Arrow/The Flash Crossover…Again Part 2 (Review)

Part two of the Arrow/The Flash crossover once again proves to be fun and clever. With a reference to rival the comics verse of Marvel “A bunch of superheroes in a farmhouse? I feel like I’ve seen that in a movie before.” Thea and her Avengers: Age of Ultron reference for the win…

Screen shot Hawkman and Hawkgirl The Flash/Arrow

Part  two of the Arrow/The Flash crossover once again proves to be fun and clever. With a reference to rival the comics verse of Marvel “A bunch of superheroes in a farmhouse? I feel like I’ve seen that in a movie before.” Thea and her Avengers: Age of Ultron reference for the win…

Comic verse references aside, this second part of the Legends of Yesterday episode was pretty intense. It also featured a pretty impressive vocabulary. For an epic end to a tale of reincarnation and 4,000 year old revenge,  the conclusion featured time-travel, everyone dying, except Barry Allen, Cisco losing the girl, Arrow losing Felicity and getting her back and Thea’s father, Malcolm Merlyn proving that he really is a stinker, despite pretending to be on the side of the good guys.

In Arrow Oliver follows up the sighting of former girlfriend Samantha and that boy he spotted in the coffee shop at the end of The Flash.  The boy’s name is William and Queen gets a hair and has Barry do a DNA analysis.  He is William’s father and he approaches Samantha (Anna Hopkins) who reveals the million dollar offer that Oliver’s mother made.

William’s mother makes Oliver promise to tell no one about his son, including Felicity.  Unfortunately, Ms. Smoak already knows that the boy and she angrily leaves Queen prior to the big fight with Savage.

Keeping with the dark nature of Arrow second half of the cross over was pretty grim. Khufu tries to get Kendra back into Chay-Ara mode, Cisco tries to make some “anti-Staff of Horus” gauntlets, which do not work, and when the group, sans part of the team, take on Vandal Savage Kendra fails to channel her inner priestess and all of them die.

The Flash flees ahead of the death wave and meets himself, something that happens at the start of the episode when he first meets with Oliver to plan the Savage battle. Barry realizes that he has traveled back in time and speaks to Cisco about it. As this has happened before, both men are concerned about negative reactions to the travel and messing with time.

Allen tells Oliver about everyone dying and the Felicity fight being the reason that Queen was not in the game. Barry tells Cisco to speak to Kendra and he manages to get her back into the Chay-Ara frame of mind needed. She also remembers something that will help them to defeat Savage.

The battle this time around ends with Vandal dead (a pile of dust in the middle of the warehouse floor) and both Khufu and Kendra are a live, along with everyone else. Oliver manages to keep both Samantha happy and Felicity on top of being able to visit with his son.

After the battle, Cisco and Kendra share a moment, and a kiss. Felicity and Oliver are still together but she seems pensive. Barry worries about the time travel and any ramifications and it appears he is right to be concerned. Malcolm comes and collects some of Savage’s bone dust while reciting the “immortal’s” hate line:

“Your hate will be everlasting. Your enmity will never die. It will follow them from this life into the next, and the next… And the next. You owe me one, buddy.”

As mentioned in the first part of the Arrow/The Flash crossover episode, everyone kills it in this one.  It is interesting to note that Anna Hopkins seems doomed to keep playing disagreeable and angsty characters. Her Samantha is not as annoying as the character she played in SyFy’s Defiance, but she is close enough to be an ethereal twin to the science fiction lawkeeper.

Arrow airs Wednesdays on CW. Tune in to see just how dark things can get in Oliver Queen’s world.

Defiance: Of a Demon in My View (Recap and Review)

Berlin and Irisa in Defiance
By the time end credits rolled on Defiance last week, Nolan was sent off for execution in Brazil and Kindzi had overpowered T’evgin placing herself in charge of the sleeping Omec in orbit above the Earth. This week, Of a Demon in My View has Nolan being taken from his temporary captors, Doc Yewll as Omec assistant and Kindzi is indeed the new big bad, along with the Omec hoard that she is in the process of waking for the Dread Harvest and Berlin is back.

