This Week on TV, Jan. 30, 2016

Spoiler Alert!

Alas! Heroes Reborn has made its permanent (I think?) departure! It was fun while it lasted! 🙂

In exchange, Legends of Tomorrow has joined the ranks, and Grimm has made its post-Holiday return as well! Between them, Arrow, The Flash, and Agent Carter, things are heating up all around!

agentcarterlogoAgent Carter

“Better Angels”

Ok, you gotta love Marvel’s sense of humor.

“A movie based on a comic book? Sounds like a dreadful idea!” LOL!

“I have no desire to spend the rest of time as a disembodied voice.” …well, it certainly wasn’t for the rest of time, at least! 😉

Hmm, Stark needed Jarvis to narrow down the list of women who’ve kidnapped him not long ago at gunpoint in order for him to remember Dottie. I suspect Dottie would backhand him again if she knew that.

Moving on to more serious matters, Carter finds that Wilkes is being set up for the disaster at Isodyne, posthumously framed as a Communist spy. Having the decency to be completely unwilling to allow this, she keeps investigating, even when her reports are altered and she’s ordered to drop it. Carter, drop something like that? Not a chance!

That takes her to Howard. No surprise he knows about the Arena Club (aka, “Hydra in the USA,”), but he has no idea who they really are or what they do. With his keen mind and appreciation of the ladies, he quickly conceives the idea of sneaking one woman, Carter, into an all-male club without anyone noticing or making a fuss. How? By flooding the club with women! He gets her in, and she does the rest. Speaking of, two notes:

Cunning, skill… and a little bit of luck! Being right there when the entrance to the secret door opened? Whew!

Competent henchmen are the bane of heroes. This would be why most stories have incompetent henchmen. Not so for Agent Carter!

Also, though Carter now knows about the secret room, she’s unable to successfully plant the bug, because the one she tries to use fails. Hydra has counter-measures in place to make sure they aren’t spied on anyone good. Even worse, however, is their counter-measure against the SSR, namely turning Thompson to their service.

Noooo! Thompson, no, no nooo! Aiding the cover up, altering Carter’s report to help frame Wilkes, suspending the investigation? He’s doing Hydra work! Fortunately, though, he is starting to have his suspicions that his “friend” Vernon, who is “looking out for him,” has ulterior motives of his own. After watching that reel, he suddenly starts playing the game of deception with said man. …for a moment, at least, before he caves, like a pawn. And then he’s given reason to believe Carter completely, exactly as the Arena Club welcomes him in. After all, she did quote the headline of the paper, a surprising upset in the election, verbatim.

Thompson is sort of wavering right now. He was, at least, squarely on the right side last season, but now that he’s the guy in charge, without having actually earned any of it, he’s flagging. He’s looking out more for himself, and underestimates the harm of what he’s doing. However, having gotten into the muck now, with the Arena Club, he just might be positioned perfectly to undermine them. Unfortunately, he’s is the same position in the SSR. He’s not very steady right now, and a lot is riding on his decision. What will he choose? Himself, again? Or will he turn around and do right? I suspect we won’t know the answer for a good while yet, as he worms his way further into the Club.

Meanwhile… um, floating objects, anyone?

Oooh! Wilkes! Alive! Yay!

He’s out of phase with the rest of the world, but alive! And in good company with Howard Stark, who is working ’round the clock to help him and Carter. Carter was blaming herself for what happened to Wilkes, but Wilkes, and everyone else, is able to assure her that she is not to blame. And now that he’s visible and audible again, if also still insubstantial, he’s able to pass on the information about Whitney Frost, who, as it turns out, is the real genius behind Isodyne’s technological and monetary success. Big surprise there.

Huh. Last season, Carter was invisible because no one was looking at her. This season, Frost is invisible because every eye is looking at her. Interesting difference that makes them similar.

