Well, it seems I was wrong, Dracula airs for next week’s TV Thursday so this is a relative easy week, for relative values of “easy”. Also, Sleepy Hollow is taking a couple of weeks off until the November sweeps, making my job even easier. I’ll have to find something else to watch!
Arrow #2×02 – “Identity” – We start off with a shirtless Oliver. Okay guys, I hate fan service with a passion, I don’t care what kind of audience you’re trying to attract, this is not a show about sweaty half-naked guys, let’s knock it off. We see that a FEMA truck, filled with drugs and headed for a hospital in what’s left of the Glades is getting hijacked. Roy hears about it on his scanner and heads over there in his car… wait a minute, Roy, the guy who hardly had enough money to eat in the first season, has a car? Did Thea buy him one? Did he steal it, and if so, why isn’t he charged for grand theft auto? It’s never established. Anyhow, Roy takes out one of the bike gang and then his car is flipped by China White, who then takes off with the truck as Roy is arrested by police. We see him and Thea at the police station and he’s being questioned by Laurel. I get that she’s with the justice department or whatever now, but that’s not how things work. Anyhow, they’re not going to charge Roy, but she tells Thea that she needs to stop him from acting like a vigilante, they already have one and she hates him. Oliver talks to Roy and Roy tells him that someone is stealing FEMA trucks of supplies and someone has to do something about it. Wait a minute, FEMA is part of the federal government, are we supposed to think that they’re not sending armed guards along to guard the trucks? Especially if it happens multiple times and gangs are killing their drivers. I figure the National Guard would be escorting these trucks after the first incident. We get a flashback to Lian Yu and Oliver is brooding over having to kill. Shado goes to talk to him and they end up messing around together by the river. Slade warns Oliver not to get involved, being distracted can get him killed. Back in Starling City, Oliver and Diggle go to check out the hospital and see how bad the conditions are and run into Sebastian Blood, a local politician who represents the Glades. He’s bitching to the press that the Starling City elite don’t care about the little guy and Oliver says he cares and he wants to make things right. Blood incites a riot that causes Oliver and Diggle to escape, amidst screaming locals. Back at Queen Consolidated, Oliver wants Felicity to become his executive assistant so they can work in the same place. Felicity objects, saying she’s better than that. Diggle says he’s just the black chauffeur. I think Felicity is right, isn’t there another job that he can find that actually has some weight and keeps her close to his office? Anyhow, Felicity hacks FEMA and finds out that there’s another supply truck, conveniently unguarded, headed to the Glades. Oliver suits up and heads that way, only to get attacked by the Bronze Tiger, who is never really introduced. He’s joined up with China White because she wants the Hood dead and Bronze Tiger wants to kill the Hood. Why? We don’t really know. While they fight, the police show up with Laurel, who is just too involved to be on the front lines of a firefight, and Oliver gets hit and has to withdraw. He goes back to his lair, where he gets stitched up and Felicity tells him to stop being so self-involved. It turns out that Diggle and Carly broke up because Diggle can’t stop thinking about Deadshot, who is still alive out there somewhere. We jump to the club where Thea tells Roy that she can’t deal with Roy’s vigilante life and he either has to pick being a vigilante or her and gives him a 2-week severance pay and a stone totem that Oliver had given her when he got back from the island. Oliver decides to invite Blood up to his office for a pow-wow over the problems in the Glades. Blood tells Oliver he doesn’t want his money, he needs to stand up and be a face of the elite and Oliver says he’ll put together a fundraiser for the Glades. Blood leaves, apparently happy, but at the benefit, Blood is ready to throw Oliver to the wolves for being late and Laurel is pissed off at him. Granted, Oliver and Diggle are late, but on the way there, Felicity calls and says there’s another FEMA truck on the way and they have to change outfits. Laurel gets a visit from the vigilante, hoping to smooth things over with her, but she’s so mad that he let Tommy die that she can’t see past her rage. Sorry, he’s just one guy! He can’t save everyone! She tells him never to speak to her again. Back to the FEMA truck, China White has already captured it when Oliver shows up and there’s a lot of fighting. Oliver manages to pin her to the truck with an arrow (ouch) and she tells him that he’ll never be a hero. He says that if he can help the city, it doesn’t matter. He leaves her to the police, although we don’t see her actually being arrested. She does, however, call him the Emerald Archer, which is a great moment for Green Arrow fans. I’m really getting sick of this whole Hood nonsense. Back to Queen Consolidated, Oliver apologizes to Diggle for not being there for him and they get dangerously close to hug territory. Roy gets a visit from the Hood, who tells him that if he wants to help the cause, he can be his eyes inside of the Glades and he agrees and gets a secret message arrow. Roy goes back to Thea and tells her he’s done fighting, she’s more important to him. Then, he goes to see Laurel, to try to get her to see reason one more time and I honestly got the feeling he was about to reveal his identity to her, when she hits a button and calls in a dozen officers, she knew he’d never stay away. Is he captured? We’ll have to wait and see. It was a decent episode, it cemented the team back together after being apart during the season break and we’re seeing Roy becoming a closer part of the overall team, which is great. I still have a ton of trouble with the whole FEMA truck thing, it was dumb and it was only done so that China White and her Triads could keep stealing trucks. Totally unrealistic. Loved seeing Bronze Tiger, although nobody but comic geeks have any clue who he is. Fix this please! As for Sebastian Blood, in the comics, he becomes Brother Blood, which could be cool if it played into the series at some point in time. I still love all of the comic book references in this show!
