Thursday, October 31, 2019

My Review of The Covenant (2006)

Written by J. S. Cardone
Directed by Renny Harlin

Chase Collins: "You ready to say "uncle"?"
Caleb Danvers: "I'm ready for you to go to hell."

Back in 1996 we got one of the best witch related movies with The Craft (which is now getting the reboot treatment) and a decade later, someone decided that a male version would be a good idea, so we got The Covenant and while it's not quite the gem that the female led movie from a decade earlier, it certainly has a few things in it's corner.

First of all, you've got the pretty boy leads aka the Sons of Ipswich - Caleb Danvers (Steven Strait), the leader of the group as well as Pogue Harry (Taylor Kitsch), Reid Garwin (Toby Hemingway) and Tyler Simms (Chace Crawford) all of whom are becoming close to reaching their full potential with their powers, especially Caleb whose ascension is rather a big plot point of this movie while bad boy warlock Chase Collins (Sebatian Stan) is out to cause as much trouble as he can.

I'm not gonna lie - the acting in this movie won't blow you away and there's a horrible overuse of slow motion which doesn't entirely work during one important sequence, not to mention the central romance between Caleb and new girl Sarah (Laura Ramsey) is pretty poor at best with no real chemistry between Strait and Ramsay and while the other lads outside of Chase are not really developed, there's still a lot that does work in the movie's favour.

The rich history with the warlocks and the consequences of abusing as seen by how quickly Caleb's own father aged in the movie are successfully handled along with Chase's own backstory and his motive for wanting to take Caleb's power. Even their final battle in the barn amid the naff use of slow mo actually works well enough and it's leaden with some hilariously cringe worthy dialogue.

There's also the surprising level of homoeroticism in this movie as well. Chase could've easily killed Caleb but chose to play the long game to get his powers and there was definitely some flirty banter during their antagonistic exchanges, more from Chase's end than Caleb's though. As for Chase, his eventual fate is left a little ambiguous, which I did like.

Sebastian Stan who would later go on to be a prominent player in the MCU certainly seemed to have a lot of fun playing the camp baddie and Steven Strait does make for a nice if not totally charismatic protagonist. It's almost a shame this movie didn't do well enough to have generated a sequel as it would've been fun to have seen Caleb and Chase go a second round.

- Jessica Lucas who played Tabitha Galavan on Gotham appeared here as one of the other lads girlfriend, Kate. Her character isn't given much to work with.
- Some of these actors have worked with each other in other projects after this movie. It's also no surprise that all the male cast were models in their past. The movie certainly put that to use as well.
- Nice enough use of Darklings and CGI spiders in the movie.
- Chronology: 2006 Ipswich, Massachusetts.

It's by no means a classic movie, and nor is it quite the disaster piece either. The Covenant might not be quite as iconic as The Craft but it's a diverting way to spend some time with a nice range of guy candy and a decent backstory/rivalry with the main characters. Don't expect anything too scary or deep and you'll have a blast with this one.

Rating: 7 out of 10

My Review of American Horror Story: 1984 - The Lady In White

Written by John J. Gray
Directed by Liz Friedlander

Lavinia (to Benjamin): "I want you to know it was me. I took the one thing you cared about and I used it to destroy you."

This season might be a Sarah Paulson and Evan Peters free zone but for the final three episodes, we're starting to see some other former cast members surface and this week, two previous regulars were brought in for some rather good guest appearances.

First of all, there was Lily Rabe. Aside from Cult, she has appeared in nearly every season and while only a handful of seasons have given her prominent roles, she's always made sure that whatever smaller role she's been given that she doesn't waste screen time. This role might not be her at her most likable character wise, but damn did she deliver an impressive performance.

Basically channeling Mrs Voorhees, Rabe's character Lavinia was quickly revealed to be Benjamin's mother, whom she treated appallingly following the death of Benjamin's younger brother, Bobby when Camp Redwood went under the name of Camp Golden Star. Needless to say, Lavinia didn't take her favourite child drowning well and subsequently murdered the counselors and somewhat also triggered her own son's darkness in the process.

In the present day (still 1989), Benjamin returned to the camp, nearly got killed by the impersonators he murdered earlier in the season until he relayed his past to Montana and company while Xavier would then lead Benjamin to his mother and thus the best scenes of the episode.

I'm seriously hoping that both Lily Rabe and John Carroll Lynch are regulars next season because with this episode alone, both of them absolutely knocked it out of the park. Lavinia got all of her spiteful bile out towards her son while at the same time being moved enough to give him some help in actually taking Ramirez down. I knew Benjamin wasn't going to make it out of the season alive but killing him to become a ghost to take out Ramirez means he might get his shot at redemption after all.

Of course while there was the main plot with Benjamin and Lavinia, the B plot with Brooke and Donna was also great to watch too. Brooke showed some natural distrust towards Donna's sudden turn in wanting to help her before the latter explained that she wanted to do the right thing. Donna also tried to get Brooke to move on from Margaret and Redwood but that didn't pan out.

Instead both women bonded over some roller rink action and outsmarting a serial killer in the shape of porn stache wearing Bruce. Unlike Rabe who excelled as Lavinia, Dylan McDermott felt entirely pointless and not remotely threatening as Bruce. Still though, it was rather satisfying seeing Brooke and Donna work together to take him out before making the last journey they're likely to make this season.

- Lavinia was the one who triggered Margaret's killing spree back in 1970 while we learned that ghosts can feel pain and pleasure. Montana also hooked up with Trevor and didn't kill him.
- Ramirez made it to Redwood and managed to kill a rock star and his entourage, which Courtney now has to deal with.
- Standout music: Poison was effectively used during Bruce's pursuit of Brooke and Donna.
- Chronology: We're still in 1989 but we had flashbacks to both 1948 and 1950 for Lavinia's backstory.

The Lady In White certainly added another twist to the original killers and while it certainly and shamelessly ripped off a certain horror franchise with little in the way of differentiating, it was a wonderful guest arc for Lily Rabe, not to mention excellent performances from John Carroll Lynch, Emma Roberts and Angelica Ross. I really hope the last two episodes end this season on a high note.

Rating: 8 out of 10

Wednesday, October 30, 2019

My Review of Titans 2x08: "Jericho"

Written by Kate McCarthy
Directed by Toa Fraser

Deathstroke (to Jericho): "Watch closely son, this is what happens to Titans."

Unfortunately for Deathstroke himself, this is what also happened to his son. Deathstroke was going to suffer the consequences of killing Garth, even as this episode revealed that Jillian was the real target and what crueler way than to be the one responsible for his own son's death?

