It was a solid week in the Arrowverse this week. Nothing over the top great, nothing too terrible, just a solid week of steady superhero TV.
Grumpy: What a great idea for an episode. I’ve mentioned it before, so it should come as no surprise – I was really worried about an extended period of time of weepy Alex. They’ve established that side of her character, and, not for nothing, I like seeing the complex and layered character that is Alex Danvers, and I love what Chyler Leigh does with it. But, sad Alex is hard to watch, because she does a nice job with it. So, a flashback episode was a GREAT idea. I also thought the two actresses that played young Alex (Olivia Nikkanen) and young Kara (Izabela Vidovic) did a really nice job of recreating the characters that Leigh and Benoist have developed over the past 2 and a half seasons. Facial expressions and all. The really sweet thing was seeing the moment where the two really became sisters, all while solving their first crime together. I loved the sisterly moments they had, right up to deciding who drives on the way home. It was a neat little mini origin story that I loved, loved, loved – PS. I hope this is the only time they use this convention. Over use of things is not uncommon at Team CW. (See also: My thoughts on Legends of Tomorrow below)
Lou: Yeeaahhhh, I can’t argue with the Grumpster on this one. Supergirl seemed to have understood that I needed a break from the regular storyline, and what they delivered was very much what I needed instead. An origin story, per se, of our favorite sisters from different solar systems, played beautifully by real life mini clones Nikkanen and Vidovic. As a lover of the original CW (see: WB, for all you young’ns) superhero program, Smallville, this genuinely felt like it could’ve fit into the Tom Welling Superman canon. The writers also gave us old school Smallville fans a nod in the mention of Clark’s friend Chloe and her “Wall of Weird,” Erica Durance (Smallville’s Lois Lane) as the FBI agent, and even her name should’ve registered with hardcore Superman fans (“Noel Neill”- the actress who played with live action Lois Lane on the 50’s Superman series). The argumentative Kara & Alex relationship from this year was starting to wear on me, so after such a beautiful episode on the early dynamics of their sisterhood, I’m hoping this puts the 2 fan favorites back on the right track.
Grumpy: If there was a least inspiring episode of the week, I’d have to give it to The Flash this week. Wasn’t terrible, just wasn’t great. It was a shake out for the Elongated Man. Ralph got to wear his totally uncool new duds, he got to go out in the field, AND he got to see that there are real consequences to his actions. I’m actually pleased with this, as I have been uninspired with the inclusion of Ralph on Team Flash. Gimme Kid Flash back. Maybe this will make the Elongated Man more enjoyable. I’ve often said that one of the best parts of The Flash is Tom Cavanaugh. And secondarily to that is Cavanaugh’s portrayal of different iterations of Harrison Wells. This week it stepped right into the zone of hokey as he played 4 different Wells in the same episode. Cyborg, hippie and Euro Wells. Yeah….no. This part fell super flat. It was just silly and very contrived, and didn’t do anything to make the episode better.
Lou: I may have warmed up to Team Flash’s newest addition faster than my friend up above (Pete, not God. I see how that could’ve been confusing), but I agree that this episode was just, well, there. Nothing awful about it, nothing great about it, just another episode in the books. I very much enjoy Hartley Sawyer’s smarmy, douchey iteration of Ralph Dibny, but every time he’s in “superhero mode” I just sort of roll my eyes. I know it sounds crazy to nitpick the powers of a guy when the show is based around a dude who runs REALLY fast, but being super stretchy just doesn’t do it for me (and for the record, I’ve always hated Mr. Fantastic as well). And while I did chuckle a few times at German Techno Pop Wells, the whole Council of Wells seems utterly ridiculous on a show that thrives on ridiculousness. Tom Cavanaugh has made me like every Wells throughout 3 seasons, but I just can’t get behind Wells as Mad Max. Can we just go find another HR? I liked him very much.
