This Week On TV, March 4, 2017

Spoiler Alert!

So, no Gotham, no Agents of Shield, and no Once Upon a Time. The Vampire Diaries ends next week, and Grimm ends a couple weeks after that. My lineup seems to be running a bit thin these days, doesn’t it?

Still, this was a pretty good week, even if there were only three of my shows. Arrow once again delved into the question of what lengths one goes to in the fight against evil. The Vampire Diaries was amazing emotional, with a conclusion that drives us straight towards a series finale where… I really have no idea how they’re going to wrap the whole thing up in one, single episode. And Grimm had an intriguing case, and sort of poked us in the general direction of its own conclusion.

Arrow-logo-header-Season-4Arrow

5.15 “Fighting Fire With Fire”

WHAT?!

I’m not sure what caught me more off-guard, Vigilante not being Adrian Chase, or Adrian Chase being freaking Prometheus!

On a somewhat connected note… did my eyes play tricks on me, or did anyone else suddenly think that this Vigilante might be a woman?

…and, oh my goodness, it just hit me… Oliver’s never had one before, but now he has a reporter girlfriend who has been kidnapped by his arch-nemesis… the Green Arrow has his Lois Lane now. How much do you want to bet they brought Susan onto the show specifically so they’d have a romantic interest for Prometheus to kidnap, since they couldn’t use Felicity for that purpose anymore?

But anyway, I’ve gotten way ahead of myself here.

This episode dealt a lot with the idea of fighting fire with fire, dipping into darkness in order to fight the darkness of the world. How much is too much? How far is too far?

While Ollie is getting impeached in the present, he’s also on trial on the past. He and Anatoly manage to talk their way out of the Mexican stand-off that would most certainly result in their deaths, by demanding the closest thing to a trial that the Bratva do. It’s a desperate move, with no real chance of success, but Ollie sneaks into Kovar’s mansion to steal his computer. That provides the evidence of Gregor’s betrayal of the Bratva, just in the nick of time. A bare majority vote sides with Anatoly against Gregor, who immediately abandons all pretense as everyone on his side opens fire on everyone on Anatoly and Ollie’s side. Instant Bratva civil war in a room.

In the present, everyone is scrambling to save Ollie’s administration and his life. The proceedings aren’t going well, as the coroner and the Captain Pyke both provide testimony incriminating Ollie in the cover-up, and they won’t call on Ollie to allow him to defend himself. It’s looking pretty bad, even without Vigilante gunning for him. They’re able to send him packing the first time Vigilante attacks, and then it’s one enemy vs another when Prometheus attacks Vigilante, overwhelming them and sending them off a roof. It barely slows Vigilante down, though, and the gunner waits for Ollie to step into the open to assassinate him.

Ollie shows supreme trust in his team at this moment. He knows his enemy is there, and he knows Digs, Rene, and Curtis are there too, so he calmly steps out to take his case directly to the public. And his team pulls through, sending Vigilante scurrying again. Say what you will, trust like that takes nerves of steel.

Thea, hoping to protect Ollie, once again delves into the darkness. She destroyed Susan’s career without hesitation, and she doesn’t hesitate now, when she could blackmail a man into doing what she wants. She barely stops herself, though, and then only truly turns back as Ollie pulls her away from the precipice on which she stands. She doesn’t go through with it. And then, having seen herself, she learns that she can’t trust herself with the power and influence she wields. She resigns, choosing to sacrifice her position instead of her humanity.

Felicity didn’t much hesitate either. She does make things right for Susan, anonymously tipping off Susan’s boss that she was innocent, which repairs things between Susan and Ollie, as they can now trust each other again. However, Felicity was Thea’s source of information for blackmail material, and she’s the one arguing that she should be allowed to do questionable things for the greater good. Digs points out that fighting fire with fire comes with the risk of getting burned. Felicity understands this, but then she sees Ollie survive because he had a team looking out for him, and takes that to heart. So, she finally accepts the invitation to join the hacktivists at Helix.

Which… that might not be a good thing for Felicity to be doing, but I still love that they’re finally developing her independently of Ollie and the others again. Arrow really blew it when they tied her up too tightly with Ollie, ya know?

As for Ollie himself, faced with the increasing pressure of the impeachment, he is pushed towards giving the council and the people “a pound of flesh.” His administration could, and likely will, end, and thus ends the good he can do the city as mayor. Adrian Chase offers to resign, take the hit for him, which Ollie refuses. Adrian and Thea both suggest tarnishing Billy Malone’s posthumous reputation instead, a vile act to even consider, and Ollie says no. But something’s gotta give here. Ollie needs to give up someone for the mob to crucify, and while that someone should be Prometheus, that’s not a viable option right now either. So, to save his position as mayor, he sacrifices… himself. He puts the blame for Billy’s death squarely on the Green Arrow’s shoulders, and says he covered it up to protect the city from the Green Arrow’s evident betrayal.

