REVIEW: SMALLVILLE – SEASON 9

Starring

Tom Welling (Lucifer)
Allison Mack (Wilfred)
Justin Hartley (This Is Us)
Erica Durance (Supergirl)
Cassidy Freeman (The Vampire Diaries)
Callum Blue (Dead Like Me)

Callum Blue in Smallville (2001)

Recurring / Notable Guest Cast

Brian Austin Green (Terminator: TSCC)
Terence Stamp (Superman II)
Akessandro Juliani (Chilling Adventures of Sabrina)
Monique Ganderton (American Ultra)
Sharon Taylor (Stargate: Atlantis)
Adrian Holmes (Arrow)
Mike Dopud (Stargate Universe)
Stephen Lobo (Painkiller Jane)
Ryan McDonell (The Crossing)
Cameron Bancroft (Legends of Tomorrow)
Jody Thompson (The 4400)
Chris Gauthier (Watchmen)
Steph Song (War)
Elise Gatien (Ghost Wars)
Emilie Ullerup (Sanctuary)
Michael Adamthwaite (Stargate SG.1)
Sahar Biniaz (Blade: The Series)
Julian Sands (Gotham)
David Gallagher (Super 8)
Allison Scagliotti (The Vampire Diaries)
Dylan Neal (Arrow)
Anita Torrance (Caprica)
Steve Bacic (Andromeda)
Pam Grier (Jackie Brown)
Phil Morris (Doom Patrol)
Brent Stait (Andromeda)
Michael Shanks (Stargate SG.1)
Britt Irvin (Hot Rod)
Wesley MacInnes (Power Rangers)
Jim Shield (Cold Pursuit)
Erica Carroll (Apollo 18)
Serinda Swan (Inhumans)
Crystal Lowe (Final Destination 3)
JR Bourne (Stargate SG.1)
Sean Rogerson (Bitten)
Odessa Rae (Hard Candy)
Elysia Rotaru (Arrow)
Jonathan Walker (Red)
Gil Bellows (Sanctuary)
Blu Mankuma (Robocop: The Series)
Mark Gibbon (Man of Steel)
Annette O’Toole (The Punisher)
Michael McKean (This Is Spinal Tap)

Brian Austin Green in Smallville (2001)Season nine is the single greatest season Smallville has ever produced. The show has fully reached its potential and has created a tense, exciting, beautifully shot, clever and romantic season. One with interesting villains; conflicting needs; searching for the right questions; searching for the truth; love and hate and the fine line between it all; finding yourself and finding others. All with the strong undercurrent of destiny. There are around two ‘not so well executed’ episodes that fall short of their goals, but even those are not awful. The four or so main arcs of the season are: the return of a weirdly attractive and charismatic Zod, the blossoming relationship between Lois and Clark, the development of the Blur and the Justice Society.Chris Gauthier and Tom Welling in Smallville (2001)This is a season of triangles. Many carefully subtle and symbolic in nature: triangles between friends, triangles between enemies, the triangle for two. There was a distinct sense of care to this season, unlike the others — it actually felt as if the writers paid close attention to the small things which made the writing feel more cohesive. It’s certainly the case, because something as small as a hand gesture in one episode became a very significant thing later on.Tom Welling and Erica Durance in Smallville (2001)The season opens with ‘Saviour’, as Lois miraculously returns without memory of where she’s been. The only thing hinting at a darker side to this is random flashes and visions, confusing memories. Are they dreams? Visions of a not-so-distant future? This is one of the mysteries of the first half of the season. I love this show but they I’ve never been so engaged as I have when Lois had those first flashes. It was well done and it was gratifying to see Smallville put together a coherent story arc which flowed into other arcs as the previous ones drew to a close. First time ever that I’d been excited to see where the mainplot went!Callum Blue, Adrian Holmes, Tom Welling, Erica Durance, and Cassidy Freeman in Smallville (2001)Tom Welling is now an executive producer so having more creative control over his character is obvious this season — it has a very positive impact on Clark. Clark finds himself being tested. Learning to cope with juggling an overly-inquisitive Lois, an alter-ego as the Blur whilst swiftly returning to his desk at the bullpen. But ultimately, a key theme of this season is his struggle to maintain a balance between who he is and what he could become. This season firmly asks: who will he become? There was some fantastic development for Clark as a character and his relationship with Lois Lane is centre stage the entire time. The writing for them is careful, precise, intimate and is wonderfully nuanced thanks to the actors. It was well established last season that Lois is in love with Clark, and Clark spends this season rightly demonstrating that he loves her back. The Lois and Clark relationship is one of my favourite arcs in season nine. It was so satisfying to see their romantic relationship moved forward without a painfully slow draw-out. There’s a lot of beautiful scenes shared between them and the writers do a brilliant job of showing (yes ‘showing’, not telling) exactly why Lois is the one for Clark.Michael Shanks in Smallville (2001)Zod (Callum Blue) is a fantastic and compelling villain. His dalliances with Tess Mercer are mesmerising to watch. Oliver Queen returns, having hit rock bottom and kept going since the previous finale. There’s a triangle early in the season between Clark, Lois and Oliver. It’s very subtle and one can only be picked up on in a few frames a lot of the time — not something I’ve come to expect from Smallville, whose usual idea of ‘subtle’ is huge honking anvils landing on you when trying to convey something. It peeters away as Oliver grows and changes out of this darker period in his life. Lois develops as a reporter and finds a purpose in life she didn’t dream of before; her character arc was excellent and benefitted from Erica Durance appearing in 18 episodes instead of the usual 13 (yay!). We see the return of many superheroes as well as meet some new ones. I loved this as it’s one of my favourite parts of the series. I liked seeing Bart and Black Canary back in particular.Phil Morris, Tom Welling, and Justin Hartley in Smallville (2001)Star Girl was awesome! The superhero epic Absolute Justice (two episodes smooshed together as one) was a highlight of the season and will surely make comic book fans happy. The finale, ‘Salvation’ was a fast paced good quality closing chapter. It set up the next season and moved the story forward at the same time as closing it. The finale fight scene also did not disappoint! For once! Salvation was very much a juggernaught of emotion which wasn’t cheap and empty like Doomsday, but had the weight of a great season of storytelling behind it. It really made all the difference.Britt Irvin and Brent Stait in Smallville (2001)This season is well structured with a fascinating story arc which sees time travel as a central concept. In many ways this plotline held far more tension and anticipation than the whole of the Doomsday arc did. I enjoyed feeling fascinated by Zod, insanely wanting answers as to what had happened to Lois when she disappeared, and could barely contain myself when all was revealed in the episode ‘Pandora’. Truly one of the best episodes of the series.

