Since 2015, we have been waiting to see the culmination of Marvel’s Netflix Series that started with Daredevil. The Defenders brings together the Daredevil, Jessica Jones, Luke Cage, and Iron Fist series in a crossover event with decent success. Serving mainly as a follow-up to Iron Fist, the first season of the crossover series was short in length, but I thought that was a good thing. It would be harder to drag a series like this out over 13 episodes. To start with the positives, I enjoyed the way the camera filters changed between the characters. We get the reds for Matt Murdock/Daredevil, the yellows for Luke Cage, the blues for Jessica Jones, and the greens for Danny Rand/Iron Fist. This also extends to the secondary characters from their respective shows and the clothing that they all wear. There was one scene that we thought would focus on Jessica Jones, but everything around her was red. Then we see Daredevil show up to help her out. This was a cue to let the audience know that she was not going to be the focus of the scene. The show also does a great job integrating the main and supporting characters from the other shows into this one. The first meeting of Danny and Luke is hilarious, but one must wonder why it took Danny so long to activate his Iron Fist ability. The other introductions are more fluid, and it made sense how they would bump into each other. The character growth was good and noticeable. Each of the important characters have learned from their past experiences, but some things that still haunt them. Becoming a team helps them going forward, similar to how forming the Avengers helped Tony Stark/Iron Man. The acting was great, overall, and I was surprised by how well done the fight choreography was. Especially, from Finn Jones, since this was lacking in Iron Fist. Now, to move on to the negatives, the show has a few issues. I mentioned that the shorter season was a good choice. However, I do wish the episodes were longer. An additional 20 minutes each would have been great. This would have allowed for them to get through the set up quicker and get into the action. In addition, the fact that they don’t mention the greater Marvel universe is a mistake, a mistake that has plagued all the Marvel Netflix series from the beginning. The Defenders has the least mentions of any of the other shows before it. There is one mention of the “incident” but nothing else. It is unclear how much time has passed since Avengers. People are shocked to hear about superheroes in a world where aliens attacked New York and an army of robots destroyed Sokovia! My point is that they either need to state that this is an elseworlds universe or start making more firm connections with a better sense of timeline in reference to the greater Marvel Cinematic Universe. Finding out more about The Hand was great. Seeing all the leaders unveiled and learning their backstory was interesting. However, overall, this was a lackluster group of villains for this show. I was very skeptical when Sigourney Weaver was cast as the main villain for the show because I didn’t think she would bring the right amount of evil to the role of Alexandra. Unfortunately, I was right. We see Elektra in the trailers and her parts in the show are fantastic. Élodie Yung brings back the same conflict and viciousness Elektra had in season two of Daredevil. She should have been the main focus of the show, and The Hand should have been left in the background. I give The Defenders season one a Good 4/5. They left many questions open for future exploration. I hope things are better by the time the studio makes season two.
What do you get when you combine Guardians of the Galaxy and Saw with Rick and Morty? “Vindicators 3: The Return of Worldender” is what you get. This episode was not what I expected and that’s a good thing. It starts out one way, changes halfway through, and ends with something totally unexpected. Morty is excited when he and Rick get a call to join the Vindicators on a mission. Rick quickly declines, but Morty invokes his right to choose one in every ten of their adventures. Something Rick agreed to in the season one episode “Meeseeks and Destroy”. The title of the episode comes from the fact that this is the third big Vindicators mission. Morty thinks it is the second, but soon finds out that they were passed over for the second mission due to Rick’s overwhelming personality. The great part about this episode is how it constantly spoofs the superhero movies, more specifically the Guardians of the Galaxy films. Rick alludes to the surprising success of the first film and how a sequel was not necessary. Then, later in the episode, he talks about how much lamer the Vindicators are the second time around. This is a nod to some critics thinking Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 being not as good as the first film. As the episode goes on we learn that Rick, while a member of the Vindicators, does not like them very much. He even has his own superhero name that perfectly matches his skillset. He wishes that his grandson looked up to him as he looks up to the other Vindicators. I love how this episode also sets up the fact that Rick and Morty actually go on numerous adventures and the episodes we see are only are only just a few of them. Morty pretty much knows Rick to a fault at this point and kind of saves the day just by knowing how messed up his grandfather’s thought process is. Apparently Rick has gotten Morty in many similar situations during his drunken blackouts. Sadly, during the course of the episode, Morty has to watch as his childhood heroes are broken down in front of him. Proving that he placed them on a pedestal when they aren’t all that special. It was almost if Rick was the Joker and the rest of the Vindicators were Harvey Dent. With just a little push he brought them down to his level of insanity. In the end, Rick’s numerous points are made and Morty becomes a little more depressed about the universe. I give “Vindicators 3: The Return of Worldender” a Good 4.6/5. There were a good few laughs to be had during this episode, especially when Rick breaks down how stupid each Vindicator’s names and powers are. Also it was nice seeing Revolio Clockberg Jr. aka Gearhead again as I thought he was dead.
