Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Geeky TV commentary - The Flash 2.3, Agents of SHIELD 3.4, Limitless 1.5

The Flash airs at 8pm on CW Tuesday nights.

It's all family drama on The Flash this week.

Joe doesn't want to tell Iris that her mom is actually alive and wants to see her because he's afraid how she'll act, but after a pep talk from Barry, he comes clean. Iris is far too understanding, but that's consistent with her character, so it's okay. But it would have been nice if she'd made some protest about how everyone keeps keeping secrets from her, and how unfair that is.

On the other side of that coin, though, we get to see Iris at work, being well-liked and respected, getting her first cover story. It's only a few minutes of her loving her life, but it's more than we got before, so there's that.

Meanwhile, Barry is trying to find out what's up with Captain Cold working with his terrible-person dad, but it turns out that he has no choice because Daddy Cold is bad enough to implant a bomb in his own daughter's head to make his son use his freeze gun to get at some diamonds. All of that could have been done better, in a story line where they didn't have to make Gold Glider into some sort of sad victim when she was a self-posessed badass before, and didn't have to depend on freezing lasers, because that's just dumb.

It was nice seeing Cisco save the girl, but it seemed off the whole time, and never turned out that she was playing them again, and never had her take her own life back, and it was annoying because this show is usually better than that.

Also meanwhile, though, Jay and Caitlyn manage to figure out, mostly off screen, how to stabilize the breach closest to them. They're calling it a Speed Cannon, But they stop Expository Boy Jay Garrett from going back to his own world because he can still help Barry with the speedforce and they might need his help with Zoom. And, you know, Caitlyn wants him to stay. I guess he's squatting in one of the labs?

But of course they leave the gate open when Stein has some sort of Firestorm fit that was almost the most interesting thing in this episode, and then some sort of alt!Welles comes through looking all evil.


The episode was more set up, as far as it goes. It felt like it was arranging pieces for later, which has been a pretty common feeling this season, and that's starting to get a little old. Shouldn't it get going now? Without getting all character-compromise-y like they've been tiptoeing around? But the thing with Welles and the thing with Stein having the power without Ronnie, those are good set-ups, and so interesting.

Agents of SHIELD airs at 9pm on ABC Tuesday nights.

Adventure time on SHIELD!

SHIELD is working with the Task Force, who's alphabet mess I can never remember, to find Inhumans. We get to see a married inhuman couple for half a minute, and then their friend Alicia who can be several people at once. Then Lash attacks and kills all three, sending the other Alicia into shock. That was a bit abrupt because Coulson was acting like he already knows her, but we don't, and it distracts from the scene. They track Lash but he's gone, and the Task Force shows up to be soldiers all over the place.

Coulson and Task Force Lady decide to sort of play fair and share info, and Daisy manages to find a virus on the dead Inhumans' computers--which the Task Techs claim they didn't see. They trace it back to an IRS dude who was changed, and got the power of being made violently ill by the presence of other Inhumans. He's been telling Lash where to find the ones in hiding, but after he's taken in, Lash comes for him--and looks right at Daisy, but doesn't kill her.

The IRS guy said that death is a mercy; Lash says he's not merciful, he's necessary. Then Daisy watches him transform, by way of seeing his shadow shrink into a normal sized person, So that explains how he can just disappear on them.

Over in the Ward side story I'm totally bored with, Hunter finally makes it in, and is immediately exposed because Ward knows who he is. There's taunting and threats and shooting, and then Ward calls his goons on Andrew to get May to call off the attack. Hunter won't be called off, so it looks like Andrew is toast, and if he thought that's gonna get them off his case, he's more messed up than we thought. Because duh, Ward, you know these people, so you'd better be actually trying to start a war. Otherwise, this is the dumbest move he's made yet.

Bobbi wants to get back into the field, but she's still not good enough to pass the physical, and she hates it.

And Fitz wants Simmons back as his partner, but Simmons is being cagey and acting fine but obviously not. He finds her folder full of portal research, and he doesn't really have to confront her with it--in the last minute of the episode, she says she has to go back because something happened to her there, and she needs to tell him what that was. Which means next week should be mostly Simmons, and that can only be good!

Aside from how tired of Ward I am, and his whole weird and inconsistent HYDRA remake, the show is mostly going well so far this season. It's nice that they've finally been given a main MCU plot point to handle, though it would be very nice if they could keep some of these people, and stop getting them all killed. And if any of these new Inhumans start popping up in the movies, they'd better at least have Daisy in there to help them, if not finally allow Coulson out of his self-imposed exile.

And any time Simmons and Fitz can be in the same room together, being on good terms, and any time Coulson admits that he misses and needs people, it's a good day.

We also got a hint of people in the Inhumans population who want to bring everyone together as a united front, and possibly a separate group that existed before the mass triggering and feels like they're different. How long before that comes back around?

Limitless airs at 10pm on NBC Tuesday nights.

This is the second show on this channel in as many days that dealt with a dirty bomb being put together, and I was half expecting Jane and the guys from Blindspot to show up, since they're all in the FBI.

Anyway, there's a kid who's involved with a terrorist attack, and it's nice that it's home-grown terrorists this time, and they aren't pulling any punches about calling them that. They go in looking for a meth lab and instead find bomb-fixins, and Brian runs into the main baddie's little brother, who thinks his bro isn't bad, he's just confused. Brian makes friends with him, and he becomes their main informant while they track down the baddies, and the one who will make contact when he's called to bring something the bombers need.

Brian tells him whatever he needs to hear to get him to agree to do it, and then he's killed in the crossfire, the accomplice gets away, and the brother isn't so much as scratched--which makes Brian feel like he's to blame, since the kid wouldn't have been there if he hadn't convinced him to do it.

The whole episode, Brian has been dealing with what he should and shouldn't do. He's been recording messages for his morning-and-no-NZT self, telling him that he can't tell Rebecca anything about her father, and he can't tell anyone else about anything else either, and he just needs to look out for himself. But looking out for himself is what got that kid killed, and even though he saved who knows how many other people, it doesn't convince him that night-time-NZT him knows what he's talking about.

So he takes the  file about Rebecca's dad to her. Mr Sand all but threatened her life when he asked why he can't tell her about that, and he did it anyway. He even knocked on her door instead of just breaking in again, so she has the option of not talking to him if she doesn't want to hear about it. He leaves a message for his NZT-self saying that he's not going to be heartless if this is what happens, and all of us watching cheered.

Other than that, Boss Lady decided that he needs hand-to-hand training, which he applies his NZT to and picks up creepy fast, which tips of Casey that something is up with him. Casey is also secretly dating Rebecca, and wants to know what the deal is with Brian, though he hasn't yet asked if there's any feelings going on. Sand basically says that he thinks there are feelings going on, and that that's a problem, but Brian denies it. He figures out that Rebecca is seeing Casey and doesn't seem to care, which surprises her; she expected some fuss that he doesn't give. 

The episode was a little hard to watch; the best part about Brian is how much he cares, and how good his heart is, and this whole episode had him trying to be hard and uncaring, and that isn't him. And it went badly, which is terrible, but it convinced him to do what he thinks is right regardless of his own self-interest, which is good. What's in that file will either unite him and Rebecca as a team once and for all, or it'll divide them--at least until they don't give him his anti-side-effect shot next week and he gets sick and crazy. Between the two, they've got to decide whether they're going to be friends or just coworkers, right?

Favorite random cinematography this week: the thought bubbles and the claymation dioramas.

All in all, not a bad evening for TV!


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