This was a pretty darn good week, for the most part! Right across the board, my entire lineup delivered! Once Upon a Time hit us in the gut with the death of an important character, Castle and Gotham were both awesome, Agents of Shield set up their season finale, The Flash, Arrow, and even Legends of Tomorrow had many a dire event also going for the feels, and Grimm lit the fuse for everything to explode!
Zelena’s plan: to live happily ever after in peace with Hades and her sister and her daughter!
Hades’ plan: to conquer Storybrooke!
Everyone else’s plan: to stop Hades, save Zelena, etc.
We got a few updates on characters from earlier this season. King Arthur has been held in prison by Merida and now escapes, only to run into Hades and be killed… for some reason I am uncertain of. Perhaps he just needed someone else to replace him as ruler of the Underworld? …I dunno. Anyway, he and Hook manage to find the pages of the storybook that Liam ripped out for Hades and send them to Emma through the connected books, dealing with some wraiths running free from the River of Souls in the process. That done, they eventually part ways as Hook moves on and Arthur decides to take over the Underworld, theorizing that this is the “broken kingdom” he was destined to rule and repair.
Meanwhile, the heroes and villains collide pretty quickly. Zelena hides herself and Hades in the mayor’s office behind a protection spell, while Emma searches for Hades’ weakness, and Regina and Robin go in discreetly to rescue his daughter. Zelena’s baffled and feels betrayed, but also grows suspicious as Hades, with his heart beating again, is able to repair a lightning-shaped crystal that will wipe out their enemies.
Emma learns this is Hades weakness and goes for it, but she’s stopped by an enraged Zelena. Then Robin and Regina manage to get in, but Hades tries to kill them before they can leave. Robin takes the hit for Regina. Her true love… dead… and no longer existing, of Hades can be believed, even as a soul.
Then Zelena gets back and, faced with Hades’ demand that she kill her sister… she plunges the crystal into Hades’ heart, ending him forever.
And both of Cora’s daughters are left without the men they loved, alongside Emma. Except, for his part in defeating Hades, Zeus sends Hook back to Storybrooke. They all mourn Robin’s death, and Zelena names their daughter after him, but Emma has Hook back. I think that may prove a sore spot between her and the sisters now.
Off in the last corner of this episode, Rumple is trying to persuade Belle’s father to give her true love’s kiss and wake her up. He refuses, though, and will so long as his daughter will be with Rumple when she wakes. Rumple might have told him about the child Belle is having, but that might make him even more resolute, as I think about it. Either way, Rumple intends to have her back.
And then, at the end of the episode, he picks up the last fragment of the Olympian Crystal from out of the pile of Hades’ ashes.
…ok, Rumple, just what are you up to now?!
“Hell to Pay”
And with this week’s niche, now they’re exploring demons and the Antichrist. This episode would have been perfect for Halloween.
Haley and Alexis are just enjoying a quiet evening at the office when suddenly a crazy guy with an axe bursts in, spouting Latin. Haley goes for the gun… but he topples over dead before she can even shoot him.
Turns out, he really was a crazy person, a would-be murderer who was sent to an asylum twenty-some years ago. He was convinced that a certain individual, heir to a powerful company, was the Antichrist, and tried to kill him when he was still a boy. Now, with a fateful day approaching, he breaks out and tries again. It doesn’t go so well for him, as evidenced by his death.
It turns out, all those years ago, he was working for a private investigator, not entirely unlike Castle himself. The detective in question disavowed all knowledge of the crazy man’s activities, but they were apparently thick as thieves. The detective even had the exact dagger that legend says one must use to kill the Antichrist. That’s why he broke into Castle’s office, to get into the safe, which Castle never once opened until now, and within which are all sorts of occult artifacts.
As it happens, though, the crazy guy was killed by the old detective’s wife, who was trying to keep the crazy from reentering her and her son’s lives, and destroying them again. So, he never even got close to the target. But another man, a fellow believer, did, after stealing the dagger from Castle. But Castle managed to catch up to them, protect the would-be-victim, and an accident took care of the rest.
…a lot of accidents have happened around this supposed Antichrist, actually, all of which have yielded direct benefits for him. So… is it really so fortunate that Castle saved him? …who can say? 😉
Castle also thought he was marked for death in this episode, and Beckett displayed a wicked sense of humor on par with his. Heheh! They really are a perfect match for each other! That ending had me busting up, when they scared Haley and Alexis like that! 😀
…that was epic!
