I know this is a bit late, but life happened yesterday, so… yeah. 😉
“The Broken Kingdom”
Ah. I see.
Arthur has gone mad.
Ever since he was a boy, he knew he would the sword from the stone and become king of Camelot. He became devoted to that idea, even built his own self-worth around it. Finding the sword broken, he became obsessed with restoring it, which meant finding the dagger. His obsession grew, a desire to prove himself running rampant within, consuming all things in its path. When it threatened to drive Guinevere away, he fed her to it, enchanting her mind and heart to appear whole again, all as proof of his own self-worth. He did the same to all of Camelot, feeding his entire kingdom to his madness. The whole thing is nothing more than an illusion.
Amidst madness like that, it’s small wonder the Storybrooke crew aren’t sure who to trust. They argue over it, trusting Lancelot or Arthur, but David and Snow soon concoct a plan to test the both of them at once. It goes well, and they confirm Arthur’s deception. But they also fall into Arthur’s counter to their trap, as the enchanted Guinevere (and I’m guessing the knights were enchanted too) imprisons Lancelot (ah, I was wondering where Merida had gotten off to!) and enchants Snow and David (“ah” again, this explains what Emma said about everyone failing her in Camelot).
Meanwhile, Hook and Henry take Emma away to a more secluded place, to help her with that demon in her head. Henry reveals he’s been seeing Violet (I agree with Emma, a mother is much more terrifying than the Dark One) as he takes them to her family’s barn. Then Hook takes Emma riding, and they share a sweet, happy kiss amidst a field of flowers. It’s quite the storybook moment, but we know it’s going to end badly, and soon. Even as the Dark One, Emma has known happiness. Unfortunately, when Regina will eventually fail to protect the dagger, her failure will be added to Snow and David’s.
Finally, back in Storybrooke, Emma reveals to Rumple that she intends to make him a hero, despite his insistence that he can never be one. Whatever he plan is, she intends to use Merida to complete it. I figure either Merida will “rescue” and train him, or threaten someone, say, Belle, and force him to act in her defense.
This week’s niche: people who have very sharp noses!
As a high-functioning autistic, I can somewhat relate to Mia, whose nose is something like a blood hound’s, or as close to such as one can find in humans. When your senses, any senses, are dialed up to eleven (or fifteen, Mia’s case), it can be pretty difficult to function like a normal person. I don’t have to worry about being bothered every single time I breathe (in fact, my nose is apparently much duller than most) but trust me, when something is unpleasant to a normal person, it’s much worse for someone with heightened senses. As such, when dealing with something so pervasive as smells, I can readily understand both Mia’s extreme measures in building her home into a refuge and her rather terse, irritated incapability of dealing with most normal folks and the world at large.
Unfortunately, I can also understand that urge to hide and keep the world at a distance. It can be exhausting to deal with people, especially when they don’t really comprehend what you are going through. However, hiding away isn’t really living, is it? It’s just… continuing to exist. Castle goes out of his way to help Mia see that, though he also uses her to help him read what Beckett feels about him, and she appreciates it very much by the end.
Interestingly, I can also relate to Mia’s fandom of Martha, as our entertainment can be what gets us through one more day, and that holds true for all kinds of people. 🙂
Beckett doesn’t make much headway in her independent case this week. Just the opposite, she comes by while Castle is out, to collect the rest of her things. But Mia gives Castle cause for hope, telling him in no uncertain terms that Beckett loves him with a passion, and she doesn’t even need her nose to know that. And after this scent-filled episode, the two of them are breathing in the other’s scent from discarded shirts. Which is both romantic and creepy, which, to quote Jack Sparrow, “It is amazing how often those two straits coincide.” 😉
The relationship between Ryan and Espo is suddenly developing into something more complicated than it has been, which is fascinating. The two of them have had their spats, but they’ve always been like brothers and made up pretty quickly. Now, things are getting more complex. Espo becomes a Sergeant while Ryan doesn’t, and Ryan doesn’t react quite well, and just as he’s in the midst of apologizing, they’re chasing a suspect and Ryan accidentally shoots Espo in the butt, and Espo is refusing to go home while Ryan is working, and Ryan is apologizing again and accidentally kicks Espo’s crutch out from under him, and both are clearly getting frustrated as the dynamic between them is changing. Surprisingly, they did not manage to properly make up by the end, and Beckett orders the both of them into therapy if they can’t work it out themselves. Now this should be good! 🙂
Finally, as for the case itself, the victim was a transporter of highly valuable materials. He was transporting a very expensive Van Gogh, but his behavior was irregular, and the situation was fairly complicated. As it turns out, the man who bought it did so at the behest of his assistant, who had spent his adult life searching for it, and who had seen his father die broken after failing to find it despite a lifelong search. So, rather than see it wasted in some rich man’s private gallery, the assistant and the transporter conspired to replace it with a forgery. The transporter brought his brother in on the scheme, to create the forgery, but the brother had thought they were going to sell it, and he could use the money to pay off his gambling debts. When it turned out to be a philanthropic endeavor, the forger snapped and stole it. He apparently didn’t mean to kill his brother, and as he refused to kill the only witness of his crime, I am inclined to believe him. But still, he murdered his brother, the man who had done so much for him, just for some quick cash, all because of his own mistakes. Sad, that. Very sad. 😦
Oh, and we got to see Hayley again! She was hired to retrieve the painting after it was stolen. There’s some good chemistry between her and the crew, including Espo noticing how attractive she is and some professional bonding with Beckett. I’m guessing we haven’t seen the last of her. 🙂
Here comes the Court of Owls.
