Arrowverse Roundup - Week 13 Review
This week, the Arrowverse had the last episodes of Supergirl, The Flash and Arrow for a while. So they had big important things happening. Meanwhile, Black Lightning had a leap forward in its story as well. There were a strong crop of episodes this week, and it'll be interesting to see how next week goes when Legends returns along with only Black Lightning.
You can see all of this season's reviews right here.
Supergirl - Episode 3.13 - "Both Sides Now"
This was the last Supergirl until April. It is going on a quick hiatus to let Legends of Tomorrow finish up its season. So I was expecting a cliffhanger. We didn't really get one, we just got a giant leap forward in the "Reign" story. Perhaps that when this was written, they didn't know there would be a break, so the cliffhanger was deemed unnecessary. There was some mystery surrounding Mon-El and Imra though!
We found out a lot about them this episode. Their marriage was arranged, in order to keep the peace between certain planets. Mon-El isn't as over Kara as we thought. Imra hasn't been completely honest with Mon-El though, there is another reason they are there. That was the biggest cliffhanger we got, we will have to wait to see Imra's true intentions.
The Sam Arias/Reign thing is getting old though. Anytime I see her with her daughter, I know it will end with Ruby being disappointed and Sam disappearing. It is the same gag over and over again. We have seen it enough to get the point. Let's have someone discover it now. It seems that Lena is close, but I have a feeling it's a red herring, and that she will think Sam is Supergirl instead.
The episode focused on another world-killer, one of Reign's allies, named Purity. They still have Pestilence to go to complete the trifecta. So she had the same thing that Sam/Reign does. Purity is a sweet, normal woman named Julia until she isn't. Her powers do not mirror that of Supergirl's like Reign's do however. She is closer to the Canaries over on Earth-1. She can use her voice to produce a sonic resonance that can harm people. It would have been a good opportunity for Winn to reach out to Cisco for tech ideas on how to stop it. But everybody is busy.
Supergirl could make The Flash look like a bleak, dark show. It is optimistic to a fault. Optimism is fine, but realism is better. Optimism to the point of ignorance can be frustrating. It seemed that Kara was being optimistic about Julie just to spite Alex. The only thing that didn't happen was a foot stomp for a literal action of "putting your foot down".
I am happy we got to see J'onn in his Martian form, I know the CGI is expensive and the makeup is cumbersome, but it is so great, and needs to be seen more often! His ship was seen again too, to help fix Mon-El's ship. Curiously absent was Braniac 5, his character is growing on me and I like his interactions with the other characters. More of him after the break, please.
Where we stand now is that Reign is more powerful and Team Supergirl is no closer to defeating them. It has to culminate into something soon, when we get the back 9 episodes in April. Until then, we will take a detour aboard the Waverider and finish that story.
Overall, the episode was merely okay. They are certainly treading water, and I hope they can put the pedal to the metal when the show returns.
The Flash - Episode 4.13 - "True Colors"
Wentworth Miller and Dominic Purcell starred in a show called Prison Break. They also were both on The Flash before shifting to Legends of Tomorrow. This week, there was a prison break on The Flash but didn't involve either of them. It did however, involve some of the "bus metas" we've seen in weeks past. Their stories came to an end for the most part, but they got more of an arc than most "metas of the week" do on the show.
We also got to see Katee Sackhoff have an absolute blast being Amunet again. She definitely chews the scenery any chance she gets, and it adds to the wonderful campiness the show is trying to embrace.
The biggest thing was the discovery that Ralph has the ability to look like other people. I have two minds about this. One, it felt rushed. As soon as Ralph did that, I knew they had to use that to get Barry out of prison, and sure enough they did. I wish the seed was planted a little earlier though. On the other hand, if the seed was planted a little bit earlier, then I would have been critical on why he hadn't used that ability to get Barry out of prison yet. They made the right choice.
Dibny imitating Wolfe was fun. It was the lightness the show needed because the plot involving Barry escaping with other metas was not campy. Cecile was able to read the real Wolfe's mind, which was a nice use of her powers. I still want to know why she has those though, I hope they didn't abandoned that story line.
What I didn't like though, is that Wells was not involved, even indirectly, in getting Barry out of prison. He was the only one focused on it when everyone else temporarily gave up. For some reason, he wasn't in this episode at all. I could maybe understand that if he was behind the scenes, but he didn't even direct this episode. I'm not sure if Tom Cavanagh was off filming something else (perhaps on another Arrowverse show) or if he was sick or something, but his absence was noticeable. It devalues a character that is one of the most valuable of the cast. I don't know the reason, so I won't hold it against them, but it was disappointing.
We got some more DeVoe stuff this week. Not only with Dibny imitating him, but with his wife. It seems they are setting it up to have her come to help Team Flash, and that will be the downfall of DeVoe that he didn't anticipate. She seems to be frustrated with him, hate that he keeps changing his appearance and trying to read her mind. She is blocking him out with a song, but that won't last forever. The new DeVoe now has the body of Becky Sharpe, the "lucky" meta "Hazard" (played by Sugar Lyn Beard) and proceeded to slip something in Marlize DeVoe's drink. I don't know if it was poison or what, but DeVoe is definitely on to her, at the very least.
The Flash is going on a very short hiatus, but when it returns, it will be the first time we've had Team Flash at full strength in a few weeks. It'll be nice to see The Flash back in action!
