Friday, August 01, 2014

Batman: The Animated Series - Episodes 46-50 Reviews

Now that I seem to be over the halfway point with this series and onto my 10th blog, there's another slew of interesting episodes to cover, including the start of a beautiful friendship between two Rogue Gallery members.

Episode 46: The Laughing Fish

I think the most shocking thing about this episode was the Joker cheekily countering that he was an Irishman when someone said 'great Scot'. Of course, this episode was based on a certain comic and it's certainly an interesting adaptation with the Joker wanting credit for some smiling fish and going to his usual gassy lengths in order to get the credit. The surprises in the episode was Bullock actually finding the Joker's hideout before Batman did, Harley's ongoing discomfort at fish (poor girl really suffered in this one) and of course that ending where it looked like the Joker might have been eaten by a shark. A fun, fishy tale. 8/10

Episode 47: Harley & Ivy

I know a few blogs back that I said Almost Got 'Im was my favourite episode but this one just might be my second one. We've seen plenty of Rogue Gallery members band together for various reasons but why this episode turned out to be so great was that a genuine friendship was built here with Harley Quinn and Poison Ivy and honestly, both characters became better all because of it. I loved seeing them embark on becoming the new queens of crime, outsmarting both the Joker and Batman at different points in the episode and with the commentary on feminism/female empowerment (Ivy did try to break Harley's fixation on her Puddin'), it was fitting that the ladies downfall came at the behest of Renee Montoya rather than the Caped Crusader or Clown Prince. 10/10.

Episode 48: The Mechanic

When it comes to the Penguin - he's a great character but some of his solo episodes don't quite hit the spot compared to the ones that he's shared with other baddies. Like I've Got Batman In My Basement, this one isn't particularly bad. In fact it actually borrowed some elements from Batman Returns - the brief appearance of the duck boat, gaining control of the Batmobile by threatening mechanic Earl Cooper to do some alterations and holding his daughter Martha hostage but overall, it just wasn't as exciting as previous episodes. I did like seeing the Penguin's new lair and the flashbacks with Earl were nice though. 6/10.

Episode 49: The Man Who Killed Batman

Ah, Sid the squid. Didn't you all know that this seemingly non threatening bloke bumped off the Dark Knight? Well, that was everyone else believed in this episode. The low level thugs suddenly respected him, the Joker realised that without Batman, crime didn't have a punchline and tried to kill Sid while Rupert Thorne believed that the meek low level wannabe criminal wanted in on his drug stash and wasn't best pleased. Of course, Batman turned out not to be dead but the episode ended with Sid's newfound notoriety remaining firmly intact though. 8/10

Episode 50: Zatanna

Zatanna for me is one of those characters that somehow seems more of a natural fit in Metropolis than Gotham city but I have to admit, I actually quite enjoyed seeing her in this episode. The story was simple enough - she got framed for a magic trick involving money that went wrong and both her and Batman teamed up to expose the real culprit. The flashbacks to establish a prior history with both Zatanna and Bruce didn't really seem too needed but they worked well enough and the attraction between the two was played with some subtlety as well. A good episode, not overly magical but definitely had it's charm. 7/10

Next blog I'll focus on Robin's Reckoning, Birds Of A Feather, Blind As A Bat and Day Of The Samurai.

Thursday, July 31, 2014

My Review of True Blood's 7x06: "Karma"

Written And Directed by Angela Robinson

Amber (to Sarah): “You can’t just dye your hair and blow a guru and absolve yourself of all the horrific shit that you have done in your life.”

So, can we keep Amber as a character? I know it’s only been two episodes but if her snarky charm can actually warm Pam’s non-existent heart and she’s able to call Sarah out of her delusional bullshit so eloquently, doesn’t that mean she deserves some place in the last few episodes of the show?

After all, Sarah did at least one decent thing by actually curing her sister, which led to another thing – Sarah drank the antidote? I’d almost say this was a smart thing to do but given that both the Yakuza/Gus Jr and Eric/Pam are after her, then clearly she’s a bigger idiot than previously thought of really.

