This Week on TV, Oct. 17, 2015

Once-upon-time-logoOnce Upon a Time

“Siege Perilous”

In traditional Arthurian legend, Camelot was a wonderful, beautiful kingdom, the heart of a golden age, yet shadows were at its very core from the beginning. The purest of knights, Lancelot, fell to his desires, as did the queen, Guinevere, and Arthor himself was indiscreet in his youth, unwitting falling prey to Morgan le Fay, siring Mordred, who would prove his undoing. A golden age, so happy and bright, but with darkness eating at the center of it. It appears something similar is happening here.

David and Arthur go on a quest together, to obtain a magic toadstool that could allow Regina to talk to Merlin within the tree, perhaps get some help in releasing him from his wooden prison. At the same time, in the present, the two work together to solve a robbery from Arthur’s reliquary, the collection of mystical items gathered by the Knights of the Round Table. In both cases, they work well together, though I noticed that Arthur seemed to let David take the major risks. In Camelot of six weeks ago, the bond that forms between these two (and I love how they let David be the man who doesn’t want to be remembered just for kissing Snow White awake) inspires Arhtur to knight David, and give him the most honored seat, that of the Siege Perilous, reserved for only the purest of knights.

That was the moment it hit me: the stench of seduction. Regina the Savior is honored and honored (ADD moment: Where’s her sister Zalina now, I wonder? Did something happen to her in Camelot?) and given a clean slate after Percival’s death. David is exalted to the Siege Perilous. Such happy, wonderful, glorious things. I’ve learned to beware the glories of men, for they are fleeting and hollow. The Storybrooke crew is being enchanted, drawn into Camelot like a rabbit into a serpent’s belly.

It struck me in the season premiere, how quickly Arthur resorted to deception when he found Excalibur broken, instantly deciding to keep it secret. There was something not quite right there. It also struck me as odd when Sir Percival happened to have a magic pendant he was able to use to spy on Regina, who was pretending to be the Savior, and how he dared try to kill her out in the open, knowing it would surely cost him his life. But now we have a third incident, which connects the two. I’m guessing that pendant came from the reliquary. Arthur stole the toadstool, and now, in the present, he uses and sacrifices his squire in a maneuver to gain the heroes’ trust, to swallow up Storybrooke and establish a new Camelot.

It was surprising when Lancelot showed up, still alive, at the end of this episode, to warn Snow. There are questions there, about Lancelot’s motives, who he now serves, and even if he, supposedly a dead man, really is the real Lancelot at all. However, his warning about Arthur is perfectly sound. I am merely wondering if Arthur is even Arthur at all, or if he’s Mordred or something like that. And how does he supposedly have Guinevere at his side? Magic? Are we going to see Madam Mim?

And I’m guessing that Arthur is trying to derail Merlin’s prophecies about his return from out of the tree. Likely, Merlin’s return will spell the end of his reign.

Meanwhile, Belle is scrambling to save Rumple, with time running out. She has a way, but needs something that touched him before he became the Dark One. At the end, the rose which connects her to him suddenly blooms again, and she rushed back to the shop… to find him vanished.

Emma the Dark One figured out how to wake Rumple herself. She went on a date with Hook, and tricked him into showing her his sword, the same one he put at Rumple’s throat. It touched him. So she uses it, turning it to dust, to wake him. Why? So he, with his new blank slate, can become a great hero of the light, and draw Excalibur from the stone. …I’m guessing it got put into the stone in order to keep it from her grasp.

Of course, Hook is trying to find out her secrets already, and is recruiting Robin to help him.

castle titleCastle

“What Lies Beneath”

For a moment there, I thought we were delving into, of all thing, the world of writers, which, considering Castle, would be a fascinating idea, delving into the literary world. But, as it turned out, they delved into lies instead, in a rather pointed commentary on Beckett not telling Castle the truth about her decisions. On which note, I love what Martha said to Beckett about being honest with herself and her husband.

