He heals fast: Goon Reviews Flash “Going Rogue”

Insert obvious cold pun here.

Insert obvious cold pun here.

Both Barry and Felicity in the same episode!?!  Our shields can’t repel nerdiness of that magnitude!

Returning once again to the charming Central City, we open on one of the most fun moments of the show so far, (all four episodes!) Barry is at S.T.A.R. Labs using his speed to play ping pong with Cisco, Operation with Caitlin, and chess with Wells.  Sadly their fun comes to an abrupt stop when the lab’s alarm goes off, an armored car is being robbed and Barry is off to save the day.  The bad guys, one of which is equipped with a tank of liquid nitrogen and is freezing the door off the truck (gee, I wonder who that is) are able to get away when Barry stops to take a wounded guard to the hospital instead of pursue them.   However not all is lost as Barry got a look at one of the baddies and later identifies him from some mug shots as one Leonard Snart.  Joe and Eddie set about doing their police work and track him down, and Barry gets a visit from an old friend.  That’s right, its a crossover episode!  Felicity has come to Central City to pay a visit to Barry, wanting to know that he is okay after the lightning strike.  Iris, seeing that Felicity is both smoking hot (pun intended) and just as much of a nerd as Barry, immediately jumps onto the shipper train, and starts to try and push them together.  While this is happening, Snart comes into possession of a cold gun stolen from S.T.A.R. Labs.  With his new frosty equipment in hand he goes about plotting a diamond theft.  Barry has a couples night with Felicity, Iris, and Eddie, but it’s cut short when Eddie gets about Snart being spotted at the museum.  While trying to stop Snart, Barry takes a blast from the cold gun, discovering that it can both hurt him and slow him down.  Snart sees this and starts trying to blast cops, forcing Barry to save them in lieu of catching him.  Sadly, Barry is unable to save a guards life, the blast from the gun slowing him down enough that he couldn’t reach the guard in time.  Back at S.T.A.R. we learn that the cold gun was created by Cisco, built just in case that Barry happened to go evil instead of becoming a hero.  Barry, still reeling from the death of the guard, is upset by this news, hurt that his friend didn’t trust him enough to tell him about this gun and is rather hostile to the now downtrodden Cisco.  Still needing to track down Snart, Cicsco tells them of a signal the gun puts out that Felicity is then able to track.  Barry runs off to stop him, confronting the newly named Captain Cold, who freeze blasts the train causing it to crash.  In the most visually impressive scene of the series yet, Barry evacs everyone from the train but gets blasted and frozen to the ground by Cold.  Before the Captain can put Barry on ice, Cisco shows up with a decked out vacuum cleaner, claiming it is a new and more powerful cold gun, and forces the Captain to back down, retreating for now.  With bad guy defeated, at least for the time being, Felicity bids farewell to Barry and Co. and departs for home, while Wells gives Cisco an angry warning about never doing anything like the cold gun again.  The episode closes out with Cold addressing a match holding stranger, saying that he is putting together a team and gives the stranger a fire gun that he obtained from the same man he got his cold gun from.

Throughout this we are also treated to a subplot of Joe dealing with Iris and Eddie dating.  Joe is giving Iris the silent treatment, not comfortable with the relationship.  Iris confronts him about it, and he explains that his discomfort isn’t from their dating, but because Eddie is his partner and his dating Iris forces him to view Eddie in a different light, treat him in a different way.  This comes to an end when Eddie saves him from Snart, and Joe now appears to be okay with the relationship.

I am quite happy to say that The Flash is taking positive steps forward with each and every episode.  This week Barry had to deal with his failure as a hero, not saving the guard, and the perceived betrayal of a friend.  He was on an emotional roller coaster and was fantastic to see.   What was best about this was that it didn’t weigh anything Going Roguedown.  Barry has his moment of anger at Cisco, saying that they all need to carry the guilt of the guards death, but by the end of the episode he has accepted the fact that Cisco just made a mistake, and their friendship is still strong.  This is also in keeping with the general tone of the show, it is lighthearted and focuses mostly on Barry being a hero and symbol.  It is a welcome departure from the generally darker tone we have seen from other DC shows and movies. (Arrow is still awesome though)  The inclusion of Felicity was also a welcome appearance.  We got to see more of the cute nerd love that made Gustin’s guess appearance in Arrow so much fun, and she was able to provide an outsiders perspective to Barry to help him deal with his problem with Cisco.  It was a well done guest appearance as her being there didn’t diminish any of the other characters, instead her strengths were folded into the team.  The bits of love advice that Barry and Felicity gave to each other was a nice closing touch to her appearance.

