Here’s a wrap of some of my favorite moments, scenes, or characters this past week. I take a look at Scorpion, The Flash, iZombie, Arrow, Supernatural, Criminal Minds, The Vampire Diaries, and Grimm.
With that said, here we go!
This freshman CBS series is fun and not meant to be taken seriously, in the action/suspense department that is; however, the emotional department is quite serious, and this is where this show shines. In this season finale entitled “Postcards from the Edge,” Walter – the most emotionally disconnected in this emotionally dysfunctional lot, shows just how much everyone means to him as he says good bye and I love you all while dangling off a cliff awaiting the inevitable rapid descent with a sudden and very violent stop. Every character is given a moment to shine, not only in Walter’s memories, but in the action of saving him, and several characters reach some decisions about actions they were about to take or had already taken. It’s not quite a cliffhanger – which is fine, but it does tie up several threads from the first season and set the stage for where things may go come season 2. Scorpion earned its renewal on CBS by earning live numbers at or near CBS’ powerhouse NCIS several times during the season, and makes for a nice bridge between the 8:00 p.m. comedies to the 10:00 p.m. action oriented, and always over the top in explosions, NCIS:LA. Scorpion’s action is fun, over the top, and enjoyed best with tongue in cheek with a large bowl of popcorn nearby. I’m glad it will be back come fall.
Who is Harrison Wells brings everyone much closer to the truth, about Harrison Wells, and about Thawne – and what is Eddie to do once he realizes the connection? – and Iris is so much closer to the truth about The Flash. All that going on in Central City, but it’s the crossover with some characters from Arrow’s universe that I enjoyed the most. Lance and Joe had a great, meaningful scene as two cops and two fathers. The fact that each of their lives, professionally and personally, intersects with vigilantes and/or metahumans had nothing to do with the gravitas of this scene. Lance talks about his deep pain at Laurel’s lie, and it resonates with Joe – who is in the reverse situation with Iris. Joe needed to hear about the pain of betrayal and loss of trust, while Lance needed the reminder that despite it all, Laurel is still his daughter. Both men absorbed the other’s point of view. Now, what they do with it remains to be seen, but I’m betting both of them find a new perspective and move forward with their lives and interactions with those around them. I enjoy these crossovers, so keep them coming. They are enjoyable and build the universe between the two shows in a way that is believable and enriching. Yes the timing is a touch off, as Laurel shouldn’t have been quite so happy, since Thea died and Roy left and Oliver’s world is crumbling, but then again, perhaps she’s just taking a much-earned breather from all the bad that’s going on, while continuing to move forward. Plus, if we’re really to quibble, didn’t Barry’s undoing of the timeline change everything in Arrow’s universe as well? That would be great, because so far not a fan of the LoA thing – oh, well, best not to ponder these scheduling things too deeply. Just enjoy.
Speaking of enjoying, finally David Anders gets a role that is more than a one-shot and he’s dead. Blaine is a businessman, whose business happens to be murder, for profit. Really, what is a hungry zombie to do when his one source for brains, without killing, is refused him? Why, start your own business, of course. Does he turn people into zombies to ensure a steady supply of customers? After all, he is a businessman, or is he just looking for investors. He has a tidy little business – that is wholly made on murder, and working for him is quite dangerous; not your normal delivery job, death is very possible at the hands of a hungry client. Used to be you only had to worry about rude customers and poor tippers. David Anders is delicious in this role. (I went there, yup, I did.) I do wonder when we’re going to see him dealing with the effects of eating others’ brains. Also, what would happen if he starts ingesting the brains from two or more people, you know, because his chef makes a large batch of something requiring multiple sources? Now that would be interesting.
Keep ‘em coming, iZombie. You just might earn a slot on the fall lineup; although this would be enjoyable over the summer run as well, especially as The CW is seeking to have more original programming year round.
