As the summer television hiatus fast approaches, our DCTV shows are fast approaching their season’s end.
For some, like Arrow, that signals a huge change coming in the form of losing the heart of your show in Felicity Smoak. For others, like Flash, Supergirl and Legends of Tomorrow, it’s the end of one chapter and the start of a new one where there’s always a possibility for redemption for mistakes of seasons past.
Our DCTV writers Alyssa, Jade and Charles are here to recap the week in DC Television with reviews from Supergirl, Legends of Tomorrow, Arrow and The Flash.
‘Supergirl’ 4×20: “Will the Real Miss Tessmacher Please Stand Up?”
By Alyssa Barbieri
Supergirl has come to a point where it can’t rely on Lex Luthor’s name to infuse that same excitement it managed a few episodes ago. Where it felt like the bar had been raised exponentially. While I’m sure Jon Cryer’s appearances are few and far between, it’s something that’s been severely lacking.
With that said, Kara and Lena headed to Kasnia to follow up on a Lex lead. What they found was Eve Tessmacher — and Lex’s plans laid out perfectly for them. Not only do they learn about Red Kara, but they learn of Lex’s intent for Kasnia to incite war with the United States. With just two episodes left this season, the grand finale pitting Luthor against Luthor and Supergirl against Supergirl looms. Naturally, there has to be some kind of emotional resolution with both of those, but there’s also the question of the impending threat. We’ve yet to see it sent into action. How is this all going to play out?
Elsewhere, Supergirl threw us a damn bone in referencing Alex’s desire to be a mom, as she gets a phone call from the adoption agency that that’s about to happen much sooner than she expected. Why, how nice of you to remember a storyline that was set up two seasons ago? Oh, you mean that fake-out adoption was the best we’re going to get? See, Supergirl never fails to disappoint. The one good thing to come out of this was the laying of the foundation of Alex and Kelly’s imminent romance.
Then there’s the whole Ben Lockwood injecting himself with Harun-El and giving himself powers, as if the prick needed an even bigger ego. He’s larger-than-life ego is fueled by his wife’s death — by an alien who had her life taken from Lockwood first, to be fair. There’s no way this doesn’t end with Ben Lockwood dead. And there’s no way that it isn’t done by his son, who knows better than his father.
‘Legends of Tomorrow’ 4×14 : “Nip/Stuck”
Legends of Tomorrow heads to the finish line with an episode that is in some parts exhilarating and other parts infuriating. One of the best parts of the last few episodes has definitely been Brandon Routh’s performance as Neron-possessed Ray. Seeing him go from Mister Goody Two-Shoes to a smooth talking master manipulator has shown once again how underrated asset Brandon has been to the show. From tricking the Legends into getting trapped into an avalanche (which they escape from after some team bonding) to getting to free Tabitha in the form of the Fairy Godmother, the Neron storyline as been a highlight of this season.
Now about Gary. I’ve never been a fan of Gary’s character but I’ll admit having him side with the bad guys has added more to his character. Having his evil demon nipple “Nip-notizing” the Time Bureau including Nora and Ava was a nice B-plot though having Nora taken down so easily was a disappointment. Wolfie chewing off the nipple to free everyone is a sentence that would sound strange on any other show besides Legends of Tomorrow.
Nate and Zari’s relationship continued to progress as they bonded more over taking care of the dragon egg and then over a little love making. I know that this ship has gotten mixed reviews from fans but I’ve really enjoyed it and their chemistry together.
With two episodes to go, it seems the Legends will have to go through hell to get Ray back and save Neron. Actually Constantine starts the journey at the end of the episode as he sends himself to hell to find Ray’s soul. Normally I’d say he will succeed but after seeing so many team members leave through the years, I’m not really sure of the answer. And that makes me even more excited for the last two episodes of the season.
‘Arrow’ 7×21: “Living Proof”
By Alyssa Barbieri
Arrow continued to waste its final episodes with Felicity Smoak in a venture that was a tad appealing by the mere fact that Tommy Merlyn returned via Oliver’s concussion. With every passing episode, Arrow begins to feel less like Arrow and more like a burden. Sure, there were things like Felicity and Alena and Tommy Merlyn and Felicity with her children in the future, but even that’s not enough to sustain this episode. It’s not enough to have these characters in an episode, you need to do something with them.
After Oliver’s psycho and completely unnecessary half sister Emiko blew up a building and attempted to bury him alive, we were treated to a return of Tommy Merlyn. I think we’ve accepted that at this point Tommy isn’t mysteriously alive. Anytime we get Tommy, it’s via hallucination or alternate reality. This time, Tommy was there to attempt to reason with Oliver about how he’s been handling Emiko’s betrayal. Oliver can’t stop seeing red with Emiko. He’s caught in a continual cycle of hate and lies from his father and he’s trapped. As long as Oliver continues to give into his worst impulses, he’s never going to be free. Tommy tells him to “lean into the best parts of yourself — your loyalty, selfishness, compassion, courage.” And that’s how he can break the cycle.