I am, of course, referring to that climactic scene… which I will get to in a moment. 🙂
Events are swirling around Arkham. With Galavan and Fries both confirmed alive and well, the GCPD is turning its attention towards the asylum, but they’re a bit preoccupied for the moment with the hunt for Azrael. If they can get their hands on him, that could give Gordon an avenue to get at Strange.
But while that’s going on, Bruce intends to go on the offensive by sneaking in with Selina. Selina agrees to sneak in, especially when Bruce mentions the possibility of her fire-spewing friend, Bridget, being somewhere within Arkham, perhaps even alive like Azrael and Freeze. But she keeps Bruce out of it, to protect him.
Then, just as she is breaking in, she runs into Riddler breaking out. They trade info: she tells him how to get out, and he tells her how to get into Indian Hill, where they have “dead people, alive people, dead-alive people.” Riddler’s escape is very short-lived, however. He’s caught the moment he flops triumphantly out of the ventilation system onto the roof. Even worse, however, is when Selina finds Bridget, now a brainwashed Firefly. Episode ends with Selina trying to talk Firefly down, but she’s having none of it, pointing her flamethrower at her best friend and pulling the trigger.
While that’s going wrong, Gordon and Bullock are hot on Azrael’s tail. He wants a weapon and kills a priest who can’t provide one. They go to Tabitha who, very intelligently, is packing up to run and hide, leaving poor Butch behind. She’s able to lead them to the sword Azrael seeks, but he drops in on them, divides and conquers. Then she’s able to remind him who he is, that they came to kill Bruce Wayne. As he remembers this, he remembers her betrayal of him, stabs her, and goes off after Bruce. Gordon’s in hot pursuit while Bullock gets Tabitha to a hospital.
That’s where Penguin finds Butch, trying to confess his feelings to Tabitha while she’s unconscious. They have a very strained and adversarial relationship, but Galavan’s return has given Penguin something to anchor his rationality after that debacle with his father’s murderers, so he’s able to present a sound argument for teaming up again: “He’s hurt all of us, now let’s take him out.”
I was right when I mentioned how everyone needed to unite to take down Azrael. Bruce returned at a most inopportune moment, but with Alfred forewarned, they were securing the premises before ducking into the secret vault. Azrael interrupted that, and they put up quite a fight. Alfred held his own for a few moments, then Bruce lured Azrael into a spot where he could hit him with a car, then Gordon showed up to shoot him several times, and still he gets back up!
…that would be when Penguin arrived, grabbed Azrael’s attention, and stepped aside for Butch to shoot him in the face with a rocket launcher!
…I say again: that was epic!
I mean, there’s the more subtle awesomeness of seeing Penguin and Butch working side-by-side, but, much more obviously, they shot him in the face with a rocket launcher! 😀
That was just great!
Coulson finally brings Talbot into Shield’s base, and things get very interesting. They’re discussing the Sokovia Accords. Coulson opposes them, and shows Talbot why they’re such a bad idea, as they require registering every enhanced individual in he world. Talbot’s stubborn, but after meeting Elena, Lincoln, and Lash, he’s still considering his stance on the matter. It doesn’t help Coulson’s case when Daisy has been found alongside “Grant Ward,” aka the Hive. They have to read him in on the situation, and he nearly has a fit. This is End of the World type stuff, which, frankly, Coulson has been getting used to, and he understands the need for both speed and discretion, things which the Accords are not very conducive to.
Lincoln appears to go off the rails while Talbot is there. Though Fitz has been repelling Daisy’s individual attacks, she keep’s getting back in, and one object of her attention is Lincoln. They communicate, and he wants to leave, to be with her. She assists him in escaping, which makes things very hectic. But it works. He’s out.
…or, at least, that’s the illusion they created for Daisy. Knowing that she’ll just serve Lincoln up to the Hive, they send Lash instead. Which, I won’t lie, I was like, “oh, here’s the moment of truth!” Could Hive infect Lash or not? Turns out, the energies Lash manipulates are exactly the sort needed to combat Hive’s abilities, by catching and destroying all of the microbes in the air. Oh, that was great to see! Hive, finally afraid, finally at a real disadvantage, finally on the brink of losing once and for all! Hah!
…then Hive basically gets lucky.
Daisy, weak from giving so much of her blood to the monster that would kill her without a second thought, is too weak to really resist Lash, but she tries to. However, Lash doesn’t hurt her. He frees her, taking all of the microbes straight out of her flesh and killing them. He picks her up, sets her gently down in the jet, softly caresses her cheek, and says the first and last words we ever hear from him: “Now you are free.”
