Last week I applauded The Flash for having a return-to-fun outing. Well, I guess I should have saved that praise for this week, ‘cause I don’t think The Flash has had this fun a romp since … gosh, not since that time Barry & Mirror Iris beat Goldface & Amunet Black by dosing them with psychic pollen. That was over a year ago now.
I’ll admit, they could have done a lot more with the 90’s setting and time loop conceit than they did. This is something that plagues all the Arrowverse shows: they’ve got so many characters and subplots active each episode, there’s rarely time to explore a single premise to its fullest potential. Still, it was a great little adventure for the Cisco/Chester duo, had a surprisingly sweet moment with Chester’s dad, and gave us a pretty memorable villain that we will hopefully see again.
How the Forces work is a little confusing. Till now, I’d been assuming they’re like the Speed Force, abstract entities who have taken human form in order to enter our world. But Dion seems to just be a regular guy who got the power of the Still Force, not the Still Force itself made flesh. However, I do like what they’re doing with the Forces as adversaries, simply because their nature sort of demands they go big or go home, be truly awe-inspiring threats. How many episodes have featured fairly weak metahuman baddies who only posed a challenge to Barry because he acted like a complete dumbass?
I also liked that, while we got yet another rendition of the heroes talking the villain down by appealing to their humanity, this time around it only stopped the bad guy’s immediate, rather petty villainy, and inspired him to go do some grander, more megalomaniacal villainy down the road. It reminds me of a bit from the short lived cartoon Stroker & Hoop:
“Did we save the world, or did we almost destroy it?”
“It’s a damn fine line, isn’t it?”
“No, not really.”
The Arrowverse heroes remind me of that exchange a lot.
As for Supergirl …
Okay, look, none of us expects these shows to have a realistic portrayal of the legal system. Those hopes were dashed long ago. The usual inaccuracies, like lawyers making their own statements during questioning, or new witnesses or evidence being added mid-trial with no discovery period: I’m used to all that. But Lex’s trial … it just took things to a whole ‘nother level.
This is probably the most momentous and high-profile criminal trial in history, what with every single person on Earth being among the victims.1 And yet, the prosecution’s entire case is built around a single witness’s testimony. What’s more, despite the witness having a shady past of her own (her testimony is part of a plea deal, after all) the prosecutor appears completely unprepared for the possibility that Lex might try to discredit her.
But then, I can’t be too hard on the prosecution here; by all appearances, this court case was put together in a matter of days following Lex’s arrest. What is any lawyer supposed to do under those circumstances?
And, you know what? If this trial had been portrayed, from the beginning, as being an uphill battle for the prosecution, as them trying to make the best the case they could out of very little hard evidence: it could have worked. It’s only so frustrating because the episode begins with everyone from Lena to Andrea to Lillian absolutely convinced that Lex will be convicted, that the evidence against him is insurmountable. And we’re not given any reason to doubt that until Lex starts pulling the “But why would you listen to a woman?” card.
I get what the episode was going for, but for that to work, it has to seem like Lex is weaseling his way out of a genuinely airtight case, not taking advantage of completely inept prosecution. That the courtroom scenes are enjoyable at all is solely due to Katie McGrath and Jon Cryer being such good actors.
Still, the ep had a vampire alien from the planet Transilvane who robs blood banks and turns into a bat. So I can’t be all down on it.
And finally, in upcoming episode news, we at last have a promo for Season 6 of Legends of Tomorrow! It’s relatively short, doesn’t give away too much, but looks like a blast!
Question of the Week: What’s the Arrowverse’s most ridiculous depiction of the legal system?