REVIEW: ARROW – SEASON 1

Main Cast

Stephen Amell (Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: OOTS)
Katie Cassidy (Black Christmas 2006)
Colin Donnell (Chicago Med)
David Ramsey (Blu Bloods)
Willa Holland (Legion)
Susanna Thompson (Timeless)
Paul Blackthorne (The InBetween)

Recurring / Notable Guest Cast

Colin Salmon (Mortal Engines)
Jamey Sheridan (Homeland)
Jacqueline MacInnes Wood (Final Destination 5)
Annie Ilonzeh (Chicago Fire)
Kathleen Gati (The Hosue Bunny)
Roger Cross (Continuum)
Brian Markinson (Sanctuary)
Ben Cotton (Slither)
Derek Hamilton (When Calls The HEart)
Hiro Kanagawa (Heroes Reborn)
Kelly Hu (The Scorpion King)
Ty Olsson (X-Men 2)
Emma Bell (The Walking Dead)
Byron Mann (Skyscraper)
Eugene Lipinski (Outland)
Michael Rowe (Tomorrowland)
Kirby Morrow (Staragte: Atlantis)
John Barrowman (Torchwood)
Christie Laing (Izombie)
Emily Bett Rickards (Brooklyn)
Sebastian Dunn (Downtown Abbey)
Eric Breker (Godzilla)
Chelah Horsdal (Hell on Wheels)
Steve Makaj (Travelers)
Shekhar Paleja (Sanctuary)
Valerie Tian (Izombie)
Currie Graham (Agent Carter)
Kyle Schmid (Six)
Sarah-Jane Redmond (The 100)
Jessica De Gouw (The Hunting)
Jeffrey Nordling (Big Little Lies)
Tahmoh Penikett (Dollhouse)
Alex Zahara (Horns)
David Milchard (Big Eyes)
Andrew Dunbar (Leprechaun: Origins)
Danny Nucci (Titanic)
Michael Daingerfield (Smallville)
Jacqueline Samuda (Stargate SG.1)
Ben Browder (Farscape)
Colin Lawrence (Riverdale)
Janina Gavankar (True Blood)
Eileen Pedde (Juno)
Seth Gabel (Genius)
Kurt Evans (Izombie)
Patrick Sabongui (Power Rangers)
Manu Bennett (Spartacus)
Agam Darshi (Sanctuary)
David Anders (Izombie)
Ona Grauer (House of The Dead)
Adrian Holmes (V-Wars)
Celina Jade (The Man With The Iron Fists)
James Callis (Battlestar Galactica)
Chin Han (The Dark Knight)
Rekha Sharma (V)
Colton Haynes (Rough Night)
Alex Kingston (Flashforward)
Anna Van Hooft (Flash Gordon)
Audrey Marie Anderson (The Unit)
J. August Richards (Angel)
Jessica Harmon (V-Wars)

