TV: Arrow s1e6: Legacies

Arrow — “Legacies” — Image AR106a_3519b — Pictured (L-R): Currie Graham as King, Stephen Amell as Arrow and Kyle Schmid as Ace — Photo: Jack Rowand/The CW — ©2012 The CW Network. All Rights Reserved

Rating: 8.5/10

A family of bank robbers is in the middle of a crime wave all across Starling City and Oliver has to ask himself if he can put his city in front of his father’s list. Meanwhile, Thea has a crush on Tommy, but Tommy has his eyes set on Laurel. Oh, also something happens on the island, barely.

Alright, this episode has a lot going for it. I like the family drama between the Queens, especially between Oliver and his mom. Also Thea and Oliver are a good onscreen duo, though they only have one scene together here, I believe. And the family of bank robbers is a good counter of privileged versus underprivileged, culminating with Oliver meeting with the father of the gang involved in an attempt to offer him a way out. Also, I’m glad they took a risk and did something different than the Oliver revenge story and it worked out.

What really drags the show down is the totally forced love triangle between Tommy, Thea, and Laurel. I really hope this is confined to only this episode (I honestly can’t remember if this becomes a thing or not) because Thea and Tommy being together makes absolutely no sense to either of their characters, and, if I’m remembering future episodes correctly, is also pretty gross. Outside of that though, pretty good episode.

SCORING:

+7.5: Pretty good episode

+1: something new and different than the previous episodes

+1: Good relationship drama

+0.5: Thea and Oliver should share the screen more

-1.5: the love triangle is so forced it kinda hurts me

TV: The Flash (1990) s1e7: Child’s Play

Rating: 8/10

After a reporter is killed for researching a new street drug called Blue Paradise, Barry temporarily adopts 2 homeless kids.

Okay, the first half of this episode feels like they’re jumping between two storylines that feel just as disjointed as that opening sentence I just wrote. But, it does come together at the end and turns into a pretty good episode. Also, Barry made a joke I actually laughed at, “weird,” Ha! Hilarious. I guess you had to have been there…

So pretty good episode, though a bit slow at first. Some pretty good Flash moments and a decent how-catch-em mystery as well. Also the kid actor, Jonathan Brandis, does a pretty good job of being the punk kid and street thief in this episode.

One last complaint is many of the action scenes were very darkly lit in this show. I hope this was just a production error and not a sign this show is quickly running out of money and the proceeding episodes will be made cheaply.

SCORING:

+8: Slow start but turns into a pretty good episode

-1: darkly lit

+1: Pretty good acting job by Brandis

The Flash (1990) s1e6: Sins of the Father

Rating: 10/10

A madman escapes from prison and is after the man who imprisoned him, Barry’s father, Henry Allen.

This was both an episode that was action-packed and suspenseful as we watch as Henry comes out of retirement as a beat cop and teams up with his son in order to take down this maniac before he kills again. It showcases M. Emmet Walsh as Henry as he solves the crime “the old fashioned way” instead of Barry’s lab work and science, they’re going out on the streets in order to solve this one.

I’m glad this show likes to borrow from other genres as many seem to meld well with the superhero arc. I suppose at the time there wasn’t much to really go off of, the biggest superhero shows before this one were Batman from the 60s and the Incredible Hulk from the 70s. So this show wasn’t entirely sure what it wanted to be just yet. Still they did a really good job this episode.

SCORING:

+10: Old-timey cop show meets the Flash, I don’t know why but it works

Arrow s1e5: Damaged

Arrow — “Damaged” — Image AR105a_0386b — Pictured: Stephen Amell as Oliver Queen — Photo: Cate Cameron/The CW — ©2012 The CW Network. All Rights Reserved

Rating: 10/10

Oliver Queen is arrested on suspicion of being the Hood just as a rich gunrunner starts smuggling illegal arms into the Glades. On the island, it turns out the other inhabitants are a terrorist organization, who then capture and torture Oliver.

