Arrowverse Roundup - Week 3 Review
Week 3. The appetizers are finished. It is time to get to the main course, the meat and potatoes of it all. Momentum has been gained, it is now full steam ahead. Let's hope none of the shows this week make us want to jump off the moving train.
You can see all of this season's reviews right here. As always, there will be spoilers for this week's episode throughout.
Supergirl - Episode 3.03 - "Far From The Tree"
Fathers were at the forefront of this episode of Supergirl but not the ones you would think. There was a parallel story running between J'onn J'onzz and the relationship with his father, and Maggie Sawyer and the relationship with her father. Supergirl was barely a factor, and for a show called Supergirl...that can be an issue.
Luckily this time though, it felt like a necessary pause to flesh out two characters we know well but don't have a lot of story for. We've gotten a bit of J'onn's story before, but it was nice to have this. In fact, it felt like this episode could have been a back door pilot for a Martian Manhunter spinoff (which I would be first in line for). This episode spending so much time on Mars, and J'onn's history/demons means one of two things. One, the Mars storyline will converge with the Earth storyline and play directly into the main plot of the show (which we still don't know what it is yet, between Maggie and Alex's wedding, J'onn, and fleshing out Samantha Arias, there hasn't been time for Supergirl other than grieving for Mon-El). Or, they didn't have 23 episodes worth of story and had to burn one doing things that are meaningless in the long run. That story did end with J'onn's father coming to Earth, so maybe that was what was needed out of the episode. I just hope it wasn't filler for fillers sake.
Maggie's father story was important too. She had been shunned for being gay, and tried to make amends. It was a great way for close-minded people watching the show to maybe see things in a different light. My only issue with it is that the character isn't going to be on the show much longer since Floriana Lima has decided to leave. It was an important story to tell for 2017, and for inclusion. I hope it has an impact on Alex and the rest of the characters because Maggie's story on screen is coming to an end, and something that deep, rich and important should have an impact throughout the entire show.
I did enjoy the parallels of both stories being told. J'onn's father refusing to literally open his mind so the White Martians could find a spear. Maggie's father refusing to open his mind to his daughter's non-heteronormative relationship. Both J'onn and Maggie had to try win their fathers over again. J'onn's attempt was successful, and Maggie's attempt was left ambiguous as to whether it worked or not.
Carlos Bernard, of 24 fame, did well in the role of Maggie's father. He was someone who faced prejudice himself when he was younger. If I had to bet, I would guess that someone on the writer's staff had gone through a similar experience to Maggie, or knows someone who has. I wonder if we will see Carlos Bernard again, he is a great get for that show, and he's strong enough to be recurring. But with Floriana leaving, him staying around doesn't make much sense.
As this is a Supergirl review, I guess I should write about Supergirl. She was in this episode too! The sad part is, she didn't need to be. Both stories would have worked without her, and that is a shame. I like when supporting characters get deeper and richer stories, but it should never be at the detriment of the main character. With the Mon-El stuff mostly out of the way, I thought we would get back to Supergirl's journey. But I guess we have to wait at least one more week for that to happen. Let's see how Samantha Arias plays into her story, and I hope she does just that - play into Supergirl's journey, not overshadow it and become the focus. If that is what is necessary for the character, then we have Wednesday and Friday nights free of Arrowverse shows - give her one of those time slots for a spinoff or something.
Kara was relegated to comic relief. She literally quoted Bugs Bunny: "A wrong turn at Albuquerque", and was baffled by alien technology similar to what she grew up around.
Don't get me wrong, it was a good episode, it was a fun episode, and it was an important episode. It just wasn't really a Supergirl episode.
Let's see if they can remedy that next week.
The Flash - Episode 4.03 - "Luck Be A Lady"
It was a battle of luck versus science on this week's episode of The Flash. There were some hellos, some goodbyes, and par for the course, some baffling character decisions.
The meta-human this week dealt with luck. Becky Sharpe would get lucky, and people around her would get unlucky. Of course, it was because of some scientific mumbo jumbo about a field surrounding her because the show deals with (fake) science to describe the meta-humans powers.
It was weird to me that Cisco - a dedicated man of science - believed in bad "juju" and luck and stuff. He had to have Harry Wells, another man of (Earth-2) science prove to him the science behind her powers. It makes sense for Iris or Joe to think it is bad luck, but it doesn't for Cisco, someone who is smart enough to make weather guns and machines that let people travel to different worlds. It wasn't the only questionable decision made this episode.
