Alright, Arrowverse fans. We’ve gotten back into the swing of things, whetting our appetite for the CW’s heroic programming with 4 hours in Week 1 consisting of DC’s best and brightest (…not including the cinematic versions, naturally). Grumpy & Lou found themselves severely underwhelmed at the end of opening week. Would week 2 reignite their excitement? Let’s find out.
A Week in The Arrowverse-Week 2
A quick reminder of how this thing works. Shows are listed in the order they air, with one of our “personalities” giving their take on 2 of the programs, as the other responds with kind, approving words or the grammatical equivalent of a slap across the face (or, you know, a light scolding).
(Note: Due to unforeseen circumstances-i.e. the nap schedule of a 1-year old- The Sweetest Lou will be taking the lead on all four shows this week.)
Lou: Okay, okay, okay. I found more enjoyment in this episode than the season opener, but that’s not to say I didn’t have (many) issues with it. I liked the idea of the type of villain we got in “Villain of the Week” Psi, one that uses her foes greatest fears against them, but the character itself wasn’t as memorable as I would’ve hoped. And while I really enjoyed seeing a superhuman Kara struggle with the ungodly trauma she experienced years earlier in fleeing her home planet as all those she knew, and loved, perished, I have a hard time watching this Season 3 Kara, one that seemingly butts heads with all of her closest earthly loved ones. I found Alex & Kara’s “you didn’t kill him, you saved him!” back and forth about Mon-El cringe-worthy and semi-ridiculous (I apparently love using hyphen’s today), but again found Chyler Leigh’s big sister to be the most enjoyable part of the episode. What keeps bringing me back this season? The slow burn reveal of “Big Bad” Reign, which I feel the PTBs (Powers that be, for those of you who aren’t used to my nonsensical abbreviations) are bringing to light perfectly.
Oh! And you can get rid of absolutely everything happening at CatCo!, Thank you.
Grumpy: Lou, Lou, Lou, there was lots more to like about this week over last week. OK, so there is lots more to like about a root canal than last week’s episode. I loved Psi as a baddie. I, also thought Yael Grobglas brought some stoicism that was a nice change to the over-the-top (I got the hyphen memo) villains that tend to inhabit the Arrowverse. I totally loved the Girl of Steel well placed head butt, when other things weren’t working.
As I mentioned last week, we know that Maggie Sawyer is not long for this show, and we saw how this is going to playout. Spoiler, a lot like every Hallmark Channel movie I watch when they need to get rid of the current siggy other – they haven’t communicated their long term wants and needs. So, Mags arc is coming to a end, and hopefully Kara is over her Oliver Queen wannabe emo shizzle because Alex gets kinda weepy when she and Maggie are on the outs, so I imagine we’ll have a couple episodes of that. Not sure I can handle both of them in a funk at the same time. Maybe that’ll be the thing that bumps Kara out of hers, the need to help her sis. I do love their relationship. Chyler Leigh and Melissa Benoist do a really nice job with the bond between them.
Like Lou, I am on board with the build up to Reign instead of having her just enter, fully powered and threatening National City. Makes me wonder what happens with Adrian Pasdar. Really hard for me to believe that he was a one episode and done guy. If so, he needs to fire his slacker agent.
Finally…um…yeah. CatCo is a hot mess, for a couple reasons, but here’s the most important part. We all knew that when Supergirl moved from CBS to The CW they left behind piles of cash in the form of budget. We also knew that meant a much more limited role for the high priced Calista Flockhart as Cat Grant. Flockhart has been great fun in her role and some appearances are better than none. I imagine we are probably at the end of Cat’s run, and that is way too bad.
Lou: I have to admit, after seeing the preview for this episode last week, this might’ve been the Arrowverse episode I was looking forward to the least. Color me elated (I hate when people say stuff like that, I understand if you’re done reading now) when those goofy AF glitches to the Flash’s new and improved high-tech suit were approximately 90 seconds of the episode. What filled the remaining 43 and 1/2 minutes of programming was what I believe The Flash does best: true character moments filled with heart and levity. The couple’s therapy scenes between Iris & Barry were a fun and engaging combination of humorous banter and soul baring confessions, while every scene with my new favorite Arrowverse couple, Cisco and Gypsy (Cipsy? Gysco?), is a treat to watch. I’m still intrigued by the Thinker and what his ultimate goal is in compiling a team of metahumans (Injustice Society???), but dear Lord, Kilgore may have been the absolutely worst “Villain of the Week” to ever appear on The Flash. Cool abilities and all, but jeez, did they pull this guy off the lot when the original actor got sick? Was he the sound guy’s cousin? Truly, truly brutal to watch.
