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Roundtable Review: “Arrow,” Season 2

In Roundtable Review, two or more contributors review, pick apart, and critique those nerd properties that are just too big for one person to tackle — a comic book series, a television season, a movie trilogy, etc.

In our inaugural Roundtable Review, Tek and Dwight take a look back at the 23-episodes of Arrow, season two, examining the big plot points, the DC Universe connections, and the season’s major successes and minor failures.


Dwight Tejano

Damn, Arrow. Just… damn. After the events of last season’s “Sacrifice,” I had high hopes for Arrow’s sophomore season. When they announced that Manu Bennett, Colton Haynes, and Emily Bett Rickards were promoted to series regulars, my excitement for the new season hit fever pitch.

Now that the season has finished, I can comfortably say that it blew my expectations out of the water. I can’t think of a TV show in recent memory that truly maintained such a high level of quality (although not universally flawless) throughout each and every one of the season’s 23 episodes. The fact that it’s a superhero show only makes this more impressive, since it would have been easy to fall into certain tropes again and again. Instead, the writers and cast of the show chose to either subvert those expectations (the fact that the hero Oliver practically never has the upper hand against the villain Slade all season) or to lean into those expectations (Roy didn’t just go crazy, he went batshit insane) to avoid being dull.

Compared to its previous season, Arrow has been firing on all cylinders. Last year, Oliver (and, therefore, the show) was obsessed with crossing names off the list. That’s, arguably, a necessary evil, as the show undergoes the expositional growing pains of a brand new series, but I think most would agree that Arrow really took off during the latter half’s tete-a-tete with Malcolm Merlyn. This year, though, the writers capitalized on their strengths — focusing on the chess game between Team Arrow and Deathstroke to move the plot forward. Almost all of the events of the season tied in some way to the main conflict, expanding its overall scope and raising its overall stakes with each passing episode.

Hit the jump for the full roundtable review!

Hulu In Talks To Continue ‘Community’

Dust off the hashtag. The students of Greendale may be one step closer to fulfilling their promise of #SixSeasonsAndAMovie. Josef Adalian of Vulture.com has reported that Sony Pictures Television has been conversing with Hulu Plus about a potential future for Community. If all goes well, a 13-episode 6th season could

Back Of The Fridge: Warehouse Inventory #9 – The Final Snag

Sometimes, life takes over. We get it. Even though everyone is telling you that [insert movie/tv show/comic book/video game/other] is amazing and you’d love it, sometimes it just doesn’t make it on your plate at the time. It happens to us, too. Now we’re trying to fix that. “Back of the Fridge” is our occasionally-updated look back at the things we should have experienced when they first appeared, but missed along the way.

In “Warehouse Inventory,” Tek enters a world of Endless Wonder with Warehouse 13.


We’ve come to the end. I have to admit, I was floored when I learned that the final season of Warehouse 13 was going to be a mere 6 episodes. After a 9-month drought, I was hoping for a much more grand sendoff. However, the final episodes were not without merit. Our team of intrepid artifact hunters fought the good fight all the way to the end……a very emotional, yet appropriate end. But, let’s not get ahead of ourselves.

When we last left our heroes, Paracelsus (Anthony Head) had taken control of the Warehouse and the team was forced to abandon it, leaving only Claudia, the next Caretaker of the Warehouse, to defend it. Pretty simple. So, here. We. Go.

Season 5

Endless Terror

Claudia’s plan to defend home court from the inside appears to have backfired on her, resulting in Paracelsus taking control of her through her connection to the Warehouse. Clearly it’s up to Pete, Myka, Artie, and Steve to fight the good fight from outside. Incidentally, as Artie and Steve attempt to do just that, we are once again reminded of how hilarious the two of them are when their paired up. Artie throws out the grumpiness and Steve fires the snark right back. Fortunately, Myka’s return (we’ll get to that later) yields the answer to penetrating the Warehouse shield and taking the fight to Paracelsus. 

