‘Arrow’: “Vigilante” Spoiler Review

Another serial killer is on the loose in Star City this week but this time it’s a more righteous one as the series gives way to the rising of Adrian Chase in his new superhero persona, “Vigilante”. The introduction of the episode which features Vigilante taking out several low-level criminals who are part of a human trafficking ring was serviceable, to say the least. More and more the series is starting to feel a lot like Supernatural as we witness opening scenes that feature the death of no name characters to serve as a plot device.

Team Arrow 2.0 is starting to improve, most notably Wild Dog and Ragman although I still can’t understand a word Ragman says when his mask is on. Wild Dog still has to work on his attitude but he’s come a long way since his beginning as a reckless punk. Curtis needs to start taking things seriously. While I still find him to be somewhat funny, his comedy is slowly beginning to teeter into Felicity territory. Considering the end of the episode, I’ll save Artemis for later.

Vigilante
David Ramsey as John Diggle, Emily Bett Rickards as Felicity Smoak, Joe Dinicol as Rory Regan, and Rick Gonzalez as Rene Ramirez in Arrow. (The CW)

Dolph Lundgren makes his second appearance in the flashbacks as the big bad, Konstanin Kovar. The flashbacks were a bit better thanks to his inclusion along with the reveal that Taiana’s mother is actually working for Kovar. The twist that Kovar has made a truce with the Bratva seemed to fatten things up a bit as well. We don’t usually get this much to chew on in the consistently half-baked flashbacks but this episode went against that grain. The end duel was a treat to see Oliver Queen basically taking on Ivan Drago but Oliver is still an extremely sloppy fighter. It doesn’t make a whole lot of sense considering it’s now less than a year before he makes his grand return to Star(ling) City and rises up as The Hood against the criminal element plaguing his hometown. He’s going to have to undergo some serious training if the writers are planning not to completely botch the flashbacks altogether.

Vigilante
Stephen Amell as Oliver Queen and Dolph Lundgren as Konstatin Kovar in Arrow (The CW.)

Thea and Lance shared a few touching scenes this episode that showed how close the two have grown since working together at City Hall. Thea was able to give Lance the support and the push he needs to stop drinking and get clean. Last week the series tried to trick us into believing that Prometheus is actually Lance but this episode seemed to point away from that. I don’t buy for a second that Lance is getting black out drunk and taking down squads of police and crime lords in a theatrical fashion.

Oliver is beginning to move forward in his personal life. While this plot is the least interesting of the episode it wasn’t bad at all. It’s good to see Oliver putting Felicity behind him even though I don’t think the relationship is going anywhere nor are he and Felicity finished with each other. The show is making it a point to capitalize on the awkward tension between Oliver and Felicity since they began seeing other people and it’s most definitely intentional. Even though Felicity distracts herself with Billy, she can’t hide the way she still looks at him in the Arrow cave.

After a group of serial bank robbers hit several banks, almost being wiped out by Vigilante, the team comes up with a clever plan to stage another robbery in order to draw Vigilante out. What threw me off was that the moment Diggle takes down the security guard both he and Felicity pulled their masks off. I’m assuming Felicity shut down the surveillance system off screen but it was still distracting. Regardless, Mr. Terrific’s blood is most certainly on the bank’s floor after Vigilante beat him bloody and took him hostage before Vigilante took on the Green Arrow in a duel. The fight itself was pretty good but a bit overshadowed by Green Arrow when he bested him before by pulling a cable arrow to zip line kick combo in the alley. Josh Segarra’s performance as Vigilante wasn’t horrible but it wasn’t great either. The problem is the voice he put on to disguise his normal voice. It was like an awful impersonation of Christian Bale’s guttural voice as Batman.

Vigilante
Stephen Amell as Green Arrow, Josh Segarra as Vigilante, and Echo Kellum as Mr. Terrific in Arrow. (The CW)

Overall the episode was a step up compared to some of the episodes this season but that isn’t saying much. The show is going a bit back and forth between Prometheus’ true identity as Lance. After the seemingly major reveal last week, this episode attempted to shut that down only for Lance to go off to rehab, leaving his location in question shortly before Prometheus appeared at the closing of the episode which then delivered a big twist as Evelyn Sharp was revealed to be ally of Prometheus, working Team Arrow from the inside. The twist itself comes completely out of nowhere. Based on Evelyn’s past, it seems for likely that her motivations would pit her against a Prometheus type. Regardless, I’m just glad the twist wasn’t revealed through the show’s marketing campaign which loves to use spoilers as a desperate ploy to generate more interest in the show in order to boost ratings.

