Agents of SHIELD: New Obstacles Force Desperate Measures

Courtesy of ABC/Marvel
Courtesy of ABC/Marvel

Warning: Spoiler Alert

Agents of SHIELD season 3 begins as ominously as season 1 did. A strange apartment with what looks like the remains of a human person reduced to standing ash. Down on the street there are what appear to be random explosions, melting metal and the sound of chaos. One man seems to be the source of the carnage, even though he’s not doing in on purpose. The “authorities” show up to grab the man. After hearing “lethal force” he decides to flee.

From the alley he can see the bodies of whoever tried to take him flung like weightless tumble weeds. Enter Daisy (formerly Skye), she’s here to help. Pardon my fanboy take, but it doesn’t hurt that she grows more and more into this role with each passing episode and season. Mack and Hunter accompany her and clear a small area while she tries to convince “Joey” that they are here to help. Hunter puts something down in the alley and a small white Tardis looking thing lands in its place. Difference being, this box looks exactly the same size from the outside as it does from the inside. The strange almost Tardis makes its way onto a very large jet. Almost looks like the mother ship version of the quinjet.

The “authorities” convene at the scene of the extraction. A woman with a scar above her lip rolls down the window. She is clearly in charge of this team at the very least.

Daisy meets with Joey (with him still inside his mini Tardis) separated by window glass as she tries to explain what’s happening to a frantic man completely in the dark. She eventually talks him down and convinces him to get some rest. As someone who has been through this, the empathy shows through and Joey begins to relax. And with a nod to last season’s finale, she asks him if he takes fish oil. The fish oil thing is going to be a problem for a while.

The woman in the truck walks through a hospital corridor giving orders to her #2. She seems to be in charge of rounding up Inhumans. She is clearly not pleased that one slipped through their grasp.

Coulson’s new toy, the mother ship quinjet lands at an undisclosed location. Joey’s Tardis is lowered into a white honeycomb room. Like the bus’ interrogation room, but less threatening. Bobbi begins to brief Joey on what comes next, mostly medical and sleeping arrangements. Joey lashes out mildly claiming that Bobbi doesn’t know anything about him. Then she schools him on just how much she could deduce just by reading his Facebook page. Joey appears to be a good guy who is concerned with the notion that he may have harmed innocent people. Reports on that end are optimistic. No fatalities as of yet.

Coulson, Mack and Hunter discuss the problem at large and find out that our mystery woman has at least four aliases each working at the highest level of various governmental agencies (CIA, MI-6, CDC). Coulson asks Hunter to take a gun they retrieved from the scene down to Bobbi to have it analyzed. It is absolutely clear that Hunter is sticking to his guns about having nothing to do with Bobbi going forward.

Daisy and Mack pay Joey a visit. No hostility. Joey jumps to the wrong conclusion out of the gate. Assuming that Mack is there as muscle. Mack quickly clarifies that Daisy is the muscle. Joey asks for them to take off the kid gloves and Daisy lays it on him, so she does. Joey’s reaction is muted but hysterical laughter. The laughing stops when Mack and Daisy explain that he cannot return to his old life. Joey rejects this new reality and demands they let him go. Mack uploads news footage covering the damage Joey has caused. Still, he persists and Daisy has to put him down.

Bobbi is on Monolith detail (the boulder that liquefied and swallowed Simmons in last season’s finale). With no Simmons, Bobbi is left to tend to the lab. That is in part because Fitz won’t rest while Simmons is missing, taking time off to research everything he can. Fitz is checking on another ‘last lead’ in Tangiers Morocco. He tries to ‘cool’ his way past the guards to get to a man who apparently has something Fitz needs. He is bagged and roughed up. The case that looks like it has money in it cannot be opened by the man’s goons. They offer Fitz his life in exchange for opening the case. Fitz rejects the offer. Then Fitz in a way only Fitz can turn the tables, explains how this is going down, consequences be damned.

Fitz: I tracked it, not easy…through history. To Mosul’s museum in Iraq. But it was taken by your extremist buddies when they ransacked the place this year. Now I’m 90% sure it’s in this room. So…you can either hand it over in exchange for what’s in that case, or you can spill my guts all over the sand and use the briefcase as a booster seat. It’s totally your call.

The leader of this group eventually retrieves the item Fitz requires. Fitz opens the case to reveal the mini bombs that Simmons tried to use to kill Ward. But did if fact end up killing Bakshi. The radicals thought they would use one of these mini bombs to kill Fitz and leave no remains. When they tried to activate one to use on Fitz, it only created blindingly strong light-giving Fitz just enough time to grab the artifact and flee.

Joey is not taking to his adjustment period very well. Daisy has an idea. It’s not a new one, but perhaps one worth trying. She’d like to bring Lincoln in.

Our mystery lady is from DARPA. Bobbi has found an opening in the woman’s daily routine for Coulson to exploit. He and Hunter get on the subway during the only alone time she has. Or so they thought. Coulson makes his opening statement about her being hard to pin down and she calmly replies that he wasn’t. Then each and every person (except one old lady) on the train reveals themselves as part of her detail. It’s not clear who has the upper hand between Coulson and this “Rosalind”, but they have a very calm and revealing back and forth. As of now, Rosalind plans to detain Coulson and wants to know the location of the Inhumans he has secured. By the end of their back and forth, Coulson and Rosalind both deny responsibility for the dead Inhumans.

Lincoln is anything but cooperative to Daisy’s request to have him join SHIELD in an attempt to help these new Inhumans transition. As tempers rise, the electricity in the building flickers but this is not Lincoln’s doing. All three run out of the room in time to witness a very large deep voiced creature that looks like a long-lost cousin of Raina’s assault a man demanding to know where the Inhumans are.

Both Coulson and Rosalind get a phone call at the same time. Coulson suggests that if they are both getting the same phone call, chances are both are innocent of the other’s accusations. Rosalind takes her call in the next subway car over. Coulson convinces one of her goons to answer his phone or it will just keep ringing. This gives Coulson just enough of an opportunity to gain the upper hand so that he and Hunter can escape.

Whatever this porcupine creature is, it is very strong. Able to open holes in walls. Even when Daisy and Lincoln focus their powers on him simultaneously, it only slows him down. He creates a hole in the floor to elude their attack. Instead of joining them Lincoln flees.

The President addresses the nation on the subject of “Alien Threats”. He speaks of an agency to take SHIELD’s place. He’s speaking of Rosalind’s team. “The laws of Nature have changed”. With the address in the background Coulson views a computer simulation of the Terrigen (the element that precipitates the Inhuman mutation) outbreak until the computer reveals 100% contamination.

Fitz returns at a frantic pace to begin work on the artifact he so recklessly tried to acquire. He doesn’t notice Coulson in the shadows of the lab. Fitz is compelled to find the answer. Coulson is trying to redirect his attention by recanting a Thomas Edison like track record of failure. Even references Ant-man, or at least the shrinking procedure. Coulson even listens to this newest theory. Then Fitz is able to find the parchment he was looking for. In it was one word spelled in Hebrew. “Death”. Coulson then transitions to the thing we all (including Fitz) knew he was going to take this. Its time to let Jemma go.

Iain De Caestecker’s acting in the 90 or so seconds that followed, on its own merits an Emmy award. He is able to hold the almost cry face for longer than most people can hold their breath. Coulson invites him to join Coulson as they travel to Simmons’ parent’s home to inform them that she is M.I.A. Fitz makes a b-line for the Monolith. Using a shotgun he blows off Mack’s locks, tosses the gun aside and steps into the Monolith’s chamber. What follows might just be the best frantically, emotionally, angry display of acting I’ve seen in a very long time. Fitz screaming at this large black rock, demanding that it do something. Something like swallow him up as it did Simmons.

After the break but before the “see what happens on our next episode” tease, a woman runs for her life on terrain that most closely resembles the planet seen in Thor 2: The Dark World. Dark, cold, jagged and with dual moons in the distance. That woman is of course Jemma Simmons.

Gotham: Monsters Will Cleanse This City In Fire And Blood

Photo Courtesy Of FOX
Photo Courtesy Of FOX

Warning: Spoiler Alert

Looks like our old friend Oswald Cobblepot’s going to have a challenger as King Of Gotham City’s world of crime. In the second episode of the second season of the FOX hit series “Gotham,” we watched Theo Galavan’s band of escapees from Arkham Asylum make their presence known in grand fashion. Galavan’s the ultimate marionette, keeping his identity in the shadows as his escapees wreak havoc and getting Gotham City Mayor Aubrey James to publicly disappear through pure intimidation. Can the Penguin and company stand up against Galavan, his sister Tabitha and his escapees?

Published reports during the summer stated that two major characters would get killed off in the season’s first few episodes. One of those deaths took place in this episode and unfortunately our prediction in our season preview article turned out to be correct, ushering in a new day in Gotham City.

The episode opens with a meeting between Galavan, his sister Tabitha and Gotham City Mayor Aubrey Plaza, who finds himself in the uncomfortable position of having a wooden box covering his head. Theo tells James that he’s going to open the latch in the front of the box and one of two things will occur. Either James agrees to call his secretary and tell her he’s run off with a woman and he’ll send her written instructions of what to do, or Galavan will put a tarantula in the box and close the latch. Naturally the Mayor chooses to make the phone call.

James asks Galavan why he’s doing this to him and the businessman and community leader tells him that he’s just a part of the great endeavor, the great cleansing. Theo tells the Mayor that monsters are coming, who’ll cleanse the city in fire and blood.

We head to the offices of the Gotham Gazette and we see the editor in chief turn up his nose at the paper’s headline asking Where’s The Mayor. The editor starts shouting at his staff that he could care less where James is or whom he’s sleeping with, he says that’s not news. As he gives his lecture, we see bodies coming from the roof, dropping past their windows. The reporters rush to the windows to find out what’s going on.

On top of the roof we find the four men that Galavan and his sister busted out of Arkham Asylum, in the first episode. They’ve got seven hostages up on the roof, in straight-jackets and Jerome spray-paints a letter on each of their jackets and Aaron Helzinger picks them up and throws them to the street below. When they’ve finished the dead men on the ground spell out MANIAX! They’ve introduced themselves to Gotham City.

New GCPD Commissioner Sarah Essen’s working out of her old office in her old precinct. She addresses her officers and informs them they’re dealing with a massive problem, then turns over the floor to reinstated Detective Jim Gordon who gives a rundown on the MANIAX personnel. Jerome Valeska killed his mother, Arnold Dobkins’ a schizoid, a thief and rapist. Robert Greenwood murdered and then ate six women, Aaron Helzinger murdered his entire family with his bare hands and Barbara Kean killed her parents. The seven victims were all from the Yellen shipyard.