Atlantis #1×04 – “Twist of Fate” – The guys are out in the woods hunting and it was painfully obvious what they were going to find. I called it almost from the start, they were going to find a baby in the bushes. Yes folks, it’s 3 men and a baby (groan). They can’t understand who would abandon a perfectly good baby in the woods so they take it home and muddle through trying to care for it, clearly none of them have any experience in this kind of thing and eventually, Jason goes out into the marketplace to find some food and runs into Medusa, who should have slugged him in the head for wanting to feed fish to a newborn. Anyhow, she goes back and shows them how to take care of it, while Hercules tries to pretend he’s a good papa because he really wants Medusa to like him. Over at the palace, King Minos has been entertaining a visitor from Thebes, King Lauis and his wife, but something seems amiss, Queen Pasiphae and King Lauis seem to be up to something and at first it seems to be a sexual liason, but it turns out that the baby belongs to King Lauis and he wants it killed because the Oracle has decreed that the baby will one day kill his father. Thinking the baby dead, they are shocked to find that there is no body in the woods, someone saw some boys heading back into the city, possibly carrying something, and they are determined to recover the baby and kill it properly this time. When the King’s guard is put on full alert to look for the baby, Hercules, Jason and Pythagoras, with the help of Medusa, have to smuggle the baby through the city to a safe location, sneaking past guards and once, almost getting caught until Hercules’ drunk impression, with the help of a gassy baby, gets them out of it. They arrive at the pub and hide for hours, waiting for Jason, who got separated, and Medusa to arrive with supplies. Unfortunately, when Medusa arrives, she has brought the Theban Queen Jocasta and the King’s advisor, Tiresias, but they want the best for the baby. The advisor says that he can help them smuggle the baby out of town, but they need to take it to a distant town where relatives of Jocasta’s father have agreed to care for him as their own. They go through a number of trials until they escape Atlantis and head for the distant land, delivering the baby boy. When there, they are asked what the baby’s name is and they declare that because the boy has a swollen foot, they called him Oedipus. Of course, this is just a retelling of the whole Oedipus myth, the boy who is destined to kill his own father and marry his own mother. Of course, Tiresias is also part of a Greek myth as a blind prophet in Thebes, although we certainly saw none of that in this episode. I loved that Ariadne spent a lot of time poking her mother for what she assumed was a sexual desire for King Lauis, when it turned out to be nothing of the sort. Pasiphae is even darker than we thought with each passing episode, she’s happy to use black magic on people and help in a plot to murder a baby. Hopefully someone does away with her. To be honest though, yet again this is an entirely stand-alone episode that does nothing to advance the Jason plot. This makes me more worried with each passing episode that Atlantis will be nothing more than a series of Greek and Roman myths with no overall direction or plot. We’re now nearly 1/3 through the first season and it bothers me that Jason’s destiny, his father, his mother… none of that is really being addressed. My other issue is that Jason, a man of the modern age, doesn’t really seem to be bringing anything from the modern world, or a modern understanding, the this primitive world. Instead, he seems to be becoming more and more primitive as time goes on. He’s not acting as a man out of time, it seems he’s adopting his new time, which is a problem. This series has me through the first season, but if it falls apart like Sinbad did, I will not be watching a second, should it be renewed. I don’t want a random, episodic show.
Castle #6×05 – “Time Will Tell” – Castle has a lot more patience than I would, he’s been living with Pi on his couch for a month now and he’s fed up. He drags Alexis into his office and demands that Pi leave and she agrees with him. In fact, they found an apartment together near school. Castle is not happy with this news, but she’s 19, what can he do? Meanwhile, an elderly man returning to his apartment is accosted by a bloody intruder that has apparently just tortured someone to death by electrocution. The victim turns out to be Shawna Taylor, a parole officer and immediately, Castle and Beckett suspect one of her parolees, but after a quick check, none of them fit the description and all have alibis. When they go to inform the family, they find that they weren’t close, the family was wealthy and didn’t approve of her career choice. Her father says that she had thought she was being followed by someone she didn’t know. It turns out Shawna had filed a retraining order against her stalker and he matches the police sketch perfectly. They bring him in for questioning and he tells them he’s from the future, sent back in time to stop a horrible anomaly that could kill billions of people. Castle loves the story, Beckett thinks he’s crazy. He says they can call him Doyle and while they find his fingerprints in Taylor’s apartment, he couldn’t be the killer because he was in a psychiatric lockup at the time of the murder. Lanie finds lipstick on Taylor’s neck and, since Taylor didn’t have a girlfriend, they checked her regular haunts and found that a prostitute had left with Taylor the night of her murder. They hunted down the hooker and she said that she was sent by her pimp to seduce Taylor, get into her apartment and steal her keys. The pimp says he was contacted by a scary guy named Ward to do the job and he didn’t want to get on the guy’s bad side. When the police try to run a background on Ward, they find that prior to 6 years ago, he didn’t exist. Doyle identifies Ward as another time traveler that he’s here to stop, part of a future eco-terrorist group that wants to destroy a means of cheap energy before it’s invented. The police can find no real links between any of the people until Doyle says that Shawna’s stepbrother is a theoretical physicist that helps to develop that super energy source in the future, maybe Shawna was killed as a means of getting at her stepbrother who has been in hiding? Unfortunately, Ward got to the stepbrother first and killed him, while demanding to know where “the child” is. Nobody knows anything about a child, but when they find Ward’s hide out in an abandoned generating station and Ward almost kills Castle and Beckett, if not for a timely intervention by Doyle, they find the evidence they need. He has a copy of an oddly stained letter, but it’s incomplete and they don’t know who sent it. They go back to the stepbrother’s wife and she checks her husband’s files and finds the original letter, unstained. It reveals that it was sent by someone named Deschile, that’s who Ward was really looking for. Doyle gets really pale, Deschile is the one directly responsible for creating the energy source, without him, billions could die in the future. Beckett has Doyle carted off for a psych evaluation and tries to find this Deschile. Unfortunately, Deschile is taking a break from school and nobody knows where he is. At the last moment, they find out he’s at a planetarium and Ward is headed to kill him. They barely manage to save Deschile and Ward won’t tell them anything. Doyle comes in and says he passed his psych eval, he’s never lied so much in his life, but he has to be going back to the future. Esposito comes over with a file from a psychiatric ward and a picture of Doyle, saying he and Ward were roomed next to each other six years before, that’s how Doyle knew all of Ward’s plans. Doyle says that’s never happened, the people in the future are going to send him back to that time to study Ward and he has to leave. Castle notices he’s left one of his futuristic scanners on the desk and chases after him, but Doyle has vanished, mere seconds after turning a corner. At the end, Alexis packs her bags and moves out with Pi, mad that Castle would try to stop her. I guess it’s time she finally grows up. I’ve said before that my favorite episodes of Castle are the ones where Castle’s imagination runs wild and this was no exception, especially since it’s played up like Doyle really was from the future. Was he? Who knows, it really doesn’t matter, but seeing Nathan Fillion just run with things is always an amazing experience. This time, he didn’t have to invent the absurd story, it was delivered by Doyle and that might have been even more fun because people aren’t just looking at Castle, thinking he’s crazy, but they had someone with a psych record already who was telling the story and he was right about everything that went on. This is one episode I’m going to go back and watch again, it’s just that good.
