Superhero Showdown #10

Mar 28 – Apr 1

The search for who we are, who we are meant to be, what we are meant to do on this Earth is a voyage that we all journey on and not even individuals with genius IQs, sleeveless green leather suits, time traveling spaceships, and alien DNA can escape from. No matter how hard they try (and yes, I am looking at you Barry Allen). A journey of self-discovery or discovery of who is really beneath the mask was an recurring motif that played out in all of the shows on this week’s superhero-ridden televsion lane. You know the rules: 5 shows, 3 rounds, and only 1 victor.

Let’s get to it.

Round 1 

RF

We took a trip back in time on this week’s episode of The Flash. Unfortunately, not even time travel could save The Flash from landing in the last spot once again.

The Pain: Time travel. Very few televisions shows can create and have a solid basis of time travel in their repertoire and The Flash’s came crumbling down this week. I’m not an expert in time travel but I’m pretty sure it’s similar to going into a nationally protected park; you walk in, have a stroll about, don’t disturb or break anything and take your trash with you when you leave. Guess which of those things Barry Allen didn’t do when he went back in time? If you said all of the above then you would be correct. Traveling back in time has never boded well for Barry and, this time, he brought along a time wraith that looks remarkably like a dementor with him. The fact that it nearly killed him and was only destroyed with the helpy of the now reformed Pied Piper was just a little too chaotic. I think Eobard Thawne needs to give Barry a lesson in time travel, again.

The Pleasure: The return of Harrison Wells, aka The Reverse Flash, aka Eobard Thawne in a Harrison Wells meat suit, was arguably one of the better parts of the timey wimey muddled fuddled episode. One of the best parts of season 1 of The Flash was the dynamic and tension that existed between Barry and Wells. Wells was frightfully charming, supportive and one of the, if not the menacing villains that Barry has faced so far. The sheer audacity that Barry had in thinking that Wells wouldn’t figure out that he was an imposter encapsulated the baffling nature of this episode. Barry isn’t an excellent liar. He was also pretty obvious in his attempt to have Wells impart his knowledge on how to run faster. Wells remains Barry’s best and deadliest nemesis, and in a season where the villains have failed to scare it was refreshing to see someone who could.

Lingering Questions: Will the equation that Wells gave Barry actually make him run faster? How much faster? Fast enough to run into Earth 2? Fast enough to get away from these increasingly underwhelming storylines? What’s Zoom doing on Earth 2? Is he plotting his way to get to Earth 1? Why the hell is The Flash going on another hiatus when it just returned from one?

Ratings: 2/5

 

LOOT

The Legends of Tomorrow returned from their hiatus, picking up moments after we left off in the last episode with the Rip, Spy Daddy Stein, Jackson, and Snart unknowingly abandoned Sara, Kendra, and Ray in 1958. Time certainly flew for them and landed them in fourth spot this week.

The Pain: I just cannot get on board with the Kendra and Ray relationship. I just can’t. The chemistry between the two of them just isn’t enough to drive this couple forward, no matter how much Ray wants it to move forward. I can understand why these two are drawn to one another. They are both looking for a new beginning, a new purpose, or another purpose within the greater purpose of pursuing and killing Vandal Savage as they run about time and space. They’re kind of each other’s rebound. Kendra lost Hawkman at the beginning of this season and Ray, well Ray lost Anna and then lost Felicity, so it’s like a double rebound for him. All this rebounding is not going to turn out great for either of them. Also, I see you Legends, trying to go with the interrupted engagement due to the call of returning to active vigilante duty that seems almost like a carbon copy of what happened to Oliver and Felicity at the beginning of season four of Arrow. Not cool! Sometimes imitation is not the greatest form of flattery, especially if the imitation pales in comparison to the real deal.

The Pleasure: Few of the twists and turns on Legends have surprised me over their short season. However, the reveal of Rory as the man beneath Chronos’ mask was definitely one of them. Did I think Snart had taken Rory out into the forest and killed him? No. Froze him maybe, but definitely not kill him. The two of them, for all the bumps in their partnership, have a thread connecting the two of them that is not easily broken. It is definitely going to come under scrutiny and strain as the rest of the season plays out. The anger, the need for vengeance, the bloodlust that now flows through Rory is his primary motivator. He wants revenge against the people that wronged him, and unfortunately, his former partner is at the top of that list. It was a smart and calculated move by the Time Masters to rescue Rory and turn him into Chronos. They crafted him into their ultimate weapon to go after the team. Reforming Rory is not going to be easy, it may not even work considering he has spent lifetime after lifetime inside the ‘Vanishing Point’ that the Time Masters dropped him off in but there is hope and Snart is definitely going to be leading that light.

