Wednesday, December 13, 2017

A Binge Worthy Review: Marvel's the Defenders


Did you watch Marvel’s the Defenders? I did but unfortunately, not many others tuned in to this small screen superhero team up. For some reason, our small screen heroes have higher ratings in their series than they did together. Seems to be the opposite effect for these heroes on the big screen. Viewership for the next Avengers is sure to blow all the solo movies out of the water. But I’m not sure why seeing the Defenders wasn’t as rewarding for viewers.  So, let's pull this series apart and see where it shined and where it fell short.  From this moment on there will be SPOILERS ahead, and if you haven’t seen this show, maybe this review will persuade you to check it out.


First things first if you think you can jump right in with this show you’d be wrong and incredibly lost. Because I have watched all the series and I was still lost.  This show is very interconnected with each other which is great, but as a viewer that watches countless shows, you tend to forget somethings. Luckily it didn’t ruin the experience for me I just had to recall moments as I was watching the show.  So, if you haven’t watched each Hero’s solo series, I recommend that you do because they’ll all great. No, wait Jessica Jones and Daredevil were great from start to finish. Luke Cage and Iron Fist took a little while, but they’re overall great shows.


When it comes to any superhero show or film, there is always the big bad. And in this series our heroes you up against the hand.  No relation to the foot from Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles who are also ninjas who have been around for quite a while. 

 
 

Alright back to the hand which is a secret and very covert organization who have been around for centuries. And who have found ways to outrun death. So apparently the leader is none other than Sigourney Weaver. She is close to death and has put all her cards and hopes on the Black Sky who is, Elektra. We also see the other members from the hand who have popped up in the other series.  And are now joining together to destroy an entire city. And the only ones around to stop them are some street level heroes known as the Defenders.  So, with that bit of background let’s talk about some of the highlights of the series and what to expect next for these heroes.

 


The number one thing this series did well was the choreographed group fight scenes. They all highlighted each of the heroes and got better as the series progressed because the heroes started coming together and fighting better as a team. We already know there all bad-ass individuals, but it was refreshing to see them as a bad-ass team. 
 
 
My favorite scene with them together would have to be the one in the Chinese restaurant. Jessica Jones kicks it off with ramming into the restaurant with a car and knocking out Elektra. She has been kicking the Defenders asses up to till this point.

 


I will say that Elektra was one of the standout characters in this series. Each scene she was in was binge-worthy goodness.  She was so unpredictable and kicking ass at every turn. I mean she was in the most shocking moment of the show where she straight up kills the big bad Sigourney Weaver. And then she takes over has the big bad in the show.

 



Our heroes in the show were great, and I loved the dynamic between Iron Fist and Luke Cage.
 
 
 
The only thing I didn't care for was the way Karen and Foggy were hero shaming Daredevil. What I mean by hero shamming is that the entire time things were going down they didn’t want him to get involved. They wanted him to give up Daredevil and remain Matt Murdock. But what they don’t understand is that the two are one in the same. The beginning of the series shows how miserable he is after no donning the suit for months. Because he shut off a piece of himself and when he puts the suit on again he is complete. His whole demeanor changes and he is pumped to kick some hand ninja ass.

In the end, our heroes defeat the hand but not without some casualties.  Misty losses a hand in the last battle.  And Daredevil and Elektra are presumed dead. But the final credits show Daredevil healing up in some place that will probably be revealed in the next season of Daredevil. Luke Cage will have to battle against Shades and Mariah to protect Harlem. Iron Fist will have to reinvent what it means to be the Iron Fist and what is his new purpose. Jessica Jones will be on a journey to decipher how she got her abilities.  I will say that this show kicked off some interesting things to come in our heroes upcoming series.  Overall, I will give this show a 4 out of 5 stars. I encourage you to go and find out what makes this show binge-worthy.







Photo Credit: theodysseyonline.com, Den of Geek.com, gizmodo.com.au, My Everyday Lifestyle.com, Comics Verse.com, CinemaBlend.com, Pure Fandom.com

Created by: Jasmine Yard

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

The SmackDown Files: Like Sands Through The Hourglass, So Are The Days of Our Rusev (12-12-2017)


By: Keila Cash

Hello everyone and welcome to another installment of The SmackDown Files. Tonight’s episode of SmackDown Live emanated from the U.S. Bank Arena in Cincinnati, Ohio. It’s the go-home show for Clash of Champions which takes place this Sunday from the TD Garden in Boston, Massachusetts. Every championship will be defended along with Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn’s careers being on the line as they face Shinsuke Nakamura and Randy Orton in a tag team match with Shane McMahon serving as the special guest referee.

