POWERLESS Formally Introduces The New Hero in “Green Furious”

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Season 1, Episode 8: “Green Furious”
Written by Dean Loray
Directed by Michael MacDonald

[All photos courtesy NBC Universal]

Breaking News! The Olympian (Joel Michael Kramer) and Green Fury (Natalie Morales) have split up!

Anyway, Emily (Vanessa Hudgens) sees Green Fury being mobbed on the street by the paparazzi after pulling off a rescue. While her attention is on them, Jack-O-Lantern (Kimani Ray Smith) takes the moment to try and fry our new hero with a pumpkin bomb! Luckily, Emily grabs Fury and saves her. “I owe you one,” she tells Emily and gives her a signal device so she can call on the green haired one in the future.

Van, meet Green Fury.

The team looks at Emily’s “prize”, with Teddy (Danny Pudi) being furious because he’s still hung up on the firey lass.

Today, Emily is going to sit in on a board meeting with Van (Alan Tudyk); he tells her not to talk, but just laugh at his jokes.

Jackie (Christina Kirk) has brought her daughter, Ruby (Willa  Miel Pogue) with her to work because she was suspended from school for hitting. Wendy (Jennie Pierson) warms right up to the tyke, much to Jackie’s chagrin.

In the board meeting, Emily is dismayed that they’re considering axing the Poncho that Emily likes. So, Emily speaks up and tells them that they need a new ad campaign with a superhero selling the product. She pulls out the signal device and summons Green Fury, impressing the board.

Fury is a little upset that she was summoned for something so trivial, but Emily convinces her that this will help reshape her image which was damaged by the breakup. The green haired heroine agrees to be in the commercial.

Van better watch what he says to the green-haired one.

Meanwhile, Ron (Ron Funches) is in a focus group when Teddy busts in with his new leather jacket, wearing it in the hopes that Fury will notice him. The group just tears him down.

Meanwhile, Wendy and Ruby are becoming friends, when Jackie comes over and asks Wendy to stop hanging around with her child.

At the commercial shoot, Emily is dismayed to find that the executives have taken her tasteful commercial and made it really sexy, featuring a nude Green Fury and very little of the poncho.

Jackie is at the end of her rope with Ruby and tells Wendy that she can have her. All she really wants to know is why Ruby hit that other kid. Ruby finally comes clean and admits that the kid was saying bad things about Jackie.

The Olympian is available for all your stripping needs.

Meanwhile, back at the studio, Green Fury isn’t having the changes that the execs made, she trusts Emily though and they come up with a compromise.

The Olympian, a total glory hound, is called in to do the commercial. We see the finished commercial with a bare naked Olympian washing a car and Green Fury demonstrating the poncho at the end. The commercial tests positively.

The commercial works and the paparazzi are more interested in The Olympian then Fury’s life. Fury even got a call from the Justice League…Europe.

Oil him up, he’s ready to go.

Analysis:

This episode was… not bad. In fact, I might say this has been one of the best episodes of the series so far.

We get a good look at our new hero, Green Fury, and she doesn’t even like that name.

We get a “b” story that stays short and in the background allowing the “a” story plenty of time to work with.

And for the ladies, we get The Olympian “naked”.

We also got some good DCU references including Darkseid, Justice League Europe and The Scarecrow.

I just wonder if we aren’t missing an episode between this one and the last, as last week Green Fury had just arrived and this week were she and The Olympian were breaking up.

Maybe it’ll be in next week’s episode, “Emergency Punch-up”, the reason that “Green Furious” was switched for this episode was because “Emergency Punch-up” featured a gas attack and that just happened in Syria. Although this episode does come after “Van v Emily…” in the production order, so I guess we will see.

How difficult must it be to live in a world where you need to carry around a security poncho so not to be injured or killed? That must kinda suck.

Natalie Morales’s performance as Green Fury was pretty good. I do wish that her flames would cover her body all over like in the comics, but that might be beyond the budget of a half hour sitcom.

Finally, we still have no idea if this show will get renewed. The viewership has been consistent at around 2 million, but that might not be enough to save it.

Next week, this series gets an “Emergency Punch-Up”, (we hope).

Powerless airs Thursday at 8:30/7:30 Central on NBC. It can also be found on Hulu, Amazon, and NBC.com. For more information, visit the official website.

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POWERLESS Crowns Its Champion in “Van v Emily: Dawn of Justice”

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Season 1, Episode 7: “Van v Emily: Dawn of Justice”
Written by Greg Lisbe & Jared Miller
Directed by Jaffar Mamood

[All photos courtesy NBC Universal]

Ron (Ron Funches) and Teddy (Danny Pudi) are talking out on the office balcony about Teddy’s girlfriend when Jack-O-Lantern (Kimani Ray Smith) zooms by throwing a pumpkin bomb at them causing Teddy to fall off the balcony, in a flash, he’s rescued by Charm City’s newest hero, Green Fury (Natalie Morales).

Meanwhile, Emily (Vanessa Hudgens) goes to Van (Alan Tudyk) to complain that she doesn’t have her own office. Van tells her that there is no space.

Excited to meet Green Fury or just smooth dancers, you decide.

So she goes over Van’s head and talks to the home office in Gotham. Turns out, there is a space in it that has a spider in it; if she gets rid of the spider, it’s hers.

Van is upset over Emily’s actions and tells her to get back to her cubicle. Back in her cubicle, Emily is crushed, but she goes to Van to demand her office back and ends up challenging him to a game of Green Arrow darts.

Emily is trapped in a cubicle of emotion.

The team warns Emily that this is a bad idea and that Van is a sore loser, confiding in Emily why Van is Employee of the Month ever month.

Later the game is set up, and after some trash talk, they play. At first, Emily lets Van win, but her competitive nature and Van’s bragging causes her to actually try to win. Emily still ends up losing.

The next day Van is in such a good mood, he’s given the office all new chairs and scones. He’s even gonna let Emily get her office.

Van is not Green Arrow, but he does have a lot of green.

Meanwhile, Teddy has created a dummy to throw off the balcony to get Green Fury’s attention; unfortunately, he goes off the balcony with it. Instead of being saved by GF though, he’s saved by The Olympian (Joel Michael Kramer) instead.

Emily has her office, but she’s still not happy that she lost and challenges Van again. She lets the proverbial cat out of the bag by demonstrating to him that people have been letting him win all his life. Van is crushed. Emily has completely broken him with this revelation. Van and Emily talk, and she tells him that he beat her all on his own with no one’s help. Van’s ego is reinflated again.

When Van wins, life is good for all.

Meanwhile, Teddy is out on a date with his girlfriend when a thief steals her purse. Green Fury stops the robbery and Teddy gets to meet her face to face, putting him in an awkward situation with his girlfriend.

Analysis:

This episode was a definite improvement over last week.

We get plenty of references in this episode: Lois Lane, Green Arrow and an appearance by The Olympian, as well as a new superhero to take Crimson Fox’s place, Green Fury.

