Comic Con 2015: Best of Thursday

This year, it felt like Thursday was the calm before the storm. Right now my twitter feed is exploding with Agent Carter love because Hayley Atwell will win at Comic Con this year. There were some epic moments yesterday.

The first epic moment was Bill Murray making an appearance. This man deserves all the love. He checks off at least one surprise guest at the Con.

Marvel is livestreaming the Con, and a couple of my favorites were Lyndie Greenwood (Jenny Mills is my girl) and Will Friedle.

Marvel also interviewed Nicole Perlman, co-writer of Guardians of the Galaxy and writer for Captain Marvel.

There was also a interview with Kris Anka. I know he is an artist for Marvel, but I mention him because he is the one who recreated Jessica Drew’s (Spider-Woman) outfit. It is the reason why I started reading and fell in love with the series. He is also the artist for the new Captain Marvel comic series written by the Agent Carter show runners, Tara Butters and Michele Fazekas.

io9 came out with a review on Blindspot, Supergirl, Containment, and Lucifer. It made my Tom Ellis heart smile. They talk about funny Ellis is in Lucifer, and I will repeat what I have said before, watch Miranda.

http://io9.com/which-fall-tv-show-will-rock-your-world-our-spoiler-fr-1716703519

Con Man!!! It is a beautiful thing when nerds come together with especially when is Alan Tudyk is at the head.

The winners for Thursday had to be the iZombie cast.

Rahul Kohli is the winner of the day

*Bonus* Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.

Pre-Comic Con Highlights 2015

San Diego Comic Con officially started today, but you could already feel it in the air last night.

Last night, Conan had his first Comic Con episode and it dd not disappoint. The episode was nerd heaven with all the references, and the the art department should get major kudos for their geeky creations.

The Mad Max: Fury Road introduction was glorious. Conan has had some great introductions in the past, but this may be my all time favorite. The credits were also amazing with the comic style, and you end up playing guess the reference all throughout.

The show then hit the ground running with the new Wolverine auditions.

Personally I would watch a new Wolverine movie with Nick Offerman or Betty White. I also think Kristen Schaal should be in a Ghostbusters film.

Then there was Gollum coming out and stealing Elijah Wood’s The One Ring.

The best part of the night for me was the Seth Green appearance and him and Conan having a lightsaber battle.

Another highlight of the night was the Lucifer writers tweeting this pic.

I fell in love with the pic first and foremost for the Tom Ellis, but then I noticed how many writers are women. While it is not an equal amount (my true wish for a writer’s room) there is still a good representation.

Finally, the cherry on top is of course Hayley Atwell. I’m counting it because she is Peggy Carter. This lady is going to steal Comic Con this year with her awesomeness and Dubsmash videos.

It’s Almost Here!

San Diego Comic Con starts this week, and the internet will come alive. My Tumblr and Twitter feed will fill up so fast, it will be hard to stay on top of it. The internet has made it easier for people who are not able to attend the Con. News of panels and interviews arrives seconds after announcements are made (some sources even livestream). Then there is my favorite part of this coming weekend, NERD HQ. Where some of my favorite people do panels with fans for charity. While I may not be there in person, I made a list of randomness to find while living on the internet for the next few days.

1. Surprise Guests

2. Hayley Atwell doing at least 3 Dubsmash videos

3. Someone giving the finger (probably a cast member from The Walking Dead)

4. hearing the word “Awesome”

5. mention of a Chuck movie

6. seeing former cast mates meet up

7. mention of Stephen Amell’s upper body (bonus points for visual)

8. Firefly reference (there should be many this year with Con Man being at SDCC)

9. obscene amount of PDA between casts

10. cosplayers from canceled shows

Have a fun weekend, and may it be full of epicness! Always remember you can have fun on SDCC weekend thanks to the internet. Yell at your friends at how rude your favorite people are being and bond.