I’m still up in the air about all this League of Assassin stuff. How does the show continue to be called Arrow if he’s not the Arrow anymore? I do like that Ray is pretty much gone from Felicity’s world romantically. While it’s clear the Oliver and Felicity love affair (if that’s the right term) will be tumultuous at best, at least the triangle stupidity is gone. Diggle and Maseo had some great moments here, with their scenes being my favorites this week, and the drama with Thea and Malcolm continues to make no sense. I feel bad for the girl for all the tragedy in her life but at this point, I hope she kills Malcolm and in so doing ends up killing herself in the process. The show will be just fine without either of these two in it anymore – and really, nothing would change and no one, aside from Oliver will miss them – but since Oliver is no longer Oliver…
Robert Berens is fast becoming my favorite writer. He easily dips into the show’s history, not only in regards to the characters but in regards to themes and brings them forward to the present all while moving the current storylines forward. His characterizations are accurate, dialogue is sharp – yes, he’s got the goods. Please give him more scripts next season, please. The Werther Project has shades of What Is and What Should Never Be, No Rest For the Wicked, the themes of who am I, why do I do what I do, and where am I going from here all wrapped in one episode.
Each brother battles with his subconscious with various characters playing into the thought process. It’s interesting that Dean’s mind conjures a friend while Sam’s an enemy. I think the choices are illuminating, as well as Dean’s continual efforts at being open, mostly, and apologizing immediately for his mistakes. Dean is making peace with his impending death – or whatever it is that’s coming, and so he’s keeping his accounts short. Also, because he is mostly at peace with what is coming, he can talk to a friend: Benny.
Sam is very conflicted with what’s going on, lying to Dean, consorting with Rowena, as well as Dean’s impending demise, so his subconscious gives him no allies with which to speak, instead it gives him guilt and subterfuge. Unlike Dean, Sam is so consumed with his love for his brother and his desperation to save him that he does not see that everything is an illusion. Dean, however, is clear about what is going on, even as he continues to seek ways to delay what he deems to be inevitable, so he is able to quickly discern that Benny isn’t real and that he’s trapped in his mind.
I love that the brothers didn’t actually enter into the spell’s hold until they separated, at which point the spell immediately took command. Also noteworthy is that it took the blood of two legacies to open the lock, once again reminding us, and the brothers, that they are in this together. Finally, Dean gives voice to a theme we’ve heard and seen many times over the ten seasons of this shows: they’re stronger together, and things go sideways when they separate. Sam hasn’t fully absorbed that lesson here, because he’s still keeping Rowena a secret from Dean; but I chalk that up to his clear obsession not to lose his brother again. It hasn’t been his fault any of the times that Dean has been lost, any more than having demon blood inside of him made him responsible for Mary’s death or any of the other things Azazel did, but Sam is a man of great depth and personal responsibility – even when it’s not his to own, and whatever is to come with Dean and the MoC, Sam feels the heavy weight of the burden. Nothing, not Bobby’s words of encouragement, not Dean’s calm acceptance, not Castiel’s and Charlie’s assistance and presence, nothing is going to lighten that load.
The Werther Project was another fine installment this season, which has seen many fine installments to my mind. Thank you, Robert Berens!
The Vampire Diaries
Congratulations to Candice Accola for an excellent turn as humanity-less Caroline, but I am glad she’s back. These types of arcs are best served in small courses. I am glad it was Stefan’s use of the dream sequence that allowed her to see Stefan’s conversation with her mom and to understand just where his feelings were at before, but it won’t help with the heavy loss of her mother’s last letter. I really wanted some vampire-ish magic to have hidden the real letter away so Caroline could savor it later, but the loss of it feels organic, and will be a punishing blow to Caroline, and hopefully a lesson. As for the best moment, for me, in this episode, well, there are two. First up, I love that Bonnie wasn’t giving Damon what he wanted. Too often Bonnie sacrifices for others and ends up paying the price for it. Here, she demands that Damon be truthful: he doesn’t want Elena to have the cure. As a great follow-up moment to that, Lily turns out to be quite insightful, even if she has lost touch with her emotional connection to her sons, she does know them, and I love that it was she who made the cure available to Elena. Damon’s look of shock, horror, and confusion as Elena realized what was available to her was priceless.
