REVIEW: BEAUTY AND THE BEAST (2012) – SEASON 3

MAIN CAST

Kristin Kreuk (Smallville)
Jay Ryan (Mary Kills people)
Austin Basis (J. Edgar)
Nina Lisandrello (The Devil Wears Prada)
Nicole Gale Anderson (Mean Girls 2)

Jay Ryan in Beauty and the Beast (2012)

RECURRING / NOTABLE GUEST CAST

Zach Appelman (Sleepy Hollow)
Natasha Henstridge (Species)
Alan Van Sprang (Reign)
Stephen McHattie (300)
Saul Rubinek (Memory Run)
Emily Swallow (Supernatural)
Lochlyn Munro (Scary Movie)
Khaira Ledeyo (Da Vinci’s Inquest)
Brennan Brown (Focus)
Jason Gedrick (Major Crimes)
Ted whittall (Suicide Squad)

Beauty and the Beast (2012)Season three opens with Cat and Vincent now living a seemingly idyllic life together in New York, after the traumatic events of Season 2, when Vincent was being hunted both by the NYPD for murder and then by Cat’s deranged ex-boyfriend, Gabe. Cat has been re-instated in her role of detective and Vincent has had his medical licence returned to him so he can begin, at last, to earn a living after living off the grid for more than 10 years.Beauty and the Beast (2012)He is happy with where they stand and, due to the lack of clouds on the horizon, has wedding bells on his mind. Cat meanwhile has been secretly meeting with agents from Homeland Security, who want to recruit both her and Vincent to help them deal with a new kind of threat. Someone has been experimenting on innocent New Yorkers, enabling them to do incredible things but also putting them and the general population at risk. Cat feels it’s her and Vincent’s responsibility to get to the bottom of the mystery and stop the experimentation. But that will put both their lives in danger, again, and threaten the normal future they have craved for so long.Beauty and the Beast (2012)This season focuses on the struggles of our beloved couple to take their relationship to the next level, in the midst of these new threats. The performances of Kristin Kreuk as Catherine Chandler and Jay Ryan as Dr. Vincent Keller are excellent as usual and they are well supported by the rest of the ensemble cast: Nina Lisandrello as Tess Vargas, Cat’s former partner and now her boss and Austin Basis as Vincent’s best friend J.T. Forbes. Cat’s sister Heather, played by Nicole Gale Anderson, makes a welcome return and provides some much appreciated lighter moments in what can be a dark and brooding story. There are also some great guest stars this season with Natasha Henstridge and Alan Strang playing Bob and Carol, an enhanced super-couple who cause all manner of problems for our Vincat, and Jason Gedrick, playing the role of the terrifyingly calm, super-bad Liam.Thankfully, there are no love triangles in this season and the chemistry between the two main actors remains strong. Even when they are arguing, they are still exceptionally cute together and the mutual respect they have for each other shines through. Enjoy the ride as Cat and Vincent negotiate, engagement, co-habitation and co-dependency on their journey to become Dr. & Mrs. Keller. Do they finally tie the knot? You’ll have to buy the DVD and find out for yourselves.All in all, essential viewing for any BATB fan and a series that once watched leaves you wanting more. Shame we only have one more season of this show to look forward to.

REVIEW: ANDROMEDA – SEASON 5

 

Starring

Kevin Sorbo (Hercules: TLJ)
Lisa Ryder (Jason X)
Gordon Michael Woolvett (Bride of Chucky)
Laura Bertram (50/50)
Lexa Doig (Arrow)
Steve Bacic (Flash Gordon)
Brandy Ledford (Rat Race)

Kevin Sorbo in Andromeda (2000)

RECURRING / NOTABLE GUEST CAST

Alan Scarfe (Kingdom Hospital)
Kyle Cassie (Deadpool)
Alexander Kalugin (Final Destination 3)
Jim Byrnes (Highlander: The Series)
Mark Acheson (elf)
Ken Tremblett (Caitlin’s Way)
Kendall Cross (X-Men 2)
Don S. Davis (Stargate SG.1)
Noah Danby (Bitten)
Natassia Malthe (Bloodrayne 2& 3)
Matthew Bennett (Battlestar Galactica)
Bill Mondy (Blade: The Series)
Alex Diakun (Agent COdy Banks)
Lochlyn Munro (Scary Movie)
Robin Mossley (Elf)
Monika Schnarre (Waxwork II)
Kevin Durand (Swamp Thing)
Hiro Kanagawa (Izombie)
Ari Cohen (IT)
Françoise Yip (The Predator)
Kevan Ohtsji (Elektra)
John DeSantis (Arrow)
Emmanuelle Vaugier (Two and a Half Men)
Ty Olsson (Battlestar Galactica)
Cobie Smulders (How I Met Your Mother)
Sarah Edmondson (Salvation)

