Feb 8 – 12
Families, made of blood or created through love and friendship, are complicated. Throw in a dash of heroism, secrets, and villains into the mix and you’ve got the potential for dirty bomb size explosion. Boom. Boom. (Seriously though, if I were a superhero therapist I would be making banks off all the family issues these people have. I may also throw a shoe or two at Oliver Queen’s head, as you do.) You know the rules: 5 shows, 3 rounds, and only 1 victor.
Let’s get ready to rumble.
The Legends (not quite) of Tomorrow fought tooth and nail this round, going all Big Bird and throwing out a bunch of cultural references as one does. (Boba Fett, anyone?) But not even a trip to the USSR during the height of the Cold War could save it from being chokehold into fifth place this week.
The Pain: Dum Dum Palmer strikes again. Dum Dum’s a nice guy, he tries, he really does. He even ingested that magical translator pill to help him be a superspy. He’s a nice guy, maybe a little too nice. And that’s not a bad thing, unless it gets you and your teammates caught by a bunch of Soviets who are working for Vandal Savage who is in turn using them to create their own version of Firestorm so that he can takeover the world. Whoops. Smooth and suave just isn’t Dum Dum’s style. Science is where he reigns supreme (well most of the time, Spy Daddy Stein really likes knocking down a peg or two). Dum Dum should probably get a lesson or two from Spy Daddy Stein or Snart before he lets his eager Eagle Scout pants back into the field. Hopefully next time he’ll be the lynchpin to the missions success instead of its source of failure like it did in this episode. Next time, Dum Dum, you can prove yourself next time!
The Pleasure: They’re not legends yet, but they are getting better…ish. Cohesion, however miniscule, has fallen over the team, especially when they are all tasked with a specific mission and one specific goal. The mission to retrieve classified papers from the Pentagon displayed this new sense of cohesion for the team. With Rip at the helm, the team dispersed into varying roles in order to retrieve the papers. Snart’s sticky fingers snagged a magnetic key card that allowed Sara and Kendra to enter the secured section of the Pentagon, while Captain Cold and Firestorm served as diversions in case things went awry. And did it go awry. While they were able to retrieve the papers, their exit from the Pentagon didn’t go as smoothly as planned. (Big Bird attack, anyone?) To become legends every single one of these “legends” must learn to work together as a team. Only together will they be able to overcome each of their hang-ups and defeat Savage.
Lingering Questions: Who else is the Time Council going to send after Rip & Co.? Wasn’t it great to see Spy Daddy Stein speak Russian again? Is anybody going to tell Sara that there is a cure to her bloodlust? Why doesn’t Rip know anything about “The Lotus Elixir”? How many more times is Kendra going to go all Big Bird? Can Snart smolder or what? How did Jackson heal so quickly from the Time Master attack? How radioactive is Spy Daddy Stein now that he’s absorbed the thermocore? Has Valentina sipped Hawkman’s immortal blood juice yet? How they hell are they going to break Heat Wave, Spy Daddy Stein and Dum Dum out of a impenetrable Russian Gulag? Are they going to call Anatoly too?
Taking a very brutal hit this week is and landing in a paltry fourth place is Arrow. The Lotus elixir may have saved Thea’s life but it did nothing to block the left hook, right elbow and the uppercut that pummelled Arrow . I hope they have some good ice packs.
The Pain: Déjà vu can be a bitch. And we got hit with a severe dose of it this week with the rehashing of the League of Assassin malarkey and Malcolm Merlyn daddy issues. (A superhero family therapist would be making bank off these peeps.) Much of the storyline that played out in the episode was reminiscent of season 3. Too bad it’s season 4, and the back half at that. Did we need to see the destruction of the LoA? Not really. Did we need to hear Nyssa refer to Oliver as her husband that many times? Hell no. Did innocent Star City civilians need to die because the LoA couldn’t work out their shit in Nanda Parbat? No. Did Malcolm deserve the severed hand and dethroned as Ra’s? Yes. Did we need to see any of this, this episode? No. This episode would have been better placed in the first half of this season. (Instead they were propping Legends.) This episode was a déjà no!
