2014 Fall Premieres: The October Issue

In the interest of saving time, I usually do not post an individual recap for each season premiere that I watch. Instead, I briefly (well, somewhat briefly) summarize my initial impressions for all the shows that air in the same month. Then I lump these impressions together into a single post. It’s all simple and orderly, see?

The problem, I’ve discovered, with this approach is that it doesn’t matter if the greater majority of your shows began during the first week  of October; you still have to wait for asshole shows like Elementary to come back on October 30th. So by the time you finally do post your season premiere thoughts, many of these shows are already four or five episodes in, and you’ve suddenly become that writer who’s dated their timeless work of love and self-discovery with references to beepers and “MMMBop.”

With that in my mind, here’s what I’ve got for the October shows.

SPOILERS AHEAD.

The Walking Dead

carol

I don’t have very much to say about this episode, other than it was awesome. Carol is such a badass. I love Carol. Please don’t kill Carol!

Seriously, I’m trying to come up with things to say that don’t involve how awesome Carol is saving the day. I was a little surprised, though not displeased, that nobody important died. Well, Penguin. Yes. Funny thing: I remember thinking, you know, this actor looks a little like Robin Lord Taylor, but I didn’t actually think it was him until I checked IMDb later. But everyone else is alive . . . for now. Even Morgan’s alive, tracking the group’s movements after the end credits. (I totally would’ve missed that scene, if I hadn’t gone looking for it because I’d been spoiled for Lennie James’s cameo. Are there regularly scenes after the credits? Am I consistently missing shit?) Also, Rick, Carl, and Baby Judith reunite, which is kind of cool, I guess, but far more importantly, Carol and Daryl reunite. I heart that scene so much. They are the best.

In fact, I think the only thing I didn’t like about this premiere was that very last flashback when the cannibals decided to become the butchers instead of the cattle, or whatever. Other than telling us that the giant dude was originally one of their captors, I felt like that scene gave me nothing I didn’t already know, and it felt like a weird note to end the episode on. But this is a pretty minor nitpick.

For an episode of The Walking Dead, this premiere was basically an upper. I fear for the rest of the season.

FAVORITE PART:

Carol and Daryl reuniting. But a close second place goes to Carol blowing up that propane tank.

TENTATIVE GRADE:

A

The Flash

flash

For the most part, I had a pretty good time watching this. Even with the mandatory CW pilot voiceover. (To my shock, the VO was actually funny for once. I could potentially deal with more of this.) Grant Gustin is very enjoyable as Barry Allen, and I look forward to seeing him in all of his CSI Jr. adventures. (Seriously, I know they’re skewing to a younger demographic than Arrow, but damn. Between him and Emotionless Science Girl and Surfer Dude Science Boy, I feel like all the superhero progress will have to stop for juice and snack breaks.) It was nice to see the “run, Barry, run” line finally, since that’s made me crack up through multiple promos. The ending was a solid twist, and I really like Jesse L. Martin a lot. At least, when he isn’t talking to or about his daughter.

Because, yes, my biggest concern about The Flash is the female characters, specifically, Barry’s unrequited love interest, Iris. (Who, shockingly, is dating Schmucky Cop.) I was actually liking Iris pretty well, until she made an impatient hand gesture for Barry to go chase after the guy who took her purse, presumably because this is a MAN’s job and never mind the fact that Gustin is as big around as my wrist. Real men run after purse-snatchers, whether they would be physically capable of stopping them or not.

And then Detective West (Martin) reminds his daughter that she isn’t a cop, and she’s all, “Because you wouldn’t let me,” and I’m like, “EXCUSE me? Are you a grown ass woman? What century are we in, you two?” This is made even worse when West tells Barry that he can’t tell Iris about his super abilities because he wants to keep her safe, which, how is this keeping her safe, exactly? Yeah, it’s not, so thanks for that fully unnecessary complication, West. (On the plus side, I was pleasantly surprised that he discovered Barry’s abilities so early.)

I’ll have to wait and see about Emotionless Science Girl. I actually didn’t mind her little speech, and I’d much rather her Lack of Giggles come from an emotional trauma, rather than any I-Don’t-Understand-Feelings-Because-I-Do-Science nonsense. Still, I’m not quite sold yet, either. And that’s about it for female characters thus far, unless we’re counting the protagonist’s tragically dead mother.

But this may improve with time. I hope so, anyway. This was a pretty fun premiere, and I have hope for this series. (Especially if there are more Flash/Arrow crossovers. That should happen, like, all the time.)

FAVORITE PART:

Oh, I can’t decide. It’s between Barry asking, “Lightning gave me abs?” and West saying, “Shut the hell up.” Although I did also like this: “Why the hell would God need to rob banks?”

TENTATIVE GRADE:

A-

Elementary

watson

When I initially read the setup for this season — with Sherlock coming back to New York with a new protégé in tow — I was not particularly interested. For me, this show is entirely about Sherlock and Watson’s relationship, and I wasn’t real excited to see a new player get in the middle of it, particularly if she and Watson were going to have awful cat fight friction.

However, I actually enjoyed this premiere quite a bit. I love that Watson is a competent detective in her own right, and that she has her own nemesis now. (I just assume Gina Gershon will come back at some point, despite going to jail at the end of the episode.) I like that Watson doesn’t automatically forgive Holmes for the bullshit way he left, but that by the end of the episode they’ve worked their way to some kind of (very tentative) middle ground. I didn’t hate Kitty like I feared I would, and while I’m not particularly interested in her backstory right now, I might eventually become so. And I like that Watson and Kitty had a nice moment, too, giving me hope that their relationship will not be all bitter and annoying.

FAVORITE PART:

Hard to say. I did enjoy the baton fighting, but I think I’m leaning toward the scene where Gregson interrupts Sherlock’s carefully crafted apology to tell him, in no uncertain terms, that they aren’t friends. There was something kind of awesome about that.

TENTATIVE GRADE:

A-

Arrow

arrow

Ah, Arrow. Right back to wildly entertaining me and wildly pissing me off, all in the very same hour. It’s really almost impressive, how easily you do this.

Why don’t I just break this down into The Good, The Ambivalent, and the Downright Sucky:

THE GOOD:

Non-Island Flashbacks. A welcome change of pace.

The whole city loves Arrow! I wonder how long this can possibly last.

Ollie and Felicity are openly acknowledging Feelings! Seriously, I wonder how long this can . . . oh, really, not that long, huh? (See also: The Downright Sucky)

People are moving out of Starling City because they’re tired of dying in crazy supervillain terrorist attacks. LOVE THIS.

Pretty much everything about Brandon Routh. He was ridiculously energetic and kind of delightful in his smarm. I look forward to seeing more of him.

THE AMBIVALENT:

Dear God, Ollie got dosed with vertigo AGAIN? If it happens one more time before Christmas, does he get a prize?

Why isn’t Felicity working at Queen Consolidated anymore? I don’t see why she had to leave the company just because Oliver’s out, unless she chose to step down to help out at the Arrow Cave or was fired due to rumors of her sleeping with the boss. Waiting to see if this is addressed.

Sara’s death: on one hand, I actually really like the shot of her falling, and I’ll admit, that’s one hell of a way to end your premiere and set up your season. On the other hand, godamnit, I liked Sara. After she survived second season, I actually thought she had a chance. And is there anyone in the world, ANYONE, who wants to see Laurel become Black Canary? Because I’m pretty sure that’s where this story is going, and at this point, I think I’d be happier if Felicity became Black Canary, and that doesn’t even make sense. (Actually, Thea would be pretty cool, assuming Thea isn’t the one who shot her in the first place.)

THE BAD:

Sweet Christ, it’s like Ollie can’t learn shit for more than twenty minutes at a time. One explosion, and that’s it? That’s all it takes for Ollie to be like, “Nope, I’m out. If wasn’t so busy HAVING FEELINGS, I totally would have seen this tracker.” Good lord, people. Must I quote Teen Wolf at you? Apparently, I must: “This whole women are a weakness thing is a little too Spartan warrior for me.” Ollie, you’re an asshole.

Also, Ollie overcomes the psychotropic drug simply by denying love. Which I guess would be an interesting inversion of the Power of Love, if I wasn’t so annoyed the above.

And I am SO NOT OKAY with Diggle basically saying, “Yeah, thanks for making this decision for me, Oliver. Before I was angry because I felt like hey, I’m a grown up, I should be able to make my own big life decisions, but now that I’ve seen this baby, I’ve decided that the white man was right all along. I can’t possibly have children and be a hero any longer.” Ugh.

FAVORITE PART:

Hm. Porcupine flatulence?

