Crisis Management: Batwoman, Supergirl & The Flash Week 5, Arrow Week 4

This week we got a teaser, the most important part of which was seeing Brandon Routh is that super dope Kingdom Come Superman costume.

He looks really really good. Also, on Saturday, Aless and I expressed our annoyance that Michael Rossenbaum turned down being in Crisis because “they didn’t have a script yet,” which like, does he need a script? He makes a speech about “destiny” and “the thin line that separates heroes from villains,” and then Welling looks off into the distance with his face scrunched like he smelled a fart. Cut. End of Smallville portion of the crossover.

Anyway, this week’s episodes, let’s talk.

Batwoman Season 1, Episode 5: “Mine Is A Long And Sad Tale”

We finally learn how Beth became Alice. After the car accident a disturbed loner who’s abused son needs a friend, so he kidnaps Beth. After a near miss where Jake and Kate fail to find her, Beth and John, the mysterious Mouse, latch on to each other and Alice In Wonderland to escape the hell that they’re stuck in.

Alice tells her story to Kate, who is trying her best to understand what’s going on and also doing that superhero thing where her failure to save someone close to her even under pretty reasonable circumstances becomes the defining moment of her entire life and mission to fight crime.

Meanwhile, a frustrated Mary gets drunk and shows up to Kate’s office to confront her about how she’s a good person and Kate’s fixation on Alice, her “real sister” is hurtful. The reasoning for the scene is only OK, but an at the end of his rope Luke having to deal with Drunk Mary is awesome.

Oh, also Jake does manage to save Kate from Alice, but it’s too late for Alice who’s committed to Mouse as her new family, rather than the people she feels failed her.

Supergirl Season 5, Episode 5: “Dangerous Liaisons”

Kara loops new guy William (ehhh) into The DEO’s search for Leviathan, under the auspices of investigating Andrea. They are bonding, I am reminded of how much I miss Mon-El.

Alex and Kelly meanwhile are coming up on their “date-a-versary” whatever the hell that means, but it is an excuse for them both to realize that their scary dangerous lives are just all the more reason to further committ and also ride motorcycles together. (Seriously, did someone look at Alex’s entire life and just say, “she’s great! It’s all great! How can we make it even gayer?” I’m not complaining. Just saying.)

Meanwhile, Kara and her cool pants and neat bangs, and J’onn fight an assassin with Doc Ock arms who it turns out is (GASP) controlled by Leviathan who are, if you missed it, coming.

Oh, also Andrea’s creepy VR contacts launch and I know this is going somewhere Leviathan related, but for the moment it’s stupid and unfocused and it’s really hard for me to care.

Also, Lena tricks Malaf’a’ak, and now she’s studying his brain. I wish this had gotten more screen time.

The Flash Season 6, Episode 5: “Kiss Kiss, Breach Breach”

Breacher is back! YAY! I love Danny Trejo.

Of course he’s back because Gypsy is dead, which boo. She was murdered and The Collectors think that it was Cisco. OH NO!

Cisco and Kamilla and Breacher go about solving Gypsy’s murder, and Cisco doesn’t think he can do it. He also makes a Barry AI, which is adorable. Barry and Iris are on vacation, and I know that the Barry-light episodes is so Grant Gustin can film his Crisis stuff, and the show is doing OK by it, and we only have a few more weeks, so I’m hoping Barry gets some fun things to do in the back half of the season.

Anyway, they solve the murder and it was Echo, who is an alternate Cisco. DUN DUN DUNNNNN. Anyway, Cisco clears his name but does have to live with the idea that Gypsy died thinking he killed her. But he and Kamilla say I love you! Yay!

Frost confronts Ramsey and he offers to turn her into a blood monster. She passes but confirms his evil-ness. Ramsey is actually a pretty fun big bad, and I especially like that his connection is through Caitlin and Frost, rather than Barry’s future.

Joe and Nash (our new Wells) get stuck in the sewers below Central City, looking for The Monitor. We’re still not sure why Nash is looking for the Monitor, but Joe doesn’t care, because you know, it’s Joe, he’s just looking to bond/protect his family. He explains that the current need for faith in his life is that Barry’s death won’t be in vain. It’s a good scene because Jesse L. Martin and Tom Cavanaugh are incredible. Even if it’s a little contrived getting them to be alone together is always welcome.