As Penguin tries to get the advantage over Theo and Tabitha Galavan, he comes across some interesting information. The Galavans wanted a certain knife, a thievery carried out under the cloak of some impressive arson. The arsonists passed it to Penguin, who had Butch pass it to Galavan, but not before learning its history.
This knife is the same one used roughly two centuries ago by the Waynes to cut off the hand of a rival who dared to touch their most precious daughter. Whether it was against her will or with her consent, Celestine Wayne was promised to another, and the fury of the Waynes was devastating. The man lost his hand, his family was exiled, every mention and reference of them was erased from Gotham. They only found refuge in Europe, with the religious order founded by their family’s patron saint. They’ve been plotting revenge ever since, it would seem. Galavan has taken the public spotlight in this plot, but his compatriots move in the shadows.
The plot isn’t complete yet, according to Galavan. There is still some maneuvering to be done. But when they have completed their plans, the city will have been awash in blood, and Bruce Wayne, the last survivor of his family, will be dead.
Of course, for that, he’ll have to get past Gordon and Alfred, but as both of them trust him, and Galavan has dangled the pretty Silver in front of Bruce, I’d say he’s in a prime position.
Heck, Galavan even manages to get Gordon to publicly endorse him. His arsonists drew police attention, and one member of the Strike Force, Garrett, was burnt to death. Barnes is very unhappy about that, an emphasizes that they are going to use every legal means to bring the arsonists to justice. Gordon knows things could get ugly, so he goes to Galavan and makes a deal. He will give his endorsement in exchange for a (hollow) promise of the man’s support once he becomes mayor.
You know when you want to scream at someone that they’re being led by the nose towards their own destruction?
Back on the criminal side of things, we finally see more of Selina, as she introduces Butch to the arsonists, the Firebugs. She’s friends with the sister of the family, whose brothers all abuse her. Then, when the youngest, and smallest, gets himself killed, the brothers turn Bridget into their little helper, and then they abandon her when the cops show up. Some family, huh? Selina shows up to help her escape.
I really liked the argument they had, about lonely freedom vs familial enslavement. What neither of them sees is that there is such a thing as a family that helps you be free.
Finally, Nygma and Kringle join Thompkins and Gordon on a double date, where Nygma impresses the both of them with a certain “cool” factor. Of course, that would be the crazy personality influencing that, so not so great, ya know?
Oh, and Penguin cuts off Butch’s hand so he can infiltrate Galavan’s circle and find Penguin’s mother. Clever, playing on Galavan’s emotions for his ancestors like that. Also ruthless and crazy.
“Devils You Know”
This is a very good title!
Simmons is trying to recreate the portal back to the alien landscape, and not saying much more about why than, “I have to go back” because “something was done to me.” Morse is put in an awkward position of not telling Fitz about it, and everyone’s tempers flare a bit because everyone’s frustrated, but they also bond and apologize for their mistakes and generally behave like mature adults. Simmons isn’t telling them everything, and maybe she doesn’t understand herself, but she’s asking Fitz to help her. That would be difficult for me, in his place, to help my love go back to the hellish place I barely rescued her from after months of effort. But it’s her devil to face, so… I probably would relent, despite initial, and continuous, opposition.
