This Week on TV, May 21, 2016

Spoiler Alert!

…like, seriously, these are season finales, or immediately prior to the finales we’re talking about here. You don’t get more spoilery than that! 😉

And with all these finales, there’s a lot to talk about, so be warned, this is pretty long! Once Upon a Time may have just changed up their game in major ways. We have to say farewell to Castle, alas, as the series has concluded, and it was a fun conclusion! Gotham didn’t finish their season this week, but wow did they have a lot happening! Agents of Shield went out with a bang and a boom, and teased us about their next season. The Flash and Arrow haven’t ended yet, but they built up the tension quite a bit. Legends of Tomorrow ended the first season this week, and I have to say, it was a pretty good note, especially for a show I’ve ragged on so much. Finally, Grimm, as always, did not disappoint!

…as I said, this is a long post! So much material to cover! 😀

So let’s get to it, shall we?

Once-upon-time-logoOnce Upon a Time

“Only You” & “An Untold Story”

First up, we have a double-header finale!

Rumple’s plan is, basically, to wake Belle. One would think that would be a rather modest undertaking, considering the schemes he’s hatched in the past. However, lacking true love’s kiss, because Belle doesn’t want to be with him anymore – I actually cheered when we heard that – he’s electing to use another way. Yes, apparently there is another way, and requires a great deal of power, more than even he has. So, he takes all the magic in Storybrooke, tying it to that Olympian Crystal fragment and leaving town.

At the same time, Emma is trying to be sensitive to Regina’s loss, partially as a friend, and partially out of some fear that she’ll go all Evil Queen again. While there is something to that, I’d say it shows a little lack of faith in her, but either way, tact is the way to go. Regina’s holding up as well as can be expected, with support from her friends and her sister Zelena. Emma’s approach was good, but when Rumple causes the ground to shake with his shenanigans, about one millisecond before Emma can tell Regina about Hook being alive again, Hook panics and comes crashing in. Tact, gone, but Regina puts dealing with the crisis at hand before her own feelings.

Between Emma, Regina, and Zelena, they’re able to figure out what Rumple is up to pretty quickly. Still, Emma is unreasonably antsy about Regina, who realizes what she’s afraid of and gets offended, and Henry sees both of his mothers fighting and goes off the deep end. He’s a good kid, but inexperienced, naïve, prone to generalizing things with oversimplifications, etc. He sees his family going through one hard time too many and decides to destroy all magic in the world so it’ll stop hurting them.

Yeah, Henry, great job overlooking how all the trouble magic brought was solved with magic, which, even in the worst-case scenario, just makes it another tool, neither good or bad on its own.

Henry, with youthful zeal and wiles, nabs the crystal from Rumple and take Violet to New York City. Something he’s never told his family is that his father, Neal, was researching how to destroy magic in this world, just in case his father, Rumple, ever caught up with him. He got close, but failed. So Henry follows his footsteps, starting with his apartment (which is conveniently still his father’s place, despite his being dead for awhile now). They find he frequented the library, and go there in search of clues. There, they find a twin to the Holy Grail, capable of swallowing up all magic, just as the Grail gave Merlin magic. Which is huge. Oh, and they also find… storybooks. Like Henry’s. With so many more stories to tell! More on that in just a moment…

Meanwhile, Rumple is pursuing Henry for the crystal, and convinces the crew, without outright saying so, that destroying Storybrooke’s magic will destroy Storybrooke. While Emma and Regina, with Rumple tailing them, go searching for Henry and Violet, the others evacuate the town using Zelena’s wand. All goes well until Zelena tries to close the portal, and then something goes wrong, it refuses to close until it’s snatched up her, Snow, Charming, and Hook, and sent them all to an unknown land, where they’re immediately locked up.

The moment I saw the new villain enter in, I knew. I went, “…holy crap… Mr. Hyde! This is Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde! Whoo! Brand new, non-Disney-exclusive territory!”

And that’s just the start! That flurry of pages Henry flipped through… I think I saw Gulliver being tied down by the tiny people, Captain Nemo and the Nautilus, Paul Bunyon and his cow, Don Quixote tilting at a windmill… ooooh! So many possibilities!

…including Violet’s father being the Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court. Cool.

You know, I heard that the creators of the show wanted to get back to the formula they were using in the first two seasons, which was a pretty good formula, and built up to a magnificent crescendo in the first half of the third season, where spending half a season on a single arc and a single villain was a big deal. But then the half-season villains and half-season arcs just kept coming. They lost a bit of steam. But now they’ve set themselves up with… many, many, many more possibilities they can explore and use to turn the show back into more of an adventure rather than the Whack-A-Villain thing they’ve had going these past couple seasons.

But I’ve digressed. 😛

Snow, Charming, Zelena, and Hook are locked up, but they have an ally in Dr. Jekyll. He wants to get out of an intolerable situation, and he needs their help to do so, so he’s willing to help them. He can’t just bust them out, so he repairs Zelena’s broken wand. He’s interrupted a bit when Hyde’s minion, Poole, shows up, and Hyde is able to scheme a bit. Apparently he and Rumple know each other and have unfinished business. He uses Zelena’s wand to steal what he needs to get Rumple to obey and assist him in his goals, which is, plainly, to leave where he is, and bring everyone with him.

