Boomb Tube, The Week in Comic Book Television: 3/19-3/25/2023

By | March 27th, 2023
Posted in Television | % Comments

Welcome back to Boomb Tube! Here, we will be catching you up on the week in comics TV, both through micro-reviews, as well as links to our full-length TV reviews. We also tend to review series that are dropped all at once weekly so there are a few ‘older’ shows mixed in for good measure. Are we missing your favorite show? Let us know in the comments!

The Mandalorian – “The Foundling” (S3E4, Disney+)

Read our full review by Brian Salvatore.

Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur – “Goodnight, Moon Girl” (S1E7, Disney Channel)

In the comics, Lunella is an Inhuman capable of swapping bodies with Devil. While this isn’t the case on the show, we get a little taste of it here, with a story where Lu becomes anxious over being invited to a sleepover by the school volleyball team captain Brooklyn (Indya Moore) – turns out, she always panics and leaves these get togethers. She invents a mind-reading device to better understand girls her age, but it backfires after she tests it on Devil, so she leaves it at home. Unfortunately, Pops loses the TV remote, and mistakes the mind-reader for it, meaning he starts repeatedly switching Lunella and Devil’s minds.

Ironically, the savage “Lunella” proves to be a hit, especially after wrecking (no pun intended) the model city built by Brooklyn’s annoying little brother TJ (Ramone Hamilton). Lunella becomes upset on seeing this, and decides to leave, only to then have the device swiped by a vengeful TJ. Afterwards, Lunella returns to the party, and confesses she just wanted to fit in, instead of boring them with her scientific interests: the others explain to her they all have their own hobbies outside volleyball, and that she shouldn’t have been worried. The next morning, Lunella basks in the glow of her first true sleepover, having breakfast with her friends, and building a better city for TJ – that is, until Devil shows up, remote in hand, hoping to enjoy some pancakes; what a cheeky boy. Naturally, this wasn’t as exciting as the Beyonder’s debut in the previous episode, and the message was as hoary as they come, but it was still fun. – Christopher Chiu-Tabet

Quantum Leap – “Ben Interrupted” (S1E16, NBC)

While it is always nice to see Patrick Fischler on TV, “Ben Interrupted” was one of the least effective leap stories of the reboot thus far. Thankfully, the episode was saved by a lot of ‘home team’ action, including a final scene revelation that changes a lot about the series.

But the leap itself was about as crudely drawn as possible. Not only did the sanitarium look like something out of a Roger Corman film, but the staff was all comically evil, threatening folks with lobotomies. Even the point of the leap – Ben needs to help an inmate escape – took no time to give the inmate any real motivations or agency. The leap itself felt sloppier than the series has been thus far, and dug a hole for the non-leap stuff to climb out of.

Thankfully, the episode, despite awkwardly writing Jenn out of this week’s action, leaned a lot on the meta-narrative of the season, with Magic, Addison, Ian, and Janice all adding considerable pieces of the show’s larger plot. Addison still remains the show’s weakest link, and her interactions with a near-critically wounded Ben felt soap opera-ish and melodramatic, but at least had a clear sense of urgency and emotion behind them.

The revelation that the leak at Project Quantum Leap is Ziggy, the AI, is a very silly one, but one that absolutely works in the context of the show. It sets up a bunch of weird questions, and allows the viewers to question so much of what they’ve seen before.

But the biggest piece of his episode is the ‘team up’ with Leaper X, and a sense that his mission isn’t as cut and dry as maybe Team Leap thought it may be. While I doubt we see him every week for now, the character clearly has a bigger role than just being an over the top evil guy – Brian Salvatore

Continued below

Star Trek: Picard – “The Bounty” (S3E6, Paramount+)

Worf, Raffi and Riker infiltrate Daystrom Station to uncover the Changelings’ true goals, while Picard directs the Titan to Geordi La Forge’s starship museum to find a way to retrieve them safely. It’s an awkward reunion for Sidney with her father, and her sister Alandra (Mica Burton), as it becomes apparent Geordi was unhappy with her choice of career long before she got caught up in Picard’s shenanigans. He can’t and won’t help, only wanting to ensure his daughter’s safety by having her claim she wasn’t a willing participant, prompting her and Jack to steal and install the cloaking device from the HMS Bounty, the Klingon Bird-of-Prey Kirk seized in the movies. Afterwards, Geordi realizes Sidney is more like him than he thought.

As reflected by that titular movie cut, this episode is heavy on continuity nods, with Worf, Will and Raffi discovering all sorts Section 31 have stashed away on Daystrom, including Kirk’s own body, and a version of the Moriarty hologram (played again by Daniel Davis), which leads them to a recreation of Data. They learn Altan Soong — who passed away after season one because he gave Picard his intended golem body — planned to revive the late android with the gift of old age, and an almost human synthetic body (with a noticeably less golden appearance), using the information stored in B-4, as well as Lore and Lal. Realizing the dormant Data is the station’s security A.I., Riker sacrifices himself to buy time for Worf and Raffi as they disconnect the android, allowing him to be beamed up by the Titan instead.

