Lucifer has been renewed. I don’t want to live on this planet anymore. But this was an off-week for a few of the worst shows, so that’s some solace.
Blindspot – Any Wounded Thief
This episode started with a lot of forced drama. From the usage of past emotional scenes to the discussion in the conference room, everything was clearly done to create a tense tone. The showdown with the general came early and was resolved way too quickly. He went from rationalization to confession in seconds. I understand that his part was not the ultimate climax of the episode, but poor writing made him nothing but necessary exposition and weakened his role instead of making him an interesting character. This episode also featured a lot of stupid moments. The shock on the face of Chang after she shot into the container of gas canisters was laughable. The fact that the team happened to pick the right location towards the end was logical within the confines of the show, but was typical plot-driven necessity. What’s really interesting about this episode is the fact that the crime of the week was pushed to the background so that events could focus on the personal drama of the characters. This is a refreshing break from the typical format of Blindspot, but it should’ve happened much earlier in the course of this season. Doing it this late in the game makes it feel like a forced move to attract attention instead of a careful plan to engage the audience during the natural progress of the show. I really liked Jane’s flashbacks. Even though they frustratingly did not reveal anything about the mystery, they were not simply based off a reaction she had to an event. It reflects her slow recovery, which I appreciate. The choice with Patterson is starting to worry me. I have liked her character the best and it seems like her story is being directed towards a break down. It would be interesting, but I don’t know if it would be handled properly. Lastly, has anyone else noticed that the weird white room with a wall of lights set has been getting a lot of use lately? That’s just weird.
iZombie – Reflections of the Way Liv Used to Be
I feel much better after the exposition between Major and Ravi. I love this bromance and clearing the problems that have existed between them for ages is like deeply inhaling after holding my breath for way too long. Amnesia Blane was very entertaining. As was Business Savvy Don-E. As was Zombie Major jumping into the brain of the week game. Really, every part of this episode was solid and perfect. Next week is the two part season finale, so it makes sense that the quality and excitement is ramping up. And that ending! Wow! That’s a perfect way to get the audience on the edge of its seat for next week. Overall, this was a tight, well-written episode. It highlighted the humor that is the show’s strength. It focused on the advancement of the main plot while still featuring character changes and development. Most importantly, it made me eager for the next episodes. This is not just because of the cliff hanger ending. Every scene in this episode included interesting, unresolved moments that created a true sense of desire for their resolution. This episode was a perfect balance of everything that iZombie does well. As the end of this season draws near, I must admit that I have been missing the jokes that are focused on Liv’s cooking. I am disappointed in myself. I always say how much I love those cooking montages. I’ve just never caught the jokes. That’s a credit to the writers for working in such subtle, smart humor. I’m just very bad at puns.
Supernatural – Hell’s Angel
I really wanted to enjoy this episode. The Lucifer/Castiel combo is always entertaining. But Rowena is back because of plot. And just like always, she’s playing both sides and being more than a title annoying. The jump of logic from “we have no chance against Amara” to “the horn is the only thing that can stop her” is typical late-game Supernatural shenanigans. It doesn’t make sense but logic tends to fall apart when a McGuffin hunt is in play. And of course, it didn’t work. There were a lot of almost good moments in this episode, but the overall presentation simply fell short because, like so many other Supernatural episodes, nothing happened. The only bit of new information is that Amara is trying to coax out God for a showdown. That’s potentially interesting. As deeply as this show has dug into all kinds of religious myths, it has never revealed its version of God. Supernatural is grounded in the classic Christian mythology (with a heavy helping of everything else out there) and has relied on the concepts of Heaven, Hell, Demons, and Angels since the pilot episode. But it has always played the “God’s not around” card. It’s very possible that this character has shown up before (if the fan theories are true) but it’s never been clear. Adding a God character to Supernatural would prove interesting. It could take the show in a new direction. But it could cause just as many problems. After all, if God shows up, he could very easily just become a quest-giver instead of an interesting character. I really have no idea where Supernatural is going to go in these last few episodes. All I do know is that Heaven seems to shop exclusively at Gap in the late 90s.
