This Week on TV: Oct 31-Nov 6

Welcome back, TV lovers!

In Doctor Who it’s revealed the Zygons had already “invaded” and were peacefully living among us after the events of “Day of the Doctor” until a small sect breaks the ceasefire. Belle and Merida teamed up on Once Upon a Time, while Rumple pulled Excalibur from the stone, and everyone else realized that Arthur is a jerk. In the two hour premiere of The Librarians, there’s no shortage of obstacles: literary characters come to life, the Library is misbehaving, and Eve gets hit on by Moriarty. Jane the Virgin made some solid progress in resolving its love triangle. Meanwhile, both Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. and The Mindy Project stepped up their game as the former revealed the identity of a major villain and the latter showed major character progress for its lead. The Flash saw another villain come through from Earth-2 while the team struggled not to kill Earth-2’s Harrison Wells. Arrow had a guest appearance from John Constantine that made for a magical and exciting episode.

Doctor Who 9×07 “The Zygon Invasion” (Caitlin)

The “Zygon Invasion” opens with a recap of the Zygon plot line from “Day of the Doctor.” The two Osgoods were instrumental in maintaining the peace. They even created protocols for UNIT and the Doctor to follow in the event of one of their deaths. After the events of “Death in Heaven” the surviving Osgood is captured by a Zygon faction which does not want to live as humans on Earth. Thankfully before she is found, Osgood manages to send a message to the Doctor.

When the Doctor lands in London he discovers UNIT settled over 20 million Zygon all over the Earth without any of the governments’ knowledge. Kate Stuart goes to New Mexico to try and figure out exactly why the Zygons are suddenly fighting back while The Time Lord’s first priority is to rescue Osgood. The Doctor takes a UNIT team to where they believe Osgood is being held prisoner. Soon the Zygons play their trump card and reveal they do not need to capture the original to make a copy anymore, and can even copy people from your memories. Meanwhile Clara has been captured and copied by the Zygons. She manages to infiltrate UNIT, using their trust of her against them.

Once Upon a Time 5×06, “The Bear and the Bow” (Brianna)

bearandthebow
Belle is Merida’s only hope.

The Brave-oriented title may throw you off, but this is actually a Belle-centric episode! She launches a one-person search party for Rumple when it’s clear that the other heroes care more about contacting Merlin. Rumple escapes Merida’s training camp and heads straight for his former love. Emma turns Merida into an assassin and sends her after Belle to provoke Rumple into heroism. This is juxtaposed with events from Camelot: after being freed from Arthur’s dungeon, Merida kidnaps Belle for magical help in rescuing her brothers.

Meanwhile, the Storybrooke Heroes plan to use the Crimson Crown (aka magical toadstool) to contact Merlin, but only someone “chosen” by the sorcerer can complete the spell. Arthur is the logical choice, but his attempts to sabotage the spell finally clue the protagonists in to his shady antics. Henry (the new Author) completes the spell and gets a pre-recorded magical message from Merlin, directing them to someone named Nimue.

I’m so happy the writers have made a concentrated effort to boost Belle’s characterization. Both of the arcs in this episode are actually wonderful at showing her intellect, as well as her bravery. Honestly, this was one of the most feminist episodes OUaT has done. I’m incredibly pleased and I hope they keep it up.

The Librarians 2×01, “…And the Drowned Book” & 2×02, “…And the Broken Staff” (Brianna)

thelibrarians

Directed by their clippings books, the Librarians reunite at an event in New York City.  Against Eve’s advice, the Librarians work each of their cases separately, allowing their new enemy–Team Fictional–to get the drop on them. There are two types of Fictionals: Moriarty is the more common kind, summoned from his book and capable of being sent back. Prospero is the other kind: more ancient and powerful, he’s been living in our reality for centuries because his story is so well-written and frequently read. With magic back in the world, Prospero seeks to regain his power and take over the world along the way.

Prospero reclaims his book and escapes with Moriarty after summoning a tempestuous storm to drown Manhattan. Working together, the Librarians dissipate the storm and refocus on finding Prospero’s staff. Team Fictional infiltrates The Library with the goal of forging a new staff from The Tree of Knowledge at the heart of the Library. Frankenstein’s Monster and the Queen of Hearts pose a brief obstacle, but in the end Flynn tricks Prospero into believing the Tree of Knowledge is destroyed.

This was great premiere, and there’s not enough space to talk about all the awesome. The list includes the imperfections of Eve and Flynn’s relationship, Jenkins’s fear and self-doubt as a caretaker, and Frankenstein’s monster on Tinder. There’s also plenty of foundation laid for this season’s mysteries: why are things disappearing from the Library? Who found Prospero’s original staff, and where did they put it? And what tree did Flynn actually burn when he tricked Prospero?

Jane the Virgin 2×04, “Chapter Twenty-Six” (Meg)

IN GIF FORM BECAUSE IT NEEDS TO BE IN GIF FORM!
IN GIF FORM BECAUSE IT NEEDS TO BE IN GIF FORM!

