Game of Thrones Season 6 Recap and Predictions for the Rest of the Series

lyanna
“Even I want to kill Sansa…”

I’ve got that GoT hangover going – that long painful wait until next April.  We’re all going to suffer with it, clinging to our collection of Blu Rays, trying to keep fresh.

I was VERY pleased that Time Magazine named my book on Sawney Bean as one of the essential history books you should read to see the historical references to Game of Thrones:

http://time.com/4347517/game-of-thrones-history-books/

Getting named in conjunction with one of my favorite series in Time is four quarts of awesome sauce.

Finally free from the oppressive chains of George R. R. Martin’s books; Game of Thrones broke into open country at a full gallop this season.  Let’s be honest, season five was good – but not great.  Season six – well, it was spectacular.  This season transitioned from the War of the Kings to the War of the Queens.

I prefer to look at things from a character arc perspective so hang on for a tongue-in-cheek ride through the season:

Daenerys Targaryen, Stormborn, Mother of Dragons, Professional Fire Walker, Stripper Name:  “Hot Stuff,” started out as a prisoner of the Dothraki.  She demonstrated a tremendous amount of viciousness when she burned the Khal’s alive to assume the leadership of the horsemen.  Sure, those guys deserved it, but let’s face it, Dany (as she’s known to her pals) has become relatively comfortable with killing.  Given where she wants to rule, that’s probably a good thing.

She is also learning temperament, compliments of Tyrion.  He has become a control rod in her dragon-fire-fed-nuclear reactor.

Daenerys was at her best when with Tyrion.  The “negotiations” with the slavers was incredible because she demonstrated control of her dragons and a willingness to look at the big picture – and not wage genocide.  Her alliance with the Greyjoys was outstanding as well.   Dany, you’ve come a long way baby!  (Children of the 1970’s will get that reference.)  She is ready to be a queen and is finally on ships to Westeros to make that happen.

Ayra Stark’s arc was less complicated.  She applied for the job of Professional Revenge Seeker/Assassin and after the Faceless God’s rigorous new hire on-boarding program (sans PowerPoint decks) she got the job!  Sure she had to kill one of her instructors, but every job requires a few sacrifices.  Her best moments were when she watched a play about the affairs in Westeros and saw how her father and family were being remembered in the eyes of the public.  Great acting without having to say a word.  She took the redeye back to Westeros to drop in on her buddy, Walder Frey.  She fed him his sons in a pie (harkening back to season two when there was a reference to the same thing for a man that broke the rite of hospitality – which Frey did some hundred times over) and slit his throat.  I think I speak for everyone when I say he died too fast.  That old sack of crap needed to bleed out and suffer a little bit more.

Jamie Lannister started the series as a bad guy (he pushed a kid out of a window while fornicating with his sister for God’s sake), then he became sympathetic (a good hand-chopping will do that) when he was part of the classic Brienne/Jamie On-The-Road films.  Now he’s back to being a douche.  The man threatened to catapult a baby into a wall just to get back to his sister.  Even when Brienne and Pod showed up, the chemistry was gone. Perhaps the most telling about Jamie was in the finale when he sat with Walder Frey who uncomfortably pointed out they were both Kingslayers.  Jamie looked at him with disgust and a bit of self-loathing – trying to distance himself from the reality of who he is.

Tyrion Lannister proved himself an adept ruler in Meereen – right up until the time the slavers laid siege to the city.  He had some of the best lines of the season, “I drink – and I know things.”  Tyrion is best when with Varys or Dany.  On his own he struggles with having close friends.  I think I speak for all of us when I say that there’s a showdown coming between him and his sister – which will be epic.  He will have a similar (and more difficult) confrontation with his brother at some stage too.  Now that Tyrion is the Hand of the Queen, he has almost come full circle as a character.  He went from father-killer back to his rightful place.

One of his best scenes was when he tried to convince Daenerys that Meereen was a city on the rise – as enemy ships shelled it.  That and when he spoke of owning his own vineyard when the war was over, where he could share his wine with his friends – and the realization that he had so few of them.

Sansa Stark – aw, who really cares?  She whined about Jon not listening to her, but didn’t have anything to say.  Why she didn’t tell him that Littlefinger was bringing fighters to the Battle of the Bastards, we will never know.  Maybe it’s the actress or maybe it’s the character, but Sansa, despite all she has been through, doesn’t garner a lot of sympathy on my part.