What to Binge: Miranda

One beautiful thing about this summer is people discovering Miranda Hart. I was excited to see her cast in Spy because I knew it would lead to people falling in love with her. Before this movie, the chances of someone from the U.S.A. knowing her would have been through Call the Midwife. They would have not known she is this amazing comedian, or she had her own show, Miranda. This week’s binge watch choice is Miranda, which can be found on Hulu . This is me telling you, “WATCH IT!!!” If me telling you to watch it is not enough reason, then here five more reasons to watch this glorious show.

 

1. Relating to Miranda

In less than three episodes you will find yourself agreeing to something Miranda does or says. Her belief in never giving up childish fun is what relates to me the most. I hope I never grow up and become a serious adult, if it means giving up on the things I find fun.

 

2. Tom Ellis

The man is fine. The chemistry him and Miranda have is great. You will want Miranda and Gary to end up together. There will be a need for them to be happy, and kiss (then kiss again and again). It doesn’t hurt that Tom Ellis is tall like Miranda. When they are in a scene together, you forget how incredibly tall they are.

*If you are planning on watching Lucifer of Fox this winter, now is a chance to get your first taste of Tom Ellis (if you haven’t already).

 

3. Her Mother

Another way you may find yourself relating to Miranda is with her mother, Penny. She is constantly wanting Miranda to marry and have a grown up job. However, the relationship is still a delight to watch. The bottle episode where Miranda and Penny are in a psychiatrist’s office is one of the strongest episodes of the series.

 

4. Miranda’s and Stevie’s Friendship

While the series had the will they or won’t they relationship with Miranda and Gary, it also focused on  her friendship with Stevie. At first glance, it seems like they have nothing in common both physically and personality wise. However, these two had some of the best moments on the show, and I would be lost without them.

 

5. Learning to Accept Yourself

One of the themes about Miranda is her finding self-actualization. It also taught the audience members how to accept themselves on who they are. It is important to love and accept yourself for who you are, and this show is a perfect example of this life lesson.

 

Bonus: The hotel episodes are two of the best episodes.

What to Binge: Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.

It surprised me when they announced season two of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. was going to be out on Netflix earlier this month. Usually I have to wait until the fall before I can start to binge watch a show that just aired. However, I feel it was a smart move because now it gives people a chance to start watching the show before season three airs. There is no longer an excuse of not having time to watch it all.

Summer is the time for binge watching. Where fanatics of shows yell at friends to watch something they love because they care. This is me yelling at you to watch this show. It may start off slow, but IT GETS BETTER! WATCH IT!

The show had a slow start. In some ways it reminds me of Arrow’s first season. Both shows got better as their first season went on. Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. was finally able to go full speed after Captain America: Winter Soldier. The show was leading up to the film, and the ramifications from the film impacted the show greatly. For me this show is like a roller coaster it took a while for the build up, but the pace finally increased.

This show has been enjoyable for many reasons, and it is why I’m giving you 10 reasons why it needs to be binge watched this summer.

 

1. Phil Coulson

Clark Gregg gives Phil Coulson life. The man passionately believes in S.H.I.E.L.D. and his team. One of Gregg’s greatest moments was the scene up above. There was despair in what the group had lost. Hydra had been with them this whole time. However, Coulson carried on. He kept his beliefs, and it made you want to stand with him (In Coulson We Trust). Gregg’s performance made you want to hug the man, and tell him you would follow him anywhere.           

But then there is also more playful side of Coulson. The one you want to keep in your pocket because he is adorable.

 

2. Captain America: Winter Soldier

Season one was tightly connected to this movie. The season was leading up to the revelation Hydra had been implanted in S.H.I.E.L.D. It was the catalyst for how the organization dealt with the after effects of Hydra being revealed. Steve Rogers may have said no more S.H.I.E.L.D., but the organization was huge. Someone had to make sure the agents were taken care of. Someone has to find and fight Hydra. Yes, S.H.I.E.L.D. fell down, but the belief for what it stood for never died. They were able to keep it alive.