I knew the show was never going to actually have Dick murder an innocent man but of course his actions in seeking out Jericho would be what led to the latter's death nonetheless. Even when Dawn's wise words got Dick to admit to Jericho everything about their friendship and who Slade really was like, Jericho still chose the Titans.

I thought Chella Man, who is relatively inexperienced as an actor did a solid job with the character this week as we got flashbacks to Jericho's life before his powers and throat getting slashed along with the discovery of his abilities to control bodies and the bond he thought he was forming with the Titans. Like Aqualad, it's almost a shame he's dead in the present day but given how large the cast is this season, I guess it's just one of those things we'll have to deal with.

The episode tried a little to humanise Slade a bit. He genuinely did care for his former wife and son but not enough to directly make amends and he had no problem savagely beating Donna before nearly killing Dick at the church. Still though, his actions along with Jericho's death did see the Titans disband in the past and it's looking like the same will happen in the present too.

Flashback wise, this was as good an episode as Aqualad was a few weeks ago and it certainly expanded a little on the Titans disbanding than what we've had earlier in the season. Saying that with only five episodes left, it's time to park the flashbacks and get to the main action. Deathstroke is still very much an ongoing problem in the present and so are Cadmus and there's not much time for any more trips into the past.

- What exactly is Jillian's work? We've had two appearances from her (Slade did get her in the end) and no clue as to what she was actually doing.
- Wintergreen giving Jericho a mythology lesson by dissing the Titans has got to come back and get him big time before the season ends.
- Another episode where the majority of the characters (Rachel, Kory, Jason, Gar, Rose, Conner, etc) sat out. I'm not complaining as sometimes it helps the show but I do think we need to leave the flashbacks to one side now.
- Chronology: Mostly 2014 given the flashbacks with Jericho in this one.

Jericho filled in some good blanks with stuff we already knew, had a decent twist with Garth not actually being the target and a rather cool and creepy display of Joey's abilities (Hank's dancing, rude customer being taken down a peg etc) but there are plots we need to get back to now for the remaining episodes of the season.

Rating: 8 out of 10

Tuesday, October 29, 2019

My Review of How To Get Away With Murder's 6x05: "We're All Gonna Die"

Written by Sara Rose Feinberg
Directed by Felix Alcala

Bonnie (to Annalise): "He was saying Laurel to you because you helped her disappear."

Ah, yes, of course Annalise helped Laurel disappear or at least that was what Xavier was trying to get Frank to believe between the beatings the latter endured this episode in flashbacks. Needless to say that while frank certainly had a rough time, he did make it out of the episode alive and even admitted his feelings to Bonnie.

I'm not sure how I feel about this one. Maybe frank does genuinely have feelings for Bonnie, maybe it's something else but can we please put this Laurel plot to bed if Karla Souza isn'r returning at all? There's enough going on at the moment that I'm not really sure we need more of the Castilos of it's not needed for this final season.

Between Frank getting his beatings, Annalise found herself a little strapped for cash from her secret account and she decided to turn in a favour from Solomon and the latter did not seem pleased with having to pay Annalise. Then again this wasn't the first time he found himself having to pay out as things soured with Michaela a little quicker than expected.

I did like Michaela's scenes with Solomon this week and while I wasn't surprised that the latter would disappoint her further, I was surprised that it happened so fast. Michaela had some great moments in this episode along with the way she was able to read Asher's sister as well.

Speaking of Chloe - I can safely say that I don't like her. She seemed to have no problem with undermining Asher at every turn and planting down in the friendships he's built over the last few years and I wouldn't be shocked if Chloe and the mother had their own reasons for getting Asher away from the rest of the Keating gang so to speak.

Then there's Tegan. In flash forwards we learned that she was alive and well and not the informant while in the present day, she had some wonderful scenes with Annalise and her ex-wife. I have to admit that Cora did come across as a bit cold during the divorce proceedings and I'm not looking forward to the inevitable team up with Cora and Nate, mainly as the latter's vendetta towards Tegan has gotten as tiresome as Gabriel blaming Annalise for his father being a cheater and so on.

- No main case of the week but we did have Robert send Annalise some flowers and Tegan didn't exactly hold back on her jealousy there.
- Oliver admitted to helping Frank find Laurel and there's growing conflict with him and Connor.
- Theories on who took Annalise's money anyone? Gonna go with Xavier for now.
- Chronology: From where the previous episode left off.

We're All Gonna Die is something of a step up from the previous few episodes. It's nice we're ruling out various people in the flash forwards and the conflict with Connor/Oliver is interesting enough. There was a large emphasis on Tegan, which also helped this one.

Rating: 8 out of 10

Thursday, October 24, 2019

Dimension Hopping Down The Rabbit Hole

It's been a while since a TV Jumble, so here's a look in at some of the stuff I've been watching.

Arrow: I really can't believe it's the last season and like another series, everything is building towards Crisis On Infinite Earths as the Monitor has missions for Oliver, Diggle and Laurel and Lyla is only bloody Harbinger after all these seasons. Is it premature to say this could be the best season the show has ever done? Probably but so far, it's so much fun and while the flashforwards do nothing for me, the main action and various character returns certain are.

Batwoman: I'm going to eat a tiny bit of humble pie and admit that this series is slightly better than expected. I mean the writing is still ropey at best, Ruby Rose's acting leaves much to be desired and while Alice is clearly the best character of the bunch, I do wonder if they can sustain her as a villain. Still though in three episodes we've gotten plenty of flashbacks, a nice backstory for the future Hush and a love angle with Sophie Moore. Mary is decent enough as a character but Luke, Jacob and Catherine are a bit stilted at times.

Orange Is The New Black: The last six episodes for this show were some of the best we've got in the show's seven year run. The series finale is easily one of the best final episodes a show could do and most of the characters got interesting enough endings. Piper and Alex despite some hiccups remained a couple, Red and Lorna lost themselves, Nicky matured, Gloria got free, Sophia appeared one last time as did a few other characters. This show chose the right time to end and it ended on such a high note.

Pennyworth: I have to admit the more this show progressed, the less interested I became with it. Just like Krypton, this show does somewhat struggle to justify it's existence and the stuff with the Raven Society became far less interesting as the series progressed. If this gets renewed for a second season, I don't think I'll bother to be honest. Even the campy delight of Paloma Faith's Bet Sykes isn't enough to compel me back to this series. UK viewers can see it on the StarzPlayer app if they're bothered to.

