I’ve been thinking of Battlestar Galactica and thought I’d write a broad review of it as a whole (without spoiling anything for anybody!). Now, I’ve heard it said that Battlestar is merely “sci fi rubbish.” You couldn’t be more wrong. There’s nothing wrong with science fiction if it’s adequately executed. It’s a genre that can easily explore novel ideas and philosophical concepts without being too overbearing, pretentious, or downright boring. One movie that springs to mind is Total Recall. It turns the philosophical problem of identity into a two hour thrill ride, with over-the-top violence and great dialogue. It’s a perfect layman’s introduction to the problem of identity. Battlestar Galactica is a cornucopia of philsophical ideas, as well as televisual excellence. Continue reading
Last week, The Defenders landed on Netflix. After a few years of build-up, the Marvel Netflix Universe delivered the team of Daredevil, Jessica Jones, Luke Cage and Iron Fist. Expectations had been tempered by the lacklustre Iron Fist, but I was still excited by seeing our superheroes unite against a common enemy. That’s the whole point of the individual series: to create anticipation for the superheroes uniting. After binge-watching it over the weekend, I was left disappointed. Apart from seeing our superheroes interact and a few noteworthy fight sequences, there isn’t much to recommend about The Defenders at all. Continue reading
To celebrate the UK premiere of ‘24: Legacy’, here’s why I think ‘24’ is a TV show everyone should watch. The addiction has started again, and I’m halfway through Season 3 after starting Season 1 four days ago. I’m beginning to shout ‘TELL ME WHERE THE BOMB IS!’ randomly at people in the street. ‘24’ is a lot like fast food, in that it’s easy to consume, but one Big Mac meal deal will never do; you always want more…However it is the Burger King of the TV world, the fast food that will satiate your appetite but leave you wanting more at the same time… Continue reading
“This can’t be easy”
Was it just me, or was ‘Bouncing Back’ an underwhelming start to the second half of ‘Agents of SHIELD’ Season 3? After a lacklustre mid-season finale, ‘AoS’ needed something special to regain the footing it lost after ‘Closure.’ This episode, unfortunately, was not it. It was by the numbers ‘AoS.’ Everything was executed satisfactorily, but proceedings felt perfunctory. Of course, it was watchable, but never anything more than that. Continue reading
“Why don’t you shut the hell up?”
‘Agents of SHIELD’ mid-season finale was something of a letdown. ‘Closure’ left the door open for a spectacular episode (maybe ‘Closure’ should have been the mid-season finale?), but ‘Maveth’ was full of predictability. It tied up some plot threads and left others open for further resolution. But it was all constructed in such a pedestrian manner. ‘Maveth’ was by no means a poor episode, but after the previous two excellent episodes it was mediocre by comparison. Continue reading
“The suggestion is pure science fiction”
‘The X Files’ revival has been awful, without a doubt. ‘Mulder and Scully Meet The Were-Monster’ was the only rewarding episode. It was up to the finale, ‘My Struggle II,’ to give some reason for bring ‘The X Files’ back. Unfortunately, it existed only to give reason not to continue ‘The X Files.’ Poorly plotted, oddly paced, laughably scripted and too much crammed into one space, ‘My Struggle II’ exemplified and amplified everything that has been wrong with the revival so far… Continue reading
“Are we in the wrong country?”
Just like the previous episode, ‘Home Again,’ ‘Babylon’ left me thinking: “what was the point in that?” For an episode about God, faith, religions and terrorism, the only thing that I’ll remember about it was Mulder’s drug trip. That was sublime; but it was surrounded by confusion on either side. I wasn’t entirely sure what was going on, or even sure about the premise of the story. Mulder and Scully held things together, but only by the skin of their teeth. For an episode with a lot to say, it ended up not saying much at all. Continue reading
“I’m glad we’re finally having burgers”
After last week’s excellent episode, Agents of SHIELD followed that up with yet another excellent episode. Instead of dropping the ball and having a slower paced outing to follow the big twist from “Many Heads, One Tale,” “Closure” shot out of the gates at lightning pace and barely slowed down. From the dramatic opening to the shocking ending, there was little to complain about. Not only that, but we delved deeper into the minds of Coulson and Ward, and how alike they really are… Continue reading
‘Tonight’s The Night’ was a thoroughly entertaining piece of TV, and one of the best episodes of Gotham since the time of Jerome. Having one over-arching story (that of Galavan’s quest for vengeance) has glued everything together and given mostly each character a reason for existing. Even Barbara has had something to do. This episode is her shining moment, where all of the potential of her mentally scarred character was pushed into the foreground, rather than lurking in the foreground. Bookended by two weddings, ‘Tonight’s The Night’ packed enough in between the bookends to be rewarding TV. Continue reading
“You should be thanking me”
Was it just me, or was this one of the best episodes of ‘Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.’ so far? Sure, Season 3 has already been full of twists and turns, but in ‘Many Heads, One Tale’ the twist felt like it had been coming for a long time. Remember when the show had just started and the hashtag #ItsAllConnected was used to promote it? That hashtag finally made sense at the end of this episode. There were a few retcons here and there, but nothing that felt overly contrived or nonsensical. Plus, the build-up to the end reveal was ‘AoS’ at its very best as well!
