Supergirl S1E5 - "How Does She Do It?" Review


In a turn of events, Supergirl is airing the episode originally slated for last week, this week. “How Does She Do It?” is title of this week’s episode and it focuses on Kara’s need to have it all. A spy drone stop’s Kara’s flight around the city and at first, she thinks it’s the DEO, but I suspect it could be Maxwell Lord, because, “previously on”. Kara and Alex are suspicious of Henshaw, but Alex believes he’s trustworthy.

Cat won a prestigious award (beating out Lois Lane for the first time apparently) and needs someone to watch her son, to which Kara volunteers. Meanwhile, James and Lucy are becoming reacquainted and it’s obvious that things didn’t end smoothly between the two. Lucy is still invested in the relationship, but I’m getting the feeling that James has moved on (and considering last week’s episode takes place AFTER this one, the feeling won’t change much). He’s totally into Kara and Kara is totally into him. And, it’s totally adorable. (I like Lucy, however, so I really don’t want this to be a love triangle thing).

While James and Kara are having a conversation, something interrupts them. Kara uses her X-Ray vision to see that it was a bomb. She uses her abilities to diffuse the situation. Back at the DEO, the team is trying to figure out who planted the bomb. Alex discovers that both the bomb and the spy drone from earlier came from the same place: Lord Technologies. And who’s the head of Lord Technologies? Maxwell Lord, of course! See, I was right! Henshaw and Alex pay Lord a visit (posing as the FBI) and he insists he had nothing to do with the bombing…of his own lab (it was a subsidiary or something).

Alex and Kara have an awesome sister moment where they talk about James and Friendzoning, but Cat calls Kara reminding her about her son, Carter. Kara rushes to the school just in time to pick up Carter. Carter is terribly shy, but lights up at news of Supergirl. It’s very endearing to see a young boy take an interest in a female superhero, without sexualizing her. He truly seems to idolize her. Kara and James have a “moment”; seems she’s trying to take her sister’s advice.

Lord and Alex are sort of having a moment? I thought he and Cat had some history, but I’m feeling something between these two as they feel each other out. Lord is not a trusting man, and Alex is a damn good liar. There’s another bomb in Lord Technologies and Lord tries to disarm it, but fails. Alex calls in Supergirl and she manages to get the bomb away from the city. Kara wakes up at the DEO and it looks like Henshaw’s red eyes glow again (what does it all mean Basil?!), but when she’s fully awake, he seems normal. It looks like they find the perpetrator, Ethan Knox, a former Lord Technologies employee. Kara wants to take care of everything, but Alex believes she’s spreading herself too thin.

While getting Carter something to eat, Kara runs into Lucy. They have a very good conversation. It’s not claws or anything. Lucy thinks James might be into Supergirl because he prioritized Superman over her. In her mind, he left the relationship well before she ever did. Lucy might be beautiful and seemingly has it all but she’s incredibly insecure when it comes to Supergirl. This was the interaction I was anticipating and I really loved how they handled it. Lucy seems to like Kara and Kara has no ill-will towards Lucy. Anyway, Kara relays all this to James who insists he’s moved on and doesn’t want to go back. Lucy comes back and says her goodbyes, but not before kissing James. Um, so while I think James and Kara have made chemistry, I’m also kind of liking the dynamic between Lucy and James. And I like that Lucy said she liked Kara.

Carter left his mother’s office to go to Lord’s unveiling of his super train. There was supposed to be a bomb at this event, but the DEO discovered a bomb at the airport. Who’s at the airport? Lucy. James rushes there. Ethan Knox IS the bomb, literally. Carter is now on the train, along with Maxwell Lord. Apparently there are two bombs. Kara decides to stick with the train, leaving the DEO to deal with the airport.

James manages to find Lucy and the two have a cute moment at the airport. (ASIDE: Lord has an airport named after him. END ASIDE) Henshaw and Alex find the bomb and when Alex realizes she can’t disarm it, Henshaw orders her to leave. He uses his red laser eyes to stop it and that’s the real reason he wants her not to be there. Shifty, but as long as it gets the job done, right? The real bomb is still on the train.

