Apr 25 – 29
Acceptance isn’t always easy. It’s a process. In the beginning, we may fight against it, we thrash, we struggle, and we protest, ignore the truth of the situation and turn on our blinders. But slowly, the truth bleeds through the fantasy and the reality of the situation sinks in and acceptance occurs. There may be anger, pain, tears and heartbreak but little can be done to stop the process, no matter how hard one tries to. Acceptance seeped into every one of the comic based shows on this week’s superhero-ridden lane of television. You know the rules: 5 shows, 3 rounds, and only 1 victor. As the traditional season of television draws to a close we are down to 4 shows as Supergirl has bowed out for the season.
Let’s get to it.
Barry Allen remains a powerless hero (welcome to the world of Oliver Queen and John Diggle) and he’s having a hard time accepting that fact. He essentially had a quarter-life existential crisis on this week’s The Flash and that wasn’t the weirdest part of the episode. The Flash lands in last on this week’s showdown.
The Pain: The meta-human villain, if you could really call him that, was a super strength, a super-ageing teenager who kidnapped Harry Wells so he could force him into turning him back into a teenager. While the idea to have these two meta-human individuals, Barry and Griffin, juxtaposed against each other on how to accept their newfound powered and non-powered status was a good one in conceptual form, it didn’t really work out that way. I didn’t feel any sympathy for either Barry or Griffin to the degree I think they wanted me to feel. Yes, Barry, you used to be The Flash with superpowers but it doesn’t mean that you can’t continue to be the hero without them. It just takes some manoeuvring. As for Griffin, the particle generator explosion did a lot of people wrong and throwing a fit over the accelerated ageing downside of your powers instead of accepting them and using them to do some good really didn’t gel with me. Barry to a degree accepted his current speed force depleted condition, while Griffin did not. Acceptance is hard. Especially when you’re thrust into a situation you have little control of but accepting the facts and taking control of what you can be the best-case scenario in a situation like this.
The Pleasure: While Team Flash has gone through many, many different changes over the last two seasons, it is always enjoyable to see them all come together and try to work out a probable solution to the problems at hand and that really showed this episode. Iris, Joe, Cisco, Barry and Jesse, all working together to free Harry and try to defeat the super-aging teenage meta-human was nice to see. (Caveat: did anyone else feel uncomfortable with how the so easily interchanged Jesse and Caitlin in the role that Caitlin helms at the team’s biochemistry expert? This season of Flash has definitely had its mess of storylines this season; Caitlin’s being one of the biggest ones.) Hopefully, Team Flash will be able to work together to help rescue Caitlin and defeat Zoom when the two of them come zipping through the portal to Earth-1.
Lingering Questions: Does anyone else see creating another particle accelerator explosion as a bad idea? Will it actually give Barry back his powers? Why aren’t they just giving Barry the Velocity serums that Caitlin had created for Jay to give Barry back some speed force? What are the odds that Earth-2 Barry and Iris will continue on since everyone else’s counterparts have been taken out? Who is the dude in the Iron Mask? Is it Earth-2 Wally? Is it another Earth’s Barry? Who the hell is it? Who is going to die at the end of the season? And will Harry stay on Earth-1 at the end of all the madness at the end of the season?
The team finally arrived in 2147 in The Legends of Tomorrow to take out the immortal dude that they’ve been hunting this entire series and it just didn’t happen. Legends lands in second last place this week.
The Pain: I don’t know which I find more painful, the fact that Kendra could have killed Vandal Savage and didn’t or that Ray turned into a giant jaeger-like version of himself to fight it out with a C-grade transformer? I’m going to go with Kendra chickening out and not taking out Savage, just because taking Vandal Savage out has been the ultimate aim of the series so far. This episode showed us the destruction, the chaos, the blood spilt that Vandal Savage is capable of and it all could have ended if Kendra just took one more swing at Savage. Or a few more, just to be sure you know. Why didn’t she? Because Vandal Savage had an ace up his sleeve, that ace being Hawkman Carter, who he had brainwashed into one of his many, many minions called ‘Shock Troopers’. Kendra’s feelings for her immortal soul mate reared its head once again and the entire mission fell to pieces all around them. A+ job, Kendra. (Also did no one tell Kendra that she’ll probably see Carter again in another lifetime and also that she is now engaged to Ray in this current life? Just saying.) Ray fighting C-grade transformer kind of pales in comparison to Kendra’s failure to do what she’s destined to do. Maybe they’ll have better luck next time?
The Pleasure: Who knew Vandal Savage had a daughter? Savage having children was not out of the realm of possibility, considering he is immortal and all, but seeing Cassandra Savage in the flesh and duking it out was definitely a surprise. No one was expecting Savage to have children, especially daughter like Cassandra. Being the daughter of an immortal psychopath mass murder isn’t easy. Especially if said mass murder trains you to be a soldier and his second in command, lies to you about his plans for world domination and murders your mother with a pandemic. Cassandra’s realization of who her father truly is and the acceptance of such was like a switch for her, a complete 180 shift. She turns for top Shock Trooper into an ally for Team Legend and the rebels. Cassandra’s ease with Snart was also interesting to witness, there was a connection between the two of them that really helped Cassandra see the reality beneath the fantasy her father had created for her. Whether we see Cassandra Savage again, she definitely added a kick to an episode filled with many face palms.
