It’s here. Finale week. As they say in the year books, what a long strange road it’s been.
Blindspot – Why Await Life’s End
This is not what I expected at all. Certain elements were predictable, specifically the reveal about Jane (as minor as it was) and Oscar’s monologue about the larger plan. And while it might not have been obvious, Mayfair handing over the details of the grand schemes made sense. But the events of this episode didn’t feel like a season finale. Everything that happened were big and dramatic, but there was no resolution or conclusion. Even though the nature of Blindspot relies on a deep mystery, the structure of a television season finale requires some sense of answers. This episode did nothing but reveal more confusion and questions. That being said, it was an excellent episode. There was puzzle solving, good action, and surprising drama. Overall, I think that season one ended with mixed results. It proved that the procedural police drama format can be adapted to be new and interesting. It also proved that a mystery is still possible in this day and age. But to do so, the show relied on cheap tricks and twists and heavy-handed drama. It also continually added layer after layer of betrayal to the mystery. Many of these elements were simply there for the sake of stretching out the story to last an entire season. The show also utilized the “X of the week” concept to an extreme. I enjoyed Blindspot. It was unique and exciting. And it certainly hooked my interest for whatever comes next.
Gotham – Transference
I don’t know where to start. Everything about this episode was a tragedy. It provided some conclusions, but only in the context of introducing more problems. So many moments in this episode that were supposed to be dramatic were overshadowed by their sheer stupidity. There was the big giant bomb, the cartoon parody of Gordon, and Fish’s cape. Or how about the fact that the show is supposedly sending its main character off to find his estranged girlfriend? Then there’s that scene at the end when a bus and a cop car play chicken but are interrupted by a gangster with a chain gun. Which, of course, leads to the teased monsters wandering off but staying out of focus so that the writers don’t have to commit to anything. Except of a clone of Bruce Wayne. Because that makes as much sense as Fish demanding a grilled cheese for no reason. Or as much sense as Strange surviving being simultaneously set on fire and hit with a freeze ray. Really, he was the most disappointing part of this episode. Wong’s portrayal of this character seemed to be done with a knowing wink to the pure insanity that is Gotham. His ability to take charge based on smug arrogance was entertaining and necessary. Reducing him to a spluttering idiot took away one of the only good parts of the show. Without a doubt, season three will be even worse. There will be monsters of the week, a secret society running the city, and the typical sitcom shenanigans when a clone shows up. After two full seasons, I finally know what Gotham is. It’s what you get when you ask a 6 year old to tell you about Batman. Nothing makes sense, characters do the most random things possible, and plot elements come and go at the speed of easily distractible thought. But everything seems great, simply due to the pure unknowing joy of the story teller. At this point, I think it’s far past the writers’ nap time. Enough is enough.
Supernatural – Alpha and Omega
I will never not get chills during the “road so far” montage. Unfortunately, this time, it was mostly a collection of the dumbest moments from the season. The episode itself was strange. At one point, I expected the season to end with Sam and Dean becoming God and the Darkness. Because why not. But the actual events were even weirder. Randomly bringing in another chapter of the Men of Letters just doesn’t make sense. Obviously, it’s a lead-in to next season. But given the final moments, these events seem to echo back to the many other times that Sam and Dean are separated by events out of their control. This isn’t a big enough hook to get me excited. It’s just puzzling. The soul bomb was yet another “last ditch plan that was a possibility all along but no-one ever mentioned it” which happens a lot in this show. The resolution between Chuck and Amara was somewhat rewarding, but not exciting. I like seeing a conclusion that isn’t all about punching, but after an entire season of struggle, I wanted more. And lastly, Mary’s appearance was predictable as soon as Amara spoke The big question, as it always is with a Supernatural finale, is what comes next? I can’t even begin to predict next season’s events. I want things to pick up immediately following these final moments. But I also can see the show picking up after a few months. Ultimately, I felt like this season was a chore. I am a die-hard Supernatural fan, but there were too many dull, boring filler episodes and the big important moments were few and far between. The big problem that the Winchesters faced was so far above their skill level that they were forced to the side lines the entire season. While the elements of the story were the biggest to date for the show, the way they were dealt with was some of the weakest. I think a return to tight, personal stories focused on the characters that matter will be the best path to recovery. The show also left one huge questioned unanswered…what happened to Death?
