my top five favorite Saunders-centric episodes of Combat!

While my favorite Combat! character is Doc (played by Conlan Carter, not Steven Rogers) I have a huge amount of respect and admiration for Sergeant Saunders (Vic Morrow).  And since this post is an entry in the Vic Morrow Blogathon, I’ll be talking about my favorite episodes of Combat! that focus on Saunders.  It was super hard to narrow down my options, especially since Saunders is an integral part of so many episodes.

But here’s my list.

‘Far From the Brave’ (Season 1)

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This is one of the Combat! episodes I’ve watched the most – and with good reason.  It’s one of the best in the show, diving into Saunders’ character and the squad’s interactions. Though the banter between Billy and Littlejohn is one of my favorite moments, this really is Saunders’ episode.  One of his best friends, Grady Long, is killed in the episode’s opening and the rest of the story is him (and the squad) dealing with the fallout from that.  Even though Saunders behaves rather badly to the guy who comes to replace Long, you get where he’s coming from.  A poignant episode all around.

‘One for the Road’ (Season 1)

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Allll the feelings.  The squad finds a baby and, of course, they have to take it with them because it won’t be safe otherwise. (I mean, it probably isn’t too safe with a bunch of American soldiers in enemy territory, but they can’t just leave it with no one around.)  Saunders is dead-set against the whole idea but he eventually thaws and it honestly does make me cry. :*)  I think this episode is some of Vic Morrow’s finest acting on the show (and that’s saying a lot).

‘The Long Way Home’ (Season 2)

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More of a ‘whole squad’ episode, but I believe it focuses on Saunders enough to qualify for this list.  The squad gets captured by and thrown into a POW camp.  Saunders has to keep morale up and figure out a plan of escape while fending off (and enduring) attacks from the camp’s sadistic commandant. (I’ve never been able to trust Richard Baseheart since.)  Saunders has to make some tough decisions; the whole situation adds yet another dimension to his character.

‘Mail Call’ (Season 2)

Saunders get put through the wringer again.  In this episode he receives a letter stating that his brother (who I believe is fighting in the Pacific) is missing in action.  He doesn’t tell anyone about the letter’s contents, though the whole squad knows that something is up.  Saunders is quiet, detached, and abrasive to the new guy who joins the squad. (If this sounds like a rehash of ‘Far From the Brave’, it’s not.  Some of the plot points are similar, but both episodes are unique.)  Us viewers don’t actually know what’s wrong with Saunders until near the end of the episode, which is kind of nice.  It puts us in the squad’s shoes as they try to cheer Saunders up + figure out what’s up with him. (Spoilers: his brother makes it out okay. *happy tears*)

‘A Gift of Hope’ (Season 3)

This episode will always be special to me because Hamlette and I watched it together.  It was an awesome experience (one that I hope can be repeated with other Combat! episodes).  But even if I didn’t have that connection with it, this episode would still be on this list because it’s superb in its own right.  A friend of Saunders, believed to be dead, makes a reappearance and Saunders has to prove that said friend isn’t a deserter (his friend’s name is Avery and he’s the coolest, awesomest side character on Combat!).  There’s so much going on in this episode, character- and action-wise, that I can’t stop re-watching it.

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Saunders is a very special character and that’s thanks (in large part) to Vic Morrow.  His spot-on acting skills made Saunders who he is (though the writers played a part in that as well).  I watched ‘Blackboard Jungle’ a few days ago and Morrow’s role in that surprised me all over again because Artie West the polar opposite of Saunders.  It’s a tribute to what a good actor Vic Morrow was…just like this post and the blogathon it’s written for.

Take the point!

Eva

 

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the fugitive episode review: ‘nightmare at northoak’

This review is part of the 5th Annual Favorite TV Show Episode Blogathon.

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‘Nightmare at Northoak’ was the first episode of The Fugitive I ever watched (or at least the first one I remember watching).  I do take issue with the title because, as you’ll see, the nightmare doesn’t really happen at Northoak – it’s in Kimble’s mind.  Northoak is one of the nicest places Kimble ends up, IMO.

