“I wish that sounded more convincing.”

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**This post contains spoilers for 3.09 of Arrow, “The Climb.”**

It won’t surprise you to learn that I did not like the mid-season finale of Arrow. The following post is depressingly negative. It’s rather unlike me, that’s how upset I am about the whole thing. I even debated just not posting and maintaining an austere silence, but I’ve been so disciplined about posting every week for each new episode that I felt like I owed you some closure.

This is difficult for me, because for over a year now, this show has been my bread and butter. Thanks to hours and hours (and hours) of scrubbing through footage to make videos, I know the canon and characterization of this show like the back of my hand. I want this show to be great, I want it to be as great as it was in season 2. I didn’t need it to get any better, I just wanted it to stay the same.

I can’t abide the ‘Death of Sara Lance’ story arc anymore. It was bad enough when we just knew she died. The promise of a compelling mystery surrounding it softened the blow a bit. I remember all of the speculation, all of the possibilities, ranging from Ra’s al Ghul himself to Slade Wilson breaking out of prison to exact his revenge. Then we had that episode where Roy had memories of killing Sara, which was hard to endure, because having Sara die thanks to a Mirakuru withdrawal felt cheap and hollow; it made her death meaningless to us, and to her. Thankfully that plot point was solved in one episode, and Roy realized he was hallucinating and conflating two separate events. We breathed a sigh of relief.

So imagine my horror on Wednesday night, as I sat sans red wine (I regret not having red wine) and watched as the most ridiculous, artless, meaningless plot unwound around Sara’s death. It turns out Thea killed Sara, something I’d actually heard before the episode aired, but I’d written off as so absurd and bad that it couldn’t possibly be true. But it was true, and that’s not even the worst part. Thea definitely did it — the DNA didn’t convince Oliver, but the video evidence sure did — but she has no memory of it. Why? Because there’s this magical herb that we’re only just now hearing about that makes a person highly suggestive with no memory later of their actions. Convenient, eh?

So yes, Thea killed Sara. And she did it with no knowledge of it. Almost like… she wasn’t a human person. Like she was a puppet on strings. Like she was nothing more than an object. Like Malcolm Merlyn was sacrificing his pawn to kill the queen. He used his daughter, who was looking to empower herself, and effectively erased all of her agency and most of her identity from this season. He did it for dumb reasons that I don’t even want to get into, because it’s so contrived and stupid and not worth the death of one female and the emotional and mental manipulation of another, but I have to because I want you to have full context of my rage.

See, he had Thea kill Sara because he knew the League of Assassins wouldn’t forgive the death of one of their own. He had Thea do it because he knew Oliver would do anything to protect her. And for some reason which he never divulges, he thinks Oliver, the skilled archer, would be effective in a swordfighting duel atop a snowy mountain. Malcolm thought it was perfect, like killing six birds with one stone, and once Ra’s was dead, Malcolm’s blood debt (the Undertaking, Thea’s murder of Sara) would be erased.

I’m not totally sure how succession works in the League, but I’m fairly confident that Nyssa, new leader or not, would never forgive Malcolm for killing Sara. So there’s the rather obvious flaw in that plan. Other flaws? How about Oliver taking the gamble of Ra’s being forgiving and ratting out Malcolm? How about Oliver actually telling Thea what she did and Thea deciding to duel Ra’s herself? (After all, while she didn’t make the choice to kill Sara, she did choose to go train with Malcolm, a man who unapologetically killed over 500 people.) This contrived and terrible plan of Malcolm’s had a lot of moving parts, and the one thing that could’ve brought it all tumbling down was Thea realizing her role in all of this.

Instead, what’s happened is yet another powerful white male has robbed Thea of her agency. Sure, it’s under the well-intentioned guise of protecting her, but Oliver never gives Thea the opportunity to make her own choice and deal with her own consequences. He hugs her and leaves to die in her place, never mind the fact that she has to live with that now, never mind that he’s leaving her in the disgusting hands of her father who just took a calculated risk with her life. You want to protect her, Ollie? How about you actually empower her and GIVE HER ALL OF THE INFORMATION? At least then, she wouldn’t trust Malcolm anymore.

What happened between the season 2 finale, when a female brought down the most powerful supervillain on this show with a single syringe stab, and the season 3 premiere, where a strong female heroine was mindlessly killed by another strong female who wasn’t in possession of her own agency? (Let’s not forget Ray stalking Felicity who seems to be flattered by the attention instead of grossed out, or the time Diggle basically blamed Felicity for Oliver not having his head in the game, or the fact that Laurel’s still spinning mindlessly into outer space as far as retribution and reasons to fight. And where the hell is Sin?) Does this show hate women after all?

(And oh, how sad that it’s not even restricted to women! Remember when Oliver tried to kick Diggle off the team for having a family? And instead of putting Oliver in his place, Diggle later apologized and basically admitted Oliver was right. HE WAS NOT RIGHT. Diggle is a grown man capable of making his own choices, so even if Oliver felt that Diggle was being reckless in his choice to continue his work on the team, he was not right to strip Diggle of the power to make that decision for himself.)

And yes, Oliver Queen appears to be dead. Diggle really Diggle’d it when he offered to go into battle with Oliver, but no, this is something he had to do alone. No wonder Stephen Amell seemed to be on an extended break during the holiday season. It also appeared that rather than finding an actor/stunt man who could fight better than Amell or his stunt man, they just decided to make Oliver look like a freaking amateur out there. Like really, I’ve never seen such shoddy stunt work, and I watch Once Upon A Time, so that’s saying something. It was really, really bad.

We also found out that Maseo is now a member of the League, complete with a new name, and I suspect he will be the one to restore Oliver when the show returns. That reminds me, I guess we get to see the Lazarus Pit, one of the few things I never wanted to see on this show.

Honestly, what do we have to look forward to now? A Black Canary arc with Laurel, who still doesn’t even know why she’s fighting? A bigger storyline for Roy, whom I like very much but who the Big Name Reviewers keep calling “useless” and “bland”? More of Ray Palmer pinging Felicity’s cell phone and intruding on her life, then buying her loyalty by giving her things and spinning tragic tales of lost love? Do we have to — ugh — endure a multi-episode storyline involving Ray and the ATOM suit?! Do we really have to watch Thea run around Starling kicking ass with a false impression of having a father who loves her?

(The way I see it, there are two options with Thea: She turns dark when she finds out about Malcolm’s treachery, turning into a supervillain of her own accord, OR the love and loyalty of her brother and his ultimate sacrifice is the one thing that keeps her light. Frankly, I’d stick around for the second story alone.)

But hey, Oliver loves Felicity. I guess that’s supposed to distract us from how awful everything else was, and in a vacuum, maybe that scene would’ve meant more. I wish I could say I have hope for the second half of the season (which was when it got really good for the last two years) but that’s not true. All I feel is dread.