Galavan’s meeting with the four men planning their introduction, he says what they did was just the overture. Jerome impresses Galavan the most and when the boys get into a spitting contest over whose the boss, Valeska bests Greenwood in a game of Russian Roulette and winning the title.

Barbara and Tabitha enter the room with James in tow, still with the box on his head and the lid’s latched. The women are taking turns whipping him and tell Theo they’re bored. Kean asks when it’s going to be her turn to do something dastardly and Galavan smiles and says soon. Them he asks her what she knows about Jim Gordon?

Alfred and Bruce are down in Wayne’s father’s secret cave located below Wayne Manor and Alfred’s distraught at what he’s finding in there. There’s a cache of weapons and a bullet-proof vest with two slugs embedded in it. Bruce wants to turn on his father’s computer, but Alfred asks him to think it through. Wayne responds he’s thought about it enough, this contains all his father’s secrets. He turns it on, but Pennyworth destroys the server with a sledge-hammer, saying that what’s inside the computer likely cost Bruce’s father his life and he won’t let Bruce get killed. Wayne tells his butler and guardian that he’s fired and for him to leave and never return.

Jim heads down the bar that Harvey bartends at and he has an unpleasant reunion with Bullock’s fiancée Scottie Mullens. She asks why he’s there and tells Harvey he’s going to ask him to go back to being a cop, but Bullock tells her she’s mistaken. Jim says she’s right, that’s exactly why he came and Harvey tells him he’s got a life now and won’t go back. Before Gordon leaves Harvey tells him to look for a connection with Yellen shipyards, where all the hostages got taken from.

Alfred comes into the library with a small suitcase and bids goodbye to Bruce, Wayne tells him if he needs a reference that he’ll give him a great one. Alfred’s hoping the boy had a change of mind, but he leaves the mansion and heads to the train station.

Harvey’s hunch panned out, the MANIAX stole a filled-up fuel truck from the shipyard and the guys have chosen their victims, a school-bus filled with cheerleaders from Gotham City High School. Jerome soon has all the cheerleaders manacled to their seats  and then sprays them all with gasoline from the truck’s hose. He goes to light the gasoline, but his lighter doesn’t work, so Arnold Dobkins tries his, just as the police arrive. The MANIAX fire on the GCPD realizing they won’t receive return fire, standing in front of the schoolhouse. After shooting some officers they take off leaving Dobkins whose lighter’s failing to spark. Gordon grabs him but it’s a second too late as he finally lit the gasoline trail on the ground leading to the bus.

Jim knocks Dobkins to the ground with a punch in the face and then drives the bus to safety, seconds before the gasoline fire explodes. Gordon grabs Dobkins and asks who busted them out of Arkham, but before Arnold can respond Tabitha shoots him through the head with a high-powered rifle from a nearby rooftop. Now the MANIAX are down to four.

Bruce heads down to the train-station and finds Alfred sitting on a bench and sits down next to him. He tells his guardian he doesn’t want him to leave and he understands he did what he did to protect Bruce. However he says that Alfred’s either with him or against him, Pennyworth responds that of course he’s with him but he believes Wayne’s too young and not ready.

Wayne tells him that’s cool, so he wants Alfred to make him ready to teach him how to become a warrior. He says that Alfred’s lived a dangerous life and he can prepare him, the boy even says he’ll go back to school. Pennyworth agrees to the deal if Bruce follows his instructions completely and when Alfred tells him to hold back he’ll restrain himself. Wayne shakes Alfred’s hand and says he’s got a deal, but Alfred has to get the computer fixed. When Pennyworth asks how he’s going to do that, Bruce responds it’s Alfred’s problem since he broke it.

Regular readers of these pages, are well aware of my admiration of Sean Pertwee’s portrayal of Alfred. Although I enjoyed Michael Caine in the role in the Dark Knight Trilogy, Pertwee brings an edge to the part. He’s a dangerous man and when the situation calls for it, Alfred freely reveals that side of him. The next scene showcases that part of Pennyworth’s personality, as he tracks down Wayne Enterprises executive and confidante of Thomas Wayne, Lucius Fox in his favorite watering-hole.

Alfred makes it seem at first that their meeting’s accidental, but he soon tells Fox that he’d been thinking about him. Fox asks him what his thoughts pertained to and Pennyworth tells him the way he figures thing, the world’s made up of two kinds of people, those you can trust and those you can’t. Lucius agrees with him and then Pennyworth tells him that he needs to confide in him, but if Fox betrays him he’ll wind up dead. Lucius says perhaps he should pass on being Alfred’s confidante and the butler tells him that ship sailed, when he told Bruce his father was a stoic.

Lucius looks Alfred in the eyes and tells him he’s got only the best intentions in regards to Bruce. Pennyworth smiles and says he’s glad to hear that. Then he asks Fox if he can fix a computer?

Back at the precinct Gordon gets a call from Barbara Kean and he tries to play things cool asking her how she’s doing and what’s going on. Kean calls him on it and Gordon tells her she’s sick and she needs help. He says she’s really a good and loving woman and that he wants to help her. Suddenly he sees her in the doorway of the precinct, calling from a cellphone and she asks him how she looks. She leaves the precinct and he follows her out holding his pistol and aiming it at her.

As soon as he leaves Jerome and Greenwood enter the station wearing uniforms. Jerome ties up Commissioner Essen and then he and Greenwood open fire on the precinct. The pair kill almost all those in the building, Nygma, Kristin Kringle and Lee Thompkins, are among the few not badly injured in the incident. Essen’s witnessed this all before Jerome turns his attention to her.

Meanwhile Gordon’s following Barbara down an alley and he calls out to her to surrender and he’ll do all he can to help her. She says that’s just going to get her sent back to Arkham and Jim throws up his hands and says let’s talk this out. Kean says it’s too late for that and we hear a scream and Helzinger jumps down and lands on Gordon and starts pummeling him. Jim picks up a steel pipe and hits Helzinger in the head with it and then just stares when he doesn’t react. After a couple of seconds, Aaron softly says oww and then continues beating Gordon to a pulp until Barbara tells him to stop.

Jim’s on the ground on his back barely conscious and Kean straddles him and tells him she kept saying this is what she’s really like, but Gordon wouldn’t listen. She says I’m not sick I’m free, then tells Jim he best get back to the station in a hurry.

Greenwood and Valeska now concentrate on Commissioner Essen, Greenwood picks up a video-camera and starts taping Jerome’s conversation with Essen. She looks at him and through gritted teeth tells him that he’ll soon be dead and nobody will remember his name. Jerome laughs at her and says that’s where you’re wrong, I’ll leave a mark and it’ll spread like a virus throughout the city. Greenwood shouts out there’s nothing as contagious as laughter and Jerome shoots him dead saying that’s his line. Now just three MANIAX remain.

Essen head butts Jerome in the head and he says he likes it and tells her to do it again. The second time she breaks his nose and says that’ll leave a mark. Valeska laughs as blood spurts from his nose, then says now it’s my turn. When Jim arrives back at the precinct, a couple of uniforms are still alive as well as Ed, Kristin and Lee. However Sarah’s dying, her blouse covered in blood. Jim grabs her hand and says it’s a new day Jim and dies.

Lucius Fox is with Bruce in the cave as Lucius inspects the computer and smiles and says it’s certainly broken. Bruce asks him if he can fix it and Fox says he imagines so, but it’ll take some time. He then tells Bruce that he loved his father and he never got a chance to tell him that and he wishes he’d helped him more. Alfred enters the cave with a somber expression and some news for Bruce.

Jim enters Essen’s office and suddenly we see Harvey in the doorway and he says she was a Hell of a lady and Gordon responds she was a Hell of a cop. He then sees Harvey’s sporting his shield and he says he appreciates but Harvey’s not obligated to come back. Bullock says he doesn’t want to talk about it, we are what we are. Jim asks him how Scottie took the news and Harvey says she’ll understand, or she won’t.

As they head out of the office and into the main precinct, Bruce and Alfred arrive. Bruce tells Jim that he’s sorry for the losses but he’s glad Gordon’s okay. He then says he’s sorry he was so rough on Jim the last time they spoke and he gives Gordon a hug. One of the cops turns on a TV and we see a news report containing footage that Jerome sent to the station that he taped during the massacre. He tells the city they’re all prisoners, just cogs in the wheel, then tells them to hang onto their hats as they ain’t seen nothing yet!

The Story Continues Next Monday Night at 8:00 pm on FOX.

Scorpion: The Cuban Extraction

Courtesy of CBS
Courtesy of CBS

Warning: Spoiler Alert

Walter reluctantly and obstinately meets with a lawyer to discuss a strategy for Walter’s part in the car accident that almost took his life and cost the city dearly. Walter rejects the plea bargain his lawyer has presented. Walter claims he was not in an ’emotional’ state at the time of the accident. Walter still refuses to accept that he is susceptible to emotional influence.

Happy has ‘benched’ Toby makes Toby restless. Or at least his mind restless. He redirects his attention to Sylvester who is trying to express his feelings to Megan in a card. Toby is all too pleased to commit his attention to providing Sylvester with a ‘therapy day’. One that Sylvester desperately does not want.

In walks a small blonde with a noticeable eastern European or Russian accent. She looks glowingly towards Cabe. We discover that 20 years ago Cabe Gallo rescued this small child from the ravages of genocide. I’m not going to lie, for half a heart beat I wanted to believe that his daughter never actually died. But this was too abrupt and out of character of the show for that to be the case. Speaking of cases, Sonya (the girl turned lady from Cabe’s past) has done her homework. She wants the men responsible for killing her entire village brought to justice, and has a relative plan to do it. General Zorich may very well be the top of the food chain and Sonya knows his present location.

Interpol and The Hague will not levy an international warrant without DNA proof. Sonya has secured a bloody uniform in the hopes of matching said DNA. Next big part of the plan is an electronic ledger. A record of everything. Get a statistical match on Zorich’s DNA, get the ledger, put away 24 agents of genocide.

Sylvester: Are you suggesting that we extract a known war criminal out of a communist country?
Cabe: That’s what I’m suggesting, yes.

Cabe attempts to shore up support for this mission by appealing to Director Molina. She watches a video, nods her head then says no. But while she’s saying no, she quietly moving around the room. Removing a recording device from her lan line phone, closing the blinds, etc. Then she changes her tune. Typical black ops debrief. Do it, but if you’re caught the United States government will disavow any knowledge of your mission. As for how to get in and out, she knows a guy.

