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Episode Recap: The Flash S3E21 “Cause and Effect”

By May 10, 2017 DC, Entertainment, Stuff I Like, SuperHeroes, TV

Last week, Barry discovered who Savitar was – and it was himself, from the future, sort of.  Turns out he is a Time Remnant.

This week, we get an explanation, as to what exactly happened that caused Barry to become Savitar.  The two Barrys’ have a nice heart-to-heart, and Barry learns how Savitar is created.

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Let’s Talk: Agents of SHIELD S4E20 “Farewell, Cruel World!”

By May 5, 2017 Entertainment, Marvel, Reviews, SuperHeroes, TV

So, the latest episode of the Agents of SHIELD has come and gone this last Tuesday. Another adventure in the Framework – with some possible lasting consequences.  And with only a couple of episodes left in the season, we’re going to have to have some closure..soon!  I hope it’s not too much of a cliffhanger season closer.

Here are the Agents, they know where the backdoor out is, it was programmed by Radcliffe originally, it cannot be removed, so they know that’s their only way out.  AIDA (aka Ophelia) is working on something called “Project Looking Glass” which is supposed to, some how, give her a body in the ‘real’ world, and allowing her to be fully human and circumvent her programming.  Specifically the programming not to kill humans, especially the Agents of SHIELD, and MOST especially, anyone connected to the Framework.    It’s a bit of a convoluted way to get her into a human body, but the Darkhold has plans within plans.  There always seems to be another later.

We while have the Agents trying to escape, Ophelia is in critical condition in the Framework, thanks to Daisy’s 44th story defenestration of her.  She is running Hydra from a hospital bed, as they work to complete their side of Project Looking Glass.  In the Real World, she has the Russian running things, as he is an android now, too.  She keeps promising him a new body, so he’s working with he.  For now.  I’m sure that won’t last.

During this, Simmons asks May about Fitz, and finds out his father is alive, and the reason why Fitz is such a terrible person in the Framework.  His dad’s influence makes him a cold,heartless man, with no room for sentimentality…except for Ophelia.  And Ophelia and Fitz’s dad both make use of that love to manipulate him to no end.  So now that Simmons know what caused Fitz to change, she thinks she can solve it, by confronting the father.  In his home.  Alone.  With no one else there as backup.  But hey, she brought a gun, so she could threaten him!

Simmons makes Fitz’s dad call him, and during the call, tells her the fugitive is with him.  He reaches out, and tries to strangle Simmons, as they both fall to the floor.  He is near the point of killing Simmons when she fires off her gun.  Fitz gets to hear it all over the phone, as his father dies.  He swears vengeance, and chases after her, wanting to kill her as she killed his dad.  Simmons returns to the SHIELD base, and Daisy convinces her to go to the back-door location.

The AGENTS leave, taking Mack (who doesn’t want to go), and leaving Tripp behind (because he’s dead in the real world, the exit wouldn’t do anything for him….right?).  They head to the location of the back-door, but when they get there, they see some changes have been made.  AIDA couldn’t destroy the back-door, it was hard-coded into the Framework by Radcliffe.  But she has changed te nature of the area.  Instead of it being a nice, public park, and the back door being a pool of water – AIDA has made it a steel mill, and the portal is a vat of molten steel.  Not much of an exit anymore.

Fitz is close behind, and Mack discovers he was tricked.  This wasn’t a mission that needed him for his skills, but because Daisy wants him to return to the real world.  The Hydra stormtroopers show up, and start shooting.  Daisy realizes she can quake the molten steel out of the way, and below is revealed the reflecting pool exit.  Coulson starts towards it, but is shot in the chest.  He collapses, while May comforts him, and he says it all feels familiar (A call back to The Avengers movie, of course).  She pushes him through the portal, and Coulson is out!  May follows soon behind.  Free of the Framework, and trying to readjust to their normal lives, Coulson immediately takes a scalpel to AIDS’s body, which is connected to the Framework….effectively killing her!

Inside the Framework, Simmons confronts Fitz, expressing her love, and giving him every chance to ‘come out of it!  I know you’re in there!”.  That speech doesn’t work, although TV history says it should, and right before Fitz puts a bullet in the head of the woman he really loves, Radcliffe kills the two Hydra agents keeping guard over him, and knocks Fitz out.  They carry him to the exit, and push him through.  Fitz wake u p, and is absolutely horrified by his actions in the Framework – including the death of Director Mace in the real world.  He fights for emotional equilibrium as Coulson and May try to confirm him.

Inside, Simmons has a heart-to-heart with Radcliffe, about how it’s all his fault and not Fitz’s.  She gets out, and is awakened in the airplane where she and Daisy had their Framework pods plugged in.  Unfortunately, that aircraft is almost out of power, and is being gunned down by a Russian plane.  Not a great place to come back to.

