TV Reviews

The Flash 1×15 – Out of Time

flash1x15After a month-long break, Flash returns with a packed episode. Given that the show has already been part of a crossover with Arrow, had a strong mid-season finale, and given a two-part introduction to another superhero, it’s perhaps surprising that there’s so much in this episode. Of course, in line with the lead character’s ‘thing’, the show has not been slow to bring in new elements, and this episode hits us with several big deals, culminating in a blast of awesome. And we’re still quite some weeks away from the finale. (more…)

Arrow 3×15 – Nanda Parbat

AR315B_0055bIt may only be episode 15, but a lot has happened this season. After departing at the end of last season, Sara Lance returned to Starling City only to be murdered. This then became the driver behind pretty much everything that’s happened since then.

There will be some spoilers for UK viewers. (more…)

Arrow 3×14 – The Return

The ReturnOne of the defining elements of this show has been the parallel storytelling of contemporary Starling City and Ollie’s life 5-years ago. For the first couple of years, the flashbacks dealt with his time on the island, with season 3 transplanting the flashbacks to Hong Kong as Ollie was forced to work for Amanda Waller as part of her covert team.

This week turns it around, with the flashbacks taking Ollie back to Starling in 2010, looking in on the characters at a time before we first knew them, and where they were still grieving the loss of Oliver. Oh… and there’s wigs… a lot of wigs! (more…)

The Flash 1×14 – Fallout

FalloutLast week, we left the Flash racing Caitlin away from the site where the fused Firestorm is about to explode with a nuclear blast. Of course they outrun the explosion, which turns out to be the energy released by the fission of Ronnie and Professor Stein. Perhaps not surprisingly, given their enforced conjoining, Stein and Raymond tend to snark at one another, though the chemistry between the two ensures it remains mild.

A late arrival to last week’s episode was General Wade Eiling, whose intent is to use meta-humans and meta technology to create an army of super soldiers. His previous attempt with Plastique didn’t go so well, so he’s keen to succeed with Firestorm.

Like last week’s Arrow, this episode had a lot more going on than normal, and felt a little crowded in parts. However, with a hiatus coming up, it gives us a lot to take away and ponder. (more…)

Arrow 3×13 – Canaries

arrow3x13Whilst comics may drive the initial creation of tv shows, the need to ground it within a real world, together with the building of its own mythos means that it doesn’t take long for a series to move away from its roots. Every so often, there is a moment when the show figuratively takes a breath in order to clear out some of the overhanging plot elements.

Last week, Arrow had reached one of those points – Oliver had returned from a battle to the death with Ra’s al Ghul; Laurel was running around hitting criminals with a stick as the Canary replacement for her dead sister whilst allowing (and actively encouraging) her father to believe Sara was still alive; everyone knows Oliver is the Arrow with the exception of Thea. (more…)

The Flash 1×13 – The Nuclear Man

flash1x13Effectively part one of a two-part story, this episode feels to be something of a curate’s egg, or perhaps half thereof. Much of what we see this episode comes across as setup for part two, though there is still plenty to enjoy. (more…)

Arrow 3×12 – The Uprising

arrow3x12Ollie’s enforced absence from Starling City has given Brick (Vinnie Jones) a month-long opportunity to build his gang and start to take over the Glades, with the police unable to stop him, despite the efforts of Team Arrow to assist. Given that the field Team Arrow is basically Roy at the moment – Laurel tries hard, but she still looks like she basically just hits people with a stick as hard as she can; Diggle must have babysitting duties; and despite last week’s pep talk about carrying on the Arrow’s work, Felicity seems to be slipping backwards again – it’s impressive that they are achieving some measure of respect from the locals. It also highlights how important the Arrow is as a symbol to the people of the city, and to the Glades in particular. (more…)

The Flash 1×12 – Crazy For You

flash-crazy6Many shows tend to sag a little mid-season in the lull between the excitement of the new season and the build towards the endgame of the season finale. This can often be the case with a new show that is either taking a cautious approach to introducing the mythos, or one which wants to spread the material out to last the lifetime of the show.

Flash seems to be ignoring the conventions and is not only introducing elements from the comics almost every week – something that is perhaps easier to do with the character given his renowned rogues gallery of villains. From the A-list, we haven’t seen Golden Glider in action, the two Tricksters are due shortly, and we’re yet to see Mirror Master, the Top and Abra Kadabra. With the formation of a team of Rogues (we’ve already seen Heat Wave and Captain Cold team up, and a brief moment of Golden Glider, but with the Tricksters and a new Weather Wizard imminent, it would seem a likely time to bring in Mirror Master at least). (more…)

Arrow 3×11 – Midnight City

arrow3x11Grief affects people in different ways – with Laurel, it’s about anger; with Roy, it’s about distancing his feelings; with Diggle, it’s about sublimating himself to his duty to the team; and with Felicity it’s insensate numbness. Last week we saw Team Arrow going through the motions of trying to protect Starling City in Ollie’s absence, and becoming increasingly disheartened as the likelihood of his survival shrank. As the team begins to question whether there is any point to continuing with the crusade, Brick continues to increase his stronghold on the Glades. (more…)

The Flash 1×11 – The Sound and the Fury

Whereas Arrow took a cautious approach to the source material in its first season, Flash dived headlong in and has been rapidly working through the Rogues Gallery of villains – we’ve already seen one Weather Wizard, with another on the way, Captain Cold and Heat Wave, Rainbow Raider, and teases of Grodd and Golden Glider. This week it’s the turn of the Pied Piper.

flash1x11Hartley Rathaway used to work at Star Labs, and it seems he attempted to warn Wells about the likely explosion of the particle accelerator, but was then fired and the warning ignored. His intent is to reveal this to the world, using technology he has developed to harness the power of sound. Unfortunately, he spent a lot less time on his choice of wardrobe, which feels a little too ‘Harry Potter’. (more…)

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