Thursday, November 30, 2017

Astro City #49

Astro City #49 takes a look at the unusual hero Registor as shown through the eyes of a reporter who catches the wiff (literally) of a story with ties to her childhood when she witnesses the hero appear to stop an attack by Earthpride white supremacists during a protest. With ties to old school civil disobedience, civil rights protests and rallies, I'd be curious to know the origins of this story which tie our protagonist's current search back to her missing father.

The Librarians - The Complete Third Season

The Third Season brought new challenges for the Librarians in the form of D.O.S.A. (the Department of Statistical Anomalies, a secret Unites States Government organization tasked with dealing with similar phenomena and who view the Librarians as potential threats) and Apep, the Egyptian God of Chaos, attempting to release Pure Evil on the world.

Highlights from the season include Stone (Christian Kane) and Cassandra (Lindy Booth) stumbling on a lodge full of Norse Frost Giants, Eve (Rebecca Romijn) targeted for death by the unstoppable Reaper, a mystical carnival run by Sean Astin, the search for the Eye of Ra inside the Bermuda Triangle, the discovery of a vampire retreat, and the return of Jane Curtin as the Librarians head to Shangri-La in the penultimate episode of the season.

Doomsday Clock #1

DC Comics' next big event begins here. Born out the the Rebirth reboot, which introduced that idea that Dr. Manhattan was responsible for the shitstorm that was The New 52, Doomsday Clock #1 returns us to the world of Watchmen. Despite his plan initially succeeding, Ozymandias has seen the truth exposed by the Rorschach journal and his world fall back into chaos.

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

A Ghost Story

Writer/director David Lowery offers up an unusual ghost story focused on loss and longing. We open with Casey Affleck and Rooney Mara as a loving couple never referred to by name. After tragedy strikes, he returns from the grave in the form of a traditional ghost (complete with a white sheet from the morgue and two black eye-holes). Silent and unseen, our ghost watches life move on without him as he can only occasionally have minimal effect on his environment.

The film is mostly silent, other than for a few flashback scenes where the actors attempt to out-mumble each other and later dialogue by other occupants of the house. We never get a sense of just how much the ghost knows or understands. He is searching for something, but how much of his life does he remember? Is it a feeling? A distinct memory? Or more? Presented from the ghost's point-of-view, A Ghost Story is far more than a traditional haunted house tale. That alone makes it worth a look, although I can see it annoying some viewers.

Darth Vader #8

Sometimes it's hard to be a Dark Lord of the Sith (especially after you've murdered most of your friends, choked out your wife, and had your best friend cut off your legs and leave you to burn in a pool of lava... okay, that last one he probably deserved).

Legends of Tomorrow - Crisis on Earth-X, Part 4

The four-part crossover concludes with the death of one of the Legends (helping the show write off the character of Firestorm which it never learned to use properly), the arrival of the other Legends (better late than never), and our heroes' return to Earth-One for a final confrontation with the Earth-X invaders. Keeping half the Legends in reserve until the final episode does help boost our heroes numbers in the final episode, but is a disservice to Ray (Brandon Routh) who, given his tenure in the Arrowverse, certainly draws the shortest straw this time around. The death of Stein (Victor Garber) is hardly surprising, but how he is kept alive from his critical wounds at the beginning of the episode, and his sacrifice, both work well.

The Flash - Crisis on Earth-X, Part 3

Things are looking pretty bleak for our heroes at the beginning of "Part 3" (and aren't a whole hell of a lot better by the end). Most of our leads are captured and imprisoned on Earth-X, the Reverse-Flash (Tom Cavanagh) is preparing to carve out Supergirl's (Melissa Benoist) heart, and Cisco (Carlos Valdes), Caitlin (Danielle Panabaker), and the Arrow B-team are trapped in the particle accelerator. Enter Captain Cold (Wentworth Miller). Well, a new version at least (complete with his comic book trademark glasses the previous Earth-One Cold was too cool to wear). We also get a new hero in the Ray (Russell Tovey), a grizzled General Winn Schott (Jeremy Jordan), and a last-ditch plan for our heroes to make it back to their Earth before it is too late.

