‘Arrow’: “So it Begins” Spoiler Review

Normally, the formulaic CW series Arrow withholds the season’s big bad of the year until the ninth episode but in an attempt to shake things up, season five of Arrow introduced this year’s big bad, Prometheus, in the closing of the premiere, however. The writers chose to sideline his character, using Tobias Church to stall things for a few episodes before the main arc began. “So it Begins” serves to begin that arc but ultimately fails to introduce a narrative that compels interest. It’s as if the writers expect the audience to care without actually giving a reason to do so.

The episode opens with Green Arrow and Diggle investigating a location recycled from a previous season. Remember the episode last year that began with Team Arrow beating down some of Damien Darhk’s goons? You know, when Green Arrow fired the cable Arrow and Black Canary used her Nightstick to zip line down to the ground? Yeah, same place. Anyways Green Arrow and Diggle find a ringing phone inside the building and triggering an explosion which ignites the words “So it Begins” on the ground.

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Prometheus proceeds to commit a series of murders in Star City. We only get to see one of them and I’m glad because the murder itself felt as if it was ripped straight out of an episode of Supernatural and placed into Arrow. It was dull and generic, but ultimately lead to one of this episodes only good moments when Felicity and Curtis used a “victimology algorithm” to discover the message buried in the names of the Prometheus’ recent victims. The names manage to spell out the names of victims from the list Oliver used in season one as he began his crusade against the criminal element in Star(ling) City. Rory has a great moment when he points out the true serial killer is actually Oliver himself.

Oliver abandoned the list long ago after he put his murderous ways behind him in an attempt to be something better at the beginning of season two. Oliver and Diggle have a great heart to heart that captures the brotherhood that made the show so excellent, to begin with. Diggle points out to Oliver just how far he’s come since he used the list but it seems Oliver is going to have to face the consequences of his actions before he can move forward.

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Stephen Amell as Oliver Queen/Green Arrow in Arrow. (The CW)

While Olicity is over, it seems to be resurrecting itself in the form of Oliver and Felicity going back and forth at each other over each of their new romantic interests. Clearly, the two aren’t done with each other and it is likely a matter of time before they end up back together. But whether they do or not, it’s obvious they both still have feelings for each other. While Oliver is using Susan Williams as a tool to move forward, Billy is just a distraction for Felicity, keeping her from facing the truth.

The flashbacks were better this episode and finally amounted to something as we were introduced to Dolph Lundgren as Konstantin Kovar, the big bad of this year’s flashback storyline. The show has lacked with its villains in both past and present-day storylines for the last two years so it’s great to see such a big actor in the mix. Stephen Amell has proven he can deliver an exceptional performance but only when an equally as talented actor is there to play opposite him so hopefully Lundgren, together with the element will help to elevate the flashback storyline to something worthwhile.

Dolph Lundgren as Konstantin Kovar in Arrow. (The CW)

Last week we got to see some fantastic scenes between Diggle and Wild Dog. It seemed as if Diggle finally got through to Wild Dog but it doesn’t seem to have stuck. Wild Dog was just as immature and whiny as the rest of the new recruits this week. It’s tough to buy the group as formidable superheroes when they act like bratty children. Sure, it sucks to not be clued in on everything going on. But they need to know their role and understand they aren’t ready for everything Star City is going to throw at them.

Rick Gonzalez as Wild Dog, Echo Kellum as Mr.Terrific, Stephen Amell as Green Arrow, David Ramsey as Spartan, Madison McLaughlin as Artemis, and Joe Dinicol as Ragman in Arrow. (The CW)

The end of the episode seemed to give us a big reveal after Felicity managed to trace the allow in one of Prometheus’ ninja stars back to the used arrows Oliver has left at crime scenes for the past four years. The town drunk, Quentin Lance wakes up from his wasted slumber to discover a cut in his arm in the shape of Prometheus’ ninja stars, yet the star doesn’t have a single drop of blood on it. Are we supposed to now think Quentin is Prometheus? If so, just what exactly is in that whiskey? It just doesn’t seem plausible and feels like a major misdirect to me but let’s run through the list of possible evidence. Considering the ninja stars are made from Oliver’s arrows left at crime scenes, the killer would need access to the evidence lockup at SCPD, check. Does Quentin have the proper motivation to want Oliver dead? Absolutely. Along with the plenty of hints dropped in this episode pointing to Quentin’s absence from work that sync up with Prometheus’ crimes, plus showing up to work late after looking like he had a long night – after the same night we know Prometheus was on the streets it would suggest that he is indeed Prometheus. But it all seems too obvious which has me thinking this is one giant red herring. Also, for Quentin to be Prometheus, he would have had to underwent some serious training with the League of Assassins. Even with Laurels two years she spent training and fighting crime, she was never as skilled as Prometheus. Green Arrow also shot Prometheus in the back on the train and Quentin seemed to be fine after he woke up from laying on his back.