The Joe and Iris bits weren’t all that great, but weren’t bad.  It was a good build up and felt very natural from where we left of  with them in the last episode.  What worked best for this was that the drama between them wasn’t dragged on for longer then it needed to be.  Their characters and stories are progressing nicely and nothing is being dragged out for the sake of adding unneeded drama.  Apart from that, Joe sadly didn’t have much going on this week, which was a disappointment.  It is always nice to him interacting with Team Flash, and playing a support role to Barry when he is doing his hero thing and the fact that he was basically pushed almost entirely out of the main story this week was most unfortunate, but Felicity was there to pick up the slack and act as the friendly support, so I can accept Joe’s diminished role as a needed sacrifice to help strengthen the ties between Flash and Arrow.

The final thing to comment on, Captain Cold.  Holy crap was he a badass!  He is portrayed as cool and calculating, doing his best to refrain from killing, not out of a moral sense but because it draw unwanted attention.  He is entirely about the job at hand, and won’t accept anything that could damage that.  He even goes so far as to gun down one of his men when tries to walk out.  He evolves his tactics based on what he learns about Barry, and employs them perfectly to the task at hand.  His squaring off with Cisco was played perfectly, immediately measuring up the inventor and knowing that he could easily walk away from the encounter, with the diamond, and disappear.  His giving the heat gun to the unknown match guy, who obviously will be the Flash villain Heat Wave, sets him up for his role as the leader of the Rogues, a collection of Flash’s baddies.

Overall, a-freaking-mazing episode.  The crossover with Arrow served to help showcase the shared universe, Cisco was shown as a flawed, making him human and more relatable to the audience.   Captain Cold was a truly amazing villain, proving that someone without powers can be a threat to the Flash.  The crashing train scene was a truly amazing sequence, and was done perfectly.  I haven’t mentioned this much before, but I will now, the effects of Barry using his powers looks fantastic, the cracks of lightning shooting off him as he moves, the bolts in his eyes as he watched everything, tis a visual splendor to watch.  The Flash sped out of the gates with its pilot episode, and has only picked up speed from there.

Goon out.

Oh, a boozy bookworm: Goon Reviews OUaT “Broken Glass”

 

I was just looking for the set of Thor 3!

I was just looking for the set of Thor 3!

So, apparently calmly telling someone that you won’t tell them they won’t be hurt, just so that they will be afraid and be unable  to escape from magic ice chains is a legitimate plan to help them overcome their fear and escape the magical chains.   I don’t even know where to begin on that.

Shockingly enough, we are not treated to magic land flashbacks this week, instead we are given another glimpse into Emma’s past, which is usually a treat.   We find young Emma in the ever so wonderful, full of amazement, and generally most awesome place to to live, Minnesota.  She is in a grocery store, attempting to swipe some food, but is spotted by an employee, before she can get into trouble though a girl shows up to bail her out of trouble.  Lily is her name, and stolen credit cards are her game.  The two quickly become friends after Emma helps Lily escape from the man that Lily swiped the card from.  The two talk, Emma tells Lily of her past in the system and how she runs away, Lily sharing a similar story.  Lily has the plan of the two of them staying in an empty summer home for awhile, Emma quickly agrees.  We are treated to some scenes of friendly bonding, Lily drawing a small star on Emma’s wrist because she has a birthmark in the same shape, the two promising to be friends forever.  That night Emma wakes up when she hears someone in the house, the man that chased them earlier.  As it turns out the man is Lily dad’s, he’s come to take her home.  Lily tries to explain things to Emma, saying that she was a foster kid that was adopted but felt invisible and unloved at home, but Emma refuses to listen, her feelings of anger and betrayal overcoming with her.  She rubs off the star drawing and walks away, presumably to never see her friend again.

I understood the purpose of the flashbacks this week, tying into what Emma is going through with Regina, but honestly it felt unneeded.  At this point, we are all well aware  that Emma’s had a rough life and has been betrayed before, the whole Neal leaving her to get arrested thing or being adopted and then sent back when she was three, so there wasn’t much of a point to all of this.  While I do always appreciate seeing more of Emma’s history, I would prefer it actually be something interesting to watch, not just the same stuff with a fresh coat of paint.