There’s a very good chance I will not be recapping these in the new year. I’m tired of being negative.

On a side note: Are you guys watching The 100? The mid-season finale is tonight (Wednesday), and so far, this show has done very well by its females.

Flash vs. Arrow: The Great Crossover Event

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**This post contains spoilers for episode 1.08 of The Flash, “Flash vs. Arrow,” and episode 3.08 of Arrow, “The Brave and the Bold”**

I’m gonna do something I’d intended to do since October — I’m going to write about The Flash! Well I’m actually going to write about the big Flash/Arrow crossover that aired this week just in time for Christmas, like a big beautifully wrapped present under our trees! And make no mistake, these were two exceptional hours of television which were groundbreaking in exciting ways that will pay off once Arrow finally gets its act together.

If you haven’t been watching The Flash, I won’t go as far as saying “You’re really missing out!” because it’s going through the same initial pains that Arrow did early in season 1. There’s no credible Main Villain, the love triangle needs to be sorted, the relationships need to be given room to grow, and overall, we’re still getting to know these characters. There’s nothing inherently wrong with the main love triangle (because it’s not a CW show if it doesn’t start out with a love triangle) except for the fact that it’s a really tired trope. Barry and Iris are friends since childhood, but Iris is in a relationship with Eddie, who is a cop and happens to be her dad’s partner. So Barry has been sitting on the sidelines making sadfaces at Iris for seven episodes. And instead of making Eddie unbearable, mean, or neglectful, the writers went and made him an utter delight, to the point that I can’t ever fully get behind the Barry/Iris concept unless Eddie turns out to be a supervillain. But it’s a concept the show is still pushing, and much like Oliver/Laurel, we have to cross our fingers and hope that there’s some sort of course-correction one way or the other in the future.

Barry’s superhero life is much more interesting, especially with his “team” of Cisco and Caitlin. Cisco is enthusiastic, Caitlin is nurturing and in mourning, and as a trio, they make a great dynamic. They’re led by Dr. Wells, who is faking a disability to sit in a wheelchair. He frequently sneaks off to stand up in an odd little room and talk to his clairvoyant computer, but after Slade Wilson’s halluciShado from last season, it’s not that crazy in comparison. He’s ramping up to be a Big Bad but for now, he’s manipulating and shaping Barry into a scientific specimen to his standards, and Barry has only recently started to question Wells’ motivation and methodology.

The real standout on The Flash is Joe West, played charmingly by Jesse L. Martin, who raised Barry after Barry’s father was (wrongfully) imprisoned for the death of his mother. Joe is also Iris’s father and he frequently has to toe the line between father and cop with both of his unruly children. He’s in on Barry’s super-secret identity and he’s very supportive of his hero efforts, and in general, he’s just a joy to watch onscreen. If you enjoy nothing else about The Flash, you will enjoy Joe West.

The Flash has made a very strong, concerted effort to differentiate itself from Arrow tonally and thematically. One is light, the other is dark. One is hope, the other is vengeance. One is life, one is death. One is superpowers, the other is strategy. Barry and Oliver spearhead their own shows effectively, with Barry bouncing around all chipper while Oliver stands still and scowls. It’s the difference between a slightly goofy sci-fi show and a grittier show about war and loss, and yet they both fit seamlessly into the same universe.

So now that I’ve covered the basics, I’ll remind you that Arrow left off with a guy killing someone in an alleyway with a metal boomerang, which is what brings Team Arrow (minus Roy, so I guess he really is Team Arrow Adjacent, sort of like those junior babysitters in The Babysitters Club?) to Central City just in time for Oliver to pop up at a crime in progress and save Barry and Joe from certain death. Probably. Okay, not really, but Oliver can’t resist an entrance.

 

When Barry zooms up to the abandoned house where Team Arrow is congregated, Diggle is shaken to his core. He spends the entire scene staring at Barry with deep distrust. Diggle then spends the rest of the episode questioning not only Barry’s powers and how they function, but also Oliver’s complete non-reaction to Barry’s abilities. “Mirakuru soldiers are one thing, but this?” Oliver insists that Barry’s new powers do not change who he is as a person, but Diggle still doesn’t trust it because he doesn’t understand it.

 

That’s where this Flash episode really got Diggle’s characterization right, and I know the Arrow writers were in that room helping out and making sure everything stayed in character, but still — it’s better than Diggle’s been for the last few episodes. I’ve said before that he’s the one character that grounds everyone else; he’s the realist, the rock, the shoulder to cry on, the steady soldier. He believes in what he sees, nothing more and nothing less. He is suspicious of people whose motivations he doesn’t understand (Laurel, Moira) and of people who have power, because power corrupts. Barry has a power now. Diggle’s reaction was played for laughs because it’s funny to see someone who is normally composed be so shaken, but it was based in something real. Superpowers freak him out. Metahumans freak him out. He understands Slade and his army because Mirakuru was a drug, and that’s a science he can grasp. Super speeds thanks to a lightning strike and a particle accelerator? That has him questioning everything he knows.

It’s great to have Diggle wig out because of what it brings out in Oliver and Felicity, too. They’ve both already known about Barry for a while, and after their initial shock and awe, they moved on. Felicity is technically-minded with a slant toward science, so she was always going to be fascinated and enthralled by something like this. But Oliver accepted it as a part of who Barry is now. His only concern was that Barry would use it for good. His responses to Diggle are part of his intrinsic trust in the goodness of some people — of the light inside his heart.

Oliver and Barry agree to collaborate on their cases, but Oliver’s opposed to Team Flash learning his true identity, so Felicity heads to Star Labs alone, just before she’s scooped up by Barry and flashed there. He sets her shirt on fire, which is why Cisco and Caitlin find her standing in her bra in the middle of the lab; they’re both happy to see her, but for vastly different reasons. Cisco gets even more excited at the sight of the boomerang (“Aaaaaawesome!”) as Caitlin fills Barry in on the Metahuman Of The Week. He’s a rage-inducer. I’ll get to him later.

Meanwhile, Joe is understandably horrified at having the Starling City vigilante in his city and that he’s an acquaintance of Barry’s. This is where we truly get to appreciate what the rest of this CW-DC-verse perceives of Starling City, because Joe and Dr. Wells sit there and reel off the facts: “He was wanted for murder in at least twelve different cases dating back three years.” “There’s been at least two major terrorist attacks on Starling since he became active.” Barry argues that the cops are on good terms with the Arrow now, and calls him a hero, to which Wells responds, “You’re a hero, Barry! You offer protection, hope, light. What that man does is carry out a dark reckoning for his city. It is a brutal, violent vision of justice.” He ends his speech saying that even if the Arrow is a hero, “He’s not the kind you should be looking up to.” Joe tells Barry to get the Arrow out of his city, now. You can’t blame the guy. Looking at the cold, hard facts, it does look like the Arrow is a harbinger of death rather than a hero. (And let’s be frank — one of those terrorist attacks was directly due to Oliver’s presence in that city. Oh Slade. The gift that keeps on giving.)

