Apr 18 – 22
What words, what thoughts, what emotions come to mind when you think of family? Blood? Choice? Lineage? Friendship? Loyalty? Love? Support? Trust? Belief? Binds? Sacrifice? Guidance? The swirling maelstrom of what family is what our heroes tried to understand and unravel in this week’s stroll down the superhero-ridden lane of television. You know the rules: 5 shows, 3 rounds, and only 1 victor. Arrow continues its mini-hiatus this week.
Let’s get down to business.
The sting of betrayal continues to leave its mark on The Flash as Barry & Co. took on Zoom, aka. Jay Garrick, aka. Hunter Zolomon, this week. Zoom finally got what he’s been looking for, new powers were revealed, a kidnap and ransom was totally turned on its head, and Team Flash was left one team member down at the end of the day and promptly in the last spot.
The Pain: We finally found out the identity of who Zoom truly is and what led him on the path to becoming the psychopathic mass-murdering villain that we know him to be and it wasn’t all that surprising. We already knew that Hunter Zolomon was Earth-1’s counterpart to Jay Garrick and this episode was its confirmation. Hunter Zolomon’s past both paralleled and juxtaposed that of Barry Allen’s. Like Barry, Hunter lost him biological family at a young age, except instead of the Reverse Flash killing his mother it was his father that pulled the trigger. The parallels between of the two of them diverge for the time being, Hunter ends up in an orphanage while Barry goes to live with the Wests. Barry goes on to become a CSI and Hunter goes on to become a mass-murderer. The juxtaposition between the two poses the question that has been long asked in psychology that of nature versus nurture, and nurture clearly won out in this case. Whether Barry would have turned out anything like Hunter will be left for another multiverse, we remain on Earth-1 where Zoom has finally taken the Speed Force from Barry that he has craved since the portal opened between Earth-1 and Earth-2. The twists and turns of Earth-2 Scarlet Speedster have completely teetered out at this point and Hunter still palls in comparison of Eobard Thawne’s villainous ways. All we’re waiting for is Hunter’s demise at the hand of Barry & Co.
The Pleasure: I, for one, am excited to see the expansion of Cisco’s powers. Seeing what Reverb could do in Earth-2 really set the ground for Cisco to expand upon his powers in Earth-1. Cisco’s reluctance to dive deeper and explore and expand his powers contrasted that of Barry and Hunter’s exploration of their powers. Cisco fears his powers. He fears becoming a villain like his doppelgänger did on Earth-2. He fears being consumed by his powers and the lust for even more power. Cisco serves as the opposite of Hunter’s drive for more Speed Force. Cisco eventually uses his powers with reassurances from Barry that he won’t let the darkness consume him. Cisco and Barry has a support system that Hunter lacked. Cisco and Barry have each other and the team to help them focus on what matters and away from the hunger for more power that has consumed Hunter. It’ll be exciting to see what Cisco will be able to accomplish in the future and what will only enhance the capabilities of Team Flash.
Lingering Questions: What kind of damage is Zoom going to inflict on Earth-1 now that he’s loose? What does Zoom want with Caitlin? Will Caitlin be able to talk him down like she did Grood? Is it possible to have more scenes with Harry and Joe together, because they were awesome? How will Barry & Co. defeat Zoom now since he has no Speed Force left in him? Will Barry take the Velocity serums that Caitlin had been creating to gain that needed speed to take down Zoom? Or will Caitlin be a double agent and take down Zoom using a similar device that Barry used to drain his Speed Force?
The Time Masters’ hunt for the Legends (not yet) of Tomorrow intensified as “The Pilgrim” went after their younger selves in order to eliminate them from the timeline. Luckily, that plan failed. Unluckily for them, the Pilgrim went to Plan B, which was to blackmailing the team into surrendering via holding their loved one’s hostage and threatening their lives. And it almost worked except no one saw little Rip Hunter with a knife coming. Legends ends up in third spot this week.
The Pain: Kendra and Ray are finally engaged. And I still feel absolutely nothing, absolutely nothing at all. I’ve previously stated how rushed this relationship has felt in comparison to many of the other relationships we’ve seen in the same universe. We haven’t experienced the build up, the ups and downs of this relationship, the courses a relationship goes through in order to be asked to be as invested in as we are in a relationship between the two of them. This engagement just drives home that concern. While Ray is ready to jump in feet, head, and heart first, there remains some reluctance on Kendra’s part. I don’t think that either of them can fully comprehend the situation that they are both in and the environment that their relationship exists in. Will Kendra and Ray’s relationship end in doom? Maybe? Maybe not? Only time will tell. We are nearing the season finale of Legends first season so it will probably be sooner than later. (Also, can we talk about how flippant Ray was when he was able to reunite with his previous fiancée, Anna? I mean this is the woman whose death inspired Ray to become a hero and build the ATOM suit.)
The Pleasure: The Pilgrim was a pretty badass assassin. While her failure to assassinate the members of the Legends team was dictated by the overall arc of the storyline, it was still impressive to see her try. Her physical abilities matched those of her targets, particularly that of Sara’s, taking out both civilians and nearly Ray in her pursuit of her mission. But her greatest advantage over the team was that of her ability to temporarily manipulate time around her, stopping weapon fire aimed at her. Unfortunately, she did not have the power of premonition that allowed her to see that her downfall was that of a young Rip Hunter and his abilities with a knife. Pilgrim was incinerated in flames at the end of her battle with the team but being an agent of the Time Masters means that this may not have been the last that we have seen of her. Other than Vandal Savage, the Pilgrim was one of the most powerful opponents the team has faced in the series so far and it was definitely a delight to watch.