In the modern day, Regina is hard at work trying to track down the Snow Queen, thinking its the best way to save Marian since she can’t undone the spell herself.  She orders Sydney, still trapped in the mirror, to find the Snow Queen.  Shortly after, Emma pays Regina a visit, still trying to patch things up between the two of them over the whole Marian fiasco, but Regina is hell bent on hating our golden haired savior.   Elsa, while waiting in the car, sees a glimpse of Anna calling for help.  She rushes out to save her sister, and is led deeper into the woods.   Seeing her frosty friend has fled, Emma sets out to find her, running into Regina who is on the trail of the Snow Queen.  Elsa catches

"Do you wanna build a snow-" "NO!"

“Do you wanna build a snow-“
“NO!”

up to Anna, after creating a familiar set of ice stairs, only to discover that is all a trick of the Snow Queens.  Elsa is bound in ice chains that grow stronger as her fear does, and the Snow Queen leaves her there.  While on the trail of Elsa and the evil ice cream maker, Emma tries again to mend fences with Regina to no avail.  The two find the ice stairs and while climbing then are attacked by a strong breeze, the most deadly force of nature, and Regina realizes that Sydney led them into a trap.  The two make it off the stairs just before they crumble and are confronted with a reject from the set of Thor.  They have little luck in vanquishing the ice viking until the two combine their magic and banish the thing to whatever level of hell ice monsters come from.  The Snow Queen makes her appearance and swipes Regina’s mirror before locking the two in a jedi force choke.  Elsa is able to overcome her fear and break free from her chains, showing up in the nick of time to save Emma and Regina and forcing the Snow Queen to retreat.  Regina storms off in a puff of purple smoke, and Emma is ready to give up on fixing things, but Elsa is quick to weigh in and convince Emma to keep trying.  With the words of her friend in mind, Emma once again approaches Regina, giving her a sparknotes version of her time with Lily and telling her that she won’t stop trying to fix things between them. Regina, shocked that Emma considered them friends, warms up to her a bit and the two have started on the path to friendship.  We close out with Emma taking a walk down memory lane with Hook.  She pulls out the video she made with Lily, surprised to find more footage on it of her at a group home.  The shocker?  None other than the Snow Queen is seen on the video, shedding some light on her history with Emma

The heavy focus on Regina and Emma was nice to watch, as there was only so long they could drag out the Regina being angry at Emma subplot before it got even more stale.  Let’s be honest, we’re all sick of that, we have seen it before, that was the entirety of season one and good chunks of season two, so actually seeing them start to patch things up and work through their differences, becoming real friends, will be a lot of  fun to watch play out, and is long overdue.  The bits with Elsa chasing down the fake Anna were slightly less than good.  Anyone could tell from the get go that it wasn’t going to the real Anna, and while I can understand Elsa falling for it, her desperation to find her sister overruling her common sense is understandable but was just eye rolling bad.  Her brief confrontation with the Snow Queen was also just bad.  SQ basically says “Hi, I am totally manipulating you, and am even going to explain in no uncertain terms how I am going to do it,” not exactly a smart move on the villains part, but it did appear to work, so props to her I guess.  The biggest thing we got out of this was a bit of the Snow Queen’s plot, that she is trying to create or find or steal or do something to get a family that loves her.  Okay, not exactly the most dastardly of evil plans, but family has always been a major theme of the series so it does work with the show, and is still proving to be more interesting than the Wicked Witch, so points for that as well.

We are also treated to a brief side story of David trying to get Snow out of the house, help her get more in touch with who she was before birthing a second podling.  Belle is left to babysit while David and Snow go for walk, taking a brief side trip to the sheriff’s station, they discover that Will Scarlet has escaped and they need to track him down.  Snow is able to find him on the beach, digging holes.  He is looking for a bag he buried, he had a map but in a drunken moment thought it would be smart to hide the map in the buried bag.  The two have an amusing exchange, Snow thinking that this was all a plan of David’s to help her get in touch with her old self, and pardon’s Will.

This was actually a lot of fun, we got to see more of Snow’s concerns over being apart from her son, and see her get past them.  Her brief bit with Will was a lot of fun to watch, the two played off each other well.  We still don’t know much about Will being in Storybrooke, or if this falls into his pre or post Wonderland timeline, but he was my favorite part of the less than great spinoff so its nice to see that something is being done with him.

Overall, this episode focused much more on the characters than on the building plot, and that worked for it.  Everyone made steps forward, in their progression.  Emma and Regina are on the road to becoming BFF’s, Snow is back to her ass kicking self, and Elsa is getting over her fears and becoming a pretty badass cryomancer.   More of Emma’s past was shown, even if it was less than great, and we know the Snow Queen’s endgame.  There was a lot of fun, and all the characters were great to watch, even if the Snow Queen has some questionable methods in her evil plotting.

Until next time

Goon out.