Overall, I thought this was a horrible episode that failed to spark interest while trying to set up the main arc of the season. Finally, Prometheus, as well as Konstantin Kovar have come into the picture but it all feels half-baked in order to keep dragging things out until we get to episode nine when the series is comfortable delving full into the main arc. This episode also featured an action scene that was total nonsense when panic erupted at a market in Star City. If I wasn’t committed to writing reviews for this season I would probably be done with the show at this point.

5.0 – FAIL



‘Star Wars Rebels’: “Imperial Super Commandos” Spoiler Review

Star Wars Rebels finally made good on their promise to explore the backstory of Sabine Wren this week in the episode titled “Imperial Super Commandos” and it didn’t disappoint. For the most part at least. I was a bit underwhelmed for the majority of the episode that is until the action kicked in and we got an awesome chase scene where Sabine and Ezra were chased by Mandorlians using jetpacks.

Star Wars Rebels finally made good on their promise to explore the backstory of Sabine Wren this week in the episode titled “Imperial Super Commandos” and it didn’t disappoint. For the most part at least. I was a bit underwhelmed for the majority of the episode that is until the action kicked in and we got an awesome chase scene where Sabine and Ezra were chased by  Mandorlians using jetpacks.

Ezra’s inclusion in the episode was pretty pointless until he started deflecting laser bolts with his Lightsaber during the chase scene. This episode just didn’t dig deep beyond the crisis of Ezra being captured by Gar Saxon (Ray Stevenson) until the end when it was revealed that Sabine’s mother has joined the Empire along with many other Mandolorians.

While this episode didn’t do anything to advance the main plot of the season, it didn’t feel like a complete waste either as Gar Saxon was still alive at the end seemingly setting things up for a follow-up later on. The Imperial Super Commandos will definitely be back this season and I’m hoping they will play into the larger plot.


The events of the episode also provided for an organic turning point for Fenn Rau (Kevin McKidd) as he opted to join the Rebellion after witnessing Sabine’s honor and integrity when she risked her life to save Ezra who is not a Mandolorian. It felt like a logical move for Rau considering his men were killed by Saxon and his super commandos. With his people gone and other Mandolorians joining the Empire, Rau’s best option was most definitely joining the Rebellion. And as Ezra said, it’s better to have him on their side than to fight what is most certainly a formidable foe for the Rebels.

Overall I thought it was a solid episode that could have been a lot better if it solely focused on Sabine and given us just a little more insight into her past. Ezra’s presence was distracting and took away from the focus on Sabine. Had Ezra been replaced with some sort of McGuffin device, it would have been a lot better. He just didn’t need to be there.

I have to say I was very impressed with the directing this episode. When it was announced Dave Filoni would not be serving as the supervising director it had me concerned. But this episode felt like Filoni was actually calling the shots and it’s clear the former leader has done a fantastic job passing on his vision to new directors who are managing to shine in their own right while maintaining the style and tone created by Filoni.

3.5/5 – SOLID


‘The Flash’: “Monster” Spoiler Recap/Review

A monster is on the loose in Central City this week as season three continues with another solid episode full of humor and heroics. Last week we were introduced to a hilarious new version of Harrison Wells from Earth 19 dubbed “HR”. As great as he is, something seemed off about him and this episode wasted no time digging right into it.

A monster is on the loose in Central City this week as season three continues with another solid episode full of humor and heroics. Last week we were introduced to a hilarious new version of Harrison Wells from Earth 19 dubbed “HR”. As great as he is, something seemed off about him and this episode wasted no time digging right into it.

HR comes off as a bit desperate at first as he tries too hard to fit in with Team Flash. The man has done his research on each member of the team, making it seem as if he is trying to get to know them but I don’t think any of us as the audience are meant to buy it. Cisco immediately picks up on HR’s peculiar behavior as HR tries to pass off scientific and technical ignorance as a lack of understanding for being from another Earth.