Bran Stark is the ultimate tree-hugger (literally) this season.  We learned that Bran is to be the three-eyed raven and no one really gets that.  Thanks to him we did learn how the White Walkers came about which is interesting.  Bran gave us the origins of Hodor and prompted the internet sales of Hodor Door Stops to record levels.  Bran got touched by the Night King allowing them and their zombie hoard to invade the root-cellar of gloom where he and the Three-Eyed Raven where hiding out.  Bran also gave us a view into Jon’s heritage (both Stark and Targarian – which is awesome.)  Other than that, none of us really bonded with Bran and I don’t see that changing anytime soon.  We think Bran is on his way to the Wall, the number two tourist stop in Westeros.

Jon Snow, the Official Pincushion for the Knight’s Watch at the end of last season came back to life.  He couldn’t remember anything about being dead (you know nothing Jon Snow!) but came to the realization that his Watch had indeed ended.  He left the eight or ten surviving brothers to guard the wall and set out to retake Winterfell with Sansa.  Jon ignored Sansa’s whining, let’s face it, we all would have.  He assembled an army and went off to fight Ramsay Bolton.  The battle was fairly epic, though we all knew that Rickon was dead the moment we saw Ramsay with a rope in his hands.  Jon emerged from the fighting to be acknowledged as the new King of the North by the lords that abandoned him in his time of need.

Jon’s story arc is coming to an interesting point.  The last time he was a leader, his men killed him.  He started the season on a slab dead and ended up being King of the North.  His battle tactics in the Battle of the Bastards were not so hot – he went off his plan of attack in the first five minutes and, if not for the Men of the Vale, would have been killed.  Jon emerged as the winner which is bound to cause some issues with his nagging sister Sansa.  We also learned that Jon was not Ned Stark’s child but his sisters – and the Targaryn prince.  Oddly, it makes us miss Ned Stark just a little bit more.  Isn’t he more honorable now than when you thought he had cheated on his wife?

Ramsay Bolton, (Voted Most Likely to Get a Trophy for Torturing the Other Team’s Mascot slowly to death) got Rickon Stark as a gift from a rebellious northern lord and went out of his way to prod Jon Snow to fight him.  Ramsay killed his father, his step-mother, and his baby brother – you know, a typical day in Bolton-Land.  Ramsay killed Osha, when she tried to seduce him.  In fairness, she was going to kill him but because he clearly planned on murdering her from the start, we have to give a call-out to Ramsay for being a dick.

In the Battle of the Bastards Bolton played Jon Snow like a cheap fiddle.  He employed a phalanx (don’t get me started on how this was almost never done in a medieval battle and why) and surrounded Jon’s plucky band of wildlings and 62 warriors of House Mormount. Ramsay got routed, Jon beat the crap out of him (which I think he liked) and Sansa fed him to his hounds.  As brutal as it was, him being devoured by his dogs was sickeningly enjoyable.  The North Remembers…

Dodge
We knew you were dead the moment you became Ramsay’s prisoner…sorry dude

This season we learned that Cersei Lannister is not exactly the forgiving type.  Her journey down the slippery slope of madness was punctuated with clashes with her uncle, the Hand of the King.  She armed The Faith only to have that be used against her.  There was an epic scene with her and the Queen of Thorns where Cersei is painted as the person that was bringing about her own eventual demise.  The matriarch of Highgarden even asked her if she planned on killing all her enemies.  Apparently she was.  She killed the Grand Maester and set off a WMD of wildfire under the Sept which, well, killed everyone.  I had to admit, it was fun watching the High Sparrow disintegrate and the blast definitely topped the Red Wedding in terms of carnage.  Cersei is torturing the nun that tormented her (“Shame…shame…”) and has been crowned Queen.  Sure it cost her Tommen’s life, but we were all oddly comfortable with that.  Okay, summary for Cersei – she’s a mass murderer who took the separation of Church and State WAY too far.

WMD
Smoke ’em if you got ’em…

Sam set off with Gilly and the baby to his home only to find a loving mother and Attila the Hun for a father.  He stole the family sword (Valarian Steel – good move Sam) and rode off to be a Maester.  None of us give a flying fu*k at a rolling doughnut what Sam does but because the showrunners keep telling us, we can assume it’s important.  There’s got to be some intel in those books on how to deal with the White Walkers.

