Season finales are right around the corner. Anticipation is high and cliff hangers are drawing ever closer.
Blindspot – Of Whose Uneasy Route
Hey, it’s the return of the bright white room. And an episode that’s made of a bunch of little bottle episodes. Parts of this episode were solid, like Patterson (as always) and the Jane/Weller dynamic. Other parts were lame, like the Zapata/Mayfair showdown (way too dramatic and heavy-handed) and the elevator scene. A lot of this episode was played for laughs, which is an odd choice for being so late in the season. Most of it worked, and had a bit of a Die Hard vibe, but some were just annoying, like the attorney that existed only as the butt of a joke. This is another episode that attempts to develop the characters and their relationships, but again, it’s strange to see this happen so late in the season. I didn’t dislike this episode, but it had an odd pacing that just didn’t sit right with me. The gear-up scene in the evidence room ruined the sense of urgency that this episode tried to establish. Furthermore, the hackers and attack on the building had absolutely no connection to the story. It ruins the flow of the season to have a totally random crime happen with no link to anything or anyone. Ultimately, the only thing that mattered in the entire episode was the reveal that Jane’s actions served to set up Mayfair. But with no explanation of why, the episode closes with a deep sense of betrayal and shock. I always expected Blindspot to drop a twist like this, but I didn’t expect it at the end of such a strange episode. This is surely only the start of the surprises before the season ends, and I hope that the rest will be presented in a better way.
Gotham – Unleashed
Some shows, when approaching the end of a season, crank up the excitement. Gotham, on the other hand, pours on the insanity. It ignores the fact that Gordon is not a cop and lets him run around doing anything he wants, thus proving again that this show is about Gordon and nothing else. But then it sticks him in a car driving through the city for most of the episode. It takes a villain who was absolutely bullet proof last week and allows him to be shot repeatedly in the chest. It then makes him stand stupidly while a team of bad guys shoots him with a rocket launcher while an action movie soundtrack plays. At least I got the rocket launcher that I expected last week. It proves the implication last week that Strange is going to create named villains by giving them a crazy personality. It throws another villain into the mix, who while unnamed is probably Killer Croc. Oddly, this is the only villain that I find acceptable to create in this way. So I’m sure that whenever he gets his reveal, it’ll ruin him and the sense of logic that could’ve been there. This episode also brought back Selina for no reason and gave her a new look. She’s still a worthless character, but at least she looks a little bit more like she actually lives on the street. As with all other Gotham episodes, a potential story arc is ended far too short. This show is more interested in introducing new elements than building an interesting story. It’s like the writers are just saying “Hey! Look what we can do!” without any intent to follow through or skill to do so. Compared to other episodes of Gotham, this one wasn’t terrible. But that’s not an acceptable excuse for the terrible quality that continues unchecked.
Supernatural – All in the Family
Holy crap, Kevin! That was a squee-worthy moment. The reaction of the Winchesters to Chuck was perfect and exactly to character. Dean’s anger broke to reveal a desperate desire to understand, which casts his entire career these past eleven seasons in a more interesting perspective. Also interesting is the fact that these deities are much more like those of the Greek mythology. They are flawed. It makes sense given the context of the show but it’s also a little disappointing. I’ve always hoped that the Big Reveal would provide some hope instead of just more of the same. The addition of a new scribe is a little confusing. If divine power appoints a scribe, who shot that bolt of lightening? And what are those Chosen that Chuck mentioned? Will it be a hook for next season or will they show up in the final battle this season? Overall, this was a solid episode. It was focused on driving plot forward but it still delivered character development. Metatron’s choice was surprising, but just like with Dean, it revealed more about the truth of the character. Nothing was resolved in this episode, but it didn’t bother me. The chaos was controlled and it helped reinforce the desperate atmosphere of the story. At this point, my feeling is that success with come with a heavy cost and there will be some twist that leads into the opening danger of next season. But nothing yet has indicated exactly what’s going to happen. I hope the final result is worth the wait.
