Flash Facts: 10 Random Thoughts on Flash S03E01

The Flash has zoomed back to The CW after a thrilling first season and a very good (but uneven) second season. With lots of changes set up after season two, the show’s writers and directors have a blank canvas to paint on. If the first episode of The Flash season three is any indication, the entire CW Arrowverse will be changed forever. Now kindly turn on your spoiler shields, so that I can share Flash Facts (opinions, really) on The Flash S03E01.

When we last saw the Scarlet Speedster, he mucked around with Earth-One’s timeline in order to save his parents. This season will borrow from the “Flashpoint” storyline from the comics. The Flash S03E01 kicks off in a world where both of Barry Allen’s parents are alive and he’s not the Flash. He’s been living in this world for three months. Now that you have the setup, it’s time for some Flash Facts using the Speedforce-tested RPad.TV binary system.

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Apparently Barry Allen sucks at talking now.

Bumbling Barry is…Not So Good (Bad): After two years as a superhero and saving Central City from countless threats, Barry Allen has become…bumbling and incompetent. He struggles to talk to his true love (on Earth-One) Iris West and stumbles as the Flash. How the hell did this happen?!? Perhaps three months in Pleasantville negated the confidence that two years of superheroics built. Whatever the case may be, I can’t wait to get confident and capable Barry back. Yeah, Flash is supposed to be more vulnerable than Arrow, but he’s also supposed to be, you know, good.

The CG Looks Better Than Ever (Good): I loved the CG from the speed battles between the good speedsters and the Rival in The Flash S3E01. The high-speed combat looked thrilling and better than what I expect from television (especially CW television). Hopefully the CG budget was spent evenly and the special effects are consistent episode to episode.

Keiynan Lonsdale Surprised (Good): As a total mark for the comics version of Wally West, I wasn’t big on season two’s TV Wally West. At his best, Keiynan Lonsdale was wooden and boring. At his worst, he made Channing Tatum look like Daniel Day Lewis. Lonsdale got off to a great start in Flash S3E01. As the Kid Flash version of Wally, he was charmingly cocky and surprisingly funny. He killed the delivery when he responded to Caitlin’s question of whether she was kidnapped or not. While I didn’t care for him in season two, I’m rooting for this version of Wally West to remain throughout season three.

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This was the best TV Wally West has ever been.

How Did Barry Not Know Wally Was Kid Flash? (Bad): I have no idea why Barry had to unmask Kid Flash to figure out he was Wally. Barry is a CSI by trade. He has more than two years of experience using super speed (and the heightened senses that come with it). He knows Wally. He’s lived the guy. It made no sense for him to be surprised by the reveal.

Billionaire Cisco is Okay (Good…ish): I was entertained by arrogant and condescending Cisco Ramon in Flash S03E01. It was a nice change of pace for a character that’s normally so lovable. That said, Cisco is the heart of the show. I need goofy, sarcastic Cisco back ASAP. Hopefully the temporary fix to Flashpoint brings back the Cisco we all know and love.

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Flashpoint Caitlin is too cute to exist for more than one episode.

Kiddie Eye Doctor Caitlin is Adorable (Good): Caitlin has always been the most saccharine character on The Flash. The Flashpoint version of Caitlin turned her goofy goodness up to 11. She was silly, but enjoyable. This pediatric ophthalmologist version of Caitilin was fun for an episode. As with Cisco, I hope the real deal is back next week (even though I secretly have a crush on Flashpoint Caitlin).

Drunken Joe West is Disturbing (Good): The Flashpoint version of Joe West is angry and drunk. He’s not the strong and loving father figure we’ve seen for the last two seasons. This was, perhaps, the most disturbing part of Flash S03E01. I’m used to Joe being the backbone for the entire Flash family. Several other characters draw strength from him. Seeing him as a bitter drunk was off-putting. Kudos to the writers and the excellent Jesse L. Martin for pulling this off so effectively.

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Iris West serves a purpose!

Iris West Has a Purpose! (Good): For much of season two, Iris served as…attractive background decor. She served no purpose for many episodes. She’d give a silly inspirational speech every now and again, but more often than not she was there to look beautiful. In Flash S03E01, she was integral to the plot and gave a silly inspirational speech. I was so used to her being useless that I forgot that she could be an effective key character.

Prepare For Wacky Rogues (Good): The end of Flash S03E01 set up the coming of Flash villain Dr. Alchemy. I absolutely loved this. Flash has always had a colorfully bizarre rogues gallery and Dr. Alchemy is as weird as any of his contemporaries. Rumor has it that Mirror Master (one of my personal favorites) will be in season three as well. I’m looking forward to the Arrowverse versions of both of these longtime Flash characters.

Where Does Reverse Flash Go to the Bathroom? (Bad): I didn’t see a toilet in his makeshift prison cell, did you?

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Bonus Image: Where does Reverse Flash go to the bathroom?

