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All posts for the month January, 2015

Courtesy of NBC

Courtesy of NBC

Warning: Spoiler Alert

College aged kids conducting a séance, not going to end well. This particular ritual transports each member of this group to a different location. One of which is met by someone not of their group, begging to be hidden while a middle-aged man who is only visible in mirrors stalks one of the ladies involved. A blond lady screams and it snaps everyone out of the trans.

Constantine drinks alone in the mill house. Directly across from him is an enchanted mirror that shows a familiar face, not his own reflection. The person in the mirror is that of Gary Lester. One of those from Newcastle who never got back completely and a person John convinced to sacrifice himself for the greater good.

John (to Gary): Here’s to you old son. Never a dull moment, huh? If I was you, I wouldn’t have much to say to me either.

Ritchie Simpson (Jeremy Davies-best known for his role of Dickie Bennett on Justified) is a former friend and a significant member of the Newcastle crew. Ritchie is a college professor, and a pretty bad one, at a local college. Some students draw back the blinds when his presentation suffer technical difficulties. Setting up nicely, John’s opportunity to ask a question he doesn’t need the answer to. Based on Ritchie’s answer to John’s question, he is displeased with John’s presence.

Carter, one of the kids from the séance, gazes to his right revealing the man in the mirrors from the night before. Carter instantly finds himself somewhere darker and indoors compared to his stroll through campus. In this dark place, the mystery man throws a plastic bag over his head and suffocates Carter. Next shot is of Carter dead lying on a campus walkway. Cause of death? He stopped breathing.

John’s presence near Ritchie is a direct violation of a deal they made earlier. John is able to use the death of Gary to paint the picture that something is “circling” Ritchie and John will not sit by and wait for it to attack. Adam, another kid from the séance, calls Ritchie interrupting the Ritchie/John conversation. They are wheeling out Carter. Adam needs to get out of office hours, assumption is he’s a T.A. A request that Ritchie immediately grants. Adam’s girlfriend opens a locker-like door and in the reflection of the mirror sees that same man again and screams.

John and Ritchie make an appearance at the candle light vigil for Carter. John has some questions for Adam’s girlfriend and Ritchie plays along. The girlfriend gives up the location, but not much else. Ritchie just wants John to get what he needs and leave. John turns and looks at Ritchie before insinuating that the girlfriend and Ritchie are both hiding something.

Manny makes his most angelic and impressive entrance to date, wings stretching tv’s edge to tv’s edge. We get a little background on who Ritchie used to be. He used to be John’s first lieutenant. The right hand man. More colleague and less follower. Newcastle changed all of that. Ritchie fell particularly hard. Manny suggests that John recruit Ritchie to help in further endeavors. Then leaves abruptly while John is in mid sentence.

John (back to Manny): I’m not exactly a guiding light…(wistful sound effect)…aww bollocks.

Inside a building on the cemetery grounds, John sees something of interest. He immediately charges into an incantation. This incantation reveals a series of symbols and those symbols seem to spell out something intriguing to John.

The blonde girl from the séance, makes the largest mistake to this point. Consider the only thing critical at this point. The man in the mirrors only appears in mirrors. One person has already died and other claims they saw the man in a mirror. So why on earth is ‘blondie’ attempting to get her ballet workout in? If you’re not picking up what I’m putting down, every dance studio maybe on the planet utilizes one wall as a massive mirror. Left to right, floor to ceiling. Also, they never turn the lights on, just an observation.

John explains what he found at the cemetery while Ritchie tries to find a journal that has gone missing. The journal belonged to a man named Jacob Shaw, who believed he could travel to alternative realms. Man in the Mirrors? The story of this Jacob Shaw seems like just the thing that might catch the attention of one Teaching Assistant. John believes Adam will try this again.

He and Ritchie head out to look for Adam, who is in fact considering attempting to travel again. Earlier, Ritchie mentioned that he “shut his whole program down”, we didn’t get much clarity on what that means, but John knew. Separately, the project Adam was working on would utilize Shaw’s research to create a practical application where a person’s consciousness could be harnessed and placed onto a hard drive. Or as John puts it, “a bomb shelter for your brain.” Then Ritchie reveals that he knows more than he previously led on to, pertaining to the big picture issue.

Ritchie: The Darkness is almost here, John. If we don’t find Adam and close that portal now, who knows how many more are going to fall through. And I just…can’t have that on my hands, John.

Adam completes the incantation and is transported right in front of Miranda (ballet girl). Adam lights a match and Miranda immediately blows it out. The camera pull back to reveal a large piece of rebar has pierced her abdomen. John and Ritchie arrive to the cemetery to find Adam in mid trans. On the other side, the man in the mirrors finds them both and begins to slash Adam’s arms with a kitchen knife. Not terribly alarming until John and Ritchie see a slash at his throat. The following morning in the aftermath, Ritchie begins to blame himself. A concept John would rather not hear. Ritchie turns to face John and tells him that he knows John’s secret. How John can pretend not to feel. The good news is, there is still on life they might be able to save. Concluding that both Miranda and Adam have both died.

They arrive at Lily’s dorm (the sole remaining person and Adam’s girlfriend). She desperately needs to contact Adam. John and Ritchie have the unpleasant job of informing her that there is a very final reason why she can’t get a hold of Adam. There is a silver lining for now, that eluded me earlier. The bodies have been declared dead in our reality. And why not? Blood everywhere and the bodies are unresponsive. However, in Shaw’s reality, the consciousness or what have you is still very much alive. Even when faced with the proposition to run in order to be chased, shades of the movie “Surviving the Game”.

John brings Lily and Ritchie back to the mill house. Ritchie is intrigued, almost fascinated by the house and its contents. Lily is shaken but grateful. The house protects her from being subject to any of Shaw’s mirror tricks. That is until she decides to make a call on her smart phone, whose screen is almost completely a mirror. And just like that, Lily is now a part of Shaw’s game.

With Lily in a catatonic state, the only thing left to do is for these two former colleagues to intentionally cross over into Shaw’s world. Ritchie naturally freaks out. After settling a bit, his first concern is potential harm to their bodies in the mill house while their consciousness is elsewhere. Then Manny appears, quietly. John looks up and says, “I think we’ll be alright here”. Moments later the two men assume the position across from each other separated by four candles. Like riding a bike, Ritchie gets loose, like he’s done this hundreds of times before.

Both men arrive safe, Ritchie’s heart rate is elevated but that’s to be expected. They head down one hallway and find a dead-end. That’s when Ritchie claims he can ‘overwrite’ Shaw’s world. And by simply concentrating, uses his mind to draw and create a real functional door where there wasn’t one before. Sounds great, but Shaw saw and heard it. So much for the element of surprise. The two men uncover that random stranger with no hands who frantically asks everyone to hide him. This time, his hands are intact. The lack of fear from our crusaders, causes this random to completely change his tone and retreat, just in time to reveal Shaw.

Shaw is polite but informs them that everything still comes down to “his world, his rules”. Then slashes Ritchie’s wrists with his mind and throws thick nails through John’s hands leaving him ‘crucified’ on the wall. Then John says something that tips us off slightly about Ritchie’s previous strengths and perhaps why his fall was harder than the others.

John: These wounds are received in his reality not yours. You have the greater mind here. You can beat this guy. In this place you…you decide. Ritchie, look at me. I believe in you, old son. Now bloody do it.
(Ritchie looks up at John)
John: DO IT!

