Television

Thu
05
Dec

Pep Talk: Riverdale Episode 408, "In Treatment"

Riverdale 408 In Treatment

"In Treatment" is sort of a jumping-on point for new viewers of RIVERDALE. It's a nice bit of catching up done without the crutch of flashbacks or "best of" moments.

The setup is that, given the multiple tragic events in recent days plus the stress of college acceptance -- and rejections -- coming in the mail, the students of Riverdale High could all use counseling. So Principle Honey (KERR SMITH) has asked the school guidance counselor to keep extended hours to meet the students' needs.

Enter Mrs. Burble (GINA TORRES), a licensed psychologist who, at first blush, seems to be the only adult in Riverdale other than Mary Andrews who does not have an ulterior motive or sinister agenda. (This being RIVERDALE of course means that she will be revealed somewhere down the line as being a serial-murdering Satanist vigilante witch.) She has all the major players' numbers, and gets our heroes to confront the issues that have been driving them.

Tue
03
Dec

Catching Up: The Flash Episode 608, "The Last Temptation of Barry Allen, Part 2"

Flash 608

On the eve of the impending Crisis, Central City has its darkest night. Bloodwork (SENDHIL RAMAMURTHY) is making fast work of turning the citizens into mindless zombies -- fast work because he has a fast friend: he's infected Barry Allen (GRANT GUSTIN), aka The Flash.

But all is not lost as Black Lantern Flash... I mean, Dark Flash... helps terrorize the city. Because it turns out, Barry had a plan all along. And while Bloodwork has infected Barry, Barry in turn has infected Bloodwork, able to resist some of the commands and surreptitiously get coded communications to Iris (CANDICE PATTON) and Cisco (CARLOS VALDES), clueing them into just what needs to be done to defeat Bloodwork and save the city. It all hinges on the particle accelerator -- which also figues into Bloodwork's plans for infecting the entire city at once -- and newcomer to the team, Allegra (KAYLA COMPTON) and her radio wave powers.

Tue
26
Nov

Catching Up: The Flash Episode 607, "The Last Temptation of Barry Allen, Part 1"

Flash 607 Last Temptation of Barry Allen Part 1

With only two days before the predicted Crisis hits (that's two weeks for us in audience land), Ralph (HARTLEY SAWYER) finds himself suddenly confronted by Ramsey Rosso (SENDHIL RAMAMURTHY), a battle that takes them diving out a window to the street below. In the ensuing struggle, Ralph becomes infected with Rosso's sentient blood. It takes some fast action -- and some speed healing in order to save his life, thanks to a blood transfusion from The Flash (GRANT GUSTIN).

Thu
21
Nov

Pep Talk: Riverdale Episode 407, "The Ice Storm"

Riverdale 407 The Ice Storm

The town of Riverdale is hunkering down as an ice storm prepars to bear down, just in time for Thanksgiving.

Archie (KJ APA) doesn't want any of the homeless kids who frequent his community center to be left out in the cold on Thanksgiving, so he plans to keep the center open all day (and night), serving a Thanksgiving dinner to everyone who comes. Is it just me, or does Archie tend to make a lot of these plans lately, that always end up relying on Veronica (CAMILA MENDES) -- or rather, Veronica's checkbook -- to make happen?

Wed
20
Nov

Catching Up: The Flash Episode 606, "License to Elongate"

Flash 606 License to Elongate

It's an episode that is, once again, centered on a team member other than the tituler Flash (GRANT GUSTIN) -- and this time, I'm not even complaining.

"License to Elongate" finds Barry preparing to mentor Ralph Dibny (HARTLEY SAWYER) to become the protector of Central City in his absence, planning to do so at a special press conference where Ralph will get a special symbol for his suit. Meanwhile, Ralph has a lead on his missing person's investigation, so Barry decides to tag along. Up until this very point, the Ralph we have seen has been played for laughs -- but tonight, in Ralph's world, we see a very different side of him: competent.

Tue
19
Nov

All You Need to Know About Super Bowl LIV

Hard Rock Stadium

The Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens will stage the Super Bowl LIV. Photo: AJ Lipp

The countdown is on for the Super Bowl LIV, the 54th Super Bowl and the 50th championship game in the modern-day era of the National Football League (NFL). The location has already been set for Super Bowl LIV, with Florida’s Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens set to celebrate the seventh decade of Super Bowl action. It will be the sixth Super Bowl staged in Miami Gardens, with Super Bowl XLIV the last time it was staged in this region of South Florida.

Mon
18
Nov

Female Fury: Batwoman Episode 107, "Tell Me The Truth"

Batwoman 107 Tell Me The Truth

Oh, BATWOMAN writers at the CW, why have you betrayed me? After weeks of supporting your show in the face of criticism, after numerous declarations that, "No, the show is not like that awful preview trailer, you should really try it," you go and stab me in the back by churning out an episode that is exactly what the critics excoriate the series for.

The episode, "Tell Me The Truth," finds Kate (RUBY ROSE) struggling with what to do about her former lover, Sophie (MEAGAN TANDY), who has revealed she knows Batwoman's secret identity and threatens to go to Kate's daddy and tell on her. What should Kate do? Continue to deny it? Bring Sophie into the circle of trust and hope that she can keep a secret?