Daniel Bryan wasn’t thrilled with McMahon inserting himself in the match which might cause Bryan to make some power moves of his own in order to seize control from his boss. Is Bryan on the verge of joining the dark side of the force or will he find his moral compass in the nick of time? The answer to that question can be found throughout this blog. Without further ado, let’s dissect tonight’s show in no particular order.  


·        Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn wearing “Yep! Yep! Yep!” t-shirts in the style and vein of Daniel Bryan’s vintage “Yes! Yes! Yes!” shirt is awesome.

·        The Singh Brothers offered their professional services to AJ Styles after Jinder Mahal beat them up two weeks ago when they failed to beat Styles in a 2-on-1 handicap match.

·        The Singh Brothers talked about how Mahal mistreated them when it came to subpar flight/hotel accommodations, confusing them for being identical twins by forcing them to wear the same clothes and kissing his smelly feet.

·        Styles did a great job egging them on as he revealed a photo of Singh One and Singh Two still pledging their allegiance to Mahal during a live event in India this past week. He saw through their ruse and proceeded to kick their ass as Mahal looked on from ringside. Styles invited Mahal to get in the ring, but the modern-day Maharajah backed down to check on his minions as the opening segment came to an end with the Phenomenal One standing tall.

·        This was a fun way to start the show. The Singh Brothers were entertaining on the mic while Styles did a great job no-selling their sob story. The creative team taking the comedic route five days before Styles’ WWE Championship title defense against Mahal was an interesting choice, but it was harmless for the most part. Here’s hoping their feud culminates with a Styles win on Sunday because the Mahal Experiment was more miss than hit despite him getting more comfortable as a main eventer in recent months.

·        Charlotte vs. Ruby Riott ended via disqualification after Natalya clotheslined Charlotte at ringside. The Riot Squad continued their attack on Charlotte and was about to slam her face first underneath the steel steps when Naomi made the save. Naomi delivered an insane double dropkick to Liv Morgan and Sarah Logan before going after Riott with a series of sick forearms before laying her out with The Rearview.

·        The Riot Squad tried to escape, but they were greeted with a sneak attack from Carmella, Tamina, and Lana which tips the scales heading into the SmackDown Women’s Championship Lumberjack Match between Charlotte and Natalya at Clash of Champions.

·        Baron Corbin and Dolph Ziggler ended via disqualification when Bobby Roode dropped Ziggler with a Glorious DDT. Corbin suffered the same fate as this was a nice callback to Ziggler doing the same thing to Roode and Corbin last week. This was an okay way to the hype their Triple Threat Match for the United States Championship at Clash of Champions.

·        The Bludgeon Brothers destroyed the team of Colin Delaney and Joe Monroe when Harper pinned Delaney with the Double Chokeslam. The highlight of the match was Monroe’s outstanding facial expressions and high pitched scream when Harper dropped him with a Powerbomb. I think WWE has found the next James Ellsworth. They need to sign that man to a contract. Stat!

·        Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn’s Yep Movement paid dividends when Daniel Bryan announced that he would be the second special guest referee in Owen and Zayn’s match against Shinsuke Nakamura and Randy Orton. With Shane McMahon vowing to fire KO and Zayn if they lose, will Bryan tip the scales of power by willing his former buddies to victory? We shall find out soon enough.

·        Aiden English and Rusev defeated The Usos when English pinned Jey Uso with a DDT in a solid match. English and Rusev are riding a wave of momentum heading into Clash of Champions as they face The New Day, Chad Gable & Shelton Benjamin, and The Usos in a Fatal 4-Way Match for SmackDown Tag Team Titles. This could be a show stealer if everything goes according to plan.

·        Jinder Mahal attacked AJ Styles backstage and warned Styles that he wouldn’t overcome the odds on Sunday. Based on Styles staring at the lights five days before a PPV, booking suggests that he retain the WWE Championship on Sunday. I think…

·        Kevin Owens defeated Shinsuke Nakamura with a Popup Powerbomb in a very good main event match. However, the night ended on a controversial note when Daniel Bryan inserted himself in the match to count the pinfall. Owens inadvertently knocked out the first ref which caused Bryan to intervene down the stretch. Nakamura had Owens pinned for the win, but Bryan took a pregnant pause before getting in the ring to make the count.

·        Randy Orton and Sami Zayn brawled inside the ring as Bryan gave them leeway to fight it out. Zayn poked Orton in the eyes at ringside and tried to distract Nakamura when he had Owens in position for the Kinshasa. Nakamura pushed Zayn off the ring apron, but the diversion gave Owens enough time to hit his finisher for the 1-2-3.