Snooty and Goon: St. Vincent

It's amazing how they captured the essence of Snooty's life in a single, perfect frame.

It’s amazing how they captured the essence of Snooty’s life in a single, perfect frame.

Late to this year’s Indie circuit by about seven months, Snooty and Goon embark on a voyage of platitudes and sentimentality with the good ship Murray. Can a little boy make us all feel ways about things again, or are we all too dead inside? It leans closer to the second one.

Click here to apply for sainthood!


Trailer Talk

Wild

The Imitation Game

Snooty and Goon: The Book of Life

Say hello to the hot new/annoyingly cumbersome cosplay of next year's SDCC.

Say hello to the awesome, annoyingly cumbersome cosplay of next year’s SDCC.

Come traipse through the terrifyingly wonderful journey of life and death and life again with Snooty and Goon! There are skeletons, and churros, and matadors, and banditos, and a surprising lack of language barriers.

Click here so you don’t die of boredom!


Trailer Talk

Big Hero 6

The Flash, supporter of the all taco diet: Goon Reviews Flash “Fastest Man Alive”

Go Team Angry Eyes!

Go Team Angry Eyes!

Mmm, Power Bars.  A superheros best friend.

We open like we did last time, with a voice over from Barry, usual stuff, I’m a hero, I do heroic stuff, blah blah blah, pretty usual fair.  Then things actually get going, we see that Barry is on his way to burning building, Cisco running ops from back at S.T.A.R. Labs.   Barry successfully pulls out the people stuck in the building and returns to base.  Caitlin is unhappy about this, thinking that Barry is being stupid and taking needless risks, that he is supposed to be focusing on the Meta-Humans and not the things that police should be handling.  Cisco also asks Barry if he is feeling okay, noticing some odd readings in his suit.  Barry tells him its nothing to worry about and speeds off to a crime scene at a gun store.  Thawne pulls security camera footage which shows the crime was done by one person, but Barry finds foot prints for six different men, all of them of the same shoe size.  Joe is quick to figure out what Barry has been up too, and comes down hard on him.  He tells Barry that he isn’t a hero and shouldn’t be involving himself in situations that the police should be handling.  Back at his lab, Barry is hard at work when Iris comes in.  At Barry’s insistence she took a journalism course (another nod to the characters comic book counterpart) and she has a report to write on a local scientist/CEO who is being given an award, Barry having promised to come along and translate the science talk.  At the ceremony masked gunmen storm in, planning to kill the guest of honor but just end up robbing the place since he had already left.  When a security guard tries to stop the thieves, they pull guns and shoot on the guard.  Barry springs into action and pulls the guard out of the way before giving chase, but passes out before he can catch them.  His plucky team of scientist friends discover that his metabolism is running faster than a normal persons, a side effect of his powers, and needs to up his food intake to counteract it.  Joe comes down hard on Barry again for putting himself in harms way, and possible revealing his powers to Iris.  We learn the group of gunmen is in fact just one guy that can clone himself, another Meta-Human affected by the accelerator explosion.  They discover that the killer is a former employee of the Simon Stagg, the CEO from before, and had stolen the baddies research and fired him.  Barry tries to stop him, and while Stagg is able to get away, Barry is unable to stop the baddie.  In light of his failure, and Joe’s lingering words, Barry chooses to walk away from the hero life, not believing that he is cut out for it.

"Can I have my lollipop now?" "No!"

“Can I have my lollipop now?”
“No!”

(despite Oliver’s pep talk last week)  Dr. Wells goes to Joe, telling him that the real reason Barry doesn’t have faith in himself is because Joe, the man who raised him and was a second father to him, doesn’t believe he can.  Seeing the error of his eyes, and fully realizing what all Barry can do, Joe goes to him and tells him to stop the baddie, that he is the only one.  Inspired by the words of his friend and father figure, and armed with Cisco’s new super power bar, Barry once again suits up and goes to be a hero.  With Caitlin’s discovery about how the clones only work when the Prime baddie is controlling them, Barry is able to isolate him and knock him out, after a pretty awesome fight scene.  We learn that the baddie is after revenge not because he was fired but because his wife died because Stagg stole his research.  He charges Barry, who dodges out of the way, and goes flying out the window.  Barry tries to save him, but the baddie lets go, refusing to be saved and falling to his death.   Dr. Wells goes to confront Stagg, who witnessed Barry in action, making plans to find a way to control Barry’s powers and probably do evil stuff with it.  Wells stabs him, dick move I know, stating that The Flash must be protected, casting more mystery on Well’s connection to the Scarlet Speedster and what his motivations are.  The episode closes out with Barry and Joe making amends in a rather touching scene, Barry telling Joe because of everything he has done for him over the years, he is in fact a father to him and Joe deciding to help Barry find his mother’s real killer and prove his father’s innocence.  We also have Iris finding a new goal, to learn as much about this mysterious “Red Streak” as possible.

