“Gotham” 1×12 – What The Little Bird Told Him

Grade: B

Much better, but still not great.

Gotham tried to redeem itself (which is a good thing since the show has been renewed for Season 2) with an hour that felt like the better half of last week’s episode. And while some things worked perfectly, there were a lot of things that still felt a bit off.

Good things first: Christopher Heyerdahl as The Electrocutioner was the best thing this episode had going for it. His creepily disturbing performance was brilliant and intense, making me want to see more of this villain (a first, for this show) and reminded me so much of The Flash (only, you know, this is actually Gotham where hilarious things like stopping a villain with a cup of water is totally possible). The fact that he wasn’t dead by episode’s end was a nice change of pace for the fate of bad guys on this show. More of guys like this, please.

And less Fish, please. This is where the episode seemed to crumble a bit. Her little plan to take down Falcone once and for all was hard to watch, especially since she decided to do it over the phone (HA!) and also when she decided that she “owed” Falcone the benefit of the doubt by asking him to leave Gotham. I’m still not warming up to this woman because for 12 episodes now, she’s been nothing but “talk”. She’s trying to sound badass and evil but has not done anything about it yet, so I was actually thrilled when her plan backfired (thank you, Oswald). And Falcone strangling Liza was even more amazing and shocking—that’s how you do badass, Fish—but in typical TV trope, Fish had to live (also because this is Gotham and killing her would suggest that the show is improving week after week).

That explains exactly how I feel about Gotham right now. There’s an intriguing universe, some strong characters, and a good story but every time we’re about to reach a climax, something weighs it down. The same goes for Jim who, by the way, doesn’t need an “Arkham Asylum” caption anymore (wow that lasted for an entire episode) and is seen kissing Dr. Leslie Thompkins (who is being very underused here). I’m in no way trying to ridicule this show; in fact, this was one of the better episodes of the season, but I’m worried we’ll be facing another Rogues’ Gallery soon.

Let’s hope this marks a beginning of a better half of the season.

Bat Bits

-Definitely loving the new Jim Gordon. He’s cocky, angry and fearless now, and it’s so much more interesting. He’s also clever (*insert Jim-tossing-cup-of-water joke here*).

-Very rushed: Leslie and Jim. But still a couple I am definitely rooting for. The chemistry is undeniable.

-No Bruce, Alfred or Selina this week. It’s okay, they’ll be back soon.

-OMG Barbara returned! JK, it doesn’t matter. She had an extremely pointless and weird scene. Not sure how that’s different from when we usually see her.

-Hilarious: Liza’s fake “please stop” over the phone to Falcone. A huge LOL moment for me.

-Loved the cinematography, camerawork and visual touches in this episode that really added intensity to The Electrocutioner’s scenes. Falcone’s childhood flashback in the beginning seemed a bit random though.

-Edward Nygma (The Riddler) is amazing. Can’t wait to see him flip off soon.

Also posted on NadsReviews

“Jane The Virgin” 1×10 – Chapter Ten

Grade: A

Wow, I really love this show.

I was worried that Jane The Virgin will return from its winter hiatus differently. The show has definitely changed since Gina Rodriguez took home best-performance award, also earning The CW its first ever Golden Globe. But luckily, this is still exactly the same show I watched and loved a couple of months ago.

I’m still incredibly astounded by how much I love the narrator. Recapping everything Petra has done to Rafael in the past 10 episodes through quick and delightful on-screen cliffnotes was a highlight–but his hilarious one-liners are the ones that put a huge grin on my face. Everything from “not that one, you perv!” to “this is the information Rose came for (pun. Intended.)” were funny, on-spot and exactly what make this show deserving of its critical acclaim.

But let’s talk about that last thing the narrator said, after Michael says that he will never stop fighting for Jane’s love, “And for as long as Michael lived, until he drew his very last breath, he never did.” Wow, just wow. Is this foreshadowing, or simply the writers toying with our brains a little? Because it horribly sounds like Michael is about to die, really soon (perhaps by solving this whole Russian drug story?). Either way, this felt like a truly genius move from the writers. In fact, it reminded me of How I Met Your Mother (in its early golden years), where they would constantly toy with its fans’ brains until the very end. Good job, Jane. Good job here.

The entire episode was just perfect. I was a little worried Alba would end up with some memory loss–or even worse, deportation. But that storyline, like so many others in Jane The Virgin, disappeared rather quickly. This is no complaint though; I’m a sucker for fast-paced storytelling and so far, this show does it with grace and utter perfection.

