Crisis Management: “Crisis On Infinite Earths: Parts 4 & 5”

Shut up, you’re crying.

And I mean a lot. While not quite as fun as it’s rising action, the climax and Epilogue to Crisis On Infinite Earths are both quite good in their own ways, and I think we’d be happiest if we just dig into things.

Crisis On Infinite Earths Part 4 (Arrow Season 8, Episode 8)

After this there are only two episodes of Arrow left, and one of them is the backdoor pilot for Green Arrow And The Canaries, which means really, there’s just one. I’m glad I made the decision to catch up for the final season, despite the show never really resonating with me after season 4.

Anyway, we open in The Vanishing Point and it’s been a minute. We know this because Ryan Choi now has a beard and also he tells us in a helpful voice over. Thanks Ryan. Everyone’s a little stir crazy and they sure hate Lex and Barry is missing! OH NO! Barry shows up again, super confused and then we flash to Purgatory where Corrigan is training Oliver to be the best Spectre he can be. HE then goes to The Vanishing Point and tells Barry he has to go to the Speed Force again or something. Basically everyone gets scattered into the Speed Force and needs to learn something about themselves.

The best (and most secret) cameo comes first, Barry confronts, Barry? But Barry as played by Ezra Miller and the whole scene is a damn delight. Anyway, Barry then has a conversation with Oliver/Spectre about finding everyone. Then Kate learns about Trust from watching Ray and Oliver bicker in the past, J’onn learns about teamwork from watching Oliver and Kara bicker in the past.

Meanwhile, Kara, Lex and Ryan are on Mor Nobu’s planet in the past trying to convince him not to go back in time and create the anti monitor. They succeed, but also don’t?

Anyway, they all go back to the dawn of time and fight The Anti Monitor and Oliver dies (for REALS this time you guys.) to restart everything and it seems to work. Hooray! Sara and Barry meanwhile are very sad about it, because of course they are.

Crisis On Infinite Earths Part 4 (Legends Of Tomorrow Season 5, Episode 1)

The worlds have been merged! And Kara for one, is delighted, as is a random dude on the street who approaches Kara and Barry for an autograph. (It’s Marv Wolfman!Hooray!) Sara meanwhile, is still pretty sad because even though most everyone is now back Oliver now isn’t.

She points out that Oliver was the last person who knew who she was before and this is a difficult loss for her. This is, well, incredibly profound, actually. Sara has lost a lot. (But then I realized, uh, Thea’s still alive right? Thea was young but she knew Sara…) Barry reminds her that Oliver died for all of them but before they can really get it together and giant Beebo attacks Star City.

Hello Legends! Sara calls Eva and Nate to check in about it and they moan about being sucked into another cross over. However, they note there is another Legend besides her and Ray in town.

Mick’s got a book signing and goes to fight Beebo for ruining it. Turns out the Beebo is just an illusion and as they celebrate their victory, everyone is attacked by shadow demons. OH NO!

One last stand off with the anti monitor where Supergirl and Ray save the day stops it. In a quiet moment, the world mourns Oliver Queen, and then Barry, Sara, Jefferson, Kara, Clark and Kate light an eternal flame in his memory. Barry also reveals a round table and the empty warehouse is revealed to be THE HALL OF FUCKING JUSTICE (Well, not Fucking Justice, this isn’t Titans, they’re still on their own world. More’s the pity for my dreams of watching Kate and Kara interact with that version of Dick.)

I look forward to the further bonkers shenanigans of this world, now without unnecessary dimension jumping. (Though Stargirl will still be on it’s own Earth? Good thing The Monitor gave Cisco his powers back?)

Observations

  • The Ezra Miller cameo was such a wonderful surprise I actually fell off the couch. Seriously, such a delight.
  • Lex rewrote things so that the whole world thinks he’s great. He wins the Nobel Peace Prize and everything. Kara is furious. Anyway glad Jon Cryer will be sticking around, he’s a wonderful presence on the show
  • In keeping with Legends being Legends half the episode is just people looking at computer monitors and Sara doesn’t suit up.
  • Kate chills with Alex and Kara at Kara’s apartment, and I’m so happy they’re all in the same world now. I hope Alex and Kate bond over motorcycles and awesome gay lady haircuts.
  • Sara Diggle is back! Hooray! Also, now Lois and Clark have two kids, which will be fun for their upcoming pilot.
  • Things I was hoping for but didn’t get: Digg getting a Green Lantern ring. We did see the Lantern Corp, which I’m assuming is from the upcoming HBOMax show. (I’m going to get HBOMax, purely because of The West Wing so we shall see how that one pans out) Felicity, at all. I know they wanted to save Emily Bett Ricakard’s return for the Arrow finale, but still.
  • While in all reality I want Diggle on The Waverider so we don’t have to say goodbye to Diggle, Rene’s reaction to Beebo (complete confusion) and then interaction with Rory (pouring him champagne) also makes him a good candidate.
  • I mostly cried at the montage of all the superheroes, but especially Routh!Superman flying away and winking at the camera.
  • Best Teamup Of The Crossover: Jefferson Pierce, Killer Frost and Mick Rory. Close second: Nash Wells, Ryan Choi & Ray Palmer (FOR SCIENCE)
  • I’m soaking in every moment of Brandon Routh and still can’t believe we’re losing him after this season.

Overall, I enjoyed the Crisis, the cameos and Easter Eggs were super fun, and I’d rank it third for the big Crossovers (Earth-X, Elseworlds, Infinite Earths, Heroes Vs Aliens, Whatever the Hawkpeople one was) Moving forward I’m going to do my best to keep up and write these check ins. But I’m also trying to watch less TV in general so maybe not. I don’t know yet.