Fri
15
Nov

Catch-22 Showcases Absurdities, Atrocities of War

If I'm asked to summarize CATCH-22, the HBO miniseries adapted from the Joseph Heller novel, I would say, "It's M*A*S*H, but earlier and far more tragic."

The setting is World War II, the European theater, where John Yossarian (CHRISTOPHER ABBOT) is a bombardier who goes on missions into enemy territory over northern Italy during the end of the war when the Germans are on the defensive. His goal is to fly the number of missions he's assigned so that he can fulfill his duty and go back home.

Thu
14
Nov

Pep Talk: Riverdale Episode 406, "Hereditary"

Riverdale 406 Hereditary

I know this show is only an hour long -- technically less than that when you subtract the advertisements -- but it feels like the writers squeezed half-a-season's worth of content into "Hereditary," with each character's arc deserving of at least a couple of episodes.

Wed
06
Nov

Chasing the Cherokee Devil, Huck Takes a Cold Shower

Mountain Monsters

At the end of the previous episode, the AIMS Team had done something they had never done before: caught something in one of their elaborate traps. Granted, it wasn't a Bigfoot. In fact, it was just some guy in a black cloak, carrying a torch through the woods.

But the guy must have been David Copperfield, because by the time they got to the trap, all that was there was the torch. The cloaked figure had apparently tossed out some Floo Powder and apparated on them. They open the trap and test the floor, which crumbles at the slightest pressure, which tells them this cloaked figure doesn't touch the ground when he walks.

Confused, bewildered, and bumfuzzled, the team decides to get some advice from Merlin.. or rather, what we get is...

Wed
06
Nov

Catching Up: The Flash Episode 605, "Kiss Kiss Breach Breach"

The Flash 605 Kiss Kiss Breach Breach

As the Crisis looms, Barry (GRANT GUSTIN) has been preparing the members of Team Flash for life without him. And key to doing that is...

...taking a beach vacation with Iris (CANDICE PATTON). Which means it's time for another episode of Everybody But Flash.

Realizing he will have to make difficult decisions as future team leader, Cisco (CARLOS VALDES) had developed the B.A.R.I. -- an AI system that thinks like Barry Allen to help him know the right thing to do. (Because a computer system that knows what The Flash would do in any given situation could never be used for ill intent in the wrong hands.) 

With the focus on Vibe and his new girlfriend, Kamilla (VICTORIA PARK), we learn something new about Cisco: that he hasn't told her he loves her, even though he's sleeping with her. Oh, that, and he's been sleepwalking lately.

Mon
04
Nov

Female Fury: Batwoman Episode 105, "Mine is a Long and Sad Tale"

Batwoman Episode 105

If you haven't been giving BATWOMAN a fair shake, then you've missed out on what is a bone-chilling and disturbing episode, as we get the origin behind the death of Beth Kane -- and her rebirth as Alice. RACHEL SKARSTEN gets a chance to really shine as her character has a clandestine meeting with her sister, Kate Kane (RUBY ROSE), and we are taken back to how Beth survived the car accident -- fished out of the river but then kept captive by a sociopath and his young son with a preternatural gift for vocal mimicry.

The young boy is now a man, of course, and he is the "Mouse" (SAM LITTLEFIELD) that Alice has been looking for, freeing him from Arkham to participate in whatever plan it is she has concocted. They're friends, even though he's partly responsible for her captivity as a child, forced to use his gifts under duress in order to throw Beth's father (DOUGRAY SCOTT) off her trail.

Sat
02
Nov

Warner Brothers' Batman Beyond Collector's Set Ideal Gift for Bat-Fans

Batman Beyond The Complete Series

There have been a few moments in the Batman mythos that have been truly memorable, have truly changed the landscape for the fans. (If you ask Robert Greenberger, there are at least 100 of these, but that's a review for later this week.) 

One such moment came in 1999, when a new animated series took Batman into the near-future; where Bruce Wayne (KEVIN CONROY) is a retired octogenarian, and Terry McGinnis (WILL FRIEDLE) as the latest heir to the mantle, in a New Gotham that has a whole new set of problems.

When we are introduced to the series, Bruce is wearing the jet-black, tricked-out costume. But his age is catching up with him, and his heart isn't holding up. When he finds himself grabbing a dropped gun to defend himself against a common thug, he's horrified at what he's doing, and seals up the Batcave for good.

Thu
31
Oct

Pep Talk: Riverdale Episode 404, "Halloween"

Riverdale 404, "Halloween"

"Halloween" is perhaps the spookiest episode of RIVERDALE to come down the pike, hitting on just about every urban legend trope and pulling off a number of shot recreations. But before we get into all that, can I just say that it was worth the past three years to finally get a live-action Pureheart the Powerful and The Shield? Who wants to see these characters make a split-second cameo appearance in CW's upcoming CRISIS ON INFINITE EARTHS? Show of hands?

