The mid season finales are here (or rather they have been and gone, I’m writing this literally weeks after I’ve seen the episodes but can you blame me? It’s been Christmas!!!
No Supergirl this week, episode 9 isn’t airing until the new year! So onward!
The Flash S3 Ep9 – ‘The Present’
Contrary to the title, this weeks episode deals with past, present and future! And even though they have just dealt with an alien invasion, little mention of it! It’s back to speedy business!
So it turns out Alchemy’s magic rock, the Philosopher’s Stone (very unsubtle Harry Potter reference, particularly having it being wielded by Malfoy!) was uncovered by Julian Albert after he had visions of his dead sister calling to him.
Long story short, Julian is a pawn for Savitar and it is him acting through Alchemy trying to create an army of Metas. This combined with the fact that Barry has apparently reached a power level worthy of challenging Savitar ‘The first speedster’, makes for a troubling time!
After a brief battle with Savitar and Alchemy, with the assistance of Jay Garrick, Barry and co learn that the stone is linked to their new foe. They try to reverse engineer its effects to talk to Savitar but they should have left it alone.
Savitar gives them a prophecy, “One shall betray you, one shall fall, one shall suffer a fate worse than death”. Will this come true? Who will fill each of these roles?
Savitar claims the Flash trapped him in the first place, took something from him. Not wanting this prediction to come true Barry wants to destroy the stone so Savitar can’t appear. However it is indestructible so they throw it into the speedforce instead!
Even this goes wrong! The effect of discarding it in the speedforce blasts Barry through a breath into the future! And not a good one! Barry sees himself pleading with Savitar just before he kills her!!! Jay pulls him back to the present before he can do anything!
Cue the inevitable “it’s only a possible future” argument which Barry will of course ignore and do all he can to prevent it. For now, it’s Christmas so ending on a happy note, Julian is part of the group and joins them at the West house, well he does know the Flash’s identity now!
Joe and Cecil are officially dating, Caitlin has no problem using her powers to give them a white Christmas and Barry gives Iris an apartment! It won’t end well Barry!!!
Good fight sequences and character development but a lack any sense of cohesion hampered the episode. I think the show started too many story arcs and are now struggling to keep the all going.
Cisco has now got over his hatred of Barry so they decided to reignite his pain by giving him Savitar-induced visions of his brother Dante. Caitlin manages to talk him down from summoning Savitar but clearly his pain is going to last much longer.
The rest of the team find out HR is training Wally and of course they are pussed but by the end of the episode they all accept it and Joe even gives him a Kid Flash suit! Finally, he can now start being a speedster instead of just the moaning teenager.
Having Mark Hamill briefly appear as a very joker-esque Earth 3 Trickster was great and yet another Flash bullet catch sequence, exhilarating as always.
It was brilliant to see a four-way speedster battle but our heroes were more than outmatched! How is Barry going to screw up the timeline now? Stay tuned after the mid season break to find out!
Arrow S5 Ep 9 – ‘What We Leave Behind’
Okay, here we go, after this episode Arrow can take a breath and relax. The first half of the season has been much better than Season 4 and now the half point has been reached all the set up can start to pay off as we work towards the finale. Can Arrow maintain its rise in quality? Let’s find out.
The title tells you everything you need to know, end of recap……Oh you want more than that? Well this episode is all about Legacy, hence ‘What we leave behind’ We finally learn who Prometheus is, sort of, and his motivation. We learn what Evelyn is up to and the whole of Team Arrow is rocked by this weeks events. I’m not going to go into much detail as its better seen first hand but lets summarise.
Evelyn/Artemis has given Prometheus info on the members of Team Arrow so he can hit them where they live. His first strike is against Curtis, who is already having a bad night after an argument with his husband. The attack on Curtis, while not fatal, tells Oliver that Prometheus knows who he is! Luckily, the throwing star that got lodged in Curtis’ shoulder was laced with a drug made by a company that only works out of one building in the city. Can you sense they convenience?
The Flash backs this week tell us the drug was made by a company run by a guy called Claybourne. He was on Oliver’s Season 1 kill list. Oliver thought he had been successful! back in the present, Oliver goes to the Claybourne facility and springs Prometheus’ trap. After a brief fight between the two archers, and a really cool shot of a throwing star shattering an arrow, Evelyn arrives and reveals herself as the mole and helps Prometheus escape.
The team think Prometheus might be Claybourne himself but testing his supposed ashes confirms the man is dead. Meanwhile Detective Nice Guy, Billy Malone, is investigating Prometheus, despite Felicity’s begging to stay away. At the Clabourne facility he find a picture of a baby, sending a copy to Facility just before he is taken by Prometheus.
Here’s where the legacy comes in. Using facial recognition in a ridiculous way, the team discover the baby in the photo is Claybourne’s son. Oliver notices some of Prometheus’ moves as the same taught to him by a woman in Russia. He has to stop him before he hurts anyone else.
Going to the same facility where he killed Claybourne, Oliver finds bodies strewn about in the exact manner he left them four years ago. Finally confronted by Prometheus, the bad guy taunts Oliver by saying he is going to turn everyone against him and make him wish he was dead. Seeing a chance, Oliver fires arrows right into the chest of Prometheus, but of course, it’s not him, it’s not a dummy either….it’s Billy!!! Prometheus tricked Oliver into killing his ex-girlfriends new boyfriend….awkward!!!
