|Beside Himself: One of the great things about The Flash is regular, 'real' supervillains...|
1) The Flash - Fastest Man Alive: Now here is a show that has hit the ground running (pun intended). Although it comes from the Arrow stable, it has a more upbeat feel and brighter appearance that, occasionally, makes it more visually similar to Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D. This episode saw Barry facing down Multiplex, a man capable of making infinite duplicates of himself - a great effect handled adroitly on a TV budget.
Two episodes in and there is so much good going on in this programme, so much the team have got right (bridging the gap between comic books and television), that it can be difficult to know where to start the praise.
Of particular interest are the subtle (and, to me, not-so-subtle) clues suggesting that Harrison Wells (Tom Cavanagh) is - in reality - Professor Zoom aka The Reverse Flash who has travelled back from the future to steer Barry to become the hero he is destined to be... starting with the murder of his mother. This week, for instance, we had Wells reveal that Barry would become known as The Flash and after his final scene there was the yellow effect - mimicking what Barry saw the night the night of his mother's death.
Also, if you take this theory as gospel and then listen to everything Wells says, and watch his reactions, you see that he is clearly manipulating everyone into encouraging Barry to become the crime-fighting Flash as well as concealing his foreknowledge of Barry's destiny. Also: Harrison Wells -> H. Wells -> H.G.Wells -> The Time Machine. Need I say more?
2) Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D. - Making Friends And Influencing People: Simmons is forced to help Hydra capture Donnie Gill. S.H.I.E.L.D. tries to get to him first.
3) Arrow - Sara: Maybe it's because I was never that interested in the adventures of DC's Green Arrow, but I find it difficult to get seriously invested in this show, despite really enjoying its oeuvre. Sara saw Team Arrow investigating the death of one of their own and facing down another deadly archer, Komodo (Matt Ward).
Meanwhile, Oliver is fretting over not hearing from Thea in five months (setting up the episode's great coda) and the excellent Brandon Routh's Ray Palmer - the future Atom - is cementing his take over of Oliver's old company, pushing forward his plans to 'save' Starling City and rebrand it as Star City.
Still don't particularly relish the flashbacks in Arrow, even though they are not flashbacks in the traditional sense but rather a parallel timeline charting Oliver's adventures before he got back to Starling City. Personally, I'd prefer them stripped out of the show, cut up and then have the key moments injected back into the main show as more traditional flashbacks where appropriate.
John Doman) and Sal Maroni (David Zayas, another favourite character actor since his Dexter days) and Jim Gordon's personal life.
As ever, the episode really belonged to Robin Lord Taylor for his portrayal of the manipulative Oswald Cobblepot (aka The Penguin), playing both sides off against each other as part of his Machiavellian scheme to takeover Gotham's underworld.
The main sticking point of Arkham was the shoe-horning in - once more - of young Bruce Wayne and Alfred. Two characters that Gotham could really do without at this stage. It's almost as if the two of them exist in their own little side movie and the rate Bruce is developing his proto-Batman deductive skills, he'll be donning the cape in a couple of weeks time or becoming Jim Gordon's partner on the GCPD.
After the flawed, but enticing, pilot I really thought Constantine would go from strength-to-strength but I really feel like it fell at the first hurdle. Luckily, it has a charismatic star and rumours of future DC Comics' paranormal characters appearing that will keep me watching. Maybe, The Darkness Beneath was just a speed bump anyway.