The new season of CW shows kicked off, although there’s no The 100 or Black Lightning yet. I’m going to overview a bunch of these shows in a single post, although maybe not the ones you were looking for. Some of these takes are a week late, so get ’em while they’re almost hot!
Supergirl is more dour than usual, but the aloof floating Supergirl scenes looked real nice. I’d cut sulky Supergirl some slack if I cared for her romance with Mon-El & it wasn’t obvious he’d return. She & Alex had a really good conversation about sorrow. (Alex’s & Maggie’s wedding is doomed, right?) It’s a pity they’ve invested so much emotional realism into a character arc I don’t want. Luckily Supergirl vs. submarine was something awesome I hadn’t seen before!
Supergirl is not a subtle show. If Adrian Pasdar had his $400 Agents of SHIELD moustache as Diet Lex: Real Estate Edition, he’d be twirling it. (Is this all a coma dream of Major Glenn Talbot’s?) Having Cat Grant appear only on TV as President Chameleon Girl’s Press Secretary to make political meta-burns could be a good way to keep Calista Flockhart on the show if she doesn’t want to relocate to Vancouver.
Katie McGrath’s previously impeccable disguise voice was more Irish than usual. If Lena Luthor knows Mon-El was Mike, she should be able to extrapolate Kara is Supergirl. It should be obvious that Supergirl appeared as soon as Kara Danvers left. Can she be so blinded by love? Although I would’ve preferred Lena to dispose of Morgan Edge personally, Supergirl’s solution to his threat made me smile. Will Lena buying CatCo make CatCo scenes feel less superfluous?
Making her debut, Reign has a teen daughter instead of a shark face. (Whereas Supergirl’s mom returns unrecognizable with a new Erica Durance face.) She’s going to be like Smallville’s Davis Bloom, the paramedic that didn’t know he was Doomsday because his decoy name was low on nominative determinism even when written Bloom, Davis. Meanwhile Martian Manhunter calls General Lane, but his daughter remains AWOL.
It was a forgone conclusion that Barry Allen was going to return from the Speed Force, but The Flash could’ve at least given us a whole episode without him. STAR Labs recovered from being exploded by the Philosopher’s Stone even faster though. I wanted to see more of the Barry-less team dynamic. (Why is reformed Pied Piper still not part of the crew?) He could’ve popped back to Earth during the stinger. Between Barry in the Speed Force (which is sentient but can be tricked by a ball), Patty Spivot in grad school, & Julian Albert fleeing back to England to avoid getting tragically fridged for Caitlin’s sake, who is handling CCPD’s forensics?
Barry being back so fast was mean to everyone waiting for Kid-Flash to take up his mantle. I didn’t expect him to permanently replace Barry due to actors’ contracts, but what’s the point of treating all the CW’s super-proteges so disposable? As soon as Wally dons the Flash costume, he’s trashed by a lone Samuroid. He didn’t even get to say “My name is Wally West, & I am the fastest man alive!” To add insult to injury. Barry’s cool new suit is essentially Wally’s suit in the comics. Wally West deserves better!
Whereas Iris West finally got to do some heavy lifting, Caitlin Snow returned to the same rut from the beginning of last season. Instead of being firmly in Killer Frost mode, she’s switching between the two like Jekyll & Hyde. (Did Vibe recreate Captain Cold’s destroyed cold gun just for her double fake-out?) It seems like a lame way to cut down on make-up time. She’s once again involved with a scofflaw, this time Norvock who looks like he’s from an American Holy Motors remake. Killer Frost needs to get her dissociative identity sorted out so she’s either firmly heroic or villainous & 100% icy.
The wind farm finale was a fun but too brief set piece. The man behind the Samuroid is none other than Professor X in Shi’ar exoskeleton plus his hoverchair! I mean Hap & Leonard’s Neil Sandilands as The Thinker. At least not-Brainiac isn’t another speedster!
We last left Legends of Tomorrow on an epic cliffhanger. Instead of the team having to fix the timestream itself, however, Rip’s generic Time Bureau sorts it out for them. The one time there’s any real consequence to their shenanigans, it’s instantly solved for them. Fie on your reset button! It’s a shame since it had the best finale of the bunch last season. The Time Bureau has way less personality, but they’re too good at their job. The stakes have never been lower! (This is why I was never worried about Torchwood saving the day, even during the third series, because The Doctor could always swoop in.) How long until foreshadowed big bad Mallus (sounds made up) gets rid of them?