I’m not entirely surprised that there was going to be a cure for the Hep V virus and I’m actually impressed the writers decided not to make Sookie the cure. However at the same time, I also feel that will be used just so that either only Bill or Eric might make it out of the series alive rather than both of them. The only question will remain as to which one gets to live and which one has to die.

The Hep V virus seems to have hit Bill a lot worse than Eric in this episode. Not only was Sookie an accidental carrier and therefore responsible for Bill’s current predicament but the infection managed to spread even quicker for Bill and his attempts of trying to get his legal affairs in order were a disaster too. It also probably didn’t help that Bill killed the mean lawyer lady who unwisely tried to extort 10 million out of him as well.

As for Jessica – while she may be Bill’s progeny but somehow not recognised as a next of kin legally for his estate, I did like that she reached out to Sookie (though Jason) and even chose not to blame her when the latter admitted that she was a carrier after all. Of course, potentially losing her maker isn’t the only problem that Jessica will have to deal with fairly soon either.

While she and Jason didn’t exactly talk about their night of brief passion, Violet already started making inroads for her revenge scheme against. Thrashing her cubbyhole wasn’t the most effective thing but I’m sure using Adylin and Wade as bait to lure Jason and Jessica for a potential smackdown will be though. I’m not sure what to make of this woman scorned plot with Violet. I guess for now, it’s a damn sight more interesting than other plots we’ve had this season.

As for the weaker storylines this week – did anyone really care about Andy and Holly nearly coming to blows over their kids nearly having sex? I mean Arlene was funny and astute in her peacemaker role but aside from that, it just wasn’t that interesting to watch, though I suppose both Andy and Holly made some fairly good points but either way, I just didn’t care enough for it as a story.

Last but not least – the Tara plot. Where exactly is this going and can it get there a little quicker? I guess if Lafayette is also seeing Tara while on vampire blood, there must be something behind it and Lettie Mae isn’t completely off her rocker after all. Maybe Tara isn’t actually dead or maybe she can be revived. Either way, I don’t want this plotline dragged out any longer than necessary.

Also in “Karma”

Mr Gus Jr might be our antagonist for the remainder of the season. He grudgingly teamed up with Eric and Pam to find and take out Sarah.

Eric (to Pam): “Our first sunrise together.”

I liked seeing Sookie and Jason talk about love but it really shouldn’t have taken the latter this long to realise that he doesn’t even like Violet.

Pam (to Mr Gus Jr): “Don’t you think the machete is a little overkill?”

Nicole (to Sam): “This town is fucking crazy and you are the mayor of crazy.”

Nicole basically wants to leave Bon Temps and Sam seems to be digging in his heels about it. I think I’m on Nicole’s side here.

Arlene: “Well, shit happens, Holly. You clean it up.”

Lafayette: “How many times have you seen God?”
Reverend Daniels: “God doesn’t show himself. You know that.”

James only got one scene in this episode, Willa and Ginger were no shows and Bellefleur Bar & Grill was still a mess until Arlene and Holly cleaned it up.

Holly (to Andy): “I don’t even believe in the word ‘slut’. It shames female sexuality and I’m against that one hundred percent.”

Sookie (to Jason): “We don’t know how much time we’ve got left. It doesn’t seem worth it to spend it with someone you don’t love.”

Standout music: The Lady Band’s “Karma”.

Sarah: “I’m literally a new person.”
Amber: “Your capacity for self denial never ceases to amaze me.”

Chronology: From where the previous episode left off.

A delightful episode, even though the HIV/Hep V parallels are getting a little too on the nose at times. Still though, it does really feel like this final season has actually turned a corner and with four episodes left to go, I’ll be true to the end.

Rating: 8 out of 10

Sense8 Comes To Netflix

Netflix are certainly building up their reputation as a serious distributor of some excellent television. Whether it's the likes House Of Cards, Hemlock Grove or Orange Is The New Black or even dabbling into Marvel territory with the upcoming Daredevil series, they've now turned their attention to something a little more ambitious too.