Once Barry and Cisco catch on to HR not contributing to the investigation of the mysterious monster, Cisco looks through HR’s belongings in order to use his powers to uncover the truth about HR. Unfortunately, Cisco plays back the wrong recording on the device found in HR’s bag. It was obvious that was only half of the message HR had recorded. He is definitely up to something nefarious but it remains unclear just exactly what his motivations are. One thing is for sure, Tom Cavanaugh can play a hell of a villain so it would be wise not to waste those talents again this season. Although I do miss good guy Harry.

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Tom Cavanaugh as HR Wells in The Flash. (The CW)

Julian Albert is out to get Barry and his hatred for his co-worker finally culminates in this episode as we get to learn just exactly what his issues with meta-humans are and he finally realizes not every single of them is bad, including The Flash. Barry starts to slowly break down the wall Julian has built around him first with some compliments on Julian’s talents but then Barry strikes a deal with Julian that will give him what he really wants: if Julian offers to teach some of his wisdom to Barry, he’ll make a new lab for himself out of a storage room leaving the current lab all to Julian.

Julian and Barry find that they can actually work quite well together as they investigate the mysterious monster terrorizing Central City. Julian opens up expresses to Barry his frustration over the fact that he himself does not have powers. He is maddened by the amount of criminal meta-humans who have appeared in the past three years, using their powers for personal gain instead of helping others – which is exactly what Julian says he would do if he would have been lucky enough to be effected by the particle accelerator explosion. But as we would find out later, there was a much deeper reason for his anger towards meta-humans.

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Grant Gustin as Barry Allen and Tom Felton as Julian Albert in The Flash. (The CW)

Caitlin Snow’s newfound powers have begun to manifest in unexpected and uncontrollable ways leading Caitlin to reach out to her estranged mother, Dr. Tannhauser, for help to better understand just what exactly is happening to her. We discover not only does Caitlin have some demons she’s been hiding for all these years, but she also has a darker, colder side to her personality under that warm and caring persona that she clearly gets from her frigid and emotionless Mother.

Danielle Panaber as Dr. Caitlin Snow and Susan Walters as Dr. Carla Tannhauser in The Flash. (The CW)

Nigel going dark side on Caitlin as he attempted to lock her down in her Mothers lab was a bit out of left field. You can understand how a woman like Dr. Tannhauser could drive a subordinate mad and the writers made it clear Caitlin’s abilities could help advance her Mother’s work. Nigel saw an opportunity for himself to get out from under Dr. Tannhauser but there was too little character development for it to fit into the episode organically, however. The scene served its purpose bringing out a colder Caitlin as she quickly let him know he was literally powerless against her. What was most interesting was how her Mother’s love was enough to cool her down –  or in this case – warm her up. Maybe her love for her friends will be enough to keep her from doing anything unforgivable in the future.

Danielle Panabaker as Dr. Catilin Snow and Thomas Cadrot as Nigel in The Flash. (The CW)

Unfortunately, the villain of the week was a major let down as the monster turned out not to be a monster at all but rather a hologram operated by a teenage computer hacker. To put it simply, it was just kind of lame. The hacker was so pitiful as he explained his motivations like a sad little cry baby. Bullying sucks but it’s no excuse to become a terrorist. The only good that came out of it was that it provided the opportunity for Julian Albert to see the positive difference that The Flash makes in Central City which led Julian to his first major turning point.

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Grant Gustin as The Flash in The Flash. (The CW)

Julian saw a bit of himself in the frightened teenager who wanted to terrify those around him in order to make himself feel stronger than he really was. Julian wanted nothing more than to be a great forensic scientist and as soon as he became one, the entire world changed with the evolution of meta-humans – pulling Julian’s sense of security out from underneath him. Tom Felton’s performance was impressive as he revealed the truth behind Julian’s frustration and anger.

Overall it was a solid episode that providing a great emotional turning point for Julian Albert. The only real problem this week was that this episode was sold as a monster of the week, rather than a villain of the week so our expectations were improperly set which set us up for a let down when the reveal came that the monster was no monster at all but instead a teenager hacker seeking revenge for being bullied in high school. Fortunately, the writers were still able to pull a deep emotional turning point out of the episode for Julian Albert. Continuing the hostile relationship between Julian and Barry could have become exhausting had it gone on for much longer and it was good to see the two put their differences behind each other and move forward.

