Posts Tagged Maggie Sawyer

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.

, , , , ,

Leave a comment

Superhero Weekly: Far From The Tree and Luck Be A Lady

Spoilers will get darker since it’s a new season.

Every series has to evolve past its first year. However, the darker they get the more you yearn for some lightness. This is one of the reasons I feel I had to get Arrow out of this mix. It doesn’t feel like I was having fun watching it anymore. Both Supergirl and The Flash go for a breather this week.

supergirl-s3e3-far-from-the-tree

(Source: The CW)

Highs, Lows and Father Figures:

  • Maggie and Alex’s wedding preparations continue. Here’s where that spoiler warning at the top of the post becomes important. If you don’t want to be spoiled, don’t read any further.
  • Maggie’s rocky relationship with her father is explored. It is interesting to see that her dad is not a caricature. He’s survived his own trials as a latino gaining respect from other people as a Sheriff.
  • It did seem that as a person who had to overcome bigotry against himself, he’d have some empathy for Maggie. He kind of does, but then it backfires as he believes Maggie could have decided not to be a lesbian to avoid the strife, which is backwards thinking. It’s actually grown up for a show about superheroes and aliens to give us an imperfect parent that will not be understanding and will not stick around. Less ideal but more realistic.
  • Alex wanting kids and Maggie not being on board is the beginning of the end. As revealed in Entertainment Weekly, Floriana Lima is pursuing other projects and is exiting the show.
  • This doesn’t negate the exercise of showing a lesbian relationship in a more realistic light in a show that is not based on reality. The show has been kinder to them than other shows. It has lasted far beyond a single season, and it has matured and grounded Alex and Maggie’s characters. I hope for a heartfelt goodbye, because they deserve it.
  • The mission to Mars seemed to be the lighter side of this week’s episode, but the overtones of surviving prosecution really went deeper than I expected.
  • J’onn’s father, M’yrnn J’onzz was played by Carl Lumbly. His performance as a war survivor who has endured torture really shone on screen.
  • When his father can’t recognize him, J’onn has to hear that his father would not believe his son survived the war by escaping Mars. That was heart wrenching.
  • Kara takes a backseat (don’t worry she gets to drive later) in this story to J’onn and M’yrnn’s getting acquainted again. Just for their performance as father and son war survivors, it was worth going back to Mars.
  • The battle for the staff is an afterthought, although I totally see a super-villain taking that staff later in the season to defeat Kara.

Meanwhile, back at STAR Labs…

flash-s4e3-luck-be-a-lady

(Source: The CW)

Highs, Lows and Hazard:

  • Harry Wells comes back from Earth Two with a breakup cube for Wally. That was really harsh. I guess they couldn’t get Jesse Quick (Violett Beane) for this episode.
  • This episode was all about bad luck and comical situations in which the characters overact and go over the top. We get Becky Sharpe aka Hazard (Sugar Lyn Beard) doing an almost endearing/annoying version of a luck-based meta causing havoc all over town.
  • I didn’t like the whole Iris overreaction thing. I know it’s played for laughs when she just decides to force Barry and herself to get married regardless of the bad luck juju. It’s just that woman-must-get-married stereotype that I can’t quite stand.
  • I did like having Tom Cavanagh back in the show as the grumpy Harry Wells reconnects – eventually – with Cisco. Plus he does come up with the last minute Hail Mary solution to nab Hazard as the odds go against the entire team Flash in the last minute.
  • No Caitlin Snow moments or Killer Frost peeks. That’s a low in case you didn’t know.
  • It’s sad to see Wally West go. Actor Keiynan Lonsdale did good work in becoming Kid Flash, but I am kind of frustrated that he didn’t even get half an arc of a story. That being said, it has grown stagnant. Kid Flash only got to save the day once in a blue moon and became the sidekick in distress a little too many times. He might be back for a spell now and then.
  • So now the team knows more about what we know already. Twelve new metas created by Barry’s Speed Force re-entry. Harry Wells does good in realizing the connections. I kinda see where The Thinker (the guy in the Tron-like chair) and Harry Wells might be engaging in a chess game soon. I just don’t see the motivation of this new nemesis against Barry.

Yes, I said I was doing this biweekly and suddenly I’m back on the weekly train. Hope that’s not a bother. Just keeping myself writing. Only way to be a writer, I hear.

That will do for now.

, , ,

Leave a comment

Superhero Weekly: Supergirl’s Alex. The Flash Knows Who You Are. Arrow goes Underneath

Spoilers might be from the future! Ok, that one sucked. Let me go back in time and change it.

I’m seeing a trend in CW superhero shows. I know that as plots go, it’s pretty common, but I’m getting a bit tired of the whole hero-has-trust-issues-learns-to-trust-saves-the-day storyline. Because of that, I might not even discuss the main story anymore and just focus on what worked.

(Source: The CW)

I really wanted Supergirl to use Alex to focus on, you know, Alex Danvers. And it does in a way, but it’s more centered in what she means to both Maggie and Kara. I wanted to see Alex escape on her own, using her skills and her determination. She does manage to boost the signal of her sub-dermal tracer. That was pretty badass, but it didn’t quite pay off.

In the meantime, Kara and Maggie take turns playing the Clarice Sterling role with a Hannibal Lecter-wannabe, Rick Malvern (David Hoflin). He not only used to be their classmate back in Midvale (the Smallville-like town where the Danvers sisters grew up), but he also has done something nobody else in the show has: he has deduced that Kara and Supergirl are the same person. Davin Hoflin’s performance of a deranged, vindictive and smart villain was particularly good. Yes, sorry. I know he’s the bad guy, but he had moments where his acting was shoulders above most of the regular cast.

