Thursday, February 28, 2019

Children Behave

Last blog for the month of February and a look into some of the show I've been recently catching up on as well.

Arrow: 150th episodes are not as big a deal as other monumental episodes but they're still a good mark for a show to make and for this show, we were treated to a documentary style adventure with so many returning faces that it easily made this episode the best of the season. Actually the last few episodes have been pretty great with Stanley popping up and proving to be a chilling serial killer while the flashforwards revealed the most obvious outcome for Maya as well as confirming that William is in fact gay. Then there was Curtis's low key departure and Fauxcide Squad with the Ghost Initiative, both of which are decent-ish development.

Chilling Adventures Of Sabrina: The remaining five episodes (including Christmas) certainly elevated the first season. I'm so glad that this has been a successful reboot and it's great that we've got more to look forward to when the remaining nine episodes drop in April. While it was a little too convenient to break up Sabrina and Harvey, I did like both Roz and Susie's own growing prominence in the supernatural stories while Madam Satan's reveal was also delightfully creepy. As for the Christmas episode - it might not have advanced many stories but it's definitely one of the better festive episodes I've watched over the last few months.

Daredevil: While the show has now been sadly cancelled, I am really glad that I bothered to watch the third season. Having Fisk back second time around as a baddie worked surprisingly well as did the Bullseye storyline and the backstories for both Karen and Sister Maggie. The last few scenes of the finale felt like a set up for a potential fourth season which we're probably unlikely to see now but at least we got three seasons and while the Marvel Netflix era is coming to an end, this was the show that started a fun journey.

Supergirl: A mixed bag of episodes here. On one hand, Nia's Dreamer storyline and her budding romance with Brainy is actually the strongest components of the recent stories we've had while everything else has fallen rather flat. We're back to the uninspired Children of Liberty story, Alex's memory wipe of Kara being Supergirl is annoying and the less said about the chemistry free on and off pairing of James and Lena the better to be honest. Right now, the show seriously needs to get itself together. Hopefully Lex's imminent arrival and Manchester Black's return will help turn things around.

The Flash: While the season is still better than another CW show I could mention, I'm already losing interest in the Cicada plot. Plot wise, it greatly hasn't advanced anything and it's feeling like a holding pattern for Nora's unwise alliance with Eobard to inevitably go bad as well. There has been some nice moments though with the gang, even if Barry himself has felt a little short served at times and some of the beats with Nora have felt a little repetitive. With some major cast changes rumoured to be happening though, things should hopefully pick up for the remainder of the season.

The Good Place: I absolutely loved the first season of this wonderful show and the last two episodes have certainly made me want to catch up with the second and third seasons pretty soon. I guess the twist surrounding Michael maybe should've been obvious in retrospect but it was a rather nice game changing moment as Eleanor realised exactly what was going on before things were shifted once again. I am going to make the effort to play catch up sooner rather than later, unless E4 starting the next season pretty soon. Overall though, while I was a little late in the game with this show, I am glad I did get into it nonetheless.

The Umbrella Academy: Recently released and already renewed for a second season, I've never read a single issue of Gerard Way's comic book series, but after watching the first four episodes, it's clearly something I should look into. While the series itself isn't exactly subverting any superhero tropes as such, the main seven characters (including dead Ben) are certainly a dynamic and messed up bunch of people with the likes of Klaus, Allison, Diego, Luther, Vanya and the Boy all managing to maintain interest while an apocalypse is looming in the background. Overall, it's a fun series and I've got another six episodes to savour over the next few weeks.

- Tyler Posey, Dakata Shapiro, Kiele Sanchez and Medalion Rahimi will star in the CW's adaptation of The Lost Boys. The pilot begins films next month.
- Arrow, The Flash, Supergirl, Legends Of Tomorrow and Black Lightning all have been renewed for further seasons.
- Netflix have (unsurprisingly) confirmed that both The Punisher and Jessica Jones have been cancelled.
- Jussie Smollett has been suspended from the last two episodes of Empire's fifth season.
- Natalie Dormer and Nathan Lane have joined the cast of Penny Dreadful: City Of Angels for Showtime.
- Cameron Monaghan will rejoin Shameless for it's tenth season.
- Robin Lord Taylor has bagged a recurring role in the second season of You while Cory Michael Smith will be a regular in the US version of Utopia.
- Joshua Orpin has joined the cast of Titans as Superboy for it's second season. The show will also be adding Deathstroke, Rose and Jericho as well.
- Stephen Fry is rumoured to be guest starring in an episode of Doctor Who's twelfth series, due to air on BBC1 in 2020.
- Brooklyn Nine Nine has been renewed for a seventh season on NBC.

