Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Star Trek: Discovery - First Three Castmembers Announced

You wait ages for Star Trek: Discovery news and then all of a sudden, a fair chunk of it finally surfaces. First off all, it seems that Bryan Fuller himself will be taking a backseat from things as Akiva Goldsman takes over the show and then there's also the casting news we've gotten in the last few days.

First of all, Michelle Yeoh. The actress whose credits include Tomorrow Never Dies and Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon will be playing the role of Captain Georgiou, who will be manning the USS Shenzhou. This isn't the first time that the franchise has had a female captain and following Fuller's previous comments about having a female captain, it's nice to have confirmation and Yeoh is terrific casting.

Meanwhile Doug Jones, whose credits include Batman Returns, Hocus Pocus and Buffy The Vampire Slayer to name a few has been cast in the role of Saru. The press release has confirmed that the character is a Science Officer serving as an lieutenant aboard the Discovery as well as the reveal that Saru is a member of a new alien race for the franchise. Given the actor's history of being behind makeup and prosthetic, it'll be interesting what the series has him look like.

Last for now (as more will be cast, including the mysterious Number One character) is Anthony Rapp. The Rent star will be taking on the role of Lieutenant Stamets, a Science Officer specializing in astromycology (the study of fungi in space) and it's also been confirmed that he will be the TV franchise's first gay character, following Star Trek Beyond revealing that John Cho's Sulu had a husband and daughter during the summer.

The upcoming series, set a decade before the events of the original Star Trek television series will feature a new ship, new characters, and new missions, while embracing the same ideology and hope for the future that inspired a generation of dreamers and doers. I'll discuss more casting as it's announced.

Press Release:

Star Trek: Discovery starts filming next month with the series set to premiere on CBS and CBS AllAccess from May 2017.

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

My Review of Gotham's 3x11: "Beware The Green Eyed Monster"

Written by John Stephens
Directed by Danny Cannon

Barbara (to Nygma): "Think about it, Ed. Your brains, their brawn, my me."

Into mid-season finale territory now and this certainly wasn't a dull affair as quite a lot of new things were neatly set up for the second half of the season, including the return of yet another formerly dead character.

First of all though, how much like a future Batman and Catwoman were Bruce and Selina in this episode? Okay, it's hardly the first time they've been like that but this week we saw the both of them along with Alfred and Whisper Guy plan to break into the Court of Owls vault to get the thing they're so bent out of shape about.

It was more of a side plot but actually a lot more interesting even the artifact itself turned out to be an actual glass owl. Then there was Talon bumping off the rest of the Whisper Gang before attempting to kill Alfred, Selina and Bruce. However it seems that this situation was the perfect moment for Selina's mother to be added into the mix with Banshee's Ivana Miličević taking on the role of the mysterious Maria.

Going into the second half of the season, it'll be nice to learn a lot more about Selina's family situation but it also raises the issues as to why Maria would let her teenage daughter live on the streets. I really do hope the series doesn't waste the character and the potential dynamic that's there with Selina and her estranged mother.

Speaking of dynamics, this episode might have torpedoed Nygmobblepot for the time being. Barbara pretty much spelled it out to Edward that Oswald was responsible for Isabella's death and when Nygma realised that the current Mayor was in love with him, it was apparently enough for Edward to indulge Barbara's scheme to become Gotham's underworld supreme. If she succeeds where Fish failed in the first season, I'll be genuinely impressed.

As for the main meat of the story, it was a sort of resolution to Alice Tetch's blood story (or was it?) with Gordon doing his damndest to persuade everyone that Mario was infected with the blood (after Jervis let slip during a brief scene) and everyone else proceeding not to believe, including Leslie who then married him.

Of course, Falcone eventually realised that his son was infected with the blood and let Gordon off to get him with the latter promising not to kill Mario. Of course that promise soon disappeared when Gordon had to save Leslie from being stabbed by her new husband. Leslie wasn't even married a few hours before becoming a widow but either way, Mario might have succeeded in his bid to turn Leslie against Gordon, once and for all.

- The trailer for January episodes have shown that Jerome will be returning or will he?
- Ivy and Barnes sat this episode out. I found Jervis's paper mache hat hilarious. At least we know you can do arts and crafts while at Arkham these days.
- The music for this episode during the Leslie/Mario wedding scenes stood out a bit more than usual. I'm curious as to how many people were there for Leslie though rather than the Falcone family.
- Chronology: From where Time Bomb more or less left off.

Beware The Green Eyed Monster was a solid mid-season finale. Ultimately, there was more set up than pay off with certain plot strands but going into 2017, at least we have plenty of things to look forward to and dissect.

Rating: 8 out of 10

Monday, November 28, 2016

My Review of Class's 1x04: "Co-Owner Of A Lonely Heart"

Written by Patrick Ness
Directed by Philippa Langdale

April (to Ram): "I'm going to get my heart back."

With the previous three episodes all giving Charlie, Ram and Tanya their moments to shine, it was April's turn to get her moment and with this two parter, things are off to a solid enough start. April may be sweet but with the Shadow Kin, she's also given her chance to unleash hell.

The person in particular who got both barrells of April's wrath happened to be her father, Huw, who chose the wrong time to reach out to the family he nearly killed. It seems with this episode we got a bit more on the car accident that left April's mother, Jackie in a wheelchair and seeing April under the Shadow Kin influence try to kill her father twice was certainly something.

In both incidents, Ram was there to hold April back from doing something she'd truly regret but when the episode ended with the Shadow Kin King finally realising where she was, April made the decision to go to the Underneath in order to get her heart back once and for all. Ram of course naturally decided to follow her while April's parents along with Charlie, Matteusz and Tanya didn't have time to do anything to stop either of them.

I have to admit this was a fairly strong episode for April. She seems to be a bit of a perfectionist, character wise and the episode showed her unravel a little while her connection with Ram (despite that horrible Shadow Kin inclusion) came into it's own this week as well. As for the Shadow Kin, at least something is being done with them now.

As for the rest of the episode, I did like Quill meeting the obviously alien/new principal Dorothea Ames (Pooky Quesnel), who seems wildly unpredictable. She certainly managed to make her presence known in a handful of scenes and her offer to remove the Arn from Quill is clearly something the latter will take up in the next few episodes.

- Both Tanya and Matteusz challenged Charlie on his treatment towards Quill. Charlie also tried to get Quill to pose as his guardian for parents/teachers night.
- Quill goes under the name of Andrea according to Ames. Ames is also part of the Governors.
- The killer petals idea has a nice enough subtletly but we also had that planet like things with the Lan Kin from the previous episode.
- Chronology: Not too long since the events of Nightvisiting.

Co-Owner Of A Lonely Heart is a strong enough start to the show's first two part story. I liked the exploration into April's family (though what did she do to her mother?) and getting more information on the Cabinet along with seeing the Shadow Kin world, this was a good one.

Rating: 7 out of 10

Saturday, November 26, 2016

My Review of Class's 1x03: "Nightvisiting"

Written by Patrick Ness
Directed by Ed Bazalgette

Tanya (to Jasper/Lan Kin): "You don't get to have my closure, so how does that taste?"

I have to admit that out of all the main characters, Tanya is arguably the one I've least been interested in but this episode certainly saw something of an upswing as the series delved a little more into her in a nicely character driven episode.

As the previous episode stated, Tanya's father Jasper died two years ago and coming up to his anniversary, she encounters a ghostly version of him who is a little too desperate to reconnect with his grieving child. Naturally, Tanya finds this all a bit suspect and it soon becomes obvious that her father's convenient return is part of this week's alien invasion story.

