Interesting assortment of eps this week. Batwoman is clearly ramping up to a big, mid-season showdown between Team Bat, New Big Bad Safiyah, and Whatever The Hell Side Alice Is On. Black Lightning moved its stories forward in bits and pieces, mostly focused on everyone adapting to last episode’s big shakeup, where Jen’s now played by a different actor and Black Lightning is back in the suit. The Flash had what was clearly meant to be its Season 6 finale before Covid through a wrench in things. And Superman & Lois had an actual villain-of-the-week episode, something I wasn’t sure this series was gonna do!
Some random thoughts:
Batwoman 2×07: “It’s Best You Stop Digging”
Not sure how I feel about Alice’s supervillainy being due to some other villain hypnotizing her. Especially since Rachel Skarsten playing the character as a scenery chewing ham is easily the best part of the show, and I don’t want some confrontation with repressed memories to take that away. But if they treat it more as the hypnosis simply shoved Alice away from the path to reforming that was on, and made her into who she would have been without the Power of Love, that could work.
Speaking of the Power of Love …
The Flash 7×03: “Mother”
Gonna be honest, didn’t care much for this pseudo-season finale. Having the heroes win the day through their love for each other and their ability to reach the good in the villain … that can work, and it’s always been part of the DNA of The Flash. But a pitfall with that approach, which this ep ran into, is making things seem too easy, like all the heroes have to do is want something badly enough and speak passionately enough, and everything will just go their way. I can’t help comparing this to the Season 1 finale, “Fast Enough” (still the gold standard for Flash episodes). That finale was also rooted in the Power of Love, but that power was expressed through characters’ actions: Barry refusing to alter the past for love of the friends and family he’s made, and Eddie sacrificing himself for love of those Thawne was threatening. By comparison, Team Flash’s victory here feels unearned, especially since it’s such a rapid wrapup to storylines that, until now, have been on a fairly slow burn.
Black Lightning 4×06: “The Book of Ruin: Chapter Two: Theseus’s Ship”
Not one big thought about this episode, just a bunch of little ones. Anissa and Jennifer (both old and new) have great chemistry together, and we need more of them as a sisterly duo. Kinda confused about Lynn’s metabooster addiction; I get how giving yourself superpowers could be addictive, but here they’re treating it like these shots are physically addictive which … was that something established in Season 3? Loved that we got a fight between Lala and a bullet-blocking, sword-wielding, Melville-quoting killer … and it sounds like someone restarted the League of Assassins; I’d love it if we got another Talia appearance post-Arrow.
Oh, and something about that police shooting bugged me. Earlier in the episode, Tobias said every Freeland cop was going to be issued DEGs, and minutes after the shooting, we see some cops putting those new weapons to use. And this ep had Gambi remind us that the new DEGs have a non-lethal stun setting. Yet when the cops storm the apartment, they’re using regular old bullet guns. I get the storytelling reason why that happened: if they were firing energy weapons set to stun, the commentary on real world police shootings would be lost. But, like, what’s the in-universe reason?
Superman & Lois 1×04: “Haywire”
The X-Kryptonite underneath the town is definitely upping the Smallville vibes … but having recently watched Stargirl for the first time, I can’t help feeling like maybe this is also trying to be the gloomier, older-leaning version of that show. Family moves to a small town in the Great Plains, teenager discovers superheroic legacy, evil conspiracy at work in the town. If that metahuman academy Sam mentioned comes back into play, and gives Jordan his own version of the Neo-Justice Society to team up with …
Question of the Week: Who’s the best sibling duo in the Arrowverse?