Green Fury is better known as Fire in the DC Universe. She first appeared in Super Friends #25 in October 1979. Beatriz da Costa was given her powers by Brazilian mysticism and was the president of Wayne Enterprises in Brazil. After Crisis on Infinite Earths, her history was changed to that of a super model turned Brazilian secret agent who got endowed with powers in a pyroplasmic explosion.

Green Fury’s special effects were decent but brief. I wish that they had an all over fire effect on her as that would make the costume look better.

This was a big insight into Van and Emily’s competitive natures. Van was competitive because he thought he never lost (mainly because everyone let him win to avoid his nasty streak). Emily was competitive because she has a bit of a superiority complex. Emily got her way but STILL felt the need to not let Van gloat, causing her to go confront him and burst his bubble about his own superiority complex.

I must applaud the title for this episode. At the very least, it was way shorter than the movie.

I’m kinda getting worried here, because the production vs air order of the episodes is pretty wild. So far it’s been this: 2,3,6,7,5,8,10. Episode 1 was the original pilot so that can be discounted. But what happened to episodes 4 and 5? When will we get to see them and if they air, will they make sense out of order?

I’ve been giving it some thought and I really think this series would have worked better with either a longer runtime, two-part episodes or a more serialized format.

Next week, this series gets an “Emergency Punch-Up”.

 

Powerless airs Thursday at 8:30/7:30 Central on NBC. It can also be found on Hulu, Amazon, and NBC.com. For more information, visit the official website.

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POWERLESS Has a Friend in Me in “I’ma Friend You”

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Season 1, Episode 6: “I’ma Friend You”
Written by Sabrina Jalees
Directed by Alex Reid

[All photos courtesy NBC Universal]

We open this week’s episode with Breaking News! Crimson Fox (Deanna Russo) has announced that she’s leaving Charm City for Metropolis! While the guys joke about getting Aqualad instead, the women worry about an uptick in crime and super villainy.

Emily (Vanessa Hudgens) suggests taking a self-defense course and asks Jackie (Christina Kirk) if she wants to join her; Jackie’s kinda noncommital, so Emily takes that as a yes.

Crimson Fox is leaving! Who will save the city now?

Emily waits for Jackie and gets chased by one of Jack-O-Lantern’s (Kimani Ray Smith) fireballs. She finds Jackie…driving an Uber. Later, Jackie tells Emily not to mention it to the others but she’s working to send her kid to Six Flags over Metropolis.

Meanwhile, Van (Alan Tudyk) is mad. SOMEONE used his private toilet, leaving a magazine behind and he wants to know who it was so he can fire them. He zeroes in on Wendy (Jenni Pierson), Ron (Ron Funches), and Teddy (Danny Pudi). No one confesses, so he makes them work in a creepy boarded up conference room.  They really don’t care.

The women of Wayne Tech give their best impressions of Hot Dog Tony.

Emily finds out there was no trip and confronts Jackie; they get in a fight about it.

Van, meanwhile, has Ron, Teddy, and Wendy in the hot seat telling each of them that the others have confessed and offering them a gift card if they narc on the others.

Jackie gets her car destroyed by Jack-O-Lantern on an Uber run and winds up in the hospital. They call Emily (her emergency contact) and the women make up. It turns out Jackie wants to get an MBA so she can get away from Van’s asshattery.

Hot Dog Tony (Michael Cornacchia) has moves that aren’t amusing.

Meanwhile, Van is successful at getting Ron, Wendy, and Teddy to turn on each other. Finally, Ron decides to put an end to this and just confesses…just then Wendy and Teddy also come in and confess. Van finally gets security footage from his office and sees that no one used his restroom, it was just Jackie trying to kill a bee with a magazine.

Van plays it off like he was just teaching them a life lesson.

Over the closing credits, we see who was using his restroom just before the janitor erases the file.

Wendy, Teddy,and Ron Marvel at footage of Van…scared of a bee

Analysis:

Well, we’re finally back after last week’s false non-start. The leading theory is that NBC didn’t want to burn up an episode opposite of the NCAA basketball tournament and instead substituted a rerun of its new John Lithgow docu-comedy series Trial and Error. Dear NBC, thank you for thinking of us mortals, but please decide these things in advance so the listings will be updated correctly! Errrrrr.

Well, not much comic book stuff in this episode except a mention of Aqualad, Crimson Fox’s press conference and Jack-o-Lantern causing a little mayhem. It didn’t make for a great episode. Maybe NBC was mistaken and should have put this one up against the tourney anyway.

So..who will they get to replace Crimson Fox? Wasn’t she supposed to be a semi-regular character?

So the main plot of this story is that Emily is doing her “friendly puppy” routine and Jackie just wants Emily out of her business. But in the end, Jackie realizes that she needs to open up a bit and Emily learns a little about boundaries.

A few weeks ago, Emily didn’t listen to Jackie and learned a lesson. This episode the same thing happens again. Emily tries too hard to engage Jackie, she doesn’t listen and she ends up learning a lesson. This is a little repetitive.

Once again the “B” plot saves the day as Van tries to discover who has been using his private toilet. Alan Tudyk’s Van would be dangerous if he was smart.  Luckily the team can outwit him. I like it that everyone uses the bathroom….if only Van was nicer to the maintenance man he would have known.

Nice use of Uber as a side job for Jackie. Hey, Uber! If you’re looking to sponsor something, why not sponsor us? We have plenty of shows for you!

All and all, this episode was just kind of skippable.

Join us next time, true believer as Van wins a major award in “Van of The Year”!

 

Powerless airs Thursday at 8:30/7:30 Central on NBC. It can also be found on Hulu, Amazon, and NBC.com. For more information, visit the official website.

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ECHO CHAMBER: Rebooting THE MATRIX Is a Terrible Idea. Or Is It?

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Recently, the Internet buzzed with the news that Warner Bros. is contemplating a reboot of The Matrix to be the Next Big Franchise to Make All The Moneys.

But is this a good idea? What stories are left to tell in that virtual universe? Do we need to know Agent Smith’s origin? Do we need to see a young Morpheus? Neo as a child? And what special effects innovation can be the next Bullet Time? Or is there potential for some really good stories yet to be told? Can we dive back into the Matrix after all this time?

SciFi4Me 20% Off at HumanCharger. Use coupon code scifi4me during checkout. Expires 12/31/2017.

The panel: Mindy Inlow, Sonya Rodriguez, Thomas Townley, Tim Harvey, Jason Hunt

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ROGUES GALLERY #52: Snobs, Songs, a Sellout, and a Slog

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[recaps by Jason P Hunt]

This week: Supergirl is Juliet and Mon-El is Romeo Light as the Kryptonian faces off against Lois Lane and Hercules. Then she gets whammied and has to sing for her supper, dragging the Flash into the musical mental minefield. Hijinks ensue. And J.R.R. Tolkien helps the Fellowship of the Time Ship retrieve the blood of Christ to destroy the Spear of Destiny, only it doesn’t go so well. And over on Arrow… just, ugh…

PLUS: a discussion about the new Justice League trailer.

