After wrapping up S1 of JOAN OF ARCADIA, I put S2 into my Netflix queue, but as Netflix is shutting DVD rentals down and my library had S2, I checked out the library DVDs instead.The first season had God giving Joan messages about how she can help in her community, usually without explaining why or what the outcome is. At the end of the season, Joan got the devastating diagnosis that this was all a delusion — but when S2 starts up, God’s back, giving her more directives. The show’s a little darker, with tragic endings for some of the characters, but still following the same format while exploring character arcs for Joan’s family and friends. Then, in the last two episodes, we meet Ryan Hunter (Wentworth Miller), a wealthy, community oriented man who also hears God’s voice. Only he got fed up with everyone needing his help and decided not to listen. Now he’s set himself against Joan and God, though it’s unclear exactly what his agenda will be. Everyone else thinks Hunter’s a good guy; Joan’s in this alone. It would have made an interesting S3 but alas, we didn’t get one. Still, S2 was a pleasure to rewatch. “Unravelling a scarf doesn’t make the threads go away.”
The final season of FLASH was a lot shorter than the two full seasons the show-runners were hoping for but they still ended on a win. It opens with the Red Death — the Batwoman of a parallel Earth, amped up by super-speed — waging war on Central City and ends with Eddie Thawne — Iris’s boyfriend from the first season — returning from the dead as an agent of the Negative Speed Force, resurrecting a legion of evil speedsters to take Barry and Team Flash down.
What makes the season sing, though, are all the callbacks and cameos: Oliver Queen briefly returning to moral life as Green Arrow (“Ramsey Russo, you have failed this city!”), Thawne, Tom Cavanagh as yet another incarnation of Harrison Wells (and also as Zoom), and the birth of Nora West-Allen proving history is on the right path. Not without its weak spots — Danielle Panabaker’s arc as Kheone didn’t work for me at all — but overall a lot of fun. “You’ve become the person you died trying to stop.”
Peacock streaming service’s MRS. DAVIS has a premise that doesn’t really work but it’s so gloriously loonie I forgive it. The premise is that an algorithm (“Mrs. Davis” is one of the various names for her) is now shaping human society, much to the displeasure of Sister Simone (Betty Gilpin), a stage magician turned nun whose convent just got shut down due to Mrs. Davis’ manipulations. That’s simply to free up Simone to run a mission for the algorithm: find the Holy Grail and destroy it, in return for which the algorithm will turn itself off. If you think that sounds weird … well, keep watching.
The flaw in the premise is that Mrs. Davis isn’t much more than a self-aware search engine (though her origin, revealed in the last episode, is awesome) and I don’t see any real signs she’s changing society (as opposed to Person of Interest). That bothers me, but not as much as I enjoyed watching Simone and her supporting cast in their constantly oddball adventures. I can’t imagine they can work this premise into another season but eight episodes this good is enough. “There is so much to explain, but right now you’re passing through the whale’s intestinal tract.”
#SFWApro. All rights to images remain with current holders; Flash cover by Carmine Infantino