TV: Arrow s3e9: The Climb

Arrow — “The Climb” — Image AR309b_0010b — Pictured: Stephen Amell as Oliver Queen — Photo: Cate Cameron/The CW — © 2014 The CW Network, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

Rating: 10/10

Nyssa comes back into Starling City to give Oliver an ultimatum: either find Sara’s killer in 48-hours or the League of Assassins will kill everyone in the city. Oliver must go to Nanda Parbat and confront Ra’s al-Ghul himself before he attacks his home.

This was a good episode with a lot of twists and turns that work out for it in interesting ways. It had a lot of great action, both in the past and present, along with what might be the best one-on-one fight in the Arrowverse up to this point. I don’t really want to spoil anything as this was a really a great episode that everyone who’s a fan of the Arrowverse should experience for themselves.

The only thing that keeps it from a perfect rating of 10+ for me is there’s a bit too much melodrama right in the middle of the show. It’s not going to subtract points as this is justifiable melodrama, and maybe hinting at something in case Oliver’s plan fails, but it’s still there and is arguably unnecessary.


+10: Almost a perfect episode

TV: The Flash s1e9: The Man in the Yellow Suit

Rating: 8/10

With the Christmas season upon Central City, a speedster in a yellow suit steals something from Mercury Labs, STAR Labs biggest competitor, run by a Dr. Christina Magee. Also, Caitlin believes that Ronnie may still be alive.

Reverse Flash finally showing up and facing the Flash was great and well deserved after hinting at it for the first 8 episodes. I also really liked seeing Amanda Pays reprising her role from 90s Flash, though it’s not quite the Tina we remember, but alternate universes and all that.

A couple complaints, I’m not against holiday themed episodes in any way, and sometimes Christmas episodes can be some of the best in the series, like Community’s claymation episode, for example. But they can also be pretty terrible too, this falls right in the middle with the Christmas gift-giving, but it’s just the bare minimum. If Reverse Flash wasn’t there I would say they should make up a holiday-themed villain (or use Calendar Man, no one uses Calendar Man for more than a guest appearance anymore. He could be a neat villain and out-think anyone but Wells on the Flash team…probably). Anyway, it’s not a huge thing but it just feels if you’re going to use the holiday backdrop you should go all out, or at least do something different or interesting with it. I mean, outside of Eddie asking Iris to move in with him for his gift (which is a lame gift anyway…), you could have taken it all out without missing anything.

Oh yeah, Eddie. I’m really trying to do Eddie a solid and like him like I tried to with Tommy, and mostly succeeded except when Tommy sucked out all the likability to his character with unrealistic melodrama. Eddie isn’t as bad as Tommy. He doesn’t do things that don’t make sense for no reason, he’s just such a wooden block of a character. He doesn’t really have room to grow. He’s a Gary Sue, a perfect character with zero flaws and because of that he’s unbelievably boring. He’s good as a detective character, a little new so sometimes caught off guard when things get weird, but as a noble-hearted Gary Sue, willing to sacrifice himself for others and whatnot, this makes for a decent side-character type, or a good superhero type too. But heroes need flaws. Barry has tons of flaws, but he’s still able to do what he needs to in order to save the day. Barry actually has to try in order to win, Eddie has everything handed to him on a platter. He doesn’t even try and things just work out for him. Also, he and Iris have zero chemistry.


+9: Pretty good, I like the Reverse Flash a lot

-1: Christmas with Eddie

TV: Constantine s1e3: The Darkness Beneath

Rating: 10/10

When a man is burned alive in his shower, Constantine arrives in a mining town to investigate. In the process, an artist named Zed who’d been drawing him from memory despite her and John never meeting before, tries to get to know John when he’s just trying to get rid of her.

Zed is a great addition to the show and her and Constantine have great chemistry. I think they become partners throughout the rest of the series but I honestly don’t remember. If not, that was a huge missed opportunity. If that’s the case, Zed was a great character in this one-off story who I hope comes back for at least one more episode.

It’s a bit too bad that this couldn’t have been part of the Arrowverse from the get go, though maybe having Arrow being flooded with both metahumans and supernatural demon magic at the same time would have been too much all at once. Oh well, I’m glad it gets to that point eventually. Fun fact, something in the comics that they don’t really bring up in the movies and such is that Superman is very weak against magic. It’s practically his kryptonite. So Constantine could beat Superman in a fight without much difficulty.