 

Crisis Management: Batwoman, Supergirl, Black Lightning & The Flash Week 8; Arrow Week 7

Batwoman: Season 1: Episode 8: “A Mad Tea Party”

Things have come to a head between Kate, Jake and Alice this episode. Kate has to finally accept a few things about her sister and in the process they lose something that while strained was probably precious to them.

Alice declares she’s about to have her greatest tea party, while torturing Jake, Mouse is impersonating Jake at the moment and there’s a big fancy Gotham Gala about to hit which is honoring Katherine. Kate is refusing to go, despite Mary’s urging that they’re still a family.

Poor Mary.

ANYWAY, Alice captures Mary and Katherine at the gala and forces them to drink poisoned champagne which leads to Katherine’s death after confessing that she was trying to spare Kate and Jake pain, by faking Beth’s death confirmation. Mary is devesated, and through Mouse’s machinations, Jake is imprisoned. Kate assures her father that she’s done believing in Alice. Beth is gone, in her place just a monster.

Batwoman kick copious ass in this episode, but it’s not a real Kate focused one. Sophie and her bland husband who’s gonna die anyway (he can hang out with Tommy and Eddie, it’ll be fine) come to an understanding that Sophie needs to decide where she stands re: Kate before they can move forward.

I’m grateful that they seem to be coding Sophie as bi or pan, rather than a closeted lesbian. It’s a frankly refreshing take on a pretty bland love triangle. (Revenge also did this well.) (Watch Revenge) I am otherwise unenthused by anything involving Sophie and hope once the universes consolidate Kate and Alex Danvers can get something going. Or Kate and Nyssa Al-Ghul. Or Kate and Ava. Or Kate and Sara. Look, there are tons of badass AWESOME queer ladies to pair with Kate in this universe is my point. We don’t need Sophie who’s kinda blech.

Supergirl: Season 5: Episode 8: “The Wrath of Rama Khan”

Rama Khan (Mitch Pileggi) is ready to use the alignment of the planets to create a new Pompei. Kara needs to stop him. Meanwhile, Lena is going to use Myriad to do something? Stop people from being evil? I’m really not sure what Lena’s plan here is. But whatever, Kara stops both of them.

Alex, being the voice of reason, explains to Kara that Lena’s being a bit of a hypocrite here. Lena didn’t tell them about Reign, Lena didn’t tell them about any of her work. She keeps secrets too. I’m with Alex. The Lena/Team Supes trust loop has never really existed. Kara however, still wants to help her friend. She does, but Lena just takes it as an L.

Helping defeat Lena, is Mala’fa’ak. He uses his ability to incept to cancel out Myriad. It works! J’onn sends him back to Mars to help M’gann in the fight. The brothers part as friends. THEN! The monitor shows up and tells J’onn he passed his test. Hooray! J’onn is basically like “DAFUQ?” But understands something is about to happen. The Monitor walks into a pocket dimension where he is keeping Lex, who he assures him will soon be a hero!

I’m SO GODDAMNED excited for more of Jon Cryer’s Lex, who surprised me so much last year. He’s not Michael Rosenbaum who is my favorite, but he’s quite good. Also Rama Khan is killed by his partner and Andrea dies to I think? Anyway, that’s where we’ll pick up in January.

Black Lightning: Season 3: Episode 8: “The Book of Resistance: Chapter 3: Pale Horse”

Lynn falls.

She’s agreed to help Tobias to take down the ASA. While I get why she’s doing it, her marriage with Jeff already being strained, I don’t know how it will survive this. She agrees to give him more powers to help him escape. Terrible plan Lynn.

Jeff, Henderson and Anissa take a stand trying to keep the apartment building where Jeff and Henderson grew up from becoming the ASA’s quarters for soldiers. Seeing Black Lightning and Thunder standing together again really warmed my heart. They win, and push back the ASA, but there will undoubtably be consequences here.

Jen and Brandon do some research into Doctor Jace, finding out she’s no longer in Freeland. Brandon is furious and nearly explodes them. Jen agrees to help him get a read on his powers, explaining that they have to funnel their anger rather than simply lash out, as she did in her grief for Khalil. (Metaphors abound on this show but that’s a pretty clear one for anger to justice conversion.)

Speaking of Khalil, he’s deployed against Anissa and it throws her. This Week’s Worrying About Jen & Khalil meter is about a 6. They’re status quo right now, still in danger, they’re always in danger but nothing new. In fact, Anissa knowing about Khalil lowers my worry about him meter significantly.

Gambi and a pod kid who’s a technopath and goes by T.C. use an old radio station to blast out the message to the general public what’s actually going on in Freeland. We shall see in the new year what that means.

The Flash: Season 6: Episode 8: “The Last Temptation of Barry Allen Part 2”

Ramsey reveals his plan to “Cure” all of hummanity using the particle accelerator and The Flash as his crux. Meanwhile the whole team decides they need to get Barry back so he can die properly. Or something.

Look, there’s a lot of running around in this episode a lot of “who’s really talking here?” And, well, Nash finds his way to The Monitor’s lair. Or something. I think Nash might actually be chasing the Anti-Monitor, thinking that it’s the Monitor, but I could be wrong.

The fact is, after how great “Part 1” was, this was kind of a let down. I love that the team is still refusing to give in to Barry’s death. Again, because Barry ain’t gonna die. Oliver is. Probably.

Arrow: Season 8: Episode 7: “Purgatory”

Oh boy! Oh boy you guys! Chrissy and I used to joke about Lian-Yu being The Island from Lost, because we thought it was funny. (Also, you can’t tell me that Arrow’s flashback structure wasn’t a straight rip off!) And oh boy, did this episode feel a lot like an episode of Lost, but in a good way.

Oliver has to come to grips with what Lian-Yu did to him and for him for the zillionth time, but again, this season being the victory lap and having the added zip of Mia and William makes it all hit harder. I really am all in for Green Arrow And The Canaries especially if William is going to be around.

