This Week in Superhero TV 12/9 – 12/12
A bit of a short week for you this time around, though I do have a bonus review of last week’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. as I forgot to watch it last week. Which is a shame because I have been enjoying the second season of this show quite a bit, it just slipped my mind. It’s time for the last 3 mid-season finales, something that I feel like is a completely artificial practice that has popped up in the past 5 years or so. Some days I think that the networks should move towards a more cable-like season formula where the seasons are shorter, but they aren’t in blocks of a year. In fact, it could essentially still be like what it is now, but it would actually be considered two seasons, the fall season and the spring season. But whatever, it’s too ingrained in the networks’ marketing at this point for them to try and shake things up. But anyway, mid-season finales for everyone! Or at least, for Flash, S.H.I.E.L.D, and Constantine.
Episode: The Man in the Yellow Suit
It’s probably been discussed quite a bit in the other TV circles that I don’t quite follow myself over who Dr. Wells really is considering the rather big, and yet somewhat unsurprising reveal at the end of this episode. From the very beginning of the show, it’s been leading up to the reveal of who the man in the yellow suit is, and even though we get to see him, and we know that he is very closely tied to Dr. Wells, we still don’t really know anything about him at all aside from the fact that he is essentially the Reverse Flash. He’s faster than Barry, he’s much more experienced at being a speedster than Barry, and he’s obviously much more ruthless than Barry. And yet, he doesn’t seem to want to see Barry dead either or else he likely would have killed him fairly early on in the episode. I absolutely loved seeing Amanda Pays reprise her role as Tina McGee. One of the things that I loved about Smallville was how they would give actors from previous incarnations of the character new roles in their own timeline, like Christopher Reeve and Dean Cain. Here, the main characters from the 1990’s Flash are returning to play essentially the same characters, only with a bit of a spin on them. John Wesley Shipp has had a recurring role as Barry’s father, Mark Hamill is set to reprise his role as an older Trickster already in jail, and here Amanda Pays reprises her role as Tina McGee. Only instead of working for Star Labs, she’s working for rival company Mercury Labs, which is obviously a nice little play on things as Mercury is the messenger god known for his speed. As far as the episode as a whole, it was generally great though it felt like it didn’t answer enough questions, or have any real resolution. I suppose that’s the intention of a midseason cliffhanger style finale, but it was still a bit of a letdown. I haven’t read further into it, but I imagine that the best theory is that Dr. Wells is in fact a speedster, but he’s not the man in the yellow suit, instead he likely wears a red suit just like Barry, which could mean that he is one of the other Reverse Flashes as there are several, or he could be connected in some way to Bart Allen since he is likely from the future. But in general, that is the kind of thing that this show is good at, creating theories that may or may not be correct, it’s quite fun to guess at what direction this show is going to take next and I can’t wait until its return.
Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.
Episode: …Ye Who Enter Here & What They Become
I know, I’m a week behind on this, but it just slipped my mind. It’s not because of the lack of interest because I’ve been enjoying the second season quite a bit. The characters have really meshed well together, the story arc is getting interesting, and I keep hearing good things about what’s going on. I will be combining these two episodes as I watched them back to back and am not entirely sure where one episode ends and the other begins anymore in my memory. This marks the return of Rayna who was left to run off into the wild so that she could more or less lead S.H.I.E.L.D. to Whitehall because he was after her. One of the best parts of the moment where Rayna gets recaptured by S.H.I.E.L.D. is the return of Patton Oswald as the Koenig triplets who are down to two, though there’s a question as to whether there are more brothers out there that we haven’t been introduced to yet. With all of the action going on and the politics between Hydra and S.H.I.E.L.D, the comic relief of Patton Oswald is worth the minor budgetary special effects used in order to sell the twin effect. I loved the little jokes that he kept doing like when he said there were thirteen of them, and then later when his brother was off screen he joked that he had to recharge his batteries. There’s also a great moment of return of Agent 33 who still has the technology that gave her Agent May’s face and voice, although because of the electrocution from their earlier fight it apparently is permanently fused to her face, only there’s a large burn scar on one side and