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Archer Review – An Old Foe Returns (11×04)

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Archer has made quite a few enemies over the years. When you’re a selfish, alcoholic super-spy going around foiling everyone’s plans that’s bound to happen, and no one has had their plans (and their life) foiled more than Barry. Barry, the former ODIN and KGB agent, has been Archer’s main rival from the beginning. The two have constantly butted heads with Archer inexplicably gaining the upper hand time and time again. It is safe to say the two men have a burning hatred for each other which makes it all the more surprising to see Barry casually chatting with Archer’s friends. Apparently, Barry has turned over a new leaf in Archer’s absence and has become a valued member of the team. Archer is not buying it, repeating “double-cross” at every point of Barry’s explanation of the plan.

While Archer, Barry, Lana, and Cyril leave for the mission, Mallory is trying out new butlers for Archer, putting them through a ringer of mud masks and drink refreshments in order to test their subservience. Pam and Cheryl aren’t convinced it’s enough. Cheryl insists they take these candidates to their breaking points to test their mettle with a dark anecdote about her former servants going postal (due to mistreatment by a young Cheryl in a hilarious recurring gag involving darts) Frankly, it’s not the worst idea as any butler serving Archer can expect to be routinely humiliated.

The gang continues to bicker as they drop into the mission area. Cyril is frustrated that Archer and now Barry don’t take him seriously as a leader or a human and tries to complain to Lana but it falls on deaf ears. Cyril, like Archer, burned quite a few bridges himself but doesn’t have Archers charisma or record of success to command even begrudging respect out of his comrades. It’s very amusing how hard Cyril has worked to become an elite spy and how quickly his confidence has been shattered by Archer’s mere presence. You can’t really blame them for tagging on him, as he can’t even keep one guard from escaping.

Archer and Barry start to bond over insulting Cyril, flaunting their complete disregard over the Agency’s no-kill rules. Archer tries to torpedo any goodwill after chopping off one of Barry’s hands to prevent a classic “which one do I shoot?” moment with the other Barry bots. Barry manages to shrug this painful moment off and reveals he visited Archer eight times while he was in his coma. How very sweet of him.

Cyril finally snaps after his leadership credentials come into question one too many times. He breaks the neck of a guard and blasts a chainsaw-wielding Barry away. Of course, Archer and Barry don’t give him any credit, instead remarking that it’s in poor taste to kill an unarmed man and now four girls are without their father. Cyril can’t catch a break.

The gang fights through a seemingly endless army of Barry Bots while Lana uploads a virus to disable them. She’s successful but a killer robot breaks through the wall pinning them down. The big reveal is that it’s Lana, not Barry, who’s doing the double-crossing. She’s willing to sacrifice their new ally to save her own hide and Archer is not having any of it. It seems like an unlikely friendship has blossomed between Barry and himself and results in a poignant moment as Archer sings in Spanish to his remains. It turns out, however, that Barry can transfer his consciousness over to other Barry Bots, effectively making him immortal and ending the episode on a happy note, at least for now.

The new season finally appears to be hitting its stride and settling into a good comedic rhythm. Archer was actually sympathetic in this episode although he continues to throw his coma in everyone’s face.  Barry and Archer have really fun chemistry together and while I assume they are setting him up to betray Archer, I hope they hold off as long as possible.

 

Favorite Moments-

  • “You know you got shot right?”
  • “For your information, this is a prior wound.”
  • “I hate him but he definitely got you. Lana, did you hear Barry get Cyril?”
  • “Time for daddy to give baby a spanking…No I don’t stand by that.”
  • Barry singing to an unconscious Archer and kissing him on the forehead is such a delightful throwaway gag. I really could see them being friends in a different life.
  • Archer throwing Cyril a candy bar after every insult is top tier Pavlovian humor. Watching Cyril smash a candy machine while crying over the picture of the guard’s daughters is so laughably pathetic,
  • It appears Mallory has found the perfect replacement for Woodhouse in Alister who is both expert sommelier and lemur rehabilitator.