This episode is much different than the others, much like the 90s Flash episode I just watched before this. Except that here the difference in tone is very beneficial for the show. Mixing superheroes with courtroom dramas is actually a very good way to make excitement without having great deals of action, though there’s plenty of that too in this episode as John Diggle joins Oliver’s crusade and dons the Green Arrow costume for the first time.

Very enjoyable, I especially liked the dynamic between Moira Queen and her husband Walter (Colin Salmon) who’s just now discovering what type of woman he really married. There’s some of the overdramatic relationship drama, this time between Oliver and Laurel, that I’m not a fan of but it doesn’t drag this episode down much more than a tad.

SCORING:

+10: Who knew courtroom dramas and superheroes could mix so well?

-1: Relationship stuff

+1: Other relationship stuff

TV: Arrow s1e4: An Innocent Man

Arrow — “An Innocent Man” — Image AR104b_0500b. Pictured: Stephen Amell as Arrow — Photo: Marcel Williams/The CW — ©2012 The CW Network. All Rights Reserved

Rating: 7/10

In this episode, a man is on death row for killing his wife but Oliver quickly realizes that this is really a frame job caused by one of the evil men on his father’s list. He’ll do all he can to clear this man’s name before his sentence is carried out. Meanwhile, on the island, Oliver learns how to eat!

This episode had some decent action in it, and some good moments between John Diggle and Oliver, but overall was a bit lackluster when compared to the previous episodes. More of a oneshot villain than anything else, except it’s just some top 1% businessman. They might be the villains in real life but it’s not as cool as watching the Hood take on an assassin like in the last one. This did have some good moments though, such as when Oliver ties the bad guy to the train tracks in order to get a confession out of him.

I’d almost say you can skip this one if you’re going through a speed watch but there’s enough important stuff, like the stuff between John and Oliver that makes it important enough to the series as a whole to give a watch.

SCORING:

+7: Decent episode, but nothing amazing

TV: The Flash (1990) s1e5: Double Vision

Rating: 4/10

During a Day of the Dead weekend festival, a mexican gang is able to control the Flash from afar with a combination of robotics and magic.

Overall, this episode was kind of lame. I’m not even sure what they were going for here. It feels really out of place with the rest of the Flash mythos and was more of a filler episode which doesn’t add anything to the Flash’s character, doesn’t have a memorable villain, doesn’t have a strong concept of what Santaria is, and doesn’t have anything happen until 10 minutes before the end of the show. So not only is it a filler episode, it’s also filled with filler.

SCORING:

+4: Kind of a letdown overall considering how good it’s been up to this episode

TV: Arrow s1e3: Lone Gunmen

Arrow — “Lone Gunman” — Image AR103b_0320b. Pictured: Michael Rowe as Deadshot — Photo: Michael Courtney/The CW — ©2012 The CW Network. All Rights Reserved.

Rating: 10/10

Someone beats the Hood (I was calling him Arrow in the last review because I forgot he was called the Hood first) to murdering a person on his father’s list, and now he’s trying to find out who it is. Meanwhile, Thea continues to be an emotionally unstable drunk as she reveals to Oliver that Tommy and Laurel, his best friend and ex-girlfriend, have been sleeping together since Oliver went missing.

Okay, first off, really good acting all around. I especially like John Diggle (David Ramsey) as the foil to Oliver who keeps getting short-handed by him, as he slowly realizes who Oliver truly is. Also, this is the first episode with Felicity Smoak (Emily Bett Rickards), who was only going to be in this single episode, but had such good on screen chemistry with Stephen Amell, she soon becomes a series regular. Which is awesome, she’s great, even in her short scenes in this episode she stands out as a strong point of the show.

Also, Oliver faces his first real villain with Floyd Lawton (aka Deadshot) in this one. Though he did briefly fight China White in the last episode, it was just a single fight and I don’t think they had more than a quick exchange of lines before that. Here, Oliver has to use all his resources to find this contract killer before he assassinates his next target, who turns out to be someone close to Oliver himself.

I know I’m usually one to hate on relationship drama, especially in a show like this, but I feel what they do here with the brief storyline involving Tommy and Laurel works well with the rest of the episode.

