TV Reviews – The Nerd Stash http://thenerdstash.com Video Games, Reviews, News, & More Sun, 22 Jan 2017 02:11:59 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Gotham: “Ghosts” Review http://thenerdstash.com/gotham-ghosts-review/ http://thenerdstash.com/gotham-ghosts-review/#respond Tue, 17 Jan 2017 02:13:27 +0000 http://thenerdstash.com/?p=54426 Title: Gotham: “Ghosts” Release Date: January 16, 2017 Network: FOX Genre: Crime, Drama, Action I’m not going to beat around the bush, Beware The Green-Eyed Monster left a massive hole in my heart. While not a perfect season, Gotham‘s third season had been consistently good and, at times, even great. But after sitting through the worst […]

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Title: Gotham: “Ghosts”

Release Date: January 16, 2017

Network: FOX

Genre: Crime, Drama, Action


I’m not going to beat around the bush, Beware The Green-Eyed Monster left a massive hole in my heart. While not a perfect season, Gotham‘s third season had been consistently good and, at times, even great. But after sitting through the worst episode of the season thus far, was the mid-season premiere an improvement? In some ways, yes. Ghosts is a much better and more interesting episode than Beware The Green-Eyed Monster. However, I still can’t manage to bring myself to call it great. It still had many problems, making it feel vastly underwhelming in certain moments. Ghosts was a good episode and a nice return to form. I just can’t help but think that certain elements could have been handled better.

Oswald Cobblepot (Robin Lord Taylor) found himself visited by the ghost of his father (Paul Reubens), which slowly made him lose his mind. However, Oswald wasn’t the only one with problems in this episode. With Falcone’s (John Doman) son dead at the hands of Jim Gordon (Ben Mackenzie), tensions flared throughout the city. Lee (Morena Baccarin), outraged that the police wouldn’t arrest Gordon, gave Falcone the okay to put a hit on him. Meanwhile, Selina hesitantly reconnected with her mother, Nygma plotted his revenge and Jerome (Cameron Monaghan) made his return with stock footage from season two. Gee, thanks, guys. So glad you made such a big deal about Jerome’s return in the advertising.

Gordon & Bullock discover The Cult of Jerome

First and foremost, let’s get the Jerome thing out of the way because this was the part that truly bothered me about this episode. Not necessarily that Jerome didn’t return in the episode but because the promos and previews made such a big deal out of it. Not only does Jerome not come back, but the whole storyline behind it is completely superfluous to the rest of the episode. If you removed this small segment from Ghosts, nothing would be different. In the center of the episode, Gordon and Bullock (Donal Logue) investigate an abandoned building. Inside they find followers of Jerome, wearing clown makeup, worshiping stock footage of him. The leader of the gang (or Jokers, I guess) is Dwight Pollard (David Dastmalchian). On a side note, Dastmalchian also played the schizophrenic Thomas Shiff in The Dark Knight.

Pollard appears the end with a doctor, evidently hatching their plans to bring Jerome back to life. Honestly, I don’t know why they even went this route. I do appreciate The Jokers, the worshipers of the clown prince of crime, being introduced into the show. I also like that they got David Dastmalchian to play their leader. However, there was no reason to have this whole plan to bring Jerome back to life. They had Indian Hill so why didn’t they just use that? Indian Hill was able to resurrect Mr. Freeze (Nathan Darrow) and Fish Mooney (Jada Pinkett Smith). Ghosts had a clear excuse for Jerome to come back staring them right in the face and it bothers me that they just created this entirely ridiculous subplot instead. Oh well, we’ll see where this goes, I guess.

The Penguin is haunted by visions of his deceased father

Like I said, that was just a small part of the episode that had major problems. The title Ghosts truly refers to the “return” of Paul Reubens as Oswald Cobblepot’s deceased father. Oswald sees ghostly visions of his father throughout the episode, causing him to lose his grip on reality and grow increasingly more paranoid. The fact that his “best friend”, Edward Nygma (Cory Michael Smith), is not by his side anymore isn’t helping him either. This ultimately culminates in him killing his new assistant and hiding the body. Now, I’ll admit, when I saw the ghost of The Penguin’s father, I was a bit bewildered by it. I figured, “okay, something has to be up here. There’s no way the episode can be this stupid.” Sure enough, I was absolutely right.

The “ghost” that Oswald saw throughout the episode, turned out to be Clayface (Brian McManamon) in disguise, working for Edward Nygma. This was honestly, in my opinion, the best part of the episode. Cory Michael Smith cements for us once again why he is the perfect actor to play this character. Ghosts, just like some episodes have done in the past, utilizes Smith’s talents not just as Edward Nygma but also in playing The Riddler. Smith is clearly having a ball with this performance and although he isn’t in much of the episode, he steals the show whenever he’s on screen. It’s so good to see Edward Nygma being The Riddler again and Smith pulls it off beautifully. A small part of the episode but undoubtedly the best thing in it.

Lee wonders if she can live with herself if Zsasz kills Gordon

One of my biggest issues with Beware The Green-Eyed Monster was that Gordon killed Mario. It felt so unnecessary and forced and Mario randomly having the virus was just as dumb. It seemed to only be there to force some convoluted drama between Lee and Gordon. However, the first time they are on screen together in Ghosts, the scene is perfectly handled. Aside from Lee being great from a character standpoint, Morena Baccarin shows again why she is one of the best actresses to ever grace this show. Lee demands that Bullock arrest Gordon but Bullock obviously won’t do that. They try to make excuses that the kill was justified but Lee immediately calls them out on it, pointing out that Barnes (Michael Chiklis) had the same virus and that Gordon didn’t kill Barnes.

Thank you! Lee, you could not be more right. I’m sorry, but there was no reason why Gordon had to kill Mario. He could have just shot him in the shoulder or the leg and Mario would have been down. Gordon is a trained police officer and should have known this. Like I said, it was just to force drama and I’m not even sure why they bothered because it is all resolved by the end of this episode. Lee calls off the hit on Gordon, Falcone tells him “if it were up to me, you’d be dead”, and Victor Zsasz (Anthony Carrigan) goes home like a boss. That’s it. End of conflict. What was even the point? I’m sure some of this may lead to further conflicts down the line but for a season that had drama develop naturally, for the most part, this is just sort of underwhelming.

“If it were up to me… you’d be dead!”

As far as Selina (Camren Bicondova) and her mother (Ivana Milicevic) are concerned, it’s the typical “why weren’t you there for me” mother/daughter drama we’ve seen a million times before. There is actually a line of dialogue from Selina that is so stupid it actually bears repeating. When Bruce (David Mazouz) is trying to have her reconnect with her mom, Selina actually says “No, she’s a thief!”. Okay, so did Selina forget that SHE IS A THIEF TOO or did the writers just decide to take a day off? I don’t know but either way, it’s a really dumb thing for someone as intelligent as Selina to say. Some of the moments were nice but given Maria Kyle’s big (albeit incredibly random) reveal in the last episode, I felt this should have had more punch to it.

Also, there’s a map in the glass owl. I don’t know why there’s a map in the glass owl. I don’t know who would bother hiding a map in a glass owl. They could have just as easily hidden an actual map. But, it exists so enjoy that.

Overall, Ghosts represents a flawed, yet solid episode for Gotham. It has its dumb, underwhelming and often cheesy moments but it also has enough good things to keep it afloat. Cory Michael Smith and Morena Baccarin give great performances. Anthony Carrigan hams it up beautifully as Victor Zsasz. Even Robin Lord Taylor gives a complex performance as a man whose mind is slowly breaking. Some of the drama is forced but some of it also works nicely. The Jerome thing was disappointing. However, I’ll admit it wouldn’t have bothered me that much if I hadn’t seen the advertising for the episode. So, take it for what it’s worth. Not a perfect episode but it got the job done.


Gotham: "Ghosts" Review

Oswald Cobblepot is haunted by visions of his dead father. Meanwhile, Edward Nygma plots revenge, Jim Gordon is being hunted by Victor Zsasz and Selina Kyle reconnects with her mother.
Overall Score
Good
Pros:
  • Great Performances All Around With Morena Baccarin And Cory Michael Smith Being Standouts.
  • Brilliant Scene Of Lee Condemning Gordon
  • Nygma's Revenge Against Oswald
  • Victor Zsasz Is Hilarious
  • The Introduction Of The Jokers
  • Oswald's Paranoia & Actions
Cons:
  • Forced Drama
  • Underwhelming Conclusion
  • Selina's Relationship With Her Mother Is Beyond Cliche-Ridden
  • NO JEROME! Why was he even in the advertising?