This episode had a different feel than the first couple, it kept making me think of 70s slasher movies more so than supernatural horror, even though the killer was something supernatural. As people were killed one at a time, it felt like it was following the same tropes you’d find in Friday the 13th or the like. It made for a very interesting take on this type of show and worked very well as both a mystery and a horror alike.


+10: Another great episode, why’d they cancel this again?

TV: Arrow s3e8: The Brave and the Bold

Arrow — “The Brave and the Bold” — Image AR308a_0170b — Pictured (L-R): Grant Gustin as The Flash and Stephen Amell as The Arrow — Photo: Cate Cameron/The CW — © 2014 The CW Network, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

Rating: 10/10

Arrow and the Flash team up to take down Captain Boomerang in Starling City. The teams from both cities meet and get along in the “Arrow Cave.” In the past, Oliver learns why you shouldn’t hesitate to torture people.

This episode was a good one, and with the addition of the Flash, a very exciting, superhero-centered episode with tons of action, a decent mystery, and a good team-up episode involving all the major players from both Arrow and the Flash shows. I like the Arrow and the Flash are definitely on the same side in this one rather than having them fight again.

Something I noticed this episode was just how much the people who make this show like to use drinking alcohol as a way to show people having a good time, or just having a conversation. I feel like this is weird being that Detective Lance is a recovering alcoholic as is Laurel, so you’d think at one point or another the creators would address the fact that everyone on these shows seem to have a drinking problem. This isn’t a complaint on this episode, just something I noticed.

Also, considering how much criminals/supervillains seem to be able to deflect, or flat-out catch, Oliver’s arrows, I think he should start doing more trick shots and the like. I mean, I thought it was clever in the last Flash episode when he tricked the Flash in training, and then later towards the end, in order to get a shot in, I thought it was clever and different. But I’m not sure if he ever learns anything from this or not. Again, not a complaint.

Also, maybe Oliver should start fighting more villains with super-powers. I feel that would really close the gap between Oliver’s abilities and that of the villains he fights.


+10: A very good episode, more crossovers please

TV: The Flash s1e8: Flash vs. Arrow

Rating: 9/10

The Arrow is hunting a criminal who uses Boomerangs into Central City. He and the Flash cross paths and the Flash and Oliver wants to train Barry to be a better hero. Meanwhile, a metahuman called Prism infects Barry with rage and maybe only Oliver can take him down.

This episode marks the first official crossover in the Arrowverse. And it was a decent episode though not the over the top action I expect from later crossovers. Still pretty good and I like the way they set it up so that Arrow and Flash can fight each other. The villain was a bit lackluster but the real emphasis was on setting up the Flash and Arrow fight. Which was really good but done a little too soon perhaps as the episode really peaks with the fight but still has ten minutes to eat up afterwards.

Outside of the last bit, this was a very exciting episode with some good tension and a very good fight between superheroes.


+10: Great episode, personally I love it when heroes fight each other

-1: Only eating up time at the end

TV: The Flash s1e7: Power Outage

The Flash — “Power Outage” — Image FLA107c_0421b — Pictured: Grant Gustin as The Flash — Photo: Diyah Pera/The CW — © 2014 The CW Network, LLC. All rights reserved.

Rating: 10/10

A metahuman named Blackout who’s able to syphon electricity from people takes it from Barry and he loses his super-speed. Now Barry has to deal with being a normal person again. Also, Clock King is transferred to Central City. He quickly escapes and takes the officers of the CCPD captive, along with Iris.

Two villains and Barry loses his powers? This sounds like an episode they’d have 5 seasons in when they were starting to run out of ideas. Then again, the amount of times Barry, or any superhero with powers, loses their abilities in the DC Multiverse, it will probably happen at least once a season of they’re keeping in line with the comics. I’d say something about it being cliche, and it is, but they use it well and this turns into a pretty good superhero story. Also, some horror tropes sneaking in, which I still think works really well with the superhero genre. And I like the ticking clock trope, appropriate with Clock King involved, where Barry has to get his speed back and stop Blackout before Clock King can kill Iris, type of thing.

Though probably the best thing about this episode is that it didn’t borrow from Arrow, well, I guess it borrowed Clock King from Arrow… But aside from that it’s told without the influence from the other show and feels much more like it’s own thing. Even Eddie was good in this episode.


+10: A very entertaining episode

TV: Arrow s3e7: Draw Back Your Bow

Arrow — “Draw Back Your Bow” — Image AR307a_0072b — Pictured: Amy Gumenick as Carrie Cutter/Cupid — Photo: Diyah Pera/The CW — © 2014 The CW Network, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

Rating: 4.5/10

Another archer shows up calling herself Cupid, and she’s obsessed with making Arrow fall in love with her. Unfortunately for her, she does this by murdering criminals in elaborate death traps. Also, Oliver gets jealous of Felicity dating someone else.