Jeff Hilbert Interview (DICE Europe 2016)

It was fun chatting with Jeff Hilbert, founder and CEO of Starting Point. One of the oldest agents and managers in the videogame business (in terms of experience, not chronologically), Jeff Hilbert was also the founder of Digital Development Management (DDM). Think of him as the Ari Gold of videogame agents…but with less tantrums and profanity. At DICE Europe 2016, Jeff Hilbert will be talking about “Realistic Opportunities in AR/VR.” In addition to touching on that subject, he spoke to me about traditional movie and television agents entering the videogame business. My favorite part of the conversation was when he spoke about aspects of Hollywood he’d like to see come to games. Here’s an excerpt from my conversation with Jeff Hilbert.

I’m indifferent to Hollywood talent coming into games, to be honest with you. I don’t really see any individual that makes me care whether they make a game or don’t make a game. I just don’t care.

Now, there are some IPs I’d love to see in gaming. I love the fact that Robotech is being discussed. I think that would be awesome! I love that Marvel, DC, and Tolkien have been coming in. That’s been spectacular! I don’t see Kim Kardashian as an individual because of the way that she’s managed herself. She’s done a brilliant job managing herself as a brand and that’s great to have in gaming.

So, I’m not really into individuals coming in as much as I am into the brands. I love when new brands are introduced into the gaming industry, because they bring in new people that didn’t realize that they love playing games.

Additionally, he mentioned some videogame properties he’d like to see get a second chance in movies and television. He also had some great stories of the attitudes some Hollwood talent had when entering the gaming world.

Kindly check out my full conversation with Jeff Hilbert when you have a moment.

Full Interview

Game of Thrones Season 6 Finale: 11 Observations

The Game of Thrones season 6 finale was mostly incredible. There were big revelations. There was an awesome green explosion. There was lots of character development. And there was some of the best acting and music the series has ever known. After two viewings, I’m still trying to digest it all. Naturally, I’d love to hear your thoughts on this year’s finale. For my part, here are 11 observations to get things started.

[Raise your spoiler shields, please!]

1) The Music Was Brilliant: The first sequence of the Game of Thrones season 6 finale felt different from any other scene in the series, simply because of the music. Game of Thrones music is normally string-heavy, but this composition featured piano and cello. The score helped make the sequence feel unique and more powerful.

2) Pycelle’s Death Will Haunt Senior Citizens: I’m pretty sure most people over 65 have this nightmare — a gang of children pummeling you and stabbing you to death. Or maybe this is what makes Santa Claus wake up in a cold sweat in the North Pole.

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Tommen Lannister or Jeff Hardy?

3) Tommen Would’ve Been a Great Pro-Wrestler: What did you think of Tommen Lannister’s Game of Thrones season 6 finale exit? Some are saying that he fell out of the castle. Others are saying that he dove out of the castle (in which case, he lost points for not sticking the landing). I’m saying that he went for a swanton bomb. His “suicide dive” totally reminded me of Jeff Hardy’s swanton.

4) Cersei Has Gone Full Sith: Cersei Lannister borrowed one of Maleficent’s gowns and fully embraced the dark side in the Game of Thrones season 6 finale. Her one redeeming quality (aside from her cheekbones) was how much she loved her children. With all of her kids pushing up daisies she probably thought, “F*ck it. I’m going to rule everything!!!” In previous seasons, her plans were never as clever as she thought they were. At the end of this season, she was completely victorious.

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Cersei raided Maleficent’s wardrobe.

5) Ned Stark’s Character is Still Being Developed: My heart melted during the Tower of Joy scene, where it was finally revealed that Jon Snow is not Ned Stark’s bastard and is really Lyanna Stark’s son. As fantastic as that reveal was, it really made me think about what an honorable man Ned was. He honored his sister’s last request, keeping an enormous secret from his wife and best friend. He (lightly) sullied his own name and let the world think that he disrespected his wife, all for Lyanna and her son.

Go back and watch the scenes from season 1 where someone bring’s up Jon’s parentage to Ned; you could tell the topic made him uncomfortable and those scenes feel even heavier with the official reveal.

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Davos yells, “I said hold the mayo!!!”

6) Liam Cunningham, Actor: The scene with Davos Seaworth dressing down Melisandre was short, but boy was it heavy. Cunningham did the most with his time. You could feel Davos’ anger, anguish, and sorrow coming through. While it was “only” my second-favorite scene in the Game of Thrones season 6 finale, it was definitely the most skillfully acted one.

7) Samwell Tarly Has an Orgasm in the Library: Sam walking into the Citadel library reminded me of the scene in Beauty in the Beast where Belle sees Beast’s library…but taken to the next level. I’m certain Sam had a walking wet dream upon seeing the thousands of books at his disposal. Hopefully he does some research on white walkers and doesn’t get lost in trashy romance novels written by lonely maesters.

8) Lord Wyman Manderly Should’ve Been Fatter: Yes, the showrunners got a large man to play Manderly, but he wasn’t large enough. In the books, he’s derided as “Lord Too Fat to Sit a Horse.” Television Manderly could easily ride on a (sturdy) horse. This was my biggest disappointment with the Game of Thrones season 6 finale.