 

Oliver and Felicity have coffee at Jitters (fun fact: I spent all season thinking it was named Co-Jitters and wondered at the stupid name, but it’s actually CC Jitters… for Central City Jitters… which really isn’t any better, but at least it makes sense) where Iris basically drapes herself all over Oliver as he crosses his arms tightly in a defensive pose. Her excitement is understandable, sure, but her complete obliviousness to Barry’s obvious feelings for her is getting a little obnoxious at this point. It’s even more insulting when she proclaims “His arms are, like, twice the size of yours!” and then talks about how he’s on her list of exceptions and ends with “I just cannot stop staring at him.” Which is funny because as she stares at him and drools, he’s staring at Felicity even more adoringly and saying, “Felicity, this is me noticing you staring.”

 

She wants to help Barry with his case, and even tells him that Barry defended the Arrow to Wells and Joe. Oliver (correctly) says that Barry doesn’t really want his help, but Felicity is insistent, a fact that is not lost on Oliver:

  

After that, how can a guy say no? (May I remind you that the last time we saw Oliver, he had just watched Felicity kiss Ray Palmer? This is actually kind of a big deal — a lot of other brooding types would’ve cold-shouldered the bewildered woman, but Oliver is being a big boy and recognizing that these are the consequences of his choices.)

Oliver refuses to use the term “metahuman,” though, which is a running gag through both episodes of this crossover and I don’t totally get it. He hates the nicknames but he’s always been “Ollie” to the Lances, Tommy, and Thea, plus he calls Thea “Speedy” and brightly suggested the nickname “Arsenal” for Roy only a couple of episodes ago. Later, when Oliver expresses more disdain for “Captain Cold,” saying he’ll discuss the nicknaming later, Barry snarks, “You mean, like, over coffee with Deathstroke and the Huntress?” and I hate that those were the two examples they chose, because of all the nicknames, those were some of the only two that Oliver didn’t assign or even use. “Deathstroke” was an Interpol code name, but Oliver only ever addressed him as Slade, and I don’t even know who coined or used “Huntress” besides maybe the police.

Anyway, Oliver is very annoyed at Barry’s lack of training and discipline. And when I say very annoyed, I mean very annoyed, like he’s downright irritable about it. He asks if Barry cases new environments when he comes across them; “You could. You have the time. But you don’t.” He says it with crushing disappointment, but Barry’s still playing it off as something he doesn’t need to take seriously, so Oliver’s rigged up a system to teach Barry about perception and observation, and it ends with two arrows in Barry’s back. It’s okay. He heals fast.

Barry continues to defend the Arrow to Joe even if his personal misgivings with Oliver continue to grow. Meanwhile, Caitlin and Felicity are collaborating on the metahuman case, a man named Roy G. Bivolo (get it?) who uses his eyes to induce rage in people, causing chaos wherever he goes. They figure it’s linked to the color spectrum, since he uses red in his eyes to induce the rage, while Cisco continues to analyze the boomerang for the Team Arrow case. Wells rolls by and asks for a word with Felicity, and she obliges, but she quickly clams up when he says he wants to know the Arrow’s identity. “That is not my secret to tell, Dr. Wells,” she says, which is almost verbatim what Oliver said to her a year ago in 2.09 after she told Barry his secret. Wells graciously backs down, saying he’ll figure it out on his own, but it’s not that hard — she immediately turns around and asks Barry, “How did it go with Oliver?”

C’mon Felicity, SECRET identity!

Barry gets dispatched to Roy G. Bivolo’s location and gets macularly assaulted, but there are no immediate signs that he’s affected. It turns out his superhuman abilities are delaying the reaction, but they’re also intensifying his rage. It’s a gradual process, starting with him snapping at Caitlin (“I’m not Ronnie, you gotta stop treating me like I am”) and increasing at another training session with Oliver. It starts out pretty well, and Oliver’s intentions are from a good place.

Oliver: “Barry, I have been living this life for almost eight years, encountering things that you can’t even fathom, and I am still alive. Not because super-speed kept me out of the ground. It was because I realized I needed to keep learning, keep training, keep getting smarter. And until you get that, despite your best intentions, you will do more harm than good.”
Barry: “I finally see it. You’re a little bit jealous of me, aren’t you? A guy like you, handsome, rich, can have any girl he wants, jealousy’s probably a new emotion for you, so you might be a little slow to get what it is that you’re feeling.”
Oliver: “That’s your theory?”
Barry: “Absolutely. See, you can train, lift weights, climb that stupid bar until your heart explodes, but you will never be as fast as I am. You will never be what I am. And that’s gotta hurt your rock-hard pride, Ollie.”

He spits out the nickname like an insult, and it’s probably a little shoutout to the fact that Oliver hates nicknames, but how did Barry know that Oliver even has that nickname? Anyway, Barry’s rage builds as he shouts at his sergeant and then shoves Joe as he blames him for his father’s incarceration. Joe pops in at Star Labs to report that Barry’s off his rocker, and Wells turns to Felicity and says, “I think you better call back Oliver Queen. We’re gonna need the Arrow’s help.” Rude.

Barry attacks Eddie as he rides with Iris down Central City’s most deserted street, and he does enough damage to Eddie to send Iris into sobs as she begs for him to stop. Oliver shows up just in time to give Barry enough of a distraction from Eddie and Iris for them to escape, but Barry ends up dragging Oliver down the street and then punching him at super-speed. (This show is great with effects but not so great with stunts.) Oliver gets the drop on Barry in time for Wells and Joe to show up with a bunch of flashing blue lights to counteract the rage in Barry, but just before he turns him, Oliver says, “I still believe in you, Barry.”

 

Diggle, meanwhile, is now at Star Labs since Wells blew Oliver’s cover, and he’s arguing with Caitlin and Cisco about who is better: Oliver or Barry. Objectively, super-speed (coupled with super-healing) will trump a regular human, so it’s really great to see Diggle sitting there staunchly supporting Oliver as the superior superhero. Subjectively, I’d be Team Oliver just because of his experience and his training. In three years, though, who knows?

They vanquish Roy G Biv offscreen and Oliver jokes that he has an impenetrable prison, too! “Mine’s on a nearly inhospitable island in the North China sea, but this works too.” Then he basically threatens everyone on Team Flash, including Joe, if they ever reveal his identity, which Felicity translates as “He had a lovely time working with you and getting to know each of you, and he can’t wait to do it again soon.”

