Around this time every year, TV series start the awkward transition from the mid-season to the finale. Sometimes they hit the target, others, not so much. However, this year seems different, as the shows gracing our screens are hitting the mark repeatedly, something as viewers, we should all be glad for!
These are my highlights for this week – there will be spoilers!
Lucifer – Season 1, Episode 13 “Take Me Back To Hell”
This DC property from Fox went out for the season this week on a high! After last week’s cliffhanger, this episode picks up seconds later, with the Prince of Darkness surrounded by police and in a very disturbing position.
The cast across the board performed exceptionally well, with Tom Ellis’ consistent performance as Lucifer being complimented strongly by both Lauren German’s Chloe Decker and DB Woodside’s Amenadiel. However, top marks go to Kevin Rankin for his performance as Malcolm. His remarkably believable portrayal of the deranged detective shone, and I for one hope that we can see more of him in the future. The season rounded off with Lucifer getting a message from “Dad” and being given his next job, letting him stay on Earth for a little longer.
The Flash Season 2, Episode 15 – King Shark
As part of my project “Reduce TV Backlog of Shame”, I am in the process of catching up fully with The Arrow, Flash, Supergirl & Legends of tomorrow. I love the way these shows complement each other, with each one bringing something unique to the party.
My most memorable view for this week was The Flash. This episode was full of peaks and troughs for me. The appearance of John Diggle was a big draw, and his reaction to Barry’s powers, even now, after many meetings, was a refreshing change from the norm. The peculiar interactions between Barry & Wally on the other hand, were downright awkward to watch. It is understandable what the writers are trying to do, however, the execution is diabolical. Both actors appear more constipated than experiencing any actual emotions. Conversely, the on-screen chemistry between Cisco & Caitlin continues to be strong, with the ever serious Caitlin even cracking a joke!
Unfortunately, one of the main focuses of the episode is probably the part they should have shown us less of. The premise of King Shark is good. A metahuman, sent from Earth 2, should be a great instrument to continue the main season-long storyline. However, the implementation is quite the opposite. The character fails in both the visual and intellectual sphere, offering a substandard effect, only compounded by the ridiculous character motivations. It is near impossible to understand why King Shark does what he does, seeming hell-bent on death and destruction just for the sake of it. When Joker does it, it is charming. Unfortunately, here it is misguided, particularly for a monster of the week. Luckily, although the eponymous sea creature took up quite a bit of the episode, the remainder was strong, seeing good interactions between the team, and introducing the promising Violet Beane as Jesse Wells.
Orphan Black – Season 4, Episode 2 “Transgressive Border Crossing”
Back for a fourth season, this underrated BBC America show has continued in the same vein throughout. This gritty drama, following the lives of a group of clones brings intrigue, incredible acting, a great writing team and a breadth of characters seemingly impossible for the genre.
This episode saw Sarah return to the USA with her family, simultaneously avoiding and chasing down those who threaten her and her family. Tatiana Maslany adds yet another character profile to her repertoire, knocking it out of the park again.
Marvel’s Agents of SHIELD, Season 3 Episode 17 – The Team
My top highlight for this week is the ABC Marvel property, Agents of SHIELD. Moving from strength to strength, season three has a defined line of transition, with their last four episodes given the comic-book-event like title “Fallen Agent”.
Not satisfied with the films having a big Civil War, the TV arm of the MCU stages their own little battle this week, seeing cracks appear in the team after a confrontation with Hive. This episode is something fans have been very excited for since Daisy was tasked with the formation of a team at the end of season two. This episode did not disappoint! After multiple standalone episodes, this week we saw Daisy, Lincoln, Elena & Joey sent on their own mission to dismantle a Hydra operation, in their first full mission as Secret Warriors. However, if the long-awaited mission felt short, that is because it probably was. The meat of the episode came later back at the base.
With Gideon Malick singing like a songbird, eyes are cast over the team as it becomes apparent one of them is not who they seem. As wariness develops into suspicion and mistrust and eventually anger, the Inhumans are separated and isolated from their compatriots and humans alike. Conversations are had and secrets are revealed, ramping up to the destructive episode end, leaving viewers fearful and excited for the coming “Fallen Agent” four-parter to end the season.
Some special moments include Elena practicing her English ahead of meeting Mack, the team laughing and joking after a successful mission, and of course the continued ups and downs of Fitz & Simmons! These all blend together perfectly to lull the viewer into that false sense of security that we should all be keeping in check at this stage of the season.
SHIELD has gone from strength to strength since the less than perfect series opening. This episode demonstrated that with some amazing effects, brilliant writing and a cast which is consistently capable of delivering a top drawer performance. Chloe Bennet and Clark Gregg steal the show in the final third, during their emotional heart to heart. Suspicion is the name of the game at the moment in the MCU, and this episode cements that feeling ready in preparation for Captain America: Civil War.
A great week all in for TV, with much to look forward to! I plan to continue making headway on my DC backlog, as well as continuing on with Marvel’s Agents of SHIELD. With many new and returning shows on the horizon, it is a great time for TV viewing! Not to mention the sensation of Game of Thrones! Keep up with Out Of Lives’ Game of Thrones coverage in our detailed reviews here.