Arrow – Monument Point
Why do all bunkers operated by super villains have a weird jumpsuit dress code? And that was pretty much the only source of humor in this very heavy episode. The urgent nature of the crisis was effectively supported during the entire episode. The action scenes were exciting. The most intense moment was resolution of the missile situation. I didn’t expect that. Arrow is usually very good about dealing with consequences, and I expect some nasty ones from this event. Beyond the impact on Felicity, this will most certainly have a major change on the world itself. Unless it just gets magicked away. This episode left me eagerly anticipating more, but there’s a sense of dread that other Arrow finales did not have. In the past, I was excited to see Team Arrow overcome the odds stacked against them. But this time, everything seems far more desperate and dangerous. This demonstrates that the writers know how to move forward with the characters and not just duplicate the same story over and over. This episode also briefly showed what happens when the bad guys team up. I’ve always said that I want Arrow to give birth to the TV version of the Justice League, and if the villains keep acting like this, it’s certainly more possible that Oliver will start to call in more favors.
The Flash – The Runaway Dinosaur
The poor guy has gotten typecast as a zombie. And there was a nice meta joke about it too. But I was right about what happened to Barry. The process of him moving through the Speedforce and regaining his power was a little cliche, but it was handled very well. The zombie meta-human, however, was a silly diversion. Sure, it was entertaining, but it didn’t really serve a purpose other than keeping things exciting while Barry figured things out. Really, the best part of this episode was the dialogue and interactions between the entire cast. Everything was sharp and clever. I’m sure that this has something to do with the special guest director (even though his hand was not very apparent other than with that special guest spot) but I think more credit is due to the cast themselves. They clearly love these characters and enjoy their work on set. Their dynamic is what makes Flash consistently the best CW superhero show. It might be heavy on the drama at times, knows that the foundation of the goofy comic book genre is well-established characters that evolve and develop over time. The end of this episode was exciting. It seems to hint at a massive meta-human show down in the season finale, which would be awesome. Flash was the first show to embrace the spandex super hero concept, and seeing a huge brawl of supers would be really fun. That being said, I have a feeling that the show will find a way to bring the climax back to a showdown between only Flash and Zoom. Speaking of Zoom, Jay out of his mask is not a threatening villain. He is just a guy reading the bad guy part of the script. His reveal was a surprise, but he wasn’t given (or can’t deliver) enough to support the role. And now that Zoom is simply a crazy dude on a revenge trip, he’s no-longer an interesting villain for the show. I’m looking forward to the conclusion of his story arc.
Legends of Tomorrow – Destiny
Woah woah woah. Did they just throw the Thanagar Invasion into the mix? Is that going to be the subject of next season? That’s potentially very huge, especially because this universe is shared with Arrow and Flash. However, it does also highlight the age-old confusion in the Hawk’s story line. This was a big, flashy episode with a lot of action. Legends handles that type of content very well. The biggest reaction to this episode is clearly who died in that final exploration. Sure, it was dramatic, but it was the wrong move. Snart was consistently one of the best parts of Legends and he gave the team a sense of logic that it desperately needed as a foundation. He was always the smartest guy in the room. I hope that Legends plays the “because comic books” card and brings him back at some point. Unfortunately, this moment also points out a glaring flaw in comic book logic. These characters have super powers and powerful futuristic weapons. There was absolutely no need to be in the room to blow up the computer. The only reason they were there was to facilitate the death of a character. That takes away any measure of heroism that the sacrifice play earned. Also, it forced the show to make a prop for the inside of a crazy time line controlling computer, and they did not do a great job. The show also made another huge mistake with Savage. Revealing that he was working with the Time Masters reduces him to nothing but a a guy being sent to do things. He’s not the powerful immortal villain of of his comic book namesake. Yes, this is simply a different version of the character, just like every new comic book show and movie utilizes. But Savage was established early on as being very similar to the original concept. He was the immortal planner, playing the long game to reach his ends. Now, he’s just an errand boy used by a greater power to prepare for a greater threat. In my opinion, this ruined the character. Also, the show implies that he had to time travel back to kill Rip’s family. So he wasn’t there already working on taking over the world? Or was he in that point of time twice? That’s sloppy. I’m not sure how I fee about the whole “Time Masters have been engineering everything with a computer that either knows the future or creates it, it’s not really explained” deal. It’s a typical comic book plot device. It fits in fine with the nature of the show. It’s a great final act twist that gives the characters something to react to and deal with. But it also essentially negates everything that happened over the course of this first season. In the big picture, this isn’t a problem. It’s a very comic book move, and Legends is the most comic book show on the CW. But personally, I always wanted Legends to dig more into the philosophical debate over free will and destiny. So to me, this feels cheap. That being said, it was a great way to explain away a lot of the events of the season and open up the world for whatever happens next.