Legends of Tomorrow s1e1: Pilot Part 1

DC\’s Legends of Tomorrow — “Pilot, Part 1” — Image LGN101d_0182b — Pictured (L-R): Franz Drameh as Jefferson “Jax” Jackson, Falk Hentschel as Carter Hall/Hawkman, Ciara Renee as Kendra Saunders/Hawkgirl and Caity Lotz as Sara Lance — Photo: Jeff Weddell/The CW — © 2015 The CW Network, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

Rating: 7.5/10

Rip Hunter is a time lord from the future who’s in charge of keeping the timeline intact. But when his family is murdered by Vandal Savage, right after he takes of the world, Hunter goes back in time 150 years to the modern day to recruit heroes and villains alike to help him on his quest for wiping out Savage.

When he essentially kidnaps Firestorm, Hawkman and Hawkgirl, Captain Cold and Heatwave, along with Sara Lance, he tells them that in the future, they are all legends in his time, hence the name of the show. Because Rip does this specifically to screw up the timeline, they begin to be hunted by a sentinel of the Time Lords known as Chronos. They find out that Chronos is very Cross with them. They seemed to have found Chronos’ Trigger. Okay, I’ll stop.

There’s something beautiful about the “twist” that Rip takes them in telling them they’re not actually legends in his future but instead are chosen purely because they don’t matter to the timeline at all. They’re nobodies, and this group of nobodies is going to save the timeline, often screwing things up in the process.

Truthfully, the Legends are such screwups already at the start of the show, it’s a wonder the writers didn’t realize that this was destined to be a comedy from the outset. Instead they’re trying to make the drama stand out but it’s hard with so many superhero-based dramas in the Arrowverse already.

SCORING:

+7.5: A solid setup for what eventually becomes a real gem in the Arrowverse, takes a bit to get there but this episode isn’t bad by any means

-1: they spend too much time talking about whether they want to be time traveling superheroes or not

+1: The action is solid and doesn’t slow down (much)

The Flash s2e10: Potential Energy

The Flash — “Potential Energy” — Image FLA210b_0251b — Pictured: Grant Gustin as The Flash — Photo: Katie Yu/The CW — © 2016 The CW Network, LLC. All rights reserved.

Rating: 8.5/10

After Wally shows up to meet his father, Joe and Iris try to make him feel like he’s a real part of his family. Also, Cisco comes up with a new plan to take down Zoom involving the Turtle, a superpowered thief able to slow down the space around him.

Team Flash has to solve an interesting problem as the Turtle’s power affects the Flash in the same way. I also like how this episode slows down quite a bit and deals more with problems on a personal level, and shows how people can relate to each other in simple contexts without getting overly emotional and melodramatic like e4.10 of Arrow does. You can have a more dramatic episode without being redundant or feel like filler, kids.

Also, I feel like there’s something about having these more detective-styled episodes. True it’s like a call back to the original Flash show from the early 90s but it also gives Flash it’s own form in that Barry, despite his superpowers, has to solve problems that even his speed can’t help him solve.

As an added compliment, this episode was also quite funny. But as an added complaint, the Turtle kind of turns into the Dollmaker from Arrow. It’s a little weird.

SCORING:

+10: Great episode, slow paced and emotional, but it works

-1: BARRY SHOULD HAVE TOLD PATTY HE WAS THE FLASH!

-0.5: Even the equipment the Turtle uses looks like he took if from the Dollmaker

The Flash s2e9: Running to Stand Still

The Flash — “Running to Stand Still” — Image: FLA209A_0027b.jpg — Pictured (L-R): Wentworth Miller as Leonard Snart, Mark Hamill as James Jesse/Trickster and Liam McIntyre as Mark Mardon– Photo: Cate Cameron/The CW — © 2015 The CW Network, LLC. All rights reserved.

Rating: 9/10

In a special Christmas episode, Weather Wizard, Captain Cold, and the Trickster all get together to try to kill the Flash. How festive! Also, Iris finds out she has a brother and doesn’t know if she should tell her father, Joe.