·        SD Live went off the air with Owens and Zayn celebrating on the main stage while Byron Saxton proclaimed that the fix was in heading into the PPV on Sunday with Bryan in KO and Zayn’s back pocket.

·        Saxton was pushing the narrative that Bryan was stepping on Shane McMahon’s toes by naming himself with second special guest referee without talking to his superior first. Bryan downplayed the issue by noting that WWE is in the business of doing the unexpected and vowed to work with McMahon during the week to determine how they’re going to officiate the tag team match on Sunday.

·        Saxton was relentless towards Bryan on commentary which means only one thing…Swerve Alert! When WWE tries to hammer an angle to the point that the outcome is damn near academic, expect the opposite to happen. Bryan has been hinting at joining the dark side of the force in recent weeks. With Saxton accusing Bryan of being corrupt based on his actions during the main event, one can assume that Bryan is poised to turn heel at Clash of Champions.

·        However, WWE history suggests that it’s usually the other around when it comes to heel turns. Shane McMahon has been power hungry as of late. His thirst for revenge might ring true, but he’s a McMahon which makes inherently evil by default. Is there a greater scheme at play? Will Saxton’s conspiracy theory about Bryan come to fruition? The answers to these questions can be found on the WWE Network this Sunday. It should be an interesting night, to say the least. Get your popcorn ready!

·        Overall, I thought tonight’s episode was middling at best. The go-home show for Clash of Champions featured good hype for the key matches, but it didn’t make me more excited for the PPV on Sunday. The in-ring quality was so-so with two matches ending via disqualification in consecutive segments. It made sense from a storyline standpoint, but it lacked creativity in the grand scheme of things.

·        The main event salvaged saved the show which makes me excited for the tag team match featuring Randy Orton and Shinsuke Nakamura vs. Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn with Shane McMahon and Daniel Bryan serving as special guest referees. I highly doubt that Owens and Zayn are going to be fired from WWE which means one of the special refs is going rogue. Based on what happened tonight, my money’s on Shane-O-Mac to do the honors. We shall see how it all plays out, but expect a jaw-dropping conclusion that will leave the wrestling world buzzing.



On that note, this wraps up another edition of The SmackDown Files. I hope you enjoyed it and I will be back next week with a brand new installment of The Raw Exposé. See you later, boys and girls! 

Monday, December 11, 2017

The Raw Exposé: WWE Presents - Monster Mash III Starring Kane, Braun Strowman, and Brock Lesnar (AKA The Threequel From Hell)


By: Keila Cash


Location: Quicken Loans Arena (The Q)
State and City: Cleveland, Ohio (AKA: LeBron James Country)


·        Samoa Joe kicked off Raw by calling out Roman Reigns. Seth Rollins and Dean Ambrose were watching Joe’s promo from backstage as Ambrose ran off to find Reigns.

·        Joe continued to goad Reigns into a fight as he bragged about costing Ambrose and Rollins the Raw Tag Team Championship last week. He ruined The Shield’s chance of becoming a dominant force that holds all the gold in WWE. Reigns joined his Shield brothers backstage and told them that he would handle Joe on his own.

·        Reigns came down to the ring to fight Joe as the crowd popped for the confrontation. Reigns had things under control until Cesaro and Sheamus jumped him from behind. The ambush allowed Joe to lock Reigns in the Coquina Clutch as Rollins and Ambrose ran down to make the save.

·        The numbers game got the best of them as Sheamus and Cesaro laid Rollins out with the White Noise/Diving Neckbreaker before Joe dropped Ambrose with an Urnage as the opening segment came to an end with the heels standing tall in the ring.

·        This was a hot way to start the show. Samoa Joe cut a great promo explaining why he wasn’t intimidated by The Shield. Joe’s confidence was valid because he injured Seth Rollins’ knee the night after the Royal Rumble while Dean Ambrose was too scared to fight him like a man.

·        Joe put Roman Reigns to sleep more times than he could count which demonstrated his dominance on the main roster this year.

·        Therefore. The Black Sheep didn’t need backup in order get ahead. *cough* Bullshit… *cough*

·        Heels lie, but Joe still looked strong as he laid out The Shield thanks to an assist from The Bar. This was a nice way to set up the trio of matches set for later tonight featuring Joe vs. Ambrose, Rollins vs. Sheamus, and Reigns vs. Cesaro for the Intercontinental Championship.