 

3. Guest Appearances

The show never lacks in good guests. For instance, the show finally introduced Phil’s cellist played by Amy Acker. Other actors from both the Whedon Universe and Marvel Cinematic Universe have popped up from time to time. The second time Samuel L. Jackson appeared as Nick Fury was everything I wanted and more. Then there are other actors who don’t belong to the universes like Lucy Lawless, Patton Oswalt, and Edward James Olmos.

 

4. Villains

Agent Dale Cooper played a excellent, unhinged villain in season two. He knew how to balance the craziness and violence. Then there are the Team Hydra players. They know how to comply on being the bad guys. One of my favorites is Raina. She joins any team that will give her what she wants at the time. She will forever be in the morally grey area, and enticing to watch.

 

5. Fight Sequences

The combat is fun to watch especially with season two. Melinda May has been kicking butt since season one, but season two showed more of the team in action. A beautiful thing to see is Bobbie Morse and Lance Hunter fighting each other, but then being in sync while fighting the bad guys.

 

6. The Characters Added On The show started off with only six members of the team, but the team has evolved over the past two seasons. It has added new characters. Antoine Triplett was the who brought the funk to the group, and he will forever have a piece of my heart. Then there were more additions is season two. My favorite being Bobbi Morse a.k.a. Mockingbird. As soon as she and Jemma Simmons bonded, I knew I was hooked.

 

7. The Number of Women One thing that sets this show apart from other shows is the number of women. Generally I find a show to be lacking with women. The men always outnumber them. This group usually has the same amount of men and women. We also get women who have questionable morals. The women on this show are not there to help a man’s story line along. They have their own stories. They will also protect the others, if you even try to mess with one of them.

 

8. The Characters Before the first season is over there will be at least one character to fall completely in love with. You will find yourself worrying about the character, and wanting to protect them at all costs (my favorite is Jemma). It is more than probable to fall in love with more than one of these characters. They all have differences, but they work brilliantly as a team. They also grow over the series. The character growth and evolving of this series is a beautiful thing. The best example would probably be Leo Fitz who was the child of the group in season one. Fitz has grown up, but is still this caring man you want to hold and protect.

 

9. The Friendships Friendships are a key factor for me watching a television show. I love seeing camaraderie between two people who will be there for the other person. This show has multiple friendships. All the members of the team are friends, but the bonds between certain people on the team are different. They each bring their own value and interest. I cheered when Mack and Leo became friends. I encourage a friendship between Bobbie and Jemma while I still love the Jemma and Skye dynamic.

 

10. The Family The core group became a family during the first season. They will protect each other at all costs, and consider wherever the team is home. It isn’t S.H.I.E.L.D. that is home for them, it is the people they love.

 

Bonus: It is all connected. I had a better understanding of the films with how they connected parts the show and films like Avengers: Age of Ultron together. It has also already started what will probably be the basis for Captain America: Civil War.

Mad Pitch: A Review of Pitch Perfect 2 and Mad Max: Fury Road

***Warning: This post contains spoilers for Pitch Perfect 2 and Mad Max: Fury Road***

Last weekend, my drive-in put together Pitch Perfect 2 and Mad Max: Fury Road on the same screen. At first glance, it may seem odd these two were put together. One film is a comedy and the other is action packed, but the main commonality of these two films are ladies dominating the screen time. They show a variety of ladies in these films because not every single woman is going to be the exact same copy of each other. There will always be differences in personality alone. If we only have ladies who take charge and look hot while doing it, then a film becomes a copy of films before it.

Pitch Perfect 2 is all about the ladies. They are facing the the problem of the Barden Bellas becoming a thing a of the past, and the only way for them to survive is winning the World Championship. All through out the movie I kept thinking about Community‘s Christmas episode, “Regional Holiday Music,” where the study group had to become the glee club. I knew the stakes were supposed to be high, but I wasn’t able to be fully invested in it. It was the same plot with the original movie. The Bellas had to win again. They kept talking about the World Championship and met their enemy, but it was a background plot. I didn’t care about who won this time around. I cared about the interactions of the characters.

The film did a good job of making the first part disjointed. It didn’t flow, and it showed the group was no longer together. They had lost who they were as a group. Instead we were getting individual stories of Beca, Amy and the new girl, Emily.

