Welcome back, TV lovers! The Twelfth Doctor tracks down “The Woman Who Lived” in 1651 England. On Once Upon a Time, we see Emma’s maternal instincts as the Dark One are drawing comparisons to the worst mother in OUaT history, Cora Mills! “Working Moms” seems to be the big theme for both Jane Villanueva and Mindy Lahiri this week, while Jemma Simmons struggles to survive on an alien planet in an episode of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. where she finds herself the protagonist! The Flash found a new Firestorm, and Arrow dealt with secrets and rogue police. Read on for more details about what this week’s shows had in store!
Doctor Who 9×06 “The Woman Who Lived” (Caitlin)
After turning Ashildr immortal in “The Girl Who Died” last week, the Twelfth Doctor runs into her while chasing down an alien artifact that doesn’t belong in 1651. He admits he has checked in on her once or twice before. Ashildr is surprised to see him. She stopped using the name Ashildr, preferring to go by “Me” instead. “Me” is a Lady by day, and a highway robber known as the Knightmare by night. She’s amassed a fortune over many lives but has grown bored and wants to travel the stars with the Doctor.
Instead of granting her request, the Time Lord wants to figure her out. He’s surprised by “Me’s” jadedness and the fact she still hasn’t used the second medpack to make a companion for herself. “Me” decides to help the Doctor steal the jewel that is the alien artifact in disguise. Afterwards, she reveals she was working with a lion alien who needs the artifact to return home and is willing to take her with him. The Doctor warns that the alien will double cross her but she doesn’t care. They must sacrifice someone in order to open the portal. When the alien betrays “Me” she uses the medpack to revive the dead man and close the portal at the last minute. The Doctor is satisfied that “Me” rediscovered her conscience while she commits to taking care of those the Time Lord leaves behind.
Once Upon a Time 5×05, “Dreamcatcher” (Brianna)
In Camelot, Emma’s liberal use of dark magic turns her wise to her parents’ enchanted state of being, as well as a plan to free Merlin. She teams up with Regina for the key ingredient, the tear of a lost love. Regina’s tear fails, but the fresh one from a recently rejected Henry proves potent. Merlin is freed, and audience members will recognize him as the mysterious figure who warned young Emma about Excalibur. He promises that he CAN remove the darkness from Emma, but only if her heart “truly wants to be free.”
In Storybrooke, Dark!Emma helps Henry track down the missing horse of his friend and love interest, Violet. Meanwhile, Regina and the other heroes break into Emma’s house to investigate why she’s kidnapped Rumple/Mr. Gold. They don’t find the former dark one because he’s being trained by Merida in the woods. They DO find Excalibur, as well as Emma’s enchanted dreamcatcher. Regina hopes it will show what happened to them in Camelot: instead, she sees Emma manipulate Violet to reject Henry and allow them to free Merlin.
This episode wasn’t AS thrilling to me as the previous ones, but I still enjoyed it. I wasn’t expecting the reveal of Emma’s manipulation, but now that it’s out there it does make sense. My SwanThief/SwanFire feels were also in full force for this episode. I loved that Neal/Baelfire was a common point of discussion for Emma, Henry, and Rumple. It’s so important that his impact isn’t forgotten just because he died in season three. But now we’re left with new questions: Merlin’s original feud with the Dark One was apparently brought on by a lost love–who? What happened to her? And now that we’ve seen Merlin freed in Camelot, where the hell is he now?
Jane the Virgin 2×03, “Chapter Twenty-Five” (Meg)
Oi. When Jane the Virgin goes for the viewers’ hearts, they REALLY go for it. This week, we begin things with two flashbacks: Young Alba (!!!) preparing for Xo’s baptism, and sixteen-year-old Xo preparing for Jane’s. Which leads us, naturally, to Jane and Rafael preparing for Mateo’s baptism in the midst of two major dilemmas. As we learned last week, Rafael is reeling from the news that Petra is now carrying his baby. And at the beginning of this week’s episode, we find out that Jane has been accepted into a writing MA program, but accepting means that she’ll have to leave Mateo at home months before she intended. While there’s some humor in the Petra situation, the writers did a brilliant job of making Jane’s pain really relatable, even as a viewer for whom motherhood is about a decade away. All of this leads up to a montage of Xo, Jane, and Mateo’s baptisms as their mothers read a passage passed down to them by their mothers about what kind of hopes they had for their children. It’s these words that encourage Jane to take the leap into enrolling in grad school. We get some lightness from the pure absurdity of Luisa being kidnapped (though we’re still not entirely sure by whom), since it seems like too much and yet not enough at the same time. So, we’ll see! God, I am LOVING this show’s second season.
Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. 3×05, “4,722 Hours” (Meg)
Oh, Agents of Shield. Though I had several issues with this week’s latest Marvel installment, I saw glimmers of the character-driven show I fell in love with the string of sixteen or so episodes at the end of the first and beginning of the second seasons. Instead of bouncing between three or four different storylines, the show actually decided to spend an entire episode doing nothing but following Jemma’s journey while she was on the alien planet. For the first fifteen minutes or so, she fights for her life on a regular basis and keeps herself sane by talking to a picture of Fitz she has on her phone (which has seriously impressive battery life). And then, because as badass as Jemma is, spending forty minutes with Jemma talking to no one but herself would be kind of boring, she meets someone. So this guy’s name is Will, and apparently NASA sent him and a team to the planet in order to explore it. But since they arrived, all three of Will’s team mates died one way or another. Jemma, with the aid of all of Will’s fancy NASA tech, figures out a way to get them home. Unfortunately, the plan fails and Jemma loses all hope of eventually making it home. And, look, I’m not opposed to Jemma making a friend on the alien planet. What frustrated me was the fact that it HAD to be a straight white dude and that Jemma HAD to have a romantic relationship with him. It’s just…it’s SO CLICHE. Oh well. After this much is established, Jemma sees the flares Fitz sent up and we’re brought back to the present. So, an improvement, but I’m kind of dreading the return of the likes of Ward and Lincoln.
The Mindy Project 4×07, “Mindy and Nanny” (Meg)
The newest episode The Mindy Project fills in what Mindy’s up to while Danny’s travelling cross-country and helping out his dad. We’re blessed with the sight of Leo for more than a couple seconds, the return of Annette Castellano, and a particularly hilarious anti-vaxxer bit. While Danny’s in California, Mindy faces a struggle being dealt with by thousands of Millennial women: that of being a young, working mother. We get to see Mindy show true affection for Leo and how much she cares about how well-taken care of he is. At first, Annette functions as a nanny/maid combo for Mindy, but (as expected) this drives Mindy bonkers and forces her to hire an outside nanny almost immediately. She settles on a young woman who seems great at first, but ends up being a nightmare anti-vaxxer activist who Mindy has to fire on her first day. In the end, Mindy makes up with Annette and brings him back to take care of Leo while she works. So, it’s really only a matter of time before we finally see just how well Danny adjusts to the idea of leaving Leo with family while both of them act as working parents. Meanwhile, there’s some kind of issue with Jeremy’s girlfriend and the new Southern doctor, but I’m having a LOT of trouble caring about anyone in the cast aside from Mindy and Danny.
The Flash 2×04, “The Fury of Firestorm” (Megan)
Caitlin identifies two potential Firestorm candidates that could merge with Dr. Stein, but is biased toward the one who is a scientist, Henry Hewitt, over the former high school football star, Jefferson Jackson. Hewitt tries unsuccessfully to join with Stein, and is angry at Caitlin for getting his hopes up. Once Jackson is convinced that he wants to become a superhero, he joins with Stein and helps Barry take down Hewitt who is lashing out with the abilities the attempted merging gave him. Meanwhile Dr. Wells steals a mysterious device from Mercury Labs and uses it on a shark-man who attacks Barry in the final moments of the episode. Iris also meets with her mother and tells her she’s not ready to know her, only to have her mother insist that she’s dying. When Iris researches her mother for proof she’s sick, she finds out that she might have a brother, and uses that secret as leverage to get her mother to leave her and her father alone. So much of the action was driven by Caitlin and Iris this week, it was kind of fun to watch the men take a back seat for once.
Arrow 4×04, “Beyond Redemption” (Megan)
This week’s episode dealt with internal politics and secrets in various forms, not the least of which is the chained-up zombie Sara in Laurel’s basement. Former members of the anti-vigilante task force have gone rogue, and the Arrow team works with Captain Lance to stop them. Oliver also finds out that Lance has been working with Darhk, but tells him that instead of turning himself in, he should stay close to Darhk and help them work against him. Amidst all of this, Ollie is also getting his mayoral campaign underway, with some help from Thea. In the final moments of the episode, Laurel discovers that Sara has escaped. Ruh roh! While this wasn’t a bad episode, it did feel a little like filler/setup for the next big arcs to come, as it contained lots of character revelations…and not much else. I may also just be sad after last week’s guest appearance from J.R. Bourne was so great.