May 2 – 6
“Doubt thou the stars are fire, doubt that the sun doth move, doubt truth to be a liar, but never doubt I love.” (Well, unless you’re Ray Palmer, then you should probably reconsider considering your relationship track record.) Doubt played upon the minds of all our heroes this week on the superhero-riddled lane of television and my, did it take a toll on some of them and bring about consequences that the never thought would come to fruition. You know the rules: 5 shows (now 4), 3 (now 2) rounds, and only 1 victor.
Let’s get to it.
Doubt wormed its way through the minds of those upon the Waverider and nobody left the ship unscathed on this week’s episode of Legends of Tomorrow. Vandal Savage escaped from custody, Jackson was sent back to Central City in 2016, Ray and Kendra’s engagement and relationship crashed and burned (YAS!), and, oh, the Time Masters have been in cahoots with Savage this entire time. (Seriously, who did not see that twist coming?) The Legends (not anymore) of Tomorrow clinch the last spot in this week’s showdown.
The Pain: I honestly don’t know how Rip gathered the idea that this band of misfits would one day become legends because I do not see it and the season is almost over. The amount of bad decision-making and missteps that every individual has taken has reached levels of hilarity I didn’t think I could fathom. Was it really a good idea to get so close to the brainwashed ex-immortal, Kendra? Was it a good idea to get into the ring with an immortal psychopath, Ray? Was it smart to send Jackson into a radiated chamber because you pushed far past the capabilities of your spaceship to fix its engine a good thing, Rip? Was it a good idea to send Jackson back to 2016, Stein? Was it a good idea to side with Rip, Sara? Was a really a good idea to fight Savage, Ray? Did you really think you had the skills to defeat him, Ray? Was it all just a suicidal mission because you lost Kendra, Ray? (Can you tell who I thought made the stupidest mistake of them all?) The answer to all of these questions is no. N.O. Just what were you people all thinking? The hands of the Time Masters and Vandal Savage now imprison the entire team. I wonder how they’ll bungle their way out of this mess this time? Because it can’t be worse than how they got themselves into it.
The Pleasure: The flashbacks. Good flashbacks have been in short supply in the DC TV universe this season but the small look into the lives of Legends protagonists was needed to help understand their motivations for their actions in this episode. (Sort of.) While the main purpose of Legends this season has been to remove Vandal Savage from space and time, the underlying storyline for each and every member has been to find their purpose in the world. It has been a search to discover who they truly are, what they are meant to do, and how they come to that discovery. (Plus seeing Felicity Smoak and Nyssa al Ghul on screen is never a bad thing.) The search has not been easy or linear or even logical at some points, but it continues. By being able to see what each of these characters left behind, it gives us a better understanding of how their search for their purpose will continue. Unless they all perish at the hands of the Time Masters and Savage, then it was all for nought.
Lingering Questions: How will they get their infant selves back to their respective timelines if they’re all in Time Masters lockup? Will they essentially erase themselves from the timeline? Who else is excited that Ray and Kendra’s relationship has gone kaput? Now that Carter has his memories back, will Kendra and he reunite? Can one of them have the guts to end Vandal Savage now? How will the team escape the Time Masters’ prison? I’m betting Rory and Snart have got this jail breakout on lock.
Barry Allen literally went *poof* at the end of this week’s episode of The Flash. Doubt filled the minds of many on and served to magnify that of Barry’s and his continuing existential quarter-life crisis. WestAllen begins their ascent, Henry Allen came for a visit, Zoom really, really wants Caitlin to choose him and we go another look into the Ramon brothers’ relationship. The Flash takes the bronze level spot this week.
The Pain: Consistency has been a problem for The Flash this season and it continues to show itself in this episode. The addition of new characters and the diverging storylines of all the main characters and an inability to connect all these storylines seamlessly together have resulted in a season of fractured storytelling. And that isn’t good storytelling. The plot holes have created a lethargic response not only from the characters, creating doubt and uncertainty on the show, but evoke the same type of response watching it. The same thing happened with this episode. There were so many different things happening in this episode when the central thing they should have been focusing on is trying to get Barry his powers back. We’ve got Zoom continuing to terrorize Central City, though still not as terrifying as he could be. We saw the return of Henry Allen, who seemed to cause Barry greater doubt and confusion about his next steps. Who though locking Wally and Jesse in Gideon’s chamber would be a good idea? And even the quick ascent of Barry and Iris’s relationship seemed out of place in this episode. As season two quickly comes to an end, I can only hope that The Flash finds its feet solidly on the ground.
The Pleasure: Cisco Ramon has been one of the bright lights on this season of The Flash and he continues to shine this episode as we get another look into his strained relationship with his brother, Dante. I liked seeing the two of them interacting and sparring with each other. We get to see another side of Cisco when he’s with Dante compared to Barry, Caitlin, and even Harry. The revelation that Earth-2 Dante as a metahuman and a villain added yet another layer to the story and made the episode that little bit more interesting. It must not have been easy for Cisco to watch Zoom kill Earth-2 Dante. Dante is still his brother and he cares for him, as Dante cares for Cisco in his own way. The reveal that he is a metahuman to Dante is a big step for Cisco, who has only just started to come to terms with his powers earlier this season. It’s a real move forward for Cisco’s character and I can’t wait to see how Cisco expands his powers as the season continues.
