2018-2019 Arrowverse Roundup - Week 14 Review


Supergirl took the week off to watch the Super Bowl, but the other 3 shows gave us anniversaries, documentaries, heists, funerals, ambushes, and reunions. Some really great stuff was in store for us this week, which you can read about 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.

  ***

Arrow - Episode 7.12 - "The Emerald Archer"



Arrow celebrated its 150th episode this week, and they provided a format that celebrated the past, present, and future of the franchise. It was the perfect celebration, and the episode accomplished a lot.

Young, present day William returned. He is angry, lost, and hiding things from Oliver and Felicity. I'm sure whenever we get his full story, it will be parallel to future William. 

The "documentary" format with Kelsey Grammar as the narrator was a genius move. It gave a perfect story excuse to get people to return who ordinarily wouldn't. We saw: Quentin, Thea, Sara, Sin, Rory (Ragman), and Barry Allen. They all had testimonials, and all of them were great, but Barry's was as funny and as charming as ever.

Celebrating the past didn't stop the episode from moving the story forward though. They still got a lot done. Team Arrow is back - and official now. The only problem is, the show is trying to have their cake and eat it too. It is going full "anti-vigilante", yet they skirt around it by making vigilantes "deputies" of the police department.

It was nice to see Diggle and Oliver have a few heart-to-heart discussions again. They have been apart for the better part of a year, and things just haven't felt the same because of it.

Slowly but surely, we are getting more Batman references peppered in to the Arrowverse. The bad guy had Wayne Tech Military Grade gear. It is so nice that the show went from not even being allowed to say "Batman" to having a spinoff.

The best part though was the return of Connor Hawke in the future! We saw an alt-world version of him in Legends Of Tomorrow. Now we are getting a little bit more, and it was the perfect capper to the episode. It ensures that the Arrowverse will have stories for decades, even if they aren't shown on our screen.

The commitment to the documentary format was awesome. From the opening WB movie logo, to a voice like Kelsey Grammar, to the all-star testimonials, they absolutely nailed it.

None of the other CW superhero shows currently on would exist without Arrow doing what it did. 150 episodes is no small feat, and they nailed this episode. Here is to the next 150!

*** 

Black Lightning - Episode 2.12 - "The Book Of Secrets: Chapter Two: Just and Unjust"


Death in superhero properties never have the same "oomph" as death in other things, because it is never permanent. Superheroes have a way of cheating death somehow. But Black Lightning is a different show.

Ironic, in that we've seen a couple deaths be reversed already. But Khalil's death seems pretty permanent. It has to be, in order for Jen's journey to continue. She wants to kill Tobias now, and that will put her into the mix more so than ever before. The natural way in which she got there was well written and well laid out. They took their time, and it seems to be paying off.

Grace's condition has been a running theme in the show. It is unclear if she is a meta, an alien, or something else entirely. But she doesn't want Anissa to know, which is the catalyst of her story at the moment. It is refreshing to see a relationship story that isn't a cliche or been done to death. There isn't a lot of "cookie cutter" things on Black Lightning, and that is why it is so great.

White privilege was touched upon in this episode. It was handled pretty well. Like Supergirl, Black Lightning doesn't shy away from the real things. Comic books have always been a commentary on the world we live in, wrapped in a facade of capes and aliens. Whether it's the Vietnam War, The Great Depression, or the Cold War, superhero stories have always been grounded in some sort of reality. It is what makes them so relatable.

The tale end of the season is here, so things are going to be slowly wrapping up. The Pierce family has been tested more than ever before, and it seems that they will have to fall even further before they can rise up again. It will be tough for them, but great for an audience to watch.

***

The Flash - Episode 5.13 - "Goldfaced"


This season of The Flash has felt different than anything that came before it, and a big reason for that is the missing cast members. Jesse L Martin is recovering from an injury, so he took a leave of absence. That has been made public. But Carlos Valdes has been missing from a few episodes too. In universe, Cisco's absence makes sense. But I hope everything is okay with him.

The reason I even bring it up pertains to this episode: I could see him involved in 2/3 of the stories this week. He could have either been with Ralph and Barry, or replaced Ralph on the mission they went on. I could also see him having a role in helping with Sherloque's wives and the new Renee Adler. His absence was felt, and while the team did the best they could to cover his absence, it was still glaring in places.

Kimberly Williams Paisley played Sherloque's love interest, and his ex-wives. All of them. Her take on all the different versions was a lot of fun to watch. With her "special guest star" credit, it would be shocking if we didn't see more of her this season.

The journey Barry and Ralph went on was expected. There was no other outcome it could have possibly been. 5 seasons in, writers can start to do things with the characters that are outside the norm. Having The Flash powerless and in a gun fight instead, is one of those things. Barry was never going to compromise his morals like that. Ever. Ralph wouldn't either. It would erase all of the work they did on his character.

The episode was pretty light on special effects. Perhaps that is why they were able to afford a Rob Zombie song for the shootout. 

The choices that they have Iris make sometimes is baffling, but then they are right in line with the awful stuff Nora is doing, so at least there is some consistency there. It sucks that two of the main 3 female characters on the show are hard to watch sometimes. 

Like Arrow, the cast seems as separated as ever. The show works best when they are all together, hopefully that can happen again, sooner, rather than later. 

*** 
The best episode this week was Arrow by far. The 150th episode did the franchise justice, and they still have so much story left to tell. It really was a treat to experience what the show had in store for us this week.

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