REVIEW: ARROW – SEASON 1 & 2

CAST

Stephen Amell (The Vampire Diaries)
Katie Cassidy (Black Xmas)
Colin Donnell (Chicago Med)
David Ramsey (Pay It Forward)
Willa Holland (Legion)
Susanna Thompson (Dragonfly)
Paul Blackthorne (The Dresden Files)
Emily Bett Rickards (Brooklyn)
Manu Bennett (Spartacus)
Colton Haynes (Teen Wolf)

RECURRING / NOTABLE GUEST CAST

Colin Salmon (Limitless TV)
Jamey Sheridan (The Ice Storm)
Annie Ilonzeh (Beauty and The Beast)
Brian Markinson (Izombie)
Derek Hamilton (Disturbing Behavior)
Hiro Kanagawa (Heroes Reborn)
Kelly Hu (The Vampire Diaries)
Ty Olsson (X-Men 2)
Byron Mann (Dark Angel)
Roger Cross (First Wave)
Euegen Lipinski (Goosebumps)
Michael Rowe (Tomorrowland)
John Barrowman (Reign)
Currie Graham (Agent Carter)
Kyle Schmid (The Covenant)
Sarah-Jane Redmond (V)
Jessica De Gouw (Dracula)
Jeffrey Nordling (Tron: Legacy)
Tahmoh Penikett (Battlestar Galactica)
Sebastian Dunn (The Other Half)
Andrew Dunbar (Leprechaun: Origins)
Danny Nucci (Eraser)
Ben Browder (Stargate SG.1)
Christie Laing (Scary Movie 4)
Patrick Sabongui (The Flash)
David Anders (Izombie)
Ona Grauer (V)
Adrian Holmes (Smallville)
Agam Darshi (Sanctuary)
James Callis (Battlestar Galactica)
Rekha Sharma (Dark Angel)
Chin Han (The Dark Knight)
Janina Gavankar (True Blood)
Alex Kingston (Flashforward)
Anna Van Hooft (Flash Gordon)
Celina Jade (The Man with The Iron Fists)
Seth Gabel (Salem)
J. August Richards (Angel)
Summer Glau (Firefly)
Dylan Bruce (Heroes Reborn)
Caity Lotz (The Machine)
Michael Jai White (The Dark Knight)
Kevin Alejandro (Ugly Betty)
Bex Taylor-Klaus (Scream: The Series)
Teryl Rothery (Stargate SG.1)
Aubrey Marie Anderson (The Unit)
Jimmy Jean-Louis (Heroes)
Cle Bennett (Flashpoint)
Dylan Neal (Sabrina: TTW)
Cynthia Addai-Robinson (Spartacus)
David Nykl (Stargate: Atlantis)
Sean Maher (Firefly)
James Kidnie (Robocop: The Series)
Katrina Law (Chuck)
Michael Eklund (Bates Motel)
Nicholas Lea (V)
Robert Knepper (Cult)
Tara Strong (Batman: The Animated Series)
Lochlyn Munro (Little Man)
Jorge Vargas (Power Rangers Ninja Storm)
Carlos Valdes (The Flash)
Navid Negahban (Legion)
Danielle Panabaker (Sky High)

Image result for arrow pilotAfter 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.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.

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.