Elementary #2×04 – “Poison Pen” – Watson watches Sherlock box and she tells him that he fights without mercy and she needs to learn to do the same if she’s to defeat larger opponents, which means anyone bigger than a common housecat. That’s a bit cold, isn’t it? He gets a call from someone he calls “mistress” and then tells the caller to call 911 and ask for Captain Gregson. Holmes tells Watson it’s an acquaintance, Mistress Felicia, and they have a murder to solve. When they arrive, they find Titus Delancey, CEO of a powerful financial consulting firm, dead wearing S&M gear. Felicia had been called to a new client, but when she arrived, he was already dead. Sherlock reasons that he couldn’t have dressed himself without talcum so he must have had help putting on the rubber outfit and his blue lips were a sure sign of a nitroglycerin overdose, something he’s unlikely to have done accidentally. However, there is a glass of boubon and he suspects someone put the nitroglycerin into his drink, which killed him. He tests a bit and proves his point. The next morning, while Sherlock plays with a whip, a gift from Mistress Felicia, he says that they’ve talked to Delancey’s wife and she and her children were on vacation. She said that Titus had no interest in S&M games, which Holmes had surmised from the lack of other gear in the house. He thinks that he was poisoned and then put into the suit to humiliate him. Sherlock knows that there’s only one S&M shop in town that carries suits that large, but the owner refuses to provide sales records without a warrant so Sherlock says they should take his entire stock downtown for fingerprinting and the owner says it was bought the night before, clearly for someone else because the guy was a medium, not an XXL. They tracked him down and found out that it was Jeffries, an employee at Delancey’s firm that had just gotten a promotion. He admits that he put the body in the suit as a gag, but that he was already dead and Jeffries was getting the promotion regardless since Delancey was retiring. They get word that the wife is home and go talk to her and she’s understandably distraught. They meet Anne, the nanny, but Sherlock thinks he knows her under a different name. He had kept up a correspondence with a woman accused of murdering her father using nitroglycerine years earlier, Abigail Spencer, and is convinced it’s her. He is, of course, right. Gregson brings her in for interrogation and she admits to being Spencer, but says she didn’t kill Delancey, although she has no alibi. Sherlock says Spencer is being framed and they don’t have enough evidence to hold her so they let her go. Sherlock knows more about Spencer than she knows about him because he went by Shawn back when they talked. In fact, Sherlock remains convinced that Spencer actually did kill her father and got away with it, although he’s never told anyone about it. He asks her if anyone has been taking an interest in her and she tells him about a brown car that’s been following her. She got the license number and Sherlock finds out it belongs to a private investigator, hired by Titus’ wife, to follow around all of the women in his life, looking for one he might be having an affair with. She had a prenup that stipulated that she got only a small portion of his fortune if he died, unless it can be shown he was unfaithful. Unfortunately, the investigator could never prove that. However, the wife did admit that she had planned on killing her husband, she had even bought some nitroglycerine, but her alibi for the murder was that she was far too busy planning the murder to actually commit it. Joan goes to check out the victim’s office and finds a hidden compartment where he was keeping evidence that he had been sexually abusing one of his sons. Sherlock planned to confront the boy and Watson is shocked he’d do so while he was mourning, but Holmes says he’s not mourning because he actually killed his father. While they accuse Graham of the murder, Abigail confesses to the crime, saying that she understands what he’s going through and he deserves better than she got, after all of the media attention destroyed her life. Even though Graham will only receive, at most, 18 months due to mitigating circumstances, she refuses to tell the truth. Sherlock meets up with Graham and he says he knows that he’s guilty and will be watching him closely. He then says that it helps to talk about things and gives him a card. The episode ends with Holmes, back at the boxing ring, fighting his demons. This was a really good episode, even if some of it was a bit absurd. The idea that Holmes would just so happen upon a case with all these people he’s known is a bit silly, although it certainly works in the storyline. It also became absurdly obvious that, for financial reasons, the only one who had a real motive for killing Titus the way it was done was one of the members of his family. After all, he was set up as a cheating spouse, the one means they had for getting access to the family fortune. We knew the wife didn’t do it and the only ones who stood to benefit were the sons. Throw in that molestation information and there’s no way the prosecutor is going to go after Abigail, confession or not. All of the evidence points to Graham. It was also great to see Watson on her own, showing that she can solve mysteries without Sherlock’s help. I don’t know that I buy the “my uncle was a contractor” thing. My uncle was a chemist, that doesn’t magically give me knowledge of chemistry. Still, a solid effort.
