2018-2019 Arrowverse Roundup - Week 9 Review

This week there were some shocking revelations, set ups, and truly emotional moments! The midseason finales are upon us!

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 4.08 - "Bunker Hill"

I always love Kevin Smith episodes in the Arrowverse automatically. But so far, the best one he did was his very first one - an episode of The Flash called "The Runaway Dinosaur". "Bunker Hill" is the first episode that might even come close.

The team finally found out who Agent Libery was, but so did Manchester Black. Him infiltrating Lockwood's home was a fantastic bit of television. Things got very tense. The way they incorporated J'onn's struggle to save Manchester was nice too. Manchester is 100% being used to further J'onn's journey, but it has been entertaining so far. Who knows when we will see Manchester again now that he is in prison, but I hope it's soon.

We finally got a flash of what Nia Nal can do. She can dream the future, and anticipate things. Her relationship with Brainy is very sweet. It won't be long until she finds out Kara's identity, and joins the team permanently.

Speaking of Kara's identity, the President demanded to know, and she refused. So Supergirl is a free agent no longer working with DEO. When she see's her cousin in the crossover next week, I have a feeling this will be discussed, since he's not working for anyone really either.

Lois Lane got a mention this week, which was nice as we will meet her next week. This episode was tasked with accomplishing a ton of big things before the mid-season break. They (Kevin Smith and Co) did it spectacularly. 

As if the episode wasn't awesome enough, they put a tag on it that teases the crossover. It showed Earth-90 and John Wesley Shipp's original Flash against the Monitor! That tease, which was completely unrelated to the episode at all, was a DC fan's dream come true. Without it, the episode was powerful enough to standalone. But with, this episode will be one of the most memorable ones in the show's history.

All of our characters are left in curious places until next year. But we will see them in the big crossover next week!


Arrow - Episode 7.08 - "Unmasked"

We finally found out who the new Green Arrow is, and the answer is straight out of a soap opera! Robert Queen's long lost daughter. Okay.

It was nice to see Oliver out of prison. But the episode felt a bit lackluster after last week's incredible episode. Even the future stuff, which I crave all the time was sort of anti-climactic. It is awesome that we might get to see future Rene in the Glades though. The mystery as to why him and his daughter aren't in this together is really interesting.

There hasn't been anything substantial "Olicity" stuff for a while, so of course that had to come up. Felicity is a vastly different person, and their relationship is fractured because of it. It is an aspect that is of little interest to me, but I understand the appeal.

Oliver suiting up but ditching the mask, makes sense from a story perspective. But the hood is so iconic that I hope it makes a return. The character wasn't really known for the hood before this show, he always had more of a Robin Hood hat if anything. Now it's synonymous with the character.

If it wasn't for the reveal of Oliver's other half sister (Thea is from his mother, this woman is from his father), this episode would be utterly forgettable. It still might be, being sandwiched between one of the best episodes the show has ever seen, and the crossover. Well that and the other moment concerning Diggle and Lyla.

That is so out of character for Diggle to try and enlist the help of Diaz. I hope it makes sense in the long run, because this is just not something Diggle would do to his brother. All that work it took Oliver and Felicity to get him in jail, and now Diggle and Lyla are going to undo that? Please. There better be a huge payoff for all of Team Arrow in this storyline.

Overall, "Unmasked" is a standard, simple episode with some shocking moments sprinkled in. Hopefully they can tighten the screws a bit for the tail end of the season.


Legends Of Tomorrow - Episode 4.07 - "Hell, No Dolly!"

The tonal shift Legends of Tomorrow presents after seeing Arrow is so severe, that if you watch both back to back, it will take a few minutes to get acclimated to the show you are watching next.

This episode was one of my favorite of the season though, because of all the good Constantine stuff we were given. He broke time, which will set up a great mid-season finale next week. But he did it in such a heartbreaking fashion. John Constantine seems destined to never have happiness. We saw that with his parents, and we saw it with his boyfriend. He reached a breaking point, and snapped.

The rest of the episode had some great moments too. Mainly, Ava and Rory trying to get along for Sara. But because this is Legends Of Tomorrow, they had to do it while fighting the soul of a serial killer that was stuck in different dolls - including the one that was made of Professor Stein last year. 

The Mona/Gary thing is a bit weird. But Nate's dad seems to be doing to the magic beings what Vincent D'Onofrio wanted to do with the raptors in Jurassic World.