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Arrow - Crisis on Earth-X, Part 2

"Part 2" of the four-part crossover focuses on the fallout of Barry (Grant Gustin) and Iris' (Candice Patton) wedding and the explanation of who the villains from Earth-X are and what they want on Earth-One. While our heroes manage to push back the Nazis in "Part One," the second episode offers a counterpunch from the evil dopplegangers (whose identities seemed fairly obvious to everyone except, apparently, our heroes). Heavier on action than the first episode, there are still smaller conversations shoehorned in here and there to give those not in the fray something to do. "Part 2" also offers small cameos to Arrow's B-team who arrive to provide support against the Nazi horde.

Supergirl - Crisis on Earth-X, Part 1

Unlike last year's crossover, which tailored each episode to that particular cast, "Crisis on Earth-X" begins in earnest with jumping us right into the action and introducing (nearly) all our characters at once. This time around it feels much more like a cohesive crossover (and Supergirl gets to be in the action from the beginning). The focus on "Part 1" is primarily to get all our characters to Central City in time for Barry (Grant Gustin) and Iris' (Candice Patton) wedding. We get their wedding reception, various drama between Oliver (Stephen Amell) and Felicity (Emily Bett Rickards) and Jackson (Franz Drameh) and Stein (Victor Garber), and wedding crashers in the form of the crossover's big bad villains - Nazis from Earth-X.

Get Out

The suburbs aren't really this bad. Honest. As much satire as horror, Jordan Peele's delightful film delivers a young black man (Daniel Kaluuya) into the mostly-white suburbia of his girlfriend's (Allison Williams) parents (Catherine Keener and Bradley Whitford). From the start, it's obvious to Chris that something is off with the household, the family's strange black servants (Marcus Henderson and Betty Gabriel), and the glut of odd-acting neighbors and friends Chris meets the following day.

Clever and wryly entertaining, the first-half of the movie would work terrifically as an episode of The Twilight Zone as Chris' paranoia increases to a fever-pitch. The discovery of what is really going on in the sleepy suburb is more than a little odd, as Chris' loud-mouth-conspiracy-obsessed pal (LilRel Howery) suspects, but leads the character into a final act where he's forced to confront childhood issues and make a stand if he has any hope to make it out of the suburbs alive.

Monday, November 27, 2017

The Wild Storm #9

The Wild Storm spins its wheels a bit in issue #9 which proves to be more about setting up future events in the series (IO's Jacklyn King planning a covert cyberwar attack against Skywatch, and Angela Spica being introduced to Jacob Marlowe's secret laboratory) than big reveals or takeaways. That said, the issue is highlighted by some strong art by Jon Davis-Hunt in what little we see of the lab and one hell of a silent extended action sequence set in John Colt's past in feudal Japan.

Justice League Action - Drivers Ed

While taking a driving test through space with Space Cabbie (Patton Oswalt), Stargirl (Natalie Lander) leaps into action to stop the Red Lantern Zilius Zox (Armin Shimerman) from robbing a space ATM in an asteroid field (because where else is a space ATM going to be?). The goofy short doesn't make a lick of sense (even our heroine questions what she's doing since her Cosmic Staff allows her to fly through space), but still provides its share of fun including fitting in another oddball Silver Age character.

Blizzcon 2017 Cosplay (Part 2)

Friday, November 24, 2017

Happy Thanksgiving!

Red Robin and Damian are shocked Nightwing invited Red Hood to Robin Thanksgiving.

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri

I've been waiting all year for a front-runner, a film to set the standard to which every movie that follows will have to try to measure up. I don't have to wait any longer. Writer/director Martin McDonagh takes us to a little-used patch of road in rural Missouri where the sudden use of three derelict billboards begin to raise the eyes of the local community.


