Television

Wed
23
Nov

Catching Up: The Flash, Episode 307, "Killer Frost"

The Flash 307 -- Danielle Panabaker as Killer Frost

Before we pick up with last week's cliffhanger, I've got to say that Director Kevin Smith really knows how to get emotion out of his actors. This episode of THE FLASH blows away everything this season, not just because of story but because of the way the characters come across. More on that as we progress.

Thu
17
Nov

Legends of Tomorrow, Episode 206, "Outlaw Country"

Legends of Tomorrow - Jonah Hex

An errant time pirate in Liberty Colorado in 1874 results in future tracking technology falling into the hands of one Quentin Turnbull (JEFF FAHEY), allowing him not only to begin mining of a very rare mineral, but allows him to use that mineral to prevent westward expansion, effectively creating his own country.

Naturally, this causes a time aberration, which gets picked up by the device on the Waverider that Ray (BRANDON ROUTH) has lovingly named "the Trouble Alert," providing a distraction for Nate (NICK ZANO) who has been tasked with researching the connection between the amulets the team has prevented from falling into the hands of Damien Darhk -- items that, according to all the records, shouldn't exist.

Thu
17
Nov

Nocking Point: Arrow, Episode 507, "Vigilante"

Arrow Episode 507, Vigilante

There's a new vigilante in Star City, and he plays for keeps, dropping off bodies at the local police station and marking them with a 'V'. This is the Vigilante I've been waiting for this season, and I am curious as to how the writers are going to handle him. After all, he kills and the Green Arrow (STEPHEN AMELL) doesn't. Anymore. He's really sorry about those past murders he committed as The Hood and later The Arrow, but he's making up for it now without serving any time.

Wed
16
Nov

Catching Up: The Flash, Episode 306, "Shade"

The Flash Episode 306, "Shade"

While there was certainly a bad guy to be caught in THE FLASH last night, there wasn't much focus put on him. In fact, once apprehended, Shade (MIKE MCLEOD) didn't even get a speaking part, let alone an origin story.

The story instead focused more on the changing dynamics within Team Flash, such as the secret Caitlin (DANIELLE PANABAKER) is keeping regarding her developing cold powers, and the dreams Wally (KEIYNAN LONSDALE) is having about being Kid Flash.

Tue
15
Nov

Taking Flight: SUPERGIRL 206 "Changing"

This week's episode of SUPERGIRL explores a very deep topic about discovering the truth behind feelings that were purposely suppressed out of fear. Also, an energy sucking parasite.

***SPOILERS AHEAD***

We start off with a team of scientists doing work on climate change when they discover a dead wolf with an unusual lesion. As it's investigated a parasitic creature infects the lead scientist. The DEO finds him alive and after some questioning, Hank reluctantly lets him go to continue his research.

It isn't long until we discover that the parasite is slowly taking over.

Fri
11
Nov

History Notes: Legends of Tomorrow, Episode 205, "Compromised"

Legends of Tomorrow 205, Compromised

It's back to the 80s for the LEGENDS OF TOMORROW team, replete with more nostalgia than you could stuff into a pair of parachute pants.

We open with our long-lived villain, Damien Darhk (NEAL MCDONOUGH) engaging in a drug deal in exchange for an artifact, an ancient fasces. (No clues were dropped that I could find as to whether this was a DC Comics Easter egg, as the Isis amulet was recently). Darhk is doing Don Johnson better than Don Johnson did, and when the police arrive he's prepared. But then he's rescued by a speeding Eobard Thawne (MATT LETSCHER), whom Darhk has not seen since 1942 when Thawne hired him to nuke New York City. Of course, for the time-traveling Thawne, it was just moments ago. Thawne reveals that he knows Darhk's future, and reveals part of the plan we saw come together in ARROW, and he offers Darhk actual power rather than symbols of it.

Thu
10
Nov

Nocking Point: Arrow, Episode 506, "So It Begins"

Arrow 506, So It Begins

I've got to truly hope that the ending of this episode is an obvious mislead. The alternative would be terribly, terribly disappointing.

The entirety of the present-day focus of "So It Begins" is on Prometheus, the new big bad in town who has it out for Green Arrow [STEPHEN AMELL]. As Oliver and Diggle (DAVID RAMSEY) track him, Oliver is adamant with Felicity (EMILY BETT RICKARDS) that he does not want the new recruits brought into this investigation until the threat level has been assessed. And apparently the threat level is pretty high, because Prometheus is a master of killing people with ninja throwing stars, and has now begun killing seemingly random civilians.

