On The D/L

Apr 6, 2014 | Posted by in TV

Little late this one due to some technical difficulties as well as an uncharacteristically busy schedule but here it is, a round up of what is last week’s television. (week beginning 24/03)

Family Guy – Season 12 – Episode 14 – “Fresh Heir”

Surprisingly a funny episode I’m not ashamed to say. The problem with reviewing an episode of Family Guy is that there’s often not a lot to say about it, it’s not as if anything resembling character development happens and anything that goes on will fail to make any cohesive sense in subsequent episodes.

The sheer lunacy of the week is that Peter is sick of his father in law disliking him and now allowing him access to his considerable funds, this has been done before but being in the twelfth season it’s bound to happen again. It just so happens that old Carter starts to warm to Chris which means that Chris is put in his grandfather’s will to inherit pretty much everything. Peter’s only possible response to this is to marry Chris so that he can get his share of the wealth.

It’s completely ridiculous but just like Family Guy at its best the episode readily commits to this insanity and actually managed to bring out some decent laughs in the process. All I can really say is that I very much enjoyed this one.

How I Met Your Mother – Season 9 Episode 22 – “The End of the Aisle”

Well folks, it’s here at last – the moment that has been stretched out over the course of an entire season has finally arrived. Barney and Robin FINALLY tie the not in this episode after a little more posturing.

Both bride and groom have their individual breakdowns as can be expected from this sort of episode. Robin’s breakdown takes the form of feeling like not finding the locket that she buried some years previous as a sign that this isn’t meant to be. Barney’s breakdown has him struggling to write his wedding vows and picking apart the vows that Marshal and Lily made, insisting that they never stick to them.

I liked this episode a lot, there were some excellent character moments and the event that the previous 21 episodes had been building towards paid off nicely. Further development has been given to the Ted and Robin pairing despite the fact that it feels out of place now, it is nice that the show acknowledges that it is out of place but I’m left wondering why they keep bringing it up, especially so close to the end of the show. This is the episode where we find out how Robin met “The Mother” and how important that exchange was in context of the events.

The jokes were great, I really enjoyed the resolution of the Ringbear gag that has been there all season and the jokes about Marshal and Lily’s vows were great, all of the characters were at their best in this episode. It was nice to see them all front and center as well given all the returning cameos over the course of the season.

The 100 – Season 1 Episode 2 – “Earth Skills”

Despite the first outing being plagued by several issues I saw fit to watch this again and I’m still not hating it. Now that we’re into the second episode I’m buying more into the ridiculous premise in so far as it’s all business as usual now.

It picks up seconds after the end of the last one where everyone runs away from the seemingly imminent attack and…nothing happens, they are aware that other people are around though so that’s something.

The teenage society has already started to fracture into untold chaos, Bob Morley’s Bellamy has decided that he should be the leader but he also says that he enjoys chaos…those two things don’t really mesh together for me but there it is. As ideas go this isn’t really a bad one, a group of teenagers might act like this when put in the situation of having to survive together while not necessarily liking each other too much. Bellamy as a leader is a bad idea but I think a lot of the characters know that. The fact that he strings his sister’s crush up in the wilderness and leaving him -perhaps to die- says everything about him, as leaders go he will rule with violence and won’t hesitate to turn on his friends -or people he knows- for disobeying him. All this guy did was kiss his sister and his punishment was to be tied up and left for dead, harsh times.

Society seems to be initially dividing into those who take off their vital sign transmitting wristbands and those who don’t. The ones that don’t will not be entitled to benefits like food and protection. This divide should prove interesting as people start to get fed up of Bellamy’s “chaos rules but so do I” dictatorship.

Clarke is establishing herself as a heroic and brave character who wants to go back for Jasper to save him even if it means going alone and damning the risks as she does it. I can see her overthrowing Bellamy later in the series, that’s certainly the way it’s all being set up. Maybe I’ll even stick around long enough to find out.

One major downfall the episode had was revealing that Jasper is actually alive despite being skewered by a large spear at the end of the pilot. Being on Earth is supposed to be dangerous for these people and having someone alive after suffering a seemingly mortal wound kind of undersells that, having Jasper die would have really sold this but I’m told this was actually spoiled early on by him appearing in promotional material extending beyond the first episode.

Back on The Ark (The spacestation) everyone is reacting to the idea that they’re going to die in four months, so much so that they might have to kill 200 people to extend their air for a further six months, The chancellor refuses to vote on this which buys them 10 days but it’s all looking bleak. With the kids on the surface removing their wrist bands, the adults on The Ark can’t be sure if that’s what they’re doing or whether the planet is actually killing them. Clarke’s mother Abby decides to use those 10 days and enlists the young mechanic Raven to fix an escape pod so that she can go to the surface. Raven agrees on the condition that she gets to come too so that she can find her boyfriend.

