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The Flash hits its stride as secrets are spilled and new threats arise The Flash hits its stride as secrets are spilled and new threats arise

It’s the fastest sequel alive! Cicada II arrives even before the first Cicada has finished his run. I’d like to give The Flash credit for defying the formula and finally killing off the Big Bad before the end of the season, but I can’t really do that. Yes, by the end of “Time Bomb,” Orlin Dwyer is dead, but not before…

In its fourth season premiere, Billions presses the pause button on its central conflict In its fourth season premiere, Billions presses the pause button on its central conflict

When last we saw Chuck Rhoades and Bobby Axelrod, both were licking their wounds and plotting vengeance—but not against each other. After teaming up at the midway point, Chuck and Axe spent the rest of the third season in separate storylines, each pitted against a new threat paired with an old ally. In Chuck’s case,…

An eventful hour of The Flash can't quite close out the Cicada saga An eventful hour of The Flash can't quite close out the Cicada saga

Just when it appears the Cicada saga might finally be at an end, The Flash pulls the rug out from under us again. It’s not that much of a surprise, given that we got a glimpse of a potential future version of Grace-as-Cicada a few weeks ago, but the story isn’t over quite yet. If nothing else, however, we can hope the…

Gorilla Grodd and King Shark battle too briefly on The Flash Gorilla Grodd and King Shark battle too briefly on The Flash

The title doesn’t lie. This episode does eventually get around to giving us the promised bout we’ve been waiting for: King Shark vs. Gorilla Grodd. But for its first half, at least, what should be a respite from all things Cicada and a throwback to the Silver Age shenanigans that made us fall for The Flash in the…

XS plays Russian Doll as The Flash races through time loops XS plays Russian Doll as The Flash races through time loops

“Could we just have a do-over, please?”

The Flash turns off the power for a stripped-down hour of action and suspense The Flash turns off the power for a stripped-down hour of action and suspense

There’s been a noticeable absence of the Flash in recent episodes of The Flash, but “Goldfaced” takes that to a whole new level. Barry doesn’t make an appearance in costume until the last minute of the episode, and for most of the hour he doesn’t have his powers at all. That goes for Ralph as well, and the other meta-…

The Flash plays tricks with memory as another plan to defeat Cicada fizzles The Flash plays tricks with memory as another plan to defeat Cicada fizzles

“Memorabilia” is a relatively successful attempt at marrying convoluted comic-book physics with emotionally resonant storytelling. The workings of Sherloque’s Memory Machine may not be quite as sophisticated as those in Inception, but it’s still the sort of thing that the show wouldn’t have been able to pull of early…

Cicada remains the weak link on an otherwise solid outing of The Flash Cicada remains the weak link on an otherwise solid outing of The Flash

After a break dating back to before the “Elseworlds” crossover, Cicada is back at the center of the action this week. He remains a weak link, with a simplistic motivation and an even sketchier plan (basically just...kill all the metahumans, right?), but despite that, “Seeing Red” is a solid hour of The Flash. It’s got…

The Flash is sidelined as the supporting cast takes center stage The Flash is sidelined as the supporting cast takes center stage

The Flash returns from its winter hiatus with a rather subdued episode that at times plays more like a presentation on the topic of superhero ethics than a fully-realized hour of the show. One reason it feels a little off is that it’s strangely underpopulated; we know Joe is out of the picture because Jesse L. Martin…

The Flash swaps bodies with Green Arrow as the "Elseworlds" crossover begins The Flash swaps bodies with Green Arrow as the "Elseworlds" crossover begins

The annual crossover event is fun for what it is and also for what it isn’t—namely another chapter in the overlong arc of the season. Aside from a brief mention of Cicada, we get a respite from the ongoing storyline in favor of an enjoyable brand of comic-book gimmickry that can only be sustained for a brief burst of…

The Flash celebrates 100 episodes with a romp through the show's past The Flash celebrates 100 episodes with a romp through the show's past

The clip show is something of a lost art, although calling it an art is giving it way too much credit. Really it was a money-saving device through which TV producers squeezed out an extra episode by having the cast of a show accidentally lock themselves in the basement and kill time reminiscing about past exploits,…

Cicada's origin is revealed in a belated Thanksgiving episode of The Flash Cicada's origin is revealed in a belated Thanksgiving episode of The Flash

After last week’s episode devoted to Caitlin’s father issues, The Flash returns with an episode devoted to...everyone else’s father issues. Okay, so that’s an exaggeration, but dads who disappoint their daughters are all over this very special Thanksgiving episode. (Tangent: Something is wonky with the show’s…

Killer Frost returns with a new origin story on an listless outing of The Flash Killer Frost returns with a new origin story on an listless outing of The Flash

The disappearance of Killer Frost has been one of the less compelling running storylines this season, so it stands to reason that an episode focused on that plot strand would end up being a lethargic lull. It’s not that I don’t enjoy Danielle Panabaker’s work as Caitlin Snow’s alter ego; Killer Frost usually provides…

The Flash focuses on family drama but finds time for a creepy new foe The Flash focuses on family drama but finds time for a creepy new foe

Now that we’re well into the fifth season of The Flash, it’s getting much harder for the creative team to keep the one-off meta-of-the-week stories fresh. The Flash has always had one of the deeper benches in superhero comics as far as colorful villains are concerned, but we’re down to the C-listers now, and most of…

House Of Cards dies as it lived, in an avalanche of absurdity House Of Cards dies as it lived, in an avalanche of absurdity

Even by House Of Cards standards, this final season has been a weird one. Given the circumstances under which it was made, that was probably inevitable; either there would be no sixth season at all or it would be truncated and assembled in haste. The result is compromised, consisting of too much plot and not enough…

House Of Cards stalls for time it doesn't have left House Of Cards stalls for time it doesn't have left

“Chapter 72" opens with a time jump, one long enough for Doug Stamper to grow a bushy Beard of Sadness and for the world’s longest pregnancy to finally begin to show as Claire now boasts a noticeable baby bump. Stamper has taken a turn for the Shakespearean, muttering monologues as he digs up a grave in the desert.…

Claire settles all family business on a murderous House Of Cards  Claire settles all family business on a murderous House Of Cards 

Claire’s choice of movie viewing a few episodes ago and the Gothic horror overtones to the soundtrack music of late have prepared for this moment: the spawn of Satan—or of Frank and Claire Underwood, close enough—is being loosed upon this world to bring about the end times. Contrary to my prediction in the previous…

Claire makes her big move on a pivotal House Of Cards Claire makes her big move on a pivotal House Of Cards

Does Claire’s long con hold up to any scrutiny? Granted, this is House Of Cards, so plausibility is measured on a sliding scale, but it’s hard not to spot the flaws in Claire’s scheme even as it’s quite a bit of fun to watch it play out. (This show in a nutshell, really.) At the very least, it gives Robin Wright some…

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