2018-2019 Arrowverse Roundup - Week 17 Review


This week had space travel, big changes for characters, standoffs, and baffling character decisions. This is the first full slate (sans Legends) that we have had in a while. Read below to see how each episode stacked up!

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 4.13 - "What's So Funny About Truth, Justice, And The American Way?"


This episode, which is one of my favorite titled episodes of the series, moved the story forward in a smart way. It also had pay offs for many seeds planted early on. We have the Lockwood pay off. We have the new President payoff. We have the Manchester Black payoff. We have the Nia Nal payoff. Things are getting to a better place with Alex. Lena's work is setting up the inevitable Lex entry. The one thing we still have nothing of? The Russian Supergirl Doppelganger.

But instead of focusing on things that haven't happened, let's focus on what did. There are now two extreme factions going against each other. Lockwood's Children Of Liberty and Manchester's The Elite. Supergirl is caught in the middle. It is an ugly situation, and it is nice that the issue this season is more nuanced than just a singular big bad hellbent on destruction.

The issues that Supergirl is facing are more complex than ever before. She can't just use her might to fix the problem. This will take more brain power than alien strength. It is something that The Flash managed to pull off with The Thinker, but you don't see too much of it otherwise.

The supporting cast is as strong as its ever been, whether its The Elite, with DC's Odd Job, or Kara's "Super Friends". It's great to have such a complex band of characters.

Nia is quickly becoming a full-fledged superhero. But there is a secret in her future that Brainy doesn't want her to know. I'm sure that will come out eventually. But with the way they try to slow burn things on this show, maybe it won't....


One issue I saw though, was the use of the space suit. It is well documented that Superman can survive in space for a while. He can hold his breath. In fact, to save him, he's been sent in space to be closer to the sun. It would hold to reason that Supergirl would have the same abilities. It isn't a huge deal, but I didn't see the point.

Things are certainly shaping up to get more intense. Hopefully this Supergirl flight can come in for a strong landing.


*** 

Arrow - Episode 7.14 - "Brothers & Sisters"


Felicity had a lot to do this episode. There were many dynamics being juggled around here. Felicity and Diaz. Felicity and Laurel. Felicity and Oliver. Felicity and her baby. Yet outside of that, they were able to get a lot more stuff done.

The title put the parallel of the current timeline and future timeline right on front street. There have been some obvious parallels before, and some right on the nose things before, but this might take the cake.

One big thing that is finally over is Diggle's stint at ARGUS. That never really felt right. It made sense, story wise. His wife was in charge, and it used his skills. But it kept him away from Oliver too long. The story had to be forced in places in order to get them together. Now, with him gone from ARGUS, he'll probably be deputized as Spartan now. That will be like dusting your favorite old sweatshirt out of the closet, and putting it on again.

There was a comment made by William in the future that will probably be important. It was when he said his parents stopped trying to get a hold of him eventually. I doubt it is as black and white as William sees it, but it would be surprising if we didn't see that from Oliver and Felicity's point of view.

The episode itself treaded water in the future, but got a lot done in the present. Felicity dealt with her feelings, told Oliver about the pregnancy, and made amends with Diggle. Most of the character work was Felicity, though Oliver got some too, through Emiko.

The episode ended with one of the most shocking endings to date. I do think that Diaz will survive because he is a series regular, but so was Echo Kellum, until all of a sudden he wasn't. So we'll see. Emiko and Dante together could be setting up a new big bad this season. Maybe things aren't exactly what they seem.

Things are definitely gearing toward an end point. The identity of this show is not what it was in 2012. It has expanded, and become deeper and richer. I look forward to the rest of the ride.


*** 

Black Lightning - Episode 2.14 - "The Book Of Secrets: Chapter Four: Original Sin"


This was a pretty disjointed episode of Black Lightning. What I mean by that is the Pierce family were all divided, with the episode cutting to each of their stories individually. Usually there is more unity than that. It wasn't a bad thing, but it just had a different feel than normal.

La La returned to haunt Jefferson. He has been resurrected twice now, and getting insight into that is the weirdest the show has been. It is immensely interesting, and delightfully wacky. But I can see how it might turn some people off, in an otherwise pretty straightforward superhero show.

If a crazy back-from-the-dead La La wasn't enough, the episode shed more information on Grace Choi. She can just her appearance, and needs raw meat to survive? The slow burning mystery of Grace Choi is actually one of the most entertaining parts of the show for me.

The show is spending more time on Jennifer's super suit than most characters on this, or any other show get. Hopefully there is some pay off to that, since it was the bulk of her story this episode.

The biggest revelation of the episode is that the ASA is monitoring the Pierces. They know the secret of the family, presumably. It is nice that the show has become deeper than just "Jefferson vs Tobias". While that is still very much in play, many other factors are becoming important too. So much so, that Tobias didn't even feature in this episode.

It is also worth noting that Jordan Calloway is still credited in the opening of the show. He is the actor who plays Khalil who is dead. But we just spent an entire episode learning that La La comes back to life, so I wouldn't be surprised if the same thing happens with Khalil too. It is a superhero show after all - nobody stays dead.

It is so nice that every episode feels a little different. Sure there is a formula, but it is like the dinner gum in Willy Wonka And The Chocolate Factory, it keeps changing.



***

The Flash - Episode 5.15 - "King Shark vs. Gorilla Grodd"


Okay, let me get this out of the way. Barry Allen forcing the cure on King Shark was absolutely disgusting. It is completely out of character. And while used as a catalyst for the events of the rest of the episode, it left a bad taste in my mouth. Cisco and Caitlin rightly scolded him, but if that hadn't happened, I might have shut the show off for good. It was a very rapey moment, and not at all in line with the character that has been around for the last 5 seasons.

Now with that being said, the rest of the episode was pretty fun. Having King Shark and Gorilla Grodd fight might have spent their entire special effects budget for the rest of the season. If that's the case, it was well worth it. There were a lot of cool moments that happened.

The best, and strongest, part of the episode however had nothing to do with either of them. Joe West was back in town, after Jesse L. Martin returned from a back injury. They instantly gave him a story that suits him best: Lifting others up. Iris was in a bad way, and he fixed his daughter. The heart to hearts between Joe and Barry/Iris/Wally/Anyone else are the pulse of The Flash. The show is weaker without Martin. The show suffers when he is not on it. His return was a bigger reason to celebrate than Shark vs Grodd. I only wish Joe was there to tell Barry what a tool he was for doing that to King Shark.

We had a nice appearance from Diggle's wife, Lyla too. She's never been a series regular on Arrow, but she has been a recurring guest star for years. Her character actually makes the most sense being on both shows on a regular basis.

With rumors of Carlos Valdes leaving the show after this season, it is curious that they introduced another scientist in the form of King Shark's handler Tanya. If this is the end for Cisco, perhaps they have another scientist already lined up to help Team Flash in the future.

It's bad when a villain has more of a presence of mind than the hero does. King Shark wanted to be held accountable for every single thing he did in his mutated form. Meanwhile Barry fought back about forcibly injecting someone with someone they didn't give permission to receive.

This episode was supposed to be one for the books. Instead it will always be tarnished by such a baffling and disgusting character choice, that I hope whoever wrote that never does something like that again.

Cicada hasn't been the sole focus of this season, and that is good. He still is lurking in the background, as is still a problem. But them dealing with other issues, while still not having it feel like complete filler is a good thing.

***
The best episode this week was Arrow. The series is on the homestretch now, as it has announced it will end next season after 10 episodes. So they are able to do things that other shows can't. Arrow started strong, and looks to keep that trend alive.

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