The other thing that made Chapter Ten such a grondbreaking success comes from Michael’s redemption. Ever since the breakup, Michael has been a boring, pathetic man trying to win back his girlfriend by demeaning her new man-toy. Finally this week, he figures out a better and truly redemptive way of earning back the love–and that is by helping Jane’s illegal immigrant almost-dead grandmother stay in the country, without letting Jane find out. It’s a brilliant move that makes Michael much more interesting. Because like that poignant, touching scene the two of them shared in the elevator, Michael and Jane don’t seem to be over that quickly. And I, for one, am glad. I love having this Michael/Jane/Rafael triangle. And I love not knowing who to root for even more.

Have you finally caught up to Jane The Virgin?

“Revenge” 4×13 – Abduction

Grade: B+

I really loved this episode, and it really almost deserved an A.

Revenge has always been a roller-coaster, delivering one lackluster episode before having everything torn down in the other. It’s a smart if not sometimes aggravating mechanism this show has been using for 4 years–and we still fall for it.

The thing about “Abduction” that made it work was the bittersweet “series finale” feeling that it had–almost until the closing moments of the episode. Everything from Emily and Victoria budding up in an attempt to trick Malcolm Black and have their freedom again, to Jack and David sharing their concerns about how this whole ordeal was going to end. It was intense, and I freakin’ loved every minute of it.

Victoria was by far the episode’s highlight, proving that her loyalty is still something no one can figure out. The way she screamed at Malcolm just seconds before he was about to slice Emily’s throat is an incredible moment of television. It came as an unbelievable shock–and it didn’t stop there; her squeals and screams of horror as the villainous Black was about to throw Emily Thorne into the “fire of hell” showed us that Victoria is a human being with actual blood. You know, if you look deep down.

I mean, deep deep down. Because as the episode was coming to an end, one thing was still unsure: why in the world Margaux is still on this show? I watched this episode with one of Revenge-lover friends, and he couldn’t bring himself to listen to the French blonde taking up the screen because she was that annoying. Especially with the show ending with her words “It will be me who destroys her”. Why go there, Revenge? Why torture us with more ridiculous, useless, boring, outrageous, vomit-inducing, cringe-worthy storylines and characters? This was a MAJOR turnoff for me.

But like I said, the episode was still an intense and incredible hour of television. I thoroughly enjoyed Louise’s interactions with her mother (loved the non-fakeout fakeout, leading us to believe her mother wasn’t actually there at first but just another hallucination from Louise)–and I loved Nolan and Louise’s sudden marriage as well! These two definitely lighten up the mood whenever the show goes too crazy (did you see the cages Victoria and Emily were locked up in? Cray-cray!) and I just love seeing them together.

At this point, I’m still watching only because I can’t stop. This is not a show that deserves to go longer than 4 seasons. It’s been a great ride so far (Season 2 excluded) but I worry that the addition of too many complicated storylines and useless characters (Margaux in particular) will be the death of me.

“Revenge” 4×12 – Madness

Grade: A-

All hell broke lose on this week’s Revenge–and boy was it glorious to watch.

My favorite part about this show right now is how messy everything is, and how much the writers are appreciating that mess by adding even more mess. Wait, am I making any sense?

It’s hard to make sense after watching such a “maddening” episode of Revenge that ended with Victoria and Emily on the floor, with Malcolm Black hovering over their bodies. What a chilling scene.

But other than that, this episode saw more focus on Louise and how cray-cray her brother and family are. They’ve been drugging her for years, causing her to see hallucinations and talk to ghosts. What a disturbing little life Louise has had, and it was surprisingly entertaining to watch this B-plot take place on Revenge. It’s a good thing Louise is such a likable character because Elena Satine is now a regular cast member. Sadly, this worries me: is this not the final season of Revenge?

Nolan and Emily’s interactions were, as always, the episode’s highlight. Their talks about moving on and “the end” were moving and poignant, two things this show has become ever since it decided to kill of Daniel.

Finally, almost every secret is out in the open on Revenge now. Ben and Margaux now know Emily is really Amanda Clarke (thanks, Vicky) and that should have repercussions, while Emily and Victoria finally butt heads about Daniel dying in a very honest scene outside the lighthouse. I love Emily VanCamp (she was just as mesmerizing in Brothers & Sisters and Everwood) but her performances on this show are simply astonishing. Seeing her break down about everything that Victoria put her own son through reminded me of last year’s penultimate episode when David Clarke’s name was finally cleared. Both scenes are heart-breaking yet so satisfying at the same time.