David Janssen in The Fugitive (1963)

The episode opens with a creepy scene where Gerrard tracks Kimble through deserted streets until Kimble is finally cornered.  Gerrard pulls out a gun and…Kimble wakes up.  It was all a nightmare.  Gerrard hasn’t caught up with him – yet.  But just as the nightmare fades away, Kimble hears screams and the sounds of a vehicle careening out of control.

He scrambles out of the forest where he was sleeping.  A school bus has crashed and now flames shoot from the wreckage.  The driver is unconscious and the bus is full of panicked children.  Kimble directs them out the back of the school bus, drags the driver and a sleeping kid out, and then goes back in to make sure no one else is left inside.  Predictably, the bus explodes and Kimble is thrown from the wreckage – knocked cold, but alive.

The children from the bus drag him away from the burning bus (and presumably one of them runs for help).

David Janssen and Ian Wolfe in The Fugitive (1963)

When Kimble wakes up, he’s lying in a strange bed in a strange house.  Concerned citizens wait outside his bedroom to see how he’s doing and to repay their debt of gratitude by covering the doctor’s fees (something the doctor insists on doing himself – “Those kids he saved…I brought every one of them into this world”) and bringing ham, pudding, and calves’ foot jelly for the invalid.

The family that Kimble is staying with, the Springers, sends everyone home but not before Mrs. Springer – Wilma – declares that whoever is responsible for the accident should be brought to justice.  It seems that even though her husband is sheriff of Northoak (something Kimble discovers very quickly – and to his great trepidation), Wilma is the moral center of the town. (Though Al, her husband, is a really great, upright sheriff.  He’s played by Frank Overton and I love it.)

A nosy reporter drops by the Springer home, asking if he can take a photo of Kimble (who’s calling himself George Porter in this episode).  Wilma says ‘no’, but the reporter gets Larry, the Springers’ son, to sneak into the sick room and take a photo.  Luckily, there’s a cold compress over Kimble’s eyes, but it’s still a risk for him…

Paul Birch and Barry Morse in The Fugitive (1963)

…because Gerrard sees the article and the photo and instantly becomes suspicious.  Gerrard is actually in very few episodes of the show, but he’s truly menacing in this one.  A soulless, heartless tool of the law.  The mystery savior in the news article has no ID (“could’ve lost it in the accident”) and the lower half of his face bears a striking resemblance to the lower half of Richard Kimble’s face.  It’s enough for Gerrard and he sends a telegram (or a phone call – I forget) to Al, asking him to fingerprint George Porter.

Al is really embarrassed about this.  He can’t see how this gentle, quiet man who rescued the children of Northoak could be a convicted murderer.  But he has to do his duty, so he takes Kimble’s fingerprints. (Oh, and somewhere between the taking of the photo and Gerrard seeing it, Kimble also saw it and tried to escape.  But he collapsed and they brought him back.  Nobody’s suspicious of that though, at least not right away.)

David Janssen in The Fugitive (1963)

Kimble is desperate to escape once his fingerprints are taken.  As soon as Gerrard gets them, he’ll be in Northoak.  Al leaves the sick room to make a call, leaving Wilma behind, and she finally puts two and two together.  Kimble’s nervousness, the photo in the newspaper…it all adds up to mean one thing: George Porter is a wanted man.  But before she can call her husband, Kimble closes the door.

“I’m innocent.  I didn’t kill my wife.”

Wilma is doubly shocked and horrified to hear that he’s been convicted of killing a woman – and his own wife, no less.  Kimble pleads with her to let him go, to walk out the door, close it, and not tell her husband.  “Isn’t that a fair trade?” he says desperately just before she leaves.  “A life for a life?” (Because he saved Larry’s life, you know.)