Which is going to make things all the worse. We had a taste of the ACU’s wrath last episode, but now they’ll be after the Green Arrow, and all of his teammates, with a vengeance.

It’s a high price to pay, and it risks everything if even one of them is caught.

And for all this, Ollie’s worst enemy is standing right next to him, striving to throw him into the darkness and destroy him. Adrian Chase… I did not see that one coming!

And to top everything off, Curtis was hoping that he could get Paul to come back to him if he were just a little safer, to which end he developed the T-Spheres. Awesome little gadgets, useful for a number of things and packing a punch as well. But alas, it’s too little, too late. Paul invites him to dinner, and Curtis shows with high hopes of reconciliation… but Paul hands him divorce papers instead. Ouch!

vampirediarieslogoThe Vampire Diaries

8.15 “We’re Planning a June Wedding”

Apparently, I was off just a touch. They didn’t just go back to the original villain, they brought back a pair of characters we said good-bye to way back in the first season. One of them died, so, of course, she reappeared a few times, and the last we saw of her, she was being dragged, screaming, into Cade’s Hell. The other was kicked out by her own son, after her abysmal performance as a mother, and apparently she died and went to Hell too.

So, clearly, I no longer have any clue exactly what criteria is used to determine who goes to Hell and who doesn’t in this world. Georgie didn’t deserve it, but she was killed by a siren, so I figured she was sacrificed. Vicki was a vampire, and was dragged into Hell with the Other Side collapsed, thank you Travelers. Malachi was a siphoning witch with an impressive amount of pain and death to his credit, and absolutely no remorse, so it makes sense for Cade to snatch him. But Matt’s mother? She was just a regular person, died in a tragic fall. How’d she end up in Cade’s clutches?

However that “works,” Katherine once again proves the master puppeteer. The crew decides to draw her out by having Stefan and Caroline get married immediately, and she does not remotely fall for it. Quite the contrary, she sends Matt’s mother in to draw all of her enemies’ attention, which she does with a drunken speech, an explosion, and the ensuing interrogation, while Vicki goes to ring the Founders’ Bell. Clever, dangerous, and hellfire deadly. The episode ends with the cliffhanger of the first ring.

Before that, we have a number of happy, magical moments of bonding between friends and family, mixed in with the plotting against Katherine.

Alaric and Dorian are at the Armory, soon to be Alaric’s school for the magically-gifted, which, I failed to mention that last week. I rather like that there is something good that can come out of all this, a force for creation and enlightenment. 🙂 But I digress. Alaric and Dorian are working on finding a way to destroy Hell itself – oh, now they think of it! – which I heartily endorse. Not only might it wipe out all of their lingering, back-from-the-dead enemies, Katherine among the rest, but I’m up for anything that frees the likes of Georgie from an undeserved eternity of torment.

While Dorian comes up with the idea of basically setting off a huge psychic blast to disrupt Hell, much like the Other Side was, Alaric is lost in thought. He remembers his own beginning, his entrance into Mystic Falls, and the show, because Damon killed his wife, only to learn that she’d begged to be turned into a vampire instead. He’s had to live with that, and even had to deal with it when he, too, was dead. Eventually, he just lost the energy to hate Damon forever. And, oddly enough, if they hadn’t all suffered those losses together… they’d never have become a family, such as they are.

From the midst of death and loss, life and family. Funny, isn’t it?

While they’re working on the ultimate backup plan, Stefan and Damon collect Katherine’s bones. As Cade’s bones were turned to glass and fashioned into a dagger, they figure Katherine’s new weakness is likely the same thing. They take her bones and hand them off to Matt’s father, so he can turn them into a dagger, which he does, so they can kill Katherine when she shows her face. Which makes not showing her face the smartest thing she can do, and it’s well within her wheelhouse.

What she does instead is show how close she can get undetected, breaking into the Salvatore house and leaving her necklace for Caroline to wear to the wedding, thinking it’s from Stefan, just to mess with them.

And Damon threw in the most impromptu bachelor party ever: just bring out a bottle of liquor and get drunk. Of course, Stefan is a lightweight now that he’s human, so as he passes out on the couch, Damon wrangles Caroline into drinking with him instead. He tries out a bunch of best man speeches, apparently, but tops them with the best yet: a tribute to Caroline’s mother.

Pretty much everyone is talking about the past, which is appropriate when you get to the end of the story. Stefan and Damon talk about all the enemies they’ve faced, and Damon hates Katherine all the more for beginning it all. Stefan sees the good that’s come out of it. Meanwhile, Caroline is feeling all they’ve lost. The night before her wedding, and so many people she loves won’t be there. Not her mother. Not her girls. Not Bonnie. Not Elena. Damon pauses that thought by loaning her Elena’s necklace, so she can have her best friend with her on her wedding day.