the voice modulation isn’t working correctly. Although I imagine that part of that is so that Ming Na can get a little bit more screen time as well as the chance to play a villain because she is so great at being the badass. And now that the team dynamic has shifted in season 2, she hasn’t had nearly as many opportunities to be that badass, especially since Skye has started to transition more into that role herself. And she gets a great chance to kick some major ass here during a fight with Agent 33, though she doesn’t come through it completely unscathed. But some of the major relationship issues get resolved here in the midseason finale portion. Skye gets one of the greatest moments with Ward when he starts working with her again, and she just shoots him the moment she gets a chance to, even though he does manage to survive. It really shows a lot of growth for Skye’s character compared to how she started out in the first season. There’s also the slight surprising moment where Whitehall gets shot by Coulson, not only that, but he shoots him right before Skye’s father gets his moment of revenge for the death of his wife and Skye’s mother. Or technically Daisy’s mother. I must say that I almost expected during the moment when Skye’s father starts humming “Bicycle Built for Two” and Skye says that she had heard that song before, I totally expected her to say something along the lines of “that space movie with that psycho HAL computer”. And we finally get to see what’s inside the buried alien city which is mainly just a lot of weirdness, and we do earlier get to find out that the aliens definitely are the Kree who play an important part in the Marvel universe, though I personally don’t exactly know what that part is. It’s sad to see Agent Triplett go, but I am curious to see what the future holds for Skye and Rayna in the latter half of the show.
Episode: The Saint of Last Resorts
And onto the final cliffhanger midseason finale of the year with the on-the-bubble Constantine. I have been enjoying this show for the most part since it started, it has one of the more morally ambiguous leads than any of the other shows so far aside from possibly Arrow which I don’t actually watch. The monster of the episode this week is one of the Garden of Eden’s Eve’s sisters who is more or less some type of vampire demon who steals a couple babies from the same family. And of course, it turns out that this family has ties to an ancient horror that has been thought long extinct, so much so that Constantine has no idea how to fight it. So of course, that is what is apparently responsible for the rising darkness which aims to destroy the barrier between the spirit world and the real world. Which is unfortunate because that is one of the most cliched storylines when it comes to these types of demon hunter or spirit hunter stories and most of this show has felt better than that. I imagine there’s still a way to spin that story into something interesting, but if I’m not that interested in the impending doom that’s supposed to befall our mighty heroes, then I’m less interested in the show overall. Meanwhile, there’s also the story of Zed who has been left behind while Constantine and Chas goes off to Mexico, even though yet another one of Zed’s talents is the ability to speak fluent Spanish. Or at least passable Spanish as she only speaks a couple lines to Constantine to show off. Anyway, it’s been hinted at in previous episodes that someone close to Constantine will betray him and last episode we saw that there is someone after her. And they finally come to get her here, even though she supposedly would have been safe if she had listened to Constantine and stayed inside the house. We also get to meet another one of Constantine’s old mates who was with him during the botched Exorcism in Newcastle. Anne Marie has a few tricks up her sleeve, though she has since joined a convent and is now a nun in the service of the Lord. Once the monster has been revealed and the plan is in place, Constantine once again tries going the same route he did with Gary in the Feast of Souls episode, but Anne Marie is a bit too smart for that and sees what he is trying to do immediately. And in fact, she actually turns the tables on him near the end of the episode, leaving him shot while some sort of weird looking demon is making his way towards them so that she can escape safely with the two babies. It’s a decent cliffhanger but for whatever reason, I just wasn’t as into the episode as I had been so far. And it didn’t help that it is a two part episode, though it’s helped a little bit that this seems to be one of the first shows out of the gate next year along with Gotham, coming back in the second week of January while the other shows don’t start up again until late January or February, and there’s still no date set that I know of for the new show iZombie. But hopefully the latter half of Constantine is able to pick things up because I still think it has promise and is worthy of more than just 13 episodes. Until next time, this has been Bubbawheat for Flights, Tights, and Movie Nights.