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Doctor Who (2005) s13e06 – The Vanquishers

What a lackluster conclusion. There’s actually a bunch of good stuff, including a triplicated Jodie Whittaker they should’ve been doing since the cliffhanger on the first episode. Still, as the finish to “Doctor Who vs. The Flux,” it’s minimally successful. The resolution with rubber mask supervillains Sam Spruell and Rochenda Sandall is lousy, and then the hook is exactly what you’d expect anyway. It’s Whittaker’s last season as the Doctor, and of course, the villains […]

Hawkeye (2021) s01e03 – Echoes

This episode has some real highlights, including a great New York action sequence, but the most impressive one has got to be the comic book talking heads sequence. Jeremy Renner and Hailee Steinfeld are sitting and talking to each other. They’re staring almost directly into the camera in one-shot close-ups, and they just have a conversation. Back and forth, back and forth, just like a Marvel Comics talking heads sequence. It’s pretty awesome and made […]

Superman & Lois (2021) s01e15 – Last Sons of Krypton

Since I never got comfortable recommending the show, it’s fitting “Superman and Lois: Season One” finish on something of a fail. It’s not terrible. I don’t think it’s the worst episode, but it’s definitely in the bottom three. Not because there’s anything particularly wrong with it; there’s just nothing particularly right with it. It’s a paint-by-the-numbers conclusion to all the unresolved plot threads, dispassionately directed by Tom Cavanagh. Cavanagh stars on “The Flash,” which must […]

Superman & Lois (2021) s01e14 – The Eradicator

This episode picks up three weeks after last episode’s hard cliffhanger, which had Adam Rayner escaping the Army and zooming off to the sun to suck in its energies. He’s still at it three weeks later. Apparently, it takes a while to charge a Kryptonian flesh battery. We also hear all the voices stuck in his head because he assimilated the Eradicator device (becoming The Eradicator, sans bitchin’ sunglasses). The voices aren’t great. The sun-sucking […]

Superman & Lois (2021) s01e13 – Fail Safe

There’s some good, bad, and weird this episode. Mostly good and weird. The bad—besides A.C. Peterson ever-wanting Emperor Palpatine and then Eric Keenleyside’s similarly weak performance as the conniving Smallville mayor—is when all the adults of color are mean to Erik Valdez. Valdez and Emmanuelle Chriqui are feeling the fallout from Valdez cheerleading literal supervillain Adam Rayner building a factory. They run into Valdez’s fire fighting crew at the diner, and they’re all super shitty […]

The Equalizer (2021) s02e07 – When Worlds Collide

I’m trying to remember the last Chris Noth-centric episode of “The Equalizer;” it must’ve been last season. This episode has him running around with a machine gun and fist-fighting like they promised him he could do American James Bond or something. Instead, however, it’s old man James Bond with Noth teaming up with previously unrevealed son Wesam Keesh. It’s a jam-packed episode, script credit to Rob Hanning, and there’s not enough time for cop Tory […]

Doctor Who (2005) s13e05 – Survivors of the Flux

“Doctor Who” has been around for almost sixty years, but its plot reveals are recycled plot points from last summer’s popular entertainment. This episode opens with a terrible CGI sequence as we find out what happens to Doctor Jodie Whittaker after she gets turned into a Weeping Angel statue. Nothing, it’s just carbonite to transport her to meet She Who Remains (Barbara Flynn, who appeared in a quick ominous cameo earlier this season). There Whittaker […]

The Equalizer (2021) s02e06 – Shooter

It’s a city-in-crisis episode, with a sniper terrorizing New York. Only the show skips the first two attacks, and it doesn’t appear there’s a lot of crisis going on. Even though the expository dialogue makes it sound like everyone’s staying inside when Queen Latifah and Liza Lapira go to the crime scene, there’s a bunch of people loitering around, and the streets behind them are full. So the danger never seems super imminent. Lapira’s along […]

Legends of Tomorrow (2016) s07e07 – A Woman’s Place Is in the War Effort!

So, A Woman’s Place Is in the War Effort! bombs Bechdel in a really, really bad way. Like, there better be a scene cut or some really good excuse because it fails it by not giving Kimleigh Smith a name. She’s a Black woman working in an airplane factory in World War II; the Legends end up there and need to work to steal parts so Matt Ryan can rebuild his time machine, and Olivia […]

Hawkeye (2021) s01e02 – Hide and Seek

So, the last episode established post-Endgame Jeremy Renner and introduced Hailee Steinfeld, but this episode’s got to bring them together. It would be entirely possible—albeit improbable—for them not to have any chemistry once the Hawkeye(s) get together. Worse, what if it’s just a surrogate father thing since Steinfeld lost her dad during the Avengers’s Battle of New York and stepdad-to-be Tony Dalton is at best a broke narcissist. But Renner’s already got a family; his […]