Daisy, Mac, and Coulson are trying to find that delicate balance of power with their new “colleagues,” the ATCU. One of last season’s Inhumans came to them hoping to get some help protecting the rest of them, but Lash showed up and totaled that plan, proving he’s not after only new Inhumans but the old ones too. But at least that’s one former enemy they know how to deal with. The ATCU and SHIELD don’t trust each other one bit. The dance of “sharing” information and trying to dig up each others’ secrets is a merry one, but one that has lives at stake.
They found Lash’s IT guy, so to speak, who helped him find the Inhumans he’s been killing, despite how Lash already knew their names. The computer guy turned out to only be a pawn, though he thinks Lash is practically on a divine mission. I suspect that might have changed right in his last moment, when Lash killed him. And then he walked off, and shrank to normal-human size and appearance, though Daisy could only see his shadow. That shadow looked an awful lot like Rosalind’s right hand. I think his name was Banks? He was unaccounted for at the time, and he keeps showing up when the ATCU is nearby. On top of that, he said, “I’m not right. I’m necessary.” Exactly what he means, I do not know, but it sounded very ATCU-ish. Still, that could be a red herring.
So Coulson and his crew have to get to know the devils of the ATCU, and they are working with and trying to help the Inhuman devils from last season, and they have a particularly nasty, mysterious devil to deal with in the form of Lash.
Finally, and here’s the real weight of this episode: Hunter finds Ward. It doesn’t go well, though May joins the party and Coulson is only twenty minutes out with a full tactical team. Ward uses his insurance against May, having his men, led by Werner, move in on her ex, Garner. Either May and Hunter leave within thirty seconds, or Garner dies.
In that moment, everything goes to Hell. Hunter is driven both by a need to avenge Morse and an equal need to keep the weapons he supplied from being used by Ward’s Hydra. May knows her duty, but the man she has loved several times is in immediate danger. Either choice is a devil’s deed, handed them by the devil they know best. Hunter makes the only choice he can, and goes for the kill. He wounds Ward, but fails to finish him. The look May gives him afterward… but now isn’t the time to be angry, she calls Garner… and gets no answer.
We don’t see what actually happens, so it’s mildly possible that they pulled the wool over our eyes. But by all appearances…
Garner is dead.
…oh boy, there will be fallout.
“Family of Rogues”
Well, we got to see where Captain Cold got some of his more charming qualities.
His father is also a criminal mastermind, not merely cold but brutal. He’s abused his children for their entire lives and he casually kills people for even minor offenses, and that’s if he has any reason at all. He even puts a bomb inside his own daughter, Lisa, to force his son to cooperate with him.
That latter is what brings the Flash crew into the situation. Lisa shows up, not knowing where her brother is, what’s happened to him, or about the bomb in her neck. Barry and the team investigate, and a headless corpse clues them into her plight. Fortunately, Cisco is a highly motivated genius, and he saves her life, which Barry is able to inform Cold of, and he immediately disposes of his father.
Can’t really say I’d do any differently in Cold’s position. Not only would I dearly love that to be the fate of anyone who threatened one of my sisters, but the man would never stop being a danger to Lisa as long as he lived. To protect her, that was the only real option.
And can I just say, when you know that the comic-book version of Lisa died a long, long time ago, that rather ups the ante of putting her in mortal peril, ya know?
Also cool, Lisa and Cisco seem to be forming a genuine connection. Cisco’s compassion for her helps her open up, even trust him with her life. He didn’t just save her life, he was there for her. She calls him her first real friend. That’s pretty powerful, when you think about it.
Cold also makes so much more sense now. He’s obsessed with his plans because that’s his way of outdoing the father he detests. Cold was quick to accept Barry challenge to never kill anyone not only to boost his own ego, but to further outdo his murderous father. Cold cares about very few people because his father hurt the one person he cares for the most, his sister, whom he protects with a cold fury.
Barry sees all of this as proof that there is some little spark of good within Cold. That might be a little generous, but it is those little sparks of goodness in our villains that make them truly intriguing. Slade Wilson from Arrow, for instance, was one Olly’s brother in arms, and he is my favorite villain in this universe so far.
Meanwhile, Jay Garrick keeps himself busy in the basement, building a “speed cannon” around the wormhole connecting two dimensions so he can go home. The idea is to turn the “opening” into an actual “door” of sorts. He doesn’t go home immediately after their first successful test – Stein was happy to be rid of that device that monitored his vitals – lingering for a little longer. But then the team made a rather stupid mistake.
In their defense, Stein suddenly going all “blue firestorm” like that is a very valid distraction. However, as they already know that there is a psychopathic murderer named Zoom passing between the worlds, and bringing new psychos to their world from his own, one would think they might consider guarding the inter-dimensional door in their basement. It’s a glaring weak spot, and, sure enough, the other world’s Harrison Wells steps through. Cliffhanger.
