Tuesday, October 25, 2016

My Review of Gotham's 3x06: "Follow The White Rabbit"

Written by Steven Lilien & Bryan Wynbrandt
Directed by Nathan Hope

Jervis: "Welcome to our tea party, James. We've been expecting you."

And this week, it's a case of dull, cliched A-plot versus somewhat engaging but also frustrating and inconvenient B-plot but seeing as the former actually made my teeth gnash a bit more, let's delve into that one first, shall we?

Tetch reappeared in this episode and started proceedings off by kidnapping a married couple and forcing Gordon to choose between saving them or a little boy. Needless to say, James chose the latter after a cryptic man in white relayed the message to him but also showed the right amount of scorn when the couple subsequently plummeted to their deaths.

The vendetta that Jervis seems to have for Jim has already lost it's momentum and we're about four or five episodes away from this half season arc ending. This episode took an offensively predictable route when Jervis decided to kidnap both Valerie and Leslie in order to force Gordon's hand into choosing the woman he really loves and so on.

Of course, even when Gordon thought he was being clever, one of the ladies still got and the other one wasn't best pleased with Jim's actions. I'm actually a little surprised in the midst of all this, that Tetch didn't add Barbara into the kidnapping mix but on the other hand, that was definitely for the best even if she has done nothing this season but just snark and so on.

It's disappointing that after four episodes since his debut that I'm actually eager for Tetch to exit stage right. Benedict Samuel is good in the role but already the writing for him is feeling too repetitive and there's only so many scenes I can tolerate with him taking no responsibility for terrorising his sister and I'm rapidly losing patience with him. Once again, it didn't help that Gordon also let him slip away as well.

Onto the B-plot, I can't believe the show is actually going there with Oswald and Edward. Even if the latter doesn't feel the same way (and it's very likely he doesn't), the fact that in another frustrating episode, Gotham effectively outed Oswald is kind of cute. And we're talking about a man here whose literally killed for a sandwich in the past.

Of course Oswald's hopes of confessing his feelings to Edward over a romantic dinner more or less went down the pan when Nygma encountered a woman who looked a lot his dead ex. Isabella, looking like she's stepped out of a Hitchcock movie even charmed Nygma with a riddle, so it's pretty obvious that she's a trap of some kind and that Edward is in for a rotten time ahead. As for whether or not the show will properly go there with him and Oswald, I guess we'll have to wait and see, huh?

- Barnes is hulking out a little with Alice's blood taking effect on him. Bullock picked up on him being off.
- No Bruce, Selina, Alfred, Lucius or Ivy this week. Butch was mentioned and it was implied that Tabitha might be sleeping with him again.
- I think Oswald just triggered a future sociopath with the advice he gave to Luke during his school trip with Edward there.
- Chronology: Not long from where Anything For You left off.

Follow The White Rabbit was one of the weakest episodes we've had in a while with a main plot that this show has done to death so many times that even the writers must realise they're taking the piss. On the other hand, at least the Oswald/Edward stuff was better viewing.

Rating: 6 out of 10

Monday, October 24, 2016

New Recruits

It's been a while but here's a look at some of the returning shows that I've been watching over the last few weeks.

Arrow: After an extremely disappointing fourth season and a fanbase who have taken cringe to new lows, this show has returning for a fifth year and the first three episodes have been okay so far. Tobias Church and Prometheus are intriguing enough villains but have yet to reach Damien Darhk levels of potency yet while the flashbacks are a bit of an improvement on last season. However with Thea and Diggle out of the field, we've had to get used to some new recruits with Mr Terrific, Artemis, Wild Dog and Ragman somewhat stepping in to help defend Star City with a hero who is also trying to be the Mayor. It's not been bad so far to be honest.

Once Upon A Time: And we're into the sixth season of this show. Who would've thought when the series started off back in 2011, we'd still be here. The first four episodes have been an interesting bag. On one hand, I am disappointed that they wrapped up the Jekyll & Hyde storyline so quickly and the Count of Monte Cristo episode was a damp squib but at the same time, we're seeing Belle stand up to Rumple a lot more, the Evil Queen arc is being handled better than expected and the prophecy storyline with Emma isn't too bad. Plus we're getting the Aladdin/Jasmine/Jafar storylines and Cinderella had another great backstory episode, so overall I'm content with this season so far.