I finally find myself anxiously waiting for the next episode of Revenge.

Is it Sunday already?

“Revenge” 4×11 – Epitaph

Grade: A

Who would’ve thought a show that used to be about Charlotte’s addiction problems, The Initiative and a Jack/Fauxmanda relationship would turn into such a highly entertaining and creative series?

It’s still too early to say that the show is back to being its former ass-kicking self, but if this episode (and the next one, which I have seen already) is any indication, I’m ready to say Revenge is BACK, guys.

What was so infuriating and equally astonishing about the midseason finale was the writers’ decision to kill off Daniel in such a brutal matter. Epitaph starts off just seconds after that moment, with Victoria walking in and finding her son shot to death. I particularly loved the scene with Emily talking to the detective as she tells him a made-up story of her drunken ex-husband barging into her house to kill her–leading her to shoot him in self-defense, while we watch in spooky flashbacks how Team Emily (now consisting of Jack, Nolan, David and obviously Emily) managed to hide agent Kate’s body. It’s a brilliant montage that I can’t get enough of.

Another thing the winter premiere pulled off wonderfully is the ability to show Victoria as both villainous and equally distressful. She’s a broken woman grieving over her innocent child–and at the same time a villainous devil blaming Emily for everything she’s done to Daniel over the past 4 years. Their chemistry and ongoing batter, 4 seasons later, is one of the best things about Revenge.

David Clarke is still a bit annoying to me, but it did help to finally have him and Emily working on the same side to cover up their tracks and also protect themselves from Malcom Black.

Even Margaux was slightly better in Epitaph as she is finally part of the main arc and not just standing on the side being annoying. The way she banned from Emily from attending Daniel’s funeral was extremely well-done and equally gut-wrenching, but also very plausible. Why should his murderous ex-wife be at his funeral, right?

I hope the rest of the season continues with this game-changing momentum, leaving us with a solid and satisfying series finale (yes, I’m still hoping this is the final season of Revenge).

“The Big Bang Theory” 8×12 – The Space Probe Disintegration

Grade: A-

This was quite an unusual installment of The Big Bang Theory, and I’ll be lying if I said I didn’t enjoy it.

We don’t often see half-hour sitcoms with episodes that lack wacky kinks and atrocious physical humor, so that’s what really drew me into this week’s episode of TBBT where the show dealt with its core cast’s deep relationships.

What I love about this is that there wasn’t a big premise behind the episode, or any kind of guest star to distract us from the main problem. This was just merely an episode that had friends sitting together and discussing how to move on with their lives. It’s a touching and poignant half-hour that Chuck Lorre usually doesn’t deliver in his sitcoms, and part of that is why I was blown away here.

Sheldon has always been the guy coming between Leonard and Penny’s future. In last year’s season finale, he couldn’t handle the idea of them moving in together–not to mention getting engaged–and literally took off and disappeared for months. But to bring that back up again was a bold if not mean move on Leonard’s part. Their conversation was an honest and brilliant take on real-life relationships, and I’m glad Sheldon is finally coming around the idea of Penny and Leonard living together. Baby steps, guys.

Raj and Howard’s B-plot was also equally honest and quiet, something this show is usually not. I love the writers’ decision to dig deeper into Raj’s religious self–even if it ended on a funny note–because at least they didn’t decide to blow the entire storyline up in flames (which I dreadfully expected) with something trivial. On the contrary, Raj revealed how he really feels about his parents’ divorce, his dog’s new haircut and something about a space probe in a very real emotional scene.

Kudos for everyone for producing such a powerful episode, proving that this season is just as good as the early ones.

“Cougar Town” 6×01 – American Dream Plan B

Grade: B+

My favorite cul-de-sac crew is back!

The beginning of the end was a remarkably solid episode, proving that Cougar Town still has good stories to tell in its sixth and final season.

The premiere did a bunch of good things that I didn’t see coming, the first of which was to speed up Laurie’s pregnancy. She’s now only a few weeks away from giving birth, which is a positive move from the writers because pregnant Laurie stories would have gotten boring and stale really quickly. Although I have to admit it was quite amusing seeing her freak out and yell “I HATE EVERYTHING” every now and then.