The Pleasure: The silver lining in this episode titled “Sins of the Father” was the formal introduction of Noah Kuttler as Felicity Smoak’s father. While this is only the second appearance of Noah on screen, his presence has been felt throughout the series. This is the first man that broke Felicity Smoak’s heart. While Felicity overcame this heartbreak and became stronger from it, the scars of Noah’s actions still remain. The doubt that he planted in Felicity’s mind all those years ago still remain. Felicity’s ability to compartmentalize, to power through and overcome devastating emotional and physical distress is in part due to the actions of this man. The damage the Noah wrought the moment he walked out the door and never looked back cannot be undone. Yes, having Noah arrested for his crimes were indeed a punishment for all the wrongs he had committed but it was more than that for Felicity. It was a dismissal. Felicity severed the last tangible hold her father had on her. The scars of his actions will never fade, and will mostly surface in the new few episodes, and the dismissal comes with a whole host of anger, disappointment, and pain. But 25-year-old Felicity finally got the closure that 7-year-old Felicity had been waiting for, for 18 years. Felicity one of the strongest, if not the strongest character on Arrow, and part of that comes from Donna Smoak but a part of that comes from Noah Kuttler as well. And she’ll need that well of strength in the coming episodes.
Lingering Questions: Who else felt nauseous whenever Nyssa called Oliver her husband? Hands up? Why didn’t Nyssa parlay with a bunch of the members of the LoA and convinced them to mutiny with her? Pirates have been doing it for years. Am I the only one who mutes the flashbacks now? Is Tatsu dead? Seriously, I need this question answered! Who didn’t melt when Donna said, “square bear face”? I wonder what Felicity and Thea would call their t-shirt club? Villainous Fathers’ Anonymous? Can I get in writing that the melting of the Ra’s ring equals the annulment of Nyssa and Oliver’s Nanda Parbat marriage? Now that Thea’s bloodlust is gone, how are they going to defeat Darhk? Who else thinks that Oliver is definitely going to regret not taking more than just Malcolm’s hand? Does Malcolm have all villains on speed dial?
A change of scenery can be a good thing. It was an especially good thing on this week’s episode of The Flash as we took a field trip to sepia coloured Earth-2, which helped land third place. Down the rabbit hole and through the looking glass we go.
The Pain: Death doesn’t seem to come for the right characters on either Earth. While Barry and Cisco were paling around Earth-2 Central City, Jay Garrick tried to be The Flash’s substitute, fighting off the newest meta-human villain, Geomancer, from terrorizing the city. Jay’s attempt did not work out to well for him. But he is still alive. (Damn!) Those in Earth-2 Central City didn’t fair as well. First came Joe West-2 who received fatal wounds from Deathstorm and Killer Frosts search and attack for Barry. Cisco-2, aka Reverb, got a little too power hunger and got zipped by Zoom. Deathstorm’s empathy towards Reverb’s attitude on Zoom got him hung next. Earth-2 Central City definitely isn’t the sunshine filled Central City that we’ve become used to.
The Pleasure: Earth-2 Central City (CC-2), even with the constant fear of attack from Zoom, is a lot more entertaining than the Central City we know and in all honestly haven’t loved this much this season. CC-2 brought in a breath of fresh air that was badly needed. Yes, there was an impending doom and a time limit for Barry and Cisco to complete their mission and rescue Harry’s daughter, Jess, but there was also a sense of excitement and discovery that has been missing for the majority of this season. Seeing the changes in roles and doppelgangers was a pure delight. Joe West as a singer? Yes. (It was an added bonus that he disliked Bartholomew.) Iris West as a detective? She absolutely killed it. Floyd Lawton as a cop with a horrible shot? Give me more. The fact that CC2 Cisco was a meta-human villain with the codename Reverb was just the icing on the cake. This was absolutely one of the comical episodes of the season.
Lingering Questions: How do they plan on fixing the “Looking Glass” so Barry and Cisco can return home? Why didn’t Jay Garrick return to CC2 with Barry, Cisco, and Harry? Does he really want to stay on Earth-1 Central City and play house with Caitlin? How many DC Easter Eggs do you think they shoved into this episode? How frightened of Barry of Iris-2 when he found out the two of them were married? How is Barry going to escape from Zoom’s clutches? How are they going to save Jess? Couldn’t they have revealed what CC2 Felicity Smoak looks like and does?
Supergirl was on point battling demons both real and imagined in this week’s episode, smashing into a hard fought second place.
