Media Rack

arrow-corto-maltese

In an episode used to continue to develop Arrow‘s supporting characters and move them a bit further on their journey to likely one-day becoming full members of Team Arrow, Oliver (Stephen Amell) and Roy (Colton Haynes) head down to Corto Maltese to convince Thea (Willa Holland) to return with them to Starling City unaware that she’s been living and training with her not-so-dead father Malcolm Merlyn (John Barrowman) for the past several months. Doing a favor for Lyla (Audrey Marie Anderson), Diggle (David Ramsey) accompanies the group to find a member of A.R.G.U.S. that turns out to be more complicated than he was led to believe and plants a seed of doubt about A.R.G.U.S. which may come to bloom later this season (especially if he learns of Ollie’s own experiences with the group).

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Other than being forced to live their days in their new cover identities and be far more careful of helping the numbers delivered to them by The Machine, the world of Finch (Michael Emerson) and his friends hasn’t been largely effected by Samaritan going online. That all changes here. In an episode that offers flashbacks to Harold’s own difficult creating a trustworthy artificial intelligence, “Prophets” showcases what a system without his painstakingly-created safeguards is capable of accomplishing in almost perfect secrecy.

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Stuck in a no-win situation, Raina (Ruth Negga) attempts to appeal first to Skye’s father (Kyle MacLachlan) and then to Coulson (Clark Gregg) in order to retrieve the obelisk before Daniel Whitehall (Reed Diamond) makes good on his threats. Jeopardizing Simmons‘ (Elizabeth Henstridge) undercover mission as a scientist for HYDRA, Raina hopes to force Coulson’s hand and tempt Skye (Chloe Bennet) into meeting the man she has been searching for her entire life. Luckily for Simmons, S.H.I.E.L.D.’s new director has a plan-B.

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the-blacklist-the-front-1

While Reddington (James Spader) reaches out to both an asset at the DMV (Clark Middleton) and Aram (Amir Arison) to find his missing daughter (Scottie Thompson), the FBI work to track down a cult whose leader (Michael Laurence) plans to use a sample of plague to cure the world of the evils of humanity by infecting his followers and spreading the disease across the globe. Red’s trips to the DMV provide the episode’s lighter moments while the tension of the episode comes from the plague plot which eventually is squelched but not before infecting both Lizzie and Navabi (Mozhan Marnò).

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earth-2-new-52-27-power-girl

With Power Girl and the Huntress returned to their own Earth, and the latest issue of Worlds’ Finest turning its attention away from the heroines, I decided I’d give Earth-2 a shot. Despite the fact it concerns a dystopian world still fighting armies of Apokolips, I was pleasantly surprised in this character-driven story centered on the relationships of Kara, Helena, Thomas Wayne, Red Tornado, and Val-Zod. Whether intentional or not, the current feel of Earth 2 (with a black Superman, elderly Batman, and robotic Lois Lane) feels more like the early days of Marvel’s Ultimate line than the New 52.

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the-flash-things-you-cant-outrun-1

In an episode that builds on the backstory of both Caitlin Snow (Danielle Panabaker) and Cisco Ramon (Carlos Valdes) by offering flashbacks to the night of the accelerator accident which appeared to kill Caitlin’s fiance (Robbie Amell), “Things You Can’t Outrun” features the Flash (Grant Gustin) attempting to stop the Mist (Anthony Carrigan) from completing a killing spree whose intended victims include Joe West (Jesse L. Martin).

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scorpion-plutonium-is-forever

Tensions run high when the team is brought in to stop a nuclear meltdown at a government facility using antiquated (and failing) technology which should have long ago been retired or replaced. If the situation wasn’t stressful enough, the team also has to deal with the man responsible for bringing the situation to Scorpion’s attention: former member Mark Collins (Joshua Leonard) who no one, aside from possibly Walter (Elyes Gabel), is happy to see return.

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uncanny-xmen-2013-27-plan

In an issue that teases possible serious repercussions for both teams of X-Men going forward, Cyclops reluctantly agrees to help Wolverine‘s team and S.H.I.E.L.D. stop Matthew Malloy before the mutant is overcome by his restored powers no longer kept in check by the recently deceased Charles Xavier.

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castle-childs-play

murder mystery involving the seemingly-unrelated deaths of an ice-cream truck driver, mob enforcer, and retired police officer send Castle (Nathan Fillion) undercover at a local elementary school in hopes of uncovering the identity of a 2nd Grade witness to one of the shootings. While dealing with twentysome unruly children and a teacher (Michael Hyatt) with serious doubts about their plan, the mystery writer will have to find a way to forge a bond strong enough with the class hoping that one student will fill safe enough to come forward with what they saw.

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batgirl-new-52-35-crash

DC Comics’ decision to end Stephanie Brown‘s days as Batgirl reinstating Barbara Gordon as the character with the launch of the New 52 never sat right with me. First, despite loving writer Gail Simone‘s work, I don’t want a gritty Batgirl comic. Second, Stephanie brought a youthful energy to the character that had been lacking for years. And third, Barbara Gordon (handicap and all) is a far more interesting character as Oracle rather than a role she outgrew years ago (long before being confined to a wheelchair).

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