·        Paige and Mandy Rose defeated Mickie James and Bayley when Rose pinned James after Paige kicked her in the head behind the referee’s back. The match was solid as Paige’s offense was crisper versus her so-so outing against Sasha Banks last week.

·        Absolution continues to dominate the women’s division, but the scripting of Mandy Rose and Sonya Deville needs to be overhauled ASAP. Paige needs to be the spokeswoman for the group. She has the charisma and presence to pull off WWE Speak than the NXT upstarts who have little experience in that department outside of their various promo classes at the Performance Center. They will get better in time, but they should stick to kicking ass instead of talking trash because it leaves the audience cold.

·        WOKEN Matt Hardy and Bray Wyatt are raging a war that will see Woken Matt face off against the pilot embodying the spirit of Sister Abigail. Hardy mooing like a cow while cackling at the same time made me laugh to no end. Week two of the WOKEN Experiment is a success!

·        Finn Bàlor defeated Curtis Axel with the Coup De Grace in a quick match. Axel and Bo Dallas double teamed Bàlor before the bell rang, but Bàlor overcame the odds and pulled out the win. Who knew beating The Miztourage was such hard work? *Insert Sarcasm Here*

·        Seth Rollins defeated Sheamus with the King’s Landing/Ripcord Knee in a gritty match. Sheamus targeted Rollins left knee which caused Rollins to work with one leg midway through the bout.

·        Rollins sold the knee beautifully as he dropped Sheamus with a Superplex from the top rope followed by the Falcon’s Arrow while favoring the left knee at the same time. He tried to make the cover, but he couldn’t get the three-count because he was clutching his knee to numb the pain.

·        Sheamus got back on offense and was about to win the match with the Brogue Kick when Rollins countered with a Superkick followed by the Running Knee Strike for the win.

·        This was a strong match that the fans got into towards the end. Kudos to both men for a job well done.

·        The Second Chance Fatal Four Way match featuring Cedric Alexander, Tony Nese, Mustafa Ali, and Ariya Daivari ended with Alexander pinning Daivari with the Lumbar Check in a good match. Alexander will face Drew Gulak next week to determine the number one contender for Enzo Amore’s Cruiserweight Championship.

·        The match was fast-paced and hard-hitting throughout, but it lacked crowd heat. The audience has no reason to care about Alexander and Ali going at it unless they watch 205 Live on a regular basis. The standing Spanish Fly into a Lumber Check was the hottest spot of the match, but it still didn’t get the crowd on its feet. Until the wrestlers develop fleshed out personalities that grabs the audience’s on an emotional level, the apathy towards the Cruiserweight Division will continue which sucks considering the world-class talent involved.

·        However, an honorary mention goes to Drew Gulak for deflecting Michael Cole’s questions about beating Enzo for the Cruiserweight Title. Gulak dodged the issue like Neo from The Matrix. His sharp wit is refreshing which makes him stand out from the pack. He is a star on the rise who can get over if he’s given the chance to do so.

·        The burgeoning romance between Nia Jax and Enzo Amore continues. Drew Gulak being a part of the zaniness is the cherry on top.

·        Roman Reigns defeated Cesaro with the Spear to retain the Intercontinental Championship in a very good match. This was another bout where the heel targeted a body part as Cesaro went after Reigns’ right arm. Cesaro locked him in various armbars in order to gain the advantage.

·        Reigns powered through and got back on offense when he dropped Cesaro with a Powerbomb. He went for the Superman Punch, but Cesaro blocked him by targeting his arm. He nailed him with a sick European Uppercut for a near fall, but it wasn’t enough to put away Reigns.

·        Cesaro let his emotions get the best of him when he drilled Reigns with a series of uppercuts in the corner. The referee had to break things up which led to the finish moments later.

·        The Roman Reigns Intercontinental Championship Invitational rolls on with The Big Dog still holding the gold. For now…

·        Here’s my match tracker ranking Reigns’ IC Title defenses so far:

·        Reigns vs. Jordan > Reigns vs. Elias < Reigns vs. Cesaro.

·        Asuka’s match against Alicia Fox never took place because Absolution attacked Fox backstage.

·        After giving Asuka a pass over the past couple of weeks, Paige gave Asuka the chance to step aside or get pushed aside by Absolution. The Empress of Tomorrow stood her ground and was kicking Absolution’s ass until the numbers game caught up with her.

·        Paige was about to drop Asuka with the Ram Paige when Sasha Banks, Bayley, Mickie James, Alicia Fox, Dana Brooke, Nia Jax, and Alexa Bliss ran out to make the save.