The Pain: Coming home isn’t always what it’s cracked up to be. Black Mercy, aka the most hallucinogenic plant on Earth, flooded Kara’s mind with her dream world of Krypton. In this alternate reality, Krypton is thriving, Kara’s parents are both alive, Astra is a good guy, and everything seems to be peachy keen in the House of El. It’s a desire that Kara has long kept to herself, a quiet dream that she has had for 12 year, knowing it would never become reality. Kara’s initial rejection of the dream world is quickly dismissed as she fully assimilates into it, maybe a little too quickly. I can understand why Kara’s assimilated as quickly as she did, this is a dream, a dream that she never thought would become reality. This had been her home, her family, and she wanted it, badly. Unfortunately we didn’t get to see enough of the emotional homecoming to make its disappearance as impactful as it could have been. The addition of Kal-El to the dream world was unnecessary. (Stay in your lane, Clark!)
The Pleasure: The relationship between Kara and Alex is one of the foundational cores of Supergirl. In the madness of the world they live in, they are each other’s rocks, each other’s light, and each other’s home. They push each other to do better, to be better. They are each other’s heroes. The relationship between the two of them isn’t always easy or perfect, no relationship between sisters are (I can attest to this), but that doesn’t negate the love, loyalty, respect, trust and fierce protectiveness that binds sisters together, blood or not. Alex was willing to risk everything, even her life, to bring Kara back, to bring her sister back, to save her sister. But one shouldn’t expect anything less, Alex has devoted her life to watching over and protecting Kara. Kara isn’t any different, considering she revealed her powers, her anonymity, and her safety in order to save Alex in the first episode. The relationship between the Danvers sisters isn’t something easily broken, but it will more than likely be shaken in the near future.
Lingering Questions: I wonder what Cat will say about Kara’s bizarre behaviour next episode? Does Hank drinks whole milk lattes? How does he feel about skirts? Who knew there was someone worse than Oliver Queen at coming up with cover stories? (Looking at you Winn.) Is a career in the DEO a possibility for Winn? Is Lord going to be released from DEO prison for his help? What’s Non’s next move now that Astra is dead? Will Alex ever reveal it was her and not Hank that killed Astra to Kara? What kind of repercussions is that truth bomb going to cause?
Claiming victory this week is Agent Carter herself. What can I say, not even a piece of rebar piercing her abdomen can stop Peggy Carter from kicking ass and taking names.
The Pain: One of the benefits of having a smaller number of episodes compared to all the other comic book based TV shows is that there are no filler episodes in Agent Carter. Each episode is crucial to moving the story forward and propelling it to the apex of the season and its storyline. The downside of that is that some episodes may feel a little rushed which it did a little in this episode. Just a little. We know that both Whitney and Wilkes are attracted to Zero Matter and both of the have the ability to consume the Zero Matter. The question is what does the increased absorption do of the Zero Matter really do to each of them? We know that Wilkes became whole after his absorption but that was only temporary? Does the Zero Matter make the more powerful? Is the Zero Matter sentient? Is the consuming the vessel it’s contained in or the other way around in the case of Whitney? Each episode leaves us with more questions than answers but at least it’s good questions and answers.
The Pleasure: Team Carter totally wiped the floor with Team Frost. We already knew how badass Peggy, Sousa, and Jarvis were but the additions of Rose and Samberly just added that extra spice that the team needed to swipe the nuclear material from under Team Frost. The whole team worked together liked a well-oiled machine, though they definitely ran into a few mishaps. (Poor Jarvis.) Each member of the team brought something to the mission. Samberly brought the toys and the technical knowhow. Rose brought the brawn and wit. (I love Rose!) Jarvis brought his determination and indomitable courage. Sousa had the skills to carefully disarm and retrieve the uranium from the A-bomb. And Peggy, Peggy brought it all and survived to tell the tale. I loved that we got to see Team Carter in action. How the team worked and how mission was implemented does share some similarities with those of the agents of SHIELD in the future. Peggy Carter is one of SHIELD’s founding members so I’m not surprised.
Lingering Questions: I wonder how many things Jarvis is privy to when it comes to Howard Stark and Stark Industries? When are we going to see Mrs. Jarvis again? Why does Whitney Frost want to cause the same reaction that discovered Zero Matter on Earth anyways? Is she drawn to it? Is she going to try and absorb it too? Is she going to try and go through the matter? When will we find out why Sousa left New York City, and more importantly why he ran from Peggy? Sousa’s girlfriend has to some type of spy right? Agent Carter and Agents of SHIELD has made me entirely mistrust characters that are way too nice on their shows. Where did Wilkes go? Did the spray concocted by Howard just run out? Or has he been transported somewhere else?
Thank you for reading this week’s Superhero Showdown. Join me next week as I spout my thoughts about the comic book shows I’m currently watching on television. 😉