What does he steal? The box with Belle still inside it.

I note that when Rumple felt the portal coming, he dashed for the crystal (after taking it from Henry) without picking up the box. Once again, as always, he chooses power instead of love.

I love the cosmic poetry of this. Rumple tries to force the outcome he wants by stealing Storybrooke’s magic, which leads to Henry stealing the crystal from him. Rumple then tricks the others into believing Henry will accidentally destroy Storybrooke, following Emma and Regina, then racing ahead of them. If he hadn’t made that dire implication, the town would have never been evacuate, Zelena and her wands would have never been taken by the portal, and it would never have fallen into Hyde’s hands, and he would never have been able to steal Belle from Rumple. Talk about his ill deeds coming right back to bite him! Hah!

So, while Jekyll helps the others escape, and then finds he’s been tricked by Hyde, who wants to be free of Jekyll as much as Jekyll wants to be free of Hyde, Rumple brings Regina and Emma in on his efforts to get Belle back. But Henry bursts in like an idiot and swallow up all the magic at exactly the wrong moment. He really needs to learn a thing or two, and he finally does.

Fortunately, while Jekyll and his new friends are on the run from Hyde, Rumple knows one person still on Earth who can use magic: the Dragon, whom we first and last saw back in Season Two. He’s able to give them a bead on their friends’ location, in the Land of Untold Stories, but is unable to open a portal. Still, there’s one chance left, using belief and wishes and fountain. Henry’s the one to cotton on to this, using magic, which he’d just been so eager to destroy, to open a portal by getting people to throw wishes, in the form of pennies, into a fountain. It works, everyone comes back, and Rumple goes in to get Belle.

At last, everyone is safe! …right?

And there is no way that some little pest like Hyde can stand against Rumpelstiltskin! …right?

Well, there are some details. Like how Hyde can help Rumple wake Belle by sharing some information, provided Rumple gives his word to let him and the rest of the Untold refugees out, and send them to Storybrooke. And the deal is made.

And back in our world, Regina, Emma, and Snow decide to excise Regina’s darkness by separating her from her Evil Queen persona. Which, while they wrote on the wall that such was going to happen, I thought it would be more of an accident or an act of villainous malice or something. Instead, it’s her friends who want to see Regina triumph at last over her dark and evil past, her mistakes and misdeeds, her nightmarish sins.

…the moment they started with that line of talk, I went, “No… no… no, no, no, nonononono noooo!” That is using magic as a shortcut, which we have abundantly seen is a really bad idea! It is, in fact, that kind of magic which has caused all the harm that Henry wanted to stop!

But they’re stupid about this, and release the Evil Queen. She seems the be killed when Regina rips her heart out and crushes it, but ’tis not truly so! As Hyde stands before Regina in Storybrooke, gloating, her evil half moves about as Darkness, putting itself back together, invading the Dragon’s shop and stealing his heart.

…dum-dum-dum!

So, in a two-part finale, they’ve not only wrapped things up for this season, but introduced a multitude of complications and new material they can use as fodder for future plots! Here’s hoping they actually do the whole “adventure” thing, because that, quite honestly, is what leaves me excited for next season! 😀

castle titleCastle

“Crossfire”

And here we have not only a season finale… but a series finale as well.

This is the very last episode of Castle which we will ever get.

…so, how’d they do?

Not too bad, I’d have to say. Not quite as I’d have imagined, but not bad at all.

The war between Beckett and Loksat finally comes to a head as they intercept his call to Caleb Brown. He gives instructions, and, unable to trace the call to its source in time, they use those to set a trap, lying in wait. But that turns out to be a trap set for them by Loksat. They only manage to get out in one piece because they had Hayley laying waste to the enemy with sniper fire and Mason of the Greatest Detectives’ Society comes crashing in to extract them.

After that, the shadow games are over for Castle’s side. It’s open warfare. Hayley grabs Alexis and Martha and keeps them safe at Castle’s office, with some gun-toting friends guarding the entrance, while Vikram reads in Espo and Ryan, much to Beckett’s chagrin. Castle and Beckett are each in relatively safe places, their refuges, but Loksat is clever and draws each of them out. His right hand man just waits around outside Castle’s office, knowing he’ll eventually want to go help Beckett, and literally snatches him up the instant he sets foot outside, posing as a taxi driver. As for Beckett, well, their “friend” Mason calls her with a lead and she agrees to meet him.

That was when I really knew Mason wasn’t who he appeared to be. Being in the right place at the right time to save Castle and Beckett was one thing, with a reasonable explanation, but having just seen Castle get snatched the very moment he left his refuge… well, luring Beckett out of the precinct was too much to be a coincidence.

Didn’t expect him to be Loksat, though.

Castle is interrogated with truth serum, so he can’t not tell Mason the identities of everyone who knows about Loksat. Everyone whose death warrants Loksat is happy to sign. Starting with Castle himself. Fortunately, Vikram is able to point his uniformed friends in the right direction. Ryan, Espo, and several other cops arrive just in time to save him, but then they’re besieged by Loksat’s agents, and they can’t get out. Still, Castle thinks fast and interrogates his interrogator with the same truth serum, learning that Loksat is bringing Beckett to the same building to kill her, so all they need to do is somehow get out and get to her. He also figures out that he can go through the wall, head down to the basement, and bust his way back in. Also just in the nick of time!

