It’s that time of the year again: The part where we either put our hands together and go kumbaya at the euphoric high which our favourite shows ended upon, or wring our hands together in abject misery at the pathetic state which they have plummeted to. TV Season Mid 2016 review is here to tell you what’s hot and what’s not.
Here at DANAMIC.ORG, certain spellbinding series in TV Season Mid 2016 caught our hearts, and their picturesque endings are just like the perfect frosting on an extremely decadent cake. Some others simply ended on a grotesque mess: think a soufflé which you had painstakingly whipped, and eventually failed to rise; or shooting 10 arrows and missing with all of them. So with that said, here is DANAMIC.ORG’s countdown from the worst to the best endings of TV Season Mid 2016 so far.
TV Season Mid 2016’s weakest entry, “Quantico”, has been an exceptionally wild ride for Season 1. Dealing with the never-ending mystery of who the terrorist was, we were lead on a roller coaster ride which eventually lead to nowhere. At every point in time, I had sufficient reason to suspect every single character for having the motive of being the terrorist, before lamenting at the agony of having to make that thought, and foolishly wondering if it was all a bad prank gone wrong and that I was, perhaps the terrorist who blew Grand Central up.
The Bad: The terrorist (which they revealed to be Liam) was, quite frankly, a major disappointment for me. Certain doubts have definitely been casted upon him with what has mysteriously happened at Chicago. However, the flaw in logic of having him frame Alex (whose father might I add, was his long trusted partner) just doesn’t seem to sit quite tight with me.
Of all the characters which they had painstakingly developed, I felt that a potential candidate which they did not explore were the twins (Raina and Nimah Amin). Partly due to my bias to Orphan Black, I felt that Raina could have certainly had the motivation for embarking on this crazy rampage, particularly based upon how discriminated she was by the FBI for her religion. She could have convinced her sister to join her in this masterful plot, and an intense game of switch between these two would have made for a shocking and masterful reveal of the real terrorist. Instead, the developers chose to make a nondescript character to be the fall guy, and ended the series off on such a horrible note. This is an absolutely unforgivable and inadequate ending in my opinion to a show which I had been watching so intently over the past few months.
The Good: However, the act of making Simon Asher die a hero really stood out as a plus point for me. Throughout the series, Simon suffered with the guilt of making the actual bomb and accidentally triggering a bomb (back in the mid-season finale). Vacillating his emotions between that of guilt and responsibility was really brilliant plot-writing and helped flesh his character into an extremely rich one. The ending scene of him driving off with the bomb was really touching and served as a resounding conclusion to such a deep and complex character. Quite honestly, I could not think off a better send-off for his character, so kudos to the writers for doing that.
Still, flak has to be delivered where it is due, and the cutting credits of the CIA approaching Alex to join them, just based on how ‘badly treated’ she was by the FBI felt like a jolt out of the blue. It made no relation to the plot whatsoever, but I guess it helps set the stage for Season 2, at the very least. For a show which has continuously surprised me with constant curveballs, this felt like a rather lacklustre attempt to round the first season up for TV Season Mid 2016.
2. Once Upon A Time
Up next on TV Season Mid 2016 review is “Once Upon A Time”, a story riddled with fairy tales, only serves to prove that all story tale endings are not magical, unfortunately. The build-up this season had been really spectacular, setting the scene of the Underworld in Storybrooke, which allowed us to visit our old-time favourite villains. This gave rise to a sense of familiarity in a new world, something which the series failed to do when introducing Neverland back in Season 2. And as all tales always end, with the Heroes being the winners and the Villains being the losers, they managed to magically defeat their nemesis, Hades, at the expense of Regina (Lana Parilla) losing the love of her life.
The Bad: The two hour-finale essentially became a story of Henry, trying to destroy magic, partly because of how it had cost his foster-mother the love of her life, which, in my opinion, felt utterly contrived. But well, considering that he plays a teenager who has trouble rationalising his thoughts properly, I guess it was comprehensible in a way. However, what was unforgivable was when they brought this back to a similar plot-line in Season 2 which they had already ran before. Essentially, Henry managed to destroy magic, and get it back, through getting the crowd to believe in magic.
Are the writers really recycling this repeated and clichéd storyline which ran rampant throughout Season 2? To make matters worse, the entire episode dealt with the double undertone of Regina, struggling with her good and evil sides, a storyline which was perfectly echoed by the introduction of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde.
The Worse: In my opinion, what makes Lana Parilla’s character such an absolutely fascinating one is her continuous struggle with her new-found compassion and morality, in juxtaposition to her past cruelty and wickedness. Her continuous moral dilemma makes for her to be an exceptionally rich character, with plenty of room to develop in either way, without compromising on the logical flow in the storyline. However, the show gave her some serum to split it up, and reduce her character into another goodie-two-shoes hero, as opposed to being the snarky Lana which we all know. With the step in this direction, I am already foreseeing logical flaws in upcoming seasons, since Lana Parilla now has to play the role of being a total angel, as opposed to being that dual Saint and Saturn hybrid which we have always loved. For the picture-perfect poster girl, we have Snow White for that very purpose, thank you. Please leave Lana’s character alone if you are not showing any signs of improving it.
