Constantine – Season 1, Episode 1: Non Est Asylum

     Constantine_Official_Trailer

     Last Friday saw DC Comics’ FOURTH foray into the world of television.  They have crime and science covered, so now it is time to look into the supernatural with Constantine.  Here is the recap/review of “Non Est Asylum.”

At the Ravenscar Asylum in Northern England, we see John Constantine receiving shock therapy, as he introduces himself via voiceover.  Despite how it may look, he is here voluntarily.  During a session with his doctor, they go over an incident where a nine year old girl was murdered.  According to John, a demon took her with it to hell, whereas the doctor believes that John is just projecting to better cope with what he saw.  John then yells at the doctor to make him believe that, since that’s what’s he’s being paid to do.

During group therapy, John is distracted when he sees a line of locusts gathering in the hallway.  He follows them into the hospital’s art room, where a possessed woman is writing something on the wall.  After using his powers to exorcise the demon, John sees what the woman/spirit wrote, “LIV DIE.”  He realizes that being at the hospital is a waste of time, and leaves.

In Atlanta, GA, Liv Aberdine is leaving her job at a rental car company when her car starts to act strange, then finally won’t even start.  Liv walks across the parking lot to phone a friend when suddenly a sink hole appears in the middile of the lot and large blast of fire shoot out from below.  Liv starts to run, but is stopped by an old taxicab.  John Constantine emerges and wants to help.  Liv, scared out her mind, doesn’t listen and threatens to call the police.  Before she leaves, John gives her his card.

John climbs down into the sink hole to investigate and he is visited by an angel, Manny.  Manny tells John he may not be ready to face a demon, being “out of the game” for so long.  He says he can help John with what’s coming, but leaves before John can get more answers out of him.

Liv is given a ride home by a neighbor, and they go into their respective apartments.  A man sneaks up to Liv’s door and carves a symbol into it, and he also paints another symbol on the floor.  Later that night, something attempts to enter Liv’s apartment, but is deterred by the symbols.  It then enter’s her neighbor’s apartment instead.  Later that night, Liv wakes up to the sound of the police.  Her neighbor has been murdered.  Soon after, the medical examiner is taking the body away, the body attacks him, possessed by a spirit.

The next day, Liv is dropped off at work by the police, Constantine waiting for her.  He introduces Chas, the cab driver and the man who put the protection spells on her door, which saved her life from whatever killed Liv’s neighbor.  John also reveals that he knew Liv’s father, Jasper Winters, and has been asked to keep Liv safe.  He gives her a present from Jasper, but before she can open it, the medical examiner truck crashes through Liv’s work.  The possessed neighbor is driving, in another attempt to kill Liv.  In all the confusion, Liv is able to slip away.

Liv confronts her mother about the true identity of her father.  Her mother has no idea what is going on, but Liv isn’t listening anymore.  She opened the gift from her father, a necklace.  Once she touched it, she was able to see her dead grandmother brushing her mother’s hair.  Scared, Liv drives away only to be stopped by Constantine yet again.  He is able to explain to her that she has the gift to see into the afterlife, and her father’s necklace is what gives her the ability to focus that gift.

Driving is Chaz’ cab, Liv is doing her best to get more information about her father when they are attacked by the demon again.  The cab crashes into a telephone pole, and John is thrown from the car, knocked unconscious.  He then has a vision of the young girl, Astra, he failed to save.  She is once again being drug into hell by a demon.  He wakes up just in time to get Liv to safety, but Chas is killed by an electric cable before he can get clear.

Constantine takes Liv to her father’s old cabin, which holds in its basement the “Batcave” of the occult, holding many old relics and texts.  It is here that John is able to determine the name of the demon chasing them, Furcifer.  It’s a demon that harnesses electricty as a source of power, hence its abilty to control the powerlines that killed Chaz.  Liv also learns she has the power of “scrying,” which enables her to point out on a map where an evil occurance will take place.  John then comes up with a plan to stop the demon, but it requires Liv to be bait.

John heads to Ivy University to talk to someone, but not before having another run in with Manny, who implies to John that their still may be a chance to save his soul, which was damned to hell for losing Astra.

John visits an old “friend,” Ritchie, who was also there the night Astra was taken.  He is taking all sorts of drugs to cope with what he saw.  he is not pleased when John asks his help to stop Furcifer.  It takes blackmail to get him to agree.

Liv is waiting for John back at the cabin, and sees her father in a mirror.  John returns with dinner, and explains that the mirror holds reflections of the past.  Things are wonky in this cabin according to him.  That is made 100% clear when Chas enters and starts cooking dinner, very much alive.

Bribing a security guard, Constantine takes Liv to the roof of a skyscraper to set the trab for Furcifer.  While they are waiting, Liv gets John to reveal how his mother died during childbirth, and how his father always blamed him for her death.  He started studying the occult as a teenager to find a way to bring his mother back.  They are interrrputed by the security guard, who is now possessed by the demon.

They are able to lure the demon into the trap, but to mess with John’s head, he takes John’s form.  The demon also brings forth Astra’s spirit.  In exchange for the demon’s freedom, it will sent Astra’s soul free.  Before John can agree, Liv uses her father’s necklace to see that this “Astra” is a fake, to which John sends both demons back to hell.

Ritchie, who hacked in and turned off all the city’s electrical girds to de-power furcifer, is giving Liv a ride home.  He explains what happened with Astra.  She was possessed by a demon back in England, and John thought the best way to defeat it was to conjure a more powerful demon to take it away.  Instead, this demon, Nergal, killed Astra and took her soul instead.  As they are driving, Liv notices they are driving past one of the streets her scrying indicated earlier.  She gets out to see a young boy lying on the ground, savagely murdered.

John is at a local bar when Chas comes in and hand him Jasper’s necklace.  John’s plan worked, and he was able to scare Liv off, saving her from this life.  Chas also shows him a map of the U.S., which Liv scryed, with multiple locations all across the country.  Chas says that if John really wants to make for what happened to Astra, this is a good way to start.  After another meeting with Manny, John begins his mission.  Somewhere unknown, a woman is also aware of John’s mission, her whole apartment filled with paintings of him…

IMPORTANT NOTES:

  • A lot of Easter Eggs in Jasper’s cabin, including the Helmet of Fate
  • Ivy University is where Ray Palmer was a professor.  Does this mean Constantine, Arrow, and Flash are in the same universe?  Hmm.

GRADE: B

Pretty good pilot episode for a character I don’t really know a whole lot about.  I’ve read comics here and there, but not where I’ve done the research.  The only thing I can do is make comparisions to the movie.  From what I DO know about the comic, this version is much more faithful.  I can definitely see people making Supernatural comparisions, so I hope they are able to set a direction that makes this show its own.

YOUR FACE

Donnie (@dtrain1813)

Photo Credit:

http://cdn.wegotthiscovered.com/wp-content/uploads/Constantine_Official_Trailer.jpg”

Arrow – Season 3, Episode 3: Corto Maltese

   Arrow-AirunGarky-3x01-02

     It’s finally time for Thea to come home.  We find out what she has been doing the past five months, and what possible repercussions can arise from it.  Here is the recap/review of “Corto Maltese.”

Six months ago, Thea gets into Malcolm’s limosuine.  He says she can pick where ever she wants to go.  She can tell he wants to get out of Starling City just as much as she does.  He asks her why she decided to go with him.  She doesn’t want to feel the pain she is feeling anymore, and she knows he can help her with it.