Daisy is still inside the Framework, talking with Mack, trying to convince him to come home.  He asks about his daughter, Hope.  Daisy tells him the truth, that Hope is dead in the real world.  She explains that’s how AIDA keeps him from wanting to leave, is by giving him a false daughter.  He sees the digital reality revealed around him when Coulson and May leave.  He knows it’s a recreation, and not real.  Daisy pleads for him to come, but he refuses.  If his daughter isn’t alive in the real world, he isn’t going back.  Daisy finally has to leave him behind, hoping she can convince him to leave at a later date.

So, she exits, Yo-yo asks about Mack, and she has to apologize for leaving him behind.  Yo-yo is devastated, but they have more pressing problems – like the Russians shooting them down!  Mack is shown going back to the SHIELD base, and meeting up with Tripp who is looking over Mack’s daughter, Hope.  Tripp says he didn’t think Mack was coming back, but Mack says he could never leave his daughter.

So the end of the episode comes with Everyone but Mack waking from the Framework, AIDA’s robot head on thee ground, and everyone thinking that it’s over.

Then AIDA shows up, in her human form.  Fitz is still enthralled by her, and is inadvertently blocking May’s view, and shot.  May wants desperately to kill AIDA< and end the threat.  But Fitz is blocking.  AIDA gets closer to Fits, holds his hand, saying how she is real, and can feel, and can experience!  Then she grabs him in a hug, and seems to teleport away.

So, Mack stays behind, neither Ward, nor Tripp, nor even Hope gets a new body to come back from the dead, and AIDA gets away with Fitz and her human body – and SOME kind of power?

I think back to where this all started, with the Darkhold.  Obviously, there is a long term plan.

Plus, if the Darkhold is involved, it means Ghost Rider will be back!  And that is good news for the Agents of SHIELD.

 

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Episode Recap: The Flash S3E20 “I Know Who You Are” – SPOILER EDITION

By May 4, 2017 DC, Entertainment, Ramblings, Reviews, SuperHeroes, TV

I’ll just go ahead and say it.

******SPOILERS FOLLOW!******

Ok, so, if you’re still here. let’s talk about the episode last night.

I said in my last recap, the Flash should stop using so much time travel.  It’s starting to get weary.

I’ve done my best to try to figure this out, and it’s starting to make my brain hurt.  Try to stay with me.  Better, if you have any ideas about what is going on, share them!  I want to hear it.  I need to talk it out!  I hope Greg Berlanti has a great overall plan, because right now, this is a tangled mess.

In this episode, we get to find out who Savitar is.  And it is a Future!Barry, from some unknown timeline.  But before we get to that, let’s talk a little about how much I enjoy time travel movies, books, and other forms of entertainment.  I like it A LOT.

I’ve been into time travel books since my first Choose Your Own Adventure book.  The Twilight Zone, The Time Tunnel, even Star Trek had time travel!  So I’ve been familiar with concepts of time travel from a closed loop where everything you do, you’ve done, and you can’t undo anything.  I’ve seen Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure, where they simply SAY they’ll do something in the future, and so they do it later, and it gets done, so they can do things like escape their dad’s jail.

That being said, The Flash has forgotten simplicity with this reveal.

Let’s start off by saying, the episode wasn’t bad.  They introduced someone who, potentially, could end up sticking around, as she seems to have some valid theories on the Speed Force, and it looks like HR is trying to get with her.  So, hopefully, she is a character who has more longevity than the end of a season.  That and she was the doctor who was able to trap Savitar in the Speed Force, which is an important bit to remember later.  Last episode, Future!2024 Barry said this Doctor took 4 years after Iris’s death to invent the trap, and then he was able to put Savitar into the Speed Force.

So, once in the Speed Force, trapped there, he sat for…some length.  Then he influenced Julian to become Dr. Alchemy via the Philosopher’s Stone, who created the powered villains formerly from Flashpoint and inadvertently give Wally his powers.

So, before Flashpoint, there was no Savitar. No Philosopher’s Stone, and no Wally West with speed.  Wally was hit with the dark matter, just like Jessie Quick was.  He was hoping he could somehow get speed powers, too.  But, once Flashpoint happened, and he learned that he DID get powers from the dark matter explosion in that reality, and was the Flash, not Wally, he wanted ‘his’ powers badly.

So, due to Savitar influencing Julian, and others, mind-controlling them into doing his bidding (how exactly?  Now that we know it’s Barry, how exactly did he make Julian do all of what he did?), Barry and the rest of them fight the villains, ad try to stop Alchemy.  That leads to Wally getting his powers, under the control of Savitar.  So no Alchemy, no Kid Flash, right?