Knox and Kara have a talk, but in the end, Knox decides to go ahead and activate the bomb, forcing Kara to save the rest of the passengers. Knox blows himself up (though he seems sad...more on that later). The day is saved, Kara learns some things about “having it all” that should help her when it comes to being Supergirl and just being Kara. Lucy and James seem to have made up.

Kara realizes that it was in fact Lord who set up the entire turn of events, to test Supergirl. He forced Knox to plant the bombs in exchange for taking care of his daughter. His endgame seems to be to find out who she really is. Once she decided to save a few hundred people on the train versus thousands at the airport, it was obvious that there was someone (Carter) on that train who meant something to her. I’m really liking this turn of events, I have to admit.

Both Lord and Henshaw are kind of shifty, and I really have no idea where the show is going with both characters. Even though she’s only appeared in a few episodes, the Lucy Lane character has grown on me. I’m sincerely hoping they just make her a series regular for “reasons”.

Supergirl airs Mondays at 8pm Eastern Standard Time.

SVT Announces Mega-Host Lineup for Melodifestivalen 2016

Today, after much speculation and tightly-wound anticipation, SVT finally announced who would be hosting Melodifestivalen 2016. Though reports had surfaced some time ago that Gina Dirawi would be the host of the show, this only proved to be partially true.

Gina Dirawi

Though Gina Dirawi will indeed be present as host for all six weeks of Melodifestivalen 2016, she will have at least one co-host present with her for each of the shows. After hosting in both 2012 and 2013 to rave reviews, Gina will be joined in Göteborg for semi-final 1 by Petra Mede, who has previously single-handedly hosted the contest in 2009, the Eurovision Song Contest in 2013, as well as co-hosted the Eurovision Greatest Hits concert with Graham Norton in London earlier this year.

Petra Mede

Dirawi will host semi-final 2 in Malmö alongside Charlotte Perrelli, who has made appearances as a Melodifestivalen co-host in 2003 for one semi-final and again in 2004 for the entire contest's duration. Perrelli is more famously known for her Melodifestivalen victories in 1999 ("Tusen och en natt"/"Take Me to Your Heaven") and 2008 ("Hero"), the former of which resulted in a Eurovision victory, as well as an infamous return to the contest in 2012 ("The Girl") that saw her crash out in a mere 5th-place semi-final finish. But perhaps this return to the Melodifestivalen stage can be a cleansing of sorts.

Charlotte Perrelli

Semi-final 3 will take place in Norrköping, hosted by Dirawi and Henrik Schyffert, whose only experience with Melodifestivalen appears to be an interval bit back in 2005. Comedian, actor, and musician are among some of the titles listed for Schyffert but as Melodifestivalen has evolved quite a bit in the last decade, we will simply have to wait and see what he brings to his co-host position.

Henrik Schyffert

The Queen is back! Semi-final 4 in Gävle will see the triumphant return of Sarah Dawn Finer, whom fans have been clamouring for at every opportunity. As Dirawi and Finer have previously co-hosted together in 2012 and were immaculate from start to finish, there is little doubt that this semi will be the one to watch. We won't include any patronising 'what-ifs' about whether or not Sarah Dawn Finer's beloved character Lyndra Woodruff will be back. If it's not broken, it won't get fixed. There is no conceivable way she will be left out of the show.

Sarah Dawn Finer

This year's Andra Chansen (Second Chance) round will take place in Halmstad, where Dirawi will have not one but two co-hosts. (Musical) theatre veteran Peter Jöback, who previously competed in Melodifestivalen 2010 ("Hollow"), and Ola Salo, lead singer of glam-rock band The Ark who won Melodifestivalen 2007 ("The Worrying Kind") will both act as co-hosts.

Peter Jöback
Ola Salo

Finally, and perhaps most surprising of all, we reach the Melodifestivalen finale. A massive show in an equally massive venue, Friends Arena, will have Dirawi and even-younger talent William Spetz running the show. It's rather fitting that Dirawi should be the one to usher Spetz on board, as both have found their starts by blogging and posting videos on YouTube. Spetz is relatively unknown to international viewers, unless they're particularly avid consumers of Swedish media content. But the fact that Spetz has received the most daunting show of all makes us think that he has a great deal to offer. Spetz may very well be the perfect person to usher in a new age of Melodifestivalen. He has great potential to offer representation to a more diverse audience that has been sorely underrepresented throughout the show's run.