Wilma battles within herself.  Should she uphold the law and do what’s right as she’s always done?  Or should she believe this strange man and let him go for the sake of her son?  For a moment, she almost does it.  She almost lets Kimble go.  But then she turns to her husband and tells him everything.

David Janssen and Frank Overton in The Fugitive (1963)

It’s a bleak moment – for everyone.  Al takes Kimble down to the jailhouse.  Deputy Ernie (played by Paul Carr – so nice to see another familiar face) helps him keep an eye on Kimble until Gerrard arrives.  Gerrard instantly puts everyone on edge – they don’t want to turn Kimble over to this strict, robot-like man.  Al resents Gerrard’s hints that Kimble will somehow escape if he (Gerrard) joins Al for dinner.  But he finally relents and goes to the Springers’ home to enjoy a hearty, home-cooked meal.

During dinner, Gerrard is the only one that’s really eating.  Larry suddenly starts crying, saying that it’s his fault Kimble is back in jail because he took the photo.  Gerrard tries to explain that it was a good thing he did, but Larry leaves the table.  He doesn’t want to hear Gerrard’s harsh rhetoric – and neither do I.  Al goes back to the jailhouse, leaving Wilma alone with Gerrard.

“Couldn’t what he did for our children lighten his sentence?” she asks.  Gerrard says ‘no’.  The law is the law.  The law is inexorable.  And, when Wilma tries a different tack and asks if Gerrard really believes Kimble is guilty, he simply says, “The law says he is.”  And that, apparently, is that.

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Back at the jail, Gerrard checks on Kimble and they have a conversation which starts out polite but quickly goes downhill. “When they feed me my last meal and strap me into the chair, I’ll still say the same thing,” Kimble says. “I didn’t kill my wife.”

According to Gerrard, it’s true – at least for Kimble. So many hours of sleepless night, so much running, so much time to think…of course Kimble now believes he didn’t kill his wife. He’s made the fantasy of his innocence true in his own mind.

This, of course, isn’t actually true. Kimble is innocent. But it’s a frightening glimpse into the workings of Gerrard’s mind. Could we flip his words to mean that he will never believe Kimble is innocent? That even if he’d started out with a flicker of doubt as to whether or not there was a one-armed man, he’s now convinced himself that Kimble cannot – can never – be found innocent?

Maybe Kimble is thinking something like this when he says, “I believe you have nightmares too, Gerrard. I believe your nightmare is that, after I’m dead, you’ll find who really did it.”

The blow strikes home. Gerrard retreats, bringing his cigarette to his lips with shaking fingers.

When he comes out of the cell block, Al has gathered quite a crowd of people. They want to say goodbye to Kimble, to thank him for their children’s lives. It’s a touching moment (one that Gerrard sneers at) as each person files past Kimble and shakes his hand. The last one to do so is Wilma. Regret, sadness, and a little desperation cross her face as she walks away from Kimble’s cell.

And that’s when he opens his hand to reveal the key. Someone slipped it to him.

And so, Kimble escapes again. (I’m not going to go into the details of his escape because it would make this blog post too long. But it’s a good trick played on Gerrard. A really good trick.)

But the episode isn’t over! In the ‘epilog’, Al assembles everyone who said goodbye to Kimble the night before. One of them, he tells Gerrard, passed Kimble the key. But Gerrard has other ideas. “It was you,” he tells Al. “You let Kimble out.”

Al takes exception to this – and rightfully so. Surely he had ideas of letting Kimble go free. After all, Kimble saved his son’s life. But the sheriff side of him won out – and now it seems like that was for nothing, since Gerrard accuses him anyway. But at the last moment Wilma steps forward.

“I gave him the key.”

Gerrard eyes her. “You know what this means, Mrs. Springer.”

Wilma nods. She’ll go to jail.

Until a wonderful thing happens.

“I’ve been in this office often enough,” the doctor cries. “I gave him the key!”

“He saved my life,” the driver of the school bus says. “I was repaying him. I gave him the key.”