Right off the bat, “City of Heroes” set the tone and direction for Season 2. We saw a despondent Ollie still crushed by the death of his best friend, Tommy, and having retreated to the island in a self-imposed exile. Though Colin Donnell only briefly reprised his role as Tommy this season, his character was very much a lingering presence driving the actions of Ollie and Laurel throughout the year. And his death formed the crux of Ollie’s renewed mission. It was right there in the revised opening sequence – “To honor my friend’s memory, I can’t be the killer I once was.” And that, more than Ollie’s battles with Slade Wilson or Sebastian Blood or Isabel Rochev, was the core conflict of the season. It’s easy enough to fight criminals by shooting them dead. But could Ollie muster the strength and the courage not to kill, even if it meant putting himself, his family, and his city in greater danger? It was a struggle, but the most satisfying element of the finale was the way Ollie definitively answered that question and established himself as a better class of vigilante.Manu Bennett in Arrow (2012)Overall, Season 2 was a good showcase for Stephen Amell’s acting talents.  Ollie was haunted by demons and shouldering heavy burdens throughout the year. He suffered more often than he succeeded, and Amell conveyed that pain well. Most impressive was the way Amell was so capable at portraying Ollie at different periods in his life. We saw plenty more of Ollie’s life on the island in the various flashback scenes. Having already spent a year fighting for his life against men like Edward Fyers and Billy Wintergreen, flashback Ollie was closer to the man he is in the present, but not all the way there. And we even caught glimpses of a pre-island Ollie, most significantly in “Seeing Red.” More than the changes in hairstyle or fashion, it was Amell’s purposeful shifts in vocal intonation and body language that differentiated the different versions of Ollie.Having established himself as one of the better supporting players in Season 1, it was very gratifying to see Manu Bennett step fully into the spotlight and become the big antagonist of Season 2. That’s despite him not even being revealed as the secret mastermind of Brother Blood’s uprising until the mid-season finale, “Three Ghosts.” But it was crucial that the show spend so much time, both this season and last, in building up the brotherly bond between Ollie and Slade and the island. We needed to feel the pain of seeing them broken apart and Slade become a vengeful villain hellbent on tearing his former friend’s life down. And it wasn’t until much later still that we saw how that rift occurred and Slade turn his wrath against Ollie. It’s a testament to both the writing and Bennett’s acting that the character never quite lost his aura of sympathy even as he murdered Ollie’s mother and tried to do the same to Felicity. This was a man driven half-mad by the loss of the woman he loved and an injection of a super-steroid. But conversely, I appreciated how the finale took pains to establish that it wasn’t just the Mirakuru fueling Slade’s anger. Even now, super-strength gone and exiled back to the island, Slade is a clear and present danger to Ollie’s world.Three GhostsThe show introduced Sebastian Blood and Isabel Rochev as Slade’s subordinates, with Blood serving as the most visible villain for much of the season. I really enjoyed Kevin Alejandro’s portrayal of Blood. Alejandro’s Blood was so disarmingly charming that it was often difficult to reconcile him with the masked man kidnapping drug addicts and turning street thugs into super-soldiers. Ultimately, Blood became the sort of villain who does the wrong things for the right reasons. He had an honest desire to make Starling City a better place. And when it became clear to him that Slade Wilson wouldn’t leave a city left for him to rule, Blood did the right thing and aided Team Arrow.Most of the increasingly large supporting cast were given their moments to shine in Season 2. I was often disappointed that Diggle wasn’t given more to do, but at least he was able to take a starring role in “Suicide Squad.” Diggle’s backseat status was mainly the result of Sara Lance stepping into the limelight early on and eventually becoming the fourth member of Ollie’s vigilante crew. The Arrow had his Canary finally. Sara’s own struggles with the desire for lethal force and reuniting with her family often made for good drama. But among Team Arrow, it was often Felicity Smoak who often had the best material.  Emily Bett Rickards had much better material to work with this year, whether it was her unrequited love for Ollie, her burgeoning relationship with Barry Allen, or her desire to pull her weight alongside her more physically capable allies. The final three episodes all featured some standout moments for Felicity as she established herself as a force to be reckoned with.
Elsewhere, Roy Harper was often a focus as he transitioned from troubled street punk to superhero sidekick. Roy’s temporary super-strength powers were a welcome story swerve and a fitting physical manifestation of his inner rage. His character arc received a satisfying conclusion in the finale when he proved himself worthy and received his own red domino mask, but lost Thea as a result.As for the various women in Ollie’s life, Felicity and Sara aside, Season 2 was a little more uneven. Moira definitely had an interesting ride. She started out Season 2 fighting for her life while on trial for her role in the Undertaking. Then, in an unlikely turn of events, she was spurred to run for mayor. And finally, her life did end when she became a pawn in Slade’s cruel game. It was a terrific finish for Moira, proving once and for all that, whatever wrongs she committed, she was only ever trying to ensure her children’s survival. Thea was more up and down throughout the season. She was often underutilized, but received a boost late in the season when she learned the truth about her parentage. Laurel’s character  had her own crucible this season, spiraling into into drug and alcohol addiction and losing her job before hitting bottom, rebounding, and playing her part in saving Starling City.The Mirakuru drug served as a plausible, pseudo-scientific way of introducing super-strength and allowing Slade to transform into Deathstroke. And even when it came time to introduce the Flash midway through the season, Barry Allen never felt too out of place alongside the more grounded characters. Season 2 really opened the floodgates as far as drawing in characters and elements from other DC properties. Barry Allen’s debut was the most high-profile, but we also saw plenty more of Amanda Waller and A.R.G.U.S. “Professor Ivo became a recurring villain, along with a very different take on Amazo. And in a welcome twist, it turned out that even the Batman franchise is fair game with this show. Early on we learned of Sara Lance and Malcolm Merlyn’s connection to the League of Assassins. Nyssa al Ghul appeared in a couple of episodes, and we know her father is out there in the world, leading his shadowy organization in the hidden city of Nanda Parbat. Even Harley Quinn had a brief cameo.And beyond the introduction of all these new elements, the scope of Arrow really opened up in Season 2. The action was bigger and better choreographed. The scale of the conflicts was bigger. The producers simply seemed to have more money to throw around. And whether that was actually the case or just the result of experience and planning, the end result was the same. Arrow became a bigger, more cinematic TV series this season.

