[EDITOR’S NOTE — Give a warm, THN welcome to the latest Love Slave, Jim Stafford, as he takes over the long lost nerdTV feature! BEWARE: There be SPOILERS ahead!]
The ‘everything’s fine, oh, no, wait, everything’s horrible’ rinse-and-repeat cycle continues on The Walking Dead (Season 5, Episode 8), as we see the recently returned Beth’s brains ejected forcefully though the back of her head. It’s yet another moment of unnecessary cast culling in an episode of a show for which the simple descriptor of ‘bleak’ would be an act of epic understatement; it’s just a shame that the moments of bleakness are only broken up long periods of not-a-hell-of-a-lot else. Even the cast look bored as they stab endless hordes of the undead through their eye sockets, going through the motions, like, well, zombies. Which I suppose is probably the point. As we wrap up the short not-in-the-comics Hospital arc (for the time being at least) we leave our survivors at the lowest we’ve seen them at for quite some time, and looking increasingly unfamiliar to comic readers to their black-and-white paper-based counterparts.
Things aren’t looking all that much cheerier over in Marvel’s Agents of SHIELD (Season 2, Episode 9). The ‘best season yet™’ rolls on, collecting cast members as it goes. This weeks run up to the mid-season finale gives the comic-savvy watchers some big hints to Skye’s ‘secret origin’, as well as clues as to what the much-discussed hidden temple might be. And for once, it looks like Agents of SHIELD is getting a solid opportunity to lead in to a Marvel cinematic outing. That’s assuming Skye is actually an as-yet un-actived Inhuman and the temple is Attilan. Spoilers behind. Also, has anyone else noticed that Jemma Simmons and Caitlin Snow (The Flash) are played by the same actress with two different accents? It’s uncanny.
Which leads us nicely into another Green Arrow/Flash crossover in the latest episode of Arrow (Season 3, Episode 8), as we see Barry yellowstreaking his way to Star City to help Ollie fight the unstoppable menace of… Captain Boomerang? Really? Speaking of the Captain, it turns out he’d make a pretty good Green Arrow villain – they’re both un-powered but highly trained users of traditional ranged weaponry – it’s a perfect matchup. Conversely, the TV format goes a long way to highlight just how ridiculously out-matched he is as one of the Flash’s rogues; his weapon of choice being slower than a bullet (never mind Barry himself) and lacking even the ability to travel in a straight line (you know, traditionally the fastest way of getting from A to B). At least having Carlos Valdes (as the potential Justice Leaguer ‘Vibe’, Cisco Ramon) in the cast for the week gives Emily Rickards (Arrow’s own Felicity Smoak) the dubious honour of being only the second worst actor on the show. When they share the screen, time seems to slow down to a painful degree, every second seeming to pass like an hour. I guess they’re giving us a pretty good insight into how poor Barry feels most the time.
Luckily, all this crossover action doesn’t prevent us from taking time out to check up on Ollie’s Island Hair. Don’t worry, it’s still adorable.
‘We used to have a tight horn section back in the day’… that’s the Constantine (Season 1, Episode 6) script-writers continuing to try way too hard, giving poor angel ‘Manny’ (Harold Perrineau) some 70s Harlem dialogue straight from an early issue of Power Man. Which is at least better than the rest of his script, which seem to be made up of pages cut from Kevin Smith’s ‘Dogma’. Maybe they don’t think that he needs a personality beyond ‘omnipotent expository mouthpiece #1’. Whatever was wrong with them going straight to casting the First-of-the-Fallen, I’ll never fathom. It’s not so much that Constantine is a bad show, so much as it’s a bad adaption of the Hellblazer comic.
It’s been back to business as usual for the past few weeks for our A.I. controlled flesh puppets over on Person of Interest (Season 4, Episode 9). Despite the new cover-identity set-up, we’ve seen a few episodes of the original ‘receive a number, solve a future crime’ format. This week sees that change, as the over-arching Dominic/Mini plot start to ramp up as he targets Elias (the vaguely sympathetic mobster) for assassination. Cue more of what we’ve become used to; excellent fight choreography (no quick cuts and shaky cameras for Jonathan Nolan), actors quipping their way through gunfights and car chases (the show verges on the Whedonesque at times), and Jim Caviezel giving us his whole sociopathic-Jesus schtick. This really is the best sci-fi show on network TV that you’re not watching.
Next week, we’ll be catching up with Alfred-the-cockney-gangster on FOXs Gotham, see if Ed’s still up to no good on the CWs The Flash, and look back on the first season of Guillermo Del Toro’s ‘Vampires are still cool, right guys?’ show, The Strain.
Jim Stafford is the newest THN Love Slave. He’s even newer than that Andy McBride guy with the book reviews. He’s got a lotta nerve…What’s he trying to prove?!