The race this time being the Lan Kin, who seem to be playing on the 'Nightvisiting' folk myth that April info dumps Ram about. They seek out people who've lost other and target them. With Tanya seeing her father for the duration of this episode, there's also Ram encountering Rachel for a few scenes as well as Charlie getting a brief look at his parents one more time.

More interestingly though was seeing Quill herself encountering a nicer, humanoid looking version of her sister. I like that along with Tanya that Quill wasn't buying into the Lan Kin's attempts of connection for one moment and waited for Charlie and Matteusz to show up so she could use the former to help get some answers about the creature's true motives.

I have to admit, there was some genuinely nice character moments in this one. We had some lovely conversations with Charlie/Matteusz (including a sex scene), an insight into Tanya's relationship with her family as well as the dynamic that Quill has her with her own kin too. I do think the Lan Kin were a little hastily defeated but other than that, the characters moments made up for it though.

- Matteusz has been kicked out by his parents and is now living with Charlie and Quill. This should be interesting to see unfold.
- April is into folk music because of her father and Tanya's mother enjoys swimming.
- The flashbacks of Tanya's family life reminded me of the same thing Russell T. Davies did last year for the Lance episode of Cucumber. It was pretty effective. I also enjoyed the opening song by Jim Moray for this episode as well.
- Chronology: Not long from where The Coach With The Dragon Tattoo left off.

Nightvisiting might have left Coal Hill out of the mix, but it certainly gave the show a little more breathing space. The character moments made the episode, the music was nice and having it primarily set at night made it a little eerie too.

Rating: 8 out of 10

Friday, November 25, 2016

My Review of Class's 1x02: "The Coach With The Dragon Tattoo"

Written by Patrick Ness
Directed by Ed Bazalgette

Ram (to Tanya): "When did you know it was the right time to start talking?"

The difficult second episode. After the opening one that set up the entire premise of the show and quickly linked itself to the Doctor Who universe, this was an episode that wanted to show people it could also stand on it's own two feet without a Time Lord stepping in to save the day. More importantly, it also gave Ram some decent focus too.

Things for Ram since Rachel's death and losing his leg/gaining a new one haven't been especially great. He's losing it on the football field to the derision of his mean spirited but hot Coach Dawson (Ben Peel) and he's also unable to talk to his father about things. He is however able to talk to Tanya while at the same putting up some distance between himself, Charlie and April.

Then there's also the fact that a scaly and scary dragon is looming around Coal Hill and is eating people up. In the first half of this episode, Ram witnessed both another coach and a cleaning lady (whom he bummed a smoke off) getting brutally killed before Charlie, April and Tanya also later witnessed the same thing happen to Mr Armitage while Quill used a robotic inspector for sacrifice too.

I liked the dragon idea and I even liked how it was Ram who effectively saved the day, even though it was his total nihilism and hopelessness resulted in the murder of the coach. Now the coach was a horrible character who seemed to have no problem in keeping the male dragon in line by threatening the female dragon's safety but he was kind of hot though. The CGI for the dragon was pretty decent though.

As for Ram, he's a bit of a dick but not a totally unlikeable one though. I like the rapport both him and Tanya have and he did seem to start to accept Charlie and April towards the end of this one. The scenes with his father were surprisingly effective too. Fady Elsayed definitely is a solid performer, even if the football stuff did slightly bore me.

As for the rest of the episode, the subplot with Quill and the robotic Inspector (Jamie Reid Quarrell) was certainly amusing. Quill should be thankful he wasn't a real school inspector, otherwise she'd never be allowed to teach in any school ever again. As for who the Governors are, well, I guess that's something to look forward to later on in the series.

- Matteusz appeared briefly in one scene during this episode. The Inspector also played Colony Sarff/Veil/Cloister Wrath last year on Doctor Who.
- Charlie's got some pretty cool drawing skills if this episode is anything to go by.
- If you think this episode feels familiar, watch the Buffy the Vampire Slayer episode, Go Fish. You get added Wentworth Miller too. I'm just saying is all.
- Chronology: Not long from where For Tonight We Might Die left off.

The Coach With The Dragon Tattoo had it's moments of gore, it's moments of frank discussion regarding grief and certainly saw the team slowly come together to beat the dragon. The episode wasn't amazing and I do think the show is lacking a little something but it was a solid enough second episode for the show.

Rating: 6 out of 10

Thursday, November 24, 2016

My Review of Class's 1x01: "For Tonight We Might Die"

Written by Patrick Ness
Directed by Ed Bazalgette

The Doctor (to the gang): "Time has looked at your faces and time, time, never forgets."

I know, it's been over a month since BBC3 online dropped this show and between catching up with other series and shaking my head at the overall shoddy promotion for the latest Doctor Who spin-off and reading the mixed comments online, I've finally sat down and properly watched the first episode and you know what, it's not bad.

I think we forget that when Torchwood started off a decade ago when BBC3 was a physical channel, it didn't impress straight away and took a little time to really grab audiences (whereas The Sarah Jane Adventures impressed everyone from the off). Whether or not Class will get that chance remains to be seen but it's certainly a decent set up here.

First of all, you've got the Prince of Rhodia himself, Charlie Smith (Greg Austin) with his enemy turned forced bodyguard and physics teacher Miss Quill (Katherine Kelly) taking refuge on Earth, attending Coal Hill and generally trying to avoid trouble until the Shadow Kin managed to track them down and cause a little mayhem at the prom.

Caught up in the mix of things as well are kind hearted April MacLean (Sophie Hopkins), soccer hunk Ram Singh (Fady Elsayed), brainbox Tanya Adeola (Vivian Oparah) and Polish student Matteusz  Andrzejewski (Jordan Renzo), who was also Charlie's date for the prom itself. All of these kids are given quite the education on monsters from time and space but it's really two of them that suffer the consequences of the new discovery.

Ram himself has to suffer seeing his date Rachel (Anna Shaffer) being butchered in front of him by Shadow Kin leader Corakinus (Paul Marc Davis) while losing his leg (though he's given another one later on in the story) and April finds herself very much linked to the Kin that it forms most of the dilemma for this story as Charlie has reservations about killing her.

Then there's the appearance of the Doctor. With Coal Hill being a tenuous link to the parent show, having Peter Capaldi pop up for a few minutes to help partly resolve the story while informing the rest of the gang why he won't be showing up every week. Capaldi's appearance is nice but a part of me is wondering whether or not it actually helps or hinders the episode and set up for the series in general.

The main characters themselves seem like a decent bunch. Miss Quill probably stands out the most and seems a little amoral, while the rapport between her and Charlie has all the potential to really boil over throughout the series, especially with that cabinet in the mix as well. Ram and Tanya also have some good moments and their 'secret' friendship is kind of nice while April kind of feels like the sort of person you'd expect as a companion of the Doctor. Matteusz has some quippy moments and religious parents but he's the least emphasised of the characters in this opening story.

As for the Shadow Kin, they look impressive enough though something of a mash up of the Vashta Nerada and the Pyroville creature from the parent show's fourth series. Going by the trailers though, it does seem like they won't be the only problem that Coal Hill's rift/crack thingy will be attracting throughout the series.