Like Arrow, we are also treated to a flashback subplot revovling around young Barry and his relationship with Joe.  This doesn’t take place long after Barry goes to live with Joe and Iris, and still hurting and angry over his father’s imprisonment, is naturally rebellious against Joe.  He constantly is sneaking out to try and go to visit his father in prison, getting into fights and arguments with Joe when he is stopped.  There is a nice scene between young Barry and his dad (who I just learned is played by the same actor from the 90’s Flash series) but not much else happens with this story.

This show continues to be great.  This week we are treated to Barry’s first pot hole on his road to being hero, something that happens to every hero at some point.  This one is handled very well too.  Barry at the beginning is full on embracing his new found role as a hero, going out of his way save people, to be the hero he was always meant to be.  At the same time, Caitlin and Joe falling into the role of his detractors felt real and natural.  Joe is obviously worried about Barry, seeing him as a son and not wanting any harm to befall him.  He is also concerned about Iris, worried that she will figure out Barry’s secret and be placed in danger as well.  Another factor to this is that Joe is just flat out scared of Barry’s powers.  His normal world has been shattered by the reveal of Barry’s powers and the existence of Meta-Humans, he doesn’t know how to handle this new information and tries to bury it, make Barry stay in the role of the CSI tech because that is what he knows and his comfortable with.  Dr. Wells appearing to him was an amazing moment, giving Joe that outside viewpoint allowing him to see everything that Barry can do, all that he is capable of, and most important, just how much Barry values his advice.  Learning that he can’t hold his son back, he has to stand with him and support him.  In a word, it was amazing.

For Caitlin, its pretty obvious that she is starting to care for Barry as a friend, her anger over his placing himself in danger and not telling them about his dizzy spells evidence to that.   This all goes back to the death of her fiance Ronnie, she already lost one person she cared about (or did she?) and doesn’t want to lose another.  In the end, she is moved by Joe’s words just as much as Barry, realizing what Barry can do, and the amazing things he can do.

We have some subplots here, the big one focusing on Iris and new found passion for journalism, but this was really more for seeding future story lines than anything else.  It is mentioned but nothing much is done with it.  Overall, it is a nice bit to help break up the story and flesh out the character of Iris a bit more, but it is a minimal part of the episode and doesn’t really bring much  to the table.

The whole Barry and his metabolism thing, another small part, but was nice.  The ultra fast metabolism is a part of the Flash’s powers, and their touching on it was a nice point, mostly because it was used to minimally.  It was played up as a bigger problem than it was, just a fun thing to throw in to show us more of the effects of Barry’s super speed on how it is impacting his life.  The whole Flash specific power bar is something that is well integrated in Flash Lore, appearing several other media sources that contain the character.  I hope it is something kept around as a running thing in the background, Barry randomly munching on one at times, or going to Cisco to pick up more, small things like that can really help to expand on the universe.

Badass pose, effective even in a wheel chair.

Badass pose, effective even in a wheel chair.

Finally, Wells, what is up with that guy?  I am gonna start keeping a count of what we learn about him, and here is what he have so far:
A) He is lying about being paralyzed
B) He is from the future, or at the very least has some knowledge of it
C) It appears that he wants to protect Barry, but for what purpose we don’t know.

 

Overall, great episode, Barry’s self doubts were believable and it was nice to see how important the relationship between Barry and Joe is.  The other characters played smaller, but solid supporting roles, and we got some nice little bits that helped to flesh out the world a bit more, and give us some nice nods to different parts of Flash Lore.

Goon out.

The invisible man is real!: Goon Reviews Castle “Clear and Present Danger”

NATHAN FILLION, STANA KATIC

 

I am not certain if you can lock onto a video game avatar and trace it to where the user logged in, can someone please tell me if that is a thing?

Unlike other reviews I do, and Castle reviews in the past, I am changing things up.  Gonna spend less time going over the plot and more time talking about the stuff that happened.  The reason?  Each episode follows a pretty basic format, like most crime dramas, what sets it apart is the various little things they do to make it unique, like this episode, which we will start talking about right now.

