2018-2019 Arrowverse Roundup - Week 20 Review


Just Supergirl and Arrow this week. Both had their merits, and demerits. Character performances were the highlights, with story coming in second. The Arrowverse is gearing up to end their seasons soon, and the stories are reflecting that.


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 4.16 - "The House Of L"


The simple inclusion of Jon Cryer as Lex Luthor has escalated Supergirl to an event every week instead of just another serialized superhero show featuring pretty people. Last week was just the appetizer, we got full-on powerful, evil, driven Lex Luthor this week, and it was one of the best things the show has every produced.

The other great thing is the payoff of the Russian Doppelganger. They dangled that in front of us, and planted seeds for it way too long. It got frustrating. But making Lex part of the payoff made it worth the wait. It was an origin story of sorts for the Red Daughter. The show did enough work to give her some humanity, and yet still let the inhumanity of Lex shine through too. The subtle manipulation and corruption of the Red Daughter was masterfully written; almost too much so. It makes the other aspects - the Children of Liberty, and The Elite a bit sub par.

The theme with "Alex" was a bit on the nose, but effective nonetheless. There have been a lot of disjointed stories going on this season, but they all seem to be leading to one thing. I'm sure they will all merge eventually, but hopefully in a way that doesn't feel forced or convoluted.

Melissa Benoist's Russian accent wasn't the worst that TV has to offer, it feels like she took the time and care to get a dialect coach and work at it. Cryer was Emmy-Nomination-Good. His turn as Lex's nephew in Superman IV is not the contribution to comic book entertainment that he will be known for anymore. It will be as one of the best interpretations of Lex Luthor ever put on screen. He can only be used sparingly this season - 3 episodes - so we need to savor him while we have him. With 1 episode left, I hope The CW listens to fan responses and lets him return in the future. It would be particularly great if he could interact with other casts in Crisis On Infinite Earths next year.

The shot of the Daily Planet was fun, and so was seeing Lex use his super suit. The worst part of the episode was the wig that Lex wore when they were in disguise in National City. All of their budget must have went toward the pretty adequate special effects.

This was one of my favorite episodes of Supergirl to date. A large part of that was the genius of Cryer. But it was also because of them getting out of their box and telling different stories. The show has been on a hot streak lately, and I hope they can continue that for the rest of the season.


*** 

Arrow - Episode 7.17 - "Inheritance"


It was kind of a unique thing to see a big bad return for another go on Arrow. Sure, Malcolm stayed around, and Deathstroke return, but they returned as side focuses, not the main thing. It was cool to see them go round 2 with Diaz. But a few episodes ago, it seemed that he died and we now have a new big bad.

I believe that Emiko is the new big bad, a huge 180 from when I thought she could be the future of the show. But I still don't believe that Diaz is dead. If the character is truly done on the show, it is the worst exit a villain has ever had. It wasn't satisfying in the least, and none of the other characters seem to care. I believe that Diaz is part of Emiko's "9th Circle" now, and will return with a vengeance later. If he doesn't, it will be the biggest mishandled thing on the show, and that is saying something.

As for the episode itself, it was really great to see Jamey Sheridan back as Robert Queen. It is always fun to see familiar faces in flashbacks, especially when they move the story forward, and it isn't just for fun. He wasn't the only one that returned. Alena Whitlock did too. With the show ending soon, I'm sure we will be checking in with more familiar faces in the future.

It is poignant that Robert Queen essentially created (I don't mean biologically, I mean through his actions) the Green Arrow and his enemy. It actually worked extremely well, until the last reveal. The bombs on the boat are seemingly being retconned. That story was put to bed with Malcolm Merlyn. Now things are being changed. I don't remember the exact details, but I'd hate for the show to stumble on itself so close to the finish line. Maybe we will get John Barrowman returning for some Emiko flashbacks to see how it all ties in together. If they don't well, this wouldn't be the first time a show contradicted itself, but it is still disappointing, when that aspect really wasn't needed.

There were no flashforwards this episode either, since they had so much story in the present and the past to tell. Oliver has never had great luck with his family, so it makes sense that his secret half-sister would be the leader of an evil organization.

Arrow is in the endgame now. Not just for the season, but for the series as a whole. What seems like errors and mistakes might not be, and for the sake of my sanity, I will give them time to see if parts come together better. This was a big episode in terms of season ramifications. Hopefully they can clean up the mess they made getting there.

*** 
Supergirl was far and away the best episode this week. Cryer is a gift that we don't deserve. If we truly only get him one more time, it will be a shame, but we should be thankful.

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