Friday, 5 December 2014

November 2014 Favourites's monthly favourites time again. Technically, it was monthly favourite time a couple of days ago but things are still not sorted with the DWP, PIP and ATOS (I will probably explain sometime soon!). Due to the goings on with the aforementioned idiots, my activities have been limited so this will be a brief list... Allons-y!

Atgames Arcade Ultimate Portable Video Game Player

If you read my latest 'Christmas 2014 Gift Guide' you will have seen the genius device. It's a portable, pocket sized Sega Mega Drive...need I say more? I will be doing a full review soon!

Doki Doki Puchi Saru no Mori

This past month I reviewed Candy Japan, a Japan based subscription service that sends you sweets. One of the packets of sweets I received was Doki Doki Puchi Saru no Mori. They are pineapple soda flavoured gummy monkeys and, in my humble opinion, they need to be sold here in the UK...right now!

That's it I'm afraid...that's all I can think of. As I mentioned at the start of the post, due to the whole DWP, PIP, ATOS fiasco our activities have been limited of late, mainly consisting of watching That 70's Show (featured in last month's favourites) and generally resting (Jan is still feeling the side effects of her assessment). Hopefully things will soon be sorted and normal service can resume.

What have been your favourite things from the past month? Leave me your thoughts below.

Thanks for stopping by, I do hope you enjoyed yourself.

Sunday, 30 November 2014

Christmas 2014 Gift Guide - Atgames Arcade Ultimate Portable Video Game Player (Portable Mega Drive Player)

Tomorrow is the 1st of December and with that, comes the last couple of weeks in which to get the Christmas shopping done. With that in mind, I thought I should now bring you gift ideas that are in stores instead of online. Today I bring you the Atgames Arcade Ultimate Portable Video Game Player... Allons-y!


The  Atgames Arcade Ultimate Portable Video Game Player is a genius piece of kit. What you have is a Sega Mega Drive in the palm of your hand. It comes with 20 pre-loaded games including classics such as Sonic The Hedgehog, Golden Axe, and Streets Of Rage to name but a few. As well as the pre-loaded games, the device also has a SD card slot so you can also play other games you have downloaded from the various ROM sites available online.

I won't go into detail now as I will be doing a full review soon but, I'll give you a spoiler's amazing!

Here in the UK it's available at Argos stores for £29.99 (I'm afraid I don't know which store, if any, carries it outside the UK, although, I assume it is available as I have seen reviews online!), and it would most certainly be a great present to get a gaming fanatic, especially someone who, like myself, spent a great deal of time playing on their Mega Drive when they were younger.

I hope this, and the rest of the posts in this series are helping you in the build up to Christmas!

Do you have this? Do you have it's predecessors? What do you think of it? What was your favourite Mega Drive game? Leave me your thoughts below.

Thanks for stopping by, I do hope you enjoyed yourself.

Friday, 28 November 2014

* Candy Japan - Subscription Pack Unpacking And Review

Today I have for you a review, it's not however one of my usual figure reviews. This review is in the same vein as my Loot Crate's another subscription service review. The subscription service I am reviewing for you today is, Candy Japan... Allons-y!

This is where there should be a group image of my sweets (candies), however,
in a mad rush to open them, and eat them, I forgot!

Candy Japan is, as the name suggests, a Japan based subscription service. For £15.98/$25 (todays exchange rate...tomorrow may be different!) they send you a 'candy envelope' with 1-3 items in, twice a month (you get sweets (candy) delivered to your door! How genius is that?). As well as the sweets (candies), you also receive an email each month which gives you information about your sweets (candies), just in case you can't read Japanese. Rather obviously, depending where you are in the world, delivery times will vary, however, mine was quite quick.

In my 'candy envelope' I received two packets of sweets (candies), Flower Kiss Candy and Doki Doki Puchi Saru no Mori...

Flower Kiss Candy

I have to be honest, these were my least favourite of the two. Don't get me wrong, they are lovely but the others were just better. According to the email I received, these sweets (candies) are quite popular with girls in Japan, which Jan pointed out is quite apt for me...I don't know what she means! 

Also according to the information provided, they are supposed to taste like sweet milk and apricots/plums. Now, I don't know about tasting like apricots or plums but, they are very sweet and fruity. In that rather British tradition, they would be good for long car journeys instead of the standard boiled sweets (hard candies).

Doki Doki Puchi Saru no Mori

These things are sooooo nice! It should be said, I love pineapple so expected great things from these...they didn't disappoint!

Before I talk about them as sweets (candies), I should point out that they are actually a game. Within the packet you get a little cardboard thingamabob that you put together (the information email also had destructions for this!) to create a rocking tower. Once assembled, you see how many sweets (candies) you can hang on it before it tips over...I got two (by cheating) for the picture above then I gave up!

The sweets (candies) themselves are pineapple soda flavoured gummy monkeys (or maybe a teddy bear with a scorpion tail?). As daft as it sounds, one of the higest compliments you can pay to a pineapple flavoured sweet is 'it tastes like pineapple' (seriously, think about it, how many times have you had something that says it's pineapple flavour, or apple flavour etc and it tastes nothing like it?)...and these, these most certainly taste like pineapple. Unlike the Flower Kiss Candy, these would not make good car journey sweets...mainly due to the fact they would be finished before the car is started.

If you have a sweet tooth I highly recommend you give Candy Japan a go. It's a great product with excellent customer service and a reasonable, it's always nice to try foods from around the world. Why not head over and place your order HERE!

Have you tried Japanese sweets (candies)? What did you think of them? Which sweets (candies) should I try? Leave me some comments below.

Thanks for stopping by, I do hope you enjoyed yourself.

Wednesday, 26 November 2014

Marvel Legends Spider-Man Infinite Series Movie Electro Action Figure Review

Today I have for you a review of another figure from the Marvel Legends Spider-Man Infinite Series, this time, it's Movie Electro... Allons-y!

I assume most people are familiar with Spider-Man and Electro however, just in case, I will explain the backstory behind this incarnation of the character...

Maxwell 'Max' Dillion is a nobody. He's that guy in the office everybody overlooks. He's the guy the girls depend on for help but never go out with. He's the guy people refer to as 'oh yeah, him, urm, what's his name...'. Whilst battling Rhino, Spider-Man saves Max's life and Max develops a somewhat unhealthy obsession with him. When forced to stay late at Oscorp to fix a power issue, Max is electrocuted and falls into a tank full of electric eels (talk about your bad luck eh?). This accident, instead of killing him, gives him great power (shame he didn't have a nice uncle, things may have been different!), he believes this will make the world notice him. Trouble is, Max has had a psychotic break and turns against Spidey, and the world. Harry Osbourn, in return for Max's help, gives him a suit to help control his power. With this control he takes on the name Electro and sets out to make the world believe him a god.

Now you know a little about the character, let's crack on with the review...

The Sculpt

The majority of the scuplting on this figure is good, with one rather major flaw...the face!

The face on this thing is beyond bad! It's supposed to look like Jamie Foxx (White House Down), the pretty fella who's friends with Channing Tatum... instead, it looks like some weird fugly hybrid of Arnold Schwarzenegger (Terminator) and Daniel Craig (James Bond).