TENTATIVE GRADE:

B

The Vampire Diaries

alaric

I only watched maybe a quarter of Season Five before I got bored with all the convoluted drama, but I found out what happened in the finale (Alaric came back!) and thought I’d try out Season Six fresh. And so far . . . it’s okay. I’m not real crazy about drug addict Elena — and it drives me nuts that losing Bonnie doesn’t seem to really bother her — but I did love that her big goodbye speech where she decides to let go of Damon doesn’t work at all. Jeremy’s predictably boring. I’ll probably be more interested in Stefan’s storyline when he inevitably returns to Mystic Falls. Tyler’s pairing with this witch girl seems really forced to me, but maybe they set that up last season in all the episodes I didn’t watch? Their chemistry just seems really artificial to me, especially in comparison to the chemistry he had with Caroline. Not that it matters, really. We all know that Tyler will be gone in a month or two anyway to do some BS thing for half the season, like he always does.

The very last scene with Damon and Bonnie and vampire pancakes is pretty awesome. And of course, Alaric. He is the best. He has so many awesome lines. I’m so glad he’s back — although I rolled my eyes pretty hard at the fact that he’s teaching at the college now. Of course he is. This is like Mr. Feeny all over.

I have this feeling I’ll eventually end up dropping The Vampire Diaries, but this was decent enough that I’ll keep up for now. (But seriously, can we lose Mopey Pants Jeremy? He is so boring.)

FAVORITE PART:

Probably the pancakes. It was hilarious, and that whole scene was a great way to end the episode. But I also liked this: “Okay, so when I lost my human nature, I also lost my game.”

TENTATIVE GRADE:

B

American Horror Story: Freak Show

clown

Oh, this show. I really feel like I need to give a full season of American Horror Story a try, and I figured evil circuses would be the time to do it, but . . . I don’t know.

There are some really cool things about the premiere. I like the opener, although obviously it’d be a lot more effective if we didn’t already know that Sarah Paulson was playing conjoined twins. The opening credits are pretty cool. And I really like the split screen from the POV of the sisters, when one is looking in one direction, and the other is looking somewhere else. I thought that was pretty clever. I’m less into them being randomly psychic, but it’s not a big thing. I just rolled my eyes.

The clown is admittedly pretty creepy, too. Not subtle — American Horror Story is many things, but subtle is decidedly not one of them. Good God. The music cues, alone. (While I’m thinking about music: I didn’t actually recognize David Bowie’s “Life On Mars” when Norma Desmond Elsa started singing it — sue me — but I started laughing hysterically when Fiona Apple’s “Criminal” came up in the preview.) But I can deal with not subtle. What doesn’t work as well — and has been a problem for me with past iterations of AHS — mostly has to do with weird sex stuff. I’m well aware there’s no way to say that without making me sound like a prude, and hey, maybe I am one. But the scene with Evan Peters satisfying women with his lobster hands . . . it feels cheaply artificial to me, like it was added purely so that the shock value might convince me that this show is so daring and bold and breaks down all kinds of barriers, and I’m like, Uh, yay? AHS has always struck me as incredibly satisfied with itself, and I’ve yet to become entranced by it the way it clearly wants me to. And don’t even get me started on the it’s-not-gang-rape-if-I-enjoyed-it-while-stoned-off-my-ass subplot.

I’ve set the series on record, but we’ll see. It would hardly be the first season I’ve let rot on my DVD for several months before deleting it, unwatched.

FAVORITE PART:

I’ve never been very seriously coulrophobic, but that clown was fucking creepy.

TENTATIVE GRADE:

B-

Constantine

constantine

First: I have not read the comics. I have seen the Keanu Reeves movie, and I enjoy it for the guilty pleasure that it is, but I wasn’t looking for this show to be that. Actually, I don’t know exactly what I was looking for, but this pilot? Wasn’t it.

Look, pilots are often rough. I’m not giving up on Constantine immediately. I’ll give it a little more time to find itself — but I’ll probably give it on this well before I give up on Gotham, partly because I’m a Batman nerd and partly because I think Gotham’s pilot showed a lot more potential. (It’s not an entirely fair comparison, though, because Gotham is already starting to slowly improve, particularly with “Spirit of the Goat,” which was actually pretty great.) On the positive side, Matt Ryan seemed decent enough and I’m curious to learn more about the monosyllabic, very-not-Shia-LeBeouff Chas, who manages to survive his skewering with very little difficulty.

But oh my God, the pacing of this episode was ridiculously rushed. And there are a lot of benefits to fast paced shows when they’re done well (the earlier seasons of The Vampire Diaries, the first season of Sleepy Hollow), but this was so stupid fast that I just couldn’t engage with any of it. Certainly not the main girl, who the show sets up as super important, only to replace her in the very second episode. (I haven’t actually watched it yet, but I know that’s what happens. Hopefully, this one won’t react to giant sinkholes by threatening to mace the first guy she sees, as if she thinks he caused the sinkhole in the first place.) I’m also not really feeling the angel, despite the fact that I generally like Harold Perrineau. He may become more intriguing over time, but right now his constant smirk is only getting on my nerves. It’s like his one facial expression. Oy. Where is Tilda Swinton when you need her?

FAVORITE PART:

The initial setup at the mental institution was kind of cool. Unfortunately, it just all went downhill from there.

TENTATIVE GRADE:

C

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41 Responses to 2014 Fall Premieres: The October Issue

  1. Brandon says:

    RE: “The Flash”, the Supe Science Team (as I now call them) get much better. Dr. Science Woman (snow) in particular gets a lot less non-emotional and her reasons for being the way she is in the pilot get explored rather quickly, which surprised me, but also delighted me because I hate dragging that kind of stuff out.

    Jesse L. Martin is the best and continues to be so 4 episodes in.

    I think Iris has gotten at least slightly better, but I agree she was the weak link. I actually think the actress playing her is quite good. She’s very likeable. Just gotta break out a little bit.

    Luckily the Barry/Iris stuff gets put on hold pretty fast. I won’t spoil it, but it’s a good direction.

    • Oh, I’m caught up. Like I said, I decided not to edit my initial impressions and just post them as is. (I’m hugely grateful that no main character on any of my October shows has died yet, particularly on The Walking Dead, where it was actually a concern.)

      Agreed. I like the actress who plays Iris a lot, but I’m frustrated by her character. I almost wonder if she could make Dr. Science Woman more interesting for me because while I don’t necessarily hate her, I don’t know if that actress is quite as strong. (She and Surfer Science Boy are still feeling like weak links in the show for me. They’re okay, I guess, but I want to root for them like I root for the Arrow team. And I rooted for people on the Arrow team pretty quickly.)

  2. Teacups says:

    I concur that the actress playing Iris is actually pretty decent – she comes across as warm and friendly. But the character, as written, is unfortunately bland and falls into a lot of bad superhero love interest/overprotected daughter traps.

    Also, I don’t know how Iris is going to be Barry’s long-term love interest without it being a bit awkward. ‘Cause as she said, they grew up together and were adoptive siblings from eleven-onwards. It’s totally fine if Barry still sees her as a potential girlfriend, but Iris apparently sees him as her friend and brother. Any future romantically charged moments might come off all incesty, from her end. I doubt the whole Flowers In The Attic angle is really what the writers are going for here, so this could be an issue.

    Anyway, I mostly like the show. The villains have sometimes been kind of weaksauce (although I have to compliment the dude who played the third episode villain on his creepiness) but overall, it’s a pretty fun show, and the lighter tone suits Barry’s personality. The grimdark Arrow tone wouldn’t have worked for him.

    I like Barry, too. He’s adorable, energetic, and most of the time, kind of a sweetheart. I love that he doesn’t fall into the recent DC trend of brooding superheroes unable to show emotions other than anger. (Er, no offense meant, Oliver.) Actually, forget about superheroes, that’s breaking the mold for male TV heroes, period. I was genuinely delighted when he started crying while visiting his dad at the end – I feel like most shows would be too concerned about him looking unmanly to have a moment like that.

    Also, I’m loving his relationships with his dads – biological and adoptive.

    I’m not coulrophobic either, but I have to admit that even the picture of that clown creeps me out a little bit. It’s the smile.

    Will comment on Arrow later.

    • Agreed. I think the actress playing Iris is doing a good job with the material she has. I like her more than the actress who’s playing Caitlin, actually, although to be fair, her material hasn’t exactly been exciting, either. As far as Love Interest Iris goes, I’m not actually that worried about it. If Iris ever develops romantic feels for Barry, I expect they’ll just play it as “I always loved you, but I just assumed it was all sibling/platonic. I didn’t know how much I truly loved you until _______ (fill in traumatic/someone nearly died event here).”

      I agree that the villains haven’t been super impressive so far, but it’s still early days. If we get to the end of the season without an impressive villain, though, I’ll have more serious problems. (A lot of people really liked Wentworth Miller as Captain Cold, but I wasn’t as impressed. He had one or two moments I enjoyed, but mostly I just thought his delivery was over the top. Kind of funny, but I couldn’t take it even remotely seriously.)

      I like Barry, too, although he’s had a couple moments of sulky that I think they could ease up on. It’s not even broody. It’s more like pouting. Overall, though, I really enjoy him. I also like the light, zippy tone of the show, and one of the reasons I want to see more crossovers with Arrow is that I’d love to see relatively happy Barry in grimdark Starling City and broody Oliver in shiny Central City. There just seems like all the potential for humor in that (and yes, possibly angst as well).