I have to admit, Damon can be quite tender and feeling when he means to be.

And then, happily, Bonnie comes anyway, and Alaric works it so the girls have a protection spell around them. That’s more than Caroline thought she could have on her special day, especially with Bonnie unable to attend because of her lingering anger towards Stefan. I have to say, it is a good day when the crazy, homicidal side of Stefan Salvatore is forever dead. But it’s Enzo who pushes Bonnie to go, to stop holding on to the pain out of some fear that it might separate them forever. She listens, and starts moving forward again, just by going to the wedding. And then, dancing with Damon, she has a moment where she’s dancing with Enzo. He’s still there, not gone just because she’s begun to heal.

And then, when Matt’s mother sets off an explosion, with Bonnie and the girls trapped inside, Enzo drives her forward again. The girls are siphoning power from her, enough to hold back the blaze, but they need her to use her magic herself, with them, if they’re going to survive. She hesitates, still thinking she doesn’t have magic, or that using it will part her from Enzo, but he believes exactly the opposite. He believes that they’ll be reunited one day, and that day will be nothing but peace and joy forever. But for now, she needs to let go of him, and save herself. She must live, long and full. So she does. She leads the twins in gathering and directing the fire up and out through the chimney, and nobody dies.

…at least, not until Vicki starts ringing the bell. Bonnie bleeds and collapses, and no doubt the girls are hurting too, and that’s only the first ring.

Matt’s family, among the true original founders of Mystic Falls, has the capacity to destroy it, thanks to the sirens corrupting the bell. Vicki, the first victim on the show whose name we knew, the one of Damon’s victims, and the first of many loved ones to die on the show, is back in the very last two episodes, as an enemy.

I had a moment where, at first, I was incredulous that Vicki would do this to her own brother. But then I remembered, she has a history of selling other people out to save herself, like when she nearly killed Elena. She’s not entirely unlike Katherine in that regard, but on a tamer level, until now. This might be the first time that I’ve seen her throw her own brother under the bus, but she’s been suffering in hellfire for a few years now, and Katherine promises the deliverance of oblivion, or at least that’s what she’s promised her and Matt’s mother. Not that Katherine is at all trustworthy, but Vicki probably just sees this as a them-or-her situation: either she sends Mystic Falls into the inferno, or she goes back there herself. It doesn’t exactly help that everyone there looked down on her, hurt her, or failed to save her.

And I am forced to admit: it fits her character.

Vicki is a perfect prelude to Katherine Pierce.

So… next episode, the grand finale, they need to deal with Vicki, save the town, deal with Katherine, stay alive, destroy Hell, deal with anyone else who might have come back from Hell, save Bonnie, welcome back Elena, and tell us how the story ends.

…they really don’t believe in keeping it simple on this show, do they?

P.S. Couldn’t they have brought back Jeremy? I mean, he was kind of important for six seasons there!

On a completely separate note, about endings, I went back and watched the first episode again. It’s pretty incredible, seeing how so much younger everyone looks. Seeing everyone alive. Seeing Stefan be so enraptured with Elena that he tells Caroline nothing is going to happen between them, and now look: they’re married. Elena, Bonnie, and Caroline were the trio of best friends, and all three fell in love with vampires. Stefan and Damon, being brothers, make Elena and Caroline sisters, and Bonnie, after her repeated romance with Elena’s brother, fell in love with Enzo, a sort of surrogate brother to Damon. Of course, Stefan became human now, and Elena was a vampire, and Caroline is a vampire… and it’s all been quite a ride, and quite a confusing mess of threads, hasn’t it?

grimm_title_cardGrimm

6.09 “Tree People”

That was a fairly interesting case. This week’s freak seems to be a duo of a tree that eats people and a humanoid tree-person who serves it, bringing it the bodies of people who harm the forest, harm nature, in some way.

The first victim was a plain, old, poaching drunkard. I certainly do not endorse such behavior, but I don’t think he deserved the death penalty for it. Fines and prison time, yes. Death, no.

The second victim we saw was an old woman who regularly dumped toxic waste into the middle of the forest, and had been fined many times for it, but kept persisting. At the very least, she should have been forever barred from waste disposal, and served some substantial prison time. What she did was bad for the forest, bad for the animals, and bad for any people who could well have been exposed to the toxic waste. But, again, not deserving of death. Or, if she was, then that is not my call to make.