Kid Flash, of course, is the one who delivers the missing piece of the Philosophers Stone that Caitlin had hidden from the rest of the team.  He throws it into the Speed Force (why, I still don’t understand), and that is how Savitar gets out of the Speed Force.  So, he gave Wally his powers, just so he could use him to get out of the Speed Force.  Why?

So, the biggest problem I have, is how the timeline is supposed to fit all together.  I mean, there’s the timeline where Harrison Wells didn’t get murdered by Eobard Thawn, he creates the STAR labs later, same explosion, Barry gets his powers later, and his mom and dad are alive and well.  This one is immediately changed when Eobard kills Harrison, and takes over his life, killing his wife, and finishing STAR labs early, so he could help Flash get his powers, and get fast enough to send him home (which is still a strange plan).  So the entire show is predicated on this NEW timeline, from day one.

So, in this timeline, we get the TV show, with all the shenanigans of the last two seasons.  No Savitar.  then, we get Flashpoint, which creates another new set of timelines for the show.  Once back to his ‘normal’ timeline, he sees all the subtle changes (Caitlin gets her powers, Joe and Iris were fighting, Cisco lost his brother), and just accepts it will never go back to normal, after a conversation with Jay Garrick, the Flash from Earth-3 who looks exactly like his dad, and is played by the Flash from the 90’s, John Wesley Shipp.  And where is Jay now, I might ask you good reader?  Jay is in Speed Force Prison.  Because when Savitar escaped, he forced Wally into the Speed Force in his place.  And Jay took his place, instead, so Wally could go back to Earth-1.

So, after Flashpoint, Alchemy exists.  This, then, is the timeline where Barry becomes Savitar.  Barry accidentally goes into the future, a few months, and sees Savitar kill Iris.  This future is then further explored when Barry goes to 2024, where Iris is dead, and Emo Barry has given up on being the Flash after trapping Savitar in the Speed Force with the help of Dr. Tracy.  So current Barry goes back to 2017, finds Tracy, not a Doctor yet, and HR recruits her to help make the speed trap NOW.

So, this then, MUST be a new timeline, as Dr. Tracy in the future stops Savitar, but now she is already involved.

In the showdown in the warehouse, Savitar knows word for word what is going to be said, and tells Killer Frost to repeat it.  She knows it’s Future!Barry, and he has been pushing her to kill Tracy Not a Doctor Yet, but he also knows she fails, be cause he knows the warehouse scene word for word, which is only after Killer Frost fails to kill her!  So, he must know that no matter how he pushed her, she was destined to fail.

And that the future 2024 Barry, who didn’t know who Savitar was, and who had the help of Dr. Tracy, and where Cisco lost his hands, has never been the ‘real’ future for Barry.  iris being killed, never happens, because that entire reality is wrong, including Savitar being trapped int he Speed Force.

And my eyes just went cross-eyed.

Because Barry cannot be Savitar and know every word from the warehouse scene, AND be 2024 Emo Barry.  So how did Current!Barry travel to the wrong 2024?  Shouldn’t he have been able to meet the Barry that DID find out his identity, and DID (I am guessing by the end of the season) defeat Savitar?  Or is that no longer a thing?  And if the 2024 Emo Barry saw Iris die, by the hand of Savitar, the future Current!Barry saw when he accidentally went into the future isn’t a reality that exists.  Because if Iris dies, then 2024 Emo Barry exists, but doesn’t know Savitar’s identity.  If Iris lives, then 2024 Emo Barry doesn’t exist, and the future Current!Barry went to originally on accident wasn’t ever real to begin with – and there go my eyes again.

And what about Legends of Tomorrow?  I mean, last season, Captain Cold died destroying the Oculus, which is the device the Time Masters used to keep the timeline un-fractured.  They’re different than the Time Wraiths that chase Barry and other speedsters down when the muck about with the timelines.  It’s a whole other story to go into detail, but suffice it to say, they destroyed the device that kept time on a single path…whatever that meant.  Will this ever effect Barry?  Will the writers even remember that the Legends even exist?

So, Savitar is Barry from a timeline where, by the looks, he is scarred up, and has black hair.  So, speedsters have the ability to heal, most of the time.  How can Barry be scarred up?   Perhaps his armor does more than just help him go faster without blowing up in a giant ball of static electricity.  Maybe it gives him his speed, instead of just protecting him from excessive speed (but it does that too).  This would explain why he is trying to change the timelines.  He is trying to avoid some type of event, where he ends up losing his powers.  His entire intention has been to cause Barry to….realize the power of love, and that without those around him he is a loser, destined to become Savitar?  Is 2024 Emo Barry the real SAvitar, just from further in his own future?

And who built the suit?

So many unanswered questions.  Some don’t even make sense.

What do you think?

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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 DC, Entertainment, Ramblings, Reviews, SuperHeroes, TV

 

 

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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