7.5 – OKAY

arrow-season-5-poster-1

‘The Flash’: “Shade” Spoiler Review

“Shade” opens with Wally having dreams of his life in Flashpoint as Kid Flash thanks to Dr. Alchemy. Since The Rival made his debut on Earth One, we knew it would only be a matter of time before Wally’s alternate life caught up with him and the rest of Team Flash. It’s a good introduction to the episode but the narrative quickly starts to bounce all over the place.

The problem with this episode was that the writers tried to pack too much into it. While it was great to when Caitlin revealed her powers to Cisco—giving us the treat of Cisco vibing Caitlin in the future to see the two of them having a full on Vibe vs. Killer Frost battle—only for Cisco to out Caitlin’s powers to the rest of the team, too many other, weaker storylines took away from the importance and the impact of this major turning point for Caitlin Snow.

fla306a-0102b-208597-1
Danielle Panabaker as Dr. Catilin Snow in The Flash (The CW)

From HR and his silly light refracting device to Joe and Cecil’s cute but ultimately flat romance smashed underneath the main plot of Dr. Alchemy putting the visions of Flashpoint into Wally’s head, along with the arrival Savitar in the closing moments. Shade made for an uneven and overstuffed episode that didn’t manage to serve up the weight of the events that were transpiring.

The monster of the week, Shade, was overall a pointless distraction. Wally and Caitlin’s conflicts were enough to keep this episode chugging along just fine but unfortunately we were forced to endure a metahuman whose powers were realized with very poor visual effects. From his serviceable, Supernatural-esque introduction, to his underwhelming defeat, his inclusion to the storyline was nothing more than a pointless distraction from the real issues at hand. I’ve said it before and I will say it again, if the visual effects for a character are going to be so poor, don’t even bother doing it at all.

Unfortunately, Caitlin nor Wally can fight what is coming. They are both destined for powers whether that results in them doing good or evil. It’s heartbreaking to watch Caitlin who is such a caring and tender person begin her demise into the villainous Killer Frost. Wally is a little more frustrating to watch. His lack of respect for the power of speed along with his immaturity and over eagerness to become a superhero makes him seem undeserving of the ability. Sometimes adult characters on The CW behave like teenagers and that’s exactly what is happening when they say Wally is jealous because he doesn’t have powers but he wants nothing more than to help people. If Wally truly wanted to help the people of Central City, he would find a way to do so. Or at least make his contribution to Team Flash more valuable.

fla306b-0052b-208601
Keiynan Lonsdale as Wally West and Dr. Alchemy in The Flash. (The CW)

HR is growing more and more ridiculous every week. I’m wondering if Tom Cavanaugh signed a deal to return to the series as long as he could act and dress like himself in real life. But his sense of humor is becoming a bit over saturated. Much like most of what was happening in this episode, HR’s eccentric personality feels like a distraction to keep our minds off of the possibility that he is up to something nefarious. I still don’t buy that he is studying the team to write his novel and now that we were introduced to his light refracting device and his ability to make retinal adjustments to those around him, it has me wondering just what else he could make Team Flash see, or not see? The audio sync on the alternate face he was using was also a bit weird.

The end of the episode finally shifted Dr. Alchemy into the spotlight just after it was mentioned rather quickly that Julian Albert’s character was nowhere to be found. If they are going for a Julian Albert is the Albert Desmond version of Dr. Alchemy, I’ll be disappointed because it will be a lazy, on the nose writing move. Once in Dr. Alchemy’s lair, we saw him surrounded by several of his followers. Just who are those followers exactly and why do they follow him? Dr. Alchemy isn’t as bad as Prometheus on Arrow, but it still feels like the writers want us to care about or be interested in things without actually giving us a reason to invest. The final battle was fine, and it was awesome when Wally was crystalized, seemingly beginning his metamorphosis into Kid Flash, but the impact was quickly botched by the arrival of Savitar, a major villain from the comics who deserved an introduction that should have been longer and more focused.

fla306b-0125b-208603
Dr. Alchemy in The Flash. (The CW)

Overall this episode was okay but if the writers had focused on Caitlin and Wally’s struggle with the inevitable evolution into their alter-egos it could have been great. Ultimately there were just too many flavors in this dish that caused the story of the episode to get lost in itself, becoming the weakest entry of the season yet.