Scream Queens: Let's be honest, considering the dire ratings this show got last year, it's amazing it's back for a second season and considering the dire ones it's still getting, it's unlikely to be back for a third run. The first two episodes of this season has replaced the Kappa sorority for a creepy hospital and the Red Devil for the Green Meanie while Hester does her best Hannibal Lecter impression for a limited amount of characters to see. The Chanels, Denise, Zayday and Dean Munsch haven't greatly changed as characters and there are times when the show still thinks it's funnier than it actually is. There are also times though when it's pretty creative but even I don't think that will be enough to prevent FOX from striking the killer blow and taking this show out.

Supergirl: The most feel good superhero is back and while it's now on the network it should've been from the start, it feels like everything and nothing has changed all at once. Tonally, it's still the same as the first season but within the first two episodes, we've had Kara battling Metallo with her famous cousin (Tyler Hoechlin truly giving a superb performance), the departure of Cat Grant (she'll be missed) and the arrivals of the mystery man in the pod, Cadmus's brutal doctor lady, Lena Luthor and Snapper Carr as well as Winn and Kara themselves switching jobs and Alex working through some past anguish as well. An absolutely super star to the second season.

The Flash: We've waited all summer for the arrival of Flashpoint and it came and went in the space of one episode. Technically this is true, but truthfully while that arc did play out for one episode, it's obvious the consequences are going to be very ongoing with even the other shows being affected by Barry's actions. The first three episodes have had their moments and I've enjoyed the slow reveal of Caitlin's icy new powers along with Jessie being a speedster, Harrison's return and the arrivals of both Julian and Alchemy as well. That being said, is it me or does Cisco really need to get back to his usual self?

Victoria: The second half of this series has fortunately been as strong as the first. It's great that in her first proper post Doctor Who gig, that Jenna Coleman really managed to bag yet another iconic role. I wasn't sure of the idea of Victoria being an ongoing series but having seen the last few episodes, I'm really glad that ITV have found a new jewel in their Sunday night crown and that we've got another series and a Christmas special for 2017. Long live the queen.

- MTV have renewed Scream for a third season.
- The Walking Dead just revealed who Negan killed and holy shit, while I'm not a religious viewer, that death was fucking brutal. The show has also been renewed for an eighth season.
- Sean Maguire will be appearing again in Once Upon A Time for multiple episodes.
- Chris Pratt will guest star in the fourth season of Mom.
- CMT have released a promo for Nashville's fifth season, due to air in January.
- American Horror Story has officially been renewed for a seventh season.
- Alyssa Milano has joined the cast of Wet Hot American Summer for it's second season.
- BBC3 have acquired the rights to gay themed Australian swimming drama, Barracuda.

Saturday, October 22, 2016

My Review of How To Get Away With Murder's 3x05: "It's About Frank"

Written by J. C. Lee
Directed by Jann Turner

Frank: "This is a woman who wants me dead."
Bonnie: "Because she blames you for the baby, and that's fair. You know that."
Frank: "Of course I do."
Bonnie: "Then come home and tell her that. She'll forgive you. You just need to forgive her first."

Holy shit! That is pretty all I can say about this show and yes, it'a weekly reaction because this series constantly seems to top itself and this episode was an absolute hell of a doozy with some many answered questions, including to ones that I hadn't even thought about to begin with.

First of all, in flashbacks which ranged from 1999 and near enough the present day, we saw Annalise and Sam when they first moved into their home and then we saw Sam persuade Annalise into helping out Frank from a prison cell. With the episode title having Frank's name in it, it wasn't exactly a shocker to see that this would detail all of his significant history with the Keatings and it managed to do so with aplomb.

Coming away from this episode, I definitely got a better understanding of Frank's character and the relationships he's had with Sam and Annalise. In the present day, we saw Bonnie track him down and thank him for bumping off her father. On top of that we also had Bonnie trying to convince Frank to apologise Annalise and sleep with him, only for Frank then to do a runner.

Of course, Frank can run all he wants but at the end of this episode, both Wes and Annalise became privy to his former whereabouts thanks to Laurel spilling her guts to them about things. I'm not sure what Annalise is going to do with Bonnie and Laurel but I imagine it'll something pretty drastic. However, the one thing we can also take away from this episode is that someone male died in Annalise's house as Michaela was revealed to be safe and sound too.