This season saw us lose the most innocent of characters, Hodor.  They symbolism of his death was pretty significant.  The child he carried and cared for was the source of his mental problems.  He died saving the very boy that caused his problem.  It also opened up the reality that Bran not only could travel in time, but could influence things in the past…which is scary.  One must wonder if the Mad King’s calls to “Burn them all!” is Bran somehow messing with his head like he did with Hodor.

The Hound and the Brothers Without Banners.  The Hound is alive?  Well I didn’t see that coming.  Everyone keeps telling him he has a role to play, but the Hound is no longer a joiner.  The Brothers are a mix of Robin Hood and a religious cult.  I’m interested in seeing if this pairing amounts to anything.

The fact we got to see Pod and Bronn together was fun.  I like how Jamie and Bronn have bonded just like Tyrion did with him.

Brienne of Tarth has become much more legitimate as a character, the last honorable knight in the Seven Kingdoms.  Everyone likes sending her on difficult if not impossible missions.  Her confrontation with the Blackfish was fun.  She is a Knight Errant and her devotion to Sansa is admirable and makes her one of the more honorable characters.

The Red Witch moped around a lot this season. She brought us back Jon Snow rather half-heartedly (pun intended), which was anticipated and expected.  What we didn’t anticipate is that she is an old shriveled up woman.  Ew…  The fact that at the end of the season she is marching south, I imagine her linking up again with the Brothers without Banners.

Benjamin Stark returned.  Half-White Walker, all bad-ass.  He saved Bran’s life only to drop him off at a tree and ride off.  Still, it’s awesome to see things from the first season come back.

The House Mormont was actually incredibly important this season.  First was Jorah, who tracked down Daenerys then was sent away to find a cure for his affliction, greyscale.  He professed his love of Dany and went off and it was touching and sad and cool.

Lyanna Mormont became, in two episodes, one of my favorite characters.  First, she stood by Jon Snow and committed the 62 warriors of her house to fight with him – and was on the field of battle.  Then this child shamed all of the lords of the north into supporting Jon Snow as King of the North.  I want her to run for President.  Lyanna proved herself tougher than Jon Snow himself.

Littlefinger is still a dick, still stirring the pot where he can.  His best moment was when Brienne almost killed him.  It is rare that Littlefinger confronts situations that he cannot control.  He DID finally admit out loud that he wants the Iron Throne.  Welcome to the club fu*ktard.

Upcoming Predictions:

I’ve been wrong and right in my predictions thus far (I’m batting around 70% ish) – so let’s give this as shot for the remaining 15 episodes.  Dany will arrive and wreak havoc in Westeros.  I think she will need to cower the Iron Islands first, get a foothold then on the mainland.  Despite her allies and the fact that everyone wants Cersei dead, things won’t be entirely easy for her…they can’t be.  In her hour of greatest and most dire need, when it looks like she is losing, Jorah Mormount will return to save the day.  We will have forgotten about him by then – but he will ride in to save his beloved Khalissi.

The Sand Snakes of Dorne are going to be problematic for our Targarian Queen.  This is the nature of allies that are bent on revenge rather than conquest.  It’s not going to be all shits and giggles taking Westeros.  Daenerys  has not had to work with complex alliances before.

I think things in the North will move slowly with the undead – I think the emphasis needs to start with the south and the White Walkers of the Night King need to be dealt with at the very end of the series.  The wall has magical spells protecting it – but there are references to a horn lost somewhere in the North – a horn capable of bringing the wall down.  I went back and found the damn horn – back when Sam found the Dragonglass knives at the First of the First Men.  You can find it too.  That’s the play for the Night King.  He will have to shatter the wall because of the magical spells there that prohibit his crossing the barrier.  How he gets the horn, or gets someone to blow that horn, will be a big deal.  One toot and the Wall will come down and the dead will head south.

Dragonglass
In case the showmasters thought I had forgotten – Sam found the damned horn

I am one of those people that believe that Jon should end up marrying Daenerys.  It’s hard to picture Jamie marrying her.  There’s not a lot of younger men out there in positions of power still alive in the series.

