The Battle for Earth has just released another two episodes back-to-back—Episode 19: Transformation and Episode 20: The Test. We’re going to take a look at both episodes in this review, starting with Episode 19, which features the return of the character Elektris.
Episode 19: You may remember that she made her first appearance a couple months back in Episode 16 – Triple Cross. There have been some shakeups in casting at The Battle for Earth, but fans will be glad to know that Elektris is being played by the same actress as before. Judging by the feedback from her previous appearance, this particular actress seems to be well liked by the fan community and with good reason.
After a special effects-filled opening and an ominous voice-over by Lor’Cal, we are reacquainted with Spawn, who is quite the multi-tasker. He is preparing a new henchman named Jale to seek out Elektris and steal her powers. On top of that he has also taken up his missing father’s project of creating an invincibility serum. His goal: create a being that will be, well, invincible. He also is still holding a grudge against Avalon, the often-mentioned but not recently seen heroine from the first two episodes of the series.
Jale tracks down Elektris at her home and she assumes that his appearance is just another training exercise. Unfortunately, Elektris is mistaken and Jale completely dominates her in a long fight scene that peril fans will probably enjoy. The fight features multiple bear hugs applied from the back and front, more than one strangulation, a backbreaker, several punches to the face, and a test of strength that the heroine loses. Once Jale has knocked Elektris down and out, he attaches a device to her body that drains her superpowers. He then proceeds to strangle her in what I thought was an incredibly well acted death scene.
However, things aren’t that simple. After Jale returns to Spawns lair, Elektris awakens. Apparently, due to the nature of her powers, Elektris can’t be killed by normal means and she cannot die unless her body is completely disassembled. At least that’s what it says in the episode description on The Battle for Earth website. Elektris, feeling betrayed by Spawn is overcome by anger and this triggers a flash of energy that changes her costume from red to black. Feeling that she is ready to take both Spawn and Jale on, she teleports directly to Spawns lair. Big mistake. She receives another beat down from Jale that lasts a couple of minutes until she is able to power up and knock him out with an energy blast.
Her triumph is short lived however, as Spawn simply starts to choke her telekinetically and continues to do so until she submits to him. And that’s about it. There is a short scene that flashes forward to the next episode at the end, but I think it’s best to roll that in to the Episode 20 review.
The Battle for Earth has released six episodes since Rye left, and I think the results have been positive. I haven’t noticed any significant downturn in production values, and I think they have done a fine job of maintaining a good story-to-peril ratio. I think one criticism that can be leveled is that the heroines in the most recent episodes are coming off as very weak. I know there are fans of full on beat-downs, but I kind of like the heroine to put up some resistance. With the exception of a few brief moments, Elektris rarely attempts to defend herself in the fight scene against Jale. I think this is even more of a problem in Episode 20. If the heroines are having this much trouble with the henchmen, how are they going to fare against Spawn’s upcoming creation? I think it just takes viewers out of the fantasy when the heroine doesn’t even make much of an attempt to fight back. Maybe that’s just me.
I also think it would be wise for them make a better effort in the costume area for the villains. I know the heroine costume is far more important, but dressing villains in jeans and a T-shirt comes off as a bit low-rent. The producers at TBFE are smart and talented. I know they are capable of doing better in this area. I think it would greatly enhance the overall look of their already fine product.
Criticisms aside, it was another good effort from TBFE. Christen, the actress who plays Elektris looks great and is a very talented actress. I hope to see more of her soon.
Episode 20: HM here… I thought I would write a brief review for Episode 20, so here we go. This episode involves a plot by Spawn to test the powers of the superheroine Superianna, who has apparently been converted to his “collective.” After setting up a fake mission for Superianna to go on, Spawn decides to send his henchman Kaid to attack her, as a way of testing her powers. This eventually results in a long apartment fight scene that involves lots of choking, belly punches and the like.
The fight continues outdoors where Superianna, who has been in the guise of her alter ego up until this point, transforms into her Superianna costume. This fight scene goes on for several minutes and features lots of peril. This is a pretty good fight scene, and fans of superheroines being outmatched by a superior opponent should enjoy this sequence.
Finally, things reach a climax when Superianna confronts Spawn. When Spawn learns that Superianna has turned against the forces of darkness, he instructs a newly powered-up Kain to defeat Superianna, so Spawn can “teach her a lesson for her disobedience.” This results in another fight scene in an already fairly action-packed episode. After her inevitable defeat, the bad guys torture her with electric shocks and kryptonite as she’s restrained (via force field) on a table.
In all, I liked the performance of the actress who played Superianna, even though I felt that some of the action was shot and edited in a fairly haphazard manner. Still, fans of Supergirl-like characters getting beaten down and tortured by the bad guys will surely appreciate this episode.