The face aside (literally! It's that bad that I had to remove it to concentrate), the sculpt work is relatively good. The body is quite nicely scultped featuring some of the details you see in the film. That said, some things are in the wrong place...such as his weird nobbly bits. There should only be two weird nobbly bits and they should be on his collar bone not his shoulders. What are they for? Is that so they can charge him like an electric car?

The Paintwork

The paintwork is...neat. That may sound like a good thing, ordinarily it would be however, in this instance, it's the only nice thing I can think of to say.

In the movie Electro's suit is dark blue with hints of eletric blue (see what they did there?), the figure's suit is, with some blue dry brushed onto his chest and shoulders. I can only assume this is to give the impression of an electric current running through him...or he could be cold? His collar has some silver on it which, as I said before about the paintwork, is neatly applied!


Whilst not quite up to the standard of the Superior Spider-Man or the Amazing Spider-Man 2 from this series, the articulation on this figure is good. Electro is never going to need to perform yoga-esc poses (he can shoot electricity so why would he?), however, should you wish to, the articulation offers plenty of posing capabilities.

The only draw back with the articulation that I can see is his shoulders...due to the placement of the weird nobbly bits on the shoulders, the movement is restricted at the joint (this can be sorted with clever positioning of the joints...or a knife!).


First and foremost, this is another from the 'Ultimate Green Goblin' build a figure line, so, you get a body part. This time it's Goblin's left arm and a cool flame effect (as in the effect is cool, not that it's a blue flame!).

As well as the BAF parts, the figure comes with two other accessories. Firstly, you get two sets of hands. You get a pair of closed fists for times when electro has a power shortage? As well as the closed fists, you get a pair of Emperor Palpatine hands...for non Star Wars fans, they're hands with electricity shooting from the fingertips.

As well as the hands the figure comes with two heads. You get the standard Schwarzenegger/Craig love child and, you get a powered up version. To differentiate to two, the powered up one has foam coming out of his eyes...thinking about it, I think it's supposed to be sparks of electricity!


Overall, this figure is quite, blah! The sculpt (minus the head) and articulation are quite nice but, daft issues let it down.

If you want a good Electo figure straight out of the packet, this probably isn't for you. If like me you have OCD and once you have started collecting a series you need the rest,'ll have to get it. If you're a customiser looking to make a good movie Electro, this could possibly supply a base point for you to start from...if you can't get a Bucky Cap!

Is this figure worth getting? Not in my opinion, however, each to their own!

So, there you have it, my review of the Marvel Legends Spider-Man Infinite Series Movie Electro action figure...

Do you have this figure and/or the others in the series? What are your thoughts on them? Leave me a comment below.

Thanks for stopping by, I do hope you enjoyed yourself.

Wednesday, 19 November 2014

Life As A Carer - ATOS Assessment & A Quick What's Coming Up On My Blog...

As you may have noticed, I have been quiet of late...the reason for this, Jan's Personal Independance Payment (PIP) ATOS assessment. I thought I'd share with you a little information about what went on, and as an added bonus, tell what you will be seeing from me as soon as normal service resumes fully... Allons-y!

As you will know if you read my last 'Life As A Carer' post, Jan had her ATOS assessment this past Monday...the 17th. For those who don't know what an ATOS assessment is I shall briefly explain. ATOS is some I.T company hired by the government to find a way for them to wriggle out of paying disabled people money that they need to survive, all because, as is the case with everything, you get some people who make fraudulent claims. The ATOS assessment comes some 28-35 weeks (in quick cases, although, I've heard of it taking 52 weeks or more) after they have already received a detailed form from you (or your carer) about your disabilities and how they affect you. The assessment itself is basically a 'heathcare professional' (you never actually see any proof of qualifications) asking you the questionnaire again, trying to catch you in a lie.

Now you know what it is, I shall tell you about our experience of this, our second ATOS assessment in 3 years (technically our third, although, our first assessment wasn't for PIP, or it's predecessor).

Our assessment was scheduled for 10.30am, at a location deemed easily accessible for us by ATOS...this meant Manchester city centre...some 15 miles away, having to set off during morning rush hour, with no car and an inability to use public transport. Luckily, as I mentioned in my previous post, Jan's side of the family are great so her dad took us. When we got there, I say got there, when we got to where the sat-nav said it was, all that greeted us was a bunch of newly built buildings and a car park that was smaller than most McDonald's car parks. There was no sign at all that we were in the right place. Said car park was full too so Jan's dad had to let us out on the road...very disabled friendly! Thanks to a gentleman who was also there for an assessment, and had been previously, we found out where to go, and headed off down a path barely wide enough for a wheel chair. The path to the building was blocked part way down by the box containing the mechanical workings of a parking barrier. This box forcing people pushing/in wheel chairs to have to go around, on the grass...have you tried pushing a wheel chair on wet grass and mud? It's not easy!

When we finally got into the new built (probobably at tax payer expense) building (you could smell fresh paint), past the Jaguar parked outside, we were met with, what has to be, one of the most unobservant receptionists known to man...Jan signed in, showed her ID and the woman said "can you get upstairs or do you need your appointment downstairs?" the person in a wheel chair!!! Turns out she hadn't seen the chair (having heard her sign other people in, it's a standard question), so it appears she doesn't bother with common courtesy!

Our last appointment started over an hour late so it was a pleasent surprise when, at 10.35am, a nice nurse lady (I can't remember her name...I'm terrible with names, plus, I had other things to worry about!) came to get us. The nice nurse lady saw Jan was worried, so spent a few moments reasurring her and offering her a drink. The majority of the assessment was a questionnaire, the same one we had already's full of some incredibly probing and quite demeaning questions. I have to say though, the nice nurse lady was incredibly good throughout and tried making it as easy, and embarrassment free for Jan as she could. The latter part of the assessment is supposed to be a physical exam however, the nice nurse lady kept that part to a minimum to ease Jan's suffering. As you will know from my previous post, some of the assessors are quite, for lack of a better word, nasty. Luckily nice nurse lady was, well...nice! I think it really helped that in her job as a nurse, and a therapist she helps people who suffer from M.E so knows it's effects.

I'd be lying if I said the assessment was pain free, it was far from it. Jan was panicked leading up to it, she was a nervous wreck in the waiting room, and she is now suffering the physically after effects of it. I was also panicked and stressed going into it, as anyone out there will know, when someone you love is worried, or stressed, or facing something unpleasent, you worry for them. Thankfully that part is over now! Now we just have to wait 6-8 weeks to found out the decision of our claim...cue another 6-8 weeks of worrying!

Have you had any dealings with the DWP and ATOS about PIP? How have you found the experience? Leave me your thoughts below...

As promised at the start, here is what I am working on...

Currently I am part way through writing reviews for some Marvel Legends Spider-Man Infinite Series figures, including...Movie Electro, Ultimate Beetle, Carnage, and the Ultimate Green Goblin Build A Figure. As well as those figure reviews, I am also part way though writing a review of Candy Japan...a subscription service that sends you 1-3 packs of sweets twice a month from Japan. On top of that, I hope to be able to bring you lots more figure reviews, movie reviews and all sorts of other good stuff!

Thanks for stopping by, I do hope you enjoyed yourself.

