Jimmy Akingbola Cast as Baron Blitzkrieg in ‘Arrow’ Season 4

The Arrow is getting a new nemesis.

Jimmy Akingbola, who has only acted on this side of the pond in Sons of Liberty, will be playing Baron Blitzkrieg in Season 4 of The CW series Arrow.

Baron Blitzkrieg debuted in 1977’s World’s Finest Comics #246. He was an Earth-2 villain who led the group Shadowspire. Blitzkrieg was a German Nazi who was blinded when acid was thrown at him while working in a concentration camp. His sight was restored by scientists who also gave him superhuman strength, the ability to fly, optic energy beams, and invulnerability.

Arrow hasn’t been one to stick to the original or bring in meta-humans. I am very interested to see what back story they give this character for the modern day.

Arrow returns to The CW on October 7th.

Source: THR

Arrow Review – “The Offer” S3E16

As we spiral deeper into an emotional state of Theadom, Arrow‘s dreary tone is getting more and more grating to the viewers. We’re venturing into the realm of C-Dub overload, as drawn out speeches of inner turmoil are starting to drown out the undeniably incredible story unfolding. It’s a shame because the whole story, as adaptive as it has been from Batman lore, is just as engaging as any of the past material. At the same time, I can’t be too critical of the show that has bred this new generation of superhero TV hype, but there’s an overwhelming feeling that the show has become diluted with the recent explosion of content at CW.

Pros:

Ra’s the roof!: Let’s not pretend that Ra’s al Ghul and the League of Assassins aren’t the best villains on this show thus far. He is shrouded in mystery, and has the force necessary to make life very difficult for Star City. As a villain, he’s less emotional than Slade, but there is a certain amount of maturity that Matt Nable brings to the role that makes him twice as frightening as Deathstroke was. He’s also a villain that has seamlessly transitioned from a Bruce Wayne bad guy to a Oliver Queen bad guy. Nanda Parbat and the League of Assassins have always been held in high regards, so to see them more intimately explored on one of the best TV series out has been gratifying.

The complexity of justice and honor: I’m fascinated by the amount of talk dealing with honor and justice in this show. It’s completely subjective between Captain Lance, Oliver Queen and Ra’s al Ghul. Each character has honor, but the way they go about obtaining justice is unique and conflicting from one another. Nobody disagrees that Malcolm Merlyn is a bad man, but all three would seek to go about serving him justice in different ways. I almost enjoy this better than if it were Batman that Ra’s were dealing with because Oliver’s moral code is a bit different than Bruce Wayne’s, making the decision to take the Demon Head’s mantle a more difficult decision than when it was offered to Batman.

Maybe being Ra’s isn’t all that bad: With all that Oliver has to deal with – defiant and incompetent (*cough cough* Laurel) teammates, the sad truth that there will never be fruits for their labors, the loss of trust from Quentin Lance, and the conflict of being both Oliver Queen and the Arrow – it’s not hard to imagine that sitting atop Nanda Parbat would be too much more difficult. Ollie even falls into a more stern leadership role throughout the episode, tired of getting second-guessed and mocked for decisions that put all the heavy lifting on him anyway. I guess we all have those days at work.

More strong, sexy women: I don’t think I could roll my eyes at the way the women have essentially been reduced to emotional lightning rods in Arrow. While it’s great that Thea can kick ass and that Laurel is a stubbornly independent as her sister, there’s not a whole lot of strength in whining all the time. Felicity is finally done being mad at Oliver, which is relieving, but the show will greatly benefit by the inclusion of Shado and Nyssa round out the incessant gushing.

Arrow The Offer 03

 

Cons:

Is this really a Batman show in disguise?: One of the most alluring elements of the show is how closely Arrow is following classic Batman lore. However, it’s almost gotten to the point where the show isn’t using much creative juice anymore, and just riding on the coattails of the Dark Knight. Whether it’s Oliver’s inner-turmoil between his split personalities, or the thought of leaving a legacy behind as a symbol, there might be too much similarity between the two. If imitation is flattery, then this is the TV equivalent of John Cusack with a boom box.

Lazy writing: There’s too much convenience going on here. How do we get Laurel to deal with her issues with her father? Let’s get the girl with the mother of all daddy issues to have coffee with her, maybe teach her some assassiny things. Poof, now Laurel will be as good as Sara, no training montage necessary. Thea is alone and sad, with nobody to turn to? Poof, let her throw down with Roy in the bedroom. That will solve all her problems. It’s just weak and predictable writing that I would have hoped CW could focus on story-telling over gawking about emotions, but maybe that’s not the main demographic the show is aiming towards anymore.