Even with the team on the right path to restoring the Warehouse, our persistant villain is one step ahead and finally figures out how to make an actual time machine as opposed to a Quantum Leap Accelerator device that merely sends your consciousness through time. We’ve now entered Back to the Future II territory, where the bad guy has altered the past and created a sinister present. Thankfully, this present, while militant, scary, and full of artifact-enhanced soldiers, allows for appearances for several familiar characters, including Dr. Vanessa (Lindsay Wagner), Hugo Miller (Rene Auberjonois), Abigail Chow (Kelly Hu), and even Benedict Valda (Mark Sheppard), who met his demise back in season 2. That’s the great thing about time travel; all it takes is a quick deviation in the timeline and BOOM! dead characters aren’t dead anymore. In fact, they can even come back as evil!

The time travel fun doesn’t stop there, though! Like Doc and Marty, Pete and Myka have to travel back in order to prevent the changes that altered the Warehouse and kept the immortal Paracelsus in charge for all those centuries. Traveling back to Warehouse 9 puts them face-to-face with a new guest, Lisa da Vinci, granddaughter of Leonardo, and portrayed by Lost alum and recent Once Upon A Time villainess, Rebecca Mader. We get yet another glimpse at a Warehouse of the past, which, once again, proves to be fascinating and amusing. With Lisa’s help, and the help of what appears to be the source of the purple goo, Pete and Myka prevent Paracelsus from changing history and restore the timeline. Whew! It’s hard to believe that this was all crammed into a one-hour episode.

We’re not done, though! There is the mystery of Claudia’s sister, which still has her mad at Artie, and just when you thought it was safe to go back into the Warehouse, Evil Valda survives the timeline change and heads to the Dead Agents Vault to grab his stuff. It looks like we have plenty to keep us busy in the remaining episodes.

Ok, personal gripe/addressing the elephant in the room. So, Myka’s cancer is just GONE?! All that buildup and all that drama for nothing? Heartstrings were pulled, on both sides of the screen, for pretty much the entirety of season 4 and they treat it like Bobby Ewing showing up in the shower. (Dallas. 1986. Ask your parents.) Hell, it drove Pete to essentially help Paracelsus follow through with his plan. All I’m saying is that it seemed like it was going to be a major plot point that wound up painting the writers into a corner they didn’t know how to get out of. Since this is the end, I’ll let it slide. There is plenty more on the horizon for the team to worry about. 

Pete-ism: “URANUS!”

The Flash Gets A Teaser

During the season 2 finale of Arrow on Wednesday night, The CW gave us a first look at their new superhero series, The Flash. Check it out below! It’s fitting to have Oliver Queen helping Barry get his start since the perpetually late CSI first appeared on Arrow earlier this

Back Of The Fridge: Warehouse Inventory #8

Sometimes, life takes over. We get it. Even though everyone is telling you that [insert movie/tv show/comic book/video game/other] is amazing and you’d love it, sometimes it just doesn’t make it on your plate at the time. It happens to us, too. Now we’re trying to fix that. “Back of the Fridge” is our occasionally-updated look back at the things we should have experienced when they first appeared, but missed along the way.

In “Warehouse Inventory,” Tek enters a world of Endless Wonder with Warehouse 13.


Season 4 (Part 2)

The Living and the Dead

Time to save the world…again. When the stakes are this high, you have to bring in some of your heavy hitters. Dr. Vanessa, James MacPherson, and Mrs. Frederic are all on hand, and no sooner do I say, “We haven’t seen Kate Mulgrew in a while”, viola, there she is. All we were missing was Hugo, Mr. Kosan, and H.G.

I must say, after all the buildup, the astrolabe/great evil arc wrapped up rather abruptly. I say that with hesitation, though, because at the same time, I don’t really know how else they would have resolved it all. At the very least, I expected it to go to the end of the season, but since season 4 is 20 episodes as opposed to the 12, 13, and 13 of seasons 1, 2, and 3, the arc did last as long as the previous ones. Even though the immediate crisis is over, we have a pair of new characters (villains?) on our doorstep. Looks like James Marsters’s Count is immortal after all, and even more mysterious is his rival, Charlotte Dupres. Well, with Brent Spiner’s role done, we need someone to carry us through the next 9 episodes. Actually…H.G. is still out there with the astrolabe. Maybe that story isn’t quite over.