Haven #4×06 – “Countdown” – As we saw at the end of the last episode, Audrey is Audrey, but we learn more this week. Unlike her other personalities, she recalls Lexie and is able to switch to her at will. She begs Duke not to tell Nathan, after all, it isn’t just the Guard that wants him dead, apparently Nathan has a death wish as well and knowing that Audrey is still Audrey might make him do something stupid. Duke tells her it’s not that easy, he knew she was Audrey because he knows her so well, being around Nathan without him figuring it out is almost impossible. Therefore, they make up some story about Lexie having to stay at the precinct to do paperwork so she won’t have to spend any time working directly with Nathan. It’s not a perfect solution but it’s better than nothing. So what’s the trouble-of-the-week? Apparently, texting isn’t the safest thing to do in Haven either, as a man is walking down the street, then drops dead and falls over, apparently in a state of rigor mortis while staring at his cell phone. Nathan and Duke can’t figure it out, a trouble that sends killer texts? However, it’s not just cell phones, the afflicted person starts to see a countdown clock on every digital device, counting down the seconds until they die. The victims seem to be random, they can’t find a pattern, when one person’s clock runs out, another person’s begins. Unfortunately, once one personal turns into a statue in Nathan’s office, Nathan starts seeing a countdown everywhere. This is bad. Finally, they reason that everything has been related to a single person, the owner of a hardware store that reported a theft earlier in the day and everyone who has gotten in the way or failed to immediately react to his plight has gotten very dead. Meanwhile, in the B-plot, Jordan is convinced that the only way to stop the troubles is to have one of the Crocker brothers use their trouble to kill Audrey, who she thinks is really responsible for it all. Since it’s unlikely that Duke is going to kill her, she lures Wade back to Duke’s boat and tells him about the family trouble. After they do some pretty icky things with a rubber glove, she tells him that he can gain power if he kills a troubled person and contacts their blood. Jordan, by this time, has gone completely off the reservation, she’s ignoring Vince’s orders, not playing by the Guard’s rules and she’s bugged the police station. This is how she finds out that Audrey is really Audrey when she slips and refers to someone by a nickname that only Audrey would know. She tries to cover it up, but Nathan realizes who she really is and she has to come clean. Nathan, of course, wants her to kill him but she refuses, acknowledging that she really does love him, but that it’s now her choice, he had his chance when he decided to kill Agent Howard. They all head off to the hardware store, but when they arrive, Jordan is already there, having taken the owner hostage and she orders Audrey to kill Nathan and end the troubles before he’s going to die anyhow and that will do no good for anyone. Audrey refuses and they overpower Jordan, finding the owner in the back room. It seems that he’s got a secret crush on someone and her birthday present was stolen, which is why he’s suddenly in such a hurry for everyone to take him seriously. However, Audrey tells him to call his secret crush and invite her to coffee and when he does, the trouble stops and Nathan is saved. The guy is happy and goes to meet his hopefully soon-to-be girlfriend when Wade comes in and stabs him, desperate to absorb his trouble and gain power. He does, although the guy survives and I thought that he had to kill the troubled person to absorb their trouble. Wade takes off, but later meets with Jordan. She’s decided not to be a monster any longer, she’s going to leave town and start over somewhere else. She won’t tell Wade how to end the troubles though, saying she was wrong and it won’t work, but Wade doesn’t like that and he cuts Jordan with a knife to get a rush off of her blood. Then he decides to stab her in the chest. That’s got to hurt. Jordan bleeds out and Wade, clearly on his way to being a serial killer, contemplates the future. That’s a creepy ass ending but it doesn’t really seem in-character for Wade. Did he ever strike you as a sociopath back when he was married and just taking care of the Grey Gull for Duke? Now he’s a trouble-addict. I’m not sure I buy it. It was cool seeing the girl from “Sketchy” come back as the new coroner, as long as she doesn’t have to fill out any reports, she should be fine. Will I miss Jordan? No. Honestly, I thought her reactions were pretty ridiculous. After all, she admits she was in love with Nathan but now she wants to see him dead at all costs? Okay, she was jilted, I understand that, but it seems like an extreme reaction. It’s more than just “I want the troubles to end” and more like “I want this guy’s head on a pike”. Again, I don’t know that I buy it. Still, good episode and the ending was totally unexpected.
Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. – #1×05 – “Girl in the Flower Dress” – One of the things that I like a lot about shows like this and Arrow is that they have such a wealth of characters and situations to draw from. Such is the case of Scorch, which actually does appear in the comics, although under a different real name. But I’m getting ahead of myself. A young man is performing street magic, hoping for tips, but his act isn’t all that impressive until he produces fire from his hands, at which point he gets a ton of tips. He’s approached by a woman in a flower dress who tells him that she wants to know more about his powers. They go back to his apartment, which is a mess, but he says he’s between places to live. She inquires about his powers and he shows her that he can manipulate fire. She says he has a gift, one that he should share with the world, but he’s been under the thumb of S.H.I.E.L.D. for years, having signed an agreement that he wouldn’t use his powers in public. He thinks about it for a moment, then two men in flame retardant suits grab him, drug him and carry him away. Back on The Bus, Skye and Ward are playing Battleship and we get that classic line, “You sank my battleship!” May and Coulson get an alert that a man named Ho Yin Chan (Tommy Ng in the comics) has been abducted and that the S.H.I.E.L.D. agent on site, Agent Kwan, tells them that someone hacked into the Hong Kong data stream. Everyone looks at Skye, who denies responsibility. After all, she’s been on The Bus the whole time. However, it looks like someone from Rising Tide, the hacktivist group that Skye was a member of. Elsewhere, Reina, the woman in the flower dress, tells Chan that she’s not with S.H.I.E.L.D., but she wants to help him reach his full potential and become known to the world. She suggests that he take on the name Scorch because it’s a lot cooler than Ho Yin Chan. At first, he wants to leave but she convinces him that he can have fame and fortune if they just work together. Meanwhile, Skye tracks the hacker back to an Internet cafe in Austin, Texas. They land and hunt him down, but he uses his amazing hacker tech to screw up the traffic lights and block Coulson who was following him in an SUV. Too bad he wasn’t driving Lola! The hacker goes back to his hotel room and finds Skye there. Clearly, they know each other, if we didn’t know that from their conversation, it becomes obvious when they rip off each other’s clothes. Skye and the hacker, Miles, have been seeing each other for a long time, he says he taught her everything she knows but she disagrees. As they’re getting dressed, Skye puts away a SIM card in her bra and Miles says now he knows where she’s hiding it. She says it’s everything she’s managed to gather so far, we’re supposed to think she’s spying on S.H.I.E.L.D. However, there’s a knock at the door and Agent May is outside, very, very unhappy. Miles and Skye are handcuffed and taken aboard The Bus after agents destroy all of Miles’ equipment. While waiting in interrogation, Skye tells Miles that S.H.I.E.L.D. aren’t bad people, she’s changed her mind about them but Miles doesn’t want to listen. He thinks that S.H.I.E.L.D. stands for everything they’ve fought against and that information should be free, that’s why he hacked into the servers and posted the information online. Coulson comes in with proof that Miles sold the information for nearly a million dollars, something that upsets Skye, but he says he wanted to do it for the two of them so she wouldn’t have to live in her van anymore. Miles says he checked everything out, it was for an eco-research facility called Project Centipede, the same people who built the power-inducing device in the pilot. Miles feels really bad for being duped. Coulson, similarly, feels terrible because he trusted Skye and everyone else was cautious, but May asks what he thinks of her now and he says she’s still hiding something. Back at Reina’s lab, they inject something into Chan that increases his powers, allowing him to throw a huge fireball. He’s really excited about the Scorch bit, which Reina approves of. She tells the doctor, the same doctor from the pilot episode, that they seem to have taken care of the instability in the Extremis and now that they’ve solved that, she wants Chan “drained”. It seems that the reason he can produce fire and not be burned is because the platelets in his blood are flame-resistant. They drain his platelets, leaving him able to be burned by his own powers, but let’s be honest, platelets reproduce in the blood stream, it wouldn’t take him long to be back up to power. Skye and Miles fight over Rising Tide, she says that because of what he did, an innocent man lost his freedom and might die for money, he says he doesn’t know what he’s looking for anymore, he thought it was her but now he’s not so sure. They all head off for Hong Kong to infiltrate Project Centipede’s lair. Coulson, Kwan and May manage to get inside, but after Coulson and Kwan unhook Chan from the table, he grabs a syringe-full of his super platelets, injects himself and goes all Firestarter on them. May, speaking Chinese, tries to talk him down but instead, he fries a hole through Kwan. Heartburn anyone? Skye can’t open the doors, the servers controlling them are disconnected from the outside world, she tells Wade that she has to be on-sight to do it. Ward and Skye go into the Centipede Complex, leaving Fitz and Simmons to work with Miles. It’s clear that Chan is too far gone to be reasoned with. He chases down the doctor and sends her up in flames. Coulson catches up to him and says he doesn’t want to hurt him, but the feeling isn’t mutual and May injects him with an overdose of the Extremis chemical, causing him to combust from the inside out. Back on The Bus, Miles directs the force of the blast out through the roof venting, saving everyone inside. Afterwards, Coulson calls Skye into his office and tells her that he’s attached a bracelet to Miles that prevents him from using electronic devices, confiscated his money and gave it to the Kwan family and left him stranded in Hong Kong as a punishment. Coulson says that Skye is changed, but he wants to know what it is that she’s keeping from everyone. She produces the SIM card and says this is all the information she has on her parents. She’s been looking for many years and the only document she can locate was redacted by S.H.I.E.L.D. Coulson offers to help but says she might not like what he finds. Reina visits a man in prison and tells him that the experiment was a success. She wants him to contact “the clairvoyant” and find out the prospects for phase 3. He tells her he likes her dress as she leaves. I’m not sure if Reina is supposed to be an existing Marvel character or not. We know that Project Centipede is a new creation for Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., although clearly they have direct ties to A.I.M.’s Extremis virus as seen in Iron Man 3 and to Abraham Erskine’s Super Soldier Serum, seen in Captain America, and given that, maybe to HYDRA as well. I’m just wondering if they’re playing it as an offshoot of an existing group under a new name to keep people from guessing, or if this is really a totally new thing for the series. This was a great episode, we got to see Skye’s “betrayal” a lot earlier than I thought we would, I was convinced it would be the season finale cliffhanger, but I’m glad it’s out of the way and now she can re-earn the respect of the team and move forward. I’m wondering if Miles is going to show up again in the future, maybe also joining the team? That would be an interesting dynamic, the existing relationship between Skye and Miles and the growing relationship between Skye and Ward. I also was a bit surprised at the graphic nature of Chan toasting the doctor, that’s not something you expect to see on Disney-owned ABC. In any case, it was an enjoyable episode, the series seems to be improving dramatically after a somewhat rocky start. Sorry all of you people who decided you hated it after the premiere, it’s a whole new show now. Luckily for me, it looks like it takes a break next week, just in time for another new show, keeping things manageable for me for another week.
