Last evening, upon returning from Friday mass, I was moved to pray for the fine people our great nation.
Not really. I got home super late last night, and it being Friday, I decided, “Fuck it. I’m going to insanely high anyway.” So I did, and it’s legal here, so I’m not only a hero, I’m a great citizen.
So, a candy, a crazy potent brownie… (I’m not kidding. 500 mg THC brownie the size of 2/3 of a credit card. I have been nibbling it like a little mouse all week), a couple bowls of Animal Crackers weed (see the weekly review), AND infinite hits of the vape pen later (no half measures for this man)… I was super high.
I was so high that I decided to get on YouTube and watch/listen to old Fleetwood Mac songs. Old ones, from when they were a hard blues band, all the way to the fluff of the Rumours era. It was lovely. I dozed, I floated. I lucid dreamed Stevie Nicks vs the Green Manalishi… it was lovely. THEN the above video played (the blessing/curse of autoplay) and I was ripped from revery, and faced with this guy.
Ok. Watch this video while you read this. This guy is so amazingly information rich…. it’s like Finnegan’s Wake on drums. Here’s why.
- His drum setup is insane. Look at all the cymbals.
- His drums seem wedged between a built in china cabinet and… another built in china cabinet?
- I don’t know how, but I am sure that his mom is no more than 10 feet away
- Little Lies? You’re going to live drum to an 80’s pop song from Fleetwood Mac? That’s your showpiece?
- He’s not great
- He’s not terrible
- He has shared this with the world.
- Half a million people have watched this
- Despite half a million in the audience, our man is obviously very alone (mom doesn’t count)
- We have only been able to share videos of ourselves doing shit like this for a few years. This is a new phenomenon.
- Sociology. This is. Read Bowling Alone.
Marvin Fleer, you are the shining exemplar of this day and age. You are the zeitgeist. Go forth and drum forever.
Dale and I collaborate on our posts (which are now written on Movie Pilot, go there and look for us), and I use legal cannabis to help with creativity. Also I’m usually gaming while Dale is writing, so… it goes hand in hand.
This text fragment is a peek into the creative process. What is art? What is life? What is love? Baby, don’t hurt me.
Arrow Episode Review
AWOL and Unchained
I was quite sick last week I didn’t get around to watching A.W.O.L until tonight, so we’re getting a 2 in one review. A.W.O.L and Unchained, so let’s get into it. Hopefully you’ve read my Arrow reviews before, so you know how I do this.
This episode was the first time we got to see Felicity’s new role in the crew, not that it has changed that much, but she is certainly in a different head space at the start of this episode. She is understandably upset about her paralysis. She’s been confronted with the rest of her life. Where it once contained so much promise, she’s been confined to a chair with wheels. At least that’s how Felicity feels. She’s not really in a ‘glass half full’ place this episode.
She actually started to hallucinate and go a bit stir crazy. She’s even managed to manifest her own Tyler Durden, in the form of Goth Felicity. She constantly bugs Felicity about her situation, her blonde hair, and her glasses. Fuck off goth Felicity. You’re not interesting and you’re annoying. A fuck off double whammy.
So Felicity is having a personality crisis and it’s showing in her hacker performance, luckily, this was one of the more interesting arcs of the episode. She slipped and someone almost bought it.
So this brings me to the next point. The Andy/Diggle brother arc seems to have come to a conclusion in this episode. Andy finally came around and patched things up with Diggle, as they come together at the end to go up against Shadowspire. This storyline has been brewing for a long time during this season and it seemed like Diggle was slamming himself up against a brick wall, and couldn’t reach Andy no matter what he said.
In this episode it seems like he had chipped away enough to finally make a hole and get through to Andy. We also moved away from the Oliver flashbacks in this episode, and shed a little light on Diggle and Andy’s past.
I enjoyed Diggle’s selective memory when it comes to his brother. He convinced Andy to enlist in order to get his little brother on the straight and narrow, but some men just aren’t meant t0 walk the righteous path. As soon as Andy arrives in camp he falls in with a bad crowd in order to make a little extra scratch on the side. Diggle wanted his brother to straighten out, so that’s exactly what he saw.
This brings us to the big conflict of the episode, Team Arrow vs Shadowspire. Shadowspire’s bread and butter is misdirection, as stated by former member Andy Diggle. Guess what?
Shadowspire makes Team Arrow believe that they are after a shipment of rail guns, so we get Oliver, Thea and Laurel waiting at the truck depot for Shadowspire. When they don’t show our heroes know something is wrong. Upon this realization Shadowspire takes over an A.R.G.U.S base and holds Amanda Waller, and Lila Diggle, at gunpoint looking for something called Rubicon, which is some nasty bullshit. [Mighty Dale falters] I don’t know, I didn’t pay attention at this part, fucking sue me, sadly this resulted in the death of Amanda Waller.