This show is at its best when it focuses on the psychological aspects of the BAU, and when the team’s interaction is front and center, not the unsubs and the cruelty they inflict. Mr. Scratch was a mind-bending episode that makes you question much of what you saw. The beauty of this episode is that it took Arron “Hotch” Hotchner down that rabbit hole, but allowed him to come out the victor – at least for now, because if we’ve learned anything in the show’s ten-year run, it’s that Hotch is a rock, and no one gets the upper hand on him in the end. This week’s unsub used a combination of drugs and profiling skills to target and exploit his victims’ worst fears, and then he suggested courses of action that led to murder. What he didn’t count on, however, was emotions and bonds stronger than the fears he exploited. In one case, a father’s love drove a man to commit suicide, rather than kill his own son. In Hotch’s case, it was his overwhelming instinct for survival, and his experience with evil superior to Mr. Scratch that enabled him to overcome. Scratch’s game turned against him when he believed himself superior and gave Hotch his gun, thinking Hotch would use it on his team; Hotch, in turn, shot at Scratch, allowing his team the upper hand and saving Hotch from his worst nightmare: the deaths of his team.
The end of the episode makes it clear that this unsub has inflicted great mental harm on the team’s leader and supreme hero; however, my experience with this show makes it clear that my excitement for the potentialities of this storyline are to be tempered with the reality that this show rarely follows up on these types of events in any meaningful way. While I do expect some follow up to occur, it likely will occur as more of a one-off without any buildup, and we’ll have to wait until deep into the show’s eleventh season – and, yes, I do believe Criminal Minds will see an eleventh season. Still Mr. Scratch goes down as one its trippiest episodes ever, and Matthew Gray Gubler has another notch to his directing belt as he showcased some of the best moments from not only his castmates and this week’s villain, but also gave us intriguing shots that only added to the distinctive themes and atmosphere of this episode.
As much as I have enjoyed the trailer, I’m kind of happy that it’s gone. It will certainly lead to a new research venue, which for a show in its fourth season; it’s not a bad thing to shake up the familiar. Grimm certainly is unafraid to shake things up what with Adalind and Nick now in an uneasy alliance, Juliette and Nick potentially on the permanent outs, the trailer gone, and finally a Royal with some menace, who takes action and gets results. This new guy has only been around a few episodes and already he is making the most of his time. The Royals as a whole bore me because all they seem to do is stand around, or sit around, and eat and drink. Granted, that’s what happened here also, at the end, but at least this guy got Juliette turned to his side, for now, and boy, if only he really knew what knowledge she possessed – the location of a key. If memory serves (and I could be wrong here) Nick and Juliette were together when he gave Rosalee the key to hide somewhere safe. This newest Royal is only a little bit of torture away from having his fingers on a key. I’m still not a fan of the whole Adalind sleeps with all three of the leading men and ends up pregnant by two of them, and Juliette is once again on the outs from the gang and not listening to anyone. I’m not sure if the writers are trying to run a theme through this show of love who you are and love who you love despite everything – something Monroe and Rosalee have successfully managed to do, but Juliette and Nick are a mess as a couple, which frankly makes me hope that by the end of this season they’re broken up and Marie’s advice to Nick hits home hard: Break it off with her and never see her again. Then again, these writers might just be able to pull off a successful Grimm and Hexenbiest love affair similar to Rosalee and Monroe. Time will tell. We’re down to the last few episodes and it’s not getting any better in Portland from the looks of next week’s promo.
There you have it for April 20th to the 24th from me. I’ll see you again last week. Thanks for reading, Elle2