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Only Murders in the Building Review – Framed (2×02)

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Only Murders in the Building Season 2 Episode 2 Recap Framed

Mrs. Gambolini needs to tell us everything she knows!

Only Murders in the Building Season 2 Episode 2 ended with the talking parrot dropping quite a cliffhanger: she knows “who did it.” Is the “it” she’s referring to Bunny’s death? If so, we need her to spill the tea! 

But that wasn’t the only jaw-dropping moment throughout the episode. As Charles, Oliver, and Mabel began to investigate Bunny’s death for the podcast in an attempt to clear their own names, they unraveled a mystery within a mystery with Charles Savage at the center of it all. 

When Mabel found Bunny impaled, she heard her say “savage,” which either referred to Charles or the painting that had his last name written on the back likely referring to the fact that Charles’ father was the subject in the pricy piece of Rose Cooper erotica that went missing and turned up in his apartment shortly after. 

After stating that the killer is likely in possession of the painting on the podcast, the trio knew they needed to get rid of the art so that they didn’t look like murderers, but by trying to sneak the painting back into Bunny’s apartment during a neighborly memorial for her, they simply managed to draw more attention to themselves.

Of course, the plan got totally botched forcing them to leave behind the painting in the dumpster, after which it ended up in Amy Schumer’s penthouse. Oliver learned that she wanted to turn the first season of the podcast into a movie starring in the role of Jan.

To be quite honest, Schumer’s addition might provide some slight comical relief, and I know she’s supposed to be over-exaggerated, but in comparison to the rest of the trio who are just naturally funny, it comes off too forced.  

The real treat was Leonora, Bunny’s mother, who arrived at the memorial declaring that the Rose Cooper painting belonged to her.

Leonora was a wild spirit who loved coconut liquor and could literally sniff out the killer… or, better yet, who wasn’t the killer. And Charles, Oliver, and Mabel were not killers — though, they did know something. I wish that held up with the police! 

She confided in Charles, and a heart-to-heart between the two tapped into some of his childhood trauma involving his father. The painting was such a distraction for him that it was nice he got some answers, even if they weren’t the ones he was looking for. 

Turns out, this whole time, he thought his father was an aspiring actor who could never land a role, but instead, his dad was paying off a bellhop to watch his son while he was stepping out on his wife with other women, including Rose Cooper and Leonora.

Rose’s story ended in a “mysterious death,” and though it’s unclear what actually happened to her, Charles recalls his father getting arrested outside of her apartment building. As he emerges from the building in a bloody tank, it’s a fair assumption that he was somehow involved with Rose’s death. That is unless Rose and Leonora are the same person. My gut tells me they might be. 

The fear and confusion on young Charles’ face is heartbreaking, but it also explains why he has held onto his dreams of living at the Arconia and acting for all these years. His whole life was based on a lie. 

 While none of this explains why Bunny was murdered outright, it does paint a deeper and more painful picture of Charles. It also connects him to Bunny more intimately as they may have been siblings this whole time! Leonora married a Folger, so it’s possible that Bunny was a love child between her and Charles’ father, but she kept it a secret from her husband. 

Charles may be the reason why they are all getting framed! 

Another character I’m not too keen about is Alice Bank, but I think that has to do more with my personal indifference towards Cara Delevigne than anything else because I don’t mind Mabel finding someone she connects with who also wants to help her work through her trauma and provide her an outlet from all this darkness.

I’m even rooting for Mabel to find love, so yeah, I just don’t feel the chemistry between Delevigne and Selena Gomez.

The episode also introduces us briefly to Nina Lin, the new board president, but we don’t know much about her aside from Howard’s interpretation that she’s even worse than Bunny was.

Other clues that will likely come into play at some point

  • The painting is a reproduction and not the original so either Bunny or the killer had it made. 
  • Ursula dumping a ton of paper into the dumpster. I’m not sure if there’s any significance, but it definitely seemed like she was trying to get rid of a trail.
  • Charles says his father died when he was young, but did he?
  • Why did Howard have a black eye? I don’t buy the cat story at all! 
  • Bunny’s grandfather was the architect of the Arconia, and he created a bunch of secret entrances and exits because he was a peeping tom. Men.. 