Grumpy: Well, looky here, looky here. Lou and I are in agreement. Don’t let it go to your head, Mattiuzzo. I enjoyed most of the episode, including the couples therapy. There was one particular moment where Iris caught me completely by surprise and I think I audibly gasped. It was such a lighthearted episode, even during the counseling, that when that one moment came out of her mouth it totally stunned me. That’s good writing.
Comically speaking, overly happy Barry is almost as annoying to me as Oliveresque Supergirl. Hoping we can get past this as the season wears on, and by “as the season wears on” I mean NOW! As Lou said last week (see I actually read his) I hope we haven’t seen the end of the Speed Force hangover and the cool scribble writing. I mean Marvel TV had their cool scribble writing in season 1 and 2 when Coulson was all Picasso meets Einstein after his T.A.H.I.T.I. deal. Hopefully, Berlanti comes up with a sweet and original answer for the Arrowverse, and doesn’t just ditch it. (Notice how I said Arrowverse there and not just Flash? Yes, of course you did.)
Kilgore…um…yeah. Waste of villainry. Cool abilities, HORRIBLE interpretation. Insult to the sound guy’s cousin.
Legends of Tomorrow
Lou: I double down on my statement from last week of “What even IS this show?” I lol’d at Professor Stein’s meta-Titanic line, and I, for some reason, thoroughly enjoyed seeing a miniature Sabretooth Tiger running around. The PT Barnum story line was entertaining enough, and Billy Zane as the famed circus creator was about what I’d hoped for. It was nice to see Amaya back in the fold, and her story line trajectory seems as if it will be interesting enough, but I’m not quite sold on the Time Bureau’s “staff” just yet, which I will give some time to grow on me. I’m very much intrigued about the resurrection of Amaya’s granddaughter (and the modern day Vixen’s sister), Kuasa and what that spells for the Legends. If the Vixen animated series is to be taken as canon (for the record, it is), she’s already met Ray Palmer, even fighting along side him at one point. It will be interesting to see her interactions with the team. But, let’s be serious, I view this show the way the last scene (pre-Kuasa resurrection) portrays this team: even THEY realize what they’re doing is ridiculous, and can’t help but laugh at whatever future time-destroying foe comes before them. They don’t take themselves seriously, neither do I, and I very much like this relationship we have.
Grumpy: Wait…what? PT Barnum as gun toting villain??? Um….. no, no, no. Barnum is one of my all-time favorite musicals and this is an interpretation of history’s greatest showman that I cannot abide. Nope. Uh-uh. No way.
I gotta admit, and I might have missed it, so bear with me if I am just an idiot, but the Amaya/Vixen story line immediately made me think of the story from the first Terminator movie where John Connor sends his best bud Kyle Reese back in time to save his mom, and Kyle ends up falling for mom, Sarah Connor and in the end gets horizontal with mom to become John’s dad. On Legends, one of two things has to happen, Nate and Amaya have to break up and she has to go back to 1942 again and have a daughter from another guy, or the daughter is Nate’s daughter too, making present day Vix his granddaughter.
In the end, Legends has just turned into a more comical version of NBC’s cancelled, just kidding not cancelled, Timeless, where we meet a new historical character per week and the team bungles something. Every time I watch it, I am happy when I wake up the next morning in my own house with my own family and not in some unknown life that the bozos blundered me into.
Lou: Does anyone else get that feeling of deja vu while watching Arrow? I can’t shake the feeling that I’ve seen the “Holy crap! People know Oliver is the Green Arrow!” story line before. Or the “**Insert Team Arrow Member Here** is going to dress as the Green Arrow in order to take the heat off of Oliver” story line. Granted, the reasoning is a bit different this time around, buuttttttttt, if I’m not mistaken, Oli’s giving up the mantle because he has a son now and he can’t promise his kid that he’s coming home (i.e. surviving) each night. And again, if I’m not mistaken, DIGGLE HAS A F—ING FAMILY! So why, oh why, would Oliver put that burden on a man who has a wife and kid, and why would Diggle accept it!? And what was with Diggle’s Lt. Nordberg impersonation from Naked Gun when he couldn’t pull the trigger? Also, I’m a firm believer in the opinion that kids make your life better, but make TV shows worse. This “Daddy Arrow” story line isn’t doing it for me. At all. In any way. Sweet Jesus, I feel like I’m taking crazy pills! (Zoolander quota filled).