So everyone saves everyone, Loksat is ended, and all is well as Ryan, Espo, Vikram, and Laney head out for some well-deserved and refreshing drinks!

…except there’s an inconsistency. At the beginning of the episode, we saw what was presumably Caleb Brown being torched by Loksat’s minion, but if Loksat had an incinerator to work with the entire time, why bother with torching him in a car?

And right then, Caleb Brown bursts out f his hiding place to shoot Castle and Beckett both, though he dies in the act.

And they lay there, after crawling to each other, grasping hands, bleeding…

…and then we skip to “seven years later,” with Castle and Beckett alive and well, raising three children.

Most shows, when they know they’re ending, they can really do a job of it with their final episode, make it a proper good-bye and all that. Castle‘s ending wasn’t really planned, I think, but where they would have had a cliffhanger of some sort, they instead tacked on a “happily ever after” moment instead. Which was fine. And poetic, really, especially as we hear one of their first conversations again, about how epic they would be together, and now we see them with a family of their own. But I think they intended for it to be a cliffhanger, as usual, and then learned this was the last episode of the show, and didn’t want to do that to the fans. We got the most important thing: they lived happily and raised a family. But I do wish we could have seen the happily ever after endings for Alexis, Hayley, Ryan, Espo, Laney, etc.

Then again, choosing to keep us in tension right up until the very end is also a valid approach! 🙂

Any way you look at it, it’s a done deal now. The show is over.

Good-bye, Castle. You entertained us for eight years, and we shall miss you!

And I really wish the best for all these actors and everyone behind the scenes. They did a really phenomenal job and should be proud of themselves for it! 😀

gotham-logo-screencapGotham

“A Legion of Horribles”

Not the finale, yet, but certainly pushed us towards it! 🙂

It seems Strange is telling his subjects that they are gods and goddesses. Really, considering everything, that’s something of a sound approach. His subjects are weak and in shock and trying to make sense of the world now that they’re alive again. Quite often, their own memories are truly traumatic, so who wouldn’t prefer the idea of being a god, of being powerful, in the face of that? As for Strange, he probably loves the idea of being the “father” of all these “gods.”

Selina survives Firefly’s attempt to kill her. Yes, Bridget, it would be over if she stopped dodging. That’s the idea, for it to not be over, so I’m definitely siding with Selina’s approach to the situation over yours! 😛

Selina manages to knock Firefly out, but can’t get out of the cell they’re locked in before she wakes up and grabs another flamethrower. Unable to convince Firefly of her true identity, and unable to hurt her in her fire-proof suit – though I note that her face remains unprotected, but that would be damage Selina is trying to avoid – Selina changes tactic and offers herself as a servant. “Goddesses have servants! It’s part of the story!” So, she’s spared for the moment, and the two of them both want out of their cell.

Bruce was waiting around for Selina to arrive, but when she was late, and then Ivy showed up instead, he leaped to the correct conclusion: Strange has her. Alfred is rightly furious about that. I mean, in his ultimatum a couple episodes ago, he did draw the line at involving Selina in Bruce’s dangerous quest. So the one thing that he forbade Bruce from doing, Bruce did. Sheesh! It’s almost like he has an obsessive adolescent boy on his hands! 😉

They cobble together a quick plan, where Bruce uses his influence to get access to Strange, while Fox takes a tour, looking for traces of radiation so he can leave a mark for Gordon, who they smuggle past the front gate, to find. The plan seems to be going well, but Strange is two steps ahead, as usual. He talks to Bruce, makes some unspoken insinuations, and begs him to stop, to turn back from the peril of this fool’s errand.

Strange’s philosophy seems to be that since there is no scientific basis for morality, then morality itself is absurd. But consider, Strange: if the purpose of a species is to continue existing, that would mean the collective good is of paramount importance, and if so, then to harm anyone is to harm everyone. Boom, morality, the belief that there are things which are right and things which are wrong, from a scientific standpoint.

But, again, I digress! 😀

Strange fails to convince Bruce, and so he has his people just take him, Fox, and Gordon prisoner. Fortunately, they had a backup plan: Alfred goes to Bullock, who whips up the fully-armed might of the GCPD to storm Arkham. There’s not much time, though. Riddler finally talked his way out of imminent death, at the hands, or jaws, of the future Killer Croc, I think. That’s part of how Strange was so ready for Gordon’s invasion. Now he’s left in charge of interrogating Bruce and Fox, and he chooses a fairly simple method: talk or be gassed to death within five minutes. At the same time, Gordon finds himself face-to-face with another of Strange’s creations, one whose face can be altered to take on anyone’s appearance. And before his very eyes, the chameleon becomes “Jim Gordon.”