Sense8, a ten part series by Andy and Lana Wachowski (The Matrix trilogy) and J. Michael Straczynski (Babylon 5) has been described as a "gripping global tale of minds linked and souls hunted" and will be written in the style that audiences of Straczynski are familiar with. With a cast of fourteen members, the show will also be filmed in various locations around the world. Among the cast is former Doctor Who companion, Freema Agyeman in one of the many roles that have not been disclosed yet.

Joining Agyeman are Brian J. Smith (Stargate Universe), Darryl Hannah (Kill Bill Vols 1 & 2, Splash), Naveen Andrews (Lost, Once Upon A Time In Wonderland). The rest of the cast are made of Tuppence Middleton, Aml Ameen, Doona Bae, Max Riemelt, Alfonso Herrera and Erendira Ibarra as well as Jamie Clayton, Miguel Silvestre and Terrence Mann to name a few. None of the characters roles have actually been disclosed as of now.

The series came about as both Andy and Lana Wachowski had a late night discussion about how technology unites and divides people and out of that paradox, the series Sense8 was seemingly created. Straczynski meanwhile has confirmed that he hopes the show will run for at least four or five seasons. Filming back in June 2014 with locations such as Chicago, San Francisco, London, Mumbai, Berlin, Iceland, Seoul, Mexico City and Nairobi being earmarked for locations.

It certainly sounds like an extremely ambitious project and with a wealth of talent on this, I will be surprised if Sense8 isn't one of the most talked about new shows within the next year. Having characters mentally linked to each other is certainly an interesting selling point as well, considering the locations that are being used for the series. This definitely seems like a series I can see myself getting into next year.

Press Release:

Sense8 will be available on Netflix in 2015.

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Back For Janus

And a look at some of the shows I've recently been watching ...

24: Live Another Day: It's been a great half-season return for Kiefer Sutherland's career defining series and while nearly all the baddies were taken out rather quickly, the finale shocker of Audrey being killed off packed something of a punch and with the ending we got for Live Another Day, there's no way FOX can't bring it back for another twelve episode run. The show definitely cannot end on that cliffhanger after all. Plus, it has been some kind of a rating success again for the station and no doubt the DVD set for this will sell immensely.

Devious Maids: The last few episodes have been pretty interesting. It's nice to see that Rosie managed to get Reggie out of Kenny' house and reunited that family, Zoila's love life and friendship with Genevieve continuing to be a highlight and I can certainly sympathise with Carmen not being a kid person but the stuff with Marisol/Nick/Opal, even with the latter blowing her brains out has still dragged out a bit too long and I'm at a point now where I want to see Spence's annoying nephew go away now. Thankfully there's only one more episode to go now.

Orange Is The New Black: This show literally became this year's Breaking Bad, didn't it? It's a good job I was watching it this year because the hype/ads for it was inescapable. As for the remaining six episodes of the second season - some of the best television I've seen with Red and Vee's fight for supremacy intensifying with every episode, some great flashbacks for characters like Rosa and Sister Ingalls (along with the ones for Piper, Alex, Red and Vee), the downfall of Natalie, some great moments with Pennsatucky/Healey, Morello turning a corner, Nicky being awesome, Taystee wising up, the pregnancy plot with Pornstache/Daya/Bennett getting messier, Caputo improving as a character. The only bore of the second half of the season was the Larry/Polly scenes but we might be getting less of them next season if we're lucky.

The Vampire Diaries: I've watched a lot of episodes since my last TV jumble in relation to this series. Because of that, I've seen the fallout of the whole Tessa/Silas/Amara triangle, Bonnie becoming a link to two world, Katherine having to suck up to the fact that she's dying (though she has been a help to Stefan and his PTSD) as well as Damon filling Elena in on his past with the Augustine crowd and the introduction of the seemingly interesting, Enzo for good measure. It's certainly been a busy bunch of episodes. I think I'm enjoying this season a little more than the previous one though Caroline needs a little more to do given that her relationship with Jesse went nowhere and Tyler can't be arsed to even attend college.