That kind of sucks since Waller is such a huge part of the DC/Suicide Squad universe. It was nice having her around, and she was cold as goddamn ice, which was awesome. She was willing to watch everybody in that room get shot in the face before giving up Rubicon.
So, after learning of the A.R.G.U.S situation via a panic button, the Diggle brothers (that would make a sick 70’s band name. The Diggle Brothers Band) concoct an elaborate plan where Andy pretends to be returning to Shadowspire, and brings John in as a fake hostage (the ol’ Chewie prisoner trick).
Oliver, Thea and Laurel arrive to get into the fight, which brings us to Arrow’s douchiest line this season. Oliver gets on his communicator and calls Felicity, who is back to her keyboard crunching self, Overwatch. This is fine except she’s confused about the name and Oliver says, “I thought it was about time you got a code name what do you think?”, to which Felicity responds, “It’s perfect.” Oliver responds, “I was going to go with Oracle but it was taken.” wink wink nod nod puke. FUCK……….YOU, Oliver Queen., Fuck you 10 ways from Sunday. Stop making Batman references! It’s not cute. They’re not funny little references for the DC fandom. It’s annoying, and every time you do that it makes me want Batman more.
So let’s move on to Unchained, Unchained was actually quite a good episode and saw the return of a few familiar faces, so let’s… hit the ground running.
Unchained really didn’t stand out that much, and if it weren’t for the interesting returns of some great characters, it wouldn’t have been anything to write home about. It did have some great action and obviously as I’ve mentioned, the returns of Nyssa Al Ghul, Roy Harper and Katana, it also boasted some great action sequences, finally.
This episode saw the return of Roy Harper (not this Roy Harper) albeit a brainwashed Roy Harper. He was being controlled via a contact lens in his eye. He was trying to steal parts from Palmer Tech in order to build a big tech bomb that would basically destroy the internet, and erase everything. Who was controlling him was the big mystery in this episode. It was a new villain known as The Calculator, a genius level hacker to rival even Felicity Smoak. blah blah blah, this wasn’t very interesting at all.
Where this episode shined was in the emotional aspect of a character like Roy being returned to the fold, albeit all too briefly. His reunion with the crew was interesting, especially since at the beginning of the episode, he started off as a Team Arrow adversary.
Obviously his reunion with Thea was going to be a huge moment. These two are set up to be the loves of each other’s lives, and it was unfortunate to see them have to part ways, when they would clearly rather spend the rest of their lives together. I
also thought it was hilarious how Roy left his Red Arrow suit for Thea after his first departure. I assume Team Arrow took Roy’s suit, stitched it up to fit the tiny Thea and redesigned it. Somehow, when Roy puts it on it reverts to the original design and somehow still fits him. SCIENCE. But whatever, TV logic I guess. I can look past it.
Nyssa vs Katana
We also got some fantastic action in this episode. Nyssa’s escape was great, but the fight between Nyssa and Katana was incredible. Sadly it didn’t last too long, but the choreography was excellent, and felt like we were watching 2 highly skilled fighters. Plus, it’s always nice seeing both Nyssa and Katana, but Nyssa had to get to Star City to serve a bigger purpose. She holds the Lotus, a mystery cure for Thea’s blood lust. Because apparently Oliver can’t call John Constantine again. It always makes me giggle about how once characters leave the show it’s like they don’t exist.
Sadly it felt like this episode simply existed to lead up to the big reveal that Calculator is Felicity’s dad. This was actually no reveal at all considering this had been predicted on the internet long before the show revealed it.
So overall, Roy, Nyssa and Katana came back and Felicity has daddy issues. That’s basically the whole episode. We’ll see you guys next week.
& Harrison Wells Learns Non Binary Thought
The Flash came in with a solid episode on Tuesday night. There was a bit of filler, but for the most part it was good. Let’s get into it. Tuesday’s episode (Fast Lane) had a lot of moving parts, but easily the most interesting was the internal struggle of Harrison Wells. Even more interesting was having Tom Cavanaugh convey that struggle using the Kristen Stewart method.
Harrison Wells from Earth 2 has proven to be one of the more complex characters on this show. He continually shows himself to be slightly different than the Wells/Thawne from season 1. That’s not to say this Wells isn’t capable of treachery and villainy, but you can really see how it eats him up inside. [Mark says that Tom Cavanaugh’s wooden acting does nothing to convey this conflict. It’s done all with lighting, music, and the words that TomBot flatly intones] Using Wells’ daughter as the motivator humanizes Wells greatly. Who wouldn’t do anything to save their kid? Such is the case with Wells trying to steal Barry’s speed for Zoom, to get his daughter back.