Mark Hamill is great in everything and I do wish they had enough money in the budget to make the Trickster a full-time enemy for the Flash, but I’ll really settle for any episodes with Hamill’s Trickster because he’s just such a joy to watch. Maybe he could team up with Damien Darhk and both shows will have to join together for a season? Okay, that’s too much, but it would still be awesome in my opinion. The two greatest villains in all of Arrowverse fighting side by side to destroy the world.

It really bothers me that none of the superheroes on these shows don’t see how much damage they do to people by not telling them they’re a superhero. Then again, that usually causes those people to then become superheroes. Maybe they’re just doing it to hog the glory?

SCORING:

+9: Very entertaining episode

+1: Mark Hamill is the best Trickster that ever was

-1: Barry should tell Patty he’s the Flash!

Arrow s4e10: Blood Debts

Arrow — “Blood Debts” — Image AR410B_0137b.jpg — Pictured (L-R): David Ramsey as John Diggle and Alexander Calvert as Anarky — Photo: Katie Yu/ The CW — © 2015 The CW Network, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

Rating: 3.5/10

After Darhk’s attack on Oliver’s limo, all of Team Arrow is dealing with it in their own ways. Meanwhile, John has to deal with his brother Andy imprisoned in Arrow’s hideout and working for Damien Darhk. Also, Thea runs into someone from her past.

This was a very slow paced episode focused mainly on melodrama, which isn’t my bag, but I also realize that not everything can be light and fluffy, or action packed, or fun. But this isn’t Requiem for a Dream on TV, this is just redundant and kind of boring.

I’m also not huge on Anarky, mostly because I just see too many similarities between him and Vertigo, it makes me think they should have just brought Vertigo back from the dead. It’s not like they haven’t done it before…

SCORING:

+5: Kinda so-so

-1: I’ll not subtract because of the melodrama, as it’s just not my thing, but I am penalizing for the redundant scenes, when everyone is kinda mopey all episode it just makes me wonder about the mental state of its writers and directors this week…

-0.5: Anarky feels too “petty crimes” to really be as much of a threat as this show makes him out to be

Arrow s4e9: Dark Waters

Rating: 10/10

Something I just realized is I got tricked into watching a Christmas episode on Christmas. Well, touche, Fate.

After Oliver outs Damien Darhk as the leader of the Ghosts, Darhk fights back by attacking a party Oliver is throwing for his current campaign for mayor, showing how little Darhk cares about public opinion of him. At the same time, Darhk kidnaps Felicity.

This was very tense episode in the best way. Darhk shows that he’s a man above the law, not in how much money he has and who he can pay off, but instead simply through fear. He’s too powerful for the police, and probably too powerful for Green Arrow as well or really anyone without actual superpowers. I kind of want to see the Flash fight him, just to see if he even has a chance, but maybe it’s too much to ask for a superhero to cross over to another hero’s show just to beat the villain of that season. Then again, it’d also be cool to see Flash be beaten by Darhk and have him give up because he’s too powerful. This would build tension a lot as if Flash can’t beat him, how does Arrow stand a chance?

Another thing that would be cool, I think, is if the heroes of Star City and Central City could have villains that they can’t beat and then have to go to the other city to beat them and totally flip the shows, sort of. Just then Arrow would be in Central city as he and his team have to take down an evil speedster, while Team Flash would be taking down some superpowered terrorist in Star City.

Okay, those are mostly just random thoughts, maybe I should actually review this episode? Ah, let’s just go straight to scoring.

SCORING:

+9: Well done

-1: Felt drama heavy at first

+2: Totally flips that around and makes it one of the most intense episodes of the series so far

Arrow s4e8: Legends of Yesterday

Arrow — “Legends of Yesterday” — Image AR408B_0379b.jpg — Pictured (L-R): Willa Holland as Speedy, Stephen Amell as The Arrow, Katie Cassidy as Black Canary, Grant Gustin as The Flash, David Ramsey as John Diggle, Ciara Renee as Hawkgirl and Falk Hentschel as Hawkman — Photo: Katie Yu/ The CW — © 2015 The CW Network, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

Rating: 9/10

As Vandal continues to hunt for Hawkman and Hawkgirl, Oliver and Barry set them up at a remote location in order to keep them safe and allow Kendra to learn how to use her new powers.