Things have been going south for the denizen’s of Defiance since Rahm Tak was destroyed. Now, just when you thought things could not “go south” any more than a crazed Nolan killing the Voltanis Collective emissary, and his being sent to Brazil for his own execution, Kindzi proves to be clever enough to take over the reins of power from T’evgin.

While last week’s episode was pretty dark, and anyone who forgot just how dark need go no further than the pre-opening credit scenes in this week’s show. The specter of The Butcher of Yosemite is still with Nolan. Irisa and Joshua sit in the back of the van and the camera shows the “shadow” all dressed for battle and no one to fight. Irisa asks Nolan if he can still see it and he says yes.

Datak Tarr and Stahma are playing cards while waiting for the Omec leader to give them the Kindzi all clear. While they wait, Datak takes little jealous nips at his wife. In one of the few amusing moments in the show, Tarr shows that he still resents his Favi Tarr sleeping with T’evgin. Stahma reassures him that while she has affection for the Omec leader, her heart belongs to Datak.

Kindzi is draining her father’s blood to keep him weak. “You are stronger than any other Omec, stronger than me.” she tells the chained T’evgin. “You should just kill me,” T’evgin tells her. “Kill you? No.” Kindzi leans close to her father and after kissing him, finishes in their native tongue, “I love you father.”

The Omec princess loves someone else too, or perhaps lusts after is a more accurate description of her feelings for Joshua. It is she who took Nolan from the Voltanis Collective and Irisa, who was rescued from the crashed van by Berlin, comes close to figuring that out. She recognizes the bite marks on the dead VC members. Meanwhile, Doc Yewll who is still under Kindzi’s control, is keeping Nolan alive.

Doc still will not remove the remaining bits of “hardware” from Nolan’s head but Kindzi has no issue with endangering her new pet. She takes the remaining tech out of Nolan’s brain but not before Yewll displays uncharacteristic backbone as she tells the Omec princess that she is “broken.” The Indogene’s  analysis of Kindzi includes telling her that: She has a screw loose, is a born sociopath and is “sick.” She ends her display of bravado  with “You make me sick and that’s the truth.”

*Sidenote* Did anyone else hear Lily Tomlin’s character of “the kid” lisping delivery in their head – “and that’th the truth.” (Insert raspberry noise here.)?

Kindzi kicks Yewll out and does the risky surgery herself. (She is not going to have a damaged pet thank you very much.) She forces the drone to take the last of the tech out and instantly the connection between Irisa and Nolan is severed.

A pause to contemplate the return of Berlin (played by Canadian actress Anna Hopkins). Jessica “Berlin” Rainer scarpered away from the rogue VC troops and Rahm Tak just when Amanda Rosewater (Julie Benz) needed her most. Using her weapons dealer boyfriend as combination excuse and means of transportation, Berlin deserted what she saw as the sinking Defiance ship. Now she is back, she says, to offer the mayor of Defiance help since Nolan went nuts and killed the Collective emissary.

Meanwhile back at the Omec “headquarters” Kindzi seduces Nolan. Afterward, as the two “cuddle” and Kindzi praises Joshua for his killing of the “Castithan politician.” She tells him that the action reminded her of how her father used to be. Nolan explains that killing the vice chancellor is not something he is “proud of.”

As their post coital conversation continues, Nolan learns that the shadow he saw, while the arktech was still in his head, is not unusual. According to Kindzi there is even an Omec name for it. Joshua begins quizzing Kindzi about the raid where she rescued him and how Irisa is. Kindzi starts lying and Nolan, despite having just had brain surgery, picks up on it.

After one amusing moment where Kindzi actually offers to make pancakes for Nolan, he tells her, “No, I got this,” and heads to the kitchen. He grabs a knife and Kindzi shocks him. As he drops the weapon and falls to the floor, she tells her new pet in her native tongue “You’ve disappointed me.”

Disappointment is the theme in the Tarr household as well. Datak has hired some reluctant mercenaries to guard Stahma as T’evgin has still not arrived to give the Tarr’s the Kindzi all clear. Datak is desperate to see Doc Yewll. She is not answering her hailer and he wants to know how to kill a mature Omec, in case T’evgin has sided with his daughter. He is not overly thrilled with his temporary security force.