- Both BBC1 and BBCAmerica should be airing this show along with the BBC3 releases. Holding off seems foolish in retrospect.
- Is it me or are April, Ram and Tanya all from single parent families? Whereas Quill is technically viewed as Charlie's legal guardian to less savvy people perhaps.
- Mr Armitage from Into The Dalek/The Caretaker is still principal and we got to see Susan, Clara and Danny's name on the board during one scene with the Doctor.
- Alex Care's Up All Night is the theme tune for the series. I'm not too taken with the credit sequence but I might grow to like it as the series goes on.

For Tonight We Might Die is a strong enough opening episode for the series. Like Torchwood's first episode, it's far from perfect but the general set up isn't bad. I do think the show overall has more in common with series such as Being Human or Misfits than it does with being a Doctor Who universe series. It's not perfect but it's got something though.

Rating: 7 out of 10

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

My Review of Gotham's 3x10: "Time Bomb"

Written by Robert Hull
Directed by Hanelle M. Culpepper

Mario (re Leslie): "She loves me!"

I'm guessing this week's episode was meant to have the lesson of love bringing out the worst in people. Or in Edward and Mario's cases, the most violent as both of them resorted to extremes in the name of love.

First of all, Edward managed to kidnap both Butch and Tabitha, tie them to chair and subject one to a spot of electric therapy while forcing the other to cut their own hand off. There are only two things I took away from this plot. One, Butch and Tabitha are actually an okay couple and I was pleasantly surprised to see the latter actually fight for the former's safety, even at the cost of her hand. I've been fairly lukewarm on Tabitha but this was an episode where I actually cared about the character and even felt bad for her too. On the plus side, it does look like she'll get her hand reattached though.

As for Nygma, I really couldn't give a shit now about his 'love' for Isabella. He barely knew the woman and he kidnapped and tortured two people without having any proof that either of them were responsible for Isabella's death. However, thanks to Butch though, it does seem like he might have figured out that Oswald did the deed instead.

Speaking of Oswald, he managed to acquire himself a new thorn in his side with Barbara pulling a gun on him during her search for Tabitha and Butch this week. Oswald whilst insulted by Babs' flippancy did let her off with a warning but while Barbara didn't get to Butch and Tabitha in time, did however manage to get Butch on side in order to create a little war.

After drifting around and only popping up for some snarky comments, I like that this episode finally made some good use for Barbara as a character. Seeing her try to save Tabitha and Butch was a good move and I got a kick out of her conversation with Olga the housemaid too. This by far has been the best use of Barbara this season.

As for Mario, I don't know what he's been up to but it's definitely been enough that people are trying to take him out. It seems a little predictable to make him into a villain but I guess the show writers have felt enough time has passed for Gordon and Leslie being seperated that Mario needs to be taken out of the picture and making him into a baddie is the way to go there.

On the plus side, it's given us more screen time with Falcone who was a joy to watch this week and we also got to see a connection between Carmine and the Court of Owls as well. Carmine's vow to make Gotham burn if his son is killed seems like something else we can look forward to as I doubt Mario and Leslie are going to be married for very long, even without Leslie's feelings for Jim resurfacing.

As for the Court of Owls, well this week they also came after the Whisper Gang, who came after Bruce and Selina by kidnapping Ivy. My own complaints about Ivy being somewhat reduced to damsel in distress to one side (really, show?), I did like the merging of plotlines while Bruce and Selina also tried to discuss exactly what their relationship is meant to be.

- Ivy used her little perfume this week on Alfred. She was right though about the plants needing some light.
- Bullock has taken over as Captain while a cure is being looked into for Barnes. Please show, take your time with that one.
- Olga it seems isn't a fan of Nygmobblepot. Maybe she has a point.
- Chronology: Not long from where The Executioner left off.

I could've done without seeing Tabitha lose a hand but aside from that, I actually quite enjoyed Time Bomb. It definitely had plenty of excitement about it and it felt like every character was being utilised well enough and next week's episode looks suitably chaotic too.

Rating: 8 out of 10

Monday, November 21, 2016

My Review of Empire's 3x06: "Chimes At Midnight"

Written by Cherien Dabis & Eric Haywood
Directed by Sanaa Hamri

Andre (to Nessa): "No matter how much I try to play by the rules, the world's always gonna see me as a well dressed thug."

After this episode, everyone else will realise that Andre isn't as different from his father as he might have thought previously but all of the Lyons have a bit of Lucious in them. I have to admit though, Andre's scheme to get himself a nice promotion and more power at Empire was pretty flawless. Not to mention that he found the perfect fall guy in Tiana's awful ex-boyfriend to boot. Grudgingly, I say kudos there, Andre.

Having all of Empire's dirty laundry (including one of Cookie's nudes) leaked to the press was certainly devastating and then making himself look good by bringing in an IT guy to fix everything was rather clever of him too. However, confessing all this to Nessa - will that inevitably be his downfall?

Andre's certainly taking one hell of a risk by letting Nessa know everything. Who's to say that she won't go back and tell Shyne at some point or find a way to oust Andre as well when the moment presents itself? Not that I have too much sympathy for Lucious but there are so many ways that Andre's master plan can and probably will go wrong though and God help him when Lucious works it out for himself too.

Of course, Andre's antics weren't the only thing the episode had in it's favour. After my own misgiving of Cookie and Angelo as a couple, this one made me think that perhaps there could be something with them after all. He did kind of step up to the mark (and potentially risked his own mayoral campaign) during the fallout of Cookie's nude leak. Maybe they might just work it out after all.

Meanwhile Jamal's story took a hell of a dramatic turn and mostly away from his family. Feeling musically burned out, drinking and going back on his pills certainly didn't do him any favours this week and if it hadn't been for Derek and his counselor, Jamal might have died in this one. This episode did a lot to cement my respect for Derek and it seems like we might have a potential love triangle on our hands here.

- Great moments in this episode actually involved Shyne, Tariq and Thirsty. I also like the idea of Thirsty and Becky teaming up to get even on Xavier as well.
- Hakeem really needs to let his issues with both Tiana and Nessa go because it makes him look increasingly pathetic. Not to mention neither girl owes him anything.
- Standout music: I'm guessing Tiana's Me, despite it being used in the worst way for Empire this week.
- Chronology: Not long from where One Before Another left off.

This season seems to be on an upward swing. Chimes At Midnight was genuinely thrilling and unpredictable with great shocking moments and some priceless ones too (Lucious getting his hair done as the chaos unfolded). Nice to see the show is getting it's groove back.

Rating: 8 out of 10

Saturday, November 19, 2016

My Review of How To Get Away With Murder's 3x09: "Who's Dead?"

Written by Michael Foley
Directed by Bill D'Elia

Annalise: "What is it?"
Nate (re Wes): "He was already dead before the fire."

Well, they actually went and done it, didn't they? After weeks of thinking that either Frank or Nate were going to be the ones to perish, it was actually Wes who died in the fire after all. To say the reactions on Tumblr to this have been explosive would be underselling it but it's still a daring thing for the show to do.

Whether you liked Wes or not, no-one can deny that he was such a big character for the show to kill off and in this episode, they intensified that in a big way. Not only did Wes come close to betraying Annalise but he didn't even die in the fire at the house. Thanks to Nate, we found out that Wes had actually been killed prior to the Keating house catching flames, which is a nice way of setting up the mystery for the second half of this season.

It's a ballsy thing for the show to do to kill off Wes and while I will miss Alfred Enoch in the role, I do hope it's a plot point that can actually move things forward and bring the gang and Annalise closer together rather than tearing them apart. I'm not even sure who to suspect for killing Wes though. Frank? Someone from the Mahoney family maybe? Even Nate perhaps?