This is the second part of a two-parter crossover episodes, so it’s a little strange that while the other one was more action packed while this one had more dialogue and drama. I just think you’d expect them to be switched most of the time. But it kind of works, thanks to time travel.

What I mean is a lot of the drama is somewhat contrived but once Barry goes back in time, he’s able to stop it’s contrivances in order to bring us what we really love about Arrow, people supporting one another and trying to make each other better by being good friends and allies.

Now, I might not be the biggest fan of Hawkman and Hawkgirl but I feel they do a good job of presenting them here and showing us their stories without making it an episode that’s purely about them.

SCORING:

+9: A bit slow but very good episode by the end

The Flash s2e8: Legends of Today

The Flash — “Legends of Today” — Image FLA208B_0011b.jpg — Pictured (L-R): Ciara Renee as Kendra Saunders, Grant Gustin as Barry Allen and Stephen Amell as Oliver Queen — Photo: Cate Cameron/The CW — © 2015 The CW Network, LLC. All rights reserved.

Rating: 8.5/10

In this years crossover event, Vandal Savage, a 5,000 year old magic-user, comes to Central City in order to track down Hawkman and Hawkgirl, a duo of superheroes who are reincarnated every time Vandal kills them. Once Barry finds out he makes a visit to Team Arrow to help him fight this magic-wielding immortal.

There’s some pretty cool, slow-motion action at different points in this episode between both Teams Flash and Arrow and Vandal Savage, who’s an expert at many fighting styles from being alive for so long, but favors throwing knives. Though I remember hating Vandal Savage every moment he was onscreen the last time I went through these episodes, he wasn’t so bad this time. Of course, he hardly says anything in this episode and mostly just gets in a fight with somebody every time he shows up. So, when it comes to Savage, “more-fighting, less-creeping,” seems to be a good rule.

Okay, a couple complaints that are a bit spoiler-y. So SPOILERS follow.

When Hawkman shows up and fights Arrow and Flash, there’s an indication that he doesn’t know who they are. Has he never watched the news, read a magazine, or had access to the internet? I mean, I’m all for heroes fighting each other, do that as much as possible, but Hawkman should know who the Flash and Green Arrow are at the very least.

Secondly, Patty shoots Harrison because she goes to STAR Labs for no reason and shoots him. Another reason why Flash should always tell the people he’s dating that he’s the Flash. Keeping it hidden from them causes nothing but problems for them and other people. Batman keeps his identity a secret from everyone but Alfred and Robin, but Batman doesn’t really know anyone who’s not helping him with his nightlife as he knows making close connections hurts people. If you have friends and you’re the Flash, or any superhero, if you care about their lives you should probably tell them you’re the Flash. Ultimately, that is the moral of Arrowverse, I’ve decided.

SCORING:

+10: Despite the worst villain ever being a part of this one, Very entertaining, action-packed episode

-1.5: Those two things I said

The Flash s2e7: Gorilla Warfare

Rating: 6.5/10

After Barry breaks his back, Harrison Wells wants to go back to Earth-2 and save his daughter from Zoom. Meanwhile, Grodd is back!

Okay, I don’t think Cisco cancelling his date in order to tell Caitlin that he vibed a some kind of birdman is a very good plot point. If it was something that seemed like it needed immediate attention, like a birdman attacking the city, then yeah, but this is just stupid and indicates to me that Cisco was looking to cancel that date for some reason? Except he just spent the last few episodes trying to get that very date? You see why this is more than a bit forced. I mean, I don’t really care about seeing Cisco’s dating life, but it feels like they were trying to shoehorn her character into the show and now they’re just shoehorning her right back out? Are the writers on this show in an argument so one is always doing things one way so the other has to change it back in the next episode? I guess poor plot points make me ask too many questions.