Not enough Roy in my life: Roy and Diggle, who have been unwavering voices of reason, are completely underserved in this show. They are battle-hardened and also have the best dialogue out of any of Ollie’s other cohorts. I would love to see more action montages, more diving into Roy’s background, more Diggle A.R.G.U.S. exploration. The show needs to lean more on these two characters if they’re going to continue to show the supporting female characters as the emotional wrecks they are.

Arrow The Offer 01
Don’t mind me. Just sitting here reading my sexy book.

 

Lackluster flashbacks: Aside from the gasp-worthy reveal at the end of the last cutscene, but for the most part, the flashback scenes all seemed misplaced in the episode, even feeling unnecessary altogether. I love this show’s flashbacks, but there’s no need to include them just for the sake of including them. The Shado reveal (if it was really her…) could have been better served if it were used to more of a point than just a quick peek behind the figurative curtain. The key to these is being patient and analyzing each segment, but there wasn’t a whole lot to gather from the flashbacks in this episode.

 

Easter Eggs:

The Lazarus Pit. For Real.: We finally get a good, hard look at the Lazarus Pit. I wish I had a Lazarus Pit. Well, we’ve talked about the reviving powers from the pit, but actually seeing them at work is pretty cool stuff.

Murmur: Definitely a D list “villain of the week” here, Michael Christian Amar is also known as Murmur. He was a Flash villain who cut out his tongue and sewed his mouth shut. He was sentenced to die by lethal injection, but his abnormal blood properties prevented the injection from killing him. He’s not really that important, but it was worth mentioning.

It’s called “The League of Assassins”: Oliver mulls over the idea of being Ra’s al Ghul’s successor, but detests killing in his name. The League of Assassins isn’t always known by that name. In other comic book lore, they are referred to as the League of Shadows, which sounds just as cool without any of the nasty murder connotations that go with it.

Arrow The Offer 04

Tidbits and Predictions

Heir to the Demon’s Head: It’s abundantly clear that Ra’s and Oliver will not be friends anytime soon after the end scene for “The Offer,” where Ra’s hopes to destroy The Arrow’s reputation swiftly, but that doesn’t mean that Oliver’s genes won’t suffice… Another Batman parallel could involve Ra’s’ daughter breeding a child with Oliver. We know which team Nyssa bats for, but there has been no mention of Ra’s having other daughters. All I know is that “breeding” doesn’t exactly spell out romance.

Oliver in a suit feels weird: Remind me again what this guy does for a job? For the first time since Ray Palmer snatch up Queen Consolidated, we see Oliver back in a business suit – begging the question, “How does Oliver make money?” It would be nice to see more of his corporate side again.

Will Flashpoint affect Arrow?: After this week’s superb Flash episode, Barry finally learns to use the Speed Force and break the time barrier, resulting in unfortuitous circumstances for the group. As in the Flashpoint books, Barry’s time travel mischief changes everybody’s reality. Could it also alter Oliver Queen’s reality?

Is this a turning point for Merlyn?: Malcolm Merlyn has not been such a good guy thus far. And even further from that are his skills as a parent. After Oliver triumphantly brings Merlyn back to Star City, he is given a crash course in what it’s like to be selfless from Oliver. Has Ra’s finally knocked some sense into Merlyn, and Thea’s heartbreak finally hit home? Or is he still just playing the game to keep himself alive?

Arrow The Offer 05
Should have switched to Geico…

 

 


 

Hush Comics gives “The Offer” a C for tripping  over it’s own feet. With such a grand, expansive story at their feet, the show is more focused on inner-drama among the well oiled Team Arrow than it does finding conflict outside the group. With Ra’s presenting a real threat and bringing the battle to Star City, hopefully the team will have no choice than to confront the bad guy. Plus, we have A.T.O.M. coming up, and nobody can take that away from us.

 

All images belong to The CW and DC Entertainment.  They are credited to Diyah Pera.

Arrow Review – “Nanda Parbat” S3E15

This week was a very emotional one on Arrow, and I don’t mean that in a nice way. Half the episode is spent bawling over Sara’s death in the most annoying way possible: constant blame and poor decision-making. There were some legit action scenes and the portrayal of Ra’s al Ghul’s character was spot on for what DC fans expect. Even the flashbacks leave eyebrows raised as we dive deeper into the history of Shrieve and A.R.G.U.S.

Pros:

Three seasons of sexual frustration let out: Let’s admit it, Felicity and Ray Palmer are a better couple than she and Ollie ever would have been. Unlike Ollie, Ray is just as wrapped up in her as he is his work. And they are both tech geniuses, something Oliver never could get a grasp of. Now that A.T.O.M. is a go, I wonder if he will fall into the same trail of thought that Oliver did. I can do without her stumbling over double entendres, getting flustered every time a billionaire shows off his man boobs, but Palmer has been extremely likable thus far, so the pairing is welcome for now.

