This Week In DC TV: It’s All About Adjustment For Our Heroes

Last week marked the season premieres for all the DC CW shows within the Arrowverse.  It was a little rocky as most of the shows were heading in a new direction.  Supergirl had Kara dealing not only with the trials of being both “Kara” and “Supergirl” but she is still dealing with the fallout of losing the love of her live Mon-El forever as he has to leave earth (mostly due to her making it toxic for her race) and the guilt and sadness that comes from it.  On The Flash, Barry has returned from his prison within the Speed Force.  At first, he was a wreck with his mind scrambled.  Leave it to true love to help snap him out of it and become the hero we all know he is.  Plus, we got to see a new supervillain, who it’s a speedster (for once)!  Legends of Tomorrow probably had the most fun season premiere as the Legends had to “retire” after causing major problems in the timestream, only to once again be needed and work in parallel with the newly created Time Bureau.  Of course, Arrow showed us the aftermath of the confrontation with Adrian Chase on Lian Yu and all the consequences of the island’s explosions.  Plus, Oliver has been outed at the Green Arrow.

So how did the Arrowverse go this week?

Supergirl: “Triggers”

Thank goodness Kara is less mopey this week.  Her problem with the loss of Mon-El still is on the surface, but it’s less in your face this week and as a result, not so melodramatic.  I am hoping that this season wouldn’t be all about her need to get over her man.  Glad they didn’t go that route and let her just be Supergirl with or without his presence.  The show has had her have to have some sort of love life as a part of her character, defining her, instead of letting it be organically a part of the story.  Maybe just let Kara have a little bit of “me” time to function properly, and that’s what it looks like she’s doing.

The episode begins with a nice monologue showing how some of the core characters go through their mornings.  Maggie and Alex are still in their pre-wedding bliss and go about their morning routines of waking up together, snuggling, enjoying breakfast, and then going to work.  It’s good that this show is showcasing an LGBT going through “normal” things just like anyone else does.  In contrast, Kara is waking up alone as the idea of her without Mon-El still lingers, but like I said, it’s not so in your face as last week.  Meanwhile, the new character from last week Samantha also wakes up.  She goes through her morning routine with her daughter.  Samantha exerted some sort of super strength last week to save her daughter.  We still don’t know much about her, but since she’s on front street, that’s sure to change over the next few episodes.

This episode also has Lena Luthor arrive as the new big boss at CatCo.  This sets a few things in motion.  For one, James has been running things his way, and now he has a new boss a new boss that not only runs things her own way, but seems to constantly be undercutting his leadership within the company.  What makes it more frustrating for James is that Lena doesn’t even seem to realize what she’s doing.  Take it as a very subtle form of white privilege if you will.  The two of them no doubt will be butting heads over how to run CatCo this season.  Lena also doesn’t know that Kara is Supergirl, even though it’s painfully clear) and Kara’s constant running out “on assignment” in the middle of the day not only creates a brief conflict with her friend-turned-boss, but Lena’s bound to find out the truth sooner or later as her mother predicted it will.

This week introduces a new villain for Kara to deal with as well.  The new supervillain Psi has the ability to trigger people’s deepest and darkest fears at will.  As a result, she has been going on a bank robbing spree throughout National City.  After all, there’s no way to stop her.  As soon as she’s confronted, she makes you see your worst nightmares.  That goes for everyone.  From the bank security to the shoppers, to the superpowered Supergirl.  No one is a match for her.  Not even J’onn can use his psychic powers to stop her.  Not only does she leave with the dough on multiple occasions, but she causes Kara to relive some trauma that she thought was long buried.  The best villains for characters like Supergirl and her cousin are always the ones that don’t have physical powers that can match them, but mental powers that rival them in another way.  Psi proves to be a formidable foe for Kara throughout the episode. 

