Weekly TV Recap : Week of May 15

By Caleb Gillombardo on

 

This is the last week before the spring season ends. Things are going to get crazy. And Legends ends early, with its finale landing this week.


Blindspot – If Love a Rebel, Death Will RenderBlindspot - Season 1
For being the penultimate episode in a show about a complex mystery, there wasn’t much of a build up to the finale. Sure, that last scene with Mayfair was a surprise, but it also feels incredibly cheap. But not as cheap as the final scene with Weller and his father. After spending so much time to repair this relationship, to yank it all away in a “surprise twist” is a huge betrayal. Of course, everything in Blindpsot is about betrayal. The majority of this episode was a tattoo of the week revelation of more government conspiracy that had no impact on the main plot. The only important scenes that went towards resolving the actual story were at the beginning and end of the episode. The start of the episode contained the required “characters that have been lying to each other tell their secrets” moment and the reveal of what Daylight was. Probably. I don’t trust anything that’s happening at this point. However, the explanation felt quick and hurried. For being something that was teased for the entire first half of the season, the facts seem hastily thrown together and far too simple. The implication through this episode is that Jane is not Taylor. She’s part of a team that set out to reveal conspiracy punish everyone involved in an incredibly complicated plan. That’s been fairly obvious since the start. I guess that’s why these “surprise twists” are coming. The really mystery of Blindpsot is about who is betraying who. The short answer is “everyone”, which isn’t that exciting. I’m not saying that I haven’t enjoyed Blindspot or that I’m not looking forward to the finale and whatever other twists the show will throw at viewers. Blindpsot has easily been one of the best new shows this season. However, the revelations that are happening now cast previous episodes in a new light and that light is not completely favorable.

jada-pinkett-smith-a-legion-of-horribles-gotham-02-600x350Gotham – A Legion of Horribles
It is staggering how far Gotham goes to top its own insanity. This episode tossed the Court of Owls, Clayface, and another possible Croc or maybe King Shark into the mix. It also brought back Mooney and gave her super powers that are somehow related to a fish but make no actual sense. And I can’t let her reappearance go without mentioning how painful it was. Seeing her wearing yet another stupid outfit, posing and gesturing like someone who has never moved before, and delivering lines in the most awkward way possible is the stuff of nightmares. How can anyone claim that Gotham is a good show when it consistently makes the worst possible choices? Beyond all of this, Strange’s roll is getting ever more confusing. He went from a manipulating psychiatrist to a man making genetic monstrosities, to a man being tasked with chasing immortality. And Fox, a character typically defined as intelligent, is now one of the dumbest people in the room. He randomly decides that radioactive material is involved, and that’s magically confirmed even thought it’s never been brought up before. His genius plan to sneak Gordon into Arkham involves stuffing him in the trunk and then making chalk marks on the wall. One tiny little chalk arrow in the massive building that is Arkham. How long did Gordon wander the halls looking for it? Oh, and Gotham thinks its viewers are absolute idiots. Gordon obviously used his old employee badge from when he got banished to Arkham for all of two episodes, right? But he never had one of the new uniforms that only just showed up now. Were viewers not supposed to notice this? Or was it just hoped that it would get ignored in the flood of plot holes, bad acting, and ludicrous story elements that are crammed into every episode? This was’t even a good episode by Gotham standards. It contained far too many new details and developments for the second to last episode of the season. The show should be moving towards resolution of the season’s story arcs. Instead, it is just adding more in what is clearly a desperate attempt to justify its own existence.

Supernatural – We Happy FewWe_happy_few
This episode threw out some big facts very casually. Such as Chuck explaining that the Mark was originally given to Lucifer. Or having Amara blow the wards in the bunker. The majority of the episode was about hashing out personal problems and convincing various powers to join in on the final attack. This had some entertaining moments, but was ultimately very boring. In the old days, Supernatural was about Sam and Dean figuring out a problem through hard work. They were on the front line, getting their hands dirty. Their challenges were resolved by their own effort and determination. Now, they’re middle men. They facilitate other people doing the work. And that work is usually “You have magic powers that we don’t. Please use them now while we stand on the side watching.” This is not very entertaining. On one hand, I like that the show has evolved over time to put these characters into a larger world with larger problems. But on the other hand, the Winchesters have very little to do with what’s happening now. Yes, they are directly connected to the story, but their impact on its events is basically zero. The ending of this episode is very questionable. Clearly, the showdown was not going to be resolved, because there’s still a season finale and no plan in Supernatural ever works properly. The scene with Rowena outside looking at something was very confusing. She was clearly looking at whatever Amara did. But it received no acknowledgement or screen time. There should’ve been something on the horizon or a looming threat. I would’ve been fine with a shadow falling over the scene and Rowena looking scared. As it stands, Amara laid the smack down and vanished and the show ended with everyone else looking worried. That’s incredibly anticlimactic and a very badly written conclusion to the episode. I expect more from this team. I’m also bothered by Rowena’s time travel plan. That was just tossed in there without any explanation or reason. Will it now be forgotten? Or will that be the problem for next season? Rowena goes back in time and re-writes history so now the world is controlled by dark forces and the Winchesters have to fix everything. The show has had worse plot lines. I wouldn’t be surprised by anything that happens at this point.