Aboard the ship, the new Data recognizes Geordi and Picard, but struggles to remember what else the Changelings stole — his other personalities asserting control as he does so — until he projects footage of… Picard’s original body. It was touching to see them be reunited, though it was undercut by the darkness of that, a reminder of how you still need to put these characters through the wringer to see them again. Back at Daystrom, Vadic reveals her presence, and takes Riker to the Shrike. Will boasts he won’t be coerced into helping her, until he sees Deanna is in the brig. (Kestra wasn’t seen, so maybe she got away.) How ironic for Will that his family are now in this mess with him; Deanna certainly looked annoyed too. – Christopher Chiu-Tabet

Star Wars: The Bad Batch – “Tipping Point” (S2E14, Disney+)

It is impressive that it took more than half of the season for The Bad Batch to reconnect Crosshair and the rest of Clone Force 99. While it is understandable that some folks want the wait to be longer, The Bad Batch has done a lot with Crosshair and the reunion will feel earned when it eventually happens. This episode dug a little more into Dr. Hemlock’s research and his belief that all clones are property of the Empire, and while he still is little more than a mustache-twirling villain, his overall motivations and the arc of the season are dovetailing nicely.

What didn’t feel long enough was the time it took for Echo to return to the crew, though his return seems conditional as well. This season has done a much better job of having a narrative structure that went through most of the episodes and brought the characters on a path that didn’t just feel like haphazard adventures of the week. This episode, while it didn’t feature too much action, still felt like it was doing important work for the season/series, and yet didn’t feel like it was a waste of 30 minutes, either. This also feels like the setup for the season’s endgame, which feels earned and exciting. This show has improved so much since its first season. – Brian Salvatore

Superman and Lois – “Uncontrollable Forces” (S3E2, CW)

Superman and Lois has a fairly large main cast of 12 actors. I need to run more numbers, but that feels a little larger than other Arrowverse series. Having an ensemble like that means you have to find something for these characters to do, and in turn, it lets the show be many different things all at once. Perhaps, too many different things. You have the Smallville-esque high school drama involving Jonathan, Jordan, Sarah, and Natalie. A highschool drama that takes a turn this week after the school is closed because of the newly discovered mold problem. Lana Lang, now mayor, is becoming a conspiracy thriller after discovering a secret flash drive from former Mayor Dean, whom the Mysterious Figure has murdered. (Who our own Elias rightly points out looks a lot like Onomatopoeia.) Lois continues investigating Bruno Manheim and reveals her battle with the titular forces, aggressive stage three breast cancer. Superman also investigates and treats Manheim.

Continued below

I can see the threads, and how they connect the A-Plot (Lois) to C-Plot (Superman), which are connected to the D-Plot (Lana). Credited author Katie Aldrin and the writer’s room make it into functional television. I wish returning director Elizabeth Henstridge (aka Jemma Simmons from Agents of SHEILD) got more to do in terms of action. Still, she is given some dramatic material to chew on with the actors. “Uncontrollable Forces” in totality doesn’t feel greater than the sum of its parts.

Lois’ continued investigation of Bruno Manheim leads her to the Judge who released Atom Man from prison, which culminates in a sequence that is obviously being compared to that scene on a rooftop from “All-Star Superman”. In that light, the role reversal is exciting and reorients the sequence from a saccharin sentimentality to something a bit more humanist and rawer. Elizabeth Tulloch continues to do an excellent job showing the vulnerability of a character who is often over-idealized and pigeonholed with uber competency or the opposite.

“Uncontrollable Forces” gives Chad L. Coleman time to shine as he confronts Superman for all the people he doesn’t save or the places he doesn’t go. This version of Bruno Manheim continues in the series tradition of having benevolent, community-oriented, rich villains – though he seems to be a step below Morgan Edge and the upcoming Lex Luthor in terms of bank account. Like on Arrow Coleman is magnetic in this scene as he bristles against what he sees as Superman’s ineffectual altruism of “saving” people. He contends all that he has done for his community is more effective and transformative than looking up to a man in the sky. This is a different version of Bruno Manheim – still no hint of Apokolips – but it is a version that fits the stories this show tells.

“Uncontrollable Forces” is spinning a lot of plates and spinning those plates individually rather well. All of these threads do have the byproduct of making it the kind of family melodrama that would be a TV executive’s dream maybe 10-15 years ago. You have the high school stuff, the maternal melodrama of a career woman, and sci-fi action all in one episode. It’s just hard to be engaged with everything on the same level. – Michael Mazzacane

//TAGS | Boomb Tube | Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur | Quantum Leap | Star Trek Picard | Star Wars: The Bad Batch | Superman & Lois

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