Gotham 1x9: Harvey Dent
Jim's investigation into the Wayne murders leads him to team up with one of (the only?) trustworthy attorneys in Gotham: Harvey Dent. In addition to lawyering, Dent likes to gamble, carries a two-headed coin ... and has a questionably quick temper.
To protect Selina Kyle, Jim takes her to stay at Wayne Manor. At first, Alfred is definitely not OK with her influence on Bruce, but the two soon begin to connect in a way that only young kids can. Bruce even begins to develop a bit of a crush, which Selina only exacerbates by asking him if he wants to kiss her. It might be because I'm 30, but both times she asked him made me feel uncomfortable. Selina's dang precocious.
Meanwhile, the villain of the week wasn't entirely a villain: Ian Hargrove, a misunderstood bomber with mental problems, is broken out of prison as a part of Fish Mooney's master plan. In response to complaints that Gotham is housing mentally ill criminals in with the rest of the just plain bad guy prisoners, Mayor James opens the refurbished Arkham Asylum. Hargrove is eventually caught and taken there, along with a bunch of other criminals who need psychiatric help.
Oh, and Barbara continues to be the worst leaves Jim "because she needs space," but ends up back in the arms of Det. Montoya. (Mandy C.)
Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. 2x8: The Things We Bury
As per the episode's title, this week's S.H.I.E.L.D. featured plenty of digging up of things buried in the literal (Christian Grant digging up the Ward family well) and figurative (Bobbi with that expository deep dive on Bakshi's past) sense. It largely acted as a tablesetting episode, forwarding whole find-the-mysterious-city-race arc (which aside from the MCU going all in on the Kree/Inhumans mutant workaround, I am still trepidatious on) while filling in narrative gaps (how does Whitehall/Reinhardt stay so young? By experimenting on it-might-as-well-be-Skye's-mom Dichen Lachman in 1989 after being released from SHIELD custody for over forty years, of course). Along with a flashback cameo from Agent Peggy Carter herself, this episode wants to leave us in a cliffhanger-y enough place for its midseason finale on December 9 while ramping up for the premiere of Agent Carter on January 6.
Sidebar: Much like what Carter wanted to do to Whitehall/Reinhardt in this episode, can we strap the palooka who came up with the "sometimes, the best man for the job is a woman" tagline for Agent Carter to a rocket?
One of the main advantages this season has is with an expanded cast, the show can afford to have multiple plot threads running simultaneously, and not end up as a wack A-Team situation. Coulson leads a strike on an Australian satellite relay with Fitz, Skye, and Trip, (which crescendo'd with a wonderful confrontation between Spy Daddy Coulson and Regular Daddy Kyle MacLaclan who continues to impress) while May, Simmons (our fearless President for Life of the Agent Carter fan club), Hunter, root around old SSR case files for a clue on Reinhardt, while Bobbi interrogates Bakshi, and that Ward brother reunion. Oh, that Ward brother reunion. After extracting a tearful confession from Christian at the well, we later find out that Grant killed Christian and their parents and staged it to look like a murder suicide. Much like keeping Austin weird, keep Ward evil.
This isn't the best episode this season, but provides a purpose. For the greater narrative good. (Paolo S.)
The Flash 1x6: The Flash Is Born
Barry has to face down his schoolhood bully, Tony Woodward, who is now a meta-human that can turn himself into metal upon contact. An indestructible douchebag. Awesome. He’s still trying to convince Iris to stop blogging about The Streak but his pleading only heightens her intrigue (and growing attraction) to this Mysterious Man who can whisk her to the rooftop in the blink of an eye. Barry and Eddie do a bit of bonding during an impromptu boxing session; all you need to hear is that someone is a Former Fat Kid and they are humanized instantly. Finally Eddie is starting to feel a bit more like an actual character instead of a rando whose sole purpose is to keep OTP Iris and Barry apart. Tony goes after Iris, Barry saves the day with his Sonic Boom Punch (Cisco was SO EXCITED, y’all) and all is well in Central City. Barry and Iris finally make up after their tiff last week and he not-so-subtly suggests “The Flash” for the hero’s new name. That smile. I just want to tussle his hair.