Then the last Inhuman under Hive’s sway (Alisha being dead and Daisy being free), James of the exploding touch, gets him in the back with a burning chain, straight through the heart. Which feels a bit like a cop-out, having this creature who stood immune to lightning, shockwaves, bullets, and even Hive’s microbes get taking out by a burning chain just because he was caught by surprise. But either way, it’s done. Lash is dead. And Daisy returns, restrained, weakened by blood loss, enduring withdrawal symptoms… but free.
Things are definitely not well, though. Hive has successfully engineered its Inhuman experiment. With Daisy’s Kree-enhanced blood added to the recipe, and a few less-than-wary Watchdogs as guinea pigs, it has created the primitive, violent, neanderthal version of Inhumans. The plan now is to spread its influence across the globe all at once. Put the experiment and Hive’s abilities together, and you get the nastiest bacteria ever, and disperse that across the world from high altitude, and a major chunk of the world falls to the Hive all at once. Mind you, in Hive’s place, I’d focus that on the largest populations in the world, in China and India, turn over two billion people, a good third of the world’s population at least, and have that be my starting point, but the point still stands: the world is in great danger.
With all of this, both the global catastrophe at hand, their losses, and especially his last meeting with Daisy, on his mind, not to mention the recent loss of Morse and Hunter, Mack is fairly well sinking beneath despair. But Elena, now cooled off from their last, less-than-pleasant encounter, buoys him up. She speaks of hope and faith, and he wonders about that. Is faith really real? She answers with some wise words, about how evil wins when good men doubt and run in fear instead of standing and fighting. Evil preys upon the weak because it fears the strong. And faith is something that makes us strong.
Amen to that. 😉
…then, when Mack is rising back up after all he’s been through, and having Daisy restored to him, Elena gives him a gift to remind him of his renewed faith: her golden crucifix.
…so, is it Mack who goes up with that plague to destroy it? That would kind of suck, ya know? But it’ll pretty much suck no matter who it is that dies up there.
“The Runaway Dinosaur”
The title apparently refers to a book that Barry and his mother read many times when he was a child.
Yeah, this one went right for the feels.
Team Flash finds out that Barry is still alive, and figures out he’s actually inside the Speed Force, thanks to Cisco vision. So while Barry’s dad Henry sees to an unconscious Jesse, and Joe sends Wally home, Wells figures out how to bring Barry back. Oh, and they have an undead metahuman, the steel-skinned bully, on their hands as well. They juggle all of these situations all at once, but without Barry… well, the balls will drop and they’ll all die.
Barry’s conversation with the Speed Force is rather pointed. They may be a bit offended that he gave up the powers they gave to him, so rather than just giving him his powers back, they make him chase his own shadow to get them back. Or maybe they’re just telling him how to get his powers back, by confronting his pain. Either way, it comes down to Barry finally coming to terms with his mother’s death.
Everything about that… well, this was a very emotional episode. I enjoyed it, very much.
And Barry managed to make his comeback right in the nick of time! He catches his shadow, takes back his powers, and follows Iris’ voice back home. Then he and the team stop the zombie metahuman. And he wakes Jess up with one electrified touch. Yeah, she’s been touched by the Speed Force, definitely. Oddly, Wally doesn’t seem to be showing any symptoms.
So, the Flash is back!
…and he’s got his work cut out for him, because Zoom’s brought dozens of his meta-minions over from Earth-2!
So, doomsday has come. Damien is filling his shelter up with brainwashed zealots while launching enough nukes to wipe out all of mankind all at once.
He has at least one unwilling subject, Thea Queen, who can’t escape and wouldn’t leave Alex anyway. She and Merlyn have their usual talk. She comments on his new artificial hand, he justifies what he does as protecting her, she calls him on his crap. Then Anarky manages to resurface, invading the sanctuary and destroying the air filters that will let people breathe while the rest of the world above is a heap of smoldering, radioactive waste. Thea works with Merlyn to help stop him, though she also tried to make it so they could work together against Damien, but that was futile. When Anarky threatened Alex, though, that was when she fought him with all her might, even as he goaded her about always being tied to some guy, not making her own destiny. Some truth to that, but not in the way he means, and she’s certainly doing her best anyway. She takes him down.
Meanwhile up top, Felicity is working overtime to stop nuclear Armageddon, but she needs her father’s help. It turns out that he escaped prison during that little riot, but not with Damien, unlike Brick and that guy with his mouth sewn shut. The latter two are sent, with a team of ghosts, to find the Calculator and kill him before he can stop the nukes. So it’s a race, and while Felicity’s dad manages to give his would-be-killers the slip for the moment, Ollie and Digs arrive at his final hideout, a cabin he once frequented with Felicity’s mother, just in time to save his life.