Besides all of this, Iris’ mother is alive and well and wants to see her. Joe tries to keep her away, but knows that’s only a patch job. He talks to Barry about it, and then he tells Iris the truth, explaining everything, and apologizing. She takes it rather well, understanding and forgiving her father, which is phenomenally good. They still have her mother to deal with, but forewarned is forearmed, as they say. If anyone knows the power of knowledge, it’s a reporter who’s earning her place at her job by landing a front page headline (good to see Linda again, it will be interesting to see if they keep her romance with Wally West when he makes his debut… hang on, it just hit me, is Wally going be the brother Iris never knew she had, rather than an alternate-world Flash like I was expecting? Hmmm…).
Oh, and Barry continues to bond with the new girl, Patty, who is clearly interested in him and gives him her phone number, and is quickly disappointed by Barry’s reaction, though she troops through it.
Another really good title!
…unfortunately, the episode itself just wasn’t that good.
Don’t get me wrong, there were good things about it! For instance…
Just how long has it been since we saw the original Team Arrow trio acting without anyone else? That really was nostalgic, and showed how Olly, Digs, and Felicity have come a long way. Now Felicity is the one going to her tech guy with incomplete excuses to have him analyze things, and she’s on the receiving end of a big mouth that is not entirely dissimilar to hers.
In fact, Felicity had most of the great moments in this episode. Between laying down the law to Olly and Digs like a boss and fending off a metahuman – I am reminded of a saying about how a “master” warrior need only fear two things: another master who can match him, or a complete amateur because he doesn’t know what the idiot’s going to do – Felicity was the one who did most the shining in this episode.
Everyone else? Not so much.
Olly and Digs needed a talking to after getting hurt because they each went gallivanting off on their own instead of having each others’ backs. That bond seems to have been reforged, partially by them opening up to each other, and partially by Olly taking what could have been a lethal attack in Digs’ place. Digs is a man for whom actions speak infinitely louder than words, and taking a “bullet” is one of the ultimate actions.
Laurel was blindly selfish in bringing her pursuit of bringing Sara back, ignoring everything Nyssa, Malcolm, and even Thea had to say in opposing it. Malcolm giving in like that didn’t make much sense either, I still don’t see the connection between helping Thea and reviving Sara. And was it just me or did it look like Sara made to kill Thea?
Thea learns the hard way, as Malcolm give her two of his men to kill, that her bloodlust will never go away until she kills the person who hurt her. The waters of the Lazarus Pit apparently contain the souls of all those who have bathed in their waters, which includes every Ra’s al’Ghul in history, which are not the sort of people I would want creeping around in my subconscious. Thea is being driven to kill just to sate a murderous urge that isn’t even hers. And while Malcolm is responsible for Sara’s death, he used Thea’s hand to kill her. So it makes sense for Sara to try and kill Thea, and even less sense for Malcolm to bring Sara back. Unless he means to restore Sara and put Thea out of her misery, that is, but that, also is counter-intuitive. In short, nothing about this is making sense.
I’m actually hoping that Laurel learns the hard way that messing with life and death invites dire consequences. She needs to learn something about that, and soon.
Except Nyssa. She opposed the plan, and when she failed to stop it, she made sure nothing like it could ever happen again. Ever. Her father had found a way to destroy the Pit, apparently, an insurance policy crafted, no doubt, just in case Damien returned and took the Pit for himself.
Speaking of, Damien did present himself very well in this episode. Had I been in the place of either of his HIVE subordinates, I would have been terrified too. Still, he seems to take the thought of killing his own people rather lightly. He and the previous Ra’s seem somewhat alike there, and I am, once again, asking how they manage to keep their ranks filled with competent people?
Also cool this episode, I had a moment of, “THE T! THE T! I recognize the T!” 😀 Mr. Terrific is one of those lesser-known superheroes, but a superhero he is, nonetheless! This is awesome! 😀
Curtis Holt is, of course, happy to support Felicity’s support of the Green Arrow, and I just can’t wait to see his toys come into play in the field. 🙂
Finally, back in the past, Olly’s undercover work is progressing. He interrogates the workers after a theft, by torturing one of them. The supposed thief, the woman, is supposed to be taken out into the wild and disposed of. However, Olly uses another landmine to get rid of their escort and saves her life. Writing on the wall, anyone? She’s going to be significant to him. Also, were I the enemy, I would get very suspicious of two of my men falling on landmines in close proximity to Oliver Queen.