Speaking of Michaela, she really had her moments in this episode. Her verbal annihilation of Simon was without a doubt one of her best moments this week but the delving into her history was also rather unexpected. I wasn't expecting to see Brett Butler pop up as her adoptive mother, Trishelle and I'm also curious as to why Michaela is in possession of Connor's phone as well.

As for Simon Drake, he's been something of a minor thorn in the Keating Five's side for the last few episodes but this week, it was revealed that he was responsible for sending out the killer fliers about Annalise. I'm cool with it being Simon but I'm kind of hoping a motive appears for his actions outside of jealousy for the gang and Annalise though. I do think Annalise dealt with him well enough, though I'm still sure that Drake may pose a problem down the line.

Keeping with Annalise, she seemed to go through the gamut in this episode. She was a mess in some respects but she also got herself back together and even managed to get her teaching licence as well. I did like the reveal of Hargrove also being in the AA meeting too and I certainly appreciate that she's not actually that much of an antagonist towards Annalise either.

- Wes was on the verge of breaking up with Meggy after meeting her father in this episode.
- Nice cameo appearance from Mary J. Blige as Annalise's hairdresser this week. Nate is also still sleeping with the female lawyer whose hatred for Annalise is intensifying.
- Connor is now the only person whose parents we've not met so far out of the Keating Five. I still refuse to believe that he's under the sheet.
- Chronology: Three weeks before the events of the big fire.

This was one hell of an episode. It's About Frank certainly lived up to it's title, delving more into the character's backstory while also giving us some genuinely gripping flashbacks and present day moments for Annalise and the gang while tying up one mystery in a satisfying manner. It really does feel like all bets are off now til the mid-season finale.

Rating: 9 out of 10

Friday, October 21, 2016

My Review of Legends Of Tomorrow's 2x02: "The Justice Society Of America"

Written by Chris Fedak & Sarah Nicole Jones
Directed by Michael Grossman

Sara (to Nate): "Out here, even the strongest and bravest of us die."

Ah, yes, of course Sara would come out with a line like that and by the end of the episode, it had more potency when the Justice Society of America lost a member as well. Goodbye, Rex Tyler/Hourman, we barely knew you but the show had to reinforce just how much of an actual threat good old Eobard really was and you dying cemented that yet again.

However before Rex was unceremoniously bumped off, we did spend the majority of this episode having our Legends working with the Justice Society of America and it was certainly a bumpy union of sorts as both teams somewhat clashed and connected of sorts.

Jax managed to get his flirt on with Stargirl who seemed a little taken with him while Sara and Rex butted heads over leadership tactics. Stein's temporary appointment of the Legends leader came to a swift end though when he handed the reins over to Sara without even hesitating. Now, I wasn't opposed to Stein actually being the leader but this episode proved that out of all of the Legends, Sara is the logical choice for the role until Rip returns.

Then there was Ray and Amaya/Vixen as well who clashed and connected quite a bit in this episode. Amaya (Mari's grandmother) wasn't best pleased with the Legends and particularly Ray stepping into stop the Baron's super soldier plan in 1942 and when the two ended up being captured together, we had some moments that made me wonder if we're going to get a future pairing down the line. I like Ray but I'm not sure if the show should be touting him as a romantic lead as such and I'd rather see Amaya develop on her own without a romance so soon.

As for Nate - well, this episode certainly gave him a bit more scope, didn't he? He had some nice choice moments with Sara (please, don't go there, show) and learned a bit more about the team dynamics when he wasn't foretelling some bad stuff going down. More to the point, the show also tackled the relationship between him and his grandfather, Commander Steel and we even learned that he's a hemophiliac. Also going by the trailer for next week, it seems that he will also become more than just the historian on board the Waverider.

As for the Society members themselves - Rex, Amaya and Commander Steel are the only one who truly got some immense screen time, even if the former died by the end of this one. Mid-Nite, Obsidian and Stargirl had their moments but were a bit underutilised while the Baron's super soldier self was guilty of some of the worst CGI we've seen on the show.