Tue
08
Nov

Taking Flight: Supergirl Episode 205, "Crossfire"

Supergirl Episode 205 - Crossfire

After the Alien Amnesty has been pretty much accepted, there comes even more reason for people to distrust aliens--their technology.

"Crossfire" begins with Kara (our Best TV Actress of 2015 Winner, MELISSA BENOIST) trying her best to acclimate a naive Mon-El (CHRIS WOOD) to life among human beings. She's gotten him a job at CATCO under the name of plain old Mike Matthews. She's even given him glasses to complete the look, just in case he ever decides to put on a cape. Unfortunately, Mon-El must have skipped his Orientation to Earth Culture training, because he's unfamiliar with everything, like telephones and especially work. Throughout the episode, Kara catches him unloading his work onto the twitterpated executive assistant Eve Tesmacher (ANDREA BROOKS), or canoodling in the supply room.

Fri
04
Nov

History Notes: Legends of Tomorrow Episode 204, "Abominations"

Legends of Tomorrow Episode 204, Abominations

The promos for this episode of LEGENDS OF TOMORROW were geared toward it being Halloween week. Thus, the focus was on the zombies that got created during the U.S. Civil War when a time-pirate crashes there with a bioweapon.

But the really intense story here wasn't the involvement of Sara (CAITY LOTZ) and Nate (NICK ZANO) assisting General Ulysses S. Grant (JOHN CHURCHILL) against confederate zombies (oh where oh where is Selena Rosen when I need her?), nor is it in the drama that finds Ray (BRANDON ROUTH) and Martin (VICTOR GARBER) trapped aboard the Waverider with a zombified Mick (DOMINIC PURCELL).

Thu
03
Nov

Nocking Point: Arrow Episode 505, "Human Target"

Arrow Episode 505 Human Target

I didn't have to read a synopsis to know that this week was going to expand the DCW television universe just a tiny bit more. "Human Target" just had to be a reference to DC Comics' own victim-for-hire, Christopher Chance, aka The Human Target. And I'm happy to say that I was right, with the character played by WIL TRAVAL (ONCE UPON A TIME, JESSICA JONES). (Fun fact: The Human Target has had two previous incarnations in television -- once in 1992 played by RICK SPRINGFIELD and again as recently as 2011 played by MARK VALLEY.)

Wed
02
Nov

Catching Up: The Flash Episode 305, "Monster"

The Flash Ep 305 - Monster

The title of this episode is "Monster," but where it may directly apply is something that is up in the air throughout most of the show. Certainly it could be most aptly refer to the 3-story kaiju that's mysteriously appearing and disappearing in the streets of Central City. But as the episode progresses, there are a few more opportunities where the title could merit application -- or narrowly miss it.

First potential monster: H.R. Wells (TOM CAVANAGH)

Sun
30
Oct

Nocking Point: ARROW Episode 504, "Penance"

Ragman, Mister Terrific, Artemis and Wild Dog
There is an age old saying that a well oiled machine runs smoothly. Its pretty clear that the new Team Arrow is not familiar with the quote!

In Oliver’s desire to have his old team back together he has agreed to allow others to join him in his crusade, but it doesn’t seem to being going so well. I struggle with the new team dynamic, as the original one grew organically. Each member came aboard one at a time, in a manner that fell into place. They each had a legitimate background to help the viewer believe that they could hold the mantle they portrayed.

Fri
28
Oct

History Notes: Legends of Tomorrow Episode 203, "Shogun"

Meet Citizen Steel

Nate Heywood (NICK ZANO) gets to test his mettle against fourteenth century samurais in this third episode of LEGENDS OF TOMORROW's sophomore season. After having been injected with the Nazi super-serum that Ray (BRANDON ROUTH) modified to save his life, Nate finds that he can convert his body to living steel -- but he hasn't quite figured out how to force the change to happen. So training begins, which causes both Ray and Nate to be ejected through the side of the Waverider, landing them in feudal Japan.

Oh yeah, and somehow Vixen (MAISIE RICHARDSON-SELLERS) snuck on board, taking the Legends down as she comes across them because she thinks one of them is the time-traveler mentioned by a dying Hourman.

