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Recap of Agents of SHIELD S4E19 “All the Madame’s Men”

By April 27, 2017 Entertainment, SuperHeroes

So, Agents of SHIELD.  Another superhero TV show I watch pretty regularly.  I used to have people ask me why.  Not this season.

This season started out with Ghost Rider.  And, I might add, a pretty good version of said character.  He didn’t add himself to the group immediately, and be all “Hey, I’m an Agent of SHIELD now!” But he worked with them to achieve a common goal.  He was a great character who didn’t fit into the show perfectly, and his edges showed.  He had his own agenda (such as killing the prisoner), and his own motivations.  I liked that it didn’t mesh with the rest of the cast perfectly.  He ran against some burrs and edges that caused some serious (and seriously interesting) drama.

Then, we moved on to the LMD arc, re-introducing Dr. Radcliffe, and introducing the LMD, Aida.  They already introduced the Darkhold (which, by the way, great idea as far as plots and story ideas.  That is one nasty, evil book!), which led to Aida and Dr. Radcliffe almost destroying SHIELD.  But the Darkhold showed Radcliffe a way to make a ‘perfect’ world, which he called the Framework.

Now, within the Framework, where everyone lives a different life, we see out intrepid heroes in a different light.  Grant Ward is back.  Not only is he still a badass, but now he is a loyal SHIELD member, undercover in Hydra.  Oh, and he’s alive, and not some alien creature bent on world destruction. So that’s good.  But Coleson is a school teacher, having traded his choice to join SHIELD in for a quite life of love and happiness.  Well, insomuch as you can be happy in a world dominated by Hydra and a life of terror and lies.  So, not very happy.  Daisy/Skye is a loyal Hydra member, as is Agent May.  Fitz is the 2nd in command of Hydra, and is one nasty, nasty piece of work.  How different our life can be with one slight change.  In Fitz’s case, his dad is still in his life.  And his dad is one right git.  So Fitz is the head Hydra guy, meaning he’s basically Hitler as Hydra are just an offshoot of the Nazi’s (according to comic book/Marvel history, of course).  So the awesome, fun, and gentle Fitz is turned into a murdering, hard nosed, Nazi.  Because his dad is in his life, instead of disappearing into alcohol, as in the ‘real world’.  And boy is Simmons upset!  She was killed off in the Framework, as she was always loyal to SHIELD, which made for quite the image when she came crawling out of her unmarked grave.

So, in the Framework, Hydra rules the world, Fitz is the top dog, and is controlled by Aida (called Ophelia in the Framework).  May used to be loyal, but she turns.  Daisy gets her powers back, thanks to May, and is able to break out of Hydra prison.  Of course this is after Dr. Radcliffe (who is in the Framework, and stuck here because his body is dead back in the real world) tells Daisy how to use the back door to get out of the Framework.  So Daisy and May encounter Ophelia, and Daisy shoots her out a 40+ story window, and then just walks away like a badass.  I tell you, Daisy has gotten more interesting every year.  She started off pretty cliché as the ‘rebel hacker’ and all, but since adding her father (Dr. Jekyll…err….Dr. Jones) and her Inhuman powers, and all the rest.  She has really developed into a pretty entertaining character.

So, Daisy shoots Ophelia out the window, which doesn’t kill her, but sure does damage her human Framework body.  In the real world, she comes out of the Framework machine, and looks like she wants to kill everyone.  But she can’t, because it’s against her programming.  Fortunately for her, the Framework world is providing a way around her programming, by helping her become a real human, and somehow making the Framework world real, the real world gone.  Or something.  It hasn’t been really clear on what Project Looking Glass really is, but it seems to have to do with merging, or switching the Framework and the Real World.

So Daisy and May escape, and team back up with SHIELD, while Simmons and Tripp search for the Looking Glass machine.  Turns out, the machine is being build in the real world, but all the specifications and such are being worked out by Fitz in the Framework.  UH OH!  That means they really can’t stop it, because it’s in the real world, not the Framework!

The episode ends with the agents of SHIELD rallying the people of the Framework (which are really just digital algorithms simulating real people…but since it came from the Darkhold, that’s a REALLY, REALLY good simulation).  The people are rising up against Hydra, the Agents of SHIELD are now, hopefully,going to be able to get to the back door, and escape the Framework and then somehow stop Aida/Ophelia from turning Looking Glass on.

Or, somehow, SHIELD goes REALLY off the rails, Looking Glass is enacted, and they spend the rest of the season trying to reverse it.  Either way, this show has gotten very interesting, and has really found its legs, storytelling-wise.  Season 1 was far too chained to the MCU (look at what Winter Soldier did to the show!)  Season 2 was still too tied into it (lady Sif, Asgardians everywhere, Chitauri tech, etc).  Season 3 FINALLY started to delve into it’s own mythology, and now here we are season 4, they don’t ever mention anything superpower related but Inhumans, no talk of Banner, or Thor, or anyone.  Barely even a “green rage monster” reference.

And SHIELD is stronger for it.  It brought in magic with the Darkhold, while the MCU brought in Stephen Strange.  The Darkhold is absolutely 100% something Dr. Strange SHOULD be looking into….but for some reason he isn’t.  So, SHIELD gets to, which works for me!

I’m glad it’s gotten it’s own legs, FINALLY, after 4 seasons.  ABC wasn’t cutting it loose, because of the major tie with Marvel, but without that….I doubt it would have made it this far.  And it deserves to have another season, after this one!