Also, it’s hard not to empathize with Maggie and her views of Supergirl. The sledgehammer approach might not work in every scenario and this episode was an ideal example of that. Yes, Supergirl ends up having to rely on her humanity to get a clue as to where Alex might be. But I really wanted Alex to have managed to free herself by then.

(Source: The CW)

The Flash goes for broke. There’s a great story in tonight’s episode that seems to be pushed all the way to the back. In the forefront, we seem to have Joe West’s love story with D.A. Cecile where he doesn’t want to mix her in up in the crazy world of superheroes. On the other hand, we meet Tracy Brand and shortly thereafter we have H.R. Wells dialling up the charm. I would’ve prefer both romances to be downplayed even further.

The story I wanted on the forefront is the clash between Killer Frost and The Flash. As it is, this also depends on Cisco as Vibe, since it seems the Flash has forgotten how to actually attack his former friend. But in between, we do get this amazing chase scene with Killer Frost forming an ice path that somehow propels her forward in style. I can’t blame this one on the show, a lot of past ice-welder superheroes and villains have used the same “traveling” method. You do leave a trail though. That and some new amazing villainess wardrobe just makes me think she should have been the big bad this season.

Oh, Savitar is a future-future-future version of Barry. Yes, I did call it and it was the most shocking version. It’s given away early by Frost when she mentions that he and Flash are very much alike (cringe at the obvious). It was indeed about time.

(Source: The CW)

Arrow gives us a little alone time between Oliver and Felicity. To do that, an EMP blast hits the Arrow bunker and disables every electronic device. From there to explaining how Chase has boobytrapped ventilation ducts and elevator shafts… Well, consider it dramatic license standard use to allow the couple-who-are-not-a-couple to admit to some truths and reveal a few secrets.

The rest of the team are trying to get them out, obviously. Somehow it turns out the bunker has all this additional stuff that seems intent on poisoning you or killing you. After Oliver takes a nasty fall down an elevator shaft (he lands on a huge metal spike) he ends up losing blood for rest of the adventure. Add to that the fact that Felicity’s spinal chip has been fried by the EMP, and you have the universe trying to put these two suffering love birds together again. The show also rewrites a little history by showing us a night from eleven months ago in which Felicity and Oliver re-hooked up for one time only.

In the end, we’re left with more questions than answers. Felicity incites Oliver to find out who he is, and says she understands now about William. Meanwhile, William aka “Matthew” makes a new friend at his bus stop.

Highs/Lows/IcePath!!!

  • Not enough Alex in Alex. It would have meant so much to make her escape on her own. That was not much to ask, was it?
  • Maggie Sawyer has all the points when talking about Supergirl’s punch approach to crime fighting. Hence, this episode.
  • Supergirl/Kara has to use her humanity to find out where Alex is from Rick’s father, Peter Thompson, played by Gregg Henry. He’s not given much to do in this episode. On the other hand, David Hoflin turns in a well crafter performance of above-average smart kidnapper Rick Malvern.
  • Oh yeah, there was a secondary storyline with Lena Luthor and Rhea, now turned business woman. She wants to get L-Corp to build one of her transdimensional portals. I think the moment that happens there’s going to be an invasion. Lena discovers her (smart!), turns her down (smarter!!) and then reconsiders (wait, what??). Because, you know, reasons.
  • Barry and Cisco get to be superheroes and control their powers. Caitlin turns into Killer Frost like a vampire takes over her body. Not fair, and I know the source material backs them up.
  • However, if Killer Frost is really going all in, I think she would make a terrific A-list villain. I would have loved a season where she turns into the main big bad and her blast actually freezes. There were only a couple of instances in which her freeze blasts did some damage and more than a few where it just pushed the other person over a desk. It’s not Windy Frost, come on.
  • That being said, the frozen path left behind as she travels was straight out of the comics. I liked the chase.
  • Also, killer wardrobe! I’m glad she’s gone bad in style.
  • I want to like Tracy Brand. She is a smart cookie and just a little quirky. She also gets major geek creds with the Sarah Connor reference.
  • Who is Tracy Brand seeing when she sees HR Wells, his face or that holographic disguise he supposedly wears to prevent anybody from seeing evil Harrison Wells?
  • Savitar is Barry from an even more distant future. At least now Savitar has a face. See, the logical progression here is for Barry to tell his friends to stop Savitar without telling him how. That way there’s no way he’d know.
  • Is Killer Frost pulling her punches a little bit? Not as obviously as Cisco was, but is she? Was her intention to give Barry a clue by telling him they’re very much alike?
  • Arrow is once more putting the idea of Olicity on the table. I’m not sure if they’re doing it to get some views or if this idea has legs, but if it does I really hope it’s a much more grown up plan.
  • Trust. It seems everyone in the CW part of the DCU has trust issues. I’m starting to get bored of hearing the same thought on a different series, and keep in mind I’m already bored of hearing it in the same series several episodes in a row. If you are going to have an issue where Oliver doesn’t trust Felicity, then leave the issue open until resolution instead of “solving it” and then it happening again at the beginning of the next. You don’t have to make this a sitcom.
  • Here’s my only enjoyable moment in Arrow this week: Curtis gets a super-ball courtesy of Argus and uses it to find Felicity and Oliver. When Oliver collapses of exhaustion and blood loss, the super-ball springs a hypodermic needle (cue Felicity with the Star Wars interrogation droid reference). Curtis chooses that moment to explain how a shot of adrenaline works and Felicity chooses to stab Oliver with the needle in mid-speech. Oliver is up!
  • And after William is mentioned, cue the view to a kidnapping with Chase at the bus stop. Can’t say I wasn’t expecting it.

That will do for now.

, , , , , , , ,

Leave a comment