Supergirl: After the unfortunately overly preachy fourth season, this year so far seems to be determined to tell us the dangers of technology through the Obsidian plot and Lena's clear abuse of it, following what she's done to Eve and the slow burning anger she's harbouring with Kara as well, now that she knows the latter's real identity. I have to admit that aside from the J'onn plot with his brother, nothing is overly compelling me so far. I don't like either Andrea or William, we're getting relationship drama too early with Nia/Brainy and Alex/Kelly and Jimmy is hanging there like a spare part until his inevitable departure.

The Flash: So far, not a bad season but Monitor stuff to one side, nothing is really jumping out too much either. The Killer Frost thing with her personality is coming across as oddly condescending, Cisco is a bit adrift without powers, new Harrison is eh and I'm not sure on new villain Bloodwork so far. I am liking the media angles with Iris, Chester and Allegra are promising recurring characters and I did like Cecile's involvement with Ralph and his mother. I'm not hating the new season but it needs a bit more at the moment.

- Darren Criss has taken the lead role of Ryan Murphy's upcoming Hollywood series on Netflix. Murphy's other show, The Politician has been renewed for a second season.
- Fans of Laurel Lance, Dinah Drake and Mia Smoak can soon enjoy a Canaries spin-off with the trio. A backdoor pilot for the show will be part of Arrow's final season.
- 13 Reasons Why has been renewed for a fourth and final season.
- The Daleks will return yet again for another special episode of Doctor Who. I'll be doing a blog on the show again soon.
- BBC2 viewers can catch the second season of Pose from Saturday at 10.20pm. They will be doing double bills of the series.
- The Walking Dead has been renewed for an 11th season with Lauren Cohen slated to return to the show.
- Patton Oswalt has been cast in a secret role for the second season of The Boys.
- We're getting a gritty Clueless reboot courtesy of CBS and it sounds terrible to be honest.
- UK fans of Dynasty are going to have to wait a while before Netflix stream the latest season.
- Stargirl might be airing on HBO Max instead of DC Universe when it premieres in 2020.

My Review of American Horror Story: 1984 - Episode 100

Written by Ryan Murphy & Brad Falchuk
Directed by Loni Peristere

Donna (to Brooke): "Welcome back to the land of the living."

Nine seasons. Nine different themes. Over 50 regular and prominent recurring cast members and far too many characters to account for and we've finally gotten to Episode 100. It's a moment that needed to go all out but here, it feels more like a quieter affair than I would've preferred.

Instead of multiples references to past seasons, there was only a brief reference to one of the most iconic seasons and if you were expecting either Evan Peters or Sarah Paulson to magically show up, then you're going to be severely disappointed. The episode itself might feel disappointing due to it's lack of fan service but twists, there's some good ones to savour.

First of all, there are two time jumps. The first one involving Jingles tiring of Ramirez's overzealous killing spree and deciding to annul their partnership by getting the locals in Mexico to hand him over to the police. Of course this was going to come back and haunt him and when Benjamin decided to settle down and be a family man, it was a happiness he wasn't able to sustain.

I knew his wife was going to die and I'm glad that Benjamin himself wasn't the one to destroy his family and I'm definitely rooting for him to get his revenge on Ramirez. Also I feel comfortable saying that six episodes in, Benjamin has become one of the best characters on the show. I really want him to survive this season or at least get something resembling a heroic-ish sacrifice. Either's good.

Also having a terrible time of it happened to be Brooke. She got framed for all of Margaret's killings and sentenced to death. Still in spite of the promise of a lethal injection hanging over her, she was able to get some pithy barbs into both Margaret and Ramirez and then the episode took a rather predictable turn when Donna ended up rescuing her from death. Guilty conscience aside, I'm glad that Donna stepped in for Brooke.

Then there was Margaret herself. Not only did she managed to get away with her second killing spree but she clearly took some styling tips from Ivana Trump, accumulated a lot of scary property and even blackmailed a surviving Trevor into a marriage to boot. All of this is inevitably going to make her downfall all the sweeter especially as she decided to go back to Camp Redwood for a big celebrity event that will inevitably bring about bloodbath number 3.

As for the ghosts of the piece, Chet had to be talked out of getting revenge on Margaret while Xavier and Montana were having fun bumping off anyone who dared to venture into the camp much to derision of other counselors and a fed up Ray. It's nice that Ray has become the voice of reason among the ghosts and that he made some effort to try and help Brooke. I guess this is the beginning of his redemptive arc.

- Um, Margaret seemed to have an ear in the present day. Leslie Jordan appeared in a terrible brown wig as her assistant, Courtney.
- Anyone else get a Lost flashback when Satan decided to help out Richard with that black smoke?
- Standout music: The Smiths How Soon Is Now? and Billy Idol's Flesh For Fantasy.
- Chronology: We jumped from 1985 to 1989 in this episode. I guess we're not sticking to the subtitle then.

Episode 100 might not feel like the biggest way that this show could've celebrated this prominent milestone but in general, it certainly moved the plot along in some interesting directions. Can we just have Brooke, Donna and Benjamin team up to take out Margaret and Richard and expel the murderous ghosts? These last three episodes are going to be fun.

Rating: 8 out of 10

Wednesday, October 23, 2019

My Review of Titans 2x07: "Bruce Wayne"

Written by Bryan Edward Hill
Directed by Akiva Goldsman

Bruce (to Dick): "Come on Boy Wonder, this is your show. The whole night is about you. Saving your ass. Chasing your ghosts. Let's see what you got."

For an episode that was titled after a certain vigilante billionaire, he was more of a snarky sidepiece than anything else. Hell, he wasn't even really in the episode as Bruce's appearance was courtesy of Dick imagining him in order to work through his guilt over a lot of things, namely Deathstroke.

I've been mixed on Iain Glen's general portrayal of Bruce so far in the show and there's a part of me that feels he's rather miscast in the role. Saying that, I did love the generally pithy version of Bruce we got here and while it's something I wouldn't want to see all the time, it did more or less work for this particular outing.

In this episode alone, Dick managed to track down Wintergreen by seeking out on one the latter's ex-girlfriends at a burlesque joint while Deathstroke decided that mind games was the next logical step to go with dismantling the Titans once and for all. Unfortunately this also involved several characters unfairly blaming Jason for messing with their heads.

This was not a great episode for Jason. His experience with Slade has definitely done a number on him and when it looked like he was connecting with Rose, that ended the moment she realised that Dick knew about her brother Jericho, a mystery which will be resolved by next week no doubt. Then there was being blamed by everyone else for the pranks and the near suicide attempt that Dick fortunately managed to stop.

