Feb 29 – Mar 4
No matter how hard you want to hide the truth, no matter the lengths you go to bury it, the truth will always be revealed, sooner or later. That’s certainly what happened on superhero ridden-lane television this week. You know the rules: 5 shows, 3 rounds, and only 1 victor. Due to Arrow and The Flash’s mini-hiatuses we have a shortened showdown this week and are down to 3 shows and thus a battle royale it shall be.
Let the battle begin!
The first one to be ejected out of the battle is Legends of Tomorrow. The crew of the Waverider faced off against some hardy space pirates and even one of their own this week. Things are not looking so great for them.
The Pain: Now I’m saying that Dum Dum Palmer and Hawkgirl don’t deserve love. I’m just saying it is maybe happening a little fast and maybe a tad too dramatic. I mean is the loss of Dum Dum really the heart wrenching and devastating, Kendra? (If you’re asking my opinion, I’m going to go with no.) I also feel absolutely no chemistry between the two of them. I mean they have tried to suggest in the last few episodes that there is something between the two of them but I feel absolutely nothing. Nada! I felt more chemistry between Spy Daddy Stein and the Russian nuclear physicist who wanted to be the new half of the Firestorm, to be honest. We all know Spy Daddy Stein has things for Russian women. (Paging Irina Derevko.) While a relationship between the two of these characters raises the stakes of the game in Legends it’s not really necessary, especially because they are operating on a shortened season as is. Forcing a relationship between two characters that don’t have chemistry just isn’t smart. (Ask Arrow and their spectacular failure with the original intended ship for that show.) Each and every one of these characters needs to be established, particularly those like Hawkgirl whose character has not been fully fleshed out, in order for the cohesiveness and longevity of the show to work. I, for one, am not of a fan of this ship and have no care about whether it floats or sinks.
The Pleasure: While knowing that pirates exist in the space-time continuum was fun the real pleasure of the episode was getting to see a different side of Rip Hunter and Spy Daddy Stein. We flashbacked into Rip’s past and learnt more about how he became a Time Master and how he met his wife (a fellow Time Master trainee!). The flashbacks offer a greater motivation into why Rip is so driven to destroy Vandal Savage and save the world. Rip is driven by love, love for his family. By showing us Rip’s past it offers us a better chance to understand his character and empathize with some of his decision-making as Captain. Rip is by no means perfect but he is the perfect man for the job in leading this band of misfits through time to destroy Savage. We also learnt that he married a woman smarter than him. (Remind you of someone else? Someone with the last name Queen who has a fondness of the colour green?) Spy Daddy Stein also went full Spy Daddy space ranger, taking out some space pirates and rescuing Rip, Jackson, and Captain Baxter. His actions brought vigour to what was a very dramatic episode with the flashbacks, the possible hypothermic deaths of Snart and Sara, and space pirates wanting to board the Waverider. Rip and Spy Daddy Stein definitely perform well under pressure.
Lingering Questions: Why do all the names of AIs in Time Master ships all begin with the letter G? What was Captain Baxter doing in the area that she was in? Did anyone else think that Dum Dum Palmer took his job as temporary captain a little too seriously? What would the team do without Gideon? Did Snart give Sara his jacket while they were freezing to death? What could Rip’s real name be since Rip Hunter isn’t actually his real name? Could Queen or Smoak be possibly floating in his real name? If Sara went all bloodlust could she have beaten Heatwave by herself? What in the hell is Savage doing in a place called Harmony Falls? Is Heatwave alive? Just frozen? Left out all alone in the woods by Snart?
What were to happen if an alien with the ability to worm their way through all the parts of Internet, discover all of our secrets, and takeover all essential and non-essential systems? Nothing great. Truths were definitely revealed on this week’s episode of Supergirl. But Supergirl saved the day by stopping National City from being hit by nuclear warheads. Supergirl is the second competitor to be trounced in the battle royale.
The Pain: All those cheaters using the Diamond Discretions weren’t the only ones dumped this week. Lucy Lane had, had enough of coming in second in James Olsen’s eyes and dropped kicked him to the curb. But not before revealing that James had not had both feet in their relationship for a while and is most likely in love with Kara and vice versa. The break up of these two were inevitable and the possibility of Kara and James together is also, and I say this with a heavy heart, inevitable. Now I’m not saying that Kara and James together is a bad thing all together, the two of them could be great together but the existence of such a relationship doesn’t have the punch that will drive Kara to become an even greater hero than she already is. A relationship with Winn would equally have the same effect. Kara’s drive to be a hero is rooted in her desire to help others and her love of her family. She is still on her hero’s journey. James and Winn are both parts of that journey. Kara would go to the lengths of the Earth to save James and Winn. The added romantic relationship could possibly tip the scales in favour of one over the other but Kara has yet to face such a reality. Whether the writers will actually act on the romance between Kara and James is yet to be seen but they don’t necessarily have to right at this moment.
The Pleasure: The relationship between Kara and Alex is the most significant relationship on Supergirl. Not only because Kara and Alex are sisters and work together in the DEO but because of the drive their relationship creates for Kara’s journey as a hero. It was the possibility of losing Alex that was the impetus for Kara to use her powers and reveal herself to the world. Alex had been hiding the secret that it was her and not Hank that had killed Astra in battle from Kara. It was beginning to drive a wedge between the two sisters, the guilt was eating at Alex and Kara was unwilling to return to the DEO. Alex divulged what really happened in the battle between her, Hank, and Astra to Kara at the end of the episode. This was not easy for Alex to reveal and not easy for Kara to accept, but it did happen. (I am extremely happy that they decided not to drag this secret storyline out.) The trust and communication between these two are one of the foundations of the show and these characters and the reveal proved that. No matter how hard things get, no matter how much pain could be caused, these two will always be willing to save each other and tell each other the truth. It’s what sisters do. (Most of the time.)