Saturday, 15 November 2014

Monster High Freaky Fusion Hybrids doll review - Sirena Von Boo

Here is another of my posts....hopefully regular service will be resumed after the assessment on Monday!


Another doll review for you's the second of the characters from Monster High Freaky Fusion, one of the new hybrids, Sirena Von Boo!

I have to say that when I heard they were bringing out a mermaid-esque doll I was ecstatic....The Little Mermaid is still my favourite Disney film! Ariel is the reason I have been trying to get bright red hair for the last 25 years! When I saw Sirena I wasn't disappointed, she's stunning. The quality of the Hybrids has been outstanding, bravo Monster High! If you don't know the story behind Freaky Fusion, have a look at my Avea Trotter review here. Sirena is the daughter of a mermaid and a ghost, who has just transferred to Monster High, along with her friends, Avea Trotter, Bonita Femur and Neighthan Rot. The hybrids haven't been accepted anywhere, because they're different, but they find a home at Monster High. The hybrids help some other MH students when they accidentally get fused together, meaning two personalities and abilities in one body. They teach their new friends how to embrace and control their new found powers, enabling them to work together to save the day! As always in MH, there is a great moral at the heart of the story, family, friendship, acceptance, sacrifice....all good things for kids to see! The only limits the characters have are the ones they put on themselves....very good message for kiddies I think.....and, for everyone else too!

Sirena is a daydreamer. She, quite literally, floats through life, becoming distracted often, but her curiousity comes in handy sometimes. She is very sweet and innocent, and seems less affected by the perceived rejections the hybrids have experienced. As a ghost/mermaid hybrid, she can float through the air, or through water....she can pretty much float anywhere basically!

She has very long blue hair, with some plaits on one side, and the rest curling over the opposite side. Her skin is translucent, representing her ghostly side. She has ears which look like gills, and fins above each wrist and down her back and her fingers are webbed. Her clothes and accessories mix ghostly chains and motifs of the sea, balancing both sides of her 'scaritage'! Her make up is quite subtle, nothing too overpowering, so the translucent skin of her face is shown off nicely.

Her tail, sadly, isn't articulated (although I'm not sure how well it would have worked if it was!) so is permanently in a slightly bent position. Luckily, the position looks good, and the bottom fin opens out to enable Sirena to stand unaided (it takes a little bit of manouvering to get her to stand mind). Once again, her tail is translucent, but, as it is thicker, it has a more milky, semi translucent look to it. She has more chains covering her entire tail, none of which are removable.

The chain motif continues in her jewellery, with both her necklace and one earring resembling chains. In her other ear is a small silver coloured stud. She has long tassles attached to each wrist, I'm guessing to look pretty while she floats!

As usual, she comes with a diary and a brush, yellow rather than the traditional black.....she's special you see!

Once again, I am in love with these dolls! Despite being pretty damned far out of the desired demographic, I still get excited when new dolls come out! I keep talking about what a good message these toys send out, and the Freaky Fusion film continues to satisfy. I highly recommend it for family viewing, to help teach kids about friendship and acceptance. Hell, it's great for anyone of any age! We enjoyed it! Yes, the dolls tend to be pricy, but, with Christmas fast approaching, they would make an excellent gift for kids of any age! My friend bought us an Abby Bominable doll for Christmas a few years ago and I was very chuffed! The quality of the toys are always excellent, but beware, once you start collecting you will be addicted!

Have you seen Freaky Fusion yet? Who is your favourite character? Any dolls you'd like to see? Leave me a comment!

Thanks for popping by!



Wednesday, 12 November 2014

TV Shows that I want back episode 6 - Buffy the Vampire Slayer

As Ian is preoccupied fretting about how I'll cope with my assessment on Monday (spoiler alert, badly) it seemed fair to donate one of my posts to keep his blog up to date! So, here is my love letter to Buffy the Vampire Slayer.....enjoy!


I thought I'd have a slight change from new TV shows I love, by looking at another old TV show I love and want back! This time it's Buffy the Vampire Slayer......

For any youngsters out there (I'm 35 and youngsters have never even heard of some of the things I love! Tis depressing!) Buffy the Vampire Slayer was born from Joss Whedon's (The Avengers....just in case you also don't know who one of the Geek Gods is!) genius mind, and started life as a movie in 1992, with Kristy Swanson - who also starred in one of my other favourite ever shows, Psych (here's the link to my Psych post), as Lassie's (eventual) wife Marlowe Viccellio - and Luke Perry. Whedon wrote the film, but the finished article deviated from his original script, and he was less than happy....and who can blame him? So, the TV show was his chance to present the story and characters that he'd written, to make it darker and less, well, fluffy. He had tried to write a story about the blonde who always gets killed in every horror movie. He wrote about an empowered woman, but the film was turned into a comedy, which reduced his storyline to a throwaway comedy movie - which is exactly what it became, before it gained cult status. The show ran from 1997 to 2003, and spawned a spinoff, Angel, in 1999, and is still a cult favourite. Whedon continued the storyline in graphic novels, and also saw his original script turned into a graphic novel - which he was much happier with.

The storyline followed a teenage girl, who was the Slayer. This is the voiceover at the start of the early episodes:

Into every generation a slayer is born: one girl in all the world, a chosen one. She alone will wield the strength and skill to fight the vampires, demons, and the forces of darkness; to stop the spread of their evil and the swell of their number. She is the Slayer.

When one slayer dies, the next is called from a large group of 'Potentials', Buffy and the Scoobies (her friends, who all help her fight the baddies!) eventually discover the origins of the Slayer line and harness that power to make all the Potentials into Slayers, in order to defeat the First Evil. Buffy has a Watcher named Rupert Giles, a decidedly tweedy Englishman, who is hiding a decidedly UNtweedy past. She is unique amongst the Slayers, as she has died twice, but returned to life each time. After her first 'death' in season 1, a new Slayer is called, named Kendra. This means there are 2 active Slayers. When Kendra is murdered by Drusilla in season 2, another Slayer is called, Faith. As it turns out, Faith had a tough life and goes to the dark side pretty quickly. Eventually, after being put into a coma by Buffy, switching bodies with Buffy, escaping to LA where she abducted and tortured her Watcher, Wesley, Faith is caught and begins her rehabilitation, helped by Angel. She returns to help Buffy, the Scoobies and the Potentials in the fight against the First.

Buffy has a number of love interests in the show, most notably AngelRiley and Spike. Despite being the Slayer, she develops relationships with 2 vampires, Angel and Spike. Her relationship with Riley doesn't run too smoothly either, as it turns out that he is a soldier, working for the Initiative, a group of soldiers and scientists, capturing, studying and effectively neutering supernatural creatures. Buffy has even battled a God, Glory, or Glorificus, a God from another dimension who was imprisoned but managed to escape her prison by coming into our dimension. The battle with Glory causes Buffy's second death, when she throws herself into the portal that Glory has opened with Buffy's little sister Dawn - who, as it turned out, was a mystical key, needed by Glory to open the portal, that was turned into a human girl and placed with the Summers family for protection - blood. Creatures start to escape into our dimension as the portal opens, and Buffy knows that Dawn would need to die to close it. She realises that as Dawn was created from her, her blood is Dawn's blood, so she jumps from the platform, into the portal, and dies. The Scoobies work for months to bring Buffy back, eventually finding and casting a spell to bring her back - little did they know that they were ripping her out of heaven....oops!

