Feb 22 – 26
Whether it’s by way of a slip of a tongue or a forceful extraction, the majority of secrets always have a way of revealing themselves. They are insidious little things, burrowing into every little crevice of one’s life, just patiently waiting. When those secrets turn into lies as well, the consequences from the reveal can be quite brutal (just ask Oliver Queen). Secrets and lies were the name of the game on superhero ridden-lane television this week. You know the rules: 5 shows, 3 rounds, and only 1 victor.
Let’s get ready to rumble!
There was a shark-human hybrid, called the Shark King from a parallel universe on a rampage through Central City hunting for Barry Allen. Need I say more for The Flash being booted out first in this week’s showdown?
The Pain: Did I mention there was a CGI shark-human hybrid metahuman villain on this week’s episode of The Flash? Because there was and it was definitely as weird and stupid as it sounds. After being scared off by Harry Wells, Shark King was captured by ARGUS and held in as a prisoner under Amanda Waller’s orders (RIP Waller). Unfortunately Shark King was a bit smarter than your average shark and broke free, taking a few ARGUS agents’ lives with it. And so it began its hunt for the illusive prey that is Barry Allen and subsequently its rampage through Central City. Barry on the other hand was brooding about Central City, being all secretive and guilt-ridden by the events that had occurred on Earth-2, until he eventually admitted everything to Joe and Iris. Literally, the only secret that Barry has actually been able to keep is his secret identity as The Flash. Eventually, Barry & Co. were able to lure out and stun the Shark King in Central City’s bay and everybody lived happily ever after. Kidding, they still got to catch Zoom.
The Pleasure: With the involvement of ARGUS in the not-so-friendly imprisonment of the Shark King, the Diggles paid a visit to Central City to clean up the mess that Waller had left behind. Who doesn’t love a double dose of the Diggles? Because it sure made this episode less whacky than it was slated to be with a shark-human hybrid metahuman villain. The Diggles, along with a bunch of ARGUS agents, helped Barry & Co. track and capture the Shark King. John Diggle, the Yoda that he is, was able to provide some sage advice to Barry in all his brooding glory on how to let go some of the weight he was carrying around since his return from Earth-2. I’m betting Yoda-ing Barry was fairly easier than Yoda-ing Oliver. (I mean the kid pretty much turned off the brooding in one episode.) Digg was also able to fandangle a new design for his Spartan helmet from Cisco too. (Still not the greatest helmet in the world but at least John has something to conceal his identity with!) Job well done for the Diggles.
Lingering Questions: So Jay Garrick was faking it all along? He is Zoom, or is he? Is he Earth-2’s Hunter Zolomon? Who it the dude he is holding captive in his lair? Is Killer Frost dead? What kind of ramifications will occur now that Barry and Cisco spilled about Earth-2? Will there be any? How is Team Flash going to capture Zoom and save Earth-2? How long is Felicity going to keep ignoring Barry’s phone calls? I hope for quite a while, dude deserves it!
The other shoe finally dropped this week (thank god) and we got another lesson in why secret and lies can have some damaging and widespread consequences in this week’s chaotic and unevenly paced episode of Arrow. Who, in the end was left out in the tumbling dust that was fourth place this week.
The Pain: Lesson learnt from this week’s episode of Arrow? Don’t lie to the people on which your life depends on and your significant other because the consequences of such a lie can desecrate the integrity and character of almost every person involved. The entirety of Oliver’s secret child storyline was illogical from the very beginning. The lie was the huge iceberg floating in the sea and Team Arrow was the Titanic that smashed right into it, head on, thanks to Darhk’s kidnap and ransom of Billy. Not only did Oliver’s duplicity damage the growth and progress that he had made since his return from Lian Yu, it nearly took the whole team down with it. The twisting of Thea, Diggle, and even Laurel, characters to empathize with Oliver’s deception was just ludicrous. (I have stronger words other than that but I’ll keep them to myself.) Oliver lied, he lied to protect himself, and maybe Billy, but he lied, plain and simple. This isn’t the first time that Oliver has lied, it probably won’t be the last, but shouldn’t he have learnt that lying to the people who have his back, who care about him, who love him, who want to help him, is a bad idea? Especially after the events of last season? I’m glad the storyline is done with but the damage it has caused it extensive and Oliver is going to need to pick up his big boy leather pants, learn from his mistakes, fix this mess he caused, and make it up to Felicity.
The Pleasure: Vixen made her live action debut on this week’s episode and she was its saving grace. Mari was everything I hoped she would be and so much more. She was graceful, intelligent, logical, and so motherf**king badass. The CGI for her powers were some of Arrow’s best CGI ever. (Thank god!) If one character deserves their individual live action DC TV universe spinoff, it’s Vixen. She used her powers to track down Billy, her intelligence and resources to figure out Darhk’s magical totem, used her powers to destroy said totem rendering Darhk powerless and saving Oliver, Thea, and Laurel in the process, she also helped Oliver figure out what to do next when about Billy and Baby Mama. Did I mention she’s a badass? Mari added some well needed grounding to the episode, and she’s the one with magical powers, so that says a hell of a lot for this week’s episode of Arrow.
