2018-2019 Arrowverse Roundup - Week 12 Review


The Arrowverse is properly back now! Last week saw the return of The Flash but we have Arrow, and Supergirl returning as well. This week also marked the return of Black Lightning and that corner of the DC universe! All 4 episodes had things to love! Read my reviews below for more!

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 4.10 - "Suspicious Minds"

The return of Supergirl gave us another peek at the Russian version, but we still don't know what it means in the grand scheme of things. Though the plot of this episode might lend some clues as to where it might go.

The whole episode was focused on Colonel Haley figuring out Kara's identity. It went exactly how you'd expect until the end. Alex had J'onn wipe her memory so she couldn't accidentally tell anyone. The storytelling possibilities of that are exciting. Though, they proved in Elseworlds that any version of Alex will connect Kara, so who knows how long the memory wipe will actually last.

Nia's journey into becoming the Dreamer is almost complete. I'm not too familiar with her in the comics, but it is cool that we are at a place that even the smallest of characters are getting their live action debuts! She was genuinely hurt when Brainy didn't ask her out on a date, but he will eventually. The awkwardness is what makes that relationship entertaining.

 
J'onn's new private investigation office is nicer than any house I've ever lived in. This makes much more sense for him than him being a wondering Pacifist. J'onn is consistently one of the best characters on the show (as well as David Harewood being one of the best actors on the show), so for him to be sidelined has been tough to watch. Now though, hopefully he will be more at the forefront, especially with Kara not working for the DEO anymore.

So much of the first part of the season was focused on Agent Liberty, that it is hard to see the aim of the series now. Sam Witwer is still a series regular, so he will return, but like The Flash's return last week, there was no hide nor hair of him (or Manchester Black for that matter) this week.

The show made the Alex/Kara dynamic fresh (and heartbreaking) so it will be interesting to see how far they take it. Hopefully it is not abandoned quickly. Like Oliver's prison time in Arrow, I want them to commit to it for a while.

Not bad for a returning episode, they handled a lot of business. But we didn't get a ton of big picture stuff - or if we did, we don't know it yet.


***

Arrow - Episode 7.10 - "My Name Is Emiko Queen"


This episode might go down in history as the one that secured the future of the show. We properly met Emiko Queen, and she has all the makings of to be the next lead of the show, should something happen to Oliver Queen. He made a undisclosed deal with The Monitor in Elseworlds, and if it is his life, then Arrow just found a way to survive beyond Oliver Queen.

The big shocker though, was that Rene seems to be the "big bad" in the future. I am sure there is more to it than that, as so far we have seen only what they want us to see and nothing more. But it is curious how Rene could be that far gone from the one we know now. Sometimes knowing the future can hurt storytelling, as you are beholden to that. Sometimes stories guide the writer on where to go next because it feels natural. It gives them an idea that they didn't have initially. That can't happen here. The future is already determined. Unless this is like most comic book properties, where things can be rewritten at the drop of a hat hood.

While the episode spent a good chunk of time looking to the future - we also got a blast from the past! We were treated to mentions of Robert, Moira, and Walter Steele! It felt reminiscent of season 1. We even got an awesome voiceover of Robert Queen's. It was one of those things that used the old to make us okay with the new. The show is leaps and bounds different than it was in 2012, and it was a small reminder of how far it has come.

Oliver Queen wasn't in this episode much, just like Barry wasn't in last week's episode of The Flash much. It seems to me it was a product of the crossover. Most of Elseworlds was occupied by Stephen Amell and Grant Gustin, so the supporting casts did most of the heavy lifting on the episode after.

The episode balanced a lot, but thing I don't understand is what they are doing with Diggle. For him to openly betray Oliver and Felicity like that, or at least not even be straight with them is so un-Diggle-esque, that I would think it was something out of a piece of fan-fiction that someone had written without knowing who the character is.

The only good part that came from the ARGUS storyline is the birth of the new Suicide Squad - known as the Ghost Initiative. That can have some exciting possibilities.

One more thing worth noting: Dinah reminded Rene in the future that they all made a promise to each other. She mentioned themselves as well as Diggle, Roy, Oliver and Felicity. Here is what is interesting: We haven't seen Roy meet Rene or Dinah yet in present day, and there is absolutely no mention of Curtis whatsoever. Curious.

I thought I had a clear vision of where the show was going this season. I don't. That's exciting, and a little scary.


*** 

Black Lightning - Episode 2.10 - "The Book of Rebellion: Chapter Three: Angelitos Negros"


If someone told me that I would get to see someone's spine ripped out on a DC show airing on the CW, I wouldn't have believed you. But here we are. Khalil met a brutal fate this episode, at the hands of Tobias. Black Lightning went full Mortal Kombat!

Jennifer finally returned home, but the Pierce family is still as broken as ever. If anything was needed to convince Jennifer to join the fight, it will be seeing Khalil broken.

Outside of a dated Ms. Cleo reference, the episode was pretty great. Black Lightning doesn't spend a lot of time rehashing things. They constantly move the story forward. Tobias is now more dangerous than ever thanks to Todd (RJ Cyler) hacking into the computer that he had acquired. 

The episode did a good job of setting things up for the future, like Project MOD, and Tobias finding out about the meta-humans being held in the building.

I marvel at how great this show is sometimes. They even managed to get a Sorry To Bother You reference in there!

Jennifer's journey to becoming Lightning is almost complete. Maybe Khalil can be like Oracle in a sense - be the guy in the chair who helps Gambi manage the Pierce family in the field. When Khalil was first introduced, I thought he would make a powerful ally. Then I thought I was wrong, but that was just the middle part of his journey. My instinct may yet be right about him.

Black Lightning seems to have the perfect amount of story for the episodes they have to make. That makes each episode pretty devoid of filler. Which in turn, makes a stronger show. Hopefully the show can stay like that all the way through the finale.

***

The Flash - Episode 5.11 - "Seeing Red"


Here's the thing. There are a lot of these superhero shows on TV now. There are a lot of superhero shows on streaming services too. A lot of them are very good. Which means an audiences tolerance for nonsense gets lower and lower. So when you badly injure a main character, then have 3 or 4 other characters tell you that it is temporary, audiences don't really buy into all of the grief the characters show like it is permanent. I didn't buy a second of it. Sure enough, 15 minutes or so of episode time later, Nora was right back on her feet like nothing ever happened.

The episode was also missing Cisco. Carlos Valdes was nowhere to be seen. We are already missing Jesse L. Martin as Joe West due to an injury. So to have a second cast member completely missing is very noticeable. There was a story reason why he was gone, but I am wondering what the behind the scenes reason was.

To me, the most interesting part was Sherloque investigating Nora some more. Iris staunchly defended her, but did it blindly. The audience knows Sherloque is correct. That is the other thing - when the audience knows things the characters don't, patience is always tested as to how long we can tolerate the characters not finding things out.

The relationship between Caitlin and Killer Frost was fun though. They've done a good job with that dynamic. It seems for the first time ever, they are at complete piece with each other. Who knows how long that will last. Some story lines on this show come out of nowhere, so all of a sudden there could be an issue.

Cicada finally reappeared, and was swiftly defeated again. Even though he has proven a force for Team Flash due to him being able to take away powers, he seems like the least threatening of any of the previous big bads. Perhaps that is why we have a reintroduction of Thawne this season too, because Cicada on his own is not enough.

Overall, this episode was fine, but messy. I don't like them treading so much water on the Nora stuff. Hopefully next week takes the next step in correcting that.

*** 
The best episode of the week was probably Arrow. Supergirl and Black Lightning were pretty solid too.

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