This week will wrap up the fall season of shows. Everything is on break until January or February. Some of the finales were great, some were horrible. Most of them delivered some sort of dramatic cliff hanger moment, but in my opinion, a lot of this drama fell flat. Speaking of which…
Supernatural – Oh Brother, Where Art Thou?
I am an unashamed Supernatural fan. But I am not the type to let my personal preference translate into biased opinion. I really wanted to like this episode. The big reveals were dramatic and they cranked up the excitement for next year’s episodes. But ultimately, this was a slow and boring episode. It was nothing but exposition in the form of two simultaneous conversations. I’ve said several times before that Supernatural cannot find a balance when it comes to handling the main season plot. It’s either a passing mention in a monster of the week show or it completely takes over the episode. In this case, it took over but failed to deliver. I’m frustrated by the continual return to Rowena and her constant betrayal. Of course, it’s a guess that the wards failing was her doing, but it’s a pretty solid guess. I get the concept of being in such a desperate situation that turning to a known enemy is acceptable. It’s a good storytelling mechanic. But it’s a bad storytelling mechanic to watch characters constantly fall prey to the same tricks without learning from the past. I’m also frustrated by how little main characters seemed to know about things. Both Amara and Rowena played dumb to facts that should’ve been common knowledge. It was distracting. But I very much enjoyed seeing Pellegrino return to his role as Lucifer. He dominates his scenes and delivers his lines with a perfectly coy “I know everything” attitude. Watching him stalk Sam was beautiful. On the opposite end of the scale is Dean and Amara. Their conversation was boring. Her motivation is developing into nothing but a temper tantrum. And Dean was pretty much a solid wall of emotionless grunts for her to throw herself against. The most interesting thing to happen was Lucifer’s reveal to Sam. But there’s a good chance that he’s lying. That’s what he does, after all. Episodes like this make me long for the early seasons when the drama didn’t feel so forced and the story arcs were exciting. At this point, I am hoping for another Sam and Dean showdown, with each of them possessed by their respective big bads. Yes, it’s happened before. And no, it doesn’t make any sense. But does anything that’s happening this season make sense?
Arrow – Dark Waters
Arrow comes back strong from the crossover break. It jumped right back into the main plot and delivered some big moments. Let me address the Oliver and Felicity drama first. This is one of those story arcs that I don’t care too much about. I’m glad that after sleeping his way through most of the female cast, Oliver can settle down. And Felicity is a good match for him, being one of the few characters that is better then him at something. But I know that very few heroes get a happy ending with their spouses, especially in the drama-heavy world that is the CW. I think that this relationship exists only to end and serve as desperate motivation. I like the fact that Oliver is running for mayor, but I don’t like that the campaign is so closely involved with his life as the Green Arrow. I want to see the struggle of balancing two very different personas and lives. Maybe that will develop after the Darhk story arc resolves. Speaking of Darhk, I loved the fact that he remains unexplained. The magic he used to save himself seemed pretty intense, but it wasn’t even focused on. It just happened. And his ultimate plot was somewhat explained, but then just made more mysterious. I hope that it is truly more than just “kill the city” because that’s getting old. I also enjoyed seeing his family. Arrow has done an excellent job with making villains more than just simple bad guys. I was glad to see Merlyn kicking ass, but Barrowman does not have a face that should be hidden behind a mask. And I loved his explanation to Lance about his methods. I’m excited to see what happens when the show returns in January, even if I’m completely positive that it will revolve revenge and Oliver going “dark”.
The Flash – Running to a Stand Still
Just like Arrow, Flash got back on track quickly and easily. But I enjoyed this episode more than Arrow. A lot happened, but it all flowed easily and wasn’t confusing or messy. There were plenty of snappy one-liners. Martin delivered an amazing performance with the Wally story arc. And now Wally exists! I’m thrilled to simply see the character. But I also know that Flash writers love giving viewers payoffs, so I am sure that another speedster is in the works. The reveal of Wells’ true actions was predictable, but still rewarding. The highlight of the episode was, of course, Hamill. I love seeing the rogues, especially Miller’s Snart. But Hamill is a master. There’s no way to watch this episode and not see a live action version of Hamill’s Joker from Batman The Animated Series. His evil plan was a brilliant mix of violence and theatrics. Unfortunately, its eventual solution was a typical “let’s do science at it” deus ex machina. Seeing Patty go off the deep end was interesting. On one hand, it was random and sudden. But on the other hand, it does support her character development. Someone who had lived with that kind of pain for so long and used it to define her life would have that type of rage simmering under the surface. Overall, I really enjoyed this episode and I’m looking forward to next year.
iZombie – Cape Town
This was less of a winter finale and more of an invitation to depression. Everything fell apart. It also wasn’t a great episode. The best parts were the one-liners. Major’s story got some explanation and his actions are pretty lame. His relationship with Liv was nothing but forced drama, so I’m glad it’s over. Again. I’m disappointed that it took this long for Babineaux to end the partnership with Liv. His acceptance of her crazy behavior has been one of my biggest gripes about the show. I am willing to give into the suspension of disbelief for the sake of the show, but it’s been getting worse lately. The street vigilantes should’ve been around for much longer. They could’ve been part of the show for at least a few episodes. Babineaux revealed that they’ve been around in the show universe for a long time. The fact that things only exist when they matter to Liv is frustrating. Also frustrating is Boss. He’s a very lazy and underdeveloped villain. He serves no purpose. He is the most cliche bad guy possible. What iZombie is lacking, in my opinion, is a larger world. I know that in genre shows like this, the plot needs to be focused. And iZombie hasn’t been around for long enough to really develop. But even so, nothing seems to matter or even exist unless it relates to Liv. Look back to the second season of Supernatural. The show was very focused on Sam and Dean, but it still developed the mythology and acknowledged the rest of the world. I love the core concept of iZombie, but I want more. The show has had a rocky second season. I hope it can recover in the second half.