Arrow - "Nanda Parbat"

Pre-bitch ass Meryln: Laurel was pretty dumb to attack Meryln head-on, but it resulted in one of his best scenes in the series. Telling Laurel that she had “delusions of grandeur” was a pretty fancy way of tell her that all this stupid vengeance talk isn’t going to actually amount to a victory. Merlyn continues to whoop her ass with his hands behind his back in the most insulting way possible. In his “training” session in the Quiver/Arrow cave, he also teaches Thea and Oliver about working in unison, scolding Oliver that he brought a bow and arrow to a sword fight. He may be a condescending jerk, but he will actually make them better… if that’s the direction the show is going in anymore.

Arrow - "Nanda Parbat"

Do NOT piss Nyssa off: Ra’s al Ghul’s daughter, Nyssa, is fireworks in a bottle. This girl kicks major ass. I love the “vengeance is justice” angle and hope they continue to have her as a bigger part of the story. It was satisfying to see her kick Merlyn’s butt (chin) all over town, too. She is clearly not the bad guy here, so it’s easy to get attached to Nyssa as she is the most badass female in the show not named Tatsu.

I Dig the Bromance: There isn’t a better tag team on television right now than John Diggle and Oliver Queen. Diggle knows Oliver very well, and can sense when something has gotten under his skin, or when he has an ulterior motive. Diggle is not afraid to call him on his bullshit, either, and can de-escalate a situation before it ever gets out of hand between Oliver and the rest of Team Arrow. More importantly, Oliver never has to worry about carrying him in a fight. Something in my bones tells me he’s almost TOO valuable to keep on Team Arrow forever, though. I mean, the man finally put security locks. Who else could have thought of that?

Arrow - "Nanda Parbat"

Cons:

Sara is still in the refrigerator: The cliché has been used in comic books forever, but they are reeeally drawing out the affects of Sara’s death in the hope it will make Laurel a stronger character. Instead, it’s getting a bit repetitive. I’m still unsure that they won’t bring her back permanently, but it seems like the only reason Laurel is around is to talk about Sara – same with Quentin Lance. Can Sara be more than a beacon of hope or

And Laurel isn’t doing herself any favors: While she’s been annoyingly tagging along like Oliver’s kid sister, there’s a point when it’s not cute anymore. Laurel isn’t Sara – we’ve visited that point – but she also doesn’t have the same charisma as her sister, either. Her reaction to Thea’s confession was baffling and not believable. Nor was her reaction to Oliver, or her “burn” to them ever being in love. I will be so disappointed if this couple ever gets together. There are talks about Caity Lotz coming back for a spin-off show with ATOM – could this mean that the Lazarus Pit might be used soon? She is sooooo C-Dub.

Arrow - "Nanda Parbat"

Oliver is such a know-it-all: Not only does Oliver have to make all the important decisions for the group, but he is constantly “doing what’s best” for each person. It gets a little old, frankly. Oliver has been through some tough times, and done some pretty unforgivable things, but he got over it. There is a team – a family – now with his back, so why does he feel the need to pull the strings? If it weren’t for Diggle, I think Oliver would piss everybody away. Roy and Thea seem to accept that he constantly lies and hides things from them, but Felicity and Laurel are ready to walk away. Stop being a dick, Oliver.

Arrow - "Nanda Parbat"

Traaaaap: John Barrowman, you are better than this. I don’t know hat happened, but Merlyn turned into a gigantic wuss as soon as Ra’s captured him. I know that the Demon Head is formidable, but Malcolm Meryln turns into a total coward, and it’s pretty off-putting. I know Ra’s is scary, and I know that it’s meant to show just how much stronger Oliver’s resolve is than Merlyn’s, but  it just comes off as really lame – especially when they find Merlyn and he is barely able to whisper the word “trap.” Come on, really guys? It reminds me of that episode in Chappelle’s Show when his bodyguard is moments away from revealing one of life’s truths to Dave. So cheesy…

 

Easter Eggs:

Lazarus Pit or just Nanda SPArbat?: Maybe Ra’s just likes his bubble baths, but the way he talked about talking with illusionists in the 1800’s sure makes it seem like this guy is actually old as fuck.

Arrow - "Nanda Parbat"

More Toys!!: The newest bit of tech we see Oliver blessed with is a collapsible bow. This guy shows up to Nanda Parbat on his George Jetson. With just one spasm of his hands, his suitcase this unfolds into a beautiful compound bow. I don’t know where he’s getting all this tech (Cisco?), but I hope it keeps coming. Comic book Green Arrow has a trick arrow for every occasion.

