Thanks to a three week hiatus for the Winter Olympics, Legends Of Tomorrow’s & Batwoman’s season finales didn’t directly abut Peacemaker’s. This is only a relief to me, who was worried about not being able to produce & promote both blogs back to back. (I still didn’t match this zenith of journalism on the best televisual reboot of a Clooney & Kidman film.) On the other paw, thanks for ruining the momentum, Olympics! SPOILERS abound below, which should not be a Shocker if you’re familiar with this blog.
I appreciate that Dr. Gwyn Davies feels like he’s from another time period, unlike Amaya. His repression contrasts well with this libertine team. Gwyn’s time machine resembles a Dalek head.
Hell’s Lowest Common Demoninator drinks the Mojoverse’s milkshake. The titles & Eric Dean Seaton’s direction deftly switched from horror to reality TV. (So just another kind of horror.) It’s another great meta-episode rivaling Wandavision like the penultimate season five episode. Gideon stirs up maximum drama once she enters the confessional. Nate & Zari II feud with each other when they both protect Zari I’s honor. Spooner’s bellybutton is too hot for infernal TV! She’d be a naked vampire slayer. Drunk Sara gives Gwyn an IOU to save one person in history, & he goes for Franz Ferdinand instead of his unrequited boyfriend. Behrad & Astra become an item, which reinforces my fancast of Olivia Swann & Shayan Sobhian as Saga’s Alana & Marko.
Gideon agrees they should save Franz Ferdinand as a clever gambit to draw out the evil Robo-Legends & steal their Waverider. Nate makes a diagram plan, & Gideon is confounded by time travel mechanics whilst sober. Although he polka cover of “You Spin Me Round” during the assassination montage was refreshing, it was a missed opportunity to feature “Take Me Out.” Caity Lotz does flips really well! “Take a chance on Sara Lance!”
Matt Letscher’s return as Reverse-Flash would’ve been a fun surprise had the promo pics not spoiled it. But
Malibu Sarajevo Thawne’s got a new tophat! After being killed by Black Flash, Time Wraiths put him in a time loop with the mandate to prevent time travelers from preventing Gavrillo Princep from assassinating Archduke Ferdinand. That kind of explains one of Thawne’s mysterious resurrections. Sara doesn’t mention his appearance in “Crisis On Earth-X!,” which hasn’t happened yet from Thawne’s perspective. He gets killed by Robo-Sara, so maybe that’s another paradox? Or is this why he’s a red lightning ghost in The Flash season six, & his appearances in seasons four & five don’t happen until after the Speed Force resurrects him at the end of seven?
Zari II & Spooner both enjoy discussing topics! Sorry, Esperastra shippers, but Spooner is the Beeboerse’s first confirmed asexual. She just feels left out her bestie is spending more time with her new beaux.
The Robo-Legends give me Evil Robot Us-es from Bill & Ted’s Bogus Journey vibes. The regular Legends call them robots to their faces, which they don’t deny. So did misunderstood Gideon’s latest upgrade make them no longer think they’re biological? Then why do they still drink beverages if they’re aware of being inorganic?
Since the plan was hacking mean Gidget, why didn’t they call in flannel Zari to replace her robo-doppleganger? It was teased that Sara would be leaving the team to take on Thawne’s responsibility of ensuring Franz Ferdinand isn’t saved by time travelers. Nate tricks his robo-doppleganger (who sometimes has an Arnold Schwarzenegger accent) to assume the role instead. That’s a good fakeout!
After reactivating it to save their Gideon’s life, the Legends negotiate with misunderstood Gideon to retire rather than be killed. They’re shown glimpses of their futures to convince them they won’t be assassinated. While Behrad loves being the new Raffi, his sister years for a more heroic destiny. Astra eventually gets US citizenship to run for office. Tiny Spooner adorably crawls through ducts for a portal charger when there was one in the lavatory. Humanoid Gideon becomes the new Waverider’s new captain to temper her lawful evil counterpart. Since the team is being dispersed to multiple time periods, Astra duplicates the key to the Phantom House so they can reconnect at weekly meetings on Wednesdays at 8 PM Eastern. (Apparently they can synchronize across multiple eras.) Gwyn instantly recognizes he’s been given an Alun automaton. Gideon & Gary are a great couple, which is why mean Gidget airlocks him. With a different ending, “Too Legit To Quit” could’ve been a bittersweet series finale.
Gary survived in the paleolithic Era where he invented a door to warn his teammates that Gwyn was trying to change a fixed point. He notices that Ava knocked up Sara thanks to her alien DNA. This also turned off Sara’s regeneration right before traveling to a battlefield. Her reaction is the perfect blend of over the top zany & realistically panicked.
