Posts Tagged Iris West

Superhero Weekly: Damage & Girls Night Out

Spoilers are all about female empowerment this week.

It should really be more often, but both Supergirl and The Flash shone a light on their strongest female characters. The results were mixed, but welcomed. While Supergirl the relationship of Maggie Sawyer and Alex Danvers comes to a crossroad, The Flash tackled giving Iris a starring role alongside exploring the duality of Caitlin Snow and Killer Frost. Let’s get to it, then.

Damage

(Source: The CW)

Highs, Lows and Sanvers’ End:

  • Maggie Sawyer was, of all things, a fleshed out female character that was both strong and flawed. She may have been the best thing that has happened so far to Alex Danvers, but she was also the best thing that happened to the show.
  • In more ways than one, the end of the road for Alex and Maggie was even more important than the distance traveled. The show couldn’t just close that door without first giving us the pain of the separation. This was not Kara putting Mon-El on a space pod. This was the show giving us a human breakup of a human relationship without relying on death, sickness or completely changing the character at the last minute via cheating or supernatural event. Maggie walks out in the end, but it’s a decision and not a surprise.
  • Thanks to Floriana Lima for being Maggie Sawyer, a human character with depth and an agency. I do hope she makes a sporadic appearance here and there in the future.
  • On the other hand, we have Lena being framed by Morgan. That we all know that in the end it wasn’t really Lena’s fault and that Kara and Samantha were going to get to the truth of the matter was not really the point of this episode. It was all about Lena.
  • Kate McGrath has brought to live a Lena Luthor that’s both intriguing and inspirational. She’s always cool and in control… Up until now. Lena’s defenses are tested to the brink. Someone else is writing her narrative for her, over her. It’s seeing Lena weak that makes us really feel empathy for her. You don’t expect her to suddenly go Luthor on Morgan, but when she does she’s in a dark place.
  • In a Sith-like matter Lena basically gives in to the dark side because she refuses the victim card. She thinks she’s going to take the fall of it all anyway and rather than running away she runs towards it. In other words, she’d rather become the villain on her own terms than be framed by somebody else. I have to say, that makes her the strongest and most interesting character in the show. Of course Kara comes to the rescue and Lena redeems herself.
  • But in the back of my mind, Morgan should fear Lena’s reprisal far more than Supergirl’s. He’s right, Supergirl can inconvenience him greatly. Lena can make his life a living hell on earth.

Unbeknownst to anybody but the people watching, back on STAR Labs…

flash-s4e5-girls-night-out

(Source: The CW)

Highs, Lows, Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde:

  • Yes, Iris was the leader this week. Barry and the guys end up at a strip joint because of Ralph Dibny because we don’t even want to suggest the other guys would ever suggest a strip club.
  • Cecille’s daughter Joanie is revealed as a stripper, a role she’s taken to write a book from a feminist perspective.
  • Barry makes for a funny drunk.
  • But nevermind all that, the real focus is on Frost’s past coming back to haunt her. That should have given us a clear shot at exploring their dynamic. The show is clearly trying to keep Frost from embracing her Killer persona to prevent a moral conflict, something that I kinda wish they’d make up their minds about.
  • Yes, it would be extremely dark to have Killer Frost actually kill someone since at that point the moralistic high ground is lost and the team would have to imprison Caitlin. However, I feel that angle could be explored. I’m getting too much vibes from Buffy The Vampire Slayer’s Faith here.
  • I almost feel this one was one that could’ve been left to both Iris and Caitlin alone, but Felicity comes along for the ride and… so does Cecille, which we really have had little time knowing at all. It’s a bit clunky and awkward how the episode is pulled through. The episode feels too busy with so many people moving from one location to another.
  • Amonet Black (Katee Sackhoff)… I really had a bit of a cringe moment taking her seriously as a villainess. Yes, the part with the cops and her reaction to “ma’am” was funny. She doesn’t scream “returning character role” for me, although I’m already hearing she might return in that role.
  • Danielle Panabaker’s Killer Frost had some good and bad moments this week, including some really great badass moments as well. I know we’re making her hold back because we want to keep her on the “good” side, but I wanted more snark from the Ice Queen. You’ve done it before, showrunners. I’m really tempted to think she was also held back to make sure she didn’t outshine Iris.
  • That being said, the entire plot was an excuse for bachelor / bachelorette shenanigans. I wasn’t even intrigued with the Thinker’s floating chair pursuing this Weeper guy. Overall, it felt a bit of a throwaway, and it would’ve been a waste without Frost to bring in some edge to it. I still feel like I we could use a full-on dark Killer Frost episode instead of this watered-down Shirley Temple drink version.

That will do for now.

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Superhero Weekly: Triggers & Mixed Signals

Spoilers will swear they will trust you from now on, then forget about it on the next episode.