What did you think of the second episode? Do you have a theory? If so, drop it in the comments below!

Only Murders in the Building Season 2 Premiere Review – Bloody Mabel


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Superman & Lois

Superman & Lois Season Finale Review – Waiting for Superman (2×15)

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Superman & Lois Season 2 Finale Review Episode 15 Waiting for Superman S

Superman may have been rendered powerless, but it was never going to keep him down for long.

The world’s savior went to great lengths to restore his abilities on Superman & Lois Season 2 Episode 15 because, without him, Ally Alston and her lesser-half would have likely completed the merge and destroyed both worlds as we know it. 

Everyone did their best to save the planet, but no one was as powerful or as skilled as Superman.

Now, that’s not to say that they didn’t hold things down until he recharged either.

Hope is a powerful thing when you have nothing left. While it would have been easy for everyone to just give up and accept their fate, that’s not the kind of approach that creates heroes.

Tal decided to make up for all the damage that he did in the past — including his attempt to also destroy the world — by trying to save it this time.

When he quickly learned that he was foolish for thinking he could ever be a match for the all-powerful Ally, Jordan lent a hand and saved his life. And honestly, it was impressive considering Jordan is just coming into his powers. 

Nat and John Henry were also willing to sacrifice everything for the greater good as the former followed her father into the void to help stop Ally. 

Since John Henry’s message from the void came through a bit choppy, Nat didn’t realize that her father wanted her to bring X-K into the pod, so they improvised and depleted all the energy from their exosuits to power the pod and allow it to blow up Ally’s tether between world’s, which left them powerless. 

Thankfully, at that exact moment, Superman gained full power by throwing himself directly into the sun (talk about a sunburn) to recharge his cells.

It may have been an extreme measure, but it was once that effectively allowed him to save both worlds from Ally’s madness.

And everyone, even Ally’s devoted followers, were grateful for it.

There’s something so captivating about apocalyptic shows and storylines, and Superman & Lois approached it with a fresh take as we saw the worlds bleeding into each other. 

Lois was sadly pulled into the Bizarro world and never blipped out, which was terrifying and lonely. She encountered a few people along the way, including her father and Kyle, who all made it back to their worlds eventually. Kyle, in particular, felt as though this was karma for cheating on Lana and breaking up the family, which was heartbreaking. Yes, he may have made some bad choices, but no one deserves to be alone and scared.

I was worried that Lois would end up stranded in the Bizarro version of Smallville when she was standing on the street all alone, but thankfully, that wasn’t the case.

Once Superman regained his abilities, everything we back to normal.

Kyle, unfortunately, didn’t get his happy ending. When you’re on the verge of losing someone, it puts a lot of things into perspective. While Lana spent much of her “final moments” looking for Kyle, who blipped out into the other reality, it made her realize that she’s not over the hurt he caused her and likely never would be. Admittedly, I was a little stunned by this realization as I thought it would help them patch things up, but I acknowledge that Lana has enough self-respect to stand her ground and follow her gut.

Superman & Lois Season 2 Finale Review Episode 15 Waiting for Superman S

Superman & Lois — “Waiting for Superman” — Image Number: SML215a_0073r.jpg — Pictured: Wolé Parks as John Henry Irons — Photo: Bettina Strauss/The CW — © 2022 The CW Network, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

It would make it a lot easier to forgive Kyle and reconcile the family, but if she’s not ready to trust him, it won’t make either of them happy in the long run. Sometimes, there’s no going back to how things were, there’s just moving forward, and at least these two are mature enough to remain friends and co-parent. 

Superman’s identity is still the world’s biggest secret, but the circle of people who are privy to it has grown just a smidge. Of course, Lana and Sarah are both aware, but Lois also confided in Chrissy, who was completely floored by the realization. As a journalist, you’d think she would put two and two together or see the resemblance, but she was sure that Lois was kidding at first. 