The amazing thing about Cougar Town’s return is that it proved that even with Bobby’s absence, the show is still able to stand on its own. It will honestly be hard not to see him in every single episode this season, but I’m not worried about the show suffering from this departure because if this premiere is any proof, Cougar Town is still hilarious and entertaining as ever.

Even Travis and Grayson got to shine in this episode’s B-plot. It might have been the weakest storyline this week, but any fatherlike-son interaction between these two is always delightful to watch and I’m glad the writers are exploring their relationship further now that Bobby isn’t around.

But Andy can’t live without Bobby, and the scene with Andy and Ellie dancing in the end while Andy is on video-call with Bobby is perfect. It shows us that one of the best bromances on television is still not over, and with Bobby returning next week for a proper sendoff (tissues already ready) I can’t wait to see how Andy is going to survive without his overly attached buddy throughout the rest of the final season.

***NOTES***

-“Now if this was a real baby, it’d be dead.” “I’d like to think if this was a real baby, you wouldn’t fire it across the room.”

-Andy’s “what happened to Barb?” was hysterical. Seriously, I think I miss that disgusting, filthy old lady.

-The return of the imaginary hat! So exciting!

-“Wine isn’t as good without the fear of being caught.”

-As always, I find myself constantly amused by the opening title cards. This week’s “Season 6! Is it too late to change the title?” is spot-on hilarious.

“Gotham” 1×11 – Rogues Gallery

Grade: C+

I want to say Gotham FINALLY returned but sadly, I haven’t been sitting on the edge of my seat since the winter finale. And perhaps that was a good thing.

I didn’t think Gotham’s return was terrible—because I really didn’t have any expectations. But looking back at the episode a second time, I see that this was not a good hour of television. In fact, the same thing that’s been killing this show since it started has resurfaced: its dreadful writing.

Barbara continues to be my biggest fear, especially during her “break-up” scene with Montoya which was impeccably random. We’re supposed to believe that these two women are suddenly toxic to one another? Where is the character development? Where is the narrative buildup? Where in the world is good writing? I’m not mad these two undeveloped characters broke up. I’m not happy about it either. I simply find myself having zero interest in this storyline.

Storylines are this show’s biggest problem. There has been no major arc good or big enough to last more than 2 episodes, and the winter premiere showed how the lack of such arc brings the quality down. It’s not just that the case-of-the-week is proving to be boring as hell—Arrow delivered a horrendous first season based on a villain-of-the-week format, but it was never unsystematic about it. In fact, this episode felt so random that someone who’s never seen Gotham before can just decide to pick up here with Rogues’ Gallery and still get a sense of where the show is heading: nowhere.

Despite all that, I still found the episode a bit entertaining. Maybe I’m starting to enjoy the show’s inability to deliver strong dialogue in a weak and utterly eye-rolling storyline, or maybe Jim’s relocation to Arkham Asylum breathed just a tiny bit of fresh air into this suffocating show. I was delighted with the introduction of Dr. Leslie Thompkins (Morena Baccarin) and can’t wait to see how her relationship with Jim develops because they have more chemistry so far than he and Barbara ever had in 10 episodes.

Much like the Arkham storyline, Butch deciding to go against Fish seemed like a breath of fresh air from what we’ve gotten accustomed to: i.e., seeing him as Fish’s bitch. Sadly, the whole thing went down when Butch killed his friend just to prove his loyalty to Fish. It’s a shame, really, because not only is Fish Mooney a bit annoying and hard to care for, but this storyline could have gone on a few episodes and made Butch more than just a one-dimensional character for once.

Then again, that would mean this is a well-written show.

Bat Bits

-Ivy and Barbara’s conversation on the phone was dull. Barbara couldn’t tell she was speaking to a child, really? I mean, sure, Ivy is more than just a child. She’s the devil, but still.

-The tilted camerawork in all the Arkham Asylum scenes was amusing. Not something I expected from a show that writes “Arkham Asylum” as a caption.

-The Penguin (I was very reluctant about adding a “the”) is no fun when locked up. Glad to see this devilish monster out so soon.

-Random or amusing: the montage at the beginning showing us what everyone has been doing since last month, including Barbara and Montoya “toxicating” each other. I vote random.

-Selina and Ivy wandered around the city then ended up in Jim’s apartment this week. I would much rather see more of Bruce and Alfred though.

-I’m a bit glad the killer got to escape in the end. His note to Jim as he drove off was entertaining as hell.

-I love Morena Baccarin and I’m glad she’s joined Gotham and its wacky universe. The show needs stronger female characters like hers.