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TV Review

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Here I thought that little Arya Stark was finished. Well first, she isn’t little anymore. And secondly how stupid was I to think that killing Walder Frey alone would be enough? But what really sent a chill down my spine was when she told Frey’s widow to explain to everyone that Winter came for House Frey. And of course, that the North remembers.

After our required introduction featuring places such as Old Town, The Wall (of course) and the Twins, we are greeted with what at first appears to be a confusing icy depiction. And then the White Walker and the army of the dead appear behind a blizzard to reaffirm what Arya Stark had just said, and what every Sky poster has said since the countdown has begun.

Winter is Here.

In a meeting with the North Jon, proves to be a merciful ruler, but Sansa undermines him. Littlefinger stands at the edges of the meeting look shady as usual. A raven arrives commanding Jon Snow to come South to King’s Landing and bend the knee or ‘suffer the consequences of all traitors’.

Cersei stands on top of a giant map surveying the surroundings and her many enemies. “We’re the last Lannisters,” she proclaims. “The last ones that count.” She meets with none other than Euron Greyjoy to discuss a possible alliance. One that Cersei declines after being asked to be Euron’s bride. I have to say I kind of feel bad for Cersei. Only a little bit. But I mean, she got herself from one bad situation and has ended up in another bad situation. But the fact that she believes that her own son, Tommen, former King of the First Men and the Andals and all that, betrayed her is ludicrous. What was he supposed to do? I think that was Tommen’s only real moment of agency since he was crowned.

Euron comes across as more than a little crazy. He laughs at how Jamie killed Euron’s own family and he makes a jibe at Jamie’s one hand – of course. I don’t like him and I don’t trust him not to kill Cersei once the nuptials have ended.

We are shown Samwell Tarly’s sad little life which consists of — actually I’d rather not say because it’s just too sad. And disgusting. But for a brief moment we see the arm of a stone man who asks about the “Dragon Queen”, who could only be none other than Jorah Mormont. To say that the might hath fallen would be an understatement, except he wasn’t ever truly mighty. Maybe that one time he killed the blood rider of the Great Khal Drogo.

Arya travels south and is greeted by a small band of Lannister soldiers. One of them is none other than ED freaking SHEERAN!

It’s just The Hound’s luck that he ends up with a band of fire worshipers. I quickly surmised that he was back at the house of the people he had betrayed but only because I had rewatched a few seasons. I can’t imagine how terrible he must have felt for being right that they would be dead by Winter. I think the best part however was seeing Sandor Clegane’s face when he looked into the fire and for the first time realised that the White Walkers were real.

I wish I could saw that Dany’s scene was awe inspiring, but it wasn’t. Sure she was visiting her former home for the first time in years. I should have been moved, but after waiting 6 seasons for this woman to bring Westeros to their knees viewing an abandoned island isn’t poignant. It’s boring.

 

When we last left Barry Allen (Grant Gustin) he had ruined the entire timeline by saving his mother from the Reverse Flash. Cue the black out and gasps of fear.

picture from screencrush.com

Year, The Flash had really left us hanging there. If like me you had seen the Flashpoint Paradox animated movie, you were probably picturing something apocalyptic. Of course the TV version had to stay rather grounded in a reality familiar to the viewers so unfortunately we didn’t get to see any of other members of the Justice League. Instead what we got was a reality in which Irish West and Detective Joe West did not know Barry. This got rid of the whole brother/sister weirdness, but in this version of events Barry has been stalking Iris for a few months until he finally gets the nerve to ask her out. Ow, and he steals her purse to pretend she had dropped it. Did the director have to make Barry so disturbing?

Later we find out that Wally West is this timeline’s version of the Flash. Cue the Kid Flash jokes. Even stranger is that Cisco is a billionaire. I preferred him being a crime boss. It’s strange though that we had no Wells in this version of events. And Caitlin Snow is doing… something not as helpful as before. I mean she’s still a scientist, but it’s a different profession than before — something to do with eyes.

from wikipedia
from Wikipedia

Wally Wests rival is called The Rival… because he has no rival. Did the writers really think that through? I know, he’s a villain who was created in 1949 (Thank you, Wikipedia), but that doesn’t mean they have to keep the name. He also has by far the worst speedster suit. I like the colours, but the mask is just so odd.

the rival
picture from cinemablend.com

I think the most surprising that is embodied by a quote from Reverse Flash: “Who’s the villain now, Flash?”

After saving his mother from Eobard Thawne (Reverse Flash), Barry locks him up in an unbreakable cell. This added with Barry’s stalking really does make Barry look every inch the villain. He’s manufactured a whole reality to be as he always dreamed at the expense of everyone else’s happiness. Wally may have a better relationship with his sister and Cisco is stinking rich, but Detective West is an alcoholic who cares very little about his job. And there is the matter about Central City being rampaged by the Rival, a villain who ‘Kid’ Flash can’t seem to catch.

The ending the show is bit odd. Most everything seems to be back in its original state, but when Barry reunites with Wally and Joe he asks about Iris, and Joe seems very offended. My immediate reaction is ‘Is Iris dead? Estranged?’ I guess all will be clarified in Episode 2.

Overall I highly enjoyed this episode. I was afraid they would play out the strange alternate reality for the rest of the season. I do have a feeling though that if Iris is dead Barry will spend a long time trying to right whatever he and Reverse Flash screwed up.