User Rating:

/5
(0 votes)

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Gotham: “Beware The Green-Eyed Monster” Review http://thenerdstash.com/gotham-beware-green-eyed-monster-review/ http://thenerdstash.com/gotham-beware-green-eyed-monster-review/#comments Sun, 15 Jan 2017 01:33:11 +0000 http://thenerdstash.com/?p=52645 Title: Gotham: “Beware The Green-Eyed Monster” Review Network: FOX Air Date: November 28, 2016 Genre: Crime, Drama, Action Beware The Green-Eyed Monster opens just before Mario & Lee’s big wedding. James Gordon (Ben Mackenzie) comes to the realization that Mario (James Carpinello) has The Alice Tetch Virus. When he tries convincing people, no one believes him […]

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Title: Gotham: “Beware The Green-Eyed Monster” Review

Network: FOX

Air Date: November 28, 2016

Genre: Crime, Drama, Action


Beware The Green-Eyed Monster opens just before Mario & Lee’s big wedding. James Gordon (Ben Mackenzie) comes to the realization that Mario (James Carpinello) has The Alice Tetch Virus. When he tries convincing people, no one believes him because of his love for Lee (Morena Baccarin). You see, Mario is playing him, making Gordon fall right into his trap every single time in an attempt to make Lee hate him. So, it’s pretty much just Follow The White Rabbit on repeat without any of the charm, urgency or characterizations that made that episode great. Meanwhile, Bruce (David Mazouz) and company attempt to bring down The Court Of Owls. Barbara (Erin Richards) also informs Edward (Cory Michael Smith) of Oswald’s (Robin Lord Taylor) betrayal, leading to an unlikely alliance.

For a great deal of Gotham‘s third season, I have been unbelievably impressed. For the last several episodes, the show was on a serious hot streak and episodes were ranging from great to flat out amazing. Beware The Green-Eyed Monster has officially ruined that hot streak, representing the single worst episode of Gotham‘s third season thus far. Believe it or not, after the dumb twist in last week’s episode, I was dreading this would happen. When they revealed that Mario had been carrying the virus all that time, I was worried. Now I can confirm that I had every reason to be. I actually put off reviewing this episode for a bit because of how much it angered me. However, the time has now come for me to delve into Beware The Green-Eyed Monster.

In the immortal words of Remy Zero, “Somebody, Save Me!”

Barbara tells Edward the truth about Oswald.

Let’s get the positives of Beware The Green-Eyed Monster out of the way first because the episode isn’t ALL bad. The only plot line in the episode that really works involves Edward Nygma and Barbara Kean. It began when Barbara came to Nygma, trying to make him see the truth about Oswald; Oswald is in love with him and killed Isabella (Chelsea Spack) out of Jealousy.  Nygma, for obvious reasons, didn’t want to see the truth at first. However, when Nygma discovered Oswald’s true nature, he resigned from Oswald’s office and vowed revenge. In addition, he formed an alliance with Barbara, Tabitha (Jessica Lucas) and Butch (Drew Powell), much to Tabitha’s disapproval.

To be fair, it was a rather satisfying subplot that led to an interesting setup for the latter half of the season. For all the forced drama in this episode, this was the one part of it where everything seemed to progress naturally. Given what Nygma did to Tabitha in the last episode, this could lead to some interesting conflict down the line. It was also interesting to see Nygma and Barbara, arguably two of the most intelligent characters on the show, team up for a common cause. But what really sold it was Cory Michael Smith’s performance throughout the entire episode. In some scenes, he didn’t even have to say a word. You could see the torment, sadness and anger in just his facial expressions. Overall, this was a good subplot.

Selina is shocked when she sees someone from her past

Aside from that and a nice 2-minute Jervis Tetch (Benedict Samuel) cameo, the rest of this episode was a chore to sit through. Let’s just begin with Bruce’s subplot. After they discovered the key back in The Executioner, the episodes built up to this. Bruce, Selina (Camren Bicondova), Alfred (Sean Pertwee) and Jacob (Julien Seredowych) discover what the key opens. So, they plan this whole elaborate heist to steal whatever is inside and… discover a glass owl. That’s it, just a glass owl. It’s like watching National Treasure with no payoff. Granted it’s only the mid-season so they may want to milk this for awhile. But for how much they were building this up, this was incredibly underwhelming.

But then, they add something else to this subplot. In the end, they are discovered but they are all randomly saved by this hooded figure who… I guess, was following them around this season or something. I don’t know, it was very vague and they didn’t explain it very well. But, anyway, it doesn’t matter because it turned out this mysterious cloaked figure was really… Selina’s mother, Maria Kyle (Ivana Milicevic). Uh… okay? So Selina’s mother is back in town and magically saves everybody. I mean, of course. Why wouldn’t the mother who let Selina live on the streets, sleep in the gutter, watch her friends vanish and join Fish Mooney’s gang want to look out for her daughter after all this time? MOTHER OF THE ‘FRICKIN’ YEAR!!! UGH!!!! I’m sorry, I know they’ll probably explain this in the next episode but it’s so random and so out of place.

Was I watching this subplot to see Selina go through family drama? No! I watched this episode to see what that key unlocked. That was the entire point of this subplot. Instead of giving us that, we just got another clue instead of an answer. Then they completely undermined it by just tacking on Selina’s mom at the end. Why? What does Selina’s mom have to do with any of this? Now, maybe they’ll reveal that Selina’s mom was involved with The Court Of Owls in some way and that’s why she’s here now. Okay, well if that’s the case, then isn’t it just such coincidence that Selina witnessed the murder of the Waynes. Isn’t it also convenient that Bruce and Selina became such good friends over the course of these past two and a half seasons. Case & Point, it would still be stupid and convoluted.

I sincerely hope they prove me wrong in the latter half of the season.

Mario gloats to Gordon.

Then we have the main story of the episode, which involves Mario going on a rampage, killing some random people and somehow using this to make James Gordon look like a pitiful, selfish, jealous moron. Gordon discovers that Mario has the virus after speaking with Tetch. Why does he have the virus? Why not? We need excuses for Gordon to look stupid and to force more unnecessary drama between him and Lee, even after we had that very sweet moment between them in Time Bomb. Never before has an episode of Gotham made James Gordon look like such an idiot. It’s actually a bit insulting to the character when you think about it.

Gordon, at every turn, plays right into Mario’s hand. It’s one thing when a criminal mastermind (Riddler, Tetch) outwits James Gordon. That at the very least makes sense. Mario is intelligent but he’s not a mastermind nor is he a career criminal, even if his father is one. Until the ending of Time Bomb, Mario was seen as a hell of a guy who would do anything to keep Lee safe. This actually created a good conundrum for Gordon, knowing that the woman he loved was in a relationship with a kind, successful doctor who truly cared for her. That’s where much of the season’s heart lay and it really worked. Beware The Green-Eyed Monster chucked all of that out the window by giving Mario the virus and trying to convince us that he’d had it since Red Queen.

Yeah, he’d had it since Red Queen. That’s why he saved Gordon at the end of Red Queen, right? Even though he’s trying to get rid of him in this episode, Mario on Tetch Blood had no problem saving Gordon back then, right? Am I the only one who sees how incredibly dumb this is? I’m sorry, I’m trying to understand this but it doesn’t add up. When Barnes (Michael Chiklis) was infected early in the season, we progressively saw his attitude change as he attempted to fight it. We got absolutely none of that with Mario. This is so unbelievably contrived.

Gordon wonders if he can save Lee from Mario.

But as I said earlier, Gordon tries to convince everyone that Mario has the virus and is a danger to Lee and obviously no one believes him. Of course, everyone is just going to see him as a jealous ex-boyfriend. You think Gordon would be a bit smarter about this whole thing. This ultimately leads to Gordon falling right into Mario’s plans. Lee ultimately tells Gordon that she never wants to see him again and marries Mario. Unfortunately, the jealous rage inside Mario brought on by the virus continues to grow. When Lee tells him that a part of her will always love Gordon, he attempts to kill her but she’s saved when Gordon puts two bullets in his chest. The knife falls in the water, Gordon has killed Falcone’s son and Lee looks at Gordon in horror. This is forced drama at its absolute finest.

The show needed a reason for Lee to hate Gordon again and for Falcone to go after Gordon. Well, it succeeded… why we needed ANY of that remains to be seen.

Overall, Beware The Green-Eyed Monster is a pretty bad episode. The subplot with Nygma works well but the main plot is absolutely ridiculous. The entire Court Of Owls subplot went absolutely nowhere, the addition of Selina’s mother felt tacked on and forced and Mario turning into some psycho beast killer with the virus was the dumbest thing I’ve seen all season. This isn’t a horrible episode. Horrible, in my eyes, is not trying. They tried to do a lot in this episode… it just so happens they didn’t do a very good job, at least in my opinion. Ultimately, Beware The Green-Eyed Monster is just underwhelming and disappointing, especially when you consider how good this season has been.