Cersei will continue her spiral into madness.  Jamie, ever her supporter, is put in an awkward position…support the woman/sister he loves knowing that she is a homicidal maniac – or kill her.  Cersei has also said that she doesn’t care who knows about her relationship with her brother – so she may want their love to be more “open” and public.  Ultimately when she falls, it needs to be in the presence of Tyrion.  Tyrion will find his return to Westeros dangerous – his sister does kill her enemies with startling brutality.  In the end he will be there for his sister’s demise…he has to be.  One must wonder though if Jamie will have to end his sister’s life just like he did the Mad King.

Tyrion and Jamie left on good terms (Jamie did free him, only to have Tyrion kill their father), but Jamie will lead the Lannisters in the field against Daenerys.  That is going to set the stage for a wonderful and awkward family reunion.  More importantly, I want a reunion of Bronn and Tyrion, if only for a few minutes.

Sansa’s weird tension with Jon is something that Littlefinger will exploit.  Has Sansa learned her lessons?  A part of me is doubtful.  Try as she might, Sansa is not Caitlin Stark.

I am not sure how Ayra Stark’s return will be received.  She is not the same character as when they all last saw her.  She’s dangerous.  Somehow I picture her with the Hound again.  Don’t ask why.  Out of all of the buddy combos, hers was most interesting.  The Red Witch predicted they would meet again back in season three, so these two are going to connect again and I don’t see it ending well for the Red Witch.

Podrick needs to become a knight.  Bronn needs to survive them all and marry one of the Sand Snakes in Dorne.

I believe matters in the south have to be settled before Danerys turns her attentions northward to save Jon’s butt.  The final victim of this saga needs to be the man that put it all in motion – Littlefinger.  That’s right, Littlefinger.  He was the one that framed Tyrion for the Stark assassination attempt, plotted and executed the assassination of Joffery (which wa the nicest thing he did) framing Tyrion for a second time, he pimped off Sansa to the Boltons, he killed his wife of ten hours.  Littlefinger is cunning, devious, and the most dangerous of the lords still alive in Westeros.  I will never forget Varys’s summery of him, “He would burn the world to the ground to rule over the ashes.”  In the end, the person that drives a sword through Littlefinger needs to be Sansa or Brienne.

#GameofThrones

Game of Throne Season 6 – My Predictions

The North Remembers
The North Remembers…except when they don’t – like in this week’s episode.

I will admit it, I’m an HBO junkie with Game of Thrones, Silicon Valley, Veep, and John Oliver.  I’m also a well established author.  As I did with the Flash this season, where I correctly predicted the Jay Garrick twist; I want to offer my best guesses as a writer, as to what I would be doing for the rest of the season.  In other words, this is what I would do, not necessarily what they will do.

Last night’s Episode 7, The Broken Man gave us the biggest “what if” of the season so far.  Sansa Stark (who frankly, I’m quiet tired of) penned a mysterious letter and sent it off.  Now we know that Jon Snow (who still doesn’t know anything – even what the afterlife holds) has successfully raised 62 men and the Wildlings for his army.  Even those 62 warriors were the work of the Onion Knight, so technically, Jon is one of the worst negotiators ever.

Sansa penned a message, we presume, to get more troops.  But whom did she write?  The logical choice would be her great uncle, The Black Fish, but let’s face it, he’s got issues of his own now.  Besides, that’s predictable and the show-masters have demonstrated their love of twists and turns.

Your next guess is LittleFinger.  He’s already raised troops for her from the Vale to aid her, though I’m not sure she knows that yet.  So who is getting a raven from Sansa?

Drum roll…

The Queen of Thorns.  Sansa only made two friends during her time in Kings Landing (nuthouse to all royalty).  One was Marjorie, who is married to the king and with Cersei still arrogantly strutting about – I doubt she would risk reaching out to the Queen.  Olenna Tyrell proved to be a good ally of hers during the brief yet sadistic reign of Joffrey.  Not only that, as of this week, the Tyrell’s are shedding their lovefest with the Lannisters – which was one of the most awesome moments in the season thus far.  Olenna tried to marry Loris to Sansa to secure the north once before.  Who better to send a still intact army to aid the North?  Olenna would do it just to piss off Cersei and it would show some growth in Sansa that might make her more tolerable to the fans.

Queen of Thorns
“Cersei – Kiss My Grits!”