 

Felicity asks Caitlin to run a genetic marker sample on the DNA from the arrow in Sara’s murder. Wells tells Oliver that he met his father once, and that Robert would be proud of the man Oliver’s become, but Oliver ends up muttering to Felicity as they leave, “There is something off about that guy.” I mean, he never noticed with Malcolm or Sebastian, so it’s about time he started noticing weirdos now.

At Jitters, Oliver and Felicity are meeting Barry for one last coffee, but they find him staring broodingly at Iris as she hugs a patched-up Eddie at the bar. Oliver makes all of the necessary deductions in about two seconds, and he sits with Barry as Felicity joins Iris at the bar. Barry apologizes, and Oliver simply says, “You can always talk to me.” He then proceeds to dole out some truly terrible advice about heroes not being able to “get the girl,” which is odd because we are meant to see it as both guys staring at the girls they “can’t” have, when in reality, Barry is staring at his Laurel. In that respect, Oliver is right. Oliver couldn’t have Laurel, he tried. And Barry won’t be able to have Iris, not in this current scenario.

 

It’s especially bittersweet to Barry, too, who sees Oliver taking that same attitude with Felicity. Barry respectfully “let go” of Felicity a while ago because he saw her clear feelings for Oliver, so it’s a tough pill for him to swallow… if he chooses to believe it. He shouldn’t, though, because Oliver is dark and Barry is light… Oliver is regret and Barry is hope. If Barry wants relationship advice, maybe Oliver isn’t the best counselor.

As if that’s not enough drama for one day, Oliver then encounters his baby mama who confirms via a phone call that she is, in fact, his baby mama, unbeknownst to him. I hate hate hate this subplot but I can’t stop it from happening so I guess I have to hope for the best. Iris blows off the Flash later, bitterly disappointed in his antics from the previous night, and then surprise! Caitlin’s believed-to-be-dead fiance, Ronnie, is alive and living under an overpass! And he’s on fire! (I resisted the pun. You’re welcome.)

That brings us to the Arrow episode, “The Bold and the Brave,” which aired last night. Team Arrow (now with bonus Roy!) is still pursuing the boomerang case when they come across a rigged house. They explode it only to come face-to-face with ARGUS agents (one of whom says, “You’re outnumbered, jerkwad!” and I feel so bad for that guy) which confirms Oliver’s suspicion that the guy killed by the boomerang was an ARGUS agent. Now, who do we know at ARGUS…?

Diggle says Lyla won’t want to get them involved in ARGUS matters, and Oliver snaps, “Then tell her to stop letting people get killed in my city!” like it’s a completely reasonable thing to say, and this is the first of seventeen times that the characters really hammer home the point that Diggle and Lyla are not married. They were married. But they aren’t anymore. Got that? They are divorced. This episode stated it like eleven hundred times because their plot points are anvils, so I want to make extra sure that you, dear reader, are aware that Diggle and Lyla are living in sin.

 

I bet you thought this crossover episode was a good place to have flashbacks. You were wrong. While I adore Amanda Waller in all of her badassery, this is the first time in a long time that I’ve felt annoyed and even cheated by the presence of flashbacks. In them, Oliver fails to torture a guy, bombs go off, Amanda tells Oliver to toughen up, then he tortures a guy. There’s no Maseo, no Tatsu, just Oliver and his bad wig.

Cisco and Caitlin show up at Felicity’s office (Ray has officially replaced the Queen Consolidated sign on the building) under the guise of analyzing the arrow sample from Sara’s murder, but really, “We want to see the Arrowcave.” Felicity tells them they don’t call it that. Ever. Because of Oliver’s aversion to nicknames and names in general and just fun things. But they want to see the toys, and their smiles are so huge, and Felicity can’t resist them. You couldn’t either! You know you couldn’t.

So Oliver sits in the middle of the basement and growls at Cisco not to touch things as Roy stands there flummoxed and asks, “Since when did we start selling admission to the Arrowcave?” which makes Oliver point at Felicity accusingly and say, “You see what you’ve done?!” Cisco freaks out over the Arsenal outfit and mutters, “Red is so much cooler than green, am I right?” to Roy, hilariously only a week after his Flash case with the red-eyed guy.

 

Caitlin asks about the salmon ladder, which Felicity says is for “distracting me from work,” and really what we need is Caitlin and Felicity just sitting there at the desk watching Oliver do his thing. Then Caitlin would understand. She’d understand completely.

Diggle is at ARGUS HQ asking Lyla for a favor (she knows this because he calls her “sweetie”) when they’re attacked by Boomerang Man. Diggle calls Oliver for help, but he won’t get there in time. You know who will? BARRY. He zooms right by Thea as she’s on the phone, and he gets there in time for Boomerang to steal an exit from Malcolm Merlyn and poof away.

 

Arrow is really good at the effects, too. Lyla finally discloses the villain’s identity: Digger Harkness, former ASIS and in my mind, former friend of Slade Wilson. You can’t talk me out of it until the show proves me wrong. Anyway, he was a member of the Suicide Squad, and Lyla had once tried to detonate the bomb in his head, which apparently malfunctioned, so now he’s on a revenge mission. Does that sound familiar?

Lyla’s put under Oliver’s protection, which means she’s admitted into the Arrowcave just in time for Barry to zoom back with some sushi and bump into Felicity’s computers like it’s no big deal. Caitlin reminds him that he’s supposed to be keeping his identity a secret, and Barry hilariously assumes that Diggle had told Lyla about him. “I keep secrets for a living, man.” “Oh. My bad.”

 

Oliver pulls Barry aside to tell him he doesn’t need help, and asserts that things are different here, “Starling City is… meaner.” Hahaha when you think about it, yeah, it’s pretty mean… corrupt cops, Malcolm Merlyn trying to kill the underprivileged, Sebastian Blood stepping on people’s throats to get elected, Laurel running around all crazy… Barry insists he’s been practicing everything Oliver taught him (for a whole week, you guys!) and Oliver grudgingly accepts his help, but on his terms. No one can match Barry’s enthusiasm except for Cisco, who figures out who manufactured the boomerangs. That leads Oliver and Barry straight to Detective Lance!

You know who’s fun? Lance when he’s annoyed. He’s currently being annoyed by his daughter, Laurel, who literally only pops up in this scene as a visual reminder that she exists for the viewers, so… way to get that paycheck, Katie. Laurel’s never met Barry, but Lance remembers “Bart Allen, right? You get hit by a bus or something?” Barry asks Lance about the manufacturer, and Lance remembers that he’s connected to the Bratva, which would be really great news if Oliver hadn’t burned that bridge last season. That means he has to torture for information, which horrifies Barry, who hadn’t been privy to these tactics in action before now. Oliver is unapologetic, telling Barry, “You live in Central City, where it’s sunny all the time, and your villains get cute nicknames.” I’ve always likened Starling to Seattle, so does that make Central City the CW-DC-verse version of Los Angeles? Sunny with cute nicknames?