And why are “inside the mind” episodes always on the regular set? It’s so convenient that mental pathways always resemble where you work. That’s kind of sad when you think about it…

Pete-ism: “It’s always ‘ultimately death.’ I mean, artifacts never release a plague of tickles or an epidemic of kittens.”

Parks and Rehabilitation

The healing process is in full swing as the team tries to help Artie get back to his life. He spends so much time sulking by himself, doing no good, but when he, Myka, and Steve have to do what they do best and wrangle an artifact, it’s a great moment that reminds both Artie and the viewer that this is his purpose, even though s**t happens in the process.

Once again, Pete and Claudia out in the field together provides a fun pairing. Pete’s ideas about park rangers and hippies keep him right on point.

Also, for someone who died, Leena still keeps making a decent amount of appearances.

Pete-ism: “He lied! He knows who Yogi Bear is! He’s a liar!”

‘Constantine’ Gets A Pickup & A Trailer!

In the wake of the announcements from Fox, the CW, and ABC regarding comic-based properties that will be arriving and returning to TV this fall, NBC refused to be left out. Constantine will bring John Constantine, the supernatural detective from the pages of Vertigo and DC Comics, to television screens this

‘Gotham’ Gets Picked Up!

The Batman prequel tv series, Gotham has officially been picked up by Fox! A full season is on the the way, but the number of episodes has not yet been revealed.  In addition to the announcement, an extended trailer has also bee released, showcasing the series cast and characters which

Back Of The Fridge: Warehouse Inventory #7

Sometimes, life takes over. We get it. Even though everyone is telling you that [insert movie/tv show/comic book/video game/other] is amazing and you’d love it, sometimes it just doesn’t make it on your plate at the time. It happens to us, too. Now we’re trying to fix that. “Back of the Fridge” is our occasionally-updated look back at the things we should have experienced when they first appeared, but missed along the way.

In “Warehouse Inventory,” Tek enters a world of Endless Wonder with Warehouse 13.


Season 4 (Part 1)

A New Hope

Pocket watch ex machina. If the Warehouse had stayed destroyed, I’m pretty sure the name of the show would have had to change. Thankfully, this was not the case. The hunt around the world for the artifact pieces to reverse time was pretty frantic. Every leg of the journey lost one of the team members, leaving only Artie in the end to not only save the Warehouse (and the world) but shoulder the consequences of doing so. We’re headed to some dark places. I got a vibe.

Star Trek: The Next Generation alum Brent Spiner was pretty wasted on this episode. All he did was prophesy that Artie would unleash evil upon the world. With the fresh departure of Claudia with the metronome in tow, her plan to resurrect Steve looks to be taking us to the aforementioned dark place.

Oh, and the title – Season 4, Episode 1, A New Hope, was not lost on this fan.

Pete-ism: “I like beavers. I’ll take Canada.”

An Evil Within

Ah, it looks like we haven’t seen the last of Brent after all. He is definitely the harbinger of this season’s threat/menace/villain. Why do Vatican representatives always make things ominous? Couple that with some Lovecraftian monsters courtesy of this week’s artifact and the frightening resurrection of Steve (the consequences of that won’t be pretty) and we have one of the darkest episodes to date. Also, I’m pretty sure it’s not going to get any better for the team.

Pete-ism: “Artie, are you dead? You did hear the word ‘dinner’ didn’t you?”

Back Of The Fridge: Warehouse Inventory #6

Sometimes, life takes over. We get it. Even though everyone is telling you that [insert movie/tv show/comic book/video game/other] is amazing and you’d love it, sometimes it just doesn’t make it on your plate at the time. It happens to us, too. Now we’re trying to fix that. “Back of the Fridge” is our occasionally-updated look back at the things we should have experienced when they first appeared, but missed along the way.

In “Warehouse Inventory,” Tek enters a world of Endless Wonder with Warehouse 13.


Season 3 (Part 2)

Past Imperfect

We finally delve deep enough into Myka’s past to fully close the door on the murder of her partner/lover. Myka went to a pretty dark place with this obsession eating away at her, but thankfully, Pete was there to ground her as she has done so many time for him.

Meanwhile, hilarity ensues at the Warehouse with Artie, Steve, and Claudia. The mind-reading fezzes are great, but I’m glad it finally led to the truth about FBI pain-in-the-ass Stukowski.