Stephen Amell in Arrow (2012)After turning the story about Clark Kent’s evolution from humble teenager to world’s greatest hero into one of the most successful science fiction TV series of all time, what exactly do you do for an encore? The obvious answer would be a series about a young Bruce Wayne. Or maybe a crime procedural starring the men and women of the Gotham City Police Department. Instead, The CW gave us Arrow, a series that simultaneously explores Oliver Queen’s first months as a vigilante hero and the painful hero’s journey he undertook while stranded on a remote island. Even considering Green Arrow’s popularity in Smallville and Justice League Unlimited, it wasn’t the most obvious choice. Nor was it the choice many DC fans wanted. But ultimately, it was a choice that paid off.To their credit, they succeeded. Even right off the bat, there were many notable elements that he writers introduced into the Green Arrow mythos. Generally a loner in the comics, here Ollie was given a full family and circle of allies. Some were inspired by characters from the comics, while others were entirely new creations. Probably the most successful new addition was John Diggle as Ollie’s personal bodyguard-turned-ally in his war on crime. Watching the dynamic between Ollie and Diggle morph from cold and hostile to warm camaraderie was a treat. And the two sequences featuring Diggle in the costume rather than Ollie suggested that this show could have a life beyond that of its lead character.Image result for arrow pilotAmell’s performance grew stronger over time, and the subtle ways in which he distinguished his performances during the present-day and flashback scenes stood out.With other characters, it was more a question of the scripts shedding light on motivation and relationships before they really came into their own. This was certainly the case with Moira Queen (Susanna Thompson), who was a bit of a hard sell as a sympathetic mother figure until viewers came to understand her role in “The Undertaking.” Similarly, Tommy Merlyn (Colin Donnell) came across as a fairly flat and unimportant character at first. But by the end of the season, Tommy had emerged as the emotional heart of the series and Donnell’s one of the strongest performances.Seth Gabel and Stephen Amell in Arrow (2012)Jessica De Gouw in Arrow (2012)Felicity Smoak (Emily Bett Rickards) was endearing, her instant charm made fans fall in love with her making her a regular was the best choice when they headed into season 2. As Laurel, Katie Cassidy was excellent as future Black Canary, dealing with her emotions of seeing her former boyfriend back from the dead and the lost of her sister. Structurally, the season started out strong and finished even stronger. The writers managed to weave together an overarching narrative as Ollie slowly uncovered the truth of The Undertaking and his own parents’ involvement while contending with various smaller villains and conflicts. Anchoring the series throughout were the frequent flashbacks to Ollie’s five years on the island. The pilot episode offered a tantalizing glimpse of what had transpired over the course of those five years with the Deathstroke mask discarded on the beach. Various plot twists revealed just how complicated that story is, teaming Ollie with Slade Wilson (Manu Bennett) and Shado (Celina Jade) in an ongoing guerrilla war against mercenary leader Edward Fyers (Sebastian Dunn). Particularly once Slade entered the picture and his bond with Ollie became a major focal point, the flashbacks emerged as one of the strongest elements of the show.Stephen Amell and Jessica De Gouw in Arrow (2012)Everything in Season 1 culminated in two climactic episodes as Ollie fought for the survival of Starling City in the present and to stop Fyers from sparking an international incident in the past. These episodes offered a satisfying blend of big action scenes and emotional character showdowns. In particular, the final scene between Ollie and Tommy that closed out the season was perhaps the best the show has delivered so far.

25 DAYS OF CHRISTMAS REVIEW: IZOMBIE – METHOD HEAD

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METHOD HEAD

MAIN CAST

Rose McIver (Power Rangers RPM)
Malcolm Goodwin (American Gangster)
Robert Buckley (Killer Movie)
David Anders (Alias)
Rahul Kohli (Holby City)

RECURRING / NOTABLE GUEST CAST

Steven Weber (2 Broke Girls)
Zack Peladeau (The Blackburn Asylum)
Skyler Day  (Sweet/Vicious)
Ryan Lane (Switched at Birth)
Jessica Harmon (Black Xmas)
Leanne Lapp  (Grave Encounters 2)
Bryce Hodgson  (X-Men 2)
Anna Galvin (Warcraft)

Going into an episode about a TV show called Zombie High, it was safe to expect things would get pretty meta and “Method Head” did not disappoint. From Clive calling the idea of a zombie show where the zombie’s the star “dumb” to learning Zombie High, despite being set in Portland, films in Seattle (the Seattle-set iZombie films in Vancouver) for tax breaks, the iZombie team clearly had a ball winking at themselves and their fans. And we can only guess there were plenty of private in-jokes too, such as when Liv said things like, “I love the cute little names the crew have for the actors!”The only thing that felt notably off was the first few minutes, with the Christmas setting and Liv eating the Santa brain. The idea of showing a bit of a passage of time was interesting, as we went into the new year, but it still left that opening feeling disconnected – and even Major finding out that, in theory, he will eventually become a zombie again, was somewhat put to the side for the remainder of the episode (though obviously that’s going to be a continuing issue).However, once the episode really got going, all of the Zombie High material was extremely funny, and I loved that the show sort of got every in-joke they could out of the way, by also bringing up the new Power Rangers movie multiple times, as a nod to Rose McIver’s Ranger past – and Ravi’s line, “If I’m hearing you right, there’s going to be another Power Rangers movie!” was so great. But what was gratifying was the episode didn’t only rest on the meta jokes, and in fact, one of the funniest moments, when Liv had to help an actor who claimed to have a photographic memory remember the term photographic memory, had nothing to do with this being a zombie show doing an episode about a zombie show.5616cde899678The first iZombie of 2016 was a highly entertaining one, as the show managed to have fun with itself in a big way. Meanwhile, Major is going in even deeper with Max Rager, even as we learn he’s being sought as the “Chaos Killer”, adding yet another obstacle to overcome.