Meanwhile, Felicity — and Alena — found herself on the run from the cops, who had broken into Smoak Tech after Emiko leaked footage of Roy killing the guards that Team Arrow covered up. It was nice to have some Felicity — especially with a friend that’s a woman — but in her second to last episode, this was another episode with Oliver and Felicity not getting to share scenes together. And it was infuriating. Even in how she reacted after thinking he was dead and him walking back into the Bunker, no hug, no nothing. Also, I totally called Felicity “going off the grid,” which seemed to be set up with this episode, in order to protect her unborn child.
Elsewhere, there was a whining Canary in the present and future, and Mia and William continue to carry this abysmal future that we continue to see play out.
‘The Flash’ 5×21: “The Girl With The Red Lightning”
The Flash stumbles towards the finale with an episode that moves a couple of storylines forward, but they are largely storylines that grew stale several episodes ago. Shecada gets everything she needs for her big plan – to use the cure to kill all metas. Singh leaves Joe in charge of the precinct, which I’m pretty sure is a big red flag that Singh is going to be a casualty of the next episode. Iris’s news story about Cicada hits the air waves, causing metas to rush to the precinct for the cure like a bunch of drunk college kids at last call on $2 pitcher night. With Cecile’s support, Joe calms and reassures the panicked metas as only he can.
Yup. Singh is definitely going to die. I wish they’d done more with him – and the CCPD in general – over the last several years.
Meanwhile, focused on the Shecada threat that is suddenly supposedly the reason she came into the past, Nora convinces her parents (in a scene that does not come off like a teenage temper tantrum at all) that she’s an adult who can make her own decisions. Even if those decisions are to use her mind meld with Shecada to see her plans. Barry is initially concerned that Shecada will be able to see where Nora and the rest of the team are. As if that place isn’t where it always is, S.T.A.R. Labs, which Shecada has attacked before. (Barry apparently subscribes to the “hide in plain sight, in the same place we spend 23 hours of our days, where every villain is on the mailing list and has both the address and security code for the front door” school of thought.) However, Iris and Barry eventually agree that Nora has made all kinds of really great decisions this season and should be trusted to make this one. Quick question: did all those really great decisions happen off-screen? Because, uh… Anyway, while in Shecada’s mind, Nora realizes she doesn’t want to be like serial killer rage-beast Shecada. It’s an epiphany I didn’t realize she or the audience particularly needed, but we’re almost to the finale so sure. Why not?
In other plots that don’t entirely make sense, Sherloque takes a few steps forward with this Earth’s version of his wife, eventually sending her to another Earth to keep her safe from Shecada’s threat. His vow that he’s waited his whole life for her would probably mean more if we didn’t already know he pays alimony to practically a baseball team full of her alternates from other Earths. But okay, fine. He loves this woman we’ve only met twice for a grand total of maybe 10 minutes of screen time. And it’s not at all creepy he hasn’t told her he keeps marrying her over and over again. And the audience is, I’m sure, supposed to be deeply concerned about Sherloque getting back together with her in the end. Because…uh…the two of them are…um…well, she helps him to…hm. He brings out the…er…well, they certainly are people who have shared a couple scenes, and if that isn’t a solid foundation for an epic love story, what is?
The real gravity of the episode comes – of all places – from Ralph. While Barry and the rest of the team are distracted by Shecada, Ralph is convinced that something about all this doesn’t make a lot of sense. (Oh, thank god. He found the one thing this season that doesn’t make a lot of sense.) He starts putting the pieces together, realizing that Reverse Flash is manipulating events. Of course, Barry – who a few episodes ago was so fixated on Reverse Flash that he dumped his daughter off in the future and refused to consider anything other than his animosity towards his archenemy – takes these words immediately to heart and listens to Ralph’s warning.
Ha ha. Just kidding. He all but tells Ralph to shut up and stop being so annoying, and they’ll worry about Reverse Flash later.
I mean, there are like 152 people on the team now. He can’t tell two of them to go figure out the Reverse Flash thing while he takes care of Shecada by being knocked out so Killer Frost can fight for a minute and a half before she’s knocked out? But, no, they all have to be entirely focused on Shecada so that Sherloque can fill the absolute vital role of reminding Cisco that he has a brain and can use it when he can’t use his powers.
All leading to the cliffhanger that…surprise! Reverse Flash has been pulling their strings, and they end the episode with playing entirely into his hands! Who could have seen that coming?
Other than Ralph. Ralph totally saw that coming. What even is this show anymore?