The contents of this article may be considered SPOILERS. You’ve been warned!
The contents of this article may be considered SPOILERS. You’ve been warned!
Luke Cage (Mike Colter) has had several romantic ties with the women of the Netflix corner of the MCU since his introduction in last year’s Jessica Jones. But neither his relationship with Jessica Jones (Krysten Ritter) nor his fling with Misty Knight (Simone Missick) can compare to the connection he made with Claire Temple (Rosario Dawson). Since their reunion in season one of Luke Cage, we watched the two fall for each other as Luke battled for Harlem’s soul.
At the end of season one of Luke Cage, Luke was being carted off to prison after his true identity was outed. But as we saw Bobby Fish (Ron Cephas Jones) found the documents that will help clear Luke’s name so it’s only a matter of time before Claire takes those documents to her lawyer pal Matt Murdock (Charlie Cox) to free Luke from prison.
Netflix is currently filming The Defenders on location in New York City. In case you don’t know, The Defenders is a team-up series that will see Daredevil, Jessica Jones, Luke Cage, and Iron Fist put their resources together to take on a villainous Sigourney Weaver who’s character still remains a mystery. The series will serve as a follow-up to all of Marvel’s Netflix series including Iron Fist which will make it’s debut this March.
Thanks to NetflixDefenders, a Tumblr account dedicated to The Defenders, we have a look at some steamy set photos revealing what is most likely the reunion of Luke and Claire after Lukes return to New York City from prison.
The series will see the return of many cast members from the Netflix corner of the MCU including Elodie Yung (Elektra), Carrie-Anne Moss (Jeri Hogarth), Elden Henson (Foggy Nelson), Eka Darville (Malcolm Ducasse), Scott Glenn (Stick), Rachael Taylor (Trish Walker) and Jessica Henwick (Colleen Wing).
The Defenders stars Charlie Cox as Daredevil, Krysten Ritter as Jessica Jones, Mike Colter as Luke Cage, and Finn Jones as Iron Fist.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.