Andromeda: The Weight: Part 2 (2004)Andromeda starred Kevin Sorbo (Hercules: The Legendary Journey’s) in a science fiction series created by Gene Roddenberry (Star Trek) with a variety of executive producers Robert Hewitt Wolfe (The 4400, Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, Majel Rodenberry (Earth: Final Conflict), Allan Eastman (Star Trek: Voyager), Robert Engels (seaQuest DSV), Jay Firestone (Mutant X, La Femme Nikita), and Adam Haight (Mutant X, Highlander: The Raven). With its diverse crew of producers with extensive experience in science fiction and drama productions, Andromeda put in five solid seasons from 2000 to 2005 and totaled one-hundred and ten episodes. The premise of Andromeda is about the adventures of the crew the Andromeda and their efforts to rebuild a massive civilization that spanned the universe.Kevin Sorbo in Andromeda (2000)In season five, the series takes a much different turn in events. At the end of the season four, there was some skepticism as to whether or not the show would continue into a fifth season. Well, the series was picked up for a fifth season, but with a smaller budget. And the budget (or rather lack of) shows in the episodes. The storylines lose the grandeur it once had with the epic space battles and massive story arcs. The series, stories, and character becomes more confined and lose a lot of the appeal found in previous seasons. In a nutshell, watching season five was more of a chore than fun. While there was some decent content, it does not compare to the quality of the past seasons.Andromeda (2000)In the close of season four, the Andromeda came to the space station Arkology to warn the inhabitants about their impending doom. The Magog Worldship was headed right for them and they need to get out of there. The inhabitants were a peaceful people and believed that they could make peace with the Magog. Dylan and the rest tried to tell them peace is not an option. Of course, they did not listen. When the Magog came, the Andromeda and its crew tried its best to stop the onslaught, but they failed miserably. In the close of the two-part season four finale, Dylan took the Route of Ages in a slipstream fighter and found himself transported into an alternative universe.Andromeda (2000)The two-part episode “The Weight” kicks off season five. In it, Dylan gets accustomed to his new life in the alternate universe on a planet called Seefra-1, which is one of nine barren wastelands. When Dylan tries to learn more about where he is, he finds little help. But when he meets a mysterious man named Flavin, he begins to get more clues about his situation. He is trapped in an isolated cluster of planets in another universe. Dylan explores Seefra-1 and later runs into a very disgruntled Rhade. Rhade and the others crew members (who Dylan runs into in later episodes) are unhappy with him for leaving them to die. It was through the efforts of Trance that the Andromeda (badly damaged) and her crew were brought into this alternate reality and not left to die at the hands of the Magog. They also blame him for being stuck on Seefra-1. Dylan returns to Flavin to get more information from him. Dylan learns his place is on Seefra-1; he must help the people in the coming days. Flavin also reveals the true nature of the Route of Ages.Alex Diakun in Andromeda (2000)After the not-so-exciting season premiere, “Phear Phactor Phenom” has the majority of the season four cast back together in some form or another, Dylan, Harper, Beka, Trance, and Rhade. We learn that Rommie was destroyed and Harper had been on Seefra-1 for over three years while the rest of the crew had only just recently arrived. During Harper’s time on the Seefra-1, he was able to rebuild a new android with portions of Rommie’s damaged core. The new character is Doyle, a blonde robot who was initially made to think she is human. The season five episodes proceed with the cast getting reacquainted with each other and Dylan trying to get the Andromeda up and running again. Some have changed with their new situation, most notably Trance who lost portions of her memory.Lochlyn Munro in Andromeda (2000)In the episode “Moonlight Becomes You”, Trance starts to remember who she is and the season starts to focus on the storyline hinted at in “The Weight”. The Seefra system is in jeopardy and the crew must work together to save the inhabitants of the nine wastelands over the next several episodes. But the story really ties into the power that is Trance. Trance is an avatar of the Vedran sun and the actual sun is approaching Seefra-1. When it arrives, the planets in the system (except for Seefra-1) will explode. The episodes “Past is Prolix”, “The Opposites of Attraction”, “Saving Light from a Black Sun”, “Quantum Tractate Delirium”, “One More Day’s Light”, and “Chaos and the Stillness of It” continue to focus on this storyline (uncovering more about Trance, the council of avatars she is a senior member of, and the crew trying to save the inhabitants), which is much more entertaining than the first portion of the season, but it still lacks the same punch the early seasons had.Andromeda (2000)In the two-part series finale “The Heart of the Journey”, the series come to a close by wrapping up the series story arc with the Abyss. While on Seefra-1, Harper receives a message transmission for Dylan. It is from Flavin, who had been killed by the Abyss, telling Dylan he is the last hope for the survival of the known worlds. The Council intends to destroy the galaxies of the known world in order to snuff out the Abyss. They, however, give Dylan and his crew the opportunity to return before their utter demise. Once back in their universe, they find only four days have passed since the Magog Worldship attacked. The Andromeda has to face the Nietzchseans and the Abyss. The situation that appeared dire ends with a happy ending and the destruction of the Abyss in a battle that is far from epic.Emmanuelle Vaugier in Andromeda (2000)Overall, I really did not care for this season. The level of grandeur in the storylines was significantly diminished. The big flashy effects were part of what made the sci-fi series so much fun were gone. The show tended to have very isolated stories with limited character development. In the end, I did not see much in this season that made it worthwhile. Sure, there are some decent episodes, but they fail to compare to the past seasons. Despite my lack of enthusiasm, I give it a rent it recommendation on the pure basis that it concludes the series and there are a few decent episodes to follow.