Finally, the Court of Owls is finally making its debut. I had thought that they were the monks we saw earlier this season, but I was wrong about that. That was the Order of St. Dumas, not the Court. Strange is apparently one of them, and as they’re seeing the news plastered with bizarre stories about dead people having epic confrontations with living people, they’re getting a bit nervous about all the attention. One, a woman, calls Strange, telling him it’s time to pack up, he’s failed. Sure, he can bring people back, but that’s meaningless unless he brings them back with their memories…

…which he now has. Which brings the lady Owl up short.

This is the second time Fish has been used as a scientific experiment. Out of everyone, she’s the one to come back knowing who she is, her entire personality intact. It’s a mystery how and why that happened, but I have some thoughts on the matter. Perhaps it’s because she’s been in a lab before, and that triggered the right memories for her to regain her true self. Perhaps she just never tried to flee her life or had the sort of trauma and instability that Bridget and Galavan did. Maybe she just always thought of herself as a goddess of some sort, so she was immune to Strange’s attempt at manipulation. Either way, she’s back.

Heh, Penguin has some rotten luck when it comes to killing his enemies, doesn’t he? I am looking forward to that meeting!

For the moment, though, she’s a prisoner, like all the rest. But she’s patient and clever, and it appears she has the ability to compel people to do whatever she wants, so long as she’s touching them when she gives them a command. That probably has something to do with the voltage or the animal DNA Strange spliced in (because why not, when he’s able to bring people back to life, would he be unable to alter their very DNA, hmm?) or both, but either way… Fish Mooney is back, and she can command anyone to do anything with a touch of her fingers.

So… recap:

Selina survives by prostrating to the crazy girl with a flamethrower, Riddler has Fox and Bruce in a gas chamber, Fish is back as a contact-based Kilgrave, Gordon is a prisoner, his imposter is ready to intercept Bullock and the GCPD, and all of this while Hugo Strange’s masters are starting to make their presence felt within the shadows.

…can you believe I almost didn’t watch this show? 😉

agentsofshieldseason3bannerAgents of Shield

“Absolution” & “Ascension”

Another double-header finale!

Obviously, the big question was, “Who’s gonna die?” So watching that cross pass from one character to another was the like watching the most terrifying game of hot potato ever.

On the heels of Daisy’s emancipation, she’s wracked with guilt over what she did while under Hive’s sway, and it’s only intensified by the withdrawal symptoms. She wants to be punished, locked up, thrown away, hurt. Mack had the right idea, first give her some space, then give her a hug and let her cry.

While Daisy is going through that, under Simmons’ watchful eye, the rest of the team is stopping Hive’s plan to launch a stolen warhead loaded with the bacteria that will turn a massive portion of the population into Primitives, as Radcliffe calls them. This involves Talbot and Simmons using smoke and mirrors to persuade an officer into giving Coulson a missile cancellation code – red tape does not save the world, by the way – so he can read the exceptionally long sequence to Fitz, who, alongside May, Mack, Elena, and Lincoln, has infiltrated the military base Hive has taken over. They stop the launch with about four seconds to spare, and Hive gets really angry.

Fortunately, the team had a plan. They use Lincoln to lure Hive into a trap. Remember the memory machine? They took it apart and set it up a little differently, powered by Lincoln. When it hit Hive, all the memories of all the people he’s taken over, especially the more recent of them, all came to the surface all at once. So they drive him mad, remove his rational edge. It slows him down, so much that they’re able to capture him in a gel-stasis pod. Whoo! Victory! They stop the launch, rescue the hostages, including Radcliffe, and capture the mastermind! Yay!

…if only it were so easy.

Here: Mack tried to give Elena’s cross back, but she refused, a bit offended. Then he left it lying around and Fitz grabbed it, putting it in the pocket of his Shield jacket. That’s two pieces of the puzzle: the emblazoned jacket and the cross. Two pieces left: a vehicle in orbit and blood.

I doubt this is exactly what Hive had in mind, but he sent Shield a Primitive-bacteria bomb disguised as parts to repair the hanger door. One agent was caught in the immediate explosion, but the cloud spread, and he dragged in another agent after he turned Primitive, they dragged in two more, and so on. They only managed to get Fitz and one more agent out of the hanger intact, and with five Primitives, the spreading bacteria, and Hive himself released, the invasion of Shield’s base was fully underway, turning its own defenders into the aggressors.

Twisted. Very twisted.

This is where Daisy first took action. In the heart of her suffering, all she wanted was relief. She wanted to feel the peace Hive gave her again. Such is the power of addiction, where even the mightiest and most defiant of souls can be broken. But whatever Lash did to free her, it left her permanently immune to Hive’s sway. With that off the table, Daisy attacked, put up a pretty good fight, and would have been able to kill or cripple Hive if he weren’t a collection of microbes working together. As it was, though, she lost, and only slowed him down.

Didn’t slow down the Primitives, though. Instead of going through the doors and fighting for every inch of ground, they went through the vents and invaded every inch of the base all at once. Armory, server room, everything, all at once. Shield caught Hive, and then Hive brought them to their knees. Still alive, though, and fighting. Much like Elena, who took bullets in Mack’s place while she tried to knock them aside. She lived. Simmons figured out the Primitives see with infrared vision, so she cranked up the heat, letting everyone move freely, as if invisible. Then Coulson remotely called a quinjet with his cybernetic arm – over which Radcliffe practically drooled – and the team was out! They called Talbot to authorize the military to retake their base while they went after Hive.