After the race to get the Calculator, the team has to scurry again to get a bit of technology from Palmer Tech. Felicity would have just taken it, but the board members decided to fire her at the single most inopportune moment ever, so they have to break in and steal it instead.
Final scurry: they have to implement the stolen tech and stop the nukes before they launch, but doing so alerts HIVE to their whereabouts, and they come in force. Ollie, Digs, and a number of Argus soldiers hold them off for the most part, but some still get through, and Felicity’s dad takes a bullet for her. The distraction is just enough that, while they’re able to stop most of the nukes, one gets airborne, flying from Russia, heading for Monument Point. They have to keep the rest of the nukes from launching themselves while dealing with the one in flight. In the end, they buy maybe a day before full-fledged Armageddon… and all they can do about that one missile is redirect it. It comes down on the small, quiet town of Havenrock, wiping it, and tens of thousands of people, from the map.
Tens of thousands. And the only comfort they have is how it would have been millions if it had gone to its true destination. That’s a heavy weight for anyone to bear.
At the same time, Ollie was able to figure out that Damien wanted his wife to be the mayor specifically so he could gain access to city hall at this exact moment. There’s a nexus chamber there, and with it, Damien is able to absorb power from the deaths of his victims. Tens of thousands of them. All at once.
Ollie and Digs walk in just as the light show is ending. He’s fed on them all. He’s far, far stronger than he’s ever been.
…really not good.
Finally, back in the flash backs, Ollie tried, very hard, to save everyone from a crazed, powerful Reiter. This is the moment he chose to become a monster to fight monsters, a decision he’s still recovering from. And for all that he and Taiana got the idol away from Reiter again, he sees it possess her, right in front of him.
…also really not good!
Last week, I theorized that Vandal Savage was the inventor of time travel, and the Time Masters allowed his ill deeds in order to preserve their power, their influence, their importance. I was wrong, and it is so much worse than I feared. It’s not Savage who’s been using the Time Masters, it’s the Time Masters who have been using Savage.
The Time Masters have this thing called the Oculus. They touch it, and it allows them to see all of the past and future, and influence both. It’s the source of all their power, their abilities, their knowledge. It’s how they’re able to track the timeline and all of the changes within it. It’s also why “time wants to happen.” It’s actually not “time” wanting to happen, it’s the Time Masters wanting it to happen. From their little perch atop a cosmic Mount Olympus, they casually reach down and rob everyone of their own free will, determining the course of history as they see fit. And for all their power, they’re just mere mortals with perspectives as flawed as any other, no matter how far they might see.
In fact, they’re support of Savage, which extends so far that they directed the Savage-friendly outcomes of each encounter he and the team have had with each other, is rooted only in their own self-preservation. Savage conquers the world, and then, ten years later, alien invaders from Thanagar (oh, the hawk-people!) come to wipe out humanity, but Savage is able to stop them. Without that, they see the Thanagarians not only destroying humanity but also, eventually, taking control of the Vanishing Point, and the Oculus, from the Time Masters. Well, they can’t have that, now, can they? So, they’ve assisted him, even given him technology from the future, and just to make certain all of this happens… it was they who ordered Savage to murder Rip’s wife, who was once one of their own, and their son.
Well, now we know what the Time Masters consider as “something worse than Savage.” Namely: anything that actually threatens them. But they’ve chosen to back the wrong horse and do unspeakable things for their own benefit. The Legends absolutely will not stand for that. Though they’re brought momentarily low by this knowledge, especially Rip, they rally soon enough.
While the Time Masters send Savage off to commit murder, Sara and Cold manage to play some tricks with Gideon’s help. They disable all of the other time ships’ AI systems while taking the Waverider out and rescuing their friends. Mick was put through the induction process again, but pushed through the command to become Chronos again (yet more of the Time Masters robbing people of free will) and was able to join back up with the rescue. A quick consulting session and everyone is up for destroying the Oculus, taking back their destinies. Of course, the Masters expected that, and were ready to stop them.
Here, I have to comment on Time Master Druce’s justification of his deeds. He differentiates between “murder” and “execution” as an issue of authority. Firstly, no, it’s not, but secondly, you know what authority is? Having the bigger gun. And, oh, look, once Jacks repairs the shuttle and arrives in the Vanishing Point, he has the bigger gun than that little platoon does. 🙂
Kendra and Carter are missing in action, being Savage’s captives as he murders Rip’s family, but the rest of the Legends do fairly well. Sara, Cold, and Firestorm guard the entrance and steamroll over most the Time Masters’ troops. Those that get in still have Rip and Heatwave to contend with while Ray triggers the self-destruct, but, unfortunately, it’s a dead man’s switch. Someone needs to hold down a lever until the explosion goes off. Ray is willing to sacrifice his life to give everyone their destinies back, but Mick knocks him out and has Rip shrink and carry him. Then Cold knocks Mick out and has Sara (somehow… he’s much heavier than her, you know) carry him out.
