While the regular season series are building up to their season’s finales we have other shows just getting rolling in their seasons as is typical for this time of year There has been a lot of news regarding which shows will continue for another season and which will not, providing some surprises and one of this week’s biggest stories from TV land. I refer, of course to the news that critically acclaimed and fan favorite series The Expanse is destined for the chopping block and cancellation after only three seasons which is the show’s current one.
In related news, not too surprisingly, The Inhumans TV series has officially been canceled after only one season. There’s also some good news and some bad news about Gotham, one of my personal favorites. First the good news, Fox has officially given the Batman prequel a fifth season order. Unfortunately, however, the show’s fifth season will officially be its last on the network.
WESTWORLD: Season 2’s third episode was another dark, violent, and bloody one. It begins with a good look at another section of the park we have never seen before styled after colonial India as the opening moments of this week’s episode, and it makes a pretty clear metaphor. A human guest finds out the hard way that humanoid hosts are not the only peril to beware of in the park. Survival becomes a case of whose side you are on and sometimes pure dumb luck. At one point it’s hard to tell which side is which and it surprised me later when Dolores’ Tusken Raiders set up the Confederados to be massacred. The hosts continue their hate-filled massacre of any actual humans they encounter.
Why do they hate us so much? They learned from us and learned their lesson well. The human Delos park employees show up in force, finally achieve some semblance of an organized force and assault Dolores’ stronghold of Fort Forlorn, but it remained unclear to me. For whatever reasons, who exactly she considered an ally. The humans were clear winners as the battle raged on, but some buried nitroglycerin had the last word. The narrative mostly concerned itself with Dolores and Bernard and Teddy and Charlotte while Maeve, Hector, and Lee provide a sometimes darkly amusing counterpoint. While running from Ghost Nation, they reunite with Felix, Sylvester, and Armistice (who I was perversely glad to see again) and eventually arrive in Shogun World
KRYPTON: I continue to be of two minds regarding the fledgling series which finds me shifting between boredom and some small degree of intermittent amusement. The show continues with a lot of revelations and big developments that I think are intended to be of the mindblowing and surprising variety but are mostly predictable because most of the show’s narrative developments are so heavily telegraphed. A resistance movement begins to gain impetus to impede the Voice of Rao’s increasing power and influence. Brainiac’s conquest continues to gain ground while some of the key players of Kandor continue to remain oblivious. General Zod (regular fixture of British film and television, Colin Salmon) talks about the Phantom Zone which explains why he hasn’t aged. The voice of Rao continues to be creepy and is finally killed, (but his demise turns out to be temporary).
I am still having a less than enthused reaction to this show, it has everything in place, but it just isn’t clicking for me. The problems I have with the show are multifold. I often find myself distracted by the attractive young cast hamming it up (the dialogue and acting aren’t always great) while resembling an ad for a millennial fashion line like commercials for a 21st century Calvin Klein campaign. Beyond that, the art direction (sets, costumes, props and such) is not my favorite, and some of the stuff designed to be creepy makes me giggle (inside at least)
AGENTS OF SHIELD: One of TV’s most reliable genre offerings continued with another action-packed adventure this week. Graviton continues to be a huge pain in the ass and is still the center of attention o the most part. With Thanos in the midst of his attack (which we know about through background news reports, it’s all very meta), Glenn Talbot, aka Graviton wants a power-up he claims to defend the world from Thanos. Of course, we all know it’s about Talbot’s ego, but whether it’s heroism or ego, Talbot needs more Gravitonium to become Earth’s savior.
That Gravitonium is located within Carl Creel, the Absorbing Man. Talbot essentially absorbs the Absorbing Man and now has doubled down on the Gravitonium. So, Carl Creel is no more as Graviton is now the most powerful human villain currently walking the Earth in the MCU. Talbot/Graviton confronts Yo-Yo, Mac and other Shield agents, who fail even to slow him down when he visits his suburban home and puts his wife in her place
Coulson and May finally share a very passionate kiss with Coulson protecting May behind his holographic shield as aliens open fire on the two while Quake kicks some extraterrestrial behind. The agents have their hands full, and back on board the ship May eventually takes down Qovas before they finally escape. Coulson is wounded during all this, and the episode ends with him collapsing from blood loss. To be continued? No word yet whether the series will be renewed for another season.
GOTHAM: Jeremiah!, Jeremiah! With his small fashionably attired army of criminals, the new Joker in town continues to be the pin-up boy for bad behavior and is determined to outdo the rest of Gotham’s criminal element. He has a plan to destroy Gotham using the generators built by Wayne Enterprises turning it into a blank canvas so he can remake it in his manner.
Jeremiah is looking large and in charge until his balloon begins to dissolve when it becomes known he didn’t kill Jim Gordon after all. Jim visits Lee and Ed silently witnesses the conversation jealously from the shadows. Penguin visits Barbara and wants to form a partnership of crime of their own separate from Jeremiah. As Gotham falls into complete anarchy, a team of unlikely heroes steps up to save it. Bullock takes the lead at the GCPD and Bruce’s psychological limits are tested by a combination of Scarecrow’s gas and as those close to him are put in danger.
Bullock is the hero when pure dumb luck works in his favor, and he saves the city. Jeremiah’s small army turns on him when he fails to fulfill his plans, but he is prepared for their fickle behavior and burns them all alive in a room that appeared o be designed just for that purpose. As the episode ends, Jeremiah is approached by Ra’s al Ghul which hints at an alliance that doesn’t bode well for Gotham. A kiss signals Selena and Bruce’s relationship is ready to go to the next level. The episode ends on a tragic note when Jeremiah pays Bruce a surprise visit at his home. Another thoroughly enjoyable and entertaining episode from one of TV’s best genre series. As mentioned earlier in this week’s report There’s also some good news and some bad news about Gotham, one of my personal favorites. First the good news, Fox has officially given the Batman prequel a fifth season order. Unfortunately, however, the show’s fifth season will officially be its last on the network.
THE EXPANSE: This week’s episode portrayed the war on hold delayed by some surprising developments as a mutiny takes place on the Thomas Prince which doesn’t go well for the mutineers. A level-headed Martian Commander contributes to the situation by refusing to engage the UN ships while they are in disarray and firing on each other. Meanwhile, the Rocinante crew arrives on Io continuing their attempt to rescue Prax’s daughter. On Io, the experiments continue under Mao’s guiding eye. He’s convinced he might be able to unlock the secrets of the proto-matter. Hybrid missiles containing the alien substance are fired on the earth fleet by Martians stationed on Io, and the biggest mystery remains what exactly is going on on Venus?
As I mentioned earlier one of this week’s most significant news story is that the critically acclaimed fan-favorite series is destined for the chopping block after only three seasons meaning the end of this season could well be the series finale unless the series is saved by another network (come on Netflix!)