Ritchie gradually gets up and moves to the window. Spreads the curtain and looks outside. It’s dark and desolate. And clearly something stands out to Ritchie.

Ritchie: Some God you turned out to be Shaw. You forgot the sun.
Shaw: No.
(Instantly the sun rises illuminating everything and rapidly creating growth and life)
Shaw: NO!
Ritchie: Oh yes. All this time you spent here, you could have been building worlds. You could have been redefining life and how we live it. The day you gave into your weakness Shaw, that was the day you became obsolete.
Shaw: THIS IS MY WORLD!
Ritchie: Not anymore.

The nails retract from John’s hands and Ritchie implodes Shaw. Ritchie is weak now and tells John they have to get out, now. They run out of the house and through the meadow of now rolling wild flowers. They did however, forget Lily. The other ‘souls’ of the fallen friends escort her to the door. John explains the world is falling apart. The other won’t walk past the doorway. They are there to stay and they know it. Lily, as expected, loses her mind as John attempts to carry her away. The house implodes.

Lily wakes up back at the mill house. John and Ritchie are still in Shaw’s world. As John said not five minutes earlier, “In this place, you decide…” Ritchie is romanticizing staying. Using what he knows to create a good, prosperous world contrary to Shaw’s game of death. John sees right through the b.s. and tells Ritchie that he can stay if he wants, but it won’t be because he wants to build something, it’s because he wants to run from something. Newcastle and the Rising Darkness are two good reasons to run, but reality is reality.

John snaps back into himself at the mill house. Ritchie is still catatonic. His still state begins to grow and grow very slowly as if he were trying to return. He slumps over slightly and we hear to audible sound of relief from John.

Ritchie stands at the podium of his class, sets aside his tape recorder and opts to actually speak to the class. He references back to the previous lesson and proclaims that suffering is unavoidable. Then the rest of that section of his lecture works as a voice over for the images of John alone in the mill house drinking heavily.

Photo Courtesy Of ABC

Photo Courtesy Of ABC

Warning: Spoiler Alert

This year the date of February 3, might rival or surpass Valentine’s Day On February 14, in anticipation, as the ABC freshman series “Forever,” returns to the airwaves, coming back from the show’s hiatus. That alone would excite its zealous fan-base, however expectations are stoked, as the episode features the return of Dr. Henry Morgan’s stalker “Adam,” returning to New York City and Henry’s life. The man who lives under the guise of Dr. Louis Garber, a psychiatrist at Bellevue Hospital in New York, shares Morgan’s gift/curse of regenerating after getting killed, however he’s stated that he’s walked the planet for 2,000-years.

Reports state that “Adam’s,” story will get featured more prominently in the second half of the season, as he attempts to become a mentor of sorts to Henry and we’ll gain greater knowledge of the character via his flashbacks of his 2,000-year journey. One question that I’m looking forward to learning the answer for, is how long has “Adam,” known that Henry was like him and exactly how he made his discovery.

The odds of two British ex-pats meeting in New York City’s likely very high for most of us, however logic tells us that the odds have decreased for these two men. If the lifespan of an average man of our era’s 70-years, then Morgan whose lived for 236-years, has lived three times as many years as an average person. “Adam,” living 2,000-years has lived nearly 30 times, the life expectancy of an average man. Factoring in all the traveling both men have done, the odds are far greater that “Adam” and Henry made contact during their lives. The questions that remain are when and how. It’s possible that “Adam’s” had Morgan in his sights for a century or more and just decided that the series pilot was the time to finally reach out to him.

Another question that I’m looking forward to having answered, is exactly why in the year 2015, Henry Morgan’s got such a dreaded fear about his secret getting discovered. We’re aware of the pain and punishment he went through after revealing his secret to his first wife in 1815. She committed him to an insane asylum and subsequently got transferred to a London prison. He also had valid reasons to keep his secret under wraps during the forties and throughout the next few decades, as not to disturb his family life with his wife Abigail and son Abraham.

Those reasons aren’t valid any longer for Morgan, we live in a far more enlightened society, than our ancestors lived during the early years of the 19th century. His wife Abigail’s gone and Abe’s now an elderly man in his seventies, looking for more like Henry’s father than his adopted son. Are his fears just paranoia, or do they have any validity? As the series resumes next Tuesday, my guess is a little of both.

No matter how long one lives, the traumas that Morgan went through after sharing his secret with his first wife would be tough to overcome. To feel his wife’s betrayal, to see the fear in the eyes of the woman who once loved him with all her being, along with his subsequent incarceration makes his fears universally understandable. However Henry, relies too much on logic in his existence, for him to believe in baseless fears.

He could easily prove that he’s telling the truth, by dying and then regenerating, so his fear isn’t of people believing he’s gone insane. However, there are some in our government and other governments through out the world, that would choose to imprison Henry, to poke and prod, try to come up with the thing that gives him immortality, then replicate it for their own use. There are also a miles long list of corporations, public and private that would love the chance to do the same things.

Does “Adam,” possess the same fears of being discovered? It’s tough to say at this point, while life’s still fun for Henry Morgan and his ego feeds on the compliments he receives and the looks of amazement he generates, I know that I’d feel the same way under those circumstances. However “Adam’s” jaded and bored with life being around ten times longer that Morgan’s existed, so perhaps he’d be amused with being a lab rat. However I don’t believe that “Adam’s,” going to threaten to blow both their covers.

Life at this point means little to “Adam,” it must have been a gas at first;  getting eaten by a lion in the Roman Coliseum, coming back the next day to the Roman Emperor and saying Hi Pal. He likely would attain God status and live like a king until the Empire collapsed. He could have gotten some kicks during the Spanish Inquisition and the Salem witch trials, freaking some of those folks out. Maybe he even pulled a trick or two on Adolph Hitler. However as B.B. King sings, “The Thrill Is Gone.”

Life however has little meaning for Henry’s stalker, so he felt no remorse with his killing spree to gain Morgan’s attention, causing Henry to take the first life of a fellow human during his time on the planet. The incident’s caused agonized feelings of remorse, as well as anger and hatred towards “Adam,” for manipulating Henry so well, a fact that Morgan’s deeply embarrassed about.

At least some of these questions should get answered in the upcoming episode, an important episode for two different reasons. The first reason pertains to the series’ storyline and how the rest of season one starts to play out. The second reason’s equally important, to send a message to the ABC network to #RENEWFOREVER for a second season. Despite the shows zealous, rabid, fan-base, the network’s yet to decide the fate of the series for a second season, a move the network should have finalized months ago. The only problem with the show is its time-slot, being stuck on Tuesday nights at 10:00 pm, a night owned by CBS. That fault lies on the network itself, run it at 10:00 pm on Sunday nights, as they did with the dreadful series Resurrected and they’d have a Quality Top-Ten Nielsen-rated show.

I’ve written previously that Forever’s the best new series of this season, no small statement given the competitions quality, many that we Recap at Not Just Another TV Site. The acting’s among the best on the medium, starting with the wonderful regular cast, radiating down to the smallest guest role. It’s not exploited the character’s ability to regenerate after death, using it tastefully and when needed. Instead it’s relied on a far superior component of the story, the flashbacks as we witness what Henry Morgan’s seen in the last 200-years. The show’s creator Matt Miller’s taken a clever concept, presented as a Quality story, gaining a very dedicated, intelligent, audience in the process. He’s also a truly nice guy, as he sent me a Facebook message, following a previous story, a gesture that shows he appreciates those who support his show and personally meant a lot to me.