Sarah Michelle Gellar as Buffy Summers, the Slayer.

As the Slayer, Buffy has a few added extras, such as speed, huge strength, intuition and prophetic dreams, rapid healing, extra stamina and agility and quicker reflexes. In a reference to the film, Buffy arrives in Sunnydale after setting fire to the gym of her old school, Hemery High and getting kicked out. Her mother, Joyce, moves them out of LA to Sunnydale for a fresh start, much to Buffy's dismay. Little does she know that her new home is the site of a mystical convergence known as The Hellmouth, which happens to be situated underneath her new high school's library.....which also happens to be where her new Watcher, Giles, works! Having decided to leave her job as the Slayer behind when she moves to Sunnydale, Buffy is highly unimpressed that it has followed her. She tells Giles that she won't be the Slayer anymore, that she wants to be a normal teenage girl. Sadly for Buffy her resolution doesn't last long, as a dead body, drained of it's blood and sporting fang marks, shows up in the girl's locker room! Luckily for her, she makes new friends in Willow Rosenberg and Xander Harris - but she sadly loses a potential friend, Jesse, to the vampires. With the help of Giles, Buffy and her newly formed Scooby Gang work together against all the vampires and demons that Sunnydale has to offer. Buffy starts the show as a slightly ditzy (on the surface only), blonde, cheerleader type. Her true warrior self shows up pretty quickly mind, as she goes on to be the most feared, and possibly longest lived, Slayer in history. She averts apocalypses every season, battles old lovers and new enemies, and all while trying to keep her secret identity hidden, she deserves a medal - which in fact she got, while at her last school dance, when the school named her Class Protector, as she had managed to make her class mortality rate drop! She treasures the trophy she received, and it helps to guide her back to herself in an episode where she lost confidence in herself. Buffy becomes a true warrior and leader by the end of the show's run, training the Potentials who come to her for protection. Sadly, she loses most of her fun side as she suffers repeated tragedies, and must carry the safety of the world on her shoulders.

Anthony Stewart Head as Rupert Giles, Buffy's Watcher.  

At the start of the show Giles worked for the Watcher's Council and is also the Sunnydale High School librarian, and is tasked with her training and documenting her time as the Slayer. As the show progresses however, Giles begins to become a father figure to Buffy and the rest of the Scooby Gang, replacing Buffy's absent father, Willow's distant parents and Xander's hands off family. He is shown to be extremely uptight and 'British'.....although I would like to point out to Joss Whedon that Giles was more southern British than us, extremely not posh, northerners! We eventually find out that he was a rebel in his youth, dabbling in the dark arts and trying to pull away from his destiny as Watcher. His nickname from that time was Ripper, and he works hard to surpress that side of himself, only letting it out to play when he has no choice. He does whatever he believes is necessary to prepare and protect Buffy, in one instance committing the murder of an innocent mortal to prevent Glory's return, as he knew Buffy could never do so. Giles falls in love with a fellow teacher, Jenny Calendar, who is really named Janna Kalderash. She had been sent to spy on Angel by her gypsy tribe, who had cursed him by returning his soul, after he murdered one of their young women. She was supposed to ensure that his curse remained intact, which meant that she had to prevent him from experiencing a moment of true happiness - which she failed to do. Angel murdered her when he lost his soul, and left her in Giles' bed in order to devastate the Scoobies. Giles is extremely intelligent and is somewhat adept at magic, eventually buying the town's seemingly cursed magic shop which becomes the base for the Scoobies in later seasons. He tends to get kidnapped and knocked out rather often, much to his chagrin, but he is solid and brave no matter what he faces.

Alyson Hannigan as Willow Rosenberg, Buffy's best friend.

Willow is a shy, somewhat nerdy and wickedly smart girl who ends up becoming Buffy's first friend in Sunnydale. Unfortunately, it's this new friendship, and the confidence boost it gives her, which nearly costs Willow her life the day they met! Buffy advised her to 'seize the day', which Willow chatting up a vamp! Eek! Luckily, Buffy saves her life and they become best friends, with Willow helping Buffy fight evil. She has been in love with her other best friend, Xander, since she was a child, but he remains oblivious to her charms until the third season. Sadly, the two never officially get together, despite their love for each other. Willow's other love interests included Daniel Osbourne, or Oz, who turns out to be a werewolf. They are blissfully happy, other than a blip where Xander finally notices Willow, until Oz meets a female werewolf, Verruca, at college. When he realises that he can't control his wolf, after almost attacking Willow, he leaves Sunnydale, and Willow, to search for a cure or some way to control his wolf side. While he is away, Willow delves deeper into witchcraft, which she first dabbled in by returning Angel's soul at the end of season 2. While exploring her powers at college, she meets a fellow witch, Tara Maclay, and as the 2 get closer they realise they are falling in love. When Oz returns, after finding some control over his wolf side, he realises that the 2 women have fallen in love and his control snaps. After this, Oz leaves for good, and Willow and Tara become a couple. Willow's powers grow hugely, enabling her to return Buffy from the dead after the battle with Glory. She becomes addicted to using magic, and, as a result Tara ends their relationship, Willow learns to control her powers and the two eventually reunite. Sadly, Tara is killed soon after by Warren, when he tries to murder Buffy by shooting her. Willow is so wild with grief that she allows her powers to take over, and becomes Dark Willow. She finds Warren, and flays him alive, and tries to find and kill Jonathan and Andrew, but Buffy saves them. Buffy in unable to fight Willow, while protecting everyone else, but luckily Giles arrives - having returned to England to force Buffy to emotionally engage with her life again, rather than leaning on him - and he has been imbued with the strength of a powerful Coven. He almost dies in the fight, but he manages to force Willow to feel again. This appears to backfire immensely, as she starts to experience all the pain in the world, and decides to end it by destroying the world. Only Xander can reach her, by telling her he loves her no matter what, and saying that if she wants to destroy the world she'll have to start with him. No matter what she does to hurt him he refuses to leave her, there is nowhere else he would be at the end, he'd have to be with her. This forces her to feel her own grief, and, as she comes back to herself, her darkness seeps away. After these events, Willow needed to heal, so Giles takes her back to the Coven, who help her deal with her grief and guilt at taking a human life. She learns to control her powers, and eventually returns to Sunnydale to rebuild her life. Willow, reluctantly, falls in love with a brash Potential named Kennedy, who arrives in Sunnydale seeking Buffy. Kennedy doesn't understand what Willow has been through, and why she needs to be so careful with her powers, until Willow drains some of her life force while performing a spell. Even then, she doesn't believe that Willow could go dark, or that she would have to kill her in the finale if she did. Luckily, when Willow performs the spell to unlock the power of the Slayer line, to turn every Potential into a Slayer, she actually goes the other way and channels purely light power.

Nicholas Brendan as Xander Harris.