I had a feeling that Wells would have a change of heart about stealing Barry’s speed, but I had no idea it would be so immediate. Seeing Wells come clean so quickly was an excellent way to highlight the differences between Earth 2 Wells and season 1 Wells. This Wells immediately knew he had made a bad decision and was remorseful, and after stealing only 2% of Barry’s speed. I imagine Zoom’s demand for all of Barry’s speed led him to think that he may not get his daughter back, no matter how much he helps Zoom.
The West family drama continued in this episode with Iris getting all gussied up to go to the street races, and see Wally do what he does, which is street racing. This resulted in a weird story where she goes after the man who’s been organizing the races, in order to bring an end to this dangerous sport. This seemed like a PSA to me, like when shows do an episode about recycling for Earth Day.
Heart Of Glass
This wasn’t my favorite story line but it is always nice to see Iris be a main part of the story. She is one of the characters that always seems to be on the sidelines, so it’s nice to see her front and center. They’re focusing on her reporter gig again. This is where she is comfortable, going after the bad guys in the paper.
One weak point this week was the villain. Tar Pit was overall just weak. Plus, who the fuck gestates for two years in molten asphalt, then emerges with powers? That’s just dumb. Really dumb. Even for the Flash, and this is counting the super gorilla and the bidpedal shark.
We’ve seen these kind of motivations from super villains before. He was wronged on the night of the particle accelerator explosion, and after gaining powers (in the most implausible way yet), set out for revenge against those who wronged him. Pretty simple. Sadly, I don’t dig any villain that is stopped by a gadget and a punch to the face from Joe. These types of villains are becoming commonplace.
The biggest problem with these 20 something episode seasons is that there is not enough story to fill the whole thing up, so a lot of filler is needed. Unfortunately it’s become too much in the second half of this season. We’ve had so few arc episodes that it’s becoming frustrating. We need WAY more forward momentum on the Zoom front. We got a glimpse of Zoom but not enough.
One thing that did work was Joe busting Wally for pretending to be some street racing badass, when deep down he is actually a good kid. After Iris is injured, in a really good scene highlighting how that 2% that Flash is missing matters, Wally opens up and lets his new family in. There was no ay they were going to kill off Iris. No way in hell, but injuring her in order to bring the West family together, and tighten the familial bond? Hell yes.
Overall this was a decent episode, but it’s next weeks episode that looks great. The gang take a trip to Earth 2 where we’re going to see some interesting versions of our favorite characters, including Caitlyn Snow’s alter ego Killer Frost, and the return of Robbie Amell as the evil version of Firestorm, Deathstorm. Next week looks wonderful, especially the scene of Cisco and Barry taking an Earth 2 selfie. Not even interdimensional travel can stop guys from acting like idiots around their buddies.
See you next week when we have more Flash to flesh out.
Into The Mystic
Mildred. Her name was Mildred. She was a sunny, sexy, senior in Oak Park Retirement Home. Although her name implies that she is a Confederate widow of dour countenance, she is actually pretty and sparkly, and totally doable. Ah, Mildred. Dean should have given you the old Blanche Deveraux (which is 2 parts Blanche DuBois to 1 part Vivian Vance). That may not make sense, but neither does Supernatural. If you get anywhere near it with a critical eye, you immediately start bashing your head against the wall, like the victims in tonight’s episode </segue> which is entitled “Into The Mystic” because, fuck it… Van Morrison is Irish, kinda, and banshees are Irish, or Scottish… whatever. I digress.
Agents Osbourne and Butler
The monster of this week is a Banshee. Check your Supernatural bingo card, and if you have Banshee, you win a nonexistent toaster (one winner per household. No habla Sumerian). The episode opens on the Irish moor of yore (30 years yore anyway), where we see a young father of a baby doting upon same.
Door opens mom comes home, happy family, dancing, laughing… banshee. Dad hears a terrible shrieking sound (no, not Metal Machine Music, although nice reference), loses his shit, bashes his head against the wall, while mom books it to the kitchen, where she earnestly gathers a bunch of things that will be used to banish the Banshee. Bansheegone. Banishes banshees beautifully. Buy some now.