Yes, honesty is of paramount importance. Which is why pathological liars, by which I mean those who suffer from a psychological disorder resulting from trauma, have it so rough. Integrity is the glue which binds us together as humans, and dishonorable deception tears us apart. I emphasize “dishonorable” because “I am not hiding your Chrismas present behind my back” is not that bad of a lie, ya know? 😉

When Ryan and Espo think to take the Sergeant’s exam, Ryan tries to take the last spot, telling Espo there weren’t any spots left. Such is his desperation for funding now that there’s another kid on the way with Jenny. Espo is rightly hurt by that, and shows it, though they eventually make amends.

…though, it’s possible they staged a bit of that so Beckett could pull some strings to get them both in without them having to ask…

Oh, and Castle is shameless in turning Ryan into his personal mole, helping him stay aware of what’s going in in the investigation. (“I am no rat!” “I’ll pay you five hundred a week.” “I’ll do it!” LOL!)

As for this week’s victim, he lied to his wife, who married him based on false pretenses. Out of everyone he lied to, it was the wife who was least forgiving. She thought she’d live in luxury, but instead dwelt in poverty. So she shot him as he knelt in prayer. Hell hath no fury like a woman.

There was also this whole political intrigue and embezzlement scandal, but that was solved with a simple trap. Liars are prone to believe they are in trouble, after all, and must act swiftly to get themselves out of it. 😉

gotham-logo-screencapGotham

“Strike Force”

Penguin is infamous for knowing how to find and use what a man loves to destroy him. So you’d think he’d have taken some precautions in guarding his own vulnerabilities. Not so, apparently.

He is just in the middle of trying to bring his bickering subordinates in line, to establish enough order to serve his interests, when Theodore Galavan’s (yes! I finally saw his name written down!) sister comes to pick him up for a chat. Penguin is quickly allowed to see that Galavan has pulled the proverbial wool over Gotham’s eyes, which, when dealing with the man behind Jerome’s rampage, is due cause for concern. Still, he refuses, at first, to be Galavan’s errand boy of assassination. That is, until they show him that they have his mother. Then, no matter his fury, he is nothing more than Galavan’s unwilling pawn.

One moment, one episode, and the “King of Gotham” is brought low in misery, enslaved, broken… destroyed by what he loves.

Galavan uses Penguin to create more chaos, killing one prospective mayor, and attempting to kill another. I do not care to imagine what happened to the previous one, who was last seen in the Galavans’ possession, but now that he has clearly served his purpose, I doubt his was an enviable fate. With an “attempted assassination” staged to drive his announcement, Galavan also runs for mayor, promising order and safety. Of course, he also has plans to turn thousands of people out of their homes to make way for some skyscraping monolith, a tribute to his own glory. Create chaos, promise order, step on everyone in his way. Yep.

At the same time, Galavan is also ingratiating himself to Bruce Wayne. Not only does he share a meal with Bruce, but he arranges a meeting with his niece, Silver. She takes on the role of a friend for Bruce, who is largely a loner without her. This is probably a step towards the social behavior “Bruce Wayne” becomes publicly known for later in life, but in the short term, it’s a way for Galavan to spread his cancerous influence to Bruce himself. Which is even more twisted when we consider that he probably had something to do with the murder of Bruce’s parents.

As for Gordon, he finally has a Captain he likes. Nathaniel Barnes is a stringent, aggressive veteran who fires and/or arrests several corrupt officers the moment he sets foot in the precinct. The corruption of criminal cops will no longer be condoned. He seems to be the man who intends to take the GCPD and the rest of Gotham by the scruff of the neck and shake it until it shapes up. He makes Gordon his second in command and gives him sole authority over a four-man team of fresh cadets, the idea being that their pure, not-yet-jaded zeal can be used in the war for Gotham’s streets. It seems like a pretty good idea, and as the first thing they do brings them into direct conflict with Zasz, and they survive, I’d say there is serious potential.

