Arrowverse Roundup - Week 12 Review
This week was all over the place in terms of tone and structure. Each show proved that they have their own identity. Yet there were some strong connections to each other as well. Week 12 of this season of the Arrowverse is in the bag. Below you can find reviews of the 4 episodes that aired this week, along with some speculation towards the future.
You can see all of this season's reviews right here.
Supergirl - Episode 3.12 - "For Good"
If you read my review last week, and if I was as narcissistic as the President and didn't know how tv worked, I would think this episode was a direct response to my comments posted there. I had said that we didn't see Kara at CatCo anymore. This episode was heavy with that. I said that James Olsen is underused. He was featured prominently here. I said that Olsen's Guardian was being wasted, and they found a use for him.
The trends I highlighted must have been trends they noticed too, because the dial went the other way. We got a much more personal story this week. Everything in Supergirl is personal, but there was a lot of domestic drama in this one. You could show your mom this episode, and she'd have minimal questions.
The episode was different than the last few have been because of these things. But there were still some issues. There wasn't that much time between this weeks episode and last weeks in the timeline. Maybe a few days tops. Last week ended with Sam telling Alex she blacks out. This week begins with Alex running tests. So it wasn't that long of a gap. However, between episodes Alex's leg is miraculously healed. She was nearly bed-ridden and could only walk very slowly on crutches. Now, what is a few days later max, she's completely fine. No brace, not even a residual limp. It was sad that a detail like that was wholly forgotten.
The other thing, and I could be wrong on this, is Alex's medical prowess. I don't really remember that being a thing before. They leaned on it very heavily this episode. Usually when something is used that hasn't in a while, it is brought up in the "Previously on Supergirl" bit. Again, I could be forgetting a moment or a scene, but I don't remember her ever doing surgery or anything like that.
Lillian Luthor returned, and gave a nod to a huge part of Superman's lore. In the comics, Lex created a powersuit to be able to go toe to toe with Superman. In this version, Lillian Luthor donned the suit.
I don't know if we will ever see Lex in Supergirl, or in the Arrowverse at all, but this gave us a fix we needed. It was defeated too easily, and I would have liked to see Lillian and the suit reek more havoc. She still might, but there is a lot going in this season right now. They have more important business to handle.
The evolution of Lena took an enormous step forward today. She will be more cunning and ruthless now. I think she will still be inherently good, but might change when she discovers that Kara is Supergirl. She might suspect it after this episode, but I wouldn't be surprised if she finds out who Supergirl is at the same time that Supergirl finds out who Reign is. These shows love parallels, and when they go for it, they go all in.
Lena can be used as a powerful ally, or their most cunning villain yet. I wonder which way it'll go. It could be setting up for a Luthor family villain for season 4.
Supergirl is going away for a quick hiatus soon, to be replaced by Legends of Tomorrow so they can finish their season. I expect a huge cliffhanger when that happens.
The Flash - Episode 4.12 - "Honey I Shrunk Team Flash"
This week's episode of The Flash could have featured Adam West and Burt Ward, and they would have fit right in. It was the campiest episode yet. Somehow, though, it worked. The tone of this show, at times, has been darker than Arrow. Now, it's lighter than Legends of Tomorrow!
I still consider this "filler" from the main DeVoe story, though they connected it the best they could. Harry seems to be the only one still focused on DeVoe. He's taking it personally that someone can outsmart him, so he should be crucial in planning DeVoe's demise.
Seemingly out of nowhere - Cecile is now a telepath. It could possibly be from pregnancy. I wonder if they are planting that seed to set up Iris having powers if she becomes pregnant with Barry's child? There are lots of West-Allen descendants in the comics, so it is possible they can start down that path. Cecile's powers made for a fun story, but I am not sure what the long game with it is. They should use it to read DeVoe's mind, or DeVoe's wife's mind, but that might be too easy.
That wasn't even the "campiest" part. That honor belongs to Ralph and Cisco - both shrunken down by a new villain-of-the-week metahuman. The humor was at the forefront, and to round out the entire thing (and in keeping with the theme of the episode), Joe and Cecile went and saw a therapist - or a shrink - to deal with her new mind-reading capabilities. It feels like someone had that joke in their head, and just wrote around it to make it happen!
As far as references go, I am glad they didn't ignore the obvious. If Cisco and Ralph became miniature, then of course the first person they should think of was Ray Palmer. They did, and wisely said they couldn't reach him on the Waverider. They must have forgotten the show was on hiatus... So they reached out to Felicity instead, who I thought would appear in a quick cameo, but didn't. It still made sense to go that route in universe, and the cameo wasn't needed for exposition. It could have killed the momentum of the episode.
I didn't know how much of Barry Allen's story they could do with him in prison, but the addition of Bill Goldberg helped immensely. Barry is a new hopeful hero. To put in him a place devoid of all hope is a smart move. To give an innocent man hope again, was a wonderful story to tell. Barry putting "Big Sir" in Jiaju, China not only gave him a happy ending, but kept the door open for his return one day, and set up the next chapter in Barry's life that now involves Katee Sackhoff's Amunet and her special prison. I wasn't expecting her to be woven in the fabric of The Flash like this, but it is a pleasant surprise.
I didn't think them committing so fully to being as camp as they are would work in their favor. Sure, I thought the show needed more levity than it had, but a healthy balance would be best. This is working for them though, other than treading water until they can kick up the DeVoe story again. But hey, if the car ride to Disney World is fun, that makes the destination all the sweeter.