The way she stared at Clark Kent after was hilarious. But I’m glad she’s in the circle of trust. After Lois visited the Bizarro world, we learned that Chrissy is a good person on every planet. She’s someone you can trust and confide in. Superman’s secret has come between her and Lois one too many times, and if they are going to work together, she deserves to know. Why is this the only moment that made me truly emotional?

I’m happy that the series arrived at the point where all the people that have always deserved to know the truth about Superman are finally clued in.

The world may have been ending, but it also gave Sarah a lot of time to process. When she finally had a moment to talk to Jordan about it, they both acknowledged that there wasn’t one issue that led to their failed romance — it was on both of them. Sarah never thought about Jordan’s feelings, while Jordan never shared his feelings with Sarah. They weren’t ready to give everything up just yet, but they were ready to press “reset” and start over. And opening up that line of communication will make a world of difference for them. Sarah won’t have to doubt if Jordan is telling her the truth, and he won’t have to hide who he is or what he’s doing anymore. I’m excited for what their future holds! I’m also happy Sarah acknowledged the weight of the secret that Jordan had to carry.

Post-Armageddon, everyone decided to catch a break. The Lane family patched things up, which was so awesome. They finally got their Lucy back — not brainwashed by Ally. I’m surprised Lucy didn’t want to see Ally one last time to chew her out, but it’s for the best. Lois made the visit instead simply to understand if Ally ever accomplished her goal of feeling complete. The two Ally’s informed her that they did not, but I’ll be honest, there was something eerie about that whole interaction. It seemed as though Lois was feeling empty and wanting answers as to how to fill the void, and when the two Ally’s held hands, it made me think there was yet another part of the plan that they hadn’t tried yet. 

Maybe I’m just being overly cautious about the whole situation because John Diggle arrived to introduce the next season’s new mystery/villain: Bruno Mannheim.

Burno is the Intergang crime boss and one of Superman’s enemies who dabbles in money launder and human trafficking. He’s also the man who killed this planet’s John Henry, and Diggle wants to know why.

There’s no better man for the job than John Henry! And after such a stellar season that really ramped things up in the final episode, I have full confidence in the writers for whatever they have planned next.

And it’s probably a good thing that Superman, clad in a hygge white chunky sweater, has rebuilt his fortress for his family. If this near-Armaggedon has taught us anything, it’s that dangers loom at every corner and they need to be able to find a place of solace, solitude, and safety.

Jordan needs somewhere to train, Jonathan deserves to get to know his grandmother and experience some of the super perks even without powers, and Lois, well, she deserves the world for enduring all that stress day-in-and-day-out. 

Other sweet moments:

  • Nat referring to Jon and Jordan as her “brothers” was everything. She finally found a place for herself here, and I hope the series hones in on this special relationship because Nat and John feel like natural inclusions in the superfamily. 
  • Tal turning over a new leaf, thanking and apologizing by getting the boys new trucks that Clark was absolutely against, and Tal looking for his wife in the other world. 
  • Also, Tal and Clark’s brotherly moment. The brother’s bond is strong! I’ll miss him!

What did you think of the season finale? Are you happy the Ally Alston storyline was put to rest? Do you think it is the last we’ve seen of her?

Share your thoughts and comments below — and I’ll see you all back here next season!

Superman & Lois Review – Worlds War Bizarre (2×14)


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Only Murders in the Building

Only Murders in the Building Season 2 Premiere Review – Bloody Mabel

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Only Murders in the Building Season 2 Premiere - Bloody Mabel

They will not go gently or quietly into the night. 

The season 2 premiere of Only Murders in the Building was chock full of everything that made the first series such a smash success — witty one-liners, a mysterious death, an array of suspects, and three determined Arconia residents willing to stop at nothing until they figured out the case and made a killer podcast along the way.

Of course, I’m talking about Mabel, Oliver, and Charles, though, when the series kicks off, their mugshots are splashed smack dab across every paper in town. 

The tables have turned as they are now the suspects in the murder investigation of Bunny, who was found stabbed to death (eight times, might I add) with a knitting needle/knife.

The bottom line is that someone is framing our trio, and it’s earned Mabel, who appeared on the front pages in a bloody white shirt, the nickname “Bloody Mabel.” Say that three times into a mirror. Just kidding, don’t. I don’t want to be held accountable for whatever happens.

