Arrowverse Roundup - Week 16 Review
This week has the Arrowverse back at full strength! Supergirl is still in the trade off with Legends, but everything else is back with a vengeance! A lot happened this week as they are gearing up for the tail end of their seasons, so continue below to see my thoughts on each episode. There will be spoilers for this week's episodes. (Spoilers for future episodes have been censored, so you have to highlight to see them).
You can see all of this season's reviews right here.
Legends of Tomorrow - Episode 3.12 - "The Curse of the Earth Totem"
Legends of Tomorrow is a funky show. But when it embraces that, it is the strongest show in Arrowverse. This episode got a lot done. Sara and Ava finally went on their first date, and the quest of the Legends has become clear. Plus we got a peek at a bromance between Rip Hunter and Wally West.
Let's start with Sara and Ava. The traditional date of dinner never felt right. Later on, when they fought Blackbeard and his pirates, that felt more right. They certainly portrayed it that way too. They make a great couple, and I hope Ava becomes a regular next season. Sara wonders if she'll have a normal life. I wonder if that is gearing up a departure for her, maybe to go off in the sunset with Ava. I hope not, I love Caity and want her to continue. But if they close the loop of her, Laurel and Darhk, maybe Rip takes over again, and Caity leaves. I hope not. Like I said, I want Sara Lance to remain on the Waverider, and have Ava join her.
Speaking of Blackbeard, that is such a Legends thing to do. I'm surprised it took them this long to get to pirates, quite frankly. The costume designer must have so much fun on this show.
As far as references go, they were a-plenty this week, both in universe references, and other ones. The first one is purely personal. They flashed to a shot of the Detroit skyline, and if you want to endear me in any way, the best thing to do is to inject Detroit into what you are making. That is where Mari - Amaya's granddaughter resides. Nate did a Goonies reference while he came to save the day, yelling "Hey you guuuuuuys" like Sloth. Wally West was responsible for the rest of the references. He mentioned nearly everyone on Team Flash being smarter than him, then he talked about Cisco again, who gave Wally the same alcohol that he gave Barry for his bachelor party. Something that is able to get speedsters drunk. The best one though, is Wally name dropping Dom Toretto and saying "I live my life one quarter mile at a time" just like Vin Diesel does in the movies. Legends and the Fast franchise have a lot in common - they are both utterly ridiculous and shouldn't work, but do because of their charismatic cast and the love in which they are made.
We saw more of Wally and Rip as well. Rip, like always, has his own agenda, and he is trying to connect Wally to the Legends. This is a perfect fit. Wally even admitted he didn't fit in with Team Flash, which was a commentary on how they handled him in The Flash. Rip's end game is unclear, but I guess he thinks they need a speedster to defeat Mallus. The interactions with the rest of the Legends should be fun.
Which brings me to the main plot. Mallus seems to fear the totems, and so the Legends are off to collect them. They found themselves in 1717 with Blackbeard, and Damien Darhk. It was a fun adventure, but the best part was Rory all of a sudden being the voice that offers advice to everyone. He's become something of a big brother to a lot of the members of the Waverider. Getting out of Snart's shadow and being encouraged by Snart's Earth-X doppelganger really evolved his character.
Ray got kidnapped at the end of the episode, but it was revealing. One, it seems that Darhk truly does love his daughter. The Legends can use that to their advantage. Two, it shows the conscience on Ray that he brings to the Waverider. He tried to get Amaya's totem back by saving Darhk's daughter's life - who he nearly killed in the first place.
The Flash - Episode 4.14 - "Subject 9"
The Flash has returned from break, with Barry returning to work after being cleared from the murder of DeVoe....only to get suspended indefinitely. It makes sense from a story standpoint though - instead of asking "how can he have time to do all this Flash stuff when he has a full time job?" - now there's an in universe reason why we won't see him as a CSI, so they can focus on the DeVoe story line.
This week's meta was one that could make sound waves. When she first used her powers (against Barry and Ralph, then again against DeVoe) it reminded me very strongly of Laurel and Dinah's powers. Those powers hurt DeVoe. I wonder if they will get Dinah to come back to Central City for the finale to help with defeating DeVoe, especially now that DeVoe has that power. Barry helped Team Arrow against Ra's Al Ghul, and Oliver helped Barry against Thawne, so it isn't unprecedented.
The thread of Ralph falling for Izzy was an unexpected one. But the evolution of Ralph Dibny has been quick. I did not like him when he first appeared, which I think was the intended reaction. But now he's great. He's been a wonderful addition to Team Flash, and while I don't know if he is a one and done, will become a series regular next year, or shift to Legends, I hope it serves the character justice. I am glad that he is determined now, and is coming into his own.
That wasn't the only relationship on the forefront - Harry Wells and "D.A. Cecile Horton" as he calls her, formed a weird friendship. What was strange was that Joe wasn't in the episode at all. Last time, Harrison Wells was missing. Now Joe. Are Tom Cavanagh and Jesse L. Martin filming other Arrowverse shows? Or is it just in their contract that they get a vacation? Joe was referenced heavily, and was the catalyst for why Cecile and Harry interacted in this episode at all. But to have two of the best acting talents of the show not show up on an episode is disheartening.
Harry was still upset about the relationship he has with his daughter, Jesse Quick. Hopefully that gets resolved soon. **SPOILERS With Jesse Quick showing up on The Flash next week, then Legends of Tomorrow later, it looks like they will wrap up all of her story lines, since Violett Beane has signed on to a new CBS Show. **END OF SPOILERS** With the season ending soon, we should be wrapping up most of the story lines.