The panel: Ann Laabs, Dave Margosian, Tim Harvey, Jeff Hackworth, Thomas Townley, Jason Hunt

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GOTHAM: Logo.
Returns April 24

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Episode 216 “Star-Crossed”
Written by Katie Rose Rogers & Jess Kardos
Directed by John Medlen

Teri Hatcher and Kevin Sorbo!

This week, we get the reveal so Kara (Melissa Benoist) gets caught up with the rest of us: Mon-El (Chris Woods) is actually the crown prince of Daxam. And now that he’s been revealed as a liar, “This changes everything!” for Kara, and …

Why is the B-story with Winn (Jeremy Jordan) getting framed for stealing a Van Gogh the more interesting part of the episode?

And just like in the “Invasion” cross-over, this one has one scene at the end to launch us into The Flash musical episode with the singing and stuff…

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Episode 317 “Duet”
Teleplay by Aaron Helbing & Todd Helbing
Story by Greg Berlanti & Andrew Kreisberg
Directed by Dermott Daniel Downs

It’s the full-episode part of the episode-and-some-change crossover (so called) where Supergirl gets taken to Earth-1, where Mon-El and J’onn enlist the help of Team Flash to figure out what’s going on inside her head — which is a mental recreation of 1940s Hollywood musicals, because of course Barry (Grant Gustin) and Kara both love musicals.

Music Meister has got them trapped inside the mental maze, where they have to play along with the script to get out. Along the way, we have several moments of exemplary musical skill (even though every song but one was a cover…). And while it’s not “Once More With Feeling” in terms of impact, it does have a way of cleansing the palate of all the angst and grimacing from previous episodes of both shows.

And in the true spirit of the After School Specials, both Barry and Kara find their own relationship answers when attempting to advise others about the same problems. Funny how that works, isn’t it?

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Episode 215 “Fellowship of the Spear”
Written by Keto Shimizu & Matthew Maala

Directed by Ben Bray

Firestorm (Franz Drameh) finally is using his transmutation powers! And the show acknowledges the birth, life, and death of Christ, which is kind of a big deal for a Hollywood thing, you know?

The Time Team figures out that Christ’s blood is the only thing that will destroy the Spear of Destiny, the remaining pieces of which they retrieve from the Legion of Doom’s base camp at the Vanishing Point. And Nate (Nick Zano) knows of a theory that Sir Gawain of the Arthurian Knights actually recovered a vial of Christ’s blood instead of the Holy Grail. It’s a theory developed by J.R.R. Tolkien (Jack Turner), who’s serving as a 2nd Lieutenant in the North of France during World War I.

So when Leonard Snart (Wentworth Miller) shows up to confront Mick (Dominic Purcell), everyone figures it’s just more hallucinations. Only it’s not, and Snart convinces Mick to hand over the Spear of Destiny.

Too bad there’s not a Magic Helmet to go with it…

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Episode 517 “Kapiushon”
Written by Brian Ford Sullivan & Emilio Ortega Aldrich
Directed by Kevin Tancharoen

Can this show just get cancelled already?

We spend a lot of time in Flashback Russia, maybe because the whole Prometheus thing isn’t really much of a thing? Because it’s not. It’s boring. Adrian Chase (Josh Segarra) manages to capture Oliver (Stephen Amell), and we spend way too much time with Chase trying to get Oliver to admit something everyone but Oliver already knows. Even Anatoly (David Nykl), easily the only redeeming element of this show at the moment, understands that Oliver is kidding himself thinking that he can keep the “monster” isolated under a green hoodie.

And Drago Konstantin Kovar (Dolph Lundgren) still hasn’t said, “I will break you.”

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POWERLESS Warms Up to “Cold Season”

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Season 1, Episode 5: “Cold Season”
Written by Amy Mass
Directed by Clark Mathis

[All photos courtesy NBC Universal]

Ron, Teddy and Wendy (Jenni Pierson) have that cold feeling.

A hot day in Charm City…and everyone is wearing coats. Every spring, a cold-themed villain invades Charm City. Who is it this year? Frostbite. Brrrr.

Teddy (Danny Pudi) has a new invention that’s just right for cold season: a pair of powered gloves that will not only unfreeze objects but also heat up your coffee. Emily (Vanessa Hudgens) thinks Teddy should enter them in the Wayne innovation contest. Teddy is reluctant to do so, but Emily enters them behind his back. Jackie (Christina Kirk) tells her the story of the last time Teddy was pushed into something like this…it wasn’t pretty.

Meanwhile, Van (Alan Tudyk) needs help putting together a Superman kiddie car for his girlfriend’s kid; Jackie won’t do it, so he coerces Ron (Ron Funches) into doing it for him.

Teddy gets obsessed over getting the gloves to be perfect. It starts to push him to the edge…so Emily tells him that they’ve made it to the finals (a lie).

Warm hands, bad ideas.

Van, meanwhile, calls Ron. Turns out the kid is a girl and she wants a Wonder Woman jet kiddie car…which are invisible. Ron is willing to help, even though Wendy tells him that Van is taking advantage of him.

The team from Wayne X drops by to rub it in Emily’s face that they won the contest. She goes to Teddy at his apartment to tell him the bad news and meets his ultra-successful family including his brother, the space doctor. Teddy is humiliated.

Back at work, Teddy seems fine, but when they start to work on a new version of the fear gas detector, Teddy starts to freak out. So Emily tries to calm him down out on the balcony. Just then Crimson Fox (Deanna Russo) lands on the balcony! Look out! Frostbite attacks and freezes Crimson Fox in a sheet of ice.

Locked out of the office, they use the gloves to unfreeze the Fox and have a chat about what it’s like to have over-achieving siblings. Unfrozen, Fox asks to use the gloves to defeat Frostbite.

Emily should really listen to Jackie more often.

Meanwhile, Van calls and asks for more and more from Ron. He snaps and tells Van off. Later, in person, Van and Ron apologize to each other. Van asks for a treehouse, Ron is only happy to oblige (sucker).

Marv Wolfman (Bill A. Jones) reports that cold season is over! Crimson Fox used the gloves to defeat several cold-themed villains, and Teddy is very happy.

Analysis:

First off, this was such a fast paced episode, helped along by nifty Wayne Tech transitions between scenes; very nice.

So many cold villains were listed it was fantastic. The one we get to see for a hot few seconds was Frostbite.  The only Frostbite I know in DC Universe lore was the hero Frostbite from “Young Heroes in Love”. The answer to the riddle came from fellow SciFi4Me correspondent Jeff Hackworth, who identified the character as Ice’s counterpart from Earth-3 in Justice League Quarterly #8 (1992). [You can hear that exchange in the latest Rogues Gallery.]

