Category Archives: Flash

Top 10 TV Episodes of 2017

Rather than my usual top TV shows, I decided to do a top 10 episodes. This was for several reasons: firstly, a lot of my favourite shows have underperformed this year (House of Cards, Doctor Who, The Americans, The Flash), and a top 4 shows would be about the best I could manage, and secondly because many of those shows still had terrific episodes even if the overall season was a bit of a let-down. So without further ado, here’s my TV picks from 2017.

I’ve made any spoilers as minor as possible, but pretty much everything referenced here was either in trailers or has been general knowledge for at least 6 months.

10. World Enough and Time (Doctor Who, Series 10) Series 10 may have been a weak run for Doctor Who, but Steven Moffat’s writing, Capaldi and Mackie’s acting and Rachel Talalay’s direction was flawless throughout. World Enough and Time is up their with Moffat’s best: a dark, creepy haunting tale set on a spaceship stuck orbiting a black hole, causing time to run faster at one end than the other. Throw Missy, a classic monster and another returning (disguised) villain into the mix and you have a classic in the making. If only so much of it hadn’t been spoiled beforehand, this episode might have been a lot further up my list.

9. Season Finale (Robot Wars UK) The last series of Robot Wars had 1 or 2 duff episodes, but the finale was so spectacular that it has to get a place in my top 10. The ten way Robot Rumble to decide who got the coveted sixth spot in the final was perhaps the best 5 minutes of television this series has ever produced, and the sheer chaos of it all was wonderful to behold. The final rounds themselves weren’t bad either – with several surprises as Defending Champions Carbide were placed under extreme pressure and a few no-hopers (Nuts 2) actually acquitted themselves rather well.

8. Beyond the Wall (Game of Thrones, Season 7) Game of Thrones seventh season may have thrown out the careful plotting a bit too much for some fans, but the sheer spectacle of the thing and the wonderful array of character interactions (some we’d waited years to see) still made it insanely compelling viewing. This episode, where Jon Snow and a band of followers including the Brotherhood without banners, The Hound, Tormund, Jorah and Gendry, all venture North of the Wall to search for proof of the White Walkers existence, is on a scale worthy of Lord of the Rings. To say any more would spoil what’s so great about it, but the soundtrack, direction and spectacle were all second to none, even if the resolution is somewhat ludicrous.

7. The Gentle Art of Making Enemies (Gotham, Season 3) Gotham’s not had a great year by all accounts. While we’ve had several great villains truly come to the fore (Riddler, Ra’s al Ghul, Professor Pyg) there’s been too much slow-burning about Gotham, and too many characters have got short-shift. But every so often, the show delivers a real gem, and that’s exactly what we got in this, the third part of a trilogy marking Jerome’s return in season 3. Seeing teenage Bruce Wayne face off with the man Gotham fans are 99% sure is the future Joker was stunning television, and the whole Riddler-Penguin civil war wasn’t a bad B-Plot either. It has a lot of great Bruce and Jerome moments that I won’t spoil, and one hell of a cliffhanger too.

6. The Dragon and the Wolf (Game of Thrones, Season 7) Remember what I said about character interactions? Well the finale had a truck full of them. Whether it was the Hound and Brienne coming face-to-face again, Jon Snow and Daenerys finally meeting Cersei or Jaime finally, FINALLY seeing Cersei’s true colours, it was epic. Littlefinger’s plotline was a punch the air moment for every fan watching, and the final scene with the White Walkers sets up season 8 perfectly. A great finale, if not quite the best episode of the season…

5. Doomworld (Legends of Tomorrow, Season 2) – I would never have expected Legends of Tomorrow, the most ridiculous Superhero Show on TV (featuring time-travel, aliens, mythology etc.) to also have been the best and most consistent one in 2017. But it was. Mainly because of its amazing season 2 plotline, which saw the superhero ensemble face-off with the Legion of Doom (featuring the Reverse-Flash, Dark Archer, Damien Darhk and Captain Cold – aka four of the Arrowverse’s best villains). Doomworld gave us a look at a future where the villains actually won, a rarity on any superhero show, and was a fabulous hour full of redemption stories, villainous one-liners and a kick-ass final battle scene. If season 3 lives up to this standard I won’t be complaining much.

4. Infantino Street (The Flash, Season 3) I’ll be honest, the Flash’s third season was terrible. The main plot didn’t work well and it largely squandered any goodwill left over from the excellent first one and a half seasons. Infantino Street was its sole knockout hit, the penultimate episode of the season, which featured the return of fan-favourite Leonard Snart and the villainous Savitar finally delivering on his potential. The ending scene is up their with the best Flash cliffhangers (and there are A LOT of good ones). Pity the producers ruined everything in the season finale, but in my view that doesn’t diminish this classic instalment. Let’s hope season 4 has more episodes like this.

3. Storm-y Weather (Orange is the New Black, Season 5) Orange is the New Black’s status as one of the all-time great Netflix shows remains untarnished (unlike House of Cards, for various reasons), and season five continuing the trend of a series that has actually got better year on year (how many shows can say that?!). Set over 3 days rather than several weeks a la previous series, season 5 gave us a gripping depiction of a prison riot and what happens when the inmates turn the tables on the awful prison officers. This episode (the finale) finally forced the prisoners (and bastard guardsman Piscatella) to face up to their actions and face the consequences. Filled with emotional performances, it confirms that this series really does have longeveity. The use of the ‘To Build a Home’ song over the last 5 mins really was something beautiful too.