Oliver says that in his city, his best friend died, his former love was shot full of arrows, and his mother was murdered right in front of him, and Barry points out that his mother was killed in front of him, too, “But I don’t use my personal tragedies as an excuse to just torture whoever pisses me off!” Oliver sarcastically apologizes for not being as emotionally healthy as Barry (accurate) and tells him to go back to Central City if he can’t handle the terms of their partnership.

Oliver and Lyla have a surprisingly great scene that starts off weird (she refers to “Speedy” and Oliver thinks she’s talking about Roy? When did he ever call Roy that? And Lyla meant the person who is literally speedy because why would she know Thea or Roy’s nicknames? What did I miss???) but Oliver admits that he and Barry had a disagreement on the way the world works. She understands and glances at Diggle as she says, “There are people in the world who deal only in extremes –” and she’s surprised when Oliver finishes the quote, “and it would be naive to think that anything less than extreme measures will stop them.” They both got that from Amanda Waller. And suddenly I want a lot more scenes of Lyla and Oliver collaborating in these ways.

Felicity frightens everyone by hacking into the ARGUS spy satellite (even Cisco looks terrified at her power) and tracking Harkness’ location. Barry and Oliver team up again as the other three men load into the van and have a philosophical conversation about metahumans and their purpose. Turns out Harkness isn’t there, though. That means they walk (well, they Flash and Arrow their way) right into a trap, leaving the ladies at the Arrowcave vulnerable. I guess Boomerang had the code to get in? Or the guys left the door open, probably.

 

Lyla gets a boomerang to the chest and Caitlin manages to stabilize her so that Barry can flash her to the hospital. Oliver demands to be left alone while Diggle’s at the hospital, so the other four (minus Barry) hang out at Verdant, where Cisco is super attracted to Thea.

 

Oliver, meanwhile, is in Super Brood Mode and Barry tries to talk him down from that ledge.

Oliver: “To do what I do, Barry, takes conviction. But more often than not, it’s the will to do what’s ugly. Every time I do that, I’m trading away little pieces of myself, so, you asked what’s wrong with me? That’s what’s wrong. Because the part that I’m trading away is… Oliver Queen. And lately I’ve been feeling like there’s nothing left except the Arrow.”
Barry: “I think you’re full of crap. You’ve convinced yourself that everything you’ve been through took away your humanity. But I think it’s because of your humanity that you made it through. You wouldn’t have survived, much less come out the other end a hero, somebody who wants to do good, if you didn’t have a light inside of you.”

Oliver’s stricken by this, because Barry has no way of knowing how much he sounds like Sara in that moment. It hurts Oliver because everything’s already been full-circle back to Sara since she died anyway, and here’s this kid, this guy that showed up in his life and was struck by lightning, and the whole time he was in that coma, Oliver loved and lost Sara, who talked about that same light. Most of his light died with Sara, and here’s Barry, who didn’t even really know that, and after all the bitterness and yelling last week, and the torture and doubt this week, Barry’s still insisting that he sees that light. Oliver doesn’t believe it, because he only knows his own darkness.

Yet even as Barry says it, even as Oliver’s prepared to argue and drown himself in misery, light walks up and apologizes for interrupting. She’s dressed in blue and is sporting a blonde ponytail, but she’s light because it’s the only thing she brings out in Oliver: his light.

Felicity found Harkness, and Team Arrow and Team Flash (minus Diggle) reassemble to take him down. Barry and Oliver confront him at the train station while everyone else watches from the Arrowcave. Harkness issues the usual threats and stuff, and says that he has five bombs placed around the city. That sends Barry running while Oliver pins Harkness to a column. They figure out that all of the bombs need to be deactivated at the same time, so Barry flashes everyone (Roy, Caitlin, Felicity, and Cisco) to bomb locations so they can coordinate, and it works like a charm.

Harkness taunts Oliver for his weakness in not killing him, but Oliver corrects him: “It means I have some humanity left.” And you’re still honoring your best friend, don’t forget.

 

Diggle proposes to Lyla as soon as she wakes up (he calls her “sweetie” because he wants something). Caitlin packs up the arrow for analysis as Roy expresses regret that Team Flash is leaving, “You guys are fun.” Cisco says they could be fun too, if they ever realized they were working under a nightclub. Oliver and Barry saunter in all victorious and Oliver basically confirms my wildest dream: Digger Harkness is now cellmates with one Slade Wilson. Oh, the shenanigans! My heart can’t handle the possibilities. “We’ve got a pipeline, he’s got a gorgeous tropical island.” I guess Barry wasn’t listening to the part where Oliver said “inhospitable” and “North China Sea” last week, but Felicity helpfully mentions the land mines which gives everyone pause.

Barry’s happy to see a creepy mannequin enclosed in a glass case for his future visits, and Cisco presents Oliver with a gift of his own: a redesign of his Arrow top, now lighter and able to carry more gear. “I wanted to replace the hood, but Felicity said it had sentimental value.” Oliver beams at Felicity after Cisco says that — the beam is so bright, in fact, that Felicity has to look away, lest she be blinded by the beam.

 

Roy once again expresses regret that they’re leaving (he hates to see you leave but he loves to watch you go) but Barry says he and Oliver have some unfinished business to attend to first. Then they go to a hangar to try to determine who would win in a head-to-head battle. Barry tells Oliver he can inspire people, “Not as the Arrow, that guy’s a douche, but as Oliver Queen.” Then they face off and we cut to a nifty Arrow signoff with the lightning flash tracing the letters.

Whew! That was a lot of stuff. And I can’t wait until the next one. My only gripe is that Joe West has not met Quentin Lance… and now that I’m making a wishlist, I kind of want Eddie Thawne to meet some Arrow characters as well. I’m thinking Thea? That could be fun.

Next week on The Flash: Firestorm, I think? But mainly, Reverse Flash and Christmas!

Next week on Arrow: R’as al Ghul and the League of Assassins wreak havoc. It’s the midseason finale, and let’s hope it’s a thrilling end to a less-than-stellar half-season.

And For This, We Are Thankful: 2014 Edition

Happy Thanksgiving! Or happy random day if you do not celebrate Thanksgiving. May it be full of food and family members you love. We created a list of what we are thankful for, and hopefully it brings a smile to your face as it has ours. May your day be filled with joy.

Stephen Amell

We Sinceriously love you, Stephen Amell.

I’m thankful for him for too many reasons to count.- Kerry

 

Brooklyn 99

Still the best comedy on TV, it’s always dependably hilarious for 22 minutes straight. -Kerry

Bob’s Burgers

 I defy you to find a more supportive and loving family than the Belchers. – Kerry

Chris Pratt

You deserve all the success, Chris Pratt.