Oliver makes Diggle promise to keep Mia and William together after he’s gone so that’s really nice. Also he finally lets Oliver go, knowing he can’t always be by his side. Roy loses an arm and notes that it was worth it, because he feels connected to something again. think it’s worth it because even if it’s only for a few episodes I am here for Roy Harper’s Robot Arm.

Digg and Lyla are having a bit of a time. Their marriage has always been an interesting balance given their work. Now that she’s gone all in on The Monitor, he’s not so into the way things are going. I don’t really blame him for that. Lyla eventually disappears and comes back as Harbinger.

I actually think that she’s an excellent pick for this role and I can’t wait for next week.

YOU GUYS NEXT WEEK IS CRISIS (PART 1) I’m so excited! Are you excited? Get excited! Kevin Conroy! The return of Routh and Welling! OOOHHHH BOY!

Crisis Management: Black Lightning & The Flash Week 7, Arrow Week 6

We’re so close now. This is a light week. (No Supergirl or Batwoman.) I hope everyone is having a great Thanksgiving! Let’s get into it.

Black Lightning: Season 3: Episode 7: “The Book Of Resistance: Henderson’s Opus”

Police Chief Henderson is an interesting character for Black Lightning, because he’s not an antagonist, he’s not on a parallel track and yet he compliments Jefferson Pierce and Black Lightning so well. These are two men with history, and Cress Williams and Damon Gupton do exceptional work walking the line between resentment and friendship whenever they interact and the explosion of that int his episode is something to behold.

Henderson plants a car bomb that he intends to detenate on the ASA after he smuggles out some teenage metas. The bomb is then diffused by Black Lightning. He confronts Jeff about it and they trade MLK quotes and decide they have to go their separate ways. It’s breathtaking.

Jen and New Kid (who is as I noted last week, is disappointingly not Virgil Hawkins. PULL THAT TRIGGER YOU COWARDS) realize their powers are complimentary and it’s really cool. They’re still in a will they or won’t they fight pattern, but I like them together, if only Jen weren’t still hung up on…

Khalil. Poor, brainwashed, absolutely terrifying Khalil. Lynn and Gambi find him at The Pit and Lynn decides she needs to save him. She learns all of his memories are still there she just needs to access them. (Reenie’s “Worried About Jen and Khalil Meter This Week Is a Solid 7, they both seem physically safe at the moment, but they’re in tough spots)

Anissa is still healing, so she asks he father to take over her escort duties on The Underground Railroad. This includes smuggling Grace, who is stuck in her terrified teen persona. They say their goodbyes and by completing the mission Black Lightning has regained some of the trust of the community. Yay!

The Flash: Season 6: Episode 7: “The Last Temptation Of Barry Allen: Part 1”

This is an exceptionally good and creepy episode of The Flash. After being attacked by Bloodwork last week, Ralph is needs a transfusion of Speed Force blood, so Barry donates. It seems to work, but then Barry winds up in a coma.

Barry comas are great. While in the coma, he communes with The Speed Force in it’s Barry’s Mom form, he is also tempted by “The Devil” who looks a lot like Ramsey Russo. There’s a terrifying Thanksgiving meal with a bloody Lasagna. Seriously this scene is creepy and gross and AMAZING. Next Ramsey shows Barry all the people who have died because he’s the Flash, ending with himself, and then the life he could have if (when) he survives the Crisis. It’s a good life. Life with Iris and Nora, his friends happy. Ramsey says he can give him this.

Barry doesn’t waver until the Speed Force pops up again, then he loses it on her. Tells her he hates his random fate, he’s done. Look, I’m a Catholic with a literature degree. I attended Religious instruction my entire life and Catholic High School and Jesuit University. I love a good biblical allusion in my fiction. (emphasis on good. There are plenty of bad ones) This episode is named for one of the BEST literary depictions of Jesus’s humanity of all time, in my opinion. Last Temptation is controversial but it’s also beautiful and faith affirming. Even if I didn’t know that movie inside and out, the nature of my education and personal experience means I can spot Christology metaphors a mile away. Barry’s, “Let this cup pass me,” moment is perfectly in line with his journey on this particular tropey axis. It’s about his life, the people he loves and in acceptance, about his fate as The Flash. I liked this scene a lot. “Not as I will, but as you will.”

Anyway, Barry wakes up and it turns out, he was infected by Bloodwork, OH NOES! But this is part 1, we’ll see what happens in Part 2.

Arrow Season 8 Episode 6: “

This was a good episode. I was happy to see Paul Blackthorne again. I’m always happy to see Paul Blackthorne as Quentin Lance. But let’s be honest, The Arrowverse shouldn’t touch the Groundhog Day concept again since they perfected it on Legends with the insanely good, “Here I Go Again.”

Oliver and Laurel have to learn a lesson about how fate is unavoidable. So, The Monitor sticks them in a time loop alternate universe where Quentin lived and they try to save him one last time, over and over again. When they learn that they just can’t, they can’t save everyone, Lyla on The Monitor’s behalf let’s them out.

It’s a straightforward episode that absolutely made me cry. (Because Paul Blackthorn) but nothing really special, and again, the Arrowverse already perfected the Groundhog day episode.

When Laurel and Ollie accept the inevitable, they exit a tent and it turns out the whole team is on Lian-Yu….YESSSSSSSS!

I hope everyone is having a nice Thanksgiving. I’m probably at my Aunt Mary’s house while your reading this and my brother, cousin and I are likely arguing about how Watchmen is going to turn out.

 

Crisis Management: Batwoman & Supergirl Week 7; Black Lightning, The Flash Week 6 & Arrow Week 5

The Crisis looms closer and closer now, you guys. Let’s get into it.