Things were also getting out of hand for Annalise. It seems like Atwood was close to bringing her down and with Oliver being prompted into looking into Sam's murder and when she wasn't getting drunk and destroying her laptop, Annalise also seemed determined to assemble the Keating 5 and Oliver together in order to come up with some kind of plan.

Atwood's hatred for Annalise though certainly took a sinister turn in this episode. While Sinclair was a pain in the ass last season, prior to Asher killing, Atwood really does seem to have it out for Annalise. She's not just content with sleeping with Nate (and demanding Nate stays away from Annalise) but she's also using Annalise's same hairdresser and going for her in a big way. Needless to say, Atwood is proving to be a big problem for the gang.

As for the rest of the episode, we got to see Michaela hash out some issues with her trashy mother, Trishelle (who I'm intrigued) while Frank didn't kill himself, Oliver dug a little deeper into things, Asher was in party boy mode and Connor turned on Thomas after having sex with him. The gang's reactions to Wes's death (including Meggy's) along with Annalise's thought was particularly devastating to watch unfold. It's going to be one hell of a second half when this show returns in January.

- Aside from the post sex of Connor/Thomas, we also had Michaela/Laurel and Annalise/Bonnie kiss each other as well.
- I just realised that Laurel doesn't seem to be aware of the fact that she's pregnant now.
- It was nice see Mary J. Blige back this week. I hope she pops up again in the second half of the season.
- This show will be back on ABC from January 19th.

Who's Dead really did turn things on it's head. Wes's death managed to shock and polarising as the character could be at times, the show is definitely to miss something without him. Alfred Enoch gave a great performance and I'm definitely interested in seeing how the aftermath of Wes's murder affects the show.

Rating: 9 out of 10

Friday, November 18, 2016

My Review of Legends Of Tomorrow's 2x06: "Outlaw Country"

Written by Matthew Maala & Chris Fedak
Directed by Cherie Nowlan

Sara (to Jonah): "I'm starting to think screwing up is an essential part to surviving."

If Westworld wasn't enough for you fans of the Old West and sci-fi, then this episode may have filled your boots. I do love a good return to a well received character and this week, it was time to catch up with Jonah Hex, who this week managed to get saved from a hanging by the team while at the same time in hot pursuit of an old enemy of his own.

Jonah's surly disposition with both Sara's leadership and desire to get revenge on Quentin Turnbull (Jeff Fahey) forms most of the basis of this episode as his casual sexism gets in the way of initially taking Sara's leadership seriously. Sara had a good plan with Mick and Turnbull and Hex waded in and caused a bar fight that saw Nate getting shot with some dwarf star alloy.

I liked the Sara and Jonah scenes from this episode. Both Caity Lotz and Jonathon Schaech played off each other pretty well as the two discussed their own revenge quests on both Turnbull and Darhk. Both of them also came to the realisation that killing their respective targets wouldn't help either of them and both worked well in order to bring Turnbull down.

Speaking of Turnbull, for a guest baddie we've had stronger ones and we've also had worse ones. Jeff Fahey pulled in a decent enough performance and I found his scenes with Sara, Mick and Jonah pretty engaging enough even if I drifted in and out of his actual plot for the episode. I did like that there was some continuity from Jonah's episode history though in this one.

With Sara largely paired with Jonah for this episode, the rest of the gang were split into two groups - Amaya spent her time with Mick and the two of them connected a little over their own animal instincts while Jax, Ray and Nate for an amusing enough pairing. The budding bromance with Ray and Nate took a few more steps this week when the latter was given his own suit and name by the former. Nate can still be a little annoying at times but I did like his moments with Ray in this one.

As for Stein, he was mostly taken out of the action as we saw him experiencing visions with another woman and a child. The theories for this seem to be that he's either had enough wife and a child (Flashpoint, anyone?) or possibly a daughter and grandson but either way, I'm interested in seeing how this all plays out.

- I like that Rip got a mention in this episode. Jonah also brought up the events of the town both him and Rip were a part of as well. Mick made a point of referencing Sara's sexuality to Jonah too.
- By the end of this episode, Nate got the name of Steel. I guess Citizen is being dropped here.
- So, now might be a good time for Stein to tell Sara and the gang about that future message from Barry.
- The episode ended with a lead in for the four way Invasion! crossover in two weeks time. Chronology for this episode was 1874 Colorado.

Not quite as good as the previous western episode we've had but Outlaw Country certainly had it's moments though. The mixing of group members per week continues to work and Jonah was as good to watch here as he was back in The Magnificent Eight.

Rating: 7 out of 10

Thursday, November 17, 2016

My Review of American Horror Story: Roanoke: Chapter 10

Written by Ryan Murphy And Brad Falchuk
Directed by Bradley Buecker

Lee: "I did not come here to be put on trial again."
Lana: "Well, why are you here, Lee? Why did you agree to this interview?"

And if the previous nine episodes didn't feel enough of a show within a show, then this week we had a season finale that decided to mash up elements of Making A Murderer, Snapped, Ghost Hunters and a TV special with famous talk show host as 'final girl' Lee Harris had to deal with the world outside of the second worst home in America to live in.

First of all, this episode massively contradicted what we were told a month. It turns out that Return To Roanoke: Three Days In Hell actually did air after all, which means that Lee found herself on trial for multiple murders, including the killing of her own husband. This also resulted in Flora being brought in by the authorities in an attempt to take Lee but the episode really did prove that she was like teflon and she managed to be acquitted of all the murder charges.

With Lee being America's most polarising figure, a familiar face was drafted in give Lee a chance to give her side of the story. Step forward, Lana Winters from the best season of the series - Asylum (Sarah Paulson now technically playing three characters this season), who gave Lee a special to open up more before Lot Polk attempted to kill the both of them on live television.

On the plus side, Lot was killed off instead and both Lana and Lee managed to survive another. I do like the comparisons both women made to each other, even when they also unsettled one another as well. The continuity nods to Lana's story was great and unlike Queenie last season, at least Lana actually survived her appearance this time around. Then again, so did Billie Dean Howard from last season's finale too.

As for Lee, well, she was being accused of kidnapping Flora yet again, only for it to turn out that Flora just wanted to hang out with Priscilla for the rest of eternity.That coupled with a few vacuous Spirit Chasers and another cast member being killed off, Lee then made the decision to sacrifice herself so that Flora would actually leave the deadly house.

I have to admit, it's an interesting way to resolve Lee's storyline and there was something rather cathartic in seeing the house actually burn during the last few moments. This whole season has certainly been a different experience to what we've had before, so the unexpected way of ending things worked enough in it's favourite.

- The opening scene with Trixie Mattel talking to the cast at Paleyfest was delightful and silly, along with the overzealous British fan.
- Denis O'Hare's character was called William Van Henderson while Leslie Jordan's was called ashley Gilbert. We didn't get Matt Bomer after all this season.
- We also never found out what actually happened to Lee's first daughter too. Maybe that was a plot strand the season shouldn't have bothered with.
- Chronology: Months after the events of Chapter 9.

Chapter 10 provided enough of a satisfying conclusion to this season. While we've had shorter episodes (both in order and time), scaled back promotion and cast members, we have however had tighter plotting and less distractions too. I do hope however there is less secrecy surrounding the next season's central theme though.