The guy she knows is a former drug runner with a plane. An idea that Sylvester is not at all comfortable with, but, it’s about to get much worse for him. It’s clear that this Sonya is almost the anti-Walter, nothing drives her other than emotion. Then Sylvester gets his next bit of bad news. They are about to make the drop.

Sylvester: I’m not going. I can’t do this. You go on without me.
Cabe: Son, have I ever put you in an unsafe situation?
Sylvester: All the time.
Cabe: Then you should be used to it.

The team emerges from the ocean like an awkward scene from a James Bond movie. Walter reaches land first and slowly turns in time to see Paige walking behind him wringing out her hair and looking rather ‘clingy’. Walter goes through about 4 facial expressions before she looks up to say, “what?”

Courtesy of CBS
Courtesy of CBS

He quickly collects himself and tries to brush it off, deflecting towards something he would almost never say. Just then an official truck pulls up. It appears to be Federales, but we learn that these were some other guys Director Molina knows. Double agents there to assist team Scorpion.
Both teams are in position when Zorich appears. One of the Cubans gets out of the other truck. As he walks away, Cabe and Walter watch to see what he’s trying to do. Then in a flash, the entire truck the Cuban team was in explodes, completely engulfed in flames.

The team convenes in a nearby hotel room. Toby, Happy and Sylvester reflect on the predicament of being trapped in a communist dictatorship with 1955 technology. Cabe walks in to announce that Adriana Molina is true to her word, they are officially on their own. All Sonya can focus on is not missing this opportunity to get Zorich. Toby begins to profile Zorich while Sylvester cross references Toby’s criteria with the travel guide he just memorized. The target intercept is Ernesto’s, a two chair barbershop in the upscale town of Miramar.

Ernesto is diligent with a straight razor. While Zorich gets a shave, Happy has no luck extracting a blood sample from the shop’s drainage system. Ernesto doesn’t make mistakes. Getting the blood sample without stepping foot in the barbershop is a notion that gets thrown out pretty quickly. Inside as they sneak in, Walter and Cabe don’t notice Sonya sneak in behind them. With Ernesto out-of-the-way, she grabs the straight razor before either of the men can. Instead of slicing him ear to ear, she does just enough to get the blood sample. Walter tests the sample, identity confirmed. However, Sonya still has the blade at Zorich’s throat. That’s about the moment Zorich does some math.

Zorich (in Spanish): Ernesto, you must be tired my old friend. You’re slow today. And in three years you’ve never cut me before.

Zorich springs from the barber chair attempting to take on anyone and everyone in the room. He gives a valiant effort. He gains the upper hand momentarily. Walter, on his knees, uses his intellect to regain control of the situation. He spins the barber chair and the leg rest comes around knocking Zorich to the floor and knocking his gun loose. Walter picks it up and places Zorich under arrest under the authority of The Hague. Which he is not empowered to do just yet.

Cabe plays good cop trying to get Zorich to give up the location of the ledger. He doesn’t flinch, predictable for a criminal from a war/genocide type of scenario. Sonya lashes out again and Walter has to ask her to get her emotions in check. During Paige’s attempt to reel Sonya, the two find Walter picking flowers. This is to be used as part of a natural relaxing agent concocted by Toby. Later, Toby slides in to pry the info from Zorich. Zorich thinks he’s standing firm, but Toby reads the body language.

The ledger is in a bank. They have a typical plan. Walk Zorich in at gunpoint to open the safety deposit box. One problem. Toby’s flower cocktail mixed with Zorich’s prescriptions combines to make quite the sedative. The team is going to have to sneak in, all bank heist style. Walter and Happy create a device using an electrical saw, a wooden box and a cell phone which allows them to quietly open a hole in the roof directly above the vault. Once inside, Happy discovers that there is a secondary box that will require Zorich’s finger print scan.

Toby: Holy Bratwurst! I have an idea. Hold on ‘Hap’, I’m gonna save ya.

Using cigarette ash, a registration sticker, water, Zorich’s thumb and a street vender sausage they are able to transpose Zorich’s thumb print on a warm sausage. Inside the bank, Sylvester sees that Scorpion has made the Cuban news. The trick worked and Happy has the ledger. They begin to pull her back up through the hole when she is spotted by a bank manager. Makes little difference as the team escapes the town unscathed.

Using a Sylvester special shortcut, Cabe takes the 1980’s conversion van off-road right about the time Zorich wakes up from his flower induces haze. Going unnoticed, Zorich flings himself from the van. With the evac plane in sight, the team has to decide between a safe return home or getting Zorich. After their slight detour retrieving Zorich, they hustle to get to the plane in time. The team takes on police gunfire as the plane flies off to safety and ultimately back to the garage.

Toby: Another day, not another dollar, but somehow…I’m alright with it.
Paige: That’s because you’re a decent human being.
Toby: No…that can’t be it.

Walter asks for a moment with Paige where he tries to display how emotion almost killed the mission and logic saved it. She retorts with a lovely but somewhat sad anecdote about when she and Ralph got evicted once. Knowing she couldn’t lose it in front of Ralph, they walked until she stumbled upon a diner who was hiring. Long(ish) story short, there is a time and a place for emotion.

Toby (not wanting to be alone with himself) and Cabe go out for good old-fashioned American burgers. Toby shares that he’s felt pretty rotten since Happy put him on ice. Then Cabe points to something that should turn that frown upside down. The sight of Walter O’Brien picking up trash off the side of the road in a bright orange vest.

Here’s a little spoiler, well…episode math if nothing else. During Walter’s trash collection community service event, he meets a man who is also tending to this detail. The man’s name is Ray Spiewack who is played by Kevin Weisman. You may know Mr. Weisman from about a million guest star appearances on a million different shows. But I remember him most notably from Clerks 2, as the guy defending the Lord of the Rings to Randall. A slight rule of thumb. If you can visually recognize the guest star, you can take it to the bank that his stint with the show will last longer than the 30 seconds he was on-screen tonight. According to IMDB, Kevin Weisman will stick around for 5 episodes. The scope of his character should be temporarily significant. Anything beyond that would be speculation on my part.

Heroes Reborn: The World Still Needs Saving

Photo Courtesy Of NBC
Photo Courtesy Of NBC

Warning: Spoiler Alert

The Cheerleader’s Gone But The World Still Needs Saving!

Tim Kring’s pulled off what many fans thought was impossible. Expectations heading into the premiere of the NBC Miniseries “Heroes Reborn,” were incredibly high for fans of the original series that got cancelled by the network five-years ago. At least in the eyes of this viewer the show succeeded in fulfilling those expectations, opening with a two-hour tale that helped to start to fill in the blanks of the events of the last five-years and introducing viewers to some new and charismatic characters.

Even though most of the cast we met in these first hours were new characters in the Heroes Universe, much of the story still revolves our old friend Noah Bennett, the man that became known as “HRG” in the original series. Bennett’s the first character we encounter and we watch the past play-out from his perspective, starting on a park bench in Odessa, Texas. Bennett’s eating an apple on the bench, when we hear the voicemail greeting of his daughter Claire Bennett, who informed the planet of the existence of “EVOS” in the final episode of the original series. We then hear the message Bennett left for his daughter.

“Hi, it’s your dad. It’s been several years since we talked, I don’t know if you’re still mad. I really don’t now anything, I just know I miss you. I’m sure there’s plenty of apologies to go around on both sides, but to be honest with you I don’t care who was right or wrong anymore.

So much has changed since I saw you last. I don’t know if these changes are good or bad, but I really think this has a chance to all work out. And knowing how important you’ve been in all this to so many people out there, it’s made me proud.

I’m just calling to tell you how excited I am that we might be seeing each other. When you look back at all the things you’ve done, the decisions you made, the last thing you want to feel is regret. I’ll see you soon Claire-Bear.”

While we hear Noah’s message we watch a festival being held at Primeatech Corporation. We see a flower arrangement and signs reading “EVOS and Humans United.” Odessa Unity Summit. The expo’s filled with an overflow crowd as we watch humans and  EVOS interacting, even though there’s a small group of protesters clutching Anti-EVOS signs. We watch shape-shifters, teleporters and a toddler who can fly, among the crowd along with humans Luke and Joanne Collins and their nine-year-old son Dennis. Bennett’s walking through the crowd looking for his daughter.

Suddenly the festive air turns deadly as the sky starts to darken because something’s blocking the sun, then an explosion occurs and fire engulfs the entire complex. Bennett somehow survives the explosion and wakes up to nothing but rubble surrounding him, his glasses near him but one of the lenses are cracked. He then screams out Claire’s name, which only he hears. We see a graphic reading Odessa, Texas June 13, one-year-ago. We hear snippets of commentators and world leaders talking about the tragedy, including the voice of President Obama. The dialogue becomes increasingly darker and ends with a man screaming kill them all.

We then witness a montage of vigilantes and some governments try to either kill or imprison EVOS over the next year. A man’s chased by two carloads of vigilantes in his underwear in Quebec. A man trying to escape from a detention camp in China’s dragging a large circular weight that’s chained to his right hand. We see three vehicles approach him and watch him cut off his hand and then he rockets into the air, fleeing his captors. A teenage boy and his mom attempt to go through a border-check at the U.S./Canadian border, when they see a young EVO woman get shot to death as she tries to run from the officers. The mother smashes the car behind them and turns their car in the other direction and speed-off, a collection of “9th Wonder Comics” slips on the backseat.

A graphic informs us that this is Chapter One: Awakening and that we’ve reached the present, which is June 13, one year later in Chicago. Luke Collins is in a car clutching a piece of paper which has the word Cockroach written on it. We watch about a dozen people approach a hall, an elderly man asks them each the password, Cockroach.

There’s a TV on broadcasting a memorial documentary entitled June 13, A Remembrance. The narrator blames EVO extremist leader Mohinder Suresh for the attack on Odessa, claiming Suresh took credit for the bombing. A middle-aged guy growls it’s a lie and shuts off the set. We realize the folks are all EVOS looking to band together and the turnouts far short of impressive. The teenager from the car’s in the room, but says he needs to leave when he receives a text from his mother. He drops a punch-card for an ice-cream shop in Carbondale, Illinois called Moe’s, Luke picks it up and pockets it. The group say they have to strike back and stop being victims, they have the powers. The old guy says Suresh’s right, we are the future and Luke Collins laughs derisively.