 

REVIEW: BONES – SEASON 11

Starring

Emily Deschanel (Boogeyman)
David Boreanaz (Angel)
Michaela Conlin (Yellowstone)
Tamara Taylor (Lost)
T. J. Thyne (Ghost World)
John Boyd (Argo)

David Boreanaz, Emily Deschanel, and Sunnie Pelant in Bones (2005)
Recurring / Notable Guest Cast

Patricia Belcher (Jeepers Creepers)
Pej Vahdat (Shameless)
Roger Cross (Continuum)
Dilshad Vadsaria (The Oath)
Kim Raver (24)
Michael Grant Terry (Grimm)
Gil Darnell (Redirected)
Betty White (The Golden Girls)
Brian Klugman (Cloverfield)
Paul Johansson (Van Helsing)
Erin Cahill (Power Rangers Time Force)
Tom Lenk (Buffy: TVS)
Tom Mison (Sleepy Hollow)
Nicole Beharie (Sleepy Hollow)
Sean Patrick Thomas (Ringer)
Malcolm David Kelley (Lost)
Brenda Strong (Supergirl)
Nicholas Gonzalez (The Flash)
Callard Harris (The Originals)
Rachel Melvin (Sleepy Hollow)
Lochlyn Munro (Scary Movie)
Carla Gallo (Superbad)
Ignacio Serricchio (Lost In Space)
Sarah Lafleur (Ugly Betty)
Michael Reilly Burke (The Collector)
Eddie Shin (That 80s Show)
Patrick Cox (2 Broke Girls)
Skyler Vallo (The To Do List)
Sara Rue (American Housewife)
Courtney Henggeler (Mom)
Joel David Moore (Avatar)
Lilli Birdsell (Doom PAtrol)
Cyd Strittmatter (Gone Girl)
Eugene Byrd (Arrow)
Jim Beaver (Breaking Bad)
Laura Spencer (The Big Bang Theory)
Alyssa Diaz (Shark Night)
Michael Gaston (The Leftovers)
Nishi Munshi (The Originals)
Jack McGee (The Fighter)
Lou Ferrigno Jr. (How I Met Your Mother)
Brooke Lyons (2 Broke Girls)
John Shea (Mutant X)
Jim Pirri (Lois & Clark)
Tom Wisdom (300)
Sebastian Roché (Odyssey 5)
Nicole Bilderback (Good Girls)
Gilles Marini (2 Broke Girls)
Tim Guinee (Iron Man)
Eric Millegan (Phobic)
Ryan O’Neal (Love Story)