Andina (Amy Forsyth) tells Datak to give her a gun. “I’ll fight for you Favi,” she says, “die defending you if necessary.” Stahma is touched. Tarr gives the handmaiden a gun and tells her “Safety’s on the side.”

Nolan is learning that he has lost status with Kindzi. He is no longer a cherished pet. Now he is to be lunch. Irisa and Berlin show up at Kindzi’s to look for her father. Kindzi gives them the run of the place. Berlin decides to warn Amanda that the VC convoy was attacked, and Nolan taken, while Irisa stays to search for her father.

Joshua has escaped and found a weakened T’evgin. As Nolan frees the Omec leader, T’evgin explains that Kindzi wants war and that her sociopathic tendencies are his fault. Andina and Stahma have a little “getting to know you” time. It seems that the handmaiden’s bonding with Alak and Luke has given her ideas. While Stahma shows Andina how to “knit” the girl tells her Favi that this closeness is only temporary. Favi Tarr plays “matchmaker” and points out that Andina could raise her social status through marriage…to Alak.

Andina puts all her cards on the table and tells Stahma that while she “whispers” into Alak’s ear for him to forgive his mother, she can bring Luke to his grandmother for secret visits. Stahma, looking at the knitting, says, perceptively, “you’ve got quite a knack for this. I’m impressed.” It looks like the Shanje may be getting a new family member.

Berlin, risks the wrath of Amanda (Julie Benz) to tell her of the attack and Nolan’s kidnapping. Rosewater immediately begins collecting personal bits that belong to her missing lawkeeper. She plans on placing these at the attack site and telling the Voltanis Collective that Joshua Nolan was killed in the attack.

Datak Tarr finds Doc Yewll and she tells him of a pandemic and offers him a vaccine. She injects him as he insists that the Tarr family need to be inoculated. He passes out and Yewll promises that she will be collecting his entire family, “the Omec will see to that.”

Berlin helps Amanda drag Votan bodies into a fire and the mayor of Defiance reluctantly thanks her former lawkeeper. Berlin tells Rosewater that she will be there as long as she is needed, “Conrad understands.”

“I missed you,” Amanda says flatly. “Same here,” says Berlin.

Kindzi interrupts Nolan while he is releasing T’evgin. She throws Nolan across the room and then goes to eat him. Irisa stops the feast before it can get started emptying her gun at Kindzi. As she comes down the stairs, she throws an axe at Kindzi and it misses. T’evgin grabs the weapon and uses it to free himself from the last of the chains.

His daughter demands that he fight and kill Nolan and Irisa, “They will come back with weapons and kill me,” she says. Telling Nolan that this is not his fight, T’evgin tells the father and daughter to leave. After a very short battle, Kindzi tricks her father and kills him. “You are old and stupid,” she tells her father as he dies. Kindzi screams, it is not a victory scream but one of grief.

Cue a flashback to 1978 and the Omec ship is scanning radio frequencies. T’evgin and Kindzi are the only Omec awake and just as she states that nothing is out there, a song crackles into life on the radio, it sounds like the Bobby Day original version of “Rocking Robin”. The Omec father and daughter dance to the music, excited that they have found the Votan’s planet of refuge.

After this brief memory, Kindzi sings a ceremonial song and then rips her father’s heart from his chest and eats it. She flies to the Omec ship, where a caged Datak Tarr waits to be eaten in the Dread Harvest. Kindzi is awakening her brothers and sisters for the big war and feast. Datak is not alone.  His cage is surrounded by hundreds of others, Doc Yewll has been a very busy Indogene. Tarr begins speaking in Castithan as he struggles to free himself.

This episode was the “Kindzi hour.”  As predicted, she is now the new villain in Defiance and Doc Yewll is her reluctant “sidekick.” Intense stuff from all concerned and it seems that Andina’s climb to gain social status may be interrupted by the Omec Dread Harvest.

Most shocking moment of the show had to be T’evgin’s “death by Kindzi” followed by Datak’s waking in that cage.

Nolan and Irisa may be going for reinforcements and Berlin may have come back to help Amanda, but this could all be for naught if those Omec siblings wake up too quickly. Kindzi and her family are almost ready to take part in a Defiance smorgasbord.

