Sunday, March 20, 2016

A Sunday Review

TV this week:

  • Supergirl: "Bizarro" - So we finally find out what Maxwell Lord was up to, and it's no good, as expected. The results of the whole fiasco... and what Supergirl and the DEO do in response, are hard to watch.
  • Supergirl: "For The Girl Who Has Everything" - Ouch. Serious ouches in this one, ranging from the fantasy world right up to what J'onn does to protect Alex. Ouch.
  • Supergirl: "Truth, Justice and the American Way" - And a rival for Kara shows up in the CatCo offices, along with evidence that not just the bad guys escaped the Phantom Zone when Kara's ship passed through. Not too shabby, but Siobhan is annoying.
  • Supergirl: "Solitude" - The Brainiac threat. Following up from the previous episode, yet more escapees are revealed. And the cost of J'onn's lie is also revealed to be nearly too much. I'm glad Alex told the truth, and I'm curious to see if the writers follow through on it in the future.

  • The Flash: "The Reverse-Flash Returns" - Freaky time-travel wibbly-wobbly bits. This doesn't work, shouldn't work, can't work... and yet it's a surprisingly poignant episode that really works.
  • The Flash: "Fast Lane" - Freak-of-the-week time again! This one is a tar creature, nasty. But the real story is what Wells is doing, and how Barry reacts once he learns.
  • The Flash: "Welcome to Earth-2" - Um, squee! Ok, lots of squeeing for the easter eggs scattered throughout, which I just enjoyed. I suppose if I'd watched it multiple times, I'd have seen a lot more... but there was plenty on just one viewing. Anyway, lots of great revelations, including Vibe's comic book powers finally showing up. Squee!
  • The Flash: "Escape from Earth-2" - I really want to know what that mystery prisoner was tapping out before the code was revealed. Did we hear enough to get clues from it? As for the rest... well... as soon as I saw where Jay was standing I started to tell the screen, "get away from the portal!" Oh well, they never listen to me anyway.
  • The Flash: "King Shark" - King Shark. Ha. Just... King Shark. Seriously. King Shark. Isn't that awesome? As for the reveal... whoa. I'm not entirely sure how all this will be explained, but I'm looking forward to it.

  • Legends of Tomorrow: "Pilot, Part 2" - Barely started and they are already futzing around with timelines, causing massive temporal disruption. I did not expect a member of the cast to die off so quickly, though. Kind of a shocker.
  • Legends of Tomorrow: "Blood Ties" - Honestly, the real killer of a plotline in this episode was Snart going into his own past to try to prevent his father from going to prison. It was heartbreaking. The rest isn't all that bad, either.
  • Legends of Tomorrow: "White Knights" - Lots of interesting interplay between characters here, but Snart out-snarting Jay has to be the best moment of them all. Stein is pretty good in this one, right up until the disappointment at the end.
  • Legends of Tomorrow: "Fail-Safe" - It's good that Sara is resisting her programming as an assassin, I guess. I liked how Jefferson manages to get through to Stein, who doesn't have a lot of luck with his partners in general. The end of the episode, the lead in to the next, has a character I hoped would somehow show up in this universe.
  • Legends of Tomorrow: "Star City 2146" - Oh yes, the Green Arrow of the future... sort of. Different origin, but fun to see nonetheless. More interesting was Mick's reaction to being in what must have seemed to him to be heaven. Only, if he'd given it a little thought he probably would have come to the same conclusion as Snart.
  • Legends of Tomorrow: "Marooned" - I was sure the distress call was a trap - but I fully expected it to be Rip's people pulling it, not something else. Professor Stein is the best part of this episode, running around and having a jolly good time of it. More distressing is Snart's choice. I'm a little disturbed by what he apparently did. He's rapidly become the most interesting character on the show, with a filled-in backstory, an origin that he's already tried to mess with, and a partner who has some serious issues.
  • Legends of Tomorrow: "Night of the Hawk" - Oregon in the 1950s with two members who are not lily-white, what could possibly go wrong? I love the Pacific Northwest, but I have no illusions about how far behind the rest of the nation some areas are, even now, in the values that both Jefferson and Sara comment on to Stein. And with that cliff-hanger, I just wonder what's going to happen to the gang now.

  • Arrow: "A.W.O.L." - Felicity having those freaky hallucinations was pretty awesome and scary. But she's way better than that teenage hacker ever was. The death in the episode was a real shock. I don't know why, but I kind of considered that a "safe" character.
  • Arrow: "Unchained" - More about Felicity! And an old friend returns under bad circumstances. Good episode with plenty of tension.
  • Arrow: "Sins of the Father" - Oh Oliver, what you hath wrought. Killing Malcolm would have been much safer all around, despite what Thea might have thought of you. Instead, now you're going to have to deal with Malcolm helping your most dangerous enemy. *sigh*
  • Arrow: "Code of Silence" - Nice attempt to take out Ollie and the gang. Darhk's wife is annoying, instead of menacing.
  • Arrow: "Taken" - Nice appearance by Vixen. Felicity is a lovely part of this cast, but I wish she'd recognize where Ollie's honor gets him stuck. This is definitely one of those cases where he's trying to do the right thing when there is no right thing.

  • Gotham: "Mr. Freeze" - And now we get a new villain with a new origin. I'm excited to see what this series will make of Victor and Nora. Penguin covering for Gordon is deeply disturbing... this is not going to end well.
  • Gotham: "A Dead Man Feels No Cold"" - The word "Yikes" is what comes to mind at the end of the episode. Before then, the tragic nastiness all was amazing and works nicely. The subplot with Penguin is also very good, and having Hugo Strange help out so much... I have a feeling Strange is going to feature heavily in the upcoming insanity of the city.