Pixar's nineteenth feature isn't one of the studio's best, but it does display plenty of heart. We open to extended narration setting up the life and family of young Miguel (Anthony Gonzalez) whose family's hatred of music makes the first-half of the movie seem like Footloose with dead people. More than anything in the world Miguel wants to be a musician which, through a somewhat convoluted series of events, sends him into the netherworld on Día de Muertos when the spirits can leave the Land of the Dead and visit their living relatives (only if their families have remembered to place their picture in the family ofrenda, or altar).

The Man Who Invented Christmas

On television, stage, and in film there have been plenty of adaptations of Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol over the years (Mickey Mouse and Bill Murray have provided two of my favorites). The latest from director Bharat Nalluri and screenwriter Susan Coyne, based on Les Standiford's book, doesn't add much new to the proceedings, but proves to be an enjoyable holiday romp focused on the turmoil in Dickens' (Dan Stevens) life and the creation of one of his most famous works. The script follows a familiar path seen before with authors talking directly to their characters and stealing names and lines from real-life to work into their writing. The later reminded me of Shakespeare in Love, which had far more wit than we find here.

The main takeaway of the movie seems to be that Dickens had as much Scrooge (Christopher Plummer) in him as Bob Cratchit, and only by coming to terms with the fact was he able to finish the book that had ties to his own troubled upbringing. Stevens is likable enough in the role, with serviceable support from Plummer, Jonathan Pryce, Morfydd Clark, and others while the movie brings Victorian London, and various Dickens' characters, to life.

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

The Killing of a Sacred Deer

Writer/director Yorgos Lanthimos (The Lobster) is known for unconventional storytelling, and his latest certainly fits that bill. Steven Murphy (Colin Farrell) is a respected surgeon with a wife (Nicole Kidman), two children (Raffey Cassidy and Sunny Suljic), and secretive relationship to the son (Barry Keoghan) of a former patient with an equally strange mother (Alicia Silverstone, in a surprisingly small role). When Steven’s son develops odd symptoms that can’t be explained, the doctor is confronted by Martin (Keoghan) who makes veiled threats while suggesting that he is somehow responsible.

The Killing of a Sacred Deer is a frustrating movie. The film is visually stunning with a haunting score, but every time an actor delivers a torturous line-reading (more appropriate to a group of lonely souls reading publicly from their Twilight fan fiction) the spell is broken. There's a stiltedness to every performance, no character speaks naturally, and even their reactions, movements, and manners are so affected it will make you wonder if you missed the note explaining that everyone in the film is autistic.

Supergirl - Wake Up

"Wake Up" marks the return of Mon-El (Chris Wood) to Earth when he's found aboard the sunken alien spacecraft we've seen glimpses of this season. Initially overjoyed to have him back, Kara (Melissa Benoist) becomes concerned about his troubling behavior (which is never adequately explained), reluctance to talk about what has happened to him, or explain the spaceship or the its other slumbering passengers... including the woman who is later revealed to be his wife (Amy Jackson). The revelation of Mon-El's time in the future and the introduction of Saturn Girl (Amy Jackson) marks the show's first steps to introducing an important piece to Supergirl's comic history as she meets her first member of the Legion of Super-Heroes. Could Supergirl be up for some time travel of her own?

Good Time

Robert Pattinson stars as Connie, a criminal who uses everyone he comes into contact with including his mentally-handicapped brother Nick (Benny Safdie) who he ropes into helping him rob a bank. While the score goes off without any issues, the botched getaway leaves Nick in jail and Connie working every angle he can to free him including calling on an old girlfriend (Jennifer Jason Leigh), taking advantage of an impressionable 16 year-old (Taliah Webster), and planning a jail break after his brother is taken to a nearby hospital.

While respecting the tone and pace of of directors Benny Safdie and Josh Safdie's film, Connie's selfishness eventually began to wear on me. There's a method to Connie's madness, although his actions rarely lead to the expected outcome. And he does have guilt over Nick being locked up in prison, although it's hard not to look at these actions as predominantly selfish in keeping himself out of prison.