William Spetz

Supergirl S1E4 - "LiveWire" Review


After the recent events this past weekend, CBS made the decision to bump up a Thanksgiving themed episode of "Supergirl" instead of a bomb-related one. Personally, I feel this was a bad move (all they needed to do was place a disclaimer ahead of the episode), but I can understand why the channel felt the need to make this decision. So now we start with an episode that was originally slated to air next week, called, “Livewire”. Any chances this messed with continuity? I'm still not sure if I should call this episode 4 or 5. For everyone's sake, I'm gonna just call it 4.

The episode begins with an escaped convict/alien taking on the DEO. Supergirl shows up and takes on the alien. All in a day’s work for Supergirl. Now she has to deal with the home-front and a panicked Alex, who is preparing for their mother’s visit. If she is angry with Kara about coming out to the world, she doesn’t show it initially.

We are introduced to a radio show (yes…radio…) called LiveWire, where the host, named Leslie, trashes Supergirl in every possible way, whether it’s her personality or manner of dress. This comes back to bite her, as Cat makes it clear that her brand of negativity is bad for business. In other words, Supergirl is off the table. The two get into a heated exchange. Something tells me we’ll be seeing more of her later. Lucy Lane makes another appearance, as it appears both she and James have rekindled their relationship. (Although…it looks like James would rather be spending time with Kara…)

After having been transferred to traffic, Leslie finds herself in a dangerous situation as the helicopter begins losing power due to the bad weather. Supergirl to the rescue! While she was able to save the pilot, Leslie is not so lucky; she is struck by lightning. While in the hospital, Cat moans about wanting to leave and although she acts like she doesn’t care about Leslie’s condition, it’s evident, after Kara leaves, that she does. Leslie, it turns out, isn’t as comatose as we were lead to believe.

Back at home, Mama Danvers, is upset at Alex for letting Kara put on the cape. She blames her for not keeping her safe. We get a flashback to the Danvers clan, and a young Alex and Kara, where the latter takes her sister flying.

For some reason, Leslie left the hospital, with a new hairdo and attitude. She now has abilities and tests them out on a creep. I’m sure we know how this one ends.

The dinner at Kara’s is awkward and tense, to say the least. But James calls and though brief, his conversation with Kara was adorable. I’m telling you; they have amazing chemistry. Anyway, Alex finally comes clean to Eliza about what she really does for a living. It doesn’t go over well. At.all. Kara wants to know why Eliza is always so hard on Alex. Before she can answer, we’re treated to another flashback. The girls were discovered by their parents. They get a scolding, but not before a knock appears on the door. It’s none other than Henshaw on behalf of the DEO.

In the present, Kara is at CatCo, having to deal with a last minute crisis. The power is out and it’s pretty evident who the perpetrator is. Leslie, now calling herself Live Wire, is on a mission to take out Cat. Leslie and Supergirl duke it out, while Cat tries to escape. Live Wire effectively shut down all the power in National City, so now everyone is celebrating Thanksgiving without power. Henshaw, posing as an FBI agent, figures out how Leslie was able to gain abilities. It was due to Kara’s Kryptonian DNA.

What I love about this show is how it peels back the layers of characters that, on a lesser show, could be one-dimensional. I love what they’re doing with Cat Grant. In the pilot, you get a sense that the “Devil Wears Prada” stereotype was all there was to this character. But in this episode alone, we learn that Cat was married once, has a child, and has a very difficult relationship with her mother. She isn’t satisfied with herself and she blames it on her own upbringing. When Kara tells her that her own parents died, Cat is visibly shaken. Perhaps she’s finally learning that Kara is more than just a minion. Cat blames herself for Live Wire.

Alex returns to Kara’s, where she confronts Eliza. With Kara, Eliza felt she had no choice but to accept her. But she pushed Alex because she wanted her to be better. It echoes slightly what Cat was saying about her own mother. I live for these moments, if you haven’t realized by now.

Cat confronts Supergirl, wanting to deal with Live Wire, once and for all. It is a partnership she’s proposing. Henshaw and the DEO have found a tool that can contain her. As promised, Cat draws Leslie out. They meet back where it all began for the two of them, but Supergirl is now invited to the party and the two have a rematch, with Leslie adopting new techniques. But, water is no match for electricity and Supergirl gets the upper-hand.

