TV


My brother bought me the DVDs for Christmas and we watched it in just a couple of weeks. I really liked it mostly.

I liked the science part of it, even though it’s superhero science (magic really). Barry Allen is a crime scene investigator in Central City. He’s obsessed with his troubled past: his mother was murdered when he was young and his father was convicted of the murder and is in prison. But Barry knows that his father didn’t do it and is looking for evidence to free his father. When a particle accelerator malfunctions when its turned on during a violent storm, Barry is hit by lightning and becomes superhumanly fast. Other people also get powers during that event and Barry joins forces with S.T.A.R. labs’ people to fight superhuman crime.

The Flash is more lighthearted than Arrow, about the same as Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. in the first season, before that show went significantly darker. Right from the start Barry has a large cast of supporting characters: Star lab’s director Dr. Wells, Star labs employees Dr. Snow and Cisco (an engineering genius), Barry’s adoptive father detective Joe West, Joe’s daughter (and Barry’s love interest) journalist student Iris, and Iris’ boyfriend and Joe’s partner Eddie. Iris and Eddie don’t know that Barry is Flash. But Iris starts a blog about Flash and follows the sightings eagerly.

The show has both “monster of the week” episodes and an underlying larger story arch which worked nicely. Pretty much the only thing I didn’t like was that Barry was ‘protecting’ Iris by not telling her who he was. We’ve seen that so many time, in fact Arrow has exactly the same thing: Oliver ‘protecting’ his sister Thea and his love interest by keeping them in the dark. The problem is, of course, that things you don’t know can still hurt you. And we’ve seen this so many times; couldn’t they have thought of something else? Another problem is that it makes the woman (and it’s almost always a woman kept in the dark) so stupid when she doesn’t figure it out. The longer the story line is dragged the stupider she seems.

The series has two cross-over episodes with Arrow and those were a lot of fun. I really enjoyed the supporting cast: Dr. Wells was built well throughout the first season and Cisco is a great character with the jokes and upbeat spirit. Although we both wondered about why Caitlin was employed by the labs in the first place. Isn’t she some sort of medical doctor? I’m not nearly as knowledgeable about DC characters as Marvel so the series had some surprises.

The final episode ends in a cliffhanger. The series also has time travel and I’m still a bit iffy about that. But it’s going to be a long wait for the next season (Finnish Netflix doesn’t have Flash). So you US people are going to keep on watching it, right? So that we can all get another season.

Finnish TV is showing Arrow but not Flash.

This season has seven episodes, with the two part Swords of Wayland.

Episodes: The Prophecy, The Children of Israel, Lord of the Trees, The Enchantment, The Swords of Wayland 1 and 2, and The Greatest Enemy.

This season has more magic than the previous season, particularly in the Enchantment and the Swords of Wayland. The writing is still very good and otherwise, this season is just as good as the first one. With only seven episodes, there’s no room for filler.

The series starts with Herne’s prophecy about a prisoner close to Robin. First Robin and the Merry Men think that Herne means Little John who is Guy’s prisoner. However, after they free Little John, Robin hears that Prince John has come to Nottingham with a mysterious prisoner.

The sheriff is away from Nottingham and Guy has to entertain the Prince. However, that’s increasingly hard for Guy who has never been a diplomat nor a courtier. Guy also has his own scheme: one of his men has infiltrated the Merry Men. Pretty soon Guy is stripped of his position and thrown in jail. Will and Robin have a conflict over leadership which escalates in the next episode.

In the Children of Israel, the sheriff is back and shows the depths of his cruelty and greed. He owes a significant amount of money to a Jewish man, Joshua de Talmont. The sheriff doesn’t want to pay him back, so he arranges a riot and during it almost all the Jewish people in Nottingham are killed. However, Joshua’s eldest daughter Sarah has caught Guy’s eye and Guy warns them. The family flees
just in time but Guy kidnaps Sarah. He just assumes that Sarah will happily marry him, renouncing her faith and overlooking his part in the riot.

Meanwhile, our heroes are trying to ambush the returning sheriff but they fail and Tuck is hurt. Will lectures Robin about how he will never be more than an outlaw and that they should just keep the money they steal. Will leaves and later he robs the de Talmont family. Robin’s gang asks help from villages for the first time but the villagers are afraid and refuse to help them. This discourages Robin but only momentarily.

However, the rift between Will and Robin is repaired pretty easily. It seems to me that it had more to do with helping the de Talmant family, than with Robin.

In the Lord of the Trees, we see the villagers worshiping Herne. During the time of the Blessing no blood must be shed. Of course, exactly at that time Guy has invited some French mercenaries to Nottingham in order to deal with the outlaws.

The outlaws celebrate the Blessing with villagers of Wickham. Even when Herne is shot with an arrow in full view of everyone, they still keep to the time of the Blessing and even though Herne himself says that he’s “just a man” he clearly has some magical powers. Even Abbot Hugo warns Guy not to underestimate the old gods and when Guy says “they never existed” and storms off, Hugo is clearly disturbed. He has just admitted that as long as the villagers appear to behave like Christians, he doesn’t care whom they actually worship. In the previous season he’s been shown as greedy for land and power, now he’s a heretic in addition to being a hypocrite. Interestingly enough, while witched and sorcerers have magical powers in this series, the priests and monks don’t. Except of course political power.

Speaking of magic, the Enchantment has plenty of it. Lilith is a witch and a follower of sorcerer de Belleme from the first episode of season 1. She’s trying to bring him back to life and so she casts an enchantment over Robin. Because of it, Robin doesn’t recognize his Merry Men or even Marion. When the band realizes what has happened, they have to hunt him down. This is an interesting contrast to the next episode.

The two-parter Swords of Wayland is my favorite of the two seasons. The outlaws travel to Wales to protect a village from a group of horsemen called the Hounds of Lucifer. They organize the villagers to fight back when the horsemen attack and even though the outlaws are victorious, they have to fight against the covenant which is a group of devil worshiping nuns. It sounds cheesy but I think the covenant’s reputation of piety was used very well against our heroes. The covenant’s leader casts a spell over Little John, Tuck, Will, Nasir, and Much, turning them against Robin and Marion.

And the final episode, the Greatest Enemy, where the Sheriff finally gets his revenge against Robin. At the time I was shocked and dismayed by Robin’s death but of course it fits very well with the myth of Robin Hood where Robin’s identity has changed depending on the story and era. This Robin was a peasant from the village of Loxley.

Overall, I really enjoyed this second season too.