Justice League Action - Race Against Crime

Who is faster, Superman (Jason J. Lewis) or the Flash (Charlie Schlatter)? DC has milked this controversy for decades since the pair's first race 60 years ago. We've seen races in multiple comics as well as on television in Superman: The Animated Series' "Speed Demons." "Race Against Crime" follows the basic format of stories like this as the world gathers to watch the pair race only to see a super-villain interfere and stop from having a true winner ever declared. This time around that villain is Lex Luthor (James Woods) who takes advantage of the tracking technology to bleed speed from both racers and siphon it into his own armor allowing him control of both speed and time.


Writer/director Janicza Bravo's oddball dark comedy stars Brett Gelman as a thoroughly-unlikable and constantly-sullen actor and theater teacher with a blind girlfriend (Judy Greer) who wants nothing to do with him, an equally-pretentious prize student (Michael Cera sporting some insanely ridiculous hair) with whom he has a very unusual relationship, and a dysfunctional family (Fred Melamed, Rhea Perlman, Shiri Appleby, Martin Starr, Hannah Heller, and David Paymer).

It's hard to root either for a man lacking all empathy or against such a sad sack who is little more than the butt of life's series of jokes. Isaac's misadventures include belittling a theater student (Gillian Jacobs), fretting about the state of his relationship, accidentally killing his friend's birds, awkward attempts to woo a new love (Nia Long), and taking jobs as the face of sexually transmitted diseases. More than a little self-indulgent, every character and event in the movie pushes the oddball style past credulity highlighting either the humor or misery of its protagonist (often both at the same time), which makes it difficult to take either that seriously.

Monday, November 20, 2017

Hawaii Five-0 - Kau ka 'ōnohi ali'i i luna

A cop, a police cadet, and a former head of the Yakuza walk into a bank. "Kau ka 'ōnohi ali'i i luna" offers some unusual pairings as circumstances put Junior (Beulah Koale) and the recently-returned Adam Noshimuri (Ian Anthony Dale) as McGarrett's (Alex O'Loughlin) back-up after the police cadet notices something suspicious at a local bank. Heading into the bank during a robbery in progress, the threesome are too late to catch the robbers, who blow their way out through the vault, but as McGarrett follows underground the pair provide support topside.

Teen Titans Go! - Thanksgetting

When his teammates rebel against the traditions of Thanksgiving and attempt to start a new holiday known as Thanksgetting (complete with costumes, bizarre decorations, presents, and not being thankful for anything), it leads to an attack on Titans Tower by the Thanksgiving Turkey. "Thanksgetting" is a bizarre episode that, as usual, focuses on the odd antics of the group, Robin (Scott Menville) taking offense to his team's opinions and actions, Starfire (Hynden Walch) in a ridiculously-cute cat costume, and one hell of a creepy Frankensteinish Turducken to close out yet another holiday Titans-style. Honestly, I could have done with that last part.

Batman #35

I've missed the last couple of issues so I'll admit being a bit confused as to why Batman is bleeding in a cave watching Catwoman and Talia al Ghul swordfight through ruins while Robin and Nightwing sit outside at campfire discussing Bruce's plans to marry Selina. And what the hell Selina's old BFF Holly is doing in the middle of it all?

Arrow - Deathstroke Returns / Promises Kept

Oliver (Stephen Amell) leaves Star City with Deathstroke (Manu Bennett), traveling halfway around the world to help Slade rescue his son from prison. Things become complicated when the learn the boy has been killed by a powerful crime syndicate and even more complicated after discovering Joe (Liam Hall) is not only alive but the head of the Jackals. Reunited only to discover his son has followed in his murderous footsteps, Slade will have to make some hard choices - especially after Joe's men capture Oliver and serve him up to Deathstroke.

Sunday, November 19, 2017

The Blacklist - Ian Garvey

"Ian Garvey" ends the subplot of people playing hot potato with the mysterious suitcase, introduces a new player in Ian Garvey (Jonny Coyne), and ends with the (apparent) death of a major supporting character. The fall finale focuses on Tom's (Ryan Eggold) abduction as both Reddington (James Spader) and the FBI search separately for the man literally carrying a bag full of secrets. Tom will discover just why the bag of bones is so important, but that information is hidden from the audience allowing the mystery to continue. Given his death (again), we won't be learning the secrets of the suitcase from Tom, but now that it is in the hands of one of Red's enemies who plans on using it as leverage, I'd suspect we'll learn the truth sooner or later.