Batwoman: Season 1: Episode 7: “Tell Me The Truth”

“Batman trusts no one,” is my least favorite characterization of the caped crusader.

Really? No one? What about Alfred Pennyworth? Or Jim Gordon? Or Dick Grayson? Or Lucious Fox? Or Barbara Gordon? Or Jason Todd? Or Tim Drake? Or Damian Wayne? (OK, maybe he doesn’t trust Jason on Damian…) Or Clark Kent? Or, or, or? The list goes on. Batman trusts a lot of people, so Kate’s insistence, that he doesn’t trust anyone feels off. (I will grant it seems we’re sans Gordon and Robins in this universe.) (Which feels off, where the hell is Jim Gordon?)

Anyway, we’re going with it, and we learn form Julia Pennyworth (Yay!) that Kate pushed people away and we soon learn why. Back when they were going to be expelled Kate and Sophie decided to stand together, but it was Jake who talked Sophie out of it. OH NO! Anyway, Kate now distrusts her father even more, and she and Sophie are beginning to mend their fences. It helps that Julia poses as Batwoman to fool Sophie.

This is great, btw, and one of my favorite old school Batfamily shenanigans.

Anyway, Julia is in town tracking an assassin who Alice hired to kill the scientists that made the bullets that can pierce bat armor. Turns out they both have orders from someone higher up. We shall see how that leads up.

Mary is freaking out about their parents divorcing and Kate is like, ‘yeah, it’s nuts, but I’m totally NOT Batwoman I just have 0 time for this.” Poor Mary.

Supergirl; Season 5: Episode 7: “Tremors”

MITCH PILLEGGI! How have we gone this long on a show about a secret government agency that works with Aliens that’s shot in Vancouver, without getting Director Skinner up in this bitch? Pilleggi plays an ancient Alien who after a crash landing was tasked with keeping Earth safe.

Like literally the planet, not the people of earth like Kara and Clark. People are in the way of that. Also he’s got a colleague who wants to use tech to do it, which leads me to beleive she’ll be hooking up with Lena really soon. Anyway, he fights Kara, which is fun. (Also, there’s a reference to the biblical Leviathans, but then my CSD brain just went, “NO NO NO, He fought LILITH! The Leviathans were a DIFFERENT season.”) And after the fight, which takes place at the Fortress of Solitude, where Kara takes Lena, looking for a weapon to beat Pileggi alien.

After the fight Lena finally turns on Kara, which, it’s early in the season for that. Kara is floored. And while I absolutely see Lena’s side of this, I’m just not sold on it as anything other than villainous motivation. Kara is clearly contrite about the secret keeping, she feels awful. Has felt awful. And now she’s locked in an ice prison.

Alex and Kelly talk about Kelly’s feelings around Alex’s very dangerous job. Alex is the best girlfriend. Kelly is fine. We don’t do much with Brainy this week, no Nia at all, no Andrea or William either.

J’onn on the other hand has a conversation with his father regarding what to do about Malaf’a’ak. I’m thrilled by this because David Harewood and Carl Lumby always do such wonderful work. Phil Lamarr is great too. Anyway, J’onn learns that Lena is holding his brother and goes to apologize/rescue him. We’ll see how this goes, but once again, the Supergirl ethos of leading with compassion comes through here. It’s a good story.

Black Lightning: Season 3: Episode 6: “The Book Of Resistance: Chapter 1: Pale Horse”

Anissa is dying, so that’s great for my stress level. While fighting the ASA or Markovians? who even knows anymore, she was hit by a dart that contained an anti meta poison, so she can’t heal and it’s killing her. Whoops! She doesn’t tell anyone and makes Gambi promise not to, because they’re GOING TO CURE HER DAMNIT. She gets in a fight with Jeff and she is not the only one.

Lynn is spending more and more time at the ASA experimenting on and talking to Tobias and this is really really fucking with her head. He’s doing the whole, “we’re not so different, you and I,” thing and she’s all,”EXCUSE ME?” and then when Jeff goes out as Black Lighting again she freaks out at him and moves out of the house. Lynn, you’ve got to get your head on straight.

Also! Black Lightning’s back! Hooray! So in response to Tavon’s death, Jeff decides he’s done taking things sitting down and fights a bunch of ASA agents. Odelll threatens to take the girls and Jeff is all, “What are you going to do? Kidnap my children and NOT have me fry your ass?” It’s awesome.

So, New Kid with the good hair is not Virgil Hawkins. (WHY DO I KEEP HOPING? WHY DO YOU KEEP LETTING ME DOWN SHOW? Also I know that if Static were to show up, it would be reasonably big news in the nerd community) He is teaming up with Jen to avenge his mother. Oh, Jen

The Flash: Season 6: Episode 6: “License To Elongate”

This is the kind of episode of The Flash that I really really love. It’s silly comic book fun where Barry and one of his teammates go on a side mission where they work together and get shit done.

This time, it’s Ralph. Barry has decided to give Ralph the mantle of Central City’s main hero, but before he can tell him, Ralph gets a break on searching for Sue Dearbon (who’s been cast! HALLELUJAH!) and isn’t going to be around for the big announcement. So Barry goes to help him.

What follows is a delightful spy adventure where Ralph and Barry bluff their way into a high stakes poker game and stop a death ray. It doesn’t matter so much, but it’s pure delight. Ralph accepts his role as the hero of Central City and gets another clue towards finding his future wife.

Meanwhile, Nash and Iris’s former criminal intern, Allegra work on getting into The Monitor’s cave. Tom Cavanaugh looks very good as this version. Like, I’m into it. I was not expecting it. Anyway, they fail, and he looks at her longingly annnddd she’s defintely someone’s doppelganger on his earth.

Cecile helps New Guy, Chester ask his crush out and it’s adorable. Cecile has low key become my favorite character. I’m not sure when it happened, but she’s just great.