Getting back to Jericho and maybe some personal bias is slipping in here but I refuse to believe that Dick would willing kill Jericho. Unless it was a case that the latter went evil and Dick had no choice or that Jericho chose the Titans over his father and Deathstroke just killed his son out of revenge/anger and so on. Thankfully it's one mystery that we don't have to wait any longer for an answer to.

As for Conner - he spent most of this episode nearly at death's door until Kory and Rachel banded together and healed him. There was also Eve escaping from Cadmus and bringing Krypto to the tower. If anything should reunite the team, it's got to be the cute dog who can shoot laser beams from its eyes and fly. As for Eve, really hope that she's not a future casualty but I wouldn't be shocked if she was though.

- Deathstroke drew crosses to get to Rachel, left alcohol for Hank, a photo of Ellis for Dawn, the orange soda for Donna and those pictures for Dick.
- Two episodes in and we've gotten full frontal Conner. Um, yeah, that's it really. Oh and this version of Mercy doesn't seem as enamoured with Lex as other incarnations have been.
- Anyone else find Iain Glen's homage to Batman 66 funny? That and his Alfred accent as well. On a serious note, are we ever going to get a scene with Bruce and Jason though?
- Chronology: From where Conner left off.

Bruce Wayne might not have been a showcase for the title character in question but it didn't really waste Iain Glen's talents either for that matter. Saying that though, it's time for the gang to take more direct action with Slade, move on from what previously happened and be a more united front. Aside from that, I really enjoyed this one.

Rating: 8 out of 10

Tuesday, October 22, 2019

My Review of How To Get Away With Murder's 6x04: "I Hate The World"

Written by Matthew Cruz
Directed by Scott Printz

Annalise: "It's messy. I'm messy ... Broken."
Robert: "We all are. Doesn't mean I don't want to know you."

I was hoping that if Annalise was going to get a love interest in this final season, it would be with Tegan and while that still could probably, it seems for now the show will be pairing her with a male lawyer named Robert Hsieh (Cas Anvar) and so far, he intrigues me as a character.

Their meeting came about in a slightly ridiculous but still pointed case involving an incel not getting any from a dating app and the creator of said app using the algorithms for her own self serving purposes (as well as the government's). Parts of the story weren't great but I did love Annalise pointing out to Carl that he wasn't the only one who had to deal with rejection just because he was disabled.

Getting back to Robert - this episode gave us quite the information dump on him. In the space of a few scenes we learned that he's a Trekkie, has bad credit, is lactose intolerant and hopes that Annalise didn't kill her husband. He also seems like a nice guy genuinely interested in Annalise so here's hoping he's not working with the FBI, winds up evil or dead in the next few episodes.

As for Tegan this week we learned that she had an investment from her days with the Castillos that she was willing for Cora to keep but between Annalise and Bonnie's various words of wisdom, she was also willing to finally end her marriage with her estranged wife for good. I also liked that Bonnie seemed to be on Tegan's side and quickly clocked that Nate was in contact with the FBI as well.

Then there's the Michaela plot. Taking all the Gabriel scenes and his nasty scene with Annalise where he blamed her for Sam yet again, it was nice to see Michaela actually make contact with her father, Solomon Vick (Ray Campbell) and for the two of them to direct face each other head on. It's pretty interesting that this episode decided to add three new characters into the mix. Leading to my next bit of course.

Remember how I've been saying that Asher desperately needed a plot this season? It looks like the writers agree too as not only did he help with the main case this week and question whether or not he was a baby Incel but his sister Chloe (Kelen Coleman) has appeared and Asher doesn't seem that happy to see her for some reason.

Last but not least, we had a three way plot with Connor and Oliver, which to be honest, I'm not that bothered with. However, this episode Oliver seemed to be acting pretty erratic and I'm curious if that's supposed to be leading to something not good in the next few episodes.

- Frank appeared at the end of the episode, badly beaten so that didn't drag out either.
- Solomon does look a little young to be Michaela's father as some people have noted.
- Eve was mentioned a few times in this episode so I'm wondering if we'll see her again this season.
- Chronology: Not long from where the previous episode left off. Michaela overheard Connor freaking out in the other room in the flash forwards.

I Hate The World had it's piece on dating apps, rejection, introduced three interesting new characters and moved the flash forward to the start of the episode. It also kept the Laurel stuff to one scene and we got some sexy three way times, so yeah, this one was goodie.

Rating: 8 out of 10

Thursday, October 17, 2019

My Review of American Horror Story: 1984 - Red Dawn

Written by Dan Dworkin
Directed by Gwyneth Horder-Payton

Brooke: "I wish I never came to this place."
Montana: "Don't worry, Brooke. You'll be leaving soon."

Well, we're at the half way point of the season and there was going to be a twist to propel the second half and well, as twists go, this one won't really shock you in the slightest. This is not strictly a criticism by the way.

First of all, Brooke got to be the final girl of sorts but there was a massive series of snags for her. In this episode alone, she talked about safety in numbers but everyone splintered off again and then she reunited with Ray. I knew earlier in the season there was a spark between them and this episode had a lovely conversation between the pair before they ended up doing the deed and Brooke lost her virginity to a ghost.

Five episodes and I guess Brooke really is a nice enough person. Unlike past episodes, this one did give her a bit of a personality as well as a backstory to her relationship with her psychotic ex, who was controlling her for a lot longer than expected. Brooke's reaction to Ray being a ghost was somewhat annoying but understandable in a way too.

Then there was the fight scene with Montana. Easily the best part of the episode as the latter let her mask slip and went for the direct approach in trying to kill Brooke. However it wound up the opposite way as the campers witnessed Brooke killing Montana and thereby giving Margaret yet another person she could frame for her crimes.

I'll admit I didn't see the Brooke twist coming but the ghosts, yeah, that was painfully obvious. If we're seeing Ray, Jonas and Montana here then I imagine that Trevor, Chet and Xavier are not far behind as Margaret finished off the other two as well in this episode. Also props to how deliciously deranged Leslie Grossman is being with this role. Margaret has definitely shaped up to her best character on the show so far. Her comeuppance is going to be suitably delightful when it happens over the remainder of the season.

As for everyone else - well, Donna seemed to be going on a bit of an apology tour given her realisation that Jingles wasn't the real killer in the first place and the episode ended with both Ramirez and Jingles (not one of Satan's acolytes) leaving Redwood to take their killing spree back to LA. At some point though, Jingles is going to want to catch back up with Margaret though. I also don't see his team up with the Night Stalker ending that well either.

