This article contains spoilers for Gotham, Supergirl, The Flash, Arrow, and Legends of Tomorrow
Gotham Season 3, Episode 4 “New Day Rising”
“We’re all mad here” may be a line from Lewis Carroll, but it could easily be the quote on the welcome sign to Gotham City. Whether it means crazy or just plain angry, it sums up Gotham in spades.
Jim Gordon falls under the former mostly, but right now he’s a bit sadder than he is mad. He’s lost almost everything, which I would have a lot of sympathy for if it weren’t literally all his own doing. I love Gordon, I really do, and people have to mess up to become great sometimes, but man oh man, make some good choices for once, would ya?
All of his bad choices have left our not-so-noble-anymore hero wishing for death, something Jervis Tetch has taken advantage of.
Let’s talk about the creepy jerk that the Hatter is. That’s your sister, dude. That’s nasty. Like, really nasty. You were supposed to take care of her, you massive creep. Ew.
Alice said she wouldn’t ever go back to him, and ultimately she didn’t have to. People don’t really get happy endings in Gotham City, and though Alice deserved one, it’s just not in cards for anyone in that town. Her sudden death led us to another twist, but this time surrounding Captain Barnes (Michael Chiklis). While I don’t think he’s going to suddenly become The Thing (licensing and all that), something’s certainly going on, and it will be interesting to watch it unfold.
The twists and turns of the episode aside, Jim’s perseverance and Harvey’s loyalty were what stood out to me the most. Obviously the main character wasn’t going to off himself, but it’s how we get to that deciding moment that matters. His conversation with Lee was good, despite the fact that the twit still hasn’t actually apologized to her. That conversation led to him fighting through Tetch’s trickery, showing us another glimpse of the Jim Gordon he’s to become.
Harvey Bullock is a lot of things. Most of them are bad, but he’s got loyalty. It takes a lot to get into the aloof detective’s heart, but once you get there, he’s not letting you out. Gordon and Bullock’s partnership is one of the best factors of the show, so the fact that there are still scenes like this while they’re not partners is important.
Supergirl Season 2 Premiere “The Adventures of Supergirl”
A few weeks ago I wrote a piece about the importance of the “S,” and why it would be beneficial for the CW to do it justice in Supergirl. Let me tell you, they did not disappoint.
I don’t keep it a secret that Supergirl is my favorite hero show on television right now. Each show in the DCTV line-up brings something specific to the table that makes them each fun and relevant, but Supergirl gets me right in the heart every time, and I have a deep admiration for the messages it brings. Plus, who wasn’t excited to see Superman (Tyler Hoechlin) fly around with Kara?
The team up between Superman and Supergirl was everything that I ever wanted. The familial chemistry that Melissa Benoist and Hoechlin have is precious. Hoechlin may not have been people’s first choice for the role, but the personality and care he brings to it is spot on. And Benoist has been Kara Danvers from day one.
Supergirl’s writers are also pretty self-aware of the challenges that they face. For instance, they call out the fact that everyone’s freaking out over Superman’s presence pretty much immediately, but they also keep it the “Kara Show.” Clark Kent’s genuine farm boy charm plays into that in a big way. He’s in no way there to upstage Supergirl, and he’s not there to save her either.
In addition to the Kryptonian’s exploits, Supergirl continues to nail its supporting characters. We met Lena Luthor (Katie McGrath) this week. Her soft but professional charm is a nice compliment to Cat Grant’s biting leadership, which will be welcome presence as we see less and less of Cat on the show, assuming Lena remains not a psychopath like my brother.
The Flash Season 3, Episode 2 “Paradox”
The opening for The Flash shouldn’t be that he’s the fastest man alive. It should be “My name is Barry Allen and I like to break everything and never learn my lesson.” C’mon, man. You might be pudding, but you keep breaking time and ruining lives. And you’re gonna be like pudding after it’s been left out for a few hours. No one likes pudding skin, dude. No one.
Barry “I Don’t Learn From My Mistakes” Allen did exactly what was expected – he tried to change time again. Well, not on Jay Garrick’s watch, kiddo. The Flash and The Flash had a little heart to heart. It’s funny, because Barry always had touching moments with his father, but with Jay it’s a different side of the “father/son” dynamic (despite Jay not being his father on his Earth). Jay and Barry’s dynamic is more combative, with Barry playing the role of petulant child. Barry kept saying he knew everything Jay was saying, but knowing and comprehending are two different things. Thankfully, Barry seemed to have walked away with a little more understanding. Hopefully that’ll last for more than 12 episodes.
The list of timeline destruction currently boils down to this: Joe and Iris are mad at each other, Cisco is mad at Barry, Draco Malfoy (aka Julian Dorn) is now a Meta CSI, Caitlin Snow is slowly transforming into Killer Frost, and Sara Diggle no longer exists.
Some of that’s fixable. Joe and Iris worked it out, Cisco is working on it, etc. Other parts? Not so much. We may have John Diggle’s son (the future Green Arrow) in this timeline now, but that doesn’t make it okay that Sara Diggle has literally been erased from existence. This was a completely fleeting moment, but I’m certainly not happy about it!