Legends of Tomorrow
Grumpy: What the Hell? Dear Damien Darhk (or Greg Berlanti) you have overstayed your welcome. Go away. Seriously, it’s same old, same old. Frankly, if I hadn’t agreed to review these things all season, I might stop watching. Instead, Mrs. Grumpy has to listen to me swear at the TV like it’s a Bills game. So, notwithstanding Damien Darhk’s overuse and the same old things that we’ve seen before, there was some great fun in the episode. The Freaky Friday switcheroo theme with Jefferson and Stein was great fun, particularly because of Stein’s infatuation with Hedy Lemarr which then had to be played out by Jefferson. It was fun stuff. I particularly loved the ending of the Helen of Troy story line. Well played, writers, well played.
Lou: So much to like about this episode, yet so much to drive you nuts. Neal Mcdonough’s Damien Darhk was a bright spot throughout Arrow’s asinine Season 4, and was pretty enjoyable throughout Legends Season 2, where he was a member of the Legion of Doom, but….do we need ANOTHER season of his bulls— magic that NO ONE can figure out or defeat? Oh, and we have his daughter now? Great, just great. It pains me to say this , and also surprises me at the same time, but I might have consistently enjoyed Legends of Tomorrow this season more than the other 3 series in the Arrowverse, but damn, this revelation might dampen that feeling quite a bit moving forward. But as I said previously, this episode did have some rock solid themes running through it. Jax as Stein was a delight, and while I never quite warmed up to the Jefferson version of Firestorm (RIP Ronnie Raymond), this episode made me appreciate the gifted acting done by Franz Drameh. And while it was alluded to by my partner in review up there, having Helen of Troy find a home on Themyscira was a very, very cool move to make. Her inclusion with the Amazon warriors makes sense, and finally seeing that Wonder Woman may exist in this continuity was a treat for fans.
Grumpy: It was a housekeeping episode – cleaning up loose ends. The end of the Deathstroke arc, the end of the John Diggle drug use arc. Wasn’t great, wasn’t bad. Anytime we have a Manu Bennett Deathstroke there is no way the episode can go wrong. I really loved the scene in the training facility where Wilson flips out and really becomes Deathstroke. When he comes out of the shadows all bloodied up, it was a great piece of filming. The story arc overall was just OK. No surprise in a “sins of our fathers” trope. back in Star City we get to really see Dragon for a minute or two, so we have our season long bad guy. I enjoyed the point where Diggle came clean and apologized. I enjoyed the big decision Diggle needed to make. I enjoyed which way that decision went. David Ramsey has always been fun to watch as Diggle. He’s had a nice evolution over 6 seasons from Oliver’s body guard to actually being the Green Arrow.
Lou: Manu Bennett’s Deathstroke is about as close as you get in this Universe to what one would consider a scene-stealer. Every time he’s on screen, I’m glued to it. I agree with Grumps, that the highlight of the episode was the emergence of crazy-eyed (no pun intended), vengeance-filled Deathstroke emerging from the shadows covered in the blood of those that dared stand against him. And while I wasn’t thrilled with the entire storyline, especially the part that has Slade peacing out once again to find both of his sons, I did appreciate the connective thread with Deathstroke finding out about his child Grant, who was in fact the Deathstroke of Star City in 2046 in season 1 of Legends of Tomorrow. As for the rest of the episode, I’m excited for Oli to once again take up the mantle of the Green Arrow, as it seems pretty clear John is about to step down, I continue to enjoy the banter between Rene and Curtis, and Diggle, who has always been a fan favorite for me, is off the juice. And you know where I stand with Olicity and Father Oliver……………………………………………
Grumpy’s Episode of the Week: I gotta go with Supergirl. It was a unique and fun way to get through what could have been an awkward and maybe really not all that enjoyable episode. The Danvers sisters headed home, a place we should all go when we need to grieve, and I think next week they get to move forward strong again…oh wait.. that damn preview.
Lou’s Episode of the Week: Supergirl, because of everything Grumps said. And unless the Mon-El we meet next week is from the 31st Century (Legion of Superheroes FTW!), I couldn’t care less about it. But damn, his beard looks good, doesn’t it?
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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 . If you don’t he gets Grumpy. You don’t want to see him Grumpy.
Lou Mattiuzzo is a full time teacher, full time father, full time husband & full time superhero enthusiast. I’m not sure if you got this from the article, but he loves Oliver Queen, wants him to be happy (sort of), but haaattteesssssss Olicity. He believes they show episodes of Season 4 where Oliver and Felicity act irationally on repeat in Hell.
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