Mentalist ##6×04 – “Red Listed” – Jane and Lisbon are called to the scene of a murder, out in a wooded area and the dead body turns out to be Benjamin Marks, the bad guy that Jane buried alive for a while, then dug up. There’s some question whether Jane had anything to do with it, but he points out that if he wanted Marks dead, he’d have killed him the first time around. As they leave the scene of the crime, Patrick reveals that he set a trap in his loft, he suspected that someone was getting into the office to read his Red John research so he left a fake list of suspects, men that were evil anyhow, and Marks was on the list. He says it’s not Red John that killed Marks, it’s almost certainly a powerful government agency that was watching him. After all, he knows that the FBI has been paying attention to his work for a long time now. He also thinks that someone high up in the department was either in collusion or had to agree to the surveillance. It couldn’t have been Bertram and besides, they can’t exactly go talk to him anyhow. More likely, it was Hightower, who retired from the force three years before, but when they look for her, they’re told she and her children were killed in an accident two weeks before. Lisbon says she wants to put a protective detail on the other six names on Jane’s fake list and Jane wants the contact information for Hightower’s aunt so he can send flowers. As the CBI starts to contact the fake suspects, sometimes with surprising results, Jane goes to talk to Ruby and asks her what happened. She says that there’s a website set up for friends and family to write messages to Hightower and Jane sends a coded message that he hopes will cause Hightower to reveal herself. Lisbon goes to talk to Richard Haibach, who doesn’t want to see her, he thinks she’s going to try to accuse him of some crime, just as when he was accused of being the San Joaquin Killer, but she tries to warn him anyhow. A little while later, there’s another knock on his door, but this time it’s the killer and he tasers Richard and drags him away. Reede Smith and Bob Kirkland meet on a park bench with entirely too much coffee to discuss Jane and the Red John case. They are concerned that yet another person associated with Jane has gone missing. Kirkland uses the Tyger Tyger poem to see if Smith will react, but he doesn’t and they go their separate ways. Jane meets up with Hightower in a local Chinese restaurant, she’s upset that he made her come out of hiding. She tells him that Bob Kirkland and Homeland Security have been spying on Jane and the CBI since before she was in office. She also says that the FBI Director has talked to Virgil Minilli about keeping the FBI in the loop about the Red John case and has been feeding information to Homeland Security. Hightower makes Jane promise not to tell anyone she’s still alive, especially Lisbon and then leaves. Jane then goes to Homeland Security HQ and meets with Kirkland. Clearly, he knows that Kirkland is the one that stole the fake list and he tells him that the list is, indeed, fake, but doesn’t reveal his belief that Kirkland is the killer. Kirkland takes Jane hostage and drives him to his brother’s cabin in the woods where he’s holding Richard Haibach as well, and takes the SIM card out of Jane’s phone so no one can trace him. He demands the names on Jane’s real Red John list, which Jane refuses to give him. Meanwhile, Hightower calls Lisbon and says she might have caused Jane to do something really stupid. They meet and try to locate a place where Kirkland might be holding Jane, finally coming up with his brother’s cabin. Jane has refused to give any information to Kirkland, who has tried to convince Jane that they’re the same, Kirkland is just willing to go to any lengths to find and kill Red John and apparently, Jane isn’t. Jane finally reveals that Kirkland is on his list of Red John suspects, but clearly isn’t Red John and Kirkland tells the story of his brother who got involved with Red John and suspects that Red John killed him, that’s why he’s so desperate to kill the serial killer. Kirkland cuts off Haibach’s thumb to encourage Jane to talk, but Lisbon and Hightower arrive and arrest Kirkman and frankly, don’t pay much attention to the bleeding Haibach. Hightower says she doesn’t want to hear from Jane until Red John is dead so she can come out of hiding. Meanwhile, on the road, Kirkman’s police van is stopped by Reede Smith, who tells him that Tyger Tyger is a codeword used by law enforcement and that he’ll allow Kirkman to escape to a safehouse in the woods. While running away, Smith takes the driver’s gun and shoots Kirkman in the back, instructing the driver that he had to use deadly force to stop an escape. So now there are five names on Jane’s list and we know that there’s an episode called Red John later in the season that will almost certainly reveal the actual person or persons and end their reign of terror. Honestly, I just want it to be over with, I find Red John to be a pointless serial killer who is just way too powerful and knowledgeable for my tastes. Still, a good episode that saw the return of a lot of familiar faces and a lot of revelations.
