2018-2019 Arrowverse Roundup - Week 4 Review


This week we had a non-traditional villain-centric episode, an uneasy alliance, a murderous fairy godmother, an awkward baseball game, and the fall of a family. Every episode had something good going for it, yet they all had things that needed improvement as well.

You can read all of this season's Arrowverse* reviews right here.

*Yes, I know Black Lightning is not in the Arrowverse officially. But neither was Supergirl...until it was. I am including it here for convenience sake.

  ***

Supergirl - Episode 4.03 - "Man Of Steel"

I love this episode. The entire thing was dedicated to showing us how Agent Liberty came to be. Supergirl was out of commission due to airborne Kryptonite, and our story basically stopped there for flashbacks.

They started 2 years ago, and the way the story was presented was very entertaining. Ben Lockwood interacted with every single cast member on his way to becoming Agent Liberty. That will be important later. We even got to see TV cameos from Teri Hatcher and Calista Flockhart!

The way Supergirl takes on all of the evil that the Trump administration is spewing is great. The nationalist thing is very relevant this week. Lockwood was corrupted because the notion of it plays off of fears of "different" things and corrupts people because of it.

The episode had some horrible costuming and CGI though. When J'onn had to rescue Supergirl, the last few frames of him after he caught her seemed like it was drawn with crayon by a three year old. Then the wig that Alex wore in her flashback scene with Lockwood was bad. I know they make these shows on a budget (relatively speaking), but some visuals like that take you right out of the story.

The episode was a good recap of all of the stuff that has happened in National City. All of the alien attack and stuff that we see has collateral damage that we never think about.

Speaking of National City, I never realized it was supposed to be on the west coast. Alex mentions that Kara was coming back from Washington DC and fell near Nevada. So she was going west. I assumed it'd be east coast like Metropolis but I guess it makes sense this way.

The power suit that Kara is now in looks cool. I wonder if that was a way to free Melissa Benoist from being on set everyday so she could go do the crossover? They are just filming that now though, so maybe there will be a lot of scenes of her Russian doppelganger. It would make for an easier schedule if they can film both at the same time, and that is only possible if Benoist is needed in one place.

I like that the villain is put right on front street, and very early. The season has a ton more to offer us it seems. There is the Russian doppelganger and whispers of Lex Luthor. Hopefully everything can coalesce into a coherent story. But this episode surprised me in a good way, and hopefully more this season can do the same.

***

Arrow - Episode 7.03 - "Crossing Lines"


"Knock knock, let the devil in". That is a slogan for the movie Venom but could also maybe be used here. Pacifism was never good enough for Oliver Queen. Once the fighter, always the fighter. While he does it for his family, it's like Prometheus said - he likes it. Right now, Oliver is just doing what he needs to do for his family. But he could be the kingpin of the prison. He could run the place. Maybe he will. But him getting put down in level 2 might hinder that. Things are getting worse.

Felicity actually had something of interest to offer this episode. Her teaming up with Agent Watson was great. What's even better is Agent Watson putting her job on the line for her. They are cracking her, and Agent Watson might see what good Team Arrow could do.

Felicity and Rene actually had some time together. They don't usually get 1 on 1 time. But the pay off of that was them kidnapping The Silencer which one of the other Longbow Hunters called "Honor". The episode balanced both of these stories well together.

The flashforwards took a break, which is unfortunate, because that is the most intriguing part of the season so far. But instead, we got this weird C-Plot with Diggle and Lyla.

The reason for seeing that might reveal itself later, but it looked like there was no other reason for it other than to get them out of the way. How many times do we have to watch Diggle and Lyla disagree, then come back stronger as a couple? It's been done to death, and hopefully there was a bigger reason for their Switzerland trip. If not, I'd have much preferred to see Roy instead.

Diaz is stronger than ever. But he is injecting himself for it. It is reminiscent of Mirakuru. There needs to be a different angle to it, or I will just go watch season 2 again.

There are a bunch of interesting things happening to everyone, and while it is all surrounding Diaz, everything seems so separate. I look forward to it all coming to a head.

This episode laid a lot of groundwork for the future, but we are getting to a point where treading water might start to happen here. So we need a catalyst to move forward in the future.

Hopefully next season will give us a clearer picture of things.

*** 

Legends Of Tomorrow - Episode 4.02 - "Witch Hunt"


A murderous unicorn? That's nothing. Have an evil fairy godmother! The Legends gained Constantine, and wasted no time in going to Salem to help with a witch hunt.

The episode laid out Nate and his father's relationship quite well. We have not seen the last of Tom Wilson, and I am happy about that. Now that Amaya is gone, Nate's journey needs a different direction. That direction is him healing his relationship with his family.