Winn sort of tells Kara how he feels about her (I’m not entirely sold on his character being in love with her) and she immediately bolts to James and Lucy. James, by the way, is totally into Kara, even if he’s back with Lucy. I like Lucy. I’m hoping she and Kara get to do something together. Soon. Also, the walls between Cat and Kara are breaking. I think the events with Leslie, as well as Cat learning about Kara’s parents’ deaths really changed how she talks to Kara. I like how this relationship is blossoming. Cat is becoming like a mentor to Kara, as well as Supergirl. More of that please.

Eliza had been wanting to tell the girls something for a long time. She knew about the DEO and apparently, Jeremiah Danvers worked for them. The deal was, he would give them his work and knowledge about Superman while Kara remained off limits. Eliza doesn’t believe he died in a plane crash either. She reveals that he died for the DEO and he was working with Henshaw, which makes the girls nervous as he’s their boss. They’re determined now to find out what happened to their father. ASIDE: The DEO has a pipeline (a place where they house all the bad guys they catch), much similar to the one used on The Flash. END ASIDE.

While I hate that this episode was aired a week early and I have no idea if they’re ever going to show the one that was supposed to come before it, I will say that a lot of character relationships were strengthened. This was also the first episode that didn’t make liberal use of Superman, which I know for some viewers is a welcome change.

Supergirl airs Mondays at 8pm Eastern Standard Time on CBS.

Taryn Manning and Ryan Skyy Team Up for Lady Gaga Remix

Lady Gaga made quite the impact with the release of her single, "Till It Happens To You", a raw and powerful ballad with a lyrical narrative that speaks on the epidemic of sexual assault and rape. The song was co-written with famed songwriter Dianne Warren for the 2015 documentary film, "The Hunting Ground" and made even greater waves online with the release of a music video also designed to raise awareness of the assault that runs rampant on university campuses.

While "Till It Happens To You" is now receiving Oscar-buzz, actress and musician Taryn Manning has teamed up with DJ and producer Ryan Skyy to release a remix worthy of such a gripping song. Taryn Manning is also known for her performance on Netflix's smash-hit series, "Orange Is The New Black" and her character Tiffany "Pennsatucky" Doggett recently experienced a character arc in season three highly relevant to this song. Now more than ever, women content creators are charging forward to put out content that raises awareness about important social issues such as rape culture and sexual assault.

Though dance music and dance remixes are often associated with clubbing and general merriment, this remix has deep house influences that allow the song to maintain its grit. When asked about their remix, Manning and Skyy shared the following statement:

"When Diane Warren's team asked us to remix this track for her and Gaga we jumped on it, because the message in the song is so powerful, and we wanted to give this sorrowful story more strength through our production but also keep it fresh and raw." 

They also answered a few of our questions regarding the song and their collaboration.


How did this collaboration come about? How did your creative processes work with each other?

"Taryn and I were friends before working together musically but always felt like we were creative kindred spirits, and just waited for the right project to come along that made sense to jump in together. When this Gaga track came along the powerful message behind the song really moved us. We wanted to get behind this movement and also give the world a more hopeful take through our production. We felt like their was a large, universal connection that people can have to this song and that it not only applies to the very serious issues of rape that are portrayed in the movie the song was written for, but also that it could apply to so many other situations where tolerance and understanding are needed." -Ryan

"The message in the song is powerful, for it leaves it up to the listeners imagination. Lady Gaga has inspired both of us and she sounds so amazing. We wanted to get this sorrowful story more strength in our production but also were aware to keep it feeling fresh." -Taryn

As dance music is often associated with clubbing, how did this influence your approach to remixing a song with such a heavy narrative?

"Taryn and I felt that if we let the vocals shine and developed music in our remix that expanded upon the story and brought in fresh unique elements, that it would naturally shy away from being a "clubbing" record and instead become something more meaningful. We chose to incorporate elements of future house and some gritty dubstep sounds to create something that was unique to us." -Ryan

"Ryan and I set to do something that was dark but also displayed Gaga's insane vocal talent and her theatrical approach and make it cool enough for a pool party but still sullen enough as to respect the victims of such an act and make sure we did it with care. It's pretty sick! We are super proud!" - Taryn


Stream the song here:

Download the song here:

Supergirl S1E3 - "Fight or Flight" Review


This is the third episode of Supergirl, called “Fight or Flight”. It takes off right where last week’s episode started, which I was worried about. I hate when an episode ends on something of a cliffhanger and then glosses over it. Anyway, Cat gets right into some questions, and Kara does her best to ensure that her boss can’t see her face. She lets slip that Superman is her cousin after Cat asks a slightly sexist question (the show appears far more comfortable actually calling him Superman now!).