6.9 – OKAY

grant-gustin-flash-2

‘Arrow’: “Human Target” Spoiler Review

The fifth episode of season five titled “Human Target” gets off to a clunky start but quickly finds its footing, resulting in the strongest episode of the season thus far. I found myself giggling at the goofball criminals hunted by Team Arrow 2.0 in the opening scene. It’s just hard to take these extras seriously with their corny costume design and oversized ball caps.

Once past the intro things quickly got moving in the right direction as Diggle met the new recruits for the first time. The producers teased Diggle not taking a liking to the new team but as we saw he was quite welcoming although reasonably weary for their safety. Oliver’s newfound optimistic attitude was refreshing and seemed to be for the benefit of the new team as much as it was for himself. The end of his relationship with Felicity cut him deeply but it’s good to see he is finally moving forward. More on that later.

ar505a_0205r (1).jpg
Echo Kellum as Curtis Holt, Joe Dinicol as Rory Regan, and Madison Mclaughlin as Evelyn Sharp in Arrow. (The CW)

Tobias Church finally revealed his big plan and considering that, his demise at the end of the episode should have come as no surprise. His plan to consolidate all of the drug trafficking through the port was a smart one being that it would cement his hold on the drug trade in Star City but he was foolish to think he was going to get away with it with the Green Arrow in town. Church was over confident as all he brought to the fight against the emerald archer was his brawling skills and a pair of brass knuckles. I’m actually surprised he lasted this long. At this point his character’s inclusion feels more like a buffer to hold back from Prometheus becoming a major player in the series. Now with him out of the picture, Prometheus will finally make his presence known. Killing Tobias Church and the entire police convoy helped us to see just how much of a formidable villain he will be but the writers have still yet given us a reason to be interested in his character. The mystery of who he is just isn’t enough to get invested in the storyline.

ar505b_0058r.jpg
Chadwick Boseman as Tobias Church in Arrow. (The CW)

Wild Dog and Diggle absolutely stole the show tonight. David Ramsey turned in his best performance in the series to date as John Diggle and the chemistry he had with Rick Gonzalez as Wild Dog was fantastic. Oliver has struggled to break through to Rene and tonight showed us he just isn’t the guy to train him. Rene is a (dishonorably discharged) soldier and it’s going to take another soldier to show him the way of vigilantism.

ar505b_0279r.jpg
Rick Gonzalez as Wild Dog in Arrow. (The CW)

Wil Traval as Christopher Chance A.K.A. Human Target was great. The twist when Oliver was pronounced dead at the press conference after being shot on the stairs of City Hall left my jaw on the floor. While I’m familiar with Human Target becoming his clients to protect them, I definitely didn’t expect a Mission: Impossible type mask to come into the picture. It was a great reveal after a fantastic twist although once Chance removed the mask it looked nothing Oliver’s face. It left me cracking up because it didn’t even have any stubble on it. While I enjoyed Chance’s character, his inclusion in the flashback storyline in Russia felt a bit shoehorned in at the end. It was unnecessary, however. It will provide a great payoff when Susan Williams reveals the truth about Oliver’s time spent on Lian Yu, or rather lack thereof. But none of it will make sense it the writers don’t fully explain just how someone traced Chance back to Russia resulting in the discovery of the photo that was taken of Oliver at the bar.

ar505a_0056b.jpg
Stephen Amell as Oliver Queen and Wil Traval as Christopher Chance in Arrow. (The CW)