- Donna's fascination with serial killers came from her father being one and her witnessing him murdering a woman in a motel. Ramirez also showed Donna her father to mess with her head.
- Nine seasons in and this show really does play fast and loose with the ghost rules as we had Ray tended to by a medic before realising he was stuck at Camp Redwood for eternity.
- Standout music: Billy Idol's Blue Highway.
- Chronology: 1980 for the Donna flashbacks, but where the last episode picked up from as well.

Red Dawn finally ended the night and while the twists weren't necessarily a game changer of sorts for the main characters, I am interested to see how this is going to play. I doubt Brooke is going to remain in prison for the same length that Jingles did and surely the ghosts of Chet and Xavier are going to want revenge on Margaret as well. Not to mention that next week's episode is the 100th episode for the series and we haven't a clue how the show is going to celebrate hitting the big milestone.

Rating: 8 out of 10

Wednesday, October 16, 2019

My Review of Titans 2x06: "Conner"

Written by Richard Hatem
Directed by Alex Kalymnios

Conner: "I don't think you're bad. I just want to leave."
Eve: "You said you wanted to know who you are and where you come from, the answers on the other side of that door."

We're now at the halfway point of this season and with Trigon's rushed resolution, the Titans reforming and Deathstroke making his presence felt, it's not like the first five episodes this season haven't been busy enough. Now it's time to up the ante by adding the Cadmus arc in the mix and the results are off to a good start.

We briefly met Subject 13 and Krypto towards the end of last season and this episode picks up where that left off as the two of them escape from Cadmus and trek off into the world to see what lies ahead. All the while Subject 13 assumes the name of Conner Kent and the woman responsible for his creation - Eve Watson (Genevieve Angelson) had to deal with Mercy Graves (Natalie Gumede) and her team looking for Conner at the behest of Lex Luthor.

I haven't seen much of actor Joshua Orpin beforehand but for his debut episode, he was rather impressive as Conner though. In this episode we saw Conner grapple with the real world, his interactions with Lionel Luthor (Peter McNeill), remembering bits of both his fathers lives while also being given sound enough advice from Eve along with his bond with Krypto and playing the role of hero.

For an episode that largely pulled away from the events of the previous episode, there was then a nice meeting of both worlds when Conner ignored Eve's advice about not being a hero and ended up saving Jason Todd's life. I do wonder if this means Jason has survived the season altogether or is there a later fatality lined up for him.

This was a nice way of introducing Conner to the Titans even if it did result him getting shot and poor Krypto recaptured by the end of this episode by Cadmus and Mercy. I have to admit that I did like this version of Mercy a little more than the two previous live action takes we've had on Batman V. Superman and Supergirl even though she didn't have a whole lot to do.

- DC had another live vote for Jason Todd before this episode. I don't think it would've mattered what the results would've been.
- The only other regulars to appear in this episode were Dick, Kory and Jason. Everyone else will be back next episode where the focus will be on Bruce Wayne.
- I guess the question because we've seen Bruce Wayne this season, will we meet either Clark or Lex? So far, there doesn't seem to be an indication from the spoilers that we will.
- Chronology: Exactly where Deathstroke left off.

Conner was another strong episode in a slew of strong episodes. It served as a great debut for the title character (and Krypto), Cadmus and overall as a good resolution to last week's cliffhanger moment. It's going to be interesting to see how the team and Conner take to each other and I wouldn't be surprised if the Deathstroke and Cadmus storylines merge into each other to give the team a real challenge in the second half of the season.

Rating: 8 out of 10

Tuesday, October 15, 2019

My Review of How To Get Away With Murder's 6x03: "Do You Think I'm A Bad Man?"

Written by Daniel Robinson
Directed by Catriona McKenzie

Detective (to Connor): "You did this. Tell us why?"

Last week's flash forward ended with Michaela being a suspect in Annalise's "murder" (yes, note I'm still skeptical on that actually being a thing), so this week the focus turned on to Connor being a potential killer with the last moment resulting in him having one hell of a panic attack.

I've seen some people wonder if Connor was faking that in order to buy some time but it looked pretty genuine to me and he does have a history of freaking out when the shit really hits the fan. Now, do I believe he killed Annalise - of course not, but let's see how this plays out nonetheless.

As for the present day - Connor took some risky steps to reunite Hector with his mother, got into trouble with ICE and it was up to both Tegan and Bonnie to help him get the result he wanted but overall, it was a good storyline for him this episode, given that we got very little screen time with Connor and Oliver this week.

Keeping with the cases, Michaela managed to guilt trip Annalise into giving her a big one, involving the grieving woman of a man who was shot during a botched robbery. The woman in question wasn't massively sympathetic and both Michaela and Gabriel nearly lost the case before Annalise managed to steer things around.

Speaking of Michaela, her anger towards Annalise did seem to calm down a bit but then Gabriel had to go and reveal that her father was actually the lawyer rather than the client and in a slightly more predictable turn of events, might not be dead after all. Of course he isn't. That would've been too easy, wouldn't it?

As for the boring parts of the episodes, because sadly there was a few of them - I'm not really sure if Vivian can be sustained an entire season and does anyone really care about Gabriel at this point? Then there's also Nate's tiresome vendetta against Tegan, which I'm hoping doesn't result in the latter being vilified and of course, Frank falling into the most obvious of traps during his search for Laurel, which is another story that needs to come to an end if Karla Souza isn't returning to the show.

- We found out in this episode that Tegan is married/trying to divorce a woman named Cora. She also seems to be not holding back on her attraction to Annalise as well.
- Asher is in desperate need of a storyline this season. This episode was mostly him being a sycophant for Michaela and little else.
- Cute little moment with Oliver mildly flirting with Frank as he also tried to get more insight into the latter's relationship with Bonnie.
- Chronology: Not long from where the previous episode left off.

Do You Think I'm A Bad Man? isn't strictly a boring episode but it did have some rather boring moments in it (Frank, Gabriel, Nate, etc). Other than that, I did like the main cases, I'm enjoying the flash forwards and any scene with Annalise and Tegan is a highlight this final season.

Rating: 6 out of 10

Thursday, October 10, 2019

My Review of American Horror Story: 1984 - True Killers

Written by Jay Beattie
Directed by Jennifer Lynch

Margaret (to Benjamin): "You were always so sweet to me and now I get to lay my sins upon you one more time."

You know what, that should've been obvious. As twists go, this season is knocking them out pretty well and this episode not only fleshed out Montana's motives for wanting Brooke dead but also revealed that Margaret is the real killer from 1970.

