2018-2019 Arrowverse Roundup - Week 13 Review


This week we had road trips, revelations, closure, death, and some Inception type stuff. There were lots of dramatic character moments, and some humor to boot. You can read all about it below!

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 4.11 - "Blood Memory"

Things are much different now that Alex's memory has been manipulated to forget that Supergirl is Kara. That problem is the catalyst to bring Nia and Kara closer together. Kara revealing herself to Nia was a huge moment - one that will most likely come back to haunt them. While Nia won't betray Kara on purpose, she doesn't know that Alex isn't supposed to know anymore, and that will cause trouble.

Storylines are starting to coalesce, which is good. There is some substance to the Russian plot now, and the Children Of Liberty are relevant again. With the impending arrival of Lex Luthor, he will most likely be the mastermind that brings everything together.

Nia's family was a fun distraction, turned heartbreaking one. Supergirl isn't one to mask metaphors, and they put this one right on front street. It's great to see a mainstream primetime show tackle transgender issues though. The more it is talked about, the more ignorance will go away...hopefully.

James is putting the integrity of CatCo, and the integrity of himself on the line by ignoring shady dealings of LCorp. He is blinded by his feelings for Lena, and it seems a bit out of character for him. Now that Guardian doesn't seem to be a thing anymore, they are struggling to find things for James to do it seems.

Last week started a shift in the series. This week it was more prevalent than ever. This season has seemed disconnected at times: Hyperfocused on one thing, completely ignoring another, then shifting to the opposite. But now it all seems to be slowly but surely coming together. The path to get here was rocky, but it seems the final destination is in site.

Overall, the episode had a lot of emotion. Most of that emotion was earned too, it wasn't manufactured suddenly on a whim, only to be forgotten. Hopefully that continues.

***

Arrow - Episode 7.11 - "Past Sins"


Arrow has gone through many evolutions in its seven seasons on the air. But the show has never looked more different than it does now. The ensemble is so big, that there are key players sitting out whole episodes. This week, it was Rene and Roy who sat out.

Season 7 seems to be a celebration of the past. The show has had a ton of past villains brought back. But the biggest thing it is doing is offering closure to Oliver Queen - at an alarming rate.

Last week, it seemed that a possible path could be to have Emiko Queen become the new protagonist of a Stephen Amell-less Arrow show. This episode made that seem even more likely. They handled yet another thread left hanging from the pilot, and are making it so Oliver Queen will have nothing left to learn by or evolve from when the season ends.

It would be extremely difficult to believe that Stephen Amell would be completely done with the Arrowverse after this season. But he could be done with Arrow possibly. With the ARGUS storylines, the SCPD storylines, and the future stories, Oliver is but a footnote in the big picture now. It feels like he is being slowly phased out. It could have something to do with the deal he made the Monitor in Elseworlds. But then what?

Diggle's use of Diaz is almost unforgivable. I get that they need to give them both something to do while Oliver is on the journey that he is, but after all they went through, his actions probably won't be very forgivable to Oliver and Felicity.

Since Oliver was released from prison, the show has suffered the same thing that Black Panther did - the main protagonist is the least interesting person on screen. Every other character, and everyone else around them is much more interesting and captivating to watch.

The end game is not as clear as the one presented in Supergirl, so it is worth wondering how long everyone will be split up. The show works best with everyone together. After such a strong start to the season, it is more crucial than ever for Arrow to stick the landing.


*** 

Black Lightning - Episode 2.11 - "The Book Of Secrets: Chapter One: Prodigal Son"


With Jordan Halloway being a series regular, I didn't think we'd see the death of Khalill, at least not until the finale. But it happened, and it will be the biggest catalyst of the season to move Jennifer's story forward.

The episode was full of emotional moments. The whole thing was tense, but each moment was well earned. They even found a way to inject some humor in there, what with Henderson being brought into the fold fully. 

Last season focused a ton on Anissa's journey and evolution. This season is completely about Jennifer. The rest of the cast are just supporting characters.

The shift in power keeps getting worse. The Pierce family keep getting more and more disappointments, and Tobias keeps getting more and more power. Things are going to have to come to a head, and it'll be interesting how long they keep Tobias as the big bad. Most shows have a different villain every season. But Black Lightning isn't most shows, and it is all the better for it.

The music was on point this episode too. Black Lightning is usually pretty strong in the music game, but this episode was a stand out.

I'm not wholly convinced we won't see Khalil anymore. I mean, we've seen dead people return in certain forms on this show before. At the end of the day Black Lightning is a comic book show, so death is less meaningful than it would be in another genre.

Overall, it was a pretty strong episode, and a pretty monumental one. When Jennifer inevitably suits up as Lightning, things will get all more the interesting.

***

The Flash - Episode 5.12 - "Memorabilia"


The Nora lies are getting old. It is hurting the show in the long run. It was nice to see a few of Nora's memories, and the Flash museum, but she isn't making any friends (or fans) by doing this to Barry and Iris.

Sherloque is suspicious, and that is good. If he is as good of a detective as he says he is, it shouldn't be long before things are exposed.

All season, they've been playing with Nora and Iris's relationship. We saw a false memory, and then we saw the real one, so it makes it feel like Nora's reaction to Iris are a little disingenuous.

The B-plot concerning Cisco and Ralph was actually quite sweet. It's nice that Cisco might have found someone to move on with, and Ralph facilitating that was a nice touch. The character of Ralph is a nice touch, I am glad he is staying on the show. Hopefully that continues next year.

The whole "Watsune" thing was amusing, but glad it was a throwaway. It would have been a little too on the nose if he was able to bring him to this Earth or something. 

Doctor Who has had an influence on this show before, but no more than this episode when they discovered "perception gaps". Doctor Who uses "perception filters" all the time - too much show sometimes, actually. But it can be an effective sci-fi storytelling device.

The Flash has always been heavy into the sci-fi of it all, but this episode seemed especially so. The gobbledygook that Caitlin had to say was at an all time high, and the technology that Sherloque all of a sudden had access to was unlike anything we've ever seen before. It didn't really make sense in the grand scheme of things, but sort of forced into existence for storytelling purposes only. Usually it is masked better than that.

Regardless, we are starting to get more and more of Nora's secrets as the season goes on, and since we are on the tail end, things will come to a head soon, hopefully it is satisfying enough to forgive some of the more convoluted stuff we've sat through.


*** 
This week, the best episode was Black Lightning. Arrow was strong too. While the Arrowverse shows ebb and flow week to week, Black Lightning remains consistently strong.

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