Now it’s time for Olicity so let’s just dig right into it. I was a big supporter of the relationship between Oliver and Felicity. Their relationship felt organic as it was born out of the natural chemistry between Stephen Amell and Emily Bett Rickards. Their love for each other was involuntary and glaringly obvious. Maybe that’s why I was so baffled when Felicity took a left turn and turned into the attitude monster she is today. How Oliver could still have feelings for her is beyond me but I think tonight showed us that Felicity also still has feelings for Oliver. Billy is just a distraction to keep her from facing the truth. When she went to see Oliver at the end at City Hall, it was pretty obvious she was going to tell him she still had feelings for him. But Oliver hit her with the whole deserving to be happy and moving forward talk so she naturally she put her guard back up and agreed. This scene feels like a seed planted to bring the two back together by the end of the season. I say if you are going to do it, then just do it. But having the two at conflict for the sake of conflict can’t happen again. Relationship drama isn’t interesting. Take a note from The Flash and have them face these crime fighting experiences together and growing as a couple because of it just like Barry and Iris are now.

ar505a_0145r.jpg
Emily Bett Rickards as Felicity Smoak in Arrow. (The CW)

Overall, I really enjoyed this episode. The showdown between Tobias Church and the criminal organizations of Star City against Team Arrow 2.0 made for an awesome climax. I really appreciated the way the final fight between Green Arrow and Tobias Church was shot wide so we could take in every kick and punch thrown in the fight. James Bamford crushed it with the stunt coordination. My only issue with the scene – which is a real nitpick – is that the stuntman for Chadwick Boseman was totally obvious but it didn’t detract from the enjoyment of the battle.

ar505b_0042r.jpg
Stephen Amell as Green Arrow in Arrow. (The CW)

“Human Target” helped to close the chapter of Tobias Church and gave us Wild Dog’s first turning point as he put his guilt behind him and stepped up to the plate thanks to Diggle’s fantastic mentorship. Team Arrow 2.0 is starting to shape up and I’m excited to see their development moving forward. Prometheus is starting to make a name for himself but we need to know who he is to get invested in him. I hope this isn’t a rehash of the “Who is Zoom?” mystery from the second season of The Flash because not knowing someone’s true identity doesn’t allow for a compelling or transformative experience. Imagine if we didn’t know Deathstroke was Slade Wilson until the finale of Season two?

7.9 – GOOD

arrow-season-5-poster-1

‘Arrow’: “Penance” Spoiler Review

So far, season five of Arrow has been a bit of a hit or miss as it struggles to find its way with a mostly new cast. Considering last week’s fantastic entry to the series, it should come as no surprise that this episode was, unfortunately, mediocre, full of implausibility and conflict that didn’t add up to anything.

So far, season five of Arrow has been a bit of a hit or miss as it struggles to find its way with a mostly new cast. Considering last week’s fantastic entry to the series, it should come as no surprise that this episode was, unfortunately, mediocre, full of implausibility and conflict that didn’t add up to anything.

The episode opens with Team Arrow 2.0 in the midst of a training exercise as they attempt to stop petty criminal sporting a cheesy gold chain from committing a burglary. The scene does nothing but shows us that the trainees have not made any progress in their training from last week. At this point, the only members with a fighting chance are Wild Dog and Ragman. Evelyn and Curtis are going to get themselves killed if they don’t start improving fast. They are both sloppy and it’s impossible to buy them as formidable crime-fighting vigilantes.

While I’m not a big fan of Ragman’s look, Joe Dinicol’s performance at Rory is fantastic. Unfortunately, most of his scenes were bogged down by Emily Bett Rickard’s insipid performance. She just can’t play the emotion needed to bring the scene to life. Her acting feels contrived as she lacks conviction in almost all of her scenes. Even Rickard’s doesn’t seem to be on the side of her character when she’s arguing with Oliver for the sake of conflict. She really has no business telling Oliver or Lyla what decision to make and her attitude makes it extremely irritating. I used to be a huge fan of her character in the first and second season. I was even a fan of Olicity. But at this point, scenes with Felicity are tiresome and make me yearn for her exit from the show.

ar504b_0287b.jpg
Emily Bett Rickards as Felicity Smoak in Arrow. (The CW)

The flashbacks continue to slug along in Russia as we get four quick scenes dispersed sparingly throughout the episode. I would say that they were pointless and really amounted to nothing if it wasn’t for the fact that it was Oliver’s was finally accepted into the Bratva, something I thought actually happened when he passed the test last week. But no, we had to go through another few quick scenes to get us there. The problem with the flashbacks are consistent with the last two seasons. They feel generic and uninspired. You can tell it’s a chore for the producers to fit the flashback storyline into the script and the budget. They are just trying to skirt by with a serviceable storyline until it catches up to the first season and they are no more.