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Lyanna Mormont completely own.

9) Lyanna Mormont Should Rule Westeros: With a thrashing speech, the 10-year old ruler of Bear Island united the squabbling northerners and got Jon Snow declared as the new KingInDaNorf King in the North. This was my favorite Game of Thrones season 6 finale scene on several levels. First, Lady Mormont owns and should be ruling Westeros. Secondly, Jon Snow’s KingInDaNorf King in the North moment mirrored Robb Stark’s nicely. Lastly, I loved the bit of uncertainty thrown in at the end when Sansa stops smiling as she exchanges looks with Littlefinger. Was Sansa happy to throw a wrench into his plans? Or does she want power of her own? I’m curious to see what games, if any, she’ll play next season. She shouldn’t get too ambitious though, because Lyanna Mormont will annihilate her with a glance.

10) Jaime’s Having Bad Flashbacks: The Kingslayer’s return to King’s Landing must’ve been quite a shock. (Let’s assume someone clued him into recent events on the way to the throne room.) He comes home to find that the last of his children died and his sisterlover went all Mad King Aerys. Remember, he’s ridiculed as the Kingslayer, but few people in Westeros know about Aerys’ vile wildfire plans. With his children gone and his sisterlover doing the exact thing he committed regicide for, this is a huge turning point for Jaime Lannister. I’m looking forward to his redemption angle next season. In fact, it wouldn’t surprise me if he ended becoming a Queenslayer as well. That would arguably fit into Maggy the Frog’s prophecy for Cersei.

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Team Targaryen has diverse #SquadGoals.

11) Team Targaryen is Ready to Rock Westeros: Daenerys and Varys are fantastic recruiters. Just look at that fleet at the end of the show. You’ve got the Unsullied, Dothraki, and three dragons flying under the Targaryen banner. They’re joined by boats and troops from House Tyrell, House Martell, and House Greyjoy. While Cersei Lannister is sitting pretty in King’s Landing at the end of the Game of Thrones season 6 finale, a formidable force is coming for her from the east. I can’t wait for next season’s battles!

Random Thoughts on Game of Thrones S6E9

The penultimate episodes of Game of Thrones are almost always the best ones in a given season. With that in mind, “Battle of the Bastards” delivered. By most accounts season six has been a strong outing for Game of Thrones and last night’s episode was the best of the bunch. It was a marvelous blend of emotional moments, brutal choreography, and some of the best cinematography the series has ever seen. Here are some random thoughts on “Battle of the Bastards,” using the RPadTV binary system. Time to don your spoiler shields, please.

Good: This episode must have cost a fortune. Between the dragon CGI and all the people involved in the titular Battle of the Bastards, I don’t know that I’ve seen an hour of TV that looked so expensive to produce. (Leave a comment if you can think of any, please). Okay, now that that’s out of the way, let’s tackle the episode in a (somewhat) chronological fashion.

Good: The action kicks off in Mereen, which has been a dull destination this season…but not today! After a mildly amusing conversation between Tyrion and Daenerys, Dany’s crew has a completely amusing encounter with the wise masters (who are apparently masters of guyliner). After some clever banter, Dany goes into full Khaleesi mode with her three dragons and it’s absolutely glorious. Watching them burn down slaver ships instantly transforms you into a gleeful teenager. Dracarys motherf*ckers!!! On the ground, Daario and the Dothraki slice up the Sons of the Harpy. Back at the top of the pyramid, Grey Worm makes the slavers’ guards wet themselves with a few choice words. The head of the Unsullied then slices two of the slavers’ throats with one shot and (awesomely) takes a few seconds to adjust his vest. The opening is completely exhilarating, mostly because of the dragons, but I got a kick out of Grey Worm too.

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Dracarys m@therf*ckers!!!

Good: Outside of Winterfell, the bastards parley. Jon thinks he’s cleverly manipulating Ramsay, but he’s back in “You Know Nothing Jon Snow” mode. As expected, Ramsay is in psychotic dick mode and accentuates the word “bastard” while talking to Jon. Snow asks for a one-on-one battle, but Ramsay refuses. The Battle of the Bastards is on.

Good: Jon’s Battle of the Bastards war council devises a plan. It’s quite clear that Davos is the smartest person in the room (militarily speaking). They come up with a desperate strategy that hinges on them being patient and letting Ramsay’s forces charge. Sansa chides Jon for not valuing her knowledge of Ramsay. She tells him that Ramsay plays and doesn’t get played. Jon responds with, “Oh yeah? I fought white walkers!” Sansa is cold, dismissing her brother Rickon’s chances at survival. She’s also secretive, not telling Jon about her messages to the Vale and the forces that are coming. Some people dismiss this as idiocy, but I see it as her being manipulative. If the Arryn soldiers were already with Jon’s crew, Ramsay would have happily holed up in Winterfell and outlasted a siege. Showing up with a relatively small army gave Ramsay the confidence to come out and play. Sansa’s desire to see Ramsay dead is equal to her desire to reclaim her family’s home. That’s my theory, anyway.