Utopia: Possibly one of the craziest things to air on UK television at the moment is back for it's second run of episodes and while two thirds of it's second series has run, it's been interesting yet again. Okay, I still find Ian, Becky and Grant somewhat tedious at times as characters but the 1970s flashback opening episode with Rose Leslie playing a younger version of Millner has been one of the best episodes of television this year and in the current day, Millner has still been her delightfully ruthless self, corrupting Wilson all the more as she pushes for the virus to be released. Of course, Jessica similarly has been a delight too with her escape from captivity and her standoff with Millner in the latest episode. With ratings being terrible though, it'll be a miracle if this show gets a third run of episodes but here's hoping Channel 4 are feeling generous though.

- Claire Holt has joined the cast of NBC mini-series, Aquarius as a series regular. She'll play Officer Charmaine Tully.
- Elena Satine will play the slightly unhinged Louise in the upcoming fourth season of Revenge.
- Simon Kassianides will play right hand Bakshi, Reed Diamond will play Daniel Whitehall, Nick Blood will play Lance Hunter while Lucy Lawless will be playing Isabel Hartley in Agents Of SHIELD.
- Kyra Sedgwick will be appearing in the second season of Brooklyn Nine-Nine as Deputy Chief Madeline Wuntch.
- Kelly Frye will play Plastique in The Flash while JR Ramirez will be playing Ted 'Wildcat' Grant in parent series, Arrow.
- John Rhys-Davies and Tyler Jacob Moore will be appearing in Once Upon A Time, taking on the roles of Pabbie and Prince Hans respectively.
- Blair Brown will be appearing in the third season of Orange Is The New Black. Her role has not yet been disclosed.
- Lea Michele will be appearing in the final season of Sons Of Anarchy. Her character will be a single mother/waitress named Gertie.
- Fargo's second season will air for UK viewers again on Channel 4 in 2015.
- Gillian Anderson may become a regular for Hannibal's third season. A contract is rumoured to be negotiated for the actress.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

True Blood - Comic-Con 2014

It's been a staple at Comic-Con since it's debut in 2008 but after seven years/seasons, the cast and crew of True Blood descended on San Diego one last time to reveal what else is left for the series with it's final five episodes. Well, technically four as Karma has just aired and I'll watch/review it later in the week.

- According to showrunner, Brian Buckner this season had to be about Sookie/Bill and this will factor big time into the final episodes.
- It was tough to kill off big characters such as Alcide and Tara.
- There will be a bit more focus on romance and the characters will be landed in a place where Buckner hopes viewers will be okay with not getting them anymore.
- Kristin Bauer Van Straten admitted she cried '96 times' when filming her last scene with Alexander Skarsgard.

- While Tara was the first major death of the final season, we still have not seen Rutina Wesley's final scene yet.
-Sarah Palin actually turned down a guest spot for the show, which Bauer addressed. There's something of a history with those two it seems.
- Anna Camp's Sarah Newlin/Crabtree will have a major part to play with the Hep V plotline as the recent trailer for the second half of the final season revealed.
- Paquin admitted that she thought Charlaine Harris's ending for her character in the books made sense, in terms of whom Sookie ended up with. Buckner then joked about having to do a rewrite.

Comic-Con Spoilers:
Comic-Con Trailer:

True Blood's seventh and final season continues to air on HBO Sundays at 9pm and FOXUK Mondays at 9pm.

American Horror Story - Comic-Con 2014

Continuing with the Comic-Con themed posts, the cast and crew of American Horror Story showed up at the San Diego event over the weekend and spoilers for the upcoming season were finally revealed.

Spoilers that included a few confirmations from the call sheet that was leaked a week ago ...

- Jessica Lange will be playing German ex-pat/freak show head, Elsa Mars while Kathy Bates will be Ethel Darling along with Evan Peters as her son, Jimmy and Sarah Paulson as conjoined twins, Bette and Dot.
- However, it seems that Michael Chiklis will be playing a strongman named Wendell dell Toledo with Angela Bassett as his wife, Desiree Dupree. His character is also the estranged husband of Kathy Bates's character as well.
- Emma Roberts however will be playing a character named Maggie. Denis O'Hare is also back too.
- The action will be set in 1950's Jupiter, Florida.

