Van's Inner Universe

After going through Wild Space, the Rebels’ ship is low on fuel as they ride on impulse power only. While they tried to find a place to refuel, they run into space whales called the Purgill as this fascinates almost everyone except for Hera. She isn’t fond of them based on her past experiences with them that their actions killed her friends. Ezra’s powers in the Force is growing as he senses a connection with them. Basically this was a filler throwaway that didn’t do much for anyone as there were no Imperials involved. An okay episode at best.

The title of the episodes refers to Malcolm Merlyn and The Calculator, the fathers of Thea Queen and Felicity Smoak respectively. Both of them are very selfish, methodical, and self-serving and will do anything to use their children to their owns despite what they claim of doing it out of love for them. The main storyline for the episode was that Nyssa Al Ghul wants Oliver to get Malcolm to relinquish leadership of the League of Assassins and in return gives him the cure for Thea, who is dying from bloodlust. While Oliver deals with Malcolm, Dinah Laurel deals with Nyssa as Team Arrow is caught in the civil war among the League. I will say that Dinah Laurel has a stronger sense of justice than Oliver does.

I didn’t expect Oliver to do what he did to Malcolm if anyone watches Empire Strikes Back, but many of the goals are accomplished in this episode as Nyssa disbands the League while Oliver gets the Lotus and others things to cure Thea. What Malcolm has done is something only he would do in addition to trying to revive Vandal Savage at the end of the recent crossover. Now we know whose grave it will be and why Flash Barry Allen attended as they had us think it would be any of the Arrow cast. That was just them playing tricks on the people who hated Felicity Smoak and her relationship with Oliver.

The relationship between Felicity and her father Calculator parallels what was going on between Oliver and Malcolm. Felicity wasn’t interested in rekindling her relationship with her father and he knew it. But she also knows what he’s capable of. Fortunately it took a backseat to the main storyline as we don’t want too much emphasis on her.

Good episode to bookend the League of Assassins storyline as the League is portrayed as a joke.

This episode is an interesting one because it’s the usual Liv eating the brains of the victims to get a sense of what’s happening, but here they broke away from that and explore what would it be like if Liv didn’t eat their brains. It’s because she, Ravi, and Clyde were investigating a homicide where three victims’ heads were missing and Liv has to rely on other methods to solve the case. This thing with Liv and Major is stalling with the will they, won’t they thing that’s getting old.

Meanwhile, two of the show’s villains with one of them named Blaine meet and it’s not going to be pretty for all the zombies, including Liv. Both Clyde and his police partner are getting close to the truth about zombies and Blaine as this is concerning for Liv and her partnership with Clyde. I’m not seeing much action as of late in this show  as the pilot had plenty of that. They seemed to veer away from it and become a talky kind of show as that spells boring. They need to bring plenty of action back that got the show where it is. I like the mystery solving aspect of the show, but the action needs to balance it out as well.

A good episode at best.

The Flash, Cisqo Ramon, and Harrison Wells of Earth-2 travel to the Earth-2 to deal with Zoom once and for all. This episode has plenty of Easter eggs, but also shows hints of what is to come with the Flash, Arrow, and Legends. The breach in the Multiverse looks awesome and in the breach, we see Supergirl, a future version of Oliver Queen, the Flash from the original 90’s series, Jonah Hex, and a Legion of Superheroes ring. It was also in Earth-2 that we may get hints of what is to come with the Flash cast.

Through Barry and Cisqo, we see the difference between their friends back home and their Earth-2 versions. Barry learns that he’s CSI, is married to Iris, and Iris heads the police. Cisqo has an evil counterpart named Reverb that’s a nod to his brother in the comics. This Earth-2 Cisqo was more advanced in his powers than our Cisqo. Unfortunately, he gets killed by Zoom for disobeying him to not harm any speedster like Flash. Now we know why Wells doesn’t like Cisqo.

I thought it was a surprise to see Deadshot again as he may not be complete off-limits due to the Suicide Squad movie. Caitlyn Snow’s Earth-2 counterpart is the villainous Killer Frost and her lover is the Ronnie Raymond called Deathstorm who has Professor Stein locked up in him. Like their Earth-1 counterparts, Killer Frost and Deathstorm are in love with each other and the bond between them is great. Danielle Panabaker did a great job as Killer Frost.

Unfortunately Barry gets sidetracked and the bulk of the episode was spent between Barry and Earth-2 Iris. They just had to put it there to tick off viewers who don’t like their relationship. This episode is a study of what could have been and what ifs with the Flash cast, just like the rest of the season.

The other plot is Earth-2 Flash Jay Garrick holding the fort to take on the Geo-Mancer while Caitlyn Snow is trying to perfect the Velocity-6 serum in order for Jay to regain his speed. Seriously, they need to move Jay’s story forward because there was a lot of stalling, but at least we learn the real reason Jay doesn’t have his speed and why Harrison Wells thinks he’s a coward compared to Barry.

Great episode overall for the Flash with lots of Easter eggs.

The highly-anticipated episode is based on the classic Superman comics story, For The Man Who Has Everything, written by Alan Moore. The producers felt that it makes more sense to fit this story for Kara than Kal-El, mainly because she remembers Krypton a lot more than him. We see what she really wants and that’s her Kryptonian family. This also sees the debut of young Kal-El, who did great. If he recurs, he could be either in flashbacks as it relates to the Kents or a Superboy clone from Cadmus down the line. The Black Mercy came out awesome in live-action.

Supergirl was originally going to be 13 episodes and this was written before the extension. According to cast member, Jeremy Jordan this was supposed to be the finale. I think the ending with Non was likely an additional shoot when they got the extension order from the network.