Unless it was the choice of Keiynan Lonsdale to leave, it is really quite frustrating that he is leaving the show - even if it is temporarily - just because they don't know what to do with him. I know that Keiynan has a burgeoning career in music, and if he left to focus on that, I support that decision. I hope he still pops in and out, and the way he left, it seems like that was the plan. But Wally West is arguably a more popular Flash (in the comics and cartoons) than Barry Allen, so the treatment of the character is frustrating. It is especially so, when you take in the tag at the end into consideration. Cecile is pregnant and Joe is going to be a father again. I am not sure where that will go but it seems very soap opera-y to me. Wally would do well on Legends of Tomorrow, so if this is the beginning stages of him shifting to that show, then I am okay with that as well.
Iris was actually okay this week, compared to Cisco and Wally. They are teasing the marriage story, which will come to a head in the crossover next month. There were a few fun moments with her, and it was nice to see after the last two weeks.
They seemed to have written Jesse Quick out too. She has her own thing going on Earth-2, has her own team ("Jesse and The Quicks" as Cisco suggested) and kicked her dad out, so Harry is now back on Earth-1. When Tom Cavanagh is on television, everything is better. But it came in the form of delivering a message that Jesse was breaking up with Wally. It managed to write all the speedsters not played by Grant Gustin out of the show in one fell swoop.
A few little moments were fun though. It used to only be some form of Harrison Wells that would say "Run, Barry, Run!". Iris and Cisco have both said it this season, and I hope that the rest of the cast gets to say it too. But Cisco quoting the Green Arrow while playing laser tag made me laugh out loud. He popped around the corner and yelled "You have failed this city!" and got shot by a 12 year old. The point of bringing this up, is that there hasn't been an episode of The Flash yet this season that hasn't referenced Arrow in one way or another.
The mystery of the "new metas" was answered quickly, and I appreciated that. It was created by Barry when he came back from the speed force. The Thinker - this season's big bad - has his eye on everyone that is in that bus, Team Flash have encountered 2 of them, there are 10 left. Once all 12 all rounded up, I imagine The Thinker's plan and story will unfold. It is definitely something to look forward to, not having an evil speedster as the villain is a breath of fresh air. If you can filter through all of the bad character decisions and stuff, the overall arc could be fun.
Next week, an old DC character comes to Central City, and it could make for a fun time, as long as the episode isn't too elongated.
Legends of Tomorrow - Episode 3.03 - "Zari"
In a show as silly as Legends of Tomorrow, it is nice when there is an important world-building, "mythology" heavy episode. That is exactly what we got this time. A new Legend, and some deeper meaning into the mystical nature of her, and Amaya's powers.
I am way more invested in the "On the run from the Time Bureau" aspect than I thought I would be. Agent Sharpe (Jes Macallan) is the second in command to Rip it seems, who isn't a regular anymore so Arthur Darvill can go be awesome in a play somewhere. The addition of her and "dweeby" Time Bureau agent Gary (Adam Tsekhman) injected some fresh blood and angles that the show definitely needed. I want them to be a factor for the rest of the season. Especially Gary, who, besides Dominic Purcell, can say more with one facial expression than most people can with several words.
The story was about Zari, and our big bad Kuasa, a time traveling assassin who can turn into water trying to kill her. Zari (Tala Ashe) gives off a real Krysten-Ritter-As-Jessica-Jones vibe, and it works. She has an amulet similar to Amaya, and they are connected in some way that we don't know yet. Amaya was one of the best additions to the show last year, and it is nice that they are fleshing her out more than just "A girl from the 40's whose granddaughter we know."
I don't know if I was reading too much into it, but it seems like Mick kind of likes Zari. I wonder if that is an avenue they will explore. He sort of flirted with Amaya at the beginning too, before her and Nate became a thing. Speaking of Mick, the writers made him say "Prison break? I'm in" which was as good as Dr. Stein (Victor Garber) talking about the Titanic last week. There was also a variation on a Terminator line "Come with us if you want to live", which is wholly expected now. You never know, later on James Cameron could be brought to the future and that is where he gets the idea for Terminators, and Skynet. This show is crazy enough to do it.