Meanwhile, the Voltanis Collective have yet to learn of the Nolan convoy incident. These uncomfortable allies may well help “save the day” when Kindzi starts “the big munch.”

Defiance is part of SyFy Friday and is not to be missed. Fans will now be desperate to see who survives this latest threat.  Join them and be mesmerized by Julie Benz, Grant Bowler, Tony Curran, Julie Murray, Stephanie Leonidas and Nichole Galicia as Kindzi.

Defiance: The Beauty of Our Weapons (recap and review)

Sharknado comes to Defiance
Last week in Defiance, Datak was captured and told by Nolan that he would probably hang for treason, Stahma and Amanda got into an altercation and Datak’s wife left with a letter opener in her side. Heading to T’evgin’s door, she pleaded for help, much to the dismay of Kindzi and Rahm Tak murdered his wife before telling Bebe to “put on the coffee.” This week in Defiance, The Beauty of Our Weapons brings everything that bit closer to the day of the attack.

Before the end credits roll, Datak asks to die at the Shaming Wall, Berlin gives Amanda a vote of “no confidence” and bails, with former lover Conrad Van Bach, Stahma almost winds up being a very clean snack for Kindzi, Nolan and Irisa share some father/daughter time and later when she has a major meltdown while shooting at the practice range, Joshua proves that he can support his daughter and give one helluva speech.

Ian Ziering guest stars as Van Bach while taking a short break from the Sharknado verse. This week leaves Rahm Tak out of the proceedings with Bebe standing in as the face of evil and Defiance focuses inward where punishment and understanding are the order of the day. The only real fly in the ointment is Berlin’s defection and Amanda’s decree of cowardice as a result.

Datak Tar manages to shine at his sentencing. Amanda asks the convicted traitor if he has any last words. Tar looks her in the eye and says, “Did my wife do that to your face? It’s a good look for you.” The mayor of Defiance snorts and shakes her head. Datak getting the last word is bittersweet and spot on.

Conrad Von Bach rolls into town and after a little comedic touch with the arms dealer and his “muscle” Benedict, he goes to buy some sunglasses, mainly so he can look at the vendors bum. Berlin comes over and the two reunite Indiana Jones style, with Conrad getting a punch in the nose from Jess after admitting he sold weapons to the Voltanis Collective.

Von Bach has, however, brought weapons for the residents of Defiance. Nolan doesn’t trust the arms dealer and aims a rifle at Conrad’s head, who deactivates the gun and reveals that the price is nothing. The reason, he says, is to impress Berlin. Back at Rahm Tak’s camp, the collective are about to break through Defiance’s defenses via their tunnel. Bebe gets a new face in order to be ready for the invasion.

Stahma learns from T’evgin that Datak is to be hung and Kindzi learns that their guest can speak the Omec language. Kindzi is not happy about her father’s decision to shelter the “spy” and reminds him that the entire town of Defiance will be against him if they find out.

Jess and Conrad compare notes about their “breakup” and both learn that his mother orchestrated the whole thing. Telling Berlin that her son was “through with her” and telling Conrad that Jess took money to leave. After a little backstory, the two kiss and Berlin asks Von Bach if he wants to go upstairs. Conrad says yes.

Nolan starts a training session with the local militia and one lad, Raniker “but they call me Zero” can really shoot with a homemade gun his father Indur made for him. Meanwhile, Lt. Bebe, with his new face, is ready to do that last bit in the tunnel.

As the local troops are put through their paces, Indur asks where Irisa is. The farmer demands to know where the “Amazing Goddess” is and why she is not training with them. After some words of discontent, Indur states that if Nolan’s family is not willing to fight, neither is his. Indur, Zero and a few other potential soldiers all leave.

Alak comes to visit Datak, as requested, but does not bring Luke as his father asked. The younger Tar says that his half-human son will never see his grandfather. Alak reveals that he would have died trying to save his wife and child. Datak admits that he failed his family. Saying that his “time is done here,” he asks a favor of his son; tell Amanda that he wants to die at the shaming wall, a death by painful torture in order to take away the “stain of my immortal soul.”

Nolan approaches Irisa and asks her to join the soldiers. As they talk, she asks Joshua if he is ever scared and he replies yes. “Now” she asks. He says yes, “and tired” and the two hug. “I love you,” Irisa says, a touching moment between father and daughter.