We did get a good look at Crimson Fox in this episode as she got frozen by Frostbite.  I like the costume, but I’m not really sold on the actress’ performance.

Did I mention that this episode was jam packed? We had the cold villain wrapper, the “A” plot with Teddy and Emily and the “B” plot with Van and Ron. The two plots would have been even better if they had been a little longer. The way this episode went they both seemed short and tiny.

Van is a really a jerk. He takes advantage of Ron to put together kiddie cars for the brat of his latest girlfriend. I gotta give them credit for the invisible jet car gag, impractical as it is. How did he put that together? I’m also going to guess the kid loses it in a day. It would also seem like it would be a safety hazard. Maybe safety laws are a little lax on Earth-P?

A big question here: after they gave the gloves to Crimson Fox, how did Emily and Teddy get back into the office? They never melted the ice off the door. After she takes off, they’re still stuck on the balcony. Did someone in the office call for help?

That is one handsome robot.

The team from Wayne X (sounds like an Elon Musk type of team) are really good. They built a nearly human robot. Wonder if they have Professor Ivo working with them? Also, if they’re in the same building, are there other tech teams in the same place?

Next episode, we learn the power of friendship…and how to use that to your advantage in “Ima Friend You”.

 

Powerless airs Thursday at 8:30/7:30 Central on NBC. It can also be found on Hulu, Amazon, and NBC.com. For more information, visit the official website.

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ROGUES GALLERY #51: Dinosaurs and a Spaceship, Plus Kissing and a Hot Bot

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[recaps by Jason P Hunt]

This week, the Rogues talk about the four shows that were on the air, plus the rumor that we might soon get a Green Lantern casting announcement. Would it mean the restoration of Ryan Reynolds’ Green Lantern into the existing DC Films Universe?

Complete with CGI dinosaurs, face-offs against doppelgangers, Speed Force shenanigans, keeping secrets from everyone because of reasons, and emotionally rash decisions, this week proved to be a tough slog to get through for most of us…

And Gideon needs to be seen in person more.

The panel: Jeff Hackworth, Thomas Townley, Jason Hunt

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GOTHAM: Logo.
Returns April 24

 

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Episode 215 “Exodus”
Written by Paula Yoo & Eric Carrasco
Directed by Michael A. Allowitz

So, Cadmus is using the alien registry to round up all the immigrants mutants metahumans this week and … not kill them? Instead, Jeremiah Danvers (Dean Cain) has convinced Dr. Luthor (Brenda Strong) to pack them all up, throw them on a massive spaceship that’s apparently evaded notice from anyone in the world, and haul them through hyperspace to a distant planet, because television doesn’t have enough “bad guys want to expel all the immigrants” metaphors…

Kara (Melissa Benoist) wants to expose the situation by writing an article, but Snapper (Ian Gomez) is the one TV journalist who actually acts like a real life journalist is supposed to act —  you know, caring about verifiable sources and corroboration and fact and all — but Kara’s not having any, so she publishes the story on her own. Gets fired.

Alex (Chyler Leigh) gets benched because J’onn (David Harewood) thinks she’s emotionally compromised — and he’s right — but after she goes rogue, busts into the Luthor facility, gets trapped on the ship as it launches, and manages to break a bunch of things only for Kara to save her at the very last instant… yeah, she’s back at work and J’onn is apologizing?!

To quote the famous philosopher: “That’s not how it works. That’s not how any of this works…”

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Episode 315 “The Wrath of Savitar”
Written by Andrew Kreisberg & Andrew Wilder
Directed by Alexadra La Roche

How many times can Barry (Grant Gustin) carry the Idiot Ball on this show?

We begin with the news that he and Iris (Candice Patton) are now engaged, which is great news for everyone on Team Flash. Except Joe (Jesse L. Martin) is none too pleased that Barry didn’t ask for permission. And when Wally (Keiynan Lonsdale) figures out the engagement is just one more way Barry’s trying to change the future, it gives us yet another example of a man who does stupid, terrible things for all the right reasons.

Meanwhile, Savitar is back, because when Barry threw the Philosopher’s Stone into the Speed Force, it wasn’t quite all of the stone. Turns out, Catilin (Danielle Panabaker) held onto a small sliver of the stone in the hopes of using it to get rid of her powers before she turns into Killer Frost and starts doing terrible things.

And Wally gets his time with the Idiot Ball, too, but we can all see where this is going, right? We know who’s wearing Savitar’s mask, right?

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Episode 213 “Land of the Lost”
Written by Keto Shimizu & Ray Utarnachitt

Directed by Ralph Hemecker

Team Time Tamper heads back to Jurassic Park! Only it’s not because they have a plan or anything. It’s a crash landing caused by Rip (Arthur Darvill) giving Gideon (Amy Pemberton) instructions that cause all sorts of mayhem and chaos.

So the ship is broken. Rip is broken.

Sara (Caity Lotz) and Jax (Franz Drameh) learn from Rory (Dominic Purcell) that it’s possible to go into Rip’s mind to fight off the bad turrible things keeping him from being himself, so they dive into the Rip Matrix, finding a gorgeous personification of Gideon hiding in there as well. Turns out when the Legion of Doom set Rip to thinking his team was all against him, they didn’t figure for Gideon.

Fighting evil versions of themselves and the rest of the team, Sara and Jax work from within Rip’s mind to restore his memory while Ray (Brandon Routh), Amaya (Maisie Richardson-Sellers), and Nate (Nick Zano) hike out to T-RexVille to retrieve a piece of the Waverider. And while Ray is making the most of his return to the era, Nate and Amaya are feeling a little awkward at feeling a little amorous. Ray reminds Nate that he can’t do anything to alter Amaya’s future, because at some point her village gets ransacked and the Vixen totem gets passed to Amaya’s granddaughter, who doesn’t exist yet.

Wow, this is heavy…

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New Episode March 15

 

 

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8Bits: Talking About Micro-Transactions

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This month, we’re talking about micro-transactions.

Are they good for the industry? Are they bad for the industry? Did they start off with the best of intentions and then slowly drift off to the Dark Side? Our crew discusses the impact micro-transactions have on game play, extensions, DLCs, collections, upgrades, and what it all means for the wallet. Is it better to play through achievements to get the new weapon or skill? Or do you bypass that effort (and fun) and just buy that war hammer for $6?

Games we’re playing:

  • Master of Orion 2: Battle of Antares
  • Star Trek Online
  • LEGO Star Wars, X-Wing, Star Wars: The Old Republic
  • Mass Effect
  • Battlefield
  • ReCore
  • Assassin’s Creed
  • Destiny
  • Grand Theft Auto

The panel: Jennifer Wise, Lauren Garrison, Jared Hawkins, Thomas Townley, Chris Jensen

 




POWERLESS Finds Riddling Romance in “Emily Dates A Henchman”

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Season 1, Episode 4: “Emily Dates A Henchman”
Written by Neel Shah
Directed by Matt Sohn

[All photos courtesy NBC Universal]

Teddy (Danny Pudi) and Ron (Ron Funches) are examining a supposedly indestructible vault door that Two-Face breached when they find a Batarang. Child-like glee and wonder ensue.