This episode was, again, weird. For one thing, Oliver is the one who’s pushing Felicity away, which I think takes away his right to be jealous. But, I guess this being a filler episode, it makes sense for it to be filled with filler, right? Sigh, that just makes me think of the Clock King episode, a one-shot with no connections to the main storyline that was told in a great way. This show needs a refresher from 1990s Flash, though not every episode is a good one, every episode is complete unto itself, even the ones that are essentially follow ups to other episodes. They still told a complete story without needing anything before it to be viewed in order to enjoy that episode. This episode of Arrow is just eating up time and feels like it.

Also, I like the villain, but it feels like their just rehashing Huntress without actually making it a Huntress episode. Maybe they wanted to and she backed out at the last minute? I’m not sure on the details. Still, she was an entertaining villain, though not exactly needed.

Um, I personally don’t care about Oliver’s relationship problems. Either date Felicity or don’t and let her date the much more charismatic Ray Palmer. It honestly doesn’t matter to me, but maybe people out there do care about this sort of thing. I do when the show makes it interesting. I liked this stuff between Oliver and Felicity in the last season, but there were actual stakes then as the Mirakuru went out into the city. Does Oliver really think that his life is still in as much danger? My guess is this is just a way for the writers to draw it out, when really Oliver and Felicity should be together now as there’s nothing that isn’t there just for the sake of convenience keeping them apart.


+4: Okay, some good parts but mostly not so much

+0.5: I liked the villain though it feels we have more than enough archers in Starling City…

-1: Jealousy plot is totally contrived

+1: Ray Palmer is always a plus in my book

TV: The Flash s1e6: The Flash is Born

The Flash — “The Flash is Born” — Image FLA106b_0212b — Pictured (L-R): Greg Finley as Tony Woodward and Grant Gustin as The Flash — Photo: Cate Cameron/The CW — © 2014 The CW Network, LLC. All rights reserved.

Rating: 6/10

A man with super-strength who can turn himself into metal is terrorizing the city. The Flash discovers he’s actually his childhood bully. Also, the Flash is trying to convince Iris to stop writing her blog about him as metahumans are using it as a reason to hunt her down.

Well, the last episode I watched was the Arrow trying to be more heroic, like the Flash, here I feel like the Flash is trying to be more like Arrow. More specifically, he’s trying to capture the same dark, broodiness Arrow is basically known for, or Batman, maybe the Flash is trying to be Batman. Anyway, the scenes specifically with Flash meeting with Iris on the roof and him being in the darkness saying “you don’t want this,” and the like. This specifically makes me think of the conversations Arrow was having with Laurel before she knew she was actually talking to Oliver Queen. Actually, Batman and Arrow meet people on the roofs of buildings at night because night is useful for hiding and they us grapples to get around. It doesn’t make sense for Barry to be meeting anyone on the roof of anywhere, and night shouldn’t matter. Mostly, he is so fast he can become the Flash at any time, more or less, and, though he’s run up a building once before he’s obviously no expert, yet, and at this point, he’d be just as likely to meet Iris basically anywhere at any time. Meeting her on the roof in the middle of the night makes no sense for his character. Maybe he’s just trying to be more like Arrow because he looks up to him, but if so they should be making that more apparent rather than vaguely hinting at it, if that is indeed the case.

Anyway, Barry has to learn to fight in this episode. And the person who teaches him is Eddie. Which, again, doesn’t make sense. Why isn’t it Joe? Or he could race over to Starling City and ask Arrow to do it? It’s just he hardly knows Eddie, and Eddie is just too flippin’ nice again. He really ought to see Barry as a competitor rather than someone chummy who’s always hanging around his girlfriend, or whatever. Characters need flaws, if they don’t have them, everyone will hate them for being too perfect, don’t the writers know that? Or do they want us to hate Eddie? Okay, truthfully, Eddie was fine in this episode, I mean, this is probably just a way to shoehorn him in there and give the actor a reason to be in the credits that week. I think they wrote Eddie to be purely a foil to Barry’s love life, but as a character, being that Eddie is already perfect, he really has no room at all for growth. Tommy at least had character growth, geez, I’m using Tommy as a positive example…

Okay, aside from that, this had some pretty good action and some stuff for the Flash to learn in order to defeat the bad guy. Slowly he’s becoming a better and more powerful Flash, and I like the parts which weren’t trying to be Arrow/Batman, so it wasn’t a bad episode by any means. But I think the showrunners of both Flash and Arrow need to stop trying to be like the other show.


