ARROW / WALKING DEAD [Season Premiere Reviews]: Dead Island 3.

Aaaaand we’re off and running. The Fall TV premieres are rolling out and there’s a lot to be excited about. Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. hit the ground running, Gotham is pretty solid. Supernatural is as good as ever and Scorpion has been exciting. The Flash is my favorite new show. But the series I’ve been most excited for…is back! That’s right, Arrow has returned. Your TV Deacon has been waiting for this as eagerly as Slade waiting for his chance to escape the prison he was left in at the end of last season.

If you haven’t been watching The CW’s Arrow thus far, the first two seasons are on Netflix… Get on that!

http://youtu.be/_qb2ngzK7Yw

Season three started off with a bang. In the months since Team Arrow stopped Slade’s super soldiers from destroying Starling City, the team has really been busy. Oliver Queen’s (Stephen Amell) Arrow returns to the streets with Roy Harper (Colton Hayes) in full costume crime fighter gear. It’s a good look… I’m still curious as to what his moniker will be (I don’t think it can be Red Arrow unless Oliver is called Green Arrow; perhaps Arsenal is the most likely). Their goal is to recapture all the criminals Slade freed last season.

The episode had a great “where are they now?” feel to it. We caught up with John Diggle (David Ramsey) whose ex-wife and current girlfriend had a baby and it changed his perspective on his vigilante life. We get a small update from Thea (Willa Holland) who’s traveling the world, presumably with her father Malcolm Merlyn. Felicity is working at a “Best Buy/Radio Shack” while running tech support for Team Arrow. She also met some dude named Ray Palmer (played by former Man of Steel, Brandon Routh) who comic nerds will also remember as The Atom. Detective (now Captain) Lance, has disbanded the vigilante task force and has publicly acknowledged The Arrow’s contribution to the city. He’s also having health issues after almost dying last season. He’s relegated to desk duty, but that doesn’t stop him from going into the field. Laurel Lance (Katie Cassidy) has been busy prosecuting the criminals that Oliver captures, but…there’s something stirring in the air with this one.

"IT DOESN'T MATTER WHAT [Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson's] NAME IS!"
“IT DOESN’T MATTER WHAT [Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson’s] NAME IS!”
The last update that irritated me greatly when I saw it: Sara Lance (Caity Lotz) has been off with the League of Assassins, she stops by Starling briefly before taking an arrow — three actually — to the torso and falling off a building. So… Yup… They killed my favorite character. Not happy about that! The rest of the episode seemed mostly like a Villain of the Week. Another guy calling himself Vertigo was trying to take control of the criminal underworld… He gets caught though. Maybe he’ll be back– who knows. This show hasn’t shied away from killing its villains in the past; makes it hard to predict what they’re up to.

A couple bonuses thrown in: Ray Palmer plans to buy QC and bring it back to relevance along with the city, which he plans to rename Star City! Maybe now that The Flash is expanding the TVDCU, the writers want to bring Arrow closer to the comics. The boxing match was sponsored by Ferris Aircraft. If I’m not mistaken, The Flash pilot had a Green Lantern reference too. Could that be their next project? Big H down in Coast City was always close with Ollie and Barry after all…

Hey, I enjoyed the episode. We got to see what our friends have been up to and where they’ll start the season. My one and only gripe is the killing off of Sara, which while I hate to see her (and actress Caity Lotz) go, it does set up someone else to step in to the Canary role… Aside from that, I loved the premiere and absolutely cannot wait for the rest of the season.

4 (out of 5) Canaries.
4 (out of 5) Canaries.
"Deacon" Dave Story @TheDeacon2814
“Deacon” Dave Story
@TheDeacon2814

 

 

 

 

 

 

The CW’s Arrow airs every Wednesday at 8/7c.




“They are fucking with the wrong people…” – Rick

With utterance from the Season 4 Finale (albeit the uncut version), we got the feeling that the upcoming Season 5 Premiere would be something memorable. And let me tell you, fans were not disappointed.

Before I start on my review, let me just say that I have been watching The Walking Dead since it first premiered and have been reading the books since the first trade was released. So I know the ups and downs that the fans have been going through. I’ve been right there with y’all. Each season has been slightly different, some very good and others have been a bit weak. Season 2 on the farm, I’m looking your way.

After the ending of Season 4 and hearing all the cast members talking about this new season, I was pretty excited to see what they were going to do. Season 5 premiere pretty much starts off with a bang and never lets you go.

The S5 premiere is very busy. You have flashbacks and 2 other separate storylines going on at the same time. The episode starts and ends with a flashback to how TERMINUS and the people that had been there became the horrible people they turn into (and yes, there is a MAJOR Easter Egg at the end of the episode). We see Rick Grimes (Andrew Lincoln) and his crew trying to not get killed, and then the Carole (Melissa Suzanne McBride) and Tyreese (Chad Coleman) arc which may have actually been the best written part of the show.

Each season the villain is a “what if” of Rick’s group and the TERMINUS group is no difference. They prove to be just as evil as everyone thought they were. Showrunner and writer Scott Gimple stated on Talking Dead that this group, lead by season bad guy Gareth (Andrew J. West), is “institutionalized evil”. There is no reasoning with them and that makes them even scarier. They kill people with absolutely no qualms. Gimple also stated that we will be seeing a different Rick this season and uses Gareth’s group to show a slightly different side to our troubled leader. We know that every season there is going to be one major death (my money is on Glenn — played by Steven Yeun — only because Gimple also said that they would be moving more towards the comic books…).

But let’s talk about THE badass of the night, Carol, with Rick coming in second and not even a close second. She has gone from the quiet and abused housewife to a “GI JOE/MACGYVER/RAMBO” combo that should have made your jaw drop on Sunday night. To see such a character come into her own, especially after the show ruined the Andrea character, is very refreshing. And I would be remiss if I did not mention that Tyreese gets a great moment to shine against a TERMINUS flunky. Bout time.

#$%*&^%
#$%*&^%

The episode is directed by make-up special effects artist Greg Nicotero, who did a few of my favorite Walking Dead episodes, and gives you probably the best season premiere since the Pilot episode. It was almost like watching a movie with the angles used. During Seasons 2 and 3 there was a great meme going around about how TWD was about 40-minutes of walking and 5-minutes of “OMG” action; but whenever Nicotero is behind the lens, it’s the exact opposite. And no longer can the show be solely described by its location (i.e. Season 2 = The Farm; Season 3 = The Jail), since we start off at TERMINUS and literally blow the joint within one episode. Nice to know ya.

The possible Gareth/Negan (the crazy tattooed man no confirmed as him; but still) storyline does lend to my one complaint about the show: The language. With HBO being stupid and passing on the series, the show gets a bit hamstrung when it comes to the dialogue and which characters we see. If we do see Negan this season, it’s going to be a very watered down version of the comic book. The writers can get away with the “no-cussing” policy with Gareth because his character doesn’t have to curse to be seen as creepy, scary or down-right evil.

Either way, The Walking Dead should own Sunday nights and I’d be stupid not to be there every week to see what happens.

5 (out of 5) Dead Walkers.
5 (out of 5) Dead Walkers.
"Cardinal" Roberto de Bexar @RobBex2
“Cardinal” Roberto de Bexar
@RobBex2

 

 

 

 

 

 

AMC’s The Walking Dead airs every Sunday at 9/8c.

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