Welcome to our newly revamped 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 Flash – “The Fire Next Time” (S8E8, The CW)
Every once on a while, the team does social commentary here and I always appreciate it.
This is the start of a new “Graphic Novel” and a new fire-related threat is here, and it’s already killed two persons. The problem is that usual bad guy Jaco The Hotness is accused of killing the victims (one could say, he takes the heat, get it?). When he is being arrested in front of his son, he begs The Flash to believe him that he is innocent.
It is February 1st, the birthday of Henry Allen, and Barry is really nostalgic about his father, so, seeing Jaco claiming innocence in front of his son hits him hard, and despite having the evidence seemingly stacked against him, Barry trusts a desperate Jaco, who is losing control of himself.
Meanwhile, one of the other ex-cons in the show, Allegra, has a hard time being a boss, she goes for a story on a fellow Latina ex-con, instead of doing a story on a Barbie-style influencer, but now, thanks to prejudice (and not being a good boss), she has a new enemy on the newspaper.
At the end, what becomes a race to find the escaped Jaco, concludes in him absorbing heat and saving thousands of people from a potential volcanic eruption, so, he’s not only innocent, he becomes a hero, at least to his son. For a TV show about a guy who runs fast, this episode was is a pretty decent commentary on presumption of innocence, stereotypes, prejudice and believing the innocent. I hope to keep seeing more of this in the next episodes. – Ramon Piña
He-Man and the Masters of the Universe – “The World Below” (S2E2, Netflix)
What I like about season 2 is how seamlessly they are expanding the cast to add more personality and opportunity for plot twists. This is done in an organic way by including a new character as an “A” story on its own. Each character feels like they have their own personal arc that is going to play out within the series. Take King Stratos, who struggles with his ego about whether he should let the kids stay or not. This manifestation of him brings us opportunities to explore personality conflicts that add flavor to the show. His ego is such a giant part of his expression of self, which causes friction with Ram Ma’am.
The real “A” story for this episode is all about Teela’s former mentor Man-E-Faces, the king of thieves. He puts her on an underground trial with King Randor, which is a great moment to test their faith in each other. Teela doesn’t disappoint, delivering a rousing personal appeal to Man-E. She convinces him to help them and this display of soft skills pays off when Beast Man comes attacking. Man-E and Beat Man get into a brawl worthy of a WWE episode filled with drama and high-flying drop kicks to the face. This show doesn’t forget to give us the fun stuff along the way. It’s a perfect balance of character development and plot development.
Speaking of the plot, Skelator up to his tricks and is more boisterous and loud than ever. He’s a bit more clownish than I remember from the original, but he’s also much more funny. He’s become the bowser of the series. In a moment when he comes charging on a hovering zamboni from hell, King Stratos comes flying in valiantly, only to be zapped comically off by Skelator’s laser. He’s trying to find the source of the power of Greyskull, and he’s getting closer. Looking forward to seeing how it evolves from here. – Henry Finn
Naomi – “Fellowship of the Disc” (S1E8, The CW)Continued below
Naomi continues to push the plot forward, but in piecemeal ways. Naomi revealing her powers to Jacob is a big deal, as it shifts the power dynamic in the group of friends, but that should’ve been all we needed from the friends this week. Instead, we get a Lourdes appearance for the first time in weeks through a really shoved-in plot about Nathan and Anthony having to do community service at her comic shop. These sub-plots almost never work on this show, as the show’s strengths and weaknesses all stem from the fact that the show’s title sums it up. This is a show that lives and dies by its titular character; whenever she isn’t on screen, the show suffers from Poochie syndrome, and forces us to just keep asking “Where’s Naomi?” Even when Dee and Zumbado, the show’s only other characters of real interest, suffer when they’re removed from her orbit.
Jacob proves a vital ally for Naomi, even if he is excitable as shit and can’t keep a secret. But having someone who has the slightest bit of alien knowledge is a change for her, and it can only help her figure stuff out. But the best part of this episode is Naomi’s understanding of her parents’ dedication to her safety, as well as the depths of their love. This shouldn’t be news that parents love their kids, but the show plays this ‘reveal’ really well, and gives a greater sense of just who these people are. Their mettle is being tested, and they appear to be acing the test. – Brian Salvatore
Riverdale – “Unbelievable” (S6E6, The CW)
Read our full review of the Riverdale mid-season premiere by Elias Rosner.