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25 DAYS OF CHRISTMAS REVIEW: IZOMBIE – CAPE TOWN

CAPE TOWN

MAIN CAST
Rose McIver (Power Rangers RPM)
Malcolm Goodwin (American Gangster)
Robert Buckley (Killer Movie)
David Anders (Alias)
Rahul Kohli (Holby City)
RECURRING / NOTABLE GUEST CAST
Eddie Jemison (Bruce Almighty)
Brooke Lyons (2 Broke Girls)
Bryce Hodgson  (X-Men 2)
Jenna Romanin (Bates Motel)
Damn, “Cape Town” tricked us good. We thought we were getting a goofy adventure poking fun at the rise of superheroes in popular culture set against the backdrop of the holidays, but what we got was a much more somber affair. To be fair, we should have seen this coming. Not just because the holidays can be depressing, but because there’s been a darkness creeping over iZombie all season long. It was a quintessential midseason finale. It paid off on some of iZombie’s long-simmering arcs, like Liv and Major’s relationship struggles, while also pressing forward on some others, like Mr. Boss’s involvement in the Seattle crime world. And at the end, the show snuck in a series of well-placed punches to the gut that could potentially unravel everything the show and Liv have been working toward this entire time.
After Liv chowed down on the brain of a man who was a shop teacher by day, vigilante by night, she dressed up in her own crime-fighting costume and said some hilariously dramatic things that Ravi joked would be good to use in her character’s graphic novel.  iZombie had a great time poking fun at the ridiculous idea that people run around in costumes and attempt to fight crime but then go to work at pressed juiceries during the day. It’s humorous in light of how saturated with superheroes popular culture has become over the last decade, but it’s especially funny when viewed through the lens of a show like iZombie that is equally unbelievable in its premise. Liv thought the Fog was crazy for his nighttime activities as a caped crusader, but Liv is a zombie who solves murders through the visions she receives after eating the brains of the deceased victims who pass through the morgue where she works. I mean, vigilante crimefighters who say things like, “I’m the Fog, and tonight I’m thick with justice,” don’t sound nearly as crazy when you put things into perspective.
And this week, iZombie was all about putting things into perspective, whether it was Clive realizing how dangerous it was to allow Liv to consult on cases or Major finally coming to terms with how a brain affects a zombie, things were becoming clearer but also changing, and not necessarily for the better, for our ragtag group of heroes. Like many superhero tales, “Cape Town” ended with Liv standing on a rooftop surveying the city she was trying to protect, and although it was fun while it lasted, the particular brain put Liv in a dangerous position when she went to one of Mr. Boss’s warehouses to stop a gun deal and after overpowering a few men with marbles, chloroform, and her built-in zombie rage, was nearly killed by the murderer, who’d been robbing Mr. Boss’s high stakes poker games. Mr. Boss arrived and shot the woman, and if Liv wasn’t already on his radar from his first appearance on the show, she is now. Liv has done some questionable things as a result of whatever brain she’s eaten that week, but has she ever been quite so needlessly reckless as she was this week? She is not a trained law-enforcement officer, and her zombie strength and instincts can’t protect her all the time. The fact that there were repercussions for her actions is actually something that I think needed to happen in order for iZombie to continue to move forward, even if moving forward actually meant taking a few steps back. One of the worst things that can happen to a show is that it becomes complacent, and although iZombie was in no risk of stalling out—between Max Rager, Mr. Boss, and Blaine’s scheming, the show has plenty of storylines to ensure it has forward momentum—Clive ending their partnership threw Liv for a loop and forced the show to turn inward in a way that we haven’t seen in a while.
Clive blamed himself for Liv’s actions because he’d been treating her like an equal when she wasn’t one, but by putting an end to their partnership, he has unknowingly also taken away the one thing that gave real meaning to Liv’s undead life. And so without her tether, everything kind of spiraled out of control from there. The way Liv sees it, if she’s not using the brains she eats to retrain her humanity to also solve murders, then there are no positives to being a zombie. It means she suffers through visions of someone else’s life for no reason, it means her personality shifts are for nothing, and it means that she no longer serves any purpose. Clive dissolving their weird little partnership essentially threatens to erase all of the progress Liv has made since the series premiere taught Liv that being a zombie didn’t have to mean her life was over. And without helping to solve murder cases, the depression that once dominated Liv’s life is already threatening to creep back in.
The first casualty of being a zombie without a cause was Liv’s love life. It was already in jeopardy, of course, but after having a heart-to-heart with a zombie who was forced to have sex for food, Major thought he had finally begun to understand how the brains affected an individual, and was willing to forgive Liv for her stalker actions last week—an argument that bled over into this week’s episode—but Liv decided to break things off. To his credit, Major was so sure that they’re meant to be together that he’s willing to wait and was certain this latest hiccup in their long, rocky road to happiness will be overcome. On the one hand, good for you, Major. Someone needs to fight for the relationship since Liv isn’t able to. But on the other hand, by viewing Liv’s zombieism as a temporary roadblock, that sent a message to Liv that he loved the woman she used to be and only tolerated the woman she was now.
Like many of the CW mid-season finales, Izombie’s is a game changer and now we have to wait till January to see the aftermath.

