2018-2019 Arrowverse Roundup - Week 7 Review


The Arrowverse celebrated Thanksgiving, which is fitting because some old friends returned. There were relationships tested to the max too. This was one of the strongest weeks of shows, since there really wasn't a weak one in the bunch.

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 4.06 - "Call To Action"


This episode had a lot going on. When Supergirl let's its characters wear their hearts on their sleeves, they shine. "Call To Action" does this. The way they have integrated Agent Liberty into the natural course of everyone's lives feels so organic that it is worth noting.

Manchester Black is also a fantastic addition to the cast. His extreme way of dealing with things is not at all how Team Supergirl would do it, and that is what makes it great. Him torturing one of the children of liberty was one of the most intense things the show has ever done.

James and Lena are falling apart, secrets and lies are getting in the way. Again, the episode did a great job letting things happen naturally. It was not forced.

The story of Ben Lockwood (Agent Liberty) makes for a great story. I thought more of the Russian Supergirl would be seen by now, and that would be the focus. But the Lockwood stuff is relevant and intriguing, so it his hard to want anything else.

It was nice to see Helen Slater again. Her showing up for Thanksgiving was nice, but what was even better is that they gave her something to do. It is unfortunate when they get a big name guest star with nothing to do. She was able to deepen the mystery of Nia Nal and her "narcolepsy".

Nia is being cagey about doctors. People know she is transgender, so it isn't because of that. There is something else going on. She lied to Kara's mom about getting help. When Brainy heard her name for the very first time there was a flicker of recognition, like he has read about her in the archives of the Legion of Superheroes. Perhaps this is the first step in her journey of becoming a superhero.

Overall, a nice episode that showed how skewed people's views could be. When they "give thanks" there are still biases involved.


***

Arrow - Episode 7.06 - "Due Process"


Well, Diaz is finally caught. But like Tobias in Black Lightning and Loki in Avengers, it feels like that is exactly what Diaz wanted.

It was nice to see everyone in Team Arrow - sans Ollie - work together again. It was the first time this season they were all in the same room together, and it was the best. Those are usually the best scenes in TV shows. When all 6 cast members of Friends are together, it is better than when they are in smaller groups. Chemistry is important, and it is strongest when everybody is together.

The redemption of Laurel2 has hit a speed bump. I like how complicated it has become. It is not straightforward, and they are putting in the work. But she is helping Ollie. She is helping Team Arrow. She wants to right her wrongs about Diaz.

We know from the future that things do not go well, so I don't expect to see Laurel2 suit up as the Black Canary again. But there has to be an endgame to her arc. Speaking of arcs, no one has had more of a radical shift than Felicity. She is fighting harder than ever before, and when we see William track things down in the future, it looks like she becomes something of a cyber terrorist like her father before her.

The flashforwards still remain the most intriguing story being told, and while I thought it was a bad gimmick at first, it has earned its spot every week.

It is weird to have much to say on an episode of Arrow yet a little bit is about Oliver Queen. While he is close to getting out of prison, he still has a bit of work left inside to do. The biggest thing is that Oliver now suspects his friend Stanley in setting up Turner (Michael Jai White) for murder. Maybe Stanley is secretly the big Kingpin in prison and is manipulating Ollie. Or he has been working for Diaz the entire time.

It was nice to see David Nykl as Anatoly back. The man can be a villain or an ally on any given day, so it is always refreshing to see him evolve every time he is seen. It certainly seems like he was sent off into the sunset this time, but you never know, It seemed like his story was complete many times before.

Things are coming to a head, and just as you think things can't get anymore intense, Arrow's seventh season continually surprises.

*** 

Legends Of Tomorrow - Episode 4.05 - "Tagumo Attacks"


Nobody does Thanksgiving like The Legends! Well, not all of them did. It was just Nate and his family. Ava tagged along and it felt like something you would see in a sitcom.

Nora Darhk made her triumphant return. She saved Constantine's life and then turned herself into the Time Bureau. Since she is a series regular, her involvement in the Bureau will be felt the rest of the season.

Gary has a new love interest in Mona. She seems like a lot of fun, and it will be nice to get to see more of her. Tom Wilson as Nate's father seems to be around to stay, and while him and Nate will mend their relationship, it feels like he will cause more trouble than not.