Our Mission Statement’s to bring our readers Quality Programming and Forever’s near the top of that list. There are some excellent shows on Television currently, a point in time that we may look back at someday and compare it to the great era under NBC in the eighties, or the groundbreaking era for CBS in the seventies. The Television pie’s far more sliced up in 2015, than it was in those earlier eras, many of the mediums best shows are telecast on Cable Outlets. However the Original Three Networks can still provide great TV, as NBC proves with “The Blacklist,” CBS shows with “Person Of Interest” and ABC does with Forever.

During the eighties, NBC showed patience with “Hill Street Blues,” the series that went on to set the standard for all future shows about the police and dramas in general. In the seventies, CBS took a huge risk in airing a very controversial comedy “All In The Family,” then had patience until it found its audience and it went onto rule the Nielsen Charts for a long stretch. ABC can do the same thing by renewing their first year series, this show has far too many stories to tell to cut its wings this early.

Forever Returns Tuesday February 3, at 10:00 pm on ABC.

Photo Courtesy Of The CW

Photo Courtesy Of The CW

Warning: Spoiler Alert

If you’ve followed our recaps for the CW series “Supernatural,” you’re aware of the terms I use to differentiate the shows episodes. There are stories, that advance the long-term story-arc of the season, getting “THE BOYS,” one step closer to the answer they seek, well represented by the two previous episodes. Then there are “One-Offs,” an episode that deals with another issue and rarely advances the plot for the season. Although some of the long-time series, finest episodes were “One-Offs,” most times fans of the show prefer episodes that show the light at the end of the tunnel.

There are of course, exceptions to every rule and in the case of Supernatural, it usually involves an episode with fan favorite Charlie Bradbury, the only woman accepted into the Men Of Letters Society. The last time we saw our favorite redhead, she traveled to Oz, with L. Frank Baum’s daughter Dorothy, last season. Sam and Dean found out about her return to our dimension via an internet report.

The story starts at night, as we see an expensive looking home, then notice there are lights flashing and the sounds of glass breaking from an upstairs room. We head inside and see a man running down a flight of stairs, his hands bound together, while he dodges objects thrown at him. He gets outside and trips over his garden-hose and falls on his lawn, he looks back at his house and things look calm, but he turns around and there’s a figure in the shadows. He says he told everything he knows and a woman emerges, it’s Charlie with a stylish bob hairdo. She tells him, she believes him, but she’s still going to torture him, who doesn’t like a little torture?

We then join Dean and Sam, in the early morning at the Men Of Letters headquarters, with Sam talking to Castiel on the phone while Dean makes breakfast. He comes to the table with egg-white omelets for them both, Dean’s trying a new regimen to keep from going dark-side, but he hates what he’s eating. He tells Sam that once the Mark Of Cain’s removed, he’s returning to a diet of booze, burgers and more booze.

Sam’s surfing the net, when his attention’s caught by a story, Dean asks if it’s Cas or Crowley, but Sam responds it’s Charlie. There’s a video of Charlie Bradbury, kicking the stuffing out of a middle aged-man on his front lawn. Sam finds out the man’s a District Attorney from Topeka, named Peter Harper and the court stenographer, got assaulted the night before. Dean and Sam decide to drive to Topeka to talk to Harper.

They identify themselves to Harper as FBI special agents Collins and Gabriel and ask what went on the night of the attack. He tells her this insane woman came in and attacked him wanting the records of a traffic-accident years ago that resulted in two deaths. Sam interrupts him and says Harper’s referring to the Middleton case, Dean says the FBI does their homework. Harper tells the pair that the case never went to trial and when he went looking for the records they’d gotten taken. All he’s got is the case history of their 12-year-old daughter Celeste Middleton, Charlie’s real name.

Sam tells Harper that they’d talk to the court stenographer earlier and she said her attacker wouldn’t leave until she gave her a name, yours. Whose name did you give up? The DA tries to bluff his way out of it but Dean threatens him and he tells him City Council Woman Barbra Cordry’s the name he gave up. Sam and Dean try to talk with her about the situation, but she says she’s still on vacation, call her office and set-up an appointment.

The pair sit in the Impala outside her house and suddenly hear Cordry scream, they run inside and see Charlie holding the woman with a blade to her neck. Sam and Dean aim their pistols at Charlie and she looks at Sam and tells him he’s adorable and he won’t shoot her because he’s too good. She looks at Dean and asks when he’s going to take this albatross (gesturing to Sam,) off your neck?

Dean and Sam put their weapons away and Dean says that they love her but this is ridiculous, let the woman go before he has to hurt her. Charlie hits the woman in the mouth and starts to run out, Dean tackles her, but she takes him out, with a scissors-hold and blow to the head, she starts to leave and kicks him in the head then runs.

Dean gets off the floor, but too late to stop her as he watches her drive off in a dark-colored car, then we have a “Back To The Future II” moment, as another Charlie then pulls up in a little yellow car and says to Dean What’s Up. Sam, runs out of the house and he looks incredulous and Charlie says they’ve got catching up to do.

They stop at a diner and we learn that Oz was awesome until it wasn’t so awesome. There was a war for the Emerald City and they were losing, so she made a deal with the Wizard Of Oz. She allowed him to use one of the six Oz keys, to release her inner darkness, an actual second Charlie that had all of her anger, hatred and inner pain, while the Charlie they’re eating with is All Good, she can’t do anything wrong and says it’s annoying. She can’t get situation rectified as Dark Charlie broke the Oz key.

She says that Dark Charlie’s trying to find that killed her dad and put her mother in a lifelong coma, in a DWI accident when she was 12. She wants to get him to endear the Dark Charlie to her, but Yellow Charlie (for the yellow car!) despises some acts she committed and wants no part of her other half. They hack into the financial records of Barbra Cordry that Dark Charlie stole and they realize the man that was the other driver’s Russell Wellington. They split up with Sam and Charlie heading to the Men Of Letters Headquarters, while Dean goes to Wellington, whose a real estate broker.

After Wellington quickly figures Dean’s not there to buy property, Winchester tells him he’s the guy that’s going to save his life. Then the power’s cutoff and Dean tells Wellington not to leave the room. We see Dark Charlie standing outside the office, twirling her little sword from Oz and says she’s not going in there. She gives Dean the sword, says she doesn’t want to kill him, she just wants to see his face when he looks at her, when he realizes what he took away from her. Then they’ll turn her over to the cops, Dean agrees and she opens Wellington’s office door.

She walks in and the broker recognizes her and calls her Celeste and begs her forgiveness, she says she hadn’t been called that in years. He then says that the accident was terrible enough, however he compounded things by covering it up, he says he should and will get punished for that. She says she forgives him, shuts the officer door, which locks and we hear screams and then broken glass, Dean breaks in and finds Wellington dead with what looks like a screwdriver shoved into his abdomen and Charlie’s left through the broken window.

Sam and Yellow Charlie go through the lore and discover that a man named Clive Dillon found the key but left it on Earth when he traveled to Oz. L. Frank Baum, found the key and went to Oz to bring Dillon home and that’s when Dorothy stowed away and got trapped in Oz herself. Dillon got put into a Men Of Letters version of the witness protection program and his name’s Michael Carter, but Sam says he’d be over 100-years-old, Charlie informs him that time changes in Oz. They find his house and drive over, as they’re riding Dean calls and tells Sam to put him on the speaker and tells them both that Dark Charlie killed Wellington, they tell him where they’re headed and tells Dean to meet them there.