For me, the best part of the film was when they went on the retreat. It is where the synchronization started because they were becoming a group again. Before this happened, the tone of the Bellas had changed (not for the better). Yes, they were a group who was trying to get back to the top, but the heart was gone. It came back when they started to open up and supporting each other.

This movie felt like a sequel. Someone would not be able be able to come into the movie without seeing the first and understand everything that was happening. It is a continuance of the story, but the problem with sequels is the first movies are well loved it is hard for the second film to live up to the first.

A sequel doesn’t always have to be bigger to be better, and Pitch Perfect 2 movie had this example with the Bellas trying to be bigger in order to be better. However, I don’t think the movie necessarily lived up to their own example. They added more characters, but the some of the characters felt typecast. They went for the easy jokes.

Then there is the music. While I don’t hate the majority of songs on the film, it did not make me want to buy the album immediately after I left the theater. The first film had me jumping up and down singing right along with the songs. I got into the film. This time I left the theater questioning the credibility. Why would the majority of groups from all around the world be singing an American song? If it was a national championship, it would be comprehendable for multiple groups singing the same song, but this was a World Championship. I know timing is a factor, but the movie failed for me with this part.

Overall it was interesting to see a film take a reverse stance from several other films. The ladies were the main focus, and the only times the guys were on screen they were playing the love interest for the girls. They were the supportive cheerleaders.

Mad Max: Fury Road didn’t get the guy cheerleaders. What they got was Imperator Furiosa saving the ladies from Immortan Joe. While this movie was the fourth Mad Max film, no one had to see the first three films in order to know what was happening with this film. This film is a simple action flick that will give the audience an adrenaline rush.

There were no long explicative scenes of what was happening. The film didn’t need them. It let the audience know what they needed to know piece by piece. It was fluid this way, and comprehensive. There didn’t need to be any scenes of Joe treating the women as sex slaves. The “We are not things” written on the wall was enough to understand what was happening. There were no scenes of rape happening on the screen because a person does not need to be shown the act actually happening in order to process a person is being raped. They are able to grasp it from what the ladies wrote and then later seeing them cutting off their chastity belts with bolt cutters. We know the ladies were treated as objects, and they were proving to themselves and us they were human beings who were not inferior.

The women held so much power in this film. Max and Nux had to become accepted by them, or they would not have been able to join forces with them. They wouldn’t have earned one of the few motorcycles because they would not have deserved them.

It was a “lovely day” when I watched this film. Joe and his brothers had made everyone inferior to them, but this film showed the ones considered inferior were in fact superior. The most beautiful part was Max and Furiosa not falling into the concept of the guy and girl hating each other at first, and then falling in love by the end of the film. They were comrades in arms, both of them seeking redemption.

The film didn’t give deep depth or draw out the characters, but it didn’t need to. It gave a good adrenaline rush. It succeeded my expectations, and was very tactful. The film is rated R and George Miller could have gone all Game of Thrones with graphics, but he kept it tasteful. After all, the film is mainly for the car chases with drummers and a guitarist with a flame thrower guitar thrown in.

The most beautiful thing about these two films is they would not have been better if the genders have been reversed. They proved women can be a major factor of a film without always being sexualized. They can be equals. They can be the ones in the driver’s seat with the guy in the passenger’s seat supporting them.

My Name is Oliver Queen

I have a question for everyone reading this post. I assume you’re all Arrow fans with at least a casual interest in the show. Whether you’re a regular reader or you’re brand new here, I really want your opinion.

Did the finale fix anything for you?

It’s a serious question, because I have seen the reactions to “My Name is Oliver Queen” run the entire spectrum. Some people are overjoyed. Some people have quit the show. Some people are angry about Oliver/Felicity but willing to continue. Others don’t really care about Oliver/Felicity but they’re angry about Laurel.