·        Paige & Company are formidable as a trio, but they couldn’t withstand a seven-on-three beat down. For one night, the women’s locker room joined forces for the greater good. Don’t expect the warm and fuzzies to last long because egos will inevitably get in the way of keeping the peace long-term.

·        Samoa Joe made Dean Ambrose pass out to the Coquina Clutch thanks to an unlikely assist from Jason Jordan. Jordan was watching the match from ringside and decided to get an up-close look at the action as he made his way down ringside.

·        The action spilled to the outside as Jordan tossed Ambrose back in the ring to help him pick up the win via count out.

·        Joe put Jordan in the Coquina Clutch, but Ambrose broke things up with a dive through the ropes which took out both men.

·        Ambrose tossed Joe back in the ring and laid him out with an elbow from the top rope. Ambrose had the match won, but Jordan distracted the referee which gave Joe enough time to kick out at two (or seven).

·        Ambrose rolled out of the ring to confront Jordan. Jordan was about to drop the Lunatic Fringe with a Suplex until Joe laid out both men with a dive of his own before putting Ambrose to sleep for the win.

·        Samoa Joe’s plan wasn’t a total fail as he managed to save the night by taking care of Ambrose. Jordan continues to straddle the fence when it comes to his good intentions, but his true motive remains suspect as he cost Ambrose the match by “accident.”

·        After last week’s shaky performance, Jordan is starting to click as a quasi-heel that gets under the crowd’s skin for all the right reasons while Kurt Angle remains oblivious to his son’s less than noble actions as of late.

·        Braun Strowman vs. Kane ended via double count-out after both men failed to get back in the ring before the count of ten. Strowman and Kane were having a decent match that spilled into the crowd while the referee was counting.

·        Strowman slammed Kane through the barricade which led to the disappointing finish. The fans booed, but both monsters won them over when they continued the fight at ringside.

·        There was a steel steeps duel which saw Kane suffer the brunt of the hit. Strowman introduced a table to the proceedings as the crowd popped something fierce.

·        He set up the table, but Kane nailed him with a chair shot to the knee before nailing him several chair shots to the back.

·        Strowman fought back which resulted in both men taking a breather. Kane sat up first, but Strowman channeled his inner Undertaker by sitting up moments later as the Big Red Machine looked on in shock.

·        Kane tried to chokeslam Strowman, but the Monster Among Men countered as he put Kane through the table with a Running Powerslam.

·        Raw went off the air with Strowman standing tall while Corey Graves wondered who will face Brock Lesnar for the Universal Championship at the Royal Rumble next month.

·        Based on the finish, I expect Kurt Angle to book a Triple Threat Match between Kane, Strowman, and Lesnar for the Universal Title. It makes sense despite Strowman and Lesnar having a less than stellar match at the No Mercy PPV a few months ago. Kane is a wild card, but I don’t expect this match to set the world on fire outside of a few power spots.

·        Finn Bàlor was sacrificed at the altar for this smorgasbord of ridiculata. Considering Joe’s dominating performance at Great Balls of Fire earlier this year, he’s more deserving of a rematch than the two resident monsters of WWE. Unless an 11th-hour decision is made next week, Monster Mash III is going down at the Royal Rumble next month. Oh, joy! *Insert Sarcasm Here*

·        Overall, I thought tonight’s episode of Raw was decent at best. The in-ring action was strong throughout the night which had a better flow from start to finish versus last week’s show. Every segment had a purpose which forwarded several storylines heading into the end of the year.

·        WWE is delaying Roman Reigns vs. Samoa Joe for the Intercontinental Championship which is smart since they have a lot of time between now and the Royal Rumble. Jason Jordan continues to stick his nose in their business which adds an extra wrinkle to their feud.

·        Meanwhile, Woken Matt Hardy and Bray Wyatt continue to entertain which should lead to the Great War of 2018 if everything goes according to plan.

·        Sheamus and Cesaro & Dean Ambrose vs. Seth Rollins will eventually settle their score while a certain duo waits in the wings to strike. No Flips, Just Fists…

·        Absolution got a dose of their own medicine when the numbers game caught up to them, but don’t expect the rest of the women’s locker room to play nice for long because the heel to face ratio is still unbalanced.

·        These moving parts are keeping Raw afloat as the march towards the 25th Anniversary special rolls on. I’m not a huge fan of Brock Lesnar defending the Universal Championship against Kane or Braun Strowman at the Royal Rumble, but it shouldn’t be too bad if it makes sense from a booking standpoint. Finn Bàlor deserves the shot more, but that ship has sailed because he’s not OVER enough. Le sigh!