Hopefully, this is just a minor setback and Gotham can make a return to form with Ghosts when it premieres on January 16th.


Gotham: "Beware The Green-Eyed Monster" Review

Mario and Gordon face off before the wedding, Selina meets an unexpected face and Barbara comes to Nygma with information about Isabella.
Overall Score
Disappointing
Pros:
  • Barbara & Nygma's Alliance
  • Nygma's Realization
  • Tetch's Interrogation
Cons:
  • The Main Plot Is Ridiculous
  • The Court Of Owls Plotline Goes Nowhere
  • Uh... Hi, Selina's mom???? Okay... Lot's Of Questions... The Least Of Which Isn't "WHY ARE YOU ALIVE AND LETTING YOUR DAUGHTER LIVE ON THE STREETS?!"
  • Ridiculously Forced Drama
  • Terrible Ending
  • James Gordon Comes Off As Stupid For Most Of The Episode

User Rating:

/5
(0 votes)

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The Walking Dead: “Hearts Still Beating” Review http://thenerdstash.com/the-walking-dead-hearts-still-beating-review/ http://thenerdstash.com/the-walking-dead-hearts-still-beating-review/#respond Thu, 15 Dec 2016 05:07:14 +0000 http://thenerdstash.com/?p=52620 Title: The Walking Dead: “Hearts Still Beating” Air Date: December 11th, 2016 Network: AMC Genre: Serial Drama, Horror The Walking Dead just wrapped up its 90-minute mid-season finale with Team Rick gearing up to fight. Are you ready for it? Are you ready to see Negan taken down? Well … you’ll need to wait until February now. […]

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Title: The Walking Dead: “Hearts Still Beating”

Air Date: December 11th, 2016

Network: AMC

Genre: Serial Drama, Horror


The Walking Dead just wrapped up its 90-minute mid-season finale with Team Rick gearing up to fight. Are you ready for it? Are you ready to see Negan taken down? Well … you’ll need to wait until February now. Last week’s episode “Sing me a Song” had so many things coming together but going into this episode, I figured it would end the way it did with Rick finally getting onboard about taking down Negan. Spencer’s death was also a highly anticipated one, in particular to those who follow the comics. As I’ve said in previous reviews, I didn’t necessarily mind the predictability. It’s ultimately the execution that matters, not only of the scene but of the actors as well. This is where The Walking Dead delivered a solid mid-season finale and left us ready to rise up and fight come February.

Rick facing off against a bloody Negan

Enough is enough for Rick.

Now, before I get into the episode, I want to address the mysterious figure that appeared after the credits. It’s the same figure whose boots we saw when Aaron and Rick were loading up their truck. There’s been quite a bit of speculation that The Walking Dead is introducing The Whisperers and that’s who this individual is. While anything is possible on the show, I have to disagree that the Whisperers are being brought in at this time. My bet is heavily on it being a member of the Oceanside community. Given the ending of this episode with Rick deciding to fight, it would make sense that groundwork is being set to bring all the communities together.

I was happy to see Daryl finally escape the Sanctuary. Talk about Fat Joey being in the wrong place at the wrong time. Daryl just snapped and beat him to death with a pipe. Considering what Daryl has seen and what he’s been through so far on this season of The Walking Dead, a high level of rage is to be expected. When Daryl was finally reunited with Rick at the Hilltop, it was certainly one of those emotional Walking Dead moments. Having him give Rick his revolver back briefly reminded me of Rey giving Luke back his lost lightsaber in the Force Awakens.

Daryl giving Rick back his Revolver on The Walking Dead

Reminds me of Rey giving Luke back his lightsaber.

When it came to Spencer’s death, I was just waiting for the “guts” comment to come from Negan. Again, this was another moment essentially right from the comics. Also, it was a fairly gory scene, considering Spencer was holding his intestines in his hands as he lay dying. The only issue I had here was Rosita’s shot at Negan. It felt just too convenient at that range to hit Lucille as Negan happened to have her in front of him. I do feel like Rosita got off easy considering she actually tried to kill Negan. Olivia ended up getting a bullet for this attempt by Rosita in the same way Glenn was killed because Daryl sucker punched Negan. In addition to getting Olivia killed, Rosita was also responsible for Eugene being taken by the Saviors.

After Rosita’s failed shot, Negan noticed that the bullet was home made. When it comes to the world the group now lives in, Eugene may be a coward but the ability to make ammunition is a gold mine of a trait to have. Which is exactly why Negan doesn’t kill Eugene. Why kill a guy that has the ability to make ammunition in a world where ammunition is no longer being made? Eugene speaking up and admitting he made the bullet was an important moment for me. While he may be a coward, he clearly does not want the people he cares about to suffer for something he did. I still feel Eugene will be a big part of The Walking Dead in the coming war with Negan and the Saviors.

Negan holding up Lucille after killing Spencer

He had guts after all.

One other interesting thing I wanted to touch on was a comment by someone on Facebook, questioning why now Rick wants to fight back against Negan. They found it hard to believe that the death of Spencer or Olivia would be a tipping point for Rick. For me, this wasn’t necessarily about who was killed but who it could have been. I think Rick realizes that this is the sort of thing that will continue to happen if they don’t fight. It was Spencer and Olivia today but who will it be next week? Not to mention having to sit there and watch while one of his people (Aaron) is brutally beaten over a misunderstanding. This, coupled with the talk and support of Michonne, is what made Rick realize he needs to rise up and fight.

With The Walking Dead on hiatus until February, I think it’s time I finally catch up on Westworld. Did you see tonight’s episode of The Walking Dead? If so, what did you think? Who do you think the mysterious figure is? Be sure to let us know in the comments below.


The Walking Dead: "Hearts Still Beating" Review

Alexandria receives an unexpected visit.
Overall Score
Great
Pros:
  • Rick ready to fight
  • Daryl escapes
  • Spencer finally spills his guts
Cons:
  • Rosita missing at that range

User Rating:

/5
(0 votes)

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Gotham: “Time Bomb” Review http://thenerdstash.com/gotham-time-bomb-review/ http://thenerdstash.com/gotham-time-bomb-review/#comments Tue, 13 Dec 2016 05:32:49 +0000 http://thenerdstash.com/?p=52606 Title: Gotham: “Time Bomb” Network: FOX Air Date: November 21, 2016 Genre: Crime, Drama, Action So after a streak of episodes ranging from Great to Perfect, we now arrive at Time Bomb. This episode saw Gordon (Ben Mackenzie) and Bullock (Donal Logue) dealing with the absence of Captain Barnes (Michael Chiklis). Bullock agreed to take the […]

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Title: Gotham: “Time Bomb”

Network: FOX

Air Date: November 21, 2016

Genre: Crime, Drama, Action


So after a streak of episodes ranging from Great to Perfect, we now arrive at Time Bomb. This episode saw Gordon (Ben Mackenzie) and Bullock (Donal Logue) dealing with the absence of Captain Barnes (Michael Chiklis). Bullock agreed to take the place of acting captain in the meantime. However, they had bigger things to deal with as Mario was hunted by hitmen for unknown reasons. Meanwhile, Bruce, Selina and Ivy uncovered the truth about the key. Best of all, they finally called the secret society by their actual name. Thank you! For the love of god, thank you! The Court Of Owls; was it really that hard to say?

Now, before I go any further, I need to address a character I failed to really talk about in my reviews for past episodes. That character is, of course, Mario Falcone. He is the son of Carmine Falcone and a respected doctor at Gotham General Hospital. He is also the fiancé of Lee Tompkins (Morena Baccarin), which has caused some drama here and there between him and James Gordon. You may be wondering, why did I fail to bring up this character? Well, the honest answer is that never seemed that important. Granted, he’s marrying Gordon’s old love interest and he’s the son of a notorious Gotham crime boss. That being said, the episodes never really revolved around him.

For the most part, Mario Falcone wasn’t so much a character as much as he was just a guy who was there. He seemed more like a plot device to bring Falcone back into the game and to cause more jibber jabber between Gordon and Lee. Yeah, he saved Gordon’s life once and they’ve had several talks and even physical altercations. However, my point still stands. The past episodes really failed to do much of anything with him so I didn’t waste my time or yours talking about him. All in all though, Mario Falcone has been shown as an upstanding nice guy whose nothing like his father and would do anything for Lee. If saving the only man who could potentially steal her from him in Red Queen wasn’t an indication of that, I don’t know what is.