 

REVIEW: FLASHPOINT: THE COMPLETE SERIES

MAIN CAST

Enrico Colantoni (Veronica Mars)
Hugh Dillon (Ginger Snaps Back)
Amy Jo Johnson (Mighty Morphin Power Rangers)
David Paetkau (Final Destination 2)
Sergio Di Zio (Reign)
Michael Cram (Arrow)
Mark Taylor (Cinderella Man)
Ruth Marshall (Casino Jack)
Olunike Adeliyi (John Q)
Clé Bennett (Harvard Man)
Flashpoint_S5_2000x1125_Thumb-Logo

Recurring / Notable Guest Cast

Gabriel Hogan (Condor)
Philip Akin (Highlander: The Series)
Lisa Marcos (Rogue)
Arnold Pinnock (Cypher)
Sarah Gadon (Dracula Untold)
Andrew Gillies (Mutant X)
Mpho Koaho (Saw III)
Jeff Seymour (Bury The Lead)
Tatiana Maslany (Orphan Black)
Peter Stebbings (Bates Motel)
Pascale Hutton (Sanctuary)
Colm Feore (The Chronicles of Riddick)
Michael Mando (Better Call Saul)
Noah Jenkins (Earth: Final Conflict)
Alisen Down (Smallville)
Tyler Stentiford (The Story of Luke)
Janaya Stephens (Death Race)
Jessica Steen (Chaos)
Peter MacNeill (Open Range)
Aaron Abrams (Hannibal)
Ona Grauer (V)
Tattiawna Jones (Robocop)
Kari Matchett (Wonderfalls)
Peter Outerbridge (Beauty and The Beast)
Genelle Williams (Bitten)
Kevin Jubinville (MIss Sloane)
Ryan Kennedy (Caprica)
Heny Czerny (Supergirl)
Matthew Bennett (Battlestar Galactica)
Chandra West (White Noise)
Kenneth Mitchell (Odyssey 5)
Nicholas Campbell (Da Vinci’s Inquest)
Shauna MacDonald (Saw VI)
Calum Worthy (Americal Vandal)
Alexia Fast (Jack Reacher)
Kathleen Munroe (Patriot)
Sherry Miller (The Virgin Suicides)
Stephen Amell (Arrow)
Brian Markinson (Caprica)
Tamara Gorski (Angel)
David Calderisi (Earth: Final Conflict)
Roger Cross (First Wave)
Greg Bryk (Bitten)
Laara Sadiq (Arrow)
Noah Danby (Riddick)
Kathleen Robertson (Bates Motel)
Alan Van Sprang (Star Trek: Discovery)
Gina Holden (The Butterfly Effect 2)
John Pyper-Ferguson (Caprica)
Brendan Fletcher (Freddy vs Jason)
Alex Carter (Out of Time)
Krista Bridges (Heroes Reborn)
Fulvio Cecere (Valentine)
Shawn Roberts (Resident Evil: The Final Chapter)
Colin Cunningham (Elektra)
Michael Eklund (Bates Motel)
Brendan Penny (The A-Team)
Tyler Johnston (The Odds)
Adrian Hough (The Fog)
Lyndie Greenwood (Sleepy Hollow)
Mike Dopud (Arrow)
Jonathan Scarfe (Van Helsing)
Ian Tracey (Sanctuary)
Jeffrey Parazzo (Power Rangers Dino Thunder)
Erin Karpluk (Ripper 2)
Natalie Alyn Lind (The Gifted)
Yannick Bisson (Year By The Sea)
Kate Hewlett (Stargate: Atlantis)
Chris Violette (Power Rangers SPD)
Patrick Sabongui (The Flash)
Rachel Blanchard (Carrie 2)
Natalie Brown (Saw V)
Richard Chevolleau (Hannibal)
Victor Garber (Legends of Tomorrow)
Rachel Skarsten (Reign)
Max Martini (The Order)
Eve Harlow (Heroes Reborn)
Rob Stewart (Painkiler Jane)
Cynthia Preston (Carrie)
Sonya Salomaa (The Collector)
Benjamin Ratner (Travelers)
Joe Dinicol (Arrow)
Lawrence Dane (Scanners)
Tammy Isbell (Bitten)
Ari Cohen (Smallville)
Cristina Rosato (Mother)
Patrick Garrow (16 Blocks)
JR Bourne (Stargate SG.1)
Anthony Lemke (Robocop: Prime Detectives)
Rossif Sutherland (Reign)
Greyston Holt (Bitten)
Aaron Douglas (Battlestar Galactica)
Benjamin Ayres (The Vampire Diaries)
Michael Shanks (Stargate SG.1)
David Alpay (Man of The Year)
Dylan Neal (Arrow)
Sandrine Holt (House of Cards)
Ty Olsson (War For The POTA)
Shawn Doyle (Don’t Say A Word)
Katharine Isabelle (The Order)
Jonathan Keltz (Reign)
Keram Malicki-Sánchez (Punisher: Warzone)
Kris Lemche (Final Destination 3)
Maria del Mar (Blue Murder)
Chad Donella (Shattered Glass)
Maurice Dean Wint (Cube)
Charlie Carrick (Reign)
Brennan Elliott (Curse of Chucky)
Dion Johnstone (The Core)
Steve Bacic (Andromeda)
Mark Lutz (Bitch Slap)
Roark Critchlow (V)
Paul Popowich (Dark Angel)
Andrew W. Walker (Sabrina: TTW)
John Ralston (Bitten)
Michelle Nolden (Red)
David Richmond-Peck (She’s The Man)
Zoie Palmer (Lost Girl)
A.J. Buckley (Walking Tall 2)

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The show is based on a real life Toronto police unit similar to SWAT but with their own integral negotiators. This is a brilliant set up because every episode can go either way with a brutal violent conclusion or the culprit talked down peacefully. The issues are dealt with in a mature and considered fashion which rather excellently means that the person with the gun is not always the baddy.