In present day, Arrow is chasing someone through the streets of Starling City.  Finally catching him, Arrow interrogates the man about what happened on the rooftop the night Sara died.  His fingerprints were found on a shard of glass.  The man swears that he was just up on the roof drinking with friends, and Sara scared them off, so they didn’t see anything.  Frustrated, Arrow heads back to the Foundry.

Oliver is doing his best to deal with the fact that the trail for Sara’s killer has finally gone cold.  Felicity is able to give some good news for a change.  She was able to track down Thea, who is currently on the island of Corto Maltese.  Oliver and Roy decide it’s time to go get her.

John is putting Sara to bed, when Lila asks why he’s not with the team.  He tells her that Oliver and Roy are headed to Corto Maltese, and Lila convinces him to go with them.  She has an agent, Mark Shaw, who has been M.I.A. for sometime, and wants John to check in on him.  John agrees.

Laurel enters a gym to to talk to Ted Grant, a boxing instructor, about one of his students.  The student is a suspect is a robbery the night before.  Grant covers for the kid, saying that everyone has been dealt a bad hand once in awhile, and deserves some help.  Laurel becomes angered that he would cover for some “punk kid,” but Grant can tell she’s angry about something else.  Before walking away, he gives her a pamphlet to the gym, telling her to call him when she needs to blow off some steam.

Oliver, John, and Roy arrive at their hotel in Corto Maltese.  Oliver has the other two check in, while he goes and searches for Thea alone.  The address he was given leads him to a mansion.  he knocks on the door, but is stopped by a gardener, who takes him to the cafe where Thea works.  On the other side of the door, Malcolm lowers his bow, ready to shoot Oliver should he had entered the house.

In the second flashback, Malcolm and Thea are beginning a tea ceremony.  The tea is said to calm the mind.  Malcolm goes on to explain how he felt as lost as she did after his wife was killed.  When he was training, he learned something, pain is inevitable, but suffering is optional.  He them pours the boiling hot tea over his hand to no reaction.  It is now Thea’s turn to learn the same lesson, and he grabs her hand and begins to pour.

Thea is serving guests at the cafe, and she gives Oliver a big hug when she sees him.  They sit down and have a talk.  He gives her a plane ticket for the return trip home, but to his dismay, she says she is never going back there.

In flashback three, Thea is not able to keep her hand still when Malcolm pours the boiling tea onto it.  She apologizes, and Malcolm take her in his arms.  He know she has strength in her, she just has to find it.

Felcity arrives for her first day working for Ray Palmer, and he is in his office.  He asks about coffee, and after she goes on a long tirade about how she will NOT be getting ANY coffee, Ray has HER new assisant Gerry get them coffee.  Ray then gives Felicity her first assignment, try to recover the Queen Consolidated applied sciences data from the destroyed hard drives them team blew up last year.  He starts to leave, and tells Felicity to enjoy her new office, Oliver’s old one.

Diggle is able to track down Mark Shaw, the missing ARGUS agent.  After a bit of a misunderstanding of an introduction, Shaw tells Diggle he has been laying low because he following up on a case where someone is trying to sell the ARGUS database, holding every agents information, including family members.

Laurel is attending an AA meeting, talking about how angry she has been feeling.  She knows that having a drink will not help with it.  In fact, she doesn’t even WANT one.  She just needs to find something to get rid of it.  Another member of the group then talks about how her boyfriend, who is still drinking, attacked her again.  Laurel talks with her father afterwards, and unfortunately there’s nothing he can do.  “When the cops starting bringing their badges to meetings, the drunks stop coming.”

Diggle and Shaw arrive at the location where the ARGUS sale is supposed to go down, Oliver hiding as back up.  Shaw then turns on Diggle and steals his ARGUS encryption key.  There is a sale going down, only Shaw is the person selling it.  He gets away before Oliver can get there to make the save.

Roy is finally able to talk to Thea himself, and does his best at trying to get her to come home.  She still says no, as she likes the isolation, and the fact that no one there needs to lie to her or “protect her.”  Roy, always wanting Thea to be happy, says that if she wants to stay in Corto Maltese, that she should.  As he leaves, Malcolm comes out from the shadows, having heard the entire conversation.

The flashback picks up with Malcolm holding Thea.  He says he needs to train her as if she was a student, not his daughter.  He elbows her in the face and kicks her to the ground.  “The only way to temper steel is with fire,” he says, kicking her again.  She grabs a sword and holds it to his throat.  She is now ready to begin.

Diggle and Oliver are on video conference with Lila.  She is working on getting the name of Shaw’s buyers.  She tells them sit tight, as Waller has a team coming in.  They don’t think they’ll get there in time, so they begin to make their own plans.

Felicity is working on restoring the Queen Co. hard drives when she gets calls from Diggle AND Laurel.  Diggle needs her to find Shaw, and Laurel needs to locate the abusive boyfriend from the AA meeting.  She is able to juggle all of this, even with Ray in the room with her.

While they are waiting on the intel from Felicity, Oliver decides that it’s time to tell Thea the entire truth.  Diggle tries to calm him down, saying that she will know he has been lying to her face for the past two years.  Oliver doesn’t care.  Lying to her drove her away, and the ENTIRE truth is what’s going to bring her back.

Laurel is waiting outside a dive bar, and watches as the man she asked Felicity to find stumbles out to his car.  Wearing Sara’s jacket, she dons a ski mask and attempts an attack.  The man easily takes her down and takes off in his car, leaving her bleeding and beaten.

Captain Lance visits Laurel in the hospital and is relieved she is okay.  He makes her promise to not try anything like that again.  She’s not Arrow, nor is she Sara.  She promises him.  She says what she did was a mistake.  Not because it was wrong, but because she wasn’t ready.  She looks over at Sara’s jacket sitting by her bedside, lost in thought.

Oliver meets with Thea and says it’s time to tell her the truth.  He starts by telling her what really happened with Robert, how he killed himself so Oliver could survive on the lifeboat.  He says that their parents died so they can live.  She may no longer need him, but he definitely needs her.  He leaves her to think about what he said.

Felicity comes through and John, Oliver, and Roy are able to track Shaw to where he is selling the information.  They buyers arrive, and the team moves in to stop it, Oliver MacGuyering some bows and arrows from items at their hotel.  They stopped suddenly by a group of rent-a-soldiers hired by Shaw to run interference.

The team is able to stop the deal.  Roy takes down the hired guns, while Oliver takes out the buyers and recovers the data.  Diggle catches Shaw, who confesses this was his ticket out of ARGUS.  He says Diggle doesn’t understand the things Waller has made him do.  He begs John to tell Waller that he killed him.  John knocks him out.

Thea tells Malcolm that she is going home with Oliver.  Malcolm questions this, since Oliver has done nothing but lie.  After a brief “fencing” session, Malcolm gives her his blessing, saying he will see her soon.

Thea joins the team at the airport, headed back to the US.  A man accidentally spills his hot coffee on Thea’s hand.  We now know she has passed Malcolm’s tests, as it had no effect on her.

Laurel is waiting for Oliver at Verdant, and says she wants to be able to help people the way Sara did, and begs Oliver to start training her.  Thinking about what would happen to Captain Lance should something happen to her, he refuses.  He says the other reason is because Sara would never forgive her.

Diggle arrives home, just as Lila is leaving.  She jokingly says she must do whatever Amanda Waller asks, but that makes Diggle think about what Shaw said, and tells her to be careful.

At SCPD, Captain Lance walks past a booking officer as she is writing up the man who attacked Laurel.  He had warrants for assault in Coast City, and an “anonymous tip” placed him here.

