The first full week of October brings not only lovely fall foliage in the northeast USA, but also the return of all of my favorite CW shows. I remember several years ago when these shows premiered two weeks ahead of all the rest of the network shows, in an effort to boost ratings and hook viewers. I must say, I do prefer this new schedule, as it draws out the fall premieres, as well as shortens the winter break.
With that bit of nostalgia, as it were, out of the way, let’s get down to the goodies, and there were plenty.
Welcome back to The Flash, iZombie, Arrow, Supernatural, and The Vampire Diaries. All five of these shows have some similar themes in common, rising from the ashes, new beginnings, darkness within – and without, as well as enemies far and near, add to that the abundance of flashbacks, and even some flash forwards, and The CW has me hooked in various degrees of joy over these five shows.
In the coming weeks it is my goal to spend a little bit of time with each show on a given week and assess where things are, so for now I’ll just hit some highlights.
Team Flash has done some growing up. While the team is fractured to a certain degree at the outset, by the end of the premiere they are back stronger than ever and with a certain understanding that everyone has a stake in this team, no matter what. Ronnie and Eddie are both dead – at least in this timeline – but their sacrifices have served to drive the team forward. With the opening of the alternate timeline, there is great potential for storylines this year: old favorites, enemy and ally alike, could return, plus Barry will find a new mentor to assist him in learning about his abilities.
While I love that Henry is freed from jail, his immediate departure seemed unnecessarily rushed. I’m understanding that he needs to recover from 15 years of imprisonment, but seeing him adjust a bit to life in the world, while also learning how to fit in his son’s life, both public and hidden hero persona, while getting his feet under him and then venturing forth would have been nice. We’ll see how this is all handled going forward, but it did seem unnatural that Henry, who had no idea his release from jail was imminent, is or was prepared to head off a new life.
Similarly out of place was Iris’s absolute joie de vivre. While she was afforded one brief, and meaningful, moment at the precinct when she saw Eddie’s picture amongst the fallen, the rest of her time seemed utterly focused on Barry’s well-being and moving on with her life. Yes, six months has passed, but I would have liked to see a bit more.
There’s still 22 episodes to go, though, so we’ll see how these, and other things, are handled going forward.
The Flash is fun and fresh and energetic as ever, and this opening episode hit all the right notes for me as it settled the events from last season, tied up a few loose threads (Henry, notably, as well as explaining how and why Barry and Co. can still use S.T.A.R. Labs as their headquarters) and laid out some new storylines going forward. Should be fun.
IZombie surprised me last year as an enjoyable show. The cast has good chemistry together and the storylines are not too overwrought with melodrama, although Liv not telling her family what she has become does wear thin. At least it doesn’t command the main focus of the show. Still, Liv will have to make some decisions regarding mending fences with her family again. The push pull on her to find a cure, all while embracing her inner zombie in order to solve crime keeps me coming back, mostly because Rose McIver is excellent at embodying whatever persona she is handed week in and week out as a side effect to those brains she consumes.
I read that the producers intend to use Rahul Kohli more, Ravi, and I say, fabulous! He pretty much steals every scene he is in, and his chemistry with McIver’s Liv is just too much fun.
David Anders remains smarmy and slimy and I’m glad he remains a foe for Liv. He’s all about business and clearly adaptable to whatever comes his way. His scenes, like Kohli’s are ones I frequently rewind just to watch the performance a second, or third, time.
The Flash and iZombie make my Tuesday night must-see schedule.
Arrow has a lot to make up after last season’s convoluted mess. The premiere did take strides in the right direction. I love that each season has Oliver running at the opening. (At least I think Season 3 did. Someone might fact check me on this one.) This time Oliver’s running is towards his new home with Felicity. I also think this is a nod to Oliver’s mindset: he is, and likely always will be, running. He might be running for salvation or trying to punish himself for a death, or merely to keep in shape, but Oliver is always going to be running, to, from, after…it doesn’t matter. Oliver’s ghosts keep him going, no matter how many recipes he shares with a new friend.
I enjoyed the Felicity and Oliver scenes. It is nice to see them so comfortable and in tune with each other. It is also nice that while Felicity will continue, no doubt, to have some silly things come out of her mouth, she has matured as well.
The team overall has matured with both Thea and Laurel clearly capable of their respective roles, so much so that when Diggle goes home to Lyla and Sara, Thea heads out on the streets for recon, and Oliver makes no comment.
I loved the writing for those moments when both Felicity and Lyla had talks with their men. Lyla’s words to Diggle were exactly what he needed to hear, and while Dig isn’t all in on the forgiveness front – and his words were quite brutal to Oliver regarding his inability to love or trust anyone – Diggle clearly listens to Lyla.