FLASHPOINT The team is rather more imaginatively put together than in most similar shows. The team leader (Enrico Colantoni) is the cuddly negotiator whilst two bullet headed middle-aged men (Hugh Dillon and Michael Cram) are his subordinates. They have similar but different home lives and chat through raising teenagers on the way to work. A black junior policeman (Mark Taylor) and an Italian junior policeman (Sergio di Zio) have minor roles but occasionally get their moment in the limelight and both rise to the challenge when they do. David Paetkau plays the ex-special forces sniper who has transfered in. His difficulties integrating and changing his focus from killing to resolving the situation are well handled and his dark back story is mercifully not as overblown as it easily could be. The last team member is Amy Jo Johnson (the only american on the cast) who is the beautiful woman who has to struggle to maintain her position on the team.FLASHPOINT Each show starts with a quick introduction to a perilous situation and then winds back a few hours to see how the problem started. We then build up to the point where police must start making life and death decisions. There are a few running storylines throughout the shot, but most episodes can be seen as standalone.The Show lasted five seasons and does bring us to a satisfied finale, only season one is available on DVD in the UK but many imports can be found on various sites.

REVIEW: RINGER

Sarah Michelle Gellar in Ringer (2011)

CAST

Sarah Michelle Gellar (Cruel Intentions)
Kristoffer Polaha (Dollhouse)
Ioan Gruffudd (King Arthur)
Nestor Carbonell (Bates Motel)
Mike Colter (Luke Cage)

RINGER PILOT

RECURRING / NOTABLE GUEST CAST

Zoey Deutch (Beautiful Creatures)
Jason Dohring (Veronica mars)
Justin Bruening (Knight Rider 2008)
Tara Summers (Hitchcock)
Zahn McClarnon (Longmire)
Billy Miller (American Sniper)
Jaime Murray (Spartacus: Gods of The Arena)
Andrea Roth (Robocop: The Series)
Gage Golightly (Cabin Fever 2016)
Sean Patrick Thomas (Halloween 8)
Nikki DeLoach (The Trial)
Gregory Harrison (One Tree Hill)
Matthew Del Negro (Teen Wolf)
Jonathan Banks (The Lizzie Bordan Chronicles)
Loren Lester (Batman: TAS)
Drew Powell (Gotham)
Brad Greenquist (Lost Souls)
Misha Collins (Karla)
Nicole Gale Anderson (Beauty and The Beast)
Amber Benson (Buffy)
Brian Hallisay (Hostel: Part III)
Dylan Neal (Arrow)
Maximiliano Hernández (Thor)
Patrick Cox (2 Broke Girls)
Emily Chang (The Vampire Diaries)
Meagan Holder (Pitch)
Alanna Ubach (Waiting…)
Henri Lubatti (Zoo)
Christopher Cousins (Breaking Bad)
Vanessa Bell Calloway (Lakeview Terrace)

THE CW UPFRONTS 2011What is the problem with CW that they took this off the air after one season? Yes, season 1 was tied up for the most part, but you knew from the end that there were lots of exciting plots for season 2. The characters were left in limbo. Sarah Michelle Gellar stars as twins, Siobhan and Bridget. Bridget is a drug user and prostitute who witnessed a murder and right before she is supposed to testify against the killer, who is a monster, she becomes frightened and takes off for parts unknown. She runs to New York city and to her estranged sister, Siobhan. Siobhan married money, but she’s a piece of work, as you will see.

The Episodes

1) “Pilot”

Bridget Kelly (Sarah Michelle Gellar), a recovering drug addict, witnesses a murder committed by Bodaway Macawi and several members of his gang. FBI agent Victor Machado (Nestor Carbonell) assures her of her safety, but she escapes from her hometown, Wyoming, and takes refuge in New York City with her estranged twin sister Siobhan Martin (Gellar). After the mysterious disappearance of Siobhan on a boat outing, Bridget–believing her sister committed suicide–assumes her sister’s identity, to hide from the FBI and the mob. In the midst of renovation of Siobhan’s loft, Bridget is attacked by an unidentified man; she eventually kills her attacker in self defense.

Sarah Michelle Gellar and Ioan Gruffudd in Ringer (2011)

2) “She’s Ruining Everything”

Machado chooses to stay in New York City to thorough his research about Siobhan. Bridget, while trying to hide the body of her attacker, confides in her Narcotics Anonymous sponsor Malcolm Ward (Mike Colter); together they develop a getaway plan for her. Siobhan’s best friend Gemma (Tara Summers) and her husband Henry’s (Kristoffer Polaha) fighting escalates and Bridget unexpectedly bonds with her rebellious stepdaughter Juliet (Zoey Deutch). Siobhan is hiding out in Paris with an unknown agenda.

Sarah Michelle Gellar and Ioan Gruffudd in Ringer (2011)

3)  “If You Ever Want a French Lesson”

Bridget is getting closer to finding Siobhan’s killer by tracing his phone back. But someone is after her, and she will soon discover compromising information about Andrew. Meanwhile, Agent Machado is still in New York City, hunting Bridget, unaware that Bridget is Siobhan. Henry and Gemma have another crisis, but this time regarding their investment in Andrew’s hedge fund. In Wyoming, Malcolm is abducted by the sadistic gangster Bodaway Macawi, who tortures Malcolm in order to locate Bridget’s whereabouts. Elsewhere, Siobhan continues living her solitary life in Paris and basking in her freedom from her old life in which she encounters Tyler (Justin Bruening), a charming banker who is working for one of Andrew’s European branches.ringer_s1e17_andrewSMG

4)  “It’s Gonna Kill Me, But I’ll Do It”

Bridget, Andrew, Gemma, and Henry head to the Hamptons to celebrate Siobhan’s birthday, where Bridget reflects the rough past she and her sister experienced. In Paris, Siobhan uses her feminine charm to continue to lure Tyler closer to benefit her hidden motives for Bridget and Andrew. While Agent Machado uncovers crucial pieces of information, Bridget’s situation worsens when secrets of her own are revealed, leaving the consequences of her lies unknown and in the hands of Gemma.

