Television

once-upon-a-time-page-23

While Hook (Colin O’Donoghue) does some soul searching after Emma (Jennifer Morrison) discovers the pirate’s secret, the main focus of “Page 23” is the end of the Evil Queen (Lana Parrilla) storyline. Retrieving the Shears of Destiny, the Evil Queen uses them to separate herself permanently from Regina allowing the pair to duke it out one last time. While I’m not surprised that neither woman ends up dead, I always expected Regina to reabsorb the Queen back into herself. I’ll give the writers credit for finding a third option that allows each character to get their own happy ending and allows Regina to perform one of the most heroic acts seen on the show. Points for tying the whole thing back to the mysterious “extra” page in the storybook as well.

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samurai-jack-episode-xciv-4

“Episode XCIV” offers a return to form for our hero, a flashback to his childhood, a deadly battle with the Daughters of Aku in the middle of a snowstorm, and the return of the wolf from the previous episodes who gives Jack (Phil LaMarr) the help and time he needs to heal before his enemies come knocking at his door. Highlighted by the battle between Jack and the Daughters, the preceding respite gives the shattered samurai the strength to stand against his enemies (and allows the show to further show off the new enemies). The flashback to his father’s heroism and lessons about destiny turns out to be the cherry on top reminding Jack who he as a critical juncture where giving up could have been an easy choice. Taking out each Daughter with deadly efficiency, my only complaint is the episode’s cliffhanger ending leaving the fate of both the final Daughter and Jack in doubt, forcing us to wait an entire week for more Samurai Jack.

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legion-chapter-7

“Chapter 7” begins to offer answers. With David (Dan Stevens) and his friends still locked away in the mental institution of his mind, and David further segmented from the group in the deepest recesses of his mind, Lenny (Aubrey Plaza) now controls all. Working through his troubles with another aspect of himself, David is able to piece together some basic facts about himself and the other consciousness which has been with him nearly his entire life. For those waiting for Legion’s paternity to be revealed there’s an awfully big reveal here. As for Lenny, he/she finally has a name.

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the-flash-duet

“Duet” made me angry. Not because the musical episode failed to impress. No, the episode infuriated me because this is what I want from both Supergirl and The Flash and somehow you just know the writers of both shows will ignore all that works here as each show gets stuck back in the grim and grittiness of its current storylines. “Duet” is what I want both shows to be: bright, fun, energetic, and hopeful. This shouldn’t be a standout. This should be the bar both shows attempt to reach every single week. This year Supergirl has been more successful than The Flash in the regard, but both have struggled juggling darker themes and unnecessarily convoluted relationship drama getting in the way of the fun. I’m not saying never get serious, but embrace more zany hopeful storylines so that when you do need to take a serious moment it will have all the more impact (as opposed to episodes of moping or acting like a dick for weeks at a time to those who love and rely on you).

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iron-fist-episode4-4

If the first two episodes of Iron Fist are about reintroducing Danny Rand (Finn Jones) to New York City, the second pair are about him reclaiming his family name. Free from the mental asylum (which apparently is fine, because no one ever peruses the escaped mental patient), but unable to claim his name from the Meechams, Danny hires Hogarth (Carrie-Anne Moss) to fight for 51% of the company his father built. This becomes increasingly hard with Ward‘s (Tom Pelphrey) cronies destroying ever piece of evidence that Danny ever existed. Netflix’s TV universe continues to connect its shows only through supporting characters. Hogarth shows in a few episodes this season, and we’ll soon be seeing a certain nurse as well.

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supergirl-star-crossed

The arrival of Mon-El‘s (Chris Wood) parents on Earth reveals his princely secret to Kara (Melissa Benoist) causing an immediate strain on their relationship. Kara’s unwillingness to forgive either his lies or the fact that Mon-El is the prince of a society which is the antithesis of her Kryptonian heritage and ideals appears to have ended the relationship before it began in earnest. While the show enjoys some fan casting here with Teri Hatcher cast as Mon-El’s mother, the role doesn’t really allow her to do much (and unfortunately also doesn’t bring her into contact with her former Lois & Clark co-star). While she’s good, and has one nice one-on-one scene with Kara, I would have preferred the show given her something more to do. Apparently she and Kevin Sorbo will be sticking around for at least one more episode so maybe there’s more to come.

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elementary-the-ballad-of-lady-frances

“The Ballad of Lady Frances” is one of those mysteries where nothing is initially what it appears to be. When an experimental new monitoring device captures the murder and torture of a construction worker refusing to give up the location of Frances, Holmes (Jonny Lee Miller) and Watson (Lucy Liu) begin scouring the man for a woman in his life who may also be in danger. What they uncover instead is a missing guitar worth millions that it’s owner (Meat Loaf) is willing to kill to get back. Further investigation into the crime uncovers corruption within the city’s new surveillance system and the motive for a second, far more expensive, murder.

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once-upon-a-time-ill-boding-patterns

Since the show’s beginning, Rumpelstiltskin (Robert Carlyle) has been one of its most interesting characters. While I still feel Once Upon a Time did itself a disservice but not allowing the character to continue the heroic turn he began last season, an episode like “Ill-Boding Patterns” does show us there’s more to the Evil One than just a quest for power. With the flashbacks taking us back to the Ogre War and the current storyline focused on Gideon‘s (Giles Matthey) attempts to kill Emma (Jennifer Morrison), both pieces of the episode delve into the role of Rumpelstiltskin and his role as a father protecting both his sons against a darkness he knows all too well. An admitted coward, Rumpelstiltskin has never shied away from protecting his sons from danger.

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star-wars-rebels-twin-suns-1

The long-teased showdown between Maul (Sam Witwer) and Obi-Wan Kenobi (Stephen Stanton) finally arrives. Alerted to Maul’s plan by the Holocrons, Ezra (Taylor Gray) ignores orders to stay and help the Rebellion ready themselves for the fight to retake Lothal. Instead, Ezra and Chopper head to Tatooine in search of Maul, not realizing that the former Sith Lord is using Ezra to lead him to the Jedi Mater in exile. By the end of the episode Ezra will learn a valuable lesson about understanding and trusting his place in events, and Kenobi and Maul will square off for the last time.

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samurai-jack-episode-xciii-1

After defeating the latest version of the Beetle Drone, Jack (Phil LaMarr) is attacked on all sides by the the quick-moving Daughters of Aku who soon destroy the samurai’s arsenal, motorcycle, and weapons leaving Jack to hide from the group inside an abandoned temple. As we saw in the first episode of this season, this version of Jack has been worn down mentally by the constant battle with Aku’s robots of destruction. Initially taking the Daughters to be machines, Jack uses the shadows of the temple to hide until he can make his escape. However, before doing so he will make a discovery while whittling down the daughters’ number by one. Jack survives the encounter, barely, but will he survive the season?

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