Emily and the team demonstrate their indestructible cell phone case.

Van (Alan Tudyk) sees the Batarang and tells the story of how Batman took off his side view mirror once. He wants Batman to pay for it…with money.

Wendi (Jennie Pierson), Jackie (Christina Kirk) and Emily (Vanessa Hudgens) go out for a girls night. While at a bar, Emily meets “Dan” (Robert Buckley), who claims he’s a doctor. Really he’s one of The Riddler’s henchmen!

I have a “hench” he’s a bad guy.

After “Dan” is introduced to the team, they later tell Emily that she’s dating a henchman.

Ron and Teddy leave out milk, cookies and the Batarang in hopes that Saint Batman would soon be there.

Emily and Jackie talk about “Dan” on the balcony, Jackie tells her to just let it go, but Emily wants to confront him. She does and it turns out his name isn’t “Dan” it’s Reggie and he and his associates are here to rob Wayne Tech of the prototype cell phone cases.

“Doesn’t mean he’s a bad guy, he’s just a Bad Guy.”

Meanwhile Van (dressed in his Robin costume), Teddy and Ron await Batman in a dark alley thinking that it will be a perfect place for Batman to show up. Unfortunately, they run into a mugging instead. Luckily for them, Batman takes out the robber and returns their stolen wallets.

Back at Wayne Tech, Reggie receives a riddle from his boss that tells him what he’s supposed to do with Emily and Jackie. Emily accidentally tells him the answer. Luckily for them, Van shows back up at the office wearing his Robin costume and the henchmen, thinking Batman must not be far behind, scram.

In a tea vs knife fight, I think the knife wins.

Van, Ron, and Teddy then tell the women their story about their brush with Batman; they don’t believe it for a second.

Analysis:

Lots of Batman references in this one; too bad we didn’t have an ACTUAL Batman sighting….or Riddler…or Two-Face.

The best part of the episode was Alan Tudyk in the Robin Costume. I would love to hear where they got the costume from. If anyone sees Alan at a con, please ask him and let us know.

Don’t laugh, it’s paid for.

I wonder if Batman laughed his ass off at the sight of his cousin in that Robin suit.

An interesting bit of information is that in the Powerless universe, there have already been two dead Robins. Of course, it could be that if Dick Grayson is one of them and the public just thinks he’s dead and he’s moved on to Nightwing.

Remember Crimson Fox from the pilot? Where has she gone? I was under the impression that they would have some level of interaction with her during the series.

So our main story for this episode is Emily dating a henchman. If I was dating a henchman, I’d take out a huge life insurance policy on her and wish her the best of luck.

Emily is in no real danger until she opens her mouth about the indestructible cell phone cover. That’s not a smart thing to do when you work Research and Development. There could have been LexCorp spies in that bar. She could have really damaged Wayne Tech with her loose lips.

We get a great guest star in Robert Buckley from iZombie. He plays the not so smart henchman pretty well. I wonder about the amount of time this episode happens in. In Act two, he is introduced to the team with a Green Lantern ring-shaped mark on his face. By the next act, it’s all healed. Did the episode take place over a few weeks to a month?

Another tidbit of information we received from this episode is that this episode takes place 6 months after the pilot episode.

We also have a bit of a mystery episode order wise. This episode was production number 6. Episodes 4 & 5 haven’t played yet. I wonder what are in those two episodes that they could be taken out of the run order?

Ron’s child-like glee with the Batarang was just great. Ron Funches’ expressions are just fun to watch.

Next episode, Emily enters Teddy into the Wayne Innovation contest, will he be able to beat the team from Wayne X?

 

Powerless airs Thursday at 8:30/7:30 Central on NBC. It can also be found on Hulu, Amazon, and NBC.com. For more information, visit the official website.

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SON OF ZORN Arrives At the (Season? Series?) Finale

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Season 1, Episode 13: “All Hail Son of Zorn”
Written by Reed Agnew
Directed by Claire Scanlon

[All photos courtesy Fox Broadcasting Co.]

Zypheria is under attack! Zorn (voiced by Jason Sudeikis), however, doesn’t care. He’s happy in Orange County with his job and his love and his family.

Edie (Cheryl Hines) and Craig (Tim Meadows) get married and Zorn has a garage sale to sell his old stuff.

Everything must go!

Alan (Johnny Pemberton) was planning on going to the prom, but with Layla (Clara Mamet) hating him now, there’s no reason to go. Zorn tells him to make a grand gesture to win her back.

Meanwhile, at Sanitation Solutions, Zorn and Linda (Artemis Pebdani) are wasting time watching Nurse Jackie, when Todd (Mark Proksch) asks Linda to watch the office while he goes away on business. Zorn tells Linda that this would be a good time to win her job back.

“Son of Zorn” reminds you to put down your phone, especially during a wedding.

Alan’s grand gesture fails, so Craig and Zorn decide to help Alan win Layla back.

Linda asks Zorn to help her get some new customers, so he makes a call to Zypheria and gets a big sale from the Mud Men. Unfortunately, they pay in goats.

Those are some funky goats.

Craig and Zorn try to get Alan made prom king. They do by getting Sanitation Solutions to sponsor the prom. The plan works and Alan gets made King. However, this has the opposite effect on Layla. He gives up the crown, injuring an already injured football player and loses his popularity. He wins Layla back with this grand gesture.

They end up sitting in the back of her car.

Meanwhile, at the office, Todd takes the blame for putting Linda in charge and fires himself. Linda gets her job back.

Stop, in the name of love.

Zypheria is close to falling to the forces of Vulchizor; however, Zorn still doesn’t care. He does care, though, when Alangulon comes in and announces that he’s pregnant. Apparently, he wasn’t warned that it’s possible for Zypherian males to suck up the woman’s egg into themselves and become pregnant.

Zorn goes to get some celebratory balloons…when a van pulls up and abducts him.

We find out that Vulchizor has abducted Zorn, he wants the Staff of Quib in exchange for Zorn’s life. Meanwhile, we see that he’s on a cargo ship, almost at Zypheria.

Analysis:

So, we have finally reached the finale (season or series, who’s to say) of Son of Zorn. I hope we get a second season, they really need to resolve the cliffhanger. It would probably have been a better idea not to have ended on the cliffhanger, but I’m not the writer, just a reviewer.

The last episode, “The Quest for Craig” earned a series low rating of 1.40. A renewal looks bleak right now.

As far as episodes go, this episode was kinda middling, not great but not terrible.

Zorn has committed himself to staying in Orange County for good. He even sells off his old Zypherian stuff.  Unfortunately, he’s gonna need the Staff of Quib, trouble is it’s been given to Goodwill. Of course, I wonder if selling those weapons and mystical objects in a yard sale was a good idea.