Monday, February 25, 2019

My Review of Doom Patrol's 1x02: "Donkey Patrol"

Written by Neil Reynolds & Shoshana Sachi
Directed by Dermot Downs

Chief: "Who are you talking to?"
Nobody: "Grant Morrison fans, Reddit trolls with DC subscriptions, and the three new fans who stuck around after the donkey farts."

Dayum, has there ever been a DC TV baddie as scathingly bitchy as Mr Nobody? Probably but he's certainly taking the cake this week as he gloated about our heroes being utter duds before a donkey managed to suck an entire town in Ohio into a vortex with the Chief and Crazy Jane also getting swallowed up for good measure.

Although with Crazy Jane, she's quickly brought back to us when Robotman and Cyborg (Jovian Wade) uneasily worked together in order to nab that farting, black hole causing donkey continued to make itself known. So, who do I talk about first here - Cyborg or Jane? Okay, I'll go with Cyborg then.

Normally you'd expect him to be on Titans (and I wouldn't rule him appearing in the second season of that show) but here he's throwing his lot in with our gang of misfits as flashbacks give us a summation of his accident, mother's death, father's controlling ways and Caulder being something of a positive-ish influence on him. Needless to say, Jovian Wade adds a sense of fun to the character that the DCEU's version whilst enjoyable didn't quite have.

Cyborg also throughout most of the episode manages to clash with Robotman even though they do work together to get Elastiwoman, Negative Man and Cyborg inside the donkey in order to try and find the Chief but mainly to fix the epic damage from the previous episode as well. It's during those scenes that Nobody proves himself to be an utter bastard with the way he tries to decimate the gang, in particular Cyborg - whom he clearly views as a potential threat.

Overall though, Cyborg helps to save the day, earns himself a place with the gang while also rejecting Silas (Phil Morris) offer to make him into something more Godlike. I don't know if we'll spend too much time in the season looking for the Chief, but I guess for now it does give the gang a bit more of an incentive to go up against Mr Nobody as well as wanting to save the world.

As for Jane though - this episode certainly gave Diane Guerrero a lot more to do than the opening as we met both Baby Doll and Katie persona, one being of childlike innocence while the other a somewhat more lethal personality that nearly incinerated Robotman. Cliff does so far seem to be the one bearing the worst of Jane's personalities and we got a comprehensive list of most of them as Cliff looked a little more into her personal history.

As for Rita and Larry - they didn't have as much to do this week but we did get a nice look into their insecurities and despite Rita not wanting to do anything heroic, it was her who went into the donkey when the chips were down while Larry tried to set up some ground rules with his other self as the latter side of him seemed determined to stop Larry from leaving town in a pretty hilarious scene.

- The talking cockroach goes by the name of Ezekiel while Nobody took some pot shots at Reddit fans to name a few of his barbs this week.
- We got some references to both Bruce Wayne and the Justice League in the episode, though I suspect we'll be seeing neither in the show.
- Loved the scene where one of Jane's personas actually made words attack Robotman. You can tell this has been given more of a budget than Titans was.
- Chronology: From where the first episode left off.

Donkey Patrol served as a good introduction for Cyborg and certainly helped to solidify Nobody as a more direct threat to the gang as well. I do hope the show doesn't drag out Chief's disappearance for the most part while at the same time, it is more fun seeing the gang deal with things without him as well. Two episodes in, I'm definitely sold on this show.

Rating: 8 out of 10

Saturday, February 23, 2019

My Review of How To Get Away With Murder's 5x14: "Make Me The Enemy"

Written by Erika Harrison & Matthew Cruz
Directed by Mike Smith

Emmett (to Annalise, re Nate Sr): "I didn't kill that man."

And thanks to that last scene, we know that Emmett is telling the truth. However going by the trailer for next week's finale, it does however appear that Emmett might end up taking the fall nonetheless. On the other hand, how great was Timothy Hutton this episode?

I haven't really talked about his acting a lot this season and I've been a little back and forth on the character but I have to admit that with this episode alone, he put in a season performance as both him and Viola Davis played off each other so well during that confrontation scene in Annalise's apartment during the final few minutes of this episode.

All episode long, we had Tegan (who I do want to believe is on Annalise's side) encouraging Annalise to use her "gifts" in order to extract a confession of guilty from Emmett and Annalise did exactly that with dressing up at work and the dinner scene with Emmett as well. I do think Emmett's feelings are genuinely real and while I don't want a pairing with him and Annalise, I did actually feel bad for the guy as he realised that Annalise thought he was a murder suspect.

I think during their argument, both Annalise and Emmett made some rather harsh if fair points about the other's foibles and while I am a little relieved that Emmett is not a killer, it does mean that once again, we're having things tie back to Laurel's family as Nate Sr's mystery lawyer has been revealed to her older brother, Xavier and with a certain gift given to Laurel, you can see where the next season will be going for problems with Annalise and the Keating 5.