HALLOWEEN OF HORROR REVIEW: THE REVENANT (2009)

CAST

David Anders (Izombie)
Chris Wylde (Space Cowboys)
Louise Griffiths (Lovesick)
Jacy King (Drop Dead Gorgeous)
Eric Payne (Malcolm X)

David Anders in The Revenant (2009)The film focuses on Second Lieutenant Bart Gregory (David Anders) who has been killed under mysterious circumstances in Iraq. After his friends and girlfriend Janet (Louise Griffiths) attend his funeral, Bart awakens in his grave. Enlisting the help of his best friend, Joey Leubner (Chris Wylde), Bart begins to understand and learn how to deal with his new undead state; mainly, the fact that Bart needs blood to hold back decomposition and that he returns to a state of in-animation during daylight hours. Joey does research online to find out what Bart is and seems to be stuck between a Zombie and Vampire, finally stating that Bart is a Revenant. While buying beer from a small store in Koreatown, Bart and Joey become vigilantes when Bart both kills and feeds off of a gangster who is holding up the store. They enjoy the media coverage of the incident, and Joey asks Bart to bestow him with the “dark gift”. Bart refuses to do so and laughs the idea off. However, after a subsequent attempt at vigilantism goes wrong and Joey is fatally wounded, Bart is forced to drink Joey’s blood in order to save him.David Anders in The Revenant (2009)The two continue their vigilante killing spree for a while, until Mathilda (Jacy King), a friend of Janet who dislikes both Bart and Joey, follows them and threatens to reveal their activities to the world, especially Janet. Joey shoots Mathilda through the chest, but before she dies, she is able to send the information to Janet. Fearing they will be caught, Joey tells Bart to meet him back at the apartment with a packed bag in half an hour, then drives away mysteriously. Bart meets a teary Janet at the apartment, who forces him to explain the fact that he requires blood to stay stable. She then begs him to feed off of her instead, so that he will no longer need to kill. Bart loses control and drains her until she dies.Chris Wylde and David Anders in The Revenant (2009)Joey returns to the apartment with a “pimped out” hearse for the two to use, and suggests that they go to Las Vegas to continue their reign. However, after Bart shows him Janet’s corpse, the two begin to fight, and proceed to shoot each other repeatedly, although this is insufficient to kill either of them. Joey storms out and states that he will continue on to Vegas alone. Bart decapitates Janet in order to ensure her death, then drops her remains over the bridge where he and Joey usually disposed of their corpses. Bart is captured by SWAT teams and taken to jail, where, come dawn, he collapses in his cell. Upon nightfall, Bart reawakens in the morgue and escapes, returning to the apartment. Inside is a package containing Joey’s severed head. Since he was decapitated at night, Joey is still “alive”, and Bart uses a vibrating dildo to enable Joey’s head to talk. Joey warns Bart that a gangbanger who was their first kill is after him for revenge, and then requests that Bart kill him for good. Bart crushes Joey’s head underneath a bulldozer, and then tries to find a way to kill himself.Chris Wylde and David Anders in The Revenant (2009)Against normal convention, a bullet through the brain does not have the desired effect, and neither does hanging himself with Christmas lights. He even throws himself in front of the subway train, but only succeeds in severing his arm. Bart then boards a train, where he finds and reads a letter that Janet left in his uniform’s pocket at his funeral. He breaks down and attacks the only other passenger. He is caught and flees into the station where more SWAT teams attempt to catch him. He finally escapes to a hilltop and at dawn collapses once more, while he is being surrounded by men in hazmat suits. The film then cuts to a tour of sorts, where various military personnel are being shown revenants in glass containers, including Bart. A General asks Bart if he was a soldier, and then states that this fact may give him an advantage. Bart is then shown in a large canister being airdropped into Khūzestān Province, Iran, along with the other revenants, where the canister opens upon landing, releasing him on the country.Chris Wylde and David Anders in The Revenant (2009)While we get bombarded with plenty of low budget junk it seems we can still miss something with real genius in it. This is one of the missed ones it seems. Well acted, well scripted, keeps the story moving, and gives us a new and interesting take on a tired genre. The special effects were also top notch and although you were aware this was a movie done on a tight low budget when the fx kicked in they went above and beyond the call. Top notch stuff.