Arrow Season 8 Episode 4:

I love when Arrow gets on it’s high horse about murder. It’s so much cognitive dissonance since the initial episodes of the show were just Oliver running around murdering people, a habit he has not really broken. Oliver still murders people pretty regularly. 

Anyway, this week’s “Don’t Murder” lesson goes to Mia. Everyone gets really cool, really quick about the future kids showing up. It’s weird but they’re dealing with a bunch of weird stuff anyway, so they all just kind of roll with it. (It’s weirdest for Connor since Dif and Lyla haven’t adopted him yet.) Mia, William and Connor agree not to reveal the future to their parents, especially Rene and Dig, who might not be cool about the whole “JJ murders Zoe” situation. Eventually everything comes out though and they all brood at each other.

Mia though is definitely up for killing CURRENT (5 year old) JJ in order to save FUTURE  (not 12 year old) Zoe. Laurel tells her that murder is always a bad plan. (Again, Laurel murders people kind of a lot) and Oliver tells Mia he wants them to be a family.

William is thrilled to be back in the life he voluntarily vacated at 12, which is annoying on a plot level but adult William is so damn cute, that I excuse it. He also comes out to Oliver who reveals that he was aware of William’s sexuality but wanted to give him time and space to come out on his own, and hates that they never got that time. Anyway, the episode ends with Dig and Conor doing sword training, The Queens eating grilled cheese sandwhiches and Rene running for city council, while agreeing to let Dinah train Zoe.

Oh also, the Minitor recruits Laurel to betray Oliver and get her Earth back.

I’m guessing this isn’t going to be that straightforward.

No Black Lightning this week. And hey! Tomorrow The Mandolorian premiers! I’m still thinking I’ll stick with Mondays for Crisis Watch and do Fangirl Loves Star Wars on Wednesday or Thursday. We’ll see.

In The Face Of Adaptation: Watchmen

Alan Moore wrote Watchmen to be unadaptable.

This is the common wisdom and it’s probably true, since Alan Moore has notoriously hated every adaptation of his work save the Justice League Unlimited take on Whatever Happened To The Man Of Tomorrow? (He’s right, it’s both a fantastic episode and a great adaptation. It’s also my favorite thing he wrote, but I’ve never read Swamp Thing…)

I read Watchmen in college, as a burgeoning closeted comics geek, it was an acceptable starting point. Watchmen wasn’t a comic book, (the horror!) it was literature. 

I didn’t get it. I saw the movie. I liked that fine. But still, didn’t get it.

I read Watchmen again a few years ago, after diving headlong into comics and superhero fandom.

I got it that time.

It’s a brilliant work.

I still don’t quite get the movie.

Also, while recognizing Watchmen’s greatness and even liking the book itself, the way the comics industry learned all the wrong lessons from it continues to piss me off. Not everything needs to be Watchmen. 

Anyway, why revisit this graphic novel that I’ve always appreciated more than I actually liked? Because HBO is airing a TV show based on it obviously!

Rather than adapt that which cannot be adapted (how does one show all of time happening to Doctor Manhattan at once on film? ONE CANNOT!) Damon Lindelof has opted to further explore the deeply interesting world that Moore created.

Watchmen the show, takes place in an alternate 2019, the 2019 of the Watchmen, where a culture shaped by masked vigilantes and accelerated technology and President Robert Redford. Of course bits of our history still happened, so the world is both alien and familiar.

And I was wary. Being not crazy about Watchmen, and even more nervous at attempts to do more with it, I didn’t know what to expect going in.

It’s good. It’s damn good. It’s thoughtful and darkly funny, and opaque, and uses TV the way the novel uses comics.

Also Regina King is the shit.

Anyway, I’m curious how the whole thing ends up, but I’m super intrigued with how things are going. Now that Adrian Veidt and Laurie Blake are in the mix, I’m even more excited for how things are going to progress. Doctor Manhattan’s appearance feels imminent. Or not, an anticlimax of  that sort would be both very in the spirit of Watchmen and Lindelof’s pedigree.

We’ll see.