Zoey Deutch in Ringer (2011)

5) “A Whole New Kind of Bitch”

After Bridget confides her secret in Gemma, she asks Bridget a tricky favor. Henry’s writing career is swaying while Andrew and Juliet’s relationship is not getting any better. Bridget, on the other hand, is meeting another NA sponsor, Charlie (Billy Miller), in a desperate attempt to stay sober. Meanwhile, the captive Malcolm is put in a position that tests his sobriety after Bodaway forces heroin into him, in another attempt to get him to talk on where Bridget is. Gemma disappears and blood is seen all over the wall and floor in Henry and Gemma’s house.

Sarah Michelle Gellar and Kristoffer Polaha in Ringer (2011)

6) “The Poor Kids Do It Everyday”

Agent Machado focuses his attention on Bodaway Macawi as he investigates Malcolm’s disappearance. In New York, Bridget and Henry are placed in a sticky situation, trying to find out who murdered Gemma. Juliet runs into trouble with a bully, Tessa (Gage Golightly), at her new school but is helped out by her teacher Mr. Carpenter (Jason Dohring).

Sarah Michelle Gellar and Ioan Gruffudd in Ringer (2011)

7)  “Oh Gawd, There’s Two of Them?”

Bridget is forced to reveal that she has a twin to Andrew and Henry as the police begin questioning them about Gemma’s disappearance. She also asks Charlie for his help in finding Gemma. Unknown to Bridget, Charlie is revealed to be Siobhan’s contact and Gemma’s attacker. Meanwhile, Malcolm escapes from Bodaway’s thugs and heads to New York. After Bridget sees him she collapses and whilst in hospital the doctors want to check on the baby. After Juliet is in a car accident with her friend, Monica (Nicole Gale Anderson), Andrew cuts off her $10 million trust fund in punishment.

Sarah Michelle Gellar and Mike Colter in Ringer (2011)

8)  “Maybe We Can Get a Dog Instead”

Bridget lies to Andrew about having had a miscarriage when the nurse reveals that there is no baby. After Juliet flirts with Mr. Carpenter, he transfers her out of his class. Malcolm arrives in New York and is confronted by Agent Machado. Tyler comes to New York and meets Bridget, who he believes is Siobhan/Cora. Siobhan tells Tyler that she is married to Andrew and that she was having marriage problems, even though it was Bridget that Tyler saw in New York.

Sarah Michelle Gellar and Billy Miller in Ringer (2011)

9)  “Shut Up and Eat Your Bologna”

Bridget realizes she’s growing fond of Andrew. Henry and Andrew’s business partner bond; Malcolm has doubts about Bridget’s new NA sponsor; and Bridget decides to meet Siobhan’s therapist, Dr. Anabel Morris (Merle Dandridge), in order to gain insight into her sister’s life and learns that Siobhan sometimes went by the alias Cora Farell. Elsewhere, Gemma is being held captive by Charlie in his basement.

"That's What You Get Trying to Kill Me" -- Chris Polaha as Henry, Emily Swallow as Detective Saldana, Sarah Michelle Gellar as Siobhan Martin/Bridget Kelly and Ioan Gruffudd as Andrew Martin on Ringer on The CW.

10)  “That’s What You Get for Trying to Kill Me”

In New York, Bridget and Malcolm discover and inform the police that Charlie is holding Gemma. Upon realizing he is close to being caught, he tells Siobhan he wants double his pay, otherwise he will kill Gemma. Bridget and Andrew get even closer, while Juliet continues to dangerously flirt with her teacher Mr. Carpenter. She also claims that he raped her to new friend Andrea (Chelsea Tavares). While in Paris, Siobhan is trying to fix things with Tyler. In Wyoming, thanks to an informant (Amber Benson), Agent Machado discovers someone on the force is passing information to Bodaway. Charlie kills Gemma even though Siobhan told him not to, and Siobhan travels to New York to stop Charlie from killing Gemma. When she finds out it is too late, she shoots Charlie because he killed Gemma, and to make sure he doesn’t hurt anyone else.

 

11) “It Just Got Normal”

While the relationship between Bridget and Andrew grows more intimate, Bridget learns about the alleged rape of Juliet, leading to a confrontation between her and Mr. Carpenter. Since the murders of Gemma and Charlie, Siobhan has decided to remain in New York for a while and tries to learn more information about Bridget and her former life with a little help from an unsuspecting Tyler. Back in Wyoming, Agent Machado interrogates Jimmy and learns some new information, putting Bridget’s cover as Siobhan at risk, and uncovers some news about Malcolm. Back in New York, Bridget offers to host a fundraiser that her friend Greer (Mädchen Amick) is holding for Juliet’s school and discovers that Greer knew one of Siobhan’s deep dark secrets. Meanwhile, Malcolm decides to work for Andrew at Martin/Charles in order to keep an eye on him, and Henry mourns the death of his wife. Siobhan discovers that Bridget has settled into her former life more easily than Siobhan expected and she is determined to change that by interacting with everyone to turn them against her… and being careful not to run into Bridget, who still does not know that she is still alive nor of her evil agenda.

