Sunday, 7 February 2016

REVIEW: FLASH 2-10 & 2-11, Legends of Tomorrow 1-1 &1-2


Well, you've got to give them props for bringing the naffest villains from the comics to life in an (almost) believable way. The Turtle makes for a pretty funny baddie-of-the-week, and his slo-time gimmick works reasonably well as a minor trial for him to overcome. There's a lot of time spent on the West family and their new addition Wally, but to be honest, I'm not enamoured with the guy so far and this part of the ongoing story isn't gripping me. No, the main part of this episode is Barry trying to find the guts to tell Patty he's the Flash. Apparently he hasn't learned anything from how it all blew up with Iris. What a goon.


The best thing in The Flash is Tom Cavanagh as Harrison Wells. Or Tom Cavanagh as Eobard Thawne as Harrison Wells. So an episode focusing at least partly on him is always a treat. Here, we have the other Eobard Thawne - the original Thawne - from an earlier point in his own timeline, before he faced Barry and all that fun last year. The problem is that Matt Letscher is nowhere near as good at playing the villain as Cavanagh, and the lack of familiarity with this version of Thawne really hurts the episode. However, the main cast are still great, and it's good to see Barry get over some of his hang-ups about Thawne and let him go to maintain history (and Cisco's life).

The second best thing in The Flash is Shantel vanSanten as Patty Spivot, and it's way beyond time that she got brought into Team Flash. And what do they do? They write her out, by dint of Barry being stubborn and too afraid to take risks. I realise this was her place in the story from the beginning, but damn it, Patty is wonderful. I hope that she comes back at some point, because her presence has been a big part of why this season has worked so well.

Also: Jay's Earth-One alter ego is named Hunter Zolomon, which would seem to be a huge hint that he's actually Zoom. More likely, though, it's a great big herring.

LEGENDS OF TOMORROW (two-part pilot)

So, that's what Doctor Who looks like when made by American superhero execs. Arthur Darvill basically plays the tenth Doctor, and to be honest, he's not bad, although he's also clearly not taking it remotely seriously (which is the only way to play it). There's a big chunk of Terminator in here too, what with the devastated future America and all.

Overall... this is OK. It's all good fun, and there are some lovely moments. The barroom brawl with Captain Cold, Heatwave and Canary, to a Captain and Tennille soundtrack, is tremendous fun. There are some nice spots for fans of both the original comics and the Arrowverse shows: Damian Darhk being present at the arms deal, Chronos turning up, a brief mention of Per Degaton. But it's also mired by some poor acting and some truly terrible dialogue. It's just a little too naff and cheesy to quite work (and considering how cheesy The Flash is, that's really something).  There's way too much being introduced all at once. Even of you have seen The Flash and Arrow, characters like Hawkman and Hawkgirl, and Firestorm, are tough, confusing characters to sell.

And what have they done to Martin Stein? He's a great character, and I'm all for adding a little edge to him, but having him rohypnol Jax is just utterly out of character and really pretty nasty. The second episode, which put him up against his earlier self and gave him a needed dose of humility, helped, but it's still a bad move on the writers' part.

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