60 Books in 2019 #55: Sorcerer To The Crown by Zen Cho

Sorcerer To The Crown has a lot in common with Jonathan Strange And Mr. Norrell, at least superficially. It’s about magic as a science and field of study in mid 1800s England, it’s about a reluctant practicitioner getting in over his head with Fairy kind (in this case dragons) and it’s about the way the British Empire steamrolled history and people who weren’t upper middle class white men. (In this case the two main sorcerers are African children transported to England as babies.)

The book examines colonialism through magic, which is cool, and has dragons, which is cooler, and a sort of Jane Austen style slow burn romance between said sorcerer Zachariah Wythe, and his young student Prunella Gentleman.

You’d think I’d have liked it more, but for some reason the book just didn’t absorb me. I don’t know why, but I had a lot of trouble reading more than 20 pages at a time for this one, which made for slow going. (Which is why I haven’t read anything else in a bit.) It’s well written but it just didn’t grab me.

Anyway, we’re nearing the end here. Up next, I’m not sure, actually, I am, but it’s rereading, which doesn’t count towards this goal. (But it’s been 3 weeks and I’ve been staring at Watchmen…I need to read it again, folks. I just need to. Also, His Dark Materials.) 

You’re Not One Of Them

Jo Jo Rabbit is a lovely movie. It’s trangressive as hell and wildly hilarious in places. (Sam Rockwell is a treasure and somehow knowing how great he is, and knowing how every time people talk about him they’re talking about how great he is, I still think he’s underrated.) There are a few things going on in Taiko Waititi’s satire that I think are worth discussing.

The whole movie is from the perspective of Jo Jo, a sad, lonely ten year old boy in Germany towards the end of World War II (the inevitability of Germany losing the war at this point hangs over the whole film) who idolizes Adolf Hitler and longs to belong, thinking he’ll find that belonging in the Hitler Jungon. Keeping the camera at JoJo’s height, only revealing for sure things that he knows for sure (we, as educated adult viewers can glean more nuance but it’s not in the text, deliberately and brilliantly.) makes the film more whimsical than it could be otherwise.

JoJo, like many kids, has an imaginary friend, unlike many other kids, his imaginary friend is Hitler. As JoJo’s perspective shifts, so do his interaction with Hitler, at first JoJo’s Adolf is a chummy cheerleader, by the end, he’s a bellowing lunatic. Waititi plays Hitler himself and it’s an interesting performance.

And then there’s the matter of Jojo’s ghost. His mother, Rosie (warmly played by Scarlett Johanson, in a role that she’s quite good in. I have mixed feelings on Johanson, who I think can be wonderful when a part suits her, but is limited as an actor) is working with the resistance and is hiding a Jewish teenager in their walls. JoJo learns this and decides rather than turn Else, the girl in, to use her to study Jews, and of course learns that she’s human.

JoJo Rabbit has it’s heart in the right place, is creatively shot, and masterfully performed. It addresses the really important issue of radicalizing youth, and how to break that programming. (While it is not the job of the oppressed to educate their oppressor, it is helpful for young people who’ve been radicalized to interact with those they previously considered themselves above to realize you know, we’re all human and stuff.)

Anyway, I was a big fan of the movie. I’m really looking forward to watching it again, actually, because I’m sure there’s more to analyze here.

Rankings

  1. Once Upon A Time…In Hollywood
  2. Jo Jo Rabbitt
  3. Spider-Man: Far From Home
  4. Avengers: Endgame
  5. Rocketman
  6. Detective Pikachu
  7. Zombieland: Double Tap
  8. Godzilla: King Of The Monsters
  9. Downton Abbey
  10. Joker

Trailers

Ford V Ferrari: I am so excited for this movie. I’ve mentioned before that, “well meaning adults who are good at their jobs” is one of my favorite genres, and I have a feeling this qualifies. Also, Matt Damon and Christian Bale getting to play smiling charmers is going to just be a hoot!

Knives Out!: It better be good. I want it to be good. It should be so so so so so good.

Doctor Sleep: Looking forward to this one too. I’m going to try to see it this weekend, but I make no promises.

A Hidden Life: I know Holocaust dramas aren’t always great, in fact they are often maudlin and difficult to watch. This looks kind of like that, but I’ve always enjoyed Terrence Malick’s work and also, I’ve been reading about Franz Jagerstatter in a superficial way since I could read. (Catholic culture can be weird) so seeing this story on the big screen will likely be worth it.