Lingering Questions: Will the team be able to defeat Vandal Savage in the future? Will they be able to return their infant selves to their respective timelines before their timelines are locked in? How much longer will Kendra and Ray’s engagement continue before it all falls to pieces? How many of those amnesia pills does Rip have? Will the Time Masters send another mercenary after the team?
Supergirl capped off its freshman season with a fight that nearly ended in Kara Danvers demise. Myriad’s mind controlling abilities were disrupted, Non was eliminated, Hank and Alex were reinstated at the DEO, and Kara may have gotten her man. It was one of the happiest and lowest body count finales in the DCTVU and lands Supergirl in second place.
The Pain: In an episode that was supposed to cap off its freshman season, it felt a little dull in comparison to the others episode. Yes, it definitely had its moments where this surge of wonderment occurred. Will Kara and Alex actually fight it out to the death? Will the plan to disrupt Myriad’s signal work? Will Kara and J’onn actually defeat Non and Indigo? Will Kara be able to stop Myriad from turning everyone’s brain into mush on Earth? Will Kara live? All of these events had this built up this episode, a build up of all this tension and trepidation that sort of fizzled out by the end of the episode. There was no payoff that many had expected, myself included. I can’t really put my finger on what made it teeter out the way it did, but it did and that was not what I was expecting from a season that had really built up this power punch of a television show. It did, however, leave us with a slight cliffhanger of the mystery of who is in the pod.
The Pleasure: One of the strengths of Supergirl is its focus on the interrelationships between all the characters on the show. This episode really highlighted those relationships. Kara’s relationship with Alex still stands as the most impactful relationships on the show and on these two siblings. Kara and Alex may not be of the same blood but they are sisters in all the ways that matter, they love each other, they care about each other’s well-being, they are willing to sacrifice themselves for the other. I’m looking forward to seeing how the relationship between these two develops even further. Alex’s relationship with Hank is another one that has really risen and developed as the season goes on. Both of them share this identity of a foreigner, someone looking in on Earth, and slowly acclimating themselves to Earth and all its wonders and detriments. The father-daughter relationship between Hank and Kara and Alex has been beautiful to watch flourish. Kara’s relationship with Cat again is important to her growth, not only as a hero but as a person as well. Kara sees Cat as her role model and Cat sees Supergirl as one of hers. The relationship between these two women is symbiotic, both growing and exploring through each other. These three relationships are three of the most important to Kara and I cannot wait to see how they continue.
Lingering Questions: Who is in the pod? What will Kara do with her new role thanks to her promotion within Cat Co.? How will Kara and James’s relationship develop? Will it develop? Will it actually last? What will happen of the DEO since Hank and Alex have been reinstated? Will we see Lucy Lane again? Will we see Maxwell Lord again? Will Cat admit that Kara is actually Supergirl? And the most important question of them all is, what will happen next and will Supergirl get a second season?
Agents of SHIELD has served up numerous twists and turns in its past three seasons that have made us gasp, made us cry and scream, and probably go “WTF” and this episode was no different. Another one of SHIELDs brightest agents has been ‘swayed’ into joining the ranks of the Hydra, which is now Hive, and destroying the tenable trust that has been built between the agent and her SHIELD family. SHIELD was left in shambles and partially buried at the end of this exhilarating and slightly terrifying episode, landing it in the victor’s spot this week.
The Pain: Daisy Skye is now Dark Skye and completely part of Team Hydra/Hive. I was fully expecting an episode showcasing the Inhuman Secret Warriors that Skye has been working towards since the beginning of the season. For the first part of the episode, it was just that. We got to see Skye’s team infiltrate Hydra’s headquarters, using their powers, and working as this united team to rescue all the agents that had been taken hostage by Giyera. It was all going flawlessly until it was not and the reveal of Skye as HiveWard (Zombie Ward’s new moniker) double agent. The reveal that Skye is now a double agent and has been for a while really dealt a blow, not only to the team but myself as well. We’ve seen Skye grow over the three season becoming this leader within the ranks of SHIELD and the reveal of her being swayed by HiveWard really wipes all the work, all that success away in one fell swipe and it kind of shocking to see.
The Pleasure: Skye is now Dark Skye. I, for one, did not see Skye as being HiveWard’s spy. My money was on Lincoln most of the episode when Simmons revealed that HiveWard could infect the brains of Inhumans via a parasitic intrusion in their brains and control them via that parasite infection. I totally did not see it being Skye and such a twist really made my jaw drop and applaud the writers and showrunners of Agents of SHIELD. This was a twist that not one was expecting, that no one saw coming, and did it pack a power punch of emotions and feelings as we discovered that Skye was the one that had been swayed. Skye murdered Malick, under the orders of HiveWard though, but she still murdered someone. Skye bringing SHIELD to its knees at the end of the episode really brought home the power and place that Skye holds within SHIELD and the pseudo-family that has existed and changed since the inception of the show. Dark Skye was not something I saw coming but I’m tenuously excited to see where it goes.
Lingering Questions: What happens now that Skye is under HiveWard’s sway? Will the team be able to cure Skye of HiveWard’s infection? How ‘swayed’ is Skye? Is that rebel side that has been an essential part of her for so long still buried deep beneath there? Is there a possibility of SkyeWard 2.0? How will the Team SHIELD rebuild after another blow to their ranks? What is HiveWard’s plan for the Earth and Inhumans? How will all of these events lead up to the season finale?
Thank you for reading this week’s Superhero Showdown. Join me next week as I spout more my thoughts about the comic book shows I’m currently watching on television. 😉