Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Geeky TV commentary - The Flash 2.5, Agents of SHIELD 3.6, Limitless 1.7

The Flash airs at 8pm on CW Tuesday nights.

The Flash has been getting a little...loose as of late. I mean, freezing a laser? But this week, things came back to the tighter, character-centered way of the show that we all know and love.

Zoom sends Dr Light to stop Barry, presumably because she's actually Linda Park, even though this Linda has no idea who Barry is, and she's not a killer, so that whole thing goes sideways when she runs from Barry and fails to kill her Earth-1 self. Which implies that Zoom knows all sorts of stuff about Barry. Like that his ex-girlfriend's face will make him pause and allow her to blind him? Since Barry doesn't seem to exist in the retro-future Earth-2 so far, how does he manage that knowledge?

Dr Light isn't thrilled about any of this either, but Zoom is holding something over her and forcing her hand. She misses when another reporter at the newspaper dies saving one of our known characters*, and doesn't keep trying, because she's a robber, not a murderer, and she's spooked. But it means that now Iris and Linda know that Linda has a double here, and Linda is now in police custody to keep her safe.

While this was going on, Blind Barry is adorable and useless as a hero, so he goes on a date with Patty, where Cisco serves as his eyes until she figures out that he can't see and they take over for themselves. It very sweet, and Barry is adorable when he can barely walk, but it makes me worry for Patty's safety, or what her story holds. And, after a first kiss, he regains his vision.

The really good part of the episode, though, was Alt!Welles. He's golden. He's fussy, kind of an ass, and he has no time for all the baggage that comes with everyone knowing the person he looks like. His exasperation with the whole story of this world's Welles is perfect, and his bluntness is refreshing through the whole episode--especially when he cuts through the dumb plot choices and calls out Cisco for not telling everyone he's got powers now. Which means that Cisco can then help them with Dr Light's location, and he can then get a superhero name**. It also means he's got more confidence and he asks out the new girl at the coffee shop, who will turn out to be Hawkgirl.*** The Welles-Cisco dynamic through this whole episode is the best thing ever, and should be more of the series as a whole.

Welles also has no patience for Jay's inability to stop Zoom, which, as it turns out, is because Zoom has his daughter--because this Welles has family, and is presumably not actually Eobard (which is what they should be calling their own Welles now, but what evs).

Other things of note: Caitlyn and Jay almost kiss but it makes them miss the attack that ends their stakeout. Apparently the shark-man from last ep is being called King Shark. Iris still doesn't know what to do about her mom. And Joe is so done with Welles that he just opens fire on sight before he finds out that this is an alternate-reality double.

It was a fun episode!

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

After last week's awesome episode where Simmons got to shine, I wasn't looking forward to getting back to the Hydra storyline that has long been my least favorite part of this show, but it actually wasn't that bad, I guess?

Andrew managed to survive the explosion last time we saw them, and says it was because he had a SHIELD bodyguard who gave his life to keep him safe. But he's all busted up, and May is pissed. She blames Hunter and gets him grounded. She goes after Bobbi to make her prove that she's fine and it's fear that's been keeping her out of the field. And then the two of them go on the warpath. That part's pretty glorious, because they make an amazing team and they have all sorts of widgets and skills outside of just fighting--but May wants to fight and Bobbi wants to talk her way out, and they don't really agree on how to handle things.

Together, they manage to get to that big guy who does Ward's dirty work, who is at that moment beating up Werner von Strucker for not finishing his mission. Bobbi takes out the thug with some awesome fighting and zapping, and May finds out what she can about Ward, but the kid is done. So much for the Hydra royal family that make no sense anyway.

Meanwhile, though, Werner has called for help on one of his dad's old cronies, who seems to feel that everyone should fear him. Ward doesn't, but it's unclear so far whether he actually should or not.

I'm just over here like -_- about the whole thing. It feels like they're setting up for a Hydra spinoff with how much story time they're handing over to Ward's actions, but it still seems more of a mess than a plan to me****, and it would be nice if Hydra would go underground again for a while.

In the always-more-interesting B-plots:

Coulson is getting to know Rosalind. He's decided it's time to see her facility, and she makes a detour to her own house where there's been a suspicious break-in that just makes him more suspicious. She finally takes him to see the literal warehouse where she's been literally sealing the Inhumans into stasis crates and storing them like cargo, and he's not nearly as upset as he should be. She thinks being Inhuman is an illness and wants to cure it, which leads directly, in comics-land, to things like Mutant Registration Acts, Genosha, various genocides. If they're setting this up as part of Civil War, okay, but if it's not, it's going to drag on and be so annoying.

