Batman Eternal #28

Looks like we’ve made it! More in the review below!

SPOILERS!

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Batman Eternal #28
Written by Tim Seeley; Drawn by Meghan Hetrick

Man this has to be one of the absolute best issues of the series in a while, despite the fact that Red Hood is featured in it. This issue is all about getting towards Catwoman becoming the kingpin since Catwoman #35 is next week and it stands to reason it would happen her but man what an issue. The majority of it is Bone trying to put on a show of killing Catwoman. She obviously doesn’t die but Jade does when Bone orders Ibanescu, the gangster from last week whose name I remembered because plot, goes to shoot her but the bullet hits Jade because of him being a bad shot under pressure. Doesn’t help that Croc invaded the proceedings to save Jade. That took me off guard honestly to show that Jade is the one who loses their life in this issue. It really shows that all bets are of and no one is truly safe.

Batman does show up to stop things, also Flamingo, but is too late, only to have Croc tell him the demons at Arkham can have him. Seeley wrote what seemed at first a down played issue fine enough but then the stakes get upped and it took off. I think this is one the high marks of the series so far not just in that part but the great art of Meghan Hetrick which is very nicely detailed in faces and expressions. She paces the story very well and she stands out. She has a nice little animation flare to her art. She has a great handle on anatomy, especially during the parts with Batgirl and Bard.

Speaking of which she’s still dangling Bard off a building when Red Hood shows up to try and say goodbye to Barb but convinces her to stop, only to drop Bard himself and Barb to catch him to prove she’s better than all the Robins combined. He tries to convince her to leave Gotham, she tries convince him to stay. He doesn’t since he’s no Dick Grayson.

I didn’t hate Red Hood here. He actually got to have some human emotion and act like a regular human being for once. I liked too. We even get small cameos from his Red Hood and the Shitbags co-stars, but whatever, the writing here is really good for both of them the the emotion of the scene rings thru. Its just interesting to see such a good dynamic between the characters that usually are at each other’s throats.

This issue just did so much in so many pages it was exciting and thrilling. I highly enjoyed it and find it a great step forward for the book. Batman Eternal, you’re one the year’s best.

RATING: 5/5

Tube Talk: Brooklyn Nine-Nine: The Jimmy Jab Games

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It’s time for great athletic skills to be put to the test in the Jimmy Jab Games!

SPOILERS!

Brooklyn Nine-Nine: Season 2: Episode 3: The Jimmy Jab Games: GRADE: A-

The Office had one its most memorable episodes with Office Olympics and it would make sense given how the office environment can be and that one especially that when the cat’s away the mice will play an elaborately constructive series of games to pass time on a certain boring day. Given the time that Brooklyn Nine-Nine has developed itself with the characters and premise, The Jimmy Jab games really don’t feel that out of place within the world of the show.

A three hour delay on motorcade duty leaves the crew with free time until they’re called to duty. Also helps that Captain Holt and Terry are out trying to secure funding for updated, secure funding to battle a new drug. So of course its now time for the annual games that began because of delayed motorcade duty for former Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and Jakes inability to correctly pronounce his name.

We have event from the month old Chinese eating competition which knocks out Detective Scully (Joel McKinnon Miller) out first because of obvious reasons to undercover event with terrible personas. What’s the prize? A terrible rolling chair that’s the best in the precinct. Well adding more to the proceedings is a side competition between Rosa and Jake for the number of Rosa’s friend Katie. This factors back into my biggest worry for season 2 in the Jake and Santiago situation. Jake is doing this in order to help get over her and during the competition and a great exchange between the characters leads him to realize he still isn’t over her. He threw the game for her and his talk with Rosa near the end of the episode is a nice character moment between to two. They are buddies but Rosa doesn’t mix personal life with business which is why the bet happened. Also $200 were at stake. Their talk helped make the slight hinderance of the Jake and Santiago situation better since its a mature moment for Jake honestly and a fine talent showcase for Andy Samberg.

The writers have their seeds planted in that storyline but how they pull it off with the ending result will be tricky to me since it heavily affects the workings of all characters around. This hasn’t become a show starring Andy Samberg, its an ensemble piece where everyone is honestly the star.