Alex is concerned that Kara is telling too many people about her other identity. No sooner does Alex express her concerns that a breaking news story interrupts their conversation. Cat took it upon herself to use Kara’s slip about her relation to Superman in order to create headlines. We soon get our first glimpse at the big bad, Reactron, a Superman villain. He makes his presence known pretty quickly, after Kara saves the day after a pile-up.

The DEO is unable to act because whoever Reactron is, he’s human and out of their jurisdiction. While Cat is busy writing that Supergirl article, Winn takes it upon himself to find the trio (Kara, James, and Winn) a new office for all their heroic deeds. While all this is going on, James sort of lets it slip Superman’s identity to Winn. Kara and Winn want to take on Reactron, but James stresses caution, as even Superman couldn’t best him.

I think the theme of this episode is Kara trying to be her own woman without Superman and what kind of hero she wants to be. She doesn’t want to ask for help from Superman. In the meantime, we get to see more of Maxwell Lord, who you’ll remember made his first appearance last episode chastising Supergirl. Here, he’s in his building letting his workers know that he’s the superior mind in the room. Reactron, however, has other ideas and infiltrates Lord’s company (aptly titled Lord Technologies). His suit has failed (thanks to Supergirl) and he needs more nuclear power. Lord offers his assistance.

With Alex’s help, Team Supergirl (I don’t have a better name at the moment) manages to identify Reactron as well as his reasoning for hating Superman (his failure to save his wife, you know, typical comic book tropes). The dynamic between Cat and Kara is always fun to see and the scene where Kara is reading back Cat’s article (about her) is interesting. You see the generation gap in full display here. Everything the older generations say about “millennials”, a term I despise, is in full fashion. Some of it I agree with, I have to admit. I don’t know if Cat likes or hates Supergirl. Or maybe she’s just about generating money for her company.

Kara is determined to take on Reactron alone, without her cousin’s help. Kara’s attempts to talk to Reactron fall on deaf ears, but she does manage to free Maxwell Lord. The two duke it out for a while, but Reactron gets the upper hand. As she’s about to pass out, a familiar figure (Superman?!) comes to her aid and Reactron quickly flees. Kara wakes up in her apartment and we see a press conference with Maxwell Lord praising Superman and not Supergirl, the one who actually saved his life. The nerve!

Turns out, Superman knew about Reactron because James (still resisting the urge to call him Jimmy) told him. Kara is naturally upset about this, feeling as though this was her battle, her mistakes. If Superman didn’t have a get out of jail card, she shouldn’t either. It only further proves Cat’s point, that she would call her cousin any time the situation got too difficult. Kara and James get into something of an argument, as she believes he doesn’t have faith in her. He tries to tell her otherwise, but the damage is seemingly done.

So, we’re at the party event thing that Cat had planned earlier in the episode for her article on Supergirl. Maxwell Lord is there and I’m getting the sense that he and Cat have some kind of history. Or perhaps they just run in the same circles. Whatever it is, I like it and demand more of it!

Okay, so remember last episode when Henshaw’s eyes glowed red? Well, they did that again tonight and he muttered Alex’s name. She fessed up to helping Kara try and stop Reactron and he goes along with it, which only makes me wonder what he’s really up to.

James and Kara have amazing chemistry. If you don’t believe me, then please (re)watch the scene where they confront each other after their big blow up. I like how vulnerable James is here; he admits that Superman was a safety crutch for him and pushing that button has become like a reflex. While the two of them are having a good moment, Reactron decides that this is the time to come in and bust up the party, demanding Supergirl show herself.

But guess what? James (calling himself Jimmy, huzzah!) decides to distract Reactron in a surprising turn of events. Alex and Henshaw discover a way to stop Reactron by neutralizing his suit with lead. It works. Kara was able to do what Superman couldn’t because she has a team by her side.