 Congrats on your blockbuster hits, Andy Dwyer. – Kerry

Charlotte Ross

 It’s almost like the Arrow writers created Charlotte Ross specifically to play Felicity’s mother. Even our wildest dreamcasts couldn’t have come close. -Kerry

Elementary

 Still my favorite drama on TV.

Playing House

If anything could possibly fill the void that was left by the cancellation of Trophy Wife, it’s Playing House. We need more Bocephus and Jandana immediately. – Kerry

I am thankful for the way some of our favorite shows are choosing to depict romances because it is nice to finally see couples who respect each other enough to love each the way they are. (e.g. Leslie/Ben (Parks and Recreation), Diggle/Lyla (Arrow), Robbie Lewis/Dr. Laura Hobson (Inspector Lewis)) -Brittany

Jane the Virgin

This new series has brought a big smile to my face. -Becca

Yahoo Screen

For giving Community a sixth season. #sixseasonsandamovie – Becca

John Cho

Who can seriously resist a man when he looks like this? – Becca

 

Stupid Cupid

arrow307

**This post contains spoilers for episode 3.07 of Arrow, “Draw Back Your Bow.”**

I want to take you back to a simpler time, a time when we were all so excited to learn new and wonderful things about Felicity Smoak. We got to learn about her “hacktivist” days, about the relationship she has with her mother, about her deep grief over the death of her first love. We got to watch as she defended herself and her mother, as she kicked some serious former-hacktivist ass, as she admitted that she’s a lot tougher than she’d previously realized. That episode happened only two weeks ago. I was overall very glowing in my review, and I remember being very optimistic, even hopeful, about Felicity’s writing going forward.

Well, forget all of the character development you think you saw in that episode. Say goodbye. Put it in a box and ship it to Lian Yu. Get it a nice dank cell next door to Slade Wilson. He’ll sit there and whisper-snarl at Felicity Smoak’s Forgotten Characterization Box, and he’ll swear vengeance for himself and the beautiful blonde girl he once held hostage. “I keep my promises, kid! And one of those promises is the guarantee that I will restore Felicity Smoak’s characterization come hell or high water! I keep my promises!”

I’ll stop beating around the bush: This was a terrible hour of television. I mean, it was truly awful. I’m trying to come up with something to compare it to, and all I can think of is the How I Met Your Mother series finale. I really hate to say this, but I think this episode fell apart on nearly every single aspect — writing, characterization, stunts, acting, pace, even casting — except, weirdly, for Thea’s storyline. Which was barely a plot for her, it was more of a gentle reminder that she exists in the city and she’s reopening her nightclub. Perhaps this episode’s single saving grace is that Laurel wasn’t in it, not because Laurel is inherently bad, but because she comes with her own set of problems that would’ve exacerbated these.

I’ll start with the two bits of good news: Maseo didn’t die thanks to his kickass wife, and Thea hired a DJ.

 

Bask in that for a minute. It’s all downhill from here.

I went into the episode dreading Cupid herself, because “I’m Cupid, stupid” was not the greatest entrance. But Carrie ended up being pretty great, writing aside. It’s nice that she didn’t die, and it’s also nice that she’s not running around all wild-eyed and free like Helena Bertinelli — as we speak, Carrie’s probably making crazy eyes at Deadshot while they train on the Suicide Squad. She was a bit of a bright side in this otherwise terrible episode, because the acting really elevated the meager writing for the character (a run-of-the-mill Personality Disorder, coupled with Oliver having saved her life) and she played vixen with a side of stalker really well. Unlike with Helena, I might actually enjoy when they bring Cupid back. I’m open to the idea.

But we need to talk about Ray Palmer because with all the Sara, Laurel, Roy, Oliver/Felicity, and flashback stuff going on, I just haven’t had the inclination to pay attention to Ray, other than to call him “punchable” a few times. Showing up on a helicopter, which he landed on the roof of Queen Consolidated, did not give me a very good first impression. Wanting to change the name of the city to rebrand it? Sounds kind of stupid, cupid. Buying a company to basically stalk a blonde-ponytailed executive assistant?

… That’s creepy, right?

Why aren’t more people talking about how creepy Ray is? The writing is so bad for him that I’m pretty sure on any other show, he’d be the Explicit Villain. He showed up at Felicity’s work, he bought the company she worked for, he showed up at the hospital, he showed up at her house, he bought her a whole bunch of things she didn’t ask for, and he’s continued to do it through last night’s episode. That’s villainous behavior. Imagine Slade Wilson or Malcolm Merlyn behaving this way toward a woman. Creepy. So why is everyone, including the writers, acting like this is normal behavior for Ray? Is it just because they thought we were desperate for a love interest for Felicity and we’d take whatever they threw at us? I’d rather she stayed single! Or kept going back to Central City to kiss Barry a few more times! I’d take anything compared to the travesty we got last night!

We started with our eyes being assaulted with a shirtless Ray Palmer working out in his office. Where he’s supposed to work. When he knew Felicity would walk right in. If that wasn’t insulting enough, he was working on a salmon ladder, because these writers don’t know how to make subtle comparisons anymore. And just when you think it’s bad enough — just when you’re thinking, “Well, Felicity’s sharp, she’ll see right through this, she’s awesome like that!” — nope, she just mutters to herself, “I have a type.” And that type apparently only consists of salmon-laddering and being shirtless. (Needless to say, and I never thought I’d be making this point, but Oliver never subjected people to his shirtlessness at his place of business. Even Oliver knew that was over the line.)

From there, it really just goes from bad to worse. Ray says, and I’m not kidding, “BTW, are you free for dinner tomorrow night?” He says all three letters. Then asks her to dinner. Not romantically, mind you, it’s just because he has to talk to boring people and Felicity’s brand of Not Boring is perfect for this! (Actually, he threatens to slice his wrists open if he has to go alone, but it’s played as a joke so I just have to let that one slide or else I’ll be ranting about everything. But seriously, that wasn’t funny either.)

Essentially, he talks to Felicity like she’s the specialest snowflake in the entire world, and Felicity, in a stunning lack of awareness, falls for it. Oh no, wait, she doesn’t just fall for it — she allows herself to be bought. With a couture dress. “Which I’m pretty sure is French for ‘expensive,’” he says, douchily. And she agrees to go, “Only so that I can wear this dress.” That was pretty much when I knew this episode was going to be bad. And that was only five minutes in.

Oliver and Diggle watch as Ray Palmer, with Felicity by his side, renames the company Oliver’s father had built, the company his stepfather had run for the five years he was gone, the company his mother had run for six months, the company Oliver had run for a year. Just like that, Queen Consolidated is now Palmer Industries, and Felicity stood there all smiles and sunshine, not acknowledging what this means to Oliver, even after she’d so recently accused him of not having feelings.