- Finn Wittrock (All My Children) has been cast but his role has not been disclosed yet.
- However, John Carroll Lynch will be playing the core villain of the piece, who will scare the shit out of people according to producer/writer, Tim Minear. He'll be playing a twisted clown.
- Tim Minear has described the tone of Freak Show as “Douglas Sirk meets Zodiac.”

It's not a huge amount of information but it's certainly something to go on and with the series due to return in the next two months, be prepared for the usual onslaught of cryptic teasers and promos in the weeks leading up to this particular Freak Show.

Comic-Con Spoilers:

American Horror Story: Freak Show will air on FX and FOXUK from October.

Monday, July 28, 2014

Gotham/Batman V. Superman: Dawn Of Justice - Comic-Con 2014

I decided to merge both Gotham and Batman V. Superman: Dawn Of Justice together as their panels revealed some rather interesting stuff over the weekend.

First of all, let's talk about Gotham. For it's panel seven of the main cast members showed up along with Bruno Heller and Danny Cannon to divulge more on the upcoming series, including a screening for the pilot episode, which went down a storm with attendant on Saturday.

- When asked about combining the show with Constantine, Heller replied with a 'never say never' answer.
- Robin Lord Taylor admitting that he was "stepping into something amazing" in relation to playing Oswald Cobblepot.
- Jada Pinkett Smith enthused about working with Danny Cannon in order to create her character, Fish Mooney.
- Heller talked about the DC origin stories being his favourite thing about the universe, notably the death of the Waynes.

- Geoff Johns described Camren Bicondova as a "little Michelle Pfeiffer". To be fair, who hasn't over the last several months.
- Johns also said of Robin Lord Taylor that he "has the most brilliant interpretation of the Penguin".
- Another trailer for the series aired during the panel with clips for the second episode clearly added into the mix.
- Watch out for mentions of another famous city gangster and Arkham Asylum in the trailer.

Meanwhile when it comes to Batman V. Superman: Dawn Of Justice ...

Prior to Comic-Con a clearer image of Ben Affleck in his Batman costume was released and I have to admit, it looks a damn sight better than what we got back in May. Of course, this wasn't the only reveal for the upcoming movie that we got during the weekend.

After months of waiting, we also finally got to see Gal Gadot in her Wonder Woman costume and to be fair, it's a nice costume. It also however looks like she's channelling Xena: Warrior Princess, which isn't strictly a bad thing as such either. Along with several cast members at the event during the weekend, a trailer for Batman V. Superman: Dawn Of Justice was released exclusive to attendant there. It will be a while before we get to see it no doubt.

Gotham Comic-Con Spoilers:
Gotham Movie Trailer:

Gotham airs Mondays 8pm on FOX from September 22nd with a UK broadcaster yet to be announced while Batman V. Superman: Dawn Of Justice will be released in cinemas from May 6th 2016.

The Flash - Comic Con 2014

I've decided that there will be a few more of these Comic-Con themed blogs to post and this one will focus on upcoming Arrow spin-off, The Flash.

With the cast in attendance and the panel on the Saturday of the weekend event, some interesting spoilers (including a viewing of the first episode, which went down a storm) emerged. These included ...

- Discussion of The Flash/Arrow crossover event due to air later in the year. This does genuinely sound exciting. One of the crossover episodes will be called Flash Vs. Arrow.
- Grodd will be seen. The cage wasn't there by mistake, according to producers.
- There's a reason to why Mark Mardon isn't the Weather Wizard in the opening episode. He is of course, Clyde but the producers teased that it would be a spoiler as to why.
- This will be a lighter show than parent series, Arrow.

- Two gay characters will be appearing in the series on a recurring basis. The first one has been revealed to be David Singh, who will be played by Patrick Sabongui. The second one will appear later in the season.
- Gustin mentioned the Rogues - Captain Cold and Reverse Flash appearing in the series but didn't say anything we didn't already know.
- Felicity will be showing up in Central City.
- Grant Gustin said of Barry, “He’s a very genuine character that I love playing. He’s easy to relate to because he’s so genuine.”