Hawkeye (2021) s01e01 – Never Meet Your Heroes

Outside wistfully hoping Edward Norton would bring art-house sensibilities to the mainstream, “Hawkeye” is the first official MCU property I’ve ever been emotionally invested in. I mean, obviously, East Coast “MCU” (the Netflix series) were a thing—and “Hawkeye” reminds of them immensely—but in the straight Disney-for-teens MCU? “Hawkeye” ’s it. Go read the Matt Fraction and David Aja comic. Their new Hawkeye, Kate Bishop, is genuinely marvelous. So I really want this show to succeed. […]

Doctor Who (2005) s13e04 – Village of the Angels

Most of this episode—save a brief appearance from rubber masked villain Rochenda Sandall—is quite good. Not just the best episode of the season so far (though it’s handily the best episode of the season so far), but an actual good episode. Doctor Jodie Whittaker is solo in late sixties small village England, trying to stop the Weeping Angels from getting lost-in-time Annabel Scholey for their nefarious reasons. Sure, there’s some tedious stuff explaining why the […]

Legends of Tomorrow (2016) s07e06 – Deus Ex Latrina

“Legends” hasn’t been renewed yet, and it’s kind of been a bubble show forever, which is why it’s always so nice when they get an early renewal. But this season now seems to be arranging things for a send-off. At least, potentially. Events are perturbing towards closure—or at least not unresolved cliffhangers—and it kind of feels like a victory lap season. Though it might just feel that way because they do so well here. The […]

Superman & Lois (2021) s01e12 – Through the Valley of Death

This episode has several things going on, like Wolé Parks delivering (compared to before) when the story requires it, Emmanuelle Chriqui having a great mom scene (shedding any memory of her lackluster performance a couple episodes ago), one low-key but big twist, what sounds like Man of Steel music cues (but for Super-sons Jordan Elsass and Alex Garfin), and a cameo from David Ramsey to tie the show into the Arrowverse. But it’s also an […]

Superman & Lois (2021) s01e11 – A Brief Reminiscence In-Between Cataclysmic Events

So, A Brief Reminiscence In-Between Cataclysmic Events confirms a question I didn’t realize I had—who’s the perfect director for a Superman movie? Small Soldier turned “Everwood” star turned TV director Gregory Smith. This episode’s chock full of Superman: The Movie references, most of which fail earnestly, and then some genuinely excellent Lois and Clark stuff for Elizabeth Tulloch and Tyler Hoechlin. I’m sure it wasn’t the intent of the flashback episode, but it really does […]

Doctor Who (2005) s13e03 – Once, Upon Time

One of the reasons it’s easier to look at this season of “Doctor Who” through the lens of previous sci-fi is just talking about the new season of “Doctor Who” is boring. And narratively cheap. Chris Chibnall’s script this time uses two major manipulative devices just to get it across the finish line, and it’s literally about all the series bad guys taking over the universe. Even with the Daleks, the Cybermen, and the Angels, […]

Legends of Tomorrow (2016) s07e05 – It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad Scientist

When I read Matt Ryan was leaving “Legends of Tomorrow” as John Constantine but returning in a different part, I initially assumed it was Constantine-adjacent. But it’s not. Even after he started showing up in the opening credits photo roll—“Legends” does a speed-roll of the regular cast without text—and then appeared in every episode’s “starring” list; it seems like a very weird CW “you’re a regular but not getting paid for every episode” deal, I […]

Doom Patrol (2019) s03e10 – Amends Patrol

This season finale of “Doom Patrol” is not perfect because it realizes all my hopes for the season; it’s perfect and just happens to realize all my hopes for the season. First and foremost, it doesn’t play chicken with the network (or, in this case, streaming service) as far as renewal. We get closure. There are open plot threads, with things primarily unresolved for about half the team, but nothing to ruin a binge or […]

Superman & Lois (2021) s01e10 – O Mother, Where Art Thou?

Turns out when “Superman and Lois” wants to do a fairly straightforward “Superman” episode, they can do it. Like it balances out well, even if Elizabeth Tulloch gets shockingly little to do but stand around in a show where her character’s name is in the title. And there are some performance problems, but it’s a solid action suspense episode. The episode starts with a resolve to last episode’s two cliffhangers, beginning with season villain Adam […]

Doctor Who (2005) s13e02 – War of the Sontarans

So, one thing I don’t understand about “Doctor Who: Flux” is writer Chris Chibnall’s Marvel Cinematic Universe nods. Last episode, they established the only good special effects were going to be the Thanos disintegration effect (presumably the VFX staff bought an iPhone app for ninety-nine cents to get it done), but this episode…. Well, this episode goes overboard right from the start. The first scene has Doctor Jodie Whittaker and companions Mandip Gill and John […]

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