Here are reviews of the DCBS comic books that I've gotten around to reading and reviewing, sorted by the original shipping date:
  • Feb 10th
  • Green Lantern Corps: The Edge of Oblivion #2 - I'm not much of a fan of the cosmic DC stories, but this is ok. Cosmic good guys fighting the end of the universe with bad guys trying to foil everything and ... ok, it's a little by-the-numbers, but not bad.
  • Earth 2 Society #9 - Ah war, what's it good for? Apparently fighting over non-existent resources will keep these folks occupied while they die? This is rapidly becoming a bleak book.
  • Harley's Little Black Book #2 - Harley teams up with Green Lantern, with some predictable and some unpredictable results. I'm not even sure what to think of this one. A little too much potty humor for my tastes, but mostly amusing.
  • Batman/Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #3 - Lots of things I might expect Shredder to do, I wasn't thinking of that one. Yikes. Even more yikes is who he meets at the end. Ha. His match, maybe?
  • Batman '66 Meets the Man From UNCLE #3 - I still don't completely understand the UNCLE side of things, but there's enough explanation to make it work. I was going to say it's all pretty silly, but we are talking about this version of Batman, so I probably shouldn't comment.
  • DC Comics Bombshells #9 - Yay, Mera! We learn a little more about her, but I'm disappointed in what happens to her. Lots of good stuff in this issue with Kortni, as well. But I want to see more Mera.
  • Spider-Man 2099 #6 - I don't know much about Inhumans, Terrigen Mist or Attilan, so there was a lot going on in this issue I was just clueless about. The basic story is clear enough, at least, despite the oddness. And the cliffhanger was kind of fun.
  • Spongebob Comics #53 - For the record, I didn't feel up to shaking my comic, so I didn't. A fun enough little issue. Nothing special.
  • Doctor Who 12th #2.2 - The Twelfth Doctor as a sea captain doesn't really work. Naturally, I figured out who the bad guys had to be pretty quickly once the Doctor had his little run-in. What exactly they are doing, I'm still not sure about. A nicely compelling issue.
  • Doctor Who 10th #2.6 - Ok, I wasn't really expecting Captain Jack to show up in the first pages. This was a fun issue, with a disturbing cliffhanger. I'm actually genuinely curious as to how this will get resolved.

Fortean Times #335
Fortean Times #335 (Christmas 2015). A neat cover for Christmas, with the Fortean chill to it while still being warm and friendly. The cover story itself is another great piece of debunking, taking apart ghost tales of a particular house and unearthing the way they grew and changed. A neat little piece, and makes me want to visit that bookstore in its new location.

Next up is an article on the Cock Lane Ghost, and it sure looks like a nasty business with people being obnoxious and hoaxing ghosts along with apparent murder. Not a pretty tale, and not one that is easy to figure out... kudos to Roger Clarke for making so much sense of it.

The final main article is also a debunking, this time of the mysterious disappearance of a boy sent out to fetch some water on Christmas Eve 1889. I won't spoil the solution, but there are layers upon layers to this one that makes it absolutely wonderful that the authors of the article worked out what was happening.

Strangedays starts with the news about the hidden doors in King Tut's tomb, which is exciting, and I hope to hear more about it as soon as archeologists decide what to do about it. There's bits on mass hysteria. The news clips on squirrels going nuts reminds me of the time Eric and I were eating lunch on a park bench and suddenly were surrounded by tons of squirrels.

Medical bag has some interesting and strange stuff. The church sign thing is utterly normal. My local Presbyterian church comes up with stuff WAY more interesting than those pictured. There's also a piece on crop circle makers getting into arguments. There's a lovely little piece on MC Escher, one of my personal favorite artists. Yup, Doctor Who is mentioned, which is amusing.

I adore the Fortean Follow-ups, as usual... The bit on bogus social workers brings to mind a recent warning from our local city government of people claiming to be city workers trying to get into houses. Hrm, I think I'll submit that to the magazine.

The Conspirasphere talks about false flag operations. Science is about how utterly amazing Pluto is, planet or not (I'm afraid it'll always be a planet to me). Archaeology has more Google Earth discoveries, which is cool. Classical Corner tackles the Spartacus thing. Ghostwatch looks at two recent ghost photos, neither of them particularly convincing to me.

Alien Zoo re-examines a sea serpent sighting, a search for a dinosaur in the Congo and a recent tortoise discovery in the Galapagos. The UFO Files has a fun piece on "The Little Blue Man" which is one of my favorite novelty songs "I wuv you, I wuv you," said the little blue man and scared me right out of my wits!". The Casebook is about the similarities between a variety of paranormal experiences, which makes me wonder if there's a explanation with how human minds react... it's nebulous, but I feel like there's an answer there somewhere.

The Forum has some good pieces. The one that hit me hardest was the story of blind painters... the examples of their works are stuff I would consider having on my wall. The shadow men story is one I should not have read before going to bed. It was complemented by a bunch of shadow men tales in It Happened to Me, and again, not something I should have read late at night.

There's a handful of different books I'd consider trying to get my hands on after reading the reviews, and one documentary movie I'd like to see. The letters were fun, but the simulacra... I just don't see it at all. Finishing up the magazine, Fortean Traveller was a non-tourist spot in Kyoto that I found a really good read, and Phenomenomix was just a rotten gag that had me groaning, giggling and just shaking my head that they actually wasted ink on it. A great issue of the magazine that I can't do without.