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And suddenly everyone stands up, everyone admits to giving Kimble the key that gave him his freedom. In a way, it’s true…although Wilma was the one who actually did it, they all would have. It’s a triumphant, singularly happy ending to an episode of The Fugitive.

(Well, not quite. Because after that scene, things go back to Kimble’s point of view as he wanders the streets of another town. He sees a ‘Help Wanted’ sign. “Help wanted,” the narrator intones. “But there is no help. The only consolation Richard Kimble has is that in some town – perhaps this one – there is a one-armed man who has nightmares…of him!”)

But still. ‘Nightmare at Northoak’ is a lot happier than a lot of Fugitive episodes.  And that’s why it’s my favorite episode in the show.

Eva

my favorite youtubers

Everybody has ’em.  And here are mine.

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Black Gryph0n

This guy does fantastic impressions (singing and talking voices).  My favorite videos of his are probably the ‘no auto-tune, one take’ song covers because he’s covered some of my favorite songs.  But the Star Wars impressions are awesome as well.

John Crist

While John Crist isn’t my number one favorite Christian comedian (more on who is in a bit) he’s genuinely funny – I can always count on his videos for a good laugh.  Like most of my favorite Youtubers, I have no idea how I discovered his channel.  But I’m so glad I did.

Georgia Merry

Another song cover channel (there’s a lot of them I love).  Georgia specializes in Disney medleys and covers of Disney princess songs and I’m totally there for that.  Disney is the best!  I love her collabs with Brian Hull (who you’ll also see on this list) and Black Gryph0n.  She has an almost angelic voice…very soothing.

Brian Hull

Brian Hull makes me smile so much.  His enthusiasm for all things Disney (and life in general), his fun impressions (even if they’re not always perfect), and his multiple trips to Disneyland all combine to make a truly memorable channel.

Nadine Brandes

Nadine is one of my absolute favorite authors and her videos are a joy to watch.  She’s so enthusiastic about her writing craft; I love it.  Her videos (particularly the one I’ve embedded above) were partly what set me on the path to getting my book published.  A lot of the time you hear about how hard writing and publishing are but Nadine also shows that you can have fun with that journey.

Austin McConnell

Okay, yes, there are a million video essay channels on Youtube.  But Austin McConnell is my favorite – his videos deal with really random, super interesting topics and he’s one of the only video essayists who can hold my attention to the last second of a video.  And he has this kind of wry, self-deprecating sense of humor that’s rather charming.

Trey Kennedy

My favorite Youtuber.  Period.  He makes me laugh harder than anyone else has for a long time – his videos are clean Christian comedy gold.  I honestly want to embed alllll of his videos for you to enjoy, but I limited myself to just one.  Still, check out his other stuff!  You won’t be disappointed.

Who are some of your favorite Youtubers?  And did you discover one or two new favorites because of this post?

Eva

i watched season 4 of TURN and i have so many thoughts

Warning: this post is looooong.  I think the reason for that is because I watched TURN by myself and none of my family knows much about it.  So hopefully someone who does know the show will read this post and appreciate it.  Maybe.  Anyway, I want to get all this stuff out of me.

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i’m weirded out by the face paint.

In the last blog post I wrote about TURN, I said that I probably wouldn’t watch the fourth season because of John Andre’s death.  Since he was one of the main reasons I’d stuck with the show for three seasons, I was pretty sure season four would be awful.

So I basically forgot about it.

But then I had a TURN-themed dream and since I needed something to reward myself with for work/writing stuff, I decided to give season four a chance.  And you know what?  It’s the best season of the show.

Before I get into all the details of why season four is the best season of TURN, let me just say that although Andre’s absence was keenly felt (both by me and by several characters in the show), the writers did right by him.  If you must kill off a good character, have them be remembered and mourned by other characters.  And I almost felt sorry for Benedict Arnold (except that he’s awful, so I didn’t really) because it was obvious that pretty much everyone wished he’d died instead of Andre.