Collins tells the folks that he attended the unity summit in Odessa with his wife and son to watch history take place and they were strong supporters of the movement. That’s until his son Dennis died in his arms and he realized how dangerous and unnatural these abilities are for humanity. At that point Luke’s wife bursts in chasing another EVO and the two of them shoot them all dead, then set the bodies aflame and leave the hall. This is the state of the planet in the Heroes Universe in 2015, people terrified of those different from themselves.

Bennett’s not wearing glasses and going by a fake name, he’s selling cars in Austin, Texas. We soon learn that “Ted’s” got a pretty young fiancée named Anne whose obsessed with their upcoming wedding. She says that if they have more than 75-guests they’ll need to rent a tent and Ted suggests they elope.

Next stop’s Linderman Junior High where former student Carlos Gutierrez, awarded the Medal Of Honor for saving three fellow soldiers in the Middle-East, addresses the current students. His nephew Jose’s among the students and he smiles broadly when he tells the kids that anybody can be a hero.

Heading to the Midwest we land at Pinehearst High School in Carbondale, Illinois and we see the teenage boy who left the meeting just before the shooting occurred. There’s a couple a few lockers down a jock named Brad and his girlfriend Emily who the teenager has a crush on and he stares at her when she walks away. Brad roughs the kid Tommy up and he falls to the ground, he starts to look like he’s going to use his ability but defers. Brad calls him a wuss and walks away.

A graphic tells us we’re in Tokyo and we watch as a young man looks for an apartment he’s got the address of. He finds the apartment and knocks on the door and finds it open, he enters the apartment and calls out hello. He hears music and opens a door to find a young woman making origami swans and he startles her when he gets her attention. He tells the young woman Miko, that he’s Ren Shimosowa and he’s a gamer and quite well-known. He says he’s been playing a game called “Ever-Now” and he’s reached the next to last level and he received her address. Miko repeats the name as if it has some significance to her but tells him to leave. As he’s walking out of the apartment he stops in amazement as he sees a Japanese screen that looks like the game. She tells him to get out and don’t come back.

Bennett looks out his apartment window and sees a car that he’s noticed parked at the auto dealership he works at. He tells Anne he’ll be right back and leaves the apartment and starts walking down the street. The guy from the car starts to follow him, but Noah grabs the guy and asks him what he wants. The man’s Quentin Frady, a character from the six-part online series Dark Matters, which revealed a lot of the new storyline. Frady tells Bennett he knows his background at Primeatech and wants to know the truth about June 13. However Bennett’s memories are fragmented, he believes due to the blast he survived.

Frady tells Noah that he believes the attack came from Renautus, the company that bought Primeatech. Bennett calls him a Truther and a conspiracy theorist and suddenly a cruiser arrives, as Anne alerted the police. Quentin’s taken into custody as Bennett heads back inside. However he can’t sleep that night and he removes a painting from a wall, revealing a section cutout from the wallboard. He reaches in and pulls out a bag that contains cash, weapons and an address book. He finds a card for a Lumiere Ophthalmology, it strikes a chord but he doesn’t remember it. He looks it up online and finds it relocated from Odessa to Dallas.

Carlos Gutierrez watches the city from his rooftop, then goes to a liquor store and buys a bottle. He sees a news report on TV about a local hero who saved a man. The hero’s known as El Vengador and wears a Mexican wrestling mask when doing his good deeds guarding the Latino community. They show a police sketch and Carlos recognizes the eyes and realizes it’s his brother Oscar, Jose’s father.

We see El Vengador standing on a rooftop watching two men chase a woman down an alley, he jumps from the roof onto the roof of a car and proceeds to kick both guys’ tails. Gunshots ring out and we watch as El Vengador slumps to the ground, he got set up and the woman shot him twice and aimed to fire again when he threw a blade into her neck killing her. The police arrive and El Vengador bleeding gets away before they arrive at the alley.

Later that evening Carlos goes to the garage that his brother operates and finds Oscar on the floor bleeding. Oscar tells Carlos that he needs him to be a hero for Jose as he’s dying. Carlos says he doesn’t know how to be a hero. He doesn’t even know how he saved the three soldiers in Afghanistan. Oscar dies and we realize that Carlos is the Peter Petrelli character of the new series.

Luke and Joanne Collins sit in Moe’s ice-cream shop trying to find Tommy, who’s interviewing in the office for a job as a scooper at the shop. His crush Emily’s conducting the interview and gives him the job after asking if he can scoop ice-cream. They head out to the floor so Tommy can get a uniform when he sees Luke at a table and walks over to find out how he survived the fire in Chicago. Tommy catches on that Luke set the fire once Joanne comes out of the restroom holding a gun, they take him out back but Emily follows them.

Joanne aims to fire at Emily when Tommy touches her and she vanishes, he then touches Luke and he disappears as well. He suddenly realizes he’s revealed he’s an EVO to Emily and runs home. She follows him in her car and tells him he saved her life and his secret’s safe with her.

Bennett goes to Lumiere Ophthalmology and asks the receptionist if he looks familiar and she replies he doesn’t. He then asks her to look him up by name and she says no records exist. He says he really thinks he’s been there before and says he has a card that reads See More Clearly written on the back of it. She says they don’t have a doctor named Seymour, then she pulls a gun on him. The Haitian comes out of the backroom and says he’s a friend. Rene tells Noah to wait for him at a bench across the street.

Ren Shimosowa returns to Miko’s apartment saying he’s got proof she’s Katana Girl a character from the game. He says that Katana Girl’s father got kidnapped and he hid a sword under the floorboards of his study, which Katana Girl finds and uses to rescue her father. She tells him to leave immediately and he leaves the book he brought about Katana Girl for her to read. She realizes the story’s about her and goes into her father’s study and opens the board on the floor, finding the sword and a note from her father. It reads the sword is key, save me. She unsheathes the sword and turns into a digital character and she’s in the game. She slaughter’s the soldiers trying to attack her, the last one saying you’ll never find him before he dies.

Rene comes out to the bench and hands Noah an envelope, saying the last time he saw them Bennett left him these, it’s Noah’s glasses. He puts them on and says they make a world of difference and Rene stands behind him and starts strangling HRG with a wire cord. Bennett fights back and the two wrestle to the ground and Bennett grabs his pistol. They struggle over the gun and there’s a shot and blood spurts from The Haitian’s chest.

Noah asks Rene why he tried to kill him and he replies Bennett told him to, he had the perfect plan so he’d never remember. Noah realizes The Haitian removed his memories and asks what he can’t remember. Rene says it’s coming and dies, ending the first hour.

The second hour begins with a voiceover provided by Mohinder Suresh, asking why people fear the unknown and the strange. We then see Malina, the first character we glimpsed from the new series in an ad that aired on the Super Bowl. She controls the Northern Lights, as she’s dressed in a fur parka and says it’s happening too quickly and she doesn’t know long she can control it.

Back at Pinehearst High, Tommy tells Emily that EVOS are the modern equivalent to the witches in Salem, everybody hates them and wants them dead. She asks if he can make a flower she’s holding disappear and he does, unaware that Brad’s watching them through a window. When Tommy comes out Brad calls him a freak and says he’s turning him in.

Luke and Joanne Collins are trapped in a room filled with kids toys and covered in space themed wallpaper. There’s no doors windows or even a light switch for the lights that illuminate the room. Joanne tries to shoot through the walls but the bullets do no damage.

Ren shows up at Miko’s to apologize but she’s not in the apartment, he goes into her father’s study and sees Ever-Now on the computer screen. He logs in and realizes that Miko’s now part of the game and he starts playing to help her win. She almost saves her father when a force pulls him away and then she’s knocked out by a soldier, she rematerializes in the study.

Noah bails out Quentin Frady and tells him about his visit with Rene. He tells Frady to get in his car they’re going for a ride.

Carlos Gutierrez and his nephew Jose are sitting in Oscar’s garage after the funeral. Jose says he’s glad lots of people paid their respects. The priest comes in and tells Jose that his mother wants him home, after he leaves he talks to Carlos about how good a man Oscar was and that he loved Carlos very much. He then said that Oscar did his best to watch out for his own.

Tommy tells Brad he could make him vanish but he doesn’t want to hurt anybody. Brad says that if Tommy does something for him, he’ll keep his secret and Tommy agrees. He then attempts to back out when he realizes Brad wants him to make his stepfather disappear as he beats him. Brad goes out to get batteries for his stepfather’s remote control while Tommy stays in the house. Tommy tries to work up the nerve to touch the stepfather but when the man asks what he’s doing Tommy runs out of the house.

A short while later an older man who wears a fedora and has kept tabs on Tommy knocks at the stepfather’s door. The man’s an EVO and can erase memories by giving someone a penny for their thoughts. The man tells him he’s got a business proposition for the stepfather and gives him a penny.

We meet some new characters in a bar, an attractive redhead and brunette and a guy whose likely an EVO as he keeps winning at craps. The guy tells the redhead she’s his good-luck charm and has her blow on his dice and he keeps winning. The proprietors start giving him the stink-eye and he suggest to the redhead that they cash out and leave.

Noah and Quentin drive to Primeatech and are met buy signs warning of toxic material on the site. Bennett says it’s just a scarecrow and drives through the gates. They enter the rubble and Noah finds the trapdoor hiding level five, they go down through the door and Bennett tells Quentin to look for any documents with the name Molly Walker on them. Molly’s the little girl who Matt Parkman adopted after her parents got murdered, she’s an EVO that can find anybody on the planet just by thinking about them.

Ren nurses Miko back to health and she tells him she has to reenter the game to save her father. He says it’s too dangerous but she says with his help she can save her father. He’s in a tower in the game and asks Ren to direct her from the PC when she goes back into the game.

The redhead and the craps player are back in his hotel room and she says she wants another drink. He tries to kiss her and we find out her real intentions, she knows he’s an EVO and threatens to turn him in unless he gives her all the money. He tries to fake his way out of it, but she throws a knife at him and he stops it with his ability. She tries taking the money and running, but he uses his ability to pin her high up on a wall and starts choking her. A couple walk into the hallway and the guy knocks out the crap-shooter with a metal trophy. Just then the brunette from the bar walks in and hustles the redhead out of the hotel.

Luke realizes that maybe the reason they can’t find an exit in the room’s due to the light’s being on. He shoots out the lights and the couple see a plate-glass window in front of them. Luke breaks the window by repeatedly whacking it and the couple escape.

