2019-2020 Arrowverse Roundup - Week 19


This week, a war was won, familiar foes returned, secrets were discovered, and new paths were forged. Every show was on and each one brought their A-game which is always a treat.

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 1.14 - Grinning From Ear To Ear


There was a lot happening in this week's episode of Batwoman. While the main "villain of the week" plot was pretty standard, it was everything else happening around it that made things really interesting.

The villain had Joker vibes, cutting her own face to have a permanent smile. That wasn't the only villain that Duella had a connection to though - her last name is Dent. The episode name dropped Harvey as her uncle, but said nothing about him being Two-Face yet. Luke just mentioned that he was a popular DA. Perhaps the show will use Two-Face in the future then.

That isn't even where the Batman references stop. There was a whole subplot about the murder of Lucius Fox, and dirty Crow agents, which is definitely an interesting story to explore in the future. Then of course at the end, Mouse was hooked up to the Nightmare gas, which is the signature of the Scarecrow. So this episode had a lot going for it.

Mary, Kate, Sophie, Alice, Mouse, his father Ethan, Jacob, and Luke all had some substance in this episode. Luke's was indirect, since it was dealing with his father's death, but that will come around to him soon enough. Sophie came out to her mother, and it was a heartbreaking scene that was probably all to real for some people.

Mary knows that Kate is Batwoman, and each passing moment Kate pretends she isn't hurts her more and more. I've said this before, but Mary is one of the most interesting and nuanced characters that Batwoman has to offer. On the surface, she looks like the least interesting, but it is the opposite.

It was good to see the main plot tie into the overall arc, with things leading back to Ethan, and having Alice finally confront him. With only a handful of episodes left, things have to start amping up, and that is exactly what is happening.

Overall, this was a great character focused episode. There was a lot of scenes with Kate in the Batwoman suit too, which has been lacking in some of the previous episodes. Even though the episode was tackling a lot of different things, it was still focused and had a clear point. It was quite good, and hopefully that is a momentum wave they can ride all the way to the end of the season.



***

Supergirl - Episode 5.14 - The Bodyguard


Supergirl is fully back on track post-Crisis now. It took a few episodes to handle some business of being on a new Earth, but now things are back to business. There was still a lot happening though. Lena got to the human trial phase of her Non Nocere tech. Alex was adjusting to her new found freedom. Kara gave William a chance, and Brainy is caught in the middle of things and not sure what to do.

Lex is pulling the strings to manipulate Lena and get what he wants with Leviathan all at once. It is truly a masterful thing, and Jon Cryer continues to knock it out of the park each week that The CW blesses us with his presence.

Andrea launched the Obsidian VR tech, and is starting Take 2 of her involvement with Leviathan. We saw how the pre-Crisis version went, so there will probably be something different this time. Could she become an ally of Supergirl? Or is she being set up to be the villain next season? Either one could be a possibility.

It was fun to see Willie Garson back on the show, and to have the important role to show the flaw in Lena's tech. She had a crisis of faith real quick, but Lex squashed that out pretty fast.

Kara under orders to protect Andrea as Supergirl, let her see a side of William she needed to see. It also let her see Andrea's determination, and all of that made her give William a shot, which is nice. The CW will never give up on the love stories in these shows, so they might as well make them as strong and interesting as possible.

Brainy is starting to see Lex's manipulation, but still isn't catching on. As someone who is supposed to have superior intelligence, he is acting pretty stupid. It feels out of character, but hopefully things will come around and end on a high note.

The super-weapon that J'onn gave Alex is cool, but feels like an easy write-out of any problem. It is sort of like the sonic screwdriver in Doctor Who. It has its uses, but when it is used to solve every problem the Doctor has, it feels a bit like a cop out. Hopefully the writers can resist that temptation.

Now that Supergirl has handled its business in more ways than one, it should be a streamlined event all the way to the end. Any speed bumps along the way will be unfortunate.

***

Black Lightning - Episode 3.16 - The Book Of War: Chapter Three: Liberation


This season of Black Lightning was a bit uneven, but overall it told a very cohesive story and had a strong conclusion. In true Black Lightning fashion, there were seeds planted for the next season. Out of any of the Arrowverse shows, they are the least procedural. There is hardly a Scooby Doo "monster of the week". Instead, each episode contributes to the bigger picture.

Not everyone made it out unscathed though. Jamillah Olsen returned for one scene and was quickly killed. Grace was under Gravedigger's mind control, and is now in a coma. Commander Williams seems to have perished at the hands of Lynn. The rest of the ASA command met their demise at the hands of Gambi. Lady Eve is in trouble, and Agent Odell was shot in the spleen and taken into custody. Dr. Jace was swiftly dealt with, but at least it wasn't Brandon that had to kill her.