To be honest we didn't get a whole lot of spoilers from the panel but the reception for the series does seem promising and I personally cannot wait for the crossover event with both Arrow and The Flash as well.

Comic-Con Trailer:
Comic-Con Spoilers:

The Flash airs Wednesdays at 8pm on the CW from October 8th. A UK broadcaster has yet to be confirmed.

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Arrow - Comic-Con 2014

I was going to merge Arrow with The Flash but it seems that the latter hasn't had their panel yet, so for now here are the highlights of what we can all expect for the upcoming third season on the CW.

From the panel, attended by cast and crew we learned the following things ...

- Arrow is the CW's most watched show for a second year in a row. Hardly surprising when you think about it, considering it's the channel's best show at the moment.
- Fans of Olicity will be delighted to know that the third season will be dealing with the character's feelings for each other, including a date scene with the two of them.
- Sarah will be reappearing in Starling City and Ray Palmer/The Atom will be looking into buying into Oliver's company as well. Ras Al Ghul will also be coming to Starling City as well.
- The flashback action this season will be in Hong Kong and viewers can expect to see Tommy Merlyn to return in the second season during one of the flashbacks.
- Malcolm Merlyn, according to John Barrowman will be going for the emotional side in order to try and control Thea.
- The season will also explore the price of Oliver's victory as well.

- Entertainment Weekly released a cast shot of Colton Haynes's Roy Harper in his full Arsenal gear, which is something we also see in the trailer released during the panel.
- Expect a lot of dramatic tension for Diggle according to David Ramsay. Both Diggle and Oliver are seen at odds with each other in the trailer.
- Season 3 will eventually show us what happened after Thea got into the limo with Malcolm in the second season finale. Thea will be backpacking in Europe for a bit in the new season.
- Expect an episode called Oracle in the new season, which may delve into Felicity's backstory.
- Going from the new trailer, Oliver and Laurel may be business partners this season as well.
- Episode 8 of both Arrow and The Flash's current seasons will be a two hour event.

Arrow Comic-Con Spoilers:
Season 3 Trailer:

Arrow's third season airs Wednesdays 8pm from October 8th on the CW and will return to Sky1 shortly afterwards.

Game Of Thrones - Comic-Con 2014

I won't be doing as many of these Comic-Con themed blogs this year (though expect ones for American Horror Story, True Blood, Arrow/The Flash and Gotham/Batman V Superman: Dawn Of Justice over the next few days) but when it comes to Game Of Thrones, well once again, it was a panel where plenty happened, including the announcement of several new cast members for the upcoming fifth season.

On the hour long panel with the majority of the cast, along with writer George RR Martin and executive producers, David Benioff and D.B. Weiss, the highlights were ...

- Benioff talked about wanting to do a 13 episode series (something which Martin had been recently vocal about) but due to the schedules, this was impossible.
- Maisie Williams admitted that Arya sees herself as "no-one" when asked about her character changing her identity.
- Sophie Turner admitted it was devastating to see both Sansa and Tyrion seperated as they had a genuine bond and looked out for each other. She also seemed delighted with being able to show Sansa's more manipulative side during the fourth season as well.
- The issue of seeing more male nudity was brought up with the cast agreeing that there should be more for equality. Hopefully the next season delivers on that then.
- Natalie Dormer talked about Margaery not needing weapons and appreciating the violence of the series. She described it as naturalistic and disturbing.
- The show sometimes has run into trouble with locations due to conservative opposition, including losing one by someone who didn't want their land to be associated with "Porn of Thrones'.

However the highlight of the panel was a certain announcement ...

With Dorne set to be a big factor into Season 5 and Spain being used as a filming location for the place, the panel announced the casting (and recasting with one character) of nine major players for the next season. These are ...