Lingering Questions: Do you think Rip will let Malcolm Merlyn borrow his hand regrowth machine? Where is Talia al Ghul now? I wonder who else is on the League of Assassins’ Shadow Scroll? What is the “Vanishing Point”? What did Rory see while he was in there? Who thought it was interesting to discover that Rip wrote his thesis on the traditions of the League of Assassins?

Ratings: 2.5/5

Round 2 

AOS.gif

Agents of SHIELD returned this week after last week’s emotional goodbye on the hunt for The Watchdogs, a group predicated on hate and fear of Inhumans. The team itself became divided, both literally and figuratively, as they tracked down this group. Identities were revealed, the truth became apparent, and Hydra now has a missile. Agents of SHIELD ropes itself third place this week.

The Pain: After last week’s emotional goodbye and send off this week’s episode came up a little short in terms of the force of the punch it left behind. The team is still fractured and still coming to terms with the loss of two of its key members. It’s by no means an easy task. Over the course of three seasons we’ve seen the team change, grow, become larger, saw new dynamics form between different agents while they struggled to keep themselves and SHIELD afloat in a world that no longer sees them as the lighthouse it once was. The team has become exceptional at surviving and thriving under the harshest of circumstances. And that’s each member of the team tried to do this week, they tried to thrive in their own way, some did better than others. Seeing the team take down the Watchdogs and realize that Hydra was behind them was fun to watch it felt like there was something missing that could have propelled the episode further.

The Pleasure: One of the best things about AoS and one of the benefits of being such a large ensemble case is that there is well of support that each character will effortlessly provide another, no questions asked. Simmons and May’s relationship is one that really hasn’t been explored but one that we got to see in this episode. Both of these characters are dealing with guilt and are both trying to figure out a way to alleviate that guilt, Simmons through training and May through tracking. It’s when these two came together and helped each other recognize that the blame didn’t lie solely on them did they find a path to move forward. The same things happened with Fitz and Skye this episode. Fitz and Skye’s friendship has been building since last season and continues to grow in this one. It took Fitz nearly blowing up to show Skye that her actions, her strong-headedness, can lead her and others into danger. (Who else was a little tense during that scene where Fitz and Skye were trying to diffuse that bomb on his neck?) The belief that Coulson showed Lincoln during those scenes with Blake depicted that same support. They are a team whether they are broken down into smaller groups or as whole and there is an undercurrent of support that flows through all of them.

Lingering Questions: Will we see more of Mack’s brother in the future? Will Mack discard his newly minted weapon or keep it in his caches for future use? Who else is missing Bobbi and Hunter? What is Hydra planning to do with the missile they stole from the ATCU? When is the team going to learn that Ward is sort of alive? Will May and Simmons track down Andrew? Will Simmons be able to formulate a cure for Inhumans? What are the consequences of such a cure? Is a possibility of a civil war within the Agents of SHIELD one of those consequences? Any guesses as to the identity of the agent injured and floating in space that was shown in the flash-forward at the beginning of this year? 

Ratings: 3/5

 

FSG2.gif

This episode of Supergirl was the highly promoted crossover episode between it and The Flash. Between the adorable-off between Kara and Barry, Cat Grant’s dating advice, the emergence of the Silver Banshee and her team up with Livewire, this episode packed a lot into a one-hour time span which helped it land in second place this week.

The Pain: The MIA status of Alex and Hank. I understand that they are both on the run from the government at the moment but I would have still like to have seen them in the episode. Where did they go? Are they on the run or have they found a place to hideout? Where are they hiding out if they have? What are they doing to gain entry into Project Cadmus? Have they made any leeway on discovering if Jeremiah Danvers is alive? When are they going to return? Yes, I have a lot of questions but this is what happens when there was not even a major mention of them in the entire episode.