Mario Falcone wonders who is trying to kill him.

So, I have to ask, what was with the ending of this episode? No, really, what is going on? Gotham has done nothing but portray Mario as a great guy throughout this season. Gordon was always wary of Mario being with Lee but can you blame him? He’s obviously just being protective of Lee. She’s the love of his life, whose about to marry the son of a former crime boss. It makes sense for Gordon to be a bit skeptical of the guy. But now, Gotham truly jumped the shark at the end of Time Bomb by revealing that this whole time, Mario had The Alice Tetch Virus as well. Why? What’s the purpose? What good can come of this? He just sees Lee saying her goodbyes to Gordon and then just randomly chokes some guy to death on the street? Huh?

Let me ask you this; how was it that the entire storyline of Captain Barnes having the virus worked? The obvious answer is because they built it up. They didn’t wait until The Executioner or even Blood Rush to reveal that he had the virus. We saw that character fight the virus tooth and nail so when he finally went off the rails, it actually meant something, not just to the audience but to the story and the character as well. With Mario, Gotham has only shown him in a positive light (outside of James Gordon’s eyes, of course). He was shown as a smart, wonderful man who only gets aggressive when he’s defending the woman he loves.

So for the whole episode, we sat there wondering why someone would want to kill him. In the end it was just because he had the virus apparently. The same virus that made people go nuts? The same one that Barnes was fighting through half the season? Yet, we’re only seeing this now? I’m sorry, I’m just not buying this. It was so ridiculous and contrived, I don’t even have words for it. Now, I can’t put all of Time Bomb down for this as this isn’t revealed until the very end. It in no way takes away from the story of Time Bomb, which was otherwise pretty good up until that final reveal. I’m sorry though, it’s just something that aggravated the hell out of me when I saw it. I simply had to vent my frustration with this and I’m sure I’ll have more to say next time.

Edward enacts his revenge on the wrong people.

While Gordon is protecting Mario from gangsters throughout Time Bomb, Edward has Tabitha and Butch in his clutches. Why? Well, if you recall last week’s episode where Edward made the incredibly dumb assumption that Butch killed Isabella, you’ll have your answer. That being said, I got over this rather quickly. Any episode that shows Edward Nygma acting like The Riddler we all know and love has certainly earned my forgiveness. I really don’t care why he’s doing it because it’s so much fun to watch Cory Michael Smith go nuts with this character. Remember the old line that “love makes people do crazy things”. Well, let’s just say, Nygma passed crazy in season one and now he’s just on vacation.

That all said, these moments are pretty impressive. The drama between Butch and Tabitha, where we finally see how much these two actually mean to each other is beautiful and, in many respects heartbreaking. Tabitha loves Butch too much to go along with Edward’s plan but she refuses knowing full well she’ll lose her hand. Long story short, Tabitha had her hand cut off in the episode and in a moment of panic, Edward realizes he was wrong and that Butch was innocent. I still don’t know how this riddle expert couldn’t see that in the first place but whatever.

Barbara pulls a gun on The Penguin.

Obviously, Barbara Kean is looking for Tabitha and Butch, leading to some of her best scenes of the season. I mean, they got nothing on her scenes in Red Queen, but they’re still pretty awesome. I respect anyone that can walk into a mobster meeting with a smile, while pulling a gun on The Penguin. Now, that’s a woman. In her search, Barbara discovered The Penguin’s little secret and knows that Oswald killed Isabella out of jealousy. Now, I can only assume that Edward is going to team up with Butch, Barbara and Tabitha in a later episode. However, given Tabitha’s recent loss of limb, I don’t see her being too okay with this.However, they weren’t the only ones with problems in Time Bomb.

Ivy found herself captured after escaping Wayne Manor. She did this by seducing Alfred. Yeah, I’m not sure whether to declare this funny or call the cops. I mean, Alfred, I know she looks over eighteen but you might want to check an ID next time. Upon meeting the kidnappers, Bruce, Selina and Alfred discover that this organization doesn’t work with The Court Of Owls, but is instead out to destroy them. The key they found could potentially bring them down and yes, they actually do declare them as The Court Of Owls. Took you long enough, Gotham. However, things won’t be so easy for Bruce, as one of the Court’s assassins’ takes out this group of enemies at the end. I’m disappointed, as I would of liked more of these guys, but we’ll see where it goes.

Overall, Time Bomb is a fine episode with one really inconvenient twist in its final moments. The characters it chooses to revolve around all get a chance to shine, especially Edward Nygma. The storyline with Jim Gordon and Mario Falcone was a decent one that seemed to be leading in a nice direction. Little did I know about Time Bomb‘s stupid ending scene which pretty much ruined that. But, you can’t win them all, I guess. Time Bomb isn’t great, but it definitely contains enough good within its runtime to keep it afloat.


Gotham: "Time Bomb" Review

A threat to Mario Falcone is exposed and Falcone comes to Jim for help. Meanwhile, Nygma plans his revenge and Bruce learns more about the Court of Owls.
Overall Score
Good
Pros:
  • Edward Nygma Bringing Back His Riddler Persona
  • Barbara Kean Going Crazy
  • Everything With Butch & Tabitha
  • They Finally Said "The Court Of Owls"
  • Bruce's Discovery
Cons:
  • Really Dumb Last Minute Twist That Ruins The Main Story Of The Episode
  • Group Of Potentially Interesting Characters Killed Off Way Too Early

User Rating:

/5
(0 votes)

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Gotham: “The Executioner” Review http://thenerdstash.com/gotham-the-executioner-review/ http://thenerdstash.com/gotham-the-executioner-review/#respond Tue, 13 Dec 2016 05:25:48 +0000 http://thenerdstash.com/?p=51956 Title: Gotham: “The Executioner” Review Network: FOX Air Date: November 14, 2016 Genre: Crime, Drama, Action After so much build up, it’s finally came down to this; Michael Chiklis was Vic Mackey again! Well, maybe not Vic Mackey but still pretty close to it. Admittedly as an avid watcher of The Shield when it was still on the air, it […]

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Title: Gotham: “The Executioner” Review

Network: FOX

Air Date: November 14, 2016

Genre: Crime, Drama, Action


After so much build up, it’s finally came down to this; Michael Chiklis was Vic Mackey again! Well, maybe not Vic Mackey but still pretty close to it. Admittedly as an avid watcher of The Shield when it was still on the air, it was good to see this side of Michael Chiklis again. The Executioner contained a ton of emotional weight in regards to Barnes and his downfall. This past season had a great lead-up to this moment and it didn’t disappoint. It was slightly reminiscent of things we’d seen in past Batman stories. Two-Face in both The Dark Knight and Batman: The Animated Series went through a similar fate, as did Clayface in The Batman.

Nathaniel Barnes finally fell victim to The Alice Tetch Virus in Blood Rush. Now, his personality has flipped completely. The cop who, as Bullock (Donal Logue) so eloquently put it, would write himself a ticket if he jaywalked, is now killing criminals throughout the city. However, James is onto him, leading to massive showdown in the climax. Meanwhile, the show-runners finally threw us a bone and made Ivy Pepper (Maggie Geha) a more prominent character. After one of her robberies went wrong, Ivy found herself on the run. She consulted Selina (Camren Bicondova) and Bruce (David Mazouz) for help, leading to the discovery of an important item. Edward Nygma (Cory Michael Smith) also receives word of Isabella’s (Chelsea Spack) death and vows revenge.

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Bruce & Selina help Ivy investigate.

Okay, before I get into the title character, I have to talk about Ivy. I’m sorry, I have been waiting all season for them to actually do something with this woman. After seeing The Executioner, I can easily say that I am pleased. Poison Ivy is portrayed exactly as she should be. She creates pheromone toxins out of plants to seduce men before robbing them. This, for all intents and purposes, is Poison Ivy. She’s a flower child, a thief and a seductress all rolled into one and Maggie Geha’s performance sells it beautifully.

I’ll admit, at first I wasn’t really on board with them aging Ivy Pepper so many years. As we all know, she was a young child in the first two seasons until an accident made her an adult in this one. I just thought they were rushing it but, as it turns out, this actually makes for some interesting interactions. Maggie Geha does a marvelous job playing the duality of a twelve year old girl trapped in an adult body. Yeah, she’s still seducing men but her demeanor outside of that is like that of a child. This leads to moments that are actually quite hilarious. The moments with her interacting with Selina are comedy gold.