Sarah Michelle Gellar and Andrea Roth in Ringer (2011)

12) “What Are You Doing Here, Ho-Bag?”

Juliet’s mother, Catherine (Andrea Roth), is back in town in order to support her daughter during her lawsuit, but she is messing with the whole family, causing all kinds of trouble. The real Siobhan is coping with Henry and Tyler while selling Bridget’s engagement ring to buy a fake passport. Meanwhile, Detective Machado is trying to get information from Jimmy. Bridget investigates the Pivoine Hotel mystery and ends up hearing about some guy named Solomon. Henry is on to Siobhan who he thinks is in reality Bridget. Juliet’s rape story is put into question when a tape is discovered showing her hitting on Mr. Carpenter. In prison, Jimmy is making a pact with Bodaway to get out, revealing where Bridget is while Bridget finds out that Siobhan went to Wyoming before she reached out for help. Against all odds, Tessa shows up at the Martins, claiming she was also raped by Mr. Carpenter. Siobhan finally shows Henry the truth that Bridget is the one living the lie with Andrew and that she is still pregnant with his child.

Sarah Michelle Gellar and Kristoffer Polaha in Ringer (2011)

13) “It’s Easy to Cry When This Much Cash Is Involved”

Bridget decides to enlist Solomon’s (Sean Patrick Thomas) help in order to retrace Siobhan’s last steps and discovers her connection to John/Charlie. Meanwhile, Juliet’s trial against Mr. Carpenter is dismissed when Tessa admits she lied about him attacking her, and after he attempts to sue Andrew he is given a substantial amount of money to settle out of court. It is then revealed this was the plan all along set up between Mr. Carpenter, Juliet, and Tessa to get at Andrew’s money. Elsewhere, Henry is blackmailed by Olivia to bring Gemma’s wealthy lawyer father on as a client at Martin/Charles. On the other hand, Siobhan struggles to keep everything together as Henry and Tyler become suspicious that she is using both of them and Bridget continues to inadvertently ruin her, as yet, unclear plans.

14) “Whores Don’t Make That Much”

Following her investigations from the last episode, Bridget takes Malcolm to Siobhan’s secret office only to find it empty. Back in the Martin’s apartment, Bridget gets a call that causes her to remember what drove her apart from her sister. Flashbacks from seven years ago reveal Siobhan’s troubled relationship with Dylan (Misha Collins), an ex-boyfriend who dumped her after she got pregnant, but after a few years wants to prove that he was a changed man. Bridget, who is babysitting Siobhan’s son, Sean, allows Dylan to take Sean out just for one day despite Siobhan forbidding it. On their way home, Dylan asks Bridget if she can support him when he files to be Sean’s legal guardian, and a car hits them in the middle of the road, killing Sean in the process. Back in the present day, Bridget, as Siobhan, forgives Dylan after understanding that what happened was an accident, and not necessarily their fault. In the meantime, after finding out that Henry has got the key to Siobhan’s Safe deposit box, Malcolm, who’s helping Bridget to find out who’s chasing her, decides to keep an eye on Henry. Juliet’s scheme takes a dark path when Tessa is brutally attacked after buying a car with Andrew’s money, which causes Juliet to believe Mr. Carpenter did it. She then tells her father that she is willing to live with her mother in Miami for a “change of scenery”. That leads to the revelation that Catherine was the one who had the idea for the scheme.

Sarah Michelle Gellar and Kristoffer Polaha in Ringer (2011)

15) “P.S. You’re an Idiot”

Andrew asks Bridget (thinking she is Siobhan) to renew their vows and they begin planning a wedding ceremony, with Juliet as the Maid of honor. Siobhan, visiting an OB/GYN in Paris, learns she is having twins but doesn’t tell Henry that the conception date means the baby may be Andrew’s. Malcolm is fired when he is caught stealing information from Olivia’s computer, and later tells Bridget that Andrew’s company is running a Ponzi scheme. Catherine is romantically involved with Mr. Carpenter but then steals his money and blackmails him into leaving Juliet alone. It is also revealed that Andrew came up with the Ponzi scheme and that Catherine paid someone to attack Tessa, but to roughen her up, not beat her severely.


16) “You’re Way Too Pretty to Go to Jail”

Andrew confides in Bridget (who he thinks is Siobhan) about running a giant Ponzi scheme, which fills her with doubt and fear as she debates on what to do. Meanwhile, it is revealed that Agent Machado’s past relationship with his informant, the murder victim/stripper Shaylene Briggs (Nikki DeLoach), was more than professional. Siobhan deceives Malcolm when she pretends to be Bridget in order to remove him from the scene. In Paris, Tyler takes something from Siobhan that is a key piece of evidence in her plot for revenge against Andrew. Andrew tells Olivia that Bridget (who is acting as Siobhan) is aware of their Ponzi scheme and she suggests they take action to keep Malcolm, Bridget (acting as Siobhan) and Tyler quiet. Also, Henry realizes Bridget knows more than she should and has to follow Siobhan’s orders to keep Bridget from interfering with their plans.