Lingering Questions: I wonder what Constantine is up to in Hell? When will we see Vixen again? How stupid was Billy that he spent over 48 hours in the care of someone he had never met and not questioned said person or tried to escape? Especially if the man that came to get you is supposedly dead mass murder with only one hand? Did Samantha not teach him stranger danger? Also it took 48 hours for Samantha to contact Oliver after talking to Barry? WTF? Does anyone care about the flashbacks? No. Okay. Who knew there was a cavernous cave on Lian Yu that had a hidden entrance guarded by a zombie? I mean the only thing that I can guess that is in that cave is the first Emperor of China tomb, right?
The Tar-Waverider crash-landed in time and space in Star City 2046 on this week’s episode of Legends of Tomorrow. The gang fought other gang members, Grant Wilson (Slade Wilson’s equally crazy son), and saw the entrance of a whole knew Green Arrow. It got booted out in third place.
The Pain: The tenuous triangle between Jackson, Dum Dum Palmer, and Hawkgirl was nothing I wanted to ever see or hear. Like never, ever. Just no. Hell no. I get that they are travelling through space and time trying to stop and kill an egomaniacal immortal psychopath is tough and bedmates are scarce but does the old adage of “you don’t shit where you eat” not come into play? Like, seriously? And poor Spy Daddy Stein was dragged into the middle too, playing a weird pseudo-Cupid/hype man for Jackson. At least nothing actually came of all it. Well, other than Jackson gaining a little more confidence in himself. Personally, Jackson would be a better choice than Dum Dum. At least Jackson knows when to shut up and take a hint.
The Pleasure: Connor Hawke and grizzly Oliver Queen were definitely the highlights of the episode for me. The reveal that Connor is actually John Diggle Jr. (insert me aweing and fawning over Digg Jr.) was a brilliant turn of events and a good look at the legacy that the OTA will leave behind, even if the future that Connor is currently in is a bit dismal. Grizzly one-armed Oliver Queen, not the absolute broodiest that we have seen, was definitely a sight for sore eyes. Seriously, this man would just brood in a dark dank cave if he didn’t have Felicity Smoak and John Diggle by his side, which is exactly what he was doing inside the demolished lair where Sara, Rip and Connor found him. The mere mention of Smoak Technologies also had me all giddy. I never doubted that Felicity Smoak could lead and build an incredibly successful tech company but just seeing that Smoak Tech building was still nice to see and the warehouse with the Smoak Tech logo were really satisfying to see. The teaming up of Oliver and Connor to take back Star City was an inspiring sight, a call back to Oliver and John teaming up and saving Starling City all those years ago.
Lingering Questions: Will the future of Star City that the Legends crash-landed in still exist now that Sara and the rest of the team know what might happen? How did Grant Wilson raise an army and storm Star City? How did he learn of the history between Oliver Queen and his father? What happened to Felicity? And where was she in 2046? What is going to happen between Snart and Rory now that their partnership has been fractured by their divided goals? How much does Rip know about the future of all the characters that we have come to know? And will he ever reveal any of them?
The question of power and how to use it correctly is always a question that superheroes must face, especially superheroes with incredible superpowers. This week it was Kara’s turn to face such a question where she not only battled a Master Jailer from Fort Rozz but also some hefty competition from a newly hired assistant at Cat Co. Supergirl flies into second spot this week.
The Pain: Alex and Hank should take a lesson from Oliver Queen about being dishonest to those you care and love and the damaging consequences that such lies can cause. The continued charade that Hank and Alex are performing about who really killed Astra continues to grow larger and larger each episode. And that is not a good thing. Especially when Non is more than likely going to come at them, guns a blazing, for killing Astra in a few weeks. While Hank had noble intentions when he told Kara that he killed Astra, the potential blowback not only on him and Alex but the DEO as well is pretty high. Alex continued to deception about her involvement in Astra’s death and this lie has the capability to cause some extreme, and possibly permanent, damage to their relationship. While Kara has Winn and James, it is Hank and Alex that have helped pave her way towards become a better superhero, not only in terms of the DEO but also in helping her build the foundation of her superhero status. The consequences of this lie that Hank and Alex have committed are potentially staggering. Hopefully it will be revealed sooner rather than later, but I have a feeling that this lie is going to be revealed at the worst possible moment.
