Wednesday, October 15, 2014

The Flash Season 1 Episode 2 "Fastest Man Alive" - Recap and Review

Grant Gustin as Barry Allen The Flash in CW The Flash Season 1 Episode 2 Fastest Man Alive

As seen in the previous episode, Barry Allen (Grant Gustin) developed superhuman speed as a result of the explosion at S.T.A.R. Labs. Barry used his new found powers to stop erring fellow metahuman Clyde Mardon (Chad Rook).

Barry's support team consists of S.T.A.R. Labs CEO Harrison Wells (Tom Cavanagh), tech whiz Cisco Ramon (Carlos Valdes) and bioengineering expert Caitlin Snow (Danielle Panabaker). Other than these three folks, only Detective Joe West (Jesse L. Martin) knows The Flash's secret identity. 

Barry continues to use his metahuman abilities to save people. At the beginning of the the episode, he saves people caught in a fire in a building. But he starts to get exhausted whenever he exercises his superspeed.

Barry works on a robbery that seems to involve more than one perpetrator. But security cameras capture one person only.

Guest star William Sadler as Simon Stagg in CW The Flash Season 1 Episode 2 Fastest Man Alive

Well known philanthropist Simon Stagg (William Sadler) is awarded the Man of the Yearaward. A gang of robbers gatecrash the event. When one of them shoots at the Security Guard (Seth Whittaker), Barry saves his life. But this effort drains all of his strength. 

Joe makes Barry promise that he will not use his powers again to stop the bad guys. Barry works on a specially made treadmill to rectify his recent lapses.

The attack on Stagg was an inside job. Stagg's bodyguard is in cahoots with a disgruntled former employee Danton Black (Michael Smith). Danton has a difference of opinion with his accomplice and kills him using his ability to make clones of himself.

Grant Gustin and Danielle Panabaker as Barry Allen The Flash and Caitlin Snow in CW The Flash Season 1 Episode 2 Fastest Man Alive

Danton's primary target is Stagg. He makes another attempt on his life, right when he is with Detective Joe. Joe is outnumbered by Danton's multiple copies of himself. Hearing about this ongoing assault at the police headquarters, Barry rushes to the rescue. 

Barry does succeed in saving Joe's life, but gets beaten up badly by Danton. He is attended to by Caitlin. Joe realizes that it will take more than just Central City cops to stop Danton. He asks Barry to do his thing. Harrison advises Barry to look for the weakest of the Danton clones and knock him unconscious.

In a side plot, Iris West (Candice Patton) is curious about the Red Streak as The Flash is referred to in the media. She creates a news alert for him on her smartphone.

Grant Gustin as Barry Allen The Flash in CW The Flash Season 1 Episode 2 Fastest Man   Alive

The episode improves on the pilot. The Flash versus Multiplex/Danton Black fight scenes have been executed well.

On the acting front, Jesse L. Martin continues to be the most impressive. He has significant screentime with Grant's Barry Allen. Barry has doubts about his effectiveness as a crime fighter. Being the surrogate father figure, Jesse's Detective Joe encourages him to believe in the impossible and helps him defeat Multiplex.

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Joe also decides to look into the murder of Barry's mother more closely and promises to unravel the mystery behind her death.

Tom Cavanagh shows some range as Harrison Wells begins to show his true character. In the closing scenes, Harrison kills Simon Stagg to prevent him from disclosing/exploiting his knowledge about The Flash.

Rest of the cast are adequate, if not outstanding.

Batman The Dark Knight vs Mr Freeze Dr Victor Fries DC Comics

Danton working to cure his wife from a degenerative heart disease reminded me of the origin story of the Batman villain, Mr Freeze/Dr Victor Fries. Dr Fries was also working on his wife's deadly degenerative disease, before he became the supervillain Mr Freeze.

Recommended watch to fans of The Flash/DC Comics.

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Image Sources: Berlanti Productions, DC Entertainment, Warner Bros. Television, CW Television Network

Friday, October 10, 2014

American Horror Story Freak Show Season 4 Episode # 1 "Monsters Among Us" - Recap

American Horror Story Freak Show Poster Image Picture Wallpaper Screensaver Cast and Crew 

The latest season of American Horror Story, the popular horror show (Freak Show) is set in 1952 in Jupiter, Florida. A milk delivery van stops at a farmhouse for delivery. Bill Palmer (Wilson Bradford), the milkman notices that his previous deliveries have not been taken inside. He enters the house and sees the dead body of the elderly Mrs. Eudora Tattler (Ann McKenzie).