I find it both hilarious and foreboding that this stringent, aggressive veteran is played by Michael Chiklis, who is well known for his role in The Shield as a police chief in charge of a strike team which easily resorts to extreme, illegal measures in their war against the gangs of LA.

Unfortunately for Gordon, he has skeletons in his own closet, including the recent deal he made with Penguin. When that comes to light, as it likely soon will with the Strike Force being set against Penguin in response to his political assassinations, Gordon will not be spared. He, however, is resolved to accept what is coming to him. He made a deal with the devil, and the devil always gets his due.

And speaking of devils… they often wear the masks of friends. Galavan is doing so, for certain, but it strikes me that Barnes is promising order when chaos is on the rise, exactly in line with Galavan’s plan. Could there be a connection between the two? Are they both members of that Owl society we’ll be seeing?

Finally, we have Nygma asking Miss Kringle to dinner at his place, where they kiss. Selina feels alone on the streets after Alfred pushed her away to protect Bruce from her (and slapped her for killing Reggie). And Bruce’s training begins with running all the way from school back to the mansion. Alfred is a merciless teacher, eh?

agentsofshieldseason3bannerAgents of Shield

“A Wanted (Inhu)Man”

Lincoln suddenly makes much more sense to me. He seemed so collected, compassionate, and rational when we first met him. But it turns out, he’s had a hard life. We don’t have many details, but he has only one real friend and this man has talked him out of suicide more than once. Or, rather, he had only one real friend. Lincoln has never killed anyone before, but he managed to accidentally kill his friend John. And in the fear and despair that followed, he revealed that everything around him has crumbled more than once. The Inhuman-Shield debacle, the incident at the hospital, now John… and his whole life seems to have been marked by similar events. Pretty much anyone will think it’s their fault after so many times, and they’ll pull back, try to keep everyone at a distance, even it means self-destruction.

Lincoln wasn’t just being stubborn when he refused to go with Sk… sorry, Daisy, he was trying to avoid another world crumbling around him.

Unfortunately, this one crumbled even as it was being offered to him. Coulson made a deal with Rosalind to protect Daisy from the ATCU, the people who believe the Inhumans are alien threats and live by the mantra, “Use lethal force if necessary.” First, it was giving them Lincoln, at the exact same moment he sent Daisy and Mac to bring Lincoln in to protect him from them. That’s a devil’s deed, right there, which will give Lincoln good reason to never trust Shield again, and then Coulson went even further. Lincoln escaped, and just before Daisy and Mac could engage the team trying to take her away, Coulson gave Rosalind… himself. His knowledge and expertise.

Daisy flips at that, but Coulson does have a good reason. He’s been fighting the people who should have been his allies, including Talbot, Gonzales, and now the ATCU, for a long time. That needs to stop. These other parties need his input, they need to learn from Shield, but that won’t happen as long as they’re fighting each other instead of fighting the good fight.

Still, there’s something about it that reeks. I’m reminded of Garner’s words about Coulson getting worn out, overwhelmed, desperate. That’s when mistakes are made, even when they’re technically the right decisions made for the right reasons. If nothing else, Lincoln can never trust Shield again, and there goes a very useful asset, possibly even into the arms of Hydra. (I’m thinking worst-case scenario written by sadistic storytellers)

Then there’s May and Hunter, who manage to make contact with Hydra. Hunter drinks with an old acquaintance, and then has to fight him to get in. Apparently, there is no honor among thieves and no affection among psychopaths. It even looks like Hunter killed him, which Ward and Hydra certainly would not mind using as an audition.

Incidentally, May’s definitely still got it, as demonstrated by her sweet and merciless demolition of three thugs in… what, fifteen seconds? I guess she went easy on them! 😀

Simmons is trying to adjust, but her senses are all out of whack, possibly even permanently affected by that alien landscape she was on. Fitz is a real man in this, supporting her, taking her to a restaurant, getting her out of the house, so to speak, so she can feel human again, and then just letting her weep when she needs to. Super kudos to him. But Simmons has more than just readjusting and healing after her trauma to contend with, and her nightmares of something hunting her. I note that she asked Daisy specifically about the terrigen poison spreading through the seas. And then, when she’s more collected, she’s studying the dusty remains of the portal, saying she has to go back.