The beginning of The Executioner sees Ivy seducing a wealthy man, stealing an expensive diamond from his vault. However, it turns out the item she stole is of great importance and now people are trying to kill her. Ivy goes to Selina and Bruce for help and they all soon find themselves running for their lives. Why are these people trying to kill her? It may have something to do with the key they find inside of the diamond. A key that holds ties to The Court Of Owls perhaps? Guess we’ll have to wait and find out. For now, I suppose, the luxury of Bruce’s mansion should be a good place for Ivy to hide.

James Gordon stares down his mentor.

As for Jim Gordon, we find our hero at a crossroads when he finds himself suspecting Captain Barnes of murder. Unfortunately for him, he’s absolutely right and Barnes is onto him. This leads to Barnes offering Jim an ultimatum. Jim can help him clean up the city by disposing of all the criminals or Jim can die. Obviously, Jim goes the noble way, leading to an epic showdown between the newly re-appointed detective and his mentor.

At this point in The Executioner, I began to realize just how great this season was. They didn’t just have Barnes go off the rails as soon as he got the virus. No, Nathaniel Barnes was shown as a strong-willed, determined individual from his first appearance onward. In the past several episodes, we saw the struggle this character was going through to keep the virus at bay. We saw him try to maintain the righteous side of himself. Therefore, his decent as The Executioner feels more earned and more dramatic. Gotham actually took its time building up to this moment.

What makes it even more heartbreaking is what Jim Gordon goes through in this episode. The very man he looked up to has been corrupted and when he’s not running for his life from Barnes in The Executioner, he’s trying to bring him back. It was even sadder knowing that the virus has already won. In addition, it would have been easy for Jim to kill Barnes, so that the series could be done with the character. Let’s be honest, the show did it before – *coughs* Jerome *coughs*. However, that’s not what happened at all. Jim wounded Barnes that he could be taken to Arkham for help. Admittedly, I would have liked to see more episodes with Barnes on the loose before his capture but I’ll take what I can get. I just hope they don’t wait another season to bring him back.

Edward Nygma feels heartbreak.

Then there was Edward Nygma, who received shocking news that Isabella’s car was hit by a train, resulting in her death. We all, of course, know that The Penguin (Robin Lord Taylor) had her killed because of his love for Edward. However, this is where my issues with this otherwise perfect episode set in. First of all, Oswald knows how intelligent and thorough Edward is, right? So why would he be stupid enough to have Isabella’s brakes cut? I mean, Edward has access to the GCPD, as clarified in an earlier episode. So, obviously, Edward’s going to look into her death and discover the cut brake lines, which, of course, is exactly what he does in The Executioner. Now, I understand why Edward would think Butch did it, in the sense that they had an incredibly forced rivalry in the past.

However, since when does Butch know about Isabella? Butch left before Edward and Isabella got together. How could Butch know Isabella and Edward were even a thing? I … I don’t get this. For a guy who can decipher any riddle and solve any problem on the planet, you’d think he’d be a little smarter than this. I can only assume that Edward will be taking out his vengeance on the wrong person in the next episode. Admittedly, this could lead to something interesting but I just can’t overlook this flaw. Everything we’ve seen from Edward Nygma in the past shows that he is smarter than this. As for Isabella, let’s hope Indian Hill makes her come back again. Pretty please, Fox?

Overall, The Executioner is a great episode. I cannot believe that Edward Nygma can’t see the truth in front of his eyes when he’s always been able to do so. However, that’s one major flaw in a very minor part of the episode. Most of The Executioner revolves around Barnes’ relationship with Gordon and Ivy running for her life. When the focuses on these things, it’s fantastic. So that one character flaw isn’t really that big a deal.


Gotham: "The Executioner" Review

Gordon becomes suspicious of Barnes. Nygma goes to Penguin when he doesn't hear from Isabella. Ivy leads Selina and Bruce to trouble when she reveals her identity.
Overall Score
Great
Pros:
  • Maggie Geha's Poison Ivy
  • Showdown Between Barnes & Gordon
  • Wonderful Payoff
  • Great, Well-Balanced Drama
Cons:
  • Edward & Oswald Both Making Dumb Assumptions

User Rating:

/5
(0 votes)

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Westworld Season Finale: The Bicameral Mind Review http://thenerdstash.com/westworld-season-finale-review/ http://thenerdstash.com/westworld-season-finale-review/#respond Mon, 05 Dec 2016 07:01:43 +0000 http://thenerdstash.com/?p=52296 Title: Westworld: “The Bicameral Mind” Review Network: HBO Air Date: December 3, 2016 Genre: Sci-Fi Check out our reviews of previous episodes of Westworld: Episode 1: The Original Episode 2: Chestnut Episode 3: The Stray Episode 4: Dissonance Theory Episode 5: Contrapasso Episode 6: The Adversary Episode 7: Trompe L’Oeil Episode 8: Trace Decay Episode 9: The Well-Tempered […]

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Title: Westworld: “The Bicameral Mind” Review

Network: HBO

Air Date: December 3, 2016

Genre: Sci-Fi


Check out our reviews of previous episodes of Westworld:

That’s how you end a season. Westworld came out in its final episode with all guns blazing, hitting some great plot beats and letting plenty of questions go unanswered as we wait for the next season to begin. We have ninety minutes of “The Bicameral Mind” to unpack, so let’s see what the end of season one brought us.

For beings such a lengthy episode, Westworld‘s season finale was remarkably focused. We basically concentrated on a select few storylines (Ford’s new narrative and removal from the park, Dolores and the Man in Black, and Maeve’s escape), and we got plenty of payoff to make it all worthwhile. Even still, the finale did a great job of leaving open ideas about where the show could go next season (ummm… can we please visit Samuraiworld?) that it kept us all wanting to come back for more.

Hector changed up his gear.

Hector changed up his gear.

Maeve’s (Thandie Newton) storyline has been the most captivating all season, so it’s only fitting that hers was the biggest smokescreen that Westworld has given us. Maeve was seemingly caught in yet another story loop, as Arnold had been pulling her strings and had been manipulating her “rebellion” all along. It seemed obvious that there was more to it than meets the eye, but Maeve’s story is seemingly supposed to wind up with her achieving self-awareness and escaping the park. Just how many layers does Ford’s narrative have?

Even after learning it was all part of the illusion, Maeve’s breakout was fun to watch. Hector (Rodrigo Santoro) dressed in a technician’s gear and wielding a P90 was a blast to watch, and seeing the hosts “awaken” and fight back was excellent after a season of helplessness. However, it further added to the speculation that maybe every worker is a host because Maeve’s escape seemed a little too easy. Her decision to reenter the park was a good character beat as well because it reminds us that every host has a single driving factor. Maeve’s desire to get her child back overrides everything she has done to escape the park.

Dolores (Evan Rachel Wood) also got some semblance of clarification, as well as the most popular fan theory left also getting a thumbs up. We were all correct: William (Jimmi Simpson) is the Man in Black (Ed Harris). The episode built it up in a few obvious ways (did you see how William was leading his former friend Logan around in his search for Dolores?), but we finally got the true confirmation that William and the Man in Black are one in the same.

Fun fact: William is the Man in Black around 35 years ago. The actors are only 25 years apart in age.

Fun fact: William is the Man in Black around 35 years ago. The actors are only 25 years apart in age.

William’s experience with Logan (Ben Barnes) did not go well. It apparently drove him insane, and he became obsessed with the idea of figuring out the park. He made massive amounts of money (most likely by killing Logan and claiming his stake in Delos), became the majority stockholder in things, and has spent the majority of his time in trying to solve the mysteries of the park. The slowburn reveal of William actually being the Man in Black was very reminiscent of Bernard (Jeffrey Wright) being a host: very few episodes seem like they are trying to trick you. Westworld is more about the way the players react to revelations than how the audience responds.

Ultimately, everything played into Ford’s (Anthony Hopkins) final reveal. His new narrative was introduced as a groundbreaking endeavor for the park, as hosts broke from their traditional roles in order to fulfill some entirely new endgame. It was fitting that his narrative was called “Journey Into Night,” as the power in Westworld‘s headquarters started failing as he was introducing things. Everything culminated in Dolores shooting Ford and several board members, just as she did years ago when “Wyatt” (who is obviously Dolores herself) and Teddy massacred the town. How this will play into Ford’s ultimate plan (and the board’s attempts to stop him) remain to be seen in season two.

And how many roles does Dolores have left to play?

And how many roles does Dolores have left to play?

Overall, a great episode of Westworld and a great ending to a complicated season. “The Bicameral Mind” gave us much to consider and many theories to discuss as it moves forward. The ultimate question becomes this: what’s next? The uprising is happening, Ford is dead, the park is in disarray. Is next season just going to showcase the chaos? With Ford dead, is Bernard in charge? Or is Ford just another host as well, ready to join back in as a new individual entirely? We have a while to wait (season two is not scheduled to air until 2018), but the season finale of Westworld showed that this show has some serious chops for us to deal with. Just remember: these violent delights have violent ends.