Brief summary of our CoW. (has that caught on yet?  please tell me that has caught on)
Open on the victim, who is apparently killed by nothing.  Beckett and Castle find out he worked for an insurance company by day and hustled pool by night, which of course leads them to believe that his hustling caused his death.  They meet with the owner of a pool hall, who says that his marks wouldn’t be the type to seek revenge, and of course introduces our twist for the episode, that the victim got his kills by making deal with the devil.  Castle of course eats this up and concocts his wild theories, which are soon replaced by the belief the invisible man did it.  Beckett denies this until they are attacked by an unseen assailant in the victim’s apartment.  They are able to track down where the victim really works, a government facility working on cloaking technology.  They learn that the victim was unhappy with his work, thinking that no one should have the power of invisibility.  They believe that his friend and neighbor was the killer, but learn that he just used the stealth suit to help him cheat at pool, and commit a minor assault.  Castle and Beckett learn that the victim was basing his research on the camouflage ability of the cuttlefish, something his biologist girlfriend was working on.  She of course, is the killer.  She was enraged that the vic was just using her for her research and killed him in a fit of rage and hurt.

Right from the get go, this episode shows you that its going to be one of the weird ones that make Castle such a fun show to watch.  At the beginning the characters are true to form, Castle immediately diving into the strange and wondrous, while Beckett remains level headed and grounded.  However this does change and helps to set things out from other episodes of the show.  After the “ghost” attack, Beckett is fully pulled into the crazy of this episode, and its amazing. Its always fun to see both Castle and Beckett working on the same train of thought and embracing the wacky, granted its best when done only on occasion, but still super fun to watch.

The CoW itself, when just looking at the crime and the process to solve it, was pretty standard.  We had the usual run of clues, witnesses, and false leads that ultimately lead us to the confrontation in the last ten minutes with the real killer, and as always, it was the characters playing off each other that really made the show.  The personal lives of Castle and Beckett this week revolved around the fact that they hadn’t done the dirty deed since Castle went missing and was found.  This made for fun relationship moments between the two, the best part being midway through the episode when they try to get it on but the recent encounter with the invisible baddie leaves them shaken and uncomfortable.  So how do they solve this?  Castle rigs up an alarm system with dental floss and pots and pans.  Gotta be honest, it was funny, I laughed.  It showcased Castle’s quirkiness perfectly, and Beckett’s response, finding it to be a bit of turn on, shows just why she is with him and loves him, she likes the fun he brings to her life.

For Ryan and Esposito, they of course fall into their usual roles of helping to run down clues and leads, but their role in the case is limited this week.  Instead most of their focus is on their amusing subplot.  Ryan is acting odd, and Esposito accuses him of cheating on Jenny.  Ryan is quick to shoot down this theory, explaining that he has taken a night job as a security guard at a club to make extra money, babies being expensive and all that.  This was funny, as it was revealed that it is a male strip joint that Ryan works at.  So of course we get Esposito giving his friend all kinds of good natured crap, as any good friend would do.   While brief, it was funny to watch, and had an amusing pay off at the end when Ryan turned it around and started tormenting Esposito with the g-string he bought him as a joke.

Overall, it was a fun episode, but I have some problems with it.  It honestly felt just a little to sci-fi for me.  Castle is not afraid to flirt with the weird, its part of what gives the show its charm, but there is always a strong sense of reality to it.  The weird stuff that happens is either explained off in a perfectly rational way or just left vague to let the viewers have fun with it.  But in this case, a full on stealth suit like what he saw, it made the episode feel like something out of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.  or a spy show like Chuck.  Castle is at its best when it stays grounded in the real world, but has fun by channeling tropes or other genres, such as the vampire episodes in season two, or the time traveler episode from last season.

While far from a bad episodes, as there were a lot of laughs and the all the characters were true to form, it was just a little to out there to be a truly great episode.

Goon out.

I press the Emma button and she answers, usually: Goon Reviews OUaT “Rocky Road”

Once-Upon-A-Time-Rocky-Road-Recap-Review

Marian learned the hard way just how unpleasant a brain freeze is.  Sucks to be her I guess.

