The Shape Of Water still isn’t playing at a theater near me yet, so I guess I’m writing about TV again this week. It’s winter finale time again for DC TV. Compared to last week’s epic Nazi-slaying crossover extravaganza, they’re on the subdued side. This year the Gotham mid-season finale (which they’re technically right in calling a season finale since its second half airs in spring) was considerate enough to line up with the CW’s. Things will be spoiled, unless you’ve seen them already. (I don’t say too much about Legends of Tomorrow as my brain has yet to fully parse its ratio of brilliant to inane this week.)
Dear Supergirl writers: You can’t just have characters say “I’ve never had a best friend like you, Sam,” or “Lena, literally everyone can see you & James have chemistry” & expect us to believe it. I know this show doesn’t know what to do with James after screwing him over for Mon-El, but this is a blatantly terrible pairing of spares. The timing is especially bad when it airs the same day The New York Times profiles SuperCorp as one of the most beloved ‘ships.
The Legion of Superheroes accidentally traveled back in time wearing black shirts with gray hoodies? (Why didn’t Mon-El just say he needed the DEO’s help repairing the life support system instead of wasting an episode on artificial drama?) Where are their colorful unitards with shoulder rings? Even Smallville did it better. I am ambivalent about Odette Annabelle’s Reign costume.
Is the time dilation between Earths 38 & 1 consistent? When Flash visited Earth-38 for a day, it was only a few seconds in Earth-1 time. Does Alex’s & Kara’s three day jaunt to Earth-1 translate to weeks for their Earth? But Sam went on a daylong walkabout before they left & only just returned this episode. The West-Allen wedding was scheduled for November 27, but Sam was apparently at her Fortress of
Sanctuary Sanditude on Festivus. If their universes are so out of synch, how did Kara & Alex know how to time their arrival for the wedding? Is Earth-38 now moving slower than Earth-1? Why don’t I have anything better to do than think about this?
Samantha Arias becoming Reign doesn’t feel like an epic betrayal since Kara hardly knows her & she’s overtaken by an alien personality. (Which is worse: That Kryptonian religion is basically Judeo-Christianity, or the DEO ‘s aptitude for locating Kryptionian pods & artifacts?) She’s missing the personal animosity of Silver Banshee & Livewire, but she does pack a brutal smackdown to two vile corporations hosting office holiday parties on Christmas Eve. Be this Macbeth, for Reign did lay Supergirl out with the Flame of Car-door? It feels like this is the first time Kara has been beaten like a conga drum by a big bad whereas it’s semi-annual occurrence for her super friends.
Despite stupid Star Wars scheduling spoiling its holiday Trickster tradition, The Flash was fun. Bizarrely British Blacksmith was back with her satchel o’ shrapnel to give pep talks & eat any scenery she missed last time! There was a mid-air hoverchair scuffle that justified the suit raft, the cleverest nod to a Silver Age gimmick. (When’s Abra Kadabra going to turn Barry into a marionette?) Even Elongated Man who’s written like Plastic Man was less of a pig. (Too bad his ability to instantly recognize women’s measurements was just a horn dog joke instead of demonstrating his deductive savantry.) We learned Heatwave stole forty toasters, & that’s terrible!
Slaughtering her way through an invasion of Nazis has done wonders for wanted fugitive Killer Frost’s public image! Even Dr. Caitlin Snow’s friends finally agree with me that Killer Frost is more interesting. Having her be despondently jealous of her criminal alter’s popularity is a great character beat. “Don’t Run” gave Caitlin her best showcase, although I still don’t think we should have to choose between the two personas. I also think her season three jacket needs to make a permanent comeback. (Or at least be worn on her action figure that DCC should’ve already produced in a two-pack with Vibe.) Will Danielle Panabaker have to put up with randos screaming “BAKING SODA!” at her from now on?