Can’t Ra’s hell forever: Ra’s is really quite true to his source material; meanwhile, Arrow is staying true to 70’s Batman lore (screw you, Bruce Wayne), with Oliver taking the place of the traditional Bruce Wayne. Ra’s respects Oliver, and wants him to take over his position as the Demon Head. This is a big deal. Obviously, there’s a conflict of interest here, but with the lines of death not as black and white as they are for The Dark Knight, this could prove an interesting opportunity for Ollie.

Daddy issues: Ra’s isn’t just ashamed of Nyssa because she’s a lesbian; it’s deeper than that. WIth the Demon Head looking for a replacement, he’s looking for an heir – somebody to keep the family bloodline strong, and so the responsibility falls to Nyssa (we haven’t met any other of his children) to breed the ultimate warrior, similar to Damian Wayne in the Batman comic books. I don’t see Nyssa and Oliver doing the do anytime soon, but it’s always a possibility.

 

 


 

Hush Comics gives “Nanda Parbat” a B- for centering the entire episode around Thea’s revelation that she killed Sara, and the ripple effect it causes between the team. There were signs of a crazy story to come, both in the flashbacks and in Nanda Parbat, but it was marred by the incessant grieving of the show’s weakest character. When Oliver was gone, the show really started relying on the wrong characters. I want: more Roy Harper, more John Diggle, and a more dynamic Felicity Smoak. If Arrow can learn how to get out of its own way, we can forgive these recent missteps.

 

All images belong to The CW and DC Entertainment.  They are credited to Cate Cameron, Diyah Pera, and Dean Buscher.

Arrow Review – “Left Behind” S3E10

Arrow tries to pull the story forward after one of the most shocking mid-season cliff-hangers we’ve ever seen. Obviously, it’d be hard to discuss this episode without spoiling that particular cliff-hanger, so you’ve been warned! Will “Left Behind” answer any of our questions, or continue to pull us along with no answers?

Pros:

Arrow - Left Behind 02

Immediate response to Oliver’s predicament: Unlike this other show we knowArrow gives us instant gratification for whether or not Oliver Queen is dead. Whereas Flash played out the emergence of Reverse-Flash as the appearance of a boss battle in a video game, Arrow progresses the story naturally. I mean, you didn’t really think the Arrow was dead, did you? While this makes Felicity’s outbursts a bit more annoying, it would have made fans even more frustrated with the show for dragging us along.

A little father-daughter bonding: Thea has come back from her hiatus in Corto Maltese a solid character. And as much as you hate Merlyn for hiding behind Thea, the relationship these two have is pretty darn cool. Imagine how cool Speedy would be if she were actually Speedy. I digress – the sparring session the two have is a lot of fun to watch, especially when Merlyn gives her sage advice that he “wouldn’t recommend texting during a real fight.”

No stupid time-jumping: When a major event like the fight with the Demon’s Head closes out a break between seasons (or mid-seasons, in this case), it’s common for shows to convenient jump ahead in time to relieve themselves of the obligation of explaining what the hell happened. Twice now, once with Canary’s fall and now with Ollie’s, Arrow has taken up the challenge of actual story-telling. It’s nice that there’s still a standard for writing. Just 3-4 days after Oliver left town, and there’s a believable amount of time for angst, but not so much that there’s a giant hole in the timeline.

Flash-back: Mateo gives Oliver a huge IOU on this one when he thinks outside the box to help Mateo track down his wife. There’s still a big gap left to explain how Mateo ended up with the League of Assassins and how Ollie gets out of A.R.G.U.S., but it is closing progressively with each episode. We also get the creation of the trick arrow with this series of flashbacks. I didn’t think I would like this season’s flashbacks because of how much I loved the island, but they are providing so much more detail in story-telling.

Cons:

Maybe too much Felicity is not a good thing: We here at Hush rave about Felicity every episode (she made our list of Best TV Characters of 2014). She’s so smart and sexy and independent (except when bought off by Ray Palmer, but whatever), and mostly funny. However, there was nothing to laugh at this episode. She was nothing but selfish and weak throughout, and it got very grating, very quickly. If this was Arrow‘s way of giving one of the strongest characters in the show the spotlight, they did it terribly. Arrow has a knack for making us hate, then love female characters, so I’m hoping for a quick rebound for Felicity.

Oliver cheats death. We get it: Talk about beating a dead Queen, jeez. Oliver Queen has lived through so many life-threatening circumstances. He beat the island. He beat Slade. Wait, you mean you know that? That this isn’t your first time watching the show? Then why is it the focal point of every conversation in the Arrow Cave Quiver? This episode was so full of whiners that for the first time EVER, I was pining for more Laurel scenes. Where is Wildcat? Let’s get some more badass scenes with Laurel as she plays Canary. Sheesh, you cheat death a couple of times and all of a sudden people expect it of you.