Good: Davos and Tormund have a fun conversation before the former goes off to be alone with his thoughts. Jon visits the (still) despondent Melisandre. He asks her not to bring him back if he dies again. They wonder why the Lord of Light brought him back in the first place. Their exchange is meant to give Jon a sense of vulnerability in the Battle of the Bastards, but any reasonable fan knows that he’s going to survive. The scene shifts back to insomniac Davos, who comes across some snow-covered ashes and finds the stag toy he gave to Princess Shireen. He realizes that the little girl that taught him how to read was burned to death and it’s a powerful scene. The shot of him standing over the pyre, with the sun coming up and his cape blowing in the wind is just beautiful. It’s the Game of Thrones equivalent of Luke Skywalker staring at the twin-sun skies of Tatooine. Before Davos can dwell on this morbid revelation, the battle horns sound.

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Davos wonders how Shireen’s toy got on this pile of ashes and child bones.

Good: Back to Mereen for a quick bit, Asha Yara and Theon have come to parley with Dany. They offer her 100 ships and their support, in exchange for granting the Iron Islands independence. Dany agrees on the condition that the Iron Islanders cease their rape-and-pillage lifestyle. There are several interesting things here. It’s nice to see both Tyrion and Theon comfortably slip into the role of valued advisor. The bigger thing is the connection between Dany and Asha Yara. They identify with each other — women in a male-dominated world, insane fathers, usurpers that killed their insane fathers, etc. They both admire what the other is doing and there’s an instant bond. Naturally, most immature male viewers want them to be a lesbian couple. This immature male viewer would rather see them form a Taylor Swift squad of kick-ass Westerosi women. Naturally, leadership would eventually go to Lyanna Mormont.

Good: The combatants in the Battle of the Bastards are lined up! Ramsay starts the skirmish in an expectedly sadistic way — releasing Rickon while firing arrows at him. Apparently Rickon never played tag as a kid, because moron runs to Jon’s side in a straight line. His chances of survival would have went up exponentially if he zigged and zagged. Serpentine, Rickon, serpentine! After a few playful misses, Ramsay shoots Rickon straight through the chest. More importantly, Ramsay played Jon as Sansa predicted. He idiotically leaves himself open in the middle of the battlefield. Inexplicably, Jon opts for a 1-on-6,000 battle and continues to rush the enemy. Thankfully, Davos is smart enough to realize that they have no choice but to cancel their plans and charge into battle, in order to defend their leader.

Good: From here, the Battle of the Bastards gets completely nuts. It appears as if Ramsay’s forces are going to slice up Jon, but Snow’s team rushes into the fray. The melee combat is chaotic and intentionally disconcerting. On the fringes of the battle, there’s a nice contrast between the teams’ ranged strategy. Davos opts to hold fire, since they’d end up killing some of their own men. Ramsay lets the shots fly, oblivious to any collateral damage. It’s also interesting that Jon chooses to fight with his men, while Ramsay calls the shots from a safe distance.

Five minutes into the battle, Jon is a bloody and dirty mess. He goes into beast mode, dealing death at a rapid pace while miraculously avoiding volleys of arrows (some call it plot armor, but I’m chalking it up to R’hlorr). The combat is visceral and frenzied (totally admired the choreography, filming, and editing). Ten minutes into the Battle of the Bastards, there are piles of dead bodies fertilizing the plains of Winterfell. It gets to the point where fighting is taking place on top of small hills of corpses.

The Battle of the Bastards escalates as Davos’ unit charges the field and Smalljon Umber’s does the same for Ramsay’s side. Unfortunately for the good guys, they’re encircled by Ramsay’s soldiers in a phalanx-like formation. The baddies keep closing in, stabbing Snow’s army with pikes while forcing them into a tighter space. Within the circle of death, Wun Wun gets to show off his giant-ness. More chaotic melee combat ensues. You see spilling guts and severed limbs. It’s all hypnotically awful.

The Free Folk try to retreat from the phalanx and attempt to charge over the hill of corpses. Jon gets caught in the charge in an amazing sequence. He’s drowned by bodies and the sensation of helplessness is palpable. He’s trying to make it through the dead bodies surrounding him and the live ones running him over. I actually felt claustrophobic as I was watching the scene.

It looks like a total victory for Ramsay…when suddenly the knights of the Vale arrive. Borrowing a page from the Rohirrim, they break through the phalanx. After getting his ass handed to him by Smalljon, Tormund bites out his jugular and stabs him with a tooth. Wun Wun starts smacking around Ramsay’s soldiers with a shield. The tide has turned, as Littlefinger and Sansa watch from afar, satisfied by their machinations.

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Littlefinger’s thinking, “I’m gonna get some tonight!”