Black Lightning - Episode 1.04 - "Black Jesus"
This episode introduced a new drug that hit the streets called "Green Light". One of Jefferson's students took it, and he was so strong and raged up, that it took two blasts from Jefferson's lightning to get him down. Whether intentional or not, it instantly reminded me of Mirakuru from Arrow. Black Lightning is too young of a show to use Arrow as a crutch for now. They haven't even officially made them related yet. But it can be interesting thread to pull on again in a season or two if they do decide to connect them.
Tobias Whale is the villain of the season, though he still answers to others. He rose in the ranks and made his reputation by being the one who killed Black Lightning. Now he realized he didn't and is desperately trying to fix his blunder. It is interesting having a villain who rose to power under false pretenses. The depth you can present with that premise is vast. I hope they tap into it. It seems like they are.
I knew Khalil would be an important player in the game, but this is not the angle I thought they would take. Having Tobias trick him into thinking Black Lightning was the reason he is paralyzed is smart, because in turn it will make Jennifer despise Black Lightning as well. Jefferson's daughters are down two completely different paths right now. Anissa is looking up to what Black Lightning is doing, and trying to do her own thing, while Jennifer will learn to hate him.
Anissa used her powers for the first time this week. She was able to attack some drug dealers. The most interesting part though is her contemplating whether she should tell her parents. It didn't seem like she had an issue telling her parents that she was gay, so they seem to be using her powers as a substitute for the difficulties that come with kids telling their parents big things like that.
Jefferson and Lynn clashed on how to parent again too. Their relationship is dynamic and complex. I hope it stays that way, and doesn't become boring. They could possibly tease a romance between Jefferson and his vice principal, Ms. Fowdy, but I don't think they are there yet. Speaking of Ms. Fowdy, the worst part of the episode involved her and Jefferson. The school board was at odds with Jefferson. Jefferson told Ms. Fowdy to tell the board something. Ms Fowdy rightly said no, that she isn't his secretary, she's the vice principal. Not 15 minutes later, Jefferson tells Ms. Fowdy to tell the board something again and she says "Okay", and walks away to do it. It was baffling, weird, and disheartening.
One thing that keeps happening is that Peter, Jefferson's friend and confidant is keeping secrets from Jefferson. First, that Tobias Whale was involved in the shooting of Khalil, then it was that his daughter was the reason for the disturbance in front of the bar. I am not sure what his end game is. Maybe he is a villain after all, or maybe it's a gigantic red herring like Martian Manhunter was in the first season of Supergirl.
There was a pretty cool hallway fight near the end of the episode. It seems you can't have a superhero show without a hallway fight anymore. This fight wasn't Daredevil but it was still cool nonetheless.
With Tobias's sister in town and a plan in motion involving Khalil, the ball has gained momentum in this season. I look forward to seeing where it goes next.
Arrow - Episode 6.13 - "The Devil's Greatest Trick"
This episode had a finale feel to it. Everything came to a head. The chapter started at the beginning of the season is closed now. "The greatest trick the devil ever pulled was convincing the world he didn't exist." That is the quote from which the title of the episode came from. It was to signify that Cayden wasn't really the one pulling the strings. Someone else was. That someone was Ricardo Diaz.
Here's the thing, superhero shows have done this before, almost to death. Nearly every Marvel-Netflix show has had the villain, then part way through, that villain gets killed by the real villain of the series. Arrow would have pulled this off very well save for one thing - the opening credits. I know that most people probably don't pay any attention to them. But those that do would notice that Kirk Acevedo was the only one of the group to be labeled under the "special guest star" label. Everyone else - even the incredible Michael Emerson, was just under the normal "guest starring" banner. It always stuck out to me, and at first I just thought he had a fantastic agent; or that he would pop up in one of the other shows too, as that usually warrants the "special" tag. But now it makes sense. He is the villain of the season, the true villain, so he gets the same credit as Neil McDonough and the like did.
This seems like it was Michael Emerson's last episode, which is a shame, but he got to flex another LOST muscle - he starred in his own flashback! It was effective too, it made you feel for him, and see why he took the path he did, even though it was flawed.
They made progress in the Laurel/Quentin/Dinah story in this jam packed episode too. I'm not sure what they are planning for the end game with Laurel, but her journey is certainly ramping up. I can see a path where Quentin dies to save this Laurel, and she becomes good in his honor or something like that, but who knows what will happen.
There was one of the most clever Arrowverse cameos ever in this too. It was done with one quick special effect, and few notes of a familiar tune. Oliver and Diggle needed to get somewhere quickly so they called The Flash to help them get there. We didn't see Grant Gustin, or even a double in a suit. It was just the lightning speed marks and the music. It must have been tough for Arrow and The Flash to coordinate that, since Barry just got out of prison, and Arrow is going on hiatus for a couple of weeks, but they pulled it off. It was a really innovative, fun (and cheap) way to include Barry in the episode.
My biggest issue with the episode was William running into the meeting point. My first thought was "kids are dumb". Then as the story became more fleshed out, where he was coming from made sense. William was also needed for Cayden's arc to be complete as well. By the end, I came to accept it.
The divide in the team is still there, and it doesn't look to be getting any better, when the show returns next month, it looks like that will come to a head as well. Hopefully that will be the end of it, and we can have a big Team Arrow reunion again to take on Diaz and whatever he has planned.
With Supergirl, The Flash and Arrow off next week, the Arrowverse will be a bit lighter than usual. But I'll still have reviews for Legends of Tomorrow and Black Lightning so come back then!
What was your favorite moment of this week's shows?