Ioan Gruffudd and Jaime Murray in Ringer (2011)

17) “What We Have Is Worth the Pain”

Bridget fears that something has happened to Malcolm when she cannot get in touch with him. In an effort to find him, Bridget, with Solomon in tow, visits the hotel where Malcolm was staying and discovers on security footage that Andrew was the last person to see Malcolm before he disappeared. She suspects that Andrew may have killed Tyler as well as Malcolm. Solomon also reveals to Bridget that he has known all along that she was impersonating Siobhan. Meanwhile, Juliet discovers that her mother played a part in the attack on Tessa after Juliet meets a young man with a distinctive tattoo on his right arm by which Tessa identifies him as her assailant. Siobhan travels back to New York where she admits to Henry the truth about why she faked her own death and that Andrew and Olivia are in fact the ones behind the attempts on her life. Elsewhere, Agent Machado arrives back in New York to look for Malcolm and begins to suspect that Andrew may have had a hand in his disappearance.Sarah Michelle Gellar and Zoey Deutch in Ringer (2011)

18)  “That Woman’s Never Been a Victim Her Entire Life”

After an attempt made on Bridget’s life results in Andrew being shot, Agent Machado is more determined than ever to find out who was responsible and what Bridget (still impersonating Siobhan) knows about it. Henry accuses Siobhan of putting a hit out on Bridget, which Siobhan denies, while Bridget thinks the missing Olivia was behind it as well as the murder of Tyler. Meanwhile, Andrew admits to asking Malcolm to leave town and Juliet tells Bridget the truth about her mother.

19) “Let’s Kill Bridget!”

Henry grows impatient with Siobhan’s plan and tells her she needs to let go of her murderous revenge plot against both Andrew and Bridget or they cannot be together. Bridget decides that the only way she will feel safe is if she gives up her charade of impersonating Siobhan and returns to Wyoming to testify against the sadistic Bodaway Macawi. Agent Machado gets suspended from the FBI after he beats up a suspect in full view of witnesses. Later, he gets an idea to make Bodaway Macawi think Bridget’s dead, since that’s what he wants. The plan ends up going down terribly wrong and reveals that Catherine wants Siobhan dead.Sarah Michelle Gellar and Kristoffer Polaha in Ringer (2011)

20 “If You’re Just an Evil Bitch Then Get Over It”

Still posing as Siobhan, Bridget admits to Agent Machado that someone tried to kill her months earlier and she thought it was Andrew. Bridget goes to Henry’s apartment, where the very pregnant Siobhan overhears Bridget accuse Henry of Tyler’s murder. At the same time, Henry learns that his father-in-law is responsible for his arrest for Tyler’s murder and also has an agenda to use the flash drive to work for him. Meanwhile, Catherine goes to desperate extremes to kill Siobhan by attempting suicide to play on Juliet’s sympathies.

21) “It’s Called Improvising, Bitch!”

Andrew catches Catherine trying to fake Bridget’s suicide, so she holds them both hostage along with Juliet. Running out of options, Catherine calls Olivia, who is revealed to be her lover. Olivia tells Catherine to bring Bridget to her house, so they can run away together. When Catherine and Bridget arrive, Agent Machado arrests Catherine, having heard the conversation at the apartment after Bridget secretly calls him. Meanwhile, the main witness against Henry dies of a drug overdose and Siobhan gives birth to twin girls. Henry asks the nurse for a paternity test, showing his doubts about Siobhan.Sarah Michelle Gellar, Ioan Gruffudd, and Zoey Deutch in Ringer (2011)

22) “I’m the Good Twin”

As the vow renewal nears, Bridget realizes she needs to tell Andrew the truth about who she really is, but worries about losing everything. Jimmy has escaped from prison and demands that Bridget (who he believes is Siobhan) give him part of the cash for scaring Bridget away where she finally learns that Siobhan and Charlie hired him to scare her into fleeing Wyoming. Afterwards, Bodaway demands Jimmy reveal where Bridget is, and after getting an answer, he kills Jimmy with a knife in cold blood. Agent Machado is deported back to Colorado where he is ordered to stay off the Bodaway case. Back in New York, Tim Arbogast, Gemma’s father, believing that Siobhan was responsible for Gemma’s death, becomes the new owner of Martin/Charles Inc. and tells Andrew that Siobhan has been having an affair with Henry over the past year. Andrew is furious and cancels their vow renewal and announces that he and Siobhan are getting divorced. Now forced to do so, Bridget finally tells Andrew and Juliet the truth about who she really is. Unfortunately, they both take the news very badly, with Juliet calling Bridget worse than her own mother. Andrew and Juliet take a leave to the Hamptons after Andrew tells Bridget that she now has one month to move out. Meanwhile, Henry steals Siobhan’s money (that she stole from Andrew) and kicks her out of his house after he begins to mistrust her, including finding out that he’s not the biological father of her twins. Siobhan returns to her old apartment to steal all the jewelry that once was hers. Bodaway then attacks her believing she’s Bridget, and the real Bridget then shows up and after a brief struggle she kills him, thinking he was attacking Juliet. Agent Machado arrives after getting Bridget’s call and reassures her that Andrew and Juliet are safe in the Hamptons. At the hospital, Siobhan, now broke and homeless, tries to think of a way to get her old life back. Later, Solomon shows Bridget security footage that shows Siobhan was alive on the day of her “suicide” talking with Charlie. Bridget angrily confronts Henry, who after being punched by Andrew earlier, finally tells Bridget the truth about her sister. A horrified Bridget then says: “Siobhan wanted me dead?”MV5BOTk1NDQ3MjY0M15BMl5BanBnXkFtZTgwNzMxMTM0MjE@._V1_This show was a great suspense show and really needed closure, sadly that was not meant to be, we didn’t even get a dvd release.