Detective West enlists the help of Shady Dr. Wells to help him solve the case of Nora Allen’s murder but Dr. Wells INSISTS that what Barry saw couldn’t have been possible fourteen years ago. OH REALLY NOW MR. TIME TRAVELING LIAR-PANTS. The more Joe presses Dr. Wells the more uncomfortable he gets, which he pins on the loss of his wife, Tess Morgan, saying that her death is what prompted his move to Central City. Then why is the Reverse Flash back at the end, stealing all of Joe’s police paperwork re: Nora Allen’s murder? And why does he leave a knife in a picture of Iris warning Joe to stop looking? I MEAN THIS GUY HAS SOME FREAKING NERVE. You do NOT mess with Joe West. That flashback where he was teaching Young Barry to fight? I got so melty, guys.
Arrow 3x7: Draw Back Your Bow
When Slade and his Mirakuru minions were destroying the city six months ago, Oliver saved people. A lot of people. One of them was a deranged young woman with a diagnosed attachment disorder named Carrie Cutter, now known as Cupid. (Sidenote - Carrie’s shrink telling Ollie he needs to get real about his mask and Robin Hood-complex was PERFECT.) She’s killing Oliver’s “enemies” which isn’t his style anymore but, ya know, whatever works to get his attention. Her plotline is meh, whatevs, but Felicity/Ray/Oliver OMG!
Ray asks Felicity to accompany him (strictly as colleagues, because nothing says “platonic” like couture) and she helps him land a business deal he’s been trying to close for ages. We see just how much Felicity thinks of Ray and all the butterflies in our stomachs, they are a-fluttering. Of course as soon as Felicity dares ask for a night off Oliver has a tantrum. He is so CLEARLY upset at the thought of her dating Ray and continues to get in his own way. Luckily he has John Diggle for a BFF who tells him that if he WANTS her he needs to go and GET her. So of course he sees her kissing Ray Palmer. Love, eh? Sometimes it’s all about timing.
Thea has re-opened Verdant, the World’s Ugliest Club and has a presumptuous hot new DJ kissing her. Roy is reading obsessively about the cop he killed while doped on Mirakuru and it’s seriously messing with his head and his game. AGAIN, John Diggle to the rescue with his lovely wife and daughter, a home-cooked meal for The Arrow and Arsenal and a semblance of normalcy for all of them, for now.
Hero of the Week: John Diggle, Arrow
If Felicity Smoak is the heart of the Arrow Lair then John Diggle is its soul. His attempts at getting Felicity to be patient with Oliver and Oliver to get his head out of his ass were spot on. John Diggle is the best kind of friend, one who will tell you what you need - and not what you want - to hear.
Honorable Mention: Alfred Pennyworth, Gotham
Cockney Geezer Alfred is one of the brightest spots on Gotham. Teaching Master Bruce how to box and seeing the two of them playing around warmed my cold, cold heart. I also loved his progression with Selina, at first feeling very protective of Bruce and Wayne Manor and then finally realizing that she’s another lonely kid without a family who could use a friend. (brb silently weeping.)
Villain of the Week: Reinhardt/Whitehall, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.
Carving up a poor innocent woman so that you can de-age yourself and then toss her body into a field? I hope that when this guy dies it is slow and painful. Maybe rabid chinchillas gnawing on his meat and two veg.
Honorable Mention: Cupid/Carrie Cutter, Arrow
Honestly I wasn’t too crazy about Cupid as a character but she at LEAST got Oliver to see that he’s lying to himself when he told her that he has to be alone. (Sidenote: anyone else think it was a TERRIBLE idea to hand her over to Waller? Someone with an attachment disorder will NOT work well with others, even as part of a Suicide Squad.)
Clark Kent Moment of Duh
After Barry/The Flash hits Tony with his Super Sonic Punch, he forgets to waiver his voice in front of Iris. So can we start taking bets already on how long it takes for her to figure it out? The timeline ALONE should tell her.
The gods have had mercy on us this week - Ray Palmer has installed a Salmon Ladder in his office. Felicity has the BEST BOSSES.
Right in the Kisser
-Selina and Bruce’s new friendship is adorable, especially his crush on her. This poor kid needs some friends. I don’t think any actual kissing will occur but it’s cute to see them together, especially knowing how...ENTANGLED they get as adults.
