Jessica Jones s1e7: AKA Top Shelf Perverts

Air Date: November 20, 2015

Rating: 6/10

After Kilgrave murders one of Jessica’s neighbors and leaves the body in her bed, she goes on a mission to get herself thrown into a high-security, supermax jail in order to get away from Kilgrave forever.

David Tennant is an amazing supervillain. Kilgrave is all the more scary because of how charming he is. Speaking of which, the psychological-thriller aspect of the show comes out in full force on this one. This works very well for this program and I’m both hopeful and fearful of what will happen if this show really ramps up the horror qualities in greater amounts. I personally think that horror and superheroes works together very well. Maybe because Supes, as they call them on the Boys, are rarely scared of anything it must really be something, like a narcissistic sociopath who can get anyone to do what they want, to frighten someone as powerful as them.

After we discover that Ruben is dead, this show screeches to a halt for a very long bit of this episode where almost nothing happens (aside from a lot of exposition). I also thought that the whole “throw me into supermax” angle was pretty lame. It’s payoff is amazing though, but the road to get there is fraught with boredom and some pretty dumb decisions made by our principal characters. I mean, I know sometimes people just do stupid things, it happens. But it’s lame when you make that a main plot point, something small like “I forgot my shoes,” in Die Hard, as an example, that then turns into something major is a lot more interesting than, for example, deciding to cover up a death of a main character that is obviously not your fault. This is essentially helping the villain, you know this right? And not even for a good reason. And nobody had to mind control anybody to get them to do this.

SCORING:

+2.5: A pretty good beginning

+5: And a great ending

-1.5: Doesn’t really make-up for a lame middle

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RIP Ruben: You made the best banana bread

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The Boys s2e6: The Bloody Doors Off

Air Date: September 25, 2020

Rating: 10/10

The Boys are back together! Until Hughie gets mortally wounded and needs to be rushed to the hospital…Then they’re separated again! Also in this episode, Supes and non-Supes learn they aren’t so different, you-and-I. And Homelander and Stormfront have relationship issues that ends badly (for everyone else).

This particular episode actually has so much going on in it I felt like I watched three episodes in a row just by how much plot there was to get through. Despite doing so much in an hour it didn’t feel cluttered, had a good pace, and each storyline fed into the next to keep that pace. It might be my favorite episode out of all episodes of the Boys I’ve seen so far just by how much was happening and how fluid it all was, and am now only more excited about what’s to come. Unfortunately (for me) I have to wait until Friday now because I caught up with actual time, but that’s beside the point.

I especially like how things are moving with Homelander and Stormfront now that they’re a couple into becoming this impending threat for the entire world. I mean, they’re probably both the most powerful and evil two people sleeping together imaginable. It’s scary to think about the world being ruled by them.

I mean, when that happens we’ll then (hopefully) get to see it all taken down by the Boys, essentially the least powerful people on the show, with the exception of Kimiko, which is kind of why it’s so great when they do end up killing/beating Supes. They are the ultimate underdogs in a world filled with Super-powered individuals, what more can you do but hope they win anyway?

SCORING:

+10: An amazing episode with so much happening I’m sure I forgot things about it

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The Boys s2e5: We Gotta Go Now

Air Date: September 18, 2020

Rating:

For this episode, the Boys go up against Black Noir in a battle their sure to lose, Stormfront declares war on Starlight in the most passive-aggressive way possible, and Komiko literally rips someone’s face off!

Black Noir is a very interesting character to me. We see moments of great depth to him, such as when he cries when finding out that Compound V is the reasons for his super powers, or that even though he’s a crazy ninja he’s able to play perfect piano for a party. I like in this episode that his phone’s ringtone is a bit of classical music as well, showing us once again that there’s more to him than an immortal murderer. But, despite this, he still seems little more than a tool for Vought, something that is shown here very well as he seems to be nothing but a killing machine, something that Vought can point a finger at anything and he’ll get the job done with incredible proficiency, and apparent indestructibility.

Along those same lines, there was something I just noticed but has been a bit of a let down for me as I realized that Frenchie hasn’t gotten to kill a Supe in a while. I mean, he hasn’t killed one at all, that I remember, but when he was first introduced he talked about how each Supe is a different problem and then proceeded to plan out how to kill Translucent, an apparently “immortal being.” It made me wonder at the time how he would eventually plan the deaths of all these other Supes as well, but I guess that was it for his clever plotting. This isn’t a real complaint, just something I remembered about the early episodes.

I really like the stuff that happens right at the end between Homelander and Stormfront. I don’t really want to spoil anything though, just know that it’s pretty great.

SCORING:

+10: This is another great outing into this series, I only hope that Frenchie gets to kill more people, which is a weird thing to want now that I think about it

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The Boys s2e4: Nothing Like It in the World

Air Date: September 11, 2020

Rating: 10/10

In this oddly romantic episode of the Boys, Frenchie makes things awkward with Komiko, Homelander exacerbates his mommy issues, and M.M., Hughie, and Starlight go on a totally normal road trip! It’s Weird!