Carlos find the name of the cop that set Oscar up and threatens to kill him if he doesn’t tell him his boss’ name. The cop tells him the name of a superior officer on the force. Carlos goes to see the priest at the church and asks him if he was trying to allude to the fact that Oscar was El Vengador. The priest tells Carlos that Oscar ran the underground railroad to give EVOS safe passage to Canada, he also reveals that he’s an EVO, able to turn himself into smoke and asks Carlos to help him transport a mother and her son.

Luke and Joanne find an elevator and it takes them to the fifth floor of Primeatech, with employees working under the ground. They shoot all the employees and security guards and then take the elevator to floor one and escape. Bennett hears the gunfire and tells Quentin to head to the car as he investigates.

The brunette and redhead are back at the bar, the redhead says her name’s Zoe and the brunette introduces herself as Taylor. Zoe said she needs to disappear and was counting on that money to make it happen. Taylor says she’s a trust-fund baby and can write her a check.

Noah takes the elevator to the fifth floor and finds all the dead employees, but one man clings to life. Bennett asks him where Molly Walker’s at and the man says that Renautus plans to use her to power their new project which will get introduced the following day. The man dies before he can tell Noah anything else.

Miko’s back in the game and enters the tower but Ren tells her it’s a trap. She puts the sheath back on the sword and rematerializes in the tower in reality and she takes out all the security guards with the sword.

Carlos helps the priest get the mother and son safe passage to Canada. She picks up a small object and it turns to gold, she gives it to Carlos as a token of her appreciation and tells him it’s 24-karat. Carlos looks at Oscar’s costume and mask when he’s alone and it looks like he’s ready to take up Oscar’s fight.

Luke and Joanne shot Quentin in the shoulder and stole Noah’s car. It’s filled with files on EVOS across the planet, Luke’s not sure that’s a good thing. He seems to be questioning their mission. Noah tells Quentin that he’ll get him patched up, but they need to find Molly Walker.

Zoe’s been drugged and wakes up handcuffed in the crap-player’s room, it turns out that Taylor’s actually Dahlia and she’s the crap-player’s girlfriend. The guy says he thinks he suffered a concussion from the blow he took from the man in the hall. He then gets on a cellphone and tells the person on the other end they’re holding Molly Walker prisoner, it’s Zoe.

The Story Continues Next Thursday Night at 8:00 pm on NBC.

Scorpion: Emotions Rise As A Satellite Falls

Courtesy of CBS
Courtesy of CBS

Warning: Spoiler Alert

The highly anticipated premiere of Scorpion season 2 did not disappoint out of the gate. 20 seconds in and we already have a car chase and Gene Simmons. As it turns out, Gene Simmons is shooting a movie and Cabe Gallo is the ‘tech adviser’. Gene Simmons takes some exception to being instructed to, just then Cabe’s phone rings.

Cabe: Gallo…
Voice on the phone: Mr. Gallo, I’m calling from Homeland Security. The Director wants you and Team Scorpion to assemble in the garage in 45 minutes.
Cabe: Hold on…We got a case? I got my job back?
Voice on the phone: The answer to both questions is yes.
Cabe (hands a headset to Gene and walks past): Hold this for me Gene. WARDROBE. I need a suit.

Walter struggles with rehab from injuries sustained in last season’s finale. Another patient with a prosthetic hand attempts to play chopsticks on the piano. Then quickly switches to something considerably more difficult. It takes a moment or two, but the physical therapist turns to look at Walter trying and failing to hold in his smirk. “We talked about you re-wiring the prosthetics”. Clearly Walter is not a fan of the beginners song, Chopsticks.

Cabe enters the room and informs Walter that he’s been reinstated and they have a case. Walter goes to tell the therapist who is not as enthused. When asked about his last dizzy spell Walter lies and says he can’t even remember the last one. I do, it was about 45 seconds earlier in this episode.

At the garage, we find Paige daydreaming of the horrors of her previous job as a waitress, Sylvester has a new toy/collector’s item (Mr. Fun Guy statuette), Happy has tweaked the mechanics on a paintball gun and Toby applied his behavioral skills to the animal kingdom all since the last case. Paige also managed to hook up an intercom system. There is a tangible awkwardness in the air between Walter and Paige. Paige looks to have a new-found attraction to Walter, while Walter tries to avoid the awkwardness at any cost.

Paige tries and almost succeeds at conveying her desire to ‘share information’ with Walter that he almost doesn’t see it coming. With one hand in a metal rehab contraption and the other hold a large stack of papers, Walter seems prepared for this interaction. Then Paige mentions that while he was under, she kind of, well, kissed him. Walter is not longer holding the stack of papers. With him in a rare frozen moment, Paige charges in chattering like a squirrel. She tries to throw it all out at once, stumbling over her own words in the process. Walter, once he’s collected himself, follows suit. Stumbling wise at least. Paige leaves an opening for Walter to ‘share’ when the intercom clicks on.

Toby: The intercom works great by the way…

Adriana Molina, the new Director of Homeland Security should look familiar, especially to our readers. She is none other than Alana De La Garza of the recently and prematurely cancelled show, Forever where she played “Jo Martinez”. Director Molina is as she puts it, very much not Director Merrick. Thank the TV Gods. She pulls the stern but effective, he wanted you to fail while I want you to succeed.

There is a satellite that is about to fall out of orbit and plummet to the earth. Normally this would not be noteworthy. But this particular satellite is nuclear powered. Thus, it falling to the earth makes it a very fast falling atomic bomb. The Director needs Scorpion to somehow hack the satellite and adjust its trajectory so that it crashes into the ocean and not into downtown Los Angeles.

Due to Walter’s hand injury and Paige’s ability to type 100+ words per minute, Walter’s hack job will look slightly different. Walter tries to dictate to Paige. The expressions on both of their faces say that this ‘keeping it professional’ will be harder than it seems. Only a few minutes in and Walter already has an issue. He can’t access the satellite. He stands up and insinuates that the Director has not given them all of the pertinent information.

Paige jumps into action removing Walter from the situation. Walter experiences one of his dizzy spells and Paige sees it up close. This is no headache. Walter opens up to her and assess himself honestly. With both parties having too much on the line, they agree to support each other for the betterment of the team.

A new approach has to be taken because they are running out of time and can’t exactly hack the satellite. Toby and Happy depart to try to gain access into the Russian Consulate. Toby tries to pull a charade where he is the doctor and Happy is the Japanese cliché who doesn’t speak English. When the Russian woman at the security desk speaks Japanese to her, the jig is up. That is until Happy begins speaking fluent Japanese back. Toby knocks over some pens, goes to pick them up as a distraction to allow him to plug-in Happy’s latest contraption into a nearby electrical outlet. This device will allow Scorpion to read every key stroke from within the building.

The not so warm Russian Security Guard immediately began typing the moment Toby and Happy left. The password was almost gift wrapped. Quickly, Sylvester calculates the satellite’s trajectory and any variables that could alter it. Director Molina quickly calls it in. Walter gets a bad feeling and predictably (at the 22 minute mark)the missile intercept misses. Instead of blaming Scorpion for any failures, Molina easily accepts that there is something missing. Walter questioned her about getting all of the information and now she is believing that something has been left out too. She gets on the phone and speaks to the President of the United States in the direct and unapologetic way that nobody does. While Toby is concerned about the IRS auditing his unreported gambling winnings, the rest of the room is in awe of their new boss.

The truth of the matter is that the satellite wasn’t just nuclear powered. It had enough plutonium to make it functional as a weapon. So, the U.S. Government sent another non-nuclear satellite to intercept it and knock it off course. Now the satellite is too close to blow up, nuclear winter and all. Walter directs Paige to a new task on his laptop. She inadvertently hits the wrong keys and Walter cannot intercept the task fast enough. Walter has hacked the hospital’s security camera footage from last season so on some level he might get to experience ‘the kiss’ he was unconscious for. This video is now shown on the large (NASA large) monitor for everyone in the room to see.

Paige: You hacked the hospital’s security footage?
Toby: Guess that satellite can’t get here fast enough for ya, huh pal?

Moments after Director Molina decides it’s about time to jump ship and chopper the team out of the blast radius, Walter gets an idea. They are too far away. Molina will stay back with Sylvester while the rest of the team take the chopper to a military base using their computers to get closer to the satellite. The theory was sound, but Walter’s hacking of hospital footage apparently contracted a virus. Don’t worry, Toby makes the comment about the irony of catching a virus from a hospital. The latest intercept plan misses due to technical difficulties. Attempting to reel Walter in, Paige repeats that no one is dying today.

New idea. If they could build an EMP whose own blast radius was precise enough, they could in fact alter the satellite’s trajectory without destroying the satellite. This issue of how to get it up there comes back to a meteorology division on the base. They’ll use a weather balloon. Now all Happy needs are a few microwave ovens.

Molina (looking at Sylvester): Microwave ovens?!
Sylvester: Well how would you build an EMP?

The team and their respective pieces to the puzzle convene on a runway. Happy tries to test her EMP and gets flung 10 feet away. She managed to hit her eye and it is filling with fluid. She no longer can go up in the weather balloon. Paige volunteers as the closest thing to Happy’s weight. Walter resists at first, but she reminds him of their little pact to support each other.

In the balloon as it ascends, Walter apologizes for the hospital hack. In the sense of open communication, Walter admits his feelings for Paige. Professing his undying love for her is still WAY outside Walter’s comfort zone, still. However, it would be way too soon for the show runners to let this happen now. They both agree to let their feelings lie for the betterment of Team Scorpion.

When they find themselves in range of the satellite, Walter heads out to the top of the balloon to set the EMP. He loses his grip on the EMP and falls, getting snagged at the bottom of the balloon’s rig. He climbs out to retrieve it with his close hand being the one in a metal rehab rig. The parachute pack is restricting his range of motion so he decides to lose the parachute with nothing securing him to the balloon. Regardless of the MASSIVE drop from what looks like above the stratosphere, he pushes on. He passes the EMP to Paige and drops the parachute pack. It lands feet away from the rest of the team on the ground. That’s about the moment when Walter suffers another dizzy spell. He’s trapped on the outer edge of the balloon.

Paige gets the device in position, but the thinness of the air at that elevation is making her loopy. Walter from his compromised position is able to get her focused. At the precise moment that Sylvester needs to take advantage of the satellite’s computers going into safe mode, the Department of Defense breaks in to break up the fun. They are there because of an unauthorized missile launch. Director Molina is very much not pleased with their intrusion over such a comparatively small infraction.