Plenty of others have disappeared over the years, taken by this walking tree-monster, bound, killed, dragged away, their bodies absorbed into this people-eating tree, which keeps an imprint of their faces, etched in agony, on the bark of its trunk and branches. They all have in common the fact that they did something to hurt nature. However, I don’t think any of them deserved death, and, as is demonstrated, they may not have even been guilty of intentional harm at the time.

Nick, Hank, Wu, and Munroe go out to try and lure out the tree monster. Munroe is on the fence about this, as it seems the creature is only defending its habitat, but Hank is adamant that they can’t let this thing keep hurting people. If it kills a human, it’s going down. Which, again, is not entirely wrong, but not necessarily right either. I mean, if a human is bothering or even hurting an animal, then that animal does what it does: respond with violence. That is nature’s way. Yet, that is a death sentence for the animal. Similarly, if a dog kills a human because its master tells it to, then the dog is not at fault and not necessarily a threat to other humans, and yet they put the dog down anyway.

Whether it’s human or nature putting itself above all else, death is still an extreme response, and a slippery slope.

When the boys try to lure the monster out, they spread this muck that doesn’t do any real harm, just really stinks. And the tree monsters does not come out to play. But when Rosalee comes out with a little something to spike the mixture, do just a little bit of harm, she hits a rock and begins leaking oil, I think. It’s a perfect accident, but it draws the tree-monster’s wrath, and it tries to claim Rosalee for the tree. When the boys get between it and her, it tries to claim all of them, a classic “if you’re in the way, you’re an enemy” move. Nick buries an ax deep in the monster’s chest, though, making it bleed and fall to the ground. And then the tree takes it in.

Nick and the others assume it’s the tree’s next meal, but I imagine it took it in to protect and heal it. So, while Team Grimm gives up, not knowing what else they could do – I mean, they can’t burn it down and trying to cut it down could prove highly hazardous to their health – they walk away, with the tree-monster watching them from within.

Now, in this discussion of creatures defending themselves, their home, and their kind by any means, it’s the accidental nature of Rosalee’s offense against the tree-monster that really decides it for me. She didn’t intend to harm nature, it was an accident, but the tree-monster makes no differentiation between and accident and a deliberate act.

I imagine if any hunters, any that actually have some respect for nature and abide by hunting laws, were to kill a deer the way the poacher did, they’d be next up for the tree’s insides as well. I don’t really like hunting when it’s not necessary for survival, but it’s still a useful skill, and my own step-sister is a hunter. So, what, if she happened to shoot a deer in this monster’s territory, I’m supposed to accept that she’d die for it? Uh, no. Not a chance!

I’m with Munroe on this one: when he sees his pregnant wife targeted because of an accident, then that tree-monster and the tree can both be reduced to ashes for all he cares, and I’m right there with him.

Oh! I know! If they had something explosive, they could have tossed it into the tree when it opened up and blown it to pieces! I like that idea!

Meanwhile, as for the overarching plot and the upcoming finale, Nick and Eve fill the gang in on the monster in the mirror. As the both of them have seen it, the gang can safely dismiss both the possibility of it being a hallucination or being something that’s latched onto only one of them. As they’re discussing what it might be, Nick mentions having seen it in a dream, and Diana interrupts, saying that wasn’t a dream. The grown ups ask what she means, and she’s not sure what the right word is, so she can only describe Nick’s dream as something that’s “not real yet.” It’s something that’s going to happen, “in the other place, through the hole in the mirror.” A detail which freaks everyone out to the point that Munroe suggests using a buddy system so no one looks in a mirror alone, and Rosalee insists on Eve staying with them, not just at the spice shop. And Nick is about to try shaving with Adalind as his buddy when they decide… you know, he doesn’t look too bad with a little stubble, ya know?

Eve and Rosalee know they need to examine the broken mirror a little, though Munroe prefers to leave it be. They don’t get much. The mirror might be special in a way, but not that special. But it apparently bleeds now. So… yeah, they’re keeping it locked up.

Of course, nobody makes the connection that the healing stick of doom might be important here. I mean, it practically brought both Nick and Eve back from the dead, it made Eve draw a bunch of symbols in reflection of the calendar on the cloth it was wrapped in, which foretells of something soon to happen, and now they have a monster in the mirror that only Nick and Eve have seen, and a dream of something soon to happen. Seems reasonable to think that the stick and the monster might be connected in some way, being aligned either with or against each other.

Finally, Renard’s Russian friend is also starting to be afraid of the calendar image he sent her. She advises him to find out, soon, just where Diana saw those symbols. Which should prove an interesting conversation, assuming he actually talks to Nick and Adalind and such.

P.S. I do really hope they bring Trubel back one more time, and I have to say I’m wishing we could see Renard’s mother Elizabeth one more time too, ya know? She had a wicked sense of humor, that one! 🙂

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