2019-2020 Arrowverse Roundup - Week 4


This week there was a big death, true intentions revealed, family at odds, a main character exit, and one of the most emotional moments yet. Crisis still looms large, and it is felt more so now than ever before.

Below is a breakdown of all of the Arrowverse stuff that aired this week. It is part review, part speculation, part analysis, and part rambling. It is organized in the order they aired throughout the week, so feel free to scroll down to whatever ones you watch. If you want to get caught up, you can use my Arrowverse Viewing Order guide to help you navigate!

You can read this season's previous breakdowns here.


Batwoman - Episode 1.04 - Who Are You


The difference between Batwoman and Batman is at the forefront of the story so far. This episode really leaned into that. It did so in the obvious, on the nose, not so subtle way that Batwoman is becoming known for.

Catherine and Mary Hamilton couldn't be more different. Mary is constantly showing how deep and cunning she is. She is a bit vapid in public, but there is much more to her than that. She is quickly becoming one of the most complex and interesting characters on the show.

Catherine on the other hand, was intriguing when the audience knew she had a secret. Now that she has seemingly come clean, her excitement goes away. There has got to be more to it. As Mary ascends into a strong ally of Batwoman, the yang of their yin-yang would mean that Mary descends into villain territory. It is tried and true poetry that works on many shows.

There is still a "villain of the week", but that is par for the course on these shows. At least the over-arcing story is still present. That healthy balance is needed. When the season arcs are forgotten for the present, it makes for a rough time.

Kate never struggled with being gay, but she is struggling with hiding her identity as Batwoman. The metaphors write themselves, so hopefully it is handled with class and grace. More people than just Luke will know who Batwoman is eventually, it is just a matter of how and when.

Now that Commissioner Kane is privy to his wife's illicit activities and involvement in the cover up of Beth's supposed death, maybe he will get closer to Kate now. Hopefully this can begin to fix their relationship. 

***

Supergirl - Episode 5.04 - In Plain Sight


This episode continued the momentum of the first three. It wove several stories together, and even sent off a series regular into the sunset. For all it had to accomplish, it paced itself surprisingly well.

Mehcad Brooks' exit was quick, but also very fitting. It felt somewhat organic, though the whole catalyst for him going out there (protecting Kelly) didn't last long as she is back like it never happened. His character did come full circle, and it was topped off with a sweet cherry that fans have been waiting for for a while now. James took over the Calvintown paper, and when called James, he smiled and said "It's Jimmy". Those two simple words made a whole fandom smile. His exit is good in that it leaves the door open for his return when he wants to.

Elsewhere, they merged two huge stories. It was obvious that they would bring things together, but it was surprising to see it this early. Now Malefic's story and Lena's story are one. That will streamline things a bit, but the show was handling it as two separate entities pretty well already.

Kara discovered William Day's true intentions. There were seeds planted that he could be an ally in the future, and those seem to be true. Now with James Olsen gone, there is even more room for him to become a full-fledged ally.

There were little things in this episode that suggested he could also be a love interest for Kara too. The show hasn't really dealt with what it would be like for Kara to be in love with a human. Her biggest relationship was with Mon-El. The human/Kryptonian aspect could be interesting. It was explored in Lois and Clark: The New Adventures Of Superman, and could do be done even better here.

The show is as good as its ever been right now, because they have fresh and exciting stories for every character. While The Flash and Arrow are leaning heavily on Crisis On Infinite Earths, Supergirl is telling a story that would happen regardless. It is a testament to how good things are compared to recent Supergirl stories.

***

Black Lightning - Episode 3.04 - The Book Of Occupation: Chapter Four: Lynn's Ouroboros


Even though the Pierce family has the freedom to go back home, they are still as divided as ever. Anissa and Jefferson are at odds. Lynn and Jennifer are being manipulated in subtle ways. Gambi and Henderson are caught in tough situations, and Khalil is slowly losing more and more of his soul.

The writing on this show is usually pretty stellar. But Lynn taking green light seemed like giant leap with absolutely no reason. It put a damper on the rest of the episode to see a character do something so out of the realm of what they've been written as. But that wasn't the case. The writing made sense after some patience. Lynn being manipulated and essentially brainwashed into thinking it was a good idea, fits right into Agent Odell's schemes. When everyone finds out, there is going to be hell to pay.

The love story between Anissa and Grace is so pure. They are setting it up where it can't really ever be torn down. Death would be the only thing to make it go away. The show is doubling down on them fast, so there is going to be a climax, positive or negative.