arrow-422-600x400Arrow – Lost in the Flood
This was a good lead-in to the season finale. One major threat was ended, and the final showdown is set to be between Team Arrow and the Big Bad Darhk. I also really enjoy the fact that, while it was very late in the game, the show took strides to demonstrate that not everyone saw Darhk as a super villain. It was established early, and reinforced here, that he cared for his family. And if that one family believed in his plans, it’s logical to assume that most of the other inhabitants did as well. This reflects back to a theme that was defined when Merlyn was the main villain. These villains are the heroes of their own story. They are doing what they think is right. And really, is Oliver doing anything different? As a vigilante, he routinely breaks the law to establish his goals. He justifies his actions by claiming that he is serving the greater good or acting to oppose foes that others cannot face. The exact same argument can be made for Darhk’s actions. While it might get lost in the action and drama, Arrow is not afraid to deal with the tougher, more serious aspects of the super hero genre. I enjoyed this episode. It delivered great action scenes on all sides of the story and balanced them nicely. It served to set up the finale and make me genuinely excited for what will happen next. I’m also desperately curious for what will happen as the show moves into season five. There hasn’t been anything that hints to the next story arc. I appreciate the story being focused, but I also want something isn’t just thrown in at the last minute. On the other hand, I would also be happy with a full resolution of this arc and a “let’s see what happens next” ending that leaves the show open to incorporate other developments, such as what happens on the other related shows. Arrow could easily handle starting the next season with a jump forward in time and use its flashback formula to reveal previous happenings. They have to run out of events on the island at some point, right? This could be an easy replacement that would make sense as the show moves forward.

The Flash – Invinciblethe-flash-invincible-image-katie-cassidy-carlos-valdes-danielle-panabaker
I like that post-Speedforce Barry is the first glimpse of the always-positive, heart of the team Flash that exists in most comic books. I want more of this in the future. Black Siren was outstanding. I wish her appearance hand’t been revealed so early. This would’ve been an excellent surprise. I also really enjoyed Zoom pointing out the problem that all heroes give themselves. It was a welcome dose of logic. And the Wells/Cisco dynamic was really funny. It’s been developing this entire season and it’s always clever and entertaining. I wish that the army of meta-humans had been an actual threat. As I predicted, they got scienced away without being anything exciting. It was cool for that one short scene to see versions of characters from Legends. I really liked the twist on Cisco’s visions. I was fooled into thinking that the birds were related to the Canary, even though in hindsight, his visions have never been metaphorical. Even with all of these good elements, the show had one big problem. The ending twist was incredibly cheap and manipulative. Zoom has never once stated a motive about wanting to be similar to Barry. That only happened in this episode. To hang such a big event on such weak justification is bad writing. Clearly, this was done to amp up the drama heading into the finale. It was surprising and heart-breaking, especially given the dynamic that Henry brought to the show. But it wasn’t earned. There is a way to include a surprise twist and have it not be a blatant manipulation of events and emotions. However, this type of cheap move is a common comic book trope. So in that context, it’s not really that bad. I am sure that it will make the finale next week intense and exciting.

legends-of-tomorrow-legendary-image-7Legends of Tomorrow – Legendary
The finale of season one starts with Rip again being a horrible person and every character except the one that actually commented on it getting a scene in 2016 (although the scenes with the Lances don’t make any sense when compared to the current timeline of Arrow). And there’s a wonderful “because comic books” moment that gets the team back on the trail of Savage. There’s also a somewhat clever way to tie the Hawks to the Thanagarians that were teased in the last episode. This does add a sense of cohesion that will hopefully carry over to season two. It’s also a nice nod to the confusing reality of the Hawks in the actual comic books. There are also some other great moments in this episode, such as Firestorm getting a more interesting aspect of his powers and fights with random Nazis. But there were also some unfortunately confusing moments, like Savage randomly getting his goons when facing said Nazis and his horribly complicated plan that stretch even the boundaries of comic book shenanigans. The conclusion of Savage’s arc was surprising. I did not expect him to get killed off so quickly, especially with him being such an iconic villain and the show taking steps to embrace a larger portion of the DC world. After everything that happened, I felt like Rip’s death would’ve been acceptable and very justified, given the evidence of his terrible decisions and actions. The ending with Snart and Rory was the most impactful of everything that happened. The Hawks flying off was confusing. After everything revolving around them, there’s no ¬†good reason for them to just kick the team to the curb. The ending surprise of revealing not only the Justice Society but Hourman was very cool. However, since the implication is that they exist in the future (and was possibly founded by the team itself), I’m curious to see how this works out. They were the precursors to the League, after all. For the first season of a show that is a second spin off, Legends had a lot stacked against it. But it was generally successful. It proved again that television is an acceptable medium for the spandex super hero genre. It took on the challenge of delivering the most cliche of the comic book tropes and didn’t fail. It worked with a large cast and did them all justice. It balanced action, comedy, and drama. Given the context of the show, there are literally endless options for what it could do with season two. I am looking forward to what comes next, and I hope that it will stay intermixed with the shows that are its foundation.

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