Ted Grant is working out late at his gym, when Laurel enters, wearing Sara’s jacket.  She is ready to start her training.

Felicty is able to recover the data off the hard drives for Ray.  She then asks for a few days off.  Her friend just woke up from a coma after being struck by lightning, and she wants to visit him.  He lets her go, and Felicity heads for Central City to visit Barry Allen, The Flash.  After she’s gone, he begins looking over the data, blueprints for a series of high grade weaponry, codename: OMAC.

Roy and Oliver are in the Foundry, discussing changes they noticed in Thea.  The conversation is short lived, as they are interuppted by Nyssa, looking for Sara.

IMPORTANT NOTES

  • I like when they go against the norm.  This week the flashback was all about Thea, not Oliver.  What I would like is the intro to be done by the person the flashback covers.
  • The name of Ted Grant’s Gym was Wildcat.
  • Felicity’s assistant was named Gerry Conway.  He is a famous DC writer, who actually CREATED the comic version of Felicty’s character, along with Vibe (Cisco Ramon) and Firestorm (Ronnie Raymond)
  • Even though the story is different, I like how they kept with the mythology that (Dinah) Laurel Lance was always the SECOND Black Canary.  In the comics her mother was the first Canary, and here it was her sister.
  • I felt that the transition from Oliver telling Thea about Robert to Diggle looking through a goofy pair of binoculars fizzled the emotion.  Needed a little better segway.

GRADE: B+

A couple other transitions during the episode didn’t do it for me either, but that’s about it.  Great effort.  I am looking forward to seeing Felicity on Flash,  and the crossover episode is only a few more weeks away!

YOUR FACE

Donnie (@dtrain1813)

Photo Credit:

http://airungarky.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/10/Arrow-AirunGarky-3×01-02.jpg”

Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. – Season 2, Episode 5: A Hen in the Wolf House

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S.H.I.E.L.D. has done it again with another solid episode.  I will admit that there were quite a few things that, even if I didn’t know casting announcement beforehand, I saw coming a mile away.  However, there were a few choices made in this episode that went against the “formulaic norm,” and I was very happy to see that.  Here is the recap/review of “A Hen in the Wolf House.”

The best man at a wedding reception is giving the sterotypical bad toast.  After they sip the champagne, many of the guests, including the best man, fall over dead.  Their bodies are covered in the after effects of touching the Obelisk.  The waiters at the reception take off in an unmarked van and report the results back to Mr. Bakshi.  The guests killed at the wedding were part of an anti-HYDRA government task force.

The team enters Coulson’s office to discuss the murders, and Skye notices him etching out the alien writing on his desk.  When she questions him about it, he talks around the question, and disciplines her when she continues to press the issue.  He tells the team that they need to wait for word from Simmons before being able to take any further action in regards to the murders, and as they leave, May tells him that continuing to keep Skye out of the loop will not end well.

Skye’s father is in his “practice” sewing up a crook who was shot by police.  It seems he pays the bills by providing medical care for people that need a certain amount of “discretion.”  He is interrrupted by Raina, who needs the Obelisk to save herself from David Whitehall.  Skye’s father, who even Bruce Banner would call a little high-strung, says that the Obelisk is the only thing that will make Skye understand who is, and denies her request.  As Raina leaves, distraught, he returns to his work, but the scene ends with the crooks partner making a crack at him.  The ominous music plays as the scene changes, so things will probably not end well.

Simmons and her supervisor are looking at some blood samples when they are called into a meeting with Daniel Whitehall.  He wants to know how they can better synthesize the effects of the Obelisk.  Simmons, doing her best to maintain her cover, tells him that the only real way they will be succuessful is to have Oebelisk itself.  She realizes that this could result in the deaths of possbily billions, much to the delight of her co-workers.

Fitz is still talking to his sub-conscious Simmons, making jokes about how they “respect” Mack’s physique.  She disappears when he finally realizes it may be time to move on from Simmons, even though he still misses her.

Hunter tells Skye she was right to press Coulson, even if it did get her in trouble.  He suggests that maybe he doesn’t tell her anything because he doesn’t KNOW anything.  If she wants Coulson to be more honest, she’ll have to dig deeper.  Hunter tells her to go talk to Ward.

Before discussing the alien writing, Ward tries to talk to Skye about her father.  She completely blows him off when he reveals his source to be Raina.  Getting to the task at hand, Ward describes how Garrett acted after being injected with the GH formula.  He started carving the writing everwhere, and Skye realizes that Coulson is developing the same symptoms.

Raina is about to enter HYDRA headquarters to plead for her life when to her surpise sees Simmons walking out the door.  Intrigued, she followers her to a park where Simmons is eating lunch, as well as leaving an encrypted message for the team to find.

Skye storms into Coulson’s office, demanding the truth.  Coulson confesses, but says there was a good reason she wasn’t told.  They had been monitoring her because since the GH formula didn’t react with her the same why it did Coulson and Garrett.  The thoery is the alien DNA from the formula might already be inside her, i.e. she is an alien.  Before Skye has ANY time to process this infomation, Coulson gets a call from Raina, who wants to meet with him.

Alarms start going off at the HYDRA facility.  Bakshi enters the lab with an angry looking woman.  She holds up the message Simmons sent to SHIELD an announces that there is a mole in HYRDA, and no one is leaving until they find it.  The woman starts to question Simmons, but before she can dig deeper, a guard finds the message tech Simmons used in her supervisor’s things.  Simmons slipped it there during the intial confusion.  As Simmons supervisor is taken away, the security woman gives Simmons another once over before leaving herself.

Coulson meets Raina at a restaurant, while the rest of the team runs surveillance.  When Raina arrives, they discuss the Obelisk.  Coulson wants it, but Raina doesn’t have it.  Raina knows that if she can return Skye to her father, he may be willing to turn over the Obelisk.  She then blackmails Coulson.  Turn Skye over, or she will let HYRDA know of Simmons true identity.

Simmons is in the ladies room trying to calm herself down.  As she exits the stall, the security woman is there, waiting to question her even futher.  She tells Simmons she is going to search her hard drive to see if there is any evidence that Simmon is SHIELD.  She warns Simmons that HYDRA is everywhere.

Back at the restaurant, Raina says that if Coulson doesn’t turn Skye over in 2 minutes, an automatic email with be sent to every HYDRA agent with a picture of Simmons.  She says that she wants to take Syke to meet her father, and starts playing mind games, knowing that Skye is listening in.  It takes May to physically restrain Syke to keep her from falling for it.  Raina waits confidentally, but that confidence turns to fear as Coulson turns down the deal and just stares at her as the 2 minutes expires.

Simmons walks back to her lab, as other HYRDA employees stare her down.  She doesn’t undertand what is going on until she arrives at her computer terminal to see a photo of her sitting in her inbox.  She freezes, not knowing what to do, realizing her cover has been blown.

Bakshi and some HYRDA guards begin to chase Simmons.  She escapes into a hallway only to be stopped by the security woman and two more guards.  As the guards draw their guns, the woman reveals two escrima sticks and takes out the guards with ease.  She grabs Simmons and they take off running, telling her that Coulson has a plan.

Raina seems more desperate, now that Coulson “sacrificed” Simmons.  She tells him everything, about Whitehall, and how Skye’s father has the Obelisk.  Still showing that SHIELD is in control of this situation, Coulson has Hunter tag Raina with a tracker.  If she is willing to cooperate, they MAY be able to get to her in time when Whitehall eventually comes looking for her.