The Punisher - 3AM

Aside from the opening and closing scenes, there's little punishment dealt out in the first episode of Netflix's The Punisher. Previously introducing in the Second Season of Daredevil, Frank Castle (Jon Bernthal) kills off the last couple members of the criminal organization tied to the murder of his wife and children. Months later, still haunted by his missing family (which he deals with by smashing walls into rubble) and hiding under an assumed identity as a construction worker, Frank is forced into action to help a co-worker (Lucca De Oliveira) who gets in over-his-head. Once he gets out, they pull him back in.

Saturday, November 18, 2017

Usagi Yojimbo #163

Part 1 of "The Mouse Trap" begins with the robbery of Hatamoto Asano's home by a popular thief who drops some of his ill-gotten gains to the crowd and hops a series of rooftops to make good his escape. Escaping Miyamoto Usagi is no small feat, but an unexpected confrontation with the Black Goblin Gang leaves the Nezumi framed for murder (and forces him to give up more of his treasure to try and prove his innocence).

Justice League Action - Plastic Man of Steel

What's Superman (Jason J. Lewis) to do when Lois Lane (Tara Strong) uncovers his secret identity? In a variation of a story we've seen played out in multiple formats over the years, "Plastic Man of Steel" sees Clark Kent call on Plastic Man (Dana Snyder) to stand-in for the Man of Steel to throw DCU's best reporter off the story. Even if the sudden appearance of Lex Luthor (James Woods) is unexpected, and throws a temporary wrench into the charade, Plastic Man proves up to the challenge as the Plastic Man of Steel.

Thursday, November 16, 2017

The Flash - When Harry Met Harry...

The title of the latest episode comes from the B-story as Harry (Tom Cavanagh) reaches out to other versions of himself across the Multiverse in order to aid in the search for the illusive villain DeVoe (Neil Sandilands). While it will eventually bring the Flash (Grant Gustin) face-to-face with the much-discussed character for the first time, neither the quirky versions of Wells nor Cisco's (Carlos Valdes) rousing friendship speech can save the groan-worthy sequences (which are given far too much screentime).

Dragon Con 2017 Best Cosplay

Lucifer - Off The Record

Rather than focus on Lucifer Morningstar (Tom Ellis) or a specific crime of the week, "Off The Record" changes things up by centering an episode on someone effected by the Devil's actions and becomes obsessed with proving just who and what Lucifer is. The fact that the reporter (Patrick Fabian) is Linda's (Rachael Harris) ex-husband, who is spurred on his revenge path by an oblivious Lucifer, adds fuel to the fire. Taken place over the course of multiple seasons, we watch Reese's obsession grow until the man simply can't take it any longer.

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Justice League

Built from the worst foundation possible laid by the disastrous Man of Steel and the trainwreck which was Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, it's a wonder that Justice League is even watchable let alone entertaining. Don't get me wrong, the latest from "visionary" director Zack Snyder is beset with multiple problems, but thankfully being a dumpster fire isn't one of them. Despite issues with character, plot, editing, acting, and cinematography, Justice League does produce a flawed yet entertaining film bringing DC heroes together against a common threat. It's not the follow-up to Wonder Woman DC fans were hoping for, but it's a fair bit better than I expected from Zack Snyder and company.

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Supergirl - Midvale

Alex's (Chyler Leigh) recent break-up leads Kara (Melissa Benoist) to take her sister home to Midvale in an episode that gives us our first real look at a teenage Kara struggling with her new life on Earth. Izabela Vidovic and Olivia Nikkanen are cast as the younger version of the two characters in this Smallville-ish episode that even contains a reference to Clark's computer-wiz friend Chloe. It's a nice change of pace episode, and allows both characters time to deal with their recent loss, but it also pretty by-the-book and reminds us how lucky we are that the show chose to begin with an adult Kara rather than offering yet another awkward teen coming-of-age super-hero story.