REVIEW: IZOMBIE – SEASON 5

Rose McIver in iZombie (2015)

MAIN CAST

Rose McIver (Power Rangers RPM)
Malcolm Goodwin (American Gangster)
Rahul Kohli (Happy Anniversary)
Robert Buckley (Killer Movie)
David Anders (Alias)
Aly Michalka (Two and a Half Men)
Bryce Hodgson (Kid Cannabis)

Rose McIver in iZombie (2015)

RECURRING / NOTABLE GUEST CAST

Jennifer Irwin (Bad Teacher)
Daran Norris (Veronica Mars)
Quinta Brunson (Lazor Wulf)
Tongayi Chirisa (Crusoe)
Francis Capra (Heroes)
Jessica Harmon (The 100)
Robert Salvador (Arrow)
Jade Payton (Good Game)
Adam Greydon Reid (Sanctuary)
Aaron Craven (The Predator)
Emy Aneke (The Drive)
Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (Airplane)
Jackie Debatin (Switched at Birth)
John Emmet Tracy (Fifty Shades Freed)
Christie Laing (Arrow)
Stephanie Lemelin (Young Justice)
Gage Golightly (Teen Wolf)
Ryan Devlin (Veronica Mars)
Bill Wise (Boyhood)
Magda Apanowicz (Caprica)
Bill Dow (Stargate SG.1)
Ken Marino (Agent Carter)
Eddie Jemison (Waitress)
Molly Hagan (No Good Nick)
Laura Bilgeri (The Recall)
Valerie Tian (Juno)
Carrie Anne Fleming (Supernatural)
Doug Hutchison (The Green Mile)
Nick Purcha (Cold Zone)
Hanneke Talbot (Star Trek: Discovery)
Nemo Cartwright (Descendants)
Ari Cohen (IT)
Ellie Harvie (The New Addams Family)
Chris Lowell (Veronica Mars)
Alex Zahara (Horns)
Colleen Winton (Van Helsing)

Anyone hoping that Seattle’s new leadership would help ease zombie-human relations on iZombie was out of luck during the show’s fifth and final season. Sure, Peyton is now the acting mayor, and Major is a far more benevolent Fillmore Graves commander than Chase Graves. But six months after the Season 4 finale, the city’s problems remain: There aren’t enough brains to feed the undead, and tensions between humans and zombies are at an all-time high. When a video of the undead chowing down on a human woman’s brain goes viral, things only get worse. Even Blaine — who is living lavishly like a rock star — finds that his brain-smuggling business is in trouble. The border agents he’s paid off to look the other way are no longer OK with zombies, meaning Blaine’s operation isn’t delivering like it used to. And as he explains to Liv and Clive — whose wife Dale is pregnant! — when zombies get hungry, he gets sad. And when he delivers less brains, he’s less wealthy, which makes him even sadder.As per their deal, Major puts the pressure on Blaine to bring in the goods. “It’s why people are willing to pretend you’re Jack Sparrow and not Jack the Ripper,” Major reminds him. So Blaine kidnaps the five border security guards and threatens to turn them into zombies and kill all their loved ones. Four of them agree to resume their partnership, while the fifth never returns to work, if you know what I mean.Daran Norris and Aly Michalka in iZombie (2015)Meanwhile, the zombie-hating Dead Enders are going to extreme and violent lengths. A human man approaches one of the activist leaders at her food truck and is given a location and time. He then drives a van armed with explosives into a security checkpoint, killing several Fillmore Graves soldiers. With all the chaos, it’s easy to understand why Major is inundated with applications from people wanting to leave Seattle. At the same time, Liv is reviewing hopefuls who want into the city, including a video from a teen boy who’s terminally ill and stuck in a terrible foster home. When she sends Not!Weevil to get him across the border, Liv’s cohort finds a surprise waiting for him: two little girls from the foster home, who are also in need of saving. Even though he doesn’t have IDs for the girls, Not!Weevil takes all three kids with him. But alas, one of the other passengers on the bus tips off the police to the girls hiding in the bathroom.Rose McIver in iZombie (2015)Back at home, Ravi consumes the brains of a Vinnie Jones-type macho man and goes all aggro. Thankfully, he has a very understanding but no-nonsense girlfriend in Peyton. On the downside, he doesn’t get off to the best start with his new liaison on the cure, seeing as how he mostly just yells at her. The other doctor figures out the condition needed to derive the cure, but the real Ravi warns her that it would put 300 children’s lives in jeopardy. She eventually comes around to his side and keeps the information from her bosses. and thats just the opener.Rose McIver in iZombie (2015)The remaining episodes of the season bring some laughs, some sadness and more brain eating fun from our favorite Zombie. with the series coming to a close it will always remain a quirky entertaining show with a lot of heart and will be missed.