Mom isn’t quick enough, Dad dies of self inflicted cranial trauma, and a scary floaty witchy specter appears, and starts consuming dad’s braaaaaaains. Mom finally gets all the shit for the spell, and proceeds to open her arm and bleed out, when all she needed to was slice her palm. Bad judgement in the heat of the moment. She somehow bleeds out in moments, even though that’s not what would happen in real… no no we don’t do that. Anyway, banshee is banished in a flash, dad’s dead and mom dies shortly thereafter. Baby cries, bereft of family. An orphan. And, scene.
30 Years Later
Sam is moping around the bunker, consumed with guilt over not trying to save Dean when he was trapped in Purgatory. Remember that with the vampire from the Bi-you?
Lucifer got in Sam’s head and Dean tries to distract Sam with a case. Luckily there’s one only 15 minutes away. Lucifer ex Machina, indeed.
So detectives Osbourne and Butler (Black Sabbath reference) go to the nicest old folks home in the world, to investigate a possible monster.
Upon arrival at the retirement home the boys upgrade the possible monster to definite banshee.
The victim (Harold) was in a locked room and bashed his own brains out, while screaming, “Get it out of my head!”
No, he wasn’t talking about Ice Ice Baby (although that’s now in your head). The sinister banshee emits a shriek that’s only heard by the intended victim. We learned this when the banshee took her next victim, the manager of the retirement home. He was speaking with the GMILF-y Mildred when he did the old, “Get it out of my head” bit before smashing through a window, and falling to his death. Mildred saw the banshee feed upon the brains of the decedent. Banshee looks up and sees Mildred. Uh oh. Now we know who’s next.
A Nice Choice
While investigating the death of Andrew (the second guy who died) Sam interviews Marlene, a maid who is deaf. Why does that matter? It doesn’t really, but it’s a cool direction for the show to take. Turns out (spoiler) she’s a hunter. In fact she’s the baby in the crib at the start of the show (from 30 years ago). The banshee made her deaf, but she was rescued by an Irish hunter, who raised her, and trained her in the ways of hunting. She’s down a major sense and she still kicks ass. Turns out (while chatting w/ Sam) that her late grandfather was a Man of Letters, which makes her a Legacy. Very cool. Could they be setting up the groundwork for a spin off?
Now we have three hunters on the case. You may notice that Marlene is wielding a gold blade (she’s threatening Sam because she thought he and Dean were Banshees due to lip reading and context). That’s what kills banshees. In this scene Dean has popped back to the bunker to get some gold blades. While he’s there he runs into….
Castiel, who is possessed by Lucifer (we’ll call them Casifer), is at the Men of Letters bunker looking for clues on how to tackle the Darkness, because he obviously has no idea. I love Cas playing Lucifer playing Cas. I got bored with Castiel seasons ago, but this is great.
Dean confides to Casifer that he is drawn to Amara and the pull is getting stronger. Casifer files that tidbit away in his “Use this to screw Dean over” folder, and then we’re back to the banshee jamboree. As stays behind.
Dean is introduced to Marlene (it’s not her real name but I couldn’t quite hear it so Marlene it is) and then he, Marlene, and Sam work to protect Mildred from the impending Banshee. The girls objectify the boys in a way that if that tables were turned, all the SJWs on Tumblr would explode and coat the earth with self righteous slime. Anyhow, the girls think the boys are cute. Mildred openly comes on to Dean, who begs off. Why? Because he’s decent? No. Mildred susses it out. It’s because he’s SMITTEN with the DARKNESS. This is known as foreshadowing. It means you cast four shadows, like if you were on Tatooine (nerd rage in 3,2,1…)
The banshee comes but…. it’s Dean who is the target! Chaos, bleeding eyes, “get it out of my head”, smash smash.. then…. teamwork as Mildred uses her blood to charge the sigil which binds the banshee. Banshee gets ganked by Marlene, and scene.
There are a few things that were revealed/alluded to in this episode that bear closer examination.
- Dean is increasingly drawn to Amara, not unlike the call of the Mark of Cain from last season. He’s gonna bounce soon. Probably in time for the cliffhanger season finale.
- Casifer is fishing for ways to deal with Amara. Not because he is true to his word, but because if she destroys everything, that will include him. Casifer will use Dean somehow to draw out Amara.
- There are now 3 legacy Men of Letters. I bet there are talks about a spinoff regarding the MoL, or at least they’re testing the waters.
- Only you can prevent forest fires, so stop starting forest fires.
- This joke (below)
I really liked this episode, from the dick joke, to the deaf hunter, to sweet ass Mildred, to Casifer. It worked the way it should. No Crowley, Rowena, Angels, Heaven, any of that tired old noise. Just the brothers fighting monsters. And Casifer doing his thing. Good times. Can’t wait for next week.