It has become a CW trope, but it seems all conflicts are becoming some version of the main heroes overestimating their own powers, stop listening to their friends and family, getting into trouble and then everything getting fixed once teamwork, love and understanding are back on track. At least until next week, that is.

supergirl-s3e2-triggers

(Source: TheCW)

Highs, Lows and Girl Superpower:

  • Supervillain Psi (Yael Grobglas) has the power to cause fear. This creates a particularly cathartic opportunity for Kara to face her own, which she has been dodging since her season opener last week. Psi feels like it could’ve been more than a one-episode C-villain, but alas it seems it wasn’t to be.
  • Samantha Arias, the mother of the teenager that will get in trouble in every episode, is back. Seems she could turn out to have superpowers. I did expected the cast to grow, but no word on where this is going to go.
  • Was there any question that Lena was not going to end up buying CatCo? No. Why does every time I try to say “CatCo” out loud I end up saying “CostCo”? Don’t answer that one.
  • Lena can be a badass boss, as Kara discovers when she starts being uppity. I also hope Kara fixed that elevator before anybody else finds her purse and her glasses.
  • The dynamic at CatCo changes from now on. Let’s be honest, it needed to. James needs Lena pushing him. She will and she should. It was getting a little to comfy for him.
  • I’m expecting Kara to reveal to Lena she’s Supergirl any episode now. I’m also expecting Lena to tell her she has known that all along.
  • Supergirl seems to be going for a darker vibe. I really hope it’s temporary, but considering the other CW shows, I’m not holding my breath.

Meanwhile, back at STAR Labs…

flash-s4e2-mixed-signals

(Source: TheCW)

Highs, Lows and Romance Woes:

  • Gypsy gets a lot of good lines this episode: “It’s like he doesn’t know he’s a dead man.” (said at nobody after Cisco tries apologizing and figures out a way to stop a metahuman in the middle of the sentence).
  • Still loving Caitlin, but don’t think I don’t know what you’re doing, TV show. I know Caitlin’s Frost dilemma will be put in hold while the other stories take the stage. You’re literally putting her issues on ice until you have time to deal with them on another show. Hardly fair.
  • I did find laughter with Cisco and Gypsy (and Caitlin inadvertently getting a word in there) but there was a lot to cringe about with Iris and Barry. If you’re going to couples therapy to make fun of therapy why do it at all? Specially since they both really seem to need it.
  • Iris West finally comes out with it: Barry left her. I think the wedding is safely postponed (season finale I guess). How Barry is completely blind in not seeing that was going to be a major issues speaks volumes about self-centered he’s acting.
  • Barry has become a little too overconfident, not in his powers but in his persona. I’m actually finding him a more than a little annoying in this episode. Can you tell?
  • Where’s the next iteration of Harrison Wells?

So as you can see I’m doing a rather brief version of the Superhero Weekly (which might be bi-weekly at this point) due to time constraints. Now I just go directly into the Highs and Lows. It’s a bit experimental. We’ll see how it goes.

And yes, I’ve decided to drop Arrow. To be honest, it was getting hard to watch. I’ll take a peek now and then, but I don’t anticipate making it part of this review.

That will do for now.

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Superhero Weekly’s Finale Thoughts: Supergirl persists. The Flash’s finish line. Arrow returns to Lian Yu.

Spoilers will not stay in the Speed Force.

(Source: The CW)

The sophomore season of Supergirl started with the arrival of Mon-El. His story has permeated the second season, sometimes a little too much in the forefront. That being said, eventually the show found a place for him, right at Kara’s side but more important as a support character rather than a main one.

Lena Luthor became the real breakout character to both engage Kara and move the Supergirl mythos forward. Contrary to the Clark/Lex antagonist dynamic, Kara/Lena are closer to partners right now. That means that Lena’s agency could change, which might be interesting at some point but we haven’t exhausted the rich stories that can come out of their friendship. I hope the show doesn’t hurry to turn them against each other.

Alex and Maggie Sawyer got off the ground awkwardly, shakily and sometimes a little corny. That was perhaps the best way to depict a real relationship. It matured the show and grounded it a lot more. Sometimes the drama was played up to use for a storyline (the typical one of them neglects to trust the other, they have a silly fight, they make up at the end) that was unnecessary. But other times like in Alex, being apart show them as a couple even more than being together.

Cat Grant is back and so is the blurry filter. The important thing is she can still be the best mentor that Kara can ask for. And yes, we’ve all been saying it since Season One, she knows Kara is Supergirl. How could she not?

We’ll leave more achievements/disappointments for the Finale Thoughts, but perhaps one of the most obvious things of note was the political content. The show is an escapist fantasy where we dream of superpowers and heroics, yet it’s not a stranger to show its cards in the political arena. This season it was anything but subtle, specially in Resist. Perhaps it was a condition for Calista Flockhart rejoining the cast, given she’s the biggest conduit for these messages. I’d prefer they exercise some restraint and go for the center than lean too much to either side.

(Source: The CW)

The Flash finale had a little of everything. You do see a lot of what looks like alternative finales almost taking place. The strangest one is the whole redemption of Savitar that takes place in the middle, because it goes nowhere. Fortunately they had an open ended finale for Caitlin Snow/Killer Frost that I am dying to talk about.