Xander is a lovable, slightly dim but extremely brave high school student, who develops an instant crush on Buffy in the pilot episode. He has been friends with Willow since they were little, and while he does seem aware of the fact that she's in love with him, he shows no romantic interest in her until the third season. Sadly for Xander, his crush on Buffy is unrequited, and he is extremely jealous of any man she's interested in or involved with. During the second season, he becomes romantically involved with Cordelia Chase, the rich Alpha female of Sunnydale High. They attempt to keep their relationship a secret at first, but when found out it causes huge ruptions for their friends. Willow is devastated that he has chosen someone like Cordelia, while Cordy's friends ridicule her for dating someone as unpopular as Xander. Cordy swiftly dumps him to save face, hurting Xander immensely, and causing him to turn to Amy, a witch, who he forces into casting a love spell on Cordelia. The spell backfires, however, causing every female except Cordy to fall in love with him, which sends the women of Sunnydale into a murderous frenzy as they fight over him. Once Cordy realises how much he cares for her, she turns on her so called friends and gets back together with Xander. During the third season, when Xander eventually falls for Willow, Cordelia is left heartbroken and badly injured after finding the two together, and falling through a floor and becoming impaled. She refuses to reconcile with Xander, and is tricked into making a wish to punish him by the vengeance demon Anyanka, who has enrolled at school as Anya. Anya punishes  men by granted the wishes of wronged women. Cordy wishes that Buffy had never come to Sunnydale, which Anya grants. Cordy is then plunged into an alternate universe, where The Master has successfully risen, and where Willow and Xander are both vamps, and are a couple. Once she realises how bad the world is without Buffy, she tries to tell the alternate Giles about the wish, but is killed by vamps before she can fully explain. Giles eventually works it out, and destroys Anya's necklace, which is her power source, reversing the wish, and leaving Anya human. In an odd twist, Anya falls in love with Xander, and the two eventually enter into a serious relationship, even becoming engaged. Xander is tricked into believing that his future self has returned, on his wedding day, to warn him not to marry Anya as they will make each other miserable. It turns out to be a former victim of Anyanka, wanting revenge, but Xander realises that he has misgivings and calls off the wedding, leaving Anya heartbroken. She becomes a demon again, and returns (eventually after earning a reputation for being soft) to punishing men with zeal, until she goes too far, leaving a frat house dead. Buffy decides that Anyanka must die and they fight, but, before Buffy kills her, Anya begs her master, D'Hoffryn, to reverse what she has done, knowing she must pay with the life of a vengeance demon, which she believes to be herself. Instead, he kills her friend and fellow vengeance demon Halfrek, or Hallie, in front of her. Despite the fact that they still love each other, Xander and Anya never officially reconcile, but do enjoy a sexual relationship in the final season. Xander is heartbroken, yet proud, when Anya dies in the final battle against the First.

David Boreanaz as Angel, or Angelus,

Angel is a vampire cursed with a soul, the only one in existence, until Spike manages to become ensoulled in the later seasons. He and Buffy are soulmates, despite the fact that they are also mortal enemies. At first he tries to keep Buffy at arms length, but he continues to fall in love with her and the two consummate their relationship in season 2, causing his curse to be broken, and he once again loses his soul. For the rest of season 2, Angelus, along with Drusilla and Spike, is the Big Bad, trying to bring about the end of the human world. In the last 2 episodes of season 2 we find out more about his origins. He was born Liam in 18th century Ireland, and was the son of a wealthy man. He was a disappointment to his father, as he simply wanted to drink and sleep around, which is how he came to meet his sireDarla. After turned turned him, he returned to kill his entire family, and went on to take the name Angelus, becoming the world's most viscious vampire. He sired Drusilla, but first he tormented her and made her lose her mind, he killed her family then turned her, creating an insane vampire. Drusilla went on to sire Spike, who become competition for Angelus throughout both their lives. In the final episode of season 2, Willow manages to restore Angel's soul, but sadly it is too late, as the process that Angelus started to end the world has already begun. Buffy then has to look her soulmate in the eye while she stabs him and sends him to a hell dimension. During season 3, Angel is mysteriously returned to life, but has been driven almost mad by the tortures of the hell dimension. Buffy nurses him back to health, but despite their deep love they know they can never truly be together. At the end of season 3, after helping Buffy defeat Mayor Wilkins, Angel leaves Sunnydale and moves to Los Angeles, becoming a private detective in the spinoff show, Angel.   

James Marsters as Spike.

Spike first appears in the season 2 episode 'School Hard', where he traps Buffy and her classmates, along with their parents and teachers, in Sunnydale High. Spike has come to Sunnydale to kill his third Slayer, and to heal his lover and sire Drusilla. Despite his inability to kill Buffy, he sticks around and succeeds in returning Drusilla to health, at the expense of his own. When Angel loses his soul, Spike is initially extremely happy to have his grand-sire back, but his joy is shortlived when Angelus resumes a sexual relationship with Dru. Spike goes on to form an uneasy alliance with Buffy, to stop Angelus destroying the world, and to save Drusilla. He returns in season 3, depressed after being dumped by Dru. He kidnaps Willow and Xander, and forces Willow to cast a love spell to win back Dru. He eventually realises that she stopped loving him because he went soft, so he goes off to kidnap her and torture her until she likes him again. Spike returns in season 4, and is eventually captured by the Initiative, who put a chip in his brain to stop him hurting humans. When he escapes, he turns to Buffy for help and they form another uneasy alliance.  Unlike most vampires, Spike is capable of love and loyalty and understands human emotions extremely well. As a human he was a soft hearted poet, who cared for his sick mother. When Dru turned him, rather than murdering his mother, he turned her to save her from TB. When he saw the soulless monster she had become, he was forced to stake her. Spike eventually realises that he has fallen in love with Buffy, much to her disgust, and it is only after she is returned from the dead that she softens towards him. He is the only one she can talk to about her new darker side, and the pair begin a, somewhat violent, sexual relationship. Disgusted with herself, Buffy breaks it off, causing Spike to attempt to force himself on her. He is disgusted and devastated at what he tried to do, and vows to go and become the man he once was. He returns to Sunnydale with his soul restored, after going through demon trials. He is mad with grief and guilt at what he has done in his vampiric life, and ends up as a hostage and weapon of The First. At the end of the shows run, Spike sacrifices his life to seal the Hellmouth, and save Buffy and the new Slayers, feeling his soul burn as he is incinerated and dies a hero. He then appears in the final season of Angel, after the amulet he wore to close the Hellmouth is sent to Angel.

There are so many amazing characters in the Buffyverse that I just can't include them all here! My favourites of all the rest have to be CordeliaOzWesleyTara and especially Anya! I could bang on for weeks about this show and never get fact I may have to wake up Ian and make him watch all 7 seasons......

Are you a Buffy fan? Who was your favourite character? Any shows you would love to see back? Leave me a comment!

Thanks for popping by!




Sunday, 9 November 2014

Life As A Carer - The Ongoing Battle With The DWP And ATOS

I'm afraid it's time for another of my not so whimsical posts (I'll try keep it as light as possible!). This time, it's about our ongoing battle with the Department Of Work And Pensions (DWP) and ATOS (I have no clue if it's an acronym or just their name!)... Allons-y!