Lingering Questions: Will Kendra finally kill Vandal Savage? Will the team be able to dismantle Savage’s reign of terror? Will Savage escape the Waverider’s confinements? (Probably.) Will they be able to deprogramme future Carter? Has Kendra and Ray’s relationship left the honeymoon phase already? What happens to the rest of the team? What happens to all of the refugees that the team took on? Will they be able to return their infant selves to their respective timelines?
Arrow laid to rest a character that has been in a precarious flux since the show began, that character being Laurel Lance and her alter ego Black Canary. This episode was an end, an end of a character, an end of a chapter, and end of a legacy that, in all honesty, was not deserved by the character that carried the mantle. Arrow lands in the runner-up spot this week.
The Pain: One of the biggest problems with the Laurel Lance character was that the character couldn’t move with the ever-changing current of the show’s direction like all the other characters on Arrow. Laurel’s character was plagued with a rigidity that made watching the past four seasons not particularly pleasant. There were so many moments of starts, stops, and disbelief that made no sense and were at times very messy to witness. This problem was exceedingly highlighted in this concluding episode for the character as we watched said character’s flashbacks and the moments that lead up to her funeral. (*whispers* fan service) The flashbacks in this episode were particularly difficult to watch in that it swept away Tommy Merlyn’s death as the primary motivator of Laurel’s, and to a degree, Oliver’s arcs at the beginning of the second season. (It also retconned Oliver’s eulogy of Tommy at his funeral which was depicted in the comic book series that follows the television show.) I am not at all sad to see the character of Laurel Lance go. Arrow is about to head into its fifth season and the clutter that has plagued it needs to be swept away.
The Pleasure: John Diggle, arguably one of the best characters and this episode really showed why that it. The death of Andy Diggle impacted John in a profound and life-changing way. We saw how the reveal that Andy was alive had on John and the jubilation that he felt when he finally brought his brother home and away from the grips of Damian Darhk. In this episode, we got to see the devastation that Andy’s betrayal brought. It was both exhilarating and heartbreaking to witness. John’s anger and the need for vengeance were visceral, it coloured how he thought and acted and it was nothing like himself. John blamed himself for bringing Andy into the fold, for not believing in Oliver about Andy’s betrayal, and Laurel’s death. John was not to blame for any of those things and yet he did, but as the episode went on, with the help of Oliver and Felicity, John slowly accepted that the blame did not rest on him. The blame rested on the one man that took away his brother from him, from his family, and the one whose hands are covered in Laurel’s blood, Damian Darhk. John and Andy will face each other once again and it’s not going to be an easy task for John.
Lingering Questions: How will the team finally defeat Damian Darhk? Is Andy Diggle a lost cause? Or can he be brought back into the fold? What will happen to Laurel Lance’s legacy as Star City’s District Attorney? How long will Ruve Adams continue as Star City’s mayor? What is Darhk planning and what does it have to do with Star City’s sewer systems that Ruve has ordered to be refitted? Will Oliver and Felicity be able to make amends and come back together? And will there be makeup sex?
Agents of SHIELD is once again forced to recover after the betrayal of one of their own Daisy Skye joins forces with HiveWard. The task is neither easy nor enviable as the team tries to discover a way to defeat HiveWard and rescue Skye from his sway. FitzSimmons takes the next step in their relationship and crossed the event horizon! Agents of SHIELD is this week’s victor.
The Pain: The disbelief of the team to accept that Skye is now fully under HiveWard’s sway, barring May. May is the only one who realized and accepted the threat that Skye now posed, not only to them but the world in general. From Coulson to FitzSimmons, to Lincoln and Mack, the team was not ready to accept that Skye was no longer their Skye. While the team works feverishly to develop a cure for the HiveWard parasite that has now taken over Skye and other Inhumans, they also need to guard themselves against further attacks as well. The rejection of that fact nearly got Fitz killed when both Team Shield and Team Hive infiltrated the club in Bucharest to draw Dr. Radcliffe onto their side. (Also, who didn’t yell Jonathan when Radcliffe showed up on screen?) Skye is fully under HiveWard’s sway and the near destruction of SHIELD’s base proves that her abilities are far beyond what Team Shield she thought capable of. The continued disbelief of Skye’s loyalties may lead to greater consequences of the team in the future.
The Pleasure: After a decade of being together but not really together, FitzSimmons takes the plunge and takes the next step in their relationship. (YAY!) Who else cheered when these two crossed the event horizon? Hands up. The relationship between the two of them has been a joy to witness on screen from the very moment they showed up. The dynamic between the two of them is palpable and visceral. These two made you feel all the damn feels in the past three seasons. From Jemma sacrificing himself to save Fitz from a deadly virus, from Fitz giving Jemma the last bit of oxygen at the bottom of the ocean, to Fitz trying to rescue Jemma from the alien planet and succeeding. FitzSimmons’ relationship has been an epic rollercoaster ride. I’m overjoyed to see this progression in their relationship but there also exists a fear that comes with these two coming together. I really hope neither one of them is the fallen agent. They finally found each other, please don’t break them apart Agents of SHIELD gods!
Lingering Questions: Will Team SHIELD be able to rescue Skye from HiveWard’s sway? How will they defeat HiveWard? What is HiveWard’s ultimate plan? Does he have one? How will the next step in FitzSimmons relationship change their professional one? Will Lincoln go AWOL to rescue Skye? Will any other members of the team? Who is the ‘Fallen Agent’?
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. (Sorry for the tardiness of this post!) 😉