If we ignore spin doctor Guggenheim and actually examine reactions to the episode and the season as a whole, the only thing we can conclude with certainty is that fandom has experienced a dramatic shift this year. The people who have been with the show since day one are quieter. The shippers are manic and tunnel-visioned. And you know which shippers I’m talking about — not a specific ship, either, but certain factions of fandom that just want their endgame and they don’t care how they get it — so don’t get offended, because I don’t include everyone who ships. I still consider myself an Oliver/Felicity shipper, I guess by default, even though the characters that drove off into the sunset in the finale were unrecognizable from the dynamic duo I used to ship. Shippers who value good writing and storytelling over endgame, those are the shippers I want to talk to.

And people are angry. Even the people who are happy and got exactly what they wanted, they’re engaged in angry, defensive debate with people who dare to argue. There’s been a pervasive sense of appropriation of fandom and characters this season that’s made any sort of meta discourse nearly impossible. If you get critical about certain characters, people converge and condemn you for being “too negative,” as if positivity is the only way to approach the media you consume. If you’re not positive, you’re just wrong, and your motivations are up for debate.

This is not to say that constant negativity is any better, and while my reviews have definitely fallen to the negative side this season, I still try not to approach this show looking for bad things. I’ve had varying levels of success (I would not say I’m very rational about the Ray Palmer aspect. At all.) but on the whole I’ve tried to strike a balance. But today I feel lost. I feel that no two people are having the exact same reaction to this episode.

This is why I genuinely want you to comment and leave your honest opinion of Arrow’s season finale. I’d love to know what you expected, whether you enjoyed it, whether it was predictable or surprising, and if it “fixed” the problems of the season for you — if this season was even problematic for you in the first place.

As for my opinion…

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**This post contains spoilers for episode 3.23 of Arrow, “My Name is Oliver Queen.”**

If you want a gauge of just how negative my review will be, I’ll start off with the blunt truth: I have no plans to continue reviewing this show next season. I will watch the first couple of episodes out of sheer curiosity, mostly related to Speedy and to see how the writers awkwardly attempt to bring Oliver and Felicity back into the fold, but overall, I have no interest in watching this show critically anymore. To me, this has fallen in my eyes to the TV-viewing equivalent of Once Upon a Time — a perfectly entertaining show, but riddled with enough plot holes and out-of-character moments that I can’t take it seriously enough to be critical. That’s why these reviews have been a bit of a slog; I’ve gotten so far removed from thinking of the plot from a meta perspective that I can’t completely engage anymore.

To me, this episode failed almost every single character. Let’s break it down:

Oliver learned almost nothing. He confessed that maybe he should’ve trusted his team and not tried so hard to protect Thea, but he did it in such a way that he never really apologized or admitted he was wrong. In fact, he did that kind of tired superhero-y trope of treating his ‘ragtag team’ like a bunch of scamps who escaped with their lives by pure luck, and not because of any talent, skill, or heart. And then he quit, because I guess after 3 terrorist attacks in 3 successive Mays, he thinks his crusade is over.

But yeah, let’s talk about how Oliver thought an apology would be enough for any of them. Thank GOD, in the end, that Felicity was the only one to actually accept it (and I’ll get to that in a moment) because no one else really forgave Oliver for his crappy treatment of them this season. Remember when he trusted his team? Remember when he put his entire life and trust in Felicity when he handed her a small syringe and whispered “Do you understand?” Remember, oh, all the countless times he’s confided in Diggle and Diggle ALONE over the course of the first two seasons?

But here we are, only a year later, and his team has given him no reason not to trust them, but Oliver still chooses to leave them out of the loop on his Grand Failure Experiment to Half-Assedly Infiltrate the League of Assassins with Malcolm Merlyn’s help. And when faced with the fact that he survived and that his team is angry, all he can do is mutter vague references to “protection!” and issue borderline non-apologies. He is virtually unrecognizable from the Oliver in the s2 finale, or oh gosh, the Oliver in the s1 finale, who was propping up an injured but determined Diggle as they both surveyed the destruction of the Glades with horror. Remember that? Remember who caused that? THAT is who Oliver trusted over his own team.