REVIEW: HEROES – SEASON 4

Starring

Hayden Panettiere (Nashville)
Robert Knepper (Izombie)
Jack Coleman (Spawn)
Zachary Quinto (Star Trek)
Milo Ventimiglia (This Is Us)
Masi Oka (Get Smart)
Greg Grunberg (Alias)
Cristine Rose (How I Met Your Mother)
Adrian Pasdar (Supergirl)
James Kyson Lee (Sleepy Hollow)
Ali Larter (Final Destination)
Sendhil Ramamurthy (Beauty and The Beast)

Robert Knepper in Heroes (2006)

Recurring / Notable Guest Cast

Dawn Olivieri (The Vampire Diaries)
Madeline Zima (Crazy Eyes)
Ray Park (G.I. Joe)
Deanne Bray (Universal Signs)
Elisabeth Röhm (Angel)
Ashley Crow (Minority Report)
Jimmy Jean-Louis (Arrow)
Lisa Lackey (Planet of The Apes)
Rachel Melvin (Sleepy Hollow)
Saemi Nakamura (The Truman Show)
Zeljko Ivanek (The Event)
Louise Fletcher (Star Trek: DS9)
Rick Worthy (Duplicity)
Swoosie Kurtz (Mike & Molly)
Tessa Thompson (Westworld)
Christine Adams (BLack Lightning)
Ernie Hudson (Ghostbusters)
Candice Patton (The Flash)
Jayma Mays (Paul Blart: Mall Cop)
Danielle Savre (Boogeyman 2)
Santiago Cabrera (Big Little Lies)
Danica Stewart (Passions)
Andrew Connolly (Patriot Games)
Ravi Kapoor (Bones)
Todd Stashwick (The Originals)
David H. Lawrence XVII (Lost)
Kate Vernon (Battlestar Galactica)
Tamlyn Tomita (The Eye)
David Anders (Izmbie)
Sasha Pieterse (Pretty Little Liars)
Eric Roberts (The Finder)
K Callan (Lois & Clark)

Deanne Bray in Heroes (2006)