Going to be honest, I'm not really thrilled with revisiting Laurel's family yet again, though I'm not entirely shocked it's happening there. There was always going to be consequence to sending her father down and with her mother being missing for most of this season, it does make sense to revisit it. I just hope it doesn't eat up much of next season like it did in the fourth season though.

As for the rest of the episode - after this one, Gabriel can definitely be on the next bus out of here and soon. All season long, he's failed to really add anything to the show and while he does have a right to know what happened to Sam, the show killed any chance of rooting for him and Michaela when he projected his own issues onto her. On the other hand, I did like getting a little more insight into Michaela's past.

As for the laptop subplot - Oliver's methods of getting his laptop by essentially guilt tripping a judge were pretty damn effective and it's nice to see one of his less shady plans go off smoothly as well. It also bought the gang some time and clued them in on the fact that Telesco (who despite being suspended is still predictably a thorn in their side) had quite the profile on the lot of them. Then again, I can see Telesco going the same way Sinclair did next week.

- Nice to see Bonnie apologising to Laurel while Frank really does prove how much he cares for Christopher with his scenes.
- Emmett mentioned plans of running for DA and considering what happened to the previous two, you'd think that would put anyone off the job.
- Asher had some good moments, being supportive to both Michaela and Bonnie but next season, the show does need to give him a decent storyline.
- Chronology: From where the previous episode left off.

Make Me The Enemy is a strong penultimate episode. While I still do have reservations about Laurel's family reemerging as antagonists for next season, at least we can rule out Emmett as Nate Sr's killer and I'm sure by next week, we'll have a few cast changes as well for the next season to boot.

Rating: 8 out of 10

Friday, February 22, 2019

My Review of Gotham's 5x07: "Ace Chemicals"

Written by Tze Chun
Directed by John Stephens

Jeremiah (to Bruce): "Why don't you understand? You need me. I'm the answer to your life's questions. Without me, you're just a joke without a punchline."

All season long, this is an event that has been hyped to the rafters and for some fans, there was always the possibility that it might not have lived up to the hype while for others, it would be one of the show's greatest victories. Now spoilers pictures of Jeremiah, post chemical bath have been doing the rounds and let's just say, his final look certainly rings true with Cameron Monaghan's warning of it being "nightmare fuel" but what about the episode itself?

Well, things began with Bruce desperately looking for Alfred, who has been missing for nearly a week since getting nabbed by Jeremiah. Bruce during his search for his best friend, finds two unfortunate people who have been surgically made to look like his parents while being lured back to Wayne Manor so Jeremiah can force him to relive the worst day of his life in order to connect the pair together.

As gestures of friendship go, it's a pretty twisted one from Jeremiah but that doesn't stop him from making Bruce eat a snack and go to see The Mark Of Zorro again before we cut to the big event and find that it's actually Jim and Leslie assuming the roles of Thomas and Martha instead (the extras got their scenes cut off screen) before Selina managed to appear in order to save the pair while Bruce and Jeremiah take a trip a certain chemical plant.

Now we've seen this scene between in the likes of The Killing Joke, Batman 89 etc to name a few examples but this is the first time we've had the civilian version of it with Bruce and Jeremiah going fully at it before the latter took a dip in a chemical vat. While the scenes played off well, I do think the episode slightly spoiled things by having a later scene with Bruce and Selina at the hospital observing a "brain dead" Jeremiah and unwisely assessing that he no longer posed a threat to them. If I were Bruce, I'd keep an eye on him for the next decade to be sure of that one.

Onto the non related Jeremiah stuff (kind of) with this episode - we also had the uncomfortable Jim, Leslie and Barbara dynamic to deal with this week. Barbara could've went for another OBGYN but clearly chose Leslie in order to piss Jim off and I think Leslie might have accepted for different reasons. However, it still didn't stop Barbara from getting herself an invite into Oswald and Edward (after the former's alliance with Selina went south) trying to get a submarine out of Gotham. Ending this dark episode on a rather comedic note with those three was an interesting story choice here.

Then there's Jim and Leslie. She's clearly not pleased with Jim getting Barbara pregnant and in spite slapping him (which in this case, he actually didn't deserve), it didn't stop Leslie from rekindling her relationship with Gordon. They also did make for a good team when investigating Narrows deaths and winding up as hostages for Ecco and Jervis Tetch's roles in Jeremiah's overall scheme this week, which also resulted in the city's hopes for reunification being shattered by the water also getting poisoned this week.

- I did have to laugh about how quickly Edward realised that Barbara was actually pregnant and though it's cliched, her pregnancy also is serving as a means for her not to try and murder Oswald for now.
- Ecco added another aspect of her Harley-esque mantra with the roller blades this week. I take it she'll also be keeping an eye on Jeremiah from a distance then.
- Was this episode the last time we'll see Wayne Manor? It did blow up here but given the series finale will be a 10 year jump, it can't be, right?
- Chronology: Five days since the events of 13 Stitches.