Him holding Malcolm Merlyn accountable, in the end, is a farce, because he also gives him the League of Assassins. This is pretty much 80% of the reason I barely want to watch next season, Damien Darkh notwithstanding.

Felicity actually regressed as a character. (Yes, this is controversial. I expect your torches and pitchforks.) Her scenes with Oliver were almost as cringeworthy as her scenes with Ray earlier in the season, because they were full of misplaced swooning and affection in the midst of terrorist attacks, team splintering, and oh yeah, Oliver’s totally awful betrayal. She was mad for about 17 seconds and then she was screeching at Ray to drop his nanotech work to go save Oliver. She actually asked Ray to stop trying to fast-track life-saving technology for the entire city so that he could go save her not-quite-a-boyfriend. For the first time all season, I was on Ray’s side, and that’s something for which I may never forgive this episode. So she donned the suit, rescued Oliver, and I guess the brush with death (which he’s neeeeever had before, and certainly not in the last six months) made her want to kiss him and run away with him to places unknown, but you know, places which hopefully do annulments for Nanda Parbat marriages. (All I can think about is Laurel incredulously asking, “How can you be so sanguine?!” as Felicity stares doe-eyed at Oliver. That would’ve been fun to see.)

Argue with me all you want, but you can’t tell me dialogue such as this is organic and in-character. This is the same Felicity who gave TWO impassioned speeches about believing in Oliver and out-foxing Slade Wilson in the big finale episodes last season. This scene is just lip service — this is literally some writers sitting there saying “Well Oliver is a man and he needs a woman to be his motivator so send in Smoak!” and this is the tired, stilted dialogue she was forced to deliver. This was an attempt to say “See! This whole season really WAS about identity, like we said! We stuck to the plan!”

– The only person in the trio of the original Team Arrow that didn’t regress or act out-of-character was Diggle, who held Oliver accountable, maintained his broken friendship and trust, and expressed his deep disappointment when Oliver quit the team. I’m proud of Diggle, who has become the only Every Man on this show, the only person we were able to consistently relate to throughout this fiasco of a season.

– Then there’s Laurel. Believe me, before season 3 started, I never thought I’d be sitting here saying that the Black Canary deserved a better arc, but here I am. She didn’t regress, she did nothing wrong, but she was still treated very poorly by these writers. She was excluded from the Rescue Thea Mission a few weeks ago, she was included as afterthoughts by most of the team (except Roy, really) and SHE had to go to the TEAM when Nyssa had information on Oliver’s fate with the League. As in, the team never had any reason to check up on her. She was flying solo. And that sucks, because her own sister was fridged* just to give her this arc which was supposed to be meaningful, but instead it was directionless at first, then had purpose for the three episodes Oliver was dead, and then she was just shunted to the side for the rest of the season because Oliver’s manpain took precedence.

This middle-of-the-road stuff doesn’t work with Laurel anymore (not that it ever did, but it’s glaring now). Either she’s essential to the show and the team, or she’s not, we can’t have it both ways. This is leaving aside all personal feelings about the actress and her abilities, I’m talking strictly from a storyline and writing standpoint — she ended this season just as middling as the last. And she deserved better — Sara deserved better.

Ray signed over the company to Felicity without her knowledge, then didn’t mention it during the entire finale. He let her ride off into the sunset even though she runs a company now and then he pressed a button and blew up the top floor of Queen Consolidated (I refused to call it by his dumb company name). But before you get too excited, no, he didn’t die, he just successfully turned himself from Iron Man to Ant-Man, so have fun with that on his spinoff show which I probably won’t be watching. Wonder who he’ll stalk on there.

Nyssa got the worst deal of all. After battling her father all season, then battling Oliver, then being banished, then being forced to marry Oliver, you’d think Nyssa would be gifted her birthright of becoming the next R’as al Ghul by her reluctantly betrothed. Well, Oliver Queen had a different idea, as he handed the League to Malcolm, who then forced Nyssa to kneel before him. Think for a moment about this: Nyssa becomes the next R’as. She uses the League to hunt down and kill Malcolm, once and for all. Thea’s not really that sad. Everyone else is relieved. I feel like maybe this whole season wasn’t a total farce after all. And Nyssa is a badass leader who just so happens to still be married to Oliver. That’s ripe for all kinds of fun shenanigans next season, including a couple of unholy alliances.