While the invasion was going on, Hive locked Daisy up again and stole the Zephyr. Running calculations and flying the Zephyr, Hive’s rational edge returned, and he took them far, far, far into the stratosphere. May and Fitz rescued Daisy, and Fitz killed Giyera with an invisible gun, which was very cool. They rigged her pod so it would not be Hive’s escape vehicle and got to work. As Daisy came out of her funk somewhat, they noticed it was getting colder, what with how high up they were going.

Here: Fitz gave Daisy his jacket, because he’s a gentleman, and she found Elena’s cross within. That’s when she decided to be the one who died in orbit.

Coulson and his team arrived on the quinjet right about then, and the two leaders, Hive and Coulson, squared off. Though, in Coulson’s case, he did so via hologram. (“Help me, Obi-Wan Kenobi. You’re my only hope.” LOL!) They took down the Primitives easily enough and Lincoln took down Hive’s last Inhuman pawn, but was injured in the process, right in front of Daisy.

Now, Coulson planned to use the quinjet to send the warhead into orbit, where it would detonate harmlessly, but Daisy beat him to that punch. She had three pieces of the puzzle: the transport, the cross, and the jacket. But she didn’t realize that there was one piece missing: the blood. And she wasn’t bleeding. Maybe she thought she would have been by the time she took Hive up with her, but it never came to that.

Lincoln stole the cross off her neck. Lincoln beat her to the quinjet, frying the controls and propelling Daisy out. Lincoln was wearing a Shield jacket. And Lincoln was bleeding. That’s the entire puzzle, right there.

Lincoln had a long and interesting arc. He was an Inhuman medic in Afterlife and would have been Sky/Daisy’s guide. He was Jia-Ying’s pawn, but broke free and rebelled. He’s done good things and bad, displayed control and a lack of such. He fell for Daisy, but came to realize she didn’t really need him. He joined Shield, but didn’t really want to be there, and so he was going to leave. He’s tried to do grand things to save Daisy, and in the end he pulled off the grandest of them all: he took her place to die in her stead.

They were able to say goodbye, or near to such, on the radio, before it cut out. Daisy was left crying, but surrounded by friends. Lincoln died alongside Hive, looking down at the planet far below.

…so, what’s next after that?

Cut to six months later, which, at first, I was like, “Oh, come on!” They couldn’t think of any other way to keep us coming back except to show us that there’s yet more complicated trouble coming their way? Still, it was very revealing.

I’m guessing that, as the last several episodes of Season One showed the fallout of Captain America: The Winter Soldier, we are going to see the real fallout of Age of Ultron and Civil War over the course of the next season and maybe even longer. In particular: the Sokovia Accords.

We have Coulson, no longer the Director, leading a team, including Mack, in staking out the wife and daughter of that clairvoyant Inhuman who showed Daisy Lincoln’s death in space. There are articles and pictures and rumors of “Quake,” meaning Daisy, going around and acting like a criminal, like robbing a bank with her powers. Daisy shows up, in disguise, apparently keeping her word to watch over her friend’s wife and daughter. She gives said daughter the robin sculpture he had carved for her, before walking off and evading custody. Meanwhile, Radcliffe is rich and successful and with a Jarvis-like female voice talking to him as he celebrates her “birthday,” looking at a humanoid figure through a tinted glass door.

So… I’m guessing the Accords are having some serious fallout. Coulson’s been displaced, Daisy is not conforming or registering, which makes her a wanted fugitive, so she resorts to crime to further her own goals, and Coulson’s team is sent to catch her, all while yet more sinister dangers lurk in the shadows!

I have to say, I’m already looking forward to it! 🙂

Flash-TV-Show-Teaser-TrailerThe Flash

“Invincible”

Not a finale, but sets it up nicely.

After his experience in the Speed Force, Barry is feeling quite confident, even invincible. Which, out of all the crazy moods he or any hero has ever been in, that has to be the single stupidest of them all. “The universe is with us!” Um, no, Barry, the universe is not “with you.” The universe was merely convenient for you for one moment, and you’re buoyed up now that you’ve come to terms with your mother’s death at long last, but the universe does not simply take sides.

It’s particularly frustrating for the team because they kind of have a “metapocalypse” on their hands. The entire city is in chaos when the Flash makes his return, dousing fires, saving lives, and nabbing scores of meta criminals all at once, enraging Zoom but not really stopping him. He brings Barry to his lab, tries to argue that they’re really the same, except for the part where Barry didn’t actually see his parent die. Of course, that would be because his future self saved him, as he was Reverse-Flash’s real target. Doesn’t work though. Barry is never joining Zoom, because Barry is not like him.

While trying to figure out a proper plan of attack, Team Flash is also contending with Black Siren, the Earth-2 villainous meta-equivalent of Black Canary, complete with a sonic scream that levels entire buildings. Interestingly, Zoom is the one telling her which buildings to destroy, telling her to make it look random, but it’s not. He’s up to something, but we’ve no idea what it is.

