 31, 2015

  1. on Agent Carter, I think the “cyanide pill” was in reality just a mint. He cheated the bad guy, not the guard…

    Like

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