Arrow had to ruin a good thing though by having Oliver stand all alone in front of a camera, with the team watching from the sidelines, and give a cheesy speech about being there for the city once and for all, only now doing so as the Green Arrow. I get that comics are cheesy, but sometimes this show goes too far. Last season’s speech and this one were groan-worthy moments. Whoever is writing, directing, and approving those scenes on the editing floor have partaken of a little too much bourbon – and not the janky kind that Alaric was drinking on The Vampire Diaries.
Eleven seasons in and Supernatural still has my heart. There’s been some rough times between me and the show but Season 11 feels fresh, even as it has gone back to the basics: Saving people, hunting things; the family business. At this point, I’m willing to forgive that both brothers are holding something back from the other. In Sam’s case, I’m pretty confident his, shall we say, ‘oversight’ is going to come to a head quickly. And while I don’t like Dean’s ‘oversight’, he is pretty much at the beginning stages of trying to absorb the last 24 hours or so. Let us not forget that this episode picked right up after the end of “Brother’s Keeper’s” events. So to say the least, Dean has a lot to absorb right now, Charlie’s death is still fresh, massacring the Styne family is also fresh, plus the death of, well, Death (which begs the question of who is reaping those people killed not only by the infected people, but those who are also infected? I’m sure that will be addressed shortly. At least I hope so.). I’m going to give him a pass in that he is still trying to figure out what everything means.
Like Nightsky at TWFB, as long as these matters that both brother is keeping back comes to light sooner rather than later, and each gives the other a pass on it – because, really, do we need blame here? I say, no. Let’s agree that they’re both a bit overwhelmed – then I’ll give them a pass as well.
“Out of the Darkness, Into the Fire” started the season well, with all four characters having a part in the story, even as Crowley’s was mostly filler until the end. While I didn’t care for the Crowley scenes Mark wasn’t in, it was mostly due to the ridiculous subject matter. The actress did a believable Crowley for me both in physical mannerisms as well as vocal delivery.
Wednesday nights are all about Arrow and Supernatural, with a little Criminal Minds caught on the DVR, because I can’t let Thomas Gibson go just yet, even as the cases overall are boring.
The Vampire Diaries rounded out my CW viewing for the week, and like the other four shows its premiere set out a wide range of possibilities for the season. While I do not get that Bonnie is suddenly Damon’s best friend — good friend, sure. Best friend? No. She’s Elena’s best friend, and for Elena’s sake, he’ll protect Bonnie, but his best friend? Nah — their scenes are good and at times great. Not denying that. I did enjoy watching the two of them team up to kill the first of what I hope will be all of the heretics, and soon. Lily is fascinating, but the rest of the gang was downright boring. I enjoyed them about as much as I enjoyed the Michaelson gang – which is to say not at all, although Rebekah was a cool character.
I get that Caroline needs some time to heal, but not sure I get that it is Stefan who made this a thing. Actually, it was Caroline that made their friendship into more of a thing, then got all pouty when Stefan wasn’t certain, even as bad Caroline was fantastic, but turning around now and making this all awkward because of Stefan is boring and stupid. Thankfully, at least for now, Caroline has decided to follow her heart and her friendship with Stefan and they’ve both stepped forward together. Of course, Enzo ruins all that by being once again a poorly written character, motive wise, and has gone and joined Lily’s side and kidnapped Caroline.
I’m hopeful that Enzo will figure some things out sooner rather than later, or get killed off. Really, this is the guy who last season said he was all about Damon and sacrificing himself for Damon and being the only one who grieved for Damon, blah, blah, blah. Yeah, not what I saw. Here, when given a chance to pick the side of Damon– after spectacularly telling Lily off earlier – he simply joins up with Lily and imperils the Salvatores. So far, Ms. Plec, I’m not seeing the course correction you indicated would happen. But, it is still very, very early in the season, so I’ll be patient.
The best parts for me about this show remain the times the Salvatore brothers are together in a scene. It was no different here. I enjoyed the flash forwards we were treated to, and am looking forward to finding out what’s going on and how we get there. Ms. Plec says they’ve mapped out the entire season pretty carefully, although things will always crop up. Could be fun.
Without Elena, I didn’t think the show missed a beat. I’m a fan of Nina Dobrev’s work on this show, especially whenever she portrayed Katherine Pierce, but the departure of the star, as well as the main focus, has the show moving on in fine form. As long as Damon and Stefan are the focus, in part or whole, I’m likely to keep enjoying the ride.
That’s it for this week other than these two bits:
First up, Blindspot earned its full season order! Congratulations! I am enjoying this show. Clearly the writers believe they have plenty of story to tell, because three episodes in we already know quite a bit. I’m glad they are giving us some answers though. Too long of a tease and you wind up being, well, nothing but a tease. Give a little here and there to keep things moving. I’m enjoying the cast as well and find myself watching the whole episode, rather than just certain scenes when someone charismatic is on.
Second, check out this excellent footage from Person of Interest’s Season 5 from New York Comic Con. Oh, how I love this show!
Until next week, possibly, thanks for reading, Elle2