Anyway…

Arrow Season 8: Episode 5: “Prochnost”

Oliver’s back in Russia! Yay! Anatoly meets William and Mia! Super yay! Dig pulls Roy out of his normal life and they blow stuff up! BEST EPISODE EVER! (At least back half speaking.) Oliver brings his kids to Russia to get what they need to stop the monitor. (God, Oliver and Barry need to have a chat) Anyway, in order to get their bomb plans, Oliver has to reenter the Bratva fight club. Mia suggests that she do it instead which frankly might have been a better plan.

Anyway, they get caught, Laurel and Anatoly get them out, they fight again for the plans. Which Laurel has agreed to give to Lyla and The Monitor. Obviously Laurel doesn’t do that because she’s a good guy now, or whatever. She tells Lyla to come clean but Lyla doesn’t and Dig finds out anyway.

Also Roy decides to stick around. HOORAY! ROY! (I still love that Roy’s fake normal person name is Jason.) (Also, give Dig a Green Lantern Ring Already You Cowards! And put him on The Waverider. This is my grownup Christmas list.)

Next week Supergirl and Batwoman have the week off. Which is nice for me, as this weekend I’ve got family stuff all over the place. (Sister is getting married! VERY FUN!) But we’re so close to the end here, to Crisis.  Two weeks. Also, when the new year stars, we’ve got a fun watch project ahead of us! We’ll talk about it soon!

A bunch of Crisis pictures came out this week, including Kevin Conroy as Bruce Wayne, and my brain’s been on overdrive and I can’t process it yet.

Crisis Management: Batwoman & Supergirl Week 6, Black Lightning Week 5

The Flash And Arrow had the week off, so we’re publishing early! Also, I’m changing the schedule anyway. “Crisis Management” is moving to Thursdays for now, so “Fangirl Loves Star Wars” coverage of The Mandolorian can go on Mondays. (I enjoyed the pilot very much, but the show is normally going to drop on Saturday, so Mondays), but this week, with no Flash or Arrow we can do Wednesday.

Batwoman: Season 1: Episode 6: “I’ll Be Judge, I’ll Be Jury”

We’ve entered, the “wait who knows who the hero is?” stage of Berlanti-verse season 1. I think at this point, Luke, Alice and Sophie are the only ones who know that Kate is Batwoman. Which is fine, I just hope Mary doesn’t get left off in Lena/Iris- land being the last to know for no discern-able narrative reason. (OK, it’s paying off with Lena this year.)

Speaking of Mary, the fandom seem to have latched on to her as a favorite and I totally get it. It also really really reminds me of Felicity in the early days of Arrow, in the best way. Mary is super competent but she’s also oodles of fun, which given how dark and dour the rest of the show is why she’s become so popular. This week, she’s treating Sophie, and trying to hold her, once she realizes Sophie knows who Batwoman is.

Kate meanwhile, is fighting The Executioner, a former executioner who has decided to take Gotham’s corrupt justice system into his own hands, eliminating the cops and judges who turned him into a murderer for executing people who were actually innocent.

It’s a really really good Bat-villain model. Also, one of those The Executioner is out to exonerate, is the guy convicted of killing Lucious Fox, so Luke is understandably perturbed at Kate for ruining his closure.

Alice and Mouse get into a fight about Kate, and how Mouse feels Alice wants to replace him with her. But no, Alice just wants Kate to join them, and possibly control her? I’m not sure what her plan is.

Jake promises Kate that they’ll get Beth back, and also he’s hunting Batwoman. I am fine with Jake not knowing Kate is Batwoman. I know in the comics he does and is her tech guy, but we have Luke here, we don’t need that.

Supergirl Season 5, Episode 6: “Confidence Woman”

Like Barry going on vacation on The Flash last week, this week’s Supergirl focuses on Lena and Andrea’s friendship to give Melissa Benoist her time to film Crisis. (Kara only appears in a few scenes and only one as Supergirl)

The theme of this week’s episode is “POWERSUITS” (not really, but there are a lot of them.) Lena reflects on her long history with Andrea, who befriended her at boarding school shortly after her mother’s death. Theses two women, crushed by familial expectations and united by genius and drive, make a great team. As young women they go on an adventure to find a legendary amulet that might help Lena reign Lex in. (Jon Cryer makes a quick reappearance and is delightful.)

Andrea finds it and uses it to help her suicidal father rather than handing it over to Lena, and as such, sells her soul to Leviathan. (She’s the mysterious shadow assassin. TWIST!) When Lena finds out it ruins their friendship, and Lena runs away to National City. We also get some time with Kara showing Lena opening herself up to people again, but the episode gives us context for both Lena and Andrea and their motivations.

In the end, they team up again, though Lena is still playing her cards close to the vest. (You really can’t blame her.)

The flashbacks aren’t as strong as the last year’s Young Kara and Alex episode, but it’s still good. (Lena and Andrea don’t have the foundation that Kara and Alex have).

Black Lightning Season3, Episode 5: 

I realized that I’ve been complaining about a lack of actual Black Lightning on Black Lightning in the recent weeks because of course, like the other shows, Cress Williams had to be shooting Crisis, so needed the break. Even more so since Black Lightning shoots in Atlanta rather than Vancouver.

Anyway, he’s still sidelined this week, although Jefferson gets a good moment here, standing up to the ASA team that is trying to put down a student protest on the school steps. He wins up beaten and Jen tries to rush in and save him, only to have adorable new kids Randy stop her, absorbing her powers. (He also lends her a jacket which gives off some static that jump starts her earlier. I’m formulating a theory but I don’t dare to hope.)