But the biggest death was that of Inspector Henderson. The scene was powerful, and well acted by all parties involved. He was a good part of the show, and will be missed, but there had to be a casualty, and my money would have been on Grace if Damon Gupton hadn't tweeted about being let go from the show.

The Khalil/Painkiller duality finally came to a head, and it looks like Khalil won that battle. He has his memories as Khalil, but also the skills of Painkiller. That is the best of both worlds in that situation.

Tobias returned, and is making his play for Freeland. Hopefully he is a bigger player next season than he was this season. It was a nice change of pace to not have him be the main focus, but it will also be nice to get back to that.

Seeing the Gravedigger/Tyson Sykes tease at the end means he is going to show up again too. That is good news, since Wayne Brady absolutely owned that role. He was incredible. It was a treat to watch him be so villainous. If he gets to share the screen with Marvin "Krondon" Jones III (Tobias) next season, that will really be something!

Overall, this season was the shows best. It even incorporated Crisis after keeping its distance from the Arrowverse up until that point. I hope there is more connective tissue with the other shows next season. Let The Flash or one of the Legends or a Supergirl alum come to Freeland and help out. It would be fun to see them interact with the rest of the cast.

***

The Flash - Episode 6.14 - Death of the Speed Force


The Flash is like The X-Files in that you can classify episodes in two different categories. The first is just a "monster of the week" weekly procedural. The second is when it dives into the mythology, and expands the greater, over-arcing story. "Death of the Speed Force" was the latter, and offered some really incredible stories.

In fact, the weakest part was the shoe-horned Russian "monster of the week" subplot. The fake Iris stuff, the Nash/Thawne stuff, the Wally/Barry stuff, and the Cisco character arc were all infinitely more interesting.

Keiynan Lonsdale returning to the Arrowverse was a welcome addition. Wally West is a wonderful character, and it is always great to see him on the screen. His return was an important one as it dealt with the death of the Speed Force. The concept of that is strong, but its execution was the same as always. Team gets mad at something Barry did, Barry beats himself up and tries to fix it, causing more damage, team forgives Barry and helps him fix it for real. It has happened a lot.

Thawne took over Nash's body, and therefore can't access his negative speed force, which is...weird. He's taken over bodies before (like Earth-1 Harrison Wells) and his speed was just fine. This was a new addition, and it felt like it was made up just to be able to get Cisco out of that room alive. Meanwhile, I'm pretty sure Vibe still lives because of Crisis, so he could have just used his powers to get out of things. That part was disappointing in an otherwise stellar story.

It was also strange to see that the speed force manifested itself as Barry's mother to Wally too. I was under the impression that it manifested itself differently depending on who it was appearing to.

Fake Iris taking out Kamille was shocking. I assume she goes to the mirror dimension now, and she's not dead. But if that was her death, it was disrespectful and too sudden. We'll see. As of now, it has made for an interesting cliffhanger.

Cisco returned from his adventures, that included a trip to see Aquaman in Atlantis possibly. But the show is always better when Carlos Valdes is on it, and we might not have that much longer, so it was good to have him back.

The convoluted "residual speed" thing was dumb, and both of them running wasted more than if just one of them went. It is one of those general problems that can be as meaningless or as severe as they need it to be on a given day.

The story they wanted to tell was great. The execution of it was a bit sloppy. Still, it was much better than a standard episode, the ones with Thawne and speed force lore are always amazing.

***

Legends Of Tomorrow - Episode 5.07 - Mr. Parker's Cul-De-Sac


Legends was absolutely ridiculous this week, but a visit from an old face held the episode together. This week we saw the triumphant return of Damien Darhk, who got a little bit of redemption from all the things he's done.

He was brought in to help usher out Ray and Nora, who will exit the show next week. It is unfortunate, as they are both amazing and deserve to stay on the show. But we can't help that, so hopefully they do them justice. So far they have.

The big shocker of the episode is that Rory has a kid. A kid who was played by Lost In Space actor Mina Sundwall. Hopefully she has a recurring role, because she is a wonderful actor. But they are really giving Rory an emotional arc this season which is a nice change from him doing nothing.

Sara's absence was explained because she got a job offer from Rene. It was a cool Arrow connection, I just wish he was able to show up on the show. Even on the other side of the line when Ava picked up the phone would have been fine.

To use a Mr. Roger's Neighborhood parody as a plot device to solve the problems of the episode sounds like a terrible idea. But Legends of Tomorrow made it work, as they make most preposterous premises work.

The episode also set up the mission for the rest of the season - find the Loom of Fate, use it to fix one person's life, and then destroy it. I'm sure that is exactly how it will happen, and won't be used to fix Zari too or anything....

There was a lot going on here, but it was all handled pretty well. The character interactions were fun, the emotions were real, and the stakes were high. It was ridiculous and fun, but they got a lot of business accomplished too.

***

The best episode of the week was a tie between the Black Lightning finale and The Flash. But every episode was great this week, which doesn't happen often.

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