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Whereas the funniest thing all episode is once again Captain Holt vs. Deputy Chief Wunch. She is who he and Terry have to see about fighting a new brand of ecstasy known as Giggle Pig. “Hello, Deputy Chief Wuntch. You’ve aged,” is how Captain Holt starts this whole thing off. He’s just stating a fact but Andre Braugher’s hilarious deadpan delivery from the character makes it funnier than it should be. He’s chemistry with the returning Kyra Sedgwick is as spot on this week as it was last with Terry Crews playing a great straight man between them as they try to sabotage each other along the way. Good news, they got the funding, bad news, its along with a task force that could bone the precinct. Holt slam dunked Wunch, who just now sees the possibility of rhyming her name with lunch, but Wunch returned the dunk. Holt makes a three point dunk. As Terry perfectly points out, they know nothing of basketball.

The other subplot is Boyle trying to get back a tape that doesn’t show her and Gina having sex but will provide enough evidence that it does from the department video camera and needs it back from Detective Hitchcock (Dirk Blocker) who will do so in return of Boyle making him coo in the precinct. Its a mini Can’t Buy Me Love/Love Don’t Cost a Thing subplot that work’s fine. There are plenty of laughs to be had from Boyle trying so hard to complete an impossible task, but the subplot is too short to really land any impact whatsoever, despite the comedy that’s mined from it.

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The Jimmy Jab Games is a consistently funny episode of one of TV’s best shows out there and furthers character development nicely, even when calling to the one flaw that could hinder the show’s enjoyment. Its a great ride honestly.

Batman Eternal #27

Catwoman’s past is now coming back to haunt her in the latest issue of the weekly series.

SPOILERS!

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Batman Eternal #27
Written by Tim Seeley; Drawn by Javier Garrón

So we meet up again with that Jade kid from a few issues back when she ran away into the sewer and is now considered a friend by Killer Croc. Well we find out she’s Jade McKillen, related to the sisters that had a huge vendetta against Two-Face, when she’s returned to her closest relative who happens to be the same gangster who ran the dog fight Selina interrupted.

That’s the beginning of our connections here when Jade says she knows Catwoman as the gangster, I don’t remember his name and that’s a bit of a flaw with Seeley’s writing this issue, as he overlooks footage of a failed drop off that was ruined by Batman and Catwoman. This issue works a lot more towards pushing Catwoman to the role as the kingpin of crime in Gotham we saw in Batman #28 and when the new creative team takes over her book later in the month.

Batman and Catwoman ruined the deal in hopes of finding Hush but its to no avail given the gang they break up has no connection and Catwoman gave out details to another gang in order to get the loot from it al. Yeah we’re starting to see the kingpin signs and it was a really nice touch to the proceedings of the book and something I will praise Tim Seeley for as his Batman and Catwoman dialogue scenes are great and feel like a classic encounter between the two. This is planting further seeds for the new direction her book will take.

Well Catwoman meets Jade again when she finds her crying in her own apartment only to have lead Bone there. A crimelord Catwoman first encountered back in the beginning of her book in New 52 and beat badly with a baseball batt. That’s nice set. Its some rally good stuff and ends the issue on a nice cliffhanger.

Javier Garrón’s art is very good here and its nicely paces all the events of the story onto page well and keeps things moving in a nice flow and makes characters pop out. He also has good action moments such as when Spoiler leads Batman to a note about a hashtag that people use to track him and thanks him from saving her from who was trying to kill her, Flamingo. Yes another Grant Morrison creation makes its way to the book and confuses the New 52 timeline just as much. Though it was kinda cool to see him in an action scene with Batman.

Elsewhere Batgirl gets her hands on Bard and will get a confession out of him revealing she has the evidence. Bard thinks its silly but Barb shows she means business. Yeah things are kicking in.

Also Croc wants Jade back and fucks shit up.

The issue just keeps the series progressing along towards where it needs to go next and I think its a pretty good installment. Nice writing, nice art leads to something good.

RATING: 4/5

Tube Talk: Brooklyn Nine-Nine: Chocolate Milk

©2014 Fox Braodcasting Co. CR: John Fleenor/FOX

Today on Brooklyn Nine-Nine we learn the true meaning of friendship. No seriously, stop laughing. New review below!