And what is up with the damn scarab? It’s been burrowing through the Warehouse for weeks! Is this leading to something?

Pete-ism: “It’s like having breakfast with my Aunt Jude and Uncle Pall Mall.”

The 40th Floor

Whoa! Heavy story episode!

Now we know that our faceless villain is after the Regents, but, by attacking the Regents, you attack the Warehouse. Home soil is threatened and we get to see scary Mrs. Frederic. That was a big ol’ “yikes.” We’ve seen hints of what she’s capable of in the past, but this was a whole new level. Mama Bear mode. Sadly, Steve wasn’t on board with her methods and is now on the outs. But, if we’ve learned anything, Warehouse agents don’t stay gone for long.

And, of course, the biggest gem to come out of the episode is not only the addition of Captain Janeway herself, but the revelation that Pete’s own mother is a Regent, and a very important one now that she has the Remati Shackle.

Personal note: I really hope the shadowed, wheelchair-bound villain isn’t Pete’s dad. No need to make this a total family affair.

Pete-ism: “Mom?!”

Back Of The Fridge: Warehouse Inventory #5

Sometimes, life takes over. We get it. Even though everyone is telling you that [insert movie/tv show/comic book/video game/other] is amazing and you’d love it, sometimes it just doesn’t make it on your plate at the time. It happens to us, too. Now we’re trying to fix that. “Back of the Fridge” is our occasionally-updated look back at the things we should have experienced when they first appeared, but missed along the way.

In “Warehouse Inventory,” Tek enters a world of Endless Wonder with Warehouse 13.


The 5th and final season of our beloved Warehouse 13 has begun airing on SyFy. It’s a bitter-sweet moment for fans of the show and a stark reminder to us at Open the Fridge that we left our readers hanging with our recaps of past seasons. So, as we get ready to dive back into the world of Endless Wonder one last time, come join us as we revist seasons 3 and 4.

Season 3 (Part 1)

The New Guy

New season! New character! Shawn…no…wait….AARON Ashmore joins up, even receiving a greeting from Claudia that mirror’s Artie’s welcome to Pete and Myka from the pilot. (What the hell does that electronic rod do anyway?!) The show has officially reached “break the fourth wall” status after Artie presents the Warehouse to Jinks. The grand, sweeping pullout shot begins, only to be interrupted and reversed, complete with the sound of rewinding tape, as Artie states, “Ok, that’s all we got time for!” Brilliant. I’m also glad my question about Warehouse 2 got answered as we leaned that the inventory has made its way to South Dakota. New toys to play with and threats to dodge!

And don’t forget, we have the Myka situation to resolve. You knew she couldn’t stay away. Just introduce a literary-based artifact and she’ll come-a-runnin’. When she finally did return, Artie’s simple reaction of  “Good” was the perfect line for Saul to deliver. Short, sweet, to the point, and pure Artie. 

Lastly, we have a delightful cliche of the shrouded villain who will doubtlessly be plaguing the team this season. Looking forward to that reveal.

Pete-ism: “I put on Abe Lincoln’s hat once and had an urge to free Mrs. Frederic. Don’t think that didn’t get me into trouble.”

Trials

The main story is about Myka’s readjustment to being a Warehouse agent, which begs the question: how long was she away? In real time between seasons it was 14 months, so if that’s the show’s timetable as well, it makes sense.

Claudia and Steve go through their own adjustment period as Claudia takes on the role of “Senior Agent” and Steve is partnered with her. I was worried Steve was going to develop into a love interest, which leaves poor Todd in the lurch, but the revelation that Jinks is gay to shoot that down was hilariously awkward.

While everyone is chasing cufflinks and knives, the standout moment of this episode was Eddie’s portrayal of 12-year-old Pete as he re-experiences the days following his father’s death and his fear that everyone around him is leaving. I’m so used to laughing at Eddie’s/Pete’s silly antics that this amazing moment caught me completely by surprise and truly emphasized how invested I’ve become in the Warehouse team – especially Pete as a kindred spirit. I hope Eddie’s at a con in the near future. I want to give him a high-five.

Pete-ism: “Myks, we’re double rainbow all the way.”