Snowpiercer – “A Beacon For Us All” (S3E9, TNT)
Never throw a party on Snowpiercer because the minute you celebrate is the minute everything goes to hell.
In “A Beacon For Us All,” Melanie finally returns, as has been teased all season. She survived by finding an operational locomotive, setting it on autopilot, and putting herself to sleep until Snowpiercer found her. (This is a ridiculous technical explanation but either you go with it or you don’t.) After a tense opening in which Melanie is rescued, the reunions begin. Melanie and Alex’s reunion is all one could ask for, as mother and daughter embrace tearfully. Everyone is happy to see Melanie back, from Ruth to Layton to Alex and even Wilford. (Sort of? I think he was bored and glad to have another antagonist back.)
Unfortunately, everyone seems to have forgotten that Melanie always does what she deems best for the train and everyone else be damned.
Melanie let the Tailies live in the dark for seven years to preserve the train’s status quo, letting some of them be killed and the rest be traumatized. Let’s not forget she also attempted to kill Josie out of desperation. Melanie eventually adapted as she accepted that others also wanted the best for the train and she needed allies against Wilford. But Melanie objects almost instantly to Layton’s plan for New Eden. A longshot, for certain, and based on a lie, but one Layton sold to his braintrust, including Alex. Melanie, however, decides that stretch of track is too risky. During the party to celebrate her return, she steals control of the train and turns away from New Eden. She also exposes Layton’s lie to the entire train. This is where I wish sometimes we had more insight to motivations on this show. Certainly Melanie wants to protect the train but is she also attempting to get back at Layton for exposing *her* lie about Wilford?
On one side, we have Melanie and Javi in control of the engine. On the other side, Ben and Alex, who are shocked and betrayed, and Layton and his braintrust, who are in serious trouble from those who believed in them. And now there’s a third side as well: Wilford is free. Again! He should be dead, of course, but plot armor kept him alive.
Now we are speeding to the finale with three factions: one decidedly evil, and two who are committing wrong in the name of helping. Hope never seems to survive long on Snowpiercer, sadly. – Corrina LawsonContinued below
Star Trek: Picard – “Watcher” (S2E4, Paramount+)
Picard and Jurati take shelter at the ruins of Chateau Picard, which we learn was abandoned when the family fled to England during WWII (amazing, after all these years, we finally know why Jean-Luc has such an impeccable English accent.) They figure out that the Borg Queen was going to tell them the split in history will occur on April 15, 2024, three days from now, and Picard uses the transporter to go to the coordinates she provided, which turn out to be Guinan’s bar. There, he meets a younger version of his friend (played by Ito Aghayere), who doesn’t recognize him, and who has become thoroughly disillusioned by humanity (“This century took off a hood, and put on a suit,” she says.)
Meanwhile, Seven and Raffi are on the search for Rios, who’s in ICE custody, and heading for a seat on a bus to Mexico. This storyline managed to feel more tense than Voyage Home, but also as much fun (and they even encounter Kirk R. Thatcher’s Mohawk Punk from that movie, now playing “I Still Hate You,” and much more civil after his encounter with Spock.) Seven and Raffi stealing a police car, despite having little-to-no idea how to drive a 21st century vehicle? It’s like a spin-off within a spin-off. Jurati manages to transport them to where they need to intercept Rio’s bus after persuading the Borg Queen, who inadvertently instills Agnes with the confidence she needs to ignore her afterwards.
Picard finally persuades Guinan to help him find the Watcher by disclosing his name, and that one day she will become his “oldest and dearest friend.” (Aw.) She takes him to the mysterious alien (who really doesn’t like Guinan) at a park, and after a psychic “pantomime,” Jean-Luc discovers the Watcher resembles a Human Laris. Q, meanwhile, observes a woman reading a book at an outdoor cafe, while ranting about his old friend’s fears and doubts. He snaps his fingers, but she only starts laughing, causing him to respond, “That’s unexpected. And most unfortunate.” I’m guessing that wasn’t supposed to happen – so what the devil is going on with him? – Christopher Chiu-Tabet
Superman & Lois – “Into Oblivion” (S2E8, The CW)
Read our full review by august (in the wake of) dawn.
The Walking Dead – “Warlords” (S11E13, AMC)
Read our full review by Christopher Cole.