Mustard gas corrodes all of Nate’s steel skin off while he rescues Gwyn. Dr. Heywood then retires to the Air Totem to be with flannel Zari. This also disappointingly disappears fancy Zari’s Air Totem despite her drive to be more superheroic. If the series is renewed, Nick Zano has opted not to return. At least he didn’t have to play the straight man for his entire tenure.
Humanoid Gideon tricks her newly robotic counterpart into destroying itself by making it an anachronism. Somehow mean Gidget’s protocols don’t include Asimov’s Third Law. This time Astra is able to reconstitute The Waverider into its original configuration.
It’s nice that Donald Faison picked up some superhero stuff while Powerpuff is stalled. DC finally let them use Booster Gold! The Beeboverse’s Booster has either fallen from superhero grace or not had his redemption arc yet. He still enjoys closet cosplay & personalized golf balls. Could Breckin Meyer be reuniting with him as Ted “Blue Beetle” Kord or Skeets? Once he realizes his fixed point posting is a joke instead of an honor, he angrily steals the rebuilt Wavreider & blows up Gwyn’s time machine. Then he & the Legends are arrested for time crimes.
According to a very scientific poll, this series contains the public’s favorite live action Poison Ivy. (Kudos to the 2% repping Batman & Robin!) This live action adaptation is the most powerful yet (They reference her Pre-Crisis origin like Gotham, so I’m good with them vaguely acknowledging her feats are only possible via magic rather than pseudo-science.), while also coming off as the most down to Earth. Even when complaining about not being at full strength, Poison Pam still easily smacks down Batwoman’s team long distance. Bridget Regan still feels underutilized, so it’s a bummer she’s only in three episodes. Pam & Mary split the Poison Ivy motives from different eras rather than balancing them within one layered iteration.
Batwoman having inebriated Alice chauffeur her in the Batmobile to intercept an ambulance containing unconscious Mary by leaping onto its windshield somehow didn’t end in disaster. Kate also attacked an ambulance with Julia inside, so this is just a rite of passage for Batwomen.
In her biggest departure from Killer Frost’s arc, Poison Mary inadvertently killed an unnamed hunter without realizing it firsthand. Then she tortures an insurance guy denying coverage to the needy like Supergirl’s Pestilence. This sporeling drew the line at aiding Poison Pam mass murder Gotham’s industrial district by destroying a dam. Not only will this wipe out the city’s polluting factories but also the adjacent low income housing for folks that don’t necessarily work in them. Once she’s informed she did a manslaughter, remorseful Mary agrees to risk her life to stop the original Poison Ivy by poisoning her. Mary is given Renee Montoya’s plant pheromone blocker (Both Renee & Sophie broke their girlfriends’ trusts.) to weaken Pamela when she drains the rest of her power. (The vines made Mary a power battery to recharge Pam without giving her any instructions on locating her even when Mary was above her prison in the Batcave.) Why that’d have a noticeable on Pam walloping Ryan with vines is unclear.
I wish the subsequent Batwoman vs. Poison Ivy throwdown was better lit. After all that build up, Poison Pamela is vanquished pretty quickly. Luke overcomes his PTSD to stop the dam from bursting. With her sporeling energy & powers siphoned off, Mary reverts back to her original morality. Her friends want to give her a mulligan on her crimes, which Mary seems much less enthused about. (They never tried contacting Kate to inform her that now her other sister broke bad.) Renee & Pam move to Coryana together to revive its endangered desert rose population in a much happier ending than I expected for the tumultuous lovers. (Safiyah would be so happy if she still didn’t have a magic knife stuck in her.) This would’ve been a good note to end the season on, but there are still three episodes afterwards. Poison Ivy feels worthier of being the season’s main adversary than Marquis because she’s consistently written, layered, distinct from the show’s other foes, & legitimutantly powerful.
I thought getting injected with the desiccation serum without being a dryad would’ve given Marquis a Joker face in lieu of being knocked into a chemical vat, but her reverts back to his regular visage once water drips onto his head. He starts wearing a burgundy suit & orange shirt like the Arthur Fleck Joker rather than his more unique Mardi Gras jester attire. That’s be awfully suspicious if that movie existed on Prime Earth. Just like Jermeiah Valeska (until Gotham’s final season) & Earth-3’s Trickster, he had to dye his hair purple instead of green due to a WB mandate. Marquis makes a public display of investing in Arkham Asylum to improve it, but he just wants access to its inmates for henchmen.