Wow, this is the episode of Rick and Morty we have been waiting for. Ever since season 3 started back in April we’ve all been waiting to see “Pickle” Rick on screen. Now that I have seen the episode I can say that it did not disappoint! “Pickle Rick” shows us the Smith family, minus Jerry, going to therapy to find out the root of all of their issues. Rick gets out of the session by turning himself into a pickle. He set it up so that he could change back into a human as soon as the family left, but of course his plan is changed when Beth takes his serum with her to the therapy session. “Pickle Rick” was an overall great episode filled with action and comedy. Once again Rick proves how intelligent he is by surviving the day as an immobile pickle. While it is not explicitly stated, we are also enlightened to the fact that Rick needs adventure like its a drug. The writer of the episode, Jessica Gao, doesn’t go into detail exactly how he created all the things he did, but we get enough tidbits so that we can just go along on the adventure with him. We also get to learn more about Rick and Beth’s psyche through their interactions with their therapist and each other. This episode contains one of the few times we hear Rick praying to God to save his life. Yet, in the after credits stinger — which is a must watch — he once again goes back on his belief. This is a very interesting aspect of Rick’s character, as we really don’t know what he truly believes in. We are also reminded how little Rick cares about Beth, since he has infinite Beths to choose from. This ties back to Rick telling Morty in “Rickmancing the Stone” about how they have infinite Summers to choose from. This means technically everyone has infinite relatives in different dimensions. A fact that Rick accidentally let slip to his new friend Jaguar, who is voiced by the ever so cool Danny Trejo, and immediately retracted. Going back to Beth, we see how her relationship with her Rick affects her and her children. She knows that Rick doesn’t actually need her in his life, but hungers so much for his approval and respect. This clearly stems from him not being apart of her childhood. This may actually be true for every Beth in every timeline/dimension. She clearly needs therapy, but my not continue going. Morty and Summer understand this fact, but can’t do anything to change it. I give “Pickle Rick” a Superb 5/5. This episode was funny from start to finish. Clearly mimicking action movies such as Die Hard and Rambo.
Wow, four months later and we finally got to see what Rick, Morty, and Summer have been up to. “Rickmancing the Stone” picks up shortly after “The Rickshank Rickdemption” with Rick, Morty, and Summer returning immediately from one adventure to go on another. This episode is a clear spoof of the Mad Max franchise and Romancing the Stone, with the gang journeying to a dimension populated by murderous, cannibalistic, biker gangs. Spoofs are not new to the series, as they have spoofed movies before, including: Jurassic Park, A Nightmare on Elm Street, and Inception. The show itself is a lose spoof of Back to the Future. The “Mad Max” world however was drawn with greater imagination than the others as each of the background characters look different and unique. I enjoyed the straightforward storyline of this episode and how it dealt with how each member of the Smith family tries to move forward. This allows us to relate more to the characters before the season goes off on a tangent, as they usually do. While in this “Mad Max” dimension we get to see how the divorce of Beth and Jerry affects the rest of the family. While Morty is very upset and angry about the divorce, Summer is unfeeling, repressing any emotion about the matter. Rick is clearly happy to have Jerry gone, but Beth isn’t sure she made the right decision. Unfortunately, Jerry got the short end of the stick this episode, as we did not see much of him, but when we did I couldn’t help but laugh at his misery. The episode did not veer off to far from the usual craziness of the show, but was clearly milder than others. In a sense, it was a satire of how families deal with divorce in today’s society and will probably be the underlying story for most of this season. The main focus of the episode was Summer as she is officially a part of the “Rick and Morty” group now. I have a feeling this trend of her inclusion on adventures will continue throughout the rest of the season as well. I did notice at one point in this episode that Rick still cares for Morty more than Summer, as he is willing to leave Summer behind in one instance, reminding Morty that he has infinite Summers to chose from. Given that the name of the show hasn’t changed to “Rick, Morty, and Summer”, this makes perfect sense for the series to remind us of that fact. I only wish we got to see more of Beth, Jerry, and the robots Rick left behind to impersonate him and the kids. Hopefully we get to see them again before the season ends. I give “Rickmancing the Stone” an Average 3.8/5. Also wait to watch the stinger after the credits. In my opinion it is one of the funniest scenes in the entire episode.
