Television

sherlock-the-abominable-bride-blu-rayTaking place almost entirely in 1895, the natural habitat for Sherlock Holmes (Benedict Cumberbatch) and Doctor Watson (Martin Freeman), “The Abominable Bride” is an unusual episode that allows the modern retelling of the detective’s adventures to journey back to his original hunting grounds. After a brief reintroduction the characters, things start in earnest when Lestrade (Rupert Graves) brings the pair an unusual case of a suicidal bride whose ghost has appeared multiple times to wreak havoc.

The holiday special works fairly well until its final act where it stalls trying to incorporate the show’s current storyline with the unsolved mystery (rather than just allowing the tale to exist on its own).

Available on both Blu-ray and DVD, extras include an extended featurette on the episode and the series, a Q&A about the series, a production diary, and shorter featurettes on the show’s writing and various aspects of recreating the look of 19th Century London for the episode.

[BBC Home Entertainment, Blu-ray $21.71 / DVD $22.99]

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While Reese (Jim Caviezel) and Finch (Michael Emerson) are stuck in a medical ward attempting to prevent a deadly outbreak caused by one of Samaritan‘s agents (Joshua Close) all to kill two targets discretely, fans are likely going to be far more psyched with what’s happening in the episode’s B-story. Still fighting to differentiate between reality and the thousands of virtual reality simulations Samaritan has forced her to run, Shaw (Sarah Shahi) makes her latest escape attempt. And, at least based on what the episode offers the audience, this one might even be real.

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Just once I would like Arrow to end a season without Star City in flames. Is that too much to ask? “Schism” wraps up the season-long arc of Oliver Queen‘s (Stephen Amell) battle with Damien Darhk (Neal McDonough) for control of Star City. Despite his bunker being destroyed, Darkh reacquires A.R.G.U.S.‘ missle technology with plans to start a nuclear holocaust to wipe out all civilization on the planet. Without a plan, Oliver makes a plea to the city to prevent it from tearing itself apart its final hours. It’s that small kernel of hope which Green Arrow uses to turn the entire city against Darkh.

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With each episode in the season The Machine begins to act a little more like its old self. In “QSO” it sends Root (Amy Acker) on a few seemingly unrelated tasks before making her a producer of a conspiracy radio talk show whose on-air talent has become a threat to Samaritan after uncovering a coded radio signal the artificial intelligence uses to instruct its operatives. Failing to understand how unbelievable the truth will sound on a show dealing with UFO stories and countless government conspiracies, Samaritan marks the man for death.

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Well, that was anticlimactic. Ending the show’s Second Season on one of the weakest episodes of the series, “The Race of His Life” concludes the season-long arc of Barry‘s (Grant Gustin) battle with Zoom (Teddy Sears) with… a race? Opening with the funeral of Henry Allen (John Wesley Shipp), Barry’s friends and family decide to prevent Barry from taking revenge by imprisoning the Flash in the pipeline while they try to stop Zoom on their won. As you might expect, something goes wrong.

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Very much a product of its time, writer Garth Ennis and artist Steve Dillon‘s series Preacher fit the time and tone of 90s comics (viewed mostly as a dark time by most comic readers) with its hyper-stylized violence and edgy storytelling. Hollywood has been attempting to adapt their work for years, and AMC has finally succeeded in bringing the tale of of a small town preacher possessed with god-like powers thrown into the middle of an epic battle between good and evil to the small screen. While I think other shows, such has Carnivale, may have beat Preacher to explore similar themes I’m sure fans of the comic are cautiously optimistic that AMC can do for Preacher what it has done for The Walking Dead.

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“A More Perfect Union” balances three stories. The number of the week sends Reese (Jim Caviezel), Finch (Michael Emerson), and eventually Root (Amy Acker) all to a high-end wedding where a member of the wedding party (although not the one they initially suspect is in danger). While given the most time of all three storylines, it’s actually the one which has the least impact on the season’s arc (although the final melancholy shot of three of them at the wedding reception certainly fits the tone of the show’s final season). As expected, Fusco (Kevin Chapman) continuing to investigate the series of missing people (all of them Samaritan victims) eventually leads the detective into grave danger as the computer’s agents cover up their tracks. Has another agent of The Machine met their end? I’m not betting on it just yet.

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Following his inability to save the lives of his wife and son, the crippling of the Time Masters’ ability to view and control history, and Captain Cold (Wentworth Miller) sacrificing his life for the team’s freedom, Rip Hunter (Arthur Darvill) decides to abandon his compatriots back in 2016. Finding it hard to readjust to their old lives, and unable to leave their job unfinished, the group brings Hunter back to 2016 (in a manner that isn’t all that well explained) to convince the Time Master to let them help rescue Kendra (Ciara Renée) from 1944 France.

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In an episode that actually shows us very little of the super-powered Damien Darhk (Neal McDonough), Oliver (Stephen Amell) and Diggle (David Ramsey) discover the madman’s underground suburb and search for a kidnapped Thea (Willa Holland) while Felicity (Emily Bett Rickards), the Calculator (Tom Amandes), and Curtis (Echo Kellum) work to try and stop Darhk from starting nuclear armageddon.

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killjoys-season-one-blu-raySet in a dystopian future, Killjoys follows the adventures of bounty hunting team Dutch (Hannah John-Kamen) and John (Aaron Ashmore) flying all over the quadrant on missions to bring in criminals. The pair’s dynamic is changed when John’s older brother D’Avin (Luke Macfarlane), a fellow soldier with plenty of baggage, joins the team.

Lasting only 10 episodes, the show’s First Season offers a couple of ongoing storylines to supplement the job of the week. Along with the friction between brothers, D’Avin’s past coming back to haunt him, and the growing unrest of the populace and a burgeoning rebellion, Dutch’s past as a super-assassin is teased throughout the season by the return of her mentor Khlyen (Rob Stewart) who wants her back. Highlights include Dutch forced to hunt down a friend, John dealing with the sudden escalation of Dutch and D’Avin’s relationship, and the team coming across a haunted spaceship.

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