7.9 – GOOD


‘The Flash’: “Magenta” Spoiler Recap/Review

The Flash returns with another solid episode that’s all about embracing who you are.

The Flash returns with another solid episode that’s all about embracing who you are. Things get started with Barry and Iris going on their first date. The two try to drown out the rest of the world and focus on each other but soon it becomes clear there are some things about themselves they just can’t ignore. It’s not long before they get interrupted by not only a burglary next door to the restaurant they’re dining in but an emergency call from Cisco as well.

Turns out it’s not an emergency. Just Wells and Jesse arriving through a breach from Earth-Two with a new problem: Jesse is now a speedster and she’s eager to become a superhero. Wells is terrified, understandably so, and he’ll do whatever has to be done to convince her not to use her powers.

Last year when Wells recreated the particle accelerator explosion — in order to give Barry back his powers — we saw both Jesse and Wally knocked down by the blast. We’ve been waiting to see what, if any, effect this would have on the both of them. In the Flashpoint timeline, we got Wally as a full-fledged Kid Flash, but it wasn’t until tonight that we saw what the effect the explosion had on them in the Earth One/Earth Two timeline was. While Jesse is quick, Wally is still the same. Or is he? This episode definitely gave us some hope that his power could still manifest but my guess is that Dr. Alchemy will actually give him his speed like he had in Flashpoint. He seemed pretty alarmed when Magenta mentioned Dr. Alchemy speaking to her in her dreams. Almost as if he has been hearing the same voice as well.

The villain of the week Frankie Kane A.K.A. Magenta is an abused foster child who now has the ability to control metal thanks to Dr. Alchemy. After her jerk of a foster father bothers her for the last time, Magenta sends a lamp post through her living room window — striking him in his chest.

It isn’t long before Julian Albert figures out the truth about Frankie and exposes her as a metahuman.

Joey King as Magenta in The Flash. (The CW)

After nearly killing Julian —  followed by a bit of an implausible escape from The Flash, Magenta goes full Magneto and picks up a tanker to drop on top of the hospital where her foster father is receiving care for his injuries. Lucky for Barry, Iris is there questioning Frankie’s father about his foster daughter.

Barry races to the hospital to stop Magenta from dropping the tanker. He uses his speed to create a wind tunnel but it’s not enough. Barry can’t stop the tanker from falling and take down Magenta at the same time. Wells has struggled to fight the inevitable the entire episode but he finally embraces Jesse’s destiny and speaks the same inspiring words Eobard Thawne spoke to Barry to give him the push he needed to find the strength within himself in order to become a hero. Run Jesse, run.

When I first saw the trailer for this episode and saw Wells repeating that line, my first thought was that they are really starting to wear this line out. But in the context of the episode, not only did the line work, it was inspiring thanks to Tom Cavanaugh’s performance.

Jesse came to Barry’s aid making it possible for him to confront Magenta. While we didn’t get a climactic showdown between her and Barry, what was great about this confrontation was that it showed the kind of hero Barry truly is. Magenta is clearly a misunderstood and troubled teenager who needs somebody to care for her. Rather than using his speed and his fists, Barry was able to defeat Magenta with kindness. It was refreshing to see Magenta taken in by Team Flash as they extended their support to her instead of tossing her in a metahuman cell at Iron Heights like every other villain. Magenta seems like she could make a return later as an ally.

In an episode that was all about embracing your powers, it also showed the person who you are outside of those powers is equally as strong and important. The writers tend to focus on three major things when crafting the story each week: heart, humor, and heroics. Tonight proved the heart is equally as important as the heroics. Unfortunately for such a strong episode, it lacked the humor that made past seasons so much fun. Cisco is going through a tough time and it’s understandable but hopefully, he heals some more soon because I very much miss his clever quips and how much fun he had being a part of Team Flash. His bad attitude sticks out like a sore thumb and could become exhausting if it lasts too much longer. Other than that it was a great episode that continued to show just how much Barry has grown in the three years since he began fighting crime.

7.8 – GOOD


‘The Flash’: Enter Tom Felton

Tonight on The Flash, Tom Felton makes his debut as Julian Albert, Central City’s newest forensic scientist in the episode titled “Paradox” which features Barry readjusting to life back on Earth One after returning from Flashpoint.

Today The CW has released both an interview as well as a clip which gives us a peak at Julian’s arrogant, smart ass personality. No doubt an actor of such caliber as Felton will fill this role perfectly and elevate the performances of those around him.