LADY FRIENDSHIPS! BEING A MOM AND MAINTAINING A SENSE OF SELF! AND AAAAAALL THE JANE X MICHAEL! The television gods were generous to us this week, Jane fans! This week primarily focused on how, in all aspects of Jane’s life, she felt like motherhood was taking over and that she was losing who she was before she had Mateo. This begins when she realizes that she forgot to plan Lina’s twenty-fifth birthday party, and continues when instead of writing a paper for grad school, she finds herself writing a list of childcare instructions for Rafael. After having a breakdown, and confessing her growing dissatisfaction to Michael, Jane decides to leave Mateo with Rafael for the night and have a girls’ night with Lina. She repairs her friendship, and we also get to see the everlasting joy that is Gina Rodriguez getting to dance. She also feels the urge to start writing for what was probably the first time since Mateo’s birth, and then encounters and kisses Michael. Unlike her kiss with Rafael last week, Jane MORE than kisses Michael back, and realizes that Michael is the one she really wants to be with, which almost made me cry from happiness. Elsewhere, Rogelio used to be into Scientology (snort), Luisa was released by her kidnappers and is finding her way back to Rose, and Petra finally realized how stupid her decision to impregnate herself was. Oh, and Michael’s boss hired a new lady detective to try to figure out what exactly he was hiding about his partnership with Nadine. So…that’s gonna be a problem.

Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. 3×06, “Among Us Hide…” (Meg)

Officially my new favorite duo on this show!
Officially my new favorite duo on this show!

Strangely enough, I liked this week’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. even more than last week’s. We got some exciting new team-ups, and the plot greatly progressed on all fronts without being too exposition-y. Not to mention a lot of really lovely character moments. The episode begins with the revelation that Andrew didn’t die a couple weeks ago (thankfully), though the method by which he survives is a bit convoluted. So now he’s just hanging out at S.H.I.E.L.D. headquarters, though May’s now out for blood. She and Bobbi team up (!!!) to try to take down Ward (since Hunter’s been sidelined), which provides some KICKASS fight scenes, and Bobbi getting a chance to confront her nervousness about getting back in the field after her injury. Meanwhile, Daisy (ugh, I’m kind of getting used to the name change), Mack, Hunter, and Coulson pursue Rosalind and her organization, discovering that they’re actually putting Inhumans in BOXES, but in a well-intentioned way? Well, in a “we just want to cure them” way that’s a bit too close to the plot of X-Men 3 for comfort. But the major revelation of the episode is that Andrew’s survival of Ward’s attack wasn’t some kind of miracle: it was a result of him being Lash. So THAT’s gonna be interesting to see play out.

The Mindy Project 4×08, “Later, Baby” (Meg)

Mindy and her favorite little guy.
Mindy and her favorite little guy.

And I also felt like this week’s Mindy was not only an improvement upon last week’s but an improvement upon the season as a whole? There were definitely issues (Jordy sleeping with a bunch of undergrads wasn’t funny, it was just gross), and I’m still generally frustrated with all of the characters and plotlines that aren’t about Mindy. This week’s story has two main tentpoles: Mindy’s fertility clinic and the struggles of being a single mom. The episode begins with Mindy facing struggles in her everyday life, but finding herself unable to confide in Danny because of his own struggles in dealing with his dad. So, like she’s been doing in many areas of her life, she acts like everything’s fine. But, of course, everything isn’t. Her fertility clinic is failing, and she’s having more trouble than ever balancing motherhood with her career, especially as a single parent. In the end, however, Jody ends up helping her drum up enough business to save her clinic by helping her give a talk at NYU to encourage college girls to freeze their eggs. While talking to them, Mindy realizes that it’s completely okay to feel overwhelmed by life sometimes, and the episode concludes with her and Danny having a sweet moment over the phone where she gives him an honest account of her life. Here’s to hoping that we get to see the two on screen together soon!

 

The Flash 2×05, “The Darkness and the Light” (Megan)

Iris stepping up and protecting Linda
Iris stepping up and protecting Linda

The Harrison Wells from Earth-2 says he has come to help them defeat Zoom, but Barry and the team struggle to trust him, and Jay says they are right to be wary. Another Earth-2 villain, Doctor Light, comes and starts robbing banks, but Barry recognizes her as Linda Park’s doppelganger, and is worried Linda might be a target, like the Earth-1 counterparts to previous villains have been. Wells also reveals Cisco’s metahuman abilities to the team, with minimal upset. In the final moments of the episode, we see Wells’ daughter in Earth-2 being held captive by Zoom, presumably the real reason that Wells is trying to help Barry defeat him. This episode felt a little dull to me, with so much time spent on everyone’s reactions to Wells, most of which were very predictable (Joe came in shooting). The fact that is wasn’t clear whether Zoom had intentionally sent Doctor Light because of who her doppelganger was kind of bothered me, because if it wasn’t intentional, it felt contrived. And if it was intentional, why not just make that more clear? Flash writers, please don’t start fading now!

Arrow 4×05, “Haunted” (Megan)

Green Arrow, John Constantine, and Black Canary
Green Arrow, John Constantine, and Black Canary

This week, Arrow brought in the magic with a visit from John Constantine, both in Ollie’s flashbacks and in the present day. Oliver discovers that Sara is alive because she’s going on a rampage around the city, and ultimately goes after Thea, the source of her blood rage. The team realizes that Sara is missing her soul, and Ollie calls up Constantine to help them get it back. Diggle and Captain Lance also briefly team up for mission Damien Darhk gave Lance, and in the process they learn the reason Diggle’s brother was killed was because he wasn’t as good as Diggle believed. Lastly, Felicity finds out from the recording of Ray’s final moments that he’s still alive. All in all, I think I enjoyed this episode the most out of any Arrow episode in a good while. It was exciting, but not overly dark, and I loved it. Laurel stood up to Oliver, and while I agree that she’s made some stupid decisions lately, it was satisfying to see her calling Oliver out for being a hypocrite. I’m also glad that we solved the issue of zombie Sara, because I didn’t want that to be too drawn-out (although I will admit Constantine’s arrival felt very convenient, I was so happy about his guest appearance that I didn’t care). This episode left me feeling much more excited about the possibilities for this season of Arrow, and now I can’t wait for next week.

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