I bet by this point, you’ve confused which one of us is ACTUALLY the Grumpy Geek. Say something positive, you say? Well, Rene’s Wild Dog is slowly but surely becoming a favorite character for me, and I’m also very much on the Dinah Drake bandwagon. Oliver and Anatoly’s relationship remains captivating, and the Bruce Wayne name drop during Mayor Queen’s press conference, the first time his name has actually been said in the Arrowverse, made me fist pump in my living room like a cast member from Jersey Shore. Love Arrow, love these characters, but I’m growing increasingly agitated by the lack of forward progress we’re seeing with these heroes, and this show.
Grumpy: Yeah, the goodwill built with a good season premiere was squandered this week. Clearly, the story arc for the season is Oliver as dad, which, btdubs, I think Stephen Amell is doing an excellent job with, because he is not doing what a dad for the kid’s whole life would do to the moody teen. Oliver knows he has no right to claim the mantle of dad right off the bat, so he is not killing William for his uber-brat mode. Really great acting by Amell of a complex and nuanced situation.
That being said, there are a few ways this could play out. Oliver made a promise and cannot go back. What has to happen for him to be Green Arrow again? William has to die. Ugh. William has to go live with his grandparents. William has to be kidnapped or some equally heart wrenching situation that causes William to beg his dad to don the hood and raspy voice again to save him, or a loved one, or the world or something. And, it probably has to happen quickly, because an Oliver Queenless season of Arrow is probably the last season of Arrow. Diggle is a mess on his own, unless his injury only affects his ability to shoot a handgun, not a bow and arrow, and that’d be dumb.
Also, I find myself looking weekly for the hints of Oliver finding the love of his life. Maybe this season gets none of that, but there are a few possibilities on the table. The return of Olicity, that I would enjoy, just because Lou’s head will literally explode. Earth 2 Laurel Lance is rehabilitated…..naw. That’d be dumb too. Or Dinah’s Canary and Oli hook up. That is the most likely outcome, I have to imagine. I gotta tell you though, whether it is by design or not, do Oliver and Dinah even work for the same group? I feel like they barely interact. Clever redirect? Who knows. I haven’t really warmed up to her as a member of the team, mostly, I think because they really haven’t done much with her. She feels like a Black Canary placeholder to me.
A couple of other ancillary story lines going on, as well. Rene giving Oliver parenting advice is an amusing scene. Felicity and Curtis talking about how they make their money (How do any of them? Oliver used to be a billionaire. Is he still? Felicity had to make some coin as the boss lady at Palmer Tech? Did she blow all of that dough? Does she have a good investment person? A 401(k)?)
Oh yeah, and Bruce Wayne. Loved the name drop. Since the DCEU is not connected to the Arrowverse, I really hope Batman characters aren’t completely off limits. We got Superman, after all. (Psst…two other words while we’re at it…Green Lantern)
Lou’s episode of the week- The Flash: I very much bought in to all the sappy bulls— the writers gave us this week with WestAllen and Gysco (that’s it, I’m keeping it). After a let down of a season premiere, it was nice to sit and enjoy good actors playing good characters, having quality moments together. That might sound like the Hallmark card you’d send to your favorite Arrowverse showrunner, but I stand by it. Even with the world’s most awful portrayal of a super villain, this episode still hit most of the right notes.
Grumpy’s episode of the week- Arrow: Two weeks in a row for Grumpy. That’s funny because Arrow is typically my 3rd favorite show of the group. There’s a nice story line developing here. Not just Oliver’s dilemma of his new found fatherhood, but also the story of Diggle’s troubles and Felicity and Curtis starting their own business. I love that we are seeing more of Mr. Terrific tossing his T-spheres around and being an active part of the team.
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Lou Mattiuzzo is a full time teacher, full time husband, full time father & full time superhero enthusiast. He is currently trying to convince his wife that Loki IS a legitimate name for a son, and that does NOT mean he’s destined to be in trouble all of the time.
The Grumpy Geek, Pete Herr is the author of “10 Things We Should Teach You In High School and Usually Don’t”. He is the oldest geek in the Geekiverse by a factor of two. Follow Pete Herr on Facebook, Twitter,and Instagram .
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