Already struggling with the way he is doing things, Oliver tells the team to leave for good or else they’ll get hurt. They are where they are meant to be and Felicity blames Prometheus, not him. Rounding off the episode, Curtis goes home to find his husband leaving, Lyla calls Diggle saying there is something wrong with his son but when he gets there he is arrested, and a visitor greets Oliver in the cave…..Laurel!!! Wha?!?!?!
I really enjoyed this episode. It genuinely felt like Oliver was doing all he can to get through a horrendous day and it just kept getting worse. Killing Billy is going to create a further rift between him and Felicity and the team feel unsure with one of their own turning against them. Diggle has been captured and Prometheus is splitting the team, his plan is working!
A few things I didn’t like; Thea has just jumped right back into being a vigilante again with no restraint. Is she just fine with it now? There was only a passing reference to the alien invasion which only happened in the last episode, apparently the world recovers very quickly from something like that. Is Oliver’s reporter girlfriend going to do anything with the photo of him from Russia? Why is she holding it back? The bonding between Diggle and Wild Dog doesn’t feel natural, I think they are doing it just to give WD something to do as his character is quite bland.
Overall a good episode and good way to enter the mid-season break. After last year I never though I would look forward to seeing more Arrow but here I am doing just that. Maybe Barry has messed with my timeline! See you next year!
Legends of Tomorrow S2 Ep8 – ‘The Chicago Way’
It looks like we have reached the point n the show where the disjointed, slapstick comedy superheroes have started to become boring. There are still some interesting parts but overall the novelty is wearing off. Let’s jump into the latest episode.
There’s not much to the story this week. Damian Darhk and Eobard Thawne have now been joined in the schemes by Malcolm Merlyn. Thawne has brought him from the future to help them out. The Legends detected an aberration in 1920s Chicago, and discover the Legion of Doom (even though they haven’t called themselves that yet) are aiding Al Capone with his take over of the city. Instead of being arrested for Tax evasion, Capone goes on to be Mayor of the city!
So the Legends have to stop Capone killing the key federal agent that would have taken him down from being killed. Their first attempt to rescue the guy fails, as it always does, so Nate decides to take the agents place in order to keep the secret investigation going and preserving history. Little do they know this was all part of the Legion’s plan. The Legends are jumped by the Reverse Flash with Sara and Stein being kidnapped.
This gives the two captives a bit of time to chat about time and how Stein messed it up and created a daughter! Sara is pissed and lectures him about preserving timelines. But ultimately by the end of the episode she’ll come around and decide that some things are more important than history. This argument undermines any conversation about preserving timelines that any character has ever had, ever!
Darhk knows he can’t get information from Sara so he lets the Reverse Flash torture him so that Sara will give them the amulet. The rest of the team, led by Mick with the excuse that if they are to beat criminals, they have to act like them, infiltrate the building Sara and Stein are being held in. Capone has them trapped and unleashes with his machine gun but Nate comes to the rescue distracting him so Mick can take him down, enabling the team to escape. Yet again, this was a feint.
It quickly becomes apparent that the Stein brought back to the ship is actually the Reverse Flash in disguise! Jacks rumbles him and manages to briefly take him down with a weapon from Rip’s secret armoury. Recovering quickly Thawne rakes control of the ship letting his allies inside! All of the Legends fight to defend the ship with Sara going toe-to-toe with Merlyn, Vixen almost gets her revenge on Thawne before his watch calls him away.
After the bad guys have left, Sara rescues Stein from Al Capone and tells him she gave them the amulet in exchange for him. Nate and Ray give evidence of Capone’s tax avoidance to the special agent and Vixen gets awfully friendly with Mick! The episode is rounded out with the Legion of Doom activating the amulet to reveal a map like compass thing which Thawne says will lead them to the Spear of Destiny (isn’t this the plot of the Keanu Reeves Constantine movie?). They need one more thing…..Rip Hunter, who is for some reason in Los Angeles 1967 directing a film based on his own life?!
Okay so the episode wasn’t that bad but I really feel like they are clutching at straws for story now. There are too many individual story arcs to tie together and some of them aren’t working. Nate and Ray’s ‘sibling rivalry’ is a bit strange for two intelligent grown men, and Stein struggling with needing to reset his timeline but not wanting to, then changing his mind isn’t interesting now. I want him to decide to erase her for the good of the time line.
It’s also a bit strange for Mick to be having visions of Snart telling him he’s not a hero and needs to leave the Legends behind. Mick has made it very clear that he only does what he wants to do. Having Snart criticize him for doing the exact same thing he did throughout season 1 seems like a huge departure from what Snart was trying to teach Mick, they don’t have to be criminals.
Oh and we finally got to see another spirit animal from Vixen, this time, a Dolphin!
Hopefully the show will pick up after the break and actually have some depth to its stories.
The winner this week is the Flash, a first for the show this year and only because we have seen a glimpse of things to come. Good going Flash!