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Anyway.  Here’s the reason why season four was the best: it focused on the war and, you know, actual SPYING instead of cringy relationship drama.  Each season of TURN has had a lot of spying and action (obviously) but it’s also been full of Woodhull family drama and icky stuff between Abe and Anna that’s always rubbed me the wrong way.  It got so bad that I literally rolled my eyes whenever a scene came up involving Abe.  I’m not even kidding.

But season four?  There was no drama between Abe and Anna!  Abe actually, finally loved and appreciated his wife!  There were tons of thrilling, nerve-wracking, nail-biting action sequences!  And it made the show ten times better.

Also, it was like Abe’s character did a one-eighty between the last episode of season three and the first episode of season four.  When season four came around, he was smiling.  Happy.  Relaxed.  Warm and friendly.  It wasn’t quite enough to redeem him, but his scenes were so much easier to watch. (Then he became all vengeful after a certain character’s death and that wasn’t fun, but it was better than him being wimpy.)  My liking for him fell a little when he was so rude about getting paid in the last episode, but then he broke down in front of Washington and, well, it doesn’t really make sense unless you’ve watched the show.  But it was good.

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don’t ask why he’s wearing a British uniform – it’s complicated.

One thing that did annoy me about season four (and the entire show) were alllll the plots to kill Simcoe.  There was a new plot every other episode, it felt like, and I’d always be screaming in my head “HE’S GOING TO SURVIVE THE WAR AND GO TO CANADA SO JUST GIVE UP ALREADY!”  It was very stressful because I knew he wasn’t going to die…but maybe someone else would in the attempt.  And the same with the plots to capture Benedict Arnold. *sigh*

Oh, seeing Ben run into battle and set fire to hay and take British cannons and all that literally made me feel like this:

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HE’S JUST SO HANDSOME AND PERFECT AND AWESOME.  And he’s grown so much.  Gracefully handing over his position as Head of Intelligence to Alexander Hamilton (yes, that Alexander Hamilton).  Advancing to Congress when he used to be kind of naive.  Respecting Washington even when it was hard.  He’s all growns up now. *sniffles quietly*

I felt so bad for Peggy.  Married to Benedict Arnold, fighting for her safety and the safety of her child and the memory of Andre.

I’m glad Selah and Anna settled their differences.  I don’t know if they love each other anymore, but they respect each other and I’m glad Anna has three children at the end of the show.

Major Hewlett has had his better moments, unfortunately.

Abigail and Akinbode and Cicero’s subplot was sweet and heartwarming.  Loved it.

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Abe’s letter to Thomas at the end made me bawl, even though I don’t particularly care about the Woodhulls.  It’s just…TV show finales tend to get me because, even if you don’t love the show, you’ve struggled and lived and died with the characters for several seasons and now it’s all ending and it’s poignant and bittersweet.  And it doesn’t take much to make me cry.

Overall, TURN is a show that I don’t wholeheartedly love.  It’s problematic in some ways, boring in others.  There are many characters I don’t care about.  But there’s enough good in it to grip me. (And maybe entice me into a rewatch some day.)  I do love Ben and Andre. 

So I’m not sorry I watched the fourth season.

Not at all.

Eva

TURN: washington’s spies – my thoughts

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After some serious binge-watching this morning and afternoon, I finished Season 3 of TURN: Washington’s Spies.  I have mixed feelings about this series so, hello, blog post!  Be prepared for rambling and incoherence because this is basically going to be me working out my thoughts and feelings about the show (and I’m still not over that season finale).

(Also, Rosanna M. White – one of my favorite authors – wrote a great blog post that I completely agree with.  Go read it!)

So, I started watching TURN because of Jamie Bell.  Which wasn’t a great idea because it’s practically made me hate Jamie Bell (I need to watch ‘The Eagle’ just to clean my brain of his horridness in this show).  See, he plays the main character, Abraham Woodhull (who was a real person, fyi), and I cannot stand Abe.  He’s weak.  He’s unprincipled.  He doesn’t have conviction.  He’s a murderer (in both deed and thought).  And, what got to me the most, he’s an adulterer.  He cheats on his wife a bunch of times (mostly in the first season) and never apologizes or shows any regret.  It’s disgusting. 