I know I’m late as this episode aired on April Fools Day 2017, but I feel its time to review it as the third season will be starting in a few weeks. With that being said this review will contain mild (SPOILERS) so reader beware. Lets just start with how amazing “The Rickshank Rickdemption” is as a whole! Picking up shortly after “The Wedding Squanchers” (RIP Birdperson) we see Rick being interrogated in the Galactic Federation prison by Cornvelious Daniel, voiced so wonderfully by Nathan Fillion. The Galactic Federation is using a machine called the Brainalyzer to send Daniel inside Rick’s brain to gather information about Rick’s Portal Gun. This all takes place hilariously in a visualization of Shoney’s. Rick however sees through the illusion, even commenting on how the Brainalyzer was a series 9000 and claiming that the “cheap alien fucks didn’t think he was worth their best equipment!” We also get to see how things are going with the Smiths. Some are adjusting better than others on an Earth run by the Galactic Federation, with Jerry and Morty dealing with the situation and Beth and Summer not too happy about it. From here the episode takes us on many twists and turns as Rick and Cornvelious delve deeper into Rick’s mind as he tries to get Rick to tell him the formula for his Portal Gun and Morty and Summer pay a visit to Morty’s original home in Dimension C-137. Seeing Summer meet Summer C-137 aka Hunger Games Summer was just perfect. All of this leads to Rick’s amazing escape allowing him to take down the Galactic Federation and The Council of Ricks. All around this episode was Superb. It proved once and for all that Rick C-137 is the smartest being in the universe, even possibly smarter than all the other Ricks. All of the jokes landed and it got me excited for the rest of the season! In true fashion this episode wrapped up previous storylines while opening up an infinite possibility of future storylines. Rick does advise Morty in the end that this will be the darkest year of their adventures. Here’s to hoping he’s right! I give “The Rickshank Rickdemption” a Superb 5/5! Hopefully McDonald’s eventually brings back a special version of the Mulan Szechuan Sauce for us to enjoy.
Rick and Morty Season 3 begins July 30th at 11:30 pm ET.
Guys I am so happy to be back! I have been itching to review something for a long time. Now that Korra is back on the air I can do just that. This is my first triple review so I am super pumped! Let me start by saying that these episodes were down right amazing. The animation has improved even more and the pacing is great. These episodes flowed so fluidly that my roommate didn’t even realize that the second one had begun airing. The story picks up right a few weeks after Vaatu’s defeat. Korra has allowed the spirit portals to remain open causing spirit vines to take over most of republic city. The public does not like this and Korra is steady trying to find a viable solution. Also as an effect of Korra leaving the portals open random citizens around the world have become Airbenders. The first one shown is Tenzin’s older brother Bumi. I have to say that this is a great twist that should make for an interesting season. Hopefully we find out why these citizens are gaining Airbending abilities as I thought you could only gain that ability from a lion-turtle. The overall plot seems to be focused on gathering the new Airbenders so that they can train them and rebuild and refill the air temples. So far they are failing miserably. The interesting side stories that these episodes provided include Mako and Bolin finding out they have family in Ba Sing Se, the Earth Queen forcefully kidnapping new Airbenders to build an army, Korra and Asami bonding over their failed relationships with Mako, and a new enemy named Zaheer who aims to take out both the White Lotus and the Avatar with his newly acquired Airbending abilities. The latter is the most interesting of all as he was being held by the White Lotus for his criminal past. What he did or who he is remains a mystery for now. Strangely enough he already has mastery over his Airbending abilities and knowledge of Airbender history and mythology. The team he is building looks quite formidable. My favorite is the arm less Waterbender Ming-Hua. She’s not really armless as she uses her bending to create whip like arms in their stead. He also has an Earthbender named Ghazan who is proficient in magma bending and a Firebender named P’Li who uses combustion. They were all named by Zuko as deadly assassins who could defeat any bender on their own. Together they may be unstoppable. Also, yes Lord Zuko is back and riding a Dragon. Along with Zuko; the twins Desna and Eska are back and seem to be the chiefs of the Northern Water Tribe. This is also strange as I’m sure their mother should be the one in charge. I give “A Breathe of Fresh Air”, “Rebirth”, and “The Earth Queen” a Superb 5/5! An evil Airbender is just what this series needed to take it to the next level!