I was not a big fan of Ward trying to bring back HYDRA. Come on, we’ve been there and done that, not just in ‘AoS’, but in the two Captain America films as well! We’ve been through it so many times that I thought even Ward’s spin on the group could not be anything totally different. Sure, the HYDRA storyline has provided us with entertainment (Hunter’s ‘Fight Club’ experience, for example), and the beginning of ‘Many Heads, One Tale’ gave us another short and sweet fight scene, this time with Ward. He easily took care of Gideon Malik’s henchmen after Malik refused to give Ward the location of Von Strucker’s family vault.
“Stop trying to do all the right things”
And what was in the vault? At the end of the episode, we would find out…Ward tracked down the location of the vault, but found Malik there. Malik opened up a safe to reveal…a piece of the Monolith! This intertwined with SHIELD’s infiltration of the ATCU and Fitz’s research into the Ram’s Head symbol found on Simmons’ astronaut. In a great sequence of editing and quick cuts between both Malik/Ward and HYDRA, it was revealed that the Red Skull didn’t create HYDRA…it’s been going for centuries! Simmons showed us pictures of the Ram’s Head symbol over the years…until it turned upside down into the HYRDA symbol we are all so familiar with! Malik told Grant that once upon a time, a great Inhuman was sent to that alien planet that Fitz landed on. HYDRA want to bring the Inhuman back, and is preparing an army of Inhumans to follow it…
Everything finally (almost) made sense! #ItsAllConnected! The Inhumans, HYDRA, the Monolith, the ACTU…all were driving towards this one destination. Not only was it a great reveal, but it was directed and edited exquisitely. The slow drip of information, the swapping between the two locations, the dramatic pauses before everything clicked…And, of course, SHIELD managed to bring Simmons back from the alien planet, and Malik wants Ward to find out how. Thus, they can bring back the great Inhuman and give him his army (and of course, you can always count on Powers Boothe for an immersive performance, and as ‘Malik’ her gave yet another one!)!
“Oh, cut the melodrama!”
A reveal can only be as good as its build, and this episode was pitched perfectly to end on a peak. Coulson’s intentions regarding Rosalind and the ATCU were revealed after Mac’s uncertainty about him. Coulson didn’t trust Rosalind, so he invited her to look around SHIELD so the rest of the team could infiltrate the ATCU. Admittedly, this plotline didn’t make sense; wouldn’t Rosalind notice that Coulson’s top agents aren’t around him? Wouldn’t this make her a little suspicious? It provoked a bit of head scratching from me. Surely Coulson could have kept a few of his top agents behind? Well, I suppose Fitz and Simmons were still in the building (which provided yet another highlight of the episode, as Simmons got angry with Fitz for not having any emotions. Fitz lashed out, but ended his angry rant with a kiss…).
However, the infiltration provided a great amount of enjoyment. There was Hunter’s ‘Mr.Robot’-style cover as a hacker, which came to pieces when he typed like an old man. Bobbi saved herself and broke out her twins batons (which now have a cool boomerang effect modification!) against an Inhuman telepath. But could he only move metal things? Regardless, it was a top-notch fight sequence. Not only that, but May revealed to Lincoln the reason behind her silence: she wanted to find the words to apologise to him for not stopping Lash/Garner before he killed Lincoln’s Inhuman friends. Truly, not a word or character was wasted in the entirety of the episode.
I’ve been unsure of Season 3’s direction up to this point. Sure, it’s been exciting and full of twists, but everything has happened thick and fast. Plotlines were rushed to their climax before they had chance to develop. But ‘Many Heads, One Tale’ interwove all of these plotlines into one climactic reveal with an expertise that I’ve rarely seen in ‘AoS.’ And what a climax it was! Indeed, it felt more like a mid-season cliffhanger than just another episode. ‘Many Heads, One Tale’ once again showed me why I watch ‘AoS’…but how will they build on this reveal? We can only stay tuned!
VERDICT: 9/10. ‘Many Heads, One Tale’ was a superb episode of ‘Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D’ that build to a climactic reveal that both surprised and thrilled. It turned everything about SHIELD on its head…but can the rest of the season fulfil this promise?
Leave your thoughts/comments below!
(Click here for my review of Agents of SHIELD: Season 3, Episode 4: Devils You Know)