Perhaps Dean was closer to Junction City than Sam, or maybe just a needed plot point for the writers, but Dean stops at a bar along the way, interesting as he hasn’t had a drink in over a week. He’s sitting at the bar with an untouched shot in front of him, when Dark Charlie sits on the stool next to him. He tells her she lied to him, she says he lied to himself, that’s what he always does, but there’s something off about him. She then says that she’s not the monster Wellington was and Dean knows he  got the punishment he deserved.

Yellow Charlie and Sam reach the house and a man who looks to be in his sixties answers the door, and Charlie asks if he’s Clive Dillon? He says no and Sam interrupts him saying yes Michael Carter, but you were Clive Dillon during your time as a member of the Men Of Letters, or his time in Oz. Carter laughs nervously and says Oz is just a fairy-tale and Charlie shows him the broken Oz key and says then he’s never seen one of these then? Dillon lets them in the house.

Charlie makes a remark about their attractive waitress and Dean calls her Dark Charlie. She scoffs at him, there’s no good or evil, it’s just us against them. Dean says she’s not going to be around much longer and she asks if her other half found the key, he tells her yes and gives her a location the other direction. She says she’s going to hit on the waitress and walks down a hall, The waitress returns and he asks if his friend struck out and she replies your friend just left out the back. She hotwired the Impala and took off, Dean grabs another car and says he’ll be there as soon as he can.

Dillon says the six Oz keys were made with Oz Metal and the only place the can get repaired is Oz, however he says that he can get the Wizard to go there. He explains, that he’d had the same procedure as Charlie as a coven of witches kidnapped him and released his dark-side. That half killed all the witches then went crazy and power-hungry and he became the Wizard of Oz. If he mortally wounds himself, the Wizard will have to come to attempt to save them both.

Dean pulls up and hears the gunshot from Dillon’s pistol, then Dark Charlie arrives seconds later. As she sees Dean, the mirror starts pulsating emerald-green, then explodes and out steps the Wizard, wearing a robe and a mask. He takes off the mask revealing he hasn’t aged since 1911, he looks at Dillon and asks what he did?

He tells his good half that his only responsibility’s to remain alive and he can’t do that right, Sam grabs his pistol but the Wizard’s magic pulls it out of his hands, then he binds Winchester’s hands and feet with green bands. Suddenly Charlie yelps and her mouth’s bleeding as Dean and Dark Charlie start fighting. She gets the best of him at first, but the size and strength advantage Dean has, wears her out and Dean pummels her, with Yellow Charlie feeling every punch.

He asks the Wizard if he can help his friend and he starts choking Sam with the green bands, saying Charlie wanted to become a hero and heroes always die. Dillon gestures to Charlie to pick up his gun and shoot him again. She says no several times, but Sam’s gasping for air, she looks at the old man and says I forgive you, we both do. He shoots Dillon in the head and the Wizard crumbles with a hole in his face, the magic ends, Sam’s fine.

He takes Yellow Charlie outside while Dean keeps hitting Dark Charlie and Sam yells Dean and the older brother looks at the good Charlie and lets the other half down gently. Sam puts her next to her dark-side and Dark Charlie says you did it, you killed the Wizard and Yellow Charlie nods. The dark-side says I knew you had the magic in you Celeste. Sam gives good Charlie the key causing her to glow and the other version to elevate and they become one again.

Charlie’s out for 48-hours when she wakes up at the Men Of Letters Headquarters, a broken arm and stitches on her face. Sam asks how the two sides are coexisting and she says she’ll settle for balance. Dean and she hug as she tells him, she forgives him and then she says we’re going to make this right.

The Story Continues, Next Tuesday Night at 9:00 pm on The CW.

Photo Courtesy Of FX Network

Photo Courtesy Of FX Network

 Warning: Spoiler Alert

In the world of sports, the “advanced statistics” crowd that has sprung up in recent years will tell you that there’s no such thing as momentum.  We can agree to disagree about that – and you can mark me down as at least a “partial disagree” – but hopefully even these analysts would concede that their theory bears no relation to the world of television.  Momentum can be a fragile entity, especially when a program is coming off of a fitful period, and as we covered last week, Season 5 certainly fit that bill.  But even the harshest critics – and there were a great many people who went over-the-top in venting their disappointment – were pleased with the final segment of Season 5, which really served as an early Season 6 preview more than anything else.  It indicated in no uncertain terms that Raylan and Boyd were finally going to drop the frenemies act and throw down once and for all – with Ava as the fulcrum, still with Boyd in some form or fashion while she secretly serves as a federal informant.  Episode 6.1 picked up right after those developments and delivered a barnburner, arguably the best season premiere in the show’s history.  So the biggest question going into Episode 6.2, Cash Game, was actually on a meta level: would the momentum sustain itself to the extent that we might already be speculating about this season as one of Justified’s best?

Well, while this episode didn’t feature any adrenaline thrills on par with Dewey Crowe’s violent end or Boyd and his crew pulling off that bank heist, any fair observer would have to conclude that this hour of television did indeed keep that snowball rolling.  The primary purpose was to continue to set the table for the final season and the additional characters that will populate it, but the hour was still full of satisfaction for any true fan of Justified.

While last week’s cold open began with the woman who, ideally, serves as Raylan’s endgame, his baby momma and ex-wife Winona, this show kicked off with Raylan’s brief Season 1 flame Ava – now a reluctant informer for the Marshalls – being scared by noises from her barn.  But the fear that pistol-totin’ Ava felt from the unknown was nothing compared to coming face-to-face with the man that she must betray, her fiancée/ex-fiancée/whatever Boyd.  She asks him not to show up unannounced in the future, a request that she does not realize will only spur him to think that something is truly off between them.  Later, her discovery of papers that he planted out there leads her to think that she finally has something that Raylan will find acceptable – when it turns out that Raylan simply thinks that Boyd may have set her up to test her and he gives them back to her.  She subsequently goes on the offense with Boyd, accusing him of endangering her legally by planting evidence stolen from the bank robbery in her possession.  After earlier professing that he would follow Ava anywhere in order to have a life with her, these words are distressing to him, but there’s no real sense that he regards her as a potential snitch.  It’s clear at this point, however, that she is nowhere near being close enough to him to gather sufficient evidence to keep her own neck out of the noose.

The actual “bounty” of the bank robbery is the narrative thread holding this episode together.  Pursuit of answers regarding it leads Raylan and Tim to the office of Calhoun, a greasy, in-over-his-head realtor working with Walker and the sharpies at Tigerhawk Security (is the former Blackwater being paid for obviously inspiring this firm’s identity?).  Throughout the episode, Calhoun plays dumb with Walker about the contents of the file, because he knows that he would not be allowed to live if these tough guys realized the extent of the documentation of their activities that he had recorded.  Of course, now Boyd is in position to squeeze Calhoun for extortion money since he knows the contents of the file.  Boyd was not nearly so prescient about the value of the materials early in the episode during a confrontation with the awesome Wynn Duffy and Katherine Hale, confronting them bitterly for sending him in under false pretenses.  Additionally, late in the episode when Ava pays Boyd a visit at his bar to begin the process of cozying up to him in earnest, she leads him to discover that one of the land claims in the file is of enormous interest because of another bank vault stored underneath it – and so begins the process of truly uncovering what’s up with Walker’s attempts at land acquisition in Harlan County.