Despite my joke, the road trip sections are actually my favorite parts of this episode. We get to know these three characters a lot better, especially M.M. Which is nice because it seems that most of his backstory has been kind of ignored up to this point (I don’t think it’s really that important though, I mean, what did Frenchie do before deciding to murder Supes? Run Guns? Who cares?) but it’s cool to learn more about him, along with seeing some sweet moments between Hughie and Starlight, and some lighthearted comedy. It’s very normal-ish, and out of place with what the Boys normally is, but I still really enjoyed this break from the intensity.

Speaking of intensity, is it just me or is Homelander just getting grosser as the show goes on? This isn’t a problem or anything, I just find it fascinating what narcissistic psychopaths think they’re entitled to, but at the same time I’m not sure this episode had to dictate so much time to it to the point it gets more than a little uncomfortable for me personally. Can’t we go back to the Home-ster just murdering innocents again? Ah well, at least he kills himself in this episode….not really.

Oh, and I really like the scene between Butcher and Becca when they finally get to have a one-on-one again. It really feels like an intimate moment between a husband and wife who are actively being hunted and controlled by a homicidal Superhero. Okay, I guess I don’t know what something that complex would actually look like, but Karl Urban and Shantel VanSanten definitely bring the necessary complexity to these brief, emotional moments.

SCORING:

+10: Great episode with as much drama as comedy as it is a messed-up, emotional thrillride!….so I guess just like every other episode of the Boys…

–1: I don’t think something deserves a point off just because I find parts of it kind of disgusting, but I will ding off for spending a very good deal of time to these weird moments that don’t really establish much we didn’t already know about Homelander (I guess anything to get Elizabeth Shue back for any reason. This is not a complaint!)

+1: Some pretty heartfelt scenes between all the members of the Boys. I’m surprised this came out on September 11 because it feels more like a Valentine’s Day episode, weirdly

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The Boys s2e3: Over the Hill with the Swords of a Thousand Men

Air Date: September 4, 2020

Rating: 8.5/10

In this episode of the Boys, Stormfront sees Homelander’s narcissism and raises her own psychopathy, the Deep tries really, really hard to get back in the Seven, and Hughie and Butcher have a heart-to-heart next to a heart.

Though this ended up being a very fun episode in the style of the Boys, it started off kind of boring and slow. I wasn’t sure if the Boys had maybe lost some of it’s flair from the first season, but about halfway through the episode everything ramps up significantly and it becomes something awesome with maybe one of my favorite scenes ever involving a whale. It takes a bit to get there though but hopefully this is a sign of being over this particular hump for this season of the “part of the show when nothing is happening…” but with the coronavirus, who knows what more boring things will come?

Also, I’ve started watching the aftershow for this “Inside the Boys” or something like that and for this episode they had Karen Fukuhara, the actress who plays Komiko on the show, and she is the exact opposite of her character in real life. That makes me like this character, and Fukuhara herself, a whole lot more than I did before. I mean, she was good just didn’t stand out as much as Butcher or Homelander to me before now.

SCORING:

+10: What a great show! I’m so excited to watch more!

-2.5: Oh right, it was boring before that helicopter crashes about halfway in…

+1: Karen Fukuhara is a great actress!

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Resident Evil 5

Version: Xbox One

Original Release Date: March 13, 2009

Rating: 7/10

The fifth official outing in the Resident Evil franchise, you play as either Chris or Sheva as you battle horrible monsters across the continent of Africa. Will you be able to stop Wesker and save your old partner?

Playability 2.8 of 4: The tank controls are fine but feel start to feel stilted as things ramp up much more later on. Considering how in RE4 we had a whole box to fill, only being able to carry 9 items feels like such a downgrade. Shooting things is great fun, but I’m not a big fan of cinematic quick-time events. I’m glad this is a video-game fad that seems to have gone completely out of style but we’re still haunted by these moments with their HD remakes…

Fun Factor 1.8 of 3: Like I said, shooting “zombies” (or whatever they are in this one) is great fun. However there a few things that detract from that, one is a mission spent entirely in the back of a car that’s completely on rails. Also the last few boss fights are endless and you don’t even get treasure for them. I really like the levels that are more open ended, like the one in the swamp, and I like finding treasure along the journey, something that’s completely absent in the last couple hours of gameplay. Also, though this game is great with another co-op player, it kind of sucks when your partners a computer.

Story 0.5 of 1: The story is fine, but it’s nothing special. And there’s so many cutscenes I feel the creators were trying to give Hideo Kojima a run for his money. The problem is, the story and characters aren’t interesting enough to warrant this much “screen time”

Graphics and Sound 0.9 of 1: The graphics are great, and the sound is awesome, but, as with many earlier games like this, when people are talking outside of cutscenes, it just doesn’t look right.

Replay Value 1 of 1: There’s so much to do, you can endlessly play through again on harder difficulties upgrading all your weapons all the way. There’s also a Mercenaries mode along with alternate storylines to play through with or without a partner.