Crisis Management: Batwoman, Supergirl, Black Lightning & The Flash Week 4, Arrow Season 7 & Season 8 Episodes 1-3

We’re all caught up! Hooray! Which means I can start catching up on other things. (This Is Us is demanding some love…not to mention I’m weeks behind on Titans and Star Wars: Resistance…) So, all things point towards Crisis, and now that I’m not going to have to push through 20 hours of Arrow every week, I’ll hopefully be able to start linking everything up thematically.

We shall see…

Batwoman: Season 1: Episode 4: “Who Are You?”

When I reviewed Joker last month I discussed how even now, despite living in a world where I’m reviewing 5 superhero shows a week and there are still more on the air, I get really excited when Batman stuff crosses my path.

I just, really, really love Batman-mythos stuff, you guys. Kind of a lot.

Which is why, despite it’s rough around the edges awkwardness, Batwoman is doing right by fans like me. This time, because Kate Kane is fighting mother forking Magpie.

I’m no longer surprised by the depths of character lists that The CW goes for (they brought back Isis for Beebo’s sake!) but it still brings me great joy to see stuff like Magpie getting decently budgeted live action TV outings. Magpie is a jewel thief with a bird motif, and Kate has to stop her, especially when it turns out she’s also blowing things up. There’s a bit of a scare with Martha Wayne’s necklace, but Kate and Luke get it together, find the necklace and stop Magpie from blowing up a museum benefit. (It’s Gotham and there’s a museum benefit, so obviously, Batwoman had to show up.)

Kate also visits Mary in the batsuit, and leaves Alice’s boyfriend with her step sister for medical care. Mary is a little miffed by the whole “reviving a tortured dude,” thing and also doesn’t guess that it’s Kate under the mask. Reagan lays in on the line that she’s not willing to be blown off all the time, which makes her a spectacularly bad choice in rsuperhero girlfriend so Kate ends things, reluctantly. Also, turns out Catherine Hamilton was the one who faked the evidence of Beth’s death, so you know…Jake’s not thrilled about that.

Sophie continues to be around. Alice has not yet killed her husband.

Ruby Rose is still a bit stiff and awkward, but she’s getting better. She’s really at home when she’s in the suit, which is cool to see. She seems to unclench a little which I doubt is intentional, but works for the character. Kate’s freaked out about her double life, but as Batwoman, she doesn’t have to be.

Supergirl Season 5: Episode 4: “In Plain Sight”

James Olsen, farewell.

This was Mehcad Brook’s last episode. And look, James Olsen, Dreamboat Photojournalist/Idealist Vigilante never quite worked on the show, which is a shame because he is really, really handsome. Anyway, James is back in his hometown and is crusading against the prison system. Sure, whatever, we’ll miss you. (Kind of?)

J’Onn faces off against Mala’f’ak who has taken over Alex by now, which is just awful, for J’Onn, you know emotionally. Alex already suggested they use the gun that Hank Henshaw created to kill Green Martians against him, which everyone is just, like “WTF Alex?” to her about, but is a really good plan, and they wind up having to use it, which is tough, because isn’t that Alex’s job.

Lena helps Brainy be his best boyfriend self which is cute, even though she’s still working on the side to control the world with evil tech.

Oh also, bland rude British guy is totally going to be Kara’s latest doomed love interest, so we’ve got that going for us. (I miss Mon-El)

Black Lightning: Season 4: Episode 4: “The Book Of Occupation Chapter 4: Lynn’s Ouroboros”

Lynn is working herself to death, practically, looking for a vaccine for the pod people, and the greenlight babies, and she feels close. Jeff is frustrated that she’s agreed to stay working with Odell, and he’s super worried that they seem disconnected. He talks to Gambi about it, who suggests he make his marriage the priority right now. Fine, whatever. I wish we were seeing more of Black Lightning this season, but it’s clearly not going to happen.

Jen, meanwhile, is starting to side with Odell, which is really terrifying. She sees the occupation as a Net Good, in a control way. Which, I’m sure she’ll change her mind when she learns what’s going on with Khalil. Who, still working as an assassin. Going by Painkiller full time.

I really cannot stress enough how much I worry about these kids on a regular basis. I do like Jen’s new haircut, however.