Given Margaret's general demeanor, it should've been clear from the start that she had the killer instinct in her. She had no problem setting the Night Stalker against Mr Jingles and when confronted with the latter, we soon learned that relentless bullying as a counselor led to Margaret enacting the perfect revenge and allowing her only friend at Camp Redwood to take the fall.

Not that this really clears Benjamin either. He's been bumping off innocent people since the season began and this episode he not only killed poor Chef Bertie but he slow cooked Xavier (who managed to survive) and even got to impale Richard for good measure. Of course, once he knew that he was an innocent man of a 14 year massacre, he'd get shot by the real killer. Luckily for him, Margaret happens to be a crap shot.

Of course, knives are more Margaret's area of expertise and she had no problem using one on Trevor while allowing the rest of the scattered group to think that Benjamin killed him. Given how quickly people are exposing themselves in this series, I don't think Margaret is going to waste time playing the long game as she tries to bump off the rest of the group.

Speaking of long games, both Montana and Donna could learn to play theirs a lot better. Both women let their desire for results get the better of them and with Brooke caught in the middle between two killers, we got to see Montana and Donna scrap it out before the latter ended up watching Richard getting resurrected for those hoping for another supernatural twists besides ghosts this season.

With Richard back in the game, Richter still around the place, both Montana and Donna immersed in their own schemes and Margaret being the actual killer to watch out, it'll be interesting to see how Brooke, Xavier and Chet will actually make it out of this season alive, if they do. Nah, they're probably all going to be dead before the 100th episode in two weeks, aren't they?

- Montana's brother, Sam (the guy who Brooke lied about not sleeping with) is the reason behind the former's desire to kill Brooke and team up with Richard Ramirez.
- For someone who was killed off two episodes ago, this is another one where the writers found a way to include Hopple and she looked rather sadistic when torturing Benjamin with electroshock therapy.
- Standout music: Billy Idol's Rebel Yell, which Montana thought was appropriate for her aerobics class.
- Chronology: From where Slashdance left off.

True Killers might not have entirely shocked with the Margaret twist but it was still nicely handled and the flashbacks with Montana and Richard were a good way of opening the episode. As a character though, Brooke is starting to emerge as the weakest and while I don't want the character to become a psycho bitch, she does need a bit of fire in her at this point.

Rating: 8 out of 10

Wednesday, October 09, 2019

My Review of Joker (2019)

Written by Todd Phillips & Scott Silver
Directed by Todd Phillips

Arthur Fleck: "For my whole life, I didn't know if I even really existed. But I do, and people are starting to notice."

Has there been a film in recent memory that has really stoked this much controversy over nothing? For months, it seems that certain segments of the media have had some of the most hysterical, overreaction takes on this movie and to be honest, it's given this whole thing more power than they intended.

Now I'm going to break this down in simple terms. This isn't a movie for incels or one that encourages violent behaviour but neither is it a movie that's as deep or as profound as it would like to be. It certainly tries as but much as co-writer and director Todd Phillips insists otherwise, this is a comic book movie through and through, albeit a rather dark and grim one but given the subject matter in question, that's hardly an issue for me.

It's 1981 and Gotham is on the brink of poverty. Mentally ill Arthur Fleck (Joaquin Phoenix) is struggling in every aspect of his life. His comedy career is a non starter and mostly sees him as an object of ridicule while his delusional and emotionally abusive mother, Penny (Frances Conroy) obsesses over billionaire Thomas Wayne (Brett Cullen) and would be love interest Sophie Dumond (Zazie Beetz) is more terrified than charmed by Arthur.

This is a movie with a macabre sense of humour and an overall bleakness that doesn't let up from start to finish. It's largely anchored by a masterful performance from Phoenix, who encapsulates this more grounded take on a classic villain but make no mistake here, Arthur is a villain and this is a villain origin story from start to finish.

Yes, Arthur is beaten down (figuratively and literally), lied to, rejected, humiliated but he snaps long before then when he kills those businessmen in the subway station and then his mother out of anger when he learns the real truth about his heritage really showed that it didn't take that much for him to snap altogether.

The movie teased the idea of doing something really controversial by making Arthur and Bruce Wayne half brothers, but ultimately balks at the end as we get a more damning insight into Penny's delusions and to be honest, she's one of the few victims of Arthur's who I felt no sympathy for, especially as Arthur learns about her past.

I did however feel sympathetic for talk show host Murray Franklin (Robert DeNiro) getting gunned down on live television as well as the unsettling (but off screen) fate for poor Sophie. Not to mention that Arthur's inadvertent call to arms resulting in a certain boy's destiny being changed forever.

However the last couple of minutes of the movie did make me wonder how much of what we saw actually happened. Arthur's a very unreliable narrator throughout the movie but the last few minutes even more so. The end scene, I can't decide whether it was a satisfying or a frustrating way to end this whole thing but the moment he really became the Joker was an obvious highlight from the whole thing.

- Despite Phillips insistence of not being a comic book fan, there did seem like there was some shades of The Killing Joke and The Dark Knight in this movie. DeNiro's role is a clear nod to The King Of Comedy as well.
- There's rumours of this movie being the start of a DC Black Label movie franchise and despite it's success, they'd be unwise to do another villain origin story.
- There's some rather obvious music choices in this movie (the use of Smile for example) but the best music is from composer, Hildur Guðnadóttir who absolutely deserves to get the chance to compose another DC movie.
- Chronology: 1981 in Gotham City.

Joker is an oddity of a movie. I knew I wasn't going to be madly in love with it when I went to see it but I also knew that I wasn't going to loathe it either. The script itself feels a tad self-indulgent and it's largely Phoenix's performance that anchors the whole thing as no-one else is really given the chance to shine. It is however an engaging movie but one that needs to remain a one-off in it's own little world for it's own sake.

Rating: 7 out of 10

My Review of Titans 2x05: "Deathstroke"

Written by Bianca Sams
Directed by Nick Gomez

Deathstroke (to Dick): "Always the hero, but you're not gonna dictate how this will go."

I guess we really did go all Death In The Family on this one, didn't we? After pausing the story last week to give us an Aqualad flashback, this week we were brought back into Jason Todd being kidnapped by Deathstroke and Doctor Light and everything going to hell in a hand basket by the end of it.

Do I believe that Robin 2.0 just died and we're about to get Red Hood for the remainder of the season? It's probably likely to happen though next week's episode is also finally getting around to the Conner Kent and Cadmus arcs of the season. Here though, Jason proved to be a rather chatty captive before he plummeted to his doom.