Legends making a hash of things is more fun when they’re the only game in town. Instead of coming off as lovable underdogs, the Leg-ends look like jerks trying to show up the TB just because they don’t like their modern jobs. I don’t believe the guy that perfected miniaturization would need to settle for being a gofer! The quip about employment opportunities for people who died twice was cute, but why wouldn’t Sara steer more towards her aptitudes like body guard to Star City’s Mayor? Why aren’t Rip & Gideon tight anymore? Why didn’t he offer TB training & equipment to his former teammates? Leave it to Citizen Steel to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory.
Ordinarily I don’t mind LOT being lighthearted. They just took things a bit too far into farce this episode, which would’ve worked better if this was a self-contained Booster Gold series. (DC is embargoing him because he may be getting a movie.) The writers can do funny without going over the top. “Aruba-con” is a clever pun title. The team’s new catchphrase is legitimutantly great: “Sometimes we screw things up for the better.”
I didn’t mean it as a backhanded compliment when I said Inhumans looks worse than all of the CW DC shows. These shows look consistently good, which is even more impressive since they’re made simultaneously with the same special effects house. That said, LOT shows the budgetary strains more. Caesar’s army just wasn’t imposing. Fortunately the show leans into intentional camp so it’s often forgivable. At leas it’s not shy about showing off its protagonists’ superpowers. Even without those, it still has
Lotz lots of cool White Canary ass kickings!
Riverdale isn’t a DC Comics show, but The CW decided to bump (Green) Arrow from its Wednesday slot to break up DC’s momentum. Cheryl remains Riverdale strong as hell! In addition to holding the town’s Stabby Babs title until Dark Betty resurfaces, she saved its best parent’s life with a kiss! The crown painted on Jughead’s helmet was cute. Where are Hiram Lodge’s moustache & glasses? Aside from the Pureheart & Young Dr. Masters references, they want out of their way to link the attempted killer to The Black Hood despite him seeming quite different.
Solomon Geraldine Grundy got strangled with the cello bow Archie gave her … in Greendale where Sabrina Spellman dwells! She doesn’t appear yet, but it turns out Sabrina The Teenage Witch is getting her own series again in the vein of Chilling Adventures of Sabrina. It kind of makes sense since she’d overshadow everything if she was added to the cast like if Flash was a permanent fixture on (Green) Arrow, but I was hoping she’d elevate Riverdale from just being Archie with murder & sex. It’s still way better than grimdark Archie ought to be.
Remember when (Green) Arrow was really good during its first two seasons? Well those halcyon days aren’t coming back any time soon. So if you want a quality Batman TV show on Thursday, watch Gotham an hour earlier on Fox!
(Green) Arrow had the worst finale last season. It also has the worst opener this season. It’s boring. Instead of the end of Oliver-centric flashbacks & the Lian Yu being destroyed ushering in a bold new era, we’re treated to what could’ve been a paint-by-numbers filler episode from a prior season. As expected, William’s mom is the only confirmed casualty of Oliver utterly failing to stop Prometheus. Never before have so many explosives killed so few! Oliver is stuck raising William, which has somehow gotten worse since the notion was first raised in season four. The only upside to this situation is they finally remembered the Queens’ Russian maid from season one hadn’t been killed off yet. (It’s a microscopic silver lining.)
Why does the cop do nothing to stop Alex Faust (new character they talk about as if we’re supposed to know him & probably not related to Felix Faust) from setting off a tooth bomb in his soda, thereby preventing me from enjoying aforesaid tooth bomb? Of course Black Siren conveniently leaving building plans in her otherwise clue-free lair couldn’t possibly be a red herring! Wild Dog’s new costume is too colorless, indistinct, & ugly. (Now I’m worried DCC will make a toy of this suit instead of his earlier comics accurate outfit, which DCC will get around to by 2021 if it doesn’t abruptly axe its TV lines.) Thea Queen in a coma is unacceptable! I don’t care if it’s Willa Holland’s choice to be in as few episodes as possible! How many times has Oliver Queen been exposed as Green Arrow only for him to weasel out of it?
I only have one thing to say to Crazy Ex-Girlfriend: Continue being awesome.
And that is a wrapper!