Initially, Mabel heeds Detective Williams’ warning to get a hobby — any other hobby — than solving this mystery as they are still person’s of interest, but it doesn’t take long for the threesome to get all wrapped up in the cozy crime-solving.

Cinda Canning’s podcast, Only Murderers in the Building, actually pushes them to pursue their own investigation in order to clear their names. After all, they’ve done this before and solved a murder that the police weren’t even close to untangling. 

And, not to mention, they all have plans for a future that doesn’t involve sitting behind bars.

Charles is offered a role in the reboot of Brazzos, only this time, he’s tapped for Uncle Brazzo’s, a sidekick to his niece, a refresh of the beloved character. He’s not totally pleased with it, but it is a series regular role, so he’s optimistic about it. 

Oliver continues to live in the whimsical world he’s created for himself. He’s the only one rejoicing at all the paparazzi attention post-arrest, and when he meets Amy Schumer (starring as Amy Schumer), he’s totally on board to talk about selling the rights to his podcast so she can turn it into a streaming show. Also, I don’t want to point fingers immediately, but there’s something really suspicious about Amy, right? Like the fact that she likes murder and calls it cozy? Let’s remember — everyone and anyone you meet is a suspect on this show. 

And then there’s Mabel, who is trying desperately to have a life away from death. The poor girl has been through enough. Bunny literally died in her hands. There’s trauma there, which is why her memory is so hazy from that night. 

As she begins to process, she starts to remember small things, including the fact that Bunny said two things to her before she succumbed to her injuries: “14” and “savage.”

None of those things make much sense out of context, but it would be wise to remember them as they will likely come into play the more that the trio investigates. 

Mabel also has a desire to tap into her artistry, which is a welcome change of pace for her considering she was all about laying low last season. 

When Alice Banks (Cara Delevigne) reaches out as a fan of Mabel’s mural and invites her to a gallery opening, Mabel quickly jumps on the opportunity. 

But — hold on. While we’re all eager for Mabel to have a friend and close confidante around, again, everyone is a suspect. 

Isn’t it a little convenient that Alice reaches out to capitalize on Mabel’s newfound internet fame? She has to know that if Mabel shows up at the gallery, it’ll be all over social media in minutes. 

There’s also the fact that when Charles, Oliver, and Mabel break into Bunny’s apartment (only because they heard her voice, which turned out to be her pet parrot, who will likely provide some clarity on what transpired the night of Bunny’s death, I’m sure), they overhear Uma and Howard discuss a painting that was stolen from her apartment that’s worth millions. 

It can’t be a coincidence that an art gallery owner expresses interest in Mabel around the same time she’s framed for the murder of the owner of a pricy piece of art. There’s also the note Oliver finds informing Bunny that someone wanted the painting. Could it be Alice? Or Amy? Or Cinda? Everyone has something to gain from keeping this murder investigation going! 

The trio eventually escapes via a secret, hidden elevator in Bunny’s closet without getting caught sneaking around the dead woman’s apartment, which would have made them guilty, but you’ve got to wonder why they didn’t even hesitate to take an old and unknown elevator down to an unknown exit? What if it got stuck? Am I being too practical? 

The hidden elevator is a surprising development, sure, but it likely isn’t the only hidden entryway/exit the Arconia has to offer. That place is a maze, and those residents know way more than they are letting on. 

And it would explain how so many things go unnoticed. Like the fact that the expensive art piece ended up hanging on Charles’ apartment wall. 

Why does the killer want to frame him? And furthermore, why did Bunny have a nude painting of Charles’ father in her house? Despite Bunny’s death, we’re going to find out way more about her, and hopefully, many of the other residents. There are so many characters living in that massive structure, it’s time to get to know them on a deeper level. 

I have a lot of questions after this episode, but that only means it was an intriguing and captivating installment in yet another promising and twisted season of this refreshing murder mystery series. 

What did you think of the episode? Weigh in below with thoughts, comments, and theories! 


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