      I do hope that The Flash will learn to take it easy on the inspirational dialogue. I want an upbeat show, I do, but some of the dialogue they’re giving Barry, like that speech about how the whole team is out there with him when he’s off saving people? Ugh. NOT GOOD.

      • Teacups says:

        I like Caitlin and Cisco well enough, although that’s largely through the window of their relationships with Barry, rather than as their own characters. Though I am amused that the show’s method of naming it’s villains is basically to have Cisco conciously making the names up while everyone else ignores him or rolls their eyes.

        POSSIBLE CAITLIN SPOILERS
        Apparently Caitlin was actually a villain in the comics. I don’t know whether this means she’ll eventually follow suit on the show or what. That could be interesting, although I can’t see it happening all too soon. She just doesn’t read as very villain-y to me at the moment.

        I think Captain Cold ties for best villain-of-the-week so far (with the guy from episode three, basically because I found the actor quite creepy) but that’s only due to there being such a low bar. I liked that we had a villain who wasn’t one of the particle accelerator metahumans, and I liked his last scene, but generally he didn’t stand out too much. I did adore that museum tour he went on to case the joint though, and was cracking up hearing about the great hero who saved some cows from a flood.

        Oh my god, Oliver being a broody-fish-out-of-water on The Flash sounds amazing. I need that to happen now. I enjoy Barry’s friendships with both him and Felicity, too, so more crossovers are always good.

        Also, I love that Felicity’s visit was handled with absolutely zero jealousy from her or Iris. I love that Iris was shipping her and Barry like mad, and I loved that that aside, Felicity and Barry’s dynamic was about geeky friendship, superheroism alliance, and mutual comfort over their unhappy love lives. They actually behaved like mature adults, their former romance was resolved with them becoming friends, and there was an absolute minimium of soap opera bullshit. It made my heart happy.

        One growing concern I have with the show is that Barry really, really doesn’t seem to be taking full advantage of his powers. The best example being when he was talking with Captain Cold on the train, giving the bad guy time to do bad guy things and get away.

        Dude, why even confront him? Just run right up to him, steal his fucking ice gun, and punch him in the face, all before he can blink. And it’s the same with a lot of the action scenes on the show. It’s a real issue with superspeed as a superpower, I think. Properly applied, it’s too strong against most other superpowers or villains, sapping conflict and interesting action scenes. So instead the hero has to act like an idiot.

        • I don’t see it yet, but if they could come up with a compelling reason for Caitlin turning evil, that would actually be pretty interesting. Cisco needs to have more freakouts about Barry ruining his super suits and far less hitting on girls that are clearly not interested him, like his obnoxiousness is somehow adorable. Also, he needs to cut his hair because it’s not working for him. That seems like a Season 2 change to me.

          I also loved pretty much everything about Barry and Felicity’s interactions. They are the best. And I can’t remember where I read this (probably io9 or TV.com), but I think the only problem with Felicity popping up on Arrow was that it reminded how much more I like Oliver’s team. Even with balance problems, I actively enjoy Diggle, Roy, and Felicity. Cisco and Caitlin, on the other hand, remain problematic for me.

          I get why Barry can’t use his superspeed the way someone would for narrative reasons, but it’s a bit of a problem. I think the best thing they could do would be to up his vulnerability. Like, that whole weakness where he needs to eat more food to keep from passing out? That could be a serious thing, not like an occasional funny thing. So he has to limit how often he uses his powers, or maybe he used them too much earlier in an and they’re failing him when he needs them now. That’s tricky, too, because of the obvious convenience factor, but if handled right, I think it could help.

      • Teacups says:

        I’m on board for Cisco cutting his hair, so long as he keeps his cool t-shirts. He even wore Adventure Time and Bravest Warriors shirts, and as a fan, this pleased me.

        That’s a good idea. The right villain superpowers could help, too. Like the guy in the last episode being almost invulnerable, or the mist guy. What’s still not making sense is that Barry didn’t run away from these guys earlier – this is where your idea could come in.

        In the last episode, I didn’t get why Barry had to punch the guy really hard. Wouldn’t it be more efficient and less dangerous to use some kind of weapon – something with a smaller point of impact?

        • Huh. I don’t know if I’ve ever really seen The Flash use weapons. (My knowledge of The Flash is almost all cartoons and video games, though, and is therefore hardly extensive.) Does he ever have, like, a Flash Escrima Stick or something? Cause that could potentially come in handy.

      • Teacups says:

        We got our fish-out-of-water crossovers, huzzah! It was largely fanservice, but it was fun fanservice. My favourite part was Digg’s extended reaction to Barry’s speed (I also liked the running gag of Barry casually assuming everyone already knew his secret identity) though Cisco’s pride about Oliver being on his *narrowed down* list of 150 Arrow candidates is probably my favourite quote from the entire show thus far.

        On that note, I found Cisco to be significantly improved in the crossover episodes, in terms of funny (“Blah blah blah, no prison can hold me, heard it all before…”) and character development. Really liked that bar scene where he and Caitlin were musing that the paranormal nature of the Central City villains made it harder to see the weight of their horrifying crimes – although I really think Caitlin’s much less guilty of that than Cisco is. Also liked everyone ragging on the meta-humans getting supervillain names, hee. Captain Boomerang, by the way, is a terrible villain name. It sounds like the name of a cheesy Australian cereal mascot.

        I’m glad that Iris has apparently stopped writing that bloody blog. It only seemed to exist to place her in danger or threaten to do so. Plus, she’s supposed to be a decent person, and she’s supposed to be a big fan of the Flash, so it bothered me that she wouldn’t stop writing about him even when he himself asked her to. It also bothered me that she expected him to automatically show up to stop the Clock King, and asked him why he hadn’t been there. Iris, dude, he’s one guy, he can’t be everywhere, he’s not your personal superhero, and you don’t know what’s going on in his life. He could’ve slept through the entire thing, or he could’ve been out of the city, or he could’ve been off dealing with an even bigger threat.

        I know it’s likely that she and the Flash will eventually kiss and make up, but I really hope this doesn’t mean she’ll resume the damn blog. Or that we’ll get the Barry-Iris-Flash love triangle that was threatening to develop. I hate that trope.

        • I enjoyed the hell out of the crossover. And you’re right, Cisco was SO MUCH BETTER in these two episodes. This gave me hope, hope I was steadily losing before. I really loved basically every Barry/Oliver scene, and Diggle’s reaction was hilarious. Also, the Arrow Cave joke cracked me up.

          I actually kind of entirely disagree with you on Iris and the blog, though. I liked her reasoning for starting it up — first, for Barry (I thought that was really sweet), and then that it’s become something much bigger for her. (Because now that she’s seen evidence of superpowers firsthand, I think it WOULD be bigger.) And it didn’t at all bother me that she didn’t stop when Flash asked. If she was (somehow) following him home and leaking his secret identity or something, that would be different, but I don’t think she’s breaking any kind of journalistic integrity by writing about a guy who’s saving lives, even if he doesn’t want her to. (It bothers me so much more that Joe wants to keep stupid secrets than Iris wants to tell the world.) It also doesn’t help that I never once bought that the blog is putting her in danger. The only reason Iris is in danger is because Flash keeps putting her there. Iris wouldn’t have anything to write on her blog but unsubstantiated conspiracy stories if Flash wouldn’t keep visiting her because his crush is becoming a creepy fixation. (More on that in a bit.) He and Joe make this big leap that she’s in danger well before they have any reason to suspect it. I think it’s lazy damn writing.

          The Clock King thing didn’t really bother me, either, because at the end of the day, she saved herself. Sure, she was being silly to assume he could be everywhere all at once (like he’s a god, not a man with a super ability), but she saved herself and didn’t yell at Flash when he showed up. I kind of read her reaction as a little rueful at her own expectations.

          I think there’s a way to do the superhero/alter ego/love interest triangle well — but I think they’re doing a spectacularly poor job of it here. I think they’re going for cute, but it feels icky. I also feel like Iris is getting a lot of flack from the fans with this storyline, when really, Barry deserves most of it. Speaking of.

          Have you seen “The Man in the Yellow Suit” yet? SPOILERS for that episode: everybody seems to hate Iris for not knowing that Barry’s in love with her when even his dad who’s been incarcerated in prison for 20 years knows (which is, admittedly, ridiculous), but it bothers me way, way more that Barry confesses his love to her because he can’t keep secrets from her any longer, but then doesn’t tell her that he’s the Flash. I thought his love confession otherwise was pretty good — I was SO HAPPY he didn’t ask her to choose — but this just drove me nuts. Thoughts?

      • Teacups says:

        See, at the moment, with the Flash not being acknowledged by any other media, and her website apparently being the biggest source of Flash info, I actually buy that some supervillain who’d had a run-in with Barry could be doing some internet research, come across her blog, and approach her in the hope of finding some extra info. Plus, I think Barry would generally have more of an advantage over his enemies the less they know of/about him, so the blog wouldn’t be doing him any favours as a superhero.