How does Felicity have a job still?: Before I continue to kick Felicity while she is down, just think about what it would be like to be Ray Palmer. You meet this Smoaking hot girl at a tech store, and after seeing her genius potential, you hire her for pennies on the dollar (who cares how much? You’re rich!) as an assistant, and she is a wreck every time you try to talk to her about something work-related. That’s when she is there; because she’s always off with god-knows-who during crucial business times. Even after putting the moves on her, she bashes your dreams and tells you that your dead fiancé would think that they’re stupid. I’m sorry, but no amount of quid pro quo could ever be worth putting up with that.

Arrow - Left Behind 01

 

Easter Eggs:

He’s a Brick… House: It’s not really an Easter Egg, since this one is staring us right in the face throughout the episode, but “Left Behind” was kind of short on them, so we will use what we have. Vinnie Jones (very recognizable character actor) plays Danny “Brick” Brickwell, a metahuman crime-lord with the power of… ya know… bricks? I like the inclusion of metahumans in Arrow, and hope this is the sign of more to come. I also wonder if he sinks as fast as a pile of bricks.

Pride Rock will never be the same: As Merlyn returns to tell Thea the bad news that his dickhead plan failed, he tells her that they must “leave [Star City] and never return.” What the hell? Is this guy Scar from The Lion King in disguise? With Mufasa Oliver out of the way, who will protect young Simba Thea from the hyenas League of Assassins?? Maybe Timon and Pumba Diggle and Arsenal will able to give Simba Thea the confidence (s)he needs to turn on Scar Merlyn. Hakuna Matata, bitches.

Project A.T.O.M.: Ray Palmer wants to… “start small” on Project A.T.O.M. It’s no secret that The Atom will be making his debut on Arrow soon enough, but with pillow talk like this, it might come sooner than later.

Laurel takes up a new hobby: While Kate Spencer was never mentioned by name, her spirit lives on in Laurel Lance. Known as Manhunter in the comic book lore, Spencer is a prosecutor who begins moonlighting as a superhero with the help of an arsenal she accrued from the evidence room. Fun Fact: Spencer’s grandfather, Al Pratt, was the original Atom in the comic books. Anyway, I’m sure this is not hinting at anything deeper, but the parallel is definitely there.

Predictions:

Arrow - Left Behind 03

Canary will be instrumental in Brick’s defeat: I’m not sure how high Canary’s sonic frequency weapon gets, but it’s got to be a hell of a lot more effective than Diggle’s headshot was.

More Thea midriff: Don’t expect the hottest Queen in town to start covering that belly-button any time soon, folks. Sexy, but not slutty. Mysterious but still intriguing. Thea Queen’s mid-section has become the focal point of the show for us at home. Distraction? No way. This is The CW, baby. Gratuitous skin just isn’t their thing.

Oliver will eventually side with Merlyn… Ugh: Thea is going to be caught in the crosshairs unless Oliver steps in front of her, and faces the League again. Merlyn will keep himself attached to Thea to ensure their safety, and while he is kind of a coward, he does care for Thea. Beating Ra’s in hand-to-hand may not be an option for Oliver, but there’s gotta be some show of force to get the League off Merlyn’s back if he wants to keep Thea, and her midriff, on his side.

 

Hush Comics gives “Left Behind” a C for Felicity’s horribly written part in the episode, which really swallowed up way too much time when so much else was going on. We get that she loves Oliver, but knowing that he was not dead, and then hearing her blubber about it, and mucking up the mission just made her even less relatable. I actually had to pull a lot of punches on this review, but I’m nowhere near worried about the season rebounding.

All images belong to The CW and DC Entertainment.  They are credited to Ed Araquel and Cate Cameron.

Best of 2014: TV – Best Series

Another year is in the books, and we here at Hush Comics couldn’t pass at the chance to rank our favorites of this year’s releases in all types of mediums. Some of the winners will surprise you; heck, some of the results surprised  us. The results are completely subjective, and therefore were chosen with infallible logic. We would love to hear your opinions on what we have chosen, or if you thought we missed anything. This should be a fun review before we gear up for 2015.

hush best of 2014
Click on the link to take you to the “Best of 2014” homepage.