Meanwhile, Samantha is dealing with her own issues.  Her daughter is convinced that she is a superhero and goes through all sorts of shenanigans as a result.  First, her daughter gets into a fight at school when some kids accuse her lying about what her mother did.  Then she runs away from home and gets caught in a battle between Supergirl and Psi, wanting her mother to save the day.  Before Samantha is even given the chance to do so, Supergirl does it instead.  Towards the end of the episode, Samantha seems to believe her own hype and tries to bend a crow bar, only to be unsuccessful, meaning this super strength is probably brought on by adrenaline.

The final confrontation between Kara and Psi wraps up rather neatly.  After a brief pep talk with her sister, she’s able to simply remove her fear and able to take down the supervillain.  It’s a little too easy.  I’ve been scared in life, you don’t just say ‘no” and it’s all good.  But hey, it’s TV.  Hopefully, Psi will return as her type of bad guy is one the show needs, not just the usual “alien of the week, is she even an alien or a metahuman?

The episode ends with J’onn enjoying a drink alone at the alien bar when M’Gann, his favorite White Martian appears telling him he’s needed on Mars.

The Flash: “Mixed Signals”

As per their writers, The Flash has always prided themselves on “heart, humor, and spectacle.”  This week’s episode completely gave the right amount of each, essentially saying The Flash is getting back to basics.  This week gave us yet another “meta of the week” but probably some of the best stuff this week involved the love lives of both Barry/Iris as well as Cisco/Gypsy.

The episode begins with Barry doing his best rendition of Tom Cruise’s famous dance scene from Risky Business as he is going through his morning routine of making breakfast for himself and Iris.  Using his speed powers, he goes coffee shopping while his pancake is in the middle of being flipped.  He’s also catching up on Game of Thrones as he can watch TV sped up thanks to Cisco.  He’s also taken care of a lot of wedding planning for Iris, something that she doesn’t appreciate.  After all, since he’s been in the Speed Force, she’s been the leader of things, now Barry’s returned to do what he does best.  This is bound to cause conflict between the two of them.

Meanwhile, a new metahuman comes forward.  Kilgore has the ability to control all forms of technology, and he’s enacting revenge against those who have wronged him, primarily his business partners who squeezed him out of a billion-dollar deal.  The first person suffers a terrible elevator accident.  The second person’s care gets taken over and intentionally crashed and would have died if not for Barry coming to save the day.  The third person gets an “accidental” overdone from their dialysis machine.  Needless to say, Kilgore is dangerous as well. 

Barry has been butting heads with Iris not only in their love lives, but also in the field for Team Flash.  At Caitlin’s advice, Iris recommends that the two go to therapy.  This serves as both a funny scene as they try their best not to say he’s the flash when talking about their activities, but it also is an emotional scene as finally erupts at Barry with her anger for choosing to enter the Speed Force.  I understand her pain, but it’s a little unfounded.  It was either leave her, or allow all of Central City to be destroyed.  It’s a little selfish on her end, but it allows Barry to see her pain and promise to work through it.

With Barry back, the writers need to figure out what to do with Wally.  Speaking of Wally, a little warning about actor Keiynan Lonsdale’s new conk do next time!  Last week, he had a full head of the hair we are used to, now he looks like he’s on the set of Malcolm X before the conversion to Islam.  Wally is sort of wasted this episode as he is back to the reduced role of “Kid Flash” and providing backup to Barry.  He needs to either branch out on his own in his own city, or the show needs to figure out how to use him in a better way.  All he does this week is sit in a car with Joe waiting for something to happen, and then get knocked out by Barry’s “repulsor ray” after Kilgore takes over his suit.  Speaking of Barry’s suit…

Cisco gives Barry his own “Iron Man” upgrades to the suit that it looks like Marvel might want to get their lawyers involved in.  from the heads up display to the arm blasts, it was unnecessary for him to have all that.  The floatation gag was funny, but he can already run on water.  Plus, he can already create his own lightning.

Cisco had his own adventure this week as well.  He’s now a consultant for the police department and helped investigate Kilgore’s elevator murder from a technical side.  He also has his new bae coming to see him from Earth-19 for a date.  She wanted to celebrate “1-1-1” day, which is her Earth’s version of Valentine’s Day with him.  This also gives Cisco the idea on how to stop Kilgore by using binary language to deactivate his powers.  It also brought up different customs between the different earths.  She thinks the idea of Christmas, while Cisco is still perplexed at the idea of a “Saint Shaquille O'Neal” and even a day celebrating one of our favorite NBA centers.