SPOILERS!

Brooklyn Nine-Nine: Season 2: Episode 2: Chocolate Milk: GRADE: A

Chocolate Milk I think is a much stronger return to form this week for the sophomore season, mainly because we’re not dealing with feelings being lingered on between Jake and Santiago, but more the character based humor and plots that really drove the first season for me.

We’ll begin with our main plot in which Terry tells Jake they are just work friends. I mean all of us honestly do have those connections of people and the amount of time we spend with them, we might honestly not be friends with them. We all have our best friends, close and personal friends, you know friend friends but then there is work friends of people you just know at the job and might not see again after you or they go to another job and that’s the realization Jake comes to when trying to further bond with Terry and stopping his vasectomy, which he admits he doesn’t want when drugged off his ass on anesthesia.

We’ve already known how far Jake’s other friendships go with the crew, he and Gina are lifelong friends as explored last season, he and Diaz bonded at the academy, Santiago is based on their partnership, as well as love feelings, and he and Boyle, well Boyle just goes all in on everything. We saw nice moments last year on cases between Jake and Terry but nothing much deeper than all the other ones listed, though Jake did go out of his way to protect Terry when he went back into the field for the sake of his children.

Jake likes to see him as every type of friend, well except for Ross cause that’s Terry’s turf, when he offers to drive him to his appointment. Jake feels the need for complete control and much like last week, Jake learns he can’t control everything. He can’t accept not being Terry’s friend friend and just his work friend. The chemistry going on between Samberg and Crews is flying of the screen when dealing with this revelation or Jake trying to care for drugged out Terry, who thinks Captain Holt should smoke a little weed. Something I think we can all agree on.

We do of course end in a declaration that they are friend friends but I’m not too bothered by it honestly since I could tell that’s where the conclusion of this storyline was going to go. They don’t need to be the best off friends, but I think this can open up for more great opportunities for these characters to work together.

I also like this plot because it leads for great puns about the male genitalia such as spermanment record and my soon to be new favorite film, Scrotal Recall. Also once again, just an amazing comedy showcase for Terry Crews who can honestly do no wrong on this show.

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But that’s not that’s going on this week because the show is going all over the place in the best way that shows off the strengths of this comedy. Captain Holt butting heads with Deputy Chief Wuntch played by Kyra Sedgwick as basically Captain Holt but white. Also a woman. Equally just as funny. Their back and forth is show good and also weird to think Captain Holt could actually hate someone as he long thought Wuntch held him back from a promotion cause he’s gay and she had the hots for him. Also she shot him and was embarrassed in front of Derek Jeter. Once again, pure comedy gold coming off the actors here who deliver the lines so well and have the best timing possible.

This also let Santiago have a highlight with her usual humor but also make us root for her, a major suck-up when standing up to Holt. Once again a huge part as to why this this show works is the chemistry of everyone involved and even that of the guest stars who come on here are perfectly casted.

©2014 Fox Braodcasting Co. CR: John Fleenor/FOX

Then we have Boyle taking Diaz to an engagement party for this ex-fiancé which thankfully doesn’t fall back on his lust for her from last season though. The episode instead confronts that Boyle’s problems have been stemming from his failed almost marriage but does actually come back to the whole friend discussion from Jake and Terry. We get a great exampled of the work friend aspect when the situation first comes up and share frustration over Gina filing preps by hotness and then an honest friend friend moment when they go to the party, complete with Boyle in full cornrows and a Jamaican suit. Perfect.

The Gina and Boyle is briefly handled this week but I’m cool with that actually so we can further develop them secretly knocking boots as bone bros. Which made me laugh way harder than it should have.

This week’s Brooklyn Nine-Nine does fire on all cylinders and reminds me why I do love this show so much for many, many reasons. The main part of it being the cast and how well they deliver the funny writing. This is a prime example of what makes Brooklyn Nine-Nine the show it is.

Tube Talk: The Strain: The Master

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The Strain starts to lay down the ground work for season 2, but how does it wrap up its first season? Answers below.

