Welcome to the weekly Super Hero Comic Book TV Power Rankings! In which every week I discuss and rank the weeks Super Hero TV shows. This means shows like Flash, Arrow, Agents of Shield, Constantine and Gotham. Sorry Walking Dead fans but there areo Super Power elements in your show. Please feel free to comment and yell at me for what I did wrong or how off base I was with my rankings. I’ll see you in the comments
Warning: Here be Spoilers
Spirit of the Goat
Welcome to another week of the show Gotham! Where we spin a wheel and it randomizes what kind of plot and influence it will take from past Batman products! This week we have Harvey Bullock tracking down an old case once thought solved. This is a shockingly linear story considering what we are used to with past episodes. The episode starts with a “10 years ago” flashback where Harvey was wide eyed and always trying to do the right thing and his surly older partner tried to temper that attitude. They were tracking down a case where a killer possessed by the ‘Spirit of the Goat’ would kill Gotham’s first born elite. Bullock stops the killer and his partner is injured in the process. Cut back to present day and there’s a copycat killer on the loose and Harvey is PISSED.
What I liked so much about this episode is that of all the ones that came before, this felt the most concentrated. Harvey has a backstory and there’s a reason to delve into said backstory and we are off to the races. Sure there are your side stories, Gordon being torn between Barbara and his secrets, Montoya and her resting bitch face trying to ruin everything for solely personal reasons, Oswald and his mom and a strange Nygma office romance? None of with are too offensive and at least the Nygma thing is fresh and could be interesting. The main plot sort of runs like it’s a two hour murder thriller in the vein of Se7en but is condensing it all into about 20 minutes worth of show. It works but definitely feels rushed.
What’s annoying is the episode had a few false endings. At least three different times I thought the show was over but nope! Harvey has a hunch and we have yet another old man fight scene, then we have Montoya arresting Gordon and being a shit about the whole thing. The episode ended very strongly thought with everything coming to a head about Jim’s “slaying” of Cobblepot and of course MVP Oswald walks right through the doors of the police station. Basically this episode was a total rip off of Se7en and I’m eagerly waiting to find Barbara’s head in a box (spoiler)
When Gotham can focus it can create some magic
Considering how much I loathed last week, Arrow really had no other place to go but up. There are still some silly things going on like how Roy is basically pulling the oldest trick in the book with just wanting to be “friends” with Thea and yeah, we know how that’s going to work. Also Thea has her nightclub back because writers. And for being broke Ollie doesn’t really seem to be hurting for cash as a guy who fights crime and needs access to some pretty high tech gadgets. All these explanations are fine insofar as it’s a TV show but what gets me is that season 2 spent all this time breaking down Arrow’s world and to just pretty much hit the reset button makes me think they bit off more than they could chew with the direction they took last season.
The Flashbacks returned and I know I complained about them not being in the last episode but I guess I kind of wish they stayed gone in hindsight. The whole Hong Kong storyline is stupid and doesn’t make any sense. It makes Waller look like a bad person, we already knew that. How a 6 foot something blonde hair white guy supposed to be assassinating targets in Hong Kong and have it NOT be the most obvious thing in the world? Not only that, but he’s a famous rich person. All of these attributes and more should be deal breakers if you are the head of a spy division.
I really did enjoy the bulk of this episode though. Malcolm Merlyn brings a much needed structure to this season. The character’s need someone to focus on and so far he’s fitting the bill nicely. Nyssa al Ghul has always been problematic for me in the sense that shes has always been a poor stand in for Talia as the Demon’s daughter and why she wasn’t an original character with ties to him is beyond me. She wants Malcolm’s head for killing Sara, and Arrow wants to confirm that he did it first before “breaking his code” even though he’s done it before t0 save someone but OK sure he’s working on it and I can respect that. Oliver is convinced by Malcolm that he didn’t kill Sarah and keeps Nyssa from killing him and goes as far as telling the league of assassins that The Dark Archer is under his protection until he figures out who really killed Sara. This of course leads us to the fated reveal of Ra’s al Ghul who… well he looks like a boring 40 year old man. I don’t know, I guess I was hoping for a little more of an intimidation factor? I know James Spader is Ultron but at least he has the body of a 8 foot tall killer robot. I’m not familiar with Matt Noble’s work but he just doesn’t seem very intimidating but hey as long as he doesn’t end up being a master archer I think I’ll give him a chance.
The writers need to decide where they are going with this season but definitely a step up
Agents of SHIELD
A Fractured House
Agents is much more style than substance this week with cool fights scenes, fun jokes and some forced drama.
Look, as much as I like crazy Ward, his backstory leaves a lot to be desired. His ‘tortured’ childhood bit isn’t all that bad… Well I mean it’s BAD but they talk about the “Well Incident” like it’s Lord Voldemort. So when Coulson meets up with Ward’s older brother they go back and forth and give us an entertaining bit of story and who’s REALLY telling the truth but I dunno, the Ward brothers storyline just isn’t doing it for me. Ward breaking out of jail, however, much more interesting. I really want him to stay crazy however and play both sides really, the team has enough members and we don’t need to add another one to the bloated cast.