The Pleasure: I, for one, was not ecstatic when it was announced that there was going to be a crossover episode between Supergirl and The Flash. Why? It wasn’t something I was interested in seeing or something that needed to happen. Kara and Supergirl are more than capable of standing on their own without the help of the Scarlet Speedster. That being said, I found the episode enjoyable to watch. The episode was more fun and filler-y than actually purposeful to the arc of the season, but it was fun, which I suspect was the point of the episode. It allowed Kara, and Barry, to be at their most adorkable while battling two villains that became villains’ drive by anger and revenge. Barry gives Kara some sage advice that came straight from the mouth that is Oliver Queen’s and helped her fashion some nifty ear buds to stop the Silver Banshee’s cry. Barry’s presence didn’t detract too much from Kara character and journey, as I feared it would. (Good job writers.) At the end of the day, Kara proved that she was still National City’s hero, a hero they began believing in and that the citizens of National City are just as willing to protect her, as she is willing to protect them.

Lingering Questions: (Yes, I have more.) Who didn’t laugh a little when Winn said, “Jealously, thy name is Olsen”? Will Cat’s advice to Kara about getting James actually work? Did Barry help the National City Police Department set up their own underground prison for meta-human villains? By how much do you think Kara beat Barry in their speed race? What is happening to all the humans in National City? Why are they all in a trance? Is it Non? Is it Myriad? Is it another alien villain?

Ratings: 3.5/5

Round 3 

4x17LayDownBitch

Arrow is this week’s victor once again. It was definitely a buzzy episode as Brie Larvan returned to face off against Felicity Smoak in hopes of gaining that all-important bio-stimulant implant sitting at the base of Ms. Smoak’s spine. In the battle between Bees versus Humans, electricity won.

The Pain: For the secret liar the Arrow’s bunker is still dismayingly easy to get into. Everybody is just walking in there and surprising the team and can do that at any given moment as previous experiences have taught us. Yes, Malcolm Merlyn, I’m looking at you. But seriously someone really needs to put a biometric scan or something on all the entrances into the bunker. I’m surprised that Alex had not wandered into the bunker during Oliver’s entire mayoral campaign.

The Pleasure: Felicity Smoak, badass since always, faced off against her bug-eyed bandit nemesis in this episode and my, was it awesome! In many ways Felicity and Brie are very alike, if Felicity had gone down the darker path after Cooper’s death, she easily could have become one of the most dangerous cyber criminals on planet Earth. Lucky for planet Earth, Felicity has a moral compass and a drive to help others and make a difference in the world. That drive to help others, to make a difference brought her to Team Arrow. Felicity’s role on Team Arrow is irreplaceable and has been foundational in its creation and continuation. Her mark on Team Arrow and who Oliver Queen is as the Green Arrow is huge and indisputable. Leaving the team was something Felicity needed to do for her own sanity and I applauded and will continue to applaud her for it. She needed to do what was best for her and that was taking a step back and giving herself a chance to have a broader scope of what was occurring in her life.

Felicity is still recovering from the dissolution of her relationship with Oliver and her step back from Team Arrow. The surprise visit of Brie at Palmer Tech definitely threw Felicity through a loop, but she ran with it and thrived. She thought on her feet, got her board members and her mother out, tried to avoid unnecessary confrontation, and took out Brie’s Bee Man with a smashed lamp. Badass! Brie’s intrusion into the last place that Felicity deemed off limits and safe from Oliver and Team Arrow gave her the perspective she needed on how to move forward while continuing to make a difference in the world. Transforming Palmer Technologies, putting it on a new path to make a difference in the world is the next logical step for Felicity. One that may need to take a back seat as Death comes knocking once again on Arrow’s door.

Lingering Questions: Will we see Brie Larvan again in the future? How will Felicity change Palmer Technologies into a company that is her own? Possibly beginning with a name change? How will Oliver reach out to Felicity? Where are my Delicity scenes? Will Thea ever apologize for lying to Felicity about knowing about William’s paternity? (My guess is no.) How will the ‘end of an era’ (*insert heavy, heavy sarcasm*) change the team dynamic?

Ratings: 4/5

Thank you for reading this week’s Superhero Showdown. Sorry for the tardiness. Join me next week as I spout more my thoughts about the comic book shows I’m currently watching on television. 😉

 

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