Tobias Church had the only clever storyline of the episode as he staged a burglary to smuggle in an explosive device into the evidence lock-up at the police station. Unfortunately, it all collapsed on itself as his motives were never clearly explained. I have no idea what he was trying to achieve. And did anyone see that goon in the sunglasses? Seriously, the costume design for criminals has always been whack on Arrow but this episode took it to all new heights. At least the ones who were wearing hats had hats that actually fit and weren’t cocked to the side like goofballs in previous seasons.

ar504a_0336b.jpg
Chadwick Boseman as Tobias Church in Arrow. (The CW)

Adrian Chase’s viewpoint that vigilantes are a superficial solution and that if it takes them to solve the city’s problems the criminal justice department isn’t doing their jobs well is accurate, however. His turning point felt organic after he was rescued by the rookie superheroes of Star City, making him realize the ones who wear a mask can be an effective force for good in a crime-ridden and corrupt city such as theirs. While I still can’t buy him as a future crime fighter, the motivations are most certainly falling into place.

ar504a_0412b.jpg
Joe Dinicol as Ragman, Echo Kellum as Mr. Terrific, Madison Mclaughlin as Artemis, and Rick Gonzalez as Wild Dog in Arrow. (The CW)

The prison break was fun but a bit underwhelming. There just wasn’t enough action and Oliver sneaking in through the laundry was totally silly. The immature and unprofessional prison guard didn’t help either. But it did bring us a fantastic scene between Oliver and Diggle that reminded me of the brotherhood that the two share that made this show so excellent in the first place. Diggle still has a lot of healing to do after murdering his brother, but it seems Oliver – as his new brother – got through to him, making him realize he can still find redemption resuming his crusade as Spartan. Unfortunately, the silliness reached an all-time high when Lyla flew a military cargo plane over the prison and extracted the two from the prison yard much like skyhook program used by Batman in The Dark Knight when Batman extracted Lao from China. Considering the show’s budget, I think they reached a little too far with that one.

ar504b_0002b.jpg
David Ramsey as John Diggle and Stephen Amell as Oliver Queen in Arrow. (The CW)

Ultimately, this episode got the job done breaking Diggle out of prison and getting him one step closer to returning to Team Arrow. His presence in the Arrow cave is sorely needed especially given all the new mentees Oliver has taken on in his struggle to keep Star City safe. Episodes like this only highlight why 23 episodes per season are far too many. As we see with shorter seasons, they allow for a tighter more compelling and engaging narrative that doesn’t feel like it wasted our time, which is exactly how this episode made me feel.

6.5 – WASTE OF TIME

‘The Flash’: “The New Rogues” Spoiler Review

Season three of The Flash continues with a step up from last week but it’s not without its plot holes.

Season three of The Flash continues with a step up from last week but it’s not without its plot holes so let’s dive right in.

Sam Scudder A.K.A. Mirror Master has been stuck in a mirror since the night of the particle accelerator explosion until now. Somehow after being trapped in the mirror for three years he discovered how to finally harness his power and made his way out of the mirror when a clean up crew was readying the building for demolition. If only we had a quick scene of him trapped and learning how to use his power, then his escape could have made sense but it didn’t. Unfortunately, his sidekick Rosalind Dillon A.K.A. Top wasn’t given the necessary exposition to make her incarceration inside a metahuman cell at iron heights make sense either considering Barry, nor anyone on Team Flash from this timeline knew who Top was.

It also made zero sense why Mirror Master went to interrogate one of Snart’s former lackey if he already knew that Top would know how to find him. I don’t buy that the lackey would instantly rat out Scudder the moment he woke up because that’s not how things work in the criminal underworld, even if he did get thrown through a wormhole and out of a window. But this is a superhero television show and the heroes need a lead in order to get on the trail of the crooks.

I did, however, appreciate how the writers tied in the mention of the second Mirror Master, Evan McCulloch who used a Mirror Gun on Earth 2 rather than the metahuman version of Sam Scudder we are getting on Earth One. Making Mirror Master a metahuman was fine, but the visual effect for his ability to jump in and out of mirrors was a bit underwhelming. I actually liked Tops spinning power much more. Her outfit — which was clearly inspired by the costume worn by Roscoe Dillon in the comics — was a nice touch as well.