Shocking, isn’t it? Who wants to revisit the nightmare they just barely escaped from? But… if we take the Inhuman fear of the Monolith and combine that with Simmons’ interest in the spreading terrigen, then I am left theorizing that there is something in that alien landscape which can counter terrigen and its effects. Exactly how it would work, and how Simmons would know about it, I cannot begin to fathom. But it’s only a theory, and a tentative one at that.

Final note, Morse is recovering, bit by bit. And I am so looking forward to her and Hunter headlining the spin-off! 😀

Flash-TV-Show-Teaser-TrailerThe Flash

“Flash of Two Worlds”

And the multiverse is officially introduced! 🙂

Barry had some issues to work through in this episode. Having had one beloved, trusted mentor turn out to be a fraud is certainly bad enough, so it’s understandable he was reluctant to welcome Jay Garrick with open arms. However, as the evidence mounted in support of Jay’s claims, it became increasingly obvious that Barry was just being stubborn because of his fears. It took some time, but he came back to his senses, thanks in part to a pointed talking to from Iris.

As for everyone else, they seem willing to take Jay at his word, especially when the evidence starts to back him up. Cait, for one, is showing some interest in the strong, handsome, intelligent man from another world. It has been six months since Ronnie’s apparent death, mind you, so I’d say having some interest isn’t a terrible thing.

So, the event with the singularity breached the barriers between worlds and there are now fifty-two (heh, I recognize the reference!) portals between worlds. There are at least two worlds involved now, though I’m going to hazard a guess that there might be more. Because it’s not enough that Barry has to deal with meta-freaks from his world, now he has an unlimited supply of them to deal with from another world as well.

Oh joy.

Cisco is starting to learn about his developing superpowers. He uses them to help save the day, but he is freaking out and scared and wants it all to stop and swears Stein to secrecy. Stein respects his wishes, but that silence might be a bit more immutable than originally intended, as he collapses at the end of this episode. I’m guessing it may have something to do with Ronnie’s absence, so I’m also guessing he’s due to make his return.

Joe has a rookie, a lady named Patty Spivit, wanting to join his anti-metahuman task force. She’s the first new member, after Joe refuses her several times. She’s an oddly good match, and quickly find common ground with Barry. She also has the guts and nerves needed to deal with the weird and dangerous. She’s looking to be a valuable addition to the team, though dropping that she’s only been on the force for seven months does have me a bit suspicious myself. I mean, not one but two willing allies drop out of the sky like that? Hmmmm.

Oh, and Zoom, who is so psychotically driven to be the best that he is willing to kill all the other speedsters just to eliminate the competition, looks to be the Harrison Wells of Jay’s world. Again: joy.

Arrow-logo-header-Season-4Arrow

“The Candidate”

Here comes Anarky!

A psychopath wants to join HIVE, so he tries to kill a prospective mayor, who turns out to be an old friend of the Queens, and when that fails, he kidnaps her daughter. Not getting what he wants, as Damien apparently has some demented form of a code he follows, he intends to torture and kill the girl instead. Team Arrow finds and stops him just in the nick of time.

Just as Olly is trying to reassure Lance that he’s doing things different this time (doesn’t he sound a bit like an ex-boyfriend or ex-spouse or ex-parent that has screwed things up and is making promises they’ve broken before?), as the Green Arrow, Thea is finally forced to recognize the demons running amok in her head. She’s too aggressive and vindictive in her fighting, going wild and causing pain instead of defeating the enemy, and she sets Anarky on fire. This does not get Team Arrow into Lance’s good graces, and Thea suddenly wakes up to the horror of her deeds. She needs help, to know what the Pit has done to her in bringing her back.