The Flash Review
Dale’s Take On This Week’s Episode
That’s right folks, Tuesday’s episode of The Flash brought the return of the dreaded Reverse Flash, Barry’s mortal enemy. Was it a resounding success? Not necessarily, but it did strike some excellent notes, so lets talk about it.
Barry’s A Dick
Ok, so when we get into this episode we’re still in the midst of the devastating breakup between Barry, and Patty (who is perfect and pure). That further proves that Barry is so bad at lying that it often makes him look like kind of an asshole. Patty has basically told him to stop her from leaving Central City to attend CSI school. She spilled her heart about how much she wants to be with him, but he coldly rebuked her, in favor of the same tired lie.
Barry, I get it. You must protect the ones you love, don’t let the bad guys use them against you, blah blah blah blah. Watching him tell Patty that he isn’t the Flash in the face of her completely breaking down emotionally, and even after she’s figured it out on her own, was idiotic and frankly, cruel. For the first time since this show began I texted my friend, and co author Mark, with the simple phrase “Barry’s a dick.”
Barry has been one of the more charming characters in the CW’s DCU, it’s also a miracle that Barry has had relationships at all, considering he is comically bad at talking to women. Watching Patty break down in Barry’s lab was heart breaking, and that’s a testament to Shantel VanSanten’s talent as an actress and much much more than a pretty face (and everything else). She really sold that scene for me, so good job Shantel. You nailed it.
Which brings me to my next point. The end of this episode brought us to Patty leaving Central City. Shantel VanSanten has been a shining star in season 2 and it’s really a shame to see her go and hopefully she won’t be gone for too long. Patty Spivot/Shantel VanSanten, you will be missed. I suspect this is just a move to prolong the Ross/Rachel will they/won’t they tension. It’s cheap. Hackneyed, even.
The Actual Plot
Moving on, the Reverse Flash’s return was bound to make some waves in Barry’s world. When it comes down to it, his return wasn’t a fast paced action thriller. It packed more of an emotional punch.
Origin of the Reverse Flash
We got a good origin story for Reverse Flash, having now seen the moment when he discovers Barry’s identity, and how to hurt him.
Eobard Thawne was portrayed as being a childish person, who only dislikes Flash because he was obsessed with the Flash as a child and could not be him. So he instead decided to become the reverse of everything Flash stands for. Dumb, even for a comic book show.
Barry’s fight with Reverse Flash was truly badass. Barry beat the shit out of Eobard, and decisively defeated him, before bringing him back to Star Labs.
It really hit Barry in the gut when Flash had to let Reverse Flash go, in order to save Cisco. Barry finally capturing him and locking him up only to have to let him go back to his own time in order to fix the time line and save Cisco’s life… that’s going to eat at him.
In releasing Reverse Flash, the man who killed Barry’s mother, we get a huge blow for Barry. It calks back to what Harrison Wells says in the video message to Barry. He will never be truly happy, which brings us back to the Patty situation.
Barry loved and was loved. He was happy with Patty,and he let her go to continue to be Flash and protect her life.
If it was Reverse Flash’s goal to ruin Barry and keep him from ever being happy, he’s won. Without using any powers he’s won.
We had a few subplots in this episode. One involved Cisco, as he, and Harrison Wells, worked together to get Cisco’s vibes under control. That resulted in Cisco getting the Vibe goggles, controlling a vibe, and looking into the future.
Cisco haa taken a big step toward becoming Vibe. It was actually pretty damn cool, and will definitely help team Flash in the future.
The other subplot was much less interesting. It was Caitlyn’s attempt to find Jay Garrick’s Earth 1 doppleganger, in order to use his cells to replace Jay’s dying cells. This resulted in a big bomb being dropped. Jay’s Earth 1 doppleganger is not named Jay Garrick at all, but Hunter Zolomon, which in the comics is the true identity of Zoom.
Since this show has strayed significantly from the comics, which in my opinion is a good thing, I can’t see Hunter Zolomon being related in any way to Zoom. If he does it will simply be bad story telling.
Zoom has been such a frightening and intimidating villain this season, that to introduce his true identity as somebody we’ve never met before, this late in the game would be story suicide.
Zoom’s identity needs to have a huge impact on the Flash universe. It has to be somebody with gravitas.
I’m predicting Earth 2 Barry, Joe or Henry Allen. Maybe even Earth 2 Eddie.
So, overall this episode was pretty good, albeit way too light on arc advancement. It was definitely a worthy episode, however, it is time to bring Zoom back into the forefront. I wouldn’t mind seeing a few more appearances by some of the other Rogues, Grodd, Weather Wizard, and obviously King Shark, considering we only got a glimpse of him in his first appearance.
See you next week!