Good: Ramsay retreats to Winterfell Castle, pursued by Jon, Tormund, and Wun Wun. The Bolton Bastard thinks he’s safe inside the castle walls, but a barricaded door is no match for a giant. Wun Wun breaks through the door, but takes a ton of arrows. He ends up looking liking a giant-sized version of dead Boromir. He’s moments away from death and has a nice unspoken scene with Jon…that’s ruined from a Ramsay arrow to the eye.

Jon and Ramsay go one-on-one. For some reason it’s bow-and-arrow vs. shield. Uh…okay. It ends with Jon punching Ramsay into a bloody pulp. He’s about to beat him to death, but spares him for his half-sister. After all that she’s been through, it’s Sansa’s right to deal with Ramsay.

And she does so in a satisfying though predictable way. With his predilection for feeding people to his dogs, I thought Ramsay would die by getting eaten by his own dogs or getting eaten by Ghost. Ramsay wakes up in the kennels, tied to a chair. Sansa says that the world will forget him and his house. She watches as Ramsay’s own dogs eat him, before walking away with a feint smile. It’s a remarkable turn for Sansa. She left Winterfell as an idealistic and foolish girl that dreamed of marrying the prince. She returned as a hardened and manipulative woman that didn’t think twice about her brother being a casualty of war or feeding an enemy to dogs. That’s quite the 180, don’t you agree?

Lastly, I totally marked out when the direwolf banners replaced the flayed man banners at Winterfell. I hope the change is made in the opening credits too.

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Team Snow about to slay some Bolton ass.

Bottom Line: This was an amazing episode of Game of Thrones. The battle in Mereen and the Battle of the Bastards were fantastic. The action was incredibly well executed, while there was enough entertaining dialogue. There are some viewers that are saying the episode was predictable and derivative of The Lord of the Rings movies, but those are the kind of people that eat fun and crap misery. This is up there with the other huge battle episodes like “Hardhome” and “Blackwater.” It’s the best episode of a very strong of Game of Thrones.

Green Arrow Oliver Queen: Worst. Boyfriend. Ever.

Two nights ago in the RPadTV Google Hangout, RPadholic Tokz and I were discussing what an amazingly crappy boyfriend Oliver Queen (Green Arrow on The CW’s Arrow) is to his lady friends. If you go through his romantic history, you’ll find a list of women that have ended up dead, crippled, and jailed. On last night’s episode of Arrow, Laurel Lance (Black Canary II) became the latest victim. With her death fresh on comics nerds’ minds, I thought it would be a good time to go down the list of Oliver Queen’s girlfriends in order to illustrate why no woman should date him. It’s just dangerous.

Laurel Lance (Deceased)Arrow introduced Laurel as Ollie’s first love interest on the show…and promptly shows him running away on a boat to have a sexual cruise with her sister. For some reason, she decides to run back into his arms five years later. Once a lawyer with a promising future, Laurel has neglected her legal career to run around Star City as the least capable member of Team Arrow. As of last night’s episode, she’s dead.

Shado (Deceased): While Oliver was still a wuss during his early days on Lian Yu, this strong and capable woman was instrumental in his survival. Oliver returned the favor by electing not to save her life when she was held at gunpoint by the nefarious Dr. Anthony Ivo. Romance is dead…and so is Shado.

Helena Bertinelli (Jailed, Nuts): Oliver was kind enough to take this mentally unbalanced young lady and attempt to turn her into a vigilante. With Green Arrow’s “guidance,” she became the Huntress and went on one hell of a crime spree. She’s guilty of murder, theft, kidnapping, extortion, and more.

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McKenna Hall — The first woman Oliver Queen crippled on Arrow .

McKenna Hall (Crippled): A dashing SCPD detective, Ms. Hall exercised poor judgement in pursuing a relationship with Oliver Queen. In something of a crossover, Hall took and arrow from Arrow’s ex, the Huntress. This left her crippled. A few seasons later, Oliver has access to a cure for paralysis and never mentions helping out Hall. At least he’s consistently inconsiderate.

Isabel Rochev (Deceased): The situation with this woman is all kinds of messed up. Rochev was having an affair with Oliver Queen’s father, Robert. Years later, she returned to Star City as a pawn in an elaborate revenge plot against Oliver. She ends up boning Oliver. Later, powered by Miraclo Mirakuru, she attempts to kill Oliver, but ultimately ends up getting killed herself.

Sara Lance (Deceased, Resurrected, Nuts): Presumed dead throughout Arrow season one, the superior Lance sister returned in season two. After some initial reluctance, she resumed her relationship with her sister’s ex. Hardened by her experiences on Lian Yu and with the League of Assassins, Lance became the kick-ass vigilante known as the Black Canary. Unfortunately, she died…and was resurrected with mystical waters, only to become battier than ever. While she has to live with an insane bloodlust for the rest of her life, Sara made the wise decision to get the f*ck away from Green Arrow…and go time traveling with a group of heroes that pose far less danger than a relationship with Oliver Queen.