Anissa and Grace are now committed, and Jeff meets her while freaking on Anissa for being Blackbird. Grace reacts by morphing into her teenage self, which is both weird and great. Jeff apologizes and tells Anissa he’s proud of her. Also they breakout a bunch of suspected meta’s from jail.

I have trouble recapping Black Lightning, mostly because it’s a busy show, with a lot of nuance and allegory. Plot isn’t really the point. But I am enjoying it, even if it feels like there’s not enough actual Black Lightning this season.

The Flash: Season 6: Episode 4: “There Will be Blood” 

Man, we’re halfway to Crisis and I can’t wait for it to be over, not because I want it to be over. I am so hyped for this crossover, y’all, but because “Barry is going to die and we all know it let’s talk about our feelings,” is exhausting. This week, Cisco tells Barry he’s being kind of a dick by being so Zen about the whole thing.

I agree with Cisco.

What else is new.

Anyway, Barry tells him they’re going to Save Ramsey Rosso as their final project together. Cisco says that’s stupid and they should Save Barry Allen.

Again, we’re in accord here Cisco.

Barry says no, and they create a treatment for Ramsey, and it doesn’t quite work, so he keeps stealing blood from people and creating zombies. Barry and Killer Frost fight the zombies. Sendhil Rammamurthy is doing a great job with Ramsey, even if I have to remind myself to call him that instead of “Mohinder.”

Iris and Ralph decide to team up to find Sue Dearbon, which is exciting because that’s Ralph’s wife in the comics! Yay!

Joe and Barry have a heart to heart about Barry’s death. Joe cries. I cry. Jesse L. Martin pulls me heart strings more than anyone. (Watches “I’ll Cover You (Reprise)” Cries again.)

Arrow Season 7

Flash forwards! In a dystopian 2040, grown up, age appropriately written William finds Roy Harper on Lian Yu and they go hunting for Felicity. Along the way they team up with Zoe Alvarez and Dinah Drake, plus Mia Smoak, Oliver and Felcity’s daughter. There are some bits of mystery surrounding this future, what happened to Oliver (CRISIS!)? Is Felicity dead? (NO!) Is Rene’s old age makup ridiculous? (ABSOLUTELY!)

The season starts with Oliver in prison, but he’s out pretty quickly, which is fine. Also Diggle and Lyla are running ARGUS and Felicity keeps inventing really terrifying surveillance tech.

But then, Team Arrow becomes deputized by the SCPD to fight Dante and The Ninth Circle and then Oliver’s hertofore secret half sister Emiko Queen. Emiko was the result of Robert having and affair and then abandoning her and her mother at Moira’s insistence. Considering Moira did the same thing this feels a little hypocritical. Anyway, they win! They save the city, until they don’t, because apocalypse. And also, the Monitor shows up and tells Oliver that their “deal” to save Barry and Kara has come due.

Arrow Season 8: Episodes 1-3

Oliver’s Multiverse Adventure gets off to a strong start on Earth-2, where Oliver decides the best plan is to come back as himself, just 7 years after he did on Earth-1. His mother, Tommy and Malcolm are still alive, but Thea died of a Vertigo overdose. (Sad) Meanwhile, Laurel of Earth 2 is opperating as The Black Canary with Adrian Chase as The Hood. Sure, whatever, that works. Turns out Tommy’s the Dark Archer and is going to bring about the destruction of the Glades as revenge for Thea, until Oliver, Diggle (who followed Oliver world hopping with Cisco’s portal machine), Chase and Laurel stop him. Then Earth-2 is consumed by Crisis energy, and Laurel comes with Oliver and Diggle, which HELL YES!

Meanwhile, in 2040, Mia, Zoe, William and Connor Hawk are trying to getStar City back to good status, and do so by fighting The Deathstroke Gang, which is headed by JJ Diggle. OH NO! Nothing much happens here, but Mia’s Green Arrow outfit is pretty cute.

Episode 2 brings us back to Hong Kong and Katana! Hooray! Laurel is not happy and wants to get back home, and I can’t really blame her, so she and Lyla (also Yay!) So they find their way to a tech guy that Laurel worked with back in the Cayden James days, but she’s horrified (as is Lyla) when they learn that Earth-2 is just gone. It doesn’t exist.