Khalil meanwhile, fights some guards. I continue to worry about him, but the show gave me one less kid to worry about by killing off Tavon. WTF show? The Chief gets the Reverend and a few others together and they decide to organize their resitance efforts. Jen goes back to work for Odell, who continues to be suspicious of Anissa.

Anissa leaves Grace with Gambi and it’s adorable. Grace is doing better, but not all the way better and Anissa is starting to chafe against the leadership of the free zone. Lynn has a long talk with Tobias who has definitely figured out the deal with the Pierce family but you know…she continues to deny it.

In Crisis connection, I hope that, in other world travellers tradition, Jeff notes that a certain John Diggle reminds him of someone…his brother in law…also named John…perhaps?

OK, so we’ll talk again next Thursday. Crisis is creeping up fast, and with Disney+, I think we’re going to have a bunch of Nerd Homework in the next few months. (I’m already knee deep in Gargoyles but we’ll talk about it soon.) Whether I keep covering the DC Shows after Crisis is still up in the air.

Crisis Management: Batwoman, Supergirl & The Flash Week 5, Arrow Week 4

This week we got a teaser, the most important part of which was seeing Brandon Routh is that super dope Kingdom Come Superman costume.

He looks really really good. Also, on Saturday, Aless and I expressed our annoyance that Michael Rossenbaum turned down being in Crisis because “they didn’t have a script yet,” which like, does he need a script? He makes a speech about “destiny” and “the thin line that separates heroes from villains,” and then Welling looks off into the distance with his face scrunched like he smelled a fart. Cut. End of Smallville portion of the crossover.

Anyway, this week’s episodes, let’s talk.

Batwoman Season 1, Episode 5: “Mine Is A Long And Sad Tale”

We finally learn how Beth became Alice. After the car accident a disturbed loner who’s abused son needs a friend, so he kidnaps Beth. After a near miss where Jake and Kate fail to find her, Beth and John, the mysterious Mouse, latch on to each other and Alice In Wonderland to escape the hell that they’re stuck in.

Alice tells her story to Kate, who is trying her best to understand what’s going on and also doing that superhero thing where her failure to save someone close to her even under pretty reasonable circumstances becomes the defining moment of her entire life and mission to fight crime.

Meanwhile, a frustrated Mary gets drunk and shows up to Kate’s office to confront her about how she’s a good person and Kate’s fixation on Alice, her “real sister” is hurtful. The reasoning for the scene is only OK, but an at the end of his rope Luke having to deal with Drunk Mary is awesome.

Oh, also Jake does manage to save Kate from Alice, but it’s too late for Alice who’s committed to Mouse as her new family, rather than the people she feels failed her.

Supergirl Season 5, Episode 5: “Dangerous Liaisons”

Kara loops new guy William (ehhh) into The DEO’s search for Leviathan, under the auspices of investigating Andrea. They are bonding, I am reminded of how much I miss Mon-El.

Alex and Kelly meanwhile are coming up on their “date-a-versary” whatever the hell that means, but it is an excuse for them both to realize that their scary dangerous lives are just all the more reason to further committ and also ride motorcycles together. (Seriously, did someone look at Alex’s entire life and just say, “she’s great! It’s all great! How can we make it even gayer?” I’m not complaining. Just saying.)

Meanwhile, Kara and her cool pants and neat bangs, and J’onn fight an assassin with Doc Ock arms who it turns out is (GASP) controlled by Leviathan who are, if you missed it, coming.

Oh, also Andrea’s creepy VR contacts launch and I know this is going somewhere Leviathan related, but for the moment it’s stupid and unfocused and it’s really hard for me to care.

Also, Lena tricks Malaf’a’ak, and now she’s studying his brain. I wish this had gotten more screen time.

The Flash Season 6, Episode 5: “Kiss Kiss, Breach Breach”

Breacher is back! YAY! I love Danny Trejo.

Of course he’s back because Gypsy is dead, which boo. She was murdered and The Collectors think that it was Cisco. OH NO!

Cisco and Kamilla and Breacher go about solving Gypsy’s murder, and Cisco doesn’t think he can do it. He also makes a Barry AI, which is adorable. Barry and Iris are on vacation, and I know that the Barry-light episodes is so Grant Gustin can film his Crisis stuff, and the show is doing OK by it, and we only have a few more weeks, so I’m hoping Barry gets some fun things to do in the back half of the season.

Anyway, they solve the murder and it was Echo, who is an alternate Cisco. DUN DUN DUNNNNN. Anyway, Cisco clears his name but does have to live with the idea that Gypsy died thinking he killed her. But he and Kamilla say I love you! Yay!

Frost confronts Ramsey and he offers to turn her into a blood monster. She passes but confirms his evil-ness. Ramsey is actually a pretty fun big bad, and I especially like that his connection is through Caitlin and Frost, rather than Barry’s future.

Joe and Nash (our new Wells) get stuck in the sewers below Central City, looking for The Monitor. We’re still not sure why Nash is looking for the Monitor, but Joe doesn’t care, because you know, it’s Joe, he’s just looking to bond/protect his family. He explains that the current need for faith in his life is that Barry’s death won’t be in vain. It’s a good scene because Jesse L. Martin and Tom Cavanaugh are incredible. Even if it’s a little contrived getting them to be alone together is always welcome.

Arrow Season 8 Episode 4:

I love when Arrow gets on it’s high horse about murder. It’s so much cognitive dissonance since the initial episodes of the show were just Oliver running around murdering people, a habit he has not really broken. Oliver still murders people pretty regularly. 

Anyway, this week’s “Don’t Murder” lesson goes to Mia. Everyone gets really cool, really quick about the future kids showing up. It’s weird but they’re dealing with a bunch of weird stuff anyway, so they all just kind of roll with it. (It’s weirdest for Connor since Dif and Lyla haven’t adopted him yet.) Mia, William and Connor agree not to reveal the future to their parents, especially Rene and Dig, who might not be cool about the whole “JJ murders Zoe” situation. Eventually everything comes out though and they all brood at each other.