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Recap of The Flash Episode S3E19 “The Once and Future Flash”

By April 26, 2017 Entertainment, Ramblings, SuperHeroes

 

 

So, I’m a fan of The Flash.  I was a fan of Arrow when it came out, and with this addition, I was hooked.  Not only was I a fan of the Flash from when I was a child, as a comic book reader, but when they introduced Grant Gustin in Arrow, and gave him a kind of back-door pilot (intended to be, originally, but that’s another story), I was ready for this to break all the rules of Arrow.  Arrow had a firm “no powers” rule in the first season.  Even characters who would normally have powers, didn’t.  China White, Bronze Tiger, both should have had superpowers.  Instead, just highly skilled.  Which worked perfectly for early Arrow.  It needed that limitation.  I expected Flash to remove that limit.

I was blown away.  If you have been watching every week, like I have, you will know that this show has taken any limit, and just thrown it out the window.  Time travel was just one small part of season one’s craziness.  We also had the introduction of Grodd, the super intelligent, giant, telepathic, mind-controlling ape, among other classic Rogues like Captain Cold, and Heat Wave.  It just got bigger, and crazier from there.

But this season, we get Savitar, and the death of Iris.  More time travel, of course.  Like this episode, where Barry just casually goes into the future to get some information he thinks he can get from himself.  Yes, he goes into the future to ask himself for an answer he doesn’t have in the past, hoping to change the future where this information would come from, and ultimately, wiping this world out.  Sort of.  Timey-Wimey, and all.  Time travel shows make my brain hurt when they don’t follow any of their own rules.

For Flash, there should be one big rule.  It should be in neon letters, shining brightly in the writers room so they don’t forget.  This one rule would help the show tremendously, and bring some form of control back to an out of control power.  That rule should be no more time travel.  Not into the future, nor the past.  Not Barry, not Wally, not Jesse Quick, and not the villains.  Especially not the villains!

So, this episode dealt with Barry trying to stop Savitar from killing Iris in the next episode or two.  He decides he can get the information he needs by going to 8 years in the future.  Why 8 years?  Because, in the room built by the future villain Reverse Flash (Eobard Thawne), had a future newspaper with the Flash disappearing into a red sky.  Barry decides, that is the time he is going to go to, so he can ask himself how to stop Savitar, and ask him the identity of Savitar.  Only, he can’t get to the future, without the help of Kid Flash, Wally West.

Now, as a young boy, the Flash was an adult, so I had a hard time relating.  But Kid Flash, of course, was aimed directly at me!  A little hero worship, a little surrogate fantasy, and I was Kid Flash!  And as I got older, amazingly, they got rid of Barry, and Wally became The Flash.  I loved it, and loved how his maturation matched my own!  Of course, he was introduced in the 60’s as a teenager, and I was in my 20’s in 1990, but hey, it’s comic book time!

So, I like Kid Flash.  This particular version is ok, just a little too mopey for me.  I know, it’s on the CW, and it’s kind of necessary to have mopey people.  And since Iris and Barry are happy (until she dies), then they had to have someone be mopey.  So I get it.  But he’s made some really dumb decisions.  I wouldn’t call them “rash” because rash can be excused.  Maybe I just think it’s lazy writing for someone to do stuff, like open the doorway to the speed force and throw in the missing piece so Savitar can be released.  That kind of stupid decisions.

So, Barry asks Wally to push him, because Kid Flash is faster than Barry.  So Wally pushes Barry into the future, where Barry finds himself exactly where he thought he wanted to be – 8 years in the future.  He makes some dumb decisions, he finds out everyone’s fate, and discovers, LO AND BEHOLD, no one knows Savitar’s identity.  He made the trip for nothing.  But, he sticks around to get future!Barry back on track (he was all mopey because Iris died), reforms Team Flash, and then goes back to the past.

So, he doesn’t need help to go to the past, just the future.  Which really…makes no sense.  Because we all time travel into the future, one day for every day.  Ha ha, I know.  But going backwards in time, that should be much, much more difficult, and take much more energy.  But he does it all the time, almost casually.  (Remember the rule?  Yeah, they really need to remember the rule.)  But the future, he needs help.  Hoooo-kay.  Let’s just remember, the show is, most of the time, FUN!  So, some things can be forgiven.

Anyhow, Barry fixes the future he intends to erase by changing the past, then heads back to the past to save Iris.  When he has been told over and over, he cannot do.  So, of course he will.

He gets back to the past, gives everyone a big hug because he’s been gone for days, and to them it’s only been a second.  Which makes no sense, as when he goes into the past, it doesn’t instantly change everything.  ANYHOW.

The show ends with the big reveal of who Savitar is – only we don’t get to see it.  Killer Frost does, and she’s like “woah”.  And, future Killer Frost even said when Barry finds out it’ll blow his mind.

Which makes no sense, because future!Barry didn’t know who Savitar was, so why would Killer Frost think Barry would find out who he was?

So that’s the Flash.  I still love the show, it’s still off the rails crazy, and they revel in their comic book origins.  I’ll be back next week, that’s for sure.  Will you?

The Flash — “The Once and Future Flash” — FLA319a_0096b.jpg — Pictured: Grant Gustin as The Flash — Photo: Katie Yu/The CW — © 2017 The CW Network, LLC. All rights reserved.

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