We do get a resolution to Lynda’s problem of being demoted. She and Zorn improve business and cause Todd to fire himself. Now she just has to deal with the Zypherian goats and the crazy trading scheme that needs to be done to launder them into money. Good thing she still has Zorn…or she did until Vulchizor kidnapped him.

So we learn something very important about Zypherian male anatomy: they have two penises. This leads to another storyline for season two as they lead to Alan becoming pregnant because he had unprotected sex with Layla. The pregnancy sounds terrible as the baby will be born out of Alan’s back. Ouch.

I really like that these past few episodes have dovetailed into each other. Unfortunately, Fox kind of killed any momentum episodes like this have when they keep interrupting the schedule! At least The Last Man on Earth starts each episode with “Previously on The Last Man on Earth” to remind you what happened before. Son of Zorn had none of that and it might be canceled because of it.

Let’s say there’s a season two. I’m guessing we’ll have a few episodes in Zypheria as the family tries to rescue Zorn. Will the Son of Zorn have a Son of Alan?

Do you want a season two? Would you be willing to contact Fox to get that season two? Or would you like to see it moved to Netflix or another channel?

 

Son of Zorn airs Sunday at 8:30/7:30 Central on Fox. It can also be found on Amazon Prime Instant Video, Hulu, and Fox.com. For more information, visit the official website.

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ROGUES GALLERY #48: Gun Control, Ally McBeal in a Cape, and a Bat-Mess

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[recaps by Jason P Hunt]

Ben Affleck doesn’t want to be Batman? Wut? And Mel Gibson is in talks to direct the next Suicide Squad? What’s up with that?

This week, with only Supergirl and Arrow having new episodes, the Rogues take the opportunity to discuss the latest news and rumors about the DC Extended Universe. From word about The Batman to rumors about what Warner Bros. could be planning with the films to comparisons that are still being made to the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

Ultimately the question is still: can there be a DC Comics movie that works 100% and satisfies everyone?

The panel: Dustin Adair, Thomas Townley, Jeff Hackworth, Timothy Harvey, Jason Hunt

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GOTHAM: Logo.
Returns April 24

 

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Episode 212 “Luthors”
Written by Robert Rovner & Cindy Lichtman
Directed by Tawnia McKiernan

This episode delivers the beginning of the Arc of Lena Luthor (Katie McGrath), as she deals with her mother (Brenda Strong) in prison. And it turns out — surprise, surprise — Lena is actually the daughter of Lionel (Ian Butcher). And Lena, encouraged by Kara (Melissa Benoist), goes to visit her mother. So when she shows up on surveillance video pulling out some Kryptonite before Metallo (Frederick Schmidt) gets it, uses it to escape and help Lillian get loose as well, suddenly Kara feels like she’s got to defend Lena to… well… everyone?

Harder to do when Metallo shows up to break Lena out of prison. And did Lillian just pull a Vader on Lena with that “join me” speech?

By the by, what’s up with Jimmy (Mehcad Brooks) feeling like he has to explain anything to Kara when it comes to Catco? He’s her boss.

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Returns February 21

 

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Returns February 21

 

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Episode 513 “Spectre of the Gun”
Written by Marc Guggenheim
Directed by Kristin Windell

This episode gets a TV-14 rating. Shooter at City Hall. And it’s centered on Rene (Rick Gonzalez), with the flashbacks heading back to his time before Team Arrow. Back when he had a wife and daughter.

And Team Arrow is spending its time trying to figure out who walked into the building with an AR-15 (complete with plenty of opportunities for the show to comment on gun control policies in the United States…). Adrian Chase (Josh Segarra) knows that it’s the gun of choice for the Bertinelli crime family, and since it doesn’t look like Oliver was the prime target, Chase figures it’s a broader agenda.

Not a coincidence that Vigilante shows up and starts shooting people who might know something about something…

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POWERLESS Floats to the Top in “Sinking Day”

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Season 1, Episode 3: “Sinking Day”
Written by Paul Mather
Directed by Jay Chandrasekhar

[All photos courtesy NBC Universal]

 

Van causes Wayne Security to lose on of its biggest clients, Ace Chemicals, after he didn’t read what they really wanted. This leads to a visit from Van’s father, Van Sr. (Corbin Bernsen), who tells him that he’s lost the last shred of respect he has for his son.

All action, no thought.

Emily suggests to Van that the way to win that respect back is to get a bigger client.  Emily gets in touch with the lost city of Atlantis, which just had a massive attack by Black Manta. They agree to a meeting.

Wendy, Ron, Teddy and Jackie wonder if the new accountant, Alex, is the new superhero, The Olympian.

Is he or isn’t he? The gang has a Taster’s Choice question.

At the meeting, Van tells the Atlanteans that he’s throwing a big Sinking Day party. Sinking Day is the commemoration of the sinking of Atlantis.

Ron decides to test Alex to see if he is The Olympian. The results are inconclusive.

The Atlanteans come to the party and are very impressed by the party and the gifts Van gives them. Van Sr., also attends and takes the Atlanteans to the conference room to close the deal.

Score one for the team.

Van goes to his office to sulk, playing his guitar half-naked. Emily tells him that he needs to stand up to his father and go in there and close the deal himself. They march in and Van takes his father outside to tell him off, but his dad cuts him off and tells him that the Atlanteans only want to deal with Van.

He has regained his father’s respect.

He never saw it coming.

Wendy hits Alex with a chair, “Not a Superhero.”

They celebrate the deal.

Analysis:

This episode was MUCH better then last week’s episode. We got superhero action and a plot that was more interesting than last week’s.

Ron is from Atlantis. I wonder if that means he can breathe underwater. They must use this in a future episode. I love Ron’s theory that Bruce Wayne is The Flash. This sounds exactly like something you would speculate about if you lived in a superhero-filled universe like the DCU.

We meet a new superhero in this episode, The Olympian. There are actually two superheroes with that name in DC Universe history. The first one was Astrides Demetrios, who debuted in DC Comics Presents #46 in June of 1982. He wore the Golden Fleece which granted him the strength of Hercules and other powers.

The second one was Achilles Warkiller, he debuted in Wonder Woman (volume 3) #30 in May of 2009. He was created by Zeus when he thought the Amazons had failed and that a race of male heroes was needed.

We had plenty of good DC Universe references this episode: Aquaman, Gail Simone and Marv Wolfman, Ace Chemicals, Superman, The Flash and King Orin.

Van has daddy issues. Vanderveer Wayne, Sr. has a huge shadow that Van Jr. has to walk in. I liked Corbin Bersen’s Van Sr. Bernsen has a perfectly overbearing presence. We’ll get to see him again in one more episode this season.

