Arrow: Lost in the Flood – Boom (Review)

Thea in the Ark in Arrow

Before going into the penultimate episode of season four (Lost in the Flood) and the ark going boom, let us take a moment to say Mike’s Film Talk called it last week when we rambled very briefly about a Supergirl/Arrow/Flash cross-over. It was even mentioned that with the time travel capabilities of DC’s LoT that Sara could come back and save Laurel’s life (aka a crossover episode).

While not an “I told you so” moment at all it just goes to show great minds think  alike. (Yes we know that a number of folks probably thought about a ‘Supergirl’ mashup but we put our fanboy ravings in print, last week.)

Excited ramblings aside, with just a touch of “we knew it,” this week’s episode starts with a more powerful Darhk sucking all the molecules of oxygen out of Oliver and Diggle’s bodies before he escaped to keep trying to start his own personal apocalypse. Thea is given a yellow pill to “turn her” and Felicity works hard with Noah to stop the Rubicon from being reactivated by Hive.

It is a little hard to really dislike Damien Darhk (Neal McDonough). Despite being the grandaddy of all big bad’s he is amusing on a consistent basis. Last night’s episode saw him complaining to his wife:

“Today was supposed to be Christmas, and I woke up to a lump of coal. Is it because I’ve been naughty this year?”

(And, Damien Darhk gives great pop culture reference. “That way, when the whole world goes all “Dr. Strangelove,” you can feel your skin melt from Armageddon.” You’ve got to love this guy.)

To be fair, since Oliver Queen is so humorless, or at the very least morose,  almost everyone else, except for Diggle (David Ramsey) who can also be pretty dour, can be pretty amusing. Felicity continually rocks the humor meter as does Curtis (Echo Kellum).  Ms. Smoak’s mother is funny but in an almost annoying “bubble-head” way.

‘Lost in the Flood’ is quite “ex” heavy.  Thea’s ex-“boyfriend”  Machin (Alexander Calvert) – who actually becomes a huge thorn in Darhk’s side, going so far as to kill Ruvé Adams (Janet Kidder) sending Damien into a murderously suicidal meltdown- Felicity’s ex, Cooper Seldon,  a computer hacker who takes on Smoak and her father. And of course Noah Kuttler ex husband and father with his ex Donna Smoak. 

That is a lot of exes.

For once in this show the good guys look to be ahead of Darhk but not for long. Oliver’s flashbacks to the island with Taiana (Elysia Rotaru) are slowly and agonizingly pointing to a solution to defeat Darhk, or at least diminish his power. As we see by the end of all the clips, the good hearted Taiana turns into a powerful golden-eyed (and power hungry) killer. 

It is the totem, the “head” that generates the power and corrupts the one who uses and relies upon it. Although admittedly it seems pretty certain that Damien Darhk was a stinker before coming across the thing.  Destroying the magical item should make the show’s big bad vulnerable, even with the power surge from the nuke.

Back to the episode, amusingly Thea manages to better Oliver who then has to talk her down. She and Queen step in to help Diggle with Merlyn and Thea gets the line of the show:

“Drug me again and I will kill you;  you son-of-a-b*tch.”

Felicity, Curtis and Noah crash the Rubicon and Machin rigs the ark’s command  center to explode. Thea, Digger and Queen  confront the madman and cause the facility  to self destruct.  Machin kills Darhk’s wife but after a bit of heated battle they manage to save his daughter.

Thea’s ex manages to escape the destruction and after the good guys get out they see the crater that used to be the ark.

Damien learns of Ruvé’s death and loses his happy thoughts completely.  Later he goes to drop off a message to Felicity.

‘Arrow’ is great stuff. DC at its darkest. ‘The Flash’ and ‘Legends of Tomorrow’ are much lighter in tone, as a rule, and  ‘Supergirl’ has its amusing moments. There is one more episode left in the current season. With the hint that a “Force” will help Oliver defeat Hive, one can only imagine who will turn up.

Capes anyone?