- There were references to both Rip and Snart in this episode. We also briefly saw Rip in flashback this week when learning more on Rex's warning to the gang.
- Ray punched a Nazi in this episode and this was after telling Jax not to respond to a racist comment.
- Standout music: Stein singing Edelweiss of course. Get Victor Garber to sing more on this show.
- Chronology: More or less from where Out Of Time left off.

The Justice Society Of America definitely provided a good introduction for that particular group of people and it'll be interesting what will motivate Vixen to leave them and join the Legends by next week. The main baddie of the week was a bit lame though the episode did manage to make Reverse Flash more of a threat in those final moments than Vandal Savage ever was last season.

Rating: 7 out of 10

Thursday, October 20, 2016

My Review of American Horror Story: Roanoke: Chapter 6

Written by Ned Martel
Directed by Angela Bassett

Sidney: "The Butcher is not real. We only want real people this year."
Agnes: "I'm a real person."

And just like that we've somewhat predictably gone into Scream 3 territory. Back when this season started, there was also the suspicion that we'd move from re-enactments to real life with both worlds colliding and in this episode, that's exactly what happened.

Cheyenne Jackson finally appeared on camera as My Roanoke Nightmare creator, Sidney Aaron James and he was every bit the cliche of a sleazy producer you'd expect but I mean that in a good way. Knowing that his show was a smash hit, Sidney didn't waste time in pitching the sequel series - Return To Roanoke: Three Days In Hell and getting it as well. Warning though: everyone died and the series never made it to air.

Now this is where things get a little nuts - Sidney's second series meant getting the original Shelby, Matt and Lee back into the house along with their re-enactors, Audrey Tindall (Sarah Paulson's British accent though), Dominic Banks (whom the real Shelby had an affair with), Monet Tumissee (who seems to despise the real Lee) and Edward Mott's re-enactor, Rory Monahan who actually married Audrey and ended up dead by the murderous nurses at the end of this one.

Seeing both world collide certainly was an interesting experience. The actors themselves come across as a tad vacuous but even with the meta roles, there's no denying that Sarah Paulson, Evan Peters, Cuba Gooding Jr and Angela Bassett were having a blast as their characters slowly began to realise they were really stuck in a haunted house.

However if there was a performance of the week, then it was certainly Kathy Bates. Taking method acting to a whole new level, Bates was an absolute delight as Agnes Mary Winstead who took to playing the Butcher a little too seriously that she terrorised Audrey over a Saturn award and was told by Sidney that she wasn't allowed to be a part of the second show. I think we all know that's not going to stop Agnes, especially now that the real fun has actually begun in the house.

- Angela Bassett directed this episode and she did a brilliant job as well. Given that Kathy Bates has previously directed for Six Feet Under, I hope she gets a chance to helm an episode of this show.
- My Roanoke Nightmare was apparently beating football, The Walking Dead and Empire in the ratings.
- There's still no title sequence for this season. I know I go on about it, but I miss having one this year.
- Chronology: Over a year since the events of the first five episodes/re-enactments.

Chapter 6 had a twist that we all speculated was going to happen but it didn't stop the episode from being a reboot within the season itself and it's going to be interesting to see how the rest of this motley crew are picked over the next four episodes.

Rating: 7 out of 10

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

My Review of Gotham's 3x05: "Anything For You"

Written by Denise Thé
Directed by TJ Scott

Nygma (to Oswald): "I hope you know, Oswald, I would do anything for you. You can always count on me."

And this week, this also included setting up a lovely little scheme where Butch's own back stabbing was publicly outed, therefore making Nygma Oswald's number two even more so. How sincere Edward actually is about being there for Oswald, I don't know because for a moment, even I believed that he was willing to betray his friend for a slice of the action.

I knew Butch was going to be part of the Red Hood gang (nice use of them, by the way) and I knew that his scheming boiled down to currying more favour with Oswald. I also knew that Butch would conveniently silence the gang as well but also that Nygma would somehow become privy to things and use it his own advantage.

Having the action set place in Sirens (I guess that place has replaced Oswald/Fish's nightclub of the first two seasons) with most of the principal characters there was brilliant. Along with Victor Zsasz returning and Tabitha briefly in danger, Butch's betrayal got a very public showing along with Nygma's "heroism" for good measure.