 

fla304a-0078b-206202.jpg
Grey Damon as Mirror Master and Ashley Rickards as Top. (The CW)

 

We see just how far Barry has come when he realizes he’s quoting his not so admirable mentor, The Green Arrow, at the end of Jesse’s training exercise in the particle accelerator. It’s was a great call back to the first crossover with Arrow. Too bad Oliver is still a self-absorbed guilt tripping murderer. The line itself highlighted for me just how much the show has gotten right compared to its predecessor, Arrow.

Harry’s inter-dimensional fishing expedition to search for a replacement Wells for Team Flash was a lot of fun and provided some hilarious alternate versions of Wells (especially Hells Wells) but I don’t understand what the signal looked like on the other side of the breach or how they would have received the cryptogram in the first place. If Harry used a satellite to transmit the riddle then wouldn’t they need some sort of dish to receive it in their respective dimension? But I guess there are infinite alternate universes so it’s not like there was a zero percent chance of hearing back from the multiverse. Team Flash ends up settling on the hilarious Earth 19 Wells, or as I like to call him, Tom Cavanaugh.

While Harry seemed jealous of his replacement, I’m interested to see if his intuition to not trust this new guy pays off. I wish Harry would stay, though, the chemistry between this version of Wells and the rest of Team Flash is outstanding.

Wally and Jesse also have good, genuine chemistry, however. These subplots seem to only serve as a reminder that this is The CW. Chances are that ten episodes down the line the relationship between Jesse and Wally will be long forgotten (think Barry and Patty Spivot). Hopefully, that won’t be the case as the two shared a great scene that resonated with me when Wally taught Jesse to not let her mistakes question her confidence as a superheroine. It was the kind of encouragement that we all need to hear when struggling through the growing pains of our education or careers.

Jesse did make a big mistake not listening to Barry in the field but I place most of the blame on Barry as the more responsible figure. He should have known better than to stand next to that conveniently placed mirror when battling Mirror Master.

 

fla304a-0208b-206196.jpg
Grant Gustin as The Flash and Violet Beane as Jesse Quick in The Flash. The CW.

 

Barry being trapped in the mirror provided another meaningful scene when he spoke to Iris about how it can be easier to fail than it is to succeed. Sometimes the closer you get to something you’ve wanted for a long time, you start to realize how scary it could be, or that it isn’t something you truly want even if it’s something you thought you desired your entire life.

Finally, Caitlin is starting to turn into Killer Frost. Seeing her begin to accept her powers in order to do some good is just the beginning of her downfall to becoming the iconic villain. I only wish Barry would have seen it her freeze the mirror. His entrance back into the normal world and the main lab was awkward. Almost as if there was a scene left on the cutting-room floor there.

The circle of mirrors was a clever way to trap Mirror Master but I was a little disappointed when Captain Cold was revealed to be a hologram. I think my favorite part of the showdown and possibly the entire episode was when Jesse went up against Top for the second time and lapped circles around her turning her into a spinning Top just before Jesse gave her one last slug.

Overall, what could have been a great episode was bogged down by plot holes. The new rogues were okay. Top overshadowed Mirror Master a bit with her performance for me but hopefully this won’t be the last we see of them. It would be a shame for the iconic rogue Mirror Master be left as nothing more but a disposable villain of the week. Fortunately, Barry and the rest of Team Flash were able to provide meaningful scenes that developed their characters along with Harry and Cisco providing just the right amount of levity. Great to see Cisco acting more like himself as well.

8.0 – GOOD

grant-gustin-flash-2

‘Star Wars Rebels’: “The Last Battle” Spoiler Review

The prequel era rears it’s head in the latest episode of ‘Star Wars Rebels’.

Sometimes you have to take a step backwards in order to move forward. 

Personally, I am not a big fan of the prequels even though there are things I do enjoy about them, however. Battle droids are not one of them. I would even go as far to say that I hate the battle droids. Which is why I was shocked when I found myself enjoying this episode.