It was pointed out that we sure hope Jesse Quick and Harry Wells were able to get away. I sure hope so too.

Oliver, Dig, and Tatsu go on a mission to save a scientist who’s studying multiverses for The Monitor, he’s being held in protective custody by the Chinese government. (They first think he’s being held as a dissident, which is a nice twist.) It was nice to see Tatsu again, Katana was a victim on this show of WB’s weird, “No TV versions of characters we’re doing in movies” policy. (Exceptions: The Flash, and anyone on Gotham. But that’s why we got Green Arrow on Smallville, they wanted Bruce Wayne.) So seeing her back was a nice touch. I’m into it. I like the whole farewell tour feeling of the season. Also, Lyla is working with the Monitor. Is she Harbinger? I’m into it.

Episode 3 is Thea and Talia’s turn for goodbye. Thea and Nyssa have succeeded in their quest to close the Lazarus pits, but Thea is still fighting with Athena for control of what’s left of the league. They go to meet up with Talia, as they can’t get in touch with Sara or Nyssa and they need League expertise for their mission, which is looking for some information on The Monitor that a League founder had. They retreive it, Talia and Thea agree they’re going to run the League together, and I really hope that Talia eventually crosses over with  Batwoman, where she belongs.

Meanwhile, in the Future, Connor, Mia, William and Zoe fight JJ. JJ kills Zoe and it’s brutal and I’m sad. I like Zoe. Plus, Rene deserves some kind of break. (I like Rene, he’s my favorite post Thea character.) But quickly there’s a flash of light and the kids find themselves back in the Bunker, but in the present. WOOOOOO!

In Other News

SUPERMAN SHOW STARRING TYLER HOECHLIN AND ELIZABETH TULLOCH. OMG THE ARROWVERSE GROWS AND GROWS. Actually I’m deeply psyched about this. In her 20 minutes or so of screentime in Elseworlds Tulloch was wonderful and Hoechlin has acquitted himself incredibly each outing.

Crisis Management: Batwoman, Supergirl, Black Lightning & The Flash Week 3, Arrow Season 6

Batwoman Season 1: Episode 3: “Down Down Down”

TOMMY ELLIOT! Hush, we have Hush in this goddamned show already and we’re not even a month in. (thought since he’s fighting Kate and not Bruce, we don’t get my favorite Hush stuff, which is Tommy making oblique references to Jason’s fate.) And he’s being played by the always welcome Gabriel Mann (anyone from Revenge is always deeply welcome to be in other stuff. Have you not watched Revenge? If you like my blog, you should probably watch it, because it’s up your alley.) Anyway, Kate has another tete a tete with Alice, who she challenges to not kill for 24 hours, and she’ll release her boyfriend/lackey. An excellent call Kate.

It doesn’t work of course, since Alice wants to teach Kate that Beth Kane no longer exists. Kate is dubious, but at least is willing to now treat Alice like a real threat. She’s still fighting with Jacob about Alice’s true identity.

This all occurs around a party Tommy Elliot is throwing , that he coyly tells Kate to make sure Bruce gets invited. Because he’s Hush. He knows that Bruce is Batman, so if Batman is back, it must mean Bruce is too. Kate is shocked, Luke is less shocked. He also improves the suit, adds the red wig and symbol and Kate gets the name Batwoman, from Rachel Maddow’s Vesper Fairchild. We have not yet talked about Vesper, but her “voice of Gotham” broadcasts are pretty fun. It being Maddow is a nice touch too.

Sophie is now guarding Mary full time, which Mary finds annoying and Sophie is using as an excuse to ask about Kate, which, like dick movie, Sophie really. However, Kate’s new love interest, a bartender named Reagan seems great. (And in true CW Superhero tradition, Ruby Rose has infinitely more chemistry with her than her intended love interest. Hopefully they change course like Kara/James rather than force the issue like Barry/Iris or you know, MURDER SOPHIE like Oliver/Laurel. For sure though, Sophie’s husband is gonna die by the end of the season, he’s got that Tommy Merlyn/Eddie Thwan target on his bland handsome back.)

Kate is finally functioning as Batwoman, not being mistaken as Batman, which I think is good, because it will give the show somewhere to go.