As you will know if you read my last 'Life As A Carer' post, or have seen Jan(the pretty one next to Cousin Itt in a David Tennant suit in the picture above)'s blog, she is disabled. Despite Jan having been ill for a number of years, we had never even considered applying for Disability Living Allowance (DLA) called Personal Independance Payment (PIP) after a massive, hugely expensive, name change. We muddled on, she already received a nominal payment a fortnight due to her conditions, and I worked in a warehouse some 40-50 mile from our home due to lack of local job availability. We didn't like the idea of becoming a burden on the state...for anyone outside the UK I should explain, we are constantly bombarded by our government, and our media with messages that our elderly, and our disabled, are not only a burden, but a waste of money to our country.

In 2012, Jan was getting worse, I had been forced, by my bosses, out of my job due to time I had to take off for hospital/doctors visits etc so...we relented and finally applied for DLA. Jan was given a 12 month award...they give you an allotted time for you benefit because, as everyone knows, disability is temporary! That in itself was a nightmare to get! In order to receive the benefit, you have to fill a form in, send it off, they do nothing for months, then they disregard everything you said in the form and make you have a face to face assessment with someone from their company. The form, whilst full of invasive, and quite humiliating questions isn't the worst part, the worst part is the face to face assessment... 

Since losing my job I have also lost my car, and due to Jan's anxiety issues we can't use public transport so, I have to walk pushing Jan in her wheelchair. We told the DWP and ATOS this, both on the forms they sent and via phone so, they booked our appointment early one morning, in Manchester city centre, some 15 miles from our way I could walk that. Thankfully, Jan's side of our family are great so, her dad drove us then waited around for us to finish. The assessment started over an hour late, which, as anyone who has/knows someone with anxiety will know, makes things a whole lot worse! When the assessor finally got round to us, he was one of the most unfriendly, impersonal people I have come across, and I've known some a*******s! He asked Jan increasing personal questions, all the while not once looking at us, if he had, he may have noticed the distress it was causing her or, at the very least, the nail marks in my arms from her anxiety making her cling to me like a small child. He then proceeded to ask Jan if she could walk unaided, when she responded no, he demanded she try anyway. I lifted Jan out of her chair and was immediately ordered to not help her stand. She stood, shaking like a leaf in a hurricane, holding onto the desk as though her life depended on it. I know what you're thinking, that's it right, he let her sit down then? Nope, after that he demanded she walk to an examination table. That didn't happen, I disregarded his demands and had to physically drag Jan across the room before lifting her onto the examination table because this petty, little man had no common sense. All the time Jan was on the table, I could see her fighting tears, the colour had drained from her, and she had a look of pain, humiliation, and frustration on her face. The dumb-ass doing the assessment still didn't take any notice of this, instead, he proceeded to get snippy because Jan's jean legs wouldn't roll up sufficiently for him to see her this day, I do not know why he wanted to see her knees, I guess he has a weird fetish. That was the end of the assessment, I got Jan back into her chair, he muttered some scripted bs about being sorry for causing her pain but he has to follow a check list and we could, I'm a relatively non violent person, there are very few people I have ever wanted to physically hurt however, I could quite easily have tortured that man to show him the pain he had caused Jan.

I'll be honest, we didn't hold out much hope of getting DLA, especially when we had witnessed the attitude of the people working for ATOS but, about a month of two later we found out we had been awarded it. It was a real life line, we no longer had to be burden on our family, it also helped alleviate some of Jan's anxiety issues.


I wish that was the end of this whole sorry story, sadly, it is not. At the start of 2013 we received renewal forms for the DLA as they were set to run out in July. We filled them out almost immediately, sent them off, thought nothing more of it. More and more time passed and we hadn't heard anything. We contacted the DWP and was constantly told they would be in touch when they had gone through the forms. The renewal date came and went, we contacted the DWP time and time again, each time we were told they'd be in touch. In February/March of this year it became obvious they had no intention of getting in touch (if you look into it, this is one of their favourite tactics for getting out of paying), so, we started a new claim, this time for the the renamed version, PIP. After around 9 months of waiting, phoning them once or twice a week, we finally received a letter this week acknowledging the receipt of our application. The same day we received that letter we received another letter from them, this one with an appointment, again early in the morning and in Manchester. On the one hand I'm happy we are finally getting somewhere, on the other hand, I'm terrified. I have to watch Jan go through another assessment. I have to watch her go through pain and humilation knowing there is nothing I can do to stop it withough jeopardizing her benefits. Then there's the worry that they'll decide she doesn't qualify because she can move her fingers. She'll have gone through two years of anxiety and stress for nothing, she will blame herself which will make her depression, and other symptoms worse. I hope our assessment goes well, more so for Jan rather than the money. If I'm honest, I'm not that bothered about the money, I would just like us to have enough to be comfortable. I have no need for lots of money, I have simple wants in in life. As long as I can be with the woman I love, have a great family, and take pictures, then I'm happy. Hell, I wish I could work, I would love to be able to work as a photographer, and I know for a fact Jan would much rather be able to work that be disabled but, that decision is out of our hands.

I don't know how there can be all these 'benefit cheats' that the Daily Mail and the government keep harping on about when it is so damn hard to make a claim. If by some miracle someone manages to make a fraudulent claim...waiting two years, making it past all the forms and assessments designed to catch you out and prove you are lying, they should be hired by the Secret Intelligence Service.

I'm sorry for the lack of my usually daft nonsense, I just thought it's important I share my experiences so people in a similar situation realise they are not alone.

Have you experienced similar? How are the disabled and elderly cared for in your country? Leave me some comments below.

Thanks for stopping by, I do hope you enjoyed yourself (difficult I realise considering the subject matter).

Thursday, 6 November 2014

The Flash Season 1 Premiere Episode recap and review - better late than never! - plus a quick catch up of the season so far

With The Flash pulling in record ratings for CW, I thought people might like to know what's been happening in the season so far......pop over to my blog for more recaps!



Well, life and ME/CFS got in the way of me recapping most of the last few weeks' TV, so here is a full recap of the premiere of The Flash and a quick round up of the season so far!

We first met Barry Allen back in season 2 of Arrow, when he ventured to Starling City and ended up helping Ollie's gang. Now, he's back in Central City, ready for the grand opening of S.T.A.R. Labs' latest venture.....

The premiere opens with Barry giving a voiceover, showing shots of the red blur which is him! Then we see a flashback to his childhood, he stands up to bullies for other kids. He has a lovely mum and dad, nice family....until he hears a noise downstairs one night, and goes to investigate. He finds his mother being attacked by a being, basically lots of flashing! His dad arrives and tells Barry to run and suddenly he finds himself stood in the street outside.

Back to the present day, and a bank has been robbed. Two brothers have been identified as the culprit, the Mardons. Barry is late for work as a forensic investigator, again, but a detective, Joe West, sticks up for him by making out that Barry was running and errand for him. Barry takes out a half eaten chocolate bar....smooth Barry! He gets to work, and immediately identifies the make and model of the getaway car, and finds fecal matter that was embedded in the tyre....sadly using the pen of one of the detectives, which happens to have been given to him by his, now deceased, father. Real smooth Barry!