Being that this is a kids show, the childish humor that the battle droids bring was necessary as this episode dealt with the adult theme of soldiers dealing with post-traumatic stress disorder. After the Rebels landed on Agomar to retrieve proton torpedoes from an ammunitions depot, they were captured by one of the last remaining battalions of battle droids commanded by a highly intelligent Super Tactical Droid who wanted to play a war game with Rex and the Jedi so that he could finally end The Clone War in the way he saw fit.

The Clone War had never ended for the Super Tactical Droid and as we saw, neither did it for Captain Rex. Once the Rebels played the Super Tactical Droids game, resulting in the Rebels winning due to the old battle droids malfunctioning, the Empire showed up to remind everyone just who won the Clone War. Ezra helping everyone to realize both sides never had a winning chance was fantastic. When both sides came together to take on the Empire, it felt like a fitting end for The Clone Wars series that met its demise before it was able to properly conclude.

Watching the Rebels team up with the battle droids to take on the Empire felt like it bridged the gap between the two eras of the Star Wars saga. If I was a fan of The Clone Wars series, I would feel like I finally got closure for the series in most respects. But as someone who is not a huge fan of the prequel era, I hope this is the last I will ever see it. While the character development was great for Captain Rex and Ezra in this episode, it didn’t do much to advance the story.

7.9 – GOOD

star-wars-rebels-season-3-poster

‘Star Wars Rebels’: “Hera’s Heroes” Spoiler Review

Grand Admiral Thrawn fans rejoice! The brilliant villain is featured heavily this week as he catches Hera when she attempts to retrieve a family heirloom from her home on a now Imperial occupied Ryloth.

Grand Admiral Thrawn fans rejoice! The brilliant villain is featured heavily this week as he catches Hera when she attempts to retrieve a family heirloom from her home on a now Imperial occupied Ryloth.

The episode titled “Hera’s Heroes” kicks off with Cham Syndullah being pursued by a pair of Scout Troopers on speeder bikes right as the Ghost swoops in to rescue him. It’s a fun chase scene that ends hilariously after a Scout Trooper manages to board the Ghost just after Cham makes his way up the ramp to safety. Now surrounded by the rebels, Zeb asks “You didn’t think that through did you?”.

Zeb has been oddly quiet during this season so far. It was nice to have him in the mix even if we only got a quick line or two.

Cham managed to escape barely with his life. Unfortunately, there was a family heirloom that was left behind which belonged to Hera’s mother and she’s not leaving Ryloth without it. Luckily the rebels just acquired the uniform of a Scout Trooper they can use to infiltrate her old home.

Outside of the Syndullah home, a crashed Y-Wing lays in the dirt. Hera reveals this is where she first retrieved Chopper from after it was downed during the Clone Wars. Not much is known about the little punk of a droid but after seeing him depressed as he gazed upon the Y-Wing, it seems like his bad attitude might just be a cover for a painful past spent in battle.

ENTER THRAWN. My favorite thing about him in this episode was that no matter how terrifying he was, the Grand Admiral was equally polite and respectful. Thrawn says one especially interesting line before he leaves Captain Slavin to deal with the rebels. He tells him he must continue conducting an unknown experiment. I think the experiment is actually what is unfolding on Ryloth. Thrawn is not just one, but a few steps ahead of the rebels. I think he knew Hera was coming and was using this as an opportunity to get to know her face to face. Thrawn most certainly recognized Hera the instant he laid eyes on her outside her father’s office, almost like he was waiting for her.

Captain Slavin then sets up a prisoner exchange. He’ll let Hera and Ezra go as long as he turns himself in. Thrawn returns to his ship and watches over the exchange knowing full well Hera isn’t going down without a fight. Hera makes the choice to sacrifice her old family home so that her new family can survive. Thrawn holds back and deliberately lets the rebels escape, not just because he respects the victory they’ve earned for themselves — but he knows how important this band of rebels is to the rebellion and he’s playing the long game.

This week was a step up from the smaller episode that came before it. Overall it was great and gave us the Thrawn we have been waiting to see. The Grand Admiral is taking his time, doing his research and analyzing our beloved heroes so he can inflict the most damage possible on them and the Rebel Alliance. The heroes definitely have their work cut out for them this year.

4/5 – GREAT

rebelsposter3