Alas. This show failed this city once again. Now an unhinged, untrustworthy mass murderer who Officially Isn’t BFFs with Oliver Queen Anymore is in charge of the deadliest league in the world. So next season will be the same old same old and Malcolm isn’t held accountable for anything. Again.

Captain Lance fell off the wagon, which was disappointing for a lot of people to see, but I actually sort of buy it. Sobriety isn’t a state of being, it’s an action, it’s a constant struggle, and Lance has been through some pretty bad stuff in the last few months. Most people have such a low opinion of the writers that they think this was used as a poor plot device to up the drama ante, and I don’t disagree with that as a distinct possibility, but maybe it’s the Elementary fan in me that is willing to give them a little bit off leeway on this one. To me, this didn’t come out of nowhere. (The guy needs a break though. His life has been terrible of late.)

– At least there’s Thea, the only wonderful, no-holds-barred development of this crap-tastic season. She donned Roy’s Arsenal getup and made her appearance as Speedy (or as she would call it, Red Arrow) and she’s hopefully going to be an integral part of the team next season. She is still mad at Malcolm, but she grudgingly admitted that he did make her stronger. She’s not happier now, though, and that’s sad, because we know those Queens are prone to brooding.

*Turns out Sara Lance is the latest in a growing list of deaths on this series that needs an asterisk, since she’s magically coming back to life via the Lazarus Pit in order to star in Legends of Tomorrow. Even though they buried the body. So we have some retconning, plot holes, and more unnecessary twists to look forward to. Nothing against Sara or Caity, obviously (I wish she’d just stayed alive on this show and then spun off onto LoT) but the more they do this, the more they weaken the fabric of the credibility of the entire universe. At this point I think the only person who will truly stay dead is Tommy Merlyn, because the writers just hate us that much.

To me, this episode fixed nothing. None of the things set in motion by Sara’s death were resolved. Malcolm is still out there, the League still exists, Oliver is still self-righteous and stubborn, and there has been too much loss this season (Roy, Sin, Ted Grant, not to mention the shattered interpersonal relationships that don’t directly affect Oliver…). This was not the amazing, tying-up-loose-ends sort of finale that we’ve come to expect. It made this poor season end with a whimper and not even a small toot, much less a bang.

The episode itself was poorly paced, with a lame attempt by Oliver to kill R’as on the plane, then R’as telling Oliver his entire plan, then R’as summoning Oliver to a duel to the death… Which Oliver won rather easily, because again, poor pacing. (It’s worth noting that ol’ Guggenheim has already hinted at bringing R’as back next season, so that’s gonna happen.)

Half of the dialogue was cringe-levels of cheesy, especially the sunset scene at the end, and the rest of it was almost unbearably expository considering we didn’t really need that much recapping.

Oh, and Barry was there, he freed the team from the dungeon (“an actual dungeon!”) and half-heartedly defended Oliver, while no one could explain how Oliver managed to make it to Central City while he was supposed to be on a virus-bearing plane with R’as. Barry was his usual delightful self but he was also a victim of anvil-y dialogue. No one was able to escape it in this episode.

So our ‘heroes’ (the quotes denote sarcasm) have spun into different directions: Oliver and Felicity for the coast, Diggle to his family, Laurel and Thea to keep fighting, and Ray to his own show. We’re supposed to believe this is truly the end of Oliver’s story, but we at least know we have two more seasons of flashbacks to endure, even if it’s just Oliver hunting and eating berries on the island. Who knows.

I want to take this opportunity to thank you all for reading and commenting along the way. It’s been a challenge of late, but once upon a time, I truly enjoyed writing these reviews. Optimistically, I want to believe that Arrow can recapture the magic next season, but I’m gonna manage my expectations during the hiatus.