RATING:

+10: another killer episode

TV: Arrow s1e2: Honor Thy Father

Arrow — “Honor Thy Father” — Image: AR102a_4695b — Pictured: Stephen Amell as Oliver Queen — Photo: Jack Rowand/The CW © 2012 The CW Network. All Rights Reserved.

Rating: 8.5/10

Laurel Lance (Katie Cassidy), Oliver’s lawyer ex-girlfriend from before he got trapped on the island Lian Yu, is trying to prosecute a mob boss for being an evil murderer who takes bribes and murders people. When she can’t, Arrow has to step in to help.

This episode introduced the beginning of the flashbacks to the island. Though there was some in the first episode, it was mostly about the boat crash and here’s where we’re officially introduced to the island of Lian Yu. Only the beach, but it’s a very good start to one of my favorite parts throughout the series. Finding out Oliver’s past while also showing how it affects him in the present is a very interesting dynamic throughout the series and does nothing but serve to further the character of Queen. It makes him seem even more human, and less of a psycho-killer vigilante in this first season.

I have to say that I really like Susanna Thompson as Moira Queen (Oliver’s mom). In this episode, we discover that there’s more than meets the eye with her as she sneaks around behind her family’s back for some hidden purpose that remains unseen. Is she evil? Good? Only time will tell.

Pretty good follow up to the first episode. I don’t really have any complaints, though the plot of this one is a bit lackluster.

SCORING:

+7.5: Good, but not great

+1: Susanna Thompson stands out in this episode

TV: The Flash (1990) s1e4: Honor Among Thieves

Rating: 7/10

Flash needs to stop a gang of thieves as they attempt to rob a bank and a museum at the same time. Meanwhile, Barry confronts a man who wronged him in the past.

Not a bad episode, but I did notice it easily falling into various cliches, especially with the dialogue, which kept making me think of Cop-Drama type shows. I kept half-expecting Barry to have to turn in his badge and gun at some point but thankfully that didn’t happen. Julio gets a much bigger part in this one, still not important to the plot though. Also there were a few action bits that I felt worked really well and the special effects were really good especially for its time.

I really liked the “twist” at the end, even though it was totally obvious. This was basically a reverse-heist movie, where it’s about catching them more than seeing how they cleverly get to the jewels, or in this case a very old mask made by Rasputin. Oh, one more thing that I haven’t mentioned yet is that the jokes in this show, especially the ones said by Barry, don’t really fly most of the time. One that stands out is after Barry tells Christina his problems he cuts up an apple and offers her a slice saying, “Apple for the therapist?” It’s meant to be some kind of levity but it feels so forced and practically nonsensical it kind of sucks all the funny out of the room. Okay, not all of them are that bad but I have yet to even smile at one of these “jokes.”

Also, being that this is separate from the rest of Arrowverse, and season 1 of Arrow doesn’t have anything else to go along with it, I think I’ll start watching episodes of Arrow in between.

SCORING:

+7: Decent, though a bit slow

+1: Good special effects

-1: Too many cliches

-1: Wow are some of these jokes bad…

+1: Pretty good take on a totally obvious twist

TV: The Flash (1990) s1e3: Watching the Detectives

Rating: 10/10

In this episode, the city’s corrupt DA hires Megan Lockhart (Joyce Hyser) a private investigater to uncover the true identity of the Flash. After he does he tries to blackmail Barry into doing his dirty work. The Flash has to use all his power and wits in order to get out of this one.

Unlike the last episode, which felt more like something out of the 60s, this felt straight out of the original Flash from the late-30s, early-40s. It feels very much like a noir or gangster movie from the time period than something modern(ish) day. Also unlike the last one, with the plot being all over the place tone-wise, this one felt pretty spot on for the genres they were borrowing from. I kind of want to see a time travel episode where Flash goes back to the thirties now, either in this Flash or the current Flash. Just throwing that out there.

Not much to complain about even. I would say they nailed this episode. Though I was a little disappointed that Julio Mendez (Alex Desert) didn’t have a bigger role. And I’d be happy to see PI Lockhart as a returning character in this series.

SCORING:

+10/10: A very fun Flash episode as he races through the genres of gangster films