The subplot about Alex and if he’s the Olympian or not was enjoyable. If it’s not Alex, he must be in an office building near by, he zooms past the Wayne Building several times during the episode. This subplot was also in the original pilot for Powerless, so it’s nice to see the subplot recycled into the show. I hope that they actually revisit Alex and The Olympian later in the season.

I wonder if Emily got an apartment, since she was looking last week. If Van goes ahead and gives her that promotion to Senior Vice President of R&D, she’ll have money for something nice. I think she has him by the short hairs on this, especially after he stood up without his pants on.

So Atlanteans love the works of Brenden Fraser. Is this why Black Manta hates them?

Speaking of Black Manta, it would have been nice to see some shaky footage of Black Manta’s attack on Atlantis, but oh well. We can’t have everything.

Next week’s title says it all, join us for, “Emily Dates a Henchman”.

 

Powerless airs Thursday at 8:30/7:30 Central on NBC. It can also be found on Hulu, Amazon, and NBC.com. For more information, visit the official website.

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SON OF ZORN’s Family Goes on “The Quest for Craig”

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Season 1, Episode 12: “The Quest for Craig”
Written by Mark Schenneman & Matt Stoller
Directed by Jared Hess

[All photos courtesy Fox Broadcasting Co.]

We open soon after we left off last episode (which aired 3 weeks ago…sigh). Edie (Cheryl Hines) asks for Linda (Artemis Pebdani) and Zorn’s (voiced by Jason Sudeikis) help in tracking down Craig (Tim Meadows). The hunt is on.

Meanwhile, Layla (Clara Mamet) has talked Alan (Johnny Pemberton) into wearing shorts to school. Everyone likes his Zypherian legs.

Craig, meanwhile, is hanging out at his brother’s house.

Alan, at the insistence of his fellow students, demonstrates his legs kicking ability. This gets him noticed by the football coach, who offers to make him the kicker.

Yeah, I’m pretty sure this is not the man we’re looking for.

Linda, Zorn, and Edie lose Craig’s trail, so they try to find him via a mind swap with a hawk. It fails, so they decide to spend a night in a hotel and get a fresh start in the morning.

Craig, meanwhile, has come to a realization about himself after his sister-in-law points it out to him, he decides to go back to Edie.

Zypherian sex stories are pretty wild.

At the motel, Linda is fed up with Zorn and Edie’s talk about their wild former sex lives and storms out. Edie soon storms out after him after accusing him of narcissism. After a bit of reflection, Edie comes back and apologizes. Just then, Craig storms in and tells Edie that he’s coming back. Even if it makes Zorn or anyone else unhappy.

Don’t ask about the taped up nipples.

The day of the football game:

Lynda shows back up, Edie apologized to her and invited her to the game. Zorn also apologizes and gives her some Zypherian earings.

Alan gets his chance to kick a field goal…and ends up crippling a player on the sideline with the ball. He has now lost everything, his new friends, the game, and Layla. Zorn tries to cheer him up…terribly.

Analysis:

Here we are, back again. Zorn is back. Tell a friend. (Damn, now I have Eminem stuck in my head.) Yes! Zorn is back to finish out the season with the final two episodes! We start with the continuation of the episode from 3 weeks ago. The episode doesn’t even begin with a “last time on Son of Zorn” reminder, so I guess they think the folks at home all have good memories of what when down before…or I hope they read my last recap before last night’s episode. The start and stop of the Sunday night schedule works fine for the normal animated shows, but for shows like Son of Zorn and Last Man on Earth, which have continuity, it really hurts people trying to get into the shows. I really wish there was a better way. (Yes, I know you can watch them online, but this doesn’t help with the ratings.)

We start off where the last episode left off, Edie barging in on Zorn and Linda post coitus. Edie enlists Zorn to track down Craig. Zorn is up to the task, after he gets the centaur sex suit off. I really have to hand it to the animators for that gag, it was really funny.

The rest of this side of the  “A” plot of this episode focuses on the fact that Zorn and Edie have such a long and kinky path behind them that Linda feels like a third wheel for the entire episode. Fortunately, by the end of the episode, Zorn does some soul-searching and discovers that he does have feelings for Linda other than just wanting to have sex.

Craig also gets his soul answered when his sister-in-law helps him realize that he will make other people happy at the expense of his own happiness. He thinks Edie and Zorn will be happier without him, so he gets out of their way. He invests in his brother’s crazy ideas, so his brother will be happy, even if it costs himself money. I can see a lot of myself in Craig. I, too, will make other people happy at the expense of my own comfort.

The “B” plot in this episode is Alan. Last episode, he finally revealed his Zypherian legs to Layla. This episode, he is encouraged to show them off at school. This ends up getting him something that he’s not ready for: attention for being different. It’s good attention, as everyone is impressed by his legs and the fact that they can kick things with such force that a couple of towns over, it rained backpacks out of the sky.

This gets him the attention of the football coach after he kicks the dumpster on top of his car. He gets drafted as the kicker, which gets him new friends and costs him Layla in the process.

He’s given a choice, hang out with his new friends or be with the one who loves him. And like a typical teen, he chooses poorly.

This sets up our final episode of the season. Alan must atone and make a grand gesture to win Layla back.

The best part of the episode was the Zypherian Folk Music, which sounds like mellow 1970’s rock ballads and Zorn swapping minds with a hawk in order to find Craig. This leads to why he has tape on his nipples later in the episode. This was hilarious.

So, next week. Will Alan win Layla back? Will Zorn be able to help Linda get her old job back? It sounds like the final episode of the season will be full of grand gestures in “All Hail Son of Zorn”!

So, what do you think? Leave a comment below and share your thoughts on the episode.

 

Son of Zorn airs Sunday at 8:30/7:30 Central on Fox. It can also be found on Amazon Prime Instant Video, Hulu, and Fox.com. For more information, visit the official website.

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POWERLESS Looks For The “Wayne Dream Team”, But Does It Find It?

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Season 1, Episode 2: “Wayne Dream Team”
Written by Dean Lorey
Directed by Marc Buckland

[All photos courtesy NBC Universal]

Van Wayne (Alan Tudyk) has returned from a Wayne Industries retreat and he wants to know what the team has for him. They have a new device called The Rumbrella near completion; Emily (Vanessa Hudgens) pipes up and says they’ll have it ready by the end of the week. In the “B” plot, Van wants to know why he’s not in the company “Wayne Dream Team” photo.

Emily really wants to be friends with her team, but they don’t want to be friends with her. Instead of getting right on the problems with the Rumbrella, they are hard at work on picking their rosters for The Fantasy Superhero league.

Emily goes to Samuel Green (Michael D. Cohen), the head of Human Resources for help.

This project is not ready for prime time.

The team goes to the computers to find the Superhero league website has been blocked, as well the entire internet.

The team is working full steam on getting the Rumbrella ready; you see they’ll get the work done without motivation.

Unfortunately, Samuel reveals to the team that is was Emily that got the internet blocked.

Short and nasty.