Walker’s clash with stubborn landowners in the cold open carried a real undertone of menace, even as the woman in the nice couple seemed (deliberately?) to be a pleasant, Bizarro Mags Bennett.  His later encounter with Calhoun’s associate Joyce was equally chilling, the kind of scene on Justified in which an innocent victim usually ends up with a bullet to the dome – but not here.

The viewers are introduced to Walker’s crew, highlighted by a semi-dim giant named Choo-Choo, who is thwarted in predictable if amusing fashion when he attempts to tail Raylan and Tim.  Fans who are reluctant to invest in this season because of any disappointments that they may have suffered in Season 5 would do well to study the final scene, with the undertones of conflict yet to come between the Marshalls and Walker’s guys.  These aren’t the goofy swamp Crowes – they are world-class, military-trained badasses and they are an interesting insertion into this final campaign with the Raylan vs. Boyd clash that’s coming.  Speaking of which, our lead anti-hero and anti-anti-hero sparred verbally a bit, each holding a few cards close and deploying a few others – but in a conversation less threatening than FX’s clever promo department had assembled.

From the Tigerhawk crew came in passing a reference to Colorado, which strongly implies a tie-in to Colorado legal weed kingpin Avery Markham, the long-awaited Sam Elliott character who shares an interesting scene with old flame Katherine in this episode.  If Markham is the Big Bad behind Walker and the Tigerhawk company – a development not confirmed officially on-screen yet – then the heat’s getting turned up in Harlan way sooner than later.  And that would put Katherine in the fascinating position of sending Boyd in to rob her very dangerous beau – who displays immense menace and mouth-watering potential for mayhem in that single scene.

Again, this episode didn’t pack the repeated gut-punches of the season opener, but it played the role that was necessary – and it will go down in history as one of the better ones for Tim Gutterson witty banter, which is not insubstantial.  Until last season, Justified was always predictable – in a good way – about varying the pacing as needed throughout the season.  Given the vast sea of developments yet to come in the final 11 episodes of the series, the benefit of the doubt is completely appropriate in terms of anticipating how quickly we’ll be back to edge-of-your-seat developments.

As is now the custom with the Justified reviews here at NJATVS, here’s an extended version of commentary for this episode between Jason Jones and myself: an immediate post-show breakdown of the episode recorded in real time.  Past webcasts for Season 6 can be found when searching the Justified category on this site.  Additionally, here’s our Season 6 preview and our 10-hour Season 5 “box set” containing a season preview, review and analysis of every episode.

 

Photo Courtesy Of History Channel

Photo Courtesy Of History Channel

Warning: Spoiler Alert

No matter what your political convictions, Progressive, or Conservative, Republican, Democrat or Independent, I’d challenge any American to walk away from a well-made movie or TV program, about the fight for Independence from the British Empire and walk away without feeling pride for our nation. Although the History Channel Original Event “Sons Of Liberty,” started out slowly, the network presented a series that wouldn’t have been out of place in one of the Premium Cable Channel’s lineup. The miniseries presented its last chapter Tuesday night, with an episode jammed with action, triumph and in some cases heartbreak.

One of the aspects of the six-hour showcase that I enjoyed, is the series evoked the period perfectly, as it looked like realistic cities and towns in the New World, in the latter stages of the 18th century, however the characters have a modern sensibility about them. The characters, responded as we do under the same circumstances in the early portion of the 21st century. The BBCA series “The Musketeers,” projects that same kind of balance, letting the viewers of today know how folks lived 400-500 years ago, experiencing it through relatable characters.

Two actors, that I’d had little to no knowledge of, before this series, stood out; Ben Barnes, portraying the protagonist Samuel Adams, appears to have the skillset to make it as a leading man in films or television. The other man, who impressed me was Rafe Spall, in the role of John Hancock. He played the part perfectly, but he’s got a face that’s expressive enough for comedy, he reminded me of a younger Peter Scolari or Rick Moranis.

The third episode opened, right when the previous chapter ended, as we’re in a field in Lexington, Massachusetts, on April 19, 1775, watching the red-coats squaring off against the Colonial militia. The start of the scene’s in super slo-mo, so we watch the flintlock getting struck, the heat of the bullet leaving the barrel, followed by the smoke and bullet Then we return back to real-time and we start seeing the casualties, on both sides. Tim Kelly’s leading the way for the colonists while the red-coats fight under the command of General Gage’s military-aide, Major John Pitcairn. The red-coats quickly overpower the colonists, Tim Kelly taking one in the shoulder and another in the leg and falls to the field, his compatriots beat a hasty retreat.

Paul Revere’s heading for Concord riding through the woods, when he confronts two red-coats on horseback, he throws a knife at one killing him, then shoots the other one off his horse. A new soldier arrives and he shoots Revere’s steed, causing both the horse and the Patriot to fall to the ground, Revere rolling a few yards after falling. The soldier turned him over to see how badly hurt his opponent was, but Revere was playing possum and struggled with the Brit for his rifle.

Revere initially gets the advantage, but the red-coat regains the upper hand and hits Paul in the head with the butt of his rifle. He’s about to beat him to death, when Samuel shows up and takes him out. Another guard sneaks up on Adams his gun pointed, but someone kills him first, when the smoke clears we realize it’s John Hancock. He’s struggling with the moment, ten-years prior, the thought of killing another human would have caused him to convulse in laughter, the idea so ludicrous. Within this makeshift band of brothers that these men built through the years, Hancock has evolved the most, a subject we’ll return to. Revere comes to, thanks John and tells them to get to a safe spot, he’s riding on to Concord.

We return to the field of battle and a soldier rides up to inform Pitcairn, that Adams and Hancock escaped. The Major continues walking past the bodies of dead or wounded colonists, when he passes Tim Kelly, he tells two of his soldiers to raise him up. The big man’s badly wounded and Pitcairn asks him where Adams and Hancock are hiding. He stays silent, so the Brit took Kelly’s own hunting knife and stuck it into the wound in his shoulder, twisting and turning the blade. Tim spit blood but he remained silent, Pitcairn removed the knife and gently tapped Kelly on the head, then told a soldier to kill him. A bullet to the head took Tim Kelly’s life.

We’ve moved onto Barrett’s Farm in Concord, Massachusetts according to the graphic and we watch a man riding there rapidly on his horse. As he ties his animal to the post, we see a gun peeking out from the corner of the building, then realize, the area’s filled with snipers. A man in the front doorway asks the man who he is and what’s he doing on his land. The man tells him his name’s William Dawes, he’s Paul Revere’s friend (which causes Barrett to wave off the guns) and the whole state of Massachusetts, knows what in his barn. Is there anyway to hide it. Barrett opens the barn and it contains scores of rifles and barrel after barrel of gunpowder. He tells Dawes he’ll get some guys and they’ll bury it.

The men work like finely tuned machines and within hours they’ve got everything hidden, meanwhile each member of the militia, receives a rifle and pistol. They hide in the woods as Pitcairn and his regiment march towards the farm, the Major and another officer ride ahead and Pitcairn greets him as Captain James Barrett, to which Barrett replies he’s not been called Captain in years.

Pitcairn tries making social niceties, but it only lasts so long, he tells Barrett that the Brits are aware he’s a close ally of Paul Revere and he stores the munitions for him. Barrett tells him to look around as much as he wants and the red-coats look everywhere and all they find is one tiny musket ball about the size of a pea. Pitcairn shows it to Barrett and he laughs and says it’s a memento from the glories of war, nostalgia doesn’t connect to treason. The Major has the other soldier rough up Barrett and he’s on the ground, Pitcairn stands over him with a pistol pointed at him and says nostalgia’s going to get you killed.