Ace Chemicals certainly had a lot riding on it and while I do think one scene from this episode should've been cut, the rest of it was absolutely fantastic. In the space of five seasons and with Cameron Monaghan pulling double duty as both Jerome and Jeremiah. we have gotten a rather unique but still recognisable take on the Joker's origins for the show. This episode was a wonderful culmination of that event and with it complete, we've still got a few more treats to look forward to before the series ends for good.

Rating: 9 out of 10

Tuesday, February 19, 2019

My Review of Doom Patrol's 1x01: "Pilot"

Written by Jeremy Carver
Directed by Glen Winter

Mr Nobody (to Niles): "I think we're going to do something different this time. You were right in one respect, however. They are quite doomed."

Right, so I originally had no intention of actually reviewing this show but then Titans gave us an episode earlier into it's first season that served as a backdoor pilot and the weeks building up to DC Universe's my not really strong resolve just floundered and I decided to review this show for the next 15 weeks, so there's that.

Opening up with a delightfully snarky commentary from Mr Nobody (Alan Tudyk) himself, this pilot episode spent over half it's time giving us the rundown on our main heroes but not before we found out that Nobody (a former low level henchman) decided that he wanted to be a someday and willingly subjected himself to some rather life changing experiments in order to achieve his goal. He also pops up at the end to tell the Chief (Timothy Dalton) that the gang are doomed, but does it in a rather charming manner.

Now getting back to the gang themselves - first of all, there's Robotman himself. Now played by Brendan Fraser, we're given quite the insight into Clifford Steele's race car driving career, habitual cheating and his fracturing marriage before things took a far more dramatic turn for the worst. He struggled for a long time with his current body but as the episode progressed, he was coming to terms with who he was as he found something of a heroic streak in wanting to save a town from damage that the gang partially attracted to it.

Then there's Negative Man/Larry Trainor, this time around played by Matt Bomer. I'm a big fan of Bomer and he's great casting for this part as Larry seemed to be a voice of reason in this episode too. We got a good looking into his own accident, pilot career and the fact that he was living a double between being a devoted family man and having a secret affair with co-worker, John Bowers (Kyle Clements). The comics haven't massively alluded to what Larry's sexuality is from what I can tell so the show's decision to have him as a gay or bisexual character is an interesting move and nicely handled too.

The only cast member not to be recast from the Titans episode is of course, April Bowlby as Rita Farr/Elastiwoman, whose only folly in the movie business is nicely explored in flashbacks while a day trip to a diner saw her revert to a giant blob. Rita gets some brilliant lines, has a wonderful deadpan delivery on things but her flashbacks also showed her as rather flawed and her powers are the least enviable of the lot.

Come to think of it, none of the members have powers or abilities that are enviable in the slightest, which does seem to be a point to the series. Even Crazy Jane (Diane Guerrero) who outwardly appears to the most normal has sixty four different personalities and they're something of a mixed bag. Hammerhead in particular is not someone whose company you'd want to spend a great deal of time around but it'll be interesting to see how the show utilizes the multiple personalities (and powers) of the character as the series progresses.

As for the main threat - the episode did establish that the Chief and Nobody have a history together and the latter having a thing for testing superheroes, but this time he wants to do something different. The bit with the farting donkey made me chuckle, even if it left a rather cryptic message ("the mind is the first") for our heroes to figure out.

- The title sequence is a thing of beauty. Seriously, go check them out on YouTube.
- Although a regular, Jovian Wade's Cyborg did not appear in this one. We'll see him soon though.
- Standout music: Echo & The Bunnyman's People Are Strange seemed appropriate for this show.
- Chronology: 1948 Paraguay for Nobody, 1955 Africa for Rita, 1961 California for Negative Man, 1988 Florida for Robotman but the show is currently set in 2019. Crazy Jane was picked up in the 1970s.

Now this is how you do an opening episode. While it's certainly long-ish, the tone was beautifully captured, you got a strong sense of each of the main characters (though Chief is still a bit too harsh at times) and the breezy way the show hinted at the overall baddie for the series was deftly done. I didn't expect to enjoy this as much as I would but I did. Can't wait to see where the rest of the season goes.

Rating: 8 out of 10

Saturday, February 16, 2019

My Review of How To Get Away With Murder's 5x13: "Where Are Your Parents?"

Written by Maya Goldsmith & Daniel Robinson
Directed by DeMane Davis

Governor Birkhead (to Annalise): "I know who killed Nate Lahey Sr and you know him to."

Well, the answer might not be satisfying but assuming that Birkhead isn't actually playing Annalise here, then it seems that Emmett actually was the one to bump off Nate's dad. And just when I was starting to like the character as well. If he did it just because of his infatuation with Annalise, that makes it even far creepier than ever.