As Laurel learns, from Thea, that the Pit was used to bring her back to life, she determines to bring her sister back as well. She concocts a story, takes Thea with her, and they dig up Sara’s grave, and the three of them are off to Nanda Parbat. That is going to get so complicated, what with Malcolm owing Laurel, Thea, and Nyssa (who will be there, no doubt) so much, and whether Nyssa will help them or not, and when Lance learns Sara’s alive again, and her becoming the White Canary… yeah, very complicated.

Lance, as it turns out, is working with Damien to protect Laurel from HIVE, but he came really close to declaring open, defiant war for the sake of that kidnapped girl. Of course, when Team Arrow shows up after Damien gives Lance the location, I think he may have just shown his hand, that he knows more about the Arrows than he’s let on. And he’s sort of regretting it after Thea burns Anarky alive. But, then again, if Anarky were dead, he wouldn’t have killed those paramedics and escaped, would he? But killing people is not the way of the Green Arrow. He aspires to something better now, having finally risen from the darkness he was cast into.

Speaking of, the start of his mission on Lian Yu was highlighted with these instructions: infiltrate and gain their trust. It turns out, some military folks, who bear a striking resemble to the ghosts of HIVE, have brought some slaves to grow and harvest these blue flowers for some nefarious purpose. Olly takes out one of their men and drops him on a land mine. He resumes the identity of being trapped on the island, and he is recruited. He’s in.

Of course, there’s a woman among the slaves, and how much do you want to bet we see her again in a significant way, possibly in both the past and present?

Finally, back on the note of finding a better way of doing things, Felicity is forced to fire people to keep the company afloat… but then she casts that approach aside, rehires everyone back, and puts her newest genius friend, Curtis Holt, to work developing something revolutionary to save the company within six months. No pressure!

Oh, and Olly’s decided to run for mayor. He couldn’t run a company, and he’s running around as the Green Arrow already, but he’s going to run for mayor. Yeah. Fantastic idea.

heroes-rebornHeroes Reborn

“The Lion’s Den”

Tommy finds out he’s adopted and has an identity crisis. He finds out his mom knows about his protectors, of which she is one, and he is not sure how to deal with it. He’s especially not sure how to handle the news that he’ll help save the world. So he runs away.

Carlos finds his nephew and priest friend are gone, and goes straight to Dearing for answers. He might not have gotten them if not, ironically, for the Epic glasses that the officers are opening at that exact moment. Dearing is outed, taken in by his fellow corrupt officers, and about to suffer the same fate he’s given to so many others. Carlos seizes the opportunity to save Dearing and use him to find his loved ones. How much you wanna bet Dearing leads him to Renautus?

Noah, Taylor, and Quentin cross paths with Miko and Ren, as the later two follow Erica and Harris to her house, where the former three are waiting to get some answers. Things don’t go exactly as planned for anyone, but Miko gets the sword back and vanishes into the game, while Quentin gets the chance to ask about his sister, at last.

Unfortunately, his sister is with another Harris in Quebec, hunting Malina and her guardian, Farah. Malina has precious little to work with, and she loses Farah too before this episode is over. Something about Phoebe’s shadow-slinging powers renders Malina’s (elemental manipulation?) and Farah’s all but useless. Farah is hurt, and gives Malina a package before telling her to run. She hides in a truck filled with logs, alone and in a desperate situation.

Luke is making to atone for his crimes. He goes home, reconnects with his past, sells his part of the medical practice, and burns his house down. (…hmmm, hope that doesn’t spread, Luke!) And he just walks away.

Finally, it Erica’s plans seem to be taking shape. There’s a massive solar flare set to wipe out almost all life on Earth within a week. I’m guessing Malina’s powers were slowing the destruction while she was up in the Arctic, but it’s sure picking up speed now. Renautus has built an ark, and we see them storing seed stuffs within it. They mean to carry the last survivors through the cataclysm, and repopulate. But, then again, they don’t seem to be carrying very many survivors. We’ve yet to see a person go into this device, after all. And there’s some sort of complication gumming things up at the end of the episode.