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Whereas this guy is honorable and upright and honest and knows exactly what he believes in and what he’s fighting for.

And the thing is, when you have a weak, wimpy, morally bankrupt main character I’m going to have a hard time connecting to the story you’re trying to tell.  I slogged my way through Season 1 of TURN, mainly going on the strength of my love for the time period.  Season 2 was a little better because they started focusing more on other characters who I genuinely liked.  And most of the characters improve once you get to know them. (Just not Abe.  Or Simcoe.)

This is going to sound really bad, especially because I love history, but prior to watching TURN I always thought that Benedict Arnold was caught and hung.  But nope, he actually lived into his 60s.  However, I knew that André died and I knew that Peggy Shippen married Benedict so WHY DID THE STUPID WRITERS HAVE TO HAVE ANDRÉ AND PEGGY FALL IN LOVE???  It’s incredibly unfair.

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By the way, JJ Feild is actually ridiculously handsome in TURN.  I can’t even.

Honestly, I don’t know if I’m going to continue watching the show.  I do love and adore Ben Tallmadge so I want to see how he grows in the next season.  Ben is one of the deepest characters on the show.  He makes mistakes as Washington’s Head of Intelligence, but he picks himself and keeps going.  He’s a gentleman.  He cares.  He protects those he loves and mourns when he can’t.  But I’ve become so bored and annoyed with any scenes connected to the Woodhull family.  They’re a bunch of sour, depressing, irritating characters with few – if any – redeeming qualities.  And André is gone now (he was my favorite character) so yeah…

The Season 3 finale was really horrible.  Especially André’s final moments.  They kept cutting back to Setauket junk and I was like “I DON’T CARE JUST MAKE SURE ANDRÉ AND PEGGY SEE EACH OTHER ONE LAST TIME”.  Honestly, people.

(They did see each other again and Ben was so kind and respectful to both André and Peggy that it made me love him a million times more.)

So yeah, idk if I’m going to continue the show.  Have you watched all four seasons?  And if so, what do you think I should do?  Is the fourth season worth watching?

Eva

P.S. This show was rated TV-14 and, in later seasons, TV-MA.  There’s a lot of sexual content, swearing, and graphic violence so I can’t recommend it to anyone under eighteen. (I watched it via VidAngel, a website I highly recommend.)

“even a traitor may mend.”

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I haven’t properly fangirled on this blog in a while, so today I’m going to be talking about a favorite character trope (and favorite characters to go along with said trope).  The trope is ‘traitor/antagonist/villain/generally dislikable character turned awesome and sweet and perfect’.  It’s a thing and it’s the best.  Might even be my favorite trope of all time.  In this post I’m going to list seven characters who left the dark side and talk a little bit about why I love them so.