Simmons and the woman, who we now know as SHIELD agent Bobbi Morse (Mockingbird in the comics) fight through HYDRA agents and make their way to the roof.  They jump off directly onto the top of the cloaked Quinjet, piloted by trip.  The Quinjet takes flight, the extraction successful.

Raina leaves the restaurant, after giving Coulson the address to Skye’s father’s practice.  Coulson, May, and Hunter form a plan, until they realize Skye has dissappeared.  She is outside the address Rainia gave, which is only a few blocks away.  She draws her gun, and enters.

It’s too late, as the place has been emptied out.  The rest of the team arrives, and they discover the two crooks from earlier, murdered.  Coulson finds a security camera, and Skye’s father is watching from his car on a tablet.  Skye knows her father did this, and refers to him as a monster.  Her father goes into a rage and takes off in his car.

The Quinjet arrives back at the Playground, and Simmons reunites with the team.  Her last stop is the lab to see Fitz.  Having done his best over the last few weeks to move on from her, the reunion is awkward to say the least.  Coulson makes Bobbi part of the team, much to the chagrin and suprise to Hunter.  Bobbi is the evil ex-wife he has been talking about.  Skye is ready to help Coulson in any way she can, but wants full disclosure going forward.  Coulson agrees, and reveals to her the most recent wall carving he did.  After all this time, he still has no theories.  After a few moments, Skye reveals she has a theory of her own:  The carvings are a map.

Whitehall and Bakshi are clearing out the HYRDA facility, its location discovered.  Suddenly, Skye’s father just walks in with Obelisk, which he calls the Diviner.  He is ready for a good old fashioned super-villain team-up, since they now have a common enemy: Phil Coulson.

IMPORTANT NOTES

  • Kudos for them not having Skye respond “Crystal” when Coulson asks her “is that clear?”
  • Hunter brought up his ex-wife a LOT in the conversation with Skye.  I didn’t notice the foreshadowing until the very end.  Good job.
  • I thought that framing the supervisor was cruel at first, until I remembered his delight towards the idea of killing billions.  Away with you!
  • Coulson was 100% badass with the staredown on Raina.  Excellent job
  • Here’s a BIG theory.  Is Bobbi really HYRDA?  I hope not, but at the same time, they didn’t show the fight between her and Bakshi and the guards.  Bakshi also didn’t seem that injured in the final scene.  I am going to have to keep an eye out.
  • I like how the Fitz/Simmons reunion was left unresolved.  Fitz went through a lot to get past her leaving, now has to deal with her suddenly coming back.  This season, Fitz is an example on how to portay a chacter RIGHT.
  • Last season, Skye would have just gone off on her own and tried to find her father.  It shows how much she has grown and learned.  She was mad at Coulson for keeping her out of the loop, but she knew why he did it, and her trust in him still hasn’t waivered.

GRADE: B+

I am giving it a B+ because of my theory on Bobbi.  I don’t want her to be HYDRA.  However, I find it extremely hard to believe that cutting out a scene where she takes Whitehall’s “No. 1″ head on was a coincidence.  I think we are eventually going to SEE that scene, and I won’t be happy with the results.

YOUR FACE

Donnie (@dtrain1813)

Photo Credit:

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The Flash – Season 1, Episode 3: Things You Can’t Outrun

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Three weeks in and I am still really enjoying the show.  I know many people have said it before, but having a superhero show that doesn’t have a dark tone to it is pretty refreshing in 2014.  I am not saying it shouldn’t go to dark places once in awhile, but I enjoy the fact Flash doesn’t “set its pace” by it.  I just read that Gorilla Grodd will be on the show, so how dark can it really get, anyway?  Here is the recap/review for “Things You Can’t Out Run.”

Barry and Iris are walking out of the movie theatre.  Iris wants to talk about “The Streak,” while Barry does his best to change the subject.  His work is made easy for him when Eddie calls.  While Iris is talking to her boyfriend, Barry get a call of his own from Cisco and Caitlin.  There’s an armed criminal shooting at the police from a car.  Before Iris can finish her call and turn around, Barry races off, puts the criminal in the back of the police car, and gets back in time so Iris didn’t even notice.

Barry and Iris pass an Italian restaurant, where a Central City crime family is having a meeting.  As the head of the family talks about finding the people who have been stealing from them.  One of the waiters locks the men inside the restaurant, and the mobsters are consumed by what seems to be living gas, which poisons and kills them all.

The next day at CCPD, Joe brings a box to Barry’s Lab.  It is filled with all of the evidence from his mother’s murder.  Now that Joe knows the truth, he is ready to help Barry find the real killer.  It will have to be put on hold for a moment, as Eddie comes in to let them know about the killings at the restaurant.

Barry is able to determine that the men were killed by poison gas.  After sending Eddie to canvas for witnesses, Joe and Barry discuss the possibility of a metahuman killer.  The men died at different locations and times, which would indicate the gas was taking them out one by one.  To investigate further, Barry and Joe head to STAR Labs.

Harrison, Caitlin and Cisco are excited with the scientific anomaly they can investigate.  Joe brings up the fact that even if they are able to catch metahumans (He emphasizes CATCH, as not all of them are going to die when they fight Barry), Iron Heights Prison won’t be able to hold them.  Cisco suggests that the containment units within the particle accelerator would have enough strength to hold them.  This causes Caitlin to have what seems like a panic attack.

We flashback to the night of the accident, and we see the tail end of Harrison’s speech (the one Barry left to chase the mugger).  Back in the lab, the STAR labs crew celebrates as the particle accelerator is turned on: Harrison, Cisco, Caitlin, and Caitlin’s fiance, Ronnie Raymond.  Caitlin and Ronnie are discussing honeymoon plans as Harrison opens a bottle of champagne.  Their celebration is short lived.  As Harrison opens the bottle, the champagne floats in the air, much like Barry’s aquarium water did when his mother was killed.  Alarms starts bellowing through the lab.

Caitlin is snapped back from her memory by Harrison, who ready to go down to the accelerator.  Barry, seeing how stressed Caitlin is, offers to take her with him, to help locate the source of the gas.

Barry attempts to give Caitlin a tour of CCPD, but since he’s late for everything, get bombarded with a workload the second they arrive.

Joe is going over the interrogation video of Henry Allen when he is interrupted by Iris.  There is a close call when Eddie arrives and almost blows his and Iris’ cover.  After coming up with an excuse, Eddie tells Iris that they need to tell him the truth, or they may not have a future.

Cisco and Harrison head down to start prepping the particle accelerator, and Cisco starts to have his own flashback to the day of the accident.  As the accelerator is about to explode, Ronnie and Cisco head down to try and shut it down, despite Caitlin’s protests.  Ronnie is the engineer that helped design the shutdown system, so he has to go.  Ronnie enters the accelerator to get to the shut down system, and makes Cisco promise to close the blast doors if he is not back in two minutes.  Cisco reluctantly agrees, and after two minutes, not hearing from Ronnie, he has no choice but to close the doors.  When we return to the present, Harrison asks if he needs to talk, but Cisco pretends he didn’t hear him and continues with the work.

Caitlin and Barry are going over the files of the murder, but find no trace of the poison.  They are confused when they discover that somehow two types of DNA were found in the victim’s lungs.  Barry then has a theory that the killer doesn’t control gas, but can become it. (HA! Gas…)

Barry’s theory is correct.  A Central City judge is getting into a mall elevator, and the killer enters as well.  She is shocked to see him, claiming he should be dead.  Funny she should say that, because he then turns into the poison gas cloud and kills the judge.  Barry and Caitlin hear about the attack over the police ban, and Barry races off to try and help.