Fortunately, when Barry gets knocked down by Black Siren, an ally shows up to save his life. Wally West, and his mistakes and the cost that was paid to keep him alive, is zealously certain that he needs to earn his continued existence. Joe tried to talk him out of it, forbid him, but that didn’t work. Barry tried, as the Flash, but that didn’t work either, and after saving the Flash, Wally ain’t about to stop. But that goes into something more than just feeling guilty. He’s Joe West’s son, and helping people is part of who he is. He won’t stop. So, really, what they should do is give him a smarter way of doing things.

Speaking of parents and children, Jessie thinks she’s a metahuman, and keeps testing herself for the mutation. Wells is certain she is not. Of course, we know that she and Wally will be speedsters soon enough, and really we’re just waiting for that to become evident somehow.

Back to the crisis. To defeat Zoom, they need to defeat his meta-army. To do that would take far too long, so they create a way to take them all down all at once, with a pulse wave that will cripple and render all Earth-2 beings unconscious, sending out a wave which Barry will contain and reflect back with his speed as he races around the entire city. It works quite well, though Wells needs to give his daughter his protective headphones when hers malfunction. Also, they had to delay Black Siren’s rampage, and for that they used Cisco and Caitlin, posing as their doppelgangers Vibe and Killer Frost.

Oh, right, I almost forgot: Cait escaped, refusing Zoom’s offer to take his side, and now she’s suffering PTSD. Being held for days by a psychopath can do that to you.

Zoom manages to escape by going back to Earth-2, but the pulse wave hit him hard too. Without his army, he’s alone, and he retaliates by crashing the celebration party, taking Henry Allen from right in front of Barry, racing around the city before arriving at Barry’s childhood home… and by all appearances, he kills Henry right in front of Barry.

And with that, here comes the finale.

And while Barry and Zoom will be having their final confrontation, Cisco is having visions of Earth-2 coming apart, pole to pole, shattering, destroyed.

…could Zoom’s building-demolishing plan be somehow related to that? Or the race he’ll challenge Barry to in the finale? Or the man in the iron mask? Just what the heck is going on here?

Arrow-logo-header-Season-4Arrow

“Lost in the Flood”

Damien’s plan may have been delayed, but it still moves forward.

Damien overwhelms Ollie and Digs, but chooses not to kill them so they’ll die in nuclear fire instead. To that end, he has Felicity’s hacker ex-boyfriend working for him, and he’s a royal, chaotic pain to deal with. It doesn’t help Felicity when her parents are fighting, but between Felicity, the Calculator, and Curtis, Brother Eye doesn’t really stand a chance. Not only do they succeed in locking down the nuclear launches completely, but they blow up the enemy’s work station. 🙂

And then Felicity’s mother sends her father away.

Meanwhile, Malcolm has his hands full trying to deal with Anarky, Thea, and, once Thea manages to send out a distress signal to Felicity, Ollie and Digs. He insta-brainwashes Thea, though she’s able to shake that off after a little while. He has Damien’s wife set the entire community against Ollie and Digs. Speaking of, Damien’s chosen sheep are all nuts, talking about how the world is full of darkness and they’re standing in the rubble of a not-saved city and Damien gives them hope.

I’m sorry, but they are dead wrong. Hope drives you to push on, endure, keep fighting. Everyone in the ark has given up. That’s the opposite of hope. That is despair. Damien hasn’t given them hope, he’s stolen it away, and just done so in a way that they love him for it. But, ah, when they see the Green Arrow refusing to give up, now, maybe that will help them remember what hope is! 🙂

Anarky goes for the proverbial and literal throat when he snatches Damien’s wife and daughter. Ollie, Thea, and Digs come crashing in to save them while Malcolm leads an evacuation. That evacuation comes in handy because things blow up. Anarky kills Damien’s wife and escapes, but they save the daughter again.

Malcolm then has to report this to Damien. Damien responds, even without knowing his daughter’s fate, by deciding to just let the entire world burn anyway, no survivors.

Damien is very much darkness and despair.

Finally, in the flash backs, we see Taiana experience the power of the idol and go murderously nuts.

Legends-of-Tomorrow-LogoLegends of Tomorrow

“Legendary”

Now, this one gave us a finale!

Rip drops everyone off and returns their child-selves to the timeline, choosing to continue his hunt alone, if at all. That doesn’t last very long. The team goes their separate ways, and then they come back together to signal the Waverider to return for them. Most of them had it fairly easy, though. Sara, on the other hand, learning of her sister’s death, has if very, very hard. She nearly kills Rip when he returns, demanding that he take her back in time to save her sister. He refuses, and explains that she will fail, and when she does, Damien will kill her father as well, in addition to her sister and her.

Still, there’s nothing to go on, until Kendra makes a slight alteration to the timeline in World War II, hiding a message to Rip in the helmet in his collection. The team comes crashing in, fighting both Nazi and Savage troops, rescuing Kendra and Carter but failing to stop Savage from obtaining a meteor.

It turns out, there are three meteors which fell from the sky and gave Savage and the Hawks their powers. The Thanagarians apparently sent them for some unknown reason. With the Hawks’ blood, Savage intends to detonate these thee meteors in different times and places, each one having an effect on time itself, all three of them linking to make these three different times as if they were the same moment, with Savage in three different places “at once.” Or something like that.