After all is said and done, we get our first introduction to Lucy Lane (Jenna Dewan Tatum), younger sister to Lois and ex to James (heavily implied, never said). While Kara is busy being dejected, she talks to her cousin via chat message or whatever that’s supposed to be. Clark likes emoticons. And he still calls James, Jimmy. Kara started the episode wanting to be her own woman and she ends the episode having defeated a villain Superman couldn’t defeat. I like that Clark is proud of her.

Supergirl is really starting to find its groove. The characters are all jelling together and the stories are intertwined. I was afraid that it would be just a procedural without much mythology but I’m pleased to have been proven wrong. I sort of wish they’d cast someone to play Clark Kent/Superman, however. Maybe next season?

Supergirl airs Mondays at 8pm Eastern Standard Time on CBS.

Sleepy Hollow S3E6 - "This Red Lady from Caribee" Recap

Pandora summons a new big-bad for our Witnesses to face off against. This latest foe is a woman comprised of mystical bees/wasps that has a sting that will induce madness in the victim to the point of death. Abbie and Crane must work together and use the intel from Betsy Ross and Grace Dixon's past encounters with these monsters. But the pressure gets turned up when Abbie's boss Daniel gets stung and starts badgering Abbie to reveal secrets about Jenny and Joe's involvement with his case as well as who Crane really is.

Joe has a sit-down with Atticus Nevins, who is every bit as insidious as what Headless should have been. But while Joe is handing over the shard, Abbie and Ichabod are finally able to track down Pandora's lair where they use the similar method of how to kill bees (destroy the hive) to take down the wasp big-bad. But it's too late; Pandora has all the fear she has been seeking. The tree opens up and closes once more after Pandora has entered into it.

Ichabod has a re-do date with Zoe after their first one didn't go over well. It's the least interesting bit of this episode so we'll spare you the details. He and Abbie later ponder where Pandora might have gone and Ichabod poses that perhaps it was the entrance to the underworld. They know that it's only a matter of time before she returns and have concerns over what she will bring with her. But Abbie is more than ready to take her on, and Ichabod is inspired by her passion.

Finally, Jenny is shown to be exhibiting strange glowing as she dreams of visions related to the shard, which Atticus Nevins had handed over to her personally.

Sleepy Hollow airs on Thursdays on FOX at 9PM.

Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. S3E6 - "Among Us Hide..." Recap

Unsurprisingly, Andrew Garner isn't dead. Hunter is reprimanded for his rash behaviour on the mission to apprehend Ward so Bobbi is assigned to take his place. After Garner relays what happened with Strucker, who fled the scene after attacking him, Bobbi and May work on tracking him down. They head to the Cayman Islands in order to track a Hydra account being used by Ward's rebuilt Hydra hive. They accidentally set off an alarm and after Bobbi's attempts to fake a cover-story are unsuccessful, she and May have to fight their way out.

Coulson goes to visit the ATCU facility that Daisy and Mack were never able to make it to. Daisy, Mack, and Hunter work on a theory that Price's right-hand man Banks may be the human alter-ego of Lash. After tracking Banks down, Hunter goes rouge, knocks him out, and the three of them steal some of his blood before sneaking a camera into the building that he was heading towards before being knocked out.

Daisy and her team determine from Banks' blood is not an Inhuman. They then see through a surveillance feed that Coulson is at the ATCU facility and he is observing a captured Inhuman arrive there in suspended animation. Daisy becomes even more determined that they will not work with the ATCU. But Price reveals to Coulson that the reason she wants to "cure" the Inhumans is because she was unable to save her husband from dying of cancer.

May and Bobbi are able to track Stucker down to the apartment of Gideon Malick, whom Strucker had sought refuge with. But Malick instead turned him over to Hydra on the condition of receiving a favour down the line. While Morse fights off other Hydra members, Strucker reveals with his dying words what really happened at the attack on Garner. In a flashback, we see Garner transform into Lash.

Finally, Daisy is revealed to be calling Lincoln to make sure that he's okay. He promises to call back soon and they end the call before it can be traced. Garner enquires after Lincoln's location but Daisy truthfully says that he refuses to tell her where he is.

Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. airs on Tuesdays on ABC at 9PM.
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