  • Dan Kean (Little Men/Jo’s Boys) – Dan was the first character to make me fall for this particular trope.  When he first came to Plumfield he was surly, antagonistic, and generally a bad influence.  But then everything changed through a series of interesting/sad events and I love it and I love him.  I’m going to write an article about Dan for Feminista where I’ll explain more about why he’s my favorite fictional character evah.  So stay tuned for that.
  • Edmund Pevensie (The Chronicles of Narnia) – EDMUNDDDDD.  I kinda wish Lewis had spent more time diving into Edmund’s angst and emotions but the Narnia books aren’t really suited to that (I guess).  That’s what fanfiction’s for!  Honestly, though, Edmund is great and you can read more of my thoughts on him in this post.
  • Ben McKenna Morgan (The Adversaries) – The Adversaries is a book by Jack Cavanaugh which you’ve probably never heard of.  Ben is an officer in the Union army who hates several of the book’s main characters, for various reasons.  But by the end of the story he’s found out that he’s actually related to those main characters he’s hated and he gets saved and his personality completely turns around.  The transformation always makes me tear up.
  • Chris (Shane) – It’s been a while since I read Shane, but Chris always stood out to me because of his switch from mindless lackey to a maturing young man who thinks for himself and chooses the right path (mainly because of Shane himself).
  • Phillip (The Candymakers) – Phillip is one-third of the reason why The Candymakers is one of my favorite books of all time (the other thirds are Miles and Logan).  At first glance you think he’s a spoiled rich kid who’s basically the definition of ‘snobbish’.  But there’s soooo much more to him and it’s great.
  • Allan (BBC’s Robin Hood) – First season Allan is a trickster whose loyalties are shaky at best.  Second season Allan is a traitor (up until the last episode or so).  But third season Allan is brave, loyal, and smart.  He grows and changes and matures AND THEN THE WRITERS HAD TO KILL HIM OFF IN THE MOST AWFUL WAY.  I will never get over the injustice of Allan’s death.
  • Julian Albert (CW’s The Flash) – I believe I’ve already fangirled over Julian – a lot.  But still.  He was Doctor Alchemy for the first few episodes of Season 3 but that wasn’t really his fault because he was brainwashed.  But he also disliked Barry (for understandable reasons) and it was awesome seeing him thaw out over the season.  I’m a fan. (And even if his character was rather unneeded, he’s still a sweetheart and I hope he comes back.)

Sooooo…what’s your favorite character trope?  Do you like/love any of the characters I listed above?  Let me know in the comments!

Eva

arrow VS. the flash

“My name is Oliver Queen.  For five years I was stranded on an island…”

“My name is Barry Allen and I am the fastest man alive…”

Over the past several months my family and I have watched four seasons of The Flash and almost four seasons of Arrow.  While both shows definitely do their own thing, they’re also connected in more ways than one and I figured it was time to write a comparison post!

// Premise //

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Arrow: Oliver Queen, billionaire playboy, has a secret mission: to right the wrongs done (sometimes in the Queen name) to his beloved Star(ling) City.  His ability to fight injustice comes from five years spent (mostly) on a hellish island that was basically a vigilante training boot camp.

The Flash: Barry Allan, CSI for the local police department, has a secret mission: to protect his beloved Central City by using his super-speed to fight crime, metahumans, and Big Bads.

// The Heroes //

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Arrow: It took me a long time to warm up to Oliver.  He seemed cold and brutal and way too brooding (like Batman, but worse?).  However, since he took a ‘no killing’ vow and began to let the people close to him get, well, closer…he’s grown on me.  He recognizes that he’s done some terrible things but he tries so hard to make it right and I’ve got a soft spot for heroes like that.

The Flash: Barry Allen is one of my top five favorite superheroes.  He can be a little too mopey, a little too “this is all my fault”, but his heart is so big, his motives so pure, his kindness and generosity and just…*siiiiigh*.  But at the same time, Barry isn’t a Gary Stu.  He has faults (much as Joe would hate to admit it), he makes mistakes, but he always owns up and apologizes and, yeah, I love him.

// The Teams //

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Arrow: Team Arrow is HUGE.  You’ve got Oliver, Felicity, Laurel, Sarah, Thea, Diggle, Roy…and I’m pretty sure I’ve missed someone.  There’s so many moving parts and the cool thing is that none of them have superpowers.  All they’ve got is their Mad Skillz.  My favorite in the team is definitely Diggle, closely followed by Oliver and Thea.  I really love the suicide squad episodes where Dig goes off and does his own thing.  So cool.

The Flash: And Team Flash, which started out very small, has added a lot of members over the years.  Barry, Iris, H.R., Cisco, Caitlin, Harry, Julian, Ralph, Joe.  Cisco is the best, as is Caitlin.  And H.R. and Harry…let’s just say, I love them all! 😉  Julian is awesome, though I have to admit that he doesn’t serve much purpose in the story once he joins Team Flash (other than being Caitlin’s love interest).  Oh, well.