Wed
26
Oct

Taking Flight: SUPERGIRL Ep 203 "Welcome to Earth"

Now that Superman has made his way back to Metropolis, how will SUPERGIRL move forward? Based on this week's episode "Welcome to Earth", it's clear that playtime is over.

***Spoilers Ahead***

This episode touted the appearance of the wonderful Linda Carter, as the President of the United States of America. Seeking equality for aliens who want refuge on Earth (particularly America), she was set to sign a bill into law that would grant them amnesty.

Hmmm...sounds like a well-timed storyline, seemlessly integrated into SUPERGIRL, for the election season.

Wed
26
Oct

Catching Up: The Flash Episode 304, "The New Rogues"

Jesse Quick and The Flash prepare to take on "The New Rogues"

Before I get into this episode, I need to address something really important: the obligatory episode introduction. I get that Barry (GRANT GUSTIN) needs to bring the viewers up to speed (pun half-intended), but can they please get him to re-shoot this? Because the current one has him sounding so over-the-top when if finishes. "I am... The Flasssshhhh! It sounds like he's making fun of his own name. It's very off-putting.

Fri
21
Oct

History Notes: Legends of Tomorrow Episode 202, "The Justice Society of America"

Legends of Tomorrow Episode 202, The Justice Society of America

At the end of our last episode, our heroes had become disperse, reunited, and ended up in 1942 to save New York from being hit by the Nazis with an atomic bomb, courtesy of Damien Darhk and Eobard Thawne (MATT LETSCHER), aka the Reverse-Flash, a time-traveling speedster from the 25th century. And when the dust had settled, the Legends team was confronted by a secret military force known as the Justice Society of America.

Picking up where we left off, the team's newest member, historian Nate Heywood (NICK ZANO) recognizes the JSA from his studies, particularly Commander Steel (MATTHEW MACCAULL). We later learn that this is because Steel is Heywood's grandfather, and Heywood still wears his grandfather's dogtags around his neck.

Thu
20
Oct

Nocking Point: Arrow Episode 503, "A Matter of Trust"

Arrow Episode 503 A Matter of Trust

ARROW fans, are you ready?

Beloved readers of Critical Blast, are you ready?

Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, fans of all ages...are you ready to rummmmmmmmbllllllle?

Yes, I'm stealing from Michael Buffer, and why shouldn't I? This is the episode for the fans who cross the borders of ARROW and World Wrestling Entertainment. This is the episode where Stardust -- aka Cody Runnels, aka CODY RHODES -- enters the Arrowverse.

Wed
19
Oct

Catching Up: The Flash Episode 303, "Magenta"

The Flash Episode 303, "Magenta"

Episode 303 of THE FLASH introduces us to another new character, Magenta, because she flashes things with a purple color. No wait, that's not right. She affects metallic objects like a magnet, so they call her Magneta. No, that's not right either.

You can see why Frankie Kane a.k.a. Magenta is not one of my favorite characters in DC canon. She comes across like a dyslexic Magneto (who thankfully isn't called Magento). Frankie (JOEY KING) is a foster child living in an abusive home. When we first meet her, the father comes home from work in what we assume to be a typically disgruntled mood. In fact, the scene is almost a direct lift from CONSTANTINE Episode 102. Having had all she can, Frankie's dissociative personality, Magenta, takes over, and pulls in a lamp post from outside the house to beat her foster father into the hospital.

Tue
18
Oct

Taking Flight: SUPERGIRL Ep 202 "Last Children of Krypton"

If you thought this season of SUPERGIRL was going to suddenly move slower than a speeding bullet, you were wrong. Monday night's episode was full of changes that demonstrated a willingness to adapt to their new location.

That location is The CW.

I know we're beating a dead horse here but it's crucial to be reminded that SUPERGIRL's inaugural season began on CBS. And while it started strong and ratings remained good enough to warrant a second season, moving to The CW was a point of concern to some level.

Fri
14
Oct

History Notes: Legends of Tomorrow Episode 201, "Out of Time"

Legends of Tomorrow, Out of Time

The CW superhero show LEGENDS OF TOMORROW started out last season with potential that was, largely, unrealized. The fact that it didn't end its season with an alert from Gideo about time changes being wrought by The Flash (see "Flashpoint") seemed to be an obvious connection that should have been made, but instead we fluttered through time tracking Vandal Savage.

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