Best TV Series

  • Arrow (The CW)
  • Game of Thrones (HBO)
  • Orange is the New Black (Netflix)
  • Sons of Anarchy (FX)
  • The Walking Dead (AMC)

WINNER – The Walking Dead (AMC)

The Walking Dead stepped it up a notch in season five.  But let’s not forget the second half of season four, either.  While much of it was slow because everyone was on the road, we also were given one of the best season finales of the series in “A”, and there was also the now infamous line, “Look at the flowers, Lizzie.”  However, season 5 have had so many non-stop episodes, it felt like descending down a roller coaster for the majority of it.  Comic fans were appeased with Bob’s “tainted meat!” line and the story veered enough away from the comic that there were some truly suspenseful episodes with no way to predict the future.  Sundays seem bleak without our survivor heroes, but I’m happy with how the show went this year. – Adrian

Second Place – Arrow (CW)

Arrow Best of 2014 TV Series Best Series Runner Up 1

There isn’t a cast on television that has the type of chemistry that Ollie’s Scooby Gang does on Arrow. The CW show got off to a promising start, but after nipping at the excessive displays of inner-torment and tucking away the “that’s so C-Dub” moments of eye-rolling almost-romance… I promise that is not a jab at Laurel’s plastic surgery… this show has become the best on television. Stealing Batman’s villains and giving them a place among Green Arrow’s new rogues gallery was genius; throw in some hints at a gigantic world on the horizon (credit to The Flash for triggering that), and you have the best TV show tandem since Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel. And don’t even get us started on the Season 3 mid-finale. – Sherif

Third Place – Game of Thrones (HBO)

Game of Thrones Best of 2014 TV Series Best Series Runner Up 2

Hodor hodor hodor hodor. Hodor hodor hodor hodor hodor hodor hodor hodor. Hodor hodor hodor hodor hodor hodor, hodor hodor hodor hodor hodor? Hodor! Hodor hodor hodor hodor hodor hodor hodor hodor hodor hodor hodor hodor hodor hodor hodor hodor hodor hodor hodor hodor hodor hodor hodor hodor; hodor hodor hodor… hodor hodor hodor. Hodor, hodor hodor hodor hodor hodor hodor hodor hodor hodor hodor hodor. – Hodor

RUNNER UP – Orange is the New Black (Netflix)

Orange is the New Black Best of 2014 TV Series Best Series Runner Up 3

Writing about Orange is the New Black is sort of strange because many other TV shows envelop our lives.  They come on once a week and we think about them often in between those new episodes.  But with OITNB, binge watching it (the most preferred method), makes you watch it intensely – so intensely that it almost feels like you might be at Litchfield, and then 13 hours later, it’s over and we move on.  Season Two was a good follow-up to the highly acclaimed first season.  While it felt good to be back at Litchfield, and the writing is still better than most shows on today, it did feel like we were missing a lot of the essence of the first season, particularly with the inclusion of villainess Vee.  However, Poussey, Red and the season opener made the entire season a must-watch. – Adrian

RUNNER UP – Sons of Anarchy (FX)

Sons of Anarchy Best of 2014 TV Series Best Series Runner Up 5

Sons of Anarchy has proven to be more than a television show about motorcycle boys and violence. After seven years, the final ride has hit me in the face like a semi-truck. It’s hard to express the level of emotions Jax and crew has taken the audience on from the first scene to the last. After years of violence, love, blood, bullets, family and alarming amounts of man butt, the audience is forever changed wondering what the hell to do on Tuesday nights now. Through all the pain the club has experienced, the deaths we all have mourned, and the war zone Charming has become, The Sons of Anarchy Motor Cycle Club Redwood Original chapter will be with me till the day I meet Mr. Mayhem. – Evan

Next Category: Best Animated TV Series

Arrow Review – “Draw Back Your Bow” S3E7

Last week’s episode of Arrow, Draw “Back Your Bow”, may not have looked too appealing, but was actually way more delightful than I expected. It had its faults, but overall it was a pretty fun watch. This week, Oliver finds himself up against yet another person in Starling City who uses a bow and arrow to kill people, but this time it’s a crazy lady who’s in love with him. Can I just say really quick, if every foe you face uses a bow and arrow, isn’t that kind of lame? It doesn’t really set him apart from anything if apparently Starling City is the capital of archery. Anyhow, while Oliver deals with his secret admirer, Felicity gets closer to Ray Palmer and a love triangle is born. Well actually it’s a love parallelogram if you count Barry Allen who is also pretty into Felicity. But then again, who isn’t?

“Draw Back Your Bow” begins in a flashback to six months ago on the night Starling City fell. The Arrow jumps out of his van to save a struggling adorable red head from one of the juiced up masked men. Her attacker falls, the Arrow takes off and the damsel in distress swoons while cuddling the arrow that saved her. Low and behold, in a very short six months time she transforms herself from a victim to a full-fledged martial artist, bomb expert and archer all to get attention and affection from the Arrow.

