Saturday, March 14, 2015

Idiot Box Pull List – Week Of March 8th, 2015

Despite the noted absence of both The Flash and the Arrow, it was a busy week in the world of small-screen super-heroics.

On a tangentially related note, someone applied the Bechdel test to all of (the new) Doctor Who. The results are surprising.

The Walking Dead S5 E13 – Forget

Summary: During a secret meeting, Carol, Rick and Darryl hatch a plan to liberate handguns from Alexandria's control; upon the plan's completion, Darryl refuses to take a gun, deciding instead to abide by Alexandria's rules. Aaron and Darryl go hunting together, attempt to capture a wild horse before losing him to the zombie hordes; later, the two have dinner with Eric, and Darryl agrees to replace Eric as a recruiter. Deanna throws a party; the survivors have varying degrees of difficulty adjusting to polite society.

Notable lines: When he utters "[t]he more they're out there, the more they become what they really are," Darryl is almost certainly not talking about horses. Likewise when he says to Aaron: "You were trying to help him."
Memorable moment: By threatening Jessie's son, Carol demonstrates that she is willing to go at any length to ensure her group is safe. In the words of a fellow fan: "When the bogeyman goes to sleep, he checks under the bed for Carol."

♀♀♀♀: Much of the episode focuses on Sasha's problems with adapting to civilized life, and a number of women interact with her in a more or less direct attempt to relieve that tension. Michonne is shown to be the most eager to embrace her new, more peaceful existence.
RRRR: Aaron features prominently in Darryl's plot; the two discuss their similar status as misfits. He also exchanges words (or rather: meaningful glances) with his partner Eric. Tara does not really stand out in this episode.
ππππ: Sasha's PTSD is probably the episode's most poignant plot. A touching moment occurs when Noah tries to leave the party only to have Glenn and Maggie talk him out of it, reminding him that they are "in it together"; the scene was reminiscient of many conversations I have had with parents and siblings at extended family gatherings.

. . .

Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. S2 E12 – Who You Really Are

The second half of this season is certainly giving more attention to supernatural elements.

Summary: When an amnesic Sif appears on the shores of Portugal, the agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. are called in to help. Through investigation and deduction, the agents figure out Sif had been sent to track down a Kree. Mockingbird and Skye locate the Kree, but Skye's powers manifest uncontrollably, and the alien escapes. Later, the agents catch Bintak the Kree as he attempts to recover a crate containing six diviners – "enough," he tells Coulson et al, "to create an army." Bintak restores Sif's memory, and in the course of their interaction, discovers that Skye has been terrigenized. A battle ensues over the course of which Skye demonstrates that she is not a threat by showing her willingness to sacrifice her freedom and well-being. Sif departs to Asgard with the Kree. In a conversation which Skye has the misfortune of overhearing, Fitz demonstrates he is basically the only compassionate person in Coulson's employ. Mockingbird and Agent Mackenzie are still up to something nefarious, and apparently it involves rendering Hunter unconscious.

Notable line: "There are tides in the universe that you cannot swim against." Sif, imparting cosmic wisdom.
Memorable moments: Every scene with Sif.

♀♀♀♀: Somehow, Agent May seems to understand what Skye is going through without needing to be told, but this does not prevent them from having meaningful interactions. Sif, Skye, May and Mockingbird all have undeniable chemistry.
0: This episode is not explicitly LGBTQA-inclusive.
πππ: Agent May features prominently in this episode, as does Agent Mackenzie.

. . .

Powers S1 E1-3 – Pilot, Like a Power, Mickey Rooney Cries No More

I have not yet read Powers, though it has certainly been on my list for some time. Based on the critical literature and Brian Michael Bendis' reputation, I can only assume the comic is a perfectly decent deconstructionist take on the superhero. Unfortunately, Powers' translation to television has spawned a plodding behemoth of awkward character exposition. The giant's feet of clay is plot, which is remarkably thin and inchoate, and driven by some very uneven dialogue.

Notable line: Though most of Powers' characters seem content to mumble expletives, some hold a more sophisticated discourse. The teleporting Royale – probably the show's most interesting character – frequently waxes philosophical. "The secret to doing everything that you are capable of," he tells his protégée, "is to understand how little time you have."
Memorable moment: I'm sure there were some, but none readily come to mind.

♀♀♀♀: Calista's interactions with Retro-Girl shows the remarkable depth – and strength – of both characters.
0: This series is arguably LGBTQA-inclusive in that Calista has suggested Royale and Simons are in a relationship. While Royale and Simons do interact, Calista may not be the best judge of such things. Saying that Royale is "identifiably LGBTQA" would certainly be a bit of a stretch at this time.
πππ: Considering how her subordinate status is frequently emphasized, it is hard not to think of Deena Pilgrim as Detective Christian Walker's side-kick. That being said, they did cast a person of colour when the role did not absolutely call for it.

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