This Week In DC TV: Star City Gets Its Own “Very Important Episode”

Hey Folks,

This week in the DC CW Arrowverse, Legends of Tomorrow and The Flash get the night off.  Looks like the CW wanted to beta test their new “Tough Mudder” episode instead.  We’ll have to wait another week to see the return of Grodd on The Flash and the Legends travel to Camelot next week on Legends of Tomorrow.  It’s not all bad news, though, we did get new episodes of Supergirl and Arrow.  Supergirl gave us the return of Lena and Lilian Luthor.  On Arrow, the DC CW made an episode that tackled gun violence.

So how did everything in the Arrowverse go this week? Let’s take a look at this week’s episodes:

Supergirl: “Luthors”

While last week was full of aliens as we had a White Martians vs Supergirl and co storyline, this week’s episode instead focused on family dynamics and the return of primary antagonist Lillian Luthor.  We actually haven’t seen her since the mid-season finale when she tried to use a bioweapon against all aliens that existed on Earth.  She would have succeeded if not for her step-daughter Lena turning against her and helping Kara save the day.

The episode begins at our favorite alien bar where the gang is all hanging and enjoying a drink.  Today’s the big day where Alex introduces everyone to her new beau.  Because she hasn’t come out to everyone, it’s a little bit of a surprise (and happiness and acceptance of course).  Hank Henshaw reveals that he’s always known it about her.  After all, he can read minds.  He states it would be inappropriate to talk about it after reading her mind.  Mon-El reveals is a little surprised that on Earth LGBT is not as wildly accepted as it is on Daxam.  He even comments, “the more, the merrier.”  

Meanwhile, Lilian about to go to trial and her daughter dealing with it.  Kara being Lana’s friend, tells her to have a heart to heart with her mother.  She might be a deranged genocidal supervillain, but she’s still her mother.  Family always supports and loves each other, no matter how crazy they are.  While the two talk, Lillian reveals to her step-daughter that she is actually the result of an affair that Lilian’s husband had with another woman (her biological mother).  Upon Lena’s mother’s death, the Luthor’s took her in to raise her, but of course, that didn’t sit well for Lillian, who did not treat Lena well growing up.  She offers a second chance to help their relationship.  Lena rolls the ice and agrees.

Elsewhere, John, Lillian’s Kryptonite-powered cyborg henchman receives a package in his cell containing his Kryptonite heart.  The next day is the big day for Lillian’s trial and John is there to be a character witness.  Instead, he uses his powers in the courtroom to help Lillian escape.  The big problem is that all evidence is pointing to Lena.  Even though she despises her mother for her crimes, she’s still a Luthor and as a result is prime suspect #1.

As both the police and the media are turning against Lana, Kara is her staunchest defender.  Kara goes to bat with her editor who wants to run a hit piece on Lena Luthor, which brings her, even more, conflict with James as he sides with the editor.  The police have arrested also Lena as a suspect.  To make matters worse for her Lillian broke into the prison to the prison in an attempt to recruit her daughter to join Project Cadmus.  Another big issue is that John’s Kryptonite heart is starting to overload his body and he’s pretty much a ticking time bomb.  

Kara manages to convince Winn to use DEO resources to help exonerate Lena, and we see hat the evidence that got her arrested was actually doctored.  Turns out, Cyborg Superman was the one who actually gave John his Kryptonite heart, not Lena.  With that news, Kara tracks Lena down after tracing John’s Kryptonite to where they meet up at one of Lex Luthor’s secret facilities as Lilian is trying to get some weapons.  Great Easter Egg showing Lex Luthor’s famous “battle suit” for the comics.  Kara is left fighting both Cyborg Superman and John.  However, John’s Kryptonite heart overloads and causes an explosion.  Lucky for Kara, she escapes with Lena.

The next day, Lena is exonerated and the newspaper does an article praising her.  Kara and James agree to become friends again, as Guardian has created a rift between the two of them.  Even though Lena was innocent, the ending of the episode gives the impression that she might be joining her mother as she is playing chess by herself (referencing a flashback where he beat her brother Lex when they were younger in the game) and thinking to herself.  Later on, Mon-El shows up at Kara’s apartment where the two decide that they should stop dancing around the issue and just give it a try.  Just as they are about to share a kiss, they are interrupted (yet again) by a new person, who declares his love for Kara Zor-El.  Fans of the comics know him as Mr. Mxyzptlk, a supervillain/antihero whose reality warping powers cause headaches for many DC Comics heroes.  I wonder what he has in store for Kara?

Next week, Mr. Mxyzptlk attempts to woo Kara.