By the way: actors and actresses are professional liars and manipulators. Whitney Frost isn’t above anything, and certainly not turning on the water works to manipulate her husband. He sends an assassin, the same man who killed two SSR agents already, after Carter. It takes both Carter and Jarvis (never more dangerous than when he’s on his back!) to fend him off, after which Stark starts upgrading security, giving birth to the first inorganic Jarvis voice.

And Whitney’s producer, who does not behave properly towards her, keeps her from being replaced, obviously with an agenda, before he notices that little black fracture on her forehead, which makes her panic, and he gets absorbed by the zero matter and drawn into her. Yes, I would be panicking too.

Flash-TV-Show-Teaser-TrailerThe Flash

“The Reverse-Flash Returns”

So this Thawne is one who has just now discovered when the Flash is from, which one would think he already knew, it not being a great mystery. And HOW IS HE ALIVE WITHOUT EDDIE?! They answer that with, basically, “wibbly-wobbly, timey-wimey.” In order for this continuity to continue, Thawne has to find his way into it in order to create it. There is some satisfaction in knowing he’s running towards his doom. Also, everyone was able to get some closure from this experience. I have no doubt that we’ll be seeing Thawne again in some form.

Speaking of closure, Joe and Iris say their goodbyes to Francine, now at death’s door. In the act, they manage to find some forgiveness for her, letting go of the anger that made them less complete than they were before. Wally’s still holding onto it, as he was cheated out of a father and sister because of her, but Iris talks to him, promising him that he will regret it forever if he doesn’t go see her now. So… eventually, he does. Good for the West family.

Also on the note of closure, Barry let’s Patty go. She’s made her choice, after all, and he’s not about to stand in the way of her dreams. She’s having some trouble, though, letting go of him. When she finally figures everything out, because she’s clever, and realizes he’s the Flash, she tells him that she’s willing to stay, if he just tells her. But that’s the wrong way to go, I think, pushing her decision off onto him. It’s painful, and I can say from experience that letting go of someone is very difficult, especially for someone whose first instinct is to fight for what they want and love, but I think he made the right choice. He got out of the way, pulled back when she tried to reach out again, and refused to get in her way.

Still, she is clever, and confirmed her suspicions just as she was leaving, pretending there was an emergency that only the Flash could save her from. Without really saying it, he lets his guard down, and tells her she’s right. They say good-bye, and part ways, both with the closure they need.

I think we all knew their relationship had to end sooner or later, and they haven’t handled most coupling very well to begin with. But this one, at least, I think they did pretty well, especially in its ending.

Wells killed the Turtle and made it look like an aneurism. Not sure what his game plan is, but he’s making Barry faster while killing their hope of slowing Zoom down. Looks like he may have given in to Zoom’s demands after all. Or maybe he’s just putting on a convincing performance in the event that Zoom is watching. Which, given the introduction of Hunter Zolomon, is perfectly likely.

So… Zoom is Jay Garrick’s doppleganger, then? How are they going to explain that, given his long activity on the parallel Earth, predating the singularity that created the breaches in the first place? In typical Flash fashion, it’s perfectly tragic that Garrick is dismissing the possibility of being saved by his double, because the speedster mutation made it so a normal person could not just donate some cells and save him, when his double is Zoom, the one they need to find and capture so they can steal back Jay’s speed force to save him.

Arrow-logo-header-Season-4Arrow

“AWOL”

This episode was all about personal growth and coming back from the darkness.

Ollie is, of course, very attentive to Felicity and her needs. He takes good care of her, though they may want to invest in a place that is more wheelchair-friendly. But something he can’t do is face Felicity’s own personal demons in her place. Only she can do that.

When Felicity first hears voices and sees her past self come for a chat. Yeah, that wasn’t freaky at all! Seriously, that was a very effective entrance. And Felicity’s hallucination gave us direct insight into what she was going through, why this hurt her so much inside. Suddenly, after all her efforts to be stronger than her past self, to not need to rely on anyone, she finds herself utterly dependent on Ollie for her every need. That is incredibly frustrating for her. But she learns, she deals with it, and she rejoins the team soon enough, this time with her own codename: Overwatch. Apparently “Oracle” was already taken. (ah, so they noticed the similarities too!)