Speaking of Nygma, when he wasn't inserting himself further into Oswald's life/cause, he was also back at the GCPD and ruffling feathers in order to help out with the Red Hood gang. I did enjoy the scenes he had with Leslie and Lucius though, both of whom made sure that Nygma knew exactly where he stood with both of them,

Elsewhere in the episode, we also got to see some more continuity from the events of Jervis Tetch's antics from beforehand. It seems like whatever effect Alice's blood has is now starting to take a hold of Barnes while Gordon and Valerie both did their own brand of research into learning more about it while Tetch resorted to kidnapping a woman and forcing her to live out his sister fantasy before killing her at the end of this one.

As for Bruce, I quite liked his scenes with Gordon and Selina in this episode. It's nice to see the show trying to explore his public persona and for Bruce/Selina fans, this was definitely a good episode for them as they grew a little closer in this one.

- Ivy was one of the guests at Oswald's party and took some delight into taunting Selina. I hope the show knows what they're doing with her.
- Tabitha went out of her way to rescue Butch by the end of this episode. This can't end well for her, right?
- The statue tribute to Oswald's mother looked awful. Maybe the Red Hood gang did Oswald a favour, taking that garish thing down.
- Chronology, not long from where New Day Rising left off.

Another superb episode. Anything For You certainly had a lot of fun moments with two of the best characters getting the best amount of screen time together but I am a little concerned if Hatter is sustainable for the rest of the year's episodes though.

Rating: 8 out of 10

Monday, October 17, 2016

My Review of How To Get Away With Murder's 3x04: "Don't Tell Annalise"

Written by Erika Green Swafford
Directed by Kevin Rodney Sullivan

Laurel (re Frank): "He killed your father, didn't he?"
Bonnie: "Don't tell Annalise."

Can I just say to begin with that looking at the ratings for this current season are making me a little sad. I understand shows have their ups and downs but this season so far has been so ridiculously great that it's a shame the ratings aren't somewhat higher than they should be.

This episode in general could easily be one of my favourites. Not only did we see Annalise having to face some genuine consequences for her actions (even if that guy from last week totally deserved that slap) but we also saw the differences in her relationships between Nate and Eve. Annalise really turned on the former at the worst possible time and he ended up sleeping with another woman while the latter supported Annalise but ultimately had moved on to another love.

I do like that Annalise's confrontation with Soroya didn't get her what she wanted until Annalise realised that claiming to be an alcoholic was the only way of getting her licence back. It was a clever enough move but it also had some truth to it as well.

I really do think that the dead body is going to be either Nate or Eve, if not Frank. This week, Laurel was ruled out of the equation but only as the dead body. She was the second alive one in the house that the ambulance rescued and thanks to Meggy at the end, we also learned that she was pregnant while Bonnie and Oliver at the hospital remained oblivious to this.

The big question as to whom the father is though - Frank or Wes should be interesting to learn down the line. This week though, Frank continued his killing of bad fathers by heading up to a low security prison in Coalport to bump off Bonnie's abusive father and now both Bonnie and Laurel have a secret from Annalise of their own.

Speaking of Bonnie, with Annalise losing her licence, it was up to her and Asher to help a misguided teenager named Tristan avoid a prison sentence. The case took something of a dark turn when we learned that Tristan was stealing to provide for his biology teacher, whom he got pregnant. I do like that the case had both Bonnie and Asher mull over their past this week and while Tristan was a little justified for calling them horrible people, I do think Bonnie in spite of her methods did the right thing.

- Simon took some delight in implying to Connor that he hooked up with Oliver (they didn't by the way), Connor hooked up with two younger guys onscreen and a silver fox off screen and Annalise can't say the word "bisexual".
- Last week we saw Laurel's father again and this week it was Frank's who told us he was in prison years ago.
- Michaela spent a lot of time this week trying to hook Oliver up with other guys when she wasn't downplaying her thing with Asher and being a little drunk around Meggy.
- Chronology: Not long from where Always Bet Black left off and four weeks prior to the fire at Annalise's as well.

Don't Tell Annalise certainly intensified things a lot this week. Between the moments of Connor and Oliver trying to move on from each other and all the new secrets and lies this week, we're certainly leading into things really going to hell.

Rating: 8 out of 10