SPOILERS!

The Strain: Season 1: Episode 13: The Master: GRADE: B

I knew deep down that the season finale of The Strain might feel more like set up for the upcoming second season than coming to a satisfying conclusion of the first season. Like no way The Master would be defeated in the finale since I can’t think of a bigger threat in season two beyond The Master so we need to keep him around. That said, that did still affect the overall quality of the finale itself just a little bit.

That has has to do in part with the advertising of the finale as leading to a “final” battle. We do get our battle with Eph and Setrakian vs. The Master which I thought was a mixed bag between being nicely set up, but felt telegraphed for the characters to fail with its setting of trying just pure sunlight to kill The Master, but its does show The Master’s true power when he’s pushed out into sunlight and that he’s able to just run off and not being a bbq’d vampire. That part was nicely done and came as a sort of shock to me since I thought we couldn’t exactly destroy him now given time in the episode and how much we still needed to do in the episode. Though that does help in part to set up which is very good and has me curious as to our season two story. Especially more of the vampire army commandos which is something too awesome not to follow up on.

As for story, well the fact The Master didn’t give Palmer immortality, but simply just healed him of plot line disease that kicked off the series story as very good and leads to events of season two as well. The way that Jonathan Hyde played that disappointment was nicely done in that, oh hey you got what you wanted, just not yet. We actually get to see something more out of him now that he’s up and kicking again. The Master also apparently gave Palmer super strength as he was abel to just lift up the Secretary of Health over the balcony to her death easily. That moment came so out of nowhere it was kinda awesome in a campy way. Of course now in charge of that position is Eph’s former boss the CDC who dare not defy the dad from Jumanji. That all worked well for me, even the brief scene of Fitzwilliams growing a spine. All nicely done to help set things up.

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Speaking of set up we need go to back to vampire army commandos. Seriously how fucking awesome does vampire army commandos sound? Well there a bit of the problem here cause they are sadly side-saddled with Gus who apparently is to be there chosen day warrior. Why Gus? What the fuck has he done at all this season to prove worthy of this position? Maybe Gus proved his worth with words. Oh right he made comments about him being caught cause he’s Mexican, furthered stereotypes, and only takes on the job for the money, well I can’t hate that too much since so many interesting characters have that motivation, also I can relate man. Gotta get that cash!

Vampire army commandos needs to be a bigger thing in season two, which appear they will and should be because once again, vampire army commandos.

Back to The Master, the showdown underground among the hoard from the group is good but there’s nothing too memorable about it to make it stand out, except the fight with The Master itself which was very good. It leads Eph to feel broken and defeated, well more so inside as he can’t bring himself to admit to Zack his mom has gone to the vampire side, but hey he doesn’t have to when she shows up at the house after their manipulated there by Zack to get a photo album. If the point wasn’t made already, he falls off the wagon.

That’s a nice character moment as well as the planning scene in the beginning, Nora singing to herseld, and Eph and Vasiliy doing the recon that really work.

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Again so much of this season is fully set up for a continuation in season two that I can’t fully look at. I feel like its a bit difficult to talk about this finale because of that and that’s why I think this is a bit a lesser review than some the rest the episodes of the season. I mean we got a final showdown as promised, but yet not as promised.

2014 has already had amazing debuts on TV that have helped show its the golden age of TV and while there is all this great TV out there, The Strain fought to find its voice and its way into being noticed which it did better as it went along. I feel The Strain made its place in the TV mainstay of 2014. Its not truly or deeply impactful but it some real good horror fun that feels slightly incomplete right now because the story needs to continue after a year off, but I look forward to season 2.

FINALE: B

SEASON 1: B+

Batman Eternal #26

So Gotham is officially under Marital Law. Let’s see how terrible that idea will be in the latest issue!

SPOILERS!