Molina (pulls out her badge) Adriana Molina, Director of Homeland Security. Who the hell are you?
DOD Agent: DOD. Norad said there was an unauthorized missile launch from this site.
Molina: It was authorized by me! You keep away from this man or I will see to it that you are tried for treason. Sylvester, start typing.

This still leaves the relatively important detail of getting Paige and Walter down from the weather balloon. Also why two parachutes were sent up. Against his wishes, Paige scales down the side of the balloon carriage attempting to strap both of them to the same parachute. As if that were the only last issue. Sylvester was able to successfully changes the satellite’s trajectory. The problem with that is the satellite’s new trajectory places Walter and Paige directly in the line of fire, so to speak.

Paige is able to take the carabiner and rabbit’s foot she jacked from a locker on base and attached it to Walter’s metal hand rig and they both release at the last possible second. Walter pulls the ripcord shortly thereafter. Allowing for the romantic but not practical slow descent to earth.
Molina coordinates damage control and Toby makes his way back to Happy. She pushes back in her typical violent way. Toby doesn’t retreat. Happy admits that she’s scared. To which Toby replies, “there is a better chance of a nuclear apocalypse than there is of me hurting you.” I couldn’t help but to think, well today there was a pretty good chance of a nuclear apocalypse…

Toby offers to take the team out afterwards to some place I’ve never heard, but based on their reaction I assume it’s a decent spot. Naturally, Walter and Paige decline. Walter starts in with theories and how they are only theories until they can be tested. Changing the subject but not really, redirects back to the two of them not engaging in anything unprofessional. Paige stands up and suggests that they never really ‘tested’ their own theory about their attraction.

They both lean in equally and a very awkward but passionate kiss ensues. The kind of kiss where the anticipation and buildup far outweighs either person’s desire to keep the actions measured. A moment before the kiss becomes a second kiss, Walter jumps backwards. They both play it off as if their ‘test’ of their ‘hypothesis’ was just proven wrong. They both fumble over their own words. Paige leaves out the front door and Walter sits at Paige’s desk. Both of them dramatically affected by what just took place.

Gotham: You Can’t Have Happiness And The Truth

Photo Courtesy Of FOX
Photo Courtesy Of FOX

Warning: Spoiler Alert

The FOX Network series “Gotham,” opened its second season with an episode that should eliminate any doubts the series is going to suffer from the sophomore blues. The show-runners made every moment count in this fast-paced and gripping chapter. The powers that be have labeled season two as “The Rise Of The Villains,” but it could be subtitled “Doing The Right Thing Isn’t Always Pretty.” Alliances were formed that blurred the line between good and bad, in order to achieve the desired endgame. This results in show that no longer pits the white hats against the black hats, now all the characters are varying shades of gray.

Season two opens seconds after the first season finale on another rainy day at Wayne Manor as Bruce and Alfred head down the staircase they discovered hidden behind the fireplace. When they reach the bottom of the staircase, there’s a door in front of them with the carving of a creature that appears to be a cross between a man and a lion. The door’s locked and the only way to enter it is through a keypad. Bruce furiously punches in a number of codes, but the digital display reads access denied with every entry.

We watch a montage of the rest of the characters set to a the Lou Reed classic “Perfect Day,” a perfect counter-balance to what we watch unfold on the screen. Lee helps Jim with his tie as he prepares to direct traffic, now that he’s been demoted to patrolman. His former partner Harvey Bullock quit the department rather than accept the demotion, he’s now a bartender and picks a drunk’s head off the counter to clean it. Penguin now the King Of Crime in Gotham City, kisses a bald man on top of his head before he has Victor Zsasz shoot him to death. We see Barbara Kean arrive at Arkham Asylum and we see a familiar face among the inmates, Jerome Valeska who many fans believe will evolve into the Joker.

We then get our first glimpse of the character that appears destined to become the “Big Bad” of season two, as Theo Galavan gives a hefty man wearing what looks like a superhero costume including a helmet a liquid and tells him to drink it. The man responds yes master and consumes it all.

Gordon’s directing traffic in Gotham City when the dude in the suit comes down the stairs of the elevated-train system and announces that he’s Zaardon Slayer Of Souls. He then pulls out two pistols and fires overhead into the metal bridge, then throws the pistols down and unsheathes a sword and grabs a young woman. Gordon tells Zaardon he doesn’t want to shoot him as there’s too much paperwork involved. Zaardon pushes the woman away and Gordon’s able to deflect the sword, overpower the dude and cuff him.

Just then the uniform that’s supposed to relieve Gordon arrives, another hefty guy munching on a burger as he arrives. Gordon barks at him that he’s late and the uniform smirks and asks Jim what’s his problem and Gordon just pushes him away due to his frustration. He whips around and pulls his weapon, pointing it at some would-be looters and growls bad idea. The guys put down the stuff and take off.

Gordon brings Zaardon back to the station and tells him he’s heading for Arkham Asylum. Zaardon responds that Gordon won the battle but his master will win the war. He tells the patrolman dark days are coming and Jim thanks him for the heads up.

Gordon goes into the men’s room and sees Ed Nygma standing in front of a sink staring into the mirror, without his glasses on. Jim asks him if he’s okay and Ed responds he’s fine and Gordon leaves. We then realize that Jim interrupted a conversation between Nygma and his reflection. His reflection starts talking about pursuing Kristin Kringle in a romantic relationship, but Ed says they have to leave Miss Kringle alone.

We’re now in Captain Sarah Essen’s office along with Essen, Gordon, Commissioner Loeb and the uniform that Jim pushed Officer Frank. Loeb asks Gordon if he put his hands on Frank and he replies that he did and Frank leaves the office. Loeb tells Gordon that the infraction calls for him to be dismissed from the force and tells Essen to take Jim’s gun and badge. The Captain starts to protest but Jim tells her to stop. He then shakes hands with Loeb and says that he told the Commissioner he’d break him and he intends to fulfill that promise.

Jim tells Lee and she tells him that she’s glad he got fired, as he was far too good to be directing traffic. She says she knew he’d never quit so she’s thankful that the decision was taken out of his hands. We can see by Gordon’s expression he doesn’t share her opinion.

Barbara’s reading a magazine in the communal cell at Arkham Asylum when Jerome comes over and introduces himself. He tells her that one of their fellow inmates Richard Sionis wants to be her friend, Kean responds that she’s not interested. Jerome tells her that a girl needs a friend at Arkham as the guards refuse to intercede. She then gets the attention of Aaron Helzinger, a gigantic bald man that looks like a wall with a face. She asks Aaron if he’d become her friend and protect her if someone tried to hurt her. He said of course and Barbara cooed and called him a cutie and thanked him. Jerome says she got a gorilla but Sionis runs Arkham and can get her what ever she wants, Barbara replies she wants a phone.

Gordon goes to see Penguin and says they need to talk, Cobblepot kicks out all his staff except for Selina Kyle, who apparently joined up with Penguin after Fish Mooney’s apparent demise. Jim says Penguin owes him a favor for saving him from Sal Maroni’s guys. Oswald says he thinks they’re even but he tells Gordon he’ll grant his favor. When Jim says Penguin doesn’t know what he wants, he responds that Gordon wants to be reinstated as a detective and Loeb to resign as Police Commissioner. Gordon tells him that’s indeed his wish and Penguin responds that he wants Jim to do him a favor in return and collect a debt. Jim refuses and wishes Penguin luck as he says goodbye.

Jim heads down to Harvey’s bar and soon he’s stinking drunk. He says screw the Penguin, Loeb and the GCPD and asks his former partner if he’s going to join him in a drink? Bullock says he’s been sober for 32-days, without the stress of the department he doesn’t need the booze. He tells Jim that he’s got a woman that doesn’t dislike him, a home and he sleeps well every night. Jim hugs him and tells him that’s great.

Gordon decides he needs to sober up and he decides to walk to Wayne Manor to accomplish that. By the time he reaches Bruce’s home he’s sober as a judge and asks Bruce and Alfred why they’re so dirty? He then tells Bruce that he got fired from the GCPD and so he can’t fulfill his promise to find the killer of Bruce’s parents. Alfred asks if there’s any way he can get reinstated and Jim says he could but it would mean becoming a collector for Penguin, an act he believes is morally wrong.

Bruce says that Gordon can fulfill his promise to Wayne and bring reform to the GCPD, but he refuses to take it as he’d be working for Penguin and that’s demeaning. Then he asks if Jim’s sure it’s not his pride standing in the way of the greater good? Alfred tries to stop Bruce, but Wayne says Gordon wouldn’t have walked there if he wanted Bruce to keep his thoughts to himself. Wayne says doing the right thing isn’t always pretty, but it’s necessary. The two shake hands and Alfred shows Gordon out.

Gordon heads to a night club that’s also the headquarters for the guy that owes Penguin money, Ogden Barker. Gordon enters Barker’s office and says he’s there to collect the debt owed to Penguin and Barker laughs in his face. Gordon says he’s not leaving without the money and Barker pulls out a gun and sticks it in Jim’s face, Gordon says he’s going to count to three and Barker and his henchmen start laughing. Jim grabs the gun then knocks out Barker and two of his goons telling the third guy to fill the bag he gives him with money. He runs out just as Barker recovers and he growls get him.

Gordon starts running on the street with the two goons in pursuit when they see some uniforms ahead of them and one of the guys yells stop thief, so the patrolman start chasing Gordon. However he gives them all the slip as he ducks into a parking garage. His troubles aren’t over as Barker steps out of the shadows and starts shooting at Jim, he misses but Gordon kills Barker with return fire. We see the anguish on his face but Gordon runs off.

Bruce’s frustration not getting the right password on the keypad, causes him to destroy it with a hammer. He then enters the library with a bag of fertilizer and some other objects. He tells Alfred he’s taking his own advice that doing the right thing isn’t always pretty and he’s going to build a bomb to blow the door off his father’s room. He says he’s building it with or without Alfred’s help, his guardian and butler tells Bruce that he’ll need another ten bags of fertilizer to do the job.

Gordon delivers the money to Penguin, who apologizes that things got messy and pledges that Gordon’s name will never be connected with Barker. Jim asks if Penguin knew Barker would react that way and Cobblepot responds that he had no idea things would go down the way they did. He then tells Gordon that his favor will soon get granted.

Jim heads back to his apartment with Lee and she sees something’s bothering him and asks if he’s alright and he responds he’s fine. His cellphone rings and he picks it up and Barbara’s on the other end. He asks her how she got use of a phone and she says the only thing that matters is they’re talking. She then tells Gordon there’s been a terrible mistake, she didn’t attack Lee, Lee attacked her and she’s insane. Jim growls don’t ever call me again and hangs up. Lee asks who it was and he says a salesman, which of course Lee realizes is a lie.