Kim Raver and John Boyd in Bones (2005)At the end of season 10, Bones (Emily Deschanel) and Booth (David Boreanaz) both decided to quit their jobs at the Jeffersonian and the FBI respectively. Now, six months later, their daughter Christine (Sunnie Pelant) has a little baby brother, and Booth is training new FBI recruits for a living. They seem to be happy in their new situation, and today seems like no other when Booth takes off to work. Meanwhile at the Jeffersonian, Cam (Tamara Taylor), Angela (Michaela Conlin) and Hodgins (T.J. Thyne) are called out to a crime scene, where they find a body in a burnt car. The team fear the worst when they find out that the gun that was found with the victim belongs to Booth. Also the initial examination of the bones makes it appear that he is the victim. Dr. Brennan decides to come to the Jeffersonian herself, as the situation is driving her crazy, and she eventually finds out that the remains aren’t Booth’s, but his brother’s, Jared. The question remains where Booth is, and how his brother ended up dead.David Boreanaz and Emily Deschanel in Bones (2005)Eventually, everything turns back to normal by episode three, and Bones and Booth are back at their old jobs, just like they used to be. Murders keep on happening, and Booth and Aubrey (John Boyd) work closely together with the team of the Jeffersonian to bring the killers to justice. While the season focuses foremost on the cases themselves, there are some developments in the personal lives of the characters as well.David Boreanaz, Emily Deschanel, and Betty White in Bones (2005)Each episode has a good flow to it, where many suspects are considered along the way, and the outcome is often unpredictable. The format remains the same as in the previous seasons, namely a focus on the cases, where reexamining the bones over and over will eventually prove to be vital in finding the murderer.David Boreanaz and Emily Deschanel in Bones (2005)While the flow of the individual cases is quite enjoyable, the personal story of the characters gets to the background quite a lot. Every now and then you will find out more about Cam’s love life, Angela and Hodgins’ marriage or Aubrey’s new crush, but nothing major steps out until halfway the season. There have been no major changes to the cast since last season, and it’s safe to say that the current team of actors all did well.David Boreanaz, Emily Deschanel, and Jay Thomas in Bones (2005)Bones has been one of my all time favourite series and season 11 is no exception! with a great cliffhanger leaving you hanging for Season 12 (the final season) .

REVIEW: SMALLVILLE – SEASON 6

Starring

Tom Welling (Lucifer)
Kristin Kreuk (Beauty and The Beast)
Michael Rosenbaum (Impastor)
Allison Mack (Wilfred)
Erica Durance (Supergirl)
Annette O’Toole (The Punisher)
John Glover (Shazam)

Michael Rosenbaum and Tom Welling in Smallville (2001)

Recurring / Notable Guest Cast

Aaron Ashmore (Veronica Mars)
Leonard Roberts (Heroes)
Pascale Hutton (Sanctuary)
Terence Stamp (Superman II)
Justin Hartley (A Bad Moms Christmas)
Lochlyn Munro (Scary Movie)
Brendan Penny (The Wedding Chapel)
Amber McDonald (Without a Paddle 2)
Bill Mondy (Blade: The Series)
Lucas Grabeel (Family Guy)
Bryce Hodgson (Izombie)
Sebastian Gacki (The Thaw)
Bow Wow (Like Mike)
Brandon Jay McLaren (Power Rangers SPD)
Julian Christopher (Elysium)
Dave Bautista (Guardians of The Galaxy)
Mike Dopud (Arrow)
Carmen Moore (Flash Gordon)
Tyler Posey (Truth Or Dare)
John Novak (Dr. Dolittle 3)
Zak Santiago (Caprica)
Tori Spelling (Scary Movie 2)
Kyle Gallner (Veronica Mars)
Alan Ritchson (Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles)
Lee Thompson Young (Flashforward)
Phil Morris (Doom Patrol)
Matthew Walker (Highlander: The Series)
Aleks Paunovic (Van Helsing)
Jordan Belfi (Entourage)
Peter Flemming (Stargate SG.1)
Greyston Holt (Bitten)
Adrian Hough (Chilling Adventures of Sabrina)
Sarah-Jane Redmond (V)
Benjamin Ayres (The Vampire Diaries)
Michael Eklund (Bates Motel)
Lynda Carter (Wonder Woman)
Barclay Hope (Stargate SG.1)
Tahmoh Penikett (Battlestar Galactica)
Emily Holmes (Dark Angel)
A.C. Peterson (Mutant X)
Peter Kelamis (Stargate Universe)