My irritation that Sara Lance’s namesake is gone aside – Vibe. Saved. Barry. This was a touching moment, of course, but that was completely overshadowed by just how awesome it was. Cisco Ramon is the heart of Team Flash in a lot of ways, so seeing him get to come out and fight was SO FUN! He may not be over his anger at Barry, but we saw a smile, so, baby steps.
At the end of the day, Team Flash came out of the episode as a family. Realistically, they never really stopped, considering how hard family’s fight sometimes. “Paradox” was a much stronger episode than “Flashpoint,” and I look forward to seeing where we go next week with “Magenta.”
Arrow Season 5, Episode 2 “The Recruits”
My dear sweet Arrow. I’ve stuck with you through some rough episodes, and even rougher seasons. Through shipper wars, fandom tantrums, and more. I have stood by your side, and for the first time in a while, I can say that I’m glad that I have.
We talked last week about how I have less than zero interest in this new team, and that still remains true. I love Curtis, and I can’t wait to see Mr. Terrific in action. I can’t stand Rene right now (Felicity has a name, and a codename, pick one. Use it. It’s not “blondie”), and I’m 99.99% sure that Evelyn will be our new Black Canary now that we know what Laurel said to Oliver in the hospital, but I don’t like them. Then there’s Ragman. I don’t even know where to go with him? He seems like a strange add on? Oliver telling him not to kill to honor his father was special dose of ironic that I’m sure flew right over Mr. Queen’s head. Either way, I don’t know about this new Meta.
My distaste for (most) of the new recruits aside, this was a pretty stand up episode. Behind every Oliver Queen and Green Arrow is a Thea Queen and Felicity Smoak actually running things. I can gush all day about Felicity, but right now I want to talk about Thea.
“The Recruits” was a turning point for Thea in my mind and one of her greatest episodes yet. She was firm when needed and kind when necessary. For the longest time, all of her struggles made her sharp. She was often a mean, spiteful, petulant child, but after her blood lust was removed she seems to have come out the other side stronger. She is running a whole city on her own with zero experience, and also finds time to laugh with Felicity, and give Quentin Lance what he needs more than anything else in the world: A purpose.
While Thea is running the city, Felicity is running Team Arrow. She remains the voice of reason to Oliver’s hard (and often ridiculous) approach, while still making us laugh in the process. It’s such a refreshing turn to have a laughing, joking Felicity back. Arrow will always be darker than the rest of the CW’s lineup, that’s just in its nature, but the moments of levity in that darkness are so, so important, and that was lost for a while.
That just leaves the remaining member of Original Team Arrow (OTA), John Diggle. Diggle got the shaft this week. Of course, we knew something was going to have to happen to his enlistment, we all knew he wasn’t going to stay gone the whole season, but still. Dig’s been through enough, and he gave that poor soldier all the pep talks and now he’s gonna blame the kids death on himself and blah! Sad!
At the end of the day, Team Arrow walked out of “The Recruits” with something the show rarely has, hope. Though Oliver will certainly do something to endanger that shortly, and though I don’t want to deal with the new recruits story, I’m interested to see where we go next week!
Legends of Tomorrow Season 2, Episode 1 “Out of Time”
I started watching Legends of Tomorrow last year when it premiered because I needed a fun show. Arrow and Gotham are pretty much always depressing, and Supergirl and The Flash are delights but consistently made of feels, so, Legends of Tomorrow came in and it was just pure fun.
Sure, the first season was a bit of a mess here and there, but shows that aren’t in their first season are amazingly rare. There were some plot holes (a constant with time travel), and Kendra Saunders insisted on telling us every single episode that she was a barista. But I loved it. Then the season kind of fell apart at the end, and I wasn’t sure if I’d be sticking around for season 2.
Like Arrow, I am very glad I did. First of all – and I know this is ridiculous to some of you – but this episode had a dinosaur in it and that was literally the most important part of the whole thing. I’m not kidding. I really like dinosaurs. Also, that T-Rex looked awesome. Armen V. Kevorkian (@armenvfx) and his team did a stellar job, as usual.
Dinosaurs aside, we had sword fighting in France, gun fights in 1940’s era New York, Albert Einstein, and some great moments for all of our favorite team members.
Sara Lance acted in typical (completely rash) Lance family fashion, which was annoying, but not unexpected. Ray’s still the boy scout we all know and love, Dr. Stein’s still insufferable, Jax is still petulant, Mick is still, well… Mick, but there was a little something special from Captain Hunter. Mostly that he had his first real Captain moment in the whole series.
Don’t get me wrong, I like Rip, but there’s really never a moment where he’s in control of his team. The entire series is Rip saying don’t do the thing and the rest of the team laughing and then doing the thing anyway. Sure, that’s part of the appeal, but it was lovely to see him have a moment of control and leadership.
We also have the introduction of Nate Haywood (Nick Zano), who I’m interested to see more of. We’re unsure what his role on the team will be just yet, since Giddeon kind of negates the point of his Historian background, but he’s got charisma and humor to him, so it should be a fun ride regardless.
The episode closes with the Legends meeting the Justice Society of America, so next weekend should be a fun ride indeed!
Thanks for sticking with me! I’ll be back next week with more DCTV Talk.