She shows up to log in some Arrow hours looking for Carrie and helping Oliver suss out her background, but in the end she asks him for time off to go to the Oh So Boring Dinner with Ray, and Oliver makes every single clenched-jaw jealousy expression imaginable as he mutters, “Do what you want.” You did this to yourself, bud.

 

Of course, Diggle’s continuing his grand tradition of being out-of-character this season, so he takes it upon himself to go up to Felicity at her place of business and tell her that Oliver’s “all twisted up in knots” over her dinner with Ray. She rightly points out that this was Oliver’s choice, but Diggle insists, “It’s messing with his head, Felicity, and that’s really dangerous.”

I talked about how Oliver’s “And you know how I feel about her” comment was unfair, but it came from a pure place. This, though, the way Diggle’s basically laying the responsibility at Felicity’s feet? That’s patently wrong, unfair, and downright cruel. It’s not something I would’ve ever predicted Diggle would do, and that scene, more than any other scene in the entire episode, has me fuming. How dare he? How dare anyone blame Felicity for this? For moving on with her life? Sure, we as the viewers know what’s really going on, that Ray’s being gross and stalkery and Felicity’s only a couple episodes away from an “it rubs the lotion on its skin” situation, but all Diggle and Oliver see is Felicity spending time with Ray. Where does Diggle come off telling her that she should go run and fix Oliver when it’s a choice he made?

{Fix Diggle now, writers, because I’ve been saying for weeks that the more you mess up Diggle, the more you break the foundation of the show. Recalibrate. NOW.}

There’s a terrible sense of loss when Diggle leaves her office. At the beginning of the scene, when he walked in all casual with his street clothes and his leather jacket, it was refreshing to see these two being friends outside of the foundry. Then Diggle had to go and be out-of-character, and that forced Felicity to be a little bit harsh and say Oliver should be the one talking to her. To his credit, Diggle took his cue and left, but her morose little “Goodbye” as he walked away was heartbreaking. Remember “because you’re irreplaceable”? Remember when she went to his apartment in 1.21 to try to talk him back onto the team? Why is this happening?

The hits never stop coming, though, because Ray further “buys” Felicity with a $10 million necklace. She never questions it. She never looks freaked out. She just looks flattered and stunned. So the real question is, at what point did Felicity turn into a Disney princess? Did I accidentally turn on an episode of Once Upon a Time? Why isn’t she running as fast as those heels can carry her?

*Psycho music plays in the background*

Oliver finally admits to Diggle that he’s not happy with Felicity being out with Ray, but he mans up and takes responsibility for the situation. As he should.

  

That’s when I got a text from a friend: “When did Diggle become everyone’s marriage counselor?” When, indeed.

Oliver insists that he needs Felicity’s help on this case, but she’s busy being Ray’s arm candy. No, scratch that — she’s busy being his trophy wife. She’s got the diamonds, the couture, and the updo, now all she needs to do is be the closer. That’s how this works — the man has all the power and status, but he brings the trophy wife to dazzle everyone else and charm them into selling their Nevada mine holdings. And Felicity plays right into it, again, giving them empty words and promises based on the nothing she knows about Ray. And she really does know nothing about him. She’s been too distracted, either by Arrow stuff or by the things that Ray constantly showers over her.

She’s back at the foundry in time to overhear Oliver telling Carrie that he has to be alone, which feels so contrived that it’s almost insulting. Of course that’s what she gleans from that exchange. If this was some kind of elegant and subtle parallel between Carrie and Ray, then that heart-shaped arrow of storytelling completely missed the mark, because Felicity never got the message. She sat there and listened to Carrie declare her love and stalker-y ways to Oliver, and Oliver’s patient explanation that this isn’t going to work, and all Felicity heard was Oliver saying “I have to be alone.” She didn’t realize how closely Carrie’s behavior mirrors Ray’s. She didn’t make any connections at all. She just got hurt, went back to the office, and kissed Ray like it was some hugely romantic moment and not the single creepiest thing I’ve had to watch on TV in a while.

 

So inevitably, at the end of the first episode where Oliver doesn’t sleep with the femme fatale of the week, Felicity and Ray share a kiss. Unfortunately, Oliver witnesses this after yet another ill-conceived pep talk from Marriage Counselor Diggle, and it sends him back to the foundry and, once he spots Felicity’s love fern, he goes into a rage. Roy’s there, though, still grappling with his murder revelation from last week, and that’s when Oliver shows another unexpected bit of character growth: he takes Roy under his wing, and they go to a late dinner at Diggle and Lyla’s.

And the team is together without Felicity.

Ray claims he intended for this dinner to be platonic, but the couture and diamonds say otherwise. That’s okay, because he tells her, “You deserve all those things, and more.” Good thing Felicity is a material girl this week! It’s also a remarkably bad kiss, even the lighting is bad, but hey, it ends quickly, and he takes off, leaving her standing there confused. He goes and looks at his Atom prototype (DC Iron Man?) and we’re supposed to believe he’s gonna be a hero, I guess, but either the actor isn’t great at his job of, you know, acting, or Atom’s gonna be a villain in this universe. (Except no, he’s not, because the Arrow writers kept retweeting praise of Ray and his hotness/adorability during the live broadcasts, roundly ignoring the rampant negativity surrounding him.) It’s been seven episodes and I still can’t figure out what the hell is going on with him.

I’m being very harsh on Felicity but it’s mostly from a writing standpoint than a character one. None of this is overtly unfixable, but it’s building itself into a real problem. There’s never any clear indication of where she’s reacting to Oliver’s rejection, where she’s reacting to Sara’s death, and where she’s just being Felicity, but this entire episode felt like it didn’t belong in any of those categories. The main sticking point for me is that she’s just not registering Ray’s behavior as creepy. Would she have accepted this behavior in Oliver? Would she have been flattered if Oliver bought her things and showed up unannounced at her doorstep and acted like he belonged there? None of her relationship with Ray feels earned, because besides the so-called chemistry that the producers insist they have, we haven’t seen anything tangible between them in seven episodes besides the THINGS he keeps giving her. When did she become that girl?

And I’ll pose a serious question here: What is their endgame with Ray/Felicity?

It will go one of two ways: he’s a villain and he leaves her feeling violated and scarred, or he’s a hero who, once his Not Iron Man suit is ready, ends up having to make the exact same choice Oliver had to make in 3.01. It’s not nuanced. It’s not compelling. It’s not even good.

Is this really what they wanted when they killed off Sara Lance? Are all of these characters behaving the way they should be? Are all of the failed parallels worth it? Do we even have an intriguing arc going on? Is it worth what’s happened to Laurel, or Roy, or Oliver? Is it worth losing Felicity from the team? Is this really what we gain from losing Sara? What a waste. What a terrible and nearly unwatchable waste.

