Arrowverse Roundup - Week 23 Review
Supergirl made its triumphant return this week, as Black Lightning's season came to an end. A bunch of huge things happened on The Flash and Arrow gave us a villain's backstory - and one of the most egregious errors in the show's history. You can see my thoughts on all of that below. There will be spoilers for this week's episodes.
You can see all of this season's reviews right here.
Supergirl - Episode 3.14 - "Schott Through The Heart"
Win hasn't had much of a story all season. He has been good for quirky one liners and stuff, but that was about it. This episode brought back a story line from the CBS days!
Win's dad, the villain "Toy Man" died. But his protege took over, causing problems for Win and his estranged mother. Laurie Metcalf played Win's mom, and I hope that is not the last we've seen of her, because she was great. But now that Roseanne is back, her availability might be limited.
It seemed like they were handling business for everyone except Supergirl. Alex bonded with J'onn's father, and she found out that he has the Martian version of dementia. The revelation was painful, and when J'onn found out about it at the end, it was even more so. It will make the bond between Alex and J'onn even stronger however.
This episode had contrasting, yet parallel parental stories. J'onn's issues with his father are vastly different than Win's issues with his. It made for a nice contrast within the episode. But it all felt like filler, as we had no Reign, or hardly any focus on Kara at all. It would have been fine, as character development is needed, but as big "return" episode, it felt lacking.
What we did get of Supergirl, was her and Mon-El still trying to figure things out. His arranged marriage with Emra is known, but things are still complicated. Also, the third missing world killer is why they came back, and it sheds some light into what Emra, Mon-El and Braniac 5 are doing there. It was a lot of exposition, and the only things in the episode that were really important to the overall plot. Mon-El is going to train Kara too, which is a "circle is now complete" situation. He also mentioned that his suit was damaged, which I am thinking means we will see it soon. Hopefully it looks something like the comics version:
Credit where credit is due - they tried to cover everyone, and did it relatively well. James Olsen was used to help Win, and was trying to get a hold of Lena Luthor the entire episode, which seemed innocuous until it wasn't. Lena has Samantha sequestered. It is ironic that a Luthor has captured Reign, and all evidence is to her continuing to help Kara and Alex.
There are only 9 episodes left. A little behind where The Flash and Arrow are, but still nearing the end. Hopefully we can get down to business now. (I write that in a lot of these, which is a problem).
Win needed the character development, it just came at a bad time. The episode wasn't bad per se, it just wasn't what I wanted after a lengthy hiatus. I look forward to next week.
The Flash - Episode 4.18 - "Lose Yourself"
Wow. I was not expecting this to be such a big episode! There was a ton of show-changing stuff that happened here! They are entering their last 5 episodes so I guess things had to escalate, but with a season that had a lot of filler, there are things here that all could have happened in their own episode.
Let's start with Harry Wells. He is injecting Dark Matter - without the knowledge of his counterparts - right into the Thinking Cap, using Thawne's secret chamber and Gideon. (The OG Gideon, not the one in the Wave Rider). It is messing with his personality. Joe was the first to suspect it, and he was right, of course. Could The Flash possibly be setting things up so that Wells is the big bad next season? It couldn't get much more personal than that if it does happen. They could get away with it too - the first time we saw Tom Cavanagh act evil, it was Eobard Thawne who took Wells's face. This would be 100% Wells. An interesting concept....
Caitlin Snow and Killer Frost have actually been getting along, quite adorably, if I might add. But it seems that has come to an end. DeVoe absorbed the powers of a meta who can....absorb powers. He touched Caitlin, and made Killer Frost disappear. One of the last remaining remnants of "Flashpoint" has officially been course-corrected...for now. Who knows what happens when DeVoe gets defeated. If those powers get taken away from him, perhaps everyone gets restored.
Iris West. Her journey here has been...bumpy...to say the least. But her fight with Marlize was awesome, and she stabbed herself in order to send Marlize away. That was John McClane-esque, and cemented her place as part of Team Flash, if it hadn't been already.
But the one character who broke my heart was Ralph Dibny. He was determined to kill DeVoe, not to save himself, but to protect his "family" in the Dominic Toretto use of the word. Team Flash is his family, and he wanted to protect them. He had his opportunity. The Thinker was down, helpless, and Ralph had the upper hand. But Ralph took Barry's advice and handcuffed The Thinker instead. It ended up costing Ralph Dibny his life because of it. I am not wholly convinced that he is gone for good, but they are going to have to do some sci-fi mumbo jumbo to undo this. Team Flash has a faster rotating door than Team Arrow does it seems, and it would be nice if Dibny gave the team some stability in the future. Hartley Sawyer, who portrays Dibny, might not be gone for good - as his body is the one currently occupied by the Thinker. But as Ralph can change his appearance at will, maybe he is. Sawyer has only been credited as "guest star" all this time, after all.