Then her landline rings and Jim tells her not to answer it because it’s Barbara, it goes to her answering machine and we hear Kean say hey girlfriend, sorry I missed you. I just want to wish you a painful death with you going out screaming. Jim says that she’s locked up in Arkham where she can’t cause them harm. Lee suggests they move away and start fresh in a new city and Jim replies he can’t, because he did a bad thing.

Loeb’s in bed asleep that night when he’s woken by noises downstairs. He enters his kitchen and he sees Victor Zsasz standing there, then suddenly we hear Penguin asks Loeb if he’s got any peanut-butter. Loeb asks what Cobblepot said and Penguin puts on the kitchen lights and again requests peanut-butter. The Commissioner shouts for his guards and Zsasz produces a disembodied head that he proceeds to use like a ventriloquist’s dummy. Zsasz moves the heads lips and says in a high squeaky voice Hi Boss, how about a bottle of beer. Penguin and Victor laugh as Zsasz throws the head into the kitchen sink.

Penguin tells the Commissioner as he makes him a peanut-butter sandwich, that usually he threatens his victims with unearthing scandals about them, but Loeb lacks any dirty-laundry. Penguin says that he knows that any threats of force would get ignored by Loeb so he’s just going to have Victor kill him. He says he needs some requests granted, but it will be far easier dealing with Loeb’s successor as Commissioner. Loeb asks Penguin what he wants and Penguin says he wants Gordon reinstated as a detective and Loeb says he’ll do it.

However Penguin says even if Loeb does reinstate Gordon, his hatred of the former detective would cause him to eventually fire him, so he’ll still have to kill him. Zsasz pulls out his gun and Penguin says, unless you’d resign as Commissioner.

Zaardon arrives at Arkham Asylum and he’s put into the same communal cell as Barbara, Jerome and company. He proclaims that he’s Zaardon Slayer Of Souls, but Sionis tells him to shut-up he’s telling a story. After a couple of minutes Zaardon interrupts the story and threatens the other inmates. He then collapses but as he hits the floor, a blue gas comes out of his mouth and knocks out the other inmates. Seconds later an explosion takes place at the other end of the hall and a young woman and a bunch of mercenaries, knock out the guards and grab the inmates.

They come to in another facility and they’re all strapped to large cement poles. One of the inmates asks where they are and Jerome says they’re out of Arkham so things are improving. Theo Galavan and the woman who broke them out of Arkham enter the room, he introduces himself and the woman as his sister Tabitha. He says he broke them out to form a super-band of criminal geniuses. Kean says she just has issues and Galavan says she has ferocity, beauty and desire, that’s all she needs.

Sionis tells Galavan that he wants no part of his plan and wants to be released, he says he’ll get Galavan a million dollars as soon as he hits the street. Galavan says he’s disappointed and the money means nothing to him. Galavan demands that he and Barbara get released and Galavan says oh you’re trouble we need to get rid of you. Tabitha releases the binds then produces a whip and strangles Sionis with it, then when she has him on the ground she slices him to pieces. Galavan asks if anyone else wants to leave.

The next scene’s at the retirement ceremony for Loeb and a men’s choir sing a song from The Sound Of Music. The spokesman takes the podium and says the Mayor couldn’t attend the ceremony but sent a friend in his place. He introduces businessman, scientist Theo Galavan. Galavan says that he’s an adopted son of the city, having recently moved there but he already feels Gotham City’s magic. He thanks the outgoing Commissioner and his replacement Commissioner Sarah Essen.

Essen goes up to Gordon and congratulates him for whatever he did to pull off his amazing feat. Lee congratulates them both then tells Essen that Gordon’s a determined man. Essen excuses herself to take a call and Lee says to Jim I hope this was worth it, Jim replies he does as well. Essen returns with some distressing news six inmates escaped from Arkham including Barbara Kean.

Alfred runs the fuse to the bomb out to the library, then fastens it to an ignition switch and asks Bruce if he’s certain this is what he wants. Bruce says he is and pushes the switch, the bomb knocks the door off it’s hinges and the two enter the room. We see a couple of computer monitors and keyboards covered in cobwebs, on one of the keyboards is a letter for Bruce from his father, that Thomas wrote shortly before he and his wife were shot to death.

He tells Bruce that if he’s reading this message that Thomas has died and Bruce figured out the code for the keypad was Bruce. He then says that his son’s responsible for the room, as Thomas became a better man after he became a father, Then he started to ask the tough questions.

He says he’ll dispense with fatherly advice, except to tell his son he can’t have happiness and the truth. That he’ll have to choose what path to take and he begs his son to choose happiness, unless Bruce feels a deep calling to pursue the truth. We then see Jim Gordon straightening his tie in the men’s room of the GCPD, ready to resume that calling within him.

The Story Continues Next Monday Night at 8:00 pm on FOX.

Heroes Reborn: Persecuted For Being Different

Photo Courtesy Of NBC
Photo Courtesy Of NBC

“Warning: Spoiler Alert

Back in June of 1938, when Superman debuted in Action Comics the native of the planet Krypton found himself embraced by the people of Earth, hailed as a hero without any hesitation. Nobody thought that he had a secret agenda, or that he would do anything to harm the citizens of our planet. After all he came to Earth as an infant and was raised by a couple from the American Heartland. In a very scary world, with Adolph Hitler telling the planet that the Third Reich would soon begin a thousand-year reign with the Aryan Race ruling all, having Superman on our side comforted many.

Slightly less than 80-years later, Superman’s actions, morals and motivation will undergo great scrutiny when “Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice,” debuts on the big screen next March. If you’ve seen any of the previews, you might have even heard the Kryptonian referred to as the devil. Although director Zack Snyder broke continuity with the DC Universe, by having Superman kill General Zod in self-defense, he still saved the planet and humanity from destruction.

The plotline of the upcoming movie doesn’t reflect any difference in “The Strange Visitor From Another Planet.” It’s our society that’s changed, we live in era in which we don’t trust our leaders and many of us question everything we witness. It’s a far different society than the one dominated by FDR and any mention of “Happy Days Are Here Again,” in 2015,would be met with a best a cynical laugh.

There’s a vocal-minority in this nation that’s promoting fear and hatred of all outsiders and anyone who deviates from the norm. The race to the White House in 2016, already reflects that, we’ve seen some candidates for President urge citizens to break the law and withhold marriage licenses to LGBT couples. We’ve got another candidate whose proposed not only building a border wall between the United States and Mexico, but that we round-up 11.1 million illegal aliens living in this country and deport them.

Consider how these same politicians would deal with the revelation that living among us are people with superhuman abilities. Just how quickly would those same politicians call for these folks to get rounded up and put away to eliminate any danger they could cause?

This is the society that Tim Kring and NBC introduce in the series “Heroes Reborn,” a sequel to the show the network aired a few years ago. It’s been five-years since Claire Bennett revealed to the world that people with abilities exist and the world hasn’t received the “Evos” with open arms. Just the opposite in fact as all Evos have to register with the Government and many of them hunted and killed, after an incident in Odessa, Texas a year-ago.

The new series which debuts for a 13-episode run on Thursday September 24, will combine familiar faces with new characters, but the story revolves around “HRG,” Noah Bennett. Bennett’s a former Primeatech employee and the father of Claire Bennett and when we first encounter him,  his memories were erased by his old friend known as “The Haitian.” Soon with his memory restored Bennett starts trying to help a band of Evos and find out what happened in Odessa.

Among fan favorites returning for the sequel, Hiro Nakamura, the self-proclaimed Master Of Time and Space. Matt Parkman who discovered he could read minds in the original show and scientist Mohinder Suresh, whose father’s involvement with Primeatech in the Sixties inspired him to continue his father’s research after his death.

We’ll also meet a new group of Evos from around the globe, who try to cope with their new-found powers while trying to remain free and alive. Eventually, just as in the first season of the original show the characters will all meet and join together to defeat a common enemy.

Kring and his cast created a story for the ages in the first season of the original series, hopes are high that this sequel can met those same heights.

The Story Begins Thursday September 24, at 8:00 pm on NBC.

Gotham: Now The Real Fun Starts

Photo Courtesy Of Nicole Rivelli/FOX
Photo Courtesy Of Nicole Rivelli/FOX

Warning: Spoiler Alert

Welcome to the Comic-Book Era of Television! While movie-screens are currently dominated by characters hailing from the Marvel Universe, the small screen’s embraced the world(s) of their rival DC Comics. Marvel’s represented on network television with their two entries on ABC “Marvel’s Agents Of Shield” and it’s winter replacement “Agent Carter,”  however their competition will air five shows, on three different networks in the upcoming season. The CW will add Legends Of Tomorrow, likely in January to its schedule joining mainstays Arrow and “The Flash.” CBS brings Supergirl to its lineup in November, in a series that looks very promising judging by its pilot.

The FOX Network comes out of the starting gates first as “Gotham,” returns to the airwaves for its highly anticipated second season, Monday September 21. After setting the story and introducing integral characters in season one, expect the series to go into hyper-drive in the upcoming campaign. Events will occur at a fast and furious pace from the onset according to published reports by “TV Guide,” saying that two major characters will die within the new season’s first few episodes.

One of those characters will likely be Captain Sara Essen, as the actress that portrays her Zabryna Guevara doesn’t appear in any of the preseason publicity package Fox put together. Combine that with the news that veteran TV actor Michael Chiklis joins the cast as a character named Captain Barnes and it seems to be an obvious conclusion. The other character could be Kristin Kringle, part of Edward Nygma journey in becoming the psychopathic criminal we know as The Riddler.

Season Two’s been labeled “The Rise Of The Villains,” Gotham City’s old guard criminals are gone, either dead like Sal Maroni (and presumably Fish Mooney) or left the city and retired following the example of Don Falcone. As season two opens The Penguin appears to be the King Of Gotham City, but that could be changed very quickly. Along with Oswald Cobblepot and Nygma, other familiar faces that we watched go to the Dark-Side in the first season return. Barbara Kean and Jerome meet each other while incarcerated at Arkham Asylum and realize they’ve got something in common, patricide.