Rating: 7 out of 10

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Doctor Who - Mirror Rumours, CIN Details & Classic Who Writer Returns

It's been a while since I've done a Doctor Who related blog (and I promise, I'll get round to Class fairly soon) but I wanted to wait until there were some genuinely tantalising things to talk about and now we've gotten them.

With filming for the fourth block nearing an end, the BBC and DWM have confirmed something that most savvy fans knew for ages - the writers of these episodes. Jamie Mathieson (Mummy On The Orient Express, Flatline and The Girl Who Died) has penned the fifth episode which will feature Nardole (Matt Lucas). Other cast members for his episode include Kieran Bew, Justin Salinger, Peter Caulfield, Mimi Ndiweni and Karen Brayben.

In more exciting news, it's also been confirmed that Rona Munro, who penned the Seventh Doctor classic serial, Survival has written episode nine, which is titled The Eaters Of Light. The guest cast for Munro's episode include Rebecca Benson, Daniel Kerr, Juwon Adedokun, Brian Vernel, Ben Hunter, Aaron Phagura, Sam Adewunmi and Billy Matthews. Both episodes are directed by Charles Palmer, who previously directed Human Nature/The Family Of Blood.

Elsewhere and assuming they're not changed at a later date, the titles for episodes one and four respectively are A Star In Her Eye and The Haunted Hub. Monsters for the first four episodes include killer robots who reduce people to skeletons, a snake creature the Thames and giant woodlice. Steven Moffat at a recent convention also confirmed that Bill's (Pearl Mackie) surname is Potts and rumours have also surfaced that the character may be gay as well. Meanwhile UK viewers will be able to see an exclusive scene for this year's Christmas special, The Return Of Doctor Mysterio this Friday as part of Children In Need. The scene will be available on YouTube shortly afterwards.

Meanwhile the Mirror have published an article (which no doubt has been shared multiples times over by now) which indicates that a clear out will be happening for Chris Chibnall's era. To be honest, while the article is terribly written, I have a feeling this is going to pass. Much as I enjoy Peter Capaldi as the current Doctor, I think it makes a lot of sense for him and Mackie to depart with Moffat during Christmas 2017 (and I suspect they will) and for Chibnall to start his own era from scratch. It'll probably be a matter of time before the BBC confirm anything either way but right now, I wouldn't rule out this article having some grain of truth to it.

Mirror Article:
Series 10 Spoilers:
Filming Pictures:

Filming for Series 10 of Doctor Who continues. The Return Of Doctor Mysterio will air on Christmas Day on BBC1 and BBCAmerica.

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

My Review of Gotham's 3x09: "The Executioner"

Written by Ken Woodruff
Directed by John Behring

Barnes (to himself): "Guilty! Guilty! Guilty!"

Is that it then? After all those episodes and a few deaths here and there for some less than savory bit characters, did the show really decide to bring Barnes to a grinding halt? If so, couldn't they have gone one further and actually kill him off?

Instead they packed him off to Arkham, even though character wise, he was someone the show could afford to lose. Granted this storyline has the first time that Barnes has had something interesting to do and it made sense that Gordon would be the one to expose his new brand of extreme justice as well.

The scenes with Gordon and Barnes were played off well enough. Barnes made an offer for Gordon to partner up with him, Gordon turned him down, Barnes went batshit and tried to kill him before being eventually taken out of the equation. Oh and Leslie and Bullock also played their bit parts in Barnes's downfall.

I guess now though the right person to give the commissioner role would be to Bullock. He did a good job with it between seasons last and Gordon really hasn't earned that role yet either. I know it sounds a bit mean, but I'm actually glad Barnes is gone, though with him not being dead, I don't doubt he'll return though.

Onto something a little more engaging, the show remembered that they aged up Ivy but while the character has matured in years, she's not done the same in intelligence. Her attempts of playing thief and naive seductress saw one of her victims getting killed while attracting assassins to Selina's little hideaway.

I quite liked the Ivy/Selina/Bruce scenes of this episode. I think all three actors played off each other and while it's still early days for the new Ivy (who has one hell of an appetite as well as fancy clobber), her reactions to Selina and Bruce being an item were actually pretty funny. I just hope the writers know what they're doing with her though.

Meanwhile this episode also confirmed Isabella's death, had Nygma in a state of grief before his determination resulted in him doing some investigating into his lover's death. Right now, Oswald should consider himself lucky that Nygma suspects Butch for killing off Isabella but I have a feeling that won't last too long. Either way, Isabella was something of a missed opportunity for the show.

- Ivy has been studying plants and using them to make deadly perfume. Now that's the side of the character I want to see more of.
- Next week's trailer hinted at the Court of Owls being back. Those were obviously the ones after Bruce, Selina and Ivy.
- No appearances from Alfred, Barbara, Tabitha, Butch, Lucius and Tetch this week. I also got a laugh out of Oswald having Nygma inserted into his painting as well.
- Chronology: Not long from where Blood Rush left off.

The Executioner wasn't a bad episode but I would've preferred a more permanent ending for Barnes if I'm being honest. The Bruce/Selina/Ivy and Oswald/Edward storylines were a lot more stronger though.

Rating: 7 out of 10

Monday, November 14, 2016

My Review of Empire's 3x05: "One Before Another"

Written by Joshua Allen & Carlito Rodriguez
Directed by Mario Van Peebles

Lucious (to Hakeem): "Maybe I'll produce you again. Turn you into a destroyer of souls."

It's been a little over a month since the first four episodes of this season and truthfully, it took me a little while to get my head back into this show. I mentioned in my last review that it felt like things were picking up and fortunately this episode continues.

However there was one moment that left a bad taste and needlessly to say, Lucious was the cause of that moment too. Getting Hakeem to turn on both Jamal and Andre at a very public event just made me realise that this show cannot commit to actually evolving Hakeem as a character. Every time he shows a glimmer of maturity, he then takes about ten steps backwards.

Seeing Hakeem lose his shit at Jamal and use a load of homophobic slurs made me want to punch his lights on and his anger towards Andre hooking up with Nessa was beyond pathetic to watch. I get that Lucious wanted some fire at that event but for once, couldn't he have done that without turning family members against each other?

Then the episode ended with Hakeem actually remembering that Bella was his daughter and Lucious offering to produce of his music along with Shyne. Speaking of Shyne, he went from trying to shoot Andre (Nessa stepped in to stop him) to being placated by Anika into working with Lucious. Then it turned out he wanted to team up with Tariq and Freda in order to take Lucious down after all.

As for Cookie, there was a subplot with her probation officer which seemed like a nice little nod back to the first season and more stuff involving her and Angelo. I'm not entirely sold on those two as a couple but it made for some decent enough screen time this week. Then there was also the Cookie trying to clean up the mess of Lucious and Andre as well this week.

- We saw Jamal working again with Derek and keeping their relationship strictly professional. They seem to have moved on from his trauma as well.
- No Ghost Rhonda in this episode too. In fact, even Andre seemed pretty angst free here as well.
- It's obvious they're setting up Becky to leave the label considering that no-one is listening to her. That other assistant of Cookie's needs to go now.
- Standout music: Jamal/Hakeem's Over Everything.

One Before Another was a solid return episode for the series. It did take me a while to get back into the show and the first five minutes were a bit of a struggle but other than that, I am glad to have it back on the air.

Rating: 7 out of 10

Saturday, November 12, 2016

My Review of How To Get Away With Murder's 3x08: "No More Blood"

Written by Morenike Balogun
Directed by Jet Wilkinson

Frank: "Let me fix this."
Annalise: "What's taken you so long?"