Justin Hartley in Smallville (2001)They say timing is everything, and for me the timing of watching season 6 of Smallville for the first time was perfect. Why is that? Because this was the season that introduced their take on Oliver Queen, aka Green Arrow, and I got hooked on the new show about him this last season on TV.Tom Welling and Justin Hartley in Smallville (2001)Of course, before we can get to new characters, we have a few cliffhangers to resolve. While all kinds of chaos is reigning down on the citizens of Earth thanks to the evil force that has taken over Lex Luther’s body (Michael Rosenbaum), Clark Kent (Tom Welling) can’t do much about it since he’s trapped in the Phantom Zone. While he does escape and manage to save the day, he unwittingly releases the evil prisoners from the Phantom Zone and must spend some time tracking them down this season. As things return to normal, characters explore new options. Lois Lane (Erica Durance) and Chloe Sullivan (Allison Mack) become roommates and Lois starts a new career as a reporter for a tabloid. They also both get new boyfriends in the two new characters that are introduced.Lee Thompson Young, Kyle Gallner, Justin Hartley, and Alan Ritchson in Smallville (2001)Lois starts dating the previously mentioned Olive Queen (Justin Hartley) while Chloe falls for Jimmy Olsen (Aaron Ashmore), a young photographer at The Daily Planet. Lana Lang (Kistin Kreuk), meanwhile, has moved in with Lex and their relationship becomes more serious when she finds out she is pregnant. Chloe learns a very surprising secret and is reunited with her mom as played by TV’s Wonder Woman herself, Lynda Carter.Tori Spelling in Smallville (2001)Other storylines of the season involve Clark and Oliver’s clashes over how to use their powers for good. Lex is collecting and hiding people with abilities. Those storylines clash when we see the first glimpse of the Justice League Smallville style. This season is really about the young adults. No one is in college any more (did they all drop out after one season or did they all graduate at lightning speed?) While Lionel Luther (John Glover) is still around being unclear in his intensions, Martha Kent (Annette O’Toole) is given very little to do. And before the season is over, one character makes an exit from the show.

REVIEW: BLOOD ALLEY

Starring

Steven Seagal (Under Siege)
Sarah Lind (A SImple Curve)
Jesse Hutch (Freddy vs Jason)
Lochlyn Munro (White Chicks)
Adrian Holmes (Skyscraper)
Tanaya Beatty (Hostiles)
Mike Dopud (The Predator)
Mackenzie Gray (Man of Steel)
Peter Kent (Re-Animator)
Lily Gao (Kin)
Ty Olsson (X-Men 2)
Zak Santiago (Caprica)
Ian Tracey (Sanctuary)

imageBlood Alley (which I can barely say without laughing) is actually a fusion of two episodes from Seagal’s television show, True Justice. Seagal plays Elijah Kane, an ex-special operative brought back to deal with a ring of human traffickers. For this purpose he needs to enlist three comrades each with their own special ability. Maybe one shoots magic and the other can turn invisible; who knows. One is an ass kicking girl, because, you know, that’s hot right now, as I’m sure someone mentioned to Seagal in between his feeding times.blood-alley-movie-review-e1356019464630In regards to the movie more specifically, nothing about it is original, and what is in it isn’t done well in any way. Everything about this movie sounds like a relic of the past that now only exists in the form of satire. But when the world turns dark and the sun finally fades from view a million years from now, I have no doubt that on the blackened husk that used to be Earth; Steven Seagal will remain; shooting at evil imaginary Russians and pretending to be an ex-cop on the edge. And something about that is terribly endearing.