Los Angeles Comic Con 2017 Cosplay (Part 1)

Star Wars Rebels - Rebel Assault

After several episodes teasing Thrawn's (Lars Mikkelsen) military prowess and strategy, "Rebel Assault" finally delivers a major victory for the Grand Admiral with his troops thwarting the Rebellion's attempts to destroy the Imperial factories on Lothal. After loosing an entire squadron of their best fighters and Hera (Vanessa Marshall) being taken captive by the Empire, but not before showing off some impressive piloting skills allowing the squadron to get past the first wave of Thrawn's planetary defenses, things are looking bleak for our heroes. While the immediate path for the rest of the Rebels is uncertain, Kanan (Freddie Prinze Jr.) will stop at nothing to see Hera freed... even if that means making a bargain with his unusual new friends.


The documentary from Ceyda Torun showcases the locals of Istanbul and their relationship with the street cats who roam the city and are fed, protected, and cared for by its people. Telling us as much about the people who choose to care for them as the cats themselves, from artists to fishermen to restaurant and store owners, Kedi is the kind of life-affirming documentary which will leave you feeling a little sad when you walk down the street and don't find a feline or two waiting for you.

Certainly aimed at a target audience, cat lovers will undoubtedly get more from the documentary than others. Initially choosing to follow 19 cats around the city using a special rig to offer the street level perspective of the film's four-legged stars, Torun decided to trim the film to focus on seven cats (Sari, Duman, Bengü, Aslan Parçasi, Gamsiz, Psikopat, and Deniz). along with some Samaritans who each feed and entire block of cats.

Monday, November 13, 2017

Justice League Action - System Error

"System Error" is a clever idea for an episode that fits well into the time constraints of Justice League Action. Batman (Kevin Conroy) awakes in the Batmobile confused as to how he got there and discovers his other Justice League pals are fighting odd pairings of various super-villains. Discrepancies in the villains behavior and abilities, and the League's inability to fight back against Parademons, leads the Dark Knight Detective to discover that he, Wonder Woman (Rachel Kimsey), Superman (Jason J. Lewis), Cyborg (Khary Payton), and Booster Gold (Diedrich Bader) are all robots in an elaborate simulation run by Darkseid (Jonathan Adams) who is looking for weaknesses in his enemies. What the master of Apokolips failed to count on was just how good his replicas turned out to be.

Blizzcon 2017 Cosplay (Part 1)

Hawaii Five-0 - Mōhala i ka wai ka maka o ka pua

Multiple-personality antagonists are a hard-sell as Hawaii Five-0 learns with "Mōhala i ka wai ka maka o ka pua" which casts Michael Weston as a traumatized schizophrenic off his medication who begins a series of violent acts. The unusual case allows for the return of Claire Forlani as profiler Alicia Brown who proves instrumental in ending things without further bloodshed. More of a running gag than a B-story, the episode also puts a stress counselor with McGarrett (Alex O'Loughlin) for most of the episode, hired by his friends in hopes of finding ways to lower Steve's stress. Neither storyline is all that memorable, at least not in a good way, although Danny's (Scott Caan) attempt to look out for his partner is eventually appreciated.

Atomic Robo and the Spectre of Tomorrow #1

Atomic Robo versus... the Homeowners Association? The first issue of the latest volume of Atomic Robo sees our robotic scientist/adventurer setting out for greener pastures by beginning the construction of the new Tesladyne Institute in the badlands of New Mexico’s Jornada del Muerto desert. It seems that even those who have save the Earth aren't immune to bureaucratic red tape. Introduced to the facility and various characters through they eyes of the returning Foley, we witness the frustration of of several different Tesladyne workers, including Robo himself, at the lack of progress to get the new facility up and running. Despite having only two neighbors, Robo is dragged into a homeowners meeting with Sir Richard Branson who cites enough Tesladyne infractions to halt all "progress" on the site. Poor Robo. Where's a psychotic dinosaur to hit when you need one?