In their confrontation, Barry’s mechanical (Iron Man) suit has been taken over by Kilgore and the self-destruct on it has been activated.  Iris comes up with the idea of using the flash lightning powers (see he doesn’t need a repulsor ray) on the suit so he can regain control of it, electrocuting himself.  Barry has to trust Iris and her leadership to do this and he survives.  After he stops Kilgore, they save the day.  

Meanwhile, the new big bad guy, the Thinker has been monitoring everything.  Turns out, Kilgore did not receive his powers as a result of the Particle Accelerator explosion, he was “Subject One,” meaning the Thinker can now create his own metahumans!

Legends of Tomorrow: “Freakshow”

Legends of Tomorrow, which probably had the most entertaining season premiere last week, continues its streak of cosmic, time-traveling fun with our band of misfits.  As the show is the only one not bound by true comic book canon (as there’s no Legends of Tomorrow official comics book, except for last years’ adaptation of the show), so it’s really free to do whatever they want, as long as it’s within the Arrowverse’s rules.  With all of space and time for them to help fix, where do they go this week?  The circus!

They had the option of fixing a time anachronism on the Titanic (which Martin Stein Actor Victor Garber actually started in), they opt instead for going to 1870 to solve a problem at P.T. Barnum’s circus, which happens to have some sort of prehistoric animal there.  The team discover that it’s a saber-toothed tiger there.  They have to figure out a way to safely (and discretely) get the animal back to its own timeline.  

After infiltrating the timeline and discovering the tiger, Ray opts to use his shrinking technology to miniaturize the beast for safe travel.  Of course, Ray’s tech isn’t all the way up to snuff and instead of shrinking the beast, it enlarges it.  Now instead of a normal-sized carnivorous prehistoric predator, they now have one that is even larger, and more dangerous.  Even with their powers, it’s going to be a tall order to stop the beast.  They need some assistance.

The Legends travel to Zambesi in 1942 to pick up Amaya.  After all, with her Vixen powers, she will be able to tame the beast and stop it.  While most of the team is happy to help her, Nate is still upset with her as she left him without explanation to head back to her own timeline, on his birthday.

This causes Nate to go on a drunken bender to drown out his sorrows when dealing with her back in his life.  When people get drunk, they tend to say too many things truthfully when they shouldn’t.  he reveals to all the local folks that his team is full of people with superpowers, catching the ear of PT Barnum, who’s always ready to collect more freaks for his circus.  Barnum then manages for Nate, Jax, and Ray to become kidnapped, causing all sorts of new problems for the Legends.

Even though Amaya and Sara manage to capture the tiger (thanks to her Vixen powers and Ray’s shrink powers working correctly), Mick loses the shrunken tiger on the Wave Rider.  Also, with some of the Legends being kidnapped and now a part of the circus, this has the attention of the Time Bureau.  Sarah notices Gary, a member of the Time Bureau spying on her and quickly subdues him.  As he is check-in in with his superiors under duress, agent Sharpe knows something’s up and goes to the Wave Rider and confronts Sarah.  As the two engage in a brutal fist fight (Sarah has a match), the two notice that the ray shrinking the miniature tiger has worn off and it’s grown back to full size

Nate and Amaya quickly get captured as well.  This allows the two of them to finally have that heart to heart chat they’ve been needing to have.  Amaya leaving him was not to break his heart (on his birthday), but because she happened to see her granddaughter, the current day Vixen, on TV being a superhero in Detroit.   She opted to drop everything and head there to meet the current day Vixen.  After meeting her and seeing how wonderful she was, she realized that she needed to go back to her rightful time to ensure that her bloodline survives and her granddaughter Mari McCab is born.  Meanwhile Stein and Mick manage to infiltrate the circus to free their fellow Legends.  During the struggle with Barnum’s goons, Amaya uses her powers and almost kills the goons.  Turns out, the animalistic side of her is winning and she cannot control what she does, even if it means killing.  