Speaking of crushes, while Emmett is willing to kill for one, Tegan is somewhat willing to seduce Telesco and get her discredited in order to buy Annalise some more time, which is interesting. Look, I'm not saying the show should have Annalise and Tegan become a couple next season but I'm also not saying they shouldn't either. The upside is this though - Tegan is more friend than foe for Annalise and that can only be a good thing.

Keeping with the Annalise side of things - this episode was a rather festive one with Ophelia appearing once and the show making sure to give us some genuinely meaty and heartfelt scenes with Viola Davis and Cicely Tyson as the latter gave Anna Mae some sound advice on how to deal with her latest legal woe while entertaining everyone else during the dinner.

I really do love that this show always managed to get Ophelia in a few episodes each season and every scene she's in never fails to be a delight to watch. Ophelia really does bring out the best in Annalise, even when the latter disagrees with her and seeing both Viola and Cicely in scenes together is just fantastic.

As for Nate, he can breathe a little easy for the time being as Annalise didn't have to say anything that could put him in the FBI's attention but as for Bonnie, well she spent most of the episode nearly cracking up while also worrying about being pregnant. She did tell Frank that she wasn't and hopefully she's not, but I wouldn't be surprised if it turned out that is she is pregnant as we head towards the finale.

Then there was Christmas with the Keating 5 and Gabriel, which was also not full of merry cheer. We had Pam showing up and Connor having to tell her some of what happened when we weren't getting reminders of her hook up with Asher and Pam's own scathing commentary on everyone else not having a parent around. I did like a certain scene with Connor and his mother, but other than that, Pam kind of was in embarrassing mother mode in this one.

- Of course Laurel kept the blanket and made a phone call to Telesco. Gabriel also made a point about Michaela not wanting to look into her own biological family as well.
- I assume we're going to see Gabriel's mother soon enough. It does feel like we should be getting one confrontation scene with her and Annalise before the season ends.
- Pam actually let Connor as a teenager have sex with an adult in her house. This does explain some of her own boundary issues I guess.
- Chronology: Christmas time for the show. This is the second time they've had a Christmas episode on the show.

Where Are Your Parents will not go down as the most festive of Christmas episodes and it does feel a little jarring watching one of those in February, but it's easily the strongest episode we've had since the show's return last month. Some genuinely brilliant scenes, with the Annalise/Ophelia ones being the clear highlight and a nice twist at the end too. This should bode well for the last two.

Rating: 9 out of 10

Friday, February 15, 2019

Batman 66 - Episodes 117-120 Reviews

Well, it's the final blog for this particular side of the Batman universe (or is it?) and the moment has kind of been prepared for. Without further ado, my thoughts on the final four episodes of Batman 66.

3x23: I'll Be A Mummy's Uncle

Remember earlier in the season when it appeared that King Tut learned who the Dynamic Duo were? Well, let's revisit that thread again but before I do, I should point out that originally this episode along with The Unkindest Tut Of All were actually meant to be a two parter before they were separated as episodes. Here though, King Tut actually managed to get into the Batcave, worked out that Bruce and Dick were Batman and Robin and even came close to revealing all before a ceiling somewhat collapsed in on him and set him back to his more harmless alter ego. Oh well, Tut, you came closer than others did. 8/10

3x24: The Joker's Flying Saucer

If any Batman show could do something with aliens, it would be this one but alas, it's a hoax or more of a convoluted scheme on the Joker's part in his last main story for the series. It's not his greatest of schemes and there's a bit where Alfred is unconvincingly undercover as a mad scientist while Batgirl winds up being taken hostage by the Clown Prince of Crime. Cesar Romero does put in a good final performance but it's a disappointing story compared to his earlier efforts in the third season. 6/10

3x25: The Entrancing Dr. Cassandra

With two episodes left to go, I admire the show for deciding to give us three more original villains. In this one, we've got enchantress Cassandra Spellman (Ida Lupino) and her less focused on husband/right hand man, Cabala (Howard Duff) cooking up an interesting scheme involving invisibility pills and the use of six of the biggest baddies from the show - Catwoman, Penguin, Joker, Riddler, King Tut and Egghead. The only catch is that none of the actors behind these roles actually reprise them but instead it's body doubles at the ready while the Terrific Trio briefly experience a moment as cardboard cutouts before being restored by Alfred. It's also noteworthy for this episode being the first Batgirl got to appear in the Batcave while Robin showed signs of attraction towards her as well. Cassandra is a decent baddie too and while I would've preferred the original back, it was nice to get another glimpse of the six most popular foes in the series. 8/10

3x26: Minerva, Mayhem and Millionaires

Last episode and while I like, it really doesn't feel like a finale. I mean, it's pretty enjoyable but overall, it's a bit mundane. There's a nice guest appearance from Zsa Zsa Gabor as final baddie/spa owner, Minerva who is stealing from millionaires by using one of her devices to read their minds and of course we nearly get the Dynamic Duo steamed to death while Batgirl and Alfred also play their role in Minerva's eventual downfall. There's also a brief team up with Freddy the Fence (he really does liking working with female baddies). For a final episode, it's nothing special but decent enough I guess. 6/10

I'll probably review Return To The Batcave: The Misadventures Of Adam And Burt at a later date. This series review was a lot of fun to do though.