The Flash arrives at the mall.  He is unable to save the judge, but sees the killer getting away.  Catching up to him in a back hallway, he attempts to capture him.  However, the killer turns into the cloud again, and this time infects The Flash with poison.

Able to run faster than the poison can react, Flash makes it back to the lab.  They are able to get a sample of the gas out of Barry’s system before his metabolism can burn through it.  Barry passes out from the pain.  Waking up later, he heads to CCPD to talk to Joe about what happened with “The Mist,” as Cisco named him.

Barry talks to Joe about how he wasn’t fast enough to save the judge, but he should have been.  Joe tries to show support, and the subject of Barry’s father comes up.  Barry says he could have him out of that prison is a second, and no one could stop him.  Joe is able to convince him otherwise, that if his father is to be truly free, they have to do things the right way.

Iris visits Eddie at work, and tells him that she is ready to take the next step with him.  She wants their relationship to be serious, and that means telling her father the truth.

Barry apologizes to Caitlin for running off like he did.  She forgives him, revealing the reason it was so hard was because Barry said something very similar to what Ronnie said the night of the accident.  This triggers another flashback.  Caitlin runs to the accelerator, but it is too late.  Ronnie was able to reroute the blast so it goes straight up, saving everyone.  He is trapped, however.  They are able to say their goodbyes as the reaction starts, and Ronnie is “killed” (Please Google “Ronnie Raymond” and you will know why that’s in quotes.  That’s not a big spoiler).

Cisco and Harrison discover that the poison is Hydrogen Cyanide.  The mixture Mist uses also includes a sedative.  This is the same combination prisoners are given when executed via the gas chamber.  They figure out who the Mist is, Kyle Nimbus.  He was a hitman for the mob, before they turned on him.  Having killed them as well as the judge who sentenced him, the only person left on Mist’s list is the arresting officer, Joe.  We then see Joe in Iron Heights, about to visit Henry Allen, as the Mist makes his way there as well.

Through Eddie, Barry finds out where Joe is.  Caitlin is able to synthesize an antidote, and before Barry heads off, they both give the costume a significant glance.

Joe talks with an irate Henry, and lets him know he believes him and will do everything he can to find out who really killed Barry’s mother.  He then begs for Henry’s forgiveness, which he gives because of Joe’s love of Barry.  Their reunion is short lived, as the Mist enters and kills the guard.  He also poisons Joe and escapes through a vent.  Flash arrives and gives Joe the antidote to save his life.  He is almost seen by his father, but vibrates his face, making it indistinguishable before going after Mist.

Flash finds Mist outside of the prison, and without the antidote, has nothing to counteract the effects of the poison.  His best bet is run him ragged.  Since gas is so unstable, Mist will have to reform, otherwise he will dissipate.  After playing “keep-away” long enough, Mist reforms, looking weak.  Flash takes this opportunity and knocks Mist out before he can return to gas form.

The Mist is put into the first cell in the Particle Accelerator containment unit.  The foreshadowing of someone releasing anyone put in there very prevalent.  Cisco is about to tell Caitlin how he was the one that locked Ronnie in the accelerator, Caitlin stops him.  She doesn’t need to hear anymore.  She knows Ronnie is a hero, and that’s all she needs right now.  The foreshadowing of THAT revelation also very prevalent.

Barry visits Henry, telling him Joe is going to be all right.  Henry tells him a story about when he first learned to walk, he ran right into his mother’s arms.  This may be Henry’s way of telling Barry he knows what he can do, without pressuring Barry to say anything himself.

Harrison is in the lab, enjoying a drink and staring at Barry’s costume.  He has a flashback of his own from the night of the accident.  Cisco tells him Ronnie was able to reroute the reaction, Harrison says he is on his way down.  Instead he enters his secret room from the first episode.  He opens a camera that is feeding in from Barry’s lab, as he watches the lightning strike Barry, giving him his powers.

Important Notes:

  • The two movies: Blue Devil II and The Rita Farr Story are references to two DC heroes: Blue Devil and Elasti-Girl
  • Ronnie and Caitlin being called “Fire and Ice” is a reference to the comics, where Firestorm and Killer Frost are enemies.

GRADE: B

While I did enjoy the episode, I had a few issues.  Barry doesn’t need to say “14 years” in every scene.  In this episode he said it to two people in a row.  That’s seemed off to me.  Also, that significant glance Barry and Caitlin gave the suit before he ran to save Joe?  That was too melodramatic, even for the CW.  None of those items took away from the episode as a whole, hence the still pretty good grade.

YOUR FACE

Donnie (@dtrain1813)

Photo Credit:

http://cdn.hitfix.com/photos/5797510/flash-things-you-cant-outrun_article_story_large.jpg”

Gotham – Season 1, Episode 5: Viper

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     A few weeks before its premiere, the CW released this teaser poster for The Flash:

the-flash-teaser-poster

     Someone on Twitter made a joke about how the Flash runs like an idiot (the show is great, by the way, but the joke is still funny).  You know, going back and forth across the street.  THAT is how I feel about Gotham.  The show won’t stop bouncing me back and forth between episodes that really give the show direction, and ones that have me shaking my head.  I will let you decide what I think THIS episode is.  Here is the recap/review of “Viper.”

     Bruce is in the Wayne Manor study, once again going over files about the Arkham Project.  He begins to make one of those “Mob Bulletin Boards” that you see in almost every police show/movie.  Alfred comes in and tries to get Bruce to go outside and take a walk.  Bruce says he will go later, and continues with his obsession.

     Maroni is having lunch at his restaurant, and is arguing with Frankie, one of his lieutenants.  Maroni wants to knock off one of Falcone’s casinos to send him a message.  Despite Frankie’s trepidations, Maroni’s word is final.  All the while, Oswald tends to the restaurant, listening intently.

     A junkie is sitting on a stoop in a part of Gotham (I almost said BAD part of Gotham, but that doesn’t narrow anything down) playing guitar for change.  A man with a mangled ear walks up to him, but rather than give him money, drops a vial into his case.  The junkie picks up the vial and inhales its contents.  The drug takes an unknown effect, but it definitely causes some sort of high.  The junkie heads to a convenience store and starts chugging milk right out of the carton.  The shop owner threatens him with a ball bat, but the drug seems to give the junkie super strength, as he catches the bat mid swing.

     Nearby, Jim and Harvey are grabbing some lunch.  For once, they seem to be having an actual moment of bonding.  That quickly comes to and end when Jim sees Selina Kyle attempt to steal a man’s wallet.  She gives Jim the slip, but the alarm at the convenience store starts ringing, so Jim doesn’t have time to be angry about it.  Jim and Harvey arrive at the store, which is completely trashed.  The owner comes out from his hiding place and relays the story of the junkie going crazy, result in him stealing the stores ATM.  Jim asks if the owner got a licence number.  That’s the weird part.  The junkie didn’t have a car.  He pulled the ATM out with his bare hands.  The scene switches to a side street where the junkie, still with a crazed look on his face, quickly gets away, the ATM hoisted on his back.

     At Mooney’s club, Fish is having Liza memorize and sing an opera song.  She strongly disciplines her when Liza starts getting frustrated with doing this work.  Fish has something big planned and Liza’s part is important.

     At GCPD, Jim and Harvey show Captain Essen the security cam footage of the ATM “removal.”  They found the drug cannister in the junkie’s guitar case.  While Edward is examines the cannister for what the drug is, Jim and Harvey head out to attempt to locate the suspect.