He means to undo history for several thousand years. Armed with his knowledge of the future, he means to take over the world and rule as an immortal god. What he doesn’t know is that these meteors, which gave him his powers, can also take them away. In their activated presence, he is, at last, mortal. That is their chance to finally kill him once and for all, by killing him in all three times and places “at once.”

…of course, they’ve already “killed” him so many times – and so easily, despite how he held his own against Team Arrow, Team Flash, and the Hawks in the crossover that introduced his character to the Arrowverse – that there’s hardly any tension about this. Sara and Firestorm take 1975, with Sara breaking his neck. Ray and Mick take 1958, with Mick roasting Savage. And Rip and the Hawks take 2021, with the Hawks finally clinching a victory over Savage with a dagger in his chest, but it’s Rip who finishes him off, via electrocution. And thus dies the immortal! 🙂

Also, very cool that they apparently did have some sort of plan in mind when they took the Legends to ’75 and ’58. Everything comes back around together! 😀

And you gotta love how they ripped off Back to the Future with that one scene of Rip going off a roof and then rising up atop his time-traveling ship! 😀

Of course, there’s still the issue of three meteors about to explode. Ray, after dealing with hawkmen in ’58, shrinks one down so the explosion is minimal, though impressive for something that small. Firestorm, after dealing with Savage’s men, has now learned to transmute matter, and turns the meteor into water. Finally, the third meteor is too far gone when the team gets there, so Rip takes it in the Waverider, flying it into the sun.

That was a really well-done moment, with him flying towards the light… then seeing his wife and son, embracing them… then waking up and sending the meteor into the sun, using the solar array to timejump moments into the past, to safety.

The mission is complete. Savage is dead. Permanently this time. 🙂

Rip has a new calling, though. No more Oculus means no more Time Masters, so he intends to watch over time itself on his own. It’s a big job, and he has Thanagarians to deal with if he’s going to save the world. He invites the team to join him. Most accept, thought the Hawks bow out. They’re finally, after four thousand years, free of Savage at long last. Now they want a peaceful life together, something they’ve never had before. Ray and Kendra end on good terms, but that ship has sailed forever now.

Rip, Sara, Jacks, Stein, Mick, and Ray are ready to board the Waverider again… when another Waverider comes crashing down. From it emerges a man calling himself Rex Tyler of the Justice League of America. He’s come from the future and their future, sent by themselves, especially Mick, to warn them. If they get on the ship and go about their new quest, none of them will survive.

…ok, that’s not at all foreboding, is it?!

grimm_title_cardGrimm

“Beginning of the End”

And for Grimm, we have our last double-header finale of the week.

The situation can be summed up like this: frantic scrambling during the day and open warfare at night.

As Renard is celebrating his victory as the new mayor-elect of Portland, Team Grimm and HW are taking stock of the situation. Hank’s girlfriend provided some intel, including contacts and the name of the man in charge in the area: Bonaparte, the fellow that “persuaded” Adalind to leave Nick and join Renard. It turns out, he’s one of Black Claw’s founders, and information about him is very scarce.

They don’t have much time to absorb the new info before Black Claw sets Hank up supposedly for the deaths of two of their own, the two that Nick killed when they were following him. In trying to get him back, Nick learns that the North Precinct is majorly wesen-populated and controlled by Black Claw. They also all learn about a Black Claw safe house of sorts, having gotten the address from three different sources, which told me it was a trap. When a group as wily and difficult to pin down as Black Claw slips up three times and leads you to their base, the odds are pretty significant that it’s a trap. I was also right when I realized that, when Trubel and Eve joined Nick to rescue Hank, HW’s guard at their base had lightened considerably.

Rescuing Hank went without a hitch, what with a trio of aces taking on two unwary guards who were just Black Claw’s sacrificial pawn. They found Hank’s neighbor, an old lady, dead in the tub. With the guard so light, they realized they’d been tricked, but it was far too late. Black Claw invaded and killed everybody. Renard and Meisner had one final face-off, but it was Bonaparte, a full-fledged zauberbiest who took Meisner down, slowly and painfully, until Renard had enough and delivered a coup de’grace bullet.

Bonaparte, I note, thought very little of compassion, calling it a weakness to the cause. Not surprising, coming from the guy who torments his victims and murders old ladies and recruits traitors.

Renard was a bit revealed too. He says he never chooses a side. That didn’t used to be true, such as when he sided with the Resistance. But that just makes him weak and pliant, easy pickings for Black Claw to turn. When Bonaparte eventually had enough of Nick and tortured Adalind for his home address, Renard did not protect Adalind, he wanted her to bend and break, like himself, instead. Some “protector” he is, eh? Not even lifting a finger to help the woman he claims to love.

But I’ve gotten ahead of myself.

While all the chaos is going on, Diana is intent on having her mommy and daddy be together. She uses dolls to push them together with her powers, making them make out. I admit it was amusing seeing Renard out of sorts like that (“Well… I am the new mayor…”) but Diana gets scarier and scarier. Not only in her powers, but in her complete lack of inhibitions as well. She has no compunctions about killing the people in her way. Like Rachel, whom she uses her own bedsheets to suffocate, and shows it to mommy, smiling like she’s done something good.