All in all this episode was pretty watchable for the most part, some of the characters are interesting and the stakes seem to be rising continually which is promising. Bellamy is a champion douchebag which makes him the sort of guy that people will love to hate. Unfortunately this episode is a bit too CW in the sense that the romantic relationships are moving more into center stage whereas the pilot was more subtle at hinting at them. I’m hoping this trend doesn’t continue because I’m getting a little tired of these CW shirtless love triangles.

The Tomorrow People – Season 1 Episode 17 – “Endgame”

This episode was not what I expected given the cliffhanger ending from last week. The last thing I expected Jedikiah to do was to open up about his motivations and what his plan actually is, it all makes sense as well since he would want to protect his brother and ultimately get him back, whether this turns out to be his true allegiance or not is still unclear but this was an interesting reveal and brings some further welcome humanity to him.

Jedikiah needs to accelerate his plan as The Founder is getting wise to him, the most surprising thing is that he is willing to risk his own life in order to do this but he needs John to be the one who pulls the trigger to ultimately put an end to this.

Flashbacks to Jedikiah and Roger’s first meeting with The Founder help to punctuate this and imbue Jedikiah’s story with an undercurrent of sincerity which tells at least the viewer that he might be telling the truth in this instance.

Naturally the confrontation with The Founder doesn’t go as planned, he successfully manages to plant the seed of doubt in John and Stephen’s minds, given Jedikiah’s actions all seasons that isn’t difficult to do. All of that made sense except from the fact that The Founder comes across as a man with an agenda, there’s absolutely no getting away from that and there’s no real indication that he should be trusted over Jedikiah. He does seem genuinely upset about his daughter’s death but he’s also the man who kept her locked up and drugged so it’s difficult to imagine that he’s being sincere about that. Naturally Jedikiah doesn’t help his case by knocking out Russell and running away.

The subplot is great too, Cara and Russell are dealing with a new breakout which seems business as usual other than the fact that this one turns our to be Cara’s sister Sophie. We get to see some actual emotion from Cara for once as she is torn by the prospect of bringing her sister into this life. Sophie doesn’t want this life either and almost immediately tries to escape.

Cleverly Astrid is used to babysit her and give her the outsiders perspective into all this. The two characters interact naturally and Astrid’s experience is something that Sophie can really warm to. It’s a nice compromise resolution to give her a power cancelling bracelet so that she can live a normal life, also leaves her open to returning someday which I imagine will happen.

This episode was great, full of so much mistrustful tension and really develops Jedikiah and Cara in ways that we haven’t seen before. The two plots are very strong and the writing is snappy and intelligent. The introduction of a machine provides us with another mystery to contemplate that will no doubt have some payoff in the coming episodes.

Arrow – Season 2 Episode 17 – “Birds of Prey”

Arrow continues its strong run with this Laurel and Sara centric episode, the interactions between Sara and Laurel have been fascinating to watch since Sara legally returned from the dead and started to interact with her family again.

The episode deals with the capture of Frank Bertinelli and its inevitable consequence – the fact that his daughter Helena will soon return to commit her promised patricide. This plot is handled wonderfully, it’s great to see Laurel and Sara have so much time onscreen together – even if Sara is in her Black Canary identity – and the way they help each other through their respective issues is something that is so cleverly done. There is perhaps something of a suspension of disbelief as Laurel seems to have no idea she is actually talking to her sister but certainly some scenes are framed in such a way that Sara has as little of her face showing to Laurel as possible.

Helena is used well in making The Huntress a mirror for both Oliver in Sara -Oliver in the sense that this is the way he could have ended up if it weren’t for the people he keeps around him and Sara in the sense that they are both very similar in their outlook- and exploring that to the full extent. Helena has yet to reach the conclusion about killing that Oliver reached at the end of season one and Sara has already wrestled with that choice. The lack of payoff when Helena is denied her revenge is interesting as well as it gives her the feeling of emptiness in a less clichéd way than if she had actually managed to kill her father, leaving her alive and in prison also leaves scope for her to return.

There is an interesting perspective on letting darkness in and never getting it to leave which manifests nicely in Laurel as she blackmails her way back into her old job – great that they’re making Laurel to be a nuanced and intelligent character. The producers have teased big things coming soon for Laurel and it’s apparent here that there are about to be significant things coming for her.

The subplot involves Roy getting more agitated by being left out of the Team Arrow stuff, there are shades of him disagreeing with Oliver’s way of doing things and being reluctant to follow orders. Oliver is shown as not having all the answers as him ordering Roy to break up with Thea ends up leading her to the cliffhanger ending.

Overall a great episode with some excellent character development for both Laurel and Sara, The Huntress more serves as a plot device than an actual character but they even squeeze in some good moments for her in there. The episode is light on flashbacks to the island but it seems that things will slow down there for a bit before whatever is planned for the finale.