Because Zari has joined the team, there are now two people on the team with totems/amulets or whatever you want to call them. It is par for the course though. At one time Arrow had the Green Arrow, and the Red Arrow (Arsenal, then Speedy). It also had 2 Black Canaries. The Flash has had up to 3 speedsters on the same side at the same time. Supergirl has had both Superman and Supergirl fight together, and when that isn't happening, Martian Manhunter flies with Supergirl and has similar powers. It was actually impressive that Legends managed not to have a person with duplicate powers for over 2 seasons. This could play out well, because their destinies seem to be intertwined.
The tease at the end showed a young Ray Palmer, who is seemingly in danger. It feels like we are going to get some Back to the Future Part II elements next week. "No the other me!" Making the mistakes the Legends are trying to clean up personal, by endangering one of their own is a good way to show the severity of what they've done since it can take them a bit to catch on.
A double shot of Ray Palmer next week. Brandon Routh should have fun with that.
Arrow - Episode 6.03 - "Next of Kin"
We have officially reached a new era of the show. John Diggle is the Green Arrow! Throughout history, different people have taken up the mantle of a superhero. It happens all the time in the comics. It rarely happens in television and movies (different characters playing the same hero I mean - different actors happen all the time). While we all know it won't last forever, it is nice that they are committing to it for more than one episode.
John is dealing with tremors from degenerative nerve damage. Oliver doesn't know this, and made him the new Green Arrow so Oliver can be a better father. Dinah knows though, and she's not happy about it, neither was Rene, who has suffered because of John's hesitations. Rene even went to Oliver - but didn't know about the degenerative nerve damage. Oliver and John had a heart to heart, as they have for the last 5 years. The roles this time though, were switched. They made it a little on the nose that they were switched, but it was still effective. The next mission was successful, John's tremors were gone, and with his new crossbow, everything seems like it will be good, even Dinah was convinced.
The reason for John's miraculous recovery however, is drugs. He is injecting himself with something that gives him strength enough for the tremors to disappear. If you have watched the show from the beginning, you should be familiar with a substance you can inject yourself with and get more strength. I think John is using Mirakuru, or at least a form of it, if it is not the same kind that Slade Wilson used. There is an episode in two weeks called "Deathstroke Returns" and I wouldn't be surprised if they found out then, since Slade has some experience with Mirakuru. For a season that feels like it is trying to get back to its roots, bringing back one of the best story elements from season 2 feels like a step in the right direction.
This season has some badly needed character development, which we haven't gotten a lot of since the first 5 seasons had to show Oliver's flashbacks. Now there is time to have an even balance of story and character, and the show is better for it. Felicity, for example, is showing traces of her season 1 and 2 self, when she was one of the highlights of the show. Things went...awry...from there, but they seem to realize making her a cyber-terrorist was not a good idea, and they are redoing her relationship with Oliver, and it seems to be better off this time.
While a lot hearkens back to the early days of the show, there are some new exciting elements that keep the show fresh. Arrow now has a Legends of Tomorrow style opening with all of the heroes' various logos appearing before the title card. They used character powers in a different way, it was a delight to see Dinah use her Canary Cry to launch Diggle across a building, he was almost flying! The sunglasses they used to shield themselves from Onyx's attacks looked awesome, Diggle should make those a full time part of his Green Arrow costume. They also took a cue from The Flash as well and gave Felicity a see-through dry erase board for math and science stuff.
Speaking of math stuff, William and Felicity were able to bond over math. It was a victory in Oliver's life that he desperately needed whether he knows it or not. As stated previously, they seem to be taking the Oliver and Felicity relationship way slower, and it is benefiting their characters and the show as a whole.
The Flash isn't the only one going lighter this season, there was some legitimate humor in this episode. The whole bit with truck (before it went horribly wrong) was extremely humorous. Seeing a costumed hero ride shotgun in a truck commenting on the driver's music taste definitely added some levity to an episode that needed it. Getting rid of the flashbacks is the best thing that has happened to the show.
The investigation into Oliver being the Green Arrow from the FBI could be a good story line. The problem is, they can't ever catch him, or the show is over. So he has to be cleared, or they have to realize he is on their side or something. Stephen Amell always said that in season 6 we would get the signature Oliver Queen goatee. Maybe that is how he'll do it. A pair of glasses works for Supergirl, why can't a fake goatee work for Oliver?
We still have yet to see Michael Emerson but I have a feeling that moment is rapidly approaching, especially since Katie Cassidy's Black Siren returns next week.
What was your favorite Arrowverse episode of the week?