He decides to take a closer look and gets more than what he bargained for, when he discovers the Siamese twins, Bette and Dot Tattler (Sarah Paulson). They are admitted to the hospital.

A mysterious stranger, Elsa Mars (Jessica Lange) arrives at the hospital and makes enquiries about the twins from a nurse (Kristin Witterschein).

Jessica Lange as Elsa Mars in American Horror Story Freak Show Season 4 Episode 1 Monsters Among Us

Elsa invites the nurse to visit her show Fraulein Elsa's Cabinet of Curiosities”. Next we see Elsa in nurse uniform and taking care of the Tattler sisters.

Elsa's business is running out of steam. She is facing pressure from her landlord, Mr. Haddonfield (Thomas Francis Murphy) to vacate. Elsa resorts to various unsavory tactics to extend the lease.

Elsa is looking up to Dot and Bette to salvage her show. Dot is the quiet and serious one. Bette is simple and happy go lucky. Elsa is able to impress Bette but Dot remain suspicious.

John Carroll Lynch as Twisty the Clown American Horror Story Freak Show Season 4 Episode 1 Monsters Among Us

At the same time, the always smiling Twisty the Clown (John Carroll Lynch) is accumulating his own set of victims. The only difference is that he commits murders before kidnapping his victims.

He start with a young couple,  Troy Miller (Andrew Duplessie) and Madison Sanders (Skyler Samuels) making out near the lake. He repeatedly attacks Troy with a knife. As Madison tries to make her escape, he takes her hostage. Then he kills a couple, Jeffrey and Mildred Bachman (Ramona Tyler) in their home and kidnaps their son, Corey (Major Dodson).

The whole town is shaken up by these series of murders.

Evan Peters as Jimmy Darling in American Horror Story Freak Show Season 4 Episode 1 Monsters Among Us

Then we meet the stud of Elsa's group, Jimmy Darling (Evan Peters). Despite his deformed hands, Jimmy longs for a regular life and is quick to lose his temper, whenever someone refers to him as a “freak”.

Jimmy uses his physical oddity to provide pleasure to housewives, who seek escape from their boredom. He wants to break away from the group and strike out on his own.

Kathy Bates as Ethel Darling the bearded lady in American Horror Story Freak Show Season 4 Episode 1 Monsters Among Us

His mother, Ethel Darling (Kathy Bates) is the self-appointed right hand woman to Elsa. She is fiercely protective of her group and strongly believes that the group members need to stand for each other.

Dot and Bette escape from the hospital. Elsa convinces them to join her group, after revealing that she knows that Bette had killed Eudora. During the first performance of the group, patrons Gloria Mott (Frances Conroy), a high brow socialite and her son Dandy Mott (Finn Wittrock) are impressed with the Tattler twins.

Frances Conroy as Gloria Mott the socialite in American Horror Story Freak Show Monsters Among Us

They even offer to buy the sisters for a hefty sum, but the offer is rejected first by Elsa and then by Dot and Bette themselves. As a parting shot, Gloria makes fun of Elsa's singing, claiming that it was the worst part of the show.

Elsa, who has always harbored dreams of making it big is stung by these remarks. She also becomes resentful of the growing popularity of the Siamese sisters.

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There is also trouble brewing on the horizon for the group as a cop comes looking for Dot and Bette. He suspects them to be responsible for Eudora's murder and intends to arrest them. Jimmy kills him.

The group takes out the cop's corpse to a nearby open area and slice him up. Unknown to them, Twisty the Clown is silently watching the proceedings.

Sarah Paulson as Dot and Bette Tattler the Siamese twin sisters in American Horror Story Freak Show Season 4 Episode 1 Monsters Among Us

The production values are excellent as is the music and direction.

One of the main reasons I like this show is the fact that there are no youngsters (with raging hormones) running around waiting to be killed in the most horrid ways.

Being set in the 1950s, there is an old school appeal to it and the cast is full of thespians at the top of their game. This is a dream come true for an old school horror fan like me.

A must watch for fans of Horror.

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Image Sources: Brad Falchuk Teley-Vision, Ryan Murphy Productions, 20th Century Fox Television, FX Network

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