     Falcone holds a short meeting with the families under his control at an abandoned warehouse (This was their second warehouse.  The first one was already booked for a drug deal gone bad).  Nikolai, who couldn’t be more of a Russian Mobster template if you tried, is worried about Maroni’s current actions.  After an argument with Fish, Falcone does his best to make peace among his “employees.”

     After canvassing the neighborhood, Jim and Harvey are able to track the junkie, Benny, down.  He’s a complete mess, covered in empty milk bottles.  He pleads with them to help him find “the man with the mangled ear” so he can get more of the drug.  When they try to arrest him, Benny goes into a rage and almost throws the ATM at them.  I say almost, because Benny’s bones disintegrate and he is crushed by the machine.  Both partners are scared of what might happen if the drug spreads throughout the city.

     That night, as if on queue, we see the man with the mangled ear walking the streets of Gotham, handing out vials of the drug as if they were flyers for Subway.

     Alfred wakes Bruce up, who had fallen asleep still studying files.  Alfred tells him that they are going to a charity luncheon the next day at Wayne Enterprises.  Bruce is pleased, as he has some questions for the board as to how Maroni and Falcone received shares of Arkham.  Still troubled by Bruce’s current direction, Alfred walks off to prepare him breakfast.  Bruce then turns the news on to hear the first news report about the new drug hitting Gotham, Viper.

     GCPD is being overrun with criminals being brought in, high on Viper.  Edward arrives with his report.  The drug grants the user strength and a sense of euphoria for a limited time.  The drug uses calcium to power the user’s body, hence the craving for milk.  Their bones disintegrate before the user can replenish the right amount of calcium.  Only a high tech lab could produce such a drug.  The best in the city belongs to WelZyn, a subsidiary of Wayne Enterprises.

     Maroni is still trying to plan his casino heist when Oswald approaches.  He knows a janitor at the casino and can get Maroni’s crew in with no problem.  Maroni questions how he knows so much, and, still not sure what the plan was here, Oswald, now called Penguin by Maroni, tells him EVERYTHING.  Not surprisingly, Maroni’s reaction to learning of Penguins former employer is to bash Penguin’s head into the table.

     The legal counsel for WelZyn arrives at GCPD and are interviewed by Jim and Harvey.  The deny having anything to do with the drug, but do reveal that they used to employ the man with the mangled ear, Stanley Patalski.  A brilliant scientist, he was let go almost a year ago after attempting to slice his ear off during a disagreement with his supervisor.  After also denying that their facilities were being used, Jim and Harvey promise to get a warrant to search for themselves.  As Harvey goes to get an APB out on Stanley, Jim is approached by Frankie, Maroni’s lieutenant.  Jim is shoved into car and a bag placed over his head.  He’s on his way to a meeting to discuss his “friend” Oswald.

     Jim is taken to Maroni, who forces him to tell everything about the conspiracy.  If Jim , and Penguin’s stories don’t match, they both die.  Lucky for them, they both told Maroni the same thing.  Pleased, Maroni welcomes Penguin back to the family, and sends Jim on his way, letting him know he may be calling on him again.

     Mooney is still training Liza for…something.  This time it’s how to speak.  Every phrase Liza learns is taught to be more mother like.  Mooney is a weird one.

     Harvey questions where Jim has been the last few hours.  Deflecting the question, they start going through the files WelZyn sent regarding Patalski.  Jim finds a picture of him with another man, and determine by the background of the picture that the man is a professor at Gotham University (They’re detectives).

     Jim and Harvey meet with Patalski’s philosophy professor from Gotham U.  Patalski was working on chemical weapons for WelZyn to be sold to the government.  The first try was Viper, being used to kill everyone.  The second batch works, called VENOM.  Having a change of heart, Patalski has Thomas and Martha shut the project down, but with their death, WelZyn started it back up again.  So the professor and Patalski have planned a way to get revenge on everyone involved.  The professor then takes Viper and attacks Jim and Harvey.  Jim is able to shoot the professor, and listening to his dying words, determines Patalski is going to attack the charity luncheon at Wayne Enterprises.

     Bruce and Alfred arrive at the luncheon, as well as Patalski.  Disguised as a waiter, he takes a tank full of Viper on a dolly to the room of the building.

     Bruce confronts Miss Mathis, a woman who worked for her father.  He questions what happened with the Arkham deal, and she tries to avoid the questions.  Suddenly, Patalski breaks into a video feed.  Screaming rhetoric about how WelZyn and Wayne Enterprises need to be taken down, he begins to feed Viper through the air vent.  Jim and Harvey are able to stop him, Patalski inhaling a dose of Viper as a result.  Before leaping to his death, Patalski informs Jim there is a warehouse where proof against WelZyn can be found.

     Jim goes to the warehouse Patalski told him about, and of course found nothing.  As he and Harvey go to leave, Miss Mathis is spying on them from a nearby car.  She advises whoever she is speaking with to leave them alone…for now.  (I did the dramatics on purpose.  Screw you.)

     At Wayne Manor, Bruce continues his research.  Alfred, to Bruce’s pleasant surprise, begins to help.  Alfred lost two of his “family” already.  He is going to help find out who caused the possible death of a third.

     Outside the casino, Penguin is sitting in a car with Maroni.  Penguin’s future depends on the success of the heist.  Since we know that Penguin is one of Batman’s greatest foes, it is unsurprising that the theft goes off without a hitch.

     Nikolai asks Mooney to untie him…from her bed.  They are in cahoots to take down Falcone.

     Falcone is in Gotham park feeding birds when he hears a woman humming opera.  A young girl walks by and he strikes up a conversation with her.  Falcone’s mother used to sing that song all the time.  The episode ends with Falcone and the young lady, Liza is disguise, listening to opera together.  Mooney’s plan is finally reveals.

IMPORTANT NOTES

  • TOO MUCH BRUCE WAYNE.  In the intro to Arrow, Oliver talks about having to become “something else” to save his city.  With all this detective work Bruce is doing, there is nothing to show him that Gotham needs “something else.”
  • “Do not vex me, mortal.” – WHAT?
  • I saw the Fish-Liza training scenes as a somewhat distorted homage to Bruce training Dick to become Robin.
  • “I bet your mother was a lousy cook.” – Good line.  I appreciate a good burn when I hear it.
  • Bruce was watching a Fairbanks movie on TV.  The Mark of Zorro was the movie the Waynes saw the night of the murder.
  • Once again, no riddles from Edward.  This time they showed his complete lack of empathy as the victims of Viper were dying in front of him.
  • I couldn’t tell if Oswald is a “super master mind” or if he just screwed up royally.
  • VENOM!!!!
  • I don’t know about this whole Falcone/Oedipus storyline that started tonight.  I’ll have to reserve judgement.

GRADE: C+

The grade would have been higher if they had less Bruce Wayne.  I DON’T think they are telling his story very well.  I understand that this is a different world, and things are going to happen differently to start his course toward being the Dark Knight.  They just keep giving him storylines that point him in the opposite direction.  The show was picked up for a full season, so I am looking forward to seeing where they take him.

     Photo Credits:

http://cdn.hitfix.com/photos/5798269/gotham-viper_article_story_large.jpg”

http://www.freaksugar.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/08/the-flash-teaser-poster.jpg”

The Walking Dead – Season 5, Episode 2: Strangers

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     When TV shows have a strong premiere, whether is as season or series, one word that gets thrown around the second week is momentum.  Was the show able to take the strength from the previous week and still keep the viewer engaged?  Even though it wasn’t as action packed as “No Sanctuary,” I feel that “Strangers” was definitely a great follow-up.  Here is my recap/review.