As far as references go, The Flash referenced itself. Last year Savitar dropped a DeVoe reference. This year, the moment he was referencing came to fruition.
The episode ended with Barry possibly taking a new step - being a P.I. That could work out very well. Oliver Queen evolved into new things outside of being the Green Arrow, and now it is time for Barry Allen to do the same thing.
Next week looks like one of the best self contained episodes ever. Akin to the episode where Barry was stuck in the speed force for the first time.
Black Lightning - Episode 1.06 - "Three Sevens: The Book of Thunder"
This was the best episode of Black Lightning yet. The ending where Anissa and Jefferson discovered each others alter-egos was a long time coming. I'm glad they didn't draw that out too long. The best part is that it brought Lynn to an acceptance of Jefferson's life, which didn't seem like it was going to happen at the beginning of the episode, in fact, it seemed the opposite.
We were privy to more clues as to why Gambi is keeping secrets from Jefferson. It seems like a deal was made for their protection, but Gambi's past is an intriguing mystery that I hope is explored soon. I was surprised that Gambi knows Evelyn rather well. That is a relationship that I want to know more about.
There was a ton that happened this week. Henderson is suspicious that his Chief is dirty. It looks like that is probably true, unless it is Henderson that is dirty and it is a huge red herring. Anissa was arrested again, and now that her parents know that she has powers, things might change on that front. She'll be properly suited up and trained by her father, I assume. I loved the poetry of Anissa, who is gay, having to come out to her parents about something else. They know shes gay, and are fine with it. It's nice that the show treats it as a normal thing. That's just the way it is. But to have those same sort of threads dealing with super powers was fun symmetry.
However, last time I assumed, I was wrong. I assumed Khalil would be an ally. It looks like he is going to be a villain. Tobias got to him bad, and I'm not familiar enough with the comic to know if Khalil has an alter-ego.
Speaking of symmetry, the van that Gambi rescued Jefferson and his daughter in had "Stern and Son" written on the side. "Jefferson and Daughter" are now on the same path, and they were traveling down that path in a van with "Stern and Son" on it. I appreciate that kind of thing.
I know that this isn't officially part of the Arrowverse yet, but they do use the same lingo. The word "Metahuman" was used, and about 33 minutes in, when Black Lightning is on the roof waiting for Tobias, there was very whimsical music playing that sounded like it could fit right into The Flash. Go back and listen to that scene with your eyes closed. It could be straight out of The Flash.
As busy as this episode was, Jennifer wasn't forgotten. She is on her own journey, and her journey made progress in detaching herself from Khalil. I doubt they are done for good, but it is a good step forward.
Now that Anissa and Jefferson can work together, the plot should really take off. I look forward to seeing how that plays out next week.
Arrow - Episode 6.14 - "Collision Course"
"You got us back on track Mr. T! I pity those fools now"
That was about the most levity available in this week's Arrow. Things apparently have to get worse before they get better, and that is what has happened with both of the teams. They are more divided than ever before, and we might see our very own Arrow: Civil War. Actually we are seeing Arrow: Civil War. It just isn't branded that way.
We care about the characters on both sides, so it is painful to watch. But that's the point. This can't carry on forever, they will be one team again. What the permutation of that team will be remains to be seen, but if there is a season 7, it will be one team again. The reason I say if is because of this cryptic tweet from Stephen Amell:
For the first time since early Feb 2012 — Home!! 🙌— Stephen Amell (@StephenAmell) March 1, 2018
Arrow premiered in October of 2012, so February would have been right around when he had to move to Vancouver. Amell is a master at this kind of stuff, so it could mean nothing. But maybe the show is coming to an end, and that is why things are wrapping up. There was one line in the episode, said by Diggle, that reminded me of the show's legacy. They were trying to lose the other team, and Diggle was driving the van. Oliver asked if Diggle could keep them off their tail and he said "You forgot what you hired me for 6 years ago". He was right, I did too. It seems like way longer than 6 years ago when Oliver the rescued playboy had John Diggle hired by his family to drive Oliver around. Arrow was a completely different show back then. What it has evolved into is something remarkable.
For example, the big relationship on the forefront here was Quentin and the other Laurel. It really was the catalyst for why the team was so divided. I wasn't really a fan of how Quentin was handled, but at least it gave him something to do. Maybe they are wrapping up that story line. The ending showed Laurel has other motives, when she pretended to have escaped a kidnapping. It sounds like she is setting Quentin up to be arrested as her kidnapper. The best way for Quentin to get through to Laurel is to call his ex-wife in. Bring Alex Kingston back and let them get through to her together. But it doesn't look like that is happening.
I don't know if Laurel's motives are in line with that of Diaz, but the vigilantes of Star City sure do have their hands full.
Two of the biggest moments of the show involved character self-reflection. One was Dinah being stopped from killing Laurel - by Curtis. It was a good evolution for Dinah to go through. She thanked Curtis later on, and seemed genuinely relieved she didn't murder Laurel.
The other was Oliver admitting he had failed the city. He put it right on front street and literally said "I have failed this city". Oliver - who doesn't admit when he's wrong, and hardly ever apologizes - has gone through many evolutions. This might be his biggest one. He has admitted failure. He is failing on both fronts too, as the Green Arrow, and as Mayor of Star City.
With (highlight for spoilers) Roy Harper returning next week, things will get even more complicated. But that could be the help they need to get back on track. Plus, it could be a wrap up of another story line, if this is their last season.
What was your favorite moment of the Arrowverse this week?