Supergirl Season 5: Episode 3 “Blurred Lines”

SEAN ASTIN! I get the feeling I’m going to be doing a good chunk of that this week. We’ll get to good old Mikey/Rudy/Samwise/Bill and why he was perfect casting here in a minute.

Alex is worried that Kelly is too friendly as you know, they’re being targeted by a shape shifter and Kelly’s big heart and tendency to let people in is kind of a bad plan in that case. Of course, “Don’t trust people! ICK FEELINGS” is kinda Alex’s thing so Kelly shrugs this off and when an old friend, who happens to be a vet with PTSD shows up, and he’s played by Sean Astin so of course we trust him.

But we shouldn’t because he’s Malaf’ak. Obviously.

He traps Kelly and attacks her. And she and James agree to go into hiding. Fine whatever. The Olsens are kinda boring, even if they are dreamy.

J’onn and Nia go into his memories of his brother to figure out what’s causing him to be such a butt. Turns out he was quarantined for years because of a virus. So you know, when the white Martians offered him a way out he took it. J’onn feels this guilt (as he should) and is going to try to move forward, but his evil brother trying to kill them all is still bad.

Kara is trying to make up to Lena for lying and Lena uses that to get Lex’s old journals for something she and Robot Ms. Tessemacher are building. Also there’s like a thing at Catco, I don’t know. That storyline is even less important than ususal this year. Nia asks Brainy to stop being so extra all the time, and his little robot feelings get hurt, and it’s very sad.

Black Lightning Season 3: Episode 3: “The Book of Occupation: Chapter 3: Agent Odell’s Pipe Dream”

What is Agent Odell’s goal in this story? Is it, as Tobias says, to remove the metas from Freeland and dissolve responsibility of the US government? Is it as he tells the Pierce family, to protect our country from the Markovian incursion? (Albeit in wayyy more shady ways than he’s letting them know? Using both Jen and Khalil as weapons is awful.) (I told y’all last week, I’m so so so worried about them both. All the time.) I don’t know, but I want to.

He also gives Jeff a badass new suit! Jefferson Pierce is a great character but he seems to retreating to the background this season. This seems purposeful, but also, the girls were forced to get by without their father (and mother, but Lynn’s still got a lot going on) for a bit so they’re less dependent on him for stability right now. Anyway, he frees some soldiers from the Markovians, at Odell’s behest, and again, I am very worried about the Pierce family is being used in this conflict.

Anissa’s girlfriend Grace is a shapeshifter. So, that should be interesting. Looking forward to how that’s going to shake out. Also, cops are being framed for using Green Light. And Khalil is continuing to assasinate people. Seriously. SO WORRIED.

There’s a lot going on on Black Lightning all the time, keeping track isn’t always the most straightforward of tasks. I continue to really love this show though. It really clicks well.

The Flash Season 6 Episode 3: “Dead Man Running”

TED KORD! Is not in this episode. He is mentioned though and that’s something. Look, if we’re getting Blue Beetle in The Arrowverse, I am very very excited about it. (Ted’s been name dropped a few times on Arrow as well. And our beloved Ray-Ray was supposed to be Ted, but WB said no.) Anyway, Dr. Mohinder Suresh/Bloodbourn got some dark matter from him. Barry and Frost learn this while questioning him about a zombie meta they’re hunting.

Meanwhile, Iris and Cisco go hunting for this year’s Harrison Wells. He goes by Nash and is a myth debunking Indiana Jones type. It’s fun. He’s uninterested in going through as Cisco calls it “The dance,” but is hunting for something on this Earth-1. I bet it’s crisis related.

Barry meanwhile is wondering how to tell his friends he’s going to die in the crisis. It’s winds up being through the POWER OF CO DEPENDENCE!

Oh and Cecile and Ralph clear his Mom’s name. And it’s adorable. I love Ralph and Cecile, they’re great together.

Arrow Season 6

Ooooh, so this is why everyone at The AV Club hates New Team Arrow. And also Felicity. They really suck this season. Diggle’s kind of a whiny bitch too. This is not a good season of television.