In the aftermath, the Legends tell her that they will help her with this as she is one of them.  However, a new villain is emerging, one that even the Time Bureau is afraid of.  One that is connected to Amaya as well, who will probably prove to be this season’s enemy.

Arrow: “Tribute”

Last week on Arrow we got to see who survived and how life is going for Team Arrow.  The episode ended with a bombshell, Oliver has been outed as The Green Arrow, forcing him to face yet another enemy, The Press.

Oliver has to go into defensive mode as the episode begins.  As soon as he heads to the Mayor’s Office, he’s flocked by the press as he’s been outed as the Green Arrow.  There is a clever throwaway to Batman/Bruce Wayne and he makes the suggestion that maybe Bruce Wayne is the Green Arrow, a nice nod to fellow DC vigilante (and who most of Arrow’s storylines “borrow” from).  It also lets us know that even though Gotham is a Fox show, Batman exists in the Arrowverse.

Oliver needs to figure out who leaked the image.  Was it Adrian Chase’s swan song?  Or is there a new player?  Before he can even get on the case, he has a new nemesis, FBI agent Samanda Watson.   She’s on the case and will stop at nothing to confirm if he was, in fact, The Green Arrow.  Oliver has to watch his back, but he also has to carry out his vigilante activities.  Some Markovian businessmen have been kidnapped by none other than Oliver’s best frenemy Anatoly.

Anatoly knows that Oliver just received $20 million in insurance payouts for the recent damage caused by Siren (Earth-2’s Laurel Lance) when she attacked last week.  Boy, insurance pays quickly in the Arrowverse!  Oliver is angry at Anatoly and will not pay one dime.  However, he has yet another problem, this time a personal one.

Sure, he’s The Green Arrow.  Sure, he’s Mayor of Star City.  But now Oliver is also a father.  A father of a traumatized child who needs his help and attention.  This proves to be probably one of Oliver’s greatest conflicts on the show.  Being a father is tough on its own.  Now try being a father, a politician, and a superhero.  This episode shows that there is so much that he can do and so many hats to juggle.  Something has to give.

As Team Arrow tries to look for a local Bratva restaurant in search of Anatoly, Diggle continues to have problems with his arm.  This time, it almost gets Dinah killed.  She confronts him and he tells her that has an injury as a result of the explosion on Lian Yu.  She tells him that he needs to tell Oliver before something bad happens.  Team Arrow manages to rescue all but one of the hostages.  The last one Anatoly has.

Oliver is drawn back home to deal with his son.  William knows his father is the Green Arrow, but he also knows that his son is worried about his life.  Any day in any situation, he may die, and as a result, the child will completely be an orphan.  Oliver lies to his son saying nothing will happen to him.  But knowing it’s a lie, this causes some concern for him.

Later on, Oliver catches up with Anatoly and the final hostage.  Anatoly reveals that his friendship with Oliver has made him appear weak in the eyes of his compatriots.  Anatoly has to now do a 180 as a means of survival in the criminal world and launches a personal attack against his former friend.  Anatoly maintains that he is still an honorable man, even after he kills the remaining hostage in front of Oliver.  Oliver cannot bring himself to stop Anatoly because of their friendship and allows Anatoly to escape.  Before he leaves, Oliver asks him if he leaked the image, which Anatoly says he did not do it because he’s “honorable.”  We’re back to square one with who leaked the image.

Lucky for Oliver, Curtis and Felicity used their tech skills to figure out the photo was actually a fake and leak this to the press, just as Oliver is doing an interview with the FBI agent.  She assures Oliver that she will still pursue her investigation.  Oliver then realizes he has to make a big decision.  After assuring his son William that he will not lie to him anymore, he meets with Diggle.  Oliver tells his friend that he can no longer put himself in danger (from death or exposure) and is going to pass the mantle of The Green Arrow on to him.  Diggle is to become the new Green Arrow (even though he still has the tremor in his arm.