Mia though is definitely up for killing CURRENT (5 year old) JJ in order to save FUTURE  (not 12 year old) Zoe. Laurel tells her that murder is always a bad plan. (Again, Laurel murders people kind of a lot) and Oliver tells Mia he wants them to be a family.

William is thrilled to be back in the life he voluntarily vacated at 12, which is annoying on a plot level but adult William is so damn cute, that I excuse it. He also comes out to Oliver who reveals that he was aware of William’s sexuality but wanted to give him time and space to come out on his own, and hates that they never got that time. Anyway, the episode ends with Dig and Conor doing sword training, The Queens eating grilled cheese sandwhiches and Rene running for city council, while agreeing to let Dinah train Zoe.

Oh also, the Minitor recruits Laurel to betray Oliver and get her Earth back.

I’m guessing this isn’t going to be that straightforward.

No Black Lightning this week. And hey! Tomorrow The Mandolorian premiers! I’m still thinking I’ll stick with Mondays for Crisis Watch and do Fangirl Loves Star Wars on Wednesday or Thursday. We’ll see.

Crisis Management: Batwoman, Supergirl, Black Lightning & The Flash Week 4, Arrow Season 7 & Season 8 Episodes 1-3

We’re all caught up! Hooray! Which means I can start catching up on other things. (This Is Us is demanding some love…not to mention I’m weeks behind on Titans and Star Wars: Resistance…) So, all things point towards Crisis, and now that I’m not going to have to push through 20 hours of Arrow every week, I’ll hopefully be able to start linking everything up thematically.

We shall see…

Batwoman: Season 1: Episode 4: “Who Are You?”

When I reviewed Joker last month I discussed how even now, despite living in a world where I’m reviewing 5 superhero shows a week and there are still more on the air, I get really excited when Batman stuff crosses my path.

I just, really, really love Batman-mythos stuff, you guys. Kind of a lot.

Which is why, despite it’s rough around the edges awkwardness, Batwoman is doing right by fans like me. This time, because Kate Kane is fighting mother forking Magpie.

I’m no longer surprised by the depths of character lists that The CW goes for (they brought back Isis for Beebo’s sake!) but it still brings me great joy to see stuff like Magpie getting decently budgeted live action TV outings. Magpie is a jewel thief with a bird motif, and Kate has to stop her, especially when it turns out she’s also blowing things up. There’s a bit of a scare with Martha Wayne’s necklace, but Kate and Luke get it together, find the necklace and stop Magpie from blowing up a museum benefit. (It’s Gotham and there’s a museum benefit, so obviously, Batwoman had to show up.)

Kate also visits Mary in the batsuit, and leaves Alice’s boyfriend with her step sister for medical care. Mary is a little miffed by the whole “reviving a tortured dude,” thing and also doesn’t guess that it’s Kate under the mask. Reagan lays in on the line that she’s not willing to be blown off all the time, which makes her a spectacularly bad choice in rsuperhero girlfriend so Kate ends things, reluctantly. Also, turns out Catherine Hamilton was the one who faked the evidence of Beth’s death, so you know…Jake’s not thrilled about that.

Sophie continues to be around. Alice has not yet killed her husband.

Ruby Rose is still a bit stiff and awkward, but she’s getting better. She’s really at home when she’s in the suit, which is cool to see. She seems to unclench a little which I doubt is intentional, but works for the character. Kate’s freaked out about her double life, but as Batwoman, she doesn’t have to be.

Supergirl Season 5: Episode 4: “In Plain Sight”

James Olsen, farewell.

This was Mehcad Brook’s last episode. And look, James Olsen, Dreamboat Photojournalist/Idealist Vigilante never quite worked on the show, which is a shame because he is really, really handsome. Anyway, James is back in his hometown and is crusading against the prison system. Sure, whatever, we’ll miss you. (Kind of?)

J’Onn faces off against Mala’f’ak who has taken over Alex by now, which is just awful, for J’Onn, you know emotionally. Alex already suggested they use the gun that Hank Henshaw created to kill Green Martians against him, which everyone is just, like “WTF Alex?” to her about, but is a really good plan, and they wind up having to use it, which is tough, because isn’t that Alex’s job.

Lena helps Brainy be his best boyfriend self which is cute, even though she’s still working on the side to control the world with evil tech.

Oh also, bland rude British guy is totally going to be Kara’s latest doomed love interest, so we’ve got that going for us. (I miss Mon-El)

Black Lightning: Season 4: Episode 4: “The Book Of Occupation Chapter 4: Lynn’s Ouroboros”

Lynn is working herself to death, practically, looking for a vaccine for the pod people, and the greenlight babies, and she feels close. Jeff is frustrated that she’s agreed to stay working with Odell, and he’s super worried that they seem disconnected. He talks to Gambi about it, who suggests he make his marriage the priority right now. Fine, whatever. I wish we were seeing more of Black Lightning this season, but it’s clearly not going to happen.

Jen, meanwhile, is starting to side with Odell, which is really terrifying. She sees the occupation as a Net Good, in a control way. Which, I’m sure she’ll change her mind when she learns what’s going on with Khalil. Who, still working as an assassin. Going by Painkiller full time.

I really cannot stress enough how much I worry about these kids on a regular basis. I do like Jen’s new haircut, however.

Anissa and Grace are now committed, and Jeff meets her while freaking on Anissa for being Blackbird. Grace reacts by morphing into her teenage self, which is both weird and great. Jeff apologizes and tells Anissa he’s proud of her. Also they breakout a bunch of suspected meta’s from jail.

I have trouble recapping Black Lightning, mostly because it’s a busy show, with a lot of nuance and allegory. Plot isn’t really the point. But I am enjoying it, even if it feels like there’s not enough actual Black Lightning this season.