In order to the get the internet back, Emily has to watch the HR Bullying video…4 times in a row. She makes it through, but the team realizes that she took a bullet for them and they allow her to join the Fantasy league. She picks Crimson Fox…and wins some points.

Analysis:

Well, here we are at the first normal episode after the pilot and…it’s not bad…it’s also not good either. It needs something.

Right now, you could edit out the superhero elements from the show and get a pretty average workplace comedy. I want something more here. I know they probably spent a lot on the Crimson Fox/Jack-O-Lantern battle in the pilot. Hopefully, we’ll get some more in the next few episodes.

How to get “a head” in business.

In the opening of the episode, Jackie and Emily are at a street side cupcake cart when Jack-O-Lantern flies by just to do a little random pumpkin bombing (He’s probably waiting for the cease and desist letter from Marvel for ripping off elements from the Green Goblin) and there is almost zero reaction from the public on the street.  Shouldn’t the vendor be hurt? Shouldn’t there be screams of panic? Something? Nope. Just a look of annoyance. If no one on the street gets hurt when things like this happen, why do we need a research company to fix a non-problem? And didn’t they just make the “Jack-O-Lert” to warn people of his presence in the pilot? Where did that go? (Yes, I know, it’s probably still in beta. But still, if I was head of the project team, I’d still wear the prototype.) And where was Crimson Fox when this was going on? I know it’s a half hour sitcom and I should just relax, but that’s not me.

Well, this episode we had mentions of Superman, The Flash, and the Phantom Zone. I appreciate the little references, but I would like some bigger things than just references. Maybe some footage on the TV or whatever Earth-P uses for YouTube?

Obscure DC Character this episode: Prince Evillo (David St. James), who is featured in the HR video that Emily is forced to watch. He first appeared in Action Comics #350 in November of 1966. He was an adversary of the Legion of Super-Heroes. I hope we could get an appearance by the Legion in a future episode.

Best moments: Van’s vainglorious attempts to put himself back in the Wayne Dream Team photo (Only his arm is visible in the current one.). Alan Tudyk’s Van is one of the bright spots in this episode. His attempts at photoshopping himself in are met with the staff creating memes of him in funny situations.

Success takes time. And believing in the abilities of your team takes patience.

We also meet the small, evil director of HR, Samuel Green. I find it odd that this is Emily’s first contact with him. Shouldn’t they have met when she was hired?

The relationship between Emily and Jackie (Christina Kirk) is really nice. They really have something there. Jackie is the person that Emily must try to avoid becoming and Emily is the part of Jackie that she left behind.

Next episode: Emily has to salvage the a deal with Atlantis (Aquaman references, here we come) after Van torpedoes it in “Sinking Day”.

 

Powerless airs Thursday at 8:30/7:30 Central on NBC. It can also be found on Hulu, Amazon, and NBC.com. For more information, visit the official website.

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The Longbox Hunter: STAR TREK: UNTOLD VOYAGES #2

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In the back of my house, I keep my most prized possessions. My long boxes.  Filled with issue after issue after issue (Guess you could say I have issues) of comic books dating back thirty years or longer.

This is just one of them.

Star Trek: Untold Voyages #2

This issue was published in February of 1999 by Marvel Comics under the “Marvel Presents Paramount Comics” imprint with a cover date of April 1998 and a cover price of $2.50. It was written by Glen Greenberg, and the art was done by Michael Collins and Keith Williams. The issue is titled, “Worlds Collide”.  Star Trek: Untold Voyages was a mini-series of 5 issues that takes place after the events of Star Trek: The Motion Picture but before Star Trek II: The Wrath of Kahn.

Let’s talk about the big character highlight in this issue, Saavik. Saavik was a character first seen in Star Trek II as Spock’s protégé. She was played in Star Trek II by Kirstie Alley. In Star Trek III: The Search for Spock and Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home, she’s played by Robin Curtis. I know there are people who prefer Kirstie’s performance over Robin’s, but personally, I’ve always like Robin’s better.

Something that was left out of the movies, (and therefore out of canon) was that Saavik was half-Romulan. It was revealed in the novelizations, but only the most die-hard fans read those.

Now, let’s discuss this issue. It opens with the Enterprise exploring a world that’s about to be hit by a planet-killing asteroid. Kirk, McCoy, Uhura, Chekov and Ensign Omal (who is taking Spock’s place while he’s taking care of other matters) beam down to observe the local creatures. Large four-legged beasts. The landing party can’t determine too much about them so they take their readings and leave…or they would if Bones wasn’t arguing with Kirk about leaving these creatures to their fate.

Will Kirk decide to intervene?

Meanwhile, Spock arrives at the Vulcan embassy on Earth. He has been summoned to deal with Saavik, a young Vulcan-Romulan hybrid child that he rescued from an abandoned Romulan Colony. It seems the Romulans were trying to do some selective breeding, crossing Romulans with Vulcans. The Romulans eventually deemed their efforts a failure and left the offspring behind to die. Spock and a Vulcan expedition found the youths and rescued them.

Now all the other children have accepted the Vulcan way and left with new families…except Saavik. She doesn’t want to control her emotions and she’s acting out. So Spock was summoned to assist her.

What will Spock do with young Saavik?

Now, let’s see if this issue stands the test of time.

Artwork: Michael Collins pencils are pretty darn good. He gives plenty of detail in the close-up shots that you don’t have to guess what you’re looking at and the characters LOOK like the original actors. The Enterprise is drawn well and there are no real problems with perspective.

The only real problem I have with the artwork is some of the color work. Matt Webb, the colorist, does great when it comes to the planet, ship, regular people and uniforms. But for some reason, the Vulcans have a coppery orange skin tone. I know that Vulcans live on a hot desert planet. But the skin tone is supposed to be slightly green, not orange.

Story: I really liked this story. The Kirk/McCoy story is a classic Star Trek style story. They come to a planet and have to make a decision about what action to take, the moral one or the logical one. The one thing this story lacks is Spock to back up the logical side of things. You have McCoy being McCoy and Kirk having to argue what Spock would argue. In the end, compassion wins out…but is not necessary since the inhabitants solve the dilemma anyway.

The Spock/Saavik story is pretty good. Spock tries to deal with Saavik logically, but that won’t work. She may be half-Vulcan, but she’s still a child. She wants to be like Spock — able to control her emotions — but she just can’t find that hold. Spock senses Saavik has a kindred spirit. Someone who is the product of two worlds, neither of which he would entirely fit into, not without practice. He even tells her about his experiences as a child and tells her that she can learn from his experiences. In the end, he finds her a home that will accept her. It’s not a fantastic story that the cover promised,but it’s a good one.

This is a lost era of Star Trek, one that is found only in books and comic books. It’s refreshing to read these stories. It’s a shame the “Marvel Presents Paramount Comics” imprint has never been collected in a trade paperback or digital format, but I’m sure it’s a rights issue.

So if you want to read a copy, start hunting!

 

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