Right then Revere gives the command to fire and the Brits go down one after another, suffering major injuries. Pitcairn gets shot in the thigh, then gives the order to fall back to the bridge. This time it’s the red-coats on the run as the Colonial Army gains their first victory, over the planet’s strongest military. Barrett grabs a flag the red-coats left behind and Paul tells him that’s his prize, now let’s get going and take back our city.

The red-coats limp back into Boston, with cart after cart of injured men, they pass the State House and General Thomas Gage tells Pitcairn to dismount while addressing his commanding officer. Gage then asks how did this happen, the Major responds his men fought viciously, but the rebels are savages. He tells Gage that the colonists are on the march and could be outside the city’s walls. They couldn’t find Adams, Hancock or the munitions, somebody tipped them off. Gage blames his soldiers and tells Pitcairn to thoroughly investigate which of his men’s the traitor.

That evening Gage stands in contemplation in front of his fireplace then heads to Margaret’s bedroom, he startles her and he asks if her friend Dr. Joseph Warren’s mentioned John Hancock or Samuel Adams? She says she’s never heard the names and barely knows Dr. Warren. Gage looks at her and says I know it was you, their blood is on your hands, you traitor, then walks out of the room locking her inside.

The graphic tells us we’re now at a Colonial Encampment, four miles west of Boston. The entire field’s filled with tents and Warren offers Sam an apple for breakfast which he refuses, Joseph asks him when he last ate? Adams looks at his old friend and asks if the rumors about Joseph and Gage’s wife are true and Warren stays poker faced. Sam says you’ve watched out for me over the years, but now I’m telling you to be careful. John Adams rides up ending the conversation.

John tells his cousin that they want to convene a second Continental Congress and they want Samuel to explain his actions. Adams says we’re a bit busy right now and all they’ll do is write another lovely letter to the Crown, then says he won’t go. John says then they’ll align with the British and wipe Boston off the map, Hancock quickly agrees with John. He says he’s been around money-men all his life and they’ll do anything to preserve their fortune. The English will bribe the other colonies wealthiest citizens and they’ll accept the deal. Revere says he and Warren will command the lines, they should head to Philadelphia.

Gage’s melting-down in front of his officers, he tells an aide to get a letter off to Lord North telling him they need another 20,000 soldiers. He tells one of his officers to take charge of locking down Boston, nobody leaves the city, anyone attempting to will be shot on sight. He says we’re in a war now start acting like it and dismisses his officers.

We’re back in Philadelphia at the State House for the second Continental Congress and it’s like a bad rerun, as the delegate from Pennsylvania, that was against Boston the first time’s back on his soapbox. He says there aren’t troops in Pennsylvania, or New York, just in Boston and because of this man Samuel Adams. He then says that he and his thuggish friends have made life tougher for the rest of the colonies.

Samuel stands up and gets right in the other delegates face and says he wasn’t there, or the rest of them. They have no idea what conditions they live under, good, patriotic men have lost their lives and possessions for this cause. I’m willing to work with you, any of you to solve this problem. The other delegate responds that he created and Adams walks out. Hancock says we need another way to win these men over and John Adams smiles and says he has an idea.

The three men go to visit a man in Philadelphia, acting like schoolboys waiting to see Santa. John says this is the place of greatness, while Hancock says he can’t believe he’s still alive. Suddenly the door opens and their stands Ben Franklin in a bathrobe, paying a lady of the evening for her company. As she leaves he asks the trio why there in his house? John replies they have an appointment with him, then introduces himself and the others, Franklin says as long as you don’t tear down the place come on in.

Back at the Colonial Encampment, now located one mile north of Boston, Amos tells the others that Gage and the British still hold Boston, but they’re surrounded on all sides. They can’t hold out much longer, then they’ll attack the colonists. Warren asks about the militia, Amos responds it’s growing every day, but the man aren’t trained. Revere asks if they can handle a full-out attack  and Amos responds, perhaps two or three rounds, but they’d fall.

Franklin sits down with the three men and outlines what their desires are for their colony and all three men agree they’re on the same page. Franklin says he’s lived in London for the last ten-years and Parliament won’t give them a sliver of what they want. He tells them they aren’t talking about defending their rights, they want to become another country, with all 13-colonies banded together as a new nation. Is that what they really want? Samuel immediately responds with a yes and Franklin smiles and says the idea’s completely nuts, but that’s what he wants as well. Now they just have to sell it to the others.

With Franklin in tow (in lieu of the Cowardly Lion,) the four head to the State House and immediately get the support of Virginia delegate Thomas Jefferson. John congratulates him on the convert and Franklin says he was already on their side, he opens the door to the chambers and says here’s where the fun starts. Franklin, John Adams and Hancock, sidle up to all the delegates, Adams even asking the Pennsylvania delegate, how he can address his concerns. When they return to Franklin’s, Samuel asked what all that talk’s going to accomplish. Franklin says politics is like playing chess, you always plan five steps ahead, in five steps the colonists take their King.

Back in Boston, General Thomas Gage’s barely holding it together. He says the British Empire has the most powerful in the world, yet this band of colonists has them at a standoff. One officer says that they’re just colonists, but they far outnumber the red-coats. Gage says no excuses, then an officer suggests a plan that will cost them hundreds of soldiers, they cross the harbor and march through Charlestown to capture Bunker Hill. Pitcairn says the losses they’d suffer would end up as a horrific number, the officer counters they can lose lives, they can’t lose Boston. Gage silences his Major and the plan goes into effect.

On June 16, 1775, Gage sends the orders to start the battle for Bunker Hill at daybreak. As the soldiers line up the next morning, Gage addresses his troops, tells them what they march to do today, we do for King and country and the troops respond back, for King and country. Many of us will die today and we will die with honor, The troops respond back, for King and country, HOOSAH, HOOSAH.

The colonists look to the water and see five British ships heading their way, they then start fortifying Bunker Hill so they can save it from being won back by the English. Revere pulls out a flag with a snake cut in pieces, with each colony representing a different piece of the reptile, above it read the banner, Join Or Die. They put it atop the hill and wait for their opponents arrival. Paul tells his soldiers he knows they’re scared and there’s no shame in it, anyone who has something’s afraid of dying. But he tells his men to hold the high ground and don’t let the red-coats take the hill.

The battle went through three stages, the first one the Brits pounded the colonists into the ground with rapid-fire cannons. The colonists fell back and the British advanced and this time the rebels kicked the English tails, killing line after line of red-coats as they marched in procession to their deaths. An officer called for the red-coats to fall back and seeing they had the English on the run, got the colonists giddy as they killed more and more men. Gage ordered that the retreat be halted, then tells his troops to prepare for a second advancement and he tells Pitcairn, that he’ll lead the charge. Pitcairn realized it was a suicide mission and that’s why Gage held back, but he rallied the troops by yelling for the glory of the Marines.

The Colonists had the advantage early and Pitcairn got shot on his horse fell to the ground and bled out, while his soldiers marched past him. There’s always that one scene in war films, where one of the good guys realizes his chance of survival are slim but he’s going to take out as many opponents, as he can before he falls. It’s used for dramatic effect and of course it was Dr. Joseph Warren and when Gage saw him on the battle field, charged into the fray. Warren took out a lot of soldiers, then got shot in the leg, he fell to the ground but rose when Gage rode up. Gage passed him on his horse, then stopped and shot him in the head, telling his men to mutilate the body. He first though dips his hands in Warren’s blood.