When last we left Anna, she was searching all over The Enchanted Forest to find help for her sister, and to do so, she was on her way to meet Rumpelstiltskin, but what about the sister she left behind?  This week we return to Arendale and see what Elsa and Kristoff are up too.  Surprise surprise, Elsa is worried sick over Anna.  The scouts that Elsa dispatched to find Anna have failed to do so, turning Elsa into a worried wreck.  She decides to go after Anna, but Kristoff talks her out of it, saying that she needs to stay behind because she is queen and can’t abandon Arendale. (basically the exact reason she used when Anna said they should go)  While not finding any sign of Anna, one of the scouts finds something even more important.  An army is camped out in the mountains, led by none other than Hans and his brothers.  Kristoff offers to go and gather intel, his knowledge of the mountains and experience in the wilderness allowing him to easily sneak close, but Elsa says no, saying that she doesn’t want any harm to befall him because it would upset Anna.  Kristoff, in true hero fashion, ignores this and sneaks away.  He returns with news that Hans is looking for a magic urn that can trap magic users like Elsa.  Knowing all the hidden routes and back trails through the mountains, Kristoff offers to go to the cave holding the urn and destroy it before Hans can get it, Elsa agrees, but states she shall accompany him.  They find the urn and Kristoff is all set to trash the thing, but writing appears on it that Elsa believes could help her find others with magic like hers.  Hans and a few of his bros show up and are able to get the drop on our heroic pair.  Elsa offers the urn to Hans in exchange for Kristoff’s life, the two having bonded on their little adventure through the mountains.  However, when Hans opens up the urn, instead of trapping Elsa, it frees the as of yet unnamed Snow Queen who freezes Hans on the spot.  In an interesting twist, we close out our flashback with the reveal that the Snow Queen is in fact Elsa’s aunt, gasp!

Our time in fairy tale land this week was actually quite enjoyable, primarily because we got some development in the relationship between Elsa and Kristoff.  In the season premier, it was strongly implied that Elsa, while not disliking Kristoff in any way, wasn’t all that close with him.  It seemed that if is was not for the fact that her sister was marrying him, she would have little, if anything, to do with him.  For Kristoff, he cared about Elsa, but honestly seemed to be intimated by her.  Seeing her as a queen rather then a friend or sister.  All that has changed now.  The two bonded, Elsa obviously seeing that Kristoff does in fact care about her, and considers her to  be important to him.  For Kristoff, he started to see Elsa as a person and not just a queen.  The two connected and a true friendship was formed between them, Elsa even defending Kristoff, willing to sacrifice her freedom for his safety, and not just because he’s her sister’s fiance.  I loved this, it was great.  It was a steady and natural progression, even if we didn’t see much of it.  It starts off with Elsa treating Kristoff much the same as she did in the premier, but after actually spending some time together one on one, they were able to connect in a real way.  I look forward to seeing where their friendship goes, and how they will overcome the obvious pitfalls along the way.  Best of all, was that nothing was dragged out, the story and characters are progressing at a decent pace and nothing felt like filler.  The one bad thing I can say about this was the whole Hans thing.  At the end of Frozen, Hans is sent back to his homeland in chains, the strong implication from the dialogue being that his brother’s wouldn’t be pleased with this actions, so I can’t help but wonder why they are now fully on board with the whole conquering Arendale thing, but this  is a question that probably won’t be answered as Hans is now a cave bound princesicle, don’t think there is gonna be any true love to melt him down.

Back in Storybrooke we open with the Hoods having a family day as Robin shows Marian around town.  They stop off for ice cream, and as we learned last week the shop is run by the Snow Queen, the frosty monarch places a curse on Marian’s cone.  The curse kicks in at a town meeting held by Snow, who is embracing her role as mayor of Storybrooke.  The meeting quickly spins out of control as everyone quickly plays the blame game and is just a few steps away from forming a lynch mob to hunt down Elsa,

I don't care if your spin off tanked, you can't just barge into our show!

I don’t care if your spin off tanked, you can’t just barge into our show!

blaming her for the ice wall around town , it doesn’t help that the curse on Marian kicks in at this point as well.  Emma tells Hook to take Elsa to the sheriff station to keep her safe while she and David set out to find the culprit and clear Elsa’s name.  The two go to Robin Hood’s camp, where they find a familiar face lurking around the tents.  Tis none other than Will Scarlet, last seen carousing around Wonderland with Alice.  It is not revealed how he got to Storybrooke, or where exactly in his time line this is taking place, but he does actually help.  He reveals that during the black out in the previous episode he broke into the ice cream shop and saw that none of the ice cream melted from the power outage.  The three go to the shop, Emma quickly noticing that there is nothing there that is actually keeping the ice cream from melting.  Will takes the opportunity to slip away, Emma and David putting a pin in the hunting him down to track down the frosty villain.  While this is happening, Hook and Elsa have decided to ignore Emma’s orders to stay out of sight and do their best to find whoever is keeping the ice wall up.  Elsa has taken a piece of Marian’s hair and the two go to see Gold, Hook getting him to help by threatening to tell Belle that he gave her a fake dagger.  Gold breaks down the magic in the hair and the two follow it back to Snow Queen, who is holding up in the forest next to what appears to be a statue of an ice palace.  The two confront the Snow Queen, important to note that Elsa has no memory of the Snow Queen or how she was trapped in the urn.  The Snow Queen tries to bring Elsa over to her side, telling her that its only a matter of time before everyone begins to see her as a monster, and claiming that it was Anna who trapped her in the urn.  Elsa doesn’t believe her (way to go Elsa!) so the Snow Queen takes more drastic measures, freezing Hook in place and conjuring up some ice spikes above him to impale him.  David and Emma show up, the Snow Queen being shocked that Emma was there and showing that she knows Emma in someway.  After Emma lays the magical smack down on the Snow Queen, driving her off, we get a couple of brief heart to hearts between Emma and Elsa and Emma and David.  We close out with Gold confronting the Snow Queen, their being some history between the two.  Gold points out the mysterious relationship between her and Emma and offers to help, she refuses, saying that she won’t make a deal with him, and walks off into the night.