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Oliver Queen even sleeps with his father’s leftovers…and gets them killed.

Felicity Smoak (Paralyzed, Healed, Emotionally Damaged): After pining for Oliver for three seasons years, Felicity gets her turn on the Arrow express at the end of season three. Their relationship features lots of secrets and lies, peaking with a bombing by a Green Arrow enemy that leaves Felicity paralyzed. Thankfully, she has a genius working for her at Palmer Tech and receives a “Terrific Chip” implant that enables her to walk again. She made the smart decision to walk out on Oliver Queen, figuratively and literally. While she has genius-level intellect, all signs point to her eventually coming back to the Oliver Queen nightmare.

Taiana Venediktov (Most Likely to Die Next): A character from the season four flashbacks to Lian Yu, all signs point to her having a fling with Oliver Queen. This also means that all signs point to her becoming a corpse before the season is over.

Bottom Line: Dating Oliver Queen always ends up in disaster. Certainly his life a Green Arrow has a great deal to do with that, but the guy was dangerous well before he donned the hood. Women should know that dating Oliver Queen means that there’s a great chance that they’ll die earlier than they ought to, a good chance that they’ll end up crippled, and a slight chance of them being jailed. To the fictional ladies of the CW Arrowverse — don’t do it!

The Tick Coming to Amazon (Spoon!!!)

Amazon has ordered a pilot for The Tick. The show will, of course, star Ben Edlund’s wonderful comic-book creation. In addition to excellent comics, The Tick has previously starred in an animated series and a live-action series. The live-action show was lauded for Patrick Warburton’s fantastic portrayal of the bumbling hero. While Warburton won’t be returning to star as The Tick on Amazon, he’s expected to be one of the show’s executive producers, according to Deadline.

For those of you not familiar with the character, The Tick is an incredibly powerful superhero that’s supremely kind hearted and supremely dimwitted. He was originally created as a parody of popular comics heroes. Fans loved his misadventures, attracted to the comedic tales of an amnesiac hero that always has the best intentions and seldom has an idea of how to optimally use his formidable powers.

While the protagonist hasn’t been cast, the sidekick has. Deadline reported that Griffin Newman will be playing Arthur. An accountant with a moth costume that enables him to fly, Arthur tries to serve as the brains of Tick’s operations, but is often exasperated by the hero’s stupidity. The two have a strong bond and their dynamic is one of the main ingredients of The Tick’s charm.

Ben Edlund will be writing and producing The Tick for Amazon. Wally Pfister is in negotiations to direct the pilot, which will hopefully be given the green light to become a proper series.

While I’ll miss Patrick Warburton as The Tick and David Burke as Arthur, I’m greatly looking forward to the upcoming Amazon pilot. There’s something about the character that just makes you feel good. The world is always a better place when new content featuring The Tick is being created. With some luck, the lovable blue hero will be starring on Amazon for years to come.

Source

Game of Thrones Red Band Trailer (Season 6)

Embedded below is the red band trailer for the sixth season of HBO’s Game of Thrones. There are some pretty cool reveals in the trailer. Before I get to that, let’s get the red-band content out of the way — there’s some blood and Melisandre starts to show her boobs. There’s a lesbian kiss too, but I don’t consider that “red band” material. As far as red band trailers go, this one is pretty tame. Now let’s move onto the big reveals! (Raise your spoiler shields, please!)

The first, and probably the most obvious, is that Jon Snow is not dead. Yeah, there are a lot of bits in the trailer that (amusingly) try to suggest that Ned Stark’s presumed bastard is sleeping with the daisies (or whatever flowers they have in Westeros), but if you pay attention then it’s pretty obvious that Jon Snow is alive. Some of the dialogue that suggests he’s dead is clearly mashed together from different scenes (that likely have little to do with each other). Most importantly, there’s a quick bit of a man with frizzy hair charging into a battle. I’m positive that man is Jon Snow. Actor Kit Harrington’s hair (which always looked like long pubic hair to me) is easy to spot.

The part that I’m most excited about is the Tower of Joy. Long rumored to be in Game of Thrones season six, the trailer has what appears to be two flashback scenes featuring a young Ned Stark at the Tower of Joy. As fans of George RR Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire books know, what happened at the Tower of Joy is a huge deal. The books haven’t revealed the full details yet, but season six of Game of Thrones will have content that has yet to appear in print. Many book fans are hoping that the flashback scenes will show Jon Snow’s true parentage and what was behind the weight on Ned Stark’s shoulders all those years. As a fan of the books myself, I can’t wait for the Tower of Joy flashback.

There’s lots of other cool stuff in the trailer and I’d love to hear what stood out the most to you. Kindly give it a peep and let me know what you think in the comments section.