Well, this was certainly a doozy of an episode. Let's see, on one hand you've got the further devolvement of Connor and Oliver and then you've got Frank and his somewhat hamfisted attempts of making amends with Annalise. Which to talk about first.

Okay, going in with Connor and Oliver. Personally, I'm siding with neither of them here. Both of them raised valid points about the other and both of them dealt with things badly. Oliver had no right to hack Connor's computer to find out about Wes and Connor himself made things far too personal as well.

I liked that the end of the episode actually revealed that Connor was alive. I thought he was going to be but I assumed it was going to be in next week's mid-season finale and while I thought he might have slept with someone, I wasn't expecting it to be Thomas. That was a seriously cold thing for Connor to do as the episode made it apparent that he wanted to get back at Oliver for rejecting him again.

I definitely empathise with fans frustration over the depiction of Connor and Oliver this season. They broke up so fast and then got back together, only to break up again and Connor to pull off a rather spiteful (even for him) act certainly adds a little insult to injury. Then again, there's the back half of this season to hopefully bring things back for them if the show wants to. Then again, maybe they don't. Who knows right?

As for Frank, his attempts to make amends seem to be going from one extreme to the other. This week, he clocked onto the woman who originally paid him to betray Annalise and had to be talked down by both Annalise and Bonnie in order not to kill her. Instead Frank then played his part in using the woman's previous relationship with Charles Mahoney to help Wes out.

Then there was the scene at the house where Frank came close to killing himself in front of Annalise with the latter egging him on and Bonnie trying to diffuse the situation. A beautifully played scene between all three of them and one where I found myself feeling bad for each of them as well. Of course by next week though, Frank very well may end up dead though.

As for the rest of this episode - I quite liked the Wes/Laurel/Frank scenes and it certainly seems that with all the machinations of this episode, that things have actually further intensified with the Mahoney case. I can see that playing more of an active role later in the season. As for Wes ratting out Annalise, we still weren't given a motive for that just yet.

- Asher and Connor really do like wearing Michaela's bathroom. Asher also got called out on his obsession with gay sex and he answered Michaela's phone to her mother.
- Hargrove sought Annalise's advice for getting access to her kids and Simon needled Oliver on not knowing everything in the Keating 5 inner circle.
- I'm guessing Laurel finds out she's pregnant earlier in next week's episode prior to the fire.
- Chronology: A week until the events of the fire.

No More Blood is another fantastic episode. Yeah, I know things well spectacularly bad for Connor and Oliver but at least we can take solace in both of them not being under the sheet, even if their relationship is currently dead. As for who the body is, well it can only be either Frank or Nate at this point.

Rating: 8 out of 10

Friday, November 11, 2016

My Review of Legends Of Tomorrow's 2x05: "Compromised"

Written by Keto Shimizu & Grainne Godfree
Directed by David Geddes

Reverse Flash (to Damien): "Tell you what, why don't we work together to change both our destinies? Step inside."

Earlier in the season, we saw Reverse Flash extend the hand of 'friendship' to Damien Darhk but since then we've also been dealing with Nazis, ninjas and zombies and a whole new team dynamic that our baddies have taken something of a backseat with things.

This episode somewhat rectified that conundrum by having Darhk cause a little trouble for the gang with plans to blow up the White House during Reagan's era at a State dinner all the while retrieving some more fancy weapons for his own future plans of world domination. What Damien didn't factor into things was Sara.

Back in the premiere episode, Sara went at Damien with reckless abandon, determined to kill him at all costs and this week she revisited that mindset when her first instinct upon seeing Darhk was to try and kill him yet again, which almost mucked up the gang's previous attempts of sneaking into the White House undercover.

I like that the show is showing Sara's thirst for vengeance versus her newfound responsibility as the team's leader. I also thought the confrontation she had with Martin highlighted those struggles pretty well and while she made the wise decision to back off killing Damien, she did however show a moment of Barry style recklessness by actually giving her enemy some cryptic future spoilers. Not a very smart thing to do there, Sara. At least she managed to get the box away from him though.

Speaking of Darhk, I'm surprised that I'm enjoying him second time around. I think it's helping that unlike Savage, both Damien and Reverse Flash are more compelling villains that aren't being shoehorned into episodes so far. We're still a while off for the Legion of Doom coming into formation but so far, I do think Darhk and Eobard are a good baddie partnership.

As for the rest of the episode, well we got to see the younger Stein once again who managed to get himself stabbed when he wasn't abandoning Clarissa again. Seeing Stein arguing with his younger self was amusing, while Nate and Amaya teamed up and met an older version of Obsidian, who I am hoping the show brings back again at some point.

Another great pairing in this episode was Mick and Ray. I liked that this episode quickly established that Ray isn't Snart and that when it came to diffusing one of Damien's bombs, it was the scientist Palmer that was needed rather than the wannabe (and not very convincing) bad boy Ray that saved the day. Those two continue to be a brilliant double act. I still miss Snart but seeing Ray and Mick's ever growing friendship is a thing of beauty though.

- In news that won't shock, Amaya confirmed that her and Rex were involved with each other. I also liked the way the show revealed that Obsidian had a boyfriend waiting for him at home.
- Ray eating Reagan's Jelly Babies was one of the most absurd moments that was later topped by Mick scoffing a pastry. I loved both of those moments.
- When are Stein and Jax going to tell Sara and the rest of the team about Barry's message from the future?
- Chronology: 1987 Miami and Washington. Next week though, Jonah Hex is back.

Compromised was a nice little eighties trip ripe with some nice music and commentary (Amaya quipping about shoulder pads, Mick not liking certain music etc) but more importantly, it also pushed things a little forward with our baddies too and the fun factor is still ever present.

Rating: 8 out of 10

Thursday, November 10, 2016

My Review of American Horror Story: Roanoke: Chapter 9

Written by Tim Minear
Directed by Alexis Korycinski

Milo (to Sophie): "I dunno, I just think the show was scary."

Penultimate episode of the season and with so many characters bumped off in the last few episodes, what the show really needed was a few more characters to bump off before we go into the finale. On this front, this episode wasted no time in delivering.

Step forth Dylan (Wes Bentley), who played Ambrose in My Roanoke Nightmare. Despite some initial misgivings, Dylan looked like he could've been a useful ally to Lee, Audrey and Monet, except for the fact that in spite of his supposed army training, he was actually taken out of the equation pretty quickly by the remaining Polk family and then the Butcher's mob.

Speaking of which, this episode saw the Butcher come back in a rather glorious way. This time around, Lee assumed the role when she surrendered to the witch and ate a pig heart. Not only did this result in Monet getting thrown down the stairs and impaled to death on a spike, but Audrey too suffered at the new Butcher's hands.

Having Lee take on this role so late in the game is an interesting move, one made a little more so when she took on a group of fans as well. Taissa Farmiga made her third appearance on the show overall as the Tumblr conscious, Sophie along with her mates Todd (Jacob Artist) and Milo (John Bass) are documenting stuff for their fansite before realising they've stumbled around the slaughter fest of the Blood Moon and are unable to get away from there.

I have to admit, as fan type of characters, they weren't as cringey as they could've been but saying that as well, they really should've made a run for it instead of trying to be heroes. Of course they died though and by the end of this episode, so did Audrey when the police shot her down, unaware that Lee is the real killer of the bunch.

As for next week's finale, it does look like Lee is going to have the spotlight solely on her, given that she's become the sole survivor of the piece. Will she get away with murder once again or is she about to pay the biggest price of them all?