The brilliance of this show is that it finds pairings that would never work anywhere else. This time, it was Constantine and Mick. They butted heads, and it was very entertaining. Ava and Nate interacting was so much fun too. I hope they do more random pairings as the season goes on.

Nate wasn't the only one though, Zari had some things she had to work out. There seems to be the start of cracks throughout the team, where there could be something of a Civil War between them. Zari had some anger that she had to work through. I doubt we've seen the end of that.

The magic of Legends Of Tomorrow is that it is absolutely ridiculous, but does some strong character work at the same time.

The show still manages to keep connective tissue throughout the season, and that is the most interesting part. Constantine is in trouble, and he is scrambling any way he knows how to save himself. I don't know the history of the character very well, so the mystery is intact for me.

The premise is sustainable, which is good, because I don't want anything different. It is a testament to the story telling that Oliver Queen in a maximum security prison is taking place in the same universe. You have to buy into this ridiculousness, but once you do, it is worth it!

Only 2 episodes in, Legends is coming out of the gate strong. I can't wait to see what is in store next.


The Flash - Episode 5.04 - "News Flash"


This show is frustrating sometimes. I do not know why Carlos Valdes was not in this episode. He is not filming anything else at the moment I don't think. So unless it was to do work for the crossover, I can't see why he was written out. Unless Valdes just wanted time off? Then that's fine. But not knowing had me thinking about it the entire episode. However, I will not judge the episode off of that.

There were some good things here, like Sherloque and Ralph forming a relationship. Wells - no matter which one - needs help connecting with people. So he will become an even better detective because of it.

We had another "meta of the week" this episode, but with a twist. We were introduced to "meta-tech". Something that would have been great for Cisco, but in universe, it actually made sense for him to be away. Meta-tech opens the doors for all kinds of possibilities. I wouldn't be surprised if it came into play for the crossover.

It provided this episode with some fun opportunities. I liked seeing Barry suck at baseball. Sometimes it's nice to see that superheroes are not good at something.

Nora and Iris's relationship is fractured as ever. But now we know (at least part of) the reason why. Iris had a chip implanted in Nora that suppressed her powers. There is obviously more to that, but it makes sense why there is conflict. The most interesting thing was that her scar was in the exact same place as Cicada's injury is. If it's not related, then it is a huge coincidence. It looks like Cicada's injury was a piece of shrapnel stuck in his shoulder. That could be "meta-tech" that is giving him powers like super-strength - but also killing him.

Chris Klein hasn't had to say much as Cicada, most of his job has been to give menacing looks. It is a vast departure from DeVoe last season. They are both effective though, I am enjoying the arc of this villain.

Overall, the episode was fine. I'm still not sure why Joe is sidelined so much. (Why wasn't he at the game, why have most of his scenes just been him sitting or standing there? Does Jesse L. Martin have an injury?) The formula on this show can get stale really quickly. So introducing important things like meta-tech and stuff helps. But it still doesn't get it away from the formulaic approach enough.

I feel we're treading water already and it's only 4 episodes in. That's not good.


***

Black Lightning - Episode 2.04 - "The Book of Consequences: Chapter Four: Translucent Freak"


Well, that didn't last long. Tobias is out of jail. He is exonerated and more powerful than ever. The scales are definitely tipping in his direction. The higher Tobias ascends, the lower the Pierce family falls.

Jefferson is losing his grasp of the school. He is further from his daughters than ever before. Jennifer feels like a prisoner. Anissa and him butt heads over how to use their powers. He is losing his friendship with Henderson, and Lynne is in more danger than she is letting on.

Anissa moved out, and Jennifer made contact with Khalil. His daughters have their own journey, but will make Jefferson's life more difficult.

Black Lightning does a great job advancing the plot every week. There is no treading water, or "monster of the week". Each episode contributes to the larger story. Something that the shows in the Arrowverse need to do better.

Kara finally died, but gave Gambi some help in his quest to take down Tobias. It was also nice to see Gambi get in on some action and have a fight. 

Whatever is in that suitcase that Tobias has, it gave me a sense that Tobias isn't sure how to use it. That could be the advantage that Jefferson needs. But things will get worse before they can better. Khalil will take Jennifer, or Lynne will be in danger when she tries to hide her meta family. There were a lot of seeds planted in this final chapter of "The Book of Consequences", so I expect "The Book of Blood" to be even better because of it.

Even though it was fake, the fight scene with Jennifer and Khalil at the beginning was quite good. The coordination and everything was on point. I wonder if we will see a different, yet real, version of that.

Overall, the episode was a nice conclusion to this "book". The story is by no means over, but the season is going to shift now, and I look forward to it.

***

My favorite episode this week was Supergirl. I loved the history of Agent Liberty. It was nice to see Sam Witwer physically on screen, instead of just hearing him. Arrow was a close second. They are doing some masterful work over there.

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