On that note, this wraps up another edition of The Raw Exposé. I hope you enjoyed it and I will be back tomorrow night with a brand new installment of The SmackDown Files. See you later, boys and girls! 

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Rebels Recap Midseason Review: Star Wars Rebels the Final Season


Welcome back rebels to the final season of Star Wars Rebels.  I’m sure you’ve noticed some changes this season one being that each week there are two episodes released. Each episode contains two parts which are great, but I want to savor the last season as much as possible. Don’t just throw the episodes at me slow down a little. This season will have 16 episodes, and we are already more than halfway done. 

But before the end, there are few things or events that must happen before that final episode.  The first being the romances. It must happen, and no unrequited love will not be acceptable. This season should have Hera and Kanan at least acknowledge their feeling and seal the deal with a kiss. The same for Sabine and Ezra give this young love a great beginning to their love story.

The second event I must see, or should I say a person is, Ahsoka Tano. Is she still alive and if so what is she doing and what is her new purpose?  The final thing that concerns me is what becomes of Phoenix Squadron do they all survive and are they continuing to fight for the rebellion during the original trilogy.  Let’s see where this season is taking us and wherein the galaxy far far away does our beloved characters end up. For the remainder of this review, SPOILERS are ahead.

 Rebels Recap: Heroes of Mandalore Part 1 & 2

 

The first two episodes pick up in a place that is a direct result of last season’s finale. When Sabine came to help the rebellion against Thrawn, she asked for help in return. The rebels travel to Mandalore to rescue her father from being executed from the Empire. Just for a second, I want to focus on Sabine.  She still is resistant and unwilling to claim the dark saber as her own. Instead, she tries to hand it off to anyone who is willing to take on that responsibility. Sabine wants nothing more than to help her people not lead her people.

 
 
So, a few of our rebels including Kanan, Ezra, and Chopper lend Sabine and her fellow Mandalorians a hand in this prison break.  Everything goes as well as it usually does until they realize that her father is not here, it’s a trap! 

 

Sabine receive some help from a familiar face, Bo-Katan. As soon as Sabine hears she’s a legendary Mandalorian she immediately tries to hand her the dark saber. Bo-Katan refuses she doesn’t believe she is the leader Mandalore needs but believes that Sabine could be.
It turns out the Sabine's father is being transported to the capital for a public execution. So there only chance to save him would be before they reach the capital.  Once again Sabine takes the lead, and Ezra ultimately is the one to save him with the assistance from the jetpack. Which isn’t his favorite tool but it’s interesting seeing him struggle with it. The Jedi usually pick up things fast, but Ezra is a slow learner when it comes to that Jetpack.  We finally meet Sabine’s father, Alrich Wren, who also has a passion for art.  At first, Sabine was worried her Dad wouldn’t be happy to see her because of her involvement with that weapon. A weapon that we have yet to see but moments later is put into action against several members of her clan including her mother and brother.
 

 
 
Bo-Katan was furious with Sabine for creating such weapon that attacks the armor that Mandalorians hold so dear.  Sabine explained how sorry she was for this and was willing to go on Saxon’s Star Destroyer to destroy the weapon for good.  Once our rebels reach the Star Destroyer, they break off into teams while one team is the distraction, the other two go to wipe any record of the weapon and destroy the prototype.  Sabine and Bo-Katan run into some trouble when Governor Saxon turns the weapon on them but lowers the power, so it only has them lying on the ground in agony. 
 


 
Governor Saxon ends up falling for the oldest trick in the book when Sabine agrees to fix the weapon. She then turns the weapon on them. The weapon now is now affecting the Stormtrooper armor. And the weapon is no longer turned down, so Sabine is about to straight murder an entire fleet. But thankfully Bo-Katan knocks some sense into her, and she destroys the weapon.   The episode ends with Sabine giving Bo-Katan the dark saber and this time she accepts it. The only good thing about Sabine not having the dark saber anymore is that she gets to return to the ghost crew.


 Rebels Recap: In the Name of the Rebellion Part 1 & 2   




Which leads us to our next two-part episode where Sabine, Ezra, Kanan, and Chopper return to Yavin 4 Base one and are welcomed back by Zeb. And witness Hera returning from a mission with her crew nearly crashing landing. A mission that could have been successful if a certain powerful communication relay didn’t allow the Empire to responded quickly to the rebel’s attack. Apparently, there was information divulged to them about a very powerful communication relay, but the source was one they did not trust. That source was non-other than Saw Gerrera.
 