Saturday, November 11, 2017


Escapes in an unconventional look at the life and career of actor/screenwriter/director Hampton Fancher most famous for his screenplays for Blade Runner and its recent sequel Blade Runner 2049. Director Michael Almereyda's take on his subject, focusing on a few key stories inter-cut with various film and television clips, archival footage, comic book panels, and stills, meanders a bit at times but succeeds in its main goal of informing its audience about Fancher's career and key moments and relationships in his life.

Jumping around a bit, opening with an extended sequence focused on Fancher's days as a struggling actor during his relationship to Teri Garr, the film is very much conversational (albeit one way) in style allowing the man to share specific memories from his life. Those looking for an in-depth analysis of acting, screenwriting, or filmmaking are likely to be disappointed. However, those curious to learn more about the man who helped create one of the most famous science fiction films of the 20th Century will no doubt get their money's worth.

Thursday, November 9, 2017

Murder on the Orient Express

2017's Murder on the Orient Express isn't the first adaptation of Agatha Christie's work, nor is likely to be the last. Director Kenneth Branagh, who also stars as Christie's famous detective Hercule Poirot, offers a stylish version of events featuring an all-star cast as mystery and murder unfold on the renown luxury passenger train which gets stuck in an avalanche with a murderer onboard. And, to make sure his performance won't be forgotten, Branagh sports some of the most bizarre facial hair you'll see on film (at least one not filed under Science Fiction).

The Blacklist - The Kilgannon Corporation

The fall of Raymond Reddington (James Spader) allowed others to swoop in and take over various aspects of his criminal network. "The Kilgannon Corporation" examines one piece of this as an Irishman with less care for his cargo runs into some very public trouble while attempting to smuggle people across international borders. Despite everyone's distaste for human trafficking, Red makes a valid argument that someone will provide the service and if that criminal doesn't take care in the lives of the refugees they are moving illegally there are going to be far more dead bodies. The choice to put Dembe (Hisham Tawfiq) in undercover heightens Red's interest in the case, especially after the FBI looses him in transport. While a bit on the nose, the conversation between Red and Liz (Megan Boone) continues to better flesh-out the connection between the two men.

Legends of Tomorrow - Return of the Mack

There's a moment when it's revealed that Mick Rory (Dominic Purcell) has kept a stake on-hand for years just on the off-chance that he runs into a a vampire that is nearly perfect. Sadly, the rest of the episode isn't nearly as entertaining. It's hard not to look at an episode like "Return of the Mack" and not see the series going two-steps backwards. Traveling to late 19th Century London to investigate an odd aberration which at first glance appears to be an a time-traveling vampire, the team encounters Rip Hunter (Arthur Darvill) on his own quest for a dangerous enemy known as Mallus. While initially choosing to work together, Hunter and the Legends part ways when Sara (Caity Lotz) refuses to allow a witch (Courtney Ford) to resurrect Damien Darhk (Neal McDonough), under the Arrow logic of since it worked once let's do the same thing again... and again... and again, while Rip wants to allow the ceremony to take place in order to draw out his real prey.

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

The Flash - Girls Night Out

"Girls Night Out" splits the cast into gender-specific groups for typical bachelor/bachelorette party episode, Flash-style. While Barry's (Grant Gustin) night is hijacked by Ralph Dinby (Hartley Sawyer), it's the ladies who get to lead the episode's main storyline which finally answers some questions about Caitlin's (Danielle Panabaker) missing months while also bulking up the roster this week with the inclusion of both Felicity (Emily Bett Rickards) and guest-star Katee Sackhoff as the D-list villain Amunet Black. While mentioned briefly pre-party, and making an appearance in the show's epilogue, DeVoe (Neil Sandilands) continues to be a mystery to Team Flash.