First, we clear the air of the sadness of the passing of a main character and switch to the passing of a secondary one. The only clue we had about HR Wells switching places with Iris was the moment he looks at Savitar’s broken off talon. Other than that, it’s the face hologram thing which does not explain how it works on Iris. Either the range is a million miles, around corners and through walls or he should’ve built one for Iris first. That being said, we just skipped over a mountain of sad to have a hill of sad as HR Wells dies. He wasn’t a coward after all.

The whole reaching out to Savitar shouldn’t have worked from the beginning. They’ve approached him before to stop him and it works now because… They’re really certain? It was a bit patronizing. Also the whole “he’s not going to kill Iris because killing her will not make him a God anymore” does not make sense.

First of all, Killer Snow gets to defeat Vibe. Yes, Savitar stops Cisco as he needs him to sabotage his plans. Sorry, I mean to alter the Speed Force Bazooka. The fact that Cisco makes the changes with alterations, well… Savitar was a complete idiot not to see that coming and that part is just weak. But I did love the Killer Frost resolution. She’s given the formula and she then makes her own choice. And what her choice turns out to be, is not turning back into Caitlin Snow or remaining Killer Frost. She decides to make a new path of her own. You want to talk female empowerment? This is Cait-Frost choosing to make her own identity and not just drinking the blue Kool Aid.

(Source: The CW)

Arrow has been all over the place this season. Part of me was hoping against reason that the finale was not a complete mess. Part of me knew that they would try to pull all the stops and end up running around from showdown to showdown. And yes, they do aim to please so they hit a few marks, then run around from showdown to showdown. The most honest thing I can say is that a partial mess is still a long way from hit.

It’s a brawl and we know all the contestants. Putting all these characters does not necessarily make for an epic finale. Black Siren finally goes against the new Black Canary. Deathstroke switches sides fooling everyone and then fools everyone again. Felicity and Oliver have a kiss because what the heck, we’re throwing the kitchen sink too.

And then we have a very messy finale where there’s a lot of bombs and a remote trigger and a sabotaged plane and a kidnapped son and… Okey, for the sake of making a coherent story I really wish they’d pick one challenge worth the episode. It also doesn’t seem like the challenges are not even solved? The finale is a mess because it’s a mess. Unfortunately, Arrow has missed its target.

Finale Thoughts:

  • The first big one is that given the other shows I’d love to cover and the superhero theme fatigue, I can’t really confirm I’ll be doing the Superhero Weekly when all this shows’ next seasons roll along. Either it’s back in an even shorter form or it’s not back at all.
  • There has been times that Supergirl has being about as subtle as a brick on their political message, specially when Calista Flockhart rejoined the cast in Resist.
  • In case you never noticed this in season one, they use a CGI blur when they do close ups of Calista Flockhart. They’re trying to be tastefully restrained with it when she’s with someone else, otherwise everyone looks like a Maybelline ad.
  • “So for the millionth time, I’m lost in all this time travel stuff.” Joe West would be excellent at CinemaSins. He speaks for the audience here, but I gotta love a good time travel paradox. As long as I can follow the entire loop. Otherwise it’s a lot of exposition.
  • Caitlin Snow’s arc was seldom a fair one, but Killer Frost gets some justice. Instead of taking the antidote, which would mean rewriting her DNA so she can be the person her former friends miss she chooses to walk her own path, more fully in control of herself. That’s a great ending for her character but it also means we could be losing Danielle Panabaker from the main cast.
  • Savitar’s big twist is that he was a future version of Barry, a time remnant and able to know everything Barry knows, even if the time changes. The armor was just silly.
  • Barry joining the Speed Force is perhaps something that he’d eventually had to do, but for an episode that already has had many finales, it’s a bit of an overload. That being said, it was kind of cool as a cliffhanger. Perhaps he’ll learn some tricks.
  • Do I really need to talk about Arrow? I have a soft spot for the characters, and for days of old, but the whole psychological torture of Oliver is stressing as fuck. There’s no other way to put it. And no, there’s literally no way that Chase prepared everything in a short time, which means he either had hundreds of people helping him or took a few years to set each thing and somehow nothing went wrong ever.
  • Black Siren finally gets to face the new Black Canary. She also gets a stick to the face courtesy of Quentin Lance. See? That was a plus.
  • Talia and Nyssa finally face each other off. Of course, Talia can’t die here. Nyssa still gets to win though.
  • Chase kills himself. Chances are you’ll run into him on Legends of Tomorrow. That was a joke. Kinda. Who knows. The thing is his death also triggers explosions all around the island. As in, the whole island blows up. You know what? A nuke would’ve been more believable.
  • Obviously, everyone is not dead. You can’t start a show from complete scratch with just the main character.
  • I think for once, I would have ended Arrow with the flashback story, at the point where Oliver calls his mom from the boat that rescues him.

That will do for now.

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