I thought The Thinker was going to leech off Barry’s metabolism to keep himself alive, which would’ve been straight out of the Reverse-Flash’s & Zoom’s playbooks. Instead he swerves to steal somebody else’s identity, … which evil speedsters also did. (His victim is Brain Storm, a minor villain with an even more ostentatious metal hat.) Not much point in bringing in Ultra-Humanite next. I have been enjoying him thus far though. He’s going to enlighten everyone, so that’s novel. The Thinker & The Engineer epitomize relationship goals but not in an ironically toxic manner like Harley Quinn & The Joker.
That season one flashfoward of Barry in jail is finally coming to fruition. Barry could’ve easily disposed of The Thinker’s old body before the cops came in, so I’m curious to why he’s playing along. It’d be keen if he actually does use his secret identity to prove his innocence. Hopefully we get an episode of him stuck in the midst of a meta-crook riot at Iron Heights out of all this. In the meantime, can Kid-Flash get some limelight?
Professor Muppet Stein is the best Beebo Day present! Contrariwise I can’t believe the Vikings fell for Damien Darhk’s Odin ruse when he didn’t have an eye patch!
Having to wait an extra day for (Green) Arrow really kills the DC TV momentum. This season being so dull doesn’t help either.
So far there is nothing to differentiate Cayden James from prior evil hackers aside from his terrible name. I don’t get why he wants to blow up Star City aside from something vague about a dead son. What a waste of Michael Emerson. Both The Flash & (Green) Arrow feature a genius planting a hidden camera in a newly wedded superhero’s base as part of a complex plan to put them behind bars. How did they not notice they were running identical plots this season?
While Team Arrow crumbles because Oliver’s paranoia put trackers on everyone except Quentin “kidnapped” Lance, a criminal consortium assembles to foil them. As someone that wants Justice League 2 mostly for its Legion of Doom, I could not care less about this team-up. I know Green Arrow’s comics rogues gallery is underwhelming (Printer’s Devil is full of untapped potential!) & Gotham is probably keeping them from stealing more Batman foes, but can’t they put some effort into making these villains interesting? They only one with personality is
KGBeast Anatoly Knyazev, who should be heading things since he has a personal beef with Oliver. Since Vigilante is essentially The Punisher, why hasn’t he slain he teammates by now? They couldn’t even get Cupid or Count Vertigo!
Now that the team quit, it’s the perfect time to put
Thea Queen back in action as Speedy! I get the feeling the writers don’t care about making me happy anymore though.
Despite not partaking in the crossover, Gotham played things similarly to the CW. The only named casualty of the foreshadowed gang war was Carmine Falcone because it’s too early in the season to “kill” any main characters. (I never liked him anyway.) Fortunately for “Queen Takes Knight,” this show moves its characters around the board entertainingly.
This was the culmination of the dissolution of three core male partnerships: Bruce Wayne & Alfred Pennyworth, Jim Gordon & Harvey Bullock, Oswald Cobblepot & Victor Zsasz. (Despite not showing us any tally scars lately, Mr. Zsasz has become quite the scene stealer.) Aside from the first, these are attributable to the machinations of Sofia Falcone. All she needed to elevate herself from empty bluster to Queenpin of Crime was some patricide. (I don’t imagine Stabby Babs will put up with this upstart for long.) Chauvinistic Gordon learned too late that recruiting a mafia princess to end the Pax Penguina was a mistake.
It turns out Professor Pyg was merely a contract killer hired by Sofia to up the tension. This is a pro in her column but a con for his. After revealing how she played Jim like a harp from Hell, she caps the Professor. (She pretends to be paralyzed like in Dark Victory, but her hanging skills obviously need improvement.) Bullets to the brain aren’t fatal in Gotham, so resurrect Lazlo Valentin with the Professor Pyg persona permanently please! At least we’ll always have “The Meat Pie Tango!”
Tabby beat the amnesia out of Grundy with a pipe!
The Penguin gets busted for murdering mute Martin, of which he’s innocent. Habeas corpus? I don’t know why they sent him to Arkham Asylum again instead of Blackgate Penitentiary, but now he gets to chill with The Jeromeker! (He should get The Dollmaker to take care of those scars. Remember when he was supposed to be a big deal?)
Will I squeeze in another blog before the obligatory Star Wars: The Last Jedi one?