Lingering Questions: I wonder how the betrayal and anger that Kara feels about being lied to by Alex and Hank is going to manifest itself? I’m betting it’s not going to be pretty. Is Lucy going to remain as Cat’s legal counsel or will she return to JAG? Who saw Winn and Siobhan getting together a mile away? Hands up please! Why doesn’t the DEO just hire Winn to be their IT specialist? I wonder what Lord is going to do once he finds out that National City was almost hit by nuclear warheads set off by an alien bent on cleansing the Earth? What is Non going to do with all the pieces of Indigo that he collected? And what is Myriad?
Season two of Agent Carter has come to an end. It was an incredible season and one that I thoroughly enjoyed from start to finish. They certainly did not step foot off the gas pedal this season and thus brings Agent Carter into first place and the only survivor of this battle royale.
The Pain: Due to the constrained time frame that Agent Carter has to operate there were a couple episodes that were doubled up in order to save time. While I am not one to turn down two hours of Agent Carter on my television the one-hour finale compared to the two-hour episode we had last week seems tad disappointing. The finale served as a great cap off to the season, closing the door on the case that brought Peggy to Los Angles and opening the door for a possible action-packed third season. The shortness of the season means that there is a continuity and concentration on the plot line throughout the ten episodes, which is an amazing way to display Agent Carter to audiences. What I am trying to get at here is that I want more Agent Carter on my television.
The Pleasure: The finale contained so many wonderful moments that truly displayed what Agent Carter was all about but the most exciting revelation for me was that Jack Thompson got shot and may or may not be dead. I’m hoping he’s dead. I did not see that twist coming at all. I really didn’t think they would be willing to kill him or at least severely wound him. I definitely had my money on Daniel Sousa ending up in the great beyond than Thompson. But I’m glad I was wrong. The death of Thompson definitely sets up a mystery and storyline that the team could tackle in a third season. The loss of Thompson definitely throws the SSR into a little chaos and possibly provides the stepping grounds for Peggy Carter to turn the SSR into the SHIELD that we know. While his death wasn’t as finger biting as Roger Dooley last season the effects on Peggy & Co. are equally as profound. I’m still overjoyed that Thompson got shot.
The finale also saw the return of Howard Stark to Team Carter and did Team Carter encounter some harrowing business in order to stop the spread of Zero Matter and Whitney Frost. The team all came together sans Rose (sad face) to use the Gamma Canon to destroy the connection between the Zero Matter and Earth and stop Whitney Frost once and for all. The team was able to open portal thanks to the work of Whitney had been creating in her mind filled haze of gaining more Zero Matter. The most electrifying part was not the actual face off with Whitney but the possibility of losing Sousa to the Zero Matter void. Team Carter bound together to save one of their own, none more than Peggy who did not want to add Daniel Sousa to the list of those she had lost. The team accomplished all they set out to do and Jason Wilkes also got a job offer from Stark to work on a new project.
One of the absolute pleasures of this season has been watching Peggy Carter become an even more fleshed out character than we had previously seen. We always knew Peggy was a smart, badass, tough as nails SSR agent but we didn’t know how she became the person we know and love and we got to see that this season. The flashbacks into Peggy’s past were definitely a treat to behold. We got to see her struggle between the identity that others had slotted her into and the person she truly was. The death of her older brother Michael served has the jumping start to Peggy becoming and SOE agent and eventually the SSR agent that we know today. Watching Peggy tackle the blatant misogyny and questioning of her abilities as an agent by the men in the male-dominated field of the intelligence service drives home the fact of what she accomplished during that period and what she will go onto accomplish. Facing off against Whitney Frost challenged Peggy in a way that she had never been challenged before, intellectually, emotionally, and physically. The dichotomy between the two characters was really drove home that women don’t just fit one single category but are made up of numerous different categories. We got to delve deeper into Peggy’s relationships, especially with Jarvis and Sousa who both bring out a different side of Peggy that we don’t usually get to see. The culmination of all these different factors really elevated the series and the character, which I absolutely loved. Agent Carter is one of the best comic book based television series on TV today and I hope it has the chance to continue to do so.
Lingering Questions: Who shot Jack? And why did they steal the SOE file? Could Jack’s shooter be Michael Carter returned from the dead? Will we see Zero Matter again, either on Agent Carter or Agents of SHIELD? What happens now that the SSR no longer has a Chief since Jack is most likely dead? Will Sousa become Chief? Or will they bring in someone new? Will Peggy stay in LA permanently? Will we ever see the return of Whitney Frost? Will we ever see the return of Dottie Underwood? What if Whitney and Dottie were to join forces and go after Peggy? What does the Arena Club pin open? Peggy and Daniel are now together, now what? And the most important question of all, will Agent Carter return for a third season?
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 continue their three week mini-hiatus while Supergirl takes a week off next week as well. It will be a shortened Showdown with only two shows in the ring next week and also marks the return of Agents of Shield.