He heads straight home marches into Margaret’s bedroom and tells him he killed Warren with his own hands and shows her the blood, she starts crying and hitting him. He tells her to pack her things she’s sailing for England on the next ship.

At the Continental Congress, John Adams receives a message and tells the delegates the war’s started, as Gage killed hundreds of colonists including their good friend Dr. Joseph Warren. The delegate from Pennsylvania asks for a moment of silence. George Washington slams his hand on the table and says no, we’ve been silent too long. General Gage, is a vicious, brutal tyrant that will stop at nothing. I’ll ride to Boston and take care of him myself, any objections? The room stayed silent, Washington leaves and seconds later Samuel leaves.

John Hancock goes out to the stable to talk to Samuel, he tells him that without him, this thing falls apart. Adams says everybody in there has an agenda and Hancock agrees, everyone but Samuel. John says I finally got what you’ve fought for all this time, you just want folks to have a good life and existence. He then tells Adams that he changed Hancock, he says I’m broke and I’m okay with that, this is all I’ve got and he throws Adams the signal coin. He begs Sam not to leave, but Adams gets on his horse and says good luck. He rides a mile or so, then stops reflecting on his options. Hancock, John Adams and Franklin are at Franklin’s trying to figure out if they got all the delegates they need. Samuel walks in and says enough games, this time we do things his way. Franklin says glad you’re back.

Paul Revere’s pleasantly surprised as George Washington and six thousand soldiers arrive to help battle Gage. When the British General finds out that Washington’s arrived he tells an aide to set-up a meeting for the two of them. Gage rides out to the Colonial Encampment at night with one soldier to meet Washington, whose got Revere by his side.

Gannon attempts to rile up George’s temper by bringing up unpleasant circumstances from the past. Finally Gage tells Washington that he wants safe passage for he and his officers, or he’ll burn Boston to the ground. Washington agrees to the terms and Gage rides away.

In Philadelphia, Franklin pulls John Hancock aside and tells him he wants him to be President of the Continental Congress. John’s shocked that Ben’s picked him over Samuel, but Franklin asks if John knows he grew up in Boston and Hancock says he does. He said that he knew Hancock’s uncle very well and he could do impressive things in some areas for some people and John smiles and agrees. Ben looks him in the eye and says I know where you come from and I know where you ended up. You’re the man for the job.

Graphic tells us we’re back in Boston for Evacuation Day March 17, 1776. The red-coats are leaving Boston in droves, the colonists are elated, shooting off fireworks, dancing and drinking. Washington and Revere walk through the crowd smiling and George says to Paul, they think it’s over.

Samuel Adams addresses the Continental Congress and says to the delegates he knows what they think of him and he agrees he’s all the things they don’t like. However he says I’m meaningless to the Crown and so are all of you, they behave as if we don’t exist. We need a fair and equal chance, that’s our God-given right and I’ll fight for that and die for it. South Carolina’s the wild card for a unanimous passage and they vote yes.

As the delegates sign the Declaration Of Independence, Washington reads it aloud to his troops, we see the document getting signed, flashbacks along the journey and the British returning to the colonies to fight. But Washington yells charge and we leave these founders of our nation, to win Independence.

Courtesy of The CW

Courtesy of The CW

Warning: Spoiler Alert

We start this week with Barry stopping three criminals on motorcycles. He does so by being faster than them and redirecting them so that their ‘split up’ strategy wouldn’t work. When he returns to Star Labs, Cisco desperately wants a picture of everyone to mark what’s happening. Just for them. Famous last words.

Harrison Wells gets arrives home. A home, I might add that would make Gordon Gecko blush. He leaves the wheelchair by the front door and walks through the house. His phone rings and the voice on the other end claims he knows what Wells did. Then his skylight windows come crashing down. If you were holding out hope that there was some other explanation other than Wells is the Reverse Flash, you can put that to bed as we see Wells speed to a wall to avoid the glass falling. The voice on the phone identified himself as the “Piper”.

Flashback to two years ago. Wells is playing chess with a young man who goes by “Hartley”. He gives off sort of ‘Riddler’ vibe, but we’ll wait and see on that end. This happens to be the day Cisco is to interview for Star Labs. Hartley doesn’t take kindly to Cisco’s sense of style. Cisco leaves the room and Wells reiterates that Harvey is “still his guy, and nothing will change that.”

The police, including Joe and Barry arrive at the estate. Wells gives Joe the typical explanation. Joe and Eddie both don’t buy it. Too much damage for a man who can’t walk to come away unscathed. Then Wells finds Barry who has reassembled the broken glass and finds no point of impact. Barry inquires as to what’s going on.

Barry: This was no teenaged prank…?
Wells: No it wasn’t.
Barry: But you don’t want our help, why…?
Wells: Because. I already know who did this. Harley Rathaway.
Barry: Who is Harley Rathaway?
Wells: Harley Rathaway is the prodigal son. And he has returned.

Iris got a job with the Central City Picture News as a reporter. I cannot begin to articulate how badly I want to fast forward through this particular story line. But, we march on. At least her enthusiasm on her first day is being met with complete indifference.

Barry has a theory that Rathaway has found a way to utilize sonic technology, and specifically pinpointing the sound frequency to explode certain solids. Which is how he could shatter Wells’ windows without a point of impact. He is currently removing Rathaway Industries (his family’s company) of their windows. So far he’s coming off as the “Window Bandit”.

Barry arrives and does what you’d expect Barry to do at this point of the interaction. He neutralizes the situation. Before the scene ends though, Rathaway name drops Barry’s team and mentions that he can hear them from within Barry’s suit. Then mentions that he “knows Wells’ secret”.

In the containment cell, Hartley attempts to be clever, condescending and enlightening all at the same time. Creating a parallel between his experience with Wells (prodigal son and all) and that of Barry. Wells gets back to the main control room and admits that he has not been completely honest with the team. Wells gives a story about how Hartley warned him that the accelerator could in fact explode. Wells simply decided to see the benefits as outweighing the risks. Something that Caitlin did not take well to hearing. Everyone, including Barry, eventually walk out on Wells. Can’t even fathom what happens when the bigger truth comes out.

Cisco’s working on Hartley’s gloves (the source of the sonic tech) when Cisco tells Caitlin that his gloves were on the lowest setting. Why risk minimal damage unless he wanted to get caught. Saw that one two commercial breaks ago. Cisco takes off. As does Harrison, on his legs running. Harrison loses his balance and falls uttering a very telling phrase.

Wells: Not now…

Hartley pulled the metallic thing from inside his ear (which he mentioned earlier would be excruciating). He uses it as an explosive to blow off the containment door. With Cisco racing towards that very containment door.

All of this seems to be a ploy allowing Hartley to hack into the Star Labs network. Wells calls Barry who is out listening to Iris complain about work. After which, Hartley approaches Wells wearing his sonic gloves. By the time Barry gets to Wells, Hartley is gone. While the team tries to relieve each other’s sense of guilt and responsibility, Wells arrives and says all of it is his fault.

Barry: Where are you going?
Wells: To earn back your trust.

Harrison Wells has called a press conference. In the Police station lobby for some reason. The press conference is smoke screen. He is publicly taking responsibility for the accident. He is admitting that he was warned by a colleague. But really doing little else, other than soft balling Iris an opportunity to ask a question and earn some brownie points with her colleague. The idea was to give just enough at the presser to draw Hartley out again, who will insist on the last word.