This episode also spent a lot of time showing how cold and dehumanized Khalil is. He is essentially a Terminator. We've spent 2 seasons with this character, in peaks and valleys. There has to be some sort of redemption or final closure to his character. Eventually, the Pierce family is going to turn on Agent Odell. Khalil will be a key factor in that one way or another.

Anissa and Jefferson have fundamental differences of opinion. But they are still family, and still have a common goal. Them working through that is where the story is, and it's been an entertaining one so far.

The ending showed Jennifer become more powerful than ever before. She is the most powerful one in her family. It is probably to set up a showdown with Khalil, but it could also set up other things as well, like fighting with her family, or losing control and hurting innocent people.

No Tobias this week, but that story is far from over. It is going to be great if all of the different elements can coalesce into one cohesive thing.

***

The Flash - Episode 6.04 - There Will Be Blood


The problem with going all in on a premise is that you have little room to wiggle out of it. The show is going HARD on Barry dying in Crisis On Infinite Earths. The show will most likely continue, so there will be a loophole out of it, which lessens the stakes some.

However, the characters don't know that so it works for them. Cisco is dealing with losing Barry just like Barry dealt with losing Iris. Neither gave up hope, and neither just accept fate.

It is nice that Ramsey is finally exposed as the villain. The show spent enough time establishing his drive, his motives, and his relationship with Team Flash. Now they see him for what he is. It took a ton of exposition to get there, but it is finally here.

Joe and Ralph are dealing with the impending loss of Barry too. Ralph is essentially putting his life on hold in a way of dealing with the news. Both Ralph and Cisco were handled well. But the episode's best moment was with Joe West. Jesse L. Martin is a gift, and one of the best actors in the entire Arrowverse. These rundowns often say that the Joe/Barry heart-to-hearts are the backbone of the show. It is true, and nothing proves it more than the one at the end of this episode. Martin's acting brought out Gustin's best acting, and it offered a scene that is one of the best in the entire run of the series.

Nash Wells is a very cool addition to the cast. His secret motives are par for the course, but of course they seem to tie into Crisis On Infinite Earths. All roads lead to Crisis, and Nash hunting the Monitor could provide some interesting possibilities. Tom Cavanagh is definitely a big part of the crossover, but who knows if Nash Wells will be or not.

The call back to the "Invasion" crossover was a nice one, with a healing serum from the alien planet they came from. Between that and "Eternium", there are definitely things being planted for Barry's survival, which makes them doubling down on the death premise that much more frustrating.

"There Will Be Blood" isn't a bad episode though, and will be an important one in the grand scheme of things. The acting was definitely as good as its ever been, so it was a joy to watch.

***

Arrow - Episode 8.03 - Leap Of Faith



Arrow can double down on the death premise, and mean it, unlike The Flash. While there is always the chance Oliver survives, there is a chance he really dies too, which is rare in comic book adaptations. But the show is ending, so the protagonist can perish.

It was really nice to see Thea again. It had been a hot minute. She is the new leader of the "League", which she will turn into one of heroes. The reemergence of Talia Al Ghul is fitting too, as she can slide over to Batwoman and have a whole other arc there.

The appearance also left things open for Thea to return in the future. It could be in the finale, the Canary spinoff, or in the flashforwards, but it would be surprising if that is the last time we ever see Thea Queen. Though if it is, the goodbye between her and Oliver was a very sweet one.

It was nice to hear an update on Roy and get what was essentially confirmation on his return. He is a big part of the show, and for him to not show up in the final season would be a travesty.

The show is much better when Diggle and Ollie are together. But in this case, there was some housekeeping that needed to be done, so there was a good reason for their separation. Diggle and Lyla finally met Connor Hawke, the kid who will eventually become their adopted step-son, and hero in the future. It was an important box to check, as it is a big part of the future story.

Speaking of the future story, it is escalating quickly, and there was a big death this week. Rene's daughter Zoe died at the hands of Diggle's evil son. It was a very emotional moment, and a huge blow to the team. It wasn't all that unexpected, as she was the only one of the core "future" cast that was still a guest star. But it still had the shocking desired affect.

That moment triggered what is one of the greatest cliffhangers in the entire show. Some divine influence - probably the Monitor's doing - merged the timelines, and the future group is now in 2019, with Team Arrow. It was a really well done scene, and something that will be amazing to explore next week.

***
Arrow was once again the best episode of the week. The unique position of the show allows them to do thing they have never done before, and it is paying off big time.

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