        You’re right too though – Barry is definitely feeding into the blog by meeting up with her as The Flash all the time, because he likes having her look at him like that. And he could maybe stop the blog just by telling her his damn secret already. Anyway, I’m hoping against hope that we’ll be getting less of this sort of thing now that she’s backed off of the blog and he’s told her how she feels.

        I don’t hate Iris for that. I wish the show would otherwise stop painting it as so obvious to everyone else, because that does make her look kinda blind, and at this point I’m half expecting random guest villains who’ve never actually met Iris to start commenting on how the Flash is sooooo in love with her.

        But anyway, I think maybe when you have a completely platonic friendship with someone, and are 0% romantically attracted to them, you can tend to assume that they feel the same lack of spark. This is probably doubled if you see them as your brother. (BTW, whenever I speak of this show to my best friend, I always refer to Iris as Barry’s sister/love interest. Because I have the maturity of a blueberry scone, and it amuses me.) So I can understand Iris not seeing his crush, although it increases my doubt that I’ll buy her then getting romantic feelings for him.

        I figured that Barry was telling her about only his crush more because she’d been inquiring about that before, and he’d told her a big fat direct lie, and he was regretting not telling her then. It didn’t bother me, although it would have been a great opportunity for him to reveal his alter ego and get that bullshit out of the way already.

        What did you think of the rest of the episode?

        I have a theory about the Reverse Flash. I think it’s a future or past version of Wells – probably future – who has some method of time travel (maybe that prototype thing he stole?) and sabotaged Cisco’s forcefield so he could come off like a good guy while allowing himself to steal the thingy. He’s going to travel back in time 11 years and kill Barry’s mother, not because he wanted to, but because it needed to happen to set Barry on the path to getting struck by magic lightning and becoming a superhero. The other speedster Cisco theorised about is Barry, who was able to use the same method of time travel that Wells did and follow him back to try and stop him killing his mother. He fails, creating a stable time loop. This could be the first season finale.

        I also think that whatever Wells’ agenda is, it’s some sort of greater good thing, rather than aspirations of evil world domination or working through his grief by being a psychopath (though his wife’s death could play a part in his motivation) or anything more clearly evil.

        I will be so pleased if I’m right about this shit.

        It was a good time for the midseason finale, because I’m leaving on a poor man’s holiday (road tripping around and living out of the car) with the aforementioned best friend tomorrow. I’m glad I could catch the last of this, Arrow, and Agents Of SHIELD right before I left and lose all access to TV shows. It’s going to be the first time I’ve been on this kind of thing without being dragged around on someone else’s schedule, which is pretty exciting.

        • I can see what you mean about the blog. I think it still would’ve worked better for me if Joe and Barry hadn’t decided that the blog put her in danger well before it actually did, because it only reminds me of how they continue to make decisions about Iris’s safety without consulting her. But it makes sense that a bad guy who had run-in with the Flash before might contact her. Then again, that’s kind of a risk journalists have to take, isn’t it? Maybe it’s because I want something for Iris to do that isn’t solely about her relationship to a male character, but I feel like there’s a story here with Iris writing about the things no one is willing to say are true, a story that can be more than just constantly setting her up to be a victim. (Of course, right now it IS all about Barry because her obsession is almost all about the Flash. But if she starts really writing about the other meta-humans and maybe even heroes in other cities, and if Flash stopped paying his nightly visits, I think it could work. Will it work? Probably not. But it COULD.)

          You know, we talked about this earlier, the possibility of a future Iris/Barry romance. At the time, I didn’t think it would be that big of a deal to have her feelings shift more romantically because, hey, people change. Feelings change. That’s life. But the fact that she’s proven to be SO utterly clueless about his love for her over the course of the season makes me agree with you, that she didn’t see it because she’s never, EVER considered him that way. Like, okay. I have a friend I’ve known since I was four, who I actually do consider like a brother — but, you know, like a brother isn’t actually always ‘brother.’ There’s no lifelong crush here, and I don’t think we’re ever going to get together — nor am I at all convinced we’d be good together — but that doesn’t mean I’ve never wondered “what if.” (Of course, our parents used to tease us so much about the possibility, maybe the ‘what if’ question was inevitable.) But I don’t feel like Iris has ever had a ‘what if’ moment with Barry in her whole life, which means I would probably need Big Things to happen to buy Iris developing romantic feelings for him. And honestly, I don’t even know what those Big Things would even be, at this point.

          That’s funny. You and me and my sister all basically have the exact same theory, except that I actually don’t want the show to go in that direction. I’m inexplicably bummed about Wells before Reverse Flash, to the point where I’m still hoping that despite the fact that he has Flash powers and, you know, a yellow suit, he is somehow NOT Reverse Flash. I’m well aware I’m kidding myself at this point. My sister’s theory upon seeing the pilot was that Wells was a future Barry, which put a really interesting spin on certain scenes. I don’t think it works as well now, but I still feel like it’s more interesting. I could come around on that, though. Wells could work for me as Future Reverse Flash. But I’m a lot less interested in seeing Future Barry save Little Barry because that DOES feel predictable to me. Also, I need an awfully good reason why he couldn’t save his mom over himself, one that doesn’t feel like total bullshit. (To be fair, I am rarely ever satisfied with how time travel stories work out. It’s a flaw in my character.)

          I’ll tell you what would interest me, even though it’s never going to happen in a bazillion years: Flash can’t go back to the past because he’s, oh, dying or lost his powers or something, and somehow his powers have been temporarily transferred to another person, like Joe or Iris. (Don’t ask me how this would happen. I don’t have the slightest idea.) And then it’s Joe or Iris (preferably Iris, but I do like Joe) who goes back in time and puts the priority on saving Barry before saving his mother, which means Mommy still dies, and Barry’s probably pretty pissed about it in season two.

          I hope you have fun on your trip!

      • Teacups says:

        Hey, that’s a pretty cool idea about Iris’s blog expanding to cover other superheroes and metahumans. I think that could actually make me like it, if they did that. It would definitely feel like they were developing her more and giving her a role outside of “Barry’s love interest,” or “Joe’s daughter,” which I’m not entirely getting from the blog at the moment.

        That is odd, because I came up with that theory on my own, and haven’t seen it elsewhere. (Not that I spend that much time reading The Flash speculation, so for all I know, it could be a wildly popular theory.)

        I hadn’t considered that Future Barry might save Little Barry (I honestly assumed it was Wells trying to keep him out of harm’s way) although now that you mention it, it’s fairly likely. Although that does cast a little doubt on my theory about Wells’ motivations. If he’s just trying to preserve the timeline, why does Little Barry need to be saved from him? He could still almost kill Little Barry by accident, of course.

        Anyway, here are two possibilities on why Barry saves himself instead of his mom.

        1. Reverse Flash goes back in time to kill Barry’s mom and preserve the timeline. Or possibly to kill Little Barry, I don’t know. Barry can follow him and wants to go back too and save his mom, but someone – my money’s on Cisco – explains that doing that likely create a temporal pair o’ socks (much worse than a temporal paradox – you can’t *not* put the socks on!) when saving his mom alters Little Barry’s future, giving Future Little Barry no reason to go back and save the mom. Barry’s too emotionally invested to give a shit about temporal socks and what they might do to the universe, and goes back to save his mom anyway.

        Upon arriving in the past, he does initially try to fight Reverse Flash and save his mom. However, at some point Future Barry is forced to make an immediate choice between his mom and LittleBarry, and he ultimately follows ProbablyCisco’s advice and goes with LittleBarry, sacrificing his mother to keep the fabric of the universe stable. Everyone is sad.

        2. Basically, Future Barry was totally planning to save his mom and never stops trying, but she gets stabbed in the heart anyway. At that point he saves LittleBarry because it’s not like he’s going to be able to save his mother anyway.

        I think the first one’s more likely, but here’s something interesting – I rewatched that scene while writing this out, and it was actually a yellow blur that whooshed Barry away, not a red one. Now, it could just be a pilot continuity error, or it could be that Barry and Reverse Flash felt like a change and switched outfits for the finale. But it does make it a little more likely that it was in fact Reverse Flash Saving LittleBarry, not The Flash.

        Thank you! I am sunburned, sore, my legs are covered in bruises, and I accidentally hit a wallaby one night and wasn’t able to save the poor little thing. But the rest of it was a lot of fun, and I befriended two kitties.

        • Apparently, you, me, and my sister all share a brain. Actually, I haven’t really looked up any theories either, so I don’t know if it’s common or not.

          If Future Barry goes back to save Little Barry, I think actually prefer 2 to 1, although I agree that 1 is more likely. But 1 could still work if the conversation between Barry and, say, Cisco is convincing enough. (I just don’t want it to be like Cisco says, “The whole world could be at stake!” and Barry’s like, “I don’t care! I’m saving my mom!” And then for no apparent reason, Barry changes his mind at the pivotal moment. Like, there needs to be a reason he changes his mind, evidence that he sees, something that makes it really sink in, etc.)