2. Lian Yu (Arrow, Season 5) – Season Five finally broke the norm for Arrow finales (i.e. a yearly attack on Star City) and instead presented a much more personal, visceral conflict between Oliver Queen and Prometheus, leading to a monumental battle between both sides (including the whole of team Arrow, Black Siren and several recurring fan favourites). Even the flashbacks were great, as Oliver faced off with a brutal Russian terrorist (played menacingly by Dolph Lungren). Throw in a spectacle cliffhanger and this was by miles the best episode Arrow’s given us since Deathstroke unleashed his army in season 2. A truly terrific finale.

1. The Spoils of War (Game of Thrones, Season 7) – It had to be really. The Spoils of War is a contender for best Thrones episode of all time. It contains a lot of fan-favourite moments and a truly awesome battle scene. Arya training with Brienne is just the icing on the cake. The finale builds and builds to something truly special as we finally see just what those Dragons are really capable of… A masterpiece, and the best episode of TV I’ve seen in a long time.

And here’s my TV Awards for 2017

Best Actress: Melissa Benoist (Supergirl)
Best Actor: Nikolau Coster-Waldau (Jaime Lannister, Game of Thrones)
Best Supporting Actress: Michelle Gomez (Missy, Doctor Who)
Best Supporting Actor: Wentworth Miller (Snart, The Flash/Legends of Tomorrow)
Best TV Show: Game of Thrones/Orange is the New Black
Best Script: Steven Moffat (World Enough and Time, Doctor Who)
Best Director: Rachel Talalay (World Enough and Time, Doctor Who)
Best Special Effects: USS Callister (Black Mirror)
Best Composer: Blake Neely (Arrow, Flash, Supergirl, Legends of Tomorrow)
Best Villain(s): The Legion of Doom (Legends of Tomorrow)
Best Hero: Jon Snow (Game of Thrones)
Worst Actress: Sonequa Martin-Green (Star Trek Discovery)
Worst Actor: Doug Jones (Star Trek Discovery)
Worst Director: Charles Palmer (Oxygen, Doctor Who)
Worst TV Show: Star Trek Discovery
Worst Script: Aaron Helbing and Todd Helbing (Finish Line, The Flash)

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Top Ten: Arrow and Flash episodes!

DC is winning the TV war atm. Agents of Shield and Agent Carter simply haven’t matched the standards set by Season 2 of Arrow and Season 1 of Flash and with Supergirl and Legends of Tomorrow coming soon it’s only likely to get better from DC. To acknowledge this, here’s my top ten Flash/Arrow episodes!

Warning: Some Spoilers!

10. The Odyssey (Arrow Season 1) An episode that focused mainly on flashbacks to Oliver Queen and Slade Wilson joining forces in an attempt to escape from the island of Lian Yu, this remains a stand-out moment of season 1 and the best use of flashbacks on the show to date.

9. Al Saheem (Arrow Season 3) Oliver has turned to the dark side (or has he?) and his friends have to deal with the consequences as the league of Assassins arrives in Starling City to capture Ra’s al Ghul’s daughter Nyssa… Excellent for it’s unpredictably and for finally making the Hong Kong flashbacks in season 3 interesting and relevant to the main plot.

8. The Climb (Arrow Season 3) Oliver is forced to confront Ra’s al Ghul atop a mountain peak, leading to a massive cliffhanger… epic, season finale level quality and a great performance from Matt Nable as Ra’s – plus a jaw dropping final 5 minutes.

7. Sacrifice (Arrow Season 1 Finale) The Arrow faces a final battle with the Dark Archer as the undertaking begins and the plot to level part of Starling city nears completion. A shock character death and a last minute twist make this a great finale to cap Arrow’s first season.

6. Rogue Air (Flash Season 1) A mass ensemble of villains escaping and Firestorm, The Arrow and the Flash teaming up against the Reverse Flash? Great performances from Wentworth Miller and Tom Cavangh included. Pure comic-book fan-service but i loved every second of this episode.

5. Unthinkable (Arrow Season 2 Finale) The best finale from all 4 seasons of Arrow and Flash, this contains some great Oliver-Felicity moments, a epic fight in a tunnel with Deathstroke’s super-soldiers, a fun suicide squad cameo and a great flashback to Oliver’s battle with Slade 5 years previously. Everything a finale should have!

4. Out of Time (Flash Season 1) A mid-season episode that was a game changer in every way. A great turn as a villain from Liam McIntyre as Weather Wizard, the best Iris-Barry interaction of the series and THAT scene between Cisco and Dr. Wells… if you had any doubts about Flash’s quality this episode got rid of them permanently.

3. Deathstroke (Arrow Season 2) Arrow’s season 2 was one of the best TV seasons i’ve ever seen – the quality barely wavered for 23 episodes (all of which i would give at least 4 out of 5) – only Game of Thrones has had a run that good. Deathstroke was one of the highlights of season 2, a great main villain (despite being a somewhat minor character from the comics) and this episode was perfect as he made his move against Oliver Queen and built momentum which Arrow carried through all the way till the final showdown in ‘Unthinkable’, 5 episodes later.

2. The Trap (Flash Season 1) After discovering the Reverse Flash’s lair and seeing a glimpse of what the future holds for Barry, Team Flash attempt to trap the Reverse-Flash into confessing to the murder of Barry’s mother – only to find him yet again ten steps ahead of them. Season Finale worthy, this episode surprisingly surpassed the excellent out of time and remains the best episode of Flash so far.

1. Streets of Fire (Arrow Season 2) Following on from the multi-part cliffhanger to ‘City of Blood’ the opening ten minutes are something special. The return of a major villain from season 1 adds to the already high stakes, and Deathstroke’s super-soldiers attacking the city led to some great fight sequences. Unsurpassed by anything Arrow’s done since.