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Batman Eternal #26
Written by James Tynion IV; Drawn by R.M. Guera

So this really isn’t all about Hush as we perceived from last week’s issue tease but we do find out Hush’s history via Batman being exposition bot to Julia at Alfred’s hospital room. Its more or less the same as it has been before but with the slight tweak that as a kid, Tommy Elliot cut his parents break line and transmission fluid which caused them to die in a car accident. Slight little tweak from what it was before but that’s fine, and necessary actually given this is another packed issue. Batman is trying to figure out where Hush is, but Hush has gotten one step ahead of him where his doctor, Tommy Elliot (DUN DUN DUUUUUUUUUUN!) has moved him to a better hospital to better suit his needs. Those needs being Arkham Asylum with the Joker’s Daughter claiming he has a new master to serve.

The Hush parts again necessarily short but I wouldn’t have minded a history issue where we see more of Hush, but we get all the information needed about him and knowing Bruce’s secret, is albeit some not so well done exposition dialogue, but that’s the worst thing I can say about Tynion’s writing overall because he still writes a very good Batman story, also if you want more check out his Boom Studios creator owned The Woods. I do like we’re somehow getting back to Arkham since Arkham Manor is coming at the end of the month and we kinda need that to be set up for the book makes sense.

R.M. Guera’s art is good here this week too, though there are a couple awkwardly drawn faces on Barbara and Tim at some point. The issue is light on action except for when the Batfamily goes and deals with the riots all over Gotham, but even then its just one page over a few panels.

I speak of over things going, Stephanie visits dad in jail and posts all the last information to truly bring him down but oh no, someone overwrote her system and has put a $100,000,000 bounty for The Spoiler. Oh Steph, is there any time where you’re not gonna be chased down by several people? That sets something up interesting, but now we’re truly where we were at in Batman #28, I wonder how Steph doe come across the grasps of Catwoman.

Eternal is gearing towards its next act, well as said in DC December solicitations, but things are now truly, truly awful in Gotham. Let’s see how it goes. Hopefully better than Gotham after two episode. OH TOPICAL!

RATING: 3.5/5

Tube Talk: Masters of Sex: The Revolution Will Not Be Televised

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Here we are yet again at the end of Master of Sex’s time on TV for now but let’s go out with a bang. The review below!

SPOILERS!

Masters of Sex: Season 2: Episode 12: The Revolution Will Not Be Televised: GRADE: A-

“What if you let go of everything you thought your life would be?”

This is the question posed to Virginia by Libby in the finale I think incapsulates season two as a whole, but the finale is all about trust and faith. Trust and faith as Bill and Virginia discover are key to their study of sexual dysfunction which will help many people. After seven nights of nonsexual touching, then seven of sexual touching, and finally, seven nights of successful, and successive, sex they finally feel as if their on to something. They might be able to present. I mean why else would Bill feel inclined to dream as if he and Virginia were JFK and Jackie on a parade motorcade, until a Libby shaped roadblock appears. Yeah nothing symbolic there. Well we’re not to Libby yet.

After they see a rough cut of the CBS piece, Bill is well not happy. He had faith CBS would help accurately portray his study but its far from what he trusted them to do, so naturally he’s gonna set out to destroy it because he’s Bill Masters. From some point I can understand, this is his life’s work, his brain child, and as someone who wants to make movies for a living, I’d want my work to represent what I put into it and not what someone thinks it was or focus grouped to all damn hell. Bill has trusts himself this is what the right thing to do is and that his faith is put into soon enough the study being represented accurately.

What Bill doesn’t take into account is how Virginia will be fucked over by this. She’s still very much in a custody battle with George, who is apparently back from the six month sting in Europe, in which he does bring up an offensive point, well too Virginia its offensive, that she cares more about the work and study than she does about their children which prompts her to throw booze right back in his face. Though, he does bring up a good point. Yes the reasoning of staying late and being with Bill was for the study, then it wasn’t, then it was again, but George is right. She isn’t the model mother.

She tries to seek the advice of Libby but she can’t keep her composure in the scene. Virginia thinks of quitting but Libby wisely points out the judge will see that as just a move to get them back. The acting from that scene is really good not just for Caplan but Caitlin Fitzgerald who does bring up the theme of the whole season. Libby always saw herself as the housewife she should be, as many woman where taught to be seen as but she’s discovered more about her this year, more about what life has to give and offer, she’s also discovered Robert. I must saw the Libby subplot here was really good as it has been all season. The scenes with Robert hit home about the theme of living the life you have, not the one you think you have. Robert is Libby’s way of truly living her life. He wants to end it, but Libby doesn’t seeing as he husband didn’t, yeah she more or less knows now, and Libby can’t let it end because she wants this life to continue.