- Trailer for next week shows that Lana Winters from the Asylum season will be back. Do not kill her off, show.
- Hot Uber driver from earlier in the season made an appearance in this episode and managed not to die as well.
- Jacob Artist is the second regular from Glee we've had in an episode who popped up and died within a few minutes. I wonder who'll it be next season.
- Chronology: From where the last episode left off but next week's finale looks like it will have a time jump.

Chapter 9 was a pretty stunning penultimate episode. I liked the whole Lee as the new Butcher storyline and having her as the sole survivor was a reasonably great twist as well. As for the finale, I guess all bets are off as to how it will wrap things up.

Rating: 8 out of 10

Tuesday, November 08, 2016

My Review of Gotham's 3x08: "Blood Rush"

Written by Tze Chun
Directed by Rob Bailey

Barnes (to Gordon): "Things are gonna change around here. You and I gonna make a difference in this city. We're gonna clean it up."

Anyone who has seen The New Batman Adventures episode Judgement Day might be somewhat familiar with what this show seems to be doing with Barnes these days. This storyline isn't entirely riffing it but it certainly seems to be influenced by it as Barnes has begun a one man campaign to clean up the city, one scumbag at a time.

Or in this episode's case, one nasty plastic surgeon who has taken to kidnapping people, removing their faces and then getting some hapless henchmen to dispose of the bodies in acid. Thanks to Tetch (who made a brief appearance here), we really do know that Barnes is completely infected with Alice's blood and by the end of this one, he was certainly embracing that fact.

Barnes's transformation hasn't automatically made him into a more interesting character but there was certainly something sinister in the way he told Gordon that he intended to clean the city up and the death of the surgeon while not really gruesome (and that character deserved a gruesome demise) did manage to pack a punch though.

Speaking of Gordon, this week he managed to mostly annoy Mario Falcone, whose genteel persona somewhat slipped this week. Mario wasn't shy in admitting to Leslie that he wasn't happy about Gordon rejoining the GCPD and at their engagement party, he even managed to vent his annoyance out at Gordon by punching him in private.

If anything this episode really reinforced and not in a subtle way that Leslie really isn't that into Mario as much as she claims to be. Even though she's marrying him, you get the feeling this won't end well and that's without Barbara popping up to taunt Leslie about losing Jim as well.

Keeping with the relationship theme this week, Edward's one with Isabella managed to get even weirder than before. This week, Nygma tried to break up with her (with Oswald's help) when she started reminding him of Kringle and instead of taking the hint, Isabella actually began to dress like Kristin in order to help Nygma out. Her plan kind of succeeded but it seemed like Oswald might have killed her going by the end of this one. Nygma's not going to please with that, Oswald.

- No Bruce, Selina, Alfred, Butch or Tabitha this week? Also, going by next week's trailer, at least we have Ivy again.
- At some point this season, the show is going to have Babs do more than show up and randomly antagonise someone, right?
- Toad? That's another recent villain in the rogues gallery.
- Chronology: Not long from Red Queen left off.

Blood Rush certainly added more to Barnes's storyline than we've had. It also seems that it could be coming to a fairly interesting conclusion as well, which means the GCPD will be down a member fairly soon.

Rating: 7 out of 10

Saturday, November 05, 2016

My Review of How To Get Away With Murder's 3x07: "Call It Mother's Intuition"

Written by Erika Harrison
Directed by Mike Smith

Wes (to detective, re Annalise): "You want someone to help take her down? This is the only way I'll talk."

An alternative title for this episode could've been The Roast Of Annalise Keating but the one given to this episode certainly had enough meaning. First of all, the case of the week was one of the best the show has done and this season, it really does feel like Nowalk and company have stepped up into making them more interesting than a screen time filler.

The case being a mother who tried to frame her three ungrateful children for attempted poisoning. The mother in question was not a sympathetic character, as we learned pretty quickly within the episode that she made her adult children's lives a living hell with her horrible attitude and their jesting about wanting her dead led to her extreme actions in teaching them a lesson.

I liked how Annalise figured out that the mother was lying and I also liked Laurel's role in exposing the lie before the case could even be tried. As for the kids themselves, I can't really say I blame them for wanting their mother dead and I wouldn't be surprised if at some point, one of them actually does the deed themselves. This feels like the sort of case that could generate it's own sequel.

Of course the other thing about the case was how it tied into the gang finally getting the chance to vent their anger towards Annalise. Granted, Wes decided to take a backseat but Connor, Asher, Michaela and Laurel certainly went for the jugular and gave Annalise a few home truths. As for Wes though, it soon became apparent as to why he was less eager on roasting Annalise compared to everyone else.

Going into the flashforwards, it seems that Wes is also another person we can rule out being under the sheet as he was revealed to be snitching on Annalise for immunity at the end of this episode while Laurel regained consciousness and asked Meggy for him. I guess that now leaves Connor (don't be him), Frank and Nate as possible candidates for being under the sheet.

Speaking of Frank though, the scene where Bonnie 'dumped' him was surprisingly harsh but I wasn't surprised he then went back to Laurel just when things were developing with her and Wes. Keeping with developments, it seems that Oliver and Thomas ended rather quickly and things are back on with him and Connor. I approve of the development but it's also making me a little worried they could be setting up something less pleasant in a fortnight's time.

- Frank's little plan to frame Mahoney's other son for the murder seems to be quickly falling apart.
- Both Simon and Hargrove seem to be getting more and more screen time than even Nate is getting these days.
- Keeping with the mother theme of this episode, I'm surprised we didn't get to see Michaela's mother again but I assume she'll be back next week.
- Chronology: Two weeks until the main event itself and next week, we've got Annalise vs. Frank to look forward to.

Call It Mother's Intuition certainly had it's moments. The main case was compelling, we've got the inevitable fallout of Wes's betrayal to deal with and the reunion (or was it?) of Connor and Oliver was definitely a highlight. I still don't want Connor to be under the sheet though.

Rating: 8 out of 10

Friday, November 04, 2016

My Review of Legends Of Tomorrow's 2x04: "Abominations"

Written by Marc Guggenheim & Ray Utarnachitt
Directed by Michael Allowitz

Jax: "Those Confederates look a lot like -"
Stein: "Don't! Don't! Don't say it!"

Three days after Halloween and Legends Of Tomorrow decides to give us a Zombie episode and I personally couldn't be more happy as a result. This episode was utterly brilliant with some of the best uses of all the main players and a rather harsh but believable look into the Civil War times and how certain people were treated as well.

A Time Pirate landing in 1863 Mississippi had Sara and the gang also pop up there to prevent him from doing any damage and immediately, the gang (minus Ray who got benched this week) encountered members of the walking dead where two interesting developments happened. The first one being Stein's fear of zombies which provided a source of comedy in this episode and the second one, whilst totally predictable, also had Mick infected.

Having both Ray and Stein band together in order to cure Mick while also running away from him when he managed to get loose on the Waverider was actually pretty entertaining too. Character wise, Mick was the right choice to have succumb to being temporarily infected but there was some delightful moments as Stein had to work through his fears to save Mick while Ray himself also had to deal with his own place in the team now that his suit was no more.

I think the episode tackled those subplots as well as the growing friendship that we've been seeing with both Ray and Mick as the latter gave the former Snart's cold gun in a rather lovely moment. Of course, while their storyline was lighter, things get a lot heavier this week too.