In response to them not listening Saw sends a droid that allows him to talk  with Mon Mothma. This conversation is made in front of everyone, so they can see how two people fighting for the same thing can have two completely different approaches.  When it comes to Saw Gerrera character, it’s all about how far your willing to go in war.

 
 
Our rebels are given a mission to tap into the commination relay which would allow them to listen in on the Empire. Not the response Ezra or Hera was looking forward to hearing. They wanted nothing more but to destroy it. But orders are orders, so the rebels proceed, but you already know the plan is going to go wrong some way before its resolved.  Ezra, Sabine, and Chopper drop down onto the dish and are in the process of bugging the rely when another ship arrives, and the dish starts to move.  Once again Ezra is put up to speaking with the Empire. He messes it up again by claiming to be the guy he was speaking too.  While Kanan, Zeb, and Hera are fighting in the air, the others are fighting on a moving communication dish.
 

 
And in the nick of time Saw Gerrera shows up with explosives and offers them a ride.  The communication relay is destroyed, and Ezra, Sabine, and Chopper are forced onto a mission with Saw. What could go wrong?
 
 

This mission has to do with the top-secret project that we all know is the death star, and they have yet to uncover. But they’ve come close a couple of times on this show to unlocking the truth.  They board a civilian cargo ship that has lots of imperial officers aboard which is very suspicious. 
 

 
They first find civilian prisoners who are all researchers and mechanics. The second thing they see is a massive and unstable Kyber crystal.  A Kyber crystal powers a Jedi lightsaber. Saw turns on them and Stuns Sabine and Ezra and makes the Kyber crystal unstable. That abruptly stops that partnership has Saw leaves our rebels behind.


 
 
They escape and help the civilians as the Kyber crystal engulfs the cargo ship and a Star Destroyer.  Those civilians then deiced to fight the rebellion against the empire. Another win for the rebels.



 Rebels Recap: The Occupation & Flight of the Defender


Our next set of episodes brings us back to Lothal and it’s no longer the home Ezra remembers.  The circumstances that bring our rebels back to Lothal having nothing to do with freeing them from Empire occupation but rather intelligence gathering.  During a mission briefing, it was revealed that the Empire is developing yet another new TIE Defender.  So, they want to send in a team to investigate and gather any information they can on this new TIE Defender. Even knowing that this team will probably never make it back, they still greenlight the mission.
 
Of course, Ezra jumps at the chance to go back home. It’s been his only wish for the rebellion to help is home be freed from the Empire, but it was made clear that is home is not the only one. There hundreds of planets under Empire Occupation and the Rebellion must be smarter than the Empire when deciding to make any moves.  Or they will lose, and the fighting will have all been for nothing. So, our rebels all prepare for departure to Lothal.  I haven’t mentioned this yet, but Kallus is looking good, the rebellion suits him well.  Our rebels are smuggled into Lothal with the help from Cikatro Vizago.  Once our rebels are reach Lothal Ezra notices immediately the effect the Empire had on his home. “It looks like its dying—burnt away by the Empire,” said Ezra. 

 

The Empire scan the ship and detect other life signs so once the ship lands on Lothal the Empire is waiting there for inspection. Our rebels escape, but Vizago is captured.  Our rebels split up and search the city for transportation and any sign of familiar faces.
 
 
Leading us to a moment between Kanan and Hera. When Kanan wishes he could see Hera. She replies, “You could always see me.”  And they lean in for the kiss and nope. The Empire crashes the party, and our Rebels run to Old Jho’s. The Empire now control a place that was a haven away from the Empire. Old Jho was killed by the Empire and is another loss felt by Ezra. Our rebels receive some help from Jai Kell who shows them old smuggling tunnels to escape from the Empire. After a few close calls, the rebels reach the end where they find Ryder who pulls them all to safety.

The first thing Ryder ask is when the rest of the rebellion is coming to help, and unfortunately, as of now, that won’t happen. So, the rebels inform him of their current plan to investigate the Empire’s new fighter.  Which they hope will lead the Rebellion to reconsidered helping Lothal fight against the Empire.
 
The rebel investigate the new TIE defender and are amazed by how fast it is and of course the rebels don’t stick to the plan. And by rebels, I mean Sabine and Ezra. Sabine decides that the flight data recorder would be much better intel to delivery to the rebellion. But the catch is it's inside the ship, so she sneaks into the ship while Ezra stands guard. And of course, things go wrong, and Ezra is to blame. He is distracted by the Loth-wolf when a Stormtrooper spots him and starts to shoot at him. Capturing the attention of non-other than Grand Admiral Thrawn and Ezra waves at him. He then jumps into the ship with Sabine. They decide to take the ship and start to shoot all the other ships and the start shooting at Thrawn.  And he just stands there and shoots back like a total badass.
 