The first season of Heroes remains a landmark moment in television. Taking Watchmen’s ‘if superheroes existed’ thesis to its natural conclusion, the show’s realisation of the ultimate nerd fantasy of ordinary people with extraordinary powers and subtle nods to comic book tropes was a revelation, producing one of TV’s all time great villains, the delightfully menacing Sylar. Then it all fell apart.Masi Oka in Heroes (2006)The fun, frenetic pace of the first season was almost completely absent from its follow-up. In a jarring and completely misjudged shift of tone, the show became more about the nefarious dealings of the mysterious ‘Company’ and less about character development and the simple joy of watching a cheerleader mend her own bloody and broken shinbone. (The season also introduced the worst superpower ever: the ability to kill by dilating your pupils.) Admittedly, this was partially as a result of the 07/08 US writers’ strike, but the show never recovered critically, haemorrhaging viewers at an alarming pace. In following this unmitigated disaster, Tim Kring and co attempted to return to the heart of what made the show such a blast in the first place and, a handful of ridiculous plot points aside, they have been reasonably successful. However, viewers had lost faith and THE show was officially axed by NBC.Robert Knepper in Heroes (2006)However, with the fourth and final season going back to basics, as well as injecting some much needed warmth and depth into several previously underdeveloped characters, Heroes definitely went out with a bang. Season four follows the characters attempts to return to normality following the tragic events of Nathan Petrelli’s death at the hands of Sylar. In an attempt to keep his death a secret, psychic ex-cop Matt Parkman enters an unconscious and powerless Sylar’s mind, convincing him he is Nathan. All does not go to plan, however, as Sylar’s subdued consciousness worms its way into Matt’s head, taunting him and attempting to force Parkman to restore his identity by any means necessary.Robert Knepper and Zachary Quinto in Heroes (2006)Hiro Nakamura, previously just a loveable, if highly one-dimensional, comic book nerd, is finally given some depth, after discovering he is terminally ill with a brain tumour. Following a mysterious encounter with shadowy carnival owner Samuel Sullivan (played to creepy perfection by Prison Break’s Robert Knepper), Hiro decides to use his time travelling powers to change tragic or regretful moments in his past, often to destructive effect. The majority of the plot revolves around the arrival of Samuel’s peculiar fair. As self-healing cheerleader-turned-fresher Claire Bennet soon discovers, it is much more than a travelling freak show. The carnival is a tight knit group of ‘heroes’ travelling under the radar. However, as Samuel tries to convince Claire to join his family, things may not be as they appear.Hayden Panettiere and Madeline Zima in Heroes (2006)With season four, the creators have finally realised what it is viewers loved about Heroes in the first place. Like all good comic books, the series is a rollercoaster ride, with an engaging (if a tad stupid) plot, and a plethora of dastardly villains. Characters are given conflict that, for a change, is genuinely thrilling. Hiro’s awful dilemma is particularly heartbreaking, bringing some essential empathy to what was previously the show’s increasingly tired comic relief. Although it may have proven too little, too late for casual viewers, the season is a worthy farewell to what deserves to be remembered as one TV’s most enjoyable shows.

 

REVIEW: HEROES – SEASON 3

Starring

Milo Ventimiglia (This Is Us)
Adrian Pasdar (Supergirl)
Jack Coleman (Spawn)
Sendhil Ramamurthy (Beauty and The Beast)
Cristine Rose (How I Met Your Mother)
Zachary Quinto (Star Trek)
Hayden Panettiere (Nashville)
James Kyson Lee (Sleepy Hollow)
Masi Oka (Get Smart)
Greg Grunberg (Alias)
Ali Larter (Final Destination)
Dania Ramirez (Mojave)

Sendhil Ramamurthy in Heroes (2006)

Recurring / Notable Guest Cast

Brea Grant (Halloween II)
Ashley Crow (Minority Report)
Željko Ivanek (X-Men: Apocalypse)
Jamie Hector (All Eyez on Me)
Ntare Mwine (Treme)
Blake Shields (The Hollow)
Robert Forster (Automata)
David H. Lawrence XVII (Lost)
Kristen Bell (The Good Place)
Randall Bentley (Upside)
Jimmy Jean-Louis (Arrow)
Malcolm McDowell (A Clockwork Orange)
Alan Blumenfeld (Pathology)
George Takei (Star Trek: TOS)
Dan Byrd (28 Days)
Francis Capra (Veronica Mars)
Noah Gray-Cabey (My Wofe and Kids)
Demetrius Grosse (The Rookie)
Lisa Lackey (Planet of The Apes)
Eric Roberts (The Finder)
Adair Tishler (Dollhouse)
Stephen Tobolowsky (Groundhog Day)
Bruce Boxleitner (Supergirl)
Loren Lester (Red Eye)
Jessalyn Gilsig (Nip/Tuck)
David Anders (Izombie)
William Katt (Carrie)
Seth Green (Family Guy)
Breckin Meyer (Garfield)
Taylor Cole (The Originals)
Aarti Mann (The BIg Bang Theory)
Justin Baldoni (Jane The Virgin)
John Glover (Smallville)
Swoosie Kurtz (Mike & Molly)
Kevin Alejandro (Arrow)
Kenneth Choi (Spider-Man: Homecoming)
Diana Scarwid (Psycho III)
Ravi Kapoor (Bones)
Edwin Hodge (Red Dawn)
Alexa Nikolas (Red State)
Cam Clarke (The Lion Guard)
Ellen Greene (Little Shop of Horrors)
Clint Howard (Apollo 13)
Michael B. Silver (Jason Goes To Hell)
Michael Dorn (Star Trek: TNG)