Oddly enough, if I were a show writer for this series (oh please pick me!) I would end this season with Daenerys Stormborn Targaryen, Breaker of Chains, Mother of Dragons, Khaleesi of the Great Grass Sea, Queen of Meereen,  Queen of the Andals, Champion Spitballer, Dragon Rider, Uber Driver, Burner of Dudes that Threaten to Rape Her, and Keeper of the Eternal Friendzone (for Jorah Mormont) and runner up in the Miss Westros Beauty Pageant; needs to be on boats provided by the Iron Islands heading to Westros.  I am so done with the whole slavery angle.  The dragons, the Dothraki , and the Unsullied, all need to be on a fast fleet of ships to Westros. I need that as my final scene for the season.  In the next episode she needs to get home and see how good Tyrion has done keeping the peace – then get going.

We also need to see how Ramsay Bolton killed Rickon Stark (I can’t imagine him coming through this alive) and we need to see Ramsay be killed…hopefully at Sansa’s hand.  With Ramsay dead we will need a new uber-dark villain, which could be Walder Frey.  He’s still being the worst host ever in that dank hole of The Twins; having been stuck with the catering bill from The Red Wedding.  Frey and the ever-chipper and friendly Euron Greyjoy are perfect bad-guys for us all to hate.  Game of Thrones has to have someone out there we all despise.  Ramsay’s been doing well since Joffrey’s death, but it’s time for some new/old blood.

A man wants to see these things.  A man also is tired of the many-faced god storyline.  A girl needs to make up her mind what she is going to do and do it.  A man is losing his patience.  Sidebar:  I am going to start talking like this at work on conference calls, just because I’m mostly evil.

So there you have it – my worthless and likely stupid predictions for GoT for the rest of the season.  I invite you to share your thoughts on the blog’s comment sections.  Share with your friends…I’d like to see what your predictions are.

#GameofThrons

The Flash – My theory as to who is in the iron mask…

As crazy as it sounds – I think these things are all related!

This week the Flash totally redeemed last week’s quasi-controlled-cluster-fu*k and delivered one of their best episodes.  This set the stage for two more speedsters – Wally and Jessie; and gave us some good classic Zoom villain moments.  I also think there was a lot more going on…

We got the see Barry’s dad – which I don’t think was a fluke.  These writers are comic book guys, they don’t just have scenes for no reason.  He’s been absent this season, but he’s back, and we learned his mother’s maiden name was Garrick.  Significant?  Yes.   Hear me out…I think I’ve pieced together the secret of the man in the mask!

My theory is that the man that Zoom is keeping in the iron mask is actually the real Jay Garrick – which will be Barry’s father from an alternate Earth.  Think about it.  Zoom has only hinted at who is there but refuses to tell Barry.  Why hide it?  Why even hold a prisoner unless he is of some use to you?  Barry’s dad has a link to the name.  This Jay wouldn’t necessarily be Barry’s dad per se, but at least the actor playing him.   Most likely it woulds be a version of Barry’s dad from Earth 2, who we haven’t seen yet.  I like to think that the writers still want to give us the doughboy-helmet-wearing Jay Garrick; merely with a different actor playing him – in this case John Wesley Shipp.  My theory is that when they do crack open that mask, we will see Shipp in the role of Jay Garrick.

The writers have already have demonstrated a fondness for the original Flash TV series, bringing back Mark Hamill as the Trickster – twice.  The producers and writers are pretty good at playing up to the comic book fan base.

Best of all, we as Flash fans would get to see the 1980’s Flash recast in a role as the Golden Age Flash.  Not only that, we will probably get one of those awesome villain scenes with Zoom holding (essentially) Barry’s dad by the scruff of neck, threatening the hero.   Otherwise, why would Zoom keep a prisoner if not as an ace up his sleeve to hold the Flash in check.

Frankly, I hope the writer’s do go down this path.  One, it’s cool.  Two, it’s a treat for those of us that remember John Wesley Shipp playing the role of a Flash, even if it is the Golden Age speedster.

Alright pundits, tear this theory apart!

 

It has never been a better time to be a geek

TL and the dragon
Perhaps you’d like a squeaky ball to play with?

It hit me last night as I watched Game of Thrones and Silicon Valley, that this is the best time in mankind’s history for geeks.  Those of us dubbed nerds or dorks in high school have had to wait almost five decades for us to be the cool kids.  Even Hollywood is crashing the White House Press awards now.  For once, we rule.