It was believable to see Jason's captivity divide the gang as it reinforced to Hank, Dawn and Donna that Dick was wrong for re-opening the Tower again as they came to blows over trading Rose for Jason. Even Gar and Rachel came to blows in this episode and the latter nearly killed Rose as well, which does show it's going to take more than a few pep talks from Kory for Rachel to get full control over her powers.

Kory's return to the gang was a highlight in this episode. She had great moments with Dick, Donna and Rachel and more than got the better of Slade during the final fight sequences as well. Dick isn't wrong about her being a natural leader and it's pretty clear that Kory has no intention of returning to her home world any time soon.

As for Rose, she was largely unsympathetic towards Jason being captured by her father but her fear certainly kicked in when both Hank and Rachel tried to stop her from leaving the Tower. I felt a little bad for her in that moment but mostly she seems unwilling to help the team and I'm not sure they can sustain that for too long with the character.

The best bits of the episode were obviously Jason's scenes with Doctor Light and Deathstroke and of course, the confrontation between Slade and Dick. Hopefully there's more on that score to come in the remaining eight episodes as there's still more history (especially with Jericho) that needs to be explored, even if we do have another arc and slew of characters to meet up with.

- Doctor Light pushed his luck in this episode and wound up being killed off Deathstroke. I can't say I'll miss the guy tbh.
- It's amazing that essentially removing Batman/Joker and replacing them with Dick/Slade has actually given us a great live action take on a classic storyline.
- I was surprised we didn't get a direct follow up to that Dick and Jericho flashbacks but I imagine we will soon though.
- 22 minutes since the end of Ghosts.

Easily the best episode of the series so far. I loved Deathstroke from start to finish and there wasn't a dull moment though. Every character had their moment to shine, Slade continues to impress as the baddie of the piece and it really has been hammered home how much better the whole series is. I really hope the Cadmus arc is as compelling as this one has been.

Rating: 9 out of 10

Friday, October 04, 2019

My Review of How To Get Away With Murder's 6x02: "Vivian's Here"

Written by Michael Russo
Directed by Mike Smith

Vivian (to Annalise): "Who the hell did you piss off this time?"

Well, as the title revealed - Vivian is in fact here but we knew that from last week. This week though, our main players are privy to her presence and are largely convinced that she's working with the FBI. In reality, she's mostly here to get Gabriel back and go over some old wounds with Annalise, the latter of which she was more successful at doing.

I did enjoy the scenes with Vivian and Annalise as both women went over their history with Sam and the fact that latter was the other woman in the trio. Of course, I'm getting the impression that despite airing their issues, Vivian will continue to be a problem for Annalise and the Keating 5 and perhaps Frank should've let Annalise deal with Vivian when the latter had the chance.

Of course when we weren't going over the issues of Sam, Annalise also dropped the bombshell to Vivian that Gabriel killed an ex-boyfriend named Paul. I have to admit I must have zoned out during the time when Gabriel mentioned that to Michaela but no doubt that little revelation is also going to put their relationship at odds too.

Speaking of Michaela, this was a bit of a big episode for her. In the flashfoarwards she seems to be in the frame for Annalise's "murder" with her fingerprints found on the murder weapon in question while in the present she's furious with Annalise for not revealing about knowing her father and in the present day, Michaela's anger only intensified all the more when it turned out that her father died a year ago.

While this does provide a motive for Michaela to be a suspect, I really don't think it'll be her at all. Then again, I'm still largely unconvinced that Annalise is actually dead but it's still interesting enough to see every week what motive other characters will have for "killing" her though.

Then there's the Laurel segment of the piece. After my review for last week's premiere went up, it was announced that Karla Souza had left the series, so whatever is going on with this really does need to be resolved. At this rate, I think Laurel just took her son, legged it and took the evidence that Wes had in that safety deposit box for her own protection. I'm hoping this plotline will finish up soon so that Frank can have another purpose this season.

- Tegan, Connor and Asher worked on the main case of the week involving an immigrant boy being mistreated by ICE. Connor gave one hell of a passionate speech in court.
- If we're going down the Nate vs. Tegan path, then I'm on the latter's side. Oh and Bonnie lost her job this week.
- Apparently Viola Davis wrote the last scene that Annalise and Vivian shared this week. I wonder if there's a chance that she can write an episode for this last season.
- Chronology: A few days after the events of the first episode of the season.

Vivian's Here mostly felt like a filler and it did seem rather unsatisfying to have Michaela's father be dead off screen but the Connor scenes as well as Annalise's moments with both Vivian and Tegan certainly elevated the episode a little though.

Rating: 7 out of 10

Thursday, October 03, 2019

My Review of American Horror Story: 1984 - Slashdance

Written by James Wong
Directed by Mary Wigmore

Montana (to Richard, re Brooke): "Why haven't you killed her yet?"

Well, I was expecting some twists and boy, did this episode manage to pack about three really good ones into the mix, so let's prioritise them, shall we? As in from most to least interesting of what we learned tonight about three of our main players.

First of all, it seems that Nurse Rita isn't actually a nurse or even Rita. Nope, instead she's a woman named Donna Chambers who briefly worked at the asylum that was holding Benjamin Richter and was also the one responsible for getting him back into his natural habitat in some over complicated attempted to see if he could be redeemed.

I'll admit the villainous turn wouldn't be where I would've gone with the character but Angelica Ross certainly played a blinder here when she allowed Donna's mask to slip and Brooke found herself being injected with some horse tranquilizers for good measure. Donna didn't just stop there though. We saw in flashbacks that she was keeping the real Rita (Dreama Walker) hostage but the latter's rescue was shortlived when Mr Jingles put an oar to deadly use.

The twist with Donna/Rita was easily the best moment of the episode but it wasn't the only one to pack a punch. Yup, it seems that even Montana as well is evil and she's been working with the Night Stalker all along. Now, that I didn't see coming but why does she want to kill Brooke? Maybe she's connected to the latter's former fiancee and is out for revenge but either way, it's going to be fun watching Billie Lourd be all evil in the next few episodes.

As for Ray being such a coward that he caused the death of a pledge and was willing to let an impaled Chet bleed to death, it wasn't that shocking as his cowardice has been ever present since the season started. However he did pay for it then when Mr Jingle actually chopped his head towards the end of this episode. Too bad that Ray didn't survive but we were due at least one main-ish death and it seems the rest have more to offer the show for the time being.