Arrow: Monument Point – Felicity’s Cross to Bear (Review)

Felicity working with Poppa on Arrow season four episode 20

‘Arrow’ has always  been that bit “Darhk-er” (Sorry.) than it’s sibling DC show on CW. Although Barry disappearing in ‘The Flash’ was pretty upsetting and downright grim (not to mention shocking) he is not gone, unlike the smaller burg of Havenrock which Felicity substituted for Monument Point. The deaths of a few hundred thousand people will now be Ms. Smoak’s cross to bear, even if she did save millions.

In the Arrow-verse, which has still not been renamed ‘Green Arrow’ to match Oliver Queen’s new mission statement, things have always been that bit more serious and deadly, at least at first. Queen’s vigilante was not too squeamish to exterminate villains with extreme prejudice.  He has changed, more resembling the definition of a “good guy” in the olden days of  ‘The Lone Ranger’  shooting to wound rather than to kill.

With Damien Darhk (Neal McDonough) however, he may have to revert to his old ways.  

This episode was surprising in many ways, Felicity (Emily Bett Rickardsswore angrily at the pompous arse Mr. Dennis, not in his presence but later when she realized he had locked out after only being fired for “45 minutes.”  Detective Lance, or former detective, opts to not sign the lie which may keep him off the force for a long time. Merlyn (The splendid John Barrowman) helps Thea Queen and Noah helps Felicity, of course the surprising thing in this is that Ms. Smoak lets him. 

Flashbacks to the island are heading to some sort of  revelation about the talisman that powers Darhk.  If nothing else it reiterates the  fact that death makes the user more powerful, although the backstory segments leave us hanging by the end.

Thea’s attempt to escape the underground ark built by Damien and his minions took up part of the storyline. Alex may, or may not be dead, after that shock to the chest although with the warhead diverted he may have a chance at resuscitation via CPR.

Vinnie Jones (who is playing the thuggish Mr. Brick) is becoming a staple on “American” television. He played Richard in the ABC musical comedy ‘Galavant‘ proving that former footballers (soccer players) can act quite well. Brick gets an arrow through his arm and a pretty thorough pasting by Queen rather than a quick death.

Felicity’s interaction with her father Noah Kuttler aka Calculator (played byTom Amandes) was well done as was her outrage at Dennis’ getting her fired by the board of trustees.  Ray Palmer may not be best pleased if he ever returns from his ‘Legends of Tomorrow’ mission.

The line of the episode went to Damien Darhk himself with this gem:

“I think you’re gonna need much bigger arrows.”

(Although it would have been slightly better if he had said “You’re going to need a bigger bow…”)

The end of the episode has Felicity (Overwatch) killing hundreds of thousands and her face, with that solitary tear, was heartbreaking.  ‘Arrow’ is darker than ‘The Flash,’ at least in terms of body count. This death toll was huge and it will obviously weigh heavily on Felicity after the dust settles.

It will be interesting to see if the newly rejuvenated Barry Allen can, or will, join forces to help his fellow hero  defeat Darhk. With the news that ‘Supergirl’ will be joining the CW DC lineup next season, it would be completely awesome if that superhero showed up to lend a hand although wildly illogical.

Fanboy imaginings aside, there is a “surprising” visit from someone who helps in the battle  as the finale description states that Oliver gets help from a surprising force…

Season five may have a lot of changes with the possibility of more crossovers, there may still be a crossover in either of the last two episodes of season four, and a few changes in character’s arcs. Felicity has already moved away from the team, and broken up with Oliver, this nuclear cross that she will have to bear,  may cause her to withdraw completely.

There are two episodes left in season four of ‘Arrow.’ The show airs Wednesdays on CW.

Longmire Season 4: Back in the Saddle Episodes 1 – 3 (Review)

Walt Longmire riding the range...

Longmire is back in the saddle, long-live-Longmire. Season four is now on Netflix, which opted to drop all 10 episodes at once,  and it picks right up where A&E left the show dangling at the end of season three. . In terms of demographics, which was the former network’s excuse for dropping the uber popular show, there may not be that many in the older fanbase  of the Wyoming lawman’s weekly story who care to binge all 10 episodes but they are there just in case these “old fogies” feel the urge.