Hayden Panettiere and Milo Ventimiglia in Heroes (2006)I love the concept of a weekly show about people dealing with superpowers and an evil government agency coming to get them. I also really like that it doesn’t shy away from the violence, especially when it comes to the ruthless power collecting ultimate bad guy (who at times shows his good side) Sylar. What I don’t like is how scattered and uneven this show has become. I dare anyone to try and make sense out of the first half of the season titled “Villains”. The only crime committed was a lack of concern for a coherent plot. Luckily the second half of the season “Fugitives” got the show focused in and back on track. More after the jump…Masi Oka, James Kyson, and Brea Grant in Heroes (2006)The first half of the season “Villains” was advertised with big campaigns claiming that this season “Heroes will battle Villains.” I was super stoked because the way my mind pictured the structure of the show was switching the narrative focus over to the villains and showing the events through their perspective making all the good guys side characters. I realize this sounds a bit ambitious, but coming off of a lackluster sophomore season I thought the creators were pulling out all the stops. This is not what happened. Instead what came out of the first half was a jumbled, messy plot that had moments of brilliance mixed in with a heavy dose of confusion. I still was thoroughly entertained, but I’m an easy sell when it comes to anything comic book oriented.Zachary Quinto in Heroes (2006)The plot of “Villains” centers around the revelation that Arthur Petrelli is in fact alive and planning some dastardly things at Pinhearst, in his search for the catalyst (the nebulous source that gave all these characters powers). If Arthur can get his hands on the formula then he can create a whole slew of super humans to do his bidding. This is a pretty cool plot, especially when a ton of super baddies are released from Level 5 during a crisis leading to HRG and Sylar teaming up to round them up. Sylar has a lot of moral issues this season as he grapples with his true nature, is he a monster or was he programmed by the Company to be this way?Jack Coleman in Heroes (2006)There are some really fun things he gets to do this season, especially the buddy cop-esque episode where he and HRG are trying to stop a bank robbery being held up by super villains. The plot gets confusing when time travel keeps being thrown in and the actual source of the catalyst was jumbled for me. Is it Claire or Hiro’s mother or both or just a formula? I have no idea. There’s also a two-part episode where another eclipse happens and they all lose their powers. I understand why in the dramatic arc of the story this was put in, but it’s not fun to watch superheroes without powers and these two episodes dragged a bit. I liked the initial idea and towards the end the showdown with Arthur and the Petrelli boys is great, but this half loses steam here and there with just too many ideas on the table.Now comes the second half of the season “Fugitives,” which I thought was awesome! Nathan outs himself to the President as being a person with abilities and is then put in charge of rounding up all people like him in the interest of Homeland Security. Nathan’s motives are a bit sketchy, has he turned to the Dark Side or is this all a way to help Claire, or is it a way to work the system from the inside and eventually destroy it? I’m not telling, but there are a decent number of twists throughout. The reason this half of the season works so much better is because there is a clear through-line and the story is way more focused. Basically it’s the U.S. government versus everyone with abilities, as villains team with heroes and the lines of good and bad are blurred to fight a bigger enemy that threatens all their existence. It’s also a classic comic book plot that works well for a reason, because it seems realistic that this is how our government would react if living Weapons of Mass Destruction started popping up all over the country.Hayden Panettiere, James Kyson, and Brea Grant in Heroes (2006)“Fugitives” has a clear bad guy in the ruthless Agent Danko, who will stop at nothing to detain and sometimes simply destroy anyone with abilities. HRG and Angela start playing both sides and their characters have some great moments. Sylar takes a trip down memory lane to try and find out who his real parents are and some interesting new developments come up leading him down a darker path then before. And Sylar acquires his best power yet, when he kills a shape-shifter, could he be any more unstoppable? While Nathan grapples with the morals of the decisions he’s made and how to fix this manhunt he’s started. Not to mention a great deal is revealed when the gang of heroes goes to Coyote Sands to find out about a mysterious project called “Icarus” which turns out to be a concentration camp for people with abilities where some pretty bad stuff went down. Lots of action, suspense, twists, and a more focused plot makes “Fugitives” a bad ass return to form for a series that has had some ups and downs, but is still dear to my nerdcore heart.Hayden Panettiere, Masi Oka, and James Kyson in Heroes (2006)The first half of season three meandered a bit, but was still fun to watch. The second half reminded me why I started watching the show in the first place and gives a great deal of hope for season four, especially with the cliffhanger we were left with at the end of “Fugitives.” Let’s just say it won’t be politics as usual this coming season…