-Barbara leaves Jim because she can’t deal with her PTSD and he’s too busy saving Gotham to give her any time. I know she’s kind of intolerable but I also feel bad for her; she’s not used to being at the brink of death like Jim is. She’s clearly super hurt because she tumbles right back into bed with her ex-lesbian LOVA’.
-Hunter and Bobbi argue about who’s the less trustworthy and then get it on in the back of an SUV. HAWT.
-Iris and Eddie are still going strong but I have a feeling she’s doodling “Iris <3’s The Streak” all over her notebook.
-Thea hires a new DJ for the club and it’s that hot guy from The Carrie Diaries! He lays one on her that has her knees turn to jelly. Roy? Roy who?
-Felicity ends up being more than just a work-date when Ray takes her out to meet potential business partners. He also buys her couture, which dazzles her and makes me wonder how the hell he knew her measurements. Slightly creepy but not enough to say no to wearing a $10 million diamond necklace for dinner. Smooching ensues, unfortunately in front of Oliver. I shall quote the almighty Bey and say, “If you liked it then you should have put a ring on it, Ollie.” Or at least asked her to be your Boo.
Biff! Bam! Pow!
SUPER SONIC, BABY.
That cover. THAT. COVER. Why yes, that IS a Ziggy Stardust-star on her eye, because this issue is basically an interstellar ROCK OPERA. I can't wait to see this version of Carol cosplayed. I may squirrel this idea away for myself for her movie premiere in 2018. (What? 3 1/2 years of prep is TOTALLY NORMAL.) You can check out the sketchbook of illustrator David Lopez for this issue too!
Spider-Woman/Jessica Drew's first issue in this run (she's best friends with Captain Marvel/Carol Danvers which I LOVE) is part of the HUGE Spider-Verse arc that is crossing over many of the Marvel books at the moment. I'm not really loving it to be honest; it feels too much like just a big excuse to bring in EVERY single version of Spider-Man that has ever and will ever exist. Still, we get to see her with Silk, a new female arachnid hero who's getting her own book next year and hopefully Jessica's story will be her own soon.
Gail Simone (Batgirl, Birds of Prey) is such a great writer and you can tell she has a lot of fun writing Sonja. Issue 13 starts a new story arc so it's a great chance to dive into this series! You have to get past the sheer ridiculousness of her Battle Bikini but it's worth it, I promise.
-This issue marks the end of the first story arc in Lumberjanes. If you haven't already hopped on the Lumberjanes-Train what are you waiting for? It's the sleepaway camp you've always dreamed of, especially if you dreamed of camp feeling more like an episode of Supernatural than just smores and ghost stories. The brewing war between Artemis and her brother Apollo has come to a head and Jo, April, Mal, Molly and Ripley have to find a way to save each other, their counselors and de-vampire the boys camp.
-Don't miss this great interview with Writer/Illustrator Brendan Fletcher and Illustrator Babs Tarr about Batgirl! It was really interesting to see how they work together AND, since Fletcher is also writing Gotham Academy, they add in little details to keep these two stories in the same 'verse.
courtesy of batgirlofburnside.tumblr.com
News and Notes:
-The holidays, they are upon us! Get yourself some delightfully nerdy winter gear from HerUniverse! Is that a Tardis sweater dress? Why yes it is!
-This Earth's Mightiest Heroes Eyeshadow Collection is calling to my wallet like a damn siren to an unsuspecting sailor. The Loki-inspired shadow is called Burdened With Glorious Purpose..!
-Illustrator Roc Upchurch has been sacked from Rat Queens over an arrest for domestic violence. I love this book (enough to review it for FYA) and I hope that Kurtis Wiebe and crew find someone who can do it justice as they take this time to re-structure.
-A shortlist for the lead in the Netflix Marvel series, Jessica Jones, and you can have your say (sort of) with this poll. I'm not familiar with this character but KRYSTEN RITTER IN ALL THE THINGS.
-More hints about Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. linking up with Inhumans - a movie that isn't out until November 2018. That's quite the long game Marvel is playing. Apparently after the mid-season finale NOTHING WILL EVER BE THE SAME.
-Find yourself wearing out Awesome Mix Vol. 1 from Guardians of the Galaxy? Here's Awesome Mix Vol. 0!