In two weeks: Arrow vs. Flash, apparently, and I was really excited for this before “Draw Back Your Bow” aired, and now I’m apprehensive. Grant Gustin and Stephen Amell usually make for some pretty entertaining scenes, but both of those characters are in a bad way right now, so we might just be in for two hours of Superhero Angst, and man, since Sara died, I’m so tired of watching that.

Also, Captain Boomerang showed up at the end of this episode, but I’m not sure whether he’ll be appearing in the crossover or not.

Project Tahiti

***Warning: This post contains spoilers for ABC’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Episode 2.07, “The Writing on the Wall.”***

The majority of the episode dealt with the Tahiti Project and Coulson’s drawings. It turns out the other people who had been drawing the same things Coulson had been drawing were the first volunteers for the project. They had been agents who were going to die, and agreed to be test subjects. The results seemed to be great at first until they started drawing and slowly started to go insane. The doctor told Coulson they would be better if they got rid of the memories of the patients and gave them new ones. That is when they showed the creepy machine from last year. I never want to see a machine playing with someone’s brain again.

In the end, Coulson is back to normal (I hope), but only after he went crazy by locking Skye up and going after one of the patients to find the answer. He was able to get the answer. The answer being they are looking for a city. It does leave me questioning why craziness is now over. They still haven’t found the city, but the need to draw is now gone. I’m glad he finally told his team what he was doing over the past months.

Coulson’s main team is loyal, but I’m glad Mac started questioning Coulson. Someone should be asking the questions, even if I fully trust Coulson.

Mac played an interesting role in this episode. I got the feeling him and Jemma are not necessarily getting along. Part of it is because of Fitz. Mac seems very loyal to Fitz, and he is seen helping Fitz out by handing him a game controller.

Another interesting part is Mac picked up on what Fitz was saying about brains and files. I have a feeling Mac will try to get Fitz to explore a route in getting Fitz fully operational again.

Finally, there was the dealing with Grant Ward story line. I keep thinking they need to do a body count every time Grant Ward kills another person. I will say Brett Dalton has done his best work on the show when he is playing the bad guy. It is one of the reasons why I don’t want a redemption arc for Ward. However, dissing Mockingbird? Not cool. I still really want all the women to gang up on him and kick his butt for the misogynistic comments from last season.

It was great to see May, Triplett, Hunter, and Morse in a van together, and I really wished Triplett and May had rolled their eyes at each other while Morse and Hunter bickered again.

Don’t Trust a Telenovela to Keep a Secret

***Warning: This post contains spoilers for CW’s Jane the Virgin Episode 1.05, “Chapter Five.”***

 

It is a truth universally acknowledged that the truth from secrets and lies always come out on a TV show. This week’s episode of Jane the Virgin seemed to evolve all around people not telling the truth, and past lies starting to come forward. Nothing less should be expected because this show is a parody of telenovelas. It is one of the reasons why I have fallen in love with it. What makes this show even greater is you come to care about the characters. I felt for Jane’s mother throughout the episode while she was suffering the consequences of having not told Jane the truth about Jane’s father.

One of the things that made it better was Rogelio trying to help mend the mother-daughter relationship. Yes, the man can be quite a shallow idiot at times, but it is clear he cares for Jane and sees how valuable Jane’s relationship is with Xiomara.

At the end of the episode Jane does return home because secrets never stay that way for long. Not only does Jane find out about Michael’s past criminal activities from Michael himself, but then she also stumbles across the information of Michael knowing Petra was having an affair with Zazo before Jane told him. This is what happens when you let your fiancée live with you, and leave your case files lying around. Especially when she has already looked at one of the files while she was in the car with you. Michael should have known better. If someone is acting like Veronica Mars, their inner detective does not turn off.

Meanwhile Petra’s scheme for staying married to Rafael has failed due to her own lies, but since this is a telenovela she and her mother have concocted another with portraying Rafael as abusing Petra. Petra’s mother is crafty, and I’m pretty certain she is able to get out of her wheelchair.

While all the lies happening there were some people who were able to tell the truth. Rogelio told Jane he would not have been the best father when he was younger, and Rafael told Jane he was divorcing Petra. Rafael has been pretty honest with Jane throughout this series so far. Of course he doesn’t tell her everything like him having sex dreams about her. Jane has definitely left the sister category in Rafael’s head, and Rose has figured it out.

My favorite part of the episode was seeing what was going through Rafael’s and Michael’s heads while they were talking to each other. I am a sucker for seeing internal thoughts on Tumblr (I get extremely giddy every time I see a new one of Oliver Queen’s internal thoughts of Felicity). It made my night seeing it actually happen on my TV screen and the internal thoughts did not disappoint. I hope the show will continue with this format.

With Great Nerds Comes a Great Movie

***Warning: This contains spoilers to Disney’s Big Hero 6***

I am in love with Big Hero 6. To be honest, I probably fell in love with it during the Disney panel at New York Comic Con…at least I became deeply infatuated with it. The clips they showed with the cast and crew discussing the film had my nerdy heart needing to see this film, and the movie did not disappoint.

Everyone already knows a genius is more than capable of becoming a hero with the Iron Man franchise, but this film showed nerds who are more relatable becoming super heroes. Four out of the six heroes in this film are science students who each have there own quirks. Then there is Fred, the mascot who is a science enthusiast.

Of course it wouldn’t be a Disney or comic book story if there wasn’t some sort of tragedy. It can’t be just a simple tragedy. It has to make the audience become empathetic with what is happening to the characters on the screen. If the audience is only sympathetic, then it is not a great film. This film tore at the heart strings, but what was also beautiful was the science nerds rallying together. No one needs to suffer alone, and the lovable robot, Baymax, comprehended this. It was one of the many things which made him so lovable. He was made to be a healthcare robot.

Will this stabilize your pubescent mood swings?” – Baymax

However, Baymax became this character so easy to love because Tadashi created him, and it felt as if a piece of him was imparted in this robot. Baymax not only helped with the physical pain, but the emotional pain as well.

It is all right to cry, crying is a natural response to pain.”- Baymax

The story and characters were fantastic, and one of my favorite elements was how it embraced the comic book scenario. Fred is not just a science enthusiast but also a huge comic nerd. He is the one who points out it is like a comic book. He is all for this becoming the group’s origin story.

“A lunatic in a mask just tried to kill us.” – Go Go
“How cool is that? I mean, it’s scary, obviously, but how cool?” – Fred

The animation was amazing. It was awesome to see how the animators were able to combine both elements of San Francisco and Tokyo together fluidly. What made it even better was the feeling of stepping into a world that comic books hold. There were many times I felt like I was watching a comic book come to life on the big screen.

All I can say now is don’t always follow Fred’s own lifestyle choices especially when it comes to underpants, and even though you may be satisfied with your care it may still hurt afterwards.