          Oooh, that’s interesting. If it’s not a continuity error, another possibility is that there are two different Reverse Flashes. (Flashes? Grammar? Eh.) Multiple guys in the comics use the name, or so I’ve read, so maybe?

          Also, and I know they’d never do this because they would have to reboot TWO shows to do it, but how interesting would it be if Barry DID go back and save his mom? There’s a little evil bit of me that wants to see second season be a whole new origin story where Barry becomes the Flash anyway but the first season is basically thrown out of existence.

      • Teacups says:

        Okay, I decided to read some Flash speculation, and found out that Reverse Flash actually creates a red streak (or red lightning, rather) while Barry’s is yellow, which I guess I hadn’t really noticed up until now, whoops. I rewatched some of the Christmas episode to confirm.

        I’d thought that the yellow streak saving Little Barry was because of the yellow suit, but it turns out yellow is just… Barry’s lightning colour? His suit’s lightning colour? I’m still not sure where this lightning is coming from and what makes it certain colours, but the upshot is that it probably wasn’t Reverse Flash whooshing Little Barry away. Damnit. I thought that was interesting.

      • Teacups says:

        I was pleased to see Dr. Wells get an episode (and to get confirmation of his superspeed abilities) and I thought Hartley was generally one of the show’s more interesting villains, even if all the chess references got annoying real fast. I’m still dreaming of the day when Twister is the Board Game of Weighty Symbolism.

        I really liked that little flashback to Hartley warning Harrison – it nicely illustrated how Harrison was skewing events to portray himself as more sympathetic without beating us over the head with such a point. It also gave a little more dimension and sympathy to Hartley by showing a point where he wasn’t such a bastard. (Not to the point where he’d risk his career to warn people, but still.)

        Plus, it’s always good to see more of Harrison’s relationship with the Star Labs kids, especially Cisco and Caitlin. I figure he definitely genuinely cares for Barry in his own way, but that’s easy when he has so much invested in The Flash. So IMO his relationships with the other two say more about his humanity, in a roundabout way. ‘Course, the tricky part is trying to figure out how much of those relationships are sincere, on Harrison’s part.

        Plus, it’s good for the Star Labs trio’s development when the show remembers that hey, these people all worked together before Barry got struck by lightning, and they all have their own relationships separate from him.

        On that note, I’m happy that Iris is getting a storyline that isn’t about him, too. I don’t know how well it’ll tie in with the rest of the show going forward, but we’ll see.

        • At this point, I will TAKE any game that isn’t chess. Twister. Checkers. Candyland. Clue. Hungry Hungry Hippos. ANYTHING.

          I also liked the flashback to Hartley, particularly for how it gave him more dimension than I expected. He’s probably my favorite Flash villain so far, which admittedly says less about him than it does about all the other lackluster ones. Still, I wouldn’t mind seeing more of him. Also, I think you’re right about Harrison, Cisco, and Caitlin. It’s good to see how their relationships work outside of Barry.

          Cisco is steadily improving for me as a character. I’ve liked him a lot in the last few episodes. I particularly like that his decision to let Hartley out was based on his own guilt, not out of a misguided effort to help Caitlin. (I also like that Hartley didn’t escape on the first try.) Caitlin, on the other hand, is steadily getting worse for me. We’ll have to see how Firestorm works out, but I’m not really happy with how this is developing. Like, when we find out that he melded with that professor guy (which, admittedly, was a twist I did not anticipate), she just automatically assumes that his mind has been completely wiped, and I have no idea why. He tells her one time, “Don’t look for me,” and she’s like, “Wah, my BF doesn’t love me anymore. I guess I won’t go look for him.” She’s acting like he just dumped her, not like he got blown up and miraculously survived and possibly needs serious help. I think that’s why her and Barry commiserating their sorrows kind of drove me nuts. Drunk Caitlin was kind of fun (other than that AWFUL line about Barry deserving to look at her boobs because of his heroics), but what’s happened to Caitlin and Ronnie and what’s happened to Barry and Iris are NOT equivalent.

          I do like the idea of Iris getting a storyline that’s not about Barry, but so far, I’m not wild about how that’s going, either. And if I have to deal with Iris being jealous over Barry and New Girl, I will . . . well, probably just rant a lot.

      • Teacups says:

        I liked his motivation for taking Hartley on an excursion, too. I do wonder why they gave Hartley back his Hearing Aids Of Pain, though, given how that worked out the first time. Also, I was a bit disappointed that he and Cisco both busted out some pretty good moves for their throwdown. They should have been going at it Bridget Jones Diary-style, like two nerds who’d never been in a fight before. I know I’m stereotyping, but it would’ve made sense for both characters, and it just would’ve made me so happy. Given the prevalence of onscreen action heroes, we need more fights in action movies/shows between ordinary people who don’t know what they’re doing.

        Caitlin having given up on Ronnie at the beginning of that episode was a shitty plot contrivance – last we knew, she was looking into FIRESTORM, and now she’s lost all interest offscreen? As far as drowning her sorrows with Barry goes, you’re right, but I’m inclined to cut her a break. I kinda assumed that whole storyline was just her trying out the binge-drinking party girl method of coping with the Ronnie situation.

        And yeah, I don’t have the words to express my hatred of that line. Such a gross sentiment. Gah.

        So far nothing at the newspaper has really interested me, either. Also, you know how I was saying that I think it’s kind of shitty to be putting all this info about the Flash online without his permission? That goes double for the sneaky photo she took. Iris, seriously, you’re not helping with this whole “secret identity,” thing.

        Even that is dwarfed by my annoyance at the entire date storyline in the last episode, too. Which is a shame, because I thought Barry and Linda’s meet cute wasn’t bad, and I liked that Barry was moving on from Iris because JESUS CHRIST, Barry, she’s seeing someone else and she’s not into you.

        But anyway, Barry plans out this elaborate, very tame date night for them, which Linda shrugs off in favour of hot sexytimes. Okay, kind of inconsiderate, but then when they’re down to their underclothes, he pauses and says he’s worried about moving too fast, and she’s just says that SHE hates slow, and continues being sexually aggressive. Like, you aren’t the only one in the room, you giant dick. If this was how my date with someone went, it would be the last one we had. (Actually, I did have a date kind of like that once, and it was. At Linda didn’t call Barry a prude?)

        Then I also thought she was being a jerk about Barry leaving, because A) It had only happened once at that point, I would give him the benefit of the doubt the first time, B) He really does have a job which would require odd hours and being called in to work suddenly, and C) if he was making an excuse, it was probably because she was pressuring him into sex he wasn’t ready for.

        However, Barry doesn’t escape my wrath either. I hate these supposedly romantic “Date/kiss me or I’ll X,” stunts, they’re so creepy, and they prey on the crush’s kindness. Doing that kind of shit at her workplace could cause problems with her boss or her coworkers, so it’s really inconsiderate, too.

        I think I will join you in your ranting. It looks like we’re heading there now, which UGH. And after Iris liked Felicity so much, too.

      • Teacups says:

        I’m still watching and liking the show, but man, a line in the episode before last that grossed me out so fucking bad, gender-wise. I think it even takes the Grossest Line crown off of that one from Drunk Caitlin.

        It was that one where Eddie was wanting to tell Iris about The Flash, and Joe was like :”Nope, you don’t get to make decisions on behalf of Iris until you marry her – until then, I do it. You know, to protect her.”

        It really reminded me of old-timey historical sexism revolving around marriage. Like, how a woman was basically seen as property being handed from her father to her new husband.

        Anyway, the shapeshifter episode was fun. Grant Gustin was pretty awesomely skeevy (I also have to give props to Danielle Panabaker for her great WTF eyes when NotBarry kissed her) and Joe and Cisco brought out the best in the Lances. Laurel especially – that was actually the most I’ve ever liked her, by a fairly wide margin.

        • Yeah, I agree: that scene with Joe and Eddie was like, “What the Holy Fuck?” Couldn’t believe it. I really like this show, but the incredibly old-fashioned sexism in it continues to boggle. On the plus side, I AM SO FUCKING HAPPY IRIS FOUND OUT. While Joe and Barry still, naturally, couldn’t come up with a reasonable explanation for lying to her . . . I’m still so happy and praying this will be a big turning point in the show.

          Laurel isn’t my favorite character by any means, but I’ve surprised the hell out of myself by liking her more this season. Unfortunately, apparently Arrow can only make one female character halfway decent at a time, so that means that Felicity has gone to hell. I rolled my eyes so hard in this last episode, when she’s freaking out that Oliver is going to marry Talia when they’re all likely to die. (So thank God Merlyn said something about it.) Then again, I was pretty unhappy with both her and Diggle lately. How they’ve reacted to Oliver in the last two episodes has made no sense to me. “Wait, he can’t be brainwashed because he’s Oliver, and we’ve had absolutely no evidence of brainwashing before — except Thea. And Roy. Oh no, he’s been brainwashed! Oliver, don’t do it! Shit, he didn’t listen, so after that one half-hearted attempt, we now know we’re never getting him back. Oliver Queen is dead. Wait, maybe he isn’t dead? Well, fuck that dude and his plan — I’m just going to whine about him instead of, I don’t know, DOING ANYTHING CONSTRUCTIVE.”

