Been a busy week, hasn’t it?
Heartfelt reunions! Gut-wrenching betrayals! Heroes going bad! Villains going good!
And I think they may have even snuck some punching bad guys in there!
Legends of Tomorrow 6×07: “Back to the Finale: Part II”
Okay, separating a key character from the rest of the cast for half the season? Then having them reunite with everyone, with lots of hugs and tears and a marriage proposal? And with fireworks going off in the background?
Part of me recognizes that’s playing on easy mode; it’d be hard to do that and not give us all a big case of the feels.
But even so, damn was it appreciated! I don’t even feel like talking about Bad Future Nate cosplaying as Constantine, that’s how good the big reunion fest was.
Caity Lotz and Jes Macallan in particular were fantastic this ep, both in the high drama as their characters find each other again, and in the quieter bits of character building and comedy (Ava both trying and not trying to find out if she died was lovely). And props to Nick Zano, too, who does a great job showing Nate step up as “reluctant default interim captain” in Sara’s absence, and as reluctant default heart-of-the-team in Ray’s absence.
The way things turned out here … it’s all so satisfying, I’m kinda surprised this isn’t the season finale, or at least a mid-season finale.
Sure, there are a few loose ends: Sara still needs to tell everyone about her alien/clone deal, them leaving Kayla for dead will likely come back to bite them in the tuckus, and there’s about a dozen different ways Bishop could come back for Round 2. But for the most part, everything’s been resolved, everyone’s back together, and we got a grand, dramatic, happy ending with nary a cliffhanger in sight. It has me wondering how much the next eight episodes will continue the plot we’ve been following so far, or if they’ll be using The Flash’s recent pattern of breaking the season up into smaller arcs.
Batwoman 2×17: “Kane, Kate”
This here is the penultimate episode of Batwoman Season 2, and I don’t know where things are gonna go from here. Batwoman’s never had a proper, planned season finale before, so there’s not much precedent for whether the writers will try wrapping everything up in this coming ep, or if many of these stories will be left to continue into Season 3.
I’m fairly confident that the season finale will see Black Mask defeated and a replacement Batsuit created; they even showed there’s an extra cowl sitting on one of the Batcave shelves. But what about Alice, and Safiyah? What about Jacob being in prison? What about Kate’s whole bodyswap-by-hypnosis deal?
It seems like there’s too much to cover satisfactorily in just one episode, especially the Kate thing. Like, I doubt they’ll kill her off, not after all the contortions done to keep her alive. But if they have her recover her identity, reconnect with her friends and family, and hash out with Ryan who’s gonna be Batwoman going forward … that could easily be an episode all on its own. Since Black Mask and Alice’s latest campaigns will be eating up loads of screentime, I’m starting to wonder if Kate’s Circe identity might be something that continues for a while yet.
On a separate note, when Ryan was getting all self-conscious, thinking she’d need to give up the Batsuit now that Kate’s back … did anyone wish someone would point out that, technically, the suit belongs to Bruce Wayne, and that Kate swiped it just the way Ryan did? And that Kate was only Batwoman for about a year, which is not much longer than Ryan’s been in the role?
It seems like Kate’s very short tenure as Batwoman should deflate some of these just-a-substitute-for-the-real-thing concerns.
The Flash 7×14: “Rayo de Luz”
I’m trying to pin down what exactly it is that pisses me off about The Flash’s recent talk-the-baddies-into-redeeming-themselves trend.
Part of it is the repetition of it all. I like a good redeem-the-villain story, but when it becomes Team Flash’s go-to move, the way they handle every threat, it gets obnoxiously repetitive.
Another factor: it just happens too easily. Oh, I doubt Allegra would describe redeeming Ultraviolet as easy, what with it almost killing her and all. But bear in mind, this story takes place over the course of about a day. And except for Sue (who thinks Ultraviolet can’t be redeemed, period), everyone seems to think, yeah, this is a reasonable time period in which to expect an unrepentant murderer to change their ways, so long as we speechify at them hard enough.
Which gives rise to a related problem: Team Flash’s efforts to redeem villains often have little to do with whether those villains have any redeeming qualities. Sure, everyone deserves a chance and all that, but then what about Doctor Olsen? I notice no one tried reaching out to him with offers to turn his life around. Why’s he get sent off to prison without a second thought while Psych and Ultraviolet are repeatedly treated with kid gloves, aside from them being “family”?
Like, I’m starting to get the same feeling I had when Arrow insisted that Black Siren and Emiko Queen must be redeemed, despite how little sense that made.
Y’know, it’s been a while since Season 6, so maybe I’m remembering wrong, but I recall Allegra describing her cousin as always being violent and abusive, long before Black Hole or metahuman powers came into the mix. So the way she describes Esperanza here as being the one decent family member she had … is this something Crisis rewrote?
Superman & Lois 1×11: “A Brief Reminiscence In-Between Cataclysmic Events”
There were two parts to this episode. The present day part … it had some good stuff, and promises a shakeup for the final stretch, but I don’t have much to say about it aside from laughing at Young Goth Morgan Edge.
The other part of this episode, though? The one that’s going through Clark’s memories, from discovering the Fortress of Solitude to the birth of his children? That was frickin’ golden.
Trusting that this is no one’s first tango with the Superman origin story, they brush past demands for exposition or traditional story structure, and do what’s basically a highlight reel of Superman coming into his own and building a new life for himself with Lois. The whole thing is shot and written beautifully, and for anyone who has even a smidge of nostalgia for the Myth of Superman, seeing this distilled version of his early days will warm every single cockle of the heart. They even throw in Superman fighting Nazis!
Although, I’m not sure how I feel about Clark and Lois getting along and forming a solid partnership on day one, skipping over the rivalry and borderline antagonism phase of their relationship. In the context of this episode, it was probably a wise move, since the duo’s got to go from first meeting to marriage in under twenty minutes. But, I dunno, starting off as frenemies is such a big part of who Lois and Clark are, getting rid of it … it’s like if Peter Parker listened to Uncle Ben from the outset and became Spider-Man right away, no painful learning experience necessary.
Also: Did Edge really need to sift through Superman’s memories to find out his secret identity? He has superhearing. Surely he’s been eavesdropping on the Kent farm (y’know, where that meddlesome reporter he’s repeatedly tried to kill lives). How has he not overheard something that gave the game away?
Question of the Week: What’s your favorite minor-character-gets-the-spotlight episode?