// The Villains //

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Arrow: My favorite villain is definitely Slade Wilson.  Season 2 of Arrow has been my favorite so far, mainly because Slade was such an epic villain and his connection to Oliver made S2 the most personal one so far (IMO).  Malcolm Merlyn is also a favorite – he’s so twisted, but there’s a glimmer of honour somewhere in there.  And speaking of honour…DEADSHOT.  (I hardly count him as a villain, though.)  R’as al Ghul was forgettable – I infinitely prefer Liam Neeson’s take on the character, y’know?

The Flash: This show has had some pretty unforgettable villains.  Eobard Thawne was the first and the best.  My mom and little siblings are re-watching/watching the first season right now and I’m blown away by how Tom Cavanaugh can convey trustworthiness, sliminess, and mysteriousness so well, all mixed up.  Zoom and Savitar were worthy opponents for Barry.  I liked DeVoe up to a point and then I was over him.  Still, the villains on The Flash are great overall.

// Ships //

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Arrow: I hate Felicity.  Hate her.  Words can’t express how much I loathe her.  So, obviously, I don’t ship her with Oliver, but then, I don’t really ship Oliver with anyone.  Slade and Shado, Diggle and Lyla, and Deadshot and his wife are my favorite ships from the show.

The Flash: Annnnd I don’t ship Barry and Iris either!  But Caitlin and Ronnie, Caitlin and Julian, and Ralph and that country singer…those are the couples I love.

// Music //

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Arrow: Dark, dramatic, and intense.  Blake Neely captures – and creates – the show’s atmosphere.

The Flash: Another Blake Neely score (I believe he’s responsible for all four Arrowverse shows in that department).  His character themes for Barry, Reverse-Flash, and Captain Cold are all excellent and I also enjoy the touches of quirkiness and humour that make their way into the score.

// Coolness Factor //

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Arrow: The League of Shadows is pretty cool.  And Thea is literally the coolest, with her suit and the way she stands up to Malcolm.  She’s easily the least annoying female on the show and I find myself rooting for her even more than Oliver sometimes.  Slade Wilson is cool as well, in his own way.  Overall, the show has a gritty, sometimes epic vibe that I dig.

The Flash: Captain Cold.  I rest my case.

// Feels Factor //

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Arrow: So, the last episode I watched of this show was the one dealing with the fall-out from Laurel’s death and, um, many tears were shed.  Many, many tears.  It was kind of surprising, because Laurel isn’t my favorite character by a long shot (though she did improve over the show’s run) but I guess I was more attached to her than I thought.  And seeing everyone else broken up about her death…GAH.  Oh, and add to that all the references to Tommy who is the best forever and ever and whyyyyy did the writers kill him off? (That thing in ‘Crisis on Earth-X’ when his doppelganger shows up?  TOO MANY FEELS.)

The Flash: So much sadness.  Nora Allen’s murder (and Barry deciding NOT TO SAVE HER), H.R.’s death, Caitlin’s tragic romances, Plastique…there’s some major feelsiness going down in every season of The Flash.  I might start crying as much as Barry if the writers don’t lighten up soon.

// Overall //

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I have a friend who said that it took her until the third or fourth season to really enjoy Arrow.  I have to agree.  Season 1 bored me, Season 2 was the best (and held my attention the best), I skipped most of Season 3, and Season 4 has too much weirdness for me to fully commit.  But I do enjoy it.  So many of the characters have my heart and the action scenes can be pretty entertaining.

But The Flash is my favorite, hands-down.  The characters are more relatable and lovable than those in Arrow, the episodes are rarely boring, the seasons are more tight-knit (probably because there’s not many flashbacks), and overall I just like it more.

Both shows, however, are amazing and I’d recommend them to fans of epic superheroes (though not without a few caveats as to violence and adult content – mostly in Arrow).

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Have you seen either – or both – of these shows?  Do you agree with my consensus?  Let me know in the comments!

Eva