Arrow - Draw Back Your Bow
Carrie Cutter is crazy Cupid. Alliteration much?

 

Carrie Cutter is kind of a random villain to bring in from the comics, and a very new one but I personally thought she was a lot of fun. I also thoroughly enjoyed that during all of her scenes there was basically slow circus music playing in the background just to emphasize that this bitch is crazy. I will not waste time trying to figure out how she gained the knowledge she seems to have now, because if she was a martial artist or any kind of the badass she is as Cupid then she probably wouldn’t have been so easily bested by her in the streets the night Arrow saved her.

I appreciate that the show at least addressed that she used to be a police officer, which explains some of the knowledge she has of weapons and fighting techniques, but the pieces still don’t quite fit if you want to spend time thinking about it.

Oliver Queen defends his city against... a lot of other archers.
Oliver Queen defends his city against… a lot of other archers.

While Oliver grapples with crazy Cupid he also has to deal with the heartbreak of watching the girl he loves but refuses to be with move on with her life. With the man who now owns his family’s company no less. Burn. I’m not crazy about the Oliver-Felicity will they/won’t they love story in the first place, but I guess Oliver has to have a love interest and why not the only redeeming female character on the show? While it hurts him to do it, Oliver stays committed to not being able to be with anyone as long as he is the Arrow and he gives a moving little speech to Cupid that is really meant for Felicity about the pain of not being able to be with someone you love. It was sweet, but frustrating.

When Oliver returns to the Arrow cave after his battle with Cupid, Diggle, who has been playing the unlikely role of matchmaker for whatever reason, gives him yet another push to just throw caution to the wind and go be with Felicity. Ollie decides to take that chance and sadly witnesses the MOST AWKWARD KISS EVER between Felicity and Ray. Sad face, he walks away and the love triangle continues.

Cue awkward kiss in 3...2...1... disaster!
Cue awkward kiss in 3…2…1… disaster!

Honestly, that’s really about all that happened in last night’s episode. We got to see more of Oliver in Hong Kong, attempting to bond with the space alien that is Yamashiro’s wife. Obviously something is going to happen there, not romantically of course, but still the flashbacks this time around were less than compelling. Ray Palmer continued to be alluded to as up to no good as he looked over plans of the ATOM exo-suit, but he’s still pretty darn likable. Overall, “Draw Back Your Bow” may not have really pushed the overarching storyline forward, but it was a really good filler episode in the lead up to the Arrow/Flash crossover. So far I think this season has been off to a little bit of a slow start, but episode 7 was fun and enjoyable enough to help solidify Arrow as still one of the best shows out there.

Finally, here are some points I may have missed from the characters in episode 7 that contributed nothing:

  • Hi, my name is Roy and I’m sad all the time now.
  • Hi, my name is Thea and I just let random guys walk all over me and then kiss me because I’m worthless.
  • Hi, my name is Laurel and thank god I wasn’t in this episode.

Hush Comics gives “Draw Back Your Bow” an A- for making something really enjoyable out of a filler episode.

All images belong to the CW and DC Entertainment. They are credited to Cate Cameron and Diyah Pera.

Arrow Review – “Guilty” S3E6

“Mine’s bigger,” spoken by Arrow himself, is the quote that perfectly sums up Ollie in this week’s episode “Guilty.” While it was laughable that Oliver Queen has to always prove he is better than everyone else, it was a nice change of pace to have a story where the Arrow was featured as more than just a side character, considering the show is named Arrow.

We finally got to go back to the format of Oliver and crew investigating crime in Starling City.  It was a nice reminder of how the show first started, without the distractions of who fathered who or who used to date who.  The team investigates a gang who is notorious for selling heroin.  They find all the gang members dead, with a message written in blood…”Guilty.”  Then we get to delve right into an investigation on Ted Grant, Laurel’s boxing coach.

Ted Grant: he can do more than just mop.
Ted Grant: he can do more than just mop.

Although there were drug dealers killed, there was also a trail of bodies, all incriminating Laurel’s mysterious coach.  I really liked how everything concerning Ted was revealed through Oliver’s investigation.  The episode flowed well because of it, and the viewers, comic fans and television fans alike, experienced all the reveals without being overwhelmed.  And we finally have Wildcat!  Former vigilante, current boxing coach, and all around badass.  I’m excited to see if he will be incorporated into the “group” more than just being Laurel’s trainer.  There was a hint of the story arc concerning his son, Tom Bronson, earlier this season, so it could be cool for that to be part of his plot.

Roy Harper is more than just a sidekick --- but first let's test that blood for Mirakuru!
Roy Harper is more than just a sidekick — we will never abandon you!