My Review of Gotham's 5x06: "13 Stitches"

Written by Seth Boston
Directed by Benjamin McKenzie

Jeremiah (to Alfred): "Today's the big day."

Well, we're at the halfway point of this season and finally after weeks of voice cameos and whispers, Jaime Murray actually appeared on screen as Secretary Walker to try and put the rest of her plan into motion by collecting a fatally wounded Eduardo, who when we see him next will have something of an "upgrade" done to him, whether he likes it or not.

I'm still trying to wrack my brains as to whom Walker is actually an alias for. I've heard rumours that she might be Nyssa Al Ghul and given the Arrow universe's brilliant depiction of her, if that turns out to be true, then we're going to have a far more ruthless version of the character for Gordon and company to contend with for the remainder of the season.

With Eduardo being shipped off screen to become Bane, the other weapons in Walker's arsenal were of course her sleeper agents. We already saw Nygma this week trying to kill Gordon once again before the latter managed to get Lucius to remove his chip but everyone should've seen Leslie (who finally reappeared this week) as the second sleeper agent.

Because we've got so little episodes to go now, at least the show didn't waste time in having Leslie struggling to remember what happened to her after both her and Nygma stabbed each other before her own attempt to kill Gordon while under the influence failed. I'm going to assume that Lucius also removed Leslie's chip off screen as well.

Then there was the other bombshells of the episode - Barbara being pregnant, anyone? Yeah, I think everyone saw that coming but the way in which she dropped that little number was delightfully petty. I think Barbara was more stung by the potential of a Jim/Leslie reunion than Nygma, who seemed bitter but resigned to the idea. The scene was made all the better with Bullock's deadpan delivery of congratulations. I guess we'll be seeing future Batgirl in nine months time.

As for the last bit of the episode - Jeremiah really does have a habit of appearing when nobody wants him to. This week he popped up just to kidnap Alfred, bring him back to the Manor and complain about cleanliness before telling the tied up butler that a big day was coming. Going by the trailer for next week's episode, it's really hard not to be excited for the latest showdown with Bruce and Jeremiah.

Last but not least we got a nice team up with Selina and Oswald (both kept away from the main storylines this week) as the pair of them worked together to take out a feathery thief named Magpie. I'll admit the actress who played Magpie might have overplayed the quirkiness a bit too much but I did like the snarky banter with Selina and Oswald nonetheless.

- Third episode to be directed by Benjamin McKenzie in the series. He'll be writing another episode later in the season.
- I had to laugh at Nygma's attempts of distracting Angel while Bruce and company were trying to take back the GCPD and Bullock remembered some high school knowledge as well.
- This episode was the first live action depiction of Magpie, even if she didn't make it out of the episode alive.
- Chronology: Over three months since the events of No Man's Land of course.

13 Stitches marked a strong halfway point episode and with both Jeremiah and Bane's arcs coming to fruition along with Walker finally making her onscreen appearance, along with Leslie's return and that announcement from Barbara, the show is definitely not messing about for the next few episodes.

Rating: 8 out of 10

Saturday, February 09, 2019

My Review of How To Get Away With Murder's 5x12: "We Know Everything"

Written by Michael Russo & Sarah L. Thompson
Directed by Jennifer Getzinger

Frank (to Nate): "There's a world in where you're okay with what you did."

Another week, another good but not too exciting episode. This time around, it seems that Gabriel being arrested had something to do with his protesting past before quickly turning into the FBI's desperate attempts to get him to be a mole on Annalise. Predictable and also a little on the disappointing end of the scale.

The back and forth with Gabriel, Annalise and the Keating lot got a little tiresome in the episode, even if they all had points when it came to tearing lumps out of the others. The Keating do have the right not to trust Gabriel as does Annalise, given the way in which Gabriel confessed about being Sam's son.

Saying that, Gabriel himself is allowed to want answers about what happened to his father and given that no-one is willing to tell him the truth for obvious reasons, it's not surprising that he had been working with Miller. As for his double agent thing with the FBI, that can only go badly wrong for him in the remaining three episodes of the season.

Speaking of the FBI - that agent really does have it out for Annalise, huh? Well, she's hardly the first but this episode she did spend most of her time working both Gabriel and Tegan as sources to get something on Annalise with the latter only being too aware that both could pose a potential threat to her. I did like however that Annalise vouched for Tegan, even if it meant attracting Emmett's suspicions as well.