Though we’re gonna get back to the custody thing cause its also this scene where Virginia decides that as long as the children are safe and loved, that’s all that matters. So she reverses the custody agreement, trusting Bill and having faith their work in the documentary will prove her hard work paid off and that she’s been there for her children no matter what. Her custody hinges of the documentary’s success. You know they say when it rains it pours.

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That’s true here. After seeing the rough cut, Bill and crew gets word that a Dr. Kaufman in California is publishing a book similar to Bill’s study so he calls in a couple favors to one get a manuscript of the book which Bill reads and finds it much like the CBS documentary, written for the average joe, not full so much of science and leaks the info of the documentary to Kaufman so another network scoops it up and goes to film it. That’s bad enough, Virginia slowly realizing she just lost her kids, their shot at getting the study realized in the public, and how fucked the day is, Kaufman’s partner is ex-fiancé, Ethan. Will be honest, didn’t see that coming.

Michael Sheen has exemplified all the qualities of Bill masterfully, puns, over these two seasons. I don’t know how accurate he is to the actual Bill Masters but for the show, Sheen has created an intriguingly flawed character. He’s all about the work, holding himself to the highest esteem and standards yet when opprotunity comes he can’t seem to want up in the spotlight, more so this season than last where he wanted the study out there, but the reception wasn’t welcomed. Yet he still wants the people to know but I believe that experience from last season has emotionally gotten to him. He’s afraid of what might happen, but as we know from history, that’s gonna change, though also I see why he doesn’t want it out right now because they are still working to find a way of curing dysfunction.

This is all shown well when we meet Bill’s partner in the sabotage, Barton! Yay Beau Bridges is back and calls Bill out on his bullshit, that working the way Bill works is hell on everyone around him, even Bill himself. Say, just like when he blackmailed Barton to continue the study last season. Bill admits he never wanted to hurt Virginia, but Barton shows Bill he never does, but when he isn’t considering the actions he does will be for those around him, they do end up hurt.

This was such a great scene, not just for the wonderful character work and Bill realizing what an asshole he is, but also tying us back into trust and faith. Things are still bad for Barton with Margaret, their still dealing with Barton’s homosexuality but still loving Margaret. How did he do it? He took a leap of faith because he decided to trust.

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One person that Bill has hurt is Lester, remember miss Kitty? Who while not slightly berating Barb for liking Pillow Talk, look dude as a fellow film lover that might have done the same with an ex, SHUT UP! Just like what you like, alright I got off track there, they are progressing well by sleeping together. Not that, like sleep sleep where you close your eyes and dream and stuff. Bill tells Lester of the breakthrough he and Virginia had, well minus the sex part, but he’s fine not doing it, but Bill can’t by it since as he says, sex is as basic as breathing. Lester is eventually going to want Barb.

Slowly but surely Lester realizes that after seeing L’Avventura, that what he loves, it what makes him passionately take Barb against the car to kiss her. Its obvious as hell Lester and Barb are what the study is about now, but they trust each other so well. Barb’s loosened hair by the end of the finale shows she’s willing to open up for Lester cause of what they’re going through and how much they been there for each other. They trust Bill and Virginia with their new method at the end.

So what of Austen and Flo? Austen realizes Flo is connected to the Kennedy’s tries to get in on that, is shot down and realizes he’s a dumb blonde who’s always gotten when he wanted but doesn’t now, and that really didn’t do much for the finale as a whole. Also Betty was here. See what I mean with out her ex or Helen there, what use is she to the story?

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The season has been up and down, but its never lost focus on being great. This is still one the better shows on TV right now, well when it focuses on the study and characters involved in that part, and show that Showtime is still capable of top programming. I think looking at them both, season one feels a lot stronger in terms of narrative and character work but season two has Fight, the series finest hour yet and that’s a good arguement for itself, though not much. Season two hit all the buttons it needed to and I’m so happy about that.

FINALE: A-

SEASON TWO: A-