Wed
30
Oct

Mountain Monsters Team Discovers Doors to Nowhere Chasing Coyote King

Mountain Monsters 606 Coyote King

When we last saw the team, they were chasing the Cherokee Death Cat, and had come upon a barn with a giant grapevine wreath, that must have cost at least $200 at Hobby Lobby, framing the entrance to a door stenciled with the visage of the Death Cat. The door is free standing -- like it just grew up out of the ground, they note. As they investigate this structure, off in the weeds, they spot a little girl. And so the team does what they seem to repeatedly do best: they chase a little girl through the woods in the dark. Honestly, people are going to start to talk.

She runs off as Buck and Jeff give chase, while Huck goes around the back of the barn to investigate a noise. Much growling is heard, and when they get close to the girl, she stops -- back to them -- and points off into the distance with a bloody arm. Then, another growl, and while they're distracted, she disappears.

Wed
30
Oct

Catching Up: The Flash Episode 604, "There Will Be Blood"

The Flash 604 There Will Be Blood

In tonight's Halloween episode, the title is "There Will Be Blood" and there's a bio-restorative formula at play. What an opportunity to get an cameo from Swamp Thing that we... don't get. But, moving onward.

Flash (GRANT GUSTIN) is still resigned to the fact that he is fated to die in the upcoming Crisis in order for the universe to survive. In the previous episode, Flash tried to prepare the team for his inevitable passing by taking Killer Frost (DANIELLE PANABAKER) under his wing to teach her to be a better hero. This week, he decides to spend some one-on-one time with Cisco Ramon (CARLOS VALDES), the former Vibe, because he's picked him to be the team leader when he's gone. Which, I suppose, will be Team Frozen Stretch, without the speedster around.

Mon
28
Oct

Female Fury: Batwoman Episode 104, "Who Are You?"

Batwoman 104 Who Are You

The story of Alice (RACHEL SKARSTEN) deepens as Kate (RUBY ROSE) learns just what it means personally to take on the mantle of the bat.

Gotham City has a new supervillain problem -- a catburglar who likes to steal shiny objects. No, it's not Selina Kyle. It's Magpie (RACHEL MATTHEWS), a thief with a bird-motif, who steals expensive baubles and uses small grenades as her getaway weapon. In the comics, Magpie was a bit deeper than that -- her psychosis caused her to leave something in trade for the objects she stole, which would explode when moved. After a string of robberies -- one in which she escapes Batwoman, whose miss of a returning batarang causes expensive collateral damage -- Magpie sets her sights on a special piece of jewelry: the pearls worn by Martha Wayne the night she was murdered. Visually, they're not much of a display, but historically they carry a provenance special to Gothamites.

Thu
24
Oct

Pep Talk: Riverdale Episode 403, "Dog Day Afternoon"

Riverdale 403, Dog Day Afternoon

Things take a turn for the seriously weird in this episode of RIVERDALE. But there are enough mundane troubles to maintain a balance of sorts. For instance, there's the issue of Archie (KJ APA) wanting to turn the boxing gym into a community center. A crime-ridden town like Riverdale desperately needs something like that to keep any Artful Dodger from conscripting urchins into a becoming a gang of thieves. (This actually happens in the show -- and the guy's name is actually Dodger.) Veronica (CAMILA MENDES) offers to help raise the money, suggesting the buff boys hold a car wash. It makes cash, but not nearly enough to get the building up to code for being what it needs to be.

Thu
24
Oct

Catching Up: The Flash Episode 603, "Dead Man Running"

Dead Man Running

With the Crisis bearing down on them in less than ten weeks, Team Flash has moved from grief to acceptance -- particularly Barry (GRANT GUSTIN) who has yet to tell the team what he knows of the future -- that he has to die in the Crisis.

And the Crisis has taken on its own identity as well, losing the "the" in front of it, and simply being called "Crisis" -- which sounds a bit odd and all proper-nouny when heard spoken about prior to its occurrence by those who are going to experience it.

To prepare the team to work without him, Flash decides he has to train them better, starting with Killer Frost (DANIELLE PANABAKER). But her anger gets in the way as the pair hunt down an angry zombie named Romero (thought we wouldn't notice that naming convenience, didn't you, @FlashTVWriters?), and Flash realizes he's going to have to find a way to cool down the ice queen's hot temper before she can be an effective hero.

Mon
21
Oct

Female Fury: Batwoman Episode 103, "Down Down Down"

Batwoman 103 Down Down Down CW

The more Kate (RUBY ROSE) operates in the Bat-suit, the more Gotham City wants to see Batman fully reappear -- and that includes those who would like to see the Dark Knight dead.

Among those in that latter category are Tommy Elliott (GABRIEL MANN), who has the added advantage of knowing that Batman is actually Bruce Wayne. Kate catches him in the Wayne executive board room, looking for Bruce, fully believing that Bruce has returned because Batman has returned. Later, when Luke Fox (CAMRUS JOHNSON) informs Kate that there's been a break-in of the Bat-arsenal, we learn that Bruce developed a weapon capable of penetrating the bulletproof Bat-suit -- a contingency plan in case someone ever got their hands on it. And, Bruce being Bruce, he had contingency plans for the contingency plan.

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