The stuff with Grodd is decent, but I keep feeling like they aren’t using our favorite psychic, super-intelligent gorilla as best they can on this show. I mean, this is a decent one-shot, but it’d be nice to see him in, if not a season-long plotline, at least a couple cliffhanger episodes. Personally, I think Grodd is more than powerful enough to counter Barry for a full season, it’s not like we need an evil speedster every single time.

SCORING:

+7.5: Pretty good but with some problems

-1: weird, for-the-sake-of-the-plot points

Supergirl s1e6: Rad Faced

“Red Faced” — Personal and professional stress get the better of Kara when she goes too far during a training exercise against Red Tornado, a military cyborg commissioned by Lucy Lane\’s father, General Sam Lane, on SUPERGIRL, Monday, Nov. 30 (8:00-9:00 PM, ET) on the CBS Television Network. Pictured: Iddo Goldberg as Red Tornado Photo: Darren Michaels/CBS ©2015 CBS Broadcasting, Inc. All Rights Reserved

Rating: 7.5/10

General Lane shows up with a robot soldier to test against Supergirl’s powers. Meanwhile, Kara has to hang out with Jimmy’s girlfriend, Lana, at a party.

I think I wouldn’t mind the Jimmy and Kara relationship stuff if it was done more like a romantic comedy than…whatever this is. For one thing, Jimmy is like a big ball of perfect, which is the same problem I had with Eddie in the first half of Flash’s first season. The problem with that is, this is Jimmy Olsen we’re talking about here. Everyone who’s read a Superman comic knows that Jimmy is a guy who messes up and gets in trouble so much that Superman gave him a special watch to call him at any time. He’s far from perfect, in fact he’s essentially Peter Parker without any superpowers. Just an incredibly awkward, clumsy guy who tries his best but screws up anyway, exactly the type of male protagonist you’d want in a romantic comedy, for example.

Anyway, outside of that, everything else was good. I liked the action parts with Supergirl fighting Red Tornado, I liked the stuff with Cat Grant and this is the type of drama that should be a driving force for this show, and I liked the somewhat crazed general trying to make a perfect weapon and then everything goes totally wrong as General Lane is crushed by the weight of his own hubris. I guess it’s really only the relationship stuff that’s dragging this show down.

SCORING:

+7.5: Pretty good episode as Supergirl continues to find her form

-1: Jimmy, just Eddie, I mean Tommy, I mean…

+1: Great drama and action outside of relationship problems

Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker

Rating: 10/10

The final chapter in a new trilogy of Star Wars Movies. When it turns out Emperor Palpatine is still alive, Rey, Finn, and Poe must do all they can with barely any rebelion left just as Palpatine rises from his grave to once again rule the galaxy.

I’m going to say that I am one of those superfans of Star Wars that I even like the prequels to some degree. I mean, I know they’re bad movies but there’s enough in them for me to like. Also, I really like Darths and Droids, the internet comic that parodies Star Wars as if it was really a tabletop RPG instead. And part of me wonders if J.J. Abrams made this movie specifically to help out the Darths and Droids people, if only because it feels more like something out of that comic than something made more for a wrap up of 9 movies in total.

But, as an actual review, well, I loved every minute of this movie. And the thing I love about it is that Abrams seems to understand Star Wars quite a bit. The thing about Star Wars is that it’s a space opera. Every scene could be in an entirely different location with an entirely different group of people, but it’s about those people that makes the space opera shine. If you forget the people there won’t be anything for the audience to relate to and the space opera fails. But, if you can create every person to be a real person. So even when we meet someone for only a couple of scenes, we know they can be evil, we know they can be good, we know that they’re a person. This is the essence of a space opera, it’s not the science fiction or the fantastical locations, it’s the people. And if the people feel fake or stagnant then your adventure through space just won’t work. Abrams gets this, and this movie has a good plot and a strong story, but the place it really shines is its people.

SCORING:

+10: I loved this movie, but I also know why others might not feel the same way