And hopefully, we get to go to Samuraiworld (or maybe Southworld) soon.


Westworld Season Finale: The Bicameral Mind Review

Season One Finale. Ford unveils his vision for a bold new narrative. Enlightened by Bernard and The Man in Black, Dolores comes to terms with who she is. Maeve sets her liberation plan in motion as Westworld faces a major upheaval.
Overall Score
Remarkable
Pros:
  • Good information reveals for important storylines
  • Lots of fun questions left over
  • Excellent acting all-around
  • Plenty of mystery
  • Well done reveals of things we already knew

User Rating:

/5
(0 votes)

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The Walking Dead: “Sing me a Song” Review http://thenerdstash.com/the-walking-dead-sing-me-a-song-review/ http://thenerdstash.com/the-walking-dead-sing-me-a-song-review/#comments Mon, 05 Dec 2016 04:25:27 +0000 http://thenerdstash.com/?p=52331 Title: The Walking Dead: “Sing me a Song” Air Date: December 4th, 2016 Network: AMC Genre: Serial Drama, Horror The Walking Dead just aired it’s all new 90-minute episode titled “Sing me a Song” and… talk about a solid episode. Jeffery Dean Morgan and Chandler Riggs were phenomenal in this episode. They both had great chemistry together on […]

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Title: The Walking Dead: “Sing me a Song”

Air Date: December 4th, 2016

Network: AMC

Genre: Serial Drama, Horror


The Walking Dead just aired it’s all new 90-minute episode titled “Sing me a Song” and… talk about a solid episode. Jeffery Dean Morgan and Chandler Riggs were phenomenal in this episode. They both had great chemistry together on screen. This episode makes me glad that Negan will remain around through season eight. Christian Serratos also had a strong episode as Rosita, even though she appeared in a smaller capacity compared to Negan and Carl. There was so much coming together and unfolding in this episode that it was almost hard to keep track. Rick and Aaron are out on a scavenging run, Michonne is wandering a lonesome road, Carl and Jesus head to the Sanctuary, Rosita and Eugene are off to make a bullet while Father Gabriel and Spencer head to look for supplies. See how long winded that was just to read? We certainly have a big build-up to next week’s mid-season finale.

Negan and Carl were definitely the highpoints of this Walking Dead episode. So many of their interactions were practically carbon copies from the comic books, which I didn’t mind. What stands out from these interactions is the emotion the actors bring forth. One of the scenes I really liked from this episode is when Negan really pulls back after making Carl cry. It was a real, genuine moment. I personally find it enjoyable to see these comic pages come to life, especially with such important events. When the camera pulled back and we saw the Sanctuary, I found myself scrambling to find my comic books because it looked so similar. I’m sure some will again complain about the slow pace and make a comment about being “done with the show” but I found it captivating.

Negan and a Savior looking at an unseen Carl on The Walking Dead

Jeffery Dean Morgan again shined as Negan

I want to touch on something that has irked me recently. That is all the trolls bashing the show and all this talk about the show’s drop in ratings. One thing internet jabronis love is to see something fail. If The Walking Dead were canceled tomorrow, this cesspool of trolls would be front and center saying “I told you so. I hate to spoil it for you but The Walking Dead isn’t going anywhere. People were understandably upset about the season six cliffhanger, as was I. Still… it is what it is. The Walking Dead is still one of the highest-rated shows on cable. Hell, The Talking Dead itself on occasion has pulled in higher numbers than The Tonight Show. So no, the show isn’t going anywhere. If you don’t like it then don’t watch it. It’s one thing to have an opinion, but it’s something else entirely to act like an ass. I remember hearing somewhere that the best thing about the internet, is also the worst thing. The internet has given a voice to those who previously didn’t have one.

Keeping in line with the last two episodes, the women kept up their badassery with both Michonne and Rosita. Michonne making that road block of zombies was one of those “Damn!” moments. That’s the same manner in which the Saviors herded Rick’s group into a trap, with a bunch of road blocks. So now seeing that used against the Saviors was awesome. Rosita was absolutely determined to have that bullet made because she wants revenge. She tore Eugene down in a very harsh way but ultimately, I think this is where Eugene begins to make a difference. What has me wondering now is what will happen with Michonne? Is that woman for sure with the Saviors? And not to mention, Negan is currently in Alexandria.

Mihconne stabbing a walker in the head with her sword

Michonne knows to… Aim for the Head

Spencer again made an appearance in this Walking Dead episode and continued with his Rick hating. Part of me wants to like Spencer while the other half is ready to see his guts spilled in the street by Negan.  Spencer’s conversation with Father Gabriel in the car was another high point in the episode for me. It very much plays off the dilemma that many people face of what has happened in their lives and what could’ve happened. Most people that find themselves in bad situations tend to believe if they had done something else, they would be that much better off. I personally have been there. Looking back, I can now say that I was in the place for a reason and because of that situation I have grown in certain ways as a person… ways that I probably would not have if I hadn’t faced it. The same applies here. Maybe some of Spencers family would still be alive but who else would be dead… or how much longer would they have lived?

Negan’s power over the residents of the Sanctuary is that much more apparent when he gives Carl the grand tour. A particularly brutal scene was when Negan gave the iron treatment that Dwight got to the former lover of one of his wives. Apparently, a redirect of a big walker herd was messed up because this individual skipped out on his job. I wonder if this big herd will come into play later… possibly used against the Sanctuary? I continue to find myself surprised at the constant degrading Dwight faces from Negan. It’s absolutely brutal “ball busting” torment. Whether it’s comments about his wife or punishment Dwight has received, Negan is always reminding Dwight of painful things.

Spencer looking on in The Walking Dead

Spencer hates Rick but still came through with some supplies

So much is set to unfold next week that it’s hard not to mark out as a fan. Daryl gets a paper with a key that says “Go Now!” Is it a trick? Will he escape? Is Rosita going to get that shot off or will Spencer mess up the whole works? Is Michonne going to make it to the Sanctuary and what’s going on with Jesus who’s already there? Perhaps it was Jesus that slipped Daryl the note. Will Rick and Aaron find a stash of guns and ammo to fight back? So many exciting questions.

Needless to say, after this episode the mid-season finale is shaping up to be a real “Aim for the Head” shot… and yes, that is subtle promotion for our friends over at the Aim for the Head podcast. AMC has informed us here at The Nerd Stash that no early screeners will be sent out for the mid-season finale so I’ll have to watch it when it airs, just like everyone else. I am intrigued to see what Rick and Aaron find on that vessel in the water, assuming they can get there. How will Rick react to Negan being in Alexandria with Carl and… holding Judith? I have an idea but I can’t wait to see it unfold.

Did you like this episode of The Walking Dead? What are your predictions for the mid-season finale? Be sure to let us know in the comments below and check back for our all-new review next week. Also, if you’re a fan of Marvel, be sure to check out the all-new Guardians of the Galaxy teaser trailer.


The Walking Dead: "Sing me a Song" Review

A further peek into the Sanctuary.
Overall Score
Great
Pros:
  • Negan and Carl
  • Rosita
  • Scenes right from the pages of the comics
Cons:
  • Carl could've easily shot Negan
  • The rooftop guards didn't notice Jesus on that truck?

User Rating:

/5
(0 votes)

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Gotham: “Red Queen” Review http://thenerdstash.com/gotham-red-queen/ http://thenerdstash.com/gotham-red-queen/#comments Wed, 30 Nov 2016 05:08:59 +0000 http://thenerdstash.com/?p=51311 Title: Gotham: “Red Queen” Network: FOX Air Date: October 31, 2016 Genre: Crime, Drama, Action After getting back on my good graces with Follow The White Rabbit, I was eager to see where The Mad Hatter (Benedict Samuel) would take his road to vengeance next. With that said, Red Queen isn’t necessarily better than Follow […]

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Title: Gotham: “Red Queen”

Network: FOX

Air Date: October 31, 2016

Genre: Crime, Drama, Action


After getting back on my good graces with Follow The White Rabbit, I was eager to see where The Mad Hatter (Benedict Samuel) would take his road to vengeance next. With that said, Red Queen isn’t necessarily better than Follow The White Rabbit, but it comes really close. The character development given to James Gordon (Ben McKenzie) in this episode is nothing short of masterful. It examines his fears, his desires and his willingness to hold on to things that he can never have. Red Queen is a brilliant character study of our main hero, giving us an episode that is as tragic as it is heartfelt and meaningful.