 

REVIEW: WHITE CHICKS

CAST
Marlon Wayans (Dungeons and Dragons)
Shawn Wayans (Scary Movie)
Jaime King (Sin City)
Frankie Faison (The Silence of The Lambs)
Lochlyn Munro (Freddy vs Jason)
John Heard (The Lizzie Borden Chronicles)
Busy Philipps (The Smokers)
Terry Crews (Get Smart)
Brittany Daniel (That 80S Show)
Jennifer Carpenter (Limitless tv)
Evangeline Lilly (Lost)
Jessica Cauffiel (Valentine)
Anne Dudek (House)
Steven Grayhm (Between)
David Lewis (Man of Steel)
Kristi Angus (Jason X)
Luciana Carro (Helix)
The plot begins in a convenience store where two FBI agents and brothers, Kevin Copeland and Marcus Copeland (Shawn and Marlon Wayans), try to capture members of an organization that sells drugs inside ice cream boxes, posing as dominican clerks. Unfortunately, the first arrival turns out to be a genuine ice cream delivery, and the actual drug dealers manage to get away. The situation is worsened by the fact that Kevin and Marcus have decided to resolve this bust by themselves.
The FBI supervisor, Elliott Gordon (Frankie Faison), gives the two agents a last chance to remain in the FBI by giving them the duty of protecting the mega-rich billionaire cruise line heiresses Brittany and Tiffany Wilson (Maitland Ward and Anne Dudek), who are arriving in town for a beauty competition, from a kidnapping plot (known as the socialite kidnappings). When the Wilson sisters get minor facial cuts in a car accident, they refuse to leave the hotel. Kevin and Marcus then disguise themselves as Wilson sister look-alikes in order to save their jobs.
At the Hamptons hotel, Kevin and Marcus meet Brittany and Tiffany’s three best friends, Karen, Tori and Lisa, and their rivals Megan and Heather Vandegeld. They also encounter Karen’s abusive boyfriend, Heath, a broke, out of work actor. John “where am I” Lydon shows an interest in the news reporter Brett Porter, but the affair becomes more and more complicated as the two agents must now repeatedly switch between their gender roles. Marcus’ wife Gina, whose relationship is already troubled, becomes an additional complicating factor as she gets suspicious when she hears a woman’s voice in the background during a phone conversation with Marcus. The woman is actually Kevin pretending to be female, but Gina does not know and assumes that Marcus is conducting an affair. Meanwhile, Latrell Spencer (Terry Crews) takes an interest in Marcus, thinking that he is Tiffany and white. A date with Marcus/Tiffany is then sold off to Latrell during a charity dinner. Kevin takes advantage of the situation and asks Denise out on a date, pretending that he is Latrell, as Denise has a history of dating rich men. When Marcus goes on his date with Latrell, Kevin steals the keys to his car and house. When Kevin and Denise arrive at Latrell’s house, they are confronted by Latrell’s foreign housekeeper. Because she does not speak English, Kevin pretends that he understands her and locks her out of the house claiming that she works too hard. Eventually, Kevin gets mauled by Latrell’s giant dog, generally ruining his date.
At a nightclub, Karen drinks heavily and unintentionally let’s slip that Mr. Vangergeld is penniless, and has only recently paid Karen’s own father back for loans he has lent him. The next day, the real Brittany and Tiffany see their faces on a magazine, and they realize that two people are impersonating them. They go to the hotel their ‘clones’ were seen in, and two agents, thinking that they are Kevin and Marcus after searching their room through suspicion, undress them. This leads to the chief finding out that Marcus and Kevin have been impersonating Brittany and Tiffany. Because of this, the chief fires the both of them. Later on, Kevin and Marcus find out that due to his bankruptcy Mr. Vandergeld, along with Heath, has been behind the socialiate kidnappings in order to save himself and his family from poverty. They manage to capture Mr. Vandergeld before he succeeds in his plan. Latrell takes a hit from a bullet shot by Mr. Vandergeld to protect Marcus, but he is alarmed and enraged to discover that Marcus is black (He did not seem to mind that Marcus was male). Marcus apologizes to Gina, after realizing that being a female is a hard task, and because he had been ignoring Gina for his job. Denise falls for Kevin, after Kevin saves her from a bullet. The movie ends with Tori, Lisa, Karen, Kevin and Marcus making a pact to stay together and go shopping.
Very funny film that cant fail to have you laughing aloud

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
Valerie Tian (Izombie)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.