As for the main "track down magic" plot, this time it was an artifact and not a creature. An journal like Riddle's Diary in Harry Potter that you write in and those things come to life.

The episode was just as much fun as the rest of them this season. Yet it is providing depth to their world and doing fantastic character development at the same time. Mostly everyone had their moment to shine in this episode. They all got something to add to the story.

Rory got to finally "come out" as a writer. Which is funny because that is the most normal thing about him. It was a nice little addition from a throwaway moment in a weird episode last year. Plus, now we know that Rory is responsible for the idea of Godzilla. So the Legends contributions to history just keep piling up.

The sheer contrast of a traditional Thanksgiving holiday with an octopus monster in 1950s Japan, with 2 magical beings doing a life force transfusion worked surprising well. As witnessed in Arrow, the team being together is always better than when their not, but this is working as best as possible. I do hope the whole team gets to be together soon, as there are too many small "factions" right now. That isn't a huge criticism, but it can improve things.

Legends Of Tomorrow is constantly evolving, they had to experiment to get to this point. It feels like they are starting to experiment to get to somewhere different, and that could be good or bad. We'll see.
 
***

The Flash - Episode 5.06 - "The Icicle Cometh"


Caitlin's family is more dysfunctional than we thought. Her father is just like her, and his alter ego is now a villain. He is not the main villain, but he is more important than those random "villains of the week" we get.

As for the main villain, we get a lot more of Cicada. Team Flash is very close to learning his identity, but Chris Klein got a lot of screen time too. It seem that if he gets hurt, he gets stronger, which is bad for defeating him.

Nora and Iris went from one awkward to the next. Nora is coming around to her mother, but now they don't know how to act without the animosity. So the awkwardness is more light-hearted now.

For being a master detective, Sherloque sure lets a lot of other people figure things out. Ralph figured out stuff about the mask, and Nora and Iris figured out stuff about the satellite. HR was more of an "ideas man" that gave people the confidence they needed to do things, so I hope this isn't what is happening here. He needs to be different from his other Earthly counterparts.

Killer Frost has returned, but only because of an extreme circumstance. She will be back permanently to help the team I expect. They are going to need a ton of help to take down Cicada.

The absences of Joe West is being felt, but that is nobody's fault. Jesse L Martin had to take a medical leave of absence. He is the heart and soul of the show, and the sooner he can return, the better.

This episode did work for the future, by recovering "Sally the Satellite" yet did great character development work with Caitlin Snow, her family, and her past. It is nice when the A plots and B plots are both essential. The Flash has problems doing that sometimes.

***

Black Lightning - Episode 2.05 - "The Book of Blood: Chapter Two: The Perdi"



The serialized format of storytelling on Black Lightning pays off in huge ways. This show would be utterly forgettable if it was a "monster of the week" type format. The issues the Pierce family are dealing with are all compelling. They build on these issues each week, and the show is stronger for it.

Lynn is dealing with a ton of stress from losing 14 lives. Jennifer is still lost in her own way in dealing with her powers. Anissa is trying to help Anaya give birth. But the story shifted in this weird Romeo and Juliet/Sharks and Jets turf war type thing. It makes the world the Pierce's live in just a little bit bigger, and I have faith in the story tellers to  make it all come together flawlessly.

Khalil's redemption is happening. Like Laurel2 in Arrow he is dealing with some demons that he still struggles with. But him and Tobias came to blows, and Khalil was hilariously outmatched. There is a path that Khalil can take to help bring Tobias down, but we'll see if it goes that way.

Gambi is alive in pure Nick Fury Captain America: The Winter Soldier style. It was actually shocking how similar it was for how creative they've been up till now. This was not a surprise, as he is still in the cast list. But Gambi did some dark things to the person that tried to kill him.

This new Looker character might be being set up as the next big bad for when Tobias eventually faces his demise. I can see them setting things up this early in order to have it be a natural evolution of what the characters do next.

It is a testament to how strong all of the characters are that Jefferson had very little screen time and very little to do. The show has shifted from being a one man show with a supporting cast, to a true ensemble.

This is the first time since the Arrow premiere that I audibly said "wow" when the episode ended. Black Lightning is making some masterful television.

***
Hands down, the best episode of the week was Black Lightning. Every moment was compelling and the way things were laid out was masterful. Every episode this week was strong though, which makes this even more impressive.

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