Not only is it nice to see that Felicity and Ollie have both grown from their previous selves, but she could not return fast enough. (and with Curtis Holt acting as her chauffeur, of sorts)

The Diggle brothers have been slowly reconnecting again, and none too soon. Some old “friends” of theirs, a mercenary group called Shadow Spire, has resurfaced. Waller and Argus had taken them down before, and the Diggle brothers encountered them in Afghanistan years ago. Now the agents that took them down have been taken out, including at least one familiar face, who came to Lyla looking for help, but was taken before he could tell them much.

Andy has been apart from Shadow Spire for awhile, but he still knows how they work, how they think. He’s able to point Team Arrow to where they’re hiding, and they attack, hoping to rescue two more agents, but they’re too late. Argus takes Andy in after that, hoping for more info. But with Team Arrow gone to stop a supposed theft of railguns, and Argus keeping an eye from the sky on them, they’re caught off-guard when Shadow Spire shows up and invades Argus itself. A number of their agents are killed, the rest of them held hostage in exchange for the Rubicon codes.

I will say this for Waller: I can’t stand her, and I believe she is usually quite wrong, but in this case, at least she sticks to her guns. She doesn’t give in, not even when there’s a barrel to her own head, which is where most people who so cavalierly dismiss the lives of others tend to draw the line. She doesn’t. She gives her own life to keep those codes.

Lyla managed to alert the Diggle brothers down in the detention area to what was going on, and they were able to alert Team Arrow. Team Arrow arrived to clear out the invaders, but the brothers had to work together to save Lyla. And they did. Andy played the traitor (it was John’s idea) and got into the command center, with his brother “captured” and brought in afterward. Between the three Diggles and Ollie’s timely arrival, they wiped the floor with Shadow Spire.

And then Andy came over for dinner, and Lyla’s insistence.

…oh dear, now we have yet another candidate for who is in that grave: Andrew Diggle. The prodigal brother returned to his family, only to be stolen away yet again. The pain that would cause Digs would be immeasurable, and could make the others feel that pain alongside him. But… then again, it could be Digs himself, with Andy eventually coming to inherit his brother’s mantle as “Guardian.” Either way would certainly explain Ollie and Felicity both forsaking the whole “Don’t kill” thing, at least in Damien’s case, and everyone’s collective grief. Not to mention, calling Diggle “Spartan” instead of “Guardian” makes me think that could well be the plan. And then, of course, Digs was telling his brother about his beginnings on Team Arrow, which, when the end is approaching, one looks back to the beginning.

I’m hoping I’m wrong.

The frustrating thing is that almost anyone could be in that grave, so trying to guess based on all the indicators they keep dropping is like looking for a specific needle in a pile of needles! Very well done, I’d say. They are torturing us with this, which is what storytellers do.

Whoever is in that grave, I’d say what happened to Felicity and how Ollie is dealing with it, complete with support from Laurel, is pivotal to him learning how to stop blaming himself for everything.

Also, Ollie, I can promise you, since everyone died burning in that other timeline, this one is not worse for Felicity.

And can I just say, Felicity looks hot as a blonde and all, but she was rockin’ the brunette!

Legends-of-Tomorrow-LogoLegends of Tomorrow

“Pilot, Pt. 2”

See? Like I said, they needed to have a two-hour premiere event.

Love the Damien cameo. No surprise to see he and Savage in the same circles.

It was a good idea, but a sloppy plan, to infiltrate the weapons’ sale, get eyes on Savage, and kidnap him. The devil is in the details. Details like having an identity that withstands scrutiny, keeping the Hawks back because Savage can sense them, and not making references to “this era” straight to the face of an immortal man. Things go to pot and while the Legends overwhelm their enemies (that was an impressive fight scene! And did you see Firestorm eat a nuclear explosion?!) they also lose the element of surprise. Oh, and they disrupt the timeline. That too.

