What I ___ Today: Oct. 23, 2014

Posted: October 25, 2014 in What I ___ Today
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What I Watched Today: Arrow (season 3 episode 3)


Alright, I think this goes without saying at this point, but Arrow has this whole world building thing down. They continue to do a fantastic job of bringing in the greater DC Universe piece by piece. Let’s just do the quick list of the ones I caught in this episode. Mark Shaw/Manhunter, Ted Grant/Wildcat and O.M.A.C. Yup, O.M.A.C. That one was blink and you’ll miss it. If you didn’t see it, go back and look at the blueprints Ray Palmer is checking out at the end of his last scene with Felicity. Not sure what’s going to come of that, maybe nothing, but I love that it was in there even if I’m not a big fan of The New 52 O.M.A.C. appearances.

Now, neither Ted Grant or Mark Shaw appears in their costumed personas, but they did both survive the episode, so we’ll have to wait and see. For Shaw’s part, they establish him as an A.R.G.U.S. agent so I wouldn’t be surprised if the next time we see the Suicide Squad, he’s among their ranks (and hopefully Harley Quinn as well). While Shaw actually has the larger role in this episode, Ted Grant had the more interesting one in my opinion as it plays into the transformation of Laurel into Black Canary. Even though it’s pretty easy to see the beats in that particular story coming as the episode progresses (Laurel meets Grant, gets offered training, refuses, tries to be a hero on her own, fails, goes to Oliver for training, he refuses, goes back to Grant, ok, let’s train) it’s still interesting and satisfying to watch.

Speaking interesting and satisfying to watch, let’s talk about Thea’s transformation. Yes, it was super fast. Malcolm obviously put her through some really intense training to turn her into a badass so quickly. That’s one thing thhis show seems to have a problem with. They did the same thing with Roy at the end of last season and I’m sure they’ll end up doing the same with Laurel. That said though, I do really like this new role Thea is being slid into (and her new haircut). My question is, Oliver is already asking questions and Malcolm is evidently showing up in Starling next episode, so how long is it going to be before Oliver realizes what Thea has become?


What I Read Today: Attack on Titan, vol. 12


One step closer on my journey to catch up on Attack on Titan, and boy, when it’s all said and done, I think we’ll look back on this as a very important piece of this story. We spend a lot of time with Reiner and Bertolt, get a bit more of a look at the relationship between Krista/Historia and Ymir and Mikasa and Eren have what was probably their most heartfelt and loving moment to date. As tends to be the nature of this series, a lot happens, yet nothing happens, we learn a lot, yet don’t actually learn anything at all. Just another day in the world of Attack on Titan really.

The main thrust of this volume focuses on the Survey Corps and the Military Police, as well as essentially all the non-Titan principle characters in the story and their efforts to retrieve Eren from Reiner and Bertolt. Ymir is on the ‘to be rescued’ list as well, but that quickly changes once she snatches Krista off her horse (by eating her) and taking off back to Reiner and Bertolt. From there we get a bit more of a look at just what a close relationship Krista and Ymir seem to have and how dedicated to each other they seem to be, but I’ll talk more about them in a moment. First, let’s talk about what i feel is a much more interesting insight, coming from Reiner and Bertolt. There is a great sense of desperation to these two characters at this point, particularly Bertolt as Reiner spends most the volume in Titan form. Defying readers desires to only see these two as villains now that they’ve been revealed, Hajime Isayama presents us with men who are as scared of returning ‘to their home town’ without Eren as they are of the throngs of soldiers chasing them, and who are also apparently conflicted over the actions they’ve had to take. We saw it a bit in volume 11 with the reveal of Reiner’s apparent split personality, and we get even more here in Bertolt’s pleas to Connie that all their time training together and palling around wasn’t just lies. It’s an interesting way to approach these characters rather than simply painting them as evil, i doubt they’ll be finding much forgiveness from their former comrades any time soon though. Before stepping away from Reiner and Bertolt, I have to mention Armin, and how brilliantly he manipulates Bertolt’s feeling for Annie. It was a darkly beautiful moment from a character that tends to be overshadowed by Eren and Mikasa.

Returning to Ymir and Krista, I talked about how we get a closer look at their relationship this volume, and actually in an odd way I’ve begun to see certain parallels between their relationship and that of Eren and Mikasa, particularly in the end when Ymir turns her back and seems to abandon Krista for Reiner and Bertolt (similar in a fashion to the multiple occassions in the series that Eren has been taken from Mikasa), though Ymir’s exact motivations for this act remain something of a mystery. On the topic of Eren and Mikasa, the climax of this particular volume revolves around them facing down a threat from their past, the Titan that ate Eren’s mother way back at the beginning of the series. It’s in this moment that the two have, as I called it earlier, their most heartfelt, loving moment to date. The fact they didn’t actually kiss felt like such a tease. I know, you can argue that their more like siblings and that kissing would be weird, but when you read the scene you’ll understand. Something else came out of this scene as well, apparent new powers for Eren, who now seems to have the ability to control, or at least to direct other (perhaps weaker/less intelligent/less sentient) Titans. This is certainly an interesting development and i’m looking forward to seeing where it goes. Reiner refers to him (internally) as possessing the “coordinate,” but obviously we’re going to have to wait and see what exactly that means.



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