Arrow – Eleven-Fifty-Nine
For all my best efforts, the surprise reveal of this episode was spoiled before I watched it happen. That doesn’t have as much of a negative impact as you’d expect because the show made what was going to happen very clear. (I’m still going to avoid spoiling it in this article, just in case. See, I am a nice guy.) But since the cemetery scene did not happen yet, that still might relate to something else. And Arrow is known for secrets, lies, and betrayals. This very episode focused on all of those elements. And with that cut away right before the final moments, I can’t help but think that some sort of trickery is in place. But that being said, I enjoy a good character death. It demonstrates that the show writers are not afraid to do drastic things. While this death might not have been the most heroic, it was dramatic and emotional. However, what did it really do for the plot? It didn’t serve as a motivator for the heroes. They were already united against Darhk. And it didn’t serve to identify Darhk as a villain or demonstrate his motives. It was certainly cast in this light, but it wasn’t necessary. The show has taken plenty of care to show Darhk as ruthless and dedicated to his cause. The line about being a man of his word was the only justification of this action. And it was weak. As much as I hate to say it, this was a pointless death that was only included to increase the drama of the season. I think the character deserved better. Many people were not happy with the casting and performance of this character, but I have always been a fan of both the source material and the version in Arrow. I am not sad at the death, but I think it could’ve been much better. That being said, it was a very comic book moment. Actually, the majority of this episode was pure comic book. Oliver saying how Merlyn would break into the lair just before it happened, the Diggle/Oliver showdown over Andy, and Andy’s betrayal were all scenes pretty much ripped from the pages of any comic book. Arrow might not have started the trend of comic book shows on television, but it was the first (in my opinion) to prove the success and quality of the genre. It’s nice to see episodes like this that throw back to the source material.
Legends of Tomorrow – Progeny
Too much happened in this episode. It wasn’t bad, but nothing got the attention it deserved. But this is a typical event in comic books, so it isn’t that bad. It’s just a shame that when the show tried to discuss more important topics, they got lost in the chaos. It’s also a shame that such a wonderful special guest casting got dumped into a relatively pointless role. This was still a good episode, it just wasn’t great. Even the big fight scene at the end, something that Legends normally does very well, fell short. And the inclusion of the new threat at the end felt like it was shoehorned in at the last minute. I think it happened only to get Rory back into the action. In general, the show should’ve picked one thing to focus on. I’ve said before that the discussion of fate and the philosophy of ‘the good of the many outweighs the needs of the few” are really interesting and important topics to discuss. I like what the show is doing with these concepts so far, but I’d like less angst and drama and more actual discussion. I know, I know, this is not the format for such a thing, but it’s not happening anywhere else. Since the show has taken on the weight of this type of topic, it should devote more energy to it. It could have, for example, dumped Kendra’s flashbacks. What did they really do for the plot? The answer isn’t hard…it’s nothing. And they didn’t even help her character develop at all. She is still the same ill-defined character that’s important only because she’s part of the plot. I like the fact that the team (for the most part) united against Rip about murder. And I like the fact that he ultimately changed his mind. It was the right thing, both morally and for the sake of the plot. Rip is bad at his job, but he can’t become a villain. And murder generally pushes characters over that line. I like that Ray got a little time in the spotlight for more than simply having a super suit. As an actor, he can handle a lot more screen time than he’s getting now. Hopefully, he will remain with the team as the next season comes around and take on a larger role. Ray seems to have an impact on history, so I would like to see that explored. I also want to see a more clearly-defined plot. So far, it’s just been the team jumping around to random points in the time line that have interesting sets for the crew to build. The plot of “chase down Savage” isn’t working to sustain the show because the team never really succeeds at anything. On one hand, this goes to prove the difficulty of their task, which makes the show interesting. On the other hand, it makes for a frustrating show when week after week, nothing happens. This is why I think that Savage as a main villain is the wrong move. I hope that the writers agree with me as this season wraps and season two approaches over the horizon.