Good thing I binged three Daredevils last weekend, because even iwthout a new Flash and Arrow this week, I've been too busy to watch any more. Found time for Legends of Tomorrow, somehow, even though I'm increasingly convinced it's a bad idea.
Agents of SHIELD: "Paradise Lost" (20% Stupid)
Ah, the drunk driving accident. The official go-to for when you want to give someone a dark secret in their past but still want them to be likable after. Since it's Lincoln we're talking about here, "likable" is probably too strong a word, but that particular bit of interpersonal conflict existed solely to fill six minutes of screen time and give Daisy another excuse to talk about her space death vision beyond the fact that it's always a really good idea to tell your team members this stuff.
We also learn that the Hive-Gideon Malick conflict is ultimately about brothers being dicks to each other, which is either a nice bit of thematic consistency now that Hive is inhabiting Grant Ward, who was also the product of brothers being dicks to each other, or possibly some lazy-ass bullshit because it's too difficult to write the motivations of an ultimate alien evil god.
On the other hand, Melinda May kicked the Iron Chef Chairman straight in DEEZ NUTTTTTTZ, so all is forgiven, Agents of SHIELD. All is forgiven.........................
Daredevil: "Regrets Only", "Semper Fidelis", and "Guilty As Sin" (10% Stupid Average)
It's impossible to separate these in my mind, because they basically all have the same three parallel things going on. The trial of Frank Castle, Daredevil and Elektra discovering the Hand's plot in Hell's Kitchen, and the messy, messy intersection between the two, where Matt, repeatedly forced to choose between helping his friends and helping Elektra, chooses Elektra every time. Sometimes it's because he thinks, incorrectly, that he can handle both. Sometimes it's because of urgency. And sometimes it's just because Matt Murdoch makes shitty choices.
We get Stick back for a bit in the third episode, which is nice, because Stick's a hoot. We get good stuff out of Karen as she interacts with Frank, and Foggy as he basically takes the Castle case on soloThe pull Elektra has on Matt is still a lot more tell than show at this point, though. Matt's all-consuming desire to to redeem Elektra is a Thing That Is, not a thing that's developed naturally. I think this season's showrunners are perhaps too close to the source material, expecting iconic things to play well on the show because they are iconic things rather than taking their time to work towards the iconic things within the world of the show itself.
That said, apart from that one motivation that's off-kilter, and some very dodgy courtroom procedure, the overall plotting, writing, action, and acting is still strong throughout, so the show's still very watchable and relatively devoid of characters' innate stupidity or giant plot holes. We end with The Punisher meeting The Kingpin in prison, so that's at least an intriguing place to leave off. Well, that and Matt's life in complete shambles with a bloody ninja corpse in his living room. Hate when that happens.
Legends of Tomorrow: "The Magnificent Eight" (50% Stupid)
OK, Legends of Tomorrow, we need to have a talk about time travel. Specifically, how does it work? How does any of this work? Are changes to the timeline good, bad, or indifferent? Are they easy or impossible? Is it a good, bad, or indifferent idea to show off advanced technology and superpowers in a time that does not have them? Do the Time Masters believe in never changing the timeline in order to prevent even the conquest, slaughter, and subjugation of humanity, or are they willing to assassinate people earlier in their timeline, changing history, to stop those people from, um, changing history? Is "time drift" actually a thing, or is it just a substitute for sloppy character motivation?
It may be unfair to take these problems with the series as a whole out on "Magnificent Eight", but the fact is, this eipisode basically takes all the inconsistencies from the paragraph above and dumps them all into a mediocre Wild West homage because someone wanted to do the Jonah Hex mouth makeup for TV. It's a goddamned mess, with the team's interference apparently now REQUIRED in order for HG Wells to survive pneumonia and write fantastical works fo fiction inspired by superhero time travelers. If this show has an unintentional overarching message, it's that out of all the people entrusted with the ability to travel through time, absolutely none of them should be, at all, for a variety of reasons but mostly because they are stuuuuupid.