So, we have an imminent doomsday, some sort of prophesied heroes who are scattered about, a corporation that’s doing something about it but likely not what it seems… yeah, things are heating up! And soon we’ll see Hiro and the others again! Yay!

Doctor-Who-logoDoctor Who

“The Girl Who Died”

Capaldi’s Doctor just can’t seem to stop breaking the rules. When David Tenant’s Doctor broke the rules to save people, he soon learned that he’d gone too far. Saving just a few people, among them, the character originally played by Capaldi, was an act of humanity. When it became all about himself, the act soon imploded on him. It should have been a lesson learned well once. Instead, we have this.

The Doctor and Clara are captured by some Vikings, who are tricked by a false Odin figure. Their warriors are beamed up, slaughtered, and turned into adrenaline shots. Clara and her new friend Ashilda are saved by the serendipitous presence of the sonic glasses, or at least half of them (please let them have the screwdriver again, now, please!), as the “Maya” are reluctant to start a fight with anyone more technologically advanced than themselves. Part of being one of the greatest warrior races in the galaxy, after all, is exercising a bit of discretion. But then Ashilda, very angry after seeing her friends murdered, sparks a conflict to be resolved the next day.

The Doctor is certain everyone is going to die. Ashilda is certain everyone is going to die. Everyone is certain everyone is going to die. Except Clara, who is certain everyone is going to die unless the Doctor comes up with something. Which he does, involving channeling electricity from eels and a few acts of deception, followed by an act of extortion. Everything is a sort of balance between somber and hilarious.

Thing is, the Doctor should have just left. He went on about how, as a time traveler, he makes ripples, but must take care not to create tidal waves. Of course, previous Doctors have made tons of tidal waves anyway, so, moot point. Still, he describes what will happen if he intervenes, such as how the Earth becomes a big, juicy target for all the aliens. Sort of like it is in present day, right? Maybe that could have begun all the way back here, and it could all be perfectly explained? Whether they go with that or not, the Doctor ended up staying.

And then he messed with life and death, which he should not have, and just punished the Fisher King for doing last episode. And he made an immortal, which he should not have. Captain Jack Harkness established how immortals simply should not exist. But he makes Ashilda one anyway, having grown quickly attached to her, partially because she just felt familiar to him. It was the only way to save her life, but it comes at a high price. We see her, at the end, after the Doctor has meddled with her existence. She is happy… then time passes… and she is filled with sorrow… and then, at last, Ashilda the Hybrid is cold with anger.

I, of course, assumed that Maisie Williams’ character on Doctor Who would be a fried and ally to the Doctor. But a case could be made that she will be one of his worst enemies instead.

She was always a bit different from others. That’s a feeling I can empathize with, as it wasn’t until I was in college that I met some truly kindred souls. But Ashilda was loved in her village. She had a place to belong. To leave it, to leave the people who loved her, would be the same as dying. But now she’s lost everyone she’s loved, barred from them forever. Her home is gone. Because the Doctor refused to let her die. Ever. He meddled, and it’s imploded again. In her place, I’d be furious. It’s not out of the question for Ashilda to be the villain trying to get the Doctor to fix what he meddled with, to kill her.

We’ll soon see if I’m right.

One point against me being right, though, is that they seem to have come up with a plan involving why the Doctor would look like the man Capaldi played before. If it was for saving someone like Ashilda, no matter what, then perhaps things will work out all right after all.

There’s also the matter of the prophesied Hybrid. I was curious about that prophecy before, but it seems to be rapidly becoming relevant. Now that the Doctor has made one Human-Alien Hybrid, born from the clash of two almighty races (the Maya and the last Time Lord), I wonder if she will be the prophesied figure, or if it’ll be a Dalek-fied Master, or something else. Either way, it could be interesting.

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