Hartley takes over the lab remotely to tell Wells that his charade didn’t work. There is one last game of chess to be played. Hartley vs The Flash. A game Wells is reluctant to play. Barry is more than happy to oblige. They have trouble pinpointing his location. Eventually Cisco thinks he has it measuring seismic activity.

Hartley is on a dam throwing cars over the side forcing Barry to retrieve plummeting people. Cisco discovers the motivation to get caught. Hartley stole the records of Barry’s molecular scans. With the that information, Hartley to find Barry’s frequency. Earlier, Barry gave Joe a lesson in frequency and how the right frequency can explode pretty much any matter. This could be just as simple as jealousy.

Barry does his thing and disarms Hartley. There is a time and a place for standing over your enemy and dropping a cheesy line in victory. This is not that moment. Disarming Hartley triggered the desired frequency effect being channeled through Barry’s own com system. Using the satellite radio in one of the surrounding cars, Wells is able to reroute his own frequency that will disable all of Hartley’s tech. Stopping the effect on Barry but also destroying the other tech. Including the ones keeping Hartley’s head pain at bay, in the process immobilizing him or maybe even killing him.

With trust restored (for now), the team progresses forward. Barry returns to CCPD to give a heartfelt speech to Joe about what it meant to be raised by him and that no one will ever replace him. Not even Dr. Wells. Barry leaves as Eddie arrives. Eddie was sent to search Wells’ home and came up empty. Not surprising considering the Reverse Flash suit is hidden in Star Labs. Then Eddie asks if Joe really wants to go down this path? Investigating Wells.

Hartley (not dead) wakes up in his cell to find Cisco walking towards him. Hartley lets Cisco enjoy his moment, but then tells him that Cisco will be letting him out of his cage very soon.

Hartley: I can’t imagine how you’re going to feel when you open these doors and let me out of here.
Cisco: Maybe I’m going deaf, because I could have sworn you just said I’m going to let you out?
Hartley: And very soon too.
Cisco: Why would I ever do that?
Hartley: Because I know where Ronnie Raymond is. I know what really happened to him that night. And I know how to save him.

In the brail room, Wells stands wearing the tachyon device. The levels of which are unstable. Wells has been using this to maintain his ability to utilize his speed, but only as a band-aid. “The real end game is almost here.”

Courtesy of ABC

Courtesy of ABC

Warning: Spoiler Alert

Jarvis stands in front of two lackeys attempting to broker a deal of some sort. One would assume its to buy back one of Stark’s “Bad Babies”. It quickly becomes a shakedown. A shakedown that Jarvis is not pleased about.

Jarvis: Your manners never cease to disappoint.

The item Jarvis was attempting to purchase was not a Bad Baby. It was a container the size of a small room. Inside of which looked remarkably like an actual room, complete with furniture, art on the wall and Howard Stark. The SSR is hell-bent on hanging as much as they can around Howard’s neck including treason. Stark can’t hide at home, instead we turn our attention to “the Griffith”. A place that does not permit men at all.

Chief Dooley heads to Germany to chase down Ernst Mueller who is set to be executed in the coming days. How this pertains to Stark is yet to be seen. With the Chief out, Thompson becomes the interim Chief. This means Peggy will be relegated to running down lunch orders. A great opportunity for her to snoop around and get some pictures with the camera pen Stark gave her.

Agent Sousa is working on his own lead that at most will implicate Jarvis and maybe Peggy but get them no closer to Stark. A homeless war vet who won’t talk to cops. Sousa gives a heartfelt story hoping to open this homeless man up, but to no avail.

Peggy heads downstairs to swipe some food for Howard, when she returns, he looks glum. All of his inventions are in the SSR lab. That should be good news. Howard needs Peggy to steal one back from the lab. A proposition that Peggy is not thrilled about. She needs to recover the “Blitzkrieg Button”, a sphere the size of a baseball that has the capability to knock out the entire power grid in the tri-state area.

Mr. Mink the gentleman whose men were trying to extort Jarvis in the cold open, has decided to take matters into his own hands, quite literally. He killed his two lackeys with what looked like a pistol sized Gatling gun. Now he is tailing Jarvis and Peggy. In the car, Jarvis keeps tugging on his right ear when Carter asks certain questions. Could be a tell. We already know that Stark and Jarvis are keeping something from Carter, we just don’t know what or how egregious.

Dooley arrives in Germany to meet with Mueller who is hours from his execution. Dooley wants to know about a specific war battle that ties Mueller to the dead Russians. He offers cyanide as an alternative to being hanged. This way Mueller can rob his captors of the satisfaction of watching him squirm toward death.

Thompson walks into Sousa’s interrogation with a cheeseburger and a bottle of Scotch. Thompson gets the homeless vet to roll over pretty quickly. Later on, Peggy arrives at SSR. She pulls the old switch-eroo pretty easily. However, Jarvis’ tell has her concerned. After lifting the sphere she takes it into a room. She flips the switch and the canister opens. Inside is a vile of someone’s blood. This is not adding up. When she returns to The Griffith, she is adamant that Howard say what’s in the vile. My mind went straight for the ailment that Tony Stark will eventually have, but that was caused by the shrapnel not heredity. It’s so obvious it should have slapped me in the face. The vile contains Steve Roger’s blood. Then Carter decked him.

When Howard comes to, he might have wished he hadn’t. The important play by-play as it pertains to the plot is that the government had 11 viles of Steve’s blood and Howard only had one. The government has all but depleted their supply. Peggy’s bigger concern is to the why. Why all the running around? Why risk her neck to save Howard’s? Especially if he’s not interested in clearing his name. Meanwhile, Mr. Mink dressed as a florist delivery man, got Peggy’s room number and is attempting to sneak in. Leaving Stark vulnerable.

Dottie, Peggy’s new neighbor departs her apartment and discovers Mink. He tells her to go back inside. She does not. He pulls his mini Gatling gun out and points it at Dottie. She tilts her head like a curious puppy and says, “is that automatic, I want that”. Then she runs up the walls and takes Mink out in one swift move. Starting to wonder if Dottie plays the same role for Peggy as Kate (Agent 13) did for Steve Rogers in Winter Soldier.

Jarvis intercepts Peggy and tries to make amends, unsuccessfully. She walks off and Jarvis pulls a u-turn. Howard is sitting with his face in a paper in a shoe shine seat. Jarvis conveys his dislike for the apologizing part of his job description. Then Jarvis departs. Leaving two men reading a newspaper. Howard is no longer reading the paper. Then the man next to him asks to borrow the sports page. Howard begrudgingly complies. The other man was Stan Lee. Patriarch of Marvel comics.

At SSR, Sousa finally entertains an idea the rest of us have already known about. Maybe the woman in the picture from the night club is not actually blonde. Meanwhile, Dooley returns to the office and Thompson has a wrinkle to the story that Dooley will be pleased with. The battle in question apparently never being a battle in the first place, instead a one-sided massacre. This Dooley knew. Thompson pulled the flight log from the day after the battle. One name jumps off the page. Howard Stark.

Peggy arrives home and immediately turns up the radio and breaks a hole in her wall. Dottie, next door admiring her new Gatling pistol, here’s a knock at her door. It’s Angie to see if Dottie is coming down to dinner. Peggy is putting a hole in the wall to hide the sphere that contains Steve’s blood. Back at SSR, Dooley adds Mueller to the evidence wall. Then something strange happens. The typewriter they grabbed from the Man in the Green Suit’s place, started self typing.

You’re not going to want to miss next week’s episode. Two words. Howling. Commandoes.