It’s the first Superhero Weekly with all three! Supergirl, The Flash and Arrow all premiered after the holiday break, although you can argue that the Last Daughter of Krypton already had a previous episode this year. Spoilers abound, so watch were you step. Don’t say I didn’t say I didn’t warn you.
I would dare say that Supergirl shows the most improvement this week. Winn Schott’s father, the infamous Toy Man, has broken out of prison. FBI Agent Cameron Chase (Emma Caulfield) is after him and not above using Winn to bait him into the open. I’ve always thought that Winn has a lot of growing up to do, and he does act slightly more like a grownup in this episode. However, having feelings for a friend does not mean that friend is obliged to comply.
The Toy Man was build up to be more than a regular baddie of the week. It’s a platform for Winn to shine a bit more, which he did. Then he went back on that when he tried to use all those feelings to get a kiss from Kara. Your father is a criminal and is using you as a toy for his revenge plot. You don’t get a cookie for that. Sorry, but they raise Winn to stand up to his father to just drop him down to the teen male who thinks he’s entitled to the girl because I have feelings. Nope. Nope. Nope. I know all about Peter Pan syndrome. I didn’t feel one bit sad for Winn for getting his bottled up feelings hurt. Although I hate to use this expression, man up.
Hank is forced to use his powers again, rendering a man with permanent amnesia. At the same time, Alex pretends to be interested in Maxwell Lord just to distract him while he pretends to not be attracted to her. Other than distracting him, she wins no ground but loses it all as somehow – actually someone explain me how – he manages to put a camera on her purse which is luckily oriented to catch Supergirl flying in for a sisters’ evening of pizza and Game of Thrones.
The Flash introduces us to Turtle, a criminal capable of slowing things down while he keeps moving at normal speed. It may be the key to stopping Zoom, but I found it also refreshing to see a criminal that is not athletic and not be a bumbling comedic relief. Instead we get a methodical sociopath with a tragic backstory and final, very creepy destiny reserved for his victims: be immobilized forever until you rot.
The other huge plot point is Patty Spivot and her relationship with Barry. She wants more than she’s getting. Does Patty know Barry is the Flash? Does she know BUT she’s waiting on Barry to fess up and freakin’ TRUST her? Yes, Barry saves her life as the Turtle attacks again. There’s more than a few things wrong with this scenario starting with Barry knowing the Turtle will go after a famous painting and deciding to bring Patty in there to kill two birds with one stone. Finally there’s the showdown in which Barry does save Patty but overpowers turtle power on speed alone. It’s not the first time that the Flash just overpowers an adversary but it feels like cheating.
Barry is one of the most likable characters on TV, but he’s gotten cocky. He was too slow to share that other part of his life with Patty. And the cost is he loses her. That’s one huge demerit for the fastest man alive.
I wish I could say the best for last, but Arrow is giving a bit of a drowning man’s last kicks. I’ve used the word “bipolar” to refer to Damian Darhk before. This supervillain sometimes acts like a mastermind, then he turns into a ball of rage, then he respects family, then he will respect nothing to get his way. Sometimes he has ideals and morals and a family and acts like the Godfather. Then he kills his own underlings like Darth Vader. Sorry, wait. Vader did spare those he consider had potential. So, let’s say Kylo Ren then. Sometimes he wants the elegant solution, other times he goes Hulk. That’s not just the villain. The whole show is suffering a little desperation attack.
The return of the show was to once again make emphasis on the unknown grave, set four months in the future. We’re going to lose someone. The cliffhanger mid-season finale tried to make us think it was Felicity. She survives, although the chances she will walk again are limited. Please save your Oracle comparisons for the end of the show. During this episode, we get rampage revenge-driven Ollie once again because the attack has left Felicity in critical condition. We also get a second-rate villain returning as a first rate one called Anarky. Anarky doesn’t seem like much but he’s able to handle both Ollie and Thea? He breaks out a three-piece staff and manages to keep both at bay. Then again, Ollie and now Thea use their bows as badgering weapons. Which they’re not. Actually they should be in pieces now. Yeah, there’s Ollie going dark again by freeing Anarky to go after Darhk.
Anyhow, Darhk has a mini-duel with the Green Arrow but it ends in a draw. Anarky is tied up to a tree by Thea and keeps asking her to shoot him, but she doesn’t and he escapes again. Thea, listen to me. Put arrows in both his knees. He’ll survive but he won’t be a threat anymore. Ok, sorry I’m talking to the TV again.
We get another 4-month flash forward cliffhanger with Oliver joining Felicity in the car (so we can’t tell if she can walk or not, get it). She’s crying and asking Ollie to “kill the son-of-a-bitch”. And that leaves us thinking that the grave belongs to Donna Smoak.
- Major brownie points for Supergirl. It was an engaging enemy plot, albeit nobody was interested in what the toy man’s threat was. The episode was centered a long on Winn, then Winn tried to make it about his feelings for Kara and that crashed in a hurry. Taking a few of those points back.
- The Lucy Lane subplot was one mistake after another. Can James and Kara just define their situation? The whole thing seemed creepy. If James has feelings for Kara, then he has to dump Lucy. If he doesn’t then he should not have an issue. Also, he tells her to take the job because she asked and she tells him that she doesn’t need his permission. Didn’t she ask him? Were the people writing this dialog in the same room?
- The Flash remains one of the best things to watch on TV. I’d hate for Barry to lose Patty Spivot but I think that’s already happened. Then again, TV has a way to un-write and re-write things. Turtle was a challenge, an enemy with powers that were anathema to Flash and a calm and methodic demeanor. A little different than the usual teenage angst-y foes that Barry has faced.
- The Revere-Flash is back. It’s Professor Eobard Thawne from the future, but which future? Is he another Earth-2 import?
- Arrow. I am so close to dropping this series because we’re not getting a lot done this season except Darhk this and that. Darhk as a character illustrates the nature of every episode: we don’t know what to do so throw everything at it. Darhk as Vader, Kylo Ren, Hannibal, Dracula, Hulk, Kingpin or Green Goblin could at least have a chance to be cool. Trying to be every single type of villain at the same time is just mental. Damien Darhk is just lame as a whole.
- I am not pumped to find the identity of the dead body in the grave. It’s a ruse. We think it’s part of the main cast, we’re engaged. Side character, we’re not. Getting your audience to invest time watching your show to give them a letdown is not a cool thing, but you also want to keep the people in your main cast that are fan favorites. What to do here? I wouldn’t go down this path at all. Funny thing is that it’s a done deal. Unless they want to stretch those months into another season, this season should end with the identity revealed. I think it’s going to be a mistake.
- And finally, I decided to not include DC’s Legends of Tomorrow here because it feels like overkill. I’m not eager to review another superhero series just yet.
That will do for now.