The other main aspect of this episode was Roy admitting to the team that he thinks he killed Sara because of the dreams he has been having, in which, well he kills her.  While it was obvious that Roy did not kill Sara (at least to me), I really liked the way the storytelling was done here.  Roy’s story nicely tied in the flashbacks from Oliver’s past in Hong Kong and the use of meditation to evoke correct memories.  It also tied together the parallels between himself and Ted’s aka Wildcat’s former sidekick, Isaac Stanzler.

Stanzler stands for nothing else other than what could be when it comes to Roy.  Isaac was Wildcat’s guy who went a little too far when it came to beating the bad guys: literally beating one man to death.  Wildcat cut him loose, only for Isaac to be captured and tortured.  He attempted to get revenge on Wildcat only to have it backfire.  Isaac Stanzler is not a character in the comics, but it was nice to see the comparison of Isaac to Roy.  We have not seen nearly enough from Roy this season, which is a shame because he is one of the best characters on the show.  By using Isaac, we get to see the difference in morality that Roy and Ollie hold.  Plus, we got to see a stunning sidekick vs. sidekick battle!

Oliver Queen is super jelly of Ted Grant training his ex-girlfriend.
Oliver Queen is super jelly of Ted Grant training his ex-girlfriend.

Laurel’s involvement in this episode was refreshing.  Not once did I roll my eyes at her, which is a rarity.  She is getting stronger, both physically and mentally.  In the wake of her sister’s death, she is taking stepping into the Black Canary’s shoes seriously.  She is not afraid to defy Oliver, who is totally jealous that Laurel is getting trained by someone else, and learn how to fight on her own.  She was also unafraid to stand up for what she knew was right: Ted Grand didn’t kill anyone.  I like this new Laurel, and I hope her character continues to develop into someone the audience wants to root for the way they did for Sara.

Injustice: Gods Among Us #5
Injustice: Gods Among Us #5

And this:

  • Freaking boxing glove arrow.  Comic fans had a nerdgasm.  See the above picture for one of many references to this in the Green Arrow’s career.
  • The game Memory looks way cooler in China.
  • Apparently the name Paco is pretty common in Starling City, as Felicity cleverly points out.  There are at least 86,000.
  • There is more we don’t know about Mirakuru than what we do know.  Good to know.
  • Laurel made the smart move of calling Felicity in order to get help.  She finally admitted she needed help!
  • But, Laurel was not scurred of Isaac when she was forced to drive.  Not at all.  Not one bit.
  • Was Diggle a little too quick to say, “Let’s get rid of Roy!”?  I think so.
  • Roy asked Ollie not to abandon him, to which Ollie told him it would never happen.  All the feels!
  • Roy certainly had his meditation breakthrough quickly.  Most people spend a lifetime getting that right.
  • Roy also said that he was gonna turn himself in, but the police don’t know that Sara is dead.  kinda weird.
  • Is it just me, or is Cupid’s bow too big?  She was struggling to hold it up!

Hush Comics gives “Guilty” a B+ for finally including Roy more, for delving into the history of one of the oldest comic characters in superhero history, and for using Oliver as the main character instead of a fleeting thought.

Easter Egg Hunt:

Wildcat, Vigilante: We finally go confirmation that Ted Grant, gym owner and boxing coach, is in fact Wildcat.  Six years ago, he was a vigilante. He did exactly what Arrow does, even wearing a mask. After a drug dealer was beat to death by Wildcat’s sidekick, he hung up his cape, so to speak.  Now he trains Laurel, future Black Canary.  In the comics, Wildcat also trained Batman.  Will we see a reference in the show?  We will have to see.

Princess Training: Ted agrees to train Laurel beyond boxing, but to give her the tools to avenge Sara’s death.  He says the last time he trained a princess, it didn’t go so well.  What could this be a reference to?  It could be to Yolanda Montes, WIldcat’s Goddaughter, and Wildcat replacement.  Unfortunately she died, but this could be another way to go into his past.

He’s in your Arsenal: Roy Harper finally has a nickname!  Isaac Stanzler tells Roy that he is just an Arsenal in Arrows toolbox, thus giving him his new name.  Just an Arsenal, huh?  Sometimes I think Roy is more badass than Ollie.

Street names always matter!: The investigation led Ollie to 9th and Hasen.  Hasen is the co-creater of the character Wildcat.

Cupid, Stupid: Who was that girl who showed up at the end?!  She had been hovering around in the background all episode and showed up at the end to make her presence known in Starling City.  Cupid is a woman who is obsessed with the Arrow, and let’s just say, she goes pretty far for him.  She wants him to love her, so she helps him by killing his enemies.  But she also does things like carving a heart in her chest from the tip of one of his arrows and cutting out the eyes of her hairdresser. Creepy!