First off, there’s a ton of entertainment out there for us – and it’s good stuff.  Supergirl, the Flash, GoT, Silicon Valley, Daredevil, The Walking Dead, Doctor Who, Big Bang Theory, Agents of Shield…and that’s just on TV.  Starting in December of last year we will get two Star Wars movies, a Star Trek film, Batman v. Superman (ugh!), Marvel Civil War, Doctor Strange, Suicide Squad, and that’s just the tip of the iceberg.  Hollywood and the world has learned that the things we were mocked for as children are big bucks.  Putting out a superhero or Star Wars movie is like printing money at this point.

Moreover our tastes are being accepted by the masses.  I have to admit, it was kind of cool when it was just us geeks watching and reading this stuff.  Now that the cool kids are into it, it does take a little bit away from it.  At the same time, we get to say, “we were here first!” and not risk getting a swirly.

I can honestly remember having to hide my comic books at school to dodge ridicule and the random (and painful) Purple Nurple.   For years it was hard to find tee-shirts with geek culture on them.  You were hard pressed to find a Superman shirt.  Now freaking Under Armour makes athletic super hero gear.  Most of my wardrobe consists of super hero and TV shirts (much to my wife’s patient chagrin.)  I was in the gym the other day and saw two other guys wearing Captain America shirts – one even complimented mine.  If it was 1979 I would have gotten an Indian Burn for daring to show up with that kind of shirt on.

This Thursday I’m taking my hot wife to see Captain America Civil War and I know in line there will be dozens of kids decked out in the latest gear.  There will be some in costume too.  My wife, she will try and pretend none of this is happening.  Deep down she knows she actually ended up marrying one of the cool kids.  It just took decades for that to be known.  (Actually she would kill at the chance to purge my wardrobe and make me purchase “adult appropriate” clothing…but I digress.)

Geek culture has never been so popular and accepted – for which I am thankful.  Because it is so mainstream, the quality of the entertainment is fantastic too.  As I dive into writing a new BattleTech novel, I realize that we dorks are now the ones pulling the strings on entertainment and culture.  We are setting the tone and pace of what is in and what isn’t.

It’s a good time to be alive and geek!

 

What the hell happened on The Flash this week?

Wally
Look, I found the only person that doesn’t know the Flash’s secret identity

I saw this week’s episode of The Flash (Versus Zoom)  and I came away more confused than ever before.  This felt like the first episode in the series that just didn’t hit the mark.  In fact, it kind of felt like it was a hop-skip-and-a-jump into the twilight zone.  Sadly, it was the first time I found myself at odds with the writers.

We had the big reveal – that Zoom was not Jay Garrick but Hunter Zoloman.  That on its own was okay.  What was confusing was everything else.  First you had the fact that Dr. Wells saying that Zoloman was the most recognized serial killer on Earth 2; yet for some reason, it never dawned on him that Zoloman was Garrick.  There was a bizarre description of Zoloman killing himself in a previous episode as a result of “time remnant” which we have no idea what the hell it is but it seems weird.  A friend of mine, a Flash expert (if there is such a thing) was just as perplexed as I was with this remnant thingy.

And if that Jay was the one that interacted with Caitlin, and he was killed by Zoom/Zoloman, why did Zoom seem to have some attachment to her (enough to kidnap her)? 

Barry trapped Zoloman with images from his past.  That was cool.  Where did he get them? Especially since Zoom was on Earth 2.  I mean, it was neat, but you can’t find images of my parents online, and I am a New York Times Bestselling Author. 

Adding to my frustration is the fact that Barry has still not told Wally West his secret identity.  I need to maintain a list of people he has told up to this point.  Even villains know who he is.  In fact, he told Supergirl after less than two minutes of conversation with her.  Barry hasn’t posted it on the web yet, but it’s really just a matter of time – yet for some reason he doesn’t want Wally to know. 

Barry tested the tachyon device and traveled to the CBS network to meet Supergirl and fight crime with her, but when he gets back to Star Labs he never mentions, “I travelled to another Earth, met a super chick, fought some crime, we rocked….”  You’d think that kind of thing might come up in conversation. 

And Zoom dressing up as Flash to give people hope then rip it away from them…just seemed, well, stupid.  Serial killers generally are not bent on robbing populations of hope. They are more into blood and terror.  Trust me, I write true crime books.  

Barry has got to stop getting into discussions with villains before they are stripped of their powers.  Take a lesson from The Incredibles dude.  You should have sucked the speed force from Zoom, locked him up, then gotten into the discussion with him. 