+7.5: Decent episode

-1: Too many parts like Arrow

-0.5: Eddie’s back to feeling like a Gary Sue/need to give characters something to do disease, he’s hardly in it though aside from teaching the Flash to box a little

TV: Arrow s3e6: Guilty

Arrow — “Guilty” — Image AR306a_0805b — Pictured (L-R): Katie Cassidy as Laurel Lance and J.R. Ramirez as Ted Grant — Photo: Ed Araquel/The CW — © 2014 The CW Network, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

Rating: 9/10

A masked murderer is going around killing gang members with the calling card “GUILTY” written on the ground in their victims’ blood. Oliver has to team up with a retired vigilante while Laurel trains to be a vigilante herself. Meanwhile, Roy tries to deal with what he thinks are memories of him killing Sara. In the past, Oliver hunts China White.

Okay, I like this episode. But I felt it was off again. I think part of it is that Flash enters the Arrowverse and everything is different now. Before Arrow was dealing with semi-realistic enemies and now anything can happen. He’s still facing mostly realistic villains though, so that’s obviously not it. I think it’s that Flash is a hero, through and through, and Oliver, well, in the comics I would say for sure he’s a hero. Also always ready with a quip, or at least something mildly witty. Here, Oliver is a very serious, often-depressed anti-hero, who used to have no problem with dropping a few bodies in order to save his city, and still kills here and there. But I think the writers’ felt that Arrow should be more like a hero now that Flash is here, and, well, I like this version of Arrow a lot, but even Oliver knows he’s no hero. It doesn’t really hurt the show, at least not in this episode, but it’s not the same either.

Anyway, I mostly liked this show, despite it being a bit off. Roy had a good part, I like the overarching theme of trust and inner guidance when things seem unclear. So the themes are back. The stuff in the past was a bit “meh,” but it had some really good parts between Maseo, Tatsu, and Oliver. Fun fact, that I didn’t know when I watched through before, but Tatsu is Katana in the comics (and the film Suicide Squad), and part of her origin is that the soul of her lover, Maseo, is trapped in the sword she wields, and that’s why she’s called Katana. Maseo has actually never been shown before this, only just mentioned. So this is kind of a backstory for these characters, never seen before. Being a huge fan of the comics and movies alike, I’m a sucker for that sort of thing.

Oh, I also really liked Wildcat, the ex-vigilante, and how his story relates to the villain in this one, and how that relates to what’s happening between Roy and Oliver and how that relates to the past. Well thought out episode overall, just a bit off from what I’ve come to expect from how the series is presented.


+9: Just a bit off, but a great episode anyway

TV: Constantine s1e2: Rage of Caliban

Rating: 9/10

Constantine, following the map that was given to him in the first episode, comes to a mining town where children keep being possessed by a wandering demon. He must do what he can to convince a family that their child is possessed.

This episode is marked 6th, even on the dvd, but watching it you can tell it was meant to be played 2nd. It doesn’t have the woman sidekick Constantine teams up with starting with the “next” episode, and it’s basically him playing it solo in this one.

I really like the angel Manny in this episode, in the first one he was a bit underplayed but here he really comes out as someone who really does have Constantines best interests at heart, even if he operates in mysterious ways. He’s a good counter to John too, being that Manny is an Angel, John’s owns shady past and chaotic dealings with demons puts one as dark and the light and he makes a good contrast. Also, John’s often upfront about who he is and what he does to everyone he meets, even if most people don’t believe him. Meanwhile, the nature of Manny means he has to operate from the shadows, mostly.

This episode had a very slow pace. Which isn’t really a fault being that it feels like John just walked into a retelling of the Omen, which itself was made during a time when most horror didn’t rely heavily on jump cuts and tried to get into your heads. It works pretty well here, though I’m not sure if it has quite the same horror qualities as a 70s or 80s journey into the genre might, especially once John gets involved. It’s like watching one of those horror movies but right when everyone is just starting to suspect something is wrong, a genre-savvy man shows up and explains everything they have to do to solve said problem and then does it without any further problems, more or less. It takes all the scariness, and the stakes, right out of it.


+9: Fairly entertaining, especially if you like old horror movies

-1: Once John gets involved all the stakes kind of flatline

+1: Manny is a great character, hopefully he gets bigger parts in future episodes