 
Sabine and Ezra then try to fly away, but fortunately, she remembers that the Empire has the power to disassemble a ship which causes them to crash land.  Sabine and Ezra hide the ship's hyperdrive and will use it later to escape and deliver the flight data recorder. Ezra receives some help from the Loth-wolf who knocks out Sabine and carries them to the rest of the ghost crew.
 
 

 Rebels Recap: Kindred & Crawler Commandeers


 
The next two episodes and the mission are to get the flight data recorder back to the rebel base.  While our rebels go and recover the hyperdrive, Thrawn sends Governor Pyrce some assistance. Rukh who is Thrawn’s assassin lands on Lothal and jumps into action immediately. He smells out rebels and engages with them in a speeder chase, and before they could throw him off, he places a tracker on the bike. 

 
 
They put the hyperdrive in the ship. Hera is now prepared to leave, but before she does she has another moment with Kanan and this time they finally kiss. It was perfect Hera was on her way out, and she just grabs Kanan and plants one on him.  And then she flies off escaping the blockade and making it to the rebel base. Meanwhile, that tracker leads the Empire right to our rebels who receive help from the Loth-Wolf once again.  The rebels escape into these mountain caverns. The Empire begins to bomb the caverns, and our rebels seem to be trapped, but he Loth-Wolf brings our rebels deeper into the caverns. The walls begin to glow, and our rebels are transported to the other side of the planet. Kanan touches the Loth-Wolf and learns that Lothal and the force are strongly connected. The Empire is up to something more devious and destructive than TIE defenders.  With this message, the Rebels now need a way to communicate with the rest of the rebellion. This dilemma leads us to the next episode.

 


Sabine tries to power up a transmitter, but it’s not powerful enough to reach Yavin. Luckily for them, they pick up a signal of a transmitter powerful enough to each Yavin. The signal is coming from an Ore Crawler, and all they must do is infiltrate and claim the communication array. Meanwhile, Hera is back on Yavin gaining support for an assault on the TIE factory on Lothal. Of course, the rebellion is hesitant at first, but Hera persuades them that this is the best course of action.  Our friends back on Lothal break through and gain access to the Ore Crawler. For some reason they allow Ezra to talk to the Empire again which was a mistake because the Empire sends a team down for another inspection. Our rebels then pretend with the help of Vizago to be running the Ore crawler as usual. Not sure how but our rebels pull it off with a few scrapes and send a message to Hera. She replies that help is on the way.
 

 Rebels Recap: Rebel Assault

 
The Midseason finale episode did not disappoint.  The episode begins with our rebel’s friends taking out a few of the Empire’ s ground defenses. Hera arrives with X-wing squadron, and their first step is to get through the blockade. Grand Admiral Thrawn is there coordinate the defense and Hera take them down one by one. They pass the blockade and enter Lothal’s atmosphere only to run into the second wave of fighters. This completely blindsides X-wing squadron. 
 
 
 
 Leaving Hera to crash down onto Lothal and few other survivors. As soon as Kanan sees the aftermath of the attack he heads off alone to save Hera.  Hera finds Mart Mattin and is unable to communicate with anyone. So, she plans to escape the city.  Chopper helps them locate a tunnel, and on the way, there they run into Rukh. Whose mission is to round up all the survivors and the top priority is Hera.  Rukh escapes to the rooftops seeing as he can’t take all three of them and watches them from the shadows.

 
Meanwhile, Kanan is stopped by the Loth-Wolf who calls out his name again. And Kanan replies, “I understand what must I do.”  Hera, Chopper, and Mart reach the tunnel entrance. Rukh reappears and stops Hera from continuing to the tunnel. She tells Chopper and Mart to go on without her, and they rush down to safety. They reach Kanan on the other side. Unfortunately, Hera is now captured by the Empire and will soon be in Grand Admiral Thrawn’s grasp. But we won’t know any more of what is to become of the ghost crew until next year. Star Wars Rebels will return after the holidays in 2018. So, hang in there and keep those fingers crossed that Hera survives.  Only seven more episodes are remaining this season, and I can’t wait to see how this series wraps up and what’s next for future Star Wars series. 
 
 

Photo Credit: Star Wars.com, YouTube.com, Disney, Lucasfilm

Created by: Jasmine Yard