- Jonathan Pryce as High Sparrow with Alexander Siddig as Doran.
- Keisha Castle-Hughes as Obara, Jessica Henwick as Nymeria, Rosabell Laurenti Sellers as Tyene Sand.
- Toby Sebastian as Trystane, Nell Tiger Free as Myrcella, DeObia Oparei as Areo, and Enzo Cilenti as Yezzan.

Now let's see how many of these newcomers survive the fifth season and make it into the sixth season, shall we?

And a look of the cover for the fourth season on DVD ...

Game Of Thrones Comic Con Panel Rundown:

Game Of Thrones fifth season is currently being filmed in various locations and will air on HBO and SkyAtlantic in Spring 2015. Season 4 will be released on DVD from February 17th 2015.

Friday, July 25, 2014

Batman: The Animated Series - Episodes 41-45 Reviews

My ninth blog covering this series and with the selection of episodes I'm highlighting here, there's the debut of three Rogue gallery members, a rather subversive-ish adventure for a certain Clown Prince as well as a follow up to one of my less favourite stories.

Episode 41: If You're So Smart, Why Aren't You Rich?

I'm actually impressed it took almost halfway through the series lifespan to actually introduce Edward Nygma/the Riddler and with the excellent John Glover (Lionel Luther from Smallville/Jason Woodrue in Batman & Robin) voicing him as a former employee out for revenge on scheming boss, Daniel Mockridge with a series of life and death puzzles in a maze, this was certainly a memorable debut for the character. What I liked about this episode is that while the Riddler didn't actually succeed in killing his former boss, his actions certain put the frighteners on him and it was a great episode for displaying both Batman and Robin's ingenuity as they embarked on the Minotaur game. 9/10

Episode 42: Joker's Wild

The idea of the Joker as a patsy was a plotline I didn't actually expect this series to attempt but with scheming casino boss Cameron Kaiser setting up a certain business venture as an affront to the Clown Prince of crime, we got to see an interesting side to the Joker here. I really enjoyed him trying to find another way of dealing with Kaiser before his escape from Arkham became short lived once again. Speaking of Arkham, even for the Joker that was a ridiculously easy escape. At this rate, I'm actually surprised anyone is still there given how lousy security seems to be there. Also as a last point, I love the rivalry set up here between the Joker and Poison Ivy at the beginning and end of this episode along with two other Rogue cameos. 8/10

Episode 43: His Silicon Soul

I mentioned in my last review that I wasn't particularly fond of two parter, Heart Of Steel, so I wasn't exactly chomping at the bit for a follow up on that story but this one was actually okay enough. Having a robotic Batman trying to accomplish HARDAC's goals from the previous story while at the same time being bound by a moral compass was fairly gripping and there was some nice fight scenes with the real Batman and his robot imposter and I quite liked the final scene. Better than expected really. 7/10

Episode 44: Off Balance

This episode must be something of a record. On one hand we got the introduction of Vertigo (soon to be seen on Arrow), voiced by Michael York and then on the other hand we were introduced to Talia Al Ghul (Helen Slater) and briefly her father, Ras Al Ghul (David Warner) while dealing with a sonic device from Wayne Enterprises with devastating consequences. The cat and mouse antics with Batman and Talia were fun to watch and the set up for a future encounter with the deadly father/daughter is something that cannot come soon enough. I also love that the most of the episode was also out of Gotham as well and there was some lovely trippy sequences, courtesy of Vertigo's abilities. 9/10

Episode 45: What Is Reality?

Maybe it's just the order of the episode transmitted but it's a pleasant surprise to get a follow up adventure from the Riddler rather quickly. This episode (despite being a little garish with the red at times) saw Nygma trapping Gordon inside a computer game with Batman competing through a series of challenges to rescue the Commissioner. The games themselves were well thought out and I did enjoy the battle of wits between Batman and the Riddler. I also enjoyed that contrary to the previous episode, this time around the Riddler's wits actually got the better of him with his own virtual reality causing his downfall. 8/10

Next blog I'll focus on The Laughing Fish, Harley & Ivy, The Mechanic, The Man Who Killed Batman and Zatanna.