Speaking of the rest, both Trevor and Xavier somewhat went up in my estimation. Xavier still feels remorse for his agent's death and was more than willing to help save Chet while Trevor also expressed concern for Margaret and Bertie as well. The two of them along with Chet also managed to live another day but whether they make it out of the season alive is another thing.

- Of course we'd get a bunch of idiots scaring our main characters by impersonating Mr Jingles. Some of them however were killed by Benjamin throughout the episode, which they had coming.
- Margaret was the only regular to sit this one out but going by the trailer for next week, it seems like we'll be getting a reunion with her and Mr Jingles.
- Standout music: Daryl Hall & John Oates Maneater was used rather aptly this week.
- Chronology: From where the previous episode left off as well as a week before the events of the series.

Slashdance certainly didn't hold back on the twists and they were certainly satisfying ones as at least half our main cast members are killers or enablers while the other half are just about surviving. The Donna/Jingles and Montana/Night Stalker team ups are interesting but it's hard to tell who our protagonist is at this rate. Brooke isn't proactive enough in the role so maybe either Trevor or Xavier is who we should be looking at right now.

Rating: 8 out of 10

Wednesday, October 02, 2019

My Review of The Dark Knight Returns Part 2 (2013)

Written by Bob Goodman
Directed by Jay Oliva

Bruce: "I spent ten years looking for a good death. This will be a good life."

The second part of a film that also feels like a film of two parts. The first part of course involved the Joker (MIchael Emerson) awaking from his catatonic and fooling his gullible doctor into making a live appearance on television, resulting in a lot of death and a rather easy escape for the older Clown Prince of Crime.

Once the Joker is on the loose, it's up to Batman (Peter Weller) and Robin (Ariel Winter) to locate him and soon enough, they get a clue when an older Selina Kyle (Tress MacNeille), now an escort madam finds herself at the mercy of the Joker as one of her girls also gets a Senator to make a rather public announcement.

Now, I'm a big fan of Catwoman and Selina in general and this without a doubt is one of the worst depictions of the character I've seen of her. In fact it almost borders on character assassination and absolutely wastes her altogether. I almost would've rather Selina had sat this particular story out that the crap material she's given here.

That frustration to one side, at least the final battle scene with Batman and Joker is decent enough. Given the general mindset that Batman seems to be in here in his post retirement, it's not too shocking that he actually followed through and killed the Joker, even if that made him a criminal for an overzealous Yindel (Maria Canals-Barrera ) to put behind bars.

Then there was the second half of the movie where Batman and Superman (Mark Valley) came face to face and yeah, while it was better done in Batman V. Superman three years after this movie's release, again it led to some decent action sequences and the fake out for one of the heroes to continue their work under the guise of them being dead.

The end sequence with Bruce, Carrie, the Sons of Batman and an older Oliver Queen (Robin Atkin Downes) all working together was a nice way to end a two part movie that overall had a nihilistic feel to it. I also liked that Superman seemed to be aware of what was going on at the very end along with his confession to Gordon about not knowing what his relationship with Batman truly was.

- There's a DVD that combines both films together if you fancy watching this whole thing in one go. I was tempted to do that, review wise before deciding to split it.
- The President in this movie is clearly based on Ronald Reagan.
- I noticed The Killing Joke allusion there, during Batman and the Joker's final confrontation.
- Chronology: From where the first part of this movie left off. Definitely seems to be set in the 1980's though.

The Dark Knight Returns Part 2 is a solid enough conclusion to this whole saga, despite my hatred of the way Selina was treated in the movie. I did like the Joker and Superman bits and the ending saved it for me as well. The animated could've been a bit better but other than that, it's a decent adaptation of a much loved comic book.

Rating: 7 out of 10

Tuesday, October 01, 2019

My Review of Titans 2x04: "Aqualad"

Written by Jamie Gorenberg
Directed by Glen Winter

Garth: “No, I want my Dick Grayson acapella birthday serenade!”

Arguably the only disappointing thing about this episode is that the birthday boy didn't get his serenade from Dick Grayson, at least not onscreen but other than that, this was certainly an episode that really explained a lot when you think about.

We've had flashbacks episodes in the past, notably the Hank & Dawn one from last season and this episode's focus on Aqualad (Drew Van Acker) certainly confirmed a theory that most fans had already worked out. Yup, by the end of this episode, Deathstroke had murdered Garth in front of Donna and following Dawn's advice, Dick channeled his inner Batman in order to get revenge on Slade.

Befriending Jericho (Chella Man) would've seemed like an innocent act if we didn't know that Dick was out to avenge his fallen Titan and of course, if Jericho wasn't hiding with his mother from his assassin father to boot. We already know that Jericho is going to be a goner but unlike Garth, at least we're going to see him for one more episode.

Getting back to Garth, Drew Van Acker did a good job of bringing the character to life and he seemed like a natural fit in the Titans with Dick, Donna, Dawn and Hank. This episode alone is making me hope for some pre-Deathstroke flashbacks again as they're an enjoyable team to watch between taking out thugs and celebrating Garth's birthday.

Then there's the romantic angle with Garth and Donna. All of it felt textbook to be honest - the flirty moments, Donna being unsure whether to pursuit a relationship with Garth and considering going home, the actual sex scene itself, Donna changing her mind before Garth was killed by Slade. Now, while it might have all been predictable, that doesn't mean it wasn't enjoyable to watch. It just meant that nothing really surprised, scene wise.

As for Deathstroke, killing a Titan member showed that he meant business and once again with the lesser scenes he had, the character was still a lot more engaging to watch that Doctor Light, who even in flashbacks is a bit of bore, character wise. Now following the events of last week's episode, it seems that Aqualad won't be the only Titan member to suffer a nasty fate. Oh, Jason, you're so screwed.

- Dick and Dawn being a couple in the flashbacks threw me off and it shouldn't have. I liked Donna's Amazon adviser, Jillian. I hope we get to see her again.
- While Garth was enjoyable, I'll admit the effects for his abilities didn't look quite as impressive as they could've done. He was 22 when he died as well and had fancied Donna for a decade.
- Rachel, Kory, Gar, Rose and Jason all sat this episode out and much as I like them, the episode worked without them, which shows that the show can juggle/bench out some of it's main characters and do well.
- Chronology: Five years before the events of this season.

Aqualad certainly wasn't a damp squib of an episode. In fact, it's a series highlight and despite everything in it being widely telegraphed, it only made the episode a lot more enjoyable. Saying that, I do hope the show ditches Doctor Light soon as he's the weakest part of the season so far and I'd rather more scenes with Deathstroke and for the Cadmus plot to kick in as well.

Rating: 8 out of 10