The Pleasure: The show is journey of Kara’s life, not only her daily life but her life as a hero. This road is not always an easy, Kara understands that more than others, but she always faced them and learnt from them and become better because of them. Kara has an immense reservoir of power, and with such power brings great responsibility and privilege. Kara is only beginning to understand such a responsibility and the line that she must walk if she wants to continue the journey towards becoming a superhero. It’s a thin line. Luckily, she has individuals like Winn and James to show her, her humanity, and question her actions, and in turn making her question her own actions. The Master Jailer villain was a projection of what happens when an individual with great power and position blurs that thin line and descends into darkness. Kara does not want to become that individual, and like so many times before she fought against him and all that he represented, freeing Maxwell Lord in the process. The question of responsibility will be a question that Kara will more than likely face again, but being the hero she is, she may falter but she will always rise from it.
Lingering Questions: Will Kara okay James revealing her alter ego to Lucy? Italia Ricci as Siobhan Smythe was an absolute delight to watch. I wonder how she’ll try to goad and make Kara’s life at Cat Co even more miserable than she already has? How long will Alex continue to lie to her sister? How long will Kara continue to be mad at Hank for killing Astra? What in the hell is Myriad? And why does the AI system nearly self-destruct after Kara asks it what it is? What does Non have planned for Kara & Co. after the period of mourning is over?
Taking first place once again is Agent Carter. In this week’s two-hour action-and-feels packed episode that ended in yet another cliffhanger we got to see the very human side of all the characters on the show, especially of its titular character, Peggy Carter.
The Pain: Jack Thompson, no matter how hard he tries, will never have a fan in me. His smug face just asks to be punched to have some sense knocked into him, every single time. Every single time. While he ended up on Peggy’s side in the Team Carter versus Team Frost fight, he definitely liked towing the line a little too much for my taste. While he has a good heart, possibly, he is definitely susceptible to being swayed when the possibility of advancement or greater achievement is possible. I mean he went all the way to London, pretended to being inebriated, all in an attempt to get file and dirt and leverage on Peggy to force her to heed his order, kind of says it all. The fact that he had Samberly turn Stark’s gamma canon into a bomb to blow up Whitney and Vernon without telling Peggy and the others so he could possibly get all the credit for brining down the Council of Nine and Frost is definitely another check in the douche bag category.
The Pleasure: The two main relationships on Agent Carter, Peggy & Jarvis and Peggy & Sousa, are two of my favourite things about the show. On the platonic side we have Peggy and Jarvis. The partnership between the two of them reached epic levels this episode from the beginning all the way to the end. The support and assurance that Peggy provides Jarvis when Ana is in the hospital recovering is just so lovely to see. Over the last two seasons we have watched these two individuals go from being complete strangers to each other’s trusted confidante and partner. Jarvis’s anger towards Whitney Frost and his need or vengeance is only dampened during the explosive talk between the two of them after their escape from Whitney’s henchman. The vulnerability that is seen between Peggy and Jarvis is absolutely breathtaking, as the two of them discuss the losses they have faced. It was also an illuminating look into how Peggy has viewed their partnership so far. It was definitely a turning point in their partnership that opens up so many possibilities that the two of them can explore. I, for one, am definitely excited to see where this partnership goes.
The chemistry between Peggy and Sousa began to simmer last season as the two of them became closer and closer but it has definitely boiled over this season. The two of them have this chemistry that draws you in, slowly, enchanting you. It’s a beautiful to see, this ease and comfort that the two of them have. The fact that there was an almost kiss between the two of them did illicit a shout of joy from me, that’s for sure. The mystery of what happened between the two of them between the end of last season and the beginning of this season is still something that I want to discover. The trust and communication that the two of them have has grown immeasurably, forming a solid foundation for a possible relationship in the future. Peggy and Sousa see each other, really see each other, past the outer shells and roles that they occupy in the world that they live and work in. It’s one of the reasons why I continue to route for them, together and individually because they are so much more than the roles that have been sorted into by society. Peggy has put her relationship with Steve Rodgers behind her, as much as it pained her to do so, she has and she is ready to move on. Whether that is with Daniel Sousa, Jason Wilkes, or someone that we have not met, I’m definitely looking forward to see what happened next.
Lingering Questions: What happened after Wilkes went all Zero Matter with Whitney and Vernon in the same room? Are they all dead? Or did Wilkes absorb them like Whitney has been absorbing those white laboratory mice? Who else thought that Jarvis wouldn’t reveal their infertility to Ana after the doctor told him? (I am very glad he did though. This is how you do a mature relationship. Someone get Oliver Queen to watch Agent Carter!) Did you know that the musical number that opened the second half of the episode features the actual voices of the cast? Amazing right? How explosive do you think the season finale is going to be? My guess, pretty explosive. The crossing of all my phalanges is happening in hopes that Agent Carter will be renewed for a third season. #RenewAgentCarter
Thank you for reading this week’s Superhero Showdown. Join me next week as I spout more of my thoughts about the comic book shows I’m currently watching on television. Arrow and The Flash are on hiatus for the next three weeks so it will be a shortened Showdown with only three shows in the ring. 😉