Murdoch Mysteries #7×04 – “Return of Sherlock Holmes” – We see the return of Andrew Gower in his role as Sherlock Holmes, or at least a very delusional man who thinks he’s Sherlock Holmes. He was last seen in last year’s “A Study in Sherlock”, also the fourth episode of the season. We open with a dead body and a hotel manager desperately trying to keep the scene pristine for the authorities, but a man in a deerstalker cap refuses to stop poking at the body. As Murdoch arrives, he sighs and says he’s acquainted with the man, it’s Sherlock Holmes. Well, it’s actually David Kingsley, the man whose psyche was so injured that he retreated into the Sherlock Holmes persona and has started solving mysteries around town. The thing is, he’s really, really good at it, nearly as good as Murdoch himself and he proceeds to attach himself to the investigation, arguing that the dead man on the floor was, indeed, his client. Maybe. See, he’d received a letter in code, the same code used in one of his books, asking him to find a redheaded woman, enclosed with a one pound note, a not insubstantial sum. He’d reasoned that only one of 34 men could have sent that letter and on his 16th attempt, he finds the dead man, clearly this must be his client! He discovers, through his own sleuthing, that the woman he’s supposed to be looking for is Nora Webb, a local nanny who has recently gone missing. However, it turns out that it wasn’t the dead man who hired Holmes, it was the nanny’s young charge, who is quite clever and extremely interested in the cases of Sherlock Holmes. He’s convinced that something must be wrong with Ms. Webb because she never would have left without saying goodbye. Unfortunately, it turns out that this isn’t as much of a mystery as it first seems, the boy’s mother pulls Murdoch aside and explains that she discovered Webb’s professional references were a fraud, that her real past was much less respectable and that’s why she had to fire her. Webb left her belongings behind to be sent to a new place of employment when she can secure one. Now I’m sure that Nora was simply embarrassed to be caught padding her resume, that’s why she left without a word, but seriously, she had been taking care of the boy for years now, apparently entirely satisfactorily, and the mother doesn’t take this into account? I certainly would. There comes a point at which someone’s work performance far outweighs their work history and a situation like this, where the boy is happy, the parents are happy, apparently Nora is happy, it really makes no sense to toss her out into the streets because you find out something about her past that is quite definitely in the past. I really question the logic in that. Of course, this was all an excuse to bring back Sherlock Holmes and I’d like to see him around more often, but I guess the show only needs one master detective and it’s not called the Holmes Mysteries, is it? Still, maybe on the fourth episode of the next season, he can make another appearance, hopefully on a better case.
Person of Interest #3×05 – “Разговор” – Shaw has been a regular on the show for 5 episodes now, but she’s never been used all that well, she tends to be unintentional comedy relief and some well-needed backup muscle, but we never spent much time getting to know more about her until now. When they get their latest number, it’s not a social security number but a green card number. Shaw is sent to make contact with Genrika Zhirova, who she doesn’t realize is a young girl living with her degenerate cousin in the projects. Her mother is in prison in Russia, her grandfather, who brought her to America, is dead and her cousin only cares about the $200 she brings him in welfare money. However, there’s something unusual about Gen, she’s an international spy, or at least she plans to be one someday. She spends a lot of time practicing, taking pictures, monitoring people’s conversations, recording phone calls, all things she does, ostensibly, to rid her tenement of drug dealers and other criminal elements, but she’s a little too good at it because now, someone wants her dead because she got something on tape she shouldn’t have. Shaw, of course, has no idea how to deal with a precocious young girl. Her people skills are bad enough, but she’s totally clueless when it comes to children, especially a child who is just as good in a lot of ways as Shaw is herself. While trailing Gen to school, Gen uses an old spy trick to see her in a window. “Shaw just got made by a 10-year old!” However, it doesn’t take long until Gen is worming her way into Shaw’s rock-hard heart, she asks a lot of questions and doesn’t let up, but Shaw remains clueless. However, when Gen is kidnapped, right out of Shaw’s arms, she takes it very personally and disobeys Finch in her fight to get her back. Of course, this is all part of Shaw’s history where we see a flashback to 1993, when her father was killed in a serious car accident and Shaw hardly responds to the news, leaving rescuers to think there’s something seriously wrong with her upstairs. This starts to tie into the HR storyline that Carter has been involved in for the last couple of episodes, now that she’s determined to take down the entire organization any way she can. In fact, she meets with Reese, who is very impressed with the amount of information she’s managed to gather, she can take down half of the organization, but she says she won’t rest until it’s all been brought crashing to the ground. Maybe if she had done that before, Cal would still be alive. However, it looks like HR has been active in Gen’s building, they’re ganging up with Russian drug dealers to make and distribute the best “bath salts” money can buy, made right here in America. Gen captured the conversation on her tapes and HR wants them back so they can destroy the evidence. Finch, Reese, Shaw and Carter (Fusco is entirely missing this episode) reason that the only way to get Gen back alive is to trace the phone of one of HR’s operatives. Shaw, badly injured, gets an impromptu blood transfusion (good thing she’s AB+) and takes out all of the guards before rescuing Gen, while Reese has a face-to-face with Simmons, the second in command of HR and beats the crap out of him and leaves him for the police. Carter gets to take another thorn out of her side as her new partner Lasky, a known part of HR, lures her into a deserted bar, hoping to kill her, but she turns the tables on him, shooting the bar owner, a dirty former police lieutenant, with Lasky’s gun. She tells him that he no longer works for HR, he works for her and she has the evidence to put him away if he disobeys. I like that. Carter, who started out very much by the book and uncomfortable when Finch asked her to bend the rules, has decided that the rules are a guideline, not a requirement. Finally, Shaw takes Gen to an expensive school, since Finch has become her conservator. Well, Shaw did kill her cousin, after all, it’s only fair. Gen gives Shaw her grandfather’s medal and tells her not to sell it and then hugs her and it’s clear that Shaw has an emotional, although entirely too physical reaction. There might be hope for her after all. Later, Shaw is sleeping and Root shows up with a tazer. Isn’t that nice? Now it does look like they’re getting close to finishing up the HR storyline. Episode 8 of this season is called “Endgame” and while there isn’t any good information out there yet, it’s supposed to center around Carter, which makes it a safe bet that the end of HR is nigh. I hope so, these grand conspiracies and untouchable super-criminals are really wearing thin, the show doesn’t need it, I think they need to get back to where the Machine is and how Root figures into everything. I suspect we’ll see more of that in the very near future though.