(Seriously, if you can make me not like John Diggle…something’s not right…)

Anyway, the first half of the season super hacker Cayden James, played by the always welcome Michael Emerson. (He even refers to himself as Benjamin Gale at one point and my Lost lovin’ heart went pitter pat.) That’s OK, he blames Oliver for the death of his son. (It wasn’t Oliver) So he decides to destroy his life. He succeeds largely. His machinations alienate Oliver from his team, put Felicity and William (Oliver’s son William is the worst character in the show’s history, he’s really really badly written, and written wayyy too young for the actor. It’s bizarre.) in danger and gets him ousted as mayor.

Also, Roy and Nhyssa come back for a few episodes and Thea leaves with them to go hunt Lazarus pits and why isn’t that a spin off? That sounds amazing.

Anyway, the second half is the rise of Ricardo Diaz, a drug dealer turned crime lord who is also impossible to kill for plot reasons. If The AV Club folks, which is how I was keeping up with Arrow for the past few years hate New Team Arrow and Felicity, they really really really can’t stand Diaz. And at first I didn’t understand why, as Kirk Acevedo’s hammy performance is a lot of fun, but by the end of the season, I too, was just kind of done with this character, who apparently goes nowhere.

This season is held together by the really great Crisis On Earth X crossover though, which I watched all of when I reached it. Also Lance and alternate Laurel bond, but then he dies. Which kind of sucks. I like alternate Laurel though, because she gives Katie Cassidy something more to do.

I should be caught up next week! Hooray! I actually had to take a break from everything this weekend and just watched Legends Of Tomorrow’s first two seasons. Season 1 is both better and worse than I remembered? The Hawkpeople are AWFUL. Really terrible. Just so bad. Everything else in season 1 though is pure gold, the only thing missing is the cheeky wink at the camera tone the show picked up later, much to it’s benefit. Especially great is Snart. I really miss Snart. Do we know if Wentworth Miller is going to be in Crisis? I sure hope so. And Season 2 is pure delight. John Barrowman should be in everything forever. Thank you for coming to my Ted Talk.

Zombie Kill Of The Century

I love the movie Zombieland. I just like zombie movies in general, actually, and Zombieland also has other things that I like, sarcastic quips, Woody Harrelson and Emma Stone among them.

So, I knew I was going to at the very least enjoy Zombieland: Double Tap. And I did. It also includes a few other things that I really like, love triangles and Rosario Dawson. HOORAY!

Zombieland isn’t the best movie ever, but it’s a good one, so obviously it’s sequel is also not a great movie, but an adequate one. It’s fun, funny, the kills are good and it’s final set piece is reasonably impressive, for a midlevel zombie comedy.

There’s also a bunch of Elvis jokes, a dumb hippy kid who tries to convince Abigail Breslin’s Little Rock that he wrote, “Like A Rolling Stone,” which is genuinely hilarious, especially once she reveals that she was only hanging out with him to get away from her suffocating family and because he had weed. “I know who Bob Dylan is you idiot!”

Also, that final set piece? It involes Rosario Dawson running over a bunch of zombies with a monster truck.

I’m sorry, I’m human, that’s just plain wonderful.

Rankings

  1. Once Upon A Time…In Hollywood
  2. Spider-Man: Far From Home
  3. Avengers: Endgame
  4. Rocketman
  5. Detective Pikachu
  6. Zombieland: Double Tap
  7. Godzilla: King Of The Monsters
  8. Downton Abbey
  9. Joker

Trailers

Knive’s Out: My level of hype for this movie is astronomical. It looks so so so so so so good.

Doctor Sleep: After finishing the book, I’m even more excited for this. I like that they’re making Dan and Abra’s first contact seem a little bit creepy.

Charlie’s Angels: This is going to be the gayest lady movie ever isn’t it? Whatever, I’m in for the wigs alone, but the action looks pretty sweet too and is Patrick Stewart Charlie?

The Turning: YOU GIVE ME ALL OF THE GOTHIC HORROR. ALL OF IT. We wants it. The precious. (Evil demon children. Also is this literally a modern take on The Turning Of The Screw? Because that’s awesome. I should read that. I like the James I have read…)

Bad Boys For Life: I am glad Will Smith is back. I’ve missed him. I didn’t see Aladdin and I still haven’t seen Gemini Man, so I get that my excitement may seem less than wholehearted, but it isn’t.

Countdown: No. I mean, it looks fine, just, not for me.