Barry is working on the case evidence when a young woman, Iris, walks in. She and Barry are obviously old friends, and banter with each other while discussing whether Barry can make it to S.T.A.R. Labs for the big occasion. She tells him that she's stress eating over her dissertation and that if she keeps eating she'll end up 'more muffintop than woman'. Barry tells her that she looks amazing....then turns away, embarrassed.....Barry's in love! He geeks out talking about the particle accelerator! Joe walks in, and the young woman calls him 'daddy''s a family affair! Barry tells the detective that he thinks the Mardon brothers are hiding out at a farm, due to the presence of a specific antibiotic found in the fecal matter. He also narrows down the number of farms to 4....Joe sends Barry and his daughter off to S.T.A.R. Labs!

Barry and Iris are chatting about relationships, with Barry hinting around his feelings for her. She doesn't get it sadly, and talks of how they grew up together and are brother and sister....ew! She thinks he's too embarrassed to talk to her about girls, but she wants him to be happy. Poor Barry. Someone bumps into Iris and steals her laptop, which contains her dissertation. Barry chases the thief through the crowd at S.T.A.R. Labs and out into the streets. He catches up and tries to get it back but gets a face full of laptop as he rounds a corner. The thief takes off, only to be stopped by a cop.

The cop turns out to be a new transfer from Keystone CityEddie Thawne, whom Joe calls 'pretty boy'. Barry is not too happy that Iris appears to agree! 

Joe and his partner are checking out the farms on Barry's list. The weather is declining rapidly, as Barry now watches the news reports of S.T.A.R. Labs' particle accelerator. He moves a map to show a board of evidence related to his mother and father. Barry's mum was murdered on the night he saw her being attacked. His father was convicted of her murder, despite his innocence. 

Joe and his partner find the getaway car in the barn. Clyde Mardon shoots Joe's partner and hops onto a small plane that's about to talk off.

The news reporter says that everyone has been told to evacuate, as a siren goes off in the background. The storm has closed in and it may have caused a problem with the particle accelerator. The scientists onsite are working to shut it down, but can't. There is a huge explosion from S.T.A.R. Labs, which sends a wave of energy out across the skies. The wave destroys Mardon's plane when it hits. Barry sees liquids in his lab start to rise into the air, and then a bolt of lightning smashes in through the glass roof and strikes him, knocking him we see small red lightning bolts racing over his face. He's rushed to hospital, where they are struggling with the aftermath of the blast. His trainers saved him! Yay! I knew there was a reason I love Converse! Iris runs into the trauma room where Barry is apparently coding, screaming that she's family when a nurse tries to remove her. The doctors start to shock Barry.....

Nine months later 

S.T.A.R. Labs is destroyed and cordoned off, with warnings that it is hazardous. Gaga's Poker Face is playing as 2 blurry faces come in to view. The woman wants to know why the song is on, and the man replies that 'he' likes it, that it says so on 'his' Facebook page. The angle changes and we see the 2 people bending over an unconscious Barry, lay in a hospital type bed, and wired up to machines. As they walk away he suddenly shoots upright, gasping and scaring the others. Turns out he's at S.T.A.R. Labs, and the 2 people are Cisco Ramon and Dr Caitlin Snow. They tell him what happened....he catches sight of himself in a mirror, lightning gave him abs! He's been in a coma for 9 months....he meets the, now wheelchair bound, Harrison Wells, S.T.A.R. Labs big honcho. He explains to Barry that the particle accelerator was online for 45 mins before the 'anomaly'. Energy from the blast shot into the sky, creating the stormcloud from which the bolt struck Barry. Wells was recovering from his injuries when he heard about Barry. The hospital were experiencing unexplained losses of power, which just so happened to coincide with every time they tried to shock Barry. He wasn't flatlining, his heart was just going too fast for them to measure. Joe and Iris allowed Wells to take Barry to their facility where they have monitored him. Despite all this all Barry can think of is seeing off he runs in his borrowed S.T.A.R. Labs sweats!

He surprises Iris at the coffee shop where she works, and he experiences the first odd occurence in time, when everything seems to slow down.

Clyde Mardon isn't dead! He's robbing a bank, and creating a killer wind/tornado/fog thingy to cover his tracks.

Joe is ecstatic to see Barry. They get the report of the robbery and Joe and Thawne leave for the scene. Barry experiences the second weirdness, when a prisoner starts to go for an officer's gun and he manages to stop him so fast it looks like he hasn't moved. He runs outside, telling Iris he needs air....his hand is shaking so fast it blurs....funky! Then he accidentally runs head first into the rear window of a car....then decides to try out his new gift!

Wells, Caitlin, Cisco and Barry are at an airfield ready to test Barry's new ability. Barry finds out that Caitlin lost her fiancé in the blast. Wells cautions Barry.....which appears to go in one ear and out the other seeing as he blasts away leaving them in his wake! Barry starts to lose focus while he's remembering the night his mother died. He crashes and looks to have broken his wrist....

The witness to the robbery tell Joe and Thawne about the weird indoor weather stuff. It's the 3rd robbery with weirdo weather in the last month. Joe sees the suspects car and gets his registration.

Barry's wrist has 3 cool! Wells wants to know why he crashed, so Barry tells him about his mother's murder. He saw what looked like a ball of lightning with a man inside it. He says his dad is still locked up in Iron Heights for the murder. Barry wonders if his mother's killer could be like him. Wells feels pretty confident in saying that there's no one else like Barry!

Iris is working in the coffee shop, where Thawne is waiting for her. She kisses him and calls him her boyfriend! Even worse, Barry sees them kissing! Iris explains that while Barry was in the coma, Thawne stepped up to cover Joe's shifts so they could be with Barry. She thanked h with a coffee and things developed....but, it's a big secret! While this deep and meaningful is taking place, a car is being chased by Mardon. A police car ends up careening over towards Iris and Barry, so Barry knocks her out of the way. He sees Clyde Mardon driving the getaway car and chases him, causing him to crash. Mardon gets away by calling up a fog, which causes a fatal car accident, all Barry can do is watch. In the aftermath Joe reprimands Barry and Iris....sounds like Iris wanted to enter the family business but dad wouldn't let her! Barry tells Joe he needs to speak to him, now. He tells Joe that it was Clyde Mardon, and that he's the one who caused the fog. Joe doesn't believe him. Barry is upset, because Joe never believes him. He didn't believe him when his mother was murdered. Joe tells him that his father murdered his mother, and that Barry is the only person that doesn't see that. Thawne arrives with the eyewitness sketch of the robber.....Clyde Mardon! 

Barry storms into S.T.A.R. Labs demanding answers. He knows he wasn't the only one affected by the blast. Wells told him that the city was safe, but that isn't true as they don't know who was affected and how. Wells shows him a simulation of the blast, saying that it released untold energy into our world, dark energy, anti matter, ex elements....not good! They've been searching for more 'metahumans', Barry tells them about Mardon. He says they need to stop him, Wells says he should leave it to the police. He tells Barry that his abilities could help with new medicines and gene therapy. Wells tells Barry that he isn't a hero, he's just 'a young man who was struck by lightning'...ouch! Barry storms out and starts to run......

......straight into a flashback to the night his mother died. We see his father in cuffs, arrested, and Barry runs into the house looking for his mum. Joe is on the scene, he knows the Allens, Iris was Barry's best friend even then. Barry finds his mothers body and pulls back the covering and sees that she's dead. Joe pulls him away....