Detective Jim Gordon and his partner Detective Harvey Bullock will try to keep the city’s citizens safe, while fighting corruption within the department. Over at Wayne Manor The Boy Who Will Be Batman Bruce Wayne, discovers secrets about his late father with the help of his guardian and family butler Alfred Pennyworth and an ally from Wayne Enterprises Lucius Fox. Last season we watched a sheltered boy turn into a savvy young man, after Bruce witnessed his parents’ murder by a lone gunman. Wayne will continue the search for his parents’ murderer on his own in the upcoming season and try to rid Wayne Enterprises of corruption that dates back to his grandfather’s days with the company.

The Story Resumes Monday September 21, at 8:00 pm on FOX.

The Blacklist: Red And Lizzie On The Lam

Photo Courtesy Of NBC
Photo Courtesy Of NBC

Warning: Spoiler Alert

If somebody approached Elizabeth Keen in August of 2013 and told her what her life would be like just two years later, she’d likely think that person was clinically insane. One month later Liz became a rookie agent for the FBI and her life was never the same. Just as she was reporting for duty the most elusive culprit on the FBI’s Most Wanted List Raymond “Red” Reddington, showed up at FBI Headquarters and surrendered his freedom. He promised FBI Assistant-Director Harold Cooper “The Blacklist,” containing the names and information on the planet’s worst criminals. People that Reddington told Cooper that the FBI and other Law-Enforcement Agencies didn’t even realize existed.

In exchange he wanted two things, total immunity from prosecution and he would only talk to Agent Elizabeth Keen, an agent so new that Cooper didn’t even know her name. She balked at first at Reddington’s request to work with her, but the pair who had seemingly nothing in common, started working as partners. As the first season progressed we realized there was a hidden connection between Red and Liz, that the agent wasn’t aware of. She would also soon find out that her whole existence was based on nothing but lies.

Throughout season one her world got rocked by revelations, that gentle school-teacher that she fell in love with and married was actually a mercenary, hired to get close to her. He even lied about his name, taking on the alias of Tom Keen and won her heart. We’d find out later that despite his lies and deceit, she captured his heart as well.

While Raymond refrained from lying to Agent Keen, he only gave her enough information to keep her informed. Liz realized that a connection existed between them stemming from her childhood. She asked Red if he was her real father and he told her no, but he also failed to reveal the secrets he had about her childhood. However, Lizzie did start unraveling some of the lies that made up her life.

Liz found out that Tom was working for an enemy of Raymond’s named Berlin and the final episode of the first campaign culminated in a knock-down, no-holds-barred battle between husband and wife, ending when Liz shot Tom in his abdomen. We ended season one believing Tom had died, but Liz wasn’t through torturing the man who married her under false pretenses, quite yet.

Early in the second season, we find out that Keen enlisted a surgical unit to save Tom’s life in secret. Saving him wasn’t because of her love for him, she realized the only way she could contact Berlin was through the man she knew as Tom Keen. Liz had a score to settle with Berlin, he killed her fellow agent Meera Malik and nearly killed Harold Cooper, putting him in the hospital for months.

While during the first year of the series, Liz learned unsavory things about her husband, the second season resulted in Keen learning things about Reddington, that shattered her trust. Among her revelations, she found out Reddington had suffocated her stepfather to death, rather than allow him to tell Liz about her childhood. Red tried telling her all his actions were meant to protect her, but it damaged their relationship almost beyond repair.

While Red continued to provide the FBI a new name from The Blacklist each week, we soon realized that Raymond had other pressing issues on his plate, The Cabal and The Fulcrum. The Cabal’s a shadow organization including some of the most powerful people on the planet, whom we find out pull the strings behind world events. Although not specifically stated, we can assume The Cabal’s behind every great tragedy of the 21st Century. Red has an uneasy truce with The Cabal, based on the fact they believe Red possesses The Fulcrum, a file jam-packed with all sorts of evidence including pictures and names involved in all the Cabal’s funny-business.

While Reddington’s getting all his ducks in a row, the new United States Attorney General Tom Connolly, has put his old buddy Harold Cooper in some compromising positions. Connolly coerced Cooper’s doctor into making Harold believe that he was dying from a cancerous tumor in his brain. Connolly allegedly pulled some strings to get Cooper into a special trial-program to combat the cancer, which seemed to be effective. Cooper now felt obligated to the man he considered his patron saint and bent some rules and looked the other way to help Connolly out.

The National Security Director of the United States, runs The Cabal and orders a hit put out on Reddington. Red gets seriously wounded by gunfire but he survives the surgery. Not long after he greets a crew of hand-selected investigative reporters from around the globe and reveals the contents of The Fulcrum to them all.

Rather than backing off when Red threatened to expose every member of The Cabal, Tom Connolly started tightening the screws on Cooper and Liz. He then says that Keen and Cooper are heading to Federal prison, Samar Navabi’s to be extradited to Iran, where she’ll stand trial for killing an official. Reddington will get tried for treason and executed, Ressler’s Oxy addiction will get him drummed out of the Bureau. He’s even got things planned for Aram and Charlene. Lizzie simply snapped, pulled out her service revolver and shot Connolly dead. Season Two ended with Red and Lizzie on the run, him telling her he never wanted her to be like him.

Keen’s memories of her childhood rushed back when she shot Connolly. Suddenly she could remember being a four-year-old named Masha Rostova, the daughter of a former Soviet Intelligence Agent Katerina Rostova. When she shot Connolly to death, she suddenly remembered shooting her father to death when she was a toddler, to stop him from beating her mother. Raymond was there that night and helped cover-up the murder and somehow erased the memories from Masha’s mind. That was the reason he didn’t want her stepfather to tell her the truth, Red believed that Lizzie would be better off not knowing about the tragedy.

The Blacklist returns to NBC on Thursday night October 1, and the show’s released a bit of a sneak preview on digital media entitled “Behind The Blacklist: Season Three.” With Task-Force Director Harold Cooper in Federal custody, Deputy Attorney General Reven Wright’s assigned Keen’s former partner Donald Ressler to head-up the search for the two fugitives. Ressler known as “The Boy-Scout,” by his colleagues now needs to choose between his loyalty for Liz and his oath to uphold the law.

We don’t find out a lot about Season Three in the 30-minute video, however we do get to see Liz changes her hair-color to a honey-blonde that leave the normally loquacious Reddington tongue-tied. We also find out that the talented up and coming actor Edi Gathegi, featured earlier this year in Humans and Proof, will join the cast in season three. Gathegi, whose played warm and friendly characters in his previous two shows, seems to be destined to be far less cuddly on this series, as he’ll portray Sullivan a representative of The Cabal.

The last we saw of Tom Keen, he was leaving the DC Metro area on his boat, hoping to start a new life. Somehow I wouldn’t be surprised if Tom and Liz cross paths once again in season three.

Stephen Colbert: Late Night TV Worth Watching

Photo Courtesy Of CBS
Photo Courtesy Of CBS

When the announcement came down that Stephen Colbert would replace the retiring David Letterman as host of The Late Show on CBS, many asked if Colbert could be entertaining in his own skin. Stephen built a substantial fan-base hosting The Colbert Report on Comedy Central for nearly ten-years, however he portrayed a character. The Washington, D.C. native took on the persona of a Conservative TV Talk-Show Host, a mashup of Bill O’Reilly and Ted Baxter and it didn’t take long before he became a household name.

That character ceased to exist on the last episode of The Colbert Report. Stephen left the safe and comfortable home he built on Comedy Central, finding himself staring into the giant spotlight of CBS, hoping that viewers would enjoy the Real Stephen Colbert. That question got answered with an unqualified yes, as Colbert took over as the new host of The Late Show and proved he’s ready to take on the Big Boys and become a vibrant component of late night TV.

Stephen didn’t reinvent the wheel or even build a better mousetrap on Tuesday night. Nothing in the show stood out as being innovative, variations on the same routines that emanate from Television’s Stone-Age, when Steve Allen hosted The Tonight Show in the fifties. The show began with the host singing the National Anthem at a variety of venues (a little-league game, a bowling alley, some manufacturing plant) with a different singing partner at each stop. While far from being roll on the floor funny, the low-key sketch told the audience that they’re not above being silly. All the great late-night talk show hosts, realized silliness was part of the equation of an entertaining show. Even Jack Paar got silly sometimes, especially if Jonathan Winters was on the show that night.

Colbert played to his demographic (young, politically conscious and news savvy) in his first bit at his desk, taking aim at the 800-pound gorilla of the summer Donald Trump. Likely chomping at the bit while he sat on the sidelines over the last few months, the comedian referenced Trump’s vow to stop eating Oreos to campaign audiences in recent days as Nabisco’s closed a plant in Chicago and are relocating to Mexico. Colbert produced a package of America’s favorite sandwich-cookie and started chowing down cookies with every clip of Trump they showed. The sketch concluded with Trump repeating nonsensical sounds (bing-bing-bing, bong-bong-bong) and Stephen nearly comatose in his chair his face covered in cookies.

He and first guest George Clooney, kept going back to the point that Clooney came on the series debut without a project of his to promote. When the two found they had little to talk about, the discussion shifted to a nonexistent project that Clooney wrote, directed and starred in, playing the Secretary-General of the United Nations, whose trying to save the planet from a nuclear holocaust. This nonexistent project even had film clips, some stock-footage of Manhattan than a knock at the door for the Secretary-General. Clooney’s wearing a tux and opens the door with a scowl on his face growling leave me alone I’m disarming a nuclear-bomb.

Colbert handled himself well with his first political guest, former Florida Governor turned Presidential Candidate Jeb Bush. Stephen asked Jeb if the former Governor had been a little peeved at his mother for saying that there have been enough people named Bush and Clinton in the White House. (he admitted he was.) He also said that he believed his brother George didn’t act with enough fiscal responsibility in his final years as President.

The show’s house band, John Batiste and Stay Human come complete with two melodica players and a tuba player, performing a tasty-version of the Sly Stone Classic Everyday People, that included Mavis Staples, Buddy Guy and Derek Trucks among others. Colbert seems to enjoy singing on stage and while James Taylor and Paul McCartney aren’t quaking in their boots, he’s got a pleasant voice.

Jimmy Kimmel’s always left me cold, he’s a bit too cruel and snarky for my tastes. While I’ve enjoyed some of the viral clips that have emanated from The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon as the host, I’ve never been drawn to the show. Now this was just one episode and Colbert and his staff had over nine-months to prepare for their debut, can The Late Show With Stephen Colbert maintain the quality they displayed in their first outing. I don’t know, but I’m willing to stick around for now and find out.

The Late Show With Stephen Colbert Airs Weekday Nights at 11:35 pm on CBS.