Who has time to watch all of the “Berlanti-verse” shows on the CW?
Bleeding Cool can, people!
This past week has been one of the best for all of the shows in a long time. Lots of action balances out some of the heavier themes, but each show just nailed it this week. We’re going to give you a broad recap but keep some spoilers out of it so if you want to go watch the episode, you’ll have some unexpected treats. But this should let you know what you missed…and get you up-to-speed for another week of new episodes:
CW Images: The Legends visit 1920s Paris to stop a minotaur (top left), Supergirl and Manchester Black team up to take on the Sons of Liberty (top right), Thunder faces off against Looker in this week’s Black Lightning (bottom left), and Oliver Queen takes on an entire prison (bottom right).
Supergirl – ‘Rather the Fallen Angel’
What happened: Supergirl and Manchester Black track the Sons of Liberty to Shelley Island (think: Ellis Island for aliens. think again: what if an anti-immigrant group took over Ellis Island?). James also tries to infiltrate the group. There’s betrayal, explosions, fights. Also, Lena continues to try to cure cancer / give humans superpowers and bonds with a potential human test subject.
What’s good: I can’t get enough of Sam Witwer as Ben Lockwood. He’s the perfect foil for Supergirl’s cosmopolitan egalitarian optimism. Likewise, Manchester Black is quickly becoming an even better foil for her as well. We’ve been waiting for him to go full bad guy. He’s not there yet, but we can see the seeds of it.
What’s not so good: I’m a little bored with the angst between James and Lena. I never really ‘shipped them in the first place, but this sort of broken up but not really is killing me. Just pick a lane.
What happened: There’s a minotaur in the Paris sewers in the 1920’s, conveniently right under a bar frequented by all the US Expat crowd. The Legends head there on the Waverider with Nate and his father Hank, who is auditing the Legends for their profligate spending and expense as part of the Time Bureau. They hang out with Hemingway, who it turns out is Hank’s hero, as well as F. Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald, they fight a minotaur, the day is saved. Meanwhile back at the Time Bureau, Mona tries to impress Ava in her new job, but they both end up stuck in a cell with Nora Dahrk. There’s some girl-bonding between the three of them.
What’s good: I’m here all day for Tom Wilson. Typecast as the bully and the bastard, he plays that extremely well. We also get to see him serenade the minotaur with James Taylor, which is a great moment and perfectly in tone with the batshit crazy tone of Legends. Also, Rory talks to Hemingway about being an author.
What’s not so good: This episode was Nate-and-his-Dad centric, and I sorta don’t care. When you have John Constantine on your team, if you’re not using John Constantine, you’re missing something. This did not have enough Constantine. Also, I’m not sure where this whole Mona storyline is going, or the Nora Dahrk-Ray Palmer relationship.
Arrow – ‘The Slabside Redemption’
What happened: This was the episode we’ve been building up to all season, with Oliver Queen vs. an entire supermax prison. It’s essentially 44 minutes of beat-em-ups, with lots of scenery-chewing by Ricardo Diaz. All of this is made even more impressive by Stephen Amell noting on Twitter that he had a hip injury the entire shoot thanks to a wrestling match gone wrong.
What’s good: It’s all good. All killer – no filler, folks.
What’s not so good: Where do we go from here? Oliver is now out of prison. Diaz is in prison. So, what next? Still not seeing how the flash-forwards with William and Roy Harper in the future tie in to our current events…
The Flash – ‘O Come All Ye Thankful’
What happened: Wait– a Thanksgiving episode a week later? Check your calendars, CW! But Thanksgiving is disrupted when a new meta, Weather Witch, demands that Team Flash produce her father, Weather Wizard…so she can kill him. She’s super powerful, and actually kills Barry at one point — stopping his heart and Nora has to restart it. There’s angst because she’s so worried about losing her father and him risking his life. We also get more backstory to where Cicada came from.
What’s good: Cisco and Sherloque protesting Thanksgiving as a colonialist holiday that celebrates the genocide of native people. Killer Frost taking over for Caitlin and telling them to stop being pompous idiots and go enjoy turkey and drinks with their friends.
What’s not so good: Most of the main storyline. This felt very filler/”bad guy of the week.” This is probably the weakest episode of the week.
Black Lightning – ‘The Book of Blood: Chapter Three: The Sange’
What happened: Uhm. . . holy crap. Buckle up. A lot happens here and it’s all important. Jefferson continues to search for the kidnapped twin while Anissa protects the other in an abandoned mall. Jefferson is captured by The Sange and tortured by Looker. Guess what? The Sange are totally racist. There’s some great moments there. When Looker’s powers show her where to look for the other baby, she leaves, and Jefferson escapes, liberating the infant the Sange have stolen. The Sange and Anissa throw down in the mall. After Anissa defeats Looker, she and Jefferson decide they have to turn her over to the ASA, despite knowing they torture and experiment on metahumans. (Wow! Moral complexity!) Meanwhile, Khalil has failed to get Reverend Holt to leave Freedland, meaning he is in danger from Tobias. Khalil and Jennifer grow closer and decide they both need to leave together. This becomes even more dangerous when Jefferson and Lynn learn that their daughter’s powers are off the charts in terms of power, but she has no way to control them. Also Jefferson tracks down Gambi, who has been hiding since faking his death.
What’s good: Just about everything. The opening scene where Jefferson is attacking the Sange to Sade’s “Soldier of Love.” The stakes of Khalil’s and Jennifer’s relationship. Their fire kiss.
What’s not so good: We only got one scene with Tobias, and it was him telling Khalil to get in the car. He’s such a great villain. I recognize this episode wasn’t about him so in an episode so jam-packed, something’s got to give. We only get two more episodes of this before the season ends. Considering how jam-packed this episode was, it seems like they can probably get to someplace satisfying, but I have concerns they are running out of runway.
So that’s it for this week. Coming next week? Kevin Smith directs the next episode of Supergirl, and we get the final week of setups before the big Arrowverse “Elseworlds” crossover event. Talk to you then!