TV Roundup 16/11/14 - 22/11/14


"The best week of TV we've had so far, with Arrow, Agents and Flash all getting top marks!"

 

The Walking Dead - “Consumed” - Awesome 8/10

In recent weeks, TWD has taken the time to focus on specific characters and this week's episode kept up that trend with Daryl and Carol taking centre stage. The last time we saw Daryl, he had returned to the church in the dead of night, sans Carol, with an unknown companion who was (well, presumably) revealed this week. Daryl and Carol found themselves in Atlanta, chasing after a car similar to the one that took Beth at the end of last season. It was great to see these two characters finally get chance to talk after the time Carol was away, but we also got to learn a bit more about Carol's life before the apocalypse when they take refuge inside a safe house for families who were victims of domestic abuse – a place Carol stayed, if briefly. During their search for Beth's captors, they meet Noah (the guy that escaped Slabtown), who subsequently takes their weapons and bolts. Daryl gives them up pretty easily, but fully reclaims his badassdom later when they run into each other again and he slams the poor lad into a book case that then falls on him and let's free a walker - and Daryl simply steals his cigarettes, sparks up and leaves him for dead. Carol manages to convince him to save his life in the end, but it was still great to see Daryl being his badass self again!

If it wasn't already, this episode makes it even more obvious that we're headed for some kind of showdown between Rick's group and the Slabtown lot, and I would imagine that they are going to be the main antagonists for this season. We got to see how Carol ended up at Slabtown – getting accidentally hit by one of their cars, before they take her away as Noah holds Daryl back – and it was both out of the blue and brutal. As Deedsy mentioned, it's safe to assume that the previously unknown companion that returns to the group with Daryl is Noah, who I imagine is going to provide the fuel for the fire as he recants horror stories of Slabtown. I'm looking forward to seeing things come to a head with this – especially as Rick is so...temperamental at the moment. I also have to give special mention to a particular scene, purely because it was absolutely mental – when Daryl and Carol are trapped in the van that is hanging precariously over the edge of a bridge and surrounded by a herd of walkers, they both strap in and rock the van off the bridge; these two have some massive cojones.

Gotham - “Harvey Dent” - Awesome 9/10

This week we met another big name from the Batman rogue gallery, Harvey Dent, and he, like Gordon, has a vision for a safer Gotham, without all the corruption. He plans to bait out the Wayne's killer - or rather, the person who organised it - by starting a rumour that he has an eye witness to the murder. This leads to the long overdue meeting between Bruce and Selina, who moves to Wayne Manor for protection, just in case she's found out to be the witness. Their first meeting is a reference to the original Tim Burton Batman film, as Bruce tells Selina about a vase from the Ming Dynasty. The two work really well on screen together, showing off their incredibly different backgrounds, with Selina dishing out some harsh truths about Gotham and how Bruce's training won't mean anything on the streets unless he is ruthless. Alfred is obviously against the idea of her staying with them, but as the two children get time to bond, his opinion changes – after all, it's the first time I've seen Bruce smile in this show! Both the kids are fantastic casting choices, brilliantly sewing the seeds of what they will one day become. Harvey Dent appears to be another brilliant addition to the cast, already showing off the psychotic side that he'll eventually become known for as one of Gotham's most notorious crime bosses, Two-Face. His interactions with Gordon showed that they're both on a similar page – for now – and also suggested we will see more of them working side by side to clean up Gotham.

There were some real sympathy feels for Jim this week in terms of his relationship with Barbara; at the end of last episode, she left him and Gotham, and this week he finds her goodbye letter. He's obviously distraught, but it's when he leaves a heartfelt message on her voicemail – and we are shown that, unbeknownst to Jim, she is back with Montoya (who's also working with Jim on a semi-regular basis now, which makes it all the more screwed up) – that the real feels set in. Not everyone is having a bad time though, as current season favourite, Penguin, goes – as usual – from strength to strength. His investigation and manipulation of Mooney is delightful to see, as he figures out Liza's hidden allegiances and proceeds to blackmail her with it. Penguins mannerisms are becoming more and more prominent, more and more weird, and as a result more and more entertaining. We literally can't stress enough how much we look forward to seeing him each episode.

Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D - “The Things We Bury” - Freakin' Awesome 10/10

Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D hit a high point this week (though it's been consistently awesome this season so far, anyway) as it delved further into some very interesting areas – Daniel Whitehall, for one, got some much needed backstory, including the creepy explanation for his continued youth. Whilst the villain has been somewhat one-dimensional, this episodes reveals really help to flesh him out into someone that I'm looking forward to seeing more of. His “experiments” on a nameless woman who, it would seem, was actually Skye's mother, were grim indeed, but it certainly hooked me into the character. We also got to see quite a bit more of Skye's father – who's brilliantly portrayed by Kyle MacLachlan – as he not only gets a tense and badass face to face with Coulson, but also gets some great interaction with Whitehall, who he clearly has legitimate beef with (and I ain't talking supermarket special here, I'm talking prime cut, hand-reared, organic grass fed, top of the range searing steak beef).

We learnt a lot more about the Obelisk and how it's not a weapon, but is, in fact, a key that will unleash the true power of 'the city' when taken to a temple that lies inside it, and that can only be held by those deemed worthy – hence it's nickname 'The Diviner'. Skye's father believes the “true power” to be some kind of doomsday weapon that would wipe out mankind – except for a worthy few. These revelations came during one of the key scenes of the episode between Skye's father and Whitehall, who is having trouble accepting that he is willing to help him for no personal gain whatsoever. What made these two characters interactions so great was that all the while you couldn't help but think that Whitehall was aware of the afore mentioned prime cut of beef that Skye's father had with him, but he needed his help to find the city, so was playing the game. Ward has a fairly decent cut of beef of his own with his brother, Christian, and wanted the definitive answer to the infamous incident with their other brother, Thomas, and the well from their childhood. After Grant forcefully makes Christian dig up the well (it had been buried after the incident), the older brother cracks and admits that he made Grant keep Thomas down there in an attempt to kill him, all to spite their mother, who always favoured Thomas and tortured Christian and Grant. What happened with Ward this episode managed to balance out the tempo between massive world ending problems and the team level problems that we've become accustomed to throughout the show. Oh, and Ward is back working for Hydra, though we don't know what his true motives are just yet, so that should be super interesting!

The Flash - “The Flash is Born” - Freakin' Awesome 10/10

Another week, another metahuman; this week's comes in the shape of Barry's high school bully, Tony, who can turn to steel – very akin to Colossus from X-Men – rendering him invulnerable. He was one of the first metahumans - so far - that has had direct, prior ties with Barry, dragging up all the past trauma he caused; this was perfectly used to give The Flash a decent power amp, showing him break the sound barrier for the first time as he unleashes a devastating supersonic punch on Tony with enough force to break his steel skin. This scene was just out of this world and was like it was taken straight from the pages of a comic – needless to say, we fangirled harder than Cisco. Barry managed to finally get his closure with Tony in a fantastic closing scene, where he reveals his identity to his former bully, before locking him away in S.T.A.R. Labs metahuman prison.

Barry was a busy man in this weeks episode, getting his first real interactions with Eddie Thawne for one; the two were put together on Tony's case, and it brings about some surprising and enjoyable development between the two. Given Eddie's name, we're either looking at a red herring, or he's going to be (one of) the Reverse Flash, and despite Harrison Wells being the clear frontrunner for the latter, there's still a part of me wondering what his deal is, and whether his amicability is a veneer. Speaking of Harrison, we got some riveting scenes between him and Joe, that all culminated in a fantastic closing scene (one that actually had me panicking that they were going to kill Joe off) where the Reverse Flash confronts Joe and threatens to kill Iris if he doesn't stop searching for him. As a closing note, we also finally got to see The Flash get called The Flash, when Barry drops the suggestion to Iris, who posts it on her blog. It's on!