In the clip, Felton’s character Albert can be seen taking offense to the notion he would need help, especially from Barry Allen. Clearly he does not work well with others. Which would be a hilarious dynamic to inject into Team Flash. Could Albert be poised to be the next member of the team? He is already noticing something with Barry isn’t quite right. If anyone is smart enough to figure out who Flash is, it certainly seems like it is Albert.

The Flash airs tonight at 8 p.m. ET/PT on The CW.

‘Captain America: Civil War’ Spoiler Review

The Russo Brothers once again prove themselves as the best Directors in the MCU (Sorry, Joss). They do an incredible job balancing out both Team Cap and Team Iron Man throughout the film. The motivations are clear and the characters are provided equal screen time to support their sides of the argument. It doesn’t matter whether your Team Cap or Team Iron Man, you can absolutely understand the opposing side. What makes it so compelling is that both sides are right.

Civil War gets started with a pulse pounding action sequence that showcases the Avengers’ teamwork and chemistry as they work together to secure a biological weapon from the hands of terrorists. The wonderfully directed action sequence is a bit overshadowed by the absolutely astounding action that comes later in the film, however. It serves its purpose effectively to energetically jumpstart the film with the three most important qualities for any superhero story: Heart, humor, and heroics.

The Russo Brothers once again prove themselves as the best Directors in the MCU (Sorry, Joss). They do an incredible job balancing out both Team Cap and Team Iron Man throughout the film. The motivations are clear and the characters are provided equal screen time to support their sides of the argument. It doesn’t matter whether your Team Cap or Team Iron Man, you can absolutely understand the opposing side. What makes it so compelling is that both sides are right.

Chris Evans as Captain America and Robert Downey Jr. as Iron Man in Captain American: Civil War (Marvel).

Robert Downey Jr. turns in his best performance as Iron Man yet, however. The clear standouts of the film are Spider-Man, Black Panther, and Ant-Man. Paul Rudd as is as charming as ever. He and Tom Holland work together to bring brief but necessary levity to the drama that without, may have left us exhausted by the time we reach the films final action scene. Chadwick Boseman packs power and conviction into every line he has. He is so well used by the Russos that every time he is on screen you know it’s important. But I think we can all agree going into this film we were most excited for Spider-Man’s introduction into the MCU and it couldn’t have been done better. Marvel absolutely nails it. The moment Tom Holland stepped on screen I felt as if I was witnessing the true Peter Parker for the first time ever. Tom kills it as Peter only to outdo himself as Spider-Man in the short amount of time we get with him.

Tom Holland as Spider-Man. (Marvel)

The airport scene is one of, if not the greatest action scenes ever put to screen. The scene is fantastically shot, edited, and balanced between both sides of heroes. The action is constantly engaging. It perfectly showcases all of the heroes’ strengths as well as their weaknesses. The Russos managed to strike a rhythm in this scene that prevents it from feeling too long, even at 15 minutes. The best part of this fight, and probably the film itself is when Spider-Man takes down Giant-Man like an AT-AT on Hoth. Myself and the rest of the theater were cheering as if the Luke just blew up the Death Star! The Russos have set the bar high and there is no doubt they will outdo themselves with Infinity War.

As great as this film is, it isn’t perfect. Marvel once again fumbles when it comes to the villain. Daniel Brühl as Baron Zemo isn’t necessary to the story until the final confrontation between Captain America and Iron Man. Ultimately he does succeed in tearing apart The Avengers and that’s awesome. But they were already doing a good enough job at them themselves. Zemo is just there to give the final push.

Team Cap charges toward Team Iron Man. (Marvel)

It boggles my mind that Marvel isn’t concerned with focusing on the villain in their films especially after we have seen how well the Netflix series have done with Wilson Fisk, Killgrave, and I’ll even say Punisher. While Punisher wasn’t a villain, he was still an incredible antagonist to Daredevil in those few episodes of season two. A great villain can help elevate a good superhero movie to a great superhero movie and as good as Marvel’s films have gotten over the last few years, they could still be better.

Captain America: Civil War is what I call Marvel’s Dark Knight. It does what Dark Knight did for WB and transcends the superhero genre. This isn’t just some spectacle we can all sit back and admire. This is a vehicle with enough seats for everyone. No matter which side you take, you’ll feel justified in your position all the way until the credits roll. Bravo, Russo Brothers, Bravo.

9.1/10 – FANTASTIC