And all this damage, which they then have to scramble to fix, because they completely ignore Rip’s warnings. Yes, he lied to them, but, guess what, he did it for a good reason and he’s still the expert on all things involving time travel and the hazards of such. Stupid not to listen to him just because they’re angry. In fact, they made a number of stupid mistakes in this episode. Most of it, however, was simple, ignorant clumsiness. They need to learn to be more careful and precise in their time-traveling movements. They also need to learn to work together, which, for a large selection of free spirits randomly thrown together, is easier said than done.

To keep Savage from reverse-engineering Ray’s ATOM tech, Sara, Stein, and Jacks go visit Stein’s younger self, to obtain a device built by the younger Stein (hilarious interactions between the two Steins, by the way) that can track alpha particles, and thus locate said technology. Savage is a rather demanding taskmaster, killing one of his engineers when the man dares suggest that the work he is not doing himself may take longer than he likes. As such, time is of the essence. …in more ways than one, actually, as they need to steal the tracker and steal back Ray’s tech all without disrupting Stein’s personal timeline. This is, after all, the night he meets his future wife, Clarissa, so hitting him on the head, stealing his tracker, and leading him to a time-traveling ship, not to mention introducing him to one sexy Sara (LOL!), is very much a distraction from what matters most.

Elsewhere, Ray, Cold, and Heatwave break into a mansion with an impressive security system for the era. Their goal is to steal a dagger that can be used to kill Savage. That, too, is an interesting dynamic, contrasting straight-arrow Ray with the two criminals. Unfortunately, the criminals get greedy (more stupidity) and while I might steal everything in order to disguise what I was after, certainly I would put more thought into it than, “We’re here, the loot’s here, let’s take it.” Also, it really was quite an amazing coincidence to find the dagger right there in close proximity to Savage, so it might have been a good idea, as a precaution, to operate as if he were the dagger’s owner. Which, surprise, surprise, he was.

Back on the ship, Carter helps Kendra recall what the dagger’s inscription says. It’s a love poem. Which, I don’t think I would write a love poem on a dagger, sacred or otherwise, but whatever. In this effort, she finally recalls what she has felt, in her past lives, for Carter. When they show up to kill Savage, whilst everyone else keeps his small army busy (personally, at that point, I would have just kidnapped him, immobilized him with all the amazing future-tech, and then killed him) Carter uses the dagger, reciting the poem… but, small detail, it needs to be Kendra wielding the blade. So Savage kills Carter. Again. Nearly kills Kendra again too.

In the end, thoroughly whipped by Savage and their own mistakes, and united by the loss of Carter, the Legends come together, this time voluntarily and with full knowledge of what they’re up against, and under Rip’s command. I’m guessing that, since Plan A, “find and kill Savage” did not work out so well, Rip will be going to Plan B: meddling with Savage’s plans before Savage can create them.

I love how personal they keep everything for these heroes, and the ways they interact with each other. Stein faced his arrogance, his flaws. Kendra faced what Carter has kept calling “destiny,” which is more like a recollection of past affections and the choice to act on it. Ray and Cold faced their differences, one being a self-serving “survivor” of limited ambition and the other being a genius billionaire who still failed to create a lasting legacy of his own.

I think I’m going to spend a lot of time laughing while watching this show. 🙂

grimm_title_cardGrimm

“Eve of Destruction”

Credit where credit is due, the title works in at least two ways.

One: they are on the proverbial “eve” of a global catastrophe.

Two: Juliette calls herself “Eve” now, and she is very destructive.

For the first, we now know the OTL folks are called, “Black Claw.” Or at least that’s the English translation. They’ve been on the attack all over the world, and the Council has noticed. They meet, an international collection of leaders to respond to an international threat. They acknowledge the danger, acknowledge that they are now at war, and vote unanimously to initiate a counter-attack. …well, unanimously, except for one. Even as they are all united against this dangerous enemy, they find that enemy among them, seated right next to them: a traitor in their midst.