The Good-ish: The only consolation which arrived from the show is that the evil queen (which was split from Lana’s character) didn’t die from some stupid antic which they pulled. And as we all know, Lana absolutely demolishes the screen when she gets into character as the Evil Queen. Her wardrobe is exceptionally on-point, her lines are delivered flawlessly, and she simply embodies the character uncannily well. This will play out well in Season 6, if fleshed out properly.
Apart from that, I found no salvation in the finale, which might I add, was two weary hours long of Lana complaining about how hard it was to cope with being good and evil simultaneously. Sorry, I totally did not buy that, and I absolutely lost count at how many times she uttered that statement to evoke pity, which eventually grew into annoyance.
Well, at the very least, we have evil Lana to look forward to. Oh, and did I forget to mention, Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde’s storyline looks dope as hell. That’s some consolation amidst the grave which they dug for themselves in this utterly prosaic ending.
1. The 100
I will admit to a pre-emptive bias towards “The 100” before starting this review. In my opinion, “The 100” does what few shows manage to successfully accomplish: build strong independent female characters, deliver shocking plot twists at every juncture, and tie the entire story up with seemingly crazy but believable plot-lines.
The ending to “The 100”, however, disappointed me to a rather large extent, particularly because of the high hopes which I had for it. Essentially, I felt like the show was attempting to curry favour with its fans, and by adopting a more populist approach, it eventually compromised on its artistic vision, and decided to go onboard with the “Clexa” ship by (rather unrealistically) bringing Lexa back for the finale.
TV Season Mid 2016’s “The 100” has always stood out for me, based upon how unpredictable the show is at every juncture. Killing off fan favourites (Lexa and Lincoln) was absolute proof at how far the show writers were willing to go to drive down their message that nothing is ever predictable, and that things are consistently changing on the landscape of this show.
However, the legion of unenlightened fans, particularly those of the LGBT community, saw this as a personal attack towards them and demanded a boycott of the show over the killing of their beloved couple-ship. However, what they failed to understand is that the killing of Lexa was crucial in moving the plot forward, since she essentially held the second AI in her, which ultimately proved to be imperative in stopping ALIE.
The presence of social media, (which was primarily that of Facebook and Twitter), gave fans an avenue to holler at the creators, which warranted several media interviews to explain their rationale for killing off the character, which the fans quite obviously refused to accept. In an attempt to salvage their fanbase, they brought Lexa back, albeit rather unrealistically, to defend Clarke in the City of Light, and spent literally 10 precious minutes of their finale to cater to this ship.
Not that I am being a wet blanket here, their scenes indeed touched me since it gave Clarke and Lexa the proper farewell which had been denied to them on Lexa’s death scene. However, after building up the show to such a climatic level, and actually getting Clarke to go into the City of Light, they had the gall to waste that opportunity by making it all about Lexa and Clarke, which was, in my opinion, absolutely unforgiveable and a waste of show time for the fan base who actually wanted to know what happens in the bloody City of Light.
The most ludicrous part was when Raven magically helped Clarke by giving her some kind of cheat portal to magically reach ALIE, which brought the entire City of Light arc to a resolutely abrupt and awkward halt. I mean, come on, we are not playing a game here where you can simply impart a magical cheat code and allow the character to skip past all the stages and head straight for the final boss fight.
Furthermore, it was common knowledge that Pike had been public enemy number one since the start of Season 3. His attempts to alienate the skaikru from the grounders had helped him to amass a massive hate bloc who campaigned religiously and tirelessly for his death from the series, week after week. And sure enough, our all-so-condescending writers decided to grant them their wishes, by spiralling our heroine, Octavia, down the desperate path of vengeance and killing Pike after his continuous attempts to help our protagonists to defeat ALIE. Sure enough, it was a dark scene which will take an interesting turn in the upcoming season. However, it is hard not to wonder if their decision had partly been informed by the fans’ desperate clamours for justice, which was ironically a rather interesting comparison to the overarching theme of “blood must have blood”.
Contrary to popular belief, I believed that the ending had the potential to be so much greater. The pressurising need to cater to the Clexa ship and poor plot resolution may have caused the ending to fall into a somewhat apocalyptic heap, but still, my allegiance lies with “The 100”. In my opinion, “The 100” still had a pretty solid ending, which tied up the rather stellar season beautifully. After all, Eliza Taylor is absolutely stellar and her portrayal of Clarke Griffin simply makes the series. The beauty of linking the over-arching storylines with their prior seasons, and having Clarke face her inner demons when pulling the kill switch on ALIE was incredibly well-written, nuanced and acted out, which redeemed any shortfalls that the series delivered.