Another jam-packed week in the Arrowverse. We did have Supergirl go on hiatus, but with Superman & Lois (hey! remember them?) taking their place, we still had five different shows. Let’s get to ‘em!
Legends of Tomorrow 6×03: “The Ex-Factor”
For all that I normally sing its praises, I’ll admit: Legends has never been good at building a romance. They always rush it, leaping from initial attraction to DEEP FEELINGS!! so quickly, it never feels true to the characters. And John/Zari is no exception.
The songs were groovy, though, and I’m enjoying how Sara and Gary’s outer space adventure feels like a particularly gonzo version of Lost; I’m half expecting that dog they found to be named Vincent (either that or Krypto).
Random thought: the Legends still have Lord Knoxicrillion’s robot armor on the Waverider; if they also still have one of Ray’s wrist mounted shrink rays, they could shrink one of themselves down and take the armor for a joy ride (or use it to save the world, either/or).
Batwoman 2×14: “And Justice for All”
Batwoman has certainly carved a niche for itself as the most viscerally violent program in the Arrowverse. We’ve seen other Arrowverse shows do the zombie-cannibal-hordes before (if this ep had aired a week earlier, the CW could have advertised it and Legends as a Romero-inspired double-feature), but I think this is the first time we’ve seen bloody chunks of human flesh dripping out of the pseudo-zombies’ mouths.
I’m conflicted about the scene where the Crows gun down a crowd of the infected. It’s obviously horrific, seeing these innocent people killed just when Ryan was about to save them. It represents the evils of a militarized, us-versus-them police force, and it even prompts Sofie to quit the Crows.
And yet, later in the episode, we see a cop try handling one of the infected in a non-violent manner; he holsters his weapon, tries talking to the poor chap, approaches him with empathy and offers of help … and it would have gotten him killed if Ryan hadn’t come to the rescue.
So I’m not sure there’s an actual message here, beyond “Just let Batwoman handle things.”
Black Lightning 4×12: “The Book of Resurrection: Chapter One: Crossroads”
Well, after talking about this final season lacking a sense of final-seasonness last week, this week we get an ep that more than delivers on that front. We get a showdown between Jefferson and Tobias Whale, in Jefferson’s old house where their feud began so long ago. Even if Jefferson’s strategy was a little suspect, it makes for a suitably dramatic conflict for the show’s penultimate episode.
I also really liked the scene where Jefferson recounts his father’s murder to Jennifer. Showing flashbacks to that night side-by-side with an extreme closeup of Jefferson telling the story … it’s incredibly effective.
On a completely different note … okay, we the viewers know how Jennifer is able to use her powers even with the nullifying field affecting Freeland. But shouldn’t Chief Lopez and others like her, seeing Lightning’s seeming immunity, be wondering whether she’s even a metahuman at all? This show exists in the broader Arrowverse now (something they even referenced this week), so Lightning instead being an alien, or a sorcerer, or someone with super-tech that shoots electricity … those are all legitimate possibilities.
The Flash 7×10: “Family Matters, Part 1”
This Forces-as-children thing … it’s not getting any better, is it?
It was muddled enough last week, but this week it feels more forced than ever. Bashir and Alexa instantly accept the assertion that Barry and Iris are their parents; they accept that they are (not just possess, are) Forces of Nature that West/Allen created two months ago … despite already having parents, as well as decades of memories that significantly predate the birth of the Forces.
I’d be okay if this setup was being used to ask questions about identity. If Bashir, Alexa, or Deon were left wondering, “Am I still the same person I was before this Force bonded to me? Or is that person gone, and I’m just a Force with the memories of a person?” Those sorts of questions would turn the odd nature of the story into a strength.
But, so far, that’s not what’s happening. Instead, the writers seem hell-bent on glossing over the cosmological weirdness they’re playing with, and instead use it as an excuse to give Barry and Iris some adult-aged children … again.
Superman & Lois 1×06: “Broken Trust”
Hey, this show is back!
The plot is still a slow burn, though things look to be picking up now that Lois is putting pieces together about “Marcus”, and now that there are other people in Smallville aware that something weird is going on.
But the show’s real strength is that characters are just so darn good together. The actors all embody their roles so well, and they’re written with such a natural dynamic, our main cast really do feel like a family.
Special props go to Tyler Hoechlin playing Clark Kent as just … the best dad. And not in a sappy or cartoonish way, but in a “this is the kind of parent you should strive to be” way. Joe West and Pat Dugan have serious competition for the World’s Best Dad mug (there can be only one).
Question of the Week: Does anyone believe that Luke, Iris, or Jefferson are actually dead? ‘Cause I sure don’t.