Since she only appeared in the alternate future portion of “Armageddon,” Ryan still hasn’t met any of the other Beeboverse superheroes. Diggle guest starred again, & still didn’t interact with her. Dig even has a chummy past with her mom.
A season where Ryan Wilder’s idealism is contrasted with her behavior could’ve been a way to flesh out her out more, but this series doesn’t seem interested in exploring it. She automatically covers Jada & Marquis in a nepotism bubble even though neither really treats her like family. Unlike last season, Ryan gets minimal blowback from her team. Mary earned her protection from the authorities much better, but this continues to undermine Ryan’s objectivity. Perhaps her definition of support, the first rule, is too expansive to reconcile with the next two? This wouldn’t be as much of a problem if the series was intentionally a deconstruction of vigilantes without accountability, but Ryan is presented as a morally righteous role model.
Victor Zsasz was invented to be a more realistic serial killer without redeeming human qualities. Gotham inverted him by making him an extremely personable contract killer. Batwoman continues this trend much more satisfyingly than its Professor Pyg. He’s got a great rapport with Ryan. Dare I say Zsasz is the Captain Cold to Wilder’s Flash?
It takes until episode eleven of thirteen for Ryan & Jada to discuss having Marquis arrested. Zsasz being sent to kill Jada by her son helps them establish a mother-daughter bond. It feels like they’re overdoing Jada’s redemption arc. She figures out Ryan is Batwoman all by herself. She also tells her daughter how proud she is that she became CEO without her assistance, which is awkward since she only got the position once Kate gave it to her on the way out of town. (Kate & Bruce didn’t climb the corporate ladder to get the role either.)
Kitty Roulette is not feline gambling; it’s the name of a version of The Toymaker (played by Judy Reyes from Scrubs) that built Joker’s gizmos & helped him kill Jason Todd with a Robinwhacker. His joy buzzer was specifically designed to turn kids evil instead of electrocuting them. She delivers good speeches about remorse before revealing she’s in cahoots with Marquis.
Wildmoore foiled by belt! The smiles elicited from Mary realizing Ryan & Sophie became an item was a rare moment of non-psychotic joy. Congratulations to all the shippers who manifested this! (I wonder if the Beeboverse’s Kate Kane & Maggie Sawyer are hooking up offscreen?)
I half-joked that a second jolt from Joker’s joy buzzer would restore Marquis’s sanity, but Jada is determined to find it for just such cure. It’s not like she couldn’t have just paid to get her son electroconvulsive therapy. Alice wants to use the joy buzzer’s last jolt to switch herself to Beth Kane. Marquis wants it to drive his mom mad before he puts her on ice. I’ve learned too much about brains & electricity to believe a simple shock would be sufficient to change everyone’s moral alignment. If it was operating on unknown principles, I’d be more onboard with this doohickey.
The penultimate episode was actually good? I’m surprised “We’re All Mad Here” wasn’t a season one title, although perhaps it would’ve been had it not been truncated. Deteriorating Alice seeks the joy buzzer to banish hallucinations of Mouse & Ocean. (Can we give Rachel Skarsten an award for “most memetic expressions?”) Her compelling characterization rubs off on Marquis by proximity. Much like Safiyah & Mad Hatter II, he also simps for her.
Marquis taking revenge on The Black Glove Society is the most unique he’s felt as a villain. He’s even made orange his signature color. He’s much better when he does his own thing instead of trying to be the Joker. Or perhaps the problem is he hasn’t felt enough like the Joker? (He’s had so many iterations it’s hard to tell anymore.) Marquis has killed a bunch of people, but he still seems small potatoes. Another wealthy sociopath who puts on civic minded public persona while toying with the main cast & gets access to the Batcave so soon? Having him constantly namedrop Joker doesn’t automatically make him an A-list adversary as well. Is this meta-commentary on Joker fans who sincerely think he’s great philosopher on society not accomplishing any societal reform?
Much like Mary doxing Ryan, Alice tells Marquis how to enter the Batcave in exchange for the buzzer he wanted to use on Jada. That further demonstrates how privileged he is. He doesn’t even have to investigate his archnemesis himself. Ladies just volunteer insider Batwoman info to him!
