This week, we’ve got the latest episode of Legends of Tomorrow, the penultimate episode of The Flash Season 7 (and the 150th episode of the series overall), and the return of Superman & Lois after what was hopefully their last hiatus of the season.
Let’s get to it!
Legends of Tomorrow 6×09: “This Is Gus”
Yeah … I didn’t care for this episode. It had three major stumbling blocks that it just didn’t manage to clear.
First, it’s a sendup of hacky sitcoms. Few writing challenges are harder than doing a parody of a comedy. It can be done (see “Ultimate Buds” from last season), but here, I was often left wondering, “So, is this joke bad on purpose, or is it meant to be one of the good ones?”
Second, it’s an episode that gives the guest stars from the time-period-of-the-week their own, dramatic storyline. This has always been a weak point for Legends; they have so many regular characters to service each week, the one episode guest stars rarely end up feeling very developed, and the ones here are no exception.
And third, this is a Behrad-centric ep. Now, I like Behrad, don’t get me wrong. However, while he’s been on the show for a while, this is the first time he’s been the main focus of an episode. This needed to be a “Here I Go Again” or “Satanist’s Apprentice”, diving deep into who the character is and building up our attachment to him. Instead, the main threat of the episode is Behrad being changed into a different person, banking on our attachment to him already being strong enough to carry the story.
Still, this episode ended with pregnant Mick, tag-team Zaris, and Gideon’s stock laugh, so not all bad!
The Flash 7×17: “Heart of the Matter, Part 1”
I’ve got mixed feelings on this ep.
There was a lot of fun stuff here. It was a delight seeing Jessica Parker Kennedy back as Best Nora, and Jordan Fisher proved to be fantastic as Bart (Barry and Iris’s sixth or seventh kid at this point). We also got Cisco making a dramatic return, and even Jay Garrick showed up (apparently he’s one of the people who crossed over to Earth-Prime when the multiverse was destroyed, and it’s just gone entirely unmentioned until now). Add in lots of fighting and running around, and there’s plenty to make this an entertaining hour.
But it can’t help suffering from middle installment syndrome. Most of the shocking reveals, big twists, and dramatic moments that set up this story arc happened last episode or the episode before, and next episode will have the shocking (we hope) reveals, big (again, fingers crossed) twists, and dramatic (pleasedon’tdroptheballonthisone) moments that wrap up the story. Which leaves this to be an episode where a lot goes on, but not much really happens. It’s a lot of running in place and getting things set up for the season finale, which leaves it somewhat lacking in oomph of its own.
But, hey, if next ep is good enough, all that can be overlooked.
Superman & Lois 1×12: “Through the Valley of Death”
Through the closing act of this episode, one thought kept running through my head:
Superman vanquished the evil Kryptonian trying to bodyjack him (hi, General Zod! bye, General Zod!). Morgan Edge was captured and the Eradicator destroyed. John Henry Irons and the Kents are officially friends now. And has Kyle learned to care about something besides jobs jobs jobsitty jobs? Will wonders never cease!
Not everything was wrapped up, and it didn’t have quite the big finish you’d hope for from a season finale. Still, if I had watched this back in the 90’s, before I visited websites that would tell me this was only Episode 12 of 15, when I never knew when a given episode might be a season finale unless I happened to see a promo advertising that fact … I’d probably think this storyline was at a close, with that closing shot of Edge being something they might or might not ever follow up on (like when The X-Files would end by showing the monster-of-the-week was still alive, but you never saw Mulder & Scully looking for it again).
That makes it hard for me to judge this episode. I liked so much of what they gave us (even if John Diggle’s continued walking tour of the Arrowverse was a tad wasted), but I just kept waiting for the other shoe to drop. So rather than a verdict on the episode, let me close with a random thought:
Whatever happened to Smallville’s newspaper editor? The military is occupying the town because a bunch of Smallvillagers were possessed by evil alien consciousnesses, and not only is her sole reporter doing everything except turning in copy, the newspaper office is deserted whenever she wants to have a private chat with her fam. Either she’s dropping the ball on the biggest story of her career … or Sam Lane’s troops decided that a nosy reporter (one who’s not related to the boss) is better off disappeared.
Question of the Week: What dropped plot thread do you wish had been followed up on?