…have I mentioned how scary that little girl is?

And here Rachel was thinking it would be easy for her and Diana to get along. Hmm, I wonder if Bonaparte was thinking of putting Rachel in Adalind’s place if things didn’t work out, or if he was just looking to have a smooth-running ship. Either way, not a concern anymore.

The biggest irony is that Rachel had just barely ended things with Renard, so she was taking care to not go after him anyway. Diana murdered her for nothing.

Nick does not react well to the deaths of Meisner and HW’s men. He attacks Renard in his office, for all to see, and gets locked up as a direct result. It’s understandable, as Renard stole his son and killed his comrade and betrayed everything they’ve ever fought together for, but that was not a smart move. All Nick can do now is instruct his friends, who are now the only ones left in the region to oppose Black Claw, to rally, take what they can carry, hide everything they can’t, and go to ground. They can come rescue him when they’ve pulled themselves together a bit, and that does not happen a moment too soon.

Elsewhere, Monroe has been barely keeping his nerve of late. He wasn’t there to protect Rosalee from her old boyfriend and now Black Claw is watching, invading, and dominating their lives. He drives of their watchers once, but they come back the next night. Unfortunately for said watchers, that’s the night Black Claw killed off HW and Meisner, and when Eve and Trubel came for Monroe and Rosalee had some anger to unleash. Eve blew them apart from the inside out. But Rosalee and Monroe finally had some closure with Tony, when they had Monroe do the interrogating to get the address Black Claw had been holding Hank. After crap hits the fan, though, and the team knows they’re not safe anywhere in public anymore, Monroe and Rosalee have to pack up and hide as many of their more critical things as they can. Especially the Grimm genealogy book.

It turns out, that is what Bonaparte and Black Claw are after. They want to recruit as many of them to their side as possible, to be their executioners when any wesen step out of line, but whether they join or not, Black Claw wants to know who they are and where to find them.

Nick learns that when Bonaparte has the North Precinct bring Nick to him and interrogates him, using all manner of nightmarish illusion to torment him. Nick doesn’t break, though. As Monroe and Rosalee are packing things up in the handiest hiding spot they have at the moment, Trubel, Eve, Wu, and Hank go in guns blazing and blades swinging. North Precinct is a slaughterhouse by the time their done.

Oh, and Wu seems to just be starting to get a grip on his semi-wesen state, woging to defend himself and kill two officers (in the middle of his own precinct… that could get awkward fairly soon), and nearly going after Hank too, but just managing to stop short.

Unfortunately, Eve finally meets her match in Bonaparte and is mortally wounded in their fight. They can’t take her to a hospital, knowing Black Claw will just find and kill them there, so they take her back to Nick’s place. Desperate, Nick uses the healing stick, and it heals the wounds, but it has some other sort of effect too. The Eve wig falls off, and unless I very much mistake my guess, Juliette has returned, confused, hurting, and in turmoil.

That’s yet to be defined, though, and doesn’t hold much significance to Black Claw invading Nick’s home.

Adalind was tortured into giving up Nick’s address, but she asks Diana to get a message to Nick, which she does, warning him. Apparently, Diana has not caught on to Nick being a potential obstacle to her mommy and daddy being together. I do not like the idea of what might happen when she does.

Forewarned, Nick gets everyone out through the tunnel, then stands his ground to buy them some time. The Fort-Home didn’t turn out much like a fortress after all, but Nick certainly makes a good account of himself. He takes down all of his attackers, and only one is left standing when he supposedly dies. But he had the healing stick in his coat pocket at the time and was healed. Small wonder it’s so powerful and miraculous if it can make a killing machine like Nick virtually immortal, but I can’t help but wonder about that “hazardous, dangerous, perilous” bit that was written on the parchment it came wrapped in.

Even so, Nick still has Bonaparte and Renard to contend with, and Bonaparte does not intend to let him live again. He starts killing him, just as he did with Meisner.

Fortunately, that is the moment when Diana, having learned the Bonaparte hurt her mother, uses her dolls to make father stab Bonaparte through the back, killing him.

…have I mentioned how scary this girl is?!

But it’s still very fortunate timing.

Hank, Wu, Rosalee, and Monroe have all escaped through the sewers, but they’ll be hunted to the ends of the Earth by Black Claw now. HW is dead in the area, and they’re all that’s left, so how are they going to fight the international organization that regularly topples the powers that be and has now assembled in Portland?

Trubel and Eve stay behind to hold the line if need be, and Trubel learns the Eve is “feeling a lot.” Is she Eve or Juliette now, and if she is Juliette, is she still a hexenbiest or did the stick heal her of that too? If she is hexen-Juliette, is she good or bad now?

And what’s going to happen between Nick and Renard now that Renard has apparently killed Bonaparte and saved his life?

…we will find out next season!

…which is going to feel like a long wait! 😉

Oh, and I completely forgot to mention: Rosalee is pregnant. Whoo! She tells Monroe as they’re fleeing for their lives. It’s the single good thing to happen to them all freaking day. 🙂

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