The Flash: Season 6: Episode 4: “There Will be Blood” 

Man, we’re halfway to Crisis and I can’t wait for it to be over, not because I want it to be over. I am so hyped for this crossover, y’all, but because “Barry is going to die and we all know it let’s talk about our feelings,” is exhausting. This week, Cisco tells Barry he’s being kind of a dick by being so Zen about the whole thing.

I agree with Cisco.

What else is new.

Anyway, Barry tells him they’re going to Save Ramsey Rosso as their final project together. Cisco says that’s stupid and they should Save Barry Allen.

Again, we’re in accord here Cisco.

Barry says no, and they create a treatment for Ramsey, and it doesn’t quite work, so he keeps stealing blood from people and creating zombies. Barry and Killer Frost fight the zombies. Sendhil Rammamurthy is doing a great job with Ramsey, even if I have to remind myself to call him that instead of “Mohinder.”

Iris and Ralph decide to team up to find Sue Dearbon, which is exciting because that’s Ralph’s wife in the comics! Yay!

Joe and Barry have a heart to heart about Barry’s death. Joe cries. I cry. Jesse L. Martin pulls me heart strings more than anyone. (Watches “I’ll Cover You (Reprise)” Cries again.)

Arrow Season 7

Flash forwards! In a dystopian 2040, grown up, age appropriately written William finds Roy Harper on Lian Yu and they go hunting for Felicity. Along the way they team up with Zoe Alvarez and Dinah Drake, plus Mia Smoak, Oliver and Felcity’s daughter. There are some bits of mystery surrounding this future, what happened to Oliver (CRISIS!)? Is Felicity dead? (NO!) Is Rene’s old age makup ridiculous? (ABSOLUTELY!)

The season starts with Oliver in prison, but he’s out pretty quickly, which is fine. Also Diggle and Lyla are running ARGUS and Felicity keeps inventing really terrifying surveillance tech.

But then, Team Arrow becomes deputized by the SCPD to fight Dante and The Ninth Circle and then Oliver’s hertofore secret half sister Emiko Queen. Emiko was the result of Robert having and affair and then abandoning her and her mother at Moira’s insistence. Considering Moira did the same thing this feels a little hypocritical. Anyway, they win! They save the city, until they don’t, because apocalypse. And also, the Monitor shows up and tells Oliver that their “deal” to save Barry and Kara has come due.

Arrow Season 8: Episodes 1-3

Oliver’s Multiverse Adventure gets off to a strong start on Earth-2, where Oliver decides the best plan is to come back as himself, just 7 years after he did on Earth-1. His mother, Tommy and Malcolm are still alive, but Thea died of a Vertigo overdose. (Sad) Meanwhile, Laurel of Earth 2 is opperating as The Black Canary with Adrian Chase as The Hood. Sure, whatever, that works. Turns out Tommy’s the Dark Archer and is going to bring about the destruction of the Glades as revenge for Thea, until Oliver, Diggle (who followed Oliver world hopping with Cisco’s portal machine), Chase and Laurel stop him. Then Earth-2 is consumed by Crisis energy, and Laurel comes with Oliver and Diggle, which HELL YES!

Meanwhile, in 2040, Mia, Zoe, William and Connor Hawk are trying to getStar City back to good status, and do so by fighting The Deathstroke Gang, which is headed by JJ Diggle. OH NO! Nothing much happens here, but Mia’s Green Arrow outfit is pretty cute.

Episode 2 brings us back to Hong Kong and Katana! Hooray! Laurel is not happy and wants to get back home, and I can’t really blame her, so she and Lyla (also Yay!) So they find their way to a tech guy that Laurel worked with back in the Cayden James days, but she’s horrified (as is Lyla) when they learn that Earth-2 is just gone. It doesn’t exist.

It was pointed out that we sure hope Jesse Quick and Harry Wells were able to get away. I sure hope so too.

Oliver, Dig, and Tatsu go on a mission to save a scientist who’s studying multiverses for The Monitor, he’s being held in protective custody by the Chinese government. (They first think he’s being held as a dissident, which is a nice twist.) It was nice to see Tatsu again, Katana was a victim on this show of WB’s weird, “No TV versions of characters we’re doing in movies” policy. (Exceptions: The Flash, and anyone on Gotham. But that’s why we got Green Arrow on Smallville, they wanted Bruce Wayne.) So seeing her back was a nice touch. I’m into it. I like the whole farewell tour feeling of the season. Also, Lyla is working with the Monitor. Is she Harbinger? I’m into it.

Episode 3 is Thea and Talia’s turn for goodbye. Thea and Nyssa have succeeded in their quest to close the Lazarus pits, but Thea is still fighting with Athena for control of what’s left of the league. They go to meet up with Talia, as they can’t get in touch with Sara or Nyssa and they need League expertise for their mission, which is looking for some information on The Monitor that a League founder had. They retreive it, Talia and Thea agree they’re going to run the League together, and I really hope that Talia eventually crosses over with  Batwoman, where she belongs.

Meanwhile, in the Future, Connor, Mia, William and Zoe fight JJ. JJ kills Zoe and it’s brutal and I’m sad. I like Zoe. Plus, Rene deserves some kind of break. (I like Rene, he’s my favorite post Thea character.) But quickly there’s a flash of light and the kids find themselves back in the Bunker, but in the present. WOOOOOO!

In Other News

SUPERMAN SHOW STARRING TYLER HOECHLIN AND ELIZABETH TULLOCH. OMG THE ARROWVERSE GROWS AND GROWS. Actually I’m deeply psyched about this. In her 20 minutes or so of screentime in Elseworlds Tulloch was wonderful and Hoechlin has acquitted himself incredibly each outing.