Arrow: “Spectre of the Gun”

We should have known that this week’s Arrow was going to be something different as soon as we saw the “Parental Advisory Disclaimer” at the beginning of the episode.  That’s usually shown just before a huge zombie attack on The Walking Dead, but if it’s on a show like Arrow, then you already know this week’s going to be a big deal.

Today’s episode focuses on gun violence and all the political/personal/moral ramifications that go along with it.  While Oliver is carrying on his day job at the mayor of Star City, a gunman shows up and starts opening fire with an AR-15 and starts firing indiscriminately at all the staff there.  Thea (who’s finally back from hiding), Oliver, and Rene avoid being hit, but they are the lucky ones.  It’s up to Team Arrow to try and investigate who this guy is and why he decided to murder innocent civilians.

In the Arrow Cave, where they have confiscated the weapon, members of the team engage in a fierce gun control debate that echoes what you would see any given day on your Facebook timeline.  Curtis plays you liberal friend on Facebook, voicing all the reasons needed for gun control.  Rene, your conservative friend screaming to the high heavens why everyone should carry a weapon.  As Curtis echoes the Black Lives Matter point that as a black man, he’s three times more likely to be killed than Rene, it comes across weird.  Yes, it’s true that African Americans statistically are more likely to be killed than a white person, but Rene is Hispanic and the same argument applies similarly to him, statically speaking.  Felicity is bothered by it as they are talking about the issue instead of trying to solve the crime.

As the Green Arrow, Oliver tries to do some vigilante work at night and investigate the weapon.  He questions a member of the Bertinelli crime family about the AR-15 (as that criminal group primarily deals using that weapon).  After confirming they had nothing to do with the shooting, we get a surprise cameo by Vigilante, who quickly murders the criminal.  Vigilante even comments to Oliver about the simplicity of gun use when dispatching the criminal by saying “the only difference between us is that I use a more efficient weapon.”

But they do in fact, do some investigating.  Turns out the gunman is a man named James Edlund.  James was just a regular guy with no criminal record.  However, his wife and two daughters were killed in a mass shooting upon the failure of the Star City Gun Registry, which the city council voted down.  In effect, the cycle of violence is perpetuating itself.

As mayor, Oliver provides the press with the name of the shooter, offers “thoughts and prayers,” and vows to bring the man to justice.  Oliver is then asked by the press on his own thoughts about gun control.  For the first time, Oliver, who as the Green Arrow is in complete control and excels at leadership, is a deer in the headlights.  His political acumen is not as good as his Salmon Ladder skills.  After his failure with the press Quinten and Thea sit with him and tell him that this issue is too big for The Green Arrow, but it’s something that Mayor Oliver Queen could handle.  It’s time for him to flex his political muscles.

Oliver meets with the local councilwoman who killed the gun registry.  She parrots the usual NRA talking points about gun registries, the second amendments, etc.  Oliver retorts with his own talking points as well.  However, Oliver states that this is an issue that the two of them are going to fix, and they are going to fix it together.

Felicity manages to uncover a gun violence support group that Edlund went to and ends Curtis and Rene to try and figure out where the guys are.  Rene and Curtis continue their gun debate.  Rene tells Curtis that the reason he is so pro-gun is that if he had a gun, his wife would still be alive.  In tonight’s flashbacks, we get to see Rene’s history.  He was a married, loving family man.  He had a gun (he used to live in The Glades), and his wife had an addiction.  After confronting his wife about using, he took her stash.  Later on that night his wife’s dealer held her at gunpoint and even though Rene was able to get to his safe in time to kill the assailant, his wife did not survive the encounter and he lost custody of his daughter as a result of the unsafe environment.  After confirming with one of the gun violence support group people where Edlund is hiding, hey head to his home (Curtis really cornrows his fro quickly!).  The find out that his next target is a hospital where all the shot victims are trying to recover.

Oliver, still negotiating with the councilwoman get the call from Curtis about the target and leaves the negotiation prematurely.  Now we think it’s because he’s going to show up as The Green Arrow to stop another mass shooting.  Instead, he shows up as Mayor Queen and actually is able to talk him out of killing everyone in the hospital.  In the aftermath, Oliver and the councilwoman manage to agree on a gun control law that all sides can get behind.

Curtis and Rene, even though they are on opposite sides of the gun debate politically, are still friends and always will be friends.  Curtis tells Rene that he Googles his family history after their last argument and knows where Rene’s daughter is.  He offers his help in getting Rene a lawyer so that he can get custody of his daughter.  The episode ends with a candlelight vigil for those killed in the mass shooting, something we are all too familiar with and Oliver announces the Star City Firearms Freedom Act.

Next week, a fan-favorite returns.