With smoke still rising from what is left of Terminus, the group slowly makes their way through the woods, not really sure of their destination yet.  During a rest break, Rick talks with Tara, basically giving his approval for her being part of the group.  They celebrate with a fist bump.  Carol and Tyrese are at a stream getting water, and Tyrese tells her that the rest of the group will accept her back, even after knowing what happened at the prison.  He will not tell them about the girls.  Tyrese wants to forget it, and this is the best way to do that.

As they continue on, a walkers comes out of the woods.  Michonne goes for her sword, but nothing is there, since it was lost back in Terminus.  As she takes the walker out with her gun, Abraham whispers to Rosita, “Right there is why we’re waiting for our moment.”  Not sure if that was to just talk about Washington, or something else (worse).

That night at camp, Rick and Carol are able to talk and make peace with one another.  Later, she is on watch with Darryl, and tells him she doesn’t want to talk about the prison.  They hear a rustling in the woods, and while they can’t see anything, someone walks around in the shadows, watching them.

The next day, Abraham suggests to Rick that it’s time to get out of the woods and back to the road, to which Rick agrees.  Up ahead, Bob and Sasha are playing a game.  Sasha will say something bad about their experience, and he will always try to find the good side to it.

Nearby,  a man is heard screaming.  After some pleading from Carl, Rick and the group save a priest from being attacked by walkers.  After a somewhat awkward and tense introduction, the priest, Gabriel, leads the group back to his church, where he been living ever since everything started.

After doing some recon of the church, the group agrees that it is safe to set up camp there for awhile.  Abraham found a church bus in the back, and said it can be ready in a day or two.  Rick says the group is not going anywhere until they are able to get more supplies.  Gabriel tells them there is a place for supplies in the nearby town, but it is overrun by about a dozen walkers.  Rick decides to check it out with Michonne, Bob, and Sasha, and since he doesn’t trust him, Rick makes Gabriel take them there.  Before they leave, he has a talk with Carl, advising him to always be on his guard.  No matter how safe he may feel, he’s not.  Carl, showing signs of really growing up, tells his dad that they may not be safe, but they are strong, and can handle anything that comes their way.

As they walk into town, Bob asks Rick about Washington.  Rick still doesn’t know if that’s where they should go.  Ever the hopeful one, Bob does his best to convince Rick it’s the right thing to do, and that with Eugene’s “cure,” the world can go back to the way it was.

Carol and Darryl are walking back to the church with some water they gathered.  Darryl tries to convince Carol that it’s time to start over, and to forget the past so they can move on and attempt to be happy.  Carol really wants that.  They find an abandoned car with a generator in the trunk.  They leave it there in case things go south at the church and they need to get away.

Glen, Maggie, and Tara are in another part of the town, looking for ammunition.  At a gunshop, Glen was able to find three silencers.  While not really needed now, I am 100% sure they will come into play by, hmmm, episode 13.  That’s my guess.

Rick’s group arrives at the town food bank, but due to flooding and water damage, the floor holding the food has caved in, and is infested with walkers.  Using shelving as a barricade, the group makes their way down into the sewage infested basement to get their supplies.

They manage to fend off the walkers, but one was “hiding” under the water and almost took out Bob.  Gabriel also panics as a walker heads for him.  Rick saves him, and questions him afterwards as whether or not he new the walker when she was alive.

Walking back with the food, Rick asks Michonne if she misses her sword.  She talks about how she doesn’t really miss “things” anymore.  Just people, like Andrea and Hershel.

Carl is waiting for his dad at the church, and has somethings to show him.  One of the widows looks like it was scratched at with a knife, as if someone was trying to break in.  On the back wall, he finds the words “YOU WILL BURN FOR THIS” etched into it.  They aren’t sure what this means in regards to Gabriel just yet, but it’s definitely something to be concerned about.

That night, the group has their version of “family dinner.”  Abraham gives a speech about how getting to Washington will not only save them, but possibly the world as well.  Rick finally agrees, and they decide that D.C. will be there next stop.  No longer wanting to hide anything, Tara tells Maggie she was originally with the Governor, and how he manipulated her.  Maggie hugs her, stating “you’re with US, now.”  All is forgiven.  Rick approaches Gabriel.  He knows he is hiding something.  Rick doesn’t pry, but if whatever Gabriel hiding ends up hurting his friends, Rick WILL kill him.

Carol is able to get the engine to the getaway car started.  Before she could runaway again, Darryl is able to stop her.  Before they can discuss what she was doing, another car drives by, the same car that too Beth.  Darryl and Carol hop in the getaway car and race after them.

Bob goes outside to relieve himself and finally breaks down.  Days and days of being the positive one, getting THAT close to getting bitten was his breaking point.  He doesn’t have time to recover, as someone knocks him out from behind.

Bob slowly comes to, and is horrified when Gareth is hovering over him.  Gareth goes into this speech about how they don’t WANT to hurt him, but the group left them no choice.  He continues to talk about how the Termites will get each and every one of them, as a montage of the group being happy is shown.  Also shown is Gabriel, looking at an old picture of him with one of his parishioners, the Walker from the food bank.  Gareth tell Bob that even though none of this is personal, they “still have to eat.”  Bob looks down to see that his left leg has been amputated.  As Gareth takes a bit of cooked meat, he is kind enough to let Bob know “he tastes much better than they thought he would.”

Important Notes

  • This episode wasn’t about finding Gabriel.  It was about the complete destruction of Bob.  Act One: He’s always finding the good in every situation.  Act Two: He is almost bitten.  Act Three: He’s been kidnapped, his leg has been amputated, and his captors are eating it.  It was a great character study of what it will take to finally break a person.
  • Carol is still an outcast.  Not in the groups eyes, but her own.  That’s why she was leaving.  Darryl is pretty much the anchor keeping her there.
  • Tyrese still is not a killer.  He was way too quick with agreeing to stay with Judith.  The proof however, was in the last scene, as the Termite he supposedly killed was among the group that took Bob.
  • I STILL can’t tell if that was a blooper or not when Darryl dropped the water jug.  Both of them did a great job of not laughing, so if it was, I agree with the decision to keep it in, as it added a “real moment” to the episode.
  • Carl.  He’s really growing.  He acts as Rick’s advisor, knowing that the group is strong enough to handle anything.  He’s also getting WAY smart.  Deciding to look at the church, finding the scratch marks and etching.  THAT’S some decent detective work.

Opportunities

  • I don’t like Michonne without her sword.  Yeah, she can still fight, but watching her swordplay was visually pretty cool.  I hope she gets it back.  OOOH!  Maybe that’s what the Termites used to cut off Bob’s leg.  Gross and cool at the same time.
  • Gabriel could not have made it MORE obvious he was hiding something.  At least TRY.

GRADE: B

While not the “I’ve come here to kick ass and chew bubble gum, and I’m all out of bubble gum” episode the premier was, “Strangers” did introduce us to a new character, let us know that the Termites aren’t only back, but they they never left, and got us a little closer to finding out what happened to Beth.  Hopefully we’ll get to see her next week.

YOUR FACE

Donnie (@dtrain1813)

Photo Credit:

http://images.amcnetworks.com/amctv.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/10/3845290317001.jpg”

Doctor Who – Season 8, Episode 9: Flatline

     DW1

     As we get closer and closer to the season finale, we finally get a brief glimpse of what’s to come, but not before another adventure.  This time, it’s Clara turn to be the Doctor.  Here is the recap/review of “Flatline.”