On that note, this episode had things be personal, as usual, and entertaining. There was actually quite a bit of character development, and it even worked to Cold making his decision to stay and die, to cut the puppeteers’ strings on everyone, including himself. He dies free. And he even gets a kiss from Sara, which is not so bad a note to end on. Not the most preferable, of course, but also not the worst way to go.
Savage just barely finished murdering Rip’s family only to return and find that the Time Masters no longer have any support to offer. All of their most potent abilities have been neutralized with the Oculus. Too bad. So sad.
So, now we have the Legends, who are sailing the sea of time without a map, while Savage has a time machine with which to run amok throughout all of history, and if they defeat him, that still leaves the Thanagarians to tangle with. The price of freedom is sometimes how things just keep getting worse and worse no matter your efforts, but I prefer that to slavery.
So, Nick’s night was not so great, and neither was the next day.
He learned that his family had been taken from him. He called Hank, but Hank was occupied with his girlfriend. He raced to Renard’s place, only to find he’d moved. Then he went to Monroe and Rosalee – I love those two, and it’s so unfortunate that their relatively good night was interrupted – who were able to keep him from running off half-cocked. They can’t use force, they can’t use the law… so they turn to Hadrian’s Wall again. Of course, they learned from Wu’s experience that Black Claw has people following them, so they took care of them first.
Trubel, of course, was willing to back any play Nick would choose, but between Meisner, Juliette, Monroe, and Rosalee, they managed to convince Nick not to charge in blindly. Instead, he went to talk to Renard at his office. A sort of parley between two parties and powerful men, former allies, now on the brink of open war with each other.
Speaking of, Adalind may have sacrificed quite a bit with choice, but she’s managed to get close to Diana at last, and she bought time for Nick to work. Her daughter, at least, does not seem to have any jealousy towards Kelly, which was a huge relief for me, personally. She does have some evident anger towards Rachel, though, which is very understandable. She wants her parents to be together, though Adalind wants nothing to do with Renard, but either way, Rachel is the woman her father has on the side. Rachel may be in for something particularly awful at Diana’s hands, which may not bode so well for Nick, being a reason for Adalind to keep away Renard.
So, with this highly-complex situation whirling around them, Renard tries to recruit Nick to his side. He’s drunk the Black Claw kool-aid. “Normal humans have ruled the world too long blah blah blah made it worse blah blah blah our society will be more primitive and violent blah blah that’s the only way progress is made blah…” Yeah, completely stupid. See, the “primitive and violent” society would not allow for any sort of peaceful resolution of Renard’s complicated personal situation, automatically resulting in bloodshed, or has he never heard of The Illiad? Humans may need to be able to use force when necessary, but civilization has advanced in large part through the restraining of our more violent urges.
Nick, being a sensible human being, refuses to join Black Claw, a group that simply kills anyone who disagrees with them and works to plunge the world into violent chaos. I love how Trubel puts it when Nick tells her Black Claw wants Grimms on their side, “Yeah, they want to keep their heads.” Yep, that about sums it up. So, they’d better guard that book of Grimm genealogy very closely, I’d say. And speaking of old things that need guarding, with the situation growing so dire, Nick trusts Trubel with everything they know about that healing stick. He even shows her where he’s hidden it, just in case anything happens to him. That’s a secret kept between Grimms.
Meanwhile, Hank didn’t have a great night either, but he had a much worse day. The woman he cares for, and just slept with, let one of her Black Claw friends into the house to clone Hank’s phone and all the information on it. That friend happens to be Rosalee’s old friend, Tony, and they’re able to figure out his connection to the enemy the next day. Then comes determining his girlfriend’s guilt or innocence. They lay a simple trap, which she falls into headfirst. She claims they threatened her, and her brother, which I sort of believe. Still, they subdue her and hand her over to HW.
That last may have been a mistake. The episode ends, with Nick watching furiously as Renard publicly claims Adalind, Kelly, and Diana all as his, as Black Claw becomes aware of her capture, and one of their higher ups saying, “As long as they have her, we know where they are.”
…uh-oh. If they can use her to find the HW base, that is extremely bad.
About the only one who had a good night is Wu, and he trashed his apartment to force himself to woge, so he could start learning control. He’s dealing, and fairly well.