Court Of Owls Black Glove Society is comprised of Jada Jet, the late Marla Elliot, Dr. Jeremiah Arkham, Mario Falcone, rando Burton Crowne, & gallery owner Barbara Kean. While she doesn’t hold a candle to Gotham’s Stabby Babs, she gets the most backstory of the newbies thanks to her botched treatment of James Gordon Jr. Roman Sionis could’ve benefited from membership. Having Batwoman puzzle out their identities rather than unveiling them right before they’re dispatched certainly was a choice. With all the focus on Arkham Asylum’s awfulness, I would’ve expected them to feature Jeremiah as a character earlier. Simon Hurt doesn’t get referenced at all.
Marquis’s hate for the BGS is confusing. Until she tried to freeze him, it looked like Jada had gone out her way not to have his condition treated. (They’re the longform version of Killer Croc II & his pa.) He complains of his brains being scrambled to them, yet tells Ryan he’s delighted with what the Joker did to him. Is the joke supposed to be that he’s lying about being anguished or lying about being happy? Or does he honestly oscillate between these extremes without awareness?
Ryan keeps insisting they’re going to use the buzzer on Marquis to keep him from rotting in Arkham. She’s got no compunctions about throwing Alice back there despite her pleas to the contrary. Alice has been much more helpful to the team too, including taking the blame for Mary’s manslaughter. If they restore Marquis’s sanity, they’d just have to send him to Blackgate instead of Arrkham. Is that really better?
Marquis hijacks everyone’s devices to announce he’ll reveal Batwoman’s identity in five hours. Like Jerome Valeska & Cary Bates, Marquis is here for dirigible crime! He stole the Bat-Blimp to dump Joker’s acid bombs onto Gothamites that are inexplicably gathered outside to await the news that’ll be delivered to their phones regardless. There’s also no reason for him to give an accurate countdown. Jada distracts him by finally telling the press he did a patricide. Mary uses Penguin’s hypno-umbrella, recovered offscreen, to command the pathetic pinheads of Gotham City back indoors.
Unlike last finale, Alice doesn’t hog all the heroic moments. Mary convinces Ryan to give Alice the joy buzzer. Then Ryan inspires Alice to overcome schizophrenia with a mere pep talk. After the siblings fall out of the blimp, Alice suddenly returns the joy buzzer to Ryan at the perfect moment for her to use it on Marquis. (It’s unknown how many Arkham & GCPD officials she killed offscreen to make this appointment.) When Marquis wakes up, he claims to love his mom & sister. So will he & Jada be arrested for assorted murders & cover-ups thereof? Or will they roam free because they’re one-percenters?
Batwing & Sophie (overdue for a codename & costume) steer the exploding Bat-Blimp to the least populated part of Gotham. Reporters are killed in the rubble by a giant bone hand probably belonging to Dr. Death. Bring Condiment King out of retirement too!
Prime-Earth comic contains Clayface. (These are supposed to be the Leg-ends?) Mouse was basically Clayface already since Batwoman doesn’t understand how faces work. I guess that’s why the series didn’t have an episode with Clayface after directly referencing their mud was AWOL, although they could’ve reused Tar Pit’s design minus the molten.
Batwoman season two was a mess that kept choosing the path of most resistance even though it already had an uphill battle. It still had a smattering of resonant moments about grief & ethics. Season three is more streamlined yet it’s missing those rare gems. There’s less torture porn this season. (Depending upon your proclivities this may be a blessing or a curse. Plenty of extras still get killed, albeit pretty swiftly.) It’d feel fresher if you haven’t mainlined 100 episodes of Gotham. At least this doesn’t drag on & is more coherent than The Flash season seven. That’s progress! Maybe its fourth season will be astoundingly great like Supergirl’s & Gotham’s?
A Gotham Knights pilot that has a similar plot to the upcoming video game of the same name is in development at The CW. Stephanie Brown, Cassandra Cain, & Damian Wayne would count as villains’ kids from the synopsis. The cast is rumored to be Nightwing, Spoiler, Bluebird, Tiffany Fox, Julia Pennyworth, & an unnamed supervillain’s daughter. It’s being developed by Batwoman writers but probably won’t be set on Prime Earth because it’d step on Batwoman’s toes too much. Otherwise if they commit to Bruce Wayne being dead, there’s no reason to keep Kate Kane out of Gotham City. It sounds like they’d be recasting Spoiler too, which would be silly since Morgan Kohan was a highlight of season two & Kitty Mamas. Perhaps it’ll get cancelled like Wonder Girl?
Just like Joker, I’m sitting The Batman out. Instead of The Batman & Morbius, we should’ve gotten a Man-Bat movie this year! (I’m surprised black furred Man-Bat got nearly half the vote despite not being a thing whereas the animated albino got zilch.) Next week The Flash returns with a … mid-season premiere?