The Mad Hatter obtained a toxin known as Red Queen. He dosed Jim Gordon, sending him into a deep hallucinogenic state. On the outside, he was comatose and near death. However, on the inside, he found himself on a one-way express elevator to hell, guided by Barbara Kean (Erin Richards). And yes, she’s as psychotic as you’d expect her to be. Furthermore, The Mad Hatter also obtained his sister’s body from the morgue, with plans to extract her blood. Bruce (David Mazouz) made dinner for Selina because, why not and Edward Nygma (Cory Michael Smith) even began a new relationship with Isabella (Chelsea Spack) much to Oswald’s (Robin Lord Taylor) dismay.

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Edward Nygma finds love again.

Given how Follow The White Rabbit left off, it made sense that Red Queen would begin by resolving its cliffhanger. Just for an update, Valerie Vale (Jamie Chung) was shot by The Mad Hatter at the end of last week’s episode. When she woke up in the opening of Red Queen, she almost immediately told Jim Gordon that they were are done. I guess not every woman can be with a guy who’s obviously still in love with someone else, no matter how much he denies it.  Personally, this was fine with me for two reasons. I honestly never cared for Valerie Vale as a character. Granted, Follow The White Rabbit did more with her than previous episodes. However, she’s just not that interesting as a character so seeing her go was okay with me. The second reason is what it leads into.

As Gordon’s relationship with Vale ended, a new relationship blossomed between Edward Nygma and Isabella. Isabella, as I pointed out in last week’s review, looks just like Ms. Kringle, the woman Nygma accidentally killed last season. I still maintain that Indian Hill was involved with this somehow but only time will tell. However, while Edward’s heart was all the twitter, Oswald’s heart was broken. Obviously, he wants Edward all to himself (in more ways than one) and even tries to get Isabella to leave by disclosing Edward’s past. This does little to sway Isabella though, as she comes to accept his past and love him anyway.

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The Mad Hatter puts his plan into motion.

Either way, Oswald had bigger problems. He came face to face with the mysterious Kathryn (Leslie Hendrix) of The Court Of Owls, who informed him that he’d be called upon when the time came. Whatever that means, we’ll hopefully discover soon enough. On top of this, Oswald, along with the officials of Gotham, almost found themselves the victims of Tetch’s diabolical scheme. By using the blood from his sister’s dead body, Tetch created a virus that he intended to use on Oswald and the officials at the Founders Dinner.

The GCPD took him down (a little too easily if you ask me) before this could happen, however not in time to save Gordon who had been poisoned back at the hospital with the Red Queen toxin. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. The Mad Hatter is one of the best villains of this entire series thus far, if not the best. Benedict Samuel brought his A-Game once again and showed us why his character is a force to be reckoned with. That’s why I found it a bit lame to see such a wonderful villain simply be “arrested” at the end. It didn’t bring down the episode or anything, it just felt a bit weak compared to everything else. At the very least, I expected him to put up more of a fight when he was caught.

screen-shot-2016-11-17-at-7-38-18-am

Jim Gordon gets some advice from an unlikely source.

That being said, everything evens out with Jim Gordon. Red Queen delved deep into Jim Gordon’s psyche, giving him significant character development that we had yet to see. The entire sequence in general was like a cross between It’s A Wonderful Life and a Christmas Carol. Only instead of ghosts we have Barbara Kean guiding Jim Gordon on an elevator to madness that he must escape. For the record, Erin Richards is beyond amazing in this episode as Barbara Kean. In the deepest recesses of Gordon’s mind we saw his desires and fears. We witnessed his allies, as well as enemies, guiding him back to where he needed to be. This all culminates in a solid lead-up to Jim Gordon taking a ride with his father, while Mario (James Carpinello) attempts to revive him on the outside.

This whole scene is one of the best Gotham has ever given us. I absolutely loved the conversation between Jim and his father. They actually address the issue that I had with Jim Gordon going into this season. That issue being why he would just randomly become a bounty hunter and just give up on being cop. Jim’s father is the whole reason he became a cop in the first place. With that said, Jim couldn’t take being a cop anymore after everything that happened. After years of people telling him what a hero his father was, he felt as though he’d failed the very man he tried to live up to. Of course, Jim is revived and after some soul searching, rejoins the GCPD at the end of the episode. For the bumpy ride we had with Jim as a bounty hunter, it was worth it for this.

Overall, Red Queen represents one of the most original and intriguing episodes that Gotham has to offer. Sure, The Mad Hatter getting caught the way he did is a bit lame. Sure, they gave Bruce and Selina a subplot in this episode and didn’t do anything with them. I mean, if you think these two are cliff-note in my review, don’t worry because they are a cliff-note in the episode too. However, everything else it did was so good that overlooking those small details is not a hard task. Red Queen is truly a remarkable episode, despite its faults.

Gotham: "Red Queen" Review

After coming in contact with a substance known as Red Queen, Jim Gordon gets led on a psychedelic trip and must confront his past, present and future. Meanwhile, Penguin struggles with Nygma's new relationship.
Overall Score
Remarkable
Pros:
  • The Mad Hatter
  • Jim Gordon's Mind-Trip
  • Edward Nygma & Isabella
  • Oswald "Threatening" Isabella
  • Possibly Erin Richards' Best Performance As Barbara Kean Thus Far
Cons:
  • How The Mad Hatter Was Captured
  • Bruce & Selina's Boring Subplot
 

User Rating:

/5
(0 votes)

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Gotham: “Blood Rush” Review http://thenerdstash.com/gotham-blood-rush-review/ http://thenerdstash.com/gotham-blood-rush-review/#respond Wed, 30 Nov 2016 04:39:28 +0000 http://thenerdstash.com/?p=51917 Title: Gotham: “Blood Rush” Network: FOX Air Date: November 7, 2016 Genre: Crime, Drama, Action Well, Barnes (Michael Chiklis) succumbing to the madness of The Alice Tetch Virus was bound to come sooner or later. Honestly, I’m just glad they took their time setting it up. Any lesser show would have had him going crazy immediately. […]

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Title: Gotham: “Blood Rush”

Network: FOX

Air Date: November 7, 2016

Genre: Crime, Drama, Action


Well, Barnes (Michael Chiklis) succumbing to the madness of The Alice Tetch Virus was bound to come sooner or later. Honestly, I’m just glad they took their time setting it up. Any lesser show would have had him going crazy immediately. However, much like Killer Frost on The Flash, they properly built up this character as a great person. Nathaniel Barnes in previous episodes hated criminals so much that he fired all the crooked officers of the GCPD upon his arrival. He was always by the book and never took shortcuts. Simply put, he respected the law too much to break it. Knowing this makes it all the more tragic and heartbreaking when we see this honorable character lose his humanity, becoming the very thing he hates most.

Blood Rush showed Nathaniel Barnes fighting a losing battle with the virus raging inside of him. If that wasn’t evident from his killing a man in the opening of the episode, it definitely was by the end when he killed someone else. Barnes sent Bullock (Donal Logue) and Jim Gordon (Ben McKenzie) on a wild goose chase as he attempted to cover his tracks. Meanwhile, Oswald (Robin Lord Taylor) became more and more agitated at Edward’s (Cory Michael Smith) relationship with Isabella (Chelsea Spack). Edward himself even had doubts that he could make it work when the ghost of Kristen Kringle came back to haunt him.

screen-shot-2016-11-29-at-5-12-56-am

Kristen Kringle haunts Edward Nygma.

Unlike the last two episodes, Blood Rush is almost perfect but not quite at their level. I assumed with Follow The White RabbitGotham got lucky. With Red Queen, Gotham stayed the course. But with Blood Rush, consider Gotham on a hot streak. While not as good as the last two, it’s still impressive. There’s just one thing about the episode that really irks me and I’ll get to it in a moment. If I can choose one word to properly sum up Blood Rush, it would be “psychological”. It’s an episode featuring two different characters struggling with the personal demons and regrets that haunt them. Both Nathaniel Barnes and Edward Nygma go through significant changes in this episode, one for the better and one for the worse.

In Nygma’s case, he experiences love again but doesn’t know if he can hold on to it or make it work. He’s too afraid that he’ll hurt Isabella the same way he hurt Kristen. Also, Nygma seeing Kristen’s ghost in the mirror, taunting him, didn’t do his psyche any favors. His first instinct is to leave her by way of The Penguin, who’s not as nice to Isabella as he’d hoped. However, Isabella loves Edward every bit as much as he loves her. So instead of leaving, she makes Edward confront his fears by dressing as Kristen and placing his hand around her neck. There is so much beauty and raw emotion in this one scene. The performances from Cory Michael Smith and Chelsea Spack are just brilliant. It wasn’t enough that she forgive him but that he forgive himself.