Daredevil Season Two Trailer is Full of Elektra

The lovely (and deadly) Elektra Natchios gets the spotlight in the latest trailer for Daredevil season two. Elektra  was mentioned in passing during a flashback scene in season one. This year, she’ll be brought to life by Elodie Yung. (Don’t ask me why a Greek assassin is being played by a Cambodian-French actress. White people take roles from minorities all the time!) The new Daredevil trailer shows Elektra asking for Matt Murdock’s help, kicking ass alongside the hero, and getting some sexual healing. Hopefully she ends up reconnecting (biblically) with Murdock. That guy needs to get laid.

The two-and-a-half minute clip shows much more than Elektra. It also has clips of Matt having issues with longtime companion Foggy Nelson and nurse Claire Temple. The former laments walking up to Matt’s apartment and eventually finding him dead, while the latter chastises the hero and tells him that Manhattan is no longer his city. Bits of the Punisher and Karen Page are shown as well.

The juicy stuff is, of course, the ninja stuff. Elektra tells Matt that Daredevil didn’t defeat the Yakuza; they’re just hanging out in the background while DD beats up their enemies. The Yakuza appears to be back with a vengeance, accompanied by some menacing buddies — the Hand. In the comics, many of Daredevil’s best stories have to do with the Hand. The trailer shows the mystical ninja clan storming up a building. Daredevil’s mentor Stick makes a brief appearance, warning his disciple about the Hand. Glimpses of fight scenes are shown, with Daredevil and Elektra taking on Hand ninja.

One of the most enjoyable aspects of Daredevil season one was its realistic and bone-crunching combat. While I’m greatly looking forward to glorious ninja battles in season two, I hope that the fights retain the impact of their forerunners and aren’t overly choreographed.

Anyway, please check out the new Daredevil season two trailer when you have a chance and share your thoughts in the comments section.

Zoom Theories Revisited (The Flash CW)

After hypothesizing on the identity of archfiend Zoom on The Flash last week, this week’s episode straight-up revealed his face. While more information was given to viewers, more questions were raised. Let’s use this space to continue to figure out the mysteries behind the identities of Zoom, Jay Garrick, and Dude in a Mask that’s stuck on Earth-2. Naturally, it’s time to activate your spoiler shields. Let’s use a Dothraki theme to indicate the things that are known for sure.

It is known: Zoom, Earth-2 Jay Garrick, and Earth-1 Hunter Zolomon have the same face

That was one helluva way to end a very cool episode of The Flash (the King Shark CG and Barry’s interpretive water-lightning dance were phenomenal)! Zoom returned to his lair, carrying Jay’s body while Dude in Mask continued to whimper in his cell. Zoom unmasked and revealed the visage of Jay Garrick!

Zoom Jay

As I mentioned last week, many people believe that Zoom is Earth-2 Hunter Zolomon. The new question is, “Why the hell does Zoom have the same face as Earth-2 Jay Garrick?”

Theory: Jay Garrick and Hunter Zolomon are twins

This is a popular theory that’s floating around on The Flash Reddit page. I’m not quite sold on it yet, but it would explain why Earth-2 Jay Garrick, Earth-1 Hunter Zolomon, and Zoom all have the same face. It would also explain why Guy in a Mask is being kept under wraps. Most fans are certain that it will be Teddy Sears under the iron mask, when all is said and done. (If that’s the case, hopefully Teddy Sears’ agent got him some nice money for playing four roles.) Perhaps I’ve watched too many episodes of WWE programming over the years, but having two sets of twins from multiple version of Earth seems a little too neat.

Theory: Guy in the Mask is Earth-1 Jay Garrick

By the process of elimination, it makes sense for this man to be Earth-1 Jay. That is, of course, assuming that you believe that Earth-2 Jay was who he said he was and Earth-1 Hunter Zolomon was who Earth-2 Jay said he was. (Confused yet?) Another interesting tidbit is that in the episode where Earth-1 Hunter Zolomon was revealed (season 2, episode 11), Earth-2 Jay said, “I couldn’t find a Jay Garrick anywhere on this planet.” That seems like a swerve. Surely there had to be some record of a man named Jay Garrick, unless Earth-2 Jay was a baddie all along.

Hunter Zolomon Flash

In a recent piece on VarietyThe Flash executive producer Andrew Kreisberg said, “Jay had been watching them and knew that so he was able to masterfully step into the role each of them needed. He became a friend and mentor to Barry. A love interest to the heartbroken Caitlin. He skillfully played them all.” What Earth-2 Jay said in episode 11 and what Kreisberg said to Variety has me sticking to my theory that Zoom is Earth-2 Hunter Zolomon, as well as the guy parading around Earth-1 as Earth-2 Jay. Of course that doesn’t explain the corpse Zoom carried to his hideout.

It is known: Earth-2 Jay Garrick is dead…

…or at least a guy that looked like him is dead. At the end of tonight’s episode, Zoom drops Earth-2 Jay’s lifeless body and says, “Well this…is a complication.” I’m not certain that Zoom was talking about Jay’s death; he could have been talking about all the breaches being closed. Keeping in mind that Kreisberg implied that Zoom and Jay are the same person, I’m not convinced that the corpse was actually in the Garrick or Zolomon gene pool. This season has a lot symmetry with last season, so it wouldn’t surprise me if the “Jay” that died (while standing in front of an ominous portal like an asshat) was a shapeshifter working with Zoom. Remember, the Reverse Flash had Everyman posing as him to distract the good guys. Symmetry!

