A mixed bag this time. Some great. Some… less so.
iZombie 2.12 Physician, Heal thy Selfie
I’ll admit, the episode title is stupid, and it made me laugh.
Alright, this week my entry in “why I love this show” is: It will buck its own formulaic style. But then it is kind of fitting because this is the first “Mystery of the Week” (MotW) that tied directly into one of the show’s ongoing arcs. So a good move by the writers to have the arc mystery stand out by not having Liv go through the usual “get the victim’s last testimony” routine. That they THEN used the brain chosen seemingly at random to lead to a major internal reveal (Liv now connects Blaine & Mr. Boss – yes, sorry I mixed up his name last week). That it all happened organically with logical progressions and characters acting in character is just… perfect.
Major’s efforts to infiltrate Evil Co (which I think is all that’s left to reveal to get maximum cluster******) were put on the line and I have to admit I’m feeling downright sorry and impressed by the guy – he really should be a spy.
Zombie Boyfriend was good. This episode did a lot to humanize him and almost makes me want to see him and Liv happy together. Or at least, that ZBf gets his life together and becomes (or remains) a good person. Maybe if he gets cured him & Major can make a zombie-fighting duo.
No advancement on the Peyton front other than something going on between her and Ravi. Of course they probably don’t need to actually get back together until we resolve whether she’s going to go undead once and for all.
All in all I give this episode an A+ for major plot advancement and stupendous writing.
the Flash 2.13 Welcome to Earth-2
If you did not go and call your mom after Barry hung up the phone this episode, WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOU? I’m a stone-cold hearted bastard who lost the ability to feel any human emotion in 2004 but even I could feel my tear glands strain in effort to work again with that scene. Grant Gustin, you knocked it out of the park with that scene right there.
Unfortunately it seemed like Grant used up all the acting mojo that day as many of our other regulars didn’t quite sell the “being evil” part. Except for Stephen, which is ironic because “deathstorm”* in the comics is usually over the top and hammy. Nice to see Killer Frost either way, though part of me wished they both showed and said a bit more about her nature because as far as I know, she is one of the only cold-oriented characters who got it right from the onset (she doesn’t control cold, she’s a heat-vampire).
I’ll admit at first I thought this episode confirmed E2-Barry cannot be Zoom, but then on reflection realized that no, that could still be the case… then a commercial for the next episode aired and disabused that notion. (seriously CW, stop showing spoilers in the middle of your own shows!) Otherwise this episode was an almost endless shout out to the comics to the point it practically confirmed that E2 is the comics with the show proper its own universe. Also you may have noticed that while traveling, they showed a few other things as universes:
So for Grant & Jesse’s acting, I’d give this episode an A, but Danielle and Carlos were just a bit too much… so final grade A-.
*This is one of those weird moments because the name “deathstorm” ONLY makes sense for the character if that character also knows about the original “firestorm” name otherwise there’s no particular reason for him to pick that name – death-storm would make more sense for a weather-controlling villain. Now DS did know of this in his first appearance, but in his second… It gets really weird how this all works out because it only makes sense from the audience perspective, not from an in-story perspective.
Legends of Tomorrow 1.04 White Knights
So… what is there to say about this one? Ok character stuff, nothing real revealing save some of Stein & Jax with Firestorm and the possibility that given the shared body thing Martin Stein may have experienced Ronnie’s death. This is also, I believe, the first time Firestorm’s civilian identities have had any of his powers while separated.
If anything I think this episode may have been a little too crammed. It’s not secret that one of my favorite episodes of Firefly is “Ariel” so yes it may be some personal taste that wishes the entire episode had been the planning and infiltration of the Pentagon with Chronos being the “spammer in the works” those heist stories always have. At least had they focused on the Pentagon this episode, it would have left more time for the Russian op next episode and expanding the sexy commie chick’s character some more, give Ray a bit more of a reason for wanting to save her beyond she looks really good in a red dress.
More importantly, had they spread it out, we could have had more time with Rip & “the Council.” Don’t get me wrong, I’m glad they acknowledge it, even sooner rather than later. And we all know that there’s only going to be one answer Rip will give, but just because it would be predictable doesn’t mean it couldn’t be done well or shouldn’t. It would have at least been an opportunity to show us something of the characters, maybe even a bit more of Rip’s backstory and how he became a Time Master in the first place. Like I said, it wasn’t bad. . . just wasn’t great. And Flash this week showed us how powerful a single moment can be, even if it’s approach is predictable and the ending as well.
Still not settled on the show’s curve just yet, but I’d put this episode about a C. It’s serviceable, but barely memorable.
Supergirl 1.13 For The Girl Who Has Everything
Time for a history lesson, everybody!
So there’s this guy named Alan Moore. If you go look him up, you’ll see that once upon a time, he wrote some comics for DC. Like… a LOT of comics. He’s also written things that you might recognize as having been made into movies like “Watchmen” and “League of Extraordinary Gentlemen.” Or “V for Vendetta” is another one. “From Hell” is a third. That’s not even getting into all the things he’s invented that others have adapted or borrowed. So basically there’s a chance that even if you haven’t read his writings or know anything about him, you’ve run into something he’s done or had an influence on.
One of these stories he’s written is a little one issue Superman tale called, “For the Man Who Has Everything.” This comic issue was eventually adapted into a single episode of the (stupendous) Justice League cartoon show in August 7th, 2004. (wow, 10 years already?)
So yes, as you’ve probably already surmised, if you’ve seen this episode, you’ve got a pretty good idea what happened in the issue and the cartoon (yes the plant in both is called the Black Mercy). TV Tropes called it a “Mythology Gag” but this is pretty much a straight up copy, only this time Kara had someone come in and get her out of the illusion.
I’m torn. On the one hand it is nice to see tributes to the comics and such, lesser known characters, all that. But this has been adapted before (quite well too). This is a pretty well known Superman tale, they didn’t even change the title. Does it make this episode clever or lazy? Then again am I only conflicted because the writing and execution were less than superb? The cartoon adaption was not only faithful, but it brought something new to the tale. In that case, a memorable sequence where Batman is caught by the Black Mercy and we see what is his fantasy. It’s so well done you can’t help but find yourself thinking “of course! how did I not realize that before?” as all good character moments do. In this, we don’t get much. There’s never a moment of revelation towards Kara or her sister or J’onn – it’s all more of a “we knew that already” stuff. Superman finally appearing fully visible on the show (in child form, granted) is about the only remarkable thing.
So final grade… C but I’ll admit I’m biased. Those unfamiliar with the original or its first adaption will probably have no problem ranking it higher.