As for the rest of the episode, the gang almost thought they were free from suspicion until an Instagram photos courtesy of Connor's mother showed both Nate and Miller arguing with each other while the latter's body was finally found and Bonnie also had some quality time with Miller's mother. It did seem this week that Bonnie was handling things better, even if her and Annalise clashed over trusting Miller and Gabriel respectively.

- Looks like Michaela is going to go there with Gabriel again, while the show keeps alluding to both Emmett and Tegan being into Annalise.
- Nice that we got some bonding scenes with Nate and Frank in this episode but the moment where Annalise blew up at them and Bonnie felt a bit off to me.
- Standout music: Nice use of Placebo's version of Running Up That Hill.
- Chronology: From where the previous episode more or less left off.

We Know Everything was a decent enough episode but like last week, was lacking a little. At this rate, I'm not too bothered how this whole Miller death story is going to be resolved. I think compared to past fall outs from the big mystery death, this just hasn't been as compelling to watch.

Rating: 7 out of 10

Saturday, February 02, 2019

My Review of How To Get Away With Murder's 5x11: "Be The Martyr"

Written by Matthew Cruz
Directed by Alrick Riley

Annalise (to the Keating 5): "The governor killed Miller."

After two rather enjoyable episodes, this one left me a little cold. It's strange because while the episode actually did advance some plotlines, it also felt rather filler-ish to watch nonetheless but let's break it down into a few parts.

First of all, it looks like Nate's instincts about Miller were right enough as it found out that the latter messed about with evidence in relation to Nate Sr's case and while the FBI looked like they were about to actually arrest Nate at the end of this one, it seems they've got someone else in custody and that Nate might be able to work with them after all.

The person could either be Gabe or Bonnie. The former, due to his association with Miller now being known to the FBI while the latter's guilt in her role in her boyfriend's death was damaging her mental health. There was even one scene in the episode where Frank had to save Bonnie from ending it all in her car. No wait, it can only be Gabe given that this episode ended with Bonnie lying in Frank's bed.

Then there was Laurel, who was on the warpath over whether or not Christopher actually witnessed Ron's death. Laurel more or less spent this episode in serious mother hen with Michaela forced to be the one to calm her down while Connor only heightened Laurel's paranoia at one point here. Not that Laurel doesn't have a right to be concerned about her child witnessing a murder but even still, the scenes just dragged a little bit.

Speaking of the Keating  lot - Michaela once again managed to get herself on Tegan's shitlist over the handling of Nate and Asher spent a lot of the episode trying to defend Bonnie from everyone else with only Oliver offering him any kind of supporting. Then there was the sniping at Gabriel, which even now is starting to wear a little thin.

As for Annalise, when she wasn't trying to be there for both Nate and Bonnie and keeping the kids in line, she was also getting around to sorting out Emmett's own lawsuit as well. Subplot wise, it was okay enough and Emmett's ex-lover didn't seem that horrible either but other than that, it wasn't the most exciting of storylines either.

- It seems that Tegan is working for the FBI as we saw her contact that agent after reading up about Miller's disappearance.
- Emmett made a suggestive comment that makes me wonder if he's going to try it on with Annalise in a later episode this season.
- Are Connor and Oliver ever get going to go on their honeymoon before the season ends?
- Chronology: From where the previous episode left off.

Be The Martyr had it's moments but just wasn't quite as dynamic for me as I wished it could've been. I did like the reveal about Tegan and I guess the Annalise/Emmett subplot broke up the Miller bits reasonably well but other than that, it did feel a bit too filler at times.

Rating: 6 out of 10

Friday, February 01, 2019

Batman 66 - Episodes 113-116 Reviews

In a batch of stories, we've got the arrival of the police commissioner who wants to make the city a man free zone, a little bit of counterfeit cash from a fraudulent bird and a train robbery to boot. Mixed bag people.

3x19: Nora Clavicle And The Ladies' Crime Club

If there's one thing this show has been good with, it's been creating their own villains and with Nora Clavicle (Barbara Rush), you've got another entertainingly over the top female antagonist, albeit one with a little bit of straw man feminism probably going against. For most of this episode, she successfully replaced both Commissioner Gordon and O'Hara with her own female police force before restraining the Terrific Trio in one of the most dangerous bondage scenarios they've ever been in. Then a bunch of wind up exploding mice kind of put paid to her overall scheme and things went back to normal. Still though, while probably one of the least PC episodes the show has ever done, it's also a rather amusing one too. 7/10

3x20: Penguin's Clean Sweep

This season alone, the Penguin has tried a shotgun wedding with Barbara Gordon and even got up to some dodgy horse racing schemes with Lola Lasagna but here, he's resorting to a daft scheme with counterfeit money while also trying to use a bit of Lygerian Sleeping Sickness in order to deal with Batman, Batgirl and Robin as well at one point in the episode. There's also a scene where Bruce and Barbara are enjoying a bit of coffee as well, only for that to be interrupted by the return of another baddie too. This is technically the last time we see Burgess Meredith as the character, although not exactly the last time we see the Penguin. 6/10