Barry finally stops running, but his jacket bites the dust, as it catches fire from the friction he caused! He looks up at a road sign....'Starling City 5 miles'....he's gone to Oliver! Yay! Can never have too much Oliver Queen (or to be more accurate, can't get enough Stephen Amell!)! He tells Ollie his story and gets a very Arrow pep talk! Barry can be a hero, he can inspire people, he can be more than Ollie....who then swings gracefully off the roof to Barry's exclamation of 'cool!'....then Ollie watches as Barry speeds away....guess what he says??? 'Cool!'!

Barry runs back to S.T.A.R. Labs and asks Caitlin and Cisco for help....Cisco unveils his newest handiwork, a special suit he designed for firefighters. Perfect for the stress that Barry will put on it basically! 

Jo and Thawne confront Mardon at the barn, and he kicks their arse along with a god complex rant. Just as they're about to get squished under a bit of flying barn, Barry runs in and saves them. He sees that Mardon has create a tornado, which would be bad for Central City basically. Barry realises he has to unravel it by running around it I the opposite direction (I'm not especially scientifically minded, but I'm not entirely sure it would work!) and clocking 750 mph. He gets thrown out on his first attempt, and is about to quit when Wells speaks through the radio, telling Barry he was wrong about him, and to RUN!!!! Barry gets back to work and stops the tornado, but is almost shot by Mardon....luckily Joe saves him by taking Mardon out! Joe knows! He apologises to Barry for doubting him, realising that Barry has been telling the truth all his life, that his dad is innocent. He wants Iris kept out of it though, and makes Barry promise never to tell her.

Barry goes to visit his dad, and they have a sweet father/son moment, and Barry swears to clear his father. His dad wants him to let it go and live his own life, which Barry says he finally is living. He tells his dad that he's proud to be his son *sob*!

Barry is shown running through the streets, saving people! His voiceover states that he is the fastest man alive, he is The Flash! Yay!

Oooooh cut to S.T.A.R. Labs at night, Wells is wheeling through the corridors and he opens a hidden door. He enters the secret room, stands up (!) and walks to a new fangled contraption which displays a virtual newspaper from April 25th 2024! The headline states 'FLASH MISSING VANISHES IN CRISIS' oh dear! There's also an article about the completion of the merger between Wayne Tech and Queen Inc, which is a nice touch! So, who is Wells? What does this mean for our plucky hero!

I have to say that I bloody love this show! I'm so glad it's doing well and looks like a definite renewal, cos I would be a tad miffed if it was canned! Here's whats been happening in the rest of the season so far....

In episode 2, Barry and co start to tackle small crimes on the streets of Central City, much to Joe's annoyance. As Barry pushes his abilities more and more, he starts to suffer side effects and actually faints after trying to stop a robbery. As it turns out, Barry has low blood sugar, and needs to eat a hell of a lot more now he's a superhero! Lucky git! The gang find out that the so called gang of robbers is actually one man, Danton Black, who is able to clone himself. Black is a scientist who was researching cloning in order to help his sick wife, but his former boss, Simon Stagg, had stolen his research. Black wants to kill Stagg for what he has done, as it cost him his wife. After some false starts, and losses in confidence thanks to some dubious behaviour from Joe, Barry manages to stop Black and save Stagg. He also accepts Joe's help in proving his father's innocence, and solving his mother's murder. At the end of the episode, Wells visits Stagg at his office. Stagg has become obsessed with The Flash, and wants to use his powers and abilities for himself. Wells, saying that he must protect The Flash, stands from his wheelchair and murders Stagg.

In episode 3, an entire crime family is murdered and the gang have to face another which Barry believes can control poisonous gases. The team realise that they need to create a prison for rogue metahumans, and decide to convert the particle accelerator into a containment facility. This provokes painful memories for the S.T.A.R Labs team, as they are reminded of the death of Caitlin's fiance, Ronnie. Ronnie sacrificed his life to save Caitlin, and everyone else in danger *sob* luckily we know that he'll be back as another metahuman, Firestorm!  Barry finds the killer, Kyle Nimbus, but not before another murder. He fails to stop Nimbus, but realises that, rather than controlling poisonous gases, Nimbus can actually change his body into the poisonous mist. It turns out that Nimbus was a hitman, and that he was sent to the gas chamber on the night of the S.T.A.R Labs explosion, creating a metahuman with a wicked need for revenge! He has killed the crime family, who testified against him, and the judge who sentenced he wants Joe. Barry manages to stop Nimbus before he can hurt Joe, and forces him to overexert himself, stopping him being able to change to the mist. The gang lock him up in one of the new cells at S.T.A.R Labs, all specially done up for him....and designed to stop him escaping! If they keep adding metahuman prisoners down there, some Big Bad will eventually clock the opportunity of a ready made army! At the end of the episode, another flashback to the explosion shows Wells in his secret room, watching Barry on a surveillance video as he is struck by lightning! The plot thickens!

In episode 4, Wells is trying to test Barry's abilities by having him perform several different tasks at once. Chess with Wells, Operation with Caitlin and table tennis with Cisco...Barry gets a little ahead of himself - which is an achievement in itself when you're the fastest man in the world - and loses to Wells. A familiar face turns up to visit Barry, and she's a tad miffed that he didn't call to let her know he was out of his coma! Yes, it's our favourite awkwardly awesome computer genius, and half of my dream Arrow ship, Felicity Smoak! There's an awkward double date at the coffee shop quiz night....where it becomes obvious that Barry and Felicity are perfect for one another....if only they weren't in  love with different people! Damn you Arrow writers! I want Ollicity! Personally, I think Barry can do a lot better than Iris, she irks me hugely! Anyway, back to the actual episode! The baddie turns out to be a pretty smart criminal called Leonard Snart, who is trying to steal a fricken massive diamond. Firstly, his team hit the security truck which is transporting the diamond to a museum. He's planned it all, right down to the second, but is foiled by Barry. In order to get the better of Barry, Snart manages to get his grubby little mitts on a piece of tech from S.T.A.R Labs which Cisco created. It's a cryonic gun, and Cisco actually made it as a weapon against Barry, if one was needed to take him down. Barry is somewhat put out by this, seeing as he's now friends with Cisco and Caitlin, and has a bit of a sulky strop. He goes off to take down Snart alone, even disconnecting the radio link.....luckily Barry is so likable that his strops don't bother me, unlike a certain character in Arrow *cough*Laurel*cough*! Snart has set a trap for Barry however, and ends up at his mercy....before Cisco, Caitlin and Felicity turn up to help! Cisco bluffs that the mahoosive machine they've dragged along with them is an even more powerful version of the cryonic gun.....luckily this works, as it's really just the S.T.A.R Labs' vacuum cleaner! Snart escapes, and Barry learns about teamwork, hurrah! Alas, Snart decides to team up with an old partner to take down Barry.....

Well, that's the season up to now! The next episode, 'Plastique' airs on 11th November. Hopefully I'll get around to recapping the episodes as soon as they've aired....if my body would cooperate anyway!

Are you a fan of The Flash? Any classic characters you're hoping to see? Leave me a comment!

Thanks for popping by!