One of the best things about this show is that it isn't stingy about The Reveal. When the time is right for characters to learn the Arrow's identity, they find out and the story commences with this new insight shaping the course of the cast dynamics. Tremors finally brings together Oliver and Roy as partners and allies; definitively drawing together two plot-threads that have been running parallel to each other since Roy's introduction, and introducing Roy to the rest of the team – no take-backs, no psyche-outs, no back-pedalling.
For all its faults, Smallville didn't dither over "the secret" either, but after five years of Merlin I'm certainly not used to this!
Last week I was left scouring the internet for any sign of this episode; turns out that it was delayed thanks to something-or-other taking its timeslot on British television (which was particularly confusing since this episode did air on BBC America, leading to plenty of GIF sets appearing on my dashboard without any sign of it on my usual torrent sites).
But anyway, here we are at this season's penultimate episode. You know, I really enjoy second-to-last episodes. If writers have done their job right, you can begin to see all the disparate threads of the season being drawn together for the big climax. You can be guaranteed a few "big moments" as they get everyone pumped up for the finale. And the funny thing is, even if the last episode does prove to be a disappointment, the one directly preceding it is all about building anticipation, which in some ways is more enjoyable than the payoff. For now, we're left with the possibility that anything could happen in the finale.
It's a Laurel-centric episode (for the most part) and personally, I think the writers did a pretty good job with her this time around. Not a great job, but definitely better than usual. This character's real potential lies in her relationship with her family and her tenacity when it comes to doing her job (whatever she considers that job to be). With the Laurel/Oliver soap opera put on the backburner, she emerges here as less of an accessory to his story and more of a main character in her own right. And though the writers still couldn't bring themselves to forego yet another kidnapping, it was Laurel's actions and decisions that drove most of the action throughout this episode.
So this was a fun one. For those not in the know, the Canterbury Crusaders are our regional rugby team and their mascots are (obviously) a team of Crusader Knights. I'm not even a sports fan by any means, but it's stirring stuff to see the knights and their horses gallop into the stadium every pre-match to the sounds of Conquest of Paradise by Vangelis. Seriously, they are best mascots ever.
So it was almost inevitable that one of the giraffes would end up in Crusader regalia. Called Crusade by Martyn Giles, it was situated in the slowly-but-surely-getting-rebuilt Arts Centre, one of my favourite places in the city.
So we finally get our long-awaited Porthos episode! And yet oddly enough, very little of it is actually devoted to Porthos. He's forced to share screen-time with a plot about a brothel selling off kidnapped girls that his father may or may not be complicit in the running of – and just to cap things off, the episode ends on the attempted rape of Queen Anne.
Porthos looks how I feel.
It's... anuncomfortablecreative decision to say the least.
As the name might suggest, this episode is all about the consequences of last episode as well as set-up for future ones, all structured around a fairly basic plot involving a mad bomber. As with James Callis and Ben Browder of past episodes, they bring in a recognizable sci-fi alum to play the Villain of the Week, presumably in a bid to make a fairly flat character interesting by dint of the actor playing him.
This time it's Sean Maher, a cheerful little bomber with some sort of anarchist creed – but let's be honest here; these guys are never that interesting and are mainly treated as tools to get the plot rolling.
"This is for what the government did to my sister!"
So over the past three days I have gorged myself on the History Channel's Vikings. Marathoning twenty-one episodes (two-and-a-bit seasons in total) seemed like a good idea at the time, but now it's impossible to think about anything else.
And of course, the highlight of the show was Lagertha.
As one of the rare cases of a female character who seems to be totally beloved by all of fandom, Lagertha can be best summed up by King Ecbert's rapturous praise: "She is unlike any woman I have ever met. There are no Saxon women like her. A shield maiden. A warrior. A farmer. A mother. She is incredible."
And he's right. Lagertha is a loving mother and a fierce warrior; she accompanies the men on raids, divorces her first husband because she refuses the indignity of sharing him with another woman, kills her second husband when he becomes abusive, becomes jarl of his community and rides at the head of its army, displays consistent solidarity with other women (especially those that need her protection), leads her people to England to establish a new farming settlement, and currently has a powerful king completely smitten with her.
Pretty much everything she does is awesome. And it's awesome.