The Gifted - got your siX

Six episodes into the series, there's now more than a little evidence that Caitlin Stucker (Amy Acker) is the only good person, mutant or human, on the show. It seems dropping everyone in a morally ambiguous world that forces compromise and settling has pushed, or is actively pushing, all other characters in the other general direction. Even Eclipse (Sean Teale), who was loathe to give into violence with the exception of rescuing his girlfriend, is in full murder-cause-its-easy mode this week along with Polaris (Emma Dumont). Given what's coming for them and their children, and the needs of the mutant underground protecting them, both Stuckers have to make some tough choices in how involved they want their children to become in the fight against Sentinel Services and the United States Government.

Lucifer - Vegas with Some Radish

Discovering that his ex-wife Candy (Lindsey Gort) is in danger, Lucifer (Tom Ellis) abandons Chloe (Lauren German) on her birthday and heads to Las Vegas with Ella (Aimee Garcia). Although we know why Lucifer entered into the sham marriage with Candy, "Vegas with Some Radish" finally provides some details in the form of flashbacks including their meeting and the pair striking up a deal. In the present, Lucifer decides to make himself bait to lure out the killer who is after Candy's club leading to a Devil's night of Vegas crooning on stage complete with Ella dressed as a Vegas showgirl.

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Supergirl - Damage

Kevin Smith returns to direct another episode of Supergirl. While the episode's final B-story finally deals with the long-teased break-up of Alex (Chyler Leigh) and Maggie (Floriana Lima), in a very grown-up manner, the episode's B-story feels a bit more like a comic book as Moran Edge (Adrian Pasdar) returns to take some revenge. While the show eventually dumped plans for Maxwell Lord to play a larger role as a Lex Luthor stand-in, with "Damages" the show's writers go all-in on Edge as he uses the media to paint Lena Luther (Katie McGrath) as a dangerous industrialist responsible for the lead poisoning causing health issues in several of National City's children.

Star Wars Rebels - Kindred

On Lothal, surrounded by Imperials, the Rebels work quickly to get the stolen hyperdrive and TIE Interceptor plans off-world. Things are complicated by the arrival of Thrawn's (Lars Mikkelsen) assassin Rukh (Warwick Davis) whose tracking ability leads the Empire to the Rebels on multiple occasions. Following up from the previous episode, Ezra's (Taylor Gray) encounter with the Loth Wolves will be built upon, although the reasons behind it remain shrouded in mystery. As Hera (Vanessa Marshall) takes to the skies with her precious cargo, Ezra and the rest of the team follow the wolves deeper into the rocks leading them to a destination none of them could have expected.

Monday, November 6, 2017

Hawaii Five-0 - Kama' oma' o ka 'aina huli hana

As is the show's custom around Halloween, the latest episode brings a series of bizarre murders to the Five-0 task force's attention, all of which appear to have been inspired by local myth and folklore. The episode's B-story takes the long road to get Grover (Chi McBride) what he needs to take down his former best-friend who has, until now, gotten away with murdering his wife and putting a hit out on Grover. While the death row sequence involving an inmate with only hours left to live never quite pays off (and ends pretty damn gruesomely with the prisoner having to be electrocuted multiple times to finish him off) apparently the show is finally ready to put this thread to rest.

Justice League Action - It'll Take a Miracle

When Barda (Laura Post) is kidnapped by Darkseid (Jonathan Adams), Batman (Kevin Conroy) goes in search of the Mister Miracle (Roger Craig Smith) who has the only item the ruler of Apokolips is prepared to trade for - the final sequence of his Anti-Life Equation. Initially mistaking Batman for a super-hero magician, the universe's greatest escape artist refuses to listen, but when Granny Goodness (Cloris Leachman) and her Female Furies arrive Scott is forced to explain to the world's greatest detective just what Darkseid wants from him. Of course this means a trip to Apokolips and some trickery and sleight of hand before all is said and done and Darkseid is left without either his hostage or his equation.

Detective Comics #967

Tim Drake has returned, and his team is happy to see him. However, he hasn't come back alone. Another future version of Tim Drake from an alternate timeline who took on the mantle of Batman and has a far-more murdery streak in him, has also arrived in Gotham City. Seeing a change to rewrite history, future-Tim decides to kill off the one person he hold responsible for forcing him down his current path: Batwoman.