The main plot is that Hydra agents are going around dressed as SHIELD agents raising hell and this is a big problem, which you know, has been the problem since season 1. Nothing REALLY changed so why is it all of a sudden a bigger deal now? Sure agents are in danger but that has always been the case. What I will say though is this gives us an excuse to see May, Bobbi and Lance Hunter kick all sorts of ass in what has to be the best action sequence in the shows history. The Bobbi/Lance dynamic is finally making Lance interesting and Bobbi is a straight up BEAST in the action department. May’s showdown with the Hydra leader who looks like a cross between Chuck Liddell and Scorpion is pretty awesome. I can’t even be bothered to remember his name but his knife/harpoon thing freaking rules and if you aren’t going to wow me with story progression then I’ll take bad ass fights with a smile on my face. Also maybe I missed something but when did Talbot and SHIELD get so buddy buddy?
Simmons is back and things are a bit awkward between her and Fitz and Mac kind of puts her in her place which is sort of refreshing but also kind of unwarranted. But I like Mac so I’ll let it slide.
Some nonsensical stuff going on in this episode but the best action scenes to date manage to keep it above grade
There was a lot to love in ‘Going Rogue’ first among them, the special guest appearance of my girl Felicity, on loan from Arrow. I love her quirky awkwardness and she adds some much needed energy to the show. She is in town to visit Barry because she clearly has a crush on him but Barry still has a crush on Iris so Barry is just a POS. Honestly though there’s some pretty relatable stuff going on here so I was eating it up.
The introduction of one of the more cool (pun entirely intended) Flash villains, Captain Cold is pretty much a success. Wentworth Miller brings a coldness (you know it) to Leonard Snart but also an cerebral edge. He’s not a scientific genius but he’s got street smarts and sort of a code? What’s curious is Geoff Johns co-wrote this episode and Johns is a huge name in the comic book world and especially the Flash books. He loves The Rogues and Captain Cold so it’s kind of curious that Cold seems a little inconsistent in terms of character. In the beginning of the episode, he talks about having a code and stops one of his gang from executing a guard in cold blood. “Only if we have to” he says. But then he has no issues killing his own for infractions and then kills another guy after getting his hands on the iconic Cold Gun. Then he starts killing guards and attempts to murder a train full of people in order to get away from the Flash. I know he later talks about upping his game but it does seem a little extreme. Pre-New 52 Cold actually built his cold gun and New 52 Cold stole the gun, in the show we find out the Cisco built the thing to stop the Flash and he did this in case Barry turned out to be a bad guy. Obviously this doesn’t sit well with Barry and even less with Harrison Welles who is actually pretty intimidating in this episode and I really dug how scared Cisco was of him. The only thing is that Cisco creating the Cold gun seems super out of character for him even after the explanation, it just didn’t seem to fit.
The few negatives here are surprisingly with the special effects of Captain Cold’s gun and unsurprisingly Iris. With how great a lot of the effects of The Flash looks, it seems like they skimped on the Cold Gun. Some scenes looked like they put some MS Paint over screen and called it a day. Iris, while moderately likable is still annoyingly cheery and thinks she’s some sort of genius for, get this, starting a blog. About the streak no less! Man, Iris is some sort of hot shot reporter with original ideas like these. I’m also not sure why these CW shows feel the need to give the heroes multiple names. In Arrow we have ‘Arrow’ and ‘The Hood’. Here we have ‘The Streak’ ‘The Blur’ and ‘The Flash’. It’s a little distracting. The end of the episode Cold gets defeated, sort of, with the help of the team Cold doesn’t kill Barry but he does get away with the loot. Next time we see him it looks like he’s putting the Rogues together after meeting an old associate.
Some technical inconsistencies but Felicity is used well and I love Felicity
The Darkness Beneath
In a lot of ways this feels like a mulligan of the pilot. We see Jon, we know that he’s running from something and we are introduced to his possible love interest/partner. I can’t help but feel like Matt Ryan is trying too hard to sound cool. He has a never ending supply of white button ups and loose red ties that he can’t be bothered to tighten up.
A small backwoods mining town in Pennsylvania is being haunted by some restless spirits and Constantine is there to stop it. The plot finds a good enough excuse to keep Chas out of this episode, referencing warrants and that he’s probably immortal. Like most first seasons it seems like we are doing a ‘monster of the week’ and Constantine’s monsters are one of it’s best attributes. The creatures so far have looked great and the scene with the truck and the mud monsters was awesome.
In this episode we meet Zed played by Angelica Celaya who has been having visions of John and can’t stop drawing pictures of him. Her entire art gallery is an easter egg of various famous Hellblazer cover artists. We don’t know much of her backstory but her, like John is also on the run from something. He keeps warning Zed that those ho get involved with him usually die but she persists, why? Well if we have this episode to go by, it’s because she clearly wants to jump his bones. At least three times she started “giving him the eyes” but John plays it cool every time.
The character Zed is a big improvement over her predeccessor and while not a giant leap in quality, is at least better than the pilot
A surprisingly competent trailer dropped check it out
Current Power Rankings
The Flash (1) Previously (2)
Agents of SHIELD (2) Previously (1)
Gotham (3) Previously (4)
Arrow (4) Previously (5)
Constantine (5) Previously (3)