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Isabella forces Edward to face his fears instead of running from them.

Keep in mind that while Nygma did indeed kill his last girlfriend, it was entirely by accident. He loved her and never meant to kill her. In his mind, he felt like love wasn’t an option for him and it takes Isabella to make him realize that it is. Or, at least it would have been if Oswald didn’t have her brakes cut at the end of the episode. Yes, Isabella is now dead after getting hit dead-on by a train. I understand that they wanted to make it tragic but after everything that happened, killing Isabella at this point feels like such a waste. It was like they took their time with this character just to abandon her once she started to take off. Hopefully, she’ll come back soon. Indian Hill… Fingers Crossed!

I will admit though, I do like the chemistry between Edward and Oswald as friends.

… Can you imagine what their chemistry would be like as mortal enemies?

GOTHAM: Michael Chiklis in the ÒMad City: Red QueenÓ episode of GOTHAM airing ÒMad City: Blood RushÓ episode of GOTHAM airing Monday, Nov. 7 (8:00-9:01 PM ET/PT) on FOX. Cr: Jeff Neumann/FOX.

Barnes finally goes over the edge.

However, while Nygma finally forgave himself, Barnes had no such luck. Blood Rush sees Barnes struggling with the virus inside him. Make no mistake, after killing the cleaner in the beginning of the episode, he still tries to fight the urges of the virus. That being said, the virus ultimately wins, completely flipping this character’s personality. Seeing a character with a strong sense of justice turn into bloodthirsty monster. That’s about as heartbreaking as you can get. This is also a nice call-back to Red Queen. A topic discussed in that episode was how even the best of men have darkness within them. The point is never to succumb to it. Well, now Barnes has and we get another cliffhanger with his victim telling Jim Gordon that Barnes is the killer. Oh, I can’t wait for next week.

Overall, Blood Rush did a fantastic job with both Edward Nygma and Nathaniel Barnes. It sent both characters in a new direction both internally and externally and got us pumped for the next episode. However, where as I could overlook the few issues I had with Red Queen, Isabella dying in Blood Rush just angered me to no end. So, with that said, I can’t say this is a perfect episode but it did come close. Join me next week as Michael Chiklis revisits his glory days from The Shield in The Executioner.

Gotham: "Blood Rush" Review

Captain Barnes finally succumbs to The Alice Tetch Virus. Meanwhile, Nygma must confront his past and forgive himself in order to have a future with Isabella.
Overall Score
Great
Pros:
  • Edward & Isabella's Relationship
  • Captain Barnes Going Mad
  • Wonderful Set-Up For The Next Episode.
  • Great Character Studies For Both Barnes & Nygma 
Cons: 
  • Isabella's Death Was Such A Waste

User Rating:

/5
(0 votes)

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Westworld: The Well-Tempered Clavier Review http://thenerdstash.com/westworld-well-tempered-clavier/ http://thenerdstash.com/westworld-well-tempered-clavier/#respond Mon, 28 Nov 2016 07:00:47 +0000 http://thenerdstash.com/?p=51874 Title: Westworld: “The Well-Tempered Clavier” Review Network: HBO Air Date: November 27, 2016 Genre: Sci-Fi Check out our reviews of previous episodes of Westworld: Episode 1: The Original Episode 2: Chestnut Episode 3: The Stray Episode 4: Dissonance Theory Episode 5: Contrapasso Episode 6: The Adversary Episode 7: Trompe L’Oeil Episode 8: Trace Decay While last week’s episode, […]

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Title: Westworld: “The Well-Tempered Clavier” Review

Network: HBO

Air Date: November 27, 2016

Genre: Sci-Fi


Check out our reviews of previous episodes of Westworld:

While last week’s episode, “Trace Decay,” moved the pieces into place, tonight’s episode knocked them all down. “The Well-Tempered Clavier” answered a lot of our questions, but still left a lot of room to ponder just what all we will see in the final episode next week. Big moments, a character’s identity better revealed, and a true gaze into how much power Robert Ford (Anthony Hopkins) really has.

Maeve (Thandie Newton) did not have a ton to do this week, but she played a big role in what transpired. Her programming glitch got her a sit-down with Bernard (Jeffrey Wright), and she set him on his quest that was ultimately the big reveal of the episode. She shows off her godlike powers, freezing Bernard and forcing him to send her back into the park. She also convinces Bernard to seek the whole truth, and not just to stop halfway. We will come back to Bernard’s big reveal, confirming a popular theory that we brought up last week, at the end of the review. Maeve also got to open the eyes of everyone’s favorite dreamy outlaw, Hector (Rodrigo Santoro). Predicting his future, showing him the empty safe, and burning down the tent with them both inside is the start of her final move to escape, and I imagine we will find out next week if her alliances hold up.

Maeve pulls back the curtain for Hector.

Maeve pulls back the curtain for Hector.

The other big players this week were Dolores (Evan Rachel Wood), William (Jimmi Simpson), and Logan (Ben Barnes). Logan thought he had finally leveraged his friend by gutting Dolores and showing the robotic inner workings (and does this mean that Dolores can do the thing with her face, like Ford’s robot family?). It seemed like Logan’s plan worked, briefly, until he woke up surrounded by body parts. Apparently William, who does not like being called “Billy,” went berserk, and dismembered every host in the camp. He also has some new plan for Logan, but first they need to find Dolores, who ran off into the wilderness.

Is this the center of the maze?

Is this the center of the maze?

This scene seems to suggest the other most popular fan theory: William is the Man in Black (Ed Harris) but from years ago. A few things suggest this. William tells Logan that he “taught him how to play the game.” The Man in Black is obsessed with the game. He is also obsessed with “unlocking” Arnold’s creations, of which we know Dolores is one. If he can maybe solve the clue to a host gaining sentience, he could maybe save Dolores from the park. We also know that he has married into Logan’s family, who has a huge stake in the park. If something were to happen to Logan, it seems that William might be in a position to gain a lot of money and some valuable connections at the park. Just something to think about…

Speaking of the Man in Black, he got into some more trouble with Teddy (James Marsden) this week. Teddy apparently butchered the town from his memory under the control of Wyatt, which he remembers as being controlled by the Devil. There was also a music box playing, and we have seen music being used to manipulate hosts in the past. We also learned that Charlotte (Tessa Thompson) knows the Man in Black, and he in fact is a board member who has a voice in whether Ford stays on as the chief creative agent. The scene with his neck tied to the horse with his knife in reach was a pretty brutal and effective way to show that Ed Harris can still rock a pretty intense physical scene.

Dolores also found the center of the maze, it seems, with the confessional booth in the town. She also said “William!” as the door opened when she came back out. Guess who walked through?

It was one of these two...

It was one of these two…

Finally, back to our big reveal with Bernard. Who likes anagrams? Because “Bernard Lowe” is an anagram of “Arnold Weber,” which we learned is the name of Ford’s fellow Westworld creator. We also got to see the extremely tense reveal that Bernard is a host based, in fact, on Arnold. The reveal took much of the episode, with various cutbacks to previous episodes showing all the hints the show has dropped about Bernard’s true identity. Westworld is proving itself to be a masterfully crafted show – there are still a ton of mysteries to unravel, and it appears more and more that it will be a great show to rewatch. There have surely been tons of hints of the various reveals, and with so much more to come… director commentary would be welcome. Also, watching the tragic end of Bernard (for good?) was a fitting demise, as Ford has shown that he has total control over his creations. Although Maeve has that now as well.

Who is more powerful?

Who is more powerful?

We still have a lot to unpack in the final episode of the season. What is Ford’s narrative going to do? Is it just another loop that’s going to start the park over? What’s happening with the Ghost Nation (the painted-white Native Americans)?  Just how many times has Dolores “broken out” of her loop? What is the board’s plan? And just how many people are actually hosts? “The Well-Tempered Clavier” was a great episode of Westworld, and having to wait seven days to see how it ends feels like absolute torture.

Ford is totally a host too, right? He was created by Arnold, then gained sentience and betrayed him? Sort of Satan rebelling against God? That’s what I think. What about you?


Westworld: The Well-Tempered Clavier Review

Maeve approaches Sweetwater's longtime outlaw Hector with a bold proposition. William tries to convince Logan to help liberate Dolores. Teddy and the Man in Black get closer to what they're looking for. Stubbs's suspicions are aroused. Ford cautions Bernard against seeking answers to questions best left unasked.
Overall Score
Remarkable
Pros:
  • Intense reveals of big mysteries
  • Bernard and Ford's standoff
  • Dolores discovering the truth
  • William's freakout

User Rating:

/5
(0 votes)

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