Theory: The “Jay” corpse isn’t actually Jay

Jay Garrick Idiot

Even though Zoom was unmasked in this episode, there are still so many questions about the true identities of multiple characters. The first season of The Flash played around with time paradoxes. This season is playing around with the multiverse. Is it possible that the writers are combining the two in order to surprise the audience along about the “real” identities of Zoom, Jay Garrick, and Dude in a Mask? I’m still not completely sure, but I can’t wait for more episodes of The Flash to start in late March!

Given the big Zoom reveal at the end of this episode, what are your new theories on the true identities of Zoom, Jay Garrick (both versions), and Dude in a Mask? Please leave a comment and let me know!

Zoom Theories (The Flash Season Two CW)

The identity of Zoom has been one of the most fascinating aspects of The Flash season two. Episode 14 may have contained a few hints about the identity of this enigmatic speedster. I’m going to use this space to discuss a pair of Zoom theories and some of the circumstances that may support them. Naturally, please turn your spoiler shields on.

Flash Iron Mask
Despite all his rage he is still just a dude in a cage.

Let’s start with one of Zoom’s prisoners — the guy in the iron mask. Using his keen and scientific mind, Barry deduces that Iron Mask Cage Guy is tapping out letters using a code favored by prisoners of war. The guy spells out “Jay” and has a fit when Barry says that Jay Garrick is safe on Earth-1.

Theory: The guy in the mask is the real Earth-2 Jay Garrick.

If that theory pans out, then who the hell is the “Jay Garrick” that has been hanging around with the Earth-1 heroes? Remember when Caitlin tried to find “Jay’s” Earth-1 counterpart? She ended up finding a man named Hunter Zolomon. “Jay” explains that Zolomon has a different name because he was adopted. Is it possible that “Jay” is a big fat liar? The answer to that would be no, because he’s a physically fit man, but he could still be lying.

Theory: The guy Earth-1 heroes think is Earth-2 Jay Garrick is actually Earth-2 Hunter Zolomon.

Comics fans know that Hunter Zolomon is Zoom’s Christian name, but there’s more to it than that. One of the more interesting Zoom theories I’ve read comes from this Reddit thread. A few posters suspect that Fake Jay Garrick is actually Zoom. He’s messing around on Earth-1 to monitor Barry’s powers and waiting for the right moment to steal them. Using my Seinfeld voice, “Did you ever notice that ‘Jay’ and Zoom are never in the same room together?” I’m going to zip through the old episodes to make sure, but the only time I remember them sharing a scene was during a flashback sequence narrated by “Jay.” That tale could be part of Zoom’s big ruse.

Theory: Fake Jay Garrick and Zoom are the same person.

Jay Garrick Idiot
I think I’ll just stand in front of this ominous portal, grinning like an idiot!

Fake Jay and Zoom being the same guy would also explain the scene above. The heroes have escaped Zoom’s clutches in Earth-2 and “Jay” has just closed the breech. While everyone else is standing a safe distance away, “Jay” is lingering in front of the yet-to-completely-close portal, smiling like a jackass. Seconds later, he’s impaled by Zoom’s arm and is dragged back to Earth-2. It all seems rather silly. Either Jay Garrick is a world class moron or he wanted the Earth-1 heroes to think “Jay” died. The way the scene was filmed, it was completely obvious that something bad was going to happen to “Jay.” Perhaps “Jay’s” fake death was another layer of Zoom’s master plan.

Theory: Fake Jay is Young Zoom

A few Reddit posters believe that Fake Jay is Earth-2 Hunter Zolomon, while Zoom is a future iteration. Fake Jay said that he was obsessed with getting faster, ergo his Velocity-6 abuse. Zoom is quite clearly obsessed with getting faster. I’m not as big on this theory, but it does have a certain symmetry with the baddie from The Flash season one.

Max Mercury
The zen master of the speed force.

Theory: Dude in a Mask is Max Mercury.

This is almost definitely not going to happen, but I would love it if Dude in the Iron Mask was Max Mercury. DC Comics’ “zen master” of speed has been a father figure to many speedsters. He’s also the most knowledgable person in the world when it comes to the “speed force.” That could explain why Zoom wants him locked up; he can’t have the Yoda of speed teaching young heroes how to defeat him.

The Flash television series will definitely have Kid Flash (Wally West) in the future and possibly Jesse Quick as well. The new speedsters could use a fatherly tutor like Max Mercury, while Barry is off doing the heavy hero work. But like I said, Max Mercury is almost definitely not going to happen. It’s a long shot, combined with wishful thinking on my part.

Anyway, those are some assorted theories on the identities of Zoom and Dude in the Iron Mask. I’d love hear some of yours! Kindly share your theories in the comments section.