          This show, man. THIS SHOW.

      • Teacups says:

        What I find weird is the show fairly consistently otherwise portrays it’s male characters in such a non-stereotypically masculine way. I mean like how they can cry when things are sad or emotional or scary, they can be openly frightened, ect. Or even Joe hugging Little Barry and telling him to run away if he’s fighting someone he can’t beat. But then they engage in so much bullshit when it comes to their interactions with the women on the show. Especially Iris.

        But yes, I am so bloody relieved that Iris knows the big secret. I was worried that they would drag this bullshit out for a few more seasons or something. And I wanted to cheer when she called Barry and Joe out on all their bullshit, and Joe’s seemingly going to be less controlling and overprotective, and she was a useful member of Team Flash. It was all so carthartic. It did annoy me how everyone kept bringing the Barry/Iris UST into it, but that was dwarfed by the giant improvements elsewhere. I will join you in your prayer about what this means for the show long-term.

        Semi-serious question – couldn’t Eddie destroy Wells, or possibly tear a hole in the universe, by getting a vasectomy? (Regular birth control wouldn’t be sure enough.) That’s assuming he doesn’t die, but that would pretty much have the same effect. Did Wells kidnap him to extract some of his sperm or something?

        I’m actually a couple of episodes behind on Arrow, but that all sounds annoying.

        I did think Felicity was markedly improved in the last episode I saw. where they go revive Thea – she had a lot more agency, for one, and she was funnier (and in general, seemed more like S1&2 Felicity) than she’s been in a while. Wasn’t big on her confrontation with Ra’s, though – it was just so obviously useless and impractical to me. What was he going to do, say “Why yes, I have shed a lot of blood and carried out this whole elaborate plan to make Oliver be my heir against his will, but now you’ve scolded me, I’ll back right off. Because I’m just so impressed by your pluck and spunk, I guess?”

        • Eddie having a vasectomy would be AMAZING. That’s the best way I’ve ever heard to foil a time traveling villain. I love it.

          I had mixed feelings on Felicity in that particular episode. Some of her lines really worked for me — but yeah, that scene with Ra’s, I’m completely with you. I was reading someone online who was like, “Yay, Felicity’s being all spunky!” And I was like, “Look, I vastly approve of spunky heroines, but that shit was just stupid. If he had come to talk to HER for some reason, and she was being all snarky with him, well, awesome. I’m down with defiance. But her, “I’m going to confront you now!” was just dumb. Because, seriously, what the HELL did she expect from it?

          I also wasn’t at all into her hookup with Ollie at first — because Ra’s is basically like “Give him something good to remember before his life becomes awful,” and she’s like, “Okay, I better have sex with him now” and I’m like, “THIS is the Finally Resolving UST Scene I’ve been waiting for? This is bullshit.” But the fact that she drugs him afterwards did make it work for me.

          And then she went immediately downhill for me again the next episode. Driving. Me. Crazy.

  3. Teacups says:

    It really looks to me like they have committed to Felicity as Oliver’s main love interest. Use of the L word, angsty reasons to keep them apart, the whole shebang. Which is great, I just hope they don’t do this by getting rid of what I liked about them in the first place.

    I still wish Laurel would just go off to Zimbabwe to find herself or something. But at least I’m finding her anger issues less annoying than her storyline in Season 2. Also, just fucking tell Papa Lance about Sara already, geez. Obviously he’s going to find out eventually anyway.

    I wonder if Laurel becoming Black Canary is meant to be a sort of compromise or apology to Katie Cassidy, since her original role of female lead/hero’s love interest being transferred to another character. One who was originally meant to be in two scenes, no less. I’d need to know more about the dynamics between showrunners and actors to speculate more on that, though.

    Anyway, I’m really going to miss Sara too. What a bummer. Lazarus Pit?

    This is actually the first time I’ve seen Brandon Routh in anything. I was pretty impressed by his ability to play a character who had to be simultaneously friendly and kind of a smarmy douchebag – but in a charismatic way.

    However, I also find some of his behaviour towards Felicity pretty gross – most notably him refusing to take “No, I don’t want to work for you,” for an answer and buying out the tech shack place in an attempt to not give her a choice. And then she decides to work for him. It was really reminiscent of all those storylines where a guy keeps asking out a girl, won’t take no for an answer, uses underhanded tactics to force her into it – and then is meant to be right in the end. I think he’s meant to be a love interest, too. Gross.

    I’m curious to see where things go with Malcolm, but Oliver is being kind of a gigantic moron by declaring that whackjob under his protection. Ollie, sweetie, I know you’ve vowed not to kill people, but you can’t prevent every single murder or assault in Starling, so you have to choose where you could do the most good. And do you know who your time and effort would be better spent protecting? Here, Oliver, I’ll tell you. ANYONE. Literally anyone else in the entire goddamn city. They’re not as likely to go on a killing spree later themselves, and they can’t already protect themselves as well. You’d do more good patrolling a supermarket parking lot every night than going up against the League to protect Malcolm fucking Merlyn.

    What did you think of Felicity’s origin episode? I only just watched it, and 90% of my thoughts are still “It was super obvious that Boyfriend was Computer Sauron,” and “’49’G./EABFD2EMILY BETT RICKARDS IS GOD.”

    Oh yeah, I wanted to mention, I had a dream about Arrow several nights ago. Ollie took Malcolm’s theory that Ra’s Al Ghul killed Sara and went after the League. He and Ra’s ended up resolving their differences with Oliver crying in Ra’s’ arms and them getting a four-way marriage with Felicity and Ra’s’ girlfriend (nobody canon, just some random woman). Then, because marriage ceremonies are usually conducted with two people, Felicity and Ra’s had to sit on Oliver and Ra’s girlfriend’s shoulders while they were up at the altar. It made that “You may kiss the bride,” bit really cumbersome.

    Basically I dreamed foursome shipper fic.

    • HA. Your dreams are hilarious.

      I’m 100% on board with Felicity being the love interest, but still 0% okay with Oliver deciding that he can’t be with her b/c of one tiny explosion while they were on a date. If she’d been kidnapped or something because the bad guy knew their connection, fine. I’d at least get that, if not agree with it. But Oliver’s insistence he would’ve realized he had a tracker on him if he wasn’t thinking about GIRLS and FEELINGS? Boo. That’s just silly. I don’t mind angsty complications tearing these lovebirds apart, but this one felt particularly lamesauce to me.

      I suppose Laurel’s storyline is better than last year’s. I should be fair about that. But I’m just so tired of her. Almost everything she does annoys me, maybe because she’s never really felt like an actual person. I want to see Laurel being a strong, capable, professional woman without seeing her bitchily snap at someone, and I feel like that’s all she does. I know I just have to make do with it because she obviously isn’t going anywhere, but until Katie Cassidy can manage to sell me on some of that dialogue, I don’t think I’m ever going to like her. Because while she genuinely has been given a lot of crap material in the past (particularly second season), I think a lot of my problem right now is performance. And I’ve liked Katie Cassidy in things before. Just not this.

      I feel like the Lazarus Pit is, disappointingly, way too out there for this show. Dammit.

      I never did see Superman Returns or Dylan Dog, both of which were supposed to be terrible, but Brandon Routh is hilarious in Scott Pilgrim vs The World. He’s got a solid knack for humor. (Also awesome in that movie: Chris Evans, Kieran Culkin.) I, too, was annoyed by the ‘I bought your company, isn’t that cute and not creepy’ thing, as well as Felicity deciding to work for him. Like Felicity’s only options are this place and what’s essentially Best Buy. Felicity’s career path on this show, it makes no sense to me. I also assume Routh is going to become a love interest eventually, but then I also assume that he’ll become a villain too. I guess we’ll see.

      Oliver’s protection of Malcolm Merlyn might make more sense to me if he actually saw her save Thea’s life with his own two eyes or something. (Even if it was staged. Maybe especially if it was staged.) It would still be completely and utterly wrong, but maybe I could understand his thinking, like he has a debt to him? Maybe a one-time favor? As is, I don’t even get it. Also: just because a guy says you can’t contain him doesn’t mean YOU DON’T TRY. Seriously, the more I think about it, the more this infuriates me. If you won’t kill Malcolm, you imprison him. If you can’t imprison him, you . . . just let him go his own way, presumably to make whatever new genocide tools he feels like and just trust he’s past all that now? This is like Scott letting go of Deucalion again. It might actually be worse. Anything Meryln does now, I feel like Oliver’s complicit, and that seriously bothers me.

      • Teacups says:

        I’m generally fine with the whole “I can be only the Arrow, and not Oliver Queen,” thing, but I guess that wasn’t a particularly deft illustration of it. Also, he’s being wildly inconsistent about it, since being only the Arrow would logically mean he can’t be moving in with his sister, who only knows him as Ollie.