This episode was not as good as the previous two, but was in no way a bad one.  We had some great scenes with Emma showing some self doubt, the events of the past two episodes weighing on her mind, but David is fast to swoop in and play the supporting father, telling her that there is no reason to doubt herself, that everyone goes through some rough patches and that she can’t let her it get her down.  I gotta be honest, any scene were we can see David and Snow dispensing some parental advice to Emma is always great to see, and really helps to show just how far Emma has come in her relationship with them, that she actually sees them as her parents and is willing to accept their help and guidance.

The Hook and Elsa scenes were a bit lackluster, it was nice to them actually doing something and not just sitting on the sidelines twiddling their thumbs, but there wasn’t anything overly great about these moments.  Hook confronting Gold and his fiddling with the cellphone were equal parts badass and amusing, but apart from that there scenes didn’t really do anything more than show Elsa being determined to find the cause of the ice wall and Hook being determined to help Emma.  Nothing  that stood out as great, but it was far from bad.

We had some brief subplots, and apart from Regina’s, they were pretty average.  Snow is adjusting to her role is mayor, trying to balance that out with being a mom, but unwilling to be apart from baby Neal for even a moment, citing that she doesn’t want to miss anything.  As Archie is quick to point out, this makes sense, she missed all of Emma’s life and doesn’t want to risk the same thing with this.  Archie dispenses some nice advice about the importance of space, but it is left unclear as to whether or not this sinks in with Snow.  There was nothing overly special with this, but that is because it was so brief.  If more time had been spent on it than just two short scenes it could have, time actually being given to better show Snow’s refusal to be apart from her son it would been better, but as it stands, it just fell flat.

In a shocking twist, Regina is actually honest with Henry about her plan to find the writer of the book and convince him to write her a happy ending.  I was honestly expecting Regina to keep this from everyone until it blew up in her face, always nice when I can be surprised.  In a turn that is no surprise, Henry immediately jumps on board with the plan, knowing that his mom isn’t the villain she used to be and is deserving of happiness.  Before to much more can happen, Robin shows up, asking Regina for help with Marian.  Regina does her best, but is unable to stop the curse, instead she removes Marian’s heart, leaving her alive but frozen solid.   Unlike the Snow story, this one was amazing, and really shows how far Regina has come.  She is quick to help Marian, not showing the slightest hint of reluctance or any possible joy over her condition.  Her only focus is on helping her, maybe because Robin asked for her help, of maybe because its just the right thing to do, either way it was amazing.  The biggest moment of this coming from reveal that Robin couldn’t use True Love’s kiss to save Marian because he is also in love with Regina.  Again I saw, amazing on so many levels. I was honestly concerned that they would use the return of Marian as an excuse to make Regina go bad again, or at least make her an antagonist.  Instead, she is becoming even more likable, and apart from being a bit snippy with Emma, she is showing to have no problem being around Snow and the others, even providing a joke about Snow’s taste in decorations for the Mayor’s Office.

Overall this was a good episode, but not great.  The main story was interesting to watch play out, and admittedly it was nice to see Will Scarlet again, he being the best part of the failed Wonderland spin off, but the main story was pretty average.  If they had taken more time to find the Snow Queen, stretched that a bit and give us more of Emma and David standing up for Elsa to the town, or the towns people actually trying something against Elsa instead of just blowing hot air it could have been a great and well done dramatic episode.  Instead we got a fairly average story with a some great character bits and jokes.  Still though, the story continues and my interest in it grows with it.  I look forward to seeing what comes next.

Goon out.