Arrow - “Draw Back Your Bow” - Freakin' Awesome 10/10

And who else got referred to, in an official capacity, as their superhero name this week? Arsenal! Roy Harper has officially taken the name, and I couldn't be happier. I was also really happy to see Olly and Roy's bromance get some attention, and the two have formed a really great partnership. Olly's relationship with Felicity, however, has seen better days, what with her and Ray Palmer getting cushy. That's not what I'm concerned about however, because oh my god that Atom suit reveal had me squealing shamelessly! It was absolutely perfectly done, and to hell with anyone drawing Iron Man comparisons because (a) it looked badass and (b) we don't even know how it'll function yet. Another sweet kind of semi-reveal was Tatsu Yamashiro's badass turn when confronting rivals of the Triad over her missing husband (and saving Olly from getting his backside handed to him in the process). The interesting part about it is, of course, that she used a katana to do so, and anyone with familiarity with the comics (or who pays attention to casting announcements, because it ain't exactly a secret) will recognise this as the first nod to her (possibly future) superhero persona, aptly named Katana.

This weeks villain - who appeared in the previous episodes closing scene - Cupid, turned out to be an obsessive stalker of the Arrow, whose infatuation is from him saving her during the events of the Siege last season. She appeared at face value - however gorgeous her face may be – to be little more than a typical villain of week, however it's what happened after her defeat that was the most interesting: instead of her being locked in a mental asylum as you expect for someone, well, mental, she is drafted into the ranks of the Suicide Squad – in other words, I imagine this won't be the last we'll see of her! The final late and perhaps biggest reveal came in the episodes closing scene, where we get to see our first glimpse of the CW-verses next Rogue member: Captain Boomerang! Though he isn't necessarily a massive character reveal in and of himself, it's the fact that he is going to factor in the first Arrow/Flash crossover event, happening next week; to say I am excited would be a massive understatement!

Constantine - “Danse Vaudou” - Awesome 8/10

When it really comes down to it, this weeks TV has been the best we've had so far over all, and I think it's safe to say that a big contributing factor to that is that so many shows have dropped some pretty epic reveals; Constantine clearly didn't want to be left out, as this week we got our first look at Jim Corrigan, who, for those in the know, becomes The Spectre, a being that's pretty much the next most powerful thing in the universe after God himself. There's a downside to this awesome news, however: now I don't know which I want first, Dr. Fate or full on Spectre. Corrigan works most closely with Zed in this episode (who facilitates the Spectre reveal when she sees a vision of him surrounded by a familiar – to comic readers – green glow), and is the first to really provide us with any backstory for her thus far very secretive character. Clearly, there's something shifty about Zed's background, but the information is being drip-fed – admittedly better than not at all – so I think we might be in for a bit of a wait for anything huge about her.

The plot of this episode was a simple 'problem of the week', but it did let us see a lot more of Papa Midnite, and how he and Constantine are more like neutral parties - rather than enemies as they were portrayed in his previous appearance. When Papa Midnite attempts to contact deceased loved ones for people, something goes wrong and he instead resurrects them - with the need to kill, and suck the life from the living; John and Midnite team up to lay their souls to rest. Their relationship never felt like friendship, but rather mutual and equal parts disgust and respect between two magic users with different agendas, but neither having the desire to see the Earth stop spinning. It is Chas, Johns sidekick, who brings up the most questions this week, however, as it still hasn't been explained as to why he can't die; it's shown in this episode that he has almost Wolverine like healing abilities, but gives absolutely zero insight into the how or the why. It kind of begs the question whether the showrunners have merged the characters of Chas Chandler and, say, Dead Man, or whether they're just giving Chas some kind of super power because why not. Food for thought.

Show of the Week: Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D

Show of the Week: Arrow

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

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