Overall, I have loved this season of The Flash, but this episode was a train wreck of weird and unnecessary sidebar stories and subplots that go nowhere.  The writers let me down for the first time, pouring five gallons of content into a one gallon bucket.  Yes, introducing Zoloman plays well to the comic book fans – but story lines like this have a way of disenfranchising the non-comic fan-base. 

My recommendation:  Keep it simple and cool like you did in season one.  Do that, and we’re all cool.  

Supergirl Flash Cross0ver – Exactly what I wanted!

supergirlflash

Timing is everything and the crossover Supergirl and Flash episode on CBS offered a glimmer of hope after a mediocre Batman vs. Superman week.   The episode worked, though at times was a bit forced.  What made it stand out was the fact that it was made in the first place.  We have two DC heroes, from two different networks, showing up on the same show.  Just pulling that off was something of a miracle.

I happen to like Supergirl – now that it is past all of that “she’s a female hero,” stuff that dominated the early episodes.  And the Flash is a solid series as well.  Together, Kara and Barry were great.  There was a hint of chemistry there.  Barry is a great team player and his arrival on Kara’s Earth was at a time when Supergirl’s reputation was marred.   They were not unstoppable by Livewire and Silver Banshee…in fact, the villains have the upper hand for a lot of the episode.  Still, Supergirl and Flash together worked and worked well.

Unlike the darker Dawn of Justice movie – Supergirl and Flash have a comic book feel to them.  The heroes are good, in fact, Supergirl is more of the boy scout that the Snyder version of Superman.  Barry is idealistic and gregarious, more than willing to be a part of something bigger.  Their chemistry was great and it is my sincere hope we get the girl of steel showing up in the Flash universe at some point.

If I seem surprised, it’s that DC did something totally right in bringing these characters together.  Having slugged my way through Batman vs. Superman, I was worried that they would somehow botch up this combination.

Let’s be honest, we needed a race between the characters and we got it in the last few minutes of the episode.  It was done right – and done well.  Best superhero episode ever?  No.  It WAS solid and in many ways, awesome.

 

 

Review – The People vs. OJ Simpson

FX Simpson
Well worth a binge-watching weekend to get caught up

When I heard that John Travolta was producing a series on the OJ Simpson trial, I have to admit, I cringed.  On one hand, I was encouraged that it would be a TV series rather than a movie.  After all, the investigation and trial was long, and a simple movie wouldn’t do it justice.

The part of me that cringed was conjuring the memories of that trial and wondering if Hollywood would do it justice.  How far could or would Tinseltown stray from reality to sensationalize the story or outright skew it?

What was also running through my mind was the memory of how that trial exposed publicly for all America to see, just how divided we were along racial lines.  It was not just a murder trial.  It was a defining moment.  What we are witnessing today with the racial divides in our nation and the tension and conflict it fosters all can be traced back to the moment when the jury verdict was read.

I’ve read a few books on the trial but am by no means an expert.  What I can say is this, the show is pretty riveting.  The casting is fantastic and the dialogue should earn the writers an Emmy nomination.  There were a lot of things I had plain forgotten that this series brought back to my mind.

The acting is good.  Cuba Gooding Jr. is solid as OJ, almost making you feel a bit sorry for him (almost!)  Maybe sorry isn’t the right word…perhaps pathetic is better.  Nathan Lane as F. Lee Bailey was a surprise, because he plays the role perfectly.

My only critique of the series so far is that there seems to be a lot of emphasis on the Kardashians.  David Schwimmer plays Robert Kardashian and I have to admit, I never liked him as an actor.  Playing the father of the evil Kardashion hell-spawn is probably well suited to him.  The writers play up on the children a lot when in reality, they shouldn’t have even been cast for parts in this series – their roles being so inconsequential.

True pundits will point out that some of the dialogue is off-base or outright made up. There are scenes that seem fictionalized or speculative.  I’m not taking the time to pick apart the series line by line.  It is fairly accurate – which is incredible.  And the characters look eerily similar to their real-life counterparts – especially the actress playing Marcia Clark.

As a true crime author I am enjoying the series so far and it offers hope that Hollywood can be relatively accurate in portraying real-life events.  For those of us that are in the genre, this series presents new opportunities for some great stories to find new audiences on TV.

Hats off to FX!  This is a hit.