TV Roundup 02/11/14 - 08/11/14

"The Blacklist and Gotham standout in a slower week than normal"

The Blacklist S2E6 - “The Scimitar (No. 22)” - Awesome 8/10 

The Blacklist – my pick for show of the week – finally got round to giving some interesting character development to newcomer Agent Navabi this week, who practically took centre stage in the villain-of-the-week plot. On a mission headed by both the CIA and Mossad, Navabi assassinates an Iranian nuclear scientist, prompting the Iranians to send their prize operative to the US to capture one of the Americans as a replacement; things get personal, however, when it's revealed that The Scimitar, as he's known, was responsible for the death of her brother. After saying for weeks that it'd be nice to get some development for some of the other/new characters, I was glad to see it finally happen, and in an all round excellent episode to boot.

We saw more development between Liz and Tom, after he was revealed as “#LizziesSecret” last week, with her attempting to get information out of him on Berlin. Liz has taken a much more badass approach to things this season, Tom probably has something to do with this, and it has made her a much more enjoyable character in my opinion. Red had his usual awesome role to play in the take-down of the villain of the week but it was the final scene that was the real game changer; Red revealed that Berlin's daughter – who Berlin believed Red had killed – was alive and was, in fact, Zoe – Called it! - the woman Red has been visiting for the last couple of weeks. A lot of people believed she was Red's daughter because of how it was set up, but this twist was a great direction to take, and one I think will have a dramatic effect on the Berlin plot line. 

The Walking Dead S5E3 - “Slabtown” - Kinda Awesome 7/10

Things went in a different, creepy direction this week, as we finally checked back in with Beth after she was kidnapped near the end of last season. She's now with another group, who, against all odds, have managed to maintain some semblance of order. They're lead by Dawn – one of the few that still believes that the human race will return to the way it was one day – a former Officer in the Atlanta PD, who governs with the philosophy that everyone must pay back what they take in order to survive. Oh, and also that it's cool to look the other way when the other officers are raping people. Grim.

Grim indeed. It was great to see Beth make a return, and she got another jolt of character development; more than one often means that the character will stick around for a while, but if there's one thing we've all learnt the hard way, it's that The Walking Dead doesn't play by a rulebook. I also quite like how they're taking an episode here and there that focuses exclusively on one or a few characters, as it helps to break up any monotony and really shine a light on specific people. Like Carol, who we found out has been taken by the very same group that has Beth. This sort of answers the question of “what happened to Carol” from last week, but we need more. More! Also, who the heck was with Daryl at the end of last episode, if it wasn't Carol or Beth!?

Arrow S3E4 - “The Secret Origin of Felicity Smoak” - Kinda Awesome 6/10 

Speaking of spotlight character development, Felicity took centre stage in Arrow this week, when her rebellious college days came back to haunt her; she created a “super virus” that could be used to hack, well, anything, and fast forward to present day and it's being used by “Brother Eye” to take control of Starling City. Throw into the mix the first appearance of Felicity's mother and the fact that Brother Eye turned out to be her ex college boyfriend, and you've got some pretty serious development for her character. The episode wasn't quite as fantastic as we've come to expect though, and a big part of that is that Brother Eye was a pretty flat villain. There were some shining moments of awesome sprinkled in there, though, so it was still enjoyable.

Ray Palmer is fast becoming one of the stand out characters in the show; every moment he is on screen is entertaining. The action was also on top form, as Ollie brilliantly took down Brother Eye's automated turrets in the episodes climax and Felicity even got in on it, laying the smack-down on the underwhelming villain. Finally, the episodes closing scene was its major redeeming feature, seemingly revealing that Roy is Sara's killer – something I did not see coming!

Gotham S1E6 - “Penguin's Umbrella” - Awesome 8/10

Jim went on the offensive this week, having no other choice but to try and take down Don Falcone after it was revealed to everyone that Gordon hadn't killed Cobblepot. Despite this news causing an initial split between Jim and Harvey, the two reconciled in hilarious fashion as Harvey turned up at Jim's apartment, drunk and with a hooker called “The Duchess” in tow. It was great to finally see the pair properly bond as a partnership and give us a glimpse of awesome things to come.

Penguin was, as always, brilliant to watch, expertly manipulating Maroni and Fish Mooney into conflict, leading to the deaths of Maroni's henchman, Frankie, and Mooney's lover, Nikolai. As the opening sequence likes to remind us, Penguin can see a war coming, and it's pretty obvious that that's because he's engineering it. We did find out that he's not working completely alone though – he's actually working for Falcone! Also, if all of that isn't enough for you, then Batman villain Victor Zsasz also makes his first appearance on the show as one of Falcone's top henchmen – and he's thoroughly enjoyable.

Constantine S1E2 - “The Devil's Vinyl” - Kinda Awesome 7/10

Constantine thus far has been impressive, albeit not perfect, and I'm finding myself looking forward to seeing how things are going to develop. This weeks episode struggles a little bit with its pacing – it seemed a bit rushed at times – but its core strengths are still there: great tone and visuals, interesting angelic/demonic concepts and a brilliant lead in Matt Ryan's smart-mouthed John Constantine. We also got to see Constantine veteran character Papa Midnite make his first appearance, and it looks like the antagonistic relationship between him and John will be an enjoyable addition to the show.

The plot of the episode had a very occult and mystical feel to it, so much so that even John considered the “Devil's Vinyl” to be a myth. The vinyl contained the last recording of a blues singer who had sold his soul to the Devil; turns out Satan came to collect whilst he was performing, leaving a recording of his voice on the vinyl and now anyone that listens to it is corrupted and/or killed. I love the use of occult elements in this show and feel like it's one of strong points.

Show of the Week: Gotham

Show of the Week: The Blacklist

This has been Deedsy, and this has been Blacksmith, writing for The Awesome Update, over and out.

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