Netflix, of course, do not care about age groups and target demographics too much, they just want to make a profit and bring new customers to their world. Shows like Longmire are a welcome addition to the streaming site.

The fourth season has been up on the site for a few days now. Deciding to watch the first three episodes seemed like a good idea, although the excitement of watching more than one segment at a time was almost enough to make watching all 10 a necessity. Those who have not watched  beyond the first episode might want to stop reading now…

*Sidenote* Although it has been mentioned before…How ironic is it that one of the most popular western figures on television is Australian? Robert Taylor was born in the land down under and worked there, a lot, as well as in England (Ballykissangel Father Vincent Sheahan) and is now playing a “cowboy detective” for American audiences. And doing it very well too.

In the first episode all the main characters had to deal with the death of Branch (Bailey Chase) who was shot by dad Barlow (Gerald McRaney) who worked to make it seem like the distraught lawman had shot himself.  Of course the cliffhanger at the end of season three left it up to the imagination as to just who shot whom. The season four open made it clear who was shot.

*Sidenote* Firstly…How horrible that one half of “Simon & Simon” and the guy who was “Major Dad” turns out to be such a huge villain  that he shot his own son! Gerald McRaney was brilliant in the last episode of season three and the first three episodes of season four. Secondly, why was it not obvious from the very start that Branch would not shoot himself with birdshot? If a cop was going to kill himself surely he would use buckshot, or even a slug.

Episode two continues the investigation into Branch’s death and includes a death up at the Japanese interment camp at War Eagle.  This side trip, where Walt and Vic have to investigate the murder of a community CB enthusiast and civic minded citizen, was a welcome step back from all the fraught business of Longmire looking a little like Columbo.

Like the raincoat wearing detective in the big city, we the audience knew already who killed Branch. It was just a matter of time before either McRaney’s Connally slipped up (which he does) or Longmire as Columbo figures it out. The two came nicely together at the conclusion of episode three.

Speaking of the third episode, Cady is offered one of those “too-good-to-be-true” jobs which ends in her quitting, but not before learning something that will help her dad solve who killed Branch and who really (after three seasons of searching) ordered his wife murdered.

Turns out that Walt was barking up the wrong tree for a very long time, although there was/is a Nighthorse connection, just not the one Longmire thought there was. Interspersed throughout the first three episodes is Henry’s decision to become the new “Hector.”

“Hector Lives” becomes his new mantra and tag (while wiping up the message that Henry scrawled on the club’s mirror with permanent marker, he tells best friend Walt that vandals have struck) as he starts answering the notes left in Hector’s jar at the old wall.

Just as Walt Longmire dispenses justice in Wyoming, so too have Netflix dispensed a form of justice for all those outraged, and too old, fans of the show. It was criminal of A&E to cancel a program that starred actors of the caliber of Katee SackhoffLou Diamond PhillipsCassidy Freeman, McRaney and that Aussie cowboy Taylor.

Once again we are treated to the “will they, won’t they” thing between Vic and Walt. The power struggle between Walt and Officer Mathias and, of course,  Jacob Nighthorse (Zahn McClarnon and A Martinez) and Henry’s issues with Graham Greene’s Malachi Strand.

All 10 episodes of Longmire are available to watch via Netflix, as are the first three seasons for those who want to catch back up or get introduced to this modern western cop show. Great television with great storylines and actors. Watch it, whether you fit the “old” demographic or not. This is great telly!

American Horror Story Freak Show: Opening Night Trailer (Video)

American Horror Story Freak Show: Opening Night Trailer (Video)

On October 8, FX will be bringing American Horror Story Back to fans with season four’s, Freak Show and the latest trailer has been released, entitled Opening Night. This video, along with the sexually explicit opening credits which was also released, where a naked female figure has what appears to be a booted leg jutting from her genitalia, will whet the appetite of every AHS fan out there.