This Week on TV: Oct 17 – 23

Welcome back TV lovers! This week, the Twelfth Doctor and Clara met “The Girl Who Died,” played by Game of Thrones’ Maisie Williams. Jane the Virgin had its heroine consider giving The Rose to one of her suitors, and The Mindy Project continued Danny’s foray into fatherhood. Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. fully introduced a threatening new villain. The Flash had some villain family drama, and Arrow included a return to Nanda Parbat. Once Upon a Time gave us their take on the Lancelot/Guinevere/Arthur story, while Emma continues to battle her inner darkness.

Doctor Who 9×05, “The Girl Who Died” (Caitlin)

Girl-Who-Died
“We’re time travelers. We tread softly. It’s okay to make ripples but not tidal waves.”

The fifth episode of Doctor Who opens mid-adventure. Clara is outside the TARDIS wearing the orange spacesuit. Luckily the Doctor manages to bring her aboard just before she asphyxiates. He lands the TARDIS on Earth but they’re captured by Vikings, who don’t buy the Doctor’s claim that he’s Odin. Before the Vikings can figure out what to do with Clara and the Time Lord, they’re interrupted by another alien who also claims to be Odin.

The alien Odin takes the village’s warriors to Valhalla, taking Clara and a Viking girl named Ashildr as well. Valhalla turns out to be a spaceship, as the alien feeds on the warriors’ adrenaline and testosterone, killing them. In shock Ashildr declares war on the alien, who returns her and Clara to the village and gives them 24 hours to prepare for battle.

At first the Doctor tries to teach the remaining villagers to fight. Then he discovers electric eels and that Ashildr has a talent for storytelling. He uses her imagination to trick the Mire into thinking they are fighting a dragon. Clara captures it on her phone and threatens to upload online. But their victory comes with a steep price: Ashildr dies. At the last minute the Doctor decides to revive her with one of the Mire’s med packs. Unfortunately The Girl Who Died is now immortal.

Once Upon a Time 5×04, “The Broken Kingdom” (Brianna)

charmings
The Charmings briefly get the upper hand on King Jerkface. ….I mean, Arthur.

This week was HEAVY on flashbacks – not just to the missing six weeks in Camelot, but Arthur’s past with the once-broken kingdom. Although rooted in good intentions, Arthur’s been deceptive for a long time. Years ago, Lancelot and Guinevere tried to find the dagger on their own and end Arthur’s obsession with it. While facing a growing attraction for the loyal knight, Gwen makes a deal with Rumplestiltskin when she cannot retrieve the dagger. A vial of sand from Avalon will “fix” broken things, but Gwen comes clean to her husband rather than subject him to an illusion. Miscontruing her relationship with Lancelot, Arthur uses the sand on her to ‘fix’ her broken heart and keep her at his side. I have so many problems with this and I officially hate King Arthur.

In Camelot during the missing weeks, Emma’s finding it harder to resist the dark voice in her head. Hook takes her horseback riding as a distraction, prompting some cute moments for Captain Swan shippers. Meanwhile, her parents are in a stand-off with Gwen and Arthur for the dagger. Unfortunately, lack-of-agency Gwen uses the sand of Avalon to  brainwash Snow and Charming into trusting them. CAMELOT IS A KINGDOM OF LIES AND ARTHUR IS A JERK.

Jane the Virgin 2×02, “Chapter Twenty-Four”

This week on The Bachelorette...
This week on The Bachelorette…

Jane the Virgin has given us many different imagined alter-egos of its titular heroine throughout its first season, and now we have our newest addition: Bachelorette!Jane! In this week’s love-triangle-centric episode, Jane finally starts to feel pressure from both her family and her two love interests to make a decision about which one she wants to be with. What plays out is, more or less, a parody of the Bachelorette, with Jane going on “dates” with both Michael and Rafael and then all three having mini confessionals where they talk about their feelings. It’s as hilarious as it sounds. In the end, Jane realizes that she’s really in love with both of them, but chooses to not be with either of them at the moment. Elsewhere, Luisa tries to play a more active role in running the Marbella, and actually gives Rogelio a run for his money as the best source for comic relief. And finally, at the end of the episode, we’re double-whammied with the revelation that not only is Petra pregnant, but that Rafael knows that he’s the father. Jane’s reaction to this news will be…interesting.

Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. 3×04, “Devils You Know”

May and Hunter, poised for action against Ward
May and Hunter, poised for action against Ward

Okay, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. REALLY needs to improve soon or I’m done. At least next week is going to be Jemma-centric! Anyway, let’s get to it! The main arc of this week concerned both SHIELD and ATCU’s ongoing search for Inhumans. This week, however, this mission comes into conflict with a large porcupine-like creature named Lash (last seen in the season premiere). After a major fight that costs lives, Skye sees the shadow of Lash actually morph into that of a human, meaning two things: Lash is actually just an Inhuman, and he could be literally anyone. Elsewhere, Hunter continues his pursuit of Ward which, sarcastic spoiler alert, goes terribly. In fact, once Ward realizes that May is Hunter’s main aid, he threatens and (then apparently) has Andrew killed. So for those of you keeping track, that would be two lesbian and now two black major recurring characters dead while not a single straight white guy has bitten the dust. In the lab, it’s pretty much a bland continuation of last week. Jemma is trying to return to the alien planet, she keeps pushing Fitz away, and we still don’t know anything about what happened. But we have next week to look forward to, and the previews are any indication, it’s sure to be one of the most intriguing episodes of the show yet. Because I am TOTALLY here for Jemma Simmons’ Post-Apocalyptic Space Princess Adventures!

The Mindy Project 4×06, “Road Trip”

Danny and his...other son?
Danny and his…other son?

Morgan-heavy episodes of The Mindy Project are always pretty frustrating, and this week’s was no exception. After receiving news that his father has suffered a heart attack, Danny mysteriously decides to DRIVE to California to check on him. Mindy insists that Morgan go with Danny, since driving that far alone is dangerous (which I totally agree with), and Danny proceeds to attempt to ditch Morgan multiple times. Turns out, the main reason Danny was driving was because he was under the impression that he had a fifteen-year-old kid in Oklahoma that he didn’t know about until relatively recently. In the end, the kid isn’t Danny’s, but he decides to help the kid out anyway. I like that The Mindy Project isn’t trying to force a B or C storyline when one isn’t needed (especially when those were always the weak part of the show), but at the same time, The Mindy Project is a show that functions best as an ensemble. As such, when only regular characters are really present, the entire episode suffers. Especially when the episode is based on something that wasn’t even a thing, it makes the entire episode feel completely pointless. Road trip episodes can be fun (How I Met Your Mother had a great one), but here it wasn’t even a “real” road trip episode. That’s not to say I hated the episode -I didn’t- but I still feel like the show could be doing more.

The Flash 2×03, “Family of Rogues” (Megan)

This is how Barry does "undercover"
This is how Barry does “undercover”

In a surprising turn of events, Lisa Snart comes to Barry asking for help, as her brother Leonard (aka Captain Cold) has been roped into working with their abusive father. Barry goes undercover in the Snart father and son scheme while Cisco figures out a way to get the bomb her father planted in her out of Lisa Snart. In between all of this, Caitlin and Jay stabilize one of the breaches ostensibly so Jay can go home but he instead decides to stick around and help the team fight Zoom. In the final moments, Harrison Wells comes through the breach into Earth-1. This episode also had Iris learning that her mother never actually died when she was younger, but is in fact alive, and wants to see her. This episode was very busy, but I didn’t even fully realize how many threads were being juggled until I sat down to write this, because it was handled so well within the context of the episode. This was truly an ensemble episode that didn’t feel like I was being dragged from one plotline to another, and I hope this deftness is maintained, because I loved it.

Arrow 4×03, “Restoration” (Megan)

Nyssa and Malcolm Ras
Our favorite assassins

Ollie and Diggle continue to struggle in their relationship, resulting in them both going after people without backup, and Felicity forces them to sit down and talk. They realize the two people were related – the woman responsible for Diggle’s brother’s death, and a metahuman she hired for Darhk. They pursue the metahuman, Jeremy Tell, but are unable to get any new information about H.I.V.E. Meanwhile in Nanda Parbat, Malcolm initially refuses Laurel’s request to bring Sara back to life with the Lazarus Pit, but out of love for Thea he eventually gives in. Nyssa destroys the Lazarus Pit after Sara is resurrected, preventing Malcolm from ever using it again. There was a lot for the women of the Arrow team to do in this episode, and I liked it (for the most part). I still hate the Laurel/resurrected-Sara plot line, but I’m curious to see where it goes, and I enjoyed seeing Malcolm and Nyssa again. Felicity’s interactions with Curtis, however, continue to entertain.

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