Now here was some excitement that I was waiting for. The finale for this season held no punches and took us where we didn’t want to go. Watching Raava get ripped from Korra’s body was breathtaking as I did not know it was possible. I thought once Connected permanently meant just that. The fan service aspect of the episode indeed came from the Aang siblings finding General Zhao in the Fog of Lost Souls. It was funny watching him mistake Tenzin for Aang and trying to take him out. Nonetheless there was a sweet moment here as the siblings were separated and we learned each of their deepest fears. Cannibals Bumi, really? Tenzin finally accepted that he will never be like his father and the fog lets him, his siblings, and his daughter go. After this you feel like the day is about to be saved, but that was far from the case. After Raava was ripped from Korra she was destroyed, thus ending the Avatar Cycle and severing Korra’s connection with her past lives. Seeing the sadness in her eyes when she thought she was the last Avatar was so emotional. I felt the weight of her feelings and for a moment I thought this was a dark turn for the show. She and the gang go to the Tree of Time where Tenzin tells her of it’s significance. On a side note I would like to know who these ancients are as they clearly existed before Wan’s time. Maybe the next show should deal with them? Now what came next was very cartoonish indeed, but I was okay with it. A fight between two giant spirits was silly, but since young kids still watch this show I guess they have to appease them too. Watching Eska and Desna join our heroes is something I have been waiting for all season. Their uniform bending was so cool and I can’t wait to see them again next season. The ending was also bitter sweet for me. Watching Korra defeat Unalaq with the move that he taught her was great, it was delicious irony. Yet when Korra left the spirit portals open I thought it was the dumbest thing ever. Clearly humans and spirits should not live together. we saw that this doesn’t work as with in Avatar Wan’s time. I by doing this she might as well had let Unalaq complete his plan. Oh well I feel like the next season will deal with the ramifications of Korra’s decision. I hope there is some super ancient evil in the spirit world that has been waiting to escape and Korra has given it the chance. More questions that arise are; if the Spirit World is full of human spirits too? Will Korra ever get reunited with her past lives? Will Asami ever get the happiness she wants? Who’s the new king of the Northern Water Tribe? Only time will tell I suppose. I give “Darkness Falls” and “Light in the Dark” a Good 4.75/5! They should have President Obama voice a character next season since the title of Book Three is “Change”! #ObamaAvatar
Oh behold, Vaatu is free from his imprisonment. I believe we all saw this coming from a mile away. “Harmonic Convergence” was an episode full of battle and excitement. Their raid on the South Pole was exciting and I have to admit that I wasn’t expecting them to fail. Yet they did and it was up to one of my favorite characters to save the day. Bumi was great in every way and watching him luckily save everybody was fun to watch. It was nice seeing the day be saved by someone who couldn’t bend. That’s what I thought was great about season one. There were non-benders who could fight on par with benders. We need more of that next season, just so we know that the humans don’t need bending to be powerful. Aside from that I wish the episode had more drama to it. I wish we saw more characters from throughout the season and how they are dealing with the upcoming threat. With Vaatu now free when can only hope that he is captured again this season. Although I personally would love if he weren’t defeated until the end of the third season. I give “Harmonic Convergence” a Good 4/5! Bumi is awesome, nuff said!
Oh Varrick, how can we not love you. He is an interesting character to say the least, but the way they spun his villainy in this episode was hilarious. As it turns out he was the bad guy, but was he really bad. In the end he was just trying to get the President Raiko to get Republic City to enter the Water Tribe Civil War. His actions still ended up getting him thrown in jail. Nonetheless Mako was freed and was back with Asami or Korra or whatever. He really needs to make up his mind and stop playing these games. Poor Asami can’t take this much longer. Soon she’s just gonna leave the group. The best part of the episode was the ending fight between Unalaq and Tonraq. This was good waterbending, something that is very rare in this show. Though still its nothing compared to the first series, it was a good effort. I wish we could get more depth out of Unalaq though. Why does he hate his brother so much? What is driving him to be this way? I sense a Thor-Loki relationship here, but at least we knew why Loki disliked Thor. Hopefully he is fleshed out a little more before the end of the series. I give “Night of a Thousand Stars” a Good 4/5! I wish Zhu Li was the mastermind that I hoped for.
In the wake of Korra being average we get a fine new episode in the form of “A New Spiritual Age”. I have to say that I loved this episode personally and enjoyed it’s ties to the original series. This episode has Korra and Jinora wandering around the spirit world looking for the portals so that they can keep them closed. The spirit world looked beautiful and full of life. I never remember it looking that way when Aang went to visit. The highlight of this episode for me was having Korra revert to her younger self. I thoroughly enjoyed seeing her in the first episode and wish we had more flashbacks to her training as a child. I will believe everyone will agree in saying that it was awesome seeing Iroh again. He has found a home with the spirits and is enjoying his time. It would be nice to see what other people we can meet in the spirit world as I believe it is also the afterlife. I mean aren’t all the previous Avatar’s living there as well? I feel like this place is wondrous and could be the setting for a possible third season. Maybe there could be an evil even older than Vaatu trapped within the spirit world? Only time will tell I suppose. The ending was the perfect way to shift the tone for the next episode. With Jinora being trapped, how will they save her and defeat Unalaq? I’m sure these final few epsiodes will be cram packed with action and explainers for us fans. I give “A New Spiritual Age” a Superb 5/5! Seriously, where are all the other human spirits?