Black Lightning - Episode 1.03 - "Lawanda: The Book of Burial"
Black Lightning continues to be strong. Its thrown a few wrenches at me already. They set up Lala to be the villain, turns out he was just a pawn for Tobias Whale. Tobias was made out to be this hugely powerful villain, and while I think he will stay as the main villain at least for a while, there is someone else pulling the strings. Jill Scott's Lady Eve seems to really be the one in control. I am curious about that whole relationship and how the hierarchy plays out, and what it all means for Jefferson. There is something personal between Jefferson and Tobias, and its apparently something that Peter doesn't want Jefferson to see. Peter keeping secrets is interesting because he seems like a genuinely good guy who is a friend of Jefferson and wants to help the city.
Last week I wasn't sure if Jefferson's daughters knew he was Black Lightning or not. Now I know they do not. Anissa wouldn't be questioning her abilities if she did. The most unbelievable part of Anissa's journey so far is that she'd actually be doing research in a real, physical, brick and mortar library! She has internet access in the palm of her hand. We've seen her smartphone. She also works part time at a school with tons of computer access. Don't get me wrong, I love libraries, but it is funny to me that she wouldn't do research on the internet. It did give Anissa a chance to meet Grace, who I think will become important down the line. While I know Black Lightning has not been officially considered part of the Arrowverse, I do like to think the Earth they are in is out in the multiverse somewhere. Grace reaffirmed my believes when she told Anissa to come to a costume party dressed as her favorite hero - then she name dropped Supergirl! While it is probably likely that this is not Earth-38 (Our Supergirl's Earth), that does meant that a Kara Danvers exists on this Earth. Jefferson Pierce has ties to Metropolis in the comics, so I am glad that is being referenced at the very least.
One thing I don't get, and it isn't just this show, it's a common cliched trope in every show, is that characters talk about secrets very loudly. Jefferson and Lynn were talking about him being Black Lightning in plain sight in his office, with people able to be seen in the back behind the glass that I am sure isn't soundproof. It is just a small quibble, but it is a bigger problem than effects many different shows. I guess if I devoted an entire paragraph to it, that it is a pet peeve of mine.
Black Lightning continues to deal with real life issues and problems. It is very grounded, and can get heavy in a lot of places. They should never shy away from that. But that also means levity and comic relief is needed to break up some of that. Not to destabilize the impact it is trying to make, but to compliment it, so your arc of emotions can be just that - an arc instead of staying in one place all the time.
This week, they were able to do that by Jennifer announcing to her parents that she is ready to have sex. It is still grounded in the reality that they have created (the campy stuff from The Flash would seem extremely out of place here) but was very funny and awkward. Then when Jefferson approached Khalil about it, it was very entertaining to watch. Light moments like that, that still deal with serious issues but do them humorously, makes the show more well rounded and three dimensional.
There are now only 10 episodes of left of this season. That is about on par with what The Flash and Arrow have left. I am excited to see all these shows come in for a landing at the same time, while securing their futures too.
Arrow - Episode 6.12 - "All for Nothing"
'Memba when the FBI was after Oliver and the Green Arrow? I 'memba. But the show doesn't seem to. This episode pushed a lot of storylines forward. On the other hand, it, and the few episode before completely ignored others like him being arrested by the FBI hasn't even happened.
A classic Arrow device was used this episode, in that of a flashback. But instead of Oliver's story, it was about the mission Vince and Dinah were on in Central City when they became meta-humans due to the particle accelerator exploding. We even got to see The Flash alum Patrick Sabongui as Captain Singh.
We also got to see Laurel again. It has been a hot minute since we last saw her. They are evolving her relationship with Quentin. Now, with her having killed Vince, Dinah is going to try to kill her. Arrow will then get to play with the Quentin/Dinah dynamic, and they love doing that.
Cayden questioning Vince's loyalty makes sense. But him not questioning Anatoly's or Laurel's doesn't. They both have very close ties to Team Arrow - closer than Vince ever did. So if there is another traitor in Cayden James's midst, it is his own fault.
Oliver suggested Felicity and he go to Aruba for their honeymoon. Oliver should ask the Legends about Aruba, they might feel differently! That isn't really an Easter egg per se, but the connection was too easy not to make. Captain Singh was the only real Arrowverse Easter egg I noticed this week.
Dinah is more divided than she ever has been. She lost Vince, got him back, then lost him again "all for nothing". Her revenge will be reckless and could set both vigilante teams back a few paces with her action. Right now, everything she is doing is still in the parameters of who her character is. They haven't gone full Iris West with her yet. I hope it stays that way. I don't want to see something so extremely out of character for her, that it taints her legacy, just for a plot point because they need filler for a 23 episode season. Juliana deserves better than that.
There are a few familiar faces returning later in the season, and I can't figure out how they will play into the story yet. I can make guesses, but with them dropping huge storylines and picking up stagnant ones as they see fit, the consistency isn't there for me to see a path they are following. It keeps the surprises fun, but can be frustrating from a linear standpoint as well.
Next week it does look like it will be "Fight of the Canaries" which has potential to be great. It is just too bad they couldn't work out a way for Caity Lotz's Sara Lance to join in. The Waverider is going to have to come to present day soon, to pick up a character that will join them, so it is possible for her to pop into Star City and say hi, I just don't know if it will happen. It certainly won't happen next week. So if they really are going to fight as the previews lead us to believe, then all three together won't happen. But you never know.
What was your favorite moment from the Arrowverse this week?