Before they can discuss how they will deal with Black Claw, before they can even lower their hands, the Council is massacred. The only one we know survives is Alexander, and he only did so by running away as fast as he could. And with the Council wiped out all at once, the rules they enforced no longer have anyone enforcing them, which seems to be exactly what Black Claw wants. Their woge-ing openly now, a line that has not been crossed for a very, very long time, thanks, in part, to the Council. But now there will be no more hiding from humans, no more enforced compliance, and likely no more Wesenrein running loose and forcing segregation. Yet they’re blind to the fact that now they are the ones forcing compliance, by killing anyone who disagrees with them. Like Munroe, Rosalee, and, of course, Nick the Grimm.

Speaking of, back in Portland, Nick is juggling a few things. Among them, he and the police are protecting Xavier from the Black Claw while investigating the girl who led them into that trap, Billie. They find some interesting things at her residence, including explosives, and a picture of her parents. Said parents are both wesen and they fully support her in her activities.

Meanwhile, Billie is the only one Black Claw who survived what was supposed to be a trap for Nick. She reports back to her boss, who doesn’t punish her for the failure. With other Black Claws, they burn the bodies of their fallen, swear to find the hexenbiest that killed them, and they send someone into the cell next to Xavier’s to kill him. Said assassin doesn’t survive, but he also didn’t care about woge-ing in public.

Nick, Hank, Wu, and Renard quickly deduce that there’s a Black Claw inside the department, so that case is now Grimm-only. And they got a serious uphill battle, or an uphill war, on their hands, with the Council wiped out and everything exploding around them. Fortunately, they do still have some prospective allies in the form of Hadrian’s Wall. Trubel’s been fighting them, as has Meisner, for the last little while. But being outgunned, outnumbered, and outflanked across the globe, the Wall has gotten a touch desperate. Not only are they rabidly recruiting Grimms, but they took Juliette in order to break her, and remake her into a weapon.

Thus, the second point, Juliette’s transformation into Eve.

Mind you, I am highly suspicious of how “Juliette,” or at least the Juliette that betrayed Nick and lured his mother to her death, is simply gone that easily. A near-death experience and a few beatings, and that’s it? My how very convenient that would be. Hmmm, methinketh that something about this doth carry the odor of fish!

Still, as of yet, Nick, Meisner, and Eve all appear to be on the same side, against Black Claw.

Nick was a bit angry with Trubel for hiding Juliette’s survival, but Trubel didn’t know anything for sure. Then Trubel was angry with Meisner for hiding Juliette’s survival, and demanded to see her, both for her sake and for Nick’s. Meisner may be Juliette’s boss, and a skilled warrior, but Nick is her mentor, the man who pulled her up out of darkness, out of Hell. There’s no doubt in my mind who she would side with if the two men came to blows. Fortunately, Meisner is willing to work with Nick. He even, cleverly, combines Eve’s next mission with an audition for Nick, letting the two of them talk for a few minutes before things go down. That mission involves taking out one of Black Claw’s highest leaders, and Nick was able to minimize collateral damage and provide a quick explanation for the cops.

It looks like they’ll be working together soon enough, as needs demand.

Major props to Nick, by the way. Everyone is reeling from both Juliette returning as Eve and the impending war, but he keeps his head, keeps his balance and his focus. Not everyone can do that.

Also, Nick and Adalind have a serious talk about “them.” They’ve thought about it, of course. They’ve had such strong, albeit negative, feeling for each other for years. Now they’ve found peace and coexistence with each other, it’s only natural for them to still have the imprint of those strong emotions, only they’ve learned to see each other positively. Still, they agree not to rush things. If something happens, they need to do it right, to be sure it really is about them, and nothing else. That’s a rather wise and healthy approach, I’d say.

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