Daisy and Mac and Hunter witness Coulson's lack of appropriate response. They're looking for Lash, and have decided that Rosalind's second in command is most likely him (though that's got no backup other than them not liking him), and they were tracking him while Coulson was flirting. They'd just sent a drone into the facility when they see Coulson looking okay with the crates, which makes Daisy not okay with him, and that's never good. As I said on Twitter last night...
Because we really don't. We suffered through that two-Shields BS, and the everyone-in-Shield-is-actually-Hydra BS, and this is just more of the same dumb. It bogs down the plot and distracts from them finally getting a major plot line of their own--the Inhumans.

Back at the lab, Fitz has been researching Will, and his research on the portal isn't paying off, but Simmons is closer to being able to be back to work since they have a purpose now. She's helping Andrew through his injury by giving him back the words he gave her, and she's the one that finds out that their suspect is not even a little bit Inhuman. Werner tells them that it's Andrew, as he dies--he failed in his mission because Andrew wasn't just a person.

And that means that he's among them. He's been using his position to track down the people they've been trying to help and then kill them. He's been lying to the people closest to him. And he's probably been denying everyone trying to get field clearance or release papers because it's his weird job to take them out of society.


That's a promisingly super-heroic storyline to end on, and hopefully it'll bring the team back together. And hopefully, Coulson will have a reason for his lack of response and will make the decision to not work with the task force if that's what they're going to be doing, because it's a terrible way to handle the Inhumans, especially when they're working so hard to keep them good and teach them how to live with their new abilities. The obvious parallels between being suddenly Inhuman and being chronically ill or disabled or foreign or some other thing that's considered out of the norm really should be handled carefully, and if the show as a whole decides that curing something that's genetic, not a choice, and not deadly, is the way to go, it'll be really disappointing. It was bad enough when Jemma was sounding all human-purist last season; we don't need to go over that ground again.

Limitless airs at 10pm on NBC Tuesday nights.

It seems like the CIA is trying to get ahold of all the FBI assets on all my shows lately.***** This week on Limitless, they do it!

Brian pulls a very accurate and funny and endearing Ferris Bueller to get a day off, and before he's done with the opening monologue, the black ops dudes taze him and take him into the woods. They have NZT and they have a signed letter saying he's supposed to help them. They want him to solve problems as they catch and interrogate some Russian dude.

So Brian keeps taking the pills. Like, five or six of them during the day. It's worrying that there wasn't much difference between a regular day, except three of them in the self-discussions, and it begs the question of whether there'll be other fallout later that he'll have to deal with? He figures out that they're not out on a regular black op--they're out on a bounty hunt, and they're going to split money they get for selling this guy they're after to people who will pay a lot for him. Brian manages to turn them against each other, and winds up being the only team member to survive the mission, and that's only because he gives the Russian guy the last pill, even though he told him he'd poisoned it with deadly nightshade.

Along the way, he managed to get a coded message to Rebecca, who figures out that he's telling them where he is. She's pissed, the whole time that he's gone, and it's beautiful. She and Boyle are pulling every string they have and throwing around the law like crazy--the CIA broke the law and even if they can't prove it, they can make a fuss that they'd have to answer to, and all of this went over their heads. Naz is also outraged, and it's good to see her picking her team over this outside meddling.

Brian uses the plot of Ferris Bueller to keep himself alive as he's coming down off the megadose of NZT in the woods at night, and manages to make enough noise that the team can find him before anything bad happens. But the way he just casually tells the story of all this death and his part in it upsets Rebecca--he was so nice and so harmless before, and she feels like it's her job that ruined that part of him, and that she should have tried harder to protect his niceness. 

The vague implication, though, is that it's the drug that did it--that it makes other people matter less. He hallucinated her showing up (dressed like Sloane from the movie, no less), and she told him that he had to survive even though he'd have to kill people to do it--which is not what actual-Rebecca thought of the matter. And that's troubling. Especially since Brian seems to have missed that distinction. All the cute graphics and the fun voice overs and the cleverness are starting to look like side-effects covering up the actual damage that's being done to his personality, even with the anti-side-effects shot. Will he notice what's going on? Will she? Will they be able to do anything about it?

And he still didn't seem at all worried about all these dead people...

What did you think of tonight's shows? Share in the comments, or come talk to me on Twitter!


*It's seriously a bad idea working in that office. Never make friends with Iris or Linda.
***Which should be fun! When does that happen, and when do all the fun characters leave for the bonkers team up that will be Legends of Tomorrow?
****He says old-Hydra was bloated and entitled, but he's acting as entitled as anyone else and recruits the son of the previous boss? What? And he says they were undisciplined thugs, but his recruiting process is literally a fight club that rewards meatheads and jerks while not admitting a single scientist or thinker. Like, what is he even doing?
*****They're doing it on Blindspot, too. 
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