The events of this episode left Team Flash in dire straights. Where they go from here, is anybody's guest. But if you watched the preview for next week, you see they bring some huge help. That will be fun. But I have a feeling more will unfold about Harry, and that could turn to even more heartbreak for Team Flash. We shall see.
Black Lightning - Episode 1.13 - "Shadow of Death: The Book of War"
The first finale of the year! For the most part it didn't disappoint. The Pierce family is stronger than ever now, and all the pieces have fallen into their rightful place for season 2 to pack a wallop.
There was an early scene with Gambi talking to Jennifer. I could be wrong, but I think that was the first scene they had a one-on-one of the season. It was sweet, and Jennifer is on a vastly different path than she was even two episodes ago. Gambi seemed to help get her the rest of the way over that hump.
Tobias Whale - on his way to the top - doled out a bunch of comic book nicknames to people too. Khalil was deemed "Painkiller" and LaLa was christened "Tattoo Man". Both are actual characters from DC Comics. I didn't research at first for fear of spoilers, but now it is fun to do a deep dive.
While that was all fun and games, the best scene was the most serious one. Jefferson was on the verge of death, and he was in this purgatory-ish type place where he got to have a conversation with his father. It gave him the urge to keep fighting on, and he returned to the land of the living.
When he came to, however, he had no powers. This is one of my biggest pet peeves in all of media (other than when people leave front doors and refrigerator doors open) - the show is called Black Lightning - you know that the character of Black Lightning will get his powers back, or there is no show. Think about it. If you watched Chuck what was the one thing you knew would never happen (at least until the last episode)? That the character of Chuck would die. If he did, there is no show.
The way he got them back though, was wonderful. Jennifer has more control of her powers now than ever before. She will be a bigger player in the game next season, you can count on that!
The ASA problem was dealt with, with Gambi coming to terms with things. Because of that, Tobias has no one to answer to. He has the briefcase that is needed to help the children that were taken, and that nicely set up the story for season 2.
The Pierce family is whole again, I am excited to see what wrenches are thrown at them next season a long time from now. I didn't know what to expect when I went to watch the pilot, but this was a strong show. 13 episodes was definitely beneficial to them. Imagine if they had to stretch that story out for another 10 episodes? It definitely would have been to its detriment. I know Black Lightning is getting a second season, but I don't know for how many episodes. Let's hope next season doesn't have a ton of filler episodes like the other CW superhero shows do.
Arrow - Episode 6.19 - "The Dragon"
Like the Deathstroke episode this season, this episode was a story not focused on Oliver Queen. In fact, Oliver only showed up very briefly. Curtis and Felicity had a quick b-plot character beat. But other than that, it was Ricardo Diaz and Laurel as the focus.
Let me get a glaring, stupid, lazy, incompetent, unacceptable error out of the way. If you can remember way back at the beginning of this season, Michael Emerson played a character, a pretty important one at that, named Cayden James. There was even an episode last season dedicated to rescuing him. So he has been in the lexicon for a while.
Diaz refers to him as "Camden" James early in the episode. It wasn't sarcasm, or a sign of disrespect like he did it on purpose, because near the end, Diaz says "Cayden" James. It was sloppy, lazy writing. It was not Kirk Acevedo's fault either. He was great, actually. Everyone else around him had failed, and they need to do a better job. Period.
Plus, Diaz hates when people get names wrong. His childhood bully was named Jesse. Laurel and Diaz had the following exchange about that:
"Back at that bar you were talking about Jerry like he still haunted you"
"Jerry. It's Jesse!"
Outside of that glaring, incompetent oversight, the episode was actually pretty great. It was a nice break from the high school Team Arrow drama. It showed what drove Diaz, and gave insight in to what makes him tick. He is getting way more powerful, and that will be his downfall. Even evil Laurel was hesitant to go along with what he did with his childhood bully, Jesse. They even made a point to bring up Zoom, and her origin on The Flash to remind people of her story. Maybe there is redemption for her after all.
This episode was pretty straightforward. They've broken the Green Arrow story so much, that what he did this time didn't even matter, they had to go find another story to tell.
I wouldn't classify this as "filler" though, it was important to see Diaz's motivations, to take him out of the "mustache-twirling" class. There have been a few episodes this season where some of the cast was missing. Diggle was missing from nearly all of the crossover, Rene hasn't been seen since he was put in the hospital, and Dinah and Curtis have been used sparingly. Not to mention that Thea has left for good. It makes you wonder what is going on behind the scenes.
There was no trailer for next week's episode available right away, which makes me think something big goes down. I guess we will find out in due time.