        And speaking of wild inconsistencies and Thea? He’s telling her that he won’t lie or keep secrets from her anymore, but in actuality he’s only given her two little crumbs of truth, and apparently has no plans to tell her anything about his five years away or his secret identity. I mean, if he wants keep things under wraps, fine, but don’t keep playing that “I’ve turned over a new leaf of openness and honesty!” card, dude. It’s a really douchey move, and stupid too. I mean, it’s obvious Malcolm is likely spill the beans.

        I know Oliver doesn’t know Malcolm and Thea are in contact, but he does know that Malcolm’s in town and very interested in his daughter, and this would be a perfect way to drive a wedge between her and Ollie so she’ll come running to Crazy Earthquake Dad.

        But going back to that date and the tiny explosion, I know it’s a little thing, but it bugged me so much that Felicity’s big nasty head injury disappeared completely between scenes. I have kind of a bug up my butt about characters not having visible injuries they should definitely have gotten – I mean like, if someone takes a wrench to the face and comes off without a mark, for example. The rarer magical disappearing visible injury is like a more extreme version of that, and it annoys me all the more.

        Yeah, the majority of Laurel’s scenes have always felt artificial to me, leaving me unable to get into them or become invested in her as a person. Part of this may be personal bias, since I’ve basically given up on her becoming a decent character, but I do think that most of it is an even split between writing and performance. And yeah, sometimes the scenes where she’s supposed to be badass – like her threatening the DA last season, twice – just come across as illogical, cheap, and sometimes dickish.

        Oh, man, I can’t believe I spaced on Scott Pilgrim! That was a big brain fart. The only Brandon Routh roles I could think of were Superman Returns and Chuck, neither of which I have seen. (Well, I think I’ve seen ten minutes of Superman on TV at some point, but I don’t really remember it.) But yeah, I love Scott Pilgrim, and and he was awesome in it. Since becoming a vegetarian, I also have to appreciate the portrayal of a vegan who clearly misses the taste of animal products. Even if it’s just a quick joke, I’ve never seen that part of veganism or vegetarianism mentioned in anything else.

        POSSIBLE RAY PALMER SPOILERS
        I looked up Ray Palmer, and apparently in the comics he’s like the DC equivalent of Ant Man or the Wasp. His name is Atom Man, and he’s a superhero. The shrinking part seems a little too ludicrous for Arrow though, so I don’t know. He could be a non-shrinky superhero or something, or he could turn out to be a villain, yeah.

        • Yeah, I was really hopeful we’d see more of Oliver talking to Thea about his deep, dark secrets. Admittedly, I was hoping he’d just tell her everything — and you’re right, Malcolm could easily create a divide by telling her first, assuming he hasn’t already — but I’d be okay if he was slowly telling her things that happened to him throughout the season, trying to work up the nerve to actually tell her that he’s the Arrow. Crumbs are okay if there’s an eventual plan, but as you said, it doesn’t seem like there is one because that whole subplot has just sort of disappeared. It’s too bad, too, because I’d like to see those scenes between the actors, and it’d be a solid enough narrative device for delivering flashbacks.

          Felicity’s huge injury didn’t annoy me as much as it annoyed you, but I actively love it when shows actually remember to have their characters remain injured through the episode or especially to the next few episodes. Even rarer, I love it when shows have permanent physical consequences for things that happened to them in the show. Although I can only think of a couple of instances of this off the top of my head.

          RAY PALMER SPOILERS —

          I actually totally forgot his name, but I remember Atom Man from the Justice League cartoons. He wasn’t an especially big part, and I never got a great feel for his personality, but I’m still enjoying Brandon Routh here. I’m curious to see where they’re going with his character because I have a hard time believing they’re going to turn him into a villain now — unless there’s, like, an evil Atom Man, the way there’s a Reverse Flash or stupid split personality Ant Man. Still, he’s not quite screaming Hero to me. So we’ll see.

      • Teacups says:

        Erm, I had another Arrow dream the other night. Team Arrow were facing off against The Piercer. He took people prisoner, brought them to nearby bathrooms that he’d have elaborately set up, and pierced their ears against their will. Also, I think Thea had been brought in on the secret, because she dropped by the new Arrow Lair (they’d had to move it to Queen Consolidated) to talk, and generally seemed a lot happier and more stable. That was nice. But she was talking to Felicity on their way out, and the Piercer attacked. This was somehow a really big deal, even though at worst, one of them would get a new piercing and being let go. Not pleasant, but not actually dangerous either – fuck, I think The Piercer’s methods were far more sterile than most real-life DIY piercings.

        I need to go to the doctor about some issues with a piercing on the side of my ear, so I guess that’s where that stuff came from. The lack of actual danger aside, I don’t really think The Piercer was that much sillier than a couple of the villains they’ve actually had. *side-eyes Captain Boomerang*

        • I really need to catch up on my TV related dreams. I haven’t had any about Arrow at all. I did have one about Teen Wolf a while ago, where Stiles got turned into a werewolf, and I was all disappointed, because I was like, “Seriously? You couldn’t have even made him a werefox or something vaguely new?” Also, Derek (in a white T-shirt) stood with Stiles in a lake, holding him under the water like a fucking baptism in order to calm him down from a Werewolf Rage Moment. Which is either something I picked up from fanfiction or a fanfiction that’s just asking to be written.

          Speaking of fanfiction: I don’t suppose you’d care to write a story where The Piercer manages to pierce Oliver’s ears, would you? And Oliver broods about it incessantly, but while wearing really sparkly or dangly earrings? That probably shouldn’t amuse me as much as it does.

          Also, I do hope your ear issues resolve.

      • Teacups says:

        Yeah, I love having TV-related dreams. I also dream I’m reading a story or watching a movie sometimes, although in those cases it’s usually something original, and sometimes switches mediums halfway through. Mostly that’s fun, especially when it’s a horror movie, although once it was She’s All That meets A Walk To Remember (without the cancer) and when I moved onto the next dream, I was embarrassed/amused that my subconcious came up with that crap. Actually, hang on – I don’t think that one was a movie. I think it was just a regular dream with the storyline of a cliched, terrible high school romantic comedy.

        I did have an Agents Of SHIELD a while back where there was an ongoing story arc about different dimensions collapsing into one another, and they had to try and stop that while also having ongoing clashes with HYDRA. It was pretty cool, but I was watching it as a marathon with my mum, and it was driving me crazy because she didn’t understand ANYTHING. (Which is weird, because this is usually what happens when I watch TV with my dad, not my mum.)

        Regarding the fanfic: Perhaps I could try. I kind of see it being set after, or at least mostly after, the piercing has already taken place. Would that be okay?

        • I often watch TV shows or movies in my dreams and then end up IN the TV shows or movies. These are usually detective or horror stories, which sometimes sucks, but sometimes feels like a big adventure. I had this gory zombie apocalypse dream once, but it feel more like playing a fun video game than “holy shit, I’m gonna DIE!” I also once jumped into a song I was listening too, which was pretty awesome, because inside the song turned out to be this really gorgeous world with all these neat mythical creatures and beings. I wish that would happen more.

          The fact that you’re even entertaining the idea of writing the fanfic fills me with delight. So, yeah, that would be fine. Actually, that’s probably what I would do, too, because you know. Emotional H/C! It’s not the attack that matters; it’s the piercing angst afterwards. 🙂

      • Teacups says:

        Oh, also, I love that you critiqued your Teen Wolf dream like your awake self would a real episode.

        Thank you for the ear well-wishes!

      • Teacups says:

        Yeah, I’ve jumped into movies, video games, and books a lot – moreso when they’re something original, that doesn’t exist in the real world. Even then though, I’m often someone else.

        I don’t have many detective dreams, but I do have a lot of horror ones, except I usually find them to be a total blast. Dreams I find unpleasant tend to involve me being a teenager again.

        I know I had a dream where I was in LOST once, and I’ve interacted with individual characters a fair few times, but I don’t think I myself have appeared in actual, real-life shows that much. I don’t think I dream about TV shows unless it’s a real show, so I guess that’s why.

        I’ve definitely never jumped into a song, though. That sounds awesome.

        Okay, I’ll write the fic. I don’t think I’ll use anything from the dream except the Piercer, though.

        • Often the horror ones ARE fun. Every now and then they go to unhappy places, though. I had a totally bizarre Battle Royale dream last night that kind of freaked me out, like, I could actually feel my heart pounding in my chest. I disliked that, although once I calmed down I had fun laying in bed, dozing and coming up with BR strategies. (The game itself took place at the house I grew up in, which is possibly indicative of something.)

          YAY, FIC!

      • Teacups says:

        Man, I am so glad Thea is finally in on the secret. I was having this problem with the fanfic partially caused by her not knowing, and I couldn’t figure out how to fix it properly. Then I realised that hey, maybe if I waited a couple of episodes, the issue would be resolved for me. Thanks, show! Also, I’ve wanted Thea to find out for about a season now, so.