Kindzi decides to pick on Stahma while her father is in the mines. She describes what happened to former “concubines” of T’evgin and begins to throttle Stahma. Her father intercedes, throwing his daughter to the wall and then puts his foot to her throat. He forces Kindzi to apologize. “Think nothing of it,” replies Stahma.

Conrad woos Berlin with a film, the old Rock Hudson/Jane Wyman weepy All That Heaven Allows, and he asks her to go away with him. She puts up a little resistance, saying that Defiance is her home and Conrad reminds her that she was posted there. He also tells her that he wants a live with the girl he never stopped loving. Uncomfortable, Jess says, “Let’s just watch the movie.”

Mayor Rosewater agrees to Datak’s request, but thinks that he has some sort of angle. Right after her meeting with the condemned prisoner, Amanda returns to her office to find Berlin there. Jess tells her that she is leaving with Conrad and after some arguing, reveals that they will leave the next day. She asks for Amanda’s support and explains that she is scared, just like she was as a youngster. Rosewater tells Jess that she is her family and Berlin says that Amanda cannot protect the town or her from what will happen. “You’re a coward,” Amanda says as Jess leaves the room.

Irisa forces herself to go and shoot. Berlin tells Nolan about leaving and he coldly tells her “Defiance, thanks you for your service,” twice. The “Goddess” joins the line and begins firing. Zero continues to be a crack shot, “you should see me when I’m hunting kanga-rats.” Nolan tells Amanda that things are looking pretty good.

As his daughter fires her weapon, she sees Tommy; all bleeding bullet holes and dying, he calls her name. She drops her weapon and rushes to cradle him. Weeping she repeats that she is sorry and that she wishes she could take it all back. Nolan comes up and takes her out of the street, it was all in her head and there is no Tommy there, and Amanda warns Joshua not to let the training fall apart.

The “Butcher of Yosemite” proves, however, after apologizing for forcing Irisa to participate when she was not ready, that he can give one great motivational speech and the training soldiers unite behind him. During his speech, Nolan singles out Berlin with certain phrases, letting her know just how he feels about her leaving when the town needs her.

Before Datak is taken for his “execution” the doctor tells him that she will miss him, despite voting for his death, “I still have to live in this town,” she tells him. “I respect your pragmatism,” Tar says. After a short preamble, Datak is strapped into the wall and he apologizes to the town. As the Castithan’s start piling on the weight that will tear him apart, Alak brings Luke to see his grandfather. Datak’s son tells the baby that his grandfather may be flawed but that he has honor.

Bebe breaches Defiance via the tunnel and shoots the old man who asks who he is. T’evgin leaves Stahma with Kindzi yet again and he promises her that his daughter will behave. Kindzi stops brushing Stahma’s hair and retrieves what appears to be a pebble and tells her to eat it. It glows blue and Stahma refuses saying that Kindzi cannot force her, “I disagree,” replies T’evgin’s daughter and forces the thing down her throat. She appears to be transported to the Omec ship immediately after.

Defiance is now on the brink of Rahm Tak’s invasion and things look pretty bleak. Berlin has deserted her family, friends and post and Datak looks to be a goner, unless of course he really does “have an angle” as suggested by Amanda. Stahma looks to be in trouble as well, Kindzi may tremble under her father’s boot, but that has not kept her from doing something to his “concubine” that looks pretty final.

Grant Bowler, as Joshua, looked different this week and it took some time to realize that the character had trimmed his beard. In terms of performances? Bowler rocked in all his scenes, despite the disconcerting change in appearance, Stephanie Leonidas and her melt down was a tear inducing moment and Terry Curran managed to be both “doomed” and tragic. Brilliant heart wrenching stuff indeed. As for Berlin’s departure? Can we really miss anyone who loves the film All That Heaven Allows so much it is her favorite film?

Kudos to Ian Ziering who, as one reviewer put it, “didn’t suck.” The Sharknado star proved that underneath all that schlocky rubbish he is still an actor. He did a superb job as the “Indy” arms dealer still in love with Anna Hopkins’ character Jess, aka Berlin.

Defiance is part of SyFy Fridays and should not be missed.