A man is talking quietly to the police on the telephone.  He is talking about how “He’s figured it out,” and “They’re all in danger.”  Before he can explain further, the man suddenly disappears, the telephone dangling by its cord.  As the policewoman on the other line is calling out to him, the camera glides over to a wall, revealing that somehow the man has been become part of it.

Clara is packing up her things as the Doctor is taking her back from another of their trips.  He lets her know that she can keep things in the TARDIS, since it has LITERALLY acres of space.  She makes an excuse, having lied to the Doctor about Danny being okay with her travelling with him.  As she goes to leave, both of them are startled to realize the door of the TARDIS has shrunk.  They squeeze outside, and the Police Box exterior has shrunk as well.  The Doctor, excited he has found something he can’t explain, sends Clara off to investigate as he crawls back into the TARDIS.

A group of community service workers are painting over graffiti.  The supervisor is giving a young boy, Rigsy, a hard time, as it’s HIS graffiti they are cleaning.

Inside the TARDIS, the Doctor is scanning all of the instruments, when he feels a slight tremor run through the ship.  He looks over at the door again, and while we can’t see what has happened, the look on the Doctor’s face definitely implies it “can’t be good.”

Clara walks around the town and comes across a memorial and a mural.  She meets Rigsy, who tells her about the people gone missing.

Clara heads back to the TARDIS to discuss with the Doctor about a possible connection.  What she finds is a TARDIS like the one we can get at any Hot Topic.  While the outside is shrinking, the inside is still the same size, so the Doctor is trapped.  He is able to give Clara the Psychic Paper, the Sonic Screwdriver, and an earpiece that also acts as a camera, so the Doctor can see what Clara does.

Clara meets up with Rigsy again, and he takes her to the apartment of the latest victim.  She almost scares him off with the idea that the man was actually shrunk down and may be hiding somewhere in the room.  It takes her introducing him to “Tiny Doctor” to get him to stay.  Alarms suddenly go off in the TARDIS, and a huge amount of energy is being drained from it.  This is Clara and Rigsy’s cue to get out of there.

Clara uses the psychic paper and as an MI-5 agents, gets a policewoman to let her and Rigsy into the apartment of the first victim.  The Doctor chimes in and says that if they are not in the room, the next step is that they are in the walls, and hands her a sledgehammer through the TARDIS.  As she and Rigsy start breaking down the wall, the policewoman, PC Forrest goes into another room to take a call.  Unfortunately for her, whatever they are looking for is in that room and, for lack of better term, sucks her into the floor.  Hearing her scream, Clara and Rigsy enter to find her gone, until they notice a mural on the wall.  The Doctor determines that this mural is Forrest’s nervous system.  Whatever is doing this is taking people and running experiments of them, at the cost of their lives.  The creature begins to swarm Clara and Rigsy, but they are able to escape out a window before being “flattened” themselves.

As Clara and Rigsy are walking back to the rest of Rigsy’s work crew, The Doctor lectures Clara about lying to him, as he just figured out Danny doesn’t know she is still travelling with him.  No time to go into THAT mess, as when they return to the work group, they are starting to paint over the mural.  The Doctor has determined that these creatures are from the second dimension, and are trying to break over into the third.  The Doctor realizes that this mural is actually the missing people.  Clara tries to get the crew out of the tunnel the mural is in, but it doesn’t work, well, until one of the crew members is sucked into the wall and killed.  As the creatures begin to give chase to the group, they head into a subway maintenance building.

Inside the maintenance building, Clara quickly takes charge, much like the Doctor does.  The Doctor has a hopeful theory that the creatures may not understand what they are doing to us, and with Clara’s help begins to communicate with them.  They are able to make contact, but it doesn’t help them as another crew member is killed.  The survivors escape, making their way into the subway tunnels.

In the tunnels, their only escape route has been flattened by the creatures.  Things don’t get much better as the creatures have finally accessed our world and can form 3D shapes, using this new ability to kill yet another crew member.  The Doctor creates a device that can restore the dimensions to the door, and the three remaining people escape.  Clara uses the device to re-flatten the door to the creature can’t follow.  However, another ability they now have is one that restores dimensions, and they are able to follow them.  In the confusion, Clara drops the Tardis down a shaft and it lands on tracks just as a train is coming.  Having no power left, the Doctor does his best Thing impression and drags the TARDIS to safety with his hand.  However, the TARDIS is knocked back against the track.  The Doctor is able to pull a lever just before the train arrives, and now Clara can’t reach him.

In another tunnel, the group sees the creatures coming towards them in the distance, as well as a train heading right towards them from the opposite direction.  Clara uses the sonic to signal the train to stop, and the conductor complies.

The Doctor is still alive, trying to reach Clara.  The TARDIS is now in “Siege” mode, which seems to be some sort of lockdown function.  Because of the power drain from the creatures, there is no way to turn it off, so the Doctor is once again trapped.

Since the train was empty, they decide to use it and ram the creatures as either a last ditch effort to destroy them or at least distract them enough to get away.  Rigsy sneaks onto the train and starts driving it towards the creatures, and Clara saves him just in time, as the train is flattened into the wall.  It looks like it was only a distraction as the creatures start to rise in 3D forms again.  As Rigsy and Clara run, she notices a small box on the tracks.  While it LOOKS like the puzzle box from Hellraiser, Clara is pretty sure it’s the TARDIS.

In an old office, Clara comes up with an idea to stop the creatures.  She has Rigsy paint a door on a old poster she found.  She then puts the poster up so it looks like she flattened it.  The creatures arrive and start to use their power on the “door.”  Since the door never existed, the energy is absorbed into the hidden TARDIS, repowering it and restoring it back to normal size.  The Doctor emerges, and sends the creatures (now known as the Boneless) back to their own dimension.

The TARDIS materializes on the surface, and the survivor’s go their separate ways.  Clara tries to get the Doctor to admit she was good at being the Doctor for a day.  He reluctantly agrees that she was exceptional as the Doctor, but “goodness” had nothing to do with it.  As Clara ponders what the Doctor said, the episode ends and Missy watches the entire exchange, happy with Clara.  She has “chosen well.”

The Good:

  • Clara as “The Doctor.”  She got to use the psychic paper, use the sonic, she even had a companion.
  • The Doctor telling the Boneless that they drove him to destroying them.  He tried to communicate and make peace, but they would have not of it, leading him to put Earth’s protection above all else.
  • The Doctor’s reaction to Clara.  She is becoming more and more like him.  She even has standby excuses to text Danny when he calls.  He needs Clara to be his foil, to give him some humanity when be begins to stray.  If she becomes like him, what will the Doctor in turn become?

Opportunities

  • Why is the only thing that is NOT from the UK when it comes to Doctor Who distance?  When they landed, they were “120 miles” from where they were supposed to be.  I am not well-versed in the conversion, and I am decently smart.  Clara probably doesn’t know it either.  Unless they do two takes, one for BBC and one for BBC America.  Hmmm….

Grade: A

I liked this episode a lot, especially on the second viewing, because it showed a LOT about both the Doctor and Clara without us even realizing it.  The Doctor does do his best to preserve life before having to take it.  Clara is becoming more like the Doctor each day, and that scares him.  And what about Danny?  Clara’s constant lies are going to come to a head sooner than later, and it’s not going to be good.  We also are reminded that Missy is still in the background.  With four episodes left, we’ll be seeing a lot of her.

YOUR FACE

Donnie (@dtrain1813)

Photo Credit:

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