3x21: The Great Escape

Yeah, I have to admit to not being the greatest fan of Shame as a character, so another two parter with him and his newly formed gang (including a rather posh speaking Mexican guy who seems to be disdainful of Shame) wasn't exactly on my list of things I would have wanted to have seen in this final season. The oddest bit happens towards the end of the episode where Shame employs fear gas in order to terrify the Terrific Trio and take Batgirl as hostage. That begs the question - if the show could use fear gas for an episode back in 1968, why couldn't this have been a Scarecrow two parter instead? I'd like to think had this show been fortunate enough to have bagged a fourth season, we would've seen Jonathan Crane in the show. It slightly annoys me that Shame was allowed to do that. 5/10

3x22: The Great Train Robbery

Some of this episode was spent with Batgirl being a helpless damsel in distress for Shame and the gang and then there was the trade off with her and Shame's future mother in law. The rest of the episode then had a botched robbery and Shame becoming a victim of his own fear gas with even Batman calling him a sissy at one point. Like the Nora Clavicle episode before it, there are some pretty awful stereotypes and as a two parter, it just didn't engage me enough to really care about anything. On the other hand, at least the end scene set up a welcome return of someone else. 5/10

My last series blog will take in I'll Be A Mummy's Uncle, The Joker's Flying Saucer, The Enchanting Dr Cassandra and Minerva, Mayhem And Millionaires.

My Review of Gotham's 5x05: "Pena Dura"

Written by Iturri Sosa
Directed by Mark Tonderai

Gordon: "We need shock and awe."
Eduardo: "Shock and awe is my default."

After the hype of Bane coming to this show in it's final season, it was time to at least meet him pre-transformation and here he is as Eduardo Dorrance (Shane West) surfaced in the city in order to help Gordon and the GCPD deal with the anarchy of the city, along with the Haven bomber.

Now we all know who Eduardo is going to become but I couldn't help but be a little disappointed with the quick reveal of him playing a role in Haven's destruction. Yes, it should've been obvious that Nygma was being mind controlled thanks to Hugo Strange and the still not seen on screen Secretary Walker (Jaime Murray) but the reveal itself felt so anticlimactic as Gordon realised his former comrade is one of the bad guys.

On the other hand though, the Nygma scenes were truly the highlight of the episode. We saw Edward try to reason with James over his innocence before taking his chances being a wanted man to even tricking a trashy family of sorts to endanger themselves when they were trying to avenge the death of a dog. As for the bit where dogs don't smile, boo to you, Ed.

Of course the best scenes were the ones he had with Oswald. Edward genuinely seemed hurt by the idea that the closest person he's had to a friend would set him up to be a puppet and even seemed relieved when he realised Oswald didn't do this. Then there was the brief interaction he had with Barbara before falling into Hugo Strange's clutches yet again.

Strange does seem to repeatedly prove that he has no standards with whom he's willing to work and to be honest, I really could've done without seeing him cut into Edward's brain before the disappointing Eduardo reveal came about. Still though, I'm hoping by the next episode this sleeper agent plotline with Nygma will be concluded before Walker moves into her next phase.

As for Bruce and Selina - well, they're at odds again with the former unable to reach out to the latter and worrying about the impact of killing someone. Did Bruce forget that she bumped off Reggie back in the first season and similarly showed no remorse for it?  Anyways they had some rather strong interactions this week, even if Selina once again pushed Bruce away from her.

However, the end scene revealed that Jeremiah is actually alive and that both him and Ecco were just letting Bruce and Selina believe that Jeremiah was dead as he worked on getting two random people set up for what will be his thrilling climax in his overall fixation of Bruce no doubt. Given what we know is due to come, this should be a rather interesting way to bring Cameron Monaghan further into Clown Prince territory.

- Pena Duro is the prison where Bane was created and spent most of his life in. Why the show slightly altered the title for this episode (where they didn't even mention the place) is a bit confusing.
- I take it Jeremiah has somehow managed to take over Wayne Manor or somewhere very similar looking. Where have Bruce and Alfred been living this season?
- Edward's reaction to learning that Oswald named his dog after him was hilarious. Eduardo's right hand man, Angel is meant to become this show version of the baddie, Bird as well.
- Chronology: From where Ruin essentially left off, though no interactions with Barbara and Gordon this week.

Pena Dura finally revealed that the government are the bigger threat to the city while Jeremiah's own little machinations made for a good end scene. I'll admit that I'm a little uncertain about the show's upcoming version of Bane but we'll see how that pans out when it comes back in two weeks time though.

Rating: 7 out of 10