Lingering Questions: Where did Barry go? How will Team Flash get Barry back? Are Wally and Jesse Speedsters now? How will the team defeat Zoom? Will Zoom let Caitlin go? Will she escape? Who else is Zoom going to bring with him from Earth-2?
Daisy Skye’s true loyalties were no longer in doubt after this week’s episode of Agents of SHIELD as the lines in the stand were clearly laid out. A certain lovesick fool went haywire, HiveWard’s dastardly plans continue, oh, and the Kree drop down to Earth for a visit. Agents of SHIELD lands in second place.
The Pain: Love can make you stupid. You make questionable choices, you act out, and you say things, do things that you never thought yourself capable of. Love can do that to a person and it definitely did that to Lincoln this week. Lincoln abandoned all logical thinking and injected an untested and possibly lethal cocktail into his system. Unfortunately, for himself and the team, the cocktail created by FitzSimmons failed to render the needed the results. The cocktail actually destroyed Lincoln’s immune system, rendering him in medical lockdown for the rest of the time. Lincoln has acted illogically in many different circumstances when it comes to Skye, but this has to be his stupidest to date. I understand his desire to rescue Skye from HiveWard and cure her of his sway but as a doctor, he should have understood that the risks were much greater than the reward. Hopefully, he won’t be as impulsive next time. (I hope.)
The Pleasure: Watching the interactions between Fitz and Simmons now that they have crossed over the event horizon are just wonderful to see. One of my favourite ways in which couples come together, especially on television shows, is ones that are built on friendships. Fitz and Simmons have been friends, partners, and each other’s confidant for over a decade and to watch it culminate into FitzSimmons so fully, cohesively, and beautifully is just amazing to witness. They keep is professional when they’re on the job but those little hints of something deeper, something more, just seeps through and makes their interactions a glow. This is primarily one of the reasons I am petrified that the fallen agent will be one of them. In season one, we nearly lost Fitz when both of them were trapped under water thanks to Ward after he professed his feelings to Simmons. In season two, the alien monolith swallowed Simmons before the two of them could go on their first date. I don’t what the end of season three will bring, but I’m definitely more than a little scared for the future of these two.
Lingering Questions: How far will HiveWard go to reach his goal of turning humans into Inhumans? What or who is capable of stopping HiveWard now since even the Kree could not? Will they be able to save Skye from HiveWard’s clutches before it’s too late? And who will die at the end of this season?
Doubt can be crippling. It can make an individual doubt how capable they are, how fully engaged they are to take on a mission, especially if that mission is a life and death one that happens more often than not on Arrow. Oliver Queen got a magic lesson, Felicity Smoak showed us that the house never wins (at least when it comes to her), Thea has an interesting vacation, and we say goodbye to Andy Diggle on this week’s episode. Arrow takes the victor’s spot in this showdown.
The Pain: I’m not saying that Thea makes horrible, horrible choices when it comes to potential romantic partners, but her last two have proven that she’s not so great at picking the good apples. Thea awakens to a weekend getaway in suburbia with Alex and quickly realizes all is not what it seems. (I mean who vacations in suburbia?) Turns out that Alex had been ingesting Damian Darhk’s mind control pills and has brought Thea to Darhk’s dastardly corn field underground which is actually a giant underground dome designed to look like a suburban neighbourhood. (That’s quite nightmarish if you think about it.) Thea’s getaway is thwarted not only by Darhk’s ghosts but also the fact that she is now trapped in a dome. The action and suspense of Oliver and Felicity’s magical seminar and Diggle and Lyla’s takedown of Andy were dragged down by Thea’s time under the dome. We knew the moment that Thea awoke that something was wrong and guessed pretty quickly that Alex was in on Darhk’s plans. The time spent under the dome did not elevate the episode as it should have, it only served to prove that Thea doesn’t make great choices in men or should at least run a cursory background check on them first.
The Pleasure: We all have doubts about ourselves and our abilities and sometimes we need that one person, that one confidante, that one person that we trust the most to tell us that we can do it, that we are capable, and that we can succeed to help us along. That is certainly true of Arrow’s two power couples this week as both took on their own individual missions to take down Darhk and his Ghosts. Oliver and Felicity’s time in Hub City showed us that the two of them are still able to be partners when the time calls for it. The undercurrent of pain and the fracturing of their relationship still exist but the care and belief they have in one another, that has been a core tenant of their relationship since the beginning, still remains and helped lighten what has been a dark half of the season for the two of them. The same can be said for Diggle and Lyla. Diggle and Lyla’s relationship is the pinnacle of balancing a life of a vigilante and having a home life. Watching these two take on Ghosts, tracking down Andy, and while buying diapers and looking after Sara is a testament to the strength of their relationship and how far they have come. It’s also something that Oliver and Felicity can look forward to when they do reconcile. Power couples ruled this episode and showed that sometimes two is better than one.
Lingering Questions: Now that Oliver has been able to repel Darhk’s magic, will he be able to do it again and even on a larger scale? Will Thea be able to escape Darhk’s dome? Who thought it was a good idea to create something like Rubicon? Will the team be able to stop Darhk’s plan for a worldwide nuclear winter? Will Diggle tell Lyla the truth surrounding Andy’s death? How will Andy’s death affect Diggle here on out? Will Diggle succumb to the darkness or walk back into the light? Will Felicity and Oliver be able to reconcile? Will Thea learn to have better radar when it comes to potential dates in the future?
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. (I am very sorry for the tardiness of this post. I’ve fallen into the black hole known as Poldark and cannot find a way out.) 😉