Both Jax and Amaya found themselves stuck in a time where their own race was being horrifically treated and it took it's toll on them. Despite Jax's attempts of trying not to change history, he still found himself victim of a horrible slave master and also helped to free the slaves from the zombies attacking the house while letting the horrible slave master die in the process.

I liked the teaming of Jax and Amaya in this episode and thought both characters played off each other. Jax's final scene with Stein was also one of the best moments from the whole episode as he talked about his experiences this week. Amaya has worked better as a character this season and is the stronger of the new additions.

As for Nate, I do think this episode was a better one for him than last week as he seemed less impulsive and had the sense to let Sara take the lead with General Grant as well. I also liked Nate's defeat of the zombie horde but I am really hoping the show isn't considering a future romance with him and Sara. It didn't work last season with the Ray/Kendra/Carter and it won't this season with Sara/Nate, so let's not, eh show?

- At some point, Ray is going to have to build himself another suit. The cold gun is nice but it's not Ray though.
- The show needs to have Amaya channel some other animals because we've seen enough of the gorilla aspect now. Also shouldn't the rest of the Justice Society be looking for her?
- Next week's episode looks like it's going to move some of the Reverse Flash machniations a bit forward.
- Chronology: 1863 Mississippi for the majority of this one. We also never caught up with that Time Pirate beyond the opening scene.

Abominations had a lot to go over - a history lesson, a future president, zombies, brilliant team pairings (Jax/Amaya and Ray/Mick/Stein), Sara proving yet again she's a better leader and Nate getting more accustomed with his new abilities and a rather haunting closing song as well.

Rating: 9 out of 10

Thursday, November 03, 2016

My Review of American Horror Story: Roanoke: Chapter 8

Written by Todd Kubrak
Directed by Gwyneth Horder-Payton

Audrey: "Shelby would never kill herself, she was way too self centred to commit suicide. I played her for six months. I know her better than I know myself."

And with that quote, we can rule out another person surviving this horror show. Shelby met her maker this week but not because of the Butcher's mob or the Pig Man or even the Polks catching up with her and Dominic. Nope, she killed herself as the guilt of murdering Matt became too much for her to handle and the show really does seem determined to reminder us that literally anyone can die this season.

With Shelby taking her own life, it was up to Dominic to convince both Lee and Audrey that he wasn't a murderer but it seems like his acting skills weren't up to much this week as they both threw him out. Needless to say, Dominic them came to an unfortunate end as the Pig Man finally caught up with him, which leaves at least one self absorbed character left alive with Audrey.

Speaking of Audrey, it now seems obvious that Sarah Paulson is playing her as someone who thinks she's a better actor than she actually is and because of that, Audrey has become a bit more entertaining to watch. I liked seeing her rage at Mama Polk and I certainly had no problem with her murdering the evil bitch when Lee came to her rescue as well. Her reaction to Shelby's death though was truly something else, as in it was both hilarious and horribly self absorbed in equal measure.

As for Lee though, this was certainly her episode. She lost an ear and was drugged up to her eyeballs on coke while getting felt up by Jether, the younger of the Polk clan. The fact that in her state she was able to overpower him, escape and rescue Audrey was pretty extraordinary. However the episode did reveal that she actually murdered Mason and she's determined that no-one else will learn that knowledge either.

Of course with all the deaths of this episode and only two episodes to go, another character was added into the mix. Wes Bentley appeared for the second time this season, as Ambrose's actor, Dylan who encountered both Audrey and Lee during the last moment of this one. Could he be the lone survivor of this season? Probably not but we do need another character in the mix though.

- Monet's fate seems to be unknown for now but she did manage to escape the Polks.
- Anyone else find it a little odd that Lee would automatically believe that Shelby didn't kill Matt? You think Lee would've at least considered the option.
- Two episodes to go and we still haven't seen Matt Bomer or Taissa Farmiga yet.
- Chronology: From where the last episode left off.

Chapter 8 had it's gory bits but it certainly was another strong delivery, especially with Lee and Audrey taking the reins. I have no idea who is going to survive this whole thing now and that certainly adds to the excitement of it all.

Rating: 8 out of 10

Tuesday, November 01, 2016

My Review of Gotham's 3x07: "Red Queen"

Written by Megan Mostyn-Brown
Directed by Scott White

Barbara (to Gordon): "You got to ride out the trip. Bummer, huh?"

Last week, there was a following of the white rabbit and this week, the red queen came into play for Gordon. Now, I was hoping for the title of this episode to refer to an actual person but it seems that it's more of accelerated drug version of Alice's blood that Tetch had a little bit of fun playing around with this week.

Determined to milk the Mad Hatter storyline for all it's worth (and last week really did feel like the last straw with that guy), Jervis somehow managed to get a hold of Alice's body and drain her blood for his own evil purposes and because he couldn't resist, Gordon also fell victim to the drug and went on something of a psychedelic for most of this episode.

I guess the show needed a way of Gordon to work through his issues as even Bullock and Leslie lost their patience with him (and Valerie dumped him) this week, so rendering Jim unconscious and having him take a tour of the fragments of his messed up life was the way to do it.

More to the point, the show managed to do something a little more useful with Barbara by having her take on the role of Jim's tour guide. Not only did this involve a few costume changes and a little mouth to mouth but it also had some of the best moments as Babs snarked on Gordon generally being a screw up as he navigated through things.

The sequences themselves were pretty well executed as well. We had a bloodied out GCPD with a sinister Bruce and Oswald as a comrade while the idyllic suburban moments with Leslie and the future kids were a little too shortlived for Gordon's liking. On a more relevant note, we also learned a little more about Gordon's family crest and saw the differences between Jim and his father during one brief meeting.

With Jim's little hallucinatory trip serving it's purpose, it seems that his bounty days are over with. By the end of this episode, he got reinstated into the GCPD and we managed to at least get one scene between him and Barnes that didn't feel repetitive at all.

As for Tetch though, he was a little better in this episode. I'm still eager for the show to move on from now but at least his attempts to poison all of Gotham with the Red Queen drug were actually stopped by the GCPD doing their jobs for once. I did however like the really tense scene between him and Oswald in this one too.

Speaking of Oswald, you have to give the man his props. He went for the subtle (for him) approach of trying to break up Edward and Isabella by telling the latter about Kristin Kringle. Except if anything that did more to bring the pair of them closer together much to Oswald's chagrin. If I didn't suspect last week that there was something off with Isabella, then I definitely do going by this episode and the trailer for next week's one.

Meanwhile the Court of Owls plot resurfaced this week as well. Kathryn made her presence known to Oswald and even told him that she would be coming for him in the future while Gordon's father also seemed to have some 'past' involvement with them as well. As for the mystery man who Kathryn was talking to at the end of this one, I bet we can all guess who he might turn out to be.

- Bruce and Selina's first date of sorts had a bit of tension in it when the latter showed up late. Nice little moment in the episode though.
- Tetch took some delight in realising that Barnes had been affected with Alice's blood. Tetch is also in Arkham but I imagine that won't be the case by next week though.
- Absent this week were Ivy, Tabitha and Butch.
- Chronology: From where Follow The White Rabbit left off.

Red Queen was a delightfully trippy episode. Yes, a lot of what we saw in Gordon was hardly a shocker but it did make for some diverting television and with the Court of Owls coming back into play, the strange Oswald/Edward/Isabella triangle and Tetch's arc soon coming to a conclusion, this was definitely a step up from last week's more disappointing affair.

Rating: 7 out of 10