I like the Mona character, but her story was a bit of a slog this week only because the Constantine stuff was so compelling. While I really do enjoy the show, every episode it takes a step further and further away from the Arrowverse, where eventually it won't even be considered the same universe anymore. Only on a technicality.

I still am getting used to Nate's new role. I don't like that he's relegated to the Time Bureau. Perhaps they did it at the actors request. Or perhaps his powers overpower the team so they sidelined him. Either way, Nate being relegated to an office job and away from Ray and Rory is not a decision I see sense in yet.

All of the characters on the show are wonderful, but they do not have enough for all of them to do. Different ones are sidelined every week, or they are separated and its unfortunate.

This season is not what I expected it to be, but it has been fun. The mid-season finale should be all sorts of awesome next week!


The Flash - Episode 5.08 - "What's Past Is Prologue"

100 episodes of The Flash! What an amazing feat. The episode was just as much of a celebration as Arrow's 100th episode was.

We got a bit of DeVoe, a bit of Zoom, a bit of Savitar and a healthy dose of the Wells looking Thawne, played by Tom Cavanagh, who also got to direct the episode!

While The Flash isn't as on the nose as Legends is, they still got to use the Huey Lewis song from Back To The Future as Nora and Barry were preparing their journeys.

The episode was very entertaining, but you could tell it was written around a few key moments. Namely, Nora meeting Thawne in season 1, the showdown of Cicada with Killer Frost, and of course the last scene of Nora in 2049.

There was a lot of Back To The Future 2-esque stuff in this episode, where Barry sees versions of himself, and has to avoid them. Things like that. While all that was nice, the big moments are the only ones worth talking about. 

Killer Frost is not a dark matter meta. So Cicada's dagger doesn't work on her. She will be the key to defeating him, which is nice to give Caitlin that important of a task. 

The scene where they surrounded Cicada was reminiscent of the IMF surrounding Solomon Lane in Mission: Impossible - Rogue Nation. The difference is, the victory of Team Flash was much more short lived than Tom Cruise's was. But it was still nice to see. There was an interesting bit of dialogue there, where it sounds like Orlin was going to off himself after the rest of the metas were dead. That will come back too.

Nora is working with Thawne to change the past. The timeline is a little wobbly though. Future Thawne looks like Wells, so does that mean this is a post-season 1 Wells that escaped somehow? Regardless, I don't think it is as straightforward as it seems. Nora is probably being forced to do it. Or Thawne is playing right into what Nora wants, and is manipulating her to do so. If that is the catalyst for the rest of the season, I am all in. Eobard Thawne is as important to The Flash as Barry Allen is. It was only a matter of time before he showed up again.

The crossover will be fun next week (we got the same Earth-90 tease we got in Supergirl), but I can't wait until next year when we can get more of Thawne!


Black Lightning - Episode 2.08 - "The Book of Rebellion: Chapter One: Exodus"

Most of this episode was focused on Khalil and Jennifer on the run. Unlike Legends it was one focused story, where everyone had a role in. Henderson, Gambi, Tobias, and the entire Pierce family were all focused on finding them, albeit for different reasons. But it played like a movie, and the episode kept up the quality of what this season has had to offer.

Khalil and Jennifer are still figuring out their relationship. Khalil has some toxic tendencies but does seem to genuinely care for Jennifer. Jennifer is taking charge and is doing more than she gives herself credit for. She will be able to fully control her powers soon, and that is because it is a "trial by fire" situation. She's been forced to use them to save her own life. Eventually that will pay off.

Even though the entire episode was dedicated to that, it still found moments to expand character horizons; mainly with Anissa. Anissa and Jeff fought over why Jennifer left, and Anissa also had a moment with Gambi after he "came back from the dead". 

The show is heading toward something, but I am not sure what. I do know that Tobias is very close to finding out the identity of Black Lightning. I would be surprised if that didn't happen in the mid-season finale next week. Not only that, but I bet Tobias exposes that fact since he's an "upstanding citizen" again.

Sometimes being straightforward is the best path. This episode was very simple. But it was great. The Pierce family is shattered. They seem farther apart than they've ever been. Each one has clear, strong, and emotional journeys.

Overall, this episode was a great bridge from one thing to another. The work they're doing on this show is awesome. Anyone who wants to learn how to write a series should take note of Black Lightning.

The best episode this week was The Flash! As it was the 100th episode, it is fitting. Black Lightning and Supergirl were both stellar as well!


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