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The Boys s2e2: Proper Preparation and Planning

Air Date: September 4, 2020

Rating: 6/10

In this episode, Hughie and Butcher have a heart to heart that more or less ends their relationship. Komiko finds her brother only to lose him again. The Deep has a private and special moment with a body part you don’t expect. And Starlight tries very hard to make Stormfront like her.

Though I enjoyed this episode, it felt a bit all over the place story-wise. I feel it should have done more to focus on the Boys as they hunt down Komiko’s brother and less with Stormfront influencing the news, maybe? I liked some of the smaller things like A-Train’s continuing investigation into Starlight, or the Deep’s trippy experience, but this episode feels like it’s suffering more from the “we-need-each-character-to-do-something” syndrome than anything else. I like these characters but I think TV shows in general need to learn that you don’t always need every character in every episode. I don’t want to put actors out of work, but many of these scenes could probably have been used in a later episode or just more sparingly so we know what the focus of this chapter of the Boys is meant to be rather than trying to focus on everything all at once.

Also, after that awesome opening in the first episode I’m a little disappointed that Black Noir wasn’t in this episode. I guess I shouldn’t complain about there not being a character when I was just complaining about there being too many characters, huh?

SCORING:

+7: I still had a pretty good time, but not as good as this show has shown it could be

-1: Not enough focus and too many characters

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The Boys s2e1: The Big Ride

Air Date: September 4, 2020

Rating: 8/10

The Boys are back and as this season kicks off we find out that Homelander has even more issues than we thought, without Butcher, Hughie tries to lead the Boys for some reason, and someone’s head literally explodes!

I thought it was a bit odd that we started what feels like a few days to a few months after where the last one ended. It’s just that the first season ended on such a cliffhanger that I thought it would start exactly where that one finished. Well, way to subvert my expectations Amazon Prime.

Outside of that, this was kind of a weird one with more focus being on Homelander as he tries to lead the Seven without Elisabeth Shue’s character to handle the marketing side of things. He’s a horrible tyrant and I don’t know if they’re trying to show the human side of him, which I think died a long time ago, or just to reiterate what a terrible person a real Superman would be, something they covered pretty well throughout the first season. I still found it entertaining, and I know the Boys are in hiding right now so they can’t do much, but I think I’d rather have more focus on A-Train, who I grew to like quite a bit by the end of the first season, or maybe it’s more of a “like to hate” sort of thing.

There’s a great scene with Giancarlo Esposito that describes the history of Vought a little bit. It makes me want to see more flashbacks of some kind to see who these WWII Supes were.

SCORING:

+8: Pretty good, though a bit oddly placed and perhaps too much Homelander overall

-1: Homelander is a great villain, but I feel the focus really shouldn’t be on him this much

+1: Giancarlo Esposito is probably the only person in the world who could talk down to Homelander and live to tell the tale, and I’m not even talking about the character he plays!

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The Boys s1e8: You Found Me

Air Date: July 26, 2019

Rating: 9/10

For the season finale, as Butcher goes to finally get his revenge against Homelander, Hughie forgoes revenge in order to save the rest of the Boys. Meanwhile, A-Train and the Deep both realize their no longer wanted at their jobs.

This episode ended the season in an explosion that just leaves you wanting more. Luckily, there is more now, so there’s that. Anyway, I really enjoyed how the characters diverge here. It really shows how each individual has grown and how differently everyone reacts to different situations. Hughie’s priority isn’t revenge, not anymore, and Starlight is the cause of that. While Butcher is driven by nothing but his desire to avenge his wife’s death. And then, at the end, it turns out things are even more twisted than we could possibly imagine.

I didn’t like the Deep part in this, I think he’s a character who’s sadness makes me laugh, and the show is all the better for it. But here, his parts, albeit short, just deflect from where the real action and driving force of the episode lies. I understand it’s a finale and we need to set-up where all the characters for the next season are, but I still feel these parts could have been cut without any issue at all. Especially since this episode clocks in at about 65 minutes, well over a normal “hour-long” TV show which is usually about 45-52 minutes.

SCORING:

+10: An amazing finisher for the first season

-1: The Deep just isn’t deep enough for this episode (sorry, dumb pun)

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The Boys s1e7: The Self-Preservation Society

Air Date: July 26, 2019

Rating: 10/10

In this episode, the Boys go into hiding, Starlight discovers everything, and Butcher kills someone.

The show is really ramping up the plot in this second-to-last episode of season one. It’s making for a very exciting and revealing episode, complete with a few flashbacks to shed some light on Butcher’s past and hint at what really happened to his wife. I also like Homelander digging deeper into his past, it’s always interesting to me to see how supervillains are created.

I also enjoy how Maeve’s character has developed. I see now that she’s not a narcissist but instead someone who’s just been so ruthlessly gaslighted by Homelander that she’s basically given up on herself. It’s sad, really, since Homelander is basically evil Superman and under the rule of his iron fist there’s really no saying “no” to him.

SCORING:

+10: A very well-done episode that sets up the next episode in an exciting way

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