They’re building up quite the body count, aren’t they?
A number of the old heroes are dead, we saw Noah kill Renee, and Molly killed herself. Quentin and Miko both join the body count before this episode is done, within moments of each other.
Taylor goes off on her own to try and rescue Francis, but she’s too late. So she reaches out to the Evo group, “Hero Truther,” to expose the truth of Renautus and her mother.
That leaves Noah and Quentin using Harris to infiltrate the Renautus facility at the same time Miko and Rem are doing so. The latter two are focused on a mission to rescue “the Master of Time and Space.” As they run into Noah, they form an alliance, especially as Noah realize Hiro is alive and imprisoned. The machine Renautus is using to “store” things draws on his power, sending people and objects into the future, “to start over.”
Unfortunately, as Miko learns, to use her sword, Hiro’s sword, to free him will end the game. As a product of that game, Miko’s life will end too. She will simply cease to be. And so she apparently does.
It’s a high price to pay, but Hiro is freed. Fresh from his imprisonment, he takes Noah back to the day of the bombing, the day Claire died. Now we’ll get to see what really happened on that terrible day.
Miko, at least, succeeded in her mission. Quentin failed to save his sister. In fact, was Phoebe herself who killed him, driven mad with the “purpose” that Erica “gave” her, “to save the world.” Poor Quentin, and poor Phoebe, being used like that by someone who isn’t trying to save anything, just abandon ship and leave everyone else to burn.
Tommy is trying to deal with what he was told about him saving the world, and he takes his girlfriend to Paris for a bit, has a hormonal confrontation with some guards before talking to her and opening up. She helps him find his way a bit, and they share a kiss. A really good kiss, according to Tommy.
Meanwhile, Luke buys a boat and tries to commit suicide. Malina sees this and saves his life. As they talk, she shows him what was in the package Farrah gave her: a picture of Tommy, who she has to find. Out of everyone she could have met, it’s a man who can take her straight to him. What a coincidence!
Finally, Carlos beats and extorts some “help” out of Dearing. Though he’s rather stupid about just drinking what Dearing hands him, he is, at least, in the general vicinity of his nephew, the priest, and every other Evo the cops have kidnapped. Forward step, but looking like a dead end without some better information, ya know?
“The Woman Who Lived”
And lived. And lived. And lived.
And lost. And lost. And lost.
Doctor Who seems to be messing around with life and death a lot lately. Have you noticed?
So what happens to the girl, Ashilda, who is forced to live forever in order to live at all? Well, she lives. A lot. She goes through a great deal of suffering as she loses everyone, in time. She’s lost memories too, or so she says. She’s had many names, changing it every so often. She’s obtained many skills. She’s taken lives and saved lives. She’s done pretty much everything. But every happiness has been taken from her, and her unending life has been one of hellish agony. She’s so alone now that she calls herself, “Lady Me.” In short, she’s become very lost, and the only hope she had was that the Doctor would show up one day and take her away with him.
Interestingly, she knows quite a bit about the Doctor, including how he always leaves (she learned that one herself firsthand) and how he has a flying ship that can go to other worlds. But he disappoints her. He won’t take her with him. She’s lost her love of life, and she’s stopped cherishing the lives of others. That’s a darkness he won’t invite to stay by his side. On the contrary, he wants her to do as he does with his companions, to learn from them, and see life through their eyes, to cherish it again.
Ashilda, the Lady Me, has turned to someone untrustworthy in her despair, an alien lion-man. He’s a liar, who told her that he was the last of his race, and needed a portal, powered by death, to leave Earth, and offered to take her with him. But it was just a ploy to open the portal to an invading fleet. Ashilda and the Doctor manage to close the portal easily enough, and, even better, the disaster forces Ashilda to open her eyes and remember to care for her fellow humans.
I just want to say, Ashilda has already made for a fascinating character. Everyone else in Doctor Who is, at some point, dominated by the Doctor’s will and words. But Ashilda has yet to be. His every argument rolled off her and she bounced it straight back at him. She was the one scoring points, right up until the end. Even when they come to an understanding, and she gives herself a purpose in cleaning up the messes the Doctor leaves behind, she has the upper hand. I can’t immediately think of another character that’s achieved this.
And I find it interesting, her choice of phrase, “Watching out for you.” That can be watching for a specific threat, but also, “watching over and keeping safe.” We see, at the end, she’s certainly aware of who and where Clara is.
Oh, and that desperate, pun-filled comedy routine was fantastic.