        On that note, her and Oliver’s interactions in this episode were adorable, but dude. Her turnaround on Malcolm made zero sense. He’s a mass murderer who blackmailed her mother (and he doesn’t seem terribly repentant about it, either) but it’s his lying about Oliver that makes her suddenly hate him? Was there a deleted scene where someone told her about the brainwashing and Sara-murdering? If so, they really needed to leave it in.

        I was also pretty annoyed that she quickly needed to be rescued from Goldilocks the Ninja DJ, because really, she’s supposed to be a badass now, and you could’ve done the exact same story with her having to kill the guy in self-defense.

        The Ninja DJ ended up being a fairly pointless character, but I can’t be annoyed, because I’m just so grateful that he was actually a plot-relevant assassin and not the even more pointless (and douchey) love interest that he initially appeared to be.

        I am immensely glad Team Arrow is standing up for each other and not letting Oliver override their choices out of a misguided desire to protect them. (*cough* Diggle *cough*) I mean sure, Laurel was being an idiot, and this episode did her no favours as a credible badass, but if she wants to go out and be a hero, it’s her life, her choice. If Oliver wants to work with her, he should work with her and show her how to be less of an idiot.

        What are your thoughts on Felicity this season? I thought she was fine this episode, but generally, she’s been stuck with Ray on what’s practically a whole ‘nother show, it’s so disconnected from everything else. Then the Oliver/Felicity stuff hasn’t been written so well – mostly because of all the manufactured bullshit. And I miss her sense of humour, which has disappeared almost completely outside of the scenes with Ray. I’ve almost finished a Felicity costume, and I’m still totally going to wear it at the next cosplay opportunity, but eh, I just feel like the writers have made poor use of her lately.

        RE: dreaming – sometimes thinking about it while lying in bed afterwards is half the fun, if you have the time. Especially when the dream cuts off at an unsatisfactory point, and you can use that time to finish the story arc. Or strategize, for the more danger-filled dreams, yeah. BR seems like it would be a great one for that.

        A while ago I had one you might like. This corporation was running some sort of documentary-making youth program that was actually a cover for their secret evil plan – to build gigantic killer robots. (I don’t know how this worked in practice.) Once the robots were built, they were mwahaha-ing it up and holding everyone hostage, when the team from Leverage showed up and saved the day. By throwing/firing lots of powerful explosives at the robots, destroying them.

        But then it turned out the head honcho’s REAL secret evil plan had been to pull in the Avengers team from another universe. At this point, the dream became The Avengers sequel, with the AltAvengers as the villains. Now, I wouldn’t describe them as traditionally superhero-movie evil? More like they were all immensely self-involved gaping assholes. And they’d been ordinary people in their own universe, so having all these superpowers (or mad skills, as the case may be) was new to them. It was sort of like what I imagine the It’s Always Sunny guys would be like if they suddenly developed superpowers – I imagine that was a strong influence on the dream, actually. Oh, and the whole team was in chibi form, for some reason?

        The movie was just following them around, with all the accompanying chaos, thoughtless destruction, and yelling. I knew that Original Recipe Avengers would show up and have to deal with them, but I woke up and had to rush off before that happened

      • Teacups says:

        Man, it just drove me up the fucking wall that in the last episode, most of Team Arrow spent the episode trying to escape a citywide manhunt, and meanwhile Felicity’s storyline was a bunch of fucking love triangle bullshit.

        It didn’t even make sense! Lance knows who she is and that she helps the Arrow. Both her and Roy should’ve had arrest warrants out on them. Roy wasn’t as much of a problem, because the whole time, he was either on the run or in the Arrow Cave anyway, but Felicity was just hanging out in the hospital for most of the episode.

        Also, I don’t see it as indicative of jack shit if someone’s not ready to say their first “I love you,” at the exact same time their partner does. Jesus, what are the odds that two people’s emotional investments in a relationship are going to progress at a symmetrical rate? As long as they ARE both progressing, I don’t see the problem.

        Anyway, I don’t know if you’re sick of hearing about my weird dreams yet, so this’ll be the last one for the time being. It’s not pop-culture related, but you know how some people sleepwalk? A few weeks ago, I sleeplaunched-myself-out-of-bed trying to rescue an imaginary kitten from a wolf puppy. In my dream I dove to the ground to put myself between them, and I woke up crashing to my bedroom floor.

        I was just glad that I managed to avoid both my bedside table and the floor-to-ceiling window on the other side of the bed.

        • Yeah, my big problem with Felicity this season is that her entire storyline pretty much is this bullshit love triangle. I think it’s making her more annoying, which is frustrating in the extreme because I love Felicity. I felt like the timeline with her and Ray’s visit to Central City is a little confused, but I loved her guest spot there. Actually, she and Ray were a lot of fun, and other than the annoying “joke” about how Ray stalking her wasn’t as creepy as it sounded, I enjoyed watching them as a couple. (I’m not crazy about Flash and Arrow making jokes about serious questions or concerns that fans have and then not answering or addressing them. There were like three in the last two episodes.) It reminded me how awesome Felicity can be, and how artificial the drama of this love triangle feels to me.

          Oh, and I also expected Lance would come to the hospital at some point, and she could at least be hiding from him in closet or something. But nope.

          Yeah, that’s something movies are always doing, where one person says “I love you” before the other one and it’s like a huge drama. Admittedly, my own relationship history isn’t extensive, but it does seem like bullshit. It would be nice to see someone do something interesting with that someday.

          I will always hear about weird dreams. And you tried saving a kitten from a wolf puppy! Sleeplaunching Teacups is a hero! I don’t think I’ve ever walked or launched anywhere in my sleep, but I used to wake up in the middle of the night convinced it was daytime and start getting ready for school. One time I actually got out of the house before I realized, “Huh, the sky is super dark . . . cause it’s only three am. I should go back inside now.”

      • Teacups says:

        I hear you on the frustration. I’ve almost finished my Felicity costume, but gosh, I wish I’d had it during Seasons 1 and 2. I’m hoping her writing and storylines will get back on track once Ray leaves for SpinoffLand. I am so looking forward to that, just because it’ll mean the end of this fucking love triangle. Although it would also be awesome to see Sarah again.

        I’m a little scared, though, that the deeper reason Felicity’s been mishandled this season is because the writers committed to her as the female lead and primary love interest, and they just don’t know how to do one or both of those things well. I really hope that isn’t the case.

        Heh. I do hope that either your parents didn’t catch you or were understanding about it.

        • Unfortunately, that’s exactly what my sister and I have been discussing lately — that The Problem With Felicity has less to do with the love triangle, that it’s all about Season 3 committing to her being the One True Love Interest. Which I thought I’d be happy about, that we finally stopped pretending anyone wanted to see Laurel & Oliver get together, but it’s like they don’t know what to do with Felicity now, that once she became the love interest, the writers thought all of her drama and story should be about Oliver. Which is crap. That’s exactly why love interests can be so boring — they need to be characters on their own. But all season, Felicity’s drama has only been about what guy she should be with. That’s frustrating, particularly for a character who can be so much fun.

          I can’t offhand remember ever running into my parents during one of my weird It’s Time To Get Ready Now early mornings — I think they were pretty firmly asleep — but it might have happened because this wasn’t exactly a rare occurrence. But my mom wouldn’t have been upset. I think she would have just laughed at me.

  4. Kirsten says:

    Oliver’s dumbass brain not being able to remember ANY lessons he’s learned really infuriated me. The premier episode seemed rushed and jumbly. Who were those bad guys? Wait, what’s going on? Is this supposed to be tension? Huh? I seem to remember the writers being a little more careful with Season 2 and actually, you know, writing it.

    I don’t mind Sara being gone. I found her almost as annoying as Laurel. Caity might trump Katie when it come to acting, but that’s not saying much. Also, the fact that the makeup department kept putting bright pink lipstick on Caity’s down-turned, smoker-pucker lips was DISTRACTING. AS. FUCK. The saddest part about Sara’s demise is the fact that Sin might not pop up again. Hopefully Bex Taylor-Klaus has something more meaty lined up. She’s so fantastic.

    Diggle’s “thank you, you were right” made me want to punch things. No, Oliver is almost NEVER right. Don’t encourage him!

    On the plus side, I found out that Paul Blackthorne is covering a British accent, which may be one reason why he talks through clenched teeth all the time. I might sort of maybe forgive him a teensy tiny bit. I’d forgive him even more if his Attack of the Killer Chest Hair never got screen time again.

    • I will miss Sin, if she doesn’t show up again. (Which I’m not sure she will because I think the actress got a gig on a Syfy show or something.) But I actually liked Sara. She wasn’t my favorite, but I found her interesting and I thought she had potential. I also thought she was roughly eighteen bazillion times better than Laurel.

      Oh, yeah, Paul Blackthorne’s accent is not the best. I’ve heard worse, obviously, but sometimes his lines seem really forced, and I think it’s the accent tripping him up. Sometimes I wish that he and Momma Lance could both just be British. I wouldn’t even want them to address the whole American children thing. They would just go with it.

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