Arrow – Schism
Just like the title of this finale, my opinions about what happened are split. One one hand, the episode provided effective closure to the entire Arrow universe, let alone this season. If there was not a season five, the show could end successfully. The utter destruction of everything Oliver created provided an effective final chapter to his story. Taking steps to do what he always intended as Oliver, not the Arrow, is a huge moment of development and evolution for the character. But on the other hand, the final showdown was a tremendous let down after an entire season of build up. The entire thing boiled down to a street brawl, just like in previous seasons. Rallying the town against the bad guys happened again. Merlyn showing up to kind of help happened again. And beyond the repetition, the ultimate solution to Darhk’s magic was underwhelming. All of the flashbacks to the island had nothing to do with what happened. Oliver’s one tiny speech, which inspiring, didn’t carry the implied impact necessary to unite the entire city behind him. And I know that there was that one quick shot of a guy filming the speech and televising it, but this feels like the lamest and easiest short cut that the writers could figure out to provide a solution. Furthermore, the moment of this support negating Darhk’s power was far too quick and underplayed. Reducing an entire season of tension to a one-on-one fight was not the worst thing that could’ve happened. It reinforced the themes of Oliver’s ultimate responsibility for everything that has and will continue to happen. I did not dislike this episode, but it was not what I expected at all. I enjoyed Darhk as a villain, especially when he snapped and committed to his plan after losing his wife. It showed a human side behind the evil scheme. In all honesty, I wanted to see his plan succeed. I think a post-apocalyptic setting would be a perfect place for Team Arrow to exist. The show could’ve taken on a survivalist theme and a Mad Max style. Running around shooting arrows makes a lot more sense in this world than the modern one. With the ending as it was, there is truly no context for what will happen next season. I fear that it will be focused on reassembling the team, essentially, rebooting the series. But I am looking forward to the potential shenanigans of Oliver balancing being a mayor and being Green Arrow.
The Flash – The Race of His Life
Really? That’s how season two ends? This is not good. Flashpoint is such a cool story from the comics but I don’t know how it will carry over to the television universe. I want it to work. But that means logically that both Arrow and Legends will have to reflect these changes. They share a universe, so they have to be impacted by the change in the timeline. Obviously, the TV show and the comics are two different things. But Flash is so good at mirroring its source that I can’t for a second imagine that season three will not deal with the same consequences as the comics did. However, anything can happen between now and the fall. As a season finale goes, this episode did well. It resolved the main plot, answered the one huge question that had been looming over the entire season, and left viewers with a huge cliff hanger. I enjoyed the episode, but I did not think it was one of the season’s highlights. A lot of events felt forced. Many of the scenes felt like they lacked the polish and skill that has been otherwise apparent this season. The reveal of the real Jay was rewarding, but it still felt hollow. Maybe it was because he seemed so awkward in his costume and acted like a bit of a jerk. The whole time clone thing was confusing and over-played. As was the race at the end. Having the entire conflict end with a race makes sense in a way, but only because Zoom was taken from terrifying villain to cheesy insane bad guy. Racing around the thing that was supposed to destroy the multiverse makes no sense. Even if Barry won, he’d still be generating the necessary power. There wasn’t any way out of this situation other than miraculous Speedforce powers. I expected an outstanding episode that would wrap up the season, like the finale of season one. Instead, this finale was messy. The only really exciting scene was the last one, and that’s only because I read the comics and know what it means. As a viewer of the show with no knowledge of the comics, this episode is just plan confusing. However, season two was a huge win for Flash. It demonstrated the ability to take on more challenging stories, add characters, and maintain that perfect tone of drama and comedy. I wish the the teases at the other speedsters had paid off. And I wish that Barry hadn’t been so quickly forced from joy to heartbreak. His character growth was undone and he returned to making very selfish choices. It’s not a bad thing, because the context of the decision makes sense with what he suffered. But he is clearly choosing to abandon the family and support structure that exists for him. That being said, I am exited for what comes next.