Tomorrow People #1×02 – “In Too Deep” – It’s funny, I saw a lot of people talking about this episode on Google+ before I saw it and quite a few said they stopped watching after 10-15 minutes because it came off as a teenage soap opera with sci-fi trappings, but that’s just not how I saw it at all. Certainly, I think this series skews a little younger than, say, Sleepy Hollow, but it’s certainly not some teenage sitcom. I guess I just don’t look at TV the same way some other people do. Anyhow, now that Stephen has joined Ultra and managed to piss off all of the Tomorrow People, he’s in training, aided by his training officer Voss. He’s learning to fight, to teleport accurately, to telepathically lift weights, etc. Honestly, a lot of that is a relief because it seems unlikely that people who just develop these special traits would magically know how to use them, which seems to be the case with our Tomorrow Person of the week. Uncle Jed is still trying to convince Stephen that there’s a war going on, but Stephen is right, it’s not a war, it’s genocide, especially after Stephen goes on a ride-along with Von to capture a TP and instead, they try to kill the kid. Pissed off, he goes back to Uncle Jed and says this isn’t what he signed on for, but Jed will hear none of it. It really worries Stephen that one of the Ultra telepaths will read his mind and find out about Cara and the other TPs and frankly, I’d be worried about that as well. However, first, they need to meet their TP of the week, Kurt Randle, a young man whose powers are in the process of blossoming and who, apparently, is really, really, really good with teleporting and telekinesis. This is what I was talking about, he seems to be able to perform some really accurate teleports when he’s had no training whatsoever. Anyhow, Kurt is robbing banks by telepathically forcing innocent people to hold guns on cashiers and carry the stolen money around, then throwing them to the cops. He seems quite skilled for someone whose powers are just developing. Things are not all rosy in Stephen’s life. It seems that every time someone talks about what powers he might develop, he develops those powers right away. In this case, he’s told that with work, he can not only read people’s thoughts, but their memories and dreams and when he hugs his mother, he sees the last image she had of his father before he left the family. Of course, his mother isn’t happy with him, she finds out that he stopped taking his medication and she wants him to see a therapist. Personally, I’d just show her what I could do. John and Cara are talking, they want to get away for a romantic evening, but first, Cara has to “borrow” a special watch that Stephen’s father gave to John. It contains a “D-chip”, a piece of the anti-power technology which keeps TPs from exercising their power inside Ultra. Okay, is it just me, but does this seem rather silly. First off, TPs are using their powers all over Ultra, is it only a tiny place that restricts their powers? Secondly, if you’re wearing this watch with the D-chip, shouldn’t that stop you from using any of your powers, not just stopping people from reading your mind? That would seem to be more harm than good. But anyhow, Cara meets with Stephen and gives him the watch so that the evil Ultra telepaths can’t find out about all of his secrets. Ultra starts hunting Randle and Stephen knows they mean to kill him so he starts searching for him on his own. Cara convinces John that if they’re not willing to fight against Ultra, what’s the point of surviving and they start looking for Randle as well to bring him into the fold. Stephen finds Randle, but is interrupted by Von and a teleport chase through the building ensues, but honestly, isn’t that a little silly? If you can teleport anywhere, why teleport to the other side of the wall and keep running? Why not… Alaska? And can TPs tell where other TPs have teleported? How would they know you went to the other side of the wall? This needs to be explained in a lot more detail. Randle and Stephen end up on the roof and Stephen yells that he’s just like Randle and Randle says prove it. I don’t know, maybe the teleporting through walls might mean something? Randle almost pushes Stephen off the roof and Von has to save him while Randle escapes. They go back and report to Jed that Randle got away and Jed sends Stephen for some telepathic debriefing, but first, he takes the watch away and finds the D-chip. Stephen doesn’t know what to do but Cara tells him that if he concentrates on something strongly enough, he can block a telepathic scan He concentrates on the memory he got from his mother and the telepath misses everything. Come on, they can’t tell when they’re being blocked, especially a skilled and trained telepath who does this for a living? Uncle Jed apologizes for doubting Stephen and gives him back his watch and says Voss has been given a desk job as punishment for not being able to control Stephen. In reality, Voss is dead. That’s kind of harsh. Cara finds Randle and tries to reason with him, but when that doesn’t work, she knocks him out. I guess that works. Finally, Cara, Stephen and John talk and Stephen says he’s going to help everyone in his family by being a better person and continuing to work for Ultra as a spy. One of the most important thing in any show of this type is a clear understanding of the rules behind the powers. You have to be very solid on how these powers operate, what their limits are, how they develop, etc. I’m just not seeing that in Tomorrow People. I think this kind of thing was done so much better in the Jumper books by Steven Gould. If you haven’t read them, I strongly recommend that you do, they’re amazingly good. You can skip the 2008 film, it’s just not the same. You really do need to develop the idea behind the powers and explain how they work and keep them consistent. I’m not seeing that here and it’s a problem. Whenever something is needed, someone conveniently has that power. It works however the script needs it to work, the script doesn’t revolve around how the powers actually work. I hope they fix this in the next couple of episodes!
Best of the Week: Castle wins, hands down, even though there was a bit of competition. The time-travelling Doyle is played so well and Nathan Fillion’s reactions are so perfect, this rates as one of the best episodes of Castle, or just about anything else, I’ve seen in a long time. More! Honorable second mention to Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., which is finally hitting it’s stride.
Worst of the Week: This has to go to Atlantis. The story this week was pretty cheesy and unfortunately, the series continues to be entirely episodic, without a single new element on the promised, but not delivered upon overarching elements. I don’t want to see a weekly take on ancient mythology, I want an ongoing story, told about a man out of time who doesn’t act more like the primitive Atlanteans than the Atlanteans do. They don’t have many more episodes this season to prove they can be better, they’d better get moving.
Other Stuff I Watched: Supersonic Man – Rifftrax, Pacific Rim, Antique Book Shop Biblia’s Mystery Files episode 9