With Supergirl in the clutches of the Black Mercy, it was up to the supporting cast to step up. There was a lot of firsts in this one such as the interaction between Cat and Winn, whom to my knowledge never interacted before until now and it’s not positive as it relates to Kara. We also see Jimmy and Winn interacting with Hank for the first time, along with being in the DEO. Matter of fact, there are hints as to where Winn may be going. If Winn is to be fired from Catco, he could work for the DEO as the show’s equivalent to Cisqo Ramon from the Flash.

The episode clearly belonged to Alex who showed great range as an actress, especially in the fantasy Krypton scenes. Supergirl could have figured this out on her own just like Superman did in the original comic story. It made her look weak if she didn’t  figure out on her own like that. The climax of this episode was epic and there was a shocking moment where Astra was killed by Alex when she fought Martian Manhunter. This along the fact that Hank lied to Kara and took the blame will be the source of a rift between Kara and Alex as well as the DEO. What Alex did was the result of what has been happening to her in the last few episodes as she’s going dark. I have a feeling that Alex is going down the dark path and Non now has a reason to go after the humans as he is targeting the Supergirl and the DEO. Max Lord felt like a background character  in all of this.

It was funny seeing Hank impersonate character to deal with Cat Grant, who threatens to fire her out of anger and hurt. Hank now knnows what it’s like to be in Kara’s shoes as her assistant. Everyone in this episode has a purpose unlike last week. No redundancy is shown.

Great episode overall and the ratings went back up as it should.

Blood Ties concludes the storyline from the pilot, where three things were happening at once in 1975. We have Rip Hunter and Sara Lance finding out where Vandal Savage keeps his money; Ray Palmer and Professor Stein working to save Hawkgirl Kendra Saunders; and Captain Cold, Heatwave, and Jax going to Central City for a couple of reasons, one of which is personal to Cold.

There are plenty of conflicts among the team and the emphasis is on character relationships, not romance drama. However, lots of things were inconsistent because the second part of the pilot said only Kendra can kill Savage. How does Rip able to do so when Hawkman couldn’t? Why should the Lazarus Pit work differently with both Sara and Thea Queen?

Legends has the most special effects out of the CW superhero shows and they’re trying to go all out considering the budget they have. Put together all the first three episodes and you have a two-hour plus movie. This is what Arrow, Flash, and even Supergirl should be although Supergirl outdoes both Arrow and Flash.

Good episode overall.


{February 5, 2016}   Farewell Axl Rotten 1971-2016

Hardcore pro wrestler, Axl Rotten, has passed away at the of 44. He was found at a McDonald’s near a motel he was staying in at Baltimore, Maryland where he was born with his real name Brian Knighton. He worked in many promotions, including ECW, WCW, WWE, and TNA. But it was in ECW where he made his name where he teamed up with Ian Rotten and Balls Mahoney to battle others in hardcore matches. He never made it to the big time like WWE, but his contributions to the wrestling world are cemented. He will be missed by the pro wrestling community and fans worldwide.

{February 5, 2016}   Farewell Maurice White 1941-2016

Maurice White, founder of Earth, Wind, & Fire, has passed away at the age of 74 after battling Parkinson’s Disease. He founded the group in 1969 with his brother Verdine and singer Phillip Bailey. Together they created hits such as After The Love, Imagination, The Way of The World, and others throughout the 70’s and 80’s. White was singer, songwriter, producer, and artist all together. A consummate perfectionist with a fierce work ethic. The group was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. He will be missed by all worldwide.

Up until this episode, Zeb was the only one who didn’t have any focus as they addressed about the Lasants and their legends that is split into three roles – the child, the fool, and the warrior. They had us think that it would apply to Ezra, but it’s really Zeb as his weapon ends up being the thing that allows the Ghost to pass through the anomalies that lead them into Wild Space from the Old Republic. I was excited that they introduced Wild Space and their depictions fit.

Hondo was more of a distraction than integral because he ended up being a story onto himself instead of helping the storyline. Thanks to his deception and working with the Empire, Ezra realized that Hondo can’t be trusted despite his charms and words.

When finding the Lasants new planet occurred in the climax, they didn’t show the new world or the surviving Lasants. That was a disappointing payoff to the storyline. Writers need to know how to write the payoff and not just the journey. An okay episode at best.

{February 4, 2016}   Arrow – Unchained review

The episode sees the return of Arsenal Roy Harper who reveals his return as a result of the machinations from the Calculator, who is trying to use something to destroy Star City. While many fans are happy for his return, unfortunately it’s for this episode only. His storyline in being on the run is still ongoing with not much happening. If I were the showrunners, I would put Roy in the Legends of Tomorrow since Hawkman was dead. Roy still has it and it’s his first time in being at the new Arrow Cave. We didn’t get a team up of Arsenal and Speedy, yet we have the only scene between Roy and Thea at the end of the episode.

Speaking of Thea, I didn’t like how she was removed because she was exhausted as a result with her actions with Damian Dahrk. This is the first time Oliver knows about it while both Malcolm and Dinah Laurel knew about it. I am concerned that she may be the one in the grave. If it’s her, I will look at it like the producers were toying with fans who hated the Oliver/ Felicity relationship and wanted Felicity dead. It is true that it has gotten annoying because this season is nothing more than light hearted echo of the last season.

What a twist that Calculator is revealed to be Felicity’s dad as this will cause conflict for Felicity and Team Arrow.

The other storyline has Nyssa making her move against Malcolm as she escape with some help and Malcolm wasn’t there. We also get a brief appearance with Katanna and I wonder if it’s her only appearance this season. Some speculated that Katana may be killed off because of the Suicide Squad movie that also uses her as well.

A good episode overall.

et cetera

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